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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Bill James Handbook Excerpt: Baserunning In Its Own Self

Conceptual clarity. The point I am trying to make is that there is a big difference between the job of a statistician, which is to count things, and the job of a researcher, which is to figure out what should be studied, what should be counted, and how it should be counted. Conceptual clarity means that you have a clear, clean definition of what you are counting. You should be able to explain it in one simple, easily understood sentence. In studying baserunning, we had to focus on what was most helpful for us to count. Runners going from first to third on a single, but what else? We settled on seven major categories to describe baserunners, granting that those seven categories don’t get everything that makes one baserunner different from ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2023 at 11:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james

Oakland-area fans start Ballers, an independent baseball team

If the Oakland A’s leave for Las Vegas, the East Bay will still have a baseball team to root for.

The Oakland B’s.

A consortium of dozens of Oakland-area fans, led by a pair of high school friends, banded together to start the Oakland Ballers—also known as the B’s—who plan to play in the independent Pioneer League starting this summer wearing the same green and gold as the A’s.

The team’s co-founders, Paul Freedman and Bryan Carmel, told ESPN they’ve hired former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, who went to high school in nearby Hayward, California, as executive vice president of baseball operations. Former St. Louis outfielder Micah Franklin, a San Francisco native who has coached in the minor leagues, will manage the team.

...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2023 at 09:33 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland

Monday, November 27, 2023

Sources: Jason Heyward, Dodgers reach 1-year, $9 million deal

Outfielder Jason Heyward is returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year deal for $9 million, sources told ESPN on Monday.

The deal is pending a physical.

Heyward had a bounce-back 2023 season in Los Angeles, hitting .269 with 15 homers and compiling 2.2 wins above replacement, per FanGraphs. The left-handed hitter played all three outfield spots and first base in a platoon role, which he figures to return to in 2024 for the Dodgers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2023 at 01:36 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, jason heyward

BA: Young And Relentless: The Face Of MLB Keeps Getting Younger

Share of PAs by players aged 24-28
1998 to 2002: 41.3%
2003 to 2007: 39.1%
2008 to 2012: 44.6%
2013 to 2017: 44.0%
2018 to 2023: 50.1%

Broadly speaking: Players aged 24 to 28 accounted for roughly 40% of all MLB plate appearances for the first 10 seasons of the 30-team era. That figure rose to roughly 45% of PAs in the second 10 seasons.

Now, in the first five seasons of the third decade of the 30-team era, representation by players aged 24 to 28 has risen again, this time to roughly 50% of all PAs.

MLB teams are concentrating more and more playing time on players in their mid to late 20s for myriad reasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2023 at 11:31 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: age

Source: Cardinals adding Sonny Gray to revamped rotation

The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a deal with free agent pitcher Sonny Gray, according to ESPN and multiple reports.

Gray, 34, joins a revamped Cardinals rotation that also includes recent free-agent additions Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2023 at 10:17 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, sonny gray

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Sources: Free agent Kenta Maeda, Tigers reach 2-year, $24M deal

Right-hander Kenta Maeda and the Tigers agreed Sunday on a two-year, $24 million contract, lengthening Detroit’s rotation as it hopes to improve on a 78-84 finish in the winnable American League Central, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN.

Maeda, who will be 36 two weeks into the season, joins a Tigers team that went 39-34 in the second half and had a positive run differential, matching their win total in 89 first-half games. Detroit had targeted starting depth in the mid-tier pitching market, and Maeda, coming off Tommy John surgery, posted a 4.23 ERA in 104.1 innings with 117 strikeouts and 28 walks for the Minnesota Twins.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2023 at 10:09 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: kenta maeda, tigers

Friday, November 24, 2023

Former Mets catcher Ron Hodges dies at 74

Ron Hodges, a catcher who spent his entire 12-season major league career with the Mets, died Friday. He was 74.

Hodges died at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital after a short illness, Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said.

Selected by the Mets in the second round of the second phase of the January 1972 amateur draft, Hodges finished with a .240 batting average, 19 home runs and 147 RBIs during a big league career that ran from 1973 to 1984. Hodges had a .342 on-base percentage with 224 walks and 217 strikeouts.

He played under seven managers with the Mets: Yogi Berra, Roy McMillan, Joe Torre, George Bamberger, Frank Howard and Davey Johnson.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 24, 2023 at 06:28 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Hoornstra: What entry-level pro baseball job descriptions can tell us

3. Conduits still matter
The 2019 book “The MVP Machine” accurately portrayed the idea of “conduits” – people with blended backgrounds in baseball and data analytics who can communicate complex quantitative analyses in terms players will understand. Four years later, what exactly do these people do?

