With the CBA now in place, teams and players that were waiting for clarity can move toward new agreements. While plenty of organizations have gone right ahead with their plans, others seemingly have waited. That includes the Yankees (per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, on Twitter), Nationals (per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, on Twitter), and perhaps also the Red Sox (via Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, in a tweet). Whether we’re in for a rush of moves remains to be seen, but the stage is set.
Here’s all the latest chatter on the market:
- The Astros continue to strive to add another bat, with the team confident it will land either Edwin Encarnacion or Carlos Beltran, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). Still, the Yankees, Blue Jays, and a “couple others” remain involved on Encarnacion, Heyman tweets. All three of those teams, along with the Red Sox, are in on Beltran, Nightengale adds on Twitter.
- Several former employers of first bagger Mike Napoli have interest in a reunion, per Heyman. The Red Sox, Indians, and Rangers are perhaps the three teams most heavily invested in his market. Meanwhile, the Yankees and Astros appear to be involved at the periphery at present.
- There have been some rumblings of late suggesting that the Cubs and White Sox likely won’t do business with one another this winter, at least not on any significant deals, and Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times rounds up the latest. Ultimately, it seems, there’s not much new to chew on here: both teams say they’re open working with one another, even if they acknowledge what GM Jed Hoyer suggests is an unsurprising reality that the clubs are unlikely to to match up on an impactful swap given their market competition.
- The Dodgers are still open to considering trades involving outfielder Yasiel Puig, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times recently noted on Twitter. Meanwhile, the Athletics continue to chase a center fielder after signing Matt Joyce, per GM David Forst (via MLB.com’s Jane Lee, on Twitter). It seems that Oakland is considering options via trade and free agency to fill the void up the middle.
- There’s “minimal trade interest” at present in Diamondbacks righty Zack Greinke, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. His massive contract remains an obvious impediment, though rival execs tells Rosenthal that they don’t believe Arizona can afford to carry that huge commitment. It’s certainly a notable dilemma for the team.
- The Pirates are looking into the trade market for relief help, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via Twitter). It’s possible that Pittsburgh could consider moving Tony Watson, who is in his final season of team control and comes with a projected $5.9MM salary. The team does have two other solid pen lefties; while Watson currently profiles as the closer, moreover, there are a variety of potential alternatives on the open market.
I think the Greinke contract and concerns are blown way out of proportion. If Greinke won 20 games and had an ERA under 3.00, there wouldn’t be talk of this contract being an “albatross.”
I would agree. I think he will bounce back, and no one will care. It’s not like he’s out there making a ton more than every other top tier pitcher like Price and Kershaw, etc. They needed an ace, and they got one. A healthy DBacks team this year could be dangerous as is. I think they still need to make some moves, but they still have one of the best offenses in baseball.
Completely agree. Last season was all around a mess with injuries and inconsistencies. 2017 will be better, for the team and Greinke.
I generally agree, and I’m a Dodgers fan. One area that needs improvement is their bullpen, but if their starters, especially Miller, bounce back they can be a force. I perceive their bullpen to be a mess.
Maybe I’m missing your point, but isn’t the idea that he didn’t produce those numbers? He had an ERA of 4.37 and if those numbers continue then the contract is absolutely and albatross.
Yes, but he also showed some dominance in games. He had a game where he allowed 9 runs, one where he allowed 8, and two in which he allowed 7. Those were at the beginning of the year and around the time in which he got hurt. Take those 4 games out of it though, and he allowed 3 ER or less in 18 of his 22 starts, the other 4 games were games in which he allowed 4 runs. And, the majority of those 18 were 2 runs or less (4 games where he allowed 3 runs). So really, of those 18, 14 of them he allowed 2 runs or less. The 4.37 ERA is inflated massively by those 4 starts.
Here, I did the math. Eliminate those 4 starts of 9, 8, 7, and 7 runs and he ends with an ERA of 2.93 over the other 22 starts. That is still dominance. He will be fine. Like I said, the 4.37 ERA looks bad if you just look at it as a number. When you break it down though, it is bloated because of 4 starts. It’s not like he is allowing 4 runs per game every time out.
So, to sum up, if you remove the games he sucked, he was good. Bet that works for every player.
Not really. That’s how it typically works with aces though. They dominate for 3 or 4 games, then allow a few runs all in one game. Look at Kershaw. He allows 0 or 1 run each game, and then allows 4 or 5 in an outing. I’m more giving you a comparison and break down based on the fact that he dominated in 18 of his starts, so the 4.37 ERA doesn’t mean as much. It’s a lot different than comparing him to another guy with the same ERA that has it because he is allowing 3, 4, and 5 runs each game. That doesn’t give a team as much of a chance to win as the guy that allows 7 in one and then 0, 1, and 2 for the rest. That puts your team in position to win a lot of games, hence the ace status.
Yeah. For example, Verlander ended up with a 3.04 ERA, second best in the AL. But in the first half, he had 3 starts where he gave 7 runs. Take out those 3 starts, and he’d have a 2.32 ERA, second best in the MLB and tops in the AL
He should have won the CY Young
Yeah, but if you apply that same logic to Aaron Sanchez, removing his worst three starts (of only 6 ER), his new ERA would be 2.31 and still beats Verlander.
I wasn’t saying it in that sense. Verlander also Porcello in almost all stat categories. He led in ERA, WHIP , IP, batting average, strikeouts, strikeouts per nine innings, and hits per nine innings. He also likely would have had more wins, but Porcello received the most run support of any pitcher in the AL… over 6 runs per game.
And if you remove Kershaw’s 3 worst starts, he has a 1.15 ERA.
I hate when people say that take this outing or that outing u cant. That’s what makes great pitchers great and separates the good from the great. Right now greinke is getting paid to be a great pitcher, he had a terrible year however u wanna carve it up. He should pick it up next year being a smart pitcher by all accounts and learning from his mistakes. He has to learn and adjust just as Verlander had to. Don’t make excuses for him just say he had a bad year and should pick it up next year.
I agree with you. If you want to even entertain the idea of removing starts it brings about a whole slew of possibilities. First if he wasnt healthy enough to start why did he. Second great starting pitchers will give up runs on most of their outings. So if he’s healthy enough to start and a great pitcher taking out a start makes no sense. It’s just heresay. Really what you would want to do is give him a quality start 6 IP 3 ER for every start you “take out”. Then see what that works out to. In summation, with today’s game you do not have to be the best to be paid like the best. Greinke is a really good and still can pitch at high levels. But with that contract comes the expectations of excellent starts, innings eater, staff leader, face of the franchise, and intimidating presence for opposing teams. In the first year he failed because it was an entire year
Remove the 4 worst starts of just about anyone in a season, and you will see dramatic differences in ERA.
The contract was considered an albatross when it was signed because of AZ market. It’s essentially a 1/3 of their payroll and that leads to serious ramifications. Now it’s considered an albatross, because there will be serious concerns about their ability to move it with the new threshold implications. Plus knowing Grienke’s personalities two of the big markets he could be traded to that could possibly absorb that contract, i.e. Yankees and Red Soxs are probably on his no trade list. So in essence it’s not necessarily an albatross if he pitches well but it’s still a bad bad contract for AZ especially if they are unable to move Tomas’s because his bump and Grienke’s salary in 2019 might make it more unlikely they can keep both Pollock and Goldy. Grienke and Tomas will combine 50M alone.
Moving Tomas should be a priority, but with Haniger included in the Walker/Segura trade that becomes a problem as it leaves them incredibly thin on the outfield corners.
wait, so you mean if he was good people would think the contract was better? Too bad you can’t just hand waive poor performance away like that.
But he was good overall. Take away the 4 starts in which he allowed 9, 8, 7, and 7 runs, and he allowed 3 ER or less in 18 of his 22 starts. 2 ER or less in 14 of those 18. That’s pretty dang good. He will rebound next year, and the DBacks should hold onto him. They also have money coming in over the next couple of years because of a TV deal, which is why they were approved to get Greinke in the first place.
And another note…
I do think Greinke will pitch better in 2017 than 2016. But let’s be realistic here. His final season with the Dodgers was a clear outlier. Here’s his WAR by year:
2010 – 3.4
2011 – 1.5
2012 – 3.6
2013 – 3.9
2014 – 4.3
2015 – 9.3
2016 – 2.3
He’ll rebound, but not by much.
