- So, lots of times when trades are made, it’s because one team see somthing in a player that they believe they can “fix.” The Cubs signed Jason Hayward thinking they could “fix” his swing… they couldn’t. When the Tigers got JD Martinez he was already “fixing” his swing and they thought they could help… they did. On case worked, the other didn’t! The Gerrit Cole trade is a case where the Astros think they can “fix” Cole, by changing his pitch selection and adding a changeup, while the Pirates Ray Searage thinks he can “fix” Musgrove and Felix. The Pirates also believe that Moran and Martin will be very good players. Moran will likely even start at 3B THIS year.
- Some Dodger fans say “Well the Dodgers could have put together a better package.” A better package according to who? You don’t know how these teams value your players or how FAZ values Dodger prospects. Neither do I! I get tired of fans saying “The Dodgers could have easily beaten that package of players” when they have no clue how the other team values the Dodgers players. That’s moronic. Sure, the Dodgers could have beaten it, but the Dodgers’ system is much deeper and they are intent on keeping it that way. Houston has a window of opportunity that will close somewhat after 2018.
- Who will “fix” their players? Will the Astros fix Cole? Or will the Pirates “fix Musgrove and Felix? Maybe they will all be “fixed” or maybe none will be fixed. Some scouts think Cole can be an Ace. Others think he will regress even more in the AL. Time will tell.
- I have been willing to trade Alvarez for a while. FAZ hasn’t. I suspect they have a lot more insight into his body and soul than I do. More than you too! Hopefully, the trade works out for both teams. The Astros did not give up what they regard as their Top Prospects, but Martin and Moran were Top Prospects – just not ones they were loathe to trade, like Tucker, et al. Evidently the Pirates wanted more than the Dodgers were willing to give up. It’s likely as simple as that!
- We know that San Diego was considering Eric Hosmer… and maybe they will get him, but it they don’t they sure missed a great opportunity to bring back Adrian Gonzalaez who lives in San Diego. If he’s healthy, it would have been a great thing for him and the Padres. It was a chance they both should have taken. It just makes sense. The Mets aren’t going anywhere either.
- If the Dodgers sign Yu Darvish, I could see them trading Wood and Grandal…. even Forsythe, if they get Yelich (long-shot) Just saying… Sell high!
- The Giants could have gotten better yesterday. If everything goes right for them, they could be tough, but EVERYTHING has to go right and they have a lot of Old Bodies. They might win 85 games.
- Dan Szymborski of ESPN.com has a column on players who may “breakout” in 2018. Christain Yelich is atop that list and he compares Yelich to Joey Votto and Will Clark and expects to see him put up that kind of season. He also lists Danny Salazar as a breakout candidate. I happen to agree with both of those players. The next player he picks as a breakout candidate is one Joc Pederson – yeah, THAT Joc Pederson:
Pederson had a fairly miserable 2017 season, even earning him a stint for Oklahoma City (and typing that, it still feels weird that the Dodgers’ Triple-A franchise isn’t in Albuquerque). A lot of his offensive woes have to do with his .241 BABIP. ZiPS thinks he should have had a .296 BABIP in 2017 based on his hit ball profile and while he has underperformed the ZiPS BABIP in the past by about 15 points in his first two seasons, even a .280 BABIP would have put his OPS+ around 115-120 rather than 95.
The largest flaw in Pederson’s offensive game has been his plate discipline, but his overall weak season camouflaged his progress on that front. He swung at a lower rate of out-of-zone pitches than he did in either 2015 or 2016 and set a career high for swinging at the in-zone ones. Despite a career-high in overall swing rate, his swinging strike rate dropped to 9.5 percent, actually better than the league-average, a first for him. Two years ago it was at 14 percent.
Key breakout stat: 28 percent shot at a new career high for OPS+