Texas talks extension with Rougned Odor, Jason Marquis eyes a comeback, and Jake Peavy puts baseball on hold.
Rangers, Odor can smell extension
Last summer, the Rangers and Rougned Odor both approached the negotiating table to talk about a contract extension, but the talks reportedly stalled when the Rangers offered him $35 million over six years. That’s “Gregory Polanco” money, but it appears that the Rangers have decided it’s time to give Odor “Jason Kipnis” money, since Jon Heyman is reporting that Texas has offered the second baseman a six-year deal around $52.5 million.
What exactly are we losing with the end of four-pitch intentional walks?
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently shed some light on the progress (or lack thereof) of rule changes that ownership submitted to the players’ union, noting that he had not received the “cooperation” that he would have liked. They did, however, agree on one proposal; eliminating the need to throw four pitches to initiate an intentional walk, opting instead for a signal from the manager.
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Rob Manfred plans to do what he wants in 2018, Eric Hosmer doesn't need a decade, and Derek Norris is expendable.
Manfred and MLB hope to push ahead with rule changes
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday that there will be no major rule changes for the upcoming season, but several could be in line for 2018—whether or not the players’ association is willing to agree to them. Most of these discussed rule changes are aimed at improving the pace of play, such as adding a pitch clock, limiting mound visits, and changing the strike zone.
Notes on Connor Seabold, Colton Hock, Quinn Brodey, and possibly other guys who sound like they wear critter pants.
Connor Seabold, RHP, Cal State Fullerton
Seabold is a slender right-hander with a relatively narrow frame that has some projection to it, though there isn’t quite as much there as you’d expect out of a 6-foot-2 kid that’s barely scraping 175. The delivery features elasticity and notable coordination, with fluidity through a high, sweeping leg kick. There’s notable spine tilt into a deep arm swing, and he’ll get late on occasion. But the arm gets compact and is lightning quick to release. He repeats pretty well to drive above-average command projection. He lived off the fastball in this start, as he has in previous starts I’ve seen of his, sitting 91-93 all night with an occasional cutter in the 87-88 range. The pitch gets quality sink and finishes with some late life, and he was able to move it around and above the zone consistently all night. The command was especially strong to the arm side in this start, though his feel to work the whole of the zone was on display. He worked in the occasional upper-70s breaking ball, which can show a fairly round shape. He mostly deployed it as a chaser, and he struggled to start it consistently enough in the zone when he did. He dropped one would-be changeup at 83, as well, though it was a lost pitch. The fastball and feel are the draws here, as his heat is the type that can miss barrels consistently without premium velocity. I’ve yet to see the makings of a strikeout pitch from him, but he projects well as a durable ground-baller who generates weak contact.
Our staff feels these players might be overvalued in dynasty formats this spring.
Manuel Margot, San Diego Padres
In terms of real baseball value, Manuel Margot is one of the more exciting outfield prospects in the game. He’s right on the verge of contributing in a meaningful way, and should do it in most areas of the game. He’ll hit a little, he’ll fly on the bases and his athleticism and defensive instincts will play well in San Diego’s spacious outfield. Unfortunately, much of that skill set doesn’t translate into fantasy value.
Super Bowls and presidential elections can get you thinking about all sorts of things.
It’s probably a sign of how long we’ve been without baseball that this week’s column was inspired by football. A couple of weeks ago, the Annual Ultimate Flying Handegg Game of Doom was played, and since I live in Atlanta I was vaguely aware of one of the teams playing in the game. According to conversations that I overheard at the water cooler, the Falcons were up 28-3 at one point, but didn’t win. According to various win probability models of football, at one point the Falcons were considered to have a 99 percent chance to win the game. Of course, that didn’t actually happen. So, can we believe win probability models anymore?
Eric Gagne eyes a return to the majors, the Mets talk extension figures with Neil Walker, and the Yankees get into hot water with Dellin Betances.
Gagne considering a major league comeback
Eric Gagne is 41 years old. Eric Gagne has not played a full season of baseball at any level since 2009, has not carried a major-league contract since 2008, and has not, as was so elegantly written in the Baseball Prospectus 2005 Annual, “[exorcised] the stoicism out of Dodger Stadium and made it just plain rock” since 2004.