Sunday, June 21, 2015
Another nice trade for John Hart.
The D-backs announced on Saturday that they have traded right-handed pitchers Bronson Arroyo and Touki Toussaint to the Braves for infielder Phil Gosselin.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Robothal is hitting .500 in yesterday afternoon’s columns.
The point is, Tampa Bay is competing, as Tampa Bay always competes, even as Rays owner Stuart Sternberg describes the team’s current run as “beyond improbable.”
Sternberg, in speaking to reporters, was referring to all of the injuries, all of the rookies. But really, the Rays expected to be good last season, when many of us picked them to win the division, if not reach the World Series. Injuries and poor performance in high-leverage situations—some of which was attributable to poor luck—sunk them to 77-85.
Maddon left for the Cubs, Friedman for the Dodgers. The Rays reconfigured their front office, shifting Matt Silverman from team president to president of baseball operations and promoting Chaim Bloom and Erik Neander to VPs. The new group then hired a first-time manager, Kevin Cash, and at some point made the decision that defined their 2014-15 offseason.
They still liked their team.
So, rather than simply acquire future pieces, the Rays also traded for present value—similar to what Friedman did when he sent David Price to the Tigers and acquired Smyly, infielder Nick Franklin and shortstop prospect Willy Adames.
Jaso came back in the deal that sent Zobrist and Yunel Escobar to the Athletics, a deal in which the Rays also landed shortstop prospect Daniel Robertson and outfield prospect Boog Powell.
More telling, the Rays acquired outfielder Steven Souza from the Nationals for two prospects, shortstop Trea Turner and pitcher Joe Ross, whom they landed as part of the Wil Myers trade.
While the futures of both Turner and Ross are bright, the Rays wanted Souza’s immediate 25-homer potential. Good call—Souza leads the club with 13 homers, eight stolen bases and 30 walks.
Not every move is proving as fortuitous—Asdrubal Cabrera, signed to a one-year, $7.5 million free-agent contract, is playing above-average shortstop, but batting only .204 with a .547 OPS. But the Rays’ pro scouting director, Matt Arnold, has helped the team succeed on the margins. Butler, Elmore and reliever Ron Belisario signed as minor-league free agents. Ramirez arrived in a trade from the Mariners for lefty Mike Montgomery. ...
No Maddon, no Friedman, and the Rays march on.
It’s not beyond improbable. It’s typical Tampa Bay.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Jayson Stark discusses some possible landing spots.
Posted: June 19, 2015 at 06:50 AM | 18 comment(s)
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
In those other sports, it’s part of life, part of the intrigue, part of the drama of draft day. Who’s trading up? Who’s trading down? Who’s scheming? Who’s listening?
In those other sports, the trading of draft picks is a given. Taken for granted. Buzzed about for weeks. An indispensable part of the fun.
And in baseball? Still stuck in a 50-year-old time warp. Still banning something that would increase interest in the draft by about a billion times. Trade your first-round pick? Still as illegal as the spitball after all these years. Ridiculous.
“I wish we would change this,” says one former scouting director who has gone on to bigger things. “I think it’s long overdue. If we started trading picks, we could really have some fun. And we could create a lot more interest in our draft.”
Starks then mentions a several arguments against and summarily dismisses them
All right, now here’s the other long-standing objection we’ve heard for years—that players and agents would use their trade chips to manipulate the draft.
In other words, there was fear of reading a story like this: “WASHINGTON—The Washington Nationals traded their No. 1 overall pick Monday after Bryce Harper and agent Scott Boras said that Harper would refuse to sign if he was drafted by the Nationals. …”But if you’ve been paying attention, of course, you know that sort of manipulation has been going on for years anyway. So that’s a farcical reason.
Personally, I couldn’t possibly fail to care less…..
Thursday, June 04, 2015
Mark Trumbo and Vidal Nuno to the Mariners. Wellington Castillo, and Double-A prospects Jack Reinheimer and Gabby Guerrero to the D’Backs.
The 28-year-old Castillo represents a veteran option with a steady offensive reputation. He has a career .708 OPS, although has struggled to find his swing in limited time this season between Seattle and the Chicago Cubs.
That likely made him attractive to Seattle, which has limped along in the American League West thanks to an offense ranked second-to-last in the AL. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Seattle reporters Trumbo will split time between designated hitter and a corner outfield spot.
The idea that he would be moved wasn’t a total shock to Trumbo.
“You start to hear things and whatnot,” he said. “You do your best to block it out. If there’s rumors of things happening, then there’s probably some ounce of truth to some of it at least.”
Nuño also filled an obvious need for the Mariners, who lost starter James Paxton to a finger injury that will sideline him for at least two weeks. The team also has been without right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma since late April. Nuño said he was told he’d be in the Seattle rotation, a welcome development for him after he was unable to crack the starting five in Arizona this year.
Arizona also acquired Double-A prospects Jack Reinheimer and Gabby Guerrero. Reinheimer is an infielder without much of an offensive track record, although Stewart said top scout Mike Russell believes the 22-year-old could be “a front-line shortstop.”
The real get could be Guerrero, a 21-year-old outfielder and the nephew of former big-league great Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero was rated the No. 7 prospect in the Mariners’ system before the trade, and although he’s started slowly in his first taste of Double-A
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
You are arrive at a fork in the road, take it.
If you choose to rebuild ...
You’re believing that in three years, Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto are not going to be cornerstones of a contending roster, so there’s no sense in paying them both as much as some small-market teams will pay their entire roster. You’re believing that Phillips is done for, Bruce is Ben Grieve, Cozart isn’t a building block and Hamilton is just as likely to be a role player as a star. Or, if you’re not completely dejected, you’re believing in just one or two of those, and that’s enough to make you hope the Reds start over.
You’re believing in the haul that the Reds can get from their pending free agents, Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, can include a future star and several future contributors. You’re believing that the haul could be supplemented with aggressive, Beane-style moves, in which players are traded a year too early rather than a year too late. If you don’t think Cueto can be replaced and that Votto is somewhere between good and great (but not an MVP), it would make a lot of sense to explore what Aroldis Chapman, Cozart and even Todd Frazier could fetch.
The 2016 Reds could look like the 2014 Astros, except where that would have been an insult last year, you can see how it’s a compliment now. Here, I’ll start:
Johnny Cueto = one top-30 prospect, two additional prospects
Aroldis Chapman = one top-50 prospect, two additional prospects
Todd Frazier = two top-100 prospects, one additional prospect
Zack Cozart = one top-100 prospect, one additional prospect
Mike Leake = one top-100 prospect, one additional prospect
The Reds opened the season with three prospects in the top 100, according to Baseball America. Here’s a chance to have nine, with a half-dozen additional prospects thrown in.
Friday, May 01, 2015
Because draft picks are not eligible to be traded for 12 months from their signing date, the Padres and Nationals are not allowed to confirm that Turner has indeed already been traded, and he remains in the Padres organization at this time. However, it’s public knowledge that Turner will be changing organizations mid-summer, creating an awkward situation where the Padres are stewarding another team’s asset. As I wrote after the trade was made and Turner was unofficially revealed as the PTBNL, this was a bad situation for all to be involved in, and likely required a rule change.
Well, as of today, that rule has officially been changed. An email has been sent to all 30 MLB teams regarding this adjustment, and reads as follows, as told to me by a source who got the email:
Please be advised that the Commissioner’s Office and the Players Association have agreed to amend the Major League Rules in advance of this year’s Rule 4 Draft with respect to players-to-be-named-later (“PTBNLs”) under Rule 12(e)(2), and the trading of draft picks under Rule 3(b)(6). …commencing with players eligible for the 2015 Rule 4 Draft, (a) players selected in the Draft may be traded beginning on the day following the conclusion of the World Series, and (b) drafted players cannot be PTBNLs unless they otherwise could be traded pursuant to Rule 3(b)(6), as amended, at the time of the trade.
This amendment replaces the previous 12 month waiting period with a new no-trade restriction of roughly five months, allowing teams to then officially trade their most recent draft picks the following off-season. Instead of forcing teams to use the PTBNL loophole — those don’t have to be declared for six months, so a team could start trading draft picks six months after the draft previously — teams can now freely move these players, which will allow players in Turner’s situation going forward to change organizations in time for the next Spring Training.
Monday, April 06, 2015
Jeff Sullivan breaks down the deal.
The Braves are shedding just over $80 million in guaranteed future salary. The Padres, meanwhile, are shedding about $24 million in guaranteed future salary, meaning, in the end, the Braves save about $56 million, and the Padres add that much. Kimbrel has both potential performance-based bonuses and a club option, but we’ll stick with the guarantee for now. Here’s the simplification of this deal: the Padres are trading one of their top prospects, and a couple other minor things, for Craig Kimbrel on a three-year contract worth about $56 million. That doesn’t capture everything, but it gets to the heart of this.
Sunday, April 05, 2015
Only makes sense to trade Kimbrel (never mind dump B.J.) if you’re rebuilding… but I thought they’d, y’know, get something…
The Braves will acquire [Cameron] Maybin and [Carlos] Quentin, [Ken] Rosenthal tweets. The Braves will also acquire pitcher Matt Wisler, as FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweets. [Fangraphs’ Kiley] McDaniel tweets that the Braves will also receive outfield prospect Jordan Paroubeck. Rosenthal tweets that the Braves will also receive the 41st pick in this June’s draft.
The District Attorney
Posted: April 05, 2015 at 06:40 PM | 100 comment(s)
melvin upton, jr.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Saturday, March 07, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Great trade, who’d we get?
BEST FREE-AGENT SIGNINGS
Russell Martin (Blue Jays)—11
James Shields (Padres)—11
Jon Lester (Cubs)—8
Adam LaRoche (White Sox)—7
Pablo Sandoval (Red Sox)—6
Andrew Miller (Yankees)—5
The votes in this sector of the survey zigzagged in all directions, with 33 different players collecting at least one vote—including two Cubans (Yoan Moncada and Hector Olivera) who haven’t even signed yet. Oh, and one fellow who isn’t a player at all—Joe Maddon—got two votes. So what pushed Martin and Shields to the top of this list? Well, there weren’t a lot of fans of Martin’s five-year, $82-million contract, per se. But “he impacts winning,” one voter said. Shields’ votes were reflections of both his contract (because the Padres were able to keep it to four years) and the way he fits both his new ballpark and the aggressive winter of his new club. They “had to sign him,” an AL exec said, “to finish off the project.”
WORST FREE-AGENT SIGNINGS
Max Scherzer (Nationals)—15
Brett Anderson (Dodgers)—10
Hanley Ramirez (Red Sox)—9
Michael Cuddyer (Mets)—8
Nick Markakis (Braves)—6
Billy Butler (A’s)—5
Brandon McCarthy (Dodgers)—5
When we asked one NL executive for his selections in the best free-agent competition, his instant quip was: “That’s an oxymoron.” No wonder the votes piled up for all sorts of candidates on this side of the poll. We counted 14 free agents who got at least three votes for worst signing and another nine who got two votes. But the most fun fact of all is 17 different players got votes in both the worst-signing and best-signing categories. The reason for that isn’t actually confusing. We’d sum it up this way: Love the player, hate the contract. There’s no better example of that than Scherzer. “It’s ridiculous that they’ll be paying him forever,” one voter said. “But he’s a great pitcher.”
Monday, January 19, 2015
The deal sends Gallardo to Texas in exchange for infielder Luis Sardinas, right-hander Corey Knebel, and right-hander Marcos Diplan.
Posted: January 19, 2015 at 07:02 PM | 18 comment(s)
I like Fowler because he’s, like, the last leadoff hitter left.
The Cubs are close to acquiring outfielder Dexter Fowler from the Astros, Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com tweets. The Astros will receive big-league players in return, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets, and one of those is pitcher Dan Straily, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes (on Twitter)...
Fowler, 28, hit .276/.375/.399 in 505 plate appearances in his first season in Houston in 2014, though he posted poor defensive numbers in center. He’s in his final season of arbitration eligibility and is seeking $10.8MM, with the Astros filing at $8.5MM.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Not a Bay Area guy, I guess…
The Nationals have reached an agreement to acquire shortstop Yunel Escobar from the A’s, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). He speculates that a swap of Escobar and Tyler Clippard was a possibility.
Escobar, of course, had only just been acquired by the Athletics this past weekend…
As for the Nationals, the acquisition opens a number of avenues. First and foremost is that Escobar simply supplants Danny Espinosa as the team’s second baseman… However, the possibility of an eventual Desmond trade cannot be outright ignored…
The 32-year-old Escobar, typically a sound defender, had somewhat of a down season on both sides of the ball in 2014. Though he picked things up with the bat late in the season to salvage a .258/.324/.340 batting line (92 OPS+, 95 wRC+), he posted a UZR/150 of -26, and Defensive Runs Saved dinged him equally, rating him at -24 runs. However, Escobar also battled shoulder and knee problems last season and has otherwise always been regarded as an excellent defender, so while some will assume this to be age-related decline, there’s reason to believe that he could rebound in 2015.
Oh, Rio, Rio, dance away from the Rio Grande.
The Astros have reportedly agreed to acquire Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis. In return, Atlanta will acquire a trio of prospects: righties Michael Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman as well as third baseman Rio Ruiz.
For Houston, it is not entirely clear how the team would use Gattis… Gattis stepped things up with a .263/.317/.493 line and 22 long balls last year in 401 turns at bat.
Of course, Gattis also comes with an attractive contractual situation. He will play at league minimum for the final time this year before qualifying for arbitration in 2016…
Foltynewicz, who briefly reached the bigs last year as a reliever, sat at number three on Baseball America’s list of the best ‘Stros prospects and at fourth on the MLB.com version... Ruiz… slashed .293/.387/.436 with 11 home runs in 602 plate appearances at High-A last year… Thurman, 23, was taken in the second round in 2013 but has struggled to adapt to pro ball…
The deal is not yet complete, caution [the New York Post’s Joel] Sherman (via Twitter) and MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (via Twitter), with the former saying the terms are settled upon pending physical and the latter warning there is still a chance that Gattis could be moved to another club.
Friday, January 09, 2015
Kubitza: The highest drafted position player in Texas State history, Kubitza has steadily ascended through the Minor Leagues. He had the best season of his career in 2014 with Double-A Mississippi. He hit .295/.405/.470 with eight home runs and led the Southern League in on-base percentage. While he is a patient hitter, his swing has a tendency to get long, leading to a lot of strikeouts. His swing is geared more to hitting line drives than home runs, which produces a lot of doubles, but doesn’t fit the traditional third base profile. His defense has improved in the Minor Leagues and his strong arm and soft hands are assets at third.
Sanchez: The Angels signed Sanchez out of Venezuela in 2013 and he made his professional debut a year later in the Arizona League. As a 17-year-old, he posted a 3.49 ERA and struck out 43 batters while walking 22 in 38 2/3 innings. While Sanchez is still young and raw, he already shows significant promise. He can throw his fastball up to 95 mph and his curveball gives him a second pitch with above-average potential. He also has a nascent changeup. Sanchez has a smooth delivery, but he is still learning to repeat it and his command suffers as a result. Still just a teenager, he has plenty of upside and simply needs time to learn the intricacies of his craft.
Posted: January 09, 2015 at 07:02 AM | 22 comment(s)
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