Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

Paul Molitor: Figure out what to do with the pitching staff
Right now, the contenders for the five starting rotation spots are Kyle Gibson, Phil Hughes, Tommy Milone, Ervin Santana, Ricky Nolasco, Tyler Duffy, Jose Berrios and Tyler May. We can assume that Gibson, Hughes and Santana will make it. That leaves two spots for five guys. I'm a big fan of Duffy, he pitched very well down the stretch last season, posting a 3.10 ERA. However, unlike some guys who start out great, advanced stats say it wasn't just a flash in the pan. His FIP was 3.24, along with a respectable 2.65 strikeout per walk ratio, good enough for 47th in the league among starters had he qualified. I'd put him in the fourth spot until he loses it. For the last two, I would go with anyone but Nolasco. He was badly overpaid from the start, and isn't in the plans for the future. It would be better in the short and long term for Milone (quietly productive all last season), Berrios or May to take those spots.
Twins fans: Stop being jerks to Joe Mauer
Joe Mauer had one of the best seasons for a catcher in the history of the game in 2009. He continued to be productive through 2012 and most of 2013 before some bad luck and just being past his prime slowed him down. Even then, he's been an above average on-base guy, posting an OBP of .348 in the last two years when he's been "bad". Also, you can complain about the contract all you want, but I think some of you mindless Mauer haters don't even seem to notice it's down to three years at this point, and above all, why do you care about his contract? Unless you're a member of the Pohlad family, you're not paying for it, so why do care? Yeah, it makes him untradeable but that doesn't matter because it's only for another two years before the contract's expiring.
Norv Turner: Get Cordarrele Patterson more involved in the offense
Bill Musgrave was a horrible offensive coordinator but at least he knew how to get Patterson involved in the offense. Patterson isn't a very good route runner, but in Musgrave's offense he didn't need to be a Stefon Diggs-like deep threat, he got the ball on a lot of screens and reverses. Right now one of the fastest and most talented guys on the team is being wasted doing nothing but returning kickoffs. That needs to change.
Sam Mitchell: Stop the LaVine at point guard experiment
While he's incredibly athletic, Zach LaVine doesn't have a great sense of the game playing his natural shooting guard, much less learning a new position. The Wolves are so much more efficient with Rubio running the point and LaVine on the wing. Mitchell should stop trying to force LaVine at point guard and let Tyus Jones get experience backing up Rubio.
Dan Gladden: Resign
Michael Cuddyer: Replace Gladden as Cory Provus's partner
Let's make this happen.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

More Offseason Moves

Phillies get: Mark Appel, Harold Arauz, Thomas Eshelman, Vince Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer
Astros get: Ken Giles, Jonathan Arauz
With the Braves pulling a highway robbery on the Diamondbacks, this deal isn't getting enough credit for being lopsided. Ken Giles is a dominant reliever, but relievers are never worth the kind of package the Astros sent to Philadelphia. It's that simple. Even though he's struggled, Mark Appel was a number one overall pick just a few years ago, and Thomas Eshelman and Harold Arauz are both solid prospects. Every year there's a glut of relievers available at the trade deadline, it's completely unnecessary to blow so much on one good one.                            
Ben Zobrist to the Cubs
After being underrated, then overrated from being called underrated so often, Zobrist isn't anything right now. Just a solid, versatile player who can get on base and contribute to any team.
Jason Heyward to the Cubs
There's a lot to like about this move for both sides, including the 2-3-4 combination of Heyward, Rizzo and Bryant, delusional Cardinals fans being unable to comprehend the idea of anyone not wanting to be in St. Louis and calling Heyward a "traitor" even though he was only there for one season, the fact that Heyward's only 26, and the flexibility the Cubs now have in the outfield.
Johnny Cueto to the Giants
It was looking like Cueto was going to cost himself a lot of money in the second half of the year with the Royals. Then the playoffs happened, and he proved he can still pitch like the Cincinnati version of himself. I like this fit with the Giants, their massive park will help out Cueto, a terrific bounce-back candidate.
Diamondbacks get: Shelby Miller, Gabe Speier
Braves get: Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte, Aaron Blair
When I first heard about this move, I pictured the negotiations happening like one of the Hangover movies. I pictured Braves GM John Coppolella taking D-Backs GM Dave Stewart to a bar, followed by Stewart blacking out and waking up the next morning to find out he traded Swanson and Inciarte for Shelby freaking Miller. Miller's a solid, young pitcher, but that's it. He isn't worth gutting your farm system for. From the Braves' perspective, this is an absolute pillaging. They just made off with a 21-year-old shortstop with superstar potential along with the underrated Inciarte (.303/.338/.408 with 21 stolen bases last year). In a year where they weren't going to contend anyway, they are well set up for the future.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Offseason Moves

David Price to the Red Sox
I have two uncles, an aunt and two cousins who live in Boston. They get very defensive if you compare the Red Sox to the Yankees as far as spending money goes. But I don't care because that's who they've become. Every year in free agency they just throw a ton of money at whoever they can without thinking about how they'll actually fit in. Last year they signed Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, even though they played the same position and they had to move Hanley to left field. Now they're signing an excellent, reliable pitcher for seven years and 217 million and have nobody to put around him. Aside from 2013, their last five years have been an absolute garbage can fire in Boston. That 2013 season was the one year they didn't spend a ton of money in the offseason. They signed Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, Shane Victorino and Koji Uehara to relatively small contracts. It worked because they all had a specific role, and the Sox have gotten away from that recently. This is ending badly.
Nori Aoki to the Mariners
Aoki's been one of the most underrated players in the league since he was with Milwaukee, batting a career .287/.353/.386 and averaging 20 stolen bases per year. While he's never had much power, the Mariners don't need a lot of firepower. They need someone to get on for Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager. And Aoki can do that.
Jordan Zimmermann to the Tigers
Zimmermann had a slightly underwhelming season with the Nats last year, so 110 million seems like a bit much, but he still had an ERA of 3.66. At the very least he's a solid number two starter, a number one if he rebounds.
Mike Pelfrey to the Tigers
I have to seriously question the fact that anyone in the Tigers' front office watched Mike Pelfrey more than once ever. The Twins took a risk on him in 2013 with a one year deal. He was terrible. For some bizarre reason, Terry Ryan gave him a two year extension, which worked out about how you would expect it to. It wasn't just that Pelfrey was horrible, it was how he was horrible. Nobody wasted more run support than Pelfrey, who apparently felt it was sporting to allow the opposing team to score right after the Twins had a big inning and the Tigers gave this man TWO YEARS. As a Twins fan, nothing makes me happier than knowing Mike Pelfrey is pitching for someone else in the AL Central.
Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks
After getting rejected by Johnny Cueto, the D-Backs weren't discouraged, frying an even better fish. Greinke will now bring some pitching to a team with a quietly terrific lineup led by Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock. $207 million is a lot of money to pay, but given what the Red Sox gave Price and how close the team is to contending, this is a good deal.