MLBits: Urging a League-Union Compromise, Cease Protected, Suzuki Signs, Comeback Players, More

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MLBits: Urging a League-Union Compromise, Cease Protected, Suzuki Signs, Comeback Players, More

Chicago Cubs

In case you guys haven’t been following along, I’ve been doing live streams of the Lukewarm Stove (almost) every day we have one – you can find the videos on Twitter @Michael_Cerami.

Yesterday, we had some fun as the James Paxton-Yankees deal went down while I was live – I actually didn’t believe the comments at first, which was pretty funny in retrospect. But aside from breaking down stuff as soon as it happens, these videos give us an opportunity to elaborate on certain rumors and engage in some back-and-forth. I’ll be doing another one with this evening, so keep an eye out for that.

  • At The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal has a comprehensive take on the entire baseball landscape from pace-of-play, to the postseason, draft rule changes and everything in-between. And although he appears to straddle the line a bit on the issues, he does urge the union and league to get together and compromise for the betterment of the sport in the long term. Specifically, Rosenthal thinks that the owners will have to compromise on some of the items that encourage tanking, while the players will have to compromise on pace-of-play initiatives (like a pitch clock) – whether they like it or not.
  • While we’re on the topic, I did find Scott Boras’ idea about rewarding teams for more wins with bigger draft bonus pools (tiered for market-size) particularly convincing. While I understand why things like a draft lottery or a “draft tax” might help prevent tanking, they don’t do as good of a job to encourage winning – which, in my opinion is a distinct thing.
  • Similarly, Rosenthal brings up a system in which the draft order would be determined – in part – by how a team performs after the July 31st deadline – to discourage tearing down a club in July – but with all due respect I think that’s a HORRIBLE idea, given how fun and exciting the trade deadline is. It’s literally one of the best weeks of the entire year and the flurry of activity is unlike any other sport. You just can’t get rid of that. It’s helping with attention and popularity more than it’s hurting. Anyway, there’s a LOT at The Athletic, so be sure to check that one out.
  • Moving on, a familiar name has been protected on the South Side:

  • Dylan Cease, traded to the White Sox as part of the deal for Jose Quintana, made ten starts in Double-A for the White Sox last season, and [VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED] killed it: 1.72 ERA, 2.39 FIP; 38.6% strikeout rate, 10.9% walk rate. He is now a top-25 prospect in all of baseball. Eloy Jimenez, the other guy in the deal, is a top-3 prospect in all of baseball. Oh, Jose. Help the Cubs get another World Series title so we don’t have to think about this please.
  • Kurt Suzuki officially signed with the Washington Nationals earlier today, here’s some details on his deal and pedigree:

  • Although this *might* be better served in a Lukewarm Stove, it’s not a rumor, so we’ll share it here, instead. MLB Trade Rumors conducted a poll among their readers to determine where the crowd believes each of the top-ten free agents will land this winter. The Cubs don’t actually lead the way for any of them, though they did get 8.5% of the votes for Bryce Harper, 1.3% of the votes for Manny Machado, 3.4% of the votes for A.J. Pollock, and 3.0% of the votes for Michael Brantley.
  • Interestingly, they also received 1.2% of the votes for Patrick Corbin, 2.1% of the votes for Dallas Keuchel, 3.6% of the votes for Craig Kimbrel, 2.0% of the votes for Nathan Eovaldi, and 2.5% of the votes for J.A. Happ … but I wouldn’t hold your breath on any of the above. Check out the full vote totals here at MLB Trade Rumors.
  • I get that this is all quite exciting, but Venters, 33, threw only 34.1 total innings this year (3.67 ERA) and only 20.1 of them were in the NL:

  • I’m fully aware of my homerism, but I still think Ben Zobrist’s 123 wRC+ and 3.6 WAR over 520 plate appearances in the NL at age 37 after a disastrous and injury-riddled 2017 season (82 wRC+, 0.4 WAR) might have been more deserving. Oh well. It doesn’t really matter, I guess. And it is remarkable what Venters did.
  • Khris Davis won the top DH award for the 2018 season – shaking my head: Javy Baez robbed of another award – edging out J.D. Martinez … for god knows what reason. Last season …
    • Martinez: .330/.402/.629; 43 homers (170 wRC+, 3rd in MLB)
    • Davis: .247/.326/.549; 48 homers (135 wRC+, 18th in MLB).
  • I’m sorry … what? Martinez played some more games in the field, I guess.
  • And finally: the Boston Red Sox are expecting a 35-year-old Dustin Pedroia (knee), who played just three games last season, to be ready for 2019. “He is not going to have surgery,” Dombrowski said Monday. “He’s continued to rehab with therapy. He’ll continue that until the middle of December and then start some additional exercises and more physical activities other than the therapy.”

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami