Blog Archives

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: April

The Tigers fought off a tough KC club in the 1st series and now have battled their own bullpen and injury woes to be the only unbeaten team.  Add that to one of the weaker divisions, and you see the #1 ranked team in our list this week.

The Tigers fought off a tough KC club in the 1st series and now have battled their own bullpen and injury woes against the Orioles -  to be the only unbeaten team left in the MLB a. Add that to one of the weaker divisions, and you see the #1 ranked team in our list this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Well, we have seen one week come and go.  It is important to realize that only about 3% of the entire season has gone by.

People tend to panic when their team isn’t doing so well, and some fanbases are ready to project their club as a playoff contender.

While it is still a good idea never to bury yourself with a bad first few week or 2, as long as you are hovering around the .500 clip, you should be fine.

How we do these rankings at the MLB Reports is based on 1 thing.  The chances of the club winning the World Series.

After all, that is why we have 45 days of Spring Training, 186 days in the regular season, and another 30 or so in the playoffs.

Some teams will have their number predicated on the strength of their divisions are not.

Nearly 47% of any teams schedule is within their own division.  So the AL East and NL West would be tough divisions.

The NL East and AL Central have 2 playoff contenders in each division, while 3 teams may be easier opponents. Read the rest of this entry

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.05) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings 2014

Howard Simmons, New York Daily News

Howard Simmons, New York Daily News

Ike Davis came off the bench to launch a walk off, come from behind grand slam to give the Mets a 6-3 victory over the Reds.

James Loney smacked a 2 run 8th inning double that turned a 4-3 Rangers lead to a 5-4 Tampa Bay advantage that they would hold on to for the win.

Jose Fernandez dominated again. This time

Felix Hernandez retired the first 11 Oakland batters he faced. He continued his shutout into the 9th and finished with 1 run over 8 1/3 innings, getting the 3-1 win for the Mariners.

They owned baseball on April.5, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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

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

The numbers are mind boggling.

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

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

I fully understand that. Read the rest of this entry

The Boston Red Sox State Of The Union Part 2 – The Pitchers: 2014 Preview

This is a not a slight on the Red Sox at all, but they should not be favored to win the American League right now.  Detroit should be that placeholder.  I am not sure the Red Sox will even in the AL East.  I would go with the Rays or Yankees before them right now.  The Rays had one of the best second half records in 2013, and the Yankees are a lot better as well.  I am also not sure of the team losing Ellsbury, Drew, Dempster and Saltalamacchia has improved itself with Capuano, Middlebrooks, Pierzynski and the tandem of Sizemore and Bradley JR.

This is a not a slight on the Red Sox at all, but they should not be favored to win the American League right now. Detroit should be that placeholder. I am not sure the Red Sox will even win the AL East. I would go with the Rays or Yankees before them right now. The Rays had one of the best second half records in 2013, and the Yankees are a lot better as well. I am also not sure of the team losing Ellsbury, Drew, Dempster and Saltalamacchia has improved itself with Capuano, Middlebrooks, Pierzynski and the tandem of Sizemore and Bradley JR.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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For added depth in the Bullpen, the franchise added Edward Mujica, amply giving the team multiple options at Closer should Koji Uehara not duplicate his 2013 success in 2014.

The management did a great job in peacemealing this Pitching Rotation in 2014.

Big injuries, 3 different Closers, and finally won the hottest Closers to end a year in Uehara pitching for the clubs final outs to win the Fall Classic.

The latest addition as of now for the 2014 season, are Chris Capuano for the Starting staff and also Bullpen arm Burke Badenhop, who came over from a nice year in the pen for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The club will sees Ryan Dempster take the year off for injury, but are stoked about saving his $14 MIL pricetag that he is forfeiting this season.

The Bullpen features Koji Uehara, Craig Breslow, Edward Mujica, Brandon Workman, Burke Badenhop, Andrew Miller, Junichi Tazawa and Alex Wilson round out the potential Relief Core.

