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.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.
The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.
Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.
Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.
Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.