You know the sign of a fun trade proposal that is never, ever going to happen in a gajillion years? If you look at it and realize that both teams would reject it out of hand.
Ken Rosenthal has one today: The Mariners offering Felix Hernandez to the Yankees on a 5-for-1 basis, sending back (a) Jesus Montero; (b) either Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances; (c) Ivan Nova; and (d) two other prospects from the bin.
Question: I know Hernandez is valuable, but why would the Yankees give up two stud prospects, a seemingly competent and still young major league starter and two additional prospects for one player? What was the last Herschel Walker-style deal in Major League Baseball? And what was the last one of those that a smart team made?
Question: While a haul like that may be a good thing for the Mariners long-term, what possible incentive does Jack Zduriencik have to make it? Depending on who you believe, he’s on somewhat shaky ground these days. If he trades King Felix, the fans will likely revolt and the team will be worse in the short term, likely costing Zduriencik his job, thereby allowing his successor to appear to be the genius who rebuilt the M’s on the back of all of that Felix talent.
Let’s add in the fact that the Yankees are likely still angry at the Mariners over what they felt to be some stinky behavior during the Cliff Lee negotiations last summer. And the fact that, though they’re down a couple of starters from where they hoped they’d be, there really isn’t any reason to panic here.
I’m not saying that King Felix will never be a Yankee. But if he is, I bet it’s because either (a) the Yankees sign him before the 2015 season; or (b) things get ugly in Seattle for some reason and it inspires him to demand a trade in which case the Yankees could likely get him cheaper.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.