So about the weekend…

Things we learned over the weekend:

The Dodgers have a lot of money

You know how I wrote that analogy of how the Yankees are like Godzilla sleeping between rampages? Well, the Dodgers think that’s adorable. This weekend, they’ve signed Zack Greinke for $147 million dollars,  Korean ace Hyun-Jin Ryu for $36 million and presumably the moon for a few billion dollars they had left over. For the first time since the ill-advised 1998 Orioles, it looks like a team will top the Yankees in the payroll column.

But, interestingly, the Dodgers aren’t getting as much hate as the Yankees do when they go on sprees like this. I have a theory: The Yankees’ public image is of the Steinbrenner family and it’s surrogates, old money with a superiority complex, real or imagined, and with the YES network filled with varying degrees of homerism. By contrast, the public face of the Dodgers’ ownership is Magic Johnson, one of the most beloved sports figures in America, and their games are called by Vin Scully. Add in the fact that there are 20 titles between the two, and it becomes clear that the Dodgers are going to be regarded as benevolent overlords, at least by comparison.

The Dodgers have a lot of pitching

Oh, the other thing: here’s the list of MLB-ready pitchers now on the Los Angeles Dodgers-

Of course, there are only, at most, five rotation spots for these eight guys. Presuming that perhaps they will keep six pitchers (with the sixth pitcher being a long-relief and spot-starter who can go in when somebody inevitably gets hurt), that means that two pitchers, likely Harang and Capuano, will probably be traded. Traded, presumably, for prospects that could one day further reinforce the Dodgers.

The Royals actually have done something, but the Rays may have gotten the better part of the deal.

The big move this morning/late last night is that the Royals and Rays made a trade: James Shields, Wade Davis and a player to be named (or cash) go to the Royals, who send top hitting prospect Wil Myers, pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery, and long-term (he’s still in the low minors) 3B prospect Patrick Leonard.

In the short-term, perhaps, the Royals have gotten the better part of the deal, getting “Big Game” James Shields, a perennial Cy Young Aaward candidate, as well as fellow MLB pitcher Wade Davis. But in the long-term, this could be a disastrous move for the Royals. They gave up four prospects, three of whom were on Baseball America‘s list of the minors’ top 100 prospects. Myers is said to be one of the best power-hitting prospects in all of baseball, Odorizzi had a brief stint in the majors last year and had a 3.03 ERA between AA and AAA last season and Montgomery isn’t as big a prospect as he once was but could still blossom into a big league pitcher. The Rays will be able to have these players for at least another five or six years.

And for this, the Royals get Shields for two years, and Wade Davis for maybe three or four years. And even with these upgrades, it’s unlikely that the Royals will be able to compete in the AL Central, although perhaps it makes them a outside contender for a Wild Card spot.

Could the Royals still “win” this deal? Of course. But I agree with many of the other people online: the Rays will probably win this deal in the long run.

Winter Meetings Actions and Reactions: Part 5 (Ben Revere-is-traded edition)


Reaction: The Twins had two good center-fielders. Now they have none. However, they also had very little pitching. For the two CFs they have traded, they have acquired three pitchers: Vance Worley, Alex Meyer and Trevor May. Worley, who did admittedly miss the end of last season with some injury problems, instantly becomes the top starter for the Twins. He’s gone 18-13 with a 3.50 ERA during parts of three MLB seasons, has good upside and won’t be hitting free agency until after the 2017 season.

Meyer (who they got for Span) and May are more of gambles- every pitching prospect is, to the extent that somebody once said that “there is no such thing as a pitching prospect”. However, May is by all accounts a good power-pitching guy who can strike people out and could become a front-line starter if he gets his mechanics under control, and Meyer also is a well-regarded prospect.

While it is likely sad for Twins fans to see Revere go, it probably won’t hurt the team in the long-term. Aaron Hicks, one of the top prospects for the Twins, hit .286 for AA New Britain last season and is a CF. He probably will be up with Minnesota by the end of the 2013 season, and could be the CF for years to come. And although Revere was great fun to watch in the field and on the basepaths, he was more of a slap-hitter at the plate and his arm was… lacking.

So while it is probably sad for Twins fans to see him go, the return in this case- as well as the Twins’ minor league depth in the outfield- make this trade look like a winner for Minnesota, and a good step on the path back to competing in the AL Central.

Still, one last time: