The leaking of the Houston Astros' internal communication and evaluation system has given just about everyone in baseball something to talk about, and we've collected some of that conversation right here. What is everyone saying about the leaked information and what does this mean going forward?
One of the interesting parts of the leak is that we also learn quite a bit about the plans of other teams around the league, including the Yankees' willingness to eat quite a bit of Ichiro's remaining contract. Over at Pinstripe Alley, Jason Cohen gave his thoughts on the Astros' rejection of a possible Ichiro to Houston move:
Ichiro is currently making $6.5 million in 2014, and while we knew the Yankees were willing to eat money to trade him to another team, $4.5 million is a lot more than it was expected they would be looking to go. Clearly the Astros said no, feeling that either $2 million was still too much to pay for a 40-year-old Ichiro, or they didn't want to take on that money while also giving up something of value to the Yankees.
Also included in the leaked data was some information about the San Francisco Giants, namely that they briefly pursued starters Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell, and that first baseman Brandon Belt is off-limits. Here's what McCovey Chronicles' Grant Brisbee had to say about that:
Yes, because the 2013 Giants were a Bud Norris away from three championships in four years. To be fair, Norris is pitching well this year and is under contract for next year, as well. That's probably more value than the Giants will ever get from Blackburn -- not because I don't like Blackburn as a prospect, but because them's the odds -- but I'm still glad they didn't go through with that trade. It's not like Norris is much better than Ryan Vogelsong, for example.
Meanwhile, the potential deals involving the Kansas City Royals weren't quite as exciting, but Royals Review's Max Rieper gave his thoughts nonetheless about the Astros' reported interest in Jimmy Paredes, Christian Binford and Julio Pinto.
The Astros interest in Binford is somewhat reassuring to me. I'm not entirely clear if the Astros were wanting those minor leaguers in exchange for Paredes, but its good the Royals held off, as Paredes was available for Kansas City to claim off waivers in February.
Moving over to the Boston Red Sox, things start to heat back up a bit, with the Astros' apparent interest in Boston's top prospects. According to the documents, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told Sox GM Ben Cherington that he would need to include either Xander Bogaerts, Allen Webster, Jackie Bradley Jr. or Garin Cecchini in a potential Bud Norris deal, and Cherington understandably said no given Norris' questionable history. Over the Monster's Marc Normandin reacted to the deal that never was:
The Red Sox got to keep all of the players the Astros asked about, and managed to stick to their initial plan of dealing from their shortstop depth in order to acquire starting pitching help at the deadline. You can't fault the Astros for shooting high given Norris still had team control and was in the middle of a solid season at the time, but credit the Sox for not dealing prospects just because they had a bunch of them during Cherington's first deadline with a competitive team.
Norris pops up once again in talks with the Pirates, with GM Neal Huntington proposing a trade that would send pitching prospect Luis Heredia and a draft pick to Houston for Norris. Additionally, Huntington said outfielder Gregory Polanco was off-limits in a Norris deal, but the fact remains that the Pirates offered a trade with just Heredia and the No. 73 pick in this year's draft, to which Bucs Dugout's Charlie Wilmoth reacted:
At one point, the communications say flat-out that the Pirates offered Luis Heredia and this year's No. 73 pick (the one the Pirates used on Trey Supak) for Norris, and the Astros turned them down. What you think of that probably turns on your opinion of Luis Heredia. There are good reasons to be skeptical of him at this point, but I would have been pretty upset with that trade -- Norris is a back-end guy who wasn't a huge upgrade on what the Pirates already had last year.