Thursday December 6th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):
Russell Martin recently signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for a two-year deal worth $17 million—a bit much for a just-above-decent aging catcher. Unfortunately for the Pirates, if they want to sign a free agent, they will most likely have to overpay. This was not the worst deal in the world, for Martin is better than any catcher the Pirates have had in the last few years, but is he really worth an average of $8.5 million a year? I don’t think so. The Pirates have been in contention up until the Trading Deadline the last two years, so maybe they think Martin will make the difference.
Martin, over his seven year career, is a .260 hitter. Just about the major league average. For a catcher, .260 is not terrible. .260 could be just what the Pirates need in their lineup. From 2008-2011, Ryan Doumit was the Pirates’ primary catcher. He was on and off, hitting .318 in 2008 and .303 in 2011, but also hitting .250 and .251 in 2009 and 2010. Last year’s catcher Rod Barajas did not exactly cut it. He hit .206 with only 11 home runs and 31 RBI. Last year, Pirates catchers spent most of their time in the 6-7 hole of the lineup. Martin will fit nicely here and will have occasional opportunities to drive in Andrew McCutchen. Martin’s primary job will to drive in the leftovers from the top/middle of the lineup and to get in scoring position for the bottom of the lineup. I can’t see Martin as a 4-5 hitter due to his relatively low career average (the Pirates will not be able to trust him with driving in McCutchen). Read the rest of this entry
Thursday November 29th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):
It is not an outrageous thought that the San Francisco Giants, coming off their second World Series title in three years would not have a problem signing two key free agents. Angel Pagan was a fixture at the top of the lineup throughout the year and played a big part in helping the Giants reach the playoffs and World Series. Marco Scutaro, a trade deadline acquisition, provided the Giants with the boost they needed to leave the Dodgers in the dust in the NL West. Not to mention, Scutaro caught fire in the NLCS against the Cardinals and wound up NLCS MVP. Signing both of these guys would most likely make the Giants favorites for a Wild Card at the least. It could be hard to compete with the Dodgers for the West after the blockbuster trade that they made with the Red Sox, but Scutaro and Pagan could help. So, how likely is it that both free agents sign with the Giants and return for 2013? Also, why has this team been so quiet in pursuing other Free Agents so far?
Unfortunately for most Giants fans, not very likely. I see the Giants signing one or the other. Angel Pagan, coming off a great season, will undoubtedly ask for more than he’s worth. The Giants also have highly regarded prospect Gary Brown waiting in the wings. He is suited to man centerfield for years to come. Pagan is probably looking for at least four years, and Brown will most likely be ready by late 2013 or 2014. Pagan would probably demand somewhere around $10-12 million per year. He has been a great fit for the top of the Giants lineup, setting the table for Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey. He led the league in triples and scored 95 runs, partially due to his great second half. Pagan’s speed is especially valuable in the spacious outfield of AT&T Park. Gary Brown also has great speed, so there will not be too much of a discrepancy in the defensive abilities once Brown is a Giant. What comes to my mind when I think about rewarding Pagan with a large contract is Aaron Rowand. The Giants made a huge mistake by giving Rowand a large contract after just one good year. Pagan, like Rowand at the time, has not had a streak of consecutive great years, so signing him for more than a few years could be risky.
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 The Phillies started as a franchise in 1883 in the city of Philadelphia-and have the longest continued stretch as their original name. It has been a club that suffered tremendous droughts for the player and fans alike. Only in recent vintage (since 1975) has this team come into permanent prominence, with the now Hall of Fame Mike Schmidt entering the league and turning the fortunes of the city. From signing Pete Rose to put them over the top for their 1st World Series Trophy, to just re-signing Cole Hamels to a 144 Million Dollar Contract, the team has been adamantly aggressive in keeping its name amongst the elite in baseballs annals.
One could even argue that the Phillies had been the best team in baseball from 2008 up until the start of this season. I recently named this club the best team from the years 1980-1983 and then again for the years of 2008-2009. But before the likes of: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, or Curt Schilling, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton, or Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose, they were plenty of other men who left a mark on this historic NL Franchise. We will look at all of the significant players that ever played for the club as a pitcher or hitter. The pitchers and hitters will be focused on solely in the next 2 weeks. Let us look and how the team has fared in its history.
Here are the final pitches of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Property of Major League Baseball & Fox.
For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters, click here.
For Part 3 of The 4 Part Phillies Article Series: The Pitchers- click here
For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series: Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here