Chris beat me to it this morning, talking about the huge Blue Jays/Marlins trade and comparing that to what Ed Wade was able to get for Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn. Hint: Wade actually looks pretty good in comparison. Here are some other thoughts on the trade and the rest of the hot stove league:
- Richard Justice provides some perspective here on the outrage that the Marlins are blowing up their team again. Last year's squad was not good, but they were also expecting a bunch of guys to come together into a cohesive team pretty quickly. The Dodgers proved last season that you can't just trade for 10 new players and expect to immediately play better. Signing a bunch of guys is no different.
- Still, this is a horrible sign for the Marlins franchise, and could possibly have repercussions for all other teams. Dave Cameron over at FanGraphs hits this right on the head when he says that as long as Jeffrey Loria owns the Marlins, they will never be competitive. They will never be able to attract quality free agents or keep their own players long term. At least, that will be the case right now. Who knows how much will change as time passes and we get past this roster armaggedon.
- As for affecting the rest of the league, you better believe every free agent's agent is telling him about this and to be careful where he signs. I bet a lot of guys will be pushing for no-trade clauses if they sign with teams who are not instant contenders or were contenders last season. Does that mean Houston will have a harder time signing players? I think they have to be affected. They weren't fishing in the deep end of the market any way, but this has to hurt their chances of signing guys who they may not have pre-existing relationships with.
- One last thing on this move and what it does for the Marlins: you have to think that Giancarlo Stanton will be out the door eventually. Not until he reaches abitration, sure, but sometime shortly after that. If he asks for a trade, Houston should definitely jump on that offer, but I see it more likely that the Marlins hold onto him until he becomes a free agent and then he can sign elsewhere. In that situation, can't you see Houston making a big play for him then? Assuming he holds up injury-wise, he'd be a great, power-hitting addition to the lineup with Singleton, Springer and Correa.
- Torii Hunter signed with the Tigers today on a two-year deal. This is good and bad for Houston, since Hunter could have made a nice option in the outfield for the Astros. But, when he started drawing the interest he did, it was inevitable he'd sign somewhere else. What this does, though, is set a precedent on the market that works in Houston's favor. A two-year deal would be right up Houston's alley with the kind of free agents they'll be chasing, so getting a contract like that out there will only help this winter.
- Jed Lowrie has been drawing interest. That's no surprise, since we knew he was drawing interest at the trade deadline. it's also unlikely the Astros move him, unless someone comes up with a knockout offer. That's how I'd like it to be, since I think Lowrie can hit 30 home runs while playing solid defense at short next season. If he does that, he has a ton more value to Houston than he does right now.
- Any hope that the Astros might sign Mike Napoli appears to be dwindling, since the Yankees and Red Sox appear to be interested. To have any hope, Houston needed the contending and big market teams to be out of it. They are not, so expect the Astros to move on.
- Ditto for Kevin Youkilis, who's drawing interest from six teams not named the Astros. Youk would make a lot of sense, but if he's bidded up by all these other teams, he's probably out of Houston's price range.
- Here's an interesting note as a sideline to the Justin Upton trade rumors. It appears Atlanta nixed a deal with the Rangers that would have sent Andrelton Simmons to Texas for third baseman Mike Olt. That just confirms how important a good shortstop is for teams, and why Lowrie should be valued accordingly by the Astros.