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ALL – Time TJ Surgery Tracker 1974 – 2014 (30 Updates Including Jonny Venters 3rd Time)

Dr. James Andrews - leading Tommy John surgeon is the new senior leader on this innovative and break through procedure, championed 1st over 40 years ago, and responsible for extending over 700 players careers now.

Dr. James Andrews – leading Tommy John surgeon is the new senior leader on this innovative and break through procedure, championed 1st over 40 years ago, and responsible for extending over 700 players careers now.

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out:

Links

More Tommy John Surgeries By The Numbers + Who Is the 1st $100 MIL Pitcher To Go Down With It? + A Scherzer Angle?

TOMMY JOHN SURGERY – 2014 (30)

2014

Jonny Venters - (3rd Time Probable) Braves: Aug/Sept 2014

Jeremy Hefner, NYM Aug 2014 (TJ Watch List – Possible 2nd TJ Surgery)

Tyler Skaggs, Angels, Aug 10 – will have season ending TJ surgery soon.  expected to be out til 2016

Nate Jones, White Sox, July.30

Tyler Chatwood, Rockies, July,19

Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees (Partially Torn UCL, (TJ Watch List), July 10th

Bronson Arroyo, D’Backs July Surgery.

Matt Wieters, Orioles, June 17th

Sean Burnett, Angels, June 5th

Chris Withrow, Dodgers, June 3rd

Jose Cisnero, Astros, May 28th

Martin Perez, Rangers, May 19th.

Jose Fernandez, Marlins, May 16th

A.J. Griffin, Athletics, Apr.25th .

Pedro Figueroa, Rangers, Apr.30th

Ivan Nova, Yankees, – Apr.29th

Josh Johnson, Padres, – Apr.24

Matt Moore, Rays – Apr.24, 2014 -  Link: With Moore Out For TJ Surgery – The Rays Should Hold Onto Price Through 2015

Jameson Taillon - Pirates – April 9, 2014

Bobby Parnell - Mets – April 8th

Cory Gearrin - Braves – Mar.29 – Went on the 60 Day DL with partial ligament  tear of right elbow Mar.29, 2014 – May Require TJ Surgery.”

David Hernandez - D’Backs – Surgery April 2014.

Bruce Rondon - Tigers -  Mar.2014

Patrick Corbin - D’Backs -  Mar.2014.

Jarrod Parker - Athletics -  March 2014

Brandon Beachy - Braves – “2nd TJ Surgery” Mar 2014

Kris Medlen- Braves – Mar 2014

Luke HochevarRoyals – March.07, 2014.

Miguel Sano - Twins (Position Player) Mar, 2014.

Cory Luebke - Padres:   Luebke went under the knife for his 2nd TJ Surgery Feb 2014. Read the rest of this entry

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How All Of The A’s Pitchers Were Acquired: Lots Of Depth Even For 2015 Without Breaking The Bank!

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration.  He will likely cost in the $12 - 15 MIL range for 2015.  He tops the list of several A's players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry.  While the club is going for it in 2014, there unloading of Cespdes's $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises.  Some of the club will be traded or released.  The A's should still have about $25 MIL to spend on 7 or 8 guys next year.  Their $95 MIL payroll in 2014 is their highest ever recorded for any one year.

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration. He will likely cost in the $12 – 15 MIL range for 2015. He tops the list of several A’s players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry. While the club is going for it in 2014, their unloading of Cespdes’s $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises for next year, which should ensure them of another chance to compete for it all.. The Pitching Staff will remain almost intact, with losing just Lester, Hammel and Gregerson, while 12 guys are still under Team control, and 3 more guys with lots of MLB experience are in Sacramento waiting for a callup.

How All Of The A’s Pitchers Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Billy Beane has assembled quite the Pitching Staff for his 2014 final playoff push despite having both Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin out for the year with Tommy John Surgery.

Sonny GrayA.J. Griffin and Sean Doolittle (although he was drafted as a hitter) are the only active pitchers on their staff that are homegrown products.

Jon Lester was acquired with Yoenis Cespedes (who signed as an International Free Agent.

Much like the hitters, the ‘Moneyball GM’ has wheeled and dealt until he put together one of the best run prevention teams in the game baseball.

Bringing in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel cost the team 2 young prospects and Dan Straily, all of whom were team draft picks. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The A’s Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree Shows Incredible Beane Trading Record

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How All Of The Athletics Hitters Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Truthfully this blog took me forever to do the research for, simply because the A’s GM Billy Beane has been so proactive at the trading helm.

From flipping Mark Mulder several years ago which fetched Dan Haren as part of the haul, to the massive deal with Dan Haren sent to the D’Backs, he added enough depth to pull off several other moves.

Yes, along the way he may have been burned by Colorado for Carlos Gonzalez, but in a the Dbacks deal still is paying off.

The Roster deals include several Oakland draft picks being flipped for current A’s.

Nick Swisher was traded for Gio Gonzalez, who in turn the club can thank for the Catching tandem of Derek Norris and John Jaso as assets received from Swisher initially.

Jaso was brought back in a 3 way deal from Washington, where the A’s sent the SP back to the team they traded Gio Gonzalez for.

Ryan Sweeney (another player brought in for the Swisher) was packaged with Andrew Bailey to obtain Josh Reddick. Read the rest of this entry

ALL – Time Tommy John Surgery List 1974 – Present

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out: Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Athletics Roster In 2014: How All Of The Pitchers Were Acquired

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with  Tommy John Surgery.  You are talking about a guy that was 25 - 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined.  He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed.  The A's also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now.  Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland - including Chris Carter< Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Cook for Starter Dan Haren.  The club still has many of the components left as assets from that very deal. While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back.

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with Tommy John Surgery. You are talking about a guy that was 25 – 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined. He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed. The A’s also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now. Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland with Collin Cowgill and  Ryan Cook for Starter Trevor Cahill. The club still has Parker and Cahill.  While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back. Cahill has been ineffective for the D’backs in 2014 – with a 9.17 ERA and an MLB leading 4 losses.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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I just finished writing an article about how Billy Beane was smart not to have signed Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson to extensions here.

You really wont find him do this anytime soon with any of his chuckers.

The Scott Kazmir deal is the one he likes to do.  It is simple as to why the man operates like this.  He doesn’t have to give up any assets in the process.

Beane is a “Baseball Rounder”.

It is not unlike him to do manage 50 – 60 transactions per year.  He was won more than he has lost – whether it is Free Agency or trades.  His ballclub has the best record in the Majors since the start of play in 2012 – at 200 – 144 (.581 baseball).

We will go through the Pitching First, and then the hitting by the weekend. Read the rest of this entry

The O’s Add Nelson Cruz + The AL Beast Just Got Stronger!

Nelson Cruz is 34 - and has a long history of injuries -  and now of PED use.In the last 5 years, he has only played over 128 games for the season once.  Now he was on pace to top that in 2013 - before his PED suspension from the Biogenesis Scandal.  Will he go to Seattle, another AL team, or is the NL going to be his final destination for next campaign.  I thoroughly believe he should just be a permanent DH.

Nelson Cruz is 34 – and has a long history of injuries – and now of PED use. In the last 5 years, he has only played over 128 games for the season once. Now he was on pace to top that in 2013 – before his PED suspension from the Biogenesis Scandal.  I thoroughly believe he should just be a permanent DH.  He will likely be used in that role with the O’s.  With a full season of AB, this slugger should probably hit between .260 – .270, with 25 – 30 HRs and range from 80 – 90 RBI.  To sign this guy to a 1 Year Deal – worth $8 MIL, when he was already given the Qualifying Offer by Texas is a fantastic acquisition for the Orioles.  It also comes in the same week they picked up Ubaldo Jimenez and Korean chucker Suk-Min Yoon.  Baltimore just entered back into the Division race!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Dan Duquette has announced his presence with authority this week.

From Suk-min Yoon (3 YRs/$5.6 MIL), Ubaldo Jimenez (4 YRs/$48 MIL), to then flat out rob Nelson Cruz for a 1 YR/$8 MIL deal, the GM has served notice that the franchise is here to compete.

Frankly, this was a long time coming.  The team has now thrust its name into the conversation with the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees.

On the clock is the Toronto Blue Jays!! Read the rest of this entry

The Boston Red Sox Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

Dustin Pedroia is an example of how to handle your own talent as far as payment.  He was signed from 2009 - 2015 , which is 7 YRs/$55 MIL, and then they extended him from 2016 - 2021 (6 YRs/$85 MIL).  Being a bit of a bargain on a yearly basis, this natural leader - and former MVP, has given the franchise money flexibility for every year during the duration of his deal.

Dustin Pedroia is an example of how to handle your own talent as far as payment. He was signed from 2009 – 2015 , which is 7 YRs/$55 MIL, and then they extended him from 2016 – 2021 (6 YRs/$85 MIL). Being a bit of a bargain on a yearly basis, this natural leader – and former MVP, has given the franchise money flexibility for every year during the duration of his deal.  The now 30 Year Old, has a Career 3 Slash of .302/.370/.823.  His numbers are great for his 162 game average, with 104 Runs Scored and 194 Hits.  Pedroia is pesky with his 46 Doubles, 16 HRs per year.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart Expert)

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The Boston Red Sox pulled of a major “Hoodini Act” by freeing themselves of the long term contracts of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett in an Aug, 2012 trade.

The club used the dollars saved to reel in Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes in 2013.  All of these guys were massive contributors to the 2013 World Series team.

The Beantowners still live and die by their Starting Pitching.  Jon Lester and unpredicted Jon Lackey had renaissance campaigns – while Clay Buchholz cobbled enough health together for a 12 – 1, 1.74 ERA season.

Replicating their championship season will be tougher in 2014.

David Ortiz Highlights

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The Boston Red Sox Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB)

Jackie Bradley can go a long way to help BoSox fans forget about the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury.  Known as a patient batter with tonnes of speed, and exceptional fielding, Bradley taking the next leap up to the MLB on  a permanent basis would do wonder for the Red Sox in 2014.

Jackie Bradley can go a long way to help BoSox fans forget about the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury. Known as a patient batter with tonnes of speed, and exceptional fielding, Bradley taking the next leap up to the MLB on a permanent basis would do wonder for the Red Sox in 2014. At 23, he has a Career Minor League 3 Slash of .297/.404/.876

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart Expert)

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It has come time for us to flip the calendar at the MLB Reports and shift gears into all of our 2014 season previews.

Each of the 30 MLB teams will have a organizational depth chart blog, a payroll blog, and 1 or 2 State of the Union Pieces from this day – all the way until the 1st day of MLB play this campaign.

We start of with the defending World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox.

Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts Are Future Superstars

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The Winter Meetings Feel So Much Different For The Astros In 2013 Compared To 2012

Ankiel hit 5 HRs in his first 40 AB with the Astros to start last year - including a huge Opening Day long bomb, but he could not buy a hit after that.  The Astros released him soon after that.  Ankiel was one of the acquisitions from last winter, so we can at least see the club is going after more astute players.

2012 Winter signing Rick Ankiel hit 5 HRs in his first 40 AB with the Astros to start last year – including a huge Opening Day long bomb, but he could not buy a hit after that. The Astros released him soon after that. Ankiel was one of the acquisitions from last winter, so we can at least see the club is going after more astute players.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent) 

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The Houston Astros haven’t been all that busy the past few years in the offseason. They’ve signed older veterans to get them through the year.

Last year’s offseason acquisitions included Jose Veras, Carlos Pena, and Rick Ankiel. However, this year, they’re actually spending real money.

They’ve traded for Dexter Fowler, and they’ve signed Scott Feldman to a three year, 30 million dollar contract.

They also brought in a former Astro Chad Qualls at two years 6 million dollars with an option for a third year at 3.5 million dollars.

Those acquisitions could just be the tip of the iceberg for the Astros as the head into the Winter Meetings.

