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Trov last won the day on January 5

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  1. No player is off-limits for the right price. If there is a great deal to be had then pull the trigger, but do not just move him for a meh player because you believe you have depth. I know fans wish he had more power, but his ability to put ball in play all over the field and work counts does not come around often. He is not the same type of hitter, but his path reminds me so much of Jose Altuve. Both were overlooked because of stature and lack of power. Altuve had very little pop early in his career but just kept on getting hits and made his way into lineup. He eventually learned how to hit with some power and got some MVP votes. First double digit HR season was his age 25 season with 15. Will Arraez develop power? I do not know, but he is entering his age 25 season now. His swing does not suggest he will ever be a 20 plus HR guy, but if he can learn some power to keep defenses honest so his line drives land in there and OF does not cheat in a ton. I personally think it is easier to teach a contact guy how to have more power, than a power guy how to get more contact. Maybe he stays as just a .350 plus OBP with ..400 slugging about. I would be willing to send that out in the line up regularly.
  2. International signings are even more of a crap shoot than most drafts. They are so young and you have no real clue how they will grow and develop. It used to be you also had no clue how old they really were too, but that seems to be less of issues these days. Here is to hoping one of them work out well, or like the Sano, Polonco, Kepler trio all make the majors. Some years you hit jackpots, and some years you swing and miss.
  3. I do not understand the issue with the tax line, and how the players think going from 210 to 245 will make much of a difference. It may have a counter affect actually. First, last year only 2 teams were paying the tax, Dodgers who were way over the number, and Yankees who were just over it. Now I know that was in part because Yankees were in the repeat offender level which kicks up the amount you owe. However, only 3 teams last year had 200 mil or more, Met just over 200 mil. As of right now only 3 team is over the 210 and 2 over 214 proposed by owners now, of course there is still a couple of big names to sign, but Mets are only team over the number. No other team is close to 200 mil. The point I am making, is the players clearly are saying they want the Dodgers, Mets, and Yankees to keep paying as much as they want for players without any impact. The fact no other team is close to 200 mil shows that 210 tax line is not deterring teams from signing players because of going over tax. It only deters Yankess, Mets, and Dodgers, and all three will go over, just how much and how often. Do the players think that if those big three can just keep paying more, other teams will try to outbid them? I highly doubt that. The tax line is what has allowed them to bid for some of the others. One thing the tax does is takes dead money from big three teams and gives them to lower market teams, allow them to spend more on players. Now, if you take that away it is possible those really small market teams will not even be able to pay arbitration guys and force to trade them prior to that. I would see more the players concerns if many teams were right at say 200 to 209 mil but never going over the 210 mark, but that is not the case. The players clear message is we want the big three teams to jack up the bidding for us and never be priced out, in hopes a different team takes the jump and hope they do not get burned. My guess it will look like we did in late 90's early 2000's where every top FA went to one of the top 5 spending teams with the once in awhile surprise signing, which normally resulted in a dump off trade because the team could not sustain the huge contract and the player did not give the team the funds they were hoping the big deal would bring in.
  4. I have taken a strong interest in tracking Sabato over last season. I personally was not happy with the pick overall by the Twins, as I am not a fan of bat only guys in first round, unless they are super elite. I had a couple of questions about Sabato in FCL time that numbers could not answer. When you looked at the numbers his low slugging and low average but high OBP with huge k and walk numbers stuck out, with clear questions. First, was he being passive working counts for specific pitches to attack and never got there? Was he taking good strikes, or where pitchers really just nibbling? Second, was the league, which is known for not being a power hitting league, sapping some of his power? Meaning was he hitting wall scrappers that in other leagues would be HR or off the wall doubles? When he jumps to the higher league and starts to hit with the power expected, it suggests to me the league had a lot to do with his struggles and not his approach. Maybe his approach got adjusted some too. I will be interested to see this year if the SSS numbers in Iowa were just a fluke or not. I hope he comes out crushing and proves people like me wrong that he was not a bad pick.
  5. Overall the top of the list looks good. The main question is how many innings they can pitch in the coming seasons. All have been limited for various reasons and the higher pitch load may affect their ability to stay as starters. I think some will make moves to pen as they shake out who will be the best starters.
  6. It is nice to see a list of some of the good things so far. Many fans like to point out how pear shaped last year went and all the moves fell apart quickly, other than the Cruz trade, which would not have happened had they been winning. I think the next year or two will really show if the changes to organization will pay off. The starting pitchers that were brought in via trades, and drafts in the minors are starting to make way to majors. We will see if they pan out or flop, and then the FO can be really judged. A flop of a FA pitcher is nothing to judge a GM on as they happen all the time.
