Athletics assistant GM/director of player personnel Billy Owens has been rumored as “a strong candidate” to become the next Giants general manager, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ newly-hired president of baseball operations, knows Owens well from their time together in Oakland’s front office, and Zaidi is one of several voices in Slusser’s piece who praise Owens’ ability to scout and identify talent (not to mention describe that talent in legendarily elaborate scouting reports). If there is one flaw in Owens’ resume, it could be his love of scouting prevents him from amassing the type of executive experience necessary to run a front office. That said, Owens has been sought after by other organizations, and he interviewed for the Phillies’ GM job in 2015, leading to speculation that he could eventually leave Oakland for a higher-profile job — perhaps even reuniting with Zaidi in the Bay Area.
Here’s more from around the baseball world…
- Marcus Stroman’s blunt comments about the Blue Jays’ offseason seem to hint at an eventual parting of the ways between the team and the right-hander, Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi opines. Stroman’s frankness probably didn’t help his chances at either a contract extension or a trade, though if he has a good first half and erases any question marks lingering from his mediocre 2018 season, Stroman will surely become an intriguing trade chip for the Jays at the deadline.
- The Red Sox plan to use Steven Wright as a full-time reliever this season, MLB.com’s Ian Browne writes, with manager Alex Cora casting Wright as a potential multi-inning threat. At first glance, a knuckleballer would seem like an unusually durable option to relegate to the bullpen, though Wright is just happy to be pitching in any capacity after two injury-plagued seasons. There is also the possibility for higher-profile assignments within Boston’s pen, given the team’s lack of an established closer.
- Gordon Beckham chose to sign the Tigers over some offers from other teams because they offered the best shot at regular Major League at-bats, the veteran infielder told Chris McCosky of the Detroit News and other reporters. The idea of more time in the minors isn’t appealing to Beckham, to the point that “if it doesn’t work out here, I might be done” with his ten-year MLB career, though he also noted that better health and a revamped swing have him feeling optimistic about the coming season.
- Right-hander Rookie Davis is close to a new minor league contract and Spring Training invite with an unknown team, The Athletic’s Emily Waldon reports (Twitter link), adding that the Pirates have been in touch with Davis. Perhaps best known as one of the prospects sent by the Yankees to the Reds as part of the Aroldis Chapman trade in December 2015, Davis tossed 27 innings for Cincinnati in 2017 and then underwent hip surgery that October. He pitched only 26 1/3 innings in the Reds’ farm system last season and became a free agent in November.
How in the world were the Blue Jays supposed to offer Stroman anything other than an extremely low contract extension after what he’s put up the last couple years? Obviously he’d be mad if the offer was super low, so they didn’t make an offer at all. Who truly would be willing to predict that Stro will be good enough the next couple years to give a decent extension too now?!Not me and I’ve always been a Stroman fan and supporter. He just needs to play well and shut up if he wants paid, because he hasn’t earned much of anything.
He needs to be given a chance somewhere else.
Right now Stroman is proving to the baseball world he can handle the highs and cannot handle the lows. Teams will want him, for now. This will happen again when his next team falters and he voices his displeasure.
It’s a bad look from a talented pitcher. He’s doing what he can to leave on his terms while attempting to destroy Toronto’s trade leverage. The epitome of selfishness.
According to Fangraphs, since 2014 when he came up, only 34 pitchers have delivered more WAR than Stroman, and he was hurt for one of those years. So what for you constitutes positive results?
People seem to have a weird misconception about his results as a pitcher. If he doesn’t year his ACL in pfp he might be top 15 in WAR since his career began. He’s been very good and one of the games most valuable pitchers for the last half decade.
There’s no need to talk about 2014 when he was absolutely awful LAST season(and has been below league average in 2 of the last 3 seasons).
Bryce Harper sucked last year and he’s about to get $300m. Careers stats matter
.900 OPS and he “sucked.” That’s why Harper is getting $300+ mil. Even in a down year, he’s easily still one of the best hitters in baseball.
His WARS in 16 and 17 were over 3 and 2 is league average. Last year his WAR was 1.5 in 102 IP, putting him on pace for 3 WAR.
.900 OPS and still only a 1.3 WAR. Someone’s going to be paying a lot of cash per 1 WAR.
I’m not really buying Harper is that poor of a defensive OFer. fWar pegged him at 3.5 WAR which is significantly closer to his actual value. If you really think Harper was just as valuable as a guy like Derrick Dietrich was last year I think we need a reality check. That bWAR number means nothing to me and sometimes we have to do a little more than just look at the number and say that’s that.
Times on base, 2018:
1. Trout • LAA 279
2. Bregman • HOU 278
3. Freeman • ATL 274
4. Harper • WSN 273
5. Ramirez • CLE 270
6. Betts • BOS 269
7. Goldschmidt • ARI 268
8. Yelich • MIL 262
9. Lindor • CLE 261
Martinez • BOS 261
Agreed jbigz. I don’t even look at bWAR anymore, it’s obviously a flawed stat.
Stroman s 2017 was pretty good finished 8th in Cy voting.
If the PA want SP to get paid more rather than yelling nonsense about collusion and stupid ideas like 26 man rosters they ought to be asking for limiting RP on rosters. This fixes a couple issues. Games will be shorter less pitching changes if you don’t have 9 RP to choose from. Secondly the SP will have to pitch longer and those who can effectively pitch longer will be PAID MORE to do so. Don’t give this crap about pitching injuries either. It’s noy that these guys can’t pitch longer in games it’s teams think they’re aren’t as effective.
