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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Notes: Baseball Scotland, Projections, Posada, more | FanGraphs Baseball

I’m always amused when I hear/read something like this. Why don’t we do it when we talk about everything?

Football — what we Americans call soccer — rules Scotland’s sporting scene. Rugby runs a distant second, while golf, which was invented in St. Andrews, probably ranks third in terms of popularity.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2017 at 08:54 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Nick Cafardo: Manny Ramirez’s desire to keep playing is being supported all over baseball

Sorry about the lack of links yesterday. Slept right to my alarm yesterday (which never happens) and didn’t get to post anything before leaving in the morning. The festivities of my sim league auction started at 8 AM breakfast and continued until about 10 PM. It was a long but awesome day. 

Dumbest decision of the season.

Steven Wright, RHP, Red Sox — Wright is still rehabbing his right shoulder but feels he’ll be full-go for spring training. Wright has been dealing with bursitis and rotator cuff irritation since diving back to second base in a pinch-running role Aug. 7 against the Dodgers. Wright was upset about the public bashing of manager John Farrell for his decision to pinch-run Wright, which led to the All-Star pitcher missing the final month of the regular season and the playoffs. “I wish people would stop blaming John for that. I was actually excited he called my name for that role,” Wright said. “I was completely prepared for it. . . . I went through all my checkpoints. I told myself I was going to be aggressive and I got caught. That’s my fault. I landed wrong on my shoulder. That’s nobody’s fault. I could have been hurt stepping out of the shower. I could have been hurt if I had reached base the day I pitched two days before. I don’t know why people have to blame someone. It’s baseball.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2017 at 08:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: manny ramirez, notes

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Do the Orioles and Mark Trumbo really want a reunion this offseason? | FOX Sports

Trumbo recently asked the O’s for a three-year, $50 million contract, but later indicated that he would sign a deal of the same length in a lesser $40 million to $50 million range, according to major-league sources.

The willingness of Trumbo to accept a three-year deal below $50 million — after the two sides reportedly discussed four-year contracts at higher guarantees earlier this off-season — would at least appear to create room for negotiation. The Orioles made Trumbo an “aggressive” three-year offer at the start of the off-season, general manager Dan Duquette told MLB Network on Thursday.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2017 at 11:47 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mark trumbo, notes, orioles

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Rumors And Rumblings: GM Moore Making Best Of Royals’ Situation

The Royals have traded two of their would-be free agents, shipping closer Wade Davis to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Jorge Soler during the Winter Meetings last month then dealing outfielder Jarrod Dyson to the Seattle Mariners for right-hander Nate Karns last Friday.

Soler and Karns are not sure things, but both have a certain amount of upside.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 06:24 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, royals

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Twins haggling with Dodgers over potential Brian Dozier trade | FOX Sports

The never-ending trade discussion.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2017 at 06:38 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, dodgers, notes, twins

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Nick Cafardo: Why sluggers aren’t hitting it big in free agency

A glut of right-handed bats are on the market and people wonder why there isn’t a great urgency to get right-handed, free-agent bats?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 03:54 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes


Friday, January 06, 2017

Heyman: MLB Winter Winners And Non-Winners

Pedro Alvarez isn’t a better player than Keith Moreland.

Just a couple quibbles: Pedro Alvarez would have been a slightly better choice than Moreland at quite possibly a fairly similar price, and why not add some third base insurance (Trevor Plouffe, Luis Valbuena?).

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2017 at 06:01 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Sunday Notes: HoF Balloting, Managers, Pitchers Hitting, Spud, more | FanGraphs Baseball

While I agree that voters might be influenced by early voting, they are also influenced by a great deal of things, including the direct promotion of candidates. In the whole scheme of things, the impact of early voting seems like a small issue.

More and more writers are making their ballots public well in advance of the January announcement, and they are being scrutinized ad infinitum on social media. While mostly a good thing, this could unduly influence a small yet meaningful percentage of voters.

Say you’re on the fence between two players for your tenth checkmark. You’re leaning one way, but your peers — not to mention the online community — are bullish in the other direction. Following the herd is a safer option than following your heart (and mind). No one likes to be lambasted for being a black sheep in the BBWAA brethren.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 01, 2017 at 10:24 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, notes

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox may regret passing on Jose Bautista

The Boston Sunday Globe baseball notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2016 at 06:26 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Heyman: In Strange Market, After Encarnacion, Dozen Sluggers Remain

Jon Heyman’s latest notes column includes the following. I can’t see how misreading the market for his client was wasn’t a big mistake.

