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How All Of The Marlins Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree Shows 2012 Trading Looks Good

Jeffrey Loria did a number on the Expos, continues to be one of the most controversial owners in the game of baseball.  The Miami fanbase had been promised the club would compete in the New Marlins Ball Park.  After 4 months last year of a $118 Team Salary in 2012, the management pulled the plug on that active roster.  The years going by will tell us whether that was the right decision, plus if the New York Art Dealer can be true to any of his promises doled out

Jeffrey Loria did a number on the Expos back int he day, and continues to be one of the most controversial owners in the game of baseball. The Miami fanbase had been promised the club would compete in the New Marlins Ball Park. After a $118 Team Salary in 2012, the management pulled the plug on that active roster. While the transactions didn’t look good for the PR side, the operations portion of it has seemed to work out.  The New York Art Dealer has pledged to spend more money in coming years, however only time will tell.  The franchise has 2 superstar youngsters in Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez.

How All Of The Marlins Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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The Marlins took a lot of flak for the big selloff almost 2 years ago.

In the previous winter, Miami set out to dominate the NL East in the 1st season of the New Marlins Ball Park.  To do this, they allocated a $118 MIL payroll.

They inked Jose Reyes (6 YRs/$106 MIL), Mark Buehrle (4 YRs/$54 MIL), Heath Bell (3YRs/$27 MIL), and the club took on Carlos Lee midway through the year ($9 MIL) commitment.

The Fish flung down the standings in the 2nd half, and ended with a 69 – 93 record, and Ozzie Guillen was fired after inking a 4 Year Managerial deal prior to that campaign.

The club struggles with injuries to key players and never really jelled.

Miami decided that they were in  big trouble with how the current roster was situated, and were carrying an enormous payroll, and the threat of dwindling attendance the following year, caused them to make a block buster deal with Toronto.

Without detailing this too much, Miami traded Reyes, Buerhle, Josh JohnsonEmilio Bonifacio and John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays.

In turn, the organization received Jake MarisnickAdeiny HechavarriaHenderson AlvarezJustin NicolinoAnthony DeSclafaniYunel Escobar and Jeff Mathis.

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Master List Of All Free Agents Signed In 2013 Winter – Heading Into 2014 MLB Year

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It has been a record setting year for contract $ doled out for players.  When you factor in the player extensions, we are talking about 7 contracts registering in the top 50 Player contracts in the history of the game.

Robinson Cano, Clayton Kershaw, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Freddie Freeman, Shin-Soo Choo and Homer Bailey have inked deal for between $105 MIL to $240 MIL.

Now there is word the Angels are working on an extension with Mike Trout, to the tune of 6 YRs/$150 MIL,  from 2015 – 2020.  This would be the 22nd highest contract in MLB History.

For the record, Trout’s deal for 2014 is already set at $510 K, and any extension wouldn’t have Luxury Tax Ramifications until his new deal would start in 2015. Read the rest of this entry

The Chicago Cubs Players, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB)

Rizzo followed up his  short 2012 campaign, in which he hit .285 with 15 HR and 48 RBI with a lower Slash line of .233/.323/.742 - but still clubbed 23 HRs and added 80 RBI. If he maximizes his potential, you are looking at a perennial threat each year to lead the NL in HRs.  Rizzo was traded from the Padres for Andrew Cashner, and it was the 3rd time Jed Hoyer had acquired the guy in his management life.  The team signed him to a 7 YR/$41 MIL extension this year, that will see him in until at least 2019, and potentially til 2021.

Rizzo followed up his short 2012 campaign, in which he hit .285 with 15 HR and 48 RBI with a lower Slash line of .233/.323/.742 – but still clubbed 23 HRs and added 80 RBI. If he maximizes his potential, you are looking at a perennial threat each year to lead the NL in HRs. Rizzo was traded from the Padres for Andrew Cashner, and it was the 3rd time Jed Hoyer had acquired the guy in his management life. The team signed him to a 7 YR/$41 MIL extension this year, that will see him in until at least 2019, and potentially til 2021.

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

Theo Epstein and the Ricketts new the job was going to be a tough one.  Replenishing the young talent in the organization, after much trepidation, will continue to be the focal point of the North Chicago franchise.

The most of the Veterans have left for prospects.  Gone are; Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Marmol, David DeJesus, Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart, Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm.

In are a bunch of young players acquired for the services of the old guys.

Players such as Pedro Strop, Jake Arrieta, Mike Olt, Corey Black, Justin Grimm and a host of other youngsters in the Minor League Level.

The Cubs also have traded for lots of International Money limits, where they have brought in further assets to the organization.

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

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How The New York Yankees Acquired All Of Their Pitchers

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Tuesday July.30/2013

Mariano Rivera holds the ALL-Time Record for any closer (active of retired) with 641 Saves.  He has been the most dominant Relief Pitcher on the planet over the last two decades.  What is incredible, is that he never has a bad season - which is prone to happen to even Hall Of Fame Pitchers.  Rivera also leads Active Pitchers in ERA (2.20), Games Finished (1093) and a WHIP 1.003 Add another 42 Saves, and a 0.70 ERA in 142 IP in his Post Season Career - and you are talking about the standard which any future Closer will be measured up to.

Mariano Rivera holds the ALL-Time Record for any Closer (active or retired) with 641 Saves. He has been the most dominant Relief Pitcher on the planet over the last two decades. What is incredible, is that he never has a bad season – which is prone to happen to even Hall Of Fame Pitchers. Rivera also leads Active Pitchers in ERA (2.20), Games Finished (1093) and a WHIP 1.003 Add another 42 Saves, and a 0.70 ERA in 142 IP in his Post Season Career – and you are talking about the standard which any future Closer will be measured up to.

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Yankees – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted.

This was not as cool as doing the other Roster Trees I have done. 

In fact, the Hitters were not even that fun to do, with having to go through the Alberto Gonzalez tree (from when he left the NYY the first time) – just to spice it up a little bit.

The New York Yankees Roster Tree Part 1: The Hitters

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Atlanta Braves Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Tuesday, July.23, 2013

Craig Kimbrel is one of the best young closers in baseball. He has saved 27 games this season for the Braves and with only three blown saves. The hard-throwing righty has a 1.49 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 13 walks in 36.1 innings pitched. He has a WHIP of 0.99 and 14.1 SO/9. The opposition is just hitting .181 against him, and he is holding right-handed batters to a .140 average. He is holding opposing teams an average of just .129 when runners are in scoring position. They  fare a little better with runners on and two outs with a .176 average.

Craig Kimbrel is one of the best young closers in baseball. He has saved 27 games this season for the Braves and with only three blown saves. The hard-throwing righty has a 1.49 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 13 walks in 36.1 innings pitched. He has a WHIP of 0.99 and 14.1 SO/9. The opposition is just hitting .181 against him, and he is holding right-handed batters to a .140 average. He is holding opposing teams an average of just .129 when runners are in scoring position. They fare a little better with runners on and two outs with a .176 average.

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

The Atlanta Braves have a comfortable lead in the National League East division with them ahead 6 ½ games on the Philadelphia Phillies. This division is having a down year, with no team a legitimate threat to catch Atlanta.

The Braves have a high-powered offense that only a few teams in baseball can match. They have the 3rd best offense in the NL with them scoring 425 runs this season.  Atlanta has a play style that is more suited to the American League than the NL.

Atlanta Braves 2012 Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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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 Yanks Are In Desperation Mode + Need Cashman To Be A Riverboat Gambler!

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Monday July.01/2013

The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin, Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year?  If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn't for two decades.  Meanwhile, who cares about 2013's payroll.  The club will stand to receive over $50 MIL in insurance dough for their hurt players.  Why not reinvest the loot - and take some free swinging stabs?

The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin and Gary Sanchez. Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year? If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn’t for two decades. Meanwhile, who cares about 2013’s payroll. The club will stand to receive over $50 MIL in insurance dough for their hurt players. Why not reinvest the loot – and take some free swinging stabs?  The club begins play today at 42 – 38, 4 games out of playoff spot, but 17 -24 in their last 41 Games Played.  They play 2 series versus the Twins, and also have  other series versus the Indians and Royals before the Break.  Will they make hay, or freefall by then?

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

It wasn’t always a rosy picture for the New York Yankee fanbase after the 1982 season.  In 1985, I became a fan of the team and Don Mattingly when I saw them smoke the Toronto Blue Jays like 22 – 0 or something on a  Nationally televised game.

My dad was a huge Thurman Munson fan – and told me the legend of the Yankees when I started being able to hear.  I even caught like his hero in little leaguie.  Sometimes you pick up your love for the team based on your dad.

We still both love them to this day.  I was there for 11 years of struggling from 1985 – 1995.  Even when the club cashed in their 1st World Series in 1996, to me while it was cool, it would have been so much better had ‘Donnie Baseball’ been part of the ride.

The Bronx Bombers ripping off 3 more titles from 1998 – 2000 – and then another in 2009, have made me happy to be a fan.  It is not just the playoffs that I have savored.  This team has averaged 94 – 95 wins for the last 20 seasons.

The Yankees would be lucky to be in the 2013 ALCS like 2012

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Atlanta Braves Organizational Charts: 2013 Team Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Thursday, June.20/2013

The Braves are right up there with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for best run organizations over the last 25 years.  Some would say that Atlanta's brass is the king at organizational bang for the buck from drafting a trading. The team reeled off a professional record 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 - 2004.  They made it to 6 World Series, unfortunately only winning 1 of them.

The Braves are right up there with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for best run organizations over the last 25 years. Some would say that Atlanta’s brass is the king at organizational bang for the buck from drafting a trading. The team reeled off a professional record – 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 – 2005. They made it to 6 World Series, unfortunately only winning 1 of them in 1995.

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 Braves Organization click here

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We’re A 1/3 Of The Way Home: 10 Braves Questions To Ponder For The Last 2/3

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Friday, May.31/2013

The Braves have entered the 1/3rd part of the NL East atop of the Division,  The Nationals and Phillies have struggled, while the franchise has seen more ups and downs.  Even with B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward having poor numbers (other than Uggla's power,) the club may really take off if these guys get aboard the train.

The Braves have entered the 1/3rd part of the NL East atop of the Division, The Nationals and Phillies have struggled, while the franchise has seen more ups and downs. Even with B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward having poor numbers (other than Uggla’s power,) the club may really take off if these guys get aboard the train.

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

I can’t believe it’s already the end of May and that baseball season is almost a 1/3 of the way over already. It’s been a fun two months and I’ve enjoyed cheering for and stressing over these Bravos for the past almost 60 days.

I thought that this was a good time to assess what I think the Braves have and what they don’t have. And moving forward what this team will have to do in order to be successful.

As usual I don’t want to bore anyone with stats, I may throw a few in there for reference points but I’ll try not to over load anyone. I can’t stand the fact that you can’t even read an article on baseball without it looking like a math problem.

Past the Read Entry Tag – or youtube clip – as there are the 10 questions to be answered in the last 108 Games.

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The Washington Nationals Franchise Part 6 of 6: 2013 Team Payroll And Contracts Updated Mar.8

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Thursday, March.07/2013

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner):

Perhaps no team will have more of a chance to win the 2013 World Series with Harper and Strasburg will be another year older, while both Zimmerman’s can both have been healthy for the year.  They have two Mutual Options for them to re-sign which I mention on the next page.  They do have several Arbitration Eligible Players including Super ‘2’ Free Agents Jordan Zimmerman and Tyler Clippard.  The Nationals should try to lock most of these guys up as long as they can.  Especially guys like Desmond, Espinosa and Storen.  

