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Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Mark Shapiro cites Phillies, Padres as cautionary tales for spending on free agents

In our current era of austerity baseball, Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins are an owner’s best friends. They are happy to go out and toe the company line, justifying putting the bare minimum of effort needed to cobble together a major league roster. It is no surprise, then, that the Blue Jays just finished in fourth place for the third consecutive year after back-to-back appearances in the ALCS.

At Pitch Talks in 2018, Atkins said, “When you’re talking about free agency, you’re talking about aging players. And the trend of overpaying a player’s aging curve has come to an end across baseball.”

In late 2018, Shapiro defended the Jays’ decision not to call up top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. when rosters expanded in September, saying the decision “has nothing to do with business.” Guerrero had absolutely crushed it in 2018, batting an aggregate .381/.437/.636 in 408 plate appearances in the minors, including a 1.120 OPS at Double-A and .978 at Triple-A. He would continue to crush it in the Arizona Fall League.

In late February this year, Atkins set the ground work for the Jays to manipulate Guerrero’s service time, saying of the then-19-year-old, “I just don’t see [Guerrero] as a major league player.” Guerrero was held down in the minors until the Jays gained their extra year of contractual control, then brought him up in late April. He was no Pete Alonso, but had a fine rookie season, batting .272/.339/.433 with 15 home runs and 69 RBI in 514 plate appearances in the majors. Not bad for a 20-year-old. But the Jays were less interested in his age-20 season and more interested in his age-26 season. You know, in 2025.

“Why sell our team using star players when we can brag that our players’ dads were ones instead?”

 

QLE Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:24 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cheap owners, free agents, mark shapiro

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Here are baseball’s top 20 free agents to be

If it feels like last year’s free agency just ended, that’s because it did. The “winter” technically stretched into early June, when Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel finally signed with the Braves and Cubs, respectively.

But it won’t be very long until we fire up free agency yet again, and, despite some rumors to the contrary, there’s a ton of talent on the table after the 2019 World Series wraps.

Here, we’ll take a look at some early free-agent power rankings (20 players for 2020). But like so much of life, it gets complicated. The market will be drastically affected by what happens with various opt-outs and option clauses. For this list, we’re going to leave off guys whose options are likely to be exercised or whose opt-outs aren’t. This currently applies to Kenley Jansen, David Price, Corey Kluber, Anthony Rizzo, Starling Marte, Nelson Cruz, José Quintana, Yu Darvish and Elvis Andrus, among others. But as always, stay tuned!

We will, however, include a few others who aren’t necessarily as likely to remain attached to their current contracts, and have noted those with an asterisk (*). All ages as of Opening Day 2020.

So, what thoughts do we have concerning this list?

 


Saturday, May 25, 2019

MLB teams’ involvement with Cuban players under Justice Department scrutiny

...“It’s always been clear that these guys are basically hostages, until the time that they sign major league contracts and give a sizeable portion of their contracts to the criminals involved in smuggling them out,” said Joe Kehoskie, a former player agent. “Everyone stuck their heads in the sand.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres have received subpoenas seeking records relating to scouting and signing of players from Latin America, and the Washington Nationals voluntarily turned over documents to federal agents, including emails and financial records…

NattyBoh Posted: May 25, 2019 at 06:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban players, free agents

Friday, December 11, 2015

IT’S THE CUBS’ WORLD NOW

Not to spoil the ending, but:

But the Cardinals aren’t doomed. They still have a solid lineup, a solid rotation and a solid bullpen, and you’d have to think they’ll add somebody. But for years, some fans have claimed, wrongly, that Cardinals-Cubs isn’t a real rivalry because the Cards have always been so much better than the Cubs. This, not coincidentally, is the same thing Yankees fans used to say about the Red Sox, before Epstein took over there as well. Now, some have said, in the wake of the Cubs’ signing of Heyward, that this ratchets up the rivalry.

But if anything, I believe it dampens it. Even before Friday, the Cubs were a better team than the Cardinals in just about every way. Now that the Cubs took the Cardinals’ best player, the gap between these teams have widened. If anyone needs to prove this is a rivalry, it’s the fading Cardinals.


 

 

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