There’s a lot of criticism of Encarnacion and agent Paul Kinzer for not immediately jumping on the Jays’ initial $80 million, four-year offer, but the reality is that while that was obviously quite a reasonable bid (and the highest one he’d receive, as it turns out; he also got one for $66 million and three years from the Astros) there is no one who would have taken that at that time.

Everyone, including the Jays, was figuring Encarnacion would easily beat that bid, and the Jays moved quickly to Morales, presumably believing Encarnacion was going well past their price point when they suggested he test the market, which turned out less inviting than predicted and expected by everyone.

One factor: some big-market teams were waiting on the new CBA at that time, and the Red Sox and others decided they didn’t want to go past the new $195 million luxury-tax threshold. While Encarnacion came into the winter preferring to return to Toronto, where he felt comfortable, he is said to have soured a bit on that situation because of the way things went, with the Jays canceling a meeting the first day of the Winter Meetings with him following their surprise signing of Steve Pearce, which further limited their interest in Encarnacion. The Indians were a surprise, but not necessarily a bad one. He is also very close to several Indians players in a very positive Latin-heavy clubhouse.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:24 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Notes: Ziegler’s Change, Catchers at Coors, Saves, Milone, more | FanGraphs Baseball

AJ Hinch was asked about the save rule when he met with the media at the Winter Meetings. Not surprisingly, the Houston Astros manager had an erudite answer:

“I probably shouldn’t say this out loud — this is my inside voice talking — but things that are important to your players have to be important to the manager to some extent,” said Hinch. “I say that knowing that you’ve got to create a culture and environment that your players buy in on.

“The way we compensate saves, it’s very hard for anybody not to be attracted to that. The saves stat is what it is. You know what I like about the saves stat? If we get it, we won. And I spread it out over three or four guys last year. Some do it out of performance and some do it out of choice. You have to balance that just enough.

“If we played in a nonemotional, non-compensated neutral environment, I think we would flush that stat saves down the toilet. But we don’t. There is always going to be a constant pull and tug between players, compensation, manager, analytics, what’s the smart thing to do.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 10:01 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Nick Cafardo: Why Chris Sale’s delivery works for him

Brian Kenney gets another supporter.

Cooper, as you can tell, loves Sale and will miss him.

“He’s got 5½ years of Hall of Fame-production numbers,” said Cooper. “We weren’t able to support him [with offense] as much as we would have liked and that happens and that’s baseball. A pitcher should not be graded on wins and losses. If you don’t get runs or don’t catch the ball, there’s nothing a pitcher can do.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 09:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, notes, red sox, white sox

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Who—and when—will the very busy White Sox look to trade next? | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 15, 2016 at 09:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, white sox

Monday, December 12, 2016

Nine stories to watch for the rest of the MLB offseason | FOX Sports

Robothal points out some lingering questions not resolved during the Winter Meetings.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2016 at 10:33 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday Notes: Winter Meetings, Pirates, D-Backs, Dodgers, Dozier, more | FanGraphs Baseball

Neal Huntington on the Pirates defensive alignments.

“You plan for the best, you evaluate what happens, and you react and adjust accordingly,” explained the Amherst College alum. “We’re working through how we’re going to redeploy, and how we’re going to improve the model, and how we improve the execution of that.”

As is the case with defensive shifts within the infield, buy-in is essential.

“We need to make sure we educate on why we’re doing what we’re doing — why we believe it is the right thing, and not just some random thousands of data points.” explained Huntington. “It’s pitcher-specific, with enough valid data points to make it tangible. But if a pitcher doesn’t execute a pitch, and a ball is hit where we’re not going to catch it, there’s nothing we can do about that. You can’t defend the outlier.

“There is a percentage of the field you can defend, and we’re looking to maximize that percentage, based on pitcher, defender, and probabilities. That’s all we’re doing. Everything we do is about playing the probabilities.We’re about maximizing probability, based on analytic models and scouting models.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2016 at 08:52 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, pirates

Should we still believe David Ortiz will stay retired?

