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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.19) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

 J Pat Carter / AP Photo

J Pat Carter / AP Photo

Henderson Alvarez pitched a complete game 2 hit, no walk shutout, his first victory since his season ending no hitter last fall. This time won the game for the Marlins 7-0 over Seattle.

Ryan Braun went 3-5, scored 4 times and homered twice. His second homer was a 1 out, 2 run, come from behind 9th inning homer that gave the Brewers a dramatic 8-7 win in Pittsburgh.

Mark Buehrle pitched 7 shutout innings, letting up 4 hits as he earned his 4th win for the Blue Jays this year, 5-0 in Cleveland.

Wil Myers got on base 4 times and scored all 4 times. He clubbed a pair of homers, driving in 4 and helped lead the Rays to a 16-1 thrashing of the Yankees.

They owned baseball on April.19, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.18) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

DAVID SANTIAGO / EL NUEVO STAFF

DAVID SANTIAGO / EL NUEVO STAFF

Giancarlo Stanton got on base 5 times, drove in 5 runs including a walk off bottom of the 9th grand slam, sealing the Marlins 8-4 win over the Mariners.

Howie Kendrick went 3-5 including a pair of homers and 4 RBI as the Angels topped the Tigers, 11-6.

Aaron Harang threw 7 no hit innings for the Braves. His wildness and high pitch count kept him from finishing the game (the Mets would eventually get a hit) but he got the 6-0 win.

Martin Perez threw a complete game 3 hit shutout, striking out 8 and walking just 1 as the Rangers slammed the White Sox, 12-0.

They owned baseball on April.18, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.17) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Adam Wainwright pitched a brilliant 2 hit complete game shutout and hit a double, another hit and an RBI for good measure. He won his third decision of the season for the Cardinals, 8-0 in Washington.

Pedro Alvarez got on base four times and launched a three run homer as the Pirates crushed the Brewers, 11-2.

Jon Lester was brilliant against the White Sox. He was perfect into the 6th, finishing with 8 innings, 1 run, no walks and 9 strikeouts, getting the 3-1 win for the Red Sox.

Yangervis Solarte got 3 hits including his first big league homer and started a triple play as the Yankees crushed the Rays, 10-2.

They owned baseball on April.17, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.16) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Julio Teheran won the best pitcher’s duel of the year. He pitched a complete game 3 hit shutout, walking none and narrowly topping the Phillies 1-0.

Masahiro Tanaka ,continued his hot start for the Yankees. He pitched 8 shutout innings, letting up 2 hits, striking out 10 Cubs and only walking one. He earned the 3-0 win as the Yankees took both games of a double header.

Aramis Ramirez went 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI as the Brewers beat St. Louis, 5-1.

Leonys Martin got a pair of hits including a walk off single that gave the Rangers a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Mariners.

They owned baseball on April.16, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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Oakland Athletics Roster In 2014: How All Of The Pitchers Were Acquired

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with  Tommy John Surgery.  You are talking about a guy that was 25 - 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined.  He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed.  The A's also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now.  Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland - including Chris Carter< Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Cook for Starter Dan Haren.  The club still has many of the components left as assets from that very deal. While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back.

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with Tommy John Surgery. You are talking about a guy that was 25 – 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined. He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed. The A’s also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now. Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland with Collin Cowgill and  Ryan Cook for Starter Trevor Cahill. The club still has Parker and Cahill.  While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back. Cahill has been ineffective for the D’backs in 2014 – with a 9.17 ERA and an MLB leading 4 losses.

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

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I just finished writing an article about how Billy Beane was smart not to have signed Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson to extensions here.

You really wont find him do this anytime soon with any of his chuckers.

The Scott Kazmir deal is the one he likes to do.  It is simple as to why the man operates like this.  He doesn’t have to give up any assets in the process.

Beane is a “Baseball Rounder”.

