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Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Braves spent $40M on a reliever. Is that allowed?

The Braves just spent a chunk of money for a reliever. The $40 million Will Smith is guaranteed – the total could rise to $52 million over four seasons – isn’t a record outlay for the position, but it’s not that far off. The fourth year hinges on a club option, but the first three are for $13 million each. Aroldis Chapman, Wade Davis and Kenley Janson landed contracts at average annual values of $16-to-$17 million. Craig Kimbel will make $16 million for his next two seasons. Difference is, those guys were Brand Names.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2019 at 07:29 PM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, will smith

Accept or decline? Every qualifying offer decision

Jake Odorizzi and José Abreu accept.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2019 at 07:27 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: qualifying offers

2019 MVP Award winners announced | MLB.com

Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger began the 2019 season in such different places that it was a stretch to imagine that they were on their way to being mentioned in the same breath. As one built on a legacy of greatness, the other was still very much a work in progress.

On Thursday, they achieved the highest individual honor—Most Valuable Player. Trout won in the American League for the third time in six seasons with a performance that included a career-high 45 home runs.

Bellinger was named the NL MVP for a season that featured 47 homers, 34 doubles and an NL-leading 351 total bases. Two years after being named the NL Rookie of the Year, the 24-year-old Dodgers outfielder used the 2019 season to establish himself once and for all as one of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2019 at 07:24 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, cody bellinger, mike trout, mvp

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-14-2019

Ogden Standard, November 14, 1919:

George Tyler, southpaw pitcher for the Cubs, had an early appointment with a dentist today and before the end of the day he expected to have only two teeth left in his mouth. The pitcher, who did little work for his team last season because of pains in his arm, spent several days of the present week at a hospital at Rochester, Minn., where practically every expert at the institution examined him. All except one pronounced his condition as “almost perfect.”

The expert who made the unfavorable report examined Tyler’s teeth and declared that the lameness in his arm came from “pus sacks” which had formed on his gums. After removal of his teeth, the expert declared that Tyler would be in better condition than ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 14, 2019 at 10:37 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history

MLB minimum salary rises $8,500 to $563,500 next season

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The major league minimum salary will rise to $563,500 next season, a hike of $8,500.

Under Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement with the players’ association, the minimum was $535,000 in 2017, $545,000 in 2018 and $555,000 this year. In the final two seasons of the five-year deal, the increase is calculated as the rise from October to October in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The October 2019 figure was announced Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

We discuss the high end of MLB salaries quite a bit here- here is some information concerning the low end.

 

QLE Posted: November 14, 2019 at 12:53 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: minimum salary

Boras bashes lack of competition, senses faster-paced market

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Baseball’s most prominent agent criticized teams for a lack of competition, proclaiming rebuilding teams have caused four straight years of attendance drops, then said he senses a faster-paced free agent market that could lead to earlier signings this offseason.

Scott Boras, who represents top free agents Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, accused many teams of entering last season with the goal of rebuilding through high drafts picks rather than competing for a title.

Standing in a courtyard at the hotel where general managers are holding their annual meeting, Boras said the decision of some fans to stay away from ballparks was understandable. Major League Baseball’s average attendance has ...

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QLE Posted: November 14, 2019 at 12:41 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: scott boras

Twins give contract extensions to front office brass

The Twins announced today that they have agreed to contract extensions with Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine. The new deals lock up Falvey and Levine through 2024. They were already under contract through 2021.

For those wondering who gets contract extensions rapidly in this time…..

 

QLE Posted: November 14, 2019 at 12:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contract extensions, derek falvey, twins

Charity work, singing lessons had a hand in Waino’s decision to return to Cardinals

Jumping ahead….

The 2020 season is also the last covered under the contract of Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, whose close relationship with Wainwright has led each to describe the other as a brother at various times. Wainwright said Tuesday that he and Molina hadn’t had any formal conversations about “riding off into the sunset upon retirement,” before hastily adding that his daughter Macee is planning for a future which includes the two families sharing one oversized roof.

Sources have intimated that Molina may be seeking an extension to his contract and would likely be willing to accept a pay cut from his current $20 million-per-year salary in order to complete such a deal.

If Molina does sign an extension in St. Louis, it’s ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 14, 2019 at 12:24 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, contracts, yadier molina

Rawlings may have been misleading consumers about postseason memorabilia baseballs

A handful of baseball writers have been on the altered-baseball beat for the last few years. Among them is Dr. Meredith Wills, who has studied the baseball — manufactured by Rawlings — several times for The Athletic. Wills took apart batches of baseballs, measuring things such as the width of the seams. She found that, indeed, newer batches of baseballs used seams that were about nine percent thicker. This likely contributed to the rise in blisters on pitchers’ fingers during the same time period.

