Andrew Friedman plucked a couple of players from his old team as the Rays and Dodgers engaged in some late night dealing, swapping a total of four pitchers. The Dodgers got reliever Joel Peralta and minor league pitcher Adam Liberatore from the Rays in exchange for prospects Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.
Peralta, 38, has been a reliable bullpen arm for several years now, though he fell off a bit this past season, posting a 4.41 ERA tin 2014 following a four-year run in which he had a combined 3.07 ERA in 255 innings. His strikeout/walk numbers are still very strong, however, suggesting that he’s still solid and was the victim of some defensive falloff, balls in play getting through and the like. He’ll certainly help a Dodgers bullpen that had some serious problems getting to Kenley Jansen last season.
Liberatore is a 27-year-old minor league reliever. Dominguez and Harris are interesting (mostly) minor league arms. Dominguez can top 100 m.p.h. on the gun, even if he struggled in 14 appearances in the bigs. Harris pitched in A-ball last season. He’s the son of one of the Greg Harrises that pitched in the bigs back in the 80s and 90s. Greg A. Harris was his old man, not Greg W. Both of them had stints on the Padres, thus confusing everyone even more.
This is of no interest to anyone younger than, oh, 35 I imagine. And to Harris himself, of course.
On the day that the Braves are meeting with Jon Lester, they are being connected with another guy that, frankly, it seems like a stretch to think they’ll sign: Yasmany Tomas. For whom Jon Heyman says the Braves are a “dark horse.”
They have room for him, of course, given the Jason Heyward trade and the rumors surrounding the team shopping Justin Upton and/or Evan Gattis. And while the expense he represents — he could get $100 million — seems way out of the Braves’ price range based on their recent habits and comments, he would be team controlled for a good while and that’s something the team has valued.
There are probably a half dozen teams, maybe more, who are serious about the power-hitting outfielder. The Braves aren’t one you would’ve expected, but if Heyman is to be believed, there they are
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN assesses how those pace-of-play rules/experiments went in the Arizona Fall League. The upshot: some progress — Joe Torre thinks it went well — but a lot of weirdness too, and musings from various players and executives as to how things like pitch clocks may work in the majors.
There are a lot of good observations in there from various people, noting possible gray areas innovations like pitch clocks and rules about the number of mound meetings may reveal. Some dumb stuff too — Braves defacto GM John Hart seems to love pitchers delaying the game when it’s his pitcher doing it and not when it’s other guys (note his Dennis Martinez anecdote) — but most of it makes sense.
Which is why it was an experiment. As we’ve argued here, MLB should get this right and start small rather than go with gimmicky solutions. If it really messes things up, well, think hard about it. If it merely annoys people, well, tough.
As for where we go from here?
Hmm. Maybe someone should put a clock on them . . .
The Tigers have washed their hands of Torii Hunter. The Blue Jays may be interested:
If they do sign him, expect a lot more of those “the Blue Jays have really gone for great clubhouse guys and leaders!” stories, matching him up with Russell Martin in this regard. Most of these will be based on Hunter’s excellent relationship with the media, of course, and won’t really be based on, you know, his actual track record. But things have always worked that way, no?
On the baseball merits, one wonders how well the 38-year-old Hunter can hold up on the Rogers Centre turf. And how his already substandard defense would play on the faster track.
The highly-sought-after Yasmany Tomas is going to attend the Winter Meetings in San Diego, which begin December 8, reports Jon Heyman. Which means that he is unlikely to sign before then.
He was predicted to sign with someone last weekend, but that obviously didn’t go down. There is a lot of interest in him so, presumably, he is letting his market develop. Which is a fancy way of saying that he’s letting people fight over him. Which is probably good for him.
I’ll be at the Winter Meetings. I’ll make an offer to him if I see him, but it’s really just gonna be a kicking the tires kind of thing. It certainly won’t be aggressive.