Blog Archives

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Month Of June 2014

Welcome to your new World Series Favorite. according to the oddsmakers.  I see their rationale.  The A's have the best record in the Majors, and also the biggest lead within their Division.  Oh yeah..this club has back to back West Titles, and a deep lineup in a parity league that is the AL.  While I don't endorse them as the favorite for the World Series right now (based on predicting playoffs solely), there is no doubt I ranked them #1 in power rankings

Welcome to your new World Series Favorite. according to the oddsmakers. I see their rationale. The A’s have the best record in the Majors, and also the biggest lead within their Division. Oh yeah..this club has back to back West Titles, and a deep lineup in a parity league that is the AL. While I don’t endorse them as the favorite for the World Series right now (based on predicting playoffs solely), there is no doubt I ranked them #1 in power rankings

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Thursday June.26, 2014

RK Team   Last Wk Rnk  ()      Current Rec –  Last 31 Days Rec

1.  ***Oakland A’s (2) 48 – 30:  17 – 10:  The A’s are still the best team in the Majors for the last 2 1/2 years.  Coco Crisp on another hot spell.

Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss both in the top 5 for HRs, and Sonny Gray/Scott Kazmir among several starters for ERA, WHIP and quality starts.

Yoenis Cespedes has the power numbers to be a perfect complement to the top guys, and the bar can always be raised higher.

Sean Doolittle is authoring one of the greatest Bullpen efforts ever for a Closer. A 53/1 Strikeout to Walk ratio is beyond filthy.

2.  ***Detroit Tigers (3) 42 – 32: 14 – 13:  A nice rebound after they dropped out of 1st place temporarily.

Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez will exceptional June’s, and Miguel Cabrera is still on pace for 130 RBI.

Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer had sub-par starts, but look to correct themselves now.

Joe Nathan is making the late innings nervous for Tiger’s fans, after they had to endure Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Jose Veras and Jose Valverde over the last few years. Read the rest of this entry

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Cleveland Indians Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

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

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The Indians were big players in the 2012 offseason – heading into the 2013 year.

The club stepped up and signed 1B/OF Nick Swisher to a 5 YRs/$70 MIL deal – and inked OF Michael Bourn to a 4 YR contract worth $48 MIL.

Indians Management also took a risk on SP Scott Kazmir.

But perhaps their best acquisition in the 2012 winter was picking up Terry Francona as their new bench boss. Read the rest of this entry

Houston Astros Roster Part 2 In 2014: How All Of The Pitchers Were Acquired

From 1992 - 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span.  They won 4 Division Titles, 8 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs.  After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild.  Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.  Three trades with the Phillies kickstarted the youth movement, trailing all the way to Brad Lidge, and ending with Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence.  2 out of the 3 have retired, and Pence now makes $18 MIL per year, which would be too much.

From 1992 – 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span. They won 4 Division Titles, 8 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs. After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild. Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System. Three trades with the Phillies kickstarted the youth movement, trailing all the way to Brad Lidge, and ending with Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence. 2 out of the 3 have retired, and Pence now makes $18 MIL per year, which would be too much.

How All Of The Astros Pitchers Were Acquired:

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

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The other day we talked about the hitters for the Astros and how they were acquired.

Today we delve into the Pitching Staff.  The Bullpen is compromised with some familiar names, that were Free Agent Signings.

A lot of the Starters were brought in by trade, or signed as Free Agents.

The biggest tree in the roster comes from Brett Oberholtzer, who was traded for in the deal with the Braves for Michael Bourn.

Philadelphia has made 3 deals for Brad Lidge, Hunter Pence and Roy Oswalt, that have left Houston stocked in the current makeup for the depth chart by subsequent deals.

Michael Bourn (with a few others) came over for the 2007 trade for the former Closer Lidge, and then was flipped to Atlanta for Oberholtzer and a package of players.

The other meaningful deal was Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton brought into Houston for outgoing Hunter Pence.

One of the unfortunate deals the team did was for Miguel Tejada, but it certainly didn’t backfire as bad as it could have.

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Cleveland Indians State Of The Union For 2014

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays.  Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff berth in 2014.  The club ended the year on a 10 game winning streak and extended it by 1 in the Season Opener at Oakland.  The Indians are pretty much hanging with 'status quo' among their franchise this winter.  They have also lost Scott Kazmir, and potentially Ubaldo Jimenez to Free Agency as well,  Of course Joe Smith signed with the Angels and they released Chris Perez, so other than Terry Francona winning the Manager of The Year in the AL, it hasn't been a banner offseason in Cleveland thus far.

