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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-12-2019

Columbus Dispatch, December 12, 1919:

Because of the claim of officials of the New York National league club that the New York American league club management flooded the Polo Grounds with passes last year in an effort to give the impression that the Yanks were playing to as many people as the Giants, there is grave doubt whether the Highlanders will find the Polo Grounds available for their use after 1920.

That seems like an extremely petty thing to get mad about, but *shrug*.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 12, 2019 at 09:26 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Yankee Death Star Is Back

The Yankees are loaded now with players of spellbinding possibility. How far will Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton hit it? Will Aroldis Chapman throw his 100 mile-an-hour fastball or his wipeout slider? How many strikeouts will Cole get tonight?

If you love the Yankees, you dream about that stuff. If you hate the Yankees, it makes you groan. Either way, you care enough to watch the game in some form, which keeps cash rolling into the Bank of Steinbrenner.

No single move can guarantee that long-awaited return to the World Series, not even a record contract for an ace in his prime. But the big, bad Yankees are back, and that is good for the game.

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 12, 2019 at 07:13 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Manfred: MLB `flexible’ on minor league cuts, irked by talks

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred countered outcry over Major League Baseball’s proposal to chop 42 farm teams by challenging the minors Wednesday to “move off the take-it-or-leave-it status quo approach” to their ongoing negotiations.

MLB and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues are negotiating a minor league agreement to replace the contract expiring after the 2020 season. MLB has proposed cutting more than a quarter of its 160 affiliates, citing concerns over the quality of facilities, travel and salaries for players.

Minor League President Pat O’Conner delivered an impassioned speech defending the minors to team executives at these winter meetings, and fans from small towns across the ...

QLE Posted: December 12, 2019 at 01:14 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, manfred is thinking about it, minor leagues

Angels to formulate plan for Ohtani’s throwing program soon

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Once Shohei Ohtani completes the final phase of his recovery from Tommy John surgery later this month, the Los Angeles Angels will confer with surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache and the team’s medical staff to determine how to proceed with the Japanese two-way star’s throwing program.

Ohtani threw another bullpen session Wednesday and has worked up to about 50 pitches, general manager Billy Eppler said. The team may decide to keep pushing him from the mound or flat ground, but he may also take time off before ramping up again for spring training.

“The first step is going to be get through what he needs to get through and then talk to Dr. ElAttrache and talk to our medical personnel and come up with a plan,” Eppler ...

QLE Posted: December 12, 2019 at 01:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei ohtani

MLB Rumors: Angels Pursuing ‘Significant’ Starting Pitcher

Some examples of rumored goings-on with the Winter Meetings:

- The Angels are still reportedly planning to add a “significant” starting pitcher prior to the 2020 season and are pursing Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-jin Ryu, Dallas Keuchel or a trade for Jon Gray. (Jon Morosi, MLB Network)

- The Angels, after missing out on signing Gerrit Cole, have “expressed interest” in trading for Indians righthander Corey Kluber. A two-time Cy Young winner, Kluber is coming off an injury-filled 2019 season. Anthony Rendon remains the Angels’ priority, but they’re open to other options. (Fabian Ardaya, The Athletic)

- The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians continue to engage in “serious” trade discussions for All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor. ...


What do the losers of the Gerrit Cole derby do now?

Gerrit Cole is now a New York Yankee. Nine years and $324 million make that so. But though the Yankees are the only team who gets him, they weren’t the only team interested in him. So let’s take a look at what the losers of the Gerrit Cole derby — the Dodgers and the Angels — can do now that they know they’ve lost.

Well, there’s always the Preakness and the Belmont…..


QLE Posted: December 12, 2019 at 12:49 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dodgers, gerrit cole

Study points to seam height in MLB’s homer surge, but leaves much unexplained

SAN DIEGO — For the second time in two years, a group of scientists hired by Major League Baseball to conduct an independent study on the composition of the baseballs to determine what caused the recent home run spikes has concluded not much at all. To their credit, they have a little more information than last time. (Maybe it was the seams all along.) But then again, who doesn’t?

According to the new report released by MLB on Wednesday morning at the winter meetings, 60% of the jump to 2019’s record-setting 6,776 homers is due to an increase in carry — in other words, the drag on the balls decreased. The other 40% it attributes to launch conditions — which, in the absence of other evidence, is believed to be a result of batter ...

QLE Posted: December 12, 2019 at 12:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs

Report: Investigation into Astros’ alleged cheating likely not completed until 2020

Major League Baseball is currently investigating the Houston Astros over 2017 cheating allegations, but it still has a long way to go.

According to The Athletic, MLB likely won’t finish its investigation into the Astros until the new year. That’s a pretty wide span of time — it could mean January 2020, it could mean April 2020, it could mean November 2020 — but it’s hard to imagine MLB starting the new season with this hanging over their head.

As for what’s taking them so long, commissioner Rob Manfred told the media on Wednesday that it’s the “most thorough investigation” the commissioner’s office has ever done, with 60 interviews already conducted and more to come. In addition to that, Manfred also said that they ...

QLE Posted: December 12, 2019 at 12:39 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, investigation

Opioid testing among MLB players will begin next season

SAN DIEGO —  Five months after Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died in a hotel room with two opioids in his bloodstream, Major League Baseball and its players’ union have agreed on a new drug policy that would add opioid testing for major leaguers and would not punish marijuana use in the major or minor leagues.

The policy, which would be implemented next season, is expected to be announced Thursday, according to a person with knowledge of the policy who requested anonymity.

The new policy is expected to call for treatment, rather than suspension, for players testing positive for opioids. Major league players have not been subject to opioid or marijuana testing, barring reasonable cause or participation in a treatment program.

The ...

QLE Posted: December 12, 2019 at 12:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: opioids, testing

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Angels agree to 7-year deal with Rendon

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:46 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, anthony rendon


(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Ken Harrelson, who became a Chicago icon while calling White Sox games for 34 of his 43 years behind the mic, has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Harrelson will be recognized during the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 25, as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2020. Harrelson becomes the 44th winner of the Frick Award, as he earned the highest point total in a vote conducted by the Hall of Fame’s 15-member Frick Award Committee.

The final ballot featured broadcasters whose main contributions were realized as team announcers, identified as the Current Major League Markets ...

QLE Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:12 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: ford c. frick award, ken harrelson

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-11-2019

Pittsburgh Press, December 11, 1919:

Joe McCarthy, veteran second baseman of the Louisville American association baseball club, has been signed to manage the Colonels next year, according to a telegram from Business Manager William Neale, who is in New York. McCarthy is ranked as one of the best players in the association and has been with Louisville five years.

Ho-hum. Just another case of a guy getting a manager job because he’s a good player. There’s no chance McCarthy ever amounts to anything as a manager.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:39 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

White Sox trade for Nomar Mazara |

Can the White Sox unlock Mazara’s talent?

As White Sox general manager Rick Hahn spoke with the media Tuesday evening at the Manchester Grand Hyatt during Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, Texas general manager Jon Daniels walked by in the background and was acknowledged with a smile and a few humorous jabs by Hahn.

This meeting was pure coincidence, but it also was perfect timing as the White Sox later acquired left-handed-hitting outfielder Nomar Mazara in exchange for Minor League outfielder Steele Walker.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2019 at 06:49 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, trade, white sox

Yankees, Gerrit Cole agree to record 9-year, $324M deal

Prized free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees have agreed to a record nine-year, $324 million contract, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The deal includes an opt-out clause after five years, sources told Passan, and surpasses the deal Stephen Strasburg finalized with the Washington Nationals on Monday for most total money and annual average salary for a pitcher, at $36 million.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:15 AM | 107 comment(s)
  Beats: fuck you, peasants, gerrit cole, yankees

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Phillies to sign Didi Gregorius |

The Phillies are in agreement on a contract with free-agent shortstop Didi Gregorius, sources tell’s Jon Paul Morosi. MLB Network insider Joel Sherman was first to report the news. Philadelphia has not announced a deal, which is for one season and worth $14 million, according to multiple reports.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:31 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: didi gregorius, phillies

Late Globe writer Nick Cafardo wins baseball’s J.G. Spink Award - The Boston Globe

The late Nick Cafardo treasured the relationships he built during the nearly four decades he covered baseball, particularly with his fellow writers.