I’m well aware of that, and by no means am I saying that he is the top pitcher in baseball. or anything. My point is that he is still an ace, and he is what the DBacks needed. My only point is that he isn’t a complete albatross right now, especially if you look into the 4.37 ERA more. There’s a reason he had that ERA and had a 2.3 WAR, and it’s because he was really good in the majority of his games. I also said that because people say the DBacks don’t have money, but they are starting to get it. They signed a $1..5B TV deal in 2015 that brings in around $80M per year to the team. Not all of that goes to payroll of course, but that is why they felt they could pay for Greinke.
a 2.3 win pitcher is not an ace. That’s barely above average
But performance qualifiers are now going to play an important aspect because it ensured a bigger portion of money flow to smaller markets in which big market teams no longer have to fork over. So essentially a portion of that tv contract replaces some of 2016s revenue sharing income. No one is saying the Dbacks don’t have money what is being said is Grienke is making a 1/3 of payroll which bundled with Tomas can potentially earn 50 mill. Plus this is the last year of cheapish control in Pollock. And they probably want to lock up Goldy long term as in life. So with the new threshold taxes and implications it probably will make Grienke’s contract an albatross seeing as now it’s going to be almost extremely difficult to move.
Except, the D-backs have an owner that pretends the TV deal never happened and stubbornly refuses to let payroll rise above the arbitrary $100MM mark. The reason the horrible Swanson/Miller trade even happened was because of this barrier.
Well, yeah – that’s the point. He didn’t win 20 games with a sub-3.00 ERA, so he didn’t pitch to expectations, hence why it’s a bad contract. There wouldn’t be any talk about it being an “albatross” contract simply because it wouldn’t be an “albatross” contract.
Most other pitchers with long and expensive contracts like Greinke’s are pitching to their expected levels (Strasburg, Kershaw, Scherzer, Lester, Verlander), so nobody is calling those albatross contracts (at least not yet).
There are only a few pitchers whose contracts could compare to Greinke’s right now. Here they are, with the years remaining, the average annual value, the ages, and the WAR they posted last season.
Zack Greinke: 5 years, $34.4M AAV, ages 33-37, 2.3 WAR
David Price: 6 years, $31.2M AAV, ages 31-36, 3.0 WAR
Adam Wainwright: 2 years, $19.5M AAV, ages 35-36, 1.0 WAR
Felix Hernandez: 3 years, $27.1M AAV, ages 31-33, 1.6 WAR
Jordan Zimmermann: 4 years, $23.0M AAV, ages 31-34, 0.2 WAR
Jeff Samardzija: 4 years, $19.8M AAV, ages 32-35, 2.7 WAR
Most of them either have far shorter contracts or will make far less a year, so nobody’s really comparable except for Price.
And I think the only reason we hear about Greinke’s contract more than Price’s is the fact that 1) The Red Sox made it to the playoffs last season, the Diamondbacks were one loss away from finishing with the second worst record in baseball, and, more importantly, 2) the Red Sox had an opening day payroll of $197.1 million while Arizona’s was $98.173. As a percentage of the team’s total payroll, Price’s AAV is 15.75% while Greinke’s is 35.14%.
Compared to all the other pitching contracts in baseball, Greinke’s, unless he turns it around, is indeed “albatross”.
But he didn’t win 20 with a sub 3 ERA
It long contract hurt the team, league, trades, those big trade help the person I love the Cubs but after Arretta time up so long unless you get a 3 year mega deal
I feel like things are about to start heating up this off-season now that the CBA has been agreed upon. I think EE to the Astros, Beltran to the Red Sox, Cutch will get traded.
The one I’m wondering about a lot to is the Tigers. If they sell, I wonder where Miggy, Verlander, and JD end up. Especially if EE does go to the Astros. I don’t think the Tigers will just sell one piece.
And, now I’m wondering where my Mariners and Nats go. I think the Mariners should make a play for Cutch now, and they still need a pitcher (no idea who, I don’t think they should have traded Walker). I actually think they should have rebuilt 2 years ago instead of going 3/4 in trying to win. The AL is tough to win it right now, and Felix and Cano are going to start hurting us more than helping us soon.
