…. time is coming near and some teams need players because of injuries, while some teams need players because of just bad players on the roster… and some because of both reasons… So… who might be buying and who might be selling? The crew tells it all and lots more in this week’s Round Table discussion…
1) The White Sox recently traded for starting pitcher James Shields. They sent starting pitcher Erik Johnson and minor league Shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. to the Padres.
How do you rate this trade for the White Sox?
Archie: I don’t see that much of an upgrade. Shields has not done much since his All-Star year and in fact the last two season he has greatly under-performed. Even though Erik Johnson was not doing much as well, I don’t see where picking up the extra millions on Shields contract helped at all. MAYBE a new setting and a winning team will bring him around, but that is yet to be seen.
Right now, I would rate the trade as a C-.
Earl: The White Sox are currently 3 games out of first place in the AL Central and have been getting good contributions from Chris Sale, but, that’s about it. The rest of the rotation have struggled, but, in adding Shields, they now have a solid #2 starter and they definitely acquired him early enough in the season to make a run at first or at least a wild card spot.
It’s a good trade for the Sox, and, it’s a decent enough trade in the Padres who definitely need to recoup some assets.
Joe: Shields is still a very serviceable #3 or #4 man for a team’s rotation. He will eat innings, keep a team in the game (most of the time) and thereby can the bullpen. He will also have games where the bullpen is warming up in the second inning.
Steve: It’s a great move for the White Sox as they got an All Star caliber player for a great deal. They needed to bolster their rotation to give Chris Sale some help at the top. He is familiar with the AL Central as he was part of the Kansas City Royals.
I don’t know all the details, but, I heard on the radio that the Padres are eating a good chunk of Shields’ contract as well, so, if, that is the case, this just made the White Sox a top contender to take the American League Central division.
2) Madison Bumgarner told Buster Olney of ESPN that he wants in for this year’s Home Run Derby… Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy initially said he would consider it, if Bumgarner asked, but, then later clarified his remarks with a definitive “No”… and said “We couldn’t let him do it.”
FYI: Bumgarner leads all active MLB pitchers with 13 career HRs and regularly sends balls over the wall in batting practice.
What would you do if you were Bumgarner’s manager?
Archie: I would bite my lip and respectfully decline. It would be way too easy to get caught up in the power fest and strain an oblique or some other crazy shit to allow my ace to participate. While, I can appreciate his love for hitting the long ball I would be more stressing that he not allow any, and, concentrate on his pitching.
Dan: Yes, I would. I understand the Giants’ concern with how much money they have invested in him and he’s not paid to hit but rather pitch, still, I would allow him to have some fun. As well as allow the fans some fun and something different if let him hit in the home run derby.
Who knows, he could end up winning. It would be a great experience to see and super fun. Maybe people will watch the home run derby even more. Or, have another round of the home run derby just designated for pitchers. Now, that would be fun.
I think Bochy needs to get on board and let it happen.
Joe: While I would think letting Bumgarner do this would not subject him to any more potential of an injury than any other player, i still wouldn’t allow him to do it. I would hate to see him get all hyped up and try to start really yanking some taters out and then pull or tear a muscle or tendon and be lost for the year.
I agree with Bochy’s decision… but… I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts Bochy yields to the burgeoning pressure from all sides to let him participate in the HR Derby. And, if he gets hurt? Then what?
Steve: I’ll admit that I haven’t watched the HR Derby in the past couple years, nor have I really paid much attention to the All Star Game. However, if, Madison Bumgarner was involved in the derby, I would absolutely tune in to watch. That would be awesome for baseball and would generate some viewers.
If, I was Bochy, why not? I don’t think he would be doing any harm to allow him to compete in the HR Derby, I think it would be amazing and what if he won it? Can you see the buzz around baseball if that happened?
3) It may be still a tad early, but, as we are a week into June with the All Star break and MLB’s mid summer break looming on July 12th, who do you see as potential buyers and who do you see as potential sellers?
Archie: I would say that the Braves are definitely sellers but since they have already decimated the team into just a shell of an organization , I hope they don’t sell off anyone else. However, you never know with Hart and Coppelella these days.
The next thing about being a “seller” is that you have to have something to sell. Usually this is a “surplus” but sometimes the occasional 4 or 5 star player in your organization.
The Twinkies have Nunez and Mauer and a couple other good trade candidates. Yunel Escobar is now with the Angels and seems to be in the mix of many trades; this is his fifth team in nine years, just can’t find a home. He is more than serviceable and his salary is mostly attractive to any GM looking for help on the infield as well as serviceable at the plate. The Angels are struggling this season and I can see where they might dangle him for pitching.
As far as sellers go, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Yankees and Padres. Seattle and Oakland could become some sellers and it depends how the Astros are looking at July, they might want to send off some older players.
Earl: I can see the Blue Jays and Rangers as buyers in the American League. The Jays have struggled but they are still in contention in the East, and, the Rangers lead in the West but they have a hole or two they can fill.
As crazy as this sounds I can see the Yankees as sellers in the American League. They are currently 6 and a half games out of first, but, if, they have not made any ground by the deadline, I can see Cashman entertaining trades for Miller and Chapman if they can get back a good haul for them.
