MLBRT 12/10… Hot stove is heating up… Greinke shocker


MLBRT with SS.3

The old hot stove is heating up and things in Baseball are about ready to happen…

Teams will be flashing the greenbacks to lure certain players and those players and their agents will be negotiating hard and seriously for them greenbacks…

Plus, what about players who were connected to PEDs… should they be able to coach… and… maybe, eventually become managers?

This and more are topics of discussion by the crew in this week’s roundtable…

Especially… the big shocker of the all…the Snakes slithering onto the scene and giving megabucks to steal Greinke away from the Dodgers and the Giants.

1) As the hot stove season seems to be finally gearing up and players are beginning to get signed… in your opinion, which is more important to sign to a high profile contract, pitchers or position/everyday players?

Dan 3Dan: I feel like a high profile contract would be more deserving to go to a pitcher. You can win games, if, you have a great pitcher and some hitting, than, if, you have no pitching and great hitting.

From left to right Chris Davis (1B/OF) (from l. to r.), Daniel Murphy (2B) and Zack Greinke (SP)
From left to right Chris Davis (1B/OF) (from l. to r.), Daniel Murphy (2B) and Zack Greinke (SP)

Look at what Arrieta did for the Cubs this year. Look at how the pitching staff in New York took the Mets to the World Series. Great pitching will win you championships. Great pitching can shut down great hitting. I’ll spend my money on pitching.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: I got to say a pitcher is more important.

Yes, the position players play every day, but, there is something about having a 15-20 wins per season starting pitcher, or, a dominant reliever, that can really boost a team. Why? Pitching keeps your team in the postseason race, and, once you’re in the postseason a dominant pitcher or staff can push you towards a title.

Me (2)Joe: I have always believed that pitching and defense wins more games for a team then hitting does.

Having said that, I’m now going to straddle the fence a bit here.

If, there is a really outstanding young stud pitcher on the market then a team should make a strong effort to get that pitcher. However, if a stud pitcher is on the wrong side of thirty, then, I think it’s smarter to pass on that pitcher, and, try and go after a position guy with strong defensive skills who can at least hit .265, or better, with some power… hmmmm… like Jason Heyward, maybe?

Steve-01-288x300Steve: While I think pitching is important and will help you win a championship, I think, it is important to use your high end dollars on every day players.

From left to right Johhny (SP) Cueto, David Price (SP) & Alex Gordon (OF)
From left to right Johhny (SP) Cueto, David Price (SP) & Alex Gordon (OF)

If, you are spending an essence of 200 plus million dollars on a player over the course of several years, I want a guy who is going to play every single day at least 150 games, compared to 30 to 35 games a year. It’s just that kind of investment in a player. Not saying pitchers should not be paid, but, in my opinion, a team should have their ACE, then 2 or 3 quality starters, followed by your #5 guy. Look at the Royals, they really did not have a super star pitcher, unless you count Cueto as a superstar and I don’t. They did not spend an arm and a leg on pitching but got the quality they needed to win the World Series.

2) Now that David Price has signed for 7 years/$217 million with the Red Sox where does that put Zack Greinke’s ceiling for years and money?

David Price was all smiles at his Red Sox press conference
David Price was all smiles at his Red Sox press conference

Editor’s note… After the above question was sent some of the guys answered it and the answers are included here just for the heck of it and as an interesting point of perspective… However, after Greinke signed with the D’backs it sort of made the question and answers moot and it was decided another question needed to be presented regarding Greinke. It follows this one… so, enjoy what might of been and what is and what the  crew thinks…

The answers to the first Greinke question that were submitted:

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: First off, I think Price was grossly overpaid, and, I think Greinke’s finalists (the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants) will not even attempt to match that contract.

With that said, I’m thinking something like 6 years and $168 million. $28 million a year is less than the $31 million a season that Price got but Greinke is two years older, and, lets keep it real: $28 mill a year is nothing to sneeze at. He’d be doing quite alright with that much money.

Me (2)Joe: I think it raises Greinke’s ceiling… not in total money, but, I think, someone… most likely the Dodgers… will give him 32 million a year.

