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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-8-2016

A sure sign that it’s the offseason from the Pittsburgh Press, December 8, 1916:

Jim Thorpe, the Indian ball player who was sent to the Milwaukee club last spring by Manager McGraw, is to get another chance with the Giants. It was announced [in New York] today that McGraw plans to play him regularly in one of the outfield positions, if he displays improvement.

This is, IIRC, the fourth consecutive offseason in which it was reported that Thorpe had a chance to be an everyday player for the Giants. Once again, it didn’t happen. The Giants sold Thorpe to Cincinnati in April 1917 and he played cromulently if unspectacularly (97 OPS+, 0.5 WAR) in a half season as a semi-regular corner outfielder. The Reds returned Thorpe to the Giants in August, where he returned to his customary position on the bench.

It’s admittedly a small sample size, but Thorpe hit .216/.262/.323 (77 OPS+) in his Giants career while McGraw jerked him in and out of the lineup for six years. With the Reds and Dodgers, Thorpe hit .278/.303/.391 (~115 OPS+). I’m not saying Jim Thorpe could have or would have been a good MLB outfielder in a different situation, but I am saying that McGraw doesn’t appear to have done him any favors.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 08, 2016 at 10:17 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim thorpe

2016 Rule 5 Draft results | MLB.com

It’s live!

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 09:07 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rule 5 draft

Blue Jays trying to balance objective evaluation, subjective exuberance - Sportsnet.ca

It’s easier to be “irrational” when you are a top revenue team. As the Dodgers have shown, it can be rational to press your higher revenue advantage. In smaller markets, breaking out the checkbook can really restrict a franchise’s future.

That’s why Atkins intriguingly said the Blue Jays don’t feel like they need to move off their positions in unspecified negotiations. But there may come a point when, to use Friedman’s phrasing, some irrationality may be needed to ensure the player they really want doesn’t get away.

The challenge is in knowing when the ante must be upped to avoid needlessly overpaying.

“It’s a really good question, and that’s exactly how we structure it: OK, what is the surplus in the deal … what we’re getting and paying for the projected performance and what that costs on the market and what we’re actually paying for it,” Atkins explained. “Going beyond those levels suggests you’re overpaying based on your own information, any information you can use. Teams often do that. And we’ll often do that. And it will be based on person, teammate, fit. And when that happens, we’ll consider doing that. It’s an interesting question and really difficult to stay disciplined.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 08:57 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Cards would have to leave comfort zone to land outfielder they desire | stltoday.com

Fowler only costs you money. Of course, if your goal is to better your defense, he’s not really a good fit.

There is a place where all negotiations try to go that forces each side to give or give up a little more than it wants, just enough that it stings. A deal happens when talks reach the point of pain.

The Cardinals may have to go past that.

“Oh, for sure,” general manager John Mozeliak said Wednesday after the final full but not fulfilling day at baseball’s winter meetings. “I feel there isn’t an award for being prudent, right? It’s if you can get a deal. A lot of times when you’re in the negotiations, whether it’s a trade or free agent, you’re typically going to have to step out of your comfort zone to get something done.”
...
They have met with representatives for free-agent outfielder Dexter Fowler. Fowler is considered the best available center fielder on the open market, and the price for him is hinted at by how much the Rockies spent on Desmond, who is a similar age without the sky-high on-base percentage. The Rockies advertised to Desmond a home at first base, though his acquisition could shake loose an outfielder the Cardinals have also explored as an option.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 08:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Rule 5 Draft Expanded Preview | BaseballAmerica.com

What do the Padres know that everybody else doesn’t know?

Yimmi Brasoban, rhp, Padres: Brasoban ranked 19th in the Padres system a year ago. The Padres’ system is significantly deeper this year, but it is still a surprise that San Diego left the hard-throwing righthander unprotected as he has two major league pitches (a 95-98 mph fastball and an excellent slider) and he has Double-A experience. Brasoban’s control wavers at times, but with an ability to eat up righthanded hitters (who hit .190/.292/.238 against him in Double-A), he is a very intriguing potential pick.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 08:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rule 5 draft

When Is The Rule 5 Draft?

BA provides an FAQ about the draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rule 5 draft

Old Guard Steals The Show At BA Gala | BaseballAmerica.com

Pat Gillick was a great, great GM.

In his own acceptance speech, Gillick, the architect of the Blue Jays’ two World Series winners, the Phillies’ 2008 champions and Seattle’s 116-win team in 2001, again turned the spotlight toward others who helped him achieve his level of success and longevity.

“Today’s a very special day for me, because it gives me the ability to thank the men and women who work under the radar in player development and scouting,” Gillick said. “Their knowledge, work ethic, instinct, passion and love for the game, it’s quite amazing.”

“Thanks to our scouts for providing the players for player-development and the ingredients, really, to develop major leaguers. And thanks to the managers, coaches and instructors and player-development for having the knowledge, experience, the patience and the persistence to develop these young men.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: executives

The Aroldis Chapman fallout will be even more interesting than the deal itself | FOX Sports

Five years and over $80 million for a reliever? No thank you.

