December 18, 2013 6:37 am
The staff gets creative in compiling offers for the Angels' star.
1. The Orioles Deal Manny Machado and Kevin Gausman
There aren't too many organizations in baseball who can boast a pre-arb one-two punch strong enough to offer a duo for Trout and not get laughed out of the room. For the Orioles, the duo of Manny Machado and Kevin Gausman is plenty powerful to accomplish that goal (of not getting laughed out of the room, that is). With an outfield of Trout, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis, the fly ball pitchers on the Orioles' staff would giggle the kinds of giggles generally reserved for Leif Garrett and David Cassidy. They could then play a Ryan Flaherty/Danny Valencia platoon at the hot corner until top prospect Jonathan Schoop was ready. It would require picking up a second baseman to compete with Jemile Weeks for the job, but those are easier to find both in free agency and the trade market than a third baseman (or a Mike Trout, for that matter).
From the Angels' side, Gausman would become the future ace of the staff and would allow them to either keep Tyler Skaggs in the minors to start the season without having to subject fans to watching any more Joe Blanton starts or use Hector Santiago as a swing man. The presence of Machado would allow them to finally move Erick Aybar (who is only owed a reasonable $8.5 million per season over the next three years) for an outfielder or just slide David Freese over to DH and continue to play Machado at third. Of course, this trade idea would have worked a lot better before the Angels traded away Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos—as Trout's natural replacement in center is now gone and having Trumbo's thump in the lineup would slightly lessen the blow of dealing away Trout. As if that's even possible. —Bret Sayre
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December 11, 2013 7:29 am
Our staffers decide whom they would hire after taking over a front office.
The staff comes up with possible barters to help keep the already-sizzling Hot Stove warm through next week.
November 27, 2013 6:00 am
The staff looks back at some of the 2012 Hot Stove rumors that proved fruitless, and what might have been had they come true.
November 20, 2013 6:00 am
The staff looks at available players who might cost their next teams more than they'll be worth.
November 13, 2013 7:01 am
The staff runs down the available players who could provide surplus value for their next employers.
The staff tries to boil down the just-completed season to one thing.
The staff laments some of its poorest pre-season predictions.
The staff recognizes various trades, signings, draft picks, and hirings that helped propel the Redbirds and Sox to the World Series.
1. The Red Sox Pull Off "The Nick Punto Trade"
Perhaps the most obvious and talked-about move that’s helped Boston reach the World Series was last season’s so-called “Nick Punto” trade. For the uninitiated, that’s the deal that saw the Red Sox ship Punto, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers in exchange for Ivan DeJesus Jr., Rubby De La Rosa, James Loney, Jerry Sands, and Allen Webster.
None of the players the Sox received contributed meaningfully to the team this year, of course. Loney signed with the Rays in the offseason, DeJesus and Sands were dealt to the Pirates in the Joel Hanrahan trade, and De La Rosa and Webster performed poorly in 41 2/3 MLB innings.
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For good reasons or bad, these playoff jingles have proven tough to forget.
1. We Are Family
The 1979 World Series is the first one I can really remember at all. That’s largely because it had a theme song. I knew the tune by Sister Sledge, which was co-written by R&B legend Nile Rodgers. It was very popular, having gone to no. 1 on the R&B charts and no. 2 on the pop charts that year. When the Pirates—really paterfamilias Willie Stargell, who also doled out those gold stars (excuse to link to image of Kent Tekulve) and maybe also amphetamines—adopted it as their theme song, I guess I just assumed all championship teams had one. From what I can recall, though, it didn’t happen again until the 2005 White Sox latched onto Journey’s warhorse “Don’t Stop Believin’,” but that song didn’t have the same zeitgeist feel—it was released in 1981, much closer temporally to the “We Are Family” Pirates than Ozzie Guillen’s White Sox. In any case, its associations aren’t exclusive, as any Sopranos fan can tell you.
If one of the remaining teams in the post-season takes on a theme song this month, I’m hoping they choose one of the tracks off of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, preferably “Get Lucky.” The song was a ballpark staple all summer, but that’s not the only reason I hope it’s chosen. It’s also because “Get Lucky” was co-written by Nile Rodgers. —Adam Sobsey
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The staff recounts moves made by postseason skippers that stand out for the right or wrong reasons.
These hitters and pitchers didn't contribute much to their clubs this season, but they'll be in line for bling if their teammates go all the way.