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Whoa, that is an awesome coincidence!
Great question... luckily MLB.com's highlight archives go back years, so I just had to locate the rare game(s) in which Barajas hit a home run. Since I never experienced him being on the team I root for, I kind of miss watching Barajas try to launch everything at the moon hanging over left field.
It was probably more related to taking it easy on him after a long time away with a hamstring strain, but yes, they certainly have a nice group of defensive outfielders up in Boston.
Yep. One quick correction, though: <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=103263">Luis Alejandro Basabe</a></span> was traded to the Diamondbacks in the Ziegler deal.
Thanks for pointing that out -- the relief appearances must've prevented the Play Index from catching Young's streak.
That's a good point--it wouldn't surprise me if it were padding velos by a couple of mph. Nonetheless, even 98-99 would represent a substantial bump for Paxton.
8/21/2014: Keuchel, Ross, Price, McCarthy
8/12/2013: <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45534">Cole Hamels</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=65751">Chris Sale</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=60655">Garrett Richards</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=52617">Andrew Albers</a></span>
6/15/2011: <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=523">Carl Pavano</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31534">Gavin Floyd</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=489">Josh Beckett</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=450">Livan Hernandez</a></span>
5/18/2011: <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=638">Jake Peavy</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49766">Justin Masterson</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Charlie+Morton">Charlie Morton</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31714">Jorge De La Rosa</a></span>
5/16/2010 (5): <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=702">Bronson Arroyo</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=1173">Joel Pineiro</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=677">Brett Myers</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=1130">Jake Westbrook</a></span>, Cliff Lee
At the risk of questioning whether Meadows is superhuman, this is now fixed. Thanks.
Thanks for pointing that out.
Based on a quick Play Index run, it appears the answer is August 21, 2014. The four starters that day were <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=60448">Dallas Keuchel</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=58617">Tyson Ross</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=David+Price">David Price</a></span>, and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45558">Brandon McCarthy</a></span>.
Now, the last time four starters so unlikely to throw a <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=CG" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('CG'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">CG</span></a> came together and did it on the same day... I'm sure it's been a while.
That's quite a string of left-handers the Mets will run into on back to back to back days.
And there we go, thanks.
Yep, forgot to go back and account for that rainout, but we'll see if the White Sox end up pushing everyone back. Thanks for the heads up.
You sure are.
Bad luck appears to be part of it. Our advanced stats (81 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=cFIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('cFIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">cFIP</span></a>, actually lower than his 84 last year) like him just fine going forward.
Good point -- watching the ball is not the 1B ump (Mike DiMuro's) responsibility on that play.
That is the typical strike zone. But even with the soft corners in that one, there are at least a handful of calls that went Locke's way, likely thanks to Cervelli.
Good catch - thanks!
Fair enough, and yep... good luck with that one :)
Thanks for reading.
Parsing the legalese there, yes, it means the runner has to maintain contact through the end of the slide. The latter portion of that seems much more salient to me, as I'm not sure how a runner could be able to maintain contact without attempting to; if someone wants to explain that, I'm all ears.
Thanks for reading.
Considering he only threw around 89 last year, between Double-A and the majors, I probably wouldn't expect much more than 120.
He's another possibility, but would seem to be more of a candidate for time in a corner (https://twitter.com/Haudricourt/status/707257299908202496), with the possibility of playing CF in a pinch. I'd expect him to make the team, though, given -- as you pointed out -- that he's out of options.
Waiting definitely seems like the prudent strategy there. That said, they would lose their highest available draft pick -- which most likely would be the comp. pick for <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=51985">Justin Upton</a></span>.
Certainly could end up that way, especially if Cespedes ends up with a long-term commitment despite the slow-developing market.
That's a fair point. It's worth noting, though, that the Sox seem to have some depth beyond the projected five -- Price, Buchholz, Porcello, E-Rod, Miley Kelly -- in <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Henry+Owens">Henry Owens</a></span> and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Steven+Wright">Steven Wright</a></span>. I think there's enough depth here to move a back-end starter, but you're certainly right that teams often need more than five or six to get through a year.
This is why the B-Ref Play Index is the best thing ever: http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/7Q0WB
Tweaked the wording a bit to clarify—the point was that when that game was rained out, almost all the playoff-relevant action was in the West.
Fair enough. And drawing that walk as a pinch-hitter was probably even more challenging.
Lol. Fixed, thanks.
Haha—fixed the wording that jumbled this. Thanks for the heads up.
The second GIF should be of a catcher's interference. I will update the post with the correct one shortly. Thanks for the heads up.
For those who want to check this one out, here's a link to the highlight: atmlb.com/1G53YZX
Thanks, Zach—glad you enjoyed it.
Certainly worthy of mention. One little nugget from that game—Gray threw two fastballs over 98 mph, the first time he's reached that velocity in the majors: http://www.brooksbaseball.net/velo.php?player=543243&b_hand=-1&time=month&minmax=ci&var=maxmph&s_type=2&startDate=03/30/2007&endDate=04/07/2015&gFilt=&pFilt=FA
That too. A defensive-oriented platoon probably replaces Pence with comparable value.
It's possible, I guess, but I really can't see the fit here. The Giants aren't going to pick up $28-plus million on Ethier's contract to give them a Pence replacement for a month and a half.
Updated the post to better reflect that he spent most of the year in Double-A.
That's a fair point, jardinero, but adding in the 6-to-37 BB:K ratio and the .226 TAv, it was a sharp decline from his minor-league numbers. Definitely not a reason to give up, though, considering his limited upper-minors experience, as you pointed out. Thanks for reading.
Thanks for clarifying that, CRP13. It's fixed above.
Same. Kind of crazy that a 34th-round pick debuted at age 20.
Legit LOL'd at that while editing this article.
Sorry about the delay in replying to this, fawcettb.
My guess is they'll go Andrus at SS, Odor at 2B, and Profar in Triple-A to continue his development but also to see whether he still has the arm to play SS or is limited to 2B. The secondary benefit of this is it gives them another shot to see if Andrus can progress offensively or get himself into better shape than he was in for 2014 (http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/10/17/elvis-andrus-has-lost-10-pounds-plans-to-lose-10-more/).
It seems like a perennial question, but this might be an issue they'd be most apt to decide in a year, especially having already traded Luis Sardinas, who would've been a nice utility option. Profar's value seems likelier to go up than down, so I can't say I see any rush to move either him or Odor at this point. They should also have a better idea of what Michael de Leon can contribute a year from now.
Fixed a typo that was contributing to the confusion. These are rounds 3-4. There is a link at the top to see rounds 1-2 from earlier this week.
Whoops, major brain-lock there. Fixed the references to Dickerson—and to clarify, the report was indeed about Blackmon, with no mention of Dickerson currently being on the trade block.
It seems a bit strange to me that a team that's still a couple of years off from serious contention would invest significant money into a reliever. Robertson hasn't really shown any signs of volatility, but it just strikes me as a curious allocation of funds. We'll see if they actually put they money where their mouth is on this one.
It was not Moneyball.
Thursday is the deadline for teams to add Rule 5 draft eligible players to their 40-man rosters to "protect" them from the draft.
Nothing empirical, at least not yet, but there is anecdotal evidence that they were willing to go to 5 years on Martin (https://twitter.com/CSNMooney/status/534446143980470273), albeit presumably not to $82 million over that term.
Haha figured that one would get people a little riled up.
Huh, not sure why the Play Index (http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/fxa62) didn't turn that up, but the game log checks out. Thanks for the heads up!
Disagreeing here. Just kraut for me.
That's a good point. If that's the case, and Joe Torre kind of confirmed that today—https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/509773897798254592—then it seems there's a distinct advantage to hitting the ball to CF or RF in, say, a sac-fly situation.
There was a late entry on Fielder that's been added above.
Knew this was coming. Make your case. I'll listen/read.
An excellent outing, to be sure. Found it very interesting that he dominated with the hard stuff: 13 whiffs with the fastball and sinker, none on any of his secondary pitches.
Full breakdown here: http://tinyurl.com/degrom8
It probably gets more attention on most days, but fell victim to my not covering every game this time around. Thanks for pointing it out.
Cosign. I'm also siding with you on the hot dog debate.
D'oh! Fixed, thanks.
Fixed. I've developed an annoying habit of forgetting about the Thursday games when writing weekend recaps. Thanks for catching that.
Fixed. Also added an updated link with his diagnosis—rotator-cuff inflammation, but no structural damage.
Should be fixed. You can also find it here: http://www.chron.com/sports/astros/article/Gallery-Furniture-s-Mattress-Mack-could-be-5736221.php
Thanks for the heads up.
Thanks—glad you enjoy them!
Definitely 1929. Thanks for catching that!
It wasn't a great batch, so I gave Hunter the nod for an impressive play by his standards in a key situation. If I remember correctly, Jake Marisnick was the runner-up for a play in the Astros-Red Sox game.
I had that thought, too, and I believe the rule as worded would apply up the line. However, it also looks to me like Amarista veers from the dirt path before Pierzynski blocks it, and so the runner had created his own lane around where Pierzynski ended up. The other aspect is Pierzynski—likely by good fortune—doesn't fully block the lane until the ball comes into his possession.
Then again, given the way reviews of Rule 7.13 have played it, this one might've been worth another look.