Major League Baseball has an ownership stake in Rawlings, partnering with Seidler Equity Partners in 2018 to purchase the company for just under $400 million. MLB claimed it would have “even more input and direction on the production of ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 14, 2019 at 12:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs, memorabilia

MLB free agency: Top 25 names to watch this offseason

A Cy Young frontrunner, MVP finalist and a pair of World Series MVPs could all be changing uniforms this offseason. Plenty of talent lies beyond that star power in the 2019-2020 crop of free agents.

As baseball’s Hot Stove kicks off, here are the players that teams will covet most.

The 10 players marked with an asterisk have received a qualifying offer of one year and $17.8 million from their 2019 clubs. If one of these players signs a deal with another team for more than $50 million, their former club will receive a compensation draft pick after the first round. A deal signed for less than $50 million will net the player’s former team a pick after the second round.

So, do we agree with this list, and, if so, what exploits should ...

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QLE Posted: November 14, 2019 at 12:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

After failed soccer endeavor, Mike Piazza set to manage Italian National Baseball Team

Mike Piazza is getting back into the Italian sports scene, a year removed from an endeavor that fell nothing short of disaster.

The MLB Hall of Famer announced Wednesday that he will manage the Italian National Baseball Team for next year’s European Baseball Championship and for 2021’s World Baseball Classic.

Piazza, a 12-time All-Star, retired in 2007 after spending most of his playing career with the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers. He has shown little interest in getting involved with baseball since then, and in June 2016, made a fateful purchase of a low-tier Italian soccer team: Serie C’s A.C. Reggiana 1919.

Braver man than I am, given those circumstances…..

 

 

QLE Posted: November 14, 2019 at 12:16 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: italy, mike piazza

deGrom repeats, JV edges Cole for Cy honors

It was a night for second helpings—a serving long-awaited for one Cooperstown-caliber arm and not-so-long-awaited for the Cy Young’s rare repeat customer.

The Astros’ Justin Verlander and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom are the 2019 winners of the American League and National League Cy Young Awards, as announced on Wednesday night on MLB Network by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. And these two-time winners of baseball’s biggest pitching prize took two very different paths to this point.

For Verlander, who won the 2011 AL Cy Young with the Tigers, this award is well-deserved relief after three second-place finishes in 2012, 2016 and 2018. This time, he had to edge out his own equally deserving teammate, Gerrit Cole, to win ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 14, 2019 at 12:13 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cy young award, jacob degrom, justin verlander

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-13-2019

Washington Times, November 13, 1919:

A Chicago sporting paper, which has made formal charges against members of the White Sox regarding their behavior during the world’s series with the Cincinnati Reds, apparently means business. Owner Charles A. Comiskey of the White Sox, has been notified by this publication that if he will post $10,000 with a well known banking firm, evidence of an incriminating nature involving several of his players will be gladly furnished.

The editor of the sporting paper also has made it clear that he wants no part of Comiskey’s reward, which can be turned over to charity “when the charges have been proved.”

So far, the Old Roman has declined to accept the challenge, but other baseball men are investigating.

...Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 13, 2019 at 09:50 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tigers announce several staff changes in organization

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers have hired former Los Angeles Angels bench coach Josh Paul as a quality control coach.

The Tigers announced over 20 hires, promotions and staff changes Tuesday. Among the most significant are that Lance Parrish will serve as a special assistant to general manager Al Avila, and Kenny Graham has been hired as director of player development. Graham was minor league hitting coordinator for the Milwaukee Brewers.

“Detroit Tigers” and “quality control”- two phrases we haven’t seen near each other in quite some time…..

 

QLE Posted: November 13, 2019 at 12:54 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: lance parrish, tigers

Cardinals agree to deal with Adam Wainwright for 2020 season

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals and Adam Wainwright have agreed to a contract for the 2020 season, increasing the likelihood the pitcher will finish his career with the only major league team he has played for.

The 38-year-old Wainwright was drafted by the Braves in 2000 and traded to the Cardinals three years later. He made his major league debut in 2005 and has been a stalwart for St. Louis the past 14 seasons, going 162-95 with a 3.39 ERA and three All-Star appearances.

He played last season with a $2 million base salary and proved he remained effective, going 14-10 with a 4.19 ERA while helping the Cardinals reach the NL Championship Series. He earned $8 million in bonuses based on starts.

