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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Why MLB trades may fly early with a loaded pitching market | New York Post

An NL executive declared, “If my team were out of it, I would definitely jump the market.”

The early favorite to sell first is the Royals. Multiple scouts have told me that many of their Kansas City brethren already have had their pro coverage rearranged to delve deeper into systems of likely buyers such as the Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs. Royals general manager Dayton Moore disputed that, writing in a text: “our scouting strategy hasn’t changed since 2007.”

Still, another AL executive stated: “The Royals are dying to declare.” This is not wholly unexpected. The Royals dealt walk-year players Wade Davis and Jarrod Dyson in the offseason and free-agents-to-be Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer all are free after the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:40 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: trade rumors

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 14, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5455162)
Jason Vargas is a lefty in the last year of a cheap contract who is pitching out of his mind right now. I would trade him before either he reverts back to mean, or he gets hurt again. The Royals' offense is inept, and not particularly young, either. They need help quickly, or they'll be back to the lousy franchise they were for many years for this last run.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: May 14, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5455186)
Just looking at the teams named, and players they might be willing to part with, I'm wondering what it would take to get Joe Smith from the Blue Jays or Soria from the Royals(he's signed for another year with a team option, so I imagine he might not be available)
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2017 at 04:51 PM (#5455197)
The Royals' offense is inept, and not particularly young, either. They need help quickly, or they'll be back to the lousy franchise they were for many years for this last run.


The Royals are going to be bad next year no matter what. Don't trade for MLB needs right now, the system is thin all over. Get the best players you can for when the Royals are good again - hopefully in a few years.

The arguments for why this will be an earlier trade market are pretty unconvincing. Aren't points #2-4 all the same? There will be lots of starting pitching. The sellers will hold out for the best possible offer. The fact there are lots of sellers will simply cause it to be a buyer's market, which means buyers will offer less, knowing there is plenty on the market, and sellers will balk, because they think starting pitchers are worth a lot, which means trades won't happen til the last week of July, as always.

Soria from the Royals(he's signed for another year with a team option, so I imagine he might not be available)


If the Royals are truly sellers, he'll be available.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: May 14, 2017 at 05:52 PM (#5455234)

If the Royals are truly sellers, he'll be available.


I Probably should have clarified, I meant he won't be available at a price I would feel comfortable for my team to spend to get him. Someone like Joe Smith wouldn't cost much because he's a free agent at the end of the year and is just a journeyman reliever. Cardinals could sharpen up the bottom and middle of their pen, Soria would be more of a premium acquisition, if he could be had for a Matt Adams and a B prospect then sure go for it, but I'm sure it would cost more than that to get him and I don't think he's worth more than that.
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: May 14, 2017 at 05:57 PM (#5455240)
Although if the Royals are looking long term but near ML ready, I wonder if Bader mixed with someone else could get a deal made?
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 14, 2017 at 08:04 PM (#5455282)
Soria would be more of a premium acquisition,

Really? He's coming off a 4.05 ERA/4.36 FIP season.
   7. Shibal Posted: May 14, 2017 at 08:32 PM (#5455301)
The Royals, while on a record pace for offensive futility, are just 5 games below .500 and 3.5 games behind the Indians. They aren't going to sell yet.

Nor should they. Cleveland is giving them life.

The offense will turn around, and if the pitching stays strong, they can stay in contention.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: May 14, 2017 at 08:42 PM (#5455305)
Really? He's coming off a 4.05 ERA/4.36 FIP season.


And it's looking like that was more or less just a hiccuup. I don't mean Chapman level of premium player, but there will probably be a bidding war for him simply because teams think that he might be easier to get because of the contract(9mil owed next year and a 1 mil buyout for the next season) I mentioned him originally because I do think he'll probably be available for various reasons, but at the same time, I think the Royals are going to be able to get more for him than what I think he probably deserves, I could see a couple of B level prospects going for him without a team batting an eye.

To me, he feels like one of the few relievers in baseball that you can count on, and his season last year does point to the volatility of relievers, but including the last three seasons and this year he has a 1.198 whip, 3.37 fip, 129era+. Last year was the only bad season he's ever had in his career.

I don't think he is a premium player, but he is a player that I would like my team to get, and that I think would be too expensive for my team to get. If they want Harrison Bader, and he's the best we can get for him, then pull the trigger. If they want someone better or with more potential or with fewer blocks to the majors, then you walk away from the table.


