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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Dana Brown named new Astros general manager

Dana Brown, a longtime baseball executive who helped the Braves acquire their stable of young talent, was named the Astros’ new general manager on Thursday.

Brown joins the Astros after spending the last four seasons (2019-22) as the vice president of scouting in Atlanta, where he oversaw the drafting of 2022 National League Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II and Harris’ runner-up, pitcher Spencer Strider, along with infielder Vaughn Grissom.

Brown and manager Dusty Baker are the second pairing of a Black general manager and manager, the first being Ken Williams and Jerry Manuel with the White Sox from 2001-03.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2023 at 04:26 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dana brown

Orioles acquire Cole Irvin in trade with Athletics

The Baltimore Orioles acquired left-hander Cole Irvin from the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, bolstering their rotation as they look to take a step forward in the ultracompetitive American League East.

Irvin, who turns 29 this week, emerged as a reliable innings-eater over the last two seasons, throwing 359.1 innings at a 4.11 ERA after the A’s acquired him from Philadelphia for $100,000.

Baltimore used its significant middle-infield depth in the deal, sending 21-year-old Darell Hernaiz to Oakland. The Orioles also received 24-year-old minor league right-hander Kyle Virbitsky as part of the trade.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2023 at 04:25 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, cole irvin, orioles

Gary Peters, two-time White Sox All-Star, dies at 85

Gary Peters, the American League Rookie of the Year in 1963 and an All-Star pitcher for the White Sox in 1964 and ‘67, has died at 85.

Peters led the AL with a 2.63 ERA while winning 19 games as a rookie and was a 20-game winner with a 2.50 ERA for the Sox in 1964. In 1968, the left-hander posted a league-best 1.98 ERA. He pitched for the Sox from 1959-69 before finishing his career with three seasons for the Red Sox.

Peters ranks eighth among White Sox pitchers with 1,098 strikeouts and owned a 3.25 career ERA and 123-105 won-lost record.

In the 1967 All-Star Game at Anaheim Stadium, Peters pitched three perfect innings, strikeouts Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda and Dick Allen. He also retired Hank Aaron on a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2023 at 02:27 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: gary peters, obituaries

After winter revamp of swing in ‘the lab,’ Paul DeJong eyes decisive spring with Cardinals

“This is the first offseason where I’m truly optimistic about the changes.”

Asked how best to illustrate those changes, DeJong shared a split-screen video Wednesday that had synced his new swing on the left to his abandoned swing on the right. The three-second clip showed the hours of work he’s put in over these winter months. Gone is the lift of his left foot, replaced instead with a twist for timing. From that moment it’s clear in the new swing how his head remains still, his sight-line level. What follows is a swing that keeps his torso upright, less lunging for balance, and then doesn’t snap forward until contact. His previous swing came down on the ball with a negative attack angle, as if chopping wood, instead of using ...

jimfurtado Posted: January 26, 2023 at 11:45 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, paul dejong

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Sinclair’s Sports Channels Prepare Bankruptcy, Putting Team Payments at Risk

America’s largest owner of local sports channels is heading toward a complex $8.6 billion debt restructuring in bankruptcy court as it stakes its future on a new direct-to-consumer streaming service.

After leveraging up to buy regional sports networks from Walt Disney Co. in 2019, Diamond Sports Group LLC is suffering from a decline in cable-TV subscribers, spurring negotiations with creditors and major sports leagues about its viability as a going concern. The outcome will have serious implications for the $55 billion world of sports-media rights: the company’s channels showcase Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League games to fans from Detroit and Phoenix to San Diego.

With financial ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 04:05 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: regional sports networks, sinclair, television contracts

Rays Extend Jeffrey Springs

The Rays and left-hander Jeffrey Springs have signed a contract extension, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter links). Springs will get $31MM over four years but there’s a club option for 2027 and incentives that could lead to Springs earning $65.75MM.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 03:15 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: jeffrey springs, rays

Brad Ausmus Reportedly Among Astros’ GM Finalists

Earlier today, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that the Astros have at least three finalists for their GM vacancy: Braves vice president of scouting Dana Brown, Guardians assistant GM James Harris and former Giants GM Bobby Evans. That’s not an exhaustive list, however, and Jose de Jesus Ortiz of Our Esquina tweets that former Astros catcher, Tigers/Angels manager and (most recently) A’s bench Brad Ausmus is also among the finalists. Per Ortiz, Brown and Ausmus are the two favorites for the job.

