MLB free agency and sometimes MLB feels like it really is only all about the Benjamins…
Dusty Baker and the Nationals…
The Phillies dumping Cliff Lee for a mere $12.5 mil…
And, where Greinke might go…
Pizza in KC… straight from the heart of the Giants…
There used to be this song by Janis Joplin & Big Brother and the Holding Co. called “Piece of My Heart”… maybe they should make that the theme song for MLB.com…
Why is that? See question number 5 down below… some say baseball sold off a piece of its history.
1) The Phillies ended their run with Cliff Lee on Tuesday, opting not to pick up the final year of his deal and instead paying the veteran pitcher $12.5 million to buy him out and send him to free agency.
Archie: I have never been a big fan of the “buy out” but I can understand it in this situation. Cliff can sign somewhere else and keep the buyout money. I don’t think he will earn much more than maybe $12 on the open market but we will see.
I am not sure, however, how much money the Phillies actually save to sign someone else. They only had him committed to the $12.5 mil and I believe they could have worked a deal for not much more than that.
The Phillies messed up in my opinion. They might’ve spent a couple million more on Cliff Lee, but, I believe that they could’ve traded him and paid less money off of his contract in addition to getting some young prospects to help bolster their farm system. In the scenario Philadelphia chose, they will end up paying $12.5 million to Lee with nothing to show for that money. To me, this just looks like Philadelphia throwing money away.
Looks like Philadelphia is just paying him to go away, which I guess is fair considering the Phillies need to undergo a rebuild. Lee probably won’t fetch too much on the open market, so, at least he got a $12.5 million parachute to keep and help him out.
Joe: If, the Phillies had picked up the final year, they would have had to pay Lee $27.5 million… there is no way (1) any team should logically pay that much for a pitcher in his 37th year who missed the entire 2015 season with a bad elbow and only started 14 games in 2014, and, (2) if, by picking up the final year of the contract, the Phillies’ aim was to trade Lee to pick up draft choices they would have had to eat at least half of the salary and, realistically, probably closer to 2/3 of the salary to get those draft choices… not a wise move if you ask me.
Therefore, yes, the money was well spent on the Phillies part.
However, what other options do you have if you are the Phillies?
I would have signed him, then traded him to try and get some prospects back in return, maybe you eat some of his salary, but, if you can rebuild your team with some prospects, you try to take the chance to get them. Someone would pay with prospects for a veteran like Cliff Lee.
2) Dusty Baker is another recycled manager who has found a new life with the Washington Nationals. He has a rep of being able to take teams and make them into contenders or at least make them a lot better than they were… Can he revive the Nationals and make them relevant again in 2016?
I personally think Dusty is stepping into a Dream Cake job. They have the talent, they just need a good surgeon to go in and cut out the “cancer” in the club house wherever it resides and get them to play team ball.
Dan: Dusty Baker is taking over a good Washington team in the NL East. Do I think that he can make them relevant in 2016? Yes, I do. They’ll definitely compete for the Wild Card and will push towards the NL East crown as well.
The only major concern I have for them is how poorly Baker is known for handling pitchers, especially starters. Overall, I think Baker is a good manager and he will make Washington relevant again in 2016.
Dusty Baker might not have been the first choice, but, as long as he’s still competent, I’d expect he would have the Nationals back in contention next season.
Now, can that change? Of course… Joe Torre was not the greatest manager until he became the manager of the NY Yankees… nor was Casey Stengel… until he became the Yanks’ manager, also. But, the Nationals ain’t the 1990’s or the 1950’s Yanks, and, even if, they pick up some pitching and a hitter here and there in the off-season they still won’t be the Yanks of either era. Will they contend for the NL East title or a wild card? Probably. Baker will change the attitude in the clubhouse and on the field by that much but win the W.S.? … Naw, I don’t see it.
So, I guess, my answer is, yeah, Baker will make the Nats relevant again but not much more than that.
Steve: HA! This is laughable in my opinion. Dusty Baker is a good manager, no disrespect, but, if you are trying to get this team over the hump and win a World Championship, this is not your guy. He has proven that he can get your team to the playoffs, but only has one World Series appearance (2002 Giants) to show for it.
And, how can we forget what happened in 2003 with the Cubs in the National League Championship, up 3 games to 2, 3-0 in the top of the 8th in Chicago? The Bartman play happens, and, instead of regrouping his guys, he stays in the dugout and chomps on his toothpick. Hasn’t done anything since then.
Not a good hire, they should have given Bud Black a better offer.
3) Zack Greinke did what everyone expected… he opted out of his contract with the Dodgers and is now a free agent.
So, in your opinion, where does he wind up now?
Archie: My first reaction is and always will be in these situations – The
Yankees. They are well versed and well known for snatching up the cream of the crop of the Free Agency market and they will look to build on their starting pitching next season.
IF, not the Yankees then maybe the Nationals, if, they decide to cut ties with Zimmerman and/or Fister.
