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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Amidst the chaos of Winter Meetings, the A’s embrace the calm of hitting their 2020 target – The Athletic

“We’ve been looking forward to this window right now for quite some time,” Melvin said. “To see it all come together at the same time going into the season, albeit there is still a lot of youth, is really exciting. I don’t know that in my tenure here that we have had both a position player group and a pitching group this talented to this point. We’re all excited about that.”

Driving much of Melvin’s excitement is the prospect of folding young southpaws Jesús Luzardo and AJ Puk into the A’s starting rotation.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:10 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bob melvin, pay site

Saturday, December 07, 2019

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 ownership. The list excludes incentives, options or contract extensions in the salary totals. It includes over 1,500 signings, the last of which was Zack Wheeler and the Phillies agreeing on a five-year, $118 million deal on Wednesday.)

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2019 at 07:35 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, pay site, pirates

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Pirates owner Bob Nutting not sweating $17M in dead money | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When do they build him a statue?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2019 at 05:47 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, pirates

Monday, December 02, 2019


Sunday, December 01, 2019

‘Losing a war that you weren’t informed of’: Some MLB pitchers are livid over electronic sign stealing – The Athletic

Since The Athletic broke the news that the Houston Astros stole signs electronically in 2017, the fallout has mostly been framed as an Astros vs. the-rest-of-MLB scandal. But this line of thought is misguided, or at least incomplete for a couple of reasons.

First, we don’t necessarily know everything that the Astros were doing, or whether they were the only team to do it. Beyond that, regardless of who was doing what and how widespread it was, both commissioner Rob Manfred and the players union will have to soothe a critical undercurrent if they hope to move the game forward.

The issue? Pitchers want blood.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2019 at 08:51 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, sign stealing

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Stark: Five things to watch on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot – The Athletic

Read the whole thing.

3. Can Walker make a historic leap to Cooperstown?
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Larry Walker remains hitless in his last 5,161 days on Planet Earth. But because Hall of Fame voting is so frigging weird, that didn’t stop Walker from making the biggest surge of any player on the 2019 ballot. That was in the form of a 20.5-percent, 88-vote leap to 54.1 percent, which left him 87 votes shy of election.

That would be an eye-popping jump for anyone. But it’s almost incomprehensible for a guy who was only attracting 68 votes total (344 short of election) as recently as five years ago.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 20, 2019 at 08:28 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, pay site

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sarris: More load management in baseball? What the sport might learn from the NBA – The Athletic

Even on the hitting side, we’re seeing young stars develop repetitive stress injuries — Fernando Tatis Jr. suffered a stress fracture this year, something that can develop if hitters don’t take enough time off, according to at least one expert on the subject.

“From what doctors have said, this is a common-usage injury at times in guys who are 15 to 24 years of age,” former Padres skipper Andy Green told our Dennis Lin about the team’s young star. “He’s kind of going through that right now, and we expect him to make a full recovery.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2019 at 08:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, player health, rest

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Moonshot: The Rocket Ball Has Disappeared In October - Baseball ProspectusBaseball Prospectus

But this change is very different. Almost overnight within the same season, the ball has been replaced by one with wholly distinct characteristics, ranging from the speed with which it leaves the bat to the distance it travels. It’s hard to believe that MLB, which owns the company that produces the baseballs, would consciously approve a change to their manufacturing on the eve of the most important month of the season, but it’s also hard to believe that this would happen by accident.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2019 at 03:49 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: baseballs, pay site

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Cubs leaving no stone unturned as organizational revamp kicks into high gear – The Athletic

It doesn’t take long to fall behind.

It’s important to listen to how Epstein describes what he calls a modernization of the front office — a reshuffling process that’s already begun. One of those changes is adding directors of pitching and hitting.

