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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Nationals succeeded by spending money

Throughout the playoffs, the Nationals have been cast as plucky underdogs fighting and scrapping their way into the World Series. It’s somewhat true: the Nats overcame a dreadful start to the regular season after losing their star outfielder in Bryce Harper, and were heavy underdogs in the NLDS against the Dodgers, who won 13 more games. But the Nationals are not David in a David vs. Goliath story. They’re closer to Goliath because they have flexed their payroll muscle to fill the roster with talented players.

The Nationals didn’t come close to matching the 13-year, $330 million contract the Phillies wound up agreeing to with Harper, instead offering a 10-year, $300 million deal of which about $100 million was deferred. Losing Harper has somewhat defined their 2019. But they did sign starter Patrick Corbin to a six-year, $140 million contract, and they’re paying Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg $38.33 million and $37.4 million, respectively. As we saw in the NLCS, it was the starting rotation that carried them into the World Series.

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, will not win the award again this year most likely, but he once again ranked among the game’s best pitchers. During the regular season, he posted a 2.92 ERA with 243 strikeouts across 172 1/3 innings. Strasburg led the league in wins with 18 and innings with 209 while authoring a 3.32 ERA with 251 strikeouts. Corbin continued to impress with a 3.25 ERA and 328 strikeouts in 202 innings. As a unit, the Nationals’ 3.53 ERA from starting pitchers ranked second-best in baseball behind the Dodgers. Sounds about right for a rotation collectively earning about $100 million.

We — the royal we — have been quick to point out when an uncommon strategy works, like the Cubs’ and Astros’ rebuilding strategies before they came in vogue or the Rays’ use of the “opener.” It’s only fair to point out that a time-tested strategy, spending money on good baseball players, also works. The Nationals’ current payroll of about $204.5 million is third-highest in baseball, according to USA TODAY.

Somewhere, Fred Ebb is feeling rather satisfied that his point has once again been proven true…..

 

QLE Posted: October 17, 2019 at 12:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: money, nationals

Gerrit Cole shuts down the mighty Yankees, and is about to become a very rich man

NEW YORK — The short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium has gotten the best of several pitchers over the years.

Yet Houston Astros righty Gerrit Cole — arguably the greatest pitcher on the planet these days — was able to withstand the dreaded 314 sign and the mighty Bronx Bombers on Tuesday night.

He didn’t have his best stuff by any means. But that’s what makes him the best in the business. He can keep putting up zeroes on the scoreboard without it.

“He wasn’t as electric or as sharp as usual,” a scout in attendance told Yahoo Sports. “But he was still able to win. And that’s what makes him great.”

All day long, will he biddy-biddy-bum?

 

QLE Posted: October 17, 2019 at 12:13 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, money, playoffs

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

MLB Trade Rumors: Projected 2020 Arbitration Salaries

Red Sox (12)
Jackie Bradley Jr. – $11MM
.  .  .
Mookie Betts – $27.7MM
———————————-
Yankees (12)
James Paxton – $12.9MM
.  .  .
Gary Sanchez – $5.6MM
Aaron Judge – $6.4MM

I think that’s low for Aaron Judge. I suspect the formula dings Judge more for his injury time than the actual process will, and fails to consider his enormous popularity. Betts may be a bit low, too. I’ve seen $30M estimates elsewhere.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 09, 2019 at 07:11 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, money, salary arbitration

 

 

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