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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Brayan Pena Reunites With Family In Cuba

A lineup of Cuban-born baseball stars, including some of the most famous defectors in recent memory, made a triumphant return to the island Tuesday as part of the first Major League Baseball trip here since 1999.

Once the object of official disdain in Cuba for leaving the country illegally, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Brayan Pena and first baseman Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox were swarmed by fans and members of the state media in the lobby of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2015 at 10:50 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brayan pena, cuba

New Zealand baseball player Lincoln Holdzkom killed in car accident in USA

RIP

The California Highway Patrol said Holdzkom was driving on the 57 Freeway when he veered off the road for an unknown reason and collided with a metal guardrail.

Holdzkom was born and raised in America but qualified for the Diamondblacks through his Kiwi father who emigrated to the States as a youngster….

Holdzkom was a talented pitcher who came close to making the MLB on several occasions.

He career started with a scholarship to Arizona Western Junior College before being drafted in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2015 at 10:46 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: lincoln holdzkom, new zealand baseball players

Tony Barnette signs with Rangers after spending last 6 years in Japan

Right-handed closer Tony Barnette has signed a two-year contract with the Texas Rangers after six seasons in Japan.

The deal, including a club option for 2018, was announced Tuesday.

Barnette, a 32-year-old native of Alaska, had a team-record 41 saves and a 1.29 ERA in 59 games last season for the Yakult Swallows in the Japan Central League.

Originally taken in the 10th round of the 2006 amateur draft by Arizona, Barnette went to Japan after four seasons in the minors. He went from starter ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2015 at 10:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, rangers, tony barnette

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-16-2015

Milwaukee Sentinel, December 16, 1915:

The end of the baseball war came in sight Wednesday night when American league magnates at their annual session [in Chicago] agreed to the peace terms arranged at New York between the Federals and National leaguers.

Within a few days, according to President Johnson, the details of the agreement which does away with the Federals as an independent league will be arranged, the American league having consented to appoint a committee to meet envoys from the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 16, 2015 at 08:14 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

Cubans Puig, Abreu Return Home In Goodwill Trip - BaseballAmerica.com

Several Cuban defectors turned MLB stars returned to the country Tuesday as part of Major League Baseball’s goodwill trip to the island.

Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers, Jose Abreu of the White Sox, Brayan Pena of the Cardinals and free agent Alexei Ramirez were part of the group of players making MLB’s first visit to Cuba since 1999, when the Orioles played an exhibition game.

The goodwill mission includes youth clinics and a visit to the charity Caritas Cubana, and runs from Tuesday to ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 16, 2015 at 07:00 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Opt-out clauses are often necessary, always risky in free agency | FOX Sports

Rosenthal’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 15, 2015 at 04:51 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes


Will Chicago Cubs’ historic combo of young talent produce a dynasty? | FOX Sports

How many teams since 1950 have had three position players under 28 years old, each with greater than 5.0 WAR? Only 16. The 2016 Cubs are projected to be another, the first since the 2009 Rays. This is rare territory, in which the combination of youth and incredible talent occurs. Based on the evidence here, expectations for the Cubs are probably right where it should be heading into the 2016 season: they just added one of the top 15 players in baseball to a strong, young core that already ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 15, 2015 at 11:49 AM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-15-2015

Milwaukee Sentinel, December 15, 1915:

A trade involving six ball players and four clubs is in process of negotiation among American leaguers now gathering in Chicago for their annual meeting, according to rumor.
...
It was said the Yankees proposed to turn over [Fritz] Maisel to the Red Sox, the Red Sox in turn to deliver [Larry] Gardner, [Smoky Joe] Wood and [Ray] Collins to Cleveland, Cleveland releasing [Ray] Chapman to the Athletics, [Home Run] Baker coming to the Yankees. In addition it ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 15, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, home run baker, trade rumors, trades

Free agent closer Seung-hwan Oh under investigation for gambling

This is the closer known as “The Final Boss.”

Korean-born free agent closer Seung-hwan Oh is under investigation for gambling by Korean authorities, according to multiple news outlets in Korea.

Fresh off two years in Japan’s NPB, in which he averaged 40 saves per season for the Hanshin Tigers, Oh has been hoping to make the leap into Major League Baseball at age 33. In 646.1 innings, Oh owns a career 1.81 ERA with a 10.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9.

