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Friday, February 27, 2015

Juan Pierre officially announces his retirement

Juan Pierre, who sat out last season after struggling for the Marlins in 2013, has officially decided to retire at age 37.

A delayed goodbye from one of the game’s fastest men.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gay Minor League pitcher Jason Burch was just waiting for the right question

Still, through his Minor League career that stretched across six seasons and four Major League Baseball franchises, Burch kept to that mantra: No one asked, no need to tell. During a game for the BaySox in 2008, a rare opportunity presented itself. Sitting in the bullpen, one of his teammates, a pitcher from Latin America, asked him if he had a girlfriend with whom to spend their upcoming break. The door opened and Burch strode right through it.

“I’m not interested in girls. I’m gay. And I don’t have a boyfriend.”..

That wasn’t the only time he shared his sexual orientation with teammates. He opened up to people he trusted, men he had known for a while and people he considered true friends. That list of trusted teammates simply wasn’t very long, as the life of a Minor League player is full of change. He played for five different A+ and AA teams, and two Major League spring trainings, in just his final two seasons in baseball. Players are traded, moved up, dropped down and sent to other teams all season long. Opportunities to build deep, trusting relationships with teammates are few and far between.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2015 at 03:18 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, coming out, gay rights, jason burch, orioles, rockies

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Colorado Rockies first-rounder Tyler Matzek had to mature to find himself | MiLB.com

The story of Matzek’s winding road to the big leagues.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2015 at 06:52 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rockies, tyler matzek

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

After 20 seasons, Giambi calls it a career

On Monday, the 44-year-old Giambi took the final step in a storied career, announcing his retirement from the game of baseball. The former designated hitter and first baseman had stints with the A’s, Yankees, Rockies and Indians, evolving from an MVP-caliber slugger in his prime to a clubhouse leader and bench player in his final two seasons in Cleveland.

Farewell to the Giambino…

eddieot Posted: February 17, 2015 at 06:06 AM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: jason giambi, rockies, yankees, a's, indians, balco

Monday, February 09, 2015

THE TOP 10 MLB LINEUPS FOR 2015

2. Blue Jays: Were Dalton Pompey more established, Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak more reliable and second base not such a worry, I’d strongly consider the Blue Jays for the top spot on this list. Alas, those are, of course, all big questions.

Still, there is a lot to like about a lineup that begins with Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion. Those are five steady on-base presences and a middle of the order that can straight-up mash.

There are big questions to be answered in Toronto, but you’d be hard-pressed to find (on paper, at least) a lineup with a better top five.


Schoenfield: Ranking the teams: 30 through 25

Due for a better year: Domonic Brown gets what is maybe his final chance to prove himself as a big league regular. An All-Star in 2013 when he hit 27 home runs, he fell apart in 2014 with a .235/.285/.349 line. There’s still some talent here, but how much?

Due for a worse year: Ruben Amaro Jr.

I’m just the messenger: Everyone has been predicting the decline of the Phillies for a few years and Amaro finally admitted that a rebuilding was in order. He’s been asking for a ransom for Hamels, understandably so because he’s really the only valuable commodity he has, unless Chase Utley agrees to a trade or Cliff Lee comes back and proves he’s healthy. The past two seasons were painful for Phillies fans, but 2015 could be their worst season since losing 97 games in 2000.

The final word: Hey, on the bright side the Phillies outperformed my prediction last year by seven wins .. and still won just 73 games. If there’s a bright spot, it’s the bullpen, led by closer-in-waiting Ken Giles (1.18 ERA as a rookie), which should be solid even if Papelbon is traded.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 09, 2015 at 11:57 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, diamondbacks, phillies, rangers, rankings, rockies, twins

Thursday, February 05, 2015

New Rockies pitcher Kyle Kendrick eager to try and tame Coors Field - The Denver Post

Luke wasn’t afraid either.

“We obviously all know that Coors Field is a tough place to pitch,” Kendrick said Wednesday after signing a one-year, $5.5 million contract. “But I’m happy to be here and I’m not scared to pitch at Coors Field at all.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2015 at 10:10 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, kyle kendrick, rockies

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rockies notes: Rosario plans, Blackmon trade, Shields rumors

Wiln Rosario doesn’t look particularly athletic to me.

General manager Jeff Bridich tells me that the team is confident that catcher Wilin Rosario can make the transition from catcher to first base, and possibly even right field.

Rosario spent a full week at the team’s training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., earlier this month, working at first base and the outfield. He will also spend time at the team’s academy in the Dominican Republic before reporting for spring training around Feb. 20.

“I think Wilin has the athletic ability to do this, and he certainly has the work ethic,” Bridich said..

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, wiln rosario

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Monfort tells NY paper Tulo deal ‘not happening’ | rockies.com

I guess it wouldn’t be prudent at this juncture.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2015 at 06:46 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, troy tulowitzki

Sunday, January 11, 2015

More moves must be made by Rockies before spring training - The Denver Post

Brittle talent.

“It would be easy for somebody in my shoes, a brand-new GM, a young GM, to want to come in and make a splash, do something sexy,” Bridich said this winter. “I fought that urge, but I’m not going to say it wasn’t there.

“We’ve been close-ish to a few things. But it hasn’t happened, hasn’t worked out. We’re not going to panic. ... We have to remember the type of talent that we have here.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2015 at 07:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies

Friday, January 09, 2015

Rockies want Dan Haren even though Haren knows it’s a terrible idea - SBNation.com

What is Jeff Bridich thinking?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2015 at 09:30 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dan haren, marlins, rockies

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nick Hundley signs two-year deal with the Rockies

Must be the Denver schools.

Free agent catcher Nick Hundley and the Rockies have agreed to a two-year contract worth around $6 million, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

Connolly reports that the Orioles made Hundley a two-year offer to remain in Baltimore after acquiring him from the Padres in May, but he opted for more money and the promise of more playing time in Colorado.

Hundley hit .243 with six homers and a .631 OPS in 83 games overall and has a .680 OPS for his career.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2014 at 02:17 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: catchers, free agents, nick hundley, rockies

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Big gap still exists in Mets’ Tulowitzki talks—and Yankees check in on SS - CBSSports.com

Will one of the New York teams ante up?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2014 at 11:02 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, troy tulowitzki, yankees

Monday, December 22, 2014

Tulo focusing on rehab, not trade rumors | rockies.com

Isn’t Tulo always focusing on rehab?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2014 at 06:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, troy tulowitzki

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The right — and wrong — way for Mets to get Tulowitzki | New York Post

That’s crazy.

In the Mets’ most recent conversations with the Rockies, during last week’s Winter Meetings, the Rockies wanted three or four top players — some current major leaguers, some prospects still in the minors — and also wanted the Mets to assume the entire $118 million that Tulowitzki has guaranteed through 2020.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 20, 2014 at 08:25 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, rockies, troy tulowitzki

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Post-Howie Angels Trade for 2B Josh Rutledge - Halos Heaven

The Halos traded relief pitcher Jairo Diaz to the Colorado Rockies for infielder Josh Rutledge and announced the trade about a half-hour after the Kendrick for Andrew Heaney deal with the Dodgers went public.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2014 at 08:41 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, josh rutledge, rockies, trades, winter meetings

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Mets’ signing of Michael Cuddyer may mark the first of several front-office moves - MLB - SI.com

Whether Cuddyer is overpaid by a little or a lot is debatable. Suggesting that the 15th pick of the first round isn’t valuable because that particular pick hasn’t produced a plethora of all stars isn’t convincing.

That back-of-the-envelope math is without considering the cost of the lost draft pick. In signing a qualifying offer free agent, the Mets will forfeit the 15th pick of the 2015 draft. While that would seem to be a bad thing for a team on a rebuilding path, the reality is that the slot hasn’t yielded much of value in the past two decades aside from Chase Utley (61.5 WAR since being taken there in 2000). Breaking down the past 21 picks at number 15 dating back to 1994:
• 10 have never played in the majors, including the last five, on whom the jury should quite rightly remain out.

• Six have generated no more than 0.3 WAR for their entire careers, with five of them in the red.

• Two have produced between 4.0 and 5.0 WAR, namely Gabe Gross (2001) and the still-active Devin Mesoraco (2007).

• Two have been worth between 15 and 20 WAR, namely Scott Kazmir (2002, by the Mets) and Stephen Drew (2004).

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2014 at 08:28 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, michael cuddyer, rockies

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mets Sign Michael Cuddyer

Apparently Cuddyer wasn’t too nuts about Colorado… and is confident he’ll be awful in 2015!

The Mets announced that they have signed free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year contract.

Cuddyer, a client of Excel Sports Management’s Casey Close, was the surprise recipient of a qualifying offer last week that caused many to believe that he would be the first to accept the offer. However, Colorado’s decision to extend the QO appears to have been a wise one, as they’ll now net a draft pick at the end of next year’s first round for their loss. The Mets, on the other hand, will forfeit the 15th pick in next year’s draft in order to bring Cuddyer to Queens…

Cuddyer’s contract is a two-year, $21MM pact, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that he’ll earn $8.5MM in 2015 and $12.5MM in 2016. Essentially, by turning down the qualifying offer, Cuddyer guaranteed himself an additional $5.7MM and a second year.

The District Attorney Posted: November 10, 2014 at 04:40 PM | 167 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mets, michael cuddyer, rockies, transactions

Why Rockies are in major bind with Tulowitzki, Gonzalez | New York Post

I love Tulowitzki. With his contract, though, he’s a tough pickup for any GM. GMs get fired for being wrong on trades like this.

Tulowitzki, in particular, creates difficulty. He is homegrown. He is the most popular player in Rockies history. When right, he is arguably among the five best position players in the game. But here is how many games he has started at shortstop in the past five years: 122, 140, 47, 119 and 88. Those are 516 starts in his age 25-to-29 seasons, barely more than 100 a year on average (Derek Jeter, as a comparison, averaged 135 games starting at short from age 25-to-29).
Now, Tulowitzki is coming back from his worst injury yet – a torn labrum in his hip. This is what Alex Rodriguez has had in both hips. Maybe Tulowitzki can overcome that. But Tulowitzki turned 30 last month. Do you think he is about to go through his healthiest phase?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2014 at 08:56 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos gonzalez, rockies, troy tulowitzki

Friday, November 07, 2014

Trading Tulo isn’t worth it for the Colorado Rockies | SportsonEarth.com

Great player. Can’t stay healthy.

