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Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sunday Notes: Brady Aiken’s Career is Nearing a Crossroads | FanGraphs Baseball

I broached the subject of trends — primarily the importance of staying ahead of them — with several executives at this year’s general managers’ meetings. Rick Hahn was among them.

“Trying to get ahead of the next thing is the key for many organizations,” opined the White Sox GM. “We have a lot of smart people back in Chicago who are trying to keep us ahead of the curve on stuff like that. Of course, I’m not going to share too much about what we’re thinking along those ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2018 at 04:06 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Saturday, January 06, 2018

The rise, and the shame, of Jung Ho Kang | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

This isn’t an optimistic piece about his future in MLB.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2018 at 03:54 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: jung ho kang, pittsburgh

The case for going beyond 5 years for J.D. Martinez | WEEI

No. No. No.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2018 at 10:25 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: j.d. martinez, red sox

Friday, January 05, 2018

Inside Baseball | Where Top 10 MLB Free Agents Stand In Slow Market

Will teams be able to stay disciplined to their evaluations?

The Red Sox did indeed offer a five-year deal, as Nightengale reported. But word is there are other five-year offers. So while they seem like the logical landing spot, as the richest team in the mix (the Diamondbacks, Blue Jays and perhaps the Giants are the others known to be at least dabbling in the derby), they probably can’t be called the bona-fide favorite unless they go to six years, which might have the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2018 at 07:39 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Is Eric Hosmer bidding war overblown?

You need two teams to have a bidding war. At least you need one team to believe there are two teams.

The largest contract the Royals have given was the $72 million they gave to Alex Gordon, a stifling contract that—as the Royals head into rebuilding mode—stands as a hard reminder of what can happen when you let your heart guide your decisions.

None of this really stands up to reason. The only explanations I can come up with are:
1. Agent Scott Boras is some sort of James Bond villain ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2018 at 07:35 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: eric hosmer, free agents

Beyond the Box Score: Scott Rolen does not deserve to be in the Hall of Fame

Rolen seems to be an interesting test. 70 WAR by both Fangraphs and Baseball Reference,  but lacking in both Black and Gray Ink, and only 8518 PAs in 17 years. Good in almost everything, but no dominating abilities in a single skill, or defining moments in postseason play.

Hank G. Posted: January 05, 2018 at 02:09 PM | 129 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, hall of very good, scott rolen

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-5-2018

Topeka State Journal, January 5, 1918:

The Boston Braves were reported to have had a generous slice of that Weeghman bank roll today. It is said to have figured in the deal whereby Larry Doyle and Art Wilson of the Cubs went to the Braves in exchange for George Tyler.

The Braves were reported to have received $15,000 along with the players. This trade was kind of a big deal - the Cubs sent the 1915 NL batting champ, a decent catcher, and a truckload of cash to Boston in exchange for a good but ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 05, 2018 at 11:00 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Rosenthal: Boras faces a tough market (or does he?); Darvish can do better; Brewers interested in Cain; more notes – The Athletic

“We’ve got more than 100 employees,” Boras told The Athletic on Wednesday night. “We’re in constant contact with every team every five to seven days. We’ve got over 30 people working on free agency year-round.

“The majority of our work has been completed. This is just a narrowing of negotiations for a number of players in the process. We’ve had this number of free agents and more in past years. And we have over double the number of employees of any agency in baseball.”

Boras ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:33 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, pay site, scott boras

Poll: Execs say Shohei Ohtani MLB top prospect

It’s not just Ohtani getting some prospect love.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Dodgers Grab Zach Britton Lite in Three-Team Deal | FanGraphs Baseball

You don’t see three-ways much any more.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:16 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, royals, trades, white sox

Long time Padres coach Rob Picciolo dies at 64.

The longest-tenured coach in Padres history, Rob Picciolo played nine years in a big league infield and worked his way up San Diego’s coaching ladder after starting in player development. That made him a natural resource as former pitcher Mark Grant moved into the television booth for Padres broadcasts in the late ‘90s.

Picciolo’s easy-going nature also made him an easy mark any time Grant tried to contact him via their old flip-phones’ walkie-talkie mode.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

List of hitters poised to breakout in 2018

I’m still all in on Buxton.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:06 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: player evaluation

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-4-2018

Ogden Standard, January 4, 1918:

“Baseball is a great business,” says [Harry] Frazee, “and I’m honest enough to say so. Most big league magnates have made lots of money out of it and they needn’t scream when they lose a bit.

Bridgeport Times, January 4, 1918:

H.H. Frazee, president of the Boston Red Sox, yesterday stirred fandom with the announcement that he was hot after one more ball player who would further clinch the American league pennant next summer.

Well, it certainly sounds like the Red ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:13 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Baseball Therapy: Why The Shift Persists - Baseball Prospectus

Billy Ripken can’t be right, can he?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:30 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: defense

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

MLB starters who fare better in shorter stints

If you are going to pull starters earlier, why not go to a four-man rotation? This would add another body to the pen (someone you should be able to use for two+ inning stints). As Earl Weaver used to say, it’s easier to find four good starters than five.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 03, 2018 at 08:29 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Gammons: My Hall of Fame ballot explained (and, yes, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are on it)

The Athletic appears to be having technical difficulties (I can’t log in to RTFA, despite my subscription) but this title seems to disagree with Thib’s tracker, which has Gammons voting for Bonds this year but not Clemens, even though he voted for both in 2017.  Any idea what’s going on?  Has anyone gotten to read it?

MLB Buzz: Trade talk, deals and rumors

Is this Boras just priming the pump?

