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Dan Gould

MLB 2021 Hot Stove League

94 posts in this topic

Congrats to Atlanta and their fans. While they must rank close to the bottom of World Champion teams they did it without homefield advantage and dispatched better-on-paper teams to do it.

 

So here's our Hot Stove thread ... which I'll start with some predictions.

Yankees:

Will make a strong, and likely successful, play for Corey Seager.

Will sign Anthony Rizzo and hope that a full-season with the short porch will get him back into his usual 30+ homer groove.

It is not coincidental that both of those guys bat lefthanded.

What the Yankees do with CF, I don't know.

Red Sox:

I hope they spend the $$ to keep E-Rod.

Kyle Schwarber goes away, unless JD Martinez somehow decides to opt out but I think that is highly unlikely, and that all works fine for me. 

Jose Iglesias signs on to play 2B, freeing Kike to play CF everyday.  I think Iglesias could have made a difference at the bottom of the lineup over Arroyo but he couldn't play in October given when he was acquired. As he has said, he hits fly balls to LF and line drives to RF - perfect for Fenway.

I don't think there will be a lot of other action given the excitement over certain rookies, and the fact that Sale should have a normal offseason and we'll just find out what is truly left in his tank.

Anyone else for predictions?

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I think you’re quite possibly right about the Yankees pursuing Seager, especially because they could easily shift him to third in another year or two when Anthony Volpe hits the majors. Rizzo I’m not so sure about; depends on what the market’s like for him. NY’s already got several big long-term commitments to players over 30 (Stanton, Cole, and LeMahieu) and presumably will be adding Judge, who turns 30 next year, to that list.

On a league-wide scale there’s the whole impending CBA issue—another factor that could influence the market for free agents (let alone have a potentially damaging impact on the 2022 season in general). I don’t know enough about it to make a prediction, except to say that it probably won’t be pretty.

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I don't think the Yankees go in for Rizzo on too long a deal but after a couple of down seasons he might be willing to accept 3 years and try to rebuild his value. He's still what, 31 or 32? I don't know that his market is going to be that big.

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Stats say Iglesias lost it in the field last year (his bat was OK).  Not sure he's the answer.   I love Rizzo, and he should bounce back.  Can the Yankees really do both Seager and Rizzo on top of the salaries they already owe?  Seager is gonna break the bank.   Not sure what my Phillies will do - they're a mess defensively and have no bullpen.  Schwarber's bat would help them, but they have no answer in CF, so not sure they can afford his weak glovework in LF.  And they also desperately need a SS, and probably a 3B, as well as a bunch of bullpen arms.  Congrats the the Braves, for sure.

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Oakland Athletics:

I’m expecting this to turn into a full tear down and rebuild. Maneas, Olson, Chappy, and my favorite Canha all will be gone amongst many others in conjunction with BoMel going to manage the Padres it’s going to be a rough stretch. All this coupled with the issues getting a new stadium at Howard Terminal I’m not sure what to make of my team. 

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There's word floating around that JD Martinez will opt out, as he only has one year left on his deal and with the strong year he had could get more than 1 year for a lot more than the 20 mil owed. And better now than at the end of his deal and a year older.

If that happens I'd be OK with Schwarber but only as full-time DH, emergency leftfielder. If he'd commit to hitting to all fields his bat could play well in Fenway.  But only if JD goes.

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Texas Rangers

Team continues to send annoying merchandising emails under the pretense that they still actually exist. Expecting this to be the norm for the foreseeable future or until I die, whichever lasts longest.

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2 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

There's word floating around that JD Martinez will opt out, as he only has one year left on his deal and with the strong year he had could get more than 1 year for a lot more than the 20 mil owed. And better now than at the end of his deal and a year older.

If that happens I'd be OK with Schwarber but only as full-time DH, emergency leftfielder. If he'd commit to hitting to all fields his bat could play well in Fenway.  But only if JD goes.

What's the deadline for JD deciding whether or not to opt out?  I'm thinking that he'd have an even better market if MLB adopts the universal DH, which seems likely--but won't happen until a new CBA is adopted, correct?  It's hard for me to imagine an NL team pursuing him if he has to play in the field all the time.  

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3 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

What's the deadline for JD deciding whether or not to opt out?  I'm thinking that he'd have an even better market if MLB adopts the universal DH, which seems likely--but won't happen until a new CBA is adopted, correct?  It's hard for me to imagine an NL team pursuing him if he has to play in the field all the time.  

