Craig Robinson of the fantabulous Flip Flop Fly Ball turns 40 today. Happy Birthday, Craig! In honor of that occasion, he does what he does best: creates a fun graphic. This one is a chart illustrating how he has aged compared to the roster of the New York Yankees. The first year in which a Yankee player was younger than him was 1992. Half the Yankees roster was younger than him as of 2001. Now only Mariano Rivera has him beat.
I’m guessing everyone has tracked this sort of thing on some level. The Playboy centerfolds — whose ages are so helpfully included along with their pictorials I’m told — are among the first adult public figures/celebrities (non child-star or college athlete edition) who guys encounter that are younger then them. Then the movie stars. Then the pro athletes. When the doctors and lawyers are all younger than you is when you really start to feel old. The first time we have a President born after 1973 is when I’ll let my ear hair grow out, hike my pants up and give up even the pretense of trying to feel young.
But back to baseball. The first Atlanta Brave younger than me was Jermaine Dye (and later Andruw Jones) in 1996. Now the only ones older than me are Chipper Jones, Takashi Saito and Derek Lowe (though Lowe only by a month and a half).
I don’t really have a problem with this. Aging has never really bothered me. Indeed, each year I get older I feel more comfortable with who and what I am. I was a basket case in my 20s and early 30s. 37 feels pretty good. I’m about the only person I know who looks forward to his 40th birthday. On some strange level I feel like I will finally be grown up then.
Jon Morosi of MLB Networks reports that talks are “heating up” between the Astros and Athletics on a Sonny Gray trade. Gray, obviously, would represent a big upgrade for the Astros’ rotation. He has a 3.66 ERA and has struck out 85 batters while walking 28 in 91 innings.
Morosi adds that Gray is not the only option for the Astros, as they are also talking to the Tigers about a potential acquisition of Justin Verlander and Justin Wilson. That would obviously be a much tougher deal to negotiate given Verlander’s 10/5 rights giving him veto power over any trade, not to mention the massive amount of money he’s still owed on his contract.
Also: I’m pretty sure that it’s in the MLB rules that any trade between the Tigers and the Astros has to involve Brad Ausmus, C.J. Nitkowski and Jose Lima, and that’s not possible given their current occupations and/or their deaths in 2010.
The Miami Marlins have sent reliever David Phelps to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for four prospects. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and Ken Rosenthal had rumors of the deal first, Jon Morosi, Jeff Passan and Jon Heyman (among others) all reported the trade at virtually the same time.
Phelps, 30, had a fantastic 2016 season, posting a 2.28 ERA in 64 games while striking out 11.8 batters per nine innings. He’s not been as strong this year, but he’s still been a solid setup man, posting a 3.45 ERA in 44 games while striking out 51 batters and walking 21 in 47 innings. He throws in the mid-90s and induces grounders. The Mariners could probably use rotation help more than bullpen help, but solid innings are solid innings at one point and improving your pen takes some of the pressure off of your rotation. Phelps will help Seattle with that. He’s under team control for next year too, so this is more than a rental.
The top prospect in the deal is Brayan Hernandez, a 19 year-old outfielder from Venezuela, currently playing in low-A ball. Also in the deal: righty Brandon Miller, righty Pablo Lopez and righty Lucas Schiraldi who, yes, is the son of ex-big leaguer Calvin Schiraldi. None of these guys are blue chippers, but you never know what’ll happen. It’s a volume return for the Fish.
We’ve already seen some big bullpen names move, including David Robertson, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. Among others who could be moved: A.J. Ramos (Marlins); Justin Wilson (Tigers); Addison Reed (Mets); Jerry Blevins (Mets); Brad Hand (Padres); Tony Watson (Pirates); Juan Nicasio (Pirates); Brad Brach (Orioles); Drew Storen (Reds); and Raisel Iglesias (Reds).