It is not unlike him to do manage 50 – 60 transactions per year.  He was won more than he has lost – whether it is Free Agency or trades.  His ballclub has the best record in the Majors since the start of play in 2012 – at 200 – 144 (.581 baseball).

We will go through the Pitching First, and then the hitting by the weekend. Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.15) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Jeff Gross / Getty Images North America

Jeff Gross / Getty Images North America

Josh Donaldson got three hits including a tie breaking RBI in the 11th to give the A’s a dramatic 10-9 win in Anaheim.

Joey Votto got on base 5 times with 4 hits, a game tying RBI and scored in the key 7th inning rally as the Reds squeaked past the Pirates, 7-5..

Robbie Ross Jr. pitched shutout ball into the 8th inning, walking none and finishing with 7 2/3 innings and the 5-0 Rangers win over the Mariners.

Tom Koehler threw 7 innings of 1 hit shutout ball, leading the Marlins to an 11-2 blowout of the Nationals.

They owned baseball on April.15, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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With Moore Out For TJ Surgery – The Rays Should Hold Onto Price Through 2015

Matt Moore finished 17 - 4 with a 3.29 ERA in 2013, but was off to an even better start in the 1st half before he had some elbow soreness.  Losing this LHP will hurt the club, however the team was deep with Price, Archer and Cobb still manning the 1 - 3 slots in the rotation.  That was, until Cobb went down with an injury himself.  With the teams projected #2 Starter being down for the next 12 - 18 months from his very best, the franchise should not trade Price at any cost.

Matt Moore finished 17 – 4 with a 3.29 ERA in 2013, but was off to an even better start in the 1st half before he had some elbow soreness. Losing this LHP to TJ Surgery hurts the club, however the team was deep with Price, Archer and Cobb still manning the 1 – 3 slots in the rotation. That was, until Cobb went down with an injury himself.  The squad will have to weather the storm for a few months with some organizational players that might include the players: Erik Bedard, Nate Karns or Cesar Ramos. With the teams projected #2 Starter being down for the next 12 – 18 months from his very best, the franchise should not trade Price at any cost in 2014 and 2015..  Moore is under Team Control through the 2019 year, and when he comes back to the fold at 100% in 2015, hopefully the Rays will be vying for another postseason berth in the second half.

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

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Lets face it.  The Tampa Bay Rays have had an incredible run at it.  The Florida squad trails only the Yankees for wins since the start of the 2008 season in baseball.

The club has made it to the postseason 4 out of the last 6 years, and possess 5 out of 6 years with 90+ Wins.

All of this with a shoestring budget, and incredible use of stretching dollars on player talent.

Every year, Andrew Freidman finds a bargain Free Agent that becomes an ALL – Star once he dawns the blue and purple. Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.14) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Yong Kim/Philly.com Staff Photographer

Yong Kim/Philly.com Staff Photographer

Dan Uggla homered twice including a one out, 9th inning, come from behind grand slam that stunned the Phillies and gave the Braves the lead in their bizarre 9-6 win.

Lance Lynn halted the Brewers winning streak with 7 masterful shutout innings. He let up just 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 11, getting the 4-0 win for the Cardinals.

John Jaso came off the bench to hit a dramatic 2 run homer that gave the A’s a 3-2 win in Anaheim.

Roenis Elias dominated the Rangers, pitching into the 7th, letting up just 1 run as the Mariners bats exploded to a 7-1 win..

They owned baseball on April.14, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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MLB Odds To Win Both Of The AL And NL Pennants In 2014: 5 Best Value Plays

With injuries to the Pitching Staff mounting fast for the Rays, and now with them not paying out such a great odd, the value pendulum has swung back to pick either the Yankees at +900 or the Red Sox at +750 for the AL Pennant.  The Yankees just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, have a better offense in this year's lineup, and have decent pitching.  Boston is the reigning champs - and will be part of the race before all is said and done.  Factor in major injuries to Texas, Oakland and the LA Angels early, and a horrid Tigers Bullpen so far, and these two rivals have the best value on the board.

