A Ho-Hum A’s-O’s Trade, Swanson Rankings and Expectation, Baseball Rarities, and Other Cubs Bullets

I have decided I’m going to have an awesome lunch today, but I can land on nothing specific. I hope inspiration strikes over the next few hours, because, again, all I know is that I want to have something awesome.

  • There was a multi-player trade in baseball involving a controllable starting pitcher, but for reasons you’ll see, it didn’t generate much buzz:
  • Irvin, 29 later this month, has been a slightly-below-average starting pitcher for the A’s the last couple years when accounting for his ballpark, and is a soft-tossing contact manager who was going to hit arbitration after this season. So the A’s move on, as they do, and pick up a reasonably interesting shortstop prospect in Darell Hernaiz. Kind of a standard A’s trade, but with a guy who doesn’t necessarily move the needle much beyond MAYBE having the upside of being a league-average starter over the next few arbitration years.
  • For an O’s team that seemed well-positioned to have an aggressive offseason – all that young talent about to emerge – it’s crazy to think that THIS was their big pitching move. A guy who could maybe be average if things break right (ditto their other addition in Kyle Gibson). And their big positional move was … uh … Adam Frazier? Lord, what a disappointing offseason if you’re an Orioles fan. And the worst part is that they might nevertheless be borderline – but only borderline – competitive because of the young talent. That’s when you should be adding more than Irvin and Frazier, with all appropriate respect to those two guys.
  • A particularly lofty ranking for new Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson (and, interestingly, he looks kind of like he’s at a dividing line):
  • I keep butting up against this idea on Swanson, when it comes to evaluations like this, where it feels instinctively like he should be lower on lists like this … but his performance in 2022 was absolutely near the top of the list. So I guess that means, unconsciously, we are all assuming he cannot replicate what he did in 2022 (super elite defense, 116 wRC+, 25 homers, 18 stolen bases, 6.4 WAR). Heck, his price tag in free agency strongly suggests the whole market was assuming he could not replicate what he did in 2022. BUT IF HE DID, well, then he should be right up there in that group with the top five guys.
  • I think the more realistic optimistic case (i.e., something better than you would PROJECT, but still within the realm of quite possible) is for Swanson’s 2023 season to wind up somewhere between his current projections and his 2022 results. Maybe something like a 110 wRC+ and defense that comes very close to what the data suggested last year? That’d be a 4.5-to-5+ win player, and would have him right about where he ranked on that list.
  • Oh, last thing on that list … how on earth is Lindor 5th?
  • Baseball rarities:
  • Darn. He is fun, and now I have to root against him:
  • When you’re here, you’re family:
  • I enjoy this so much:
  • META: I’m hearing from some folks that the navigation bar at the top of the page has disappeared for them recently. After a little digging, it sounds like for many of them it was because their ad blocker was now treating the nav bar as an ad, and blocking it. So if you are experiencing this issue, you might want to check your ad blocker settings. You may also want to consider not using an ad blocker at all, or at least whitelisting the sites you want to support – ads are how we get paid, and how this place stays open.
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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