Monthly Archives: January 2013

Seattle Mariners Roster in 2013: State Of The Union:

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Thursday, January.31/2013

Felix Hernandez is still the Mariners best player without a doubt. Will he get some help shouldering the load in 2013? Either way, all of baseball should be watching when King Felix pitches, he is a true marvel on the mound.

Felix Hernandez is still the Mariners best player without a doubt. Will he get some help shouldering the load in 2013? Either way, all of baseball should be watching when King Felix pitches, he is a true marvel on the mound.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern):

Seattle Mariners fans must be pretty amazing, Felix Hernandez sticking with their team through recent times. The Mariners were established in 1977 and have made the playoffs just 4 times in their history. They were the AL West champs 3 times (’95, ’97, ’01) and winners of the Wild Card once (’00). They have never won a World Series, or even an AL Pennant, and in 2012 they shipped off a fan favorite, Ichiro Suzuki, to the Yankees. The AL West is a tough division. The Rangers and Athletics made the playoffs last year, and the Angels just landed the prize of the off-season in slugger Josh Hamilton. I guess one bright spot is the Astros are moving to the AL West, so the Mariners won’t be rebuilding within the brutal division alone.

The Seattle Mariners hopes and dreams start where they have for years now, on the shoulders of King Felix. Felix Hernandez is no doubt an Ace. He has pitched 200+ innings every year since ’08, and had a sub 4.00 ERA every year since ’07. Hernandez won the AL Cy Young in 2010, and is a perennial contender for the award. Last year the Seattle fireballer threw his first Perfect Game. Hernandez will once again be atop the Mariners rotation, which as of now figures to include Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, and Hector Noesi.

Hisashi Iwakuma was a pleasant surprise for the Mariners in 2012. He wasn’t a greatly sought after oversees free agent last year, overshadowed greatly by fellow Japanese hurler Yu Darvish, but proved to be a great signing. Iwakuma started 2012 in the bullpen until he later earned a spot in the team’s rotation. Iwakuma managed a very respectable 3.16 ERA in the 125.1 innings he split between the rotation and the pen. This success is part of the reason the Mariners resigned the pitcher to a 2YR/14 Million Dollar deal this past November. He figures to hold down the 2nd spot in the rotation and should do just fine if 2012 was a sign of things to come.

Blake Beavan is still just 23 Years Old, but he already has 41 Major League Starts under his belt which gives the club hope he can hold down the 3rd or 4th slot in the rotation. Beavan clearly has the talent which is what made him a 1st Round draft pick out of high school for the Rangers, and the reason the Mariners made sure he was a part of the package they received in return for Cliff Lee in 2010. Beavan’s 2012 stats won’t impress a lot of people, but they were a good start for a young player like himself to build and improve upon.

Felix Hernandez Highlights:  Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised

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Vin Scully And My Stepfather: 2 Heroes In My Life

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Wednesday, January.30/2013

a      scully, vin

By Aaron Roberts (Dodgers Correspondent):  

I know a man who is 61 years old. Since he was a child, he has cherished the voice of another man. This other man’s voice has gotten him through the hardest times in his life. This man’s voice has gotten him through the suicide of his father when he was 9 years old. This man’s voice has gotten him through the death of his mother on the day he turned 10 years old. This man’s voice has gotten him through the death of his sister when he was 15 years old and then later, the death of his brother when he was 45 years old. This man’s voice has been with him for over 50 years and will always be with him. That man I know is my Stepfather and the Voice that has comforted him for half a century belongs to Vin Scully.

To say that my Stepfather is a fan of the Dodgers and particularly Vin Scully is an understatement. My Stepfather has been frustrated, angry, happy, fed-up, melancholy and down right embarrassed with the Dodgers. But through all the games, all the joy and all the heartbreak, my Stepfather has never lost faith in the Dodgers. In the 60 years of him wearing Dodger blue, there has been one constant; Vin Scully’s voice. It is the voice of a legend. The kind of voice that soothes you when you’re in pain and encourages you when you think you can’t go on. His is the voice of Baseball itself. Read the rest of this entry

Yu Darvish: What Needs To Be Done For An Encore In 2013

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Tuesday January 29th, 2013

Yu Darvish ended up with a 3.90 ERA at the end of the 2012 season, helping the Rangers into the Wild Card Game.

Yu Darvish ended up with a 3.90 ERA at the end of the 2012 season, helping the Rangers into the Wild Card Game play in game.  While Darvish went 10-2 before the ALL-Star Game – and then 6-7 afterwards, however the the ERA only went from 3.88 (1st half) – 3.92 (2nd half).

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Yu Darvish was up there with the most hyped players ever to sign out of Japan. There was a bidding war just to get the rights to negotiate with him, and the half-Japanese half-Iranian pitcher ended up signing with the Texas Rangers for over $50 Mllion and another 53.7 Million in a posting fee.. Darvish had what many would call a successful season with the Rangers in 2012, going 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 191.1 Innings Pitched. He was just what the Rangers needed in a front-of-the-rotation type pitcher who could eat up innings. Darvish signed a 6-year contract before 2012, so the Rangers will still get a minimum of five more years from him. In this feature, I will discuss what Yu Darvish needs to do in order to continue to be the successful starter the Rangers signed.

All in all, Yu Darvish had a great 2012 season. All of his numbers were right where they needed to be, and the pitcher did not have any major issues. Darvish struck out 221 and carried a 1.28 WHIP. The only statistic that was a bit eye-catching was the number of walks. Darvish walked 89 batters over the course of the season, and held a 2.48 K/BB ratio. Darvish’s control was the one part of his skillset that was rather questionable. There were games last season in which Darvish walked four, five, even six in a game. In fact, Darvish walked six in a game three times, and five in a game twice. He had no games in which he did not walk anyone. In his last seven starts, however, Darvish did not walk more than two in a game—which could possibly mean that Darvish worked out whatever was causing him to lose control.

Yu Darvish 2012 Highlights:

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Chicago White Sox Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Sunday, January.27/2013

Former GM 'Maverick  Kenny Williams has rolle the dice on some big contracts with Rios, Dunn  and Peavy..  There have been some moments of prosperity and failure for each, however the results have been ok overall.  The team should be competitive with both payroll - and on the field in 2013

Former GM ‘Maverick Kenny Williams has rolled the dice on some big contracts with Rios, Dunn and Peavy.. There have been some moments of prosperity and failure for each, however the results have been ok overall. The team should be competitive with both payroll – and on the field in 2013

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent):  

Considering the collapse of the 2012 White Sox, the team losing A.J. Pierzynski and Kevin Youkilis to Free Agency, one might not expect the 2013 White Sox to fare any better. But, looking on the bright side, they should have a solid starting staff, with Chris Sale having another year of experience under his belt, and, hopefully, the return of a healthy John Danks. That’s a pretty good 1-2 punch. Next is Jake Peavy. Not a bad 1-2-3 punch, if you ask me. Follow those 3 with Gavin Floyd and/or Hector Santiago/Jose Quintana, not too shabby. An “expert” may look on the not so bright side, and see a “whole lotta outs in the lineup”.

Between Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez (both struggled in 2012) and the newly anointed starting Catcher, Tyler Flowers, that’s a combined average of .237 (which equals a whole lotta outs). While some say Beckham’s and Ramirez’s defensive prowess make up for their offensive deficiencies, many White Sox fans disagree. But, if Alex Rios and Adam Dunn can carry over their production from 2012 into 2013, the Sox could be in the running for the division title again. The addition of Jeff Keppinger at third base, while not a high-profile move that White Sox fans had grown accustomed to with former GM Kenny Williams, he is solid at the plate and in the field. Let’s take a look at the Sox payroll for the 2013 season….

DeWayne Wise’ catch to preserve Mark Buehle’s perfect game:

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Morse Back To Seattle: The Mariners Add Yet Another Bat

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Sunday, January 27th,  2013

MIcheal Morse Has a Career 3 Slash Line of .295/.347/.839.  He will likely see some time at 1B and DH with Kendrys Morales

MIcheal Morse Has a Career 3 Slash Line of .295/.347/.839 heading into 2013. He will likely see some time at 1B and DH with Kendrys Morales.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

Once upon a time, Mike Morse was a Seattle Mariners’ farm hand who played parts of four seasons in the majors with Seattle. He never really lived up to expectations during his first time in Seattle. Now, the Mariners have acquired him from the Nationals where he spent the best four seasons of his career. The Mariners are looking everywhere they can for affordable offense, and they have turned back to a familiar face in Morse. The real question is how does Morse fit in Seattle and does the acquisition make the Mariners better?

In order to address this topic, its important that we take a look at how Morse performed last season and whether the decrease in performance is going to carry over into the 2013 campaign. Morse was injured for a portion of the season so it is important to take that into consideration when breaking down his 2012 season, but even with injury, Morse took a fairly large step backwards.

Mike Morse’s 1st hit in the Major Leagues with the Mariners (2005):

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Pedro Martinez Rejoins The Red Sox Organization: Meets Up With Francona At Boston Book Signing

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Sunday, January.27, 2013

Tito autographs a book for his former ace

Tito autographs a copy of  Red Sox Rule:  Terry Francona and Boston’s Rise to Dominance – for his former ace pitcher.

By Saul Wisnia,  Red Sox Correspondent (Read his blog ‘Fenway Reflections’ here):

What a roller-coaster week for Red Sox fans — enough to make you reach for the Rolaids. First came the early excerpts from former manager Terry Francona‘s book, revealing that during the 2010 offseason, Sox ownership took the advice of a media consultant to boost its sagging TV ratings by loading the team with “sexy” stars like Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. For those who looked forward to hearing Francona’s memories of the 2004 and 2007 World Series runs, this mudslinging was just another reminder of how dreadful life has been on Yawkey Way the last 15 months.

Then there were the reports that contract negotiations with free agent first baseman Mike Napoli had finally been settled — and that the early rumors of his injuries were even worse than expected. Napoli was found to have a more serious hip problem than originally thought, a development that whittled down Boston’s original three-year, $39 Million offer to one year at $5 Million – plus a ballbag full of incentives.

Terry Francona Interviews on Jan.22/2013:

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Three Potential Bargains In MLB Free Agency: Lohse, K-Rod And Thome/Hafner Tandem

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

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Kyle Lohse was 16-3 with an NL Best .842 Win PCTG in 2012 - with a Career best 2.86 ERA

Kyle Lohse was 16-3 with an NL Best .842 Win PCTG in 2012 – with a Career best 2.86 ERA,

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

Travis Hafner, Francisco Rodriguez, and Kyle Lohse have all shown that they can be above-average Major League players. However, with all three above the age of 30, teams are nervous to sign any of them to the multi-year contracts they want. Hafner has dealt with knee and back injuries over the past two seasons, but he still can bring power to an American League team in need of a DH. Francisco Rodriguez has always dealt with off the field issues, but he was very effective as Milwaukee’s set-up man in 2012. Kyle Lohse, who is coming off a season in which he posted a 3.51 FIP in 211, is the top free agent pitcher on the market right now but his age and inconsistency scares away possible suitors. Despite their age, inconsistency, and injuries, all three of these players could play a large role on MLB teams in 2013.

Travis Hafner Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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An Interview With Tigers Prospect Daniel Fields

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Saturday, January.26/2013

Daniel Fields has shown flashes of speed in the Minor Leagues for Detroit.  At Age 21, he has a bright future

Daniel Fields showed flashes of speed in 2012 -with 23 SB with the Lakeland Tigers (A+) and Erie SeaWolves (AA) in the Minor Leagues. At Age 22 (as of January.23/2013), Fields has been invited to attend Spring Training with the big club.

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent)

Have you ever had that dream of being drafted by your favorite sports team? It’s a dream that replays in your head as you’re going about your day. A dream that makes you smile in the morning and a dream that you hope you experience again later that night.

Daniel Fields is living that dream. The Detroit, Michigan native out of University of Detroit Jesuit High School was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2009.

The highly toted prospect is making his way up the Minor Leagues. It’s a name that you’ll want to remember and a last name that may sound familiar to you. Read the rest of this entry

The Chicago Cubs Schedule In 2013: (The Wrigley Field Ticket Is Still The Best Pure Baseball Experience)

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Saturday, January.26, 2013

Wrigley Field might just be the best place just to watch a baseball game (Fenway Park rivals it for entire ballpark experience).  AT &T Park and PNC Psrk usually round out the top 4 Parks

Wrigley Field might just be the best place just to watch a baseball game (Fenway Park rivals it for entire ballpark experience). AT &T Park and PNC Park usually round out the top 4 Parks

By Richie Devotie (MLB Schedule Correspondent): and Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner) 

I love Wrigley Field more than any other park just to watch a game. 

Having been to all of the MLB Parks a minimum of 3 times (and most closer to 5 and above) – there is something so unique about this baseball cathedral that makes me think it is the 1920s still.

We have another video presentation from our Baseball Schedule Correspondent’ Richie Devotie down below that has all of the Cubs opponents in the upcoming season in 2013 – plus a recap of how the team fared in 2012. 

After viewing it – plus read about one of the craziest, yet rewarding days of my ballpark chaser streaks. 

The setup to this was that I was 13 days into my 1st World Record Attempt – at breaking the category of “The Fastest Person to view a full game at all 30 MLB Parks”. 

I had already had to restart my streak attempt after some chaos that happened just a few days prior.  This day in Chicago would be my 3rd straight day of trying to fit 2 games in on one day. 

On the 1st day of the new streak, I nailed a doubleheader between Petco Park (day game) and Dodger Stadium (night game). 

I then boarded an overnight flight to Detroit (at 1 AM- Arrival in Motown at 10:30 AM.  I was poised to watch a day game at Comerica Park (1:05 PM) – before jettisoning 168 Miles to Cleveland right after for a 7:05 PM start at Progressive. 

The Tigers looked to nail down a victory until Todd “the Hammer” Jones blew the save by letting the Twins tie it up in the ninth – to prolong the game into extra innings. 

An hour later and the game finally ended but I couldn’t even try to head to Cleveland.  So I made my way to Chicago/Milwaukee.  I had a Wrigley Field/Miller Park doubleheader. 

The next day after – I was to fly to Toronto to see the Yankees play.  2 days after that, I would see if I could hit on a Nationals Park/Shea Stadium Sunday day/night double-header.

It would be 4 doubleheader attempts in 5 days.  I was only 1 for 2 so far.

Richie Devotie Presents His Power Point Cubs 2013 Schedule Breakdown

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Stan “The Man” Musial – The Passing of a Legend

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Friday, January.25/2013

Stan Musial is 2nd  (Aaron) ALL-Time for Total Bases with 6134. of them for his Career..  He is 3rd ALL-Time with 1377 XBH.  He also is 5th ALL-Time in RBI with 1951 (1 ahead of A-ROD) and 8th in Runs Scored with 1949.

Stan Musial is 2nd (Aaron) ALL-Time for Total Bases with 6134 for his career. He is 3rd ALL-Time with 1377 XBH. He also is 5th ALL-Time in RBI with 1951 (1 ahead of A-ROD) and 8th in Runs Scored with 1949.  His 3630 Career Hits also put him in 4th Place ALL-Time.  He is in 3rd Place for Doubles with 725.  He is also in the top 10 for Games Played and Plate Appearances.

By Landen Crouch ( Cardinals Correspondent)

The most iconic figure in the history of the St. Louis Cardinals franchise will be laid to rest on Saturday. Stan “The Man” Musial died on January 19 in his home in Ladue, MO, just minutes away from a city that loved him dearly. All of Cardinals nation was in mourning over the weekend as the news spread. Current Cardinals Center Fielder Jon Jay tweeted his condolences to the Musial family.



Stan Musial Highlights:

Brian Wilson’s Legacy In San Francisco

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Friday January 25, 2013

Brian Wilson suffered a season ending injury in April of 2012. He could only scrape together 1 save in 2 opportunities. The Giants wound up winning the World Series even without their star closer.

Brian Wilson suffered a season ending injury in April of 2012. He could only scrape together 1 save in 2 opportunities. The Giants wound up winning the World Series even without their star closer.

