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Monday, November 17, 2014

BtBS: The 2015 Hall of Fame ballot—first-time candidates

Four players deserve some discussion. I’m not even going to waste space on Randy Johnson since his induction is such a foregone conclusion. He is quite likely the last 300-win pitcher baseball will ever see (for those who care), and my only interest will be in the tortured excuses from voters who don’t list Johnson on their ballots. Likewise, I discussed Pedro Martinez at some length a couple weeks ago.

Gary Sheffield and John Smoltz will generate significant discussion.

bobm Posted: November 17, 2014 at 02:30 AM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Detroit Tigers say they won’t re-sign Torii Hunter

Feels like teams are rarely this straightforward about their intentions. I like it, though. Transparency!

Torii Hunter will likely continue to play baseball, but not with the Detroit Tigers.

Tigers general manager/president Dave Dombrowski told reporters today that he called Hunter to tell him he would not be pursued after the club agreed to a four-year contract with designated hitter Victor Martinez.

“I called and said it just didn’t look like it was going to fit the way the club was getting ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: November 16, 2014 at 05:55 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, tigers, torii hunter

Cubs Acquire Tommy La Stella

This is a super-weird one in terms of team strengths and weaknesses, if nothing else.

The Cubs have announced they have acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Braves for right-hander Arodys Vizcaino. The two teams also swapped international bonus slots: the Cubs receiving the Braves’ number four international signing bonus slot in exchange for their slot numbers two, three and four.

The District Attorney Posted: November 16, 2014 at 05:45 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: arodys vizcaino, braves, cubs, tommy la stella, trades, transactions

Scott Boras Addresses Allegations Surrounding Manny Ramirez - MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM

On of my favorite radio shows is MLB Network’s Front Office. The show features interviews with GMs every week. Today they had an interview with Scott Boras in which they asked him about the Bosch accusations. He answered very lawyerly. It would be interesting to see how he answers the same questions under oath. Now nobody knows the facts of the accusations yet. To find out, the matter needs a full, credible, and comprehensive investigation as the idea that Boras’ agency would be completely in ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2014 at 01:21 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: jim bowden, jim duquette, scott boras, steroids

Sunday Notes: More from the GM Meetings | FanGraphs Baseball

Another interesting column from David Lauria.

“The fatigue factor is something you to have to look at,” said Mozeliak. “Take this past year, for example. Runs were at their peak in April and at their lowest in September. I don’t know if there’s a direct correlation (with the amphetamine ban) but it certainly feels like there might be. Creating a way for players to have energy and stay fresh seems like a good strategy. There has to be some science behind how to optimize that. One thing ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2014 at 09:39 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: general, general managers

Giancarlo Stanton playing a dangerous game: believing in the Marlins - Yahoo Sports

It’s a guaranteed $325 million with an opt-out in five years *and* with some type of no-trade clause. $325,000,000.

The Marlins can keep Stanton for two more cost-controlled years. Right now, Stanton is *gambling* on Loria’s word for three years control. The Marlins are *gambling* that Stanton will remain healthy and productive for at least five years. Sorry, Stanton has much better odds.

This isn’t about trust.This isn’t some type of deal with the devil. It’s business, big business.

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2014 at 09:18 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, marlins

Giancarlo Stanton Is a Power Hitter Negotiating a Power Contract - NYTimes.com

A few people have written that the opt-out after five years is the mechanism for Loria to get out of the last eight years of the contract. A few have suggested the opt-out removes the risk. That’s a best case scenario where Stanton does well in the first five years. If he gets an injury that drops him from an elite to an OK, slightly above-average player (think Don Mattingly), they will end up eating a lot of money. So, no matter how you tweak the numbers, this will be an extremely risky ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2014 at 09:04 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, marlins

Teams with excess depth could play big role in offseason | New York Post

Joel Sherman is very entertaining. He has a lot of ideas.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2014 at 08:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, nationals, red sox, trade rumors, white sox, yankees

Madden: Yankees pen a new plan, look to relievers over stars - NY Daily News

Having an extremely deep bullpen means you can get by with a weaker back end of your rotation. You still need to score runs, catch the ball, and have a couple of good pitchers at the front of your rotation. (Even deep bullpens need a break.)

