Around the League: Non-Trade, Waiver Games, Social Fun, Absurd Defense, and More

mlb logoThe latest in interesting bits from elsewhere in MLB …

  • The Rays and Astros got together on a deal yesterday that sent reliever Wesley Wright to the Rays for, essentially, nothing. Wright is making about $1 million this year, his first in arbitration, and the Rays claimed him on waivers. The Astros let him go for “cash considerations,” which is likely to be “paying the rest of Wright’s contract this year plus a few bucks.” When I saw that deal, I thought some combination of a cartoonish guh-wuh-huh? No, Wright isn’t a stud, but he’s a useful lefty reliever who’s put up good numbers for several years running. Isn’t that worth … something? The instinctual reaction of Astros fans looks like it was similar. Are the Astros so hard up for cash or for tanking that they’re literally giving away every last remotely serviceable piece? Maybe. But there’s also the issue of the roster spot (which comes at a premium on young, rebuilding teams), and the fact that Wright – again, not a stud – will be getting a raise in arbitration next year. Maybe he was a non-tender candidate anyway. That seems pretty plausible, given that he lasted on waivers all the way up the chain to the Rays. Perhaps he simply wasn’t all that valuable, and there’s nothing really here to discuss.
  • Adam Rosales has been waived by, and claimed by, the Rangers and A’s multiple times over a game of roster ping pong the last few weeks. It’s a bit shameful, as each team merely wants to stash him at AAA (he’s out of options) while simultaneously preventing their divisional opponent from landing the fringe roster player. It underscores an issue with the waiver system, which isn’t exactly player-friendly in situations like this, and which is further detailed in this FanGraphs piece.
  • The Braves’ social media department had a little fun the other day when Julio Teheran beaned Bryce Harper after Harper had homered earlier in the game. Harper exploded in anger, and the benches did the clearing thing. The Braves’ Twitter account posted a well-timed and witty, “Clown move bro,” a nod to his infamous “clown question, bro” comment in Toronto last year. It looks, to me, like a little harmless fun – baseball, and the fan experience of baseball, is supposed to be fun, right? Well, subsequently, Braves GM Frank Wren poo-poo’d that fun, telling David O’Brien that the tweet was “an inappropriate attempt at humor from our social media department.” I understand that, when you are a public-facing arm of the organization (like the Twitter account, for example), there is a line in how much “personality” you can show. This, however, did not cross that line – it was an obvious joke about Harper’s meme-ified comment, and not a joke at Harper’s expense – and it’s a bummer that the Braves organization didn’t get behind it. Instead, they threw someone (who was doing a good job of being exactly what social media is supposed to be) under the bus.
  • Julio Iglesias’s defensive prowess is sometimes discussed in nearly the same way that his teammate Miguel Cabrera’s offense is discussed. To the extent that the superlatives are fair, then Iglesias last night hit a 550-foot bomb:

  • Delirious praise of Iglesias from FanGraphs here.
  • Speaking of Cabrera, did you know that he’s putting together a better season this year than in his Triple Crown campaign last year? He’s at .366/.459/.692 (all three lead baseball), with 37 homers and 111 RBI. Just crazy. Also crazy? Mike Trout is having a better year than his 2012 season, too. He’s currently at .330/.425/.570, and is doing all kinds of MVP things, if not for the Angels being crappy and Cabrera being Boss Cabrera. I guess we won’t have a repeat of the MVP debate of 2012, even if you could plausibly make some arguments.
  • There’s quite a legal/media/PED/local heroes/etc. brouhaha going on in St. Louis after former Cardinal Jack Clark made some PED comments in relation to former Cardinals star Albert Pujols. The latter reacted strongly, saying he plans to take legal action against Clark, who was quickly dismissed by his radio station. I wasn’t really aware of anything connecting Pujols to PEDs until this dust-up, and, assuming it is unfounded, then Pujols has a pretty good point about not wanting his name to be thrown out there. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. It’s tough to clear your name in the minds of the masses once the seeds of doubt have been planted. And that’s unfair if a guy has been clean.
  • Ever want to read about the neuroanatomy of hitting? Of course you do.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

87 responses to “Around the League: Non-Trade, Waiver Games, Social Fun, Absurd Defense, and More”

  1. bbmoney

    It is insane to me that both trout and Miggy are having better offensive seasons than last year. There really isn’t much debate about it if you look at the numbers. It’s closer for Trout and you could nitpick and say he’s hit fewer HRs…..but he’s pretty clearly still been better at the plate than he was last year.

    1. ETS

      ESPN tells me that puig is the one to watch. Who is this Trout Cabrera fellow?

      1. Jon

        Trout/Cabrera are the MVP candidates. Bleacher Nation posters keep telling me Puig sucks, but while not an MVP candidate just yet, don’t be fooled, he’s a dynamic young player.

