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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Braves Sign Jim Johnson

Guess they realize they should trade Kimbrel.

The Braves announced that they have signed former Orioles closer Jim Johnson to a one-year, Major League contract (Twitter link)...

The 2012 All-Star lost his closing gig to Sean Doolittle early in the 2014 season and never appeared comfortable in green and gold. He posted a 7.14 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 5.1 BB/9 and a typically strong ground-ball rate of 56.8 percent. After being designated for assignment and ultimately released, Johnson latched on with ...

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The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:11 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agents, jim johnson, transactions

Mariners, Blue Jays Swap Michael Saunders, J.A. Happ

Just Adequate.

The Mariners have acquired lefty J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Michael Saunders, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports on Twitter.

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:05 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, j.a. happ, mariners, michael saunders, trades, transactions

Prospectus: Kusnick: Advice For The Teenaged Rumors Reporters

Thanks to Cotillo, it’s a teenage monkeyland out there.

Among the professional journalism crowd, and I suppose all baseball circles to some degree, these “kids” are a constant topic of discussion. I have seen only one of these reporters break through to the mainstream, meaning he is likely the exception, not the rule. And he didn’t get to this point by being lazy. He got his foot in the door, took advice, learned rapidly and now has a bright future. Sadly, this is not the case for many ...

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Greg Franklin Posted: December 03, 2014 at 05:01 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: advice, agent, journalism, media, online, rumors, transactions

Neyer: How friendly should umpires be with players?

Its “Livan and Eric Gregg” not “Adam and Steve”!

Tuesday, I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with Dave Pallone, who before Tuesday was baseball’s best-known gay umpire. I was interested in Pallone’s take on current umpire Dale Scott’s public acknowledgment of his sexual orientation, and Pallone was great; the fruits of the interview are here.

But there was something I didn’t ask Pallone about: his sexual relationships with players, during his umpiring career. In particular, ...

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Luke Hochevar returns to Royals on two-year deal as KC improves pen

ALL THE RELIEVERS

The Royals, who rode an all-time great bullpen all the way to the World Series, are enhancing that strength by re-signing free agent righthander Luke Hochevar, who missed the 2014 season after a brilliant 2013 campaign.

Hochevar has agreed to a $10-million, two-year deal with Kansas City, according to sources.

If history holds, Hochevar should be ready to pitch around the time of spring training following Tommy John surgery performed during last spring training.

...
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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2014 at 11:57 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, luke hochevar, relievers, royals

“Billy Boy”: The Josh Donaldson trade was reportedly sparked by an argument with Billy Beane

Nobody puts Billy Boy in the corner.

Miller said Beane told Donaldson if he couldn’t play he should go on the DL and Donaldson chafed. Then this:

  “Donaldson told the manager he needed a blow, and [Bob] Melvin said, ‘You got it,’ ” the source said. “Then that night’s lineup came out and Billy asked, ‘Where’s Donaldson?’ “

  When told what happened, the source says, an angry Beane demanded that Melvin put Donaldson back into the lineup.
  “They got into it in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2014 at 11:45 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane, josh donaldson

Jonah Keri: MLB Trade Value, Part 1

Not listed: Alfonso Soriano

41. Xander Bogaerts (31), 3B/SS, Boston Red Sox
40. Mookie Betts (NR), CF, Boston Red Sox
39. Cole Hamels (NR), SP, Philadelphia Phillies

We’ve already discussed why the Red Sox threw all of that money at Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez: Good bats have become really tough to find, the AL East is there for the taking, and Boston can always shop for arms later. Though the free-agent market for starting pitching remains robust with Max Scherzer, James Shields, and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2014 at 11:41 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: trade value

Tampa homeless program uses unpaid, destitute residents as steady labor force [including for Rays], revenue source

Maybe he should just call his unpaid workers “student-athletes”?

For years, New Beginnings founder and CEO Tom Atchison has sent his unpaid homeless labor crews to Tampa Bay Rays, Lightning and Bucs games, the Daytona 500 and the Florida State Fair. For their shelter, he’s had homeless people work in construction, landscaping, telemarketing, moving, painting, even grant-writing.

