Trade Candidates – AL West Edition

by JohnBowen

By Bob Owens

Let’s see how I will (un)settle the West.

LA Angels of Anaheim – Peter Bourjos.

Technically not my idea, as John mentioned him as a possibllity a week ago, and there have been rumors that he could goto Washington for some pitching. But the Angels seem to think Mike Trout is ready, and that makes Bourjos trade bait, and attractive trade bait at that.

Oakland A’s-. Grantt Balfour

Another tough team for me to predict.  But with teams in the hunt usually clamoring to shore up their bullpens,  Balfour, in the last year of his contract ( The A’s hold an option for 2013) could become a chip.

Seattle- Miguel Olivo

The guess here, and it is a weak guess, is that the Mariners experiment with the newly-acquired Jesus Montero at catcher, along with John Jaso. Teams always covet serviceable catchers, and Olivo fits the bill.

Texas Rangers- Koji Uehara.

Not a big secret as many news outlets have mentioned he could be traded.

287 Responses to “Trade Candidates – AL West Edition”

  1. brautigan Says:

    John: It may be safe to say, anyone older than 28 on Seattle’s roster is a trade candidate. The only thing this team is in contention for is last place.

  2. Bob Says:

    The Padres sign Jeff Suppan. Will Oswalt even get 5 million?

  3. Bob Says:

    The A’s signed Billy Beane to an extension through 2019. Let the commentary begin.

  4. Raul Says:

    So he will have been a GM from 1997-2019.

    Whats he got? 5 winning seasons? Zero titles? Totally worth 22 years of service.

  5. John Says:

    Well, he currently has 5 playoff appearances and 8 winning seasons in 15 seasons with a bottom-10 payroll every year.

    Why can’t Beane and his computers figure out what the Yankees have – spend 200 million and you’ll contend! Duh!

  6. Chuck Says:

    Why can’t he figure out what the Rays have..spend $50 million and make the playoffs every year.

    Maybe Beane could teach his computers how to scout.

  7. John Says:

    You’re right, the Rays are very well run. Good thing they don’t use computers and advanced metr-oh wait. They totally do.

    Andrew Friedman is a former wall street banker, in case you didn’t know.

    The Rays have made the playoffs in 3 of the last four years with a laughably small payroll. If they keep doing this, they could make it 5 for 7…like the A’s did.

  8. Chuck Says:

    The Rays computer network had nothing to do with Matt Moore, David Price, Evan Longoria, BJ Upton, Ben Zobrist, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis……

  9. Raul Says:

    When was Beane’s last playoff appearance? Last playoff win?

    And has anyone else gotten as long a leash as beane has over that period of time?

    I agree teams should be patient. But in a world where winning is everything, beane had better have more than 1 WS title to warrant 22 years atop a franchise. And he’s got 0.

  10. Cameron Says:

    Isn’t Brian Fuentes in the last year of a bigger contract? My money’s on him going before Balfour.

  11. Lefty33 Says:

    Fuentes is making five and change this year with a team option for six and a half in ‘13 that will never be exercised.

  12. Lefty33 Says:

    @2 – I did read something today that suggests that Oswalt is now leaning towards retiring due to the lack of decent offers or he may consider pulling a Clemens at sit out until May/June and then jump in with a contender.

  13. brautigan Says:

    You know why the Rays are good?

    Good decisions making skills. They don’t go out and blow a bunch of cash on expensive free agents.

    Of the first 60 picks in the 2011 draft, Tampa Bay had 10. Yes, you read that right, 10 picks.

  14. Cameron Says:

    11 picks in the first two rounds.

  15. JohnBowen Says:

    @8, actually, it did.

    The A’s have made the playoffs 5 times in 15 seasons with him at the helm. Better than the Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, White Sox, Royals, Tigers, Mariners, Rangers, Marlins, Nats, Mets, Brewers, Reds, Pirates, Cubs, Rockies, Dodgers, Padres, and tied with the Diamondbacks, Phillies, Giants, and Indians. Again, with a bottom-10, usually bottom-5 payroll every year.

    Yeah, Beane’s a fucking failure.

  16. Cameron Says:

    To be fair to Chuck, he DOES have a bit of a point. In his 14 years as a GM, Billy Beane has made the playoffs 5 times and won one series out of six with no World Series rings to show for it, despite being one of the most ridiculously talented teams in the league at the time they were making the playoffs. They’re in the middle of a five-year drought, about to be a six year drought, have little-to-no major league ready talent and only a handful of good prospects on that team, and haven’t had a good power hitter on the team since Jason Giambi left for New York.

    Face it dude, Beane may have little to work with, but he still found a way to fuck it up.

  17. Cameron Says:

    Elvis Andrus just signed a 3/$14.4MM extension. Nice move by Texas there.

  18. Raul Says:

    LOL @ John’s hyperbole at the end of post 15.

    I guess you would not agree that if Beane is the GM through 2019 and has not won a World Series, it would be a failure.

    So be it…

  19. Chuck Says:

    No, John, they didn’t.

    Sabermetrics have nothing at all to do with the draft, despite your continual belief they have everything to do with everything.

    Sucking for ten years is why they’re good today, because of all their picks. Sure, Friedman and the others get credit for constructing a solid roster around them, but they STILL wouldn’t have a postseason appearance without having first dibs at the draft table every year.

  20. Cameron Says:

    Of course sabermetrics helped. Don’t you know how important stats are to evaluating high school talent who hasn’t faced honest competition a day in their life?

    …Wow, I said that with a straight face.

  21. Bob Says:

    Rich Harden will miss the 2012 season.

  22. Cameron Says:

    And he wants to come back healthy and ready for 2013. …He’ll be 31 and have missed, what, 3 full seasons due to injury? I’d start thinking about retirement before that arm somehow gains sentience and actively tries to murder you for what you’ve done to it.

  23. Bob Says:

    Dennis Boyd said he wes high on cocaine 2/3 of the time he pitched.
    I am only drunk 1/2 of the time I post something. Means I have room to grow.

  24. brautigan Says:

    Oil Can Boyd made 193 starts in 8 years.

    That’s a lot of blow. Coke has to be the most over rated drug ever. As Robin Williams said, “Coke is God’s way of telling you, you have too much money”.

  25. Chuck Says:

    The clubhouses in old Comiskey were in the outfield down behind the foul poles, there was a loooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnng tunnel players had to walk to get to the dugout.

    After a Boyd start in which he felt Jim Rice didn’t make a play he should have, he was chirping at him to the point Rice told him to STFU.

    Boyd kept at it, so Rice grabbed him and stuck him on a storage hook in the maintenance room next to the visitors clubhouse.

    And left him there.

    Everyone’s out on the field warming up and taking BP, and Boyd’s hanging 7 feet above the ground for an hour.

    Finally, someone goes down and hears him yelling and takes him down.

    Boyd gets so pissed off he wants to kill him, finally John McNamara comes in and sends him back to the hotel…in full uniform.

  26. Bob Says:

    And that is why pitchers feared Rice!!!

  27. Raul Says:

    I fear Jose Offerman more than I fear Jim Rice.

  28. Chuck Says:

    LOL

  29. Chuck Says:

    Just saw something comparing Brett Lawrie to David Wright.

    Hmmmm.

  30. Raul Says:

    Players born today:

    Heinie Zimmerman. Zimmerman had a superb season as a 3rd baseman in 1912, hitting .372/.418/571 for the Cubs. He’d lead the league in Hits (207), Doubles (41) and Homers (14) that year. In 1919, he was suspended with Hal Chase for trying to convince players to throw games.

    Vic Wertz. Wertz is known for being the guy who hit the ball on which Willie Mays made his famous over-the-shoulder catch. What might not be known to the casual fan is that Wertz crushed that ball over 450 feet. Talk about getting robbed…

    Clete Boyer. Boyer would play 16 seasons with the KC Athletics, Yankees and Braves. I understand Boyer was a fine defender, though not apparently as good as Ken and largely overshadowed by Brooks Robinson. Boyer passed away in 2007.

    Tex Hughson. Hughson pitched 8 seasons during the 1940s for the Boston Red Sox. A two-time 20-game winner, Hughson posted an odd statistic in 1942; he went 22-6 but somehow managed to lead the league with 113 strikeouts. This is a man who pitched 281 innings.

    John Kruk. Kruk was a fine player in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the Padres and Phillies. Despite not having tremendous home run power, Kruk was quite valuable and widely perceived as such. For those who act like baseball men only paid attention to physiques prior to Kevin Youkilis, perhaps they should note John Kruk.

    Mookie Wilson. Wilson, as everyone knows, is famous for his at-bat during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Mookie is Preston Wilson’s stepfather.

    Todd Pratt. Pratt was a light-hitting back-up catcher for 14 seasons. In Game 4 of the 1999 NLDS, Pratt had his “Jim Leyritz moment”, hitting a 10th-inning walkoff home run off Matt Mantei of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero is likely going to the Hall of Fame. Probably the best bad-ball hitter of all-time, Guerrero has received MVP votes in 12 of his 16 seasons — winning the award in 2004 with Anaheim. In 2002, Guerrero came within 1 home run of joining the 40-40 club. Oddly, he was also caught stealing a league-leading 20 times that year.

  31. brautigan Says:

    “Dense, unenlightened people are notoriously confident they have the monopoly on truth”.

    Joshua Loth Liebman

    “It’s difficult to interpret baseball these days. The stat geeks won’t let you argue. They quote sabermetrics and end all discussion. Is so-and-so a Hall of Famer? The sabermeticians will punch in the numbers and give you, in their mind, a definitive answer.”

    Jason Whitlock

  32. John Says:

    Yes, Chuck, they did.

    Sabermetrics isn’t just about WAR pr UZR – it’s about making calculated economic risks to maximize the utilization of your resources.

    Friedman isn’t an innovator because he drafted Evan Longoria…he’s a genius because he weighted Longoria’s potential return and signed him to a six year, 17 million dollar deal mere weeks into his career, with 3the option years.

    Yes, one of the very best players in the game right now is making less than 3 million a year, and is controlled through 2017. That’s because Friedman took the risk before Longoria had established himself as a star.

    He did the same thing with Crawford, Zobrist, and more recently, Matt Moore.

    There are numerous other examples that you can read about in “The Extra 2%” … but I know how much disdain you have for books that try to teach you something.

  33. Cameron Says:

    Uh… No. Hell to the no. Sabermetrics in its basest definition as outlined by Bill James is “The search for objective knowledge about baseball.” The expanded definition is “The specialized analysis of baseball through objective, empirical evidence, specifically baseball statistics that measure in-game activity.”

    Sabermetrics is about and only about the measurement of performance via stats. It is NOT a blanket term to apply to anything you think is smart, John. You sound like a tool. A really dumb tool.

  34. Chuck Says:

    “he’s a genius because he weighted Longoria’s potential return and signed him to a six year, 17 million dollar deal mere weeks into his career, with 3the option years.”

    I was talking about DRAFTING them, not signing them three years later.

    “but I know how much disdain you have for books that try to teach you something.”

    Funny you’re reading a book but can’t read a 50 word blog post.

    Asswipe.

  35. Raul Says:

    Scouts were telling everyone about Evan Longoria and David Price for a long time, John.

    A long time…

    You realize that a GM taking a chance on someone and it working out, is not really a credit to sabermetrics.

    Longoria agreed to the deal because he secured good money while he was like 22 — a time when most Major Leaguers are making the league minimum.

    Friedman signed him to the deal because…frankly he had no other choice. He simply could not offer the guy 80 million dollars.

    Signing young, relatively unproven players isn’t sabermetric genius. It’s a gamble — like any other.

    Sure, potentially a very inexpensive gamble. But the Rays are not in a position to offer anything BUT relatively inexpensive gambles.

    Is this not clear? I feel like I’m missing something here.

  36. Cameron Says:

    I like to call offering deals to relatively inexpensive talent before they hit it big as “copying the Indians”. They started doing it 20 years before everyone else did.

  37. Raul Says:

    With Albert Pujols now in the American League…is he still the front-runner to win the MVP??

    Sound off, my friends.

  38. Cameron Says:

    Depends on how he adjusts, I think. He’s facing off against Texas’ rotation… But he’s also facing them in Texas. Oakland and Seattle are bad power hitting stadiums, but largely also terrible pitching there… Angels stadium’s largely a neutral ground…

    I don’t think he wins the MVP. My money’s on Miguel Cabrera. Worse competition, more games in division against worse pitching in better stadiums and with Prince Fielder sitting behind him, they HAVE to pitch to the guy. Dude’s gonna put up Nintendo numbers since the only ace pitcher in the division is on his team.

  39. Bob Says:

    Possibly. Josh Hamilton has takien a huge hit. Fielder and Cabrera could negate each other. Might go with Longoria in early Febuary. Also depends on how much time he Dh’s.

  40. Chuck Says:

    “With Albert Pujols now in the American League…is he still the front-runner to win the MVP??”

    Nope.

    Bigger parks, better pitching, better teams, he’s good, but there’s still guys like Miggy and Hamilton and Teixeira and Gonzalez.

