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Monday, January 30, 2017

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox runaway in AL East? Not so fast

Nick Cafardo’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2017 at 06:33 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Atlanta Braves confirm player, family involved in West Miami-Dade crash

The Atlanta Braves have confirmed one of the team’s new players, Miami native and infielder Sean John Rodriguez, his wife Giselle and their two young children were inside the black Chevy Suburban that was T-boned by the cruiser, near Southwest 99th Street and Coral Way, in West Miami-Dade, Saturday, at around 1:45 p.m.

Team officials said Rodriguez, 31, was behind the wheel of the SUV. He was not hurt.

Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: January 30, 2017 at 01:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, sean rodriguez

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Notes: Olmos, Omar, Desmond, Marte, Mazara, more | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2017 at 11:05 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

OTP 30 Jan. 2017: From big-league baseball to small-town politics

As a pitcher for the Florida Marlins more than a decade ago, Chuck Smith was the one in charge every time he took the mound. These days, he’s running the show as mayor of a small, inner-city town in Ohio.

Smith was a 30-year-old journeyman, rising from obscurity when he reached the majors with the Marlins in 2000. But he became one of the team’s top starters, winning the club’s rookie of the year award after going 6-6.

In 2009, he was elected mayor of the suburban Cleveland town of ...

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BDC Posted: January 29, 2017 at 07:48 PM | 2396 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, politics

Royals, Brandon Moss Agree To Two-Year Deal

The Royals have agreed to a two-year, $12MM contract with free agent first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The deal is pending a physical. ESPN’s Jim Bowden first reported earlier Sunday that Kansas City was nearing an agreement with Moss, an ACES client.

Signing with the Royals will keep the 33-year-old Moss in Missouri, where he played the past season-plus as a member of the Cardinals. In 2016, his only full campaign in St. Louis, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 29, 2017 at 01:30 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon moss, royals

Caribbean Series Field Set

Auguilas de Mexicali - Mexico
Tigres del Licey - Dominican Republic
Criollos de Caguas - Puerto Rico
Aguilas del Zulia - Venezuela
Aalazanes de Granma - Cuba

Looks like all games are on ESPN Deportes starting at 5PM eastern on Wednesday.

 

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: January 29, 2017 at 11:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: caribbean series, winter leagues

2017 Top 100 Prospects list unveiled | MLB.com

You’ll see some familiar names and a lot of new ones in this year’s edition. That starts right at the top. With Corey Seager gone, but certainly not forgotten, Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi has taken his place as the new No. 1 prospect heading into the 2017 season.

That was by no means a slam dunk, with any of the top three—Benintendi, White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada and Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres—solid candidates for the top spot. Overall, eight of the top 15 from a year ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2017 at 09:00 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect lists, prospects, scouting reports

As MLB ruling nears, new details of Cardinals’ hacking of Astros account

According to the documents, portions of which remained redacted, Correa intruded into the Astros’ “Ground Control” database 48 times and accessed the accounts of five Astros employees. For 21/2 years, beginning in January 2012, Correa had unfettered access to the e-mail account of Sig Mejdal, the Astros’ director of decision sciences and a former Cardinals employee. Correa worked in St. Louis as an analyst under Mejdal, who came to Houston after the 2011 season with Astros general manager Jeff ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 29, 2017 at 12:50 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, hacking

As MLB Ruling Nears, New Details Of Cardinals Hacking Of Astros Emerge

The hammer of justice may be about to strike:

A federal judge has unsealed details about former St. Louis Cardinals executive Chris Correa’s hacking of the Astros’ email and player evaluation databases, clearing the way for Major League Baseball to impose sanctions against the Cardinals as soon as this week.

Three documents entered into court records but made public by U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes on Thursday reveal new information regarding Correa’s intrusions, for which the former ...

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Adam Jones: Orioles haven’t done enough this offseason to improve defense, athleticism in outfield - Baltimore Sun

Getting another CF and moving him to RF would have been a good start.

“We don’t need more offense,” Jones said. “I think we need to improve the outfield defense. And people are always going to say pitching, pitching, pitching, but I think we’ve got some damn good pitchers right now. They’re young, but they’re maturing. [Kevin] Gausman turned a page. [Dylan] Bundy increased his innings. I think we’ve got pretty good starting pitching. I think we just need to improve defensively in ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2017 at 05:11 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, orioles

Yankees’ Next Wave of Pitching Prospects Filled with MLB Talent | Bleacher Report

The commitment will likely be tested because some of the young pitchers will struggle. The Yankees have already seen that with Luis Severino. After looking like a future ace in a late-season 2015 audition, Severino was so bad as a starter in 2016 that many believe his future is in the bullpen.

