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  1. #1

    MLB Hot Stove 2014 - 2015

    This isn't really hot stove, but it's not playoff baseball, so...

    Has there ever been a player who received as much award recognition so early in his career as Trout? The closest I can find is Musial, who finished 12th in his first full season, won in his second, finished 4th in his third season, missed a year for military service, and then won again (and again 2 years later, followed by 3 straight 2nd place finishes). That's amazingly good, but for the first 3 years, not as good as Trout. Other notables are Pujols - ROY, 4th in mvp, followed by 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, before finally winning an MVP in his 5th season, and Aaron, who won nothing as a rookie, followed by 9th and 3rd for the MVP, finally winning in his 4th season. Willie Mays won rookie of the year, then got hurt in his second year, missed the next year for military service, and won the following year. Not shabby, but not what Trout or Musial did in the voting. (Babe Ruth might be a special case because, aside from not starting as a position player, there was no MVP from 1915 - 1921, he missed part of 1922, won in 1923 and back then you weren't eligible once you'd already won. He'd have probably run off quite a string after becoming a hitter if winners could repeat). Anyway, MVP voting is hardly the definitive measure of a player, and there will be plenty of arguments about whether the voters got an award right, but it's another indication of just how astonishing the start of Trout's career has been.

    Getting to some hot stove, Giancarlo Stanton is another notable young player, and he and the Marlins are apparently discussing a monster deal, perhaps as big as $320 million over 12 years. That'll buy a lot of cuban sandwiches and mojitos. At least until they trade him before he gets 10 and 5 rights.
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  2. #2
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    I saw this reported earlier and it makes Trout's accomplishments all the more remarkable - coming off of his third straight MVP-caliber season, he is more than three years younger than the rookie of the year award winners in both leagues this year.* There seems to be almost no ceiling on what his career can be - I just hope he's able to continue to play at or near this level for a long time.

    *ETA: Of the top 10 in each league's rookie of the year balloting (as reported by Baseball Reference), only one person - Nick Castellanos from Detroit, who received a single down-ballot vote - is younger than Trout.
    Last edited by pfrduke; 11-14-2014 at 03:40 PM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Mike Trout is a great player and has the potential to be an all-time great player. His first three seasons have been unprecedented - and he probably should have won the MVP the previous two seasons. In fact, his WAR this year was lower than 2012 and 2013.

    However, I watched him closely this year and there are some serious warning signs or red flags - call them what you want. First, he struck out way too much this season. He had 184 strikeouts, which is 52 more than last year in almost the same number of Plate Appearances. His second half was very mediocre for an MVP or even an All-Star. After the All-Star break, his stats were: .257BA; 14 HR; 38 RBI; 30 BB; 89 K. For a full season, that translates to: .257 BA; 33 HR; 90 RBI; 71 BB; and 210 Ks. Those aren't MVP numbers.

    Also, his total WAR has gone down the last two seasons as have his stolen bases (from 49 to 33 to 16) and his defensive WAR (was 2.1 in 2012 and -.9 in 2013 and -.5 in 2014, meaning he has been below average defensively). Maybe both of those facts are related to his own decision to put less stress on his body during the course of the season so he is more fresh in August and September (and October). But it's clear from his second half, that it did not help him this year. He also went 1 for 12 in the post-season.

    At one point I thought Trout was at the early stages of a Stan Musial-like career. But now I'm not so sure. 184 strikeouts is a A LOT. Musial never struck out more than 46 times a season. Ted Williams never struck out more than 64 times - and after the war he was never above 50. Willie Mays only struck out more than 100 times once - and he was 40 at the time. Babe Ruth never struck out more than 93 times a season.

    Perhaps strikeouts are more common in this era for the top hitters. Looking at more contemporary comparisons, Pujols' highest strikeout total was 115. Cabrera: 148 in his age 21 season. Griffey: 121: Bonds; 102 in his rookie year; A-Rod: 139. But 184 is Rob Deer territory, and it is disturbing for a young hitter to have such a significant jump in one season.

    538 has already analyzed the possibility that Trout has peaked. If you watched him closely this season, especially in the second half, he looked nothing like the second coming of Stan Musial or any of the all-time great hitters. Of course, he is only 22 and it is worth remembering that he has the highest WAR at age 22 ever. But the trend is concerning, and it will be very interesting to see what his next five years looks like as he approaches what is supposed to be his prime.
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  4. #4
    Now we're getting going. The Braves traded Jason Heyward (due to be a FA next fall) and reliever Jordan Walden to the Cards for starter Shelby Miller and a minor league pitcher. Certainly a big gain for Stl in 2015, and possibly beyond if they can extend Heyward.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11...tyrell-jenkins

    While Heyward leaves his hometown team, Russell Martin goes home, signing a 5 year, $82MM deal with Toronto.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11...onto-blue-jays
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  5. #5
    Dev11's Avatar
    Dev11 is offline Commissioner of Statistics, DBR Podcast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue in the Face View Post
    Getting to some hot stove, Giancarlo Stanton is another notable young player, and he and the Marlins are apparently discussing a monster deal, perhaps as big as $320 million over 12 years. That'll buy a lot of cuban sandwiches and mojitos. At least until they trade him before he gets 10 and 5 rights.
    It sounds like he got a no-trade clause but an option at 6 years, when he'll be finishing his age 30 season.

    It's a huge contract, but Stanton has quietly been a star in Miami. I'm curious to see what else the Marlins do to complement this signing, outside of having a healthy Jose Fernandez on opening day.

  6. #6
    Each mlb team's longest "transaction tree". Kind of interesting, and it's been some time since I've thought of Jon Matlack.

    http://grantland.com/features/mlb-transaction-trees/
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dev11 View Post
    It sounds like he got a no-trade clause but an option at 6 years, when he'll be finishing his age 30 season.

    It's a huge contract, but Stanton has quietly been a star in Miami. I'm curious to see what else the Marlins do to complement this signing, outside of having a healthy Jose Fernandez on opening day.
    They're not expecting Fernandez back until around the All-Star break or so.

    The Marlins are already rock solid playoff contenders with their current roster. They probably would have won the wild card last year (or at least been very close) had Fernandez and Stanton not both gotten hurt when they did. And I say this as someone who has been actively rooting against the team for two years. I've been a Marlins fan since their inception, but it's been hard to root for Jeffrey Loria or to spend any money in support of him. In the aftermath of the 2013 firesale, I decided I was done with the Marlins and that I would become a fan of whatever team Stanton got traded to. Well, my plan has been foiled, and the Stanton contract has been structured in a way that it will basically force the Marlins to try to field a contender. I'm willing to finally go back to the ball park this year.

    And it's a good thing, because as much as it feels like Loria swindled the city of Miami, they've done a pretty great job of assembling young talent. The amount of top level talent aged 25 and under is pretty remarkable. Fernandez (22), Stanton (25), and Henderson Alvarez (24) have already played in All-Star games. Christian Yelich (22) sure seems like he's headed that way, and possibly Marcell Ozuna (24) as well. Nathan Eovaldi (24) and Jarred Cosart (24) both project as above average starters. And they will be able to keep all of this talent for below market value for the next 3-5 years, while rounding out their roster with a few veteran pieces here and there.

  8. #8
    ^^^ what Mr. Doobakus said. Son and I were (really) just discussing the marlin last week. They are going to be terrific and it did seem like Loria backed off the dumping players for cash mode. The city was about to forget they ever had a team. Gotta get the rears in the seats.
    But they will be scary good.
    And we actually do discuss stuff like this. It's weird, I know.
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  9. #9

    Major moves in Boston

    Sox sign both Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. That's a lot of new offense, even though HanRam is a bit of a health risk (and perhaps not the best guy to share a pizza with).
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue in the Face View Post
    Sox sign both Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. That's a lot of new offense, even though HanRam is a bit of a health risk (and perhaps not the best guy to share a pizza with).
    Was just reading this as well. Make a bit of a log jam on the left side of the infield as well as potentially the outfield. Can't believe that they would be giving up on Bogaerts after only one season at short so that has led to the suggestion that Ramirez would be shifted to the outfield. But there's a glut of outfielders as well so who goes on the block out of that crew is anyone's guess. The latest scuttlebutt has Cespedis the most likely to be traded because of his contract being in the last year before free agency.

    It also begs the question of whether the Sox will be able to get Lester back. That would be a lot of money tied up with only three players (See the previous example of Beckett, Crawford, Gonzalez)
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  11. #11
    Hall of Fame ballots just went out.

    The consensus is that first-timers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz will all get in.

    Also likely is holdover Jeff Bagwell, who missed by just two votes last year.

    After that, anybody who gets in would be an upset. Personally, I don't see how Mike Piazza, the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history, keeps missing. I also think Tim Raines, the second-greatest leadoff hitter in history is unfairly shunned. I'd also vote for Craig Biggio. I also liked Jack Morris, but I believe he dropped off the ballot.

    Of course, the dopers are still waiting for redemption -- Bonds, McGwire, Clemens, Sosa and now newcomer Gary Sheffield. They can keep waiting as far as I'm concerned.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    ...the dopers are still waiting for redemption -- Bonds, McGwire, Clemens, Sosa and now newcomer Gary Sheffield. They can keep waiting as far as I'm concerned.
    I hope they're all holding their breath.
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    After that, anybody who gets in would be an upset. Personally, I don't see how Mike Piazza, the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history, keeps missing. I also think Tim Raines, the second-greatest leadoff hitter in history is unfairly shunned. I'd also vote for Craig Biggio.
    While I agree that Piazza is getting a raw deal, he's getting there (he's only been on 2 ballots, so "keeps missing" is a stretch). This year may be a reach, but he'll go up in the voting and get in there next year (personally I think he has a good shot this year, but that may be optimistic). I agree completely about Raines. I think he was a wonderful player, who not only belongs in, but deserves to have been a more convincing election (if he's ever even elected).
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  14. #14
    The A's send Josh Donaldson, who has emerged as one of the top 3B in the game and a real star, to Toronto for Brett Lawrie and several minor leaguers. Lawrie have never reached (or even really come close to) the potential he flashed when first called up, and he's had trouble staying on the field, but he's turning 25 (4 years younger than Donaldson), and will be considerably less expensive as they both enter their arbitration years this off-season. Tough to evaluate without knowing much about the prospects the A's got, but certainly a move with an eye on the long-term for Oakland, and a significant upgrade for Toronto right now.

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/201...wap-is-a-doozy
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue in the Face View Post
    The A's send Josh Donaldson, who has emerged as one of the top 3B in the game and a real star, to Toronto for Brett Lawrie and several minor leaguers. Lawrie have never reached (or even really come close to) the potential he flashed when first called up, and he's had trouble staying on the field, but he's turning 25 (4 years younger than Donaldson), and will be considerably less expensive as they both enter their arbitration years this off-season. Tough to evaluate without knowing much about the prospects the A's got, but certainly a move with an eye on the long-term for Oakland, and a significant upgrade for Toronto right now.

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/201...wap-is-a-doozy
    Damn, two teams in our division getting better at third base -- Toronto with Donaldson and Boston with Sandoval. Meanwhile, my Yankees apparently will not pay Chase Headley's asking price and will let him walk. That leaves up with A-Roid to play third. Maybe Martin Prado, but we've also got him penciled in at second and maybe right field.

    So far a dismal offseason for an aging, injury-prone team.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Damn, two teams in our division getting better at third base -- Toronto with Donaldson and Boston with Sandoval. Meanwhile, my Yankees apparently will not pay Chase Headley's asking price and will let him walk. That leaves up with A-Roid to play third. Maybe Martin Prado, but we've also got him penciled in at second and maybe right field.

    So far a dismal offseason for an aging, injury-prone team.
    Prado will also be the back-up first baseman and will be in charge of concessions.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Damn, two teams in our division getting better at third base -- Toronto with Donaldson and Boston with Sandoval. Meanwhile, my Yankees apparently will not pay Chase Headley's asking price and will let him walk. That leaves up with A-Roid to play third. Maybe Martin Prado, but we've also got him penciled in at second and maybe right field.
    I share your frustration about Headley, I think he fits the bill pretty nicely for the Yankees. If they don't re-sign him, I still don't think they view A-Rod as an everyday option at 3B. The hard line they're taking with Headley may be an indication that they're comfortable giving Rob Refsnyder a long look at 2B, which I would be happy to see. But you're certainly relying on him pretty heavily if 3B is a big part of Prado's role.
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  18. #18
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue in the Face View Post
    The A's send Josh Donaldson, who has emerged as one of the top 3B in the game and a real star, to Toronto for Brett Lawrie and several minor leaguers. Lawrie have never reached (or even really come close to) the potential he flashed when first called up, and he's had trouble staying on the field, but he's turning 25 (4 years younger than Donaldson), and will be considerably less expensive as they both enter their arbitration years this off-season. Tough to evaluate without knowing much about the prospects the A's got, but certainly a move with an eye on the long-term for Oakland, and a significant upgrade for Toronto right now.
    Dammit! First Cespedes, now Donaldson. Plus they have stockpiled a bunch of first basemen. Wotchya doing, Billy?

    Oh, wait. The winter meetings are still to come. Billy's not finished (nor will he ever be). Also see some talk of Samardzija to Atlanta for J Upton and Gattis in my morning fishwrap.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim3k View Post
    Dammit! First Cespedes, now Donaldson. Plus they have stockpiled a bunch of first basemen. Wotchya doing, Billy?

    Oh, wait. The winter meetings are still to come. Billy's not finished (nor will he ever be). Also see some talk of Samardzija to Atlanta for J Upton and Gattis in my morning fishwrap.
    I'd take it ... and the Braves are definitely fishing for a top-flight starter.

    Everything I read has Justin Upton on the market ... but to get him, buyers must also take BJ Upton. Can't see Billy swallowing that poison contract.

  20. #20
    The Braves signed Nick Markakis to a four year deal reportedly worth about $45MM. Markakis never built on the terrific first few years he had, but he's a solid player who should be in the ballpark of the offense the Braves were getting from Heyward. Certainly doesn't have the upside Heyward has, nor does he have the defense.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11...atlanta-braves

    Since beating Detroit in the 1st round, it's been a rough go of things for the O's. Swept by KC, and now they've lost Cruz and Markakis. Toronto can't be disappointed at that.
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