Thought experiment: How many MLB teams would wipe the slate clean?

63 Comments

Baseball news is slowing down for Thanksgiving and for some reason this idea randomly popped into my head while on Twitter, so I figured I’d ask it here: How many MLB teams, if given the option, would say yes to being taken off the hook for all guaranteed contracts currently on their books?

In other words, all or nothing. Wipe the slate clean. Every player signed for guaranteed money is no longer on your team and you’re no longer responsible for their contract. You get to keep all players not signed to specific, non-minimum salaried contracts, which means pre-arbitration eligible players basically.

For instance, my beloved Twins would wipe six players off their books: Joe Mauer, Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Glen Perkins, Kurt Suzuki, and Mike Pelfrey. Hughes would hurt a lot, since he was great in 2014 and is reasonably priced, but Mauer, Nolasco, and Pelfrey would be easy calls to jettison. Overall the Twins would probably be better off with a clean slate.

Another example is the Yankees, who’d be wiping these players off their books: Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Martin Prado, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young. Obviously some of those would hurt, but as a whole the Yankees would seemingly jump at that chance to wipe the slate clean.

Which other teams would do the same?

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Leave a comment

2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.