Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly 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.
This week, the next-tier of starters came off the board, changing the landscape of the American League Central. As the White Sox and Blue Jays made splashes, the Red Sox and Indians are still rumored to be in sell-mode.
News & Notes
2 - Newly inked starting pitchers the White Sox added last week. They signed Gio Gonzalez to a one-year $5 million dollar deal. It’s really a low-risk steal for the White Sox, as Gonzalez posted similar numbers to Madison Bumgarner, despite being four years his senior.
In addition to Gonzalez, the Sox also signed Dallas Keuchel, who is coming off a solid half-year performance with the Braves. Keuchel earned his three-year $55.5 million deal following a season where he pitched the Braves to the NL East pennant. The two moves position the south siders as potential favorites to win the AL Central in 2020.
4 - Year and $80 million deal the Blue Jays reportedly agreed to with former Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu is coming off his best year of his career, where he threw over 180 innings and posted 4.8 fWAR. He will immediately slide into the number one slot in Toronto’s rotation.
4th - All-time bWAR leader for former Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker, who Detroit announced they will retire his number in 2020. Whitaker played his entire 19-year career with the Tigers, amassing over 75 wins before his retirement after the 1995 season. The Tigers don’t have much going on talent-wise today, but this is an overdue celebration of one of their best franchise players.
14.2 - fWAR on the table to be had with the Red Sox attempting to trade Mookie Betts (and his 6.6 fWAR) and the Indians open to trading shortstop Francisco Lindor (and his 7.6 fWAR). Rarely can so much value be had via trade. So far, the Dodgers have been rumored on both players, though if shortstop Gavin Lux is untouchable, it makes more sense they pursue Betts than Lindor. What a sad state of affairs in Boston and Cleveland.
10.7 - Billion dollars in revenue that MLB sources revealed to Forbes last weekend. The gravy train continues down the track for MLB owners, even as some of the league’s biggest market teams (such as the Cubs and Red Sox) attempt to cut-down payroll.
101 - Days until Opening Day.