I think if the Cardinals continue to play well this season, that it's very possible that Matt Adams, Harrison Bader, Marco Gonzales or a few others will find themselves someplace else in July. And it would be to acquire the type of guys I'm talking about Soria, Smith....etc... not great players, but guys to fill out the bullpen from the 4th-8th spot. Soria is above that level talent wise, he'll probably end up third on most competitive teams bullpen depth chart.
   9. simon bedford Posted: May 14, 2017 at 08:50 PM (#5455307)
The jays are coming off an 8-2 run , which is why you do not talk about sellers in early May.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: May 14, 2017 at 08:53 PM (#5455310)
The Royals, while on a record pace for offensive futility, are just 5 games below .500 and 3.5 games behind the Indians. They aren't going to sell yet.

Nor should they. Cleveland is giving them life.

The offense will turn around, and if the pitching stays strong, they can stay in contention.


The article is more about a what if, if these teams continue to play poorly, there will be more sellers in this market, and with an influx of sellers, it might make sense to sell early to get the better return on investment.

But what offense is going to turn around, it's looking more and more likely that Gordon is officially toast now. Brandon Moss rode a hot first two months last season, he hit something like .664 ops from June 25th to the rest of the season. Soler and Escobar will bounce back a bit of course, but for every bounce like that, that they get, you will have an expected drop from Perez or someone else... I'm not seeing anyone on their roster that you can reasonably think is going to have an offensive rebound to make any difference. Unless they have a couple of young stud bats ready right now, there is no real reason to think their offense is going to be anything other than terrible.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: May 14, 2017 at 08:54 PM (#5455311)
The jays are coming off an 8-2 run , which is why you do not talk about sellers in early May.


That part I agree with, these articles are more or less too early, but since it was posted, you can at least entertain the notion of the what-if.
   12. Shibal Posted: May 14, 2017 at 09:12 PM (#5455319)
Well, I'm certainly not going to assume the first 6 weeks of a baseball season defines a player's skills more than the player's career up to this point.

Maybe I'm wrong though.
   13. Shibal Posted: May 14, 2017 at 09:22 PM (#5455326)
Escobar: 31 OPS+
Gordon: 32 OPS+
Orlando: -6 OPS+
Moss: 66 OPS +
Cuthbert: 11 OPS+
Mondesi: -4 OPS+
Solar: 24 OPS +

That level of suckiness is unsustainable.
   14. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: May 14, 2017 at 09:29 PM (#5455332)
The Royals' offense could "turn around" from where they are now, and still suck. That's about what I expect. They're not a good offensive team, even if they're somewhat less bad than their performance to date shows.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: May 14, 2017 at 09:51 PM (#5455344)
Escobar: 31 OPS+
Gordon: 32 OPS+
Orlando: -6 OPS+
Moss: 66 OPS +
Cuthbert: 11 OPS+
Mondesi: -4 OPS+
Solar: 24 OPS +

That level of suckiness is unsustainable.


Agree, but how much difference is it going to make when Gordon goes from 32 85, Moss from 66 to 85 and Soler from 24 to 95...the rest I don't care about, they don't really have any pa of significance to matter right now, and at the same time Perez is going to go from 122 to 100 which is going to even some of it, and the fact that none of the bench bats has shown any reason to promote them, it's not like they are holding veteran jobs with the hope of them bouncing back, and blocking youth.


I don't know the Royals, I don't know who they are holding back in the minors etc... quick search on bb-ref org depth chart and it shows no difference makers being held back, although I would seriously consider bringing Dean Anna up as he's a major league quality utility player and is probably better than Christian Colon or Escobar(not defensively of course) and definitely look at challenging
Frank Schwindel to see if he can hit higher competition.


edit: agree with post 14 also, they might improve, but there is nothing on that roster that makes anyone think they are an average offensive team.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:14 PM (#5455354)

The Royals' offense could "turn around" from where they are now, and still suck. That's about what I expect. They're not a good offensive team, even if they're somewhat less bad than their performance to date shows.


And the rotation is very likely to regress. They lead the AL in starters FIP, but I doubt Jason Vargas ends at a 1.01 ERA/2.15 FIP, and Nate Karns and Ian Kennedy are probably outperforming their FIP quite a bit.


I don't know the Royals, I don't know who they are holding back in the minors etc... quick search on bb-ref org depth chart and it shows no difference makers being held back, although I would seriously consider bringing Dean Anna up as he's a major league quality utility player and is probably better than Christian Colon or Escobar(not defensively of course) and definitely look at challenging


The minors are very thin right now. The one guy who could make a difference is out til June - Hunter Dozier. They tried Raul Mondesi but he was a disaster.
   17. Shibal Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:25 PM (#5455359)
The Royals' offense could "turn around" from where they are now, and still suck. That's about what I expect. They're not a good offensive team, even if they're somewhat less bad than their performance to date shows.


No one claimed they were a good offensive team, did they? They weren't a good offensive team when they went to the Series in 2014, and were about league average in 2015 when they won the title.

