Nov 11, 2012, 6:30 PM EDT
That the Rays will trade a starter this winter seems like a given. With David Price, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, Jeff Niemann and Chris Archer all under contract, the Rays possess both quality and quantity in the rotation.
What they don’t have are bats and a lot of money, so with holes at first base, catcher, one middle infield spot and one outfield spot, dealing a starter for a hitter or two makes all of the sense in the world.
In terms of return, Moore and Price undoubtedly have the most trade value in the group, with Hellickson not too far behind. That’s why it might be tempting to deal from that trio.
Shields, though, has plenty of value himself. His two club options call for him about $24 million the next two years. That’s pretty expensive for the Rays — in fact, his $10.25 million salary in 2013 will be the highest in club history — but it’s palatable compared to what inferior free agents will command this winter. If Shields were a free agent, he’d probably be in line for $16 million-$18 million per year in a five-year deal.
And I just don’t trust Shields to keep this up. He’s been one of baseball’s best starters the last two years, but he’s also thrown 477 innings between those two seasons. He’s reached 215 innings five of the last six years, missing only when he finished at 203 in 2010.
That durability has given him a ton of value in Tampa Bay, but he’s on the wrong side of 30 now. Dan Haren had a very similar streak to Shields from ages 25-30 before suddenly taking a dive last season. It was probably different back in the 1970s, but in the last 30 years, the list of the pitchers who have been most durable before age 30 doesn’t match up very well with the list of pitchers durable after age 30.
There’s talk about the Rays perhaps dealing Hellickson to Arizona for Justin Upton, and I don’t think that’d be a bad idea at all. But if they’re looking at lesser names to fill the gaps, they might as well save as much money as they can in the process. They still have Price for three more years, and while he’s going to get expensive in a hurry — he could command more than Shields in 2014 — he’ll still have plenty of trade value in a year or two if they want to go that route. Hellickson is four years away from free agency.
If the Rays trade Shields for a young regular, they’ll suddenly free up $10 million they can spend on one of the other holes. It’d be like trading for an extra player. Shields might bring back a Josh Reddick from Oakland, a Travis d’Arnaud from Toronto or a Wil Myers from Kansas City. Then the Rays could use the salary to sign Mike Napoli to play first and catch or Stephen Drew to start at short. They’d have plenty of options.
May 23, 2013, 11:32 PM EDT
If you watch enough baseball games, you’ll see the occasional error with an in-game graphic. You know how it goes, perhaps a player’s name is misspelled or the wrong name is shown with a particular player. However, we hit the jackpot tonight. In the FOX Sports Kansas City broadcast of the Angels-Royals game, there was…
May 23, 2013, 10:12 PM EDT
Austin Jackson is eligible to return from the disabled list on Monday, but it’s unlikely he’ll be ready by then. According to Chris Iott of MLive.com, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said today that Jackson “really hasn’t done any physical activity” since he was placed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring on May…
May 23, 2013, 9:05 PM EDT
When Dodgers manager Don Mattingly made some pointed comments about his team yesterday, many thought that it was the beginning of the end for him in Los Angeles. It still might be, but the Dodgers are sticking with him for now. After we learned last night that Mattingly will indeed be the manager for Friday’s…
May 23, 2013, 8:25 PM EDT
After Chase Utley was scratched from the lineup earlier this week due to a “burning sensation” in his rib cage, it appeared unlikely that he would be able to avoid an extended absence, so it comes as no surprise that the Phillies are placing him the 15-day disabled list. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that…
May 23, 2013, 7:35 PM EDT
After testing his right wrist in simulated games this week, Mark Teixeira is almost ready to take the next step. According to Erik Boland of New York Daily News, Teixeira could begin a minor league rehab assignment next Tuesday with Double-A Trenton. The veteran first baseman said last week that he expected to be back…
May 23, 2013, 6:25 PM EDT
It’s been expected all along that the Mets would keep prospect right-hander Zack Wheeler in the minors until June, in part to delay his service time, but here we are. Mike Puma of the New York Post was told by a “high-ranking team official” that Wheeler is expected to make 2-3 starts with Triple-A Las…
May 23, 2013, 5:30 PM EDT
Rafael Perez, who was released by the Twins earlier this week, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Red Sox. Not so long ago Perez was an underrated left-handed setup man for the Indians, posting a 3.64 ERA in 329 career innings, but he missed nearly all of last season with a shoulder injury…
May 23, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT
Kelvin Herrera was one of the best relievers in baseball last season as a 22-year-old rookie, throwing 84 innings with a 2.35 ERA and 77/21 K/BB ratio while leading MLB with an average fastball velocity of 98.5 miles per hour. He’s struggled this season, mostly due to serving up eight homers in 20 innings, but…
May 23, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT
I said this morning that I’m a bit uncomfortable with the legend-building surrounding Evan Gattis. I think I’m not alone in thinking that it’s starting to get a little ridiculous. From an Atlanta radio stadion: Unless that’s a straight-up homage and I’m just reading in the satire.
