Conversation with a friend from New Jersey last night yielded a fun array of unknown expressions and pronunciation differences. How do you say crayon? Cra-yon, cran, or crown?
- With the Rays sending Evan Longoria to the Giants yesterday, MLB.com took a look at other “franchise face” trades over the years. The one that has always stood out to me was the Mariners sending Ken Griffey Jr. to the Reds, his hometown team, so that he could sign up for a long-time deal there. It was a unique situation where the face of one franchise clearly wanted to be the face of another franchise … and it went so horribly wrong. Junior was solid in that first year with the Reds in 2000 at age 30, but then injuries and aging took him off a cliff. It was one of the most rapid descents I can recall seeing. Through that age 30 season, Griffey was worth an incredible, Trout-like 74.2 WAR. After his age 30 season? Griffey was worth just 3.5 WAR. To make that number even more jarring, it’s not as if he simply retired shortly after that age 30 season – he played for ten more years. A brutal and drawn out ending to a magnificent career (one of the few that went untainted by any kind of allegations associated with the era – and perhaps that’s part of the reason he fell off so quickly physically compared to his contemporaries).
- Not that I can – or care to! – imagine it, but this would be like the Cubs, in a few years, trading Anthony Rizzo. He’s be the “face” guy, right? I suppose it’s possible it’ll be Kris Bryant by then, but Rizzo feels like the “face” of the franchise right now, wouldn’t you agree?
- Michael doing some pondering this morning:
Some guys Cubs passed on in the draft:
Cubs: J. Vitters
Passed: Bumgarner, Heyward
Cubs: H. Simpson
Passed: Yelich, Syndergaard
Passed: Springer, J. Fernandez, S. Gray, Fulmer
Passed: Russell, Seager, Wacha
Passed: K. Bryant (lulz)
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) December 21, 2017
- You’ll pretty much be able to do that for every team in every draft, since there are good players who emerge after the first X number of picks, but it’s still interesting to see. Heck, the Angels passed on Mike Trout in 2009 for Randal Grichuk! (Note: the Angels then took Trout with the very next pick.)
- That 2007 draft – the one where the Cubs took Vitters, who never put it together – is actually a more heartening look back than I would have expected. Yes, the Cubs could have grabbed Bumgarner or Heyward, as Michael notes, but the first round is almost entirely filled with busts. When Pete Kozma is one of the most successful first rounders from a draft, it was not a good year.
- The Indians signed their Carlos Santana replacement, inking Yonder Alonso to a two-year, $16 million deal. Alonso, 30, will forever be known to me as the guy the Padres chose instead of Anthony Rizzo, and only finally just had his breakout in 2017: .266/.365/.501 (132 wRC+). If he keeps it up with the Indians, he will more than capably replace Santana’s production. (But he will never be Anthony Rizzo.)
- The Marlins’ ZiPS is out, and Christian Yelich and JT Realmuto project to be good. The end. The pitching, in particular, is an absolute mess. They might struggle to win 60 games. As you’d expect from a circus.
- If you missed it earlier, the Cubs have signed righty Anthony Bass.
- All right, last-minute shoppers. Amazon hooked you up today: Deal of the Day on all kinds of toys, games, Play-Doh, and more.