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Miami Marlins 2014 Preview Part 2: The Pitchers

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Lead Baseball Columnist):

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Earlier in the month, we touched on the Miami Marlins and their offense going into the 2014 season here

The Miami offense has talent, but I believe it will be a frustrating lineup to follow due in large part to the team’s tendency to strike out a lot.  The pitching staff has the potential to also be a frustrating unit to follow during the season. 

While there is an elite player at the top of this rotation, the body of the staff lacks another stopper or really anyone to put any real faith in as a legit No. 2 or 3 starter at this point. Read the rest of this entry

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Miami Marlins State Of The Union Part 1: The Hitters Preview In 2014

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Lead Baseball Columnist):

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The 2012 baseball season was filled with skeptical optimism by baseball supporters in South Florida.

Along with the opening of the new stadium, the Marlins seemed committed to the idea of contention as they spent money with  reckless abandon.

 In 2013, Miami opened the season with as much negative public relations as possible as they quickly dumped all the excess salary they had acquired in 2012 on the open market.  

Overall, the short term roller coaster left a bitter taste with many fans.   Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees- Part II

Alfonso Soriano came back to New York - and thrashed on the competition, with 17 HRs and 50 RBI - in just 58 games with the Bronx Bombers.  He also snuck in 18 SB for the campaign, but nobody even noticed.  Still the experts have failed to recognize that the offense was significantly better once this man entered the fray.  Even with his 38 year old season coming up, it is entirely possible he could club another 25 - 30 HRs and approach 85 - 95 RBI out of the DH slot.

Alfonso Soriano came back to New York – and thrashed on the competition, with 17 HRs and 50 RBI – in just 58 games with the Bronx Bombers. He also snuck in 18 SB for the campaign, but nobody even noticed. Still the experts have failed to recognize that the offense was significantly better once this man entered the fray. Even with his 38 year old season coming up, it is entirely possible he could club another 25 – 30 HRs and approach 85 – 95 RBI out of the DH slot.  Along with McCann, Beltran, Ellsbury, a potentially full year of Teixeira and Jeter, this lineup is a hell of a lot different from the team that limped to a 85 – 77 mark for the 2013 year.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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As with the first part of this piece, this article is in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here) that paints a fairly negative picture of the near-future for the New York Yankees.

Once again, I would encourage everyone to visit Grantland.com as it is a one stop shop for some of the best internet based writers on the planet. 

Again, a quick thank you to Fangraphs.com and Baseball-reference.com.

Those organizations are a huge reason for the increased understanding and intelligent discussion relating to baseball over the last decade, and they are used throughout as resources for all advanced statistics. 

If you aren’t reading the content on those sites, I would strongly suggest you do.

We will start with our Point/Counter-Point structure with a discussion of the new Yankee line-up, and more so, the effect of the departure of Robinson Cano on that lineup.

For Part 1 Of Don’t Believe Everything You Read:  A Response to The New Normal click here.

Alfonso 2013 Highlights as a Cub and a Yankee – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is Advised


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Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees- Part I

Opinions have varied wildly about the effect on the wholesale changes to the New York Yankees roster.  This piece is in response to in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here  http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10150907/the-new-normal-new-york-yankees).

Opinions have varied wildly about the effect on the wholesale changes to the New York Yankees roster. This piece is in response to in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here lower in a link icon in the 1st couple of lines.)  As the Yankees Correspondent for the MLB Reports, I felt I needed to address the merits of the topic in question, make some counterparts, in order to move the dialogue from a slightly different perspective.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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Before we get started, I wanted to give credit where credit is absolutely due.

This piece is in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here) that paints a fairly negative picture of the near-future for the New York Yankees.

If you haven’t been to Grantland.com for sports and entertainment news and opinions, you are missing out.  Some of the best work in the business. 

All advanced statistics (and other statistics) are courtesy of our friends at Fangraphs.com and Baseball-reference.com

As always, we appreciate those sites making the information available to be able to debate the game we love. For ease to the reader, the response has been broken into two parts.  This is part one of the response.

Part 2 of the Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees click here

New York Yankees 2013 Year Highlights – With Full Credit Going To The YES Network

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Trade Deadline Wrap – Up: Part I – The Winners

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The winners at the trade deadline have something in common.  One team used to call Theo Epstein their general manager and the other currently calls him their President.  Both the Red Sox and the Cubs have done a spectacular job at the deadline to meet the needs of their organizations.

