Tag: Trade rumors

MLB News: Phillies Sign OF Andrew McCutchen

According to multiple reports, the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to terms with Free Agent outfielder and former-MVP Andrew McCutchen. The deal is worth $50 Million over three years and includes a club option.

McCutchen has somewhat regressed from his prior All-Star form, but still plays respectable baseball, and is one year removed from a very good year in which he turned in a .279/.363/.486 slash with 28 long balls — which is pretty solid for a then 30 year-old outfielder.

What the Phillies really get here is a fantastic club house guy, a hard competitor, and a big social media presence. Cutch is also a veteran who knows the game, and works excellent at-bats. There is no doubt in my mind that this is an excellent pickup for the Phillies, and, if Cutch can return to even a slight semblance of his former caliber, he could be the catch of the offseason.

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MLB: Goldschmidt on the Move, Heads to Saint Louis in Trade

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Saint Louis Cardinals agreed to terms on Wednesday that would send all-star first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt, to Saint Louis in exchange for  major league pitcher, Luke Weaver, catcher, Carson Kelly, and infielder Andy Young.

Goldschmidt was a highly anticipated candidate to be traded this year seeing as the Diamondbacks are planning to enter a rebuilding phase, and after another successful year for Goldschmidt in which he slashed .290/.389/.533 with 33 home runs, his value was high, and rightfully so.

The Cardinals have finally solved their issue at first base, and can now confidently play Matt Carpenter, who had an outstanding 2018, at third base. They do, however, lose quite a bit of real estate in this deal. They’ve officially shed two major league pieces in Weaver and Kelly, which means they have some work to do to fill the spaces those two leave.

The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, must be thrilled with the return they’ve received. Luke Weaver looked excellent for a time last year, and is sure to develop into a solid starter. Carson Kelly immediately becomes the Diamondbacks go-to catcher, and Andy Young had an excellent 2018 in the minors.

Overall, the trade is what one would expect for an all-star who is one year removed from free agency. The Cardinals get a massive offensive boost, whereas the Diamondbacks take the first step on their journey through a rebuild.

Corbin Signs Six-Year, $140M Deal With Nationals

After a vicious bidding war, Patrick Corbin, the market’s top pitcher, finally inked a six-year, $140 Million deal with the Washington Nationals.

Corbin is coming off of a career year in which he pitched to a 3.15 ERA over 200 innings with 246 total strikeouts.

The deal came down between the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, and Washington Nationals, but neither of the former two teams were willing to meet Corbin’s demand for a sixth year.

This deal is due to set the rate for the rest of the pitching market this offseason, and is the first big domino to fall in what is to be a record breaking free agent signing period.

 

MLB: Ten Underrated Free Agents of the 2018-19 Class

The most anticipated offseason in recent memory is in full swing, and while most are focussed on the big names — Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Patrick Corbin, and the like, we here at LITS are honing in on some of the names that aren’t getting as much attention, but would easily be supreme upgrades for any and all teams this coming year. Let’s get started:

1. RHP, Kelvin Herrera

This 29 year-old closer was a highly anticipated trade candidate during the 2018 season, but, after putting up mediocre numbers with the Washington Nationals, his dominant reputation took a major hit. Though his second half performance was undoubtably poor, a career 2.82 ERA and his vast experience as a closer should prove more than enough reason for Herrera to see a healthy contract.

Contract Prediction: 3 years, $18 Million

2. RHP, Joakim Soria

Soria, an established veteran closer, has played for six separate teams over the last five years, and returns to the market again this year. However, I for one believe this years’ suitors could prove different for him. After another season putting up solid numbers, as well as taste of the postseason with the Brewers, the time may be right for Soria to receive a contract that eclipses one year. After all, with a career 2.88 ERA and an outstanding 220 saves over an 11 year career, Soria has shown that he’s not ready to slow down quite yet.

Contract Prediction: 2 years, $12 Million

3. INF, Josh Harrison

It is mind boggling to me that Harrison is not receiving more attention. The 30 year-old utility man has been nothing but consistent over his eight years in the majors, and, while 2018 was not his most prominent performance, it is indisputable that his versatility and athleticism would prove an aid to any team, especially those who miss out on Marwin Gonzalez. Harrison’s career .277 batting average and positional flexibility should offset his injury concerns, and should provide him with a solid deal this winter.

Contract Prediction: 2 years, $8 Million

4. INF, Neil Walker

After an absolutely abysmal 2018, Walker will be looking to bounce back in the coming season with a new club. The 32 year-old has flaunted positional flexibility, and shown flashes of excellence at the plate, so it seems likely that a team in need of a middle infielder will take a chance on him.

Contract Prediction: 1 year, $5 Million

5. INF, Tim Beckham

This 28 year-old utility man is one year removed from a dominant 2017 in which he slashed a solid .278/.328/.454 with 22 long balls — and that was his first full season. When he’s healthy and given regular playing time, the young, former first-rounder can provide some excellent offensive numbers, as well as a great deal of roster flexibility. He should have a fair amount of suitors going into 2019.

Contract Prediction: 1 year, $3 Million

6. LHP, Gio Gonzalez

Add this one to the list of ‘why in the world isn’t this guy drawing more interest?’ Gio Gonzalez has been the poster child of consistency over his 11 year career in the majors. The 32 year-old lefty boasts a career 3.69 ERA with even better peripherals over a staggering 1814 career innings pitched. Sure, his 2018 wasn’t exactly what he had hoped it to be, but I for one see nothing wrong with a 4.21 ERA over 32 starts. Gonzalez is a candidate for steal of the offseason, and would be a definitive upgrade for any team in need of a lefty in their rotation — especially those who miss out on Corbin, Happ, and Keuchel.

Contract Prediction: 3 years, $24 Million

7. LHP, Drew Pomeranz

Okay, hear me out. Yes, he was useless in 2018, and yes, he ended up in the bullpen and was, again, awful, but look at his 2017: a 3.32 ERA in 173.2 innings and a 9.0 K/9 — and his 2016 was extraordinarily similar. Those are intriguing numbers to say the least. Now, I will be the first to concede that his peripherals do not look great, and, after suffering through injury, he may have regressed slightly, but most teams should at least be willing to give him a shot.

Contract Prediction: 1 year, $5 Million

8. RHP, Cody Allen

Once again, add this guy to the same list as Josh Harrison and Gio Gonzalez. Cody Allen has had one singular outlying season, said season being 2018. Prior to this past year, Allen had logged sub 3 ERAs from 2013-2017, and turned in three consecutive years of 30+ saves. It is astonishing to me that a guy with clean peripherals, and a beyond solid K/9 ratio is getting almost no hype in any direction. If I were a GM, this guy would be near to the top of my list of players to lock down quickly. He’s another one that could come as a certified steal.

Contract Prediction: 2 years, $12 Million

9. LHP, Derek Holland

Holland had a sneakily good 2018, posting up a respectable 3.57 ERA and an encouraging 1.0 HR/9, a statistic he’s struggled with for quite some time. After working tirelessly to return to form, it seems quite likely that he’s found a method that works well for him. It will be interesting to see where he ends up.

Contract Prediction: 1 year, $6 Million

10. RHP, Anibal Sanchez

Speaking of sneakily good years, to round out this list we have what was perhaps the most surprising return of 2018. Anibal Sanchez was a massive part of the Braves’ division winning team, turning out a 2.83 ERA in 136.2 innings pitched. While his peripherals weren’t anything impressive, it stands to reason that Sanchez could have found his way back to whatever it was he discovered in 2013 when he logged a 2.57 ERA in 182 innings — and if that’s the case, he would be a major pickup for any team out there.

Possible Contract: 1 year, $8 Million

MLB News: Mets, Mariners Blockbuster Finally Comes to Fruition

After what seems like an age, the Mets and Mariners have finally mutually agreed upon the blockbuster trade in which the Mets will receive 2B Robinson Cano, CL Edwin Diaz, and $20 Million in cash in exchange for OF Jay Bruce, RHP Anthony Swarzak, OF Jarred Kelenic (Mets #3, MLB #62), RHP Justin Dunn (Mets #4, MLB #89), and RHP Gerson Bautista.

The deal had stuttered to a halt for a time as the teams were finalizing the financial intricacies of the trade, but finally reached completion Saturday night.

Overall, the trade seems relatively well balanced. The Mets move forward with their ‘win now’ mentality and receive arguably the best closer in baseball, as well as a long-tenured veteran who swings a hefty bat and has yet to show sign of regression — yet being the operative word.

The Mariners on the other hand receive two veterans in Bruce and Swarzak, both of which they may decide to move at any given deadline, as well as two extremely talented prospects — one of which, being Kelenic, is considered to have ‘superstar’ level tools. They also come out of the deal taking a flier on reliever Gerson Bautista, a work in progress, yet still young right hander. Plus, the Mariners finally shed the abysmal contract held by Robinson Cano — something their General Manager, Jerry Dipoto, was dead set on doing.

This is just one of the many trades that are sure to ensue leading up to the winter meetings, so stay tuned for more!

MLB: Ten Non-Tendered Players That Could Shake Up the Offseason Market

Yesterday’s Non-Tender Deadline flushed a swath of talent into the 2018-19 free agent market. This year in particular, there are some big names that have shaken up the playing field — but which of these players could draw the most interest?

1. OF, Billy Hamilton

Once a coveted player within the Reds’ organization, Hamilton has plunged into free agency — something that almost nobody expected. While, yes, Hamilton has struggled in terms of getting on base, he is the fastest man in baseball — fast enough to have drawn comparisons to the likes of Rickey Henderson. I’m sure, if he wanted to, he could bunt his way to a .300+ average — apparently that is an impractical approach. Regardless, Hamilton is sure to draw a mess of interest from multiple teams. If not initially a starter, he would at least represent a threat off of the bench, and a deadly one at that.

2. INF, Jonathan Schoop

Schoop, sadly, fell from grace in 2018 after his remarkable 2017 campaign in which he slashed .293/.338/.503 with a terrifying 32 long drives. That kind of impact will not go unnoticed, especially from a lower-end production spot like second base or shortstop. I’m sure Schoop will receive heavy interest, both from competitive teams, as well as those who are looking to snag a young, controllable infielder with a great deal of upside. In all honesty, he’s a great fit for any team, especially given the fact that he’s still only 26 years old.

3. INF/OF, Derek Dietrich

(Ok, so Dietrich wasn’t technically non-tendered, but I think he’s still well worth the mention.)

Dietrich is a below average defender, but he has experience at almost every single position in the game. In addition, he swings a pretty good left-handed bat, and definitely has a bit of pop in him. His versatility should make him a well received market asset, and will surely land him on a team this winter, namely those who miss out on Marwin Gonzalez.

4. 1B, Justin Bour

Bour is only one year removed from a monster season in which he slashed .289/.366/.536 with a whopping .902 OPS. If that doesn’t interest you, then I don’t know what will. Bour is patient at the plate, has a remarkable amount of power, and is actually quite solid defensively. Teams should be able to look past his struggles during the 2018 season, and will look to give him a shot to return to form.

5. RHP, Hunter Strickland

Yeah, I can’t lie to you, this guy is a jerk. I wouldn’t want him anywhere near my team, however, I wouldn’t want him on another team either. Strickland can pitch, and he’s proved that time after time. However, the main reason he was likely non-tendered is because of the Giants’ interest in Bryce Harper — the two players don’t exactly have the cleanest history. Regardless, I have no doubt that a team with zero interest in Harper will be looking to snap up Strickland, no matter how bad of a teammate he may be.

6. RHP, Matt Shoemaker

Shoemaker was once seen as the future of the Angels’ rotation, but due to recent struggles, he’s now been thrust into the open market. While his numbers over the last few years have been less than encouraging, his peripherals look quite good. Low-ish BB/9 rates, higher K/9 rates, low FIPs here and there. There will definitely be a few rebuilding teams looking to fill out their rotation, and Shoemaker could be an excellent rebound candidate.

7. INF/OF, Yangervis Solarte

I’ve always liked Solarte — he’s an oft-overlooked utility man with an electric personality, plus he has some good pop in his bat. However, his most encouraging figure lies within his strikeout rates. Solarte has never, during his five year major league career, struck out more than 72 times in a season. So, if your team wants a versatile guy off the bench, or even in the starting lineup, that strives to make every single at bat one of quality, Yangervis Solarte could very well be your guy.

8. RHP, Brad Boxberger

Not only is Boxberger the owner of one of the coolest names in baseball, but he also puts his money where his mouth is in terms of numbers. Boxberger has shown promise in the closing role, having logged 32 saves in 2018 and 41 in 2015, the same year in which he earned all-star honors. Boxberger’s only caveat lies within injury concerns. He missed time both in 2016 and 2017 due to various injuries, but returned in 2018 to pitch a full 53.1 innings. Boxberger could be a helpful pickup for any team, especially those looking to get into the reliever market for easy flipping.

9. RHP, Mike Fiers

Fiers was a real surprise in 2018, pitching his way through a full 172 frames whilst maintaining a solid 3.56 ERA for both the Tigers as well as the Athletics. After struggling for Houston in both 2016 and 2017, it was nice to see Fiers come back and toss what could go down as his career best season. Though Fiers is 33 and doesn’t exactly have time on his side, he could very well fetch a deal from a team looking to fill a rotation spot, and, should his success continue, he could be flipped to a contender.

10. RHP, Shelby Miller

All right, here it is folks, the one you’ve all been waiting for. Shelby Miller, who was once traded for the first overall pick of the 2015 MLB Draft in Dansby Swanson, as well as a 25 year-old Ender Enciarte, AND pitching prospect Aaron Blair, was non tendered by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. In what must be the worst trade of the modern era, the Diamondbacks received what could only be described as a waste of space. Through three injury-plagued years, Miller only managed to amass 139 innings, and they weren’t good ones. This may have you thinking, ‘how in the world could you possibly believe that this guy could stage a comeback?’ Well, for one thing, he’s only 28 years old. Second, it was no secret that Miller was a ground ball guy — he never really had the stuff to accumulate double digit strikeouts. Finally, when he’s healthy, he has excellent durability and control. If he can find his velocity, get back into a winning mindset, and is paired with a solid infield defense, he could be a massive pickup for any team. After all, in both trades involving him, he garnered insane returns — maybe he can squeeze his way into another one.

Should the Knicks be concerned with Frank Ntilikina?

In the last two games New York Knick’s guard, Frank Ntilikina’s play has looked erratic. Scoring 0 points in back to back losses is not a good sight for the young developing guard. His erratic play on offense this season is leaving Knicks fans displeased.

Ntilikina’s role with the Knicks seems out of place this season. With the Orlando Magic being interested in trading for him, a fresh start may be ideal for Ntilikina.

When scouting the play of Ntilikina, the only positive and consistent aspect of his game is his defense. His ability to play aggressive defense and lock down opposing players are his biggest strength. On the other hand, when on offense Ntilikina does not look confident at all.

The stats say it all for Ntilikina. Through 23 games into the season, he is playing 23 minutes per game and averaging around 6 points per game shooting 33% from the field and 25 % from 3 point land.

Sloppy offensive numbers from the second year player from France. Ntilikina isn’t a bad player, but he does need time to grow. He has the tools to become a great two-way player but he just hasn’t found his offensive niche in the NBA.

Ntilikina may have a similar case with Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antentokoumpo as a late bloomer in the NBA. It took 4 seasons for Giannis to adjust to the league and become a dominant scorer, only time can tell if the same may happen to Ntilikina. Giannis came out of Greece as an extremely raw prospect and lacked experience playing against elite level basketball talent.

Ntilikina’s struggles stem from the offensive side of the floor. His lack of aggression, consistency, and inability to create offense is concerning. Defensively you can’t teach effort, and his effort on defense is one of the best in a league where lockdown defense has become a lost art.

The Knicks shouldn’t look to trade him just yet in his young career, but try to mold and push the young 20-year old into developing a consistent offensive game. Ntilikina must look to tighten up his handle, learn craftier moves around the basket and find a go-to move if he wants to survive in the NBA as a starting point guard.