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Friday, December 02, 2016

A’s, Yonder Alonso agree on new deal

Alonso will not be going yonder.

The A’s have reached an agreement with first baseman Yonder Alonso. The one-year deal is for $4 million, The Chronicle has learned.

“Very excited to be back with such an amazing organization,” Alonso said in a text. “Me and my family are thrilled. I believe this team is not far at all from achieving a post season and winning a championship. I’m also very excited with the young core of players that came up last year and thrilled to see the guys down in the farm to help us achieve our goal. Ready to get to work in spring training which is not far away at all. I’m very excited once again to be back and be apart of this amazing club.”

The A’s tendered contracts to all their arbitration-eligible players, including Sonny Gray, Khris Davis, Stephen Vogt and Liam Hendriks.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2016 at 03:29 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, yonder alonso

Braves Acquire Jaime Garcia

Despite Garcia’s 2016 struggles, he’ll bring to the Braves a career 3.57 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 56.5 percent ground-ball rate in 896 innings as a Major Leaguer. Shoulder injuries have limited him throughout his career, and he missed time with a groin strain as well in 2016, but he’s averaged 151 innings in 2015-16 and made a total of 50 starts in that time.

salvomania Posted: December 02, 2016 at 02:52 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, jaime garcia

Rays pretty much strike out in MLB’s new labor deal

“Disappointed in what we’ve seen so far,” Rays baseball operations president Matt Silverman said. “I’m not optimistic about the CBA in terms of helping us as a lower-revenue club.”

The Rays had hopes, as they did in the last CBA negotiations and the one before that, for some assistance.

Specifically, they have been seeking draft reform, a change in the system that would give them more picks, or higher picks, or, even better, more higher picks based on their market size and revenue totals, rather than just on win-loss record. Simpler: They don’t feel the Cubs or Red Sox or Yankees should get their pick of better talent just because one had a bad year on the field.

“Lower revenue clubs face a lot of obstacles, especially when it comes to talent acquisition,” Silverman said. “We can’t go out and spend like other clubs, so we need to find other avenues to be able to acquire that talent. We’ve looked for additional access on the amateur side, on the international side, and there haven’t been any major changes in the last 10 years. And, in fact, the revenue disparity between clubs has grown by an immense amount.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2016 at 01:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, collective bargaining agreement, labor, rays, revenue sharing

Arlington, Rangers unveil timeline for $1 billion stadium project

I was certain everyone would want to learn about the massive efforts being devoted to #keepBDCcool. 

Aiming to open the Texas Rangers’ new stadium in April 2020, team and city officials now have a timeline for planning and building the $1 billion project.

In addition to hiring an architect, the Rangers expect to be interviewing structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing consultants by Dec. 31. Meanwhile, the city will start assembling its financial team, City Manager Trey Yelverton said.

The new stadium will replace Globe Life Park in Arlington, which opened as The Ballpark in Arlington in 1994. The Rangers have said they plan to redevelopment Globe Life, potentially with office, retail and dining venues.

The new stadium will be a neighbor of not only Globe Life Park but also the $250 million Texas Live! mixed-use entertainment and high-rise hotel complex that broke ground in late October.

The Rangers and developer The Cordish Cos. said the dining and entertainment venues are set to open with the 2018 baseball season, and the hotel/convention portion would open that fall.

Parking will be the usual paradoxical issue.  The two new developments are going up on the two main Ballpark parking lots, south and southwest of the current stadium, which (the plan is) will not be demolished.  If you build it, they will come; but if too many come, it will be impossible to get there.

 

BDC Posted: December 02, 2016 at 11:59 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rangers, stadiums

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-2-2016

Chicago Eagle, December 2, 1916:

Hub Purdue [sic] will no more add to the gayety of baseball. Hub announces from his home in Gallatin, Tenn., that he has quit and will devote himself to his business in Gallatin. He has a restaurant and confectionery there that is prospering and a farm near Gallatin besides. Hub did some good work for Louisville the past season, but admits he can’t keep the flesh off, try as he will, and that he has to give it up. Purdue’s trouble is that of many athletes—proneness to take on fat.

I can’t say I’d blame Red Sox fans for mentioning this article to Pablo Sandoval. Perdue didn’t actually retire at this point, though. He was still playing pro ball as late as 1923.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 02, 2016 at 10:31 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, fat pitchers, history

Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter Gammons | BaseballAmerica.com

Much to my dismay, I’ve never met Peter. That’s saying a lot because I’m not particularly moved when I meet famous people. As a matter of fact, the only people I’ve genuinely been excited to meet have been Bill James and Pete Palmer. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed meeting a bunch of other people but only those two had me pretty much speechless when I met them.

