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With V – Mart’s 4 YR Deal For $68 MIL, The Market Threshold Is Set For Nelson Cruz

Victor Martinez has thrived offensively in Detroit hitting behind Miguel Cabrera.  Aside from the 2012 injury where he missed the whole season to a broken ankle.  V-Mart's 3 Slash Line for the Tigers is .321/.379/.486 - with 56 HR and 283 RBI in 1656 AB for the squad.  2014 is the last year of the 35 year old's 4 YRs/$50 MIL deal, and he will be on the open market after this campaign.  This was another good reason to bring in David Price by trade to win the elusive World Series.  There is no guarantee the Tigers could afford to bring him back for 2015 or beyond.

Victor Martinez has thrived offensively in Detroit hitting behind Miguel Cabrera. Aside from the 2012 injury where he missed the whole season to a broken ankle. V-Mart’s 3 Slash Line for the Tigers is .321/.381/.487 – with 58 HR and 289 RBI in 1706 AB for the squad. 2014 was the last year of the 35 year old’s 4 YRs/$50 MIL deal.  There was no guarantee the Tigers could afford to bring him back for 2015 or beyond because of the chance they would move Cabrera to DH in a few years.  However, the “Motown Boys” will have the best Designated Hitter in the game right now, back in the fold for the next 4 campaigns.  The one person who may not like the $ portion of the contract is Nelson Cruz, who is seeking a deal of 5 years at above the dollars per year V-Mart just reeled in.

Chuck Booth (Lead Analyst/Website Owner): 

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Yesterday Victor Martinez finalized re-signing with the Detroit Tigers for 4 YRs/$68 MIL.  This both was a great deal for the “Motown Boys” and also set a likely threshold for Free Agent DH slugger Nelson Cruz.

The Orioles DH/OF must not be happy with the amount of cash that V-Mart signed with, because there is no way he should reach that stratosphere.

2014 Stats

Victor Martinez (35):  .335/.409/.565, with 32 HRs 103 RBI and only 42 SO in 561 AB.

Nelson Cruz  (34):  .271/.333/.525, with 40 HRs 108 RBI and 140 SO in 613 AB.

 

Career

Martinez:  .306/.373/.475

Cruz:  .268/.328/.501 Read the rest of this entry

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Baseball News Of The Week, Baseball News Of The Weak, Baseball News That Wreaks

Joe Maddon signing with the Cubs to skipper the club for the next 5 years is the biggest story of the hotstove so far.  He is also the clubhouse leader of adult beverages bought, although we will still give the consumed adult beverage lead to Madison Bumgarner

Joe Maddon signing with the Cubs to skipper the club for the next 5 years/at $5 MIL per annum is the biggest story of the hotstove season so far. He is also the clubhouse leader of adult beverages bought, although we will still give the consumed adult beverage lead to Madison Bumgarner.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Welcome to the new offseason segment.  I will try to do this once again.  It has been a slower winter than the previous two years, however it is starting to pick up.

Anybody miss the live action yet?  Yes there is still the Japan exhibition series and the Arizona Fall League,  but for the people like myself, I live and die for the major league action.

I would much rather watch Major League Baseball any day of the week.  It is not that I begrudge anyone for attending Minor League attendance, heck in some campaigns, the Minor Leagues have outdrawn the MLB.

This will be sort of like the good, the bad and the ugly from (insert show here). Read the rest of this entry

Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union For 2015

Baltimore Orioles

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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Even with some key players being out of the lineup for long periods of time (due to injuries/suspensions), the Baltimore Orioles still found a way to win 96 games during the 2014 regular season, and advanced to the ALCS after sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS.

Unfortunately, the Orioles’ World Series hopes were crushed by the Kansas City Royals in the Final Four, as the O’s struggled mightily against this year’s “Cinderella story.”

It turned out to be an ugly end for a great season, but the Orioles now need to look forward to the off-season.

