Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Daily Hot stove wrap up 11/14

Happy Wednesday.  After a slow couple of days, things in the baseball world started picking up steam with a major trade involving a team that nobody in America really cares about and a team in Canada that nobody really cares about.  Fortunately, there were a few players involved that people DO care about so we've got the breakdown here for you and other MLB news in today's Daily Hot Stove Wrap Up for November 14th.

  • Congrats to the Miami Marlins for continuing to lay claim as baseball's most sorry franchise.  Less than a year after a new ballpark, a new manager and Jose Reyes, the Marlins now have...a new ballpark.  Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonafacio will head to Canada while Yunel Escobar, Henderson Alvarez, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis and prospects Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, and Anthony DeSclafani will head waaaaaay south of the border, taking their talents to South Beach.  
  • Reaction to the trade was mixed.  Obviously if you are a Blue Jays fan, it's hard not to get excited about the idea of speedsters Reyes and Bonafacio hitting in front of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose "Joey Bats" Bautista.  Throw in two very reliable starters in Johnson and Buehrle and Toronto becomes a legitimate contender in a not-as-strong-as-usual American League East.  
  • On the other side of the deal, many writers are calling the trade "a sham" (Buster Olney), "a dispicable disgrace" (Scott Miller of CBSSports), "the same tired act" (Tyler Kepner of the NY Times), and "wait, we have professional baseball team" (90% of Miami residents).  In my opinion, a deal like this shouldn't really surprise anyone.  Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is notorious for being a tightwad with his pocket book and has pulled this kind of act before.  Think of 2012 as if 1997 without the World Series.  The fact is that in today's free agent market, owners and GM's are free to literally sell the house.  They do have championships from 1997 and 2003 so buying/selling top players like the New York Stock Exchange can obviously can work, I only feel for the 338 Marlins fans that have to put up with this act every seven years or so.  At least Logan Morrison's Twitter should provide for some quality social media entertainment in the coming weeks, so we have that to look forward to.  
  • In a less publicized but just as major development, free agent OF Torii Hunter has agree in principle to a two-year, $26 million contract with the Detroit Tigers late this morning, pending a physical.  Expect Hunter to provide better defense than Delmon Young, better offense than Andy Dirks, and a better clubhouse presence than anyone else on the market.  As a Tiger's fan, I love this signing and with DH Victor Martinez set to return, Detroit's formidable lineup just got more formidable.  
  • Perhaps most surprising in the Torii Hunter signing was how Hunter actually went out of the way to court Detroit rather than the other way around.  Sources say that the meeting between the Tiger's and Hunter was set up by Hunter's agent and as soon as that happened, you can believe GM Dave Dombrowski was sure that Hunter wouldn't leave town without a deal in place.  Hunter wanted to go to a title contender with a team that would/could offer him a two-year deal and the Tiger's fit that bill to a "t."  Hunter's son is committed to play football at Notre Dame, so that may have also played a factor into the signing.  
  • How awesome is Detroit Tiger's owner Mike Illich?  A year after many analysts believe that the team overpaid for Prince Fielder, Illich simply opens up the pocketbook again.  He's the anti-Jeffrey Loria and a great example of what a mid-market team like the Tiger's can become if the owner's willing to put a greater emphasis on the product on the field rather than profits.  The Tiger's have topped 3 million fans for several straight seasons in a row.  If you build it....
  • Seattle Mariners President Chuck Armstrong expressed interest in OF Josh Hamilton, saying that "We are going to have money to spend."  If you think this is going to happen, think again.  It's a nice thought but I still think that Hamilton will most likely end up with a team like Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta or Baltimore....and that's if he doesn't re-sign with the Rangers (probably the most likely scenario)
  • With Torii Hunter out of the picture, Shane Victorino's stock just shot up with up to eight team having "serious interest" in the 32-year-old outfielder.  The "Flyin' Hawaiian" could provide a decent switch-hitting back and a good glove for teams willing to give his achy knees and joints a shot.
  • Other big name outfield options on the market include Cody Ross, BJ Upton, Nick Swisher, and Michael Bourn.  While other outfield free agents are also available, Ross, Upton, Bourn, Victorino, and Hunter are the types of players than can instantly change the dynamic of a team.  Oh, and Hamilton of course.  He's pretty good too.  
  • What about Jason Bay, ask Met's fans?  I don't listen to Met's fans is my answer.  But seriously, Bay who struggled mightily during his time in Queens could be seen as a low-risk, high-reward type of signing as his asking price probably won't be much money or more than a couple years.  The downside?  Jason Bay like, really sucked the last few years and isn't getting younger.   Sign at your own risk.  
  • The Cardinals have released oft-injured pitcher Kyle McClellan.  Raise your hand if you're a Cardinals fan.  Now for those of you who didn't raise your hand, raise your hand now if you've heard of Kyle McClellan.  You people rock.  God, I love baseball.  
  • What's the free agent market for pitching going to be like?  That likely depends on when and how much either Anibal Sanchez or Zack Greinke signs for.  Sanchez has been asking in the range of a 6-year, $90 million deal.  He won't get that much, but if gets close expect Greinke (widely seen as the best starting pitcher available) to get more.  Then expect guys like Edwin Jackson, Kyle Lohse or Joe Saunders to have an idea of how much they'll get paid.  
  • Speaking of Anibal Sanchez, don't be surprise if the RHP stays right where he is at: in Detroit.  With the Tiger's clearly willing to open their wallet and pay (and perhaps overspend) for the guys they need, owner Mike Ilitch might just decide to keep Sanchez with the club on a long term deal.  Is it the wisest fiscal move for the future?  Maybe not, with Prince Fielder's looming contract on the horizon the next eight years and guys like Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera eligible for extensions in a couple years, but Ilitch has shown that he's willing to break the bank and at age 83, he really, really, really want to win the World Series.  
  • Finally, news is that the Marlins are looking to shop Ricky Nolasco and Logan Morrison too.  The Marlins are like that annoying neighbor but always had the great garage sales every month with cool electronics.  That city and their 500 fans deserve better ownership.  
For Chris Niermann and the Full Count Hot Stove Update, I'm out until the next Miami Marlin get's shipped out.  Please