The rest of Major League Baseball will celebrate the holiday season and the new year with their eyes on the situation surrounding Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. With the Rakuten Golden Eagles officially posting Tanaka, today is the day that the bidding process starts. Whichever team signs the 25-year-old will have to pay the maximum $20 million posting fee in addition to a contract that might be north of $100 million.
As for the rest of the league? You know, teams like the Colorado Rockies? Well, this is the time of year when we look way ahead to Spring Training and start to consider the position battles and possibilities for an improved roster next season. Here’s what is happening with Rockies news and around the rest of the league:
Well enough for Stubbs to become the Rockies’ new starting center fielder? Could he become a leadoff man? Those are questions open for debate…
…Stubbs has speed, a dependable glove and the versatility to play any outfield spot. As it stands, he projects as Colorado’s fourth outfielder, and assistant general manager Bill Geivett reiterated this week that the plan is for all-star Carlos Gonzalez, a three-time gold glove winner, to move from left to center.”
So with the nitty-gritty details out of the way, let’s again propose the question: Have the Rockies really upgraded their rotation?
Well, if we solely go off of Steamer’s projections, yes, the Rockies have successfully upgraded their rotation. The catch, of course, is that the upgrade is very marginal, and that’s not what the Rockies will be hoping for. 2013 was pretty bad, and a minuscule improvement isn’t going to boost “pretty bad” to “good,” or even “average.”
It’s an awful CF market, so what should the Dodgers do? Well stand pat of course. Remember all that talk of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier getting traded? Well it’s probably smart that the team keep all 4 OF’s at this point. One because Kemp hasn’t proven healthy in over 2 years, mix this with Ethier’s newfound ability to play CF, and you have a decent rotation of 4 supremely talented OF’s. I feel the need to paint a picture of how terrible Skip Schumaker was last season. He hit for no power (only a .069 ISO), was mediocre with with the on base skills (.332 OBP), and a really mediocre OF with a -3.6 UZR and -4 DRS. In 957 innings in his career at CF, he has compiled a bad -9.0. So why do people expect Dre to get traded? No reason for him to be moved with how awful the options are.”
The choice of Close could potentially be really good news for the Los Angeles Dodgers and/or New York Yankees. Close already represents several players on both teams, including the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and the Yankees’ Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira.
Both the Dodgers and Yankees are believed to be on the list of teams ready to go all-out after Tanaka. The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are also on that list. TheTexas Rangers likely are not after their move to wildly overpay Shin-Soo Choo.