Oh’s name was implicated in foreign-gambling during ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 15, 2015 at 09:11 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling, korean free agents, seung-hwan oh

Monday, December 14, 2015

Why Omar Linares remained loyal to Fidel Castro, Cuba

Yulieski Gourriel is 31 years old and the best player left in Cuba. Friends of his swear he was offered $50 million in an elevator to defect at the first World Baseball Classic in 2006. He instead plays third base for the Industriales, his biggest perk a silver Lada sedan from Russia, his wages ostensibly same as everyone else. Earlier this year, Gourriel told Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff that he is waiting for permission from the Cuban government to play in the major leagues. A source close to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2015 at 05:43 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball, fidel castro, omar linares

Johnny Cueto agrees to six-year deal with the Giants

The Giants and Johnny Cueto have agreed to a six-year contract, pending a physical.


Cueto is entering his age 30 season, and will be able to opt-out of his new deal after the 2017 season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2015 at 04:47 PM | 93 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, johnny cueto

Pete Rose to Remain Barred by Baseball, Sources Say

It was a sucker’s bet.

Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, has decided not to lift the permanent ban imposed on Pete Rose more than a quarter-century ago, meaning the player with more hits than anyone else in the sport’s history will continue to be kept out of the Hall of Fame.

The decision by Mr. Manfred, who succeeded Bud Selig as commissioner last January, has not been publicly announced. But three people familiar with the decision, speaking on condition of anonymity ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2015 at 12:03 PM | 186 comment(s)
  Beats: banishment, pete rose, rob manfred

Longtime Daily News sports writer Phil Pepe dead at 80

Phil Pepe, a longtime Daily News Yankee beat writer whose career covering New York sports spanned 50 years, died Sunday at the age of 80 at his home in Englewood, N.J., a family member told The News.

Pepe covered the Yankees for The News from 1968-1981 and wrote the lead game story for every World Series from 1969-81. In 1982, he succeeded Dick Young as The News’ sports columnist.

He left the paper in 1989 for WCBS radio, where he did morning sports — including his signature “Pep ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2015 at 10:51 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: beat writers, media, obituaries, phil pepe, reporters, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-14-2015

New York Sun, December 14, 1915:

The feeling grows daily, at least among those on the outside, that the baseball war is far nearer a satisfactory solution than at any time since Gilmore launched his first attack upon the so-called trust.
...
[An anonymous source in Organized Baseball says] “Organized baseball and the Federal League are like two big fellows standing out in the street and hurling threats at each other. One tells the other how strong he is and how weak the other fellow is. But in ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 14, 2015 at 08:26 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

OTP - 2015 December 14: Donald Trump Should Buy The Yankees

This brings me to the reason the Yankees are also perfect for him: Owning the New York Yankees would give Trump a way to maintain his gargantuan media footprint, which not even the presidency can provide. Sure, he’s getting all the attention in the world now, but that ends if he loses.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: December 14, 2015 at 07:38 AM | 1720 comment(s)
  Beats: centaurs, humor, politics

How the D-Backs Landed Grienke in 333 Minutes

Ken Kendrick, the Diamondbacks’ managing general partner, made the call at about noon MT on Friday, Dec. 4.

The D-backs were about 5½ hours away from reaching a six-year, $206.5 million agreement with free-agent right-hander Zack Greinke. But at that point, they had yet to even inform Greinke’s agent of their interest in the pitcher.

Lots of interesting stuff in here. It certainly makes Grienke look like a mercenary (he didn’t even talk to the team until after the offer was accepted), ...

Read More...
PreservedFish Posted: December 14, 2015 at 12:51 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona diamondbacks, dave stewart, zack greinke

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Nick Cafardo | Sunday Baseball Notes: Red Sox have rest of division’s attention - The Boston Globe

Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 05:07 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Ken Rosenthal Notebook: Notion of interchangeable relievers doesn’t add up | FOX Sports

The lesson: Relievers matter. To every team.

No kidding.

Rosenthal is a great reporter. His analysis, like a lot a great reporters, doesn’t match his reporting skills. In this case, he’s conflating a bunch of different sabermetric findings into one big pile of nonsense.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 04:07 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Carlos Beltran says 2016 could be his last MLB season

Beltran, who has played in 2,306 MLB games for six teams, said his performance in 2016 will dictate whether he hangs up his cleats.

“I don’t think there is any big decision I have to make — other than to play one more year or go home,” Beltran said, via the New York Post. “In my case, I am very happy with my career. … If I feel like I produce well to the point where I can make a good impact on a team, then I can play one more year. Or if I feel like I have (had) enough, I’ll go ...