J.D. Martinez, regarded as the best hitter available on the free-agent market, has a five-year offer on the table from the Red Sox, according to USA TODAY Sports.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 02, 2018 at 04:58 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, j.d. martinez, red sox

MLB hot stove: Cold-hearted economics freeze out elite free agents

Sure, that will end sometime before the start of the season. All-Star first baseman Eric Hosmer has a seven-year offer from the San Diego Padres, which would make him the highest-paid player in franchise history. Outfielder J.D. Martinez has a five-year offerfrom the Boston Red Sox. Yet, neither have signed a contract.

The top two starting pitchers, Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta, have been wined and dined, but still haven’t found a team willing to meet that six- or seven-year asking price.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 02, 2018 at 02:32 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Gathering of SF primates

A group of Bay Area Primates are meeting for beers this Friday at 5:00 at the Royal Exchange, 301 Sacramento St in the Financial District.  Join us if you can.  Look for the table of fresh-from-mom’s-basement nerds.

Traderdave Posted: January 02, 2018 at 02:30 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, beer, giants

What’s That Rocketing into the North Korean Sky? A Baseball (WSJ)

Curtis Melvin, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, was poring over commercial satellite images of North Korea last year when he came across a patch of dirt with what appeared to be four bases, a pitcher’s mound and an outfield.

What surprised Mr. Melvin even more: “It was being used.”

What’s That Rocketing Into the North Korean Sky? A Baseball! 
Mr. Melvin has spent more than a decade exploring every nook and cranny of the isolated country through satellite imagery. He says ...


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-2-2018

Washington Herald, January 2, 1918:


The American Association has set a precedent in abolishing the spitball.

Other leagues have discussed such a move and many baseball men believe that the moist delivery is unfair to batters, but it remained for the big minor league to slam on the lid…

With one fell swoop the magnates legislated against the emery ball, the mud ball, the licorice ball and all other foreign deliveries.

Underrated as a reason to eliminate the spitter: It’s ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 02, 2018 at 09:56 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Castillo, Chatwood among 2018 breakout arms

More good Statcast stuff. I’m all aboard the Statcast train.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 02, 2018 at 06:27 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

Monday, January 01, 2018

Stark | Strange But True 2017

Our favorite Chevy Chase look-alike puts on his Twilight Zone lens and looks back at the wonderful, wacky 2017 season.  Baseball card totals may be great, but it’s things like this that make baseball such a fun sport to follow.

Got any other oddball observations?  Do share!

Peter Farted Again Posted: January 01, 2018 at 06:37 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: recap, trivia, weird

OTP 1 January 2018 - Athlete boycotts of White House didn’t start with Donald Trump — but he sure helped

Amateur teams began going to the White House as far back as the mid-1860s, while the first championship winning pro baseball team attended in 1925. That was the Washington Senators, winners of the previous year’s World Series. They were hosted by then-president Calvin Coolidge.

Teams that later followed include the Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers. The squad was on hand for the same ceremony in 1980 with then-president Jimmy Carter as baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates. In June 1991, the ...

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 01, 2018 at 03:22 PM | 1771 comment(s)
  Beats: champions, politics

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | Astros Targeting Long-Term Catcher

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2017 at 05:50 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Heyman | 5 Reasons Why MLB Free-Agent Market Is So Slow

Reason 6: agents and players are asking for too much money. More money than current evaluations support.

1. Math-odical GMs (and patient owners). The gunslinger GMs like Omar Minaya (who is back with the Mets, but as a special assistant) and Kevin Malone are no longer in those roles, and the win-at-all-costs owners George Steinbrenner and Mike Ilitch have passed on. What’s left are a lot of cautious young Ivy Leaguers who are heavy into analytics, study them from all angles, don’t want to ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2017 at 09:12 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Heyman | Here’s How Much It’ll Cost Stanton To Be A Yankee

How much will it cost him to say at a Motel 6?

It isn’t an exact calculation, but noted tax expert Josh Rossman of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., says that if Stanton chooses to live in New York City, he will have to pay an additional $29 million in taxes on the $295 million remaining in his record $325 million contract.

Stanton benefited by being a Florida resident the first three years of his contract, but his backloaded part will be heavily taxed as a Yankee. Rossman estimated he could save ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2017 at 06:14 PM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, yankees

CBS Sports:  Hall of Famer Willie McCovey has some strong thoughts on Barry Bonds’ candidacy

“Guys took things ever since baseball existed. It may not have been steroids, but guys took things like those greenies and stuff so they could play the next day. You’re telling me everybody is clean as a whistle? You played against guys who were doing the same thing he was doing, so what the heck?”

Stretch’s response to Joe Morgan’s broadside.

Srul Itza Posted: December 30, 2017 at 04:40 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, hall of fame, peds

Friday, December 29, 2017

Wade Davis signs 3-year deal with Rockies |

The club has not confirmed the deal, which was first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan. But Davis has passed a physical, per Harding, so the deal could be announced at any time.

Davis’ deal is for three years and worth $52 million, making it the highest per-year salary ever for a reliever. It also includes a $15 million vesting option for 2021 that would make it a four-year, $66 million deal if Davis finishes 30 games in ‘20; otherwise, the option becomes a mutual option with a $1 million ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2017 at 12:13 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, rockies, wade davis

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-29-2017

Richmond [Indiana] Palladium, December 29, 1917:

Baseball Players Sought by British

For grenade throwing on the menaced west front in France baseball players are wanted by the Chicago office of the British-Canadian recruiting mission.
“Baseball players can do better at grenade throwing than other men, of course,” said a bulletin of the recruiting mission. “They have the strength of arm necessary to throw far and accurately.

Cricket bowlers probably wouldn’t work as well. Bouncing a grenade ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 29, 2017 at 10:09 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

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