The point is, as long as he has a strong and deep bullpen, Cashman doesn’t need to have a superstar-filled lineup (although he does need to have a relatively healthy one, which could be no small order, considering all his over-30 veterans). At least not ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2014 at 08:15 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: david robertson, yankees

Robinson Cano Breaks Toe in Japan

Cano was hit by a pitch on the right foot in the seventh inning of a 4-0 loss in Tokyo on Saturday in which the MLB players were no-hit by Japan’s Takahiro Norimoto and three relievers. X-rays revealed a fracture in his small toe.

shoewizard Posted: November 16, 2014 at 12:12 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: general, injury, japanese baseball, mariners

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Jerry Green: Sabremetrics leave out the winning factor

“take a look at the website Five Three Eight with its numbers-ingrained copy.”  Five Three Eight? Nate Silver hasn’t been this shortchanged since he once said I was his hero!

And if you don’t believe they gloat, take a look at the website Five Three Eight with its numbers-ingrained copy.

We are now inundated not only by numbers, but also by initials. MVP is old-fashioned. Now we have WAR, OPS, and WHIP. WAR translates into wins above replacement which translates into gobbledygook.

The ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 15, 2014 at 09:03 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Pirates Sign A.J. Burnett

A.J. was really terrible last year. He apparently loves Pittsburgh, and probably shouldn’t have left in the first place, especially since he seems to prioritize other things above money: constantly threatening to retire, and indeed taking less money to make this move. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in his preferred destination.

The Pirates announced that they have signed right-hander A.J. Burnett to a one-year deal. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Frontline Athlete Management ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: November 15, 2014 at 03:43 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. burnett, free agents, pirates, transactions

Grant: Old friends Jon Daniels, A.J. Preller attempting to make Rangers and Padres trade partners | Dallas Morning News

Mismatches in player valuations and needs make the best trade partners.

Jon Daniels has known A.J. Preller for nearly 20 years. During the course of their friendship, they have been roommates, classmates, teammates and colleagues.

They may be about to take the relationship to an infinitely more complicated level.

They are about to attempt to be trade partners.
....
“It helps from the standpoint that they value our players,” Daniels said. “But they are probably going to be less likely to ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 01:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, rangers

Doug Glanville travels different path in Rays’ managerial search | Tampa Bay Times

If playing baseball simulations and watching and talking a lot about baseball is valuable, a hereby throw my hat into the ring.

But his mind has been in the game during much of the 10 years since; he has written extensively, and as an ESPN analyst watched and talked a lot about baseball.

Add that to a longtime interest in analytics he ascribes to playing the Stratomatic baseball game as a kid, and creativity and leadership qualities he has developed through life experiences, and Glanville, 44, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 12:46 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: managerial search, rays

Coors Field experience is what Braves want to emulate | www.myajc.com

How bad did the Rockies screw over taxpayers? Aren’t the Braves already ahead of them?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 10:05 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: ballpark development, ballparks, braves, screwing taxpayers

Local TV riches have transformed baseball—but will trend last?

Sorry, the biggest markets still have a big advantage.

“I don’t think we have the financial advantage that we used to,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “We have a lot of resources, but with revenue sharing and luxury tax and the penalties associated with certain activity, it’s restricted a lot of the past practices that we were able to maximize our efforts in.” “It plays out in so many forms and fashions,” Cashman continued. “We’ve been beat out or stepped out of ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 09:51 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Baseball’s 100 Most Important People, Part 6 « Our Game

Baseball’s top 100: Nos. 42-60, inc. Sol White, Cy Young, Dan Okrent, Ichiro. At Our Game.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 09:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Votto ‘doing great’ with offseason rehab work | reds.com

Emphasis added.

Votto has a career hitting line of .310/.417/.533 with 163 homers and 553 RBIs over eight seasons. He has nine more seasons and $206 million remaining on the contract extension he signed in April 2012, plus a $20 million club option for the 2024 season.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 09:41 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

D-backs land Hellickson for two prospects | MLB.com

“In just about every deal that we’re going to do, I’m going to try and get as much information as I can, first of all,” Stewart said when asked what he liked about Hellickson. “I touched base with a lot of people to find out about him, people who had seen him pitch and people who know him. One, they said he was competitive. And I’ve seen him pitch on a couple of occasions and he commands his fastball and throws to both sides of the plate, he pitches inside well and he changes speeds well, which ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 09:39 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, rays, trades

Top prospects face off in Arizona Fall League title game | MLB.com

Set your DVRs.

he Peoria Javelinas face the Salt River Rafters at Scottsdale Stadium live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 3 p.m. ET.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 09:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Jose Canseco’s finger — the one he shot — fell off during a poker tournament | HardballTalk

Canseco has gone from giving MLB the middle finger to giving his middle finger to poker opponents.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 09:34 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: jose canseco

Perfect Norimoto leads combined no-no vs. MLB | MLB.com

Team of MLB All-Stars?

