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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Most Improved Changeup of the Second Half | FanGraphs Baseball

Tyler Chatwood‘s changeup has never been good, but it really looks like he’s tinkering with it, no matter which classification system you’re using. By PITCHf/x, he added nearly two inches of fade and over an inch of drop. Meanwhile, he began throwing the fastball harder and change slower, improving the gap between the two pitches by 2.5 mph, the biggest difference in the sample of 92.

That’s according to the generic PITCHf/x classifications from MLB, at least. According to Brooks ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 07:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: changeup, sabermetrics

2016 Arizona Fall League Top 20 Prospects | BaseballAmerica.com

Intriguing profile.

4. Cody Bellinger, 1b/of, Glendale (Dodgers)

Bellinger’s prospect stock continues to rise as his lean body gains strength, helping his swing work better. He was Glendale’s most productive hitter this fall, producing a .314/.424/.557 slash line, with three home runs in 70 at-bats with 14 walks. With above-average bat speed and plenty of leverage in his swing, Bellinger, 21, projects to eventually have plus power. The consensus among AFL scouts is that his first base ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 06:55 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Encarnacion highlights remaining sluggers | MLB.com

I just don’t see the Red Sox being in on Encarnacion. I also find it unlikely the Yankees will get in on him too.

The guesstimate: His market is very likely limited to American League teams and he’s tied to Draft-pick compensation, but this could be the source of a good old-fashioned battle between the Yankees and Red Sox, which would obviously be beneficial for Encarnacion’s bank account. Don’t rule out the Astros, though they might be hesitant to part with a Draft pick.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 06:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Rumors And Rumblings - Otani Could Blow Up Next Winter’s Market

“He’s the modern-day Babe Ruth,” a Pacific Rim scout from an American League team said. “He’s a top-of-the-rotation pitcher and the middle-of-the-order hitter. We haven’t seen anything like him in modern times. Whenever he comes to America, he’s going to break the bank. There has never been anybody in free agency who could ever market themselves as a two-way player before.”

Players cannot become free agents in the NPB until they accumulate nine years of service time.

However, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 06:31 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, notes, shohei otani

MLB, players union meeting to hammer out details of collective bargaining agreement

CBA update. As I mentioned when I posted another article, I can see tying draft picks to going over the international pool as a compromise. I’m not sure I can see the players wanting to tie picks to the luxury tax. Of course, to get unfettered free agency and other perks, they will have to move on something.

The last big hurdle for MLB and the union in CBA talks is the competitive balance tax, sources said. Commonly referred to as a luxury tax, it is used by sports leagues to penalize teams that ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 06:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

As Atlanta Braves search for new spring training home, donations flow to key Florida state senators

Drain the swamp!

The Atlanta Braves still don’t know where in Florida they will move their spring training operations in 2019, but that is not stopping them from sending campaign donations to key state legislators who could help them with stadium financing when they do find a new home.

Earlier this month, the Braves gave $1,000 to a political committee run by new Senate Appropriations chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater. That is just months after the team sent $1,000 donations each to new ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2016 at 05:11 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, field of schemes, politics, spring training

Ryan Thibs has his 2017 HOF Tracker Up and Running

7 Ballots in as of 11/29/16, and Schilling has already lost 2 votes from last year.

reech Posted: November 29, 2016 at 02:29 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, hof

Report: Cespedes to re-sign with the Mets

“Cespedes will re-sign with the Mets for a deal expected to be worth $110 million over four years, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.”

Adam Starblind Posted: November 29, 2016 at 02:24 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-29-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, November 29, 1916:

Salaries of baseball players in the American League who were signed at high figures to retain them during the war with the Federal League will be sharply reduced, B.B. Johnson, president of the league, announed [last night]. The game was conducted in an extravagant manner during the fight with the Federal League, President Johnson said, and all expenses connected with the operation of the sport next season will be curtailed.

I’m sure the players were ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 29, 2016 at 10:37 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Brewers sign Eric Thames to play first base

[T]he Brewers announced a three-year deal with a club option for a fourth year with free agent Eric Thames, who played the last three seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported the deal is worth more than $15 million.

....

During three years playing for the NC Dinos of the hitter-friendly KBO, Thames put together fantasy league offensive numbers, batting .348 over 388 games with a .450 on-base percentage and .720 slugging percentage.

It’s a sign of the ...

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The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: November 29, 2016 at 09:29 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, free agents, korean league

Texas Rangers: 10 things to know about Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara, including why he chose baseball over basketball | SportsDay

There is a lot of good stuff here.

1. His name is a mouthful
Born April 26, 1995, in Santo Domingo of the Dominican Republic, Mazara’s full name is Nomar Shamir Mazara Jiminian. He was asked by lonestarball.com about his name: “Well, my mother and father just liked the names Nomar and Shamir, Jiminian is my mother’s last name.”—from Lone Star Ball’s report, Nomar Mazara-The Big Chill

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 07:45 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nomar mazara, rangers

2017 ZiPS Projections – Chicago Cubs | FanGraphs Baseball

Where will the Cubs trade Jeimer Candelario?

Bench/Prospects
Third-base prospect Jeimer Candelario (2.4 zWAR) didn’t experience much success in his brief exposure to the majors at the beginning of July, but he’s already projected to play like an average major leaguer and his top historical comp is Edwin Encarnacion. He and outfielder Albert Almora (1.8) represent the best of the club’s young depth, while Chesny Young (1.0) appears to be a possible fixture among the Fringe Five. The depth ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 07:43 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, projections, zips

Ex-Dodger Alex Guerrero signs with Japan’s Chunichi Dragons

Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero has signed a one-year deal with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League.

The deal is worth $1.3 million plus incentives, the Central League club announced on its website.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 07:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex guerrero, free agents, japanese baseball

Curtis Granderson Is a Man on a Generous Mission - The New York Times

Putting his fame to good use.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 07:39 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: curtis granderson, mets

The Miami Marlins agree to terms with pitcher Edinson Volquez | Miami Herald

The Marlins shored up their starting rotation Monday by agreeing to terms on a two-year deal with free agent right-hander Edinson Volquez.

The 33-year-old veteran was the Marlins’ top pitching target.

According to sources, Volquez will receive a deal worth $22 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 07:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: edinson volquez, free agents, marlins

Sabermetric Research: How should we evaluate Detroit’s defense behind Verlander?

Phil Birnbaum puts Joe Posnanski’s criticism of WAR into his intellectual hopper.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 07:08 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cy young, justin verlander, rick porcello, sabermetrics, war

No, the Dodgers aren’t sitting the offseason out because they’re broke - McCovey Chronicles

Grant Brisbee does a great job explaining why the Dodgers debt problem isn’t a payroll problem.

Even with a payroll closer to $200 million, the Dodgers are betting on more Coreys Seager, Julios Urias, and Jocs Pederson, low cost players with youth on their side and arbitration awards just out of reach. They’ll have to make a decision on Clayton Kershaw (if they let him write out the words and numbers on the check, for example), but they’ll have Adrian Gonzalez off the books. Same with Andre ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 07:06 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

The Next Big Leaguers: MLB’s future stars | MLB.com

They pick five standouts.

I was joined by fellow MLBPipeline.com reporter Jim Callis, Jesse Sanchez from MLB.com and LasMayores.com, D-backs broadcaster and SiriusXM host Mike Ferrin and MLB.com columnist and MLB Network Insider Tracy Ringlosby. Here are the five players we focused on in the first edition of “The Next Big Leaguers:”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 06:27 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Can the Pirates find a trade partner for Josh Harrison? | FOX Sports

Team president Stan Kasten, however, said that the Dodgers are not facing any payroll restrictions or any pressure from baseball.

“There is no mandate. There is no problem with our debt,” Kasten said. “We are continuing to operate on the same program we have since the day we walked in here in 2012. That’s building through our minor-league system while continuing to aggressively put the best team on the field that we can each year.”

Baseball issued a statement:

“The ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 06:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, dodgers, notes, pirates, twins

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tim Tebow and the terrible footballers who came before him

Shaq Thompson does not have to wonder if he chose the correct path. He was the worst professional baseball player of all time.

In 39 at bats for the Gulf Coast Red Sox in 2012, Thompson struck out 37 times. Pairing that with a rather generous 17.0% walk rate (folks, the GCL isn’t necessarily packed with high quality pitchers), Thompson managed to put the ball in play just twice — 4.2% of the time. I wrote the story of those two at bats last year but spoiler alert: they weren’t base hits. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2016 at 11:07 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: george halas, josh booty, ricky williams, shaq thompson, tim tebow

This World Baseball Classic could reportedly be the last one

We’re just a few months away from the onset of the fourth World Baseball Classic—the once-every-four-years global tournament that began play in 2006.
Turns out, we could be just a few months away from the end of the World Baseball Classic in multiple senses. That’s because the 2017 tournament could be the final edition of the WBC unless there’s a significant uptick in revenue, according to Cristian Moreno of ESPN:

This is sadly predictable. While the pretense of the WBC is twofold—to spread ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2016 at 11:06 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: world baseball classic

Colby Jack and the Luckiest Staff of All Time

Colby Jack had grit, Roxie had moxie. When it came to Storm Davis, La Russa had enough.The luckiest pitching seasons of all-time.

gehrig97 Posted: November 28, 2016 at 07:43 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: christy mathewson, jack coombs, lefty gomez, lucky seasons, pitcher wins

Hunter Greene Climbs To The Top | BaseballAmerica.com

The next, next big thing.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2016 at 06:58 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateurs, hunter greene, prospects

MLB Hot Stove: Teams may reportedly skip winter meetings if CBA talks continue to stall - CBSSports.com

Updates: I can’t see how a deal doesn’t get done.

This is crazy.

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2016 at 06:50 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Even With Theo Cubs Won’t Have Easy Time Building Dynasty

It is certainly easy to understand why the Cubs can be expected to win multiple World Series titles over the next few years. Seven of the eight projected starters in next year’s everyday lineup are 27 or younger, causing the oddsmakers to universally install the Cubs as favorite to win it all again in 2017.
...
“There’s an intensity about Theo Epstein, and the way he pushes his employees,” said Hazen, who worked under Epstein in the Red Sox’s front office. “He demands excellence ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2016 at 06:41 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dynasties

Andrew McCutchen could benefit in right field | MLB.com

Some very interesting stuff on McCutchen and some other defenders.

Please, more of this stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2016 at 06:31 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, pirates

MLB Hot Stove: Dodgers reportedly need to shed payroll this winter and here’s why - CBSSports.com

The debt rule is unlikely to have any impact on the team on the field—Los Angeles has been looking to trim player payroll for a few years now anyway—but going from $300 million in payroll to $200 million in the span of three years seems daunting. It shouldn’t be too difficult given the salaries the Dodgers have coming off the books the next few years though:

Gone after 2017: Carl Crawford ($21.857 million), Andre Ethier ($17.5 million salary plus $2.5 million buyout of 2018 option), Alex ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2016 at 06:28 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Was the Jean Segura Trade Really the Mitch Haniger Trade? | FanGraphs Baseball

Color me skeptical.

At last, there’s this part: Segura has two more years of team control. Haniger has the full six. And what sort of impact might be expected in 2017? We know that Segura is likely to play every day. With Haniger, that hasn’t really been decided. But to even things out, let’s consider the Steamer600 projection, which projects plays out over 600 plate appearances. Segura’s projection shows a 94 wRC+, with a 2.1 WAR. And Haniger? We see a 98 wRC+, and a 2.0 WAR. There’s ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2016 at 05:47 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, mariners

Marlins may add pitching at Winter Meetings | MLB.com

Rather than trying to find the next Fernandez at the Winter Meetings, the more realistic options are finding starters with track records of durability, as well as other pitchers who could be on the rebound.

Free agents such as Doug Fister, Ivan Nova, Travis Wood, Jonathon Niese, Justin Masterson and Edinson Volquez could be fits. So are pitchers coming back from injuries, such as lefty C.J. Wilson.

Another strategy the Marlins are considering is finding starters capable of going five or six ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2016 at 05:40 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Swydan: Job Posting: Boston Red Sox Baseball Operations Analyst

Location: Boston

Description:
The Boston Red Sox are seeking an Analyst for the team’s Pitching Development and Baseball Research & Development groups. The role will focus primarily on using an analytical approach to evaluate pitcher performance and provide support to development staff in the field. The analyst will work closely with VP, Pitching Development and the R&D team to develop methods to improve the effective understanding and application of pitch tracking data throughout Baseball ...

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Renegade (((JE))) Posted: November 28, 2016 at 02:12 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analysts, analytics, job posting, pitching, red sox

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