No Time To Panic
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These baseball tonight the podcast. This is the baseball tonight podcast or Tuesday, February twenty six two thousand nineteen. I'm BUSTER only and thank God. We've got a professional on the show today. Dan, standing stepping in for Josh macrey. You went to the NFL combine, Dan, thanks for joining us. I'm so glad that you're in place. A Josh, of course, BUSTER I'm here for you. Okay. So who's your team? We always have to stab us that when folks drop in and a podcast. So I was born and raised in Syracuse New York and for my tire life there. They were the triple a affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. So I'm a Blue Jays fan through and through World Series. When I was young and not a whole lot sense. Oh, that's a tough run. It was a rough two decades. But once they made the plans, again, if years back, it was it made the the losing worth how fired up you about black junior. I can't wait. He he's like the next best thing in baseball. So the fact that he's going to be a blue Jay makes me pretty happy. If you. Yeah. Yeah. You're right minute. Maid April service time in relation today. We're going to be talking with Mark Shera about everything going on we Clayton Kershaw. And with Bryce Harper. We're gonna be talking with Dave shown field and Sarah Lang's will join us with a numbers game. I news notes. Dave Roberts spoke with reporters about the dodgers meeting with Bryce Harper on Sunday. It was good just kind of trying to get to know each other. And I think in the spirit of says the dodgers betting a certain process makes sense. And for those guys do their dudes as well as we reported yesterday. The dodgers are interested in a shorter term deal. Very short term deal. Relative. To the massive contract. That the Phillies have offered and Dave Roberts was asked about whether they not they could get Harper for the short term not realistically being able to have also a long term deal is it realistic that perhaps on a shorter term deal with a decent navy that you guys get him to spring. You know, I I really can't speak to that right now by personally have to just focus on sixty one guys that are so. As far as any other player gets better. If an Andrew question he's referring to Andrew Friedman. That question was asked by Alana Rizzo of the dodgers television network Roberts also gave an update to reporters about Clayton Kershaw who tried to play catch yesterday. And apparently didn't feel so great. He didn't feel great. And so where he's at right now. In might be another day or two till he picks it up again. So right now, I think it's safe to say you didn't feel great coming out of it. So we're that you know has us right now. I really don't know. But I know probably take a step back in until he starts feeling better. I think the medical suss got a handle on it and all touch base to them this evening and figure out the course of action for platen. But right now, we don't have an MRI sniffy. It's not ideal. And you know, you hope when he picks up the ball. There's you know, he comes out and feeling better. So obviously, it's not ideal. But you know, we'll deal with whatever comes our way. Kurt Sandovol ABC seven in Los Angeles was on with Freddie and Fitz. Simons any talk first about Scott Boris, and the dodgers everybody here is wondering is Scott Boras playing the dodgers why would Bryce Harper to a five year deal with the dodgers? I can see him doing maybe a two year deal Rabi. But if the Phillies are already offering him over three hundred million for ten years the dodgers aren't going to play that game. There's no way. Sandovol address that concern about Mr. Kershaw, the normal thing is okay. He's been off as you know. It's a lot of guys have a little tweaks, but they gave him rest. They've done the anti inflammatories. And tonight Roberts said he wasn't good. And all he did was played catch. The reason. That's big news is not just because he's the number one guy the rotation then he's Clayton Kershaw. But the past two years is numbers of not as ERA, but he's starts in endings pitched have really fallen off the cliff because of back injuries. And so everyone says well, this is shoulder not his back. They're all connected and his age and with that great curveball that he throws. You just wonder boy, it's a it's a big concern. Let's get to it. Sarah's a former all star works as a baseball analyst for ESPN. And Tex the word out of the dodger campus in Clayton Kershaw felt not so good yesterday. And he's not even in a position to to pick up a ball at this point. He's gonna rest the dodgers haven't formally come out and said, yes, he's not going to pitch opening day. But at this point that's a given. Right. It feels like they're just being polite in not making that announcement. Because if you're not playing catch at the end of February you're not gonna start an opening day. What do you think I agree with you BUSTER, and this may sound crazy? I think the dodgers can win this division without Clayton Kershaw. And that's not I it doesn't disparage Creighton Clayton Kershaw because he's one of the best pitchers of of all time. But you look at the dodgers right now. Walker? Bueller is is arguably their ace. Anyway, you got Richhill Kenta mate? Ross stripling hundred zero. I mean, you have all of these pitchers that can give you depth win. They're gonna. Need Clayton Kershaw is gonna need him to be strong and healthy in October. That's how you win a World Series. I don't worry about him on opening day. Or even the first half of the season. I won't Clayton Kershaw ought to be strong the second half. And in Dr over I always thought that the the whole opening gay thing. And, you know, a knucklehead reporters like myself foot would ask players you're going to be ready for opening day. I always thought that was kind of silly because it just felt like such an artificial deadline from the perspective of a player. How did you feel? I I agree. You always want to be a part of opening day. Because it's it's just a it's a big part of your season. And you do care that you wanna be a part of that team on opening day that being said there's one hundred sixty two games. Right. So if you're not on the roster if you're not active on opening day and you show up in mid April. Or even the first of may, it's not that big