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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Astros owner willing to add to payroll |

Like most clubs, the Astros have their limits. Crane said the club has no plans to raise its payroll higher than the luxury-tax threshold, which would come with severe financial penalties. The Red Sox and Nationals were the only teams subject last season to the Competitive Balance Tax after exceeding the payroll threshold of $197 million. That number will be $206 million next year.

“I’d say if the right situation came along—certainly we’re not going over [the luxury-tax threshold]—but we could ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2018 at 08:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Analytics’ rise a leading topic at Winter Meetings

Are the analytics a thing now?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2018 at 06:08 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics

Mets, Yankees, Marlins In Talks On Three-Team Deal - MLB Trade Rumors

11:04pm: The Yankees are “pushing hard” to swing a deal with the Mets, and are interested in Mets pitchers other than only Syndergaard, according to Andy Martino (Twitter links).

10:02pm: The Mets, Yankees, and Marlins have discussed a three-team trade that would see J.T. Realmuto end up on the Mets’ roster, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter links).  Making the deal into a true blockbuster, Noah Syndergaard may also be part of the negotiations, according to both the New ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2018 at 06:05 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, mets, yankees

Pros and Cons: Should the Mets trade for Yasiel Puig?

The Mets are looking for an outfielder to pair with Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo. As they search, Yasiel Puig is reportedly “disgruntled” in Los Angeles and could get traded during the Winter Meetings that kick off Sunday in Las Vegas.

Mind you, is Yasiel Puig ever really gruntled?

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 05:04 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, trade talk, yasiel puig

Miguel Montero goes from catching to repping in new career as player agent

Miguel Montero remembers driving a hard bargain. He knew what it would take to get a deal done. He did not budge until his demands were met.

When Montero essentially negotiated his own contract extension with the Diamondbacks more than six years ago, he hardly could have known the experience would prepare him for what would come after he was finished playing.

Montero’s playing days are over, for all intents and purposes; he calls himself “pretty much retired.” His days as a baseball ...

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 04:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: agent, miguel montero, retirement

Dodgers don’t have general manager, but they have assistant general manager

LAS VEGAS — Farhan Zaidi left his job as the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers to become the president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants. While Dodgers president Andrew Friedman remains at the top of the baseball operations department, Zaidi’s departure has left the Dodgers without a general manager. It happens. It also happens that the Dodgers do not plan to replace Zaidi with a new general manager any time soon. They just said so last week.

They do, however, ...

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 04:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, general managers, jeff kingston

Rays’ Cash will stick with using an opener in 2019

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Naturally, Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash was the opening manager to speak at the winter meetings.

Cash said Monday the Rays will stick with their revolutionary practice of using an “opener” next season.

The Rays deviated from baseball tradition this year, regularly using a relief pitcher to begin games rather than a traditional starting pitcher. Tampa Bay went 46-38 with usual starters and 44-34 when utilizing the bullpen.

Granted, this is on the “dog-bites-man” level of ...

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 04:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin cash, opener, rays

Can the Red Sox Survive Without Craig Kimbrel? They Seem to Think So

LAS VEGAS — The winter meetings press conference to mark Nate Eovaldi’s return to Boston may be the last major news the Red Sox make this winter. Coming off a 108-win season and a World Series title, the defending champions seem poised to have a mellow offseason. So far, Dave Dombrowski’s front office has brought back Eovaldi and World Series MVP Steve Pearce, but beyond that, it’s been all quiet on the AL East front.

One notable casualty of that approach: Craig Kimbrel. The All-Star ...

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 04:42 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: craig kimbrel, red sox, relievers

Justin Masterson is retired and doing missionary work

Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that pitcher Justin Masterson is retired from baseball and currently doing missionary work, according to his agent Randy Rowley.

This feels like the set-up for a punchline, but would that I knew what it was….

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 04:38 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: justin masterson, missionary, retired

White Sox promoting Omar Vizquel to manager of Double-A affiliate

LAS VEGAS — Omar Vizquel’s first year as manager of the Class A Winston-Salem Dash was such a success he is receiving a promotion inside the White Sox organization.

