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Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Twitter: Scott Lindholm: Big Contract Performance

 

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

How can the Nats be better without Bryce Harper? It’s fundamental, really. - The Washington Post

The article says the Nationals are putting more of a focus on the clubhouse this off-season. It’s hard to believe this unnamed vet is one of the team’s leaders.

Though few mention it, subtracting Harper, while it will cost 34 homers, a .899 career OPS and some amazing hair flips, would help any team improve its attention to fundamentals. When the most famous player on the team can’t go 10 days without failing to run out a groundball or overthrowing a cutoff man by 15 feet or throwing to the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

How the Mariners are using data, biomechanics and technique to build a better catcher – The Athletic

How much of Omar Narváez’s inferior defense a product of player development? I guess we are going to find out.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:10 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, omar narvaez

MLBPA’s Tony Clark calls Rob Manfred’s comments on payroll ‘unconstructive and misleading at best’ - CBSSports.com

Of course, building through the farm is the right way. Free agent spending should be a last resort, especially at the top of the market. It’s a way to finish off your team. It’s not a great way to build.

There are multiple ways to build a good roster, but spending on veteran talent remains the most villainized approach. Teams instead sell their fans on building the “right way,” which just so happens to double as the most cost-efficient way. Budget space is not, within itself, inherently ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:54 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa

Chicago Cubs: Tom Ricketts addresses father’s racist emails

When asked directly why the Cubs didn’t spend any more money this winter, Ricketts said the answer was simple:

“We don’t have any more,” he said. “We have to have flexibility in the future. ... We’ve been in the top five spending the last few years, and we put our money back onto the field. You can’t have a high-profile free agent every single year.

“The way we look at it, you got to think long-term, it’s not just one season. We think we have a very, very good team. I think ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen hoping higher spin rate will help him sizzle

ESPN’s statistical database, which might differ from what the Dodgers carry internally, had Jansen with an average spin rate of 2,302 RPMs in 2017, ranked fourth among the 274 pitchers who compiled at least 60 innings. In 2018, Jansen’s RPMs dropped to an average of 1,867, ranked 61st.

Jansen wasn’t worried about those numbers before.

“He didn’t need to be,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “It was elite—don’t mess with it.”
Editor’s Picks

Prior seeks the ideal ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, kenley jansen

Reds’ Joey Votto tries to rebound from subpar season

GOODYEAR, Ariz.—Joey Votto has spent the offseason trying to make sure he doesn’t have another subpar season.

The Cincinnati Reds star led the National League in on-base percentage last year but hit just 12 homers, his fewest in a full season, and batted .284, his lowest since 2014. He had 67 RBIs.

“It was the first year where I had a poor offensive year,” Votto said. “It is hard to speak on this without sounding arrogant. I’ve always performed at a certain level. Last year was a bit of a ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:58 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks, joey votto, reds

Clark: Some teams make little effort to justify ticket costs

NEW YORK (AP) — Players’ union head Tony Clark took the extraordinary step of saying baseball fans should question whether it makes sense to purchase tickets for some teams, responding to Commissioner Rob Manfred’s assertion that free-agent players have failed to adjust their economic demands in a market upended by analytics.

Top free agents Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel remain unsigned with spring training under way, creating tension during negotiations ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, rob manfred, ticket prices, tony clark

Jorge Posada on joining Marlins: ‘Perfect timing’

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — A black cap with the Miami Marlins’ new neon logo sat atop Jorge Posada’s graying hair Monday, a jarring sight for fans who recall he spent his entire playing career with the New York Yankees.

But Posada switched allegiances to return to the majors, and he’s at spring training as a special adviser to his close friend and former teammate, Marlins CEO Derek Jeter.

“Perfect timing,” Posada said Monday. “Derek approached me sometime in January and said, ‘Do ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, detectives believe alcohol was involved, jorge posada, marlins

Moreno says Angels have had internal talks on new Trout deal

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno said the team has had internal discussions regarding a new contract for outfielder Mike Trout, who can become a free agent after the 2020 season.

The two-time AL MVP is owed $33.25 million in each of the next two seasons, completing a $144.5 million, six-year contract.

“One of the last interviews I gave I said it’s not in the back of our mind but in the front of our minds,” Angels Moreno said Monday.

Chief among those internal ...

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QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:47 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, arte moreno, mike trout, waste

Royals looking to build on strong finish to 2018

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals lost 104 games in 2018 despite finishing the season 20-14. They hope they can begin this season like they ended the last one, and not the way they’ve started in recent years.

“These guys made a lot of progress from the middle of August all through September,” Royals manager Ned Yost said Monday before the club’s first full-squad workout. “They played really, really good and exciting baseball.

“Does that mean we’re automatically going to come in ...

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QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:45 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, it's not where you start, it's where you finish, ned yost, royals

Miguel Cabrera faces pitcher for 1st time since June arm injury

LAKELAND, Fla.—Miguel Cabrera hit against a pitcher Monday for the first time since rupturing a tendon in his left biceps on June 12.

The 35-year-old hit, fielded, threw and ran the bases during the Detroit Tigers’ first full-squad workout of spring training.

“I feel good about being back on the field and playing,” the two-time AL MVP said. “I can’t be hurt this year. I want to do my job.”

Cabrera first strained a hamstring last year and then had the arm injury that required season-ending ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: arm injuries, miguel cabrera

Rangers SS Andrus in much different spot with Beltre retired

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP)—Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus prepared for the first full-squad workout at a different locker than in past springs.

Now 30 and going into his 11th season, Andrus is in a much different place than just his spot in the clubhouse.

With star third baseman Adrian Beltre now retired, Andrus will be assuming a bigger leadership role on a team with a lot of 20-something position players in the lineup with him.

Sorry, folks, this article doesn’t mean that Andrus is moving ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:36 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian beltre, elvis andrus, rangers

Mets, St. Lucie County reportedly near agreement for stadium renovations

The Mets and St. Lucie (Florida) County are reportedly nearing an agreement to renovate First Data Field, where the Mets spend spring training, and keep the team there until 2042, according to the TC Palm’s Keona Gardner.

Amid a report last week that indicated the Mets could have “blown up” their stadium renovation deal, the two sides will bring forth a contract to county commissioners on Tuesday that outlines the renovation project, according to Gardner.

The project would cost $57 million, ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, spring training, stadium deals

MLB notebook: Padres reportedly offer Machado up to $280 million

The San Diego Padres are willing to sign free agent infielder Manny Machado to an eight-year contract worth between $240 million and $280 million, USA Today reported on Monday.

The contract offer includes “heavily deferred” compensation, the newspaper said, citing two people familiar with the negotiations.

Machado also has received an offer from the Chicago White Sox. While the exact offer isn’t known, and various reports have been disputed, it is believed to be in the seven-year, $175 ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, manny machado, padres

A’s Rickey Henderson, ‘gung ho’ for Kyler Murray, once had shot with Raiders

MESA, Ariz. — Rickey Henderson heard all the Kyler Murray comparisons. He knew the A’s top draft pick last year was a 5-foot-10 outfielder with speed and power, and that scouts were dropping Henderson’s name when describing Murray.

“We were all gung ho to see him here — especially me,” Henderson told The Chronicle. “You know me — I was like, ‘Who’s like me? Let me see him!’”

Henderson, the greatest player in franchise history, is in Oakland’s camp as a visiting ...

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QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: football, rickey henderson, two-sport athletes

Monday, February 18, 2019

DenverPost/Saunders: Rockies’ Ian Desmond facing big challeng playing center field at Coors Field

Where can you hide Ian Desmond?

Ian Desmond, a former shortstop and most recently the Rockies’ primary first baseman, is preparing for his next assignment: patrolling the wide-open spaces of Coors Field. Specifically, at age 33, Desmond has been pegged to play center field as the Rockies shift all-star Charlie Blackmon, 32, to left.

Also: another DP article quotes Bud Black saying Blackmon is moving to right, which makes sense. David Dahl is the incumbent in left.

puck Posted: February 18, 2019 at 08:48 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, sunk cost

Giants manager Bruce Bochy will retire after 2019 season

Next stop Cooperstown?

“It’s a gut feeling that it’s time. It’s been an unbelievable ride,” Bochy said. “I have so much to be thankful for, the players, the city, the fans. It’s time now.”

Bochy has been the Giants manager since 2007. He’s certain to win his 1,000th game with the franchise at some point early this season (he’ll enter with 975 wins) and will look to improve upon his 50.2 winning percentage. Bochy, with a career record of 1,926-1,944 needs 74 wins to hit 2,000 for his MLB ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 04:48 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: bruce bochy

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-18-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, February 18, 1919:

Capt. Christy Mathewson, the former Giant pitcher and at one time the country’s greatest baseball idol, returned from France today on the troopship Rotterdam. Big Six looks bigger and stronger than ever, and says he feels so good that he could go in and pitch a winning game at a day’s notice.

I know that the commonly told story is that Mathewson was gassed in France and never really recovered, but it sure sounds like he was fine at this point. ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 10:02 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

J.D. Martinez: ‘For a DH to win MVP, they’re going to have to walk on water’

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Many were surprised last year when J.D. Martinez finished outside of the top three in MVP voting, but Martinez saw it coming.

Martinez’s numbers jumped off the page in 2018. In his first season with the Red Sox, the 31-year-old mashed his way to a .330 batting average, 43 home runs and 130 RBI. Still, he finished fourth behind teammate Mookie Betts, Angels superstar Mike Trout, and Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez.

While his teammates were stunned to see him fail to ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dh, jd martinez, mvp

Albert Pujols predicts he’ll be everyday player at age 39

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Albert Pujols has a bold if unrealistic prediction for his 2019 season.

“I’m expecting to play 162 games,” the Los Angeles Angels first baseman said Sunday. “One hundred ninety games I’m going to play this year, including spring training.”

A month past his 39th birthday, Pujols is an 18-year big league veteran, 10-time All-Star and three-time MVP.

I haven’t the heart to tell him- do you?

 

QLE Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, angels, best shape of his life

After Keller, Royals hope to hit again on Rule 5 picks

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — As a rule five draft selection, Brad Keller was a surprising success with Kansas City last season.

The rebuilding Royals are hoping to do it again with Chris Ellis and Sam McWilliams.

Kansas City plucked Keller from the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the right-hander rewarded them with a stellar rookie season, going 9-6 with a 3.08 ERA while making 20 starts. He was named the organization’s pitcher of the year, and he’s going into 2019 as the team’s No. 2 starter behind ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brad keller, chris ellis, royals, rule 5 draft, sam mcwilliams

MiLB mourns passing of Artiaga; Baseball ‘lifer’ served as Minor League president from 1988-91

Minor League Baseball President and CEO Pat O’Conner today released the following statement regarding the passing of former Minor League Baseball President Salvatore B. “Sal” Artiaga at the age of 72:

“It is with great sadness that the Minor League Baseball family mourns the passing of former President Salvatore B. “Sal” Artiaga, who passed away last night in Palm Harbor, Florida. Sal joined the Minor League Baseball office in 1983 and became President in 1988. His time as President was the ...

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QLE Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: milb, rip, sal artiaga

Stroman unhappy with Blue Jays’ lack of veteran leadership

Toronto Blue Jays star Marcus Stroman lamented the lack of veteran leadership at the MLB franchise ahead of the upcoming season.

It will be a new-look Blue Jays in 2019 after Charlie Montoya replaced John Gibbons as their manager in October.

The Blue Jays also released Troy Tulowitzki and traded Russell Martin to the Los Angeles Dodgers, having dealt Josh Donaldson in August and farewelled Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista previously.

Proof that it isn’t just managers who have an odd ...

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QLE Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marcus stroman, veteran leadership

Rob Manfred blames Bryce Harper for going unsigned

Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to ...

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QLE Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, hot stove, rob manfred

Ian Happ trying to force his way into Cubs second base picture

MESA, Ariz. — Don’t write the obituary on Ian Happ’s career as a second baseman just yet.

The versatile young player started 28 games at second base during his rookie year in 2017, but did not see a start in 2018 and played just 3 innings at the position the entire season.

Thats not a trend that typically bodes well for Happ’s future at second base.

Rumors that he removed second base from Wrigley and is hiding it in a cold-water flat on the West Side are, as of yet, unproven.

  ...Read More...

QLE Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, ian happ, second base

Yelich, Brewers focus on clean slate after near-miss in 2018

PHOENIX (AP) — Christian Yelich has already had conversations with some of his Milwaukee Brewers teammates about their biggest message this spring after coming up one win short of the World Series.

“What you did last year means nothing basically. Whether it was good or bad for you as an individual or as a team, it means absolutely nothing. It doesn’t matter,” Yelich said. “We all start with a clean slate. It’s all what are you going to do in 2019 to help the Brewers win.”

Even for the young ...

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QLE Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, christian yelich

Rob Manfred: MLB will use pitch clock during spring training

Like it or not, a pitch clock is coming to an MLB spring training game near you.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters Sunday that the league would be making use of a pitch clock during spring training, though it will pretty much only be a cosmetic change as it won’t carry penalties.

This change comes as MLB officials reportedly push to use a pitch clock during the 2019 season in negotiations with the MLB Players Association, though it doesn’t mean an agreement has been reached ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: manfred is thinking about it, pitch clock, spring training

NY Post: Davidoff: The factors that conspired to create MLB’s free-agent freeze

4. A change in team strategies. Though a winter transactions deadline has seemingly never existed, teams used to eye the December holiday season as an ideal time to finalize the major touches on roster renovations. They had tickets to sell, obviously, and the more time to pound the drums on their new and improved products, the better.

Gradually, it occurred to many clubs: Whatever they lost in ticket sales from playing the calendar differently could be recouped and then some by waiting out ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

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