Open Discussion: Day Three of the Winter Meetings

Last night saw some big moves, including a massive trade that probably saw the Diamondbacks pay way too much for Shelby Miller. I’ll let Dave Cameron sum it up:

This wasn’t the only huge move they made, as Arizona also had the Zack Greinke trade last week, where they will pay him roughly $10,000 per pitch thrown, and over $1 M per start for the next six years.

In the process, Arizona has added two very good pitchers to the top of their rotation, although they definitely paid the price. Their massive TV deal might make the Greinke signing manageable, but unloading their farm system for Miller could hurt.

Every year there is a team that goes out and buys huge upgrades and gets declared the big off-season winner. Maybe those teams were losing teams the year before, or maybe they had a specific need and filled it, similar to what Arizona did. Usually the approach doesn’t work. It didn’t work for the Marlins, the Blue Jays, the Mariners, or the Padres in recent years. I’m not saying that Arizona is doomed, but baseball is much more complex than “add two top pitchers and turn a 79 win team into a World Series contender”. And if it doesn’t work for Arizona, then they could be in line for some tough times ahead, possibly rebuilding in a year or two. Like the Marlins, the Blue Jays, the Mariners, and the Padres in recent years.

That’s my quick thought on yesterday’s moves. Here’s the open thread for today’s discussions. As usual, we will have all of the daily rumors and news up on the site. And since this is an off-topic thread, and doesn’t really have to stick to baseball, I’ll share the following, which is a Prince cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” that was making the rounds yesterday. It’s kind of less of a cover and more of a totally different version. Either way, it’s pretty amazing.

  • Anyone know when individual game tickets go on sale?

  • Also, regarding alternate versions of Creep (and I love that Prince one, by the way, and also love Prince in general), here is the Postmodern Jukebox cover. May your ear holes be satisfied.

  • It looks like the Mets and Angels are both interested in Walker. Good. Compete for him. Drive up that price.

  • I would love to see Freddie Freeman in a Pirates uniform

  • Here is the draft of Pirates press release for tomorrow: While we engaged in many conversations and explored many avenues, the bottom line is we like our team and the financial flexibility we have created which will allow us to compete for the foreseeable future. The conversations we have engaged in will potentially allow us to add pieces between now and April if we find setting of value.

    • “Something of value”.

      • Translation: sorry Cutch, going to punt on a year of your prime while we see if Bell can learn to play 1B and hit more than 7HRs. And Masterson will be a nice cheap #3 starter, who we believe can get his ERA below 5.50.

        • And in the process piss away 35 starts by Gerrit Cole, a number of which currently have Jake Goebbert as a platoon option at first.

        • I could not agree more, So tired of these excuses. If we cut Pedro and will trade Shark and Walker to shed the potential 28 million and get prospects back, why not use that for Chris Davis. He can play several positions and is being offered 21 million right now. Offer him 22 and stop punting on the season. In 4 years when our TV deal with Root is up it wont matter, we’ll get the loot like SD last year and Arizona this year.

      • There’s an edit button. You don’t have to quote your post with a correction, you can just make the correction.

    • also we found a half eatin ham sandwich and some rubber bands in our dumpster diving efforts.

  • an overpay for sure! But the Diamondbacks will be waving to everyone happily when they win the National League West.

    • Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here. That’s going to be a tough division to win.

      • Plus it’s an even year. The Giants already won it.

      • They’re offense was top 3 last year in runs scored. They’re defense is stellar. They’re problem was pitching. so they went out and got themselves the reigning CY Young award winner in Greinke and traded for Shelby Miller. On that team Shelby Miller probably wins 13-16 games next year with an ERA around 3.5 (due to the ballpark). Add that to Patrick Corbin and that’s a real nice rotation starter. Maybe they’d be interested in MM

        • No, I agree they’re going to be a very good team. We saw what that offense is capable of this year at PNC. But I’m not penciling them in as champs just yet. There’s still time for the Dodgers and Giants to build on their already good teams.

        • I’ll take the field in the nl west and will take any wager. Dbacks will not win the division

    • It appears David Schoenfeld’s article on ESPN about the Bucs and them taking the foot off the gas for 2016 may be somewhat accurate.

  • Man my post the other day was way based on what Arizonia paid… Lol. From what I read the Pirates TV deal is up with Root after this year. Can anyone confirm that. I think that is the key to when they can possible extend Cole and Polanco.
    What are yinz thoughts on Diaz and Taillon making the club out of camp if they ready. My thoughts Diaz can’t be much worse than Stewart w the bat, and is better w the glove. And Taillon is busy as good if not better than Locke.
    My final overall thought is if we want to win the division we can’t have Locke and or Morton on the team, they suck.

