But wait, there's more: Toronto to get Taylor from Philadelphia and flip him to Oakland

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As if the massive three-team trade wasn’t intriguing enough already, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that the Blue Jays are acquiring prospect Michael Taylor from the Phillies in order to flip him to the A’s for fellow prospect Brett Wallace. Seriously.
Oakland got Wallace from St. Louis in the midseason Matt Holliday trade and seemingly viewed the 2008 first-round pick a long-term building block, but his defense at third base has been questioned and so far at least his bat has been good rather than great in the minors. Based on raw numbers at least Taylor has actually out-hit Wallace and also projects as a strong defensive corner outfielder with good speed.
Both players are among baseball’s top hitting prospects and should be ready for the majors at some point in 2010, but apparently the Blue Jays like Wallace’s bat at third or first base more than Taylor’s bat/glove/speed combo in the outfield. I’m a bigger believer in Taylor long term, but the gap isn’t huge and Toronto has more of a need for a corner infielder with Adam Lind and Travis Snider around to patrol the outfield corners.
Betting on Wallace or Taylor is a very interesting and not-so-little “challenge trade” piggy-backing onto what is essentially the gigantic challenge trade of Philadelphia choosing Roy Halladay over Cliff Lee. And this three-team (or maybe four-team now) trade has officially reached “insane” status.

Kyle Schwarber is in The Best Shape of His Life

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 16:  Injured player Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs is seen in the dugout before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on August 16, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Kyle Schwarber made a quicker-than-expected recovery from ACL surgery and then, after an Arizona Fall League rehab assignment, was shuttled up to Cleveland for the World Series. But that’s not all he has done.

Schwarber is now the latest ever Best Shape of His Life All-Star. Or so says Kris Bryant, talking to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com:

“We’ve seen first-hand the work that he’s putting in and how hard he’s been going . . . Honestly, I saw him out — maybe a couple weeks after his surgery — and he’s moving around, walking. And I’m like: ‘Dang, this guy’s not human. How? I saw your leg bend in half, and you’re walking around. This is unbelievable . . .(It’s) watching him dripping with sweat every single day. Every single day, this guy is drenched. I feel like he’s in the best shape of his life (now). There was no doubt in my mind that he could do it. It was just a matter of if they let him.”

May as well just forfeit now, Indians. No way you can deal with an October BSOHL guy.


The Red Sox may not hire a general manager after all

Boston Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski talks with reporters during a baseball news conference at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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When Mike Hazen left the Red Sox to go run the Diamondbacks, the Red Sox set out to look for a new general manager to replace him. Now, according to Pete Abraham, they may not replace him after all. Instead, president Dave Dombrowski may just leave the seat vacant and run the Sox all by himself.

Which, to be clear, is something Dombrowski is more than capable of doing, as he has been a general manager for decades now. A lot of this stuff is a function of job title-inflation, with guys in Dombrowski’s position being given elevated titles despite the fact that they are, more or less, still running the baseball operations department like they did when they were merely general managers. GM, meanwhile, has become a less authoritative position in many organizations, making it a somewhat less visible and perhaps less desirable job than it used to be.

Not that it’s totally about optics. The job of running a ball club is a lot more complicated than it used to be, and having one guy who can run big picture stuff and close deals like Dombrowski with another one being in charge of the more day-to-day tasks of the top baseball executive may be ideal. It also may help reign in some of the excesses of the top guy. Dombrowski, after all, may have been a master of a the big deal while running the Tigers, but in a lot of ways the win-now philosophy cost the club a lot of money and a lot of lower level talent. Another voice with a decent degree of power may be useful in that mix. As may a clear line of succession should Dombrowski decide to move on in a year or two.

Interesting times.