  41. Bob Says:

    Cameron thinks Fielder will help Cabrera in the voting, I think it will hurt him. And yes I know Braun had Fielder

  42. Cameron Says:

    Not help him that much, Bob. Guy’s a perennial candidate. I think the added protection might just push him over the edge. Fielder helps Cabrera more than Cabrera helps Fielder. Prince is gonna see a lot of empty-base ABs because of Prince, but Cabrera’s gonna see a lot more strikes thrown his way because of Fielder.

    I mean, who was cleaning him up before? Victor Martinez and Magglio Ordonez WAY past their primes?

  43. Bob Says:

    Was not knocking you or your opinion. Just thought it was funny where we disagreed. You could be right.

  44. Cameron Says:

    I know, but I thought it was prudent to explain my guess. To be fair, they could negate each other by stealing each other’s votes. See Wainwright and Carpenter in 2009.

  45. Raul Says:

    Over/Under 30 home runs for Curtis Granderson in 2012?

  46. Chuck Says:

    “The search for objective knowledge about baseball.”

    That may have been true in 1981, but it certainly isn’t today.

    The proliferation of these acronym stats has replaced the objective with subjective.

    I mean, there’s like five different versions of WAR now, isn’t there?

  47. Cameron Says:

    Raul, seeing what he can do with healthy and a good leading eye now… I’m gonna say over.

  48. Chuck Says:

    #45

    Under

  49. Raul Says:

    I think Granderson hits maybe 23 homers this year.

    He was fantastic last season. No doubt about it.

    But I expect pitchers to force Yankees batters to see if they can be disciplined and hit the ball the other way.

    Unless Granderson and Teixeira prove to pitchers that they can drive those outside pitches to LF — to take those balls and drive them for doubles to Left-Center…they’re in for a long .240-.250-ish batting season.

  50. Cameron Says:

    Granderson had his fair share of being a doubles machine in Detroit from what I can remember. He may be a bit wild at the plate, but I fully expect him to make guys pay for thinking he won’t try to repeat last year. He won’t, but he’ll catch guys sleeping on him for thinking he’s a fluke.

  51. Chuck Says:

    Granderson led all ML hitters last year in homers off LH pitchers.

    More than Bautista, more than Albert, more than Mark Reynolds.

    He had more last year than in the first six years of his CAREER.

    Yeah, big time fluke.

  52. Cameron Says:

    Not saying that wasn’t a complete fluke, Chuck. But this is a guy who batted lefty with 80/20 vision for six years. If you can’t see the ball, you can’t hit it. While I don’t think he’ll have the same number of LH homers this year, I can’t see a regression to his career norm just because of the fact that this isn’t the same Curtis Granderson as he was six years ago from a physical standpoint.

  53. Cameron Says:

    Wait, 20/80. Typo there. His lead eye was the bad one.

  54. Raul Says:

    Charlie Sheen had a Super Bowl party that included:

    Joe Morgan
    James Loney
    Todd Zeile
    Kenny Lofton
    Kate Walsh
    Jon Lovitz
    Jeff Ross
    Matt Sorum

    Not that I know who all of them are, but…I wouldn’t think Charlie Sheen would have that kind of circle.

  55. Cameron Says:

    I understand why everyone would be there… Except Joe Morgan. That crotchety old asshole parties with Charlie Sheen?

  56. Chuck Says:

    “I wouldn’t think Charlie Sheen would have that kind of circle.”

    It doesn’t matter who the party host is, it’s the party “favors” he provides.

  57. Cameron Says:

    Oh… Now Joe Morgan being there makes sense.

  58. brautigan Says:

    I’d enjoy a superbowl party with Jon Lovitz. Huge laughs. He’s not my favorite comedian, but he’d keep ‘em coming all game long.

    Granderson: Over. Very simple, he plays in Yankee stadium.

  59. Cameron Says:

    Another Jon Lovitz fan? Nice. I don’t find many of them it seems. Not my favorite like you said, but to knock George Carlin off the top of the mountain takes an inhuman effort. Comic relief at a party though? Can’t imagine a guy better than Lovitz. Funny guy, good with one-liners, seems like he’d be great at a party.

  60. Raul Says:

    Keith Law’s Top 100 Prospects:

    RANK POSITION PLAYER TEAM HEIGHT WEIGHT AGE
    1 CF Mike Trout L.A. Angels 6-1 217 20
    2 RF Bryce Harper Washington 6-2 245 19
    3 LHP Matt Moore Tampa Bay 6-2 205 22
    4 SS Manny Machado Baltimore 6-3 185 19
    5 RHP Shelby Miller St. Louis 6-3 195 21
    6 C Travis d’Arnaud Toronto 6-2 195 22
    7 SS Jurickson Profar Texas 5-11 165 18
    8 C Devin Mesoraco Cincinnati 6-1 220 23
    9 DH/C Jesus Montero Seattle 6-3 235 22
    10 RHP Gerrit Cole Pittsburgh 6-4 220 21
    11 RHP Dylan Bundy Baltimore 6-1 200 19
    12 SS Hak-Ju Lee Tampa Bay 6-2 170 21
    13 OF Wil Myers Kansas City 6-3 205 21
    14 RHP Arodys Vizcaino Atlanta 6-0 190 21
    15 OF Bubba Starling Kansas City 6-4 180 19
    16 RHP Jameson Taillon Pittsburgh 6-6 225 20
    17 3B Anthony Rendon Washington 6-0 190 21
    18 RHP Julio Teheran Atlanta 6-2 175 21
    19 RHP Archie Bradley Arizona 6-4 225 19
    20 LHP Martin Perez Texas 6-0 180 20
    21 RHP Trevor Bauer Arizona 6-1 175 21
    22 RHP Carlos Martinez St. Louis 6-0 165 20
    23 LHP Manny Banuelos N.Y. Yankees 5-11 155 20
    24 RHP Taijuan Walker Seattle 6-4 195 19
    25 LHP Tyler Skaggs Arizona 6-4 195 20
    26 3B Nolan Arenado Colorado 6-1 205 20
    27 RHP Zack Wheeler N.Y. Mets 6-4 185 21
    28 3B Miguel Sano Minnesota 6-3 195 18
    29 RHP Jacob Turner Detroit 6-5 210 20
    30 LHP Danny Hultzen Seattle 6-3 200 22
    31 RHP Jarrod Parker Oakland 6-1 195 23
    32 RHP Casey Kelly San Diego 6-3 195 22
    33 RHP A.J. Cole Oakland 6-4 180 20
    34 OF Mason Williams N.Y. Yankees 6-0 150 20
    35 SS Francisco Lindor Cleveland 5-11 175 18
    36 1B Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs 6-3 220 22
    37 3B Nick Castellanos Detroit 6-4 195 19
    38 RHP Matt Harvey N.Y. Mets 6-4 210 22
    39 RHP Wily Peralta Milwaukee 6-4 240 22
    40 OF Rymer Liriano San Diego 6-0 211 20
    41 RHP Zach Lee L.A. Dodgers 6-4 190 20
    42 RHP Drew Hutchison Toronto 6-2 165 21
    43 3B Cheslor Cuthbert Kansas City 6-1 190 19
    44 SS Jean Segura L.A. Angels 5-11 160 21
    45 LHP Drew Pomeranz Colorado 6-5 230 23
    46 1B/LF Jonathan Singleton Houston 6-2 215 20
    47 OF Jake Marisnick Toronto 6-4 200 20
    48 OF Christian Yelich Miami 6-4 189 20
    49 RHP Joe Ross San Diego 6-3 185 18
    50 OF Eddie Rosario Minnesota 6-0 170 20
    51 LHP James Paxton Seattle 6-4 220 23
    52 LHP Mike Montgomery Kansas City 6-4 185 22
    53 OF Oscar Taveras St. Louis 6-2 180 19
    54 RHP Daniel Corcino Cincinnati 5-11 165 21
    55 C Gary Sanchez N.Y. Yankees 6-2 220 19
    56 3B Jonathan Schoop Baltimore 6-1 187 20
    57 SS Nick Franklin Seattle 6-1 175 20
    58 RHP Taylor Jungmann Milwaukee 6-6 220 22
    59 OF Anthony Gose Toronto 6-1 190 21
    60 OF George Springer Houston 6-3 205 22
    61 RHP Allen Webster L.A. Dodgers 6-3 185 22
    62 SS Xander Bogaerts Boston 6-3 185 19
    63 RHP Chris Archer Tampa Bay 6-3 185 23
    64 SS Billy Hamilton Cincinnati 6-1 160 21
    65 C Yasmani Grandal San Diego 6-2 205 23
    66 3B Zack Cox St. Louis 6-0 215 22
    67 OF Josh Bell Pittsburgh 6-4 195 19
    68 CF Gary Brown San Francisco 6-1 190 23
    69 1B Yonder Alonso San Diego 6-2 240 24
    70 RHP Garrett Richards L.A. Angels 6-3 215 23
    71 RHP Jake Odorizzi Kansas City 6-2 175 21
    72 OF Starling Marte Pittsburgh 6-1 170 23
    73 RHP Sonny Gray Oakland 5-11 200 22
    74 RHP Tyrell Jenkins St. Louis 6-4 180 19
    75 3B Mike Olt Texas 6-2 210 23
    76 RHP Trevor May Philadelphia 6-5 215 22
    77 OF Michael Choice Oakland 6-0 215 22
    78 RHP Jarred Cosart Houston 6-3 180 21
    79 RHP Nate Eovaldi L.A. Dodgers 6-3 195 21
    80 OF Aaron Hicks Minnesota 6-2 185 22
    81 RHP John Hellweg L.A. Angels 6-9 210 23
    82 3B Matt Davidson Arizona 6-3 225 20
    83 RHP Dellin Betances N.Y. Yankees 6-8 260 23
    84 LHP Enny Romero Tampa Bay 6-3 165 21
    85 OF Oswaldo Arcia Minnesota 6-0 210 20
    86 OF Robbie Grossman Pittsburgh 6-1 190 22
    87 OF Mikie Mahtook Tampa Bay 6-1 200 22
    88 RHP Taylor Guerrieri Tampa Bay 6-3 195 19
    89 CF Brett Jackson Chicago Cubs 6-2 210 23
    90 3B Jedd Gyorko San Diego 5-10 195 23
    91 RHP Chad Bettis Colorado 6-1 195 22
    92 RHP Jordan Swagerty St. Louis 6-2 175 22
    93 C Derek Norris Oakland 6-0 210 22
    94 C Christian Bethancourt Atlanta 6-2 190 20
    95 SS Javier Baez Chicago Cubs 6-0 180 19
    96 RHP Aaron Sanchez Toronto 6-4 190 19
    97 RHP Addison Reed Chicago White Sox 6-4 215 23
    98 RHP Randall Delgado Atlanta 6-3 200 22
    99 RHP Neil Ramirez Texas 6-3 185 22
    100 C Blake Swihart Boston 6-1 175 19

  61. Raul Says:

    Ok, that copy and paste was a total failure.

    Can someone delete that?

  62. John Says:

    “I mean, there’s like five different versions of WAR now, isn’t there?”

    There are 2.

    “The proliferation of these acronym stats has replaced the objective with subjective.”

    I don’t think you know what those words mean.

    These “acronyms” that you hate so much (as if RBI wasn’t an acronym) use data along with historical correlation factors to weight a player’s contributions. Thus, they’re objective. Subjective would be if they were based off hunches, feelings, etc and had no basis in fact. Things like “Eckstein’s hustle made the Angels contenders.”

    “You realize that a GM taking a chance on someone and it working out, is not really a credit to sabermetrics.”

    Call it what you want. Some wall street nerd made a calculated risk on a player based on his potential return. He determined how much he was willing to pay a player with a tremendous upside but who had not played in a Major League game yet.

    Evan Longoria and Tim Lincecum are the best young position player and pitcher in the game respectively, or at worst top-3. Both had their first full years in 2008.

    The nerd, stat-crunching wall-street run Rays have their guy locked up through 2016 (not 2017 as I previously stated) and are on the hook for all of 17 million dollars guaranteed (up to 46 million with player options). \

    Lincecum, by contrast, has already made 24 million in his career, is owed 40 more through 2013, and then becomes a free agent.

    If Longoria had Lincecum’s contract situation, he would have had to be traded by now. Because Friedman took a *calculated* gamble, and not a wild-fucking-guess, he’s going to be the cornerstone of that team for almost a decade for what most players of his caliber make in two seasons.

  63. John Says:

    @60, looks fine to me.

    I’m curious as to what he wrote for Montero. Last year it was like “Montero sucks. He can’t catch. He doesn’t have much pop. Can’t pull the ball. He’s the third best prospect in America.”

  64. Raul Says:

    LOL

    A calculated gamble? A CALCULATED GAMBLE.

    What exactly is it that you think teams like the Red Sox and Yankees do???

    You think they’re throwing darts on a board?

    Are you fucking kidding me?

  65. Cameron Says:

    “Call it what you want. Some wall street nerd made a calculated risk on a player based on his potential return. He determined how much he was willing to pay a player with a tremendous upside but who had not played in a Major League game yet.”

    That’s called “smart investing” not “sabermetrics”. Money and stats are apples and oranges, John. They may be related, but they’re not the same thing.

