By Chris Kubak
A week after it was first reported, the Mets made the move official: Jay Bruce is once again a New York Met. Five months after trading him to Cleveland for minor league pitcher Ryder Ryan, the lefty slugger is set to spend the next three years in Queens and will reportedly earn $39MM worth of guaranteed money along the way. For the investment, the Mets are banking on Bruce to provide some pop to a lineup that badly needs to produce if the team is to have any chance of competing for a Wild Card spot in 2018, and some protection in the batting order for the likes of Yoenis Cespesdes and Michael Conforto. It’s a move that makes a lot of sense for the Mets, a team that has been hamstrung in their ability to spend over the last several years, and at least some sense for Bruce given the success he has experienced during his playing for the Metropolitans.
But consider this: given the current state of the market, has there ever been a free agent who’s so closely matched his value as Jay Bruce? When you look at the money that has been spent, along with the projected contracts for the players still unsigned, chances are you will be hard pressed to produce an alternate answer. I’m sure if you go back several seasons you could find one. So far this offseason, Bruce has a stranglehold on the title, and the reasons why become clearer when you look at the details.
by Chris Kubak
On the 1/4/18 edition of his MLB Network show “High Heat,” Chris “Mad Dog” Russo spent a good portion of the program discussing the Hall of Fame credentials of several players featured on this year’s BBWAA ballot. While he championed the merits of a few, most notably Edgar Martinez, he mostly used the platform to deride many of the candidates as merely being “very good” and having no place in Cooperstown. One of the focal points of this discussion was Mike Mussina, a guy Russo argued was merely ‘very good’ and not stacking up to the likes of the great pitchers, citing Tom Glavine as an example of the type of pitcher who does belong. I could not help but to be curious with the fact that Russo chose to use Glavine as a tool to illustrate Mussina’s Hall of Fame shortcomings, so I thought it would be a fun exercise to stack them up against each other to see how the two pitchers compare from both a traditional and sabermetric point of view.
by Tom Baird
First, please read a brief explanation of my rankings. These rankings should read like a crappy Fantasy Draft preview. They should not be understood as a straight ranking of players. I know that JD Martinez is better than Carlos Santana. I think that Santana will be underrated in this market, and will thus make a better signing for a team looking for value. Obviously, free agent signings have loads and loads of context that we cannot predict, so these rankings are extremely flawed. Still, I would rather consider cost than not consider it, even if the cost is a huge guess on my part, so here are my flawed rankings. Obviously, when these players get signed for significantly more or less money than I am expecting, the rankings will change.
Spanning an entire continent, lifelong fans Chris Kubak and Tom Baird take you on a magical, sabermetrically enhanced journey through Major League Baseball.