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Roberts to White Sox for Floyd?

Baltimore area native Gavin FloydCourtesy of a comment from Joe the Guy, we have news of a terribly juicy new rumor: the possibility of Brian Roberts heading to the White Sox in exchange for the other hometown hero, pitcher Gavin Floyd.

There’s info and speculation available at both MLBTradeRumors and Roch Kubatko’s blog.

First impression: let’s get this done.

I’m with JtG in thinking that it might not be a great straight-up deal, but I’d do it anyway. As much as I love Brian Roberts, there’s always a chance he won’t re-sign. That and the fact that he’s fully in his prime, meaning (a) his value will never be higher, and (b) his next long-term contract will include declining years. On top of that, I think we’d all agree that he kind of deserves a chance to play for a contender.

To get in return a quality young pitcher like Floyd — who just happens to have a similar pedigree to one Mark Teixeira — would be a giant coup for MacPhail and would go a long way towards solidifying this team’s competitive potential in the coming years. Roberts would absolutely not be easily replaced, but finding a second baseman is (at least in theory) easier than finding a guy like Floyd.

There has to be a way to make this happen, yeah?

45 comments to Roberts to White Sox for Floyd?

  • df1570

    Holy Over-Reaction, Neal.

    Now, I’m finally convinced you really DO secretly work for the Orioles.

    Gavin Floyd has a “similar pedigree” to Mark Teixeira?

    OK, I guess so, if you’re count having a penis, attending Mount St. Joe and playing in the major leagues.

    Mark Teixeira has put up Hall-of-Fame-caliber numbers in his big league career and if he posts those kinds of numbers during his 8-years in New York, he’ll probably justify consideration for Cooperstown.

    See this below:

    5 Yr WL% .581 25 18 73 62 2 1 4 0 385.0 400 242 213 67 153 269 26 15 1709 11 1 4.98 4.60 92 1.43

    Those are jumbled and not very readable, I know.

    They’re Gavin Floyd’s numbers.

    He has a career ERA of 4.98 and the league average during that time is 4.60. His career WHIP is 1.43. He has 25 wins in the big leagues in 5 years.

    I’m fairly confident in saying this: Gavin Floyd is NOT going to the Hall of Fame.

    Mark Teixeira might. I’d say right now he’s no better than 50/50 to do so. But Gavin Floyd is 0/100 to do so.

    There is no “similar pedigree”.

    What it is, unfortunately, is the Orioles doing whatever they can to get rid of the one guy who’s career has been ruined by laboring here in Baltimore for the last eight years.

    Like a rented mule — Roberts is no longer needed, presumably because he eats too much food or takes up the big stall in the barn.

    It’s criminal what they’ve done to him. A jury of his peers would reward him damages in any civil suit if he had a decent attorney.

    All that said, I’ll take Gavin Floyd. He’s better than anyone else we have, including, perhaps Jeremy Guthrie, who, for all of his bluster, is a career .500 pitcher with 17 more wins than you, me and Little Ethan.

    Trading Brian Roberts…their BEST employee in the organization, by far.

    Shameful.

  • Andrew out of Rochester

    You absolutely can’t do this straight up. Gavin Floyd is great, but he’s not Mark Buerhle or John Lackey or even Jeremy Guthrie. Plus there are a few things that would bug me about a straight up trade:

    1) We can get basically 2 first rounders for Roberts if we let him walk, and everyone knows it, and MacPhail absolutely needs to use that leverage. I’d rather get 2 first round draft picks over 1 starter who has had, all in all, one good season.

    2) Similar to trading with Billy Beane, I have to pause and wonder why Kenny Williams is willing to give up Gavin Floyd, who is young, successful, and cheap – for one year of Roberts.

    3) While it would give the rotation a big boost (thankfully), it would pretty much leave us in the same position as we have at first: noone’s coming anytime soon, so we’ll be signing horrible veteran stopgaps every year.

    4) I hate the White Sox (irrationally) and wouldn’t want to feel compelled to root for them simply because of Brian Roberts. That said, the Sox have a pretty good farm system we could root through to find something. Roch mentions Chris Getz, which would really start to make the deal look good for Baltimore.

  • sci

    Agreed, Andrew. How about this trade? Roberts and David Hernandez OR Bergesen for Floyd and this Chris Getz kid. That gives the Sox some decent pitching in return and gives us a good 2B prospect who could potentially slide right in to the leadoff spot. If we get a 2B prospect AND Floyd, do this in a heartbeat. Roch is sort of suggesting we try to get both of those guys for Roberts, which will never happen. I also doubt my suggestion will happen, but it would get us closer to a deal.

  • neal s

    @df1570 – you got held in the filter, Drew — sorry about that.

  • neal s

    OK…the post may read a bit too enthusiastic. I’m not saying we should run out and just give Roberts away. What I am saying, though, is that I don’t think I like our chances of re-signing him, and quality young pitching is what we should be looking for if a trade is in the cards. The fact that Floyd is from the area (which is what I meant by my tongue-in-cheek “pedigree” statement) is a nice storyline that could help mollify some of the disgruntled fans.

    I think sci’s proposed deal is the kind of thing we should be looking for. And if it comes together, then I repeat: let’s get this done.

  • Andrew

    Drew, I respectfully disagree with almost everything you’ve said:

    1) We have to trade Brian Roberts. He’s going to walk after the season and if we can get useful players for him, we absolutely have to do it. Holding onto him because of loyalty or salary reasons is Foolish.

    2) Gavin Floyd has had 1 full season in the big leagues, and he’s 25. His only full season was last year, and he was excellent. His recent minor league numbers are also excellent. Saying a 25 year old with 1 season under his belt would be a bad pickup is what’s really SHAMEFUL.

    3) Drew, seriously, you just can’t use wins and losses to tell me or anyone else who is and isn’t a good pitcher anymore. It’s a trivial statistic that relies too much on defense and offense that a pitcher doesn’t contribute to. I mean, a couple years ago Randy Johnson won 17 games despite his 5.00 ERA and a lowering strikeout total…because he pitched for the Yankees, who scored a boatlaod of runs.

    4) You’re so negative about everything Orioles related, and I’m starting to think you might not get It. I just opened myself up for all sorts of rants, go ahead…I’ll probably read them.

    5) That all said, you’re right – comparing Floyd and Teixeira is stupid.

    I would absolutely trade Hernandez or Bergesen with Roberts for Getz & Floyd & someone else. The White Sox teach every pitcher that enters their system a cutter, so I’d imagine Hernandez especially would thrive with them.

  • ryan97ou

    so let me get this straight drew…you rant for about 3 paragraphs about how bad the orioles treated roberts and how floyd isn’t close to teixeira..then go on to say “All that said, I’ll take Gavin Floyd.”

    then end your retort with saying it would be shameful to trade roberts?

    excuse me if i don’t quite understand your point. you seem to be flip flopping more than a chef at IHOP.

    while i don’t agree it would be good to straight up trade roberts for floyd, i think our focus clearly needs to be in pitching this off-season and if we could get maybe something else on top of roberts, i wouldn’t be against this.

  • df1570

    “All that said, I’ll take Gavin Floyd” means I’d take him on my team.

    He might be better than Guthrie, in fact.

    And pitching is definitely not all about wins and losses, Andrew. I never said it was.
    In fact, I wrote about his ERA, his WHIP, etc. His ERA is way above the league average and his WHIP is nowhere near the 1.190 that most “experts” say is necessary to be a quality pitcher in the American League.

    I think it’s shameful the way they’ve treated Roberts. He’s been jerked around more than Peter North. And, yes, I think it’s a shame to deal the best guy in your organization regardless of the circumstances.

    Andrew, you can’t read very well. I never once said or wrote getting Floyd was a bad move.

    But because the team stinks and doesn’t have any pitching at all, most of you look at this guy like he’s Sandy Koufax Jr.

    I’m basically saying that this kid is probably Guthrie2. And perhaps he’ll get us 10 wins this season. That, along with Guthrie’s 10-12, gets us to 22 on our way to 60.

    Brian Roberts DESERVES to be traded. This IS his life-raft on the Titantic.

    But when he does get traded, it will once again glorify just how mismanaged the Orioles are — unable to keep their best employee happy…a guy who has been here through the WORST eight 8 years in franchise history…and then yo-yo’ing him up and down for the last two off-seasons.

    Wake me up when they do a few things right.

