Nobody else is talking about these free agents, but we will.
Opening Day 2013 is fewer than four weeks away. That means the time to talk about free agents is behind us. Even when the spotlight does turn to those remaining unemployed players it tends to hover on Kyle Lohse and Jose Valverde. Yet there are numerous other notable players still available. Let's take a look at a few of their situations.
Bobby Abreu Latest MLB Trade Rumors mention:2/15, "The Orioles may consider signing outfielder Bobby Abreu, but first plan to 'see what they have in camp.'"
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How much you bid on Jim Thome this week says a lot about the league you're in.
The calendar has flipped to July, and that means we’ve reached the point of the season when players will start getting traded and -- piquing the interest of those who play in AL- and NL-only leagues -- switching circuits. The trade of Jim Thome to the Orioles this weekend marked the first of these trades and forced fantasy owners to make some interesting decisions when it came time to claim players. This year, I’m playing in two AL-only leagues, but despite this bit of uniformity, the decision-making that went into my Thome bids was quite different between them.
My two AL-only leagues are the CBS Analysts Expert League and the DraftDay Experts League (formerly CardRunners). In DraftDay, owners begin with a FAAB budget of $260, FAAB can be traded, and players from the National League can be claimed and stashed based on speculation that they might be traded to the AL. In CBS, owners get a fixed budget of $100 dollars, FAAB cannot be traded, and NL players cannot be claimed.
What do the Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays need heading into the deadline, and where might they find it?
With a little less than a month to go until the non-waiver trading deadline, talks between teams are heating up. In a seven-part series, several BP authors will be covering the needs, potential fits, and more for the contenders in each division, as well as a rundown of the top 10 player trade targets. Today, we take a look at the AL East.
Looking ahead to baseball's most significant personal achievements.
Something peculiar happened during the most recent National Football League season: four quarterbacks threw for more than 4,900 yards. An unprecedented event given that two quarterbacks had accomplished the feat in 30 years theretofore. The increased reliance on, and perfection of, the forward pass has led to an assault on the record books, akin to the earlier offensive explosion in baseball. There are no rumblings of wrongdoing in football—at least, around these new levels of performance—but then again, there weren’t during the early phases of baseball’s offensive breakout, either. Even heading forward, don’t expect a congressional hearing, or columnists pontificating about lost innocence while urging a nation to grieve and revolt. Because, as one intrepid—and sadly, unremembered—soul put it: nobody cares about football stats.
The inverse is true of baseball statistics. Anyone reading Prospectus is no stranger to numbers, or to the countless reasons why people are attracted to baseball’s numbers. At some point the large, round numbers became in-built measuring sticks. If a player hit 500 home runs over his career he must have been one of the best sluggers in history. A player with 3,000 hits or 300 wins demonstrated the perfect equilibrium between longevity and quality throughout his career. Exceptions existed before science entered the picture, but these rules were simple—and simple sells.
The tater trots for September 23: maybe the single best night for baseball all season.
Forgive me if I can't be completely objective about Friday's happenings. I was at Miller Park last night as the Brewers - and Ryan Braun - beat the Marlins to (eventually) clinch the National League Central crown. It was quite the scene, something very cool to be a part of. Braun's home run, Gallardo's strikeouts, Axford's save, watching the Cardinals lose on the scoreboard with 45,000 other people, champagne celebrations... it all makes it a bit difficult to be objective. Sorry.
While some home-run hitters can make it look easy, nothing about Jim Thome has ever looked effortless.
Jim Thome hit his 596th career home run on Sunday. The 490-foot blast was as pure a demonstration of Thome’s classic swing as any in his 20-year career. Delmon Young, who looked on from the on-deck circle, put it best when he simply gaped at the homer’s majesty. (The .gif linked above is almost certainly the finest of this baseball season so far. The way Young’s face slowly edges into the frame really sells it.) Others have written at length about the noteworthiness of Thome’s home run, but it’s worth reiterating the finer points of Thome’s style and swing.
Some reasons why Jim Thome is not a household name despite approaching 600 career home runs.
Jim Thome hit three home runs over the holiday weekend to move into sole possession of the ninth spot on the all-time home run list with 585. The last of those blasts, Thome’s 21st of the season, provided the final margin of victory as the Twins defeated the Royals 5-4 to move a season-high 24 games over .500. Thome’s home run Tuesday night tied him with Frank Robinson for seventh on the all-time list.
Thome has been a godsend for the Twins this season, compiling a stunning .275/.399/.621 line while mirroring the production of the man whose lineup spot he is occupying, early AL MVP favorite Justin Morneau. In fact, since Morneau suffered a concussion July 7 in Toronto, Thome has battered opposing pitchers to the tune of a 1.090 OPS with extra-base hits coming at a rate of about one every six at-bats. Thome’s .343 TAv this season is runner up to his monstrous 2002 campaign (.304/.445/.677) and his 3.6 WARP is also very good considering he’s only pushing 300 plate appearances for the season. Moreover, his 1020 OPS is also historically good for a 39-year old, as it has been eclipsed by only Barry Bonds, Ted Williams (twice), and Hank Aaron. Elite company, indeed.