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Saturday, December 07, 2019

Numbers Suggest Mike Trout’s Best Days Are Already Behind Him

Why? Well, as with seemingly everything else in baseball these days, all roads lead to launch angle.

Once you place among the 10 highest average launch angles in either league (among the top 250 or so in batted balls), you’re asking for trouble. Virtually every player meeting that criteria since 2016 has declined or disappeared in pretty short order. You see, extremely high average launch angle is an “old player” characteristic.

Mikey, we hardly knew ye.

eric Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:45 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: mike trout, sabermetrics

An honest look at the Pirates’ frugal free-agent history under Bob Nutting – The Athletic

There’s not an owner who would say the way to win a World Series is by building a core with free agents alone. But there’s a big difference between not using free agency as a primary source of talent acquisition and … this:

Free Agency Graph

Since Nutting became the Pirates’ principal owner on Jan. 12, 2007, no team has spent less in free agency than the Pirates.

(A note on the numbers: While there is no official, publicly available list of all free-agent signings, data was pulled from free-agent trackers on ESPN and MLB Trade Rumors to compile as comprehensive a list as possible of free agents who have signed major-league deals since the 2006-07 offseason. This time frame was selected in order to analyze trends under the Pirates’ current ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2019 at 07:35 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, pay site, pirates

Friday, December 06, 2019

Padres hire former Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former New York Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild has been hired in the same position by the San Diego Padres.

Rothschild is one of several newcomers on rookie manager Jayce Tingler’s staff announced Thursday. Rothschild spent the last nine seasons with the Yankees before being fired after last season. He replaces Darren Balsley.

Other newcomers include bench coach Bobby Dickerson, first base coach Wayne Kirby, and Ben Fritz as bullpen coach. Dickerson comes from the Phillies and Kirby from the Orioles. Fritz enters his sixth season with the Padres organization and his first at the big league level.

Any thoughts on the merits of this hire?

 

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:40 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: larry rothschild, padres, pitching coaches

MLB Winter Meetings Will Be Scott Boras’s Show Once Again

Rarely have the annual baseball Winter Meetings belonged to one agent the way the ones next week belong to Scott Boras. He represents the three free agents this winter who are expected to sign contracts of at least $150 million: pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg and third baseman Anthony Rendon.

No agent ever has negotiated three free agent deals that big in the same offseason, and when Boras is done he will have negotiated 12 of the 37 biggest contracts in history.

Oh, and by the way, he also represents free-agent pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dallas Keuchel, outfielder Nicholas Castellanos and third baseman Mike Moustakas, who already signed with Cincinnati for $64 million over four years.

By the time Boras is done he will have ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:34 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: scott boras, winter meetings

Sources: Yankees make signing righty Gerrit Cole top offseason priority

The New York Yankees have made signing right-hander Gerrit Cole their clear offseason priority and have ownership-level approval to offer him a record-setting deal, sources familiar with their plans told ESPN.

The Yankees’ fondness for the 29-year-old Cole, whose fantastic 2019 season with the Houston Astros set him up to smash David Price’s record $217 million contract for a pitcher, was only reinforced during a meeting with him earlier this week, sources said.

New York and the Los Angeles Angels, a team similarly smitten with Cole and in even greater need of pitching, are preparing for a bidding war that executives expect will reach well beyond $250 million, according to sources. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ interest in Cole is acute as ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:27 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, gerrit cole, hot stove, yankees

Ahoy, San Diego: 2019 Winter Meetings Preview

Commentary on what to expect from the Winter Meetings- here is a sample of this approach:

Major League Baseball vs. Minor League Baseball

One thing a lot of people don’t know about the Winter Meetings is that it’s put on, primarily, by Minor League Baseball as an organization and the vast majority of the people on the ground at the Winter Meetings either run or work for or are trying to sell stuff to minor league teams. Almost every team’s owner comes and brings along some staffers. Coaches, trainers, scouts, and other team employees who spend most of their year out in the bushes as opposed to back at the big club’s home base attend meetings and hobnob with one another.

Normally that’s all pretty routine. This year, however, ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:21 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, free agents, hall of fame, managers, minor leagues, rule 5 draft, trades, winter meetings

The Hall of Fame Case for Thurman Munson

To share an opinion against my own:

The case against his induction:

We cannot know where Munson’s career would’ve ended up had he not died in that 1979 plane crash. The big question — unanswerable in my view — is what to do about that with respect to his Hall of Fame case.

Given that Munson had shown a pretty noticeable offensive decline in 1978 and the first half of 1979, it seems analytically unwarranted to make assumptions that he’d have continued to be an elite-hitting and fielding catcher for several more years into the 1980s. Of course it also seems kind of heartless to say “welp, sorry, he only played ten and a half seasons, so he falls short.” I suppose this is part of why I left Munson’s story for last. I really ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:17 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, thurman munson

The Hall of Fame Case for Ted Simmons

As is the case for Lou Whitaker and Dwight Evans, a lot of Simmons’ value came in statistical categories that weren’t appreciated nearly as much during his career as they would be later, leading him to be underrated.

On-base percentage was huge, as he notched a .348 OBP in his career and a .367 OBP during his best seasons, 1971-1980. Durability was another one that was not as admired as much during Simmons’ time. Catching is the toughest position physically speaking but he racked up 150+ games behind the plate an astounding eight times. If that were to happen today we’d be calling the guy a freak of nature. At the time it was noted, but perhaps not as much as it should’ve been.

Not that everything he did flew under the radar. ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:14 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ted simmons

Phillies plan to pursue free-agent 3B Anthony Rendon, despite luxury tax implications

The Philadelphia Phillies, luxury tax be damned, plan to strongly pursue free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, with third baseman Josh Donaldson as a potential fall-back plan, two people with direct knowledge told USA TODAY Sports.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Phillies have yet to publicly declare their intentions and have not met face-to-face with Rendon.

The Phillies, who signed Zack Wheeler on Wednesday to a five-year, $118 million deal, would go over the $208 million luxury tax for the first time with the potential signing, but it has not deterred owner John Middleton and the Phillies’ aggressiveness in free agency. The Phillies landed the biggest free agent a year ago with the signing of outfielder ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, hot stove, phillies

Report: Nationals bring back postseason hero Howie Kendrick on one-year deal

The World Series champion Washington Nationals and Howie Kendrick, the National League Championship Series MVP, reportedly agreed to a free-agent contract on Friday.

Kendrick’s deal with the Nationals is for one year and $6.25 million, and it includes a mutual option for 2021. In 2020, he’ll make more than he did in the past two years combined — the most recent contract Kendrick signed was the two-year, $7 million deal he inked with the Nationals after the 2017 season.

A 10th-round pick in 2002, Kendrick is a .294 hitter over his 14-year career. He’s thrived in what’s become more of a part-time role. Over the past three seasons, he’s batted .325 with an .888 OPS. This past season in Washington was one of the best of his ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:07 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, howie kendrick, nationals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-6-2019

Pittsburgh Press, December 6, 1919:

Connie Mack, boss of the Athletics, who jumped into the American league fight with a verbal assault on the New York club, has received a broadside from Col. Huston, part owner of the Yankees.

Among other things Mack said the Yankees were in a poor position to start another league as they didn’t have a park to play in. Among other things, in answering him, Huston said: “We have a team and no park, but the Athletics are not that well off. They have a park and no team.”

Zing!

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:40 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Captain Obvious

“...But Andruw Jones didn’t decline. He collapsed. Andruw Jones got hurt, got fat, and fell off a cliff at the age of 31. The best center fielder to ever grace a ball field was relegated to DH and spot starts in left. It was like watching Jimi Hendrix play Creed covers at a local bar.”

gehrig97 Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:30 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: andruw jones, barry bonds, bobby abreu, curt schilling, jeter, larry walker, roger clemens

What we know about the Angels’ deal with Anaheim - Los Angeles Times

The last and most important question: Can the Angels still afford to sign Gerrit Cole?

Yes, but the cost probably would not be much less than — to pick a not-so-random number — $325 million. Maybe the Angels could throw in naming rights for a new ballpark and replace Angel Stadium with Cole Field.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:26 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, stadium deals

Padres-Rays Trade: Tommy Pham, Hunter Renfroe Headline Intriguing Deal (Report)

The Padres acquired outfielder Tommy Pham from the Rays on Thursday night. In exchange, they sent away 2019 home run leader Hunter Renfroe and highly-regarded prospect Xavier Edwards.

Pham is the fourth major leaguer the Padres acquired to plug into their starting lineup or rotation in the last eight days. They acquired outfielder Trent Grisham and righthander Zach Davies from the Brewers on Nov. 27 and second baseman Jurickson Profar from the Athletics on Dec. 2

The deal, while agreed upon, is not yet finalized. MLB.com’s Juan Toribio reports it’s possible the Rays could acquire one additional prospect who has yet to be named.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:25 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, rays, trade

Nationals Owner Says Team Cant Afford Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon

tl;dr “Beyond tapped out”

Lerner also suggested the free agency process is generally misunderstood outside of baseball circles.

