I’m trying to figure out what Joe Blaton’s presence on the dais with Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels reminds me of more:
(1) Pete Smith being shoehorned into those photos of Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and Avery in that Sports Illustrated article back in the day to make people think the Braves had “five aces;”
(2) Peter Lawford standing next to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. as if he were a co-equal member of The Rat Pack; or
(3) Aquaman hanging out with the actually useful super heroes in the Justice League of America.
I actually feel bad for Blanton in all of this. Part of me hopes that he rips off a 17-5, 2.98 ERA season while one of the other four stumbles just so he can crow about it back home next winter.
The Miami Marlins’ primary offseason goal thus far appears to be acquiring as much international bonus pool money as possible. Last week they traded their closer to the Nationals to get some. This morning they traded a couple of low-level prospects to the Astros to get more. Specifically, they traded lefty reliever Brayan de Paula and outfielder Adonis Giron to Houston for an unknown amount of slot money.
De Paula, 19, has pitched in the Dominican Summer League for the past two seasons while posting a 3.05 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio over 59 innings. Giron, 17, has one season of Dominican Summer League experience under his belt, where he hit .255/.331/.362 with three homers in 67 games.
The Marlins have made no secret of the fact that they’re after top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa and, possibly, his younger brother, Victor Mesa, Jr., which would explain the stockpiling of bonus money.