The Cleveland Guardians’ job listing for a Baseball Technology Fellow offers some clues. From the description, job candidates “will be expected to manage the collection of multiple data streams and operate as a resource for both coaches and players” for one minor-league affiliate team. Those data streams include bat/ball-tracking technology, pregame, in-game and postgame video, and “other sports science technology.”

From ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 24, 2023 at 11:26 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

D-backs To Acquire Eugenio Suarez

Zavala and right-hander Carlos Vargas are headed to the Mariners in exchange for third baseman Eugenio Suarez, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 22, 2023 at 02:22 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, eugenio suarez, mariners

The future of live sports TV reaches a tipping point

A similar approach was employed by MLB in 2023. The San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks were forced to find new cable homes in their respective markets in the middle of the season when Diamond relinquished the rights. Their games were also streamed direct-to-consumer. Fans had the option to buy in-market Padres and D-Backs games for $20 a month on MLB.TV.

MLB guaranteed the clubs 80% of revenues they were set to receive via TV in case there was a shortfall, and commissioner Rob Manfred said recently no such financial support was needed.

However, MLB is no longer offering a backstop guarantee of revenues, and Manfred said the league is prepared and able to take over broadcasts of up to 16 clubs in 2024.

A hybrid approach can work ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 22, 2023 at 11:22 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: streaming, television rights

What hath the new Pickoff Rules wrought?

Let’s describe all this in terms of run per 1000 opportunities. In the 2010-2022 time period, the baserunner was at almost exactly 0 runs (-0.1 runs), when no prior pickoff was attempted. He was at -0.6 runs with at least one prior pickoff. So, the pickoffs worked for the pitcher. But more importantly, basestealing was a breakeven proposition overall. Whatever gains may have been earned by the Ichiros of the world was undone by the slower baserunners taking too much chances. It was like the sacrifice bunt: yeah it works when it works, but it really hurts when it doesn’t so that, overall, it’s net-neutral. That’s why the sac bunt goes down in frequency. And that’s what’s been happening with basestealing, as only the really good basestealers ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 22, 2023 at 10:17 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: stolen bases

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Paul DeJong In Agreement With White Sox On Major League Deal

DeJong, 30, is a buy-low move for the Sox, as he has struggled badly in recent seasons. He had an incredible debut with the Cardinals in 2017, hitting 25 home runs in his first 108 major league games. His 28% strikeout rate and 4.7% walk rate were not great, but his overall line of .285/.325/.532 translated to a wRC+ of 123. The Cards made a bet that DeJong could be their shortstop for many years to come, signing him to a six-year, $26MM extension prior to 2018. Unfortunately for them, DeJong’s production slid downhill from the moment that deal was signed. His wRC+ dropped to 103 in 2018, then 101, 87, 84 and 54 through 2022.

In 2023, he seemed to get back on track somewhat. Through 81 games for the Cards, he hit 13 home runs and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2023 at 07:08 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: paul dejong, white sox

Padres hire Mike Shildt as new manager on 2-year deal

The San Diego Padres have agreed to terms with Mike Shildt on a two-year contract to become their new manager, the team announced Tuesday.

Shildt, former manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, replaces Bob Melvin, who left San Diego for division rival San Francisco.

Shildt, 55, served as senior adviser for the Padres after the Cardinals surprisingly let him go following the 2021 season, and was seen as the favorite to take over after San Diego granted Melvin permission to talk with the Giants about their job despite having one year remaining on his contract.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2023 at 06:53 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mike shildt, padres

Cardinals sign P Kyle Gibson to 1-year, $12M deal, sources say

One day after signing pitcher Lance Lynn, the St. Louis Cardinals have added righty Kyle Gibson on a one-year deal with an option for 2025, the team announced on Tuesday.

Gbison’s deal is worth $12 million next season, sources told ESPN.

Gibson, 36, spent last season with the Baltimore Orioles, going 15-9 with a 4.73 ERA in 33 starts. He threw 192 innings while giving up a league high 198 hits. After spending the first seven years of his career with the Minnesota Twins, the veteran is joining his fourth team in four years. Overall, he’s 104-100 with a 4.54 career ERA in 11 seasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2023 at 06:52 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cardlinals, kyle gibson

Willie Hernández, MVP & WS champ in ‘84 with Tigers, passes

Tigers great Guillermo “Willie” Hernández died Monday. He was 69.

One of the many great Puerto Rican players throughout Major League Baseball history, Hernández was a dominant closer in Detroit who won both the American League Most Valuable Player Award and Cy Young Award for the 1984 World Series champion Tigers.