Now, the question becomes how many years?

I think the Dodgers will offer 5 years/$160 million. Do the Giants go to 6 years? And, do they give Greinke at least the 32 mil per year, too? Or, do they offer 31 mil, That would make the offer on the table either 6 years/$192 million or 6 years/$186 million. I think it’s 40-60 that the Giants will push the issue that far but, if, they do I am not sure what the Dodgers would do in that case.

David price signing with red Sox pushign the market for Zack Greinke?
David price signing with red Sox pushign the market for Zack Greinke?

Would they offer 32.5 million and the 6th year? Or, maybe go $33 million per and make it 5 years/$165 million/

Remember, Greinke has said he would follow the money even if the  highest offer was from a poor team. Which, if true, means that if the Giants do go that 6 years and for either dollar amount… 192 or 186… and Greinke is true to his word and if then the Dodgers won’t go the 6th year then they might need to up the per year offer to as much as $36 million a year or 5 years/$180 million. And, I don’t think even the Dodgers would go that far to keep Greinke.

All I can say it’s going to be real interesting seeing where Greinke goes and how much he gets to go there.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I think it puts Zack Greinke in the drivers seat as far as what he wants to take as an offer. It is really a toss-up on who the better pitcher is, as both could make a claim. And, he has been probably the most dominant pitcher as far as production goes over the past couple of seasons with the Dodgers.

I look for Greinke to at least match Price’s record contract, though I would not be the least bit surprised if someone gives him more. I would look for the Cardinals to make a push, The Dodgers will try to lure him back, and, don’t be surprised if the Yankees get into the mix.

The smaller market teams just don’t have a chance. I thought maybe the Cubs would be players for Greinke, but they won’t pay that price.

And now…  the replacement question… 

2A) Now that the Arizona D’backs have signed Zack Greinke, how will the be in scary-good do you think the Snakes will be in 2016, especially to the Giants and the Dodgers in that NL West? Or, does Greinke make that big of  difference to making the D’backs that much better?

D'backs already preparing Greinke jerseys
D’backs already preparing Greinke jerseys

Dan 3Dan: I think this move really improves Arizona.

One stat I saw yesterday on ESPN’s Stat Twitter account was that Greinke had a 9.3 WAR last season. The entire starting staff in Arizona had a 7.9 WAR combined. Plus, offensively, They still have Goldschmidt; now they have Greinke. They will compete in this NL West. And, it’ll be extremely interesting to see him and Kershaw go at it multiple times each season.

The one thing I do have to mention, though, is the Dodgers offered him $31 million a year but “only” 5 years. Arizona gave him the extra year he wanted, and, set a record throwing him $34 million a year. I would be upset in Dodger-land, if, I was a Dodgers’ fan. He probably would’ve returned for that $31 million, if, they had thrown in the sixth year but Arizona jumped on it. Greinke really does make Arizona this much better and will lead them to a WC spot next season – my early off-season prediction for 2016.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: Greinke signing that big deal with the Diamondbacks definitely alters the NL West. The Dodgers took a big hit, and, they look to be altering their approach by bolstering their bullpen with the trade for Aroldis Chapman. The Giants decided to throw a ton of money at Samardzjia hoping he can help their rotation.

As far as the D’Backs go, they definitely gain some wins in Greinke but they need more. They could use a bat or two and at least one more starter, but, signing Greinke is definitely a statement of intent on their part that they plan to contend in the NL West.

Me (2)

Joe: Like I said in my answer to the original question…it’s going to be real interesting to see where Greinke and how much he gets to go there. And, boy, was that a freaking understatement!

I never saw… hell… I never even dream’t in my wildest suppositions that the D’backs were even a consideration to get Greinke. But remember one thing that I said about Greinke and what he had said before about where he might go and why… Greinke has said he would follow the money even if the  highest offer was from a poor team.

Zack Greinke and Paul Goldschmidt ready to lead a fun D'backs team?
Zack Greinke and Paul Goldschmidt ready to lead a fun D’backs team?