With some key players heading towards free agency and arbitration, the Orioles need to make some moves in order to put themselves in contention to compete once again come 2015. 

Read the rest of this entry

The Royals Or O’s Winning The Title Would Be Good And Bad: MLB Payrolls Part 2

Kauffman Stadium was newly renovated about 5 years ago.  It is a nice visual display of a ballpark, however it is far being in the top venues in the Majors for earning money.  The Royals fans saw the club struggle to finally end a 3 decade long playoff drought this year.  It is imperative that the MLB work with 'cost control' in the upcoming 'Collective Bargaining Agreement. Both KC and Baltimore had to endure lengthy stints of losing campaigns, before compiling enough top level draft picks to compete in their respective divisions.  Hopefully other small to mid market teams will not have to be bad for that amount of time in the future to obtain success finally.

Kauffman Stadium was newly renovated about 5 years ago. It is a nice visual display of a ballpark, however it is far being in the top venues in the Majors for earning money. The Royals fans saw the club struggle to finally end a 3 decade long playoff drought this year. It is imperative that the MLB work with ‘cost control’ in the upcoming ‘Collective Bargaining Agreement. Both KC and Baltimore had to endure lengthy stints of losing campaigns, before compiling enough top-level draft picks to compete in their respective divisions. Hopefully other small to mid market teams will not have to be bad for that amount of time in the future to obtain success finally.

Yesterday I addressed the Dodgers potentially winning the World Series in the next few years while bringing more attention to the inequities of the big and small market clubs. 

Even with LAD losing today and being eliminated, it doesn’t change the fact they will be playoff contenders for years to come based on their talent level, and super imposed revenue stream to outspend every team in the National League.

I identified the last several lower revenue teams that have had success, and pointed out that it took them big stretches of poor campaigns in order to collect on some good.

This is the biggest reason why baseball needs to adopt a salary cap – in order to leveling off the field.

Kansas City and Baltimore are perfect examples of this.  The narrative is great here  Franchises that haven’t appeared in the Fall Classic since 1985 and 1983 respectively, when both organization won their last Titles.

The Royals 29 years since that has been tough to stomach.  The later George Brett years, the core from the championship had aged or moved on by the time he hung up the cleats.

After the 1994 strike/1995 lockout, the Royals found themselves at the bottom of the division for years. Read the rest of this entry

Previewing The ALDS: Orioles Vs. Tigers

JFdSE0K

 

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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For the first time since 1997, the Orioles are back on top of the AL East Division, clinching their 9th division title in franchise history.  For a team who has dealt with numerous injuries over the season, this team still found a way to win 96 games, which easily won them the division crown. 

As October baseball is sure to bring out the best in the remaining competition, the Orioles have a tough task at hand, as they match up with the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series (ALDS).

Although the head-to-head numbers and the critics seem to favor the Orioles at the moment, it would be wise to not count this Orioles team out just yet, as they have proven doubters wrong throughout the course of the entire season.

Read the rest of this entry

ALL – Time TJ Surgery Tracker 1974 – 2014 (30 Updates Including Jonny Venters 3rd Time)

Dr. James Andrews - leading Tommy John surgeon is the new senior leader on this innovative and break through procedure, championed 1st over 40 years ago, and responsible for extending over 700 players careers now.

Dr. James Andrews – leading Tommy John surgeon is the new senior leader on this innovative and break through procedure, championed 1st over 40 years ago, and responsible for extending over 700 players careers now.

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out:

Links

More Tommy John Surgeries By The Numbers + Who Is the 1st $100 MIL Pitcher To Go Down With It? + A Scherzer Angle?

