Saturday, January 12, 2019

Saturday Morning Hot Links

Good morning. It is 32 days until Pitchers & Catchers report. Or, in the Astros' situation, "Pitchers and Catcher(s)" report.

*Big News of the Day was that Alex Bregman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his elbow to remove "loose bodies." Buncha sluts up in Bregs' elbow. In an exclusive interview with Tags, Bregman - and the Astros - are targeting the March 1 Grapefruit League game against St. Louis for his return. Bregman:
It's something you can play through a little bit, but when (the elbow) locks out, you're looking at a DL stint, and I wasn't willing to risk going on the DL this year for something I know I could fix before the season started. So we went ahead and knocked it out.

If, on March 1, Luhnow says Bregman is dealing with some "discomfort" in his elbow, we will know that Bregs is dead. Long live Bregs.

*Yesterday was the deadline to agree to a deal for arbitration-eligible players, of which the Astros had ten. Seven Astros agreed to a deal: Jake Marisnick, Lance McCullers, Collin McHugh, Roberto Osuna, Ryan Pressly, Will Harris, and Brad Peacock.

Here are the numbers we know, compared to MLBTR's arbitration projections (in parentheses)
Will Harris: $4.225m ($3.6m)
McCullers: $4.1m ($4.6m)
Brad Peacock: $3.11m ($2.9m)
Ryan Pressly: $2.9m ($3.1m)

In what world does Harris make more than McCullers (though I guess the Astros will get IPs out of Harris, unlike McCullers, in 2019, so maybe...)? That's an arbitration total of $14.335m compared to a projection of $14.2m.

Assistant GM Brandon Taubman:
I think arbitration always brings mixed emotions for us. I am proud of the people who've been involved in the process on our end, I'm proud that we have a responsible process that represents the Astros' organization's interests and the merits of fair salary within the industry. But what we care about is winning baseball games and promoting the development of our players. And this is a detour from that.

This means that Carlos Correa (projected at $5.1m), Gerrit Cole ($13.1m), and Chris Devenski ($1.4m) did not agree to a deal and will go to a hearing. It's a fun time in which the Astros try to explain before a panel why these three players aren't worth as much as they think they're worth. Who wouldn't want to go through that?

Jon Heyman reports that Cole asked for $13.5m - exactly double his $6.75m salary in 2018, while the Astros submitted an $11,425,000 offer.

*Craig Calcaterra: It's SUPER-WEIRD that all 30 teams are willing to go to a hearing rather than settle with their arbitration guys.

*The Astros announced part of the Astros Caravan schedule. Here's what has been released:

Tuesday, January 22:
11:30am-1:30pm: Kyle Tucker, Josh James, Chris Devenski, Todd Kalas. Dell Diamond, Round Rock.
3:30-4:30pm. Tyler White, Brady Rodgers, Steve Sparks. Katy Chick-Fil-A (South Mason Road).
5:00-6:00pm. Same players. Katy Academy (23155 Katy Freeway). They'll only sign commemorative autograph cards provided by Academy.
5:30-6:30pm. Tucker/James/Devenski/Kalas. Cedar Park Academy (C-bar Ranch Trail). Commemorative card rules apply.
5:00-7:00pm. Caravan Jam at La Centerra (23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd, Katy). No idea who will be there.

Wednesday, January 23:
2:30-3:30pm. Myles Straw, Max Stassi, Corbin Martin, Robert Ford. A Corpus Whataburger location TBD.
5:00-7:00pm. Caravan Jam at Whataburger Field.

Thursday, January 24:
1:00-2:00pm. Jake Marisnick, Tyler White, Geoff Blum. Champion Forest Drive HEB.
2:30-3:30pm. Tony Kemp, Robinson Chrinos, A.J. Hinch, Steve Sparks. South Rice Avenue Chick-Fil-A.
5:00-7:00pm. Marisnick/White/Blummer. Caravan Jam at the Fountains at Waterway Square.
5:30-6:30pm. Kemp/Chirinos/Hinch/Sparks. Southwest Freeway Academy. Commemorative card autograph rules apply.

*Toronto traded catcher Russell Martin to the Dodgers, reducing the competition for J.T. Realmuto by one team. Here are my trading partners for the Marlins on Realmuto, updated:
1. Houston
2. Atlanta

The price is going to be high, but gotdang Yasmani Grandal will make $18.25m in 2019 after agreeing to a deal with Milwaukee. Grandal, 30, posted a .241/.349/.466 line, with 24 of his 106 hits in 2018 going over the fence, good enough for a 125 wRC+.

J.T. Realmuto, who will be 28 in March, hit .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs for Miami, for a 126 wRC+. I have questions about FanGraphs' defensive ratings, but Realmuto got a 7.9 while Grandal got a 9.0. Now I'm not sure what point I was trying to make. Still, the Marlins are basically a criminal enterprise. Don't negotiate with terrorists. Realmuto will make $5.9m in 2019. Trade four guys I don't like for J.T. Realmuto, Luhnow.

*Brian Kenny: Roy Oswalt deserves more of a Cooperstown look:
*Tyler Bauer is a Tough Guy on Twitter dot com but he left a media scrum awful quick when he got called on harassing a Texas State student.

*Justin Turner reflects on back-to-back World Series losses.

*Barry Bonds belongs in the Hall of Fame:

*Todd Marinovich is facing what has haunted him.

*My other favorite team - Leeds United - beat Derby County 2-0 yesterday, but not before there was uncomfortable news that Leeds were spying on Derby's training sessions.

*A musical selection: