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The Rest Of The Best Free Agents Are Now Up For Auction: Some Deals Already Done

Grant Balfour has been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL  deal - and justifiably so.  The Orioles lost credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver.  Now Balfour will look to administer some payback to the O's 19 times a year for the 2014 and 2015.  The Aussie just signed a 2 Year Deal - to return to the Rays for $12 MIL.

Grant Balfour has recently been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL deal – and justifiably so. The Orioles lost credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver. Now Balfour will look to administer some payback to the O’s 19 times a year for the 2014 and 2015 campaings. The Aussie just signed a 2 Year Deal – to return to the Rays for $12 MIL.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a tough time being an MLB fan the last 3 or 4 weeks – waiting for the Masahiro Tanaka deal to get done.

As of today, we are about 18 days away from Pitchers and Catchers to report.

With the logjam now being freed up with the Japanese superstar being inked to a deal with New York, a bevy of transactions have already occurred.

Grant Balfour is all set to sign a 2 YR deal worth $12 MIL, and will be ready to stick it to the Baltimore Orioles 19 times a year for the next 2 campaigns. Read the rest of this entry

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Nationals GM Mike Rizzo: January Man

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

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It was an innocent enough radio interview. The standard with Mike Rizzo late in the off-season with nothing happening.

He was asked if everything on the checklist had been marked off and answered in the affirmative and then was asked if there were still moves left to be made.

To this question Mike Rizzo gave the standard and cliched GM answer of anytime we can do anything to improve the club that makes sense for blah blah blah. You get the idea.

There was nothing special at all about this interview. It was a time filler between Redskins talk on a local Washington DC radio station, but there was something in Mike Rizzo’s voice.

He sounded ecstatic while talking about improving the team. Reading between the lines it was as if he was smirking into the phone and really saying watch what I’m about to do. Read the rest of this entry

Chicago Cubs State Of The Union: Fall 2013

The Chicago Cubs are still reeling from an abysmal 66-96 2013 season. They finished 31 games back in the NL Central, which saw three of it's five teams reach the playoffs. The wheels are churning in Chicago's farm system as it's seeing a meteoric rise in young talent, but even with the influx of fresh faces, success is still a season or two out of reach for the city's Northsiders. With a rebuild in the process the Cubs needed a new manager with a proven track record for player development. Dale Sveum is out. Rick Renteria is in. 2014 may not be the Cubs' year, but they're working on it.

The Chicago Cubs are still reeling from an abysmal 66 – 96 2013 season. They finished 31 games back in the NL Central, which saw three of its five teams reach the playoffs. The wheels are churning in Chicago’s farm system as it’s seeing a meteoric rise in young talent, but even with the influx of fresh faces, success is still a season or two out of reach for the city’s Northsiders. With a rebuild in the process the Cubs needed a new manager with a proven track record for player development. Dale Sveum is out. Rick Renteria is in. 2014 may not be the Cubs’ year, but they’re working on it.

Chicago Cubs State of the Union: Mired in Mediocrity

By Robert Villarreal (MLB Reports Guest Cubs Writer)

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It’s difficult to ask a Cubs fan to be patient.

The Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908, and every year we’re reminded of the enormity of a centuries worth of atrocious baseball that we must all endure year in and year out.

But in 2009, a man named Sam Zell purchased the Tribune company and decided to sell off some of its parts, namely the Chicago Cubs.

Tom Ricketts, a Chicago native, stepped up and was able to realize a boyhood dream, to own his favorite team. But owning it wasn’t enough.

Cubs fans are hoping the hometown boy can help deliver a promise of a Title in the near future.

Junior Lake Highlights – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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The Minnesota Twins Add 2 Players + A Third Is Close To Signing And Familiar

Hughes was signed to a 3 YRs/24 Million Dollar Contract by the Twins.  The 27 Year Old from Mission Viejo, CA has a career record of 56 - 51, with a 4.54 ERA.  But you simply have to dig deeper to find out why he has struggled at points in his career.

Hughes was signed to a 3 YRs/24 Million Dollar Contract by the Twins. The 27 Year Old from Mission Viejo, CA has a career record of 56 – 51, with a 4.54 ERA. But you simply have to dig deeper to find out why he has struggled at points in his career.  Hughes finished the 2013 season 4 – 14, with a 5.19 ERA, but a lot of that was due to his clip of 1 – 10, and a 6.39 ERA at Yankee Stadium, compared to a 4 – 5, 3.89 on the road.

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

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The Minnesota Twins have decided to join the fight in the AL Central.

Over the course of the last week, they have added two Veteran Starting Pitchers in Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes in respective deals.

It is a sign the organization wants to be perched back up atop of the Division with other teams Detroit, and talented young teams in Kansas City and Cleveland.

With the club awaiting some top prospects, just a few years away, the stop – gap measure of a couple of cagey players is a great idea.

The team is also said to be near another deal with former Catcher A.J. Pierzynksi.

Phil Hughes 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so parental guidance is advised

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The Detroit Tigers Roster Tree Part 1: How All Of The Hitters Were Acquired

It is tough to believe that someone once wanted to trade Miguel Cabrera.  The Marlins were so desperate to rid themselves of the Dontrelle Willis contract, that they unloaded Miguel Cabrera as part of a package for 5 different players in return from Detroit.  It will go down as one of the worst trades in MLB History by the time it is all said and done.  Cabrera has evolved into the best Right Handed Batter in this generation.  He only gets better each year that passes by.

It is tough to believe that someone once wanted to trade Miguel Cabrera. The Marlins were so desperate to rid themselves of the Dontrelle Willis contract, that they unloaded Miguel Cabrera as part of a package for 5 different players in return from Detroit. It will go down as one of the worst trades in MLB History by the time it is all said and done. Cabrera has evolved into the best Right Handed Batter in this generation. He only gets better each year that passes by.

How All Of The Tigers 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 Detroit Tigers  – 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 the 2nd part of the Roster Tree for the Tigers: The Pitchers – click here

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

Miguel Cabrera 2013 Highlights Before The All – Star Break – Mature Lyrics

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Add Another Season Of Misery For The City Of Washington: 80 Years + 3 Franchises Have Disappointed

The Nationals are just the latest in a string of failures the city of Washington has seen.  It has been 80 years since an MLB club from the District has seen World Series Baseball, and now they will have to wait another season.  Despite being the Preseason favorite to make the Fall Classic, Washington has missed the playoffs outright,

The Nationals are just the latest in a string of failures the city of Washington has seen. It has been 80 years since an MLB club from the District has seen World Series Baseball, and now they will have to wait another season. Despite being the Preseason favorite to make the Fall Classic, Washington has missed the playoffs outright in 2013.

By James O’Hara (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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On Oct. 1, 1971 in the last game played by the Washington Senators at RFK Stadium, fans began tearing apart the stadium and field to claim souvenirs. Much like the current Washington Nationals are tearing apart Washington, D.C.

A lot is made of the Chicago Cubs (not winning a World Series since 1909 – or playing in one since 1945) and Boston Red Sox decades long pursuit of World Series titles and the pressure from it – before knocking the monkey from their back in 2004.

But that cannot compare to the pressure of being in town without baseball for 33 years – and having not played in the World Series at all since the Joe Cronin led 1933 squad lost.

From 1971 – 2004, Thirty-three World Series champions were crowned without a team from Washington, D.C. even entering the fight.

It is almost fitting in a way that the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, as you are talking about 1 of 2 teams in the MLB currently, that have never played (other is Seattle)  in a World Series before. The Expos/Nats club is now completed its 46th season in the MLB.

It is almost fitting in a way that the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, as you are talking about 1 of 2 teams in the MLB currently, that have never played (other is Seattle) in a World Series before. The Expos/Nats club have now completed their 45th season in the Majors without showing up in the “Fall Classic”.

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 21

42 - 8, 25 - 3, 19 - 1, 10 wins in a row.  These are all significant numbers put up with a team with deep pockets, the ability to outdraw everyone, and owners willing to do whatever it takes to bring home the 1st World Series Title since 1988.  No one can touch these guys right now. Best 3 Starters in the NL and hottest 2 NL Hitters in Puig and Ramirez.  Oh yeah, the Bullpen has been lights out for the last 50 contests!

42 – 8, 25 – 3, 19 – 1, 10 wins in a row. These are all significant numbers put up with a team with deep pockets, the ability to outdraw everyone for park attendance, and owners willing to do whatever it takes to bring home the 1st World Series Title since 1988. No one can touch these guys right now. Best 3 Starters in the NL and hottest 2 NL Hitters in Puig and Ramirez. Oh yeah, the Bullpen has been lights out for the last 50 contests!

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

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in,

The races for the Divisions (AL East, AL West and NL Central are starting to tighten up, while the NL West, AL Central and most notably NL East are looking to be foregone conclusions

The Braves have rattled of a 18 – 3 stretch, and have been ousted by the Dodgers for the #1 spot in the MLB Rankings .

The Rangers are trying to ricochet off of a couple of great deals, in order to flame down the Oakland Athletics.

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (July.11th) – Updated Yearly “WOB” Standings

(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Matt Moore held Minnesota hitless until two outs in the 6th inning. He would finish  going 7 1/3  innings with only 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 10 as the Rays topped the Twins, 4-3.

Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a homer and reached based 4 times. He extended his hitting streak to 19 games as the Red Sox beat the Mariners in 10 innings, 8-7.

Edwin Jackson shut down his former team, the Cardinals, with a masterful 7 inning performance. He let up no runs and no walks and only 3 hits. The Cubs for at least one day topped St. Louis, 3-0.

And Freddie Freeman drove in three runs on the day he made the All Star team. His 3-4 performance helped lead the Braves to a tight 6-5 victory over the Reds.

