Some things to talk about while physics nerds geek out over this sinker article...
1) Posting system changes
Lots of talk on Monday about the negotiations for the new Japanese/MLB posting system. The reports agree on one thing. It appears we're headed for a posting fee cap that will limit what teams spend to get a marquee guy.
That's about all they agree upon, however. This report, picked up by MLB Trade Rumors from a Japanese media outlet, suggests that of teams bidding a maximum amount, the winner would the squad with the lowest winning percentage. Still other reports from this side of the pond say the posted player will get to pick between maxed out teams.
That difference is huge in considering if Houston has a chance at Tanaka. Let's assume the maximum posting fee is $20 million and that Tanaka would need at least what Yu Darvish got to sign (6 years, $56 million), meaning Houston would need to lay out at least $75 million to sign him.
As we've talked about all offseason, though, this is one of those sneaky ways for Houston to leverage money into adding players without having to convince a free agent to sign here. Tanaka would be at the top of this winter's crazy starting pitching market if he were freely available.
Of course, we don't know what the posting system will ultimately look like. I doubt the winner will be picked by reverse winning percentage, but it's nice to dream, isn't it?
2) Twins take all of the free agents
Old news, right? But apparently the Twins have decided to sign all of the free agents. They added Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes and want to add more, more, more. Will those moves move the needle on their 2014 winning percentage? Marginally.
Last week (maybe), we talked about whether you wanted the Astros to be linked to every free agent like the Twins or to be silent until making a move (like the Astros actually are). Turns out the Twins meant business on all those leaked rumors, even if they did miss out on A.J. Pierzinski.
Still, it feels like the Twins overpayed on both of those deals, both in terms of dollars and years. I'd rather the Astros not get into that same situation and wasn't broken up that either of those guys won't be playing for Houston.
Would we be happier if we were the Twins, though? With the Buxton/Correa question and now all these shared FA targets and the lack of success, it's not a slam dunk. Still, I'm going with Luhnow and Co.
3) Jacoby Ellsbury market moving fast
And now for the completely random, off-base speculation. From Jayson Stark:
Scott Boras is rarely in a hurry but clubs are reporting Ellsbury talks are moving faster than expected. Winter-mettings deal not impossible— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 2, 2013
If the Astros land Ellsbury, how shocked would you be? 75 percent? 90 percent?
I'm not saying it'll happen, but let's just say Houston did the analysis and backs up a money truck to him, offering $25 million over the first three years of his deal and then $20 million for the next three. Doesn't that get a deal done at a higher AAV than any other team would offer?
Yeah, I know. It's not happening. Let me dream. Today has been about all sorts of crazy dreams. That's what you've done to us, Jeff Luhnow, Mike Fast, Kevin Goldstein, Colin Wyers and all the rest. You've made us pick at the dregs of the Ellsbury rumors in the hopes for an Astros connection.
Can't you just tell us something? Like how close you are to signing Archimedes Hoffpauier? Throw us a bone already.