Jumping straight into the GM’s chair would be a first for Ausmus, though it wouldn’t be his first stint in a big league front office. Ausmus was a special assistant in the Padres’ front office shortly after retiring as a player, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 08:33 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, brad ausmus

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

A’s reportedly reach one-year deal with Jesus Aguilar

The Oakland Athletics and first baseman Jesus Aguilar agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The deal is pending a physical.

Aguilar, 32, will join his sixth MLB team if the deal is finalized. The one-time All-Star spent most of last season with the Miami Marlins.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:15 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, jesus aguilar

Eight-time Gold Glove 3B Scott Rolen makes Baseball Hall of Fame

Scott Rolen has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, sneaking over the threshold by the narrowest of margins.

Rolen, one of the game’s great third basemen, was named on 76.3% of ballots cast in his sixth year of eligibility to earn enshrinement. Just missing was former Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, who received support on 72.2% of ballots in his fifth try at election.

None of the other 27 players listed on the 2023 Hall ballot cleared the 75 percent minimum for election, though there were a couple of near-misses. The results of the balloting were revealed Tuesday during a broadcast on

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:14 PM | 178 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, scott rolen

White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger under investigation for alleged domestic violence, child abuse, per report

Major League Baseball is investigating Chicago White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger following allegations of domestic violence and child abuse from the mother of his 10-month-old daughter, reports The Athletic. The woman, 24-year-old Olivia Finestead, publicly disclosed the allegations on Instagram on Tuesday.

Here are more details, via The Athletic:

According to Finestead, she has detailed to those investigators incidents of physical, verbal and emotional abuse, including an incident from last June in which Finestead said Clevinger choked her, and another about two weeks later when she said Clevinger slapped her in a hotel room when the team was playing the Dodgers and threw used chewing tobacco on their child. 

A source familiar with ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 03:02 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: domestic abuse, mike clevinger

Red Sox acquire Adalberto Mondesi in trade with Royals

The Boston Red Sox have acquired shortstop Adalberto Mondesi in a trade with the Kansas City Royals, it was announced Tuesday.

The Royals will get left-handed reliever Josh Taylor in exchange for Mondesi and a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Mondesi, 27, has played in only 50 games over the past two seasons because of injuries.

He was limited to 15 games during the 2022 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on an attempted pickoff play in April. He played in only 35 games in 2021 because of left hamstring and left oblique injuries.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 01:25 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: adalberto mondesi, red sox, royals

Is All Fair in Love and WAR?: The Importance of Hard-Hit Foul Balls

Even in this case, strikeouts occurred less often after barreled fouls, as 29.0% of at-bats with a singular, barreled foul (there were 607) ended with the batter taking the long walk back to the dugout, while 32.3% of at-bats with a sole, non-barreled foul (there were 47,987) did.

Why might strikeouts follow barreled fouls less often? Well for one, as the first scatterplot above demonstrates, hitters who barrel fouls at high rates also typically barrel their balls in play at high rates; in other words, they’re usually more fearsome hitters, and they are more likely to be pitched around. But it’s possible they are also being pitched around because they just hit the snot out of a pitch, even if the batted ball in question landed out of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:59 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: foul balls

Monday, January 23, 2023

Mastrodonato: Red Sox fans have every right to be angry at John Henry, Chaim Bloom and Co.

The bold-faced lying to fans, as if we are all too stupid to know they are lying, is absolutely galling. It’s hubris. This ownership group has lost me.

jimfurtado Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:40 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Moreno family announces it will retain Angels ownership

After months of exploring a possible sale, the Angels announced on Monday that the exploratory process to sell the team has ended, with the Moreno family maintaining ownership of the club.

“During this process, it became clear that we have unfinished business and feel we can make a positive impact on the future of the team and the fan experience,” Moreno said in a statement. “This offseason, we committed to a franchise-record player payroll and still want to accomplish our goal of bringing a World Series championship back to our fans. We are excited about this next chapter of Angels baseball.”

Owner Arte Moreno, 76, initially began a formal search to explore alternatives that included the potential sale of the team, in August. ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:12 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Sources: Twins acquiring Michael A. Taylor in trade with Royals

The Minnesota Twins are acquiring outfielder Michael A. Taylor in a trade with the Kansas City Royals, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel on Monday.

An elite defensive center fielder and former Gold Glove Award winner, Taylor batted .254 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs with a .670 OPS in 2022.

Taylor, who turns 32 in March, is entering his 10th major league season. He played the first seven years of his career in Washington, where he won a World Series with the Nationals in 2019, before signing with Kansas City during the 2020 offseason.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:11 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: michael taylor, royals, twins

Report: Chip Caray the new voice of the St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals have found their new play-by-play announcer for the upcoming season.