TOMMY JOHN SURGERY – 2014 (30)

2014

Jonny Venters – (3rd Time Probable) Braves: Aug/Sept 2014

Jeremy Hefner, NYM Aug 2014 (TJ Watch List – Possible 2nd TJ Surgery)

Tyler Skaggs, Angels, Aug 10 – will have season ending TJ surgery soon.  expected to be out til 2016

Nate Jones, White Sox, July.30

Tyler Chatwood, Rockies, July,19

Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees (Partially Torn UCL, (TJ Watch List), July 10th

Bronson Arroyo, D’Backs July Surgery.

Matt Wieters, Orioles, June 17th

Sean Burnett, Angels, June 5th

Chris Withrow, Dodgers, June 3rd

Jose Cisnero, Astros, May 28th

Martin Perez, Rangers, May 19th.

Jose Fernandez, Marlins, May 16th

A.J. Griffin, Athletics, Apr.25th .

Pedro Figueroa, Rangers, Apr.30th

Ivan Nova, Yankees, – Apr.29th

Josh Johnson, Padres, – Apr.24

Matt Moore, Rays – Apr.24, 2014 –  Link: With Moore Out For TJ Surgery – The Rays Should Hold Onto Price Through 2015

Jameson Taillon – Pirates – April 9, 2014

Bobby Parnell - Mets – April 8th

Cory Gearrin – Braves – Mar.29 – Went on the 60 Day DL with partial ligament  tear of right elbow Mar.29, 2014 – May Require TJ Surgery.”

David Hernandez – D’Backs – Surgery April 2014.

Bruce Rondon – Tigers –  Mar.2014

Patrick Corbin – D’Backs –  Mar.2014.

Jarrod Parker – Athletics –  March 2014

Brandon Beachy - Braves – “2nd TJ Surgery” Mar 2014

Kris Medlen- Braves – Mar 2014

Luke HochevarRoyals – March.07, 2014.

Miguel Sano – Twins (Position Player) Mar, 2014.

Cory Luebke – Padres:   Luebke went under the knife for his 2nd TJ Surgery Feb 2014. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The Orioles Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree

Adam Jones was brought over in a trade with Chris Tillman, George Sherrill from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Erik Bedard in the 2007 offeseson. Jones is a 3 time Gold Glove Winner, and has 2 straight season of 30+ HRs, and might well be in the top 5 AL MVP consideration this year by the time it is all said and done. This trade started the pendulum swinging back in the other direction - after a horrible 10 year stretch for the O's. Baltimore broke a 15 year playoff drought n 2012 with a Post Season Berth.  This 4 time ALL - Star  is on pace for career highs in HRs and RBI for 2014. Jones, now 28, signed a 7 YRs/$91.7 MIL deal prior to the 2012 season, which means he is with Baltimore until the end of 2018

Adam Jones was brought over in a trade with Chris Tillman, George Sherrill from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Erik Bedard in the 2007 offeseson. Jones is a 3 time Gold Glove Winner, and has 2 straight season of 30+ HRs, and might well be in the top 5 AL MVP consideration this year by the time it is all said and done. This trade started the pendulum swinging back in the other direction – after a horrible 10 year stretch for the O’s. Baltimore broke a 15 year playoff drought n 2012 with a Post Season Berth. This 4 time ALL – Star is on pace for career highs in HRs and RBI for 2014. Jones, now 28, signed a 7 YRs/$91.7 MIL deal prior to the 2012 season, which means he is with Baltimore until the end of 2018

How All Of The Orioles Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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The fortunes of the Orioles have all come based on the heels of 2 nice trades and a 3rd one also tilting the scales in their favor.

1 of the deals was the Erik Bedard for Adam Jones and Chris Tillman, the other great trade was acquiring Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter for Koji Uehara.

These deals gave the club a bonafide Starting Pitcher, a Gold Glove and 30 HRs a year hitting Adam Jones, a 50+ HR guy in 2013 with Chris Davis, and a flamethrowing arm out of the Bullpen with Hunter.

Bedard was lackluster in Seattle briefly, and Koji Uehara wasn’t good in Texas, like he was in Baltimore or now Boston.

