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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hall of Fame voting shifts in Jeff Bagwell’s favor - Houston Chronicle

Is there any other actual “evidence”?

Fairly or not, last year’s election of Piazza also helped Bagwell’s case. As home run hitters who played in the steroid era, each long faced similar obstacles to election. Both have been suspected by writers of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs despite never failing a drug test or showing up in the Mitchell Report. (Both also admitted using the testosterone-boosting androstenedione back when it was legal in MLB.)

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2017 at 03:07 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jeff bagwell

Materials From Jim Bouton’s ‘Ball Four’ Days Going Once, Going Twice ... - The New York Times

Has anyone here not read the book?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2017 at 03:06 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: books, jim bouton

Sunday Notes: Baseball Scotland, Projections, Posada, more | FanGraphs Baseball

I’m always amused when I hear/read something like this. Why don’t we do it when we talk about everything?

Football — what we Americans call soccer — rules Scotland’s sporting scene. Rugby runs a distant second, while golf, which was invented in St. Andrews, probably ranks third in terms of popularity.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2017 at 08:54 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Nick Cafardo: Manny Ramirez’s desire to keep playing is being supported all over baseball

Sorry about the lack of links yesterday. Slept right to my alarm yesterday (which never happens) and didn’t get to post anything before leaving in the morning. The festivities of my sim league auction started at 8 AM breakfast and continued until about 10 PM. It was a long but awesome day. 

Dumbest decision of the season.

Steven Wright, RHP, Red Sox — Wright is still rehabbing his right shoulder but feels he’ll be full-go for spring training. Wright has been dealing with bursitis and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2017 at 08:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: manny ramirez, notes

Friday, January 13, 2017

Rangers sign right-hander Tyson Ross | MLB.com

The Rangers have not yet announced the deal, but Ross has chosen to sign with the Rangers over the World Series champion Cubs. Sources confirmed Yahoo!‘s Jeff Passan’s report that the contract is worth $6 million plus incentives.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2017 at 07:31 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, rangers, tyson ross

The Ballot 7: Larry Walker

I came to Walker’s Hall of Fame case a bit later, I admit. I’ve thought from that start he deserves to be a Hall of Famer, but I was busy obsessing over Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell and Mike Mussina and how to handle the PED era players to be too worried about him. Last year, the 10-man ballot crunched me … and I did not vote for Walker. I believed him to be Hall of Fame worthy, absolutely, but he was 11th on my 10-man ballot. I’ve come around to a slightly different view: It’s time to ...

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Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-13-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, January 13, 1917:

Threats of David L. Fultz, president of the Baseball Players’ Fraternity, to call a strike of between 600 and 700 players unless their demands are granted before the beginning of the 1917 season were answered by B.B. Johnson, president of the American League, here [last night].
...
“We never again will listen to any proposal he may offer,” President Johnson said. “We invite him to carry out his bluff…The American League will see that Fultz is crushed; ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 13, 2017 at 09:33 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, labor relations, union

2017 Organizational Reviews | 2080 Baseball

Prospect mavens need to bookmark this page.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2017 at 07:54 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect reports

Brewers urge Junior Guerra out of winter ball | MLB.com

Venezuelan baseball fans were abuzz Thursday after Junior Guerra told reporters he would make a pair of starts in that country’s winter league playoffs.

Not so fast, the Brewers say.

Contrary to the suggestion made in Venezuelan news reports, the Brewers have not endorsed Guerra’s participation with Tiburones de La Guaira, according to a source, and are discussing the matter with Guerra’s agent, Peter Greenberg.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2017 at 07:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, junior guerra

Orioles to use ‘file-and-trial’ arbitration approach; will it hurt relations with core players? - Baltimore Sun

The team is now employing a “file-and-trial” approach with all of its arbitration-eligible players, meaning they will only negotiate with those players up until Friday’s 1 p.m. deadline for exchanging salary figures. If a deal isn’t reached by then, players will go to an arbitration hearing.
...
But the Orioles’ top arbitration-eligible players remain in negotiations – including third baseman Manny Machado, right-hander Chris Tillman and closer Zach Britton. And at this point, they ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2017 at 07:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Of Andrew Benintendi, Rusney Castillo, and growing pains - Over the Monster

Even if his winter league play this year is a true indication that he’s made an important adjustment, Rusney Castillo probably isn’t an option for the Sox. On the radio yesterday someone (can’t remember who) made the point about Castillo’s contract being an issue for his call-up. Castillo is no longer on the 40-Man so his $11 million contract no longer counts toward the luxury tax. If the Sox recall him, he’d put the Sox over the threshold, which is something they clearly don’t want to do. ...Read More...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2017 at 07:32 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew benintendi, red sox, rusney castillo

Payoff for long-term deals a mixed bag | MLB.com

Tracy Ringolsby looks at the history of 10+ year contracts.

The intention is good.

An organization reaches out to a high-profile player, provides him with long-term security, looking to show its fan base a commitment to success.
It, however, is a gamble.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2017 at 07:09 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, long-term contracts

The many reasons why Sandy needs to move Bruce for good of Mets - NY Daily News

You trade a player when you feel you are getting a fair return (a debatable value). Alderson’s patience isn’t a flaw.

We’ll see about all of that in Port St. Lucie. For the moment, the priority is unloading Bruce. It doesn’t mean Alderson was wrong to be patient, waiting for the logjam of free-agent sluggers to clear and perhaps leave some team in need of Bruce’s power.

The Blue Jays, for example, still seem like a viable trade partner, but only if they don’t wind up re-united with Jose ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2017 at 07:03 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: jay bruce, mets

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mets, Zack Wheeler Avoid Arbitration, Agree On $800K Deal

Zack Wheeler and the Mets have avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year, $800,000 contract for this season.

WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman reported on the deal Wednesday.

Wheeler, 26, has not pitched in the majors since 2014. The right-hander tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm and underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2015.

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 12, 2017 at 02:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, zack wheeler

Do the Orioles and Mark Trumbo really want a reunion this offseason? | FOX Sports

Trumbo recently asked the O’s for a three-year, $50 million contract, but later indicated that he would sign a deal of the same length in a lesser $40 million to $50 million range, according to major-league sources.

The willingness of Trumbo to accept a three-year deal below $50 million — after the two sides reportedly discussed four-year contracts at higher guarantees earlier this off-season — would at least appear to create room for negotiation. The Orioles made Trumbo an ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2017 at 11:47 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mark trumbo, notes, orioles

We assigned cooler names to old players to get them into the Hall of Fame

His career ERA+, however, was 104. To put it another way, if Tim Lincecum comes back and pitches for five seasons at an Ervin Santana level, he’s basically the modern day Catfish Hunter. Yet, there’s no way Lincecum would get the same kind of Hall of Fame support that Hunter did. What’s the difference?

My theory is that Catfish Hunter was one of the best baseball names ever, and it added to the mystique whenever he came to town and blew your team away. Scott Kazmir (who also has a career ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 12, 2017 at 10:50 AM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: catfish hunter, hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-12-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, January 12, 1917:

Bill Fischer, who is expected to do a large share of the Pirate catching next season, is going about things in a manner suggesting he intends to be Callahan’s first-string maskman.
...
The former Cub has taken on 14 pounds since he put away his glove and mask and he takes his gain in weight as an indication that he will have a successful season, barring accidents.

“In 1915,” says Fischer, “I reported 10 pounds overweight and had my best season. I had ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 12, 2017 at 10:32 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Gordo: Cardinals stockpiling trade chips for Mozeliak | Jeff Gordon | stltoday.com

The Cardinals aren’t dead yet.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2017 at 10:17 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Drew Anderson hoping to make quick rise through Phillies’ minor league ranks | PhillyVoice

After watching Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin, and others graduate to the big leagues in the last two seasons, the Phillies will be eager to see the next wave of young pitching make their own case for a chance to call Citizens Bank Park home in 2017. Anderson was one of seven pitchers added to the 40-man roster in mid-November, along with Mark Appel, Ben Lively, Ricardo Pinto, Nick Pivetta, Alberto Tirado, and left-hander Elniery Garcia.

Anderson probably isn’t likely to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2017 at 10:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Checking in on Chase Utley’s Hall of Fame chances

Better argument than I could have made, and he’s my favorite Phil since Schmidt, but I guess he comes up short…

Utley was part of the core that led the Phillies during the most successful period in their history and to a championship. He may not have hit 58 home runs or stole more than 40 bases in a season like Ryan Howard or Jimmy Rollins, but he was arguably the most valuable part of that team. Utley is worth 63 career WAR, the highest among 2007-2011 Phillies not named Roy Halladay ...

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eddieot Posted: January 12, 2017 at 10:03 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, phillies

Joe Maddon focuses on one word for Chicago Cubs’ 2017 message - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

The word is not “sandwich”.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2017 at 09:29 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Maness a trailblazer? New surgery for elbow repair cut recovery time | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

When Seth Maness shut his eyes before a surgeon opened his right elbow, the former Cardinals reliever was not sure what awaited him on the other side of sleep. The troublesome ligament in his throwing arm had to be fixed and a complete reconstruction would mean missing an entire season.

He went under unsure.

He woke up a potential trailblazer.

Maness is a week away from returning to the mound and expects to be ready for opening day, just 7½ months after surgery, because Dr. George Paletta ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2017 at 09:10 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: tommy john surgery

Why did the Mariners trade touted pitching prospect Luiz Gohara?

Gohara followed his breakout 2016 season at Class A by indeed throwing extremely well in the AFL, striking out 19 in 11 2/3 innings. Some scouts look at his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and see a young CC Sabathia.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2017 at 06:21 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, luiz gohara, mariners

Mariners Add Intriguing Arm in Shae Simmons | FanGraphs Baseball

That’s a lot of walks.

The Mariners hope he can hone his delivery and command, which have been inconsistent. He walked more than six per nine during two minor-league rehab stops last season. But he’s limited opponents to 11 walks in his brief 28 innings of major-league work to date, and his stuff appears to be intact, if not improved, following his injury.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2017 at 06:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, shae simmons

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NON-ROSTER INVITEE THREAD

It might be good to have an all-purpose NRI thread. Who has your team brought in? I’ll start with the Phillies who unsurprisingly mostly have prospects, with only Pedro Beato, Pedro Florimon, and Daniel “Pedro” Nava in the “hopeful journeyman” category.

The notable prospects who were invited to camp were SS J.P. Crawford, 1B Rhys Hoskins, OF Andrew Pullin, 2B Scott Kingery, and RHP Victor Arano. It will be Crawford’s second invite to camp, and he is widely expected to take over as the ...

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Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 11, 2017 at 11:40 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: nris, phillies

Okay, Now the 2017 Mariners Are Interesting | FanGraphs Baseball

I agree.

Steamer has Smyly projected for +2.5 WAR in 164 innings, while ZIPS came in at +2.0 in 143 innings, so both projections have Smyly as a quality pitcher when he’s on the mound. There are definitely durability concerns, given that he missed most of 2015 with shoulder problems and chose to rehab rather than have surgery, but a healthy Drew Smyly is a pretty good starting pitcher. And he’s replacing close-to-replacement-level arms, bumping Ariel Miranda or Chris Heston from the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 10:18 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Former Giants closer Casilla nearing deal with A’s - SFGate

Athletics buying low.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 08:24 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, giants, santiago casilla

Mariners make 2 trades to land Drew Smyly | MLB.com

Dealing Dipoto makes another one two.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 05:17 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: drew smyly, mariners

Rangers Get Cheap Price On Cuban Infielder Luis Yander La O | BaseballAmerica.com

Luis Yander La O? Is that really his name? My database might not like him.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 02:41 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, rangers

Hall of Fame: Why Tom Verducci won’t vote for steroid users | SI.com

Some people don’t know how to use a check book. That doesn’t mean nobody should have a checking account.

Wins Above Replacement

Like RBIs and saves, Wins Above Replacement is a semi-junk stat. Bill James has no use for it, yet some writers wield it incessantly. It is a measurement of nothing. It is an approximation, an attempt to roll everything about a player into one number. So it’s useful as a rule of thumb, like walking off the distance between two points and using your strides to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 02:20 PM | 125 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, steroids

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