  66. Cameron Says:

    Not darts at a wall, Raul, money at a problem. The problem is neither of them has a farm system and can’t develop players for shit anymore, so they’re throwing as much money as they possibly can to fix it. That’s not being smart, that’s being rich.

  67. Raul Says:

    @63

    Law says about Montero:

    Montero, who was traded to Seattle in a January deal that sent Michael Pineda to the Yankees, is a monster bat with a chance to produce MVP-caliber offensive lines from the DH slot, as soon as the Mariners accept that’s where he needs to be.

    He’s exceedingly strong with plus bat speed and great hand-eye coordination, so even though he hits off his front foot, he can drive the ball out to all fields. Early in 2011, he lost his patience at the plate, apparently due to some frustration at returning to Triple-A, but worked it out and showed his previous approach and results during the second half and in a brief but impressive call-up to the Bronx in September.

    As a catcher, Montero is not a catcher. He’s slow behind the dish, poor at receiving and throwing — despite some arm strength, he takes a year and a half to get rid of the ball, so the arm doesn’t play. The bat is too special to put at risk of injury at the catcher’s spot or to omit from the lineup 25 times a year because of routine rest days. Let Jesus hit.

  68. Raul Says:

    The Yankees spend 200 million because they can.
    The Rays spend 30 million because they can.

    You could argue that both teams are throwing as much money as they possibly can. Or that both aren’t.

    This idea small payroll teams that win are smarter is so fucking ridiculous….whatever. I’ve already had this conversation.

  69. John Says:

    It always seemed to me that Montero was so highly touted because he was a big-time hitting catcher.

    Yogi Berra hit .285/.348/.482 for his career with 358 HR and 1430 RBI.

    That line wouldn’t be terribly historic coming from a DH, but of course, Berra was an elite catcher, which is why he’s generally regarded as one of the top 5 backstops ever.

    Montero’s bat may have shined bright if he could catch, but he can’t. There’s a pretty significant difference between Yogi Berra and Chili Davis, right? Well that’s proportionally the sort of hit that Montero’s move will mean on his overall value as a player.

    Give Cashman credit. He stuck with Montero as a catcher, inflated his value, and managed to land a phenomenal young pitcher in exchange.

  70. Chuck Says:

    “I’m curious as to what he wrote for Montero. Last year it was like “Montero sucks. He can’t catch. He doesn’t have much pop. Can’t pull the ball. He’s the third best prospect in America.”

    Law ranked Montero outside his top ten last year.

    He was the only guy with the balls enough to penalize him for not being able to run, catch, throw, or dress himself.

  71. Chuck Says:

    Stop taking everything literally John.

  72. Chuck Says:

    John still can’t admit he missed the entire point of what I said by “draft” and is too fucking ignorant to admit it.

    Everyone else got it, so fuck him.

  73. John Says:

    “John still can’t admit he missed the entire point of what I said by “draft” and is too fucking ignorant to admit it.”

    First thing I said:

    “Friedman isn’t an innovator because he drafted Evan Longoria…he’s a genius because he weighted Longoria’s potential return and signed him to a six year, 17 million dollar deal mere weeks into his career, with 3the option years.”

    Drafting Longoria was obviously great, but he would not be a Ray right now if not for Friedman’s decision-making. Again, aided by economics-based decision making.

  74. Raul Says:

    “He’s a genius because he weighted Longoria’s potential return and signed him to a six year, 17 million dollar deal mere weeks into his career”

    …because every scout in the world said Longoria was a beast and because Friedman had no choice because he couldn’t have afforded to do otherwise?

    I don’t see how that’s genius. The Rays, by the very nature of their financial structure have no other options when it comes to things like that. How can you possibly be a genius in that situation?

    That’s like locking up a nerdy virgin in a room with a porn star and calling him a playboy for getting laid.

    Seriously?

  75. John Says:

    There are lots of teams with small payrolls, Raul.

    How many of them have done this, ever?

    Remember Longoria’s career was like 2 weeks old when he signed.

  76. Raul Says:

    Ok, it was a good deal.

    22 year old kid with 2 weeks…17 million? Hell yeah.

    And if Longoria tore an ACL and never played again? 17 million dollar waste.

    For a team like the Rays, that would have stung.

    Risk is risk. It’s “genius” because it worked out.

  77. Raul Says:

    What Law wrote about Trout:

    Of the top three prospects on this year’s list — all viable candidates for the top spot — Trout rose to the top because, in a sense, he’s the perfect prospect. He is a position player who affects the game on offense, on defense and via baserunning, and has shown incredible maturity in his approach despite the fact that he entered pro ball at age 17 and still can’t legally buy a drink (unless the Angels are visiting the Blue Jays). The next two guys on this list are pretty special in their own right, but Trout remains the top dog — er, fish — for 2012.

    All Trout did last year was rank in the top 10 in the Texas League in on-base percentage (fifth, .414) and slugging (eighth, .544) despite being the youngest qualifying position player in the league. He’s an 80 runner (on the 20-80 scouting scale) who flies out of the box; he tied for the league lead in triples and finished fifth in stolen bases even though a call up to the big leagues — before his 20th birthday — limited him to just 91 games at Double-A. And that early call-up is, in and of itself, a good sign: In the past 40 years, just 11 other players have had 100 plate appearances in a year in which their seasonal ages were 19 or younger, a list that includes Hall of Famer Robin Yount; potential Hall of Famers Ken Griffey, Alex Rodriguez and Pudge Rodriguez; and non-slouches Adrian Beltre, Justin Upton and Andruw Jones.

    Trout is atop the list because the scouting report lines up with the production he has showed in the minors over the past three years. In addition to that explosive speed, he has great hand-eye coordination; a short, direct path to the ball; and a very advanced approach that combines pitch recognition with good ball-strike recognition. (That approach did fall apart a little in the big leagues, in part as he tried to be more aggressive to keep himself in the lineup, but also as he struggled to adjust to pitchers with better breaking balls changing eye levels on him — fastballs up, curveballs down, in either order.) He has the hip rotation and leverage to hit for above-average power down the road to go with high batting averages and OBP, and should provide plus defense in any of the three outfield spots. A player such as Trout, who can add so much value to his team in so many ways, belongs on the top of the rankings.

    and what Law wrote about Harper:

    Harper’s calling card remains his 80 power to go with an 80 arm from right field, but he’s a better overall athlete than he’s given credit for. He showed over the course of a year when he was challenged twice by the Nationals with promotions that he can and will make adjustments to pitchers who attack his weaknesses.

    His light-tower power produces incredible BP sessions and mammoth in-game shots; he has as much leverage from his lower half as a human can achieve without dislocating his spine midswing. He couples that with both quick wrists and strong hand-eye coordination for higher contact rates than this kind of power hitter typically sees. He’s a plus runner who has improved substantially in right field since moving there after signing in 2010.

    Harper still struggles with breaking stuff from lefties and continues to adjust to right-handers pitching him soft away, but showed improvement in at-bats against both groups of pitchers in the Arizona Fall League. He should return to Double-A to start the season and spend some time in Triple-A when ready, but a September call-up would be a reasonable timetable, with 30-homer seasons in his very near future.

  78. John Says:

    It’s genius because Friedman and his nerds (as well as his baseball men) got together and asked “ok…how likely is a freak career-ending injury. How likely is it that he’ll be average? How likely is it that he’ll be the next Mike Schmidt.?” Etc…and they came up with a calculated contract offer which took those risks and rewards and weighed them appropriately.

    Longoria accepted the deal because he wanted to be set for life at 22. That was a driving factor and a piece of leverage that Friedman knew he could exploit.

    Longoria went on to win ROY. Think Friedman could’ve gotten this deal if he offered it after the 2008 season? I think not.

  79. Cameron Says:

    “Drafting Longoria was obviously great, but he would not be a Ray right now if not for Friedman’s decision-making. Again, aided by economics-based decision making.”

    Again that’s ECONOMICS not SABERMETRICS!

  80. Raul Says:

    What Law wrote about Bubba Starling should please Cameron:

    The best athlete in the 2011 draft — and one of the best I’ve ever seen pick up a bat — Starling spurned a scholarship to play quarterback at Nebraska to sign with the hometown Royals and become their long-term answer in center field.

    He is a true five-tool player who hit 92 mph off the mound, was consistently the fastest runner at baseball showcases in high school and has above-average present power that will become plus as he fills out. He has some drift at the plate that holds back his power, but he has the hand strength and hip rotation to drive the ball to all fields. He hasn’t faced a ton of advanced pitching in his life, and adjusting to pro pitchers who can spin a good breaking ball will be the ultimate test of how mature Starling’s approach at the plate is. For now, it’s all beautiful upside, a supreme athlete who one day will hit third or fourth in a lineup with above-average defense in center while contending for MVP awards.

  81. Cameron Says:

    Native Kansasn (like me, even though I live in MO now), three sport All-State athlete, #6 rated HS QB in the country, #1 HS baseball prospect in the country, at least a plus in every tool, the dude’s an absolute freak and I love everything about him. Biggest slam dunk we ever could’ve signed.

    …I just wish he’d go by his first name of Derek instead of Bubba. I got enough white trash back in Kansas, I don’t wanna be yelling “Go Bubba!” unless I’m missing several teeth, holding a Coors Light, and sitting at the Kansas Speedway. And I’ve been to the Speedway before on race weekend. You won’t catch me dead in that traffic ever again.

  82. Raul Says:

    Cardinals prospect Carlos Martinez:

    Martinez — formerly known as Matias — was originally signed as a shortstop by the Red Sox in 2009, had the deal voided due to an identity question, but started throwing hard enough to earn a seven-figure bonus from the Cardinals a few months later. He now hits 100 mph as a starter and pitches in the mid-90s, with a hard curveball that has sharp two-plane break and tilt that puts it somewhere between a curve and a slider. As good as the curveball is, however, it’s so far below the fastball’s velocity — 16-18 mph — that he’s sometimes actually helping the hitter by throwing it. He’ll flash a plus changeup that he turns over very well, but when he moved up to high Class A, his lack of deception caught up to him, especially against left-handed hitters.

    The Cardinals already have made some adjustments with him so the ball isn’t so visible all the way through his delivery, and he needs to avoid trying to be too fine with his pitches when he gets into trouble. He’s not a very physical guy — his best comparable in build might be Pedro Martinez — but he has the three weapons to remain a starter if he can make it harder for hitters to pick up the ball so early. It’s top-of-the-rotation stuff in a pitcher who would be a college junior this year if he’d been born in the U.S.

  83. Cameron Says:

    I’ll keep an eye out for Martinez. Him and Miller should be good building blocks for that rotation. I’ve seen Miller pitch a lot. Dude reminds me a lot of Roy Halladay.

  84. Raul Says:

    Rumor mills have the Yankees sending AJ Burnett to Pittsburgh.

  85. Cameron Says:

    Wouldn’t he be 99% of their payroll?

  86. Chuck Says:

    Wow..Dellin Betances must have run over Law’s dog.

    Four righthanders better than Jameson Taillon?

    Maybe on his planet.

  87. Chuck Says:

    I’ve seen just about every player that’s come through the AFL, from Mike Piazza to Bryce Harper, and there is only one player who I thought “Hall of Famer” when watching him.

    It was Evan Longoria.

    Thankfully, the Rays have enough smart baseball people who weren’t afraid to express their opinion, and had the nuts to walk into Friedman’s office and tell him to stop jerking off to his Abstract and sign him long-term.

  88. Chuck Says:

    We can argue all day long about the value of sabermetrics or just how much they play a part in baseball, but in a few years we won’t be hearing as much anymore, thanks to the new CBA.

    Scouting and development will become MUCH more important, especially at the lower levels.

    The 25th man on a roster won’t be some sabermetric discovery; some low cost “productive” guy who’s been around awhile and is looking to add some service time to his pension.

    We’ll start to see teams not worry so much about rookie service time, especially since there will no longer be a “super-two” rule, and some four or five year minor league veterans will start filling those spots.

    There’s nothing more low-cost than the minimum salary, and the production differences won’t make the million bucks for the vet guy worth the investment.

    The Yankees are already worried about the new luxury tax penalties and want their payroll below $200 million by 2014..you think guys like Andruw Jones or Freddie Garcia will be getting four million dollar deals to pitch five innings or get five AB’s a week?

  89. Cameron Says:

    Not four, but I don’t think Taillon’s the best RHP out there. I’m calling that one in Shelby Miller’s favor. Taillon may be the harder thrower, but I like Miller’s stuff just a bit better. More complete if you ask me.

  90. Raul Says:

    What Law wrote about Jameson Taillon:

    Taillon still has top-of-the-rotation ceiling, but he has pitched so little in pro ball that he hasn’t developed as quickly as the typical top-end teenage pitcher would.

    At 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, he looks like a workhorse starter, and has the plus fastball and future-plus slider to complete the story, sitting in the mid-90s (rarely throwing a fastball slower than 93 mph) with the ability to go back and get 98 when he needs it. He’s so big at such a young age that his body control is lagging, and he’ll need to continue to focus on pacing his delivery and keeping himself on line to the plate.