You can also trace J.J. Hardy (yet another Gold Glover) back to the assets received from Aubrey Huff. Read the rest of this entry

ALL – Time Tommy John Surgery Tracker, Updated For Tyler Chatwood

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out: Read the rest of this entry

ALL – Time Tommy John Surgery List 1974 – Present

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out: Read the rest of this entry

Should The Orioles Make A Blockbuster Deal Before the Deadline?

The Orioles are kicking around the top of the AL East, and may have three players that crack 30+ HRs by years end with Cruz, Jones and Davis.  The team hasn't even had normal contributions from Hardy and Machado - while Matt Wieters is out for the year.  The time to strike is now with just being behind the AL East by 2 Games, and in barely trailing for the 2nd Wild Card Spot.

The Orioles are kicking around the top of the AL East, and may have three players that crack 30+ HRs by years end with Cruz, Jones and Davis. The team hasn’t even had normal contributions from Hardy and Machado – while Matt Wieters is out for the year. The time to strike is now with just being behind the AL East by 2 Games, and in barely trailing for the 2nd Wild Card Spot.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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As July rapidly approaches, the Orioles find themselves in the middle of the competitive AL East division trying to make a run at a division title in 2014.

Although the team finds themselves currently in second place in the division, the O’s have seen inconsistency throughout the first half of the season.

There are definitely places where the team can improve before the July 31st trade deadline, but the question remains of whether or not Dan Duquette and the Orioles front office want to part ways with some of the club’s promising young talent for a possible rental player.

Read the rest of this entry

Record Corrections May Be Coming With Home + Road Splits: Then Again, Maybe Not

Coors Field is still a hitting haven.  While the averages have all dipped approximately 10% since the Humidor was placed into the facility over a decade ago, it still remains the premiere place for any of the MLB'ers to bat.  Some of the organizational players will not hit as good on the road, with playing in the NL West, in cavernous parks like Dodger Stadium, Petco Park and AT & T Park, however the weight will only affect their overall numbers away from the thin air.  Historic players like Larry Walker and Todd Helton displayed good road numbers, despite their gawdy home statistics, however they will never be looked in the same eye.

Coors Field is still a hitting haven. While the averages have all dipped approximately 10% since the Humidor was placed into the facility over a decade ago, it still remains the premiere place for any of the MLB’ers to bat. Some of the organizational players will not hit as good on the road, with playing in the NL West, in cavernous parks like Dodger Stadium, Petco Park and AT & T Park, however the weight will only affect their overall numbers away from the thin air. Historic players like Larry Walker and Todd Helton displayed good road numbers, despite their gawdy home statistics, however they will never be looked in the same eye.  2014 sees the Rockies lead massively in all categories at home, yet at this point, they have played 10 more games away from Denver.  Among the players that are killing it at the park in 2014 are  TULO and Charlie Blackmon.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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If you look at the current home and road records in the MLB Standings, you will see some weird differentials.

Take for instance the Rockies have only logged 23 games at Coors Field, where they are a staunch 16 – 7, meanwhile they have traveled abroad for 33 contests so far, putting forth a clip of 12 – 21.

This is a 10 game difference that could see the ‘Rox’ post a 7 – 3 win-loss record when the games are made up. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series – Updated For Week 8 + Best Value Bets

If Chris Davis is at his HR centric best, all of a sudden this team is lethal from Nelson Cruz, to Adam Jones, and hence should I say a healthy Matt Wieters crushing from the DH slot, or potentially this team could ink a Morales, or trade for another guy.  Pitching Staff is holding up, and now it is time for this team to roll.  Having New York, Toronto and Boston so heavily favored over them for this category is a farce.  Take the +3500 value.

