You have to feel for Jeff Bridich.
He is six weeks into his first season as general manager of the
When Bridich spoke up Friday, he played the "blame the media" card.
"Most of the media likes to create news," he said, "to try to create salacious stories and create controversy instead of report on news. I think that is an elemental part of what is going on here."
Bridich was reminded the stories were based on an on-the-record quote from Paul Cohen, the agent for Tulowitzki, who told the New York Post he would meet with Tulowitzki on Thursday to talk about whether to ask out of Colorado.
"To say that is not a possibility would be silly," Cohen said.
Said Bridich: "That same possibility existed in the winter time. That same possibility existed in
But then the season started. Memorial Day is not yet here, and the Rockies already are 9 1/2 games out of first place, and that is with the rare combination of a healthy Tulowitzki (.292 on-base percentage) and a healthy
Bottom line: Tulowitzki could have said he has no interest in playing elsewhere. He did not. Bridich could have said he will not trade Tulowitzki. He did not.
The Dodgers are intrigued with the idea of Tulowitzki and
The Dodgers sniffed around the Hamilton trade talks, not because they wanted Hamilton, but because their financial clout would have enabled them to buy a prospect or two while bridging the financial gulf between the Angels and
Since Huston Street gave up a chance at free agency when he signed a two-year, $18-million extension to stay with the Angels, conventional wisdom says he probably gave up some money too.
He didn't. The Angels paid the market rate.
Not only could an injury have dampened Street's value — he has been on the disabled list in four of the five seasons preceding this one — the evolving market for closers could have put Street in significant jeopardy in free agency.
As an increasing number of teams lean toward the sabermetric conclusions that closers are relatively overpriced and the performance of relievers in general is notoriously volatile, the demand for a proven closer diminishes. When demand drops, price generally follows, even amid baseball's record revenues.
At the same time, teams have spread the wealth to setup men to build a deeper bullpen.
In spring training, Street said he believed his value should fall between two free agents signed last off-season: David Robertson (four years and $46 million with the
Robertson and Miller each hit free agency at 29. Street, had he filed for free agency this fall, would have hit the market at 32.
Of the 11 free-agent relievers to sign with another team for at least $15 million over the last three off-seasons, three were proven closers: Robertson,
Nathan had a 4.81 earned-average last year and is injured this year; Soriano lost his job as the Nationals' closer at the end of last season and remains unsigned this season.
Of the 10 pitchers with at least 10 saves this season, their salaries this year range from $521,000 (Brad Boxberger of the
Corey Kluber was three outs from a one-hit shutout Wednesday, and a glamorous page in the record book. The defending
"If you could promise me you could have a six-pitch inning, yeah, go ahead," Manager
That was too easy of an answer. As the Tommy John surgery epidemic rages, it becomes increasingly apparent that pitch counts are not a one-size-fits-all guard against pitcher abuse. What might be appropriate for young pitchers building arm strength and developing careers might not be useful for an in-his-prime Kluber.
Kluber threw more than 113 pitches four times last season, including one start of 120 pitches. His eighth inning Wednesday was not stressful — 12 pitches — and his fastball that was clocked from 91-95 mph all game ranged from 92-94 mph in the eighth inning. His last pitch: 94 mph. He never has been on the disabled list because of an arm injury.
The Indians could have stuck with Kluber without undue risk to his career, not for the shot at history, but for the best chance to win the game. Closer Cody Allen, and his 8.25 ERA, worked the ninth inning to preserve a 2-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cleveland fans booed when Allen replaced Kluber.
"If I was in the stands," Allen told reporters, "I probably would've been booing too."