I think there's absolutely a case to be made that 3B coaches should be more aggressive in sending runners until this is resolved.
The Rizzo deal certainly looks great these days. I wrote about him back in May http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23484), and he's kept it up since then. He's definitely in the top 5-7 MVP candidates if the season ended today.
I could've worded that better. What I meant to say is that he was part of the group that allowed nothing but singles.
Well, after he just took Felix yard on an 0-2 pitch... you might be on to something.
Also, I wrote the What to Watch segment before Taijuan Walker's return to the majors was announced, but that's certainly worth noting. He goes up against the Astros at Minute Maid at 8:10 p.m. ET.
Hm, if you're referring to what I think you are, it looks like that's something MLB.com does on embedded videos. I'll see if there's something that can be done about it, but that might not be something we can address. Thanks for the feedback.
Yup, that's another one.
Fixed to reflect that the nature of the injury and the timetable have yet to be announced.
Arenado was absolutely another injury worth mentioning--thanks for noting that.
Thanks for adding that insight about the steals.
The table shows Rizzo's numbers against left-handed sliders in 2013-14. Sorry about the confusion.
Good point--I was thinking the same thing. He could've gone another 3 steps without any chance of getting picked off.
Sure is—fixed, thanks.
Great point—the Play Index did not include that game under the search I used.
I'm with you on this one, and that was exactly my problem with it. If anything it's a delayed walkoff.
Interesting—I saw a couple of their writers (one is linked) tweet that, but you may be right. Thanks for clarifying.
I haven't seen a "leaderboard," but this website appears to track each reviewed/overturned call and lists the umpire who made it: http://www.closecallsports.com/search/label/Instant%20Replay
The samples are almost certainly too small, at this point, to render any judgment about umpire quality based on overturned calls, but it would be nice to keep track.
Yep, that's actually why I worded it that way. It'll be interesting to see if he can be as efficient in the majors and sustain his stuff closer to 100.
Durr, yeah—that wording doesn't work for him. Fixed, thanks.
I vaguely remembered a BP interview with Yost, and having Google helps :)
You bet—thanks for reading!
If you want to watch the play John H. is referring to, here is a link to the video:
Yikes, that's a rough day.
Fixed, thanks. The Bedard bit will reappear in tomorrow's WYNTK.
I think it's replay-related, but not in the way that you're suggesting. Replay—and the ability to subject most things to slow-motion-video review—forces strict interpretations of rules that weren't interpreted strictly before. Otherwise, managers would challenge them. I think MLB tried to cover itself by telling umpires to rule it "no catch," and then go to replay for indisputable evidence otherwise; we'll see if that changes this offseason.
Glad you're enjoying it.
If that had happened about 20 minutes earlier, it would've made this article. Thanks for pointing it out!
The rule has a built-in clause to prevent this: "In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional."
If the outfielder intentionally drops the ball, in the umpire's view, my understanding is that it'll be a catch—or at least it should be based on the wording of the rule.
It sure was. Thanks, it's fixed.
Good catch—I looked for pitchers who struck out 10 in 4 or 9 in 3, but in hindsight, my Play Index searches would have excluded 9 in 3 1/3. Thanks.
Yeah, given the way that calls have "stood" on review this year, I can't see that call being changed. We can't see the inside of Sanchez's glove, or where exactly the ball is at the time of the tag, so I strongly doubt that could've been overturned.
Thanks for the comments, everyone.
The umpire indicated after the game that his ruling was that the catcher did not have possession, not that he illegally blocked the plate. The Takeaway portion will be revised to indicate that shortly. Sorry about the confusion.
No argument from me on the silliness of the interpretation.
Demotion may not have been the right word, but I believe it's the first time that Harper has hit that low in the order since June 2012. You're right to point out that Matt Williams has shuffled up the order a lot more than Davey Johnson did, though; thanks for mentioning it.
Heh, I think we're stretching the definition here. It'd be tough to prove an "involuntary" release in that case.
Take a look at the play in the Indians/Padres game right now. The confusion grows.
I go back and forth on the significance of head-to-head plate appearance data, as I think there are matchups in which it is significant. However, I agree that it generally is overused by announcers who need to come up with facts on the fly, and I try to avoid leaning on it in WYNTK unless there is a long-standing, eye-popping trend. This probably did not meet that standard, and it's fair for you to call me on it. Thanks for the feedback.
Thanks—glad you're enjoying them.
Absolutely—the line is murky and seems to be at the replay umpires' discretion.
The Hamilton play was different in that he caught the ball and went directly to his glove to remove it, at which point the ball popped out. Gordon clearly established possession: He hit the wall, fell to the ground, took inventory, and got up, all with the ball in his glove. Then, when he went to remove it, the ball squirted away. There's a much shorter timeframe between when the ball hit Hamilton's glove and when he removed it, which appears to be the distinction, invoking the "voluntary and intentional" clause of in the catch rule.
It's also worth noting that, based on the statement from MLB in the Dallas Morning News post, Buckminster should probably not have made the "out" call, because MLB wants indisputable evidence from replay to justify a catch. By making that call, Buckminster prevented Smoak from going to third base, which I think is what McClendon argued after the call was overturned. Umpires are sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place on that one, in terms of getting the runner hung up between bases, but it seems like MLB wants them to err on the side of no catch.
By the way, the Gordon play is now embedded so that they can be compared more easily.
Sabathia's 08 was on my shortlist before I went with Stanton.
Yeah, while it's hard to say what actually happened, I think that the league made an effort during the offseason to identify every possible gray area in the rules and decide how it would address it. With the neighborhood play, they preferred player safety; with transfers, they put the burden on the receiver. I'd imagine many of these things will be revisited next offseason once the league has a full year of replay—and all of its byproducts—under its belt.
I'm not sure this is a rule change as much as it is an emphasis on enforcing the rule by the letter of the book. The definition of a catch appears to place the burden on the player to prove that his release of the ball is voluntary, and any evidence to the contrary negates the catch. I may be wrong, but I think this is more of an effect of replay forcing stricter interpretation than it is a rule change.
Heh, an interesting observation from that highlight. But if you look at the official definition of a catch, here is the money line: "In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall *hold the ball long enough* to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional."
It would appear that Gordon satisfied that criterion, since he dropped the ball during a "voluntary and intentional" attempt to remove it from his glove, after holding on to it through the collision.
It's funny that you mention that, because the Yankees' color guy, David Cone, mentioned that on the broadcast yesterday. I'd imagine the adjustment will become easier to make if/when FIELDf/x data become available.
Heh, unfortunate wording there. Fixed, thanks.
Critical distinction there, which I failed to note in the sentence. Fixed, thanks.
It looks like the command issues returned today for Cosart, and it's hard to say if he'll ever get over them to the point at which he'd be able to maximize his fastball-curveball tandem and become a top-notch starter. For what it's worth, before 2013, Jason Parks projected him as a late-inning reliever because he thought Cosart's mechanics would always impede his command: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18831.
Whoops, fixed. Thanks.
I didn't see much of that game, unfortunately. Anyone else get a good look at Anderson?
He sure was! It would've come down to him or the Cubs/Pirates game if I'd included one more Quick Hit.
That one was a close second to Tulowitzki's when I decided which of the two to use.
Thanks for pointing out that distinction—I'll make the change above.
Whoops, definitely an omission there. Added a note on Samardzija and the Cubs staff. Thanks.
Actually, looking at his B-Ref player page, it looks like he had nine major-league starts in 1998.
Interesting—I'd based that on a handful of tweets and a quick B-Ref Play Index search, but I don't see what disqualifies Roque's start from the group, even though it didn't pop up. Thanks for pointing that out.
Thanks—good to be back!
Heh, well, they're back!
Ah, that disappeared when I changed the title. They're added now. Thanks.
Yep—that's in today's Roundup. :)
What I meant was that he was an amateur free agent when he signed the four-year major-league deal in 2008.
The post is now updated—he should have been listed as high risk. Thanks.
Yeah, it's certainly not the greatest of fits. But the Rogers Centre wouldn't seem to be, either.
Drabek was an oversight; just added him to the list in the article. Thanks.
Added, thanks for pointing that out.
Yep, the numbers were a little startling when I saw them yesterday, even knowing that he wasn't good back there.
The rankings should show up in an embedded spreadsheet, but if you're unable to see them, you can also see it by following this link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuspDfJO_tIedENrajFLTzhlRUJXTl9UXzRKX0tFaVE#gid=15
You're right about that—and I don't see them doing it unless it's a good value. A three-year deal between Arroyo and the Diamondbacks would shock me. My guess is that they're "kicking the tires" in case the price comes down to one year, but in that case, there would be needier suitors.
Espinosa is definitely the underdog here, but it depends how much the Nationals emphasize wanting to improve defensively. They were 21st in park-adjusted defensive efficiency last year, and Espinosa would have a large edge over Rendon at 2B. That may not make up for the gap between them at the plate—and the need to get Rendon into the lineup with both corner-infield spots occupied—but it could be a factor.
Both fair points. Home runs (17 in 658 vs. 3 in 167) likely would have been a better comparison on the offensive side. And, in either case, he's likely to have a significant defensive advantage over Rendon, if that plays into the Nationals' decision making this spring.
Good catch, thanks. It's fixed above.