Chad Qualls Fist Pump – Followed By A Tumble

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The Houston Astros Bolster The 2014 Squad With A Couple Of Moves This Week

Truth be told, when the Houston Astros first signed Scott Feldman, I was skeptical. Still am a little bit. The more I think of it, the more I like the signing. When news of it first broke on twitter, there was a bit of a mixed reaction. If fact, mine was something like “NOOOOOO!!” I wasn’t a fan of the money, nor was I too thrilled about the years on the contract. The Yankees, Orioles, Twins, and Astros were all interested in the former Oriole. However, it was the Astros who locked him up for 3 years, 30 million dollars.

Truth be told, when the Houston Astros first signed Scott Feldman, I was skeptical. Still am a little bit. The more I think of it, the more I like the signing. When news of it first broke on twitter, there was a bit of a mixed reaction. If fact, mine was something like “NOOOOOO!!” I wasn’t a fan of the money, nor was I too thrilled about the years on the contract. The Yankees, Orioles, Twins, and Astros were all interested in the former Oriole. However, it was the Astros who locked him up for 3 years, 30 million dollars.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent) 

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Feldman isn’t a high profile signing, but he certainly makes the Astros better today than they were yesterday. He isn’t going to change this franchise, but he certainly adds some wins to the Astros this year.

Last year with the Chicago Cubs and the Baltimore Orioles, Feldman went 12-12 with a 3.86 ERA. According to Steamer, a FanGraphs projector, projects that Feldman will go 12-11 with a 3.91 ERA.

Scott Feldman Start

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Red Sox Mid-Season Update: (Pitching)

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 Thursday. July.11/2013

I think it's safe to say that Clay Buchholz is the best pitcher on the Red Sox staff. He was looking like a strong candidate for the 2013 AL Cy Young Award until he was injured. Now he is on the road back as he threw his 1st bullpen Wednesday, and his 2nd is scheduled for Friday. Then he is set to start a rehab assignment if all goes well. I'm fine with him taking his time though. He NEEDS to be healthy for the playoffs.

I think it’s safe to say that Clay Buchholz is the best pitcher on the Red Sox staff. He was looking like a strong candidate for the 2013 AL Cy Young Award until he was injured. Now he is on the road back as he threw his 1st bullpen Wednesday, and his 2nd is scheduled for Friday. Then he is set to start a rehab assignment if all goes well. I’m fine with him taking his time though. He NEEDS to be healthy for the playoffs.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

The MLB All-Star game is nearly upon us, and technically we are already passed the halfway point in the season, so it seems like a good time to do an update on where the Red Sox stand at this point.

The Boston Red Sox currently hold a record of 56-37. They still sit in 1st place in the AL East, 3.5 games ahead of the 2nd place Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox have led the division for most of the season and continue to exceed all preseason expectations.

In the early part of the season, the Red Sox were winning with pitching and hitting that was statistically at the top of the MLB. That is no longer the case. Their offense is still near the top, but their pitching has fallen off.

The Red Sox currently lead the MLB in Runs (484) and OPS (.802) showing their offensive prowess. However, their pitching staff currently sits in 17th in the Majors with an ERA of (3.96), 17th in K/BB ratio (2.43), 24th in WHIP (1.35), and have the 6th most Blown Saves (14).

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Boston Red Sox Organization: 2013 Team Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Thursday, June.27/2013

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 - 8 after their 1st 29 games, they have since gone 26 - 25, can they rectify their recent pedestrian play and hold off their 4 Division Counterparts to make the playoffs?

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 – 8 after their 1st 29 games, they have since gone 26 – 25, can they rectify their recent pedestrian play and hold off their 4 Division Counterparts to make the playoffs?

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Red Sox Organization click here.

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MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 8

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Monday May.27/2013

The Detroit Tigers were second on the list for moving up rankings with 5 spots.  They have overtaken the Indians - and have 5 players that are hitting north of .300.  Their top 4 Starters may be the best in the game - and they play in an extremely winnable division where teams can`t match them for payroll or talent.

The Detroit Tigers were second on the list for moving up rankings with 5 spots. They have overtaken the Indians in the AL Central  – and have 5 players that are hitting north of .300. Their top 4 Starters may be the best in the game – and they play in an extremely winnable division where teams can`t match them for payroll or talent.  Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter on the planet – and has great support.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The Oakland Athletics are making another run at the expense of the lesser lites  in the Division.  This team feasts on the Astros and Mariners – and are not half bad at playing the Rangers and Angels either.  The goal for them is to continue to pitch.  They must try to at least take 2 games versus San Francisco in the 4 game set.

The Kansas City Royals may have rolled up snake eyes in gambling on their 2013 season.  Suffering the longest playoff drought in the majors at 28 years, the franchise traded away its best prospect player in Wil Myers for a 2 year pitching solution in James Shields.

The problem is that their nucleus of young talented hitters have failed them.  Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are being outpowered by some teams Pitching cores in the NL.

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Buyer’s Remorse: The Failed Joel Hanrahan Experiment

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 Thursday May.16/2013

It seemed like everyone was so much more excited about Hanrahan joining the Red Sox this offseason than any of their other acquisitions. Turns out his time in Boston was not only short, but memorable for all the wrong reasons. Where is Mark Melancon when you need him...Oh wait.

It seemed like everyone was so much more excited about Hanrahan joining the Red Sox this off-season than any of their other acquisitions. Turns out his time in Boston was not only short, but memorable for all the wrong reasons. Where is Mark Melancon when you need him…Oh wait.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

While some people in Red Sox Nation have had concerns about the team’s offense recently, it is clear that the major worry at the moment is the bullpen.

Their starting rotation is no longer at the top of the league statistically, but it has still been good, and the offense is still at the top of the league in most categories. The Sox are 4th in the MLB in Runs Scored, and 2nd in Doubles, AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS. They’re also 1st in Triples.

The Bullpen was supposed to be a strength for the Red Sox entering the 2013 season, but it has been in shambles recently. At the forefront of the mess is Joel Hanrahan who I will talk about in-depth in a moment. First let me run through some of the other pitchers.

The Red Sox are 26th in the Majors with a 4.47 ERA from their relievers. Their BAA is .250 which is 23rd in the Majors, and they have 6 blown saves which is tied for 6th most in the MLB.