Tulowitzki, meanwhile, is one of the best players in baseball when he’s healthy. He proved that once again this year, posting an absurd .340/.432/.603 batting line with 21 homers and 52 RBIs in 91 games. Ah, but it’s that last part that matters most with Tulo. Is he healthy enough to depend on?

Since 2010, Tulowitzki has averaged 106 games per year. In other words, he’s missed roughly a third of the Rockies’ games over the past five years. But injuries might not even be the biggest obstacle to a team interested in acquiring the All-Star shortstop. That would be his contract.

Tulowitzki, who just turned 30, is owed $20 million per year until 2019. He’s on the books for $14 million in 2020 with either a $15 million option for $4 million buyout in 2021, when he will be 36 years old. So that’s $118 million for six years or $129 million for seven years. Either way you slice it, it’s expensive.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 07, 2014 at 08:03 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, troy tulowitzki

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Rockies willing to listen to offers for Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki | FOX Sports

They aren’t shopping them; they are just keeping their “eyes and ear open” for potential deals. (Wink, wink.)

For the first time, the Colorado Rockies sound willing to trade shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and/or outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.
The Rockies are telling clubs they are keeping their “eyes and ears open” for potential deals involving both players, according to major-league sources.
The mere willingness to discuss Tulowitzki and Gonzalez is a departure for Colorado, which previously refused to entertain deals for its two stars.
The Rockies, under new general manager Jeff Bridich, are not shopping either player or starting a fire sale, sources say. But team officials finally seem to have persuaded owner Dick Monfort to consider all possibilities.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2014 at 06:23 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos gonzalez, rockies, troy tulowitzki

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Defending the Michael Cuddyer Qualifying Offer

It could be worse, right?

Should we assume that there is about a 10% chance that Cuddyer rejects the QO and tests the free agent market, the net value of the QO becomes even closer to zero, even before you consider what Cuddyer might return in a likely midseason trade.

thetailor Posted: November 04, 2014 at 11:34 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: michael cuddyer, qualifying offers, rockies

Monday, November 03, 2014

Denver Post: Michael Cuddyer receives qualifying offer

Well I for one was not expecting that.

“Michael is someone who has had a great impact on this organization both on and off the field for the past three years,” Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich in a statement. “After weighing our options, we felt the qualifying offer was in the best interest of the organization.”

Cuddyer, who will turn 36 on March 27, is coming off a three-year, $31.5 million deal with Colorado.


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Anderson’s 2015 option not picked up by Rockies | rockies.com

It’s crazy to think he’s only 26 It seems like he’s been hurt a lot longer than that.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 02, 2014 at 09:43 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: brett anderson, rockies

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Martino: Michael Cuddyer is a perfect free agent fit for NY Mets, who like him

The Mets have a Cuddyer need for an outfield bat:

So where do they find a bat? Well, here’s an idea, one that that’s already been floated in the blogosphere, and turns out to be a concrete possibility: Free agent Michael Cuddyer, the exact sort of piece that fits the offense the Mets hope to construct.

Here’s what we mean by that: While Sandy Alderson has long checked in on the Giancarlo Stantons and Carlos Gonzalezes of the world, he and his staff consider it more likely that the Mets will surround their core of pitchers with a lineup filled veteran, versatile or otherwise interchangeable pieces. Think Tampa Bay Rays, during their good years.

Cuddyer is just such a piece. Thirty-five years old, he was injured much of this season, but hit 10 home runs in 49 games, while batting .332. People familiar with the Mets’ thinking say that the team considers him attractive on a two-year deal.

It is hard to imagine Cuddyer getting more than that, but as one major league executive notes about the Mets’ top free agent target last year, “No one thought Jhonny Peralta was going to get four years, either.” The Cardinals shocked the Mets, and most of baseball, by giving Peralta a four-year, $52 million deal.

If Cuddyer’s market does not inflate in a similar way, he could provide much-needed power for the Mets, a tremendous clubhouse presence to assume some of the leadership burden from his friend David Wright—and all at a commitment that does not require excessive years, or the loss of a pitching prospect.

It’s not that the Mets refuse to trade any of their pitchers not named Gee, Niese or Colon; it’s just that they are highly reluctant. Over the past 12 months, Wheeler went from sort of available, with some in the organization pushing hard to move him, to virtually untouchable. Syndergaard had a disappointing year at Triple-A, but remains young and promising. DeGrom is about to win the National League rookie of the year award, so he isn’t going anywhere.

Scouts rate Montero a notch below the others, but sources say that the Mets are reluctant to part with him, too. He could be had in the right deal (Yoenis Cespedes, perhaps, who the Mets are monitoring?), but is far from on the market.

JE (Jason) Posted: October 23, 2014 at 12:22 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, mets, michael cuddyer, rockies

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