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The Seattle Mariners State Of The Union For 2014 Part 1: Winter Deals + Pitchers

Felix Hernandez has been the face of the Seattle Mariners since 2009 when he won 19 games for the Mariners.  He followed up with a CY Young season in 2010.   The last 3 years, he has gone 39 - 33, with a lowe 3 ERA, but finished 4th in Cy Young Voting in 2012, and was oine of the frontrunner to win the 2013 AL Cy Young - before the team shut him down for the rest of the year in Sept (still finished 8th in Voting).  Hernandez sports a 110 - 86 record with a 3.20 ERA for his 9 year career.  Expect nearly 16  - 18 wins this year with a near 3 ERA.  Photo: Chris Carlson - AP

Felix Hernandez has been the face of the Seattle Mariners since 2009 when he won 19 games for the Mariners. He followed up with a CY Young season in 2010. The last 3 years, he has gone 39 – 33, with a lowe 3 ERA, but finished 4th in Cy Young Voting in 2012, and was one of the frontrunners to win the 2013 AL Cy Young – before the team shut him down for the rest of the year in Sept (still finished 8th in Voting). Hernandez sports a 110 – 86 record with a 3.20 ERA for his 9 year career. Expect nearly 16 – 18 wins this year with a near 3 ERA. The Mariners have only had 2 winning seasons out of the time “King Felix has been on the team.  A start at Safeco Field for the team by him is worth about 10K fans extra. Photo: Chris Carlson – AP

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

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A decade of frustration has set in after the clubs best stretch of success proceeded if from the time Ken Griffey Jr. arrived, until longtime MGR. Lou Piniella left the fold in 2003.

That was the last season the Mariners were sniffing around a playoff spot.

Back then, attendance was nearly 40K per game at Safeco, and you see tailgate parties, and the smell of garlic wafted through the surrounding area of the park.

In 2012, the club hit an all time low in attendance for the new stadium, and it wasn’t much better in 2013.  Seattle drew just over 20,000 fans per game.

Something had to be done.  Other than games that brought tonnes of excitement, and the King’s Court Section for Felix Hernandez home outings, there wasn’t much for the teams fanbase to be happy about with the home team.

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The Braves Continue To Step Up To The Plate In The Ervin Santana Signing

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a move that had to be done in my view.  Atlanta has 60% of its Starting Rotation currently in the sick bay, or has questionable thoughts to whether it could pitch near Opening Day.

In the end it is a Win/Win situation for all above.

The Braves acquire a top end of the rotation guy, and it serves as great insurance, and Santana is able to play for a full season trying to re-establish his worth on next winter’s open market.

Sure Atlanta sacrifices a 1st RD pick, but they are still receiving the compensation Pick from the Yankees for the Brian McCann signing.

Santana flies right out the American League, and will look to pad his stats versus the likes of the Mets and Marlins this year, and to avoid the AL Beast, the only teams that were coveting him that he mutually was talking with 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

Atlanta Braves Payroll in 2014 + Contracts Going Forward Part 1

It would be one thing if B.J. Upton were the only player on the Braves who had an abysmal season.  When you add the injuries and the season of Dan Uggla to Upton worst year of his career, it is actually amazing this team ended with 96 Wins.  With the club losing Brian McCann, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson, they will need Upton and CO. to rebound for the team to contend again in 2014.  Upton has to get back to 20/20 years for powers and steals, and at least hit to 85% of his career 3 slash - to justify the contract doled out by the Atlanta Braves.  Uggla must correct his vision problems and get back to raking again.  These 2 guys are the #2 and #3 paid guys on the squad in 2014 behind Justin Upton.

It would be one thing if B.J. Upton were the only player on the Braves who had an abysmal season. When you add the injuries and the season of Dan Uggla to Upton worst year of his career, it is actually amazing this team ended with 96 Wins. With the club losing Brian McCann, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson, they will need Upton and CO. to rebound for the team to contend again in 2014. Upton has to get back to 20/20 years for powers and steals, and at least hit to 85% of his career 3 slash – to justify the contract doled out by the Atlanta Braves. Uggla must correct his vision problems and get back to raking again. These 2 guys are the #2 and #3 paid guys on the squad in 2014 behind Justin Upton.

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

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The ‘Tomahawk Choppers’ have 2 players that are killing them for Free Agent signings this winter.

B.J. Upton is only in the 2nd year of his 5 YRs/$75 MIL – and underachieving Dan Uggla  is still on the  books for 2 more years.

Between these 2 gentleman, they will bring down $26.25 MIL in 2014.  The Braves are hoping for more than under the ‘Mendoza Line’ Batting Averages – and an occasional big fly.

The Braves are also headed to Arbitration with Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward and Craig Kimbrel.  This is certainly bound to cost the organization a pretty penny.

In fact, those 3 players will likely exceed the amount of the B.J Upton and Uggla contracts.

