And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

44 Comments

Rangers 4, Angels 3: Watching the Angels get beat by the Rangers puts me in mind of some sci-fi movie where a group is under attack from an invading army. Mike Scioscia is the defending general in a command center somewhere and keeps getting reports that the defenses are crumbling. He steels himself and says “send out Santana,” who in the movie is thought of as some last resort defense, only to see him overrun. Then, tonight, he orders the “Weaver maneuver” — a really, really, last defense; like a ship captain ordering his helmsman to ram the intruder — to be deployed. If the usual narrative holds, Weaver gets annihilated and Scioscia orders a full retreat and the second half of the movie results in a change of tactics, guerrilla warfare or some sort of doomed resistance movement.  I’m having trouble putting my finger of what movie this is but I’m sure someone knows the general arc I’m talking about. Maybe it’s partly the end of “The Best of Both Worlds” when Riker orders Crusher to ram the Borg cube combined with a little bit of “Red Dawn.” What? No, I really have been with a woman before. Why do you ask?

Giants 7, Braves 5: On a day when yet another Giant — closer Brian Wilson — is unavailable due to owies, Matt Cain plays stopper, allowing only one run — unearned — in eight innings. Of course, without Wilson the bullpen kind of melted down in the ninth, but San Francisco’s 7-1 lead entering the bottom of the inning provided enough of a cushion.

Rays 4, Red Sox 0: Hit this one up yesterday. The best offense in baseball is suddenly not at its best.

Astros 4, Cubs 3: That man, Brian Bogusevic, comes through again with an RBI double and the Astros have themselves a nice little two-game winning streak. They should probably do champagne showers and everything for this.

Athletics 6, Orioles 5: Kurt Suzuki had two homers and held on to the ball on a wacko play to end it.  All kinds of ugly outfield defense in this one.

Cardinals 7, Pirates 2: Allen Craig hit two homers. Whenever he makes SportsCenter, my brother calls me and says “hey, your name is Craig Allen, and there’s a baseball player named Allen Craig! Did you know that?”  Yes, Curt, I knew that.

Reds 2, Nationals 1: Johnny Cueto allows one run in eight innings and drops that ERA down to 1.89.

Phillies 9, Diamondbacks 2: An effective Cliff Lee keeps the Dbacks’ bats quiet and Hunter Pence reaches base four times, scoring three times. I credit the fiery bacon.

Mets 7, Padres 3: David Wright pwned Cameron Maybin. Total pwnage.

Rockies 12, Marlins 5: Ricky Nolasco had beaten the Rockies five straight times. This time, not so much. Four RBI a piece for Carlos Gonzalez and Chris Iannetta.

Blue Jays 6, Mariners 1: Brandon Morrow struck out 12 Mariners in six innings. When do the Orioles play the M’s? I wanna see Adam Jones hit for the cycle.

Brewers 3, Dodgers 1: Betting on baseball is idiotic because anything can happen in one game. But if I had to bet on one game yesterday, it would have been Greinke and the Brewers beating L.A. That’s six straight for Milwaukee

Royals 5, Yankees 4: Yankees lose by one on a night with a controversial home run call? Yeah, we’re gonna have more about that later.

Indians 4, White Sox 1: Nothing like a fierce battle for second place in baseball’s worst division. But this year, it’s pretty much all we have.

Twins 6, Tigers 5: And of course, the division’s best team loses a series like this.

Report: Qualifying offer to be in the $18 million range

Greg Fiume/Getty Images
4 Comments

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, teams have been told that the qualifying offer to free agents this offseason will be in the $18 million range, likely $18.1 million. The value is derived by taking the average of the top 125 player salaries.

At $18.1 million, that would be $900,000 more than the previous QO, which was $17.2 million. This will impact soon-to-be free agents like Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Yu Darvish, among others. That also assumes that the aforementioned players aren’t traded, which would make them ineligible to receive qualifying offers. We’ve seen, increasingly, that teams aren’t willing to make a QO to an impending free agent and that trend is likely to continue this offseason.

The QO system was modified by the newest collective bargaining agreement. The compensatory pick for a team losing a player who declined a QO used to be a first-round pick. That was a penalty to both teams and players, which is why it was changed. Via MLB’s website pertaining to the QO:

A team that exceeded the luxury tax in the preceding season will lose its second- and fifth-highest selections after the first round in the following year’s Draft as well $1 million from its international bonus pool. If such a team signs multiple qualifying offer free agents, it will forfeit its third- and sixth-highest remaining picks as well.

A team that receives revenue sharing will lose its third-highest selection after the first round in the following year’s Draft. If it signs two such players, it will also forfeit its fourth-highest remaining pick.

A team that neither exceeded the luxury tax in the preceding season nor receives revenue sharing will lose its second-highest selection after the first round in the following year’s Draft as well as $500,000 from its international bonus pool. If it signs two such players, it will also forfeit its third-highest remaining pick.

Additionally, if a player who rejected a QO signs a guaranteed contract worth at least $50 million and came from a team that receives revenue sharing, that previous team will receive a compensatory pick immediately following the first round in the ensuing draft. If the contract is less than $50 million, that team will get a compensatory pick after Competitive Balance Round B. If the player’s team is over the luxury tax threshold, that team will receive a compensation pick following the fourth round. If that team neither exceeded the luxury tax nor receives revenue sharing, the compensation pick will come after Competitive Balance Round B.

Yeah, it’s a bit convoluted, but you do the best you can with a flawed system.

The Astros’ pursuit of Sonny Gray is “heating up”

Getty Images
6 Comments

Jon Morosi of MLB Networks reports that talks are “heating up” between the Astros and Athletics on a Sonny Gray trade. Gray, obviously, would represent a big upgrade for the Astros’ rotation. He has a 3.66 ERA and has struck out 85 batters while walking 28 in 91 innings.

Morosi adds that Gray is not the only option for the Astros, as they are also talking to the Tigers about a potential acquisition of Justin Verlander and Justin Wilson. That would obviously be a much tougher deal to negotiate given Verlander’s 10/5 rights giving him veto power over any trade, not to mention the massive amount of money he’s still owed on his contract.

Also: I’m pretty sure that it’s in the MLB rules that any trade between the Tigers and the Astros has to involve Brad Ausmus, C.J. Nitkowski and Jose Lima, and that’s not possible given their current occupations and/or their deaths in 2010.