I believe its all this weekend - opt out decisions by Sunday, and also those qualifying offers too. Red Sox would surely make qualifying offer to get draft compensation if he goes. And yes, part of the presumption of JD acting out is that DH will be adopted by NL, yet he has to make decision a long time before he knows that a lot of NL teams could use a good hit/no field slugger going forward. So a little risky there if he takes the plunge.

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And JD does not opt out. Hopefully that means so long to Schwarber, I don't want to see him near 1B ever again. Sox made their own commendable decisions, keeping Christian Vazquez for his option year, and declining Martin Perez and Garrett Richards, both of whom started the year in the rotation and ended in the bullpen. There's gotta be better options for barely or below league average starters out there. The overpaid interchangeable.

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Looks like Clayton Kershaw will become a free agent. As a long time Dodger fan I would hate to see him go, but he's been so injury prone the past 3 or 4 years it might be time to move on. He was an incredible pitcher in his prime, but those days are long gone. Hopefully the Dodgers can find another quality arm. 

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11 minutes ago, Tom 1960 said:

Looks like Clayton Kershaw will become a free agent. As a long time Dodger fan I would hate to see him go, but he's been so injury prone the past 3 or 4 years it might be time to move on. He was an incredible pitcher in his prime, but those days are long gone. Hopefully the Dodgers can find another quality arm. 

They'll throw plenty of money at Scherzer until he says "yes." And have plenty of money left over to keep Kershaw, just because they can.

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Well this is disappointing: apparently E-Rod has turned down the Red Sox' qualifying offer.  There was some suspicion that E-Rod could take the offer (nearly 19 million for one year) and try to rebuild his value and test free agency at the age of 30 next year. Must be sufficient interest to assure him and his agent (it's not Boras is it?) that he'll do just fine with a contract this year. And why not, how many 29 year old pitchers available with his upside?

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So of course E-Rod waves goodbye and signs with Detroit. I guess I should be glad we won't face him too often.

And sad news I missed on Monday - SS Julio Lugo died on Monday, just a day shy of his 46th birthday. I know we won with him as starting shortstop in 2007 but the dropoff from his performance as a Devil Ray before the Sox signed him made him not exactly a popular part of that team.

Here's a nice remembrance about how Lugo was off the diamond. RIP.

https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/red-sox/remembering-julio-lugos-touching-gesture-kindness-red-sox

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On 11/4/2021 at 3:01 PM, JSngry said:

Texas Rangers

Team continues to send annoying merchandising emails under the pretense that they still actually exist. Expecting this to be the norm for the foreseeable future or until I die, whichever lasts longest.

They apparently read your post and decided to serve up a hot-stove feast! $500 million for a keystone combination of Semien and Seager.  I’m also beginning to wonder if Correa resigns with Houston after all. 

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I wonder if this new band will go into the studio soon?

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27 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

They apparently read your post and decided to serve up a hot-stove feast! $500 million for a keystone combination of Semien and Seager.  I’m also beginning to wonder if Correa resigns with Houston after all. 

Keeping Seager out of the Bronx is a godsend.  I think this increases the odds of keeping Rizzo, though.

Meanwhile the Red Sox first move is ... 1 year for Michael Wacha? At his best, which he hasn't been for years, he might replace E-Rod. Right now about all you are assured of is league average and injury prone.  Ugh.

I wonder what else will happen today, is it true that without a replacement PA nobody can sign a free agent contract? Makes me wonder what the rest of today will hold, it feels like the trade deadline day only for free agency.

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Hot stove league’s gonna be mighty cold with a lockout underway. 

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For all of the praise that the Atlanta Braves president/general manager received for his trade deadline acquisitions, it will be all for naught if Freddie Freeman is lost to free agency. They should have signed him to a long term contract before the 2021 season got underway. It was foolish to let him get available on the open market, given that he lives in California. The Dodgers will likely make a sizable offer.

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Didn’t realize that MLB.com is a propaganda site for the owners:

MLB.com

Not just Manfred’s already-well-circulated letter, but take a look at the “FAQ About The CBA” page. Not to mention that all current player info and images have been scrubbed... what, pray tell, was the point of that? As some commenters at PSA noted, Selig and then Manfred have distorted the commissioner position, which was supposed to be at least ostensibly neutral in the past, into overt partisanship on behalf of the owners (and why do the owners get sole say in electing the commissioner? Seems like each team also having a player representative vote would make it much more likely that we’d get a commissioner who represents baseball’s interests in general, rather than a corporate mouthpiece for the owners). 

