Hot Stove Deadline

MLB’s trade deadline occurs at 4pm eastern time today, and with a little less than five hours to go, we recommend you buckle up for a wild ride.  Here’s a look at who’s been traded so far, who’s likely to be dealt today, and which teams to keep an eye on.

Who’s Already Moved

Who’s Likely To Be Moved

  • Yoenis Cespedes, Rajai Davis, Tigers: Two of the Tigers’ big rentals — Price and Soria — have already departed, but expect Cespedes to be among today’s most-talked-about players. Alex Avila and Alfredo Simon could go, too.
  • Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross, Padres: Upton and Kennedy are both status as a rental player seals his fate, and while Ross has three years of control left, there’s too much chatter about him to not consider it likely. Andrew Cashner, Joaquin and even Craig Kimbrel could all go as well.
  • Gerardo Parra, Brewers: A rental player on a rebuilding team that’s already begun its sale figures to be as good as gone. The bigger question is if the Brew Crew will moveJonathan Lucroy.
  • Marlon Byrd, Jay Bruce, Reds: Same rental caveat applies to Byrd, but Bruce’s connection to the Mets is strong. Aroldis Chapman is the wild card name for the Reds.

Teams To Keep An Eye On

  • The Padres are the major wild card here, and they’ve been connected with a variety of scenarios. San Diego has rentals (Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy, Will Venable), players controllable for 2016 (Andrew Cashner, Joaquin Benoit), and high-end players with lengthier control (Tyson Ross, Craig Kimbrel). If A.J. Preller is as aggressive in selling as he was buying over the winter, it could be a busy day.
  • Meanwhile, the Cubs have long been said to be pursuing a starter and are looking atvarious options. Chicago has been connected to San Diego’s young arms and isshopping shortstop Starlin Castro.
  • The big-money Yankees have added Dustin Ackley, but seem in need of a starter, especially with Michael Pineda hitting the DL, and may be pursuing Kimbrel in an effort to give the club a three-headed bullpen monster.
  • The Astros have already been huge players on the market, but could be looking for more. They’re at least exploring a big move with the Padres, and could dangle Jake Marisnick in an effort to find a quality pen arm.
  • Likewise, the Mets have already made some upgrades. But after seeing their deal for Carlos Gomez fall apart in dramatic fashion, New York has been tied to other outfielders — in particular, Jay Bruce.
  • Speaking of Bruce, the Reds are another team to watch on the sell side. Cincinnati has already moved its best rental assets, but could deal its excellent right fielder or even star closer Aroldis Chapman.
  • We’ve seen little in the way of action from the Orioles, Twins, and White Sox, but all three have given indications of buying in the days leading up to the deadline. Modest additions seem likely for the first two clubs, but both remain outside contenders for significant deals. As for the South Siders, the club has gone from a presumed seller to aggressively shopping for bats (thus also, presumably, taking starter Jeff Samardzija off the market).

Monday Dreg

It’s a beautiful day…let’s play two

“Mr. Cub”, “Mr.Sunshine”, passed away Friday at the age of 83.  The enthusiastic ambassador for a city and a franchise was more than just an All-Century Shortstop; he was a man that had a love for the community, rivaled only by his love of baseball.  Ernie Banks played 19 seasons, (all for Chicago) with only one winning season in his first 14 years.  Ernie never made it to the postseason and his playoff exile is still the longest in baseball history at 2,528 consecutive games without.  In 1954 Ernie Banks and Gene Baker became the first all-black-double-play combo in MLB history.  Ernie played his first 8 seasons at SS before being moved to 1B in 1961, after starting 23 games in LF.

Ernie Banks was the smile that all fans of the Cubs clung to for hope.  He was one of their own and he was a special ballplayer that played the game with effervescence.  He was an 11 time all star who hit 512 HR’s, had 5 Grand Slams in 1955, led the league twice in HR’s and RBI, the most HR’s in a season by a NL Shortstop with 47, and by the time Cal came around, had the fewest errors in a season by a shortstop (12) and the best fielding percentage by a shortstop in a season (.985 in 1959).

Ernie Banks shared the Shortstop position on the All-Century Team with Honus Wagner and Cal Ripken jr, but compare him to the modern player and he still is good.  For an example, Cal Ripken jr and Omar Vizquel now own the fewest errors in a season by a shortstop with 3.  Cal Ripken has the highest fielding percentage in a season by a shortstop (min 150 games) with .996.  Troy Tulowitzki currently has the highest career fielding percentage of all shortstops with .986.

