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01-16

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Transaction Analysis: Dented Cans and Safety Nets
by
Bryan Grosnick and Jared Wyllys

01-13

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6

Tools of Ignorance: Cornered
by
Jeff Quinton

01-13

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Transaction Analysis: Can't Stop, Won't Stop
by
Bryan Grosnick and Brendan Gawlowski

11-28

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Transaction Analysis: Vesatility, Depth, and Scenery
by
Bryan Grosnick and Rob Mains

11-24

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2

Transaction Analysis: Lefty, Lefty, Lefty
by
Matthew Trueblood

08-29

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6

Transaction Analysis: Heart, Soul, and Marginal Upgrades
by
Bryan Grosnick and Wilson Karaman

08-02

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Transaction Analysis: Giants Make a Bet on Moore
by
Patrick Dubuque, David Lee and J.P. Breen

08-01

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1

Transaction Analysis: In Charm City, Is Third Time a...
by
Dustin Palmateer, Christopher Crawford and Scooter Hotz

08-01

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Transaction Analysis: Indians Get Their Guy(er)
by
Christopher Crawford and Dustin Palmateer

07-23

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Raising Aces: Warm It Up, Chris
by
Doug Thorburn

07-14

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3

Prospectus Feature: Did 'The Extra 2%' See This Rays' Collapse Coming?
by
Miles Wray

07-11

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Rubbing Mud: Four Rays Pitchers and a Trade Deadline
by
Matthew Trueblood

06-23

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Prospectus Feature: The Increasingly Lopsided Everybody-Wins Trade
by
Aaron Gleeman

05-30

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4

What You Need to Know: Yu is Back; Baseball Better
by
Ashley Varela

05-06

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8

Prospectus Feature: The Rays' Complex History With Domestic Violence
by
Jessica Quiroli

04-26

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2

What You Need to Know: Chris Archer Says Goodbye To All That
by
Daniel Rathman

04-26

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Raising Aces: Pre-Surgery Strasburg Is Finally Back
by
Doug Thorburn

04-22

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The Call-Up: Blake Snell
by
Steve Givarz and J.P. Breen

04-18

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BP South Side
by
James Fegan

03-31

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1

Rumor Roundup: Tim Lincecum, Still Exists
by
Demetrius Bell

03-11

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7

Pebble Hunting: What It Means To Have The Best Farm System In Baseball, Part 4
by
Sam Miller

02-23

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3

Winter Is Leaving
by
Bryan Grosnick

02-23

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13

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Times Through The Order Penalty?
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-08

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7

Tools of Ignorance: Forget It, Jake
by
Jeff Quinton

02-05

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1

Rubbing Mud: Seven or Eight Shortstops
by
Matthew Trueblood

02-01

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Rubbing Mud: Catch a Tiger
by
Matthew Trueblood

11-06

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3

Transaction Analysis: Dipoto Makes It His Team
by
R.J. Anderson, Christopher Crawford and George Bissell

09-18

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The BP Wayback Machine: The Matt Moore Prospect Days
by
Kevin Goldstein

07-08

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2

Cold Takes: To the Rays, to Make Much of Time
by
Patrick Dubuque

05-15

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1

Transaction Analysis: Easy Street
by
R.J. Anderson

05-12

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16

Baseball Therapy: Are You Over 18?
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-12

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3

What You Need to Know: Bombered!
by
Daniel Rathman

05-11

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Transaction Analysis: Nobody's Salt But Mine
by
R.J. Anderson

04-20

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3

Transaction Analysis: Rays Grant Balfour Farewell
by
R.J. Anderson

04-15

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11

An Agent's Take: A New Season In Agentland
by
Joshua Kusnick

03-25

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4

Painting the Black: Getting Personal
by
R.J. Anderson

03-17

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Every Team's Moneyball: Tampa Bay Rays: Never Trust Any Win Over 30
by
Adam Sobsey

03-16

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3

Rumor Roundup: Alex Colome's Series of Unfortunate Events
by
Daniel Rathman

03-13

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2

Transaction Analysis: Jonny Venters Rides the Highway
by
R.J. Anderson

02-26

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Painting the Black: The Other Side of PECOTA's Crush on the Rays
by
R.J. Anderson

02-24

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7

Rumor Roundup: Baseball Player Fatter
by
Daniel Rathman

02-02

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1

Transaction Analysis: Million-Dollar Bills
by
R.J. Anderson

01-15

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12

Pitching Backward: Jake McGee's Smash-And-Grab
by
Jeff Long

01-12

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11

Transaction Analysis: A's Deal A Zo Blow to Rays
by
R.J. Anderson, Nick J. Faleris and Ben Carsley

12-31

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Transaction Analysis: Rays Take A Cab
by
R.J. Anderson, Wilson Karaman and Nick Shlain

12-18

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4

Transaction Analysis: What the Rays and Nationals Got
by
Tucker Blair, Jordan Gorosh, Chris Rodriguez and J.P. Breen

12-18

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9

Transaction Analysis: Padres Add Myers
by
R.J. Anderson, Wilson Karaman and Tucker Blair

12-17

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Transaction Analysis: Angels Happy Re: Joyce
by
Craig Goldstein and Nick Shlain

12-04

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19

Pitching Backward: Best. Reliever Season. Ever.
by
Jeff Long

12-03

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18

2015 Prospects: Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

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Fielder for Kinsler was supposed to be the fix for both teams' surpluses, but the 2016 season has put the clubs' returns in stark relief.