Their price shall only skyrocket as they become older.  The Nationals will not have to worry about their starting outfield of Morse, Werth and Harper as they are all signed for next year.  Strasburg enters the final year of this entry-level deal and Gio Gonzalez also has a nice value deal for the salary part of it.

Kurt Suzuki had a strong finish in 2013, so you could see the club maybe trading away he or Wilson Ramos before 2013 Trade Deadline.  I suspect the Phillies to be stronger this year, so major improvements by Harper and rejuvenated play from both Zimmerman’s will be crucial to the clubs success.  Micheal Lerner has made it abundantly clear he wants a championship for this club ASAP.  He will spend any amount of money .  The rest of the lineup looks set and ready to mash in 2013!

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, The Nationals top 25 Man Roster from 20o5-2012 click here

MLB 13 The Show – Bryce Harper Interview:

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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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The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 4 of 4: Team Payroll 2013 And Contracts Forward (Mar.1)

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Friday, Mar.01/2013

Since Roy Halladay missed almost 2 months of baseball in 2012, his 2014 (20 Million Dollar contract will only become exercised if he pitches 225 Innings in 2013) – Otherwise he becomes a Free Agent.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst Website Owner):  

The Phillies are top-heavy for their payroll in 2013.  I talked a lot about this in Part 1 of this series (The Franchise).  What they really need is for Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and  Ben Revere to improve in their role with the club and get as much production as they can out of their superstars.  2013 looks a lot  better than the years after.  Roy Halladay must return to form in 2013.  

I am predicting  the team will win at least 90 games in this year with the Starting Pitching having a bounce back season.  The fans should all come in droves to the park while this club is competitive.  The Phillies will age really fast after 2013, so there will undoubtedly be some rougher times ahead, as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard all fade into the back half of their careers.

The New York Yankees are facing a similar dilemma.  You might even see a Yanks/Phillies World Series rematch in 2013.  I am sure the Dodgers, Angels, Tigers and Nationals will try to have their say about that as well.  

The smaller market teams might fight for another ring as well.  You are starting to see some distances set forth from the high-priced salaried teams to the lower payroll clubs with both Los Angeles teams and Detroit nearing or going over the Luxury Tax Threshold of 178 Million Dollars in Player Salaries.  

Again, I am thinking that MLB Baseball might have to realign soon-to make the divisions stack up for payroll and geography reasons.  I wrote an article about this some time ago here.  The Phillies have led the MLB in attendance for the last 3 years, so they will be able to keep the payroll at a high mark as long as the baseball revenue is able to match it.  It is the long-term contracts that won’t garner them much value at the end of these deals, that will ultimately set the Franchise back awhile.

Ryan Howard highlights are below.  He must return to his 40 HR self next year otherwise the Phillies will have a tough time competing.

For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:

For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:

For Part 3 of the Phillies Article Series: The Pitcher click here

For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series: click here

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What 2012 Really Meant to the St. Louis Cardinals

Thursday November 1st, 2012

2012 was a season that ended with disappointment which ultimately distracted us from recognizing what a successful year it really was. 2012 highlighted a lot of the greatness that is to come for this great franchise.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer)

The St. Louis Cardinals came into 2012 as the defending World Series Champions.  In 2011 they just eked their way into the post season on the final day of the regular season when they defeated the Houston Astros and the Braves, who were tied for the wild card spot with St. Louis, ended up losing to the Phillies in extra innings.  Coming into the 2011 postseason, the Cardinals were huge underdogs.  That didn’t stop them from going for what they wanted: to win it all.

