Speed Round

Some quick takes on recent baseball news...

- I like Jonah Keri's take on the Marlins/Blue Jays trade in his appropriately titled piece, "There's Shrewd, There's Genius, Then There's Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria". After all the hand ringing and righteous indignation, the Marlins made some good baseball trades and unloaded a bunch of bad contracts. And baseball needs its villains and I'm sure Loria is fine with being one.

Thing is, the Marlins weren't going to win with the players they had, at least not for the foreseeable future. Last offseason, they signed Reyes, Buehrle, and Heath Bell while narrowly whiffing on Albert Pujols, breaking the bank in an attempt to build an exciting, winning team as they moved into a new ballpark. After all that, they won 69 games, finishing second to last in the National League in runs scored while allowing more runs than all but four other NL clubs. Free agents tend to produce their best results early in long-term deals, while they're still at or near their prime, then fall off in later years. The Marlins got productive Year 1 performances from Reyes and Buehrle, bundled them with a talented but hugely injury-prone pitcher in Johnson plus a couple of fungible veterans, and cashed them in for some intriguing prospects, plus the GDP of a Pacific island nation in salary relief.

Better to realize your mistakes and move on quickly then compound them. Stadium financing and local politics are their own issue. The Blue Jays did alright, they certainly acquired some talent and will pay dearly in Canadian dollars for it. If Josh Johnson is healthy and pitching like Josh Johnson and if Jose Reyes doesn't blow out his legs on the turf, they'll certainly be right in the mix with the rest of the talented A.L. East.

- The Tigers signed Torii Hunter for 2/$26M today. He'll probably have his pick of left or right field with the departure of Delmon Young. The Tigers are in the position of win it now, so a short deal for a 37-year old isn't all that foolish and Hunter's value seems to extend to the clubhouse. Of course, last year was the first time he topped .300 in his career and safe money would be on a steep decline soon to come. To pile on, Pete Abraham had an interesting tweet.

Hunter last season: .817 OPS, 16 homers, 92 RBIs. Cody Ross last season: .807 OPS, 22 homers, 81 RBIs. 5 years younger, too

- This year's "Managers of the Teams We Completely Undersold in the Pre-Season" were awarded to Davey Johnson and Bob Melvin. I have no comment other than it's still the dumbest award out there. There is absolutely no criteria beyond there teams were expected to suck and they did not suck, so it must be the manager.

- Back to the Marlins, saw some folks chirping about Cubs making a call for Ricky Nolasco while the Marlins are in payroll dump mode (he's owed $11.5M for 2013). Here's a reminder of his ERA+ starting from 2006: 90, 81, 124, 85, 92, 84, 88. Let's never speak of it again.

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  • Added a 'recent comments' block to the bottom of every 'story' page. Thought it might be helpful. Comments welcome

  • Jeff Russell and Rafael Soriano DFA's to make room for the callups (Berry and Cahill)

  • The next 4 weeks should answer this for us. If Castro starts hitting again and neither Baez or La Stella perform, he'd be on a playoff roster. If not, and one of those other two guys does well, I wouldn't be surprised if he was left off. A key error or mental lapse in a one game playoff would be killer and he is too prone to them.

  • To put a finer point on it, Baez playing second and hitting 7th tonight.

  • "This is the show. We have certain expectations here. That's why you don't play." from a Tweet from Arrieta. I who do you think he is talking about.

  • "This is the show. We have certain expectations here. That's why you don't play." --Jake Arrieta on Twitter.

    Whoa!

  • I'll check back in on a day that Starlin doesn't make three errors. But for now I would say him not making the playoff roster is a stretch. Who do you trust more than Starlin to be a RH backup middle infielder? Herrera has no bat at all, and Baez has been in AAA all season and may be as error prone as Castro and may strike out a giant proportion of the time he's at the plate. I'm also less than convinced that La Stella will step in and be a significant contributor. Starlin is at least a big part of the 2B picture for the remainder of the year.

  • Sadly, nothing is sticking to the wall. The only thing still lingering is the smell from their pitching outings.

  • i think they were just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks.

    they wanted to push for the post-season without giving up anything. thank gawd for the cubs winning tear and SF's failure tear...hopefully that holds up until the season ends.

    once we're into the post-season (if that happens) then it doesn't matter about the 4-5 slot pitchers. arguably, the pen is much more important at that point when it comes to anyone but the top-3 starters.

  • Signing Haren was very curious, at best. An over-the-hill fly ball pitcher can survive at Wrigley in April, May & June, when it's cold and the wind tends to blow in (i.e. the ballpark plays "big"). But, signing him to pitch at Wrigley in July, August & Sept., when it's warm and the wind tends to blow out...well, Theo, what did you expect? Gotta believe the Reds will be running up to the plate to get their swings against Haren tonight.

    Come on, offense -- we're gonna need another 6-7 runs tonight!

  • ...or they could wait until tomorrow and haren can be DFA'd...maybe...probably not...sigh.

    gotta imagine j.russell is on his way out at the very least.

  • I don't think they have officially been called up yet. They will be today, at which point we will also hear about the corresponding roster moves.

  • Baez, Wada, Cahill and Quintin Berry have called up, so two spots will need to open up on the 40-man.

  • Has Baez been called up yet.

    /Sit over there Starlin

  • Hi cubbies.4ever, we discussed this on here with Phil earlier this summer. You can see the full rules by Phil here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/book/export/html/3506

  • Unless the news wires haven't gotten word yet, I guess the Cubs were not successful finding some pitching help. The back of this rotation, which seems to start with Hendricks, doesn't inspire confidence.

    Cult of Olt