The winners at the trade deadline have something in common. One team used to call Theo Epstein their general manager – and the other currently calls him their President. Both the Red Sox and the Cubs have done a spectacular job at the deadline to meet the needs of their organizations.  Boston fully expects to be in a pennant drive for the AL East, so adding a proven Starter like Peavy – is a great insurance move considering the Clay Buchholz injury situation.  Unlike last year, the Cubs were able to do some deals with their veterans – to help their team in the future.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

July 31, 2013 has come and gone.  The non-waiver trade deadline is always one of the more interesting times of the baseball year.  

Fans become obsessed with the idea of improving their team’s opportunity to win a World Series, whether it be for the upcoming October or in an attempt to rebuild for future seasons.

The question on everyone’s mind now that the deadline is over: how did your team do at the deadline? Did it get better? Did the organization “win” the transaction and will it translate now or later into more wins on the field?

This will end up invariably being a two-part article because of the depth we need to take to look at these moves.  Let’s get right into it with the Winners:

1. Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox are a unique team in that they are concerned both with the current championship window for 2013, but also, a larger window they hope to keep open over the next 3 to 5 years.  

In an effort to stabilize their rotation over the next 1 and 1/2 seasons, the Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy from the White Sox.  Peavy has pitched very well this season.  

His 8.55 K/9 and 1.91 BB/9 are both indicators of an elite level starting pitcher.  Peavy is not the same ace that he was during his prime of 2004 through 2007, but his current numbers speak to an adequate No. 1 starter or a very strong No. 2 starter.

JAKE PEAVY: THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE RED SOX

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Triple Play Podcast #18: The Trade Deadline + Rangers Chat

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Sunday, July.28, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast

Brooke Robinson

Nicholas Rossoletti

With the trade deadline around the corner we reach to mlbreports.com’s trade analyst Nick Rossoletti to break down the deals that have happened and the ones that will.

Brooke Robinson stops by to discuss all things Texas Rangers including who she’d put on their Mt Rushmore.

And of course Pat and Chris take a stick to that lying SOB Ryan Braun and their weekly Blue Jays bitch. All that and the bethubb.com best bets!

Click past the Triple Play Icon or CLICK: READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY TO CONTINUE:

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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

The Yankees Youth Movement

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Monday, June 24/2013

The Yankees find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of having to rely on younger players to get the team back to the post-season.  Hopefully, the youth movement in the Bronx can help keep the Yankees competitive.

The Yankees find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of having to rely on younger players to get the team back to the post-season. Hopefully, the youth movement in the Bronx can help keep the Yankees competitive. Almonte, Adams and Romine, who is exactly are these guys?  3 guys whom have seen regular duty in the lineup over the last few weeks.  The Yankees managed to take the 1st 2 games of their weekend  series with Tampa before losing the series finale on Sunday.  At 41 – 34, they start play today at 2.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.  A Division in which all teams are over .500.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

As I sit here typing this, I feel a bit out of my element.  My own life has been very much a roller coaster of late.  I’m in the process of moving out of a place I’ve called home for the last four years.  I’ve been traveling for most of the month, and generally, I feel about as out of touch with the Yankees as I have in quite a long time.

After preaching patience to Yankee fans everywhere over the last several months, its become abundantly clear that those All-Stars I’ve been waiting on to carry the team back to October may not show up.  Mark Teixeira is back on the Disabled List with his bothersome wrist. Curtis Granderson just had pins removed from his hand and has yet to take a rehab swing.

Kevin Youkilis‘ back may end his career.  Alex Rodriguez, well, is actually putting on a show in rehab, but god only knows if and when he will face the wrath of Major League Baseball for whatever role he played in this Biogenesis noise. 2013 was supposed to be the final ride of this Yankees group with the serious regrowing pains coming in 2014 and beyond.

In addition to the absolutely atrocious injuries, the glass slipper has shattered for the replacement Yankees, who carried the team through April.  Vernon Wells, the most notable of the slumping replacements, has given the team little to no reason to continue to give him run.  

After writing several pieces begging for patience and instructing fans to embrace Wells, I will admit to having a bit of mud on my face.  Wells is what most people thought he was.  An expensive piece with just enough left in his bat to give you a bit of hope.  I was hoping for a 1-2 WAR player out of Wells.  It is official.  I am (and/or was) delusional.

ZOILO GOES DEEP:

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New York Yankees: What Goes Up, Must Come Down

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Wednesday, June.5/2013

It had been a fun two months of the season for the Yankees until the last week in May lead to series losses to the Mets and Red Sox.  No amidst more controversy and another injury, the Yankees must regroup and get ready for the heart of the summer.

