MLBRT 11/19: Latest rumors and HOF thoughts

 

MLBRT with SS.3

The MLBRT crew muses over some recent baseball transaction as as well as some rumors and the most recent HOF ballot…

Yep, since the 2016 Hall of Fame ballot was just released, they give their thoughts on who they think  deserves a Call to the Hall in Coopertown.

1) The Atlanta Braves traded Andrelton Simmons, who many call the best defensive shortstop in baseball, to the Los Angles Angels for two “very highly regarded” pitching prospects and veteran shortstop Erick Aybar.

Who got the better of this deal, or, is it a fair and equitable deal that helps both teams?

Dan 3Dan: I thought that this was a fair and equal trade that will help out both teams.

Andrelton Simmons
Andrelton Simmons

The Braves give up a Gold Glove shortstop, but, they received 2 highly regarded pitching prospects and a solid all-around shortstop in Erick Aybar. Pitching is what wins World Series and takes teams places, so, 2 young pitching prospects is great especially in addition to Julio Tehrehan who they already have on their pithcign staff.

The Angels added some defense at SS with an extremely talented and young Simmons who has won back-to-back Gold Glove Awards at the position.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: I think this deal is fair for both teams.

The Braves pick up two young pitchers they can have control over for the next few seasons, and pick up a shortstop in Aybar who can add to their anemic offense.

Braves get pitching prospect Sean Newcomb...
Braves get pitching prospect Sean Newcomb…

The Angels get a good young short stop in Simmons who they have control over for at least the next 4 seasons, and improve their defense in the middle of the infield.

Me (2)Joe: Guess the Braves are in total rebuild mode now…

Overall, I think the package they got back for Simmons is decent, but, in Simmons they did have a solid…  if not the most solid… defender at short who could hit a little bit. And, with prospects you just have to roll the dice and take the chance…  you never know what you have until they get to the majors and show you.

Most accounts, of the two pitching prospects the Braves got, said some pretty good things, so, if they do pan out then they made a good deal. And, if they don’t… so goes the war. Like I said… sometimes you just have to roll the dice and hope.

... and pitching prospect Chris Ellis
… and pitching prospect Chris Ellis

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I said it last year when the Braves had a fire sale of most of their players. I figured that they would be in rebuild mode. So now, I really don’t have a clue what they are doing. You can start your rebuild around a guy like Simmons, as well as Freeman. Sure, Akbar is a good veteran leader, and, if you get these two quality arms, it is a crapshoot.

I think the Angels got the better deal in this.

2) Outfielder Colby Rasmus has accepted the Houston Astros‘ one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer, making him the first free agent to agree to such a deal.

Do you expect to see more and more players actually start accepting the qualifying offers that teams make to them instead of testing the free agent market? 

Dan 3Dan: I think it’ll be a mix-match of players accepting qualifying offers and players denying them.

Colby Rasmus
Colby Rasmus

I don’t think that Colby Rasmus will make a big difference but I do think he’ll lead an increase of players to accept.

A big target for these players is money. Money and years. A qualifying offer doesn’t always guarantee that and a lot of players would rather test the free agency market, or, see if they can get a bigger contract than accept the qualifying offer. Just look at Marco Estrada. Had a $15.7 million qualifying offer. Didn’t take it but got a 2-year $26 million contract instead.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: Rasmsus strikes me as the kind of guy, who’s happy where he’s at and aware that he isn’t likely to get more than $15 million a year on the market.

I’d think there will be a couple of players who’ll gamble and take the qualifying deal because they’ll make more in that one season then they can over a long term contract. It’s a gamble, for sure, but, if, they put up comparable numbers or even better it, then they run a good chance of getting a nice long term deal next offseason.

Me (2)Joe: I think some players are starting to see the light bulb go off and understand that, yes, they can refuse  the qualifying offer and try for more years and money but sometimes there won’t be any teams willing to go more than what a player would have gotten with his qualifying offer. So, what the hell, why not take what’s on the table and then play out the year and see how good year the player can put up and then reload and take another shot the next year at going free agent.

Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz

Take  Nelson Cruz for example… following the 2013 season, He truned down a $14 million qualifying offer from the Rangers. Because he had draft pick compensation attached to him and lingering concerns over a recent PED suspension he could find no team willing to offer anything close to what he was seeking in terms of years and money… forget the $14 million for just one year he had turned down. He wound up signing with Baltimore for $8. He roleld the dice nad essentially lost his gamble.

But… he had a good year, turned down another qualifying offer this time for $15.3 mil…  and then signed with Seattle for 4 yeras @ $57 mil… less per year than the qulifying offer but still it was 4 years at $14.25 mill ayear… not too shabby.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Will there be more? Sure there will, will it be consistent? Not a chance.

Ramus is a kind of player that plays for the love of the game. I mean who the heck can’t survive off almost 16 million dollars for one year? Hats off to Rasmus for making some history, but, don’t get too keen on the idea that this will happen frequently.

3) Mark Simon, an ESPN.com writer, writes in a recent column that the NY Mets and the Boston Red Sox get together and work out a trade that would be beneficial to each other. 

Matt Harvey for Mookie Betts?
Matt Harvey for Mookie Betts?

The Sox need pitching help and the Mets need outfield (centerfield?) help who can produce offensively… He propose they work out a deal where the principal players involved would be the Mets’ Matt Harvey for the Sox’ Mookie Betts. 

In your opinion does this deal have merit or is it just a sportswriter’s overactive imagination?

Dan 3Dan: I personally think it’s just a sportswriters’ over-active imagination. Not only do I not like this trade for the Mets, I just don’t think it’ll happen. I think the Mets need to improve on what they have and add a piece or 2 to their puzzle not trade away a player for a different player, in which I don’t believe is an improvement.

In all reality, I don’t think the Mets will be all that active this off-season and the Red Sox have some work to do to get to the playoffs for next season.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl:  I read a similar thing in the New York Daily News recently and it makes sense.Colorado Rockies v New York Mets

The two teams can definitely help each other. The Mets have young pitching and the Red Sox have two players in Betts and Bogarts that would improve the Mets at positions of need at center field and short stop, respectively.

Clearly the Mets can’t land both but one of those for Harvey, would be a win-win in my opinion

Me (2)Joe: I wanna know what this sportwriter is smoking… or… what is in his morning cup of coffee…

I can’t see the Mets trading a proven pitching commodity, such as Matt Harvey, for anything less than a ready to play, middle of the lineup hitter, second baseman or center fielder.

Now, if, that pitcher was Zack Wheeler then I could see the deal being made.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Gonna make this short and sweet.Mookie Betts

No chance the Mets part ways with Matt Harvey, he is their future and the ace on an already very very good starting rotation. It will never happen.

So, this sports writer is on something, I just don’t know what it is.

4) It seems every time that you click on a sports site, or pick up a newspaper, another team has been mentioned as being interested in multi-positional player extraordinaire Ben Zobrist… it’s inevitable that his market will be narrowed to only certain teams at some point, but, due to his huge attraction, his inevitable contract will probably be inflated in terms of years and/or dollars…

In your opinion, which team will over pay to ultimately win the Ben Zobrist raffle and will he be worth that investment in the long run. 

Dan 3Dan: Chicago and Los Angeles will definitely make their offers.Ben Zobrist

But, I think he’ll either go to the Big Apple and join the Mets or re-sign with the Royals. Either option would be great and I think whatever he does, he’ll be worth the investment in the long run. He’s only gotten better and was a major contributor in the Royals’ WS run.

Whoever he goes to will definitely be happy and see positive results in the long run.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: It pays to be multi-dimensional. It pays to help a team out at multiple positions and Zobrist looks poised to cash in.

Cash in where is the question. I’d love for him to stay in Kansas City. It would be a good sign to see the Royals keep a contributor. However, if he leaves Kansas City it wouldn’t stun me if a team like the Nationals come in for him.

