OK, here we go
The Hot Stove is all over the place, so get ready for some links. The Chicago Cubs signed center fielder Jon Jay for one year, $8 million. More former Cardinals! In other Cubs news, the White Sox will not deal with the Cubs in regards to Chris Sale, probably out of old fashion spite. Good stuff. The Blue Jays are showing interest in Dexter Fowler and Mets outfielder Jay Bruce. Looks like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion won’t be returning. Or not? A four-way race has emerged for Rich Hill. Once again, I would like to reiterate he is somehow the best pitcher available in free agency. The Cardinals have interest in Justin Turner.
And, last but not least...
Cespedes got his money
So much for that J.D. Martinez to the Mets rumor, as the team promptly locked down Yoenis Cespedes for a cool $110 million over four years. Considering how well Cespedes has played over the last two years, that dollar figure is not a surprise.
Here’s a handy chart to decipher front-line closers
I mean, at least they are better than the old ones (not the old, old ones)
Yeah, I’d say so
Let’s see: stacked farm system? Check. Proven drafting track record? Check. Elaborate scouting network? Check. And, oh yeah, a World Series for the first time in 108 years. I’d say the Chicago Cubs earned the 2016 Organization of the Year Award.
Vote Tim Raines!
The fun part about Baseball Hall of Fame voting is that it helps us remember some of our favorite players of the past. Tim Raines was before a lot of our times, and he was certainly before mine. What I do know is that Tim Raines was a total boss. Please refer to Jonah Keri’s open letter on his general awesomeness:
During that half-decade, Raines batted .318/.406/.467, an offensive line 43 percent better than league average. He stole 355 bases over that span, an average of 71 per season that led the NL. He also swiped them at an 88 percent success rate, tops in the NL for anyone with anywhere near as many attempts. If you're a fan of team-dependent counting stats, Raines crushed all comers there too: He scored 568 runs in those five seasons, an average of just under 114 per year, also tops in the National League.
And who doesn’t love speed? This stat is bonkers.
The first 27 times Raines tried to steal a base in the big leagues, he slid in safely. His 1981 rookie season was marred by a midseason strike that cancelled games for two months. Too bad. When players left the field after the games of June 11 to go on strike, Raines had swiped an unfathomable 50 bases in the first 54 games of that season.
Obviously, we all want our favorite players to get into the Hall of Fame,. But does it really matter? Pete Rose isn’t in the Hall of Fame and he may be the greatest hitter of all time. Being there won’t make Tim Raines any less terrific.
For your free time.
League wide DL days lost mark shattered by 6,000 days in 2016. MLB is cautiously optimistic they will beat deadline for new CBA. Who is the best free agent, Justin Turner or Yoenis Cespedes? MLB owners drop demand for an international draft. An ode to the walk-off triple.