Three offseasons ago—November 20, 2013 to be exact—Detroit and Texas made a rare one-for-one, star-for-star trade between contending teams, with the Tigers sending five-time All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder to the Rangers in exchange for three-time All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler. In addition to the obvious star power involved, this particular trade had some interesting money-related factors and featured the analytical juxtaposition of a traditional slugger with shiny RBI totals and negative defensive value being swapped for an up-the-middle defender with less of a bat and a far more varied all-around game.

Three-and-a-half years later the trade looks like a blowout victory for the Tigers, to the extent that they added one of the best all-around infielders in the league and saddled the Rangers with a bad player on an albatross contract that runs through 2020 at an annual salary of $24 million. All of which is much different than things appeared around this time last year when Fielder, not Kinsler, was chosen for the All-Star team on the strength of his .339/.403/.521 first half that seemed to be proof of a full recovery from the neck surgery that halted his first season in Texas after 42 games.

Fielder’s production fell off in the second half, as he hit .264/.348/.394, and this season he’s been arguably the worst everyday player in baseball. WARP sees him as producing the sixth-worst overall value, with all five of the lower-WARP players—A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Teixeira, Dioner Navarro, Ryan Howard, Chris Coghlan—playing part-time or sitting on the disabled list. Fielder has started 67 of 72 games for the Rangers, hitting .203/.273/.325 with his usual bad defense and poor baserunning, which is how he’s the lone big leaguer with more than 200 plate appearances and a WARP worse than -1.0. Dating back to last year’s All-Star break Fielder has hit a combined .235/.313/.356 in 140 games.

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Yu Darvish returns in full force, the Royals stage an unlikely comeback, and the Mariners embarrass themselves on the basepaths in new and creative ways.

The Weekend Takeaway
It only took 659 days, but Yu Darvish is back where he belongs: striking out the league’s best hitters and taking names. The 29-year-old returned to the major-league stage on Saturday afternoon, where he pitched for the first time since August 9, 2014, in front of a sellout crowd in Arlington, Texas.


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The same team that employed Willy Aybar, Josh Lueke and Josh Sale has also made a number of positive contributions to the cause--which is unusual for major-league baseball.

For Jake Odorizzi, Rays pitcher, husband, father, the decision to step up to fight domestic violence was so easy.

Sometimes it’s seemed, rather obviously, that there’s a code players follow about such things. Players will donate their time, money and voices to other causes in need of resources and attention. MLB has championed many causes that are woven into the fabric of the baseball experience, particularly research and funding to fight ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). That work has been admirable and helped improve many lives. But when it comes to relationship violence, well, we’re getting into a tricky area, aren’t we?

Many in baseball have been accused of domestic violence and sexual assault, and prior to this season the policy for punishing players for those actions was weak or absent. Players weren’t going to criticize teammates. The silence through the years has been stunning and shameful.

But when Odorizzi was presented with an opportunity two years ago, there was no code of silence he felt the need to adhere to.

He was motivated by the relationships that ground him, and he put into action the idea that fighting domestic violence isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s a human rights issue and it’s an issue for a family man. For him, it’s just as important for men to stand up for women who are suffering or who have suffered. And when he was approached to take the REAL (Relationship Equality & Anti-violence League) Promise at the University of South Florida, at the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, he was quickly on board.

“[The Promise] is typically designed toward men. Long story short, do the right thing,” Odorizzi said before a game last week. “Treat everyone with respect, and at no point should you raise a hand to a woman. It’s more in depth than 'be polite.' For many, even that’s hard to do. I don’t understand bringing yourself to hurting your wife or girlfriend or child’s mother. I believe everything I said.”

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The Rays ace was back, for a night. Meanwhile: Noah Syndergaard, Taijuan Walker, Francisco Lindor, and more from Monday.

The Monday Takeaway
Chris Archer woke up Monday with as many losses as he had starts, and the blame for most of them laid on the right-hander, a popular preseason Cy Young Award pick, considering his alarm clock rang with his ERA at 7.32. The strikeouts were there—29 of them in 19 1/3 innings—but they were joined by 11 walks, and 30 hits, and six home runs.


