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Good morning baseball fans.
For throwing at Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang, Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been suspended five games by the MLB.
The Mets have made the decision to fully shut down Steven Matz, and have him undergo surgery to remove a bone spur.
Wilson Ramos has a torn ACL, and will miss the rest of the season.
To add some depth for the final week of the season, the Giants acquired Gordon Beckham from the Braves.
A one-year deal has allowed Ian Desmond to regain some leverage and some value.
How much Desmond will get in free agency will depend on whether he’s signed as a utility player or everyday shortstop. The good news for him is that not only is it a weak free agency class, there’s nobody out there at shortstop. He won’t get close to what the Nationals once offered him, but I could see him getting a multi-year deal in the $15-20 million AAV range.
I could also see Desmond getting massively overpaid for the same reasons he got massively underpaid this season: leverage. Talent evaluation is not the sole decider in determining what kind of contract a free agent gets. Front offices are very smart these days. They know how to properly evaluate free agents, and I’d bet no team believed he was “worth” so little money this year. The risks associated with his down year, the qualifying offer, and the lack of competitive teams with a real need at shortstop all worked against Desmond. Asdrúbal Cabrera and Alexei Ramírezdidn’t have qualifying offers attached to them either. This year, however, with Desmond’s offensive rebound, defensive flexibility, and the sparse market, the leverage has swung in the other direction.
The 2016 collective bargaining negotiations are just some minor issues being masked as bigger problems.
Martin Prado and the Marlins have agreed to a three-year, $40 million extension.
Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit injured his leg in a brawl on Monday.
Here is a roundup of news from around the National League West.
Even though he hit a home run last night, the Mets didn’t get the Jay Bruce that they traded for.
Since that date, spanning a minuscule sample of 41 plate appearances, Conforto’s ran a 158 wRC+ with more walks than strikeouts and a .226 ISO. And while those 41 plate appearances certainly shouldn’t lead us the conclusion that Conforto is totally fixed from his midseason struggles against breaking and offspeed pitches, they do remind us of what an odd fit the Bruce trade was in the first place. Of course, Conforto was in Triple-A at the time of the deal, his short-term future with the club uncertain, but the point remains that in Conforto and Bruce, the Mets possess two left-handed hitting corner outfielders, Conforto with a projected true-talent wRC+ currently of 106, Bruce at 97. With Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Grandersonrightfully occupying the other two outfield positions, it’s hard to see what Bruce’s role on the team currently is, or has ever been, so long as Conforto exists.
If Bruce is simply a late-inning pinch-hitter, then the Mets paid a pretty steep price for his one plate appearance per game. And when your designated pinch-hitter was recently pinch-hit for with Eric Campbell, well, you don’t exactly have Matt Stairs. On the one hand, Bruce’s struggles since coming to New York are largely mitigated by the fact that they still have Michael Conforto. On the other hand, that very reason for mitigation is a reminder of why the relationship between Jay Bruce and the New York Mets was so puzzling in the first place.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1920, a grand jury indicts eight members of the Chicago White Sox on charges of fixing the 1919 World Series.