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Some MLB Trivia: 5 Questions + Birthdays June 20th

Happy Birthday To former MLB'er Carlos lee, one of the best RBI men in his generation.

Happy 38th Birthday To former MLB’er Carlos Lee – who was  one of the best RBI men in his generation.

Happy Birthday on June 20th to:

Dickie Thon, 56

Carlos Lee, 38

Andy Etchebarren, 71

Bill Werber, Made it to 100 years old when he passed, (June, 20, 1908, Jan .22. 2009) – would have been 106

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Houston Astros Roster In 2014 Part 1: How All Of The Hitters Were Acquired

The Astros decided to rebuild a few years ago  In doing so they traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, at first, and then have since also traded Bud Norris, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes.  Many of the transactions have given the team many of its current roster today, with many of the players also with the organization - while hardly any of the departing guys are with the team that dealt for them.  Today is the 1st part of a 2 parter seeing how the current club was assembled by the Astros.

The Astros decided to rebuild a few years ago In doing so they traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, at first, and then have since also traded Bud Norris, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes. Many of the transactions have given the team many of its current roster today, with many of the players also with the organization – while hardly any of the departing guys are with the team that dealt for them. Today is the 1st part of a 2 parter seeing how the current club was assembled by the Astros.

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

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At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Houston Astros – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching. 

It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.

Sometimes pitchers will be in the hitters part of the write-up and vice versa.  This is simply done when one side of hitter or pitcher is dealt for each other.  Read the rest of this entry

What Miguel Cabrera’s New Contract Means To The Tigers And Him

Miguel Cabrera‘s new 8 YR/$248 MIL contract extension comes days after the club couldn’t come to terms with reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

The numbers are mind boggling.

He breaks the ALL – Time record for Average Annual Contract per year is at $31 MIL AAV (from 2016 – 2023), and also he is owed the most dollars at any given time by a contract at $292 MIL for the years of 2014 – 2023.

This man is the best pure offensive player in the game, and has only become better with age, but a lot of people are worried about the back end of this deal.

I fully understand that. Read the rest of this entry

The Homer Bailey Extension Is Good For The Short Term In Cincy: Not Sure About The Long – Term Though

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Homer Bailey may be the 3rd Starting Pitcher on the depth chart, but he happened to be the 1st guy up on Free Agency out of Mat Latos (2016 FA) and Johnny Cueto (2016 FA).

For this reason alone, I like the team extending the 27 Year Old to a 6 YR deal worth a minimum of $105 MIL, and with a Mutual Option for $25 MIL for the 2020 campaign – that could make it a 7 YRs/$125 MIL pact.

The deal starts off pretty good for dollar sense in the first two years, with Bailey making $8 MIL in 2014, and $9 MIL in 2015.

From there if I can borrow a line from Anchorman “That escalated quickly”, the next few years go like this, $18 MIL, $19 MIL, $21 MIL and $23 MIL for the years starting in 2016 – and finishing in 2019. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Freddie Freeman Is 29th With His New Deal – But It Makes Sense

Freddie Freeman Highlights 2013 – Mature Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Freddie Freeman is worth the money he just signed for when it comes to his talent level, age and production thus far.

Yesterday, the 24 Year Old First Baseman inked a 8 YR deal worth $135 MIL with the Tomahawk Choppers.  As someone who was just entering the 1st year of Arbitration Eligibility, he was bought out of that negotiation.

The Braves will pay more money in the short – term, but will make up for it in the long run – by not having to dole out 200+ MIL bucks for the guy once he could have hit Free Agency. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Masahiro Tanaka Is 18th

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan.  At his current $10 MIL a year salary, he is a complete bargain compared to what Tanaka received from the Yankees.  It was because of the record posting fee the Rangers doled out - to have the exclusive rights to talk to Darvish.  You have to wonder what he must be thinking of the Tanaka deal.  bunch of financial freedom to sign other long term deals.  Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 - 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013.  Darvish's high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll.

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan. At his current $10 MIL a year salary, he is a complete bargain compared to what Tanaka received from the Yankees. It was because of the record posting fee the Rangers doled out – to have the exclusive rights to talk to Darvish. You have to wonder what he must be thinking of the Tanaka deal. Texas reaped the benefits of financial freedom to sign other long term deals like Choo, and acquire Fielder based on this move. Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 – 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013. His high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With Masahiro Tanaka’s new deal – for the 1st time all of the MLB’s ALL-Time top 50 contracts are $100 MIL or more.

Adam Wainwright was effectively bumped out of the #50 slot, leaving 4 guys tied for 47th, all registering deals of $100 MIL (Carlos Lee, Ryan Zimmerman, Albert Pujols (2004 – 2010) and Evan Longoria.

Masahiro Tanaka also joins Robinson CanoClayton KershawShin-Soo Choo and new teammate Jacoby Ellsbury, as players that have made it to the list this offseason.

Masahiro Tanaka’s Japan Highlights

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“The Record” Clayton Kershaw Contract By The Numbers: How It All Stacks Up

Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YRs/$215 MIL extension t- that will run through the years of 2014 - 2020 with the LA Dodgers.   The deal is slated for an opt out clause after the 2018 season by Kershaw, when he will be only 30 years old.

Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YRs/$215 MIL extension – that will run through the years of 2014 – 2020 with the LA Dodgers. The deal is slated for an opt out clause after the 2018 season by Kershaw, when he will be only 30 years old.  The terms go like this for years.  2014:  $22 MIL ( $18 MIL signing bonus is part of that), 2015: $30 MIL, 2016: $32 MIL, 2017 and 2018 he will earn $33 MIL).  From here that will have been $150 MIL for the 1st 5 years of the contract.  If Kershaw remains past this, the deal pays $32 MIL in 2019 – and finally $33 MIL in 2020.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The verdict is in.  Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YR Extension for $215 Million.

It is the highest Annual Average Contract ($30.7 MIL) in the history of Major League Baseball, topping A-Rod’s previously set deal worth $27.5 MIL.

The deal is also the richest contract ever in Pitching history – surpassing Justin Verlander’s 7 YRs/$180 MIL extension from 2013 – 2019.

It is the 6th highest deal ever in the MLB, and Kershaw becomes the 7th player ever to receive a contract north of $200 MIL.

Clayton Kershaw Highlights 2013

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The Top 50 Contracts Of All – Time In The MLB

Technically A-Rod has received the two top contracts in baseball history, however he opted out after the 2007 year for the 1st one, so really it was a 7 Year Deal worth approximately $158 MIL that was paid out to him between 2000 and the end of the year in 2007.  Rodriguez contract from 2008 - 2017 also includes $30 MIL worth of player performances for passing milestones.

Technically A-Rod has received the two top contracts in baseball history, however he opted out after the 2007 year for the 1st one, so really it was a 7 Year Deal worth approximately $158 MIL that was paid out to him between 2000 and the end of the year in 2007. Rodriguez contract from 2008 – 2017 also includes $30 MIL worth of player performances for passing milestones.

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

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I start this paragraph saying that it blows my mind away that Alex Rodriguez has the #1 and #2 best contracts of ALL-Time.  This is sick.

At least he might forfeit up to $21 MIL of his salary in 2014, and another $5 – $7 MIL in 2015 – if the 211 game ban sticks. 

Therefore can we really say that he would have the top 2 earnings leaders for any given contract?  He would have to give up $27.51 MIL of it for that to happen.

Pujols would take over the reigns as the #2 contract with his 10 YRs/$250 MIL deal then.

Some of them are classic overpays, and others actually have netted the franchise their true value back and then more.  You can be your own judge.

Albert Pujols 2012 Highlight Mix – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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Houston Astros State Of The Union Address: Fall 2013

From 1992 - 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span.  They won 4 Division Titles, 8 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs.  After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild.  Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.

From 1992 – 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span. They won 4 Division Titles, 8 – 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs. After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild. Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.  Now with 3 105+ Loss seasons, and back to back 1st overall picks, the team has begun the process.  An ownership changed mirrored the last transference of all the remaining Veterans from the previous regime.  How long will it take for the Astros to compete again?

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

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The Astros had one of the easiest years to peg down in the game of baseball for 2013.

They were horrible early, traded away every possible Veteran that were making any kind of cash on the Major League Level, and then proceeded to be even worse after the ALL – Star Game.

The worst part of the campaign was left for the end, where they promptly lost their last 15 games – to finish with a record of 51 – 111.

It was their 3rd straight 100+ Loss season.  But overlooking the obvious is that they actual drew a few more fans in 2013 – compared to 2012.

That was more a symptom of the club moving to the American League.  At least they were not last in the league for Attendance, like payroll.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers Roster Tree: How All Of The Hitters Were Acquired

Andre Ethier finished 6th in NL MVP Voting during the 2009 season. It has been his best year to date. He hit 31 HRs, added 106 RBI, 76 XBH Overall and scored 92 Runs.  He won a Silver Slugger Award for his efforts.  Ethier was acquired through a chain of transactions that goes all the way back to when the team drafted Mike Piazza (who was traded for Gary Sheffield), who was traded for

Andre Ethier finished 6th in NL MVP Voting during the 2009 season. It has been his best year to date. He hit 31 HRs, added 106 RBI, 76 XBH Overall and scored 92 Runs. He won a Silver Slugger Award for his efforts. Ethier was acquired through a chain of transactions that goes all the way back to when the team drafted Mike Piazza (who was traded for Gary Sheffield), who was traded for Andrew Brown from Atlanta, (who was later flipped for Milton Bradley from Cleveland, before lA turned around and traded Bradley to the A’s for Andre Ethier.)

How All Of The Dodgers Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Los Angeles Dodgers – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

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LA Dodgers Payroll In 2013: And Contracts Going Forward

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Thursday Mar.28/2013

Adrian Gonzalez flew into LA last year  and paid immediate dividends as he clubbed a 3 run HR in the 1st Inning with his new team. Gonzalez is in the 3rd year of a 7 YR/154 Million Dollar Contract. At age 30, he is a career .294 hitter with 214 HRs and 750 RBI in 1176 Games.  Perhaps a full season back in California will re – ignite his MVP like numbers with the Padres during the 2009 and 2010 seasons – where he hit 71 HRs, drove in 200 RBI and hit for an OPS well over .900.  He also is a 3 Time Gold Glove Award Winner in the National League.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst And Website Owner):

I must say I am completely shocked at the Dodgers spending as much money as they are since the ownership change.  I listened to Magic say how he ‘was not going to do anything stupid’, I will give him this much.  However, the amount of payroll the team has taken on is enormous.  The Dodgers are going to be over 200 Million Dollars in Payroll for years to come. 

After I put their top ten salaries on the board, I will break down the rest of the roster to analyze some more projections for salary.  The Dodgers have about 218 Million Dollars in signed contracts. 

If you can believe this next part, they even are paying Manny Ramirez 8.33 Million Dollars still in 2013, Andruw Jones 3.375 Million and Huroki Kuroda 2.0 Million.  That is roughly 13 Million Dollars on guys that are no longer in your organization.

Back to the trades that have brought in several players.  I do agree for the mentality of it.  The Dodgers fans were given a raw deal by the past management and the new guys are showing the rest of the MLB that they intend to be the big dog. 

With Cole Hamels re-signing with the Phillies, their coveted starter was no longer available in Free Agency.  Gonzalez was there to be had if they would take on the Carl Crawford/Josh Beckett contracts. 

The team went out and signed Zack  Greinke (15 – 5 with a 3.48 ERA split between the Brewers and Angels)  instead.

Here is a nice highlight clip of Carl Crawford below.  As a side note:  The only inside the park Home Run I have ever witnessed at a game live was hit by Carl Crawford at Us Cellular Field in 2008.  He was one of the best lead-off hitters back then.

Carl Crawford Highlights – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Granderson Is Out For 10 Weeks: What Can Cashman Do?

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Monday, February.25, 2013

Granderson has back to back 40 HR years with the Yankees. New York can ill afford to be without a productive LF for the 1st quarter of the year.  I believe they should make a trade to bolster their team.  When Granderson comes back, you could always have an extra player for depth still.

Granderson has had back to back 40 HR years with the Yankees in 2011 and 2012. New York can ill afford to be without a productive LF for the 1st quarter of this season. I believe they should make a trade to bolster their team. When Granderson comes back, you would always have an extra player for depth still.

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

The start of the season is starting to look extremely bleak for the Yankees so far.  Derek Jeter is coming off of a broken ankle, A-Rod is out indefinitely with (insert whatever ailment here) until after the ALL-Star Game, Mariano Rivera is 43 – and trying to make it through one more season after tearing up his ACL last year, Phil Hughes is having back spasms, Joba Chamberlain seems healthy – (but you never what freak injury is going to happen to him next,) Michael Pineda is still recovering from shoulder Surgery, so what else was going to happen?  Add Curtis Granderson and a fractured right forearm to the walking wounded list.

This injury should alarm the Yankees and their fans.  The team is not strong depth-wise, as they have been in decades, so “The ‘Grandy Man’ not being able to play until early May should cause New York GM Brian Cashman to explore all of his options.  Like I have said in previous articles – ‘Financial Armageddon’ is coming for the club in 2014, plus the team is rapidly becoming older by the year.  It is safe to say that this year might be the last kick at a championship for some time.  What may the Yankees do to replace Granderson for the 1st quarter of the season?

Juan Rivera hits a Walk-Off for the Dodgers:

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Chris Carter: The Future Star That Will Make Billy Beane Regret His Trade Mistake

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Monday February 11th, 2013

Chris Carter had a 3 Slash Line of .239/.350/.864 in 218 AB during the 2012 season. He clubbed 16 HRs and 39 RBI. He hit 11 HRs in just 122 AB away from o.co Coliseum. At just Age 26 - and team controllable until 2019, it is weird that Billy Beane would trade away the slugging 1B/DH

Chris Carter: A career .283 hitter in the minors, with a .378 OBP and .535 SLG. The perfect combination of power and patience. He will prove to be the one that got away from Billy Beane.

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

Mark down the date of February 4th, 2013. The day that Billy Beane broke my heart. In preparing for my latest A’s feature, the working title of the article was “Chris Carter: The Next Great A’s Superstar”. Then fate intervened. Or rather, Beane decided to pull off one too many trades. After a successful offseason that saw the A’s GM bolster significantly bolster his playoff squad, Beane decided that one more blockbuster move was in order. Jed Lowrie was headed to Oakland, with Chris Carter (the good one), Max Stassi and Brad Peacock going over to the Astros. For the purpose of this piece, I will be focusing on the loss of Carter. Stassi is a former 4th round pick of the A’s and a young 21 Year Old catching prospect. With Derek Norris ready to grab the A’s catching job for the next decade, I can see how he was expandable. Peacock was a 41st round pick of the Nationals. A 25 Year Old arm that may develop one day, but crashed and burned last season in AAA. With the A’s pitching depth, I can see how he could be ticketed out-of-town for a change of scenery. But Chris Carter?  Really Billy??!! You worked your magic to get him in the first place from the Diamondbacks. I certainly hope that your return pans out (Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez). Right now, I simply cannot see the logic of this move.


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Luhnow Spins His Trade Magic Again For The Astros In: Get Carter

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Wednesday Feb.6, 2013

Lowrie had a stellar 1st half, cracking 14 HRs and 36 RBI, while holding a 3 Slash Line of .253/.343/.803.  He slumped to a .200/.273/.606 in the 2nd half slump after being hurt in July.  He is 28 Years Old and under team control for the A's only through the 2014 seaseon.

Lowrie had a stellar 1st half, cracking 14 HRs and 36 RBI, while holding a 3 Slash Line of .253/.343/.803. He slumped to a .200/.273/.606 in a 2nd half slump after being hurt in July. He is 28 Years Old and under team control for the A’s only through the 2014 season.

By Richard Perez (Astros Correspondent):

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Astros have traded Shortstop Jed Lowrie and Pitcher Fernando Rodriguez to the Oakland A’s for Chris Carter, Brad Peacock, and Minor leaguer Max Stassi. Astros mastermind General Manager Jeff Luhnow worked out another amazing trade, getting anybody to agree to take Fernando Rodriguez all on its own is a miracle, but getting more than what he’s worth is astounding.

He’s worked nothing but pure trade magic during his first full calendar year with the club, dumping off Dan Carpenter, Brandon Lyon, AND Carlos Lee over the course of last season. Not to mention plenty other players he traded as well, yielding a number a top prospects, making the Astros’ farm system go from worst to first.

Jed Lowrie Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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The Most Underrated Statistic: Extra Base Hits (XBH)

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Saturday, February.02/2013

Alex  Rodriguez is the Active Leader for XBH with 1190, however who knows when he will have a chance to resume his career again and is still owed 114 Million Dollars over the next 5 years

Alex Rodriguez is the Active Leader for XBH with 1190, however who knows when he will have a chance to resume his career again with injuries + allegations of PED use perhaps sparking an investigation/suspension for the MLB and is still owed 114 Million Dollars over the next 5 years.

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

I have nothing against sabermetrics in baseball.  Yes I know they are not going away and I will probably learn them one day as someone who can comprehend Math pretty good.  However, I understand the frustration of the casual fan who will not set a foot near them – although they know what Home Runs and Runs Batted In are.  I have thrown the topic out for discussion on Twitter – and am extremely curious to see what percentage of fans actually follow the new numbers formats.  This site totally allows our writers to convey any form of statistical analysis they want.  The only thing that I request, is that if  they use sabermetrics, to also add some regular stats with them.

One of the stats that can gauge any era since the beginning of baseball is Extra Base Hits.  Before the fences were brought in (or even put up), Doubles and Triples could be hit at any time.  Singles are great in the game too.  There have been several great baseball players that are singles hitters, that also compiled a bunch of Doubles and Triples.  That is why this statistic is fairest to all of the hitters in the history of the game and the most comparable.  Like the old saying, (hit’em where they ain’t), players that can hit the baseball into the open areas of the outfield are special.  Babe Ruth re-coined the phrase later when he said “Well they ain’t over the fence, so that’s where I hit them!”  The Bambino was right.  In the course of this article, we will list the top active list for this category – and some underrated hitters that may stack up nicely against historical hitters.

(Pete Rose Highlights):

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Is A Return to the Astros in the Cards For Lance Berkman?

Sunday December 2nd, 2012

Lance Berkman spent from 1999-2010 with the Houston Astros amassing 326 HRs and 1090 RBI with a stat line of .296/.410/.959.  With HOU moving to the AL West, will they make him a contract offer to possibly DH?

Lance Berkman spent from 1999-2010 with the Houston Astros amassing 326 HRs and 1090 RBI with a stat line of .296/.410/.959. With HOU moving to the AL West, will they make him a contract offer to possibly DH?

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer):

With the move to the American League West, the Houston Astros are likely years away from contending in one of the toughest divisons in baseball. So basically, the Astros won’t be in the market for immediate impact players because that type of approach likely won’t get them anywhere in the standings. There’s one exception, though—Lance Berkman.

Berkman played with the Astros for 12 years before being traded to the Yankees in the midst of  the 2010 season, and eventually signing with the Cardinals where he has spent the last two years. Given his age (36) and his derailed body, Berkman might choose to end his career with the team that drafted and brought him up. It would be bittersweet for both sides involved, and something positive for a struggling Astros’ organization. 

The timing for the Astros and Berkman to reunite is seemingly perfect. See, if the Astros still played in the National League, it would be unlikely that Berkman could endure another year of wear and tear on his fragile frame. Well, he could, but the likelihood of him suffering an injury would balloon dramatically. Luckily, the Astros now have the benefit of the designated hitter. It’s like adding another hitter. This is where Berkman comes into play. Read the rest of this entry

2013 WBC Qualifiers: Groups 3 and 4 Preview

Wednesday November 14th, 2012

Sam Evans: The WBC is coming to Panama and Taiwan! Qualifier 3 and Qualifier 4 both begin on November 15th.  Group 3 will feature Panama, Brazil, Nicaragua and Colombia. Group 4 includes Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, the Philippines and Thailand. Who will advance out of these two qualifying rounds? Keep reading to find out.

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Houston…We Have a Problem: The Astros Are in for a Painful Rebuild

Thursday August 9th, 2012

John Burns:  With a 36-76 record the Houston Astros have been the laughing-stock of baseball this season. Houston is going into a complete rebuilding phase after trading the very few veterans they had, such as: Carlos Lee to Miami, Wandy Rodriguez to Pittsburgh, Brett Myers to Chicago (White Sox), Chris Johnson to Arizona, and J.A. Happ to Toronto. It is safe to say that Houston was definitely a seller at the recent non-waiver trade deadline and they made the right decision. They had one of the best deadlines in my opinion because they got rid of players that they were not going to win with and got very talented prospects in return. With the load of prospects Houston received, they will most definitely need several of their new young players to pan out if Houston plans to contend in the A.L. West one day. Oh yeah… I forgot to mention the worst team in baseball is going to one of the best divisions in baseball in 2013. A difficult situation is about to get a whole lot tougher. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: August 2012

Monday August.6/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- It has been a crazy month in which teams have stockpiled some heavy talent at the trade deadline to get ready for the playoffs.  Amongst the biggest gainers for the rankings this month were: the Athletics, Reds, Braves, Tigers, Dodgers (because of the deals) and Mariners while the Mets, Red Sox, Indians and Royals saw brutal months all but seal their playoff fates.  I do think that Boston has a punchers chance but that all is dependent on David Ortiz returning to the lineup swiftly.  The power of the best teams is definitely leaning to the National League right now where several teams are playing great baseball.  With one-third of the season left we are all in for a treat as baseball fans.

I will have one more regular season Power Rankings month of September (to be posted on Labor Day Weekend,)  before I also provide a playoff style ranking of the 1-10 seeds right before the Wild Card Teams play the play in game.  It certainly has been awesome to follow how the trade deadline has effected the Monthly Rankings this time around.  I think it is safe to say that this years deadline provided more interest and following-from even the casual fan more than any other year before.  I also believe that the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is now the best Trade Deadline in all of sports.  Social Media has a lot to do with this but so does parity.  The 2nd Wild Card spot has also created more teams willing to trade prospects in lieu of going for it. Read the rest of this entry

Major League Baseball Needs to Adopt An Amnesty Clause

Wednesday December 28, 2011



Jeff P (Guest Writer – MLB reports):  The amnesty clause has received a great deal of attention in the National Basketball Association, as it became a new provision in the new collective bargaining system. The amnesty clause allows a team to terminate a player’s contract, though it comes with certain conditions and restrictions.

First of all, if a player is amnestied, his contract doesn’t go against the salary cap. As a result, players like Chauncey Billups, Travis Outlaw, and others with large contracts, were amnestied. However, only one player per team can be amnestied. When this occurs, he goes to the waiver wire, and teams can proceed to bid for his services.

An amnesty clause would help many MLB teams lower their financial deficits. It might not make players happy, but business is business, and in many cases an amnesty clause is very much-needed.

The amnesty clause not only helps a team clear financial deficit. It can also play a huge role for a team that needs to acquire just one small missing piece in the quest for a championship. Without a doubt, if an amnesty clause is put into place, there will be some talented players available on the waiver wire.  It will be enjoyable for fans to follow the player movement. New players could change the look of different teams. A new available player could take a team to the playoffs. He can help his new team succeed.  Having an amnesty clause in place could prove to be very beneficial to all teams involved, financially and in competitive balance.

Currently Major League Baseball  has no form of amnesty clause in place. Even so, let’s take the time today to project if it was. Here is a look of each MLB team if an amnesty clause was in effect in Major League Baseball.

Boston Red Sox

The Victim: John Lackey

He had the Boston Red Sox record for the highest earned run average in at least 150 innings in 2011. He is getting paid over $15 million each season. He posted 12 horrific losses, and had a 6.41 earned run average, not to mention he is expected to miss the whole 2012 MLB season, due to Tommy John surgery. The unlucky man’s name is John Lackey.

It all started off on December 16, 2009, when John Lackey signed an eye-opening contract worth $82.5 million dollars over 5 years with the Boston Red Sox. He had a disappointing start as he posted a 14-11 record, with a 4.40 ERA in 2010, and topped that off with a 12-12 record, and a 6.41 earned run average in 2011 and the announcement that he would miss the 2012 season with Tommy John surgery.

His contract is up in 2014.

It is clear to say, John Lackey should be a victim of the amnesty clause.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Victim: Mark Teahen

The Blue Jays don’t need this amnesty clause, since they have been considerably lucky and careful with the contracts of their players.

Mark Teahen was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Chicago White sox near the trade deadline in July. He finished off the 2011 season with a .200 average, four homers, and 14 runs batted in. He is getting paid $5.5 million this coming season, which is the last season of his contract.

Teahen, really doesn’t have much of a role in 2012 as part of the Blue Jays organization. As a backup, a player with $5.5 million contract, in a small market team is enough to be amnestied.

New York Yankees

The Victims: Alex Rodriguez, A.J. Burnett

Yes, there can only be only one victim in the clause, but it was too close to call.

Alex Rodriguez had an off-year. He played less than 100 games, and only posted decent stats. Rodriguez is a good player, and would be a Yankee fixture likely for many more years to come. But he has the largest contract in the league, which must be terminated. He is getting paid almost $30 million per season throughout 2017, and is declining, as next season he will turn 37-years-old.

The Yankees can get much better pieces with the large contract he has.

A.J. Burnett has come off another terrible season, and has shown no signs of getting better. He is receiving about $16.5 million per year throughout the 2013 season, and has given the Yankees nothing but trouble. For the past two seasons, he posted an earned run average above five, and the Yankees would have no reason in the world not to terminate his contract if they had a choice.

Baltimore Orioles

The Victim: Brian Roberts

This was an easy one. Brian Roberts’ season was filled with injuries, and his bat is going into decline. Despite Roberts’ speed and strong defense, overall a .221 average, three homers, and only six steals, do not justify his large contract.

Brian Roberts has $10 million per year remaining on his contract through to the 2013 season. As he gets older and continues his decline, the former all-star’s playing days are nearing an end. With a large contract, it is clear that Roberts would be amnestied if the team had the choice.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Victims: No One

I’ll be honest here, the Tampa Bay Rays have been extremely lucky. The Rays have a terrific team, even as a small market team, and their players played very well during the past season. In fact, the Rays aren’t even paying very high salaries to any players, with the largest salary they have being around $7 million, which is going to James Shields, who was a contender for the Cy Young award last year.

Chicago White Sox

The Victim: Adam Dunn

Adam Dunn, is getting paid $15 million per season through 2014, yet he did not exhibit any valuable skills during his first season in Chicago. His power was barely existent, his average barely got past the .150 mark, and his defensive skills are negligible. Even though the White Sox have Jake Peavy, and Alex Rios, who aren’t worthy of their contracts, they are still playable.

Adam Dunn is just horrible. He is not a useful piece at this point in the White Sox puzzle.

Cleveland Indians

The Victim: Travis Hafner

Travis Hafner has been a nice contributor in previous seasons, but he isn’t worthy of his whopping $13 million per year contract.

In 94 games last season, Hafner posted 13 homers, and a decent .280 average. Hafner is still a good player, although he is not the same player as the 2005 season Hafner, or the 2006 season Hafner where he was contending for the MVP award. Hafner remains a clutch player and positive influence in the dugout, but his contract is slightly high for an aging 34-year-old.

Kansas City Royals

The Victim: No One

The Royals’ team is filled with youth, and cheap pieces. The Royals contracts aren’t very bad as a whole. Their main star, Joakim Soria, had a slumping season last year. Since his contract is made up entirely of options, there is no reason in the world to amnesty him. Also Soria is still an elite player. The Kansas City Royals are looking at some great youth coming up to the big leagues, and own arguably the best farm system in the league.

Detroit Tigers

The Victim: Brandon Inge

Brandon Inge is a clear victim. $5.5 million in salary makes him a clear candidate for amnesty, while his batting average didn’t hit the .200 point, and he only had three homers last season. Despite his strong defensive side, and being a piece to the team, he’d be dropped.

The Tigers, remain a successful team, with large contracts, yet none deserve to be terminated. In the averaged Detroit market, $5.5 million for a player who has no offensive side is a clear victim for the amnesty clause.

Minnesota Twins

The Victim: Joe Mauer

Yes, this is the same Joe Mauer who won MVP a few years ago.  But does he really deserve $23 million annually?

The answer to that question is no. Mauer had an unexpected downfall in the 2011 season, where he only played 82 games, batted .287 (36 points less than his career average), and hit only three homers. His plagued season earns him the amnesty spot. He isn’t consistent on the field, nor is he healthy. No one here can argue $23 million is well deserved at this point.  Too much risk for us.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Victim: Vernon Wells

When we hear the name Vernon Wells, the thoughts are apparent: a once powerful bat, with a whopping contract. Wells was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the last offseason for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. Napoli had an outstanding breakout season while Vernon Wells just proved he can’t hit a ground ball through the middle.

Wells has a well-known name. He is a three-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner, and had a nice batting average once upon a time. When a person looks at his whopping contract, the jaws are widened, and the name will get cut off the list with amnesty.  If only it were that simple for the Angels.

Seattle Mariners

The Victim: Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki had a horrific 2011 season despite his 40 stolen bases, which is a mere luxury for the team considering Chone Figgins, and various other sources of speed on the team. The Mariners would be quick to amnesty Ichiro, because his bat is slumping, average is down, he has no power, and speed in itself isn’t worth $17 million a year.

Texas Rangers

The Victim: No One

The Rangers do not have many problems with contracts, and have none worth the amnesty clause. They really need little work with their team, and are only a little step away from winning their rings, which they almost got each of the last two years.

Oakland Athletics

The Victim: Brian Fuentes

The Athletics are a small market team, but received little help from the closer who had absolutely no luck last year, which resulted in eight losses on his record. Brian Fuentes in actually doesn’t deserve to be amnestied, considering he had a decent 3.70 earned run average. Fuentes is set to earn $5.5 million this year.

With the contract being large for a small market team, and his unsuccessful 2-8 record, they would cut him in a second.

New York Mets

The Victim: Jason Bay

The Mets are plagued with their high, unsuccessful payroll, and with often injured Johan Santana and Jason Bay. There is a lot to say about Bay, as he was signed for a whopping $16 million per year, failed to reach the .250 batting average mark, and didn’t even provide a power bat, as he posted only 12 homers during the 2011 season.

Johan Santana, can also be a likely victim. Santana, is going to get paid a whopping $24 million next year, and still might be plagued with his constant injuries. Santana has lost a great deal of time due to injuries, although he still has a nice chance to come back with a successful future in a Mets uniform. Bay though is a lost case in my estimation, and the Mets without amnesty would need to suffer with him throughout the 2013 season.

Florida Marlins

The Victim: Ricky Nolasco

The Marlins have a new team, a new star, an above average pitcher in Mark Buehrle, and some depth adding to it.

Ricky Nolasco posted a horrific 4.67 earned run average last year, and had 12 losses. This could result in an amnesty clause cut. Nolasco’s contract isn’t very pretty, as he still has a remaining $20.5 million through the next two seasons.

Nolasco is still a decent piece, and would be picked up by a team, for reasonable money.  He has good skills, but his stats ruin his chances of being worth a big contract in the Major League Baseball market.

Washington Nationals

The Victim: Jayson Werth

The Nationals have an up-and-coming team. They have Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, some nice depth, given their current roster, and of course, the newly acquired Gio Gonzales. However, Jayson Werth is a failure, and is set to receive $116 million over the next six years.

Jayson Werth had a horrific season in 2011, giving the Nationals troubles all season long. Werth posted 20 homers last year, but only had a .232 average, as he showed similar symptoms of slumping power hitting, as did Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and several others.

With an amnesty clause, the Nationals would cut Werth with a blink. Werth had a terrible season, and didn’t satisfy any of the Nationals needs.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Victim: Joe Blanton

The Philadelphia Phillies have an All-Star rotation, and Joe Blanton just doesn’t make the cut. Joe Blanton, had an injury-plagued season in 2011, and Vance Worley took his spot, and was extremely successful. Rookie Vance Worley unexpectedly posted eleven wins, a 3.01 earned run average, and earned a spot in the rotation.

With Joe Blanton slumping and barely playing last season, his $8.5 million contract coming into the bank in 2012, he is a clear cut for the Phillies.

Atlanta Braves

The Victim: No One

There’s really is no one to choose from the team. The Braves, had a good season, and their players succeeded greatly. Derek Lowe was dealt, Chipper Jones was an All-Star, and Dan Uggla had a late season surge. There is no one left. Their team is set, if only there was an amnesty to cut Derek Lowe’s remaining $10 million dollar contract.

Cincinnati Reds

The Victim: Scott Rolen

Scott Rolen had his time. The Reds are going to pay Rolen $6.5 million next year, while he only posted a .242 batting average. The Reds are clear to cut him despite his attitude as a great teammate, and his decent glove.

Bronson Arroyo is another candidate, though his season was a really big slump. For some reason, the feeling inside me tells that he will have a nice season next year.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Victim: Randy Wolf

The Wolf is out of the house. Wolf had a nice season last year, but can the 35-year-old continue his winning ways?

Wolf will be receiving $9.5 million next year, and the hopes are pretty low him. Not many believe he will be worthy of $9.5 million, including the Brewers. Soon enough, he will be the victim of amnesty clause.

Houston Astros

The Victim: Carlos Lee

Unfortunately for the Houston Astros, with all honesty, their team is horrific.  So horrific that Carlos Lee is their star.

Carlos Lee is set to receive a whopping $19 million a year, and he is expected to have a similar year to this past year, which was 18 homers, a .275 batting average, and 94 runs batted in. Despite his decent stats, the $19 million really hurts.  The Astros wouldn’t mind oto cut Lee in a second, if the amnesty clause rule was in effect.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Victim: No One

Did anyone realize the Pittsburgh Pirates payroll is only $10 million more dollars than Alex Rodriguez’s contract?

Yep, it’s $42 million this coming season, and they have no immediate victims worth using the amnesty clause. They aren’t even paying a single player more than $5.5 million. That is insanity in this day and age.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Victim: No One

The Cardinals players as a whole were extremely successful this year. There was Lance Berkman, who coming off a slumping season broke out in 2011, with a 30 homer, .300 batting average season. Kyle Lohse had a surprising 3.39 earned run average, and 14 deserving wins. The Cards are in good shape going into 2012.

Chicago Cubs

The Victim: Alfonso Soriano

If only a team can use the amnesty clause an unlimited amount of times. The Chicago Cubs have Alfonso Soriano, who is receiving $18 million per season throughout 2014. They also have the clubhouse hell known as Carlos Zambrano.

Alfonso Soriano makes the cut.  The 35-year-old enjoyed a nice power season last year, as he posted 26 homers, though his .244 average makes him a clear choice for the cut. The seven time All-Star is on a downfall, and he would be the Cubs choice if there was an amnesty clause rule.

San Francisco Giants

The Victim: Barry Zito

The San Francisco Giants, have a strong rotation, and similar to the situation the Phillies had with Joe Blanton, the Giants have a decision to make with Barry Zito.

Barry Zito has $39 million remaining on his contract for the next two years.  His injury-plagued season may cause him to be lost, and stuck with no spot. Replacing Barry Zito in the rotation was Ryan Vogelsong in 2011, who had a 13-7 win to loss record, and a 2.71 earned run average. Zito is now working in Triple-A after suffering from two hectic injuries in the 2011 season.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Victim: No One

The Diamondbacks had a whopping breakout season last year, and have almost no financial issues either. They have a clear path to be successful in the upcoming years.  As their total payroll is only $56 million, there is no reason to cut anyone at the moment (especially since Joe Saunders is off the roster).

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Victim: Juan Uribe
The Los Angeles Dodgers are completely plagued by financial difficulties. Frank McCourt gives the team financial chills, and as a result the player who would be cut is Juan Uribe.

Juan Uribe is a terrible batter at the moment. After playing 77 games in 2011, he barely hit over .200, and only posted four homers. He has $15 million remaining on his contract, and with those stats, who would want to pay for that?

Colorado Rockies

The Victim: Jorge De La Rosa

After suffering a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, the Rockies would be bound to drop De La Rosa. Jorge De La Rosa had an average season last year despite being injury-plagued and inconsistent.

The last thing Rockies want is another dominant player having injury issues in the 2012 season. With Carlos Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki suffering injuries last, year the last thing the Rockies want is $10 million dollar starter Jorge De La Rosa on the roster, and unable to contribute.  The team needs to free up money for healthy alternatives.

San Diego Padres

The Victim: Jason Bartlett

The San Diego Padres, are financially in no deficit. In 2011 their payroll barely exceeded 45 million dollars, though they wouldn’t hesitate to cut an unneeded player.

Jason Bartlett, is a decent player, though his bat is unworthy of $5.5 million.  He has a nice defensive side, and he has decent speed, though it is difficult to overlook his .245 batting average, and two homers last season.

The 32-year old had a paltry .307 slugging percentage last season, which was an all-time MLB record for the lowest slugging percentage for a player with over 512 at bats in a season.

***Today’s feature was prepared by Jeff P, Guest Writer to MLB reports.  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 Jeff on Twitter.***


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The Astros Move To The AL West

Sunday  October 30, 2011

MLB reports – Sam Evans:  As an amazing 2011 MLB postseason has come to a close, it’s time to look ahead to next year. The Houston Astros have been,” looking forward to the next year,” since the last time they made the playoffs in 2006. It’s time for a change in Houston and Bud Selig and Jim Crane are currently working on a plan to make a big-time change for baseball’s future in Houston.

Times have been hard recently for Astros fans. Widely considered the worst team in baseball, the Astros home attendance has steadily decreased every year since 2006. They haven’t had a winning season since 2008 and their minor league system shows only small glimmers of hope on the way.

In the middle of June, rumors began  floating around that the Astros would move to the American League, as early as the 2013 season. This would provide each league with an even fifteen teams and six five team divisions. Also, you have to think that Major League Baseball wants to start a rivalry between the Astros and the Rangers. Well now in October, these rumors have become more serious and now it appears inevitable that the Astros will be realigned to the American League West.

Although we don’t know when exactly this move will take place,we have figured out that it will happen. It will be interesting to see if the Astros shop for a DH this or next offseason because if they do move by 2013, having nine Major League quality hitters in their lineup would be a big asset. It would make sense for them to bring back Carlos Lee if they were indeed moving to the AL, because he would be a much more productive DH than an outfielder.

I actually think that this would be a good move both for MLB and for the Astros. For MLB, they finally fix the glaring trivia answer which is, why there is an uneven number of teams in each league.  Balanced divisions, until increased to 32 Major League teams by way of expansion, will lead to an unbalanced schedule.  15 teams per league means that there will need to be an interleague game scheduled every week.  Some love the concept of interleague play, while other detest it.  But for whatever people think of it, interleague is here to stay in the world of Major League Baseball.  Having weekly interleague match-ups will actually help solve the unbalanced interleague issue.  In current play, some fans have complained that the same interleague match-ups are in place every year- with not all teams from each of the different leagues matching up.  Having weekly interleague games means that all AL and NL teams will face-off during the season at some point.  Greater exposure for each of the teams in each MLB city should lead to greater enthusiasm for the fans and a more balanced approach to scheduling interleague games.  It is not a perfect system- far from it.  But until Major League Baseball brings in 2 more teams and creates a 16/16 league split, having the 15/15 split will at least allow for balanced divisions and equal chances to make the playoffs.

For the Astros, I seriously believe they could start one of the best rivalries in baseball with the Rangers. This would be beneficial not only for the Astros as an organization, but their fans and attendance as well. Let’s make one thing clear though in the interim: the current “rivalry” between the Astros and Rangers is a joke. The ony time they face off is in interleague games, and neither team has any more incentives in those games as compared to any other games. However, I think if they actually played each other as division rivals frequently, and the fans became passionate about those games, then they could actually start a strong rivalry for years to come.

Astros fans have been against this move for two main reasons. The first is that they would lose their history with the National League (and specifically, NL Central teams). The main reason however, is that they would play West Coast teams more, which would mean that games against Seattle, Oakland, and Anaheim would start at a later time. I can fully understand and appreciate the Astros fans feelings on the subject. The only counterexample I can offer is what Rangers fans already go through with this same dilemma and they same to have done just fine.

At the end of the day, I think the Astros should move to the American League West. It makes sense for the current MLB system. Furthermore, this franchise looks in need of a fresh start and maybe a new division could help provide that.

Today’s feature was prepared by our Intern, 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.

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