Morning MLB Links: Best Trade Ever, Locking Up Pedroia and Pitchers on Toilets
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Good morning! Here are some articles we think are worth reading as you gear up for the weekend.
• Ken Rosenthal reminds us that we're approaching the 10th anniversary of what is probably the best major leaguer for prospects trade ever made: The Cleveland Indians trading Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew to the Montreal Expos for Lee Stevens "and three minor leaguers."
Those three minor leaguers were Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore. Not a bad haul, eh? But I don't think baseball reporters or fans are as dismissive of prospects included in such deals as we used to be. We just know too much, and there's too much great info about minor leaguers available now.
• With the market for elite second basemen exploding after the contract extensions Phillips and Ian Kinsler received this week, Theo Epstein looks pretty smart for locking up Dustin Pedroia when he did.
As Brian MacPherson explains, the Boston Red Sox signed Pedroia to a six-year, $40.5 million extension back in 2008. Boston also holds an $11 million club option for 2015, which keeps Pedroia under club control for another three years, during his prime seasons.
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• It's kind of fun to play the "on pace to" game this early in the season, as silly as it might be. How many of us, after a player hits a home run on opening day, joke that he's on pace for 162 homers?
Dayn Perry plays the game for us, listing some fun numbers. Yoenis Cespedes, for instance, is currently on pace to hit 69 home runs. Josh Johnson is on pace to finish the season 0-54. New league record, as Larry Hackett would say.
• Plenty was written (and tweeted) about 49-year-old Jamie Moyer pitching for the Colorado Rockies against the San Francisco Giants' 22-year-old Madison Bumgarner on Thursday. But as Andrew Baggarly reports, Moyer wasn't the oldest guy slinging baseballs at Coors Field yesterday.
The Giants employ 57-year-old John Yandle as a left-handed batting practice pitcher. He was basically the "scout team quarterback" for Giants hitters as they prepared to face Moyer.
• One of the great joys in life is when you enjoy something that you probably didn't even realize you wanted to see. For instance, faces of pitchers exerting themselves Photoshopped on bodies sitting on toilets, as Mississippi Matt Smith has created for us at NotGraphs. Could it be the next great Internet meme?
Who knew that many pictures existed of people sitting on toilets? I would hate to see the other photos Smith had to go through.
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