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS in 2013, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays. Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff berth in 2014. The club ended the year on a 10 game winning streak – and extended it by 1 in the Season Opener at Oakland. The Indians are pretty much going with ‘status quo’ into this year. They lost key Starters Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez to Free Agency.  Of course they saw Joe Smith sign with the Angels and they released Chris Perez, so other than Terry Francona winning the Manager of The Year in the AL, it wasn’t a banner offseason.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Indians had one hell of a rollercoaster ride in the 2013 year.  It ended with the club making their 1st playoff game since the 2007 ALCS.

To make it to the #1 Wild Card Slot, Cleveland reeled of 10 straight victories, and hosted the one game battle against the Rays.

Albeit the team could not beat the Rays, and were left to settle with one home date in the postseason.

With 92 Wins, with no lineup player having an exceptional year except for maybe Jason Kipnis, there was no doubt Terry Francona peeled off one of the great managerial jobs ever.

Almost instantly after the year, the club lost Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Kazmir, Chris Perez, Joe Smith and Drew Stubbs (trade). Read the rest of this entry

Cleveland Indians Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

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

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The Indians were big players in the 2012 offseason – heading into the 2013 year.

The club stepped up and signed 1B/OF Nick Swisher to a 5 YRs/$70 MIL deal – and inked OF Michael Bourn to a 4 YR contract worth $48 MIL.

Indians Management also took a risk on SP Scott Kazmir.

But perhaps their best acquisition last winter was picking up Terry Francona as their new bench boss. Read the rest of this entry

The Cleveland Indians Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB) 2014

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays.  Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff birth in 2014,

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays. Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff birth in 2014.

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

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The Indians had a triumphant and surprising year in 2013.  They blasted their way out of the gate led by Mark Reynolds and Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson.

Halfway through the year, renaissance pitching from Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir helped jump into the foray among all the best AL clubs.

This club took advantage of a cupcake schedule – in order to reel off a 10 game winning streak to tend the campaign.

For those people who failed to see what a tough May.15 – June.15 schedule they had, in which they played almost all of the Division leaders across the board in the MLB, being all over .500 teams.

Because of that stretch, they deserved the late season ease of sked.

Jason Kipnis Highlight Reel 2013

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The Braves Keep On ‘Chopping’ Despite Several Key Injuries

The Braves have been falling by the wayside to injury since the 1st part of the year.  They have lost Venters, O'Flaherty. Hudson and now Heyward for a 2nd time.  If you couple that with lackluster performances from Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, then this team has overachieved to the fullest with the rest of the choppers!

The Braves have been falling by the wayside to injury since the 1st part of the year. They have lost Venters, O’Flaherty. Hudson and now Heyward for a 2nd time. If you couple that with lackluster performances from Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, the injury time on the DL for Brian McCann, Brandon Beachy – and even Evan Gattis, plus the retired Chipper Jones having been departed from the 2012 squad, then this team has overachieved to the fullest with the rest of the choppers!  Atlanta currently owns the best record in the MLB – with a 77 – 50 mark, 14 games clear of the 2nd place Washington Nationals in the NL East. Also, please stop inadvertently injuring our players New York Mets!

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

The word “injury” has plagued this 2013 Braves team all season long.

The injury bug didn’t take long to hit as Jonny Venters the teams premier set up man was unable to throw a single pitch this regular season.

Then it was Eric O’Flaherty who was hit with a season ending injury. At this point in time it was about mid May and many were in panic mode over what would become of this feared and revered Atlanta Braves bullpen.

It wouldn’t take too long to find out the answer to that question. After a little mixing and matching Fredi Gonzalez found the right guys to plug into those critical 7th/8th inning roles and they have been nothing short of spectacular.

Jason Heyward Hit In The Face – Not For The Weak Of Heart, You Have Been Warned!

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The Indians 1st Year Under Francona Should End Up A Success – Even If It Doesn’t Mean Playoffs

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Thursday August 15, 2013 

The Cleveland Indians are having a decent second half, but will it be enough to make the playoffs? It shouldn't really matter to Indians fans because they have a great future ahead of them. They have a great manager in Terry Francona and great young players in Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera and many more.

The Cleveland Indians are having a decent second half, but will it be enough to make the playoffs? It shouldn’t really matter to Indians fans because they have a great future ahead of them. They have a great manager in Terry Francona and great young players in Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera and many more.  The truth is that they just are not in the same competitive stratosphere as the Detroit Tigers at the present time.  They have a better chance to reel in a Wild Card Position.  As of today, they are 3.5 Games Behind Wild Card Leader #1 holder (Tampa Bay) – and are 3 Games Behind the Oakland Athletics for the 2nd spot.

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer):

The Cleveland Indians have had a tremendous season under first year manager Terry Francona. It isn’t very often for a team like Cleveland to get a manager of his caliber.

Francona broke the curse in Boston, can he break the streak of Championshipless in Cleveland – since the days of Bob Feller via 1948?

I wrote an article right before the All-Star Break stating that the Indians would make a run in the second half and make the playoffs.

Well the best player on the planet Miguel Cabrera has spoiled that idea with all the Home Runs he has been hitting here lately. The Indians can’t make up any ground on the Tigers and they are running out of time.

It might not be this season but give Francona some time, he will make Cleveland a contender in no time. 

Kipnis – Inside The Park HR:

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Can Cleveland Keep Pace in the Second Half?

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Sunday July 7th, 2013 

The Cleveland Indians are in second place in the American League Central 3.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers. Kipnis has come out of his shell and is leading the team in Hits, RBI, Average, and On Base Percentage. Kipnis will be an All-Star on July 16th at Citi Field. The pitching is below average ranked throughout the league but for them to keep pace with the Tigers in the second half they will have to pick it up and try to carry the team. Guys like Jimenez, Swisher, Bourn and Kazmir will have to have a great second half for the Indians to make the playoffs. As it sits right now the only way they will make the playoffs is by winning the American League Central and beating the Detroit Tigers.

The Cleveland Indians are in second place in the American League Central 3.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers. Jason Kipnis has come out of his shell and is leading the team in Hits, RBI, Average, and On Base Percentage. Kipnis will be an All-Star on July 16th at Citi Field. The pitching is below average ranked throughout the league but for them to keep pace with the Tigers in the second half they will have to pick it up and try to carry the team. Guys like Jimenez, Swisher, Bourn and Kazmir will have to have a great second half for the Indians to make the playoffs. As it sits right now the only way they will make the playoffs is by winning the American League Central and beating the Detroit Tigers.

By Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): 

The Cleveland Indians are three games above .500 but are still 3.5 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers after losing the first two game of the series at home.

New manager Terry Francona has done a great job with this club but he still has a lot more to do in order for them to make the playoffs. 

Big names that have produced so far this season are Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson.

Swisher came over to Cleveland this winter by signing a four-year $56 million contract. The contract includes a fifth year vesting option worth $14 million.

Swisher has given the team a huge boost with his personality but hasn’t produced as much as wanted on the field. Only having 30 RBI has really hurt this club as it has put a lot of pressure on other guys to perform. 

Cleveland Indians 2013 Preview- MLB Network: 

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Reviewing The Top 5 – 2013 MLB Draft Picks

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Saturday, June.08, 2013

The 2013 Draft has come and gone and will take years to decide how good each teams selection was in the 1st Round.  We decided to take a look at the top 5 Picks again.

The 2013 Draft has come and gone – and will take years to decide how good each teams selection was in the 1st Round. We decided to take a look at the top 5 Picks again.

By Chris Lacey (Featured Baseball Columnist)

How quickly can a teams fortune change with top 5 MLB Draft Picks??  Think of the 119 Loss 2003 Detroit Tigers drafting Justin Verlander – and going to a World Series just 3 years later.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays picked 1st for many years, finally having their players come together in 2008, once Evan Longoria, James Shields, B.J. Upton and David Price asserted themselves in 2008.

A horrid Washington Nationals team losing 95 -100 Games every year drafted Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in successive drafts – before cranking out a franchise record 98 Wins just  a couple of years later.

The Astros, Cubs, Rockies, Twins and Indians sure hope the 2013 Top 5 Picks will warrant heavy discussion as a great class of picks as the years go by.

Mark Appel is interviewed 3 Months Ago:

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Top Teams In The MLB 1 – 30 + (200 Best Stats For The Last Month)

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Thursday June.06/2013

Chris Davis was the hitter of the month for the MLB Reports.  The guy has 20 HRs and 20 2B on the season - after hitting 11/11 for both columns in the last 30 Days.  The Orioles slugger also hit for a 3 Slash Line of .385/.448/1.256.  Davis also Walked 11 Times, drove in 22 RBI - and collected 40 Hits in just 24 Games Played.  He is on pace for a 50 HR/ 50 Doubles Season.  "Crush" is due for Arbitration after this year - and will garner a considerable payraise from the $3.3 MIL he will earn this season.

Chris Davis was the AL hitter of the month for the MLB Reports. The guy has 20 HRs and 20 2B on the season – after hitting 11/11 for both columns in the last 30 Days. The Orioles slugger also hit for a 3 Slash Line of .385/.448/1.256. Davis also Walked 11 Times, drove in 22 RBI – and collected 40 Hits in just 24 Games Played. He is on pace for a 50 HR/50 Doubles Season. “Crush” is due for Arbitration after this year – and will garner a considerable payraise from the $3.3 MIL he will earn this season.

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

The time has come for the June 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 this 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

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights:

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Mariners Lose Two Tough Games in a Row To Cleveland: But They Are Still Playing a Good Brand Of Baseball

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Sunday, May 19th, 2013

One bright spot for the Mariners over the past couple of days has been first baseman Justin Smoak, who has reached base eight times in the last three games.

