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Triple Play Podcast Episode 2 Of 2014: Empire State Of Mind: NYM + NYY + TOR Chat

 

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 2 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB  Reports Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Mike Silva (Radio Host 1240 AM WGBB, Long Island New York – 19 Minute Mark and a 31 Min segment) )

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New York, New York big city of dreams where not everything is as it seems, so we had Mike Silva (http://www.mikesilvamedia.com)of WGBB1240 AM break down the Mets and a bit of the Yankees + our new Mt .Flushmore segment. Read the rest of this entry

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New York Mets State Of The Union: 2014 Preview

The Mets are destined of another catastrophic year in Flushing Meadows.  The only saving grace may lie with the young players starting to flourish in 2014, and the 10 Year Stalwart David Wright.  A bad Bullpen. shaky rotation dependent on health, and a Strikeout laden club, with HR power, but low OBP fuels a fan to think 'what the hell is the ownership doing?

The Mets are destined for another catastrophic year in Flushing Meadows. The only saving grace may lie with the young players starting to flourish in 2014, and the 10 Year Stalwart David Wright continue to stake his claim as an ALL – Time Met. A bad Bullpen. shaky rotation dependent on health, and a Strikeout laden club, with HR power, but low OBP -  fuels a fan to think ‘what the hell is the ownership doing?  As tough a situation as it has been for the teams brass, Sandy Alderson and Moneyball’s Paul DePodesta’ have actually done spade work in rebuilding the Minor League System and big club with prospects.  I am afraid 2014 will be another dull year at Citi Field.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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To fully describe the current state of the ‘Big Apple’ franchise we must go back to Sept of 2013.

New Team icon, and filthy dominant Right Handed Pitcher, Matt Harvey was looking to put up an awesome end to his 2013 campaign, and give the Mets fans full fledged hope for the following season.

Harvey underwent Tommy John Surgery just a few months later, which has both curbed expectations, but also excitement at the same time for the upcoming year.

Sandy Alderson pursued Curtis Granderson and landed him on a 4 YRs/$60 MIL deal, and also signed SP Bartolo Colon to a 2 YR Deal worth $20 MIL.

In a smaller move, he also inked Chris Young to a deal for one year. Read the rest of this entry

The New York Yankees Organizational Depth Charts (All Affiliates) – Spring 2014 (Majors and Minors)

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

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Brian Cashman has signed 10 new Free Agents this winter, and also made a mockery of the waiver wire list, with his 2013 pluckings last campaign to aid an injury riddled squad of veterans.

Simply put, this franchise has done a brutal job of drafting over the course of the last decade or so. Cashman has to take his share of the blame for that.

Luckily for the big market club, these can be overlooked when you feature a payroll in the $235 MIL range.

Having said this, the cupboard is not bare in the Minor Leagues. Read the rest of this entry

Master List Of All Free Agents Signed In 2013 Winter – Heading Into 2014 MLB Year

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It has been a record setting year for contract $ doled out for players.  When you factor in the player extensions, we are talking about 7 contracts registering in the top 50 Player contracts in the history of the game.

Robinson Cano, Clayton Kershaw, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Freddie Freeman, Shin-Soo Choo and Homer Bailey have inked deal for between $105 MIL to $240 MIL.

Now there is word the Angels are working on an extension with Mike Trout, to the tune of 6 YRs/$150 MIL,  from 2015 – 2020.  This would be the 22nd highest contract in MLB History.

For the record, Trout’s deal for 2014 is already set at $510 K, and any extension wouldn’t have Luxury Tax Ramifications until his new deal would start in 2015. 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

30 MLB Team Power Rankings FEB 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Not withstanding the last few signings in the MLB, noteworthy is Bronson Arroyo to the Diamondbacks, and Paul Maholm to the Los Angeles Dodgers, these will not effect the grand scheme for the rankings of all clubs.

Nelson Cruz is still available, and I would be very surprised if he doesn’t ink a deal with the Mariners.  This would put them slightly ahead of the Angels if done, as oppose to a dead heat right now.

There are no real surprises to be had here.

The Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates have had the worst offseasons, while the Rangers, Royals, Rays, Giants, Yankees, Cardinals and Dodgers have helped out their causes for the upcoming campaign.

30 MLB Team Power Rankings MAR 2014

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The Lighter Side Of The MLB: Memories, Characters And Things That Make Me Laugh

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

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Okay, the MLB has has had their fair share of characters and memories that illustrate how funny some things are.  We all like to blow these up on social media circles.

In this article, I just wanted to share some of these occurrences I have found amusing – also some of things that have cracked up some of our writers at this website.

Of course, we also have Paul Sullivan (AKA Sully) who usually makes people laugh once a podcast because he is a former comedian.

Some of his things that make us laugh are:  “Did you know that Mariano Rivera is retiring?” diatribes and explaining WAR to novice baseball people is also classic.

Sully likes to emphasize that he understands sabermetrics, but several other of our listeners have cracked up at his pronunciation of BABIP. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports ‘Junior Reporter’ Haley Smilow Interviews Marlins Slugger Giancarlo Stanton

The Marlins have one of the most prolific young power hitters in the game of baseball in Giancarlo Stanton.  After this recent campaign, the  24 Year Old has a 3 Slash Line of .265/.354/.899 - with 117 HRs and 294 RBI in 1792 Career AB.  The toughest challenge the ownership has - will be to lock up this Slugger long - term, as he has frequently commented on the direction of the franchise in a negative light.  Stanton has 3 years left of Arbitration - before he will be eligible for Free Agency heading into the 2017 season.

The Marlins have one of the most prolific young power hitters in the game of baseball in Giancarlo Stanton. After this recent campaign, the 24 Year Old has a 3 Slash Line of .265/.354/.899 – with 117 HRs and 294 RBI in 1792 Career AB. The toughest challenge the ownership has – will be to lock up this Slugger long – term, as he has frequently commented on the direction of the franchise in a negative light. Stanton has 3 years left of Arbitration – before he will be eligible for Free Agency heading into the 2017 season.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

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Haley Smilow is a lucky baseball fan/writer/reporter.  Recently last summer, she was able to interview Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins.

Interviewing MLB Athletes is nothing new for our Junior Reporter.  Over the last few years, Haley has interviewed Curtis Granderson, A.J. Pierzynski, Cody Ross, Barry Enright, Justin Turner, Casey Janssen and 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen.

The MLB Reports is very happy with the hard work and dedication Haley puts forth for her interviews.  She has a great future in the business!

The MLB’ers like Haley because she doesn’t act cookie cutter questions.  She asks them to delve into their own personal lives, and for this, she is able to crack up these guys from their usual monotanous answers. Read the rest of this entry

New York Yankees Payroll In 2014 Is Now $197 MIL (AAV) With Tanaka Added

2014 Contracts in MIL Annual Average Vakue – AKA AAV (Age) – Running $ Total

1. 1B Mark Teixeira – 23.0  (32) 23.0

2. SP CC Sabathia – 22.8  (32) 45.8

NEW: SP Masahiro Tanaka – 22.1 (25)  67.9

3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury – 21.9 (30) 89.6

4. C  Brian McCann – 17.0  (29) 106.6

5. SP Hiroki Kuroda – 16.5  (37) 123.1

6. LF/DH Carlos Beltran – 15.0 (36) 138.6

7. SS Derek Jeter – 12.0 (40) 150.6 Read the rest of this entry

What The Yankees Signing Masahiro Tanaka Means For The Current Roster + The Luxury Tax Threshold

Once again, the Yankees have forked out the most money top acquire a Starting Pitcher.  Masahiro Tanaka agreed to a 7 YR/$155 MIL deal with the Bronx Bombers.  When you add the $20 MIL posting fee, it comes out to $175 MIL for just 7 Years.  The Japanese superstar has a player opt out after 4 years (after the 2017 season).  It is the biggest ever contract for an American League Pitcher - and the largest sum ever granted for a RIght Handed Pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball.  The 25 Year Old also is now in possession of the 18th biggest contract in MLB history

Once again, the Yankees have forked out the most money top acquire a Starting Pitcher. Masahiro Tanaka agreed to a 7 YR/$155 MIL deal with the Bronx Bombers. When you add the $20 MIL posting fee, it comes out to $175 MIL for just 7 Years. The Japanese superstar has a player opt out after 4 years (after the 2017 season). It is the biggest ever contract for an American League Pitcher – and the largest sum ever granted for a Right Handed Pitcher (Open Market – doesn’t count extenssions) in the history of Major League Baseball. The 25 Year Old also is now in possession of the 18th biggest contract in MLB history.  With the signing of the player, the Yankees have pushed their 2014 Luxury Tax AAV to roughly $196 MIL.

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

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The Yankees had to have Masahiro Tanaka for the team going forward.  It is a risk so worth taking.  There is not a litany of 25 Year Old Starting Pitchers that have the repertoire of this guy.

Due to poor drafting – and mismanagement of several other young phenoms like Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, the club couldn’t produce a legitimate #2 or #3 starter out of their own system.

The team has also traded a guy like Ian Kennedy, who has thrived in another atmosphere.  But this is the Yankees way.

This was their only alternative.

Masahiro Tanaka Highlights

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New York Yankees Projected Payroll In 2014 With A-Rod Relief

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

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2014 Contracts in MIL Annual Average Vakue – AKA AAV (Age)

1. 1B Mark Teixeira – 23.0  (32)

2. SP CC Sabathia – 22.8  (32)

3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury – 21.9 (30)

4. C  Brian McCann – 17.0  (29)

5. SP Hiroki Kuroda – 16.5  (37)

6. LF/DH Carlos Beltran – 15.0 (36)

7. SS Derek Jeter – 12.0 (40) Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees- Part II

Alfonso Soriano came back to New York - and thrashed on the competition, with 17 HRs and 50 RBI - in just 58 games with the Bronx Bombers.  He also snuck in 18 SB for the campaign, but nobody even noticed.  Still the experts have failed to recognize that the offense was significantly better once this man entered the fray.  Even with his 38 year old season coming up, it is entirely possible he could club another 25 - 30 HRs and approach 85 - 95 RBI out of the DH slot.

Alfonso Soriano came back to New York – and thrashed on the competition, with 17 HRs and 50 RBI – in just 58 games with the Bronx Bombers. He also snuck in 18 SB for the campaign, but nobody even noticed. Still the experts have failed to recognize that the offense was significantly better once this man entered the fray. Even with his 38 year old season coming up, it is entirely possible he could club another 25 – 30 HRs and approach 85 – 95 RBI out of the DH slot.  Along with McCann, Beltran, Ellsbury, a potentially full year of Teixeira and Jeter, this lineup is a hell of a lot different from the team that limped to a 85 – 77 mark for the 2013 year.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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As with the first part of this piece, this article is in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here) that paints a fairly negative picture of the near-future for the New York Yankees.

Once again, I would encourage everyone to visit Grantland.com as it is a one stop shop for some of the best internet based writers on the planet. 

Again, a quick thank you to Fangraphs.com and Baseball-reference.com.

Those organizations are a huge reason for the increased understanding and intelligent discussion relating to baseball over the last decade, and they are used throughout as resources for all advanced statistics. 

If you aren’t reading the content on those sites, I would strongly suggest you do.

We will start with our Point/Counter-Point structure with a discussion of the new Yankee line-up, and more so, the effect of the departure of Robinson Cano on that lineup.

For Part 1 Of Don’t Believe Everything You Read:  A Response to The New Normal click here.

Alfonso 2013 Highlights as a Cub and a Yankee – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is Advised


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The Final Tallies On All 30 MLB Teams Payroll In 2013

The A's wrapped up their 16th AL West Title in 46 years since moving to Oakland yesterday.  They have clinched the Division at home the last 2 years.  It is even more impressive when they have been 29th and 27th in team payroll respectively.

The A’s wrapped up their 16th AL West Title in 46 years since moving to Oakland in late September of this previous campaign. They have clinched the Division at home the last 2 years. It is even more impressive when they have been 29th and 27th in the team payroll respectively during that time span.

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

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The bills have been totaled up, and the final dollars have been put forth – to have the team salaries for all 30 MLB teams.

These totals reflect the 40 man rosters the clubs all carried in 2013, and what position they finished in cash wise versus the other 29 franchises.

We will definitely have many of different articles this offseason, dissecting all of these numbers.

With all of the Free Agents signed recently inked to big deals like: Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hunter Pence, Brian McCann and Curtis Granderson, we should a bigger spike across the board in 2014.

A’s Win Back To Back AL WEST Titles

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The Yankees Might As Well Wait Another Year For The Luxury Tax Threshold ‘Reset’

With Derek Jeter and Hiroki Kuroda  coming back for one more year, plus the uncertainty of the A-ROD suspension, why not push back the reset of the Luxury Tax Threshold, since you still have a chance to do this in 2015.  By then, all of your older players will be another year older, and #13 will be back to wreak havoc on your financial flexibility for years?

With Derek Jeter and Hiroki Kuroda coming back for one more year, plus the uncertainty of the A-ROD suspension, why not push back the reset of the Luxury Tax Threshold, since you still have a chance to do this in 2015? By then, all of your older players will be another year older, and #13 will be back to wreak havoc on your financial flexibility for years?

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

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Our Lead Writer Paul Sullivan (feel free to call him Sully) is right about Brian Cashman….The guy should be fired for his ineptness of stockpiling the Minor League System since taking over the reigns in 2006.

If you are not subscribing to Sully’s podcast daily (about 20 minutes), please do so here.  He talks complete sense for an objective perspective.

I will also denote that I am a Yankees fan.  I was one of the 1st to destroy the clubs winter last year, when they never addressed their Catching situation, and said they should do some more moves to bolster the club.

Not that Cashman listened to me at all, but he grabbed 3 players I said he should (1 reluctant player he never wanted – (good one Cash) was Alfonso Soriano). 

The other 2 players he picked up were Vernon Wells and Mark Reynolds.

Yankees win the 2009 World Series

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The Mets Signing Colon To 2 YRs/$20 MIL – Is Just Par For The Course Of Insane!

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.

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 to fill his spot (Scott Kazmir), 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 routine PFP  in 2011 with the Yankees. You have to think his lucky streak is numbered sooner or later.  Whether it is another failed drug test, or he blows out a ligament running anything down, or just has father time come down on him, signing this man to a 2 YR deal, for a team not probably contending in 2014, is downright absurd.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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‘Stoking The Fire’ – Week 9

The Mets are like a gambling addict that has been clean for a few years, before suffering a serious relapse.

This club is just coming off a season where they doled out $18 MIL for Jason Bay (who they released – and still owe $3 MIL in 2014) and Johan Santana ($25.5 MIL and a $5 MIL Buyout for 2014).

These are guys that never played for you during the 2013 season.  Oh yeah…They still contribute annually to the Bobby Bonilla ‘liquor fund’ – thanks to a long restructured contract from many moons ago.

So now that they have altered their club to don a new era of “Strike out Champs”, they have gone overboard in throwing down a 2 YR/$20 MIL contract for a 300 LB PED user like Bartolo Colon.

“It Was A Little More Than Stem Cell Technology”

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While I like Granderson Signing With The Mets, I Hate The Chris Young Deal

Granderson had back to back 40 HR years in 2011 and 2012 with the Yankees - after struggling to hit with the PInstripers his 1st year there in 2010.   Last year was an injury filled year.  This smells of a classic NYM overpay.  I would have liked the move if the club didn't sign Chris Young already.

Granderson had back to back 40 HR years in 2011 and 2012 with the Yankees – after struggling to hit with New York in 2010. Last year was an injury filled campaign for the 32 Year Old from Blue Island, IL. This 4 YRs/$60 MIL deals smells of a classic NYM overpay. I would have liked the move if the club didn’t sign Chris Young already.  Granderson has the ability to walk, has hit for decent home and road splits in his career, despite the thought of him being Yankee Stadium ‘centric’.  The Mets hav to hope the 10 Year Veteran can hit close to his Career 3 Slash Line of  .261/.340/.828.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I wrote an article about the Mets about 6 weeks ago.  In the piece, I illustrated that I thought Curtis Granderson was a good fit for the New York NL franchise.

I still like that they acquired the guy, even though I think they paid him too much cash.

The week before this, the franchise also inked Chris Young to a one year/$7.25 MIL.

So essentially, you have signed 2 guys for $22.25 on the books for the 2014 season.  Why didn’t you just sign Shin-Soo Choo fellas?

Curtis Granderson 2011 Highlights

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New York Yankees Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward: Updated For The Beltran Deal

He will also make $30 MIL left in marketing bonuses should he hit escalating marketing bonuses from HRs 661 through 763. At this rate, maybe he will never collect on all of those.  The base is ridiculous enough at $86 MIL over the next 4 years.  The insurance paid on his ailing hip injury will not make a huge enough dent for Yankees Fans.  He is the ALL-Time Active Leader for HRs , RBI and XBH At best he may turn back to a .250/.310/700 with around 50 RBI a year from 2015 - 2017.  Hardly worthy of a $22.8 MIL average salary from 2014 - 2017.

He will also make $30 MIL left in marketing bonuses should he hit escalating marketing bonuses from HRs 661 through 763. At this rate, maybe he will never collect on all of those. The base is ridiculous enough at $86 MIL over the next 4 years. The insurance paid on his ailing hip injury will not make a huge enough dent for Yankees Fans. He is the ALL-Time Active Leader for HRs , RBI and XBH At best he may turn back to a .250/.310/700 with around 50 RBI a year from 2015 – 2017. Hardly worthy of a $22.8 MIL average salary from 2014 – 2017.

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

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With news breaking today that Robinson Cano has signed with Seattle, this has freed up the Yankees to pursue other players at the Winter Meetings – and for the rest of the offseason..

Based on the team payroll (with the A-Rod suspension being counted), the club is right around $174 MIL – $176 MIL right now for about 20 MLB Players signed – and another 5 guys that are on entry – level deals.

If A-Rod’s suspension sticks for the whole 2014 year, the club would then drop down to the $149 – $151 MIL range, which would free up the club to sign some more players.

Maybe the Yankees won’t have any choice but to hope for that very result.  They still need 1 – 2 Starting Pitchers, and a relief pitcher would also be nice. 

Read the end of this article – for potential candidates they could eyeball.

CC Sabathia Highlights

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Doug Fister Traded To The Nationals For A Meager Return

Doug Fister was acquired in a trade for Casper Wells, Charlie Furbursh and Chance Ruffin back a few years ago. The Tigers have received a .615 Win Percentage over his course of time in Detroit, while Seattle has seen some haphazard Bullpen work in return. Fister remains potentially the best #4 Starter in baseball. Included in his totals, was a 8 - 1 record down the stretch run in 2011, with a 1.79 ERA after joining the Motown boys. Doug Fister was acquired in a trade for Casper Wells, Charlie Furbursh and Chance Ruffin. The Tigers have received a .615 Win Percentage over his course of time in Detroit, while Seattle has seen some haphazard Bullpen work in return. Fister remains potentially the best #4 Starter in baseball. Included in his totals, was a 8 - 1 record down the stretch run in 2011, with a 1.79 ERA after joining the Motown boys.

Doug Fister was acquired in a trade for Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush and Chance Ruffin back a few years ago. The Tigers have received a .615 Win Percentage (32 – 20, with a 3.20 ERA in 70 Game Starts) over his course of time in Detroit, Fister remains potentially the best #4 Starter in baseball. Included in his totals, was a 8 – 1 record down the stretch run in 2011, with a 1.79 ERA after joining the Motown boys.  Fister has 2 years left of Arbitration Eligibility before he becomes a Free Agent in 2016.  Look for his 2014 salary to be in the $7 – $8 MIL after his hearing.  When you consider the 2 Yr deal that A’s just gave to Scott Kazmir, then you can understand how valuable known starters actually are, there must have been a better deal to made by the Tigers.

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent)

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In what can only be compared to the Curtis Granderson trade of 2009, the Tigers traded away fan favorite Doug Fister for three virtually unknown players on Monday night.

Although his ERA and WHIP has been on the rise, Fister saw moderate success the past two and half seasons in Detroit.

Tiger fans saw him compile a 32 – 20 regular season record and an impressive 2.98 ERA in 8 postseason games.

When the trade was announced, the fans outcry could be heard all around the world on social media.

Doug Fister Highlights – Mature Lyrics So parental guidance is advised

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AL West Hot Stove Roundup – Around The Horn

Grant Balfour maybe perfectly situated to change teams in the AL West from the Oakland Athletics to the Seattle Mariners.  The PAC NW club could use a guy stopper - to mop up games from a great young pitching staff.  in 2013, Balfour has nailed down 62 Saves in the last season and a half, and has carried a great ERA in the 2.50 range - with a WHIP slightly above 1.  If Seattle is willing to pay about 3 YRs/$33 - 36 MIL, then the Aussie could be headed their way.

Grant Balfour maybe perfectly situated to change teams in the AL West from the Oakland Athletics to the Seattle Mariners. The PAC NW club could use a guy stopper – to mop up games from a great young pitching staff. in 2013, Balfour has nailed down 62 Saves in the last season and a half, and has carried a great ERA in the 2.50 range – with a WHIP slightly above 1. If Seattle is willing to pay about 3 YRs/$33 – 36 MIL, then the Aussie could be headed their way.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Seattle Mariners:  Jack Z. and the brass have some money to spend, will there be any takers??  Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury, Nelson Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo should all be on the offensive list.

On the Pitching side, Bronson Arroyo is the kind of Innings eater that could favor your Bullpen.  Fernando Rodney or Grant Balfour could close games for you as I don’t think Joe Nathan or Brian Wilson are coming.

Go big with your Free Agent signings, even if it is one or 2 players.

Jacoby Ellsbury 2013 Highlights

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White Sox Offseason: Looking For Success In 2014

Rick Hahn made his first major move as White Sox GM. yesterday when he signed 26 year old Cuban defector Jose Abreu to a 6 year $68 million contract. While most are surprised that the White Sox were able to sign Abreu, most are also happy with the signing. So fans are hoping that, along with Avisail Garcia, Abreu can be one of the Sox cornerstones for years to come.

Rick Hahn made his first major move as White Sox GM. when he signed 26 year old Cuban defector Jose Abreu to a 6 year $68 million contract ;;st month. While most are surprised that the White Sox were able to sign Abreu, most are also happy with the signing. So fans are hoping that, along with Avisail Garcia, Abreu can be one of the Sox cornerstones for years to come.

By ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen  

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Rumors are flying. This team wants that guy. That team wants this guy. The Major League Baseball GM Meetings in Orlando have come and gone.

The Winter Meetings in January are on the horizon. Trades have been proposed. Some trades have already been made. Ideas have been shared. Laughs have been had. Who’s going where?

Fans of every MLB team want answers all of these questions regarding their respective favorite team.

Sometimes, one team’s move directly affects a given move of their competitor. It’s uncanny how it can happen, without it being glaringly obvious.

Garcia Hits Another Double

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Stoking The Fire – Week 6: The ‘Royals’ MUST Sign James Shields To An Extension Right Away!

Shields was brought into do a job in the 2013 year, and he did just that, leading the American League In Innings Pitched, Game Starts - and Batters Faced - en route to a 13 - 9 year, with a 3.15 ERA.  The Royals have him for an exercised $12.5 MIL Team Option in 2014, but the ALL - Star Pitcher has expressed interest in signing an extension long - term.

Shields was brought into do a job (via trade) in the 2013 year, and he did just that, leading the American League In Innings Pitched, Game Starts – and Batters Faced – en route to a 13 – 9 year, with a 3.15 ERA. The Royals have him for an exercised $12.5 MIL Team Option in 2014, but the ALL – Star Pitcher has expressed interest in signing an extension long – term.  My question is – why are they not backing up the Brinks truck right now?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I have been writing for this fine website for a few weeks now.  I must say that I have been bored with my bleeping mind since the World Series – from lack of excitement.

One of my 1st articles a few weeks back, also addressed the Kansas City Royals need to go for it in 2014.  It is not time to sit back any longer.  At the end of this post, I will provide a link to read that post too.

I was commuting to my business last week, and I heard that James Shields likes it in KC – and would be willing to stay long-term if possible.

Okay, so why aren’t David Glass and Dayton Moore at Shields house right now, hammering away on an extension deal?

James Shields 2013 HIghlights

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MLB 50 Free Agent Predictions

It will all be following the money for many of the Free Agents this winter.  It all started when all 14 players that had Qualifying Offers politely declined them all over the weekend, and are all FA's with Draft Compensation due back to their 2013 club.

It will all be following the money for many of the Free Agents this winter. It all started when all 14 players that had Qualifying Offers politely declined them all over the weekend, and are all FA’s with Draft Compensation due back to their 2013 club.

Free Agent Predictions

By Jordan Gluck (Free Agency Correspondent)

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These are my personal predictions on where the top free agents will sign. This is the same kind of list of the top 50 free agents made by our friends at mlbtraderumors.com.

Please keep in mind there will be trades this offseason so holes will be filled that way as well (I believe the Cardinals will trade for a SS).

I am not going to estimate any dollar figures in this specific article but I do expect some overpayments this year.

Robinson Cano 2013 Highlights

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The Mets Should Be Careful Which Free Agents They Sign For 2014

Johan Santana is just another cautionary tale of why it is hard for teams to invest money long - term on Starting Pitching,  There are just far too many ways for hurlers to be injured in comparison to Roster Players.  The Mets will just have to bide time until 2014 when the team can finally take the former Cy Young winner of the teams payroll book.  Johan Santana signed a 6 YR/$137.5 MIL deal with the Mets

Johan Santana is just another cautionary tale of why it is hard for teams to invest money long – term on Starting Pitching, There are just far too many ways for hurlers to be injured in comparison to Roster Players. The Mets will just have to bide time until 2014 when the team can finally take the former Cy Young winner of the teams payroll book.  Santana signed a 6 YR/$137.5 MIL deal with the Mets after coming over from Minnesota.  While he was good in his 1st year (leading the NL with a 2.53 ERA), he just started 109 Games for his New York Career.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Lets face it, the Mets have had a poor track record of signing Free Agents lately.

Quickly to go over the list:  Jason Bay, Luis Castillo, (4 YRs/$24.75 MIL and they released him following a 2010 year – where he ballooned in weight – and hit just .235), their own Free Agent in Oliver Perez, (3 YRs/ $36 MIL for 3 wins and a ERA near 7 in that time), and  Johan Santana.

Lest we forget the horrible trades that ended the careers of Roberto Alomar (Made $13 MIL in a season and a half – before  New York jettisoned him to the White Sox for hitting .265 in 2002 – 2003 combined where he was a .300 Career Hitter).

Mo Vaughn. could barely move by the time he made it to New York city. The Mets paid him almost $48 MIL to have only 567 AB. 

Vaughn only played in 166 games for New York, and was out of league after 2003.  At least Kevin Appier (the traded player for him) was done playing by 2004 as well, but at $20 MIL less cost.

While I agree that the New York (NL) franchise should spend some money they have finally been hoarding up, the  brass have to be careful who they select to throw that dough on.

Jason Bay Hurt for the Mets in July 2010

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Qualifying Offers To Players 1 YR/$14.1 MIL: Who Should Take The Deal And Who Should Pass

The Red Sox made calculated Qualifying Offers to Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli, where they pretty much know that Ellsbury will decline.  It is this writer's opinion that both Napoli and Drew should accept their deals.

The Red Sox made calculated Qualifying Offers to Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli, where they pretty much know that Ellsbury will decline. It is this writer’s opinion that both Napoli and Drew should accept their deals.  Both of them would still be young enough in next year’s Free Agency Market, plus they would not be guaranteed to make much more money for their 2014 contracts, and are not guaranteed of being on a contender like the Boston franchise.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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When the list of Qualifying Offers first unfolded the other day, I have to admit, I was surprised to see that Stephen Drew was on the list.

By virtue of the Red Sox doing this move, they have made it impossible for any other team to bid on Drew, as the compensatory pick is probably too much to give up.

This is a smart move for Boston, who didn’t want to lose the guy, and were smart enough to only offer a year deal to him.

Obviously the cash is more than he is worth, but offsetting the cost is the mere fact it only a one year risk.

Curtis Granderson’s 3 HRs in 1st 4 Innings, April.19/2012

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Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series + Around The MLB Horn For Quick Team Wish Lists

The Red Sox may have won the 2013 World Series, but they are not the 2014 favorites.  No team has repeated since the Yankees won 3 straight titles from 1998 - 2000.

The Red Sox may have won the 2013 World Series, but they are not the 2014 favorites. No team has repeated since the Yankees won 3 straight titles from 1998 – 2000.

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

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Now that the Boston Red Sox have won the 2013 World Series, the oddsmakers have already dropped them, plus fellow 2013 Fall Classic Participants (St. Louis) to be tied for the 3rd seed, with the Washington Nationals.

A massive surprise on the list are the Los Angeles Angels, who will have the 6th favorite slot to win the World Series at +1400.

If you are looking for value, you should consider the Reds (Tied for the 8th seed) at +1600.  They are merely a few players, and perhaps a few tweaks from going far in one of these playoffs.

2013 World Series Champion – Red Sox

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“Stoking The Fire” Week 3: Kansas City Royals State Of The Union 2014 Part 1

James Shields turned in a workman like effort for the Royals - only to have received little run support.  With the Trade having going down seemingly to correct each other main ailments with the Rays needing offense and the Royals needing defense.  It has worked for both teams.  2014 becomes the most pivotal year in the last 3 decades for the franchise - as it is "Big Game" James' last year under contract.

James Shields turned in a workman like effort for the Royals (13 – 9, with a 3.15 ERA – AL leading 228.2 IP and 34 Game Starts) – only to have received little run support. With the Trade having going down seemingly to correct each other main ailments with the Rays needing offense and the Royals needing defense. It has worked for both teams. 2014 becomes the most pivotal year in the last 3 decades for the franchise – as it is “Big Game” James’ last year under contract.  With them trading away Wil Myers for his services, the team needs to capitalize on this year.  Ultimately the franchise should spend any amount of $$$ necessary in 2014 to compete with the big boys of the AL.  With so many of their own core young players due to start receiving salaries increases, this next year has to be the time to go for it!!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I am officially calling out the Royals Management and ownership to buck up again for the 2014 season.  If ever there was a year to spend the money it is now!

You have James Shields for one more year, and all of your core young players like Billy Butler, Eric HosmerLuke Hochevar and Mike Moustakas are heading for some payraises in the near future for Arbitration.

Wade Davis also will see his money bumped in 2015.

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

The time to win is now!

Shields first inning as a Royal

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The Washington Nationals State Of The Union Part 1: Fall 2013 Through Spring 2014

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013.  Heck, they didn't even qualify for the playoffs.  Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn't maximize their potential this year.  However, the club did go 24 - 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year.  Here are some priorities for the winter.

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013. Heck, they didn’t even qualify for the playoffs. Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn’t maximize their potential this year. However, the club did go 24 – 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot in the Nationals League.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year. Here are some priorities for the winter.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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1. Find a Manager

There are moves that can be made without a new manager in place, but this is the most important thing the Nationals have to do this off-season. Not having the leader of the team will make all the other moves more difficult.

Players want to know who they are playing for and the manager is going to have a lot of input into what free agents the Nationals go after for the bench and bullpen, which happen to be their two biggest needs personnel-wise.

It is also important to get the new manager in place early so that he has an entire off-season to communicate with the players already in the majors and to familiarize himself with the system and the minor leaguers that could help during the season.

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

Jordan Zimmermann Interview

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New York Yankees Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward + The Cano And A – ROD Factors

The Yankees should not pay Robinson Cano more than $25 - $28 MIL per season for a max of 7 years.  The club was fortunate to have the relief of A - Rod's suspension - otherwise the percentage of inking the Free Agent 2B would not even be possible - and have a competitive team.

The Yankees should not pay Robinson Cano more than $25 – $28 MIL per season for a max of 7 years. The club is fortunate to have the relief of A – Rod’s pending suspension – otherwise the percentage of inking the Free Agent 2B would not even be possible.  Cano’s agent -Jay – Z, has thrown out the first Salvo, saying the Slugger wants a 10 YR/$300 – 305 MIL Deal.  The Bronx Bombers would be crazy to offer any more than what I stated up in the 1st sentence of this Caption.  New York is looking to reset its Luxury Tax Penalty (when the Threshold is moved to $189 in 2014), in order to spend again commencing in 2015.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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They are old and 2014 will not make them younger.  However, there are some small tweaks that the team could do in order to make the payroll make sense. 

The 2014 version of the Yankees may struggle. Exiting are Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Curtis Granderson, Brendan Ryan and potentially Derek Jeter (although he has a Player Option for 2014) and Mark Reynolds.

To the Readers on our Payroll Breakdowns:   Keep in mind these are all just estimates as we are all not forensic payroll accountants.  For a better look at how Payrolls work in the MLB please check out this article here.

Derek Jeter Highlights:

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2 And A Hook Podcast #15: AL Wild Card Race Breakdown, NL Central Chat + The BallPark Pass-Port Inventor

The 2 And A Hook Podcast will be running 7 consecutive shows on Thursdays Sept. 19 + 26, and Oct 3,10,17,24,31) - Join us for our extensive playoff coverage from Chuck Booth, Chris Lacey, James Acevedo and many other guests!

The 2 And A Hook Podcast will be running 8 consecutive shows on Thursdays Sept. 19 + 26, and Oct 3,10,17,24,31) – Join us for our extensive playoff coverage from Chuck Booth, Chris Lacey, James Acevedo and many other guests!

’2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show:

On today’s show, brought to you by www.mlbreports.com 

& yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

I start it off with talking about the Yankees chances of getting the 2nd Wild Card Spot & giving them props for having a good season no matter what happens..

CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or CLICK PAST THE MLB REPORTS LOGO

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The Yankees Keep The Pedal To The Metal For A Playoff Spot

Despite not having a top Catcher in the mix, and also not wishing for Soriano to be a Yankee, Cashman has still done a decent job maneuvering the team through some murky times, by finding a bunch of guys on the scrap heap, to help this club.  Recently, the teams offense is resembling the 'Bronx Bombers' mantra, and the club has gone 22 - 11 over their last 33 game, to pull within 1 game of the last playoff spot, with 15 games left on the schedule.

Despite not having a top Catcher in the mix, and also not wishing for Soriano to be a Yankee, Cashman has still done a decent job maneuvering the team through some murky times, by finding a bunch of guys on the scrap heap, to help this club. Recently, the teams offense is resembling the ‘Bronx Bombers’ mantra, and the club has gone 22 – 12 over their last 34 game, to pull within 1 game of the last playoff spot, with 15 games left on the schedule.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst and Website Owner)

This season has seen the Yankees face a multitude of injuries to their best players, plus a lot of the key components to the 2012 version of the club are playing elsewhere.

The Bronx Bombers surprising flew out of the gate in April, led by Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner of all people.  If it weren’t for New York, Wells would be rusting on the Anaheim bench, and “Pronk” might be looking for work still.

Despite a fast start, the team was counting on Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter to return after a few weeks into the season, both of them ended up going back on the DL.  Jeter is now on his 4th stint on the Disabled List – and is out for the remainder of the regular year.

I will say that while I was ultra choked at Brian Cashman for not bringing in an experienced Catcher like A.J. Pierzynski, or potentially trading for a guy like John Buck, that he did acquire Vernon Wells and brought back Alfonso Soriano.

I wrote an article back when Curtis Granderson was hurt in the preseason, that these should be the 1st and 2nd options for the team (Soriano and Wells.  It simply made sense for this year, and even for the 2014 year.

In early July, right before the ALL – Star break, the Yankees were hovering around .500 again, and I send it was time for the team’s Management to become ‘Riverboat Gamblers.’

Alfonso Soriano 2 HR Game August versus the Angels

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