Catching you up on the weekend's conflicting reports about Ervin Santana, Shane Victorino's switch-hitting decision, and White Sox trade rumors.
Ervin Santana might be in a rush to sign; or, maybe not
FOX Sports baseball insiders Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi got some conflicting information over the weekend. Rosenthal heard that Ervin Santana was itching to join a club and could settle for a one-year deal to get down to spring training as soon as possible. Morosi, on the other hand, was told that Santana might “wait days” before accepting an offer.
Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes had more concrete news on the Santana front: He wrote on Saturday that the right-hander has two offers on the table that would essentially match the qualifying offer from the Royals that Santana rejected last fall. The Blue Jays would hand him $14 million for the 2014 season, while the Orioles’ bid was at $13 million with incentives that could at least bump the value up to the $14.1 million paycheck he turned down.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
What has to happen for a right fielder to throw out a runner at first?
According to his SABR bio, “Wild Bill” Johnson, the Tigers’ ace at the dawn of the last century, was described by sportswriters at the time as both a “slant ball pitcher” and “a giant (who) pitches, hits and fields equally well.” In his six postseason starts in 1907, 1908, and 1909, he had a 2.88 ERA but never did live up to that second portion.
Dan debuts a new format with a look at the month's unlikely power hitters, Robinson Cano's injury scare, the Pirates' pitching, and the defensive plays of the night.
The Tuesday Takeaway
When the calendar flipped to August, Shane Victorino had five home runs and 29 RBI on the season. When he woke up yesterday morning, he had nine big flies and 41 runs driven in. When he went to bed, he had 11 and 48.
Victorino was no stranger to double-digit homer totals during his heyday with the Phillies, slugging 18 in 2010 and 17 in 2011, but his power output dropped to 11 in 2012, and it lagged badly for the first four months of this year. Now, he has equaled last year’s tally and appears poised to add to it over the remaining five weeks.
Despite the deep and talented team in Boston, this roster isn’t quite the fantasy goldmine you might expect. There are a ton of fantasy-relevant players here to be sure, but only a handful profile as top-100 options heading into next season.
The Dodgers' 2013 payroll is already around $200 million. Is the Dodgers' 2013 roster a good roster?
You know all about the money. The Dodgers’ new ownership group has taken on the ungodly sum of $260 million in contracts from the Red Sox, and $400 million in total salary obligations (including acquisitions and re-signings). These figures are wholly abstract; they’re so vast that our brains can’t even process them. Us normal folk have no frame of reference.
There’s no question that the moves Colletti and company have made improve the team in the short term. Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez are massive upgrades over Dee Gordon and James Loney. Shane Victorino is better than the three-headed left-field monster of Tony Gwynn, Jr., Juan Rivera, and Bobby Abreu. In a tight National League West race, these late additions might be enough to put the Dodgers over the top. And once a team reaches the playoffs, we all know that just about anything can happen.
Using PECOTA to figure out how much each of this year's moves affected the playoff odds.
Last week, in his post at Baseball Nation about the five best moves of the trade deadline, Grant Brisbee wrote, “If you don't pick the winners or losers of the trading deadline, a man comes to your door, stuffs you in a sack, and throws you in a trunk.” I’ve been afraid to open my door ever since. We’ve written a ton about transactions lately, both before and after the non-waiver trade deadline, but we haven’t really ranked the moves. We’re still susceptible to being stuffed in a sack.
That’s a shame, because it really might make more sense not to rank trades right after they happen. Some of the deals that went down at the deadline involved players who are signed beyond this season. Most of them included prospects who won’t make it to the majors for a while. Because of those and other factors, we won’t know who “won” the deals for several seasons. So for the moment, let’s not even speculate about which teams will have gotten the most surplus value by 2016. Every team that added talent and salary over the past few weeks is interested in making the playoffs in 2012, though some have hedged for the future to a greater extent than others. What we can say with a fair degree of confidence, without waiting to see what else happens, is how each midseason trade affected a given team’s chances of making the playoffs this season. So let’s pretend playing games in October 2012 is all anyone thought about in trade talks. We’re still picking winners, but we’ve made the victory conditions more manageable.
Derek takes a look at top players who might become available in AL-only leagues.
Of all the leagues I play in, one of my favorite rule quirks is in the Draft Day AL-only league (formerly CardRunners). In Draft Day, owners are allowed to pick up any player in any baseball universe. If the player winds up playing in the American League, you get his stats. This applies not only to more common fair-game pickups like minor leaguers but also to National League players, allowing owners to speculate on potential mid-season trade candidates. Presently, there are seven National Leaguers owned in the league, so I wanted to take a look at each and see why.
Carlos Quentin | San Diego Padres | OF
In just nine games since coming off the disabled list, Quentin has already blasted five home runs for the Pads while triple-slashing .484/.543/1.097. The Friars aren’t going anywhere this season, currently sitting in the basement of the NL West, 19 games out of first. PECOTA has written them off entirely at this point, giving them a 0.0 percent chance of making the playoffs. Quentin is a free agent at the end of the year, and rumors are already circulating about potential trades with the Blue Jays mentioned as a specific possibility. The Padres are also talking about extending him, although that could just be to keep his value high.