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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Dodgers agree to bring back Chase Utley | MLB.com

The Dodgers continued a flurry of late free-agent additions Friday night by agreeing to a one-year contract with veteran Chase Utley. Earlier in the day, they agreed to a deal with outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the heels of an agreement for reliever Sergio Romo.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2017 at 03:40 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: chase utley, dodgers, free agents

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Why is veteran catcher Matt Wieters still on the free-agent market? | FOX Sports

Catch Rosenthal shilling for Boras.

Cue the chorus:

“Boras,” the agent’s critics will say, “is asking for too much money.”

Well, yes. That’s Boras’ job — to get the best deals he can for his players.

The case of Wieters, though, is even more curious than most.

No, Ken, I don’t think the situation is more complicated than Wieters’ asking price is higher than what teams are willing to pay him.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 09, 2017 at 07:55 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, matt wieters

Saturday, February 04, 2017

“Hope” the operative term as Rays prepare to report to camp | Tampa Bay Times

Wieters and Gutierrez are big bats?

One of the remaining big bats on the market — headlined by Matt Wieters, Chris Carter, Mike Napoli and, less so, Franklin Gutierrez — is willing to sign on, putting opportunity ahead of potentially more dollars elsewhere; or they make a trade, to add some needed offense after the trade of Logan Forsythe.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2017 at 09:53 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, rays

Friday, February 03, 2017

Does baseball still dig the long ball?

A lot of good stuff in Jayson Stark’s latest.

What’s happening now is something that smart sim players figured out years ago. That’s because when you play a sim, it was easy enough to quantify fielding. With the Statcast stuff, it’s now possible for teams to realistically quantify defense. As expected, this development fundamentally changes the way teams value players.

Regarding the conclusion of Stark’s article, home runs are great and entertaining, nothing drives revenues more than a winning team. So, although chicks might still dig the longball, they dig winning teams even more.

It’s especially possible, because this is still the entertainment business, right? And for the past 90 years, nothing about baseball has ever managed to provide more entertainment than the sight of baseballs floating through the sky, on the way to landing where nobody can catch them. But does that even matter anymore?

“Let me put it this way,” said one of the execs quoted earlier, with a laugh, when we laid out that very argument. “God bless the entertainment business. But we’re here to win baseball games.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 08:08 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Big MLB free agents signed late in offseason | MLB.com

With pitchers and catchers to begin reporting to Spring Training in two weeks, most of the offseason’s wheeling and dealing has been done.

But since the advent of free agency in 1976, there have been several notable signings made on Feb. 1 or later that paid large dividends for the clubs that made them. Could we see that again in 2017? It’s possible with the likes of Matt Wieters, Chris Carter, Mike Napoli, Chase Utley and Jason Hammel still out there for the taking.

With that in mind, here’s a ranking of the 10 best free-agent signings made after the start of February, taking into account regular season and postseason performance, as well as length of service with the club.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2017 at 07:08 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Friday, January 27, 2017

Rosenthal: Bullpen action starting to heat up

Agents for the top two remaining free-agent left-handers, Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, are signaling to teams that the pitchers will secure deals of at least two years and $12 million.

*The Blue Jays are trying to add two relievers, a lefty to replace Brett Cecil and a righty as well. Signing one such pitcher for bigger money — say, Blevins or right-hander Joe Blanton — could limit the team’s options.

*The Indians continue to explore the market, and bullpen coach Jason Bere was one of two representatives from the team to watch Craig Breslow’s throwing session on Monday, according to a scout in attendance. Breslow impressed scouts by throwing at a lower arm slot. The Mets and Dodgers each had two officials attend the session as well, and the Jays and Cubs were among the other clubs represented.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2017 at 11:01 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: boone logan, free agents, jerry blevins, relievers

Bullpen action starting to heat up | FOX Sports

The clock is ticking.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 01:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Rockies agree to deal with Greg Holland | MLB.com

The Rockies and two-time All-Star righty reliever Greg Holland are closing in on a one-year deal with a vesting option for a second year, pending a physical, according to various media reports that were confirmed by a baseball source.

The Rockies have not announced the pending agreement and declined to comment, and the timetable on the physical is unclear. BSN Denver was first to report the deal, along with FanRag Sports and Yahoo! Sports. Financial terms were not immediately known, but a Major League source said the deal is for $7 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:20 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, greg holland, rockies

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Heyman: Best Of The Rest Free Agents

As we near February, some of these players must be getting nervous.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 03:06 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ex-Astro Luis Valbuena reportedly agrees to deal with Angels - Houston Chronicle

The Angels get a useful player.

The left-handed hitting Valbuena batted .260 with 13 home runs and an .816 OPS in 292 at-bats last year before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury in late July. The Astros weren’t expected to retain him given the emergence of Alex Bregman at third base and the signing of Yulieski Gurriel last summer.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, free agents, luis valbuena

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jose Bautista close to signing with Blue Jays | MLB.com

The Blue Jays and Bautista have agreed to a one-year contract that includes a mutual option but is pending the completion of a physical, sources told MLB.com on Tuesday afternoon. The deal’s options could keep Bautista in Toronto through 2019. The club has not confirmed the agreement.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 03:27 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, free agents, jose bautista

The Bautista and Saunders news - and what it means for the Orioles’ RF pursuit - BaltimoreBaseball.com

When does Trumbo come back?

So, I don’t view the news from Monday involving Bautista or Saunders as particularly damaging for the Orioles. But I do see the Saunders signing as an indication that the number of free-agent outfielders who can truly help the Orioles, is starting to wane.

That’s key, because adding Welington Castillo and Seth Smith has to be the start of the club’s plan to be better than it was in 2016 and not the full plan.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 08:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles

Friday, January 13, 2017

Payoff for long-term deals a mixed bag | MLB.com

Tracy Ringolsby looks at the history of 10+ year contracts.

The intention is good.

An organization reaches out to a high-profile player, provides him with long-term security, looking to show its fan base a commitment to success.
It, however, is a gamble.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2017 at 07:09 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, long-term contracts

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Jose Bautista is waiting, and it’s costing him money - Beyond the Box Score

This doesn’t suggest an optimistic outcome.

The results fit the narrative, largely. In sum, this group signed for 20% less than projected, a bigger negative gap than the crowd has tended to display on all free agents collectively. The crowd did a remarkably good job of predicting the high-end free agents in the aggregate, with some big misses in both directions balancing each other out. When compared to the pool of free agents as a whole, where the high-end free agents beat their projected values by about 25% on average, the late-signers seem to take a big hit, failing to beat their projected values altogether.

The conclusion that suggests – that late signees make less money than their fast-moving counterparts – is supported by the monthly trend. While there are only seven March signers in the sample, the steady progression of less and less money than originally expected as the months turn over suggests that the longer a player remains unsigned, the worse their prognosis.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 09:28 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Oakland reportedly signs Trevor Plouffe | MLB.com

No dollar figures.

The 30-year-old infielder has come to terms on a deal with Oakland, pending a physical, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 06:33 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, free agents, trevor plouffe

Sunday, January 08, 2017

10 potential free-agent bargains on the market | MLB.com

Might.

It will happen again this year, but that claim comes with a caveat. In picking through the so-called bargain barrel at this stage, you’re bound to turn up more duds than studs. Some of the names on this list will admittedly look ridiculous come September (if they don’t look ridiculous already), but here’s a look at 10 remaining free agents* that might turn out to be diamonds in the rough.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 12:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Metrics show Mark Trumbo valuable at 1B | MLB.com

While I agree Mark Trumbo is a much more valuable player at first base (assuming you don’t already have a first baseman and no better OF candidate), it’s also true that his offense will most likely regress next season. Of course, the reason Trumbo isn’t already signed is most teams seem to accept that regression and are valuing his future play lower than he’s pricing himself.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 07:13 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mark trumbo

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Phillies are perfectly positioned to take advantage of crowded market for hitters | FOX Sports

Moss does seem like a great fit.

A hitter such as Bautista or Bruce could thrive at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. Moss, because of his left-handed bat and ability to play first base, also could provide support for Tommy Joseph, who slugged 21 homers in 315 at-bats last season but was better when he had the platoon advantage against left-handed pitching.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2017 at 07:17 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, phillies

Friday, December 30, 2016

Next Year’s Free-Agent Hitters Offer More of the Same | FanGraphs Baseball

MLB GMs are evaluating players very similarly now. It’s not a coincidence they aren’t willing to pay the glut of hitters excessively.

