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MLB Trade Rumors: Yanks Tried To Swap Joba Chamberlain for Jose Bautista

I have decided to start dishing out MLB rumors as well. There are a lot of them so let’s get started. 

Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada were scratched from their Triple-A lineup. It seems the Mets are working on a deal that may send them to Seattle.

I wonder for whom? Cliff Lee is the only true rental player they had. Of course there is also Brandon League as playoff teams often need relievers at this time.

Also in regards to Martinez and Tejada neither of them have been placed on waivers so a deal is not imminent. 

The Marlins like most teams are having a hard time negotiating with their first round pick. Expect it to go right up to the August 16th deadline, but they should get a deal done as the Marlins need all the prospects they can get.

Bryce Harper is also making the Washington Nationals think as he is of course playing hardball with them in contracts.

Or is he? Sometimes the agent has a lot more say than the player and this can make a player miss out on some money like second round pick Jake Eliopoulos.

The Yankees and Blue Jays discussed a trade that would have sent Jose Bautista to the Yankees for Joba Chamberlain and Brett Gardener.

My guess is this is what the Blue Jays asked for as getting a reliever like Chamberlain (who can probably close) and Gardener who is under team control and is a solid outfielder for Jose Bautista who is having a breakout season seems to be an offer Anthopoulos cannot turn down. Not to mention both Gardener and Chamberlain are under salary control for the next several years.

The Boston Red Sox want a left handed first baseman. So they worked out Carlos Delgado in Yankee Stadium.

This is interesting as he is old, and has shown signs that he cannot do that well anymore. Furthermore, by working him out in Yankee Stadium the Yankees can see how he did.

Zack Greinke suggested that the Royals will not compete when his contract expires. He is not asking for a trade but I think he is fishing for one. This is just awful as he has only one great season under him, he’s not Halladay!

There are a lot of teams interested in Carl Crawford. I just don’t see the Rays trading him as they have a shot at the title and are not sellers. So all these teams will be disappointed.

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Houston Astros Continue Fire Sale Trade Lance Berkman To The Yankees

Various media sources are reporting the New York Yankees have acquired Lance Berkman from the Houston Astros to be their DH.

This is clearly in reaction to the Phillies acquiring Roy Oswalt, as they don’t want to look as though they did nothing during the trade deadline, while the Phillies vastly upgraded their team.

They say that the only reason the trade has not gone through are the MLB rules that a team must wait 24 hours until after a player with a 10-and-5 player, someone who has spent 10 years in the league, the last five with one team waives his NTC. 

By trading Berkman and Oswalt in the last few days, there is absolutely no question what mode the Astros are in. They are sellers and they are committed to it, which is great, but the sad thing is that they could not get a big name prospect because of Berkman’s large salary, and so were perfectly happy to get rid of it.

The Steinbrenners approved the acquisition of a large salary because it was what their father would have done, why mess with success? This shows that even with the death of George Steinbrenner the Yankees will continue their free spending ways, and as well they should. Hopefully the sons some day put their own stamp on the organization but for now it will be run the way the Boss would want it.

By adding Berkman the Yankees get a beast of a DH, even though the Yankees have a solid offense. We all know the glowing things I want to say about Berkman. So let’s just get to the Yankees. 

The Yankees already boast one of the best, if not the best offense in the MLB. In terms of runs scored, they are number one, fifth in homeruns, fourth in batting average, and sixth in hits. Did they really need to add another bat to their lineup? Is this just the envy that the Blue Jays have way more homeruns? Your guess is as good as mine.

However, when you look at the Yankees pitching, a different story emerges. They are ninth in ERA. Not bad but not great, which is what you need to compete with playoff teams and we all know the Yankees only care about the playoffs. They are also fifth in WHIP, which is phenomenal considering they play in Yankee Stadium but only fifteenth in saves and they have the Sandman, Mariano Rivera!

Say what you want, the Yankees clearly needed pitching more than they needed the offense they get from Lance Berkman. I guess they just thought the price on Berkman was great. So if you have a great deal why plug your holes with a mediocre one?

