I think we have a winner this week. Read on and see what you think.
1. Best and worst signing of the 2013 offseason.
ARCHIE: Best offseason signing for me goes to the Yankees for their combo signing of McCann, Beltran and Ellsbury; even tho I gave Joe a rash of shit for them letting Cano walk away, they still managed to spend some good cash. I will take this opportunity to punch myself in the face. Not really, but I will give my favorite team a black eye. WHY IN THE HELL did the Braves not work a deal with Eric O’Flaherty. I give them the thumbs down for the worst offseason move because they FAILED to sign one of their key components back to their bullpen. Does anyone besides me realize that Eric’s lowest ERA+ in the past 5 seasons is a 136 with his highest during that stretch at a remarkable 393? I beat up the Yankees for letting Cano walk; have to do the same for the Braves letting the best setup man to walk as well. O’Flaherty money would have been much, much less than Cano money.
STEPHAN: San Francisco signing Tim Hudson. Hudson has been injury prone for the majority of the second half of his career. The Giants signed him for Two years 23 Million dollars. I love Hud to death as a Braves fan, but I’m sorry he is not worth that kind of money.
JOE: Best: Grudgingly, I give it to Seattle getting Robinson Cano. Ten years at that money is stupid but they get arguably the best second baseman in the game. Worst: Explain to me why the Red Sox let Jarrod Saltalamacchia walk and signed A J Pierzynski, Okay?
2. Best and worst Non-Move(s) of the offseason.
ARCHIE: As a Braves fan, I was glad to see the Phillies allow their club to get one year older, and do nothing. They are an empty shell of their former self. They finally resigned Ruiz but other than that, the only help I can see they added was Marlon Byrd. AND at the age of 36 they give him the largest salary he has ever earned at $8 million a year. IMO they just punted on 3rd and 1.
STEPHAN: I still think that the Braves should have made a pitch for Max Scherzer. Detroit already unloaded Prince Fielder, so to me that shows that anyone is expendable on that roster. Scherzer would bolster that pitching staff and probably led them to the post season once again. They ended up getting Gavin Floyd, which is not a bad move, but Scherzer would have been a great addition.
JOE: Best: I like the trade between the Tigers and the Rangers, actually. Tigers dump salary which allows them to pay Max Scherzer; get stronger up the middle at second base and move Miguel Cabrera back to first where he belongs. The Rangers replace Ian Kinsler at second with Jurickson Profar and get stronger at first. Worst: I hate what the Phillies have done… which, I think, is essentially nothing. They are an old team which is still old and will not be a contender this year and for some years to come until they dedicate their strategy to a youth movement. Phillies’ rotation sucks; their bullpen sucks and if their offense sustains any injuries that will suck too. All with a payroll of about $160 million. Case closed
3. Biggest snub of the offseason.
ARCHIE: There are still two starting pitchers without a contract that in my mind is absurd. A.J. Burnett and Bronson Arroyo should be on someone’s opening day roster by now. I don’t know if the clubs are just letting the Tanaka grab and the Kershaw jackpot simmer a little before they offer contracts or if they are all just blind, or these two have agents holding out for a ridiculous amount . But there are way too many teams in need of veteran starters to let these guys sit on the shelf. And of the two , I would probably select Arroyo.
STEPHAN: Some may say Nelson Cruz with his huge bat. But since he was just under a suspension for PED’s this is not a snub. My vote goes to Stephen Drew. He is one of the best fielding shortstops in the game, and has a decent bat as well. Drew should be on a roster right now.
JOE: Why hasn’t Bronson Arroyo been signed yet? He gives a team innings… 8 times out of the last 9 years he has had at least 200 innings pitched. The one year he did not? 2011… 199 innings. He has a career WHIP of about 1.29… not great but not terrible either. And, he generally puts up double figure win seasons… only twice in the last 9 years he has not done that. But, in 6 of the last 9 years he has had at least 14 wins. And, he rarely gets injured… every fifth day he is out on the mound as evidenced by the fact he has no less that 32 starts in any of his last 9 years. That’s not worth at least number 3 starter money for a team? Me? If, I were a GM I would give him his third year and then work out the per year money with incentives.
4. Hammering Hank turned 80 this week, if you could sit down for one lunch with Hank and ask him only one question, what would that question be?
ARCHIE: Whom do you blame the most for the steroid era? I would love to hear his side of who he thinks the rose should be pinned on.
STEPHAN: You’re buying, right? No actually I have always wanted to ask him what was the first thing that went through your mind when that fan approached you rounding second base. As we all know Hank was under the microscope with the whole race thing back in 74. Many did not want him to break the record. Was he scared that this fan was going to attack him?
JOE: How do you honestly feel about players who used steroids besting your HR record? And, don’t hold back… I want exactly how you feel and what you think.
5. Dodgers muse at having Puig leadoff in the lineup: Good or Bad?
ARCHIE: Yasiel Puig is NOT a Rickey Henderson. In all fairness, I doubt the game will ever develop another player like the Man of Steal simply because stolen bases are becoming a thing of the past long lost in a cloud of dust as players chase the power numbers. As a modern day leadoff man I see where Puig has the tools to take on the spot but ONLY after he develops a little more plate discipline. A team needs their leadoff guy to take a lot of pitches and work the count. Puig is just too darn impatient to do that at this point in his career.
STEPHAN: I say, Why Not? Puig obviously can get on base, and has the potential to hit for power. I think he would be very productive in the leadoff role for the Dodgers. I think all he needs is a little discipline and he will be a All-Star caliber baseball player. If only he could move faster than he drives.
JOE: Bad. He is still too raw on the major league level… He needs to learn more discipline at the plate. I think he has too much power for a lead-off guy and he gets caught stealing way too much (8 times out of 19 attempts). And, he strikes out way too much for the amount of times he walks (2.7 to 1). I see him as a 3, 4 or 5 hitter.
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