Kyle Holland (MLB Reports intern):

Brian Wilson has been a member of the San Francisco Giants since the summer of 2006. He started off as a reliever, beardless might I add, and gradually made his way up to the closer he is today. Back then he wasn’t the big name player that he is now. Back when they still had the likes of Barry Bonds on the team. Only recently has he made his way to one of the best closers in the league, and one of the craziest.

2010 is when he really made his way onto the scene. Sure, he was an All-Star in 2008 but quite frankly; the Giants weren’t nearly good enough for him to be noticed. San Francisco finished fourth in the NL West with a 72-90 record, a little surprising considering Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young Award. Out of those 72 wins, Wilson saved 41 and got the win in 3 of them.

Best Brian Wilson Interview Of ALL-Time:

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Colorado Rockies Roster In 2013: State Of The Union

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Friday Jan.25/2013

Todd Helton has to be the greatest Colorado Rockies player of All-Time. In what could very well be his last season of baseball, can he somehow push the team back into the playoffs?

Todd Helton has to be the greatest Colorado Rockies player of All-Time. In what could very well be his last season of baseball, can he somehow push the team back into the playoffs?

Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): 

The Colorado Rockies finished 2012 with a 64-98 record – just escaping the dreaded 100 loss season. This record was bad enough to not only get them last place in the NL West, but also give them the 3rd worst record in the National League, only better than that of the Cubs and Astros. It was the Rockies worst season to date – and the 1st time in team history they failed to have a Winning Percentage of above .400. After having a season like the Rockies did in 2012, one would hope that the only place to go is up.

The franchise was established in 1993 – and have made the playoffs 3 times (’95, ’07, ’09). All of these were Wild Card births, and in ’07 they won the NL Pennant, before being swept by the Red Sox in the World Series.  2007 was a remarkable season though, as they won 21 of their last 22 regular season games just to get in the playoffs. It was one of the great runs in recent memory, maybe even more impressive than the ’02 Athletics 20 game win streak – since this streak propelled them into the playoffs seemingly out of nowhere. To get back to the playoffs in 2013 might be a little far-fetched considering they are in a division with the reigning World Series Champs (Giants), and a team with a seemingly infinite payroll (Dodgers). It isn’t far-fetched to say they will be better than last year, and could be contenders in the near future.

Carlos Gonzalez Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:

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The Blue Fire…Don Mattingly Must Win With The Dodgers In 2013

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Thursday, January.24/2013

Don Mattingly has a Managerial Record of 168-155 (.520) in his 1st 2 years as Dodgers Skipper.  Will he flame out in 2013 - or will he start a Tommy Lasorda or Walter Alston like Career for lonetivity?

Don Mattingly has a Managerial Record of 168-155 (.520) in his 1st 2 years as Dodgers Skipper. Will he flame out in 2013 – or will he start a Tommy Lasorda or Walter Alston like Career for longetivity?

By Aaron Roberts (Dodgers Correspondent):  

The Blue Fire…

Everyone knows that the blue part of a flame is the hottest part, right? Well someone should tell that to Don Mattingly because he’s just gone from the frying pan into the fireplace, but this isn’t just any fire. This is the hottest kind of fire. This fire is hotter than regular blue fire. Don Mattingly has just jumped into the Dodger Blue Fire.

Entering his third year of managerial duties for the Los Angeles Dodgers, pressure couldn’t be higher for the former Yankee slugger to lead his team into the promised lands of the post-season. Since taking over for Joe Torre, Mattingly has perpetually been on the hot seat. He’s avoided unemployment by squeaking out just enough wins to maintain the front office’s interest. Mattingly’s first two seasons with the Dodgers weren’t failures by any means, but “success” might be too strong a word. Both years the Dodgers had an above .500 winning percentage but neither yielded the fruits of October.

Don Mattingly’s thoughts on the 2013 Version of the Dodgers:

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Cincinnati Reds Schedule In 2013: The Team Hopes For NL Central Dominance

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Thursday, January.24, 2013

By Richie Devotie (MLB Schedule Correspondent): and Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner) 

The Great American Ball Park is a great place to watch a game.  The Great American Ballpark is one of the best parks in the majors for scenery outside the yard. You get a close personal view of the Ohio River. The park also features the ‘Cincinnati Reds Hall Of Fame” that is directly adjacent to the park—great place to check out the 1st Major League Baseball Club. Particularly if you are a Pete Rose fan, you have to visit this Museum. Pete Rose is nowhere to be found at Great American because of his lifetime ban—but his career is nicely chronicled inside the doors of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

The concourses at Great American are spacious, clean and the workers there offer the nicest hospitality. There is not a bad seat in the place. Cincinnati’s fans are amongst the smartest in baseball.  They have 3 mascots still in use that walk the field in:‘Gapper,’ ‘Mr. Redlegs’ and of course ‘Rosie Red,’ a truly great experience for the kids. The fireworks display on Friday nights in the summer are incredible against the back drop of the Ohio River.

From guys who also did 30 Ball Parks in 30 Days: 

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Top MLB Free Agents Still Available:

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Wednesday January 23rd, 2013

Micheal Bourn is seeking a contract worth 15 Million Dollars plus per year.  Since 2008, he has averaged 50 SB a year.  He has steadily improved his offensive game.  He is a guy who would help most ball clubs as a Lead Off hitter.

Micheal Bourn is seeking a contract worth 15 Million Dollars plus per year. Since 2008, he has averaged 50 SB a year. He has steadily improved his offensive game. He is a guy who would help most ball clubs as a Lead Off hitter.

By Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Baseball Operations Correspondent)

The offseason is winding down right with the availability of Free Agents and the budgets of many MLB teams. The talent on the open market is not what it was a few months ago but there is still some risk/reward players in the pool along with Bourn, Lohse, and Marcum. There are certain clubs with some dollars to spend but most are to their cap or don’t see the value. Here I present to you my top 10 Free Agents who can help propel a team to more wins or be used by subpar clubs as viable trade chips as Trade Deadline Deals.

1. Michael Bourn (30) (Braves) – the clear-cut best player left on the market but with budgets near filled up it will be interesting to see how Scott Boras works his magic. There is no doubt the tender is hurting him as it hurt Soriano and Laroche.  He can play CF and has blazing speed.   (Texas)

Michael Bourn Highlight Reel in 2012 – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised

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Pittsburgh Pirates Roster in 2013: State Of The Union

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Pirates have not made the playoffs since the 1992 Season. That year, Barry Bonds could not throw out Sid Bream from deep Short - and he subsequently left the team for the SF Giants.  20 Losing Season have since occurred.

The Pirates have not made the playoffs since the 1992 Season. That year, Barry Bonds could not throw out Sid Bream from deep Short in Game #7 of the NLCS versus the Braves – and they were eliminated for the 3rd straight year in the playoffs before reaching the World Series.  Bonds subsequently left the team for the SF Giants in 1993 – and 20 losing seasons have since occurred. Only the Kansas City Royals have a longer streak of not making the playoffs (1985). Will this change in 2013?

By Brad Cuprik (Pirates Correspondent)

Although the Pirates made significant strides in 2012, they still finished in fourth place in the National League Central – with a 79-83 mark – extending their professional sports record for consecutive losing seasons to 20. After being active at last season’s trading deadline, the Bucs added two key Free Agents in the offseason. One of those signings, LHP Francisco Liriano, agreed to 2 YR Deall for just under $13 Million – but broke his arm from an undisclosed injury in late December. The two sides agreed to a deal that lowers the first-season payout if Liriano misses any time due to the injury.

That has not dimmed the enthusiasm swelling around Pittsburgh and very few roster spots are up for grabs as the 2013 season nears. With the Houston Astros moving to the American League West, the division is down to five teams, but the Pirates still have numerous questions surrounding their ability to compete for a Post Season Berth.

Andrew McCutchen hitting mechanics: Mature Lyrics Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

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MLB Player Profile: Nationals Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann

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Wednesday January 23rd, 2013

Jordan Zimmermann is heading into Arbitration shortly with the Nats coming off of his best year in the Major Leagues with a 12-8 Record.  For his career, he is 24-26 with a 3.47 ERA.

Jordan Zimmermann is heading into Arbitration shortly with the Nats coming off of his best year in the Major Leagues with a 12-8 Record. For his career, he is 24-26 with a 3.47 ERA.  Zimmermann had Tommy John surgery in 2009 – and has come back stronger. 

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Having his breakout season in 2012, Jordan Zimmermann has been a guy the Washington Nationals have been able to rely on. 27 years old in 2013, Zimmermann helps anchor the young Nationals rotation including Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals had success in 2012, winning the NL East and making the playoffs for the first time as a franchise. The Nationals got unlucky though, and were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the Division Series. This year the Nationals will hope to build on their 2012 performance, and Jordan Zimmermann will most likely be a big help.

One of the main reasons the Nationals were eliminated so early last season is because of the shutting down of Stephen Strasburg. In the middle of the season, I wrote about the pros and cons of shutting Strasburg down, and in the end the situation ended badly. Last year, the Nationals had a very strong rotation consisting of Strasburg, Zimmermann, Gonzalez, and Edwin Jackson. By shutting Strasburg down, the Nationals lost a quarter of their rotation and had to scramble when the Division Series went more than three games. Ross Detwiler got the start and Zimmermann had to come into the game in a relief role. There was no reason for this to have to happen. Protecting Strasburg was important, but in my opinion the Nationals overprotected him, which cost them dearly in the playoffs.

Jordan Zimmermann Flashback Highlights:

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MLB Player Profile: DiamondBacks OF/DH Jason Kubel

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jason Kubel is one of the better RBI OF/DH in the last 4 years with 343 RBI in only 1904 AB.  This works out to be about 108 RBI for every 600 AB.  This is great production yet he doesn't see that much respect.

Jason Kubel is one of the better RBI OF/DH in the last 4 years – with 343 RBI in only 1904 AB. This works out to be about 108 RBI for every 600 AB. This is great production yet he doesn’t see that much respect.  His 162 Game Average is 24 HRs and 94 RBI.  Kubel had a career high 30 HRs with the DBacks in 2012.  He also had a career best in Runs Scored with 75.

By Chris Lacey (Diamond Backs Correspondent)

Jason Kubel was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 12th Round of the 2000 Amateur Draft, after playing high school ball at Highland High School in California. Kubel received the call-up to the Majors in 2004. He would suffer a knee injury in the Arizona Fall League – that would cause him to miss all of the 2005 season. He would have his most productive season as a Twin in 2009, when he would have a Batting Average of .300, drive in 103 RBI and hit 28 Home Runs.  He has his best 3 – Slash Line for his Career at .300/.369/.907.  His efforts even saw him net 24th in AL MVP Voting.  That season also saw Kubel hitting for cycle against the Los Angeles Angels, and would do in dramatic fashion by hitting the go-ahead Grand Slam in the 8th inning.