NBC Sports Chicago has learned that Vizquel will manage the Double-A Birmingham Barons in 2019.

In 2018, his first season as a manager at any level, Vizquel was named the Carolina League’s manager of the year after leading the Dash to a first-half title and an 84-54 record.

The last couple of days have been really good for ...

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 04:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: birmingham barons, managers, omar vizquel, white sox

D-Backs’ Rawitch wins Fishel award for MLB public relations

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Josh Rawitch of the Arizona Diamondbacks has won the Robert O. Fishel Award for public relations excellence in the major leagues.

So, who’s dead last for this award?

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 04:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: josh rawitch, public relations, robert o. fishel award

Posey could be limited early, should return to 100 percent

LAS VEGAS- Buster Posey’s recovery from right hip surgery might limit how much the San Francisco All-Star catches during spring training and at the start of the season.

Posey had surgery in late August to repair a torn labrum in the hip and remove an impingement.

“Certainly with a guy like Buster coming off the major surgery it might impact his spring training workload and maybe even his early season workload, but for now all the indications are positive that he’ll be 100 percent,” new Giants ...

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 04:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, labrum, surgery

‘Sunday Night Baseball’ time change could be good test for World Series

The 30th season of “Sunday Night Baseball” on ESPN will bring with it a pretty significant change for players and viewers alike. The 24-hour sports network and Major League Baseball announced Monday that the start times for Sunday night games in 2019 will be moved up one hour, going from 8 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET.

As Newsday noted, it continues a trend of ESPN making a push to bump up the starting time of staple sports programming. In recent years, ESPN and the NFL agreed to move up ...

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 04:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, sunday night baseball, timeslot changes

Monday, December 10, 2018

Scott Boras didn’t like what he heard from Mark Lerner about Bryce Harper

But Boras has raised concerns with the Nationals about Lerner’s comments violating a more specific rule, one etched in the latest collective bargaining agreement. Attachment 49 states that clubs, players or player representatives may not “disclose to the media the substance of contract discussions between a player and a Club, (including but not limited to the facts of offers, the substance of offers, or decisions not to make offers or to withdraw offers) until after terms on the contract ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2018 at 07:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals, scott boras

Sunday Night Baseball moving up one hour

ESPN will move up the starting time of the nationally televised Sunday Night Baseball game by one hour, with the first pitch planned for shortly after 7 p.m. ET.

Philadelphia hosts Atlanta in the first Sunday night game next season, on March 31, the second game of a television doubleheader that begins with Texas playing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

I’m happy to increase the odds that it finishes before I’m in bed.


Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 10, 2018 at 01:42 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sunday night baseball

Texas Rangers: Could the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar be somebody’s consolation prize for missing on Manny Machado? | SportsDay

They’d better trade him before he gets hurt again.

The Rangers were thrilled with Profar’s progress in 2018. He became the team’s primary third baseman because of injuries to Adrian Beltre. He finished the season with a slash line of .254/.335/.458/.793 but hit .264/.348/.478/.826 over the final four months of the season.

Among the 17 shortstops/third basemen who began the offseason as free agents, only four players—Machado, Eduardo Escobar, Jose Iglesias and Mike Moustakas—had higher WARs ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2018 at 12:22 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: jurickson profar, rangers

Arizona Diamondbacks hunt for value, not trades at MLB winter meetings

How much would they need to paydown Greinke to get something useful back?

Greinke remains a difficult player to move given the combination of his contract (he’s owed in the neighborhood of $95 million over the next three years), his no-trade clause (he can block a deal to 15 teams) and his age (he’ll pitch next season at 35).

Ray, however, figures to be the player whose name surfaces most often in trade rumors this week. He is relatively affordable (projected 2019 salary: $6.1 million), has ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2018 at 12:20 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, robbie ray, zach greinke

Ridiculous not to put George Steinbrenner in Hall of Fame

I would have put him in, after Marvin Miller.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2018 at 12:18 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: george steinbrenner, hall of fame, yankees

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton – HardballTalk

It will be interesting to see the dollars and length of this contract.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2018 at 11:17 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: billy hamilton, royals

Kyler Murray: Is The NFL A More Lucrative Option Than MLB for Oklahoma QB?

