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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


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— All the News That's Fit to Link

Friday, November 27, 2015

Why did Braves trade Andrelton Simmons? | Atlanta Braves blog

This is well worth reading.

Why make the trade now instead of waiting, at least until the Winter Meetings, to drive up the price?

“Take a team like the Angels. They have needs at second base, third base, left field, bullpen. And we felt these were their two best prospects.  If we wanted to wait until the Winter Meetings, there’s a good chance that they are gone and that we don’t get this sort of opportunity again. And that’s just one example. If there’s a good deal….

“We had a ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2015 at 11:41 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, general managers, interview, john coppolella


On the current state of the club: “Here’s how it’s been: We did a very, very thorough analysis and where we were going to be if we stayed the course. We could not stay the course. We had to make dramatic and tough decisions. We had big contracts, we had talented players who weren’t going to be able to by themselves bring us a world championship opportunity again. We had a farm system where all the good players we had, had already matriculated in the major leagues. Our system was empty. ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2015 at 10:59 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, john schuerholz

What awaits in negotiations for Major League Baseball’s next labor deal?

Jayson Stark runs down some of the issues that owners and players will need to resolve in the next CBA.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2015 at 10:40 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Disney’s ‘Bad Dinosaur’: ESPN Loses 7 Mil Subscribers

Cord cutting leads to 2 year subscriber loss of 7 million, and Disney stock takes a hit.

pthomas Posted: November 27, 2015 at 09:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cable, espn

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-27-2015

El Paso Herald, November 27, 1915:

Before the documents were signed that made Cyril [Slapnicka] a Brewer, he thought his twirling services were worth so much per season. The club owners thought he valued the power of his arm about $400 too much, and they told him so.
“We will give you a contract calling for the figures we have mentioned. Into this contract we will insert a proviso to the effect that if you win one half of your games we will pay you the extra $400.”
[With a 14-15 record,] ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 27, 2015 at 08:25 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cy slapnicka, dugout, history

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Royals: Making Contact and Winning Championships

The genius of the contact-based approach is that, if a pitcher is reliant on making hitters miss as part of his game plan, a contact-based team will have an antidote to his poison. Now it’€™s a negotiation between the pitcher and batter in terms of how good the pitcher is at inducing weak contact and how skilled the batter is at making good contact. If teams are selecting for swing-and-miss stuff and ignoring whether the pitcher is also skilled at inducing weak contact, then teams that ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2015 at 11:18 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: contact, royals

Inside Baseball: Dodgers chase stars as cuts may have to wait; more news -

Jon Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2015 at 08:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

All MLB clubs have reasons to be thankful |

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2015 at 07:52 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: holidays

Jed Lowrie rejoins A’s; Brett Lawrie likely to be traded - San Francisco Chronicle

Do the A’s really need to get rid of either Valencia or Lawrie?

Lowrie’s return all but ensures the A’s next will move either second baseman Brett Lawrie or third baseman Danny Valencia. Both are drawing interest from American League teams, according to big-league sources, but Lawrie, obtained in the Josh Donaldson deal with Toronto last winter, is considered the better bet to be traded: He can play second and third well, he has an enormous amount of natural ability and he turns 26 in ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2015 at 07:49 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, brett lawrie, danny valencia, jed lowrie

Alex Gordon a Value Buy in Free Agency | FanGraphs Baseball

Gordon isn’t getting seven years. Five years at $90 million is a real possibility.

A seven-year contract for Gordon does not make a lot of sense, but if the FanGraphs crowd is correct and Gordon receives a five-year contract for $90 million or even Dave Cameron’s four year, $92 million prediction, that represent be a decent value. The Royals were in the middle-tier when it came to payroll last season and given attendance and another World Series run, Gordon might fit the team very well moving ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2015 at 07:22 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, free agents, royals

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Braves sign veteran starter Bud Norris

This Bud’s for you.

The Braves signed veteran right-hander Bud Norris to a one-year, $2.5 million contract on Wednesday, again following with their recent strategy of buying low on pitchers coming off injury or disappointing season.

In the case of Norris, it was a bad 2015 season in which he went 3-11 with a 6.72 ERA in 38 games (11 starts) for Baltimore and San Diego.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 25, 2015 at 11:17 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, bud norris

How Colby Rasmus’ big contract played a role in trading Jed Lowrie - Houston Chronicle

So, it is a salary dump.