The Starting Rotation was also held together with duct tape and barbed wire in 2013, but it was enough to aid the awesome offense, and the team will sporting championship rings because of it.

Read the rest of this entry

The Boston Red Sox State Of The Union Part 1 – The Hitters: 2014 Preview

The now 30 Year Old, is the only player the team has signed for massive cash and term.  Pedroia is locked up until 2021, and his AAV is around $14.0 MIL for the duration. This was a considerable hometown discount and affords the club wiggle room in payroll each year, while the 2 time World Series champ received security.

Dustin Pedroia, the now 30 Year Old, is the only player the team has signed for massive cash and term. Pedroia is locked up until 2021, and his AAV is around $14.0 MIL for the duration. This was a considerable hometown discount and affords the club wiggle room in payroll each year, while the 2 time World Series champ received security.  This contract was similar to how the New England Patriots do business with their top players.  Maybe others will follow down the same pike.  Pedroia had an incredible run in 2013, and that was despite of a bad injury. Project him to be his usual and consistent self in 2014.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Red Sox embark on a chance to repeat a World Series win for the 3rd time in 10 years.  2005 didn’t work out so well, and Boston narrowly missed in the 2008 ALCS (TB won 4 – 3).

This year, the teams brass has decided the 2014 Roster is a lot like the 2013 Roster, and then you add in the mix of a bunch of youngsters.

There were some acquisitions brought in with A.J. Pierzynski (replacing Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Jackie Bradley JR or Grady Sizemore will take over for departing CF Jacoby Ellsbury.

While they gave SS Stephen Drew a 1 YR/$14.1 MIL Qualifying Offer which he doth refused.

The Beantowners will go ahead with Xander Bogaerts there, and see Will Middlebrooks have another crack at the hot corner.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 20, 2014

Red Sox fanatic and actress Hilary Barraford, from John Sayles’ Go For Sisters, is the guest for today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

We discussed staying loyal to a team 3,000 miles away, how greedy Boston sports fans have become, and why I should refer to her as “Your Honor.” Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 18, 2014

 Lindsey Bleem/South Pole Telescope blog

Lindsey Bleem/South Pole Telescope blog

Today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast starts with the very formation of the universe and ends with Derek Jeter.

The progression makes sense. Read the rest of this entry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

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

The O’s Add Nelson Cruz + The AL Beast Just Got Stronger!

Nelson Cruz is 34 - and has a long history of injuries -  and now of PED use.In the last 5 years, he has only played over 128 games for the season once.  Now he was on pace to top that in 2013 - before his PED suspension from the Biogenesis Scandal.  Will he go to Seattle, another AL team, or is the NL going to be his final destination for next campaign.  I thoroughly believe he should just be a permanent DH.

Nelson Cruz is 34 – and has a long history of injuries – and now of PED use. In the last 5 years, he has only played over 128 games for the season once. Now he was on pace to top that in 2013 – before his PED suspension from the Biogenesis Scandal.  I thoroughly believe he should just be a permanent DH.  He will likely be used in that role with the O’s.  With a full season of AB, this slugger should probably hit between .260 – .270, with 25 – 30 HRs and range from 80 – 90 RBI.  To sign this guy to a 1 Year Deal – worth $8 MIL, when he was already given the Qualifying Offer by Texas is a fantastic acquisition for the Orioles.  It also comes in the same week they picked up Ubaldo Jimenez and Korean chucker Suk-Min Yoon.  Baltimore just entered back into the Division race!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Dan Duquette has announced his presence with authority this week.

From Suk-min Yoon (3 YRs/$5.6 MIL), Ubaldo Jimenez (4 YRs/$48 MIL), to then flat out rob Nelson Cruz for a 1 YR/$8 MIL deal, the GM has served notice that the franchise is here to compete.

Frankly, this was a long time coming.  The team has now thrust its name into the conversation with the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees.

