Or Peter Bourjos for that matter says Buster Olney:
Trading Bourjos would cost them an excellent defender but an up-and-down hitter who only played 55 games for them last season. He could be valuable to a team in need of a center fielder, however. Trumbo sports a lot of power — he hit 34, 32 and 29 homers in the past three seasons and he may thus seem like the much more attractive bargaining chip, but he has a mere .299 OBP over the course of his career. Indeed, his OPS+ was a mere 109 to Bourjos’ 102 last season.
The Angels certainly need to do something, as they were fifth worse in the American League in runs allowed in 2013. Some pitching would be nice.
We’ve heard the back and forth between players and owners on money, on safety, on the size and the shape of the season. But not until now have we heard just how little baseball Major League Baseball and its owners actually want: 48 games.
That’s all they want, at least if they have to, as agreed, pay players their prorated salaries on a per-game basis. That’s the report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who writes this morning on the state of the current negotiations.
Passan’s article has a lot more than that. It contains a number of financial calculations about how much teams say they stand to lose per game played under any given scenario. That said, given the near total opacity when it comes to owner finances, we have no real way to evaluate the claims. The players have a bit more access to league financials, but even they are reported to be unsatisfied with what the owners have shared in that regard. So, while interesting, nothing Passan presents there is really convincing. It stakes out the positions of the parties but doesn’t really tell us much about the merits.
Which is to say that a 48-game schedule sounds like either (a) a bluff aimed at getting the players to offer financial concessions; or (b) a declaration from the owners that they’d prefer almost no baseball if it means that they have to lose any money. The whole “we’ll happily take the benefits of a good market but won’t bother if there’s a chance we might lose money” approach I’ve lambasted in this space before.
We’ll see soon which it is.