“I don’t know because we’re not operating really towards a number,” Luhnow said. “Obviously, I know I’m not going to spend $150, $200 million. But I’m not necessarily trying to hit a number. I’m trying to put together a team. I know it’s going to be in some range, but I’m focused way more on putting together a team that works for us rather than hitting a number.”
“Given that we had a lot of options at third and first, we (thought we) could take those resources and ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2015 at 07:08 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Comcast takes shot at Yankees in dispute as cable operator says not many folks watching the games on YES

“... Over 90% of our 900,000 plus customers who receive YES Network didn’t watch the equivalent of even one quarter of those (130) games (on YES) during the season,” Comcast said. “Even while the Yankees were in the hunt for a playoff berth.”

ReggieThomasLives Posted: November 25, 2015 at 06:13 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: evil empire, yankees

Veteran catcher Geovany Soto agrees to one-year deal with Angels

The hot stove is getting lukewarm!

Free-agent catcher Geovany Soto and the Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a one-year, $2.8 million contract.

The team announced the move Tuesday night, one day after losing catcher Chris Iannetta to the Seattle Mariners in free agency.

Soto has played for four teams in 11 major league seasons. The former Chicago Cubs backstop spent last season on the other side of town with the White Sox, batting .219 with nine homers and 21 RBIs in 78 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 25, 2015 at 12:55 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, geovany soto

Alex Avila lands with Chicago White Sox

Thanksgiving dinner at the Avilas just got awkward.

Alex Avila is leaving town, but he isn’t traveling far.

The longtime Detroit Tigers catcher this morning signed a one-year deal with the division-rival Chicago White Sox. The deal, according to the Sox, is worth $2.5 million.

Avila, 28, is the oldest son of Tigers general manager Al Avila. He spent seven seasons with the Tigers, hitting .242 with 66 home runs.

He served as the starting catcher for the better part of six seasons, until ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 25, 2015 at 12:54 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: alex avila, tigers, white sox

Oakland A’s acquire Jed Lowrie from Houston Astros for RHP Brendan McCurry

Jed Lowrie? Brett Lawrie? Could Noah Lowry be next?

e Oakland Athletics have reacquired Jed Lowrie from the Houston Astros for right-handed relief pitcher Brendan McCurry, the club has announced. News that the A’s would acquire Lowrie was first reported by Jane Lee of The A’s have 41 players counting against their 40-man roster limit and have not yet announced a corresponding move.

Lowrie, turning 32 next season, has two years and $14 million remaining on the three-year deal he ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 25, 2015 at 12:53 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, billy beane, brendan mccurry, jed lowrie, trade

The 3-man rotation? It’s coming ... sometime, says Bill James

Suppose that a team used a three-man starting rotation, but limited each pitcher to 80 pitches a start or five innings. (This actually would work with 90 pitches a start, but 80 is more conservative, so I’m going to use 80 as a working premise.) Anyway, a starting pitcher always and absolutely comes out of the game as soon as

1) He has pitched five innings, or

2) He has thrown 80 pitches.

No exceptions. Eighty pitches, it’s the fifth inning, you’re ahead 9-0 and you have two outs and two ...

eddieot Posted: November 25, 2015 at 11:18 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, sabermetrics

Win a Free Copy of THT 2016! | FanGraphs Baseball

OK, I just bought my copy. Here’s a chance to get your copy for free.

Have you heard? The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2016 is now available for sale. You can check out the table of contents and read some excerpts from the book. When you finish that you can purchase it from our independent publishing platform, Createspace, in print form, or from Amazon in print form, and also digitally on Amazon for the Kindle.

But wait, there’s more! Because we’re giving folk, and since it’s the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2015 at 11:07 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: books

Free-agent starters Red Sox may try to sign |

If his medicals look good, Cueto would be a really good fit for the Red Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2015 at 08:40 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, red sox

One way to help improve the Red Sox pitching in 2016: Keep Jackie Bradley

It’s still weird to see analysis like this in a newspaper.

Across the game, the correlation between outfield defense and runs shaved off a pitching staff’s predicted ERA was significantly higher than the correlation between infield and catcher defense and ERA.

In other words, while it’s possible to make an impact with either an elite infield or an elite outfield, the teams with elite outfields tended to help their pitchers more than teams with elite infields.

That’s where Bradley — ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2015 at 08:38 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-25-2015

Not a ton of baseball in the newspapers of Thanksgiving Day 1915.

Topeka State Journal, November 25, 1915:

Arthur (Buck) Weaver, formerly catcher for the Denver and Wichita Western League baseball clubs, was probably fatally injured today in an explosion and fire that damaged the plant of the Mountain Motor Fuel company of which he was superintendent…An electric spark is believed to have caused the explosion.