Let’s be very clear about what’s going on here

Edited by ghost of miles

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36 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

Didn’t realize that MLB.com is a propaganda site for the owners:

MLB.com

Not just Manfred’s already-well-circulated letter, but take a look at the “FAQ About The CBA” page. Not to mention that all current player info and images have been scrubbed... what, pray tell, was the point of that? As some commenters at PSA noted, Selig and then Manfred have distorted the commissioner position, which was supposed to be at least ostensibly neutral in the past, into overt partisanship on behalf of the owners (and why do the owners get sole say in electing the commissioner? Seems like each team also having a player representative vote would make it much more likely that we’d get a commissioner who represents baseball’s interests in general, rather than a corporate mouthpiece for the owners). 

Let’s be very clear about what’s going on here

The independence of the commissioner was eviscerated a long long time ago. The fact that the commissioner was independent and spoke of "best interest of baseball" was only a result of the Black Sox scandal and the effort to save the game from the stench.  At this point why should baseball be any different from the other major sports? Does the NFL have an independent commissioner? Not the last time I thought of it. I don't think any commissioner of a major sports league has independent power like that.

And frankly, the idea of players having any vote on commissioner is beyond ludicrous. 

As for your specific statement about their web property, mlb.com, they are big on assuring people that what they publish is not vetted or approved by MLB - under normal circumstances.

These aren't normal circumstances, and I would bet that use of player images is governed by the current CBA. Which no longer exists. I think they had to scrub the site of player images etc.

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1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

The independence of the commissioner was eviscerated a long long time ago. 

Dan, I read some years back (no skin off my nose if you don't believe this) that from the beginning Judge Landis always sided with the owners.  His reputation as a stern taskmaster came solely from how he dealt with players, never the owners.

By the way, I suspect that most fans don't know that Landis was the trial court judge of the Baltimore Terrapins case.  He was the first to rule that pro baseball games did not constitute interstate commerce.  The Supreme Court upheld his decision.  That was why the owners hired him in the first place.

Prior to Landis, the two major leagues were ruled by the National Commission (1903-1920), which was a trio made up of the two league presidents and various team owners.  Landis was considered independent among the owners because he had no interest in one league or one team.  In that sense, I suppose Manfred is independent too.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/National_Commission

 

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2 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

The independence of the commissioner was eviscerated a long long time ago. The fact that the commissioner was independent and spoke of "best interest of baseball" was only a result of the Black Sox scandal and the effort to save the game from the stench.  At this point why should baseball be any different from the other major sports? Does the NFL have an independent commissioner? Not the last time I thought of it. I don't think any commissioner of a major sports league has independent power like that.

And frankly, the idea of players having any vote on commissioner is beyond ludicrous. 

As for your specific statement about their web property, mlb.com, they are big on assuring people that what they publish is not vetted or approved by MLB - under normal circumstances.

These aren't normal circumstances, and I would bet that use of player images is governed by the current CBA. Which no longer exists. I think they had to scrub the site of player images etc.

Why is it ludicrous that each team have a player representative to vote on the the commissioner as well? Why shouldn’t the commissioner represent the sport overall, as opposed to basically at this point being a stooge for the owners?

As for the MLB.com website, I invite anyone to take a look at that “FAQ about the CBA” and tell me the site’s not in the bag for the owners. Or the prominence given Manfred’s statement, which reads like a broadside from a political candidate. Have they given equal weight to the MLBPA’s response? Happy to be corrected on this if I’m wrong. I’d also like to see any legal or contractual evidence that MLB.com had to scrub the site of all existing players. One last item—as the MLBPA’s response pointed out, the lockout is not required by the end of the previous CBA. It’s simply the owners exercising leverage. 
 

Mind-boggling to me (but not really) that the oligarch owners, in baseball and all other professional sports, are presumably big advocates of free and unregulated markets in general, but are all about salary caps and other market-intervention measures when it comes to sports.

Another item on the MLB site that really annoyed me—can’t recall if it was in Manfred’s statement or elsewhere—dismissed the issue of “alleged” service time manipulation. That in itself is laughable.

I’m firmly on the side of the players for this CBA round, as I’m sure is clear by now. Revenues and profits have gone way up in recent years, and yet the players’ share of that money has declined—both NBA and NFL athletes bring home a higher percentage of revenues than MLB players do.  
 

Curt Flood for the Hall of Fame! 

 

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I’m generally with David on this one. I think the Union should have a say; they are the sport. I believe that in other countries the unions have a seat on the Board of Directors. 

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7 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

I’d also like to see any legal or contractual evidence that MLB.com had to scrub the site of all existing players. 

 

OK, this Washington Post article includes the owners’ legal justification for image removal.  

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