Severino could still make it, but the Yankees’ hope is he’ll soon be pushed by the next wave that features Kaprielian, Sheffield, Adams and the others. While the younger group doesn’t include anyone ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2017 at 08:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, yankees

MLB Tonight: Top 100 prospects | MLB.com

Set your DVRs.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2017 at 08:10 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Friday, January 27, 2017

What would the free agent stars of yesterday make today?

Fernando Valenzuela
When would he have been a free agent?
After the 1986 season.

What kind of season did he just finish?
He finished second in the Cy Young voting, leading the league with 21 wins and posting a 3.14 ERA. He led the National League in batters faced for the second time in three seasons, and he led all of baseball in complete games.

These were not red flags. These were the fires churning in the belly of Fernandomania. He was 25. He was a golden god of pitching. He was ...

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Rosenthal: Bullpen action starting to heat up

Agents for the top two remaining free-agent left-handers, Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, are signaling to teams that the pitchers will secure deals of at least two years and $12 million.

*The Blue Jays are trying to add two relievers, a lefty to replace Brett Cecil and a righty as well. Signing one such pitcher for bigger money — say, Blevins or right-hander Joe Blanton — could limit the team’s options.

*The Indians continue to explore the market, and bullpen coach Jason Bere was one of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2017 at 11:01 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: boone logan, free agents, jerry blevins, relievers

From the World Series to the KBO

The Indians lost Game 6 and, the day after Manship’s last MLB outing — for now, or maybe forever — they lost Game 7. One month after that, they non-tendered him, despite bringing back their eight other arbitration-eligible players. “All told, he contributed 82 2/3 innings of 2.07 ERA ball during his time in Cleveland, which ought to set him up for an opportunity with another organization,” Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors wrote in response to the decision, which made Manship a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 03:18 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, jeff manship, kbo

Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill goes by no-failure, no-progress credo - LA Times

“In a way, I’m a role model for failure,” Hill said. “My first suggestion for 2017 is to go out and fail — but fail at something you have passion for. I’m standing here today because I’ve failed more often than I’ve succeeded.

“Without struggle, there is no progress. Without failure there is no progress.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 03:17 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, rich hill

Klapisch: The world according to Ron Darling

Q: You were recently quoted as saying you’re optimistic about the Mets’ chances this year. What makes you so hopeful, considering all their injuries in 2016?

A: It’s from being a pro athlete my whole life and knowing what makes them tick. I can’t predict the injury part of it; if everyone gets hurt again, my claim will obviously be bogus. But I see a perfect storm that breaks down like this.

(Noah) Syndergaard is building on a season that already puts him among the top five pitchers ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 01:40 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, ron darling

A Big Key For the Cardinals Offense in 2017: Raise the OBP, Which Collapsed in ‘16 - 101Sports.com

Their team .325 OBP was the fourth lowest in 21 seasons of baseball during Bill DeWitt Jr.’s ownership reign.
So what can be done to improve the OBP in 2017?

I don’t want to get overly complicated here, so I’ll keep it to three points.

1. Obviously, the signing of center fielder Dexter Fowler should be a big help. Since 2009, Fowler ranks third among MLB leadoff hitters (minimum 400 games in the No. 1 spot) with an OBP of .369. In terms of getting on base, Fowler is as reliable as any ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 01:39 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

If the ‘lost’ Wieters’ market is down, it’s time to bring him home again - BaltimoreBaseball.com

It’s tough to re-establish your value if you are a part-time player. At this point, Wieters, at best, would be sharing the job in Baltimore.

When talking to Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette earlier this week, he said something that really struck me.

It wasn’t the sentiment conveyed, but the wording he used that that made me pause.

Here was the exact quote:

“We lost Matt Wieters, who had been a big part of our operation for a while. But we’ve been able to sign Welington ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 01:35 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: matt wieters, orioles

Bullpen action starting to heat up | FOX Sports

The clock is ticking.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 01:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Was Dixie Walker a Racist?

Dixie Walker received MVP votes in eight separate seasons, finishing as high as second in 1946. Yet if he is remembered at all by today’s fans, it’s for the charge that he was the player most responsible for trying to keep Jackie Robinson from joining the Brooklyn Dodgers.