In the end, I think they should have gone after Oswalt and Lee harder and try to get something done there. A lot of complaints is that after Sabathia, and Pettite but after that the pitchers just tail off. They should upgrade their pitching in my opinion, even if that comes at the price of part of their offense. 

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Why There Is a Lack of Parity in Baseball

People have complained about the lack of parity in basketball. Sure, with all the teams getting “big three” sets, the parity there seems to be low. But those teams have a terrible supporting cast (with the exception of Boston). The Lakers have a great one, but they don’t have three megastars eating up the salary cap. 

In baseball, it is much worse.

The Yankees not only have some of the best players in baseball, but they also have huge depth up and down their lineup. And by depth, I mean these players are all All-Star candidates. I am terrified at the thought of them signing Albert Pujols—just imagine their team then.

So people have complained they need a salary cap. People think this will solve everything, but that is not necessarily the case.

The salary cap idea is great, with the Yankees spending $200 million on players annually while some teams don’t even spend a fourth of that. So the Yankees naturally have an All-Star lineup. The Phillies also spend around $140 million, and as such have one of the most feared offenses in baseball. There are more examples, but you get the idea.

Money equals success. Thus, the lack of parity.

Well, that last argument does not hold for all teams.

The Detroit Tigers spend a lot, as do the Cubs and Mets. The Tigers have had moderate success, while the Cubs and Mets have been disasters; however, this is an extreme case of a general manager not building his team properly, and in some cases, very bad luck.

There is also the Tampa Bay Rays who were very successful a few years back as were the Marlins, but in most cases, money does equal success. As such, the teams that have been an exception to this rule have had their reasons, but they still have more resources to deploy.

One of the worst arguments is that it would not make a difference if there was a salary cap. Teams would just spend that money on scouting. I ask myself though, would they be able to build such great teams like that? No, you don’t need great scouting to pay Teixeira $22 million per year; you just would need the cap space.

Another argument I hear is that teams will need a long time to adjust to the salary cap. After all, lots of salaries don’t come off the books for years. That leaves teams with a lot of payroll locked up. If we don’t get the ball rolling, though, we will never get it in place.

For reasons of parity, a salary cap is probably needed, but it will not be enough.

Baseball also has problems with the luxury tax. This is money charged to teams who exceed a certain amount of money in player payroll. The percentage that is charged is tiny, so big market teams just consider it the cost of doing business and can easily be paid. To discourage this, the luxury tax percentage should be 100 percent. For every $1 you spend over the threshold, you pay $1 in tax. 

Also, the threshold is too high; it is always over $100 million, and only eight teams had more than $100 million in payroll. In fact, only the Red Sox, Angels, Yankees, and Tigers have paid that tax, yet there are plenty of teams, such as the Mets, that spend a lot. Baseball clearly needs to lower the threshold; $80 million seems reasonable. 

Then there are the teams that receive the luxury tax but just put the money into their owner’s pockets. The rule for the luxury tax is that you must spend it improving your team (with stadium or players, possibly other things). This is not done by teams, so MLB  should keep the luxury tax and give it to teams when they want to spend the money.

Furthermore, to expand on the previous topic, the teams should only be given the money to spend on players. If it improves the team’s finances, there’s no guarantee they’ll spend the money in the future instead of making the team more profitable. This causes a huge disparity between rich and poor teams.

Finally, they should consider expanding the playoffs. Certain teams will always find a way to be very competitive, making it extremely difficult for other teams to win the division and make the playoffs.

This is the only major sport that does not have 16 teams making the playoffs. If you play in the tough AL East and your record is decent you should get a playoff shot instead of being told you can only do so if your team is division champ or wild card winner. This helps parity as more teams will make the playoffs and in October and leave it as anyone’s guess who will win. 


