Okay we have five topics to get today so let's do it.
Boston Red Sox Misnomer:
So after 100 games the Red Sox are in 1st place with a 60-40 record (.600 winning percentage) and in 1st place in the NL East with the best record in the American League and 2nd best record in baseball. Over the all-star break I heard many baseball interviews including one with NY Mets GM Sandy Alderson & one with NY Mets owner Jeff Wilpon talking about what the Red Sox did in terms of these shorter term deals in free agency and look where they are now. This couldn't;t be farther from the truth. First off while they didn't give 7 year deals to these players in particular Victorino, Napoli & Dempster they did give them aggressive contracts given their age, with the exception to Napoli whose medical reports were just awful. Ironically it's only Napoli who is having a good year (83G, 13HR, 62RBI, 50R, .258Avg). Victorino has missed a 1/3 of the season and his stats are 4HR, 26RBI, 39R, 13SB, .290 Avg. Ryan Dempster has given the Red Sox innings (115+) but is 5-8 with a 4.28 ERA. The Red Sox are in 1st place because of the core players they already had going into the season plus the young players they had in the system. I am talking about Pedroia, Nava, Ellsbury, Ortiz, Lester, Buchholz, Doubront and the re-emergence of John Lackey. Have their free agents contributed yes but if teams such as the NY Mets indicated that these kind of deals on 33-37 year olds are the way to go because look at the Red Sox record they are in for a bad surprise.
Matt Harvey & Scott Boras:
In a recent article that Matt Harvey did in Men's journal he floated the notion of a 200 Million Dollar contract. Looks like the young star has some very high hopes of his future earnings. Many of the Met fans might think and wisely lets get Harvey locked up long term now before his arbitration kicks in. Keep in mind what his super agent Scott Boras recently said when asked about this by Joel Sherman of the NY Post: "When the team wants to go into these situations and what the true value of the player is are not often that close." Harvey is not eligible for arbitration until after the 2015 season.
Matt Garza is Still a Cub:
Guess what it's Monday the day of Matt Garza next start and he is still a Cub. As much as the Cubs want to move Garza as soon as possible they are not going to do so until they get the package they want. Keep in mind they have until July 31st to trade him and it appears that as many as 10 teams are involved. The Cubs just need one of those teams to blink. I be careful on any trade discussions anyone says they know what's going on. On Friday night it was reported a deal between the Cubs & Rangers was 99% done and both sides were looking at medical records. Then it came out the Cubs were not getting their package. Garza will be traded and soon but someone will have to step up with a strong offer.
Dodgers 4 OF's:
Now that Matt Kemp is back (although hurt his ankle in the 9th inning in yesterdays game, for now considered day to day, ankle injuries are tricky) how is Dodger Manager Don Mattingly going to play his 4 OF's in Puig, Kemp, Crawford & Ethier. Mattingly is in a pennant chase and has to play his best players. That means Puig & Kemp play every day. Then it's between Crawford & Ethier for the last spot but I think Crawford at the top of the lineup is very important to the Dodgers. But even if Ethier is the odd man out he should get at least 4 starts a week. Lets face it Crawford has had a lot of injuries and probably be a smart move giving him a couple of days off a week where Ethier could start in his place. Also by giving Kemp & Puig one day off a week you keep them fresh and give Ethier playing time. This will be a situation that will have to be resolved in the off-season and that won't be easy given Ethier's escalated contract over the next 4 years.
Aramis Ramirez on the Trading Block?
Been hearing reports with Aramis Ramirez coming back early this week that the Brewers are going to shop him and they are a lot of interested parties. All that could very well be true and if you can get a team like the Dodgers involved where they do not care about payroll they may not be a problem. But keep in mind that Aramis Ramirez who has had an injury riddled year is 35 and has 1 more guaranteed year left on his contract where he will make 16 Million Dollars next year with a team option for 2015 that includes a 4 Million Dollar buyout. So Ramirez is guaranteed 20 Million dollars on his contract after this season. That could be a major stumbling block.
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NL King - C.Lizza