Quick Hits: Angels, Cardinals, Yankees, O’Flaherty

Playing winter ball in Venezuela can help North American ballplayers make ends meet, and Joshua Goodman of the Associated Press provides a fascinating look into what their lives are like as they deal with the wildly different stadium atmosphere there, not to mention the different political atmosphere. Players often make $10K to $20K a month in Venezuela, far more than most of them do in the US minor leagues or in independent ball. They play for large, raucous crowds, unlike some of those in the minors. "I've never played in the big leagues, but I don't think the environment is nearly as fun" as it is in Venezuela, says Jamie Romak, a 28-year-old minor-league veteran who played in the Cardinals system last year and is now playing for La Guaira. Here are more notes from around baseball.

  • Masahiro Tanaka's free agent contract will have much to say about the way we value prospects, writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs. The market might value Tanaka at something like $120MM to $150MM, even though he is generally considered to be a lesser talent than Yu Darvish was before his debut, and Darvish ranked behind several prospects (like Matt Moore and Shelby Miller) on some analysts' lists at the time. So if Tanaka is worth $120MM, how much is Taijuan Walker worth? How much, for that matter, is Xander Bogaerts worth? Estimates might end up somewhere north of $100MM, even though those players haven't yet proven themselves in the big leagues. That's why, Cameron argues, the Royals should not have included Wil Myers in the James Shields trade last year.
  • The Angels haven't been known for their farm system in recent years, but MLB.com's Jim Callis writes that their 2009 draft was the best one of the past decade. The Angels had five selections in the first 48 picks, and with the second of those, they landed Mike Trout, currently baseball's best all-around player. They also grabbed Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs (who both went to Arizona in the Dan Haren deal, although Skaggs returned earlier this month as Mark Trumbo went to the desert), outfielder Randal Grichuk (who was part of the David Freese trade) and Garrett Richards.
  • Meanwhile, Callis' colleague at MLB.com, Jonathan Mayo, argues that the Cardinals' 2009 draft was actually the best. That draft produced Matt Carpenter, Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, Matt Adams and Joe Kelly.
  • Even if they sign Tanaka, the Yankees might be able to get below the $189MM luxury-tax threshold for 2014 if they trade high-priced players during the season, Joel Sherman of the New York Post points out. Even that would be tricky, however. Alex Rodriguez would still have to miss a hefty chunk of the season due to his suspension (however his appeal turns out), and the Yankees would have to trade a number of expensive players. Sherman suggests that the Yankees may have missed a better opportunity to try something like this — with much of their core injured in 2013, they could have dealt free-agents-to-be like Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes to get under last year's threshold. Such a move would have reduced their tax burden and allowed them to spend even more heavily this offseason. It would have been unlikely if the Yankees had waved the white flag on 2013, however, because they don't typically behave that way.
  • The Braves are still in talks with reliever Eric O'Flaherty, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. O'Flaherty had Tommy John surgery last May and will likely miss the beginning of the season. He's one of only a handful of lefty relievers remaining on the free agent market, along with Oliver Perez, Mike Gonzalez, Jose Mijares and Rich Hill.


55 Responses to Quick Hits: Angels, Cardinals, Yankees, O’Flaherty Leave a Reply

  1. LazerTown 2 years ago

    It’s apples and oranges. If Every Miller, Walker, etc were available, then Tanaka wouldn’t be worth nearly as much. Supply and demand. There is only one Tanaka available, and teams are willing to pay that because he is so good, and so much younger.

    • Teufelshunde4 2 years ago

      Tanaka’s age and the Darvish effect really help.

      • Leonard Washington 2 years ago

        He will be no where near as a dominant as Darvish. I lay this prediction down now. Not even CLOSE.

  2. Zack Autry 2 years ago

    Like the potential resigning of EOF. Low risk very high reward. Also like Ollie Perez as a good plan B

    • Matt Talbert 2 years ago

      I honestly thought they had resigned him…:(….maybe working out performance bonuses (clauses) etc….that has to be weighed into a one or two year deal….say with options vesting based on appearances and performance.

  3. Bryan Knight 2 years ago

    They need to finish up with EOF before another team gets desperate for a lefty and gives him big money. With him this Braves pen can be shutdown anytime after 5 innings.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
      Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

      Plus, you can gamble on a relief pitcher to not be ready by opening day because you don’t need him right away. Or at least you shouldn’t, so you can afford to be a bit more patient.