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Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: December 13, 2015 at 11:36 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos beltran, hall of fame, new york yankees

Sunday Notes: Winter Meetings Managers, Terry Ryan, Blyleven, more | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

“We can be happy with what we did last year, but we shouldn’t be overjoyed, by any stretch,” said Ryan. “We have a long way to go. I would hope that last year was just us moving in the right direction.”

Which is, again, the question at hand. Along with voicing the word “hope,” Ryan indirectly admitted that the baseball gods smiled on the Twins this year. When I brought up the idea of some teams being better at outperforming their peripherals and winning ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 09:19 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Jeff Luhnow defends drafting Mark Appel after trading him - Ultimate Astros

That has to sting.

Trading Mark Appel — the first overall draft pick in 2013 and the eighth overall draft pick in 2012 — in a package with four other pitchers for a premier young closer and a 17-year-old shortstop speaks for itself.

Appel hasn’t lived up to expectations. And everything that has transpired since the Astros drafted him indicates the organization made the wrong choice picking atop the 2013 draft.

The second pick that year, third baseman Kris Bryant of the Cubs, was the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 09:05 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, kris bryant, mark appel

Cards must heal, regroup to battle Cubs : Sports

This owner gets it.

DeWitt said the goal is run differential, however it’s achieved.

“We’re trying to put together a team that has the biggest spread in runs scored vs. runs allowed, and that can come in all different forms,” the Cardinals’ chairman said. “With a player like Price you’re preventing runs. With an impact hitter you’re creating runs. It’s always a balance, and it’s always based on cost. What are you getting for the cost that you’re paying?”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 08:30 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Detroit Tigers’ Bruce Rondon ejected following ugly brawl during winter league game | MLive.com

You don’t see too many brawls start on pick-off throws.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: bruce rondon, tigers

Atlanta Braves should trade Freddie Freeman | MLB.com

At 26 Freeman is certainly too old to be part of a playoff contender in 2017 or 2018.

By comparison, the six years and $118.5 million remaining on Freeman’s deal looks like a bargain, and there are teams ready to win right now that could use a first baseman. There’s probably no better fit than the Astros, for example, who tentatively have Jon Singleton penciled in at the position and could offer a package including first baseman A.J. Reed, the 2015 Minor League Player of the Year who hit 34 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 08:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, freddie freeman

Former No. 1 pick Mark Appel saddened to be leaving Astros organization - Ultimate Astros

Mark Appel doesn’t pay off for the Astros.

“The only emotions and the only feelings toward the Astros is gratitude,” he said. “There’s so much thankfulness for what they’ve done for me, how they’ve supported me and how they handled everything and just supported me through my difficult season through my learning curve of acclimating to pro ball and really working through some difficulties and struggling.

“I’m not going to shy away from the difficulties that I’ve had, but the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 08:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mark appel, phillies

Jason Heyward’s deal should open backlogged MLB outfield market

Beware the lessons of Crawford and Ellsbury.

With Heyward off the board, Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes are at the top of the outfield pecking order, with Alex Gordon a tick below. All three players bring some serious attributes to the table, along with a few warts.

“The biggest issue is the years and the money,’’ said an AL scout. “Each year that you add on at the end, you pretty much know it’s going to be a bad year.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 07:53 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, notes

Beltran: Yankees veterans will be all over Starlin Castro | New York Post

“Starlin Castro is a very athletic guy, a guy who can play a lot of different positions on the infield,” Beltran said on Thursday while making an appearance at Lord & Taylor in Midtown. “I believe he’s going to be an important key for us this year.

“With the veterans we have, we’ll be on top of him, helping him become a better ballplayer.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 07:48 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos beltran, starlin castro, yankees

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Phillies acquire Charlie Morton from Pirates | phillies.com

The Pirates give up on Morton.

The Phillies acquired right-hander Charlie Morton from the Pirates in exchange for Minor League right-hander David Whitehead. Morton’s current contract runs through the 2016 season.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2015 at 11:06 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie morton, phillies, pirates, trade

Mariners reach agreement on two-year deal with veteran reliever Steve Cishek | The News Tribune

Sources say the club reached two-year agreement with veteran reliever Steve Cishek for $10 million, pending completion of a physical examination, An official announcement could come as early as Monday.

The deal was first reported by ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. It includes $3.5 million in performance bonuses each year based on games finished.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2015 at 11:03 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, steve cishek

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