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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

What Are Teams Paying Per WAR in Free Agency?

Last year’s free agency class had it rough. With teams licking their wounds after an abbreviated and crowd-less season, they offered far less in free agency. The raw numbers show how little money was being thrown around, and even that understates it. Out of the 18 free agents projected for 2 or more WAR, only five received contracts of three years or longer. Not only were teams hesitant to spend on a per-win basis, they stayed away from long-term deals while doing so.

The early results from the current free agency period suggest that this decline was a one-off. Before the 2020 season, 12 of the 15 contracts signed by players who were projected for 2 or more WAR were for three years or longer. This year, 14 of the 20 similarly-projected ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2021 at 02:22 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, war

Camden Yards to test using artificial intelligence for security at some Orioles games this season might become a test subject for a new security technology that uses low-energy radar with 3D imaging and artificial intelligence to detect hidden threats.

The unobtrusive system could ease and speed up security checks at the ballpark, reducing the need for emptying pockets at metal detectors, bag checks and pat-downs…


NattyBoh Posted: December 14, 2021 at 07:19 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: baltimore orioles, camden yards, security

Monday, December 13, 2021

Yankees will look into three big free agents with many holes to fill: Sherman

Between a down year and concerns about the health of his throwing arm, Story appeared to be having the most difficulty among the big shortstops in finding a high-end market. He grew up a Derek Jeter fan. LeMahieu is among his best friends. Is it possible that he would take a shorter deal with the Yankees to reestablish his value, say one year at $35 million with a player option for a second season at $35 million? The shorter tenure would work better with the Yankees horizons on working in Peraza or Volpe. I don’t think the Yankees should worry about having too many athletic middle infielders. If they are good enough, they will be able to play elsewhere. My gut: Story will be able to find at least three years or more from the Mariners, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 04:40 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Beloved White Sox executive Roland Hemond dies at 92

Roland Hemond, a beloved baseball executive who served as White Sox general manager from 1970-85, died in his sleep Sunday night, according to multiple reports. He was 92.

Honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, Hemond served under three Sox owners — John W. Allyn, Bill Veeck and Jerry Reinsdorf — overseeing the AL West champion 1983 Sox team and memorable 1977 South Side Hitmen squad. Hemond’s acquisition of Dick Allen in a trade with the Dodgers helped save a franchise that struggled at the gate in 1970, and he was named Executive of the Year by the Sporting News in 1972 after Allen and the runnerup Sox challenged the World Series champion Oakland Athletics in the AL West.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 03:30 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, roland hemond

The secret settlements that helped a baseball star play on

With famed lawyer Gloria Allred representing the alleged victims, Puig reached confidential settlements with both women, according to copies of the agreements obtained by The Washington Post. In the agreements, Puig denied both women’s allegations. His attorney, Scott Lesowitz, said the ballplayer paid the women a total of $325,000.

Major League Baseball learned of the allegations during the 2017 season, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. But instead of placing Puig on paid administrative leave while it investigated — as it often has done in cases when the allegations are public, including this year with Dodgers star ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 02:54 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sexual assault, yasiel puig

How the Crew landed 2 HOFers in 1 trade

On Dec. 12, 1980 (41 years ago Sunday), Brewers general manager Harry Dalton sent Sixto Lezcano, Lary Sorensen, Dave LaPoint and David Green to the Cardinals for a future Hall of Fame catcher (Ted Simmons) and the next two American League Cy Young Award winners (future Hall of Fame closer Rollie Fingers and starting pitcher Pete Vuckovich) in a swap that sent Milwaukee on a path to its only American League pennant.

A Sports Illustrated headline the following March called it “The Trade That Made Milwaukee Famous.”

“In my book, that was the best trade we ever made,” said unofficial Brewers historian Mario Ziino, who worked in the club’s public relations department at the time. “When we landed those three guys, we were now major ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 12:43 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Mets manager list cut to 3 finalists

he Mets have whittled their list of manager candidates down to three, inviting Buck Showalter, Joe Espada and Matt Quatraro for second-round interviews, a source told on Sunday. The Mets did not confirm the list as they are not commenting on the ongoing process.

Team owner Steve Cohen, who sat out the first round of interviews, is expected to take part in the callbacks.

Many within the industry consider Showalter the favorite for the job given his vast managerial experience, which dwarfs that of any other candidate. A manager for four teams over 20 seasons spanning 1992-2018, the 65-year-old Showalter is adept with the media and understands New York as well as anyone, having worked in the Bronx for four seasons. He also boasts a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 12:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, mets

Veteran infielder Freddy Galvis nearing agreement to play in Japan, per report

Freddy Galvis, an infielder with more than nine years of big-league service time, is reportedly nearing an agreement with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, according to Yahoo! Japan.

Galvis, who celebrated his 32nd birthday November 14, split last season with the Baltimore Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies. In 104 games, he batted .242/.302/.407 (91 OPS+) with 14 home runs. His performance was worth an estimated 1.2 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference’s calculations.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 12:40 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: freddy galvis, japan

Cubs, Padres Discussed Eric Hosmer Trade Last Summer

The Padres and Cubs were in talks last summer about a trade that would have sent first baseman Eric Hosmer “and a highly regarded prospect” to Chicago, The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports.  The return on the Cubs’ end wasn’t mentioned, yet it likely could have been pretty minimal (i.e. a low-level prospect or a player to be named later), since the chief goal of the trade for San Diego would have been to get Hosmer’s contract off the books.  However, since Anthony Rizzo also reportedly on the Padres’ trade radar, it is possible the two teams might have been discussing a swap of first basemen.

Hosmer was known to be available prior to the trade deadline, as the Padres were exploring ways to both lessen their luxury tax ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 12:36 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, eric hosmer, padres

Friday, December 10, 2021

Blue Jays Pursued Corey Seager Prior To His Deal With Rangers

Corey Seager’s 10-year, $325MM deal with the Rangers prior to the MLB lockout shocked baseball — both because it was the Rangers winning the bidding and because Texas had already signed Marcus Semien for a surprising seven years and $175MM. As one would expect with any bidding war that reaches a decade and more than $300MM, Texas had some competition as they sought to lure Seager to Arlington. However, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports this morning that a perhaps-unexpected suitor was one of the primary competitors in that Seager market: the Blue Jays.

The Dodgers also had strong interest in re-signing Seager, per Passan, though that much was largely known to this point. Toronto’s involvement in the process, however, is a newer ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2021 at 04:47 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, corey seager

Not as great: Assessing Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens without the PED factor

According to OPS+, which measures a player’s ability to get on base and hit for power and normalizes for the effect of various parks, Bonds was unquestionably one of the game’s great players during the first half of his career, when he had seven consecutive seasons of 170 or higher.

But after he started PEDs, he became otherworldly, particularly once he connected with BALCO. In those four seasons, his OPS+ was 259, 268, 231 and 263—giving him three of the five highest seasons ever, surpassed only by Negro Leagues legend Josh Gibson. Bonds is No. 4 on the all-time career list, with a 182 average OPS+.

But according to ZiPS, those cartoonish four seasons would have been replaced with 156, 144, 115 and 95; and his career OPS+ would have ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2021 at 04:44 PM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, hall of fame, peds, roger clemens

Japan’s Giants to establish women’s baseball team

The Yomiuri Giants Japanese professional baseball club says it is forming a women’s team.

The club introduced the new team’s first four players on Wednesday. The four appeared in uniform before fans in an event held in Tokyo. The Giants manager, Hara Tatsunori, put caps on their head.

One of the women, Shimano Ayuri, said they will work hard to contribute to the development of women’s baseball.

The Giants, which have won the Japan Series 22 times, hope more people will play baseball and more women will become fans of the sport.

The club says it is considering allowing the women to join training sessions of the Giants in February, and that it will hold tryouts and use other means to find more players.

The club says it wants the women’s ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2021 at 02:55 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, women's baseball

Angel Stadium sale is deemed illegal by state housing agency | LA Times

The Angel Stadium sale was declared illegal Wednesday by California’s state housing agency, which gave the city of Anaheim 60 days to redo the deal or make the land available to interested bidders.

That could put the city in the position of scrapping the deal and starting over, suing to pursue it, or paying almost $2 from every $3 in cash from the sale toward state fines.