of a deal. The dodgers can withstand him being gone for a little while. Yeah. And you mentioned the depth in their rotation. They also have the ability during the year, let's say for argument's sake that this is for Clayton Kershaw whose thrown so many his career as a lot of mileage on his arm. Let's say that he doesn't wind up pitching that much this year. Not only have the depth that you just laid out. But they also have the ability make trade in midseason. So I think there's no panic on the part of the dodgers in dealing with this and they've dealt with his absence in recent years. I think that he's had seventy four starts the last three seasons. He's missed month month and a half every season. Yeah. Clayton Kershaw is at a point where he's been such a workhorse his entire career that it may be beneficial for him just to take a few months off anyway, and you know, one of the reasons that that I've pointed to his October straw, if you can say October struggles, you know, maybe why he's not an ace in October is because he's a workhorse all year long and at this point in his career. Maybe it's not terrible to take some time off early. So want to run this past too. Because you of course, you know, years in the major leagues, and you have the perspective of a player last week. I had a really interesting conversation with a baseball executive who like you. And like me, he's got kids. And he said that basically is baseball implements these onfield changes like the twenty second pitch clock. They should pick their battles. And his point was you know, what gives the veterans some latitude in focus on changing the habits of the younger players who've come up through the minors with a pitch clock. And so he's going to write this column today. Baseball has a ton of examples in its history where they essentially allowed veterans to continue with things that they were doing and they were grandfather in a new role, for example back in. I think it was nineteen twenty they banned the spitball, but guys like Burleigh Grimes. They're like, you know, what you rely on that you've been relying on it for years. Go ahead in one thousand nine hundred seventy they put in rules about wearing a helmet, but they told. Veteran players if you're comfortable not wearing a helmet, you can just wear a cap and up in through one thousand nine hundred seventy nine Bob MC Gumri was a catcher for the Red Sox. He didn't even wear helmet for almost a decade after that. And after that conversation, I thought you know, what with things like the twenty second clock in a max Scherzer is on the mound. And he's you know, veteran player Dustin Pedroia has been playing forever. And he's got that routine has between pitches. Just leave those guys alone and make these new rules apply to players who started in the major leagues after two thousand fifteen which is when they implemented the twenty second clock in the minors. And that way the players who've had come through the minors with this maybe more comfortable with it. The rules would apply to them, but not necessarily the veterans. What do you think? I understand the the reasoning. I just don't agree that that's the way to go. I mean, I got player players like max Scherzer. They're going to just are John Lester say the same thing. I mean pitchers that are. I used to taking their time. I mean, twenty seconds is plenty of time in between pitches. I mean, I I played against the the quickest guy in baseball and Mark Burleigh for for years. And Mark Burleigh one of the reasons he was so good is because he got right back up on the mound. So, you know, I I just don't I'm not a big fan of, you know, one set of rules for a group of guys in a different set of rules for others. I think that players will adjust and it might take a couple of months, but we're going there were major league baseball can do this. You know, this BUSTER I mean, major league baseball can unilaterally put this rule into place and have a twenty second pitch clock. And I think they should do it. How do you feel about that? I is a player where basically baseball is gonna come down with a hammer and say, this is the way it's going to be and how do you feel about it as a baseball fan? I like it from both standpoints when my towards the end of my career BUSTER, I'd be sitting at first base, you know, like Cussing under my breath for my pitchers to throw the ball. And and. It's a problem for for fans, and especially young fans that want pace of play. They want action. They're used to seeing you know basketball. They're used to you know, all these kids are watching soccer nowadays where it's just constant action. And if we can take five seconds in between pitches and shave that off of the game get the game move and a little bit more. I think it will allow fans to enjoy baseball much bore. You've been involved in a high profile negotiation when you were free agent. The Red Sox were involved. The Yankees were involved. Other teams were involved. Tell me what you're seeing Bryce Harper negotiations. I mean, I think it's late. I think it's February twenty six and by this point in time. Wouldn't you think that we figure out where he's going to land? And the teams would have drawn lines in the sand. I heard about you know, the Phillies are going to draw a line in the sand. It's February twenty six free training games are already started. If I if I'm Bryce Harper, and I have a three hundred plus million dollar offer on the table. I take it because that's a whole bunch of money for a guy who who's had a little bit of injury history who had a one point three war last year, which is which was below average among position players. I mean, I just don't understand what's taking so long and Bryce Harper is a great player, and maybe he just doesn't wanna play in Philly. But for me, this is taken an awful long time. Yeah. And from a practical standpoint, this has been noted to me by baseball executive by some agents, given the pressure that he's going to be under. If in fact, he winds up with the Phillies, you would think that it would behoove him to make decision and to get encamp because again, you can speak to this as someone who is a high profile agent in you you sign with the team though, you did it in December. If I remember correctly, but these these folks are saying, look, let's say he reaches an agreement today. And