It was on this day in 1919 that probably the single most influential trade in baseball history was settled, as Red Sox owner Harry Frazee agreed to sell Babe Ruth to the Yankees for a price of $100K (plus a $350K loan from Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert that included Fenway Park’s mortgage put up as collateral). The trade was officially announced a week later once Ruth had agreed to a new contract. The rest, as they say, was history. Ruth’s presence began the Yankees’ historic dominance and “cursed” the Red Sox to a World Series drought that lasted until 2004.
Here’s more from around baseball…
- The latest subscription-only column from ESPN’s Buster Olney lists the top roster holes left on contending teams, with the Dodgers’ rotation leading the way followed by the Orioles’ need for a power hitter. Since the O’s pulled their $150MM offer to Chris Davis, some within the organization are asking if that offer should be put back onto the table if Davis revisits talks, given that no other teams are seemingly jumping in to pay Davis $150MM or more.
- Also from Olney’s column, he wonders if signing Daniel Murphy could make the Nationals more likely to sign another qualifying offer free agent. The Nats surrendered their first-rounder to sign Murphy, so they’d only be giving up a second-rounder for another QO player. I’d add that the Nats’ decision could be made even easier by the fact that they at least one and probably two bonus sandwich round picks from their own QO free agents (Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond). Olney suggests that Dexter Fowler could be the best fit for Washington among the remaining qualifying offer free agents, with Wei-Yin Chen and Ian Kennedy also possibilities as Scott Boras clients.
- The Phillies serve as a cautionary tale to the Yankees, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes, as a team that fell apart due to a thin farm system and little production from veterans on big contracts. With New York already committing millions to aging veterans, the club is trying to manage the tricky task of getting younger while still remaining a contender, even if that means eschewing adding another big contract in free agency this winter.