ESPN's Jayson Stark kicks off today's column with a look at which teams' starts he considers reality and illusion. Beyond that, a look at his hot stove rumblings…
- One club official who "felt out" the Padres over the winter believes they'll hold on to their top players if they're in contention in July. As Stark says, the market would look a lot worse without Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell.
- Stark names six sluggers who "might be in play" this summer: Josh Hamilton, Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche, Rick Ankiel, Paul Konerko, and Manny Ramirez. Hamilton and Manny are longer shots, but they'd certainly get the hot stove burning.
- As for Jose Guillen – executives Stark talked to just aren't interested, despite his .377/.406/.738 start.
- In search of new stadiums, where could the Rays and A's legitimately threaten to move? Stark and his sources run through ideas and can't find a viable city.
- A friend of Cal Ripken's tells Stark "there's a lot of mutual respect" between Ripken and Orioles owner Peter Angelos. Ripken seeks a difference-making job, rather than just a title. It doesn't necessarily have to be with the Orioles.
- The Cubs told Derrek Lee's agent Casey Close they'd prefer to let the season play out before talking extension. Lee discussed the situation during Spring Training.
- Stark's sources consider Brett Anderson's four-year, $12.5MM deal a very team-friendly contract. To the A's credit, most young pitchers are not willing to give two club options. Playing devil's advocate – did the potential cost savings justify committing four years to Anderson after just one year of service? You can find multiple clubs that do not share Oakland's enthusiasm for locking up good young pitchers.
If the Athletics or the Rays were to move, I hope its to a state that doesnt already have a baseball team. I would like to see Las Vegas get a baseball team, of course it would need to be an enclosed stadium because the temperatures there can be un-godly, if you have been there in the dead of summer like me you know what I mean. I hear Oregon might make a strong play to acquire a major league team, I am for that as well
If Vegas can get around the gambling fears the MLB front office have, I say they dedicate the stadium to a great player the ML has been screwing for many many years now and call it the “Pete Rose Memorial Stadium” lol
I’m really hoping Oregon can get a team.
Its A’s SOP to lock up young pitchers, or players, that they feel will be good for a long time.
They have failed a couple times with those moves, such as with Bobby Crosby.
But they have also succeeded with those contracts, such as: Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Dan Haren, Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez and Miguel Tejada all were signed in their pre-arbitration deals to long term deals.
Yes, but how necessary was this particular deal. How does the cost savings vs. risk picture change if you wait and year and have twice the big league data on Anderson? Ditto for waiting two years, three years, etc.
The longer the track record the player has, the more money, in general, they will get. This is especially true if they produce outstanding results. Common consensus among A’s fans and the media is that Brett Anderson is on the verge of a break out season, perhaps very similar to how Dan Haren, the person he was traded for, broke out in Oakland. If Oakland, as they did, locks up Anderson early, especially coming off a good but old-stat unspectacular year (4.08 ERA vs his 3.61 xFIP), they have a chance of gaining a great savings over what would be forced out of them via Arbitration or trying for a long term deal later when the player has more service time, and thus, more leverage.
Perhaps extreme examples, but we have already seen what can happen if teams do not lock up a player early, and instead decide to go year to year, such as with Tim Lincecum this off season.
An experiment, perhaps, for those looking to do such things: I would hypothesize that pitchers who get locked up early in their careers into longer contracts would be more productive over the course of their entire career than their counterparts (would have a lower ‘bust’ rate). I think many factors would play into this analysis, but predominantly the peace of mind a long-term contract can provide and also the club’s vested interest in ‘protecting’ a tenured player (i.e. avoiding factors that lead to ‘bust’). If a club goes year to year with a pitcher, they might be more inclined to over-use his arm. If the pitcher is locked up long term, a club has more incentive to play it safe, thus getting more on their investment in the long run.
Also, a determining factor a club should consider is their developmental ability and scouting. I think it’s fair to say that not all clubs develop or evaluate talent equally. Some clubs *cough-twins-cough* are simply better than others.
I would hypothesize that the correlation would be stronger for pitchers than for hitters.
Anderson was one of the most popular breakout picks this winter, and deservedly so. And I’m sure the A’s feel the same way, so getting this done early is understandable and justifiable.
Portland would DIE to get a MLB club. The rivalry with Seattle, the loss of the Trailblazers, and the tons of support they have for their new MLS team all tell me that they would literally die to get their hands on another professional team.
Heck, Montreal would be another good city for a MLB team. If it weren’t for the horrible management of the Expo’s and terrible stadium, that city was supporting the Expo’s left and right. Only after did the team go down the crapper did fans stop showing up.
Add Puerto Rico to my list…they LOVED having the Expo’s play, and I could see them rallying around a professional team.
As a Canadian and Expos follower , no one ever came to see the Expos when they were good. Montreal should never have a team again.
Why would we trade an OF who is hitting 400 without a viable replacement in the system for this year?
There are 3 cities in the bay area vying for a potential A’s stadium: Oakland, Fremont, and San Jose. Its just a difficult economic climate to build any stadiums in CA without private finding which A’s ownership seems willing to do. Its been since 2006 when their original plans to move to fremont surfaced, its been over a year since Selig has appointed a committee to find a stadium. This whole process is moving at a snail’s pace. The A’s owner is in his md 70’s i believe how much longer will be be willing to wait for any resolution. At minimum if anything gets approved A’s wont even have a ballpark for 4-5 more years at the earliest
Anderson is the real deal. He is like Longoria when he got his deal just weeks after being in the majors. That is a good move and will look smart in another 1-2 years.
Las Vegas will likely NEVER get a professional sports team, because it’s against state law to bet on teams based in NV, and that is a big revenue generator. Not that they wouldn’t have fans… the Vegas ’51’s draw well, and I remember when McGwire lost his chance at padding his stats when the A’s opened the season for 3(?) weeks in LV because the renovations for the Raiders were not complete at Oakland/Alameda Cnty Stadium (McGwire started the season on the DL). There was near capacity at the night games, but the day games were deserted. That short field would have gotten Mac another 10 HR’s to his record at least!