I have a couple spots for Zack Greinke to go to.
Persoanlly, I think that he’ll return to the Dodger for the 2016 season and beyond.
But, one other very likely possible destination I could see Zack Greinke landing is in New York pitching for the Yankees. He’s coming off a great season; should command big time money and he’s shown that he doesn’t fear a big market. I think that the Yankees will go after him with BIG money and I think Zack will definitely consider it.
Two darkhorses I have in the running is either a return back to Milwaukee to revitalize their starting pitching or another return trip, to Kansas City who might make a big splash in free agency after winning the WS as they go for a repeat.
But. in my opinion, Zack Greinke will return to the Dodgers as he’s an important 1-2 punch as a match with Clayton Kershaw.
Or, with the Giants who have some money to play with now and should be looking to hurt their division rival by taking Grienke from Los Angeles.
Besides, I believe I once read that Greinke said that if the worst team in MLB offered him the most money, then, that’s where he would sign. So, if the Dodgers offer that money? Duhhhh… no brainer.
Steve: Grienke wants a championship, so, there is no way he will go to a team that is not in a position to compete.
My smart money would bet that the Royals will make a pitch to bring him back to Kansas City for a chance to defend their title next year. Will they pay him what he wants? That is the question.
I know that he likes the National League, so, I think a team like the Cubs who have the money to pay him and have proven that they will pay for top of the line pitchers could be in the running.
They need another starting pitcher, and, I expect them to make a pitch for David Price, however, if, that falls through look for the Cubs to make Greinke a very generous offer.
4) As Kansas City finishes the last-minute details of their parade last week, the San Francisco Giants called Minsky’s Pizza, an establishment only a few miles from Kauffman Stadium, ordered 25 pizzas and had them delivered to the Royals front office with a note that said… “Dear Royals, Have fun planning the parade! Enjoy the ride! Sincerely, The San Francisco Giants”
On the “cool scale” how cool was that gesture by the Giants?
However, I guess it was cool. It would have been cooler had they shipped a case or two of Rice-A-Roni to them.
The only reason why I wouldn’t put it at a 10 is because I have a thought that the Giants did this because KC hasn’t won in such a long time. Almost like a “Hey! You finally won one!” But, overall, I really like this gesture. I thought it was extremely cool and I have a lot of respect for the Giants front office. The amount of pizza they bought didn’t cost the Giants anything except a couple dollars.
I wish more teams would do stuff like this when a team wins a World Series. Really, really nice gesture by SF.
It’s also a nice change of pace in the snarky world of sports, where teams media departments seem more intent on sending shots at each other on Twitter, instead of congratulating each other for a job well done.
I just think that’s a neat gesture by another club to give to a team that just won the World Series. Especially, one that they beat the previous year and one that hadn’t won in about 30 years.
Anyway, this is an awesome gesture by the Giants, as they beat the Royals last year in Game 7 of the World Series. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest Giants fan, but, I applaud what they did. This is a class act from the Giants’ organization, from the front office to the players on the field.
5) The ball that Alcides Escobar hit for the historic inside-the-park home run ball in the first game of this year’s World Series was retrieved and authenticated by MLB. It was then put up for auction by MLB at MLB.com. The auction closed late Wednesday night and was sold off for a high bid of $19,200.
In your opinion should MLB had auctioned off this one of a kind piece of baseball memorabilia or should it had been designated to be archived and placed on display by an organization like the Hall of Fame?
What an absolute shame that was.
Dan: I don’t think they should’ve auctioned it off. That was kind of low of them. If, they weren’t going to put in the Hall of Fame… which I believe they should’ve… just give it to Alcides Escobar. I’m sure he’d love to keep the ball he hit for his inside-the-park HR in a WS game. How cool is that? You can keep it in your house, give it to your kids when they’re old enough and it can continue to get passed on from generation to generation.
But, instead they would’ve rather sold it than to place it in the Hall of Fame? It’s a piece of history, it belongs where the rest of baseball history goes.
Seems messed up to auction it to the highest bidder.
Joe: The fact that MLB even took possession of that ball and kept it to auction it off is despicable, coldhearted and stupid. Once they authenticated it as the ball that was hit as the inside the park homer by Escobar they should of gave him the damn ball.
End of story. And nuff said.
Seriously folks, it was an inside the park homerun. Sure, it is rare, but to sell for almost 20k? Not a chance. So, the same goes for it going into the Hall of Fame, not a chance.
Ken Griffey, Jr. becomes the ninth unanimous pick for American League Most Valuable Player.
Griffey hit .304 for Seattle, led the all AMjor League batters with 56 homers and 147 RBI,and, led the AL with 125 runs scored, 393 Total Bases and a .646 SlgA.
Plus, was selected to the All-Star game and won a Gold Glove and a Sliver slugger Award.
And this year, his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, he is considered to be a shoo-in as a first ballot selection to the Hall.
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