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The Tigers Bullpen Has Had A Brutal Start For The 2014 Campaign

Even with his early season woes, Joe Nathan is still one of the best closers the game of baseball has ever seen. The 39 year old came off one of his best seasons, registering a WHIP of .90 and an ERA of 1.33 amidst his 43 Saves and 74 SO.  Nathan will also bring plenty of playoff experience to Detroit. Lets just hope if the Tigers make it back to the playoffs, that he can improve in his career postseason ERA of 9.00 in 9 IP.  Nathan was inked to a 2 YR Deal this winter, worth $20 MIL, with a Team Option of $10 MIL for 2016.  This doesn't end all of the teams Relief woes, but it gives them the best Closer that was on the Free Agent Market.

Even with his early season woes, Joe Nathan is still one of the best closers the game of baseball has ever seen. The 39 year old came off one of his best seasons in 2013, registering a WHIP of .90 and an ERA of 1.33 amidst his 43 Saves and 74 SO. Nathan will also bring plenty of playoff experience to Detroit. Lets just hope if the Tigers make it back to the playoffs, that he can improve in his career postseason ERA of 9.00 in 9 IP. Nathan was inked to a 2 YR Deal this past winter, worth $20 MIL, with a Team Option of $10 MIL for 2016. This doesn’t end all of the teams Relief problems, but it gave them the best Closer that was on the Free Agent Market. There is still plenty of work to do

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent)

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The bats are rolling, the starters are clicking, and the bullpen is failing.

It’s no secret that the Detroit Tigers bullpen is struggling. Through the first five games of the season they have allowed 9 runs. To make it even worse, all 9 have come in the 9th inning.

That’s 9 runs on 18 hits through only 13.1 innings for the bullpen. To put that into a harsher perspective, the starters have given up 8 runs on 20 hits through 32.2 innings.

Yes, the bullpen has given up more runs and almost as many hits through less than half the innings. Read the rest of this entry

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Texas Rangers Roster For 2014: State Of The Union

Prince Fielder's 2013 - 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.819) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.916.  The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the playoffs either.  Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career.  Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to be an AL MVP Candidate for the Rangers in 2014.  I expect him to return to the 40+ HR plateau, drive in well over 100+ RBI - and lead his team to a World Series Appearance this year.

Prince Fielder’s 2013 – 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.457) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.527. The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the playoffs either. Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career. Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to be an AL MVP Candidate for the Rangers in 2014. I expect him to return to the 40+ HR plateau, drive in well over 100+ RBI – and lead his team to a World Series Appearance this year.  Fielder will be in Texas for the next 7 years, and the Rangers only have to pay $20 MIL per year, with Detroit eating $4 MIL each season as part of the trade that saw Ian Kinsler go to Motown.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Stay Alive Until Re-Inforcements Arrive

The Texas Rangers bolstered their 2014 offensive lineup with 2 new .400+ OBP Players.

Shin-Soo Choo (.423 OBP in 2013, and a Career .389 OBP), and Prince Fielder (.362 OBP, but was .400 OBP+ in 4 out of the last 5 years and .389 OBP for his lifetime) – will be front and center into the Rangers new lineup.

These gentlemen will be surrounded by Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios as guys to help offset their walk totals.

This is not an indictment of the 3 right handed hitters either though, Beltre is a .312 hitter for Texas during his 3 campaigns, while Alex Rios and Andrus should hit anywhere from .280 to .290 this year.

You add Andrus’s speed with Leonys Martin – and these two guys could swipe 40+ bags each.  Even Alex Rios thieved 16 Bags in 2013 – and Choo had 20 SB yet again. Read the rest of this entry

Detroit Tigers State Of The Union 2014 – Part 2: The Pitchers

Joe Nathan is still one of the best closers the game of baseball has ever seen. The 39 year old came off one of his best seasons, registering a WHIP of .90 and an ERA of 1.33 amidst his 43 Saves and 74 SO.  Nathan will also bring plenty of playoff experience to Detroit. Lets just hope if the Tigers make it back to the playoffs, that he can improve in his career postseason ERA of 9.00 in 9 IP.  Nathan was inked to a 2 YR Deal this winter, worth $20 MIL, with a Team Option of $10 MIL for 2016.  This doesn't end all of the teams Relief woes, but it gives them the best Closer that was on the Free Agent Market.

