The latest from around the League ...
- Jon Heyman yesterday wondered whether Nick Swisher, an impending free agent, might challenge Jayson Werth's 7-year, $126 million contract in free agency. At first blush, the suggestion is laughable (and, indeed, at least one executive Heyman asked did laugh). But Heyman looks at some superficial data - their ages are the same upon reaching free agency, their career OPS and WAR line up decently at the time of free agency - and suggests that the idea isn't all that laughable. Without studying the numbers, something still rung hollow to me. So, I studied the numbers, and the most glaring problem with Heyman's suggestion is that, while Swisher has consistently been solid throughout his career, Werth's trajectory was pointing solidly up when he reached free agency. His three season before free agency were considerably better than Swisher's in the OBP and SLG department, and that's without considering the fact that Werth had always had more defensive versatility (he could play effective center field), more speed, and a much better batting average. Dave Cameron at FanGraphs took up the argument, and came to the same conclusion: Swisher isn't in Werth's league at the time of free agency. Further, it's not like most folks think the Werth contract was sane. Swisher would be better served pushing for a deal similar to, or slightly better than, the one the Dodgers gave Andre Ethier, with whom he compares favorably. The Melky Cabrera suspension probably got Swisher some extra cash, too.
- Uber prospect Billy Hamilton (uber speed, anyway) has done the inevitable: he just broke Vince Coleman's stolen base record with his 146th (and then 147th) steal of the season. Hamilton, 21, has split his time between A-ball and AA this year, and now has more steals than most minor league teams.
- Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin is going to undergo Tommy John surgery, and will miss most of next season. He broke out in 2011, but struggled to match that campaign this year. Perhaps it was the elbow issue.
- The Diamondbacks just dealt shortstop Stephen Drew to the A's, and they might not be done making August trades. Ken Rosenthal reports that they've placed Joe Saunders on waivers with the intention of moving him.
- If the D-Backs are successful in moving Saunders, he'll be replaced in the rotation by big-time prospect Tyler Skaggs, who will actually be making his debut today in one leg of a doubleheader.
- The head of the MLBPA, Michael Weiner, is receiving treatment for a brain tumor. He'll keep working throughout the treatment. Best of luck to him.