    Sometime around 2011, I’m guessing.

  • neal s

    Must…resist…temptation…

  • df1570

    I don’t think you can do it, Neal. LOL

  • Ryan97ou

    drew. You say the organization shouldn’t trade their best player yet not 3 paragraphs later you say he deserves to be dealt. Who’s doing the yo-yo-ing now? I still dont know what your stance is.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Drew’s stance is simple: the Orioles are doing it wrong*. They shouldn’t be doing things the shameful way they currently do them. They are an embarrassment to themselves, the city, and their own players. Whatever they choose to do, it’s clearly the wrong move.

    *Unless they sign Derek Lowe.

  • df1570

    My stance is this: Roberts DESERVES to be anywhere but this hell hole.

    My stance is this: The Orioles should be ashamed for putting themselves in this position where they’re trying to trade their best employee.

    I’m not yo-yo’ing at all. Roberts is far too good both on and off the field to work for the Orioles. He DESERVES better.

    And, had they treated him right a year or two ago and paid the man and tried to actually win some games, he’d be happy (enough) and they wouldn’t be looking to move him.

    Andrew is right, mostly. I haven’t seen them doing ANYTHING right in this off-season. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. They haven’t spent a nickel of REAL money, despite having gobs of it. They’re not “getting better”. They’re simply trying “not to get worse”. A lot of schlubs are buying that theory, evidently.

    Not me.

    You can keep dreaming about Derek Lowe. He wouldn’t take their $48 million anyway.

    He wants to pitch for a winner, I assume.

    You guys hang in there.

    It will get better by 2015.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    @df1570 – What about the Ramon Hernandez trade? We not only dropped a schlub, but we also made room for the top prospect in baseball, AND got some useful parts back. I’d call that a win. Other than that, we just haven’t done anything at all…yet. There’s been some disappointment, sure, but I seriously doubt that we see a rotation of Guthrie-Olson-Liz-Penn-Hendrickson in April.

  • neal s

    This continued fascination with the idea that money spent=on-field success is amazing. There is very little correlation between payroll and wins, Drew. I keep pointing that out and you keep ignoring it because it doesn’t fit your narrative. You gotta do better.

  • df1570

    And Neal, this concept of not adding any quality players, failing to spend money as promised and treating the few good players you have unfairly is proven to result in failure.

    The O’s gotta do better.

    Your narrative – “Supporting the O’s no matter what” is interesting if it’s a child’s book.

    In the real world, though, when u fail to live up to your obligation(s), someone has to play watchdog and hold the offender’s feet to the fire.

    I’ll do your work for you, don’t worry.

    I’ll keep reminding them that what they’re doing isn’t good enough for the majority of the fan base.

    Unless those 35,000 empty seats are absent-approvers, that is.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    @df1570 – You know, you have never not once that I can recall mentioned the farm system and its improvements. It was made tremendously clear to everyone that the farm system was by far Andy MacPhail’s top priority when he signed on 18 months ago, and it’s gaining in strength all the time. Instead, the focus is always on the big league club and how much they suck and why don’t they just outbid the Yankees to sign four guys and be good again (as if that were possible).

    To think that any team can seriously compete without a core of homegrown, cheap talent is laughable. Take any playoff team in the last 10 years. I’ll do some examples:

    2008 Rays – Longoria, Price, Shields, Baldelli, Upton, Iwamura, Sonnanstine, Crawford

    2007 Red Sox – Papelbon, Youkilis, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester

    2000 Yankees – Posada, Jeter, Williams, O’Neill, Pettitte, Rivera, El Duque

    Who do the Orioles have: Roberts, Markakis, Wieters, Ray. You have to do better than that. Again, Drew, I ask you: what have you been watching the past ten years that makes you think the Orioles can just spend some money on a patch and suddenly compete?

  • df1570

    I don’t have time right now to debate Andrew…

    But, uh, will someonoe else tell him about Paul O’Neill and El Duque?

    Thanks.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Okok, shoot I was wrong about O’Neill, who came up with the Reds. But that’s nitpicking my argument, and ignoring the crux of it. Which I am SHOCKED that you would do. Just SHOCKED. Like that time I asked you what the hard questions that aren’t getting asked of the Orioles are. Totally ignored.