there's a press conference on Friday. Then when he arrives in Phillies camp, he's got to get to know his teammates. He's gonna have marketing people coming at him. He's gonna media relations people come in atom. He's gonna have idiots like me coming at him asking for its time. And he's also going to have to prepare for the season. And if you're the Phillies, or if you're the dodgers, and you're going to spend thirty thirty five million dollars on this player this year. We're starting to get to the point where you might be concerned about how this truncated spring training might affect them on the. Field you buy complete. I completely agree. I think there's there is there are many instances where players sat out a part of spring training, and we're affected for the year. Because if you get off to a bad, April may and in the back of your mind, you're saying, well, I didn't have a full spring spring training and you start trying to play catch up. You can bet season can spin out of control. And so now Bryce offers a great player, and he may have no problem with it. But I think the bigger issue is the first question from the Philly media is going to be, hey, dude, what are three hundred million not good enough for you back in December or January? I mean, wh what took you so long and Bryce will have, you know, a kind of a statement and prepared answer for this. But the toughest fans in baseball are Philly fans. You know, maybe the the most exciting and crazy and rabid fans might be in New York and Boston. But the toughest fans are in Philly, and he's gonna. To have some answering that first day of spring training. If indeed he does sign with the Phillies, and you mentioned that it was that that thought was cited by number of the people I talked to yesterday, and you mentioned the idea of setting a deadline or suggestion. I wrote that column yesterday saying that it's gotten to the point with him and for the fillies if they believe they have the highest offer on the table, and they have for weeks and they've talked to him for weeks. It some point you need to put an expiration date on it. So look, you know, you need by by Friday this week you need forty eight hours. We're putting a deadline on this. And it was interesting. Because after I posted that column I heard from a number of agents and executives did most of the time the idea of a deadline negotiation is stupid. But if you're in the Phillies position now it's a little bit like playing poker. And you feel like the other side is bluffing. The suggestion that maybe Scott Boris his other three hundred billion dollars plus offers if you're not buying that that. That would be part of the reason for putting a deadline on top of what we talked about getting Bryce into camper getting a decision, and maybe overcoming your own concerns about whether or not he actually wants to play for you you buy. I I agree. And I'm also I'll add one more thing here BUSTER, if I'm the Phillies, I then pivot to Dallas kaikal and or Craig kimbrel because you know, the Phillies I believe they were eleventh at fifteen teams in offense last year in the National League. And they were eleven out of fifteen teams in pitching. So you know, they got David Robertson to to help the bullpen. But they could surely use a kimbrel. Type the back out of the bullpen. They could surely use another starting pitcher in Dallas kaikal. So if I want to take that thirty to forty million bucks and spread it around. I need to have some sort of deadline from Bryce Harper to then go pivot other free agents. Yeah. And the interesting part of that too is Dallas Tikal is represented by scholars. Head. So you wonder how that affects the conversation? One agent said to me yesterday said Scott won't even let them get into that until they resolve the Bryce Harper thing. So he can continue to use them as leverage, which is tough. Because if I'm Dallas kaikal, I'm saying, hey, man. I don't care where Bryce Harper signs. I'm young winner. I had I had a good season last year. Where's my contract? It's just you know, it's it's a tough situation. I think you know, ultimately, the market is the market, right? If you think you're worth four hundred million dollars. But there's not a team out there willing to pay you four hundred million dollars. You're not gonna get it. And if if you wanna play on the west coast, you're going to have to take whatever the best offer from a west coast team is going to be and that's the free agency works both ways. It's not like players get to play wherever they want text. Thanks for doing this. So he's great insight. Always fun. Buster have a good one. Consider show. Welcome to the show opens show. Welcome to the show. Welcome to the show. Maybe you're in the show with demon show and fees. That's right. Welcome in the show. Dave good to heavy back. And it's great. The Josh is not here because we make the and make fun of him in his absence. We had a great Twitter question last week it which a tweet asked is it better? Would you rather have eight twenty five home or guys or ako Glover's and Tim Kirk gin, and I had the exact same response. So did you that of course, you'd want the gold Glover's Josh macrey sticking with the nineties theme of chicks dig the long ball said. Of course, you want the twenty five Homer guy, you actually dug into this question. It did some research. Well, first of all, Josh, I know you're listening somewhere. Thanks for worst scene out today. But Bob, yeah. Listen to your elders. We know. No. Yes. So BUSTER, I went back to two thousand nine and basically if you just ask this if you took an average twenty five Homer guy, actually, I considered guys at twenty three to twenty seven. It was a little larger pool, and then average gold Glover at each position the goal glove team kicks there, but cumulative walk for the gold glove team thirty seven point nine which would be a great team that would be higher than the position player war for any individual team last year. So thirty seven point nine and the average war or the total war for the twenty-five Homer team twenty six point two. So our goal glove team is eleven wins better. Not even close take the goal Glover's. Dan. Can you believe Josh miss that missed on that one? I mean that seems like such an easy answer. And yet, he totally blew it. I'll tell you what I got to stand up for my guy. Josh