        1. ETS

          I should have added a /s… sorry for any confusion ;)

        2. TWC

          I love preemptive “I told you so”s. They remind me of high school.

        3. jkppkj

          Puig is an exciting and dynamic young player. We haven’t seen a start from a player like this since, all the way back to Jeff Francoeur.

          I’m not saying Puig will follow the same arc as Francoeur, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on him belonging in conversations with Cabrera or Trout just yet.

        4. CubsFaninMS

          Puigsball was founded by Alexander Cartwright in 1847. The first team was the New York Puigerbockers.

  2. Robbo

    Wow, I started reading that article about neuroanatomy of hitting and had to give up halfway thru. I am but a simple caveman. See ball, hit ball.

    1. Diesel
      1. Diesel

        I can’t wait until we are good again

  3. dying cubs fan's last request

    I’m so sure Pujols used PEDs early in his career (like many young guys from the late 90′s/early 00′s). I’m actually surprised that so many people thinks he’s the cleanest guy on baseball, for me it was pretty obvious. Guy come from nowhere playing all positions in the infield hitting like a machine. Plus, he’s body is finally giving up and he is ”only” 33.

    1. dying cubs fan's last request

      His body*

    2. RizzoCastro

      I agree with that. He looks like he’s pushing 40. He looks older than 33 to me. I am so glad the Cubs didn’t sign him.

    3. mjhurdle

      “guy came out of nowhere”
      well, that isn’t really true. Pujols mashed in high school. he hit .593 with 34 HRs and 124 RBIs in his last year at Fort Osage High School. he hit .461 with 22 HRs and 80 RBIs his only year in junior college.
      He was reported by the local news reporter as
      “The first time I saw Albert Pujols, I thought to myself, ‘What’s that man doing out there with those kids?’ . . . He had a Mark McGwire body, and he was a junior in high school. When he hit the ball, it made a sound that high school players aren’t supposed to make.”

      Scouts had concerns about his long swing and that it wouldn’t translate to the pros. They thought he was too big to play any defensive position. So he fell in the draft.

      But he mashed the moment he hit the Cardinals minor league system.

      He has been big, and mashed the ball, everywhere he has played since high school. Not quite “coming out of nowhere”.

      1. mjhurdle

        and yes, scouts also had concerns about his real age.

        But none of that pertains to the typical suspicious PED usage traits like sudden power, sudden weight gain, mediocre career numbers then a monster year, etc.

        1. ssckelley

          Yes, IMO his age is a bigger question than if he used PEDs or not. He looks old to only be 33.

          1. Scotti

            There is really no reason to question his age. If anything, since he was subject to the draft, he would have wanted to enter the draft sooner, not later. However, the dramatic (and unparalleled in modern times) increase in production going from Peoria (17 HR + 2 in A+) to MLB (37 HR) the very next year in an organization with known PED users and a manager with a long history of players who used (LaRussa)… Well, that’s all suspect right there. Then you have a drop off in performance in his late 20′s as MLB takes PED seriously (career high in OPS+ at 28 and going ever since)… That all points to PED.

            The whole, he was good before, argument could be made with A-Rod and many more users. There are simply a number of guys who have gone undetected.

            1. Rebuilding

              I agree with most of what you said here, but I did want to point out that in the pre-PED era the mean peak year for a player was 27-28. That *used* to be the normal aging curve.

      2. Scotti

        “he hit .593 with 34 HRs and 124 RBIs in his last year at Fort Osage High School.”

        No, he didn’t. That was his American Legion season (actually 35 HR) and they play a lot more games. Technically his last year in h.s. was his 2nd Jr. year (he wound up getting an extra year of eligibility and then not using it). His final year in high school he had 88 plate appearances (per SI) and was walked a ton but hit 8 HR (per SI) not 34/5.

        “He was reported by the local news reporter as

        ‘The first time I saw Albert Pujols, I thought to myself, ‘What’s that man doing out there with those kids?’ . . . He had a Mark McGwire body’ ”

        And here’s what an actual scout (Red Sox scout Ernie Jacobs) said:

        “First of all, his body wasn’t great back then. Plus, people weren’t sure how old the guy was. You assumed what he told you was true, but he wasn’t a great body…”

        Pujols was playing SS so he obviously didn’t have a “Mark McGwire body” at short. Even in h.s. and Legion ball Mark McGwire bodies don’t play short. Speaking of McGwire…

        In the 3 years before belting 49 HR in his 1987 rookie campaign, McGwire hit 24, 23 and 23 (+3 in a call up) HR. Jose Canseco says he shot up McGwire as soon as ’86. Guys just don’t double their HR production from the minors to the majors without some “help.” (And, again, Pujols did it from A-Ball to MLB).

        1. JM

          That’s like saying ” look at that guy, he’s got a body like Canseco”

          Maybe they should have been called the ” un-abashed” brothers.