    The Pirates’ handling of Taillon’s workloads has raised eyebrows across the game. He’s been on such tight pitch counts that he faced more than 20 batters in a start just three times all year, never recording more than 15 outs. Despite that, he performed worse as the season went on, with reductions in his command and control. I still see Taillon as a future ace, but at some point, the Pirates will have to take the reins off.

    What Law wrote about Betances:

    At 6-foot-8, 260 pounds, Betances is huge, throws hard and has a history of missing bats since coming back from Tommy John surgery. But there’s still a strong sentiment among pro scouts that he ends up in the bullpen long-term because of command questions. He’ll pitch in the low 90s but runs it up to 97 mph and would likely sit 94-97, if not better, in relief. The curveball remains wildly inconsistent, with outings when he doesn’t have it at all and outings when it looks like an above-average pitch.

    Betances is not a good athlete and struggles to maintain a consistent delivery. When he’s in sync, he takes a good, long stride to the plate with a mild shoulder tilt but only a little bit of torque from his hips, generating velocity from his stride and arm. He’s also a below-average fielder for a pitcher, not a critical flaw but something you’d rather not see. He’s 23 now, still not very experienced, but he has size and velocity you can’t teach. The lack of progress and athleticism make a bullpen role more likely than a spot in the top half of a rotation.

  91. brautigan Says:

    I saw Longoria play in Visalia July 3rd, 2006. He and Reid Brignac were clearly the best players I saw that day.

  92. Cameron Says:

    A lot of guys are taking the business approach of the early extension. Cleveland’s been doing it for two decades, but guys like Tampa, Pittsburgh, and Texas are falling into line. It has nothing to do with stats, it’s a business thing. It may be a big gamble to sign a guy like Evan Longoria to a long-term deal… But look at it this way.

    If he was to go on for the length of his contract, he’d have gone through four arbitration hearings, and he’s guaranteed double-digit millions with his performance thus far. However, he’s making pennies on the dollar for his performance. Why wait? …Well, it’s a money thing. The longer you keep them in the minors, the longer you force them to make league minimum pre-arbitration, you save millions of dollars. That’s good in the short term, but in the long term, these guys make millions upon millions. What would you rather do in 2013, pay Evan Longoria 3 million dollars or gamble by trying to take market value on the guy?

    In the short term, you’re paying him one to two million dollars when he could be making league minimum. That’s fine. However, that same approach also leads to someone else paying him fifteen million when you could have kept him for three if you wanted to jump the gun. If he busts, you’re out a much smaller potential on the back end. If he suffered a freak injury, you’re out twenty million dollars total. That seems like a lot, but he could make that in less than two years on the open market and if you tried to sign him back afterwards, you’d be out that way anyway to keep him. It’s trying to minimize losses later. Even for a guy like Stephen Strasburg I’d recommend it. Guys you think are gonna get hurt or even guys like Bryce Harper are going to bust. Sign them early, sign them long-term, sign them cheap. If failure is assumed, at least minimize your failures while you can. In business terms, it’s called “efficient failure”. Assume you’re wrong and try to minimize your losses just on the off-chance you’re wrong. Makes success that much sweeter.

    It’s not stat-driven or even scout or performance driven.It’s strictly business.

  93. Mike Felber Says:

    As a reward for the youngster’s analytical prowess:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7474244/jonah-keri-looks-ways-royals-contenders-breaking-small-market-success

  94. Chuck Says:

    Longoria’s contract ends after his age 30 season.

    Where do you think he’ll be playing in his age 31 season?

    It won’t be Tampa.

  95. Chuck Says:

    Not that it carries much importance other than being a cool story, but it points to the uninformed opinions shared by those such as Mr. Felber….

    Apparently, the highlight of the Brewers’ fantasy camp last weekend was the walkoff winning homer hit by 61 year old Gorman Thomas off a 58 mph “fastball” thrown by a 44 year old dentist.

    When it comes to distance, velocity isn’t the primary factor.

  96. Chuck Says:

    Well, it appears barring any last minute changes of heart or negotiation points, by this time tomorrow AJ Burnett will be an ex Yankee.

  97. Raul Says:

    That means Phil Hughes better step up.

  98. Chuck Says:

    Now, this is disturbing.

    I went onto Amazon today to order my Baseball America Prospect Handbook (disadvantage..it’s already been mailed to purchasers, advantage, by waiting two weeks I save $13)

    So, it has at the bottom of my profile page my most recent orders, one of which was last year’s edition, with Bryce Harper on the cover.

    Last year similar price to this..$20.

    Now, it costs $272.91

  99. Raul Says:

    Wow.

    I thought the collectibles market dried up.

  100. Cameron Says:

    Dumbasses will be dumbasses.

  101. Raul Says:

    Born today:

    Hall of Famer, Herb Pennock. Pennock would win 6 World Series titles with the Red Sox and Yankees. He’d pitch 22 seasons going 241-162 with a 3.60 ERA (106 ERA+).

    Allie Reynolds. The Super Chief also won 6 World Series titles. A star athlete, Reynolds was an accomplished javelin thrower and sprinter. Drafted by the New York Football Giants, Reynolds decided that baseball was a better financial option and signed with the Cleveland Indians for a cool $1,000 (or Prince Fielder’s brunch money). Despite success at the Major League level, Reynolds would pitch just 13 seasons and HOF arguments have been unsuccessful. He does have a plaque at Yankee Stadium, however. Reynolds also pitched 2 no-hitters in his career.

    Jim Barr. Barr has some small fame due to his streak of retiring 41 consecutive batters in the early 1970s. The record would be broken by Bobby Jenks and Mark Buehrle — though having a record last nearly 30 years is quite an accomplishment.

    Larry McWilliams. Not much to say about McWilliams. Thirteen-year veteran pitcher. He was the winning pitcher when the Atlanta Braves ended Pete Rose’s 44-game hitting streak.

    Lenny Dykstra. Nails. Dykstra could be a polarizing figure for some people. A hard-nosed player, Dykstra had some good years for the Phillies and Mets before falling into legal problems regarding his finances and investments upon retirement. There are accusations of steroid use regarding Dykstra. What is largely unquestioned is that Lenny was a wild man. A passionate, fearless player.

    Lenny Webster. Webster was one of the last players to wear the number 42 jersey — now universally retired in honor of Jackie Robinson. I had this long, silly, tongue-in-cheek post about how Webster should be in the Hall of Fame for his pinch-hitting record…only to realize that’s Lenny Harris, not Lenny Webster.

    Bobby Jones. Oh man. The Mets had it all planned out, I tell ya. Jones started his career well, but injuries ruined him. In 1993, he was ranked the 28th best prospect in the Minor Leagues — ahead of future Hall of Famers Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza, Pedro Martinez and several other future all-stars.

    Hiroki Kuroda. I don’t know what to say here. Believe it or not, Kuroda actually has a lower ERA in the Major Leagues than he did in Japan.

    Lance Berkman. From a purely offensive standpoint, Lance Berkman is going to the Hall of Fame. After a disappointing 2010, Berkman was on fire in 2011. He finished 7th in the MVP voting, and probably deserved to go much higher than that. Fat Elvis will need to be equally dominant in 2012 if the Cardinals are to compete now that the best hitter on the planet took his services to Los Angeles. It is surprising that considering Berkman’s hitting prowess, he’s only led the league in 2 categories: Doubles (twice) and RBI (once).

    Cesar Izturis. Or Yuniesky Betancourt. Frankly, what’s the goddamn difference?

    Alex Gordon. The 2nd overall selection of the 2005 MLB Draft broke out in 2011 after years of struggling in Kansas City. He was rushed, he was mis-managed, he was a total mess. But the Lincoln, Nebraska native erupted for 45 doubles, 23 home runs and his first .300 season, and led the Majors in outfield assists by a left fielder — a feat that would help him earn his first Gold Glove. Entering what should be his prime years, look for the Royals to potentially lock Gordon up to a team-friendly contract should he continue hitting in 2012, as the franchise has a load of talent on the rise to complement him.

  102. Cameron Says:

    We got him under contract for 4 million to beat arbitration. I haven’t heard anything about long-term yet, though. Though we should if we’ve got Butler locked up. Since Moose, Hos, Myers, and Starling are gonna be riding the arbitration train for a while (unless we pull a Cleveland), you can afford to wait and focus on getting Gordon locked up while you can.

  103. Cameron Says:

    Just for fun, I decided to compare the projected 2011 Royals by Baseball America to the actual 2011 Royals.

    Projected 2011 (in 2008)
    -
    Catcher – John Buck (Now a Marlin)
    First Base – Justin Huber (Now Retired)
    Second Base – Alberto Callaspo (Now an Angel)
    Third Base – Alex Gordon (Still A Royal, Now In LF)
    Shortstop – Tony Pena (Now A Pawtucket Red Sock)
    Left Field – Jose Guillen (Now Retired)
    Center Field – David DeJesus (Now A Cub)
    Right Field – Mike Moustakas (Still A Royal, Now At 3B)
    Designated Hitter – Billy Butler (Still A Royal, Still DH)
    No. 1 Starter – Daniel Cortes (Now A Mariner)
    No. 2 Starter – Luke Hochevar (Still A Royal, Last Year’s “Ace”)
    No. 3 Starter – Zack Greinke (Now A Brewer)
    No. 4 Starter – Gil Meche (Now Retired)
    No. 5 Starter – Brian Bannister (Now Retired)
    Closer – Joakim Soria (Still A Royal, Still Closing)

    Actual 2011 Royals
    -
    Catcher - Brayan Pena
    First Base – Eric Hosmer
    Second Base – Chris Getz
    Third Base – Mike Moustakas
    Shortstop – Alcides Escobar
    Left Field – Alex Gordon
    Center Field – Melky Cabrera
    Right Field – Jeff Francouer
    Designated Hitter – Billy Butler
    No. 1 Starter – Luke Hochevar
    No. 2 Starter – Jeff Francis
    No. 3 Starter – Bruce Chen
    No. 4 Starter – Felipe Paulino
    No. 5 Starter – Danny Duffy
    Closer – Joakim Soria

  104. Raul Says:

    Now they lead with Jonathan Sanchez, Bruce Chen, Luke Hochevar.

    Regarding Montgomery, Law writes:

    Heading into last season Montgomery looked poised to step into the Royals’ rotation by the second half of 2011, but struggles with his delivery — and, as a result, his command — resulted in a disappointing year in Triple-A, a level for which he was still quite young.

    The good news for Kansas City fans is that Montgomery’s stuff was intact, still sitting 92-95 mph and running up to 96-97 with good downhill plane. He uses his changeup as his out pitch, with excellent arm speed and the ability to command it to both sides of the plate, but his slurvy breaking ball may not be more than a solid-average pitch going forward. He’s had elbow issues in the past, but was healthy all of 2011, and while his ERA didn’t improve in the second half, his walk rate dropped by about 40 percent.

    He’s 22, left-handed, with two plus pitches and experience up to Triple-A; he might need to go back to Omaha for a few months but should still at least end up in the middle of a big league rotation.

  105. Lefty33 Says:

    “There are accusations of steroid use regarding Dykstra.”

    Far more than accusations as he was named in Mitchell as a 100% user.

    “Larry McWilliams. Not much to say about McWilliams”

    He had one of the more unorthodox deliveries of his day.

    The night that Rose’s streak ended he faced McWilliams and Gene Garber.

    Pete had his work cut out for him facing those two.

  106. Chuck Says:

    The birthday list was missed on Wednesday, but there was one notable I wanted to mention.

    Fritz Peterson

    Peterson, along with Yankee teammate Mike Kekich, were part of one of, if not the, most infamous baseball “trades” of all time.

    They traded families.

    “Wife Swap” 40 years before reality TV.

    The Kekich/Marilyn Peterson “affair” didn’t last too long, Peterson and Susanne Kekich recently celebrated their 36th anniversary.

    As a pitcher, Peterson was barely over .500 at 133-131 over an eleven year career, winning 20 games with the 1970 Yankees.

    Peterson led the AL five consecutive seasons in BB/9 and twice in WHIP.

    His claim to fame is being the all-time record holder for lowest career ERA at Yankee Stadium (2.52).

    Kekich pitched nine seasons, going 39-51 and was known primarily as a good fielder.

    As recently as 2011, the production company owned by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were trying to get a movie made titled “The Trade”.

    Peterson recently wrote a book which has been called “a modern update to Ball Four” and is in his second battle with prostate cancer.

  107. Cameron Says:

    Still got his stuff, but there was a mechanical hitch last year. The common perception is that there was so much pressure for him to break camp and then pressure to perform that he was such a lock for the rotation this year that it started to get to him and really tank his performance. It’s a mental issue, not a performance issue.

  108. Chuck Says:

    Neither Lance Berkman nor Vladimir Guerrero will get into the HOF without a ticket.

    Next to Sosa, Dykstra might be the poster child for steriods.

  109. Cameron Says:

    450 homers, a .320 BA, and the biggest laser of an arm in right field for over a decade won’t get you into the Hall of Fame kids. Sorry.

  110. Raul Says:

    I’m not sure one can make a convincing case that Jim Thome belongs in the Hall of Fame while at the same time saying that Vladimir Guerrero does not.

    I am not saying that you are making that argument, Chuck. (Although, you may be).

