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How All Of The A’s Pitchers Were Acquired: Lots Of Depth Even For 2015 Without Breaking The Bank!

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration.  He will likely cost in the $12 - 15 MIL range for 2015.  He tops the list of several A's players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry.  While the club is going for it in 2014, there unloading of Cespdes's $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises.  Some of the club will be traded or released.  The A's should still have about $25 MIL to spend on 7 or 8 guys next year.  Their $95 MIL payroll in 2014 is their highest ever recorded for any one year.

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration. He will likely cost in the $12 – 15 MIL range for 2015. He tops the list of several A’s players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry. While the club is going for it in 2014, their unloading of Cespdes’s $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises for next year, which should ensure them of another chance to compete for it all.. The Pitching Staff will remain almost intact, with losing just Lester, Hammel and Gregerson, while 12 guys are still under Team control, and 3 more guys with lots of MLB experience are in Sacramento waiting for a callup.

How All Of The A’s Pitchers Were Acquired:

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

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Billy Beane has assembled quite the Pitching Staff for his 2014 final playoff push despite having both Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin out for the year with Tommy John Surgery.

Sonny GrayA.J. Griffin and Sean Doolittle (although he was drafted as a hitter) are the only active pitchers on their staff that are homegrown products.

Jon Lester was acquired with Yoenis Cespedes (who signed as an International Free Agent.

Much like the hitters, the ‘Moneyball GM’ has wheeled and dealt until he put together one of the best run prevention teams in the game baseball.

Bringing in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel cost the team 2 young prospects and Dan Straily, all of whom were team draft picks. Read the rest of this entry

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 24, 2014

Scott Strazzante - San Francisco Chronicle

Scott Strazzante – San Francisco Chronicle

What should the A’s do with Jim Johnson? Or the Phillies with Jonathan Papelbon? Whatever they do, they need to do it NOW! That and more on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Bartolo Colon, Yoenis Cespedes, Mark Reynolds, Alex Cobb, A. J. Burnett, Jose Quintana, Didi Gregorius and Jose Ramirez all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

Read the rest of this entry

Current 2014 MLB Team Payrolls: Trade Deadline Manuevering

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers.  Los Angeles is currently sitting at nearly $240 MIL for total team payroll, and will enter the 2nd year of their Luxury Tax Threshold Penalty, where they will pay a 30% surcharge on any monies spent over $189 MIL.  As it stands right now, the club will pay somewhere north of $15 MIL this year.  If the Dodgers are in penalty again for 2015, they will pa 40% of any cash over the Threshold.  Abusers of the tax for 4 years and beyond pay $50%.  With their payroll this year, it would cost Los Angeles over $25 MIL if they were at that limit.

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers. Los Angeles is currently sitting at nearly $240 MIL for total team payroll, and will enter the 2nd year of their Luxury Tax Threshold Penalty, where they will pay a 30% surcharge on any monies spent over $189 MIL. As it stands right now, the club will pay somewhere north of $15 MIL this year. If the Dodgers are in penalty again for 2015, they will pa 40% of any cash over the Threshold. Abusers of the tax for 4 years and beyond pay $50%. With their payroll this year, it would cost Los Angeles over $25 MIL if they were at that limit.

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

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2014 Team Salaries Rank  (In Millions)

1. LAD – $239.8 ( 2nd time abuser – Luxury Tax Penalty at 30% over $189 MIL = $15.24 MIL to be added at the end of the year.) (1st in NLW)

2. NYY – $200.0 ( 4 or more time abuser – Tax Penalty at 50% over $189 MIL for an additional $5.5 MIL to be added at end of the year.) (1st In ALE)

3. PHI – $177.4 (1st in NLE)

4. DET – $163.0 MIL (1st in ALC)

5. BOS – $157.9 (2nd in ALE)
Read the rest of this entry

MLB Teams Pitching Payroll vs Positional Players Payroll In 2014

The Dodgers are the new kings of spending money on payroll in the MLB.  They already spend the most money their Pitching Staff, are the only team well over the $200 MIL mark, and are also creeping up on the New York Yankees for position player spending.  With the Bronx Bombers not in a playoff spot currently, the Dodgers may pass the Pinstripers by adding salary to their lineup, or by New York deciding to trade a few players from their position lineup.

