The Padres declined to part with top outfield prospect Hunter Renfroe in their deal for closer Craig Kimbrel, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. At the same time, the Braves weren’t sold on top catching prospect Austin Hedges and feared that his hitting might not develop enough. Ultimately, that left pitcher Matt Wisler as the key prospect in the deal. Here’s more from Heyman’s column..
- Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle is considering retirement following the 2015 season, Heyman reports. While he notes that April retirement ruminations often prove to be inaccurate, there seems to be a strong possibility that the 36-year-old Buehrle will call it quits.
- Tigers executives were shocked that they were able to pry right-hander Shane Greene away from the Yankees this winter, Heyman writes. The Yankees considered trading Greene “painful,” but the team was desperate for a shortstop, and New York scouting guru Gene Michael was a strong supporter of Gregorius.
- Trading Ryan Howard seems less and less likely for the Phillies each coming day, Heyman writes, noting that one scout said that Howard simply looks “lost” at the plate. Heyman also notes that the stacked starting pitching class on next year’s free agent market may be hindering the Phillies’ ability to move Cole Hamels, as teams are content to wait to bid on the likes of David Price, Johnny Cueto, Jordan Zimmermann, Jeff Samardzija and others.
- The Orioles checked in on Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro at some point late in the spring. Navarro, who has been supplanted as the starting catcher in Toronto by Russell Martin, is hoping to go elsewhere and start. The diplomatic Navarro spoke with MLBTR’s Zach Links last month about the trade talk surrounding him.
- One GM who has some interest in Elvis Andrus suggested to Heyman that it’d be hard for the Rangers to trade him now. While Texas has infield depth, most of it is at the lower rungs of their system. Meanwhile, they’ll be without Jurickson Profar for a second straight year.
- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has one year to go on his contract, but word is that the front office likes him and they mainly want to see progress from their younger players before extending him. It’s said that Gonzalez won’t be judged on his win-loss record, but so far he’s doing pretty well in that department too.
- The Red Sox made at least a preliminary offer to Yoenis Cespedes before trading him, which seems to poke a hole in the theory that Boston coaches “hated” the outfielder.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
hedges is hitting so far, obviously extremely small sample but happy to see him off to good start
Should’ve traded Phelps for a SS and kept Greene
People are jumping the gun way too early on trading Greene being a bust and it’s driving me nuts. He had 78 innings pitched last year and only has 2 games under his belt thus far, wait until his numbers come back down to earth, and give Didi a chance to prove his worth. Also, Phelps wouldn’t have drawn a return like Greene did.
And also to mention that his AAA numbers last year were terrible, especially with him being in the International League. We’ll need to see another 10 starts or more before we can call him something special. I personally think his ERA will be around the 4.00 mark, so I think it’ll end up benefitting both sides long-term.
Yeah he wasn’t very good at all in the minors last year, he got the call because the Yankees simply needed him and he did good considering, but the sample size is way too small for him to be appearing on dark horse Cy-Young lists already. I agree on the ERA, give or take .25 on either side of 4.00. On top of that, I’m sure Didi isn’t going to make errors all year, and I know he won’t hit under .200 all year.
His 4.61 ERA at AAA was terrible, but his 3.15 FIP at AAA indicated that he pitched much better than that.
I’m well aware, and I think that could be why people think he’ll be a great starter. I think he’ll be good, but I’d be surprise to see him be better than a #3 starter. Ultimately, I think he is gonna be a good #4. If the Yankees thought he could be better than that, then they shouldn’t have traded him.
Greene reminds me a bit of Justin Masterson. They both have solid strikeout totals and don’t yield a ton of homers, but their control is average at best.
I would agree with you under normal circumstances, but how many pitchers go 16 innings, with zero earned runs over their first two starts with a new team?
Anyone can be good over 16 innings..
It may not be a common occurrence, you’re right, and that’s undeniably a good start for him. That being said, a strong start doesn’t always dictate a strong year by any means. I’m not trying to burst DET fan’s bubbles, but he’s going to get knocked around at some point, I watched just about all of his outings in NY and with the good came the bad when it came to his abilities.
I am expecting Rick Porcello at 1/30th the cost.
I would say Porcello to this point is a fair comparison, though Porcello could push his ceiling higher with a strong year this year. Greene seems to have a solid mid-to-back of the rotation type of ceiling, which isn’t a knock, just a realistic approach. Getting Porcello-esque results would be a win for DET.
Fantasy guys are comparing Greene to Fister
That seems like a rather generous comparison honestly.
No a bad comparison either, for Fantasy purposes. Because Fister does not get Ks.
Phelps wasn’t gonna net you anything good at SS
Not like Greene got anyone better. Already tired of seeing Didi swing out of his shoes trying to hit a homer everything he comes up to bat.
Too small of a sample size buddy, we’re not even a month into the season.
So you’re telling me a week and half isn’t a good representation of how someone’s going to perform?! So Anthony Gose isn’t going to be the MVP this year and the Atlanta Braves aren’t going to finish the season with 100+ wins?