“They think you’re really back there printing money and it’s whoever goes to the highest bidder,” Lerner said. “It’s not that way at all. You give these fellas—there’s a negotiation that goes on, but…We’ve been pretty successful in free agency over time. You’re not going to get everybody. Certain players may want to go home, closer to where their home is. You never know the reason why people move on.

Bote Man Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, cheap owners, nationals, payrolls, strasburg

The Best Post-Season Games Ever Pitched

Don Larsen doesn’t top the list.
Don Larsen doesn’t top the list?!??
Don Larsen doesn’t top the list.

gehrig97 Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, roger clemens, roy halladay, world series, yankees

Scar Tissue - By Bobby Jenks

She snapped some pictures with her phone and then showed me that the bottom of my incision, about three-fourths of an inch of it, had burst open. That’s where the fluid was coming from. And it was just flowing out, too. It was constant — almost like a faucet that had been opened just a tiny, little bit. When we were able to get a look, we saw that it wasn’t blood. It was this weird clear liquid.

Neither of us knew what to do at that point. We couldn’t get ahold of the doctor who’d performed the surgery, so we just kept bandaging me up. But we needed to change the dressing on my incision a bunch of times because it just wouldn’t stop leaking fluid. I had to wake up three or four times that night to switch out the gauze, and the ...

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Thursday, December 05, 2019

Rays in listening phase entering winter meetings

`TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays head into the upcoming winter meetings in the listening phase about ways to improve a roster that came within one win of reaching the American League Championship Series last season.

“Do we have to do a lot of things? No,” Rays senior vice president of baseball operations Erik Neander said Thursday. “This offseason is a little bit different in terms of, like the needs of this club are not nearly as clear-cut and defined as they’ve been in years past.”

The franchise with baseball’s smallest payroll at just over $66 million looks to build on an outstanding 2019 in which the Rays took Houston to a deciding fifth game in the AL Division Series in their first postseason trip since 2013.

...
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QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:19 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Twins to add more safety netting at Target Field

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins announced Thursday they will make further extensions to safety netting at Target Field next season, the third such enhancement they’ve made in five years.

The new netting along the left-field line will extend an additional 85 feet from the previous endpoint and 8 feet from the previous height, making that side about 275 feet long and 22 feet high.

Along the right-field line, the net will stretch 65 feet longer and 7 feet higher, to about 255 feet long and 21 feet high.

 

QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: netting, twins

Pair of South Korean players made available to MLB teams

NEW YORK (AP) — NEW YORK — Two 31-year-old players from the South Korean League have been posted by their clubs and made available to major league teams.

Negotiations may start Friday with left-hander Kwang-Hyun Kim of the SK Wyverns and outfielder Jae-Hwan Kim of the Doosan Bears, the commissioner’s said Thursday. A deal must be reached by Jan. 5 at 5 p.m.

Interesting- I sincerely didn’t realize that Korean baseball had the posting rules that Japanese baseball has.

QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jae-hwan kim, korean baseball, kwang-hyun kim, posting rules

Still Waiting on Cooperstown, Marvin Miller Gets a Fitting Induction Elsewhere

This Hall of Fame season, like several before it, has invited baseball to reckon with the question of Marvin Miller. This is not so much a question about him—Miller’s influence is too obvious to be much debated—as it is a question about the Hall, what it means for the institution to exist without him and what sort of baseball history can be written around him. (Given that Miller’s work as the first director of the players’ union created the very structure of the modern game, it seems fair to say that the answer is a peculiarly partial one.)

Yet Miller has been put on the ballot four times for the Veterans Committee, twice for the Expansion Era Committee, and now twice for the Modern Baseball Era Committee, and he’s been passed ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:00 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: marvin miller, smithsonian

Report: Twins, Michael Pineda agree to two-year, $20 million contract

Pierre Noujaim of Fox9 Minneapolis reports that the Twins and free agent starter Michael Pineda have agreed on a two-year contract. The Athletic’s Dan Hayes confirms Noujaim’s report and adds that the deal is for $20 million.

Is it just me, or is the hot stove a little hotter than it has been the last couple of years?

 

QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, michael pineda, twins

The Hall of Fame Case for Tommy John

The case for his induction:

He had a long career — 26 seasons! — in which he was almost always an above average pitcher. In the end that led to some pretty impressive numbers: 288 wins, a 3.34 ERA, 4,710.1 innings pitched and a WAR of 62.1 WAR. Only Nolan Ryan pitched in more seasons than John and the only pitcher of the modern era with more wins than John who isn’t in the Hall of Fame is Roger Clemens who, as we know, is a bit of a special case for Hall of Fame purposes.