“I think the goal of someone in the role of director of pitching is to have real clarity on what our pitching philosophy is, what our separators are going to be as an organization, how we make the best use of the most cutting edge technology for the state of modern pitching and most importantly where pitching is going over the next several years,” Epstein said. “And then implement that from top to bottom of the organization — more on the minor-league side, but with a working relationship with the major-league staff so that we have the best possible methods with how we teach pitching, how we maximize our pitching and how we evaluate pitching.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2019 at 08:48 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site

Friday, September 13, 2019

Q&A with John Mozeliak

In early August, you all collectively made the decision to fire popular assistant hitting coach Mark Budaska. At the time, everyone said it was related to philosophical differences with hitting coach Jeff Albert. How much do you think the mixed messaging for the first few months may have contributed to the offense underperforming?

Mozeliak: I think, simply put, you’re always looking for consistent messaging. You can have diverse opinions, but you have to have ways of solving problems, because ultimately you don’t want to confuse the players or your team. I think we needed to find some clarity on that. It forced us to make a change and now I feel like the messaging the players here is much more consistent, and I feel that’s been a very positive development for us over the last month or so.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 13, 2019 at 08:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, john mozeliak, pay site

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Sarris: Why doubt and uncertainty are crucial to modern player development – The Athletic

True this.

“There are a lot of things that probably don’t matter that we think do,” Seattle’s pitching coordinator Max Weiner said last month. “Our whole goal is to educate, not to dictate. So when you’re trying to create a sense of safety and belonging, and you’re a jerk and you’re saying do this, and your words are firm and brash — which we’ve all fallen victim to, I’ve definitely done it myself in the past — it’s really difficult. But if you offer up a sense of an option and you inform them and the decision becomes their own, it’s much more meaningful and it comes back to the quickest versus the most sustainable change. A lot of patience has to be involved.”

“The most successful people I’m around have an aura of confidence but also a paranoia of what am I missing,” Haines said about how doubt plays into a good player development process. “If you start thinking you’ve got all the answers, you’re starting to fall behind.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 05, 2019 at 10:54 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, player development

Tuesday, September 03, 2019


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

“You’ve got to pay correctly”: Rob Manfred is optimistic about negotiations to pay minor leaguers more – The Athletic

Besides improving minor league pay the league and MLBPA needs to do something about the international signing process. Both areas are a mess.

Lurking in the background, and as a point of leverage, is the possibility that MLB seeks to cull some teams or otherwise reshape some aspects of the minors. The system between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball boils down to this: the league commits to supply players and coaches to fill a certain number of teams, and in exchange, the minor-league clubs pay MLB a percentage of their ticket revenue.

MLB can argue that if its cost per player goes up, then the number of minor-league teams will need to go down. MLB could also ask that MiLB pay a higher percentage in ticket revenue.

“There are probably places in the minor leagues that both from a facility and fan-engagement perspective, I think we’re sort of at a point in time where you got to look at the system,” Manfred said. “The vast, vast majority of it’s fine. If you clean up some stuff around the edges, it creates some economic flexibility that we can use. Whether we pay or they pay, that’s a negotiation, right? But we need to do something in that area. We’re looking at all those economic issues right now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 10, 2019 at 06:40 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league pay, pay site

Thursday, June 20, 2019

John Sickels’ Top 100 prospects (UPDATED) – The Athletic

Sickel’s latest.

Here’s the current Top 100, with updated ranking and grade. Note that this does NOT include 2019 draftees.

1) Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays, Grade A: Previously number 4; hitting .326/.396/.514 in Low-A; best position player long-term still in the minor leagues.

2) Mackenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego Padres, Grade A: Previously number 8; completely dominant in High-A with 1.21 ERA in 60 innings, spectacular 83/14 K/BB.

3) Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros, Grade A-: Previously number 11, got off to a slow start in AAA but has been on a tear recently, now up to .282/.356/.633 with 23 homers, 17 steals in 66 games.

4) Casey Mize, RHP, Detroit Tigers, Grade A-: Previously number 9; insane 0.92 ERA in 78 innings, 75/12 K/BB between A and AA; went on DL with sore shoulder recently, otherwise he would be number three; will have to monitor health status.

5) Keston Hiura, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers, Grade A-: Previously number 17; excellent in AAA at .315/.391/.663, performed well in big league trial at .281/.333/.531 in 64 at-bats; he’s ready and thus this ranking.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:48 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, prospects

Wednesday, June 19, 2019


 

 

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