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Good morning baseball fans!
While it’s a little too quiet on the trade front, the Blue Jays made a move, acquiring outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. from the Padres.
The Royals called up Raul Mondesi Jr., and our own Mike Bates thinks that is a mistake.
What does recent history tell us about trading for a high-profile reliever?
The jury is still out on the Ken Giles move. Again, like Chapman, it sure looks like the team acquiring the reliever gave up a ton; Vincent Velasquez could be a star, and Giles has been mostly shaky. But the story changes real quick if Giles throws four or five clean, high-leverage postseason innings — the innings Miller and Papelbon didn’t get much of a chance to seize — and the Astros bring home a trophy. And that’s what makes this all so difficult. We’re talking about a limited sample of innings to begin with — and then breaking them down into a smaller sample that’s actually deemed important. There’s also the issue of evaluating with hindsight, which can be inherently flawed.
Teams make moves for big-name relievers, and due to the entire nature of relief pitching and sample sizes, they’re almost impossible to figure out at the time, and more interestingly, even after the fact. Notice I didn’t get much into the business of declaring winners or losers of the big trades above. Because I really don’t know. The Cubs could win thanks to Chapman, or lose thanks to Chapman, or win in spite of Chapman, or lose all the same, and there still wouldn’t be agreement on the value of his role. Those scenarios have all happened before, and here we are. Teams pay in terms of prospects to increase their odds of winning, which is exactly what happens when the move is made. The odds go up. Adding the elite reliever always increases the odds. That’s the whole point. But odds are just odds, and the opportunities still have to exist, and even then, relievers are fickle. Evaluating them, even moreso. Everything matters, but then so can nothing.
Here is a roundup of news from around the National League East, talking about the trade deadline for each team.
The pace of talks for the Reds on outfielder Jay Bruce are starting to pick up.
More trade deadline previews, the Diamondbacks this time.
Both the Dodgers and Royals cut waste this year, Carl Crawford and Omar Infante respectively. It might be time for the Rangers to do the same with Price Fielder.
Of course, this has not been a comprehensive list of players who are sunk costs at this point. Other players worth mentioning are Ubaldo Jiménez, Anibal Sánchez, Pablo Sandoval, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and Rusney Castillo. Ryan Howard might be the poster child for sunk costs, but I don’t want to add to his criticisms any further. One could probably write a book on players who have been sunk costs throughout the history of the game!
I understand that it is completely against human nature to be comfortable with walking away from sunk costs, especially when that sunk cost is $90 million. Here is the thing to keep in mind when it comes to cutting ties with expensive, ineffective players: You have to pay them no matter what. Their contracts are fully guaranteed. That leaves teams with only two options:
Keep the player and continue to pay him to hurt the team.
Cut the player and pay him to NOT hurt the team.
Given those options, the logical decision becomes pretty clear.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1988, Tommy John makes three errors on one play, as the Yankees rout the Brewers 16-3.