Odds & Ends: Cardinals, Mariners, Red Sox

Four years ago today, the Rays sent Aubrey Huff and cash to the Astros for Ben Zobrist and Mitch Talbot.  The Astros finished 1.5 games out in '06 despite Huff contributing 13 home runs, and GM Tim Purpura chose not to offer arbitration after the season.  On to today's links…

  • ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yankees have no plans to acquire a starting pitcher – "Cliff Lee was a special case."  Speaking of Lee, he told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki that the trade from the Phillies did not sour him on the team, and he's not opposed to any club once he reaches free agency. 
  • The Blue Jays had a scout at this weekend's Cardinals-Astros series, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Strauss wonders if shortstop Alex Gonzalez could be a match for the Cards, and he notes that the Jays have had previous interest in Brendan Ryan.
  • Mariners president Chuck Armstrong and CEO Howard Lincoln weren't aware of the full extent of pitcher Josh Lueke's 2008 trouble with the law, reports Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.  Lueke went to Seattle as part of the Lee trade.
  • Talking to WEEI's Alex Speier, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein explained that in the case of Casey Kelly and other prospects, he'd rather challenge them against advanced competition than allow them to compile numbers and trade value at more age-appropriate levels.
  • In the same article, Speier notes that the Red Sox have agreements, pending physicals, with a pair of international free agents.  One is a righthanded pitcher, the other an outfielder.
  • As part of an extensive Q&A with Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, Commissioner Bud Selig says he would not consider contracting the Athletics or Rays if their ballpark situations are not resolved.


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43 Comments on "Odds & Ends: Cardinals, Mariners, Red Sox"


Devern Hansack
5 years 1 month ago

Rather than contract teams, why not relocate them instead? If the teams are to remain in the same division after relocation, the Rays could move to San Juan, Raleigh/Durham, Charlotte, Montreal, or–as a Bostonian, this would interest me–become a second team in the Greater Boston area. I think there’s certainly enough interest in baseball for another team. The A’s could move to Portland, Vancouver, or Sacramento.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

The A’s are certainly working on it. The only time contraction was really considered in recent memory was when a couple of teams–really the Expos and Twins, in different ways–were under destructive ownership.

TheodoreRoosevelt
5 years 1 month ago

Ryan for Gonzalez? Get outta here!

Gonzo is having a killer year, has a good team option for next year, can only be helping this young rotation, and is a fine stopgap while Hech makes his way up. I wouldn’t be against trading him, but not for another Mike McCoy!

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

1) I didn’t mean it would just be Ryan straight up for Gonzalez.

2) Gonzalez is having a career year at 33 and still has an OBP under .300. Let’s not get silly.

3) Hechavarria hasn’t hit anything on American soil yet. Let’s not count our chickens.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 1 month ago

You were kidding about the Rays going to the Boston area part, right?

We’re trying to resolve the Rays’ issues, not compound them.

fitz
5 years 1 month ago

How would that compound on the problem? They would sell out every game but there’s no place for a stadium and it would be REALLY weird to introduce a second team to Boston after so long and then of course the fact that the Rays are also in the AL East…of course there is absolutely 0 chance of this ever happening anyway.

elclashcombo
5 years 1 month ago

The Red Sox (and MLB) would never let another team move to New England. The Red Sox are a major revenue generating business for the league. To introduce a competitor (NL or AL) into Boston would be counterproductive for the MLB. Its much better to introduce a team to a market that could mutually beneficial. Your suggestions for Vancouver, Portland, and San Juan sound really good. These areas would make sense in terms of travel logistics too.

Devern Hansack
5 years 1 month ago

I was just thinking that Boston would work for these reasons:
-According to Wikipedia, Boston’s combined statistical area (CSA) is fifth in the nation with 7.6 million. They are behind New York City (22.2 million), Los Angeles (17.8 million), Chicago (9.8 million), Washington/Baltimore (8.4 million), and just ahead of San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland (7.4 million). The common theme with the top six CSAs, excluding Boston? They each support two franchises each.
-Greater Boston, geographically speaking, is huge. The Rays wouldn’t have to play in Boston. A team could likely thrive in Foxborough (home of the Patriots), Framingham, Brockton, Worcester, or Providence. By the way, each of those cities have space for a stadium.
-Cross-town rivalries–Cubs vs. White Sox, Mets vs. Yankees, Angels vs. Dodgers–are incredibly hyped during interleague play. Why not have nearly twenty intense, cross-town games each season?
-I don’t have any objective evidence to back this up, but New England is the most baseball-crazed place I have ever seen.
For those reasons, I don’t see why Boston couldn’t support another team.

