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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Trade Deadline Newsbeat

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Desperate for pitching, Brian Cashman and the Yankees strike out

The New York Mets got Marcus Stroman. The Cincinnati Reds got Trevor Bauer. The Houston Astros got Zack Greinke.

And the New York Yankees got the title character in a spaghetti western.

That’s how the 2019 MLB trade deadline has shaken out for GM Brian Cashman and his staff of analytics experts.

While teams all over the league were improving their pitching staffs — especially Houston, through which New York’s road to the World Series probably passes — the Yankees added a 20-year-old left-handed pitcher in the low minors whose name might ring a bell with movie fans of a certain age.

So, what might the Yankees try next- Option J, or Operation Shutdown?

QLE Posted: August 01, 2019 at 03:36 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, pitching, trade deadline, yankees

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Every deal made during 2019 Trade Deadline season |

Greinke deals heads the list.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2019 at 05:56 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: trade deadline

Astros land Greinke from DBack at deadline

HOU: Zack Grienke, $24MM
ARI: Seth Beer, J.B. Bukauskas, Corbin Martin, Josh Rojas

That’s a haul.  Beer could be a star, Martin looks like a decent mid-rotation guy, Bukauskas is K’ing more than 10/9 (albeit in AA), Rojas is a flier who is killing it this year.  This is how you restock a farm system.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Choose Your Own Mets Trade Deadline Adventure

The Mets launched themselves into the center of baseball’s trade discourse by unexpectedly picking up Marcus Stroman on Sunday. They extended their stay there by shipping out Jason Vargas on Monday. And it’s still hard to say just what they’re trying to do.

It’s not that these deals are inherently perplexing on their own. They aren’t! In a vacuum, each of these made sense, or something like it. With Stroman, the team got a quality pitcher under contract for another full season without having to give up any premium prospects. Sure, it seems like a transaction more befitting a true contender rather than a club six-and-a-half games back in a crowded wild-card race, but for this relatively low price, it works, and it positions the club well for next year. And with Vargas, the team saved a little cash ($2 million buyout to decline his option for 2020) and picked up a minor leaguer in exchange for a pitcher whom they likely would have watched walk, anyway, who never had much chance of netting a solid return. So, yes, evaluated individually, in a vacuum—each of these is just fine. But… evaluated in tandem, take-a-pitcher-leave-a-pitcher, in the real-world context of rumors about trading Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler, for a team whose chances of contention next year do not currently seem much better than this year, with a freshman general manager who is already in a rather perilous spot, in a franchise so frequently mired in multi-layered dysfunction that it’s become synonymous with its very name? Uh, yeah, less fine. It doesn’t make so much sense for the Mets—for where they are (right now) or for who they are (always).

It’s hard to say just where the team is going. (Buying? Selling? Neither?) It’s hard to say where it’s trying to go. But it has a few rumored options on the table. So here they are: A New York Mets’ Choose Your Own Adventure, just for the 2019 trade deadline.

A fair warning: Turning to the back pages of the book will not give you all the answers.


QLE Posted: July 30, 2019 at 05:15 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, trade deadline

LEADING OFF: Thor throws as deadline nears, Rays vs Red Sox

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:


Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard (7-5, 4.33) is set to start against the White Sox, and it could be his final appearance with the club. The hard-throwing 26-year-old changed his bio on Twitter over the weekend to read “Pitcher for the New York Mets, for now,” and he also tweeted a meme of Thor actor Chris Hemsworth with the text “I have no idea what’s going on.” First-year general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has been busy ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline, acquiring right-hander Marcus Stroman from Toronto and dealing left-hander Jason Vargas to Philadelphia. It’s unclear if the club plans to send away more pieces or make a long-odds push for an NL wild card.

On the bright side, after Thursday or so there will be no further articles about the trade deadline, unlike how the free-agency articles lasted for months….


QLE Posted: July 30, 2019 at 04:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: noah syndergaard, trade deadline, trade rumors

MLB’s single trade deadline hasn’t sparked aggressive dealing

If half the league is to operate on the fringes of competency and postseason commitment, neither all the way in nor wholly out, then it followed that the trade deadline might conduct itself in a similar manner.

The days that led to Monday morning, and so into the final hours before Wednesday’s you-are-what-you-are, this-is-the-bullpen-and-that’s-the-fifth-starter deadline, saw a good amount of maneuvering and a lot of conversation and some splashy names and, so far, transactional hesitation.

Unless some bigger talent shakes free, the early drag on deadline roster reconstruction may also be due to the dearth of game-changing players available, or apparently available, along with the stiff cost of what could be marginal upgrades. So, perhaps, for now, you’ll have to make do with Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets, which happened Sunday afternoon, a fine example of the mediocre getting slightly less mediocre.

Just because, for example, Noah Syndergaard is one of the better pitchers on the market does not mean his ERA is reassuring, and just because teammate Edwin Diaz throws 98 doesn’t mean he’s not bringing his Mets issues with him, and just because nobody really believed the San Francisco Giants had this in them doesn’t mean it’s not really happening, which means Farhan Zaidi’s rebuild may have to wait a couple of months. Does the new guy really want to be the one to tell people about the long road ahead?

I’ll take “Things That Aren’t Surprises” for $1,000, Alex.

QLE Posted: July 30, 2019 at 04:35 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: trade deadline

Monday, July 29, 2019

What’s next after the Mets shook up the trade deadline?

Imagine being Marcus Stroman right now. He had to be 100 percent certain that he was headed to the Yankees or Astros as the missing piece for a World Series favorite.