share? You gotta score ride baseball the win. You can have a great defense. But if you don't. Score. You don't win. This is the problem. The perception is that go Glover's can't hit while think of who are some of the gold Glover's out there right now. Oh, Mookie Betts. Maybe the best defender in the game at any position Nolan. Erin. Oh, yeah. Love every season yada ear Molina a very good hitting catcher. So again, you added up the goal Glover's like they're the major league. So they can hit it some level. And some of them are really good hitters, so they're good. They're going to win the twenty five home or team. You get a mix. You get some really good players. But you also get a lot of one dimensional sluggers with low on base percentages in bad defense. And that's why the gold glove team is better. Right. So I'm going to relieve you of any responsibility of having to weigh in on the Bryce Harper conversation because we're kind of getting sick of it. And I said on radio the other day that I feel like we're in mild twenty five of the twenty six mile Bryce Harper marathon. So let's talk about instead what we saw from Noah Syndergaard yesterday excited to see Ronnie Dawson play. Now, he's got a tough draw facing Noah Syndergaard. But he's he's a guy that, you know, about, but you haven't heard much about because there's so many other guys very good athlete swinging amiss, and that will retire decide. Bitching on point scoreless. He was absolutely dominant. Dave where he was throwing up to ninety nine miles per I read one tweet that he hit one hundred one miles per hour. He was pitching to both sides of the plate exchanged messages this morning with Dave island their pitching coach and he agrees. He's on a mission. He worked out like crazy in the offseason. He clearly is working on his delivery to slow down the running game. They throw out a runner during the course of his two innings. I, you know, you do wonder if all the talk about degrom last year all the talk about a degrom extension. Nice little motivation for Mr. Syndergaard. And I feel like that he is in a position where he's going to go from one of the somebody who's a really good pitcher to this year. Maybe going into the upper echelon, what do you think? Yeah. He's he's on the brink. My first reaction was why you throw a ninety nine in your first start a spring training. But if you're in shape, you're ready to go. Maybe it's not that big of a concern. But yeah. Yeah. Ever really, you know, his breakout performance in that two thousand fifteen postseason we've been waiting. He had to six oh Yara in two thousand sixteen. Then he got hurt missed a little more tight last year. But there's no doubt the stuff is a plus stuff is good as anybody in the game. Yeah. Hey, they can have the two best pitchers in the National League this year. Nobody would be shocked with those results. Now, the perspective that I got from someone who is there about his velocity. He said, yeah. When you see the ninety eight early in spring, it's a little bit jarring. But he said his motion was so easy. Like it was just a comfortable. I'm playing catching them throw a ninety eight. And it didn't look like that. He was humping up to get to that velocity. What do you think? Yeah. No. That makes sense might question for you BUSTER with Syndergaard in we're nitpicking here. But if you if you look into the numbers, the surprising number is always been his fastball. As fast as it is. As has been relatively hit -able, which is why is hits per innings is up there with the max Shire's of the world. I don't know if that because it straight and people see it or if he's still kinda learning how to pitch and maybe like you mentioned at the outset hitting the corners a little more rather than just trying to blow up by batters. So if he can, you know, get a little better pinpoint control with that fastball. I think that's what gets them to that that site young level. It does feel like he's going through an ever Lucien of thought. I don't have the article in front of me. But I read a piece where he talked about how in recent years. He's thrown a lot of two seam. Fastballs probably to get the movement that you refer to but he feels like this year he wants to establish his four seam or a lot more. We've seen a lot of pitchers in in the last couple of years begin to pitch in the upper half of the strike zone. Maybe Sean Doolittle reliever from the nationals is the best example that maybe that's the weapon that Syndergaard feels like that he hasn't fully. We used and we saw a couple of examples that yesterday where he's beating some of the asteroid hitter's up in the upper part of the strike zone. So he'll be fun to watch this year. No question about it. And I'm hoping that Byron Buxton will be fun to watch. He certainly add himself a day on Monday. Give a listen. You definitely wonder what his emotion levels. Here's a pitch to Buxton who trails one. Hi, this is hit pretty well out by the wall, and it's gone for to run over. Carrying that wind is blowing that way, and he got one high and heath to laugh wiring FOX in his having a day with five RBI. Fiber RBI three hits he's five for five. So foreign spring training. You look, I think you would I would agree spring training results or basically meaningless but Buxton coming off is incredibly frustrating two thousand eighteen season went into the winter with a plan put on some weight gain some strength, and it feels like when you look at his history that he is a momentum type guy in other words when he starts to slumpy might get into his own head. And so while the numbers himselves don't mean anything the fact that he's off to a good start and gets early positive reinforcement from his work. I think that can only be a good thing. What do you think? Yeah. Absolutely. We've seen some really nice runs for him September of sixteen hit a huge months. Second half in two thousand seventeen I would live. We did a list of some of the most important players of this season. I would have Buxton right at the top. I think the twins. They have a chance to compete with Cleveland and the. Aol central even in two thousand seventeen when you look at his offense of numbers there. Okay. Not great. But his defense was so good. He was an extremely valuable player. In fact, he got some MVP votes down the ballot that year if he can even just