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Monday, December 05, 2016

Seamheads.com Launches Redesigned and Updated Negro Leagues Database

Data extended thru 1943.  Similarity scores with MLB players.  Per 162 games career stat lines.  Defensive Regression Analysis for Fielding Stats.  Check it out!

KJOK Posted: December 05, 2016 at 06:27 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: negro leagues

Margaret Whitton Dies at 67

She played Indians owner Rachel Phelps in ‘Major League’. R.I.P.

Bote Man Posted: December 05, 2016 at 05:43 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hollywood, major league movie

Nationals Taken Aback by Bryce Harper Contract Demands

I can’t imagine that Bryce is a great singer so it’s no surprise that they balked at this record deal.

Harper, according to the executive, is asking for a record deal that will exceed 10 years in length, and likely pay him in excess of $400 million.

Agent Scott Boras says the only active negotiations of late have involved a one-year deal in 2017. Harper, who made $5 million last season, is eligible for salary arbitration, and Boras seemed mystified by the Nationals’ stance.

Bote Man Posted: December 05, 2016 at 03:59 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, contracts, nationals

Neyer: Today’s game! Catch it!

Neyer submitted this piece prior to Sunday’s announcement.

Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella have their cases, too.

Are there standards for managers? I suppose you could look at career wins, winning percentage, and postseason appearances and cobble together some sort of formula. But if you just eyeball those lists, it’s pretty clear that 2,000 wins or three World Championships gets you in. Piniella’s got just one of the latter, and only 1,835 of the former. Plus, his .517 career winning percentage is nothing special.

Yes, that .517 is actually a bit better than Bruce Bochy’s career percentage, but of course Bochy’s got the three rings. Which is why Bochy’s going into the Hall someday.

Piniella’s record is almost exactly the same as Jim Leyland’s, by the way. Both got just a single championship ring, both won around 1800 games, and both finished just a bit north of .500. The only obvious difference is that Leyland managed in three World Serieses, Piniella just the one. But it seems to me that if Piniella’s a Hall of Famer, then so is Leyland. And if Leyland’s a Hall of Famer, then so is Mike Scioscia. And if Scioscia’s a Hall of Famer, then so is Terry Francona. Toss in Bochy, and then you’d simply have every manager with at least 1400 wins in the Hall of Fame, except for Gene Mauch, Dusty Baker, Ralph Houk, Buck Showalter, and Jimmy Dykes. And Houk’s the only one of those five who won a World Series (so far, anyway; Baker and Showalter still have their shots).

Are we okay with all that? More to the point, does anyone really care? Sometimes I wonder. I suppose if you’re an Angels fan, you really will care if Scioscia’s in the Hall of Fame. I do worry, just a little, that the Hall’s going to wind up with so many managers that we’ll hardly be able to keep track. Especially with so many modern managers sticking around well into their sixties.

Anyway, about Davey Johnson: He does not go into the aforementioned group because he didn’t quite reach 1400 wins: 1,372, to be precise. What he does have is an outstanding .562 winning percentage – ninth best among managers with at least 2,000 games managed – and a unique history of success with four different franchises (his two years with the Dodgers were nothing special). Still, let’s be honest: If Mookie’s grounder doesn’t sneak between Buckner’s wickets, we’re probably not even talking about this. Not as seriously, anyway.

Johnson’s case is probably best compared to Hall of Famer Al Lopez’s. About the same wins, about the same percentage, and both won just one World Series.

Then again, Johnson won more games than Whitey Herzog, with a higher winning percentage. And Herzog’s in the Hall, despite winning just one championship. If you’re going to elect Herzog, it’s not clear (to me) how you don’t elect Johnson.

Personally, I think a Hall of Famer should win a lot of games with a high winning percentage or win multiple World Series. My personal preferences aside, Piniella and Johnson are both borderline candidates, but history suggests they’ll both be elected, either now or later.

