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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Big Names Should Move at the MLB Trade Deadline, but Big Returns Might Not Follow

Offseason trades are their own category, but they too would seem to indicate that highly paid star players have been undervalued as of late. In fact, pennies-on-the-dollar salary dumps are so common now that you can tell which Ringer writer wrote about which transaction by the epithets that ended up in the headline. Zach Kram described the Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt deals as “shameful” and “a shame for baseball.” I pulled “disgrace” out of the bag for Mookie Betts and Giancarlo Stanton. And the Carrasco–Francisco Lindor deal might be the worst of all.


It’s hard not to connect all of this to the increasing stratification of the modern baseball landscape, in which only a handful of teams are willing to tickle the luxury tax threshold or play in the deep end of the free agent pool. These days, the majority want to reduce payroll first and foremost, with winning as a secondary goal at best. (Perhaps it’s a coincidence that we stopped seeing lopsided win-now trades around the time MLB went on its two-year free agent capital strike.)

With fewer buyers in the market for expensive star players, it’s hard to drum up enough interest to create a bidding war. Part of the reason the Astros got Greinke and Verlander for so little is they were willing to pay a substantial part of both players’ long-term contracts—and even then, they got Arizona and Detroit, respectively, to kick in tens of millions in cash to soften the blow.

Somewhere along the line, cost certainty and team control stopped being a means to an end in roster construction and became an end in and of itself. Team control has always been valuable—and in the case of deadline trades for star players, it’s been wildly overvalued for decades now—but only because having underpaid star players in one position allows the team to reinvest its financial resources in other places.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2021 at 11:42 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: trades

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Rays Acquire Nelson Cruz From Twins

Tampa Bay hopes Cruz, the 41-year-old slugger and seven-time All-Star, will fortify the club’s lineup and make it a more formidable group down the stretch, especially against left-handed pitchers.

Rays get: DH Nelson Cruz, RHP Calvin Faucher

Twins get: RHP Joe Ryan (Rays’ No. 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline) and RHP Drew Strotman (No. 17)


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Why Teams Wait To Make Trades

Teams looking to make a playoff push are waiting for the market to expand. Depending on how you look at it, there are only six to eight obvious sellers right now, and many of them don’t have much of interest on the available menu. There are an equal amount of teams on the bubble in late June, and these are teams with better rosters full of plenty of players that winning clubs would like to have. The Cubs and Giants, who were seen as two of those bubble teams entering the year, are loaded with excellent players on expiring contracts, but at this point, they’re buyers.

But even with those options off the table, there are plenty of very good players who are not available today but might be two to four weeks from now. What if the Angels go cold and are suddenly willing to talk about Alex Cobb and Andrew Heaney? Are there scenarios where another losing streak for the Nationals makes (gulp) Max Scherzer available?


Even while trying to remain patient to see if more players become available, buyers stay in close contact with those already in sell mode to try to ensure that if they miss out on an early deal, they won’t be taken by surprise. “Hey, we’re not ready to move now, but if you are getting ready to deal the player, please check in with us first,” is a consistent message relayed to selling teams. That allows a buying team to hold off on making a decision about ending their waiting game until absolutely necessary. Sellers are usually more than happy to comply; if they have an acceptable offer on the table and are ready to move, why not shop it around to see if you can get something better before logging into eBIS and submitting the deal?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 11:02 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: trades

 

 

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