hit at the level. He had in two thousand seventeen this is an all-star level player in my book and the twins really really need him out there in center field. Yeah. And he's twenty five. Now, he's not twenty two like this is a big year for him. Speaking of fast guys, Billy Hamilton with the reds. We kept on waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting while. He's in Cincinnati for the offense that come for the basic common. It never really did. And I agree with you. I think this is a huge year for him and everybody who has ever dealt with Byron Buxton just raves about the type of person that he is. So I was excited to see that yesterday. I've got no more when Gonzales a little bit also someone who very respected by teammates when into free agency. Last fall, the initial from his agent Scott Boras was in the rain. Of sixty million dollars over four years and the other day he signed a two year twenty one million dollar deal with the twins. And that shocked people in the industry who thought that he would get at least three years. I think there's a great signing for the twins. And I'm stunned at Marlin didn't get a third year given his versatility his experience. And the fact that he's you know, as of today just twenty nine hundred thirty in the month of March. I can't believe he didn't get that third year. Yeah. No, I with you know, maybe we're supposed to fight more on this podcast. But. Super valuable utility guy that you pointed his age that was a big thing to me you're getting thirty and thirty one third year at age thirty two unlike a lot of utility guys, you know, our bench guys today you can play shortstop. He's not just a four corner guy. So the twins. Yeah. I guess you know, it's insurance for Miguel Sonoda third or Jonathan scope at second. You can play a coroner fill in at short. Yeah. You know, has some powers which hitter. I mean, what is there not to like about this guy? He's been a that sort of underrated player on Houston the last few seasons. So I'm with you, great signing, and yeah, absolutely surprised. He didn't get three years. Yeah. I wouldn't they have the twenty five year anniversary of the two thousand seventeen championship team. And he's introduced he's going to get a huge tear because that home running hit off kenley Jansen was I felt like the crossroad in that whole World Series demonstrating. He can do it in the big stage. Yeah. And I love. The bench guys not only the versatility. But you know, the switch hitting so you can bring them off the bench in the middle of the game to get the platoon advantage. You know, when when when you only have three or four bench players in this day and age a guy who can do everything not just in the field. But from either side of the plate just increases his value. And yet maybe two thousand seventeen when he slugged five thirty maybe that was a career year, but still had an opium over seven hundred slugged over four hundred gets on Bet's draw some walks. Just just a really nice ballplayer. Troy till whiskey is trying to prove that he can be a good ball player. Again. This is to Lewinsky playing against the Blue Jays on Monday against his former teammate Marcus Stroman in the first inning giving. Listen, here's the one of the newest Choi tuna, whiskey and the people I talked to today raving about the way he looks. He's almost pre injury to its. What's? Sky the right field and beat that. Two weeks. One. Okay. It was watching Yankee dining because the last week which he's been swinging the bat very well. One way to do yourself that you do. Yeah. Michael. Okay. Ken singleton on the. Yes network and his to it's ski rounded the basis he was screaming in the direction of the Toronto dugout, and I was imagining you had the Blue Jays new staff of a they got a new manager. They got new coaches, and they're looking at each other going really, Marcus Stroman was might have been on the other end of that. And maybe wasn't personal. But don't tell Troy Lewinsky, then a spring training home run doesn't mean anything he's Hyper-motivated after being released by the Blue Jays in the off season, which he told reporters afterward after the game. And he said, hey, this organization that told me I couldn't play anymore. I feel like the Yankees are getting a player. I it's like the, you know, when you break up after a long term relationship, and you're the rebound person. Man. The Yankee seem like they're going to benefit from that. Yeah. No, dad. We know the story. He's has to stay healthy. You know, he's thirty four now missed all of last season. You know, but yeah, the Yankees, I think they have a history of kind of. Picking up guys like this. Yup. Getting some some performance out of them. And obviously the motivation is there even when he was battling these injuries. He remained a good defensive shortstop. You know, he's going to be hitting seventh or eighth or something in that line of. They don't need to be there number three hitter. So. Yeah, it it's a guy we wanna root for. He was such a great player is peak. You know, let's hope he's out there on the field. You know, four or five days a week for the Yankees, Dan. How was it for you to see him circle the bases in yelling at the Blue Jays in being all fired up about this? Did it make you grind your teeth to loan ever heard of them? Now, I will say this that I do Toronto radio once a week. And they asked me the question about this was this a case where the Blue Jays didn't believe in the player or are. They just wanted turn the page. I think it was a ladder. You know, we've always heard things in recent years about the clubhouse culture and jazz tunnels who was traded last year. And Russell Martin nearing the end of his career. They moved him out. They let Troy till Lewinsky go, I wonder if the Blue Jays thought, you know, what there's a chance he might come back and help, but we're trying to build a new thing. And we really can't do it with these older guys sitting around you buy that total reboot. I'm all in on that. Yeah. And that's why I feel like although he's going to it looks like he's going to haunt the Blue Jays all year. I think it made sense for them to do what they did because they certainly weren't going to get anything in return. Given the fact that what they're paying him like nineteen points six million dollars this year before that exhibition game