Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

The Trade Deadline came and went at 3pm Central yesterday afternoon and...nothing happened. We can debate whether or not that's a good thing, but - on the surface - it makes some sense. Here's my case for standing pat being the right call:

1. This is a really weird season. The farm system has taken a hit by trading for Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke in a two-year span. Why further deplete it for a 60-game season that was in danger of being Asterisk'd before it even got started?

2. Houston is on the verge of getting Jose Urquidy back, bolstering the rotation. Alex Bregman is presumably coming back in the next couple of weeks. With any luck at all (something the Astros haven't experienced since 2017), Justin Verlander is a viable option for the rotation. And we haven't even brought up the fact that surely there's no way that Springer is actually a .209 hitter, and Altuve isn't a 58 OPS+ guy all of a sudden. The reinforcements you might trade for are potentially on their way already. 

3. There are 27 regular season games remaining for the Astros, and Baseball-Reference says (FanGraphs is being weird this morning) Houston has a 99.8% chance of making the playoffs, and the best odds (22.7%) of winning their third Pennant in four years. Every team below the Astros in the AL West got worse. Oakland has 10 of their 26 remaining games against the Astros, Padres, and Dodgers. Houston has six of 27 remaining games against the A's and Dodgers. Even with this injury-depleted roster with two massive underperformers in the top half of the lineup, it's feasible to think that the Astros can catch the A's and win their fourth straight division title. 

And a few cases for why doing Absolutely Nothing was not the right call.

1. This current incarnation of the Houston Astros - the golden years, in many respects - is about to be a chapter in the past. Springer, Brantley, and Reddick are all free agents in two months (and say what you want about Reddick, but he's hitting .280/.361/.439 this season). Correa, Verlander, Greinke, McCullers, Pressly, and Osuna (who might get non-tendered here in a couple of months) are all free agents after the 2021 season. If you're going to win another Pennant or World Series with this group of players, this is the year to do it. So the Red Sox wanted a pitching prospect for a reliever to fill in the gaps? Pull the trigger. 

2. That's actually all I can think of and, while that's a pretty big one, it's still just one. I'm okay with it. 

*James Click (renamed Jiminy Clicket by my esteemed co-host Pat McLellan on last night's Lima Time Time) to Brian McTaggart:

We weren't going to make a move just to make a move. We were going to make a move if we thought that helped us put ourselves in a better position to win a World Series. And at the end of the day, I just couldn't line up something that we thought was reasonable both for the current team and the permanent franchise overall.

Chandler Rome: Why the Astros didn't do anything at the Trade Deadline.

Meanwhile, we still don't know if the Astros are playing the Rangers tonight, pending a round of COVID-19 testing following Oakland's positive case over the weekend. 

*ESPN: What the Trade Deadline means for October.

*The 2021 MLB Draft will be held in Atlanta during the All-Star Break and will be between 20 and 30 Rounds. 

*The Rise and Fall of the Bombshell Bandit.

*The Almost-Unbelievable Story of the First 100-Mile Ultra.

*This is not the Musical Selection for today, but I have fallen down a Marc Rebillet rabbit hole:


*A Musical Selection from Sleepercar, a project that began out of the ashes of At The Drive In: