Quick Hits: Hardy, Soriano, Rangers, Clemens

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy admitted that Manny Machado's presence makes him wonder about his own future with the club, tweets Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.  The veteran, who is under contract through 2014 for $7MM per season, says that he is focused on playing his best at shortstop and won't let the uncertainty hinder him. "Does it cross my mind? Yeah. I’m not going to lie. I was in the same situation in Milwaukee with Alcides Escobar coming up. I don’t know what’s going to happen," said Hardy.  More Thursday night linkage..

  • Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has gone from one of baseball's most overpaid players to one of its most underrated, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  The Cubs have one day to find a deal for Soriano if they hope to move him this season.  Last week it was reported that Theo Epstein & Co. are unlikely to deal him this month.
  • In his latest mailbag, a reader asked MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan if the Rangers made a mistake in extending Derek Holland before working out a deal with Matt Harrison.  He writes that the club should have the financial flexibility to get both extensions done and can be expected to hammer something out with Harrison this winter.  The left-hander will be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.
  • It's becoming more and more obvious by the day that the Astros and Roger Clemens are set for a reunion, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (video link).  Rosenthal opines that the idea is embarrassing for both parties, but possibly worse on the team's end.  Despite Clemens' tarnished reputation, he is still a well-liked figure in Houston who should serve as a strong gate attraction if he makes a return.
  • After being cut loose by the Brewers just over a week ago, veteran Randy Wolf says that he is excited to hook on with a young Orioles squad, writes Kevin Cowherd of the Baltimore Sun.  The Brewers are on the hook for most of his $9.5MM salary, with the O's covering the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum.


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55 Comments on "Quick Hits: Hardy, Soriano, Rangers, Clemens"


tomymogo
3 years 10 hours ago

Jon Heyman has a man crush on Soriano……..Underrated being paid 18 million with a 793 OPS, and average defense at best.

Heyman is referring to the fact Alfonso has 49 homers in the last 2 seasons. He doesn’t look at his 289 OBP and 313 OBP’s.

Lunchbox45
3 years 10 hours ago

Theo probably slipped him a 100 bucks to write that

laffingrass
3 years 10 hours ago

I’m assuming he was referring to the reputation Soriano has gained the past few seasons, and the fact that he has a 3.0 WAR and a 20.2 UZR/150 this season.

ejr
2 years 11 months ago

i was a bit surprised to see in 2010 he had a 3.0 WAR as well. last year was a BAD year for him and I think that helped the “overrated” calls.

3 years 10 hours ago

I agree with laffingrass.

From a salary perspective, he’s not underrated. But from a reputation standpoint, he is. He’s been quite excellent on defense this year, and that has been his major downfall the past few seasons. He’s also been hustling a lot more.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 hours ago

You’d think he’s a Scott Boras Client with that kind of praise from Heyman.

jammin502
3 years 26 minutes ago

The thing that shocked me about Soriano is that he has played in 114 games in the Outfield this year and he is yet to make an error. It is always talked about how he is a good clubhouse guy and always helping the younger players, and he had the homeruns, but the defense has now pushed him to a player that should be making what he is making.

IdontknowwhyIpostonforums
2 years 11 months ago

That is a bit of a stretch to say. If I understand you, you are saying that his bat and now the lack of errors is worth 18mil per? No way. For him to be worth that contract he would have to put up numbers close to his last season in Washington.

jammin502
2 years 11 months ago

Mark Texiera has similar offensive numbers to Soriano and is making about $5 million more per year. Adrian Gonzalez has a higher average but less homeruns and make $3 million more. Has he played at a level of his salary througout his contract … no, but this year he is.

IdontknowwhyIpostonforums
2 years 11 months ago

I understand your comparison, but those guys aren’t really living up to their contracts either. The difference is that they are on competitive teams, not a last place team and arguably contribute more to the team’s success than Soriano. I made post as few days ago in response to another’s regarding the worth of a player and agreeing that a team’s performance can raise or lower the value.

That said, I do agree that he is much maligned as a result of his contract and his numbers are good enough to earn a spot on most teams. But I disagree with your original premise that his “improved” defense has rendered his value this year equal to his cost.

ejr
2 years 11 months ago

He’s been worth 14 million this year with a WAR of 3.1. So, yeah, a bit overpaid, but not as much as last year.

3 years 10 hours ago

C’mon JJ, they moved him over to third for you. Doesn’t that tell you? Plus the O’s just signed you to an extension, knowing full well Machado’s ability and potential. You’re a fan favorite, and Showalter obviously respects you, because he hasn’t moved you outta that 2 spot.

Rabbitov
3 years 9 hours ago

Machado’s value and future is at SS.

Lunchbox45
3 years 9 hours ago

JJ could prob move to 2B

Rabbitov
3 years 8 hours ago

Its tough either way. JJ is a total stud defensively at short and better so than Machado would be, but Machado is the future and is more valuable as a player there.

notsureifsrs
3 years 1 hour ago

machado is also 19 and should really start next year in the minors imo until he forces his way up

Rabbitov
2 years 11 months ago

20, and agreed if it means more service time.

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

age 19 season!

Rabbitov
2 years 11 months ago

You trying to nickel and dime me? :-) Well I actually started it.

LordD99
2 years 11 months ago

My guess is the Orioles rushed Machado, so it’s no lock he’ll start 2013 as a starting member of the Orioles. Some time in AAA wouldn’t be the worst thing. Yet I expect him up at some point in 2013, be that in April or July, and when that happens he should be the SS. Hardy certainly has the arm for thirdbase, and is away better defender than Reynolds or Betemit, or whomever.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 10 hours ago

I really hope the voters don’t change their stance on Clemens in 5-6 years. This whole situation disgusts me and quite frankly, I’ve lost respect for the Houston Astros. While I understand why they’re doing this… I just wish they wouldn’t.

Lunchbox45
3 years 6 hours ago

I agree with you regarding the current situation. The last thing I want to hear about is a now insignificant pitcher making a come back during pennant races.

however, i dont see what you mean by voters changing their stance. reality is clemens is a hall of famer, so is bonds. their numbers are simply too good to keep out. . I think moving forward players who are suspended for peds stand a much worse chance of being hall of famers, but lets not forget that while they did cheat the game, they didn`t technically break the rules

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 9 hours ago

I do believe that before 15 years are up both Clemens and Bonds enter the HOF. However I’m a little disgusted by the idea of Clemens returning to restart his clock. I’ve said this before but I feel it needs to be re-said: What stops other teams from resigning star players to restart their clocks. Should the Tigers re-sign Morris to make sure he gets in? Should the Athletics give McGwire a one day deal to restart his clock? How about the Giants re-sign Bonds every couple of years to ensure his place?

Clemens signing again is a ridiculous publicity stunt.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 hours ago

Didn’t Tony LaRussa say something when McGwire was hired that they considered activating him for a game as a pinch hitter?

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 9 hours ago

I have no idea. Even s if MLB wants to remove itself from the steroid era it should make sure guys like Clemens leave the game quietly.

RetroRob
3 years 7 hours ago

No. Some reporters assumed it. LaRussa gave a pretty harmless quote about McGwire being a great student of hitting, having a desire to help young players, and having a skill to such a level that he could probably help the team down the stretch drive. The media was off to the races. Too bad they didn’t show similar interest for the prior quarter century when players were turning their bodies to look like those of professtional wrestlers and football players.

RetroRob
3 years 7 hours ago

To play the part of the devil’s advocate, how do we know that Clemens doesn’t really want to pitch? He last pitched in 2007 and never announced his intentions for 2008. We know the “game” Clemens was playing back then, which was going year to year, or half-year to half-year, and making quite a bit of money in the process. I highly doubt that his last season was going to be 2007, especially since he was banged up at the end and he left in less that stellar fashion.

A couple months later, the Mitchell Report hits and Clemens’ chances of pitching are ended, just as Bonds’ chances of playing were also ended. Face it. They were blackballed. No team was going to sign them. If you don’t think so, take a look at what the current Astros’ owner said about bringing Clemens back. He said he would have to go and speak to Bud Selig about it. Why in the world would the owner of a team have to go and get Bud Selig’s permission to sign a free agent, especially one of the stature of Clemens in baseball, as well as to the Houston community? There is only one. Teams were told to stay away.

So back to 2007, Clemens spends the next five years defending himself, and in front of him sits a carrot: I will step on a MLB mound again.
Why should he be denied that opportunity if someone wants to give it to him?

Part of it is no doubt driven by a desire to push back the HOF clock, but another part is probably driven by another part of Clemens, and that is his competitve side. The assumption here is it’s one or the other, or not even that. The assumption is that he only wants to pitch because he wants to delay the HOF clock. I do think that’s part of the equation, but we don’t know about the other part.

Let him pitch.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 6 hours ago

To reply to the devil’s advocate (Does that make it the angel’s rebuttal), who cares? Pete Rose was banned because he bet on games, Joe Jackson was banned because he threw games. Should Clemens be allowed back in despite him taking drugs because he hoped to alter games?

