Archive for the ‘Trades And Signings’ Category

Padres' Gyorko strikes out in the top of the sixth inning against the Rockies in the National League MLB game home opener in Denver

There is no risk in ripping the San Diego Padres. They’re a franchise bobbing in a vast sea of Dodger blue and Angels red, fighting for their sliver of market share with an underwhelming roster. I wouldn’t say their fanbase is disengaged but ripping the Padres doesn’t make many waves.

That goes double when the topic at hand is a cheap pre-arbitration contract for an unsexy player. There is nothing really to gain. But the deal is worth mentioning, because it says a lot about the future.

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Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays

One day, somebody is going to sign one of these (relatively) cheap deals for a young player and everyone will hate it. It will look bad from the start and only get worse as the years go on. The Manny Corpas Corollary, let’s call it.

This isn’t that deal. Chris Archer is pitcher with a bright future. Another triumph of the Rays “low and slow” development program, Archer made nearly 40 starts at AAA before the Rays called him up for good in 2013, when he started 23 times for Tampa Bay and pitched well, putting up a 3.07 ERA over 128 innings.

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Mama, let your boys grow up to be baseball players. Mike Trout on Friday signed a contract that will pay him more than the career earnings of LeBron James. It is half the length and nearly 50 percent higher than Sidney Crosby’s contract.

Mike Trout just walked away from, roughly, $100 million. By signing a contract that buys up his first three years of free agency, he might have left $100 million on the table.

And yet he signed one of the 20 or so biggest contracts in baseball history. A guy with 336 career games played. He’s probably going to be okay.

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Texas Rangers

The Pittsburgh Pirates are on to something. While their current starting rotation might leave something to be desired, the outfield of the present and the future is as good as it gets.

By locking Starling Marte up for six years (plus two option years), the Pirates have an excellent left fielder in place right through his late-twenties peak – all at the controlled costs the Pirates need to survive.

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MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox

Everybody knows what an ace looks like. Big numbers, big arm, big paycheck. There are more teams than aces as true number ones are few and far between.

The Chicago White Sox have one of those guys in Chris Sale. He’s big, weird, and really, really good. Their number two starter? Something of an unknown commodity in Jose Quintana. Unknown as he once was, Quintana is now rich as the ChiSox and the left-handed starter agreed to a five-year deal (with options) that could be worth $26 million.

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at New York Mets

We’ve all been here before. It was barely four days ago that it seemed Ervin Santana was about to join the Toronto Blue Jays on a one-year pillow contract. Then the Orioles were players and Santana would decide by end of day Saturday.

Then no decision. Then the Braves’ curious decision to stand pat and roll with a highly volatile starting rotation jumped up to bite them all at once and suddenly the tightwad squad from the ATL looked like they might spend some money on a player from outside their organization. As the news on Kris Medlen got worse, the Braves became bigger and bigger players for the services of Ervin Santana.

It appears the Barves got their man, as’s Mark Bowman reports the Braves and Santana are in agreement and will announce a one-year deal later this morning. No terms were released at this time.

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MLB: Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals

If you’re looking for a player to bet on long term, you could do worse than Matt Carpenter. There is something about Matt Carpenter’s particular skill set that is somewhat underwhelming but still incredibly valuable.

The Cardinals leadoff man is fresh off a great season, where he ranked among the best hitters in the National League while learning a new position. Carpenter posted a .318/.392/.481 line and a season that ended up worth 7 Wins Above Replacement.

It is more the way that Carpenter goes about his business that might seem underwhelming. He doesn’t hit for a lot of power and his “no batting gloves” look is disarming. But no hitter managed more doubles than Carpenter last season as the Cards second baseman overtook Manny Machado during the seasons’ final weeks. He churned out hits and walks and scored more runs than anybody, even Mike Trout!

Carpenter makes contact – lots of it. Hard contact. He has the Cardinals line drives gene, whether he was born with it or they spliced it into genome in their run scoring foundry. Line drives falling out of bed. Line drives the other way and line drives pulled over the first baseman’s head. Line drives that fall for hits. Lots of hits. Even if he doesn’t record a hit, Matt Carpenter turns in terrific at bats, one after another. This is what a .300 hitter looks like, he said in his least condescending voice.

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