Tag Archives: Baseball

Evaluating the Yankees Offseason Moves

The Yankees had quite an interesting offseason. It started with Giancarlo Stanton getting traded for basically just Starlin Castro and seems to have ended with trading for Brandon Drury. Let’s grade all the major offseason moves from November to February.

Acquiring Giancarlo Stanton: A++

Although Aaron Judge looks like the AL version of Stanton, it never hurts to have an NL MVP on the team. This was a great move because it not only brings another huge power bat to the middle of the lineup but it makes the Yankees the “evil empire” again. Also, Brian Cashman gave up NOTHING.

Enjoy this video of what the Yankees will be enjoying

Trading Chase Headley: A

This was another good move for Cashman; he was able to give away an expiring contract. The Yanks are very intrigued by the fact of getting under the luxury tax to prepare for next off-season’s free agents which include Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Headley didn’t have a spot on this team with Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar on the doorstep of the majors.

Re-signing CC: A

Sabathia was a huge part of the Yankees postseason run last year and it was only right to bring him back for this season. With the Yankees slim on 4 and 5 starters who are proven in the majors, CC made a lot of sense on a 1-year deal.

Acquiring Russell Wilson: B

OK, so obviously Wilson will never actually play for the Yankees ever but this was an interesting move. It wasn’t something the Yankees usually do but it makes sense. With such a young team, Wilson is going to come in and be able to tell the young guys like Judge, Torres, and Sanchez his success story and what he had to do to win a championship. Although this seems more like a Mets move, Wilson can’t hurt the Yankees, he can only help.

The Yankees future second basemen has smooth hands (Just kidding)

Acquiring Brandon Drury: C-

Drury is a solid player but Moustakas also made a lot of sense if Cashman signed him to a 1-year deal. That’s why I give this trade a C- because there were other options out there that maybe were a little more enticing. With a slow free-agent market, Moustakas could be looking at a 1-year prove-it-deal and the Yankees would’ve loved him at third with a short porch in right. Drury will be a good piece at a low price to play either third or second when Andujar or Torres either aren’t ready for Opening Day or start out slow.

You Won’t Want To Miss This (week 1)

I am starting a new thing here at Laced Up. Trying to create my own content for the betterment of the brand. It’s a piece that will come out once a week highlighting the top three things you WON’T want to miss from the upcoming week. It will be the best of the best games, headlines and stories in the world of sports. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this.

Let’s get started:

  1. Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, Thursday 2/14, CBS & Golf Channel

Holy crap I can’t wait for Thursday’s opening round. The groups were released the other day and Tiger is with not one, but two electrifying young stars. He is paired with Rory and Justin Thomas. If the cameras aren’t following their every move, then there is something wrong. If Tiger is walking between shots and so much as lifts a finger it better be on my screen.

Watching him play at the age he is, after everything he’s been through (no not with his ex-wife, with his body), is miraculous. I read something the other day where a reporter asked Tiger how he trains now as compared to his old ways. Well, here was his response:

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UNREAL. This man is a legend in every aspect of the word and if that doesn’t get you hyped for Thursday’s opening round, then I don’t know what will.

  1. Players report to Spring Training, Saturday Feb. 17-19, MLB Network

This has got to be a miracle for the MLB Network. Those poor guys have had NOTHING to talk about during the offseason. There’s been no trades, no free agent signings and nothing of value besides rumors. And we all know how much we love rumors. Finally, MLB Network will have something to talk about and you bet I’ll be tuning in.

Spring Training is that perfect time of the year. Baseball season is right around the corner and with that brings nice weather. If you’re one of the lucky ones and live in a warm climate, I envy you. I really do. I’ve lived in Chicago all my life and decided to go to school in Michigan. Yes, Michigan. What on earth was I thinking.

This is my favorite time of the year. I know that baseball is back, and I can finally come out of hibernation and see the sun for the first time in months. Opening day is on the clock and I’ve never been more excited for it to start.

  1. The Olympics, Feb. 9-Feb 25, NBC

Is there anything better than the Olympics? Honestly. Few things in the world come close to the magnitude of the Olympic games. I would say the World Cup is definitely one, and Super Bowl is a maybe second. I love the Olympics because for two weeks it doesn’t matter what your ideals are, or who you vote for, everyone comes together as one nation. America.

With everything going on in our country now, I think the Olympics are a great way for people to put aside their differences and give them something to cheer for. Something they can come together and root for. That is why I love sports so much. The Olympics are everything that is so perfect about competition and athletics.

No issue is too big for the Olympics to put on hold. The athletes that compete in these games are worldwide heroes and deserve every bit of that title. They put on their uniform, ski goggles, skates and whatever else to go out and represent their nation’s colors.

Stay tuned for this every week and more!

You won’t want to miss this.

What signing Darvish means for Bryce Harper

Everyone knows next year will be one of the hottest free-agency markets of recent history.

Two names: Manny Machado, Bryce Harper.

We are talking about a potential billion dollars worth of deals between those two players.

It’s pretty clear those two are going to the best teams in the MLB with the most money. I predict Machado to the Yankees (or maybe White Sox) and, well, I’m praying Harper to the Cubs.

The Cubs just signed Yu Darvish the other day to a 6 yr/$126 million contract.

So, now the question begs,

Will the Cubs still be able to afford a Harper-type contract?

Well, I got out my protractor out and went to town. I crunched the numbers ‘til the sun came up.

Being the GM that I am, and thanks to my friends at Baseball Reference, I looked over the Cubs contract situation and it won’t be easy to put it lightly.