I think Baker is a very useful bat-first bench player, because he has a distinct strength (hitting left-handed pitching) and can provide it to the team from multiple positions. That said, I think he'd be exposed versus right-handed pitching—his career OPS is some 230 points lower with a virtually equal number of plate appearances (826 vs. RH, 827 vs. LH). If he could find a way to improve in that regard, I could see him becoming a playable regular, but I see him as more of a corner utility man or platoon type right now.
Thanks for catching that; everything is now updated with one vote removed.
I think you'd have to evaluate the player for what he is, without letting history color your opinion too much, though I think it's fair to say that NPB pitchers who have transitioned well have laid the path for more to come.
With that said, it seems unfair to label Tanaka as either Darvish 2.0 or Dice-K 2.0. From that standpoint, teams have to determine how well his particular skillset will translate to the majors and base their value almost entirely on that. There have been reports that the Cubs are as high on Tanaka as any club, so the roller-coaster experience with Matsuzaka appears irrelevant to Theo Epstein and co.
I believe that is not allowed: https://twitter.com/timdierkes/status/283972095120121856.
Fixed. Thanks, guys.
Thanks for pointing that out. It's fixed above.
Yep--it's fixed, thanks.
Like I said, I think that's a good point. From McCann's perspective, it was probably a case of prioritizing Uribe's weakness—swinging at sliders below the zone and away—rather than Carpenter's strength, which was the wrong decision.
That said, I think the same applies to the cliché of getting beat with your best pitcher on the mound, and I would rather have had Kimbrel on the mound with the tying run on second and the go-ahead run at the plate than Carpenter.
There might be a case here, as hard as Carpenter throws, but it's worth noting that Uribe was 16-for-92 (.174) with 26 strikeouts versus right-handers' sliders coming into the game: http://www.brooksbaseball.net/h_tabs.php?player=346874&gFilt=&time=month&minmax=ci&var=ra&s_type=2&startDate=01/01/2013&endDate=10/06/2013&balls=-1&strikes=-1&b_hand=R.
Replaced with a different photo.
This goes back a point someone made in my preview of the series. With the Braves' bench being heavily oriented on speed and defense, Gonzalez's key decision in each game will be figuring out the right time to deploy the reserves. In this case, as you point out, he got away with using them too early, in part because Mattingly made one or two more-egregious mistakes. We'll see how this continues to play out in Game Three.
All of these are valid points, too, and they do get swept under the rug by the Braves winning.
The one other thing I'd point out, though, is that Laird is a better throwing catcher than McCann, and Gordon may well have stolen second in the ninth inning if Gonzalez hadn't made the move. Whether that would've made any difference, given the way the rest of the inning unfolded, is debatable.
@canpredictball. That being said, he did make a nice play ranging deep into the left-center field gap later in the game (I think off the bat of Hanley Ramirez). That one shocked me.
Fixed, thanks for the correction.
Note: This is now updated to reflect the Braves' official roster.
On: RHP David Hale, OF Jose Constanza
Off: LHP Scott Downs, RHP Anthony Varvaro
So, 11 pitchers and six outfielders.
Completely agree with your point about the bench. If the games are close, the timing of those substitutions could prove pivotal.
As you pointed out with Teheran, there definitely were similar decisions made by the Braves down the stretch. Certainly did not mean to present it as a stark contrast, even though I can see it being read that way.
I didn't intend to pitch that quite so disparately, but the Dodgers placed some emphasis on resting players to keep them healthy for the playoffs over going full throttle during the last couple of weeks. For example, Hanley Ramirez only started 15 of 27 games in September due to lower-back discomfort they wanted to manage leading up to October and Clayton Kershaw got a week between starts (Sept. 13-21) at the expense of one more regular season outing.
Nonetheless, it's fair to say that the Dodgers weren't the juggernaut in September that they were in July and August.
Oops, poor synonym choice. It's fixed above. Thanks.
He is not eligible due to service time accrued in 2012.
I think Freeman would have been worth down-ballot recognition in the MVP vote, but couldn't justify putting him in my top three. Paul Goldschmidt had a better offensive year and is at least as proficient defensively.
Aww—well, if it's any consolation, I'll miss writing them :)
Thanks, orlandoca7. Glad you're enjoying them.
Thought I fixed that this morning, but I guess it didn't go through. Thanks for the heads up; it's now corrected.
Interesting, a late change. Thanks for noting that and his pitch count. I suppose it makes more sense, with the expanded rosters, to take a chance on Ogando than Tepesch.
The trajectory is difficult to discern from the replay, but I think it might've just gotten over the wall had Gomez not caught it.
Fixed. Wrote that earlier and forgot to adjust, thanks for catching it.
It's a sad story, but it sure seems that way. Hopefully he'll salvage enough of what he once was to carve out some sort of role.
He seems to prefer the slider and fastball to the splitter in two-strike counts (http://www.brooksbaseball.net/tabs.php?player=518813&balls=-1&strikes=-1&b_hand=-1&time=month&minmax=ci&var=usage&s_type=2&gFilt=&startDate=01/01/2013&endDate=01/01/2014), but that would have been an alternative, too.
Thanks for catching that; it's fixed above.
Yep—nice effort by Phil Cuzzi to get over there in foul territory, considering it was a rather long run for him, too.
It shall stay. Thanks, R.A.
Glad you're enjoying it. Thanks!
This should be fixed. Thanks for the heads-up.
That is a good point. Looking forward to seeing how Wright's success in the minors translates to the majors.
Good catch - thanks.
Both are fixed. Thanks.
Fixed. Thanks, Sam.
Thanks for pointing that out, Russ. Sale's outing did essentially take the decision out of the scorer's hands; I should have worded that more clearly.
Fixed, sorry about that. Thanks for pointing it out.
Here's the replay: http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=28534157. Oddly enough, both of those descriptions fit the batted ball. Nice 0-2 pitch by Bailey, under Posey's hands, too.
I have, actually, and I will start doing it for the previous day's Matchup next week.
Thanks for reading!
Soriano could, in theory, be an option if the Giants go shopping for outfielders, but he has rejected a trade to San Francisco in the past (http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/05/sports/la-sp-0805-baseball-rumors-20120805). His no-trade clause would almost definitely be a hurdle.
Updated the second-to-last paragraph of the Takeaway to reflect news about Garza's trade market that surfaced this morning.
Thanks for catching that, R.A. I was looking at a box score that was older than I thought when I wrote that; it looks like he has started 37 games in the two-hole and 30 in the three-hole. And I'm with you in endorsing the notion of a team's best hitter batting second.
Only time will tell, but there were definitely signs of promise in the outing, the 7.20 ERA notwithstanding. Let's see what happens at Fenway his next time out.
Doesn't quite qualify in OPS, but he's getting there, and he would almost certainly be my NL MVP choice at this point in the season.
SNIP = Strikes Not In Play (so, the sum of called strikes, swinging strikes, and foul balls).
It's fixed above. Thanks for catching that.
Thanks for the feedback, pobothecat — I'll throw them in a bit more often.
Yep, that's essentially the point. Choosing Kirkman to go first seems to be a product of the idea that you might eventually need Nathan for a save situation, so you can't use him in a tie game with the other team's top hitters coming up.
It should—and looking back at the play-by-play of that game, I think Hurdle handled it correctly, even though it didn't work out.
Yep, thanks for catching that. It's fixed above.
Interesting stuff. The strike rate on his offspeed pitches yesterday certainly caught my eye, too.
I believe he signed with the Yakult Swallows in Japan: https://twitter.com/tokyoswallows/status/329868295803117568.
I actually did not mention the Orioles in that sentence mainly because they are playing well at 19-13, whereas the other three teams are either underperforming or have significant concerns. Your point is fair; what I wanted to show was how the AL East landscape has favored the Red Sox in the early going, both from a divisional standpoint and in the wild-card race, but I should have mentioned the Orioles as a possible threat.
Yes, they played a doubleheader against the Dodgers on April 20. Sorry if that was unclear.
Hah—thanks for catching that. Fixed.
Yep, that would've made things far less eventful (and hurtful) for both sides. It was interesting, too, because none of the angles really showed what happened until the A's telecast pulled up one that had the "O" sign about 10 feet beyond the wall.
Another good one to watch—thanks for pointing it out.
That's an interesting point, Lou—and something that might be worth exploring. Price mentioned in a recent interview with John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he preaches pitching aggressively and getting ahead in the count—http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130420/SPT04/304200078/Price-mind-behind-Reds-arms—which may be related to the decrease in walks on their pitching staff.
Ack — I didn't update that to reflect the postponement. It's corrected above, and I'll move the note on Verlander to tomorrow's WYNTK. Thanks for pointing out the error, timber.
Thanks for catching that; it's fixed above.
I think the Brewers will do reasonably well in the run-scoring department, especially as their position players—Corey Hart, Aramis Ramirez—get healthy, so the depth and effectiveness of the starting rotation would probably be my biggest concern.
No worries, boatman44. Maybe I'll make those clearer in the future by separating Friday, Saturday, Sunday with headers.
Thanks, Gweedoh565. Glad you enjoyed it.
Ack, I wrote that section a few days ago and forgot to double check the probables after the rainout earlier this week. Thanks for catching it.
I kept the note on Samardzija, but revised it to reflect Saturday's game.