They all owned baseball on July 11th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

The NY Yankees Roster Tree Part 1: The Hitters Acquisitions For Each Player

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Tuesday July.09/2013

Derek Jeter starts the 2013 year only 11 hits behind Eddie Collins for 10th place on the ALL-Time hits list.  With a possible Player Option in 2014, - and maybe playing one additional year after - can he hit 327 base knocks to pass Stan Musial for 4th place on the list by that years end?  Will he play beyond this year even?  Derek Jeter was Drafted by the team in 1992 - and represents all that good drafting the team did prior to the new regime

Derek Jeter starts the 2013 year only 11 hits behind Eddie Collins for 10th place on the ALL-Time hits list. With a possible Player Option in 2014, – and maybe playing one additional year after – can he hit 327 base knocks to pass Stan Musial for 4th place on the list by that years end? Will he play beyond this year even? Derek Jeter was Drafted by the team in 1992 – and represents all that good drafting the team did prior to the new regime.

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Yankees – 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.

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The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Last season had a flurry of no hitters, ending with Homer Bailey‘s gem that eliminated the Pirates from contention.

This season has been filled with one near miss after another, including close calls from Yu Darvish and Anibal Sanchez. When would the first no hitter of 2013 be thrown?

I guess only Homer Bailey is allowed to throw no-nos now. He threw a gem with only one walk against the punchless Giants and joined the likes of Roy Halladay and Mark Buehrle as a pitcher with multiple no hitters.

Let’s take a look at each franchise’s most recent no hitter:

THE MOST RECENT NO HITTERS
FOR EACH FRANCHISE
CINCINNATI REDS
Homer Bailey – July 2, 2013.
3-0 over San Francisco.
SEATTLE MARINERS
Felix Hernandez – August 15, 2012.
1-0 over Rays. (Perfect Game)
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Matt Cain – June 13, 2012.
10-0 over Houston. (Perfect Game)
NEW YORK METS
Johan Santana – June 1, 2012
8-0 over St. Louis.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
Jered Weaver – May 2, 2012.
9-0 over Minnesota.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Philip Humber – April 21, 2012
4-0 over Seattle. (Perfect Game.)
DETROIT TIGERS
Justin Verlander – May 7, 2011.
9-0 over Toronto.
MINNESOTA TWINS
Francisco Liriano – May 3, 2011
1-0 over Chicago White Sox
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Roy Halladay – October 6, 2010
4-0 over Cincinnati. (Playoff Game)
TAMPA PAY RAYS
Matt Garza – July 26th, 2010
5-0 over Detroit.ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Edwin Jackson – June 25, 2010
1-0 over Tampa BayOAKLAND A’S
Dallas Braden – May 9, 2010
4-0 over Tampa Bay. (Perfect Game.)
COLORADO ROCKIES
Ubaldo Jimenez – April 17, 2010
4-0 over Atlanta.CHICAGO CUBS
Carlos Zambrano – September 14, 2008.
5-0 over Houston.
BOSTON RED SOX
Jon Lester – May 19, 2008.
7-0 over Kansas City.
FLORIDA MARLINS
Anibal Sanchez – September 6, 2006.
2-0 over Arizona.
HOUSTON ASTROS
Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner -
June 11, 2003.
8-0 over New York Yankees.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Bud Smith – September 3, 2001
4-0 over San Diego.
NEW YORK YANKEES
David Cone – July 18, 1999.
6-0 over Montreal. (Perfect Game.)
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon – July 12, 1997.
3-0 over Houston. (10 innings.)
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Hideo Nomo – September 17, 1996.
9-0 over Colorado.
TEXAS RANGERS
Kenny Rogers – July 28, 1994.
4-0 over California. (Perfect Game.)ATLANTA BRAVES
Kent Mercker – April 8, 1994.
6-0 over Los Angeles.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Bret Saberhagen – August 26, 1991
7-0 over Chicago White Sox.WASHINGTON NATIONALS (AS MONTREAL EXPOS)
Dennis Martinez – July 28, 1991.
2-0 over Los Angeles. (Perfect Game.)
BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson – July 13, 1991.
2-0 over Oakland.TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Dave Stieb – September 2, 1990.
3-0 over Cleveland.
MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Juan Nieves – April 15, 1987.
7-0 over Baltimore.

CLEVELAND INDIANS
Len Barker – May 15, 1981.
3-0 over Toronto. (Perfect Game.)

Bonus

WASHINGTON SENATORS
Bobby Burke – August 8, 1931
5-0 over Boston.

The Padres are still on the clock. And it would be nice to simplify the list with the Nationals having a no hitter instead of including the Expos and Senators.

When will the next no hitter be?

Well, when’s Homer Bailey’s next start?

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Chicago Cubs Trade Candidates

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 Monday, July.1, 2013

Garza is currently 3-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 8 Starts so far in 2013. His career ERA is a nearly identical 3.84 which includes his time in a tough AL East. I think the Orioles need to take a run at him to get a true front-line starter as they are solid everywhere else.

Garza is currently 3-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 8 Starts so far in 2013. His career ERA is a nearly identical 3.84 which includes his time in a tough AL East. I think the Orioles need to take a run at him to get a true front-line starter as they are solid everywhere else.

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

As most Chicago Cubs fans probably know, an article entitled “Chicago Cubs Trade Candidates” will most certainly be talking about candidates to get shipped out-of-town, not imported in.

