It’s been a pretty active week around baseball with all the awards being announced (and yes, I’ll get to that). The Marlins did an excellent demolition job on both their team and potentially what remains of their fanbase. And the hot stove began to heat up big time over the last week or so. But to me, the biggest news of the week is the snub of Luke Hochevar in the Cy Young voting. I’m surprised this isn’t more of a national story. But still, we must move forward and not look back at the travesty of leaving the leading corner turner in baseball from the American League Cy Young ballot.
- I imagine this won’t be the last I talk of this, but I can promise it’ll be the last I mention it in this space for at least awhile. The American League MVP vote was one of the most polarizing arguments we’ve seen in quite some time. I will say that Miguel Cabrera had a historic season, becoming the first player to achieve the triple crown since 1967. To me, though, it wasn’t even close regarding who was more valuable between him and Mike Trout. We all know the statistics, so I’m not going to dive into them too deeply, but I’m just very annoyed by the argument that Miguel Cabrera’s team made the playoffs while Trout’s didn’t. The fact of the matter is that the Angels won one more game while playing in a division that featured two playoff teams and where the worst team would have finished in third in the AL Central. I could go round and round with someone if you want to argue this, but the second you use the playoff argument, you’ve completely lost me.
- With the Marlins massive sell-off last week, two of the next players that seem to be on the block are Ricky Nolasco and Logan Morrison. I talked about Morrison a little yesterday while Darin Watson talked about Nolasco in his article. My take is that I wouldn’t trade for Nolasco. For a long time, he was an underachiever who put up peripheral numbers way better than his stats, but he’s gotten to the point where he’s just a mediocre pitcher and now he’s not even cheap anymore at $11.5 million for next season. His velocity has been steadily declining while his strikeout rate has gone with it. As Darin mentioned in his great article yesterday, he allows too many hits and the Royals defense just isn’t equipped to handle another pitcher like that. I would implore the Royals to adopt a corny saying in their office and that is “No-Nolasco.”
- After seeing the final five for the National League MVP vote and seeing that two catchers were in there, I’m feeling pretty good about the statement I made prior to last season when I said Salvador Perez would get MVP votes before Eric Hosmer. You might be wondering why the National League MVP means anything to Salvy Perez in the American League, and it’s because catchers are always valued a little higher if they bring so-called intangibles to the game that writers can latch onto. If Perez keeps up the throwing like he has in the early part of his career and he hits even at 80% of the level he has to start his career, he’ll get votes. Then if the Royals start to miraculously win, well all bets are off.
- Now is the point when I kind of plead with the Royals and just hope they’re reading. I also should point out that I know my pleading will be pretty much for naught, but it’s worth talking about, especially because I need a cause for this off-season. Some team somewhere has to want a player like Jeff Francoeur on their roster. A team in need of a guy who can hit lefties and be a great chemistry guy on a bench could actually benefit from Jeff Francoeur. As much as I harp on the negative attributes Francoeur brings, he does have value to a team. I don’t believe it’s nearly $7 million of value, but for a team like maybe the Yankees, he actually would make a little sense. I hope the Royals can find a way to rid themselves of even part of that contract, I think the team just becomes that much better. Addition by subtraction is a very real thing and would be the case if they can find a taker for Jeff Francoeur.
- If you wonder what the market will look like for pitching, look no further to the contract Jeremy Affeldt signed with the Giants to throw 60-70 innings per year. He got three years and $18 million. Suddenly, Jeremy Guthrie asking for three years and $34 million doesn’t seem so ridiculous when compared to that contract. I think Affeldt is the better pitcher, but three times the innings at maybe 75% of the production is most definitely worth a touch less than twice than Affeldt got. Unfortunately for a team like the Royals, that’s the way contracts often work, so the Royals are not only battling to get a free agent to agree to their terms but also battling with other teams to keep the market in check. Teams that have far less need for fiscal responsibility don’t especially care about that, so the Royals face an uphill battle here.
- I mentioned this a couple weeks ago, but next week is the week for who I think will be my favorite guest we’ve ever had on the podcast. I’m going to tease it rather than tell you because that’s how you get listeners. Duh. Anyway, it should be up on Tuesday or Wednesday (probably Wednesday), so be sure to listen because I can’t imagine it won’t be great. I’m beyond excited.
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