On the clock is the Toronto Blue Jays!! Read the rest of this entry

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

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

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

Top 5 HR Hitters In The MLB For 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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You may be surprised at who I am going to pick to lead the Majors in tater – trots this upcoming campaign.  The names may not be foreign, yet I am betting on a couple of comebacks.

This is all really a crapshoot with injuries, lineups, whether or not a guy has protection in the lineup.

I also think this will be another season without a 50+ HR mark.  God I would love to be wrong.  Nothing would make me happier than someone approaching 60 RoundTrippers.

While it is a sham that Roger Maris‘s 61 HR year of 1961 has been dwarfed by the ‘PED’ use era, a lot of purists would still look favorably at somebody passing this mark clean for a change.

If a batter does it in the American League, then it would break the former Yankees Slugger’s AL record.

Just falling short of this list will be Pedro Alvarez, Paul Goldschmidt, Ryan Braun and Bryce Harper. I believe those gentlemen may hit in the high 30′s for HRs. Read the rest of this entry

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

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

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

For Those Thinking The Yankees Are So Much Older Than The Red Sox, Think Again

With spending $503 MIL on contracts this winter, however they are not as old of a club as they were last year.  That doesn't mean the problem won't come back in future years, it just means this is their best year to compete for some time.

With spending $503 MIL on contracts this winter, however they are not as old of a club as they were last year. That doesn’t mean the problem won’t come back in future years, it just means this is their best year to compete for some time.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I am not a Yankees fan, and am definitely not a Red Sox fan either, however it is funny how this rivalry has captivated most baseball followers.

After this winter signings have occurred, I finally decided to do some investigating, because of all the venom fired towards the Bronx Bombers.

Immediately after Carlos Beltran signed, you saw, ‘hey, the Yankees are signing old fogies again.’

I also watched as Boston Red Sox Nation piled on the New York franchise for this.

So after reviewing both rosters, guess what….Both teams have similarly aged players.  It is almost dead on. Read the rest of this entry

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

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

1. 1B Mark Teixeira – 23.0  (32) 23.0

2. SP CC Sabathia – 22.8  (32) 45.8

NEW: SP Masahiro Tanaka – 22.1 (25)  67.9

3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury – 21.9 (30) 89.6

4. C  Brian McCann – 17.0  (29) 106.6

5. SP Hiroki Kuroda – 16.5  (37) 123.1

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

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

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

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

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

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

Masahiro Tanaka’s Japan Highlights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was their only alternative.

Masahiro Tanaka Highlights

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

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

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

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

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

Clayton Kershaw Highlights 2013

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Top 10 Stolen Base Leaders in 2013

Ellsbury missed 88 Games in 2012 (and also missed 144 Games in 2010), which brings into question his long - term durability. Heck, even this year, he was seen with a walking boot only a few weeks prior to the playoffs. You can't deny the man has put up some great numbers out of the leadoff spot for the Red Sox since 2007. Ellsbury has a Career 3 Slash of .297/.350/.789 - and averages 57 XBH, 55 SB, 198 Hits and 108 RBI for every 162 Games Played. The Yankees have inked him to a 7 year deal, and will bank on him staying healthy for most of the contract.

Ellsbury missed 88 Games in 2012 (and also missed 144 Games in 2010), which brings into question his long – term durability. Heck, even this year, he was seen with a walking boot only a few weeks prior to the playoffs. You can’t deny the man has put up some great numbers out of the leadoff spot for the Red Sox since 2007. Ellsbury has a Career 3 Slash of .297/.350/.789 – and averages 57 XBH, 55 SB, 198 Hits and 108 RBI for every 162 Games Played. The Yankees have inked him to a 7 year deal, and will bank on him staying healthy for most of the contract.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With a decrease in the total amount of players taking PED’s in the MLB, speed is a more important factor to help manufacture runs than it was even a decade ago.

Jacoby Ellsbury leads the list last year with 52 bag swipes.  The Yankees will need him to duplicate what he did in 2013 if they want any chance to compete in 2014.

