Showing posts with label Yasiel Puig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yasiel Puig. Show all posts

Friday, February 5, 2016

Los Angeles Times report shoots down Andre Ethier rumor

Following up on the Andre Ethier-to-the-White Sox rumors, the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin made it seem unlikely there will be a deal between the Sox and the Dodgers.

 According to Shaikin's report:

"[Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew] Friedman declined to say whether he was in trade discussions with the Chicago White Sox. However, there is little traction in talks between the teams, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly. The White Sox approached the Dodgers about Yasiel Puig -- apparently in the hope that fellow Cuban Jose Abreu might bring out the best in Puig -- and the Dodgers instead tried to interest the White Sox in Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford."

The Sox would certainly have no interest in Crawford, and it sounds like their interest in Ethier is lukewarm at best.

This news comes as no surprise. White Sox rumors that are floated only by Chicago-based reporters tend to not get much traction.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rumor mill links Andre Ethier to White Sox

Andre Ethier
The rumor started with a report by The Score's Bruce Levine, and continued with speculation from MLB.com's Phil Rogers.

Yeah, I know. I should probably stop right there. But the reports from Levine and Rogers have led White Sox fans to ponder whether Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier would be a good fit on the South Side.

On Thursday, USA Today's Bob Nightengale threw some cold water on the rumor, tweeting that there are no signs of a potential match between the Sox and the Dodgers.

My speculation would lean toward agreeing with Nightengale, but speculation is just speculation, so let's talk a little bit about Ethier's situation.

Ethier has a contract that would scare off teams. He's owed $18 million in 2016 and $17.5 million in 2017, and he has a vesting option for $17.5 million with a $2.5 million buyout for 2018. That's a lot of money owed.

The Dodgers likely are motivated to get out from underneath that contract for a couple reasons. First off, they are looking to trim their payroll. Secondly, they have way too many outfielders: Ethier, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Scott Van Slyke, Alex Guerrero, Enrique Hernandez and former Sox outfielder Trayce Thompson. That's eight outfielders. You only need five. Lastly, Ethier will gain his 10-and-5 rights in April, which means he will become much more difficult to trade once the spring is over.

Ideally, the Dodgers would want to get rid of Crawford, but much like Adam LaRoche on the Sox, his contract and recent poor performance makes him an immovable object. The highest-paid guy on that list of Dodgers outfielders who still has value is Ethier.

What skill does Ethier bring? Well, he hits right-handed pitching.

Here are his 2015 splits:
vs. RHP: .306/.383/.517
vs. LHP: .200/.229/.244

All 14 of his home runs, all seven of his triples and 18 of his 20 doubles came against right-handed pitching last year. He obviously can't hit lefties worth a damn, so he's a platoon player at this stage of his career -- he turns 34 in April.

You can see where this could be a potential fit for the Sox. Their only lefty middle-of-the-order bat is, well, LaRoche, and it's not unreasonable to think he's just washed up at this point.

That said, Ethier makes an awful lot of money for a platoon player. The Sox should not be giving up any top prospects for a high-priced platoon outfielder -- especially given that the Dodgers need to act to address their outfield logjam. Los Angeles doesn't have that much leverage here.

If Sox GM Rick Hahn can get the Dodgers to eat some money and take nothing more than middle-tier prospects for Ethier, then he should consider doing this deal. But if the Dodgers want a top prospect, or if they want the Sox to take on all the contract, then Hahn should pass.

I'm guessing that right now the Dodgers are wanting both salary relief and a good prospect in return for Ethier, and that's why Nightengale is reporting there is no potential match with the Sox. That's simply not a move the Sox should make at the moment.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Catching up on White Sox roster moves, other news

The White Sox have almost finalized their 25-man roster for Opening Day with a flurry of roster moves over the past 48 hours, so let's get updated on the comings and goings.

Micah Johnson vs. Carlos Sanchez: Surprise! Both candidates for the starting second base job made the team, according to manager Robin Ventura. However, Ventura has yet to name his second baseman for the April 6 opener in Kansas City. Having both these two guys on the roster is likely a temporary situation. The team will open the year with 11 pitchers. When Chris Sale comes off the disabled list -- presumably on April 12 -- one of Johnson or Sanchez will be sent to the minors.

J.B. Shuck: Thanks to his .339/.391/.441 slash line this spring, Shuck has made the roster as a fourth outfielder. He also has stolen five bases during Cactus League play, and he might be the best defensive corner outfielder on the roster coming into the season.

Geovany Soto: The former Cub has secured the backup catching position, perhaps sealing his spot by throwing out 3 of 4 potential base stealers during a Tuesday game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. And, Soto would have thrown out 4 of 4 had shortstop Alexei Ramirez not missed a tag on Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig. Soto's .281/.439/.469 slash line didn't hurt his cause, either. He clearly distinguished himself over the other catching candidates.

Matt Albers: The veteran reliever made the 25-man roster despite allowing seven runs over his last three outings. He did start the spring strong with four consecutive scoreless innings, so perhaps that left an impression. Albers had a 3.14 ERA in 56 games for the Cleveland Indians in his last healthy season (2013), so perhaps the Sox believe with renewed health he can return to the form he showed two years ago.

Carlos Rodon: The heralded pitching prospect is headed back to Triple-A Charlotte, as expected, but he left one final good impression Tuesday with 5.1 innings of one-run ball against the Dodgers. The lefty finished the spring with a team-best 21 strikeouts in 17.2 innings and a 3.06 ERA. It won't be a surprise if we see him on the South Side before the 2015 season is over.

Jesse Crain and Brad Penny: The two pitchers were each paid $100,000 retention bonuses to stay with the organization, under rules governing minor league contracts. Both players will remain in the White Sox system with a June 1 opt-out clause, should they not reach the majors before then. Crain is still working his way back from shoulder problems that cost him the entire 2014 season.

Sale update: The White Sox ace struck out 13 Cincinnati Reds minor leaguers in a six-inning outing on Wednesday. He will have one more outing at extended spring training Monday before a likely return to the rotation April 12.

With that, I think we're all set on the news and notes. For now. There is still one more spot in the Sox bullpen to be claimed. I think it's going to Kyle Drabek. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dodgers take advantage of Cardinals sloppiness in NLCS Game 3

We'll start off with a quick stat about Los Angeles shortstop Hanley Ramirez: The Dodgers are 55-28 when he is in the starting lineup this season. They are 41-45 when he is not.

Ramirez did not play in Game 2 of the NLCS because of a hairline fracture in his ribs, but he managed the pain well enough to get back in the lineup for Game 3. Ramirez collected two bloop singles and an RBI in four at-bats as the Dodgers defeated St. Louis 3-0 Monday night to cut the Cardinals' lead in the series to 2-1. 

Ramirez's presence helped the Dodgers, sure, but the main storylines from this game were poor St. Louis defense and outstanding pitching from Los Angeles starter Hyun-Jin Ryu.

The Dodgers had failed to score a run in their previous 22 offensive innings before breaking through with two tallies in the bottom of the fourth inning off St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright. Both runs were gifts. Cardinals center fielder John Jay and right fielder Carlos Beltran had a miscommunication on a fly ball to right-center off the bat of Los Angeles second baseman Mark Ellis. Jay should have made the play; Beltran could have made the play. Neither man did, and Ellis was credited with a gift double. He would later score on a softly hit double by Adrian Gonzalez.

Yasiel Puig finished the rally with a two-out RBI triple. The hit broke and 0-for-11 slump (with seven strikeouts) for Puig. None of that would have happened if Jay had made the catch on Ellis' ball. It was a poor defensive night for Jay overall. He had four misplays out there, and was fortunate Wainwright was able to pitch over a couple of  his other gaffes. Ramirez added his bloop RBI hit in the eighth inning to cap the scoring, after Jay let a Carl Crawford blooper fall in front of him.

Ryu, a rookie left-hander, couldn't have pitched any better against the most prolific offense in the National League. He fired seven shutout innings, striking out four and allowing just three hits. That performance was exactly what the Dodgers needed. They couldn't afford to go down 3-0 in the series. They had to find a way to beat Wainwright, who had never lost in the postseason previously. Thanks to that performance by Ryu, they are back in the series.

Game 4 is Tuesday night, and both teams will be using their weakest starting pitcher. Lance Lynn, who picked up a win in relief in Game 1, is going for the Cardinals. Ricky Nolasco gets the ball for the Dodgers. St. Louis needs to get its bats going against Nolasco. The Dodgers will be able to throw their pair of aces, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, in Games 5 and 6. St. Louis won Games 1 and 2, which were started by Greinke and Kershaw, respectively. I don't know if the Cardinals will be able to pull that off again, so I feel like it would behoove them to win Game 4. That way, they'll have a little cushion before facing the Dodgers' top two guys again.