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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tag: Zips

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections - Toronto Blue Jays

Is there any team more happy about baseball adding a second wildcard spot than the Toronto Blue Jays? In the short-term at least (and probable long-term unless the top AL East teams start showing some serious incompetence), Toronto's prospects improve considerably if they don't have to better both the Red Sox and Yankees to make the playoffs. That obviously helps Tampa Bay and Baltimore as well, but the Jays are in that sweet spot where it's pretty darn useful - the Rays can compete for the ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:26 AM | 42 comment(s)
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections - Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays plan to win in 2012 the same way they usually do: pitching, defense, and catching just enough lightning in a bottle on offense around their core. The team is, at least by ZiPS, just behind the Red Sox for 3rd place, but the winter is over and given how relatively quiet the team has been with minor-league signings (outside of Luke Scott, they've made very few), they've still got some empty bottles to fill.

Tampa won't have that starting rotation, forever. A team competing on a ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:01 PM | 29 comment(s)
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Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections - Kansas City Royals

If you watch the Food Network, you might have come across a competitive cooking show called "Chopped" in which chefs are given baskets of mystery ingredients. Some ingredients are pretty cool, some ingredients have tremendous use in specific areas, and some ingredients are downright awful. Each one of the chefs that survive each round have to use all the ingredients together in a non-horrible way. < That's a lot how the Royals are right now. There are a lot of the ingredients of a winning team in the future. Some of them are finished, quality products, like Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. Some of the ingredients, like Eric Hosmer and Johnny Giavotella, are exciting to work with. But a lot of the team's prospects, at this point, fall into the category of "interesting" like most of the pitchers having at least one serious flaw or concern to worry about. All these ingredients are scattered and all over the place and the Royals at this point, are still going to likely struggle to hit 75 wins.

There's still a lot more offseason left, but as of now, the good news is that there really ...Read More...

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 13, 2012 at 03:11 PM | 31 comment(s)
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Sunday, January 08, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections - Cincinnati Reds

The Reds had a reasonable argument at being competitive in the NL Central last season (ZiPS had them tied with Brewers, just ahead of Cardinals), but the starting pitching pretty much abandoned the team, with the exception of Johnny Cueto. The addition of Mat Latos obviously improves the rotation, but the team has a bit less depth now and there are less emergency options in the rotation with Travis Wood in Chicago (ZiPS still believes in him enough to give him a ERA+ of 100 there) and Matt ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: January 08, 2012 at 01:05 PM | 34 comment(s)
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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections - Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers projections go up and just about the perfect time: after Betancourt is gone, after Ramirez is signed, but before Fielder signs elsewhere. Fielder's a great player, but the Brewers really do have a solid team that can survive even the loss of their best hitter, especially given that the Cardinals are doing the same thing with the loss of their franchise player.

I'm not too thrilled with the way the whole Aramis Ramirez thing worked out. Aramis is probably a better player than ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:11 PM | 24 comment(s)
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Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles play in a beautiful, clean, park, with convenient light rail access and a short trip from Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and Canton. For crabs, take Eastern Boulevard to Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn or head to L.P. Steamers near Fort McHenry. If crabs aren't your thing, I'm very partial to Della Norte in Little Italy or, if you want to try Baltimore's non- barbecue barbecue, pit beef, Chaps Pit Beef or Pioneer Pit Beef.

Next Up: Milwaukee Brewers

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Dan Szymborski Posted: December 30, 2011 at 06:15 PM | 48 comment(s)
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Colorado Rockies

I complain every year about the bipolar nature of Colorado's plans, a yearly awkward mix of rebuilding and pushing for the division, but that's almost a broken record at this point. Though I guess trading Ubaldo Jimenez for good prospects but then signing an average-hitting, below-average defensive Cuddyer for his declining years for $10 million a year just adds to the hilarity.

Colorado's pitching staff is underrated, as usual. The Coors park factors had been down for awhile, probably ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:39 PM | 24 comment(s)
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Atlanta Braves

Despite the disappointing final month of the season (to put it lightly), the Braves are still a dangerous team. The pitching staff is young and quite deep and rather than try to emulate the Braves success developing pitchers, I think it's reached the point at which other organizations should simply abduct all the people that work on player development and simply force them to scout and train prospects, at knifepoint if need be. Or, I guess, they could hire them, but that's slower.

While two ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: December 22, 2011 at 07:40 PM | 28 comment(s)
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Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Houston Astros

At some point, to bash the Houston Astros simply becomes piling-on. The 2011 Astros were not only a lousy team, but a team that applied lousiness consistently across all the various aspects of baseball, and needed 6 WAR from the departed Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn just to get up to 56 wins. The long reckoning expected by observers for an organization that had a GM in Ed Wade that simultaneously ignored the major leagues, the minors leagues, and any kind of thrift, finally came to pass, ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2011 at 06:34 PM | 54 comment(s)
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - St. Louis Cardinals

As I generally mention when a good, not great team wins the World Series, the most dangerous trap that team can fall into is the tendency to "bring back the band" and try to keep the roster pretty much the way it was during their championship season. A great team has a little more room to rest on their laurels, a very good team doesn't. The San Franciso Giants were the most recent team to fall into the trap and when an offense that had a lot go right to just finish 9th in scoring in 2010 had ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: December 17, 2011 at 02:15 AM | 31 comment(s)
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Los Angeles Dodgers

Within last year's projections, I described the 2010 season as a disappointing year that was more "bland mediocrity than explosive failure." That's the same kind of season the Dodgers had in 2011, a kind of bland mediocrity with a notably bright pinnacle, like seeing Ron Swanson backstage after a Nickelback concert. That pinnacle, of course, being Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and the real NL MVP, Matt Kemp, who, at in bWAR, made up half the value of the entire team in 2011. Of course, ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: December 10, 2011 at 09:54 PM | 26 comment(s)
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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Minnesota Twins

Not a lot of good news for the Twins in 2011. ZiPS had them slipping significantly from 2010 and while they did just that, they more than exceeded the projected dropoff. A lot to do with it is Mauer and Morneau being injured, ineffective, or frequently both, a plot twist so bad that M. Night Shyamalan would disavow it. For video game nerds out there (there's a lot of crossover), it's almost Final Fantasy VIII plot twist-bad.

