Author: Craig Calcaterra

Melky Cabrera

The Orioles would consider Melky Cabrera on a 2-3 year deal

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It’s looking like Melky Cabrera is going to max out at a three-year deal at this point. First the Mariners “appeared unwilling” to go more than three years for Cabrera. Now Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles would consider Melky Cabrera on a 2-3 year contract but they “ain’t going 4 tho,” according to Encina.

The outfield options available out there in the world aren’t fantastic beyond Cabrera, so it’ll be interesting to see if he holds out for four.

The Wade Miley deal will be official by Saturday

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The Wade Miley trade has been out there for a couple of days, but it’s not official yet. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports, however, that the trade will be made official by Saturday.

The deal is still Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and a minor leaguer heading to Arizona for Miley. The holdup is who the minor leaguer will be.

Baseball’s highest-ranking Hispanic woman employee sues for discrimination

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Silvia Lind, the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in a management position at Major League Baseball, has filed a discrimination lawsuit:

Lind, the league’s director of baseball initiatives in its Office of the Commissioner, names as defendants the league, commissioner Bud Selig and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who supervised her . . . The lawsuit says Lind works in an industry dominated by white men and has been passed over for promotions and underpaid since 1995.

She’s a Fordham Law graduate who has worked for MLB ever since she graduated.

No one is commenting yet.

It was only a matter of time: Bill Plaschke has turned on Andrew Friedman

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Back when the Dodgers hired Paul DePodesta as their general manager in 2004 the Los Angeles Times columnists decided that he was a no good sabermetric nerd and, as a group, decided that it was their business and duty to run him out of his job. Which, eventually, they did.

Since that time one of those columnists — T.J. Simers — has retired. Another one — Steve Dilbeck — is still on that “make fun of the geeks” kick. And then there is Bill Plaschke.

Plaschke is a bit more complex than the openly-trolling Simers and the luddite that is Dilbeck. Since 2004 he has said that he has come to appreciate the insights of sabermetrics, and there is some evidence of that. He has not, however, given up the idea that the Dodgers general manager has to be a dyed in the wool baseball man and, more importantly, that the Dodgers general manager has to please him and him alone in order to be good at his job.

The evidence: last night’s column in which he excoriates Andrew Friedman for the Matt Kemp trade, rips him for “blowing up” the Dodgers (and calls them “The Los Friedman Dodgers” which is just stupid). Which, fine, you can criticize the trade if you want to (Yasmani Grandal ain’t exactly Johnny Bench), but Plaschke’s efforts to do so are patently disingenuous.

  • He misleadingly characterizes Grandal’s value as a hitter, citing his batting average only which, well, so much for the appreciating sabermetric insights stuff.
  • Mere months after calling the Dodgers’ playoff loss the worst he has ever seen and one which required big changes, he changes his tune to say they were “just getting used to October” and now Friedman has ruined that beautiful, on-the-upswing team.
  • He says “two years ago, they were two victories from [the World Series]. With Kemp gone, they’re not getting any closer,” somehow forgetting that the often-injured Kemp was AWOL from those playoffs; and
  • He re-writes the history of the Mike Piazza trade, acting as if they got mere pennies on the dollar for him or something when, in fact, they got an awful lot of value in return. But hey, any weapon at hand.

The worst part, though, is that the thing is so infused with self importance. Get a load of this:

Impressively, the new guy isn’t afraid of the heat. Friedman returned a phone call even though he knew I would be criticizing the Kemp trade.

Yes. Impressive that the $30 million executive did not cower in fear from the newspaper person.

And then there’s this:

[Friedman] was asked if he understood how, just a couple of months into his journey, he was already treading in the sort of deep water not found off the shores of St. Petersburg.

All of this is premised on the notion that, in Los Angeles, it’s important that someone win a dang pennant for the first time in 27 years. It’s almost as if Plaschke doesn’t realize that Friedman won a pennant in Tampa Bay already.

Anyway, Plaschke’s alleged love of Matt Kemp is absolutely hilarious — I recall him ripping Kemp for his attitude, his love life and his frequent injuries in the past — but it can be understood completely when you realize that it is occasioned by a pathological need on Plaschke’s part to go after some guy who he does not think is worthy of Ned Colletti’s job. I’m just shocked he waited nearly two months after Friedman was hired to uncork this thing.

The 2014 Winter Meetings in Review

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These past few days in San Diego were borderline crazy. The Dodgers turned over a huge portion of their roster. The Cubs and White Sox made all kinds of noise. The Phillies finally began their tear-down and, perhaps, their rebuild. The Tigers and Red Sox shuffled and reloaded. The Yankees acted like some small market team. The Marlins and Reds, well, we’re not entirely sure what they did. It’s almost too much to keep track of.

But that’s why HardballTalk is here, dear readers. Below are links to the highlights of these few days in December when the past season was put in the rear view mirror for good and the foundations for the next season were laid:

The biggest deal: Jon Lester signed with the Cubs for $155 million. And here’s what the deal means for him, the Cubs and the Red Sox.

The next biggest: Matt Kemp was traded by the Dodgers to the Padres.

The Dodgers signed Brandon McCarthy to a four-year deal.

The White Sox signed closer David Robertson to a four-year deal. And the Yankees never even made him an offer. For that matter, the Yankees didn’t make an offer for McCarthy either.

But that’s not all! The White Sox also traded for Jeff Samardzija.

The end of an era in Philly: Jimmy Rollins was traded to the Dodgers.

Yoenis Cespedes (and some other guys) was traded to the Tigers for Rick Porcello (and some other guys)

The Tigers then traded for the Reds’ Alfredo Simon to replace Porcello in the rotation.

The Reds then traded another starter, Mat Latos, to Miami. Who’s gonna pitch in Cincinnati, you guys?

The Red Sox rotation makeover continued with the acquisition of Wade Miley and the signing of Justin Masterson.

The Dodgers traded Dee Gordon and Dan Haren to Miami for Andrew Heaney and some other guys. Haren may retire, however.

Oh, and the Dodgers didn’t really want Heaney anyway: they flipped him to the Angels for Howie Kendrick a few hours later. Heaney nonetheless looked back fondly on his many, many minutes as a Los Angeles Dodger.

The Twins signed Ervin Santana for $54 million

The Cubs re-signed Jason Hammel, showing that you can go home again. They also traded for Dbacks catcher Miguel Montero.

The Astros did some bullpen work: they signed Luke Gregerson and then they turned around and signed Pat Neshek.

The Veteran’s Committee had ONE job — to induct someone to the Hall of Fame — and it failed to do so.

The Rays reached an agreement allowing them to look for a new stadium. And, if they don’t get a new stadium, they’ll probably be sold and moved.

We learned that Madison Bumgarner once dated someone named Madison Bumgarner.

The Braves signed infielder/utilityman Alberto Callaspo.

The Royals signed DH Kendrys Morales.

Tom Gage of the Detroit News won the Spink Award. On the broadcasting side, Dick Enberg won the Frick Award.

The Angels acquired a guy who may be the worst hitter in baseball.

The Baseball Writers Association of America made a recommendation regarding the Hall of Fame ballot, but it was lame.

The Braves made an offer everyone will pretty much easily refuse.

The Pirates got Antonio Bastardo from the Phillies.

The Rangers acquired Ross Detwiler from the Nationals

The Rockies sent infielder Josh Rutledge to the Angels for a good relief pitcher.

The Cardinals got Mark Reynolds for some reason.

Nyjer Morgan is raging against the dying of the light: he’s going to go play in Korea.

Scott Boras did what Scott Boras does best.

Finally, I ranked all 30 major league managers by handsomeness again. Because that’s what’s really important.

I think we all need a breather now. Baseball can stop for a few days while we get our bearings if it would like to. Indeed, that’d be much appreciated.