Notes: Other teams unhappy with A’s, gambling, Scott Boras axed

Catching up on a week of news that wouldn’t stop.

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Last week, Buster Olney tweeted out something that made the whole internet groan. Not at Olney — not this time — but at pretty much all of MLB. You can probably figure out why just from reading what was said:

Within other organizations, there is a lot of disgust with how the A’s have handled the ballpark situation — especially when there’s no actual ballpark plan settled in Las Vegas. And there is an assumption the A’s will tank in the next few years, because their revenue stream will be down to a trickle. “This makes us all look bad,” said one person.

This was met with a chorus of “why did they approve the A’s move, then?!” which, understandable. A few things I’ve been thinking about, though, that should get a mention. For one, Olney doesn’t clarify whether this is from an owner, or an executive who happens to work for one, who had nothing to do with the move being allowed. It would be helpful if we knew: my guess is that it’s an executive who knows how bad of a look this is, and not one of the owners, who by and large are too removed from humanity to ever consider how something will make them “look” to people at large.

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The 2024 season begins in 10 days. Snell, Montgomery are still free agents

What are we even doing here?

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The reigning NL Cy Young award winner, Blake Snell, is still a free agent. The midseason trade pickup that helped propel the Rangers to their first-ever World Series championship, Jordan Montgomery, is also still a free agent. The 2024 Major League Baseball season kicks off on March 28, 10 days from this writing, and yet, the preceding two sentences can exist.

Some hesitation regarding Snell’s future is understandable, given that yes, he did win the Cy Young, but he also did this by allowing the fewest hits per nine of any NL starter — which isn’t exactly something you can bet on repeating to that degree — and his 180 innings is the most he’s thrown since 2018, when he managed two-thirds of a frame more than that en route to his first Cy Young award. It’s not that 180 innings is terrible in this day and age when starters aren’t allowed to pitch deep into games, it’s that Snell’s low inning totals come from a combination of high pitch counts and injuries. He made 32 starts in 2023, and threw at least 100 pitches in 18 of those, so it’s not like he was getting constantly pulled early in his day.

Continue reading “The 2024 season begins in 10 days. Snell, Montgomery are still free agents”