It had been a fun two months of the season for the Yankees until the last week in May lead to series losses to the Mets and Red Sox. No amidst more controversy and another injury, the Yankees must regroup and get ready for the heart of the summer.  Heading into play Wednesday, they are 33 – 25 (.569) and 2.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox for the AL East.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

There is no one that wishes that I could stop typing the words “Disabled List” and “Injury Replacements” more than me.  It seems like each of my articles since I took over the Yankee Correspondent position for MLB Reports has focused on how the team would survive the first portion of the 2013 season after off-season and Spring Training injuries left the team without its most expensive and experienced pieces.

Thanks to elite pitching from almost the entire team as well as some timely hitting from some unlikely sources, the Yankees have not just managed to compete through injuries but succeed.

As May turns to June, the thought was that the regular Yankee bats would return, which is basically the same thing we were told as April turned to May.  

Now more than ever it seems necessary as the team has been regressing back to a fairly disturbing mean.  The team has lost five in a row and dropped to two (2) games back of the Red Sox.  

It is imperative that the team get healthy quickly. The first of the Yankee regulars to return was Curtis Granderson, who got all of 31 Plate Appearances before lightning struck twice.

The injury bug continues to bite the Yankees moving forward.  The offense will be without a bat that generated 84 Home Runs over the 2011 and 2012 seasons for a little while longer.

BIG TEX:

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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #5: What about WAR? + The Good, The Bad + Downright Underachieving Teams in 2013

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Friday, May.17/2013

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

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

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – (`15 Minutes In – 15 Minute Segment) Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

’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..)

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & yours truly  ‘The Bench Warmers Show’, Chuck Booth does his regular segment this time about what’s been going on the MLB Reports website & talking about what to do with the DH position with Adam Dunn, Steve Pearce & Nolan Reimold In the AL.

Plus the Baltimore franchise signing and pitching Freddy Garcia & why the Orioles should have added veteran pitching depth before the season started

Why Raul Ibanez being an underrated player & the horrible starts of their seasons by David Price & Rickie Weeks!

Also I talk to Diamondbacks correspondent for MLB Reports & for Rant Sports (www.rantsports.com)  Chris Lacey 45 Minutes In (10 Minute Segment)  -  as we talk about whats going on with the team.

We also see the return of Yankees correspondent & trade correspondent for MLB Reports Nicholas Rossoletti (1 Hour In – 45 minute Segment)  as we talk about the importance of the WAR stat, sabermetrics, lack of trading & why buying free agents isn’t working for the Angels, Dodgers & Blue Jays!

I also do my stats & notes segment as usual for you baseball nuts out there so go check out the show & SPREAD THE WORD!!! Thanks for all of your continuous support!!!

CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll down to listen to the episode Read the rest of this entry

Yankees Current State Of The Union + The Phil Hughes Question

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Wednesday, May.08/2013

As the Yankees enter May, they do so in second place trailing their rivals, the Boston Red Sox. This is a surprise for many who thought that Boston and New York would struggle in 2013.

As the Yankees enter May, they do so in second place trailing their rivals, the Boston Red Sox. This is a surprise for many who thought that Boston and New York would struggle in 2013

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

As April came to a close and May began, the Yankees found themselves in an all so familiar place. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were atop the American League East.  It seems like this struggle between century old rivals has dominated the AL East for the better part of the last 15 years.  

This year was supposed to be different as New York and Boston were both expected to cede the division to the Baltimore O’s, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, and perhaps that will still be the case, but after five weeks of the season, it certainly seems like the demise of the Yanks and Sox was greatly overstated.

Part of the reason that the Yankees have managed to prove their naysayers incorrect has been their stellar starting pitching.  Each of the top four Yankee starters has pitched well to start the season, but as the title of the article suggests, there is one pitcher who has stood out especially in the last several weeks.

 His performance leads to this question: Is Phil Hughes finally becoming the pitcher he was always touted to be? Is the 26-year old right hander finally blossoming into a strong 1/2 starter? The numbers, at least early on, scream YES. 

The Phil Hughes Question:

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Down On The Farm – New York Yankees Update

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Almonte is showing his stuff at Triple-A, Particularly, his plate patience is something to keep an eye on and may land him in the Bronx sooner than originally expected.

Almonte is showing his stuff at Triple-A, Particularly, his plate patience is something to keep an eye on and may land him in the Bronx sooner than originally expected. In Scranton, Zolio Almonte has begun to separate himself from Melky Mesa as the more advanced outfield prospect.  The Most exciting thing about Almonte is how he is managing Triple A Pitchers  He Has worked out 10 Walks – while putting up a very impressive .512 OBP.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent): 

Yankees Report From Down on the Farm:

As of the writing of this paragraph, Almonte had worked another two Walks to further improve that On Base Percentage.  The ability to control the strike zone and force pitchers to throw strikes may be the most important factor in promoting a ball player.  