It’s a bizarre baseball reality that the low-revenue Marlins could outbid the high-revenue Dodgers for a player whom the Dodgers signed out of Curacao in 2004, converted from a catcher to a pitcher and developed into an elite closer.

But don’t be surprised if it happens.

The Dodgers’ value-driven front office is not the type to pump $80 million into a pitcher who works 70 innings a season — particularly when the lack of state income tax in Florida, as opposed to the high state income tax in California, will make it that much more difficult for them to beat the Marlins’ offer.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, dodgers, free agents, kenley jansen, marlins, yankees

Arizona Diamondbacks active as meetings wind down

They are only bodies if they don’t pitch well.

As it stands, the Diamondbacks have impressive starting pitching depth, including several starters with upside – or, at least, the ability to pitch far better than they did this year. Led by Zack Greinke, the rotation also includes Ray, Corbin, Miller and Walker, with Archie Bradley, Braden Shipley, Zack Godley and prospects Matt Koch and Anthony Banda behind them.

“Even having six starters I think is an advantage going into a season,” Hazen said. “That’ll be on us to figure out how to make it work. When you do have that perceived one-plus in your rotation, it’s natural to get asked quite a bit. I don’t necessarily think at this one position that’s considered excess, given how pitching staffs can be put together and utilized.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Twins satisified with Miguel Sano’s offseason program

“We hear good reports about his focus,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said Wednesday. “You heard what he had to say at the end of the year about coming back and things that he wants to do, both in terms of being physically prepared as well as trying to undo some of the things that he found were a little bit humbling this year.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

Brewers quickly revamped their infield

First, Eric Thames was signed to a three-year deal after playing for three years in Korea. Then, third baseman Travis Shaw was acquired from Boston in a trade Tuesday that sent closer Tyler Thornburg to the Red Sox.

The Shaw deal meant Jonathan Villar would move from third base to second, leaving shortstop Orlando Arcia as the only starter to return at the same position. And he has all of two months on the job.

Assuming second baseman Scooter Gennett is not traded, he becomes a bench player. And super utility man Hernan Perez provides backup at every infield spot if needed.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Jose Quintana doesn’t do it for Braves the way Chris Sale did

The Sox were also asking too much for Quintana, at least from the Braves’ perspective. While they were in the market for a true No. 1 starter, Quintana wasn’t the dominant, indisputable “ace” that Sale was, and the Braves don’t feel compelled to give up multiple top prospects — including elite pitching prospects – to get Quintana.

“It comes down to needs and wants,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “We don’t have needs in starting pitching. Do we want a No. 1 starter, is Chris Sale a No. 1 starter? Yes. Do we want Jose Quintana? I don’t think Jose Quintana is Chris Sale. Is he an extra year of control (under contract four more years instead of Sale’s three)? Yes. Who’s to say one of our young kids can’t turn into Jose Quintana? Or Chris Sale.”

Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said, “You start jumping into the deeper water, we’re not going to get that kind of guy (without giving up elite prospects). Plus, with this market out there there’s clubs that are more desperate that we are now for a starter, will pay a bigger price.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jose quintana, trades, white sox

Astros discuss deal for Jose Quintana, but White Sox want a haul - Houston Chronicle

Chris Sale produced 21.7 WAR in the last four seasons. Jose Quintana produced 18.1 WAR over the same timeframe. Last year, Quintana slightly beat him (5.2-4.9). Considering that Quintana has an extra year of control and, although Sale might have a better rep, the actual production earned over their remaining contracts might not be very different.

Quintana is set to make a modest $7 million in 2017 and $8.85 million in 2018 and has team options of $10.5 million and $11.5 million for 2019 and 2020.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 05:47 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, jose quintana, trade rumors, white sox

For Zack Wheeler, bullpen stint just a path back to starting | New York Post

Going the Bundy route.

Now it’s about getting back on the mound, and as Sandy Alderson said earlier this week, the bullpen may be the best fit for Wheeler right now.

The right-hander is in no position to argue. With the Mets’ bullpen a mess because of the Jeurys Familia situation, this bullpen start-up may prove to be more important than even Wheeler realizes. So, for now, it’s Wheels up in the pen.

“Whatever the team thinks is best where I can stay healthy,’’ Wheeler said as he came back to Citi Field to help the Mets with their holiday coat drive. In a small way he was back in the action after so much frustration in his rehab.

“I just want to see the team win and me be healthy,’’ Wheeler said.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 05:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, zach wheeler

Trading Top 10 Prospects Carries Risk, But Also A Reward | BaseballAmerica.com

Moncada will assuredly again rank in the top five of next February’s Top 100 Prospects and he will be in the discussion for No. 1 overall. Since 2000, there have been eight other players who were traded away during the season/offseason in which they were ranked among the Top 10 Prospects by Baseball America.

image: http://www.baseballamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Top-100.png

top-100Of those eight, there have been hits and misses, but generally those traded prospects were very productive big leaguers. Only one of those eight, Jesus Montero, has failed to post at least one season of 3+ Wins Above Replacement (using Baseball Reference’s WAR).