The Chicago Cubs haven’t had much luck recently. It seems like they have been stuck in the basement of the NL Central for far too long, and they aren’t about to get out of it in 2013. However, maybe there are brighter days on the horizon.

Theo Epstein made a winner out of the Boston Red Sox and brought championships to a club in a drought of similar proportions to the Cubs. He has started the rebuild, and in my opinion is relatively close to putting together a contender.

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Chicago Cubs Payroll In 2013: Team Organizational Rosters + Depth Charts – (MLB + MiLB)

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Wednesday, May.29/2013

Anthony Rizzo entered 2013 with high expectations as the Cubs Opening Day First Baseman. He has come along way since 2008.  The man has battled injuries, 2 team changes and has settled down in Chicago to be one of he most promising young power hitting prospects in the MLB today.  He could end up being a 35 - 40 HR, 100 RBI man in the 'Windy City' - and this would make him an icon at Wrigley Field.  Recently he signed a 7 YR/ $41 MIL extension and will be a vital part in the rebuild of this franchise

Anthony Rizzo entered 2013 with high expectations as the Cubs Opening Day First Baseman. He has come along way since 2008. The man has battled injuries, 2 team changes and has settled down in Chicago to be one of he most promising young power hitting prospects in the MLB today. He could end up being a 35 – 40 HR, 100 RBI man in the ‘Windy City’ – and this would make him an icon at Wrigley Field. Recently he signed a 7 YR/ $41 MIL extension and will be a vital part in the rebuild of this franchise.  He is hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .263/.324/.829 – with 10 HRs and 35 RBI in 50 in 50 Games in the 2013 season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starlin Castro Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is advised

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Dan Haren Has Not Pitched Well For The Nationals!

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Sunday, Apr.21/2013

Dan Haren signed a 1 YR/ $13 Million Contract over the winter with the Washington Nationals.  He was supposed to be a competent #5 Starter that would give the Nats an edge versus opponents #5 Starters.  The 32 Year Old is 1 - 2 with a 8.10 ERA and 2.03 WHIP so far - spanning 3 Games Started and 13.1 Innings Pitched

Dan Haren signed a 1 YR/ $13 Million Contract over the winter with the Washington Nationals. He was supposed to be a competent #5 Starter that would give the Nats an edge versus opponents #5 Starters. The 32 Year Old is 1 – 2 with a 8.10 ERA and 2.03 WHIP so far – spanning 3 Games Started and 13.1 Innings Pitched.

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

Dan Haren has not pitched well for the Nationals. There have been a multitude of issues, but the main and most important one is he has been getting hit hard. His line drive rate is up to 25.9% from his career average of 19.9% – and his ground ball rate is down to 25.9% from his career average of 43.0%.

Avoiding line drives and inducing ground balls is good for a pitcher. Most line drives are hits -while most ground balls are not.

Giving up more line drives and less ground balls is never good and it has led to Haren having a .420 BABIP so far on the season compared to his career average of .292, and this doesn’t include the five homeruns he has given up, but even if nothing else changes a 3.38 HR/9 is unsustainable.

MLB Talk on the Haren Signing at the Winter Meetings 2012:

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NL Trade Deadline Targets

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Monday April.8/2013

If all goes well with the team this year, the Astros could improve on their 2012 year.  If all else fails, Houston might challenge the ALL-Time Loss Record.  Whatever happens, any Veteran Player with a heartbeat will be on the trading block by June.  The Astros will continue to dissolve any of their assets (with expiring contracts) onto other teams in order to pick off some more prospects.  The Astros will also Draft 1st overall at the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.

If all goes well with the team this year, the Astros could improve on their 2012 year. If all else fails, Houston might challenge the ALL-Time Loss Record. Whatever happens, any Veteran Player with a heartbeat will be on the trading block by June. The Astros will continue to dissolve any of their assets (with expiring contracts) onto other teams in order to pick off some more prospects. The Astros will also Draft 1st overall at the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.  The Astros also play in the toughest Division in the Majors for pitching, plus have already put up back to back 100 Loss Seasons.  Their second half Won – Loss Records might challenge historic rates.

By Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Baseball Operations Correspondent)

Likely Mid season trade targets NL:

I’m assuming these teams will have a winning percentage of at least .475 and therefore will not be sellers although that doesn’t entirely rule out being sellers at the deadline. We are far away from the deadline but it’s nice to see who might be available. Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants and Rockies (sleeper).

I believe these teams will be sellers and there are not many in the NL because of the parity. Many of these teams don’t have that much to offer so it would not surprise me if a team above (Brewers?) makes a few trades for over slot prices. Marlins, Mets, Pirates, Cubs and Padres.

