News broke this morning that Victor Martinez has reached a four-year, $50M contract with the Detroit Tigers. While at first glance this news doesn't affect the Rays, it's actually pretty bad news. As Jason Collette points out:
The Elias Rankings gave Victor Martinez a 87.054 grade while Crawford received a 85.128 grade; if Detroit signs both Martinez and Crawford, the Red Sox would get the first round compensation pick and the Rays would get the second round compensation pick along with the sandwich pick from MLB.
In other words, we're likely not going to get a first-round pick for Carl Crawford. The Angels are the main team that's closely been linked to Crawford, but they have a protected first-round pick. Detroit has expressed interest in Crawford, but now that they've signed Martinez, we'd only get their second-round pick if Crawford signed there. In other words, we should probably get used to the idea that we're only going to get a second-round pick and a first-round supplemental pick for Crawford. That is, unless some new team enters the fray.
In other news, there are a couple cool articles floating around that deserve some attention:
- Christina Kahrl at Baseball Prospectus shows what she'd do if she were the Rays' GM for a day. Some of the proposals are realistic (resigning Grant Balfour, signing Juan Cruz), while others seem like a bit of a stretch to me (trading Dioner Navarro for Bobby Jenks).
- The Rays signed minor league hitter Russ Canzler. He's an older prospect and is likely only minor-league filler, but he did put up some intriguing numbers in Double-A last year. RJ Anderson has the analysis.
- Marc Topkin looks at Carl Crawford's position in the free agent market. I love the discussion on draft pick compensation - you don't always find that information in mainstream articles and it's a point that not many people realize.
- Cork Gaines uses Wins Above Replacement (WAR) to make a case for Joe Maddon being the best manager in the American League this past season. While I believe that it's tough to judge a manager through objective means - teams can under- and over-perform for a variety of reasons out of the control of a manager - it's always worth a look and makes for a good discussion point. While timely hitting likely played into the Rays over-performing their WAR total in 2010, it's not unrealistic to suggest that Maddon's line-up and bullpen management squeezed extra value out of the Rays.