Pirates acquire Jaff Decker from Padres, designate Garrett Jones for assignment

12 Comments

Garrett Jones, who was a regular for the Pirates for four-plus seasons before losing his job to Justin Morneau down the stretch, has been designated for assignment.

Jones made $4.5 million this year and hit just .233 with 15 homers and a .708 OPS in 144 games, so at age 32 and with a similar salary due for 2014 via the arbitration process he was a likely non-tender candidate anyway.

With a .774 career OPS he should have no problem finding another gig, although it may involve a part-time/platoon role and will almost surely involve a cut in pay.

Pittsburgh needed Jones’ 40-man roster spot after acquiring outfielder Jaff Decker from the Padres. Decker’s prospect stock has plummeted in recent years, but he hit reasonably well at Triple-A as a 23-year-old and has always had excellent on-base percentage.

Please trade Manny Machado already, will ya?

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manny Machado has been on the trading block for some time now, and he’s obviously a highly sought-after player who will command a nice haul for the Orioles if and when they deal him. Until they do that, however, let us talk for a moment about how to read a given trade rumor that gets tweeted or reported out into the ether.

Let’s look at the latest one, shall we? It goes like this:

At the outset, let me be clear about something: I do not doubt this reporting. Heyman is well-sourced, and I’m sure he’s hearing this exact thing. But so too are other reporters reporting other things, such as a rumor that floated around yesterday that the Phillies were in the lead. And so too are the guys who, several days ago, reported that a Machado trade was “on the 10 yard line.” Yesterday some random person on Twitter, claiming they had inside info, reached out to me to tell me that the O’s and the Phillies had a “handshake deal” in place (which sounded totally bogus, BTW). It’s all so imminent and urgent-sounding.

It’s urgent-sounding not because fast-paced and urgent activity is happening. Some GMs are texting one another, just like they always do. Some are making offers and waiting to hear from the Orioles, some are getting counters from the Orioles and are considering them. The GMs of two teams competing for Machado are not, themselves, in communication. In that respect it is decidedly not like a horse race or a football game.

The Orioles want it to be one, though, and make no mistake, that’s where these rumors are coming from.

The Orioles have a vested interest in the Dodgers, Brewers and Phillies upping their bids to beat out the other suitors, and it’s hard not to see all of these reports as stuff the Orioles are telling reporters in order to get the other clubs to think they’re going to miss out. It’s the Orioles and the Orioles alone who have a vested interest in this appearing more like a horse race — or a football game — and thus are cultivating horse race coverage. Whether it’s coordinated or whether it’s just random people in Baltimore telling what they know to reporters I have no idea, but that’s what this is.

That’s interesting to me as a media guy, and I guess it’s interesting to fans of the teams involved, but it’s probably good to remember that it’s less baseball news, proper, than it is a team using the media to get leverage.