This week will also probably be my last time doing this project for a little while, because as soon as the calendar flips over to the new year, I will be concentrating most of my attention to transferring my 2014 40-Man Rosters document into a new one for 2015. I know none of you have seen a full version of this document (most of the charts and lists I post are screenshots of specific parts of it), but this year I'm limiting the scope to three types of players: 1) anyone who played in the MLB in 2014, 2) anyone on a team's 40-Man Roster, and 3) anyone who was invited to Spring Training on a minor league deal. I'll still keep it up to date over the course of the season, but ignoring all the random minor league signings who somehow popped up in my database should hopefully make things a little more manageable. Who knows, maybe if I'm proud of the layout and the content, I'll even share the whole thing as an open source document somehow.
So now that you all have that to look forward to, let's get right into the player movement:
|McGehee rejuvenated his career in Japan in 2013|
- Miami Marlins trade 3B Casey McGehee to San Francisco Giants for P Kendry Flores and P Luis M. Castillo
Believe it or not, this was not the day's only transaction involving an NL West team adding a third baseman from an eastern division team. About 500 miles south of San Francisco, the Padres continued their torrid offseason by bringing in former Red Sox prospect Will Middlebrooks in exchange for a song (i.e. backup catcher Ryan Hanigan, just recently acquired from the Rays in last week's Wil Myers deal). I chose to highlight the Giants' trade not only because McGehee outscored Middlebrooks by more than 5 times the fantasy points in 2014 (1,450 to 256), but also because it's the first (and so far only) addition made to a roster that won the World Series last year. (And also because it features a player who I referenced in last year's edition of my Players Added to the 40-Man Roster post.) A couple more moves will unfold later this week (see below), but it's not inconceivable that SF GM Brian Sabean might be content trotting out basically the same 88-win team that won it all last year. Granted Casey McGehee is a step down from Pablo Sandoval in many respects, whether or not you agree that the latter player was worth the 5 years / $95 million that the Red Sox are shelling out for his services, but the former player does fill the most significant hole in the lineup left by free agency. Check out the next two moves below and then we'll talk about what the overall trends look like.
- San Francisco Giants re-sign RP Sergio Romo
As is fairly typical of an offseason Sunday, no transactions were recorded on the 21st. And what's more, except for Romo's signing (which was first reported five days earlier by MLB Trade Rumors), the rest of the day's transactions involved sending player outright to Triple-A. San Francisco's bullpen already looked strong before this move, with Santiago Casilla having established himself as the team's Kyra Sedgwick down the stretch last year and the promise of a full season from Hunter Strickland. If former closer Romo's ego doesn't prevent him from excelling in a setup role (which it didn't during all those years he played second fiddle to Brian Wilson), then I can see him as a candidate for a solid performance.
|Jake Peavy displays "a competitiveness... |
that [he] can't hold back."
- San Francisco Giants re-sign SP Jake Peavy
Remember how the Giants bullpen was already looking strong? Well the Peavy signing allows either Yusmeiro Petit or Tim Lincecum to join that group as a super-long-relief option (providing Matt Cain can return to form, or even just health). Not to make everything about the A's, but it's interesting to compare and contrast the two Bay Area teams: both went 88-74 last year, enough to make the playoffs via a Wild Card spot, and both are run by a couple of the most respected general managers in the game right now. But it's there that the similarities end, especially in terms team-building philosophy. I mentioned that Casey McGehee is the only new player that the Giants have added this offseason; well, across the Bay Bridge, Billy Beane has already made a whopping 14 new additions to Oakland's 40-man roster and counting. And we're not even halfway through the offseason.
88 wins is a respectable baseball season in this age of parity. It's not guaranteed to get you to the playoffs, but for most cooler-headed GM's (i.e. Sabean) it's not a performance that requires you to dismantle your entire team and rebuild from the ground up. Actually, rebuild is the wrong word here, because of the connotation that it requires some period of non-contention before a team becomes relevant again: reassemble is probably the best way to describe what Beane is trying to do for the 2015 A's. He's definitely made his team younger and cheaper (the Billy Butler signing notwithstanding), but he's definitely leveraged most of the team's star power in order to do so. Whereas Brian Sabean has made his team more... similar to last year's team. Keep in mind though that the 2015 Giants look fairly similar to the 2012 Giants who also won the World Series. And both teams' pitching staffs look similar to the 2010 Giants, yet another group of world champs. So maybe Sabean's plan allows for some year-to-year inconsistency while setting the organization up for an overall decade of dominance, while Beane is content to reshuffle his deck whenever he grows tired of the current group of personnel. We'll see what happens as time goes on.