Braves will!!! 🙂
16 starts isn’t too small a sample size to pass the eyeball test. The upside is there to see if you look for it. The key to staying ahead in trades is spotting talent before it shows up in the numbers and becomes obvious to everyone.
Yeah, it’s more of a “when the scouting report comes out on this guy is he going to sink or swim” type thing. Which I think is the story of Major League Baseball.
I wonder if Boston’s offer to Cespedes went over anything like their offer to Lester did? Probably why it never got past preliminary.
Exactly what I was thinking.
The Sox coaches didn’t hate Cespedes, they just wanted someone they could extend. Since they couldn’t QO him because of his contract, they had to move him for something they needed.
You are right of course, but the rumor was last summer that the coaches had a problem with him after they got him.
No team wants Samardzija
There are a lot of teams that would want Jeff Samardzija.
That’s true, but of the big four FAs next year, I would definitely place him a distant 4th. I’d much rather get Price, Cueto, or Zimmermann than Samardzija.
Obviously Price, Cueto and Zimm are better, but the original post was no one wanted him, which is just untrue, considering 2 different teams have given up sizable packages for him in the last few years.
I agree with you, but I do consider Samardzija arguably the most overrated pitcher in baseball. Right up there with James Shields and Jon Lester anyway.
I don’t see how Shields is really that overrated.
I’ll take ur Lester and raise you a Rick Porcello, Strasburg and Craig Kimbrel.
Not sure how Kimbrel can be considered “overrated.” He’s universally praised as being the best reliever in the game since he was called up, but that’s because it’s actually true. Without even counting his excellent rookie campaign, he’s thrown 196 innings with a 1.24 ERA, 1.51 FIP, 0.818 WHIP, striking out 315 batters and allowing just 9 HR. Gagne or Rivera have never had a stretch that good.
If forced to choose, I’d pick Strasburg.
Not that Kimbrel is necessarily overrated, but hes just the scapegoat for all closers. Closers as a position are overrated. The talks of him winning a CY Young award in the past, along with finishing 8th in MVP voting in 2012 shows me that people overvalue closers.
Shields has always been referred to as an “ace” and I just don’t see it. I see him as a mediocre #2 or a very good #3 starter at best. I’m just going by what I saw last year when it seemed “Big Game” James was giving a lot of runs in almost every big game.
I’m with you on Strasburg definitely. Kimbrel is excellent, but all closers are overrated, so I agree there as well. Porcello isn’t really overrated, but he is massively overpaid. Although he will probably become very overrated since he is now in Boston.
I’ve never really seen Shields as an ace. Hard to call a guy with a 3.16 ERA 2011-2015 a mediocre #2. Hes a solid number 2, or a guy who can be your #1 if you have no one else, like the Royals last year.
Thats where I was leaning with Kimbrel, as in all closers are overrated, so the talk of him winning a CY Young award a few years ago blew my mind.
To me, if you ranked all SPs, Shields would be around #45-#50. Which isn’t a bad thing, but that would be in the bottom half of #2 pitchers. I’m not saying Shields is a bad pitcher by any means. There are a lot of guys that would love to be in the top 50 starting pitchers in the world. But I just think people think a little more of him than he is able to deliver.
James Shields is very underrated if you think he is a #3. Calling him a #3 means you think he is somewhere in the top 60-75 top SP and this is ludicrous. Over the past 3 years, Shields is 1st in IP, 20th in ERA, 21st in FIP, 21st in xFIP and 16th fWAR among all MLB SP. He is clearly a top 20 SP and much, much better than a #3.
Same with Strasburg. He is only overrated if you claim he is better than Kershaw. Over the past 3 years he is 31st in IP, 12th in ERA, 8th in FIP, 3rd in xFIP and 14th in FWAR. His IP would have looked better too if the Nats didn’t shut him down a month early in his first season back from TJS in 2012. Strasburg is a top 15 SP and an ace.
You may have some form of personal bias against these players that makes you dislike them, but they are not overrated based on performance.
You have your opinion and I have mine. I said he would be a very good #3 which to me says he is around 50th best. I stand by that statement. You can throw all of the Alpha-Bits that you want at me, but I still think Strasburg is overrated. A lot has to do with the amount of hype that was levied upon him, but it is what it is…my opinion.
To me, what makes Shields so valuable is his work-horse style. He doesn’t have ace stuff all the time, but he’ll give you 200 innings and will typically tend to minimize damage. He was only the Royals ace because of the lack of other options/veteran leadership qualities. I’d be happy to have him as a number 2 on a good chunk of teams.
I agree ad I don’t consider weak #2/strong #3 to be an insult. He is a good innings eater with a possibility of being fantastic, but also the possibility of being eaten alive. To me that says #3 guy.
How is Strasburg overrated? Over the past 3 full seasons, Strasburg is 31st in IP, 12th in ERA, 8th in FIP, 3rd in xFIP and 14th in fWAR. That is a top 15 SP.
Strasburg isn’t the same pitcher on the road, and he isn’t particularly good in high leverage situations either. He’s been over-rated by hype as opposed to performance. He’s been good and deserves due respect, but not the Kershaw-esque league ace he had the hype building him to be.
