For those who didn’t see the Scoreboard Watching this morning, The Wife and I are on the highest of baby-related alerts, as there has been some progress, and it’s possible we could be heading out to the hospital later today.
Until then, she told me to just chill out and write the Bullets, and I’m nothing if not cooperative …
- A trade! The Cubs have traded righty Josh Collmenter to the Braves! … for cash. Being that Collmenter was a minor league depth signing during the season for the Cubs, there was never a chance they’d get anything of significant value in trade for him, and instead he was around as emergency depth (for emergencies that didn’t come up). As for the Braves, why would they want to trade for a pitcher with only a few weeks left in a lost season? It could be that he won’t yet have enough big league service time for free agency in 2017, so the Braves could tender him a contract (he’d likely make a little over $1.5 million in arbitration, only 20% of which would be guaranteed in Spring Training) in the offseason if they like what they see with some time to evaluate him. For that reason, it’s possible that the Cubs got a little more scratch than the usual $1 you see in these kinds of deals. (But, of course, it’s also possible the Cubs only got that buck, and an appreciative nod from both the Braves and Collmenter.) Collmenter had good results through four starts at Iowa, but mediocre peripherals. With the Cubs highly unlikely to put him on the 40-man roster in the offseason for the purposes of tendering him a contract, there was no reason for them to hang onto him at this point.
- Michael is going to get into Jon Lester’s outing and season a bit more in depth later, but I wanted to point out a big fat compliment from Brandon Moss (Cubs.com): “He was on. He had the sinker and the cutter working, he was throwing to both sides of the plate. If you can imagine being in a rocking chair doing this back and forth every at-bat trying to pick a side and pick a direction – when he’s on like that, that’s why he is one of the best.” Lester is quietly so very good, and his ability to command a wide range of pitches to a wide range of spots is primarily how he does it (and why, among other reasons, he’s been projected to age well).
- One other thing: with the outing, Lester (2.40) now joins Kyle Hendricks (2.03) as the top two ERAs in baseball.
- The Blue Jays made a big hire yesterday, bringing on former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington as their new VP of Baseball Operations. It’s an interesting move, as Cherington could have been a plausible Twins candidate (a process we’re following closely), and also because he’ll bring lots of Red Sox knowledge over to one of Boston’s biggest in-division competitors. Think the Blue Jays weren’t interested in Cherington’s knowledge of the emerging young Red Sox players, and how the Blue Jays might best face them in the coming years? (To that end, on the chance that Jason McLeod and/or Jaron Madison (or any other Cubs execs) do head out to join the Twins, be happy it wasn’t a team in the NL Central.)
- Jeff Passan pulls no punches in a scathing takedown of Tony La Russa.
- Jeff Sullivan includes all punches(?) in a praiseful write-up of Kris Bryant as MVP.
- A really fascinating look at FanGraphs at the huge boost in power this year in baseball, and how it’s worth noting that many power surges for individual players are actually power declines when looked at relative to the overall league surge.
- I love when a guy gets thrown out at first base on a “hit” to the outfield. Mostly because I know the same thing would happen to me if I could, like, get the ball out of the infield. Which I could not.
- Signed Billy Williams Hall of Fame baseballs on sale today at Amazon.