In honor of Groundhog Day, MLB.com has compiled some interesting tales of woe from top MLB executives. There’s a nice mix of mistakenly parting with prospects (Doug Melvin laments parting with Nelson Cruz when he didn’t need to); failing to pull the trigger for a key veteran (John Hart says he should have been willing to give Brian Giles to land Randy Johnson); failing to pick a side (Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti took a failed middle course in trading away Roberto Alomar); giving up on the wrong guy (Terry Ryan owns up to the decision to release David Ortiz); and reaching on a free agent (the Jeff Keppinger signing is a regret for Rick Hahn). It’s well worth a perusal of the bullets available at the link above, which has individual links to those and many more stories.
Here are a few more notes from around the game:
- The qualifying offer seems increasingly likely to be a major point of discussion in the coming CBA talks, with Howie Kendrick’s surprisingly light free agent contract providing the latest cause for concern. In his interview with MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM yesterday (the second half of the chat at this audio link), agent Scott Boras provided an interesting case against the system. As he poses it, teams shouldn’t be forced to decide between improving at the major league level and taking opportunities for future improvement off of the table. And Jon Morosi of FOX Sports ticks through a few possible tweaks that might help balance the system out.
- “Tanking” is another subject that’s been in the papers lately, and ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that it was also a topic of discussion at the most recent owner’s meeting. There are tie-ins to the revenue sharing system, Olney suggests, with some contributing organizations feeling that recipient clubs should be required to utilize those funds in service of their major league roster.
- Of course, small market clubs will always need to be more creative than their larger-budget brethren, and August Fagerstrom of Fangraphs explores one key method that most employ: taking advantage of platoons. Fagerstrom looks at projected platoons around the league to identify the combinations with the most promise. Three teams have reasonable expectations of 3+ WAR platoons, should they decide to use them: the Mets (Neil Walker and Wilmer Flores), Red Sox (Jackie Bradley Jr. and Chris Young), and Cardinals (Kolten Wong and Jedd Gyorko). Of course, none of those teams are light spenders, but there are numerous other examples throughout the post, including the possible combination that the Rays just set up with Corey Dickerson and Steve Pearce.