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MLB Reports ‘Junior Reporter’ Haley Smilow Interviews Boston Red Sox Reliever Craig Breslow

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Saturday May 11th, 2013

Craig Breslow is one of the better LHP specialists in the whole game of baseball.  He has appeared in 361  Games and has lugged 344.1 IP - yielding a 3.01 ERA.  With Hanrahan and Bailey hurt for the Boston Red Sox, his role in the present future will be vital,  He just returned to the lineup from a inflamed shoulder.

Craig Breslow is one of the better LHP specialists in the whole game of baseball. He has appeared in 361 Games and has lugged 344.1 IP – yielding a 3.01 ERA in his Career spanning 8 seasons. With Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey hurt for the Boston Red Sox, his role in the present future will be vital.  He just returned to the lineup from an inflamed shoulder.  So Far the 32 Year Old from New Haven CT has a 4.50 ERA in 3 Appearances in 2013. The LHP was signed to a 2 YR Contract worth $6.25 MIL – with a Team Option for 2015 before the season began.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

Haley Smilow was a busy reporter last year.  So much so, that we probably wont  be able to keep up with her to post them in time.  In her latest interview  -  Haley talked to Craig Breslow (of the Boston Red Sox)… She asked him about being a Yale Grad.. Also, who is the biggest prankster he has ever encountered.

Haley pulls no punches in asking the Relief Pitcher about his life in this candid interview.  Amongst other topics discussed were:  What Breslow  does for charity work and what advice he might have for young people.

 Yale Grad Craig Breslow:

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Boston Red Sox Payroll In 2013 + Contracts Going Forward

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 Tuesday April.30/2013

The Red Sox dumped about $250 Million in player salaries during the 2012 campaign and have put it to good use. The remarkable thing is, not only did they dump all that salary on the Dodgers, but they also acquired some solid arms that are now honing their skills in Pawtucket. The Red Sox payroll looks much better than it did a year ago.

The Red Sox dumped about $250 Million in player salaries during the 2012 campaign and have put it to good use. The remarkable thing is, not only did they dump all that salary on the Dodgers, but they also acquired some solid arms that are now honing their skills in Pawtucket. The Red Sox payroll looks much better than it did a year ago.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

As it stands now, the Red Sox payroll is at about $157 Million. Below I will show a list of player salaries which comprise most of the budget.

We must also remember that last summer’s blockbuster deal/salary dump on the Dodgers holds Boston responsible for $3.9 Million of the salaries in 2013 of players they traded away.

On top of that there is about $10 Million that must be figured in for benefits/incentive purposes. This list will be in descending order of salary (average annual salary to be more specific) among players on the Red Sox payroll.

David Ortiz:  This Is Our —— city – Mature dialogue so Parental Guidance is  a must.

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Opening Series Win: Red Sox vs. Yankees – A Sign Of Things To Come For Boston?

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Sunday April.07/2013

Dustin "Laser Show" Pedroia is the most vital part of this Red Sox team if not for his play on the field, for the hustle and tenacity he plays every game with. Hopefully Don Orsillo is yelling "to the moon" a lot this season.

Dustin “Laser Show” Pedroia is the most vital part of this Red Sox team if not for his play on the field, for the hustle and tenacity he plays every game with. Hopefully Don Orsillo is yelling “to the moon” a lot this season.  The man has started the year with a 2 Slash Line of .318/.400/.764 with 7 hits in the 1st 5 games.  The 2008 AL MVP  has a Career 3 Slash of .303/.369/.830.  His average season (per 162 Games) is 194 Hits, 17 HRs, 43 Doubles and 77 RBI.  His  most important stat of this column is his 106 Runs Scored mark for a full year.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Redsox Correspondent): 

I dare you to find a more exciting way to start a season than facing your bitter rivals? Taking 2 of 3 games from them on their field is even better. The start to the 2013 Boston Red Sox season has been good all things considered; much better than the starts to their past 2 seasons.

They spent the start of 2012 getting swept by the Tigers in 3 games, then losing 2 of 3 to the Blue Jays (This was before the Blue Jays had talent on their roster). The year prior, in 2011, the Red Sox came in with high expectations only to start the season 0-6 with series sweeps at the hands of the Rangers and Indians.

To take a quote from rap legend turned sports agent, (hint: he just stole Robinson Cano away from Scott Boras, uh-oh) “moral victories is for Minor League coaches.” Yes that would be Jay-Z.

In the Major Leagues it is all about where you stand in your division. After the 1st series of play for Major League teams the Red Sox were tied with Baltimore atop the AL East. I know I’m getting carried away; it is after all, only 3 games into the season, (Now a little bit further). In the end a win is a win, and a loss is a loss.

However, I want to look at how the Red Sox won (and lost). I want to do this because I think it sheds light on what they are poised to do in 2013.

Red Sox vs. Yankees Opening Day Recap:

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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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The Red Sox Trade for a Closer (Hanrahan) … Again.

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Thursday, January.10,  2013

Joel Hanrahan had 76 Saves over the last 2 Years with the Pittsburgh Pirates - including 2 straight ALL-Star Appearances. He will be throwing down in the 9th Inning for Boston now.  Picture Courtesy of Marc Smilow

Joel Hanrahan had 76 Saves over the last 2 Years with the Pittsburgh Pirates – including 2 straight ALL-Star Appearances. He will be throwing down in the 9th Inning for Boston now. Picture Courtesy of Marc Smilow.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

Back in 2005, the Boston Red Sox brought up a 24 Year Old flame throwing phenom. Seven seasons, a World Championship and 219 Saves later, Jonathan Papelbon and his fastball had become something of Boston baseball lore. Papelbon was the kind of big strike out, big personality that fans grow to love at the back-end of a bullpen. From 2007-2011, Papelbon never posted a K/9 under 10.00 and never had less than 30 saves in a season. It seemed like Papelbon would become Boston’s answer to Mariano Rivera until the Phillies swooped in and signed Papelbon to a 4 year/50 Million Dollar Contract before the new CBA was even agreed to during the 2011 off-season. Suddenly, Boston was without its ALL-Time Saves Leader and in need of a new stabilizing force in the back of their bullpen.