Under a state law called the Surplus Land Act, public land made available for sale should first be offered to affordable housing developers. If Anaheim chooses not to make the stadium land available to developers beyond Moreno, the California Department of Housing and Community Development said the city could comply with the act by setting aside 80% of the land for ...

Hombre Brotani Posted: December 10, 2021 at 02:54 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, finance

Thursday, December 09, 2021

KBO’s Eagles sign ex-MLB outfielder Mike Tauchman, bring back 2 American starters

The South Korean baseball club Hanwha Eagles announced Friday they’ve acquired a former major league outfielder, Mike Tauchman.

The Eagles are also bringing back their two American starters from this past season, Nick Kingham and Ryan Carpenter.

Tauchman, 31, agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract, the maximum amount allowed for first-year foreign players. The outfielder will make $700,000 in guaranteed salary and $300,000 in signing bonus.

A 10th round draft pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2013, Tauchman made his major league debut with the Rockies in 2017. He later went on to play for the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants.

Tauchman’s best season came with the Yankees in 2019, when he had 13 home runs and 47 RBIs in 87 ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2021 at 08:28 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: kbo, korean baseball, mike tauchman

Former MLB outfielder Yasiel Puig signs with KBO league’s Kiwoom Heroes

Former major league outfielder Yasiel Puig signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Korea Baseball Organization’s Kiwoom Heroes, according to a report Wednesday from Yonhap, a South Korean news agency.

According to the report via Twitter from Yonhap’s Jeeho Yoo, the club’s official announcement is expected soon.

Puig also tweeted about the signing, writing: “Tomorrow I will make clear why I made this important decision. Right now, I want to enjoy the moment.”

Puig, 31, last played in the majors during the 2019 season, appearing in 100 games for the Cincinnati Reds and 49 with Cleveland before becoming a free agent.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2021 at 09:14 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: kbo, korean league, yasiel puig

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Late Indians outfielder/commentator Jack Graney wins Frick Award

Cleveland Indians outfielder and commentator Jack Graney has won the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.

Graney, who died in 1978, will be honored during the Hall’s induction weekend from July 22-25.

Graney first played for Cleveland, then known as the Naps, as a pitcher for two games in 1908. He returned as an outfielder in 1910 and played through 1922, a time when the team became known as the Indians. The team’s nickname changed to the Guardians this offseason.

He was the first big league batter to hit against Babe Ruth in 1914 and two years later became the first 20th century batter with a uniform number. He earned a World Series title with Cleveland in 1920.

He started as a broadcaster in 1932 with ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 08, 2021 at 05:39 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ford frick award, guardians

OT - College Football Bowl Spectacular (December 2021 - January 2022)

December 30   7:00 PM  Peach Bowl                Pittsburgh v. Michigan State

December 31   3:30 PM  Cotton Bowl               Cincinnati v. Alabama
              7:30 PM  Orange Bowl               Georgia v. Michigan

January 1     1:00 PM  Fiesta Bowl               Oklahoma State v. Notre Dame
              5:00 PM  Rose Bowl                 Utah v. Ohio State
              8:45 PM  Sugar Bowl                Baylor v. Mississippi

January 10    8:00 PM  Championship Game         Cotton winner v. Orange winner
Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: December 08, 2021 at 05:12 PM | 188 comment(s)
  Beats: college football, off-topic

Minor League Rule 5 Draft results, pick by pick

Typically, the Rule 5 Draft consists of Major League and Minor League phases, but since all Major League transactions are frozen until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is in place, only the Minor League phase took place during this year’s Winter Meetings. The Major League phase may be rescheduled once a new CBA is in place.

There were some interesting and noteworthy names taken, including former No. 8 overall pick (2015 Draft) Carson Fulmer, taken by the Dodgers from the Reds, and fellow right-hander Jon Duplantier, also selected by the Dodgers from the Giants. Both were once on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects list. There was one current member of a Top 30 list taken: Right-hander Curtis Taylor, who was No. 29 on the Blue Jays’ ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 08, 2021 at 03:44 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rule 5 draft

When the Braves became the Bees

Back when the Braves belonged to Boston, there was a fleeting period in which the “Braves” name was dropped in an unusual—and ultimately ill-fated—attempt to rescue a sagging squad.