And, he sorta was true to that word. except get this… although the D’backs were a sub .500 team in 2015, they ain’t as bad as I thought or many others might think. I didn’t know this and it took Matt Snyder of to wise me up but as Snyder writes… “Did you know the Diamondbacks had one of the best offenses in the NL last season?” … and… “The Diamondbacks were second in batting average, third in on-base percentage, second in slugging percentage, first in hits, third in doubles and second in triples in the NL.”

And Snyder points out this team is also young…  Paul Goldschmidt (1B) and A.J. Pollock (CF) are both 28; Ender Inciarte (RF) and Jake Lamb (3B)  are 24 David Peralta (LF)  is 27… in fact, no regular starting position player is over 30-years of age!

Add to this the D’backs were the best defensive team in the majors… Snyder says “Per defensive runs saved (DRS), Arizona was the NL version of the Royals. They saved 71 runs last season as a team. Second in the NL was the Marlins at 37. In fact, the D-Backs were best in the majors and the Royals were second at 56.”

So why weren’t the Snakes better then their sub.500 record?

Pitching… and they just took a big step in correcting that situation. And, they probably ain’t done tweaking the pitching either… they got a payroll right now sitting around 90 million and that includes the Greinke money and with the money they get from their baseball operations, they also get about another $75 mil a year for the next 20 years from a newly signed TV deal… in other words, they got money to spend and are likely to add at least another starter as well as bullpen help.

What’s all this mean? This… the NL West… depending on what the Dodgers and the Giants do to answer the D’backs… just got real damn interesting.

Are the Diamondbacks now the Favorites in the NL West?
Are the Diamondbacks now the Favorites in the NL West?

Steve-01-288x300Steve: The Diamondbacks were in need of starting pitching, but here lies the problem… They spent WAYYYY too much on Greinke, so now they are not going to be able to do anything else. They have a good offense but still have many holes to fill with their pitching.

Greinke will be worth the investment as far as individual numbers go, but, the Diamondbacks are still miles away from competing for a championship. I still think the Dodgers and Giants are both better teams. With the Giants picking up another solid arm, they are filling wholes for a better value. This was a mistake for Arizona if you ask me, unless they are just trying to sell tickets for the games Greinke starts.

3) According to many sports sites, the Miami Marlins are strongly considering hiring Barry Bonds as the team’s hitting instructor/batting coach.

(Editor’s note: Miami has hired Bonds as their hitting instructor/batting coach.)

In your opinion, is that a good move or a bad move, or, do you even care one way or the other?

Dan 3Dan: Miami just hired Barry Bonds as their hitting coach, and, I honestly think this is a great move.

He was one of the best hitters this game has ever seen and I think he’ll really bring a lot of good material to the table in Miami. He can teach those young players and even some veterans a thing or two and really get them on the right track.

Barry Bonds hired as Marlins batting coach
Barry Bonds hired as Marlins batting coach

The only thing Miami needs to do is to keep the reporters away from Bonds since that was a major problem with him in San Francisco. I care about the signing, but, I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as what some would make it as.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: My initial reaction was to not care. I figured Mark McGwire, another player with steroid allegations, has been coaching for a few seasons now, so, I figured if it was OK for McGwire to be accepted, then I didn’t see the big deal with the Marlins hiring Bonds. However, I’ve seen some serious backlash to the Marlins pursuing Bonds and I don’t get it.

Yes, the man is connected to steroids, but, he was also one of the best ballplayers in his generation. He has a lot of knowledge when it comes to the game, and, I’d figure he’d be a valuable resource. So, why not give him a chance?

Me (2)Joe: Putting aside all thoughts about whether a player who used PEDs and whether he should be eligible for the Hall of Fame, and, just  thinking about those players  and their being hired by teams for such positions as batting coaches, bench coaches or any other type of coaching position my stance is this… if, they have no restrictions against them by MLB and they have the abilty to do the job then why can’t they have the job?

