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Daniel Rathman 

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07-26

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1

What You Need to Know: Give 'em Hell
by
Daniel Rathman

07-20

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0

What You Need to Know: Fret No More
by
Daniel Rathman

07-05

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9

What You Need to Know: Oh, That Fernando Rodney
by
Daniel Rathman

06-28

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4

What You Need to Know: A Five-Hit Night Unlike Any Other
by
Daniel Rathman

06-21

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0

What You Need to Know: Eight Solo Shots!
by
Daniel Rathman

06-14

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What You Need to Know: Near-Max Effort
by
Daniel Rathman

06-07

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2

What You Need to Know: James Paxton's 101s
by
Daniel Rathman

05-31

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5

What You Need to Know: So This Is Matt Harvey!
by
Daniel Rathman

05-27

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6

What You Need to Know: Would You Believe It, A New Strikeout Record
by
Daniel Rathman

05-17

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5

What You Need to Know: Jose Berrios: Not An Instant Ace
by
Daniel Rathman

05-10

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5

What You Need to Know: Sonny Gray's Short-Lived Mound Shuffle
by
Daniel Rathman

05-03

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0

What You Need to Know: Nomar Mazara Makes Five Of Us Look Smart
by
Daniel Rathman

04-26

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2

What You Need to Know: Chris Archer Says Goodbye To All That
by
Daniel Rathman

04-19

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2

What You Need to Know: Let's Roll It Up
by
Daniel Rathman

04-12

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1

What You Need to Know: The Year Of The Botched Infield Fly
by
Daniel Rathman

04-05

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14

What You Need to Know: Picking Up Where They Left Off
by
Daniel Rathman

03-29

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3

Rumor Roundup: The Two Most Exciting Fifth Starters Named
by
Daniel Rathman

03-22

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Rumor Roundup: Dodgers Consider Their Options, e.g. Zach Lee
by
Daniel Rathman

03-15

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4

Rumor Roundup: Keon Broxton, Front and Center
by
Daniel Rathman

03-09

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2

Rumor Roundup: Sorry, Missed Jackson
by
Daniel Rathman

03-02

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1

Rumor Roundup: Arroyo's Hopes Alive, If Nats Can't Find A Better Man
by
Daniel Rathman

02-24

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1

Rumor Roundup: The Sultriest Fifth-Starter Showdown?
by
Daniel Rathman

02-17

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2

Rumor Roundup: Cotts' Contracts
by
Daniel Rathman

02-09

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1

Rumor Roundup: The Next Two Cubans
by
Daniel Rathman

02-02

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0

Rumor Roundup: Staying in Searage
by
Daniel Rathman

01-26

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1

Rumor Roundup: The Josh Reddick Extension Conversation
by
Daniel Rathman

01-19

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Rumor Roundup: Diamondbacks Will Make Pollock Prove It
by
Daniel Rathman

01-13

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0

Rumor Roundup: There Were Four In the Bed and the Little One Said...
by
Daniel Rathman

01-05

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6

Rumor Roundup: The Slow Burn Of Ian Desmond's Free Agency
by
Daniel Rathman

12-29

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2

Rumor Roundup: Yo Back to Motown?
by
Daniel Rathman

12-22

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1

Rumor Roundup: On the Dodgers' No. 2 Starter
by
Daniel Rathman

12-16

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0

Prospectus Feature: The New Dominican Dandy?
by
Daniel Rathman

12-15

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2

Rumor Roundup: Rumors About Melancon Aboil
by
Daniel Rathman

12-07

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4

Rumor Roundup: You Can Never Have Enough Pitching Rumors
by
Daniel Rathman

12-01

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0

Rumor Roundup: Cueto Aims Higher
by
Daniel Rathman

11-23

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0

Rumor Roundup: What a Lovely O'Day
by
Daniel Rathman

11-16

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1

Rumor Roundup: Is Yovani Gallardo Worth the 13th Pick?
by
Daniel Rathman

11-09

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0

Rumor Roundup: Wait 'Til Next Year
by
Daniel Rathman

10-05

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6

What You Need to Know: Fin
by
Ian Frazer and Daniel Rathman

10-01

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0

What You Need to Know: Cardinals Clinch; Cardinals Are Doomed?
by
Daniel Rathman

09-30

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6

What You Need to Know: The Chaos Chase
by
Daniel Rathman

09-28

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9

What You Need to Know: September 28, 2015
by
Daniel Rathman and Ian Frazer

09-24

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0

What You Need to Know: September 24, 2015
by
Daniel Rathman

09-23

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0

What You Need to Know: September 23, 2015
by
Daniel Rathman

09-21

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0

What You Need to Know: September 21, 2015
by
Daniel Rathman and Ian Frazer

09-18

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1

What You Need to Know: September 18, 2015
by
Daniel Rathman

09-16

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3

What You Need to Know: September 16, 2015
by
Daniel Rathman

09-10

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0

What You Need to Know: September 10, 2015
by
Daniel Rathman

09-02

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4

What You Need to Know: September 2, 2015
by
Daniel Rathman

09-01

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What You Need to Know: September 1, 2015
by
Daniel Rathman

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The Pirates' pitching guru is a free agent next winter, while an AL East team wants to ship Andrew Cashner across the country.

Ray Searage wants to stay with Pirates beyond 2016
Next offseason’s free agent pitching market might pale in comparison to the bonanza that teams were treated to over the past couple of months, but the market for pitching coaches could feature a marquee name.

Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote Sunday about the value of the Bucs’ pitching coach, Ray Searage, who is widely regarded as one of the game’s best teachers, able to extract maximum value out of arms who come to the Steel City with middling reputations. General manager Neal Huntington is able to rummage through the bargain bin, confident that every pitcher he finds will exceed expectations because, as Cook put it, “Ray will make him better.” But Huntington is only guaranteed that comfort for one more year, because Searage’s contract expires at the end of the 2016 season.


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The A's and Josh Reddick might work out an extension, while the Diamondbacks could move Aaron Hill.

A’s will discuss long-term deal with Josh Reddick
About 10 days ago, the Athletics avoided an arbitration hearing with Josh Reddick by compromising at $6.575 million. Now that the outfielder’s 2016 salary is settled, both he and the club are ready to look further into the future.

According to John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group, extension talks with Reddick will commence shortly, and at the very least, there appears to be mutual interest in a long-term relationship. At the club’s weekend Fan Fest, Reddick told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he was “thrilled” to hear the A’s wanted to keep him in Oakland beyond the 2016 season, his final year of arbitration. The question now is whether the sides can agree on dollars and years.


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Arizona and A.J. Pollock aren't on an extension path, while Cespedes is a possibility in Houston--or, at least, an unlikely possibility.

D’backs table extension talks with A.J. Pollock
Few players did better for themselves heading into their first tour of arbitration than A.J. Pollock, who delivered a 5.4 WARP campaign on the strength of 39 doubles, 20 homers, and 39 stolen bags. The 28-year-old bloomed late but has established himself as a star-level contributor, the sort of player teams are eager to lock up as free agency draws nearer. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, while they’ve accomplished a lot this offseason, locking Pollock up long term may have to wait.


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One of the Rockies' three incumbents in the outfield is about to roll over.

Orioles, Rockies discussing Colorado’s spare outfielders
The slow-developing outfield market lost another mid-tier free agent Tuesday, when the Rockies agreed to a three-year, $27.5 million deal with Gerardo Parra. Like Denard Span, who signed a three-year, $31 million contract with the Giants last week, Parra represented something of a risk after batting just .237/.268/.357 following a deadline trade to Baltimore. But the Rockies apparently were comfortable writing off that skid to Parra’s mid-year city and league change, investing in him through the 2018 season with a $12 million fourth-year option.

Colorado was always something off an odd fit for Parra, because the Rockies already had plenty of left-handed-hitting outfielders. Nonetheless, rumors tying them to the ex-D’backs outfielder persisted and eventually a deal came to fruition. Now, Walt Weiss has four lefty-swinging outfield regulars for three spots: Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson, and Carlos Gonzalez all bat from that side of the plate, and Brandon Barnes and Kyle Parker are available as right-handed batters off the bench.


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The Padres and Ian Desmond fit nicely together, while Bronson Arroyo has unfinished business in Cincinnati.

Padres at least keeping tabs on Ian Desmond
Ian Desmond played shortstop last year. The Padres’ projected starting shortstop is Alexi Amarista, producer of a .205 TAv in 357 plate appearances last season. Ian Desmond is available. Which also means that, despite the obviousness of the match, he’s not yet donning San Diego’s new (old) colors.


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December 29, 2015 6:00 am

Rumor Roundup: Yo Back to Motown?

2

Daniel Rathman

Yo might go back to Detroit, the Dodgers keep looking for a no. 2 starter, and Yaisel Sierra is officially a name to know.

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Will it be Jose Fernandez? Will it be Scott Kazmir? Will it be Madison Bumgarner? Probably not the last one!

