Around the League...
Some quick hits...
- Frankly, i have no idea what effect this has on anything, but the Cubs are one of three teams to have opted out of the MLB/StubHub agreement that was recently renewed. I imagine tickets for Wrigley will still be available on StubHub, but not in some official capacity. I also imagine the Ricketts didn't like seeing tickets going for $2 on game day on StubHub that still cost $20 or more if you purchased from MLB.com.
- Jason Grilli ended up officially resigning with the Pittsburg Pirates today, although it was rumored last week that would be the case. It was claimed he had a better offer that he turned down to return to Pittsburgh, which may or may not have been the Cubs offer.
- Zack Greinke, a good, but not great pitcher, got great pitcher money from the Dodgers to the tune of 6/147M. While the Yankees West should certainly be competitive next year (if for any reason that Kemp and Kershaw are on the right side of 30), I sure hope they're committed to blowing through the luxury tax every year, because that's what it's going to take to stay competitive and continue to hand out absurd deals. Once you decide you're going to be the big spenders, the only way to stay successful is to ALWAYS be the big spender. As for the anti-Hendry deal, it's actually front-loaded with a player opt-out after 3 years and Greinke did not get a no-trade clause (other than the automatic 10/5 that would kick in for the final season). I've always wondered why teams did not do that more often, paying upfront for what are likely the better years and making the backend of the contract more affordable in case of a trade. Of course it takes two and players are probably not as keen on the idea, but this deal certainly shows that it's possible. Overall, really dumb deal for a good, but not great pitcher, but the structure may mitigate some of the risk.
- Then there was the blockbuster Royals/Rays trade. Rany Jazayerli has a take I mostly agree with essentially raking the Royals over the coals for the short-sighted deal. Baseball America has a more neutral approach quoting the infamous anonymous sources that generally grade the trade as positive for the Royals. I mostly disagree there, but it did provide for this quote from the author JJ Cooper on twitter.
Much more reason to be nuanced when you work inside game then writing from outside. Hyperbole on outside more valuable than nuance.
Much like the Cubs trade for Garza, the Royals gave up some of their best prospect talent for someone that isn't one of the best talents at his position at the major league level. On a risk/reward basis, it's undoubtedly a trade in the favor of the Rays. They stocked up the system with 4 good prospects (one elite) and considering their budgetary woes, it's what they have to do and they're very good at doing it. It's essentially a no-brainer deal for them, gain more players of what they certainly deem as equal if not better talent, for more years and less money. I's their business model and it works, even if not every asset in that portfolio turns green for them.
For the Royals, it was a big price to pay for some starting pitching they desperately needed. The risk is that it ends up like the Cubs did with Garza, a desperate trade that barely makes the team better now and just further hinders them in the future. The other risk is in believing James Shields is an ace, just waiting to leave the AL East, but hope we all learned our lesson on that after Garza.
There's obviously some upside as well, Shields and Davis (along with Ervin Santana) take the Royals rotation from worst thing ever this side of the Cubs rotation to the middle of the pack and IF all that young offensive talent explodes, the Royals will be sitting pretty. But that's placing all your bets on the upside and not factoring in any downside. It may work, but the odds aren't great. It seems the Rays made the smart move, the Royals made the riskier move and only time will tell us who "won" out.
bradsbeard 10 hours 26 min ago (view)
Things won't get easier for him pitching outside of the former AT&T park, though Chase isn't the band box it was before they installed a humidor a couple years ago.
crunch 11 hours 22 min ago (view)
dbacks snag m.bumgarner for 5/85m (17m/yr).
didn't realize he'd be coming that cheaply. the longball stung him last year, but he was healthy and his stuff looked good when it wasn't flying over a fence.
crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
MLB is very much swinging their power over minor league teams around.
tim815 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Normally, it's because the minor fee they receive is of more value than they think they will be able to acquire later.
JustSayin' 1 day 14 hours ago (view)
My, the negotiations for a new comprehensive agreement between MLB and MiLB are sounding nasty all of a sudden! I'd be interested in other takes on this. It's easy to see the risks on the MiLB side. I wonder though, if MLB isn't playing with fire as far as the antitrust exemption goes? In case Trump isn't president in January, 2021, the MLB owners lose a friend. We've already heard from Sanders and Warren supporting MiLB on this -- which is pretty amazing, considering how many bigger problems this country has -- and one can guess where mayor Pete stands.
bradsbeard 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
I'm also thinking they really didn't anticipate losing two players in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 and wanted to have more flexibility to pick guys, and they maybe figured Carrera had a better shot to go unpicked. It is a little surprising that the talent rich Rays are the ones who grabbed him.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
It's just strange because they had space. maybe they thought no one would have wanted him?
bradsbeard 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
Best I can think is that maybe he was going to be squeezed out of a starting role next year with 2019 draftees and other lower level pitching pushing up into A ball. Doesn't seem like a great reason, but the pitching in the system is getting more crowded each year.
crunch 2 days 14 hours ago (view)
i truly wonder why f.carrera wasn't more of a priority.
he throws straight up junk, but he's got great control and command over his pitchers. he's young enough that he could find some more velocity, too.
i mean, this is a management team that decided to trade for dan haren and kyle hendricks. they don't have an aversion to slow-tossing starters.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 14 hours ago (view)
Has anyone else noticed James Norwood's picture on the Cubs top 30 prospects page is actually Brandon Kintzler?
Arizona Phil 2 days 17 hours ago (view)
It's always interesting to see how many players each MLB club protects on its AAA affiliate's 38-man reserve list on 11/20.
I'm not saying it absolutely and necessarily proves what a club thinks of its own prospects, but there are 38 slots available on a AAA reserve list, and if you leave 15 slots open, I think that does say something, especially when you don't lose anybody in either the MLB Phase or in the AAA Phase. (I'm looking at you, Seattle Mariners!)
Arizona Phil 2 days 17 hours ago (view)
HAGSAG: Instructs starts next month. The pitching lab operates year round, so guys are always coming & going.
Hagsag 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
Phil, when does the Instructional program begin? Are there pitchers in the pitching lab now?
cubbies.4ever 3 days 7 hours ago (view)
Just to continue my conspiracy theory that Theo has a requirement you have TJS to pitch for the Cubs Trevor Megill had it in 2013. The Cubs must have a support group for pitchers who have had TJS.
Arizona Phil 3 days 8 hours ago (view)
After losing two players off the Iowa reserve list in the Major League Phase and selecting four players in the AAA Phase, the Iowa reserve list has one slot open, so now would be an excellent time to try and outright C. D. Pelham to AAA.
Keep in mind that he can't elect free-agency if he's outrighted, and if he is outrighted, he won't be a minor league free-agent until post-2021.
And if he gets claimed off waivers? No big deal.
Arizona Phil 3 days 9 hours ago (view)
LHSP Faustino Carrera and 2B Carlos Sepulveda were among the first players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2014-15. The Cubs ended up signing more than two dozen more Mexican players over the next three years.