Monday, November 16, 2015


'Tis the season... for shopping, for deals, for presents, for getting what you've always wanted and giving just a bit more than you can handle.  Yes, 'Tis the season for free agents and our focus needs to be starting pitching.

We mentioned a little chatter about the idea of Stephen Strasburg's likelihood of pitching in pinstripes last week in one of our reads HEY CASH,  GO GET STRASBURG.  Since then, we kept our pulse on the Twitter feeds, mainstream traditional media and the fans.  According to the Washington Post late last week, "Strasburg’s agent, Scott Boras, believes in having his clients test free agency. And as of now, there aren’t any signs the sides have engaged in any extension talks. The Nationals, after all, have a crop of young pitchers coming up through the minors and inked Max Scherzer to a seven-year, $210-million contract last offseason." And that did not end up all that bad, with Scherzer performing at his absolute best with two no hitters. Incidentally, he pitched his second no-no against the World Series-bound Mets, throwing 17-strikeouts.  Now, the word on the street is that the Nats need an experienced lead-off batter.  Could Brett Gardner help them out?

According to teammate Carlos Beltran, maybe.  "Well, Gardner is a plus to us. He's a guy that can put pressure (on pitchers) on the base paths," said Beltran. "Offensively, for the past couple years, he's been able to do his job. There's nothing wrong to keep him. At the same time, the team is the one who makes decisions, even with me," reported the Daily News.  "The buzz is that Brett Gardner could be trade bait now that Hicks is a Yankee, but Beltran praised Gardner's value to the Bombers," the News added.

Among the other free agent starters on the block are David Price, Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann, but Strasburg certainly leads the pack. Teams with talented minor league staffs with a focus on strong starting pitching may forgo contending to save the dollars and invest in their farm system instead. You can tell a lot about a team by its depth in its farm system.  And right now, we don't have it.  We need to be in contention for free agent pitching or any kind of prospect purchase if we are going to close the deal next fall.

Although Brett Gardner is a arguably a fan favorite and clearly we would need to give up more than him to hitch Strasburg, we need to be open to doing something radical much like the shoppers do on Black Friday or Thanksgiving evening, or whenever that shopping frenzy starts these days.  Ours starts with chatter in and around the Winter Meetings.  The meetings themselves are December 7-9th in Nashville, TN.

We will keep you posted...after all, 'tis the season!

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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