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Friday, January 22, 2016

Sources: Yoenis Cespedes torn between five-year offer from Nationals and his desire to stay with Mets, who won’t go beyond three years | FOX Sports

Or, more likely, the Nationals are the only serious bidder and his agents are floating this rumor to extract a larger offer from the Nationals.

By all accounts, he enjoyed his brief stay with the Mets, who acquired him from the Tigers July 31—Cespedes’ third trade in 12 months. Changing teams again might not appeal to him. Joining the Nationals also might concern him, given the number of strong personalities in their clubhouse. The Nats hired Dusty Baker as manager in part to help mold the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2016 at 05:28 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mets, nationals, yoenis cespedes

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Prospect Watch: Top 10 Catchers for 2016 | MLB.com

Top ten catchers.

1. Willson Contreras, Cubs
One of the top breakout prospects of 2015, Contreras led the Southern League in both batting (.333) and extra-base hits (46), and he set personal bests in most offensive categories. Signed out of Venezuela as a third baseman in 2009, he moved behind the plate in 2012 and has continued to make strides defensively. Contreras’ athleticism and arm strength give him a good chance of sticking at the position, though his receiving still needs work.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2016 at 08:52 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: catchers, prospects

National League could adopt DH by 2017, Rob Manfred says

Chatter about the National League adopting the designated hitter has heated up, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Thursday told reporters the issue could very well be addressed in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement that goes into effect in 2017.

The American League established the DH in 1973 and has since enjoyed advantages over the National League during interleague play regardless of which league hosts the game. American League teams are 23-19 in the World Series since the DH was ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 04:52 PM | 121 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitter, national league, rob manfred

2016 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline Moved To Aug. 1

“And THE LORD said the Seventh Day is the Sabbath, and there shall be no trade deadline unto you.”

Because the typical non-waiver trade deadline of July 31 would have fallen on a Sunday this summer, Major League Baseball has pushed the deadline back 24 hours, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter). This year’s non-waiver trade deadline will come on Monday, Aug. 1 as a result of the switch. Nightengale doesn’t include a specific time, but it’ll presumably be the same 4pm ET. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 03:01 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: trade deadline

Rays signing Steve Pearce to a 1-year deal

The Rays are signing Steve Pearce to a 1-year deal pending a physical, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

Pearce, 32, will get at-bats at DH, 1B and in the outfield. The Lakeland native has played parts of nine seasons in the majors, the last three with Baltimore.

Pearce had a spectacular 2014 season, hitting .293 with 21 homers, 49 RBIs and a .930 OPS in 102 games but fell off considerably last year, hitting .218-15-40-.711 in 92 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 02:08 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, steve pearce

Who conned the Red Sox out of a contract?

Per Bill James, who’s in a much better position to judge than the rest of us:

We get all kinds, but there are more highly motivated professionals than anything else. In the thirteen years I have been in Boston I guess we have had three players who basically conned us out of a contract and then showed up with no apparent desire to earn their money; can’t give you names, obviously, but it does happen occasionally. None in the last five years. Occasionally you get players who, after signing what ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 01:42 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, red sox

Baseball Prospectus: Too Easy to Say ‘Just Play Baseball’

Because telling young football players to just play baseball isn’t that simple.

First of all, most young athletes don’t have the choice. Not every two-sport high schooler is Deion Sanders, or even Jeff Samardzija. Consider how small a segment of the population can play high-level college or pro baseball or football, and consider how much smaller a segment of the population is capable of doing both. Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, a 20-yeear-old listed at 6-foot-4, 312 pounds, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 01:36 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: bonuses, football, salaries, tommy john surgery

Yankees about to go full year without Major League signing

Here’s what I’ve been told: The Yankees are not planning to sign a Major League free agent this offseason.

I’m certainly not the only reporter hearing such a thing. The Yankees have taken on some money in trades, and they’re about to pay a bunch of money to arbitration eligible players — and they committed a ton of money two years ago — but it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that the Yankees will not sign a single Major League free agent this winter.

The Yankees’ last ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 12:48 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, yankees

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Reluctantly Accepts Alternative Sentence Of Coaching Troublesome Youth Sports Team

“All right, guys, let’s get something straight—I don’t want to be here, and you don’t want to be here, so let’s just try to get this season over with,” the organizer of the deadliest terror attack in modern history reportedly said when first meeting the rambunctious youngsters in their overgrown practice field, where trash can lids were used as bases and the entire team was sharing a single worn-out ball. “The U.S. District Court for Southern New York says that for the next two ...

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Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 21, 2016 at 11:50 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: satire

Profar claims he’s healthy after missing 2 years

Profar was able to play in just 12 Minor League games on medical rehabilitation assignment at the end of the season and another 20 in the Arizona Fall League. He was used exclusively at designated hitter, but Profar said the Fall League work was productive. He was 20-for-75 (.267) with two home runs and 20 RBIs in 20 games.

“Yeah, it was good to play again, to get the feeling, because I played against good pitchers,” Profar said. “It was great.”

Profar is on the big league roster, but the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 11:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jurickson profar, rangers

Venezuelan Summer League Shuts Down

The Venezuelan Summer League is shutting down for the 2016 season. With several teams having pulled out of their Venezuelan academies in recent years, the VSL was down to just four teams—the Cubs, Phillies, Rays and Tigers—in 2015. According to multiple sources, the Cubs decided to pull out of the VSL this year, so with just three teams remaining, the league is cancelling the 2016 season.

It’s the latest move in a trend of teams reducing their presence in Venezuela, a country rich in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 11:11 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: venezuelan summer league

Is Dexter Fowler a better option for White Sox than Yoenis Cespedes? - Chicago Tribune

Isn’t Eaton a better defender than Fowler in centerfield?

Aside from being more affordable, Fowler seems like a better clubhouse fit than Cespedes, who already has been on four teams. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said last October: “(Fowler) always has a smile, he’s always bouncing around the clubhouse, he’s very loose and confident in his abilities, sometimes in almost a brash way. And that’s great with our team.”

It’d be great for the Sox too. And it would allow manager Robin Ventura to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2016 at 10:12 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: dexter fowler, free agents, white sox, yoenis cespedes

Washington Nationals pursuing Yoenis Cespedes after missing out on fellow free-agent outfielder Justin Upton, major-league sources tell Ken Rosenthal | FOX Sports

The Nationals?

Which position would Cespedes play?

The Nats recently acquired Ben Revere, presumably to play center, possibly in tandem with Michael Taylor. Jayson Werth, guaranteed $42 million over the next two seasons with a full no-trade clause, is the left fielder. National League MVP Bryce Harper is in right.

The addition of Cespedes likely would mean that either he or Harper would be in center. The Nats, however, want Revere to play regularly—they acquired him in part to be their leadoff ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2016 at 09:14 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, nationals, yoenis cespedes

Prospect Watch: Top 10 LHPs for 2016 | MLB.com

1. Julio Urias, Dodgers
He doesn’t turn 20 until August, and he’s already knocking on the door. Urias has an outstanding combination of stuff and pitchability well beyond his years. He has three plus pitches with outstanding command. The only thing he doesn’t have is innings. Urias has yet to top even 90 innings in a season, but that shouldn’t hold him back for too long.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2016 at 09:12 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-21-2016

Toledo News-Bee, January 21, 1916:

An injury caused by a slide to the plate will result in amputation of the right leg of Jim Baskette, former Cleveland, Toledo and Kansas City pitcher, say reports from Chattanooga, his home.

A piece of bone has been removed from Baskette’s leg, but there are signs of decay, physicians say. Southern league fans are raising a fund to aid the ball player.

That really sucks. According to the newsletter of the Baseball Players’ Fraternity, the injury wasn’t thought ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim baskette

Mets sign left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo to bolster bullpen

It’s not the free-agent signing that fans are pining for, but getting lefthanded reliever Antonio Bastardo on Wednesday might prove to be very important for the Mets.

The team agreed with Bastardo on a two-year, $12 million deal. If that sounds like a lot for a set-up reliever, it’s similar to what others like Mark Lowe, Steve Cishek, and John Axford − all righthanders − have received this winter.

Bastardo, meanwhile, was one of the few quality lefties in this free-agent market. ...

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Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 21, 2016 at 02:34 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, mets

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Raissman: Francesa insists WFAN exit plan isn’t a ploy

Not very original. Howard Stern performed this act every three of four years while working for K-Rock.

Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa’s Retirement Announcement Tour rolled on Wednesday with His Holiness again saying he will call it quits when his contract expires in 2017.

“It’s not a negotiating ploy,” Francesa contended during his WFAN soiree. “...What I said is true. It’s going to be the end of the road as far as doing this everyday. That’s what the plan is.”

Francesa first ...

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JEe (Jason) Posted: January 20, 2016 at 03:25 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: blowhards, douchebag, fatass, idiot, mike francesa, my aching head, radio

Yankees Hot Stove: Brian Cashman on free agency - Video

Brian Cashman talks about his off-season process.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2016 at 10:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, yankees

The solution for the Mets is easy: Just sign Yoenis Cespedes | FOX Sports

Do Mets fans really want him back for five years?

The solution for the Mets is easy – so easy, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.

Sign Yoenis Cespedes.

Sign him to a five-year, $120 million contract with a two-year opt-out and a ton of deferred money.

Cespedes, 30, could claim victory – he would get the long-term security he wants and a higher average annual value ($24 million) than Justin Upton ($22.125M).

The Mets would win, too – the five-year term is shorter than ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2016 at 10:45 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mets, yoenis cespedes

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-20-2016

Toledo News-Bee, January 20, 1916:

Secretary J.H. Farrell of the National Association of Professional Baseball leagues has issued a list of Federal league players “now free agents and authorized to sign where they please.” On the list is Milo Packard, a former Kansas City Fed, who was killed accidentally last spring trailing a shotgun through a fence.

Cross him off, then.

On second thought, maybe don’t cross him off. Eugene Milo “Gene” Packard pitched for Kansas City in 1914 and 1915 and lived ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, gene packard, history

Juan Lagares part of productive Mets outfield | mets.com

Is Lagares’ elbow healed?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2016 at 09:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: juan lagares, mets

WaPo: Former NFL receiver Antwaan Randle El regrets ever playing football

“If I could go back, I wouldn’t” play football, he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a Steelers-themed project posted Tuesday. “I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn’t play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game of football. But right now, I could still be playing baseball.”

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 20, 2016 at 07:19 AM | 214 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

LOOK: The fences are being shortened at Marlins Park - CBSSports.com

Earlier this offseason the Marlins announced they will both lower and move in the fences at Marlins Park in an effort to make the park more hitter friendly. The dimensions down the lines will remain the same, but the walls will be brought in in the power alleys and center field.

Also, the fences will be lowered substantially in some places. The old walls ranged from 11 1/2 feet to 13 feet high. With the new layout, some fences will be as low as 5 1/2 feet. Here’s an update of the construction, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2016 at 07:04 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, stadium renovations

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Peter Gammons: Davis and the Orioles, Hanley Ramirez, and the scout-analytic balance - GammonsDaily.com

Who actually thinks scouts can be replaced by analytics? What are “real, trusted scouting eyes”? Analytics are part of the game. The scouts who embrace that change will be more valuable scouts. Scouts who lament the changes and fail to evolve will be replaced.

Dennis Gilbert—”Go Go” from his days as a Red Sox farmhand—held his annual Scouts Dinner Sunday night, one of the great events of the winter. Per this Bob Nightengale column in USA Today. Scouts, real scouts who do not sit in lunch ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2016 at 07:05 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

MLB settles lawsuit, enables fans to stream games of just one team

MLB.TV streaming package for $84.99 per year, for the next five years.

Additionally, the full league-wide package will be offered for $109.99, a 15% reduction from the $129.99 cost in 2015. That package enables fans to view any game on any mobile device.
...
MLB has also agreed to lift streaming blackouts of in-market games by the start of the 2017 season, albeit with a couple caveats.

It only applies to networks owned by DirecTV (Root Sports), Comcast (CSN) and 21st Century Fox (Fox Sports ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2016 at 05:50 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb.tv, streaming, television

Are the Tigers Really Too Right-Handed?

To the Leftorium!

On one hand, maybe league-average against more than half the league’s pitchers could be considered an issue, given the amount of money invested in this lineup and the expectations that follow. On the other hand, a cursory glance at recent history reveals that Cabrera’s outperformed this year’s projection for each of the last seven seasons, by an average of 27 points. Since reinventing himself as a hitter in 2014, J.D. Martinez has been 30% better against righties than ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2016 at 03:17 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: justin upton, tigers

MLB investigating Yu Darvish’s possible role in gambling ring

Say it ain’t you, Yu.

Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is under investigation by MLB for his possible role in an illegal gambling ring run by his brother Sho, The Japan Times reported Tuesday.

Sho Darvish was arrested in October after being accused by authorities of placing bets on American and Japanese sports. He and seven others were accused of taking 18.5 million yen, or $150,000, worth of bets based on the scores of 16 MLB games and 28 Japanese professional baseball games from May 12-18. It’s ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2016 at 02:36 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling, rangers, yu darvish

Pete Rose to be inducted into Reds Hall of Fame

Pete Rose is going into the Hall of Fame.

No, Rob Manfred hasn’t had a change of heart. The all-time hits leader will be honored as a member of the Reds Hall of Fame.

“Inducting Pete into the Reds Hall of Fame will be a defining moment in the 147-year history of this storied franchise,” team president Bob Castellini said Tuesday (via WXIX-TV) in a prepared statement. “He is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Reds uniform and it will be an unforgettable experience watching him ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2016 at 08:52 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: pete rose, reds

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-19-2016

Pittsburgh Press, January 19, 1916:

If the American League records, as they should, took account of the Red Cross passes received by the players and added them to the athletes’ total of regulation gifts, Tyrus Cobb would have been the Johnsonites’ champion hiker last season. The Dixie Demon, who drew one less complimentary than Eddie Collins, was hit by the slabmen six more times than the White Sock and therefore was deadhanded to first five more times than the former Mackman.
...
“Doc” Johnston ...

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