Surprise: the Upton-inspired brothers-helping-brothers theory has some support in the numbers.
B.J. and Justin Upton are brothers. They’re also both Braves, thanks to the November signing that brought B.J. to Atlanta and the trade last week in which Justin joined him. As one would expect, the Uptons are excited about the opportunity to be big-league teammates, which they’ve been hoping to have for years. Here are some quotes from a couple of the manystories written about the Uptons in the wake of the trade:
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Sometimes, the player-value models disagree, and you get to make a choice. Make that choice.
Much, perhaps too much, is made of the multiple models existent that attempt to characterize a player's value relative to replacement level. "A man with one watch always knows the time, while a man with two watches can never be sure," is an expression. Most of the time, though, WAR, WARP, and WAR are close allies. How good is Joey Votto? you might ask. And the answers you get:
If an expansion team with a Yankees budget wanted to build a team out of this year's free agents, what would it look like?
You can’t build a team around free agents, say the people who don’t think you can build a team around free agents. To them, the only way to build a team is through the draft, waiver claims and occasional trades. To paraphrase the great movie Waterboy (which is such a great movie that you can watch it for free on YouTube), “Free agents are the devil!” Well, maybe so if you’re living in the real world, but this is Baseball Prospectus where we can do anything we want provided it fits on a spreadsheet and won’t wake our parents upstairs.
Another thing some people like to say is that baseball teams aren’t just names on paper. They’re real people. Well, not here they aren’t, mister! Here players are one-dimensional entities devoid of emotion and everything else that won’t show up on our computer machines. In that spirit, I’m not only going to build a baseball team exclusively out of free agents, but I’m going to do it only on (virtual) paper. Eat that, straw men I just created!
The names baseball will be obsessing over for the next three months.
With free agency beginning at just after midnight Eastern early Saturday, it’s time to look at this year’s class. Along with Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and others, we put together a list of the top 50 free agents available this winter. Some analysis and predictions are also included. You can quibble with the rankings (especially after a certain point) and many of the predictions, but this is meant to serve as a primer for the free-agent period.
1. Zack Greinke (Angels): Greinke may not consistently perform like an ace but he is a durable no. 2 starter with a deep arsenal, and an understanding of how to use it. After trading three top prospects at the deadline for Greinke and then having his club miss the postseason, Jerry Dipoto is in an unenviable position. Dipoto cannot recoup draft picks, which provides further incentive to re-sign Greinke. It seems Dipoto is heading down that path if recent payroll shearing is any indication.
If you're in an NL-only league, these are the players to stay close to.
A couple weeks ago, I looked at a few National League players who could be on the move come July and might be worth stashing in AL-only leagues that allow such moves. Reader Robotey wanted to see the flip side of that—American League players who could be traded to the NL—so I thought I’d oblige that request today.
Kurt Suzuki | Oakland A’s | C
With the promotion of top catching prospect Derek Norris this weekend, it could be the beginning of the end for Suzuki’s tenure in Oakland. Suzuki is still under contract through 2013 with a club option for 2014, but if Norris plays well over the next couple weeks while splitting time behind the plate, he could force the issue. And if the A’s can shed some salary while adding a good piece or two for the future, you can bet they’ll jump on it. While there’s never a guarantee that these kinds of players will be traded across leagues, this is more of a concern with Suzuki than with other players as the Rays are in desperate need of a catcher and are apparently hot on Suzuki. That’s not to say Tampa is his only potential destination, but they may be the most likely.