Old hippity-hoppity buddy Eli Whiteside has been Designated for Assignment (DFA) by the Texas Rangers today. “Whitey” has had an interesting off-season, and will probably get another team to pick him up in the midst of his crazy offseason:
Would be kind of funny if the Dodgers picked him up. And signed him to a 2-year deal. Plenty of teams could use a fringe backup catcher, but Eli may be more suited for a AAA roster depth role as he enters his age 33 season.
No worries, friend! Eli and (Toronto GM) AA had their fling. I think that’s one relationship they’ll just look back on, give a light smile and shake their heads about.
The Winter Meetings are holding up to the excitement as ESPN has started a consecutive days-long chat, MLB Network is upping coverage, and contracts are being signed. The news today:
- Mike Napoli has signed a 3 year-$39MM deal with the Red Sox. Probably the biggest FA catcher on the block is now off, and ESPN’s Jayson Stark suggests this takes them out of the Adam LaRoche sweepstakes.
- Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to undergo left hip surgery and will need 4-6 months to recover.
- The Meetings have let the Justin Upton rumors start to circle again, making us wonder if a trade for the young Diamondback will actually happen. The team has said to be aggressive on the trade front.
- The San Diego Padres have signed Jason Marquis to a one year-$3MM deal.
- Per Dylan Hernandez, Shohei Otani wants to decide this week whether to stay in Japan, or come to the Dodgers
- The Detroit Tigers offered Anibal Sanchez 4 years-$48MM but apparently that wasn’t seen favorably by Sanchez’s camp, who is rumored to be seeking a 6/$90MM deal.
- The Toronto Blue Jays have claimed Eli Whiteside, per Ken Rosenthal. Ken notes that Eli is now their fourth catcher because you can never have too many game callers.
- Angel Pagan and the San Francisco Giants have an agreement for 4 years and $40MM, a trade-off between below-market money and more years made between the clubs.
- Joakim Soria and the Texas Rangers appear to have a deal in place for two years. I really like Soria and hope he can be of some use to the Rangers, but only enough that he doesn’t help the Rangers beat the Giants in a World Series matchup.
- Scott Hairston was reportedly offered a two-year deal to the Tigers, first I saw was from Jon Morosi. However, Adam Rubin from ESPN NY says he’s been told the Giant killer will not sign on with Detroit. Jon Morosi has since said he was mistaken in his report about Hairston, but Rubin does say there are five teams pursuing Hairston.
- In other New York news, the Metropolitans asked the Red Sox for top prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. for in exchange for R.A. Dickey, but the team that calls Fenway home is not likely to give away either prospect.
- There is an offer on the table for Ryan Ludwick from the Cincinnati Reds.
- Out of South Beach, there are whispers that Yunel Escobar is being shopped to Tampa and Oakland, and Ricky Nolasco has had enough of Miami and wants out.
This will be updated throughout the day, but who knows if I’ll be able to keep up. There’s a lot going on, and it’s very exciting.
Eli Whiteside has been claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees. He was the third catcher in the depth chart behind Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez and over his time with the Giants will leave with two World Series rings. Something I didn’t pick up on probably because I didn’t visit his player page enough was that Whiteside played with the Orioles in 2005. He was also in the Minnesota farm system, then the Giants system. Dustin Eli Whiteside had 10 HR and 102 H with the G’s over the 2009-2012 seasons in 199 G. Not sure if this means it’s the end of Chris Stewart‘s time in New York, but I’d guess it will at least be one of the two guys fighting for the backup role in Spring Training if CS is held on to and/or extended a minor-league invite.
By the way, Yankees, you like Giants catchers? Mind if we sign Bengie Molina for a day so you can acquire him and give the Giants a useful reliever?
Lastly, this is the time where you fondly remember Eli for his hop-fest in front of Shane Victorino and has face slide into second base.
The first 200 rounds of “how shall we bench Belt” got annoying, so why not keep it going? It’s a fun game and when you look at these graphs I made, you can read this while you’re at work and pretend you’re analyzing data for your company! But shhhhh don’t tell your boss what you’re actually reading! Let’s review the fun charges against Brandon “overhyped prospect anti-do-gooder for the team” Belt:
There goes Mike Krukow breaking my heart again.
