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Saturday, January 12, 2019


Madison Bumgarner to Brewers Blockbuster Would Create Cubs’ Worst 2019 Nightmare

The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t out to knock the Chicago Cubs from the National League Central throne. They already did that in 2018. Their goal for 2019 is to keep the status quo.

This explains their interest in Madison Bumgarner. According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the San Francisco Giants have had “substantive communication” about the ace left-hander with the Brewers, who represent his “most likely destination” in a trade.

It’s not guaranteed that the Giants will indeed move Bumgarner. There ...

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QLE Posted: January 12, 2019 at 08:06 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, madison bumgarner, trade rumors

Detroit Tigers prospect Gregory Soto suspended 20 games by MLB

Gregory Soto, the Detroit Tigers’ left-handed pitching prospect who was named the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year two seasons ago, has been suspended 20 games.

Soto’s suspension for “Conduct Detrimental or Prejudicial to Baseball” was announced on Friday afternoon by Major League Baseball, citing Article 12, Part B of the collective bargaining agreement as the offense.

Article 12, Part B reads, “Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is ...

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QLE Posted: January 12, 2019 at 08:06 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: conduct detrimental to baseball, gregory soto, suspension, tigers

Reds agree with newly acquired Puig on $9.7 million contract

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds avoided arbitration with Yasiel Puig, agreeing with the newly acquired outfielder on a $9.7 million contract for 2019.

You know, this is rather disappointing, after everything claimed about Puig in the popular press.

QLE Posted: January 12, 2019 at 08:06 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, reds, yasiel puig

Astros’ Alex Bregman undergoes elbow surgery

Astros third baseman Alex Bregman underwent arthroscopic surgery on Friday to remove loose bodies in his right elbow, the team announced.

Bregman will be “limited” at the start of spring training, according to a statement disseminated Friday morning, but the Astros expect their reigning All-Star infielder to be ready to play prior to opening day against the Rays on March 28.

Bregman approached the team around New Year’s Day to complain of discomfort, general manager Jeff Luhnow said. ...

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QLE Posted: January 12, 2019 at 08:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex bregman, astros, elbow surgery

MLB Rumors: ‘Mystery Team’ Involved In Manny Machado Sweepstakes

The Manny Machado sweepstakes were narrowed to two teams Friday, or so we thought.

The New York Yankees appeared to withdraw consideration for Machado’s services when they reportedly agreed to terms with veteran infielder DJ LeMahieu. Not to mention, a new report indicated not all Yankees executives were on board with the idea of bringing Machado to The Bronx.

As such, the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox became the effective front runners to sign Machado in free agency. But ...

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QLE Posted: January 12, 2019 at 08:06 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, manny machado, mysteries, rumors

Friday, January 11, 2019

Orioles payroll to fall significantly in 2019 - BaltimoreBaseball.com

A year ago, the Orioles’ Opening Day payroll was $148.57 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. MLBTradeRumors.com estimates that this year’s Opening Day payroll will be just under $83 million.

Gone are Adam Jones ($17.3 million), Manny Machado ($16 million), Zach Britton ($12 million) and Darren O’Day ($9 million). Jones was on the final year of a six-year contract. O’Day has a year remaining on a four-year deal, and Machado and Britton were in the final years of club ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:17 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Dodgers trading for catcher Russell Martin

Low cost (in talent) move for the Dodgers which allows them to wait for their fantastic catching prospects to be ready.

The Dodgers appear to have addressed their catching situation for 2019, as they have acquired Russell Martin from the Blue Jays via trade. Los Angeles also yielded cash considerations, while Toronto netted Minor League righty Andrew Sopko and Minors infielder Ronny Brito. Sportsnet’s Arash Madani was first to report the swap.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:12 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dodgers, russell martin

Yankees add infielder DJ LeMahieu | MLB.com

A little protection/preparation for Didi Gregorius’ pending free agency?