One bright spot for the Mariners over the past couple of days has been first baseman Justin Smoak, who has reached base eight times in the last three games.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

The last two days have to have been extremely rough for the Seattle Mariners. Coming off a series win in New York, the Mariners were sitting comfortably in second place in the A.L. West. However, after two straight walk-off losses to Cleveland, the Mariners have slipped to third in the West.

Having deserved to win at least one of their last two games, the Mariners have likely just ran into some bad luck and they have a great opportunity to get back on track Sunday, with King Felix on the mound.

Tom Hamilton Calls Jason Kipnis Walk Off Home Run 5/17/13: 

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Cleveland Payroll In 2013: Indians Organizational Rosters + Depth Charts – (MLB + MiLB)

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Sunday, Apr.28/2013

The Indians were one of the top franchises for organizational Drafts, signing players, making trades and having their core players locked up to long term contract during the 1990's. In the early part of the millennium, they traded several of these players for a new core of players.  This time, their return wasn't as significant.  The club prides itself on not making big mistakes on the Free Agent market and developing its own talent.  For the first time in 2 decades, the management is really under scrutiny for team operations

The Indians were one of the top franchises for organizational Drafts, signing players, making trades and having their core players locked up to long term contract during the 1990’s. In the early part of the millennium, they traded several of these players for a new core of players. This time, their return wasn’t as significant. The club prides itself on not making big mistakes on the Free Agent market and developing its own talent. For the first time in 2 decades, the management is really under scrutiny for team operations.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

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

The 1st half of the Central Division winning Indians 2007

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Interview With Cleveland Indians Prospect – Bryson Myles

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Saturday, April.13/2013

a miles bryson 2

By Brooke Robinson (MLB Reports Reporter):

Outside of the Cleveland Indians’ circles, the name Bryson Myles isn’t very well-known… yet. But to those in the organization and from his native Dallas/Fort Worth area, his name brings a ton of excitement.

Myles was a 6th Round Draft pick of the 2011 Amateur Draft by the Indians.  He was scouted from Stephen F. Austin University, where he led the nation in Stolen Bases in 2011 with 53.

He spent his first professional season with short season Mahoning Valley where he produced a .302/.394/.401 Batting Line.

In his first full season in 2012 with the Lake County Captains, the Outfielder had 20 Doubles to go with his 20 Stolen Bases for the season – and was ranked 15th prospect in the Indians Prospect Insider handbook.  

Bryson Miles 2012 Highlights:

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

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Monday, March.04/2013

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

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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

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

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

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

To the Readers on our Payroll Breakdowns:   Keep in mind these are all just estimates as we are all not forensic payroll accountants.  For a better look at how Payrolls work in the MLB please check out this article here.

Derek Jeter Highlights:

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Bryce Harper – The Nats LF

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Friday, Mar. 02/2013

Bryce Harper won the NL Rookie Of The Year, made an ALL-Star Appearance - and even clubbed his 1st Post season HR in 2012.  With a full season to play in 2013 - how high might his numbers go?

Bryce Harper won the NL Rookie Of The Year, made an ALL-Star Appearance – and even clubbed his 1st Post season HR in 2012. With a full season to play in 2013 – how high might his numbers go?

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

With the acquisition of Denard Span to play Center Field and bat Leadoff, a new defensive home had to be found for Harper. In 2012, advanced stats didn’t just rate Harper as a good defensive Center Fielder he was rated as a great one.

The Span move makes the Nats better in two positions of weakness and it also allows Harper to move to a more offensive position and focus on that aspect of his game. Left field is the second least important defensive position according to the defensive matrix, and often times it is the home of some of the games best sluggers. 

For a quick comparison the average MLB Center Fielder hit for a 3 Slash Line of.265/.330/.418 in 2012 – and the average Left Fielder .261/.327/.431. While Left Field is traditionally a more offensive position current Left Fielders only managed a .009 OPS advantage over their CF brethren in 2012.

This doesn’t nor should it change the perception of Left Field as the less important defensive position of the higher offensive position. All it means is that there aren’t a lot of good Left Fielders right now. In WAR there are built-in bonuses for playing different positions, a good offensive player at an up the middle position will be rated higher than a good offensive player at a corner position, because an up the middle player that can hit is more valuable.  

Bryce Harper Highlights as a 16 Year old hitting bombs and Tropicana Field 2009:

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Hotlanta OF: Hey – U and U!

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Tuesday February 26th, 2013

For those of you that follow @mlbmemes, I found this meme very funny. It is a play on the DMX song, "Party Up".

For those of you that follow @mlbmeme, I found this meme very funny. It is a play on the explicit DMX song, “Party Up (Up in Here)”.  (Explicit lyrics – So Parental Guidance is Advised.)

