Trades analyzed & Selig in Hall @ MLBRT 12/15

 

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Some free agent action but trades were bigger nes in MLB…

Bud Selig is elected into the Hall of Fame…

The crew discusses it all, plus lots more…

1)  In 2002 the New York Yankees who had just been bounced from the playoffs by the Los Angeles Angels and in an effort to “fix” his team “The Boss” first signed Hideki Matsui and then swooped in and stole arguably the best pitcher available that year Jose Contreras. The team they “stole” him away from was the Boston Red Sox. When a NY newspaper asked Red Sox President Larry Lucchino his opinion of being outbid he simply said “The evil empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America.”

Now, after the Boston Red Sox traded a passel of minor league prospects for Chicago White Sox’ ace Chris Sale, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said, “Boston is the Golden State Warriors of baseball now.”  Implying they have can go out and freely get whomever they want without worrying about cost in terms of money or prospects, or both.

In your opinion, is this a fair appraisal of what the Red Sox are doing or have done? Why or why not?  

archie1-300x277Archie: Fair in the sense they have deep pockets. Not so much in the “results” regarding wins/losses. Their team is NOT as loaded as GS.

Yanks GM Brian Cashman: "Boston’s like the Golden State Warriors now in baseball..."
Yanks GM Brian Cashman: “Boston’s like the Golden State Warriors now in baseball…”

I don’t see where the Moreland and Thornburg deals are all that big of a deal seeing as how the two together cost the Red Sox less than $7 million together. Thornburg does have a lot of upside but last season was his best to date, but, that was just two seasons removed from having a 1.517 WHIP. Moreland IMO is nothing really to brag about as well, IF they were looking for a really consistent bat. He only hit .233 last season with a less than .300 OBP. So, I really see this as ho hum business as usual for them. They DEFINITELY did not replace David Ortiz’s bat. The best of the deals is the Chris Sale acquisition at $12 mil for the first season. In today’s market that is not even high end for a highly touted Starter.

So, I really don’t see the Yankees reasoning. Just whining maybe?

dan-3Dan: While Boston is stock piling a very solid roster with pulling two trades in one day (one for Tyler Thornburg, another for Chris Sale), I think they’re doing what they need to do to win the World Series. Isn’t that what every team would do if they had the funds the Red Sox have available to them?

The Yankees really aren’t in a position to speak, in my opinion, since they do the same exact thing and were known as a team who constantly overspent and stock piled on talent where most teams felt they were the “Golden State of baseball” at their time.

I can’t knock what the Red Sox are doing. They have their team set up very nicely.

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Earl:  It’s not a fair appraisal but it does draw some more heat to a great rivalry. Baseball is better when the Red Sox and Yankees can exchange words off the field and battle on it.

The Red Sox had a good season last year and fell way short in the playoffs. So, adding Sale is a great move. The Yankees aren’t able to respond in kind right now, but. they could compete if their young guns make a big step forward this season. So, maybe the Yankees can be the team to knock off the favored Red Sox, but, we’ll have to wait and see.

Chris Sale equals getting Kevin Durant?
Chris Sale equals getting Kevin Durant?

steve-01-288x300Steve: To call them the Golden State Warriors is kind of a stretch. Are they much improved on their pitching rotation? Absolutely they are. Are they returning much of their offense? Yes they are! Are they going to be favorites to win the pennant next year? I know my money is going to be on them. However, let’s take a look at logistics here for a moment.

I have no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox will probably win the AL East by 6 or more games, and that is in a loaded division, with three potential playoff teams. Let’s look at David Price’s history in the post season. It is less that superb. Rick Porcello? Again, well below average. As for newly acquired Chris Sale? We don’t know! He has never pitched in the post season, and has had the tendency to tire down the stretch. I can only assume that we will see much of the same.

The Warriors were NBA Western Conference Champions, and lost to the Cavaliers in 7 games in the Finals, and then they added a Kevin Durant. That is the definition of what I would call adding superb talent to an already championship roster. Had Price and Porcello looked like CY Young players in the post season, and, would have led the Red Sox to the World Series berth then I would easily say, yes, that they are the MLB Golden State Warriors. They went three and out to the Indians, so I can’t call them that. Favorites they are and should be, but to compare them to the Warriors is not even close.

2) The Chris Sale acquisition by the Red Sox from the White Sox… did they overpay for him and is he the game changer the Red Sox arguably need in their rotation to get them over the hump and into the World Series?  

archie1-300x277Archie: At $12 million in ’17 he is a darn good acquisition for them. He has the potential to be that lead Ace for a team.

Last season he won 17 games for a “Not so good team” in the CHW. He could easily be a 20 game winner with the Red Sox even in a tougher division.

White Sox trade Chris Sale to Red Sox for prospects Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Basabe and Victor Diaz
White Sox trade Chris Sale to Red Sox for prospects Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Basabe and Victor Diaz

dan-3Dan: I think he definitely is a game changer they need. What Cleveland and Chicago showed in this past World Series was that pitching is most important. So, what did the Red Sox do? Go and got pitching.

