MLBits: A's Move Not Settled, Announcer Drama, Machado and Other Big Contract Struggles, Burnes Human, the Javy Experience, More

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MLBits: A’s Move Not Settled, Announcer Drama, Machado and Other Big Contract Struggles, Burnes Human, the Javy Experience, More

Chicago Cubs

A bunch of miscellaneous things to get to from around baseball today …

  • Since announcing that they were going to buy land in Las Vegas to construct a new ballpark and move the team, the A’s have … not finalized anything. There was the original plan at the Tropicana site, and then the new plan at the Bally’s site, but a final and approved plan is still not in place. They have to get the local politicians on board to make the move financial viable (read: a windfall for ownership), and that has not happened yet. There are reports of a tentative deal, but not all the necessary political bodies are on board, and it’s not close to the deal the A’s were said to be seeking. Could just be negotiation tactics, but Las Vegas/Clark County/Nevada are not jumping to throw a ton of cash into the deal:
  • The thinking is that the A’s need to have a deal in place ASAP if they’re going to feasibly have a new ballpark in place soon enough to NOT have to play more than a couple seasons at their Triple-A minor league ballpark in Las Vegas. The expectation is that they’d play one more year in Oakland because their lease runs through 2024 (can attendance possibly get worse?), and then figure out a temporary solution in Vegas as the new stadium is built to debut in 2027.
  • More A’s headlines, which I’m sure they’re just loving. Long-time A’s announce Glen Kuiper has been fired after a review of the incident where he, seemingly inadvertently, said a racial slur when referencing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum:
  • Kuiper issued a statement in response, and he is obviously none too happy about what he sees as getting canned for one verbal slip up:
  • For what it’s worth, a source told The Athletic that “the decision was based on a variety of factors, including information uncovered in the internal review.” Obviously there’s an implication there that this one verbal slip up was not the only issue discovered, but my guess is the facts on that are going to have to wait for the inevitable litigation.
  • Manny Machado is only 30, so you wouldn’t necessarily expect a huge fall-off just yet, but when you see things like this – paired with the bad results – you probably get nervous if you’re the Padres, who just signed him to a new 11(!)-year, $350 million deal:
  • Machado, who otherwise could’ve opted out of his original deal with the Padres, inked the massive extension back in the spring so that the opt-out wouldn’t happen. Seems like a brilliant move on his part. To date, he’s hitting just .231/.282/.372/81 wRC+, and as you can see in the metrics up there, he’s earned it. He’s currently on the Injured List with a small fracture in his hand.
  • Machado’s situation got me curious about whether any other massive recent signing guys were disappointing so far this year, and there are definitely a few: Julio Rodriguez (12 years, $209.3 million; 95 wRC+), Andres Gimenez (7 years, $106.5 million; 75 wRC+), Carlos Correa (6 years, $200 million; 93 wRC+), and Trea Turner (11 years, $300 million; 85 wRC+) among them. There are a bunch of lower-dollar ones that stick out, too (Jose Abreu, Keibert Ruiz, Sandy Alcantara, Hunter Greene, Miles Mikolas, Jameson Taillon … ). It’s early enough that there’s plenty of time to rebound. But the ones that are for 7 or 10 or 12 years are ones where a big blip at the start probably gets you a little nervous.
  • Meanwhile, since I was perusing the early season stats, I didn’t realize just how human Corbin Burnes has been so far this year: 3.97 ERA, 4.82 FIP, 21.5% K, 8.9% BB. Kinda crazy numbers for a guy who was one of the best three or four starters in baseball since 2020. Remember the fight about arbitration before the season? I don’t think there’s any reason to believe it bled into Burnes’ performance, but it does become the backdrop when a guy then goes out and struggles for the first time in years.
  • Here’s how manager Craig Counsell talked about Burnes after he got blown up by the Astros last night ( “I would say he hasn’t put together a long string of good starts. I thought the two previous starts were pretty darn good. Probably just spraying the ball a little more than we’ve seen. The stuff is, by the way we look at it, really the same. Some misses, maybe a little bigger than usual. But nothing that’s like not really close to like putting himself right on track.”
  • The Brewers have also dealt with a lot of injury issues in their rotation (Woodruff, Miley, Ashby), so it’s no surprise they’re taking a flyer on recently-a-free-agent-again Julio Teheran:
  • The Javy Báez Experience:
  • Javy’s numbers this year remain bizarre (and mostly bad) – he’s hitting just .238/.292/.335/76 wRC+, but he’s striking out just 17.3% of the time because of the referenced swing and contact tendencies. He’s hitting for no power, mostly because he’s making contact with almost everything he swings at – in years past, he swung nearly as much, but he didn’t make as much contact on the bad pitches. So he’s actually being HURT by his improved contact rate!
  • The Orioles City Connects are out, and they suck:
  • Thing is, they WOULD have been great if the inside trim had actually been on the outside instead of being hidden:
  • The Dodgers managed to make all sides angry by inviting, then un-inviting, and now re-inviting a particular group to their Pride Night:
  • It feels like the Cubs have used a lot of pitchers already this year, but they’re actually on the low end of usage:
  • I laughed:
  • Shohei likes Funyuns and now I KNOW the Cubs MUST sign him:
  • I think baseball is more enjoyable when Joey Votto is playing, so I hope he can make his way back sometime soon:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.