I was looking for something other than hot stove rumors and player breakdowns to write about, when I came across an article by Gina Kolata in yesterday’s New York Times questioning the effectiveness of the hip surgery that Alex Rodriguez underwent two years ago. It wasn’t looking specifically at the Rodriguez case, but rather, the [...]
Hat Tip River Ave Blues for the Twitter Link: @MelissaSeguraSI Source: New MLB CBA said to include a hard cap and a floor for international signings. Unclear when it would go into effect. Obviously, the details are a little light now. If the floor is low enough and the cap is high enough, this might be [...]
Matt Imbrogno touched on this briefly yesterday, but there was one thing that Cash said the other day when speaking the media at the GM meetings that really stood out to me. When asked if he had been engaged in trade talks with any other teams, Cash mentioned that teams had called asking about four specific [...]
The hottest of hot stove talk right now centers around a most unlikely question: will the Phillies trade Cole Hamels this winter? At first blush it’s a downright crazy idea that the Phillies probably shouldn’t seriously consider, but at second glance, there is a glimmer of a rationale for such a move. And when you consider that Ruben Amaro Jr. is still the guy making the decisions in Philly, you realize that they just might be crazy enough to do it.
The general idea behind the logic of trading Hamels seems to be something along these lines; the Phillies’budget is getting tight with big contracts handed out to a few superstars (and Ryan Howard) and the team might not be able to afford Hamels in the long term. While I suppose we could hope for the best, I’m highly skeptical off this assumption. Using Cot’s contract information, the Phillies have $93 million already committed to Howard, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley,and Jonathan Papelbon in 2013, plus whatever Hunter Pence is making in his final arbitration year. So let’s put the overall number at roughly $105 million without Hamels, assume Hamels pulls down a $20 million salary in 2013, and we’re left with the Phillies spending $125 million on seven players. Crazy, right?
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The theme out of the GM meetings seems to be that the asking prices for this year’s free agents are really high. Bill Madden says as much in the Daily News, and Jon Heyman tweets specifically that C.J. Wilson is looking for a six year contract worth $120 million. To put that in context, such a contract would make Wilson just the 5th pitcher in baseball history to sign a contract worth $20 million in AAV (if we exclude Roger Clemens), with the others being Johan Santana, C.C. Sabathia, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, and only Santana and Sabathia signed six year contracts worth $20 million per annum. Even the most bullish of Wilson’s supporters probably wouldn’t value him nearly that highly.
But then, that’s sort of the point. That Wilson is asking for $120 million doesn’t tell us anything because a) he should be asking for the moon at this stage of the process and b) what Wilson wants is basically meaningless compared to what other teams are willing to give him. Wilson could ask for the biggest contract in the history of baseball if he wanted to, but that doesn’t mean he’d get it. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’d crack the top ten, for that matter. But some owner might say yes, and that’s the point. The goal of a free agent is to get the most money possible, and you can’t get that without asking for it. And asking has basically no downside; the worst a team can do is say “no,” and one of them may surprise you with a “yes.” Heck, we’re only a year removed from the Angels trading for Vernon Wells‘ contract, so it wouldn’t be the craziest thing that’s happened in recent memory by any stretch.
So that’s where we are in this process. Free agents will be asking for more money than they hope they can get on the off chance someone gives it to them, teams will mostly wait that out while making their own offers, and then in about three weeks or so things will start getting serious, and the market will settle somewhere. The worry right now, if you have your heart set on a particular free agent, isn’t that their agent is asking for the moon, it’s that someone might actually give it to them.
If there’s ever a time when we can dream on trades, it’s now in the middle of November. There isn’t a ton of exciting news, but the GM Meetings are going on, so we can let our imaginations run wild. Yesterday, there was a fair amount of trade-proposal fodder. Let’s start with the biggest potential [...]
(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Joe Maddon and Kirk Gibson were named the AL and NL managers of the year, and, all things considered, they were probably the most deserving candidates for the award. Both managers overcame diminished pre-season expectations and led their relatively young teams to the playoffs, so it’s hard to argue with either [...]
Friend and colleague of mine, Larry Koestler, wrote a great article regarding A.J. Burnett earlier today. After examining each third of Burnett’s 2011 season Larry concluded that perhaps there was potential room for optimism. He writes: I don’t know that the answer to the A.J. conundrum is as simple as “he needs to locate his curveball;” [...]
When Phil Hughes was called up in early 2007, he appeared to have all the promise in the world. He was highly anticipated as Baseball America’s top pitching prospect that year, exploded on the scene with a near no-hitter facing the Rangers, and Yankee fans thought they were watching a future ace grow up right [...]