Was I the only one that thought Posey might be a little annoyed at this “personal catcher” idea and this kind of shows he knows he’s better than Hector? Maybe I’m just reading too much into it.
Gotta ride that hot bat.
Hector Sanchez with the better batting average! All you Belt nerds have just been proven wrong!
Wait, Belt gets on base more than Hector? I is sew confuzzled now!
This Belt > Sanchez in SLG% suggests that Belt has gotten more big hits than Sanchez has this season hmmmm
My favorite offensive metric says Belt’s body of work is kinda better than Sanchez’s. Camp Hector has a sad.
Z-Swing/Z-Contact concerns pitches within the strike zone. As we see here, Sanchez does swing at more pitches in the strike zone, and happens to make more contact than Mr. Belt. Could Krukow be on to something with this “mature hitter” talk?
O-Swing/O-Contact deals with pitches outside the strike zone. Seeing as how Hectorsauras goes for more pitches outside the zone, it’s kind of hard to say that.
Wouldn’t “mature hitters” walk more?… because Sanchez doesn’t. Sure, Belt strikes out, and it’s really probably because pitchers have found Belt’s weakness and Belt hasn’t been able to adjust yet.
So if we’ve learned anything, it’s that Belt’s put forth the better body of work this season (it should be noted Belt has 106 more PA than Sanchez), but also that Sanchez is a pretty acceptable back-up catcher (who has just been put on the DL), but not if he’s taking out Belt from the lineup. It shouldn’t need to be said, but it’s also important to know that Belt fans are very likely hoping Sanchez recovers so when Posey needs a day off (not starting at 1B), the Giants don’t have as huge of a hole in the offense as they probably will when Eli hoppity-hop-hop Whiteside starts to give Buster a rest.
Discussion and disagreement are part of sports life, and after reading a post from @BayCityBall (http://www.baycityball.com/2011/10/02/my-postseason-rooting-order/) I thought this would be a good post for today. The idea is of course, there are eight teams in the postseason and if we had to rank who you would root for, what would that order be? Everyone’s list will be different and who can blame them? There’s some attractive talent (both on the field and in the dugout) for us to be amazed and stupefied at.
1. Tampa Bay Rays – expansion team, lost to the Phillies in 2008, came from a huge deficit to defeat one of the more despised franchises in baseball. They have lovable characters like Evan Longoria, One-A-Day 50+ sponsor Joe Maddon, Madison Bumgarner pitch-a-like Matt Moore (alike in that the Rangers couldn’t touch either of them). Shoot, their version of Eli Whiteside even hit two HRs against CJ Wilson. Awesome
2. Texas Rangers – When the Giants and the Rangers met up last year in 2010, you had a ratings nightmare: no Yankees? no Red Sox? no Phillies? We’ll just have Joe Buck and Tim McCarver do this one. Nobody’s watching, anyway. You also had two franchises starved for a World Series trophy. The Giants got their portion in 2010, but the Rangers were left hanging and from what I heard, the Rangers were very classy in defeat. Their exciting players are mostly hold bats and hit HRs for a living, their staff has the experience of winning so the jitters should be mostly out of the way.
3. Detroit Tigers – The playoff team I probably know the least about. I guess they’re like the Tampa Bay Rays or a Texas Rangers-lite on offense and some other team with their pitching. Justin Verlander? Hot. Jose Valverde? He should make a dance instruction DVD. As for everyone else? Whatever, just beat the Yankees.
4. St. Louis Cardinals – Just beat the Phillies, Tony La Russa. Use your craftiness when you get back home to even the series at 2 or something. Sprinklers, stadium lights, rain dance, Buffalo Wild Wings commercials, whatever. I laugh a little that Rafael Furcal is on this team.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks – They’re not far down on the list because I despise their team; really, I’m OK with them. Justin Upton, Chris Young, Aaron Hill, Kirk Gibson. I think he’s done a great job with the team and GM Kevin Towers a wonderful job rebuilding the bullpen. I don’t want them winning the World Series because I don’t know why, but I don’t. I may have this fear that winning the WS would convince idiots to vote Ian Kennedy for Cy Young even though it’s just a regular season award. Edit: Forgot that ballots are submitted before the post-season. Therefore, Kennedy performance in post-season will not change likelihood of getting Cy. Their twitter account is annoying as babies on a plane, by the way.
