Some things to talk about while Gabe Kapler preaches on player evaluations...
1) Ryan Braun suspended
This is a big one. The other shoe finally dropped in the Biogenesis case, as Major League Baseball suspended Ryan Bruan for the rest of the season. Not for 50 games. For the rest of the year, effective immediately. Why do I feel like this is just the tip of the iceberg?
For the Brewers, this may be one of the better outcomes they could have hoped for. Braun is unquestionably their best player. This season is also unquestionably a lost one. But, they have a strong core and with a few moves, could be right back to winning ways next year. It's not hard to envision. If Braun had been suspended for 100 games or for 50-100 starting in 2014? That would have wiped out this year AND the next for them.
This way, they at least get some hope for next year. Brewers fans, though, are still dealing with it. Over at Brew Crew Ball, they posted this:
Braun will be hated by fans everywhere. He already was after the 2011-2012 offseason. That will intesify further, though. It will be something he'll have to overcome. He won't get the Andy Pettite treatment from fans. Maybe they'll lighten up a little because he finally sort of admitted to and apologized for his transgressions, but most will still despise him.
Congratulations Bud Selig, you got your feather in your cap you so desperately needed.
Nice to see someone else with bad things to say about Selig? It's not just Astros fans, after all. For his part, Braun seems to have owned up to things. Here is Braun's statement he released Monday afternoon:
"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed - all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love."
I'm guessing he's not appealing this one now. But, I wonder if his admission of guilt is due to MLB letting him winnow down his sentence by admitting to them what he had done. Instead of suspending him for 100 games, which would have bled over into next year, he only loses about 65 games this year.
This is not the end. You can bet A-Rod is next. Will Nelson Cruz follow? Will they wait until 2014 for them?
2) Matt Garza traded to Rangers
Really, really, for real this time. Not just 99 percent sure. It's happened.
The Rangers finally completed that long-rumored trade for Cubs starter Matt Garza. To make up for it, they send MIke Olt, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm and a PTBNL to the Cubbies. Olt and Edwards are the big names, but I'm interested that Grimm was included. His spot in the rotation probably vanished with Garza's addition, but he's still young. Doesn't that seem slightly shortsighted of Texas?
What's the fallout of this deal? Well, it opens up the market a bit. Jeff Luhnow, while not knowing the details of the deal when he talked to the media on Monday, acknowledged as much. Many of the teams who missed on Garza still need pitching, so you can bet they'll turn their eyes to Houston.
Hey, speaking of trade rumors...
3) BtBS on Norris rumors
Okay, this article is less about analyzing rumors and more about ripping off our Five Trade Destinations series. I think we did it better here, but hey, I'm biased towards TCB.
At any rate, Beyond the Box Score dug into Bud Norris to get a look at his market and see what kind of player he might fetch in trades. Well, sort of. They mainly analyzed the market and came up with a few matches. They saw Texas, Toronto and the Giants as possible matches.
But, the takeaway is that they don't think much of Norris:
Overall, Bud Norris has been a serviceable innings-eater that could be a viable #4 or #5 starter on most teams. Cheap and controllable with strikeout potential, he provides considerable long-term value for inquiring teams. Although he may not be as attractive as other controlled starters such as Gallardo, Norris is in the middle of a career year and may continue to improve. With such a low payroll, the Astros shouldn't really have a burning desire to trade him but if they're planning on getting two top prospects for Norris, perhaps now is the best time to sell high.
Not sure the Astros are getting Francisco Lindor for THAT player, but hey, anything is possible. Also, I told ya TCB did it better.
To me, the Garza deal moves the Indians up on the Norris suitor list. If they want pitching this badly, they'll be willing to make a deal that hurts. Does that mean sending Bauer and Salazar to Houston for Norris? That'd be an embarrassment of riches and isn't realistic, but you could certainly see one of them headlining a package, right?