This will effectively get rid of the specialists as well. Teams would be forced to develop Rp that can effectively pitch muti innings.
Limiting RP on the roster also limits the ability to constantly send effective Rp with options to the minors stunting their numbers costing them money as well. But yeah let’s focus on why Machado isn’t getting 13 year deal…
Not surprised you couldn’t follow that trim. Limiting RP on Mlb teams, will speed up the game (which is badly needed regardless of your irrelevant opinion) and solve some of the issues the PA are having on their side.
^No it won’t. Want to limit RP while speeding up the game? Take the arm guards off the hitters. That will speed up the game. Your method won’t work if you leave a laboring starting pitcher to get whacked all over the place. More hits, longer innings and therefore a longer game.
Someday you’ll learn how to think properly. Until then….
“Stroman s 2017 was pretty good finished 8th in Cy voting.”
Yeah, that 8th place was exactly two votes.– nobody got less. Maybe if his WHIP hadn’t been in the 1.3 range, he would’ve done better.
Sox usually know what they’re doing but I’d prefer Wright be the number five inning eater starter. He’d really be a #6 but the rotation always has injuries. my concern is which is better for a chronic knee, seven to ten innings every six days on average or as a reliever pitching different amounts but including warming up, pitching most days? Having had three knee operations myself, I’d prefer the starter role. His recent knee history is such that I’d want him to rest between each appearance.
Wright has proven he isn’t durable enough to handle being a starter. This seems like a better option.
I would really be interested in watching Wright close games.
Stroman is on the decline and is panicking as he realizes millions are slipping away from him. Couldn’t happen to a more arrogant player this side of Bryce Harper. Stroman’s best chance for a decent payday is becoming a reliever. This guy is a 4/5 starter, at best.
It’s kind of naive to say he’s on the decline after one season. And give us a break on arrogance. You don’t know any of these players.
Yeah either way, he won’t likely be a Jay by the end of the season. Anybody can work hard and be passionate Marcus. But you have to have the numbers to back it up.
He’s still on arbitration, likely a 2020 trade chip as opposed to 2019
Hopefully Zaidi will find a way to address Samardzija’s “opener” and “strike” comments; and even ridding the Giants of his salary. He has not produced anywhere near the value of his contract.
Jim Bowden’s assessment is “spot on.”
“Samardzija doesn’t need to be critical of Tampa Bay. The Rays won 90+ games last year in the AL East and “openers” were very helpful to winning additional games. How many games did Samardzija win for the Giants … he has never won more than 12 games … his ERA last year was 6.00+ … his best year ERA was 3.80 … and the Giants gave him a 5 year $90 million dollar contract. The Giants need to consider an “opener” at the beginning, middle and end when Samardzija pitches.”
Rather than being critical of other organizations Samardzija needs to be critical of his own performance and produce!
Since his days with the Cubs Samarzdija has been the most overrated SP in baseball. Good to see that people are finally realizing that. Shark peaked in his brief time in OAK, but otherwise his numbers have been underwhelming. Still not sure what SF thought they were getting when they backed up the Brinks truck.
they were looking at his individual stats. you know, things like his FIP, rather than the conventional stats like W’s. The “new” stats said that if he pitched well but lost, it was not his fault. Some people are winners, some are losers. Well, he continued his level of success with his new team. No surprise here. I’m sure its not his fault.
I like Wright in the pen. He can always be a fill in for injured pitchers. Porcello, Price, Sale, Eovaldi and E-Rod are a solid starting 5. There is no room if they are all healthy. Great option, as is Johnson, who did not get enough credit for what he did last year.
Always seemed vastly overrated to me, just like Archer.
Beckham had a very promising rookie year with a OPS of +.800, but failed to get an OPS of .700 every year after that. That’s rough.
I am hoping he will be the Tigers next minor league find. White Sox rushed him, and it took time in the minors before he got a chance to adjust. I would love to see him contribute, but not at the expense of playing time for Niko..
The interview was HORRID! Step man comes off SO SO BAD. Him trying to make a point with his crazy ex girlfriend eyes…..
“No one will love you like me! You WONT FIND THAT!”
M3 too. Such a smart comment
What what did Al Bundy do?
Stroman is the AB of the MLB
I suspect Wright will have a hard time even making the 25 man starting roster. He seems like a backup player all the way that will spend plenty of time in Pawtucket (AAA), if he still has options to be sent back down. As a knuckleballer he is best suited to long relief in the bullpen and an occasional spot start. Come on! The guy throws only 75 mph and is almost 35. It’s hard to get excited over this decision by Cora or even complain about it. He may not even make the team. I suspect that’s what this statement by Cora is implying. LOL
Commenting on Stroman’s last year performance is ridiculous. That is saying that one player wins or loses and the rest of the team has no part in the equation. Take a look at the Jays the past three years. Since AA left on the arrival of Shapiro and Atkins the Jays have been on a downward spiral each season getting worse.
Do I think Stroman is in a level with Sale, Price, Verlander no way but given what the Jays have he’s a decent starter. And remember Verlander had a terrible season with Detroit before the year he was dealt to Houston.
However I do believe Stroman’s time with the Jays will come to an by mid season no matter how well he does. He make the mistake of pointing out the obvious about the team, a total lack of veteran leadership and a week bullpen.
And one this team you don’t question Shapiro and Atkins. The only money these two have spent is on that industrial smoke blowing machine to use on the fans.