The Dodgers are the new kings of spending money on payroll in the MLB. They already spend the most money their Pitching Staff, are the only team well over the $200 MIL mark, and are also creeping up on the New York Yankees for position player spending. With the Bronx Bombers not in a playoff spot currently, the Dodgers may pass the Pinstripers by adding salary to their lineup, or by New York deciding to trade a few players from their position lineup.

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

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The LA Dodgers have 5 quality Starting Pitchers, and a bevy of former Closers in their Relief Core.

The boys who play their home games at Chavez Ravine, would fit into the top half of entire team payrolls for the majors with each of their pitching and offense separately.

If the Yankees trade 1 or 2 hitters before the Deadline, or the Dodgers add an offense player to their depth, they will hold the #1 spot in both distinctions.

New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and both of the Los Angeles franchises are in the top 10 in each. Read the rest of this entry

Beane Spins Magic Again In World Series Quest: Picks Up Samardzija + Hammel For Straily + Prospects

Billy Beane - and the Athletics have seen their team post the best record in the MLB during the regular season for the last 2 years (190 Wins). The franchise has completed the most incredible amount of wins per dollar spent. Enough so, that they should really come out with the movie MoneyBall 2. Beane has been awesome in acquiring his Bullpen for 2014 - without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A's GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel. Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.  With the team's core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now.  The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (Tj Surgeries).

Without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A’s GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel.  Going the other way are: Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Dan Straily and cash compensation, or a PTBNL. With the team’s core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now. The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (TJ Surgeries).

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

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Billy Beane knows his current squad’s best chance to win the World Series now.

He has upped the ante, by acquiring  Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs for highly rated SS Addison Russell, SP Dan Straily, and young prospect OF Billy McKinney, with a player to be named later or cash finalizing the deal at a later date.

I like this move…rather I love this move.

The A’s GM saw what happened to his club the last few weeks when matched against the pitching of the Tigers, and knew he had to bolster his team for the stretch – to replace A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker, who both went down to Tommy John Surgeries this campaign. Read the rest of this entry

The A’s Should Trade Jim Johnson To Tampa Bay For Grant Balfour

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core - and rotation for the 2014 year.  Unfortunately 1 move may haunt in more ways than 1 in Jim Johnson.

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core – and rotation for the 2014 year last winter. Unfortunately 1 move may haunt in more ways than 1 in Jim Johnson.

Billy Beane just hasn’t been on the bad end of many deals in his recent days.  Trading for Jim Johnson may turn out to be his worst move ever.

Originally it looked like another genius move, trading away an MiLB player in Jemile Weeks – for a guy who has back to back 50 Save seasons on his resume, but it has been a colossal nightmare for the AL Bay Area franchise.

Johnson was given a 1 YR deal worth $10 MIL.  This represents about 12% of the team total payroll of just over $80 MIL for the 2014 campaign.

The dollars doled out hurts the team more than anything else.  Had this man just been inept, without carrying a heavy price tag, it would have been a 4th and 40 situation (think what you do in football in that scenario.

What is too bad is that Beane actually looks smart in not giving Grant Balfour his cash for the kind of deal he wanted either. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Keeps The Magic Elixir Running With Pitching Staff In 2014: Lead The AL In Wins

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core - and rotation for the 2014 year.  Despite 3 of the slated Opening Day starters not currently with the club due to Tommy John Surgeries (Griffin and Parke - Straily (Optioned to the Minors), added with early Bullpen woes, the team has righted the ship, and lead AL pitchers in collective ERA, (OBP and OPS against).  Beane has allocated just around $34 MIL in players salary to his staff.  he also made great judgement calls on departing pitcher Bartolo Colon, Brett Anderson and Grant Balfour not duplicating key roles in the previous two seasons.  Once again the "Moneyball Man" looks like he may come up roses one more year in the Division at least.