  7. Every owner of teams make plenty of money from other business than baseball. Owners could fold up shop and be done and they would be fine money wise. That being said, they are also business people and want to make money. They know there is money to be made, but they are also not a charity. They should not be expected to operate at some type of loss because others count on the team operating. I wrote similar that the owners have the power in this because they do not need baseball to happen to make money, but players do. Baseball is their side jobs for owners or bonus money. Normally each side will give their wish list of wants as their starting point, then each side will start to carve away at areas they will give in to. Right now, each side is saying they are so far apart it is not worth wasting time talking. I do not know what it will take to get actual real talks going, but when both sides mistrust the other so much it is hard to have real discussions.
  8. I understand the players demands and why they want it. However, they need to understand you need to give to get. They want a salary floor, but no cap, that is crazy in my opinion. If you want the floor you need to agree to a cap. Else, the result would be small market teams having to overpay for players that are left on the scrap heap. If there is no cap, or luxury tax, the huge market teams will still be able to keep out bidding for the top players, as nothing will really stop them, and then the smaller teams will just have to pay more for lower level players. This does not help fix the disparity of FA and small market teams, but just gets players more money. Faster to FA is good for players, and I cannot predict how it would affect teams, but unless there is something tied to years in minors as well, I think it would just cause teams to hold guys in minors even longer. In terms of player min, what I would propose would be tie compensation for pre-arbitration players to WAR. You have a min, but then if they perform well above the min they are given bonuses based on WAR. Part of the players biggest issue, and it is very valid, is that teams are using their prime years at low or controled costs, then let them walk and recently other teams were not willing to pay because they learned mid-30 years players have huge drop off unless they are HOF bound.
  9. I am not an expert in labor law, but my limited understanding is if the owners use replacement players when they locked out the players, they could be facing long litigation with possible billions in damages. I find it highly unlikely they would go to replacement players and unless both sides have no movement on the economic side of things. Also, choosing to do replacement players early on will drive an even wider division between both sides, and maybe they get a short deal done, but it will just to lead continued issues down the road.
  10. I have long said both sides are at fault for this. This was long time coming and neither side was willing to make steps to help. This will not be a short lockout. I expect many games to be missed. The players are upset and believe owners are taking too much of revenue. I have heard some players want to claim non-baseball derived revenue in that as well, like owners that own property around the stadiums and make money off of that. Personally, I do not think that should be included, what if the player owned say a bar next to the park, should he then pay some of his money he earns from it to other players? Owners are sick of paying huge contracts to guys that are no where close to earning it, and small market owners worry that some of the changes players want will cause them to be even more bottom feeders with smaller windows. Both sides are trying to win this lockout, and have resorted to trying to get fans on their side. For most part, I think fans do not care who wins they just want baseball to be played. Normally, I would say labor has advantage over ownership in any labor dispute. However, in this case I believe owners have the power overall. I say this because unlike in a normal industry where the owners make their money primary on that business or have stock holders they need to account to, in baseball, just about all teams are privately owned, I believe Braves have public ownership, and the owners make money from other industries. Meaning, if they just closed up shop they would not be earning no money. I am sure there are some losses they would have to deal with, but it is not like owner would homeless and not getting money from other sources. Where players if they are not playing have to either fall back on investments if they have them, or go work other jobs. Unless they have earned life changing money they will have to find jobs somewhere at some point. Owners can wait them out if they want to "win" the lockout. However, as each side tries to win the lockout, both sides lose. Fans get upset and will spend their money on other things. Who else loses are the rank and file employees of the teams. The ticket sale people, the game day workers, and the businesses that rely on game day traffic to survive. The players and owners fight over how to divide up billions of dollars, while some people that live pay check to paycheck wonder if they will have a job. Both sides look terrible the more they try to get fans to jump on their side. Both sides really need to sit down and have real talks and lay out their issues and try to find some common ground.
  11. I wonder why writer did not include Morris in this, as he had a 4.3 war in 91, according to baseball reference. By WAR, that is tied for Cruz as best, but I would say if you include his post-season numbers Morris would be best vet season.
  12. I am not mad they signed Buxton, but the author wanted him signed, and then says now they also need to get a legit MLB backup for him. That was always my issue with Buck, is his constant missing games and only able to count on about 80 games a year and a need for a backup. At nearly 15 a year you should expect you can get a full season from him. Now, if we do not have a viable backup for him in the system we need to go out and trade for or sign one. Well, if they are a legit MLB CF you cannot afford to pay for a starter to be a back up, unless they play corner spot and slide over when needed. To me, since you paid him, you need to hope his health stays, or hope your system has someone that can fill in. Do not go out and pay someone else to fill in when needed. Then you are investing way too much money in CF because your guy cannot stay on field.