Overall, next year’s class is probably slightly better for position players. Cain, Frazier, Lucroy, and Moustakas — along with Hosmer, Martinez, and Santana — present more upside and production than Bautista, Cespedes, Encarnacion, Fowler, Reddick, and Turner. After this year’s deep freeze in free agency — perhaps complicated by CBA negotiations — we can probably expect to see deals occur a bit more swiftly a year from now, but the glut of first basemen, designated hitters, and corner outfielders isn’t going away just yet.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2016 at 07:55 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

David Wright, Jacoby Ellsbury and the deals MLB teams would undo | New York Post

Ouch.

For as much as the Mets want to move Jay Bruce and his $13 million, that is a one-year headache. David Wright is beloved in his clubhouse, and looks as if he will be the first above-average player to spend his entire career with the Mets. But he has four years at $77 million left, and due to his spinal stenosis, the organization has no idea how much he can play moving forward and to what level.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2016 at 07:12 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: bad deals, free agents

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Jose Bautista’s path back to Toronto becomes even clearer

Is the last part true? If he’s really as volatile as this suggests, why would a team want to overpay *and* deal with him when there are other options?

Whether they should certainly is disputable. The fears about Bautista are fair. Older players are risky. They have trouble staying healthy. Bautista is right-handed and the lineup desperately could use another left-handed hitter. And this could be the big one: According to sources, while Bautista is willing to accept a one-year deal, he wants it to be at a higher value than the qualifying offer.

With Bautista, respect is paramount – it’s what makes him such an emotional and combustible on-field figure – and even though the Blue Jays organization owes him nothing of the sort, president Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins do understand people. And they know a pissed-off Jose Bautista is not the sort of person worth having around. Every team knows this. It’s why Bautista’s salary in the end will be more reasonable than expected of someone in this market.{emphasis added}

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2016 at 08:34 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, free agents, jose bautista

Friday, December 23, 2016

Pirates sign Ivan Nova to 3-year deal | MLB.com

Standing in front of his locker at PNC Park on Sept. 29, Ivan Nova made his preference clear. He did not want to leave the Pirates’ clubhouse, he said, and he would do whatever he could to return in 2017.

Nova stayed true to his word. The Pirates addressed their biggest offseason need on Thursday, agreeing to a three-year deal with the veteran right-hander. The agreement, confirmed by an industry source, is pending a physical. The contract will pay Nova $26 million, according to reports by FanRag Sports and FOX Sports. The deal includes $2 million per season in performance bonuses, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 23, 2016 at 06:31 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, ivan nova, pirates

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Edwin Encarnacion, Indians agree to three-year contract | SI.com

Here starts the run of first baseman.

The deal is reportedly worth around $20 million annually and contains an option for a fourth season. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the deal guarantees $65 million, with a $5 million buyout on the option.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2016 at 09:22 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, free agents, indians

Monday, December 19, 2016

The market for Edwin Encarnacion is getting interesting. | Sports on Earth

No.

Rockies. Signing Desmond for five years and $70 million to make the move to first base seems like a waste, but signing Encarnacion as a full-time first baseman, given his recent games played history, moving Desmond to the outfield and dealing Charlie Blackmon or Carlos Gonzalez in a trade market flooded with outfielders is kinda complicated. I’m not sure how much sense any of this makes for a franchise with a new-record payroll that ought to maybe consider throwing some cash at Nolan Arenado sometime soon (he’s eligible for free agency in three years). But, after the Desmond deal, Encarnacion to Colorado makes so little sense that it starts to make sense. (Does that make sense?)

Jim Furtado Posted: December 19, 2016 at 12:02 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, free agents

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Marlins agree with Brad Ziegler on 2-year deal | MLB.com

Reliever Brad Ziegler and the Marlins have reached an agreement on a two-year deal valued at $16 million plus incentives, according to a source.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2016 at 02:38 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: brad ziegler, free agents, marlins

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