Joe Nathan is still one of the best closers the game of baseball has ever seen. The 39 year old came off one of his best seasons, registering a WHIP of .90 and an ERA of 1.33 amidst his 43 Saves and 74 SO. Nathan will also bring plenty of playoff experience to Detroit. Lets just hope if the Tigers make it back to the playoffs, that he can improve in his career postseason ERA of 9.00 in 9 IP. Nathan was inked to a 2 YR Deal this winter, worth $20 MIL, with a Team Option of $10 MIL for 2016. This doesn’t end all of the teams Relief woes, but it gives them the best Closer that was on the Free Agent Market.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Here we go again.  Bruce Rondon is out for the year with Tommy John Surgery, Joba Chamberlain is throwing at Minor Leaguer’s, and Anibal Sanchez is hurting.

No team had better Starting Pitching in the game of baseball than the Tigers in 2014, while I love their top 3 Starters again, I am worried about their depth in the rotation at the back end.

The Bullpen is a lot better at the Closer’s position with Joe Nathan.

Gone are Jose Veras, underrated Joaquin Benoit, Drew Smyly moves to the Rotation,  and the ‘human dumpster fire’ Jose Valverde is also long removed from the relief core.

Added to the bringing in Nathan, the team also signed Chamberlain for 1 year, and added Ian Krol through the Doug Fister trade.

Among several returnees are Luke Putkonen, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, Jose Ortega and Evan Reed. Read the rest of this entry

The Detroit Tigers 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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The Detroit Tigers will be relying on their Minor League System more in 2014 than in the previous few years.  Players have been traded or lost to Free Agency, carving a path and opportunity for some.

Nick Castellanos has the grandest shot at making some headway at the 3B position, and Jose Iglesias will see a full year at SS in Motown.

When you factor in Ian Kinsler at 2B – and Miguel Cabrera at 1B, then none of the 2014 opening days Infield positions will look the same.

Dave Dombrowski has done an exceptional job at replacing some of the Minor League levels.  This was a big reason why they traded Doug Fister. 

Robbie Ray is their best Starting Pitcher not to start the year in Detroit.  He may even get the call at some point this campaign.

If anything, the Tigers were able to become younger, quicker and cheaper, which could bode well for the future

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

The Texas Rangers 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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This has been the most successful run in Rangers history in the last 4 years.  2 World Series Appearances (albeit losses) – and the club has 4 straight 90+ Win Seasons.

Nolan Ryan envisioned this kind of progress when he anchored the current regime.  While he has left the nest, many of the players have been stocked up in the Minors and Majors.

The Rangers have many young players like Jurickson Profar, Leonys Martin, Martin Perez and Elvis Andrus that are entering their prime.

The greatest job done by the brass was to assemble a pitching unit of homegrown products, as this has kept the teams payroll within reason – even as some of these guys mature. 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

MLB Futures (Regular Season Prop Specials): Gambling 101

Get set for another season of throwing some cash around when it comes to baseball.  MLB Reports will have you ready with what we are looking at as well.

Get set for another season of throwing some cash around when it comes to baseball. MLB Reports will have you ready with what we are looking at as well.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We all love to see if we can be a good gambler right?

Of course some of it is just bragging rights with our buddies, and of course no one is allowed to gamble in the USA, unless you are living in a state that allows it either.

So, whether you want to just play for winning amongst friends, or actually want to risk some sheckels, here are some fun specials to wager on in 2014 Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 Saves Leaders In MLB 2014

Coffee Is For Closers Only – “Always Be Closing! _(Profanity Laced Tirade Here)

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Closers job in the MLB is a rough negotiation.  Saving games does not necessarily quantify an awesome reliever or not, but the stat category still remains both played up for fantasy, and something to reference.

For the tops in most of the leagues in 2014, you must have look towards the top clubs 1st.