In the pre-season, we talked briefly about Almonte as a potential replacement for an injured Curtis Granderson.  While Vernon Wells has obviously filled the ranks of the Yankee Outfield, should there be regression from Wells or further injury, Almonte is beginning to show himself as a real option to get Major League At-Bats.

Zolio Almonte HRs:

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2 And A Hook Podcast – Episode #2: The Yankees, Injured Players And Early Year Schedules

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Thursday, April.04/2013

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

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

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Nicholas Rossoletti – Guest (Trade/Yankees Correspondent)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

On today’s show brought to you by www.mlbreports.com & yours truly The Bench Warmers, we talk about opening week of MLB! Chuck Booth called in on his usual segment – to talk about injuries that have been going on lately to start this season and  especially with baseball’s All – Stars. Read the rest of this entry

Miami Marlins Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Monday, February.18/2013

The Marlins will start year 2 of their ball park with about 33 % of their 2012 Team Salary.  They essentially have traded away veteran over the course of last season and then in the winter.

The Marlins will start year 2 of their ball park with about 33% of their 2012 Team Salary. They essentially have traded away every veteran over the course of last season and then in the winter.  They go to camp with a lot of prospects, some re-treads and a lot of broken promises to their fans.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

Welcome to Miami, home to sunshine, beautiful people and a unique multicultural atmosphere. Miami is not home, however, to a big market baseball team. For years the Marlins have attempted to fake it to make it. The team would build its payroll towards a single season where the front office felt like it could compete for a world championship. Then, regardless of result, the Marlins would break up the team, sell the pieces for as much value as was offered and rebuild towards another season when a championship hope seemed realistic. So the Miami Marlins, their fans, their brand new stadium enter 2013 in a very similar situation. In 2012, the team took a shot at competing by spending money on several free agents. I’ve written in detail about why that didn’t work and what the fans can look forward to in the future. In 2013, the payroll will be once again be amongst the lowest in baseball.

As with our past looks at payroll we will start with the high-end of the Miami payroll. You will notice that one of these is not like the other.

Giancarlo Stanton 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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Morse Back To Seattle: The Mariners Add Yet Another Bat

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Sunday, January 27th,  2013

MIcheal Morse Has a Career 3 Slash Line of .295/.347/.839.  He will likely see some time at 1B and DH with Kendrys Morales

MIcheal Morse Has a Career 3 Slash Line of .295/.347/.839 heading into 2013. He will likely see some time at 1B and DH with Kendrys Morales.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

Once upon a time, Mike Morse was a Seattle Mariners’ farm hand who played parts of four seasons in the majors with Seattle. He never really lived up to expectations during his first time in Seattle. Now, the Mariners have acquired him from the Nationals where he spent the best four seasons of his career. The Mariners are looking everywhere they can for affordable offense, and they have turned back to a familiar face in Morse. The real question is how does Morse fit in Seattle and does the acquisition make the Mariners better?

In order to address this topic, its important that we take a look at how Morse performed last season and whether the decrease in performance is going to carry over into the 2013 campaign. Morse was injured for a portion of the season so it is important to take that into consideration when breaking down his 2012 season, but even with injury, Morse took a fairly large step backwards.

Mike Morse’s 1st hit in the Major Leagues with the Mariners (2005):

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The Texas Rangers Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Saturday, January.19th,  2013

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

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

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

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

Rangers 2011 ALCS Clincher:

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The Red Sox Trade for a Closer (Hanrahan) … Again.

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Thursday, January.10,  2013

Joel Hanrahan had 76 Saves over the last 2 Years with the Pittsburgh Pirates - including 2 straight ALL-Star Appearances. He will be throwing down in the 9th Inning for Boston now.  Picture Courtesy of Marc Smilow

Joel Hanrahan had 76 Saves over the last 2 Years with the Pittsburgh Pirates – including 2 straight ALL-Star Appearances. He will be throwing down in the 9th Inning for Boston now. Picture Courtesy of Marc Smilow.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

Back in 2005, the Boston Red Sox brought up a 24 Year Old flame throwing phenom. Seven seasons, a World Championship and 219 Saves later, Jonathan Papelbon and his fastball had become something of Boston baseball lore. Papelbon was the kind of big strike out, big personality that fans grow to love at the back-end of a bullpen. From 2007-2011, Papelbon never posted a K/9 under 10.00 and never had less than 30 saves in a season. It seemed like Papelbon would become Boston’s answer to Mariano Rivera until the Phillies swooped in and signed Papelbon to a 4 year/50 Million Dollar Contract before the new CBA was even agreed to during the 2011 off-season. Suddenly, Boston was without its ALL-Time Saves Leader and in need of a new stabilizing force in the back of their bullpen.