It’s easy to cast Walker as the bigoted villain, but history suggests things may be a bit more complicated than they seem…

gehrig97 Posted: January 27, 2017 at 12:44 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: branch rickey, brooklyn dodgers, dixie walker, jackie robinson, racism

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-27-2017

Albuquerque Journal, January 27, 1917:

President William F. Baker, of the Philadelphia National league club, [yesterday] made public a letter sent to Grover Cleveland Alexander, the club’s star pitcher, refusing the player’s demand for a three-year contract at $15,000 a year. Mr. Baker told Alexander he was “astonished” at his demand, and that an offer of $8,000 a year still stood and “would not be increased to any great amount.”

Ty Cobb made $20,000 in 1917, Tris Speaker made $15,000, and ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 27, 2017 at 10:29 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cheapskate, dugout, history, pete alexander

With the New CBA, Ownership Finally Eliminates the Bonus – The Hardball Times

The top-end bonuses may shrink but the pots of gold will still be there.

We’re all happy there won’t be a lockout or a work stoppage, but it’s otherwise hard to find the positives in the changes in the newest agreement. To protect the owners from their own thriftless ways, the agreement threatens to dilute baseball’s talent pool and divert money from the pockets of a largely poor work force into the well-lined coffers of the teams. That may be business as usual for MLB dating all the way ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 09:47 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur baseball, amateur draft, international free agents

Ex-Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow crunches data, emerges with new pitch | Boston Herald

Craig Breslow, the smartest man in baseball. (At least that’s what I’ve read.)

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 09:20 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: craig breslow

Cuba’s Caribbean Series Roster Includes Alfredo Despaigne, Victor Mesa | BaseballAmerica.com

You can see it on ESPN Desportes?

Among prospects, Victor Mesa (the son of the long time Cuban national team manager of the same name) is the most exciting player on the roster. Mesa, 20, is a dynamic center fielder with excellent athleticism and tools coming off a breakout season in which he batted .359/.399/.539 in 290 plate appearances, ranking seventh in the league in batting average and sixth in slugging. Mesa was by far the league leader in stolen bases with 40 steals in 50 attempts. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 09:15 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball

Baseball Hall of Fame not mulling election rules for PED-era players

Idelson said the Hall’s leadership is “comfortable” with its current rules, despite the surge in support that has lifted Bonds and Clemens to more than 50 percent of the vote and to within about 100 votes of being elected.

“Rules are always a topic of conversation and thought,” Idelson said. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about any of our sets of rules for election.

“[But] bottom line is, we still feel very comfortable with the character, integrity and sportsmanship ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Report: Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field to host 2019 MLB All-Star Game

The 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be hosted by the Cleveland Indians in Progressive Field, according to a cleveland.com report by Zack Meisel.
Progressive Field has been renovated several times since last hosting the game in 1997 and right now the Indians are off the heels of a World Series appearance, so the decision by MLB here would make a lot of sense.
This would break a four-season streak of National League clubs playing host to the Midsummer Classic, as the Reds and Padres ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2017 at 08:34 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, indians, progressive field

Too many strikes against McCoy: Study says stadium age, location overshadow its charm

Larry Lucchino can do what he likes as long as he does it with his own money.

“Is another major investment in McCoy Stadium to cure current deficiencies throwing good money after bad?” the study asks early on, before all of its data points to the affirmative.

Merely fixing the structural deficiencies at the park will cost a proposed $35.6 million - and that’s if further damage isn’t discovered beneath the surface level. That investment would do nothing toward providing the ballpark and its ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 07:34 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, stadiums

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rangers’ Jake Diekman to miss first half of 2017 after surgery to remove colon - CBSSports.com

Wishing Diekman well.

Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. Diekman has been open about his disease, and is involved with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

According to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, Diekman hoped to delay the surgery until next offseason, but a flare-up over the holidays forced him to have the procedure now. From Fraley:
“It’s one of those step-away-from-baseball deals,” [GM Jon] Daniels said. “I know ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2017 at 08:55 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: jake diekman, rangers

Heyman: Nationals re-sign Stephen Drew to one-year deal

A source close to the situation has informed FanRag Sports that veteran infielder Stephen Drew has agreed to return to the Washington Nationals for the 2017 season. While agreeing to a one-year deal on Thursday morning, Drew will earn a $3.5 million base salary in addition to another $1.2 million in incentivized bonuses.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2017 at 11:40 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen drew

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