General Baseball

Hot Stove Action

Will the Yanks land Cliff?  Will the Sox keep Beltre?  Who will be the Opening Day catcher for either of these teams?  Will Derek Jeter get a contract that keeps him a Yankee until he is too old to play or until he is really too old to play?  Will the Sox have a credible pen?  Will the Yanks have credible # 3-5 starters?  Will we mercifully get to Opening Day without another A-Rod tabloid special?  Will the Sox make another SS-change just because they can?  Will the Yankees give up on this incremental-dollar stuff and just start demanding organs and offspring in exchange for tickets?

Comment here on what you know, what you think you know, and what you wish you knew about all the off-season intrigue and baseball happenings…

13 replies on “Hot Stove Action”

Am reading the Mickey Mantle biography – really very good though am still in the early pages. I’m in bio-mode right now. Keith Richards’ “Life” is next and I just finished Andre Agassi’s “Open”, which is superb by the way. I couldn’t care less about tennis and was not particiularly interested in Agassi, but his book, co-written with a Pulitzer-prize winning author, is really an interesting and revealing read. What does this have to do with Hot Stove action? Not much. Then again, the stove hasn’t gotten all that hot yet.

I would agree, but that’ll never happen. They have absolutely no reason at all to move Upton, and Towers is just doing his best job at stirring the pot.
On another note, they can’t move Bard because I’m hoping against hope that they don’t cave to Papelbon in arbitration.
I’d rather they just let Papelbon walk and get the draft picks than pay him another dime, then close Bard next year and spend that money in better places. Or don’t spend it at all. Either way, I’m good with it. I’d rather take 12M (what Pap is asking), and get three decent relievers than pay one guy. Or, get two quality relievers and spend 6M instead of 12M.

Edit: if no arbitration is offered, no draft picks are awarded. But, I don’t care…just let him walk. He absolutely does not deserve a raise under any scenario at all.
Also, Crawford is said to want 7/140. Only one team in baseball is paying that much for him, but, maybe he knows that.

So it seems there will definitely be 2 wildcards in each league battling it out to enter the playoffs now. I like this for 3 reasons:
1. It has been too easy for teams who have the wildcard locked up to rest on their laurels rather than be incentivized to push for a division title (witness the Yanks/Rays snooze-fest toward the end of this past season with the “winner” getting the Rangers and the “loser” getting the Twins). Now teams will want to do whatever they can to avoid havng to play a one-game playoff to get into the playoffs…the division title is again clearly the best option for entering October ball.
2. It has been too easy in my view for teams that did not win their division (but played hot enough at the right time to win the wild-card) to advance in the playoffs thanks to the short divisional series. Now they’ll have to likely burn their ace in a one-game playoff squeezed in between the last regular season game and Game 1 of the divisional series. This increases the difficulty of going all the way as a wild-card entry.
3. One-game playoffs are incredibly dramatic.

So, in your opinion, it’s better to have the team, say from the AL East play the second team from the West or Central for the chance to play in the playoffs?
Even if one team could have 15 more wins than the other, you think it’s fair that their season comes down to one game?
I differ here. Keep the format the same, no matter “when they got hot” or however else anyone wants to qualify a team doing well. If they played the games, they deserve the accolades, but suddenly there is a chance that the fourth best team (record wise) could play a team with substantially less wins? Doesn’t seem fair to me, and gives bad teams (or worse teams rather) a chance to advance over a team that played harder and won more.
On another note, this would have made the Yankees and the Red Sox have a one game playoff this year for the “wild card” slot in the playoffs.
I can live without that.

As it is now the same discrepancy you raise as a concern with the new system already persists, only with the new system the ultimate WC-victor will be (appropriately in my view) more severely hamstrung when they enter the divisional series due to having had to play the one-game playoff.
I mean, is it any more fair with the current system that, say, an AL East team that plays substantially tougher competition throughout the season loses out on a playoff spot to 4th placed team that sits in the AL West? My view is that on this score, both systems are flawed (indeed any system other than the no-playoffs, win the pennant in the regular season against other teams all of whom have played the same competition the same number of times as you, and go straight to the World Series) is flawed since records within each league are being compiled against markedly different competition. But at least with the one-game playoff there is 1. a much greater incentive to play for the division and 2. a much more disadvantageous position for the team that ultimately enters with the WC due to the playoff.
You are right re: the “when they get hot” issue. I raised it but it is indeed irrelevant since they all play 162 games.
As for what the new system would have meant for the 2010 season, I’m not at all sure it would have meant a Boston-NY playoff game. It might have meant Girardi manages differently to try harder for the division. Or that the White Sox play that much harder and end up one game up on the Sox rather than one game behind them. I do think it would have made the final 2 weeks much more dramatic and compelling.

I definitely see you point, IH. There are arguments for and against it in my own mind for sure.
According to Ignacio Serrano of ESPN Deportes, the Tigers are close to a four-year, $50 million contract with catcher Victor Martinez.
Adios, big contract.

So there is some serious hardball being played by the Yankees against Jeter…I think I like it??? Don’t get me wrong, Jeter is a God and will undoubtedly make it into the krueg HOF with Mattingly, Marino, Hasek and Miller…but I think 3 for $15 million is fair seeing as how bad he was at the plate last year. I mean, he doesn’t seem to be the same and he has to know that? Of course, he could use this as fuel to kill it this offseason and come back even better next season…that works for me.

Agree Krueg. I don’t think it is an insult to offer a 37-year old shortstop with diminishing skills $15mill/year. I’d rather not see so much blabbering by Hal, Randy Levine, et al in the press about it. I honestly don’t know what they think that achieves. But I think they are fundamentally right that a. it’s a (more than) fair offer and b. the burnishment of one’s reputation goes both way here – Jeter benefits substantially by being on the Yankees just as they have hugely benefited from having him.

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