If Chris Davis is at his HR centric best, all of a sudden this team is lethal from Nelson Cruz, to Adam Jones, and hence should I say a healthy Matt Wieters crushing from the DH slot, or potentially this team could ink a Morales, or trade for another guy. Pitching Staff is holding up, and now it is time for this team to roll. Having New York, Toronto and Boston so heavily favored over them for this category is a farce. Take the +3500 value.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I had my worst week for prognosticating the best odds, however I made up for it, with the worst odds of the week.  In all, I was 4 – 4 – 2 for the week.  I still have not had a losing record, and many winning ones.

The Rays and Royals have plummeted in their odds for the World Series.  I am not sure about either one of them getting back into the race, although that Tampa +5000 this week is very tempting.

The Kansas City offense is a joke.  They should sign Kendrys Morales after June, and then turn around and trade Billy Butler.  Morales won’t make much more than “Country Breakfast” and is a more consistent hitter all around.

You could also acquire some more depth somewhere else for Butler’s services.  Heck, Seattle needs a DH right now, and they aren’t even calling Morales for all we know, and are going with Nick Franklin until Corey Hart is back. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 7 – May 2014

The Mariners are 10 - 4 in their last 14 games - without receiving any outstanding play from one particular player.  They are the biggest jumpers in this weeks rankings, going from #20 - #15.  The club concludes a series vs the Kansas City Royals, before they welcome the Tampa Rays next into Safeco Field.

The Mariners are 10 – 4 in their last 14 games – without receiving any outstanding play from one particular player. They are the biggest jumpers in this weeks rankings, going from #20 – #15. The club concludes a series vs the Kansas City Royals, before they welcome the Tampa Rays next into Safeco Field.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We are almost at the quarter pole for action in the MLB.

The biggest mover and shakers this week were the Seattle Mariners, followed by Baltimore Orioles. LA Angels and San Francisco Giants.

Plummeting in the other directions were led by the Phils, who we dropped from 17th to 24th.

The Yankees, Nationals, Dodgers and Rangers all lost 4 places in the rankings based on sub-par weeks.

The AL New York franchise is about 1 bad week from free-falling to the AL East.  Right now the team has received buoyancy because of ace Masahiro Tanaka being 5 – 0.

Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran are having a tough time finding their rhythm with the Bronx Bombers.

I believe the Dodgers will rectify their situation shortly and take off.

Washington is barely over .500 even though most of their players are playing to their capabilities.

The Royals offense is destroying their team morale, as is the Mets having a tough time with the Relief Core, and their Pitchers are still battling .000 for the year like you and me.

Oakland is still leading the MLB in wins since the start of the 2012 year.

The Red Sox are one of the most likely teams to climb the standings in the next few weeks.

With the Cards not playing well, keep in mind, 18 of the next 21 games reside in Busch Stadium for them.  It is time to make some headway.

The AL has fashioned a 18 – 8 mark in Interleague this week to apply a 34 – 33 overall lead on the NL now.

The Rockies are blasting every baseball into orbit right now.  These guys are hitting as well at home as the Pre-Humidor ERA. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2014 Divisions: Colorado Biggest Jump As A Favorite

Matt Wieters is off to an outstanding start to the 2014 season, and it would be a crying shame if the Catcher had to be shelved with a position player Tommy John Surgery.  The 27 Year Old Veteran has slashed .341/.374/.560 with 5 HRs and 18 RBI so far this campaign.  Wieters has one more year of Arbitration Eligibility before he hits the open market in 2016.  If Wieters is injured but could still play, he may be the Full Time DH for the rest of 2014.

Matt Wieters is off to an outstanding start to the 2014 season, and it would be a crying shame if the Catcher had to be shelved with a position player Tommy John Surgery. The 27 Year Old Veteran has slashed .341/.374/.560 with 5 HRs and 18 RBI so far this campaign. Wieters has one more year of Arbitration Eligibility before he hits the open market in 2016. If Wieters is injured but could still play, he may be the Full Time DH for the rest of 2014.  If he is cleared to play tonight, the O’s would be right up there with the Rays for value in terms of gambling who will win the AL East.  New York and Boston simply don’t pay enough.

