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thefiestygoat

2013/14 MLB Offseason Thread

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I figure there's probably enough interest in the hot stove. Lots of interesting rumors and moves but first how about the blockbuster Ian Kinsler for Prince Fielder trade!

 

The Rangers and Tigers have agreed on a blockbuster deal to send Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler.

 

The deal is a one-for-one swap of stars. It is believed the Tigers are sending about $30 million to cover part of the difference in salaries.

 

Fielder waived his no-trade clause, approving the deal, sources said. He has a limited no-clause provision that includes the Rangers, but didn't balk at the trade to Texas, provided he retains his limited protection going forward. He'll be going to a better hitter's park in a state with no income tax.

This really came out of nowhere and has impacts on some many levels. When Jon Heyman, who while well connected I don't follow since he is also a Boras mouthpiece, tweeted that there were talks of this, I thought nothing of it. Then soon enough the deal was done.

 

I think this is a great deal for both teams for a few reasons but first here's a contract breakdown.

Ian Kinsler Remaining Contract
2014: $16M - Age 32
2015: $16M - Age 33
2016: $14M - Age 34
2017: $11M - Age 35
2018: $10M club option ($5M buyout) - Age 36
------------
Total: $67M ($62 w/ buyout) over 5 years

Prince Fielder Remaining Contract (excluding bonuses)
2014: $24M - Age 30
2015: $24M - Age 31
2016: $24M - Age 32
2017: $24M - Age 33
2018: $24M - Age 34
2019: $24M - Age 35
2020: $24M - Age 36
Note: Tigers paying $30M
------------
Total: $138 over 7 years

 

Essentially the Rangers just acquired age 30-36 Fielder for just under $20M a year while clearing room for top prospect 2B Jurickson Profar to compliment SS Elvis Andrus in the middle of their infield. Fielder will provide a much needed power boost and despite coming off a down year by his standards (125 wRC+) is only a year and two away from some monster 153 and 160 wRC+ seasons. Plus Texas figures to still have enough room to go after a big free agent like McCann who rumors have it is a top priority for the club.

 

From a Tigers standpoint they just freed up $76M in money to invest in other positions and/or extending Miguel Cabrera (FA after 2015) and Max Scherzer (FA after 2014) and while improving their defense with Cabrera moving to 1B. They can use highly regarded prospect Nick Castellanos at 3B or OF depending on whether they sign a 3B or OF off the free agent market. There are certainly a lot guys like Peralta, Drew, Granderson to name a few that may entice them and may not cost as much as a Beltran or Choo. Hell, they could even add one of those guys above plus Joe Nathan with the savings now. Kinsler may only have been about league average from the plate the past 2 years but he's still one of the better 2B in the game and the flexibility they gain with this trade is a huge plus for them.

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Some other interesting news, deals, and rumors so far.

 

- Chris Carpenter Retired

- Giants Re-Sign Tim Lincecum for 2/$35M and Sign Tim Hudson for 2/$23M

 

The Lincecum deal really shocked me given how his career has gone the last few years. I know his FIP and xFIP suggest his ERA has been inflated and he's most likely peaked already but I thought they would've explored FA's or played more hardball with him. I think the Hudson signing made a lot of sense for them and is a decent gamble. If he stays healthy he should be productive for them.

 

- Indians Sign David Murphy for around 2/$12 with a club option for a 3rd year.

 

Murphy has been about league average offensively for his career (103 wRC+) and is coming off a down year (73 wRC+). With that said he is a solid platoon option (113 wRC+ vs. RHP, 71 wRC+ LHP) for his career plus he's a solid LF.

 

- Padres Sign Josh Johnson to about a 1/$8M

 

I think this great for both sides. Johnson can return to the NL, pitch in a pitcher's park, and his 2013 season was an outlier on his career norms. 2013: .356 BABIP, 6.20/4.62/3.58 ERA/FIP/xFIP with a 18.5% HR/FB ratio. His K/9, BB/9, and GB% were close to his career averages for the most part. I think he's a huge rebound candidate *if* he stays healthy. The Padres even have protection that if he  can't make 7 starts, then they get a $4M club option on him for 2015. Low risk/medium reward for Padres, low risk/high reward for Johnson to build his value back up.