In Oakland, I think Jim Johnson and Luke Gregerson will take turns saving contests.  The same thing may happen in Los Angeles – where Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen may also both see time as the clubs Closer. Read the rest of this entry

Detroit Tigers Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward Part 1

With Team Payroll already at $125 MIL without even paying the Arbitration Eligible players of Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Alex Avila and, the club is sure to top the $150 MIL mark - without even solidifying the Bullpen from top to bottom, and potentially starting a Rookie at 3B - while Iglesias will assume the SS with less than a year of games played under his belt either.  Detroit still has more than $50 MIL invested on their team than any of the other AL Central foes.  The team would be better off saving some money, and then pay pro-rated salaries after the Trade Deadline - in order to cash in on a 1st World Series since 1984.  Entering the last years of their deals are Martinez, Scherzer and Hunter.

With Team Payroll already at $125 MIL without even paying the Arbitration Eligible players of Austin Jackson ($10 MIL range), Max Scherzer ($17 – $20 MIL), Alex Avila ($3 MIL), Rick Porcello ($4 – $5 MIL) and Andy Dirks  ($1 – $2 MIL , the club is sure to top the $160 MIL mark – without even solidifying the Bullpen from top to bottom, and potentially starting a Rookie at 3B – while Iglesias will assume the SS (with less than a year of games played under his belt either.) Detroit still has more than $50 MIL invested on their team than any of their other AL Central foes. The team would be better off saving some money, and then pay pro-rated salaries after the Trade Deadline – in order to cash in on a 1st World Series since 1984. Entering the last years of their deals are Martinez, Scherzer and Hunter.

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

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I have been saying it since the club traded away Prince Fielder.  It was one year too early.

The club ended up forking out over $76 MIL for just 2 years of service from the big man – when you add his $30 MIL in payroll Detroit will pickup in the next 7 years, just to trade him.

I am also baffled on why the Tigers traded Doug Fister.  I thought the plan was to win in 2014?

Max Scherzer 2013 Cy Young Season highlights

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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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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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AL Central Hot Stove Round Up – Updated For The Joe Nathan Signing With The Tigers

Doug Fister was just traded away last night for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and a Minor League Pitcher.  I definitely am seeing the vibe that this franchise is about to make another huge move towards a player in Free Agency.

Doug Fister was just traded away last night for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and a Minor League Pitcher. I definitely am seeing the vibe that this franchise is about to make another huge move towards a player in Free Agency.  If this wasn’t the case, then what the hell are the Tigers doing trading away a pitcher like this?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Detroit Tigers threw down the first gauntlet in transactions of the Division.  But have they made their team any stronger?  As of right now they are still weaker to start the 2014 year than they ended the 2013 campaign.

Things have been quiet out of Motown on offensive players, however they have been circling the world of Brian Wilson for the Relief core, before they finally lost interest.

Joe Nathan was signed to a 2 Year Deal today by the Tigers.  It was a swift move to sign the guy, although financial terms have not been entirely disclosed yet.

By singing Joe Nathan to amp up the status of the Bullpen, the teams looks decisively better already.   

They should not stop there for relievers. 

I would still try to bring in a Grant Balfour or Jesse Crain as late inning assassins – before having any of the old crew of Joaquin Benoit or Jose Veras be the guys to depend on.  Do not resign them Dombrowski!

Look for an upcoming article I am writing about the Detroit Tigers, that will ask the question, who would you rather have long – term, Miguel Cabrera or Max Scherzer?

Of course a lot of this is dependent on how much Mike Ilitch wants to spend on his club.

Brian Wilson 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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AL West Hot Stove Roundup – Around The Horn

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

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

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

Jacoby Ellsbury 2013 Highlights

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Brian Wilson And The Detroit Tigers: A Better Fit Than You Think

From 2008-2011, Brian Wilson was one of the top closers in the Majors with 163 Saves.  He Saved 48 Games with a 1.81 ERA only 3 years ago in  2010 for the World Champ Giants.  He went through TJ Surgery for a 2nd time in April of 2012 - who will give him a chance in 2014, by signing the pending Free Agent?   Tigers fans are hoping that he is the answer to the ailing Relief Core in Detroit.

