The Upper Echelons of Major League Pitchers-
- Justin Verlander
- David Price, Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Jered Weaver
- Matt Cain, RA Dickey , James Shields, Zack Grienke, Cole Hamels, Gio Gonzalez
- Cliff Lee, Stephen Strasburg, Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Johnny Cueto
- Ian Kennedy, Anibal Sanchez, Jon Lester, Yovani Gallardo, Trevor Cahill, Jordan Zimmerman etc.
Those, in a nutshell, are the top pitchers in baseball. Notice the placement of RA Dickey and James Shields. Both have been traded in the last month, yet both are ranked below (in my estimate) Felix Hernandez. In addition to those two big offseason moves, the Angels signed Josh Hamilton. I say this for one reason, Texas isn’t going anywhere, and Los Angeles just added Hamilton to their team. The other team in the division is Oakland who, I might point out, was probably the second best team in the AL playoffs last year.
Regardless of Seattle’s current talent (meh,) the team is in a stacked division. Anything besides last place is probably a miracle (barring an Angels’ season-long flop.)
The team isn’t going anywhere soon. Thus it makes sense to trade Felix Hernandez, especially since their top two pitching prospects (Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen) are ranked fourth and eighth in terms of the top 100 prospects in the game per Jonathan Mayo.
There are two, if not three, (James Paxton could be special as well) potential Hernandez replacements waiting in the system. Yes, the fences are being moved in and the Mariners need to sell tickets, but dealing Hernandez makes sense.
Let’s put a few things out there. One, Hernandez is four years younger than Shields and twelve younger than Dickey. Not surprisingly, King Felix is a much better pitcher than both. The point on Shields, or even Dickey, is that Shields fetched the number three overall prospect (again all this per Mayo,) Wil Myers, who has at least “star” potential if not more. Another prospect that went to Tampa was starter Jake Odorizzi, ranked the 30th best in all of baseball. Tampa also picked up two other prospects who are ranked in the top 20 of their system.
New York got the 11th and 83rd best prospects in the game by selling high on a 38-year old.
What I’m getting at, if you haven’t gotten there first, is that the Rays and Mets got some of the better packages of prospects that the trading market has seen in the past few years. I would think that the Mariners would want to cash in with a haul of that kind.
The Mariners need a hitter to lead them into the next phase of the franchise (hopefully contending.) I’m sure they’d jump at a package of Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt (not that Texas would consider that seriously.) But Seattle needs a corner stone. They need the next Miguel Cabrera or Evan Longoria. They need someone who can carry a team on his backs/bats. Maybe Felix Hernandez is the way to find that player.
Surely if James Shields and RA Dickey can fetch outstanding hauls of prospects, then a younger and better pitcher (Felix Hernandez) can get a better one.
What do you think? Should the Mariners trade King Felix or should they keep him and try to contend?
It’s been tossed around that Cleveland is shopping their shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. It is also common knowledge that Arizona wants to trade their own star player, Justin Upton. It’s equally common knowledge that the Diamondbacks really want a shortstop. And what’s even more plain to public perception is the Texas Rangers’ desire to find a power bat to take Josh Hamilton’s place.
That seems like decent grounds for a trade, right?
The supposed proposed trade would have sent Cabrera to Arizona, Upton to Texas and rising stars Mike Olt and Trevor Bauer to Cleveland.
What on Earth is wrong with Cleveland?
I know that it’s a three-team trade, so everybody has to be on board with it, but come on, make this trade. Continue reading
The latest news out of the Emerald City in sports besides Brandon Browner’s suspension or the ever-evident hatred of David Stern (see basketball season, team not in Seattle) is the fact that the Seattle Mariners are kicking the tires pretty heavily on multiple free agents. Those free agents not being the retired Ken Griffey Jr, Milton Bradley (the board game and the player, seriously the M’s could probably use the money) or Jamie Moyer (although that last one wouldn’t be terrible). No, the Mariners are going after the most high profile guys out there. Josh Hamilton. Michael Bourn. Nick Swisher. There are even reports that lead us to believe that the Mariners would trade for Justin Upton.
Let’s let that all set in for a moment before we move on. WHAT!?!?!?!?!
