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Ben and Sam discuss whether a team should have claimed Joe Mauer, what he's worth, and what his future will look like, then talk about the end of Erik Bedard's stay in Pittsburgh and how sad it is when a guy who's always either good or injured goes bad.

Ben and Sam discuss whether a team should have claimed Joe Mauer, what he's worth, and what his future will look like, then talk about the end of Erik Bedard's stay in Pittsburgh and how sad it is when a guy who's always either good or injured goes bad.

Episode 32: "Joe Mauer and his Contract Clear Waivers/The Demise of Erik Bedard"

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Catching up on stuff that happened when it had happened.

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September 27, 2010 8:01 am

Transaction Action: Dodgers, Padres, Giants

6

Christina Kahrl

How the Pads might yet have the last laugh, Sabeanesque acquisition strategies, and Dodger disappointment.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Placed RHP Vicente Padilla on the 15-day DL (bulging disk - neck), retroactive to 8/16; recalled RHP Travis Schlichting from Albuquerque (Triple-A). [8/20]
Activated LF-R Manny Ramirez from the 15-day DL; designated INF-R Juan Castro for assignment. [8/21]
Placed RHP Travis Schlichting on the 15-day DL (shoulder); activated RHP Jeff Weaver from the 15-day DL; claimed C-R Rod Barajas from the Mets off waivers. [8/22]
Activated C-R Rod Barajas; optioned C-R A.J. Ellis to Albuquerque. [8/24]
Noted the loss of LF-R Manny Ramirez on a waiver claim by the White Sox; recalled RHP Ramon Troncoso from Albuquerque. [8/30]
Activated RHP Vicente Padilla and SS-S Rafael Furcal from the 15-day DL; recalled C-R A.J. Ellis from Albuquerque. [9/3]
Recalled RHPs John Ely and Jon Link and MI-R Chin-lung Hu from Albuquerque; purchased the contracts of 1B-R John Lindsey and UT-R Russ Mitchell from Albuquerque; transferred C-R Russell Martin from the 15- to the 60-day DL. [9/6]
Purchased the contract of OF-L Trent Oeltjen from Albuquerque; designated INF-R Ronnie Belliard for assignment. [9/7]
Released INF-R Ronnie Belliard. [9/9]
Traded RHP Octavio Dotel to the Rockies for a PTBNL. [9/18]
Traded OF-R Preston Mattingly to the Indians for OF-L Roman Pena. [9/26]

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July 12, 2010 8:00 am

Contractual Matters: Premium Players

2

Jeff Euston

Insuring a stars contract reduces a clubs risk, but usually only up to a point.

The 2007 injury that ended Juan Encarnacion's career was one of those slow-motion nightmares you hate to see, on a baseball diamond or anywhere else.

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July 1, 2010 12:05 pm

Contractual Matters: Optional Waivers

22

Jeff Euston and Eric Seidman

Explaining a seldom-used and confusing procedure that enables a club to quickly clear a roster spot.

When Scott Mathieson made his major-league debut approximately four years ago, the Philadelphia Phillies were a very different team. David Bell played third base, Aaron Rowand patrolled center field, and the three-headed monster of Mike Lieberthal, Sal Fasano and Chris Coste were the catchers. Mathieson, a 22-year old flamethrower, had shown plenty of promise but was still in need of some seasoning, which made things all the more disappointing when he fell prey to the injury bug and had to go under the knife for surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. The road back has been tenuous, as rehabilitation was stunted by the need for a second Tommy John surgery. After successfully rehabbing from the second surgery, Mathieson found himself a minor-league reliever with fans clamoring for his presence on the big club’s roster.

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November 9, 2009 12:10 pm

Ahead in the Count: Cole Being Cole?