The left-hander had a 13-year MLB career and was a three-time All-Star for the Tigers from 1984-86. He helped lead Detroit to a World Series title—still the franchise’s most recent—in his first season with the team.

Hernández recorded a career-high 32 saves with a 1.92 ERA and 112 strikeouts in that 1984 season. He pitched 140 1/3 innings, all in relief, and led the Majors with 80 appearances and 68 games finished.

In ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2023 at 06:51 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

OT - NBA Redux Thread for the End of 2023

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, and Draymond Green will find a way to put you into a choke hold if Steph’s not playing.

Hombre Brotani Posted: November 21, 2023 at 06:19 PM | 147 comment(s)
  Beats: nba, off-topic

Monday, November 20, 2023

Braves’ Reynaldo Lopez: Gets three years, $30M from Atlanta

Lopez signed a three-year, $26 million contract with Atlanta on Monday.

The deal contains an $8 million club option or $4 million buyout for the 2027 season, so Lopez will net $30 million over the life of the deal. Atlanta had already re-signed Pierce Johnson and Joe Jimenez and traded for Aaron Bummer and they’ve now brought in Lopez to reinforce their bullpen. Lopez made a full-time move to relief in 2022 and has produced a 3.02 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 146:45 K:BB over 131.1 innings covering the last two seasons. Justin Toscano of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Lopez will be stretched out during spring training to give Atlanta a rotation option, with the possibility that he could contribute both as a starter and reliever. In ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2023 at 12:40 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, reynaldo lopez

Source: Cardinals finalizing deal for starter Lance Lynn’s return to help rotation

The Cardinals’ first move to restock their rotation is a retro one.

Right-hander Lance Lynn, a fixture in the rotation for years, is finalizing a one-year deal to return to the Cardinals, a source described to the Post-Dispatch. The deal is pending a physical to be completed in the near future.

The contract also includes option language for 2025 that gives Lynn the chance to earn more than $20 million over the two seasons, a source described.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2023 at 12:37 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, lance lynn

Who is on the 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot and what’s the induction process?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2023 at 12:17 PM | 381 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Ex-Yankees reliever Zack Britton retiring after 12-year career

Ex-Yankees and Orioles reliever Zack Britton is retiring, the southpaw told The Athletic.

Britton, 35, did not play this past season, and finished his 12-year career – all in the AL East with the Yankees and Orioles – with a 3.13 ERA and 154 saves.

He last appeared in a game Sept. 30, 2022 for the Yankees, ironically against the Orioles.

Britton exited that game early after throwing a wild pitch.

The 2016 saves leader told the outlet he’s retiring to spend more time with his family, which includes his four children and wife, Courtney.

“My last outing was against the Orioles. I threw a ball to the backstop as my last pitch; I think about that and it sucks,” Britton said. “It might not have been perfect from a career ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2023 at 10:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: zack britton

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Who are the 10 most hyped free agents ever?

1. Alex Rodriguez, SS, 2000-01 offseason
Previous team: Mariners
Signed with: Rangers

He was 25 when he hit the market in the baseball winter of 2000. Again: This isn’t about what we discovered about him later. This is about what we saw then. And what we saw was a shortstop who’d hit 125 homers his last three seasons with the Mariners, and knocked in 367 runs. Then he went to the Rangers and hit 52 homers, then 57 and 47 in his first three seasons there, and knocked in 135 and 142 and 118.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 19, 2023 at 05:37 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez

Sources: Phillies, Aaron Nola agree to 7-year, $172M deal

The negotiations between Nola’s agents, Garrett Parcell and Joe Longo, and the teams pursuing him ratcheted up going into the weekend. Despite the fact that no free agents had signed since the market opened, Nola didn’t want to dawdle. Philadelphia and Atlanta were the final two suitors, and Nola wound up receiving the biggest contract for a pitcher in Phillies history and the 11th largest overall.

As Nola grew into a pitcher who twice finished in the top five of NL Cy Young voting, the Phillies moved out of a rebuilding phase, added stars around him and followed a World Series appearance in 2022 with an NLCS berth this season.

While Nola’s ERA regressed to 4.46 this year amid a spike in home runs allowed, he still threw 193⅔ innings, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 19, 2023 at 03:44 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron nola, phillies

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Royals add Anderson, Wright in pair of trades with Braves

The Royals and Braves were busy trade partners on Friday, executing two separate trades that landed Kansas City two pitchers.

