Well, now they've really done it.
Rick Hahn is known for at least outwardly broadcasting a very aggressive negotiating position, but at this stage, I want to grant him the benefit of the doubt and conclude that there is not a verifiable soul working in an MLB front office that wants to give up anything of substance for Dayan Viciedo. In which case, probably good that they didn't give him 500 more PA's and a gang of innings in the outfield.
Of course, now that Viciedo is available for the league minimum, he's an intriguing bench bat option. "Career 124 wRC+ vs. lefties" they say, "Averaged 20 homers per season the last three years" they say. These people have my eternal contempt. Where were these people when the Sox just wanted a bag of meat that could button a uniform and touch 94mph?
Rick Hahn understands PECOTA
It sure is nice to see a reaction to an underwhelming PECOTA projection (77 wins)--the system that nowadays measures success by delivering underwhelming news to everyone in equal measure. That reaction comes from Rick Hahn, who stresses that the lack of space between AL Central competitors being more meaningful than the win projections.
That's a lot more substantive than "OH YEAH, HOW MANY WINS DID THEY PROJECT IN '05?" Hahn even specifically acknowledges that the way projection systems work almost forces them to underplay Avisail Garcia's untapped potential or Jeff Samardzija's recent emergence. Hahn simultaneously displays understanding and appreciation of how PECOTA works, and the knowledge that he shouldn't be beholden to it. I don't like slathering GMs with praise, but that's pretty much perfect. I don't doubt that many executives exercise this same approach, but Hahn has been particularly open about articulating it.
Alexei Ramirez as leader
The slick-fielding shortstop spent most of the offseason sweating out whether he was going to be shipped out elsewhere, but now that he's returning, it's time to consider his existence as a local institution.
Ramirez is now the longest-tenured position player on the club, and since John Danks is the only man on the roster who predates him, Ramirez is the longest-tenured player who actually figures to play a key role on the 2015 squad. To that end, he's supplying the cliches, which are not as simply put together when you have to file them through an interpreter.
Ramirez has previously admonished himself for not working harder, so it's not like working hard is a constant platitude of his. Anything to move the needle or create a spark for the otherwise aging and slowing Ramirez is worth the inches.
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