With injuries to the Pitching Staff mounting fast for the Rays, and now with them not paying out such a great odd, the value pendulum has swung back to pick either the Yankees at +900 or the Red Sox at +750 for the AL Pennant. The Yankees just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, have a better offense in this year’s lineup, and have decent pitching. Boston is the reigning champs – and will be part of the race before all is said and done. Factor in major injuries to Texas, Oakland and the LA Angels early, and a horrid Tigers Bullpen so far, and these two rivals have the best value on the board.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Rays are finally listed where they should be on the betting board.

3 teams start play today tied in the AL East in the Rays, Yankees and Jays.  Baltimore has struggled along with Boston.

I think it is way too early to shovel dirt on the Red Sox season.  While I think they may not take down another pennant, they are my 2nd favorite play in the AL Pennant Odd list for return.

The Yankees are my favorite odds pick right now with a +900 mark.

Yes they have injuries to old guys are their team, but the guys in the lineup can mash right now, and particularly at Yankee Stadium. Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.13) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings Standings 2014

Photo By Rick Wood - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Photo By Rick Wood – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Kyle Lohse nearly threw a complete game, going 8 2/3 innings, letting up just 4 hits and 1 earned run, striking out 9 and walking none. He helped continue the Brewers 9 game winning streak with a 4-1 triumph over the Pirates.

Scott Kazmir dominated the Mariners with 6 innings of 2 hit shutout ball. He struck out 9 and walked none. While he didn’t get the win, he set up Oakland’s dramatic 3-0 victory.

Adrian Gonzalez homered in his 4th straight game, going 2-5 and drove in 3 as the Dodgers topped the Diamondbacks in Arizona (not Australia), 8-6.

Alexei Ramirez hit a 2 run, walk off, come from behind homer to give the White Sox a dramatic 4-3 win over the Indians.

They owned baseball on April.13, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 3 MLB Baseball 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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A little rant before the power rankings this week

Well, another 7 days has passed in baseball for this year.

There are no more home openers, attendance is down, fans are scattering about their Easter business and the NFL Draft is around to swing its mighty sword on the sports landscape. Read the rest of this entry

Cleveland Indians State Of The Union For 2014

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

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

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

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

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

Angels State Of The Union For 2014: A Hot Start Is Paramount For Success

The Angels have spent almost a half of a billion in Free Agency over the last 3 years, and all they have to show for it, is back to back 3rd place finishes in the AL West.  The team also featured an anemic Bullpen in the 2013 campaign. But with AL West rivals all having significant injuries both to start the year and long-term for 2014, this has opened up the door for the start of campaign at least.  It is incumbent that their top guys stay injury free, and spend exactly no days on the DL, because they don't have suitable replacements to step in.  With poor starts to both of the last 2 years, this squad looks to break this trend in 2014.

The Angels have spent almost a half of a billion in Free Agency over the last 3 years, and all they have to show for it, is back to back 3rd place finishes in the AL West. The team also featured an anemic Bullpen in the 2013 campaign. But with AL West rivals all having significant injuries both to start the year and long-term for 2014, this has opened up the door for the start of the 2014 campaign at least. It is incumbent that their top guys stay injury free, and spend exactly no days on the DL, because they don’t have suitable replacements to step in. With poor starts to both of the last 2 years, this squad looks to break this trend this seasom.

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

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Hunter Stokes (Our chief writer) wrote a piece that was picked up by MLB Trade Rumors blogroll, stating that Jerry DiPoto has done a poor job in constructing the current team based on the roster tree here.

I agree with him 100% on this, especially on the moves, the Bullpen not being 100% finished yet, the Starting Rotation too reliant on their top 2 pitchers – and we have had several of their fans take some jabs at us for going with these notions.

The club’s brass has had a better winter in 2013 going into 2014, then they had last year, however it still doesn’t alleviate the fact, this team can’t sustain one injury to any of their top players because of said moves to deplete their depth.

The Starting Staff is composed of 60% of youth that is not used to toting long innings in Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs.

The team has a lot of players that will strikeout a lot, so it is also important to receive key HRs at crucial times in the game.

The club will also lose 34 HRs worth of power they received from Mark Trumbo in 2013, but it was the right time to move him.  Whether they received enough of a return is yet to be determined, but it also cut down the whiffs for 2014.

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Oakland Athletics State Of The Union: 2014 Preview

When does Beane ever sleep?   56 transactions over the last calendar year, and he may be prepping the phone with another rash of injuries to 60% of his Starting Staff.  Beane has at least addressed the teams depth for 15 years, and when you look at the salary for their Pitchers, you will be able to detect why.  They never overpay on long-term deals for Starters.

When does Beane ever sleep? 56 transactions over the last calendar year, and he may be prepping the phone with another rash of injuries to 60% of his Starting Staff. Beane has at least addressed the teams depth for next 2 – 3 years, and when you look at the salary for their Pitchers, you will be able to detect why. They never overpay on long-term deals for Starters.

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

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It has been a tough week in Oakland for the Starting Pitching.  Jarrod Parker will need Tommy John Surgery and is  out for the 2014 year.

A.J. Griffin received better news, but also will be sidelined for the near future with a UCL strain.

To complicate the opening roster even more, Scott Kazmir has Triceps soreness and is currently also on the shelf.

Billy Beane doesn’t seem that worried, as he has Tommy Milone and Jesse Chavez stretched out to work some starts if needed. Read the rest of this entry

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

30 MLB Team Power Rankings FEB 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Not withstanding the last few signings in the MLB, noteworthy is Bronson Arroyo to the Diamondbacks, and Paul Maholm to the Los Angeles Dodgers, these will not effect the grand scheme for the rankings of all clubs.

Nelson Cruz is still available, and I would be very surprised if he doesn’t ink a deal with the Mariners.  This would put them slightly ahead of the Angels if done, as oppose to a dead heat right now.

There are no real surprises to be had here.

The Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates have had the worst offseasons, while the Rangers, Royals, Rays, Giants, Yankees, Cardinals and Dodgers have helped out their causes for the upcoming campaign.

30 MLB Team Power Rankings MAR 2014

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Oakland Athletics Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

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

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Billy Beane is a master tactician when it comes to freeing up some cash in order to acquire more players.

Oakland ended last year with a payroll of about $70 MIL.  So far this offseason, the A’s GM has picked up several relief pitchers and also signed Scott Kazmir to a 2 YR deal worth $22 MIL.

The team also said goodbye to Bartolo Colon,(who signed with the Mets for a 2 YRs/$20 MIL deal).

Beane has held a fantastic track record of assessing talent, so don’t be surprised if the stocky 40 year old breaks down in the Mets uniform – and not under the A’s watch. Read the rest of this entry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Kipnis Highlight Reel 2013

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The Mets Signing Colon To 2 YRs/$20 MIL – Is Just Par For The Course Of Insane!

PED use or not, Stem Cell technology, and who knows what else has aided Colon's body over the last 3 seasons of success.  Yes he was 18 - 6, with a 2.65 ERA - finishing 6th in AL Voting, however the A's went and paid someone else, and usually they are not wrong on guys.  The 40 Year Old from Dominican Republic, is also a gigantic man that decimated his hamstring during a PFP out in 2011 with NYY.  You have to think his lucky streak is numbered sooner or later.

PED use or not, Stem Cell technology, and who knows what else has aided Colon’s body over the last 3 seasons of success. Yes he was 18 – 6, with a 2.65 ERA – finishing 6th in AL Voting, however the A’s went and paid someone else to fill his spot (Scott Kazmir), and usually they are not wrong on guys. The 40 Year Old from Dominican Republic, is also a gigantic man who decimated his hamstring during a routine PFP  in 2011 with the Yankees. You have to think his lucky streak is numbered sooner or later.  Whether it is another failed drug test, or he blows out a ligament running anything down, or just has father time come down on him, signing this man to a 2 YR deal, for a team not probably contending in 2014, is downright absurd.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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‘Stoking The Fire’ – Week 9

The Mets are like a gambling addict that has been clean for a few years, before suffering a serious relapse.