Everth Cabrera would have been the odds on favorite to take the title – had he not been suspended 50 games for his part in the Biogenesis clinic.

Rajai Davis also enters the list.  The Blue Jay in 2013, and Tiger in 2014, swiped 45 bags despite only coming in with 331 AB.

Jacoby Ellsbury 5 Stolen Base Game 2013

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

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

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

1. 1B Mark Teixeira – 23.0  (32)

2. SP CC Sabathia – 22.8  (32)

3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury – 21.9 (30)

4. C  Brian McCann – 17.0  (29)

5. SP Hiroki Kuroda – 16.5  (37)

6. LF/DH Carlos Beltran – 15.0 (36)

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

The Boston Red Sox Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB)

Jackie Bradley can go a long way to help BoSox fans forget about the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury.  Known as a patient batter with tonnes of speed, and exceptional fielding, Bradley taking the next leap up to the MLB on  a permanent basis would do wonder for the Red Sox in 2014.

Jackie Bradley can go a long way to help BoSox fans forget about the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury. Known as a patient batter with tonnes of speed, and exceptional fielding, Bradley taking the next leap up to the MLB on a permanent basis would do wonder for the Red Sox in 2014. At 23, he has a Career Minor League 3 Slash of .297/.404/.876

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

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It has come time for us to flip the calendar at the MLB Reports and shift gears into all of our 2014 season previews.

Each of the 30 MLB teams will have a organizational depth chart blog, a payroll blog, and 1 or 2 State of the Union Pieces from this day – all the way until the 1st day of MLB play this campaign.

We start of with the defending World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox.

Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts Are Future Superstars

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

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

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

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Opinions have varied wildly about the effect on the wholesale changes to the New York Yankees roster.  This piece is in response to in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here  http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10150907/the-new-normal-new-york-yankees).

Opinions have varied wildly about the effect on the wholesale changes to the New York Yankees roster. This piece is in response to in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here lower in a link icon in the 1st couple of lines.)  As the Yankees Correspondent for the MLB Reports, I felt I needed to address the merits of the topic in question, make some counterparts, in order to move the dialogue from a slightly different perspective.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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Before we get started, I wanted to give credit where credit is absolutely due.

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

If you haven’t been to Grantland.com for sports and entertainment news and opinions, you are missing out.  Some of the best work in the business. 

All advanced statistics (and other statistics) are courtesy of our friends at Fangraphs.com and Baseball-reference.com

As always, we appreciate those sites making the information available to be able to debate the game we love. For ease to the reader, the response has been broken into two parts.  This is part one of the response.

Part 2 of the Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees click here

New York Yankees 2013 Year Highlights – With Full Credit Going To The YES Network

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Updated Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series As Of Right Now: Tanaka Could Influence These Later

Masahiro Tanaka has finally been posted by his team from the NPB (Golden Lions).  Mark my words, with the exception of a crazy bid coming from the Dodgers way out West, no one will outbid the Yankees for this guys services.  Based on his age and wherewithal, the Pinstripers can alter their immediate future by landing the 25 Year Old Japanese Phenom.  If they spend the $125 MIL - $140 MIL for a 6 or 7 year total ($20 MIL post, plus player contract, look for them to blow their $189 MIL budget out of control in 2014, - and opt to reset in 2015 instead.)

Masahiro Tanaka has finally been posted by his team from the NPBL (Golden Lions). Mark my words, with the exception of a crazy bid coming from the Dodgers way out West, no one will outbid the Yankees for this guys services. Based on his age and wherewithal, the Pinstripers can alter their immediate future by landing the 25 Year Old Japanese Phenom. If they spend the $125 MIL – $140 MIL for a 6 or 7 year total ($20 MIL post, plus player contract, look for them to blow their $189 MIL budget out of control in 2014, – and opt to reset in 2015 instead.)  Tanaka was 24 – 0 – with a miniscule 1.27 ERA in 2013.

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

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Since nothing has changed since last week, I have two bets for you to take – and one for you to avoid.

