Jonathan Bernstein — a political blogger who sometimes strays into baseball — took the occasion of Stan Musial’s passing to name his “All-Dead Team.” Which I like way better than an “All-Time Greats” team, because it’s way easier to imagine them playing in Valhalla together. If you put the alive guys with the dead guys it’s just awkward.
Musial just makes the cut as a bench outfielder and backup first baseman. Which, while it may seem harsh on the surface, makes sense given that Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig are starting.
The one question I have is George Davis as a backup/utility guy. I don’t get that at all. I mean, I know he played everywhere, but I think the team would be better off with straight backups at most positions and a smaller pitching staff in order to make room. I think Walter Johnson and those guys can do without a few extra relievers hanging around.
Anyway, fun post. See if you can do better.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.