Scott Miller, an MLB beat writer for Bleacher Report, joins Scott and Jeremy to discuss the hottest and coldest teams within the Majors as October approaches.
When the Redsox signed Cuban free agent outfielder Rusney Castillo to a $72M deal this morning, it became even clearer that Boston has the intentions of completely revamping their roster offensively.
As a larger market team, the Redsox had a more realistic shot at signing the coveted player than most teams.
“When you’re going to offer a deal, whether [the player’s] domestic or international, the larger market teams are always going to be in play for a guy like that as opposed the smaller market teams,” said Miller.
Over the past year or two, Cuban baseball prospects have become the hottest commodity within the Majors’ scouting departments, due to a number of reasons.
“This seems to be the next wave of talent as teams look for that,” Miller said. “With the slotting system in the draft now, clubs cannot load up by overpaying guys. Also, the Dominican Republic’s baseball rules have changed with scouting, making players less accessible. [Cuba] is where the loopholes are and you can overpay those guys,” Miller added.
The aforementioned outfield changes in Boston are a direct reflection of the team’s issues offensively in 2014. After acquiring Cespedes from Oakland in exchange for SP Jon Lester, Boston made their goals clear.
“I know everyone in Boston is wondering who’s going to pitch, but I thought when they traded Lester for Cespedes, they were really smart to cut bait,” said Miller.
As for that question of who is going to pitch for the Redsox nest season, Orioles fans may have an answer—Boston traded their left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to Baltimore for the Orioles top pitching prospect, Eduardo Rodriguez, who could feasibly start for the Sox in 2015.
“They also acquired Allen Craig for the outfield from St. Louis. The idea is that they focus on completely fixing the lineup, focusing all of their attention on pitching in the winter meetings,” said Miller.
Another American League power house retooled at the trading deadline, but they actually have a shot at making the postseason. The Detroit Tigers looked to have pulled ahead in the AL central after acquired David Pryce from the Rays, but they’ve slumped recently, and the Royals have taken over first place.
“What the Tigers have to hope is that what they’ve been through the last couple of weeks is their rough time and they’ll get better,” said Miller. “They’ve got some significant pitching issues to deal with and Cabrera isn’t carrying them like he normally does.”