There's two major pieces of news this morning, but they both center around one team and one bigger story in Boston. According to multiple reports, the Red Sox have signed both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. While nothing is official yet, reports have both deals at five years in length with Ramirez going for $90 million and and Sandoval getting close to $100 million.
There's numerous angles to these developments, but since this is Purple Row let's focus on how it impacts the NL West.
While both of these players have their shortcomings, they project to be somewhere between three and four win players next season according to most projection systems. Their losses will be felt. Worse yet, there's a significant shortage of both shortstops and third basemen around the league. This means both clubs are at risk of experiencing some high Drag Factor scores from these positions in 2015 unless they do something drastic.
The good news for the Dodgers however is that they're going to see better defense from shortstop in 2015, because as good as Hanley Ramirez is at the plate, he's an enormous liability in the field at short.
2) The Dodgers and Giants both probably got better in the long term
As good as these players are now, they're probably not going to be as productive in 2019 on the tail of the deals. Instead of our rivals having money tied up in these aging, declining players in 2019, they'll be able to spend it somewhere else. This could end up being bad news for the Rockies as the heart of their next contention window appears aligned for the second half of the decade.
In addition to this, both the Giants and Dodgers are assured a compensation pick between the first and second round since both players were given a qualifying offer and rejected it. This will work the same way it did for the Rockies when Michael Cuddyer signed with the Mets.
3) The Rockies now have BY FAR the best left side of the infield in the division
This shouldn't exactly be news but it is something worth pointing out. If the Rockies are going to be competitive at all in 2015, they have to lap the field when it comes to production at shortstop and third base. Now even more than before is their chance to give themselves a buffer over other teams in this department to help make up for other areas where they lack.
The club should also go out of its way to market the left side of its infield as something it wants to build around. The Rockies have both Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado under contract together through at least 2019 if they want it and that's a very strong foundation to build around.
This is also why I view potentially trading Carlos Gonzalez through a different prism than a potential Tulo trade. At some point, Arenado passed Cargo as the second best player on the team. This combined with the positions they play, as well as the amount of time they are under team control (through 2019 and 2021 for Arenado and Tulo instead of 2017 for Cargo) really puts Arenado and Tulo in the same "should they trade them" boat more than Tulo and Cargo - Even though Cargo and Tulo tend to go together in this discussion with the National media.
But with that said ...
4) If the Rockies are serious about listening to offers on Tulo, the best one should come in the next few weeks
I don't want to see the Rockies move Tulo and don't think they should unless another club does something laughably stupid. However, if the Red Sox are going to move Hanley Ramirez to left field (and they can do that since he's athletic enough and won't have much ground to cover with that wall at Fenway), it takes a very serious shortstop candidate off the board and only heightens the demand across the league at the position.
Now if the Red Sox plan on shopping Xander Bogaerts and leaving Ramirez at short, then this is all out the window and the Rockies are really unlikely to get that overwhelming offer for Tulo because other clubs could get Bogaerts cheaper. In any case, what the Red Sox plan to do here is something to watch as it could impact the shortstop market.
Another big late breaking story is coming out of Seattle this morning. The Mariners have reportedly signed third baseman Kyle Seager to a $100 million extension.
Those dreaming of Ike Davis in purple will not get their wish. The A's acquired him from the Pirates yesterday.
The Hall of Fame ballot was released today. There's no major surprises here but it's worth reinforcing how strong this year's candidates are and in turn, how that's bad news for the guys who have been sitting on the ballot for years.