Beyond his pitching stats John is obviously notable for being the first recipient and namesake of Tommy John surgery. The procedure has revolutionized baseball, has saved countless pitching careers, and John was proof of concept.

It certainly revitalized John’s ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, tommy john

The Hall of Fame may have a Harold Baines problem

This weekend a veterans committee from the Hall of Fame will give 10 oft-debated Cooperstown candidates another look. Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Lou Whitaker and Tommy John are among those wondering if this is the year they finally get a call to the Hall.

This weekend we’ll also learn whether Cooperstown — as many people have feared for the past year — now has a Harold Baines problem. Because if Harold Baines is in, then Dale Murphy now makes a lot more sense, right? What about Dave Parker? Dwight Evans? Aren’t they better candidates now?

We’ll find out in a few days. The vote happens Sunday at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, from one of the Hall of Fame’s veterans committee. Nowadays, these committees are defined by era ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:40 PM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, harold baines, veterans committee

Nationals owner Mark Lerner says team can’t afford Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon

The prime question as soon as Stephen Strasburg opted out of his contract was this: Could the Nationals afford to bring back Strasburg and Anthony Rendon? According to managing principal owner Mark Lerner, the answer is no.

“We really can only afford to have one of those two guys,” Lerner told Donald Dell in an exclusive interview. “They’re huge numbers. We already have a really large payroll to begin with.”

Lerner’s public stance suggesting Strasburg and Rendon is an either-or proposition for the defending World Series champions is new. Is it surprising? Not necessarily. Lerner could flatly state the organization is going to find a way to pay both. However, that’s poor negotiating. Being in between serves multiple needs: ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:33 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, cheap owners, nationals, stephen strasburg

Mets acquiring center fielder Jake Marisnick from Astros

The Mets are acquiring Jake Marisnick from the Astros for prospects Blake Taylor and Kenedy Corona.

Marisnick, 28, is a right-handed hitter with a strong defensive acumen and appears to be the Mets’ choice to replace Juan Lagares, whose 2020 option the team decline earlier this offseason.

Taylor, 24, is a right-handed reliever who rose to Triple-A this season with a 2.16 ERA split between three levels. Corona, a 19-year-old outfielder, hit .311 for the Port St. Lucie Mets in the Single-A Gulf Coast League in his first season in the Mets system. Neither is considered a high-level prospect.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 05, 2019 at 11:42 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, jake marisnick, mets

Brewers trade with Seattle for left-handed-hitting catcher Omar Narváez

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting Thursday morning that the Brewers are trading with Seattle for catcher Omar Narváez, a left-handed hitter with some pop, and three more years of contractual control.

Rosenthal did not say what the Brewers were sending the Mariners in return but Mariners beat writer Greg Johns of mlb.com is reporting that it is minor-league pitching prospect Adam Hill as well as a draft pick, presumably the Competitive Round B selection after the second round in 2020 (currently No. 70 overall) that the Brewers were assigned this week. Hill was acquired from the Mets last year in the Keon Broxton trade and went 7-9 with a 3.92 ERA in 26 games for Class A Wisconsin.

Narváez, 27, was reported to be on the trade ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 05, 2019 at 11:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, mariners, omar narvaez

Bobby Jenks: Scar Tissue

When I woke up that morning in Fort Myers, Florida, I was sitting all alone in my underwear.

No shoes. No shirt. No pants. Just underwear.

Also, I was somehow behind the wheel of a parked car that didn’t belong to me.

And there was broken glass everywhere.

What the hell is this?

I rubbed my face and scratched the back of my head, and then I looked to my left and noticed that the driver’s-side window had been smashed in.

What the ####?

Beyond what I could see with my own two eyes in that moment, I had no clue what was going on. Or what had happened. All I could remember was taking a bunch of pills the night before, and then it’s just … me sitting there in my underwear in the parking lot of an apartment complex.

So almost ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:39 AM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby jenks

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-5-2019

El Paso Herald, December 5, 1919:

George “Lefty” Tyler, the Cubs’ famous southpaw hurler, is in a hospital at Rochester, Minn., underground treatment for an ailment to his pitching arm, which rendered him well-nigh useless to the Chicago club for a great part of the past season. Tyler has complained for the past year or so of soreness in the left arm and shoulder, and has consulted numerous physicians without gaining the desired relief. The pitcher’s complaint has been variously diagnosed as rheumatism, neuritis, a torn muscle, and a misplaced ligament.

I, for one, am shocked to learn that yanking all his teeth out didn’t fix his shoulder.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:10 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history


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