Just a few leftovers from the past 24 hours or so…
• The Red Sox finally got their Mike Napoli deal done. What was originally a three-year, $39-million agreement was cut to one year, $5 million after Napoli’s physical revealed concerns about his hip. There are incentives that could make Napoli’s deal worth roughly $13 million this season, but my gosh, that physical must have shown something ugly for the guaranteed money to be knocked down so much.
• Is Napoli a bargain at that price? He might be, but if he’s going play enough to be considered a bargain, he’s also going to make a lot more than $5 million. Can you imagine if the Yankees — in the wake of Alex Rodriguez’s surgery and with all the age/injury concerns on this roster — had a signed a guy with a known hip issue? I think this blog might have exploded.
• Speaking of right-handed DH options, Mike Morse was traded last night, and not to the Yankees. Turns out, the going rate for one year of Morse was a high-risk, high-upside pitching prospect, plus a solid pitching prospect whose future might be in the bullpen, plus a PTBNL. I wonder if Rafael DePaula and Dellin Betances might have been a comparable Yankees alternative.
• In the fallout of the Morse trade, the Yankees might find something useful. It was a three-team deal, and at the end of it, Oakland’s lefty hitting catcher George Kottaras was designated for assignment. He’s still in his arbitration years and is a career .226/.315/.436 hitter against right-handers. It’s worth noting that Francisco Cervelli is a career .317/.414/.393 hitter against lefties. Combining their career numbers — Kottaras vs. righties, Cervelli vs. lefties — gives those two a career .765 OPS as a platoon combination. Matt Wieters had a .764 OPS last year. Of course, that’s only relevant if you assume those career numbers would play out in the course of a full season together (and clearly every team in baseball would rather have Wieters, just pointing out that a .764 OPS is pretty good for the position).
• By trading John Jaso and acquiring yet another LF/1B/DH option, the Mariners basically left themselves little choice but to make Jesus Montero their regular catcher. For those who have been long arguing that he’s good enough to stay behind the plate — and for those who have been long arguing that he’s not — it’s going to be fascinating to see him give it a shot at the big league level. If Montero fails, the Mariners do have one of the game’s top catching prospects.
• There’s so much deferred money in Rafael Soriano’s deal with the Nationals that, Buster Olney says, other GMs and agents are treating it’s present-day value as roughly $11 million. I’m not entire sure why that matters — I guess in terms of setting the market for other players – but it’s interesting.