Barry Bonds was always a good ball player and knows the game of baseball, particularly about the art of hitting of a baseball. So, if, he can teach other players the nuances of what he knows in how to attack a pitcher’s repertoire, then, he should have  the coach to be a batting coach if that’s the job he wants.Bonds

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Why not? I mean Bonds has been out of baseball for what 6, 7 years now? He has his court issues put behind him; he was easily one of the best pure hitters in the game and he was that even before he was subjected to the steroid scandal. Let’s face it, the Marlins need all the help they can get, and, with some rising stars such as Stanton, who already can hit, they could learn so much from a guy like Bonds.

I think it’s a great move for the Marlins; a great move for Bonds as he has now moved on from San Francisco, and I think a great move for baseball bringing back one of the best hitters in the game. Look at McGwire in Los Angeles, he was brought back as the hitting coach, and the Dodgers have made the post season the past three years. I like this idea to bring Bonds to Miami.

4) Mark McGwire, who previously served as the Dodgers hitting coach from 2013-15 and the Cardinals’ hitting coach from 2010-12, has recently been signed to be the bench coach for San Diego Padres’ manager Andy Green.

Combined with the possibility of Barry Bonds becoming the hitting instructor for the Miami Marlins is this a sign that the “feelings” against the steroid era players is beginning to thaw? And, will that have any effect on whether the baseball writers reconsider their up to now attitude of not allowing the so-called steroid players into the Hall of Fame?

Dan 3Dan: This isn’t a sign of anything regarding the feelings.

Mark McGwire leaves Dodgers to become Padres bench coach
Mark McGwire leaves Dodgers to become Padres bench coach

Mark McGwire has been on 3 teams as a coach so far. Barry Bonds was a great hitter and was just recently told he should look into the Miami job according to him. I don’t think this is a sign either way and it won’t have an effect on getting these players in the Hall of Fame.

These voters need to stop filling their head up with the nonsense that they weren’t great players, regardless, if, they used steroids or not. If, I took steroids, it doesn’t mean I’m going to all of a sudden become a great player in the MLB. They need to start voting these deserving players in. Then that will be a sign the feelings have thawed. 

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: I guess this question will serve as a continuation of my answer from the last question but I seriously think it’s time for the baseball writers to get over it. Just get over it!

Look, McGwire, Bonds, et. al… were the best players of the 1990’s and 2000’s. They were the reason why many turned to the game, and why there has been a bit of a decline since. Yes, they were alleged steroid users, but at this point: who in the hell cares! I’m over it. These guys have paid their penance, but, good Lord don’t let it last forever. Let them make their contributions to the game.

Me (2)Joe: See my answer to the previous question… specifically… “… if, they have no restrictions against them by MLB and they have the ability to do the job then why can’t they have the job?”

So, yes, as these ex-players start being hired, based on their ability to impart their knowledge and teach younger players, I think the feelings against them… the players who used PEDs… will  change.

Time to forgive? Baseball’s so-called "steroid" greats (from left to right) Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, and Barry Bonds
Time to forgive? Baseball’s so-called “steroid” greats (from left to right) Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, and Barry Bonds

I do not think that will immediately soften the baseball writers stance against those players to a great degree. Maybe, eventually as they become more and more accepted as respected coaches, if, they are successful at what they do, the writers stance may change, or soften, but I don’t think we will see any immediate change in how they vote for those players that they believe are guilty of using PEDs.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: As I stated in the prior question, these are some great hitters in the history of the game. The Hall of Fame has nothing to do with what they can bring to the table for these two teams. I think the steroid era has passed and baseball has moved on; tried to forget about that. It is still a huge part of the behind the scenes aspect of Major League Baseball. I think the penalties are in place, the testing is working out well, and MLB has moved on.

I honestly believe that baseball and the fans of baseball are fine with the players who took or seemingly took steroids as long as they have been open about it. Not like a guy like Braun who lied about it only to confess later on.

5) According to the man who should know, Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski: Don’t expect any more blockbusters from the Boston Red Sox this offseason. So, if that is true, it appears as if the most recent announcements of signing David Price for megabucks and outfielder Chris Young as a fourth outfielder will be all the major tweaking of the Sox’ roster that will be done in this off-season.

(1) Do you believe Dombrowski? (2) If he is to be believed are the Red Sox now ready to go from last to first in the AL East as their roster is presently designed?