People need to move on. Ortiz retired. Read about Ortiz and other stuff in this week’s Globe baseball notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2016 at 08:33 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox

Monday, December 05, 2016

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

Sunday, December 04, 2016

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rumors And Rumblings - Otani Could Blow Up Next Winter’s Market

“He’s the modern-day Babe Ruth,” a Pacific Rim scout from an American League team said. “He’s a top-of-the-rotation pitcher and the middle-of-the-order hitter. We haven’t seen anything like him in modern times. Whenever he comes to America, he’s going to break the bank. There has never been anybody in free agency who could ever market themselves as a two-way player before.”

Players cannot become free agents in the NPB until they accumulate nine years of service time.

However, there is talk that the Fighters will allow him the opportunity to come to the major leagues next winter via the posting system. They would almost certainly gain the maximum $20 million posting fee from the major-league team that would sign Otani.

Some major-league executives believe Otani could possibly command a contract of at least $200 million if posted and some suggest he could even reach $250 million.

Otani throws his fastball in the high-90s and has been clocked as high as 103 mph. He complements it with a low-90s forkball that appears to “fall off the table” as it reaches home plate.

Though his changeup is still in the rudimentary stages, the scout said “it doesn’t matter because his other pitches are so good.”

Otani is also an outstanding athlete, who played a combined 62 games on the outfield corners in his first two NPB seasons. However, a sprained ankle sustained early in the 2014 season caused the Fighters to use exclusively as a DH the past two seasons.

The scout believes Otani would be able to handle major league pitching.

“His power is just starting to develop and he has a good eye,” the scout. “I’m sure there would be an initial adjustment period, more than it would be for him as a pitcher, but he has great talent.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 06:31 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, notes, shohei otani

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Can the Pirates find a trade partner for Josh Harrison? | FOX Sports

Team president Stan Kasten, however, said that the Dodgers are not facing any payroll restrictions or any pressure from baseball.

“There is no mandate. There is no problem with our debt,” Kasten said. “We are continuing to operate on the same program we have since the day we walked in here in 2012. That’s building through our minor-league system while continuing to aggressively put the best team on the field that we can each year.”

Baseball issued a statement:

“The Commissioner’s Office works with all clubs to monitor compliance with the Debt Service Rule. Non-compliant clubs are asked to submit a plan demonstrating a path to compliance. Clubs are evaluated on an ongoing basis relative to that plan.

“The rule is intended to ensure the financial health of clubs relative to their ability to service their indebtedness, not to influence decisions on the player market. There are various ways to achieve compliance and there is no mandate to cut payroll.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 06:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, dodgers, notes, pirates, twins

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Notes: Vladimir, Redmond, Michigan-OSU, Schoolboy, Boo, more | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2016 at 08:44 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Nick Cafardo: What are the sticking points in baseball’s CBA talks?

This makes no sense at all.

I vote for steroid guys who I believe are Hall of Famers (Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens). I believe Manny Ramirez is Hall-worthy, too, but he will not get my vote because of his repeated violations. The only thing I wrestle with is that Manny never tested positive until the final act of his career. I expect Jeff Bagwell and possibly Tim Raines to be elected this year. First-time nominee Ivan Rodriguez should reach in his first ballot, but suspicion of PED use will likely put him in the Mike Piazza category where he’ll have to wait a year or two. Vladimir Guerrero is also unlikely to get in on his first ballot, but will be strongly considered over time.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2016 at 08:20 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, notes

Friday, November 25, 2016

Rumors And Rumblings - Pitch Framing Gets You Paid

What can the Cubs get for Soler?

While there is a lineup spot open for Bird in New York, it seems that outfielder Jorge Soler is not a fit with the Chicago Cubs.

Soler’s best chance for playing time in 2017 is likely to be the short side of a platoon in left field with left-handed-hitting Kyle Schwarber. Jason Heyward and Albert Almora Jr. are likely to platoon in center field while Ben Zobrist would be the everyday right fielder and Matt Szczur would serve as the fifth outfielder.

If the Cubs end up re-signing center fielder Dexter Fowler for a second straight offseason, Soler could be totally squeezed out.

That is why many people around the game believe the Cubs will trade Soler this winter to bolster their organizational pitching depth.

“He’s still a guy you can dream on,” a scout from an AL team said about the 24-year-old Soler. “He’s got big-time talent. He just needs a chance to play. I think a lot of teams would be interested in a player with that kind of upside.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2016 at 08:15 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, notes

Monday, November 21, 2016

Peter Gammons: Offseason notes, turning to 2017 - GammonsDaily.com

Old school Gammons.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 21, 2016 at 07:08 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

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