Commenter John asks: “Hey Brien. Wanted to know your thoughts on Garza being floated as potential trade from the Cubs. Yes/no and what would you give up for him?”
I’m actually pretty high on Garza. Having just turned 28 years old this past Saturday, Garza is in the early part of his prime years, and he’s already established himself as a consistent and dependable big league pitcher, hurling at least 184 innings in every season since 2008, and pitching 203, 204, and 198 innings in 2009, 2010, and 2011 respectively. He’s coming off of the best season of his career, with a 3.32 ERA that actually under-performed his 2.95 FIP, and he put up career best numbers in strikeout rate, home run rate, and ground ball rate. Yes, he did all of that in the National League’s Central division, but we all know he’s got that all important A.L. East experience. According to FIP- he was largely an average pitcher from 2008-10, but that’s nothing to complain about from a pitcher in his age 24-26 seasons.
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(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Jim Crane has begun his tenure as Houston Astros’ owner, and the franchise’s 50th year, by firing Tal Smith, a long-time baseball executive who had been with the team off and on since its inception. Although the more significant move was the dismissal of general manager Ed Wade, [...]
Last week, I voiced my complaints about the new CBA. It’s a horrible document that will harm baseball, but it’s a document that is now baseball reality. The Yankees have to learn to live with it, and need to readjust their strategy to win in the new environment. The Yankees have a pretty difficult goal: perennial contention. [...]
On Sunday I wrote a post arguing that the Yankees have a complete, competitive team ready to go right now, with ample slack in the farm system. The point of the post was to draw attention to the fact that the Yankees don’t have to make a move. They’re currently competitive. My colleague here at [...]
As I said when news broke that the Yankees were close to getting a new deal done with Freddy Garcia, the one potential concern I had was that the Yankees now have five nominal starting pitchers on what figures to be the 25 man roster coming out of Spring Training, and that makes me a little bit worried about what their plans for the rotation are as of today. And now, along those lines, Andrew Marchand is openly wondering if the Yankees are not, in fact, going to be deep in the market for more pitching, with the flat out assertion that he simply doesn’t think there’s any way the Yankees sign C.J. Wilson, the best pitcher on the market.
For the most part, I don’t think that silence to this point in the Hot Stove season really means much. General managers can deny it all they want, but I think you’d have to be pretty naive to actually believe teams weren’t waiting to see what the new CBA would bring (especially with both sides pushing some major changes) before making too many commitments this winter. Now, with the CBA done, Thanksgiving past, and the Winter Meetings right around the corner, I expect things to start moving pretty quickly, at which point the market for available players will really start to take shape.
So to that end, I can’t say I’d be totally surprised if the Yankees don’t make anymore moves. They’re certainly not likely to drastically overpay for one of the available starters, especially with some big raises for Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner, and David Robertson potentially on the horizon. But they do have some money to spend, and are once again in a situation where their projected starting rotation is C.C. Sabathia followed by four question marks. Given that context, I really can’t envision them standing pat unless the market goes well beyond what they’re willing to invest.
One theme I’ve heard the commissioner’s office trot out in defense of the new cap on amateur playing spending is that the semi-slotting system will create a draft in which players are selected “in order of talent,” rather than having some of the top prospects in the draft dropping out of the top half of the first round due to signability issues. There’s some conceptual logic here, to be sure. Under a true hard-slotting system, talented high school players would have little incentive to spurn the drafting team for college, as the potential future returns on waiting would be much lower. And to be honest, the current system will probably do a reasonably good job of approximating that effect. Beyond that narrow exception, however, the logic here seems deeply flawed to me.
First of all, I don’t see much of a case that this phenomenon of talented players routinely dropping to deep pocketed teams because of outrageous signing demands is actually happening anymore. The last two most notable cases are Zach Lee and Josh Bell, who were viewed as tough signs for different reasons. Bell had what was thought to be a firm commitment to play college ball at Texas, and told teams prior to the draft that he intended to go to college no matter what, causing him to fall into the second round. Lee had a commitment to play quarterback at LSU, and teams let him fall to the Dodgers and the 28th overall pick in 2010. But a funny thing happened along the way; both of these players signed with the team that drafted them, for amounts of money that wouldn’t have been particularly outrageous if they’d been picked at the top of the first round.
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While I was eating a leftover lunch yesterday, MLB Network was airing the highlights of the 2009 World Series. Mariano Rivera was talking and a depressing thought that I’d rather ignore dawned on me: at this time next year, it’s possible (probable) that Mo will have announced his retirement (hopefully after another World Series victory). [...]
Whether or not a trade happens between two teams can come down to many nebulous factors, from the relationship between the two GMs, how clubs value players, and the level of motivation a team has to move someone. But one important element that can be looked at objectively is how the teams match up. This [...]
This was never going to be a very exciting hot stove season for Yankee fans. The bombers need one thing, and one thing only: Starting pitching. Unfortunately, there is never much of that to go around and this year the pickings are especially slim. So far, the Yankees have gone about their own business. They [...]