Jason Kubels hitting mechanics:

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MLB Player Profile: Indians OF/1B/DH Nick Swisher

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Tuesday January 22nd, 2013

Nick Swisher has a Career 3 Slash Line of .256/.361/.828.  His numbers were better over the last 4 years with the Yankees .268/.367/.850.

Nick Swisher has a Career 3 Slash Line of .256/.361/.828 heading into 2013. His numbers are even  better over the last 4 years with the Yankees – .268/.367/.850.  If you are an Indians fan – you can probably bank on a decent Batting Average, a nice OBP and 25-30 HRs and 80-90 RBI per year from him.  He also can play 3 different positions for you at 1B/OF/DH.

By Larry Myers (Indians Correspondent)

Nick Swisher is the latest free agent player the Cleveland Indians have signed this off-season. Nick Swisher is the son of former MLB catcher Steve Swisher, who played for a few National League teams back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Swisher was born in Columbus, Ohio, but grew up in West Virginia. Before his professional career, Swisher played college football for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2002 MLB Draft, Swisher finally made his MLB debut with the Athletics in 2004.

During the 2004 season, Swisher played in only 20 games. In 2005, Swisher went on to hit 21 HRs and 74 RBI in 131 games. He finished 6th in the American League Rookie Of The Year Voting. During his 4 years in Oakland, Swisher hit 80 home runs and 255 RBI – while playing in 458 games. Not known as a player with a high average, he became a leader on a young Athletics teams. Swisher showed a great amount of durability during his time in Oakland compared to his teammates who spent a large portion of time on the Disabled List. Swisher made his Post Season debut in 2006. While sweeping the Twins, Swisher got 3 hits and an RBI in that series. Losing to the Tigers in the ALCS, Swisher hit .100 with only 1 hit.

One On One Interview with Nick Swisher Jan.03/2013 (Sports Time Ohio):

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Tim Hudson: Could 2013 Be His Final Year In Baseball?

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Tuesday January 22nd, 2013

Tim Hudson has been the definition of consistent over the past decade.  His record with the Atlanta Braves is 105-68 (..618) with a 3.52 ERA.  Hudson's Athletics days included a 92-39 Record (.706) and a 3.30 ERA.

Tim Hudson has been the definition of consistent over the past decade. His record with the Atlanta Braves is 105-68 (.618) with a 3.52 ERA. Hudson’s Athletics days included a 92-39 Record (.706) and a 3.30 ERA. At 37 Years old, how many years does he have left?

By Jake Dal Porto (MLB Reports Baseball Writer)

When we think of consistency, there are a handful of names that come to mind. No, I’m not talking about consistency over a brief period of time. Rather, over a good part of the last decade. One name that comes to mind quite quickly is Tim Hudson (3.37 ERA, 126 ERA+ since 2002). But the same Tim Hudson that’s been nothing short of rock solid since the beginning of 2002, is beginning to decline, which fashions only one daunting question.

Will 2013 be his final year in baseball?

Tim Hudson Highlight Reel:

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After Coming Off Of TJ Surgery – Carl Crawford Looks To Help The LA Dodgers in 2013

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Monday, January.21/2013

Carl Crawford Ranks 3rd on the ALL-Time Active  Stolen Base Leaders.  He also has a Career 3 Slash Line of .292/.332./.774 heading into 2013.

Carl Crawford Ranks 3rd on the ALL-Time Active Stolen Base Leaders (Pierre 1st – 591, Suzuki 2nd – 452) with 432 SB. He also has a Career 3 Slash Line of .292/.332./.774 heading into 2013.

By Aaron Roberts (Dodgers Correspondent):  

Allow me to pose a scenario for you to pensively ponder. I shoot a basketball 9 times. The first 6 of my 9 shots are swishes. The next 2 aren’t as pretty but still go in the basket. My last shot I miss. Overall, I succeeded in making 8 of the 9 shots which means I have an 89% success rate. Now let me ask you this; would you bet on me to make a 10th shot?

This in a nutshell is Carl Crawford’s career. A 4-time All-Star, he has also consistently been amongst the top producing outfielders in all of baseball for the last decade. Barring his rookie season, His first 5 Major League campaigns were incredible – with him routinely posting over a .300 average and 50 steals – while still belting 10-15 HRs. That combination of speed and power is a rare mix that Crawford displayed with ease. He fared very well for his RBI totals when you take into account he has mostly been a Lead-off and #2 batter for his time in the Majors. He faltered slightly in his 6th season with a .273 Average, 8 HRs and only 25 SB, yet still scored 69 Runs in just 109 Games Played during the 2008 season. Not terrible numbers by any means but not Carl Crawford like production. The following 2 seasons, he regained form and astounded many by posting some of his best numbers yet – even placing 7th in the MVP voting of the 2010 season.

Then came the dark days. Then came Boston. 

Carl Crawford – The ALL-Star!

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Fear Beyond The Edge Of The Grass: Searching For The ‘Mets’ Outfield In 2013

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Monday January 21st, 2013

Collin Cowgill will figure into the Mets OF picture somewhere,  Barring them signing anybody else, not one of their Outfielders will even have 500 Career AB.  Cowgill has a 3 Slash Line of .255/.319/.631 in 196 AB.

Collin Cowgill will figure into the Mets OF picture somewhere. Barring them signing anybody else, not one of their Outfielders will even have 800 Career AB heading in 2013. Cowgill has a 3 Slash Line of .255/.319/.631 in 196 AB during his time in the Major Leagues.