Does anyone who has even bothered to listen to the Mariners-themed section of the news remember Richie Sexson? Adrian Beltre? Carlos Silva (who then turned into Milton Bradley)? Miguel Bautista? These were ridiculous contracts that Seattle gave out. The first two to try and repair a dismal offense. Sexson had two years where his contract was probably deserved, but then he completely fell off the map and had two horrendous years. (Though I will say this, the Sexon TV commercials were pretty good.)
Beltre was solid for a couple years in Seattle and the sputtered to a dismal ’09 season. Because of that he had to go to Boston to reestablish his career and is now an MVP candidate with the Rangers.
What I’m getting at is that while Beltre and Sexson had some decent years in Seattle, the pair produced zero playoff appearances. One or two players don’t build a team. Continue reading
It isn’t often that the reigning Cy Young winner is the subject of trade speculation the offseason after winning the award. But it also isn’t often that the reigning Cy Young winner is 38 years old and is in the midst of so-far unsuccessful contract negotiations.
Welcome to the Mets world.
Normally, a winner of the Cy Young award would be a player that a team, especially a rebuilding one like the Mets, builds around. But, despite being a knuckleballer, it’s tough to build around a 38 year old. Ergo the Mets need to trade him. Continue reading
The race for the American League MVP is over. Some may find the occasion a joyous one (i.e. myself, other Tigers fans, “baseball traditionalists,” Cabrera himself) while others’ thinking tends to side with the other side of the coin (i.e. “statisticians”, “stat geeks” and probably every White Sox fan in America).
Cabrera rightfully won. That’s the big point here, but there are a few things I want to hit on before I finally put the matter to bed myself. Continue reading
Not everything went exactly as planned for Miami. They pumped up their ridiculously low payroll to accommodate the contracts and talents of shortstop Jose Reyes, closer Heath Bell, starting pitchers Carlos Zambrano and Mark Buehrle and outspoken skipper Ozzie Guillen. They also moved into a flashy new stadium, compared to their previous venue and otherwise. So, that, coupled with the previous All-Star stalwarts such as Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson, and you seem to have the recipe for a sneaky-division-contender/ wild-card-contender.
But as stated, things didn’t necessarily go as planned. So, when the trading deadline rolled around and with the Marlin’s collective brass neck’s hurting from looking up at other teams in the standings, they decided to make some moves.
While the much-hyped MVP discussion is heating up, the regular season is cooling down.
The Tigers joined the San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds as the only teams in baseball to clinch their own divisions. Also joining those clubs in October baseball are the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers and Oakland A’s. The Tigers also became the first AL team to clinch their division. The second year in a row that they’ve done that.
But really, no one is reading too much into the playoffs. Yet. Now, the baseball-related discussions are about that AL MVP race and something you might have heard of called the Triple Crown.
Coincidentally or not, both of those discussions involve one Miguel Cabrera who also plays for the Tigers.
Triple Crown & MVP
I’ll start with the Triple Crown first, to get it out of the way.
Much has been made of the Tigers’ “inconsistent” play as of late, as well as the fact that they aren’t in first place in a “weak” division.
This is all irrelevant. Or, unwarranted rather. The Tigers have, if not the best, then one of the best records in the league since the end of June.
The division is another thing entirely. Yes, the Tigers sit two games out of first place Chicago, but on the year, Detroit has a 7-5 record against the Sox. That’s tied for the most wins the Tigers have against any other club this year. The other two teams the Tigers have seven wins against are Minnesota and Kansas City, which Detroit is a combined 14-6 against. Which brings us to this point, of the 40 games left, twenty six of them are against those teams. Six more of those scheduled games are against the Angels, who Detroit has won three of the four meetings with this year.
So add it all up, and the Tigers, if all goes as it has been going, should end up with the division title. This would in turn remove them from the wildcard-playoff-shtick. Continue reading
First off, Happy Birthday to my Aunt Joyce. Last year I promised that I would mention her birthday here, and because I’m a man of my word, I am. So, Happy Birthday Aunt Joyce!
Today is the baseball trade deadline. It’s one of the Holy Grails of sports. A day when the deals go by fast and furious and without a Vin Diesel reference. Oops.
Anyways, since the MLB Network has been so kind as to air a trade deadline special, I’ll just run through the trades in the order that they show them, use it as a framework almost. Continue reading