Is This the Winter of Our Discontent?

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One can never be entirely sure, but suddenly there seems to be a rush of trade rumors swirling in the air.  Let’s just take a gander at news from just the past 16 hours or so…

  • Detroit and Texas have come together for a blockbuster of a deal:  Prince Fielder to the Rangers with Ian Kinsler to Detroit straight up (literally dozens of sources I could cite here).  Money aside – and there’s plenty of that involved – this seems to be one of those deals that you look at and say “Oh – yeah – that makes perfect sense for both teams.”  I’ll let others explain why, along with the market shakeups.  But you’ve still got to back off and say “Wow – never saw that coming!”  The Rangers are going to get $30 million in cash from Detroit to help them with Fielder’s stout contract (still due $168 million over the next 7 years).  Meanwhile, Detroit has now committed at least $62 million to Kinsler – counting the 2018 $5 million buyout of his contract out in 2018.
  • This rumor also seemed to come out of nowhere:

I’m curious: is there a class in “GM-speak” that you have to take to be able to just rattle off answers that sound definitive… but really aren’t?  Nice job, there, Doug:  you never actually said “we will not trade Ryan Braun“… just that it’s your intention not to do so.  Likewise, I intend to go on a diet and lose weight… I needn’t say more.

 

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easytradeTrade rumors often abound at certain times of the year.  But to start this season with such a bang is relatively unusual.  But I have a hunch that there’s a lot of fuel for more to come – that fuel being the new money.  A couple of days ago, I listed the free agent deals that have already been inked by teams and players.  This includes several rather large ones:  Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, two Cuban expatriates, even Carlos Ruiz and Marlon Byrd.  The money is flowing freely thus far, and there’s a bunch more still to be exchanged.

I also wrote about the new TV money coming in:  roughly $25 million per team.  Obviously, some clubs aren’t blinking at the prospect of moving multiple tens of millions of dollars around… mind-boggling figures for the average fan.  More than a few tweeting fans have also wondered out loud about whether this might mean that the Braves could have an easier time moving Dan Uggla and his contract to another squad.

Update:  seems other people are noticing this Big Trade Trend as well:

The Blue Jays discussed a trade for Matt Kemp with the Dodgers at the GM meetings, reports Shi Davidi of SportsNet.ca. Those discussions appear to have gone nowhere, but Davidi says they are indicative of a trend throughout MLB — teams are entertaining ideas of big trades (like the recent Prince Fielder / Ian Kinsler blockbuster) rather than diving into a free agent market that’s become increasingly expensive.  [source link]

Baseball’s Winter Meetings are 2-1/2 weeks away:  December 9-12 in Orlando at Disney World (the Braves’ Spring Training backyard).  Already, the GM meetings from earlier this month seem to have started some trade fires smoldering.  Last night those embers burst into flame.  There is certainly more to come in the next month.

It’s gonna be a fun winter!

 

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