 

Some interesting rumors heading into the offseason is if/where will the Rays trade David Price (FA after 2015) who is projected to earn $13.1M in 2014. The Nationals and Dodgers keep coming up as potential suitors. Should be fun to follow.

 

Early on their were rumblings of a potential Rockies - Cardinals blockbuster that would send Troy Tulowitzki to STL for a package centered around Matt Adams and Shelby Miller and more. Tulowitzki has $134M left on his deal thru 2020. I know he' a fan favorite but I think that would be a great deal for the Rockies.

 

There were some rumors regarding Tulowitzki and Andrus/Profar before the Kinsler blockbuster deal so I guess this kills any of those rumors.

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Love how these mega-contracts suddenly become albatrosses within a few years of them being signed.  Hey Dave, if you knew that signing Fielder was going to hamper your flexibility in the very near future, in relation to the length of the deal, why bother to sign him to it at all? 

 

Other teams are springing to life and starting to make some moves, but of course, Captain Passive and the Wilpons are waiting around to see who offers them a free dinner next.  Still early of course, but damn the Mets just piss me off...

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Fielder. Heard it might be some problems for Cabrera. Pitchers might not have a problem walking him a bunch now with this

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Fielder. Heard it might be some problems for Cabrera. Pitchers might not have a problem walking him a bunch now with this

 

Carter4Pres, meet Victor Martinez (2013: .301/.355/.430).  You wanna walk Cabrera to get to him, I'm sure the Tigers will take their chances. 

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They don't need fielder IMO. I don't watch Detroit but I'd say there fine without him

Carter4Pres, meet Victor Martinez (2013: .301/.355/.430). You wanna walk Cabrera to get to him, I'm sure the Tigers will take their chances.

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Detroit made a great trade, that contract looked like a future albatross before Fielder struggled in 2013. Kinsler is much cheaper and I'm not sure there is much of a gap in true talent level. Detroit can finally properly align their infield defense (ironically, now might be the offseason they wrongfully trade Porcello) and afford other players. 

Edited by nmigliore

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Nats have acquired Doug Fister. No confirmation of the players going back but Steve Lombardozzi, Robbie Ray, and Ian Krol are among those rumored..... which would be hilariously awful on Detroit's part. 

 

Fister is one the best pitchers in the game. Fun comparison between he and David Price (keep in mind both players have 2 years of control left and Fister will be cheaper): http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=sta&lg=all&qual=0&type=c,8,13,48,117,118,119,120,121,59,212&season=2013&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=3184,9425

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#Nats confirm trade with #Tigers: Doug Fister for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and minor-league LHP Robbie Ray.

 

Absolutely pathetic return for Detroit, wow. Nationals made out like total bandits. 

Edited by nmigliore

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#Nats confirm trade with #Tigers: Doug Fister for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and minor-league LHP Robbie Ray.

 

Absolutely pathetic return for Detroit, wow. Nationals made out like total bandits. 

 

Really surprised by this, Fister has been one of the most underrated pitchers lately and all the rumors seemed to revolve around Porcello or Scherzer getting shipped out. I understand holding onto Scherzer since they are in win now and that they don't want to sell low on Porcello but I was still caught off guard.

 

Dave Dombrowski has made some pretty great trades in his time so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt but that seems like a real underwhelming return. He must really like Robbie Ray's chances of reaching his potential or this was to create financial room for another move perhaps. Pretty crazy that the Tigers stole Fister from the Mariners and now the Nationals have stolen him from the Tigers.

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By the way, huge credit to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish for breaking this trade. This kid is an 18-year old HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR who has been scooping mainstream writers like Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal all offseason. Definitely give him a follow on Twitter or keep up with his SB Nation blog. It's well worth it, trust me, the kid is for real.

Edited by nmigliore

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Lots of news flowing the past few days:

 

- A's signed Scott Kazmir for 2/22: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/athletics-to-sign-scott-kazmir.html

- A's acquired Jim Johnson for Jemile Weeks: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/athletics-acquire-jim-johnson-from-orioles-for-jemile-weeks.html

- Tigers signed Joe Nathan for 2 years: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/tigers-to-sign-joe-nathan.html

- Red Sox signed AJ Pierzynski for 1/8: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/red-sox-to-sign-aj-pierzynski.html

- Rays acquired Ryan Hanigan in what could be a 3-way deal: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/rays-to-acquire-ryan-hanigan.html

- A's acquired Craig Gentry and Josh Lindblom for Michael Choice and Chris Bostick: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/athletics-acquire-craig-gentry.html

 

Billy Beane is really wheeling and dealing!

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Add the Astros getting Dexter Fowler for pretty much nothing. It feels like the hot stove is moving a lot faster than previous years. Hard to keep up with the moves and rumors today.

Pierzynski to the Red Sox gives me another reason to hate him. Billy Beane continues to get creative, wonder where he moves Anderson to? I have interest as a Yankees fan.

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So much for Jack Zduriencik being some sabermetric-friendly GM. I mean, it seemed more and more difficult to believe based on his roster construction in recent years anyway, but this great article by Geoff Baker pretty much puts the connection to bed. Worth reading just for all of the dysfunction highlighted from front office all the way down to the coaching staff.

 

Blengino said he [not Jack Z] prepared the package because he was versed in the hot trend of using advanced stats for team decisions.
 
“Jack portrayed himself as a scouting/stats hybrid because that’s what he needed to get the job,” Blengino said. “But Jack never has understood one iota about statistical analysis. To this day, he evaluates hitters by homers, RBI and batting average and pitchers by wins and ERA. Statistical analysis was foreign to him. But he knew he needed it to get in the door.”

 

 

 

It’s hardly unusual in the corporate world for trusted assistants to design job applications. But after initial success, Zduriencik had a slew of failed player moves — coinciding with his eventual decision to push Blengino out.
 
“Jack tried to destroy me,” Blengino said.

 

 

 

In 2011, Zduriencik imported longtime associate Ted Simmons as a senior adviser and increased responsibilities for second-year assistant GM Jeff Kingston, pushing Blengino from his inner circle. Zduriencik received a three-year contract extension that August and Blengino said Zduriencik told him: “Now, we do things my way.”
 
Blengino said Zduriencik became obsessed with power hitters, ignoring defense, baserunning and roster construction. He said the GM also dismissed the importance of evaluating players within the context of their contract values.

 

 

 

Zduriencik then made him “look like an ass” in front of baseball operations brass in spring training 2012 after Blengino gave a presentation on possible benefits from advances in computerized hitting data.

“He nitpicked about font sizes and column widths,” Blengino said. “He did what he always does and made fun of something he couldn’t understand.”

 

 

 

The Mariners from 2011 to 2013 traded Doug Fister, Michael Pineda, Steve Delabar, Erik Bedard, Mike Carp and John Jaso for limited returns.
 
“The way the team operates now,” Blengino said, “is totally different from what it was.”

 

 

(Sorry for all the quotes - some of those should be together but the quoting system on this board is a pain in the butt).

Edited by nmigliore

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I like the Anderson trade for both teams. Seems like such a typical Billy Beane type move too.

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I like the Anderson trade for both teams. Seems like such a typical Billy Beane type move too.

 

This is what the Mets thought they were getting when they hired Alderson.  The big difference is Beane's circumstances aren't always ideal and he knows it, but he never seems to give up.  I think Alderson has. 

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Rangers signed Choo for 7 years, $130M.

 

I like Choo, but that's putting too much weight into one season of data. Expand the sample size to 2011 instead of just focusing on 2013 and he's been much closer to a +3 win player than the +5 win player he was in 2013. Steamer reflects this and is quite down on him, projecting him for just +2.4 WAR in Texas next season. For comparison, by the same projection system, David Murphy is projected to produce just as much for the Indians next year (+2.4 WAR) as Choo is for the Rangers. David Murphy signed for 2 years, $12M. It's not just Steamer, either: ZiPS has him at +3.1 WAR in 2014 as a Ranger. 

 

You don't have to take projection systems as gospel (I'd at least take the over on Choo's Steamer projection), but it's interesting and fun to look at. That contract could turn out crazy bad. 

Edited by nmigliore

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2011 really sticks out as being meh, as far as Choo's last six seasons go, but in the other five seasons, he hit and got on base.  I think if he hits in the .280s and gets on base at a .390 clip, the Rangers will take it, but 7 years/$130 million seems like an awful lot for Choo...his putting up a career-high in OB% this past season (by a lot) probably inflated the contract. 

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lol I thought he'd be doing well to get $100 million let alone $130.  God, it's like monopoly money in baseball.

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