They now have one of the most dangerous rotations in the league with their top three being Sale, Price and Porcello. Then they added a nice, solid arm to the back of their pen in Tyler Thornburg. Sale is the game-changer they needed to the rotation and they didn’t overpay. Can you put a price on a World Series title?  

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: It’s an overpay but the Sox have a deep team full of young talent so even if Moncada becomes a star, its not going to hurt that much.

The Sox had to do something though. Porcello is a good pitcher, but its obvious that David Price has the yips come the postseason and adding Sale guards against that some. If, the Sox are serious about winning the World Series, and they are, then adding Sale was the right thing to do.

steve-01-288x300Steve: You knew the White Sox were not going to unload Sale cheap, and, the Red Sox were willing to pay for him. I think this is a good gamble for the Red Sox, as they seem to have been missing one key ingredient on the mound. As I stated in the first question. I am not 100% sold that this is going to work, but I would not have any reason to not trust that it was a good move.

It was a better move in my opinion for the White Sox, getting four young hot prospects for Sale, who has been a problem child in the locker room over the past couple of months, and it was time for a change of scenery for Chris Sale, and the Red Sox were one of just a few teams that could have made that happen.

3) Recently, the Chicago Cubs traded outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for closer Wade Davis.  The scuttlebutt is that the Cubs’ traded a spare outfielder for a closer. The Royals did get a 24-year-old player with upside who will be under team control for a number of years at an affordable rate.

Did the Cubs get value for Soler? And, conversely, did the Royals get value for Davis?
 
archie1-300x277Archie: This one is a wash IF you look at team need. Losing Chapman; the WS Cubbies, (did I just type that correctly?) needed to replace an integral part of their bullpen and did about as good as they could with what was on the market. They have the one Championship and looking to repeat and it made
sense for them to deal young talent for a proven commodity.

The Royals on the other hand need additional offense to continue their quest in getting back to the playoffs and Soler should give them great value at a low price.wade-davis

So, all in all, it appears on the forefront that both teams made good trades.  

dan-3Dan: Yes, both teams received value in different ways.

The Cubs got rid of a 4th OF for a closer. With the loss of Aroldis Chapman (signed the largest closer contract ever with NYY), they needed to do something. They weren’t in the running for Jansen or Melancon and weren’t rumored to be in on any of the available closers on the trade market. They didn’t have to give up much to receive a closer who’ll contribute very nicely to the Cubs’ pen.

Kansas City received value for Davis in a young outfielder, who they have for a solid price and is under club control for multiple seasons. As they’re rumored to be entering rebuild mode, this fits perfectly into a rebuild mold. Long club control. A lot of upside. Can start immediately and contribute to the everyday line-up. Very even trade.  

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: Take a bow Theo Epstein. You traded your top prospect for Aroldis Chapman and he helped end the title drought. Instead of paying him a ransom to stay, you dealt from a position of strength in the outfield to pick up a young closer. Smart move. It really was.

Jorge Soler
Jorge Soler

Both sides won on this one. Soler is a good outfielder but there are not enough spots open in Chicago and Davis is young, and affordable. Good trade.

steve-01-288x300Steve: I love the trade for both parties.

The Cubs get a quality starter with loads of experience, as well as post-season and World Series experience. They did not have to break the bank to get a great closer. They unloaded Jorge Soler, who would simply be a filler and a great pinch hitter for the Cubs, with the occasional start. With the Royals, he could have the potential to play every day, and fill some holes for the Royals, in an attempt to return to the post-season.

The Royals get a 24 year old potential superstar with unlimited potential, if he can overcome plate discipline.

The Cubs got a solid closer without paying 80 plus million dollars on a guy like Chapman or Jannsen. While I really wanted Melancon for the Cubs, I am happy with Davis.

4) New York Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson recently said he is leaning to having Tim Tebow take part in the team’s Minor League Spring Training camp and maybe even play him in a few major league games.  Mets manager Terry Collins said, “I certainly hope we’ll see Tim Tebow in some of our games. If, he’s not in our camp, I’ll get him over.”  

In your opinion, is this worth doing or is it nothing more than a publicity stunt?

archie1-300x277Archie: It’s a stunt alright; and not a good one.

Most reviews I have read and discussions I have had with other Baseball people would tell you that Tim will never make it up and this is just a waste of time and money. Many, including myself, think they would be better served chasing younger talent.  

dan-3Dan: I think from a marketing standpoint and a profit/money standpoint, it’s worth it.

Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow

Is it worth it to the team? Not really since he doesn’t have a realistic shot at making the team and really might fall out of the league completely, after this season anyway, if, he continues to bat how he did in the Arizona Fall League. Other than ticket sales and revenue from jerseys, etc… he has no purpose to the organization or the Mets’ MLB team. This is a publicity stunt to bring tickets and money to the organization.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: It’s a publicity stunt. Gets butts in the seat.

Tebow will never make it to the big leagues but the former University of Florida QB will fill out minor league stadiums all over the Southeast.

steve-01-288x300Steve: This is laughable, but in an attempt to being serious… If, the Mets offered him a Minor League contract, then why not give him a shot to attend Spring Training? That is why there is a Spring Training, to give your rookies a chance to make the team, and, show off their talents to the big league managers in real time situations. I have no problem with this, even though I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that Tim Tebow is a player on a professional baseball roster.