First reported by Davis O’Brien with The Athletic, Chip Caray will join the St. Louis Cardinals as their new play-by-play announcer.

Chip Caray is the son of Skip Caray and grandson of former Cardinals announcer Harry Caray.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:10 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, chip caray

Second basemen have been the face of an evolving game. Will MLB’s infield shift limits transform the position again?

In the meantime, younger players with stellar bats and questionable fielding range emerged into full-time roles either as starting second basemen or utility types with frequent stops there, Brandon Lowe and Luis Arraez among them. Arraez, whom the Minnesota Twins traded to the Miami Marlins on Friday, could well be changing teams because his limited fielding abilities no longer fit as well on the Twins with Carlos Correa, Jorge Polanco and prospect Royce Lewis all locked into or jockeying for playing time.

The result, combined with MLB’s growing preference for defensive flexibility, is an upward trend of better-than-average hitters who play at least some second base.

Recently, though, the gap between second basemen and the average MLB ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2023 at 10:25 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive shifts

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Former Athletics captain, Brewers GM Sal Bando dies at 78

Sal Bando, a four-time All-Star third baseman for the Oakland Athletics who later played for and became general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, died of cancer Friday at the age of 78, the teams announced Saturday.

Bando won three consecutive world championships as captain of the A’s from 1972 to 1974, leading the American League in extra-base hits (64), doubles (32) and total bases (295) during the 1973 season, when he hit .287 while playing in all 162 games.

The Athletics said in a statement that Bando had had cancer for more than five years.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 22, 2023 at 03:54 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, sal bando

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Starter’s Workload: Stop Blaming Analytics for 122 Year Trend - Sports Illustrated Arizona Diamondbacks News, Analysis and More

Link fixed. Jim

One idea that might help reverse this trend a little is to further limit the number of pitchers allowed on staffs. If teams were forced to carry fewer pitchers, they’d also be forced into training their starters to pace themselves rather than throwing max effort all the time. It would have to be transitioned over time but it is doable.

One often hears baseball fans and pundits alike lament the shortened workload that MLB starting pitchers are asked to bear in the modern game. Often in the course of such discussion the argument that “analytics are ruining the game”  is trotted out and held aloft as some great insight.

The next time you hear that, please note: That’s complete and utter nonsense. In fact ever since 1901 ...

jimfurtado Posted: January 21, 2023 at 10:58 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, history, starting pitchers

Friday, January 20, 2023

Batting champ Arraez headed to Marlins for López, more

The Marlins are set to acquire reigning AL batting champ and All-Star infielder Luis Arraez from the Twins for right-hander Pablo López and two other players, a source told’s Mark Feinsand on Friday. Neither club has confirmed the deal, which is expected to send infield prospect Jose Salas and outfield prospect Byron Chourio to Minnesota, according to Feinsand.

Salas, 19, is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 5 prospect in Miami’s system.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2023 at 03:52 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: luis arraez, marlins, pablo lopez, twins

Seattle Mariners sign infielder Tommy La Stella to 1-year deal

The Seattle Mariners signed infielder Tommy La Stella to a one-year contract on Thursday, adding another versatile veteran to their roster.

La Stella spent the past two seasons with San Francisco, but was designated for assignment by the Giants in late December. La Stella signed a three-year, $18.75 million deal before the 2021 season, but played in just 136 games and hit .245 over his two seasons with the Giants.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2023 at 03:51 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, tommy la stella

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Royals agree to deal with closer Aroldis Chapman

The Royals have agreed to a one-year deal with hard-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman, a source told’s Mark Feinsand on Thursday. The club has not confirmed the deal, which is expected to be worth $3.75 million plus performance bonuses. Kansas City will be banking on a turnaround from Chapman, who was known for his consistent triple-digit velocity earlier in his career.

The 2022 season was a miserable one for the seven-time All-Star. It saw Chapman record some of the worst stats of his 13-year career and was blemished by multiple injured-list stints as well as questions regarding his willingness to be a team player.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2023 at 05:25 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, royals

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Sources: New York Mets, Tommy Pham agree to 1-year, $6M deal

Outfielder Tommy Pham and the New York Mets agreed on a one-year, $6 million contract Wednesday, sources told ESPN, continuing the team’s offseason bonanza and pushing the Mets’ record payroll past the $450 million mark.