Strasburg might have been heavily hyped coming into the league, but to say he is overrated because he isn’t an all time great and generational talent might be a little harsh. If anything, I think he is underrated. Many fans don’t consider him an ace and believe he is no better than 3rd on his own team. MLB Network did their top 10 and had Bumgarner and Zimmermann on their list with no mention of Strasburg. But if you look at their numbers they are very similar. Since 2012.
Stras: 3.17 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 2.86 xFIP, 11.9 fWAR, 47.0 GB%
Bum: 3.10 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 3.28 xFIP, 11.4 fWAR, 46.3 GB%
Zim: 3.03 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 3.48 xFIP, 12.4 fWAR, 43.8 GB%
Strasburg’s IP isn’t as high as the other two, but that is mostly because the Nats shut him down early in 2012. All 3 were within 20 innings of each other for 2013-14.
He also still has good peripherals on the road, even if the results haven’t been quite as good. His career road FIP is 3.18 and xFIP is 3.01. Also, according to FG his career FIP and xFIP are 3.03 and 2.96 in medium leverage situations and 2.94 and 2.77 in high leverage. I don’t think either of those areas are that much of a reason for concern.
The reason Strasburg didn’t make the list of Top 10 is because he simply wasn’t a top 10 guy in 2014, which isn’t a slant at all, there’s just too much competition for those spots, and those lists are based on a here and now scenario more so than any type of term-outlook. The 2012-14 comparisons aren’t far off, you’re right. But, last year Bumgarner put up a 2.98 ERA with 1.090 WHIP and 3.05 FIP. Zimmerman put up a 2.66 ERA with 1.072 WHIP and 2.68 FIP.
Strasburg put up a 3.14 ERA with 1.121 WHIP and 3.05 FIP.
While Stras rivaled Bumgarner in FIP last year, Bumgarner/Zimmerman were simply more elite overall. Also, from 12-14 Stras ERA at home was 2.52 while on the road it was 3.74, which is a bit concerning for a supposed ace. He’s been good, just not top 10 good.
Are you sure about that?
People like to point to Greene’s mediocre minor league numbers (4.39 ERA, .276 OPA, 1.48 WHIP) as evidence that 2014 was little more than a fluke. However, I’d like to point out some other numbers from his minor league career. He’s posted a 8.15 K/9 rate over his minor league career and a 2.29 K/BB rate. He’s also allowed just 0.5 HR/9 and has a career 3.45 FIP in the minors. So while it’s still too early to declare him a solid big league caliber starter, it’s also too early to be declaring last year a fluke.
I could see Buehrle doing a swan song season with the Sox or Cardinals next year. Though I hope he pitches longer, always a joy to watch.
He’s from SE MO grew up a Cardinals fan, when he was on the Sox he always talked about wanting to play for the Cardinals before his career was up.
I am content with the Oriole’s catchers.
While, I like Navarro, I just don’t see doing business with the Jays.
Yeah, Duquette is so against those dastardly Blue Jays!
By the transitive property, Dave Dombrowski has traded 2 years of Doug Fister at a huge salary for at least 3 years of Shane Greene at league minimum salary, and then 3 more arbitration years.
So far, so good: 2 games, 16 innings, zero earned runs.
Greene lacks any track record suggesting that he’ll be better than 2 years of Fister. He profiles as a 5th starter. I wouldn’t go calling the Doug Fister a good deal after 2 good starts of Greene..
True, you have to evaluate 6 years of Greene and also how the Tigers used the money saved to get other players to properly evaluate trades.
I will say that Fister himself was very similar to Greene when he first got to Detroit. And so was Scherzer.
Conventional wisdom seems to be you can condemn the trade immediately but have to wait 6 years to praise it. Those of us who recommended patience at the time of the trade got drowned out.
His catcher with the Yankees last year, Cervelli, thinks he has the stuff to be a star. That may be optimistic, but 5th starter is selling him way short.
Every catcher talks high on their pitchers. I don’t really believe in scouting a MiLB stat line to determine future success, but he hasn’t done much of anything in the minors, was a late-round draft pick, and only has an ERA below 4.40 in 1 MiLB level in his career.
Cervelli was quoted twice after he joined the Pirates and Greene joined the Tigers. That’s hardly typical. He must sincerely believe it.
Watching him pitch would help you see the upside in him that the Tigers scouts see.
What are the odds Hamels gets traded this season? I’m thinking about 30% given the Phillies demands and taking a moderate account of Hamel’s rough start.
He is historically a slow starter…career splits…March/April ERA 4.12 WHIP 1.269…May ERA 3.63 WHIP 1.164 and he continues to get better each month…with August being ERA 2.70 WHIP 1.067 Sept. ticks up to ERA 2.97 WHIP 1.127. 2014 ERA’s by month 6.75, 3.71, 1.23, 1.94, 2.73, 1.96
Yea, dismal Phillies start isn’t helping anyone’s trade value, that’s for sure.