The Winter Meetings are officially underway and things should be interesting now that the two major offseason dominoes have fallen in the form of Giancarlo Stanton being traded to the Yankees and Shohei Ohtani signing with the Angels. Hopefully this will cause things to open up and maybe we’ll see something cool happen — like the Braves potentially moving one or both of Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp.
Perhaps an American League team that could utilize Kemp as a full-time DH would be willing to bite but it is likely that the Braves would have to be willing to swallow a portion of his remaining salary.
For that reason, it seems likely that Nick Markakis could be the easier of the two to move. Markakis is entering the final year of his 4-year, $44 million contract that he signed back in 2015. He is due $11 million and while his offensive production is in decline, he has proven to be durable and is by all accounts a good clubhouse presence to have around.
Meanwhile, it appears that now may be the time that a long-rumored trade of Julio Teheran may go down. We shared a report via Peter Gammons that seems to suggest that the Braves may be ready to trade their perennial Opening Day starter. Even though Teheran still has a very team-friendly contract (which may be the top selling point for Teheran at this point), the team may have been “spooked” by how he pitched at SunTrust Park, so the new regime in charge may not be inclined to keep Teheran going forward. We’ll see what happens.
Speaking of the new regime, the Braves continued to add new faces to their front office ahead of the Winter Meetings. Alex Tamin and Jason Pare have worked under Alex Anthopoulos in the past and now they’ll be joining AA in Atlanta in his front office.
Another year will come and go without Dale Murphy gaining recognition at Cooperstown as one of the game’s all-time excellent players. Murphy was on the Modern Era ballot this year and while two figures did indeed receive induction (more on that later), Murphy wasn’t one of them. As usual, Murphy was magnanimous and effusive in his reaction to the news.
Brad and Scott have come to you in these times of good cheer with another podcast and this time around they have decided to give you a primer ahead of the Winter Meetings. If you haven’t got enough of that talk, then go right ahead and give this a listen.
The two baseball figures who actually did receive the call to Cooperstown were a pair of former Detroit Tigers greats. Alan Trammell and Jack Morris will both be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after being elected via the Modern Era ballot. Trammell’s induction seems like a no-brainer, since he had an utterly stellar career as a one-team man for the Detroit Tigers. On the other hand, Jack Morris may be proof that you can indeed get into the Hall of Fame off the strength of one game — an amazing game (and I apologize to those of you who watched that game live), but still!
The baseball world is still reeling from the fallout of the Yankees basically taking last year’s NL MVP off of the Marlins hands simply because Stanton was willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Bronx and the Yankees were willing to pay the man. If you believe that the Marlins are doing this to rebuild, then the pain of this trade may be worth it. However, if you believe that this is just the Marlins being cheap and acting in bad faith — which is what Michael Baumann of The Ringer is arguing in the linked article — then this is just the start of yet another dark period for the baseball club near South Beach.
This is not a baseball trade. This is a liquidation of assets. It’s not the first time a team with dubious short-term prospects and a weak farm system has gone for the hard tank, but the Astros and Cubs in 2012 had less to work with than a 77-win team with a reigning MVP on the roster, and both returned to the playoffs within four years and won a title within six. Miami is now without not only Stanton but Dee Gordon, sold to Seattle along with $1 million in international bonus money—the cheapest way for savvy teams to acquire talent—for a bag of magic beans. Where’s the path back to the playoffs for Miami, particularly when they’re committed to running a payroll that wouldn’t keep the lights on in the NHL? There are situations in which the best thing a team can do for its own medium- and long-term competitive interest is rebuild. This is not one of them.