Giancarlo Stanton (Formerly Mike Stanton hits it out of Dodger Stadium):

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The Washington Nationals Franchise Part 6 of 6: 2013 Team Payroll And Contracts Updated Mar.8

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Thursday, March.07/2013

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner):

Perhaps no team will have more of a chance to win the 2013 World Series with Harper and Strasburg will be another year older, while both Zimmerman’s can both have been healthy for the year.  They have two Mutual Options for them to re-sign which I mention on the next page.  They do have several Arbitration Eligible Players including Super ’2′ Free Agents Jordan Zimmerman and Tyler Clippard.  The Nationals should try to lock most of these guys up as long as they can.  Especially guys like Desmond, Espinosa and Storen.  

Their price shall only skyrocket as they become older.  The Nationals will not have to worry about their starting outfield of Morse, Werth and Harper as they are all signed for next year.  Strasburg enters the final year of this entry-level deal and Gio Gonzalez also has a nice value deal for the salary part of it.

Kurt Suzuki had a strong finish in 2013, so you could see the club maybe trading away he or Wilson Ramos before 2013 Trade Deadline.  I suspect the Phillies to be stronger this year, so major improvements by Harper and rejuvenated play from both Zimmerman’s will be crucial to the clubs success.  Micheal Lerner has made it abundantly clear he wants a championship for this club ASAP.  He will spend any amount of money .  The rest of the lineup looks set and ready to mash in 2013!

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, The Nationals top 25 Man Roster from 20o5-2012 click here

MLB 13 The Show – Bryce Harper Interview:

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Cubs Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Saturday, Mar.02, 2013

The Cubs final payroll from 2012 was just north of $107 Million, and, over the winter, President of Baseball Operations Theo Esptein and GM Jed Hoyer added plenty of pitching depth to the 2013 team.

The Cubs final payroll from 2012 was just north of $107 Million, and, over the winter, President of Baseball Operations Theo Esptein and GM Jed Hoyer added plenty of pitching depth to the 2013 team.

By Alex Kantecki (Cubs Correspondent):

Only the Houston Astros stood between the Chicago Cubs and last place in the NL Central in 2012. The Cubs lost 101 games – their most losses since 1966, when the team went 51-103 — and finished with the second worst record in baseball. Under President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, the Cubs went backwards from the year before, losing 10 more games than in 2011.

Epstein continues to rebuild the Cubs’ farm system, and the organization boasts four top prospects – Shortstop Javier Baez, Outfielder Albert Almora, Outfielder Jorge Soler and Relief Pitcher Arodys Vizcaino — all of whom are represented in the Top 100 Prospects of Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. Over the winter, the Cubs bolstered their Starting Pitching staff, adding Starters Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman, Scott Baker and Carlos Villanueva.

Chicago Cubs 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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MLB Player Profile: Nationals Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann

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Wednesday January 23rd, 2013

Jordan Zimmermann is heading into Arbitration shortly with the Nats coming off of his best year in the Major Leagues with a 12-8 Record.  For his career, he is 24-26 with a 3.47 ERA.

Jordan Zimmermann is heading into Arbitration shortly with the Nats coming off of his best year in the Major Leagues with a 12-8 Record. For his career, he is 24-26 with a 3.47 ERA.  Zimmermann had Tommy John surgery in 2009 – and has come back stronger. 

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Having his breakout season in 2012, Jordan Zimmermann has been a guy the Washington Nationals have been able to rely on. 27 years old in 2013, Zimmermann helps anchor the young Nationals rotation including Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals had success in 2012, winning the NL East and making the playoffs for the first time as a franchise. The Nationals got unlucky though, and were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the Division Series. This year the Nationals will hope to build on their 2012 performance, and Jordan Zimmermann will most likely be a big help.

One of the main reasons the Nationals were eliminated so early last season is because of the shutting down of Stephen Strasburg. In the middle of the season, I wrote about the pros and cons of shutting Strasburg down, and in the end the situation ended badly. Last year, the Nationals had a very strong rotation consisting of Strasburg, Zimmermann, Gonzalez, and Edwin Jackson. By shutting Strasburg down, the Nationals lost a quarter of their rotation and had to scramble when the Division Series went more than three games. Ross Detwiler got the start and Zimmermann had to come into the game in a relief role. There was no reason for this to have to happen. Protecting Strasburg was important, but in my opinion the Nationals overprotected him, which cost them dearly in the playoffs.

Jordan Zimmermann Flashback Highlights:

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MLB Player Profile: Chicago Cubs SP Matt Garza

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Friday, January.18, 2013

Matt Garza may only have a Career Record of 57-61 (.483)  - but had a ERA if 3.84 during his 7 year career for the Cubs, Rays and Twins.

Matt Garza may only have a Career Record of 57-61 (.483) – but had a ERA if 3.84 during his 7 year career for the Cubs, Rays and Twins.  He also has carried an ERA of under 4 for 6 straights seasons – including 3 tough years in the AL East.

Alex Kantecki (Guest Baseball Writer and Cubs Correspondent):

Matt Garza was Jim Hendry’s last big addition before the Cubs general manager got the boot in 2011. The Cubs needed a dependable No. 3 to slot in the rotation behind Cubs’ mainstays Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano, and Garza fit the bill. In three years with Tampa Bay, Garza compiled a 34-31 record with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP with 7.10 K/9 and 3.05 BB/9 in 592.1 Innings Pitched — not ace numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but respectable for a No. 2/No. 3 type.