This club is just coming off a season where they doled out $18 MIL for Jason Bay (who they released – and still owe $3 MIL in 2014) and Johan Santana ($25.5 MIL and a $5 MIL Buyout for 2014).

These are guys that never played for you during the 2013 season.  Oh yeah…They still contribute annually to the Bobby Bonilla ‘liquor fund’ – thanks to a long restructured contract from many moons ago.

So now that they have altered their club to don a new era of “Strike out Champs”, they have gone overboard in throwing down a 2 YR/$20 MIL contract for a 300 LB PED user like Bartolo Colon.

“It Was A Little More Than Stem Cell Technology”

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The A’s Pickup Another Quality Bullpen Arm In Gregerson

Luke Gregerson has authored 5 brilliant seasons coming out of the Padres Bullpen.  He has a 2.78 ERA and 1.092 WHIP in his 347 IP worth of work.  The 29 Year Old from Park Ridge, IL originally, has averaged appearing in 68 games a year.

Luke Gregerson has authored 5 brilliant seasons coming out of the Padres Bullpen. He has a 2.78 ERA and 1.092 WHIP in his 347 IP worth of work. The 29 Year Old from Park Ridge, IL originally, has averaged appearing in 68 games a year.  The A’s will use him as a late inning arm with Jim Johnson, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle also being capable inning’s eater to nail down shut victories.  Gregerson is in his 3rd Year (made $3.2 MIL) of Arbitration before he hits the Free Agent Market in 2015.

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

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Billy Beane ended his whirlwind day on Tuesday. by flipping just signed OF/DH/PH Seth Smith to the San Diego Padres for Relief Pitcher Luke Gregerson.

In what can only be described as shock, I can’t believe the Padres could be this brutal in talent evaluation.

Beane has continued his pillaging from all other franchises.

The result was that he never touched any of the 9 Starting Players from his offense, zero from his Rotation, and only 2 Minor League Players from last season, to acquire 2 potential Closers/late inning relievers, a premiere CF defender, and a nice #5 Starter in return.

Luke Gregerson Interview from 2012

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Billy Beane Adds 4 Pitchers To The A’s Flock, Plus Gentry – Only Surrenders Weeks. Choice + Smith

Billy Beane is the perfect 'Baseball Rounder'. We all see that the moves the A's GM made yesterday where another way to gain assets in the short term - without losing much in the long run. With the A's usually operating at around the $65 MIL mark the last few years, and now being somewhere in the $75 MIL range, look for Beane to stay active in the transactions throughout this winter to shed payroll - and to receive team controllable players.

Billy Beane is the perfect ‘Baseball Rounder’. We all see that the moves the A’s GM made yesterday and today – where another way to gain assets in the short term – without losing much in the long run. With the A’s usually operating at around the $65 MIL mark the last few years, and now being somewhere in the $75 MIL range, look for Beane to stay active in the transactions throughout this winter to shed payroll – and to receive team controllable players.  The Athletics gain 4 players in these acquisitions that all saw significant playing time in the MLB, where the outgoing guys spent the majority of (if not all) their time in the Minors last year

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

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I said it last week in a Cards article that there were 3 teams that have perfected ‘baseball rounding’, and these teams were the Cardinals, A’s and Tampa Bay.

While the Oakland and Tampa Bay teams don’t have the wherewithal to do this as extensively as the St. Louis franchise, they have the master of the trade in Billy Beane.

“Baseball Rounding” is defined by organizations who always roundup Free Agents, Waiver Wire Deals, Rule 5 guys, or sell high when they know a player is past his projections, in order to obtain assets coming back.

The purpose of these deals is that the organization never touches the main core, meaning the franchise will be in awesome shape if you know how to groom players in your Minor League System after you draft them.

