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Thursday, February 07, 2019

Rangers sign Hunter Pence, Matt Davidson | Texas Rangers

The Rangers signed three-time All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. The Rangers also officially announced the signing of infielder Matt Davidson to a Minor League contract and have confirmed that he will be given a chance to pitch.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2019 at 07:52 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hunter pence, matt davidson, rangers

MLB ‘disabled list’ to be renamed ‘injured list’

Major League Baseball’s “disabled list” will be renamed the “injured list,” a person with direct knowledge of the proposal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the league had not yet made an announcement. ESPN first reported the plan.

The new designation intends to reflect that injured players do not in fact, have a disability.

Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem said Thursday the change is being made at the suggestion of advocacy groups.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2019 at 07:26 PM | 150 comment(s)
  Beats: disabled list

Lenny Dykstra responds to complaints from Linden neighbors in the most Lenny Dykstra way possible

The weird Lenny Dykstra story has somehow gotten weirder…

NattyBoh Posted: February 07, 2019 at 07:18 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: lenny dykstra

How To Save MLB Free Agency

So how would restricted free agency help beyond getting players to the market earlier? It should also increase their share of revenue.

Players with more than three years of service time but less than six are eligible for arbitration. The first year of arbitration eligibility is supposed to garner a player about 40 percent of their open-market value, the second year 60 percent, and the third year of arbitration approximately 80 percent, though that estimate does not always apply. While arbitration earnings are far greater than pre-arbitration salaries, which are typically near the minimum salary, they are still short of market value.

The type of restricted free-agency system that owners attempted to implement in 1994 seems increasingly ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2019 at 05:19 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Babe Ruth is the Greatest Player Ever?—?But He’s Far From the Best

Yet another list to argue about.

“Johnson threw 346 innings in 1913, using soft baseballs the color of John McGraw’s teeth…”

gehrig97 Posted: February 07, 2019 at 04:18 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: a-rod, babe ruth, mickey mantle, mike trout, rickey henderson, willie mays

Phillies land Realmuto for 3 players, int’l signing money

Alfaro, Sixto Sanchez, Will Stewart and $250k in international signing money.  I guess it’s better than what they could have gotten for Fakemuto.

Ziggy's screen name Posted: February 07, 2019 at 03:39 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, prospects, trades

WBAL: Frank Robinson, Baseball Lifer And Orioles Legend, Has Died

Sad news on the eve of spring training. RIP.

A right fielder, Robinson played for five teams in his 21-season career and remains the only player to be named the most valuable player in both leagues. A Triple Crown winner, he was a member of two World Series champion Orioles squads. He hit 586 career home runs, 179 of them as an Oriole.

A first-ballot entry into Cooperstown, Robinson was also the first black manager in baseball, becoming player-manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975 and staying on as manager a year after he hung up his cleats in 1977. Robinson’s No. 20 was the first to be retired by the Orioles, and was also retired by the Indians and the Cincinnati Reds, with whom he debuted. He is one of just two players, the other ...

AndrewJ Posted: February 07, 2019 at 02:43 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hall of fame, indians, obituary, orioles, reds

NY Post: John Malone planning to battle MLB over Fox’s regional sports networks

Billionaire media mogul John Malone is cobbling together a team to bid for the Fox-owned regional sports networks being sold by Disney — and his roster will be going head-to-head against Major League Baseball, The Post has learned.
The Liberty mogul’s strategy, according to sources, includes a promise to team owners that he will continue to sell games to local broadcasters, where cable television is chiefly how fans follow their favorite teams.

Manfred, by contrast, wants to secure central control of media rights so the league can package games and sell them to different streaming and terrestrial networks, much as the NFL does. “MLB is more an adversary with the cable companies than a friend,” said a source close to the ...

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 07, 2019 at 11:22 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cable, tv rights

The little ‘fighter’ son who inspires the Mets’ Todd Frazier

Todd Frazier had more to worry about this off-season than where he’s going to play this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2019 at 10:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, todd frazier

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-7-2019

Jackson County [North Carolina] Journal, February 7, 1919:

[Cubs manager] Fred Mitchell wants the majors to make a rule abolishing an out on a foul fly.
The franchises of the Washington and St. Louis clubs haven’t been transferred in several days now.
Branch Rickey will probably drop his job as president of the Cards to become manager next season. Hendricks is slated to get the gate.
Sunday baseball will probably be made legal in New York state at the coming session of the legislature. Governor-elect Smith favors the plan.

Al Smith for president!

Elsewhere, the New York Evening World reports that the state legislature is considering a bill that would, in part, legalize fishing on Sundays. The number of things people weren’t ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 07, 2019 at 09:51 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Around The Office: How Much Difference Do Pitch Clocks Make?

Baseball America talks about the pitch clock. One thing is clear, MLB will have to stay vigilant enforcing the rules to make a real change. That means staying on the umpires to keep games moving.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2019 at 09:02 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: rules of the game

Transaction Analysis: Curtis Granderson’s NRI and Baseball’s Problem - Baseball Prospectus

This is a losing argument that really doesn’t help players. Ultimately fans end up viewing the issue as extremely rich owners versus really rich players.

Instead of this type of complaint, practical ideas for players to gain more revenue through collective bargaining need to be proffered and considered. Minimum salary bumps would be a start. Negotiating away a year of arbitration (and super 2 status) in exchange for earlier triggers for getting credit for a full year of service time (say 100 days instead of 172, at least for the first season of a player’s career) is an idea that may help discourage teams from manipulating service time. In any case, ideas, negotiation, and compromise will be a much more constructive approach for players ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2019 at 08:03 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Why Bryce Harper makes sense for the Giants – The Athletic

Concern #3: Harper is too expensive

This was a big part of my last article on him, so I won’t rehash it too much. But paying Harper something like $30 million a year is a team making a conscious gamble that he’ll be better than two veteran free agents asking for $15 million in the future. When you see what $15 million buys you on the open market — usually some dude in his 30s or close to it — it’s not a bad gamble.

Besides, while the Giants are absolutely hosed with that Posey-Belt-Crawford-Cueto-Samardzija money for the next two to three seasons, everything frees up sooner than you think. Evan Longoria is the only current Giants player with a contract after 2021, which means that while Harper would be a tight squeeze at first, ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2019 at 06:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, giants, pay site

Welcome to a small-market team’s worst nightmare

I bet most teams have done such a study. These teams know how much a win costs in each market. They now have a clear understanding of the risk/reward in each market.  (It’s clear the IFA market is the current market with the best opportunities.) Teams also have quantified how much the risk increases as salaries and contract-length goes up. The risk/reward for 8+ years and big dollars has certainly been exposed as a very poor bet.

Imagine, again, you’re the Rays. You figure there are a bunch of ways to get players, all with different levels of risk and reward. You have the folks in the analytics department do a study and they come back to you with this estimate of how much a “win” costs using each method:

      Rule 5 picks who unexpectedly ...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2019 at 06:12 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

MLB Cold Stove: Salaries For Young Stars Aren’t Keeping Pace With Increasing Revenues

The minimum salary increases in the current CBA are a joke. I like Joe’s idea. I’d push teams to go even higher to $2 million, which would make the salary floor $50 million. Only give revenue sharing to teams which spend 150% of the floor. Also, push the luxury tax threshold higher

The minimum salary will be $555,000 this year. That figure has risen 38 percent since 2010, while revenues have jumped 68 percent in that time. Go back to 2002, and you find revenues have nearly tripled, while the minimum salary hasn’t even doubled. This artificially low minimum is what drives the gap between what you might have to pay a veteran, and what you can pay a rookie. It helps subsidize the “tankbuilding” efforts undertaken by teams like the Astros ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2019 at 05:42 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Astros aren’t ruling out another addition before spring training - Houston Chronicle

“We’re starting from a pretty good spot where we have a lot of good options for our roster and a lot of good options who aren’t even going to make our team,” Luhnow said Wednesday. “Whoever we get, if you sign them to a guaranteed contract, they have to be certainly better than what your internal options are.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2019 at 05:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Junichi Tazawa agrees to minor league contract with Cubs

CHICAGO (AP) — Reliever Junichi Tazawa has finalized a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs and will report to big league spring training.

