As always, thank you all in advance for your wisdom.
1. Should we sign CJ Wilson? This actually would have the chance to benefit us in two distinct ways.
First, it would shore up our SP, a position of great need on this team. Based on what you all have told me, Wilson is relatively young as a pitcher. He certainly is the best FA pitcher available, and arguably the only elite SP available.
Second, and perhaps more important, it drives up the value of Matt Garza. Teams desperate for SP including teams willing to overpay and who feel they are in contention now will be willing to pay more in prospects for a pitcher like Garza. It is clear that Epstein/Hoyer and considering moving Garza for the right package of prospects. Teams that otherwise would pay cash for Wilson will no longer have the opportunity to do it if we beat them out. Now they will be forced to overpay in prospects if they wish to contend this year.
Again, the FA pitching market is really weak this year, and is pretty strong next year. For teams that feel they are almost there, I think it would make sense to sign Wilson as it would give us the SP we need while allowing us to quickly rebuild the farm system. Most teams are nowhere near willing to part with a top value pitcher... because they can't just go out and sign a player like Wilson. We can.
2. What is Soriano's value as a DH? Is there a way of "calculating" how much better a hitter Soriano will project to be if he is a DH as opposed to LF? Or is he unlikely to be a more effective hitter as a DH?
In other words, does a player project to hit better if he doesn't have to field all the time. It would stand to reason that the answer would be yes, if the player does not need to field that he would have more energy and could spend more time focusing on hitting only, and perhaps also be less likely to be injured. Is there a "correction factor" that allows for one to calculate the projected improvement as a DH as opposed to being a position player?
3. I know this is likely to be considered heresy, but should be consider trading Starlin Castro? Before you all stone me, the only way to get top value in trades is to trade something of value in the first place.
Although I don't get to watch Cubs games all the time, Castro's value as a SS to me at least seems limited. His throwing accuracy is terrible. Cal Ripken used to say that he would be mentally exhausted after every game, and that being a SS requires a ton of mental concentration. I just don't see him being an elite defensive SS, and many are now starting to question if he should really be a 2B.
Yet he certainly could be sold as a potential SS which makes his value as high as possibly could be.
If a trade of Castro would net you several top prospects, especially pitching prospects, the question is do you do it. The team is in desperate need of SP and having SP can always keep you at least somewhat competitive. Now that his value is as high as it will ever be, do you consider trading him now? Do you all think he will really be that elite player that everyone thinks he will become?
4. I know there has been a lot discussed on this already in another thread, and I posted this question to the undeniably astute Josh77, but I wanted to get your all input on this also. I think I must be missing something.
With the new labor agreement, it would seem that the new system will allow the small market teams to ensure that they WILL get those top picks. I am having trouble seeing why everyone is so opposed.
The concern is that a team like, say, the Indians who pick before the Yankees might balk at signing someone they otherwise might sign because they know the agent is going to ask for a ton of money and they don’t want a bidding war while they lose their top pick.
The draftee, understanding that he is in high demand and that there is no cap on spending for prospects, can demand an outrageous amount that the small market team (Indians) cannot afford. So he drops down, not because he isn’t the best player available, but because the Indians don’t want to have him hold out and potentially get nothing with their top draft pick, and can’t afford to pay him what the agent is going to demand.
Draftee then falls down the board and some asshole team like the Yankees gets him who are willing to overspend, since a mistake to them does not cost the way it would a small market team.
For goodness sake, the Nationals almost lost out on Strasburg for this very reason.
More and more teams are understanding the importance of prospects, and without a system like this to prevent the Yankees and Red Sox (and yes, the Cubs) from distorting the draft also they way they have distorted the free agent market, this really was absolutely necessary.
I do realize that the Pirates and Royals spent more on the draft than any other team over the past couple years. However, I can also see this rapidly changing. The "rich teams" like the Yankees are seeing it pay off for teams even MORE than spending on free agents. Now that this formula has been shown to work you can bet they'll start overspending on draft picks in the very near future. This helps prevent that from happening.
While I think the parity in the NFL beats any other sport, I totally disagree with the drafting system. There have been several times teams have been “scared away” from signing the best available player because they knew the demands were too high.
I do think they need to give the small market and worst teams additional picks (not just some lame 6-selection lottery) or allow them additional resources to sign those picks.
It is great to hear that teams with losing records and smaller markets will get more money to spend on international signings. That is definitely a step in the right direction.
So after all that... the question is why does everyone think the new agreement is so unfair? Of course they should really have a salary cap but that will never happen (and actually hurts smaller teams who can trade an expensive player for prospects... which can't happen in the NBA where salaries have to "match"). I thnk this at least helps.