    • Diaz will be in Indy as long as Cervelli is healthy. I don’t think they’d just let Diaz waste away as a back up. Taillon probably could if he’s ready. But I wouldn’t give him a very good chance of being ready out of ST.

      • Backup catchers don’t really “waste away” in 2016, unless you’re backing up Sal Perez or Yadi. Chris Stewart played in about a third of games and got almost 200 PA *without* an injury to the starter.

        Very rare for a catcher to be handed the starting job without any big league experience. Keep Diaz in AAA all year and you force yourself to acquire a legit catcher to caddy Diaz in ’17. Allow Diaz to back up Cervelli and you very well may save that expense.

        • If I were GM Diaz would be on the 2016 club and Stewie traded. Same reasoning as nmr. If Diaz hits at all I also wouldn’t mind getting cervelli a few abs at 1b to keep his bat in lineup. He has played 1b before

    • Deals end in 2018

  • I am finding out I have needed ALOT of patience this off season. Waiting for the Pirates to make a good signing or a good deal. I think other teams know we have multiple possible free agents at the end of the year and want to get them cheap. Or they know the Pirates have a good farm system and want alot of good minor league players. Best to wait instead of making a bad deal

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 9, 2015 10:20 am

    Time will tell how it all works -out, but Atlanta has done an amazing job of ridding themselves of a lot of big contracts and filled out a once depleted farm system. They may be pretty bad in 2016, because they will be young, but they be positioned well for 2017 and beyond.
    As for the DBacks, I respect their boldness – given their division, they almost had to do something along these lines to remain relevant. I think they are now stronger than the Giants, on paper, and just a closer away from eclipsing the Dodgers. They have a nice team, with Pollock, Goldschmidt, etc.

    • I think that might be what sets the diamondbacks apart from the teams Tim listed. Those were generally bad baseball clubs. The diamondbacks were not. Shore up the pen a bit and I sure as hell wouldn’t want them in my division.

      • The ballpark will make Shelby Miller less impactful in home games. Grienke is a beast tho. They still are the dbacks and that was a ransom to give for Shelby Miller.

        • Didn’t the Padres overpay for a closer last year? Someone call Arizona, since they are this years Padres.

  • I didn’t see it mentioned on here but there is an article from Mike DiGiovanna that mentions the Angels’ are interested in Walker.

  • Bell Tailon and Ramirez for Freddy Freeman.

  • In my opinion, Atlanta is winning the offseason. They’ve unloaded 2 players and have obtained 4 top prospects and a solid young outfielder.

  • Zachary Asman
    December 9, 2015 9:36 am

    I admire what Atlanta is doing. If you’re going to rebuild, you need to go all in. There is absolutely zero nobility in winning 78 games.

    • Kick the tires on Teheran, 5 years left on his deal. He would be a good addition to the buccos!!!!! But not at the same price the d backs paid.

  • Is the consensus here that the back end of a Kazmir deal could turn into dead weight?

    • The back end of a lot of Kazmir seasons, could be deadweight.

      Just curious how north that price could get.

      • I think the pirates would have to take a very deep breath to offer kazmir 3/45 million, but they really need a #3 starter.Also a kazmir signing would make it possible to make a run in 2016. They could trade morton to texas for moreland and keep walker and malancon. Could sign masterson and bring up either tallion or glasnow in mid june. But if they don’t get a # 3 this off season ,than cut salary ie walker and malancon and retool for 2017.

        • I agree, invest in Kazmir or a similar legitimate #2/#3 and trade Morton. That should cut some of the cost. They can start with 3 great starters at the top of the rotation and then have Locke, maybe a reclamation project on the cheap till Glasnow gets there.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      December 9, 2015 10:23 am

      If we don’t get someone at least as good as Kazmir, I would say that we should hold serve and not trade prospects for marginal veterans who will not be difference makers in winning the division next yeat. Instead, get a few of the kids up in 2016 to gain experience and see what they have (Glasnow, Diaz, Taillon, Bell, Hansen, Kingham, etc) – who knows 1-2 may just turn out to be big positives in 2016 and we end up being better than expected – and make a bigger run at it 2017.

      • Agreed. There’s definitely still a chance at the division and of course the wild card in 2016. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pirates take a step back this year but come back very strong in 2017.

        • I think the same can be said for the Cubs and Cards about 2016.

          • True. Don’t get me wrong, I still expect the Pirates to be a good team. Do I think they’ll win 98 again? Probably not. But I also wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them in the playoffs again. I’m just saying I don’t know if I expect them to be as strong as they were in 2015, or as strong as I think they’ll be in 2017.

            • Ya I agree with that. 98 wins is a tall order for any team and 2017 is looking strong.

