Olney On Rays, Quentin, Polanco, Marlins, Darvish

After ranking MLB's best rotations, bullpens, infields, outfields, and lineups in December, ESPN.com's Buster Olney opened up 2012 with his overall power rankings.  The Rays are ranked No. 1 thanks in large part to their outstanding rotation.  This year, Matt Moore joins the mix and Olney writes that the left-hander has the numbers and the ability of Stephen Strasburg without the same level of hype behind him.  Of course, the club still has some issues to address, such as the identity of their first baseman and designated hitter.  However, Olney feels that their pitching makes them the top club in baseball at present.  Here are some highlights from today's column..

  • It's possible that the Padres could negotiate a very team-friendly two- or three-year deal with the Carlos Quentin before arbitration.  However, it's hard to imagine the club investing heavily in the outfielder before gauging how much he can stay on the field and how his power translates to pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
  • The Phillies would still like to find an alternative to the oft-injured Placido Polanco.  In October, skipper Charlie Manuel said that he would be in favor of an upgrade at third base if possible.  The club dangled Polanco in early December when it seemed as if they might lose Jimmy Rollins to free agency and look to sign Aramis Ramirez to play third.
  • The Cubs are talking with a number of teams about Matt Garza, including the Marlins.  A lot of baseball scouts are not wild about the quality and depth of the prospects in Miami's farm system.
  • Yu Darvish is not yet signed with the Rangers, but rival executives don't believe he has much leverage and will eventually work out a deal.


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74 Comments on "Olney On Rays, Quentin, Polanco, Marlins, Darvish"


JohnnyC
3 years 7 months ago

Darvish can still re-sign with the Fighters for around $8 million and wait 2 years for true free agency and have the ability to negotiate with a group of teams not just one. And he’ll still be only 27. He’s got the most leverage any posted Japanese player has ever had.

j6takish
3 years 7 months ago

Why would he not want to sign with Texas though? They can afford to pay him and are probably the team best suited to compete for the long run. “Derp, all Japanese players want to play with Ichiro in Seattle LOL!” or “Yankees are an American icon LMAO!”

3 years 7 months ago

Have you seen what Arlington does to pitchers?

Madman2TX
3 years 7 months ago

What? Diminishes their ERAs? It does that to opposing pitchers as well

Jon Melton
3 years 7 months ago

Also check out the rangers staff era in 2011,  5th best in AL

3 years 7 months ago

True, but look at what they had to do on the road to make that happen. Just saying I can imagine a pitcher looking at that and having pause.

3 years 7 months ago

2011 team home ERA: 4.37
2011 team road ERA: 3.19

3 years 7 months ago

 A lot of that is because the rest of the opposing division parks are in canyons.

Rangersfan32
3 years 7 months ago

The 2010 and 2011 Texas rotation/bullpen say hi.

3 years 7 months ago

I thought they already said “goodbye”

3 years 7 months ago

Cliff Lee said “bye”.

3 years 7 months ago

It’s more like what our bats do to pitchers in our park. Our guys were actually very successful in Arlington this year, outside of Colby, who had hip issues all year.

3 years 7 months ago

Not saying this would be a reason, even more so because of the fact that his father is Persian but Gregg Zaun said that one of the Japanese pitchers he played with couldn’t handle the heat of summer in Baltimore.  So Darvish better be better suited to it than others since many complain about playing in the heat there.

Madman2TX
3 years 7 months ago

The likelihood is that the Rangers will end up paying Darvish $12-$15 mil per season. Why take the smaller amount

3 years 7 months ago

Agreed, he’s got a ton of leverage and repeatedly stated he wanted to play on the West Coast. I’m very surprised he wasn’t targeted by the Mariners, Angels or Dodgers. 

CAD_Monkey
3 years 7 months ago

Unless he would accept a back-loaded deal that involved being paid nothing in 2012, there was no way the Dodgers were going to be involved.

CAD_Monkey
3 years 7 months ago

Unless he would accept a back-loaded deal that involved being paid nothing in 2012, there was no way the Dodgers were going to be involved.

Snoochies8
3 years 7 months ago

scott sizemore could be a viable option for the phil’s, probably would take more than they’d like to offer though

j6takish
3 years 7 months ago

Are there any alternatives to Polanco, and are they really upgrades?

Snoochies8
3 years 7 months ago

off the top of my head, yes, sizemore. Put up a 114 ops+, a .330 wOBA vs. Polanco’s .304 wOBA last year, he’s younger, and under control for at least 4 years

james hannon
3 years 7 months ago

A’s want four prospects in return!!!

