Nov 21, 2013, 5:34 AM EDT
In case you missed the big news last night, the Tigers traded Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler. Detroit is sending along around $30 million. The net result: the Tigers get Kinsler and about $70 million in salary relief, the Rangers get seven years of Fielder and a $138 million bill for his services.
I’m inclined to agree with Matthew on the overall assessment here. I think the Rangers get better in the short term, as Fielder can be expected to hit better in Texas, be it from just a natural bounceback year or three or be it from a more hitter-friendly ballpark. They also free up a permanent position for Jurickson Profar, and that’s good too. On the whole, though, I think the Tigers did better for themselves by freeing up that money and getting Miguel Cabrera off third base and over to first. That said, each team had different goals here and each team, at least on paper, accomplished their goals, so a pure “winner-loser” axis here is kind of dumb.
But a trade like this, so clearly based on (1) the Tigers wanting to get out from under a big contract; and (2) the Rangers wanting to add some pop at first base, speaks just as much to these teams’ past mistakes as it does to their current needs and goals.
The Tigers signed Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million deal. His trade clearly indicates that they don’t think he’s worth that now, even if they thought so two years ago. That kind of regret over big contracts is pretty widespread these days. The Angels are likely wishing they hadn’t given big, long deals to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. The Yankees clearly regret the Alex Rodriguez deal. Joe Mauer‘s deal runs through 2018 and, given that he’s no longer a catcher, it can’t make the Twins brass feel great. Mark Teixeira‘s deal is a drag. Matt Kemp might crumble into dust before he’s halfway into his $160 million contract. The list goes on and on.
While long, rich deals to players who have yet to reach free agency may turn out to be good ones — deals like those given to Joey Votto and Felix Hernandez — and while long-term extensions to players teams have developed and thus got the advantage of their cheap years make a bit more economic sense, recent baseball history has shown that the bulk of these $150 million+ contracts are awful. Especially ones given to guys who actually reached free agency before signing. The last truly great one that was given out was probably Derek Jeter‘s $189 million deal. That’s the exception, not the rule. Yet teams continue to give them out. Someone will give one out to Robinson Cano this season. In a couple of years it’ll look bad too and everyone will wonder why it seemed to damn important to unload the money truck for him now.
The Rangers acquisition of an expensive power-hitting first baseman speaks of other mistakes. Specifically, letting cheap power-hitting first basemen leave. They dealt Chris Davis in 2011 and all he’s done since then is hit 33 and then 53 homers for Baltimore. Many years before that they let Adrian Gonzalez go. Now, to make room for Fielder, Mitch Moreland is probably gonna go on the block. I’m not suggesting that he’s the next Chris Davis or Adrian Gonzalez, but either the Rangers ability to develop raw-but-powerful first basemen into good everyday players is lacking or their judgment about when such guys will naturally peak is off. I guess you’d have to ask Jon Daniels what he thinks about that.
Either way, the Tigers now get a do-over on the biggest contract they’ve ever handed out. The Rangers get someone to occupy first base and the cleanup spot, albeit at great cost. Will either of these teams be more reluctant to hand out gigantic deals to free agents and/or cut bait on young power as a result? One would hope so.
Jul 13, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez refused to get into specific in his chat with the media before Sunday afternoon’s series finale at Wrigley Field, but second baseman Dan Uggla has officially been suspended one game without pay and David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution hears that it was for tardiness.
Jul 13, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT
Cliff Lee is on track to return to the Phillies’ starting rotation on July 21. The veteran left-hander has been out since the middle of May because of a muscle strain in his pitching elbow but could be an attractive name at this year’s trade deadline.
Jul 13, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT
Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano has been activated from the disabled list after missing a month with an oblique strain and will start an important game against the Reds on Sunday afternoon.
Jul 13, 2014, 10:59 AM EDT
A’s starter Drew Pomeranz made his minor league rehab debut on Saturday night with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats. And it was promising. The left-hander struck out seven, walked none, and yielded only one hit — a solo home run — over four strong innings.
Jul 13, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT
An MRI taken Saturday on the right arm of Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann showed a biceps strain but no major structural damage. He is expected to avoid the disabled list.
Jul 13, 2014, 9:32 AM EDT
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was tossed out of Saturday night’s game against the Padres in the bottom of the third inning for arguing an iffy strike call on a low and inside pitch …
Jul 13, 2014, 8:48 AM EDT
The tide continues to change in the NL Central. Playing with heavy hearts in the aftermath of shortstop Jean Segura losing his nine-month-old son, the Brewers were blown out 10-2 by the visiting Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.
Jul 12, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
The Indians and Angels made a small deal on Saturday, swapping a lefty reliever for cash.
Jul 12, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT
The American League has added a reliever rather than a starter with David Price giving up his spot on the roster for the All-Star Game.
Jul 12, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT
Brian Dozier made a nifty play at Coors Field to get an out at home plate on Saturday.
Jul 12, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT
The Astros may get their center fielder back on Friday if all goes according to plan.
Jul 12, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz will take batting practice and work on blocking baseballs. The hope is to begin a rehab assignment by the weekend.
Jul 12, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT
The Pirates added some relief depth, signing Rafael Perez to a minor league deal on Saturday.
Jul 12, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
A pair of neck surgeries limited Nolan Reimold to just 56 games between 2012-2013 and now he’s dealing with a calf strain.
Jul 12, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT
White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez was forced to exit this afternoon’s game against the Indians in the top of the fourth inning due to back stiffness.
Jul 12, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT
Reds first baseman Joey Votto has received platelet-rich plasma injections in an effort to get past his lingering quad injury.
Jul 12, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT
This is the first All-Star selection for Henderson Alvarez.
Jul 12, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT
The Pirates are focused on adding pitching in advance of the July non-waiver trade deadline.
Jul 12, 2014, 1:08 PM EDT
Jean Segura has returned to his native Dominican Republic following the death of his nine-month-old son yesterday.
Jul 12, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT
Brandon Phillips underwent surgery yesterday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and now the Reds will be without one of the potential options to fill in at second base.
- Braves suspend Dan Uggla one game for being extremely tardy on Saturday in Chicago 0
- Cliff Lee on track to return to Phillies’ rotation July 21 1
- MRI shows biceps strain, no structural damage, for Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann 0
- Settling the Score: Saturday’s results 18
- Reds hope to get Joey Votto back for the “stretch run” 7
- Jean Segura leaves Brewers following the death of his nine-month-old son 47
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 32
- Rangers catcher Geovany Soto arrested for marijuana possession 63
- Shocker: the Red Sox publicly criticize A.J. Pierzynski after cutting him (191)
- John Lackey on Nelson Cruz: “Not even going to comment … I’ve got nothing to say about him” (143)
- Masahiro Tanaka diagnosed with partially-torn UCL in elbow (114)
- The 2014 All-Star rosters have been announced (103)
- Giants broadcaster says Angel Hernandez “does not belong in the big leagues” (102)