You and I could debate until the cows come home… but in the end, I’ll be left with my same point: Clemens should fade away and be happy that there’s a jellyfish like Selig who would never say Clemens should be out of the game.

RetroRob
3 years 6 hours ago

You’re right. We could debate this to the cows come home (and where are my cows, btw?!), and sadly we probably will. Not you and I necessarily, but it will be something we’ll probably debate with other fans for years and years to come.

There are two sides here. One which doesn’t believe steroids dramatically impacted the game and the scoring spike was caused mostly by other factors (there is some merit to it to their point, but I mostly think they’re in denial), and thus they want this whole discussion to go away. The second side are fans who are greatly upset by steroids and therefore want any players associated with it to some how just go away, figuring if the players go away, the pain of the issue will go away.

Oddly, both sides are trying to achieve the same thing. Some type of peace with the issue because they recognize the damage it’s done to the game. They’re arguing at it from different directions, yet the both want the same thing.

The problem is neither side is going to get their wish. It’ll never go away. PEDs as part of sports and I believe they will remain forever, with each side’s chemists trying to stay one step ahead of the other.
As for Clemens, he is suspected of taking PEDs. He has never failed a test. He was accused by his trainer Brian McNamee, yet it’s simply a he-said, he-said type of case. Even though I believe he’s guilty, and in fact am pretty damn sure he took PEDs, I can not assume he’s guilty.

If he wants to pitch, he should be able to pitch. I would feel much better about it, though, if he committed to not just appearing in a single game, but wanted to come back and pitch in 2013.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 6 hours ago

You don’t get the cows because they still aren’t home. Silly rabbi, kicks are for trids.

How exactly did steroids change the game? Honestly without experiments, we never can tell. I tends to be on the side that says guys like Clemens and Bonds would have made the HOF regardless. However one of my issues is a matter of intent. Sure, there were others, probably many others. But in the end these were the guys who ended up as legends to the game. They should be singled out because they wanted to manipulated records, the game, etc.

RetroRob
3 years 6 hours ago

@start_wearing_purple:disqus …and in that we agree. I’m not defending the steroid users, although I don’t get quite as upset with them as many others do. Like you, I think Clemens and Bonds should be in the HOF, and probably will one day get in. Someone like Rafael Palmeiro to me is not, even though by past HOF standards he’d be a lock.
Truth is, though, is I don’t quite have any better answer than anyone else on how to handle it, how to decide that a Clemens and a Bonds are HOFers compared to other likely PED users. Well, actually, they’re not the best examples because to me they are HOFers. It’s that next level down where it gets confusing, and my annoyance with BBWAA members is they have decided to take the easy way out. They won’t vote for anyone. To me, that’s simply nonsense.

ejr
2 years 11 months ago

I think most people assume Bonds and Clemens were HOF bound before they did PEDs. True, any records they secured are suspect. Their careers were extended, their injury recovery times were shortened. They had greater chances. And, is it fair when other guys have retired early thanks to bad knees or other injuries? (Not saying one way or the other is right, just rhetorical).

I find the lack of honesty about PED use both before and after they were deemed against the rules the annoying part of all this.

3 years 1 hour ago

I love it…. I hope he comes back…. get over it people..>> he defended himself the ONLY way he could<< . I just love the fact he took on the feds and decided not to be intimated by what I think is the governments desire to punish when thet have no business in baseball…… Thru out the history of baseball there has allways been a few circus events from time to time..like older players pinch hitting, midgets, players playing all 9 positions in a game..Stachell Page at 59 … also the Bill Veek owner was colorfull!!!…I wish the yankees or dodgers would let him come pitch this September… He would sell out those stadiums also… I know if he were to come to LA I would fly out just to see him pitch and thank him for taking on the feds and not bowing down to the "Mitchell" report.. .I just don't understand why people don't respect someone who defends themselves…

Michael
3 years 54 minutes ago

Think of the Pandora’s Box this could open. Darrell Evans pinch hitting for the Blue Jays, Jim Kaat going an inning for Colorado, Orioles playing the final game of the season with Tony Oliva as the DH. Hey, if the 15-year limit runs out, can it restart if they come back? I await Commissioner Bud’s answer.

55saveslives
3 years 9 hours ago

I don’t understand Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano,..seems like they just collect paychecks now. Why would you NOT want to go to a contender for a couple months??

Lunchbox45
3 years 9 hours ago

family reasons?

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 8 hours ago

I agree. I mean, you’re going to be away from your family half of the time regardless. Play for a contender for two months and then sign with whatever team you want in the off season.

