Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has published his latest Inside Baseball column and begins by taking a look at his 25 “heroes” of the 2015 season. Here are some highlights from the rest of the piece…
- Adding a top-tier starting pitcher and a top closer are the main priorities of the Diamondbacks this offseason, Heyman hears. While the D-Backs probably won’t make a run at “the” top starter (presumably David Price), the team does have some money to spend on a starting pitcher. Previous reports have also stated that the Diamondbacks will renew trade talks for Aroldis Chapman this winter, though the asking price on him has, in the past, been said to be exorbitant.
- The Braves have shown a willingness to listen to trade offers on almost anyone, but sources tell Heyman that Freddie Freeman probably isn’t going anywhere. Atlanta is also said to be open to a return for Craig Kimbrel — the initial trade was made for the purpose of shedding Melvin Upton’s contract — though the ’pen will receive a boost when Shae Simmons, Jason Grilli and Chris Withrow are healthy.
- The Orioles will make qualifying offers to Chris Davis and Wei-Yin Chen but are not yet certain whether to extend one to Matt Wieters, who has had somewhat of a rough season in his return from Tommy John.
- Clay Buchholz has been out since July with an elbow injury and will not return this season, according to Heyman, but the Red Sox will exercise his $13MM option for 2016 if he looks good in a bullpen session Sunday. Whatever happens, the Red Sox will look for additional pitching this winter. (Last night, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reported that Buchholz still hopes he can pitch an inning in the Red Sox’ last game of the season.)
- The White Sox considered offering Jeff Samardzija an extension of around $80MM when they acquired him last season, but Samardzija wanted to test free agency. Heyman reports that Samardzija was disappointed the White Sox didn’t deal him in July, since a deal would have allowed him to pitch for a contender and would have prevented him from being extended a qualifying offer.
- Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler still looks like the favorite for the Angels GM job, and Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine is another possibility. Heyman also mentions that the name of Padres and Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has also come up.
- Though Eppler may the favorite in Anaheim, he’s also one of two finalists for the Mariners’ GM post, with the other being Jerry Dipoto. Each candidate is in line for a second interview, which could be more than Dana Brown of the Blue Jays and interim GM Jeff Kingston get. Each has interviewed once, as have others, per Heyman.
- Incoming Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro will retain GM Alex Anthopoulos. Of course, as Heyman notes, that’s hardly surprising given how well the Jays have played recently.
- Nationals ownership, is, perhaps unsurprisingly, very disappointed with the 2015 team. While nothing is certain, however, GM Mike Rizzo seems likely to return for 2016.
Contrary to Heyman saying Buchholz won’t pitch again this season, Red Sox/WEEI beat writer Rob Bradford reported last night that he’s been cleared to throw and can pursue pitching out of the bullpen at the very end of the season. http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2015/09/24/clay-buchholz-gets-clearance-to-keep-pursuing-his-one-inning/
Noted. Thanks for the heads up.
If the Braves trade Freddie Freeman, Atlanta fans will riot in the streets. After the offseason fire sale – most of which consisted of smart moves – and the shady stadium deal, it’s time for the Atlanta front office to regain some trust with the fans.
Have you not read consistently on any of the Braves boards? The bandwagoneers are out in force proclaiming their hate of all things Hart, as Wren readied his resume for Boston. It’s hilarious how near-sided some fans are though their first draft (2015) already looks pretty spectacular, not to mention acquiring 12 of 20 of our top prospects in trades, while also shedding payroll (Melvin Upton, Chris Johnson) and adding depth (Shelby Miller, Grilli, Maybin, etc.). The jury is still out, but it looks like Hart is winning or has won most of the deals he made already.
Now, in regards to Freddie Freeman, he has a large extension. Hart was not going to move another fan favorite, Craig Kimbrel, if SD did not take on MLB’s worst contract (Melvin Upton). Nothing is set in stone, but we don’t need to shed payroll, we’re still looking to contend in the near-future (1-2 years) and Freeman is a young, controllable, run-producer. He’s as “untouchable” as they come, unless some team has some Mark Teixiera trade-like bounty in mind (ATL-TEX).
About the stadium deal. The Braves were not going to commit to extending the lease with Turner Field without having control of the area around the stadium, which the city owned and made loads of money on parking. When they could not come to an agreement, they found another willing suitor in the area, which would be more profitable while also locating the team closer to their fan base.