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: December 05, 2016 at 03:51 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, rob neyer

Dodgers sign free-agent pitcher Rich Hill | MLB.com

Three years, $48 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 01:24 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, free agency, rich hill

Giants sign free agent closer Mark Melancon | MLB.com

The contract is expected to be for four years and total of $60 million-$65 million, according to MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, who first reported San Francisco was close to signing the free-agent closer.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 01:23 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, giants, mark melancon

Five reasons Texas Rangers could say no to Edwin Encarnacion | The Star-Telegram

So here’s a look at five reasons the Rangers could pass on Encarnacion:

▪ The Rangers don’t want to block Gallo’s path to the majors. They need to find out about him, and soon.

▪ The club doesn’t want to give up on him as it did Davis and miss out on all that power. Who is the only player in the majors the past five seasons with more homers than Encarnacion? Davis.

▪ So, Encarnacion has that kind of power, maybe a tad bit less, at 34. With a bunch of 30-somethings already on the roster, the Rangers wouldn’t be getting any younger.

▪ The qualifying offer, in its last hurrah, continues to be a factor in the Rangers’ thinking. Not to keep kicking this horse, but the Rangers have lost a lot the past two years in trades, and surrendering a first-round pick would put a dent in the farm system.

▪ Encarnacion passed on Toronto’s offer of four years and $80 million. He’s not going to come off that too terribly much, unless he falls into the same territory as Ian Desmond last year. That seems unlikely with all that power, plus the Rangers are committing their funds to pitching and center field first.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/mlb/texas-rangers/article118953613.html#storylink=cpy

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 01:22 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, free agents, rangers

Peter Gammons: Reflections and notes from the winter meetings - GammonsDaily.com

Old school Gammons.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 11:27 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-5-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, December 5, 1916:

Hugh Ward, who with Harry Frazee has purchased the Boston American baseball team…is planning to give Europe some major league baseball as soon as the war ends.

“My plan is to send a couple of baseball teams over as soon as the league season here closes,” Mr. Ward, who is president, today said. “As for the expense, it will cost less than to send a team from New York to San Francisco.

Also, send food. They’ll need food too.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 05, 2016 at 10:52 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, international

New CBA, qualifying offers could impact Royals | MLB.com

Rany Jazayerli explained why this isn’t true on Twitter. I’ll consolidate his tweets here because Twitter is just horrible for stuff like this.

Yes, they can. I’m getting really tired of seeing this meme everywhere. The Royals planting this story doesn’t make it true. Let me explain: No, the Royals probably can’t afford to pay $90M to 5 players next year. But that’s not what will happen. What will happen is 5 different players will each separately make a decision on whether to accept a 1 year, $18M offer. And precisely because of who those players are they likely won’t accept, because they can get more $ elsewhere - ESPECIALLY because the penalty for signing FA has dropped considerably. But let’s say they do accept, and the Royals don’t want to pay the money. Guess what? The Royals can trade the guy. Are you telling me the Royals couldn’t find a team willing to trade for Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer on a 1 year, $18M contract? Please. If the player isn’t worth a 1 year, $18M contract - say Lorenzo Cain has a terrible year - then you simply don’t offer him a QO. But this idea that we can’t take the risk of being stuck with a star-caliber player on a one-year deal is ridiculous. It reminds me of after the strike in 1995, when the Royals suddenly decided they couldn’t afford expensive players, and took the first offer on Brian McRae and David Cone. For McRae - a 27-year-old elite defensive CF - they got two relievers who combined to throw 8.1 more innings in the majors. And for Cone who had JUST WON THE CY YOUNG AWARD - they got utlilityman Chris Stynes and two guys who never made the majors. When you’re afraid of uncertainty, you end up making certain mistakes. If KC wants to trade veterans now to avoid a complete rebuild next year, I get it. But level with us. Don’t claim you can’t afford to offer a QO when every piece of evidence says you can, and you should.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 10:39 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

OTP: 5 December 2016: Baseball’s New Collective Bargaining Agreement

OTP articles are traditionally whimsical, but not much whimsy is abroad these days.  Since labor relations are always political, here’s an actual baseball-news item for a change: 

Word broke late last week of a new five-year CBA as a deadline fast approached. The luxury-tax threshold — officially called the Competitive Balance Tax — and tougher rules surrounding it quickly emerged as a central theme.

Despite those enhanced rules, what’s glaringly evident is that MLB no longer sees the need to curb overspending via a hard salary cap. That talking point had lingered since the New York Yankees began annihilating everybody with free-agent spending that led to four World Series titles and two other finals appearances from 1996 to 2003.

