With so little going on this winter, I think someone needs to start writing “Hot Stove Fan Fiction” like they do for cancelled cult TV shows. “Theo Epstein quivered at the sight of the text that had popped up on his phone. It was from Angels GM BIlly Eppler. Mike Trout was available, but the cost was high. The Cubs would have to part with Tyler Chatwood. The decision weighed terribly on the mind of the still-young baseball prodigy. Just kidding. He’d faxed the paperwork into the commissioner’s office before his ringtone of Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy’ had stopped playing.”
OK, It needs some work.
- It’s not news, but at least it’s got the potential to be news. The Padres, Reds and Indians are discussing a three-way trade that would send Corey Kluber to the Reds and Reds top prospect Nick Senzel to the Padres. No one is sure what the Indians get out of this. Maybe they’re just tired of Kluber hogging the karaoke machine in post-game celebrations. In any case, no one is reporting that a deal is imminent.
- Here’s a breakdown of why the trade could happen and why it might not. There’s also some speculation as to what the Indians want.
- There is at least one report that the White Sox have offered free agent infielder Manny Machado an eight-year deal.
- Craig Edwards thinks that Jason Heyward is the reason that Machado hasn’t signed yet. Or more precisely, Heyward’s contract.
- David Schoenfield looks at Machado and Bryce Harper and argues that neither one is one of the five best players in the game right now.
- Dayn Perry examines the reasons for Harper’s poor (for him) 2018 season.
- Jon Tayler looks at the Dodgers quiet winter and can’t understand why the team hasn’t made a move for Harper, or really anyone who would make their team better. Tayler writes that the Dodgers are actually worse now than they were when the season ended.
- Neil deMause looks at the collapse of the free agent market and suggests that the economic incentives currently in baseball don’t make signing expensive free agents worth it. Basically, he notes that if you want to win, sign free agents. If you want to make money, don’t. At the moment, the accountants are in the ascendant. I wrote something about this last year.
- The Rays have agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal with free agent outfielder Avisail Garcia.
- Tom Verducci argues that teams should offer a big contract to free agent closer Craig Kimbrel. He makes a strong case that Kimbrel is the perfect reliever for today’s game. There’s some advanced analytics in this piece.
- The Giants have re-signed pitcher Derek Holland to a one-year deal with a team option.
- Athletics top draft pick Kyler Murray declared for the NFL Draft. Michael Baumann writes that Murray leaving baseball for football is an embarrassment for the A’s and the sport. Baumann blames MLB’s economic system for driving the best athletes away from the game.
- However, just because Murray declared for the NFL Draft doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to play football. NFL Hall-of-Famer and former major league outfielder Deion Sanders says that if it were him, he said “I’m picking up my baseball bat and I’m not looking back.” Sanders said he regrets not putting more effort into baseball. Sanders was a solid MLB player and he probably could have been better than that if he’d have committed to the sport full-time. But I very much doubt he’d have been a Hall-of-Famer like he is in the NFL, so it says something that he wishes he’d played more baseball and less football.
- J.J. Cooper notes that the A’s willingness to offer Murray an MLB contract to keep him from football offers a loophole around MLB’s amateur bonus rules and gives incentives for two-sport athletes to continue to play both sports for as long as possible.
- Grant Brisbee has a guide to choosing between a career in football or baseball. Like any of you have that problem.
- Here’s some disturbing news. Former All-Star closer John Wetteland has been arrested on charges of child sex abuse.
- Sad news as former Yankees pitcher and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre has died. He was 77.
- Free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson still wants to play in 2019.
- So does free agent pitcher Bartolo Colon.
- Longtime Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass announced that 2019 will be his last season behind the microphone. Blass has worked in the Pirates organization since they signed him as a pitcher in 1960. The Pirates will have several celebrations of Blass’ career this upcoming season.
- Broadcaster Bob Costas announced that he’s leaving NBC. Costas has worked for NBC since 1979. Costas will still broadcast games on the MLB Network.
- The Tigers have announced their new broadcast team.
- Former outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. has announced that he’s BJ Upton again. This is connected as Upton intends to pursue a career in broadcasting.
- And White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone talks to David Laurila about pitching now and when he was a player.
- Infielder Brian Dozier talks about signing with the Nationals and why he thinks he can bounce back in 2019.
- Remember Byung-Hyun Kim? Diamondbacks fans certainly do. Anyway, the 39-year-old pitcher is still playing in the Australian Baseball League for the Melbourne Aces.
- And finally, Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig went to the dentist and posted the video on social media. This has several people speculating that he intends to run for president. #PuigYourPresident
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.