Rizzo: Stephen Strasburg will not be rushed

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strasburg on the mound.JPGStephen Strasburg boasts a 2-0 record, 0.73 ERA and a 17/3 K/BB ratio through three starts (12 1/3 innings) at Double-A Harrisburg and is certainly ready for more of a challenge.  But don’t expect a promotion to the big leagues anytime soon.

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo hinted to CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman on Wednesday that the 21-year-old standout will not be rushed through the organization, no matter how well he pitches.

“I’ve got a tentative plan in my mind, that I’m not going to share with
you guys,” Rizzo said with a laugh
Wednesday. “But we see that he certainly needs more work down in the
minor leagues. We’re going to see him in the big leagues, and when we
see him in the big leagues, we hope he’s here for good.”

It’s less about performance and development than it is about money, of course.  By leaving Strasburg in the minors until early June, the Nats can prevent him from reaching Super-Two status, which gives a player an extra year of arbitration.  In the end, patience could save the Nationals nearly $20 million.

Supreme Court rejects San Jose’s appeal in the A’s case

The judge's gavel is seen in court room 422 of the New York Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Chip East
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The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the city of San Jose arising out of the failure of the city’s antitrust claims against Major League Baseball. The lower court losses which frustrated the city’s lawsuit will stay in place.

By way of background, San Jose sued Major League Baseball in June 2013 for conspiring to block the A’s relocation there on the basis of the San Francisco Giants’ territorial claim. The city said the territory rules violated federal antitrust laws. As I wrote at the time, it was a theoretically righteous argument in a very narrow sense, but that the City of San Jose likely did not have any sort of legal standing to assert the claim for various reasons and that its suit would be unsuccessful.

And now it is.


If there is ever to be a righteous legal challenge of the territorial system, it’ll almost certainly have to come from a club itself. Given the way in which MLB vets its new owners, however, and given how much money these guys rake in, in part, because of the territorial system, its unlikely that that will ever happen.

MVP or not, Mike Trout’s place in history is secure

Mike Trout
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Mike Trout may not win another MVP award, because Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays had a great season and voters seem to be leaning his way, but the Angels center fielder just completed his fourth MVP-caliber campaign in four full seasons as a major leaguer.

Trout has now either won the MVP or (presumably) finished runner-up at age 20, age 21, age 22, and age 23. And there were certainly cases to be made that he was deserving of all four MVP awards. It’s been an incredible start to a career. But how incredible?

Here are the all-time leaders in Wins Above Replacement through age 23:

37.6 – Mike Trout
36.0 – Ty Cobb
34.2 – Ted Williams
31.4 – Mel Ott
30.1 – Ken Griffey Jr.
29.7 – Mickey Mantle
27.7 – Alex Rodriguez
27.5 – Al Kaline
26.7 – Arky Vaughan
26.5 – Rogers Hornsby

I mean, just look at the 10 names on that list. Ridiculous, and Trout sits atop all of them.

Trout has been the subject of intense MVP-related debates in three of his four seasons, but regardless of which side of that coin you favor don’t let it obscure the fact that we’re witnessing something truly special here. There’s certainly room to quibble with the exact rankings–WAR is merely one prominent and easy way to do such things–but however you slice it Trout has been one of the best handful of players in the history of baseball through age 23.