  13. To address the posters 3 questions. I think a floor would help the competitive balance, however, without a cap there is no reason for a floor. The players want teams to have to spend more money, but want the huge market teams to spend even more if they want. That does not help balance in any way, it just increases the money being spent. The players may try to mask it in the claim to help win the fans over with helping be more balanced, but it is just a way to increase the overall money spent. I could go deeper into why, but without a cap I do not want a floor. On the other side if there is a cap, there needs to be a floor as well. For the increase tax level, that does not help balance at all and I am not for it in any way. It does not help mid-market or small market teams in anyway. It just further spreads how much the huge markets can spend without having to pay dead money into the league. Shortening service time to FA does not help mid-market and small market teams at all. It may further push teams to hold guys in the minors, so unless there is also a requirement of becoming minor league FA sooner it will just cause fans to get mad that top prospects sit in the minors because the team is not ready to win now and will not want to waste service times years with bad team. I think a better proposal would be to adjust payment of players prior to arbitration based on their WAR, or some combo of stats. Instead of having a league min, you actually get paid based on what you do for the team prior to arbitration. You have a min, but then can get increased based on how much output you have. The years of control would still be the same, but top players will get paid more faster. If players truly want what is best for game, and not just them, they would accept a cap with a floor. If they will not agree to a cap, then agree to a max contract length of no more than 5 years, and similar to basketball only so many players can have 5 year contracts on a team, so many 4 years, and the rest the max is 3 years. Why do I suggest this? First, the cap with floor will one make teams spend money, so they will not load their team with minor league guys just to keep payroll low while they wait for their top guys to make way to majors. The teams will spend on vets because they need to spend, that is good for players too. The cap makes it so that huge markets cannot outspend everyone for top players, making small and mid-market teams to hold top guys in minors until they can go all in, like KC did years ago, and others have tried. Unless they can be like the Rays or A's and keep the pipeline loaded. If the cap is not there, the max contract lengths would allow smaller and mid-market teams to spend on top FA guys. Much of the reason they do not is not just the cost, but the length, knowing for many guys the end of a 6 plus year deal is full of bad dead money. A small and mid-market team cannot afford to have bad contracts on their roster. The huge market teams can afford to just cut a guy if he is not doing well and still pay him the huge sums. They will sign a guy knowing full well they will plan to spread his cost across the years. The Twins may be more in on a FA if the contract was for 3 years than for 5 plus. So if each team could only have say 5 5-year deals, and 5 4-year deals and rest had to be 3 or less, that may be even high number, teams would think twice before offering a long term deal for some guys allowing a smaller market team to have chance to sign them.
  14. For me, the 2004 season was the worst. We had a great pitcher in Santana and had a great chance to be up 2-0 on Yankees. I think back to that game 2 as the time I realized Gardenhire would not be a good playoff manager. The reason I say that is he made two key decisions that turned out to be wrong, which is fine, except for when asked about them he gave very poor answers that conflicted with each other. Late in the game, after coming back to tie it up we had a chance to just hit a sac fly against Rivera. Gardy started rookie Kubel in the game and he was not doing well. He could have pinch hit for Kubel, but Gardy left him out to face Rivera with 1 out and struck out chasing pitches. First, Gardy left a rookie lefty who was not looking good against Rivera, who had always did better against lefties than righties, but Gardy had old school though of lefties do better against righties, despite long numbers showing the reverse splits, thanks to the cutter. Then later in game after Nathan had gone 2 innings, Crain a rookie was warming up to pitch next inning. We took the lead and Gardy sent Nathan out to pitch the bottom of the inning for a third inning, something he had not done all year. Nathan quickly blew the game. Crain had a decent 2004 season, in short sample, but just the year prior a rookie pen guy carried Angels through playoffs. After the game Gardy was asked about sending Nathan out for a third inning when Crain would have entered if it was tied. Gardy said he did not want to put that pressure on a rookie. This made no sense at all. He left a rookie who was doing poor in the game to hit against someone who dominates lefties, and would have sent the rookie out in a tie game, but felt with a lead there was more risk of sending him out. It all made no sense to me, and it was just the first example of terrible decisions based on no actual logic of Gardy. This also was perfect example of why we kept failing. Managers making bad decisions, and players not stepping up in the big moment. We would make continued poor play and do things we would not normally do all year. It does not help when umps blow calls like calling Joe's double in extra innings foul when falls 5 feet fair, and their only job is to make that call. I do think the FO and staff can get us over the hump, but it still comes down to the team executing. Having Buck healthy in playoffs is a must as well. He makes everyone better when he is on the field and in lineup.
  15. It seems to me much of the issues was pitch useage. Figure out what may have led to that and see if you can get back to past pitching and hopefully he rebounds.
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