“Lions and tigers and bears oh my” is a classic song from the legendary movie “Wizard of Oz“. As baseball fans walk down the Yellow Brick Road of the MLB Hot Stove, we have already spotted the cowardly lion (Derek Jeter), the tiger ( MVP Giancarlo Stanton) and the “bull market” bear (Shohei Ohtani).
The winter meetings begin December 10th. If both Stanton and Ohtani have found new teams by then, you can expect to be refreshing your favorite MLB rumors twitter account hourly next week.
THE COWARDLY LION
Derek Jeter as a player, made it easy to respect him. The “Re2pect” campaign during his farewell tour was heartfelt and as real as a scripted promotion could have been. The baseball world rejoiced when one of the game’s most controversial owners Jeffrey Loria sold the Miami Marlins to the beloved Jeter and his associates. Mr. Jeter has quickly muffled those cheers!
Derek Jeter, who takes over as Marlins’ CEO and co-owner next week, has quietly fired four members of the team’s baseball operations department, in the wake of dismissing five prominent team employees last week, according to sources.
And Jeter, once again, asked outgoing Marlins president David Samson to fire the employees for him, according to a source. MiamiHerald.com
The Miami Marlins let go of a scout in need of a kidney transplant while he was in the hospital recovering from colon cancer surgery.
Story at Yahoo Sports: https://t.co/djZ7CPP8S4
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 1, 2017
Okay you can try to defend the man by saying he is simply cleaning up a mess left behind by someone else but where is the tact he always displayed as a player?
So much for the gift basket giving Rico Suave of his courting days. More like the pink slip terminator.
One can understand Jeter’s desire as an owner to curb expenses. A degree in mathematics or private investigating is not necessary to know the easiest way to reign in costs would be to trade the most expensive player.
Sources conflict on how much Jeter and Giancarlo Stanton have been in contact with each other and whether or not the two actually need to speak during this awkward process, but effectively issuing an ultimatum to prompt him to leave is the epitome of inferior management.
Jeter was in attendance at the American Airlines Arena on Sunday night. The Miami Heat were facing the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Sometime around the third quarter, Derek Jeter came up on the jumbotron in the arena. He was booed. MarlinManiac.com
I want to like you Derek, I really do but this cowardly lion routine has got to stop. Be the man who made millions of New York Yankee haters cheer for you anyway. Be the man who earns the trust of battered Marlins fans instead of hurting them more. We all know you have a vision, please start putting some of your Yankee polish and pedigree on the way you are conducting business.
The Miami Marlins find themselves in a situation where the King of the Jungle is one of the in-mates of the asylum. Newly crowned NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton has a full no-trade clause on his 10-year, $295M contract. He literally holds his fate in his hands. This will not be a “regular baseball trade” like the one the Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals just pulled off on December 1st because the key to this deal will be the salary dump and not asset exchanges.
If money was not an issue, quite frankly, none of us would be talking about the Marlins and Stanton. Therefore, Marlins fans hoping for a staff ace to replace the gone-too-soon Jose Fernandez will not get it for the soon-to-be traded Stanton.
Sources: #Marlins have agreed to general framework of Giancarlo Stanton trades with both #STLCards and #SFGiants; the deals are on hold, while Marlins wait for Stanton to inform them whether he’d accept either trade. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 3, 2017
Fangraphs currently have the St. Louis Cardinals projected at 86-wins and Stanton with a WAR of over 5. According to their projections, it would still leave the Cards a game shy of the Chicago Cubs for NL Central title but would lock them into a Wild Card spot. If this is about winning for Stanton, the Cardinals seem like the logical choice, but there have been reports he would not accept a trade to St. Louis.
If Stanton stands pat to his reported preference of a West Coast team, then the San Francisco Giants are the no-brainer decision here. Sure, it’s still six hours away from Dodger Stadium but if Stanton were to play nice and accept a trade to the Giants he would join a team that has an ace just as feared as Clayton Kershaw. Madison Bumgarner, barring another freak off-road accident, will return to being one of baseball’s top pitcher’s in 2018. If Johnny Cueto can return to 2016 Cueto, form then the Giants legitimately have a stake in the conversation of the best 1-2 mound punch in the league.
Almost Hollywood script-esque, the Giants finished dead last in HR’s in 2017. McCovey Cove won’t know what hit it!
The tiger is a symbol of power and this tiger has options. Does he accept a deal and do what is best for the Marlins or does he use his power of veto and force the Marlins to send him to his reported first choice, the Los Angeles Dodgers? Whichever outfield he prowls around in during 2018, expect the first visit back to Miami to come with a roaring ovation.
“The next Babe Ruth“.
When you read that statement your reaction should be strong one way or the other.
You either get excited hoping he brings the ability to throw 100-mph fastballs for strikes while also being able to hit them out of the ballpark, or you snicker and hope he falls flat on his face in the North American incarnation of the game of baseball.
Many of you have already done both. The below quote is one of the calmer reactions to Ohtani deciding against their team.
It seems staggering to me that so many Yankees fans seem to think that Ohtani choose to not sign with the Yankees because he doesn’t respect the Yankees or because he doesn’t care about winning or that he doesn’t care about greatness and all of that. As much as we’d like to think otherwise the world doesn’t revolve around the New York Yankees and the Yankees fans. And a team that has won one World Championship in the last 16 years isn’t the only team in major league baseball… Micheal Law Admin of New York Yankees Facebook Group
For those of you unfamiliar with the Ohtani buzz, the tweet below contains answers to most of your questions.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) December 4, 2017
It has been established that their are 7-teams remaining in the Ohtani sweepstakes (in alphabetical order):
- Chicago Cubs
- Los Angeles Angels
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- San Diego Padres
- San Francisco Giants
- Seattle Mariners
- Texas Rangers
It’s a little thing, but perhaps a little thing worth mentioning since comfort seems to be big issue for Ohtani: He trained with Nippon Ham Fighters last 2 years in #Padres Peoria, Az. spring site. Team had a working agreement with Padres https://t.co/V7u3Hl8Ewr
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 4, 2017
The Seattle Mariners share that same training facility with the San Diego Padres. This ostensibly makes these two teams front-runners for Ohtani’s services. For all the connections the Padres have to him, the Mariners have been very forward with their intentions to obtain Ohtani and are proudly flaunting their rich history with Japanese players (Ichiro Suzuki, Hisashi Iwakuma). The reported factoid that Ohtani does not like to hit on days that he pitches would suggest a leaning toward an American League team.
If I were buying you an Ohtani t-shirt today, it would be a Mariners shirt. If I were buying you an Ohtani jersey today, it would be an American League jersey.
My belief has always been that Ohtani would go to an American League team. The Rangers have the most international money available to offer Ohtani and a positive history with Yu Darvish. The Angels have Mike Trout and the roster flexibility to put Ohtani wherever he pleases to play in the field.
Ohtani is definitely a bull in this bear market.
The off-season looks to be in season and we’re just waiting for who is the real man behind the curtain!