Scott Kazmir 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is Advised

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AL Central Hot Stove Round Up – Updated For The Joe Nathan Signing With The Tigers

Doug Fister was just traded away last night for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and a Minor League Pitcher.  I definitely am seeing the vibe that this franchise is about to make another huge move towards a player in Free Agency.

Doug Fister was just traded away last night for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and a Minor League Pitcher. I definitely am seeing the vibe that this franchise is about to make another huge move towards a player in Free Agency.  If this wasn’t the case, then what the hell are the Tigers doing trading away a pitcher like this?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Detroit Tigers threw down the first gauntlet in transactions of the Division.  But have they made their team any stronger?  As of right now they are still weaker to start the 2014 year than they ended the 2013 campaign.

Things have been quiet out of Motown on offensive players, however they have been circling the world of Brian Wilson for the Relief core, before they finally lost interest.

Joe Nathan was signed to a 2 Year Deal today by the Tigers.  It was a swift move to sign the guy, although financial terms have not been entirely disclosed yet.

By singing Joe Nathan to amp up the status of the Bullpen, the teams looks decisively better already.   

They should not stop there for relievers. 

I would still try to bring in a Grant Balfour or Jesse Crain as late inning assassins – before having any of the old crew of Joaquin Benoit or Jose Veras be the guys to depend on.  Do not resign them Dombrowski!

Look for an upcoming article I am writing about the Detroit Tigers, that will ask the question, who would you rather have long – term, Miguel Cabrera or Max Scherzer?

Of course a lot of this is dependent on how much Mike Ilitch wants to spend on his club.

Brian Wilson 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Doug Fister Traded To The Nationals For A Meager Return

Doug Fister was acquired in a trade for Casper Wells, Charlie Furbursh and Chance Ruffin back a few years ago. The Tigers have received a .615 Win Percentage over his course of time in Detroit, while Seattle has seen some haphazard Bullpen work in return. Fister remains potentially the best #4 Starter in baseball. Included in his totals, was a 8 - 1 record down the stretch run in 2011, with a 1.79 ERA after joining the Motown boys. Doug Fister was acquired in a trade for Casper Wells, Charlie Furbursh and Chance Ruffin. The Tigers have received a .615 Win Percentage over his course of time in Detroit, while Seattle has seen some haphazard Bullpen work in return. Fister remains potentially the best #4 Starter in baseball. Included in his totals, was a 8 - 1 record down the stretch run in 2011, with a 1.79 ERA after joining the Motown boys.

Doug Fister was acquired in a trade for Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush and Chance Ruffin back a few years ago. The Tigers have received a .615 Win Percentage (32 – 20, with a 3.20 ERA in 70 Game Starts) over his course of time in Detroit, Fister remains potentially the best #4 Starter in baseball. Included in his totals, was a 8 – 1 record down the stretch run in 2011, with a 1.79 ERA after joining the Motown boys.  Fister has 2 years left of Arbitration Eligibility before he becomes a Free Agent in 2016.  Look for his 2014 salary to be in the $7 – $8 MIL after his hearing.  When you consider the 2 Yr deal that A’s just gave to Scott Kazmir, then you can understand how valuable known starters actually are, there must have been a better deal to made by the Tigers.

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent)

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In what can only be compared to the Curtis Granderson trade of 2009, the Tigers traded away fan favorite Doug Fister for three virtually unknown players on Monday night.

Although his ERA and WHIP has been on the rise, Fister saw moderate success the past two and half seasons in Detroit.

Tiger fans saw him compile a 32 – 20 regular season record and an impressive 2.98 ERA in 8 postseason games.

When the trade was announced, the fans outcry could be heard all around the world on social media.

Doug Fister Highlights – Mature Lyrics So parental guidance is advised

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The Braves Will Be Paying The B.J. Upton Deal For Years – Not Just Money Either!