After Papelbon signed in Philadelphia, the Red Sox went out and acquired Andrew Bailey from the Oakland A’s to fill the closers role. When the trade happened, the perception was that Andrew Bailey was the best player in the deal. The Red Sox acquired Bailey and OF Ryan Sweeney for OF Josh Reddick, INF Miles Head and Right Handed Pitcher Raul Alcantara. Bailey was coming off a 24 save season where he was worth less than 1 WAR (Win Above Replacement). It is important that we differentiate perception with reality at this point.

Joel Hanrahan Highlights from 2010-2012

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The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 1: The Hitters

Saturday, Dec.01/2012

How important was Cespedes to The A's Lineup?  They went 83-47 with him in the lineup and 12-20 without him.  He was the biggest reason the team has soared into the playoff race and wont the AL East.  Beane secured him Free Agency last year without trading any prospects.   He is signed for 3 more years.

How important was Cespedes to The A’s Lineup in 2012? They went 82-47 with him in the lineup and 12-21 without him. He was the biggest reason the team soared into the playoff race and won the AL East. Beane secured him in Free Agency before the start of last year. He is signed for 3 more years at 9 Million Dollars Per Year.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

A few months ago, our Lead Columnist/Website Founder (Jonathan Hacohen) wrote a brilliant piece about the assembly of the Oakland Athletics roster.  He called it “MoneyBall 2.”  Right after the piece, the A’s surged to the greatest record in the second half of the season and won the AL West.  The team is now constructed of power hitters and power pitchers.  The man behind it all is Billy Beane.  I will not get into too much of this philosophy as you can read that piece here.  What I intend to do is to show the roster of how it was comprised by Beane in the form of a roster tree.  It is just like a family tree, however this shows trades dating back 2,3,4,5,6 fold etc.. in order to show you the mastery of the GM’s ability to field a roster on a limited budget.

The Future of the Oakland A’s:  The Mustache Gang Meets the Bash Brothers:  Revealing Billy Beane’s Master Plan click here.

The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 2:  The Pitchers  click here.

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Jose Valverde: Ready to Rejoin the Houston Astros?

Friday November 2nd, 2012

Kyle Holland:  Although postseason baseball is a wonderful time for baseball fans everywhere, the end of the World Series becomes a devastating time. The start of November means no more major league baseball for almost 5 months. Ironically enough though, some fans love the offseason. They enjoy seeing where some of their favorite players will go and who their favorite team will get.

One prime example of these players during the this 2012-13 offseason is the ex-Detroit Tigers closer, Jose Valverde. He enjoyed great success during the 2011 season closing 49 out of 49 save opportunities. The 2012 season wasn’t nearly as impressive, as Valverde “only” saved 35 games. Then September and the postseason rolled around and he just wasn’t himself. On October 10th in game 4 of the ALDS, Valverde blew a 3-1 lead in the ninth against the Oakland A’s. On October 13th in game 1 of the ALCS, although not a save opportunity, Valverde blew a 4-0 lead against the New York Yankees before being pulled.

Jose Valverde became a free agent on October 30, two days after the Tigers got swept by the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. The Tiger publicly announced they are not going to make an attempt to re-sign Valverde. Now the question becomes: where will Jose Valverde end up for Opening Day 2013? Read the rest of this entry

Boston Red Sox: Who is to Blame for this Mess?

Friday September 7th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: The Red Sox are in a state of disrepair. They just traded two of the key players who were supposed to carry them to several postseasons in the future, and a pitcher who had the stuff to regain his status as the ace of the staff. Not to mention the team also has a manager who does not relate well to players. The Red Sox went from first to worst in the span of about a year. Why?

It all started going wrong in September of last year. The Red Sox started a skid and then information came out that some of the pitchers were drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games in which they were not pitching during the pennant chase. The Red Sox had a horrible month and ended up falling out of playoff contention as the Orioles walked off on them in game 162 and Evan Longoria subsequently hit a walk off homer versus the Yankees to clinch a playoff spot for the Rays. Terry Francona, the manager who broke the Curse of the Bambino and won two World Series, was fired and general manager Theo Epstein was rumored to be leaving. Owners John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino promised that a collapse like this would not happen the next year. The good news: Red Sox fans will not have to worry about a collapse like last years’ now. The bad news: the Red Sox have been out of contention for almost the whole year. Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto have been traded, and it looks like Boston will be rebuilding for at least the next couple of years. Chaos in Boston is an understatement.

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Top Ten Stat of The Week Special Trade Edition! Boston Red Sox: Payroll 2013

Thursday, Aug.30/2012

As the longest-serving Red Sox Offensive Player under contract, Dustin Pedroia needs to return to his MVP like form of a few years back for Boston to be in contention next year.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): - In one fell swoop, the Boston Red Sox went from a team with no payroll flexibility at all for years to come, to a team that only has 4 players under contract for 57.2 Million Dollars next year.  It is actually around 43 Million Dollars for Dustin Pedroia (10 MIL), John Lackey ,(16 MIL) John Lester (11.6 MIL) and Clay Buchholz (5.8 MIL.)  Now since they are paying about 15 Million to the Dodgers as part of the trade it takes the total up to about 57 Million.  So how does the team look going forward?  Not that bad actually.  The have about 25 Pre-Arbitration to Arbitration Eligible Players to re-sign.  A lot of them are under club control or will not fetch that much of a boost in pay.  Jacoby Ellsbury will probably get a bump from the 8 Million he received this year and Jarrod Saltalamacchia will also be due a raise from the 2.5 Million in 2012 with his breakout power year.  Daniel Bard is a “Super 2″ Arb Eligible Player and should not be that hard to resign considering  his ineffective year.  The most pressing thing to do is to resolve the David Ortiz matter and then to grab a couple of free agent pitchers and a power hitting First baseman or an outfielder.