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core – and rotation for the 2014 year. Despite 3 of the slated Opening Day starters not currently with the club due to Tommy John Surgeries (Griffin and Parker) + Straily (Optioned to the Minors), added with early Bullpen woes, the team has righted the ship, and lead AL pitchers in collective ERA, (OBP and OPS against). Beane has allocated just around $34 MIL in players salary to his staff in 2014. He also made great judgement calls on departing pitcher Bartolo Colon, Brett Anderson and Grant Balfour – not duplicating key roles in the previous two seasons. Once again the “Moneyball Man” looks like he may come up roses one more year in the Division at least.

Billy Beane knows how to construct a Pitching Staff on a shoe string budget.

Not enough Pitching with double TJ Surgeries to A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker to have slowed the Rotation? Nope.

What about the loss of Bartolo Colon?  Hell no, that big guy is sporting an ERA of over 5.50 in an easier NL hitting league.

Scott Kazmir a risk?  Nope, wrong answer again thus far. The recipient of a 2 YRs Deal worth $22 MIL is a lot of money doled out from the A’s organization for a Free Agent Hurler.

All the 30 Year Old LHP has done in 2014, is lead the AL with a WHIP of 0.974, carried forth a 5 – 1 record, and a sparkling 2.28 ERA to date.

How about sophomore Sonny Gray having a tougher time peddling through the league for a second time?  Not a chance.

Gray is 3rd in the AL – with an ERA of 2.17, and has a 4 – 1 record himself. Read the rest of this entry

Baltimore Orioles Early Season Grades

Baltimore Orioles

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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As the first full month of the season reaches its final week, the Orioles need to get away from the .500 baseball they have been playing in order to make a push towards the 2014 postseason. 

Of course, the season is still very young, as there are about 140 games left to play.

The O’s got an early taste of the competitive AL East Division, as six of their first seven series were against division rivals, including two series verse the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. 

As we are about 1/8th through the season, I decided to grade the Orioles up to this point of the season, looking for ways for them to improve. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series – Updated For Week 3

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Odds To Win The 2014 World Series

1.  LA Dodgers +600 (Up from +650)

Dodgers are still a good pick, but with SF lurking and Clayton Kershaw not back yet, that +600 looks bad.  Plus SF beat them 5 out of 6 so far.

2.  Washington Nationals +800

I like this club – but Stephen Strasburg‘s slow start, and injuries are plaguing Ryan Zimmerman and even Bryce Harper to an extent.  Plus Atlanta is right there with them right now.   

3.  Detroit Tigers +700 (Up From +900)

Lets see. They can’t score that well yet, and have a horrid start with the Bullpen.  The odds has swung to far to the favorite side here.  Stay Away.

4. St. Louis Cardinals +850 (Up From +1000)

This has to do with ownership over the Reds and Pirates so far. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Athletics Roster In 2014: How All Of The Pitchers Were Acquired

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with  Tommy John Surgery.  You are talking about a guy that was 25 - 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined.  He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed.  The A's also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now.  Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland - including Chris Carter< Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Cook for Starter Dan Haren.  The club still has many of the components left as assets from that very deal. While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back.

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with Tommy John Surgery. You are talking about a guy that was 25 – 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined. He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed. The A’s also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now. Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland with Collin Cowgill and  Ryan Cook for Starter Trevor Cahill. The club still has Parker and Cahill.  While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back. Cahill has been ineffective for the D’backs in 2014 – with a 9.17 ERA and an MLB leading 4 losses.

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

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I just finished writing an article about how Billy Beane was smart not to have signed Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson to extensions here.

You really wont find him do this anytime soon with any of his chuckers.

The Scott Kazmir deal is the one he likes to do.  It is simple as to why the man operates like this.  He doesn’t have to give up any assets in the process.

Beane is a “Baseball Rounder”.

It is not unlike him to do manage 50 – 60 transactions per year.  He was won more than he has lost – whether it is Free Agency or trades.  His ballclub has the best record in the Majors since the start of play in 2012 – at 200 – 144 (.581 baseball).