      • Matt Talbert 2 years ago

        I like the signing also because it will give us a chance to see what some of these fringe players can do with a small cup of coffee or give a guy like IDK Varvaro an extended look, guys like Jaime, Northcraft, Wood, Simmons etc come into play for the start of the season.

  4. Vmmercan 2 years ago

    “It would have been unlikely if the Yankees had waved the white flag on 2013, however, because they don’t typically behave that way.”

    Remember this line next time you think the Yankees only have advantages for being the Yankees.

    • chris german 2 years ago

      Exactly. They handicap themselves and eventually it’s going to come back to haunt them.

      • MB923 2 years ago

        Been hearing that for a long time. In 2013 it finally happened though. If their key players can rebound and remain healthy (a big if), they’ll be a competitive team and do not surprised to see them in the playoffs next year if that happens.

  5. pastlives 2 years ago

    Maybe it’s cause I’m young but playing in front of raucous crowds in the winter sounds really fun, maybe raucous means angry??? Lol

  6. Tigers72 2 years ago

    The Cardinals draft is the best I think. angels got the best player but the Cardinals got the most quality talent.

    • bjsguess 2 years ago

      Say that again?

      The Angels got the best player in BASEBALL. He’s worth at least 3 or 4 of those guys by himself. Skaggs was a top 15 prospect heading into last season. Corbin showed he could pitch at a high level in the bigs. Richards is manning a spot on the rotation. Finally Grichuk is the dog of the draft. He only has an 820+ OPS throughout his minor league career.

      The Cardinals had an amazing draft but I find it hard to believe that if offered Trout/Skaggs/Corbin/Richards/Grichuk people would turn that down for Miller/Rosenthal/Adams/Carpenter/Kelly.

      • jaybuck 2 years ago

        If people wouldn’t turn that down, then they don’t understand baseball. How far has one guy (Trout) got the Angels? He is the best all around player in baseball, but he won’t be an Angel in a couple years so that point in moot.

        • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

          That’s the wrong question. It’s the best player in baseball who is worth at least 3 of the Cardinals players by himself, plus 4 additional pieces to build around him. Whether or not Mike Trout will be an Angel in a few years is irrelevant.

          • jaybuck 2 years ago

            Him being there your right. However, I wouldn’t trade those guys for Trout under any circumstances.

          • jaybuck 2 years ago

            Just simply saying Trout is great everybody else is good so Angels win is wrong. A lot of variables need to be considered.

      • Jeffy25 2 years ago

        You seem to forget that the cardinals have more players from 09 still coming

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      It might be easier to say that now because the players the Cardinals drafted had a bigger window to be called up and proved themselves, whereas the Angels were deep enough over the past few years to where most of the players on their 2009 list were blocked. I think to really determine which draft was better, we need to see what Richards, Skaggs, Corbin, and Grichuk do in 2014.

      • jaybuck 2 years ago

        Actually the Cards got Grichuk too.

        • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

          We know this. Via trade. Doesn’t matter who they play for now. What matters is how they pan out as Major Leaguers.

          • jaybuck 2 years ago

            True but I would rather have a closer in Rosenthal, a #1 or #2 starter in Miller, a #4 or #5 starter in Kelly, a starting 2B or 3B in Carpenter, and a starting 1B in Adams than one guy. Corbin, Skaggs, and Richards have potential sure but of course where they are now matter. They were used to bolster current rosters, and will end up being groomed by different organizations. So, yes this matters.

  7. chris german 2 years ago

    I was saying in July that they should have trade Cano. The odds of resigning him were small at the price he was asking for and they could have gotten a decent prospect. Once Cashman realized the season was lost, he should have tried to trade Cano. Problem was the Yankees refused to see that and the thought of becoming a seller was too abhorent apparently. Another team would have done that though and gotten a halfway decent prospect out of the deal.

    I also don’t understand why everyone is saying they can’t sign Tanaka and stay under 189. They are at 179 right now I believe, so sign him for 10 in 2014 and backload the deal. Give him 18 in 2015 or something. I’m not sure why that’s impossible to do, especially if they are able to trade Wells or Ichiro. A-rod is going to play next year. They will either rule in his favor or he’s going to appeal this thing to the Supreme Court if he has to. He is committed to this now, regardless of how it ends up. The Yankees are not getting out of his salary next year. And quite frankly, he might not be likeable, but he’s the best 3rd baseman they have when he’s healthy.