Atchison calls it “work therapy.” Homeless advocates and labor lawyers call it exploitative, and possibly ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2014 at 11:11 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: buccaneers, homeless, rays

What Are We Missing About Nick Markakis? | FanGraphs Baseball

Markakis could be this year’s Nelson Cruz.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 10:06 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles

Umpire Dale Scott comes out, but too soon to laud MLB - NY Daily News

Thoughtful commentary.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:17 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: culture, umpires

Winning by losing. | Texas Rangers Blog | The Newberg Report

Jamey Newberg is happy the Rangers didn’t sign Tori Hunter.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:14 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

If the Braves are indeed rebuilding, Kimbrel should go | Mark Bradley blog

If you’re truly rebuilding, you’re not planning on winning many games. If you’re not going to win many games, you don’t need the best closer in the business. As great as he is, Kimbrel would be a luxury a fourth-place team cannot afford.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:13 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, craig kimbrel

Royals will need to spend to hit ‘Better Than 2014’ goal | The Kansas City Star

That’s not the case if he’s really asking for a five-year contract.

He is, in other words, exactly the kind of player for whom the Royals’ risk would be diminished. Advanced metrics that attempt to eliminate the “noise” of luck and defense indicate Santana actually pitched better for the Braves in 2014 than he did for the Royals in 2013, even though the more traditional measurement of ERA was worse.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:09 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

What to expect at the annual Winter Meetings. | SportsonEarth.com : Paul Casella

A stroll down memory lane.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: winter meetings

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-3-2014

Connie Mack responds to Eddie Plank signing with the Federal League, Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 3, 1914:

“I wish him the best of luck,” said Connie Mack [last night], when told that Eddie Plank had signed a Federal League contract.

“Are you sorry to see him go?” Mack was asked.

“Oh, no,” he replied. “I was through with him. He was after the money, and he was willing to go to the Federals…He was a wonderful pitcher and he is a good one yet.”
...
Mack startled the baseball world shortly ...

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Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 03, 2014 at 08:50 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, eddie plank, history

Source: Yankees cooling on Chase Headley, high on Rob Refsnyder - Yankees Blog - ESPN New York

Five years for Headley? No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you.

But one free agent who might not find the Yankees to be his Santa Claus is Chase Headley, who only two weeks ago was being touted by folks in the organization as Priority No. 1 considering the lack of faith the Yankees have in the returning Alex Rodriguez.

Now, however, the Headley fever seems to have cooled, especially since the Pablo Sandoval deal with the Red Sox—five years, $95 million—seems to have stiffened ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 08:41 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: chase headley, yankees

2014 Non-tender Tracker | HardballTalk

Click through to read the list.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 03:27 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, non-tenders

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Daily Dish: Twins sign Torii Hunter to one-year, $10.5 million deal

One year? $10.5 million? Torii Hunter?

Paging Sandy Alderson. (Sigh.)

Torii Hunter is going home. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Hunter has reached a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Twins.

Hunter has been linked to almost a dozen teams so far this winter, with the Rangers, Royals, Mariners and Orioles among the most aggressive in addition to Minnesota. As we reported in mid-November, the Royals and Twins were being most aggressive in their ...

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JE (Jason) Posted: December 02, 2014 at 09:24 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, torii hunter, twins

MLB umpire Dale Scott comes out as gay in quietest way possible

umpire dale scott:

“My thought process was,” Scott told Outsports in his first interview on the subject, “is that there’s a story about my career and how I got started in umpiring and they’re talking to people I have known since junior high and it didn’t seem right to have a whole story and pictures without a picture of Mike and I, someone who’s been with me through this entire process. We met the October after my first year in the big leagues.
...
“I realized that it could open ...

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starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: December 02, 2014 at 07:55 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: lgbt

The Garry Brown HOF Ballot

Brown v. Bored of Baseball Education. Our first Randy Johnson-less HOF ballot!

News item: Dec. 17 deadline set for Baseball Hall of Fame ballots. I voted for Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza and Tim Raines.

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2014 at 06:13 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

The Perception and the Market of Star Player Trade Value

As trades of this nature pile up, perhaps we need to consider that it’s not the teams selling the star players who are reading the markets incorrectly, but the public that expects returns above what teams are consistently getting. After all, is it more likely that our perception of a player’s trade value is incorrect, or that Billy Beane, Andrew Friedman, Dave Dombrowski, and Kevin Towers all decided to take inferior offers to what other teams were making?

thetailor Posted: December 02, 2014 at 01:53 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: trades

MLB.com seeking stats stringers - 2015

I’m sure this might interest a few of you.

MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, is seeking stats stringers to cover these clubs in 2015 and beyond:

Anaheim/Los Angeles
Atlanta
Chicago (both teams)
Cleveland
Detroit
Miami
Oakland/San Francisco
Seattle
St. Louis

Stats stringers are responsible for digitally scoring games from the MLB ballparks, which provides the data used in the live content applications on MLB.com, including At-Bat, Gameday and MLB.TV, real-time ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 02, 2014 at 12:16 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: job posting

Zuckerman - Whither Detwiler and Danny

Give ‘em Tender Vittles!

The two question marks, though, would seem to be Ross Detwiler and Danny Espinosa. Each player has seen his stock in the organization fall precipitously over the last couple of years, and neither can be considered a lock to make the 2015 Opening Day roster. The Nationals, then, must decide: 1) Whether to retain Detwiler and Espinosa despite their growing salaries, 2) Whether either player won’t be retained but could be traded for something of value or 3) Whether ...

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boteman Posted: December 02, 2014 at 10:10 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, nationals

Searching for Under-Used Breaking Pitches with PITCHf/x – The Hardball Times

Great stuff.

McHugh threw 47.1 innings with the Mets and Rockies between 2012 and 2013, and his pitch selection looked something like this: 56 percent fastballs, 39 percent breaking balls (curve ball and slider), and five percent change-ups. McHugh relied primarily on his hard stuff, complemented it with some breaking balls, and threw in the occasional change-up, a pretty standard plan of action for a starting pitcher.

The Houston Astros, however, saw something more. Something about those ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 02, 2014 at 08:11 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-2-2014

Washington Times, December 2, 1914:

The most cruel cut of all for the Feds was the headline “Feds Will Try to Rival Naps in Cleveland.”

Cleveland baseball: More than a century of being a punchline.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 02, 2014 at 07:52 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, indians

Arbitration Notes: Ogando, Moreland, Russell, Parra, Descalso – MLB Trade Rumors

MLB Trade Rumors has a nice post about tonight’s 11 PM deadline for tending contracts.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 02, 2014 at 06:51 AM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, non-tenders, rumors

OT: Soccer December 2014

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has issued an apology after an image he re-posted on Instagram on Monday led to accusations of racism and anti-Semitism.

Balotelli, 24, shared an image on Monday evening on the social networking site featuring the Nintendo character Mario that included the words “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew.”

Oh Mario.

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 02, 2014 at 06:27 AM | 290 comment(s)
  Beats: off-topic, soccer

Murray Chass on Baseball: BONDS DREAMS ON AS SUPPORT SLIPS SLIDING AWAY

This is most shocking! No, not the steroid jazz…the fact that Seymour Siwoff’s 1922 Dial Grabaphone is still in working order!

Three other players on the ballot have resumes that are foggier than these five. Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio have never been linked to steroids by anything other than news media mention, but in my view more time is needed to learn more about their past practices.

I voted for Bagwell on his first appearance on the ballot, when he received 41.7 percent of ...

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Repoz Posted: December 02, 2014 at 04:08 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, steroids

Monday, December 01, 2014

BA: Organization Of The Year: In K.C., Patience Finally Pays

I don’t know what to believe anymore.

“There are parents who have kids now who have no idea what this is like,” Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said. “They didn’t grow up coming to the ballpark. They didn’t want to invest their time or money. That’s all going to change. That’s been probably the most rewarding and impactful thing is how this city is going to embrace baseball again.”

Making it to the World Series by itself wouldn’t have made the Royals Baseball ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2014 at 03:00 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball america, royals

Marlins make long-term offers to Jose Fernandez, core young players

Checking in on some future Toronto Blue Jays.

In their effort to keep their better young players, the Marlins also have made long-term offers to outfielder Christian Yelich and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, and they’re due to make an offer early this week to outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Perhaps their chances to extend one or more of those fine players is somewhat better than it is with Fernandez, who thus far hasn’t suggested any inclination to do such a long deal so early in his career.

The ...

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