Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Pay Site Newsbeat

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kaplan: How Max Stassi delved deep into the data and turned his career around – The Athletic

A get look at how players can use data to improve their games.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2018 at 07:00 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, max stassi, pay site, the athletic

Friday, April 06, 2018

Defensive shifts and alignments a gamble Phillies willing to take — no matter the optics

“Sometimes if you’re looking at it in a small sample in a very specific time, you can go, ‘That’s not going to work, that’s not going to work, that’s not going to work,’” Kapler said after Wednesday’s game. “We have to be patient and trust that we’re trying to look at a very large sample size to evaluate if our strategies are working effectively. I can’t express enough confidence that our strategies will pay dividends, but I understand in the short term they haven’t and that can be disappointing. I get it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2018 at 06:27 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, phillies, the athletic

Monday, March 26, 2018

Rosenthal: Why Altuve’s deal makes sense; Boras gives his side; stop worrying about Ohtani; more notes – The Athletic

Glad to see Robothal back on the beat.

*Will Boras adjust his frequent strategy of waiting out the market in future off-seasons after the practice appeared to backfire with some of his 2017-18 free agents?

I had not even finished the question when Boras started to answer.

“Everyone talks to me about waiting. I’m talking about offers. We didn’t get any offers on these players until February. There was no waiting. There were no offers made. The clubs all waited to begin this process until mid-February.”

Is that because clubs perceived Boras’ “asks” to be high?

“We never ever said anything about $200 million for Jake Arrieta or J.D. Martinez. Go find the quote,” Boras said. “There were all these things being put out there and they were all media-generated and all false. We never asked anywhere near that for any of those players, never even discussed it.”

Often in these matters, we are talking semantics. For example, one executive said a club would not have offered Mike Moustakas say, $40 million, if it believed Boras’ expectation for the free-agent third baseman was $80 million to $90 million, regardless of whether the agent explicitly communicated those numbers. Clubs do not want to waste their time and energy pursuing exercises in futility, and thus Boras is left without offers, the way the executive described it.

More good stuff at the link.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2018 at 07:01 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, pay site

Monday, March 12, 2018

Dodd: Scott Boras says “The system has failed” Mike Moustakas – The Athletic

The “system” or his agent?

Moustakas is a good player. He’s not a great player. He’s also the type of player who has lost value…slow, mediocre fielders with one above-average tool (a tool that is plentiful in the market). Boras should have gotten him signed earlier.

Boras, his agent, had misjudged the market. Moustakas lost nearly $10 million in the process in 2018. Yet as Boras, Moustakas and Moore gathered for a group media session on Saturday morning, Boras questioned the “integrity” of the current system, mentioning “intervening factors” that had mucked up his client’s market.

Because Moustakas had declined a qualifying offer, potential suitors risked losing a draft pick to sign him. Because clubs such as the New York Yankees were publicly concerned about the implications of the game’s luxury tax, Moustakas was not a priority. And because Moustakas was content to wait out the market in November and December, he was left with few options.

Reports this week indicated that Moustakas turned down a multiyear deal with the Los Angeles Angels that would have paid him close to $45 million. The Angels, however, pushed back against that notion on Saturday, a source telling ESPN’s Buster Olney that “they never made a three-year, $45 million offer.”

“Things intervene,” Boras said, “and it’s become something other than the best players playing baseball at the highest level for the best teams.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2018 at 08:19 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mike moustakas, pay site, royals, scott boras, the athletic

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Kaplan: How a ‘really big fantasy baseball nerd’ became Jeff Luhnow’s right-hand man – The Athletic

An interesting piece on one of the many smart people working in the Astros front office, Brandon Taubman.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2018 at 06:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, front office, pay site, the athletic

Thursday, March 01, 2018

A conversation with the Angels’ Justin Upton: On hitting, stats, and the end of free-agent courting – The Athletic

Here’s an extremely interesting interview with Justin Upton. I doubt his perspective is unique.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2018 at 09:11 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, justin upton, pay site, the athletic


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sarris: How useful are team projections? – The Athletic

Are team systems better? You would think the additional info they possess would produce better results. I doubt they are substantially better on the team level, however.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2018 at 06:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, projections, the athletic

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Mooney: The Cubs set their sights on Yu Darvish – The Athletic

With the amount of talent they have assembled, it’s really tough to ignore The Athletic.

Cubs president Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer, run prevention coordinator Tommy Hottovy and pro scouting director Kyle Evans met with Darvish and his Wasserman representatives last month at a Four Seasons resort in the Dallas area.

Run prevention coordinator?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 09:14 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site

A frozen market has Scott Boras talking . . . but not to the right people – The Athletic

It’s all about integrity.

“I do my job. I care for my clients. I am spending every waking hour trying to bring attention to owners so they act with integrity,” Boras says. “Certainly I want them to sign my clients. But I’m trying to get them to act with integrity. Winning is the cement of baseball integrity.”

