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Thursday, January 21, 2016
The Rays are signing Steve Pearce to a 1-year deal pending a physical, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.
Pearce, 32, will get at-bats at DH, 1B and in the outfield. The Lakeland native has played parts of nine seasons in the majors, the last three with Baltimore.
Pearce had a spectacular 2014 season, hitting .293 with 21 homers, 49 RBIs and a .930 OPS in 102 games but fell off considerably last year, hitting .218-15-40-.711 in 92 games.
Posted: January 21, 2016 at 02:08 PM | 5 comment(s)
Per Bill James, who’s in a much better position to judge than the rest of us:
We get all kinds, but there are more highly motivated professionals than anything else. In the thirteen years I have been in Boston I guess we have had three players who basically conned us out of a contract and then showed up with no apparent desire to earn their money; can’t give you names, obviously, but it does happen occasionally. None in the last five years. Occasionally you get players who, after signing what ...
Posted: January 21, 2016 at 01:42 PM | 64 comment(s)
Because telling young football players to just play baseball isn’t that simple.
First of all, most young athletes don’t have the choice. Not every two-sport high schooler is Deion Sanders, or even Jeff Samardzija. Consider how small a segment of the population can play high-level college or pro baseball or football, and consider how much smaller a segment of the population is capable of doing both. Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, a 20-yeear-old listed at 6-foot-4, 312 pounds, ...
Here’s what I’ve been told: The Yankees are not planning to sign a Major League free agent this offseason.
I’m certainly not the only reporter hearing such a thing. The Yankees have taken on some money in trades, and they’re about to pay a bunch of money to arbitration eligible players — and they committed a ton of money two years ago — but it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that the Yankees will not sign a single Major League free agent this winter.
The Yankees’ last ...
Posted: January 21, 2016 at 12:48 PM | 10 comment(s)
“All right, guys, let’s get something straight—I don’t want to be here, and you don’t want to be here, so let’s just try to get this season over with,” the organizer of the deadliest terror attack in modern history reportedly said when first meeting the rambunctious youngsters in their overgrown practice field, where trash can lids were used as bases and the entire team was sharing a single worn-out ball. “The U.S. District Court for Southern New York says that for the next two ...
Profar was able to play in just 12 Minor League games on medical rehabilitation assignment at the end of the season and another 20 in the Arizona Fall League. He was used exclusively at designated hitter, but Profar said the Fall League work was productive. He was 20-for-75 (.267) with two home runs and 20 RBIs in 20 games.
“Yeah, it was good to play again, to get the feeling, because I played against good pitchers,” Profar said. “It was great.”
Profar is on the big league roster, but the ...
The Venezuelan Summer League is shutting down for the 2016 season. With several teams having pulled out of their Venezuelan academies in recent years, the VSL was down to just four teams—the Cubs, Phillies, Rays and Tigers—in 2015. According to multiple sources, the Cubs decided to pull out of the VSL this year, so with just three teams remaining, the league is cancelling the 2016 season.
It’s the latest move in a trend of teams reducing their presence in Venezuela, a country rich in ...
Isn’t Eaton a better defender than Fowler in centerfield?
Aside from being more affordable, Fowler seems like a better clubhouse fit than Cespedes, who already has been on four teams. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said last October: “(Fowler) always has a smile, he’s always bouncing around the clubhouse, he’s very loose and confident in his abilities, sometimes in almost a brash way. And that’s great with our team.”
It’d be great for the Sox too. And it would allow manager Robin Ventura to ...
Which position would Cespedes play?
The Nats recently acquired Ben Revere, presumably to play center, possibly in tandem with Michael Taylor. Jayson Werth, guaranteed $42 million over the next two seasons with a full no-trade clause, is the left fielder. National League MVP Bryce Harper is in right.
The addition of Cespedes likely would mean that either he or Harper would be in center. The Nats, however, want Revere to play regularly—they acquired him in part to be their leadoff ...