Dan 3Dan: Do I think the Red Sox are done making big moves? Yes.

Do I think the Red Sox are done making moves? No.

Dave Dombrowski (r) says after signing signed David Price to a 7-year, $217 million contract that he's finished tweakinn the Red Sox
Dave Dombrowski (r) says after signing signed David Price to a 7-year, $217 million contract that he’s finished tweakinn the Red Sox

I don’t think Boston will be a player for any more major free agents or make any sudden trades for the rest of this off-season, but, I do think they will still make a couple of signings.

Is the David Price signing really going to make Boston become 1st place in the AL East? They need more. They were in last. Usually a last place team has a lot of holes. Maybe look at a replacement for David Ortiz. Something. But I don’t think they’re done this off-season. But, they are done with the big names. And, off of their moves so far, if, they left the team as it is, no, I don’t think they’re get any higher than 3rd.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: No, I do not believe Dombrowski.

As presently constructed I think the Red Sox are better than the Rays and Orioles but still are no match for the Blue Jays and Yankees. They could use one more starter of note, and, despite having some talented youth, they could probably use another bat in that lineup. They might not sign another bold face free agent like Price, but it wouldn’t shock me at all if Dombrowski traded some of that youth to improve the team, and, try to figure out some way to get out of the mistakes that were the signings of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.

Nope. I definitely think Dave is now only getting started in Boston.

Me (2)Joe: Nope… naw… no way… nada as in not a chance…

I’ll believe it the day pitchers and catchers report for spring training and Dombrowski has yet to make another significant move to improve the Red Sox.

The Sox still need another proven bat in their lineup… and they need to “trade” at least one of their two  “big” acquisitions from last year to make room in their lineup for that bat… either Pablo Sandoval or Hanley Ramirez. It won’t be pleasant but Dombrowski is going to have to bite the bullet and pay off a chunk of one these two guys’ salaries to make any trade but he needs to do it to improve the Red Sox 25 man roster.

...or is he still taking calls and working deals?
…or is he still taking calls and working deals?

And, they still could use another pitcher… pitching let them down last year so why would he think all of those # 4’s and 5’s are going to rebound in any significant way in 2016? He shouldn’t… so, I expect him to go grab at least a real good #3,  or, preferably, a #2 starter.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Yes, I believe him, because they just dropped $31 million on Price alone for the next seven years. Young, while not on Price like numbers, cost them a pretty penny as well. And, with the other contracts still on the books with Ramirez and Sandoval they don’t have the money to spend now. Unless they unload one of those two to free up some cap space. 

Extra Innings:

Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Reggie Jackson each hit home runs in the American League's 6-4 victory.
Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Reggie Jackson each hit home runs in the American League’s 6-4 victory.

The 1971 All-Star game featured 20 Hall of Famers who were selected to participate in the game… the list of All-Stars that got the call to the Baseball Hall of Fame are: Hank Aaron, Luis Aparicio, Johnny Bench, Lou Brock, Rod Carew, Steve Carlton (who did not play), Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Harmon Killebrew, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Tom Seaver (who did not play), Willie Stargell, and Carl Yastrzemski.

A 21st player, Pete Rose, would be in the Hall, if not for his banishment from Major League Baseball.

In addition, the two All-Star managers (Baltimore’s Earl Weaver and Cincinnati’s Sparky Anderson) have both gained election to the Hall of Fame.

Another likely Hall of Fame candidate who was on the field that day… St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Joe Torre, who will most likely be inducted into the hall as a manager. Torre, who led the NL with 230 hits, 137 RBI and a .363 batting average hit in 1971, and was the NL MVP, batted third that day. And, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Walter Alston, who was inducted as a manager by the Veteran’s Committee in 1983, was a coach for the NL team.

Oh, yeah, the actual game, which some people say was one of the best All-Star Games ever played, was played at the Detroit Tiger’ home field, Tiger Stadium and among the highlights of the game was the fact that an All-Star Game record six home runs were hit in the game… Reggie Jackson,  Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente all went deep that day.

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