Snoochies8
3 years 7 months ago

rabble rabble dominic brown rabble rabble jesse biddle 

Drew Tweedie
3 years 7 months ago

Headley? Assuming everything goes well with Gyorko’s development, he should be ready by the end of this year/beginning of next year to man 3B. Dunno if Phillies match up with the Padres needs though.

rsanchez1
3 years 7 months ago

Those Rays can move whatever piece and still have a good team. Let’s see if it translates to a World Series this year. Citrus Series 2012 Miami vs Tampa Bay.

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

Ha, Miami won’t even make the playoffs

slider32
3 years 7 months ago

I don’t think the Rays offense is good enough right now to win the series. I would put the Rangers, Angels, Sox, and Yanks ahead of the Rays.

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

If the Rays acquire a good bat, I put them ahead of the Sox and Rangers

slider32
3 years 7 months ago

They have lost to the Rangers the last 2 years in the playoffs. I don’t see them being that much better on offense. I also think the Angels are much improved, they could pick up a spot in the playoffs. There pitching is just as good as the Rays.

vonhayesdays
3 years 7 months ago

like babe ruth or something 

3 years 7 months ago

Yea, put them above the Rangers who’ve won the AL the past 2 seasons, not to mention the team that knocked them out both years…….one bat would not be the decider of that series.

3 years 7 months ago

Matt Dominguez (sp?) would be a good starting point in a Garza deal. Maybe add Hand to that mix and throw in a couple loose bodies? I mean, it couldnt compete with maybe a Martin Perez (Rangers) package, but it’s not like it would be impossible. I wanna see the Fish do well this year.

Rangersfan32
3 years 7 months ago

A Perez package would get nowhere, unless Theo likes the way JD laughs and hangs up a phone.

Brv Rocks
3 years 7 months ago

The Cubs would hang up the phone laughing at that offer.  Getting Garza would cost a TOP prospect, not a bust like Dominguez and bottom of the rotation filler like Hand.

Hodor
3 years 7 months ago

Hell yeah!  GO RAYS!

slider32
3 years 7 months ago

What’s so concerning about the Rays is their fan base. They were one of the five worst drawing teams in the majors the last few years. Plus alot of their attendence is fans from opposing teams. Something has to be done, they need to relocate. 18,000 at home and 28,000 on the road, just don’t cut the mustard. That goes for the A’s, and Jays too!

Onetimeaccount
3 years 7 months ago

“The Rays can’t win because of their fanbase”.

3 years 7 months ago

I’d say they’ve done pretty great despite their fanbase.

Onetimeaccount
3 years 7 months ago

Indeed they have. I was just paraphrasing him.

cubsfanraysaddict
3 years 7 months ago

Agreed lol, people from Tampa don’t want to drive to St. Pete, the traffic is crazy (Pinellas county, where St. Pete is located, is Florida’s most densely populated county).  Draysbay, and other sites, have done some good studies about population density around team’s respective stadiums, and TB is in last place (bottom 3 at best). I’m from St. Pete, but that team needs to move to Tampa.

OsFan12
3 years 7 months ago

The traffic is maybe the third worst in their own division.  People travel from Maine for the Sox and Albany/New Jersey for the Yankees.   Having been to their games I’d probably rank them in the bottom 10 traffic around stadium in the league.

harrigang
3 years 7 months ago

Yanks and Sox are prestigious franchises. They’ve been around for over 100 years now. Rays have been a team for 13 years. Couple that with the fact that people are more worried about losing their homes than going to a baseball game in the dumbest stadium in the most congested area of town and you’ll see there’s a problem.
I’m a Rays fan! And I’m scared they’re gonna relocate because the damn mayor of St. Pete won’t let go of his damn pride!

3 years 7 months ago

Exactly

TribeGuy
3 years 7 months ago

In my opinion, the Rangers are the best option for Darvish, with their great offensive and getting him after losing C.J, they’re still my favorites for making another WS

rundmc1981
3 years 7 months ago

Now I haven’t read Olney’s comments – I wish I could w/o being an Insider – but if Olney can justify having TB at #1 in the power rankings based mainly on their pitching depth, by that same measure, ATL better be right behind them. Now, ATL doesn’t have maybe the ceiling that Moore and Price have, but ATL certainly has the depth that if someone goes down, they could pitch just as good if not better than the person they’re replacing. Factor in the fact that ATL isn’t playing in the AL East, though the NL East will be competitive, it’s not going to be the AL East.

3 years 7 months ago

I think the NL East race is going to be BETTER then the AL East race.  It’s Boston/NY/Tampa. Only one of those teams has amazing pitching.  In the NL East you have Phi (great rotation), Atl(Great rotation), Was(Good rotation), and Miami (Decent Rotation. NL East is going to go down to pitching, as it should be. Only way I could see NY/Boston getting over Tampa is overpowering with offense. And honestly, I think either LA Angels or TEX is getting the AL Wild Card.

