Monthly Archives: November 2014

Josh Donaldson Traded to Toronto Blue Jays

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All-Star Third Baseman Josh Donaldson has been traded by the Oakland A’s to the Toronto Blue Jays. The deal was a 4-1 trade. Toronto gave up Brett Lawrie and three prospects: Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman, and Franklin Barreto.

The addition of superstar Josh Donaldson, who is just as good a fielder as he is a hitter, is the second huge acquisition that the Blue Jays have made thus far this offseason (see: Russell Martin). Adding Donaldson at third base elevates the Blue Jays tremendously on both sides of the ball. They still have two major weaknesses and one minor one with Kevin Pillar in LF, Dalton Pompey in CF, and Ryan Goins at 2B, respectively. If they can solve as many as two of those weak spots, they’d be in a position to be a playoff contender in the AL East.

Brett Lawrie is the only proven MLB talent that Oakland receives in this deal. He was the 40th best prospect in the MLB in 2010, and as a result, became a fixture in the Jays’ starting lineup upon first being called up in late-2011. He still has tremendous potential, as he is a solid power hitter, has an abundance of speed, and is quite a good fielder, but there has been one thing that has consistently put a damper on his career progress: injuries. He’s only 24, and yet, the most games that he’s played in a season was 125 in 2012. If he can stay healthy, Lawrie has a huge upside for the A’s.

Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman, and particularly Franklin Barreto all seem to be important prospects for the A’s going forward. Nolin, a southpaw, and Graveman, a righty, are both starting pitchers that are expected to be MLB-ready by this coming season. Barreto, a shortstop, slots as the A’s third best prospect. His great speed and above-average fielding ability are enough to make Billy Beane and his cronies salivate with excitement.

Sources are saying that the Oakland A’s aren’t done making blockbuster deals. Jeff Samardzija, who they acquired from the Cubs in a blockbuster deal last summer, looks like he could be on the way out. Some rumors say that he’s on the verge of being traded to the Chicago White Sox, while others are saying that he may be sent to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Justin Upton and Evan Gattis. Whatever the deal is, the A’s are going to make another trade, and in all likelihood, Jeff Samardzija will be the centerpiece.

Trivia Friday- November 28th

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The answer to last week’s question was… BJ Upton, Mark Reynolds, Ryan Zimmerman, and (to an extent) Justin Upton.

All four of those guys, as well as teammate David Wright (he was the subject of the question) grew up in Virginia and played on the same little league team. That coach deserves a gold medal!

BJ and Justin Upton now play for the Atlanta Braves, Zimmerman plays for the Washington Nationals, and Mark Reynolds is a free agent who played for the Milwaukee Brewers last season.

And now for this week’s question…

#ThrowbackThursday: #Thankful4TheMets

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In honor of thanksgiving, I wanted to pay tribute to the team that we’re all thankful for: The Mets.

Please share the hashtag, #Thankful4TheMets, on twitter!

Enjoy the below Mets tribute video that we made!!

Yasmany Tomas signs with Arizona Diamondbacks

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Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas has signed a six-year, $68.5 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This deal was first reported by MLB reporter Jesse Sanchez.

Tomas was expected to get a lot more money than what he got, and maybe even break the $100 million mark. However, for whatever reason, his ultimate deal didn’t meet expectations.

The Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, and Philadelphia Phillies all showed major interest as of late, and will now have to look elsewhere for outfield help.

Arizona’s new two-headed monster in the front office- Tony La Russa (Chief Baseball Officer) and Dave Stewart (General Manager)- have been quite active in their first offseason. First, they went out and traded two prospects to the Tampa Bay Rays for former Rookie of the Year, SP Jeremy Hellickson. And now, they’ve given a lucrative contract to the Cuban slugger, Tomas. Expect the D-Backs to be major players in most trade and free agent talks for years to come.

While the Diamondbacks aren’t quite there yet, especially in their ultra-competitive division, adding Tomas is a step in the right direction towards the playoffs.

What if Wednesday: Carlos Beltran

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So, the 2006 Mets were a good team. Like really, really good. And then they got to the NLCS. And then they went to Game 7. And then they lost, all because Carlos Beltran stared at a decent pitch. For more on this unfortunate series of events, check out this article that I posted a few weeks ago.