 

Odds To Win The 2014 Divisions

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2 weeks ago I wrote my last Division Odds piece. You can read that article here. 

I jumped on board the odd for the Colorado Rockies at +1800 for the NL West.  Everyone was still buying into the San Diego Padres more.

 With the early season slumping for the Dodgers, and injury woes, I liked the Rox value at the clip it was at.

Fast forward to today, and the odd is now at +750.

In the AL East, I talked about the Orioles doing a good job weathering the storm before Manny Machado was back.

This club still hasn’t received steady contributions from an injured Chris Davis, or a slumping Adam Jones, but they sit tied for 1st place with New York.

I would have picked them to be the best bet again this week in the AL East, except for the Matt Wieters UCL deal has me worried.

When has a visit to Dr. Andrews translated well lately?

In my article here today, I have highlighted my pick from last post, and I how I fared.  The bold picks represent who I think is the best value play for the $ wagered. 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

Baltimore Orioles 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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Management

CEO- Peter G. Angelos
GM- Dan Duquette
MGR- Buck Showalter
PCO- Dave Wallace
HCO- Jim Presley
1BCO- Wayne Kirby
3BCO- Bobby Dickerson
BHCO- John Russell
BPCO- Dom Chiti

Read the rest of this entry

Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union Spring 2014 Part 1: The Lineup Now With Cruz Added

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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Nelson Cruz Signs with Baltimore

It has been a very busy week for the Orioles as Spring Training gets started, as the team is set to announce the signing of Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 MM contract.

Earlier in the week, I wrote about guys the Orioles could target to help bolster their lineup, and Cruz seemed to be the most logical fit. Read the rest of this entry

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

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

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

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Dan Duquette has announced his presence with authority this week.

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

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

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

How Winning Teams Are Built: How It Applies To The Nationals In 2014

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013.  Heck, they didn't even qualify for the playoffs.  Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn't maximize their potential this year.  However, the club did go 24 - 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year.  Their Starting Pitching Staff could have 3 potential Cy Young Winners, and Rafael Soriano is among the top Closers in the game of baseball.

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013. Heck, they didn’t even qualify for the playoffs. Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn’t maximize their potential this year. However, the club did go 24 – 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot. Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year. Their Starting Pitching Staff could have 3 potential Cy Young Winners, and Rafael Soriano is among the top Closers in the game of baseball.

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

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Last week I wrote about the dangers of the WARpire (VoRPire) and why it is important to have a bottom of the roster that won’t cost a team any games, or to word it a different way won’t cancel out the contributions of the top of the roster.

Having a 5.0 fWAR player means nothing if there are enough negative players to cancel that out. The middle and bottom of the roster are the foundation upon which the stars stand.

A team needs that bottom of the roster in order to win because without them the stars cannot flourish. ‘

Think about the Red Sox and the changes they made going into 2013.

Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, and Jonny Gomes aren’t stars, but they aren’t negative assets either and their presence on the roster allows David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia contributions to matter. Read the rest of this entry

Orioles Finally Make A Free Agent Splash To Salvage Winter

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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Orioles Sign Ubaldo Jimenez 

The Orioles could not catch a break this off-season, as they lost out on free agents that they coveted as well as missing out on closer Grant Balfour , after he failed the team’s physical.

Bronson Arroyo balked at even going for a physical seeing what happened to the Aussie – opting to sign with the D-Backs even though the money was similar, rather than have his worth devalued by flunking the doctor’s visit from the O’s.

Tyler Colvin also fell victim to Baltimore’s stringent doctors, while Grady Sizemore didn’t have a chance to pass a physical with the club either despite Orioles interest.

Orioles fans all over wondered what the team’s intentions were, as many felt the team could be a serious contender with the core they have in place, but some moves needed to be made to bolster the roster.

