Hot Stove League 2019-2020

Train_of_Thought

Lowrie has played 500 games at SS, 400 at 2B and 145 at 3B. I don't consider him the full-time Mets third baseman of which I dream.


jfinnegan

I'm more concerned about centerfield and their manager avoiding questions about cheating as a player with the Astros.


ml1

jfinnegan said:

I'm more concerned about centerfield and their manager avoiding questions about cheating as a player with the Astros.

 Yankees fans are of course blaming sign stealing in the 2017 ALCS, ignoring the fact that the big reason they lost the series is that they scored a total of 3 runs in 4 games at Houston. If the Astros were stealing signs in games 1 and 2, it surely didn't help them much. They won both of those games by 2-1. 


DaveSchmidt

Overheard at work: “Isn’t managing the Mets punishment enough?”


mfpark

Donaldson to the Twins.  Saw that one coming.  


FilmCarp

4 years. I don't think he will be worth that deal, but good for him.


mfpark

FilmCarp said:

4 years. I don't think he will be worth that deal, but good for him.

 Agreed.  That is why I was pretty sure he would wind up with the Twins.  I doubt anyone else went beyond two to three with a club option.


DaveSchmidt

I just might have to acknowledge the existence of the AL Central this season.


DaveSchmidt

Interesting question being discussed on the WFUV sports show just now: Does the yearlong suspension of Hinch (and potentially Cora) start now, or does it not take effect until he actually holds an MLB job? That is, if a team decides to hire Hinch as a manager, will it then have to wait a year — presumably with some interim manager — before he can start managing?

The hosts note, for instance, that the clock on a player suspension doesn’t start if he’s on the DL. Only games when he would otherwise be eligible to play count.


Train_of_Thought

From an article on mlb.com dated 1/13 (emphasis added):

Former Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman, who was dismissed by the club in October after he made offensive and insensitive comments directed at a group of female reporters at the conclusion of the American League Championship Series on Oct. 19, 2019, was also suspended for one year for his inappropriate conduct in the clubhouse. Taubman "shall be ineligible to perform services on behalf of any Major League club, either as an employee or independent contractor."

The suspensions of Luhnow and Hinch are to begin immediately, ending on the day following the completion of the 2020 World Series. Taubman, who is currently not employed by a Major League club, will be eligible to apply for reinstatement at that same end time as well.


mfpark

Reds sign Castellanos, likely to play left field (he played right field for the Cubs).  Good signing for the Reds--gap power (58 doubles last year), decent production at bat.  Not a sterling outfielder but serviceable.  Four years at $64MM. 

In a funny way this is also a good signing for the Cubs.  It allows them to focus more on Schwarber and Kris Bryant.  Bryant is waiting for the results on a service time arbitration hearing, after which he may become trade bait.  But not that payroll is not as big a problem, the Cubs can lose that hearing and still hold onto Bryant until the trading deadline.  If they are not doing well they can try to trade him for decent value, and if they are in the race they can keep him.  This also allows the Cubs to play Heyward in right field, where he is a much better fielder than Castellanos.


mfpark

Sorry Mets Fans.  Sterling Marte to the Diamondbacks for a couple of prospects on a one year deal (with a club option for the second year).  


ml1

mfpark said:

Sorry Mets Fans.  Sterling Marte to the Diamondbacks for a couple of prospects on a one year deal (with a club option for the second year).  

 don't care grin



mfpark

If the Red Sox trade with the Dodgers plays out as Peter Gammons is predicting it will be a huge deal for the Red Sox, and it may also put the Dodgers over the top in 2020.

Alex Verdugo seems to be the centerpiece of the trade, and he is a legitimate top prospect in the outfield.  The Dodgers are also going to toss in infielder Jeter Downs, a prospect with a lot of upside and who has been burning up the summer leagues this year.  Finally, a pitcher, perhaps Caleb Ferguson, who has a live arm but has been hit hard from time to time--yet may still slot as a 4 or 5 starter.

The Dodgers can afford to give up Verdugo, Downs, and Ferguson as they have a really deep bench of young prospects to mesh with a very strong team returning from last year.  Imagine Betts batting before Bellinger--a nightmare for most pitchers.

The Red Sox are also trying to move David Price in this deal, but I bet that does not happen.  His large salary and off season surgery mean that the Dodgers would give a lot less back in return.  The potential deal with the Padres seems to be slowing down as the Padres want the Sox to take on Wil Myers's big salary.  Since the Sox are trying to dump salaries right now, this seems to be a non-starter. 


mfpark

There is a rumor the Yankees may be looking to trade for Kris Bryant of the Cubs.  Possible trade pieces are Andujar and Voit.  Bryant would be an upgrade from Urshula at third base, but he is damned expensive--$18.6MM in 2020; arbitration in 2021; free agent in 2022.  Then, again, this is the Yankees we are talking about, and what is another $20MM a year or so to them if they can win it all this year?


mfpark

Betts AND Price to Dodgers (plus about half of the $96MM owed to Price for the next 3 years).  Dodgers send Verdugo to Red Sox and Maeda to Twins.  Twins send Graterol (top relief prospect) to Red Sox. 

Interesting that the Dodgers would take Price, even with the Sox picking up half his salary.  I love the guy's makeup, and he was with the Dodgers' GM in Tampa Bay so he knows him well.  But he is getting old and last year was  limited by a cyst in his pitching hand.  And he has three years left on his contract!  Oh well, he will slot in behind Kershaw and Buehler, so he will be more protected and less relied on than he was in Boston.

Verdugo was also limited by injuries last year but he has a lot of upside.  The Sox now have room to sign Yasiel Puig if they can get a number that keeps them below the salary threshold.  Not sure that can happen.

Maeda fits well with the Twins as a long reliever and spot starter, and with Price in the fold the Dodgers had no room for him as a starter.  Graterol is said to have a really live arm and the Sox do need relief help.

In a separate but related deal, the Dodgers sent OF Joc Pederson to the Angels for light hitting IF Luis Rengifo.  Basically, the Dodgers had too many outfielders after getting Betts, and while Pederson has good power, he also strikes out a lot.  For the Angels he adds more power to surround Mike Trout in the lineup.  And the Angels have too many infielders after signing Rendon, so Rengifo was expendable.  


FilmCarp

Dumping Pederson also helps with the luxury tax.  I'm sure Price was included in the Betts deal at the insistence of the Red Sox.  Good move for the Sox, as they were not going to be able to afford FA Betts anyway.


mfpark

FilmCarp said:

Dumping Pederson also helps with the luxury tax.  I'm sure Price was included in the Betts deal at the insistence of the Red Sox.  Good move for the Sox, as they were not going to be able to afford FA Betts anyway.

 The rumors were that if they had not included Price the Dodgers would have included another prospect--I might have gone for that if I were the Sox, but what do I know?


FilmCarp

The Sox clearly said that they were trying to get under the salary cap, and losing Price made it happen .


mfpark

FilmCarp said:

The Sox clearly said that they were trying to get under the salary cap, and losing Price made it happen .

 I did not believe them.  I was wrong.


mfpark

The deal just got a whole lot better for the Red Sox.  Wow!

The Sox rejected Graterol for medical reasons.  The restructured deal still has Betts and Price going to the Dodgers (along with half of Price's salary).  But in return the Sox get not only Verdugo, but also Jeter Downs (a top infield prospect who has been tearing up the summer leagues) and catching prospect Connor Wong.  Meanwhile, Maeda still goes to the Twins (with some salary offset money and a minor leaguer), in return for Graterol and a solid AAA outfield prospect, Luke Raley.  

On another front, the Dodgers trade of Joc Pederson to the Angels appears to have fallen through.


mfpark

And, just like that, the Betts trade just got worse for the Red Sox.

Verdugo is now likely to start the season on the IL.

To "replace" Betts in the outfield the Red Sox will sign Kevin Pillar who had a wonderful 0.287 OBP last year with the Giants.  Which, granted, was better than his 0.282 OBP in 2018 with Toronto.  When Pillar plays with Bradley, Jr, the Sox will have one of the lowest total OBP outfields in the major leagues.  Guess Puig was too expensive (or perhaps too volatile) to sign.  

The good news, at least if you are an owner of the Red Sox, is that this signing keeps them below the luxury tax threshold by a little more than $5MM.  Oh joy.



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