5 years 1 month ago

i don’t think anybody is interested in Brendan Ryan

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

He’s got a .225 BABIP. He’ll be fine if given a little time, especially by the terribly low SS standards in baseball right now.

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 1 month ago

Even when Ryan has a high BABIP, he still doesn’t provide much. If he doesn’t hit for power, you’d think he would have some SB speed. 14 SB’s in 129 games is about average. He’s already 28 years old and the Jays already, hopefully, have the SS of the future in Hechavarria.

The Jays could easily get a B+ prospect for Gonzalez if they were to move him today.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

Really? As I said above, Gonzalez is having a career year at 33 and still has a sub-.300 OBP. Also, this idea of counting on Hechavarria before he’s hit anything is goofy.

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 1 month ago

Eh, no argument on the lack of OBP but with Hechavarria coming off as a future Soriano with a glove, you can’t say this idea of counting on Hechavarria before he’s hit anything is goofy. I also wouldn’t assume that he’d be in the MLB this year, or even the next.

But to finish off Gonzalez, if he had league-average OBP [roughly .330], I don’t think the Jays could settle on a B+ prospect, especially with the option of team control for next season too [$2.5m]. He’s having a career year, but so is Downs and look at the interest he’s garnering.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

Lack of OBP isn’t the only problem with Hechavarria. He’s batted .204 and slugged .306 across two levels this year. He absolutely hasn’t hit anything. I don’t know where you got Soriano with a glove. He needs to hit on American soil before we ordain him anything.

Downs actually isn’t having a career year. He was even better in 2007 and 2008. He’s just a top flight reliever having another terrific year when relievers are in really short supply on the trade market. And on Gonzalez, again, this is a career year and he’s 33, so you can’t just assume he’ll do this again next year. And the difference of OBP between .296 and .330 is not trivial.

Garafraxaguy
5 years 1 month ago

Actualy Hechavarria is hitting .277 in AA as we speak. 2-2 so far today

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

BA and Minor League Splits have different numbers. Where are you getting yours?

Also, .277 with no secondary skills doesn’t scream Soriano. I’m not saying I don’t believe in the guy. I’m saying you can’t pencil him in yet.

5 years 1 month ago

Hech only has 49 ABs in AA so far, his numbers are prone to fluctuate… After his 2/4 performance today (1 double, 2 RsBI) he’s hitting .265 in AA on the year. 4 2Bs, 5 RsBI in 12 games in AA as a 21 year old in his first year of pro (and North American) ball isn’t bad…

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

I didn’t say it’s bad or that he’s disappointing, but he’s merely on the path. He hasn’t shown that he’s close to ready either.

5 years 1 month ago

It’s not like all GM’s look at OBP, or are even competent. We’ve seen it many times before– someone sucks for 6 years, has a career year, and gets a giant contract that becomes a lemon. Gary Nathaniel Matthews Jr. comes to mind.

Plus Gonzalez is good defensively.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

That’s fine, but hoping for an epic mistake from another GM and expecting it are two different things.

5 years 1 month ago

It’s more likely that a GM will make a mistake on someone who is as good defensively as Gonzalez when they have a career year with the bat though. Why else did Lyle Overbay get 7MM? I mean I’m obviously exaggerating here with the Little Sarge example, but I don’t think that it’s a big stretch to see someone overpay for A-Gon.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

Lyle Overbay got $24 million after a career year as a 29-year old by a bad GM when salaries were at their absolute peak.

And someone could absolutely overpay for Gonzalez, but Porcello is a ridiculous thought. Last year people freaked out when Brian Sabean, a worse GM than Dombrowski, traded Tim Alderson, a worse prospect, for Freddy Sanchez, whose performance was in no way flukey.

5 years 1 month ago

re: Overbay– This is my exact point. Good defense with 1 good year at the plate and let’s give the man 8MM in his 33 and 34 yrs!

re: Porcello– I agree that would be ridiculous, but I don’t think anybody even brought young Ricky in to the discussion?

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

That may have been in another thread. Also, on Overbay, at least when the contract was signed, his age started with a 2 and his performance wasn’t wildly unexpected.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

And Adrian Gonzalez is A-Gon. Don’t soil the nickname with lesser men.

stl_cards16
5 years 1 month ago

I’m not interested in Brendan Ryan anymore! lol no team is going to give much for him because they know ‘he is on the verge of being DFA’D. When Freese comes back we will have Lopez, Greene, Skip, Miles, and Ryan all on the roster. Someone is going to have to go

InTheKZone
5 years 1 month ago

And it will probably be Greene or Skip.

cards612
5 years 1 month ago

it won’t be skip. its likely to be greene because he still has options.