I’ve been following, reading, and learning about baseball from Peter for over thirty years. What has always struck me is, not just his knowledge, but how genuinely nice a guy he is. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I’ve always wanted to meet him; it’s an expectation that he is who he seems to be… a very nice gentleman. You can’t say that about too many heroes.

Peter is to modern baseball coverage what Edison was to electricity. He isn’t just the model for how to do this job. He invented how to do this job.

He pioneered it all: those long Sunday notes columns in every newspaper in America, those daily notebooks that every baseball beat writer takes as standard duty now, those game stories that veer way beyond How They Scored to tell you why they scored, those Rumor Central columns that feed us our daily trade dirt.

People may have done elements of that kind of coverage before, but none of it was a fixture of the sports media landscape until Peter pioneered it. And now it’s here forever.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 02, 2016 at 07:34 AM | 101 comment(s)
  Beats: peter gammons, writers

Hall of Fame: Bud Selig lock for election on Today’s Game ballot | SI.com

Jay Jaffe puts Bud Selig.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 02, 2016 at 07:19 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig, hall of fame

How the new CBA is helping the Yankees | New York Post

Some reports have suggested some parts of the new CBA will hurt big market teams. Maybe some of those drags on payroll will be offset by changes like this one. We’ll see how it all plays out.

Yet, two factors in the new CBA help the Yankees regarding the luxury tax, which moves from $189 million to $195 million for the 2017 season. It will be $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $208 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021, the final year of the deal.

First, the previous CBA had a multiplier system based on teams’ market size, payroll ranking and past history of revenue growth. The Yankees were ranked first in the multiplier system, which helped determine luxury tax, but that system has been eliminated in the new CBA.

Second, since the Yankees built and operate their own stadium, they get a tax shelter.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 02, 2016 at 07:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, yankees

The inside details from baseball’s fascinating new CBA

Jeff Passan provides some details on what looks to be a much more complicated deal.

If a revenue-sharing payee loses a player it gave a qualifying offer to a contract for $50 million-plus, that team receives a pick right after the first round and for under $50 million after the second. Teams over the luxury tax don’t get a pick until after the fourth round. The rest of the teams are given picks after the second or third rounds. If a team receiving revenue sharing signs a qualifying-offer player, it forfeits a third-round pick. The in-between team gives up a second-round pick and $500,000 in international bonus money. And the team over the luxury tax? Well, it has every reason to be frightened: It surrenders second- and fifth-round picks, plus $1 million in international money. And if it happens to be a team more than $40 million over the threshold, its first-round draft pick automatically falls 10 spots from its original location, too.

For teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, this makes for a paralyzing decision, one that has the ability to stifle their spending. Whether it will, of course, depends on market dynamics that are near impossible to forecast, but the penalties on teams exceeding the luxury tax may put a governor on those on the cusp of it, which would only exacerbate the potential lack of spending.

Complicating matters more is the evergreen issue of how high- and low-revenue teams coexist. Cleveland was the only team with a sub-$100 million payroll last season to make the playoffs. The other nine had payrolls among the league’s top 14 and spent at least $135 million. A nightmare scenario for baseball is an oligarchy, where the rich benefit the most from the rules. Indeed, with the elimination in this agreement of the so-called “Performance Factor” – a multiplier on local revenue that cost the highest-earning teams the most in shared money – the Yankees stand to benefit more from the new deal than perhaps any team. The Cardinals, a big-revenue team that gets extra international dollars and draft picks because of their small market, are a close second.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 02, 2016 at 06:53 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Hearing from Duquette and Showalter leading into Winter Meetings - School of Roch

Duquette repeated the shopping list, though he downplayed the need for a designated hitter.

“We’re still looking for catching depth,” he said. “We’re looking for left-handed hitters, we’re looking for outfielders and we’re looking for pitching depth. And potential DH. We’ve got a good candidate in Trey Mancini in-house. Mancini should be able to hit. He’s got a proven hitting record in the minors. He’s got good fundamentals. I don’t know that we’re spending a lot of time on the DH position.

“We like some of our catchers, too. We like (Caleb) Joseph to rebound from a subpar season. We like what we saw of (Francisco) Pena last year. The other clubs tell us we should like Chance Sisco because they keep asking for him in trade.”

Did negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement impact Duquette’s attempts to upgrade the roster?

