Here are several go-to links to make this mid-December Monday a bit more bearable:
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs explains why, although the pending trade of R. A. Dickey to Toronto might look awfully similar to Kansas City’s controversial acquisition of James Shields, the former was a shrewd move by Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos:
The 2012 Royals were 72–90 and were outscored by 70 runs. The 2012 Blue Jays were 73–89 and were outscored by 68 runs. The talent exchanges are similar. The cost and team control of the acquired pitchers will be similar, assuming Dickey signs an extension with Toronto, which seems like a pretty strong bet. So, if we ripped the Royals for the Shields trade, how can we not rip the Blue Jays for making a similar trade?
In this case, the prior [offseason] moves make all the difference in the world.
- Grantland’s Jonah Keri offers a thorough analysis of last Tuesday’s three-way deal between the Diamondbacks, Indians, and Reds, which includes a questioning of Arizona’s offseason moves.
- The Red Sox inked starter Ryan Dempster to a two-year contract totalling $26.5 million. While hardly overwhelmed, Marc Normandin of Over the Monster is satsified:
Dempster will be 36 in 2013, but has been as good as his younger brethren on the free agent market whether you look at the last five years, three years, or whatever number of years. Considering the alternatives on the market — worrying about Shaun Marcum’s elbow, Kyle Lohse’s transition to the AL, and Anibal Sanchez’s overzealous contract demands — Dempster might not be perfect, but he’s likely the best relative fit, especially given it’s for two seasons.
- Writing in SB Nation, Normandin also explains why Anibal Sanchez will remain a good fit inside the Tigers’ rotation, even though the $80 million, five-year contract is hardly a bargain.
- With ground-ball southpaw John Lannan now in Philadelphia, Crashburn Alley’s Bill Baer posits that perhaps a defensive platoon at third base would be a smart move for the Phillies.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times was the first to reveal that Matt Bush, the No. 1 pick in the 2004 MLB amateur draft, may serve at least three years in prison following a plea deal with prosecutors over a DUI hit-and-run charge. The Devil Rays’ draft choice had been arrested in March for allegedly hitting a motorcyclist with his car and then leaving the scene before police arrived.
- Via Tom Tango of Inside the Book, Kincaid of 3-D Baseball discovers that in 2011 there was a position player in the American League who enjoyed a better season than Miguel Cabrera’s 2012 Triple Crown MVP season. The position player’s name? Yup, it’s Miguel Cabrera.
- Clubhouse Confidential host Brian Kenny puts Josh Hamilton and his $125 million, five-year contract with the Angels “into the Shredder.”
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!