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Why Roy Halladay Should Be NL CY Young Winner Part 2

So I looked over some stats and decided people need to be told the whole story. There are a few other contenders for the NL CY Young Award. I originally did not want to analyze them but then I thought why not compare him to other players that people think are better, Halladay after all is the best pitcher in baseball.

So the first one I do is Josh Johnson. Low ERA 1.62. Minuscule ERA, I am amazed he has kept it up as long as he has. He has 128 innings pitched, an outstanding 130 strikeouts with only 28 walks. He has one complete game and no shutouts. So why him?

The key thing to note when comparing him to Halladay is that there is a significant difference in ERA so the fact that he has the same amount of wins should be attributed to run support. The fact he has less losses should be attributed to his amazingly low ERA.

The fact is on average he pitches one less inning than Halladay. If when it comes to wins they get the same amount, more wins should be attributed to Halladay simply because he works longer. Then there is the fact that Halladay has gotten complete games almost every other time he goes out there, has a perfect game and a few shutouts.

To counter that Johnson has an ERA of more than 0.5 less than Halladay in a more hitter friendly park. You would expect with such a minuscule ERA he has very little run support but he gets 4.83 runs per game in support versus Halladay’s 3.32. So he gets 1.5 runs per game more which is odd until you realize his team completely demolishes teams one day and doesn’t do much the next.

I still like the fact that Johnson has 20 innings less pitched than Halladay along with so many complete games. If Johnson pitched that much he would have been exhausted earlier and would not have these numbers. Furthermore him having less losses boils down to run support, not much more. Also Johnson gets a lot of innings but needs good relievers to finish the job for him, Halladay normally does it all himself.

Now Wainwright is a real threat. He is much closer to Halladay’s stats than Johnson. Johnson’s ERA is the thing that makes people think he’s way better but I assure you the real threat is Wainwright and Jimenez. Wainwright has only pitched six innings less than Halladay, and has two more strikeouts. 

His ERA is 2.02 and that means he is about 0.17 below Halladay which is outstanding. I love it personally. The only problem is lack of complete games (with only 4) and only one shutout. However this is not so much a weakness, it just shows he’s more consistent. Wainwright gets about seven and one third of an inning every time he goes on the mound (approximately) whereas Halladay will get one inning more because he has lots of complete games. 

Wainwright also got more run support at 5.03 runs per game which really helps you win. If Halladay gets that kind of run support (not unreasonable to expect that from the Phillies offense) then he would have way more wins. 

The key to remember is who would you rather have if you need to win a game? I would rather have Halladay because he will more often than not go the distance. There’s a reason he is always in CY Young voting, he is that good.

Most people argue it’s a 4 man race. I say drop Johnson from that race, he’s a great pitcher, I’m taking nothing away from him but the NL has had so many star pitchers this year. It’s like the Yankees WS win made pitching popular again. 


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Why Roy Halladay Should Be NL CY Young Winner

I admit, I am a Toronto Blue Jays fan, that’s why you’ll notice that the picture of Halladay is in a Blue Jays uniform rather than the Phillies uniform. I grew up watching him play and truly loved watching the best pitcher in baseball completely shut down opposing offenses. As such, my opinion is a bit biased so I tried to stick to the numbers only when deciding that Halladay deserves the NL Cy Young.

First, realize this is July 17, 2010 and this article is not going to take into account any games played on the 17th. Instead I am going to just analyze the numbers up until now and show you why I think Halladay deserves to win. 

Clearly the only real competition Halladay has is Ubaldo Jimenez—you know the guy who is 15-1 and the ace of the Colorado Rockies? He has an ERA of 2.20, a WHIP of 1.05, 113 strikeouts and 46 walks, and he’s already pitched 127 innings!

He also has three complete games, including two shutouts  I also should point out that he plays in Coors Field, as such his numbers would be even lower if he played in a regular park. As such his numbers are definitely screaming CY Young, however the NL has Roy Halladay.

Roy Halladay has a record only of 10-7. That sounds terrible but he has already pitched 148 innings! He leads the league in innings which is all the more impressive because he plays in the NL (no DH). He has an ERA of 2.19, a WHIP of 1.05, 128 strikeouts, and only 19 walks!