It’s not as cut and dried as you might think.

To offer one more comparison, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw grew up together. Kershaw has been one of the best players in baseball over the past decade. Generously, Stafford could be described as a slightly above-average NFL quarterback. He’s made one Pro Bowl. In 10 seasons, Stafford has earned $178 million. If he plays the final four years of his current contract, he’ll have earned over $262 million. ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2018 at 11:14 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, kyler murray

MLB Trade Rumors: Cincinnati Reds shopping 2B Scooter Gennett (again) - Red Reporter

He should have been traded last year.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2018 at 11:09 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: reds, scooter gennett

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-10-2018

Tulsa Daily World, December 10, 1918:

The national commission will recommend to the big leagues at their annual meeting next month that the player limit in both circuits be reduced to 18 players.
It would eliminate the specialists—the men who earn their money easily by sitting on the bench two-thirds of the time.
The belief that specialists in different points of the game are needed to perfect a winning organization is a fallacy. Frank Chance and Fielder Jones won pennants a dozen years ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 10, 2018 at 10:18 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Former All-Star Mark Teixeira says free agency can be a nightmare

“I’m just so glad I started my career pre-Twitter and social media,’’ Teixeira said, who chose the Yankees over the Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels. “You’re really not supposed to be negotiating through the media. It’s part of the Hot Stove. There are websites dedicated to this.

“But the guys who suffer are the players. There’s all this misinformation with guys denying and confirming everything.’’

It has already started with Harper and ...

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 10, 2018 at 09:40 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Big plans, lower expectations for Padres at winter meetings - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Talks regarding Realmuto go back more than a year, and the Padres will be among the dozen or so other clubs conversing with the Marlins at next week’s winter meetings regarding the catcher who is widely considered baseball’s best.

Despite having Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia in the majors and two other highly thought-of catching prospects, the Padres have never wavered in their interest in Realmuto, who they see as a potential difference maker of the highest order.

But multiple ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2018 at 05:45 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: padres

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Smith, Baines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Smith, meh. Harold Baines? Really?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2018 at 08:34 PM | 540 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, harold baines, lee smith

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Sarris: The next ‘Moneyball’ is already happening all around us, in the Wild West of player development – The Athletic

As you can probably guess, the coaching staff is considered the nexus of this renewed emphasis and investment in developing the best players. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that the average tenure of today’s hitting coach — 1.4 years — is lower than it’s been at any time in the last 10 years. Things are changing when it comes to getting most out of players, and the major league staff needs to change, too.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2018 at 07:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, pay site, player development

Will the A’s be in the air next season? Signals are fuzzy.

The Oakland A’s needs this winter extend beyond adding an entire pitching rotation. They’re still without a radio deal after a bitter breakup with their broadcast partner, potentially leaving listeners in the lurch come spring training.

spanx for the memories Posted: December 08, 2018 at 05:57 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland a's, oakland athletics

NY Post: Sherman: Recent big-money failures looming over free agent market

But even if the threshold is dropped to $60 million, the results have not been great. There have been 41 free-agent deals of at least that amount the past five offseasons. Seven have been traded (Cano, Justin Upton, Brian McCann, Mike Leake, James Shields, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Santana) with removing the dollars from the payroll always a substantial, if not the key reason. Two have been released (Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez). One is buried in the minors (Yasmany Tomas). That is 11 of ...

bobm Posted: December 08, 2018 at 04:41 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agent contract busts

Recapping 2018: Arizona Diamondbacks Edition | The Process Report

If you like charts and graphs you are going to love this post.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2018 at 09:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

So what will Rays new ‘process and analytics’ coach do?

Unless his mother has a really big basement, I hope his meetings with players will take place at the park.

The team that made shifting commonplace and implemented the opener pitching strategy is at it again. The Rays on Tuesday introduced Jonathan Erlichman as the majors’ first “process and analytics” coach.

Erlichman, 28, has worked five-plus years in the Rays front office, the last two as director of analytics, but now will don a uniform as an additional member of Kevin Cash’s coaching staff. ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2018 at 09:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

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