Craig Kimbrel 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics Parental Guidance Is Advised:

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The Atlanta Braves State Of The Union – Fall 2013: Part 1

2013 was not an easy road traveled either. The Braves suffered so many injuries and set backs this season that I think a lot of us almost forget about the ones that happened earlier on in the year. Johnny Venters never even threw a regular season pitch this year and he has been our premiere set up man. Eric O’Flaherty threw his last pitch somewhere around the middle of May against this very Dodger team at Turner Field.

2013 was not an easy road traveled for Atlanta. The Braves suffered so many injuries and set backs this season that I think a lot of us almost forget about the ones that happened earlier on in the year. Johnny Venters never even threw a regular season pitch this year and he has been our premiere set up man. Eric O’Flaherty threw his last pitch somewhere around the middle of May against this very Dodger team at Turner Field.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

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At the point after Eric O’Flaherty went down, many of us Braves fans began to panic and wonder how Fredi Gonzalez would get the ball to arguably the best closer

in all of baseball Craig Kimbrel. What happened after that? The Braves would still go on to post the best bullpen ERA in all of baseball and on top of that set a franchise record for the same mark.

Jason Heyward missed significant time as did Brian McCann. Freddie Freeman spent a couple of weeks on the disabled list and still drove in over 100 runs on the season.

BJ Upton and Dan Uggla struggled throughout most of the 2013 season and BJ was one of the players expected to make a huge impact when he signed with the Braves this winter and it just never happened.

Other players stepped up and young players assumed roles that were well beyond the original expectations of them in 2013.

No one panicked and no one quit and as a fan I am appreciative of the heart and effort this team always put forth.

The Dodgers Celebrate winning the NLDS Series versus Atlanta (At Turner Field)

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Who Owns October? (WOO) Tally Updated for October 7, 2013

Photo: Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports

Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO.
And at my discretion, I award a 1/2 WOO to a worthy player on the losing team.

For a full explanation, click HERE.

From today’s games:

Receiving 1 WOO

Alex Cobb was not on top of his game but he kept the Red Sox from breaking open the game in his 5 innings of work and helped set up Tampa’s 5-4 come from behind win.

Matt Holliday provided all the offense the Cardinals with need with his 2 run homer that sparked St. Louis’ 2-1 win over the Pirates.

Clayton Kershaw pitched on short rest and threw 6 innings with 2 unearned runs, 6 strikeouts and 1 walk. He would not get the decision but the Dodgers would prevail, 5-4.

Evan Longoria saved the series with one swing of his bat by launching a 2 out 3 run homer in the 5th that woke the Rays up. Tampa would go on to win 5-4.

Dan Otero worked out of trouble in two scoreless innings from the bullpen and prevented the Tigers from staging a comeback as the A’s won 6-3.

Seth Smith got two hits including a 2 run homer that gave the A’s insurance in their 6-3 win in Detroit.

Juan Uribe launched a 2 run 8th inning go ahead come from behind homer that gave the Dodgers the clinching lead over the Braves that they would not relinquish, 5-4.

Michael Wacha threw a no hitter into the 8th inning and kept the Cardinals alive, defeating the Pirates in Pittsburgh, letting up just 1 run and 1 hit for a final of 2-1.

Receiving 1/2 WOO:

Jose Alvarez stopped the bleeding in Detroit with 3 innings of no hit shutout ball out of the bullpen. It would not be enough as the Tigers could not score or mount a comeback, losing 6-3.

Pedro Alvarez broke up the no hitter with a towering home run that brought the Pirates to within one run. It would be practically all of the Pirates offense in their 2-1 loss.

Jacoby Ellsbury got three hits, two of them doubles, and a stolen base and scored 2 of the Red Sox 4 runs in their 5-4 loss to the Rays.

Freddy Garcia stunned the Dodger Stadium crowd with a wonderful 6 inning performance where his lone blemishes came on a pair of solo homers. He struck out 6 and let up only 2 runs and would have received the win if the bullpen did not melt down in the 8th.

Charlie Morton let only 2 Cardinals score and allowed only 3 hits while pitching into the 6th in the Pirates 2-1 loss.

Jhonny Peralta drove in 1/3 of the Tigers entire run total for the series with his game tying 2 run single in the 4th. The Tigers would lose 6-3.

Ric Flair endorsing the new “SullyMetric” – WOO!!

To view the Playoff Leaders for ‘Who Owned October Standings’ – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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Braves May Have The Medicine To Cure The “Blue Flu”

The Braves are National League Eastern Division champions and for that they deserve a large amount of recognition. When you think back to the start of Spring Training and look all of those “expert” predictions that said the Washington Nationals would win the East this year you have to realize that despite the busy off season activity the Braves were still labeled as under dogs in their own division.

The Braves are National League Eastern Division champions and for that they deserve a large amount of recognition. When you think back to the start of Spring Training and look all of those “expert” predictions that said the Washington Nationals would win the East this year you have to realize that despite the busy off season activity the Braves were still labeled as under dogs in their own division.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

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Despite injuries and struggles on the offensive end from highly paid players such as BJ Upton and Dan Uggla the Braves still manged to dominant the Eastern Division.

By “dominate” I mean they were in 1st place every single day of the season except for April 4th and they held at least an 8 game lead every single day for the final 60 of the season. If that’s not dominance I don’t know what is.

Besides the incredible season – and all that was achieved, the Braves did fail to secure the number one seed in the National League for the post season – which would have secured them home field throughout the playoffs and allowed them to play the winner of the Wild Card “play in game.” rather then having to face the Dodgers in the N.L.D.S.

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The Braves Win The NL East For The 1st Time Since 2005: The Team Is Way Different From Early 2013

The Braves won 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 - 2005, that culminated in 5 World Series Visits, with cashing in for the Trophy in 1995, however other than a Wild Card Berth (2010), and a Wild Card Play In Game (that they both lost), the club has not seen playoff success for the past 14 years.  The Bravos will have a full NLDS Series to claim another chance at a NLCS Pennant, for the 1st time since 1999.

The Braves won 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 – 2005, that culminated in 5 World Series Visits, with cashing in for the Trophy in 1995, however other than a Wild Card Berth (2010), and a Wild Card Play In Game in 2012 (that they both lost), the club has not seen playoff success for the past 14 years. The Bravos will have a full NLDS Series to claim another chance at a NLCS Pennant, for the 1st time since 1999. Atlanta is still duking it out with the Dodgers and Cardinals for overall home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and have a 0.5 Games Lead over St. Louis (2 game lead over Los Angeles) with just 5 games left.  This would be extremely ‘vital’ to the club – as the team sports a (MLB best) record of 53 – 23 at Turner Field – compared to 40 – 41 on the road this season.

By Hayley Howell (Featured Baseball Writer + Braves Enthusiastic Fan)  

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The first fourteen years of my life (1991-2005) the Braves won consecutive division titles (the best run in MLB to date). They were the first team in the NL to go from last place to first place the next year (“Worst to First”).

They went to the World Series. (1991 was the first time that the home team won all 7 games of the World Series-too bad Atlanta wasn’t the home team).

On my first trip to the local library after moving downtown twenty minutes from home I quickly discovered there were only two Braves books in the whole four floors:

The Miracle Season and a book by John Smoltz that I wish I could remember the title of because I read that thing like it was a holy canon that summer.

I know the Braves beat the Astros 6-5 a few hours after I was born, and I think, in baseball astrology terms, that meant I was destined to become a Braves fan.

The first World Series I was alive for was the Braves and the Twins, not as if I could remember it, but I know that people still argue over the bad call that supposedly caused the Braves to lose, as if one call among thousands could determine a game much less a series.

And for fourteen years consecutively the Braves won their Division (of course the 1994 Season was cancelled, negating the only time the season ended, without them atop the NL East Standings – Montreal was leading that year).

Braves Clinch The NL East

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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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2 And A Hook Podcast #10: All Star Chat, Yankees, Dbacks + Trade Deadline Talk

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Friday, July.12, 2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

’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

Im back & ready after being off during the 4th of July week to give you all another baseball packed podcast. On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

I star by paying respect to the great Yankee Stadium PA announcer Bob Sheppard on the 3 year anniversary to the day that he passed away…

I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment!  16 Minutes in and a 31 Minute Segment

Chuck makes some notions about the New York Yankees and Brian Cashman needing to risk it all for this year – for the legacies of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano.  Plus whether the club can trade Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes – and maybe acquire a bat. Read the rest of this entry

The Yanks Are In Desperation Mode + Need Cashman To Be A Riverboat Gambler!

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Monday July.01/2013

The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin, Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year?  If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn't for two decades.  Meanwhile, who cares about 2013's payroll.  The club will stand to receive over $50 MIL in insurance dough for their hurt players.  Why not reinvest the loot - and take some free swinging stabs?

The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin and Gary Sanchez. Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year? If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn’t for two decades. Meanwhile, who cares about 2013′s payroll. The club will stand to receive over $50 MIL in insurance dough for their hurt players. Why not reinvest the loot – and take some free swinging stabs?  The club begins play today at 42 – 38, 4 games out of playoff spot, but 17 -24 in their last 41 Games Played.  They play 2 series versus the Twins, and also have  other series versus the Indians and Royals before the Break.  Will they make hay, or freefall by then?

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

It wasn’t always a rosy picture for the New York Yankee fanbase after the 1982 season.  In 1985, I became a fan of the team and Don Mattingly when I saw them smoke the Toronto Blue Jays like 22 – 0 or something on a  Nationally televised game.

My dad was a huge Thurman Munson fan – and told me the legend of the Yankees when I started being able to hear.  I even caught like his hero in little leaguie.  Sometimes you pick up your love for the team based on your dad.

