Viewer Mail 4.25.2011

Books, Free Agents, Games, Management, Media, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, Players

Mike Luna in The Bleacher Seats writes RE the Dodgers being moved back to New York:

Oh, no, there’s no shot of this happening. Riper’s logic seems to be that the Mets are a fake New York team and the Brooklyn Dodgers never should have left anyway. Somehow moving one and destroying the other would make everyone (30 or so very old Brooklyn fans) happy.

Never mind that the LA Dodgers have plenty more fans than their Brooklyn counterpart.

These sorts of articles always rub me the wrong way, as they tend to make assumptions like that everyone in NY is a Yankees fan anyway and no one would miss the Mets.

Maybe we should move all of the old teams back to where they started. The A’s could move to KC and then Philly. The Rangers & Twins to DC. The Brewers to Seattle. LA & SF back to NY. Nationals to Montreal. The Yankees to Baltimore.

Mike is referring to this piece in Forbes by Tom Riper suggesting the Dodgers be moved back to Brooklyn.

It’s hard to tell if Riper is serious about this, but if he is, it’s absurd. The Dodgers still draw 3 million fans; the Mets are an institution (insert joke here) by now; and this is a half-fantasy disguised as a solution.

On another note, I’m all in favor of the Yankees going back to Baltimore. I’ll help them pack if they agree to transport a large chunk of their fan base, Mike Francesa and Michael Kay.

Jeff at Red State Blue State writes RE Felix Hernandez:

I’d like to see Felix get dealt, even if it is to the Yankees. It pains me to see his efforts squandered with no supporting cast. He looks like he could use a hug.

His efforts being squandered is an important point; plus he’s signed through 2014 and trading him could yield the foundation to rebuild the Mariners faster than they might if they keep him.

The two biggest factors are: Will he ask out because he’s tired of the losing and wasted effort? And who’s making the call for the Mariners?

VB27 writes RE the Mariners:

Joba Chamberlain has very little value. The Mariners could do a lot better than than “Joba Chamberlain; Brett Gardner; Jesus Montero; either Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances” if they decided to put King Felix on the market. And there is really no reason for them to do so for AT LEAST the next year and a half. He is the only real draw they have and Seattle can afford to pay him. Plus, with Smoak looking like he’ll stick at first for a long while, they’d have to put Montero at DH, lessening his value to them. It just not going to happen.

VB is referring to my proposed trade the other day and conveniently leaving out the fact that I said the deal as presented is contingent on the Yankees taking the full contract of Chone Figgins.

Montero is 21-years-old; I find it laughable that it’s automatically assumed that he’s not going to improve enough defensively to be able to catch in the big leagues. Judging by his caught stealing percentages in the minors, he’s got the arm to catch; the other stuff—blocking balls; calling a game—can be taught.

The concept that Chamberlain has “very little value” is propaganda on the opposite end of the spectrum of that which created the Joba Legend to begin with. Part of it is the fault of the Yankees; the rest stems from the media expectations of such a hyped prospect. He still throws a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s and if he can’t start, he could be a good closer; he does have value given his age and low cost.

There’s validity to what Buster Olney wrote last week concerning the possibility that Hernandez might force his way out of Seattle. You do have to consider the source as Olney occasionally conjures things out of mid-air, but Hernandez is pitching with no margin for error on a start-by-start basis; because the Mariners can’t score, he’s never at liberty to let it fly, fire his blazing fastball and dare the hitters to touch him with it in mind that if he gives up a homer, so what? It’s always a one-run game where he doesn’t have the luxury of making a single mistake.

Would it be worth it for the Mariners to trade their one ultra-marketable commodity and get rid of that idiotic Figgins contract while bringing in a closer, a 27-year-old outfielder who can fly; a star pitching prospect; and a power bat who can catch?

The Mariners are going to be out from under the Milton Bradley contract after this year and Ichiro Suzuki‘s contract after next year. They’ll have a lot of money to spend to sign free agents and make bold trades to get better quickly.

It’s not something to dismiss out-of-hand.


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