The Brothers Upton both were acquired in the offseason by the Atlanta Braves.  This was a risk for the organization, and while Justin played extremely well in condensed pockets, Upton is quickly establishing himself as one of the worst contracts ever signed in Major League Baseball.  a .184/.268/.557 - with 9 HRs and 26 RBI is simply abysmal.  The Braves brass should send him to the Winter Leagues, to correct his problems.

The Brothers Upton both were acquired last year’s offseason by the Atlanta Braves. This was a risk for the organization, and while Justin played extremely well in condensed pockets, B.J. Upton is quickly establishing himself as one of the worst contracts ever signed in Major League Baseball history, a .184/.268/.557 – with 9 HRs and 26 RBI is simply abysmal. The Braves brass should have sent him to the Winter Leagues, to correct his problems.  The younger brother is still on the hook for 4 more years – and $60 MIL.  Not only is the franchise jaded towards signing another Free Agent this winter to a similar deal, they have lost their 2 longest tenured players in Brian McCann and Tim Hudson.

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

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It is a not a shock the Braves are shying away from the Free Agency thus far in the winter.  After all, the franchise spent the most they ever had for B.J. Upton last offseason, only to have been served a train wreck in 2013.

Honestly, besides the 1st month, and a torrid stretch in August, Justin Upton wasn’t far off the power production of his older brother in the other 4 months of play.

If it weren’t for the Chris Johnson add in that deal (Braves savior), plus his subsequent Batting Average race for the NL lead, this would be an even graver subject.

The last line was not an indictment on the Braves and D’Backs trade, rather just that Johnson helped make up for the lack of production from B.J. Upton. 

We all know overall Justin Upton made the same numbers as were likely projected.  That trade is yet to be determined, but adding Johnson was a nice little move.

B.J. Upton – rare good game in 2013

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MLB Player Profile: How Valuable Has Ben Zobrist Been To The Rays?

Ben Zobrist has quietly tuned into one of the best all around players in the game.  He has finished in the top for WAR in 3 of the 4 years - including 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2009.  . Zobrist who continues this season with his musical chairs role on the team has not let his bat cool down ays fans need not worry this early. With only 10 games played in the young season now is not the time to start throwing in the towel and saying that GM Andrew Friedman and his staff have lost their touch.

Ben Zobrist has quietly tuned into one of the best all around players in the game of baseball. He has finished in the top for WAR in 3 of the last 5years – including 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2009.  Zobrist, 32,  who continued this season with his musical chairs defensive role on the team this year, has two years left on his current contract, and will be a Free Agent at the end of the 2015 season.  It was the summer of 2006, that the brass traded Aubrey Huff for the young player.  Zobrist has played 1500+ Innings in 4 different defensive positions for the franchise (SS/2B/RF/LF – and it helps Joe Maddon bring in favorable platoon matchups for several other lineup spots).  He has a career 3 Slash of .263/.354/.789 in 8 seasons for Tampa.

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

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Picture how bad the Tampa Bay Devil Rays were when the Houston Astros traded Ben Zobrist with Mitch Talbot to the Tampa Bay Rays for Aubrey Huff and cash on July.12/2006.

The team was in the 8th season out of 9 years of under .500 ball.  The guy he was traded for had great offensive acumen, and was the franchise leader in several career categories as he departed the door.

Zobrist had an auspicious beginning with the Rays, struggling during the 2006 – 2007 years.  His OPS numbers for those years were .572 and .391 respectively.

Joe Maddon was not as worried as others were about the 6th Round Drat Pick of the Houston Astros back in 2004,because the guy would be a Maddon type of player.

Ben Zobrist 2 Part Interview

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Texas GM’ Jon Daniels Needs To Step His Game Up! Rangers State Of The Union Fall 2013

The Rangers have cobbled together 370 wins over the last four years, however they are now 2 years withdrawn from being a solitary strike away from winning the World Series.  They have done a great job assessing their club over the last few campaigns, and with a great winter, the club's competition window should be reset for many years to come.  With Nolan Ryan leaving the franchise, the heat will be on Jon Daniels to administer such a daunting task.  The Rangers have great attendance, so more National TV dollars are also being kicked their way for 2014, it is time to go and lure the top Free Agents in the game of MLB towards The Ballpark in Arlington!

