The contracts being offered, the teams in the mix, the players and their demands, and news and notes from around the major leagues.
On Friday the market for free agents officially opens when teams can begin making offers to players other than those who finished the season with other clubs. The Brewers and Dodgers got the ball rolling at this past week's general managers meetings in Dana Point, California, with the Brewers offering left-hander CC Sabathia five years and $100 million to stay in Milwaukee, and the Dodgers offering two years and $50 million in an effort to keep left fielder Manny Ramirez in Los Angeles.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
While Atlanta's hopes burn, it looks like it's all about where to send Teixeira and for what.
Monday afternoon, the Braves put Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson on the disabled list, and having done so, followed by putting Mark Teixeira on the trade block. The moves followed a disastrous weekend in Philadelphia in which the team blew leads of 9-3 and 5-0 on consecutive days, losses that, combined with the injuries to their two best players, led them to pull the plug on 2008.
As in the AL, the Central division is as tight as can be, while in the East two Mets are predicted to take home some hardware along with their division flag.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the National League, along with the staff picks in some fun miscellaneous categories.
Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
Chasing Tex in Texas might set off a high-stakes bidding frenzy... or not.
Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira remains the most intriguing player who could be moved before the deadline, and Atlanta continues to look like the frontrunner. The Braves are reportedly willing to offer a package of right-hander Kyle Davies, rookie catcher/first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and infield prospect Elvis Andrus.
The AL West is a far cry from where it was a few months ago. The Rangers take on the Athletics in your Game of the Week.
The A's and the Rangers have spent the last month going in different directions in the standings. On July 22nd, the Rangers trailed the A's by a mere half-game in the AL West, with the Angels only two games behind the leader, and the Mariners five back in last place. On that date, the Rangers had better than even odds of making the postseason, 53.4%, according to the Playoff Odds Report. By the time they acquired left fielder Carlos Lee from the Brewers a week later, the Rangers were a game under .500, two and a half behind the A's in second place, and their chances had fallen to 29.9%. Coming into Saturday's matchup, the Rangers are in third place, and their playoff chances have dropped to negligible--right around 5%. Since a picture's worth a thousand words, here's how it all broke down:
BP staffers work their magic and offer their predictions for the American League this season.
When BP welcomes new contributors, we like to test them right away--usually by demanding that they take out their crystal ball. Yes, it's time to wrap up the off-season by predicting what things will look like at the conclusion of the 2006 season.
In part one of this two-part series, we focus on the American
League, concentrating on the division standings and the major
player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year). Tomorrow
we'll conclude with the National League predictions, along with
the staff picks for the World Series representatives.
Our view of the season would be very different if it had played out exactly in reverse to reality. James rewinds the year, and shows us how.
The length of the baseball season can easily obscure some important trends that are developing. Teams like the A's get noticed because their rise from the depths has been so dramatic that it breaks free of the mass of information built before its arrival. But there are may other trends that can easily escape our eyes because so much of the season has already passed.
Following up on yesterday's article, here is the definitive list of every transaction made at last weekend's Mock Winter Meetings in Chicago. The list of moves includes a blockbuster trade for Mark Teixeira, cheap contracts for Trot Nixon and Juan Gonzalez, and a surprise new home for Vladimir Guerrero.
As many of our readers were submitting their ballots for the annual Internet Baseball Awards, 11 Baseball Prospectus authors went into the polling booths themselves, voicing their opinions on who should win the major baseball awards this year. Here are the results...
As many of our readers were submitting their ballots for the annual Internet Baseball Awards, 11 Baseball Prospectus authors went into the polling booths themselves, voicing their opinions on who should win the major baseball awards this year. Here are the results:
The Cubs, Padres, Astros, Giants, and A's are among the best-run and best-stocked minor league operations in baseball and they each have an affiliate in the Pacific Coast League. It's not too much of a stretch to say that the two best hitting prospects in the high minors will play in the PCL this year, as will the game's two best pitching prospects. The minors' most extreme pitcher's park is here, along with Colorado Springs, among the minors' top three hitters' parks. Inspired by an episode of The Simpsons, baseball in Albuquerque has been revived after a couple years' hiatus. The PCL is famous for its pinball scores but there are other, better reasons to pay attention to it this year.