Surprise, Marcus! Welcome to the New York Mets, a team that is decidedly not a World Series favorite, with a 50-55 record and odds of making the playoffs at 9.6%, according to FanGraphs. The Mets’ chances of winning the World Series? A microscopic 0.3%.

While the deal left most (including our Keith Law) scratching their heads, this trade, more than anything else, throws another kink into a completely unpredictable trade deadline that just got even more confusing—and keep in mind that the one and only deadline this year is July 31. There is no backdoor route to deals in August like the Justin Verlander-to-Houston blockbuster of 2017.

Well, we could always take mambo lessons….


QLE Posted: July 29, 2019 at 09:56 AM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: marcus stroman, mets being mets, trade deadline

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Pitching the name of the game heading into MLB’s trade deadline

If the past few winters have revealed little else, it is that the game lacks the stomach for mediocrity. Or make that, perhaps, inevitable mediocrity. Planned mediocrity. That leaves winning, or trying to win, which is where the money is. And it allows for rebuilding or tanking or whatever today’s idiom is, which is where the alibis are. (And where the money is.)

The rest is a clock-punching slog dressed up as second wild-card ambition and Mike Trout highlights. Nobody shoots for mediocrity as a place to hang out until the Double-A cavalry arrives, assuming it’s headed this way at all, except here we are, a third of Major League Baseball there anyway, selling hope and $25 parking spaces in the name of “meaningful games in September.”

It is, of course, just this sort of accidental relevance that fuels and complicates the final days of July and a trade deadline in which the winners are expected to deal away potential prospects for the players they wouldn’t sign in the winter because of the cost in draft picks, so potential prospects. And the rebuilders (and tankers) are expected to send their best players to the New York Yankees for what is safely assumed to be the next Mickey Mantle. The rest, the accidentally relevant, are supposed to choose between selling out and buying in based on the results of, like, four late-July games played against other equally adventitious souls. General managers will make these decisions and the subsequent deals—or non-deals—with great confidence. They will, by and large, be guessing.

Anyway, this is basically the system that had Yu Darvish pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of a World Series and Steve Pearce driving in three runs for the Boston Red Sox against the Dodgers in Game 5 of the next World Series, that has Fernando Tatis Jr. growing up in San Diego and not Chicago and Chris Paddack growing up in San Diego and not Miami and why, otherwise, the Padres should hardly ever make trades.

Wait a minute- I thought fame was the name of the game! Curse you, Anthony Franciosa!

QLE Posted: July 27, 2019 at 11:06 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, the name of the game, trade deadline

Friday, July 26, 2019

30 teams, 30 bad deals: Revisiting the worst deadline trade your team ever made

It has been slow going on the trade front so far, but the past few years have shown us activity increasingly happens in the final hours before the July 31 MLB trade deadline hits at 4 p.m. ET. The fact that so many teams in the National League are still in the playoff race has also complicated things.

But there’s also this: Front offices are increasingly wary of making a big mistake for what might just be a minor upgrade or a small chance at merely winning a wild card. Basically, they don’t want to make a trade that ends up on a list like this one—the worst deadline trade for all 30 teams.

The trade deadline as we know it really began in the early 1990s. By the 2000s, it became expected that your team would make a deal if you were in playoff contention. Now we spend the weeks leading up to the deadline speculating what might happen. Teams are smarter now, so a lot of these bad deals happened in the 1990s and 2000s. Maybe some more recent trades will eventually stand out—Chris Paddack from the Marlins to the Padres for Fernando Rodney in 2016, for example, or Felipe Vazquez from the Nationals to the Pirates, or last year’s trade that sent Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow from the Pirates to the Rays for Chris Archer.

Time will tell. For now, a bad trade for every team (OK, two bad ones for the Mets).

So, how many of these do we concur with?

QLE Posted: July 26, 2019 at 07:40 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: bad trades, trade deadline

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

LEADING OFF: Minor, Stroman start on deadline radars

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:


Contenders will be tuned into starts by Texas left-hander Mike Minor and Toronto righty Marcus Stroman as the July 31 trade deadline nears. The free-falling Rangers have just about played their way out of contention for an AL wild card, and the 31-year-old could fetch a useful package of future pieces. Minor (8-5, 2.86) is set to face Seattle in a matinee. Stroman (6-10, 3.06) and the Blue Jays are set to play the Indians, who will pitch All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber (9-3, 3.69). Stroman pitched seven scoreless innings against the Tigers in his previous start.

Warning: deadline radars are about as dangerous as the Fisher-Price Bathtub Toaster.


QLE Posted: July 24, 2019 at 04:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: marcus stroman, mike minor, trade deadline

Monday, July 22, 2019

Everything you need to know about the new and improved MLB Trade Deadline

For a long time, Major League Baseball had the best, most exciting trade deadline among the four major sports. In recent seasons, that excitement has been eclipsed by the popularity of the NBA, but baseball still stands ahead of football and hockey in terms of in-season movement.

In an effort to shake things up a bit, baseball’s trade deadline underwent some changes in the offseason.

Notably, while July 31 has always been deadline day, in past years it was a bit of a misnomer. July 31 was technically just the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline in years past. The month of August has always allowed trades to be made as long as players pass through waivers. If a player is claimed off waivers, his team can either pull him back, let him go for nothing, or negotiate a deal with his claiming team only.

This obviously made for much more limited movement in August, but it was always an option.

“New”, I’ll grant you- but “improved”?


QLE Posted: July 22, 2019 at 04:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: manfred is thinking about it, trade deadline, waivers




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