Greetings from the last day of the Winter Meetings

5 Comments

Whew! Just woke up. So sad about it too because I was having a great dream. Dayton Moore signed — get this — Melky Cabrera. I know. Crazy!  Almost as crazy as someone actually reporting on someone’s death before knowing for sure that the person is dead. And that would never happen!

Oh well, back to the rational, sensible non-crazy world for me!

But before that, let’s talk about uber-eventful last night. Carl Crawford and Boston.  The news shot through the Winter Meetings like a bullet. When word hit the lobby of the Dolphin Resort, the scene was like the reporters running to the phone booths in “Airplane!”  A bunch of people flooded into the media room, which you may be surprised to know isn’t normally packed with people at midnight on the last night of the Winter Meetings.  But it’s not like everyone went in there. Some people quite obviously stayed in the lobby and filed their story from their Blackberry.

As for the Crawford signing, Drew and Matthew killed it last night with an initial report of the deal, the dominoes that will now fall as a result of it, the effect it will have on the Red Sox’ lineup, and a possible explanation of why the Angels lost out on Crawford when everyone thought he was theirs.  All I’ll add is this: the Winter Meetings have made one thing perfectly clear: until there’s a salary cap, teams like the Yankees just are not going to be able to compete.

Today is the last day of the Winter Meetings.  The only official thing of any note is the Rule 5 draft, which goes down at 9AM.  After that most of the team officials, agents and assembled media make a mad dash for the airport.  I’ll be loitering around later than that, but my day at the Winter Meetings will end a little after noon, I figure.  But don’t go anywhere, because HBT will continue to post frantically on everything going down here, there and everywhere.

Brad Ausmus seems to know he’s a dead man walking

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Tigers have been terrible and the embarked on a rebuild this summer, shipping off Justin Verlander and multiple other players. Miguel Cabrera is hurt and may never be his old MVP-level self. It is, without a doubt, that the Tigers and their fans are about to begin a new chapter in the franchise’s history.

Such new chapters usually involve new managers. Fourth-year manager Brad Ausmus is still at the helm and the Tigers have made no public statement about his future. Ausmus, however, is a lame duck, with his contract ending a week from Sunday. He is also no fool. He seems to know very well that he’s not going to be around next year. From Katie Strang of The Athletic:

Ausmus, of course, has been on the hot seat several times. When Detroit exercised his option for this year, their refusal to extend it sent a pretty clear signal.

If this is the end of the road in Detroit for Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager, it will end with him having missed the playoffs in three of his four seasons at the helm of a star-studded team that was expected to Win Now, as they say. Yes, there were a lot of issues with the Tigers — their bullpen has always been a problem and the brass made a lot of questionable choices in signings and trades over the past few years — but there is no escaping the fact that Ausmus’ Tigers under achieved.

Marco Estrada signs a one-year, $13 million deal for 2018

Getty Images
1 Comment

Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year, $13 million extension with the Blue Jays, reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com. Last night Morosi reported that the sides were near a deal.

This extension is, functionally, like adding a year on to his old deal, which paid him $26 million for the 2016-17 seasons. As Bill noted last night. while the 34-year-old right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176.2 innings this year and has improved in the second half.