        2. bbmoney

          Mike Trout did.

          10 in 2010
          11 in 2011
          30 in the MLB in 2012.

          It’s pure speculation on everyone’s part. Hugely general statements are almost never completely true….or something like that. Of course there’s always the chance Trout is juicing too….in fact several posters on here probably say there is no question he is….sigh.

  4. Vince

    Isn’t it Jose Iglesias?

    1. Seth

      Brett made an oopsie.

      1. Seth

        Unless he meant this guy…

        julio-iglesias-01.jpg

    2. On The Farm

      Shoot I thought it was Enrique

  5. forlines

    I don’t want to come out and say I believe %100 that Pujols used PEDs, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least. Pretty stupid of Jack Clark to say something like that regardless.

  6. Tim

    Pujols definitely used, NO QUESTION about it. How many men of hispanic heritage have a receding hair line like Pujols had early in his career? None. How is it possible that Pujols was better than everyone else at the time, when every other big name was juicing? Was Pujols better than a juiced up Barry Bonds? No way. The guy cheated, that’s the only way he became such a great player. Same goes for Verlander, the other guy accused by Clark. How is it possible you throw harder 120 pitches into a game? That’s just stupid. The dude cheated, throw his name out there, he deserves it. So many more of these guys cheated than people know.

    1. RizzoCastro

      yep

    2. DarthHater

      “How many men of hispanic heritage have a receding hair line”

      Seriously?

      1. college_of_coaches

        Come on Darth, we all know that Cheech Marin was a long-time juicer.

    3. bbmoney

      I think comments like this are moronic. Certainly they may have cheated. But there are clearly questions about it. Clark doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation himself and everything else is just pure speculation on your part.

      1. bbmoney

        I apologize. Moronic was the wrong word.

        Misguided is the word I should have used.

        1. DarthHater

          In light of the hispanic hairline remark, I’d say moronic was spot-on.

        2. Scotti

          Moronic fits.

        3. TWC

          I thought “moronic” was rather charitable.

    4. JB88

      Wait, what? You are attributing his alleged PED use with his hairline?!?! Hubba wha?

      1. Scotti

        High levels of testosterone are know to accelerate receding hairlines. That said, most users didn’t use testosterone (easily detected). If Pujols used, he used HGH and that, to date, its not detectable.

    5. MichiganGoat

      3t8i5r.jpg

      1. annie

        Cartoon site overload by our kiddies.

        1. Jon

          They think the ability to post gif’s is akin to penis size.

          1. MichiganGoat

            Or we are just trying to keep everything fun and add a dose of humor but if you go there with the insults then I guess you win on the maturity battle of who are the real kids.

          2. annie

            School starts for them soon. If these are older men–wives and children leave asap

            1. DarthHater

              9266756786_083ef2fb9e_o.jpg

            2. TWC

              Of course, you could just *not* read the comments that don’t interest you. Which would, you know, be the mature thing to do. But maturity can be a stranger….

              1. Annie

                What comments? Just pages and pages of cartoonish movie clips hour after hour after hour,day after day.

                1. MichiganGoat

                  And you addition to the community is?

                  1. DarthHater

                    9503679367_417dd6b083_n.jpg

          3. DarthHater

            Brett:

            Would you please take action immediately to eliminate the posting of images to this site, so that there will be more room for the posting of penis size insults?

            Thank you.

            1. annie

              Youngster. Catch that school bus next week and then you can draw images for your friends–until they also get bored as we are.

              1. DarthHater

                Don’t know your definition of youngster, but I’ve been a Cubs fan since the late 60s. If that bothers you, you can always take your own advice and leave asap.

                1. annie

                  Sad. Maturity can be a stranger.

                  1. JB88

                    So can any semblance of a sense of humor …

                  2. DarthHater

                    Gee, you’re right. I’ll have to go home tonight and rethink my life. … Or, maybe I’ll just:

                    9322737514_6eca3ff54b_o.gif

              2. MichiganGoat

                i_smell_a_troll_Family_guy-s360x360-291490-565.jpg

                1. DarthHater

                  Was that an intelligent insight?

                  1. MichiganGoat

                    Nope that is humor… Double threat

        2. mjhurdle

          meme_within_a_meme_within_a_meme_is_too_many_mem.jpg

        3. Eternal Pessimist

          Yeah, those cartoons are way more annoying than the rather racist comments put out there…

      2. Hansman1982

        This meme needs Internet before genius/badass.

      3. Carl Sagan

        This guy just needs a little animation

        neil-degrasse-tyson-consfused_o_GIFSoup.com_.gif

  7. walterj

    Brett , I know you have already been back a few days , but welcome back .

