Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The MLB Hot stove is burning on a Monday

The Hot Stove really started burning on Monday.  The Miami Marlins extension with Giancarlo Stanton was announced.  The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves made a trade involving Jayson Heyward and Shelby Miller and the Toronto Blue Jays signed Russell Martin.  What could be in store for Tuesday?

I will start with the Marlins and Stanton.  He signed a 13 year deal for 325 million dollars.  This is with a team that has been known to blow things up quickly and not spend money.  It will be interesting to see now if they surround him with some more talent.  They were up and coming last year and had a pretty good year, let's see what happens.  Stanton did get a no trade clause and an opt out after five or six years. 

The trade between the Cardinals and the Braves was Jayson Heyward and Jordan Walden to the Cardinals for Shelby Miller and a minor leaguer.  Heyward is a solid player especially defensively but has never put up the power numbers that the Braves had thought he would.  He batted 271 last season with 11 homeruns and 58 RBI.  He had 20 stolen bases and won his second gold glove.  Miller was 10-9 with a 3.74 for the Cardinals last season.  He was 15-9 with a 3.06 ERA in his rookie season of 2013. 

The Blue Jays gave Martin five  years and 82 million.  They definitely overpaid for a guy who had a career year last season.  He did bat 290 last season with 11 homeruns and 67 RBI.  He also had a 402 OBP and had a caught stealing percentage of 38.5 which was fourth best in the majors.  He has a 259 career average and is known to be a leader.  He has been to four straight postseasons with three different teams. 

I don't know what is going to happen the rest of this week but it has gotten off to a hot start in the hot stove league. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New York Yankees news and notes

The New York Yankees have been pretty quiet so far this offseason.  They did sign Chris Young to a one year 2.5 million dollar deal before last week GM meetings took place.  David Robertson did turn down the qualifying offer last Monday as expected.  He seems to have a lot of suitors but it doesn't mean he won't return to the Yankees.  I would still bet on that happening although I didn't think Robinson Cano would leave last year either. 

The Yankees did make a minor trade last week and also signed a very minor player also last week.  They traded fan favorite Francisco Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates for left handed reliever Justin Wilson.  I think this was a good move because they had a surplus of catchers and Cervelli is a career backup with a big injury history.  They are very high on their minor league catchers such as John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine and then Gary Sanchez is considered their number one prospect and this should open up the AAA starting catcher spot for him.  Romine and Murphy will battle it out for backup catcher in spring training although Romine is out of options.  It appears that Murphy has the edge for the spot but we will have to wait and see.  As for Wilson he has very good stuff and is young and controllable right now.  The Yankees do have some left handed relievers in the minors they are very high on.  Wilson though is more of a proven commodity, I wouldn't rule out Jacob Lindgren making the team along with Wilson.  Wilson was 3-4 with a 4.20 ERA 70 appearances last season with the Pirates.  He is 6'2  and in three major league seasons is 9-5 with a 2.99 ERA. 

The other minor move that they made was picking up Jose De Paula on a one year split contract.  He will receive 510,000 if he appears in the majors and 175,000 in the minors.  He was with AAA Fresno in the San Francisco Giants organization last season.  De Paula went 4-3 with a 4.21 ERA.  He has never appeared in the majors but the Yankees like his stuff and he will have a chance to compete for a starting spot.  If not he will be AAA insurance.  This is one of those moves that can't hurt, if it works out great and if not then you didn't lost much. 

The Yankees are talking with Robertson and they have made offers to Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy from what I understand but they are in wait and see mode.  It appears that if Headley doesn't resign with them then Martin Prado will be their third baseman with Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela battling it out for second base.  If no McCarthy the Yankees could look at other middle tier alternatives such as Jason Hammell. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

The New York Mets signing of Michael Cuddyer

The Mets signed outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two year and 21 million dollar deal.  They were the first ones to make a big splash.  Cuddyer is a sign that the Mets are ready to compete and done with their rebuilding mode.  He turned down the one year/15.3 million dollar qualifying offer from the Colorado Rockies.  The Rockies will get a compensation pick from the Mets which will be the number 15 pick in the draft. 

Cuddyer is 35 and a two time all-star.  He was the 2013 National League batting champion.  He is a veteran of 14 seasons with the Minnesota Twins and Colorado Rockies.  He owns a career 279 average and has played in 1,419 games.  He hits and throws right handed.  He played 49 games last season with the Rockies batting 332 with 10 homeruns and 31 RBI.  He made three trips to the disabled list with a left shoulder strain and a left hamstring strain. 

