This was the biggest week of this offseason. From the hall of fame failure, to the blockbuster trade, to the free agent signings, this week has been very chaotic. I’ve actually written individual articles about all of these, but I’ve decided to combine them to get this! Enjoy.
The Hall Of Fame Failure
This was the first year since 2013 that the BBWAA writers didn’t do their jobs. If the point of voting for hall of fame inductees is to elect people to the HOF, then this was a total failure. I can name, off of the top of my head, at least 5 players who should have been inducted. I’ll cast my ballot for Mark Buerhle, Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen, and Jeff Kent.
I’ve made my case for Buerhle, although after seeing his performance on his first ballot it seems highly unlikely that he ever makes the hall of fame. Barry Bonds is complicated. That could be in a whole separate article, but I’ll break it down:
– When I read the Mitchell Report from cover to cover back in April, I concluded that it was unclear whether Bonds knew he was receiving PEDs.
– It’s still unclear as to whether Bonds used PEDs before his 2000-2004 run.
– Even if he used PEDs, voluntarily or involuntarily, it is unclear how much it affected his performance and how much of a role it played in his success.
– We know that he was still an incredible player with or without PEDs.
– His career stats are so unbelievably good that despite his PED controversy, he belongs in the hall of fame.
Like I said, I could dedicate a whole separate article on this topic. I hope I’m making sense and not talking too much french. Now, onto other players.
I strongly believe that the hall of fame should solely be judged on player performance. I don’t care how bad of a person Schilling is; he was an amazing ball player. I support Pete Rose for the same reason. If I believed that treatment of media and life beyond baseball mattered when being considered for the hall of fame then I wouldn’t vote to elect Schilling to the hall of fame.
Scott Rolen’s case is pretty simple: he played 17 years as a great third basemen in a league where third basemen are largely discriminated against (or they just aren’t good). His fielding was excellent and his hitting was great.
Jeff Kent is almost identical to Rolen in the fact that they have the same career OPS, both played 17 years, both played infield, and hit for almost identical stats. The main difference is that Kent’s defense was so much worse, not bad, but not on Rolen’s level. Call me biased because I rooted for him on Survivor, but Kent deserves to be in the hall of fame.
Regardless of who should be in the hall of fame, I think that the BBWAA didn’t do its job when they didn’t elect anyone. Call it a weak first ballot class, but at least elect someone! Try again next year, BBWAA.
Free Agency Madness
This is pure madness. There have been so many signings in this week that I’ve lost count. Let’s start with the big ones:
– Joc Pederson to the Cubs
– Marcus Semien to the Blue Jays
– Didi Gregorius back to the Phillies
– Cesar Hernandez back to Cleveland
– JT Realmuto back to Philadelphia
– DJ LeMehieu back to the Yankees
– Corey Kluber to the Yankees
– Brad Hand to the Nationals
– Andrelton Simmons to the Twins
– Tommy La Stella to the Giants
– Freddy Galvis to the Orioles
– Michael Brantley back to the Astros
– Ryan Zimmerman back to the Nationals
– George Springer back to the Blue Jays
These are all huge moves, taking out MLB.COM’s numbers 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 20, 23, and 25 free agent rankings coming into the offseason. The list above isn’t even counting some of the lower key signings, including:
– Ivan Nova to the Phillies
– Wilson Ramos to the Tigers
– Kohl Stewart to the Cubs
– Jon Lester to the Nationals
– Anthony Bass to the Marlins
– Ehire Adrianza to the Braves
– Pablo Sandoval to the Braves
As you may be able to conclude after reading this list, it was a busy week for signing free agents. Realmuto was the shocker after the Phillies came out and said that they don’t have any money. A lot of baseball influencers, like Youtube star GiraffeNeckMarc thought that because of this the Phillies wouldn’t be able to resign Realmuto but the Phillies have brought back their 2020 team that did “really well”. Aside from bringing in Archie Bradley, the Phillies have done nothing aside from bringing Realmuto and Didi Gregorius back.
The Marcus Semien signing shows how the budgetary restricted A’s were not able to bring back their SS, as well as utilityman Tommy La Stella. How they play in 2021 will be difficult to predict after losing Semien and La Stella, but they do get Matt Chapman back.
The George Springer deal surprised me as I thought that he would 100% go to the Mets. The Blue Jays have shown that they’re going to be serious contenders to the Yankees and Rays. If the MLB goes back to a 10 team playoff system as they had in 2019 then it will be interesting to see how the American League reacts. The Twins and White Sox will battle for the AL Central crown, although at this point it looks as if the White Sox are clear favorites. The team that loses the battle will compete with the two losers of the AL East for the two wild card spots. This will be very interesting to watch.
Trades In The Past Week
Aside from the Nolan Arenado trade, there have been a few other trades. The Arenado trade will be the prime focus for this article as we take a look at some of the trades in the past week.
– Nolan Arenado traded from the Rockies to the Cardinals; Rockies will retain around 25% of Arenado’s contract. The Cardinals sent a package that includes Austin Gomber, among other players.
– Steven Matz traded from the Mets to the Blue Jays for Josh Winckowski, Sean Reid-Foley, and Yensy Diaz.
– Adam Ottavino traded to the Red Sox from the Yankees in exchange for Frank German and a PTBNL.
– Jameson Taillon traded from the Pirates to the Yankees for Roansy Contereras, Maikol Escotto, Canaan Smitt, and Miguel Yajure.
– Cionel Perez traded to the Reds from the Astros for Luke Berryhill.
The Arenado trade will define this week as one of the most lopsided trades in MLB history. The Rockies traded Arenado, a superstar, for essentially nothing while retaining part of his contract. The Cardinals are now the clear favorites to the win the NL Central as 3B was a need for them. It is now expected that Tommy Edman will play 2B, with Paul Goldschmidt at 1B, Paul DeJong at SS, and Arenado at 3B. That will be enough to carry a very weak division in which it is quite possible that no team eclipses 81 wins.
The question that remains from this trade is whether or not the Rockies will trade Trevor Story. This has been a terrible winter for Colorado, as they’ve non-tendered David Dahl and traded Arenado. Trading Story would be the icing on an already fully baked cake.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading!