Twitter questions are tomorrow, but I got a random one thrown my way about five minutes ago by reader BioInFocus:
When was the last time a team won the World Series without having a future Hall of Famer on the roster?
Obviously that’s hard to answer given that, you know, the best players in a World Series tend to be in their prime, so we don’t know if they’ll fall off a cliff, Dale Murphy-style or if they’ll have a standard career arc that takes them in to Cooperstown. So, I look at the 2010 Giants and I can say that, sure, it’s possible Tim Lincecum might make the Hall of Fame one day, but it’s obviously way too early to say.
Before that I look at the 2008 Phillies. Jimmy Rollins could make it. Too early to tell with a guy like Cole Hamels. I dare not mention Ryan Howard lest we get another 350 comment thread. I don’t think there are any dead-certain locks there, but you can’t discount the idea that someone from that team makes it into the Hall. (UPDATE: Duh, I forgot Utley, who may have the best case of all of them when it’s all said and done).
Going to 2007, Manny Ramirez should be an easy lock for the Hall, but PEDs and his general flakiness will probably keep him out for a while. David Ortiz will be an interesting case. PEDs and affability are a whole other story, after all. If there’s controversy for him it will be over whether a DH should be in with his numbers.
The 2005 White Sox are also interesting. Frank Thomas was on that team, but he didn’t play in the World Series, so maybe he doesn’t count? Paul Konerko is going to get some Hall of Fame support, though, so we can’t be sure.
If we’re going with dead certainty, I suppose we have to say the 2002 Angels. There really isn’t a guy on that roster with a colorable case at all if you ask me.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Diamondbacks spoke with Bryce Dixon, the agent of free agent starter Johnny Cueto. However, Rosenthal notes that Cueto’s price tag is expected to exceed the Diamondbacks’ comfort level.
Cueto, 29, is one of a handful of highly touted starting pitchers in this offseason’s free agent class. He is joined by David Price and Zack Greinke, among others. Jordan Zimmermann inked a deal in the neighborhood of $110 million over five years with the Tigers on Sunday morning, which will serve as a barometer for Cueto.
Cueto finished the 2015 regular season, between the Reds and the Royals, with a 3.44 ERA and a 176/46 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. He made 13 shaky starts with the Royals, but outside of a shellacking in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, pitched well in the post-season. Cueto pitched a complete game in Game 2 of the World Series against the Mets, helping put the Royals up two games to none at the time.
As a result of switching teams during the season, Cueto was not eligible to receive a $15.8 million qualifying offer. This means that Cueto, unlike Zimmermann for example, does not come attached with draft pick compensation.
Nick Cafardo provides this interesting nugget in his Sunday notes column at the Boston Globe …
Hanley Ramirez, 1B-DH, Red Sox — There’s now talk in the front office that Dave Dombrowski is trying to move Ramirez in a deal. The Mariners, Orioles, and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense.
Cafardo notes that “there are huge hurdles to cross” before a trade could happen — like how much of Hanley’s remaining salary the Red Sox would have to eat and what positions the soon-to-be 32-year-old is able to play defensively at this point in his career.
Boston’s higher-ups have asked Ramirez to learn first base and drop 20 pounds this winter. Whatever team is looking to acquire him would probably have to be comfortable with him serving primarily as a designated hitter.
Hanley is owed $68.2 million over the next three seasons and he carries a $22 million vesting option for 2019. He batted just .249/.291/.426 in 105 games this past year.
Ben Zobrist posted a cool .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 126 games this summer between Oakland and Kansas City while appearing defensively at second base, third base, and both corner outfield positions.
His steady bat and defensive versatility make him a fit for just about every club in Major League Baseball, and the defending National League champions are among the teams in hot pursuit …
It’s a little odd to see the rebuilding Braves listed there given that Zobrist is 34 years old, but Rosenthal says the interest stems from a “desire for him to serve as [a] model for younger players” as the club prepares to open a new ballpark in 2017. Wasn’t that supposed to be Nick Markakis‘ job?
Zobrist and his agent Alan Nero are believed to be seeking a four-year deal.
Hey, the hot stove is finally generating some real fire …
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. It’s a five-year deal worth around $110 million, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
This should have a domino effect on a loaded starting pitching market. David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Jeff Samardzija are just a few of the names still out there.
Zimmermann, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 164/39 K/BB ratio in 201 2/3 innings this past season for the Nationals. He had a 2.66 ERA in 2014 and threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season.
Zimmermann’s free agency is tied to draft pick compensation because he rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Washington, but the Tigers finished with one of the 10-worst win-loss records in 2015 so their first-round pick in 2016 is protected. Detroit will give up its second-round pick instead.