Thanks for pointing that out; PITCHf/x has it as an 89 mph four-seamer, so I've changed that sentence to just read "fastball."
Fixed — thanks!
I'll have something on Halladay if he struggles again in his next outing. Thanks for reading.
Yep, that will be interesting to see. My guess is that Hector Sanchez will get the duties tonight, since the Giants have a day game after this night game, unless Bochy prefers to move Posey to first base tomorrow with the Rockies throwing a lefty (Jeff Francis).
That is outstanding.
That's correct — nice catch.
More on that here: http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/05/25/blue-jays-using-piggybacking-method-to-protect-pitching-prospects/.
Thanks for posting the text of the rule, Chucko.
I hope that clarifies the Super Two threshold, which is, as Sean said, independent of performance (except to the extent that performance dictates whether a team keeps the player on its major-league roster).
That could be an option, but Rosenthal mentioned in his post that the Royals are looking for a more potent bat. If the Royals fail to acquire a better hitter by Opening Day, though, they'll need to decide between Dyson and Lough as short-term fixes.
Lough has had a nice spring, but he had a 737 OPS in Triple-A last year, so the Royals would likely look elsewhere if they want more thump. He could be a solid placeholder until Moore makes a deal or a longer-term solution if the Royals choose to emphasize defense and team speed, as you suggested.
That's true, timber — I'd say it's more like 2.5/3 for DeJesus, because his range is definitely adequate in right.
That's an interesting point, Eric. It'll be interesting to track, assuming that he gets the job, stays healthy, and we're able to get regular PITCHf/x data.
Fixed. Thanks, Eddie.
Thanks, guys — probably not the best word choice there. Just meant to say that they are his first and only professional organization, and stretched it too far.
McDonald's best asset definitely is his glove; what I meant to say is that if you trust the small sample from last year, then it's possible that he might not be a zero at the plate.
Thanks for pointing this out. I've edited that sentence to reflect that.
Yep, thanks for providing that update.
He would certainly be one viable possibility, in a market where there aren't many of them.
Regarding the signs of fatigue, I was referring specifically to September, when his walk rate increased to 8.0 percent, after sitting between 5.6-6.0 percent from June-August.
And I did not mean to say that the White Sox babied Sale in the same way that the Nationals babied Strasburg coming off of elbow surgery. The only thing i wanted to point out in that sentence was the 12-day break in July, which ultimately cost him a start or two and, thus, probably 12-14 innings.
Thanks for catching that; I was looking a specific span of starts on his B-Ref page, and forgot to readjust it back to the full-season ERA. It's fixed above.
This is fixed. Thanks.
It's an interesting idea, Randy, but one possible problem is Porcello's poor numbers against left-handed hitters. Their TAv against him, for his career, is over .300.
There are a few different ways to compile them, but the easiest is via the pitching splits from Baseball Reference: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/split.cgi?t=p&lg=MLB&year=2012.
Scroll down to "Hit Trajectory" and click on batted balls.
Thanks for catching that; I've fixed the date to have the skid running from April 11 through April 24.
This is fixed.
That's correct — it expires after the draft, which means on or after June 9.
After the First-Year Player Draft, which I believe means on or after June 9.
Heh — Boras was willing to wait until early February with Bourn, but what I meant is that the draft-pick saga might have carried over until close to Opening Day. It's possible that Bourn indicated a preference, above all, to be in camp with his new teammates ASAP, which in turn would have put the pressure on Boras to nail things down. Advantage Indians, even if Bourn, ceteris paribus, preferred the Mets.
Harper does say in his article that the Diamondbacks were holding out for Wheeler, but it's possible that they would have settled for a Murphy- and/or Tejada-led package if Alderson had offered to include a lower-level pitching prospect (such as Noah Syndergaard, who came over from the Blue Jays, or Rafael Montero).
The Marlins certainly will need to contend with their reputation in any extension talks or free-agent negotiations, but if they are the high bidder, some players may overlook the drawbacks that come with signing there. That said, if you couple that with Loria's comments about the payroll staying well below $100 million for the foreseeable future, big-ticket additions seem doubtful.
That is great.
Not many specifics, but a lot of thought that he'll settle for a one-year deal to reenter the market next winter. Jim Bowden thinks the Brewers, Padres and Rangers make the most sense: https://twitter.com/JimBowdenESPNxm/status/302504299651551233. We'll see if Shelby Miller's shoulder trouble gets the Cardinals active, though it doesn't sound serious, and they have other options.
Thanks for mentioning that; I've revised the sentence to reflect what Fish and Quinn wrote more directly, which is that all five were at one point ACES clients, and a couple remain under their representation.
He certainly could, Nacho999, I was more or less assuming that he would win a regular role, with Ryan Doumit serving as the primary DH and perhaps doing some catching. It just seems tough, given MIN's roster outlook, to envision a scenario in which Parmelee wouldn't at least serve as the lion's share of a platoon.
Basically had to happen today or tomorrow.
It'll be interesting to see, now, what happens with Lyle Overbay, if he doesn't win the backup first-base job. He could again become an option for the Brewers, who were interested previously, per Tom Haudricourt: https://twitter.com/Haudricourt/status/304267242726637568.
Thanks for the advice. I'll see if there's a way to have that happen by default; for now, though, you can just right-click (or control-click) on the links and have them open in a new tab/window.
It could be, but I guess what I'm saying is that the number of at-bats for which it would matter this year is minimal.
Rosario can share his tale with Chad Gaudin, who signed a minor-league deal with the Giants earlier in the offseason. The Giants are Gaudin's ninth professional organization.
That's one of many possibilities, should they turn to the trade market, mbithd. However, it's hard to say whether Evans is enough of an upgrade over, say, Bobby Crosby to merit making a trade for a righty who would get the short end of the platoon stick for a couple of weeks.
That could be a match, jfranco77, but as you said, the gap between any of those players and Morris probably isn't large enough to warrant the trouble.
Definitely, in theory, but tell that to the Brewers... More on that situation in tomorrow's Roundup.
I certainly wouldn't put it past Billy Beane to go hunting for in-season help again, though the Josh Donaldson transition was forced by Scott Sizemore's late-February knee injury. It'll be interesting to see if Donaldson can sustain his late-season improvements.
Thanks for reading, guys, and I think doublesteel hit the nail on the head here. The A's may need Lowrie's bat at 2B and SS, and they'd be better off finding a different platoon option for the corners. The other element, as I mentioned, is that the outfield is very crowded, and they need to find playing time for guys like Smith, who are currently limited defensively and won't play over regulars like Cespedes or Reddick.
This was my mistake during editing. I apologize for the confusion.
Thanks for catching that, GoTribe06. It's fixed above.
Thanks for reading, FrankL.
I think you're looking at the argument a bit differently than the Mets and Boras are intending to present it. What they are saying is that the rule was put in place in order to ensure that the 10 teams who finished with the poorest records the previous season could sign free agents without giving up their first-round picks. The Mets had the 10th-worst record, and therefore, they should be able to retain the pick, even though the Pirates failed to sign Mark Appel.
It's possible, as you said, that the pick could be much deeper into the teens, if multiple teams fail to sign top-10 selections from the previous draft. But whether it's number 11 or 18, the pick that is in limbo would be the one belonging to the team with the 10th-worst record the previous year.
Fixed — thanks for catching those.
Yep, R.A., there are quite a few more events to come once the dates are sorted out.
Every chance I get...
You're absolutely right — thanks for catching that. I went off of last year's stats and forgot about that change. It's fixed above.
Thanks, Christina. For some reason, the free-agent tracker that I was looking at last night did not have that deal listed. I've updated the article to reflect it.
Thanks for finding that, timber.
D'oh — completely forgot about that last night. Thanks for mentioning it; it's fixed above.
Thanks for reading, saint09.
I've seen about half a dozen teams mentioned regarding Porcello, but — although they do have Iglesias — I don't think the Red Sox are one of them. That said, it's entirely possible that they are flying under the radar. If something surfaces on that front, it'll definitely be in a future Roundup.
Glad you're enjoying them, nolansdad, and thanks for reading.
My guess is that if the Mariners signed Bourn, then some of the other teams that dabbled in that market would become possible trade partners. The Mets could be one possibility, since their only right-handed-hitting outfielder right now is Collin Cowgill.
Gutierrez's contract (which guarantees him $7.5 million — $7 million in 2013 and a $500,000 buyout for a $7.5 million 2014 option), combined with his injury history, will certainly temper the return that the Mariners can get, but when healthy, he is at least a very good platoon outfielder with excellent defense. That should be enough fetch some team's top-10 prospect.
Thanks for reading, Lindemann. Desmond's defense has been difficult for the metrics to figure out. UZR had him as a positive defender in 2012, the first time in his career that he came out of the red, but both FRAA and Plus-Minus rated him as well below average. It's possible that, given that his improvements are still relatively recent, we'll need another year or two for them to show up in the metrics.
For what it's worth, Plus-Minus had Desmond as a positive defender on balls hit right at him and to his left, but rated him very negatively on balls hit to his right. (More here if you have a subscription to BJO: http://www.billjamesonline.com/stats/fielding_bible_plus_minus/?PlayerId=6885.)
Thanks for reading, Lindemann and BYODER. That is definitely a fair point — it's hard to say how firm Rizzo's payroll constraint is, and he may well be willing to stretch it.
My guess was that Soriano might be the likeliest to do that, since teams could then view him as a midseason bullpen reinforcement without a prospect cost. Now that he has signed with the Nationals, I suspect Boras will find homes for Bourn and Lohse.
And the lesson once again is never doubt Scott Boras.
No worries, elsrbueno — I actually had that same thought while writing it last night, then remembered the midseason-trade element. Thanks for reading.
The trouble is, surfdent48, he also hasn't shown any improvement, despite plenty of time and the change of scenery from Miami to Chicago. He still has the big frame and the sinker, but it's difficult to foresee a breakout barring a sudden, significant improvement in secondary skills.
Haha, jfranco77. I just meant that in terms of 2013 plans, adding a proven closer isn't imperative.
They may not, gtgator, but I think that, as part of the deal, the Diamondbacks might offer to include Gregorius to extract Simmons.
That likely depends on how the Diamondbacks view Teheran. If they like Walker significantly more, then the secondary pieces wouldn't bridge the gap.
Thanks for reading, tweicheld.
We should probably give Boras the benefit of the doubt until we see where and for how much Bourn and Soriano sign, but he does seem to be scrambling right now. Also, it's difficult to say if other agents would have given similar advice to their players regarding the qualifying offers.
Thanks for clarifying that, FredOwens. I haven't seen a specific date listed, but it seems like it couldn't be any later than day one of the amateur draft, since the compensatory round will have passed.
I'm as baffled as anyone. But for all of his weaknesses as a GM, Sabean's done a very nice job of covering up his mistakes.
It is a longshot, considering that his 2010 to 2011 decline has signs of being age-related, but Huff probably merits a spring-training invitation nonetheless. I agree with you that a major-league offer is unlikely.
The other thing to keep in mind here is that MLBTR's Tim Dierkes heard a couple of weeks ago that MLB would view sign-and-trade deals to avoid draft-pick compensation as "collusion": https://twitter.com/timdierkes/status/283972095120121856.
Buster Olney replied to Dierkes that there might be a loophole (https://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/283983920255619073), so we'll see what happens.
Thanks for noting that, bozarowski. I must have missed the report while searching last night.
Just as an addendum, under the new CBA, not only does the pick go away, but the team also loses the associated allotment from its bonus pool.
Lots of good points, JoshC77, and thanks for reading.
In the context of that sentence, what I meant is that the Mariners don't have an Andrus or a Profar, and that Towers has suggested he would still make a trade for one of them, even after acquiring Gregorius.
I could see the Diamondbacks trying to add one more starting pitcher for depth, especially given McCarthy's shoulder-injury history. That said, I'm not sure that would put the Mariners back into play; the Vargas-for-Morales trade left Seattle with question marks toward the rear of the rotation, too, and Zduriencik might need to put Taijuan Walker on the table as a starting point. That could well be a nonstarter.
The Cubs might be a more likely destination, and they definitely could use an impact outfielder after adding Nate Schierholtz earlier this offseason. Once Edwin Jackson's deal becomes official, a Garza-led package is a possibility, though given that he is set to become a free agent after the 2013 season, Towers would almost certainly ask for a strong secondary piece (either in addition to, or along with Vitters).
Thanks for reading, JoshC77.
For now, there are a few teams being connected with Bourn, but none of them seem especially likely to give him a long-term deal. The Rangers might be his best bet, and the Mariners and Mets have also been mentioned in recent days.
And, I agree — that market does seem to be heeding the red-flags with Lohse, so we'll see what happens there over the coming weeks. I think he's a solid number-four starter, but remain skeptical of his BIP numbers. There's certainly value in a pitcher who barely walks anyone, but I doubt he'll ever match the 2.86 ERA.
Thanks for reading and for pointing this out, Dave.
I was partly referring to the "415" area just to the right of center field, which got easier to cover when they moved in the walls. "Alleyways" probably wasn't the right way to describe the shape of this particular outfield, and in general, what I meant was just whether Sizemore still has the range to play an acceptable CF.
No worries, PeterCollery, my mistake. And I do think there's some merit to the theory that the diminished velocity gap contributed to his issues, although he did generate more whiffs with the slider last year than in 2011.
Yep, you can throw him into that mix as well, although I think that McPherson might be the safer bet. Oliver's control issues in Triple-A are a red flag.
Yes, thanks for catching that; I revised that sentence several times and chose a syntax that makes no sense. It's fixed above.
Thanks for reading, jfranco77. That could be an option, although the Marlins seem to have a more pressing need in center field than they do at first base, where the hope is that Logan Morrison will rediscover his earlier form. The other thing is, Morales' is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility, and I don't think the Marlins would be inclined to trade Nolasco for a one-year rental.
I had a feeling he would sign by the time I woke up on the West Coast, which was part of why I tried to hedge my bets by covering both sides. But, as I just added in the "update," I think that this may eventually help at least one of the lower-budget teams to grab a proven starter.
That's a good point, jfranco77, and that has been discussed as a possibility if his defense at third is inadequate. The flipside is that he'd lose some value moving to a corner OF spot, and the Rays most likely would have preferred Myers' power ceiling anyway.
And, it sounds like they have: https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/278896261015412737.
Thanks for reading, and good points, DetroitDale. Given how close the AL Central was during the last few weeks of the season, I think having Sanchez helped (the Tigers won three of his last four starts), but the lack of depth in the farm system is definitely a concern at this. It's also exacerbated by something that Knobler mentioned in the post that I linked to — specifically, that they gave away their first-round draft picks to sign Fielder and Martinez the last two years.
Thanks, dREaDS Fan —it certainly seems like an ideal fit if they can make the years/dollars match.
Thanks for reading, MikeMcD. This is sort of a new situation for Colletti, where he has a surplus of major-league pieces and needs to ship them off for prospects. The questionable trades he has made—dating back to the Carlos Santana-for-Casey Blake deal—were essentially all made to plug holes at the big-league level. He hasn't, as you said, shown an ability to restock the farm via trade yet, but I'd give him an opportunity to do so here before indicting him on those grounds.
Now they just need to acquire Rays minor-league lefty Frank De Los Santos and they'll have a complete monopoly.
Thanks for reading, misterjohnny. And I agree with you, which means that the question is whether Alderson will choose to hold on to Dickey, or if he will lower his asking price, knowing that he could leave at the end of the 2013 season.
Thanks for catching that, timber — it should've said "within his last three seasons." I just counted the rows on his player card and forgot to subtract one because of the midseason trade. It's now fixed above.
Thanks for reading, nolansdad — and I actually had that same though late last night. If, for example, Pagan goes to the Phillies and Victorino goes to the Giants, there doesn't seem to be an obvious landing spot for Bourn, at least among teams with large budgets. The Reds could be one possibility, if they trade Drew Stubbs, but even they probably wouldn't offer the sort of deal Bourn is seeking.
It's unwise to doubt Scott Boras, but if at his asking price, Bourn is teams' third choice behind Pagan and Victorino, it may take a long time for his market to develop. Based on what we know right now, I think you're right about Bourn being a late sign. Whether he's a bargain at that point, only time will tell.
As it turned out, yep.
Thanks for reading, ofMontreal — I agree with you. That said, if the opportunity to land a frontline starter presents itself, and Moore needs to unload Chen's contract ASAP to ensure that it doesn't slip away, Chen could probably be had for less than his market value.
Sharky, that's essentially what I was getting at in the last paragraph. At this point, it's hard to know what to believe; Wright has said all of the right things as far as loyalty goes, but until pen hits paper, his true preferences will remain a mystery.
The ulnar collateral ligament injury we most often hear about involves the elbow, and results in Tommy John surgery, but there is more than one ulnar collateral ligament, including one in the thumb. You can find the gory details on it here: http://www.orthogate.org/patient-education/hand/ulnar-collateral-ligament-injuries-of-the-thumb.html. For more on Bailey's specific injury, go here: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120403&content_id=27869780&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb.
Bailey now has the rare distinction of having torn the UCL both in his right elbow and in his right thumb. Keep his wrist in your prayers.
Thanks for reading, Dave. Glad you're enjoying them, and if you have any feedback on how to improve it, definitely let me know.
Yep, as I wrote, Minnesota seems like a logical backup plan.
Thanks for reading, ofMontreal — and, I agree with you, Seattle is another potential fit for Matsuzaka.
Thanks for reading, fatted. We don't have many indications as to who the third team might be, but the Nationals, Rangers, and Reds are among those that have previously been tied to him this fall.
Thanks for reading, sclem21.
Davidson had a solid year in Double-A in 2012, so he's probably not far off and could be in the mix before the end of next season. I think that's why the Diamondbacks are looking for a one-year stopgap, like Peralta, rather than a long-term solution.
Of course. That said, it's hard to foresee Redmond exercising poor judgment and offending Miamians in the way that Ozzie Guillen did, and I would imagine that Loria and Beinfest will have more patience with him given the state of the roster. We'll see.
Reports last week indicated that Redmond was indeed aware that the Marlins intended to blow up the roster. According to Jim Bowden (https://twitter.com/JimBowdenESPNxm/status/268541831602655234), that's why he was able to negotiate a three-year deal with no prior major-league coaching experience.