“We kicked people out of the game when they tried to not win,” Boras continued, referring to the Black Sox scandal, in which baseball banned eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox after they were accused of intentionally losing the World Series. “We have to get rid of the non-competitive cancer. We can’t go to our fan bases and sell the promise of losing to win later. That is destructive to our sport because it has removed one-third of the competition.”

Boras cites 10 teams with payrolls currently projected to be $110 million or less — the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals; Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics; Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays. An 11th club, the Atlanta Braves, projects to more than $110 million only because it is paying virtually all of Adrian Gonzalez’s $22 million salary with the New York Mets.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 06:43 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, pay site, scott boras

Monday, January 22, 2018

Rosenthal roundtable: Five MLB players weigh in on the pace-of-play rules and the need for change – The Athletic

Enforce the 12 second rule. I want the game done in 2.5 hours.

Scherzer: When you get down to the root of it, the clock MLB is proposing with ball-strike penalties, it’s very regimented. There is no leeway within any situations. Say there is a quick game going on. Everyone is doing their job and working at a quick pace. Then something happens and someone takes a little extra time. And we’re going to penalize somebody. That’s what leads to a lot of people being frustrated by having a regimented clock.

We hear MLB. We want the game underneath three hours. The umpires can kind of tell when the game is moving slow and when the game is moving fast. After three innings, if it’s taken two hours, we know we’re behind with the clock, the umpires would have some type of leeway to help pick up the pace of play instead of having consequences attached to it. That’s when players would be more receptive to different enforcements.

The players right now when we hear clock, when we hear balls and strikes, we just want to take our heads and beat them against the wall. It doesn’t make sense because there are too many variables in there. But if there is a conversation about situations when the game is running slow and what we should do, you’re going to have a lot of ideas from different players. There should be some middle ground here.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:32 AM | 146 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, rules

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Life of a scouting report: How the Cubs have streamlined an age-old process – The Athletic

A lot of good stuff at The Athletic recently. If you can get access at a discount, you should.

“Our scouts don’t travel to the draft,” Dorey said. “So it’s my job to really challenge analytic information we have if it doesn’t align with what our scouts are saying, and try to find the sweet spot there. I’m constantly trying to make sure that the voice of the scout doesn’t get lost in the entire profile of the player. And I think we’ve done a really good job of that, but it’s something we could continue to improve on. We’re still talking about 17-, 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old human beings, and the human nature is so tough to evaluate and project on.”

In recent years, the Cubs haven’t weighed hitches in a pitcher’s mechanics as heavily as they have in the past — burned, too often, by pitchers they passed on finding success with other teams. And they’ve learned that certain players, often upper-middle-class travel-team types, can be taught the right things to say at meetings with scouts, even when those things aren’t necessarily reflective of the player’s actual personality or skills.

Weighed heavily, by contrast, are scouts’ evaluations of a player’s overall athleticism (a term the Cubs operationalize as carefully as they do secretly), that player’s hatred of losing (which the Cubs care about far more than a player’s desire to win), and of course the R&D reports that the nerd squad at the Cubs’ offices in Lakeview dig up. Even so, it’s still tough to get it all right.

The long timelines that baseball imposes on front offices make the job difficult, too. Unlike in basketball or football, where a draft’s success or failure can be measured within 12-24 months, the Cubs’ front office is only now starting to understand how and why their 2012 draft worked or didn’t, and only now able to fully integrate the lessons of that year into their planning for the next one. It’ll be another half-decade before they know if they got that one right, either.

And so today, right now, the Cubs are hard at work, ferociously collecting all the data they can about the past, making with it the best possible decisions they can about the fleeting present, and constantly revising their expectations of what those choices might mean for their future.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2018 at 10:23 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site, scouting

Rosenthal: Many factors contributing to historically slow free agent market – The Athletic

Ken, Ken, Ken. Teams will spend money. The players will get signed. Maybe, though, the Players Association might want some new leadership. The Luxury Tax system they agreed to gives the big markets good reason to be frugal this year. Smart management is only a problem for agents who depend on emotionally-charged decision-making.

An MLB official dismissed any suggestion of collusion, saying clubs are so secretive, they barely communicate with the commissioner’s office during free agency, much less each other. Perhaps the more pressing issue is that most clubs now think alike, relying heavily on advanced statistical analysis and making decisions based on similar data. Such groupthink, while not illegal, is not conducive to competition. At times, the entire sport seems to suffer from an advanced case of paralysis by analysis.

It’s a culture of fear — many GMs are reluctant to trade prospects and sign free agents, terrified of facing criticism if they make a mistake. The GMs become too process-oriented, passing on opportunities to improve, protecting their long-term plans. There is no incentive for them to act with greater urgency; few face an immediate threat to their job security. Twelve teams have changed GMs since Aug. 2015, but of the current group, perhaps only the Seattle Mariners’ Jerry Dipoto and the San Francisco Giants’ Bobby Evans will be in trouble if their teams disappoint in 2018. In too many cases, the goal is to win tomorrow, not today.