    But a guy who put up similar numbers in fewer seasons, while primarily playing the field…I mean…come on…

    SEASONS
    Thome: 21
    Guerrero: 16

    GAMES
    Thome: 2,485
    Guerrero: 2,147

    HITS
    Thome: 2,287
    Guerrero: 2,590

    RUNS
    Thome: 1,566
    Guerrero: 1,328

    RBI
    Thome: 1,674
    Guerrero: 1,496

    WALKS
    Thome: 1,725
    Guerrero: 737

    STRIKEOUTS:
    Thome: 2,487
    Guerrero: 985

    BA/OBP/SLG
    Thome: .277/.403/.556
    Guerrero: .318/.379/.553

    Thome was significantly helped by the DH, and he walked A LOT more than Guerrero, but considering everything else, they’re either neck-and-neck or Guerrero has the advantage due to fewer seasons played.

    I just don’t see how one gets in, but not the other.
    Sorry.

  111. Chuck Says:

    Hmmmm.

    Guerrero has fewer DH appearances than I thought.

    He’ll get in.

    Providing he retires now.

    Another five years of sucking and hanging on, he’ll turn into Tim Raines.

  112. Chuck Says:

    Thome became a HOF lock with #600.

    Sheffield has 502 and has no shot, and I bet Frank Thomas wait a lonnnnnnngg time with his 521.

  113. Bob Says:

    I would guess Frank Thomas is a first-ballot guy.

  114. Raul Says:

    Not a big fan of Thome though.

    No DH and he’s done…early.

  115. Bob Says:

    1.The Yankees want Pittsburgh to absorb half of Burnett’s salary and part with a worthwhile prospect?
    I really hope the Pirates braintrust is not this stupid as they can sign Oswalt for less than the Yankees want for Burnett, and then they can flip him in late July.
    2. TGIF!!!

  116. Chuck Says:

    “No DH and he’s done…early.”

    Same with Frank

  117. Raul Says:

    Dave Kingman hit 442 homers and had the DH all of 2 years of his career…when he was in Oakland…at the age of 36 and 37.

    If he played 10 years later, he’d have hit 600 easily.

  118. Raul Says:

    Sorry, Kingman was in Oakland for 3.

    My mistake.

  119. Chuck Says:

    Kingman was blackballed, in part so he didn’t get to 500

  120. Raul Says:

    Interesting to note…

    When Dave Kingman retired following the 1986 season, he was 18th on the All-Time Home Run list.

    He’s now 38th.

    I didn’t know about the blackballing @ Chuck. Seems possible. A lot of shady things happened in the late 80s in MLB.

  121. Raul Says:

    Man, home runs aint what they used to be.

  122. Cameron Says:

    Guerrero’s been a DH for two years Chuck, jumped the gun a little.

  123. brautigan Says:

    Not too many major league players hit 35 homeruns, like Kingman, and cannot find work. It’s too bad, 1987, the ball was juiced and who knows how many taters Kingman would have clubbed had he played. Just ask Alan Trammell.

  124. Chuck Says:

    Interesting…

    The second oldest single season HR record is in the Class A California League for the Class A California League was set in 1966 by a 20 year old catcher in the Kansas City Athletics organization by the name of Dave Duncan.

    Yeah, THAT Dave Duncan.

  125. Chuck Says:

    Not drinking, honest, just can’t edit for shit.

    Second longest standing single season minor league HR record….

  126. Chuck Says:

    One of the great all time trivia questions. This record can’t be broken, as it was set during the four division era before expansion/wild card.

    Who is the only player to hit a homer playing for one team in each division in the same season?

    Dave Kingman, 1977..played for the Mets, Yankees, Padres and Angels and homered at least once for each.

  127. Raul Says:

    That is impressive @ Chuck.

    And I would have never guessed the answer.

  128. Lefty33 Says:

    What Chuck said is right on.

    Thome by getting to #600 is a lock as likely there will be no one else in our lifetime who will get there with power numbers going back towards pre-roid days.

    As long as his name is only associated with charity work and simply being an all around class act he’s a first ballot lock.

    Vlad is a no doubt about it lock as well. He just put up a .300/29/115 season in ‘10, so he’s not that far removed from being an elite player.

    He could come back this year and be a platoon DH for someone and not have it muddy his legacy. He’s never won a ring yet so know one would fault him for doing something like Thome is doing in Philly.

    Thome’s value in Philly this year is about as much as being the Grand Marshal of a parade.

  129. Cameron Says:

    As for Berkman… He’s not a lock right now. If he were to retire today, he’d be on the outside. That said, the Big Puma’s entering his age 36 season and is still capable of putting up MVP type numbers. Give him a few years and we’ll see. He’s gonna retire with at least 400 homers on his record.

  130. John Says:

    Thomas will get in on the first ballot, and everyone who votes against him should be expelled from the BBWAA.

  131. Raul Says:

    You realize that you can’t vote against people…

  132. Cameron Says:

    Semantics, Raul. You know what he meant.

  133. Raul Says:

    Doesn’t one silly comment deserve another?

  134. Cameron Says:

    Eh, good point. The guys who don’t vote for Thomas aren’t as big as the dumbasses who didn’t vote for Rickey. If Big Hurt didn’t forget how to play ball in ‘96, then maybe.

  135. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck, You got me mixed up with Hoss. I was arguing at length with Hoss that pitch velocity did not make nearly as much difference as how hard & well the ball is struck, & compared the pitch speed & power hitting ability parameters in MLB, with their estimated effects.

    As you know who said, you can look it up.

  136. Raul Says:

    Ben Oglivie was born today (Baseball-Reference updates on east coast time).

    Talk about picking a shitty time to have a good year. Oglivie’s 1980 was a damn good year — but George Brett decided he’d try to hit .400 so…yeah.

  137. John Says:

    “He’s never won a ring yet so know one would fault him for doing something like Thome is doing in Philly.”

    So, if you put up a HOF career, but stick around a bit longer to win a ring…you’re still a hall of famer, right? Yes? Ok. Just making sure.

  138. John Says:

    “Longoria’s contract ends after his age 30 season.
    Where do you think he’ll be playing in his age 31 season?
    It won’t be Tampa.”

    If not for Friedman’s economics-based school of thought, Longoria would ALREADY NOT BE A RAY.

    He would command top-dollar in arbitration and would have had to have been traded.

    What’s your point?

    Also, speaking of Longoria, which of these do you think better reflects his value?:

    Career Batting Average: .274 (74th in MLB since 2008)
    Career WAR: 24.3 (2nd in MLB since 2008)

  139. John Says:

    “Not too many major league players hit 35 homeruns, like Kingman, and cannot find work.”

    Too bad that’s all he did…terrible defense, no speed, zero patience. He hit 35 HR in his last season, but also hit .210 with a hilarious .255 OBP and a downright comical -1.4 WAR.

  140. Cameron Says:

    Dave Kingman was Mark Reynolds before Mark Reynolds was cool.

  141. Cameron Says:

    @137 Oh I see what you did there.

  142. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 137 – Nice try to once again beat the dead Raines horse.

    Big difference in what I said to what Raines did.

    I clearly said another year for Vlad. Another year as in one more year.

    Vlad just put up an elite season two years ago.

    Unlike Raines who should have hung it up in ‘93 but instead limped along for eight more years.

  143. Cameron Says:

    Interesting fact, Tim Raines’ second-born son is named Andre and is nicknamed “Little Hawk”. I think it’s kinda cool to see teammates get so close they start naming their kids after each other.

  144. Raul Says:

    …you do realize that Kingman was the only threat on several teams, right?

  145. Raul Says:

    Kingman may have been Mark Reynolds.
    Except that Reynolds has half of Kingman’s strikeouts.

    Reynolds has played 5 seasons.
    Kingman played 16.

  146. Raul Says:

    BTW, who said anything about Evan Longoria’s batting average?

    Is your middle name “Strawman”?

  147. Chuck Says:

    “If not for Friedman’s economics-based school of thought, Longoria would ALREADY NOT BE A RAY.”

    Wrong.

    The Rays may have had to trade BJ Upton or Shields/Davis in order to afford him, but no way they’d trade him before free agency.

  148. John Says:

    Sure Chuck, just like that.

    They Rays could totally pay half their payroll to one player. That’s practical.

  149. Chuck Says:

    BTW, who said anything about Longoria’s WAR?

    “Is your middle name “Strawman”

  150. Cameron Says:

    You’re wrong, Chuck. This would be his last year of his arbitration. He was a Super Two, remember?

  151. Chuck Says:

    Touche’, Mike.

  152. Cameron Says:

    Actually, may have miscalculated… Evan Longoria started in 2008, his first arbitration would have been the offseason after his first full season, 2009. There’s been two seasons after that, meaning two more arbitration hearings. As a super-two, Evan has for meaning that going hearing-to-hearing, Longoria is a Ray until 2013 without that extension. (Fuck me do I hate figuring out arbitration for players.)

    However, John did point out a very good point. Translate Evan Longoria to arbitration comparisons… Ryan Howard set the position high bar at 15 million dollars in 2009, but he also had a fuckload more homers, RBI, and an MVP under his belt. My estimate is Evan Longoria would likely be making 12 million in arbitration. That’s about a third of Tampa’s payroll, and that’s just not a contract they’d keep. They’d sell high on him while they could.

  153. Raul Says:

    Or they’d increase payroll…because…you know…what’s what teams do when they have revenue sharing and you’re trying to compete.

  154. Cameron Says:

    If increasing payroll was a reality, they’d do it. But these guys are sitting on 35 to 40 million dollar payrolls year in and year out, 100 win season or 100 loss season. Unlike Miami where they were just banking it, Tampa is NOT a money team. These guys have shit attendance, bad TV numbers, and no merchandise sales. The fans simply do not care about this team and they’re making the best they can with the few pennies that get thrown at them.

  155. Lefty33 Says:

    “My estimate is Evan Longoria would likely be making 12 million in arbitration.”

    And with the way his current deal with the Rays is structured, he is under their control until 2016 and they will never owe him more than 11 for one season and that’s not until ‘16.

    “That’s about a third of Tampa’s payroll”

    More like a fifth as their payroll was 63.3 million in ‘09 and will be around 60-65 million this year.

  156. Cameron Says:

    Huh… Considering they kept Matt Garza on payroll and they resigned Carlos Pena for about what, 8 million? It’s a possibility he’d still be a Ray then. More like a probability. Forgive me if my payroll figures were slightly off. I still remember the days when Tampa and Miami were neck-and-neck in who could field the lowest payroll and it rarely cracked forty for either team.

  157. Lefty33 Says:

    “But these guys are sitting on 35 to 40 million dollar payrolls year in and year out,”

    Except for the fact that they have spent more than 60 million per on payroll three of the last four years counting this year.

    “Unlike Miami where they were just banking it”

    I guess you’re forgetting when deadspin.com released quarterly financials for the Rays, Marlins, Pirates, and Angels in 2010 and it showed that Sternberg is the biggest lying sleaze of the all when it comes to banking revenue sharing money instead of spending it on the team.

    Why do you think new stadium plans for the Rays stalled not that long after?

    It’s because Pinellas County called bullshit on him that he was trying to get them and the state of Florida to pick up the majority of the tab by crying poverty when he is a very, very wealthy man and the team is actually one of the more profitable in the sport.

  158. Lefty33 Says:

    Top four payroll guys for the Rays in ‘12:

    1. Shields 7.5
    2. Pena 7.25
    3. Upton 7.0
    4. Scott 5.0

  159. Raul Says:

    http://deadspin.com/5615096/mlb-confidential-the-financial-documents-baseball-doesnt-want-you-to-see-part-1

  160. Cameron Says:

    Lefty, I was underestimating the payroll space Tampa had by about twenty million, I can get that. Pitt, Tampa, and probably San Diego are still banking, I can see that. Not to the point that Miami did, though, but that’s probably because they were actually successful in screwing over Dade County whereas Pinellas was smart to it.

    HOWEVER, even figuring sharing money into the fray, these guys are still the shit end of the stick financially. Can they flex their muscles more? Yes, but these guys still are one of the biggest money sinks in the league. They’re a smaller draw than Oakland and the A’s have been a joke for years now and they’re about to get a whole hell of a lot worse. People would still rather pay to see a team with no All-Stars and fifty wins than a perennial World Series winner. These guys really do have problems.

  161. Chuck Says:

    OK, Cameron, I know you have this on-going wet-dream of being a ML GM, so here’s your free advice for the day.

    Longoria would be entering his fifth season and would be due for a BIG raise.

    Do you sign BJ Upton to a seven million deal?

    Do you sign Carlos Pena to a one year, $7.25 deal?

    Do you sign Luke Scott to a six million deal?

    The answer to all those questions is no.

    The Rays let Casey Kotchman and his three million walk for double the money for Pena?

    Like Lefty said, the Rays became one of the richest franchises by being one of the cheapest.

    Heck, going back, you probably don’t give Zobrist his contract either.

    Longoria’s the best 3B in baseball, and while he might have been dealt in 2013 before he hit free agency, there is zero chance he gets traded before.

    You take Upton, Scott and Pena’s money, add it together and you have about $16 million.

    There is Longoria’s arbitration award.

  162. John Says:

    “Heck, going back, you probably don’t give Zobrist his contract either.”

