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San Francisco Giants Pitching Roster Tree In 2014: Sabean Should Not Be Overshadowed By Beane Any Longer!

Brian Sabean has been the architect behind the Giants brilliant 5 year run.  His attention to building a Pitching Staff has to be noted, with several winning draft selections, mixed with key Free Agent signings, and waiver claims.  With all of the hype surrounding the other "Bay Area" GM, it is time that this man is giving his due.

Brian Sabean has been the architect behind the Giants brilliant 5 year run. His attention to building a Pitching Staff has to be noted, with several winning draft selections, mixed with key Free Agent signings, and waiver claims. With all of the hype surrounding the other “Bay Area” GM, it is time that this man is giving his due.

How All Of The Giants Pitchers Were Acquired:

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

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With having gone through this exercise of finding out where all of the Giants Pitching Staff came from, there is a new-found appreciation for San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean.

While his fellow “Bay Area” counterpart Billy Beane is having books and movie’s written about him, Sabean has put forth a club that is on the verge of potentially winning its 3rd World Series Title in 5 years.

Most of the roster of hurlers was drafted by the franchise, or brought in by a nice Free Agent signing.  The franchise hasn’t lost that many players the other way for their current pitchers, so that has to be commended.

Bumgarner, Lincecum and Cain were all team draft selections, as was Vogelsong, although he came back to the team after several season away in Japan.

Jake Peavy was acquired midway through this year, when the club knew Cain would be out for the year, and that Lincecum was heading to the Bullpen.

Hudson came into the fold this season, following the lead of his former A’s teammate Barry Zito.  The deal was a smart one, as it cost the franchise nothing but money.

Even more impressive of how the roster was constructed, is how the Relief Core was put together.

Hunter Strickland was claimed off of waivers from Pittsburgh. and the club also pick-pocketed Javier Lopez from the Bucs for the talents of John Bowker and the immortal Joe Martinez.

Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Jean Machi and Yusmeiro Petit were all brought in through Free Agency, and the club drafted Sergio Romo to round out the late innings arms. Read the rest of this entry

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It Has Been Bizarro World In the MLB All Year For 2014: The Playoffs Are No Different

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Royals and O’s in the ALCS??? with KC halfway to running the table on the whole playoffs – winning 6 straight games – and looking like the reincarnation of the 1927 Yankees?

The Braintrust of the New York Yankees, (and some fans) are happy with a 84 win season – following an 85 win campaign the previous year – to miss the postseason for the 2nd season in a row, but lock the GM for 3 years?&*!@!

The Pirates made a 2nd consecutive playoff spot??  

Jose Altuve and Justin Morneau led their respective leagues in Batting Average??

Okay so it has definitely been a bizarre year in the Majors.  While I am happy to see the game return to more athleticism and talent (not aided by steroids), the game has never been any harder to predict.

As a professional handicapper I realized this much a long time ago about baseball.  You never bet the favorite, and always take the value. Read the rest of this entry

The Dodgers Winning The Title Could Cure Baseball In The Future – Part 1

Magic Johnson said the new ownership group would put their money down on the players to stay or come to the franchise, and man he wasn't kidding.  The Los Angeles Dodgers now own 5 of the top 23 player contracts of ALL - Time in the MLB.  With a total team payroll likely to be north of $240 MIL for the next few year, he was right.

Magic Johnson said the new ownership group would put their money down on the players to stay or come to the franchise, and man he wasn’t kidding. The Los Angeles Dodgers now own 5 of the top 23 player contracts of ALL – Time in the MLB. With a total team payroll likely to be north of $240 MIL for the next few years, he was right.  The team is presently the highest salaried team, and they will pay about $16 MIL in Luxury Tax, based on 30% penalty for $51 over the $189 MIL mark in 2014.  Their cash infusion to the NL has spawned a rapid ascent for other teams in the Senior Circuit  – who are looking just to keep up, while some franchises have no chance at all with their revenue streams.

A couple of years ago I wrote an article on how the Dodgers were going to change the way the MLB operates.  I may be proven right this fall.

4 of the top 5 clubs were alive in the LDS round

1.  LA Dodgers $240.7 MIL

2.  NY Yankees $227 MIL

3.  SF Giants –  $172.4 MIL

4.  Detroit Tigers – $170.5 MIL

5.  LA Angels – $170.5 MIL Read the rest of this entry

NL Wild Cards Virtually Sewn Up With Giants/Bucs: Huge Night Monday/Week Ahead For AL Chase

The Pirates started the year almost 10 games under .500 in early May.  Since that timeframe, they have operated 22 games over .500.  The Pirates are within a magic number of 3 to collect their second straight playoff appearance.  Heading into play tonight, they also own the #1 wildcard slot over the Giants, because even though they are tied, the Bucs have the tiebreaker - with best season series.

The Pirates started the year almost 10 games under .500 in early May. Since that timeframe, they have operated 22 games over .500. The Pirates are within a magic number of 3 to collect their second straight playoff appearance. Heading into play tonight, they also own the #1 wildcard slot over the Giants, because even though they are tied, the Bucs have the tiebreaker – with best head to head season series record.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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The Pirates have done a fantastic job brushing off their competition in head to head battle the last few weeks.  As such, they have moved their playoff magic number to 3 versus the Brewers.

This squad has done more than that though…With a the Giants being swept down in San Diego this weekend, they have taken over the #1 wild cards slot over San Francisco – by way of tiebreaker (they won the season series vs SF).

Vance Worley, Edinson Volquez and Josh Harrison have surprised us all this year, and have picked up the slack for the club’s reluctance to add high – priced talent through trades or Free Agency.

Pittsburgh ended the year at home with a 51 – 30 record, and will have to hold their own with 4 against the Braves @ Turner Field, before ending the campaign against the Reds at The Great American Ball Park. Read the rest of this entry

ATR (Ask The Reports) Sept.20, 2014: World Series Betting + MVP Talk!

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Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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Every once in a while we will air the (ATR special, like our founder Jonathan Hacohen used to do every week).  Sometimes a lot of goods question are asked, all at the same time. 

Rather than go on for days on social twitter, it is easier writing in a format that doesn’t limit you to 140 characters:

We had 2 such questions that were good enough to write an article about.

Q:  Who do you think should be the MVP in both the AL and NL this year?

A: This one is easier in the AL than the NL, but I would like to point out that the clear-cut favorite (Mike Trout) is not having as good of years that he did in 2012 and 2013, however this trophy is going his way with the year LA has had.

Will finish with 35 HRs and 110+ RBI, with over 110 Runs scored, (currently has 81 Extra Base Hits for huge MLB Lead) and his stellar defense is definitely the difference separating him from Martinez (a primary DH) and Cabrera. 

I will also point out that Victor Martinez  (.970 OPS, 30 HRs and 104 RBI) would certainly be right up there if he weren’t playing on the Tigers. 

His numbers, contact rate, and overall professionalism as a hitter have saved Detroit’s bacon this year.

V-Mart is hurt by the fact Cabrera is on the same club.  For as much as the two time reigning MVP has been dealing with injury,. his so-called “down year” still has him with a 3 Slash Line of .318/.380/.527 with 104 RBI.

The big 1B for Detroit has seen his HRs cut nearly in half, but he is still leading the league in Doubles with 49 – and has 73 Extra Base Hits are even more than he had last year.

The Tigers never running away with the competition also is a drawback for both players. Read the rest of this entry

THE LONG BALL In 2014 MLB: TOP 5 HRs AL/NL + Who Will Win The HR Titles?

Chris Carter is the biggest mover and shaker this week, and is leading the Majors in bombs since May 09.  He has fashioned his bolts in a short amount of time by having Multi HR Games, and also coupling it with consecutive streaks.  This guy is looking like a keeper for Houston, and may be one of the guys that got away from Billy Beane!

Chris Carter iis leading the Majors in bombs since May 09 – with 28 big flies and 66 RBI during that time frame in just 305 AB. He has fashioned his bolts in a short amount of time by having Multi HR Games, and also coupling it with consecutive streaks. This guy is looking like a keeper for Houston, and may be one of the guys that got away from Billy Beane.  The massive DH/1B/OF burned his old squad last night by drilling a 3 run bomb in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the Astros a 4 – 2 win. The victory knocked Oakland out of 1st place.  I think he will win the HR title in the AL now. Wouldn’t that be something if he won that, in addition to Jose Altuve possibly winning the Batting title?

THE LONG BALL In 2014

TOP 5 HRs AL/NL,

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For Games Played Through Aug 26, 2014

Chris Carter… we have been preaching this man’s name at this website for years.  Our founder and former lead writer Jonathan told me about this man 3 years ago.

When he was traded by Billy Beane, Jonathan explained it would be a deal that he will regret.  Now with the A’s lacking some firepower, and Jed Lowrie on the shelf, plus having an off year, the Astros are looking good in this one.

I have also pointed out the A’s GM forced the Astros to go over their roster limit – exposing Nate Freiman for him to pluck as a Rule 5 Draft right after, however it is hard to argue the “Moneyball” man may end up on the wrong side of this deal long-term.

It would behoove Oakland to have Freiman see more Plate Appearances.  The big 6 ft 7 behemoth clubs 3 HRs in 2 games in Atlanta – and then rides pine for 4 games in the next week.

That is a blog for another time.

We are talking about Chris Carter.  This big man was once an afterthought in Houston this year, despite bombing 29 jacks in 2013.  Bo Porter was taking flak for having CC still in the lineup back in May when he was hitting about ..153 with 4 HRs as of May 9th.

Since that day, he has crushed 28 HRs and added 64 RBI.in his last 302 AB.  This represents about half of a season, and this guy has been completely on fire. Read the rest of this entry

The Bullet Version Of Monday’s MLB Games + Craig Kimbrel Is Filthy!

Season high 7 game winning streak - including 3 straight walk off hits at Nats Park.  They hold a 6 game lead over 2nd place Atlanta, and the Nationals haven't even hit full stride with several key players not maximizing on their talent level.  With a weaker NL East schedule down the stretch, they just may hold home field advantage by season's end in the National League.

Season high 7 game winning streak – including 3 straight walk off hits at Nats Park. They hold a 6 game lead over 2nd place Atlanta, and the Nationals haven’t even hit full stride with several key players not maximizing on their talent level. With a weaker NL East schedule down the stretch, they just may hold home field advantage by season’s end in the National League.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Erik Kratz smacked 2 HRs and now has 23 HRs in just 472 AB.  Thats a HR for every 20.52 AB or would equal about 29 Bolts in a 600 AB campaign.  The guy is 34 so that is not likely to happen… but smart move on KC’s part to bring him in.  Beats the alternative for what they had.

Washington is starting to heat up, and if you play them into late and extra innings, any of their hitters can beat you right now.  This does not bode well for Atlanta.

Everybody just back off of Trevor Rosenthal, as all young relievers go through this.  Besides what is a season if the Cardinals didn’t changeup their Closer at least once…

Everyone also needs to take a chill pill on the A’s missing Yoenis Cespedes so much it has destroyed the unity of the offense.  Teams go through stretches where they don’t play well.  It is just 17 games of a sample size so far. Read the rest of this entry

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

“Stoking The Fire Segment” – MLB Games Are Too Long But Fantasy Baseball Is a Godsend!

More and more fans are accessing the MLB from their own personal phones these days.  Here is the problem. With games going too long, people lose interest in a real hurry - and especially just the casual fan..

More and more fans are accessing the MLB from their own personal phones these days. Here is the problem. With games going too long, people lose interest in a real hurry – and especially just the casual fan..

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I tried to watch the Mariners vs Rangers a few months ago on  MLBTV.

5 Instant Replay reviews, many pitching changes, and the game lasted 3 hours and 30 minutes – and this was a 4 – 3 9 inning game.

It is not hard to figure out why games are longer in length.

Money Ball has forced every team to wear down pitchers, see as many tosses from the Starting Chuckers as humanly possible.

30 years ago, it was more of a rip it and grip it approach.

Strikeouts and Walks are at an all time high, but also are some pre-pitch rituals. 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

MLB Trade Deadline Breakdown 2014 + The August Aftermath

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a flurry of action that baseball really needed.  Half way through the day, I was amazed their was actually day games.

Oakland and Detroit pushed all of their chips in, and you have to think they are pretty much done with transactions, although one of them doing an August deal could prompt the other to do the same.

I am holding back reservations for judging the Pirates, Blue Jays and Royals….however they all must be the “MLB clubhouse leaders” in August acquisitions to challenge for playoff slots.

Although KC better have a better idea than having Raul Ibanez take regular AB at 1B..That is horrible..

It wasn’t like the club didn’t know Eric Hosmer was injured badly.

I am also about throwing Ruben Amaro‘s career about 10 second from a toe-tag (and those ten seconds are August), for standing pat on his 47 – 60 aging core.

Like I have said so many times on twitter and social media outlets.  Someone teach this man some basic economics.

Take a lesson from Boston, and trade-off assets, to receive younger ones in the process, then you can turn around and spend every red cent in Free Agency in the offseason.. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland A’s Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going FWD: Updated For Trade Deadline Deals

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, 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 projected payroll in 2014 is their highest ever recorded for any one year.

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

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Wow.  What a roster that has been assembled by Billy Beane in the last 30 days or so.

Make no bones about it, the reason the Money Ball GM was able to this was one from depth strength – coupled with being the master of financial flexibility.

We all know that the A’s have shied away from giving long term pitching contracts, or heck, from lucrative long contracts to positional players.

Ever since the team offered Jermaine Dye a big deal at the time, only to see his production fall off, then to be resurrected in other uniforms, did the management learn to ply their craft.

The team also doled out megabucks for Eric Chavez after that, then to watch him suffer through countless injuries.

Players like Nick Swisher, Miguel Tejada, Johnny Damon, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder have left the nest to make fortunes in other locations.

Beane made off like a bandit dealing Rich Harden before he eventually broke down.  Oh yeah, the GM received Josh Donaldson for that trade.

It has been a brass that sees about 50 roster transactions every year.  The key is to always sell high, and mix in the right amount of Free Agent veterans.

All of that ‘baseball rounding’ afforded the “Moneyball” GM to go for it this year. Read the rest of this entry

Beane Acquires Lester + Gomes For Cespedes: Then Acquires Fuld For Millone

Jon Lester, 30, is in the last year of his contract, which will make him around $4 MIL for the last 2 months of the 2014 season.  While there is no way he signs with Oakland past this campaign, this is a calculated move to land a playoff assassin that can front a franchise a #1 starter for a playoff series - or as the pitcher in a Play in Wild Card game should the Angels run the A's down for the AL West.  Much like Samardzija, the Athletics brass knows these guys could never be acquired via Free Agency, and have the wherewithal to know that inking longterm aces to deals past the age of 30 is just not in the cards for the franchise.  The A's were put in the position to rent them because of Beane's nice deals to build the organization's depth.

Jon Lester, 30, is in the last year of his contract, which will make him around $4 MIL for the last 2 months of the 2014 season. While there is no way he signs with Oakland past this campaign, this is a calculated move to land a playoff assassin that can front a franchise a #1 starter for a playoff series – or as the pitcher in a Play in Wild Card game should the Angels run the A’s down for the AL West. Much like Samardzija, the Athletics brass knows these guys could never be acquired via Free Agency, and have the wherewithal to know that inking longterm aces to deals past the age of 30 is just not in the cards for the franchise. The A’s were put in the position to rent them because of Beane’s nice deals to build the organization’s depth. Lester features a 2.11 ERA in 76.2 IP worth of work in the Post season lifetime.  Lester is 10 – 7, with a 2.52 ERA in 143.2 IP this season in 21 Game Starts.

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

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Billy Beane has been adamant about his team winning the World Series in 2014, and he fired yet another salvo on the July 31st deadline.

The A’s GM acquired Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes for the popular Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes.

Lets have the finances out of the way 1st.

Jon Lester, 30,  is in the last year of his contract, and will be a Free Agent after this year. 

There is no shot at the man signing with the Athletics after this year. however the A’s will receive a compensatory pick for giving him a qualifying offer following 2014.

The LHP wll make approximately $4 MIL the rest of the season.

Yoenis Cespedes, 28,  is signed through the 2015 at $10.5 MIL per year the next 2 seasons, and will become a Free Agent after next year. 

As per the article 20B section of the CBA, he negotiated that he would be free and clear once his original 4 YRs/$36 MIL deal with the A’s was completed – prior to the 2012 campaign.

The 2013 and 2014 HR Derby winner will make just south of $3.3 MIL for the rest of this year.

Jonny Gomes 33, will make about $1.5 MIL for the duration of the 2014 year, and will become a Free Agent this winter. Read the rest of this entry

Current 2014 MLB Team Payrolls: Trade Deadline Manuevering

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers.  Los Angeles is currently sitting at nearly $240 MIL for total team payroll, and will enter the 2nd year of their Luxury Tax Threshold Penalty, where they will pay a 30% surcharge on any monies spent over $189 MIL.  As it stands right now, the club will pay somewhere north of $15 MIL this year.  If the Dodgers are in penalty again for 2015, they will pa 40% of any cash over the Threshold.  Abusers of the tax for 4 years and beyond pay $50%.  With their payroll this year, it would cost Los Angeles over $25 MIL if they were at that limit.

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers. Los Angeles is currently sitting at nearly $240 MIL for total team payroll, and will enter the 2nd year of their Luxury Tax Threshold Penalty, where they will pay a 30% surcharge on any monies spent over $189 MIL. As it stands right now, the club will pay somewhere north of $15 MIL this year. If the Dodgers are in penalty again for 2015, they will pa 40% of any cash over the Threshold. Abusers of the tax for 4 years and beyond pay $50%. With their payroll this year, it would cost Los Angeles over $25 MIL if they were at that limit.

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

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2014 Team Salaries Rank  (In Millions)

1. LAD – $239.8 ( 2nd time abuser – Luxury Tax Penalty at 30% over $189 MIL = $15.24 MIL to be added at the end of the year.) (1st in NLW)

2. NYY – $200.0 ( 4 or more time abuser – Tax Penalty at 50% over $189 MIL for an additional $5.5 MIL to be added at end of the year.) (1st In ALE)

3. PHI – $177.4 (1st in NLE)

4. DET – $163.0 MIL (1st in ALC)

5. BOS – $157.9 (2nd in ALE)
Read the rest of this entry

MLB Teams Pitching Payroll vs Positional Players Payroll In 2014

The Dodgers are the new kings of spending money on payroll in the MLB.  They already spend the most money their Pitching Staff, are the only team well over the $200 MIL mark, and are also creeping up on the New York Yankees for position player spending.  With the Bronx Bombers not in a playoff spot currently, the Dodgers may pass the Pinstripers by adding salary to their lineup, or by New York deciding to trade a few players from their position lineup.