Many fans tolerate such thinking, applauding management for fiscal restraint, muttering, “trust the process,” as if they are zombies. The increased emphasis on payroll efficiency, stemming in part from the rise of data-driven analysis, is hardly a bad thing, often leading to better decision-making. But in the current climate, GMs draw more praise for saving money than spending it. The Yankees under Brian Cashman have made the playoffs 16 times in 20 seasons and won the World Series four times. Yet only now, with the Yankees transitioning to a younger, less expensive club, is Cashman receiving his just due.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2018 at 06:13 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, pay site

Monday, January 08, 2018

Rosenthal: Nats interested in Lance Lynn; Yelich suitors line up; teams calling Red Sox on Swihart; more notes – The Athletic

It’s tough ignoring The Athletic when it employs so many good/great reporters.

— The Marlins declined to entertain trade interest in first baseman Justin Bour at the winter meetings, but rival clubs continue to check on his availability. Bour, like catcher J.T. Realmuto, is under control for three more seasons. MLBTradeRumors.com projects Bour to earn $3.5 million in arbitration.

The Marlins could really stock up on prospects if they did a full teardown.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2018 at 06:47 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, pay site

Friday, January 05, 2018

Rosenthal: Boras faces a tough market (or does he?); Darvish can do better; Brewers interested in Cain; more notes – The Athletic

“We’ve got more than 100 employees,” Boras told The Athletic on Wednesday night. “We’re in constant contact with every team every five to seven days. We’ve got over 30 people working on free agency year-round.

“The majority of our work has been completed. This is just a narrowing of negotiations for a number of players in the process. We’ve had this number of free agents and more in past years. And we have over double the number of employees of any agency in baseball.”

Boras is correct—this is not the first time he has represented a large number of high-profile free agents. His 2004-5 class was particularly star-studded, featuring Jason Varitek, Derek Lowe, Carlos Beltran, Adrian Beltre, Magglio Ordonez and J.D. Drew. Of that group, only Beltre signed before Jan. 6.

Beyond Hosmer, Martinez and Arrieta, Boras’ class this off-season includes third baseman Mike Moustakas and closer Greg Holland, as well as outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Carlos Gomez, designated hitter Matt Holliday and left-handed reliever Tony Watson.

Every winter, rival agents eagerly await Boras’ comeuppance, anticipating he will negotiate at least one disappointing contract, whispering, “this is the year he gets caught.” Occasionally, it happens. More often, especially with star players, it does not. This off-season, though, represents a particular challenge.

Even with the sport awash in revenue, including a reported, one-time $50 million payout to each club from the Disney purchase of BAMTech, many teams seem disinclined to spend. Boras might need to “settle” for suboptimal deals with certain clients—Moustakas’ market, for example, is particularly unclear. But the agent is not going to concede with any player on Jan. 4.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:33 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, pay site, scott boras

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Rosenthal: He’s 53 and hasn’t played in the majors since 2005, but Rafael Palmeiro is eyeing a comeback, and redemption – The Athletic

You don’t need to get beyond the payroll.

As crazy as it sounds, Palmeiro is thinking about trying to return to the majors. Part of his motivation stems from his belief that he can still help a club. Part of it stems from the way his career ended in disgrace, with teams shunning him after he was suspended in August 2005 for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

“There’s no doubt in my mind I can do it,” says Palmeiro, who ended his career as one of five players to reach both 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. “I’ve taken care of myself really well. I’ve been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 06, 2017 at 11:52 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, rafael palmeiro

 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Larvell B
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)
(2275 - 3:30pm, Apr 21)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(1532 - 3:28pm, Apr 21)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogLook at the size of this WEEKEND OMNICHATTER!, for April 21-22, 2018
(29 - 3:27pm, Apr 21)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April - June 2018)
(7 - 3:25pm, Apr 21)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-20-2018
(31 - 3:17pm, Apr 21)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogWhy the drop in home runs in 2018? Major League Baseball had better hope it’s the weather.
(8 - 3:08pm, Apr 21)
Last: RMc's Unenviable Situation

NewsblogESPN's top 50 players
(2 - 3:08pm, Apr 21)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOTP 2018 Apr 16: Beto strikes out but is a hit at baseball fundraiser
(1159 - 3:00pm, Apr 21)
Last: Srul Itza

NewsblogCallaway says Harvey might not make his next start after performance in 12-4 loss to Braves
(2 - 2:43pm, Apr 21)
Last: PreservedFish

Gonfalon CubsHome Sweet Home
(66 - 2:40pm, Apr 21)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

Hall of Merit2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(105 - 11:10am, Apr 21)
Last: Jaack

NewsblogBryan Price dismissed as Reds manager | MLB.com
(96 - 10:13am, Apr 21)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogFrankly, my dear, I don't give an OMNICHATTER, for April 20, 2018.
(83 - 8:10am, Apr 21)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogBBTF ANNUAL CENTRAL PARK SOFTBALL GAME 2018
(62 - 6:46am, Apr 21)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-19-2018
(23 - 6:56pm, Apr 20)
Last: Morty Causa

Page rendered in 0.9451 seconds
120 querie(s) executed