First, the Royals acquired reliever Nick Anderson for cash considerations. A few hours later, the clubs swapped a pair of former first-round pitchers, with Kyle Wright heading to Kansas City and Jackson Kowar to Atlanta.

Wright, 28, will likely miss all of 2024 after undergoing right shoulder surgery, but he led the Majors with 21 wins and a 3.19 ERA in 2022, becoming the first Braves pitcher to lead the Majors in wins since Tom Glavine in 2000. Wright was an integral part of the 2021 World Series champion Braves when he allowed one run over 5 1/3 relief innings against the Astros that October.

The No. 5 overall ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 18, 2023 at 10:09 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, kyle wright, nick anderson, royals

Guardians trade Enyel De Los Santos to Padres for Scott Barlow; sign Ramon Laureano to 1-year deal

The Guardians made their second trade of the day on Friday, sending strong-armed reliever Enyel De Los Santos to the Padres for right-hander Scott Barlow.

The also avoided arbitration with outfielder Ramon Laureano, signing him to a one-year deal worth $5.15 million. He was projected to make $4.7 million in arbitration, and can be a free agent after 2024.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 18, 2023 at 10:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: guardians, padres, scott barlow

Friday, November 17, 2023

Brewers non-tender Woodruff, Tellez

Other non-tenders:

ARI - KYle Lewis
ATL - Yonny Chirinos, Kolby Allard, Penn Murfee, Angel Perdomo and Michael Tonkin, Chadwick Tromp and Luke Williams.
BOS - Wyatt Mills
CHC - Ethan Roberts, Brandon Hughes, Codi Heuer
CIN - Nick Senzel, Derek Law, Reiver Sanmartin
COL - Tommy Doyle
DET - Austin Meadows, Spencer Turnbull, Brenan Hanifee, Garrett Hill, Freddy Pacheco
KCR - Diego Hernandez, Josh Staumont, Logan Porter, Austin Cox
LAA - Jose Marte
MIA - Jacob Stallings, Garret Hampson
MIL - Brandon Woodruff, Rowdy Tellez, JC Mejia
MIN - Jovani Moran, Ronny Henriguez
NYM - Jeff Brigham, Sam Coonrod, Trevor Gott, Luis Guillorme, Daniel Vogelbach
NYY - Albert Abreu, Lou Trivino, Anthony Misiewicz
OAK - Kevin Smith
PHI - Josh Fleming
PIT - ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 17, 2023 at 09:31 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon woodruff

MLB cancels Paris games in 2025 after being unable to find promoter, per report

Major League Baseball has canceled plans to play regular-season games in Paris in 2025, reports the Associated Press. The league failed to find a promoter and has been unable to make progress ensuring the games are financially viable. Other international games, including the Seoul Series next March, remain on schedule.

The 2025 Paris games were part of the league’s efforts to grow the game internationally. Teams had not yet been selected, though the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees threw their hats in the ring. The Paris games would have been played at Stade De France, an 80,000-seat stadium that opened in 1998 and is home to the France national soccer and rugby teams.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 17, 2023 at 11:07 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: europe

Hot Stove Omnichatter

The Hot Stove is heating up!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 17, 2023 at 08:25 AM | 101 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove

White Sox trade for Soroka, Lopez, 3 others from Braves

White Sox receive: RHP Mike Soroka, INF Nicky Lopez, LHP Jared Shuster, SS Braden Shewmake, RHP Riley Gowens
Braves receive: LHP Aaron Bummer

Bummer is under contractual control through ‘24, with club options for ‘25 and ‘26.

Lopez, who played for the Royals from 2019-23 and hails from Naperville, Ill., figures to bridge the gap at shortstop from Tim Anderson to Colson Montgomery, but he can effectively play around the infield. The left-handed-hitting Montgomery—the top White Sox prospect and No. 17 overall per MLB Pipeline—should arrive in the Majors sooner than later in ‘24.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 17, 2023 at 08:22 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, white sox

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Braves to host 2025 MLB All-Star Game in Atlanta after losing 2021 festivities over Georgia voting laws

Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, will host the 2025 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced in a press conference Thursday afternoon during the owners meetings.

“I commend Terry McGuirk, Derek Schiller, the entire Braves organization and the Atlanta Sports Council for leading this effort,” Manfred said. “As a model of success on and off the field, the Braves deserve to host the All-Star Game. Truist Park and The Battery Atlanta will provide fans a world-class experience in 2025. We look forward to working with the Braves and local leaders to deliver a memorable All-Star Week that brings people together and benefits the community in many ways.”

With the All-Star Game also comes several days ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2023 at 02:07 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

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