The Dodgers are the new kings of spending money on payroll in the MLB. They already spend the most money their Pitching Staff, are the only team well over the $200 MIL mark, and are also creeping up on the New York Yankees for position player spending. With the Bronx Bombers not in a playoff spot currently, the Dodgers may pass the Pinstripers by adding salary to their lineup, or by New York deciding to trade a few players from their position lineup.

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

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The LA Dodgers have 5 quality Starting Pitchers, and a bevy of former Closers in their Relief Core.

The boys who play their home games at Chavez Ravine, would fit into the top half of entire team payrolls for the majors with each of their pitching and offense separately.

If the Yankees trade 1 or 2 hitters before the Deadline, or the Dodgers add an offense player to their depth, they will hold the #1 spot in both distinctions.

New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and both of the Los Angeles franchises are in the top 10 in each. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 10, 2014

Carlos Avila Gonzalez, San Francisco Chronicle

Carlos Avila Gonzalez, San Francisco Chronicle

The current Giants squad has nothing to prove nor accomplish to ensure an historical legacy. The A’s need to make the World Series NOW.

How we remember our great teams is painted entirely in October.

It is a legacy episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Salvador Perez, Troy Tulowitzki, Max Scherzer Roberto Hernandez, Seth Smith, Kevin Kiermaier, Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi   all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

Catch Erin Foley’s podcast Sports Without Balls by subscribing HERE.

Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 15 – 2014

The Atlanta Braves were hovering around .500, and in serious jeopardy of watching the Nationals blow by them with a healthy roster.  Instead, they are the biggest mover of the week, riding a 9 game win streak.   All of this coming on the heels of losing Evan Gattis for awhile.

The Atlanta Braves were hovering around .500, and in serious jeopardy of watching the Nationals blow by them with a healthy roster. Instead, they are the biggest mover of the week, riding a 9 game win streak. All of this coming on the heels of losing Evan Gattis for awhile.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Thursday July.06, 2014

RK Team   Last Wk Rnk  ()      Current Rec –  Last 10 Days Rec

1.  ***Oakland A’s (1) 54 – 33:  6 – 3  The A’s are the only team that has an above .600 Win Percentage.

What is not to like.  They have the best record since 2012, are even better over the last 2 years (July 2012, July 2014, about .615 Baseball), have won 2 AL West in a row as well.

Added to the fold is a great trade bringing in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, and not yielding anything from the current MLB Roster in return.

2. ***Detroit Tigers (2) 48 – 36: 6 – 4: Tigers beat the better teams, and have troubles with the lesserlites.

Emergence of J.D. Martinez is a major bonus for a team starving for OF help.  Still need more Bullpen arms.

Great division for opponents down the 2nd half. Read the rest of this entry

Beane Spins Magic Again In World Series Quest: Picks Up Samardzija + Hammel For Straily + Prospects

Billy Beane - and the Athletics have seen their team post the best record in the MLB during the regular season for the last 2 years (190 Wins). The franchise has completed the most incredible amount of wins per dollar spent. Enough so, that they should really come out with the movie MoneyBall 2. Beane has been awesome in acquiring his Bullpen for 2014 - without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A's GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel. Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.  With the team's core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now.  The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (Tj Surgeries).

Without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A’s GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel.  Going the other way are: Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Dan Straily and cash compensation, or a PTBNL. With the team’s core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now. The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (TJ Surgeries).

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

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Billy Beane knows his current squad’s best chance to win the World Series now.

He has upped the ante, by acquiring  Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs for highly rated SS Addison Russell, SP Dan Straily, and young prospect OF Billy McKinney, with a player to be named later or cash finalizing the deal at a later date.

I like this move…rather I love this move.

The A’s GM saw what happened to his club the last few weeks when matched against the pitching of the Tigers, and knew he had to bolster his team for the stretch – to replace A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker, who both went down to Tommy John Surgeries this campaign. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 5, 2014

PHOTO BY BRIAN KERSEY/GETTY IMAGES

PHOTO BY BRIAN KERSEY/GETTY IMAGES

The A’s and the Cubs clearly didn’t treat the 4th of July like a holiday. They pulled off a stunning blockbuster that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for some of their top young players and Dan Straily, a fan favorite of one of my dear friends.

Does this sound like a day to put on an evergreen podcast?

Hell no! Let’s record an emergency episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.!!!

Chris Sale, Andrew McCutchen, Clayton Kershaw, Brian Roberts, Jayson Werth, Matt Cain, Shin-Soo Choo and Marcus Stroman all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball.

Read the rest of this entry

The A’s Should Trade Jim Johnson To Tampa Bay For Grant Balfour

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core - and rotation for the 2014 year.  Unfortunately 1 move may haunt in more ways than 1 in Jim Johnson.

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core – and rotation for the 2014 year last winter. Unfortunately 1 move may haunt in more ways than 1 in Jim Johnson.

Billy Beane just hasn’t been on the bad end of many deals in his recent days.  Trading for Jim Johnson may turn out to be his worst move ever.

Originally it looked like another genius move, trading away an MiLB player in Jemile Weeks – for a guy who has back to back 50 Save seasons on his resume, but it has been a colossal nightmare for the AL Bay Area franchise.

Johnson was given a 1 YR deal worth $10 MIL.  This represents about 12% of the team total payroll of just over $80 MIL for the 2014 campaign.

The dollars doled out hurts the team more than anything else.  Had this man just been inept, without carrying a heavy price tag, it would have been a 4th and 40 situation (think what you do in football in that scenario.

What is too bad is that Beane actually looks smart in not giving Grant Balfour his cash for the kind of deal he wanted either. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 11 MLB 2014

battle of the bay

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Well, another few weeks have gone by, and there has been some separation from all the Divisions and the 2nd place squads, except for the NL East dogfight right now between the Nats and Braves.

9 teams are within the top 2 Wild Card Slots in the AL, with the Angels and Mariners holding onto the 1st and 2nd spots respectively.

Preseason NL favorites Los Angeles joins the reigning NL champs ‘The Cards’ at 0.5 Games behind the playoff bar – constituting either Atlanta or Washington (presently in a dead heat) – and the upstart Marlins. 

The Reds, Rockies and Pirates are within striking distance as well, but look for the Dodgers and Cardinals to take off from here, leaving the current Division leaders and those 2 as the 5 playoff teams.

Arizona and Houston have at least jumped into the conversation with recent good stretches of play, after brutal starts.

*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Monday June 9, 2014

RK Team  Current Rec  Last Wk Rnk  ()  –  Last 13 Days Rec

***1. SF 42 – 21: (1) 9 – 3:  Must be an even year in the teens of this century.  The offense has a different hero everyday.

Playing .667 ball this late into the year bodes well.  9.5 Games ahead of next club in your Division also will land you as slot #1.

***2. OAK 39 – 24: (2) 8 – 4: Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson both towers of strength and Sean Doolittle is the best Closer no one has heard about 40+SO/1 BB rate is sick.

Billy Beane continues to find gems like Drew Pomeranz, Jesse Chavez – and Kyle Blanks has fitted in well.

The team could still trade for a 2B that can hit, or bring up Billy Burns, flip Jed Lowrie over to 2B.

Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Keeps The Magic Elixir Running With Pitching Staff In 2014: Lead The AL In Wins

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core - and rotation for the 2014 year.  Despite 3 of the slated Opening Day starters not currently with the club due to Tommy John Surgeries (Griffin and Parke - Straily (Optioned to the Minors), added with early Bullpen woes, the team has righted the ship, and lead AL pitchers in collective ERA, (OBP and OPS against).  Beane has allocated just around $34 MIL in players salary to his staff.  he also made great judgement calls on departing pitcher Bartolo Colon, Brett Anderson and Grant Balfour not duplicating key roles in the previous two seasons.  Once again the "Moneyball Man" looks like he may come up roses one more year in the Division at least.

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core – and rotation for the 2014 year. Despite 3 of the slated Opening Day starters not currently with the club due to Tommy John Surgeries (Griffin and Parker) + Straily (Optioned to the Minors), added with early Bullpen woes, the team has righted the ship, and lead AL pitchers in collective ERA, (OBP and OPS against). Beane has allocated just around $34 MIL in players salary to his staff in 2014. He also made great judgement calls on departing pitcher Bartolo Colon, Brett Anderson and Grant Balfour – not duplicating key roles in the previous two seasons. Once again the “Moneyball Man” looks like he may come up roses one more year in the Division at least.

Billy Beane knows how to construct a Pitching Staff on a shoe string budget.

Not enough Pitching with double TJ Surgeries to A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker to have slowed the Rotation? Nope.

What about the loss of Bartolo Colon?  Hell no, that big guy is sporting an ERA of over 5.50 in an easier NL hitting league.

Scott Kazmir a risk?  Nope, wrong answer again thus far. The recipient of a 2 YRs Deal worth $22 MIL is a lot of money doled out from the A’s organization for a Free Agent Hurler.