"We talk a lot about not giving up picks.  In this case, we looked at it, did the analysis and decided this player was worth it.  We had a pretty good sense of what was out there.  We're pretty happy that we addressed one of our biggest needs and, although we sacrificed a draft pick, didn't give up any of our current talent," Ricco said.  "We're still in a great position to have a productive meeting at the GM meetings and see how else we can improve the team.  "Certainly we value our draft picks and would like to hold onto them.  But, at the same time, we're looking to win.  So in this case, we decided that the value of Michael Cuddyer was worth it." 

They said that they looked at the injuries and there was nothing too concerning.  They feel he will be a good player for them.  They said the age is the age and their is risk with any signing but this is one they were willing to take.  I think this is a good move for the Mets as long as they add at least a shortstop with it.  I believe they are going to do that and then they are on their way.  They are too close to contending now to not take some risk and spend some money.  He will be a good veteran bat in the middle of their lineup.  It also signals to the fans and the rest of the baseball world that they aren't fooling around anymore and that the Mets are for real now. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The New York Rnagers win 5-0 over the Pittsburgh Penguins

The New York Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.  The game took place at Madison Square Garden and the final score was 5-0.  The Rangers had a bad weekend and came out like a team on a mission.  Henrik Lundqvist was great in goal and they had contributions from a lot of guys.  All of the goals were scored by a different player.  Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Kevin Klein, Derick Brassard and Mats Zucarello scored the goals. 

Lundqvist made 33 saves as the Rangers got back over 500 at 7-6-2.   They will now face off against the Colorado Avalanche at home on Thursday night.  The Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period.  Zuccarello, St. Louis and Klein scored the first period goals.  Brassard scored a power play goal in the second period and Nash scored a shorthanded goal in the third period to complete the scoring. 

Lundqvist earned his third shutout of the season and Marc-Andre Fleury took only his third loss of the season.  The Rangers and Penguins met for the first time this season after the Rangers rallied in the postseason last year to defeat them. 

MLB GM Meetings in Phoenix, Arizona

The MLB GM meetings began on Monday and will be finishing up on Wednesday.  This is usually a time where not much action occurs but a lot of groundwork laying does happen.  This year it does seem to be more active than in the past though.  What have we learned so far, let me take you through that. 

The Yankees signed Chris Young to a one year 2.5 million dollar deal with incentives.  That actually occured before the meetings.  GM Brian Cashman has said he is set in the outfield with him being the fourth outfielder.  They are looking at several options at SS and the two latest rumored names are Elvis Andrus from the Texas Rangers and Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies.  They would have to be acquired in a trade.  There is risk with both, Andrus is young which is good for the Yankees but he has an 8 year 120 million dollar contract ready to kick in next year.  Rollins is older and declining although he is still capable of putting up decent numbers.  I am kind of leaning towards resigning Stephen Drew on this one.  Cashman has said that he will be talking to him and his agent and will see what happens there.  Troy Tulowitzki is a sexy name but he is always hurt, costs a lot of money and will cost a lot of prospects. 

The Mets made the first big splash of the offseason by signing Michael Cuddyer to a two year/ 21 million dollar deal.  He will be their RF with Curtis Granderson moving over to left field.  I think this was a good move for them, they will forfeit the number 15 pick in the draft.  I say who cares though, they are close to contending and they need a veteran bat in their lineup.  If they aren't done and he isn't the only signing then it is a really good move. 

The Red Sox are said to be all in on Pablo Sandoval.  I find it hard to believe he will leave San Francisco but we shall see.  There were some minor moves such as Zoilo Almonte signing a major league deal with the Atlanta Braves and Chien Ming Wang signing with the Braves also but to a minor league contract and an invite to spring training. 

There are talks that the Seattle Mariners want to sign a big bat so they will push also for Sandoval or maybe Victor Martinez.  They feel they are close to getting over the top and after spending a lot on Cano last year they aren't done yet. 

My take on the Yankees and Mets needing shortstops is they will find them through trades most likely.  I think the Mets definitely will and I think the Yankees will if Stephen Drew and them can't come to an agreement.  I do think the most likely is for that to happen as they really seem to want to protect their best prospects and start using them in the majors very soon. 

The winter meetings will begin in a little under a month and that is where the hot stove will really heat up and a lot of movement will happen.  Until then most of this is just speculation and the start to a busy off-season.   

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