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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Texas Rangers: Five free-agent priorities the Rangers need to address | SportsDay

If he’s looking for a number three starter, these guys aren’t it.

My targets: TCU’s Andrew Cashner, an underperformer in San Diego, or possibly Brett Anderson, who was out most of 2016 with a back injury, then hampered by a blister. Anderson looked to be on the verge of a breakthrough in 2015, but his 2016 season was completely sidetracked. Think of him as a potential alternative to Derek Holland, but with a better walk rate and with more ability to get ground balls.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2016 at 06:50 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Kate Upton goes on colorful Twitter rant after Justin Verlander barely loses Cy Young award

She had a good point. I don’t know how you leave Verlander off a ballot. It’s still bad form and timing.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2016 at 06:45 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cy young award, justin verlander

MLB 2016 Cy Young Award winners announced | MLB.com

Scherzer, who just finished his second season with the Nationals, was an easy pick as the National League winner. But Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters had a tougher time determining the best pitcher in the American League.

Max Scherzer wins the 2016 NL Cy Young, becoming the sixth pitcher to win the award in both leagues after also winning in 2013 with Detroit

Porcello, who was 22-4 in his second season with the Red Sox, edged Verlander, the career Tiger, in the second-closest ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2016 at 06:44 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, cy young award, max scherzer, rick porcello

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Astros sign Charlie Morton | MLB.com

I’ve always liked Morton but he’s had some trouble staying on the field. $14 million clearly isn’t what it used to be.

The Astros agreed to terms on a two-year contract with free-agent right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton on Wednesday.

The deal is for $14 million, with incentives of $625,000 each for 15, 20, 25 and 30 starts in each season, according to a source. The club has not confirmed the financial aspects of the agreement.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2016 at 10:53 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, charlie morton

How the Dodgers’ Corey Seager is leading a revolution across baseball | FOX Sports

Seager is the best of the bunch. I would take his next 10 years over all others, though it’s close. If you like the defense of Lindor or the power potential of Correa, you can construct a convincing argument for them.

Seager is listed at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, though in person he appears even bigger. His size has led to speculation that he will have to move off shortstop to a corner position. I don’t buy it. That assumption is made purely on the basis of his size. When you actually watch ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2016 at 10:25 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: corey seager, dodgers, shortstops

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-16-2016

El Paso Herald, November 16, 1916:

Samuel Dunlap, who claimed the honor of having given Hans Wagner and Cy Young their start in baseball years ago, is dead at his home [in Canal Dover, Ohio]. He was aged 60. Dunlap organized a team in Canal Dover and the near-by town of New Philadelphia, and hired Wagner and Young to play for him. He paid them their first wages as ballplayers.

That team must have shredded the Tuscarawas County League, if such a thing existed. Uhrichsville, Newcomerstown, and ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 16, 2016 at 10:25 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

If the White Sox Make Chris Sale is Available, the Cardinals Should Jump In - 101Sports.com

How many teams shouldn’t be inquiring about Sale? Not many.

If the Chicago White Sox are indeed willing to listen to offers for their outstanding lefty starter, Chris Sale, the Cardinals need to be on the other end of that conversation. I know the Cards like to talk about their depth at starting pitching, and the emergence of their top prospect Alex Reyes, and the return of Lance Lynn, and how they’ll have approximately 217 candidates to fill the five rotation spots — OK, a slight ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2016 at 10:23 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, chris sale, white sox

Cy Young Award winners too close to call | MLB.com

AL finalists Rick Porcello, Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber were 1-2-3 in FanGraphs’ WAR rankings, but the margin between them was tiny. Porcello, who led the Major Leagues with 22 wins, registered 5.2 fWAR—the same as Verlander. Kluber, who finished third at 5.1, would have been the first horse eliminated in the photo finish, but only by the length of a nose.

Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Max Scherzer are named as the finalists for BBWAA’s 2016 NL Cy Young Award

National League finalists ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2016 at 10:11 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, cy young award

Daily Beast: Murray Kempton on The Homecoming of Willie Mays

I’m Dan Gladdened that writers like Kempton didn’t just stick to politics.

When we hear it in the blues, it comes less often from the Delta than from Kansas City. It grows in the bones of scuffling, isolated country childhoods. It is much more broadly country Southern than it is uniquely black. The only baseball player before Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays who played with that almost brutal abandon we call the black style was Enos Slaughter of the Cardinals, a native of Roxboro, North ...

Read More...
Betts, Bogaerts, and D Price(GGC) Posted: November 16, 2016 at 08:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Notes: The Nationals are in the mix for Chris Sale | FOX Sports

Imagine a rotation that included Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg ... and Chris Sale.

The Nationals can.

Add the Nats to the list of teams pursuing Sale, a list that likely includes the majority of teams in baseball.

Major-league sources confirmed the Nationals’ interest in Sale on Tuesday. The likelihood of a deal with the White Sox, however, is unknown.

The Nats’ edge is that they have A) a farm system that can satisfy the White Sox and B) a general manager, Mike Rizzo, who relishes ...

Read More...

Baseball and Brotherly Love

Recapping the confusing claims, Philadelphia’s polygonal version of town ball employed four bases plus a striker’s point, resembled the New England Game of round ball, and both could be stripped down to cat ball when not enough players were present to play the game for which the clubs had been formed. The Philadelphia Game was regarded as baseball of an infant sort, yet it was “simply … rounders,” … which in the west of England was the name for a game played in the east of England ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2016 at 08:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Abreu on witness list in Cuban smuggling case

New York Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes and Chicago White Sox star Jose Abreu are among the Major League Baseball figures on a U.S. witness list for an upcoming Cuban ballplayer smuggling trial….

A grand jury indictment says Cuban baseball players paid the smuggling ring more than $15 million to leave the communist-run island in secretive ventures that included surreptitious boat voyages.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2016 at 10:51 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban players, jose abreu, yoenis cespedes

Mariners’ top draft pick Kyle Lewis is ‘right on track’ in his recovery from major knee surgery | The Seattle Times

“You can feel the pop and the not normal feeling you would get from a tweak or sprain,” he said. “It was a definitely a different kind of feeling, a different kind of pain.”

At the time, he was playing outstanding baseball with a slash line of .299/.385/.538 with eight doubles, five triples, three homers and 26 RBI in 30 games. After a slow start, he was hitting .364 with a 1.114 OPS over his final 20 games.

“I started to really to turn it on and get back to feeling how I am ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 08:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

BBWAA AL and NL Managers of the Year announced | MLB.com

Terry Francona, who led a depleted Indians roster to the franchise’s first division title since 2007, has been named American League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, while first-year skipper Dave Roberts of the Dodgers won the honor in the National League.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 07:02 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, managers

Three teams showing early interest in Derek Holland | The Star-Telegram

Free-agent left-hander Derek Holland confirmed on Monday that the Pittsburgh Pirates have contacted his agent, Michael Martini, and baseball sources said that the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees have also shown some early interest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 12:21 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: derek holland, rangers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-15-2016

Pittsburgh Press, November 15, 1916:

From a trustworthy source was learned one of the reasons why Organized Baseball is trying to form a third major league comprising Buffalo, Newark, Toronto, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, and Toledo.

It appears that several backers of the defunct Federal league who have not yet received a dollar from Organized Baseball as part of the peace settlement arranged last winter, are threatening to make more trouble.

Organized Baseball was refusing ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 15, 2016 at 10:05 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history, terrible ideas

Sox prospect Michael Kopech believes controversies are behind him

The next big thing in Boston?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 09:59 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: michael kopech, red sox

Next move for Braves in busy offseason? | MLB.com

More Braves info.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 09:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

BenFred: Add a shortstop? Makes no sense for Cardinals | Ben Frederickson | stltoday.com

“We’re going to require a strategy to allow (Diaz) to improve,” Mozeliak told reporters, including Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch. “If he does that, he could be average, to maybe a plus-defender at short who has an impact bat. We definitely would like to see that happen.”

That doesn’t sound like a general manager who is in the market for a starting shortstop. Why would he be?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 09:42 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: aledmys diaz, cardinals

Too much for two old pitchers? The Braves actually got a bargain | Mark Bradley blog

How long can Bartolo keep going?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 09:26 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: bartolo colon, braves, r.a. dickey

Heyman - Braves Join Sale Derby White Sox Seem Serious This Time

They have the pieces. Will they want to pull the trigger to get it done?

he Braves’ top young player is shortstop Dansby Swanson, but the White Sox have a very good young shortstop in Tim Anderson, and the Braves have many more good young players, so perhaps they could do it without Swanson. The Braves have other fine infield prospects (Ozzie Albies, Rio Ruiz, Austin Riley, Kevin Maitan and Travis Demeritte) plus a stash of young pitchers (Sean Newcomb, Mike Soroka, Ian Anderson, Touki ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 09:20 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, chris sale, white sox

MLB: CBA Negotiation Overview, Revenue, Schedule and the Qualifying Offer | FOX Sports

I didn’t realize the players’ share of revenue has dropped that low. According to the article, MLBAM is a big reason. Anyway, read the whole thing.

In 2016, Major League Baseball’s gross revenues nearly reached the $10 billion dollar mark, and according to Kevin Hisey of Field of Greens, Nathaniel Grow of Fangraphs reported that in 2014 the MLBPA received just 38 percent of the league’s gross revenues, the lowest share it has ever received. By comparison, in the early 2000s the MLBPA was ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 08:38 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Full Count » Source: Red Sox among most aggressive in pursuit of Greg Holland

I see Holland as a great fit for the Red Sox (and a lot of other teams). He’ll get paid but he won’t be getting anything close to $20 million a year.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 08:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, greg holland, red sox

Jose Abreu Opts Into Arbitration - MLB Trade Rumors

As Tim also noted in that exploration of Abreu’s unique contract situation, though, Abreu also can’t be given a standard raise on top of that base. Abreu’s numbers to date compare favorably to Giancarlo Stanton’s first three years, but Stanton earned $6.5MM in his first trip through arbitration. Abreu is already north of that and wouldn’t be boosted an additional $6.5MM on top of his current salary, but he also isn’t in line for a cut to that mark either. More realistically, he’ll ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 08:32 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: jose abreu, white sox

Scouting Lourdes Gurriel and Three Other Cuban Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball

The reports I’ve gotten from international scouts regarding Gurriel are solid, if unspectacular. Scouts see the physical talent to play at second, third, or the corner outfield and one source with whom I spoke thought he’d have a chance of playing center field with reps. His arm is plus and he’s an average runner (above-average underway) with passable defensive actions on the infield.

Offensively, it’s been a while since scouts have seen Gurriel in an in-game setting and his timing ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 08:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lourdes gurriel, prospects

Rookie of the Year? Who cares? Gary Sanchez is face of Yankees - Yankees Blog- ESPN

The face of the Yankees? What happens when he regresses next year?

Gary Sanchez didn’t win the American League Rookie of the Year award, but he already took home a far more prestigious honor due to his amazing debut in 2016: He is undoubtedly the new face of the New York Yankees.

Just 55 games into his major league career, Sanchez is the supermoon in the Yankees’ universe.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2016 at 08:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: gary sanchez, yankees

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hellickson, Walker accept offers; 8 decline | MLB.com

The free-agent market became a bit clearer today, as Phillies righty Jeremy Hellickson accepted a qualifying offer and Mets second baseman Neil Walker followed suit on Monday. The other eight eligible players declined, keeping them as free agents.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2016 at 09:15 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, qualifying offers

BBWAA Rookie of the Year Awards announced | MLB.com

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was unanimously named the Jackie Robinson National League Rookie of the Year Award winner in the National League, while Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer earned the top honor in the American League.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2016 at 07:47 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, rookie of the year

Twins’ catching prospect Mitch Garver makes his case

With the Twins’ new regime in place, pitch framing should play a larger role than ever in the club’s evaluation of catchers. Here, again, Garver believes he’s making progress.

“I have a heat chart of pitches I missed or pitches I caught well and I stole,” he said. “That’s getting bigger and bigger. I like the heat maps more than percentages. I think those help me out a lot. It’s been a process because the strike zone’s changing.”

With Alford at the plate, Garver was able ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2016 at 06:24 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mitch garver, twins

If We Had a 2017 HOF Vote…

“One of the 20-25 greatest hitters to ever step in the box. When he played the outfield, he looked like a man trying to remember where he left his keys.”

“The HOF is populated by cheaters, gamblers, racists, drunks, and abusers of women. It’s also filled with kind, decent, generous men. One’s view on where Schilling lands on this character spectrum is irrelevant when assessing his qualifications as a player.”


The Plate Coverage take on some of the names we’ll see on the 2017 ballot. ...Read More...


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