about 1 year ago

"The Pirates have shown me a lot of interest, probably more than anybody else," McCutchen told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review at the time. "I feel really good about the organization. When I was down there during spring training, the coaches and everyone made me feel very comfortable."

But moving McLouth wasn't just about moving McLouth. The same day, the Pirates promoted McCutchen. He led off in his debut, stroked two hits, drew a walk, stole a base and scored three times. "Losing a guy like Nate definitely [stinks]," left fielder Nyjer Morgan said. "But we're getting a guy that can play. ... They see a great future in McCutchen."

"It's a huge deal to make," one NL executive said Tuesday. "That town will be fired up. And their depth of starting pitching now is incredible. But to keep blowing through prospects the way they have, with the way trades are evaluated now by everyone in the world, there will be blowback. In the short term, they're really, really good. But in three or four years, when they have to reach for young players to replenish, they're not going to be there. So there is a cost."

The Dodgers have been involved in the closer market as well, but with Rich Hill under contract for $48 million, and with L.A. pursuing third baseman Justin Turner, the cost of a closer would seemingly push them way over the luxury tax threshold, an expensive proposition. Their payroll projection already is at about $204 million, according to Baseball Reference, and if L.A. signed Turner and Jansen, it would be in the neighborhood of $240 millon, in all likelihood.

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Not that there's anything wrong with that. But it's still refreshing to see a guy like Dombrowski who is still willing to charge into the nearest Neiman Marcus, plop down his credit card and say, "This is what I want. Just tell me where to sign."

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He came to Boston to spray champagne and ride the duck boats, as confetti floats out of the New England sky. And if that means paying a price that the other baseball decision-makers of his era are too cautious to pay, then guess what?

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Sale ranks first among all active American League pitchers in career WHIP (1.01). His new top-of-the-rotation co-star, David Price, ranks second (1.14). They're also 1-2 in Fielding Independent Pitching. And they rank first and third, respectively, in career ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio.

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