Dodgers still fishing for Jose Fernandez

Just about all of Andrew Friedman’s pitching plans have gone awry to this point in the offseason, and as Christmas approaches, none of Zack Greinke, Aroldis Chapman, or Hisashi Iwakuma is in line to wear Dodger blue on Opening Day. But while the Dodgers might have grown a little more desperate in their efforts to patch the void left by Greinke’s departure and otherwise upgrade their pitching staff, it doesn’t appear that they’re desperate enough to meet the Marlins’ asking price on Jose Fernandez.

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When Johnny Cueto makes his first start for the Giants, it will end a very unusual streak in San Francisco.

Over the past 19 seasons, there have been 6,700 regular-season major-league games started (GS) logged by pitchers born in the Dominican Republic. The Giants are responsible for one of them.

On April 2, 2008, the Giants were slated to play the Dodgers in Los Angeles in the third game of each club’s regular season. The sky was partly clear at first-pitch time, but the Doppler radar just west of Dodger Stadium was as green as the oncoming clouds were dark, and managers Bruce Bochy and Joe Torre were in a bind. Starting the probables, Tim Lincecum and Chad Billingsley, meant begging for a mid-game dilemma—pitching a dynamic young starter on both sides of a delay or wearing out the bullpen in an early-April contest—which would leave each skipper open to media scrutiny just days into the season. After some deliberation, Torre gave the ball to one of his relievers, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Bochy followed suit by scratching Lincecum for Merkin Valdez.

Rain delays are a rarity in Chavez Ravine—almost as rare as Dominican-born starters donning the Giants’ orange and black. There have been only two of them since that April evening: on May 23, 2008, and April 7, 2015. One of those brought the tarp out pre-game, the other in the ninth. Neither required a manager to weigh the risk of losing his starter in the early frames.

Valdez, whose career in the majors spanned parts of five rocky seasons, is the answer to several trivia questions. He is one of eight players to appear in three different Futures Games. He was once traded (with Damian Moss) for Russ Ortiz. And he went by Manny Mateo at the time of said trade. But all of those pale in comparison to this one:

In a 19-year span, Valdez was the Giants’ only Dominican-born starter. And he was afforded that opportunity by accident.

Since Juan Marichal—the first-ever Dominican-born Hall of Famer, a Giants legend immortalized with a statue outside AT&T Park’s right-field gate—left San Francisco for Boston after the 1973 season, precious few of his fellow countrymen have pitched in the Giants’ rotation:

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Your favorite team could trade for Mark Melancon and Todd Frazier. What a time to be alive!

Pirates would move Mark Melancon in the “right deal”
After seeing the Red Sox pay the Padres a king’s ransom for Craig Kimbrel and the Astros do the same to the Phillies for Ken Giles, teams with high-end closers to offer are doubtless intrigued by the possibility of cashing them in for a bevy of prospect talent. The Pirates boast the defending major-league saves leader, Mark Melancon, who capped off 51 Pittsburgh victories in 2015 and is entering his final season of arbitration eligibility. General manager Neal Huntington told reporters Monday that while the team is planning to keep both Melancon and top setup man Tony Watson, the former could be available to teams willing to pay through the nose.

With free agency on the horizon after the coming year, Melancon wouldn’t command the same sort of package that Kimbrel—extension through 2017 with a 2018 club option—or Giles—under team control through 2020—did, but the 30-year-old has the whole “proven closer” thing going for him, and the trade-market supply is rapidly dwindling. Two names are already off the board, and a third, Aroldis Chapman, might be untouchable for all the wrong reasons, with domestic-violence accusations casting a shadow over his character and uncertainty over his availability for part of the 2016 season.


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As we head into the winter meetings, rumors are finding matches for Kazmir, Leake, and a pair of Boston arms.

Starting pitchers were flying off the shelves before the Winter Meetings could even start, so here’s the latest from that segment of the free-agent landscape…

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Johnny Cueto turns down $120 million, while the Mets chase Zobrist.

D’backs offer $120 million; Johnny Cueto says “no thanks”
Hours after the Tigers took Jordan Zimmermann off the market with a five-year, $110 million deal, we learned that the Diamondbacks did their best to snag the offseason’s other second-tier starter, Johnny Cueto. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reported Sunday night that general manager Dave Stewart put a six-year, $120 million proposal on the right-hander’s desk, only to find that even that lofty sum wouldn’t be enough to secure his services.


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In which a writer puts Joe Panik for Shelby Miller in your head, for no good reason; in which Dallas Keuchel pines for South Texas real estate; and in which Darren O'Day is the lead.

Everyone is interested in Darren O’Day
Well, almost everyone. Close enough to everyone that O’Day should be able to get just about whatever he wants on the open market, where the decreasing fascination with closers should reward one of the majors’ best setup men with money previously reserved solely for those who work the ninth inning.


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