We still both love them to this day.  I was there for 11 years of struggling from 1985 – 1995.  Even when the club cashed in their 1st World Series in 1996, to me while it was cool, it would have been so much better had ‘Donnie Baseball’ been part of the ride.

The Bronx Bombers ripping off 3 more titles from 1998 – 2000 – and then another in 2009, have made me happy to be a fan.  It is not just the playoffs that I have savored.  This team has averaged 94 – 95 wins for the last 20 seasons.

The Yankees would be lucky to be in the 2013 ALCS like 2012

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Baltimore Orioles Organization: Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Wednesday, June.26/2013

The Orioles defied the odds with a 29 - 9 One run games record and a record streak of Extra Innings Wins that reached the teens.  In a vaunted AL East - Vegas has only predicted them as about a 77 win team this year.  So far the team has started 42 - 35 - and are tied for the 2nd Wild Card slot in the American League with the Yankees.  Many pundits, such as myself, have blasted the brass for not adding on a Starting Pitcher.  It may end up costing them a playoff spot.  Please Mr. Duquette - acquire a top notch starter and be prepared to give up a lot in return.  It is not every year you have three guys with MVP Caliber seasons - with Davis Jones and Machado

The Orioles defied the odds with a 29 – 9 One run games record and a record streak of Extra Innings Wins that reached the teens last year. In a vaunted AL East – Vegas has only predicted them as about a 77 win team this year. So far the team has started 42 – 35 – and are tied for the 2nd Wild Card slot in the American League with the Yankees. Many pundits, such as myself, have blasted the brass for not adding on a Starting Pitcher. It may end up costing them a playoff spot. Please Mr. Duquette – acquire a top notch starter and be prepared to give up a lot in return. It is not every year you have three guys with MVP Caliber seasons – with Davis, Jones and Machado.

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 Orioles Organization click here.

2012 Wild Card Celebration

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 13

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Monday June.24/2013

EE continues to show his metal this year - by clutching up for 21 HRs thus far .  He has a 3 Slash Line of .274/.355/.900 for the year.  EE had an OPS of 1.326 with 3 HRs and 3 Doubles over the last 6 games.  He was part of key rallies that led to the clubs 6 - 0 week.  Encarnacion is now tied with Miggy Cabrera with 63 HRs since the start of the 2012 year.  He is the MLB Reports hitter of the week!

EE continues to show his metal this year – by clutching up for 21 HRs thus far . He has a 3 Slash Line of .274/.355/.900. EE had an OPS of 1.326 – with 3 HRs and 3 Doubles over the last 6 games, and also scored 7 Runs. He was part of key rallies that led to the clubs 6 – 0 week. The 1B only Struckout 1 time for the 6 Games.  Encarnacion is now tied with Miggy Cabrera with 63 HRs since the start of the 2012 year. He is the MLB Reports hitter of the week!

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

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

(MLB Reports) AL Hitter Of The Week -  Edwin Encarnacion (See Picture Above).

Runners up were: Chris Davis (BAL) – (1.357 OPS, with 4 HRs and 10 RBI), Nelson Cruz (TEX) – (.379 BA, 3 HRS and 11 RBI) and Miguel Cabrera (.536 BA, 20 times reached on base in 7 Games, 15 Hits – with 2 HRs and 6 RBI).

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The WeekMax Scherzer – who went 2 – 0 with a 2.08 ERA in 2 Game Starts and 16 SO in 13 IP.

Runners Up were: Casey Janssen (1 – 0, with 3 Saves – while only yielding 1 Hit and 1 Walk in 4 IP), Jarrod Parker 2 GS (1 – 0, with a 0.79 WHIP in 14 IP.)

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Milwaukee Brewers: Analyzing Yovani Gallardo’s Trade Market

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Tuesday, June.18/2013

Gallardo has been a good pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers in his Career.  He is 75 - 49 (.605) with a 3.70 ERA.  He is coming off two seasons in a row during 2011 and 2012, where he was north of 200 IP.  So far this campaign, he has lugged 87.2 IP in his NL Leading 15 Starts

Gallardo has been a good pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers in his Career. He is 75 – 49 (.605) with a 3.70 ERA. He is coming off two seasons in a row during 2011 and 2012, where he was north of 200 IP. So far this campaign, he has lugged 87.2 IP in his NL Leading 15 Starts.  The RHP is in the 4th year of a 5 YR/$30 MIL dollar contract.  He will make $7.75 MIL in 2013, $11.25 MIL in 2014 – and there is a $13 MIL Team Option in 2015 – or a 600K Buyout.  He will make roughly $15 MIL in his contract for the remainder of this year – and the duration of next years salary.

Jake Dal Porto (MLB Reports Writer)

The inevitable fire sale is looming for the last-place Milwaukee Brewers, and among their collection of tradable pieces, Yovani Gallardo will likely be their most sought out asset.

