Which teams make the most sense for the remaining free agents?
It’s that time of the year again. Most notable free agents have signed with new teams, while others are closing in on their own agreements. Alas the precious few left on the open market now have days instead of weeks to secure employment before the exhibition season begins. To assist nine of the most noteworthy remaining free agents (read: pass time until something interesting happens), let’s take a look at what they offer and where they may land, with a hand from everyone’s favorite random number generator.
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David Freese is a popular trade target, and the Nationals' rotation plans are still uncertain.
Angels in Talks to Acquire David Freese The Rangers and Tigers may have already consummated the offseason’s biggest trade, but those fearing a drought between now and next month’s Winter Meetings might not need to worry too much. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers’ division rivals in Anaheim are working on a swap of their own.
The Cardinals end the Pirates' season and advance to the NLCS for the third straight year.
The Cardinals will play in the NL Championship Series for the third consecutive postseason. Their advancement comes after a Game Five victory over the Pirates, in which, fittingly, Adam Wainwright, David Freese, and Matt Adams played large roles.
Ben wades through a handful of uncertain third-base situations to help fantasy owners plan for 2014.
Some would say that forecasting 2014 rosters in September 2013 is a fool’s errand. These people either a) don’t know fools, b) don’t run errands, or c) don’t play in dynasty leagues. For as any experienced owner knows, if you’re not already thinking about your keepers for 2014, you’re doing it wrong.
With that in mind, now is as good a time as any to take a look at five tenuous third-base situations around the league. While there are some potential future fantasy studs listed below, many of these youngsters face uncertain playing time and roster security headed into next year.
With David Freese slumping, the Cardinals dig into their deep farm system and bring up a second baseman who raced up the minor-league ladder.
The Situation: With the Cardinals offense sputtering just slightly of late, St. Louis is calling up second baseman Kolten Wong, who ranked no. 34 on Baseball Prospectus’ mid-season top 50 prospects list, to jolt the offense. Although the Cards already have an All-Star second baseman in Matt Carpenter, it’s unlikely the 22-year-old Wong is being brought up to ride the pine. Expect to see some lineup and positional shifting. Regular third baseman David Freese is having an underwhelming season––he’s hitting just .269/.348/.386––and Carpenter is experienced at the hot corner. St. Louis could begin placing Wong at second base and Carpenter at third with Freese coming off the bench. That’s a likely scenario against right-handed pitching especially, as Wong and Carpenter are both lefty bats while Freese is a righty.
Background: St. Louis selected Wong with its first-round pick (no. 22 overall) in the 2011 draft. A Hilo, Hawaii native and University of Hawaii product, Wong was a first-round pick despite his second-base profile and 5-foot-9 frame, which speaks volumes about his natural ability to hit and impressive overall skill set. Coming out of UH, Wong was regarded as an advanced bat who would hit his way through the minors quickly, and that’s exactly what he has done.
Remembering Dave Freese's heroics from last October, and wondering who'll join him in the postseason pantheon in 2012.
I named this story “The Shot before the Shot” when I sent it to my editors, although I don’t know if that’s the title under which you’re now reading it. [It is! Ed.] As you may already know, it isn’t my job, or even my right, to entitle what I write. Titles are the domain of editors, not writers. I may call the thing a changeup, but if the editors think the sound of “Gyroball” will sell it better, then “Gyroball” it is.
As a general rule, though, if I do have a suggested title for a piece of writing I submit, most editors I’ve worked with, here at BP and elsewhere, will use it as long as it’s reasonably punchy and apposite. Editors are busy, busy people, happy not to have to be the heir of entitlement.
David Freese did major damage during the postseason, but scouts still have mixed ideas about what his future holds. Joe Maddon also sits down for a chat.
The Cardinals had just won an improbable World Series championship, and the on-field celebration was barely over last October when David Freese was ushered into the media interview room at Busch Stadium. The third baseman sat on the stage with a look of disbelief on his face as he answered questions about living out a dream. The St. Louis area native was the named the Most Valuable Player of the Cardinals' win over the Rangers in the World Series, adding to the MVP trophy he won in the National League Championship Series.
Presenting the three filthiest pitches from the first week of the season.
If you followed any games last season on MLB.com’s Gameday application, you saw “Nasty Factor,” which assigned a number to each pitch based on its perceived nastiness. If you have followed any games this season on Gameday, you’ve seen “Scout,” which describes the action like this: “Sergio Romo is having trouble locating his four-seam fastball” and so on. We’re about to watch the three best pitches* thrown in the first week of the season, and, frankly, Nasty Factor and Scout can’t do these pitches justice. So enjoy the moving pictures, and then read the expert analysis provided by some MLB.com apps that are still in development.
While anticlimactic after Game Six, the final game of the World Series capped off one of the most exciting postseasons in recent memory
That Game Seven of the 2011 World Series couldn't match the drama of Game Six was almost a given even before the first pitch was thrown. We don't talk about the finales of the 1975 or 1986 World Series in the same reverential tones as we do their penultimate contests, great though they may have been on their own merits. So unsurprisingly, we were not treated to a Jack Morris-level performance or an extra-inning walk-off win to complete the neat historical parallel provided by the Buck family’s "We'll see you tomorrow night!" calls following game-winning homers. Nonetheless, the first Game Seven in nine years required one more come-from-behind effort—down 2-0 before their starter had retired a single hitter—as well as heroics from some familiar names for the Cardinals to complete one of the most unlikely comebacks in baseball history en route to winning their 11th world championship via a 6-2 win over the Rangers.
If you tuned out when the Rangers led 7-5 in the ninth, you missed quite a finish
It was the best worst World Series game—or perhaps the worst best World Series game—I've ever seen. Four and a half hours, 11 innings, 42 players, 19 runs, 23 men left on base, six home runs, five errors, two final-strike comebacks, a handful of bad relief performances, some managerial howlers including a cardinal (not Cardinal) sin… and it all ended with the much-maligned Joe Buck giving a fitting nod to history by emulating one of his father's most famous calls. As David Freese's game-winning blast landed in the grass beyond the center field wall of Busch Stadium, Buck exclaimed, "We'll see you tomorrow night!" Game Six of the 2011 World Series will be remembered as a classic—a Game Six that can sit alongside those of 1975, 1986, and 1991, among maybe a couple others—as the Cardinals staved off elimination to beat the Rangers 10-9, forcing a Game Seven.