Tampa Bay Rays (8 days until pitchers and catchers report)
Happy Birthday Babe Ruth! He would be 113 today if only he had not taken so many performance enhancing beers, hot dogs and whores…Which gets us to thinking. If The Bambino were playing today and had just completed his 6th season and was set to become a free agent how much would he be worth on the open market.
Under today’s CBA, Ruth would have become a free agent after the 1920 season. In 1920 Ruth hit .376-54-137, posted an OBP of .533(!) and an OPS+ of 256. And while he only made one start as a pitcher in 1920, his resume already included seasons of 18-8, 2.44…23-12, 1.75…24-13, 2.01…and 13-7, 2.22. And those are just the stats. Keep in mind that he was a left-handed pitcher, the most famous person in the country and was only entering his age 26 season.
Consider a bidding war between the Yankees and Red Sox…In today’s day and age you can bet your ass that both teams would envision Ruth as RF/DH/RP, with his pitching role most likely mimicking a left-handed Joba Chamberlain.
How much would a player like Ruth be worth? $30 million per year for 10 years ($300 million)? Actually we would guess that it would be closer to $35 million per year for 12 years ($420 million), with the final years of the deal north of $40 million.
Would the Yankees or the Red Sox go to $400 million for one player, if that one player was a 26 year old Babe Ruth? Consider how the Yankees just gave $275 million to Alex Rodriguez, who will be 32 on opening day, is not a pitcher and only posted 2007 OBP of .422 and an OPS+ of 177. Seem to us that $400 million for a player that could potentially win the Triple Crown and the Cy Young in the same season, would be a bargain.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Matt Bishoff interviews BJ Upton. [DRays Bay]
- One blogger believes that more than half of the teams in baseball have zero chance of winning the World Series, even before spring training begins. For the most part agree, but most would have included the Rockies on the list of teams with “Zero chance” in 2007, and most would include the Rays on the same list in 2008. Yet, a look at our own recent poll of normally disgruntled and apocalyptic fans shows that more than half of Rays fans think the Rays have a shot at the playoffs this year if things break right. [MVN Outsider]
- Rays of Light profiles the Rays 11th round pick from this past year, DJ Jones. We have said it repeatedly, a prospect has to be pretty darn special (ie. David Price) to get our attention before they have done anything at the AA-level. RoL is pretty high on Jones. They may be right. But we will reserve judgment on the high schooler until at least 2010. [Rays of Light]
- The Zips projections for the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays have been released. Zips is one of three or four highly respected statistical projections. [Baseball Think Factory]
- The Stat Pack talks to a pitching mechanics expert about recent concerns that have been brought up about James Shields mechanics. The verdict is that his changing mechanics is just a reflection of coaches trying to get Shields to learn a dominant breaking ball. [The Stat Pack]
- The Sporting Newslooks at six players that could be potential comeback candidates and considers Rocco Baldelli one that won’t. [The Sporting News]
- Stacy Long got a hold of The Baseball America Prospect Handbook and their projections for where each of the Rays’ top 30 prospects will start the season. [Riverwalk Talk]
- Yankees Chick has here 2008 Tampa Bay Rays projections up. [Yankees Chick]
- For those that care about fantasy values, MLB.com has the values for all the Rays. [MLB]
- Raymond is brining the sexy back and he is excited about the upcoming season. [The Big Blue Blog]
- The Tampa Tribune profiles Chris Lahey, the person responsible for promoting the sales of Rays tickets. [TBO]