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, Derek Jeter and Larry Walker celebrate their newest career achievement, the Nats’ ink a franchise player, and the Mookie Betts trade rumors intensify.
News & Notes
2 - Players elected by the BBWAA to the Hall of Fame class of 2020, Derek Jeter and Larry Walker. Jeter came within one vote of unanimity in his first year of eligibility. Walker on the other hand got in by eeking out the 75 percent threshold in his last year on the ballot. Jeter’s 72.4 bWAR placed him fifth on the all-time Yankee leaderboard. Walker will be the first Colorado Rockie represented in the Hall.
33 - Years-of-age for former Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez. Despite his relatively young age, Hernandez struggled mightily in his last season in Seattle, and parted ways with the organization when his contract expired at the end of 2019. Last week, Felix agreed to a minor league deal with the Braves, and has a Major League spring training invite. Though it may be unlikely he’s a critical piece of the 2020 Braves’ rotation, it is possible he can make the first postseason roster of his career with Atlanta.
27 - Million dollars owed to Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts in 2020. It’s a steal for a player of his caliber, but in the environment of frugality we’re currently seeing in MLB, the Red Sox are entertaining offers on their MVP-caliber player. Last week the Dodgers and Padres were the frontrunners to acquire Betts from the Red Sox, but there has not been any official movement yet.
4 - MIllion dollar deal the Royals agreed to with Alex Gordon for the 2020 season. Gordon is entering his age-36 season, and although his offense has taken a step back in recent years (he put up a 96 wRC+ in 2019 and an 89 wRC+ in 2018), he won a gold glove in 2109, and managed to post a 1.3 fWAR. Gordon came up through the Royals’ system, and it’s possible he’s a one-team player for the rest of his career.
2 - Year deal the Rockies agreed to with second baseman Trevor Story. The $27.5 million deal bought out the two remaining arb years, and the 27 year old Story is set to stay in the Mile High City until 2022...that is unless the Rockies treat him similarly to how they’re treading Nolan Arenado at the moment. Arenado signed a long-term extension, only to be rumored to be on the trading block barely a year later.
52 - Games that veteran infielder Ryan Zimmerman played with the Nationals last season. The 34-year-old has only played in DC, and will be back for at least one more season, as Washington and Zimmerman inked a $2 million deal last week. Zim made it clear he wanted to return to defend DC’s title, and that in his mind, it was either play with the Nats or retire. He will likely platoon with Eric Thames at first base next season.
2 - Managers the Mets have hired this off-season. With the Astros sign-stealing debacle axing the managerial career of Carlos Beltran, the Mets hired Luis Rojas as their new skipper heading into 2020. The move has been lauded by both the players and the media as a smart hire.
66 - Days until Opening Day.