May 23, 2013, 4:19 PM EDT
While pitching at LSU and in the Orioles’ farm system 2012 fourth overall pick Kevin Gausman’s game-day routine involved eating one powdered mini donut before taking the mound and four powdered mini donuts between each inning. Apparently he gave that up recently on the advice of nutritionists, but here’s what was waiting in Gausman’s locker…
May 23, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
Carlos Zambrano pitched an extended spring training game today and wasn’t half bad: Carlos Zambrano’s extended spring training line today vs PIT at Carpenter Complex: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 64 pitches — Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) May 23, 2013 When he was signed and I laughed about…
May 23, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
Here’s a little twist to the news that the Mariners are going to send Jesus Montero back to Triple-A: Michael Pineda, whom the Yankees acquired for Montero only to watch him get hurt, is almost ready to begin a minor-league rehab assignment. General manager Brian Cashman told Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger that…
May 23, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Been staring at this story all day. Thinking I wasn’t gonna link to it. Thinking I had higher standards. But then the crowd thinned out, the bartender said it was last call and the only two of us in the place was me and it, so … The Yankee shortstop was spotted yesterday leaving one…
May 23, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Remember all those offseason quotes from general manager Terry Ryan about how the Twins were focused on improving last season’s terrible starting rotation? Their actual moves didn’t quite match the talk, as they signed Kevin Corrreia (who’s been decent) and Mike Pelfrey (who’s been awful) and traded for Vance Worley (who went from Opening Day…
May 23, 2013, 1:50 PM EDT
Derek Lowe, who was designated for assignment by the Rangers earlier this week, has been released after passing through waivers unclaimed. This could be the end for Lowe, who hasn’t posted an ERA under 5.00 since 2010 and allowed 13 runs in 13 innings in a low-leverage relief role for the Rangers at age 40.…
May 23, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
Craig Robinson lives in Mexico. And based on when he tweets, I get the sense that he stays up late nights after going to Mexican baseball games and stuff. And I’m guessing he also has a lot of conversations with friends that start with “so, like, what if — seriously, now, listen — what if…
May 23, 2013, 1:18 PM EDT
Earlier this week Adam Eaton suffered a setback in his recovery from a sprained elbow ligament, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that an MRI exam revealed no structural damage. That’s obviously good news for the 24-year-old outfielder, although according to Piecoro he’ll still take 2-3 weeks off before resuming his rehab. Eaton…
May 23, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Not a ton going on today, so Kay and I talk about the pitchers in the mix.
May 23, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT
As you might expect considering he hasn’t played well for two years and is an impending free agent the Red Sox won’t try to negotiate a long-term deal with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury before he hits the open market. General manager Ben Cherington revealed that on WEEI radio in Boston, saying: “We agreed before the…
May 23, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT
Jon Rauch passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment last week and the Marlins released the veteran reliever two months into a one-year, $1 million contract. Rauch was terrible for Miami, allowing 14 runs in 16.2 innings, but he had a 3.59 ERA with good secondary numbers for the Mets last season and…
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