(Views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

BDC Posted: December 05, 2016 at 10:21 AM | 146 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations, politics

The Royals are in a bind and will have to do something about it soon | FOX Sports

I can’t see how they wouldn’t be able to afford the draft picks. Each player they’d be losing makes more than the draft slot will be. I would think they’d also be tempted to make one last run.

In theory, the Royals could carry all of their potential free agents through ‘17, make each a qualifying offer and collect draft picks following the first round for every one who signs a contract above $50 million — a new stipulation under the collective-bargaining agreement.

Realistically, a low-revenue team such as the Royals never would make qualifying offers to six players, not when the QO likely will be in the $18 million range next offseason. The Royals also might not want to direct their limited resources to six high picks, not when the alternative is acquiring prospects with professional track records in trades.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 06:17 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Diamondbacks bring framing into focus with catching switch - SweetSpot- ESPN

“His defense has always been his calling card,” one major-league scout said. “His hands are excellent. His arm strength and accuracy are above average. He blocks pitches in the dirt well. He handles pitching staffs well and fulfills the pitching coach’s game plans ideally.”

The numbers back that up. Over the past nine seasons, Mathis ranks fifth among catchers in defensive runs saved. And on a per-inning basis, he rates batter than the leader—Yadier Molina.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 06:13 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, jeff mathis, welington castillo

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Yankees agree to contract with Matt Holliday | MLB.com

Yankees strike.

The Yankees made a quick strike to land a bat on the eve of baseball’s Winter Meetings, agreeing to terms with outfielder/designated hitter Matt Holliday on a one-year, $13 million contract.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 10:25 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: free agent, matt holliday, yankees

OT - College Football Bowl Spectacular (December 2016 - January 2017)

December 30   8:00 PM  Orange Bowl            Michigan v. Florida State

December 31   3:00 PM  Peach Bowl             Washington v. Alabama
              7:00 PM  Fiesta Bowl            Ohio State v. Clemson

January 2     1:00 PM  Cotton Bowl            Wisconsin v. Western Michigan
              5:00 PM  Rose Bowl              Penn State v. USC
              8:30 PM  Sugar Bowl             Oklahoma v. Auburn

January 9     8:30 PM  Championship Game      Peach winner v. Fiesta winner
Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: December 04, 2016 at 03:30 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: college football, off-topic

Juliano: Should Baseball Union Be Happy With the Status Quo?

Most in the baseball media have declared management as the winner in the sport’s latest round of labor negotiations. Over the last two days, I’ve portrayed the outcome as a split decision by illustrating how the new CBA will do little to change the prevailing trends in the game. But, that begs the question: is the status quo good for the players?

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: December 04, 2016 at 11:53 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, labor relations, mlbpa, owners

The Unluckiest Pitching Staff Ever Assembled

Big Ed doesn’t like it when you don’t score runs for him. Please score runs for Big Ed.

gehrig97 Posted: December 04, 2016 at 10:49 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: bob gibson, ed walsh, nolan ryan, pitching

Pittsburgh Pirates prospects Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow rise to the top of team’s Organization All-Stars | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Right-handed starter—Tyler Glasnow, Altoona (2 games), Indianapolis (20 games), Pittsburgh (7 games): Glasnow rang up 144 strikeouts over 116 2/3 innings in the Minors to pace the organization for the second straight year. While he compiled a 1.93 ERA and .176 opponents’ average in the Minors, the 6-foot-8, 220-pound hurler also issued 5.2 walks per nine innings. However, his command improved as the year went on, especially after making the jump to the Majors in July and September.

“I think there were points where his age became a factor,” Treanor said. “He tried to strike everybody out, and then once he settled in and got to Pittsburgh and understood that he just needs to force contact and not try to strike everybody out, you saw some flashes of what he can be.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 09:52 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, prospects

MLBPA boss Tony Clark breaks down the CBA | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal talks to Tony Clark about the new CBA.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 09:39 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, cya, mlbpa

Minor Leaguers Continue Efforts In Wage Lawsuit | BaseballAmerica.com

No official action was taken on Friday, but Spero will continue to consider the players’ streamlined filing, which is limited only to players who spend the entirety of their seasons in a league that plays all of its games in one state. The players are seeking class-action status for the spring training, extended spring training and the instructional leagues, as well as the California League.