 Garza, 29, was an innings-eater, with two straight seasons of 200-plus innings from 2009-2010. To acquire Garza, the Cubs sent five prospects, including No. 1 prospect Chris Archer and No. 4 prospect Hak-Ju Lee to Tampa Bay. The move, considered by many as a desperation trade by a general manager looking to save his job, is still scrutinized today. But should it be?

Matt Garza Highlight:  Worst Throw Ever to 1st Base?

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The Tampa Bay Rays: The Franchise 1998-2012: Part 1 Of A 5 Part Article Series

Thursday, December.20, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5. The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

The many Rays Logo's over the years.  Is the best of this franchise yet tom come

The many Rays Logo’s over the years. Is the best of this franchise yet to come?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The Tampa Bay Rays Franchise can be summarized into two different categories:  “The Devil Rays Days” and the “Rays Days.”  The Devil Rays endured 10 straight losing seasons to start the club’s history.  From 1998-2007, was a complete gong show (645-972) and last place finishes in a tough AL East every year, except for 2004, when they finished 4th, although they did stockpile several top Draft Picks based on their horrid regular seasons.  In 2008, all of that changed when the ‘Devil’ was literally and figuratively knocked away from the Tampa Bay team.  Their young stars finally saw their potential realized and they appeared in the 2008 World Series versus the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Franchise would lose in 5 hard-fought, weather fulfilled games, however the team was now one of the model clubs in baseball.  From 2008-2012, the club has gone 458-352.

The Rays have made the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 since, plus featured two other over .500 records in 2009 and 2012.  The club has now had 5 winning seasons in a row.  There is still a long way to go as they feature the worst winning percentage in MLB History, with a 1103-1327 Franchise Record (.454).  The next worst team is the Padres at .463.  The Arizona DiamondBacks were the NL Expansion cousins of the Rays and they feature a Win Percentage of (.498), which is second overall for the Expansion teams.  The Arizona DiamondBacks also have made the playoffs 5 times and won the World Series in 2001.  Still if you asked anyone right now, the Rays would gladly be the team everyone picked.

Franchise Series Links:

The Hitters:  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Hitters 1998-2012: Part 2 Of A 5 Part Article Series

The Pitchers:  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Pitchers 1998-2012: Part 3 Of A 5 Part Article Series

2013 Team Payroll:  Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Updated for Myers Trade Dec.11/2012

Tropicana Field Expert:  An Interview with Tropicana Field Expert Kurt Smith

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The Nationals Signing of Dan Haren To A 1 Yr Deal: Why It Is Still A Bad Move For Them

Monday December 17th, 2012

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Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)  

Starting pitching is already an obvious strength for the Washington Nationals. If that not evident to you, well, I’ll provide some stats. As a unit, the Nats’ starters combined to post a 3.40 ERA, and a 3.46 Fielding Independent Percentage (FIP). Both marks led the National League. Therefore, starting pitching should be labeled as their best strength.

However, Washington’s rotation became a bit slimmer when Edwin Jackson decided to part to greener pastures. Yes, technically he is still a free-agent, and the Nationals could technically prepare an offer for him. But the likelihood of that happening is about as little as can be.

Why?

Because Rizzo signed Dan Haren to a one-year, $13 Million Deal instead. OK, Haren’s reputation is surely a bit more reputable than Jackson’s. He is a three-time all-star, and has finished top-ten in Cy Young voting twice in his Ten Year Career. Meanwhile, Jackson is known to get a wild hair every so often, but has ace-esque stuff when he’s clicking. It’s just that his command is inconsistent. Read the rest of this entry

State Of The Union: What The Minnesota Twins Must Do To Compete in 2013

Friday December 14, 2012

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Kyle Holland (MLB Reports intern): 

The last few years for the Minnesota Twins had been nothing more than atrocious. They have finished in last place in the AL Central both of the past two season finishing 63-99 and 66-96 respectively. The 2011 season was highly disappointing due to the fact the Twins finished first in 2010. They didn’t have Mauer for a good portion of 2011 due to injury so they were hoping for a strong comeback in 2012. He did not disappoint making the All-Star Game in 2012 and finished with one of the top Avgs in the American League.  Justin Morneau played the majority of the season and is starting to come around offensively.  While the team can’t count on him putting up AL MVP numbers again, he should be average amongst American League First Basemen.

So what exactly do the Twins need to do to get back to their success in the last decade prior to 2011? The simple answer to this question is pitching. Read the rest of this entry

The Red Sox Are Spending All That Cash Without Acquiring Pitching!

Tuesday December 11, 2012

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Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Intern):

The summer of 2012 was by far the Red Sox worst in recent memory. Hiring Bobby Valentine might have turned out to be the Red Sox front office’s worst decision within the last 20 years. It was probably a worst decision than signing Carl Crawford for seven years and $142 Million. The Sox have decided during the 2012-13 offseason that they would dish out some money to spend again. Their only problem? They are not spending any money on what they really need, pitching.

