Free agents, HOF & UK baseball @ MLBRT 12/29



UK Baseball… as in the United Kingdom and MLB… are we ready for it?

And Manny being Manny will that ultimately be the death nail in him being denied entry into the Hall of Fame?

Check it all out in this weeks Round Table as the crew discusses those issues and more…

1)  Edwin Encarnacion recently signed with the Cleveland Indians for 3 years and a guaranteed $65 million, including a $5 million buyout. The contract additionally has a $25 million club option for 2020 that if enacted would bring the overall value of the deal to $85 million.

Is this a good deal for Cleveland or is this a big over pay for a player who will be turning 34 in January 2017?

dan-3Dan: I think it’s a good deal. They need a solid bat in the lineup like him and they went out and got him. The deal isn’t too bad for a player of his caliber. I don’t really factor in age too much since there have been hitters hitting into their 40s or up until their 40s. I think Encarnacion will be fine throughout this deal.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: Good deal for Cleveland, and I’m surprised he didn’t get a bigger deal out there.edwin

In Encarnacion the Indians land a big bat in the middle of their lineup and at a little over $21 million a year he’s not that cost prohibitive so it works out fine. Edwin would have been a solid fit for any of the contenders, and, as a Blue Jays fan it would have been great if he had returned. But, I have to give the Indians credit for going for it.

steve-01-288x300Steve: When I first saw that this deal was finalized. I thought, oh wow, Cleveland is not playing around.  While, I think it is a great deal for the Indians, I think they may have overpaid for him.

However, this really boosts the offense for Cleveland, as that was one area where they needed to improve. Cleveland probably put themselves in prime position to repeat as American League Champs.

2) What the odds that Jose Bautista remains unsigned late into the offseason, or maybe into spring training, because no one wants to give up their first-round pick if they sign him to a free agent contract?

Bonus Question… What about Mark Trumbo? Same situation as Bautista or not?

dan-3Dan: I think Bautista will remain late but go before Spring Training as I do with Mark Trumbo.

Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista

These players are very good and would be an extremely nice fit on almost any team. There hasn’t been much talk about either of them signing anywhere, but I do think they’ll sign before Spring Training. Mid-to-late January is my guess.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: Jose Bautista is a player and a good guy (admittedly, he follows me on Twitter), however, I can see him being unsigned for awhile. With Encarnacion off the board he might get a few more offers, but he seems to rub people the wrong way. The Blue Jays don’t seem like they want him back, the Orioles were kicking the tires but they won’t sign him, and, the Rangers could use him but clearly won’t sign him after all the bad blood he’s had with them the past few seasons.

Somebody will sign him, clearly, but it’s going to take time.

Mark Trumbo
Mark Trumbo

Trumbo is in the same situation but I expect he’ll get a deal before Bautista. The Orioles should just drop the B.S. and bring Trumbo back as he would clearly be the biggest bat in that lineup.

steve-01-288x300Steve: The odds are not good that that someone will not pick up Bautista. He has too much power and skill, even at 36, that someone will pick him up. It won’t be a long term deal, and it will not be in the National League.

I could see a team like the Angels picking Bautista up, or, even bringing Trumbo back to Anaheim. They have the money and they have the need. Neither will go unsigned before spring training.

 3) Is Jorge Posada a legitimate HOF candidate or is he a one and done because he doesn’t get the minimum voting percentage (5%) to remain on the HOF ballot?

dan-3Dan: Yes, Jorge Posada is a legitimate HoF candidate. PEDs/steroids weren’t linked to him. He played catcher for the Yankees for a long time and his numbers can be proven to say he deserves to be in.

But, the HoF standards and comparisons don’t match up. He’s a HoF candidate, that’s for sure. He’s legitimate there. I don’t think he’ll get in though.

Jorge Posada
Jorge Posada

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: In my mind he is, but, I’m a biased New Yorker.