I feel it is a publicity stunt, but, on the other hand, if you signed him, you might as well invite him to Spring Training.
 
5) The 16-person Today’s Game Era Committee (it was previously called the Veterans Committee) elected Bud Selig as one of their choices to be inducted into MLB Hall of Fame… what’s your opinion on Selig’s election? Should he get an asterisk because of his (as well as the rest of MLB) turning a blind eye to the so-called drug era in MLB? And, finally, does his election into the Hall in any way open the door for those players who had previously been ignored by BBWAA for their drug use while playing the game?  

archie1-300x277Archie: Apples and Oranges here. Selig never had to do the drug test so in NO way will his endorsement/election vindicate those that used and looking to make the HOF. I personally don’t see where Selig was all that great during his tenure. There are many however that sing his praises for things
like the World Baseball Classic; which, in my opinion, sucks. It has bad timing and takes star players away from the game I watch and love. IF, I were a MLB manager I would NOT approve of one of my players missing ANY time at all from my team to participate.

There are other issues as well that Selig COULD have ended once and for all but did not. The Steroids issue was the biggest of them all. But, also things like Pete Rose STILL not in the HOF is still a joke in my book. When you have guys like Strawberry given NUMEROUS chances to rehabilitate during his playing years and Selig let him return to the game multiple times; but he would not even entertain the idea of Pete being forgiven, that just pissed me off; and still does today.

I will never hold Selig in high regards as to “helping” the game. He helped the owners fill their purses. He helped the players with bigger salaries. But he did nothing to keep the game pure. He DID sit back while the steroid use went rampant. NO ONE will EVER convince me he DID NOT know what was going on and he did NOTHING to squelch it. He saw asses in seats with happy owners and the BBWAA was ecstatic as  their news items flew off the shelf and all was well; except of course the integrity of the hallowed record books. And, NOW, many of those that participated are looked upon as “cheaters” and are ostracized because of the circumstances and time frame in which they played. NO Way Bonds should not be in the Hall. NO Way Clemens should not be in the Hall. I CREDIT Selig for this mess.

Former MLB commissioner Bud Selig (l) & Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz donning their HOF uniforms
Former MLB commissioner Bud Selig (l) & Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz donning their HOF uniforms

dan-3Dan: I think it was great that he was elected for everything he’s done for the sport. He brought the sport up from a $1 billion industry to a $9 billion industry. Introduced the Wild Card. Oversaw expansion as well as the emergence of inter-league play. He saw fan attendance improve completely. He helped navigate the way to going 22 years (will be 27) free of non-lockout baseball. Had to overcome the MLBPA just to introduce testing in the majors. He doesn’t deserve an asterisk.

An article came out the past week that Selig had admitted he could have done more, but when he went to go see a Cardinals-Cubs’ game in the heat of the McGwire-Sosa HR battle, he asked teammates, club officials, league officials, outsiders who had close knowledge inside the clubhouse if there was something going on that caused these home runs. They all told him that he shouldn’t mess with it. Players didn’t want testing. He couldn’t just command them. He didn’t have free reign over the MLB like he did over the MiLB in which he introduced testing first which went smooth and eventually led to the transition of testing in the majors. He did have to fight the MLBPA who didn’t want testing.

I do think his election will help writers/voters to start electing players who are deserving from the steroid era into the Hall of Fame. I think what really is going to help the most is having the voters finally being required to release their ballots publicly. No more blank ballots. I hope no more stupid voting where they skip Clemens and Bonds both who are the most deserving and have been left out.  

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: Got to reward Bud for his years as owner of the Brewers and then later on as the Commissioner.

Its not something I’m outraged about to be honest.

steve-01-288x300Steve: I don’t care one bit about the steroid era or not.

Bud Selig absolutely deserves to be there. He changed the entire dynamic of MLB. He added not just one, but two wild card teams to the mix, first in 1995, and again in 2002. This gives more teams a chance to make the playoffs.

He also put in an attempt to better the All Star Game to allow the winner to have Home Field for the World Series. This really didn’t matter too much but it still gave the players something to play for.

You can say he turned a blind eye during the steroid era, but, honestly, after the 1994 strike, many casual baseball fan were washing their hands with baseball, until the McGwire/Sosa HR derby of 98. This brought back old fans, and brought in new fans, as it was such an exciting time to watch the game. I cannot discredit Selig for that because something was being done for Baseball, and, at the time, there was no set (steroids) policy. He made it mandatory testing to help try to eliminate the using for players. So, I think, while, yeah, he may have looked the other way. He brought back baseball to the fans, and, when it came crunch time… he stepped up.

Selig is an easy vote for the Hall of Fame as far as I am concerned.

Extra Innings…

On December 15, 1980 – Dave Winfield became the then highest-paid player in baseball when he signs a 10-year, $15 million contract with the Yankees. Over his 22-year career he played with the San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, the then California Angels, Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians as well as the Yankees.

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Winfield was a 12-time All-Star selection who amassed 3110 hits, 465 home runs and 1833 RBI. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001 and the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

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