Pham, 34, could serve as a right-handed complement to Daniel Vogelbach as designated hitter for the Mets. He also played 134 games in the outfield last year for Cincinnati and Boston, hitting .236/.312/.374 with 17 home runs and 63 RBIs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2023 at 03:19 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, tommy pham

BA: 2023 Top 100 Prospects

And so it begins! Henderson is #1.

jimfurtado Posted: January 18, 2023 at 11:27 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects rankings

Sources: Red Sox, OF Adam Duvall agree to 1-year, $7M deal

Outfielder Adam Duvall has agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with the Red Sox, sources confirmed, giving Boston someone who could help make up for the offense lost with the departure of J.D. Martinez.

Duvall, 34, struggled through an injury-plagued season with the Braves last year, hitting .212 with 12 homers and a .677 OPS. He was an All-Star in 2016, while with the Reds, and won a Gold Glove for his play with the Marlins and Braves in 2021, when he clubbed 38 homers and drove in 113 runs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2023 at 10:50 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: adam duvall, red sox

Brewers reportedly agree to deal with versatile Brian Anderson, adding another needed bat

The Milwaukee Brewers are in agreement with utility player Brian Anderson on a free-agent contract.

The agreement, which was first reported by The Athletic on Tuesday night, would provide the Brewers with another right-handed option on offense who can play both third base and right field. Both were still positions of need for Milwaukee as it entered the week still looking to round out its roster.

The deal, which is pending a physical, has not been confirmed by the Brewers.

Anderson, 29, is a career .256/.341/.410 hitter with 57 homers in 531 games, all with Miami. He was non-tendered by the Marlins this offseason following a pair of underwhelming and injury-riddled seasons in which he hit .233 with a .681 OPS.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2023 at 10:50 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, brian anderson

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Travis Shaw Announces Retirement

Former MLB infielder Travis Shaw took to Twitter on Monday to announce his retirement from playing. The left-handed hitter appeared at the game’s highest level in each of the last eight seasons.

“For the last eight years, I’ve been blessed to live out my childhood dreams of playing Major League Baseball,” Shaw wrote. “But today, that dream comes to an end! 12 years ago, being a 9th-round pick, I would never have imagined what this game provided me. The memories will last a lifetime. To everyone that made an impact on my career (the list is endlessly long), I will forever be indebted to you! As this chapter closes, the only two words that come to mind is THANK YOU!”

As Shaw mentioned, he entered the professional ranks as a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2023 at 12:05 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: travis shaw

Hall-of-Famer Jack Morris, Bally Sports Detroit to part ways in 2023

Hall-of-Fame pitcher and three-time World Series champion Jack Morris will not return to the Bally Sports Detroit broadcast booth for the 2023 season, multiple sources told The Detroit News.

Morris, 67, had been part of the Tigers’ TV booth since 2019, rotating in the analyst chair with former Tigers Kirk Gibson, Dan Petry and Craig Monroe. According to sources, Monroe, who had been used mostly in pre- and postgame segments, will take over Morris’ workload in the analyst chair alongside play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard.

Petry will take on a larger role before and after the games. Gibson, who also serves as special assistant to president of baseball Scott Harris, has had his workload reduced in recent years, though he is still ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2023 at 09:27 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jack morris, tigers

Monday, January 16, 2023

Frank Thomas, three-time MLB All-Star for Pirates in 1950s, dies at 93

The New York Mets announced on Monday that longtime big-league outfielder Frank Thomas had died at age 93. This Thomas, not to be confused with Hall of Famer Frank Thomas who played for the Chicago White Sox during the 1990s, played in parts of 16 seasons, stretching from 1951-66.

Thomas suited up for seven teams during his career, including an eight-year stint as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was also an original member of the Mets, having been acquired from the Milwaukee Braves prior to their inaugural season. Thomas also saw action with the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and the Houston Astros.

Thomas received Most Valuable Player Award consideration on five occasions, though he finished higher ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2023 at 08:17 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

How a Group of Message-Board Misfits Changed Baseball

A graduate student at UC Davis, Huckabay played semi-pro baseball in the Sacramento Valley League, held a campus job running the university’s Scantron machines, did stand-up comedy for $10 a gig and argued about baseball on an early-internet discussion group at Rec.Sport.Baseball, part of the Usenet system, a proto-Reddit.

Once Huckabay realized he could write three lines of code to automate the Scantron results, he spent some of his time on the clock reading Rec.Sport.Baseball. “Oh, gosh, I don’t want to make it sound too bad,” he says, “but it was no more than 97 or 98 percent of my time.”

Rec.Sport.Baseball became Huckabay’s neighborhood coffee shop, a community of future scientists, engineers, dermatologists, lawyers ...

NaOH Posted: January 16, 2023 at 08:03 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, gary huckabay, history of baseball stats, sabermetrics

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