While sitting in a Toronto conference room learning which NHL GM has the most disdain for advanced stats (it’s a tie for first), a whole lot of baseball news broke out, to my chagrin. Pack up the moving trucks, two significant baseball properties are on the move!
Posted by Drew Fairservice under Awards, Jose Fernandez, Wil Myers on Nov 11, 2013
The Rookie of the Year award can occasionally be an exercise in searching out, rather than celebrating, a worthy candidate. The list of former winners is littered with one-offs and flame-outs among future Hall of Famers.
Between Wil Myers and Jose Fernandez, it sure looks as though the class of 2013 has a bit of staying power. Fernandez famously shot to the big leagues at the tender age of 20, after pitching only in the low minors. Wil Myers was the odds-on favorite to take home the honor last year at this time, so well was he regarded as a minor leaguer.
Posted by Drew Fairservice under Monday Morning Memo on Nov 11, 2013
So the Baseball Writers Association of America gives away its awards this week. The tone of most awards debates took a turn for the ugly over recent years, as the proliferation of more evaluative statistics reshaped the way these honors are considered and awarded.
Very clear lines were drawn in the sand and both “sides”, such as they are, follow the “you’re either with us or against us” diametric. It’s dumb and reached peak stupidity last year.
The Mike Trout versus Miguel Cabrera 2012 AL MVP debate put the final nails in the reasonable discourse coffin. Intelligent, reasonable back-and-forth discussion is gone and it isn’t coming back. If you want to know my feelings on that matter, read this.
All we have left is down ballot anger. Stray votes cast for inexplicable players by unrecognizable writers. Out of left field picks meant to bewilder, defended under the guise of “difference of opinion” when they’re often just straight-up homer picks. No justification necessary, just own it in a public forum.
Even though some people (guilty!) really want awards to mean more than nothing, it’s hard to imagine a time when they might be anything more than a pleasant distraction when Your Guy wins. Worse yet, the 2013 award class seems like a series of slam dunks. Other than the NL MVP, the winner of the “big” awards is all but assured.
Which makes picking these awards really easy. Doubly easy since they now publicize the three finalists for the awards. You want hard? You want a challenge? Let’s figure out who will finish fourth in the big awards voting.
Posted by Drew Fairservice under Analysis, Cincinnati Reds on Nov 08, 2013
The addition of Pena all but signals the end of Ryan Hanigan ‘s time in the Queen City, as he’s nearing an arbitration reward close to the price of Brayan Pena for two years. Hanigan is well-regarded for his catching prowess though he is no great shakes with the stick.
Obscuring Hangian’s shortcomings at the plate is an inflated walk rate from hitting before the pitcher for so long. It isn’t that Hanigan is bad player, but the instance that good teams should form a line to acquire the 33-year old career backup is seriously misguided.
Posted by Drew Fairservice under Texas Rangers, Trades And Signings on Nov 08, 2013
The Texas Rangers wasted no time in extending pitcher Martin Perez yesterday, signing a four-year deal with three contract options on the tail end, possibly keeping the 22-year old lefty with Texas through 2020 for a total value near $32 million.
Great news for the team and great news for the player, as Perez was able to translate less than one full season of solid results at the big league level into financial security for a lifetime. Those looking to assess winners and losers to every deal before the ink dries love this contract for the Rangers, as it gives them incredible cost certainty on a player with a high ceiling and low floor.
Posted by Jack Moore under Minnesota Twins, Primary Sources on Nov 07, 2013
Last week, this column took a look at baseball’s racist response to free agency. There was some obvious unease surrounding the new flow of money to star players — especially star players of color, like Reggie Jackson. But just as notably, Jerry Green, the Hall of Fame sportswriter from Detroit, seemed particularly perturbed by the newly rough financial fates of the owners — owners who were among the richest men in America, as financially secure as was possible in America in the 1970s.
Posted by Drew Fairservice under Boston Red Sox, Brian McCann, Free Agency on Nov 07, 2013
The Boston Red Sox made hay this year by hitting on a bunch of free agents signings and creating a team that appears, or is at least credited as being, greater than the sum of its parts. Platoon guys and character guys who didn’t quite look like they would be the great team Fenway Park eventually produced.
The Red Sox are now thought to be in pursuit of Brian McCann, the long-time Braves catcher testing free agency for the very first time. A lot of what McCann offers appeals to the Red Sox and their sensibilities. One Sox fan laid out his personal list of reasons for the Sox making a move on McCann. It’s hard to argue with many of the points.
The more I think about it, the more I feel like all these points are related. And the more closely related the points are, the more important it becomes for teams to not only target good players but targeting the correct players.