1. Julio Urias, Dodgers
He doesn’t turn 20 until August, and he’s already knocking on the door. Urias has an outstanding combination of stuff and pitchability well beyond his years. He has three plus pitches with outstanding command. The only thing he doesn’t have is innings. Urias has yet to top even 90 innings in a season, but that shouldn’t hold him back for too long.
Posted: January 21, 2016 at 09:12 AM | 8 comment(s)
Toledo News-Bee, January 21, 1916:
An injury caused by a slide to the plate will result in amputation of the right leg of Jim Baskette, former Cleveland, Toledo and Kansas City pitcher, say reports from Chattanooga, his home.
A piece of bone has been removed from Baskette’s leg, but there are signs of decay, physicians say. Southern league fans are raising a fund to aid the ball player.
That really sucks. According to the newsletter of the Baseball Players’ Fraternity, the injury wasn’t thought ...Read More...
It’s not the free-agent signing that fans are pining for, but getting lefthanded reliever Antonio Bastardo on Wednesday might prove to be very important for the Mets.
The team agreed with Bastardo on a two-year, $12 million deal. If that sounds like a lot for a set-up reliever, it’s similar to what others like Mark Lowe, Steve Cishek, and John Axford − all righthanders − have received this winter.
Bastardo, meanwhile, was one of the few quality lefties in this free-agent market. ...
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Not very original. Howard Stern performed this act every three of four years while working for K-Rock.
Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa’s Retirement Announcement Tour rolled on Wednesday with His Holiness again saying he will call it quits when his contract expires in 2017.
“It’s not a negotiating ploy,” Francesa contended during his WFAN soiree. “...What I said is true. It’s going to be the end of the road as far as doing this everyday. That’s what the plan is.”
Francesa first ...
Do Mets fans really want him back for five years?
The solution for the Mets is easy – so easy, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.
Sign Yoenis Cespedes.
Sign him to a five-year, $120 million contract with a two-year opt-out and a ton of deferred money.
Cespedes, 30, could claim victory – he would get the long-term security he wants and a higher average annual value ($24 million) than Justin Upton ($22.125M).
The Mets would win, too – the five-year term is shorter than ...
Toledo News-Bee, January 20, 1916:
Secretary J.H. Farrell of the National Association of Professional Baseball leagues has issued a list of Federal league players “now free agents and authorized to sign where they please.” On the list is Milo Packard, a former Kansas City Fed, who was killed accidentally last spring trailing a shotgun through a fence.
Cross him off, then.
On second thought, maybe don’t cross him off. Eugene Milo “Gene” Packard pitched for Kansas City in 1914 and 1915 and lived ...Read More...
“If I could go back, I wouldn’t” play football, he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a Steelers-themed project posted Tuesday. “I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn’t play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game of football. But right now, I could still be playing baseball.”
Steve Parris, Je t'aime
Posted: January 20, 2016 at 07:19 AM | 214 comment(s)
Earlier this offseason the Marlins announced they will both lower and move in the fences at Marlins Park in an effort to make the park more hitter friendly. The dimensions down the lines will remain the same, but the walls will be brought in in the power alleys and center field.
Also, the fences will be lowered substantially in some places. The old walls ranged from 11 1/2 feet to 13 feet high. With the new layout, some fences will be as low as 5 1/2 feet. Here’s an update of the construction, ...
Posted: January 20, 2016 at 07:04 AM | 13 comment(s)
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Who actually thinks scouts can be replaced by analytics? What are “real, trusted scouting eyes”? Analytics are part of the game. The scouts who embrace that change will be more valuable scouts. Scouts who lament the changes and fail to evolve will be replaced.
Dennis Gilbert—”Go Go” from his days as a Red Sox farmhand—held his annual Scouts Dinner Sunday night, one of the great events of the winter. Per this Bob Nightengale column in USA Today. Scouts, real scouts who do not sit in lunch ...
Posted: January 19, 2016 at 07:05 PM | 21 comment(s)
MLB.TV streaming package for $84.99 per year, for the next five years.
Additionally, the full league-wide package will be offered for $109.99, a 15% reduction from the $129.99 cost in 2015. That package enables fans to view any game on any mobile device.