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Outstanding arms from week three, including Strasburg, Jose Fernandez and Drew Smyly.

We're now three weeks into the baseball season, such that the relative quality of opponents is beginning to wash out as pitchers continue to tour the league, while emerging trends start to become more reality and less fluke. Let's take a look at a trio of starters who had multiple starts last week, and whose performances left an impression.

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April 22, 2016 5:04 pm

The Call-Up: Blake Snell

0

Steve Givarz and J.P. Breen

After a breakout 2015 season, the Rays' top prospect gets at least a spot start.

Background
The Rays drafted Snell with the seventh of their 10 first-round picks that year, as a supplemental pick for the loss of Brad Hawpe. He will be the third member of that class to make it to the bigs (Mikie Mahtook and Tyler Goeddel being the other two). Snell didn’t get off to the greatest start in his pro career, as he struggled to throw strikes and prior to 2015 had a walk rate of 4.9 in 287 innings. But he did showcase a premium arsenal with a strikeout rate of 9.5. Things finally clicked for the tall lefty in 2015, as he lowered his walk rate to 3.6, improved his strikeout rate to 10.9, posted an ERA of 1.41, and finished with a masterful nine starts in Triple-A. All of this made Blake Snell our Top Prospect for the Rays for 2016, as well as 21st in our top 101

Scouting Report
When he was drafted Snell was a raw, inconsistent lefty out of the Seattle area, flashing feel for pitching as well as a long projectable body to dream on. It took a while for the command and pitches to take a step forward, but he firmly blew down the door in 2015. His fastball is 92-94 and will touch 96 when he needs it, but the pitch plays to double-plus with plus movement that generates a lot of weak contact and awkward movement. His primary off-speed pitch is a slider with really hard downward tilt, and he is comfortable throwing away to LHH. (He's also comfortable burying the hopes and dreams of RHH.) His changeup flashes plus because of his arm speed and the offering's late drop, though the pitch is behind his others in terms of overall command as he struggles to leave the pitch up. He always had a feel to pitch but the numbers finally backed it up, as he showcases above-average control and average command of his arsenal. His long-term outlook has top-of-the-rotation stuff, but pitching in the big leagues is hard and it needs to be seen how his strike-throwing ways will do against big-league hitters.



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April 18, 2016 6:00 am

BP South Side

0

James Fegan

In a dominating start this weekend, Chris Sale didn't just have great stuff; he had incredible range.

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Tim Lincecum's showcase remains somewhere down the road. Meanwhile, James Loney might be coming to a town near you and Trevor Story might be coming to a ROY race near you.

Tim Lincecum wants to be "perfect" for potential showcase
Opening Day is only a few days away, and one notable player who more than likely won’t be ready is free agent pitcher Tim Lincecum. The former Giant, former All-Star, former Cy Young winner, etc., is still working out on his own, and rumors of his big impending showcase have thus far been greatly exaggerated.


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How the Rays turned a great farm system into an even greater collection of players.

In 2007, the Rays had the best farm system in baseball, according to both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. I have an annual tradition of going over these farm systems one decade later in the hopes of putting into perspective what it means to have such a strong collection of young talent. I will commence this year’s version now.

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February 23, 2016 6:14 am

Winter Is Leaving

3

Bryan Grosnick

No, Really: The Rays are pretty good for really cheap.

As it stands today, the Rays have about $59.8 million committed to their major-league roster for 2016; barring any earth-shattering deals or massive trades, they’ll run the second-lowest payroll in baseball behind the drastically rebuilding Milwaukee Brewers. Unlike the Brewers, the Rays are poised to compete in 2016. Just check out the PECOTA projected standings for this upcoming season: The Rays are projected for the second-most wins (91) in the American League, only one win behind the Cleveland Indians.

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The answer might be in the first sentence.

There is no such thing as the “times through the order” penalty.

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February 8, 2016 6:00 am

Tools of Ignorance: Forget It, Jake

7

Jeff Quinton

It's Unconvincingstrategyinlastplacetown.

The Rockies have done some things the past eight months. They did a thing a couple weeks ago. Like most of the things the Rockies have done lately, trading four years of Corey Dickerson for two years of Jake McGee has caused much head-scratching. The reaction to the trade was a combination of said head-scratching and “LOL Rockies” with a splash of “hey, McGee’s really good and his fastball-heavy approach might be a good fit for Coors.” The analyses of the trade all generally led to the conclusion that the Rockies do not really have a plan and that, if they do, it is simply a plan to try and be mediocre.

I do not think that this is likely. If the plan is to be mediocre or there is no plan, then why do anything at all? Why trade Troy Tulowitzki? Why sign an outfielder, just to trade another and add more payroll along the way? To me, these actions and the motivation to be mediocre do not jibe. That said, we can believe that these moves are unlikely to be successes, while having a different theory as to what is motivating this behavior.

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