the announced Aaron Hicks gets a seven year contract for seventy million dollars. Dave you and. I talked about this whole notion of with all the labors climate not being great that we're seeing a lot of young players just grabbing deals and trying to take money out like they're on a Bank run. And I think this was the latest example that it's a stunning contract. When you think that Aaron Hicks is young younger than AJ Pollock who signed a four year sixty million dollar deal with the dodgers in the offseason. So the Yankees get more years of control a for a younger player than Pollick. And Hicks is only what six months away from free agency. I think it gives you some again an example of insight into how players around baseball or feeling anxious about what's going on yet. No, absolutely. A guy like Hicks. Who was a late bloomer, you know, but he's really become a nice nice player. You know, I guess there's enough uncertainty out there he'd be twenty nine or no you'd be thirty entering his free agent year. Obviously, we're seeing teams you know shy away from anybody in their thirties. So yeah. Grabbed the money while you can for the Yankees. I don't see how this deal financially goes wrong for them. Hicks is too good of a player not to earn back that money. Even just in the first three or four years of that deal. Probably not a center fielder for the length of that. Pretty big guy. I don't think he's going to remain in center for seven seasons, but he can move to a corner after a few years. I think it's a good deal for both guy for both team and player. Yeah. Unbelievable. He's not gonna make more. I think in reading the the details of it. He's not gonna make more than ten point two million dollars per season. That's an incredible bargain. Yeah. Three point nine war and seventeen four point seven last year. I mean, this guy's going to easily be twenty million dollar player in the next couple of years in on paper value, so absolute potential bargain for the ankles. And by the way, wouldn't shock me. If you see a continual wave of deals like this as we go through spring training, you say Kukuchi made his Mariners debut yesterday. He looked terrific showing off a great curveball. You saw the reaction of Joey Votto, when he sort of gave a half hearted swing through one of those curveballs, and he gave a look out to the like, really? Wow. And he told reporters with great respect afterward about how unusual is curve ball as he cited. Clayton Kershaw is as a left hander in baseball throws a curve ball like that young Jin Ryu. But they're just not that many. I I love that snapshot that we got to him yesterday. How about you? Yeah. He gave up two runs in the second inning. But they were unearned yet or a couple of years behind him hit ninety five on his fastball. Looks good obviously, we know it's spring training. It's early but a lot of positive buzz for Mariners camp about what they've seen so far from Kukuchi. So could be a nice little stealth pickup there from Jerry DiPoto. What do you see in the Mariners this season before we check out? Yeah. Well, they're you know, they're my hometown team that I grew up watching. So I do pay little extra attention to them. You know, everybody seems to be projecting disaster. There's a chance they could be better than expected. If Kukuchi is good Mark Gonzalez kind of had a breakout season last year Domingo's Santana. I thought was a nice pickup. This guy was really good Jeb years ago for the brewers, you know, so he could be a nice fit in left field. I think they wanted the trait Edwin Encarnacion, they're kind of stuck with him. But what's wrong with that hit thirty two home runs last year? Bullpen huge question. Mark back rotation. King Felix huge question, Mark. But there's a chance they could surprise. Maybe they're just a five hundred team maybe a little better. So when they were in the process of trading and windy as in Robinson casino and James Paxton leading Nelson. Go a. Cruise. Go is a free agent. Of course, a lot in the narrative was this is a team that's tanking. I talked to a Mariners person you said we have too many good players to tank like we can't we can't go all in and win fifty games because we just have too many players who are affected. So in the eyes of this person that was ridiculous. This was just part of the rebuilding process that I think the Mariners put off three or four years you buy in that. Yeah, they needed prospects. But also, you know, the to bounce back candidates are Kyle Seager who played through a broken toe for most of the second half. And Gordon who also played through a toe injury to you know, both had not for them pretty bad years last year. So there are some bounceback capability from those two as well. They like Malik Smith is a leadoff hitter. L Mitch Haniger on the more underrated players in the game. Again, the pitching depth. I don't think is there to to necessarily get them into the playoffs but pitching sometimes can surprise it come out of nowhere. So. Yeah. This is not a team that's going to lose ninety five games or ninety games. I think they're better than that. Dave, thanks for doing this. You bet let me tell you about Pete who loved hockey and always wanted to play in the NHL Pete played since he was three and begged his mom to let him stay on the ice by some nights. He even slept in its hockey skates. Pete practiced and practiced unto one day when he was forty seven p three lines. He just wasn't that good. So he threw his skates in the trash. But then he heard how DIKO proud partner of the NHL good save money on car insurance. So he switched and saved a bunch. So it all worked out numbers game. Sarah Lang's is a producer a reporter for MLB dot com, and Sarah good to talk with you today. I've got two topics on the Mets I wanna run past. We'll start with the good. How great was Noah Syndergaard yesterday. Like he was tremendous. And I connected with Dave island the Mets pitching coach today about how good Syndergaard looks. And Dave absolutely Greece's me that it looks like Syndergaard is on a mission command of both sides of the plate, sir. But the most encouraging thing he sped up delivery. So it can be more competitive against the run again. Yeah. I mean, that's something that we've been hearing about him since he came up, and it's really good to see them working on it. And it's really