MLB has also agreed to lift streaming blackouts of in-market games by the start of the 2017 season, albeit with a couple caveats.
It only applies to networks owned by DirecTV (Root Sports), Comcast (CSN) and 21st Century Fox (Fox Sports ...
Posted: January 19, 2016 at 05:50 PM | 16 comment(s)
To the Leftorium!
On one hand, maybe league-average against more than half the league’s pitchers could be considered an issue, given the amount of money invested in this lineup and the expectations that follow. On the other hand, a cursory glance at recent history reveals that Cabrera’s outperformed this year’s projection for each of the last seven seasons, by an average of 27 points. Since reinventing himself as a hitter in 2014, J.D. Martinez has been 30% better against righties than ...
Posted: January 19, 2016 at 03:17 PM | 3 comment(s)
Say it ain’t you, Yu.
Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is under investigation by MLB for his possible role in an illegal gambling ring run by his brother Sho, The Japan Times reported Tuesday.
Sho Darvish was arrested in October after being accused by authorities of placing bets on American and Japanese sports. He and seven others were accused of taking 18.5 million yen, or $150,000, worth of bets based on the scores of 16 MLB games and 28 Japanese professional baseball games from May 12-18. It’s ...
Pete Rose is going into the Hall of Fame.
No, Rob Manfred hasn’t had a change of heart. The all-time hits leader will be honored as a member of the Reds Hall of Fame.
“Inducting Pete into the Reds Hall of Fame will be a defining moment in the 147-year history of this storied franchise,” team president Bob Castellini said Tuesday (via WXIX-TV) in a prepared statement. “He is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Reds uniform and it will be an unforgettable experience watching him ...
Posted: January 19, 2016 at 08:52 AM | 85 comment(s)
Pittsburgh Press, January 19, 1916:
If the American League records, as they should, took account of the Red Cross passes received by the players and added them to the athletes’ total of regulation gifts, Tyrus Cobb would have been the Johnsonites’ champion hiker last season. The Dixie Demon, who drew one less complimentary than Eddie Collins, was hit by the slabmen six more times than the White Sock and therefore was deadhanded to first five more times than the former Mackman.
“Doc” Johnston ...
if you are in bed with cable companies you really need to think about what you find attractive in your partner
from the article:
MLB says the system prevents the teams in big markets from gobbling up all the TV deals and starving small-market teams, ensuring more games, more competition and more choices for fans.
Now, the league will have to defend that logic in a trial starting Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, in which Comcast Corp. and DirecTV LLC are also among the defendants. The ...Read More...
Yu Darvish, Rangers
In a crowded AL West, Darvish has the ability to shift the scales considerably when he returns from Tommy John surgery. The latest guess is that the defending division champs will get him back in May, making for a fearsome twosome of Darvish and Cole Hamels atop Texas’ rotation. Hamstrung by some other colossal contracts they’ve doled out in recent years, the Rangers haven’t made much noise this offseason. But they know Darvish, who has a 3.27 ERA and 128 ERA+ over 83 career ...
Posted: January 19, 2016 at 06:54 AM | 2 comment(s)
He’s too nice? He lets batters hit to improve their averages?
That hasn’t stopped the armchair psychologists from offering their conclusions. Appel has a ready smile and is bright and well-spoken. That has led some to conclude that he’s simply too nice, that he lacks the requisite mean streak. It’s a charge the 24-year-old is well aware of.
“I take it as a compliment. I am a nice guy,” Appel said on the final day of the Phillies’ annual Prospect Education Program at Citizens Bank Park. “I don’t ...
Posted: January 19, 2016 at 06:49 AM | 1 comment(s)
Where will Cespedes land?
General manager Jeff Luhnow on Friday afternoon reiterated that he feels the team does not need to make further moves this offseason. Yet, it’s clear the Astros don’t consider their winter over.
“We’re still in the same spot we’ve been in,” Luhnow said. “We’re monitoring the players that are available and trying to figure out if there’s a fit, and when I say available, I don’t mean only via free agency. There’s discussions with other teams about ...
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