  8. ETS

    Cabrera’s line for the Tiger’s is eerily similar to Bryant’s Boise numbers. That should be read as a testament to how good Cabrera is, not that Bryant is the next Miggy.

  9. Bret Epic

    Konerko placed on waivers. I’m not a Sox fan, but I’ve always liked Konerko.

  10. cubsfanforever

    I am just grateful the Cubs didn’t try to sign Pujols. What a waste of money.

  11. baseballet

    Clark says that Pujols’s former trainer told him that he’d personally injected Pujols.

    1. Jon

      Big misunderstanding, he was just talking about their date together.

    2. bbmoney

      Hearsay is usually good evidence.

  12. On The Farm

    “The Braves’ Twitter account posted a well-timed and witty, “Clown move bro,” ”

    Yeah the Nationals weren’t a big fan of that Tweet and responded. I laughed at the exchange

  13. North Side Irish

    Gordon Wittenmyer ‏@GDubCub 1m
    Theo: Soler (leg fracture) still enough healing that return to Daytona unlikely. Ariz Fall League on the table.

    1. Jon

      images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS-fi3tpQUwOJSyUGRBWOiFd7gmLJ7YjW3ogHo6CHVThIaYmnIl

    2. On The Farm

      Shoot

  14. dying cubs fan's last request

    tumblr_miv67zjLKQ1qlpgw4o1_500.jpg

    1. Jon

      I don’t know what point you are trying to prove, but he just looks older and “fatter” in the pic on the right.

      1. dying cubs fan's last request

        Yeah, “fat”.

      2. Jasper Jiggs

        Help me. My head is about to explode. It just keeps growing and growing. I caught that darn LaRussa disease.

    2. dying cubs fan's last request

      I’ll just leave this here.

    3. Mr. Future Ashley Chavez

      I’m guessing the picture on the left was taken in 2000, when he played for the Chiefs. So unless you know the date of the picture taken on of right, it doesn’t really prove much. Lets say it was taken in 2011 (since he’s wearing Cards gear and that was his last year in St. Louis). You’re saying it’s impossible for Pujols to gain that much muscle/weight in 11 years?

  15. jj

    As far as I’m aware, Clark relayed a conversation he had and concluded Pujols was a PED user. For a public figure, there’s no lawsuit there. Clark should have attacked his age. For those who believe Pujols couldn’t have lied about his age bc he went to high school gere,, recall Shabazz Muhammad was found to have cut a year from his actual age and that was not 15 years ago but recently when there is more vigilance.

  16. adamae24

    Some guys take PEDs and suck at baseball.

    PEDs or no PEDs, we know for sure that Albert Pujols did not suck at baseball. Nor did A-Rod.

    I think too often people assume PEDs are this magic injection that make people big and make them talented.

    Guys still have to work out a lot, and still be able to take a round bat and hit a round ball. You must have natural talent (or developed talent through a work ethic), to make the boost from PEDs worthwhile.

    I maintain that until the financial incentive to not use PEDs is taken away, players will continue to use PEDs.

    1. Jimmy James

      Just ask Ozzie Canseco

  17. gutshot5820

    I have to disagree with you Brett. Anytime you intentionally hit a human being with a baseball or any hard object at 100 MPH it should not be taken lightly. And certainly not be tweeted in humor by a MLB team. It’s easy to say its part of baseball and part of the game… haha. Unless you are the one getting beaned and fortunately no one has been seriously injured yet, I think. In the streets if someone did that to me, he is either going to jail or the hospital from me.

    But yeah, it happens in hockey soccer football… pretty much any physical sport. We can accept it as part of the game until someone gets killed but certainly no major sports franchise should be making humor at that type of intentional violence.

    Would you think it was funny if your kid got beaned by a 100mph fastball and the org tweeted a joke about it?

    1. TWC

      Yay! Outrage!!!

      “it was an obvious joke about Harper’s meme-ified comment, and not a joke at Harper’s expense”

      I mean, yay! False outrage!

      1. Danny Ballgame

        Seriously, nothing more than a joke. And a good joke at that.

    2. vitaminB

      Yes, won’t someone think of the children. Wait, what? Oh, yeah MLB is full of adults. Move along. Nothing to see here.

  18. Chef Brian

    Wow, after reading all these comments I have to conclude there are some humorless folks on here today. I’m not sure if a well timed “lighten up, Francis!” would’ve sufficed. For the record this site does an excellent job of balancing humor with seriousness.

  19. Mr. Future Ashley Chavez

    Does anyone think that sending Almora, Hendricks, Vogelbach, Alcantara and a PTBNL might be enough to land a guy like Price from the Rays? Then our rotation can look (depending on other moves) something like this:
    1) Price
    2) Samardzija
    3) Wood
    4) Jackson
    5) Arrieta

    1. Kyle

      Maybe. Depends on what else the Rays get offered and how much they like those specific guys.

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