From 2008-2011, Brian Wilson was one of the top closers in the Majors with 163 Saves. He Saved 48 Games with a 1.81 ERA only 3 years ago in 2010 for the World Champ Giants. He went through TJ Surgery for a 2nd time in April of 2012 – who will give him a chance in 2014, by signing the pending Free Agent? Tigers fans are hoping that he is the answer to the ailing Relief Core in Detroit.

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent)

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Not the Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

The other Brian Wilson, the crazy one with the creepy beard.

Some Detroit fans will remember him from one of his tantrums at Comerica Park. He went ballistic on a water cooler after blowing a save back in July of 2011.

Sad to report, the water cooler never recovered.

Brian Wilson loses it on watercooler

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Dissecting The Prince Fielder For Ian Kinsler Trade

In 39 games for his Playoff Career, he holds a miniature .194 batting average with 5 home runs and 11 RBIs.  This Playoff stretch of 11 Games in 2013 - there were no big flies and not even a solitary RBI.  Fielder had 9 Hits out of 40 AB (.225) with just one Double.fans, we cannot blame Prince Fielder for wanting to play everyday. With this trade to Texas it is a great chance for the big man to redeem himself in a hitter friendly ballpark, and a great lineup also surrounding him.  Texas has put up 370 wins in the last 4 years.  The Rangers will pick up $138 of the $168 MIL contract that Fielder is due from 2014 - 2020.  Where will the Rangers play him defensively?  More important will be to sit him down and ask him to relinquish his consecutive streak, and to lose some weight in going forward.  Fielder brings a career 3 Slah of .286/.387/.916 - with 285 HRs and 870 RBI carried over his 9 years in the Major Leagues for the Tigers and Brewers.

In 39 games for Fielder’s Playoff Career, he holds a miniature .194 batting average with 5 home runs and 11 RBIs. This recent Playoff stretch of 11 Games in 2013 – there were no big flies and not even a solitary RBI. Fielder had 9 Hits out of 40 AB (.225) with just one Double. With this trade – it is a great chance for the big man to redeem himself in a hitter friendly ballpark, and a great lineup also surrounding him. Texas has put up 370 wins in the last 4 years. The Rangers will pick up $138 of the $168 MIL contract that Fielder is due from 2014 – 2020. Where will the Rangers play him defensively? More important will be to sit him down and ask him to relinquish his consecutive streak, and to lose some weight in going forward. Fielder brings a career 3 Slash of .286/.387/.916 – with 285 HRs and 870 RBI carried over his 9 years in the Major Leagues for the Tigers and Brewers.

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

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After having a late phone call chat with our “Chief Writer” Hunter Stokes, I officially welcomed him to the world of being a sportswriter.

Hunter wrote an awesome piece on the Rangers State Of The Union yesterday.  In the article found here, he explained that Jon Daniels needs a power bat, and must address the Jurickson Profar/Elvis Andrus situation.

Well, no more than 6 hours later, Daniels pulled off the trade for the big lugging 1B, and now we will have to add a part 2 to yesterday’s feature article.

I like the move for the AL West resident’s.  Prince Fielder‘s Left Handed Bat will be a most welcomed addition to the foray in Texas.

Prince Fielder 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is Advised

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MLB 50 Free Agent Predictions

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

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

Free Agent Predictions

By Jordan Gluck (Free Agency Correspondent)

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

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

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

Robinson Cano 2013 Highlights

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Texas Rangers: Different Year Than 2012, Or Same Result?

Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Jurickson Profar are just a few of the great players up and down their roster. Last season they lost the American League West to the Oakland Athletics on the last day of the season. Will the same happen this season, or will their be a different result?

Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Jurickson Profar are just a few of the great players up and down their roster. Last season they lost the American League West to the Oakland Athletics on the last day of the season. Will the same happen this season, or will their be a different result? With 25 Games left to play, and identical 79 – 58 records in the AL West, The A’s and the boys from Arlington are embattled in a tightly Division Race in 2013.