Speaking of Troy Tulowitzki, who is the best Shortstop in the game, and most likely gives us an idea of what it must have been like to watch Ernie play, compares as follows:

0.299 BA 0.294
119 avg.hits.season 151
176 HR 269
604 RBI 778
0.891 OPS 0.916
4.1 WAR 6.2
0.986 fielding% 0.972
106 Games avg’d 135

Those numbers are based on the 9yrs Troy has played at shortstop, against Ernie’s 8yrs at the position.  As much as Troy is beloved in Denver, think how much Rockies fans would love Ernie Banks if he played right now in Coors Field.  Now I love Troy Tulowitzki, and watching him play is one of the few joys you have as a Rockies Fan, but hopefully this helps put things in perspective for an all timer like Ernie Banks and for most of us who never saw him play.  In the Great Ballpark in the sky, they might have to adjust their schedule for double headers, now that Mr.Cub has joined the team.


 

Jeff Bridich, 37, is the Rockies’ rookie general manager. His team is coming off a 66-96 season.

New GM Jeff Bridich

I went to Rockies-Fest again this past Saturday and as usual you get a bad case of spring fever, the thoughts of seeing the field of green, the dirt in the infield, blue skies, sunshine, over-priced beer, meat tubes snuggled in bread pillows, etc..Crazier thoughts that sprout from the what if game: what if Tulo actually plays 150 games with CarGo, or what if the young arms actually have talent to go with Diva-Rosa and Jhoulys – what if Rex Brothers had a bad dream and awoke…It all felt so good, walking around the ballpark, listening to guys spit out cliche after cliche, having fun interacting with the slovenly peasants, watching peasants whore themselves with platitudes towards every ballplayer seen in the hallway – it gets you excited if you love the game and I do.  But then there’s this guy…Bridich…the new GM of the Rockies that was the Director of player development, who earned the job after O’Dwod quit/resigned…Well maybe not earned, the Rockies never conducted a search for a replacement – they kinda got the formal resignation and within hours of the announcement, announced the new GM.

We were there for the first event of the day where Justin Morneau, Walt Weiss, CarGo and that guy were there to talk about the outlook of the Rockies.  Justin responded well to the event, answering questions, Walt provided every cliche we have ever heard about the Rockies (see what if game), CarGo was intense but excited for the season – you could sense that he is burning up inside to prove he can still be elite.

When Bridich spoke it was in one tone – saying nothing.  He never answered the question asked of him and seemed more like we all were beneath him and this was a waste of his time.  You would think that the new GM of a baseball team, at the age of 37, would be so excited to speak to season ticket holders and be enthusiastic for his chance to show us he’s the man.  He was the opposite of that.  The guy reaches a pinnacle of management after being 3rd banana and he reacts like a deer in headlights that just saw his dog get run-over.  One of the questions he was asked was how do you know when a young arm is ready for the majors – mumbly-joe just started droning on and on about how hard the majors are and that evaluations and timing and weather reports and crop circles and tidal charts of the moon’s orbit, blah blah blah – to the point you saw CarGo just look down to avoid eye contact. My son even asked me what he is saying – i had no idea – but I can tell you how you answer that question in front of season ticket holders, who generally want to know when some of the talent we have is ready to contribute and does he have a clue when that would be – that was not the time to be cryptic Jeff.

You might say something like: it all depends on the prospects’ ability to master HIS pitches and when to throw the right pitch, does he understand situational baseball and does he have the maturity to handle all the noise inside and outside of the ballpark – does he want to succeed and does he trust his defense to make a play…That was just 30 seconds of “who’s line is it anyway” – Jeff had weeks to prepare a proper response that gives you an idea that he cares, or has a clue, or is enthusiastic about running a baseball team.  I guess we’re stuck with the GM we got, just not the one we deserve.


Colombia 2014

Paulina Vega – Miss Universe

So last night was the Miss Universe whoop-ditty and my $2 Trifecta Box did not merit much in terms of financial gain.  Hell, I only had Netherlands left in the top 5 and I have no idea where the rest fell out – but it was interesting that I had said two of the top 6 that had outside chances were USA and Colombia and they ended up finishing nos.1&2 – but you said they weren’t gonna win because… – Like I said, nailed it – besides I blame Manny Pacquiao for blowing up my box.

things also not worth watching…

anyone know who won, any of the football extravaganzas that occurred?  I’ve got a feeling that a good friend of mine took the over in the Senior Bowl and Team Carter + the points…I know it sounds weird, but this same guy bets pre-season NFL games – His is the picture in the dictionary next to the word degenerate.