    • Teufelshunde4 2 years ago

      Honestly the fact several aging vets helped the Yanks early in the season may end up hurting in the long run. They could have gotten a haul for Cano and unloaded salaries and really jumped into the market this season. As it worked out they kept adding high priced salary dumps in hopes of making a run. Now they are stuck with those salaries and look like fools for handicapping themselves. Star power waning in NY. I feel bad for Beltran. That guy is such a winner.

      • hediouspb 2 years ago

        they are paying almost nothing for the old guys they added, especially when looking at salary cap implications. you also can’t back-load a deal because it’s about average annual value.

        • MB923 2 years ago

          I wouldn’t call a 3 year/$45 million contract to a 37 year old “almost nothing”.

          • hediouspb 2 years ago

            i was refering to the contracts they picked up last season. soriano, wells, etc.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      “Once Cashman realized the season was lost, he should have tried to trade Cano.”

      They were 2 games out of a WC spot at the trade deadline and only 1 game out in September. Their season wasn’t “lost’ until the last week of September when the Indians went on a tear and when the Yankees went on a 4 or 5 game losing streak.

    • Mike LaRose 2 years ago

      You can’t backload a deal to save on the tax. The tax takes the average of all the years no matter what the individual pay per year is .

    • bjsguess 2 years ago

      It’s based off AAV. The only way to get a low base is to extend the contract out a bunch of years. You would probably need something north of a 20 year contract to get an AAV for $10M or so.

  8. pft2 2 years ago

    What high priced players do the Yankees have that they could trade to dump salary. I believe Arod, Cc, Tex, Ellsbury, Beltran and McCann all have NTC. Not sure about Kuroda. Gardner and Nova would be tradeable, but they would only save 10 million between the 2 of them.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      Gardner and Nova are night high priced salary and I doubt Kuroda is on the trading block

    • BeisbolJunkie 2 years ago

      That is what I’m wondering. Most of those “high priced vets” on their team have 10&5 rights, the others have no trade protection.

  9. kcstengelSr 2 years ago

    Step one for the Rays. They won’t get Wil Myers for Price, so Myers for Shields was unusual. Tampa should not expect Walker from Seattle, Profar from Texas, or Lindor from Cleveland.
    Taveras from St. Louis sounds like a good risk. The Redbirds always have a few prospects who don’t pan out, but the Cardinals don’t really need starters unless their youngsters in the rotation act like flashes in the “pan.” I am not convinced that St. Louis has a solid starting staff next season if they count on the kids being as good or better than last season.
    Price for Taveras. Sounds about what will happen. Approximately zero other teams have the prospect and the ability to sign Price long-term.

    • Ferrariman 2 years ago

      I don’t follow, why is it an overpay to give up Lindor and Profar but equal value for Taveras, someone who is ranked just as high or higher than the former. Tampa will want that huge name again but more than likely are going to have to settle for 2-3 good names.

      • kcstengelSr 2 years ago

        Lindor is cheap for the Indians market. Profar is not surplus after Kinsler left for Detroit. Taveras is surplus for the Cardinals.
        Give St. Louis credit. They can view Taveras as some AAA outfielder and nab David Price in the bargain. That is the definition of some good organization.

        • Teufelshunde4 2 years ago

          Taveras is not a surplus for Cards. Im not convinced Adams is the player some think. Some very large holes in his swing. Lack of positional flex hurts as well.
          If Taveras gets any where near his ceiling he is a superstar. Price is not needed in STL. With the glut of young pitching already here there are more names just over the horizon. Alex Reyes is a name to remember. Rob Kaminski as well.

          • kcstengelSr 2 years ago

            Another definition of some good organization is one where, “Price is not needed,” which modestly counts out about 29 teams in baseball.

          • Matt Talbert 2 years ago

            Teams that matchup: PIttsburgh (could use an ace) – hole in rotation from Burnett. They have plenty of prospects Henson and Taillon let’s say are untouchable, but they have several other A- prospects they might be willing to listen on – they have a very good OF prospect and with Marte/Cutch already in tow…you never know…I see Pittsburgh as a legit landing place for him. Or Yes Seattle could use him. Maybe a package around Hultzen and others. Atlanta (more of a personal fan dream added in). Mets (could use a good arm – have plenty of prospects like Snydergaard that could be used as leverage). Just think with Price, Harvey, Wheeler, Niese pretty sick and can match the rotations of my Braves and the hated Gnats.