Posada should get more than 5% in my opinion, but, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he doesn’t. I mean he was a good player but was he a great one? I’m not so sure. In my mind he is a legitimate candidate but baseball writers can be tricky. They may not view him the same way.

steve-01-288x300Steve: When you think of Jorge Posada, you don’t think superstar player. You think Yankees and good player.

I think Posada will be a one and done, as I don’t think he will even get the 5% to keep him on the ballot.

4) Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa have come up often in many MLBRT discussions but what about Manny Ramirez… does he eventually get into the Hall of Fame? Why or why not?

dan-3Dan: No, I don’t think Manny Ramirez does. He has too many ties to PEDs/Steroids and I think the voters will kill him for that. If, he gets in, it’ll be real late. But, I can definitely see him missing it even though he does deserve it and would be in it if he didn’t have links to those PED usage. He was suspended, as well, for it trying to make a comeback.

Manny Ramirez hit .312 for his career... he got suspended twice for PEDs...
Manny Ramirez hit .312 for his career… he got suspended twice for PEDs…

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, and Manny would be in the Hall of Fame if I had a vote. However, I do not and because I do not, they all won’t make it on the writers ballot.

Manny being Manny was great but at the end of the day he wasn’t very likable and a bit too unstable for the writers liking. He won’t get in via the writers but like the other three names in this question I do think he eventually gets in one day.

steve-01-288x300Steve: No way. As good as a player as Manny Ramirez was and easily put up Hall of Fame numbers.

Ramirez, like Palmiero, was caught cheating the system. Clemens, Bonds, and Sosa, were never actually busted and were just under speculation. So, I could see them all getting in one day, but, not Ramirez. He served a suspension for failing a drug test and that will eliminate him from the discussion.

While personal preference on my end would put him in, because I don’t weigh the PED era into consideration, the voters will not.

5) There is a bit of noise about the Red Sox and the Yankees playing a series in London… as in London, UK… as early as 2018. 

Is this a good idea or should MLB forget about playing “games that count” in countries such as the UK… or… for that matter even Japan. 

dan-3Dan: I think it’s a good idea, but around the All-Star break to give the teams some time to catch up and get back on our time clocks in the states because it does take almost a week to fully adjust. And,, if, they’re playing a lot of games, daily, and trying to fly around and stuff, it can really mess their heads up and ruin the team.

I do enjoy the expansion part to dig into other markets, but, I don’t really think it’ll work over in the UK as much as football will. I do think Japan and Korea will be good places to go since they already have kind of a pretty big baseball fan population, they just need to be exposed to the MLB a little more.

Ready for some UK baseball?
Ready for some UK baseball?

I have no problem with it, but they need to have the timing right. The Athletics and, I can’t remember the other team… maybe it was the Angels and Red Sox… whoever it was, when they played in Japan, they did the scheduling correctly. Let them play, then gave them a couple days off afterwards and it was at the beginning of the season. In order to make the Boston-New York Yankees series to work in UK, they need proper scheduling. Overall, it’s a good idea.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: I think it’s a cool idea. If it happens I would love to go. Might ring up my family members across the pond and make a trip out of it, and, I’m sure I will not be the only American who goes over. It’s a short flight, unlike Japan, and the time difference won’t get in the way of any east coast team making the trip (also unlike Japan).

Baseball in the UK? Sign me up.

steve-01-288x300Steve: Sure, it’s a great idea as long as the teams are given enough time off in between travelling. I have been a critic on players complaining on scheduling, but this is where I would side with the players. If, you have them travel into another time zone (meaning day and night difference) then you can have them play a couple games overseas, and then give them three days off for travel, and get their bodies adjusted back to the United States time zone. If, they do it this way, then I have no problem with even having games count.

I like the idea that they are expanding into the rest of the World.

Extra Innings…

World Series: After 108 years, Cubs finally win World Series again… 

Yes they did… and with that MLBRT says… thanks for reading our column this year and…



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