While most analysts amongst the sport would not have guessed St. Louis would even make it to the World Series, yet alone win it, the Red Birds emerged to show their true colors.  The current team that the city of St. Louis has assembled and gets to watch for 81 games a year is, undoubtedly, a team that plays on all cylinders and the highest octane fuel.  They play with the intensity of a little league team that wants nothing more than the coach to bring them out for ice cream when they win. Watching the Cardinals brand of baseball is to watch baseball again as a game, and not just as a competition played by millionaire athletes with tremendous talent.

Watching the scrappiness of St. Louis native David Freese in the 2011 playoffs is the perfect example.  His David Eckstein-like approach to the game reminds us all of one of our teammates back in middle school.  The one at the sandlot that always slid hard, tried to steal home, and complained when the rest of us wanted to go home because “it was getting dark”.  In 2011, David Freese and his 39 teammates played baseball together as a true team and sent Tony LaRussa home with a World Series title in his final year managing.  Read the rest of this entry

2012 MLB Trades And Deadline Deals Revisited for Contenders: Who Won and Lost

Friday, October.26/2012

Ichiro Suzuki played the best baseball he has in the last 2 years with the Yankees. It would be a wise move to re-sign the guy for at least the next season. In my opinion, they should have Jeter and Suzuki linked together on the club until they retire.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I love the new era of baseball.  One thing the 2nd Wild Card team enabled this year was a flurry of transactions right near the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, plus we even saw a bunch of trades between Aug.01-31 as well.  I am not going to breakdown the trades for who went the other way (unless both teams were in contention) since we have a dedicated page for that here.  What I am going to do is see who made out well with their new player.  I will tell you right  now that the hands down winner was the San Francisco Giants for picking up Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence.  Marco Scutaro hit .362 for the Giants and smacked 90 hits in 61 games.  He has parlayed another 19 hits in 59 AB during the playoffs (.322).

I am going to be writing a series of payroll breakdowns for each MLB team in the offseason.  I have already compiled reports for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals.  These reports can be found in my author archives here.  In addition to this, I am going to write another piece on Payroll Strategy specifically geared towards making runs at trades near the deadline.  Look for those in the coming weeks.  The work never ends here, and we will have you game ready for spring training when it comes to all of the clubs. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Playoff Power Rankings and Predictions 2012

Friday, October.5/2012

The Reds have Joey Votto back and definitely are the deepest team in the playoffs. They start in San Francisco versus the Giants on Saturday in a best of 5 Series in the NLDS Round.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In what could be one of the most exciting days in MLB History, we present to you a special edition of the MLB Reports Power Rankings,

1.  Cincinnati Reds:  The reason I have chosen these guys is because of their path to the World Series is probably easier than any other team in the MLB when it comes to Strength of Schedule.  Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Todd Frazier will challenge for NL Cy Young Votes and the Rookie of the Year Award.  They have a healthy Joey Votto and it is time for Brandon Phillips to show his playoff metal.  They have the greatest bullpen in the playoffs and are playing in the 1st round against the San Francisco Giants.  The Great American Ball Park should be a great home field advantage.

Unheralded Player to watch in this Playoffs:  Starting Pitcher Homer Bailey has pitched really well this year and is coming off a recent no-hitter.

2.  Detroit Tigers:  The Tigers are playing their best baseball of the season and caught a break when the Athletics won the AL West.  Miguel Cabrera was on fire in September en route to his AL Triple Crown win.  The Tigers were 32-11 in their last 43 home games and their solid pitching bodes well versus all of the homer centric teams in the AL.  Their toughest competition would be the Yankees and Rangers and I am not sure those teams will be able to match the pitching of the club.  While in my rankings I have given the #1 ranking to the Reds, the Tigers were my preseason pick to win the WS Title and it will all be on the backs of Prince Fielder and Cabrera. 

Unheralded player to watch in the Playoffs:  Omar Infante He is a great all around player who comes up with clutch hits.

