Jonah Keri wrote his fifth annual Major League Baseball Trade Value Column. The first came with Grantland. This is the second one published on Sports Illustrated (here is 2016’s).
Keri’s former editor-in-chief, Bill Simmons had an issue and went public with it.
It’s worth noting that Keri included this paragraph in his column:
(Thanks as always to Bill Simmons, who came up with the idea to rank all NBA players by trade value many years ago and urged me to start an MLB Trade Value series. Special shoutout to FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron, who’s been doing his own MLB rankings for the past several years.)
Simmons obviously did not invent the concept of assessing trade value. He did, however, turn the idea into a successful running column and, by Keri’s admission, encourage a MLB companion piece. His frustration, to a certain extent, is understandable.
But Grantland was owned by ESPN and no longer exists, so does ESPN now own the format-idea now? Isn’t that where Simmons’ logic leads eventually?
Just spitballing here, but perhaps Keri’s piece just torpedoed an MLB Trade Value piece somewhere in The Ringer pipeline and Simmons didn’t notice Keri did the same thing last year?
Whatever the situation, Simmons felt strongly enough to do this publicly in lieu of a phone call.