  • df1570

    El Duque was “32” when the Yankees plucked him away from Cuba. Hardly a farm-hand.

    Anyway, Andrew, your little list of guys who were/are “homegrown” was kind of interesting. It just goes to show you what good franchises do well – which is probably why the Yankees and Red Sox have been two of the best franchises in the last decade.

    They do just about everything well.

    Our team in Baltimore (the baseball team, that is) doesn’t really do anything well.

    It was kind of neat, though, to see you intentionally dodge all of the good free agent signings that a lot of teams made over the last dozen years or so that helped them achieve success. The Tigers most recently come to mind as a team that sprinkled in good, young pitching with a handful of decent free agents. Of course, they lost the World Series that year – so, really, what they HAVE they won, right?

    Same with the White Sox a few years back, except they won the World Series.

    Pedro, Schilling, Manny, Ortiz — those four guys came from other teams. But you know that, I’m sure.

    Anyway, you can continue to claim the Orioles are “doing the right thing” by not adding any decent players and when the season starts in April, we’ll see what the majority of the fan base thinks about that theory.

    Let’s agree to let the green seats do the talking, huh?

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I didn’t dodge anything, did I? The Tigers complemented their homegrown core with quality free agent signings. The Red Sox complemented their group with free agents. The Yankees add tons of free agents (their recent core of guys is growing a little thin, I guess). It’s all about complementing, complementing, complementing, which the Orioles can’t do without the core already there.

    And no, I don’t think you can just say the Orioles are doing the wrong thing based on a frustrated fanbase. I keep going back in my mind to a quote from Moneyball: “I can make you cheaper and better. It’ll take a couple of months to make you cheaper and a couple of years to make you better. But you’ll be a lot better.”

    Besides, what choice is there, exactly? Mark Teixeira didn’t want to sign here. Derek Lowe doesn’t want to sign here. The “decent players” Drew’s talking about don’t want to sign here to play next to Melvin Mora and Radhames Liz. If we can build a strong core of players – which I assure you we are – through the farm system that Drew continues to simply ignore as if it were 100% unimportant, then we can have a realistic shot at being able to sign quality free agents instead of stop-gaps and veteran bullpen arms.

    Oh, and the only reason the Red Sox got David Ortiz was because they had upgraded their scouting and player development departments to the point where they could recognize his potential. He was a total under-the-radar move when they got him. Similar to how the Orioles picked up Jeremy Guthrie for nothing.

  • df1570

    Well, Andrew, I hope you’re right, my friend.

    I hope all of this blind-faith you have is well-founded.

    NOTHING tells me you’ll be right…in fact, if I were betting on it, I’d bet that they won’t be successful with this current ownership/management group in place.

    But, I sure do hope you’re right.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Well, I’ll be waiting for you to eat crow when we get there. In the meantime, I assure you that I’m constantly (literally) questioning myself as an Orioles fan (and a Ravens fan, too). I don’t like everything MacPhail has done (Hendrickson, Trachsel, Castro leap to mind) but the foundation he is laying is promising.

  • df1570

    Believe me, dude, if the Orioles EVER win again and 35,000 people start showing up at every game again, I’ll eat all the crow that’s available.

    Sadly, I want them to be successful far, far, far more than they want themselves to be successful.

    They deem success by one measure: how much money they have in the bank.

    I have a whole different definition of “successful” when it relates to sports franchises.

    One thing for sure:

    Ravens=successful.

    Orioles=unsuccessful.

    Not a low blow, just a fact.

  • rick

    find the trade possibility interesting. agree that Roberts is now at max trade value, but also agree with those who say a straight up trade for Floyd is insufficient, e.g., everyday All-Star for an every 5th day quality pitcher.

    Admittedly, pitching is the hardest commodity to gather, and Floyd’s last year was excellent, but still think we could squeeze the Sox to add a decent prospect into the deal.

  • dan the man

    It amazes me that Drew thinks the Orioles can just add all the good players when all the good players don’t want to be Orioles. What do you suggest, Drew? Blackmail? Torture? No. Only laying a good foundation through the farm system that develops pitching will encourage good players to come to Baltimore.

    Neal, props on the site redsign. I really dig it. Onward and upward.

  • df1570

    How about this concept Dan:

    PAY. THEM.

    That’s a start, anyway.

