Lists have become a focal point for us here at the Assembly, and Jolly Old St. Nick has decided to get in on the action. Personally, I’d like to see him make a Top 200 Keepers List, but being the holidays and all, he can do as he pleases. The Big Man insists that only good boys and girls will receive presents. Luckily I snuck a peek and most of you are safe. (Sorry Jim)
Put out the milk and cookies, because Santa Claus is coming to town.
The Naughty List
Ruben Amaro Junior: Asked about the need to add a starting pitcher and about Kyle Kendrick, Amaro replied “It’s amazing. We talked about it this morning. He has 64 wins. Do you know how many wins Garza has? Sixty-seven. He’s benefited from some run support and defense. But wins are wins.” Yes, this is a GM of a major league team. Amaro also signed Carlos Ruiz to be the fourth highest paid catcher in baseball.
Dave Dombrowski: In Dave We Trust is a popular credo among Tigers fans, but it’s been a series of poor decisions for Dombrowski since the 2013 season ended. Failing to give qualifying offers to Peralta and Infante, declining the Veras $4M option, to the trade of Doug Fister. The weak bullpen that was the Tigers’ Achilles heel in 2013 has lost Benoit, Veras, Downs, Smyley and Dotel. In their place is Nathan, Krol and Joba Chamberlain. The rotation and offense also took losses, but take solace that they’ll be a better running team.
Curtis Granderson: The absolute worst signing of the off-season so far, it would be easier to blame Sandy Alderson. I suspect there was something put in that salmon that made the Mets think Granderson wasn’t really a 200K 33-year-old declining outfielder. While Granderson is a heck of a human being, his smile must have been extra convincing. That and his “true New Yorkers are Mets’ fans”.
The Veteran’s Committee: Failure to include Marvin Miller again in 2013, best summed up in the words of Tony Clark :
Words cannot adequately describe the level of disappointment and disbelief I felt when learning that once again the Hall of Fame has chosen to ignore Marvin Miller and his unparalleled contributions to the growth and prosperity of Major League Baseball. Over the past 50 years, no individual has come close to matching Marvin’s impact on the sport. He proved to all involved in Major League Baseball, and to outside observers, that a healthy collective bargaining environment would benefit all the game’s stakeholders. Today, players, owners, front office personnel, fans and the media owe Marvin a debt of gratitude. Despite the election results, Marvin’s legacy remains intact, and will only grow stronger, while the credibility of the Hall of Fame continues to suffer.
Jim Finch: While the rest of us brought gifts, Jim had other things in mind.
The Nice List
Jack Zduriencik: Bringing Robinson Cano to Seattle was a major coup for the Seattle GM. Not unlike the Tigers signing of Pudge Rodriguez in 2004, this was a necessary overpay to help recruit more talent for the Mariners. So far the return has been good with the recent signing of Corey Hart. A nice buy-low on Logan Morrison was a savvy deal that could pay big dividends in 2014. Still a lot of moving parts for the team as Nick Franklin, Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero find themselves on the outside looking in.
Major League Baseball Rules Committee: The decision to ban home plate collisions was announced at the Winter Meetings. While it may not take effect until 2015, the committee is trying to fast track for the upcoming season. Under the new rules, catchers will not be allowed to block home plate and runners will not be able to target catchers. No word on whether catchers can stand half-way between third and home without possession of the ball.
Bartolo Colon: While Granderson goes on the naughty list for signing with the Mets, Bartolo Colon gets a nod on the nice list. While the 18 game winner will provide some veteran innings for the Mets, it’s his impending at-bats that earn him this spot. There is so much comedic value to Colon in the NL, we’ll never be without again. For the next two years anyway.
Brian Cashman: Cashman was able to sign Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and re-sign Hiroki Kuroda. While the loss of Cano stings, it’s hard not to like the allocation of funds that Cashman was able to do. This is a whole new offense after the Yankees failed to make the playoffs in 2013.
The Washington Nationals: Adding Doug Fister to Strasburg, Zimmermann and Gonzalez makes the Nationals the early favourite to win the NL East. The signing of Nate McLouth and the trade for Jerry Blevins, while not glamorous, certainly address the team’s needs. This team will be a force in the NL in 2014.
You. Our Readers: In just 3 short months, you have made us one of your stops online everyday and we’re incredibly grateful. From the questions, to the comments, to the number of times you’ve come to see us. Thanks for making us a part of your fantasy baseball journey and for reading the Fantasy Assembly.
Ho Ho Ho