Gallardo has whirled 14 scoreless innings over his past two starts. The Brewers couldn’t be happier because his trade value is gradually increasing after a brutal start to the season. However, Gallardo’s value wasn’t as high as it once was. It will take a few more scoreless innings before he can get back to that point.

Milwaukee might be wise to hold onto him for another year to see if he can bolster his stock. But that approach also entails negative consequences. He ages a year older, and more importantly, there’s always the chance that his stock is further dented.

So, let’s see what Gallardo’s current market is for this year’s trade deadline:

Yovani Gallardo Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised.

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May.31) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto was one of the four players who owned baseball on May 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto was one of the four players who owned baseball on May 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Johnny Cueto let up only one and one walk over 8 shutout innings as the Reds defeated the Pirates 6-0.

Jonathan Lucroy went 5-5 with two homers, three runs scored and four runs batted in as the Brewers topped Philadelphia 8-5.

Chris Dickerson crushed a 2 out, 3 run, walk off, come from behind homer to turn a Baltimore loss into an Oriole 7-5 win over the Tigers and bring the Birds to within 1 game in the loss column of first place.

And CC Sabathia shut down the Red Sox into the 8th inning, going 7 1/3 innings, letting up only 1 run, no walks and 10 strikeouts to end the Yankee losing streak, 4-1 and bring them to within a game of first.

They all owned baseball on May 31st, 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

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May 30th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Dillon Gee

Dillon Gee pitched 7 1/3 innings, letting up one run, 4 hits no walks and 12 strikeouts as the Mets beat the Yankees 3-1 and completed the season sweep of the Subway Series.

Luis Valbuena went 3-4, a triple shy of the cycle, scoring three runs as the Cubs swept the White Sox with an 8-3 win.

Jacoby Ellsbury went on a franchise record setting stolen base binge, swiping 5 bags against the Phillies while getting on base 4 times including 3 hits as the Red Sox beat the Phillies, 9-2.

And Freddy Garcia pitched 8 shutout innings, letting up only 3 hits and no walks as the Orioles topped the Nats 2-0.

They all owned baseball on May 30th, 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

New York Yankees Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Fwd Updated Mar.4/2013

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Monday, March.04/2013

You are looking at the #1 and #2 Hits Leaders of ALL-Time for Active Professional Hitters in the World. Having them hit 1-2 in the lineup only makes sense. You might as well have them both retire at the same timeJeter is signed for one more year at 17 Million Dollars plus a player option ($8 MIL) for 2014. The Yankees signed Ichiro to a 2 year deal worth $13 MIL this past winter.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am not like a lot of people thinking that there should be a full-scale blow-up of the Yankees current roster this year (past that I am acknowledging this will happen.)  They are old and 2013 will not make them younger.  However, there are some small tweaks that the team could do in order to make the payroll make sense.  1st priority was to sign Ichiro Suzuki.

The Japanese Superstar was not  and Yankees obliged to let him play RF in New York.  Adios to outgoing Nick Swisher.  He was much too pricey and Yankee fans have to be sick at his lack of production in his playoff career.  Swisher commanded a nice 4 or 5 year deal in the 56 – 70 Million Dollar Range from the Indians -  and was not a fit into the Yankees current payroll structure.

The Yankees were initially looking to spend just a little over 178  Million Dollars in 2013, but that didn’t happen.  At a 40% penalty (for every dollar spent over the 178 Million Mark)  for abusing the Luxury Tax Threshold, the team will need to have made financial considerations in moving forward each time they sign another new player.  Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano are on the last year of their contracts.  Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A-Rod still have multiple years left in their contracts. 

I would immediately move Alex Rodriguez to a permanent DH (when he returns to the lineup) -  and play Kevin Youkilis at 3B for all of 2013.

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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San Diego Padres Payroll In 2013: And Contracts Going Forward

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Thursday, February.21, 2013

San Diego GM Josh Byrnes did little in the off-season aside for signing Freddy Garcia.

San Diego GM Josh Byrnes did little in the off-season aside from signing Freddy Garcia. This team will surprise people with their lineup and their starting rotation. They will be Oakland Athletics of the NL West Division.

By Chris Lacey (Baseball Writer)

The San Diego Padres 2012 season is one that can be split into a tale of two seasons. There was the first half of the season where they struggled to score runs and their record reflected that. They went 34-53 and only managed to score a total of 305 runs as a team. The first month is what really set them back; they had a team batting average of .215. The second half of the season the Padres did a complete 180 degree turn in the way that they played. They scored 346 runs and their record was 42-33 in second half of the season. The team batting average increased to a season high in September of .267. The Padres can carry over what happened in the end of 2012 season into 2013 this could be a very competitive division.

General Manager Josh Byrnes did not do much in free agency. He did sign former All-Star pitcher Freddy Garcia to a minor league deal. The Padres have a history of not having a high payroll. They prefer to use their farm system to generate their major league talent, rather than spend money on Free Agents.

Chase Headley 2012 Highlights. Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:

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The New York Yankees Hitting Roster In 2013: State Of The Union Part 1

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Wednesday, February.13, 2013

The Yankees have 27 World Series Titles and 13 Losses in the Fall Classic since 1921.  That is 40 Appearances in  91 years.  They have had the highest payroll team in MLB for the Majority of that span.  As of 2013, they will not be able to claim that stake anymore.  Will they still make the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years?

The Yankees have 27 World Series Titles and 13 Losses in the Fall Classic since 1921. That is 40 Appearances in 91 years. They have had the highest payroll team in MLB for the Majority of that span. As of 2013, they will not be able to claim that stake anymore. Will they still make the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years?

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

The Yankees had a precarious winter after failing miserably in the ALCS, (AKA the last time the country saw them play on Television) – when the team was decimated by the Detroit Tigers in a sweep.  So what has happened since?  A lot of status quo:  Re-signing Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda, while saying good-bye to Raul Ibanez (SEA), Andruw Jones (FA), Nick Swisher (CLE), Eric Chavez (ARI), Russell Martin (PIT), Derek Lowe (FA), Steve Pearce (BAL), Casey McGehee (FA), Freddy Garcia (FA) and Rafael Soriano (WSH).  All they really added back was former arch-nemesis Kevin Youkilis (CWS) and Travis Hafner (CLE).  The team is sitting around 215 Million Dollars at Payroll right now, yet they have are heading into the 2013 campaign with Catchers that are of limited experience. 

For the first time in years, the club will need to see some internal progress from their farm system to help the big club.  With A-ROD out with his hip injury, plus the Miami fiasco, can you really count on the prima-donna to play at all this season?  Derek Jeter is coming off a brutal ankle injury that occurred in the aforementioned Post Season Series vs the Tigers .  The club is also hoping that ‘MO’ Rivera can find it within himself to make it through another year as a 43 Year Old.  Just like The ALL-Time Saves Leader, this team is aging fast.  Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are Free Agents after 2013 is over.  Brian Cashman is also going to take advantage of the reset option f the Luxury Tax loophole in 2014.

This means that when the Luxury Tax goes from 178 Million to 189 Million next year, that the club can stop paying its 40% annual penalty if they can get under for just one season.  The Yankees will be sure to blow up the Payroll from 2015 and beyond that, it is just to not start the new luxury lax at the maximum penalty.  Had the Luxury Tax not moved from its current spot, the Yankees would always pay the 40% penalty (even if they decided to skip one year).

Yankees Highlights 2012:  Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:

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MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: September 2012

Monday, September.3/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement.  I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience.  Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots.  The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!  

This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots.  So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division  The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating.  Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera?  He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game.  The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs?  They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty.  Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would  be in the playoffs.

Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately  miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season?  I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year.  1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%.  So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet.  Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006? 

The Best Players over the last month were:  Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez.  The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas.  The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.)  I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record.  At least you are not going into the NL West  to compete with the LA Dodgers!  The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well.  Toronto misses their top sluggers.  What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse.  Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt.  When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards!  So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry

Derek Lowe: Is the Veteran Hurler a Playoff Savior for Yankees?

Saturday August 25th, 2012

John Burns:  On August 13th the New York Yankees made a move that went well under the radar. New York signed veteran pitcher Derek Lowe to a contract. The signing is looking like a very nice pick up for the Yankees as of right now. Lowe has 2.45 ERA in only 7.1 innings out of the bullpen. With all the injuries the Yankees have suffered through this season, the signing becomes a great insurance policy for New York. The sinker ball pitcher is a proven big time performer when it comes to October. The 39-year-old pitcher was dominant in the 2004 fall classic with Boston. Lowe posted 1.86 ERA and was 3-0  during that playoff run and was key part of the Red Sox winning the World Series. Read the rest of this entry

Yankees Have Decisions to Make in their Rotation

Wednesday April 18, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer):The New York Yankees have some time to experiment with their pitching rotation. Though their top two starters, C.C. Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, make more ($33 million in 2012) than half of the salary earned by the Tampa Bay Rays, the bottom three of the rotation may shift based on a few factors. The most important consideration is the fact that the Yankees have two young players, Michael Pineda and David Phelps, that have shown signs that they would be effective in the rotation, when healthy and given the opportunity. Also, one cannot forget that Andy Pettitte, who signed out of retirement in March, has shown signs of strength in two rehab appearances for Hi-A Tampa, throwing a total of seven innings and allowing just one run on four hits while striking out five. The third factor in the potential shake-up of the Yankees’ rotation is the sub-par starts that Freddy Garcia (0-1, 6.97 ERA) and Phil Hughes (0-2, 9.00 ERA) have had this year. If Joe Girardi wants to try something new as the season progresses (he may have to if he wants to keep his job), he will have many key pieces to play with already in the organization. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – March 19th, 2012

Monday March 19th, 2012


Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

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

The Future of Gio Gonzalez and Mark Buehrle in the NL

Wednesday January 4th, 2012

 

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports):  Aside from their pitching style and repertoire, Mark Buehrle and Gio Gonzalez have a lot in common. They are both left-handed and have also made the shift to the National League during this 2011 offseason. However, their connection dates back even further.

