Fielder who can't field now Ranger with no range
(h/t to Sam Miller for that headline)
Huge trade, both in landscape and girth, as Detroit swaps Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler from the Rangers. This is a really interesting trade, and one that I think makes both teams better. First, the outlays:
Detroit gets Ian Kinsler (16/16/14/11/12). They also send $30 million to the Tigers, so you can basically say they are paying Kinsler $92 million for 4 years or $99 million for 5 years. They have a savings of $76 million.
The Rangers get Prince Fielder (24/24/24/24/24/24/24). They also receive $30 million, so you can basically say they are paying Fielder $138 million for 7 years (roughly $19.7 million a year). They take on the extra $76 million.
For this to make sense from the Rangers' perspective, they'd have to get an extra 11-15 WAR from this trade. I think they do; they can move Profar to 2B from LF, as well as upgrading 1B from Mitch Moreland. Also, Fielder's power numbers are going to get a lot better now that he plays in the powder keg at Arlington. For the Tigers, they only have to not lose 11-15 WAR to benefit from this trade. They are going to get 3 wins in the next few years just by moving Cabrera over to 1B from 3B. Kinsler heralds the end of the Infante era in Detroit, but that's a lateral move in my opinion. Castellanos probably moves back to 3B, but I'm skeptical that he can stick there defensively. It'll be interesting to see what the Tigers spend their extra money on, if they spend any of it (you can make the case that Kinsler has an AAV of 23 for the next 4 years, so there is no savings really).
I love trades like this.
Padres grab Johnson
It's a 1 year, $8 million pact. At that price, I'd imagine a lot of teams were sniffing around. You'd need to get 1.1 to 1.6 WAR for that trade to make good, which I don't expect from Johnson; however, the opportunity cost is really, really low. 8 million dollars for one year is nothing, and even if you believe there's a 80% chance he provides you with nothing (and that's my bet), the 20% chance he gives you 3 or more WAR means you could spin him for a really nice rental that every team can afford. He'll move to spacious Petco Field, which can only help his cause.
I'm curious how this impacts Scott Baker's market price. If Johnson is worth $8 million on a flier, surely Baker will get $4 or $5 million, right? I wonder if he's getting priced out of the Cubs' range. In any case, I hope they aggressively re-sign him to a 1 or 2-year deal, because I think there could be a lot of surplus value to be had there (with the same small-ish downside).
Cano paddling upstream
Reports say that Cano and the Yankees are around $120 million apart, or what would have been the 10th highest payroll in baseball this season. I think Cano will settle at 8/200 or so. At 8/170, I'd think long and hard about getting in on that, if I were the Cubs. That's a terrible contract years 6 through 8, but 1 through 5 it's actually pretty good if not very good.
Old posting system Nomo
It will change, and Tanaka will probably be posted next month. I bet it'll be baby steps, and there will be another bigger change to coincide with a new CBA.