Let’s just imagine that Beltran swung at that ball, and let’s just say, hit a blooper into shallow center-field, and St. Louis centerfielder Jim Edmonds just can’t get there in time. So, the ball drops, and Jose Valentin, the man on third, comes in to score.

What would the MLB be like if the aforementioned scenario really happened?

  • The 2006 Mets would’ve made the World Series, facing off against the Detroit Tigers.
  • The Mets, clearly the superior team, take the series in 5 games, giving them their 3rd World Series victory in franchise history.
  • As a result of the instrumental parts that they played in the World Series win, manager Willie Randolph and general manager Omar Minaya would be given far more leeway, and would not be fired in 2008 and 2010, respectively.
  • In fact, these two guys would still be in their exact positions today!
  • With Omar Minaya still around, Sandy Alderson is clearly not the Mets GM. Unlike the penny-pinching Alderson, Minaya sticks to his spending ways, and manages to keep Jose Reyes in New York come the 2011-12 offseason.
  • Instead, Sandy Alderson sticks with the San Diego Padres, remaining as the team’s CEO. He serves as an instrumental part in the team, and leads them to success, both in the offseason and on the diamond.
  • Upon Bud Selig’s retirement, Sandy Alderson, who had worked closely with Selig for many years, is named the commissioner of the MLB.
  • Due to the lack of Sandy Alderson’s presence in the Mets organization, Carlos Beltran isn’t traded to the San Francisco Giants for starting pitcher Zack Wheeler.
  • The Giants are perfectly fine keeping top prospect Wheeler in the organization. Once he comes up to the MLB, he and Madison Bumgarner form one of the best 1-2 punches out of the starting rotation in the MLB. The Giants are set to compete for years to come.

What else do you think would’ve happened if the Beltran swung (successfully) at that pitch from Wainwright in 2006? Would the Mets be better or worse today?

COMMENT your responses!!!

Trade Talk Tuesday: Offseason Blueprint Edition

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Usually, Trade Talk Tuesday consists of me laying out a potential trade and explaining the logic behind it.

However, due to the offseason moving along swiftly, the model for this weekly post will be modified. Every so often, I will post an Offseason Blueprint Edition of Trade Talk Tuesday…

Here’s a blueprint for the Mets Offseason:

Sign Yoan Moncada
Yoan Moncada is another Cuban teenage sensation, who has recently been declared an MLB free agent. Moncada is a switch-hitter who possesses great speed and power, and can also hit for a very good average. He has even drawn comparisons to LA Dodgers’ superstar, Yasiel Puig. The 19 year old phenom can play anywhere in the infield, including at shortstop, which is of course a major area of need for the Mets. Rather than trading a lot of young talent away for a star shortstop like Starlin Castro, Troy Tulowitzki, or Alexei Ramirez, the Mets can acquire Moncada without giving up any assets. Adding him to the lineup at shortstop would greatly benefit the Mets, and likely make them a bona fide playoff contender.

Sign Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller was a shutdown reliever with the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles last offseason. As a free agent, he’s expected to receive the biggest contract for a relief pitcher with no closing experience in MLB history. He’s also a southpaw, and the Mets are in serious need of a left-handed reliever, otherwise they’d end up overworking Josh Edgin tremendously. With Miller added, the Mets bullpen would be one of the best in the league, with 4 very good relief pitchers (Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, Bobby Parnell, Andrew Miller). While he is fielding interest from many teams, the Mets should use their resource and location to beat out the competition and lure Miller to Citi Field.

Sign Jonny Gomes
The Mets are in need of a backup corner outfielder, and Gomes fits the bill, The 12-year veteran would solidify the Mets bench. He is a very good leader, and has a playoff (and World Series) experience. He’s also known as one of the best hustle players in the MLB. Gomes could fill in for Michael Cuddyer in the outfield when Cuddyer fills in for Lucas Duda at first base against left-handed pitching. Due to his intangibles and his level of play, Gomes would be a perfect fit for the Mets final bench position.

What do YOU think about the plan that I laid out? Did I miss anything? Do you disagree with anything?

Share your RESPONSES in the COMMENT section!

Red Sox Sign Hanley Ramirez & Pablo Sandoval

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Earlier today, the Red Sox signed two All-Star infielders: Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.

Hanley Ramirez’s deal was first reported by Ken Rosenthal, who also reported the terms of Ramirez’s deal. Ramirez is a former Red Sox prospect who was eventually traded to the Florida Marlins in 2005 for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. Ramirez, normally a shortstop who also has limited experience at third base, has been emphatic about his willingness to “play anywhere” on the diamond. With top prospect Xander Bogaerts in line to play shortstop for Boston, it looks as though Hanley may be making a move to the outfield. However, if Han-Ram ends up staying at shortstop, Bogaerts could be on the way out.

Pablo Sandoval, AKA Kung Fu Panda, is coming off a record setting posteason with the San Francisco Giants, which culminated in a World Series victory. After Will Middlebrooks struggled mightily at third base this past season, change was imminent. And with one of the premier third basemen in the league, Pablo Sandoval, available as a free agent, all signs pointed to him moving to Boston.

This deadly duo adds to an already powerful Red Sox lineup that can only get better as the offseason continues.

Today in Baseball: Boston Just Got a WHOLE Lot Better

Hanley Ramirez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Late last night, we found out that Hanley Ramirez was flying into Boston to finalize a deal with the Red Sox. At about 1 PM ET on today, November 24th, this rumor was confirmed- Hanley signed with the Red Sox for four years, $88 million.

Then, at about 7 AM ET this morning, Jon Heyman tweeted that Pablo Sandoval would be headed to Boston as well….

During the course of about six hours, the Red Sox went from being a mediocre team coming off a 91-loss season to a bona fide World Series contender.

These two guys have been absolutely phenomenal in recent years. Let’s check out what these two combine to have accomplished thus far in the MLB…

  • 17 years of MLB service (Ramirez-10, Sandoval-7)
  • 5 All-Star Game appearances (Ramirez-3, Sandoval-2)
  • 3 World Series wins (Ramirez-0, Sandoval-3)
  • 2,349 hits (Ramirez-1403, Sandoval-946)
  • 297 home runs (Ramirez-191, Sandoval-106)
  • And much, much more….

The Red Sox positional lineup is now as follows:

C: Christian Vazquez
1B: Mike Napoli
2B: Dustin Pedroia
3B: Pablo Sandoval
SS: Hanley Ramirez (*he may end up moving to outfield in order to keep Xander Bogaerts in the lineup)
LF: Yoenis Cespedes
CF: Rusney Castillo
RF: Shane Victorino
DH: David Ortiz

That team has insane levels of power, especially considering that they’re playing in Fenway Park, one of, if not the, most hitter-friendly ballparks in the MLB.

Boston still has a lot of cap space, and a lot of young assets, so it seems as though these two moves aren’t the only high-profile ones that the Red Sox will make this offseason. Maybe they bring back Jon Lester… Maybe they trade Xander Bogaerts and other prospects for Cole Hamels…

Whether or not the Red Sox are done making moves remains to be seen, but today, we know that the Red Sox will, once again, be serious competitors in the American League.

Will they go from Worst-to-First again? COMMENT your answer to this question and YOUR RESPONSE to these moves as a whole!

Ike Davis Traded to the Oakland A’s

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Former Met Ike Davis has been traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Oakland A’s. Davis was traded by the Mets to the Pirates in April for two low-end prospects.

The Pirates designated Davis for assignment earlier this week, in order to clear room for their top prospect, pitcher Jameson Taillon, on their 40-man roster.

SF Chronicle’s Susan Susser first reported this deal. The Pirates received international slot money in exchange for Davis.

With Ike Davis gone, all indications point to Pedro Alvarez, who was an All-Star in 2013 but struggled in 2014, moving to first base.

Adam LaRoche signs with the Chicago White Sox

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First baseman Adam LaRoche has signed a two-year, $25 million contract with the Chicago White Sox, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The move was later confirmed by MLB insiders Chris Cotillo and Ken Rosenthal.

The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the White Sox already have reigning AL Rookie of the Year, Jose Abreu, at first base. One of the two will likely move to Designated Hitter, and CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes thinks it’s Abreu who’s more likely to make the move.

LaRoche is 35 years old, and will turn 36 within the first week or two of the 2015 season. He was a Gold Glover and Silver Slugger in 2012, and finished 6th in NL MVP Voting that season.

Mets fans should be happy to get LaRoche, a notorious “Met Killer,” out of the division.