Rob McQuown examines three First Basemen who signed over the past two weeks - Derrek Lee, Xavier Nady, and Garrett Atkins.
Welcome back from the Holidays, everyone. As the calendar turns to a new year, it's time to start thinking about hearing those four words: “Pitchers and catchers report”. And fantasy owners can start gearing up for the new fantasy season right around the corner, as well. For owners in “dynasty” formats, the offseason may already have been busy. For instance, this author has had a Hot Corner Hot Stove League so far – drafting Mark Reynolds in a mock fantasy draft (for publication in USA Today fantasy magazine) and trading for him in a Strat-O-Matic league. And just today, the inquiries about Ryan Zimmerman in Scoresheet Baseball began (no, Passan, you can't have Zimmerman for “depth and prospects”, sorry). Today, not so much news about the Hot Corner, but some interesting first basemen did sign these past couple weeks.
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Are the Twins making the right move by trying to sign Japanese star Tsuyoshi Nishioka to play second base?
The Twins were announced as the highest bidder on infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka last Friday, and now have until the day after Christmas to work out a deal before the 26-year old is returned to Japan. The Twins paid the Chiba Lotte Marines approximately $5.3 million to win exclusive negotiating rights with the reigning batting champ of the Japanese Pacific League. Here are his career stats:
After missing all of 2009 due to rotator cuff surgery, Joaquin Benoit made a triumphant return in 2010. The 32-year-old signed with the Rays as a minor-league free agent and by the end of April was back in the majors. Benoit became a key part of the Rays’ bullpen, setting up for closer Rafael Soriano and helping Tampa Bay to the American League East title. Here’s how Benoit’s 2010 campaign compared to his previous two seasons in Texas:
Taking a look at the Athletics new Japanese import
After being the highest bidder at nearly $17 million, the Athletics now have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. This will be Billy Beane’s first attempt at signing a Japanese player through the posting process. Oakland, the team notoriously known for its Moneyballmanagerial style, has never dished out this kind of money on an international player. Does he deserve the dough? Here’s what the righty did while pitching in Japan:
The right-hander looks to parlay his solid season at PETCO into a free agent contract
The San Diego Padres came as close as any team could to making the postseason last year, losing to the San Francisco on the final day of the season in a showdown for the National League West title. Nevertheless, much of San Diego’s success can be attributed to right-hander Jon Garland, who was a constant in the Padres’ rotation all season. Here’s how the veteran has fared over the past three seasons:
The left-hander will be a good buy for somebody on the free-agent market
He might not be Cliff Lee, but Jorge De La Rosa has as much value as any other starting pitcher on the free-agent market beside the Rangers left-hander. After being traded from the Royals to the Rockies in 2008, De La Rosa has dominated National League hitters. Here's how he's pitched over the last three seasons in Colorado:
While the San Francisco Giants celebrate their first World Series championship since heading out west, the Texas Rangers will continue their quest for their first title in 2011. The team has the foundation to keep winning, but a lot will depend on “the winter decision,” Cliff Lee style. Armed with a superb farm system and youngsters to fill gaps, they have plenty of options. Let’s see how the 2010 pitching corps was formed:
Following in the steps of looking at how the Giants' roster was constructed, now we look at how the Rangers were put together.
Now it’s time to focus on GM Jon Daniels and former (arguably current) flamethrower Nolan Ryan’s creation, the Texas Rangers. We’ll start here with the one of the most potent and powerful offenses in baseball:
Team Salary: $55 million Average Salary: $1.9 million Total Years of Control: 90 Average Age: 28.6
Jesse Behr breaks down how the Giants assembled their pitching staff.
In Part I, I looked at how the position players on the Giants’ World Series roster came together. Now, we’ll track and analyze how the club’s pitching staff wound up in San Francisco.
Please know that the reason Barry Zito, the Giants southpaw with the most lucrative contract, (a seven-year, $126 million deal) is not on this list because he was indeed left off the post-season roster. Past that, you’ll see a smartly designed pitching corps, most of which has been homegrown:
Jesse Behr looks at how the position players for the Giants came together.
Call him a genius. Call him just lucky. One way or another, GM Brian Sabean put together a very unique team in San Francisco. A National League championship team that does not include Barry Bonds, but rather nine draft selections raised through the farm system, five journeymen plucked up from the depths of minor-league free agency, and one playoff hero stolen off waivers.
Okay, since Sabean had around $98 million to work with in 2010 (more like $58 million when you consider all the money guaranteed to Zito, Rowand, and Renteria), the Giants aren’t quite the storybook team. Nevertheless, it’s impressive to see a “team of scrubs” match-up against a bankrupt ballclub from Texas in the World Series. Let’s breakdown how this Gyros squad came together:
Jesse Behr breaks down the key decision by Braves GM Frank Wren to keep Tim Hudson and deal Javier Vazquez.
Analyze This is a weekly blog series in which Special Assistant Jesse Behr looks at a variety of intriguing and comparable stats that could stir up some discussion. Today, we'll discuss Atlanta’s gamble to trade Javier Vazquez and extend Tim Hudson’s contract.
I'd like to follow up on my Vazquez post from last week in which I showed the disaster that was his 2010 season with New York. When Atlanta traded Vazquez, it was with the intention that Tim Hudson (who was coming off Tommy John surgery and made just seven starts in 2009) would take Vazquez’s place in the rotation. The Braves staff was already a packed house with Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Derek Lowe, and Kenshin Kawakami, and the team could not afford to keep Vazquez’s $11.5 million contract as well as pick up Hudson’s $12 million option.