Craig Calcaterra

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from HBT!



That’s me, Aaron and our dates this evening. D.J. took the picture. Drew, Bill and Matthew are off getting more champagne. It’s quite the party at HBT HQ.

2014 was pretty swell if you were the San Francisco Giants, the Kansas City Royals, their fans and anyone who profited from the Derek Jeter Industrial Complex. It was good for Dr. James Andrews and his colleagues. It was good for Big Cortisone. It seemed to sort of suck for most everyone else to some degree or another. It confused many more people. Maybe most years are like that, I don’t know.

But here’s hoping that 2015 is good for everyone. It probably won’t be because the world just doesn’t work like that, but the point of the early hours of January 1 is to be optimistic that maybe, just maybe, it’ll be different this time. And that we’ll all make it through this year, if it kills us.

Happy New Year, everyone.

The Phillies are “poking around” on Aaron Harang

Aaron Harang

Here’s an image for you:

Wash that hand when you’re done poking, Ruben.

Anyway, Harang is definitely in the “hired gun” and/or “we need SOMEBODY to eat all of these innings they’re requiring us to play during our rebuild” stage of his career, so he makes sense for the Phillies. You can get him on a one year deal, I’m sure. He pitched reasonably well for the Braves last year, posting a 3.57 ERA and 161/71 K/BB ratio over 204 and a third innings. That’s nothing you want fronting your playoff contender, but it’s just what the doctor ordered while you try to develop players who will, one day, be part of your next team.

Still. Poking. On this:

Aaron Harang


The Phillies trade Marlon Byrd to the Reds for pitcher Ben Lively

Marlon Byrd

Ken Rosenthal reports that Marlon Byrd has been traded by the Phillies to the Cincinnati Reds. Rosenthal says that pitcher Ben Lively one of players headed to Philadelphia.

As we noted the other day, these two teams had a Byrd trade in place that “fell apart” recently, but now it’s obviously back together. Part of it may be because Philly is going to send Cincy some cash in the deal.

Byrd is owed $8 million in the final year of his contract and is coming off a season in which he hit .264 with 25 homers and a .757 OPS in 154 games. His plate discipline and defense has degraded tremendously, however.

Lively turns 23 in March. He was a fourth round pick of the Reds in 2013 out of the University of Central Florida. He’s 13-11 with a 2.58 ERA in 39 starts across two minor league seasons. He’s not a top prospect — he walks a tad too many batters — but he does have the potential to be a mid-level big league starter.

The big question here is what the heck the Reds’ plan is. Why pick up an end-of-career bat with some power potential like Byrd after dealing Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon? If you’re gonna make a run, why not do it with those two pitchers? If you’re not, why acquire Byrd?

The Dodgers formally announce their signing of Brett Anderson

Brett Anderson

It was first reported that Brett Anderson was signing with the Dodgers on December 15. I don’t know what everyone’s been doing for the past 16 days — my guess: working on Anderson’s road trip rider, which specifies which bottled waters and hand lotions he demands — but they have finally gotten around to finalizing the deal:

Arruebarrena played 22 games at short for the Dodgers as well as at four different minor league levels in 2014. That’s some moving around. Unfortunately, he didn’t play well at any of those five levels and now he’s on the way out. This after they signed him to a five-year, $25 million contract out of Cuba. The guy who signed him — Ned Colletti — still works in the Dodgers front office. That’s gotta be awkward for him. I feel like Andrew Friedman has had a few conversations with The Bobs about “fixing the glitch” with Colletti’s salary. Maybe moving his office and taking his stapler too.

As for Anderson, it’s a $10 million deal plus $4 million in potential incentives. He [presses the keys which store the “Brett Anderson Macro”] has long been one of the most promising lefties in the game and has pitched well when he’s pitched but has struggled to keep healthy. If he is healthy in 2015, the Dodgers will have a front-end quality starter at the back end of their rotation, which is a nice little trick.

I went on MLB Network and talked about the George Costanza approach to team building

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.09.46 AM

Brian Kenny filled in for Chris Russo on “High Heat” yesterday and had me on as a guest. We talked about a lot of stuff — Adam Dunn pitching, the Dodgers and Padres moves and the changes in GM ranks around major league baseball — but towards the end Kenny makes a radical suggestion about a GM who does . . . nothing. I sort of liked that!

So, if you can ignore the fact that my glasses were falling down my nose and that I’m carrying an unfortunate holiday season bloat at the moment, enjoy. Oh, also: Of the four tall buildings in the fake Columbus backdrop behind me: I worked in three of them over an 11-year period. I was the best lawyer ever.