Friday, December 10, 2010

Some Random Tidbits to ponder

Well, I can't really think of things I want to review today, and since today is my birthday, I have decided not to do a full post today. But never fear, I do have a few things on my mind, so I will use this space to rant about a few things and maybe do a small review at the end. So, let's start this, shall we?

- When I heard the news that the Royals signed outfielders Jeff Francouer and Melky Cabrera, I literally laughed out loud. I mean, I know that Royals GM Dayton Moore seems to favor ex-Braves because he used to work for the team and all, but this is ridiculous. Since Moore arrived in Kansas City, the Royals have acquired 27 players that had previously played with the Atlanta Braves. While ex-Braves Bruce Chen and Wilson Betemit had nice years last years, most of the ex-Braves signed by Moore include guys like Oscar Villareal, Horacio Ramirez, and other shining lights of mediocrity. With the acquistion of Francouer and Cabrera, the Royals could field an all ex-Braves outfield along with center fielder Gregor Blanco. That wouldn't be so bad if they could actually play. Francouer, once one of the game's best prospects, puts up horrible on base percentages and doesn't have enough power to fill a corner outfield position. Meanwhile, Cabrera's 2010 season would best be described as awful. He doesn't have enough range for center field and has the same offensive deficiencies as Francouer. I could forgive the Royals if they took a chance on one of the two outfielders, but their decision to sign both and pray they show something that either left a few years ago (Francouer) or was never there to begin with (Cabrera) is curious at best. I know the Royals have a top-notch farm system, but the Royals will never be a winner on a consistent basis if they keep relying on the retreads of another organization to push them over the top.

- So let me get this straight, the Nationals couldn't, or wouldn't, give Adam Dunn a fourth year on his contract, so they let him sign to the White Sox for four years and 56 million. The Nats then turn around and give Jayson Werth, a player a few months older than Dunn, a seven year deal worth 126 million dollars. Werth has been one of the best outfielders in the game the past three years, but he's only had three full seasons producing at that level. Meanwhile, Dunn may not be a good defender or strikes out too much or whatever, but he has at least 38 home runs in each of his last seven seasons, has seven 100 walk seasons to his career, and has a career OPS+ of 133 compared to Werth's 121. I get that Werth is a far better defender than Dunn, but to me it doesn't make sense to lock up a player like that for seven years, most of which will take place past his prime, when you can have a player of equal or greater caliber for four years and a lower annual salary to boot. Maybe I'm missing something here, but to me the Nats paid a lot of money to Werth when it would have made more sense to spend half of that money to keep Dunn around.

- Remember when the Red Sox brass called the Yankees the evil empire due to the Yankees spending the most money on players? Well, apparently we have a new evil empire shrouded in red, as the Red Sox went out and acquired the two best hitters available in 1B Adrian Gonzalez and OF Carl Crawford. Well, good for them, the Red Sox have the money and the prospects to obtain those two players and should be a lot better team next year. What's sad about this is that the San Diego Padres, a team that nearly made the playoffs last year, couldn't afford to hold on to Gonzalez, the team's best player and a San Diego native to boot. It sucks, quite frankly, that a team like the Padres made a shrewd trade to get Gonzalez, watch him develop into a superstar playing for his hometown team, and then are forced to trade away that superstar for three prospects that may not work out because they can't hope to afford him under baseball's economic policy. The Padres were last year's feel good story, and it's a shame that they won't have a chance to prove that last year's success was not a fluke. Look, I love baseball, but something's wrong with the sport when you have some teams that can buy whoever they want from the other teams that can't afford to keep their best players.

Finally, today (or yesterday, technically) is not only my birthday, but it is also Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle's birthday, as he turns 42. In honor of this, here a a couple of videos for you to watch.

Well, thanks for reading my writing on baseball transactions. I probably won't be posting anything tomorrow, but I should be back on Saturday/early Sunday. Remember, if you have any ideas for blog posts or reviews, or thoughts about this post, let me know about them either by e-mail at or by leaving a comment.

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