For the Nats, I think their best path is to trade Giolioto, Fedde, Robles and one other for Sale, trade Gio to free up salary, sign Bautista and Jansen if possible, which moves Harper to CF for a year until Werth leaves and puts Turner back at SS. Then you trade for a cheap option at C, like Derek Norris. This guts their farm system a bit, but these couple of years are their prime, so they might as well go all out,. They are already the Cubs’ biggest competition and this would put them over the top.
Adding derick Norris at catcher is like going 3/4 all in
If he is the only move, then yes. But if you are adding him because you have to cut costs after adding Sale, Bautista, and Jansen, then no. If they don’t get any of those, then yes, they need to add a better catcher. But other catchers are going to cost over $10M per year at least, where Norris is only making around $2M next year.
The Tigers are not really “selling”. They have just stated what they will be looking for in return. They want young players with control. I will be surprised if anyone is moved other than JD. Verlander, Cabrera, Victor, J Up, and Kinsler all have full or significant no-trade clauses. If they get an overwhelming offer for K-Rod (which I don’t expect to happen), I am sure they would consider it. They need a CF option now that Maybin has been moved.
I think Cutch gets traded to the Rangers
Either way, it sounds like it’s really only coming down to maybe 3 teams, and it sounds like the Pirates are more making the contact with those teams to get him traded rather than the other way. Should be interesting to see what happens. He is a nice bounceback candidate.
Bannister makes that a likely destination, but what do the Rangers have to offer?
Nothing. They traded the last of their elite prospects to get Lucroy and Beltran.
Would d backs and cards match up in a blockbuster deal for pollock and greinke? Giving d backs salary relief and cards their cf? Maybe weaver, tuivailalla, bader, Gyorko, leake ( who would certainly waive no trade clause to go to home in Arizona) then d backs eat half of the albatross of a contract with greinke. Cards would have rotation of Martinez, Reyes, waino, greinke, Lynn which could be deadly. Thoughts?
My only “thought” is that the trade you have planned out is completely ridiculous.
Cards wouldn’t spend that $$ on grienke contract.
Diamondbacks wouldn’t take that. There’s really no “salary relief” involved at all. Leake+ half of Greinke’s contract almost equals Greinke’s contract, so it then becomes a bunch of spare parts for Pollock and a swap of pitchers that gives Arizona a younger, but less effective one
The Dbacks aren’t eating half of the contract. That still destroys them financially. If they are going to move him they’ll probably be willing to take on a year or two of contracts that add up to his but half is a no go. Plus no one knows exactly who is on his partial no trade list. I also believe the Dbacks are really looking to rebuild they seem more incline to take a retool approach and try to compete in 18.
The D’backs take Leake AND half the contract? Nah. Plus you’d need more talent going to Arizona.
Grienke is gonna be paid about 172/5. (half is 86.25). Leake is making an average of ~17mil over the next 4 (assuming 5m buyout), so 68. So that’s only a salary saving of like 18.25. you are not getting Pollock for 18.25 and some meh trade pieces.
Wow. put the crack pipe down.
I can see the A’s offloading Graveman and prospects for McCutchen.
They could…but why would they? They aren’t competing this year in the West or for the Wild Card, so why trade off your future for someone like Cutch? They’re better off going for filler guys
Just Another Fan
It could be a lateral move to keep him for half a year then flip him for better prospects than they gave up for him, like when they got Holliday but failed with that. It would be a huge risk though. I think Puig would be a better target in that regard.
I think the Pirates should trade Watson.
Either package him with Cutch to get a better return or wait out Chapman, Jansen and Melancon signing.
OR if Nutting is willing to spend some money, keep Watson and sign Melancon to go with Rivero and you have a 2015 Royals bullpen. Just kidding, Nutting would never spend money.
Wait for Nats to lose out out on the big 3 and offer Cutch and Watson for Giolito.
Nats turn that down and offer a package headed by Fedde to the Royals for Wade Davis. They won’t give up Giolito for anything other than Sale. They don’t need to. Their OF as it stands right now is Werth, Turner, and Harper, which is dang good. Cutch would be nice, but I’d bet as soon as Giolito was mentioned, they hang up.
Off topic but I’d just like to state something I believe. First of all I am a life long Red Sox fan and fan of Ortiz, however I am a little disturbed in light of the new cba. Players are aware of what’s on the table going into these things. David Ortiz coincidentally retires after posting MVP type numbers right before the new Cba impliments an HGH marker? That goes for text and arod as well..