“It’s certainly a factor because clubs are trying to decide and weigh the value of their players,” Duquette said. “When some of the macrostructures aren’t really determined, it slows things down. But this is the end of the calendar year, if you will, for baseball. After (yesterday), you start a new season.

“We were aware of what was being discussed between the owners and the players, but you never know how it’s going to resolve, right? What the actual structure is going to be going forward. So, it’s generally prudent to wait and see exactly what the terms of the working conditions are before going full-speed ahead.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 02, 2016 at 06:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dan duquette, orioles

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Report: Jung Ho Kang Charged With Fleeing Scene Of DUI Crash

According to reports from Yonhap News’ Jeeho Yoo and Korean outlet Naver, Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang has been charged with leaving the scene of a DUI crash in Seoul. It’s Friday in South Korea, and Kang was reportedly arrested at 2:48 a.m. local time with a blood alcohol level of 0.084 percent. That’s a shade over the legal limit in the United States, but it’s well above the 0.05 percent limit in South Korea….

According to Naver, Kang ran into a guardrail then left the scene of the crash on foot. A translated comment from a police official indicates that nobody was hurt.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2016 at 09:50 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dui, jung-ho kang, pirates, police blotter

Nightengale: MLB kills ‘this time it counts’ for stronger All-Star Game incentive

The idea was ridiculed from the outset, and the slogan mocked.

This time it counts.

Really, no one liked the idea that the All-Star Game winner determined home-field advantage in the World Series.

But you know what?

It actually worked.

The All-Star Game was immeasurably better after the 7-7 tie in the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee.

Players actually stuck around until the end of the game. Managers managed the game as if it were a game that meant something. There were players even picked for the game based on their versatility that could come in handy in the late innings….

Everyone seems thrilled that home-field advantage will now actually go to the World Series team that has the best record.

Yet, the repercussions could come as quickly as July 11 when the 2017 All-Star Game will be in Miami.

Will this become as meaningless and boring as the All-Star Games in the NBA and NHL, where no one plays defense? Will it become nothing more than a nine-inning home-run derby?

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 01, 2016 at 08:01 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game

Why baseball’s new CBA could ultimately hurt the players | FOX Sports

It’s tough to feel bad about major leaguers when international players and minor leaguers aren’t considered.

One thing is clear: The union agreed to greater spending limits, for both major leaguers and international amateurs, than ever before. It’s reasonable for some agents to be concerned about where this CBA will lead. We just don’t know the full impact yet.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2016 at 07:58 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Report: Verlander, Upton purchase $5.5M Beverly Hills house

I’m glad he’s putting his Cy Young disappointment behind him.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2016 at 07:40 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, tigers

MLB analytics guru who could be the next Nate Silver has a revolutionary new stat - CBSSports.com

“HE FREAKS US OUT.” ~ Harry Pavlidis

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2016 at 04:43 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Atlanta Braves sought Dobbins runway access for team charter flights

The Atlanta Braves explored using the runway at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta earlier this year for the team’s charter flights, a spokesperson for the base confirmed.

Landing at Dobbins would have spared the team having to commute between Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to SunTrust Park on game days, when traffic could be worse than usual.

“The Atlanta Braves made an initial inquiry into the feasibility of airfield use at Dobbins Air Reserve Base earlier this year,” Capt. Meredith Kirchoff wrote in an email. “The partnership was not pursued as the runway at Dobbins ARB is not currently designated by the Air Force for joint use by private or commercial entities.”

Kirchoff wrote that the Air Force supports public-private partnerships “when appropriate and mutually beneficial,” and Dobbins enjoys strong community relationships throughout the Atlanta area.

The discussions regarding potential use of the Dobbins airfield took place in January and April, she wrote.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2016 at 04:29 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

If Mets can’t get reliever, Wheeler could strengthen bullpen - NY Daily News

If the Mets can’t get a lockdown reliever in a trade for Jay Bruce — or Curtis Granderson — and some baseball people feel that will prove to be the case, their best option for significantly strengthening their bullpen just might be Zack Wheeler.

The Mets don’t know what to expect from their one-time phenom now that Wheeler has missed two full seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2016 at 10:28 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, zach wheeler

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-1-2016

Washington Times, December 1, 1916:

“I have decided not to sell my stock in the Brooklyn Club,” said President C.H. Ebbets today before leading for Atlantic City. “My health was poor last summer, and I did think seriously of retiring from baseball. I feel batter now and have changed my mind. I think I’ll stay in the game.

Ebbets held on to the team for the rest of his life, dying of a heart attack in April 1925. His successor, Ed McKeever, died of influenza eleven days later.