The team of MLB All-Stars was no-hit by four Samurai Japan pitchers for its third straight loss in the Japan All-Star Series, a 4-0 defeat on Saturday at the Tokyo Dome. Though the five-game showcase has been decided, the big leaguers will try to finish strong, with two games and an exhibition remaining on the trip.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 09:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Anthony Bosch told feds that agent Scott Boras tried to cover up Manny Ramirez’s PED use, sources say - Newsday

Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch told federal investigators earlier this year that top sports agent Scott Boras orchestrated a meeting to help fabricate medical records and concoct a cover story to explain a failed drug test by Boras client Manny Ramirez, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the claims.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 09:28 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: manny ramirez, scott boras, steroids

Friday, November 14, 2014

A $320 Million Extension for Giancarlo Stanton Is a Bet Against History | The Read Zone

Good stuff from Primate Brian Mangan.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 03:41 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, marlins

Breaking down the best tools in the Arizona Fall League | MLB.com

Although I didn’t get to watch as many games as I hoped, I saw enough to change my opinion on a few players. Now I just need some of the winter league games to make it onto my TV and I’ll be good.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 03:35 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Pipeline Inbox: How do Moncada, Tomas rank? | MLB.com

Q/A with Jim Callis.

Yankees prospects Greg Bird and Aaron Judge have performed well in the Arizona Fall League. How much stock do you put in AFL stats?
—Ben E., Conway, Ark.
Bird and Judge were two of the most impressive hitters in the AFL this season. A leading AFL MVP Award candidate, Bird batted .313/.391/.556 and topped the league with six homers and 21 runs while ranking second with 31 hits, 55 total bases and 21 RBIs. Judge hit .278/.377/.467 and recorded an AFL-high four outfield assists. ...Read More...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 03:23 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

NYDN: Former minor league pitcher who slapped a woman aboard F train sad because he can’t wear his favorite 8-Ball jacket anymore

Meet the Man Responsible for the Slap Heard Round the Subway:

He won his freedom - but might lose his favorite jacket.

The Bronx bouncer who slapped a woman after she taunted him about an 8-Ball jacket - sparking an epic subway brawl - said Thursday he’ll have to leave the coat in the closet this winter.

“I can’t wear my jacket anymore,” a choked-up Jorge Pena, 25, said a day after it was revealed Manhattan prosecutors dropped all charges against him, relying on the viral video that ...

Read More...
JE (Jason) Posted: November 14, 2014 at 03:05 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bullying, crime, minors

Minor League Free Agents | MiLB.com

565 Minor League free agents—where they played in 2014, where they’re headed in 2015. We’ll be updating this list throughout the Hot Stove season.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 02:54 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, minor league free agents

Grantland: Mike Trout Finally Won the MVP, But Could He Already Be in Decline?

Since the stats weren’t conclusive, I solicited opinions from scouts and scouting executives via email, asking whether “throw him high fastballs” would always be the book on Trout, or whether he’d make an adjustment that would render the strategy obsolete. The responses revealed considerable uncertainty.

“I think there are two incredibly unlikely outcomes,” a scouting director said. “One is that he suddenly starts mashing those pitches. Assuming any player, even a phenomenal ...

Read More...

Baseball Prospectus | 2015 Prospects: Chicago Cubs Top 10 Prospects (PAY)

I don’t typically link to pay content but I found the BP Top 10 interesting. (After not subscribing to BP for years, I signed up last season. Their daily content, especially the scouting stuff, has really improved. It’s well worth the subscription fee.)

The Top Ten

1. SS Addison Russell
2. 3B Kris Bryant
3. OF Jorge Soler
4. OF Albert Almora
5. C Kyle Schwarber
6. OF Billy McKinney
7. RHP Pierce Johnson
8. SS Gleyber Torres
9. 1B Dan Vogelbach
10. LHP Carson Sands

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 01:40 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, prospects, scouting reports

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