Ryan Ritchey (Featured Baseball Columnist): 

The 2012 season didn’t end as planned for the Texas Rangers. They had a five game lead over the Oakland Athletics in the American League West with nine games remaining and lost the division. It was crushing for the team and the fans.

Losing the division put them in a one game playoff with the Baltimore Orioles. Coming off the shock of losing the division, the Rangers lost to the Orioles 5-1 at home. 

Will this season be the same for the Rangers, or will there be a different result? Here are three reasons why it could be the same and three why it could be different…

Yu Darvish Dominates Diamondbacks with 14 K’s:

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2 And A Hook Podcast #14: The Races, The Red Sox + The Crowd Hitter Concept

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

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

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

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show:

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

& yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

i start it off by wishing the head of MLB Reports Chuck Booth    a Happy Birthday today then i talked about the A.L. East race & who will prevail at the end…

I also get to talk to the return of the Vice Prez of MLB Reports.com Chris Lacey (30 MIN mark and a 25 MIN Segment)

We talked about all the division & wild card races in both leagues, Matt Harvey’s season ending injury which is a big blow to the mets & the mets trading Byrd & Buck to help the pirates…

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

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Rangers’ Trade Deadline Possibilities

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Tuesday, July.30, 2013

Alex Rios is one option that the Rangers could go with to meet the need of a right-handed bat in their lineup. He has a .272 average and a .752 OPS in 397 at-bats for the White Sox this season to include hitting 12 HRs and having 49 RBIs. The right-handed outfielder is also very adept at stealing bases, as he has already stolen 22 bases while being caught just six times. He also play good defense in the outfield as well with only committing three errors. Rios is a right-hander, but he excels in facing left-handers with a .296 batting average and an OPS of .829.

Alex Rios is one option that the Rangers could go with to meet the need of a right-handed bat for their club. He has a .272 average and a .752 OPS in 397 at-bats for the White Sox this season to include hitting 12 HRs and having 49 RBIs. The right-handed outfielder is also very adept at stealing bases, as he has already stolen 22 bases while being caught just six times. He also play good defense in the outfield as well with only committing three errors. Rios is a right-hander, but he excels in facing left-handers with a .296 batting average and an OPS of .829. He does most of his damage in 6th inning, as indicated by him hitting .352 with 19 hits in 54 at-bats this season.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)  

For most baseball teams that won’t make the playoffs, the Trade Deadline is a way for them to trade players away that will be impending free agents the following season.

The teams don’t see these players as a part of their long-term plans for the organization will want to get something in return rather than just allowing the player to sign with another team and they get nothing in return. 

Joe Nathan 2011 Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Philadelphia Phillies Trade Possibilities

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Monday July.29, 2013

The year started with the struggles of one of their ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players.  With Halladay potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for one more year.  Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) - has cause for optimism in 2014.  They will need to find a 3B, Catcher and 3rd OF, however that won't require the farm being spent.  Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr.  at the Trade Deadline

The year started with the struggles of two of their three ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players – including Doc Halladaay. With their former ‘CY Young Winner’ potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for at least one more year ‘next campaign’. Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) – also has cause for optimism in 2014. They will need to find a 3B, a Catcher, a new Closer and a 3rd OF, however that won’t require the farm being spent. Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr. at the Trade Deadline this year before we get to that point.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

The time has come, Phillies fans. Make no mistake about what you’re seeing on the field and reading in the papers, sell mode has now become a reality.

Perhaps I may be channeling my inner Captain Obvious, but for the sake of those still holding out hope, change is a-comin’.

After the ugliest road trip in recent memory mercifully came to an end, the Philadelphia Sports Media pulled no punches welcoming several Phillies players to Seller-dome.

Carlos Ruiz Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Tigers Acquire Astros Closer Veras To Address Anemic Bullpen Woes – And Are Not Done Yet

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Mondday, July.29/2013

Jose Veras was acquired by the Tigers today, While clearly not the big name out their among Closers, he should add depth to a Bullpen that has had monumental struggles this season.  This could also lead to the Tigers picking up yet another Closer in the next 48 - 60 hours like a Joe Nathan or Luke Gregerson.  All of a sudden, a negative attribute could be a positive one for the team.

Jose Veras was acquired by the Tigers today, While clearly not the big name out their among Closers, he should add depth to a Bullpen that has had monumental struggles this season. This could also lead to the Tigers picking up yet another Closer in the next 48 – 60 hours like a Joe Nathan or Luke Gregerson. All of a sudden, a negative attribute could be a positive one for the team. Veras makes $1.85 MIL for 2013, and has a Team Option of $3.25 MIL for 2014 – or a Buyout of 150K.  It is an inexpensive risk for Motown.

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent) 

The Detroit Tigers have finally got there much needed bullpen help in the form of Astros closer Jose Veras. They sent outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later to the Astros.

Vasquez, 19-years-old, was batting .281 with Low-A West Michigan before the trade. The Tigers signed him as an international free agent out of Venezuela in 2010.

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Chris Sale Proving His Worth, With Little Return – White Sox Target Potential Player Trades

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Thursday July.25/2013

As a baseball fan, no matter how bad the team you root for may be, the All-Star Game is the best. As a White Sox fan, I haven't experienced many really bad seasons in my lifetime. As I've written in previous posts, this has not been a good year for my White Sox. And, as a Sox fan, it feels like the sky is falling. Come the ALL-Star break, I try to forget about my team's struggles, and look forward to the Summer Classic.

As a baseball fan, no matter how bad the team you root for may be, the All-Star Game is the best. As a White Sox fan, I haven’t experienced many really bad seasons in my lifetime. As I’ve written in previous posts, this has not been a good year for my White Sox. And, as a Sox fan, it feels like the sky is falling. Come the ALL-Star break, I try to forget about my team’s struggles, and look forward to the Summer Classic.

 By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

So, I’d like to focus on a positive note this time around. Chris Sale. Man is he good.

While young star pitchers like Matt Harvey, Clayton Kershaw, and Stephen Strasburg get a lot of publicity (and rightfully so), Chris Sale doesn’t receive much of the spot light.

And that seems to suit him just fine. Though when the spot light shined its brightest at the MLB All-Star Game last Tuesday night at Citi Field, Sale stepped to the mound for 2 innings of perfect baseball.

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Shutting The Door: Who Are The Top Five Closers In Each League At The Break?

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Tuesday July 16th, 2013 

Mariano Rivera holds the ALL-Time Record for any closer (active of retired) with 638 Saves.  He has been the most dominant Relief Pitcher on the planet over the last two decades.  What is incredible, is that he never has a bad season - which is prone to happen to even Hall Of Fame Pitchers.  Rivera also leads Active Pitchers in ERA (2.20), Games Finished (1089) and a WHIP 1.005. Add another 42 Saves, and a 0.70 ERA in 142 IP in his Post Season Career - and you are talking about the standard which any future Closer will be measured up to.

Mariano Rivera holds the ALL-Time Record for any closer (active or retired) with 638 Saves. He has been the most dominant Relief Pitcher on the planet over the last two decades. What is incredible, is that he never has a bad season – which is prone to happen to even Hall Of Fame Relief Pitchers. Rivera also leads Active Pitchers in ERA (2.20), Games Finished (1089) and a WHIP 1.005. Add another 42 Saves, and a 0.70 ERA in 142 IP in his Post Season Career – and you are talking about the standard which any future Closer will be measured up to.

By Dan Wanser (Baseball Writer):  

You’re playing your rivals in a game that can put you in first place. You go in to the top of the 9th inning with the score 3-2.

Your starter went a solid seven innings, and then your middle reliever got you through the 8th. Three outs away, who do you call in from the pen?

 This one guy will be the difference in whether you win or you lose. He needs to come in and get the next three outs, arguably the most important three outs of the game.

In this nerve-racking situation, you need a guy who can come in, put his nerves aside, and finish off this ballgame to get the win. Who are you bringing in from the pen? Your closer.  

So if your team is in this situation, who do you want in the game? Here’s the pitchers who I think have been the best closers in this first half of the season.