Offense isn't their calling card. If they average at least 4 runs a game, like they have for each of the last 25 years and would put them #11 or #12 in league offense, they should be OK.

If they score 3 runs a game, like they are this year, they are in trouble.

I'm assuming they will average at least 4 runs a game from here on out. That's hardly a comment that is controversial.

   18. cardsfanboy Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:32 PM (#5455363)
I'm assuming they will average at least 4 runs a game from here on out. That's hardly a comment that is controversial.


Combined with their 4.08 runs allowed per game, that still makes them a sub .500 team.


   19. Shibal Posted: May 14, 2017 at 11:05 PM (#5455367)
Combined with their 4.08 runs allowed per game, that still makes them a sub .500 team.


"At least 4 runs per game" doesn't mean 4 runs per game.

But I do enjoy the dive into pedantry though.
   20. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 14, 2017 at 11:15 PM (#5455368)
If they played the Orioles every day, that would help. They don't, though.
   21. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 15, 2017 at 07:25 AM (#5455397)
I guess anything could happen, but the Royals are not contenders. The offense doesn't really have that much upside (other than that Gordon presumably won't hit .150 forever), the rotation has a lot of downside, they're already in last place, playing on a 70-win pace -- meaning that if nothing changes, they continue to outperform their pythag while Cleveland underperforms theirs, they still end up 15 games back. I'd say it's far more likely that Cleveland's luck evens out and the Royals get buried than that they smell the playoffs this year.

I'm assuming they will average at least 4 runs a game from here on out.


I don't see any particular reason to assume that at all.
   22. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 15, 2017 at 07:46 AM (#5455399)
The Royals' offense is inept, and not particularly young, either. They need help quickly, or they'll be back to the lousy franchise they were for many years for this last run.


The Royals are going to be bad next year no matter what. Don't trade for MLB needs right now, the system is thin all over. Get the best players you can for when the Royals are good again - hopefully in a few years.

The arguments for why this will be an earlier trade market are pretty unconvincing. Aren't points #2-4 all the same? There will be lots of starting pitching. The sellers will hold out for the best possible offer. The fact there are lots of sellers will simply cause it to be a buyer's market, which means buyers will offer less, knowing there is plenty on the market, and sellers will balk, because they think starting pitchers are worth a lot, which means trades won't happen til the last week of July, as always.


Sorry - I didn't mean they need help quickly, in order to make them more competitive in 2017. I meant they should trade Vargas and a few others who have started well quickly, before they revert to the mean or get hurt, and lose some of their trade value. The Royals are going to be bad for the next few years, no matter what...
   23. bfan Posted: May 15, 2017 at 08:35 AM (#5455408)
Raul Mondesi did not hit well in the minors and it really doesn't matter who your daddy was, guys who do not hit well in the minors typically do not improve their hitting in MLB. Why would anyone think a .251/.299/.382 MiLB slash line sings "MLB ready-hitter"? Maybe the Royals are investing in bad MLB AB's now for Mondesi, so he can hit later in life, but 2017 was not going to be Mondesi's year.
   24. Rally Posted: May 15, 2017 at 09:14 AM (#5455413)
Solar: 24 OPS +


Royals should have held on to Wade Davis (40 OPS+ career) and converted him to outfield.
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2017 at 10:09 AM (#5455434)
Offense isn't their calling card. If they average at least 4 runs a game, like they have for each of the last 25 years and would put them #11 or #12 in league offense, they should be OK.


Their calling cards were (a) a dominant bullpen; (b) the best defense in baseball; and (c) possibly the best contact team of all time. They lost Greg Holland and Wade Davis and the pen is now mediocre, the defense is still good, but not lapping the league or anything; and their whiff rate is pretty average now. So their calling card is gone and they need a new calling card. Maybe the starting pitching will continue to be good, but there are a lot of warning signs. I do expect the offensive to improve, but it will still likely be bad, and they'll be a .500 team at best, certainly not a contender.
   26. Davoice of Dapeople Posted: May 15, 2017 at 10:11 AM (#5455437)
23--The battle for the starting second base job was between Raul Mondesi, Whit Merrifield, Christian Colon, and Cheslor Cuthbert (who'd never played the position before). The Royals were gonna be screwed there no matter what. Mondesi at least had a prayer of being good!
   27. Zach Posted: May 15, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5456041)
#25 sums it up for me. If you're going to be an above average team, you have to be above average at something. Slightly better than average infield defense isn't going to get it done.

Right now, the Royals are tapped out financially. Their minor league system is average to below average. Their individual players are about to get much more expensive, all at once. Their offense is putrid, but with some luck could improve to subpar. Their rotation is good, but tends old, and won't be around the next time the offense is up to snuff.

They're sellers. I know that's a tough decision for the front office to make, but in this case the rest of the league decided for them.

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