The Chicago White Sox selected Gonzalez in the first round of the 2004 draft. The following season, the White Sox earned a World Championship, thanks in large part to Mark Buehrle’s regular and postseason contributions. Buehrle, a 36th round pick of the White Sox in 1999, continued to be a model of consistency and success, winning at least 10 games and throwing at least 200 innings for 11 consecutive seasons for the White Sox.  Forever a legend in the White Sox community, Buehrle joined his second major league franchise this offseason with the Miami Marlins. The move is one I saw coming when Ozzie Guillen became the manager of the Marlins. Clearly the left-hander is comfortable with Guillen, and the National League is truly where Buehrle belongs at this point of his career. He has amassed a 24-6 win loss record with a 3.32 ERA in 39 Interleague starts. However, before we look at his 2012 value, I must continue with the Buehrle-Gonzalez narrative.

Ironically for the White Sox, it was a 36th round pick and not the first round pick that became the face of the franchise. Such is baseball and is an example of what makes the game so interesting.  In fact, Gonzalez has never even pitched an inning for the White Sox. He was traded in 2005 along with Aaron Rowand to the Phillies for Jim Thome. Remarkably, The White Sox reacquired him along with Gavin Floyd for Freddy Garcia in December 2006 and still never got him into a major league game while a part of their organization.

It should be noted that 2008 marked a breakout year for White Sox left-hander John Danks (12-9 win loss record). Gavin Floyd also flourished that year, winning 17 games.  Going into that season, there did not appear to be room for Gonzalez in the White Sox rotation. Particularly with Buehrle in place and Floyd/Danks set to emerge (as they did), the White Sox felt that it did not make sense to try to add a third left-hander to the starting staff. Obviously high on the team’s radar, the White Sox had to make a tough decision and trade Gonzalez…again. In a regrettable move, Kenny Williams sent Gonzalez, Ryan Sweeney, and Fautino De Los Santos to the Oakland Athletics for one miserable season of Nick Swisher. As a member of the A’s, Gonzalez came into his own, finishing 2011 with a 16-12 record and a 3.12 ERA with 197 K’s in 202 innings.

Now- going into 2012, both Gonzalez and Buehrle land in the National League for the next stage of their respective careers.

Looking at Gonzalez, his value remains high in 2012. Although he leaves the friendly pitching confines of Oakland, he is going to another pitching friendly park in Washington. His 2011 XFIP indicates that his ERA should have been closer to 4, rather than an even 3.00. Therefore, I expect Gonzalez’s ERA to hover right in the middle of those two numbers. He has an incredible ability to miss bats, but the walk rate, which he has yet to show any improvement at any level, prevents him from being a fantasy ace. With 4 walks per 9 innings, he is prone to give up high run totals and also have trouble pitching deep into games. He does do a great job of keeping the ball on the ground. But the only way for Gonzalez to really improve upon his 2011 campaign is if he can cut down on the free passes. His control is simply not that good, but he is also a player that can be categorized as effectively wild. I simply do not see any signs of Gonzalez improving his walk rate, especially as he his mainly a fastball/curveball pitcher.

In a sharp contrast, Mark Buehrle relies on command and mastery of the strike zone to retire batters. He has really shown no signs of true decline and he will still only be 33 years of age in 2012. He is not much different that the pitcher he was in 2004. He strikes out enough batters to be effective and has a stellar career 2.05 BB rate. He strikes out about half as many batters as Gonzalez, but also walks half as many. The two pitchers do have similar groundball rates. However, the change of scenery may have a much bigger impact on Buehrle than it does for Gonzalez. As I have mentioned, the Interleague numbers speak for themselves and Buehrle is finally leaving the hitter friendly confines of U.S. Cellular Park. He will surely benefit from facing the National League lineups most nights and is in a better position to succeed in Miami in 2012.

Overall, Mark Buehrle is the guy to keep an eye on during draft day in 2012. Most people view him as an aging soft throwing left-hander with a falling stock. However, he has potential to put up above average numbers for perhaps a below average price. Now while I say to keep an eye on Buehrle, it is not to say he will outperform Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez is clearly the better fantasy option, but he will likely come at a higher cost. This is a 26-year-old pitcher who has posted 3.23 and 3.12 ERA in his last two seasons, respectively. However, do not expect him to necessarily improve upon these numbers due to some of the luck he experienced in 2011 and his inability to improve his walk rate. He will most likely be valued as an ace in many fantasy circles, when he is truly more of a number three-type starter. Buehrle, who will be off many people’s radars, could produce as a cheap yet quality four/five type of pitcher.