Me (2)Joe: If, the money goes as high as some of the terms I been reading about (one account I read said 3 years @ $53. mil/$17.7 per year and another said 3 years @ $48 mil/$16 per year) and I was a GM I would shy away from going after Zobrist.Ben2

Yeah, he is the super stud positional player and adds defense and some hitting but the most I would offer him is 3 years @ $45… I might go an extra year and offer 4 years @ $60 mil.

Which team do I ultimately see him going to? Either he stays with KC or maybe he goes to  some team like the Dodgers who would go the big bucks extra to sign him.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Define overpay? Zobrist is a stud, and will deserve every penny he will get.

Honestly, anything less than a 5 year, 60 million dollar contract would be a crying shame. 

20HallofFameexterior5) It’s Hall of Fame voting time again… so, from the ballot of names to follow who would you elect to the Hall? Reasons are okay for your choices but not necessary…  and… you can pick up to ten players or as few as none, one or any other number in-between. 

hofThe HOF first-timers: Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner, Jim Edmonds, Jason Kendall, Garret Anderson, Troy Glaus, Mike Hampton, Luis Castillo, Randy Winn, Mike Lowell, Mark Grudzielanek, David Eckstein, Brad Ausmus, Mike Sweeney… and  the returnees, with the percentage of ballots each accrued from last year’s voting… Mike Piazza, 69.9, Jeff Bagwell, 55.7, Tim Raines, 55, Curt Schilling, 39.2, Roger Clemens, 37.5, Barry Bonds, 36.8, Lee Smith, 30.2, Edgar Martinez, 27, Alan Trammell, 25.1, Mike Mussina, 24.6, Jeff Kent, 14, Fred McGriff, 12.9, Larry Walker, 11.8, Gary Sheffield, 11.7, Mark McGwire, 10, Sammy Sosa, 6.6, and Nomar Garciaparra, 5.5

Ken Griffey Jr first unamious choice?
Ken Griffey Jr first unamious choice?

Dan 3Dan: I actually decided to go with ten players. Feel free to direct any feedback on my decisions to my Twitter page – @Dyhard – thank you.

But, my 10 players are: Ken Griffey Jr, Trevor Hoffman, Jason Kendall, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Tim Raines.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: Griffey is a lock. A lock to make it.

Time for Fred McGriff (c) and Gary Sheffield (r) to join Tony Gwynn in the Hall?
Time for Fred McGriff (c) and Gary Sheffield (r) to join Tony Gwynn in the Hall?

I have a soft spot for Piazza as a Mets fan, and, despite the insurmountable odds against them I would love to see Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens make the Hall of Fame. Hopefully one day, the writers get over the whole steroids thing (yeah, I know how crazy that seems).

The same would go for Sosa and McGwire. Finally I wouldn’t mind to see Sheffield and McGriff garner a few more votes. No love for Sheff and the Crime Dog?

Me (2)Joe: My HOF ballot… Ken Griffey Jr, Mike Piazza, Mike Mussina, LeeSmith, Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner.

If,  I were to include people that I believe used steroids… then add Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and maybe Gary Sheffield and Fred McGriff.

do the BBWAA fianlly forgive Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens & Sammy Sosa?
do the BBWAA fianlly forgive Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens & Sammy Sosa?

Steve-01-288x300Steve: My HOF ballot would have: Ken Griffey Jr. Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Edgar Martinez.

I believe closers and solid DH’s should get in. I don’t care about the steroid era, Clemens and Bonds were Hall of Famers before they were being looked at for Roids. No way you keep out a 300 game winner, and, an all-time Home Run king.

On the fence: Raines, Schilling, Lee Smith, and Fred McGriff

Extra Innings…

Ted... Teddy Ballgame... Williams... some say he was the greatest hitter who ever lived...
Ted… Teddy Ballgame… Williams… some say he was the greatest hitter who ever lived… 
“Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”
“If you don’t think too good, don’t think too much.”
“A man has to have goals… for a day, for a lifetime… and that was mine, to have people say, ‘There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.'”

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