They drove through 9 starting pitchers throughout the 2012 campaign and their ERA leader had a 4.56 ERA. That’s not a very good ERA for a team leader. The same man, Clay Buchholz , also led the team with 11 wins. Also not amazing for a team leader. Read the rest of this entry

Ryan Madson and Edwin Jackson: Free Agent Gambles That Became Scott Boras Blunders

Monday November 12th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: There isn’t a single general manager is baseball that enjoys negotiating with Scott Boras, the man behind many of baseball’s top players. He usually gets his way when the final dominos fall, but he isn’t perfect. Edwin Jackson and Ryan Madson are two examples of Boras’s flawed work of late.

Here’s how they have and will be affected in free agency:

How Edwin Jackson Will Be Affected

Jackson seems to be the MLB’s definition of a journeyman. With ten years under his belt, he has pitched on seven teams, and not once has he signed a contract worth longer than three years. Jackson had an opportunity to erase that trend last off-season with several long-term deals at his disposal. However, Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal noted last winter that instead of taking the safe route, he could roll the dice and shoot for a larger contract next winter, which is now this winter. Jackson followed Rosenthal’s blueprint, signing a one-year deal with the Nationals worth $11 million. Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: MLB Free Agency Season Is Upon Us!

Sunday November 4th, 2012



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

Jonathan Hacohen: Here we go again. We spend the whole offseason waiting and hoping for the MLB season to start. We speculate where free agents will sign, which teams will pull off trades and which teams have reason for optimism once the season. We dissect every move and weigh the dollars/years on each contract. Welcome to hot stove baby! But then the season comes and goes in a flash- then we end up right back to the offseason again. Right back to free agency talk again.

This week we have a nice mix of topics. From covering free agents, to trades, division realignment- our readers really went through the whole spectrum of baseball topics. We couldn’t possibly jump into ATR during free agency season without hearing the names Hamilton, Greinke or Upton? Of course not! So enough talking- more asking! It’s time for Ask the Reports.

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

MLB Reports Playoff Power Rankings and Predictions 2012

Friday, October.5/2012

The Reds have Joey Votto back and definitely are the deepest team in the playoffs. They start in San Francisco versus the Giants on Saturday in a best of 5 Series in the NLDS Round.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In what could be one of the most exciting days in MLB History, we present to you a special edition of the MLB Reports Power Rankings,

1.  Cincinnati Reds:  The reason I have chosen these guys is because of their path to the World Series is probably easier than any other team in the MLB when it comes to Strength of Schedule.  Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Todd Frazier will challenge for NL Cy Young Votes and the Rookie of the Year Award.  They have a healthy Joey Votto and it is time for Brandon Phillips to show his playoff metal.  They have the greatest bullpen in the playoffs and are playing in the 1st round against the San Francisco Giants.  The Great American Ball Park should be a great home field advantage.

Unheralded Player to watch in this Playoffs:  Starting Pitcher Homer Bailey has pitched really well this year and is coming off a recent no-hitter.

2.  Detroit Tigers:  The Tigers are playing their best baseball of the season and caught a break when the Athletics won the AL West.  Miguel Cabrera was on fire in September en route to his AL Triple Crown win.  The Tigers were 32-11 in their last 43 home games and their solid pitching bodes well versus all of the homer centric teams in the AL.  Their toughest competition would be the Yankees and Rangers and I am not sure those teams will be able to match the pitching of the club.  While in my rankings I have given the #1 ranking to the Reds, the Tigers were my preseason pick to win the WS Title and it will all be on the backs of Prince Fielder and Cabrera. 

Unheralded player to watch in the Playoffs:  Omar Infante He is a great all around player who comes up with clutch hits.

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Ross Detwiler: Nationals Pitcher is Underrated to Say the Least

Saturday September 22nd, 2012 

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): The Washington Nationals have one of the best pitching staffs in the majors. The reason for this is the depth they have on the staff. It is not a shock that with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Edwin Jackson, and Ross Detwiler that the Nationals have one of the best rotations in baseball. You hear a lot about the first four guys on this list, but not much about Detwiler. I am really wondering why this is the case! Read the rest of this entry

Time For the Nationals to Shut Down Jordan Zimmermann: Why Stop at Strasburg?

Friday September 14th, 2012

Jonathan Hacohen:  Before fans of the Nationals start to write any angry comments in respect of this article, please do me one favor.  Stop. Read the article in its entirety and then pass judgement. That’s the least I can ask from each of you.

Now that being said, I have a bone to pick with the Nationals. While I love the game with a passion, I also need to separate the fan in me from the writer. When it comes to the topic of Stephen Strasburg, I honestly have a hard time doing that. Shutting down Stephen Strasburg to me is like ripping up the winning lottery ticket. You just don’t do it. Too many stars have aligned this season for the Nationals, to have the season put into possible jeopardy due to a decision that could have been avoided. Putting it bluntly- Stephen Strasburg should be pitching right now. To the end of the season. And throughout the playoffs. You just don’t take out your ace when you don’t need to.