Yep — a veritable game of musical chairs.
Thanks for reading. My guess is that the Cano talks will be drawn out, with both sides playing "hard ball" considering Boras' history of advising clients to test the market. But ultimately, he's the best position player on the team, and the Yankees don't have anything resembling an in-house replacement if he were to sign somewhere else. I don't expect Cashman to let Boras have his way without putting up a fight—and if other big-market teams (like the Dodgers) have openings at second base, Boras could likewise turn them into leverage—but I think the sides recognize that a new deal with the Yankees is both in their best interests and the most likely outcome.
Amazingly ... yes — thanks for bringing Dirks up! Hunter in right, and Dirks/Garcia in left would be the most likely arrangement, if Torii goes to Detroit. Against right-handed pitchers, Dirks might be the best option in the two-hole, so alternating in that spot, as Leyland did with Berry/Infante this year, could make sense again in 2013.
Thanks for commenting, Jon KK — I didn't think of that! All yours if you'd like to use it.
Thanks for commenting. I didn't catch the segment on MLB Network, so if you'd like to explain it in more detail or make a case for Berry, I'd be happy to debate it.
I did not necessarily mean that Hunter would be supplanting Quintin Berry in left field; I'd expect him to stay in right, and I'm guessing that the Tigers will use some sort of platoon between Berry/Boesch and Avisail Garcia in left. I do think, though, that Hunter could be an upgrade over Berry in the two-hole, even if his walk rate remains at its 2012 level. Berry has some value as a patient hitter, good base stealer, and strong outfielder, but I'm not sure he's a starter, and after hitting well out of the gate when he was promoted in late May, he scuffled throughout the second half. I don't see either Berry or Hunter as an ideal solution in the two-hole, but unless the .293/.389/.402 Berry from last June returns, I'd prefer Hunter there.
Thanks for the comment, which I hope will allow me to clarify what I meant.
The point I was trying to make is that both of those seasons, given how disparate they are, probably are not sufficient to evaluate Cabrera's defensive skills in left field, and each on its own represents too small a sample size. He's probably neither as good as he was in 2012, nor as poor as he was in 2011, and thus his long-term FRAA -- for the purposes of contract valuation -- lies somewhere in between.
I was not trying to say that 2011 is an adequate sample, while 2012 is not. I apologize if that was unclear from the wording I used.
Thanks for catching that — that would have assumed a 180-game season, which certainly qualifies as shaky math. Exceeding Miguel Montero's 3.9 WARP, which ranked fourth in the league, would have been a more realistic projection. I've edited the post to reflect that.
That's from his Brooks Baseball pitcher card: http://brooksbaseball.net/player_cards/player_card.php?player=545333.
I apologize for not linking to it directly in the post.
Ask and ye shall receive. And as I wrote in the intro, definitely let me know if you have any specific feedback on how to improve it. Thanks.
Glad you enjoyed it.
We're having some technical difficulties with the sim. Hoping to take care of them ASAP and get the odds up before game time. Sorry about that.
My sense is that it likes Cain and, as I wrote, is not at all fond of Lohse. That gap, plus the Giants being the home team, explains the 2-to-1 odds. But I'm with you in thinking this is much closer to a toss-up than a 2-to-1 game either way.
Thanks, glad you're enjoying the previews.
Oddly, I'm seeing it listed differently at different places ... Yahoo has it as 619, ESPN 653. B-Ref sides with ESPN, so that's probably accurate. Thanks for pointing that out.
The win probabilities are now updated, reflecting the actual lineups.
Thanks for the update — I'm going to re-run the sim based on the actual lineups momentarily.
Sorry about the delayed response to this, and thanks for the feedback.
The reasoning behind including the matchups in these previews is primarily to show how the new Matchup Tool can be used. While the small sample size involved in analyzing batter/pitcher matchups makes the results data dubious, the micro data on how pitchers have approached batters over time may shed light on more useful information. That's why, when possible, I've tried to limit the matchups to scenarios where there is either a large bundle of plate appearances to work with, and/or where pitchers have evolved over time, like Hughes in this case.
The shadows probably played a role, but I don't think they tell the whole story.
Gonzalez, who also typically has a plus curveball, threw 19 of them in the game and did not get a single whiff. Some of that may be the Cardinals hitters being more disciplined and his command/control being worse, but I think it reinforces the point that Wainwright's curve is one of the best in the league when it's on.
Everything was updated, just forgot to switch the name in the table. Thanks for catching that. It's fixed.
Whoa, meant to make that sentence about home runs and somehow conflated a bunch of different things. Big thanks for catching that. It's fixed above.
I think the logic would have been to go for the kill, knowing that the Giants are starting Zito and have Cain waiting in the wings for Game Five. But, as you're suggesting, burning Latos in Game Four would certainly have been a gamble, too.
It's interesting that two playoff teams (the Reds, Zack Cozart) have number-two hitters with sub-.300 OBPs.
Thanks, R.A. Wagman. I hope to keep that going!
The Division Series are using 2-3 format this year, with the lower-seeded team hosting the first two games and the higher-seeded team hosting the last three (if all three are necessary).
Thanks, Ric Size. Glad you enjoyed it.
Yep, the relievers absolutely deserve more credit than they've received. Especially Grant Balfour, who worked an inning on five consecutive days without allowing a hit or a walk.
Haha -- thanks for catching that. It's fixed.
Wow, looking at the timestamp, you posted that comment at the exact same time I posted the update
A quick update: The Nationals shut Gio Gonzalez down for the regular season today, so Tom Gorzelanny will get the start instead.
Thanks to GBSimons for pointing out via email that the A's opponent in the one-game playoff won't necessarily be the Orioles, since the AL East is still up for grabs. That's now fixed in the post.
Thanks for catching that. Between the takeaway and the what to watch for, I managed to have them playing in both Anaheim and Arlington. It's fixed.
The reason I've been inclined to think it's mechanical (as opposed to mental) is that this is similar to bouts of wildness/ineffectiveness he has dealt with and come out of before. Of course, those (most notably Aug. 2010) didn't last nearly as long as this one.
For what it's worth, Mike Krukow has often said on the telecasts that Lincecum is "fighting himself" with his mechanics, too. It seems extremely unlikely that he'll ever throw as hard as he did when he came up, but if that's what's keeping him from hitting 92-94 consistently and attacking the strike zone, I think mechanics are a reasonable explanation.
Nice catch — he's 15-for-49, but with only three extra-base hits (all doubles).
Definitely worth watching. Thanks for adding that.
Thanks for catching that. It should have said they've won two of the first three. Just fixed it.
They're _thisclose_ to falling off the radar screen. I mostly decided to mention them because of the series against the Reds, which could have implications for both the wild-card race and the Nats/Reds battle for the number-one seed.
Thanks for reading.
Borbon had a respectable year in Triple-A, hitting .304/.349/.433, but was essentially buried when Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin passed him on the Rangers' depth chart. I think he'll resurface as a reserve outfielder, whether in Texas or elsewhere, at some point.
Good point — as you suspected, Taylor Teagarden will get the start behind the plate tonight.
Oy. I wrote two versions of that bullet point around the 14th inning and ran with the wrong one. Thanks for catching that; it's now fixed above.
You're right; thanks for catching that. It's fixed in the post. Enjoy the game!
Thanks, ceadie. Glad you've enjoyed them.
Thanks for catching that. They had Gonzalez listed when I originally wrote that part. It's fixed above.
Thanks for the advice!
A quick update: The Rays have scratched David Price from Saturday's start with a sore shoulder. Chris Archer will pitch against Yu Darvish instead.
Yikes, I'll heed that advice then. Still would like to visit those two ballparks sometime in the near future.
Thanks for clarifying that. I'll have to visit and make that drive at some point.
Durr, that should've been Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates. Thanks for catching it — just fixed it in the post.
A quick update: That 25-game streak of A's starters issuing no more than two walks is over, as the Indians have drawn three off of Jarrod Parker through three innings in today's game.
Thanks, RaysProf. Glad you're enjoying them!
It's a shame this one hasn't been used yet.
Thanks for catching that. It's fixed.
Fixed, thanks for catching the typo.
Admittedly an inane joke, and certainly no offense taken from anyone who doesn't find it funny.
For some reason, every time I see his tweets on my timeline, I think "Mark Zuckerberg," even though that's not his name.
Yep, that's one no-hitter every 19 games. Incredible.
I meant to say "first-year starters" and swapped that out for "rookies," which obviously in Sale's case is not the same. Thanks for catching that; it's now fixed.
Certainly deserves to be mentioned among them. Thanks.
Great catch there—an even more fitting parallel. Thanks for mentioning it.
To stretch that one out to the All-Star break, when the Pirates were tied for the NL Central lead, they went 7-16 over 24 days to end up 10 games back in the division on Aug. 7.
I was just going from 1915, though the franchise never moved, so I'm not sure why I stopped there. Thanks for catching that.
Thanks for catching that. Fixed.
Thanks to meyerm for catching an error with Matt Harvey's draft history. He was the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, after being taken in the third round by the Angels out of high school in 2007. It's now fixed in the post.
That's true, although Zito's peripherals would suggest that he is actually pitching worse than he ever has with the Giants. More walks, fewer strikeouts possibly masked by a .248 BABIP.