As I mentioned last Saturday, the Rangers have confirmed on the Shin-Soo Choo signing.  In my expert opinion this should have moved the line on Texas.

Instead, they are still the 3rd favorite to win the World Series coming out of the AL.

This is not right.  Maybe I could see the Tigers still ahead of them based on the Division they are in, but the Red Sox have no business being ahead of them.

The Best Of Masahiro Tanaka

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Final 2013 Major League Attendances In The MLB

The "Trop" was frequented less in 2013 than any other MLB stadium and it is a shame.  The team has made 4 playoff spots in the last 6 years, has the 2nd best record in the game since the start of the 2008 campaign (NYY are 1st) and are sniffing the AL East crown out every year. Tropicana Field has been the only MLB Park for the Rays.  Unfortunately the club has a lease that runs through the year 2027.  There have been several talks of a downtown Tampa Stadium right off of Highway 4. All have plans have been derailed.  With limited revenues generated playing out of Tropicana Field, it will be tough to keep doing this year after year, however the management had the good foresight to see the MLB game switching back to more pitching and defense.  With some of the best players on the club locked up under team control,

The “Trop” was frequented less in 2013 than any other MLB stadium and it is a shame. The team has made 4 playoff spots in the last 6 years, has the 2nd best record in the game since the start of the 2008 campaign (NYY are 1st) and are sniffing the AL East crown out every year. Tropicana Field has been the only MLB Park for the Rays. Unfortunately the club has a lease that runs through the year 2027. There have been several talks of a downtown Tampa Stadium right off of Highway 4. All have plans have been derailed. With limited revenues generated playing out of Tropicana Field, it will be tough to keep doing this year after year, however the management had the good foresight to see the MLB game switching back to more pitching and defense. With some of the best players on the club locked up under team control, the management has been able to overcome all of these obstacles to field a competitive club.

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

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It is funny how all of the top Free Agents have been signing with the American League teams in recent years.

Out of the 1.5 Billion Dollars in contracts offered this winter to guys, more than 1.1 Billion of those bucks have been given to guys like the M’s Robinson Cano (10 YRs.$240 MIL), Jacoby Ellsbury (7 YRs/$153 MIL), Shin-Soo Choo (7 YRs/$130 MIL) and potentially 6 YRs/$100 MIL for Brian McCann (5 YRs/85 MIL is guaranteed.).

For these reasons, you would think the AL is dominating the attendance every year.

As you will read here, they are not.

New Marlins BallPark 2012

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The Final Tallies On All 30 MLB Teams Payroll In 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A’s Win Back To Back AL WEST Titles

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Orioles Fill Closer Void With Signing Of Grant Balfour

The Baltimore Orioles signed Closer Grant Balfour to a 2 YR/ 14 Million dollar contract on Tuesday. Balfour will replace Jim Johnson, who was traded to Balfour’s previous team, the Oakland Athletics, earlier in the offseason.  In an overall picture, the club almost essentially traded Jim Johnson for Jemile Weeks and Grant Balfour.  The club will save $2 – $3 MIL in payroll next campaign, while they added Second Base depth, and perhaps may have the better Relief Pitcher out of the two.  Better yet, Baltimore has their Closer scenario sewn up for the 2015 season now as well.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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What the signing of Grant Balfour means to the Orioles

As the winter moves along, the Oriole faithful keeps asking the same question: when are the Orioles going to make a big move?

The beginning of the MLB Free Agency period has not been friendly to Orioles fans, as they saw their team trade away Jim Johnson, one of the best Closers in baseball, as well as part ways with Left Fielder Nate McLouth and Starting Pitcher Scott Feldman through free agency.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Orioles found out that rumors surrounding the team were actually truth, as it was announced that Grant Balfour signed a 2 YR/ 14 Million dollar deal, with $500,000 deferred each season.

Grant Balfour Rage versus the Rangers

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The Top 50 Contracts Of All – Time In The MLB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yankees win the 2009 World Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CC Sabathia Highlights

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