Judging from my best estimate, it looks like the Boston Red Sox will have about an 100-110 Million Dollars for all of their Arbitration players, plus the guys already signed.  This leads me to David Ortiz.  He should be given a 2 or 3 year contract as soon as humanly possible at 15-16 Million Dollars a Year.  He was the only player in the AL to have an OPS over 1 still going into tonight.  Yes he has been hurt, but ‘Big Papi’ is not finished in the MLB.  Yes he will be 37 heading into next year but he has been the best DH in the AL over the last 3 years.  Ortiz had said earlier this year-that he would be open to playing for other teams so the brass better make him feel wanted or he will walk! He genuinely likes Pedroia so I am sure Ortiz could be persuaded to come back.  You have to at least find this out early as it will let you know how to proceed on the Free Agent Market.

Here are some David Ortiz highlights.  THIS VIDEO CONTAINS CLIPS COPYRIGHTED FROM MLB ADVANCED MEDIA. MLB REPORTS  DOES  NOT OWN THESE CLIPS.

For Part 1 of the Trade Breakdown: The LA Dodgers 2013 Top Ten Payroll click here .

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ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: WBC Qualifiers, Suspending Aceves, Blowing Up the Red Sox and More

Sunday August 26th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

It’s 4:00a.m. on Saturday night/Sunday morning. While most of the baseball world sleeps- the Reports doesn’t sleep. Or at least this particular insomniac. Maybe it’s the excitement over the qualifiers of the 2013 World Baseball Classic coming in 24 days. Perhaps I can’t stop thinking about the Dodgers/Red Sox swap and analyzing in my mind who won/lost that trade. Whatever be the case, I’m about to jump into your weekly baseball questions. Some really good ones folks. Keep them coming every week! Tweet, e-mail, post on Facebook or comment on our site. Whatever you have to do, get your baseball voice heard on MLB reports :)

For the Batting Stance Guy video of the week, we present “Batting Stance Guy Impresses Manny Ramirez“. With all the insanity around Boston this season coming full steam ahead to this weekend’s monster trade, we thought it would be fun to go back in time and remember a kinder and gentler Manny Ramirez. Enjoy! 

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

MLB Closer Report: Where Does Your Team Stand?

Sunday May 6, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer): Seeing Mariano Rivera go down with a torn ACL is like driving by a car accident and reflecting on how easily it could have been you in that accident, or in this case- how it could have been your team’s closer cringing in pain on the warning track. And this is the year of the injured closer: from Boston’s Andrew Bailey to San Francisco’s Brian Wilson, closers across the league have been dropping like flies. Other closers, like the Angels’ Jordan Walden, have stayed healthy but haven’t played well enough to keep their coveted ninth inning role. Even though there has only been a month of baseball so far, much has changed for some clubs.

Today, I’ll be taking a look at every team’s closer situation, and breaking down how it got to be the way it is: Read the rest of this entry

The Latest on the 2012 Red Sox Bullpen

Sunday April 15th, 2012

Sam Evans: The Boston Red Sox are in trouble. The A.L. East looks as strong as ever with four out of the five teams talented enough to make the playoffs. The Red Sox will have problems keeping up with the rest of the East due to some crucial injuries that they’ve suffered. First, the Red Sox just lost their best outfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, for who knows how long. Also, Carl Crawford might be out until May. Maybe longer. A shaky bullpen is suffering from the loss of Jonathan Papelbon (free agency), Daniel Bard (moved to the rotation), and Andrew Bailey (injury), which does not help the Red Sox stay in contention. Some of their relief pitchers as a result need to step it up.

Other than the abysmal Orioles, the Red Sox have the worst bullpen in the A.L. East. The majority of their relief pitchers are unproven pitchers who don’t belong in a top-tier bullpen. Currently, the Red Sox plan to have Alfredo Aceves closing out games. Aceves has been considered a long reliever for most of his career and this past offseason, the Red Sox even contemplated trying Aceves out in the rotation. Read the rest of this entry

Spring Training is Almost Finished: Final Roster Decisions for Your 2012 Fantasy Baseball Team

Monday April 2nd, 2012


Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): The 2012 fantasy baseball season kicked off this past week with the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners two game set in Japan. What can we learn from this series? Even in a hitter friendly park, neither of these teams can really hit. They will both struggle to score runs all year. Therefore, Bartolo Colon will have a lot of value pitching in the friendly confines of the Oakland Coliseum. Colon needs to be owned in all leagues, because he proved he still has something left in the tank last year. He is a must start option anytime he faces the Mariners and in most instances he pitches at home. The same is true with teammate Brandon McCarthy, who could perform to a near ace level this season. However, he does have an injury past, which also goes without saying with the old and portly Bartolo Colon. I also think this short series spoke volumes about the potential of Dustin Ackley, who can quickly emerge as a top ten option at second base.


With only two regular season games to reflect upon, let’s take a closer look at the end of spring training and its fantasy relevance. Henry Rodriguez is most likely available in your league, and the 100mph flamethrower will have the opportunity to close games as Drew Storen begins the season the disabled list. In 10 spring training innings, Rodriguez has allowed just four hits, but more importantly struck out nine batters compared to only two walks. The strike zone was the problem in 2011, when he still posted respectable numbers. But he seems to have found better control of the plate. He could be deadly and Zumaya-like. He should provide great value for strikeouts, and is great insurance for Storen owners, as I would not even be surprised to see him assume the closer role at some point during the 2012 season. Read the rest of this entry

Those Clutch Guys: A Preview of the American League Closers in 2012

Wednesday February 1st, 2012

Sam Evans: Closing ballgames takes confidence, skill, and experience. There are select players that have earned the closer role at the highest level possible. These players come in all shapes and sizes, with diverse backgrounds. 

Without further adieu, here are the closers for all fourteen American League teams:

New York Yankees: The Yankees have had the same closer for the last fifteen years. That is by far the longest stretch of any closer with their current team. Arguably the most successful closer of all time, Mariano Rivera has constructed his whole career around one pitch.

Rivera’s cutter is simply dominant. He breaks more bats than any other closer in the league, and he knows where to throw it to specific hitters. Even at 42 years old, hitters know what’s coming but still have no chance of making solid contact. In 2011, Rivera had a 1.91 ERA and he recorded 44 saves. Mariano Rivera still has at least five more years closing out games. The Yankees should be content with him as their closer for as long as he wants to pitch.

