|Senior Circuit – The Holiday Spirit in LA||Tweet|
|The Senior Circuit|
|Written by Jeff Hopkins|
|Tuesday, 18 December 2012 09:14|
Finally we got some big sparks on the hot stove with the top two names coming off the board and the top starting pitcher landing in the NL. Most of the highest ranked free agents have migrated to the junior circuit so far with still a couple gems available yet and obviously an endless supply of money in Dodgertown. Let’s get it!
Some Action This Past Week from the NL:
Rants and Ramblings:
The LA Dodgers are, as every sports media outlet now reports, the new “Yankees” with their big spending ways and all their mega star/mega contract acquisitions. Acquiring Adrian Gonzalez was a great move as he is as good as any 1B in baseball and was likely just unhappy with the poisonous clubhouse in Boston. Crawford was simply crushed by the pressure and media in Boston in my opinion under the weight of the albatross of a contract they gave him – not saying he will put up .300+, 100R, 15HR, 90RBI, 45SB a season anytime soon or ever again (he won’t), but he should still have good value in LA once healthy as the pressure will be off him with Kemp, Gonzalez and Hanley in the line-up (expect say .275-80R-10HR-65RBI-30SB for Crawford if healthy… big if…). Beckett is overpaid and won’t be the pitcher he was pre-2010 or even in 2011, but will be a good SP3-SP4 option in 2013 and 2014. The next big piece was Zack Greinke and his six-year, $147MM deal – what intrigues me the most is the effect of this deal on another pitcher who is watching this Greinke situation as he enters the last year of his current deal and is a much better, much stronger pitcher then Greinke ever was or will be – Adam Wainwright.
Adam Wainwright has finally reached the doorstep of his free agency and the big contract he deserves. Wainwright is one of those rare pitchers that has a will and competitive streak so strong it can sometimes carry them past hitters no matter how bad they feel that day (a la Carpenter, Halladay and Verlander for example). The Cardinals are motivated to sign Waino to an extension – and so they should be, very, very motivated. Wainwright has expressed many times his desire to stay in STL for all his career as well and Cardinal Nation does truly believe Wainwright and fully expects him to sign, unlike Pujols.
Coming off Tommy John in 2012 Wainwright had a very good year – after a very slow start with some very poor run support early, Wainwright picked up steam in late May and June, and tore up the NL after the All-Star break, not showing any real signs of fatigue or health issues down the stretch which makes STL brass happy looking forward. 2013 should be a quick return to his 2009-2010 numbers (18-20W, 200+IP, 2.50 ERA and 200+K:50BB) and him being the true ace of the STL pitching staff. With Carpenter returning as healthy as anyone can expect, the leadership factor will not be lacking in the clubhouse which bodes well for guys like Rosenthals, Kelly and Miller who are all up and coming in the system.
Personally, I would (and will in all my keeper leagues) take say 5-6 years of Wainwright for $110MM+, then getting Greinke at 6yr/$147MM any day of the week regardless of Waino being two years older at 31. This is what happens when players hit the open market, which is why STL wants to prevent this from happening with their star pitcher as prices for pitching are way too high compared to the returns now. Tommy John is an everyday thing these days so it is a non-factor, Waino has pitched 400 innings less than Greinke, and he has shown the steely resolve needed to be a top shelf, true-blue, front-of-the-rotation ace in any league and on any team. Since 2008, Greinke’s 123 ERA+ — a measure that compares a pitcher’s ERA against his peers and ballpark conditions with 100 being average — ranks ninth among starters with at least 1,000 innings. Among pitchers with at least 750 innings since 2008 Wainwright's 133 ERA+ ranks sixth. Cain ranks 10th and Greinke 13th for contract comparison purposes (Waino missed all of 2011).
Greinke is far from the pitcher Waino was, currently is, and will continue to be, and Zack will now get paid as if he were one of the best pitchers in baseball. Unless he returns to his 2009 form, he will continue to sit outside my top-10 starters, maybe outside the top-15 in the majors right now in my mind. Wainwright on the other hand will return to top-5 status in 2013 and the Cardinals will likely have him signed by then and will enjoy his services for the rest of his career.
Catch me on twitter @CanuckHoppy
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 09:25|