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Thursday, November 09, 2023

2024 Top 50 MLB Free Agents

One thing I’m confident about: Ohtani will get an absolute king’s ransom wherever he goes. If he’s looking to max out on dollars, his contract could eclipse $500 million in guaranteed money, even with his uncertain pitching future. He’s so talented that his performance merits a top-of-market deal, and he’s so marketable that owners will likely be willing to pay up beyond the fair value of his on-field production. He’ll sell tickets, drive fan interest, and produce a huge upswell in Japanese viewership and advertising.

That assumes that Ohtani just wants to sign for the highest amount of money. If he’s more interested in optionality and comfort, he might instead sign a deal that gives him huge upside but preserves the option ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 09, 2023 at 11:04 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei ohtani

Jason Benetti Leaving the White Sox Booth for the Tigers, Len Kasper Staying on Radio

I remember when Len Kasper left the Chicago Cubs broadcast booth back in late 2020, I absolutely believed him that it was because he had the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream and call games on the radio. He became the radio voice of the White Sox from there, and has seemingly been quite happy since.

But also remember thinking at the time, for as much as I believed Kasper’s rationale, there was maybe a chance that it was ALSO slightly because he could foresee things were gonna get kinda ugly for a while with the Cubs. We could all see it, of course, as it was the start of the “totally not a rebuild,” and it’s taken a bit of time to get out of it. Again, not saying that’s WHY Kasper left – I’m just saying it was probably ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 09, 2023 at 10:56 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: jason benetti, tigers, white sox

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Yankees plan to teach more bunting thanks to Aaron Boone’s premonition, owner Hal Steinbrenner warns

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner spoke to the media on Tuesday about a variety of topics, including some takeaways from the team’s recent self-evaluation period. According to Steinbrenner, one of the tweaks the Yankees intend to make is spending more time teaching players how to bunt.

“I think [manager] Aaron Boone thinks that we’re not teaching young players to bunt enough,” Steinbrenner said before delving into an aside concerning his own research on the matter. “A few years ago in player development, we cut back on the bunting skills, but Aaron Boone feels it’s becoming a bigger part of the game again, he feels it’s important. So we’re going to start right up again.”

Steinbrenner is correct that bunting has withered in ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 07, 2023 at 10:24 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Report: Angels interviewing Ron Washington for manager’s job

The Los Angeles Angels are interviewing Atlanta Braves third base coach and former Texas Rangers skipper Ron Washington for their vacant manager’s job, a source told Sam Blum of The Athletic.

The interview will take place Tuesday night, Blum reports.

Washington, 71, hasn’t managed since resigning from his job with Texas in 2014 due to a personal issue. He was a finalist for the Braves’ managerial job in 2017 but lost out to Brian Snitker.

A longtime presence on the diamond as a player, coach, and manager, Washington posted a 664-611 record during his eight years in Texas. He guided the Rangers to five winning seasons, four 90-win campaigns, and two division titles, as well as their first two AL pennants in 2010 and ‘11.

...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 07, 2023 at 10:23 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, ron washington

Monday, November 06, 2023

7 stars receive qualifying offer

Josh Hader, RP (Padres)
After a rough two-month stretch led to a career-high 5.22 ERA in 2022, Hader put together an outstanding season from start to finish in 2023. The left-hander recorded a 1.28 ERA with 33 saves and 85 K’s in 56 1/3 innings. Hader, 29, owns a career 2.50 ERA with a 0.94 WHIP and a 15.0 K/9 over 349 appearances.

Aaron Nola, SP (Phillies)
Before turning the page in the postseason, Nola had trouble stringing together positive outings in 2023, finishing the regular season with a 4.46 ERA—up from 3.25 in 2022. However, his durability and strikeout stuff—he has made at least 32 starts and recorded 200-plus K’s in each of the past five full seasons—will give him significant appeal on the free-agent market.

...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 06, 2023 at 07:11 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: qualifying offer

Teams forced out of affiliated minors settle suit with MLB

NEW YORK—Major League Baseball avoided a possible U.S. Supreme Court challenge to its antitrust exemption when it settled a federal lawsuit and two in New York State court filed by minor league teams who lost their big league affiliations.

deadpilgrims Posted: November 06, 2023 at 02:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: legal, minors

Guardians hire Stephen Vogt as next manager

The Cleveland Guardians have hired Stephen Vogt, a journeyman catcher with no managerial experience, as their new manager to replace Terry Francona, the team announced Monday.

Vogt was Seattle’s bullpen coach last season.

Although the 38-year-old Vogt has never been a manager, he checked every other box for the Guardians, who also spoke with Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell about their opening last week.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 06, 2023 at 02:29 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: guardians, stephen vogt

Counsell Bolts Brewers to Manage Cubs

Craig Counsell is leaving the Milwaukee Brewers to become the manager for the Chicago Cubs, sources confirmed to ESPN.

It’s a blockbuster move for Chicago, which had David Ross as its manager but will now go with Counsell, who had spent the previous decade with their National League Central rival Milwaukee. Ross was under contract for the 2024 season.

Counsell, 53, had also interviewed for the New York Mets and Cleveland Guardians managerial openings. The Guardians hired Stephen Vogt as manager and sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that the Mets are hiring New York Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza as their manager.

PeteF3 Posted: November 06, 2023 at 02:10 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, craig counsell, cubs, managers

Dusty Baker partially blames ‘bloggers and tweeters’ for retirement: ‘Tired of the scrutiny’

Potential future Hall of Fame manager Dusty Baker says that criticism from “30-year-olds” and “bloggers and tweeters” played a role in his decision to retire from the Houston Astros at the end of the team’s postseason run.

Baker, 74, shared that revelation during an appearance on “The Steam Room” podcast hosted by TNT NBA personalities Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley.

“We had a lot of success here, Ernie and Charles, and then the last couple of months here weren’t very pleasant, because we weren’t 10 games ahead,” Baker said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “You spoil people. They think you’re supposed to win this every year running away and it’s not like that.

“Every year’s different. There was a whole bunch of criticism from ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 06, 2023 at 08:52 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dusty baker

Sunday, November 05, 2023

Marlins To Hire Rays GM Peter Bendix As President Of Baseball Operations

The Marlins are set to hire Rays general manager Peter Bendix as the club’s next head of baseball operations, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Andy McCullough (links to X).  Rosenthal reported earlier tonight that Bendix was Miami’s “leading candidate” for the job, and Bendix has informed some Rays co-workers that he will be leaving for the Marlins job.

Bendix would become the latest in a long line of Tampa Bay executives hired away by other teams.  Andrew Friedman (Dodgers), Chaim Bloom (Red Sox), Matt Arnold (Brewers), and James Click (Astros) all got rival front office jobs due in part to the Rays’ consistent ability to draft and develop talent, all while fielding competitive teams on small player payrolls.  ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2023 at 07:13 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Tigers beat Buffaloes in Game 7 to end 38-year Japan Series drought

After suffering through a 38-year drought that felt much, much longer thanks to losing seasons, near misses and even a curse linked to Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Tigers and their fans can finally rejoice.

The wait is over. The Tigers are Japan Series champions.

Sheldon Neuse hit a three-run home run and drove in four runs, and Hanshin fans let out nearly four decades of frustration after the final out of a 7-1 win over the Orix Buffaloes in Game 7 of the Japan Series at Kyocera Dome Osaka on Sunday night.

“This is what we play for all year,” Neuse said. “I’m just happy, very thankful I’m here to get the opportunity and glad I was able to contribute.”

The Tigers won the Japan Series for the first time since 1985 — when manager ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2023 at 11:17 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Dick Drago, staple of Red Sox pitching staff in 1970s, dies at 78

Dick Drago, who pitched for the Red Sox in the 1970s, died Thursday at age 78.

Drago, who spent five years with the club from 1974-1975 and 1978-1980, compiled a 30-29 record and 3.55 ERA over 206 games with Boston. He registered nine complete games, 41 saves, and struck out 305 batters.

The Red Sox expressed their condolences Saturday afternoon, referring to him as “a staple” of the staff and a “beloved teammate.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2023 at 11:15 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dick drago, obituaries

Reds decline $20M option on Joey Votto, possibly ending Cincinnati career after 17 seasons

Joey Votto’s $20 million option for 2024 was declined Saturday by the Reds, making the first baseman a free agent and possibly ending his career with Cincinnati after 17 seasons.

Votto will get a $7 million buyout, completing a contract that guaranteed $251.5 million over 12 seasons.

Cincinnati also declined its part of a $4 million mutual option with catcher Curt Casali, who gets a $750,000 buyout.

“At this point of the offseason, based on our current roster and projected plans for 2024, as an organization we cannot commit to the playing time Joey deserves,” general manager Nick Krall said in a statement. “He forever will be part of the Reds’ family, and at the appropriate time we will thank and honor him as one of the greatest ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2023 at 10:20 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: joey votto, reds

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Marcus Stroman Opts Out Of Deal With Cubs

Marcus Stroman has enacted the opt-out clause in his contract and will now become a free agent, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reports (X link).  Stroman’s three-year, $71MM deal with the Cubs from the 2021-22 offseason allowed Stroman to opt out of the final year of that contract, and the right-hander will be leaving $21MM on the table in search of a larger and more lucrative deal this winter.

Stroman faced one of the more interesting option decisions of any player on the market, as his 2023 campaign was a tale of two seasons.  In the first half, Stroman had a 2.96 ERA over 112 2/3 innings and received an All-Star nod for his efforts.  In the second half, Stroman had an 8.63 ERA over only 24 innings, as he missed about six weeks on ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 04, 2023 at 03:52 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, marcus stroman

White Sox To Decline Club Option On Tim Anderson

The White Sox will decline their $14MM club option on shortstop Tim Anderson, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers (X link).  Anderson will instead receive a $1MM buyout, and become a free agent for the first time in his professional career.

The decision marks the end of an era on the South Side, as Anderson had been part of the organization since the White Sox made him the 17th overall pick of the 2013 draft.  Emerging as a regular through the club’s rebuilding years, Anderson made two All-Star Games, won a Silver Slugger Award (in 2020), and won the 2019 AL batting title during his eight seasons in a Sox uniform.

The White Sox recognized this potential early, and locked Anderson up on a six-year, $25MM extension prior to the 2017 ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 04, 2023 at 03:51 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: tim anderson, white sox

Tigers acquire OF Mark Canha from Brewers for minor leaguer

Veteran outfielder Mark Canha is on the move again, with the Milwaukee Brewers trading him to the Detroit Tigers on Saturday rather than picking up his option for the 2024 season.

The Brewers acquired minor league pitcher Blake Holub in the deal.

Milwaukee was facing a Monday deadline on whether to pick up Canha’s $11.5 million team option for 2024 or pay a $2 million buyout. The Brewers instead dealt Canha to the Tigers, the second time he’s been traded this year.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 04, 2023 at 03:49 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mark canha, tigers

Friday, November 03, 2023

Kershaw has shoulder surgery, hopes to pitch in ‘24

Clayton Kershaw underwent surgery to repair the glenohumeral ligament and capsule in his left shoulder, he announced on Friday in an Instagram post. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Kershaw, who will turn 36 in March, said in the post that he is “hopeful to return to play at some point next summer,” which all but confirms that he’ll attempt to take the mound for his 17th MLB season. He had not previously confirmed whether he would be returning for the 2024 season.

Kershaw is a free agent after playing last year on a one-year contract, and he had one of the worst starts of his career his last time out, as he allowed six runs and recorded just one out against the D-backs in Game 1 of the National League Division ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 03, 2023 at 03:00 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw

Ian Kennedy To Retire

The Yankees selected Kennedy in the first round of the 2006 draft. The USC product reached the majors a little more than a year later, debuting as a September call-up in ’07. He saw limited action in the Bronx over the next two-plus seasons. During the 2009-10 offseason, the Yanks dealt Kennedy to the Diamondbacks as part of the three-team blockbuster that moved Max Scherzer to Detroit and Curtis Granderson to New York.

Kennedy spent three and a half seasons as a key piece of the Arizona rotation. He led the National League with 21 wins while pitching to a 2.88 ERA across 222 innings in 2011, securing a fourth-place finish in NL Cy Young balloting. At the 2013 deadline, the Snakes flipped Kennedy to the Padres for Joe Thatcher. He ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 03, 2023 at 12:12 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: ian kennedy

Sinclair Broadcasting wants to scoop up bankrupt RSN giant Diamond Sports: sources

Sinclair Broadcasting Group wants to pay pennies on the dollar to regain control of a nationwide chain of regional sports networks — which it had paid $10.6 billion to acquire four years ago only to see it fall into bankruptcy this spring, The Post has learned.

Sinclair, which owns 185 television stations in 86 markets, has offered roughly $850 million in partnership with Bally’s owner Soo Kim to regain control of its bankrupt subsidiary, Diamond Sports Group, which airs local games on TV under the Bally Sports brand and owns the rights to 39 teams across MLB, the NBA and NHL, sources said.

The deal looks like a last gasp to keep the decades-old regional sports networks broadcasting on local TV. Diamond, which has been mired in ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 03, 2023 at 10:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: regional sports networks, sinclair

Thursday, November 02, 2023

Low World Series TV ratings in 2023 continue 7-year downward trend

As television ratings continue to come out for the 2023 World Series, the news continues to get worse for MLB.

Game 2 of this year’s Fall Classic between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers was the lowest-watched World Series game of all time with 8.15 million people tuning in, according to Nielsen data collected by Sports TV Ratings. Two nights later, Game 3 set a new record low of fewer than 8.13 million people.

Tuesday night’s Game 4 action saw a jump back above the numbers for Games 2 and 3, but the average of 8.48 million viewers was still a record low for a World Series Game 4, per Sports TV ratings.

As of the time of writing, Nielsen has not yet released data on viewership for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

The low ratings of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 02, 2023 at 05:53 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: tv ratings

Dodgers’ Max Muncy: Inks two-year extension

Muncy signed a two-year, $24 million contract extension with the Dodgers on Thursday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports.

