Analytics have taken over baseball and not everyone is thrilled about it, as Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe writes in today’s column.
“I’ve seen so many good baseball men who will be pushed out of the game, and never be allowed back, to make room for some of the huge analytical departments that these teams employ now,” said an American League GM. “And the question we all have: Has this made the game better? I’m not sure the answer to that is yes.”
Cafardo also broke down MLB’s teams in a T-chart of “Analytical” vs. “Traditional” and the split appears to be roughly 50/50. Interestingly, every team in the AL West is listed as an analytical club while the entire NL East is in the traditional column.
Here’s more from Cafardo:
- There’s “some talk about” free agent Mike Napoli adding the catching position back into his arsenal, Cafardo writes. Playing as a first baseman/outfielder in the second half of the season, Napoli helped restore his value by hitting .295/.396/.513 with five homers for the Rangers across 78 plate appearances. Napoli would make sense as a right-handed-hitting complement to the club’s left-heavy lineup and GM Jon Daniels says that there is interest in a reunion.
- Agent John Boggs told Cafardo that client Shane Victorino wants to play in 2016. The agent added that Victorino is finally healthy and intends on getting back to switch-hitting. The Flyin’ Hawaiian hit just .230/.308/.292 in 2015 in 204 combined plate appearances for the Red Sox and Angels. Still, he’s only two years removed from his 2013 campaign in which he slashed .294/.351/.451 with 15 homers for Boston.
- Jonny Gomes would love to be a manager some day, but not just yet. “They’ll have to rip the jersey off my back,” the 34-year-old said. Last week, Gomes had his $3MM option declined by the Royals. On paper, that’s not an unreasonable sum for a platoon outfielder that posted a .371 OBP and a .185 isolated power (slugging minus batting average) against lefties, but KC opted for greater payroll flexibility. Gomes came to the Royals in an August deal with the Braves picking up half of his remaining salary.
- In his short time with the Red Sox, newly-minted Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto turned in a detailed report on the Sox organization from top to bottom, according to Red Sox top exec Dave Dombrowski. With that kind of intimate knowledge of the Sox, Cafardo speculates that it would make sense to watch for Mariners/Red Sox trade talks.
- Some have theorized that ex-Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos will eventually become the GM of a Montreal franchise, whether it’s by expansion or the relocation of the Rays or A’s. While that could be a fit, Cafardo writes that AA is very likely to get a job before that takes place.