I’m firmly in the Pro-Yu camp, but of course, it depends on the contract. The Cubs need money to compete in the sure-to-be-crazy 2018 free agent market. There’s a friend of Kris Bryant who wants to be a Cubs. Not to mention a guy who grew up with Albert Almora Jr. to the point where they call each other “cousin.”
- When was the last time a major baseball trade was headlined by two players who are likely going to be released? The Braves traded Matt Kemp to the Dodgers for Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson. The Braves have already said they will release Gonzalez and the Dodgers are expected to release Kemp. Kazmir didn’t pitch at all in 2017 and McCarthy made only 16 starts last year between three trips to the DL. As well as Culberson played in the playoffs, he’s not exactly a headliner, or ever a starter on a good team. Yet this was a huge baseball trade.
- Buster Olney breaks down the logic of this deal, which is mostly about shifting debt around. (Also in this piece, Olney says that the White Sox and Diamondbacks are the two teams most aggressively pursuing Manny Machado. More on Machado later.)
- Tommy Stokke thinks this deal makes the Braves better in 2018 and gives the Dodgers flexibility for 2019.
- Jeff Passan also looks at how this deal is all about improving the Dodgers chances of landing Bryce Harper or Machado in 2018. Passan also notes that baseball is operating under a de facto salary cap at the moment. Passan believes that salary caps promote the illusion of parity over actual parity.
- Ben Lindbergh notes that these kinds of salary dump trades in the NBA all the time and echoes Passan. Lindbergh argues that it’s hard to see how the luxury tax limit will keep the Dodgers from being a super team for years to come. Lindbergh also agrees that this trade is all about the 2018 free agent class.
- Mike Axisa thinks the MLB Players Association has a real problem as revenues continue to soar but payrolls are not keeping pace. Yes, he does admit that the MLBPA agreed to these rules, but thinks they shouldn’t have and shouldn’t in the future.
- The other big deal was the Angels, who signed former Reds shortstop Zack Cozart to a three-year deal. With Andrelton Simmons at short, Cozart will play third for the Angels.
- Travis Sawchik says that with this deal, the Angels win the offseason.
- Joe Posnanski notes that the full off-season rebuilds like the Angels are doing rarely work out. However, he does admit that Shohei Ohtani could be the reason it works this time.
- Bradford Doolittle is also skeptical on the Halos, saying that a lot of “ifs” need to go right for the Angels to make the playoffs.
- Just in case you were wondering, yes. Cozart is bringing the donkey Joey Votto gave him to Anaheim. Well, maybe not Anaheim, but he’s going to find a place with some land to keep a donkey. I’m guessing Norco, but that’s just a guess.
- The Phillies signed first baseman Carlos Santana to a three-year, $60 million deal.
- Tommy Stokke calls Santana a safe, sensible move on the part of the Phils.
- In a somewhat-related move, the Phillies traded Freddy Galvis to the Padres for a minor league pitcher.
- In another salary dump move, the Giants traded pitcher Matt Moore to the Rangers for two minor leaguers.
- I said I’d get back to Machado and he headlines Cliff Corcoran’s list of available third basemen this winter.
- Dayn Perry examines the possibility (along with the costs) of a trade that would send Machado to St. Louis.
- The Yankees re-signed CC Sabathia to a one-year deal.
- The Padres signed reliever Jordan Lyles to a one-year deal and designated Travis Wood for assignment. Let’s see, the Cubs just missed out on a guy who can pitch and play left field. . .
- There’s been a lot of talk that the Padres are the favorites to sign free agent Eric Hosmer. Dennis Lin breaks down the issues, positive and negative, surrounding Hosmer joining the Friars.
- Mike Petriello looks at StatCast data to determine what might have happened to Eric Hosmer’s power if he played in different parks in 2017, including Petco.
- And Manny Randhawa has some StatCast data to skills that might be available in free agency for cheap.
- Richard Justice has five teams that didn’t make big moves this winter but improved themselves nonetheless.
- On the other hand, Marc Carig thinks the Mets have to be more upfront with their fans about their moves, or the lack thereof. Good luck with that.
- The Nationals’ Daniel Murphy is on crutches following knee surgery and there is no timetable on his return. He hopes to be ready by Opening Day.
- Nats third baseman Anthony Rendon says he’s open to signing an extension with the team.
- Dustin Fowler, the outfielder whose 2017 season ended when he ran into the wall at Guaranteed Rate Field in the first inning of his first major league game, is suing the White Sox and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority over the electrical box he collided with.
- David Lauria gives a profile of Clearwater Threshers broadcaster Kirsten Karbach, who is the only female play-by-play broadcaster in baseball. Lauria calls her a “rising star.”
- I normally try to keep away from fantasy baseball stories in this space, but this one is too important. Yahoo! Sports has made it decision and Shohei Ohtani will be considered two separate players for fantasy purposes, one hitter and one pitcher. I expect the other services to follow suit.
- Cole Hamels has donated a $10 million mansion to charity. Wow.
- Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley went “human bowling” at a Phoenix Coyotes game and you probably want to see that.
- And finally, is this a right-handed pitcher or a lefty?:
Important poll: Do you see a left-hander or a right-hander? Mrs. MLB saw a lefty. I saw a righty. Discuss. pic.twitter.com/pXKX7RWFdV— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) December 17, 2017
Which hand is he throwing with?
This poll is closed
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.