After Papelbon signed in Philadelphia, the Red Sox went out and acquired Andrew Bailey from the Oakland A’s to fill the closers role. When the trade happened, the perception was that Andrew Bailey was the best player in the deal. The Red Sox acquired Bailey and OF Ryan Sweeney for OF Josh Reddick, INF Miles Head and Right Handed Pitcher Raul Alcantara. Bailey was coming off a 24 save season where he was worth less than 1 WAR (Win Above Replacement). It is important that we differentiate perception with reality at this point.

Joel Hanrahan Highlights from 2010-2012

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Vargas/Morales Trade Fills Needs For Both Teams

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Friday, January.04,  2013

Kendrys Morales had a breakout year with the Angels in 2009, where he he hit .306 with 34 HRs and 108 RBI.  He also clubbed 43 Doubles and carried an OPS of .924 for the year which propelled him to a top 5 AL MVP Finish.

Kendrys Morales had a breakout year with the Angels in 2009, where he he hit .306 with 34 HRs and 108 RBI. He also clubbed 43 Doubles and carried an OPS of .924 for the year which propelled him to a top 5 AL MVP Finish. In 2010, he suffered an ankle injury celebrating a Walk-Off Grand Slam in Angels Stadium.  His OPS was .778  in 2012,  can he regain his previous form in Seattle?

Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Trade Correspondent):

It is rare in baseball that division rivals complete trades.  Most of the time when it does happen, it is a lower end deal involving pieces that neither team is particularly worried will come back to haunt them.  This is what makes the Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales trade so interesting.  It is a trade that makes incredible sense for all parties involved, but there is at least some likelihood that either or both players could make their former club regret the move in the short term.  Let’s take a closer look at the players involved in the deal and why each club wanted to make this move.

On the Angels side, the team was in dire need of innings they could count on.  After acquiring Tommy Hanson and his questionable shoulder as well as losing Zack Greinke to their cross-town rivals, the Dodgers, the Angels needed to find a starter who could give them guaranteed innings.  Enter Jason Vargas.  Vargas has been good for 190 plus innings over the last three season including over 200 Innings Pitched in 2011 and 2012. Vargas is a back-end of the rotation starter who has one terrific pitch in his arsenal, which is his change-up. Vargas’ change-up is an elite pitch.  To help characterize how elite a pitch it can be, we can look to some statistical measures.  Per 100 pitches, Vargas saved 2.25 runs over the course of 2012 with his change-up. To understand in comparison, Justin Verlander‘s curveball, what many would consider his “put-away” pitch saved 2.04 runs per 100 pitches in 2012.  Now clearly, no one in their right mind is going to positively compare Vargas to Verlander, but in terms of Vargas’ change-up, I think it is important for everyone to understand that he does do something as well if not better than any other pitcher in the Major Leagues.  

The Brutal Kendrys Morales injury after a Grand Slam Walk-Off HR:

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The Miami Marlins: State Of The Union for 2013 Part 2: The Pitchers

Friday, December.14, 2012

Nolasco might be the the next guy to be traded for more prospects.

Nolasco might be the the next guy to be traded for more prospects.

Nicholas Rossoletti (Guest Baseball Writer and Marlins Correspondent):

Last week, we took a closer look at how it would be possible to revive the Marlins from not only several years of under-performing expectations, but also, how to reinvigorate fans after the latest fire sale which can only be called a public relations disaster of massive proportions for the organization.  In that article, which you can find here , the discussion was focused on the three offensive pieces that would be necessary for the Marlins to begin competing in the near future and bringing fans out to the new ballpark.  While everyone knows that “chicks dig the long ball”, long-term success is ultimately sustained and championships won by consistent, steady pitching.  

The Marlins former championship contenders have always been built on strong starting pitching, whether the 1997 team built on veterans Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Alex Fernandez and later on, a young Livan Hernandez or the 2003 team with youthful group of Josh Beckett, A.J. Burnett, Brad Penny and  Dontrelle Willis.  Since the break-up of the 2003 team, the Marlins have sought a consistent group of pitchers to help bring them back to greatness.  But adjustments, injuries and the failure to develop some talented pieces has led to a long list of failed Marlins starters and lost seasons.  Now the Fish find themselves in the familiar position of having to develop young pitching. Read the rest of this entry

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