          • SufferinBuccotash
            December 9, 2015 11:08 am

            Not really sure about the Cubs. They just added Lackey, Zobrist and Warren to an already up and coming team. I certainly don’t see them taking a step back next season.

            • They played way over their heads last year. Not often a bunch of rookies play like all stars out of the gate. Not often you have a retread that suddenly becomes an Ace. Lackey is ok but not a tremendous difference maker… sure we would like to have him and have never seen why so many love Zobrist. He is a utility guy that is 34. Sure their rookies making minimum will love Zobrist making 14 a year doing a quarter of what they do.

            • I think they will be as good as they were this year, or close to it. Zobrist isnt much better than Castro though, especially given his age, I question how good that deal will be.

            • There’s just something about 38 yo Lackey and 35 yo Zobrist that don’t scare me. I think they’ll have a good squad and 2016 will be a battle just like last year was. I just don’t think every young guy on that team perform like last year.

              We’ll see though – the offseason ain’t over yet.

          • BuccosFanStuckinMD
            December 9, 2015 12:16 pm

            Not the Cubs…they are all in for 2016.

        • The clock is ticking on Cutch, Cole and Liriano. You cant mail in this year.

          • Never said to mail it in. Just said that I wouldn’t be surprised if this year was a down year between two very good teams in 2015 and 2017.

            • Sorry Zach. Replied to wrong post. Depending what they do in the off season I could see that. I just would prefer they find viable replacements that allows them to compete, and not just hopeful stop gaps that don’t cost much. Id love to see Kazmir and Moreland.

              • Haha you’re good. I would love to see them compete every year. I give NH the benefit of the doubt for now. The Pirates still have a lot of chips on the table for this off season, It’ll just be interesting to see what they do with them.

  • Substitute Shelby Miller for Cole. How does that deal value? Good song. Not the original though..

    • If the Pirates could get that kind of a haul for Cole, they’d be crazy not to take it.

      • Except that the Pirates are in win now mode…

      • I’m thinking Cole would require a bit more, something along the lines of what the Dbacks were offering for Fernandez.

        • Not thinking he’d require more. D’backs overpaid on an historic level. No way Miller was worth a 4+ WAR OF, a MLB ready young pitcher who looks like a solid #3, and the first overall pick in the 2015 draft who could be in the majors by next June.

          That was just insane.

          • 4+ WAR OF? Ender Inciarte was worth 3.3 WAR last year and 2.8 WAR the year before, almost all defensive value. He’s only an average hitter at best. For what it’s worth, Steamer only projects him for 0.9 WAR next year.

            Swanson is a lot to give up, but I don’t think the loss of Blair will really hurt the D-Backs. There are so many people in front of him on the depth chart, and he’s not really put together any eye-popping seasons in the minors, so I can’t imagine him turning into an impact pitcher worth getting upset over losing for a guy like Miller.

            Value says one thing, but I actually like this deal from both sides. The Diamondbacks have a great offense, and even without Inciarte can put a solid outfield out there every day, and really just struggled with their starting pitching. They’ll have Greinke and Miller this year to correct that problem, plus a full year of Patrick Corbin. They’re a pretty complete team now, I’m inclined to say they’re more talented than the Giants now (though even year, so…), and they have a shot at the Dodgers. It’s a good risk to take in the Goldschmidt is cheap window.

            • BBR was Inciarte at 3.7 and 5.3 for his two seasons.

              Blair may not be a top of the rotation arm, but he’s 23 and just put up a very nice half season at AAA. And, while he my not put up eye-popping numbers, he’s moved from A- to AAA in three seasons without struggling. If he’s a #3-4 starter…that’s not far off from Miller who’s a #2-3.

              I can see why Arizona did the deal…and I don’t fault them for that, but if Swanson pans out, this deal has the potential to be massively lopsided in a couple of years.

              • BBR must be really absurdly high on Inciarte’s defense, then, because that’s where their formula deviates from FanGraphs. He’s had two full seasons, and his wRC+ have been 87 and 100 in those, and his minor league track record suggests there isn’t much else in there, if anything, with the bat.

                Defense is great and all, but he’s an expendable piece for Arizona, who already have Pollack and Peralta, and must be high on Tomas, even though he didn’t perform all that great last year. His upside is pretty high.

          • It probably is reasonable, but I wouldn’t make that deal because aces are so rare. The Braves no doubt got great value, but for an ace I’d want either more certainty (Swanson is a great prospect but still has to prove himself at the higher levels) or players that are harder to find (as good as Blair and Inciarte may be, it’s not that hard to find quality #3’s and OF’s). When Cole has fewer years of control I’d make that deal but not now.

      • Maybe after next year or when he has 1 year left but not now.