Muncy had a $14 million club option for the 2024 season, but the Dodgers will instead give him a new deal that keeps the 33-year-old slugger in Los Angeles through 2025 with a $10 million club option for 2026. Muncy slashed .212/.333/.475 across 482 plate appearances in 2023 while recording personal bests in home runs (36) and RBI (105).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 02, 2023 at 05:19 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: max muncy

Nelson Cruz Retires from MLB After 19 Seasons; Won 2011 ALCS MVP with Rangers

Still, the 43-year-old had a phenomenal 19-year MLB career that spanned 2005-2023. He primarily played for the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners, but he also suited up for the Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers in that span.

Cruz is one of the most prolific power bats in baseball history, having slashed .274/.343/.513 with 464 home runs and 1,325 RBI in 2,055 games across 19 seasons. His 464 blasts rank 37th on MLB’s all-time home run list.

Although he never won a World Series title, Cruz was a seven-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger and the 2011 American League Championship Series MVP. In 50 playoff games during his career, he slashed .278/.348/.631 with 18 home runs and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 02, 2023 at 03:08 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: nelson cruz

Free agent rankings: Top 25 for the 2023-24 offseason

1) Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH (age: 29)

Even with a torn UCL that required a second elbow surgery, Ohtani is easily the top free agent on this year’s market. It remains to be seen if/when Ohtani will return to the mound, but his offensive profile alone—which compares favorably to Aaron Judge, who signed for nine years and $360 million last year—should land him a deal in that range, as he’s more than a year younger than Judge was when he reached free agency. Most expect him to pitch again no later than 2025, and it’s possible his deal goes far beyond Judge’s, though the guaranteed dollars are sure to take a hit from what they would have been without the injury.

Potential fits: Angels, Dodgers, Giants, Mets

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 02, 2023 at 10:22 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei ohtani

Braves bring back Jiménez on 3-year, $26 million deal

The Braves signed right-hander Joe Jiménez to a three-year contract worth $26 million, with the reliever set to make $8 million in 2024 and $9 million in each of the final two years of the deal. Jiménez has agreed to donate 1% of his salary to the Atlanta Braves Foundation.

Jiménez, 28, played his first season with Atlanta in 2023 and went 0-3 with a 3.04 ERA over 59 appearances.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 02, 2023 at 10:05 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, joe jimenez

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Rangers take out D-backs for franchise’s 1st World Series title

The Texas Rangers spent seven months of this season terrorizing opponents with a menacing offense that feasted on home runs and hardly ever let up. The first night of November showcased the other aspects that make them dominant—gritty starting pitching, sound defense and a lineup versatile enough to manufacture runs when needed.

It sealed them a title.

The Rangers defeated the upstart, underdog Arizona Diamondbacks in front of a soldout Chase Field crowd, 5-0, in Game 5 of the World Series on Wednesday, clinching the first championship in the 62-year history of their franchise. Nathan Eovaldi continually weaved out of trouble, somehow matching a dominant Zac Gallen through six scoreless innings, and the Rangers’ offense finally came ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 01, 2023 at 11:09 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

The Athletic: Padres recently took out $50 million loan to help cover payroll: sources

Despite selling more tickets this season than all but one Major League Baseball team, the San Diego Padres took out a loan for about $50 million in September to address short-term cash flow issues and meet their obligations, including player payroll, people briefed on the team’s finances told The Athletic.

MLB teams commonly tap into lines of credit to pay their bills, prompting some officials in the sport to suggest any concern should be tempered because the Padres were ultimately creditworthy enough to draw the loan. But other officials briefed on the team’s finances who were not authorized to speak publicly viewed the Padres’ situation as worrisome.

“The Padres organization continues to have access to all the resources, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 01, 2023 at 05:04 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: padres

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

OT - November* 2023 College Football thread

The longest month.

* 30 days hath November, except in the college football thread, where it runs through Championship Week before giving way to the Bowl Spectacular.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: October 31, 2023 at 07:25 PM | 255 comment(s)
  Beats: college football, off-topic

State AGs Urge Supreme Court to Review MLB Antitrust Exemption

On Monday they filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to review a case involving two minor league baseball teams, the Tri-City ValleyCats and Norwich Sea Unicorns, that lost their MLB affiliations during the MiLB reorganization a few years ago. Through their attorneys at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the ValleyCats and Sea Unicorns petitioned the Supreme Court last month.

As detailed in Sportico, the case centers on whether MLB and its teams unlawfully conspired under federal antitrust law. MLB won at the district court and federal appellate levels, with judges explaining MLB is exempt from antitrust scrutiny per the Supreme Court’s 1922 decision in Federal Baseball Club v. National League—a decision the Court upheld 50 years later ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2023 at 04:16 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: antitrust exemption

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