Cubstein
2 years 11 months ago

For Soriano it would be playing for two more years. I don’t blame him not wanting to go to the west coast where there are a lot of pitchers parks. At least he didn’t say he would go somewhere as his 2nd choice, have the FO work out a deal to his 2nd choice then say, nevermind I only want to go to LA. Thanks Dempster.

rainyperez
3 years 7 hours ago

Giants have one more chance to convince Soriano to come over starting tomorrow afternoon.

adrian
3 years 7 hours ago

Simple, early vacation thats what it seems like to me

davengmusic
3 years 9 hours ago

I just got back from the Giants/Astros game. Attendance was 12835, a new low for the year, and it looked like much less than that. I caught a foul ball with absolutely ZERO competition in the upper deck.
Had the whole section to myself. Heard multiple chants of “Let’s go Posey!” from the majority contingency of Giants fans. The loudest cheers were for Pence and Posey. Now you understand why Houston wants Roger Clemens. It’s really, really sad from so many different angles.

rainyperez
3 years 7 hours ago

That injury to that player in the bottom of 9th in that game was brutal hope he is okay. But when things are going bad for a team they are going bad…

Hal_Jordan77
3 years 7 hours ago

Brian McTaggart tweeted that he has a sprained ankle, and he’s day to day.
(SS Marwin Gonzalez)

rainyperez
3 years 7 hours ago

Thanks, glad he’s going to be okay. It looked worse than it actually turned out to be.

Duder Steve Pettke
2 years 11 months ago

Houston has done it to themselves. They are selling off every player that is a selling point. Look at their roster. Its beyond pathetic. Do they plan on spending next year or is the American League just getting more wins that the national league was getting for years?

RetroRob
3 years 7 hours ago

Bring the Rocket on. Sure he wants to delay the HOF clock, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The BBWAA members who basically ignored the whole steroid issue for a good twenty years now have decided to be the game’s moral compass. Riiiiiight. Reporters weren’t elected to be the game’s moral compass, but they were hired to be reporters. They collectively failed miserably at that job originally. The players knew other players were taking PEDs, the media knew players were taking PEDs, owners and GMs knew players were taking PEDs, and fans knew that players were taking PEDs. Everyone lived in collective silence because they liked it, which of course encouraged the rampant use of PEDs. Wink, wink, nod, nod. Fans will knock Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and Manny Ramariz, just as long as they are players for teams they don’t root for, but they will ignore all the PED users on the teams they do support.

This is a debate that will go on for years, so if Clemens wants to push it back a few, then so be it. I actually hope he wants to pitch for part of next year, too. As a fan of the game, I’m curious to see what a 51-year-old, former great pitcher who has been out of the game for five or six years can do. I just don’t want to see it on my team. The Astros will work just fine!

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 6 hours ago

Ramírez. Manny Ramírez. If you’re going to use him to make a point at least spell his name right.

RetroRob
3 years 6 hours ago

Fair enough. I probably had a few other typos in my notes. Happens as I’m rapidly typing thoughts. Generally, though, when someone starts picking on typos in postings, they’re more angry at the content, not the typos or the misspellings.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 6 hours ago

Sorry, I don’t usually get all alpha male editor online… but sometimes I do.

Overall, I think we’re at a point where for this thread we need to agree to disagree about Clemens.

RetroRob
3 years 5 hours ago

Entirely fine. I think we both agree he should be in the HOF. We disagree on if he should be allowed to pitch again. Our sides probably have lots of supporters, although I suspect many more are on your side!

Tko11
Tko11
2 years 11 months ago

Never seen Ramirez spelled Ramariz, seems almost intentional.

Roger Wilco
2 years 11 months ago

Hardy knew this would happen one day. If he was worried about it, he shouldn’t have signed an extension. He would have had a heck of a market if he opted for free agency. I know the Cardinals would have preferred him over Furcal.

jhawk90
2 years 11 months ago

Hey Terry Ryan – check Gardy’s pride at the door, take a wheelbarrow to the huge stash of money the Twins saved this year and GO GET HARDY BACK. Check one of the 8 holes you have to fill for next year off your list.

Cubstein
2 years 11 months ago

Just because Sori is underrated doesn’t mean he has gone from being overpaid.

jammin502
2 years 11 months ago

It is really hard to say who is worth their salary with the ridiculous amount they all make and the ever upward motion these contracts keep going. Soriano was offered a ridiculous contract as the Tribune was trying to make a splash to sell the team. He would have been crazy not to accept. I don’t blame him for taking it, but I have always been impressed that he seems to play hard, always wants to be in the lineup, and now has worked hard to improve his defense. Many guys would have just taken the money and ran!