It's time for someone — anyone — to raise the white flag

Leave a comment

MLB.com has a story about the Brewers and the trade deadline. I found this non-Brewers bit to be the most interesting:

Only six of the 30 Major League teams entered play Wednesday more
than 10 games out of first place, and the other 24 teams could take a
public relations hit if they start dealing away core players. Melvin
raises the Mariners as an example. New GM Jack Zduriencik, who took the
job after a decade as Milwaukee’s scouting director, was expected to be
a seller this summer, but the Mariners were just 3 1/2 games out of
first place on Wednesday morning.

Yes, trading off bigger names when you’re only 3.5 games back can be
seen as a bad thing by the fans. Like you’re surrendering. Like you’re,
oh, I don’t know, waving a white flag:

They called it the “White Flag” trade. On July 31, 1997, at the
trading deadline, the Chicago White Sox dealt a trio of veteran
pitchers — Wilson Alvarez, Danny Darwin and Roberto Hernandez — to
the San Francisco Giants for six young players, four pitchers and two
position players, all minor leaguers. At the time, the White Sox
trailed Cleveland in the standings by just 3 1/2 games, yet it appeared
they were giving up the chase, hence the trade’s nickname. Sox fans
were up in arms. But more than three years later, that trade looks
different. The White Sox finally blew past the Indians in 2000, winning
95 games and the AL Central title.

Whether it’s Jack Zduriencik or someone else, there are opportunities
to be taken advantage of in this market if someone has the guts — and
backing from ownership — to make it happen. With so many teams
thinking they’re in the hunt, the first guy to recognize that, while
their team is technically in contention, they aren’t in serious contention, could make out like a bandit.

Yes, fans may grouse about it. They certainly did in Chicago in 1997.
But the cheers they’ll offer when the team is on truly solid footing a
couple of years later will drown that out.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Getty Images
4 Comments

The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Getty Images
9 Comments

It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.