The Tigers traded Prince Fielder to the Rangers for Ian Kinsler Wednesday night. Yesterday I wrote about what the deal means for the Indians' chances of contending in 2014 and beyond. The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes weighed in too, and he's a lot more excited about the trade, largely because he undervalues the significance of Detroit saving $76 million, and also because he pictures Fielder as "Protection Inc." for Miguel Cabrera, and seems to think the entire Tigers lineup is going to suffer from Prince's absence.
Justin Masterson is excited about the trade too. As a right-handed pitcher, he's glad to see one of the games big left-handed sluggers leaving the division, but he was also happy to be surprised by a big baseball move. "I kind of enjoy seeing some big trades, just because it's fun, it's exciting. I'm a fan of the game, too."
Elsewhere in the AL Central, the Royals signed Jason Vargas to a 4 year, $32 million deal. Even with the market being inflated by new TV money, I'm surprised to see a team make that long a commitment to a pitcher who's never been any better than average, but this also isn't the first move Kansas City has made that I wouldn't have gone for. Vargas and Scott Kazmir are/were seen by most as the best lefties on the market, so I wonder if this will prove similar to Kazmir's eventual deal. Would you be game for the Tribe inking Kazmir for 4/$32M?
Some scribes think Paul Konerko deserves another contract, not because he's likely to perform particularly well, but because he's done so much for the White Sox over the years. Others think that's hooey.
Indians farmhand Tyler Naquin (OF) was named to the Top 20 Arizona Fall League Prospects list after leading the AFL in hits. FanGraphs' Carson Cistulli went back through recent records to try and determine how predictive AFL stats are for MLB success (Jason Kipnis is among those who performed well there not too long ago).
Finally, on a somber note... Michael Weiner, head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, passed away Thursday afternoon, at the age of just 51. This came 16 months after he was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has a fine look at Weiner's life and accomplishments.
"I don't take any day for granted. Maybe this is a lot to ask, but here's what I look for every day: I look for meaning, I look for joy and I look for beauty; and I welcome any interaction with people that helps to support that." - Michael Weiner
Cancer affects far too many, taking an awful toll not only on those stricken by it, but their friends and family members as well. My thoughts go out to those who knew and loved Weiner, especially those who've been closest to him during the last year. It isn't easy. Weiner faced his diagnosis bravely, and lived the short time he had left as fully and with as much positivity as he could, a reminder that each of us should strive to do the same.
Rest in peace, Michael.