We will go through the Pitching First, and then the hitting by the weekend. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Odds To Win Both Of The AL And NL Pennants In 2014: 5 Best Value Plays

With injuries to the Pitching Staff mounting fast for the Rays, and now with them not paying out such a great odd, the value pendulum has swung back to pick either the Yankees at +900 or the Red Sox at +750 for the AL Pennant.  The Yankees just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, have a better offense in this year's lineup, and have decent pitching.  Boston is the reigning champs - and will be part of the race before all is said and done.  Factor in major injuries to Texas, Oakland and the LA Angels early, and a horrid Tigers Bullpen so far, and these two rivals have the best value on the board.

With injuries to the Pitching Staff mounting fast for the Rays, and now with them not paying out such a great odd, the value pendulum has swung back to pick either the Yankees at +900 or the Red Sox at +750 for the AL Pennant. The Yankees just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, have a better offense in this year’s lineup, and have decent pitching. Boston is the reigning champs – and will be part of the race before all is said and done. Factor in major injuries to Texas, Oakland and the LA Angels early, and a horrid Tigers Bullpen so far, and these two rivals have the best value on the board.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Rays are finally listed where they should be on the betting board.

3 teams start play today tied in the AL East in the Rays, Yankees and Jays.  Baltimore has struggled along with Boston.

I think it is way too early to shovel dirt on the Red Sox season.  While I think they may not take down another pennant, they are my 2nd favorite play in the AL Pennant Odd list for return.

The Yankees are my favorite odds pick right now with a +900 mark.

Yes they have injuries to old guys are their team, but the guys in the lineup can mash right now, and particularly at Yankee Stadium. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 3 MLB Baseball 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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A little rant before the power rankings this week

Well, another 7 days has passed in baseball for this year.

There are no more home openers, attendance is down, fans are scattering about their Easter business and the NFL Draft is around to swing its mighty sword on the sports landscape. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2014 World Series – Updated For Week 2

Milwaukee just pulverized the Red Sox and Phillies in a 6 - 0 road trip - that featured a great offensive output from the lineup.  Braun is hitting, Gomez is looking to back up his 2013 campaign.  Jean Segura has not slowed down.  Mark Reynolds looks decent for some power at 1B, and Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez have added torque as well.  The Pitching is performing well.  The Brew Crew hosts a pivotal weekend series against Division Rival Pittsburgh starting tonight in Miller Park.  They moved the most up the charts this week - but are still full value for a World Series odd this week nonetheless

Milwaukee just pulverized the Red Sox and Phillies in a 6 – 0 road trip – that featured a great offensive output from the lineup. Braun is hitting, Gomez is looking to back up his 2013 campaign. Jean Segura has not slowed down. Mark Reynolds looks decent for some power at 1B, and Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez have added torque as well. The Pitching is performing well. The Brew Crew hosts a pivotal weekend series against Division Rival Pittsburgh starting tonight in Miller Park. They moved the most up the charts this week – but are still full value for a World Series odd this week nonetheless

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The have and the have not’ s have started to dictate their positions in the game of baseball.

The Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies, Atlanta Braves  and San Francisco Giants were the biggest movers and shakers up the leaderboard.

On the other side of the coin, bettors have lost faith in the Orioles, Reds, Angels, Phillies and Diamondbacks. 

At the end of the article, there will be the top 5 best and worst odds to wager on this week Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 10, 2014

The Harvard Sports Analysis Collection

The Harvard Sports Analysis Collection

 

It is time for Red Sox and Yankees! The rivalry is in a strange place right now but no doubt will pick up in intensity.

Also Jim Johnson is out as the closer and Tim Lincecum’s role is unclear.

That and more on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Victor Martinez, Billy Hamilton, Mike Leake, Garrett Richards, Christian Yelich and Carlos Beltran all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 9, 2014

Stephen Dunn - Getty Images

Stephen Dunn – Getty Images

 

The National League Relief Pitcher Award is going to be named after Trevor Hoffman? I can not say I agree with that choice!

Also I tip my hat to Billy Hamilton and once again try to help Jim Johnson.

All on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Ryan Braun, Delmon Young, Tim Hudson, Chris Archer, Jose Altuva, Starlin Castro and Max Scherzer all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 7, 2014

San Jose Mercury News

San Jose Mercury News

 

How can I help Jim Johnson break his bad streak for the Oakland A’s?

I used the Force! My solution is Star Wars related.

It makes sense if you listen to today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Chris Sale, Alfredo Simon, Joe Mauer, Hanley Ramirez, David Murphy, Alex Wood, James Shields and Brandon Belt all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball. Read the rest of this entry

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

Odds To Win The 2014 World Series As Of Right Now: Many Changes After 1 Series

I still don't get why they are the current AL favorite over Detroit.  Despite that fact, Boston won their opening series - while all of the 4 other teams have tied or losing records through their 1st series.  i don't think a slight drop was warranted - especially when you consider only the Tigers and Mariners have a better record than the Red Sox right now.  They are tied with the Indians, Rangers, Astros and White Sox for their 2 - 1 record.

I still don’t get why they are the current AL favorite over Detroit. Despite that fact, Boston won their opening series – while all of the 4 other teams have tied or losing records through their 1st series. i don’t think a slight drop was warranted – especially when you consider only the Tigers and Mariners have a better record than the Red Sox right now. They are tied with the Indians, Rangers, Astros and White Sox for their 2 – 1 record.

Odds To Win The 2014 World Series

1.  LA Dodgers +600

2.  Washington Nationals +750 

3. Boston Red Sox +900 (Down from +850)

I am not sure why this club has moved down as they took 2 out of 3 versus the Orioles, and the Yankees are 1 – 2, while Tampa and Toronto split a series.

T4. St. Louis Cardinals +1000

T4.  Detroit Tigers +1000 Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 3, 2014

Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Johnson flopped badly in his first two Oakland appearances. In order to turn his season the right way, he should emulate Kevin Bacon.

It makes sense if you listen to today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Mark Buehrle, Ian Kinsler, Tim Hudson, Ryan Ludwick, Mike Trout, Jason Vargas, Emilio Bonifacio andMatt Garza all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Athletics State Of The Union: 2014 Preview

When does Beane ever sleep?   56 transactions over the last calendar year, and he may be prepping the phone with another rash of injuries to 60% of his Starting Staff.  Beane has at least addressed the teams depth for 15 years, and when you look at the salary for their Pitchers, you will be able to detect why.  They never overpay on long-term deals for Starters.

When does Beane ever sleep? 56 transactions over the last calendar year, and he may be prepping the phone with another rash of injuries to 60% of his Starting Staff. Beane has at least addressed the teams depth for next 2 – 3 years, and when you look at the salary for their Pitchers, you will be able to detect why. They never overpay on long-term deals for Starters.

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

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It has been a tough week in Oakland for the Starting Pitching.  Jarrod Parker will need Tommy John Surgery and is  out for the 2014 year.

A.J. Griffin received better news, but also will be sidelined for the near future with a UCL strain.

To complicate the opening roster even more, Scott Kazmir has Triceps soreness and is currently also on the shelf.

Billy Beane doesn’t seem that worried, as he has Tommy Milone and Jesse Chavez stretched out to work some starts if needed. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 14, 2014

Tony Gutierrez, AP

Tony Gutierrez, AP

Why should Padres fans be excited about the 2014 season?

What expectations should they have?

For today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I have a Latin Phrase that should provide hope to San Diego fans: Melior est: mediocribus esse terribiles

Being Mediocre is Better Than Being Terrible. Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 Holds Leaders In MLB 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It is the secondary stat category to Saves for Relievers, but it most cases, the guys pulling down innings in the last few frames play just as an important part of game – if not more.

Last year, two Tampa Bay Rays were in the top 5 – with Jake McGee sitting in 5th with 26 – while Joel Peralta was the clubhouse leader for the MLB at 41.

The guys have to be at the forefront for the 2014 race as well.

Lets just see who we the MLB Reports take for Holds Leaders in 2014. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Athletics Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

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

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Billy Beane is a master tactician when it comes to freeing up some cash in order to acquire more players.