Stephon Johnson ( Baseball Writer and Mets Correspondent):

New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson has every right to not be happy.

Speaking on local New York sports talk radio station WFAN, Alderson didn’t try to delude himself or others into thinking that the 2013 Mets campaign wouldn’t induce at least several headaches.

“I’m not happy where we are in preparation for 2013,” said Alderson about the current roster assembled. “… I can assure you that where we are now is not where we want to be opening spring training. I mean, it’s conceivable we could be in the same position, but it’s not where we want to be.”

This can particularly be directed toward the outfield. With several options for the Mets to check out, it’s baffled many how a Major League franchise wouldn’t have at least a slight idea what kind of starting lineup they could field on opening day.

Scott Hairston Interview in 2012:

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Boston Red Sox Pitching Roster in 2013: State Of The Union Part 2

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Sunday, January.20, 2013

For the the Boston Red Sox State Of The Union Part 1:  The Hitters blog,  click here.

Clay and Jon Had Better Be On!

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the active pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year - but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639)

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the Active Pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year – but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639).

By Saul Wisnia,  Red Sox Correspondent (Read his blog ‘Fenway Reflections’ here):

The fate of the 2013 Red Sox may very well lay in two sets of statistics:

Pitcher/Wins-Losses/WHIP/ERA
Jon Lester: 33-15, 1.19, 3.17
Clay Buchholz: 23-10, 1.233, 2.70

Lester: 9-14, 1.383, 4.82
Buchholz: 11-8, 1.326, 4.56

The first numbers cover the period from April 2010 through August 2011, when Lester and Buchholz were two of the best starting pitchers in the American League. “WHIP” — walks plus hits per innings pitched — has become a popular measuring stick for effectiveness.

Jon Lester Highlights:

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Petco Park: The Effect Of Moving In The Fences

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

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Yonder Alonso will be one of the benefactors for Petco Park once the fences are brought in.  He only hit 3 HRs in 261 AB in SD last year - absolutely abysmal power from the First Baseman Position.

Yonder Alonso will be one of the benefactors for Petco Park once the fences are brought in. He only hit 3 HRs in 261 AB in SD last year – absolutely abysmal power numbers from the First Baseman Position.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

By altering the dimensions of Petco Park, the Padres could be playing a very different brand of baseball in these coming years. Long thought of as one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in all of baseball, Petco Park might have a new identity in the future. Due to their decision to move the fences in, the Padres will have to build their team in a different way. For players like Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko, the new dimensions could be extremely beneficial to their success at the plate. However, for pitchers like Edinson Volquez and Eric Stults, they are going to have to learn to keep the ball on the ground more in 2013.

Petco Park As A San Diego Attraction:

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Billy Beane Found His Catcher in Seattle: John Jaso is Ready to Lead the A’s Back to the Playoffs

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Sunday January 20th, 2013

A .372 OBP in 2010. A .394 OBP last season. Can you blame Billy Beane for LOVING John Jaso?

A .372 OBP in 2010. A .394 OBP last season. Can you blame Billy Beane for LOVING John Jaso?

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

My name is Jonathan Hacohen. And I am a John Jaso fan. There…I have said it. Feels very good to get it out. Ok, so I don’t own any John Jaso t-shirts or jerseys. I wouldn’t recognize him if I hit him with my car. But when #27 (formerly #28 on the Rays) comes up to bat, I know that good things will usually happen. Remember that .372 OBP in 2010? I sure do. So do many Tampa Bay Rays fans. For you see my friends, John Jaso is a special breed of baseball player. He is a catcher with patience. He won’t hit for great pop, but he finds ways to get On Base. That is a skill that served him very well back in his aforementioned first full MLB season.

From that season on, I came to expect great things from Mr. Jaso. But then 2011 hit. Or actually, he didn’t. A .224 AVG with a .298 OBP was good enough for the Rays to dump Jaso on the Mariners for Josh Lueke. Remember him? Do I really have to say more? The Rays, for all the talk of their poor offensive showing and need for major league bats, decided that John Jaso just didn’t fit into their system. So Jaso was off to Seattle and Jose Molina was brought on board. The same Jose Molina who hit .223 last season with a .286 OBP. The same Jose Molina who got paid $1.5 Million last season. John Jaso on the other hand got paid $495,200 last year. What did he do? Only hit .276 with a .394 OBP. Plus a .456 SLG for good measure. His reward? A one-way ticket to Oakland with a 30 second stopover in Washington. The man can’t win. A good or bad season, either way MLB GM haven’t shown faith in this kid so far in his career. But then, most GMs are not Billy Beane. Despite being apparently set at the position for 2013, Beane proceeded to trade for Jaso and dump George Kottaras, to catch with Derek Norris. Beane said on record that he would have kept Kottaras unless Jaso was made available. So does Billy Beane know something that Andrew Friedman, Jack Zduriencik and Mike Rizzo don’t? The answer is yes. Beane knows which players he wants and usually, he will get them at the end. Now John Jaso is set to bring flair, leadership and of course, On Base skills to Oakland. The playoff picture just got much rosier for the A’s. 


