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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Explaining Cubs’ budget woes: Why Theo Epstein’s front office is limited this winter

Money makes the world go ‘round.

It’s also been the main topic of conversation during this pivotal Cubs offseason.

Fans want the Cubs to spend more money — namely on a guy like Bryce Harper, but really on anything or anybody that could help the team get back to the Promised Land.

In retrospective, taking his budget to the dog track was not Theo Epstein’s brightest idea….

QLE Posted: December 20, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: budget, cubs, theo epstein

Duane Kuiper: Giants will trade a pitcher but not Madison Bumgarner

It’s been a relatively quiet offseason for Bay Area baseball teams. And unless you’re the Mets or Mariners, you more than likely had a still offseason as well.

But as far as the Giants go, the question remains whether or not the team will trade Madison Bumgarner.

Well, despite multiple reports that this unicorn of a trade may not happen, the discussion has never gone away—especially for Duane Kuiper. In an interview with KNBR on Wednesday, the Giants broadcaster said he believes MadBum isn’t ...

QLE Posted: December 20, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: duane kuiper, giants, madison bumgarner, trade talk

Mets as NL East favorites in 2019? GM Brodie Van Wagenen is thinking that way during busy offseason

On the one hand, I’ve worked with people just as delusional- on the other hand, they were folk they didn’t trust with research budgets, much less anything as valuable as an MLB team….

QLE Posted: December 20, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brodie van wagenen, delusions of grandeur, mets being mets

Marshawn Lynch makes plea to Oakland City Council on behalf of A’s

The Warriors are leaving Oakland for San Francisco next year.

The Raiders are leaving Oakland for Las Vegas in 2020.

The A’s? They will be the last team standing in Oakland when the dust settles, and have announced plans for a new stadium at Howard Terminal. But, the stadium plan still faces plenty of hurdles before shovels can hit dirt.

What better way to pressure municipal government than using athletes from another sport?

QLE Posted: December 20, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, marshawn lynch, oakland

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

MLB, MLBPA announce agreement with Cuban Baseball Federation

On Tuesday, Francys Romero of CiberCuba reported that Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) reached an agreement on a posting system that would allow players to join the league without having to emigrate. An official announcement by the MLB and MLB Players Association was made on Wednesday.

Players who came from Cuba to the U.S. will be unaffected by the new agreement. The FCB will have to release all of their players who are at least 25 years old and have at least six ...

Greg Pope Posted: December 19, 2018 at 05:24 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: amateurs, cuba, posting rules

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-19-2018

Washington Times, December 19, 1918:

Charles Webb Murphy, who became rich as the owner of the champion Cubs under Frank Chance, has a scheme for a new league in the West. He would include Chicago, playing games at his West Side park, which is now without a tenant; Milwaukee, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Columbus, Louisville, Toronto, and Buffalo.

An independent or outlaw attempt at a third major league? Great idea, Charlie! Why hasn’t anyone tried this recently?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 19, 2018 at 09:53 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Texas Rangers: A familiar face is gone, but value for the future remains. Here’s where the Rangers stand after MLB winter meetings | SportsDay

This is a few days old but has a nice assessment of the Alex Claudio trade.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 19, 2018 at 08:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex claudio, rangers

The wooing of Manny Machado has begun with a three-city tour and that’s exactly what baseball needs

For as much as fans look forward to baseball’s Hot Stove season, let’s be honest, it lacks a bit of the pomp and circumstance that something with a name like “Hot Stove Season” deserves. Baseball fans look forward to the winter for trades and free-agent signings, but your average five-star high-school recruit usually makes a bigger public show than a baseball star about to sign a nine-figure contract.

Perhaps that will change in 2018-2019 Major League Baseball offseason, as Bryce ...

QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, hype machine, manny machado

Ex-Marlins president’s reaction to boos from Miami fans: ‘$1.2 billion, f—- you’

In case you you aren’t aware of former Miami Marlins president David Samson’s resume, it currently goes a little something like this:

becoming ex-Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria’s stepson
fighting off a RICO lawsuit over his mismanagement of the Expos
presiding over the laughingstock of Major League Baseball (the Marlins)
fleecing Miami taxpayers in a stadium deal that later triggered an SEC investigation
threatening to fire employees for letting an octopus win a mascot race
being the first ...

QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: david samson, how rude, marlins

Report: Mike Piazza’s family was unhappy to learn he had bought the ‘Pittsburgh’ of Italian soccer

By the sound of it, Mike Piazza had a plan for a pretty idyllic post-retirement life. Buy a small soccer team, eat in Italy and watch the kids grow up nestled in his family’s homeland.

One year later, the Mets great was yelling at a press conference about how his team was being pushed around and taken advantage of.

Two years later, he is now explaining to The Athletic how it all went so, so wrong.

For those of us who could use some comic relief in our lives….

QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: italy, mike piazza, soccer

Cubs Owners Discussed Moving Team Out Of Chicago During Beef With Mayor

Having trouble finding an article that is both covering this and which isn’t being needlessly inflammatory, but it is an interesting addition to our discussion of stadium-funding games.

QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dollah dollah bills, y'all, rahm emmanuel, ricketts

Matt Harvey, Angels Reportedly Agree to 1-Year, $11 Million Contract

Matt Harvey reportedly will have a new home in 2019.

The former New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds pitcher reportedly is set to sign with the Los Angeles Angels on a one-year deal, per Mark Feinsand of

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports and Jon Heyman of Fancred, Harvey’s deal could be worth as much as $14 million, with a base salary of $11 million and up to $3 million in incentives.

The sort of deal that explains why Mike Trout will spend next October sitting on his porch ...

QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, matt harvey

ESPN: Penny Marshall, director of ‘A League of Their Own,’ dies at 75

“A League of Their Own” chronicled the Rockford Peaches and the launch of the AAGPBL during World War II. The cast included Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Lori Petty and Rosie O’Donnell, and the film grossed $107.5 million domestically.

Hanks’ reprimand from the movie—“There’s no crying in baseball!’’—remains quoted on baseball diamonds everywhere.

For my money she directed either the best or second best baseball movie of all time.  And I am positive that people have yelled “there’s no ...


Rangers re-sign Matt Bush on minor league deal

ARLINGTON, Texas—The Texas Rangers are bringing back reliever Matt Bush with a minor league contract as the right-hander recovers from elbow surgery.

Texas said Monday that it has agreed to minor league deals with Bush, pitchers Zac Curtis and Tim Dillard, and infielder Chase d’Arnaud. They will report to major league spring training.

Would that I had as many chances as Matt Bush has had….


QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: matt bush, rangers

Dodgers announcer Steiner gets contract extension

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers have agreed to a contract extension with play-by-play announcer Charley Steiner, who will work a reduced schedule in 2019 at his request.

The team said Monday the deal extends through the 2021 season. Steiner, who is 69, is entering his 15th season with the Dodgers.

Follow him- to freedom!

QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, charley steiner, dodgers

Yankees pay Sabathia’s $500K bonus despite ejection in finale

CC Sabathia gave up half a million dollars to show he had his teammate’s back. Instead, the New York Yankees paid their veteran left-hander for his loyalty.

The 38-year-old pitcher was two innings from receiving a $500,000 for pitching 155 innings last season when he was ejected for throwing at the Tampa Bay Rays’ Jesus Sucre in the sixth inning of Sabathia’s final outing of the season. Rather than pitch out of the bullpen to get his bonus, Sabathia stayed at 153 innings.

A review of ...

QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bonus, c.c. sabathia, ejection

Final MLB Payrolls For All 30 Teams Show Second-Largest Decline Since 2004

Spending was down dramatically on player payroll in Major League Baseball for 2018, based on final payroll figures.

Based on figures provided by the Associated Press, the 30 clubs in MLB spent $4.548 billion on player salaries. That was down $115.388 million compared to 2017.

The decline in spending on player payroll is the first-time since 2010 ($2,911,575,488) to 2009 ($2,913,904,332) in Major League Baseball. The drop of $115,390,452 between 2018 and last year is the second-largest drop ...

QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:57 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: payrolls

Andrew McCutchen eager to play in hitter friendly ballpark

PHILADELPHIA-Andrew McCutchen returned to his home state to join his third team in less than 12 months, intent on regaining his old hitting stroke.

The Philadelphia Phillies introduced their newest outfielder at a news conference Tuesday, a week after giving him a $50 million, three-year contract that includes a team option for 2022 and could be worth $62 million over four seasons.

“This is a game of adjustments,” McCutchen said. “I’ve definitely had to make some adjustments over the years, ...

QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:57 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, phillies

Carlos Beltran reportedly joining Yankees’ front office as special advisor to GM

On the eve of their meeting with free agent Manny Machado, the New York Yankees have hired nine-time All-Star Carlos Beltran as a special advisor to general manager Brian Cashman, according to multiple reports.

Beltran, who spent three seasons with the Yankees (2014-16), shared the same agent (Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group) as Machado.

So, what do the Yankees do if Machado doesn’t sign?


QLE Posted: December 19, 2018 at 07:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, carlos beltran, special advisor, yankees

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

The Minnesota Twins will retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7 jersey next season, moving swiftly to honor the six-time All-Star who retired after a 15-year major league career.

Chris Fluit Posted: December 18, 2018 at 02:58 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: jersey numbers, joe mauer, twins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-18-2018

Washington Herald, December 18, 1918:

A report that Corp. Hank Gowdy, the first major league player to enlist in the army service in France, has been killed in action gained circulation last night. Many soldiers among those who arrived from France [this week] had heard that he had fallen in action.
Gowdy was expected to catch next season for the Boston Braves, and arrangements were being made to give him a warm welcome when he returned with other ball players from France.

I hope they didn’t ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 18, 2018 at 10:00 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, December 17, 2018

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon reveals the book he says is helping him manage millennial players

One in three American workers are millennials. In fact, this group is currently the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

To get a better grasp on how to manage and interact with this new generation of employees, many leaders are turning to outside resources for advice.

One of them is Chicago Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon. During day two of the team’s winter meetings, Maddon revealed that he plans to improve communication between the ...

QLE Posted: December 17, 2018 at 11:39 AM | 135 comment(s)
  Beats: book, joe maddon, managing, the generation gap

White Sox may shut down Eloy Jimenez following quad injury

White Sox’ no. 1 prospect Eloy Jimenez is likely to be removed from Dominican Winter League play following a recent quad injury, Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM reports. While the injury happened fairly close to the end of Jimenez’s scheduled playing time this offseason, it’s still of some concern for the club as the 22-year-old outfielder continues to move closer to his major league entrance in 2019.

On the plus side for the White Sox, this gives them a perfect excuse to play games with ...

QLE Posted: December 17, 2018 at 11:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: eloy jimenez, injury, quad, white sox

Here’s the scoop on Manny Machado’s visit to Philly

The Manny Machado Free Agent Tour is coming to Philadelphia.

Machado will be in town Thursday for a recruiting visit with Phillies officials, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The trip to Philadelphia is part of a busy week for the star infielder. Chicago-based baseball reporter Bruce Levine has reported that Machado will be in that city to visit with White Sox officials this week and George King of the New York Post reports that Machado will visit the Yankees in New York ...

QLE Posted: December 17, 2018 at 11:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agent, manny machado, philadephia, visit

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-17-2018

Washington Times, December 17, 1918:

Capt. Tyrus Raymond Cobb, U. S. A., the Detroit baseball star, announced today that he is “tired of baseball,” and intends to “break away” from it.

“I am going down to my home in Augusta, Ga.,” declared the famous batsman, who has just returned from overseas service, “and rest up for several months. I intend to break away from baseball. I am tired of it. I’ve had fifteen years of it, and I want to quit while I am still good.

Cobb played another ten seasons, ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 17, 2018 at 10:14 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sunday, December 16, 2018

MLB: Mets to sign catcher Wilson Ramos

The Mets have agreed to a two-year contract with free-agent catcher Wilson Ramos, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. The deal is pending a physical and worth $19 million, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

I don’t like it, they still haven’t done anything mind-numblingly stupid.

manchestermets Posted: December 16, 2018 at 05:03 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, wilson ramos

NY Post:  Lenny Dykstra reveals his new life as an amateur Torah scholar

That’s Ashkenazi money, bro.

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 16, 2018 at 04:30 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: lenny dykstra

Campaign to make Negro League bobbleheads

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Fans of the former Negro Leagues are being asked to help a campaign to create bobbleheads of 30 stars from the leagues—with a goal of commemorating the league’s upcoming centennial.

Organizers of the effort, which was unveiled Wednesday, have created a team of 30 Negro Leagues stars who would be honored with bobbleheads if the campaign raises enough money. The first bobblehead of pitcher Satchel Paige of the Kansas City Monarchs has already been produced.

cardsfanboy Posted: December 16, 2018 at 09:00 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: bobbleheads, kickstarter, negro leagues

Yonder Alonso headed to White Sox in trade with Indians

The Chicago White Sox have acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso in a trade with the Cleveland Indians, the teams announced Saturday.

The Indians will get minor league outfielder Alex Call in the deal.

The trade comes after Cleveland acquired first baseman and designated hitter Carlos Santana as part of a three-team deal with the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays.

Suddenly, Alonso was Yonder more than he had ever been Yonder before.


QLE Posted: December 16, 2018 at 04:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: trades, white sox, yonder alonso

Red Sox owe $12 million in luxury tax, showing why they’d want to shed payroll

Wondering why the Red Sox would consider trading key contributors such as Rick Porcello and Jackie Bradley Jr.? This might be a big reason why.

According to the Associated Press, the Red Sox owe around $12 million in luxury tax payments after having the highest payroll in baseball this past season. The Nationals are the only other team to pay the tax, but their total was down around $2 million.

The Red Sox will also face a new penalty. Because they were $40 million over the luxury tax ...

QLE Posted: December 16, 2018 at 04:29 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, luxury tax, red sox

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