Showing posts with label Mitch Moreland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mitch Moreland. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Is Eric Hosmer going to end up back with the Royals?

Eric Hosmer
The hot stove has been cold this winter, with not much happening over the first two months of the offseason.

But we are starting to hear more rumors about a potential landing spot for free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, and he may be back with the Kansas City Royals.

According to a USA Today report, the Royals have offered Hosmer a seven-year, $147 million contract to stay in Kansas City, where he won a World Series (2015) and has been the face of the franchise for most of this decade.

Early speculation this offseason linked Hosmer to the Boston Red Sox, but those rumors died down after the Red Sox gave Mitch Moreland a two-year deal. The only other team involved with Hosmer, strangely, seems to be the San Diego Padres.

The same USA Today report says that San Diego has offered Hosmer a seven-year deal for $140 million. That would be $1 million less a year than Kansas City's offer.

I've never quite understood why the Padres are looking to open the pocketbook for Hosmer. San Diego's most productive hitter last season was its first baseman, Wil Myers, who totaled 30 home runs, 29 doubles and 74 RBIs.

Myers played outfield earlier in his career, and reports indicate he would be willing to move back to the outfield in order to make room for Hosmer. That's good. That's great. But isn't there a reason Myers was moved to first base in the first place? Yes, there was. He's not a good defensive outfielder, so why put him back at a position where he will hurt his team? Shouldn't San Diego be keeping Myers right where he is?

Don't get me wrong: I'd rather have Hosmer at first base than Myers. Hosmer hit .318 last season, while Myers hit only .243. And I'll take Hosmer's 25 home runs and 90-plus RBIs with good defense at first base over what Myers has to offer.

However, the Padres went 71-91 in 2017, and they have much bigger holes on their roster than first base. Shouldn't they be addressing those? And is San Diego really in a position to win next year even if it adds Hosmer. I say no, and against that backdrop, why would Hosmer want to sign there?

Hosmer reportedly wants an eight- or nine-year deal, but there has to be at least some appeal for him to go back to Kansas City on a seven-year deal and be considered a local hero.

If not the Royals, then who is going to sign Hosmer? He can't possibly pick the Padres over the Royals, can he?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Rare good news: Two strong outings in a row for Carlos Rodon

Carlos Rodon
The White Sox (41-66) have lost four games in a row and 18 out of their past 21 after their 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

Now for some rare good news: Carlos Rodon has pitched really well in his past two starts, including his best outing of the season Friday at Fenway Park.

Here are the recent pitching lines for Rodon:

July 30 vs. Cleveland: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 9 Ks, 2 BBs
Aug. 4 at Boston: 7.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 11 Ks, 0 BBs
Total: 14.1 IP, 12 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 20 Ks, 2 BBs

That 10-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio is what I like about Rodon this week. The fastball command is there. The velocity is consistently about 97 mph. The slider is working. He's getting swings and misses, and he's getting outs in a reasonable number of pitches. No walks against Boston; that's what you have to do to give yourself a chance to win. The 11 strikeouts Friday ties a career high.

And it isn't as if these outings have come against crummy teams, either. The Indians lead the AL Central. The Red Sox lead the AL East. Both are likely playoff teams. The Indians rank fourth in the AL in runs scored; the Red Sox rank fifth.

These were good performances against good teams. Too bad Rodon received two no-decisions for his effort. At least the Sox won the game against Cleveland, but it wasn't happening Friday night in Boston. Mitch Moreland hit a walk-off homer off Aaron Bummer (0-2) in the bottom of the 11th to secure the win for the Red Sox.

The beat goes on in terms of the tanking for draft position, but since Rodon is one of the few on the current roster who is supposedly part of the long-term plan, it's nice to see him picking it up out there.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tigers trade Prince Fielder to Rangers for Ian Kinsler

How is this for a trade nobody saw coming? The Detroit Tigers have agreed to send first baseman Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler.

The particulars are still being finalized, but it's a one-for-one deal. There are no prospects involved, and that's the thing that makes this trade so intriguing. How often do you see two established major league players traded straight up for each other? Not too often. Most trades nowadays involve veteran players being dealt for future considerations. That's not the case here.

So, which team got the better of this deal? It's an interesting debate, and I've heard good arguments made for both sides. My vote goes to Detroit, even though I acknowledge that Fielder will likely be more productive for Texas in 2014 than Kinsler will be for the Tigers.

To me, Detroit wins this deal because of the money it just freed up. Fielder's contract is an albatross. The 29-year-old slugger has seven years and $168 million remaining on his deal, and his numbers have slipped. You can make a case Fielder's production in 2013 did not justify his hefty paycheck. If he's overpaid now, he's really going to be overpaid three or four years down the road when his skills further erode.

Here are Fielder's statistics over the last three years. Note the downward trend in on-base and slugging percentage:

2011: .299/.415/.566, 38 home runs, 120 RBIs
2012: .313/.412/.528, 30 home runs, 108 RBIs
2013: .279/.362/.457, 25 home runs, 106 RBIs

To be fair, the 31-year-old Kinsler's numbers have slipped as well:

2011: .255/.355/.477, 32 home runs, 77 RBIs
2012: .256/.326/.423, 19 home runs, 72 RBIs
2013: .277/.344/.413, 13 home runs, 72 RBIs

However, Kinsler is owed just $62 million over the next four years, a much more manageable figure, and he plays a premium defensive position. Reports indicate the Tigers are paying the Rangers $30 million to take Fielder off their hands. So, instead of paying $168 million for Fielder, Detroit is coughing up a combined total of $92 million for Kinsler and the payout to the Rangers.

That provides the Tigers with a net savings of $76 million, which is huge because Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2014 season. Two-time league MVP Miguel Cabrera hits free agency after the 2015 season. Suddenly, Detroit has a lot more money to play with if it desires to extend the contracts of those two players, both of whom have been more important to the team's success than Fielder.

In addition, the Tigers will be able to bolster their defense by moving the immobile Cabrera away from third base and back to first base where he belongs. Kinsler solidifies second base for them. Third base is an open question, but prospect Nick Castellanos seems poised to get a look. Detroit could also sign a defense-first infielder like Juan Uribe to provide some insurance at the position. With Victor Martinez as the designated hitter, Cabrera still should have adequate protection in the lineup. Even without Fielder, the Tigers will look like favorites in the AL Central, and they'll have money to spend to retain key pieces like Scherzer and Cabrera.

What about Texas? Well, the Rangers needed a middle-of-the-order bat, and they got one. Fielder is a clear upgrade over Mitch Moreland at first base. Texas could pursue Robinson Cano to take Kinsler's place at second base, but more than likely, the Rangers will slide highly regarded prospect Jurickson Profar into that spot.

I tend to believe Fielder will help the Rangers in the short run, maybe another two decent-to-good years, but players with Fielder's body type don't tend to age well. By the time 2017 rolls around, Texas is going to be stuck with a bad contract for a portly first baseman who can't play anymore. Better win now, Rangers.