positive to see you know, it's early in spring, but he was very disappointed with his year last year from everything that I read so it's good to see him coming back with that vengeance. And even though he had a good year. Most pitchers would consider that a good year that he wants to be so much better. And that he's working on those issues. I feel like there's gonna be a nice competitive dynamic between Syndergaard. And and Jacob degrom maybe a little bit like Randy Johnson. And Curt Schilling. What do you think? Yeah. Yeah. I think I think the hitter such different personalities at least in the way that they portrayed themselves, then, but you see that competitive drive, and I think that's really really exciting. It's gonna be a really fun thing to see. And I mean, I've been at games where you see them messing around before a game. You know, I saw them like throwing baseballs like they were football out to the outfield of the game two years ago that stuck with me, and you wanna see that, you know, some of these best duos trios, whatever they are pitchers that we've seen throughout the years the day Nimick that they have sort of off the field has been part of it too. So I think that's a real fun thing. Right. Let's play the numbers game. Number three. Number three is five seventy two. That's the winning percentage of the dodgers are projected to have by steamer projections. It's the best in the National League last year. They had a five sixty four one percentage. Remember, they almost. Didn't win the division. They're projected to allow three point eight seven runs per game. The fewest in the majors last year, they had an NL best three point three eight year or a second the major stolen Astros and allowed three point seven runs per game. The project is a score four point six runs per game. Which would be down from four point nine last year. But the question is can all of that finally yield a World Series title? They won six straight division titles. The third longest streak since divisions came into existence in nineteen sixty nine but each of the teams what they longer such streak one at least one World Series. Not span the brave the fourteenth straight and one world third side on the ankles with nine straight and three World Series. Number two. Number two is four point six. That's the angels projected runs allowed per game. Also by seamer, which is in the bottom half of the league. But last year they allow four point five runs per game. So it seems like they're about on par last year their pitchers they had a lot of injuries and issues. They had sixteen different pitchers. Make a start for them which was tied for second most franchise history and a season and tied for second. Most in the majors the only team with Moore was the raise who we know some unconventional pitching thing. Tyler Skaggs is probably going to be that number one starter either to six to erase through July twenty fifth last year. But then a fourteen ninety era in five starts the rest of the way limited by a left deductor sprain. So the big question as to whether he can take on that role. But one thing that I think is really interesting with the handles pitching is they've got Jonathan lucrative behind the plate. And you know, he hasn't been quite what he had been over the last two years. But he's there the team leader he said that he's trying to improve his catching metrics, it's pitch framing all of that. And they've got a lot of catch. Ching experience and Brad office and catching coach Jose Molina. So you wonder if that that'll affect the pitching in a positive way number one number one is thirty one point three that was Josh Donaldson war from twenty thirteen to sixteen the only position player with more. And that span with Mike trout, but then he played in just one hundred thirteen games and twenty seventeen and fifty two and twenty eighteen with calf injuries and a shoulder injury. So can he return to being that elite player in the very small sample of time? He played with the Indians last year. He looked much better. He played in sixteen games for them at a five twenty slugging percentage compared to four twenty three and thirty six games with the Jays before he got hurt in. May he did everything better with higher average higher on base and one other sign that maybe he was a bit healthier there or exit philosophy? So we didn't eighty nine point seven mile an hour exit philosophy with jase last year and ninety one point two with the Indians. So perhaps that health continues. I know he's. Is going to make it spring debut on Friday. We'll see what we get out of him. Right, sarah. And then I mentioned also bad news out of the Mets camp. Todd. Frazier has a strained left. Oblique? Here's Todd Frazier. Just a little while ago. Speaking with reporters, this is from Anthony Tacoma's Twitter feed. A new thing, man. I was I was hitting. I'm sitting ball. Great. And just at the end is fellow tightness in my left side. And. Classified as just a strain on my laptop Blake's of basically and Sarah run this past who is a long suffering Mets fan. The Mets say it doesn't appear to be severe. What do you think? Okay. I'm not hopeful, you know, early spring injuries are always this kind of move, sir. And maybe guys are getting back into the swing things. You never know. Exactly. What's wrong? But I think it's interesting. There have been two notable injuries and mess camp. And they both happened like Tuesday and Thursday. Right. So they know when the numbers MS. But you know, the Mets did work on their debts is often. And it's going to be interesting. It's definitely getting tested early. You know, right now, it doesn't matter. Anybody can play bass in spring training game. But it will be interesting this and the jed Lowrie injury continuing to the season to see if that does that they did work on kind of raising up more. What that really helps them stay competitive in the early going there without some of the key guys, sir. Thanks for doing this. Thanks so much for having me about their. Tweets. All right BUSTER. Here we go. Let's start with the CF school of sweat at school of sweat BUSTER at this point. Wouldn't it be wise for the Phillies? Settle with upgrades made for this season. Then refocus on air Nado next winter and possibly trout. Those two would definitely be better than the Harper Machado. Everybody