6. Milwaukee Brewers – I am very not fond of a certain player on their team that claims to have an alter-ego that rhymes with “Phony-Flush.” I do not want to see him happy. Does that make me a bad person? Probably, but no one’s perfect. I’m not too fond of Prince Fielder, either, but TofuMan doesn’t both me as much as the current CF. I like Ryan Braun. I like John Axford.
In between 6 and 7, please note that there’s a gap larger than the 6 hour drive from Long Beach to San Jose I have to endure at least twice a year.
7. Philadelphia Phillies – I have a strong dislike for the Phillies. They have become the Yankees of the NL. I will laugh at them in 2015 when they are still paying Ryan Howard $25MM to strike out with a sandwich in his mouth.
8. New York Yankees – Look, they have exciting players. They’re the freaking Yankees. But the only time you want a team like that to win is when: a) it’s your team or b) you’re playing a video game and you’ve constructed a super team that isn’t possible in real life and you don’t have to worry about hurting other people’s feelings.
In 2012, the list will be different. Buster ain’t havin’ it.
Yesterday we took a look at the pitching portion of the roster which I estimated to be around $90MM and the Bay Area News Group have posted their arbitration estimates for the whole team here and the numbers aren’t that far off from the estimates I shot forth. Now we take a look at the hitters that are set to come back (or are under payroll), arbitration eligible, and free agents. I’m sure you’re aware of the free agents on the item.
Under Contract in 2012
Aaron Rowand ($13.6MM, released in 2011 due to attitude and sucking. 2012 is his last year.)
Aubrey Huff ($10MM, has option for 2013)
Freddy Sanchez ($6MM)
Buster Posey ($575K in 2011, under control until 2016)
Brandon Belt ($414K in 2011)
Arbitration Eligible (Salary in 2011, Years of Arbitration Left)
Jeff Keppinger ($2.3MM, 1)
Andres Torres ($2.2MM, 2)
Mike Fontenot ($1.05MM, 2)
Pablo Sandoval ($500K, 3)
Nate Schierholtz ($432.5K, 3)
Eli Whiteside ($425K, 3)
Free Agents (Salary in 2011)
Carlos Beltran ($20.07MM)
Cody Ross ($6.3MM)
Mark DeRosa ($6MM)
Orlando Cabrera ($1MM)
Pat Burrell ($1MM)
Miguel Tejada ($6.5MM)
The big question on that arbitration eligible and free agent list is “who will be brought back?” Well, consider that we already have $31.5MM committed to the first category listed and that already puts the Giants at about $120MM of payroll. “Holy F***,” you say. I agree. So which arbitration eligible hitters are tendered? I’m going to guess 4 — Kepp, Panda, Nate, Fonty. However, I expect the Giants to trade Keppinger for something after tendered like a giveaway night that actually gives every fan a bobblehead so they don’t have to spend all day in line for an item that costs the price of admission. For the 3 that stay, I expect it to be somewhere around $5MM for all of them put together. Now that’s $36.5MM for our hitters. So now what? The payroll’s approximately $125MM and you want another hitter? God, you’re selfish. Oh, you want a leadoff hitter? What, have you been good this year or something? Oh, you gave your top prospect away? That was nice of you.
I’m not even going to guess who they Giants might go after. Some have said Coco Crisp. Just what we need, another mascot. Johnny Damon? Hasn’t played CF consistently in years. Andruw Jones? Fits the profile, I suppose. An Aaron Rowand-lite! Josh Willingham? Same as Damon. Jason Kubel? Might as well sign Beltran. Juan Pierre? That would be interesting, to say the least.
So I guess the question will be: How much will Sabes and Co. overpay for Coco and will they have the funds to bring Beltran back to platoon Nate/Belt? The possibilities are limited, and they are definitely frustrating to think through.