Oakland ended last year with a payroll of about $70 MIL.  So far this offseason, the A’s GM has picked up several relief pitchers and also signed Scott Kazmir to a 2 YR deal worth $22 MIL.

The team also said goodbye to Bartolo Colon,(who signed with the Mets for a 2 YRs/$20 MIL deal).

Beane has held a fantastic track record of assessing talent, so don’t be surprised if the stocky 40 year old breaks down in the Mets uniform – and not under the A’s watch. Read the rest of this entry

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

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

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

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter

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

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

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

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

The O’s Have Continuously Dropped The Ball This Winter – The Latest Is The Grant Balfour Fiasco:

Grant Balfour has been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL  deal - and justifiably so.  The Orioles are losing credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver.  So, good luck on signing a Free Agent Pitcher in the future.  The O's are also reeling on the Free Agency Market, having not signed anyone of real value, while Brian Roberts, Scott Feldman and Nate McLouth have left the city.  2013 saw the club win 85 games, and that was part of a superhuman effort from Chris Davis.

Grant Balfour has been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL deal – and justifiably so. The Orioles are losing credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver. So, good luck on signing a Free Agent Pitcher in the future. The O’s are also reeling on the Free Agency Market, having not signed anyone of real value, while Brian Roberts, Scott Feldman and Nate McLouth have left the city. 2013 saw the club win 85 games, and that was part of a superhuman effort from Chris Davis.  The team is completely missing the ball in their chance to rundown a World Series Title by playing conservatively with their money.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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‘Stoking The Fire’ – Week 10

The Orioles have continued to stumble along in the offseason – meanwhile pissing off their fanbase.  The latest Grant Balfour fiasco is going to set the franchise back.

it is not just the future Free Agent players that will think twice about setting foot in Maryland for the sake of landing a deal, but this kind of move could definitely deflate attendance next campaign.

Up until the Buck Showalter era, this kind of move was vindictive of the 1999 – 2009 regime of the Baltimore brass.

Grant Balfour Deal with the O’s Negated.

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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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Notes On Free Agent Signings And Acquisitions Of The Last Week

Robinson Cano has seen his stock plummet down the river this winter.  While he still will likely sign a deal for more than $25 MIL per year, it may have to be somewhere other than the Bronx.  Meanwhile Jay - Z and his new baseball agent company is teetering with this client.

Robinson Cano has seen his stock plummet down the river this winter. While he still will likely sign a deal for more than $25 MIL per year, it may have to be somewhere other than the Bronx. Meanwhile Jay – Z and his new baseball agent company is teetering with this client.  The best move for that camp is to wait it out like Prince Fielder did 2 years ago.  It may take for an unexpected injury – or for a team to panic after the majority of the Free Agents have signed in order for him to maximize his dollars in 6 – 7 year deal.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 Winter Transactions Part 2

For part one of this transaction summary click here.

The White Sox sign 1B Paul Konerko (37) – 1 YR/$2.5 MIL (1.0 MIL deferred to 2021).

I like this deal for the White Sox.  He is the team leader and can pass on knowledge to the young guys.. Expect for them to try and trade Adam Dunn halfway through the year if Konerko is playing well.

The Rockies sign 1B Justin Morneau (32) – 2 YRs/$13 MIL.

Love this move.  The Rockies could potentially see this man hit 20+ HRs and knock about 30 – 40 Doubles per year.  He carries a decent average too.

Justin Morneau Minnesota Twins Highlights

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The A’s Pickup Another Quality Bullpen Arm In Gregerson

Luke Gregerson has authored 5 brilliant seasons coming out of the Padres Bullpen.  He has a 2.78 ERA and 1.092 WHIP in his 347 IP worth of work.  The 29 Year Old from Park Ridge, IL originally, has averaged appearing in 68 games a year.

Luke Gregerson has authored 5 brilliant seasons coming out of the Padres Bullpen. He has a 2.78 ERA and 1.092 WHIP in his 347 IP worth of work. The 29 Year Old from Park Ridge, IL originally, has averaged appearing in 68 games a year.  The A’s will use him as a late inning arm with Jim Johnson, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle also being capable inning’s eater to nail down shut victories.  Gregerson is in his 3rd Year (made $3.2 MIL) of Arbitration before he hits the Free Agent Market in 2015.

