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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024 and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website here Follow @prosportsroster
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 Athletics Organization click here
MLB Hard Talk 101 – Can The A’s Do It Again?
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Friday April 5th, 2013
Jonathan Hacohen (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder): Follow @Jhacohen
Baseball is a funny game sometimes. One minute you’re crying the Chris Carter blues. Then before you know it, Nate Freiman appears. That is how Billy Beane works my friends. Just when you think he might be slipping, he pulls a magic rabbit out of his hat (better known as the waiver wire in baseball terms).
On February 11, 2013, I wrote an article outlining Billy Beane’s error in trading Chris Carter. While I have always endorsed the talents of Jed Lowrie, it was my opinion that giving up a future star in Chris Carter was too high of a price to pay.
The trade (which actually took place on February 4th) saw the Astros acquire yet another stud First Base prospect. I wondered out loud what the Astros would do with all their First Base talent (Brett Wallace, Jonathan Singleton, Nate Freiman and veteran Carlos Pena).
It seemed like too many bats and not enough positions in Houston, despite the newfound need for a Designated Hitter. A little over a month later, March 23rd to be exact- I had my answer. Nate Freiman was on his way to Oakland.
The star for Israel in this year’s World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament was going to get the opportunity of a lifetime.
While some felt the A’s were simply acquiring roster depth, I saw a different vision. The A’s had their replacement for Brandon Moss at First Base.
Billy Beane had an uncovered yet another gem that was going to thrive in Oakland. Remember Josh Reddick 2012? Meet Nate Freiman 2013.
Nate Freiman Interview:
Yoenis Cespedes: While Cuba Misses Their Star in the 2013 WBC – the A’s Slugger Looks to be an A.L. MVP Candidate
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Friday March 8th, 2013
Jonathan Hacohen (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder): Follow @Jhacohen
It’s pretty ironic if you ask me. The 2013 World Baseball Classic is here and Cuba is off to a huge start. I had to pick a winner and went with Cuba as my pre-tournament favorite. Considering that Japan has won both editions of the WBC, Cuba was definitely going to be in tough. To top it all off, they are starting off the first two rounds in Japan. Why is it ironic? For Cuba is missing its biggest star for the tournament. Yoenis Cespedes, the Oakland A’s star outfielder is in Arizona for Spring Training.
Far away from the bright lights of Japan, where Cuba finally beat its nemesis this week in WBC play after several failed attempts in the past. With that monkey off their back, Cuba has made the statement that they are ready to win it all. But yet without their biggest star. For when one defects from Cuba, they are forever banished from representing their country again in any baseball capacity.
I couldn’t help but think watching Cuba play in Japan this week that in fact Cespedes and the A’s opened their season last year in Japan. Cespedes actually started off his season with a bang out there and never looked back. On March 29th last year, Cespedes had a home run in the 2nd game of the A’s young season. That bomb in Japan was the start of the legend. Who knew that Cespedes would actually be in Japan a year too early? For all the success that Cuba has enjoyed thus far in the 2013 WBC, imagine if they had Cespedes anchoring that lineup?
Cuba may very still win the 2013 WBC. My money is on that happening. But if Cuba falls short yet again, the what if scenarios will endlessly get bounced around. What if the team had Aroldis Chapman? Alexei Ramirez? And most of all, Yoenis Cespedes? Until Cuba allows its defectors to come home again, the talent drain will continue to affect the country in international tournaments.
Yoenis Cespedes 2012 Highlights Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:
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Tuesday February.12, 2013
By Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Baseball Operations Correspondent) Follow @JGluck777
Before I show you my top 100 prospects – I want to get you familiar with my grading tactics and styles and what I value most. All prospects have ceilings and very few players reach that ceiling. First lets go through the tools of what I personally value most and where.
Those are the 5(6) tools that scouts use and the scale goes from 20-80. 80 being HOF rare like Giancarlo Stanton Power and 20 being absolutely terrible like Bengie Molina has 20 speed. Most people reading this will probably have more than 20 speed so that’s how pathetic it is.