The deal for the new stadium was pretty shady, but the current arrangement at Turner was unsustainable. Atlanta city officials have no one to blame but themselves for losing the Braves to the ‘burbs.
MLB’s worst contract? Now no one is saying Melvin’s contract isn’t terrible, but A-Rod, Pujols and Verlander’s contracts are looking WAY worse!
I don’t see how what you’re saying about Freeman and the Braves’ offseason deals differs from what I said, which makes me wonder why you’d question if I ever read any of the Braves boards.
Hopefully the DBacks meet the Reds’ trade demands on Chapman so both teams can go home happy. I doubt they can expect the demands to drop, however.
I dont see the Braves selling. Wouldnt suprise me if they decide to be buyers this offseason and use their prospect depth to fill holes.
Not going to lie, would love to see Braves get Kimbrel back. Not the same seeing him in SD. Upton and Heyward was expected, Kimbrel was the one that shocked me at least.
Also shocked me, but when knowing that was the ONLY way Melvin Upton would be gone, it made sense. Would be great to get him back, but I am from the camp of not needing a $10 million closer. It’s a luxury that we didn’t need. If we can allocate funds for it, then maybe we can get back to an elite bullpen. Thing is, we’ve acquired a lot of guys with some closing experience, including Chris Withrow and Jason Grilli (not saying they’re long-term answers).
So glad the White Sox didn’t extend Samardzija. He reminds me a lot of John Danks: spectacular every blue moon, average or below-average the rest of the time.
Another good example, Gavin Floyd (as a starter, not his brief success as a reliever now). I referred to Danks as a ‘lefty Gavin Floyd ‘ way back when they gave him that insane extension as an over reaction to Buehrle leaving, people scoffed at me back then, would love to know their opinion now). As an aside,I think the Sox have another ‘Danks’ in the way of Carson Fulmer as well. Great potential but short for a pitcher today and I think is just a ticking bomb to have shoulder or elbow issues in about 4 years.
He is disappointed he didn’t get traded? Maybe the White Sox are disappointed that Samardzija is 10-13 with a 5+ era for them this year. When you are 15 games under .500 for your career (yes I am talking about wins and losses, sorry to offend anyone) you should be happy to make 10 million a year. Sometimes you need a 10 million dollar a year starting pitcher to just go out and win a game more often than not. His best full year was out of the Cubs bullpen in 2011. In 2015, he’s leading the AL in hits allowed and earned runs allowed. Some of that has to be the pitchers fault.
Get that wins and losses stat the fxxk out of here! Most useless stat in baseball. He is bad because his ERA is over 5.00.
ERA isn’t any more useful than wins and losses. Shark isn’t bad because his ERA is over 5…the ERA is merely a symptom of him being bad. The actual reason he’s been bad is because he used to be able to throw a nasty splitter and, for some reason, it’s not as nasty this year. It’s staying up in the zone. A nasty splitter shouldn’t still be in the strike zone when it gets to the hitter, but his is more than ever before. As a result, his ground ball rate is the lowest it’s ever been and, as everyone knows, more fly balls in U.S. Cellular Field is a bad thing.
By that argument, every stat is essentially useless, since all they do is show results, they don’t explain why the player achieved those results.
All other things equal, the lower your ERA is, the more likely your team is to win when you pitch. It is possible to have a bad record and still be a good pitcher (think Shelby Miller) and it is possible to have a good record and still be a bad pitcher (think Drew Hutchison). ERA tells you much more about how a guy is pitching than wins and losses do.
I really feel like Samardzija only cares about how much money he can make, he’s always been pitching for a contract not pitching to win. So glad to Cubs moved on from that head case.
I’d make a QO to Wieters. Since he’s a Boras client, he’ll likely reject it and leave anyways. If we at least try to give them a QO and they decline and sign somewhere else, you can start stocking the minors with talent again and improve on a depleted farm system.
Depleted farm system where both AA and AAA won their division and where AA won the league championship for the first time in team history.
As for Samardzija, He can go. Reportedly he also cannot get along with Cooper (Sox pitching coach), with his apparent inability to hit his spots I’m not surprised why. So the Sox keeping him was doubtful anyway. Shark tried to pitch well enough in July to get traded but then the Sox had delusions of grandeur due to two weeks of great performance against mediocre teams vs the rest of the mediocre season they were having. Combine that with the likelihood that no one wanted to give the Sox much for him, and surprise surprise he is still here. Another sign much more needs to change on the south side of Chicago (coaching and upper management) other than Shark leaving.