Tampa Bay Rays: Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth had a surprisingly effective 2011. Coming into the year, he was expected to compete with young prospect Jake McGee for the closer role. Farnsworth stole the show and was Tampa’s closer for the whole season. He posted a 2.18 ERA in 2012, along with 25 saves. It was a nice bounce back year for the once overpaid, angry reliever.

The Rays picked up the fiery reliever’s option for 2012, so he will likely retain his job as the Rays’ closer. However, if Farnsworth can’t get the job done, Joel Peralta or Fernando Rodney (87 career saves) will step in.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox bullpen has had a perplexing offseason so far. They let their closer leave in free agency and they moved two of their other best relievers to the rotation. Now, they’ll be trusting a young, former Rookie of the Year, who hasn’t thrown fifty innings since 2009. I think the Red Sox made the right move by letting Jonathan Papelbon walk, but I don’t see the benefit in moving Daniel Bard to their rotation.

Moving from Oakland to Boston, Andrew Bailey will have to learn to deal with constant criticism and media pressure. He’ll go from pitching in front of 10,000 people every night to almost 40,000. It’s impossible to quantify how much of an impact that will have on Bailey, but it’s got be at least a small factor.

The Red Sox will have a strong bullpen, despite which of their relievers end up in their rotation. Besides Bard, the Red Sox also acquired Mark Melancon who could see time as Boston’s closer. Melancon isn’t as good of a pitcher as Bailey, but he is still a strong option for late-inning relief.

I’m not high on Bailey and I see him having issues in 2012. Bailey relies too heavily on his fastball and his curveball was not effective last year. If he succeeds in Boston, then the Red Sox will look like geniuses for trading for him. If he struggles, then new General Manager Ben Cherington will have some questions to answer about the future of this bullpen. (I wrote more about the Red Sox bullpen here.)

Toronto Blue Jays: With the abundance of closers on the market, Toronto went out and got their closer of the present and future, in Sergio Santos. They had to give up Nestor Molina, a young starting pitching prospect, but they scored Santos and his team-friendly contract.

Since being converted from shortstop to pitcher a couple of years ago, Sergio Santos has molded into a top-notch closer. In my opinion, he has the second best slider in baseball. (Braves closer Craig Kimbrel gets a slight edge.)

The Blue Jays have a fairly strong bullpen and General Manager Alex Anthopoulos could always trade for more bullpen pieces. Rebuilding Toronto’s major league team is going to take a couple of years and right now the bullpen appears to be the least of their worries.

Baltimore Orioles: Jim Johnson emerged as a star for the Orioles in 2011. The twenty-eight year old reliever threw ninety innings but recorded only nine saves. The Orioles leader in saves last year was Kevin Gregg with 22 saves. This was surprising considering Gregg wasn’t even one of the Orioles top three relievers.

I’ve been a huge fan of Pedro Strop ever since he was with the Rangers organization. The twenty-six year old had a 2.62 FIP in 2011, and the Orioles have implied he’ll be their setup man in 2012. With Johnson, Gregg and Strop all gunning for the Orioles closer job in 2012, they’ll definitely have competition throughout the year. I’d expect Johnson to get the most saves, but Strop could have a breakout season as a 9th inning superstar.  Plus Alfredo Simon could always get hot and take back the role if he fails as a starter.

Detroit Tigers: For the Tigers, having a closer they can trust to close out games in 2012 will be huge. The Tigers are going to have plenty of late-inning leads, thanks to a strong pitching staff and a powerful offense. Jose Valverde has been the Tigers closer for the last two years and he’s excelled at the back of the Detroit bullpen.

Papa Grande took a step forward in 2011. He saved 49 saves in just as many opportunities in 2012. His electric (and to a lesser extent, annoying) personality provides a spark at the end of Tigers games.

Valverde will be back in 2012 and will help Detroit down the stretch as they look to make a run at the World Series.

Chicago White Sox: The White Sox no longer have a clear closer after trading Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays. Now, their bullpen will rely on the flame-throwing lefty Matt Thornton and rookie Addison Reed.

Matt Thornton had a rough 2011. He lost his closer job to a former shortstop and saw his strikeout rates plummet. In 2010, he struck out 12.02 batters per nine innings. In 2011, he saw that rate drop to 9.5. He also walked more hitters than he had in previous years, and his LOB% dropped to 61.2%. In 2012, he will probably see his numbers improve moderately- but not to the level they were at in 2010.

Addison Reed is the best prospect in the White Sox deprived farm system. He will probably start the year in the majors. He has a higher ceiling than any other White Sox bullpen arms and that might lead to a job closing for Chicago. Reed is a nice sleeper in 12-team leagues, in which you are looking for saves.

Manager Robin Ventura has said that Reed is likely to make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. He also said that the closing job is Matt Thornton’s to lose. I don’t think it will be very long before Reed takes over the job from Thornton, so Reed will probably get the majority of saves for the White Sox this year.

Kansas City Royals: Last year, it seemed inevitable that the Royals would trade away their longtime closer Joakim Soria. Then Soria’s value dramatically dropped. In May, Soria gave up ten runs in ten innings, and Royals fans started to panic. Eventually, Soria got back to the pitcher he always was. He finished 2011 with 28 saves, his lowest total since 2007. General Manager Dayton Moore made the right move hanging on to Joakim Soria because his value was so low at the trade deadline.

For 2012, Soria will be the Royals closer barring a trade. Not to be forgotten is former Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton who was signed this offseason. The Royals have a talented young bullpen that has the chance to develop into one of the best in the league.

Minnesota Twins: The Twins have no real closer heading into the 2011 season. Sure they have Matt Capps, who has 124 career saves. But he’s not a legitimate option if they plan on contending this year. They recently signed former Detroit Tiger Joel Zumaya who is coming back from a serious arm injury, but he used to be able to throw triple digits.

For fantasy players looking for sleepers, this team isn’t a bad place to start. Any one of the Twins pitchers could step up and take the closer role. This might be the worst bullpen in the league, so Minnesota will probably have to make some moves this year.

