Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.
In today’s Musings, we take a look at the hot stove action so far this offseason, we discuss some unexpected Hall of Fame-elect players who probably belong in the ‘Hall-of-Very-Good’, and we look at some of the recent trades and signings that seem to be redefining the next iteration of the National League East.
All this news and more in this week’s Musings.
News and Notes
140 - Million dollar, six-year contract the Nationals gave free agent starter Patrick Corbin. Corbin was the top free agent arm on the market, and he will be a strong addition to a high-octane rotation that already includes Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
4 - Year contract worth $67.5 million that the Red Sox agreed to with Nathan Eovaldi. That fourth year was a year more than most other teams offered, and considering a fun World Series run last year, in which Eovaldi was a major part, made this an easy decision for the right-handed pitcher. While Boston will likely use him as a regular starter, behind Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello, an argument can be made that he should serve as a swingman in a more creative role.
2022 - The year to which the Indians have extended Carlos Carrasco. There have been rumors swirling that Cleveland is considering a teardown,and that everyone from Carrasco to Corey Kluber would be available in potential trades. This is hopefully a sign that ownership is committed to the continued success in Cleveland.
7 - O’clock...the new starting time for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. One of the driving factors (beyond fans’ clamoring for earlier times) is players’ complaining about a lack of rest after having to finish games in the 10:30 / 11:00 on a Sunday.
6.4 - Combined wins above replacement for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, the newest members of the New York Mets. Newly hired General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen hit the ground running, dealing outfield veteran Jay Bruce, and a pile of prospects to the Mariners for their two all-stars. It’s the biggest trade splash of the offseason, to date.
4 - Player-trade that sent six-year consecutive All Star Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, and prospect Andy Young (along with a 2019 competitive balance pick). Goldschmidt will upgrade the Cards’ lineup, as they will move Matt Carpenter (who played 95 games at first base) predominantly to third (and at times second base) to have strong players at both corners. Although he’s only signed through 2019, Goldschmidt, positions the Cardinals infield as one of the best of the division.
2 - Players elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame via the ‘Today’s Game Committee’ (formerly the ‘Veterans’ Committee’). Lee Smith and Harold Baines were selected despite questionable cases for Smith, and hardly any objective case for Baines. This morning, Daniel Epstein took a look at the rational implications for the players on the 2019 ballot.
1 (9) - Draft pick the Athletics used to select Heisman Trophy winner Kyle Murray. Oakland signed Murray for $4.66 million, and agreed to allow him to play quarterback for Texas A&M this season. Over the weekend, he won the Heisman, making his baseball versus football conversation that much more intriguing, though it’s still expected Murray will concentrate on baseball.
2 - Venezuelan League players who were effectively murdered driving home from a League game. Tragically, Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo died in a car accident on a sabotaged road, intended to initiate a car crash so the perpetrators can rob the victims. It’s one of the most egregious forms of violence on the international baseball stage, and although this was probably more random than targeted, it’s probably the worst tragedy in the near 75-year history of the Venezuelan League.
108 - Days until Opening Day!