The Tigers gave first baseman Miguel Cabrera an 8 year, $248 million extension to his existing deal that ends after the 2015 season and Twitter's panties were in a bunch as a result. I am not sure why anyone would question why the best hitter of our generation, and a slam dunk Hall of Famer, shouldn't get paid like he is the best hitter in the game, but Twitter is good at something, and that is being negative toward all long term contracts.
I get that the Tigers had no incentive to sign him to an extension with two years remaining on his deal. Why take the risk, right? Well, there is this fella in Los Angeles, Anaheim really, that is going to get paid a lot of money real soon. If the Angels are smart, they will sign Mike Trout to a long term contract before his arbitration years begin, otherwise he will set records that all other arbitration contracts will be compared against.
Assuming the Angels sign Trout long term, the numbers are going to be staggering. The way I see it, the Tigers have the best hitter in the game, the Angels have the best player in the game. Both are going to get paid big money, and the Tigers may have felt they wanted to lock in Miggy before Trout's contract is announced, because Cabrera's representation would almost certainly want a bigger contract than Trout, since he is the best hitter in the game.
Buster Olney jumped on Twitter to provide us the pulse of some front office executives:
Miguel Cabrera is highly respected/appreciated, but officials with other teams are appalled by Detroit decision to give him that many years.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 27, 2014
And there's more:
Haven't heard as much disgust over a contract from rival execs since the Jayson Werth contract. Industry is in shock over the Cabrera deal.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 27, 2014
If you want more of my thoughts on the Miggy deal, just check out my Twitter timeline from last night. Lots of back and forth discussion with several readers. The short of it. I think Miggy will be a very productive hitter through the end of the contract. Not a popular opinion, but he is a special talent.
Cole Hamels to open season on DL
The Phillies placed ace starter Cole Hamels on the 15 day disabled list yesterday. That was the bad news. The good news is that Hamels said he was very pleased with his two inning effort in a minor league game yesterday. He indicates he is healthy and ready to start "his" spring training. He is probably about a month behind schedule, so he should be ready to go in late April or early May.
He is draftable in all leagues, and could be a steal based on his slightly depressed value on draft day. He went for $15 in the Tout Wars NL only auction and just $9 in the Tout Wars mixed league auction, so these drafts should give you an idea as to how much you will have to pay for him.
I have two of my NL only keeper league drafts in the coming week, one on Sunday morning, and the other next Friday night in New York. I will be very interested to see where his price goes in these two auctions. I think he will go fairly cheap in the Sunday auction and probably high-teens to low 20s in the Friday draft.
Doug Fister dealing with lat strain
The news has not been good for new Nationals starter Doug Fister this spring. He was sidelined earlier this spring with elbow inflammation, and yesterday we learned that he left his minor league spring training start with a lat strain. He will more than likely land on the disabled list to start the season.
Here is more from Patrick Reddington from SB Nation's Nationals fan site, Federal Baseball:
Fister reportedly went just one inning and 15 pitches this afternoon, in a start in which he was expected to progress to around 60+. While Williams did categorize the issue today as a "setback," the Nats' skipper wouldn't officially say that the latest issue will result in both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan making the starting rotation at the start of the season. The two right-handers are going to pitch on the final exhibition game of the season, and a decision on which won the battle for the final spot was supposed to be announced after the game.
In that article, Patrick references a tweet from Adam Kilgore from the Washington Post, who quoted pitching coach Steve McCatty saying that Fister felt tightness in his start yesterday. I assume this is tightness in his lat, and not his elbow/forearm. The former is probably better than the latter, but we should learn more about his injury sometime today or this weekend.
As this news was announced, I couldn't help but think that the offseason deal with the Tigers that was widely panned, doesn't look so bad right now. Maybe Dave Dombrowski knew something about his medicals when he dealt him this offseason? Maybe not, but the deal isn't looking as lopsided right now.
Charlie Wilmoth writes "Dry Land"
I am sure you are asking who the hell is Charlie Wilmoth? Well, he is the manager over at SB Nation's Pirates fan site, Bucs Dugout, and he wrote a book, Dry Land, "which follows Pittsburgh Pirates fans as they navigate the longest streak of losing seasons in the history of major American pro sports. The Bucs' 20-year drift raises provocative questions about why we root for sports teams in the first place. Why would fans invest emotionally in a team with so little to offer? And why do fans who openly describe themselves as "masochistic" and "delusional" stick around?"
If you are a Buccos fan, or just a baseball fan, check it out. You can find more information on the book here.
Marcus Semien: Late round target
For those of you in AL only leagues, or deeper mixed leagues, you may want to take a look at White Sox infielder Marcus Semien on draft day. Semien will open the season as the White Sox starting second baseman with Gordon Beckham beginning the season on the disabled list. Semien can play second base, shortstop and third base. With Matt Davidson the long term solution at third base, Semien could be the White Sox future at second base. He also could spell Alexei Ramirez at shortstop should Ramirez be traded this season. The White Sox are in a rebuild and Ramirez certainly should attract some trade partners come June or July, as he is a very good defender.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is scheduled to return to the Rangers lineup today, so he should be good to go on Opening Day.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy hinted that Hunter Pence could be his #2 hitter in the Giants lineup while Marco Scutaro is on the disabled list. This will impact his RBI totals slightly, but should result in a slight rise in his runs scored.
If you are looking for more fantasy news or rankings, make sure you pay a visit to Fantasy Rundown, your one stop on the internet for all things fantasy.