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 05:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, trades

Yankees reportedly to sign Aroldis Chapman | MLB.com

While I was sleeping…

Aroldis Chapman and his triple-digit fastball are heading back to the Bronx, as the left-handed closer has agreed to a five-year, $86 million contract with the Yankees on Wednesday night, a source told MLB.com.

The agreement sets a Major League record for the largest contract ever handed to a relief pitcher. The Yankees have not officially announced the signing, as Chapman must still pass a physical to finalize the deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 05:24 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, free agents, yankees

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Nationals acquire outfielder Adam Eaton | MLB.com

I like Adam Eaton. He’s a good player. Either he’s better than what I think or Giolito isn’t as good as his ranking suggests. It’s probably the latter.

The Nationals acquired outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox on Wednesday for three pitching prospects.

Washington sent three right-handers to the White Sox: Lucas Giolito, their No. 1 prospect, Reynaldo Lopez (No. 3) and Dane Dunning (No. 6). Giolito is MLB Pipeline’s No. 3 overall prospect; Lopez is No. 38.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2016 at 06:04 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: adam eaton, nationals, reynaldo lopez, white sox

Hopeful A’s fans sit down with the new boss - San Francisco Chronicle

Beane didn’t get many rave reviews, nor did the departed Wolff.

“I don’t know the inner workings,” Zach Kalkanis said, “but I feel Lew Wolff was very much against putting in the money to keep talent around. I’m hoping (Kaval) sees that this is a mistake. We’ve had our hearts broken before.”

“Billy Beane always has an excuse” for trading star players, Paul Garcia observed. “And they keep saying we’re a small market. We’re not dumb.”

No. But optimistic? And now listened to? Yes.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2016 at 02:39 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

$400 million isn’t a ridiculous number for Harper. | Sports on Earth

He was worth $7.7 million per Win over Replacement **in the free agent market**. Teams don’t want to pay at that rate if they can avoid it. Smart teams usually only pay a small portion of their payroll at this rate. So, to say a player is “worth” whatever crazy price players are getting in the free agent market only really makes sense for teams with no alternative and very large revenue streams.

Last year, after Bryce Harper’s MVP season, FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine, knowing that Harper was only a few years away from free agency, tried to figure out just how much he was worth to the Nationals in 2015. Using the rough Fangraphs figure of $7.7 million per Win Over Replacement—which was the estimated market value at the time, and around where it would be now, though as always it’s complicated—Paine argued that Harper, who had just put together a 9.7 WAR season, one of the 100 best seasons of all-time (at the age of 23!), was worth $75.4 million. Just in the 2015 season. Paine concluded that, because of the escalating baseball salaries and MLB’s salary structure system artificially pushing down the pay of players under team control, Harper, who made only $2.5 million in 2015, had earned the Nationals $72.9 million in free production, the highest single-season total in baseball history. (The next three highest totals were all Mike Trout, in 2012, 2013 and 2015.)

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2016 at 02:23 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Cubs near trade to acquire closer Wade Davis from Royals

Update 2:07 PM:

 

The Cubs moved to the verge of a deal for Royals closer Wade Davis Tuesday evening, although sources made clear that the trade is not complete and both teams still have to OK the medical information.

It was not immediately known exactly what the Cubs would give up in return for Davis, but a source told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers that if a trade is completed, it is expected to include Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 07, 2016 at 02:07 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago cubs, jorge soler, wade davis, world series champions

2016 Disabled List Information and the Future of Injury Analysis – The Hardball Times

I just pulled a muscle in my scroll finger.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2016 at 01:11 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: disabled list

How MLB’s New International Rules Change The Game | BaseballAmerica.com

Ben Badler has written some really good stuff about the International Draft and the CBA. This is another good one.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2016 at 01:08 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, international free agents

Dansby Swanson hitting in 2-hole is how Braves manager’s leaning

Hope in Atlanta.

“Absolutely,” Snitker said Wednesday during the manager’s media session at the Winter Meetings. “I think Dansby can pretty much handle anything we throw at him after what I witnessed.”

Snitker reiterated what he’d said late in the season – he’s leaning toward batting Swanson in the 2-hole in 2017, Ender Inciarte and ahead of sluggers Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2016 at 01:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson

Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak adds 20 pounds of muscle

Oh no, not again.

The difference was striking.

When Mickey Moniak arrived in Philadelphia to sign his first professional contract six months ago, he was rail-thin and 170 pounds.

On Tuesday night, Moniak made a quick visit to the winter meetings to be honored as Baseball America’s high school player of the year for 2016.

He’d added 20 pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame.

“It’s all muscle,” Moniak said proudly.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2016 at 01:02 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: mickey moniak, phillies

Ian Desmond agrees to five-year deal with Rockies – The Denver Post

Update 12:44 PM:

Here’s a shocker.

The Rockies have come to a contract agreement with free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond, according to a major league source.

The contract is for five years, $70 million, pending a physical.

Desmond has primarily played shortstop in his major league career, but played in the outfield last season with Texas. The Rockies plan on using Desmond mainly at first base, according to a major league source.

Because Desmond declined the Texas Rangers’ qualifying offer, the Rockies must forfeit their first-round (No. 11 overall) pick in the 2017 draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2016 at 12:42 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, ian desmond, rockies

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