Cafardo was a friend and confidant to so many of them, rising above the daily tumult of the business to offer praise or encouragement when he thought it was needed.

On Tuesday, many of those same journalists paid Cafardo their ultimate tribute when he was named the winner of the 71st J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.

Cafardo joined former Globe colleagues Dan Shaughnessy (2016), Larry Whiteside (2008), and Peter Gammons (2004) as winners of the award, which is voted on by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 01:49 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: awards

Baseball’s amateur draft moving to Omaha

Major League Baseball plans to hold its amateur draft in Omaha, Nebraska, ahead of the College World Series, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because MLB did not plan to make the announcement until later this week.

The draft will be held from June 10-12, and the College World Series is slated to start June 13. The decision was first reported by the website

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2019 at 01:02 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

MLB to stop testing minor leaguers for marijuana as part of new drug agreement, report says

MLB and the MLB Players Association are negotiating changes to the drug agreement that would introduce opioid testing. As part of the new drug agreement, MLB would also remove marijuana from the league’s list of banned substances for minor-league players, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Players on the 40-man roster are not tested for marijuana, but non-40-man roster minor leaguers are, and several are suspended for marijuana use each season. There were 13 such suspensions in 2019.

Under the current drug agreement non-40-man roster minor leaguers are suspended 25 games for their first positive test for a “drug of abuse,” 50 games for a second positive test, 100 games for a third positive test, and are banned for life for a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2019 at 01:02 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: marijuana

Some of baseball’s biggest stars are ready to change the game’s free-agency system – The Athletic

Transition the minimum salary to $2-$3 million a year (which essentially puts in a floor between $52-$72 million). More players get money and it moves the base for marginal dollars.

The service time manipulation that affected Lindor and Bryant, along with a slew of other young stars, is a financial benefit to teams, but it also prevents players from being on the field when they’re ready. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was the most recent example last spring. Guerrero started the year in Triple A despite clearly being ready for the majors.

Under the current system, players earn a year of service time after 172 days in the majors. The union could negotiate to add an age component to service time, it could negotiate to have the number of days ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 12:12 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-10-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, December 10, 1919:

Honus Wagner last night admitted that he had received an offer to manager the new Akron (O.) club in the International League.

“I do not know whether to accept,” he added.
Further than to admit that he had been offered the place as chief chauffeur of the Tire City band, and had not made up his mind, Honus was uncommunicative.

Honus was a wealthy guy who had a comfortable life in his hometown and had a newborn daughter. He wasn’t going to Akron. He was never going to Akron. He didn’t go to Akron.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 10, 2019 at 11:07 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Boston Red Sox’ front office relaxed, loose as Winter Meetings open in San Diego | Chris Cotillo -

I’m glad everybody is getting along. Of course, maybe they are just laughing at the idea they will be able to clean up the Red Sox budget mess.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Baseball Hall of Fame: Ted Simmons honors late Marvin Miller

Ted Simmons spent a lot of time talking about Marvin Miller.

Marvin Miller is a very, very special man,” Simmons said. “Just to have been associated with him and look in his window for as long as I got to, life lessons, you know, life knowledge, lucky boy having done that.

“As far as my pursuit of the Cooperstown Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, it’s taken this long. It may sound so trite because it’s used so often, but it’s a hard place to get into. It should be. There is no reason for me to feel in any way, shape, or form that my journey to this place is any more or any less than anybody else’s. It is hard. It’s an excruciating wait, and until it happens for you, you just can’t describe what it’s like.”

...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:50 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ted simmons

Column: Baseball’s ‘Hatfields and McCoys’ hunt common ground at Winter Meetings - The San Diego Union-Tribune

A lot of good stuff in this one.

