Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 28, 2013

I dedicate today’s episode The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast to my brother, the amazingly talented Ted Sullivan. I talk a little bit about us growing up, the different ways we celebrated baseball and how we shared a baseball moment as recently as 2008.

Travis Hafner, Bryce Harper, Travis Woodand Matt Moore  owned baseball on April 27, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?”, click HERE.
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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 28, 2013

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The Rays could deal Wade Davis… and make the playoffs AGAIN

It looks like the Tampa Bay Rays are going to trade pitcher Wade Davis.
And this should make Yankees and Red Sox fans soil themselves.

Normally it isn’t wise to deal a 25 year old pitcher with playoff experience who is not eligible for free agency until 2016.

But that’s what makes this brilliant.
Since the start of the 2008 season the Rays have matched the Yankees in playoff appearances, Division Titles and pennants.

They have exceeded the Red Sox in all of those counts.

And while the Yankees try to make sense of their pitching staff and aging roster and the Red Sox are looking at a team at the cross roads, the Rays could get better.

After 2010, they shed payroll, let key free agents go and picked 10 of the first 60 players chosen in the draft, including four pitchers.

They dealt Matt Garza to the Cubs and got a crap load of young players including starting outfielder Sam Fuld and Hak-Ju Lee, their shortstop of the future. They dealt Jason Bartlett to the Padres and got Brandon Gomes, Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos, all who were solid relievers for Tampa.

In other words, they know how to get value in their trades.
Right now the Rays could use a corner outfielder or a DH plus a catcher.

And what better piece of trade bait could there be than a pitcher?
A young talented pitcher with big league experience, playoff baseball under his belt and a reasonable price tag in terms of salary?

And take a look at the Tampa Bay pitching staff.
David Price is solid and is still only 25 years old.
James Shields is the Old Man River of this team at 30.
Jeremy Hellickson is 25.
Jeff Niemann is positively ancient at 29.

Relievers Gomes, Russell and Ramos are all under 30.

Jake McGee and Alex Cobb each have experience and are under 25.
And Matt Moore, the best pitching prospect in baseball, won a playoff game and will only be 23.

10 talented pitchers all 30 or under on a team that has made the playoffs 3 of the past 4 seasons?

And that DOESN’T include Wade Davis who will turn 26 next season and is signed through 2014 and under team control until 2016.

Now take a look at this off season. Which team needs pitching?
A few.
The Yankees.
The Red Sox.
The Blue Jays.
The Orioles.
The Mets.
The Nationals.
The Marlins.
The Reds.
The Brewers.
The Cardinals.
The Pirates.
The Rockies.
The Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers.
The Angels.
The A’s.
The Rangers.

That’s 17 teams off the top of my head who should probably be thinking about upgrading their pitching staff if they want a realistic shot at a playoff run in 2012.

Now with CC Sabathia off of the market, who is available via free agency?

C. J. Wilson? As I wrote before, he’s a flop waiting to happen.

Mark Buehrle? He’s probably going back to the White Sox. Besides as wonderful as Buehrle’s career has been, is it wise to sign someone who is entering their mid 30s to an expensive long term contract?

Yu Darvish? Hisashi Iwakuma? Sorry. After seeing Dice-K break down, I will believe it when I see it.

Roy Oswalt? Mid 30s. On the decline. Will be expensive and cost picks. No thank you.

Hiroki Kuroda? He is talented but at age 37 is also a big risk.

Edwin Jackson? A nice #4 starter but hardly a difference maker.

Javier Vazquez? I wouldn’t touch him with a cattle prod.

Eric Bedard? Joel Pineiro? Paul Maholm? Rich Harden? Jason Marquis? Sure they are all talented and all injury risks who may have their best days behind them.

Which one of those pitchers would you want over Wade Davis?
Especially at his current controlled salary?

So they could play a few teams off of each other.

So let’s review:

A team with a lot of playoff experience and talent to spare and a smart front office who can make shrewd moves need to trade for a bat or 2 and have a young, inexpensive, talented, big league and playoff tested starting pitcher to trade who could be the best arm available.

If a team has a surplus of young outfielders and a young catcher it would behoove them to deal both to the Rays to improve their staff.

Meanwhile the Rays would go into 2012 with a deep rotation, nice bullpen and a new bat or two to go along with Longoria, Upton et al.

And the Yankees will throw money at the latest flavor of the month and the Red Sox will wander the woods hoping that fans still have their 2004 and 2007 DVDs.

I’ll say it here and now… the Rays are going to win the 2012 AL East.

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The Greatest Last Day of the Season… the Worst First Day of the Post Season

After a mindbogglingly amazing (if agonizing for Red Sox fans) finale to the season, I thought “Man, if this is what the playoffs are going to be like then October is going to be incredible.”

Well if tonight was any indication of how it is going to unfold, then this post season will be the biggest let down of anything that didn’t have Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in the title.

Yeah it was cool that Matt Moore had his second ever big league start in the playoffs and he dominated the Defending American League Champs. But guess what? The game was a snooze fest.

And off to New York for the best game 1 match up of the year and we get one inning… and rain.
Enough rain to call the damn game.

Enough rain to make Verlander vs. Sabathia into Nova vs. Fister.
Enough rain to make the Yankees and Tigers waste their ace over one inning.

If the rain was that bad in the second, why start the game in the first?
Is this the 2008 World Series all over again?

The thing that made me pick the Tigers for the Division Series was the idea of Verlander pitching twice. I expected him to go deep in each game… deeper than one.

Personally I would start Verlander in Game 2.
Make someone do a double take to see him starting Game 1 and 2 of the playoffs.

I better see some closer games and closer inspection of the weather report tomorrow.
It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. I hope they don’t get 2 innings in and push it to Sunday.

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