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2012 Trade Deadline Update #7 7/31: League, Snider, Thames, Soto, and More

Tuesday July 31st, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Monday night and Tuesday morning turning out to be a busy one for MLB General Managers! Here are the flurry of deals before the MLB Non-Waiver Trading Deadline:

Brandon League to the Dodgers

With the Giants talking to the Mariners about League, I think the Dodgers traded for him just so the Giants wouldn’t get him. They really don’t have a reason to get him other than that. Their bullpen has been solid this year with Kenley Jansen holding it down at the back and Josh Lindblom highlighting the other relievers. League would’ve been key for the Giants. They lost Guillermo Mota at the beginning of the year for 100 games due to his second failed drug test, Sergio Romo has been a bit shaky lately, and Santiago Casilla hasn’t been the best closer. Not to mention Brian Wilson went down with an elbow injury after only a few appearances. Although League hasn’t been the best this year (0-5 with a 3.63 ERA) he will definitely help strengthen the already strong Dodger bullpen. After acquiring Hanley Ramirez and Ryan Dempster, the Dodgers are definitely ahead of the Giants in my mind. For League, the Mariners get OF Leon Landry and RHP Logan Bawcom. Landry this year in Single-A Rancho Cucamonga has hit .328 with eight homers and 51 RBI, and Bawcom has gone 3-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 27 games with Double-A Chattanooga. League was removed from the closer’s role in Seattle in favor of Tom Wilhelmsen earlier this season, so losing him won’t drastically affect the Mariners. League is apparently owed $1.85 million for the rest of this year.

Eric Thames to the Mariners

Right after trading League, the Mariners went ahead and traded Steve Delabar to the Blue Jays for outfielder Eric Thames. Thames adds some more youth to the Mariners and looks like the fourth outfielder right now. This year, in 42 games, Thames is hitting .243 with three homers and 11 RBI. The Blue Jays add to their bullpen after getting Brandon Lyon and J.A. Happ (who can either start or come out of the bullpen) from the Astros. Delabar held a 4.17 ERA in 36.2 innings for Seattle this year. Neither team seems to be going anywhere, so it looks like each is building for the future, as each player is signed through 2017.

Travis Snider to the Pirates

Snider went to the Pirates for reliever Brad Lincoln right before Eric Thames was traded. The Blue Jays seem to be bolstering their bullpen by getting rid of young outfielders. Snider started the season in Toronto last year before being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, and stayed there until recently being called back. The Blue Jays must have finally given up on him after he hit .225 last year and .235 this year in nine games. Snider will join the mix of Andrew McCutchen, Alex Presley, and Starling Marte in the outfield for Pittsburgh. The Blue Jays get reliever Brad Lincoln in return, who has gone 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 59.1 innings this year. He’s only 27 so he should be with Toronto for a while.

Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Braves

After losing out on Ryan Dempster, the Braves went out and got Paul Maholm, who has been doing well for the Cubs going 7-4 with a 3.74 ERA. The Braves also received Reed Johnson. Johnson has hit .307 for the Cubs this year and will join Jason Heyward, Michael Bourn, and Martin Prado in the outfield. He should serve as a fourth outfielder and possibly come in late in games as a pinch hitter. The Cubs will get Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman. Vizcaino went 1-1 with a 4.17 ERA with the Braves last year. Chapman, this year for Triple-A Gwinett, has gone 3-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 53.2 innings.

Geovany Soto to the Rangers

Soto will go to the Rangers after they designated catcher Yorvit Torrealba for assignment. Soto will primarily catch while Mike Napoli will see some time at first base. Soto struggled this year for the Cubs, hitting just .195 with six homers and 14 RBI. He makes $4.3 millon this year. Hopefully for the Rangers, Soto will put up better numbers than Torrealba, who hit .236 with three homers and 12 RBI. The Cubs will obtain pitcher Jacob Brigham, who went 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in124 innings for Double-A Frisco. Soto just wasn’t cutting it for the Cubs; maybe he’ll have a fresh start with the Rangers.

***Today’s feature was prepared by Bernie Olshansky, Baseball Writer & Facebook Administrator.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky)***

 

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