MLB-Hot Stove League winter 2022/23

In all honesty, ALL the teams in the MLB could spend well past the luxury tax threshold, but they just don’t want to. Teams/owners sit on massive piles of cash. But they love to tell their fan base “we’d go out and get the top free agents, but so-and-so’s contract is just too prohibitive”. For years we’ve been told that San Diego is a small market team - but they’ve locked up $8 bazillion over the last couple years. The Rangers had previously been hesitant to spend money, and they’re in a massive media market.

One of the worst things about the payroll disparity is the lack of continuity, obviously. If I was a Nationals fan, I’d be ‘heartbroken’ over trading away Juan Soto*. Constantly losing your best players to free agency or pre-emptive trades must suck big time. It doesn’t happen much to Yankee fans, but I really thought Judge was going to end up like Robinson Cano.

*I just looked at the prospects Washington got for Soto. Man, they’re young. They could all flame out. Couldn’t they at least have gotten one player proven at the MLB level?

They got Luke Voit! But really, the haul Washington got was enormous. Those prospects are incredible, and any MLB-proven players would have a significant skill cap and time horizon that doesn’t align with a rebuild.

This issue came up on Blue Jays twitter the other day.

Remember back in 2015 when the Blue Jays traded away almost all their prospects to finally make the playoffs? First they dealt away a number of prospects to get Josh Donaldson. They midseason they traded away all the rest of their prospects to borrow David Price, Troy Tulowitzki, and a few relief pitchers. While it did get them into the playoffs, they were criticized for selling the future.

Do you know how many of those prospects they traded away panned out?

None. Literally not a single one. Some made the majors but none were significant contributors. Josh Donaldson, by himself, was more valuable in 2015-2017 than all the players they gave away combined. Here are ALL the prospects they gave away:

For Josh Donaldson

Brett Lawrie had been in the majors for a few years, so not exactly a prospect, but he had two mediocre years and then flamed out with an injury that was as mental as it was physical.

Franklin Barreto played 101 games in the majors and hit .175.

Kendall Graveman is still pitching; he had an OK year with the White Sox last year. He has 8 career WAR, so I guess there are worse pitchers, but he’s just a spare part kinda guy.

Sean Nolin went 2-11 with an ERA of almost six.

For David Price

Matt Boyd has made 145 career starts but never really became good. 9 career WAR.

Daniel Norris is still trying to make it; he’s been replacement level but has kicked around with three teams.

Jairo Loubert played six major league games in 2017.

For Troy Tulowitzki and Latroy Hawkins

Miguel Castro pitched for the Yankees last year. He’s been a replacement level bullpen part for four teams.

Jeff Hoffman, regarded as an A-level prospect, has gone 15-22 in the majors with a 5.68 ERA.

Jesus Tinoco has pitched a grand total of 66.2 MLB innings, most of them in 2019.

In addition to giving these prospects, Toronto also dumped Jose Reyes on the Rockies, thereby offsetting almost the whole salary hit.

In any real sense, you cannot demonstrate that those trades cost Toronto ANYTHING. The most valuable peices they gave up were Matt Boyd and Kendall Graveman, which have been just a little better than replacement. You could quite rightly argue that retaining all those prospects would actually have set the Blue Jays rebuild of 2017-2019 significantly back.

I’m not saying teams don’t accidentally cough up prospects in trades that become disasters; Fred McGriff, the new Hall of Famer, was lost by the Yankees in a trade for not-a-Hall-of-Famer Dale Murray, whom no one in this thread knows fuck all about. The Yankees also inexplicably gave away Willie McGee just a few years prior for the legendary Bob Sykes.

Truth is, though, that most prospects don’t make it. There is way less risk in trading them away than it often claimed. Unless it’s a superprospect, a generational talent who is obviously a major leaguer, a guy like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, or Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - and no one ever trades those guys - getting proven MLB talent like a Josh Donaldson is probably worth it.

I read this, and my thought was, “hey, now, I know a lot about Dale Murphy…ohh, wait…”

I cannot believe I missed the chance to make a gag related to the similarity of their names.

Contreras signs with the rival Cardinals, Wrigley will be interesting next year.

Not remembering Murray, at all (so, you were correct), I looked him up on Baseball Reference. Journeyman reliever, primarily middle relief, for twelve seasons. In his rookie year (1974) with the Expos, he had an ERA of 1.03, and had 10 saves; BBRef credits him with a bWAR of 2.6 for that season. His career WAR was only 2.9, so he essentially spent the remaining 11 years of his career as a replacement-level player. :wink:

In 1975, Murray led the Expos in wins (15) and saves (9.) I don’t know how to do a search on that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the last pitcher to ever do that.

Back before saves were official, but they can retroactively assign them, that would likely have happened many times; Lefty Grove did it several times, and once led the entire American League in both. Recently, though, it’s become near impossible because of relief specialization.

I tried to figure out what the worst prospect trade of all time was.

I think it’s probably Randy Johnson; he could still be considered a prospect - he’d only pitched in 11 games - when the Expos traded him to Seattle. They got Mark Langston for him, and Langston pitched well in Montreal, but only for the rest of that year, and the Expos absolutely collapsed when Langston wasn’t pitching. Johnson became one of the greatest pitchers ever.

Reports out that the Padres have given Xander Bogaerts an 11-year deal for $280 million.

This is a shocking development. Aside from the fact the Padres have more money than we thought, them blowing a huge bag of it on a shortstop is bizarre. They already have TWO shortstops, both of whom are really good. I would assume Fernando Tatis will move to the outfield and Ha-Seong Kim to second base? Or is a huge trade in the works?

As a Jays fan I’m delighted Bogaerts is out of the division and puzzled as to why Boston let him go. I don’t understand the Red Sox these days.

The Red Sox almost have to overpay Correa now, when they could have overpaid their own guy.

I don’t see that happening. The days of the Red Sox spending in order to be serious contenders every year are over, at least for now.

More likely they move Trevor Story back to short, and use one of their plug-in infield talents (Arroyo or Hernandez) at second full-time.

Or go back to the bargain bin for a replacement. Hey, in only a few years Marcelo Mayer might be ready to bring up from the minors.

Meantime, the countdown on Devers leaving Boston has begun…

You said it. I don’t blame the Sox for letting him go - I’m not paying a 30 year old SS with a below average arm an 11 year contract. It’s perplexing. The money is whatever - we’ve hashed out the fact that teams have bottomless buckets of cash. I just don’t understand the years involved.

And yeah - I suspect Tatis moves to the OF. But I could see Kim staying at SS and Boegarts moving to 2B.

It is reported that Xander Bogaerts is leaving the Red Sox for the Padres, 11-years, $280-million at age 31.

Congratulations to him and his agent for negotiating that, but what is up with the long-term guaranteed contracts like his and Judge’s? Do the teams think these guys will be consistently producing that long or is it a matter of spreading their salaries out longer term? Are we really seeing 5-year contracts with the payments spread out over a decade?


There is an argument to be made that if the signing pays off with a World Series win, you’re going to make back a shit-ton of money. Estimates of straight up revenue gains from a championship range from $30 to $75 million, which increases the value of a franchise by at least five times that, and it’s franchise VALUE that matters. Given the size of the megadeals we’re now taking for granted, those estimates may be low.

Of course, signing Xander Bogaerts doesn’t exactly guarantee a WS win. He is an awesome player and by all accounts a standup guy and he’ll make the Padres a better team, but “make them a better team” increases their odds of a WS win in 2023 from whatever it is now - let’s say seven percent, which is pretty complimentary of me, that’s very high - to, what, eight and a half percent? He’s one guy.

You know who people never talk about anymore? Lance Parrish.

Parrish was a big star in the 80s though. He made eight All Star teams (with three different franchises) but of course is mostly famous for being with the Tigers and their 1984 championship team.

Parrish as a hitter basically just hit home runs; he didn’t hit for average or draw walks and had the speed of a dead turtle, but he did hit lots of homers. What he did REALLY well though was play defense; Parrish was an awesome catcher. He had an arm like a rifle and handled pitchers magnificently.

It’s odd what players we remember and which we don’t. Parrish was better than some Hall of Famers, to be quite honest, was a key member of one the great teams of all time, was showered with honors when he played, and he just kind of vanished.

Parrish’s career overlapped with that of Larry Parrish, himself a pretty good player. For most of my life I assumed they were brothers, but five or ten years ago I found out they weren’t related at all. In 1999, both Parrishes managed the Tigers; Larry was the regular manager, but Lance had to take the reins for a few days when Larry was suspended.

When I saw your post on Parrish, I was going to comment on exactly this. :smiley: In the late '70s and early '80s, I was just getting seriously into sports, and I was under the same misapprehension about the two Parrishes. Similarly, and at that same time, I mistakenly thought that Jack and Jim Youngblood (both defensive players for the Los Angeles Rams) and Greg and Mike Pruitt (both running backs for the Cleveland Browns) were brothers.

I wonder if either man was related to the ballplayer Joel Youngblood.

Joel, famously, had hits for two different teams on the same day - he got a hit for the Mets in a day game, was traded in the middle of the game, caught a plane, rushed to join the Expos, and got a hit for them. The two pitchers he got a hit off of? Ferguson Jenkins and Steve Carlton, both already sure bet Hall of Famers.

Oh, yeah, and same time period, too. As far as I can tell, all three were completely unrelated.