The Twins may not fully realize it, but they're a team that's ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: December 06, 2011 at 09:02 PM | 31 comment(s)
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - San Francisco Giants

While the inclusion of Carlos Beltran and to a lesser extent, Cody Ross, makes the offense look better than it is, it's not really quite as bad as finishing last in the NL would have you believe. There's solid front-line talent, mostly under 30 (practically a toddler by Sabean years) and the biggest problem was getting that talent to stay on the field. Thanks to injuries to the team's two best players, one serious (Posey) and one annoying (Sandoval) and the Ghost of Outfielders Past ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: November 30, 2011 at 08:17 PM | 34 comment(s)
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Seattle Mariners

The 2011 season for the Mariners was less disappointing than 2010, though mostly because the expectations were significantly lower going into this year. The Mariners didn't have a whole lot in the way of pleasant surprises as none of the possible bouncebacks really bounced back and most of the legacy prospects (the older prospects that have been hanging onto the second tier on the prospect lists for a few years) didn't take any steps forward. That Vincent Catricala, who's not really a ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: November 27, 2011 at 07:23 PM | 42 comment(s)
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Los Angeles Angels

Like the last team projected (White Sox), it's very interesting to see what route the White Sox take this winter. Despite ZiPS' favoritest young prospect, Mike Trout, the Angels have a pretty low upside offense, with Hunter and Abreu starting to show their age and a lot of average-ish players that aren't problems, but not exactly feared middle-of-the-order guys. The Angels think they have surplus outfielders, but they really don't. The Angels led the AL in ERA, but that's also top-heavy ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: November 20, 2011 at 12:51 AM | 17 comment(s)
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Chicago White Sox

That didn't go too well, did it? The White Sox find themselves at a crossroads, where they have just enough talent on the team to compete in the AL Central, but not enough depth that they can really handle nasty surprises. In 2011, the performances of Adam Dunn and Alex Rios and the continued lack of value from Jake Peavy (the Sox have paid him roughly $34 million for 3.6 bWAR) hit the White Sox hard enough that problems that the team could have overcome in isolation (growing pains from ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: November 17, 2011 at 06:27 PM | 21 comment(s)
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Detroit Tigers

The Tigers aren't really a 95-win team - there are a lot more players likely to have worse seasons than better in 2012 - but while the Tigers would have an issue repeating in the AL East, there aren't any teams in the AL Central that are all that scary. The team's top-heavy and has some depth issues that need to be taken care of prior to the season as they can't simply enter another season with Brandon Inge at 3rd and Ryan Raburn is a Plan B or C starter, not a Plan A one.

Another starter ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: November 10, 2011 at 06:23 PM | 33 comment(s)
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Thursday, November 03, 2011

2012 ZIPS Projections - New York Mets

Obviously not a great year for the Mets at 77-85, but if you just went by the tenor of the media reports, thanks to the Wilpon/Madoff turmoil, you'd think the Mets played like the 1993 edition that went 59-103. The team spent most of the year, playing "sort of OK-ish" and while never really in any kind of risk of being relevant, weren't Astrotastic horrible.

The pitching staff is interesting in that while it was one of the worst in the league (the 89 ERA+ was 15th of 16 teams in the ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: November 03, 2011 at 06:07 PM | 81 comment(s)
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Philadelphia Phillies

Not a whole lot of surprises here. A ton of hitters that played in the organization get projected this year, mostly because the team employed a massive number of semi-familiar names this year. Brent Clevlen! Rich Thompson! Tagg Bozied! A lot of the minors looked a bit like the 2004 waiver wire in your fantasy baseball league.

The starting pitching made up for a lot of sins in the form of an overrated offense and should continue to do so, even if they can't bring Roy Oswalt back at a ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: October 30, 2011 at 06:28 AM | 55 comment(s)
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Chicago Cubs

Epstein! That's pretty much the big news in Cubs baseball the last month. It's still hard to tell what direction exactly Epstein will take the Cubs, but it's likely that the list of players employed by the Cubs in 2012 will look very different than the list of players below. Epstein wasn't brought in with giant sacks full of money in order to politely churn Jim Hendry's assemblage of awesomeness.

On the plus side, the Cubs aren't really as decrepit a team to rebuild as the Houston ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: October 27, 2011 at 05:24 PM | 65 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Boston Red Sox

Despite the September collapse, the Red Sox managed to still win 90 games, but the collapse is what will be remembered about this team in the year 2050. Hopefully, as we listen to baseball games in our rocket cars or watch with our virtual reality Ballparksperience contraptions. Still, what it came down didn't really have much to do with beer drinking in the clubhouse (drinking beer and playing video games seemed to work just fine for the 5/6th of a season during which the team was one of ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: October 25, 2011 at 09:08 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, zips


Monday, October 24, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - New York Yankees

And heeeeeeeere come the pretzels!

Just a reminder, that I'm going in reverse from last year. Starting next year, I'm going to randomly draw for order.

ZiPS is rather grumpy again about the Yankee starting pitching. Banuelos and Betances still have a lot of upside, but ZiPS is suspicious about them immediately making an impact in the rotation, given that they both walked way too many batters in AA. The good news for Yankees fans, of course, is that the team has an open wallet and is likely ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: October 24, 2011 at 03:52 PM | 72 comment(s)
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