Fernando O'Connor
3 years 7 months ago

You forgot the Blue Jays…AL EAST last year had 4 out of 5 teams with a .500 or better record. Plus the Blue Jays have improved their pitching this off season; their offense is plentiful. Don’t compare the NL east to the AL Beast. They’re in a league of their own.

3 years 7 months ago

The NL East is dominated by pitching. The AL East is dominated by hitting…outside of the Rays, of course.

Shu13
3 years 7 months ago

BUT Tor is still a 4th place team in ALE…..and won’t sniff the 2nd WC spot in ’12 IMO

3 years 7 months ago

You’re Blue Jays have played worse against the NL East than the AL East over the last number of seasons.

slider32
3 years 7 months ago

I think they added another wild card for next year.

3 years 7 months ago

There are reasons to get ESPN Insider, but Olney isn’t one of them.

rundmc1981
3 years 7 months ago

Understood, but I can’t justify giving my money to ESPN so they can continue with 24-hour idioms. I’ll just continue with this site and get the Cliff’s Notes.

SierraM363
3 years 7 months ago

Darvish probably wants to be paid more than Daisuke.

SierraM363
3 years 7 months ago

Darvish probably wants to be paid more than Daisuke.

bighiggy
3 years 7 months ago

alright phillies fans, being a cardinal fan, what would it take to get polanco from you guys so he could be our second baseman?

3 years 7 months ago

2002 Scott Rolen.

bighiggy
3 years 7 months ago

i mean the rumours say they are shopping polanco, im just wondering what realistically would it take to get him?  i know he’s been hurt alittle lately but the bat is still above average

bighiggy
3 years 7 months ago

i mean the rumours say they are shopping polanco, im just wondering what realistically would it take to get him?  i know he’s been hurt alittle lately but the bat is still above average

dylanp5030
3 years 7 months ago

What about Matt Carpenter? Hes blocked by Freese and Cox eventually.

bighiggy
3 years 7 months ago

you think they would trade us polanco for carpenter? i think we may have to throw in another prospect, i wouldnt mind seeing carpenter work on being a second baseman, kid has put up impressive on base percentage’s in the minors

dylanp5030
3 years 7 months ago

Personally, I would. Polly is great when healthy but Phillirs need a young third baseman in the worst way. If that deal was offered, I think RAJr would accept

Rob
3 years 7 months ago

I think Prince is going to the Rangers because there in desperate need of a 1st baseman. If they get Prince they got 7 players who are capable of hitting 30 home runs in 2012.
Batting order.
1. Ian Kinsler
2. Elvis Andrus
3. Josh Hamilton
4. Prince Fielder
5. Adrian Beltre
6. Nelson Cruz
7. Michel Young
8. Mile Napoli
9. David Murphy

Shu13
3 years 7 months ago

Between Young/Napoli/Moreland how are they in desperate need of a 1B?

Rob
3 years 7 months ago

I think Prince is going to the Rangers because there in desperate need of a 1st baseman. If they get Prince they got 7 players who are capable of hitting 30 home runs in 2012.
Batting order.
1. Ian Kinsler
2. Elvis Andrus
3. Josh Hamilton
4. Prince Fielder
5. Adrian Beltre
6. Nelson Cruz
7. Michel Young
8. Mile Napoli
9. David Murphy

3 years 7 months ago

The padres stole Carlos quintin they gave up like nothing

BVHjays
3 years 7 months ago

I agree with you that the Cubs don’t have tons of urgency to move Garza (besides the fact that that they’re rebuilding and will get less for him at the deadline or next year if they do want to trade him) but to think that they can get MORE for him than Latos brought in is a dream.

dylanp5030
3 years 7 months ago

Yup you’re right, since Utleys return they ranked second in runs scored in NL, they are done.

rundmc1981
3 years 7 months ago

It really wasn’t a good question the first time around. 

slider32
3 years 7 months ago

Angels had a better pitching staff last year, and they added Wilson. They have the best staff and their relief will be better than the Rays.

slider32
3 years 7 months ago

Now is the time to trade Garza, and he won’t bring in more than Gio and Latos because he has less control. 2 Bs and 2 C prospects at the most.

3 years 7 months ago

There isn’t a rotation in baseball I would take over the Rays, due to talent and age.
Angels fans need to get real.

3 years 7 months ago

There isn’t a rotation in baseball I would take over the Rays, due to talent and age.
Angels fans need to get real.

diehardmets
3 years 7 months ago

He’s better than both of them, but is more expensive and only has two years of team control. I’d say the overall value of the package will be similar if not exactly the same as the previous examples. 

3 years 7 months ago

Last 4 months of last season the Phillies scored the same amount of runs as the Cardinals.