I have talked with colleagues, players, fans…everyone and anyone who has an opinion on the subject. Believe me, there are many of them. If I had to take an informal poll of say 200 people with knowledge on the game, about 195 are against the move. Plain and simple. In my eyes, it seems that everyone sees the logic to keep him pitching (including Strasburg himself), except GM Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson. Even Johnson I am not that sure about. How often do you criticize your boss? Exactly. Read the rest of this entry

Was Edwin Jackson The Most Valuable Free Agent Signing During The Offseason? Smart Move By The Nationals

Wednesday September 12th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: During all the chaos that surrounded Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder during the offseason, the Washington Nationals made a very sneaky addition to their pitching staff by adding Edwin Jackson. The deal was signed in early February, which made it the final piece to their rotation, as Gio Gonzalez was added before Jackson. But this move flew under the radar as Pujols and Fielder garnered most of the media. Obviously that didn’t come as a surprise. Now, Jackson looks like the most valuable offseason signing.

The thing about Jackson, is that he didn’t break the Nationals’ bank. He came at a reasonable $11 million price tag, and compared to the contracts that Pujols (10 Year, $254 Million) and Fielder (10 Year $214 Million) brought in, Jackson’s contract is practically nothing. Simply, he’s a value player. Talent-wise, he clearly isn’t as respected and accomplished as Pujols and Fielder. But that’s not the point.

However, Jackson won’t be flying under the radar for much longer now that Stephen Strasburg is out of the equation. He will have to play a much bigger role in a starting pitching staff that leads the National League in ERA (3.32). Yes, the Nationals have decent alternatives to fill Strasburg’s void. Those alternatives being Ross Detwiler and John Lannan, but Jackson takes an immense step up depth chart pyramid. Gio Gonzalez now assumes the “ace” role, Jordan Zimmerman follows him, and now Edwin Jackson is third option which means higher expectations. It also means that Jackson’s production can’t be taken as a bonus anymore. His production is now crucial for the Nationals to continue to find success on the pitching area of the game. If he depletes, the Nats are suddenly down to two consistent arms— Gonzalez and Zimmerman. That’s no longer intimidating.

Can he thrive under the pressure? Read the rest of this entry

Stephen Strasburg Update: The Nationals Decision to Shut Stras For the Season is Looming

Thursday August 9th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:The rest of the Nationals’ season rides on the talented right arm of Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals have a very strong staff with Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Edwin Jackson as the core. One could make a case for Zimmermann, Gonzalez, or Strasburg as the ace, as each of them carries a sub-3.40 ERA. Zimmermann has a 2.45, Strasburg has a 2.97, and Gonzalez has a 3.32 ERA. Pitching is undoubtedly the Nationals’ strongpoint. But, if Washington was to abide by the innings limit they set for Strasburg, their playoff hopes could be in jeopardy.

At the beginning of the season, the Nationals came out and said that Strasburg would only throw 160 innings before being shut down due to his having Tommy John surgery last year. As of Wednesday, he has thrown 127.1. In his 22 starts this year, he averages about 5 2/3 innings a start. With the 32 2/3 innings that he has left, he would only be able to make five to six more starts. The Nationals have played 110 games thus far, so that leaves them with 52 to go. He is set to pitch Friday, so if he were to go every fifth day and pitch his average of 5 2/3 innings each time, his limit would be reached by the beginning of September. The good news is if the Nationals decide to abide by this limit, they have a few options available to them.

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The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: (Part 4 of The Expos/Nats Series)

Friday, July.20/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

Stephen Strasburg is the new face of the Washington Nationals. Will Bryce Harper and he be able to bring a World Series to Washington?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- At the beginning of 2005, MLB returned to Washington for the first time since 1971.  So how was this time going to be any different from the first two times in DC?  The Minnesota Twins first moved from the old Washington in 1961 and the Texas Rangers moved in 1971 from Washington a decade later.  The Washington Nationals (or Senators in the early 20′s where the won a World Series in 1924.  The first and only WS the city of Washington has seen) had hall of fame players such as: Goose Goslin, Sam Rice and Joe Cronin to accompany the great Walter Johnston.  By the time the team moved to Minnesota before the start of the 1961 season, the club had young phenoms Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison seen as their nucleus of a young Washington team before moving.

Washington’s second go around (in the American League this time) lasted from 1961-1971.  The Washington fans were granted an AL Expansion team by MLB-to hold ontotheir anti-trust exemption status.  The Los Angeles Angels were their expansion cousins.  These AL Washington teams were awful and only were saved by Frank Howard and his 6 foot 7 frame smashing home runs for the years of 1965-1971 as their first baseman/outfielder.  The team only managed one winning season in a decade and that was under the managerial guide of Ted Williams.  Bob Short had acquired the team with 9.4 Million Dollars that was all borrowed after the previous owner had died in 1967.  Short promptly named himself the General Manager.  Finances caught up to him and he eventually traded away some of the best talent before selling the club to the city of Arlington after the 1971 season.  Washington would be without baseball for 33 years until the Expos moved back into RFK Stadium and changed their name to the Nationals in 2005.

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos  Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, 2005-2012 Nats Best 25 Man Roster click here

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