If added to the 40-man roster, Tazawa would receive a one-year contract paying $800,000 while in the major leagues. He could earn $450,000 in performance bonuses for games pitched and $750,000 for games finished.

The 32-year-old right-hander was 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA in 31 games last season for Miami and the Los Angeles Angels. He was released by Miami on May 21, signed a minor league deal with Detroit on June 3, was released July 9 after seven games with Triple-A Toledo and signed with the Angels four days later.

QLE Posted: February 07, 2019 at 04:41 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, junichi tazawa

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Welcome to a small-market team’s worst nightmare

In the NBA, for instance, salary restrictions keep the best players from making anywhere near their true market value. This has not, however, meant small markets have had equal access to the very best free agents. Rather, players who’ve found their earnings artificially capped have instead exercised their leverage to sign in the biggest markets, to get the most media exposure, to surround themselves with other stars, and to have the best chance of winning. If Bryce Harper’s $400 million asking price is forced down to $300 million, or $200 million, or even—extremely unlikely!—$125 million, he’s still probably not going to sign with the Rays, who aren’t as attractive as the Yankees for any number of other reasons. Instead, the Yankees might ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2019 at 07:30 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: moneyball

Deadspin: Every baseball related Final Jeopardy Question

This fantastic Sporcle quiz consisting of every baseball-related Final Jeopardy question going back to the ’80s has totally derailed our afternoon. Barry has the high score with 36/41.

35/41 here.  Really mad about two of the ones I missed.

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 06, 2019 at 04:19 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: jeopardy, quizzes, trivia

MLB statement on independent investigation regarding the Seattle Mariners |

The firm did not uncover credible evidence that the Mariners, or any of its employees, violated Major League Baseball’s Workplace Code of Conduct, or applicable anti-discrimination law, in the treatment of Dr. Martin or the termination of her employment. The investigation also concluded that there is no credible evidence to support Dr. Martin’s claim that Mariners’ employees, including Jerry Dipoto, Scott Servais, or Andy McKay, made any of the comments attributed to them in her public statement or subsequent lawsuit.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2019 at 02:26 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Source: Bryce Harper, Giants met this week in MLB free agency visit | NBCS Bay Area

The Giants would be a great fit.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2019 at 02:23 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, giants

Marlins sign Curtis Granderson to minor-league deal

Granderson, 37, is a veteran of 15 major-league seasons and has been a beloved presence pretty much wherever he’s gone (he’s been dealt to a contender in each of the past two seasons and has played in the playoffs for each of the last four years, so take that for what it’s worth). With that in mind, it’s easy to see why a young team like the Marlins would want him around as a veteran mentor, even if it’s just for spring training. But if they’re making an honest effort to put the best possible team on the field — which really is up for debate considering they just DFA’d and traded Nick Wittgren, arguably their best reliever in 2018, and have guys like Peter O’Brien, Martin Prado, and Austin Dean in their projected lineup ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2019 at 01:40 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: curtis granderson

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-6-2019

Hugh Fullerton on gambling in baseball, via the New York Evening World, February 6, 1919:

Not one case has been proved—the wrong thing, in my mind, has been that not one case ever has been thoroughly investigated or followed up. Even the famous case in which a New York hanger-on of the Giants was charged with trying to bribe an umpire was never exposed.

It is strange that these men with fortunes invested in baseball should take the attitude that it is “for the good of the game” to suppress all such cases, to deny, to whitewash and to keep them quiet. To men in any other business the absolute proof of the honesty of any enterprise would be that the moment a man was suspected of dishonesty he should be tried and, if guilty, expelled utterly. ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 06, 2019 at 10:25 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The ‘Tank Tax’ Could Push Teams To Try Harder

So that’s why I propose the tank tax.

It’s relatively simple. The same draft system continues to exist. The worst team picks first, the second worst picks second, etc., with one caveat: any team that fails to win 70 games in back-to-back seasons faces a 10-spot draft penalty.

Have one awful season (like the Giants and Tigers 64-win teams in 2017) and your club reaps the benefits of having the top picks in the draft and the larger draft bonus pool that comes with it. But if a team wins 60-something games two years in a row, they pay the penalty. Instead of drafting first again, that team would draft 11th.

And the penalty escalates. Win less than 70 games three seasons in a row and it’s a 15-spot draft penalty. Four straight seasons ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2019 at 05:40 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: tanking

Analyzing this year’s Phillies Wall of Fame ballot

The Phillies Wall of Fame ballot is out and you can cast your votes through Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.

Fans can select their top three choices among the 10 men on the ballot. Votes are weighted differently for first, second and third place. The five players/managers/coaches with the most voting points then make up the five-man ballot voted upon by a special Wall of Fame Selection committee.

This year’s inductee will be honored prior to the Phillies’ game against the White Sox on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 7:05 p.m.

Anyone can bicker about the HOF inductees- it is a more recherche skill to bicker about those inducted by their teams….


QLE Posted: February 06, 2019 at 04:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, wall of fame

James Loney signs to be a two-way player for an independent league team

When last we heard from James Loney he was being released by the Atlanta Braves in May of 2017. That release came, like, five days after they signed him to maybe cover for the then-injured Freddie Freeman. He became expendable when the Braves brain trust decided that Matt Adams would be better at that. He probably was.

Finally, some action on the free agent market!

QLE Posted: February 06, 2019 at 04:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, independent leagues, james loney, two-way players

Cardinals hope Goldschmidt can lead them back to playoffs

ST. LOUIS (AP) — After missing postseason play for the past three seasons, the St. Louis Cardinals believe they’ve struck gold with Paul Goldschmidt in their quest to play into October.

“We knew we just couldn’t have a stagnant offseason. We knew we had to make some changes to our club because we felt like even though we had a good team last year, we still weren’t good enough,” said John Mozeliak, the team’s president of baseball operations.

“We looked at all the different options that might be out there, whether it be the free-agent market or what our trade options might look like. We felt that Paul checked so many boxes for us that it made sense,” he said.

So, which fanbase will be more insufferable about the ...

QLE Posted: February 06, 2019 at 04:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, paul goldschmidt, playoffs

Source: Phillies have indeed had trade talks with Marlins regarding J.T. Realmuto

The Phillies have engaged in recent conversations with the Miami Marlins regarding a trade for All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, a baseball source confirmed. The talks were initially reported by several national outlets on Tuesday.

The Phillies were linked to Realmuto during the winter meetings two months ago. At the time, a member of the Marlins organization said the Phillies didn’t have the prospects to pull off a deal. But after months of trying to move Realmuto for top value, the Marlins’ price tag is believed to have come down and that has put the Phillies in the hunt.

Realmuto turns 28 in March and won’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season. He hit .277 with 30 doubles, 21 homers, 74 RBIs and a .825 OPS for the Marlins last ...

QLE Posted: February 06, 2019 at 04:45 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: j.t. realmuto, phillies, trade talk

Astros’ Carlos Correa, Rays’ Tommy Pham win arbitration cases

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and Tampa Bay outfielder Tommy Pham have won their salary arbitration cases.

The decisions Tuesday gave players a 3-1 lead over teams in cases this winter.

Correa was awarded a $5 million salary, rather than the $4.25 million offered by the Astros. Arbitrators Elizabeth Neumeier, James Oldham and Gary Kendellen made the decision.

Today’s news in arbitration.


QLE Posted: February 06, 2019 at 04:36 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, carlos correa, tommy pham

Chris Antonetti has some thoughts about Francisco Lindor

Take a second and breathe. Let’s all be rational adults here.

Chris Antonetti answered a bunch of questions from Paul Hoynes, none of which had any kind of follow-up, and in one of them he sort of sounded like he was trashing his best player who is slated to be a free agent in two years.

At the rate it’s going, I’m beginning to suspect that the folk who gather at Central Park each year are becoming a legitimate threat to win the AL Central.


QLE Posted: February 06, 2019 at 04:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris antonetti, cleveland, francisco lindor

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