This morning I agreed with Jeff Francoeur’s take on that “Team of Destiny” rebop, and now I’m finding him to be 100% on-point when it comes to the idea of expanding the playoffs:
“Obviously it’s going to get more people in the postseason. But baseball’s so unique because only eight teams go. In football you get 12, in basketball and hockey you get 16. I mean, you’ve got more than half the teams going to the playoffs. I think that’s what’s so cool and so special about baseball is that you only have eight teams that go, four teams from each league, and that means a great deal. You start adding wild cards – How do you do it? Who gets the bye? I love the way baseball’s set up right now. Sometimes you can do too much to make the sport worse, and I like where our sport’s at.”
What are the odds that Francoeur is really some sage who has set off on this baseball career as George Plimpton-style cover for an epic writing project? On some level I’d find that far preferable to the simple solution that he and I see the world fairly similarly in most respects.
Rian Watt of Baseball Prospectus is hearing that a trade that would send Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs involves prospect Gleyber Torres and more going to the Yankees. He adds that the holdup in the trade talks is centered around a contract extension for Chapman, believed to be around four years in length and $60 million total. The deal may not be finalized if the Cubs don’t get him signed to an extension they like. In Watt’s words, “Package is set. Extension is not.”
We learned earlier on Sunday that the Yankees were working hard to trade Chapman, reportedly in contact with at least four teams. The Cubs were not believed to be the front runners but certainly upped the ante by offering Torres.
Torres, 19, is rated the Cubs’ #1 prospect and #24 overall in baseball by MLB Pipeline. The shortstop has spent the season with Single-A Myrtle Beach, batting .275/.359/.433 with nine home runs, 47 RBI, 62 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 409 plate appearances.
Torres is currently roadblocked at shortstop by Addison Russell, and 21-year-old Ian Happ is rated #3 in the Cubs’ system, so the club would be dealing from surplus.
Prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Mariners, the Blue Jays designated reliever Drew Storen for assignment and recalled reliever Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo.
Storen, 28, had a nightmare of a time with the Jays, leaving with a 6.21 ERA and a 32/10 K/BB ratio over 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him in January from the Nationals in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Storen is owed the remainder of his $8.375 million salary, which makes it likelier that the right-hander will pass through waivers unclaimed. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the season.