Wainwright was especially ...

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QLE Posted: November 13, 2019 at 12:40 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: adam wainwright, cardinals, signings

Acing it: Success of Nats, Astros puts attention on starters

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Washington went against baseball’s trend toward bulked-up bullpens, dedicating 39 percent of its payroll to three starting pitchers: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. The trio triumphed, lifting the Nationals to the first World Series title in the team’s 51-season history,

Houston came within one win of its second championship in three seasons, led by a rotation headed by Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke.

In a sport of copycats, will rotation arms regain prominence throughout the major leagues?

“That’s my favorite question of every GM meetings. It is the narrative of whoever won the World Series,” Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 13, 2019 at 12:34 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: starter usage

Clint Hurdle retires from baseball

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres interviewed Clint Hurdle, hoping he would become the hitting coach under new manager Jayce Tingler. Hurdle considered the opportunity but ultimately decided to retire from baseball.

Hurdle, 62, was fired by the Pirates following a disappointing 2019 season in which his team went 69-92, the club’s worst finish since 2010. The Pirates’ 2019 season was mired in controversy with a litany of clubhouse issues as well as more than a handful of benches-clearing brawls.

Well, not all retirements involve long tours…..

QLE Posted: November 13, 2019 at 12:28 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: clint hurdle, retirements

Angels hire Tony La Russa as baseball operations special assistant

The Angels have announced that the organization hired Tony La Russa as a special assistant in baseball operations.

La Russa, 75, had been the vice president and a special assistant to the president of baseball operations with the Red Sox for the past two years. From May 2014 to November 2017, La Russa was the chief baseball officer and, later, the chief baseball analyst with the Diamondbacks.

So, any thoughts as for how much actual power La Russa will have?

 

QLE Posted: November 13, 2019 at 12:24 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, tony la russa

He told a kid to slide. Then he got sued.

John Suk sits with shoulders slouched and his head down at the defendant’s table in Courtroom 301, a stuffy wood-paneled space inside the Somerset County judicial complex. The 31-year-old middle school teacher scribbles in a notebook as his reputation is shredded.

The plaintiff’s attorneys in Civil Docket No. L-000629-15 have spent two full days portraying the co-defendant as an inattentive and unqualified lout. He is, they argue, a villain who destroyed the future of a teenager he was supposed to protect.

“He must be held accountable for what he did,” one of the plaintiff’s two attorneys tells jurors during opening arguments.

The attacks intensify when Suk takes the witness stand to defend himself on a split-second decision ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 13, 2019 at 12:19 AM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: youth baseball

Giants pick ousted Phillies manager Gabe Kapler to succeed Bruce Bochy

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have found Bruce Bochy’s successor.

The club agreed to terms on a three-year contract with former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who is set to become the team’s next manager. Kapler will be officially introduced at a press conference on Wednesday at Oracle Park.

Kapler emerged from a pool of at least nine candidates and was one of three who received at least two interviews for the chance to hold a job last manned by Bochy, a three-time World Series champion. The other finalists were current Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro.

“Probably the key thing that we were looking for and the most important trait if we could summarize it in one sentence for the ...

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QLE Posted: November 13, 2019 at 12:07 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, giants, managerial search

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Baldelli and Shildt named managers of the year

Interesting that Counsell apparently had more first place votes.  13-10

Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: November 12, 2019 at 07:20 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, minnesota twins

The Astros stole signs electronically in 2017 | The Athletic (paywall)

Early in the 2017 season, at least two uniformed Astros got together to start the process. One was a hitter who was struggling at the plate and had benefited from sign stealing with a previous team, according to club sources; another was a coach who wanted to help. They were said to strongly believe that some opposing teams were already up to no good.

They wanted to devise their own system in Houston. And they did.

“That’s not playing the game the right way,” said Fiers, who was with the team from 2015-17 and was non-tendered in the offseason after the Astros won the 2017 World Series. “They were advanced and willing to go above and beyond to win.”

Three other sources who were inside the organization in 2017 and had direct ...

Read More...
Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 12, 2019 at 02:03 PM | 195 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, because of course they did, cheating

After short stint with White Sox, Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne is headed overseas

Odrisamer Despaigne’s tenure with the White Sox was short and unusual. Now the Cuban pitcher is heading to Korea.

Ken Rosenthal reported that the 32-year-old has agreed to a one-year deal with KT Wiz of the Korean league.

Despaigne joined the Triple-A Charlotte Knights in May and joined the White Sox less than a month later when the pitching staff was in dire need of starting arms. He was known for not wanting to warm up and throwing junk pitches (his curveball averaged 73 mph).

Something for the name fans among us.

 

QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 01:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: korean baseball, odrisamer despaigne

MLB free agency: Pros, cons for Giants signing pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu

The Giants have their new general manager in Scott Harris, and are expected to announce their next manager this week. Their next move will be reshaping the roster.

San Francisco refuses to use the word “rebuild,” often leaning on a “reload” instead. Harris, who was an essential part to the Cubs becoming contenders again, said at his introductory press conference Monday that the Giants’ goal is to soon be competitive again after three straight losing seasons.

But how soon? The Giants’ farm system is on the rise, and they have seen the effects of having an aging roster the past few seasons. In free agency, however, they could hold onto their top prospects while also adding proven talent.

One free agent that MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 01:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hyun-jin ryu, rumors

Yankees plan to have talks with Cole, Strasburg

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — After falling short of reaching the World Series for the 10th straight year, the New York Yankees intend to have conversations with top free agent pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

“It’s a good time to be them,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Monday as the general managers meeting began. “Certainly we’ll have conversations from our perspective. And they’ll either lead to further ones or lesser ones.”

During a moonlit availability in a courtyard surrounded by palm trees, Cashman confirmed changes in the team’s staff, led by Matt Blake replacing Larry Rothschild as pitching coach. He said New York has had conversations with the agents for several of its players who became ...

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QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:47 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, stephen strasburg, yankees

Red Sox say Pedroia hopes to return next season

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Dustin Pedroia is hoping to return to the Boston Red Sox next year after playing in just nine games during the past two seasons because of his injured left knee.

“Every indication I’ve gotten is that he’s feeling good and intending on playing,” Chaim Bloom, Boston’s new chief baseball officer, said Monday after arriving at the annual general managers meetings.

The 36-year-old second baseman lives in nearby Chandler, and Bloom has exchanged texts in the hope of setting up a meeting.

 

QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:45 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia

Meanwhile, on the cold, cold Hot Stove . . .

It’s Hot Stove Season baby! You know what that means! Yep: time to watch some teams sign a few relievers to minor league deals and then wait everyone out until February while talking about the need to maintain financial flexibility! FEEL THE BURN.

In more specific news:

John Morosi of MLB Network reports that, based on his conversations with front office folks, either Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor or Kris Bryant are expected to be traded this winter.

We’ve talked a lot about Betts this winter already, and that seems like madness. Bryant’s career with the Cubs began with business-side acrimony, it’s still simmering, and there is no sense that either side is amenable to a long-term deal before he hits free agency. The Indians ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:38 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, francisco lindor, free agency, hot stove, kris bryant, mookie betts

MLB will stop awarding prize belt to team that best suppresses salaries in arbitration

Earlier this year, Marc Carig of The Athletic published a report on a belt, awarded as a prize at the GM meetings every year to the team that did the most to “achieve the goals set by the industry.” That’s code for salary suppression in arbitration.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark responded to the report, saying, “That clubs make sport of trying to suppress salaries in a process designed to produce fair settlements shows a blatant lack of respect for our Players, the game, and the arbitration process itself.”

Does this mean that dozens of authorities will be issuing belts, making it impossible to determine a clear champion?

 

QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, dollah dollah bills, y'all

Dodgers to shop for starting pitchers, right-handed power as offseason begins

Jumping ahead to points of interest:

How the Dodgers operate this offseason could again depend on their willingness to spend significant money and perhaps exceed the competitive tax threshold — a soft cap that has hardened not only in Los Angeles but in big markets across the majors in recent years. Only the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Yankees will pay a tax for the 2019 season, and all three franchises are striving to avoid the penalty.

Despite playing in the second-largest market in the country, drawing the highest attendance in the majors the last seven seasons, and securing a television contract that pays the organization $8.35 billion over 25 years, the Dodgers have not surpassed the line since 2017.

A document prepared for ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:28 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, luxury tax

Rays GM Erik Neander wins MLB Executive of the Year honor

Rays GM Erik Neander was named MLB Executive of the Year in a vote of his peers announced Monday night at the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Neander was honored for the team’s success in winning 96 games and returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The press release announcing the award detailed many of the moves Neander and staff made but made no mention of them operating with the lowest payroll in the game.

“I am both humbled and honored to be recognized by Major League Baseball and the executives who voted on the award,’’ Neander said in a statement released by the team.

So, who would you give this award to if you were voting on it?

 

QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: erik neander, executive of the year, rays

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