I really wish the Yankees would get rid of their policy on facial hair…A clean-shaven Mike Napoli just isn’t as intimidating. Same thing with Swisher, McCann and to some extent, Damon.
Just Another Fan
Plus there’s the whole thing about baseball being America’s game and America (supposedly) is about freedom and individuality and being allowed to be yourself. This is a big reason why the Yankees are viewed as evil by the rest of us: all their players look the same, like corporate employees.
The Clint Frazier pix of him cutting his glorious long red locks off was simply heartbreaking, what fun is that guy now? The Yankees were absolutely a hell of a lot cooler in the 70’s before they initiated this dumb team rule.
Its gonna be funny as hell when he doesn’t even make the Yankees ML team. Its such an awful rule.
Mike Napoli was never with the jankees. I get your point though. Even though he shaved arrieta doesn’t look fearful any.more either.
I read articles about the Sox trying to get goldschmidt but I think I’d prefer a trade involving greinke and lamb and to partially offset the deal financially include Pablo (salary more manageable than greinke) and obviously prospects would have to be included what would it take in addition to to get the deal done? Or does Arizona plan on contending?
Contending or not, Lamb is a piece that D-backs will be trying to hold on to. He’s pre-arb and good. His traditionally very good defense went missing last year but I fully expect him to put up multiple 3+ WAR seasons. Theoretically, they could part with Lamb and play Drury in his natural, 3B position but they’re short on LHBs and trading Lamb just compounds this problem. IF, the D-backs were to trade Lamb, no less than Moncada would have to come back and that’s not factoring in Greinke and certainly not taking on Sandoval.
Trust me I’m not under any delusions that Pablo has any value in this other than his contract. Generally deals previously have involved undesirable pieces like Olivera or someone like that. And I kinda figured it would look like that I knew he was good that’s the reason for it thought it would be something like
Red sox get: greinke lamb
Diamondbacks get: sandoval (salary offsetting measure) moncada pomeranz
Diamondbacks also get the luxury of having something like 15 million free each year and 29 the last year of greinke s deal not to mention one of the top ranked prospects in baseball.
Then, yes, a rebuild would have to be in order. In that case, Pomeranz, although he does help even out your proposed deal, doesn’t make sense. The D-backs will want prospects back. They won’t want a guy they’ll lose in 2 years while doling out another $12MM through arbitration.
I went back and forth with him or prospects but in that deal I kinda doubted Boston would want to surrender anything more than moncada prospect wise if they were they probably would just go for sale. Thought Arizona might want pomeranz to either flip @ the deadline or even right now with the cost of pitching as high as it is.
IMO, the D-backs are best served seeing if they can compete in the first half of 2017. Their rotation, Greinke included, is due for a big bounce-back. To trade Greinke right now would be to sell low and I don’t see Hazen as being that kind of GM. To pry him away right now the buying team is going to need to pay at least 75% of the contract and throw in a decent prospect or MLB player.
Can anyone really blame the white sox for not wanting to make a trade with the cubs. The last deal of significance was sosa for George bell. Id say the cubs won that deal.
Even if you never intend to deal with the Cubs why would you make any that public knowledge. A team with the depth of the Cubs can easily be used as leverage in trade negotiations and if other GMs don’t seriously believe you would ever make that trade then that strategy is out the window.
I can understand the Sox not wanting to trade Sale or anyone of real significance to the Cubs. Their fans would be livid. But I can really see Soler being on that team and being a big star. Maybe Soler and a minor leaguer or two for Quintana but I highly doubt it.
Soler + crumbs might fetch Quintana’s left shoe.
Sox fans would only be livid if they got little in return for Sale. As far as I’m concerned, the Cubs or any other non-AL Central team can have him for the right price.
Those would have to be REALLY good minor leaguers, and it’s still probably not enough. Soler has very little value right now.
Sometimes, it’s the deals that DON’T happen that are the best. Remember the uproar when Greinke signed with the D’Backs, and there were Dodgers fans with their pitchforks out ready to mob the Dodgers front office?
It goes with out saying that yanks needs power hitter
After what Napoli did in the world series I hope the Red Sox don’t sign him. Especially when Beltran would be a perfect fit