Mariano Rivera Enters The Game To ‘Enter Sandman’

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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

Top MLB Teams 1 – 30: Monthly Rankings + (Top 200 Stats For Reading And Fantasy Baseball)

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Thursday July.11/2013

The Giants have gone 9 - 23 in their last 32 Games and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series.  Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots.

The Giants have gone 9 – 23 in their last 32 Games – and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series. Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots this past time.  Should they also become sellers at the Trade Deadline,  Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence could fetch a few players in return.  The Giants are currently 40 – 50 and 6.5 Games behind the NL West Leading DBACKS – but are in last in the NL West.

 

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

The time has come for the July Power Rankings with Stats Edition.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during these weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll past the video and picture.

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Potential All – Star Candidates For All 30 MLB Teams:

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Saturday, July.06/2013

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will have be host to the 2013 ALL - Star Game.  It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was.  The home club should have the Starting Pitcher and Third Baseman for the NL, who else will be picked for the NL and AL - will all be revealed in a matter of hours.  MLB Reports gave its candidates and choices in this blog

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will be host to the 2013 ALL – Star Game. It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was. The home club should have the Starting Pitcher and Third Baseman for the NL, who else will be picked for the NL and AL – will all be revealed in a matter of hours. MLB Reports gave its candidates and choices in this blog.  Citi Field also modified its fences last year in hopes of hosting this event.  This is the RF cavernous portion that used to be what Right Field was.  I took this photo in 2009 – during its 1st season in existence.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am doing this list based solely on whether the player is a viable candidate or not.  I don’t care if the fans vote someone else in – although they have done a decent job.

This website’s stance on Yasiel Puig is known by know – if you are reading this for the 1st time.  We feel the man belongs based on his numbers.  He has numbers comparable to Bryce Harper – and his BA and OPS is far above and beyond.

In a recent article our Dodgers Correspondent also mentioned Hanley Ramirez deserves a shot to make the team.

Ordinarily, I would say no – but Troy Tulowitzki is hurt.

Han- Ram might be a victim of all teams needing to be represented as the Padres best candidate is definitely Everth Cabrera – unless Bochy takes Jason Marquis to replace him.

I think behind Bochy should take Ramirez behind David Wright and Pedro Alvarez at 3B.  With Segura, Cabrera and Desmond taking spots at SS. Read the rest of this entry

Texas Rangers Payroll In 2013: Rangers Organizational Rosters + Depth Charts – (MLB + MiLB)

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Saturday, Apr.27/2013

The Texas Rangers have been the most consistent American League Franchise since Nolan Ryan took over as CEO of the club midway through 2010.  They made the World Series in 2010 and 2011 - losing to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco in back to back years.  The club has done a great job assembling a Minor League system full of talent - and a great amount of talent via Free Agency.

The Texas Rangers have been the most consistent American League Franchise since Nolan Ryan took over as CEO of the club midway through 2010. They made the World Series in 2010 and 2011 – losing to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco in back to back years. The club has done a great job assembling a Minor League system full of talent – and a great amount of talent via Free Agency.  Will the Rangers be able to finally win a World Series in the coming years?

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 &*!@?!#!

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

2010 ALCS Highlight Video

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Texas Rangers Staff – A Preseason Pitching Analysis: State Of The Union

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Saturday, March.30/2013

Ortiz was brought up from the farm system, and although he is only 22 years old, has spent six years with the Rangers. Ortiz has had an impressive spring, and has caught the eye of fans as well as pitching coach Mike Maddux.Ortiz posted a 1.97 ERA in 24 Appearances with AAA Round Rock last season, and has officially made the big league bullpen for 2013. Lindblom was acquired in the Michael Young trade with Philadelphia during the offseason, and adds more depth to the Bullpen.

Joe Ortiz was brought up from the farm system, and although he is only 22, he has spent six years with the Rangers. Ortiz has had an impressive Spring Training – and has caught the eye of fans as well as pitching coach Mike Maddux. Ortiz posted a 1.97 ERA in 24 Appearances with AAA Round Rock last season – and has officially made the big league Bullpen this year.