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

After the signings and trade this winter, Atlanta Braves fans have a lot to be excited about. The Braves made a big impact by signing B.J. Upton and trading for his brother, Justin. Both young outfielders have tremendous skill and will undoubtedly make an impact on the National League East. The Braves got an early jump on the Free Agent market by signing B.J. Upton early in the winter. The main reason for the B.J. Upton signing was to replace Michael Bourn in Center Field.

Bourn became a Free Agent after 2012 and wound up with the Cleveland Indians. The Braves strengthened their outfield even further with the acquisition of B.J.’s brother, Justin, in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks that meant sending utility-man Martin Prado.

Jason Heyward 2012 Highlights Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Cleveland Indians Payroll In 2013: And Contracts Going Forward

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Sunday Feb 24, 2013

The Cleveland Indians have been around since 1901. During the years the Indians have won 8,792 games & have lost 8,573 games. The Indians have won the World Series 2 times & have 31 players in the Hall Of Fame.

The Cleveland Indians have been around since 1901. During the years the Indians have won 8,792 games & have lost 8,573 games. The Indians have won the World Series 2 times & have 31 players in the Hall Of Fame.

By Larry Myers (Indians Correspondent):

The Indians finished the 2012 season as a huge disappointment. The Indians had a strong first half before falling apart in the second half. The Indians the 2013 season with many new faces after a busy winter.

 GM Chris Antonetti and President Mark Shapiro decided to make some major moves to improve the team for the 2013 season. The first move the Indians made was replacing Manny Acta with Terry Francona as manager. The Indians then traded Shin-Soo Choo & Tony Sipp in a 3 team trade to pick up Drew Stubbs, Matt Albers. Bryan Shaw & Trevor Bauer. The Indians signed a few Free Agents with the four biggest names being Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds, Brett Myers, & Michael Bourn. The Indians showed that with the moves they made they are ready to contend now & in the future.

Cleveland Indians 2012 Season Highlights:

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Top Base Stealers Projected For The 2013 MLB Baseball Season

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Wednesday February.20/2013

Trout must find a way to stay selective at the plate -to keep walking in 2013 - especially if his average dips.  He can wreak havoc on the base paths once he makes it there.

Trout must find a way to stay selective at the plate -to keep walking in 2013 – especially if his average dips. He can wreak havoc on the base paths once he makes it there.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Workouts for all teams are in full swing and Spring Training games will start this weekend. Baseball season is here. In the past few weeks, I have projected saves and HR leaders for this upcoming season. In this week’s installment of projections, I will predict the SB leaders for the year (in descending order).

1. Mike Trout, 50

Last year, Trout caught the baseball world by storm after being called up nearly a month after the season started. The young superstar stole 49 bases en route to an MVP-like season. If it were not for Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown, Trout would have been the MVP. The Angels outfielder stole 49 bases in less than a full season. I believe that Trout will steal roughly the same amount of bases due to the Angels’ acquisition of Josh Hamilton. The Angels will want Trout in scoring position as much as possible. This year, there is no way the Angels will not make the playoffs with Trout, Hamilton, and Albert Pujols.

Mike Trout Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Justin Upton Trade Opens A Window For The Braves And Ends An Era For The D’backs

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Monday, February.04,  2013

Justin Upton leaves Arizona on a down year after finishing 2012 with .280/.355/.430 slash line and only 17 HRs.

Justin Upton leaves Arizona on a down year after finishing 2012 with .280/.355/.430 slash line and only 17 HRs.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

What many Arizona Diamondback fans once considered the unthinkable happened last week.  The team decided to part with 25-Year-Old Right Fielder, Justin Upton. Upton was the franchise’s top draft pick in 2005, its Number 1 prospect in 2007 according to Baseball America, its best player in both the 2009 and 2011 seasons based upon Wins Above Replacement and the 13th best position player in the Major Leagues in 2011 as he added 6.4 Wins to the D’Backs.

The D’Backs shipped Upton to Atlanta where he will be reunited with his brother, BJ Upton, and in doing so, the team ended a relationship with another of its first round picks. None of Arizona’s top picks from 2003 through 2011 are still with the franchise. Upton was the type of player that teams normally build around especially at 25 Years Pld. Instead the D’Backs determined it was better to use Upton to acquire 5 pieces that they hope will provide several building blocks to replace the one they gave away. In that way, Upton still provided the D’Backs with foundation even when he is no longer playing for them.

Justin Upton Highlights Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Seattle Mariners Roster in 2013: State Of The Union:

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Thursday, January.31/2013

Felix Hernandez is still the Mariners best player without a doubt. Will he get some help shouldering the load in 2013? Either way, all of baseball should be watching when King Felix pitches, he is a true marvel on the mound.

