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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lopes ‘taking it easy’ after calling it quits

NEW YORK—Fifty years after the Dodgers drafted him, Davey Lopes said on the Newsmakers podcast that he is retiring after 45 consecutive years in the Major Leagues.

“I’m not doing much. I’m retired, taking it easy,” said Lopes, who last worked for the Nationals as a first-base coach in 2017. “It was not a difficult decision to make, but one I was kind of hesitant to make. But it all works out. I got the opportunity to play, manage or coach for a long, long time. I’m extremely thankful. I was ...

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Updating 5 free agents who could sign soon

This has to be #fakenews. It doesn’t look like another free agent will ever sign with a team.

Slowest, most boring off-season ever.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2018 at 12:11 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Kevin Towers, former D-backs, Padres GM, dies | MLB.com

Sad news.

Former Padres and D-backs general manager Kevin Towers has died after a battle with cancer. He was 56.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2018 at 11:56 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin towers, obituary

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-30-2018

Bridgeport Times, January 30, 1918:

A novel scheme by which a batsman would be permitted to steal first base any time the ball is in play has been advanced by a Kansas City lawyer. This attorney has written several letters to Garry Herrmann, chairman of the National Commission, and Herrmann has been interested to the extent of sending copies of his correspondence on the subject to his fellow members of the commission—Tener and Johnson—asking for an opinion of the scheme.

“It’s crazy and awful.” ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 30, 2018 at 09:47 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Baseball’s Rumored Spring Training for Free Agents Has Happened Before - The Ringer

I remember 1995 well. It was a mess.

The union was capable of creating the camp—which at that time, really was without precedent, as far as Fehr knows—on short notice because it had already laid the groundwork for a more ambitious strike contingency plan. “The camp was originally never intended to be a camp,” says Price, who helped spearhead the MLBPA’s strike contingency plans, which started to coalesce in December ’94. Instead, the union intended to bring back a time-honored ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2018 at 07:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Joey Gallo benefits from tighter launch angle

An interesting look at Joey Gallo using Statcast.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2018 at 07:28 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: joey gallo, rangers, statcast

Monday, January 29, 2018

Agent Scott Boras wants change: ‘Non-competitive cancer’ ruining baseball

This is a stupid idea. The MLBPA helped make young players even cheaper than they were. It then went along with increased penalties and low thresholds for Luxury Taxes. It shouldn’t be shocking that smarter front offices figured out they’d be better off playing more young, cheap players instead of older, more expensive ones.

Boras has proposed draft bonuses for winning games. If a small-market team wins at least 78 games, it receives $2 million more to spend in the draft while the other teams ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2018 at 11:18 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, scott boras

Blue Jays’ prospects could eventually be cure to backup catcher hole - Sportsnet.ca

Sorry, Martin was no prize either. His numbers only look acceptable if you accept today’s dearth of good catchers as the new norm.

Martin hit .221/.343/.388 with 13 home runs last year—respectable numbers in line with the MLB averages for the position. And while 91 games represented a dropoff in playing time for Martin, only one catcher older than him appeared in more games: Yadier Molina.

The problem wasn’t Martin, it was his backups. Raffy Lopez, Mike Ohlman, Miguel Montero, Jarrod ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2018 at 04:57 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Indians to stop using Chief Wahoo logo | MLB.com

What’s the next main focus for SJW? The Braves can’t be far behind. The Mariners seem a little fishy to me too.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2018 at 04:54 PM | 298 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Inside Baseball | Will Big Moves Thursday Spark Slow Market?

Heyman with a pretty good break down.

One thing he didn’t note, teams are paying more for relievers. If starters aren’t pitching as many innings it makes sense to reapportion where they are spending money. Of course, relievers aren’t complaining about this shift.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2018 at 04:46 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, free agency

Alex Anthopolous forced to move slowly with Braves’ roster changes

“We’re the Atlanta Braves,” he said. “The major league team is what runs this whole place. Let’s be real. We’re not here to be ranked No. 1 in Baseball America.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2018 at 04:42 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

NY Times: Cleveland Indians will abandon Chief Wahoo logo next year

Chief Wahoo, a cartoonish caricature of a Native American that has assumed several forms over the years, first appeared on the Indians’ uniforms in 1948. In recent decades various groups across North America have appealed to the team to renounce the logo, to no avail. But over the past year the commissioner of baseball, Rob Manfred, has pressured Paul Dolan, Cleveland’s chairman and chief executive, to make a change.


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-29-2018

An English cricketer discusses baseball in the Bridgeport Times, January 29, 1918:

I am criticized for referring to the pitcher’s play or duties as “monotonous,” yet in the same breath a critic informs me that “sometimes a pitcher has to play for nine innings, unless he is replaced by a spare pitcher.” Well, if that is not monotony, I know it not.
...
For these reasons alone baseball can never be classed in the same category as cricket, and never will be by anyone who has ever played much ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 29, 2018 at 12:28 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Reserve Clause (1879) | In Pursuit of Pennants

The book will be available in paperback. It’s a great book. You should buy it.

In the meantime, enjoy their current series.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2018 at 11:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history

MLB.com 2018 Prospect Watch | MLB.com

MLB.com’s Top 100.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2018 at 10:18 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Kenley Jansen on the frozen free agent market

Frustration is boiling over around Major League Baseball due to this winter’s slow moving free agent market. And don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s only coming from players without deals. Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who just inked a five-year, $80 million last winter, is just as irked as anyone by the lack of market-moving deals, and he’s not against doing something rash to turn things around.

spanx for the memories Posted: January 28, 2018 at 02:33 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: los angeles dodgers

Machado shifting to shortstop, Beckham to 3B

BALTIMORE—Star infielder Manny Machado made it clear this offseason he wants to play shortstop, his natural position, and manager Buck Showalter confirmed at Orioles FanFest on Saturday that the club is granting his request.

Machado has played much of his first six seasons in the Major Leagues at third base while J.J. Hardy manned short, but Hardy’s departure for free agency this offseason opened up the spot full time for the 25-year-old Machado. Tim Beckham, who the Orioles acquired in a July ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 28, 2018 at 11:56 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Why Are There So Few Third Basemen in the Hall of Fame? - The New York Times

There really are a lot of great third basemen playing right now. Catchers, not so much.

Jones had his own knee problems near the end of his career, but still ranks seventh in career games at third base. Asked how he did it, Jones laughed and said, “Blessed.” The current crop of star third basemen — Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson, Evan Longoria, Manny Machado, Anthony Rendon — could only hope to be so lucky.

“Maybe,” Schmidt said, “the greatest players in the game today ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2018 at 06:11 AM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Castrovince: Modern prospects playing key role

I can understand how individual players could miss this trend. How the MLBPA didn’t grasp the importance of this change is beyond me? Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr would have grasped the importance of macro movement on this level.

“Basically,” wrote an AL executive in an e-mail, “the gap between Major League veterans being a ‘known commodity’ and Minor League players being ‘unknowns’ may be shrinking due to a greater ability to study and analyze the Minor League game.”

Another executive, who ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2018 at 05:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, mlbpa

Haudricourt: Brewers make moves to accelerate rebuilding process

Will they need to trade excess outfield talent for pitching to make the Yelich deal and Cain signing smart?

“It’s a confluence of a number of different factors,” Stearns said. “We knew we would have an off-season like this at some point. I couldn’t have told you whether it would be this off-season, next off-season or the off-season after, but we knew at some point we would make significant outside acquisitions to supplement our team.

“A number of factors contributed to this and when ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2018 at 05:44 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

MLB players, teams face FA standoff despite Cain deal

Wishful thinking for the players.

All of it is part of a bigger battle to come, one that is going to define the short remainder of this offseason, hang over the 2018 season and come to a head next November. The animus is strong, the players fixing for a fight, ownership inviting one. It’s real enough that one executive this week wondered if the sides might consider opening up the collective-bargaining agreement in the near term and giving the union financial concessions in exchange for labor ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2018 at 05:28 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, mlbpa

Friday, January 26, 2018

MLBPA Raises Revenue Sharing Concerns Regarding Marlins, Pirates

The Major League Baseball Player’s Association has raised concern with the commissioner’s office regarding the Marlins and Pirates, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan had recently reported that the union was considering the idea of going to commissioner Rob Manfred with their concerns.

The root of the union’s concern is whether the two teams are appropriately reinvesting the money that they receive under the league’s revenue-sharing program, both ...

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snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 26, 2018 at 03:07 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, pirates

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-26-2018

Topeka State Journal, January 26, 1918:

Branch Rickey of the Cardinals is well pleased with his new manager, Jack Hendricks. Hendricks had a little wit combat with Charley Weeghman that made a hit with Rickey. Weeghman was offering a price for Rogers Hornsby. “Yes, you can have him,” says Hendricks, “for $150,000 and all of your players thrown in.” “Gosh, that’s stronger than I was ever able to make it,” says Rickey.

Seriously, Charley? Seriously? You’re still doing this? ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 26, 2018 at 09:43 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dead horses, dugout, history

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Brewers sign free agent Lorenzo Cain

Finally, a deal is made.

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the deal is for five years and worth $80 million, which would be the largest free-agent contract so far this offseason. The club hasn’t confirmed the deal, which is pending the completion of a physical.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2018 at 07:55 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, lorenzo cain

Brewers agree to trade for Christian Yelich | MLB.com

It appears the Brewers question Brinson’s ability to hit major league pitching. It will be interesting to see how he progresses.

The Marlins continued their rebuilding process on Thursday, trading Silver Slugger Award-winning outfielder Christian Yelich to the Brewers in exchange for three of Milwaukee’s top 14 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, and four overall—including outfielder Lewis Brinson.

The 23-year-old Brinson, who has 21 games of big league experience, is ranked by MLB Pipeline ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2018 at 07:51 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, christian yelich, marlins, trade

Mariners to revive a classic

At their annual preseason luncheon Thursday, the Mariners announced their promotional schedule for the 2018 season. The most notable date? June 30, or Turn Ahead the Clock Day 2.0.

PepTech, Intermittently Stable Genius Posted: January 25, 2018 at 06:45 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, promotions, uniforms

MLB.COM - Halo effect: Vlad will rep Angels on Hall plaque

As he breaks the hearts of Expos fans everywhere…..

“Vladimir Guerrero will be the first Hall of Famer to represent the Angels when he is enshrined in Cooperstown in July as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.

Guerrero said at Thursday’s news conference in New York—featuring he and fellow electees Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman—that his plaque will depict him wearing an Angels cap.”

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: January 25, 2018 at 04:14 PM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, hall of fame

Matz hungry to return to rookie form but needs health to lead way - NY Daily News

Matz is keeping the hope alive.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2018 at 03:25 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-25-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, January 25, 1918:

Although underhand pitching is supposed to “kill” the man who sticks to it, Carl Mays, the Red Sox star, seems to thrive. After a good year in 1916 he repeated last season by running second to Eddie Cicotte in effectiveness, as measured by the earned runs scored against him.

That…is an unfortunate turn of phrase.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 25, 2018 at 09:43 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The 2018 Hardball Times Annual Is Here! | FanGraphs Baseball

You can read it all online this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2018 at 09:41 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hardball times

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