          • Tko11 2 years ago

            Mets should not trade for Price. They are better off letting their young pitching prospects develop. Harvey, Niese and Wheeler are already major league starters. Syndergaard and Montero are also on their way. All are younger and have more control than Price. If they Mets trade any of their pitchers it should be for a bat, preferably in the outfield.

        • Matt Talbert 2 years ago

          Oher isn’t too far away KC…and IMO he’ll be a great player. You know Profar might end up being a Bonifacio type or maybe a young Jermaine Dye (who could play many positions and really hit).

        • jaybuck 2 years ago

          Price and what prospects for Taveras?

    • tbslim 2 years ago

      Don’t shortchange that trade. It wasn’t “Myers for Shields.” It was Myers and 3 other prospects for Shields and Davis. Odorizzi will compete the 5th rotation spot in TB this season. Mike Montgomery had a decent bounceback year in the minors and could compete for a rotation spot in the next year or two. The other one is lower down.
      BTW, one very realistic Price trade scenario is “None.” You’ve posted a number of times about telling the Rays they won’t get Myers for Price. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. If they don’t I guess the Yankees will get to face Price all season long. You should hope somebody coughs up a Myers for Price deal.

    • jaybuck 2 years ago

      I wouldn’t trade Taveras for Price. Overpaid “ace”.

  10. WazBazbo 2 years ago

    There are so many “non-stories” about Tanaka these days… it’s going to be nice to get some hard information about a contract he’s been offered… The holidays really go a long way towards reducing the length of his posting period!

    • tbslim 2 years ago

      There’s no hard information to give. Other than the Yankees making sure everyone knows they’re “all in” on Tanaka probably to try to drive off competition with their reputation for overpaying, no team is going to advertise they’re in. But the writers have to mention Tanaka in every baseball related article lest they be accused of ignoring the biggest story. “The Mudville 9 Release Three Minor Leaguers Today; Tanaka Update”

  11. bjsguess 2 years ago

    The problem with the scenario of the Yankees trading high dollar players is “who”. Who has the money to take on Granderson/Kuroda/Cano? Sure if it was a salary dump you would have people taking a flyer for a few months. But if you want to top tier talent (assumption since they are losing their draft pick compensation) and you want someone to pay all the freight I’m just not sure there are a ton of takers.

    The old rules made trade deadline deals more attractive. The team receiving the player had the opportunity to collect a draft pick on the back-end. They could afford to surrender good talent and pay the salary. Now the team is only getting the value of the player for 2 months. On high dollar players that value alone is already being accounted for in the salary you need to pay.

    My opinion – trade deadline deals for high dollar players will rarely net anything decent in return. For low dollar players there is still potential to get good pieces back. Obviously, guys who have more than a few months left on the contract would be evaluated differently.

  12. troche565 2 years ago

    About the Yankees. “The Yankees do not typically behave that way”. This alluding to the fact that they do not normally get rid of high paid players with subpart seasons in order to get under the luxury cap ceiling. Well it is about time they start changing their ways, Yankees fans want a contending team and if takes getting rid of high paid players who have underperformed so do it/. When it comes time for some players to show little loyalty to the Yankees departing for better paying contracts with other teams they have no problem doing so ┬┐WHY? do the Yankees have to guarantee loyalty to some of their players. Show loyalty and respect to their fans and later for the players.

  13. Tko11 2 years ago

    Hypothetical but what if a college player who was highly ranked like say Bryce Harper was to not enter the draft and opt to sign a one or two year deal in Japan then enter free agency. What would he get? $150m+?? Or say a player who goes undrafted and decides to tryout for a team in Japan and tears up that league for two years.

  14. kcstengelSr 2 years ago

    I really can’t believe the $189M luxury tax story. I grant that future luxury tax is progressive, but how much tax will the Bronx pay next year to nab kershaw, scherzer, and shields even with a lower tax percentage?

  15. JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

    Tax is based on AAV of contracts if I remember right, so backloading wouldn’t have worked.

  16. tbslim 2 years ago

    Actually, if they’d given up, the crowds at Yankee Stadium might have gotten bigger. All the stockbrokers, corporate executives, and bankers who buy the overpriced season tickets with government bailout money might have sold their tickets. No client would want to go to a game that’s already been punted, right? Then normal everyday New Yorkers might have had a chance to go to a game.

  17. Vmmercan 2 years ago

    You have clearly never been to Yankee Stadium or possibly in New York City, huh?

  18. Mike LaRose 2 years ago

    Ha, that was my first thought too

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