Needless to say, April 1925 was not a good month for the Dodgers.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 01, 2016 at 10:20 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: charles ebbets, dodgers, dugout, history

MLB owners, players’ union reach agreement on new 5-year labor contract

Jayson Stark has more details on the deal.

Update from Stark:

Teams that lose a free agent who rejects a qualifying offer will still get a draft pick. The details: For most teams, that pick would be a sandwich pick immediately following the competitive-balance picks that are awarded after the second round. However, if that team comes from the 15 smallest markets and is receiving revenue-sharing money, and it loses a free agent who signs a contract worth at least $50 million, that pick would follow the first round. And if the team losing that player is over the luxury-tax threshold, the pick would follow the fourth round. follow the fourth round.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2016 at 06:17 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

MLB, players union agree to new CBA in time to avoid lockout, reports say

As negotiations intensified leading up to the deadline, various reports indicated most of the items up for discussion had been settled, with one key provision still up in the air: the luxury tax imposed on teams that break the $189 million player-payroll threshold.

Though several teams have exceeded that number since it was imposed and duly paid the financial penalty, the players have increasingly viewed the figure as a de facto salary cap. The New York Post reported the limit will be increased from the current $189 million to $195 million in 2017, with annual raises that would reach $210 million by the end of the agreement.

The other key point of contention that had generated the most discussion in recent months was MLB’s plan to institute an international draft. The measure would have primarily affected prospects from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, and players from those countries and agents who represent them have been outspoken in their opposition to a draft, which would have amounted to a cost-saving measure for the owners….

Other changes expected to be part of a finalized deal include:

—Eliminating the requirement that teams give up a draft pick in exchange for signing a free agent who had received a qualifying offer from his previous team, a significant win for the players whose potential destinations were limited by that penalty.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2016 at 09:38 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: collective bargaining agreement, labor

Henning: Nine players on my Hall of Fame baseball ballot

“Consider these three names that will arrive on next year’s docket: Chipper Jones. Jim Thome. Omar Vizquel. They’re automatics. Here, at least.”

Lynn Henning jumps back into the fray after a two-year hiatus. You can decide whether anyone who considers Omar Vizquel to be “automatic” should jump back in.

TJ Posted: November 30, 2016 at 03:56 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Cubs’ Theo Epstein’s Draft strategy paying off | MLB.com

Missing with the very top picks gets you fired.

Having acquired pitchers Sean Newcomb and Touki Toussaint in previous trades, Atlanta now has three of the first 16 players taken in the 2014 Draft. That’s impressive. But I’m pretty sure every executive would rather have Trea Turner (drafted 13th from North Carolina State, by the Padres), Schwarber or Conforto.

One of Joe Maddon’s operating principles is “Do Simple Better.” Epstein did that when he went with Bryant and Schwarber over college arms and high school bats, and the Cubs won a World Series because of it.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 02:16 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, draft, theo epstein

Why trading Andrew McCutchen is a real possibility for the Pirates | FOX Sports

Not wanting to be moved from center is an issue better left for a new club to sort out.

Trading McCutchen, however, would enable the Pirates to re-allocate payroll to other areas. It also would enable them to move Starling Marte from left field to center without conflict; McCutchen does not want to switch to an outfield corner, sources say.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 02:03 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, pirates

Yankees Mailbag: Manny Machado at third base in 2019? - NY Daily News

This is a free agent signing I can see for the Yankees. Of course, the Orioles will have a chance to prevent it.

What does the 2018 Yankees infield look like? — Adam G. @adamGobj

We’re still 18 months away from that, but my guess would be Gary Sanchez behind the plate, Greg Bird at first base, Gleyber Torres at second base, Didi Gregorius at shortstop and Starlin Castro at third base. Castro could remain at second and Torres could move to third, but I think the Yankees envision Torres playing second base going forward, so they’d be more likely to put him there.

Chase Headley is signed through 2018, but if he’s not traded this winter, I can see the Yankees trying to move him a year from now when he has only one year remaining on his deal — especially if Torres is ready.

After 2018? Manny Machado plays third base.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 11:41 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: manny machado, yankees

Top Prospects Voice Opposition To International Draft | BaseballAmerica.com

MLB will contain costs for international players. It’s going to happen. The draft, however, seems like a really bad way of doing it.

“The focus is on that next generation of players,” Rosario said. “Just like we benefitted from having the opportunity, we feel that the next generation deserves to have the same opportunity that we did.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 11:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international baseball, international draft

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