On Monday night, the Orioles finally made a big splash in free agency that everyone anxiously awaited. The team announced they agreed to a four-year, $48 MM deal with pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

This is a huge move for the Orioles as an organization, as it now shows their fan base that they are willing to spend big money on key free agents.

The O’s have been linked to many of the big name free agents throughout the offseason, only to come up short when it came to signing them.

Read the rest of this entry

Baltimore Orioles Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward Part 1

The Orioles are dreaming if they think they can remain dormant in Free Agent Signing's - and going into 2014 with the same club they resembled at the end of the 2013 year.  Small transactions are just not going to cut it.  Spending a projected $80 MIL - without superior pitching is not a good game plan to contend the AL East

The Orioles are dreaming if they think they can remain dormant in Free Agent Signing’s – and going into 2014 with the same club they resembled at the end of the 2013 year. Small transactions are just not going to cut it. Spending a projected $80 MIL – without superior pitching is not a good game plan to contend the AL East.

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

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The Baltimore Orioles have not had a banner offseason, and their reluctance to up the ante in payroll might become the biggest reason why the team goes backwards in progression for 2014.

The franchise has Chris Davis in his 2nd year of Arbitration – and will enter the 8 figure salary ranger for the 2014 campaign.  MLB Trade Rumors has listed him as possibly making $10 MIL based on their grid.

The organization is also likely to spend (on Arbitration or come to terms) $20 MIL on the players Matt Wieters, Bud Norris, Tommy Hunter, Nolan Reimold, Brian Matusz, Troy Patton and Steve Pearce.

Matt Wieters Highlights 2013

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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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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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Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union Part 1: What Will the O’s Hitters Look Like In 2014?

Baltimore Orioles

Even though they fell short of the playoffs this year, I don’t think the Orioles need to change much as they move forward and begin to focus on next season. With very few Free Agents at the end of this year, the 2014 line-up is likely to be very similar to last years.

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer)   

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Despite not making the playoffs at 85 – 77, the Baltimore Orioles had a very successful season that they just couldn’t finish off.

With leaders in the line-up like First Baseman Chris Davis and Manny Machado at the Hot Corner, the O’s are poised to be playoff contenders from the very start of next season.

Although there aren’t too many holes to fill, there are some things that need fixing so here’s what I think the Orioles will look like next year.

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights of all HRs – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is A Must

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Aug.31 Trade Deadline Maneuvers Part 1

 had his best year in 2011 with the Nationals, where he hit .303, with 31 HRs and 95 RBI during his 515 AB.  The Orioles would love that kind of production to aid their DH core of hitters.  The club however, would simply settle for his Career 3 Slash Line of .284/.338/.816 in parts of 9 seasons and 1827 At-Bats.  Morse makes $6.75 MIL this year, and will be a Free Agent after the campaign is finished.

Mike Morse had his best year in 2011 with the Nationals, where he hit .303, with 31 HRs and 95 RBI during his 515 AB. The Orioles would love that kind of production to aid their DH core of hitters. The club however, would simply settle for his Career 3 Slash Line of .284/.338/.816 in parts of 9 seasons and 1827 At-Bats. Morse makes $6.75 MIL this year, and will be a Free Agent after the campaign is finished.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst and Website Owner)

The Orioles picking up Mike Morse is a good move.  The  guy is familiar with Region, is a nice contrast to Chris Davis – and cost the club a minimal amount to bring over.

I think the big 6 FT 5 players is just the kind of guy the Baltimore team has missed over the year.

The Designated Hitters slot has been abysmal – and if Morse can to the back of his bubblegum card, this move will pan out.

The team’s lineup will now feature  Manny Machado 3B, , Nick Markakis RF, Chris Davis 1B, Adam Jones CF, Matt Wieters C, J.J. Hardy SS, Mike Morse DH, Nate McLouth LF and Brian Roberts 2B.