By Brooke Robinson (Rangers Correspondent):

Though baseball season begins in Texas just hours away, there were many questions left for the team to answer throughout Spring Training. Who will become the fifth starter? Who will recover from surgery this season? And who will revive the Bullpen?

In the past month of training in Surprise, Arizona, some of the answers of these questions have come to light. The Rangers were plagued with injury in the latter part of the 2012 season, particularly with their pitching.

So it was no surprise that the front office brought in and up some new faces to test out this spring. Pitchers that will still be recovering at the beginning of the season include: RHP Colby Lewis, RHP Neftali Feliz, RHP Joakim Soria, and LHP Martin Perez.

Neftali Feliz hits 100 MPH!

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MLB Player Profile: SD Padres – Huston Street

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Sunday Mar.03, 2013

Huston Street was the 2005 Rookie of the Year for the Oakland.  He has really good control for a Closer - with a Strikeout to Wal ratio of 4-1 (9.2 SO per 9 IP vs 2.3 BB per 9 IP

Huston Street was the 2005 Rookie of the Year for the Oakland. He has really good control for a Closer – with a Strikeout to Walk ratio of 4-1 (9.2 SO per 9 IP vs 2.3 BB per 9 IP)His game is suited for the Petco Park.  At only Age 29, he could conceivably pitch for the next decade and has an outside chance at about 400 Saves for his Career.  He has played for the 3 West Coast teams (OAK, COL and SD.)

By Chance Moore (Padres Correspondent)  

Street was traded by the Rockies to the San Diego Padres for Left Hander Nick Schmidt on December 7, 2011. As part of the deal the Padres paid the remaining money on his contract. Street missed a month with a right shoulder strain, but otherwise had an excellent first half with the Padres. He compiled a 1.13 ERA, was 13 for 13 in converting Save Opportunities, and did not allow a Home Run in his 1st 25 games, earning a selection to his first All-Star Game.

Street is an underrated Relief Pitcher in the MLB realms.  The man burst onto the scene for Oakland in 2005 – netting the Rookie of the Year Award in the American League with a 5-1 Record and 23 Saves during his 78.1 IP.  8 Years into his career, he has 201 Saves – while yielding a 3.01 ERA.  Here he is on the Active MLB Saves List in #8 position.  Really he will be 7th early into the year because Brian Fuentes recently retired.

Rank Player (yrs, age) Saves Throws
1. Mariano Rivera (18, 42) 608 R
2. Jason Isringhausen (16, 39) 300 R
3. Joe Nathan (12, 37) 298 R
4. Francisco Rodriguez (11, 30) 294 R
5. Jose Valverde (10, 34) 277 R
6. Jonathan Papelbon (8, 31) 257 R
7. Brian Fuentes (12, 36) 204 L
8. Huston Street (8, 28) 201 R
9. J.J. Putz (10, 35) 183 R
10. Brian Wilson (7, 30) 171 R

Huston Street Interview on his 1st Save for the San Diego Padres in 2012:

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The Texas Rangers Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Saturday, January.19th,  2013

Texas has doubled their total team payroll since the new ownership group took over.  As good as they are doing right now for Payroll - the Angels still have them beat by 35-40 Million Dollars

Texas has doubled their total team payroll since the new ownership group took over. As good as they are doing right now for Payroll – the Angels still have them beat by 35-40 Million Dollars.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

It is easy to equate a big market team’s success with merely a willingness to overspend on free agents and use their superior earning power to dominate the sport. While the Rangers certainly are not afraid of spending all that money that playing the Dallas/Fort Worth area provides, it would be inaccurate to equate the team’s recent string of success with only their ability to outspend a fair portion of their competitors. As we enter the 2013 season, the Rangers have built a very strong base – while managing to not tie themselves to any back-breaking, future altering contracts. That is a testament to the organization’s belief in its system – and its refusal to spend on player just because they are able to. With that being said, let’s take a look at the Rangers 2013 payroll as of now and see where Texas will be spending its money next season.

Rangers 2011 ALCS Clincher:

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