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Monday Bantering: Snell Trade

World Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Six Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Happy Monday. We actually have news today. Not Blue Jays news but news.

There might be some Blue Jays news soon. Sportsnet tells us that the Jays have made an offer to Ha-Seong Kim. The offer is for’ at least’ 5 years, but several teams have apparently made him an offer.

And Kim is on his way to the states ahead of his January 1st deadline for signing. Or maybe Canada, who knows.

If we signed Kim I’m thinking we would be out on DJ LaMahieu, because how many infielders could we carry? I think LeMahieu is going more money than we would like to spend.

Anyway, we should know where Kim will be playing in the next couple of days.

The Rays traded Blake Snell to the Padres for pitching prospect Luis Patiño, catchers Francisco Mejía and Blake Hunt, and pitching prospect Cole Wilcox.

Luis Patino was the Padres number 15 on Baseball Prospectus top 100 prospects list. Wilcox is number 7 on the list of Padres prospects, who has hit 100 on the radar. He might end up being a reliever, but relievers seem to be more valuable every year. Hunt was number 14, a catcher with power. Mejia was a top prospect (he was on BP’s top 100 prospects four seasons in a row, getting as high as the number 4 spot) but has fallen off of late. He is 25 now. He’s played 128 games in the majors.

Snell was the Cy Young winner in 2018. The last couple of seasons haven’t been as good. He averaged 4.7 innings in 2019 and 4.5 in 2020. The Rays were ahead of the curve on the 2 times through the order idea, but I don’t know that I’d bet that he could go back to averaging 6 innings a start. Most famously, he was pulled in the sixth inning of game 6 of the World Series, when he was coasting along, which didn’t make him happy.

He is to make $11.1 million in 2021, $13.1, and $16.6 million in the next two years.

I tend to trust that the Rays know what they are doing. These trades tend to work out for them. But it appears the Rays won’t be as good a team this coming season, which is a good thing for the Jays.

Phil Niekro passed away yesterday. He was a Blue Jay for 3 starts back in 1987. He was 48 t the time. The starts didn’t go well, but I was thrilled to get to see him pitch. I was a fan for a long time. Knuckleball pitchers were always interesting to me.

He had 318 wins and 274 losses, pitching mostly for a terrible Atlanta Braves team.

Phil threw over 300 innings in four of his seasons. This was back in the 4-man rotation days. He had 3 seasons of over 40 starts.

Craig Calcaterra had this in his Cup of Coffee newsletter this morning:

  • Phil Niekro: 5,404 innings pitched, 113 ERA+, 97.0 WAR;
  • Mystery Pitcher: 5,386 innings pitched, 112 ERA+, 81.3 WAR

The mystery pitcher is Nolan Ryan. So you can see that Niekro was a great pitch, likely underrated because of pitching for a crappy team and because of the knuckleball.

His brother was also a MLB pitcher who threw the knuckleball, but unlike Phil, Joe Niekro also had a couple of other good pitches. Joe had a 221-204 record in the majors.

For some reason, those crappy Braves teams interested me. There were some good players on them, but then some lousy ones that tipped the balance. Phil only pitched two games in the playoffs.

If you think this off-season is going slowly, you aren’t wrong.