The 2016 Winter Meetings are underway. Here are some notes from Sunday night:
- Peter Gammons (on the Nationals making a run at Chris Sale: “Bryce Harper is going to only be there a few more years, so I think you make a run at Sale if you can”. Gammons says it as if it’s just commonplace knowledge that Harper is leaving the Nationals (he is).
- Matt Holliday has signed a one-year, $13 million dollar deal with the New York Yankees. This kicks off the Winter Meetings. Holliday is actually probably a tremendous fit here.
- Bud Selig and former Brave GM John Schuerholz were announced as being elected to the Hall of Fame.
- Lots of speculation on JD Martinez being dealt. The Giants were mentioned. Seems pretty clear that Martinez is probably the big name who is sent packing from Detroit.
- Brian Dozier is mentioned as being shopped around.
- Peter Gammons is still a robot.
- “Holy fake tan!” – My wife when she saw GM Dan O’Dowd on MLB Network.
Alright, so from those last two bullet points you can tell that tonight was a slow news day with people just getting into town and heading to the hotel bar. The scenery from the Winter Meetings looked great, but I expect business to really pick up tomorrow for the lucky attendees that are there.
More notes to come.
It didn’t take long for the Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila to declare that he would listen to offers on anyone on the roster if the deal is right.
- I like the Tigers. I like the Tigers nucleus as it is. They hung in there until the final day of the season, so they’re a team while not perfect; they’re definitely competitive and at worst probably figure to be a little longer if left alone.
- Avila said the club would not offer JD Martinez a long-term contract extension, and his current deal in Motown expires after the 2017 season.
- Justin Verlander and (gasp) Miguel Cabrera are obviously among those who can be sniffed around by the sharks. It’s hard to imagine either of these guys in another uniform, especially Cabrera who is a franchise-defining talent and an inner circle Hall of Famer. He deserves the farewell tour in Detroit that Ortiz just got in Boston. The good thing for those that want to see these two stay put is that they’re 10/5 guys, so they could veto a trade to any team.
- In a thin free-agent market, guys like Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler, and Victor Martinez could be huge commodities. This is where I would think a slight tweak; if it happens, could be a good thing for the Tigers. If one of those types can yield a high-leverage couple of arms and a B-level prospect, the Tigers probably do it.
- Buster Olney says the Tigers will make an effort to dump Justin Upton’s salary this offseason. Upton is signed to a massive six-year, $132.75 MM contract.
- Indications are that the Tigers will not make this a full firesale.
And that’s the basics of what is going on with the Tigers right now. They probably look at their division mates the Cleveland Indians and that payroll and have a little envy and get some ideas about how to start building at the base of their organization again.
Best guess is one or two of these guys go but not Miguel Cabrera. That would just be sacrilegious in so many ways in the game of baseball. Detroit definitely will be one of the most interesting organizations in the game as we approach the Winter Meetings and trade season.
We always thought J.D. Martinez had some thunder in his bat. It’s easy to forget he hit .315 last season with 23 home runs. You take a pup like that and put him around Miguel Cabrera long enough, he’s going to learn a few good tricks.
Today, he hit three home runs at Yankee Stadium on Father’s Day. He’s up to 16 now on the season.
Any time a guy hits three long ones in a game, that’s enough to get some run on this blog. We like J.D. just fine anyways.
Alright, so I feel halfway bad posting this. But I am going to post it anyways for all those Cleveland Indians fans who might have had an ounce of hope left in them. Your season ended last night. J.D. Martinez took that swell kid Cody Allen out to deep center, and with it you can begin looking forward to the Browns 6-10 season that awaits them here in the fall.
I was in a fantasy football draft with about a half dozen Cleveland Indians fans when Martinez got this paydirt, and each one of them had a unique obscenity to truly capture the moment. You could tell that they too knew; deep down inside, that another Indians season will end without delivering the ultimate joy of victory.
Cleveland collapses are the most remarkable kinds of collapses.
The Houston Astro embark on a new journey in the AL. Many years ago (not that many, but more than some) the Milwaukee Brewers left the AL Central and ventured into the NL Central giving the NL 16 teams to the AL’s 14. In order to rectify this great inequity, the Astros are being moved to the AL. It’s not too tragic. They were an expansion team, have never won the World Series for the NL, and will get a great regional rival with Texas. Unfortunately, the rivalry won’t be much to speak of for the next few season. While the Rangers have plenty of talent, the Astros are trying desperately to acquire it. They have a minuscule payroll and their highest paid player makes $3M. Felix Hernandez now makes $25M.
Let’s take a closer look at the Astros.
Major Off-Season Moves:
- Cut salary.
- Cut salary.
- Cut salary.
- Signed SP Erik Bedard.
- Signed 1B Carlos Pena.
- Acquired OF/DH Chris Carter from Oakland.
The Astros traded away what they could to acquire prospects. It’s tough to evaluate an off season like this except that it was necessary. The Astros have been going down hill for several years and it’s time to flip the switch. They had nothing at the major league level that they could build around. Carter is a good pickup but Pena and Bedard are stopgaps until they can get some newer players there.
Now on to who is going to take the field this year.
Continue reading 2013 Houston Astros Team Preview