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The Texas Rangers Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Saturday, January.19th,  2013

Texas has doubled their total team payroll since the new ownership group took over.  As good as they are doing right now for Payroll - the Angels still have them beat by 35-40 Million Dollars

Texas has doubled their total team payroll since the new ownership group took over. As good as they are doing right now for Payroll – the Angels still have them beat by 35-40 Million Dollars.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

It is easy to equate a big market team’s success with merely a willingness to overspend on free agents and use their superior earning power to dominate the sport. While the Rangers certainly are not afraid of spending all that money that playing the Dallas/Fort Worth area provides, it would be inaccurate to equate the team’s recent string of success with only their ability to outspend a fair portion of their competitors. As we enter the 2013 season, the Rangers have built a very strong base – while managing to not tie themselves to any back-breaking, future altering contracts. That is a testament to the organization’s belief in its system – and its refusal to spend on player just because they are able to. With that being said, let’s take a look at the Rangers 2013 payroll as of now and see where Texas will be spending its money next season.

Rangers 2011 ALCS Clincher:

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The Angels May Take The Torch As The Best All Around 1-4 Lineup In The MLB

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Saturday, January.19,  2013

Trout had 49 SB, 129 Runs 30 HRs and 83 RBI in just 138 Games. Might he improve on these numbers with a full year and the addition of Josh Hamilton to the cleanup spot in 2013?

Trout had 49 SB, 129 Runs 30 HRs and 83 RBI in just 138 Games. Might he improve on these numbers with a full year and the addition of Josh Hamilton to the cleanup spot in 2013?

Josh Jones (Angels Correspondent):

The 2013 Los Angeles of Anaheim have the opportunity to post one of the most fearsome foursome’s in Major League Baseball history.  The lineup posts three MVP-caliber talents. American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout leading off with Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton hitting third or fourth respectively makes Angel fans ecstatic to watch this year’s club. Either Howie Kendrick or Erick Aybar will flank Trout and Pujols, hoping to take pitches and take walks in order to allow Trout to run and Pujols to have a bounty of runners on. The 1-4 hitters have the potential to be one of the greatest lineup toppers that the game has seen.  Let’s compare them to some of the best 1-4 lineups in the last few decades:

Josh Hamilton signs autographs right after his Angels Press Conference:

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MLB Player Profile: Chicago Cubs SP Matt Garza

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Friday, January.18, 2013

Matt Garza may only have a Career Record of 57-61 (.483)  - but had a ERA if 3.84 during his 7 year career for the Cubs, Rays and Twins.

Matt Garza may only have a Career Record of 57-61 (.483) – but had a ERA if 3.84 during his 7 year career for the Cubs, Rays and Twins.  He also has carried an ERA of under 4 for 6 straights seasons – including 3 tough years in the AL East.

Alex Kantecki (Guest Baseball Writer and Cubs Correspondent):

Matt Garza was Jim Hendry’s last big addition before the Cubs general manager got the boot in 2011. The Cubs needed a dependable No. 3 to slot in the rotation behind Cubs’ mainstays Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano, and Garza fit the bill. In three years with Tampa Bay, Garza compiled a 34-31 record with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP with 7.10 K/9 and 3.05 BB/9 in 592.1 Innings Pitched — not ace numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but respectable for a No. 2/No. 3 type.

 Garza, 29, was an innings-eater, with two straight seasons of 200-plus innings from 2009-2010. To acquire Garza, the Cubs sent five prospects, including No. 1 prospect Chris Archer and No. 4 prospect Hak-Ju Lee to Tampa Bay. The move, considered by many as a desperation trade by a general manager looking to save his job, is still scrutinized today. But should it be?

Matt Garza Highlight:  Worst Throw Ever to 1st Base?

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Chris Tillman: Was His 2012 Campaign A Fluke Or A Sign Of Things To Come?

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Friday January 18th, 2013

Chris Tillman went 9-3, with a 2.93 ERA in 15 GS during the 2013.  His return helped sparked the Orioles on a 2nd half run to a Wild Card Spot in the AL

Chris Tillman went 9-3, with a 2.93 ERA in 15 GS during the 2013. His return helped sparked the Orioles on a 2nd half run to a Wild Card Spot in the AL.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer) 

Here’s an unsung hero behind the Baltimore Orioles’ magical 2012 season: Chris Tillman. No, he’s far from a household name, nor does he deserve to be, yet. However, if his 2012 campaign, where he posted a 2.93 ERA, is a sign of what’s to come, then some of the Orioles’ shortcomings on the starting pitching spectrum will be solved.

First thing’s first; you may be too reluctant to put credibility into Tillman, yet. I would agree that his stunningly good 2012 season basically came out of Left Field, as in his first three year’s in the big leagues, he compiled a mere 5.58 ERA and a BB/Per 9 IP rate of exactly four.

So yes, 2012 was an impressive season from the 24-Year-Old Right-Hander, but with his success came a sense of suspicion and bewilderment. Yeah, not the type of reaction a pitcher wants when he crafts a career-year.

Chris Tillman and his Pitching Mechanics:

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Detroit Tigers Prepare For Spring Training: Invite 17 Players

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Thursday, January.17/2013

Pitchers and Catcher have less than 4 weeks to report in FLA

Pitchers and Catcher have less than 4 weeks to report in FLA.

By Matthew LaFave (Tigers Correspondent):  

The Detroit Tigers announced on Wednesday that they have invited 17 players to Major League camp in Lakeland, Florida.

The names include some familiar faces like Don Kelly, Shawn Hill, and Nick Castellanos.

Kelly, who will turn 33 at the start of spring training, reportedly turned down a National League team to remain with the Tigers. After struggling at the plate last season, his contract was out righted to Triple-A affiliate Toledo. He is the only active MLB player to play all 9 positions in his career.

Don Kelly – Post Game after Game #2 of the 2012 ALDS (Walk off Sac Fly)

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