5 years 1 month ago

I think it would be too hard to compete with the Red Sox in Boston. Having another team even in New England would fail horribly just because the Red Sox are such favorites and even if you aren’t a Red Sox fan in New England you’re a Yankee fan. I don’t think any baseball team would ever be able to get the fan base to become a contender in New England and especially in Boston.

suffern
5 years 1 month ago

Agreed, almost as dumb as putting a Major League franchise in Conn…..

jwredsox
5 years 1 month ago

I heard about South Carolina being somewhere MLB would consider. Apparently there is a big fan base there. But moving the Rays is the only thing that would help them imo. Simply aren’t enough fans in Florida for two teams.

Sniderlover
5 years 1 month ago

I think Ryan + decent B-level prospect for Gonzalez is a good deal.

However, I’m not opposed to keeping him at all. We have a young pitching staff and his defense is incredible which really helps the young guys and we don’t have SS MLB ready yet so I think Gonzalez may stick this year.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
5 years 1 month ago

Jack Z is looking less and less like a genius with each passing day, no?

How do you not know of Josh Lueke’s trouble? And if you do know, don’t you handle this differently? It just looks bad all around.

Piccamo
5 years 1 month ago

The article doesn’t say that Jack Z was unaware of Lueke’s past troubles, only that the team’s president and CEO were unaware.

Yankees420
5 years 1 month ago

But wouldn’t it fall under Jack Z’s umbrella of responsibility to inform the president and CEO of said troubles?

Guest
5 years 1 month ago

I’ve said 10 times in the last 3 or 4 days and I will continue to do so, the Mariners TOOK THE WRONG DEAL. I’m still amazed that the deal that transpired last Friday is still actually the deal that got done. It’s a little sureal when I think of it. They have no choice but to release Lueke. None whatsoever or the ramifications in the public relations department are going to be drastic. They got 2 other POS scraps and Smoak. I share the same concerns as others that Smoak could go either way. He is not a guy that is going to hit for average long term.

But they had Montero # 5 or 6 depending on who’s rating Zack McCalllister who has been another one of the Yanks upper end prospects and Adams, who has a light ankle sprain and has a lot of potential. I can see how an ankle sprain pales in comparison to a rape charge and why the ankle sprain would be a concern. huh? oh…

Mind boggleing I tell you and let’s not forget the other variables of in the division, etc. Oh plus they sent $2.5mm in cash. Makes even more sense. (scratching my head and now my backend)

I was a big fan a Jack Z and taking this team to another level, but this trade was his worst move yet since being in that front office.

Rangers come out big winners and I’m amazed Daniels swindled this deal.

jwredsox
5 years 1 month ago

You are underrating the Texas prospects and overrating the NY prospects. McCallister has maybe a 4-5 starter ceiling. Beaven has a good chance of being a better pitcher than McCallister and Leuke might too. They actually did get more from Texas than NY.

5 years 1 month ago

Montero is the better hitter, but Smoak actually has a position and won’t be relegated to DH as soon as he hits the majors… It really depends if you value the more rounded player over the one dimension guy

Cyyoung
5 years 1 month ago

I’ll tell you one thing Zobrist is one of the better baseball players today. Somebody knew what they were doing when they made this trade.
Does the little things that win ball games. Has great instincts for the game.

5 years 1 month ago

I remember going “holy hell!” when I saw the trade happen. I’m one of those people who spends 95% of their time reading about prospects and following them, and Zobrist of course ended up with a .429 OBP in his minor league career which is -insane- no matter how you look at it. It’s unfortunate it took him until 27 to really latch on.

damnitsderek
5 years 1 month ago

Geoff Baker is a tool. Way to contradict yourself by saying he may be innocent, but we may never know so we can’t treat him as such, then essentially treating him like he’s guilty with the exact same information. Complete joke of a journalist. That article is a prime example that shows how the community has a negative impact on the justice system.

$3081341
5 years 1 month ago

I can’t wait for winter, I’m so stoked. Half the teams are gonna be lining there checkbooks to make a run at Lee. Don’t count out the 2 teams that have traded him, either.

jwredsox
5 years 1 month ago

Based on the fact I know how to read scouting reports.