    Well, you don’t.

    “You take Upton, Scott and Pena’s money, add it together and you have about $16 million.”

    So, best case scenario, you retain Longoria’s services, but no offensive clout around him?

    This is why Friedman is probably the best GM in baseball. He has Longoria under team control through 2016 paying him a grand total of what he would command in arbitration over the course of 2, maybe 3 years.

    Because he’s doing this, he can ALSO bring in guys to keep the team competitive.

    No team can win on one star alone – the ‘01-’03 Rangers are a good case study there.

  163. Raul Says:

    Yeah, I would have kept Kotchman.

    Better defender than Pena and had a solid season.
    Pena’s the home run threat, but not for double the money.

  164. Cameron Says:

    Yeah Chuck, you have his arbitration reward that year, but what about his fourth year? The seven he’d probably make his first hearing? Ten in the second? That extension is something I’d have done in a heartbeat for Evan. The strategy is what kept Cleveland relevant in baseball for a decade, so why not exploit the hell out of it? I’m taking that same kind of deal to Price and Moore the DAY I sign them. If I could, I’d sign a guy 10/$20 or 10/$25 on draft day just to beat arbitration and milk as much performance per dollar as I can. Realistically, I can’t do that, so I settle for first-year extensions, no big deal.

    As for the other deals… BJ Upton had the upside to perform for up to seven million dollars physically, but the only time he ever played seven million dollar ball was the ‘08 postseason. I don’t sign him for more than five if I have to, most likely I’m offering him an AAV of $3.5MM. While I’d do my absolute fucking best to keep Dan Johnson out of the lineup as best I could, I can do better than Pena for a cost standpoint. I’d call Casey Kotchman and offer him 2/$8MM. Is it a bit of an overpay? Yes, but it’s an overpay I’ll take to get a guy who’s a good cog in my lineup at a relative cheap for his position. Luke Scott… Guy didn’t play last season and still has a bit of an injury history. The guy is a monster bat when healthy, but I won’t pay him six million. If he doesn’t bite for four I look for cheaper potential DHs outside the organization. Let’s face it, Tampa as an organization hits homers as well as Jim Abbot could. Jack Cust needed a job, didn’t he? Somebody, anybody. I could MAYBE see paying six million for Vlad Guerrero if he was willing to do it. He didn’t do too well last season in the same division, but the upside’s much higher.

    The most justifiable signing is Scott, but I still don’t make it. Ain’t gonna stop me from cost-controlling the ever-loving shit out of Longoria, though.

  165. Chuck Says:

    I’m not claiming to have known this before now, but if you think about it, especially if you watch as much baseball as I do, it seems obvious.

    Relievers throw more pitches per batter than starters.

    From High Heat Stats and Fangraphs.

    This is 2011 data:

    Starters threw 470896 pitches while facing 124544 batters. That’s 3.78 pitches per plate appearance.

    Relievers threw 236948 pitches while facing 60701 batters. That’s 3.90 pitches per plate appearance.

    So, let’s put starters on pitch counts so we can bring in relievers to throw more.

    And add another half hour to the game time.

    Fucking brilliant.

  166. Raul Says:

    It’s so annoying that you people think a cheap GM is smarter than one with resources.

    As if “oh, this team has triple the payroll, ergo they should have triple the wins.”

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  167. Cameron Says:

    Most relievers are worse pitchers than starters. Makes sense.

    Also, that extra half hour of game time? Networks love that, extra half-hour of ad revenue.

  168. Cameron Says:

    Raul, even if I was operating on a three-hundred million dollar payroll, I’d still be as cheap as I possibly could.

  169. Raul Says:

    Doesn’t mean you’re smarter.

  170. Raul Says:

    Success is not measured on a dollar-per-win basis.

    Unless you’re a fucking idiot.

  171. Raul Says:

    and my day has just been made…
    http://youtu.be/XGeMy-6hnr0

  172. Cameron Says:

    Not necessarily, but I’d be as cheap as I could so I could redistribute that into other parts of the payroll. Get the younger guys locked up early and you reinvest that into talent that’s coming into their big money so you can lock them up as you can or bring in outside talent if you need it. Save the money where you can, take that money you got back into the budget and plug it in where you need it.

    With that 30 million or so I saved by getting Evan out of the arbitration loop goes into his next extension.

  173. Chuck Says:

    Come on, Cameron.

    Longoria wouldn’t go from minimum to seven million in one year.

    Nope, not happening.

    John, Luke Scott sucks.

    Especially at six million a year.

    The Rays don’t need Scott.

    Christ, I bet they could have re-signed Damon for less than six mil.

    And it’s like Scott actually plays a position, you’re paying six million for a DH.

  174. John Says:

    “Success is not measured on a dollar-per-win basis.”

    But if you’re making the playoffs year-in and year-out over a decent period, as the A’s did and the Rays are doing now, with a payroll that’s always in the bottom 10 of MLB, you’re doing something right.

    It’s not just that Friedman has more wins per dollar…he also has more wins like, overall than anyone over the last 4 years besides the Phillies and Yankees. And he does so with no money.

  175. Cameron Says:

    It IS a bit of a jump. What’s the record for first year arb-eligible, five? He could make that.

  176. John Says:

    “Longoria wouldn’t go from minimum to seven million in one year.”

    If he has an agent that knows anything about anything, then yeah, he would.

    And actually probably a lot more than that.

  177. Cameron Says:

    His agent would claim he’s worth seven John, but you’d be hard-pressed to find an arbitrator who’d agree that on a first-time player with less than two years of service time.

  178. John Says:

    If the Rays were paying Longoria and Zobrist what they are worth, there’s no way they’d be competitive.

    It’s a simple effing fact.

  179. Chuck Says:

    If the Rays were paying Longoria what he’s worth, Zobrist wouldn’t be a Ray.

    That’s how you define worth.

  180. Raul Says:

    http://leeinks.weei.com/sports/2012/02/11/where-the-yankees-stand-on-trading-a-j-burnett

    The New York Post’s Joel Sherman tweeted: “Yankees telling Pirates absorbing $10M of AJ’s $33M isn’t enough, won’t do deal at that level,” Sherman said, adding, “I’m surprised. Thought Yanks would be happy to defray any of Burnett’s $ to move on from him.”

    The Pirates have also told the Yankees that they will not include first baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones in a deal, according to the Post-Gazette.

  181. Cameron Says:

    Eh… Zobrist is getting about what he’s worth if you ask me.

  182. John Says:

    “Eh… Zobrist is getting about what he’s worth if you ask me.”

    4.5 million?

    Good joke.

  183. Raul Says:

    KC Royals:

    Agreed to terms with with RHP Nate Adcock, RHP Kelvin Herrera, RHP Jeremy Jeffress, RHP Sean O’Sullivan, RHP Blake Wood, LHP Everett Teaford, LHP Ryan Verdugo, C Manuel Pina, 1B Clint Robinson, OF Jarrod Dyson, OF David Lough and OF Derrick Robinson on one-year contract.

  184. Raul Says:

    No one is more overpaid than Carl Crawford.

  185. John Says:

    @184, Yuniesky Betancourt currently draws a major league salary.

  186. Cameron Says:

    Ah, my bad John. My eyes skipped to his two option years at seven and a half.

    Raul, those all MLB deals? Because seeing Lough and Robinson in that list has me interested to see what they do with them. No way in hell they break into the lineup, they really gonna make them ride the pine?

  187. Cameron Says:

    @185 I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU!

  188. Raul Says:

    I don’t know if they’re MLB deals.

    They were on the Transactions page of espn.com

  189. Cameron Says:

    Considering these guys were already under minor league contracts, I have to assume they’re contract purchases. I know Adcock, Jeffress, O’Sullivan, Wood, Teaford, Dyson… And I think Robinson were heading into various arbitration hearings this year. The only other way these guys could have been transactions without a trade would be a contract purchase.

    …These are the Spring Training guys. Have to be.

  190. Chuck Says:

    Zobrist’s contract is about right.

    But if the Rays needed an extra $4.5 million to afford Longoria, Big Ben is an ex-Ray.

    Shouldn’t be THAT hard to figure out.

    He’s a nice player..like Scott is, like Matt Joyce and BJ Upton are, but none of those guys can carry Longoria’s jock.

    No one is disputing the fact a year and a half from now Longoria will be traded, and likely would bring back better players than Zobrist or Scott.

    But, for now, the Rays would break policy when dealing with an arbitration eligible player and would do anything to keep Longoria, and if it meant getting rid of a couple second tier players (or not signing others) then they would in a heartbeat.

  191. Cameron Says:

    I like Zobrist. Not great contact, but good power, good legs, and as long as he stays FAR away from the infield, he’s a great glove.

  192. John Says:

    “But if the Rays needed an extra $4.5 million to afford Longoria, Big Ben is an ex-Ray.”

    And the Rays would not be making the playoffs.

    That’s my whole point. Longoria and Zobrist combined for 11 WAR last year and made a COMBINED 6.5 million dollars.

    That’s why the Rays are competitive.

    If they were in a position where they had to let guys like Zobrist and Crawford go just to retain Longoria’s services, they would be a 75-80 win team.

    “No one is disputing the fact a year and a half from now Longoria will be traded, and likely would bring back better players than Zobrist or Scott.”

    ?!?!?!?!

    NO

    He WON’T be traded. Because the Rays have him under team control through TWENTY-FUCKING-SIXTEEN for a FRACTION of what he’s worth.

  193. Cameron Says:

    You could get rid of those guys, Chuck… Or you could sign them on the cheap early too. Look at the roster Cleveland used to dominate the 90s. That was built on the back of the early extension. While it’s nice to see guys like Longoria getting these extensions, I think if a team like Tampa or Pittsburgh successfully implemented the same model they did, they’d be able to really operate with some good flexibility.

  194. John Says:

    …err, that should read Zobrist and Upton, not Crawford.

  195. Raul Says:

    If that AJ Burnett to Pittsburgh trade falls through, the Pirates may look to acquire Joe Blanton from the Phillies.

  196. Cameron Says:

    Midseason 2013? Nah, Longoria’s only making 6 mil that season. I’d say midseason 2015 (a season where he makes north of 11) if they don’t relocate. If they find a better fanbase or are planning for one by then, then he rides the whole thing.

  197. John Says:

    If the Rays are still winning, they’re just gonna ride him to free agency (3 years after he was originally scheduled for it) the exact same way they did with Crawford.

  198. Raul Says:

    If the Rays plan on being competitive in the future — without significantly increasing payroll — then they have no choice but to trade their good players.

    The reason Tampa has all this talent is because they sucked for so long and accumulated draft picks. It’s a credit to their scouting department and their coaches in the Minor Leagues who developed them.

    But as they grow more competitive, you won’t be seeing them with Top 5 picks, or 10 draft picks inside 3 rounds.

  199. John Says:

    Didn’t the Rays have 10 draft picks in the first 2 rounds a year after winning the East last year?

  200. Cameron Says:

    I don’t think they NEED to trade their good players, but it’s something they shouldn’t rule out. What I think their priorities are right now should be getting Price and Moore locked up as long and cheap as they can. Pitching wins championships, get your good arms locked up now. I’d say get a good deal for McGee too since they have hard times finding guys at the back end.

  201. Cameron Says:

    Yeah John, but when you have a payroll like theirs, the first and second round talent they grabbed wasn’t necessarily first and second round talent. It was all about signability there.

  202. Raul Says:

    Are you saying you expect the Rays to continue to have 10 picks after winning Division titles?

    Please answer this.

  203. Cameron Says:

    @197 If I had to put an estimate on a trade for him. It’s midseason 2015 or midseason 2016 to someone who needs an impact bat to contend. However, he’d be making about what Crawford made at the end of his time there. I could see him staying there the whole time pretty easily. The supporting cast for him won’t be as good though.

  204. Cameron Says:

    Not under the new CBA, Raul. If it were under old rules, they could keep gaming the system by forcing a complete bullpen turnover of ranked relievers like they did. Since there’s no compensation for that anymore, they can’t. No one can.

  205. John Says:

    “What I think their priorities are right now should be getting Price and Moore locked up as long and cheap as they can.”

    Matt Moore was signed to a Longoria-esque deal over the winter. 5y/15M with 3 option years through 2019 worth 7, 9, and 10 million dollars.

    David Price did not take the guaranteed money early on, and it was probably a smart decision. The Rays aren’t going to be able to lock him up for cheap.

  206. Raul Says:

    I know that numbers don’t extrapolate this way, but it’s worth noting that Desmond Jennings stole 20 bases in 63 games last year.

  207. Cameron Says:

    They normally don’t extrapolate that way Raul, but Jennings is that kind of burner. He could be a 50-60 steal guy year in and out.

  208. Cameron Says:

    Oh right… I was the first guy to rave about that extension too. Forgive me y’all, I didn’t sleep last night and the only reason I’m still conscious is an apocalypse-level stash of Coca-Cola.

    …There was a sale last time I went grocery shopping.

  209. Raul Says:

    I think Jennings will be good.

    More Kenny Lofton than Grady Sizemore though.

  210. John Says:

    “More Kenny Lofton than Grady Sizemore though.”