56

Matt Swartz

Continuing an analysis of Cole Hamels' 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Two weeks ago, I wrote an article on Cole Hamels on the day that the Phillies clinched the National League pennant, explaining in detail that I do not believe that there is anything wrong with Cole Hamels, and that the difference between 2008 and 2009 is abnormally good luck in the first and abnormally bad luck in the second. The first clue was that he had similar peripheral statistics in 2008 and 2009. He struck out 21 percent of hitters in both years, and walked just over five percent of hitters in 2009 after walking just under six percent of them in 2008. His ground-ball rate stayed roughly the same, rising from 41 to 43 percent. The difference came from his BABIP jumping from an incredibly fortunate .262 to an incredibly unfortunate .321. It has been shown many times before that BABIP is a statistic with low persistence, and that pitchers see their performances jump up and down constantly with respect to this statistic. As a result, much of year-to-year fluctuation in ERA is tied to fluctuations in BABIP. Unsurprisingly, Hamels ERA went from 3.09 in 2008 to 4.32 in 2009. As Hamels' peripherals indicate an ERA around 3.65, it seems likely that he had a mixture of good luck in 2008 and bad luck in 2009 that belied his ERA.

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August 24, 2009 11:30 am

Checking the Numbers: What Can Wagner Do For You?

16

Eric Seidman

How much do the Red Sox stand to gain if their waiver claim goes through?

By signing Francisco Rodriguez to a lucrative three-year deal and acquiring J.J. Putz from the Mariners over last winter, the Mets virtually ensured that their ties would be cut with Billy Wagner, the injured left-handed closer with an $8 million club option for 2010. After all, Putz has an option valued at $8.6 million next year, but with his market value plummeting due to ineffective outings and a subsequent injury and the team not willing to spend over $16 million on injury-prone set-up men or closers, Wagner clearly became the odd man out. Entering the season, PECOTA did not factor in Wagner's recovery from ulnar collateral ligament surgery, projecting a 3.03 ERA and 1.9 WXRL in 49 1/3 innings. Though his rehab and recovery was always going to preclude him from amassing a good chunk of playing time, many thought of Wagner as a potential bullpen boon to a contending Mets team upon his scheduled August return. Wagner did return this month, but with the Mets' nonexistent playoff hopes and confirmed lack of interest in exercising his option, as well as the waiver claim placed on his services by the Red Sox, Wagner may still find himself in the position to provide a bullpen boon to a contending team. But can he deliver, if given the chance?

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To read Tim Kniker's Unfiltered post following up on one of the audience's suggested topics, surf here.

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August 28, 2008 11:38 am

Future Shock: And in This Corner...

1

Kevin Goldstein

Developments in the battle royale between just about everyone in the baseball industry.

It really was the statement heard 'round the world, as from the time of its release until the end of the day, my phone has been burning in non-stop discussions with teams, agents, players, and other members of the media all looking to talk about the Pedro Alvarez situation. The statement issued by the Pirates is very strong in tone, and tells us quite a bit in only 575 words. We all know that Pittsburgh team president Frank Coonelly has a close relationship with the commissioner's office, and the document almost sounds as if it came straight from New York. Let's take a word by word look at it, and talk about what is actually known, what is merely rumored, and what may eventually happen.

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November 7, 2007 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: AL Pick-me-ups and Discards

0

Christina Kahrl

What's moving and shaking in the stronger circuit.

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The best bragging rights go to those who get All-Star level performance from bargain basement pickups.

Picking All-Stars-whether by fan ballot, journalistic conceit, or individual manager's favoritism-has always been somewhat hit or miss. The standards are invariably slippery, and the insane tokenism requirement that places a particularly ludicrous burden on picking a real ballclub generates some relatively loathesome All-Star roster contortions. Add in that fame inevitably plays a role perhaps equal to performance, and it's pretty hard for the relative unknowns to make it onto an All-Star Game roster.

Now, my carping aside, there's no absolute value judgment to attach to that, but I do think it's interesting to sift through the players who have done well this season and nominate what I'd call the "Free Talent All-Stars"-the guys who have been acquired on the cheap and delivered exceptional performances. They provide an important reminder that there's still talent to be dug up from unlikely sources and people with the ability to find that talent in front offices all around the game. However much Casey Stengel "could'na dunnit without the players," there's something to be said for the people who find them. Considering the increasingly important financial considerations that every team utilizes in setting up their rosters, and the purported increased difficulty in finding these kinds of bargains in a post-Moneyball world, there's something to be said for the quality of the players who make my particular list.

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A wild-eyed attempt to arrive at a specific market size for every major-league team.

Are you ready for some geography?

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