Jurickson Profar Prospect Highlights:
The Future of the Oakland A’s: The Mustache Gang Meets the Bash Brothers – Revealing Billy Beane’s Master Plan
Saturday July 7th, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: Baseball is a funny sport for many reasons. One particular reason is opinions. One minute a person can be a hero, the next a goat. A genius can turn into an idiot, seemingly overnight. In the world of Major League Baseball, we love building up our heroes. The next minute, we are cutting them down to the knees. An example of this the swing in popular opinion comes from out west. Famed baseball General Manager, the one and only Billy Beane. I have been thinking about Billy for some time. Ever since Moneyball the movie was due to be released, I couldn’t help but notice the reports that were coming out on the A’s GM. The man once hailed as a baseball genius, was now being mocked in many circles. Here he was, being immortalized on the silver screen by none other than Brad Pitt. Yet in real life, the 2011 MLB season was about to end and Beane’s team was near the bottom of its division, finishing a whopping 22 games out of first place. Had Billy Beane lost touch with the modern game? Did other teams catch up finally to his systems and tricks? Could a competitive team be impossible in the modern game on a shoestring budget? When Billy Beane should have been recognized in one of his finest professional moments, more questions than answers circled around. But in typical Billy Beane fashion, the A’s GM kept a low profile and stuck to his guns. He had a plan. This man always has a plan. He just wasn’t ready to share it yet with the baseball world.
If you read and/or watched Moneyball and followed recent Oakland A’s teams, you might think that you have the Billy Beane equation down. Great pitching and patching together a lineup/offense. But as the salaries climbed with the big pitchers, turnover and replenishing of the farm system became the norm. In recent years though, all those supposed great pitchers did not always pan out. Combine that with a line of prospects that were not panning out, and Oakland A’s fans started to cry out for relief. Attendance at the Coliseum has reached embarrassing levels in recent years. The stadium is considered aged and obsolete. The A’s have been trying to move to San Jose and without a new stadium, declared that they could no longer keep a viable team running past their designated salary structure. So seemingly until the new stadium would get approved, the star players would get moved out quicker and the A’s would become a glorified farm system for the rest of baseball. Remember the Montreal Expos? Good…so does Billy Beane.
The Expos in their competitive days, the peak coming in 1994, had a strong and balanced lineup and pitching staff. All of its young players came up at once and developed together into a dynamic superstar team. Moises Alou. Larry Walker. Ken Hill. Wil Cordero. Pedro Martinez. The team was stacked to say the least. If not for the cancellation of the playoffs that year, some people believe that Major League Baseball would still be in Montreal. Yes, that Expos team had a great pitching staff. But it also had an unbelievable young and powerful lineup. Somewhere in his mind, Billy Beane has kept a memory alive of that Montreal Expos team and the system that developed its players. Billy knows it because he is re-creating it right now in Oakland. Right under our noses and many of us are not even feeling it. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday May 27th, 2012
Sam Evans: Oakland Athletics prospect Michael Choice was drafted by the A’s 10th overall in the 2010 MLB Amateur draft. Looking back at the pick, most of the players drafted before Choice have risen quicker through their respective systems, but Choice still looks like a nice selection by Billy Beane and his scouting department. Michael Choice has 70 grade power, so even though his tools are raw, it’s hard not to like a future All-Star.
Michael Choice was born in 1989 in Forth Worth, Texas. Being a young Texan outfielder with power projection, it must be pretty difficult to go unnoticed out high school. Nonetheless, Choice was under the radar coming out of high school and he eventually ended up at the University of Texas-Arlington. At Texas-Arlington, Choice began to turn some heads. In three college seasons, or 175 games, Choice hit thirty-four homers and had a batting average over .375 in all three years. His junior year at Texas-Arlington, in 2010, Choice drew seventy-six walks and he only struck out fifty-four times.
Coming into the draft, Choice was considered by most as a top fifteen prospect, so the A’s selecting him at #10 didn’t surprise many. The player that went before Choice, Karsten Whitson did not sign. The player that went after Choice, Deck McGuire, is a little overrated in my opinion, but he has reached Double-A already in the Toronto organization. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday December 11, 2011
Jonathan Hacohen: Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to email@example.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!
Let’s get to your top questions of the week:
Q: Seriously, do you not think a large portion of pro athletes are using PHDs? It’s just a mistake when they get caught. Randy (via Twitter)
MLB reports: The Ryan Braun saga is upon us. The debate as to the use of performance enhancing drugs has been in play for too many years now. The names Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Rogers Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez…etc…etc… will forever live in PED infamy. Then Major League Baseball introduced drug testing, with HGH testing upon as well. After years of rumors and whispers, the sport was finally going to be clean. Now we have the news that Ryan Braun was tested positive for use of PEDs. I do not want to comment on Braun much until we have all the information. What we do know from reports is that Braun was found to have high levels of testosterone and determined to have resulted from artificial means. Braun is appealing the findings and more news will follow. Braun was named the 2011 NL MVP, which makes the situation that much more volatile. So do I think that a large amount of pro athletes use PHDs? I can speak of baseball and I would say in recent history, the answer is yes. I don’t want to unfairly label the sport and say “everyone was using them”, but many definitely were. With the introduction of proper testing and penalties, I think use has been curbed substantially. Looking at the numbers players put up in baseball in recent years compared to even ten years ago, there is a clear drop-off. Plus we are not seeing late 30s, early 40s players putting up astronomical numbers they way they were. So the sport is cleaning itself up in my estimation. But we have not seen the end of this topic. Far from it. As tests become better, the drug makers will become even more sophisticated in created betting masking agents to avoid detection. It is a nasty cycle. Just the mere fact that Ryan Braun could be considered using PEDs means this story lives on. Baseball will never fully clean likely. But it is certainly on a very good path. Hopefully, PED use eventually becomes almost non-existent in baseball one day.