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

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Billy Beane ended his whirlwind day on Tuesday. by flipping just signed OF/DH/PH Seth Smith to the San Diego Padres for Relief Pitcher Luke Gregerson.

In what can only be described as shock, I can’t believe the Padres could be this brutal in talent evaluation.

Beane has continued his pillaging from all other franchises.

The result was that he never touched any of the 9 Starting Players from his offense, zero from his Rotation, and only 2 Minor League Players from last season, to acquire 2 potential Closers/late inning relievers, a premiere CF defender, and a nice #5 Starter in return.

Luke Gregerson Interview from 2012

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Billy Beane Adds 4 Pitchers To The A’s Flock, Plus Gentry – Only Surrenders Weeks. Choice + Smith

Billy Beane is the perfect 'Baseball Rounder'. We all see that the moves the A's GM made yesterday where another way to gain assets in the short term - without losing much in the long run. With the A's usually operating at around the $65 MIL mark the last few years, and now being somewhere in the $75 MIL range, look for Beane to stay active in the transactions throughout this winter to shed payroll - and to receive team controllable players.

Billy Beane is the perfect ‘Baseball Rounder’. We all see that the moves the A’s GM made yesterday and today – where another way to gain assets in the short term – without losing much in the long run. With the A’s usually operating at around the $65 MIL mark the last few years, and now being somewhere in the $75 MIL range, look for Beane to stay active in the transactions throughout this winter to shed payroll – and to receive team controllable players.  The Athletics gain 4 players in these acquisitions that all saw significant playing time in the MLB, where the outgoing guys spent the majority of (if not all) their time in the Minors last year

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

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I said it last week in a Cards article that there were 3 teams that have perfected ‘baseball rounding’, and these teams were the Cardinals, A’s and Tampa Bay.

While the Oakland and Tampa Bay teams don’t have the wherewithal to do this as extensively as the St. Louis franchise, they have the master of the trade in Billy Beane.

“Baseball Rounding” is defined by organizations who always roundup Free Agents, Waiver Wire Deals, Rule 5 guys, or sell high when they know a player is past his projections, in order to obtain assets coming back.

The purpose of these deals is that the organization never touches the main core, meaning the franchise will be in awesome shape if you know how to groom players in your Minor League System after you draft them.

Scott Kazmir 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is Advised

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The Orioles Trade Jim Johnson To The A’s For Jemile Weeks

Jemile Weeks had a great 2011 campaign - hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .304/.340/.761 - with 22 SB and 50 Runs Scored in just 406 AB.  He struggled in 2012, regressing to a Slash of .220/.305/.609 in 444 AB - before being subsequently replaced.  With the Orioles potentially non-tendering Johnson anyway, this kind of flier just may end up working out for Baltimore in the long run if Weeks can make the squad in 2014 or beyond.

Jemile Weeks had a great 2011 campaign – hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .304/.340/.761 – with 22 SB and 50 Runs Scored in just 406 AB. He struggled in 2012, regressing to a Slash of .220/.305/.609 in 444 AB – before being subsequently replaced and then enduring a 2013 year mostly in the Minors.. With the Orioles potentially non-tendering Johnson anyway, this kind of flier just may end up working out for Baltimore in the long run if Weeks can make the squad and produce.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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What the Jim Johnson Trade means for the Orioles 

The Orioles completed a trade late Monday night which sends closer Jim Johnson to the Oakland Athletics for Jemile Weeks and a player to be named later.

Johnson has been one of the best closers in all of baseball, as his 101 saves over the past two seasons is the most in all of baseball.

He has been projected to make close $10 – 11 million through arbitration in 2014 – before becoming a Free Agent in 2015, so the Orioles felt it was time to part ways with the veteran right-hander.

It definitely will be a transition for Johnson, who has been with the organization since 2001. Johnson will look to fill the closer role in Oakland, as he will replace Grant Balfour, who is a free agent.

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