Morse joins Scott Feldman, Francisco Rodriguez and Bud Norris as late season acquisitions.  All of them have contributed to the franchise.

All of a sudden having a 7 – 9, with a 25 – 30 HR powers in Morse, added with veteran Brian Roberts (if healthy) and Nate McLouth, could add a speed element when the team swings around back to the top of the lineup.

It is good for depth and when consider the team is only 5 games out of the 2nd Wild Card Spot, this is plausible with 3o games left.

Chris Tillman has asserted himself an up and coming #2 Pitcher on the team. I must say, him doing this 2 years in a row, has made a believer out of me now.

The man is 24 – 7 over his last 31 decisions – and has a mid tier 3 ERA – competing in a donnybrook of a Division.  Yesterday’s win over Boston was just another example of how much the 25 year old has bailed the club out of a losing streak.

You know Buck Showalter will have his guys ‘game ready’ for the challenge.

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The Orioles’ Best Time To Strike Is 2013 Or 2014: Especially While The Yankees Are Down!

Chris Davis was awarded a 1 YR/$3.3 MIL contract in Arbitration for 2013, but based on his possible 55+ HRs and 130+ RBI. exactly what stratosphere of money will he enter based on those totals.  The Baltimore franchise must consider 2013 - 2014 to be their best chance for a deep playoff run.  After this year, Davis will be making megabucks in 2014 and 2015 - before hitting the Free Agency Market in 2016

Chris Davis was awarded a 1 YR/$3.3 MIL contract in Arbitration for 2013, but based on his possible 55+ HRs and 130+ RBI. exactly what stratosphere of money will he enter based on those totals? The Baltimore franchise must consider 2013 – 2014 to be their best chance for a deep playoff run. After this year, Davis will be making megabucks in 2014 and 2015 – before hitting the Free Agency Market in 2016.  Hardy and Markakis are signed through the 2014 year, while other salaries only escalate – including Matt Wieters becoming eligible for Arbitration next season.  Whenever you have a team where the nucleus is all around the same age, you have team control on $$ for only a short period of time.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst and Website Owner)

Buck Showalter is no dummy.  There was a reason why he flew off the handle a few weeks ago – when he showed bitterness towards the Yankees receiving salary relief via the Alex Rodriguez suspension.

With a mind like his, he realizes the Yankees had painted themselves into a corner for a few seasons, and one of the biggest reasons why, was the albatross of a contract for #13.

The Yankees are sure to receive the ‘biggest get out of jail free card’ ever – and Buck is eyeballing the fallout. Showalter should be asking management to go for it now.

I have been talking all season (and prior to) about the O’s not having a #1 ace, and it will cost them extensively.

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, July.12, 2013

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

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

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

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show

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

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

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

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

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

Orioles’ Chris Davis And Manny Machado Primed For Big Second Half

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Friday, July.05, 2013

Chris Davis is one of the premier sluggers in all of baseball, and is showing everyone that he is a great all-around hitter as well. He is on pace to hit at least 60 HRs this season, and this would put him in some exclusive company.

Chris Davis is one of the premier sluggers in all of baseball, and is showing everyone that he is a great all-around hitter as well. He is on pace to hit at least 60 HRs this season, and this would put him in some exclusive company. The last time a player hit 60, is when Barry Bonds hit 73 in 2001. Crush as the fans in Baltimore like to call him has a chance to not only lead the Orioles to another post season berth, but also a division crown. The last time they won the division was in 1997. He has a WAR of 4.3 that is 3rd in the AL and is 1st in AB per HR with 9.5 this season.

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

Baltimore Orioles are proving that their post season appearance last season was no fluke and that they are not a one-hit wonder with their play this season. The Orioles are second in the American League East division and they trail the Boston Red Sox by 3 ½ games.

This is very good considering the division that they play in is the toughest one in baseball, where all but one of the five teams is under .500. Baltimore can attribute some of the success this season to their offense.

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights- So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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