Felix Hernandez is still the Mariners best player without a doubt. Will he get some help shouldering the load in 2013? Either way, all of baseball should be watching when King Felix pitches, he is a true marvel on the mound.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern):

Seattle Mariners fans must be pretty amazing, Felix Hernandez sticking with their team through recent times. The Mariners were established in 1977 and have made the playoffs just 4 times in their history. They were the AL West champs 3 times (’95, ’97, ’01) and winners of the Wild Card once (’00). They have never won a World Series, or even an AL Pennant, and in 2012 they shipped off a fan favorite, Ichiro Suzuki, to the Yankees. The AL West is a tough division. The Rangers and Athletics made the playoffs last year, and the Angels just landed the prize of the off-season in slugger Josh Hamilton. I guess one bright spot is the Astros are moving to the AL West, so the Mariners won’t be rebuilding within the brutal division alone.

The Seattle Mariners hopes and dreams start where they have for years now, on the shoulders of King Felix. Felix Hernandez is no doubt an Ace. He has pitched 200+ innings every year since ’08, and had a sub 4.00 ERA every year since ’07. Hernandez won the AL Cy Young in 2010, and is a perennial contender for the award. Last year the Seattle fireballer threw his first Perfect Game. Hernandez will once again be atop the Mariners rotation, which as of now figures to include Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, and Hector Noesi.

Hisashi Iwakuma was a pleasant surprise for the Mariners in 2012. He wasn’t a greatly sought after oversees free agent last year, overshadowed greatly by fellow Japanese hurler Yu Darvish, but proved to be a great signing. Iwakuma started 2012 in the bullpen until he later earned a spot in the team’s rotation. Iwakuma managed a very respectable 3.16 ERA in the 125.1 innings he split between the rotation and the pen. This success is part of the reason the Mariners resigned the pitcher to a 2YR/14 Million Dollar deal this past November. He figures to hold down the 2nd spot in the rotation and should do just fine if 2012 was a sign of things to come.

Blake Beavan is still just 23 Years Old, but he already has 41 Major League Starts under his belt which gives the club hope he can hold down the 3rd or 4th slot in the rotation. Beavan clearly has the talent which is what made him a 1st Round draft pick out of high school for the Rangers, and the reason the Mariners made sure he was a part of the package they received in return for Cliff Lee in 2010. Beavan’s 2012 stats won’t impress a lot of people, but they were a good start for a young player like himself to build and improve upon.

Felix Hernandez Highlights:  Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised

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Top MLB Free Agents Still Available:

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Wednesday January 23rd, 2013

Micheal Bourn is seeking a contract worth 15 Million Dollars plus per year.  Since 2008, he has averaged 50 SB a year.  He has steadily improved his offensive game.  He is a guy who would help most ball clubs as a Lead Off hitter.

Micheal Bourn is seeking a contract worth 15 Million Dollars plus per year. Since 2008, he has averaged 50 SB a year. He has steadily improved his offensive game. He is a guy who would help most ball clubs as a Lead Off hitter.

By Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Baseball Operations Correspondent)

The offseason is winding down right with the availability of Free Agents and the budgets of many MLB teams. The talent on the open market is not what it was a few months ago but there is still some risk/reward players in the pool along with Bourn, Lohse, and Marcum. There are certain clubs with some dollars to spend but most are to their cap or don’t see the value. Here I present to you my top 10 Free Agents who can help propel a team to more wins or be used by subpar clubs as viable trade chips as Trade Deadline Deals.

1. Michael Bourn (30) (Braves) – the clear-cut best player left on the market but with budgets near filled up it will be interesting to see how Scott Boras works his magic. There is no doubt the tender is hurting him as it hurt Soriano and Laroche.  He can play CF and has blazing speed.   (Texas)

Michael Bourn Highlight Reel in 2012 – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised

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MLB Player Profile: Phillies CF Ben Revere

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Wednesday January 16th, 2013

Ben Revere would be best suited to hit in the 2 slot behind Jimmy Rollins this year, as he makes great contact (1 SO/Per 10.7 PA) , yet he doesn't walk much.

Ben Revere would be best suited to hit in the 2 slot behind Jimmy Rollins this year, as he makes great contact (1 SO/Per 10.7 PA) , yet he doesn’t walk much.  Revere has a 3 Slash-Line of – .278/.319/.642 for his career heading into the 2013 year.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The 28th pick of the first round in the 2007 Amateur Draft, Ben Revere was regarded as one of the Minnesota Twins’ top prospects. He made his Major League debut in 2010 at age 22 and played in 13 games for the Twins that season. The next year, Revere spent most of his time in the Majors playing in 117 games and hitting .267. With Revere, the Twins had some speed at the top of the lineup. On December 6th, 2012, Revere was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May. After trading Shane Victorino to the Dodgers and Hunter Pence to the Giants, the Phillies had some gaps to fill in their outfield, and Revere was just the right guy.