I cringed while writing that sentence.
I'm biased, as a Giants fan, but it's the best.
Thanks for catching that. No idea how that happened.
Haha, glad that provided the opportunity.
I meant to say "rookie slugger," but certainly fair to say that they have two young ones. Thanks for pointing that out.
You are. Some of that is probably unsustainable, but just having watched their series against the Giants two weeks ago, virtually everything he hit was hard.
Right—that's where all those home runs came from. Thanks for catching that; it's now fixed.
Thanks for catching those.
I must've been drunk while looking at that game log last night. The last paragraph is revised.
This is neither here nor there, but if Cano had been required to take a Royal, I think a strong argument could have been made for Mike Moustakas over Billy Butler.
Fair point on Miller Park; I should've thought of that before just going back 10 years. Thanks.
Thanks for reading!
I had a feeling I missed something when I was looking at the gamelog. Thanks for catching that. It's now fixed.
I'll second the props for the use of "cynosure." Nicely done.
Promptly jinxed him ;)
I think Blanco's was definitely the defensive play of the game. I meant Arias was Dewayne Wise in the sense that he was a defensive replacement at 3B who made a key play in the ninth inning.
My favorite part of this may actually be the umpire running away as if the ball was about to explode.
In case anyone is wondering, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNY (https://twitter.com/AdamRubinESPN/status/209704262857531393), the Mets have decided not to have R.A. Dickey pitch on short rest. Instead, it will be Chris Young on Tuesday, Jeremy Hefner on Wednesday, R.A. Dickey on Thursday, and Johan Santana -- with two extra days of rest -- on Friday.
Of course. Thanks for catching that.
I definitely understand where you're coming from. My intention there was just to put something behind the story of the Orioles playing the Rays with first place potentially on the line, not really to intimate that Price's history with the O's is especially surprising or noteworthy.
Thanks for the feedback; I'll keep it in mind in future WYNTKs.
Thanks for catching that! Fixed.
I've tried and failed to curse Tommy Milone, though. He seems immune.
Thanks for noting that one. Should be fun.
Thanks! Pretty sure that comma is not grammatically incorrect, actually.
Haha, never fails.
I think he's more of a sell-high candidate from a fantasy perspective than a real-life one. Jason Collette discussed his fantasy potential a bit more in his piece today (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17070).
The forearm strain isn't of huge concern to me, because I wouldn't necessarily associate that with future elbow trouble, and there hasn't been much data to show that throwing lots of sliders leads to elbow injuries for big leaguers, even if that's true for youth pitchers. That said, in order to become a true frontline starter, Paulino will probably need to develop either his curveball or changeup into a reliable out pitch to reduce his reliance on the slider.
Not as long a while as the one between shutouts in New York; what I meant to say is that between Danny Duffy's injury and the rough going for many of their top prospects, they could use a surprise like Paulino. I certainly could have worded that better.
The Nationals seemed poised to improve, but certainly no one saw the Orioles jumping out to this good a start. Curious to see if Jake Arrieta can turn things around tonight after a couple of rough starts.
One quick note: The Nats are actually half a game behind the Braves entering play today.
Thanks for mentioning the fan. If you haven't seen that yet, here it is in GIF form: http://gif.mocksession.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/UMP-ABUSE.gif
Yep, this pretty much sealed it.
I included the Young incident simply to suggest a ceiling for MLB's punishment of Lawrie, depending on how the league perceives it. I personally don't think Lawrie deserves close to what Young got, but if the punishment for intentionally throwing equipment at an umpire is 50 games, then if that's what MLB believes Lawrie did, it seems a valid precedent.
Trying to spread the wealth around different teams, and I've mentioned the Angels and Rangers a bunch this week. That's certainly a series to watch this weekend, though, especially with the spring training encounters between Yu and Albert (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ti-brown_albert_pujols_angels_spring_training_022012).
Between the Orioles-Red Sox insanity and Bryce Harper stealing home, lots of things were buried. I was actually watching that Twins-Mariners game and, around the seventh inning, I forgot all about Denard Span's single and thought Felix still had a no-hitter going. Didn't realize until I looked up the box score when Eric Wedge pulled him.
Good point :)
The soft stuff has certainly served him well so far, but he's going to need to generate more than one swing-and-miss per 25 fastballs to succeed in a ballpark like Fenway.
An interesting point, particularly because the bullpen was relatively rested and only Randy Choate had been used in the eighth inning. Ozzie certainly could have pulled the plug on Bell early if he'd wanted to.
By the way, it'll be interesting to see if converted catcher Chris Hatcher becomes a bullpen option for the Marlins soon. He's got a 15-to-3 K/BB over 12 2/3 innings for Triple-A New Orleans.
I was just looking to give a couple of examples. Mujica might be the best choice long-term, but he has pitched almost as poorly as Bell to date and probably isn't a good bet to take over right now. Cishek has the numbers, but he's a right-handed sidearmer who might be exposed if forced to face tough lefties.
The overall point here is that I'm not sure the Marlins have a replacement for Bell, even a temporary one, on their current roster.
Wasn't looking good after the two walks in the first inning, but he turned it around.
I could certainly go for the former.
My mistake. He's day-to-day with the sore hamstring, not a bruised knee. Thanks for catching that.
Whoops -- that should have said Ed Halicki in 1979. Thanks for catching the error!
He's not a starter, but I believe we can coin Mark Melancon's line from last night "The Mark Melancon."
Unless my Play Index-ing is failing me, no one had ever produced that particular atrocity before.
Both it is!
A more immediate comparison might be the Reds' extension with Brandon Phillips, which Jim Bowden seems to think is imminent. Bowden floated six years, $72.5 million. That would either reinforce Kinsler as a considerable bargain or imply a poor decision by the Reds.
For reference, here's the link to Calcaterra's take: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/04/10/mlb-is-looking-into-ozzies-comments-how-intellectually-inconsistent-of-them/
Definitely a worthwhile read.
Nah, Giants only. I'm taking full credit for that shutout.
Being wrong is an integral part of making predictions—and you're more than welcome to let me know! I just hope I'm right often enough to keep it entertaining.
And, to anyone who picked Pujols and is now a game behind in Beat the Streak because of me, feel free to vent here.
Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta throws seven shutout innings for the Orioles. Yep.
Baker does like to play matchups, but the problem with that in this case is that neither Ludwick nor Heisey has ever faced Buehrle. Hard to say what he's judging the Heisey vs. Buehrle matchup on.
We'll see what happens going forward...
Cain has had an outstanding spring and showed he has nothing left to prove in the minors last year. What I meant to say there is that he still has to establish himself in the majors to be viewed as the Royals' long-term CF. From a position battle standpoint, as you said, CF is not nearly as big a question mark as C and 2B.
Not envisioning a 1-for-1 deal here, but I think that given the needs on both sides, there might be a prospect or some other quality piece to even out the deal from the Phillies' perspective.
I agree that a utility man for Blanton, 1-for-1, would not make sense for the Phils.
Based on this, it sounds as though the Phillies might need a short-term backup for their backup: https://twitter.com/#!/ToddZolecki/status/182195555202629633
Replacing Utley will definitely be much harder than replacing Howard. But it's not entirely clear to me that the Phillies have the pieces to replace Howard without hurting themselves at other positions.
It's hard to say if Thome can stay healthy if pressed into regular duty there. Mayberry could probably do it, but unless they commit to Brown in left field, that position becomes a black hole (Nix, Pierre) if Mayberry plays first full-time. Wigginton is essentially useless at this point, apart from his ability to hit left-handed pitching.
So, yes, a Mayberry/Wigginton/Thome carousel should at least approximate Howard's value at 1B—but probably at the expense of making other positions even worse and, as you said, making Utley even harder to replace.
Yeah, I really can't see Alonso winding up out there.
That's an alternative, but with his Padres' career at a crossroads, I'm not sure why that would be preferable to giving Blanks a chance. First base is Alonso's long-term defensive home (ideally, it would be Blanks' too), so I think it makes more sense to develop him there from day one.
Guzman certainly has a promising bat, but he's defensively limited to first base, too, so his long-term future with the Padres is some sort of platoon role.
We'll see what happens with Quentin. He doesn't have the greatest history when it comes to beating injury timelines, so only time will tell.
The only reason I omitted Parra from that list is that he's no longer assured of a starting job. Certainly makes Kubel to the Diamondbacks one of the weirder moves of the offseason.
That's an interesting idea. Definitely a possible trade match there if the Diamondbacks grow increasingly concerned about Drew's timetable.
In an ideal world, people would obviously withhold conclusions until all the evidence is out. I argued for that very thing back on December 12 (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15660). The problem is, given the nature of baseball media today, it's unrealistic to expect pundits and columnists around the country to all agree to say "I'm not sure yet." Once something like this comes out, the influence is there and it's unavoidable.
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, but I want to point out one more thing. If Quinn and Fainaru-Wada don't do what they did, we're not having this debate right now. In the process of (fairly or unfairly) exposing Braun, they also exposed the fact that MLB's testing process has a confidentiality problem. If this now results in additional steps by MLB to ensure that leaks do not occur in the future, Quinn and Fainaru-Wada deserve credit for bring that problem to light.