Q: Can’t wait to see Mike Choice though. He crushed in single A last year. But offensively, we’ll (the A’s) be pretty slow in 2012. Pigaroo (via Twitter)
MLB reports: Agree and agree. I am very high on Michael Choice as well. There is nothing not to like. The 22-year-old Choice was a 1st round pick (10th overall) by the A’s in 2010. After a nice debut in his first professional season playing Low A-Ball in Vancouver in his draft year, Choice exploded last year playing High A-Ball in Stockton. The numbers were fantastic. 30 home runs, 82 RBIs, 79 Runs, .285 AVG, .376 OBP and .542 SLG. The future looks bright for Choice, as he likely to start 2012 in AA. But let’s keep some things in perspective. He is 22. He is still very raw, as shown by his 61/134 BB/K last year. Choice has a world of potential and is definitely a top prospect in baseball. But then so was Brandon Wood once upon a time. Dallas McPherson. Even looking in the A’s system, Chris Carter and Michael Taylor have developed much slower than expected. Choice has not even proven himself yet in AA, so there is still time for him to shine or fade. Prospects are almost impossible to predict, as many factors can affect their development. Health. Confidence. Ability. Work Ethic. Chances. If anyone area isn’t there, the rest of a person’s game can suffer. So while I am not devaluing the abilities of Michael Choice, I certainly want to see more from the kid before I hail him as the next A’s savior, as is being done in many circles. The Oakland A’s are clearly in a full-blown rebuild mode, as evidenced by their recent trade of Trevor Cahill and likely trade of ace Gio Gonzalez. Josh Willingham is likely to move on as well, as will Coco Crisp, David DeJesus and perhaps Hideki Matsui. The A’s will struggle in 2012 in all facets of the game, to score runs, not give up runs and win ball games. Remember the movie Major League? Sadly, you might be seeing the new Cleveland Indians, as the team owner threatens to move the team. A sad period for a once proud franchise, I certainly hope their stadium situation is resolved soon and the A’s go back to being a baseball powerhouse. Thank you for the questions!
Q: Do you think Josh Willingham would be a good fit with the Tribe? He would cost about as much as D Lee last year with 2 more years. Martin (via Twitter)
MLB reports: Thank you Martin for the question. I definitely think Josh Willingham would be a great fit for the Indians. I think you are comparing his contract status to that of Derrek Lee, who is coming off a 1-year, $7.25 million contract. On your logic, do I think the Indians could sign The Hammer for 2-years and $14.5 million? I do not. Sorry my man. The Hammer is looking at a contract in the 3-year, $30 million range. Do I think that he is worth it? Yes…but it depends. At an affordable rate, I would take Willingham at 2-years with a vesting or option 3rd year. There are strikes against Willngham, no doubt. He will be 33-years-old come opening day. He has battled injuries the last 4-years, missing significant time in 2008 and 2010. The numbers have been consistent, but 2011 was actually a misleading year. While he hit 29 home runs with 98 RBIs, Willingham also hit a career low .246 with .332 OBP. Amazingly, Willingham actually hit better at home than on the road, a surprise given that Oakland is one of the premier pitcher’s parks. .260 AVG at home, .233 on the road. .350 OBP and .523 SLG at home, .315 OBP and .435 SLG on the road. Imagine then what Willingham could do in a better hitting park surrounded by a stronger lineup? With Willingham, beware of injuries and age. If you can live with those risks, then he should be a sure bat in the middle of a lineup for 1-2 more years, perhaps 3. But the decline is coming…so buyer beware.
