The Cardinals just acquired Ryan Theriot from Dodgers in exchange for righty Blake Hawksworth.
On one the one hand: sure. The Cardinals need some help on the infield, as Brendan Ryan was just atrocious this year.
On the other hand: Theriot ain’t exactly an All-Star himself, and his OPS was only marginally higher than Ryan’s this year: .606 to .573.
Theriot, once upon a time, had some decent on base skills, but he hasn’t flashed that for a while now. He’s versatile in that he can play multiple positions. At the same time, he was a non-tender candidate for the Dodgers and now the Cardinals are going to have to give him a raise from the $2.6 million he was making, no? This couldn’t have waited a week?
Hawksworth will be 28 next season. A swingman with two seasons under his belt, the most recent of which was nothing special (4.98 ERA in 45 appearances with blah peripherals).
I guess the ultimate verdict on this trade will come when we see how many starts Theriot gets. If he’s a utility guy who is used all over the field, great, he has some value. If La Russa sees him as some sort of veteran savior and gives him 500+ plate appearances, well, I can’t see that going well for St. Louis.
Cubs fans ought to get a pretty big kick out of it though.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.
There is little if any controversy to be had about the caps this year’s inductees will wear on their Hall of Fame plaques, but in case there was any doubt at all, it was put to rest this afternoon at the Hall of Fame press conference: Tim Raines will wear a Montreal Expos cap and Ivan Rodriguez will wear a Rangers cap. Jeff Bagwell, of course, never played for a team other than the Houston Astros at the big league level.
Though Raines had some good seasons with the Chicago White Sox and though he helped provide a nice kick start to the Yankees dynasty in the mid-1990s, his best seasons, by far, took place while he was an Expo. It’s also the case that the bulk of his Hall of Fame push came from Expos fans. He was particularly boosted by Jonah Keri, who recently wrote a book detailing the history of the Expos. So, yeah, that’s easy.
Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 years with the Texas Rangers, including his MVP 1999 season. He did have some notable years elsewhere, particularly in Detroit where he remains a fan favorite, but it was always going to be the Rangers for him, one would think. Maybe a slight, slight chance that he’d do the blank cap thing, Greg Maddux-style, but smart money was on the Rangers.
With Bagwell, the only question is which Astros cap he’ll wear. There are a couple of applicable ones: the brick red star, which he wore to the World Series in 2005. There’s also the shooting star cap he wore during his best seasons and which Craig Biggio’s plaque displays. He was around for the classic “H” over the star look, but he was just a kid then, so I doubt he’d wear it.
Anyway, sorry to the Marlins fans who wished that Raines and Pudge would wear the fishy-F.