If that's the case, we need to reconsider entirely what is and is not within the scope of an investigative reporter. There is no question that any damage done to Braun's reputation -- whether you think it's fair or unfair -- cannot really be undone. But that's also the case in virtually any leak where the reporter is told of actions that are inappropriate, runs with the story, and the person accused is eventually found innocent by the law.
Should the scope of investigative reporting in sports be limited to what writers like Ken Rosenthal and Buster Olney do in breaking signings and trades? And if not, then where do we draw the line?
To me, the problem here is entirely with the breach of confidentiality itself, not the subsequent fallout from it. You could choose to view Quinn and Fainaru-Wada as enablers, but had they not run with the story, chances are it would have been leaked to someone else. If they do not report the story first, then from ESPN's perspective they are not doing their jobs as well as whoever does. So if you think there's something that has to be done about this beyond further ensuring that confidential information is not leaked, you'd have to (if you'll accept the analogy) hate the game of investigative reporting, not the players involved here.
Absolutely. Had a lot of fun with him last night.
I'm curious if MLB will actually be able to determine (or if it already knows) who the sources were. If not, then one flaw may be that too many people are involved in a confidential process.
I absolutely think the leakers need to be found and punished. The point I was trying to make is that the leakers are the cause of the mess that this became. I was not trying to exonerate them at all.
Blaming Quinn and Fainaru-Wada, though, is problematic. They were given (or found) a scoop that was corroborated by a second source. At the time, they had every reason to believe their story was accurate, and they also qualified it in the very first paragraph with, "Braun ... faces a 50-game suspension **if the initial finding is upheld**, two sources familiar with the case told "Outside the Lines." It's hard to expect two investigative reporters to sit on that kind of story, and that's why the onus is on the leakers to grasp the impact their information would have if it goes public. Quinn and Fainaru-Wada did their jobs; the leakers went completely against theirs.
As it stands, I believe Braun has to be considered clean, and that the leakers are exclusively at fault for the lingering doubts.
I think the Tebow/Lin comparison only exists because their breakouts came so close together.
Yep, nice one. Hopefully Lin avoids the overzealous MSG fans, though...
Steve mentioned Fidrych as I chatted with him about candidates last night as well. Good call.
Duquette should absolutely sign the best talent he can find -- and there's a process by which he could have sought permission to sign Kim. Clearly, that did not happen.
It will be interesting to see what, if any, resolution is reached. But I completely agree with your general point -- that the real loser here, whichever way it turns out, is a 17-year-old who just wants to make a living playing baseball, saw an opportunity, and took it.
One thing to note here is that Kim's contract with the Orioles is likely to stand, so the KBA is not exactly preventing him from choosing to "work for" the Orioles. If playing professionally in South Korea as a citizen requires some level of education and two years of military service, then from that standpoint, the KBO is within its rights to ban Kim from playing in that league. They can't stop him from playing in the United States, but can certainly hold him to the consequences.
I think part of Beane's problem in recent years has been trying to do too much. Very rarely can a general manager string together several beneficial trades in a row.
Mark Mulder brought in Dan Haren and Daric Barton pre-2005
Dan Haren brought in Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson pre-2008
Carlos Gonzalez brought in Matt Holliday pre-2009
And then came the ill-fated Holliday for Brett Wallace swap mid-2009, followed by the Wallace/Michael Taylor deal pre-2010.
It seems as though Beane simply took the chain one or two links too far.
All of your points are valid, and McGehee may well not have the makeup to bounce back. That said, consider Pablo Sandoval in 2010, when the Giants were contending for the division title and (arguably) his conditioning let him down. Sandoval came back fitter in 2011 and had his best season as a pro, suddenly becoming a very good defensive 3B in addition to regaining his stroke at the plate. McGehee may not have the same sort of resurgence, but there is precedent for it.
That's true. Of course, unless they go with Bernadina or Cameron, there also isn't anyone to play center field.
Heh, I know. But it was quite a shock at the time.
I've written some interesting things in essays at 2 a.m. the night before they're due, that's for sure.
There is, as Rob Manfred expressed in this quote:
“All I’m going to say - because I think drawing public lines in the sand as to what reasonable cause is probably doesn’t help me over the long haul - reasonable cause is a fact-based inquiry. It depends on the facts and circumstances,” said Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive VP of labor relations. “(MLB and the union) really have not had a lot of trouble getting to an agreement as to what constitutes reasonable cause.” (http://tinyurl.com/7nw2wwk)
But, and it seems you might feel the same way, if this isn't clearly defined, it amounts to a witch hunt. Explicitly defining "reasonable cause" would be a good place to start, and I think being open about the precise definition, if union and league have indeed reached one, would be beneficial.
That's a worthwhile point, and I do agree that the gap between Madson and Rodriguez isn't especially large. However, context also matters here.
The Reds spent this offseason finding ways to take advantage of the Cardinals losing Pujols and the Brewers losing Fielder; by adding Latos, Marshall, and Madson, they may have become NL Central favorites.
If the Brewers didn't have much financial wiggle room in their efforts to overcome losing Fielder (and to some extent, the possibility of being without Braun for 50 games), they should've been looking to make moves with a greater potential impact than giving $8 million to a reliever. Aramis Ramirez helps a bit, but not enough.
A great point -- and one reason why potentially needing two players to supplant V-Mart is the most challenging part of the situation for Dombrowski.
I think that would be a viable option, assuming Cabrera isn't hellbent on playing first base. In that case, Pena would replace more of Martinez's value, though starting him at first against lefties is still seemingly unproductive.
That's true. However, some of that value was tied to Pena's defense, which he wouldn't contribute in Detroit unless he bumped Miguel Cabrera to DH and took over for him at first base. Pena is also coming off a year during which he hit .133/.260/.333 against lefties, and while that might be below what he's actually capable of, I'm not sure he's someone you'd want in your lineup at 1B or DH when a southpaw's pitching.
Completely agree that the one way this makes sense for the A's is if they flip Seth Smith for more than they gave up. But if that's the case, it becomes even more confusing from Colorado's end.
Admittedly, not a large age difference with Kershaw. But I'd bet the Yankees will be rather pleased with the deal if Pineda turns out anything like Kershaw has.
There's something to be said for the security that Amaro gained by locking up Papelbon early, but $41.5 million in guaranteed salary seems a steep price to pay for it.
I could see the case for Francisco over Madson, given their relative contracts. That said, I think Madson's 47.7% career ground ball rate is a much better fit for Great American Ballpark.
I meant it less as a harsh criticism of the Rockies, and more musing about the impact of a single decision in the draft, but I understand if it came off that way. The Rockies certainly weren't the only team to err in that first round, with Brad Lincoln, Andrew Miller, and Billy Rowell also picked in the top 10.
I believe you're referring to this story in the USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/rockies/2006-05-30-rockies-cover_x.htm), though I'm not sure if that directly affected their decision in the draft.
Thanks for catching that. Meant to say that Reynolds had not contributed to a division title/playoff run for them, but that was definitely an oversight.
Thanks, guys -- I appreciate the kind words.
And I completely agree about Stanton, Lloyd. Hopefully, this won't be a bad influence on him.
There's definitely a parallel between the two scenarios, but there are also two exceptions that could make it more palatable to Fielder:
1) The risk of injury is significantly lower for Fielder than for, say, Matt Barkley given the difference in their positions and the sports.
2) Fielder would be getting $20-25 million to forgo the longer contract, whereas Barkley would essentially be getting nothing in the meantime.
I'd love to see Prince return to Milwaukee, but a 4-5 year deal would seem to be a poor outcome for him if in fact he's looking to cash-in. He'd be far less attractive hitting the market again at age 32-33 than at 29-30. I could see him returning to Milwaukee for 1-2 years but, unless the AAV is higher, I don't think a 4-5 year hitch makes sense for the player.
Thanks for the comments, guys.
I agree that $50 million would have been a very large bluff, but it's not really a bluff in that the Jays would not have lost $50 million had they not been able to sign Darvish.
A couple of thing. First, with the changes in the conversion rate, $51.1 million now is less than it was when Matsuzaka came over. Second, I think it's likely that the Blue Jays were seriously interested, but given the symbolism of the Matsuzaka figure, if they were willing to go to $50 million, they should have gone over $51.1.
That's essentially my point -- that knowing they bid over $50 million doesn't tell us much. If they indeed bid over $51.1 million, that would clarify their intent.
I was talking mostly about body type--kind of what was referenced in articles like this one: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-braun-positivedrugtest
That's a good point, though given his history, there's a nonzero chance that Reyes will miss a considerable portion of 2012 or a future season during the deal.
Also, my point on Reyes vs. Tejada still stands: $16.67 million for Reyes vs. roughly the league minimum for Tejada is shrewd from the Mets' perspective, even if Reyes outperforms him by 1-2 wins more than the diminished average suggests.
The Astros also indicated that Gottfried is not a candidate to be GM of the team long-term. He's a placeholder, and not someone who should be making decisions for whoever they ultimately choose. None of the other 29 GMs have an "interim" tag attached to their title.
I don't believe the Giants would have ended up non-tendering Sanchez, but it was considered a possibility at the end of the season. Given that they seem determined to not raise payroll, saving $6 million might have become a consideration, especially given that they were able to strike gold with Vogelsong last offseason. Lots of veteran RHPs that AT&T could make look good on the market as alternatives to Zito.