Q: Ok guys, it’s time to announce locations (for the 2013 World Baseball Classic) so that we can make our plans. I went to Orlando in 2006 and the next series saw Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic – twice- in Puerto Rico.. Wow! So am I (and my family) going to Taiwan? Montreal? Mexico? Europe? If it’s Havana, I’m booking right away! King of America (via Website)
MLB reports: It is good to know that interest in the WBC is alive and well. I get asked often by non-baseball fans and casual supporters of the game whether the WBC will ever be a “big deal”…and the answer is: yes. Rarely a day goes by that I do not get a question or comment from a reader on the WBC. Aside from MLB Expansion, Realignment and Relocation, the WBC is the biggest topic that I deal with on a daily basis. The tournament is growing leaps and bounds, as 2012 will see the qualifying tournament for the first time. The field for the WBC has been expanded from 16 countries to 28. The number will even continue to grow in future years. I have been contacted by reps from different countries requesting information on applying for consideration. Baseball fans from all over the world, including Iceland, England, South Africa, Panama, Venezuela, Russia and Israel have contacted MLB reports to learn about the World Baseball Classic. Unfortunately we do not have named sites yet for the tournament. All we know is that the qualifiers will happen in the fall of 2012, with the tournament itself in the spring of 2013. Will baseball go with the usual venues or add new ones? That is the million dollar question. As there will be qualifiers and an actual tournament this time around, I can see more countries and venues having the opportunity to host games. Hopefully there will be an expansion of host countries this time around, so that more baseball fans around the world can enjoy the flavor of live WBC games. We will keep you up-to-date and will have a dedicated page coming soon on our site. MLB reports will continue to be your source for everything WBC.
Q: What are the chances of the Yankees getting Gio Gonzalez ? Dano (via Twitter)
MLB reports: Good luck in finding more frustrated people wondering the earth right now that Yankees and Red Sox fans. Once known for setting the tone in signing premium players, both teams have been unusually inactive this offseason. The Red Sox have suffered from their well-chronicled issues this past season, which came full steam with the change of their manager, GM and loss of their closer. The Yankees, by not making out of the first round of the playoffs this past season are also considered in their own form of crisis mode. While the Yanks are fairly set offensively, it is pitching (or the lack of) that has fans worried. The team has a strong pen, anchored by the ageless wonder Mariano Rivera. But the rotation is a series of question marks beyond ace C.C. Sabathia. Spots will likely go to Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes. Then you have A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia. Maybe Hector Noesi. The return of Bartolo Colon? Yankees would like to see another proven starter, perhaps two hurlers to be added to the roster. While Gio Gonzalez may be one of them, I would say likely no. I took a look at Gio two weeks ago. His numbers away from Oakland make me nervous, and likely other teams as well, including the Yankees. The A’s are reportedly asking for a truckload of top prospects and the Yankees will not likely bite. I still expect the Yankees to find another starting pitcher. But not at the risk of depleting their farm. Gio is a good pitcher, don’t get me wrong. But he is not the ace pitcher that the Yankees need. Hopefully though the Yankees don’t wait too long after the holidays and end up shopping in the bargain bins in January for starting pitching again. The team got very lucky with Garcia and Colon last year. I wouldn’t take the risk again in 2012 if I were them. With their huge payroll and superstar team, the Yankees need to solidify their rotation to have a chance at the World Series.
Last Q: I’ve been hoping that someone like Bud Selig or others at MLB Headquarters would read these expansion ideas that me and many other fans have. I’ve shared my expansion idea to other online forums but many people have told me that further expansion would water down the talent pool. Do you think the new international draft would fix that problem? Joe (via E-mail)
MLB reports: A great last question to end this week’s Ask the Reports. I have enjoyed corresponding with Joe this week and wanted to include his last question to me in this edition. I have enjoyed debating the merits of MLB expansion for years. Many…many…many fans have used the watered down talent argument to argue against expansion. I am sorry people, but I don’t buy that argument. Go watch some AA and AAA games. There is a TON of quality major league ready talent that is simply rotting in the minors in my opinion. Between the 30 MLB teams, each has more than 5 minor league affiliate teams stocked with talent. To bring 2 more MLB teams, for an even 32 teams, there would be no problem finding 25 players per squad. Between prospects, free agents and international talent, there would be no issues to stock two more teams. The issues surrounding international talent, including an international draft, is a topic for baseball as a whole. While a draft could help with expansion, it is only a minor point in the larger scheme of the issue. The signing and development of international players is an issue for all current MLB teams that needs to be addressed in the overall competitive balance and growth of baseball internationally and to bring more talent to North America. I am all in favor of MLB expansion. My hope is that we will see 2 more teams in the next 5 years, but we could be waiting as far as 2020 and beyond until it becomes a reality. As far as international players…this discussion is far from dead and will be a sensitive subject for years to come.
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Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)