34 thoughts on “News? Misdirection? Who knows?

  1. No winter meetings entry?

    I’m computerless in Buenos Aires – restricted to iDevices – where it’s 98 F with 25 percent humidity (more like Death Valley than the Humid Pampas).

  2. The Athletic:

    Andrew Friedman confirmed that several free-agent prices this offseason have surprised him, but indicated he was uncertain what they might mean for the rest of the pool.

    “I think it will depend some on where the market goes, in terms of things on the trade front as well as free-agent front,” Friedman said. “We have seen past deals have a dramatic effect on subsequent deals, and past deals not have as dramatic of an effect on future deals. I don’t really know at this point.”


    The one area where the Dodgers are certain to add before spring training is in relief.

    “I mean, bullpen is just omnipresent,” Friedman said. “That’s just always something that we’re looking at.”


    There are few remaining free-agent relievers who qualify as elite: maybe Will Harris, maybe Blake Treinen. There are many more elite relievers across the sport who might be available in a trade.

    More than anything this week, it seems the Dodgers will work on discerning precisely who is.

  3. 7/$245 for Strasburg is beaucoup bux! Guessing that Cole is looking for an amount that starts with a “3”. Would be happy with Rendon.

    • I’d do the Betts trade in a heartbeat. The word around New England now, though, is that the Sox will try to extend Betts after all.

      Less sure about bringing in Lindor, although there would be less going back, it appears.

    • Seems relatively cheap for Lindor, but would seem to put Lux in limbo, with Seager to 3rd, Red to first and Max to 2nd. Of course, could be bait for another trade.

    • Doesn’t surprise me at all. Those stats fail to mention that of the 40 hits he gave up, 15 were home runs. That’s a lot. No one else on the staff was even close to that home run rate.

    • Great raw stuff. Maybe a different approach would have served him better. Perhaps being content to walk a few more guys instead of offering them meatballs. Will miss his “potential”.

  4. Baseball is boring, says SI writer Stephanie Apstein, and there’s not a single thing wrong with that. It gives you time to catch up with a friend, read a book, do homework. Then something exciting happens and you’re locked into the game action. She concludes:

    “Baseball is like life: It’s boring until it isn’t. And then it is again. “

    • Baseball is a comforting presence. Handegg is boring. Soccer is boring. And both are a waste of time.

  5. Misdirection implies that they are not serious about the FA market and just want to bid players up to hamper their rivals. Seems that they are accused of this every year by disgruntled fans because they didn’t pick up so-and-so. Really don’t see evidence from them of this sort of market manipulation.

      • I had a Vin encounter at LAX. I was walking down one of those long tiled hallways on my way to my terminal, when a Cushman carrying Vin went by going in the opposite direction. This was in the 70’s.

        • Between games of a twinight DH with the Braves at the Coliseum in 1958, when I was 10, I saw Vin talking with someone in the stands outside of the makeshift press box above the entrance that the circus elephants used to parade through. He saw me shyly waiting nearby, graciously and politely said hello to me, and with warmth and grace agreed to sign his autograph on a small piece of piece, which I lost over time. I never was someone who collected autographs, but I wanted his. Fourteen years later, when I was covering the A’s-Reds World Series during my first year as a sportswriter, I walked by him on the field before one of the games at the Oakland Coliseum, but I was still too shy to engage him in a conversation.

  6. The Athletic’s Molly Knight writes about another aspect of the Astros’ sign-stealing: angry pitchers.

    “If a team is using cameras and decoding your sequences for live relays, you’re losing a war that you weren’t informed of your own participation,” said one player who pitched against the Astros in Houston in 2017.

    “You know that with a runner on second you have to be careful because they see the signs and decipher them. You know that you can’t have an obvious tip because the other team will find it and pounce. Those are known battlegrounds. But this isn’t a fair fight because you weren’t aware the fight existed.”


    Pitchers are incensed, and many believe that baseball has largely turned a blind eye to this issue by issuing toothless punishments up to this point. Some said that when the Boston Red Sox were fined in September 2017 over an Apple Watch sign-stealing complaint, the punishment wasn’t enough to deter other teams from using tech to try to cheat in real time.

    “If MLB doesn’t hammer these guys, then other teams are gonna keep doing it,” one current MLB pitching coach said. “There’s always gonna be incentive to cheat if the reward outweighs punishment.”

    It’s clear that MLB was at least aware of the rumors that teams were using technology to steal signs. After the 2017 season in which the Red Sox were reprimanded for the Apple Watch scandal, the league began installing video room monitors (or VRMs) in replay rooms and tape-delaying all clubhouse television feeds.

  7. The Dodgers don’t need much. They should still overwhelm the division, and anything after that is a crapshoot. That said, a Cole or Strasburg probably wouldn’t hurt, but long-term contracts for pitchers are risky.