Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Is it time for the Marlins to trade Giancarlo Stanton?

35 Comments

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has cleared revocable waivers. That means he’s eligible to be traded to any team this month.

Passan makes an argument in his column that the Marlins should — must! — trade Stanton, with the idea being that Miami should sell its best player when he’s at the top of his game, thereby laying the groundwork for a substantial rebuild under new ownership. And Stanton certainly is at the top of his game. He’s healthy, he’s 27 and he’s on a 60-homer pace this season. It’s not hard to imagine a change of scenery for him, putting him on a contender, possibly in a hitter-friendly park (not that there are any parks that challenge his monster power), elevating him to a whole new height.

The biggest reason he cleared waivers, of course, is his massive contract, which is paying him $295 million over 10 years, with a potential opt-out for Stanton after 2020. Still, that may not seem all that unreasonable as time goes on and players such as Bryce Harper top $300 or $400 million. And given that price and possibility that he could be had in free agency in a couple of years if he opts out, he may not cost suitors as much as it might seem at first.

Still, it’s hard to imagine the Marlins trading the one player that people want to see when they come to the ballpark. One who is still young enough to bat in the middle of the lineup for an improved Marlins team in a couple of years if new ownership can convince him to stay. And even if they can’t, I suspect that new ownership will at least want to come online and see what they have before signing off on any major moves like that. And yes, you can assume that Derek Jeter and company are at least in the loop for such major moves before they actually take over, as trading Stanton would have a material impact on the value of the team they’re purchasing.

So: Stanton clearing waivers is interesting and the arguments for trading him may have merit, but I doubt anything happens with him during the season. In the winter, though: all bets are off.

Scooter Gennett pitched. And called StatCast “fake news”

Getty Images
9 Comments

Last night the Reds-Cubs game got out of hand, with Chicago leading 13-5 heading into the bottom half of the eighth. With the game a lost cause, Bryan Price called on Scooter Gennett — who had homered the half inning before — to close the game out.

Gennett had never pitched before — he’s a second baseman by trade — and it showed. His windup was actually sort of pleasing. A low-effort affair, reminding one of a guy at an old-timers game who once threw with violence but now doesn’t want to hurt anything because he has a tee time the next day. A study in efficiency. As for results, well, not great: he issued a leadoff walk to Jason Heyward and then allowed a two-run homer to Javier Baez. He also hit a dude. Not that any of us could do any better.

For my money, though, the best part of it was his postgame interview.

He started it off as expected, talking about how it’s never a good thing for a position player to pitch because it means the game was out of hand. Then he went into deadpan mode and talked about how “I’ve definitely had better outings . . . I got too much of the plate there on Baez’s homer, missed my spot.” A minute or so later he speculated that he was hitting 95-96 m.p.h. and a reporter corrected him “no, 68.” Gennett shot back: “yeah, I don’t believe that, I think the radar gun must be broke or something . . . . that StatCast, off-the-bat speed, all of that’s fake news . . . ”

It was some seriously good deadpan:

And here’s that form:

Watch:

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press
14 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 7, Red Sox 3: The Indians jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Rafael Devers homered twice, making it three homers in his last two games, and tying the score up at three. Then it was Edwin Encarnacion‘s turn to homer twice. He hit a two-run shot in the fifth to break that tie and added another two-run shot in the seventh to put Cleveland comfortably ahead. Trevor Bauer struck out 11 in six and two-thirds, allowing those Devers dingers and one to Andrew Benintendi, all solo shots. Cleveland has won four in a row.

Yankees 4, Mets 2: The Yankees bats have struggled in the second half, but last night Aarons Judge and Hicks and Gary Sanchez went deep. It was the 40th career homer for both Judge and Sanchez. Judge reached the mark in his 140th game and Sanchez in his 139th. Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes homered in a losing cause for the Mets.

Blue Jays 2, Rays 1: There aren’t a lot of games where all the scoring is confined to the first inning or two, but it seems like an inordinate number of them involve the Rays. Here Josh Donaldson hit a two-run shot for Toronto in the first, Wilson Ramos hit a solo shot for Tampa Bay in the second and the rest of the game was quiet, scoring wise. Nick Tepesch’s only flaw in six innings was that Ramos dinger and his counterpart Jake Odorizzi also went six, with Donaldson’s homer the only damage.

Marlins 8, Giants 3: Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer in the first and later drove in a run with a single. That was his 43rd bomb, breaking Gary Sheffield’s franchise record for homers in a season and putting him on a 60-homer pace. That’s five straight games with a homer for Stanton. Since July 17, Stanton has 17 home runs. Since July 17 the Giants, as an entire teams, have 17 homers.

Rangers 6, Tigers 2Rougned Odor had three hits and scored three times, with the go-ahead run in the game coming on a safety squeeze:

Joey Gallo had another homer, his 33rd.

Cubs 15, Reds 5: Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit homers, Rizzo drove in five, and Jon Jay had a single, double and a triple as the Cubs romped. My favorite play of the game, however, came from Joey Votto. With Chicago up 7-2 in the fifth inning, Joe Maddon tried something different, in an effort to stop the Reds’ big bat from getting extra bases: he played four outfielders, shifting Kris Bryant from third to join Kyle Schwarber, Jon Jay and Jason Heyward. How did that go? Poorly, as Votto to proceed to double down the first base line:

With most hitters you’d say they got lucky, but Votto is the sort of player, in both skill and strategic thinking, that you figure made a point to try to specifically do that. And had the best shot of actually doing it.

Chad Bettis 1, Cancer 0: The Rockies also happened to beat the Braves 3-0, but the important thing in this game is that Chad Bettis came back from fighting cancer and, in his first start of the year, held the Braves them scoreless over seven innings. He didn’t get the W in the box score because his counterpart, Julio Teheran held Colorado scoreless while Bettis was still the pitcher of record, but the win he got was a lot more important.

Diamondbacks 2, Astros 0: Zack Greinke shut Houston out for six and two-thirds, striking out nine on five hits. He was backed by Ketel Marte doubling a run in the second and J.D. Martinez doubling in a run in the sixth. The Dbacks had eight hits in the game. Five of them were doubles.

Royals 6, Athletics 2: Kansas City held a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Cam Gallagher stepped up to the plate and socked a grand slam. It was his first career homer, so it’s all downhill from here I guess. Gallagher has spent a load of time in the minors, blocked by Sal Perez, so he’s played a lot with Jake Junis, the Royals starter who has also played a lot down on the farm. His bush league compadre allowed two runs and four hits in six innings with two strikeouts and no walks.

Orioles 11, Mariners 3: The O’s jumped on the M’s for a 7-1 lead by the top of the second inning and that was pretty much that. Tim Beckham hit the first pitch of the game out for a homer and Manny Machado hit a grand slam in the second. Machado in August: .355/.349/.694 five homers and 20 RBI.

Padres 7, Phillies 4Cory Spangenberg homered and had three hits in all, scoring three times. Phillies rookie Rhys Hoskins hit two home runs, the first two of his career, in a losing cause. In other news, Spangenberg & Rhys would be a pretty good law firm name. It’s all in the rhythm with those things, really.