And Now for Something Completely Different
Kluber walks away with Felix' hardware


I wasn't going to write anything baseball, not when Gordon went upper-tank twice in the same morning.  But the news is too current not to have a thread.


1.  I don't care who wins a Cy Young.  Or Gold Glove.  Or whether Felix Hernandez gets a shade the better, or a shade the worse, of the winter's applause.

2.  If you were mad about Felix losing out on the Cy Young?  You'll definitely want to avoid this piece, where Tony Blengino demonstrates to everybody's satisfaction that Felix outpitched Kluber.

3.  I thought that ties go to the champ?  When Babe Ruth is a little better than Earle Combs, and they give Combs the MVP, I'm curious why.

With Ruth, you could have at least guessed about personal vendettas.  But Felix is baseball's most huggable plush toy.


4.  We guessed 4 x $17M on Victor Martinez.  It turned out to be 4 x $17.5M.  My bad.

Objectively speaking, you've got to admit that to OUTBID Detroit -- what, 4 x $22M? -- you woulda been getting a 37-, 38-, 39-, and 40-year-old DH.  Even Dr. D isn't THAT Stars & Scrubs.

When Dr. D congratulates you for not signing a Star, you know you did the right thing.


5.  Rumors persist that the M's are way hot for Hanley Ramirez.  I bet they read that swipe about Paul Allen org's and "getting your best offer out there early."

Remember, Ramirez' slash line and OPS+ exceed Victor Martinez', and he's 30 as opposed to 36.

In any case, it says here that we could be in a much more target-rich environment than fans realize.


6.  You know who Dr. D is kinda hot on?  Matt Kemp.  We'll save the POTD magna carta, because, see the lead-in.

The Counselor advises us that we're dealing with some undesirables in that city.  One thing though:  the clock is (sorta) counting down on a Ken Griffey 10/5 situation there.  Remember the M's trying to deal Griffey to Jim Bowden?  Also, it wasn't like Griffey was superfluous here.  Also, the Fangraphs crowdsource says that the Dodgers owe Kemp $47M more than he'd get on the free agent market right now.  Also, the Dodgers say that the Dodgers are selling Kemp "hard," including paying some of the freight.

The Fangraphs crowd happens to be mistaken about the $47M :- ) but still, he's probably the most notable albatross on the trade market.  SSI thinks Kemp could easily be heading into some golden years here.

But head to Gordon's TV room or talk Han-Ram,

Dr D


misterjonez's picture

He's got an absolutely stellar track record, including a Vlad Guerrero-esque half season in '13, and his underlying peripherals look rock solid going forward. He'll cost something on the order of what Choo got last year, I'd wager, but he's a better bet than Choo since his offensive game is so simple (not extreme K's or BB's, above average-to-plus power, and has spent a decade manning the second most difficult position on the field).
However, there are some warts that pop out to my (untrained and wholly amateur) eye. Mostly I'm concerned about his diminished power in the second half last year. He hit 11 HR in the first half (83 games played) and only 2 in the last half (45 games played). His doubles for the same periods were 23 & 12, which suggests it might have just been a HR/FB issue (13.8% in 1H, 4.5% 2H) but I don't really know what that could mean. (For reference, his HR/FB% was over 20% in 2013, which seems absurdly high to me but I haven't studied these newfangled numbers all that much).
All that said, a six year deal for ~$100-110mil is probably what it takes to get him. Fangraphs readers are notoriously conservative and they pegged him for 5/90, but he does have some recent health red flags so it's not inconceivable that he could end up with a shorter guaranteed contract that has creative PA vesting options tacked on. I mean, there's always a chance he goes Miguel Cabrera on the league -- he actually HAS performed ~at Miggy's level for the same age period in their early/mid twenties, after all -- .but I don't think he's got Cabrera's raw power, so there's that.
Still, there are so many interesting bat-first options available out there right now. The Braves seem to be making noises about trading one (or both!) of Heyward/Upton and are said to be looking for SP. A rent-a-player situation with Upton is extremely interesting to me (and his brother still plays a rock-solid CF, even if his bat seems to have left the solar system for some reason).
Doc already mentioned Kemp, who is definitely a top-tier RH bat if ever there was one. I saw rumors about Jose Bautista maybe being available early on, but have seen nothing since.
Nelson Cruz is out there, and while he's far from perfect he would address a glaring hole (RH power) in the lineup. (Newsflash: his home/away OPS splits last year were backwards from what I expected, coming in at .783 home and .930 away. Oh yeah, and he DH'd for 350 of those 613 AB's; I heard we needed a DH...)
Troy Tulowitzki is being shopped, apparently, with the Mets showing the most interest. Even if he keeps getting hurt and loses 1.5 WAR/year after leaving the rare air of Colorado, his contract still looks fine and he'd be a MOTO bat in the mold of Han-Ram, but playing a plus (plus-plus?!) SS whenever he can hobble out onto the field. I'm certain we've got the pieces to pick him up, and keeping one of Miller/Taylor as his backup seems to make too much sense to me. Why is nobody talking about him, again?
The point is that if JackZ is serious, he's going to get his RH masher. He might have to pay more than we'd like to do it, but there's no good reason for this team not to open with a RH crusher sandwiched between Cano and Seager next year.


