Monday, December 12, 2016

More Hot Stove Talk

Hey guys I’m back and better than ever thanks to all of the constructive criticism I got from everyone.

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Apparently my writing is comparable to that of a middle aged Ukrainian immigrant trying to text his kids. That’s fair considering I haven't written anything longer than a text in like 3 years. I’m not trying to write a book here guys, just trying to talk some baseball, but I will definitely try to be more coherent. And to the guy that told me to use more apostrophes and cut down on the profanities, suck a bag o’ dicks bitch.

Ok, now back to baseball. Last time we convened we talked about the closer market. Today I wanted to focus on some of the big position players that hit the market this offseason. I'm trying to find the best format to write this in so it’s going to be a little different than the last post. In this post i'm just going to focus on the guys who have signed already; because if we’re being honest, there are a lot more position players to write about than closers.

Wilson Ramos
Ramos signed a 2 yr/ $12.5m deal with the chance to reach $18.5m through incentives with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays got a steal here. They got one of the best hitting catchers in baseball, when healthy, for around $6 million dollars AAV(average annual value). For context, some contracts of other catchers from around the league that jump out are Joe Mauer ($23 mil AAV), Brian McCann ($17 mil AAV), Russell Martin ($16.4 mil AAV) and Francisco Cervelli ($10.3 mil). Last year Ramos finished T-1st in BA, T-3rd in HR and T-2nd in RBI among catchers. This is including the fact that he missed around a month at the end of the season due to injury. Ramos has had trouble in the past staying consistently healthy but considering that he is in the AL now, he has the option to DH. Look for Ramos to have an even bigger year than normal.

Steve Pearce/Kendrys Morales
Normally I wouldn't even bother throwing either of these guys into this write up. However these two being signed by the Blue Jays directly impacts Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Pearce signed for 2 yr/ $12.5m and Morales signed for 3 yr/ $33m. It looks like the Blue Jays are trying to avoid giving long-term deals to aging superstars. This seems to be a trend across the league after teams have been burned on deals with players like Arod, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Carl Crawford, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira etc etc.

Ian Desmond
Ian Desmond finally got the money he deserved by signing a 5 yr/ $70m deal with the Colorado Rockies this offseason. Desmond, an almost perennial 20/20 threat, is one of the bigger cautionary tales of what can happen when you don't take the money and run. In spring training of the 2014 season the Nationals offered him a 7 yr/ $107m contract extension which he turned down in hopes of having another big year and getting more money. Desmond had to settle for a 2 yr/ 17.5m deal with the Nats after a very down year. Once that deal expired, he signed a 1 yr/ $8m deal with the Rangers last offseason right before spring training. He had one of the best years of his career hitting .285, 22 HR, 86 RBI, 21 SB while scoring 107 runs. Desmond also showed his versatility by moving to the outfield from his normal SS position. It is said that the Rockies plan to have Desmond take over duties at 1B with SS of the future Trevor Story already in place and an outfield already headlined by Car-Go, Blackmon and the youngster David Dahl.

Yoenis Cespedes  
Cespedes’ story has had so many different chapters that it can be difficult to really see how consistently good he has been since his debut in 2012 with Oakland. For a player who has never hit less than 22 HR and 80 RBI in a season, it is peculiar that he has been on 4 different teams in his 5 years in the league. He has a reputation of being a mercenary, but it looks as if he has finally found a home with the Mets. Over the years, the Wilpons have often been compared to an alligator trying to reach for the bill at dinner.
They were finally able to reach into those pockets and lock down that middle of the lineup bat that any team would take with a 4 yr/ $110m deal. YO GONNA EAT!

Carlos Beltran
The 39 year old Beltran signed a 1 yr/ $16m deal with the Houston Astros this offseason. I don’t hate this signing by the Astros considering they have a young, talented team that underperformed last year after a promising 2015 campaign. The Astros are looking to add some veteran leadership to the team with the signing of Beltran and by trading for Brian McCann as well. This isn't Beltran’s first stint with the Astros as many of you may recall. You may also recall his mind bottling playoff run with them in 2004, where he hit for 8 HR, 14 RBI, 21 runs, 6 SB and hit for a .435 BA. Unfortunately that is not the playoff moment that most people remember when they think of Beltran.
I winced back in 2013 when the Yankees gave him a 3 yr/$45m contract at the age of 36. But it would appear that the possible future hall of famer still has something left in the tank.

Dexter Fowler
Last offseason, the Cubs signed Jason Heyward out from underneath the Cardinals which induced even more bad blood between the two clubs. This offseason, the Cardinals flipped the script by signing Dexter Fowler to 5 yr/ $82.5m contract out from under the Cubs. This kind of thing happens any time a team wins a championship. You see it in football and basketball too, everybody wants a piece of the winning puzzle. The Cardinals definitely overpaid for Fowler, but it's not an outrageous contract for somebody who was an All-Star last year and is said to be a great clubhouse guy. Plus they get to keep him away from the Cubs who are now without their starting CF.

Carlos Gomez
It's amazing that this guy keeps getting contracts. I didn't think it was possible for a player to have this much natural talent and be this much of a waste of space at the same time year in and year out. To be fair Gomez had a pretty decent run with the Brewers from 2012-2015. However since then, the supposed 5 tool player has largely underwhelmed everywhere that he’s been. It got to the point of being released last August by the Astros. Later in the season he eventually signed with the Rangers where he had a decent finish to his 2016 campaign. Somehow he got a 1 yr/ $11.5m contract with the Rangers this offseason.
Thats right Carlos, take the money and run.

Matt Holliday
Holliday signed with the Yankees for a 1 yr/ $13m deal. It would seem that Holliday will primarily take over DH duties as well as playing some corner outfield due to the retirements of ARod and Teixeira and the trade of Brian McCann to the Astros. For a team that just a year ago was overloaded with overpaid under-producing albatrosses, the Yankees have done a good job of clearing cap space and making room for the bevy of promising prospects to make an impact at the major league level. Holliday is holding down the fort until uber prospects Aaron the Judge (the jury, and the executioner) and Clint Frazier are ready to make an impact with the big league club.

If any of you guys ever want to talk some baseball or just shoot the shit check me out on twitter. I havent really used it a whole lot since ive made it but thats because nobody really wants to associate with me. If you dont mind the social stigma feel free to hit me up.

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