To top it all off, he has already gotten seven complete games, including threes shutouts and a perfect game! Absolutely phenomenal stats, and would have definitely won the CY Young if Jimenez did not choose this year to crank it up a notch. 

So with all these stats what makes Halladay better? Jimenez has slightly worse ERA, same WHIP, and not too far off on strikeouts, though way off on walks. However, Halladay has pitched a total of 21 more innings. The law in economics is called diminishing marginal performance, in this case.

What that means is as he plays more innings his performance should decline, but look the numbers are about the same—ERA, WHIP, predictably he’s better on strikeouts, but the walks are so few. This takes out the Coors Field being a hitters’ park variable.

Then we come to the true skill of Roy Halladay, a man who can give your bullpen a day off. He has seven complete games already, and it’s just barely passed the halfway mark of the season, at this pace he will get 12 complete games!

Compare that with Jimenez’s three and you see why Halladay is so dominant. It gets better though he already has three shutouts and one of them was a perfect game! Just tell me why you would not pick him for CY Young this year.

I can think of only one reason, his 10-7 record. I agree with the saying “you play to win the game” and if you don’t win, the stats should not justify anything. However, in the case of Halladay we may have to look a bit beyond considering his stats are so outstanding, right on par with Jimenez. 

However, here’s another reason: although the Phillies have only scored nine runs less than the Rockies for the entire season, they give Roy Halladay a paltry 3.32 runs of support per game, whereas the Rockies give Jimenez an outstanding 5.33 runs of support per game.

That’s quite a differential in run support considering the Phillies have scored only nine runs less the entire year. You have to admit it looks like their offense gets lazy when Halladay gets out there, whereas almost any pitcher can win a lot with that kind of run support. For that reason I say the wins mean almost nothing. 

Please note I calculated run support by runs they scored after Halladay or Jimenez may have left the game because that gives them a chance for a no decision. So who is the better pitcher?

A lot of people should run away with it. I am not going to say Halladay should run away with it, but he does deserve more consideration than people give him. I think in the end, he will get the nod simply because as the season wears on the Doc gets better, while other pitchers start tiring out. However, if it were handed out today I would definitely give it to the Doctor. 

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Toronto Blue Jays Playing Moneyball Alex Anthopoulos Style

Yunel Escobar is the main player Alex Anthopoulos acquired when he dealt Alex Gonzalez away. Anthopoulos had stated that his plan to build (not rebuild) the Toronto Blue Jays is to get young, controllable players—players whose salary we can control for several years.

When we got rid of Gonzalez, we got rid of a player who is old, whose salary we cannot control beyond next year, and who is having a career year. I have already written why this trade works out great for the Blue Jays, so let’s not go there.

Instead, let’s look at the fact that we can only keep Gonzalez cheaply for one more year; after that, if he keeps up this torrid pace, he will command a much higher salary.

Escobar, on the other hand, is a player whose rights we control for three more years. This means that we can sign him to a contract similar to Adam Lind and Aaron Hill, a small amount of money now with potential for big money later. The thing is we are in the Yankees’ and Red Sox’ division, so we cannot spend as much as them, but we can control these younger players and how much they make.

If we control their salaries, then we can keep saving the money needed to get more top-flight prospects into our system whose salary we can also control, so by the time these guys are being paid big money we have other cheap rookies to offset the cost. In a division that spends so much money, this could be the only way to compete. Kudos to Anthopoulos for doing this.

One of Billy Beane’s most brilliant techniques was smart drafting and getting rid of players as they are about to come to contract years for lots of prospects. Anthopoulos decided he does not need to get rid of his players. Instead, he can structure their contracts to keep them in Toronto for the prime of their careers. Rich teams like the Yankees can have them when they’re old—like say, 35. This could be Moneyball Anthopoulos style.