Ben Revere 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is advised

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Atlanta Braves 2013 Player Roster: State Of The Union

Monday December 10th, 2012

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Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer):

The Braves have been one of the most active teams during the offseason, but outside of the B.J. Upton signing, their additions and subtractions have pretty much flown under the radar. I guess that’s no surprise when the spotlight sits on Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, and the Dodgers. But it’s time to analyze what’s brewing in Atlanta.

Starting Pitching:

The big headline here is the loss of Tommy Hanson. The 26-year-old has yet to fully reach his ceiling in the major leagues, after having such lofty expectations placed on him when he first broke into the league in 2009. In 2012, he took a few massive steps back, though, with mediocre numbers across the board.

To be specific, he posted a career-worst 4.48 ERA, yielded a career-high 27 HRs, allowed 9.4 hit per Nine Innings, and walked nearly four batters per Nine Innings. So in other words, he didn’t have much of a clue as to where the ball was headed when it left his hands. Still, he has the potential to be front of the rotation starter with the Angels.

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Michael Bourn Pulling a Fast One? Buyer Beware in the Free Agency Market

Friday November 16th, 2012

Kyle Holland- It’s no secret that 2012 offseason doesn’t have the best free agent class. Being topped off by Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton is great, but it declines under them. After last year’s class, this year’s list of available players seems terrible. One free agent that will not be re-signing with his last club is Atlanta Braves outfielder Michael Bourn.

Bourn is a good outfielder, which comes as no surprise to anyone. But seriously, is Bourn really worth the $12 million+ multi-year contract he’s looking for? Let’s take a look. Read the rest of this entry

Philadelphia Phillies: Brotherly Love and the Upton Brothers

Saturday November 3rd, 2012

 

Can Phillies Phans fathom having these big-league-brothers manning the outfield at Citizen’s Bank Park?

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):  Both B.J. Upton and his younger brother Justin will be available this offseason.  Bossman Junior (B.J.) will be a top centerfield free agent option, and Justin signed a lucrative 6-year deal just two years ago, is widely known to be on the trading block from Arizona.  The Upton brothers are the two highest drafted brothers in sports history.  B.J. was a second overall pick in 2002 and Justin, the first overall pick of the 2005 draft.  They have both had ups and downs in their young careers, but both have performed extremely well and shown glimpses of brilliance.  Justin has already cashed in on his first big major league contract, and B.J. is looking to so this offseason.  Where B.J. will sign, we will find out over the next months.  But one thing that is clear…he makes since for just about any team out there.

The Philadelphia Phillies are one of those teams that could envision B.J. Upton gracefully patrolling centerfield for 162 games.  As a premier center fielder facing free agency, B.J. as become far too expensive a commodity for the Rays to retain going forward.  He plays top-notch defense in centerfield and has a cannon for an arm.  All he did in 2012 as 27-year-old (in his 8th year in the MLB) was hit 29 doubles, 28 home runs and steal 31 bags.  Yes, with this amazing tool set that combines defense with speed and power comes a lifetime .255 batting average and about 150 strikeouts a year.  There are weaknesses in every player’s game, but B.J. Upton’s strengths make him a very attractive target for any team that doesn’t have Joe DiMaggio manning centerfield.

There is no doubt that B.J.’s speed and power will fit very nicely into the Phillies lineup along with Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard.  We have to also consider what it is going to take to get B.J. signed to a contract.  Right now, we know that the Tampa Bay Rays have offered B.J. a qualifying offer.  While the chances of B.J. agreeing to this are virtually ‘zero’, it does mean that whoever signs B.J. is going to have to sacrifice their first round draft pick next year to Tampa.  For a team like Philadelphia that can afford to sign top free agents, giving up a top prospect is an acceptable part of doing business. Read the rest of this entry

Phildelphia Phillies: Have They Reached the End of an Era?

Monday August 20th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  The Philadelphia Phillies are entering a rebuild mode. Or so it would appear. General manager Ruben Amaro dangled Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino away at the trade deadline, and now he’s left with nothing but little cash and prospects. The Phillies, though, were supposedly over the luxury tax until they traded away their two outfielders, so a move to free up a portion of their payroll seemed inevitable, just not in the fashion of trading away a cornerstone type piece in Pence. Since the departure of those two outfielders, the team is hitting a soft 221/.295/.363.