If successful, the players would then go forward with their effort to seek the enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to cover minor leaguers in the same way it does others who work ordinary jobs with hourly wages. The result, then, would mean players’ wages would be determined by each state’s minimum-wage and overtime laws. For example, a player in the Florida State, Gulf Coast or Arizona League all season would be paid those states’ minimum wage of $8.05 per hour. A player in California all season would make its minimum of $10 per hour.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 08:55 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers

Will Cubs stay quiet or pull off surprise at winter meetings? | Chicago Sun-Times

The Cubs are among those teams heading to this week’s winter meetings shopping for free agent relievers. And how Cecil’s signing and other market factors – such as a healthy trade market and newly struck changes to revenue-sharing and luxury-tax rules – affect the prices could affect how aggressive and active the Cubs choose to be.

“I don’t think any one signing is going to have [a market-setting] impact,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. “Brett Cecil’s a very, very good left-handed reliever. In general, the lack of starting pitching in the market has something to do with the interest in the relievers, and the way the postseason played out. What everyone saw was some really good bullpens heavily utilized, and I think that’s something that’s been a big focus.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 08:50 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Acquiring athletic center fielder still a priority for Cardinals | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., said, “In the prior offseason, we went for a stronger bench, more depth and more power. And we got all that. But we sacrificed a little bit of athleticism and our defense wasn’t as good as it had been the year before.”

“Defensively, we took a step backwards,” admitted Mozeliak. And it wasn’t just the infield defense.

“If we do catch the ball better, we ultimately will pitch better,” said Mozeliak. “We put a lot of stress on our pitchers this past year. Our whole staff is defined by ground balls. It’s a pretty simple leap to say that if we play better defense, we’re going to win more games.”
...
The list of center fielders for whom the Cardinals might look at trading is a lengthy one: Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain, who will be a free agent after next season; Arizona’s A.J. Pollock; Atlanta’s Ender Inciarte; Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon; Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton (who played mostly right field last year); Miami’s Marcell Ozuna and Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier, a two-time Gold Glover but not as good a hitter as any of the above.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 08:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Sunday Notes: Vizquel, Lindor, Shipley, Ryan, Mussina, more | FanGraphs Baseball

Nolan Ryan was a freak.

A couple of Nolan Ryan factoids, which would read as unbelievable if they weren’t about Nolan Ryan:

A total of 489 players had at least one plate appearance against Ryan without recording a hit. Gates Brown, with 31, had the most. He went 0 for 24 with seven walks against Ryan.

On June 14, 1974, Ryan had 19 strikeouts and 10 walks over 13 innings in a game against the Red Sox. Ryan reportedly threw 235 pitches. Four days later, he threw six shutout innings against the Yankees.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 08:25 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Red Sox have chance to fill roster holes at Winter Meetings

The Red Sox could do just about anything.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 08:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, winter meetings

Nick Cafardo: Here are some scenarios that could develop at baseball’s Winter Meetings

Nick Cafardo takes on the Winter Meetings.

1. You could easily see the Red Sox and White Sox or Red Sox and Tigers hooking up on a megadeal. The Red Sox could easily pull off a Chris Sale-Jose Abreu trade if they’re willing to give up Andrew Benintendi or Yoan Moncada, as well as Jackie Bradley Jr., Eduardo Rodriguez, and Blake Swihart. They could pull off a Miguel Cabrera-Justin Verlander deal with the Tigers if they were willing to include the above players or add Michael Kopech. Why do it if you’re the Red Sox? They want to win now. Cabrera will always hit. Abreu is a proven 30-100 hitter. Sale is a tough-as-nails, 27-year-old lefthander. Verlander gives you performance and intestinal fortitude. You keep Moncada or Benintendi to play left field. You already have a young core with Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, and you have Rafael Devers about two years away, if that, at third base. The White Sox also match up with the Nationals, Dodgers, Rangers, and Astros for Sale.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 07:59 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, winter meetings

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