The Braves’ “Miracle” run to a World Series title in 1914 was far off in the rearview mirror, and Boston’s National League team had fallen on tough times, both on the field and in the financials. A drastic and deceitful effort to get butts in the seats by putting a physically deteriorating Babe Ruth in the lineup in 1935 had been a spectacular failure, and the club’s stakeholders had been dissolved by the league after it was determined they didn’t have the money to keep the team afloat.

And so the Boston Braves, under new ownership, tried to change ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 08, 2021 at 12:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Rosenthal: What a new collective bargaining agreement should look like

Sub required. Summary:

Increase luxury tax thresholds, decrease penalties

Keep the revenue sharing formula the same, but require recipients to spend on major-league payroll.

Free agency after six years of service time except for players who have at least five at age 30; elimination of direct draft-pick compensation; creation of system to help low-revenue teams keep franchise-type players before they hit the open market.

Increase the percentage of players who qualify for Super Two eligibility; increase the minimum salary from $570,500 to at least $800,000.

A draft lottery for low-revenue teams with the top 10 picks, giving weighted advantages to those with the best records; additional selections for low-revenue teams that make the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 08, 2021 at 11:56 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

On MLB-owned media, the players now barely exist. What’s behind that decision?

Sub required.

The players have been scrubbed from the league’s website and content ecosystem. Their headshots were removed from rosters, their highlights hidden, their names wiped from promotional schedules. (April 30 is “Cardinals Third Baseman Bobblehead” day at Busch Stadium.) Team social media accounts quieted and ceased referencing players at all; the league’s Twitter account went nearly three days without activity this weekend. MLB Network and employees were instructed to mostly avoid mentioning active 40-man players’ names on air or in articles for the duration of the lockout.

But exactly why MLB is taking this route isn’t clear.

MLB is advised in labor relations by the law firm Proskauer Rose. Asked to ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2021 at 03:45 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues

ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian is 2022 winner of BBWAA Career Excellence Award

After four decades of covering Major League Baseball, longtime writer and ESPN analyst Tim Kurkjian is the 2022 winner of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s Career Excellence Award (formerly the J.G. Taylor Spink award).

The award, the highest honor awarded by the BBWAA, is given out annually “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” Kurkjian, who turns 65 on Friday, will be recognized at Hall of Fame ceremonies this summer.

Kurkjian began his writing career in Texas where he covered the Texas Rangers for the Dallas Morning News from 1981-1985. He moved on to the Baltimore Sun in 1986 before becoming a mainstay at Sports Illustrated in 1989. His weekly byline became a must read for baseball fans across the country. ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2021 at 12:47 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: bbwaa

Athletics manager search: Mark Kotsay, Joe Espada, Will Venable among A’s candidates, per report

Here, via The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli and Ken Rosenthal, are the six managerial candidates the A’s either have interviewed or will interview soon. Other names could always be added to this list in the future:

Darren Bush, A’s hitting coach
Joe Espada, Astros bench coach
Marcus Jenson, A’s bullpen coach
Mark Kotsay, A’s third base coach
Matt Quatraro, Rays bench coach
Will Venable, Red Sox bench coach
Kotsay, Quatraro, and Venable have all already interviewed, reports Ghiroli. Espada and Quatraro are also candidates for the Mets open managerial position. The common thread among all these candidates is no previous managerial experience. They’d all be rookie MLB skippers, which is not something that spooks teams as much as it once did. ...Read More...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2021 at 10:46 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Jose Marmolejos Signs With Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles have announced the signing of outfielder/first baseman Jose Marmolejos.  According to Tacoma Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto (Twitter link), “multiple Japanese teams” were scouting Marmolejos last season.

Marmolejos turns 29 in January, and is coming off a season that saw him win MVP honors in Triple-A West.  Over 83 games and 353 plate appearances with the Mariners’ affiliate in Tacoma, Marmolejos hit .338/.439/.672 with 26 home runs.  Between this performance and some other big numbers with the Nationals’ Triple-A club in 2019, it seems as though Marmolejos doesn’t have much left to prove at the top minor league level, though he has yet to translate that production to the majors.