Cleveland Indians: The Indians a strong bullpen that should be able to give their starters a proper amount of rest. Vinnie Pestano is the best reliever on the team… and he’s not even closing. Pestano was worth 1.5 WAR in 2011, and he had 23 saves. If Chris Perez were to slip up in his closing duties, Pestano could easily fill in.

Chris Perez is a very good closer because he is a clutch performer. He doesn’t strike out many hitters and he walks a lot of hitters (1.50 K/BB in 2011), but he doesn’t blow many saves. He was 36 for 40 in save opportunities last year.

Even though Perez will likely be the starting closer on Opening Day, if Pestano keeps pitching like he has, he could eventually take over the position.

Seattle Mariners: The Mariners probably should have traded their closer, Brandon League, this offseason. As strong of an asset as League is, the Mariners won’t be contending in 2012.

When Brandon Leauge decides to throw it, he has one of the best splitters in the league. Last year he threw his splitter 28.2% of the time. Mariners fans want him to throw it more because of how dominating it can be. In 2011, using his splitter more led him to 37 saves and a 2.78 FIP. If League were to be traded or injured, Shawn Kelley, Tom Wilhelmsen, or Chance Ruffin would likely step into the role.

Oakland Athletics: Since the A’s traded Andrew Bailey, their closer responsibility is no longer set in stone. Brian Fuentes will likely start the year as their closer, but he has 37 career blown saves and is no longer the pitcher he once was.

The next pitcher in line to get saves is probably Fautino De Los Santos. As a rookie in 2011, De Los Santos struck out 11.61 batters per nine innings. Fautino De Los Santos may be electric but he only has thirty-two career saves (all of which were in the minors.)

Texas Rangers: The Rangers have the most depth out of any bullpen in the AL West. Joe Nathan will be the closer out of spring training. If Nathan were to fail, the Rangers also have Mike Adams, Koji Uehara (barring a trade) and Alexi Ogando (if he doesn’t start) waiting in the wings. If the Rangers bullpen were a flavor of milkshake- they would be banana. Not always the first thing that comes to mind, but after you try it, it’s much better than you expected.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The Angels should have spent more money this offseason on their bullpen. Jordan Walden is far from a sure thing. Although it was his rookie year, Walden had his ups and downs in 2011. Walden looked nervous at times. Hopefully in his second year, he will have a better ” closer’s mentality.” 

Setting up Walden will be most likely be Scott Downs, who was extremely lucky in 2011. Downs had 26 holds and a 1.34 ERA. He had a 3.40 xFIP and he left 86.4% of his men on base.  In 2012, there’s no question that Downs is going to regress. The only question is how much. 

Overall:  The bullpens in the American League aren’t as strong as they look. There are talented pitchers on nearly every team, but no bullpen stands out as the clear winner. 2012 is going to be the an important year for closers, as there will be many AL teams in contention (especially if the 2nd Wild Card goes through). Some say that the whole closer role and mentality is not important. But once this year’s playoffs are upon us, I think 2012 will prove just how important closers really are.

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Sam on Twitter***

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Ryan Madson: A Free Agent Closer with no Job?

Thursday December 8, 2011

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  With the Winter Meetings at an end, players/teams/agents are left standing to look over the game of musical chairs and who is left standing.  A particularly interesting position was closer- with more eligible players than open positions.  In the past few weeks, we have seen many signings and trades in this area.  Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies.  Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays.  Huston Street to the Padres.  Francisco Rodriguez accepted arbitration from the Brewers.  Heath Bell to the Marlins.  Joe Nathan to the Rangers.  Andrew Bailey is openly being discussed in the trade market as leaving the A’s.  Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch joined the Mets.  As a result, one big name is left standing with no dance partner.  Ryan Madson is still on the open market with few promising prospects ahead.

As the story goes, Madson was supposed to re-sign with the Phillies.  A reported 4-year, estimated $44 million contract was put on the table by the Phillies early in free agency.  Player and agent (Scott Boras) happily accepted and a Philadelphia return was in order.  Not so fast.  There are conflicting stories on what transpired.  Needless to say, there was never a firm deal in place and the Phillies moved quickly to sign the top closer on the free agent market, Jonathan Papelbon.  Since then, there has been little discussion on Madson.  There have been reports throughout the process linking him to the Jays, Marlins and Red Sox.  Well…the first 2 teams have filled their vacancies.  The Red Sox have Daniel Bard as the incumbent set-up man who could get a look at the closing position- although he may end up in the rotation.  Other than that, there seems to be little hope for Madson.

Last night, Madson chose not to the K-Rod route and accept salary arbitration.  As a result, he remains out in the market waiting for his next contract offer.  Francisco Cordero is in the same boat, although he is still likely to go back to the Reds on a 1-2 year contract from the whispers around the league.  But even if the Reds do not retain Cordero, it is unlikely that they will sign Madson- especially given the young players they still need to lock-up to extensions.  So what other options exist for Madson?  Perhaps the Orioles.  Maybe the Rays.  The options are getting bleak.

This is one of the few times that you will see Scott Boras caught “with his pants down” so to speak.  For an agent that is well known to be able to create and stimulate markets and demands for his clients, Boras has come up short for Madson.  The perception is that the Phillies did what was best for them in signing Papelbon, which left Boras outraged and in a bind.  With little to no teams looking for closers, Boras essentially only has the Red Sox to work with.  At this point, he may need to take a 1-2 year deal for Madson, in the $7-10 million range to rebuild his value and try again on the open market in the future.  A risky proposition, but with few options- Madson may have no other choice.

I was actually quite surprised that Madson didn’t take the Phillies offer of arbitration.  Based on his stellar 2011 numbers, he could have expected a strong 1-year contract at least.  Now Boras and Madson are left to take their chances on the open market.  For a closer with only 1 full year on the job, time is not on Madson’s side.  A proven closer like Francisco Cordero knows that he find a contract soon.  Heck, even K-Rod knows that he just needs another solid season under his belt and his next deal will follow shortly after.  Madson was in line for his first and only big payday this offseason.  If he gets hurt or becomes ineffective in 2012, that dream vanishes. Scott Boras better work overtime to get the Red Sox biting on his closer client.  Otherwise, it may not turn out to be a very Merry Christmas in the Madson household this year.

 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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