In the National League, I can see the Mets as buyers and the Reds and Padres as sellers, although those two clubs have long been sellers.
Other sellers… Milwaukee, Minnesota, Oakland and maybe Atlanta.
As for buyers… I think Texas , Toronto, Boston, San Francisco, Washington and that other NY team, the Mets are all in the mix.
Steve: At first when I saw this, I thought the Braves, but they really don’t have anything of value to trade away. Then, I sat bat and thought, they do have Freddie Freeman and Julio Teharen. So, I could see the Braves trying to unload these two for some prospects. They are in complete rebuild mode, and they likely will not be competing for anything for at least a few years.
I could also see the Yankees possibly unloading someone from their bullpen. Aroldis Chapman may be on the trade block, and, I heard that the Chicago Cubs, who I think will be buyers, are interested.
I could see the Nationals, Dodgers, and Giants all trying to improve their roster. I also think the Astros may make a move for a top arm to help them get back to the playoffs now that they are playing much better.
4) Mark Teixeira of the Yankees is on the disabled list again as is David Wright of the Mets. This is Teixeira’s last year with the Yanks although he has said he would like to continue with his MLB career another 5 years. Wright still has 4 years left on his contract with the Met.
Regardless, of either player’s contract considerations or desires… is it time for both players to simply say that their careers are done and it’s no longer worth the pain and the effort to continue as MLB players ala Don Mattingly when he walked away from the game due to back problems?
David is STILL a productive player when he is in the lineup. Although his games and ABs have been limited the last couple of years, I can see where he still has a couple of good years left IF, and only IF, he comes back from this latest injury.
Dan: I think so, they’ve been nothing positive for their teams besides an injury concern and bug. Might as well hang up the cleats and call it quits, unless they can do something to keep them healthy.
I’d say give it another year, and, if, you can’t stay healthy that year, call it quits. Wright still has some years left on his deal, he might as well finish them up. When he gets DFA’d or sent down, call it quits. Teixeira can definitely look around, but, I don’t foresee him receiving too much of anything. Time to retire guys.
In the case of Teixeira, the only way he can continue his career would be as a DH.
And, as for Wright, I would say the same but he’s stuck on a National League team. The prudent thing to do is to retire if the body is not able, but, pride is a serious thing.
Joe: I can understand why any MLB player who has always played at a high level would want to try to comeback after an injury but at some point I would hope wisdom would win out over desire… if not wisdom then maybe the pain would be the incentive… and that player would face reality and say simply… it’s time to quit.
With Teixeira, if I were him… I would say I played out my contract to its finish… I can hold my head up high and say I never failed to give it my all but now it’s time to say farewell to baseball as a player.
I would say the same for Wright, but, there this thing called a contract that has 4 years and $87 million left on its term. That’s a hard thing to walk away from. If, I were him though, I would say the same thing for his career as I have Tex saying for his… although, I would call a pow wow with the Players Union and MLB and see what kind of deal could be worked out before he said good bye to the game as a player. Only makes some kind of good business sense, after all. It is a business regardless of how we the fan think of MLB.
Wright on the other hand, I think with the numerous injuries that he has sustained, and the fact that he has looked at retirement once before, he needs to consider hanging it up.
Like I said though, it is easier said than done. For these players this is their career and for some this is all they know, so, hanging it up while still fairly young, may be a scary experience for them.
5) As far as the David Wright situation is considered… what should the Mets do now that he is on the DL and the immediate prognosis is that the earliest he will return and be able to “play” is maybe in August (with many rumors around that are saying that is a big maybe)?
Archie: I am not aware of their minor league organization, or, IF, they have a serviceable infielder there that can get some platoon work at third base. BUT, I definitely think they should be looking at the trade market. Again, Yunel Escobar comes to mind… AGAIN.
Dan: I think the Mets need to look into replacements for Wright. Mr. Injury Bug has to have a reliable back-up for when he gets hurt. I don’t think he’s going to retire in the next several seasons, so a back-up is most definitely in order. Somebody who isn’t just a fill-in but who you don’t really want for any significant time playing. You need an everyday player kind of behind him. Platoon them. Do something. But, you need to make sure you’re safe for when David Wright gets hurt because it’s not an if, it’s a when.
I would just expect him to be out the rest of the season and go from there. If you get him back sooner, then that’s a plus, but that doesn’t happen all that much. Find a replacement.
All they can do is support him at this time.
And… the Mets need to approach Wright and then ask if everyone can get together and see what kind of “buyout ” can be arrived at that somehow wouldn’t set a precedent that the Union wouldn’t hate but be equitable for all parties concerned.
Steve: As talented as David Wright is as a player, I think that it is time for the Mets to look into a trade, or, simply release David Wright. They do get some production from Wright when he is there, but, over the past few years, he has simply been a part time player.
The Mets just need to cut ties and move on and bring up someone who can play everyday and stay healthy.
June 9, 1966… Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh at Metropolitan Stadium, the Twins erupt for the first five-home run inning in American League history.
Rich Rollins, Zoilo Versailles, Tony Oliva, Don Mincher, and Harmon Killebrew all go deep to give the Twins a 9-4 victory over the A’s.
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