thought they'd be getting. Yeah. It's an interesting concept. But I'd say this. I if you're in the Phillies physician you're trying to win in two thousand nineteen you're not going to sit and wonder about my trout in two thousand twenty like eat you need in the fall of two thousand twenty for that matter you try to make the team better for this year. They wanna get Bryce Harper right now. Which is why I do think they gotta push into resolution you like my day of deadline on their offer an expiration date. I'm not sure I like it. Because let's say you say the offers twenty four hours from now. And then comes and goes, they'd still take him. Right. So I think it's I think Boris and Harper would know it's a fake deadline, and your point is absolutely fair. And I had some agents say to me yesterday if you said a deadline you better follow through. It's like being a parent, right? I mean, if you tell your kids if you don't get this done, this is what the punishment is you have to follow through. All right up next from your local blockbuster at Elvin yacht. Katori simple question are kluber in Bauer still on the trade bloc. If so where are they likely to be dealt as a cubs fan? I wouldn't mind seeing either of them pitching on the north side. Yeah, it's interesting. There hasn't been a lot of talk about these two. And a perception of folks with other team is the Indians would be much more willing to trade Trevor Bauer he's going year to year. He's wondering arbitration against them a couple of seasons in a row. I would not at all the shocked to see Trevor Bauer moved during the two thousand nine hundred and season. And that's not to say the the needs would give up on the year. But they might feel like during the course of the regular season when they see a contender looked upgrade its rotation. Maybe they could trae Bauer from this tremendously deep rotation and add some prospects moving forward. Okay. From Mark Hammett at Mark in Memphis, any chance at trade could make trout a brave. Lots of pitching prospects in the organization, Mark no chance. Like, I think trout either takes whatever the angels offer. Or he goes to the Phillies or the Yankees. I can't imagine in two thousand twenty one. He's going to be an any uniform other than one of those three. What do you think the Braves fans can dream? I just I'd love to be in a Blue Jays uniform of that's not gonna happen. Okay. For a marina at Rena banana BUSTER if you pulled together every team projected to win less than eighty games. This includes the Padres my Blue Jays and pirates among many into one giant super tank. Who'd you take in a series against your twenty nineteen pick to win the World Series. Yeah. My twenty nine hundred picked to win the World Series the Houston Astros. And so I thought about that. Because that would include guys like Manny Machado, Jameson, Tyrone and Starling morte and Joey Gallo. You know what I take the all star team. I'd take the volume, but I I really believe in the Astros to win the World Series this year. I noticed you didn't mention Vlad Guerrero junior. We'll just okay. Well, you know, he's not a big leaguer yet. He he needs a little bit more seasoning in the minor leagues. The defense third base that easy hot corner. All right from Noah locale at licks BUSTER. I'm careful bringing this up. But how far away are my Mariners from contention? I feel like DiPoto is doing some great things all caps now. Please don't curse my team. I hope you don't curse teams BUSTER. I did curse. The Mariners for years because what happened was that? I would constantly pick them to make the playoffs. I think one year I had going to the World Series. And of course, because I chose them to do that. They were cursed. Right. Wow. Our friend greenie. Yeah. Exactly. The podcast has the BUSTER occurs. Rather than the greenie curse? David. I talked about the Mariners and how we feel like they're making progress, but they're not close to a playoff team. Okay. From Scotty Poznansky at pas NAN seven so far what has been the most under the radar transaction made this off season in my opinion. Charlie Morton to the raise will add depth to a fairly weak rotation. It's still one now. Ninety games last year. Morton's postseason experience could prove lethal as well. Scotty, I would second your notion. We'll tell you that among teams that looked at Charlie Morton, they do have concerns about the medicals and everybody in baseball loves him. They got tremendous respect for him. And the question is Willie. Stay on the mound. We'll stay healthy. And finally from Reggie deal at baseball nerd, oh seven BUSTER. I was not alive then, but what is happening to Kershaw feels very sandy Colfax like to me instead of short term with Harper. Should they instead go short term with clinical? Reggie I completely agree with you about the comparison with Kershaw and Colfax. In fact, I wrote that a couple years ago, just knowing how Clayton has very high standard for himself the way that sandy Colfax. Did if you told me that in two years, for example, we woke up one day, and there's a press conference in kershaw's calling. It a career wouldn't surprise me. Now, he did start to make adjustments with his stuff. He does have three years left on this. Extension. They had. So he could wind up pitch in a while. But in terms of right now, I think they're fine. Look the nationally west is not a great division in terms of its depth of contenders. That we talked about the depth of the dodgers rotation. I it'd be Bill. They'll be okay, especially because Walker. Bueller? Looks like he's going to merge. One of the best pitchers in baseball this year. And don't forget to keep those Bleacher tweets coming in use the hashtag Bleacher tweets, Dan. Thanks for checking in filling in today. Thank you muster. It's been great. Yeah. And you'll be with us the rest of the week. Correct. Not friday. I'm off to a sports analytics conference in Boston. Nice. Yep. I'm glad you're here is I say, it's nice having a professional on the show. My thanks to Mark Teixeira to Sarah, laying Dave Schoenfield. Thanks for listening. Everybody and have a great day. Thanks for listening to the baseball tonight podcast if you're playing fantasy baseball don't forget to listen to the fantasy focus podcast checkout all podcasts at ESPN dot com slash pot. Separate baseball tonight. The podcast.