“It’s somewhere between tense and contentious,” O’Conner said. “We got a little public. We got a little too hot, too quick. I think that tide has turned, sending a new group to the table, resetting the dial, re-starting the dialogue.

“I’m not overly optimistic about where we are right now, but I’m committed to a deal.”
“To be fair with Pat, I can’t say he leaked it himself,” Halem said. “Somebody on the minor-league side did. When we give him a document in confidence that is not a formal bargaining proposal that he asked for and told us he’d keep in confidence, it ends up in Baseball America and the New York Times. His organization is accountable for it.

“It’s not to ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:36 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league baseball

Epstein: Cubs ‘not going to force anything’

The Cubs and any potential suitors for Bryant are also awaiting an arbitrator’s decision about Bryant’s service-time grievance, which could still be “a couple of weeks away,” per Epstein. A ruling in Bryant’s favor would make him a free agent next offseason rather than two winters from now, impacting the type of return Chicago could potentially net via trade.

“We’re fairly confident in what the outcome is going to be,” Epstein said. “It’d be nice to have that final confirmation, but I think we’re operating with what our understanding of what the likely outcome will be and moving forward that way.”

Right now, the Cubs are trying to balance contending in the present with the realities of future seasons. There is also the issue of the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:26 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

As he predicted, Mariners and GM Jerry Dipoto start MLB winter meetings quietly | The Seattle Times

Given the Mariners’ plan to play their young core this season, the projected 25-man roster has only minor holes that they plan to fill. Dipoto still plans to sign at least one experienced free-agent reliever, if not two, and a starting pitcher who is versatile enough to pitch out of the bullpen if/when touted prospect Justin Dunn takes over the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

“If there’s an opportunity for us to get better, to add players that we think can be here for more than just a cup of coffee, we would love to do that,” he said. “Whether it be via trade or even free agency with the bounce-back type of guys … guys coming off injury or ineffectiveness, there are other candidates out there we certainly have our eye on and we ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: jerry dipoto, mariners

Blue Jays about to be tested on the fly in fast-moving pitching market -

With a projected payroll of just $64 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Blue Jays have considerable financial flexibility. Squandering that with a reactive overpay or two would be foolish at this point in the rebuilding process. The Blue Jays are in all likelihood a .500 team next year with visions of contention in 2021.

But on the other hand, what’s the point of having financial flexibility if you don’t actually use it? The Blue Jays’ need for pitching remains as clear as ever. Now’s the time to read the market, and adjust course a little if needed. At some point, those offers the Blue Jays are making will need to turn into deals.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

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

New GM Ben Cherington: Pirates open to trading any player |

Even if Cherington, who was hired Nov. 18, is planning on doing something big from his suite overlooking gorgeous Coronado Bay — say, trade Starling Marte and/or Josh Bell? — he isn’t tipping his hand.

“A lot of teams have made calls about our players, and we’ve made a lot of calls, too,” Cherington said.

Cherington, though, did say the Pirates would be open to trading any player in the organization.

Cherington remains coy about his long-range plans. However, those from other teams that have had trade conversations with the Pirates are getting the impression the organization is going into at least some sort of rebuild.

That is certainly not totally surprising considering the Pirates finished last in the National League ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:07 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

The HoF Review - by Joe Pos

Joe Posnanski’s take on the Modern Era Committee’s inductions. 

In very general terms, Joe seems a bit surprised by how Ted Simmons got in but other players didn’t.

JRVJ Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:07 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, veterans committee

Monday, December 09, 2019

MLB: Is Mike Fiers a snitch? Depends on who you ask

The immediate fallout for Fiers appears to be minimal, beyond the news of the investigation and a date with a league investigator. Astros players and management have not publicly challenged his accusations. Opposing players — whether supportive of Fiers or not — have been silent, for the most part. As in the steroid era, omerta comes first, even at the expense of wins and paydays and fairness, and also in the interest of self-preservation. The Astros are not the only team to have tested the boundaries — drawn or assumed — of sign stealing. Public outrage may be cleansing. It also draws unwanted attention. Major League Baseball does seem to be in an investigative mood.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2019 at 03:25 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: mike fiers

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