Not $300M. It has to be $305M because, I dunno, taxes maybe. Yeah, let’s go with taxes:
Folks: it’s going to be silly season soon. Misinformation, both accidental and tactically-placed misinformation, is going to reign supreme when it comes to Cano’s free agency. There are too many reporters and too many leakers covering it and everyone has an incentive to frame the narrative which surrounds it all.
For example: if you’re the Yankees and you don’t think you can or will sign Cano, you’re going to want to make it seem like he’s unreasonable so you don’t come off as cheap. At the same time, if your’e Cano’s people you’re going to have your own agenda and we’ll likely see a lot of that kind of spin too.Not saying that’s what this is — who knows? — but that dynamic always seems to happen with the big stars.
But just look back to the past few years and remember how silly things get reported about big free agents and then remember how, for the most part, sanity comes back to the fore. Then chuckle these things off.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.