This is why the slotting system is stupid

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lincecum_090913.jpgPaul Hoynes of the Plain-Dealer has a story I’ve never heard before: the Indians drafted Tim Lincecum in the 42nd round of the 2005 draft.  Ok, I knew that part. He demanded $1 million to sign, which is really high.  The Indians offered $700,000, he said no, and went back to college and the rest is history.  I knew that part too. The part I didn’t know:  Major League Baseball got all kinds of mad at the Indians for even offering the $700,000 because that was above the slot recommendation for the 42nd round.

Lincecum was a well thought-of prospect, but he was coming off a bad sophomore year. The Indians, and a lot of other teams, realized that he’d be pretty good, but were trying to make a value play: get the guy when he’s at his lowest, maybe even when he’s worrying if he had the stuff to make it.  Maybe he jumps at the $700K!  It’s definitely worth a shot, and if it had worked, baseball as a whole would have saved a over a million bucks on what they ended up paying Lincecum when he eventually did sign ($2.025 million with the Giants a year later). Heck, even if they had met Lincecum’s demand they would have saved over a million.

But rather than applaud the effort to buy low, baseball got all pissy at Cleveland in an effort to maintain their misguided and counterproductive slotting system.  Just foolish.

Francisco Cervelli shines in his Braves debut

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Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates released Francisco Cervelli. Yesterday he was signed by the Braves. Atlanta gave him the start behind the plate and he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs driven in to help his new team to victory over the Mets. Welcome to Atlanta, Frankie.

Cervelli had been rehabbing from a concussion and hadn’t seen big league action since late May. He was ready to come back, though, and the Pirates — who are going nowhere — gave him his release so that he might join a contender for the stretch run.

The performance he put up last night, obviously will not be the norm for him going forward. But it’s also the case that his early 2019 batting line of .193/.279/.248 is not indicative of his talent level either. He posted an .809 OPS (122 OPS+) in 2018, and if he gives Atlanta anything even approaching his usual production it’ll help stabilize a shaky catching situation for the Braves.