This is not Black Sox Buck Weaver, but the Browns/Cardinals/Pirates/White Sox catcher ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 25, 2015 at 08:05 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: art weaver, dugout, history

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Muñoz’s path to the Phillies doesn’t often happen

Durso had welcomed Muñoz on to the Homers for Hope baseball team, and into his home. He and his wife, Katie, had taught Muñoz some rudimentary English. He had done all of this under the tyranny of the calendar. Whatever hope Muñoz had of remaining in the United States, restarting his pitching career, and extricating his family from the pull of the Dominican Republic’s poverty would run out come Dec.31, when his visa expired, unless a major-league organization threw him a lifeline.

If one ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 24, 2015 at 04:35 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: jairo munoz, phillies

David Stearns on His Vision for Building the Brewers | FanGraphs Baseball


On the information beast: “I really don’t see a dichotomy between the analytics and scouting departments. I see them both as information sources where we need the absolute best of both. We’re going to build out both until we feel we have the best information we can possibly acquire. We’re always going to want more. That’s the nature of the beast. In this industry, the game is, ‘What is the next frontier in baseball and where can we get the next competitive advantage?’”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 03:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, david stearns, general managers

Help Wanted: Job Seeker Journal Writers « Ben’s Biz Blog

Looking for a job at the Winter Meetings is equal parts exhilarating and maddening, as hundreds of seekers vie to land a geographically and economically appropriate position. Some are content with securing an internship — anything to get that proverbial foot in the door — while others have already gone this route and are now intent on full-time employment. Some are just out of (or still in) college, while others are taking a leap of faith by trying to break into baseball after having ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 02:39 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: winter meetings

Report: MLB in ‘advanced negotiations’ to play games in London

You’d think Brits might be tired of the Royals by now.

MLB is in “advanced negotiations” with the operators of Olympic Stadium to play games in London, according to a report from Ben Rumsby of The Telegraph. It’s possible games could be played in Europe as soon as 2017.

Olympic Stadium, which was built as the centerpiece of the 2012 London Olympics, is currently undergoing renovations and will re-open in 2016. It will have a seating capacity of 54,000 when renovations are complete.

“That ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 24, 2015 at 12:59 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: international, london

USA Baseball’s senior national team brings home silver from Premier 12 tournament |

On the night Randolph spoke with, his team broke through to a crucial 3-2 win over Korea in 10 innings, pushing the Americans on to the Premier 12 quarterfinals. There they handled former five-time Major League All-Star Andruw Jones and his Kingdom of the Netherlands team in a 6-1 win to earn a trip to Japan.

After a 6-1 semifinal win over an upstart world No. 12 Mexico team, the US ran out of gas in an 8-0 loss at the hands of Korea in the gold medal match. Despite the loss, the US ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 11:56 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: tournament, usa baseball

Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada is more muscle than man | For The Win

He is not a little girlie man.


Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 11:52 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yoan moncada

Mariners GM Dipoto: Cano happy in Seattle |

It’s a good thing he feels this way because he’s not going anywhere. Ever.

“He reached out to let me know that did not come from Robbie and that’s not at all reflective of how he felt,” said Dipoto, who replaced former GM Jack Zduriencik two months ago. “Shortly after the season ended, I sat down with Robinson in my office for two hours and we had a great talk and I think we left with a very clear understanding of who one another might be.

“Since the season ended, we’ve had a couple phone ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 11:50 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano

Starting pitchers should throw fewer innings |

Mike Petriello spits in starting pitchers’ general direction.

So, rather than looking at the first pitcher as “the starter, who has to get me through seven innings,” teams ought to simply think about 27 outs and how best to get them. If that means the best scenario is that the first pitcher gets just 10 outs, the next comes in for three, and then a third gets eight outs to get through the first seven innings, then so be it. If that reminds you of the way things work in the postseason, it ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 11:48 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, statcast

Arizona Fall League Top 20 Prospects |

This year’s group of Arizona Fall League prospects couldn’t match those from 2013 and ‘14, though that’s a nearly impossible standard to live up to. The historic rookie crop that generated so much big league buzz this summer was fueled by several former AFL participants, including Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor, Roberto Osuna, Joc Pederson, Addison Russell and Corey Seager.

While there weren’t as many elite prospects in the Fall League this time around, there still was plenty of intriguing ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 11:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

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