Kris Bryant might lead off for the Cubs in 2020? The Padres, Red Sox, and Reds could be working on a massive three-way trade including Nick Senzel and Wil Myers? What a morning!
What else is going on around baseball …
- Yesterday, we learned that the Chicago Cubs would join the Toronto Blue Jays in raising the wages of their minor league players ahead of the recently announce league-mandated minimums. And now we learn that the San Francisco Giants are joining them in that effort, as well:
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) February 18, 2020
- First off, I love the use of that chart, because it really helps depict how these raises are going to be on top of the new minimums dictated by the league. That was a little confusing with respect to the Cubs yesterday, but I have a feeling this is a similar situation and so we can assume the Cubs raises will be on top of the league minimums, as well.
- Further, the Giants are going above and beyond even that of the Cubs and Blue Jays by also offering their Minor League players a $500/month housing allowance. Obviously, that’s not quite enough to cover a full month’s rent (or am I just Chicago-biased?), but it’s better than nothing. And what will this “massive” increase in wages cost the $3 billion Giants organization every year? Roughly $500,000/year. Less than the league minimum for one big league player. That’s it. Seems not only humane, but also good business.
- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio says the Brewers operated at a financial loss last season, but that did not necessarily impact their moves this winter … outside of wanting to re-sign Yasmani Grandal (whom they replaced instead by trading for catcher Omar Narvaez):
More Mark Attanasio on the Brewers’ payroll coming down from last year at this time. “You can ask Doug Melvin and David Stearns both … I’ve never said no to a player acquisition because of cost. Never once because of cost.” pic.twitter.com/1LtsmXgKyJ
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) February 18, 2020
- [Brett: There are two ways to think about this. If you’re rosy, you could say it’s a refreshing and bit of openness and realism from the Brewers principal owner, who adds that he’s never once said no to a player acquisition and added that the team will have financial wiggle-room to add at the trade deadline if that’s where they are. If you’re more cynical, you’d say that there’s a lot of play on the ole profit and loss statement with respect to how you characterize “Brewers” revenue and expenses, such that the baseball team may have operated “at a loss,” but the entire enterprise was just fine. I suspect it’s a little of both, but I feel virtually certain there’s a healthy chunk of that second part going on. And that’s before you even talk about the huge revenue-sharing dollars teams like the Brewers get.]
- There are a LOT of parts to keep in mind for this one, but if you’re interested in reading about how the Mets sale fell apart at the last minute, how that interested buyer, Steve Cohen, may still be lingering in the shadows hoping to get a deal done (and scaring off new buyers in the meantime (because he may be willing to pony up way more for the team)), how a sale of SNY could be part of the package and how that changes the value in several different ways … then this story is for you:
Sports bankers: Steve Cohen ghost haunts Mets sale, SNY could be part of package https://t.co/l2nxnyfM1S
— Daniel Kaplan (@KaplanSportsBiz) February 19, 2020
- Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are the latest big-name players to take a shot at the Commissioner, the Astros, and the fact that their World Series title still stands:
Like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton believes Astros should be stripped of 2017 WS trophy. He said the Commissioner's report showed "it was clean cut that they cheated, which means it should be taken away." Add the former MVP to the list of marquee players excoriating the Astros
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) February 19, 2020
Giancarlo Stanton on why he believes #Astros title should be vacated: If you cheat in another way during the season (PED violation), you can't even be in the playoffs, so therefore they would be eliminated. Pretty much the same difference.''
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 19, 2020
- Justin Turner of the Dodgers was even more scathing of Rob Manfred: “The only thing devaluing [the trophy] right now is the fact that it says ‘Commissioner’ on it,” Turner said. “It’s just unbelievable. Is he that out of touch with our game, that those are his comments? … Does he not know what we put into these seasons? Does he not know how much work we dedicate to winning that piece of metal? Does he not know what it means to fan bases and cities? Does he not know what it means to little kids in that city, trying to inspire those kids to want to be baseball players? Clearly, he doesn’t.” Yikes.
- Manfred did take back his comments belittling the importance of the trophy, but still doesn’t quite seem to understand that the title – even on paper – means so much more than that. I know sometimes we can get too stuck in our little online/Twitter-baseball bubble, but it sure seems like he would have plenty of support for stripping them of their title. Whatever. It’s not going to happen.
- Former Cub DJ LeMahieu is a free agent at the end of the season (he’ll be 32 at the time) and he’d like to stay with the Yankees, but they haven’t discussed that yet:
DJ LeMahieu, a free agent at the season's conclusion, would like to stay with the #Yankees , but has yet to talk to the front office about a contract extension
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 19, 2020
- LeMahieu broke out with the bat in a big way back in 2016 (130 wRC+), but posted back-to-back below average offensive seasons in 2017 (94 wRC+) and 2018 (87 wRC+) when you go by the adjusted numbers. Last season, however, his offensive production was reignited (136 wRC+), which makes this upcoming season a critical one for whatever deal he’s about to get. If he’s above average at the plate again (showing consistency for the first time in his career), with his solid defense, you can imagine a fairly significant contract from the Yankees or otherwise. But if he takes another step backward – at age 32 – he might not earn that much at all. I think he’s got a uniquely big window of potential earnings in 2021 and I’m curious to see how that plays out (and for that reason, I really doubt the Yankees are going to want to extend him right now, unless he comes in with a really reasonable ask).
- Ichiro still got it: