The Marlins are in town to face the Red Sox, and you know what that means:
It’s a bittersweet sight to see the Florida Marlins arrive in
Boston. On one hand, seeing those turquoise and black uniforms trotting
out onto the Fenway grass is a reminder of the talent the Marlins’
organization has fed into Boston in the past — the Red Sox’ staff ace
and their third baseman are living proof of that. On the other hand,
there’s the tantalizing sight of one of baseball’s brightest young
stars returning to Fenway, a Red Sox prospect that was. That, of
course, would be Hanley Ramirez.
To this day, the debate rages on — what would you have done? With
the future of two franchises in your hands, with the chance to
drastically alter the careers of two of the game’s superstars, present
and future, would you pull the trigger? It’s not an easy call.
How is this not an easy call, even in hindsight? As the article itself
notes, if the Sox didn’t trade Ramirez, they wouldn’t have had Josh
Beckett or Mike Lowell, and without Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, it’s
almost a certainty that they would not have won the 2007 World Series.
I know Boston has recently become the city of champions and all of
that, but I’m guessing that about 95% of the fan base would prefer a
title in the bag to even an All-Star shortstop. The other 5% are either
crazy or have an unhealthy fetish for potential and shiny numbers.
To the extent there remains any “debate” about the Hanley Ramirez
deal, it’s borne of either (a) a latent desire by Sox fans for their
team to possess every player worth a damn; and (b) the need for the
media to fill the void the morning after almost every team had the day
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.
Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:
As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told MLB.com that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.
“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”
The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).
Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.
Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.
In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.
The number of people who, if you held a gun to their head, would say that “Rex Brothers” was a game show host and/or local TV news personality from the late 1970s or early 80s is not insignificant. But if you’re a Rockies fan or if spend all day thinking about baseball you know that he’s a reliever who has played in Colorado for the past five years. Now you know him as a reliever for the Cubs:
Brothers — a former Best Shape of His Life All-Star — was pretty good until he hit a brick wall in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Triple-A. He had something of a bounceback after being called up when rosters expanded in September, but that’s not the sort of thing to excite anyone. He could be useful for the Cubs or just spring training cannon fodder and organizational depth.
Cabrera just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and pitched a grand total of 14 games in the Dominican Summer League. He’s young and was a $250,000 signee from the Dominican as a 16-year-old so, by definition, he’s a project. Worth giving up Rex Brothers for him if you’re the Rockies, worth risking for some depth in the pen if you’re the Cubs.
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.
Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.
He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.