Extremely Recent History

Bye, bye, Belty. - Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Reflections on the latest changes in the baseball landscape.

The upside of yesterday's flurry of activity, at least for me, anyway, is that I really don't so much have to worry about some major news move upstaging whatever thing I'm going to write today. It's kind of a nice feeling, really.

The downside is that I don't really have a whole lot of time at the moment to say much of anything. Not that that is somehow related to yesterday's flurry of moves, of course; simply an observation that I would better be able to appreciate having the news already in hand if I had time for a more substantial post. And no, this isn't the introduction to a 2500 word epic, despite the typical lengths of posts I begin with some variety of the phrase, "I'm going to keep this brief..."

Some somewhat salient points:

  • I would just like to point back to a post I wrote very early in the offseason, in which I postulated how wonderful a move I thought it would be if the Redbirds were to go out and acquire one Peter Christopher Bourjos. In light of the contract the New York Yankees just signed Jacoby Ellsbury to, I would like to revisit the most pointed observation of the piece; namely, the fact Bourjos has been worth 0.0079 WAR per plate appearance in his career to date versus 0.0073 for the 153 million dollar man. I'm not saying Peter Bourjos is a better player than Jacoby Ellsbury, exactly; what I am saying is when you see a team hand a seven year deal worth tens of millions of dollars to a player, you just might want to take a moment to appreciate what your own team gave up to acquire a player who has been surprisingly similar in terms of value relative to opportunity. Just saying.
  • I'm really interested to see what the Cincinnati Reds are going to try and do the rest of the offseason. So far, their two biggest moves have been to wave goodbye to Shin-Soo Choo and trade away the quite productive Ryan Hanigan. Admittedly, a pretty decent chunk of Choo's value was lost by dint of his abject horribleness in center field last year, but that .423 on-base percentage is mighty sexy, and a number Billy Hamilton is not, I feel fairly comfortable saying, likely to come particularly close to in 2014. The Reds have some very exciting talent on the pitching side, and still possess a solid offensive core, but Brandon Phillips is no longer Brandon Phillips -- if he's still even on the team next year, that is -- and it feels a little like the Reds' window to win is starting to get a little narrow, especially considering the emergence of the Pirates as a real force in the division and the Cubs' crazy farm system.
  • The package the Tigers received in return for Doug Fister is just baffling. I know the Cardinals don't need pitching, at all, but considering the pittance the Nationals just paid for one of the best, say, 20 or so starting pitchers in all of baseball, I kind of wish they would have traded for him. Just because. Dave Dombrowski has managed to build a very good team in Detroit despite not drafting very well, mostly going the Walt Jocketty Classic route, but this seems like just a horrible deal for the Tigers.
  • On the other hand, if that's all high-caliber pitchers are worth at the moment, maybe we have an answer as to why John Mozeliak chose to just hold on to everybody instead of dealing a pitcher to try and upgrade some other position, despite not really having enough room for all the arms the team already has. Hell, if that's all pitchers are worth at the moment, I say fuck drafting and developing pitchers. Just draft nothing but shortstops all day every day. Ugh.
That's all from me today, folks. Apologies for the abbreviated post. Next week I'm going to preview the Rule V draft and any players the Cardinals might either be losing or possibly interested in taking a fifty grand flyer on, since the draft is actually on Thursday. The week after that, I don't know. Maybe a Christmas thing, but probably not. Maybe I'll do another draft preview.

Bye.
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