To start it off, I’ll give you a little background on the contract situation. Lester, Zobrist and Heyward are untouchables. Their contracts are huge.

Did the Cubs overpay for Heyward? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No. They bring just enough value to the team to make up for their gargantuan salaries.

Lester’s contract breakdown follows as so. He is owed $27.5 million over the 2018 and 2019 seasons, $20 million in 2020 and $10 million in 2021. Yikes.

Heyward’s contract is $28.17 mil this year, 20 the next, and 84 million over the next four. Bigger Yikes. Yeah, I already know what you’re thinking holy crap did they drop the ball on that one. Heyward’s contract is the most team unfriendly, but there is no question he is getting better and still one of the top corner outfielders in the league.

Zobrist is owed $16.5 mil this year and 12.5 the next. Now, let’s get to the big question.

Will the Cubs be able to re-sign Kris Bryant and Addison Russell and still sign Bryce Harper.

No.

Bryant and Russell are up for arbitration these next three years since their rookie contracts are coming to a close. Both signed handsome bonuses after bringing the North side it’s first World Series in 108 years, but now that’s up.

So, what does this mean? The Cubs have to get rid of one of them, and I promise you it will not be Kris Bryant. Expect the Cubs to shop around Addy this season and help them bolster their farm system that has produced some of the best young talent currently in the game.

Darvish’s contract is going to average $21 million a year, for a 31 year-old pitcher, over six years. It HAS to be win now and by signing Darvish, it is.

If the Cubs shopped Addison Russell this offseason, not only would they get a good deal from whatever team he’s dealt to, it would be one less person the Cubs would have to deal with in Arbitration. For the Cubs to convince Bryant to take a team friendly contract in order to bring in Harper would be much more likely than Russell.

Harper and Bryant have been good friends since Little League in Las Vegas and have been hanging out a lot this offseason so I would expect him to be more lenient on his contract situation, in order to sign one of the best players in the league. I also expect if Harper does decide to come to the Cubs, that he will take less money in order to be on the team he chooses. This could be huge for the Cubs who are already stacked on major contracts.

I know that sending Addy away is not ideal as he’s only been in the league for 3 years and is already one of the best young shortstops in the game. He’s coming off a year last year where he underperformed due to injury and a domestic violence accusation. After getting through both obstacles he had a good postseason with 5 hits, 2 doubles and 5 RBI’s in 10 games.

Opening up the shortstop position could give a guy like Javy Baez, who is under team control, the chance to show what he has at the spot and give Ian Happ a chance to play his natural position at second base. This could be a very good thing for the Cubs because they would have a very good young infield.

Happ and Baez up the middle could become a dynamic duo in the making. Heyward in center, Zobrist in right and Schwarber in left would be a very slow outfield. It would put a lot more pressure on Heyward, but defense is his specialty and he has thrived in center when he’s had to fill in.

Obviously that would be a one year option if the Cubs decided to go after Harper next year.

Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper on the same team again? Watch out MLB.

WATCH OUT KRIS BRYANT AND BRYCE HARPER WEARING THE SAME JERSEY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE LITTLE LEAGUE

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Good LORD what a beautiful sight! Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper in the same jersey just gets me the hell going. Couple of Vegas boys sittin’ back drinking some brews talking about how many championships they’re gonna win together in Chi-town for the best fan base in sports??? Doesn’t get better than that.

I mean come on as a Cubs fan you love to see this kind of a tweet. When I first saw this I showed my friend and said “Check this out. I can’t wait for them to be in the same jersey out on the field.”

Harper has been a big Chicago fan his entire life. He loves the Windy City. His dog is named “Wrigley” for god’s sakes.

Just picturing it now gives me the chills. I hope to god the Cubs can squander enough cash to pay Harper and Bryant the 12 bajillion dollars they deserve.

One more year, that’s all I have to wait to see that bearded beauty in the royal blue and white pinstripes with a big ole’ “C” on his chest.

World Series Champs 2018–2030

 

Keep the Home Plate Umpire on the Field

The abuse of home plate umpires on their strike and ball calls has been a part of baseball forever. These humans that wear masks and pads to protect themselves from a collection of 102 mph Aroldis Chapman fastballs and 90 mph Noah Syndergaard sliders get strikes and balls correct over 90% of the time. Sure, calls like Jim Joyce on Armando Galarraga should not be a part of the game and it isn’t anymore. The current replay system has its flaws but all in all it has worked for the MLB. I simply can’t imagine a world where there wouldn’t be a human set up behind the catcher and calling the game. That is just how we have all grown up watching the game and playing it and the home plate umpire is part of the fun. Imagine if there wasn’t a human back there. Who would Bobby Cox have yelled at every night or Joe Girardi yelled at when A-Rod got drilled by Ryan Dempster. The human element should be part of the game for this reason alone. There aren’t robots calling holding penalties on offensive lines or offside penalties in soccer.

 

The only possible way that the automated strike zone would seem feasible would be for reviews. What happened when replay first came into the sport? The umpires on the bases didn’t leave the field and let a computer call safe and out. There were replays when coaches didn’t agree with calls. So why can’t the automated strike zone be implemented like this when it is ready. I can see a world where there is a human umpire behind the plate and coaches have a certain amount of strike-ball challenges per game. The call would be simple, replay operators would know right away if the automated strike zone was tracking each pitch. The umpire wouldn’t even have to leave the catcher’s box and a call could be made to him within seconds if a coach chooses to challenge a pitch. Just remember, the human umpire is correct on over 90% of strike-ball calls. There’s no need to change the game just yet, Rob Manfred.