So which path does Amaro take during this crucial upcoming offseason? Does he rebuild for the future or does he attempt to craft a team that’s essentially a one and done gig? Given the amount of holes the Phillies’ current roster possess, the idea of going all in seems silly. It’s not like they have a ton of flexibility either. As I already mentioned, they are just a tick below the luxury tax. And with nearly $80 million invested in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Jonathan Papelbon for next season alone, a big splash in free agency doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Read the rest of this entry

Top Ten Stat of The Week: Team Wins Since The Start of the 2003 Season

Monday  July 23, 2012

With only one World Series Win and a 2003 Loss to the Florida Marlins, it hasn’t stopped the Yankees from raking in wins every year. They have averaged 95 wins a season since 2003.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)-  This weeks installment is actually a top 11. I bent the rules a little to accommodate the A’s.  It is hard to maintain a great franchise in today’s Major Leagues.  Sure the heavy hitters like New York and Boston will always be sniffing around the top of the league with their huge payrolls, but most teams don’t have the luxury to spend like these two teams do because of their limited revenue streams.  In the last few years, the Phillies, Angels and Tigers have entered the echelon of top spenders.  Spending money doesn’t always equal great results.  The Texas Rangers have only had success lately and were often victim to heavy payrolls and not great results.  How many years did Peter Angelos try to buy a contender with Baltimore?  He has dedicated himself back to the right way of building a team the last couple of years and it has worked through player development.

Minnesota and Oakland have been run incredibly well for a long time.  If this list was for a five-year stretch, you would have seen the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the top 10.  These are the small market teams that have been consistently playing well against the  big boys.  The Twins have only faded back in the standings in the last couple of seasons.  The Atlanta Braves finally had their consecutive playoff years stopped in 2005 and they were only mediocre for a few seasons.  Right now, they might be the best team in the National League. The Angels, Twins, Dodgers, Athletics, Dodgers and Braves did not make any World Series appearances since 2003.  Out of these teams, the Angels have the most wins.

According to the movie ‘The Natural,’ losing is a disease, and like other diseases, (insert disease here) it is curable.  Most of these teams have not even struggled in the last 10 years.  The Yankees have only won one World Series in this time frame, despite dominating the win total every year.  In fact, the last time the Yankees has a losing season was 1991.  The Cardinals and the Red Sox both have won 2 World Series, and the Cardinals are the only team  to have appeared in the Fall Classic 3 times during  this stretch. Read the rest of this entry

Who is the Best Center Fielder in Baseball?

Thursday April 26, 2012

Bryan Sheehan: Have you ever sat and pondered as to who is the best Center Fielder in the game of baseball today? With so many good options, it is rather hard to make the choice. To make the assessment, you have to look at all the “tools” and come up with the best all-around Center Fielder in the game. Keeping that in mind, here are my top-5 selections- starting with #5:

5. Shane Victorino

The Flyin’ Hawaiian is the epitome of all-around solid player. Not the greatest in any aspect, he has a jack-of-all-trades look that is made extraordinary by his hustle. Though he won’t steal gratuitous amounts of bases, his speed on the basepaths is seen in his league leading 16 triples last year. His three straight Gold Gloves from 2008-2010 are also really impressive, and considering his perfect fielding percentage in 2011, he could have easily won four straight. 

4. Michael Bourn 

Bourn is the prototypical fast center fielder. He’s led the league in stolen bases for the past three years, nabbing 61 in his 2011 campaign between the Astros and the Braves. Like Juan Pierre in his prime, Bourn is extremely fast, and can make good contact with the ball. Though it’s not all-star worthy, his .294 batting average last season was 27 points higher than the league average for leadoff hitters. His speed also translates on defense, giving him great range to run down balls in the gap. 

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Eric Young Jr. Interview: The Latest Haley Smilow Feature!

Thursday April 5th, 2012


Haley Smilow (Guest Writer): You might say Eric Young Jr. has baseball in his blood. Growing up he became acquainted with the game early by watching his father, Eric Young Sr., play for the Dodgers, Rockies, Blue Jays, and Cubs, among other teams. Eric Young Jr. (or EY2., as he is known) was a multi-sport athlete in high school, but ultimately decided to pursue baseball. He played one year of college ball at Chandler Gilbert Community College before following in his father’s footsteps and being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 30th round of the 2003 draft. EY2 steadily worked his way through the minor leagues, posting solid batting averages at every level and catching the eyes of the Rockies’ front office, which resulted in his major league debut in 2009. In 158 career major league games EY2 has posted a line of .246/.324/.295 and spent time playing second base and patrolling the outfield. This year the 26-year old will again look to provide the Rockies with production off the bench.

Reporter Haley Smilow recently had a chance to chat with Eric Young Jr., and discovered his favorite foods, his go-to songs on his iPod, and what it means to him to share so many baseball memories with his father.

At what age did you start playing baseball? And did you eventually end up playing in a travel league?

I started playing at age 7. I played travel league (summer) from ages 9-12.

Who was your favorite team growing up?  And other than your father, who were some of the players that you looked up to as a kid?

Favorite team growing up was whichever team my dad was on. I was a big Ken Griffey Jr fan growing up. Read the rest of this entry

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