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Alex Anthopoulos Acquires Yunel Escobar

Alex Anthopoulos is continuing his revamping of the Toronto Blue Jays by trading star shortstop Alex Gonzalez to the Braves along with Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky in exchange for Jo-Jo Reyes and Yunel Escobar.

This is a great deal for the Blue Jays, as they get a player who is steadily improving defensively in Yunel Escobar while is very solid at the plate (somewhat rare for a SS). Anthopoulos thinks he’s a great player and took the risk of acquiring him because great players are impossible to acquire if they’re playing well (I wonder if Matt Cain is available).

The thing to note here is the Blue Jays are getting a SS who normally does very well at the plate, and they are trading a defensive minded SS who did not bat well until this year. So if this year is the outlier for both of them, Toronto wins big as they also get a player who will be with the Blue Jays for a long time (he is arbitration eligible for several years).

Pastornicky is a mid-level prospect, so they didn’t appear to give up too much there. Collins, on the other hand, is a great player who had to be included in this trade. Otherwise, Atlanta would not have done it.

Reyes is also another prospect that I would call mid-level. Don’t expect much from him though he may be able to do well. He has an ERA of 5.70 in AAA so we optioned him to AA New Hampshire.

I think the Blue Jays won big here; in fact, without Cito Gaston’s tutelage, I doubt Gonzalez does as well as he did this year. I do, however, expect Escobar to turn it around. As for the prospects, the Braves get better, but in the end I would say the Blue Jays won this trade.

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Players the Toronto Blue Jays Should Consider Trading

The MLB trade deadline is just weeks away, and the Toronto Blue Jays new GM, Alex Anthopoulos, is expected to continue putting his stamp on the team.

With that in mind, here are the players Anthopoulos should consider trading:


John Buck

He was not meant to be much more than a stopgap catcher until a prospect (like JP Arencibia) comes up through the system.

Arencibia has been simply outstanding from the batter’s box, hitting 25 home runs with a batting average of .319. His on-base percentage could improve, as its a paltry .369 and one of the main reasons his slugging is only .661.

However, if he works at better plate discipline, he could be an outstanding hitter. In the end, Arencibia is ready to be called up.

Trading John Buck while he is still hitting this great is crucial. The Blue Jays can get top-flight prospects if he continues playing this well.

They need to trade him while his value is still high, after all, he was only a backup for Kansas City last year. What are the chances of him keeping this up?


Lyle Overbay

Not because of Brett Wallace. I fully expect Wallace to be a great player and to be absolutely solid, but he is finally finding his groove defensively.

This, however, has cost him in offense, as his slugging is a paltry .497. He has an average of .296 with 14 home runs, but I think he needs a bit more seasoning.

The main reason for this trade is that Overbay’s contract is up at the end of the year, so we may as well see if we can get something for him now as a rental player.

I don’t think he would get us any compensation picks with the way he played this year. That’s not set in stone yet, though.


Alex Gonzalez

Before people realize he’s a one-trick pony (all he can do is hit home runs), we can see if we can sell him to the highest bidder for top-level prospects.

Once again, nobody is probably ready to go from the minors, so we would have to acquire a bad SS as part of the deal.


The Entire Bullpen

Seriously, if we can get Brandon Morrow for Brandon League, we should see if we can get a bunch of solid starting pitching prospects almost ready to go for them.

What’s the harm after all? If we have a weaker bullpen, we can send in all these starters as relievers.

They would be much more effective, and if someone like Morrow is available (I’m looking at you, Matt Cain), then we have to take him.


Vernon Wells

The main guy. This guy has cranked it up a notch and has been hitting home runs like crazy, much like the entire Blue Jays offense. His slugging and OPS leave a little bit to be desired, but he has been solid this year.

If someone takes his fat contract (I’m thinking of a team with a payroll higher than $175 million, you get three guesses) we can have lots of money to spend.

Also, if we get a top-flight prospect like Jesus Montero, we can also use him as a catcher sooner rather than later.

With all the money we would have to spend, Anthopoulos can truly build this team the way he wants.

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