2012 Predictions:

Mark Buehrle: 206 IP, 14-9 W/L, 3.69 ERA, 120 Ks

Gio Gonzalez: 208 IP, 14-12 W/L, 3.43 ERA, 206 K

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Fantasy Baseball Analyst, Peter Stein.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Peter on Twitter (@peterWstein).***

 

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What the Yankees Need to Win the 2012 World Series

Saturday December 17, 2011


Jeff P (Guest Writer – MLB reports):  It was a long season for Yankee fans in 2011, with an abrupt ending to the season with a brutal series loss to the Detroit Tigers in the AL Divisional series. This is even after the Yankees receiving surprising seasons by Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and the Yankees receiving production from its usual core players. However, in the 2011 season, there were noted declines of several Yankee players. Due to injuries and other factors, one of the biggest culprits  was Alex Rodriguez.  Limited to only 99 games on the season, A-Rod hit 16 homers, with a batting average in the .270 rang. A-Rod’s stats were some of the worst of his career and he was one the big reason the Yankees did not make it far into the 2011 playoffs.

The Yankees have a long path to go to get to the World Series this coming year, especially given that their team remains at a standstill, unexpected to improve greatly from last year. It is not a positive sign that the Yankees rotation will most likely consist of C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia, with a likely spring training knockdown competition between Hector Noesi, A.J. Burnett, Dellin Betances and Phil Hughes for the final two rotation spots.

Both Hughes and Burnett had horrific seasons this past year, while Noesi and Betances were both late season call-ups. Adding to the equation, Ivan Nova might enter a sophomore slump (always a possibility), while Freddy Garcia is unlikely to repeat his astonishing 2011 season.

 The Yankees have very little margin for error going into 2012, which can ruin the chances of them not only winning the World Series, but even making the postseason.  With the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim now serious contenders, the Rays adding a nice hand to the rotation with Matt Moore and the Red Sox players starting to adjust to their new team, it will be a dogfight to the finish in the American League postseason race this upcoming season.  The Yankees will have to play their cards right this year, and not sit back and assume that making the postseason is a given.

 If the Yankees want some rings in 2012, here are several “must do” items for the team to succeed in 2012:

First of all, the Yankees must get rid of A.J. Burnett. For the last two years, Burnett had horrific seasons and should not be given another chance, despite his large contract.  Without Burnett, the Yankees could consider trying a new arm in the rotation, such as Dellin Betances, who is clearly ready for a major league stint. The Yankees this offseason should trade Burnett to a team desperate for a starting pitcher (which should not be difficult given the shallow pool of available talent) and who are willing to give up a useable prospect, which would provide the Yankees with future depth.

Even though it is unlikely, the right thing to do with Joba Chamberlain is to give him a strong opportunity for a comeback season in 2012. I am not saying he should be in the rotation for the season, but he should definitely be given a strong look.  Pitchers often improve after undergoing Tommy John surgery.  Chamberlain left the rotation after the 2009 season, with a stint in the bullpen for the last two seasons. Up to the time of his injury, Chamberlain pitched well in the bullpen, mostly as the seventh inning option. The Yankees are considering Hector Noesi and other rookies for the starting rotation in 2012.  So why not try Joba? Perhaps he will surprise all of us and fulfill the hype that accompanied him since being drafted in the 1st round by the Yankees in 2006.

Another option (although unlikely) is to place Adam Warren in the rotation. He is 24-years-old, and has a powerful fastball in the mid 90′s. His four-seamer can reach 97 mph and could leave major league batters clueless. He has a world of potential, and is ready for a major league stint sooner rather than later.

The Bronx Bombers roster is certainly not set and Brian Cashman needs to search the trade market before his squad will be able to compete for a World Series title. Other teams are considerably high on Eduardo Nunez and the Yankees would be well advised to find a deal involving Eduardo Nunez, Dellin Betances and one of their surplus catching prospects for Gio Gonzalez or similar available starter, who could help provide the Yankees with a balanced and deep rotation.

The Yankees also must keep Montero in New York. Montero had a great stint at the end of the season, and will hopefully continue to provide an offensive spark for the Yankees throughout the 2012 season. Montero is a great offensive force and would make the dangerous  Yankees offense (Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, A-Rod, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Russell Martin etc.) that much more powerful.

Lastly, the Yankees must monitor Manny Banuelos‘ status. Handled correctly, Banuelos could be this season’s Nova.  To get through the regular season and then be a force in the 2012 postseason, the Yankees will need to make changes and several decisions as to their roster.  But a successful offseason can minimize the risks and chances for failure in the coming season, by filling critical spots with the right players.  The Yankees have many needs in their offseason to-do list in order to repeat their 2009 performance. If the Yankees play their cards right, the path to World Series #28 could be in sight.

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


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

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