All the 30 Year Old LHP has done in 2014, is lead the AL with a WHIP of 0.974, carried forth a 5 – 1 record, and a sparkling 2.28 ERA to date.

How about sophomore Sonny Gray having a tougher time peddling through the league for a second time?  Not a chance.

Gray is 3rd in the AL – with an ERA of 2.17, and has a 4 – 1 record himself. 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

Billy Beane’s Decision To Not Extend Mulder, Zito And Hudson Was The Right One: Money Ball At Its Best

Billy Beane will never spend a king's ransom for Pitchers on long-term deals or for big $$ because of injuries like Tommy John crippling your salary infrastructure for the whole time a player may be out.  Especially with smaller market teams, having too much invested with your pitchers can be catastrophic.  Even though Jarrod Parker is out for the year with TJ surgery, and A.J. Griffin may not be out of the wood for it either, the club is not hampered long-term financially by their injuries.  It hurts yes, but not as much as it could have.  He was forced into realizing the effects from losing Mulder, Zito and Hudson because the team couldn't afford to re-sign them.  But as you will read, it was a blessing.

Billy Beane will never spend a king’s ransom for Pitchers on long-term deals or for big $$ because of injuries like Tommy John crippling your salary infrastructure for the whole time a player may be out. Especially with smaller market teams, having too much invested with your pitchers can be catastrophic. Even though Jarrod Parker is out for the year with TJ surgery, and A.J. Griffin may not be out of the woods for it either, the club is not hampered long-term financially by their injuries. It hurts yes, but not as much as it could have. He was forced into realizing the effects from losing Mulder, Zito and Hudson because the team couldn’t afford to re-sign them a decade ago. But as you will read, it was a blessing in disguise.

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

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This has been an organization that has thrived on brilliant drafting of young arms. But in saying that. Billy Beane is a manager that will never throw out big dollars to retain Starting Pitching once the club has past the Team Controllable years.

In the early 2000’s, the team featured three ace pitchers in Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder

Billy Beane had to let each of them leave Oakland (in the winters of 2004 – Hudson/Mulder, and 2006 winter – Zito) because they couldn’t pay them the kind of dollars needed to secure them long term.

It was a decision that looked dire to start with while the team struggled from 2007 – 2011, but it also paved the way for a new run at AL West Division supremacy from 2012 to current.

Lets take another look at the decision on how it has worked out since then. Read the rest of this entry

Texas Rangers Roster For 2014: State Of The Union

Prince Fielder's 2013 - 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.819) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.916.  The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the playoffs either.  Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career.  Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to be an AL MVP Candidate for the Rangers in 2014.  I expect him to return to the 40+ HR plateau, drive in well over 100+ RBI - and lead his team to a World Series Appearance this year.

Prince Fielder’s 2013 – 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.457) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.527. The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the playoffs either. Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career. Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to be an AL MVP Candidate for the Rangers in 2014. I expect him to return to the 40+ HR plateau, drive in well over 100+ RBI – and lead his team to a World Series Appearance this year.  Fielder will be in Texas for the next 7 years, and the Rangers only have to pay $20 MIL per year, with Detroit eating $4 MIL each season as part of the trade that saw Ian Kinsler go to Motown.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Stay Alive Until Re-Inforcements Arrive

The Texas Rangers bolstered their 2014 offensive lineup with 2 new .400+ OBP Players.

Shin-Soo Choo (.423 OBP in 2013, and a Career .389 OBP), and Prince Fielder (.362 OBP, but was .400 OBP+ in 4 out of the last 5 years and .389 OBP for his lifetime) – will be front and center into the Rangers new lineup.

These gentlemen will be surrounded by Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios as guys to help offset their walk totals.

This is not an indictment of the 3 right handed hitters either though, Beltre is a .312 hitter for Texas during his 3 campaigns, while Alex Rios and Andrus should hit anywhere from .280 to .290 this year.

You add Andrus’s speed with Leonys Martin – and these two guys could swipe 40+ bags each.  Even Alex Rios thieved 16 Bags in 2013 – and Choo had 20 SB yet again. Read the rest of this entry

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

 

Yes Max Scherzer wrapped up the AL Cy Young with a most impressive season in 2013, but the club will be hard pressed to lock up his services beyond the 2014 campaign - when you factor the team wants to re-sign Cabrera in 2016, and also the club is already spending upwards of $45 MIL per year on Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez as part of the Starting Pitching Staff.  The team just put out a press release saying 'The club gave a substantial offer, that would have made the RHP, one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball, and he doth refused it."

Yes Max Scherzer wrapped up the AL Cy Young with a most impressive season in 2013, but with TJ surgery becoming so common place with today’s chuckers, who would want to risk that kind of jack for a pitcher one throw way from being sidelined for 12 – 14 months?  In my view it was a mistake not to accept the $$.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): – Credit to Bill Chuck For the Idea:  

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I think Max Scherzer should have taken the contract offer the Tigers threw his way this past weekend.  Reports say it was in the Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke range of 6 YRs/$144 – $147 MIL.

So now that the reigning AL Cy Young Winner didn’t take the deal, he must hope to replicate his 2013 campaign, or at least come some where near it.

Do I think he could make more on the open market, potentially yes.  But for a guy who has never been under a 3 ERA in any one given year, that is a tall order.

Also keep in mind his arm could sideline him with an injury at any point, so there is an inherent risk to not taking the deal.

One of out every 3 Major League Pitchers will go undergo Tommy John Surgery.

If you don’t think this procedure is an epidemic, go follow our ALL – Time TJ Surgery Tracker here.

Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Athletics State Of The Union: 2014 Preview

When does Beane ever sleep?   56 transactions over the last calendar year, and he may be prepping the phone with another rash of injuries to 60% of his Starting Staff.  Beane has at least addressed the teams depth for 15 years, and when you look at the salary for their Pitchers, you will be able to detect why.  They never overpay on long-term deals for Starters.

When does Beane ever sleep? 56 transactions over the last calendar year, and he may be prepping the phone with another rash of injuries to 60% of his Starting Staff. Beane has at least addressed the teams depth for next 2 – 3 years, and when you look at the salary for their Pitchers, you will be able to detect why. They never overpay on long-term deals for Starters.

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

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It has been a tough week in Oakland for the Starting Pitching.  Jarrod Parker will need Tommy John Surgery and is  out for the 2014 year.

A.J. Griffin received better news, but also will be sidelined for the near future with a UCL strain.

To complicate the opening roster even more, Scott Kazmir has Triceps soreness and is currently also on the shelf.

Billy Beane doesn’t seem that worried, as he has Tommy Milone and Jesse Chavez stretched out to work some starts if needed. Read the rest of this entry

MLB’s 2014 Most Likely To Class…….

PED use or not, Stem Cell technology, and who knows what else has aided Colon's body over the last 3 seasons of success.  Yes he was 18 - 6, with a 2.65 ERA - finishing 6th in AL Voting, however the A's went and paid someone else, and usually they are not wrong on guys.  The 40 Year Old from Dominican Republic, is also a gigantic man that decimated his hamstring during a PFP out in 2011 with NYY.  You have to think his lucky streak is numbered sooner or later - and especially on the basepaths in the NL hitting a few times a game.

PED use or not, Stem Cell technology, and who knows what else has aided Colon’s body over the last 3 seasons of success. Yes he was 18 – 6, with a 2.65 ERA – finishing 6th in AL Voting, however the A’s went and paid someone else, and usually they are not wrong on guys. The 40 Year Old from Dominican Republic, is also a gigantic man who decimated his hamstring during a PFP out in 2011 with NYY. You have to think his lucky streak is numbered sooner or later – and especially on the basepaths in the NL hitting a few times a game.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Remember when you graduated, or just had a school yearbook, and one of the best features was a ‘Most Likely To‘ Section.

It could have been John is most likely to succeed at playing football, or Sally will make a fortune by selling her clothes fashions to Hollywood Diva’s.

Lets do this for the MLB 2014 as it sits.

The Most Likely To Hit The DL after running to 1st is Bartolo Colon. Read the rest of this entry

San Diego Padres Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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I am not going to beat up the Padres in this article.  They have a tough division to contend with and need the new 2016 CBA to provide more of an equal playing field.

Here is some good news, the Padres only be losing 7 guys to Free Agency before the 2015 year, so if the young flock of talent can show some improvement, the future years look good.

Chase Headley, Chris Denorfia, Josh Johnson, Tim Stauffer, Huston Street, Seth Smith and Nick Hundley are up for the open market.  Look for the franchise to trade most of these guys near the Trade Deadline. Read the rest of this entry

The Top Remaining Free Agents Left In The MLB 2014 Season + The Rest

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With the latest signings (by Baltimore) of Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez, there is now just 3 Free Agents who come with the price tag of your 1st RD pick (or 1st available pick if you have been busy already this winter).

SS Stephen Drew is still on the open market despite several rumors about the Big Apple,  DH/1B Kendrys Morales is on the board, with teams dwindling in interest, and SP Ervin Santana rounds out the list.

Agents of these gentlemen are now threatening to hold out their players until after the MLB Amateur Draft (when the Draft Pick is no longer forfeited), in order to turn the leverage back to their guys.

I am not sure that is such a great idea, particularly in the cases of the hitters, who are not likely to warrant more than 3 year deals apiece. Read the rest of this entry

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