Appearing in ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2021 at 09:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, jose marmolejos

Monday, December 06, 2021

Major League Baseball is headed for a lockout. Is Ted Cruz the only one who can stop it?

If Cruz truly wants to take action to punish Manfred and the league’s owners, he can.

The league’s collective bargaining agreement expires in December. With relations between owners and the players’ union chilly at best, fans are bracing for the possibility that owners could lock out players before the 2022 season could start.

Cruz and the Senate could take the lockout card off the table. Under the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, lockouts would be banned, unless employees already had gone on strike.

The players’ union has publicly supported the PRO Act. The league has said nothing, aware that the number of senators currently committed to vote yes is not enough to win.

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), who shepherded the PRO ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2021 at 08:03 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: congress

Red Sox, Astros Interested In Trevor Story

The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros have expressed interest in free agent shortstop Trevor Story, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman in his latest insider piece for Audacy’s “Big Time Baseball” podcast. Heyman reiterates that he’s also heard Seattle convey interest in the shortstop, as MLBTR covered prior to the lockout last week. As is the case with all player-team connections made in the lockout age, no talks can take place between either party until the lockout is lifted.

Interestingly, Boston was recently cited as a team who reached out to free agent shortstop Carlos Correa’s camp. The path to that connection being anything more than due diligence lies in moving All-Star Xander Bogaerts off the position, an option neither ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2021 at 07:49 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, red sox, trevor story

What Does Endeavor, Silver Lake’s Push Into Baseball Mean For the Minors?

As soon as next week, Endeavor, a global sports and marketing company, is expected to announce the purchase of six or more minor league teams. Another six or more sales are expected soon afterward with more to come in the next year. MLB has to approve all sales, but that is not expected to be an issue.

Endeavor Group Holdings is a publicly traded company that has an umbrella of companies stretching across sports, entertainment and marketing. Silver Lake Partners, a private equity group, owns a significant share of Endeavor.

In any normal year, the purchase of 10-plus minor league teams would rate as seismic news. In the case of Endeavor, it’s going to be a slowing of its original pace. Limits have been put in place that will ensure ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2021 at 11:19 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Here is Mets’ preliminary list of managerial candidates

To be clear, this is not the list of people who the Mets have contacted or will definitely interview; it’s the list of people in whom the Mets have some level of preliminary interest:

Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada

Veteran manager Buck Showalter

Tampa Bay bench coach Matt Quatraro

Pittsburgh bench coach Don Kelly

Former Tigers and Angels manager Brad Ausmus

Before interviews take place, it is impossible to label a frontrunner. Having said that, it does feel like there’s early buzz surrounding Espada. In addition to his history with Eppler in the Yankees organization, Espada has been at the center of what the Astros have accomplished under Dusty Baker over the past two seasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 05, 2021 at 11:49 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Minnie, Gil, Buck among 6 elected to Hall

Six baseball legends were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2022 as part of the institution’s Era Committees election cycle in results announced Sunday night on MLB Network. Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil were elected from the Early Baseball Era Committee ballot of 10 candidates, while Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva were elected from the 10 Golden Days Era Committee candidates.

The Early Baseball Era ballot featured candidates whose primary contributions came before 1950. Seven of the 10 were stars in the Negro Leagues or pre-Negro Leagues, including both Fowler and O’Neil as well as John Donaldson, Vic Harris, Grant “Home Run” Johnson, Dick “Cannonball” Redding and George “Tubby” Scales. American ...


Friday, December 03, 2021

Masahiro Tanaka to remain with NPB’s Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles for 2022 season

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball’s owners voted to lock out the players, bringing the league’s offseason to a halt. Just because MLB is on ice until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement can be ratified by both sides doesn’t mean other leagues around the world are paused.

To wit, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball announced on Friday that veteran starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will return to the club for the 2022 season, according to Yahoo! Japan.

Tanaka, 33 years old, is best known to American audiences for the seven seasons he spent as a member of the New York Yankees rotation. Prior to signing a seven-year contract with the Yankees worth $155 million ahead of the 2014 season, he had ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2021 at 04:49 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, masahiro tanaka, npb

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