    Ben Sheets. Wants to get paid.
    Have you heard from him personally? Has he said “no” to Baltimore?

    He toiled in Milwaukee for a lot of bad baseball and a couple of years of decent teams.

    The man wants to get paid.

    Give Derek Lowe the money he wants and see if he’ll come here.

    Not offering Sheets or Lowe anything almost assures you they’re not coming.

    I’m no fancy negotiator, but NOT making an offer usually won’t get a guy to
    play for you.

    Just ask Mark Teixeira.

    Oh, that’s right, we “offered” him $150 million.

    I have no idea who WILL or WON’T come here – Cezar Izturis and Mark Hendrickson said “yes” to the O’s.

    Granted, neither one of them are high quality.

    Didn’t Gil Meche sign in Kansas City a few years back?

    They stunk.

    What about Jon Garland?

    I thought the O’s were pitching a tent in their pajamas over Braden Looper?

    What happened there? Did they find out he wanted to get compensation for pitching?

    Who’s catching on opening day?

    Why not throw some money at Pudge and get him to come in under the umbrella of “bringing Wieters along when he’s ready?”

    Oh, that’s right, Rodriguez doesn’t want to play for free.

    Leaves him out, I guess.

    You’re right, Dan.

    Let’s not sign anyone. Let’s not offer anyone anything because they probably don’t want to come here anyway.

    Let’s lose 110 games.

    After all, we still have the Ravens.

    And, like they’ve done every July since 1998, they’ll rescue the sports fans in Baltimore next summer.

  • dan the man

    Again, it takes two to sign.

  • df1570

    Understand that.

    Completely.

    It’s a convenient excuse now.

    But, who deserves it more than the O’s?

    For years, they saved their money and didn’t try to put a team on the field worth watching.

    Eventually, the fans STOPPED coming.

    They got so bad that no one wants to play for them.

    Now, they have a ton of money at their disposal – the FAN’S money, by the way – and can use the “no one wants to come and play for us” line…

    And some of you are going to fall for it, of course, because the team can do no wrong.

    Yet, they haven’t offered ANY high quality free agent any REAL money.

    Except for that much-discussed big offer for Teixeira. The “take it or leave it” offer. (That usually works well…)

    Other than that, no offers to anyone.

    You’re right, Dan, it DOES take two.

    The team actually has to have a pulse.

    And they have to MAKE an offer.

    P.T. Barnum was right.

  • neal s

    You’re quick to revise history on the Teixeira negotiations, Drew. Not only do I know that you know that I know what 1090 is, I also know that you know that what you’re saying isn’t accurate. It is funny, though.

  • df1570

    Teixeira did NOT receive an offer of $150 million from the Orioles.

    Period.

    That’s revisionist history that you can revisit forever, bro.

    And it will NEVER change.

  • df1570

    Breaking news:

    Tampa Bay promotes OF/DH Pat Burrell from the team’s AA roster and signs him to a 2-year/$16 million deal.

    Another farmhand going to the big leagues.

  • neal s

    Dude, you are s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Yes, clearly the Rays got nowhere with their insane “build the farm system” technique that only netted them 3/5 rotation, a stud third baseman, and 2/3 of an outfield, and their equally insane “spend more on scouting” that got them their first baseman, second baseman, the other 2 members of their rotation, most of their bullpen, and a stud, undervalued catcher.

    It’s a mad-house down there. Thank God they got off of that alarmingly stupid kick of theirs. Now they’ll finally compete for sure. Because of Pat Burrell.

  • df1570

    I guess, my point was, the Rays spent more money than the O’s so far in the off-season.

    And they WON the American League.

    I probably wasn’t very clear on that.

    I wasn’t trying to s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

    Just wondering when the Orioles are going to spend OUR money.

    That’s all.

    I realize you guys are OK with them hoodwinking all of us.

    Thankfully, 80% of the fan base isn’t.

    Or, at the very least, that’s what the 35,000 empty seats tell us.

    You guys keep going to the games, though.

    Someone has to pay for MacPhail’s salary.

    And Mark Hendrickson’s.

  • dan the man

    MacPhail has a plan. It’s not your plan.

  • df1570

    Dan, that’s the best thing you’ve said.

    And the most accurate.

    My plan would not include treating the team’s two best players like shit.