About Felix:  I would say, "We 'wuz robbed!" but for the fact an observer MIGHT see Kluber's year as equal, at least.  "Might," mind you.
Essentially they threw an identical number of innings (call it 236) in exactly the same number of starts.  Kluber K'ed 21 more guys but walked or beaned 5 more guys.  Kluber's 18 wins were three more than the King's, but so were his 9 losses.  Kluber's FIP was .21 better than Felix's but our guy's ERA was .31 better.  Felix had the WHIP advantage by .18
Old-time voters looked at wins, first.  Newer-wave voters looked at ERA.  It looks like this group of voters factored ini FIP.
I like our guy, but it wasn't a run away, in my mind.  The other guy was pretty good, too.
Ramirez as a 1B/DH is interesting.  But his asking price has some SS positional adjustment to it.....and we don't need to (or want to) use him there. You'll overpay, in a sense.
Kemp is more of the cleanup bonking type (although it is a Pick 'Em as to who will have the better idividual season in each of the next three).  if the Dodgers are really willing to subsidize him to the tune of $47M, then he becomes about a 5X$12M player. 
Holy snot, man:  Gobble him up for the asking price, keeping Deej and Kivlehan, of course.
Get 'er done, Z!


They looked at pebbles and missed the boulder. Felix did historic things last season, stuff no one had done since Pedro (lowest AL ERA since), or Tom Terrific (most consecutive ultra quality starts). If it's close, you gotta go with the superstar stuff. It's like giving the MVP to Miguel Cabrera over Mike Trout. Yeah, you can micro-evaluate everything. But...first triple crown winner since Yaz in the 60's. That tips the scales.
I don't know if ball clubs lobby for these things like colleges do the Heisman, but this was something the Mariner front office PR dept. should have been all over. The ultra quality start thing should have been all over the media, and certainly should have filled the voters's mailboxes. It is a sign of steady, unrelenting excellence that is unmatched and thus historic.


If only Cy Yount voting had the point distribution of Rookie of the Year. Nobody picked Felix 3rd, Kluber was chosen 3rd by 2 voters who put Sale second. Any rational points system would have shown that in the outcome:Felix over Kluber. The difference in points between 1st and 2nd is the same as between 2nd and 5th. It's the least statistically sound thing about baseball, BBWAA awards. So, whatever. Free Agent compensation still needs fixed but at least an attempt at math beyond 2nd grade level has been made on that.
Kemp does seem like one of the best options to get early, being among the more versatile among spots the Mariners have need. Assuming part time DH is a possibility with him. I thought last year that him and Saunders sharing RF/DH was an idea that might benefit both of them physically. Throwing Miller into that mix does make things murkier but he might wind up being a part of that deal.
Bautista seems ideal to me but highly unlikely without Walker or Paxton leaving. It also seems their acquisition of Travis lessens their needs at 2b making the fit for a Mariners trade less likely.
Hanley isn't my preference but he would at least be an improvement offensively wherever he played.


He doesn't always have a terrific attitude on the field.  When you have Manny Ramirez kinds of talent, maybe you don't have to.  I would sign off on taking a bet on Hanley, seeing what he can do for us.  The difference between Hanley and Kemp is that Hanley doesn't cost us as many prospects.
OTOH, maybe we need to clear out some prospects.  Personally, I'm okay with bursting at the seams and keeping the absolute best of whomever rises to the top.
But yes, Hanley can play for me.  It's harder for him to fit with us since with Seager and Cano here, he can't exactly slide down the defensive scale to get off of SS without either an OF shift or and DH trip (and as Matt has said and I agree with, not everybody can DH - it ain't that easy).
But man would that bat be welcome.  And maybe Cano could infect him with some of that utter professionalism.
I'd be on board with Bautista too - my plan for last off-season was to trade Paxton for Bautista.  We'd have made the playoffs if we'd done that.  Hopefully it wouldn't take Paxton to get Bautista this time around, cuz if so I doubt that deal is happening. ;)

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.