As the days get longer and flowers begin to bloom, the MLB’s best awake from winter’s quiet slumber and head to spring training facilities across Arizona and Florida with one goal in mind: an RFK baseball title. The RFK offseason, however, was anything but quiet. With less than one month remaining before draft day, the legal experts here at Lionel Hutz Attorney and Expert Shoe Repair take a look back at the offseason that was and preview the season to come.
NOTE: Ever so modest and overflowing with integrity, Hutz did not wish to write his own offseason report card. He enlisted the help of Kenny to write it for him, who then enlisted Raph to edit.
ANOTHER NOTE: In his role as editor, Raph would like to clarify that he does not lie about his sexual conquests, and attempts to portray this are purely satire.
2016 Finish: 2nd
Key Offseason Moves:
- Traded Edwin Encarnacion and Matt Carpenter to American Carnage for $2 and one Keeper Slot
- Traded Kyle Hendricks, $1 and one Keeper Slot to Rutherford B. Haze for Anthony Rizzo
Paul Goldschmidt – $40
Anthony Rizzo – $31
Mookie Betts – $22
*locked keepers in red
Projected Auction Budget: $148
The sun rising each morning. Death. Taxes. Raph lying about his sexual conquests. Game… Blouses going into the draft with star players. Inevitabilities, each one. The Blouses formula in the offseason, every year, has been to lock in star players at a discount before the draft starts, eschewing the traditional model of searching for lower-priced bargains. No one can say the formula doesn’t work; Blouses has finished in the top 3 in each of his 5 seasons in the league, including two championships, and his method and success has certainly changed how the league treats keepers.
Although there was the usual amount of trade chatter from Blouses Team President Lionel Hutz (e.g., nonstop), they have only a scant two trades to show for it (one imagines Hutz looking at the 7 trades completed by Pierre J. Proudhon after a 2016 championship and boiling over in a continuous state of rage, pausing only to masturbate in their glory). One of Blouses’ two trades was a no-brainer, offloading two expensive pieces in Matt Carpenter and Edwin Encarnacion to American Carnage for $2 and a valuable slot (preying on Carnage’s soft spot/hard lust for the overpriced Carpenter). What he did with that windfall, however, is questionable. Orioles GM Dan Duquette said, “it was like finding $1,000 cash in the street, and spending it immediately on a hooker. Which I’ve personally done on 3 occasions.” The $3 Kyle Hendricks for $31 Anthony Rizzo trade with Rutherford B. Haze would have been interesting and beneficial for both clubs, and fitting in with their M.O.s if it were just a straight up trade for the two players — Rizzo is the better player but would have a hard time exceeding the $31 price tag, whereas the $3 Hendricks is a wild card but was a Cy Young contender last year and is an excellent bargain. However, the slot and the dollar that Haze wrestled away from Blouses seemed like extortion. Knowing that Blouses wants, nay needs, nay yearns for high priced sluggers, Haze acted like a pusher squeezing a crack addict for not only the damp, crumpled-up cash on hand, but a blowie for good measure. For what seemed like the very first time, Blouses were the marks and not the con-men; the hunted and not the hunter; the bug and not the windshield; the 12 gin-and-tonics and not the GUMO.
Which is not to say it won’t work out. It always does. Hendricks will probably have a 5+ ERA before getting sent back to Iowa in June to work out his issues, while Rizzo is sure to win the Triple Crown. But if you were to compare Blouses’ projected starting position today versus how it looked before Winter Meetings, you’d see an extra dollar and Anthony Rizzo instead of Jon Lester. With 2 of baseball’s top 5 players at good (Goldy) or great (Mookie) prices, Blouses figure to be in championship contention yet again. But those two players were around before the offseason started. If we are assigning offseason grades based on whether they improved their position during the offseason, this feels like just slightly better than neutral.
Offseason grade: C+