    Something of a hibrid, I think. Not quite Lofton’s speed, not quite Sizmore’s power, but I could totally see him rocking 20 HR/50 SB.

  211. Cameron Says:

    He has 20 HR potential, but the guy’s more likely to be a 10-13 HR guy a year. I’d be more likely to peg him as a 10/60 guy.

    Scary part? He won’t even be the premier base stealer in the league. Soon as Billy Haimlton hits the show full-time, he’s gonna make that leaderboard his bitch.

  212. John Says:

    Didn’t Jennings have like 10-13 last year? In 60 games?

  213. John Says:

    Well, Hamilton’s gonna be in the NL unless he gets traded.

    So they’ll be on top of their respective leaderboards, maybe.

  214. Lefty33 Says:

    “Midseason 2013? Nah, Longoria’s only making 6 mil that season. I’d say midseason 2015 (a season where he makes north of 11) if they don’t relocate. If they find a better fanbase or are planning for one by then, then he rides the whole thing.”

    They can’t relocate as the Rays are under contract at Tropicana until 2027 and Pinellas County has already said that they will sue Sternberg if he makes any attempt to move the team anywhere as the contract is supposedly rock solid.

    One of the stadium disputes with Sternberg is that the County refuses to even let him move the team to the part of the Tampa-St. Pete area he wants.

  215. Cameron Says:

    Yeah, but rookie hitters have the same thing rookie pitchers do, inflated numbers because they don’t know how to work ‘em. You get a guy going into the league, you’ve been studying the lineup mainstays for so long you know their good points and their bad points. Rookies don’t have that much tape on ‘em, they can throw up something in a zone they don’t like and not even know it.

    Let him level off, see what happens. I don’t think Jennings has as much power as we think. Guy’s supposed to be a Crawford lite in just about every aspect, power included, and Crawford’s lucky to crack 20 on a good season.

  216. Cameron Says:

    Then can they at least renovate the stadium? Take the roof off the dome and put in some grass? The place is by far the ugliest ballfield I’ve ever seen.

  217. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 199- The Rays had 10 picks in last years 1st round.

  218. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 216 – I’ll still take that concrete bunker the Expos played at in Montreal as worse but in terms of a current stadium you’re right that Tropicana wins hands down.

  219. Cameron Says:

    Counting compensation round, yes. In the actual first round, they had three.

    That pick crop was gamed. They got a bunch of guys who were gonna be ranked pitchers, threw them all in the same bullpen, offered them arbitration to have them decline, and watch the draft roll in. Bastard move, but kinda genius.

  220. Cameron Says:

    @218 You mean that turf that I swear was just green particle board with the lines painted on? Maybe, but it actually looked presentable. Only other stadium on the level of the Trop I can think of is old Cleveland Municipal.

  221. Lefty33 Says:

    “You mean that turf that I swear was just green particle board with the lines painted on?”

    It looked as bad in person as it looked on TV or in pictures.

    The place was no doubt great for the Olympics but as for a place to play 81 baseball games a year…..well it was less than desirable in every way except for the fact that it had a very convenient subway stop built for it.

    Cleveland Muni was a bad one too. You could add The Vet, Three Rivers, or Exhibition (I reminisced briefly about that dump with Ernie Whitt last year and he had many less than desirable things to say about that place.)

  222. Chuck Says:

    “That’s my whole point.”

    Congratulations, but not the point of the conversation.

  223. Chuck Says:

    “Soon as Billy Haimlton hits the show full-time, he’s gonna make that leaderboard his bitch.”

    Billy Hamilton won’t be a full time ML player.

  224. Cameron Says:

    The turf in Olympic was worse than the Trop’s (which is still shit. Best turf I’ve seen, in no way biased, is the old Royals turf. Buddy of mine has a cube foot of it preserved in plexiglass.) but the dirt looked good. The Trop’s dirt always looked like it was fresh off a truck pull. Plus that dome itself is ugly as shit. Olympic looked like a baseball stadium. A bad one, but a stadium. The Trop looks like a flea market that they installed turf in.

  225. Cameron Says:

    Lemme guess Chuck, another Willy Taveras waiting to happen?

  226. Chuck Says:

    Ask Chris Bosio or Henry Cotto or any of the old ex-Mariners about the Kingdome, and what they say can’t be printed.

    I really didn’t have a problem with the Vet.

    I never played there obviously, but I’ve been in far worse stadiums/arenas than that.

    Like the Meadowlands.

    That was a dump, both literally and figuratively.

  227. Chuck Says:

    “Lemme guess Chuck, another Willy Taveras waiting to happen?”

    Fifteen of the top twenty all-time SB leaders are outfielders, and of the five infielders, only Maury Wills’ played fewer than 19 seasons.

    Six of the top twenty all time SB leaders played the majority of their career games on artificial turf fields.

    Neither is a coincidence.

    You can be a bad outfielder who can make himself at least playable with speed.

    You can’t make a bad infielder “playable”

    Playing the infield also carries a much higher risk of injury, a speed guy who gets hurt ends up driving a Chicago cab faster than he could run to first base.

    Hamilton’s defense isn’t good enough to keep him in the lineup everyday, and can’t hit water if he fell out of a boat.

    Like the old saying goes, you can’t steal first.

    He stole 103 bases in Class A.

    Big bleepin’ deal.

    It should be noted he struck out 133 times.

    In 135 games.

    Red flag for a lead-off hitter?

  228. Chuck Says:

    Class

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120211&content_id=26660094&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

  229. Raul Says:

    Nice act by Mike Carp.

  230. brautigan Says:

    When a recent religious convert was asked if theirs was the only true faith, he responded “Certainly. If they thought someone else had the true faith, they would preach that”.

    Nietzsche once said “The surest way to corrupt a young man is to teach him to esteem more highly those who think alike than those who think differently.”.

    I’m trying to avoid that, but John, you make it difficult. I know I’ll be less resistent to your ideas and thoughts the moment you suggest they are hypotheticals instead of the engraved tablets of stat geeks.

  231. John Says:

    Engraved tablets? Or “holy shit, look who’s always in the playoffs!”

  232. Chuck Says:

    You’re a piece of work, John.

  233. Raul Says:

    Just for discussion purposes…Keith Law’s ranking of the farm systems. I’ll just post the top 10 for now:

    1. San Diego Padres

    Without Anthony Rizzo, they no longer have a top-25 prospect in their system, but in terms of total future value of players likely to play significant roles in the big leagues, they’re ahead of everyone else. Some of these players, especially from the 2011 draft, will develop into stars. But there are so many prospects here with high floors, players who would be top-10 or top-five in other systems but are 11-20 here (such as Robbie Erlin or Edinson Rincon), that they are well-positioned to compete even with modest major league payrolls during the next five to six years. Fans who were upset at the sudden departures of GM Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod for the Cubs should find solace in the fact that the prospects they helped bring into the system (along with many other scouts and execs, including Chris Gwynn, now with Seattle, and Jaron Madison and Randy Smith, still in San Diego) remain in place.

    2. Tampa Bay Rays

    If you favor ceiling over probability, you could make a strong argument for having the Rays ahead of the Padres, based on the fact that this system could quite easily produce six to eight players who end up as grade-60 players or better in the majors. After that first tier, however, there’s a lot less probability here than there was a year or two ago, and several executives from other clubs pointed out that the Rays have a gap in their prospect pipeline coming up that will be filled only if some of their 2011 draft picks move faster than anticipated.

    3. Toronto Blue Jays

    One of the many reasons criticism of Rogers Communications, the owner of the Blue Jays, for being stingy with free agents is so ignorant is that the club has spent aggressively in the amateur markets during the past three years, grabbing high-ceiling high school players and Latin American prospects by stockpiling picks and paying whatever it took to sign those players. They are the organization most likely to be No. 1 on this list next winter.

    4. St. Louis Cardinals

    They’ve drafted very well in the past few years, which has to be heartening to Astros fans, as Houston just hired Jeff Luhnow, who oversaw the Cards’ recent drafts, as GM. St. Louis also has done an excellent job of developing the players it’s drafted. I really like how the Cards are set up to contend continuously during the next five years.

    5. Kansas City Royals

    Despite some major losses via promotion (Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy) and injury (John Lamb), the system remains extremely deep and still has two high-ceiling prospects at the top, Bubba Starling and Wil Myers.

    6. Arizona Diamondbacks

    Those two picks in the top 10 in June certainly helped, but the Diamondbacks also have added a few strong arms through trades and are seeing progress from their 2008 draft crop.

    7. The Rangers have ranked highly the past few years — including No. 1 once — because of depth and ceiling, but they’re now more about the latter than the former. (Note that I don’t consider Yu Darvish or any player with Nippon Professional Baseball experience a “prospect” for the purpose of this ranking or the top 100.)

    8. Pittsburgh Pirates

    The Pirates’ top tier of prospects is very strong, but there’s surprisingly little depth given how high they’ve drafted and how much they’ve spent on amateur talent.

    9. Oakland Athletics

    This was a bottom-10 system, maybe bottom-five, when the offseason began, but the A’s restocked with the trades of Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey. They’re still pitching-heavy for a major league club that has struggled to find bats.

    10. New York Yankees

    I might be jumping the gun here, but I see a lot of star potential on their bottom few affiliates, including new acquisition Jose Campos from Seattle, to go with the two power arms from their Scranton club (Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances). The flaw in the system is the lack of near-in talent, especially position players, who could either help the big club soon or provide more fodder for trades.

  234. Chuck Says:

    BA had the Padres ninth last year.

    The Royals, Yankees, Jays and Rays were all AHEAD of them.

    I’m not sure how Yasmani Grandal changes that by himself.

    (Alonso is the starting first baseman, therefore not part of their minor league system..IMO).

  235. brautigan Says:

    John: You should LISTEN to what I am trying to tell you. Not because I’m always right, but because I have more experience at being wrong.

  236. Raul Says:

    11. Seattle Mariners

    What I said about the Pirates applies with the Mariners as well: It’s a great front five — led by 2011 top pick Danny Hultzen and the recently acquired Jesus Montero — but the gap between No. 5 and No. 10 in their system is huge.

    12. Los Angeles Dodgers

    If pitching wins championships, the Dodgers are in pretty good shape going forward, as their system is loaded with power arms but is relatively light on position players.

    13. Colorado Rockies

    This is an underrated system, maybe even here by me. I like systems in which the prospects in the No. 8-12 range are just as interesting (if not as high-upside or high-probability) as the prospects in the No. 1-4 range, and the Rockies’ lack of a complex-league team can make some of their youngest prospects look less advanced than they are when they jump right to the Pioneer League.

    14. Minnesota Twins

    I pick on these guys for taking low-ceiling college arms with great control, but they have quietly mixed in some interesting high school bats and added a few high-impact Latin American prospects.

    15. Los Angeles Angels

    There’s only one real sure thing in the system (Mike Trout), but the Angels have a number of guys who are one major adjustment away from becoming impact prospects.

    16. Atlanta Braves

    They have reaped as little from the draft the past two years as anyone, taking low-ceiling college guys with early picks, staying at or under MLB’s bonus recommendations and having less luck on the international market. It’s telling that the major question on every position-player prospect in their top 10 is whether he’ll hit.

    17. Baltimore Orioles

    I see two likely superstars, one more potential superstar with lower probability … and after about seven or eight names, it goes off a cliff.

    18. Boston Red Sox

    This system is terribly thin up top given the money the Red Sox have spent in the past few years on amateur players. I do see a large group of prospects from low Class A and below that should produce a couple of breakout prospects in 2012, including Brandon Jacobs, Garin Cecchini, Henry Owens, Matt Barnes and Sean Coyle.

    19. Cincinnati Reds

    I would have ranked the Reds several spots higher before the Mat Latos trade, probably top 10. Outside of Devin Mesoraco, every guy with high ceiling in this system played in low Class A or below in 2011, and they’re all quite high risk to go with the high reward.

    20. Chicago Cubs

    An unfairly maligned system, in my opinion — not a great system, but not a disastrous one. And I say that as someone who’s relatively bearish on some of the Cubs’ more famous prospects.

  237. Raul Says:

    21. Washington Nationals

    This was potentially a top-10 system before the Gio Gonzalez trade, no worse than top 15. But after dealing A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock and Derek Norris — probably three of the Nats’ top 10 guys before the Gio swap — this system lacks depth.

    22. New York Mets

    It’s actually getting better here, but rebuilding a system takes years, and the Mets have really just begun to inject higher-upside talent into the system.

    23. Milwaukee Brewers

    A strong 2011 draft class with a few breakout performers from within the system gets them out of the bottom spot. The Brewers are in better position to reload the parent club after their 2012 free agents leave next winter.

    24. Detroit Tigers

    The Tigers have less depth than the Phillies (ranked below here) but have two potential stars (Nick Castellanos and Jacob Turner) with pretty good probability up top.

    25. Philadelphia Phillies

    Philly has a ton of athleticism at the lower levels, but the upper levels were wiped out by trades the past few years. New farm director Joe Jordan, the Orioles’ former scouting director, has a ton of raw material to work with but no finished or even nearly finished products.