New York agreed to a two-year, $24 million contract with free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu on Friday afternoon, a source confirmed to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. The agreement is pending a physical, and the club has not confirmed.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:10 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: d.j. lemahieu, yankees

How MLB’s Luxury Tax Has Put a Deep Freeze on Spending - WSJ

Players also should consider the unintended consequences of their decision to screw amateurs and foreign free agents. By limiting the amount of money teams can spend on those players (in the hope the money would then be spent on MLB players), they’ve increased the surplus value of those players. At the same time, by not pushing for higher luxury limits, by not pushing for higher minimum salaries, and by limiting the money spent on farm/international players, teams (especially high revenue ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2019 at 11:14 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, economics, luxury tax

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-11-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, January 11, 1919:

An effort will be made to have Thirdbaseman Dug [sic] Baird of the St. Louis National League club play at Vandergrift [Pennsylvania] next summer. Jimmy Beeson, who is to manage the team in the Westmoreland county town, said yesterday he already is in negotiations with Baird, and he has reasons to believe he will wean him away from the major league. Beeson shares the belief with Baird that St. Louis will try to mete out some sort of punishment to him ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 10:27 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Inside Kyler Murray’s football-vs.-baseball decision

Dan O’Dowd had a great idea last night on MLB Tonight. With the changes in the CBA it’s a lot more difficult for baseball to compete with football because of the limits on bonuses. He suggested a change in the CBA whereby a team can match an NFL bonus, so baseball can better compete with the NFL.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2019 at 09:57 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, kyler murray

What Explains Labor’s Declining Share of Revenue in Major League Baseball? by John Charles Bradbury :: SSRN

J.C. Bradbury looks at the dwindling players’ share of MLB revenues. The takeaway…

Player wages are not growing as fast has league revenue because player marginal revenue products have   been falling.  Observations of the returns to success over time indicate that player performance became less valuable during this time-period, which should lower the returns flowing to players
. The falling revenue share of MLB players is consistent with changes in labor’s share in the hospitality and leisure ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2019 at 09:28 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, economics


Steve Wright, Red Sox agree to $1,375,000, 1-year contract

BOSTON- Knuckleballer Steven Wright and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a one-year contract for $1,375,000, a raise of $275,000, in a deal that avoided arbitration.

An All-Star in 2016, the 34-year-old right-hander started the 2018 season late following left knee surgery and a 15-game domestic violence suspension. He made four starts and six relief appearances, went back on the disabled list in late June because of the knee, then returned in September.

Well, at least he can return to the ...

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QLE Posted: January 11, 2019 at 06:09 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, steven wright

Report: Will Middlebrooks to retire

Somewhere, some Red Sox fan is wondering what could have been….

QLE Posted: January 11, 2019 at 06:09 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, retirement, will middlebrooks

Will Mets’ near $200 million spending spree actually pay off?

Has a new era of New York Mets baseball arrived?

It almost feels that way, though we could never blame Mets fans for being skeptical.

Here’s what we know: After several offseasons where the Mets were barely a blip on the Hot Stove radar, new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has made up for lost time this winter. More significantly, he’s digging deep into the cash register and spending money the organization has seemingly tried to convince fans it didn’t have.

Given that this is the ...

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QLE Posted: January 11, 2019 at 06:09 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: brodie van wagenen, mets, mets being mets, robinson cano

MLB free agency is broken, and desperately needs to be fixed

Another glacial Major League Baseball offseason was briefly interrupted by a glimmer of hope Wednesday. One of the premier free agents had signed. Perhaps this would be the thing that finally opened the floodgates.

That joy faded the instant the contract terms were announced. One of the most coveted players on the free-agent market — a 30-year-old standout at a scarce position — took a one-year deal. It was yet another sign that baseball’s economy is broken, and desperately needs to be ...

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QLE Posted: January 11, 2019 at 06:09 AM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, yasmani grandal

Dustin Pedroia Set to Start Running Next Week

There really hasn’t been any positive news about Pedroia for a long while. We know he’ll put in the work to come back,whether his knee will comply is the question.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2019 at 06:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, red sox

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Fangraphs: James Paxton Is Not The “Next Sonny Gray”

Many Yankees fans are cynical about any pitcher on their way to New York. Some of this is because only a handful of pitchers in the world are “sure things.” Some of this is because the Yankees have a recent history of acquiring high-upside pitchers who ultimately disappointed in the Bronx. After that conversation, I thought it would be interesting to consider whether James Paxton is likely to implode in New York.

villageidiom Posted: January 10, 2019 at 09:00 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: fangraphs, james paxton, new york, new york yankees, sonny gray, yankees

Mets land Jed Lowrie with 2-year deal

The Mets are surely spending some cash.

The Mets’ aggressive approach to the Hot Stove season continued on Thursday, as MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand confirmed ESPN’s Jeff Passan’s original report that New York has signed free agent Jed Lowrie to a two-year deal worth $20 million. The club has not confirmed the deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:41 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: jed lowrie, mets

Jeren Kendall, Buddy Reed And The Fourth Outfielder “Floor”

Inspired in part by Kendall and Reed, I looked at every player who served as a reserve or platoon outfielder in the majors the last four seasons (2015-18).

Short version: the average major league reserve outfielder hit .283/.357/.439 in his minor league career. Barely any hit below .260 or had a on-base percentage below .325.

At present, Kendall is a career .225/.303/.380 hitter in the minors and has yet to play above A-ball. Reed is closer, but he still falls below the average with a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 01:08 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

Passan: Inside the wild, wonky world of MLB salary arbitration

To begin, the player’s side gets an hour to make its argument. After a 15-minute break, the team gets an hour. Following a 30-minute break, during which both sides finalize their closing arguments, the player’s side gets a 30-minute rebuttal and the team gets the same. Players often sit through a savaging of their accomplishments. Arbitration hearings are not for the weak of heart.

The arguments throughout a case run the gamut. Arbitrators have long rewarded home runs and saves, so they are ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 01:03 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration

Brian Dozier agrees to deal with Washington Nationals according to sources

On a related note, can Jeff Passan help ESPN regain some page views?

Free-agent second baseman Brian Dozier has reached an agreement with the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $9 million deal, league sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:08 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Houston Astros Scouting And Player Development Is Extending Team’s Contention Window

Houston won’t be getting a lot of high draft picks while they keep winning. Being able to churn their current prospect depth (which is greatly enhanced by their player development success) will be a huge factor in how long they can keep their window open. Trades like this show they understand how important churning will be for their future.

Houston’s scouting and player development has allowed the Astros to produce a large number of big league caliber players. They have produced large numbers ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2019 at 10:56 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Ex-Yankees hitting coach Rick Down dies at home in Las Vegas

After putting in six years as a Dallimore assistant from 1979 to ‘84, Rick Down would spend the next 27 employed by major league ballclubs. He would have two stints as major league hitting coach for the Yankees, and held the same job with the Dodgers, Red Sox, Orioles and Mets.

As manager at Triple-A Columbus, Down guided the Yankees’ top farm club to three consecutive division titles and a franchise-record 95 wins in 1992 before being bypassed for major league managerial jobs.

He came ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 10:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rick down

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-10-2019

Pittsburgh Press, January 10, 1919:

Many people are of the opinion that the adoption of the prohibition amendment by enough states to make the country entirely dry will have a helpful effect on baseball, and cause the national pastime to boom.
...
[Reds business manager Frank Bancroft:] “I can see where thousands of people will now change their daily route and go to the ball park. The suburban garden and saloon have taken thousands of people away from baseball—and now we’ll get them back again.” ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 10:02 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Orioles-Yanks, Mets-Nats start MLB’s regular opening day

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees host Baltimore and Washington is at home against the New York Mets on March 28, the first games of the earliest regular major league opening day.

The commissioner’s office announced games times Wednesday for the schedule, which was released in August. The previous earliest regular start was March 30 in 2003, 2008 and 2014.

The season opens with a two-game series between Seattle and Oakland in Tokyo on March 20-21, MLB’s fifth opener in Japan after ...

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QLE Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: neutral site games, opening day, schedule

Report: Jaime García to retire

Pondering what it means when people younger than me are described as retiring….

QLE Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: jaime garcia, retirement

Brewers bolster lineup, agree to terms with former-Dodger Yasmani Grandal

While the Cubs continue to sit on the sideline, the NL Central arms race keeps on moving along.

Wednesday night, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal have agreed to a one-year contract. The deal is pending a physical.

Fans might remember Grandal for his nightmare performance in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Brewers. That one game aside, the catcher is a solid addition that will bolster an already dangerous Brewers lineup.

Apparently, ...

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QLE Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, yasmani grandal

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