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Bobby Abreu improbably returned to his longtime team. Why can't these guys do the same?

Since the 1998 realignment—and by the way, it's always nice when your arbitrary endpoint stat starts being interesting in 1947, 1961, 1969, 1973, 1995 or 1998 so you can disguise its arbitrariness—only one National League team has had three position players compile 40-plus wins above replacement (full list here). And now Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and yes, Bobby Abreu are together again in Philadelphia, making this one of the more notable reunions for nostalgia's sake, if not any 2014 on-field impact.

Abreu signed a minor league deal with the Phillies this week and managed to avoid most of the snark that usually accompanies such signings of old players. For one thing, even though we're sometimes bad at this (see Young, Delmon) it was just a minor league deal. Also, the Phillies' standard in the public eye for their old signings is low enough that this one looks okay by comparison, and their outfield had a hole to fill. Mostly, I think, it's that unlike Young and some of the other aged relics, Abreu is somebody we actually like.

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August 31, 2013 12:40 pm

Daily Roundup: Around the League: August 31, 2013

0

Clint Chisam

News and notes from around the league for August 31, 2013.

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Ben and Sam discuss a cricket replay review controversy, a few of Ruben Amaro's regrettable moves, and the suspensions of Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz.

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A look at the surprising stars of April 2013.

While there were plenty of April surprises—good and bad—to fill a dozen pieces such as this one, here's a look at six hitters off to better-than-expected starts. 

John Buck, C, Mets
Buck played better than a perceived placeholder traded twice in one winter is supposed to play. Fueled by nine home runs—including a six-homer barrage over his first 40 plate appearances—Buck showed his raw strength in quantity and quality. The quantity may have been unexpected, but the geographical spread of the home runs jived with his past, as only three of the home runs qualified as true pull jobs; the other six landed beyond the left-center or right field walls. 


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December 10, 2012 5:00 am

Transaction Analysis: Phillies Get Young, Old

1

R.J. Anderson

The Diamondbacks sign Brandon McCarthy, the Dodgers ink Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Rangers unload Michael Young and Ryan Ludwick re-ups with the Reds.

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April 20, 2012 3:00 am

Pebble Hunting: Lester's Long Inning

12

Sam Miller

What transpired during Jon Lester's 50-pitch inning against the Rangers earlier this week?

On Tuesday, Jon Lester threw a 92-mph fastball to Michael Young for a strike, and then some other things happened, and then Jon Lester threw a 94-mph fastball to Michael Young and got a groundout to shortstop. The other things that happened were 47 pitches, and also this thing,



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We don't like to hear baseball players complain about their lots in life, but can we blame them for not counting their blessings?

Back in December, Ken Rosenthal tucked this into a column about Bobby Abreu: “Abreu, who turns 38 on March 11, is not the type to demand a trade, but he would welcome one, according to sources with knowledge of his thinking.” The news in that sentence was that Abreu would welcome a trade, but the most telling part was that Abreu “is not the type to demand a trade.” To oversimplify things: we don’t like guys who demand trades, and we like guys who don’t. Rosenthal was protecting Abreu and stressing that Abreu is a good guy in a tough situation. Rosenthal knows Bobby Abreu well—I’m pretty sure; Rosenthal knows everybody well—and Rosenthal vouches for Abreu. Abreu is not the type to demand a trade. Remember that.

Two months later, of course, Abreu demanded a trade, or at least said it would be “the best thing... The right thing to do.” He also said he has “learned not to have much trust in these people,” which is just a staggeringly dumb thing to say about one’s boss. He suggested that the lack of clarity on his role has affected his preparation, sort of making an excuse for his sub-.100 batting average this spring. It’s gotten ugly, and Bobby Abreu looks like a jerk. But he’s not a jerk, is he? Ken Rosenthal vouched for him. So what’s going on?

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Now that the regular season has wrapped up, here's a look at who BP staffers think should win the major awards.

Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff choices for the major player awards  (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results.

For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.

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Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, both in the standings and for the major awards.

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 American and National Leagues. 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 with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting. 

For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.

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Welcome all to the results of the Baseball Prospectus Mid-Season Awards. The points system is 10-7-5-3-1 for the MVP and Cy Young Awards, and 5-3-1 for the Rookie Awards. BP authors' picks, with all-too-clever comments, are included here, below the awards standings. Hitters: Ballots, Points (1st Place Votes), (Avg/OBP/SLG/RARP/VORP) Pitchers: Ballots, Points (1st Place Votes), (ERA, IP, SNWAR or ARP, VORP)

Welcome all to the results of the Baseball Prospectus Mid-Season Awards.

The points system is 10-7-5-3-1 for the MVP and Cy Young Awards, and 5-3-1 for the Rookie Awards. BP authors' picks, with all-too-clever comments, are included here, below the awards standings.

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AL East | AL Central | AL West

Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' predictions for 1999. We'll go division by division and each of our staff members will tell you what they think about the races. Remember, there's a reason we don't print this stuff in the book; there is no good way we know of to predict what a team will do before the season begins. Consider these teamwide WFGs, take them with a grain of salt, and enjoy.

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