    My plan would not include reducing the team’s payroll – while (not coincidentally)
    increasing the team’s loss total.

    My plan would not include taking the $100 million of MASN money and pocketing it instead of spending it on players to compete in the A.L. East, per the team’s mission statement of 2006.

    My plan would not include failing to establish relationships with the media so they all might have a better idea of what “my plan” actually is.

    My plan would not include any of that.

    For once, finally, you and I agree.

    I think I’ll have a beer.

    A cheap one, though.

    I want to follow the plan.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    @df1570 – Leaving aside all the rhetoric that gets thrown around here waaay too much, I would like to have a real discussion about this with you, Drew. Let’s start with this:

    Drew, what payroll would be acceptable to you for the Orioles? More specifically, hypothetically, if the Orioles’ payroll in 2008 had matched the 2007 payroll, would you be complaining so loudly about how they’re slashing payroll and need to spend money to show Baltimore that they’re trying?

  • dan the man

    Good article here by Gammons, as much as I kind of don’t like him. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3807428&name=gammons_peter&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab5pos1

    It basically says: Drew, spending money is not the way of the future unless you’re the Yankees.

  • neal s

    @Andrew in Rochester – I don’t think there’s much farther you can go with it. Drew believes that in order to prove that they want to win, the Orioles have to spend money on top free agents. You can correct me if I’m wrong, Drew, but you’d be hard pressed to argue that you don’t believe that.

    This despite a mountain of evidence that there’s no correlation between payroll and wins.

    There is a correlation, but it’s between scouting/player development/coaching and wins. Andy MacPhail’s record so far in that area is better than average. It might end up being great if we hit on at least three out of Wieters/Arrieta/Matusz/Tillman/Jones. That’s before we start talking about the rest of the potential contributors currently toiling in the minors.

    But, hey, don’t let facts get in the way of some good, old-fashioned muckraking.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    You know, I am starting to get tired of this back and forth. You’re absolutely right Neal. My point was going to be basically deriding the ridiculous correlation Drew made between the payroll going down in 2008 from 2007 and the team’s win total also going down by saying two things:

    1) In 2007, the Orioles won 69 games. ONE more than in 2008. That’s not going down, that’s going sideways. And even that gross oversimplification fails to grasp the improvement in the farm system and the future outlook with the additions of Tillman, Jones, Sarfate, and possibly Albers and/or Patton.

    2) The payroll reduction was attributed to trading Tejada and Bedard, and it is absolutely positively maddening to me that Drew harps on these trades like they were horrible ideas that didn’t backfire tremendously for our trading partners. Bedard blew out his shoulder and Tejada aged 2 years! Gosh, I wish we had kept them so that we could say “we’re trying: look at the payroll!”

  • neal s

    It’s just a question of how deep you want to go. It’s easy to look at payroll and free agent acquisitions as bellwethers. It takes no thought, analysis, or research. Simply look at the balance sheet, see that we didn’t land Teixeira or Burnett or Lowe and say “see, toldja so!”

    Not to say that you don’t engage in thought, analysis, and research, Drew, but you definitely don’t take it far enough.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    On a non-Baltimore note, the Twins owner died today. That’s sad and I mean this with all due respect of course, but he was a terrible owner who pinched pennies as much as anybody in sports. It will be interesting to see what happens in Minnesota in the next few years…with their incredible development system, they could very easily turn into the new Red Sox with the right owner. Stay tuned.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    So, Baseball Think Factory (one of my many, many, many other baseball sites I goto every five minutes for more information) put up the Oriole ZiPS projections (a computer projection of hitters and pitchers which is relatively accurate…not as alarmingly good as PECOTA, but still pretty good, if any of you are into computer projections like I am) and let’s look at Matt Wieters top age-comparison player:

    Johnny freakin’ Bench.

    Now, to be fair, before you go ape-shit, we’re talking about a rookie ballplayer. It’ll be one of the fun subplots of the season to see Wieters and Price go head to head for rookie of the year honors in the toughest division in baseball, but temper your expectations because nobody comes out of the gate and puts up MVP caliber numbers in year 1. In year 2, absolutely. But in year 1, probably not.

    Ok, now get excited for Matt freakin’ Wieters, the new bar everyone will get measured against.