    26. San Francisco Giants

    The Giants don’t go much over MLB’s recommended draft bonuses, never seem to acquire any prospects in trades and haven’t had success on the international front yet. Their amateur staff has done a great job finding value in later rounds without going over budget, including Brandon Belt and Heath Hembree.

    27. Houston Astros

    The Astros might have been last if they hadn’t traded Hunter Pence or Michael Bourn in July. Even though neither haul was that great, the prospects represented a major infusion into a barren system.

    28. Miami Marlins

    They have one top-100 guy and only two others who would merit consideration in the next 50 or so. The system has produced a lot of big league talent in the past few years, including one star in Mike Stanton and another future star in Logan Morrison, that doesn’t count here.

    29. Cleveland Indians

    Trades and promotions have gutted this system, which now has very little above low Class A. One of the Indians’ better drafts in years last June should help.

    30. Chicago White Sox

    And they’re not particularly close to No. 29, either. When you don’t spend money in the draft, you’re not going to fare well in anyone’s organizational rankings. The new collective bargaining agreement, which clamps down on teams’ ability to acquire premium talent in the draft through higher bonuses, was the result of a long-standing effort by White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who wanted to force other teams to play by his rules.

  238. Cameron Says:

    “BA had the Padres ninth last year.

    The Royals, Yankees, Jays and Rays were all AHEAD of them.

    I’m not sure how Yasmani Grandal changes that by himself.”

    Because Keith Law.

  239. Chuck Says:

    Law’s a tool, no question, but if there’s anything to respect about him is he’s not afraid to go out on a limb.

    It annoys me no end when guys just kiss each other’s asses on some of this stuff because they don’t want to be the odd guy out.

    Maybe Law IS an odd guy, so he’s in his element.

  240. Cameron Says:

    Damn… Rest In Peace Whitney Houston. Did NOT see that coming.

    …In order the lighten the mood, here’s Cameron Maybin talking about his pre-game ritual. http://www.mlb.com/news/wall/article.jsp?content_id=26663474&partnerId=aw-8299862971368596077-996

  241. Chuck Says:

    “Rest In Peace Whitney Houston. Did NOT see that coming.”

    You would be the only one, then.

    She was 48.

    I would have bet she wouldn’t have made 40.

  242. Cameron Says:

    I see where you’re coming from, man. I would’ve seen it a few years ago, but I thought she finally cleaned up her act. I figured if she lived through Bobby Brown, she’d be pop’s Keith Richards.

  243. Raul Says:

    Whitney Houston was messing with crack and cocaine long before she was with Bobby Brown.

  244. Cameron Says:

    I wasn’t talking about the crack she did with Bobby, I meant Bobby. Dude’s fucking insane.

  245. Mike Felber Says:

    Thanks Chuck. And for the article too.

  246. Raul Says:

    The Texas Rangers signed Mike Napoli to a 1-year contract for 9.4 million dollars.

    Napoli just turned 30 years old this past October 31st.

    If he puts up another season like he did in 2011, Napoli might find himself with a pretty nice 4-year deal next winter — probably as a DH somewhere.

  247. Raul Says:

    For some reason, the 3rd suggest search on Google when I typed “Mike Napoli” was his girlfriend, Selma Alameri. She’s not bad.

  248. Chuck Says:

    Napoli wanted a multi-year deal this year and the Rangers said no.

    I would guess part of that is waiting on what happens with the negotiations with Josh Hamilton, but part of it has to be was waiting to see just how much of a fluke 2011 was.

  249. Raul Says:

    The reason the Rangers are relevant is because of Josh Hamilton.

  250. Raul Says:

    Last season, at the age of 39, Chipper Jones hit .275/.344/.470 with 18 home runs and 70 RBI while playing in 126 games. That’s impressive for a guy his age, with his mileage. Worth noting: Chipper Jones has never struck out 100 times in a season.

    Twenty-two year old Mike Stanton was walked 70 times last season — good for 13th in the National League — more than Albert Pujols, Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday and MVP Ryan Braun.

    Miguel Cairo played 102 games for the Cincinnati Reds last year. I just didn’t know that Cairo was still in the league. Not a bad job for a 37 year old journeyman. He’s played for 9 teams in his 16-season career.

    After earning 20 million dollars last season, Todd Helton will earn 4.9 million in 2012, and 5 million in 2013 in what appears to have been a restructuring of his contract. Helton owns career slash stats of .323/.421/.550 despite not having slugged higher than .500 since 2005. In the year 2000, Helton led the Majors in BA, OBP and SLUG while also leading in Doubles, RBI and Hits. He finished 5th in the MVP voting. I am not aware of any other player to lead in all 3 slash stats who did not win the MVP. Seems like an odd occurence.

  251. John Says:

    The reason the Rangers are relevant goes far deeper than Hamilton – that team has very good balance all the way around.

    A terrific rotation with 5 solid guys instead of an ace and four scrubs…far better model.

    Rock solid defense.

    Hamilton’s a beast, and the best overall player, don’t get me wrong. But I’d think long and hard aboutcommitment long-term deal for someone with his injury issues and

  252. John Says:

    …not to mention personal demons.

  253. Chuck Says:

    ” I am not aware of any other player to lead in all 3 slash stats who did not win the MVP. Seems like an odd occurence.”

    Not really, he just didn’t take as many steriods as the guys who finished ahead of him.

  254. John Says:

    I would’ve gone with Bonds first, Helton 2nd, and Johnson 3rd that year.

    Jeff Kent had a fine year but come on. Do people seriously think he racks up those numbers without a certain someone in the lineup with him?

  255. Cameron Says:

    Andrus is locked up for 3, Cruz for 2, Napoli and Hamilton are going year-to-year, Texas has to be sweating a little that they can’t get guys going long-term.

  256. Raul Says:

    The reality is that none of those guys are worthy of long-term investments.

    Andrus is not elite.

    Cruz is 30, never played a full season and doesn’t get on base much. Granted, as a run producer, he doesn’t need a .400 OBP.

    And Napoli could get 3 or 4 years but he needs to prove last year wasn’t a fluke year. Napoli has always had a good bat but he’s not a great catcher and how much do you really wanna spend on a DH?

    Seems like Texas is doing the right thing by being cautious.

  257. Cameron Says:

    It’s not that, Raul. They’ve tried to get guys to go long-term and the players don’t wanna do it, rather going year-to-year instead. Makes me wonder what’s stopping them. There isn’t a much better team to sign with if you wanna be a contender.

  258. Raul Says:

    Last year during Spring Training, Chuck mentioned a few guys to be on the look-out for. Danny Espinosa and Alex Gordon were spot-on choices.

    I don’t recall anyone here being too high on Brandon Belt, and for good reason: Belt wasn’t very productive at the Major League level.

    We’ll have a better idea after Spring Training gets under way, but any early sleeper picks for 2012?

  259. Bob Says:

    1. Have yet to see this anywhere. The Orioles signed Nick Johnson to a minor-league deal with a ST invite.

    2. The Red Sox expect to find out what they will get from the Cubs in 2 weeks.

  260. Bob Says:

    @ 258 Is Crawford a sleeper? If not let me mull that question over.

  261. Chuck Says:

    “We’ll have a better idea after Spring Training gets under way, but any early sleeper picks for 2012?”

    Working on it.

    Belt is a good player, the Giants have done a pretty good job screwing around with him so far.

    I’d put him at first every day and just let him play, and if Aubrey Huff doesn’t like left field, trade his ass.

  262. Bob Says:

    In Boston. Cody Ross is one possibility.

  263. Chuck Says:

    Bob,

    Crawford’s not a rookie

  264. Bob Says:

    I know. Neither is Ross. Did not think he was only looking for rookies when he asked for sleepers.

  265. Chuck Says:

    You’re right, my bad, he wasn’t..he mentioned Alex Gordon.

    Touche’.

  266. Raul Says:

    Read this today:

    “The Dodgers, meanwhile, may fetch $2 billion or more in a sale despite the present plight of the franchise. Prospective buyers see the potential beyond the devastation caused by current owner Frank McCourt. The organization’s $40-million-a-year local TV rights expire after the 2013 season, and the expectation is that the next deal will exceed $200 million annually.”

    Wow.

  267. Cameron Says:

    It IS in LA and there’s no NFL team in LA to cut into the city’s market share for sports.

  268. Raul Says:

    Also…

    4. CBA FALLOUT
    Teams still are trying to fully digest all the ramifications of the CBA that was ratified in late November. Some of the big issues — moving the Astros to the AL, changing the compensation rules for free agency — have been heavily discussed. But there is one element that has gotten little attention, but should be a factor in spring training.
    Article XX(B) free agents — essentially most free agents who have played at least six major league seasons — who have signed minor league contracts this offseason must either be put on the major league roster five days before the regular season or be given a $100,000 bonus to go to the minors and the right to opt out of their contract on June 1. The union insisted on this as a way of keeping players who should be in the majors from being parked in the minors.
    It is unlikely many — if any — teams will agree to the $100,000 bonus. Thus, in late March, you can expect a layer of player movement that did not exist previously.
    The Mets already are deploying a strategy built around this new rule. They had been considering a bunch of lefty-hitting outfielders such as Rick Ankiel. But they stopped their pursuit, in part, because they believe a few will become available just before the regular season, at a time when the Mets would know for sure if that is an area in which they should invest. Ankiel, for example, signed a minor league deal with the Nationals. If Washington decides to go with super prospect Bryce Harper, it might not carry Ankiel or pay him $100,000 additionally to wait in the minors as insurance.
    Others who fall under this umbrella include Russell Branyan, Miguel Batista, Aaron Cook, Kevin Millwood, Carlos Guillen, Juan Cruz, Zach Duke, Livan Hernandez, Jeff Francis and Vicente Padilla.

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/yanks_bosox_no_longer_only_top_tier_t1zHRjGaI2FwGUQR6nPUYI#ixzz1mDji9YWJ

  269. Cameron Says:

    Kind of a genius move, actually. Pick up the scraps. Teams will get smart eventually, but the guys who get on this early will be able to sign guys who couldn’t break camp elsewhere without getting an extra hundred grand on the bill.

  270. John Says:

    Was I the only one who was impressed with Napoli’s prowess behind the plate during the post-season this year? Seems to me that he did pretty well.

    Didn’t see much besides that though. Plus, Mike Scioscia who was a great catcher in his own right, didn’t have much confidence in his abilities behind the plate, and that definitely holds some serious weight.

  271. Cameron Says:

    The only thing stopping Napoli from being a really appealing option is his glove. He can’t catch everyday and he’s a pretty terrible first baseman. However, I’ve been a huge Napoli fan since… About 2008. Didn’t take him being a Ranger for me to realize this dude can kick your ass.

  272. Raul Says:

    Jose Canseco is still playing baseball.

    He’s 47.

  273. Cameron Says:

    So does Bill Lee and he’s 65.

  274. Raul Says:

    Yeah but I don’t think Bill Lee does it because he needs the money.

  275. Cameron Says:

    It’s also exhibition ball and not an indy league like Jose. I think the funnier thing is his teammate is his brother Ozzie.

  276. Raul Says:

    Happy 67th birthday, Sal Bando. Bando was the runner up in the AL MVP voting of 1971 — losing to teammate Vida Blue.

  277. Chuck Says:

    Jose is playing this year in Mexico, which is considered a AAA league although it has no official affiliation to MLB and is serious about returning to baseball.

  278. Raul Says:

    http://www.kansascity.com/2012/02/11/3423502/even-after-breakthrough-season.html

    Item about Alex Gordon

  279. Cameron Says:

    45 doubles from Gordon. Butler had 44 last year, so now we got someone to keep up with him.

    …If only those doubles could turn into homers. However, there’s so much we put into the outfield that pulling the fences back would be damn near impossible. Just gotta accept the fact the K is a doubles factory.

  280. Bob Says:

    1. The A’s signed Yoenis Cespedis to a 4-year deal worth $36MM.
    2. The Indians signed Jon Garland to a minor-league deal with an invite to ST.
    3. The Sox and Ortiz agreed to a 1-year deal worth 14.575MM. That was the midpoint between what he was asking for and what the team was offering. That amount is the largest ever given to a DH on a yearly basis.

  281. Cameron Says:

    4 years, 36 million dollars. Even when they cut back they still find a way to be stupid.

  282. Chuck Says:

    What?!

    Where the hell did THAT come from?

    Shows you how bad the A’s really are…not only did they give this clown nine million a season, they’re giving him the opening day CF job.

    Man, are they going to suck.

  283. Cameron Says:

    They were gonna suck Cespedes or not, man.

  284. Raul Says:

    That closes the options for Manny Ramirez’s comeback.

    Oakland and Baltimore are out.

  285. Cameron Says:

    Might get on my AL Central preview in the next day or so. Looking at the teams… I think we’re gonna see a repeat of the AL Central from 2011 more or less, possibly even exactly in terms of finishes.

  286. Bob Says:

    I thought that was your point at281. Why the outlay of cash when it will not make a difference? Two thoughts went to my head.

    1. The Marlins spent their cash, magnified by the S.E.C investigating their new stadium deal.
    2. The A’s are trying to placate local governments in California as they attempt to move.

  287. Bob Says:

    @ 284. Actually, still hearing/reading Oakland will consider Manny.

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