The Rangers have cobbled together 370 wins over the last four years, however they are now 2 years withdrawn from being a solitary strike away from winning the World Series. They have done a great job assessing their club over the last few campaigns, and with a great winter, the club’s competition window should be reset for many years to come. With Nolan Ryan leaving the franchise, the heat will be on Jon Daniels to administer such a daunting task. The Rangers have great attendance, and more National TV dollars are also being kicked their way for 2014, it is time to go and lure the top Free Agents in the game of MLB towards The Ballpark in Arlington!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Jon Daniels is more like the “Lone Ranger” now with the brass over in Arlington being astonishingly diminished by Texas native Nolan Ryan leaving.

He is effectively on the “hot seat” now.

His team is now 2 years removed from back to back World Series Appearances, followed up with an epic collapse down the stretch in 2012, and just falling short of the playoff bar in 2012.

The Rangers actually had a pretty decent season in 2013 at 91 – 72 (losing the play in game to Tampa Bay), when you consider they lost Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton‘s services – and really only replaced them with “Fat Elvis” AKA Lance Berkman, who like Presley, has eaten themselves out of their careers at times.

Nelson Cruz Highlights Before Suspension 2013

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MLB 50 Free Agent Predictions

It will all be following the money for many of the Free Agents this winter.  It all started when all 14 players that had Qualifying Offers politely declined them all over the weekend, and are all FA's with Draft Compensation due back to their 2013 club.

It will all be following the money for many of the Free Agents this winter. It all started when all 14 players that had Qualifying Offers politely declined them all over the weekend, and are all FA’s with Draft Compensation due back to their 2013 club.

Free Agent Predictions

By Jordan Gluck (Free Agency Correspondent)

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These are my personal predictions on where the top free agents will sign. This is the same kind of list of the top 50 free agents made by our friends at mlbtraderumors.com.

Please keep in mind there will be trades this offseason so holes will be filled that way as well (I believe the Cardinals will trade for a SS).

I am not going to estimate any dollar figures in this specific article but I do expect some overpayments this year.

Robinson Cano 2013 Highlights

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The Mets Should Be Careful Which Free Agents They Sign For 2014

Johan Santana is just another cautionary tale of why it is hard for teams to invest money long - term on Starting Pitching,  There are just far too many ways for hurlers to be injured in comparison to Roster Players.  The Mets will just have to bide time until 2014 when the team can finally take the former Cy Young winner of the teams payroll book.  Johan Santana signed a 6 YR/$137.5 MIL deal with the Mets

Johan Santana is just another cautionary tale of why it is hard for teams to invest money long – term on Starting Pitching, There are just far too many ways for hurlers to be injured in comparison to Roster Players. The Mets will just have to bide time until 2014 when the team can finally take the former Cy Young winner of the teams payroll book.  Santana signed a 6 YR/$137.5 MIL deal with the Mets after coming over from Minnesota.  While he was good in his 1st year (leading the NL with a 2.53 ERA), he just started 109 Games for his New York Career.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Lets face it, the Mets have had a poor track record of signing Free Agents lately.

Quickly to go over the list:  Jason Bay, Luis Castillo, (4 YRs/$24.75 MIL and they released him following a 2010 year – where he ballooned in weight – and hit just .235), their own Free Agent in Oliver Perez, (3 YRs/ $36 MIL for 3 wins and a ERA near 7 in that time), and  Johan Santana.

Lest we forget the horrible trades that ended the careers of Roberto Alomar (Made $13 MIL in a season and a half – before  New York jettisoned him to the White Sox for hitting .265 in 2002 – 2003 combined where he was a .300 Career Hitter).

Mo Vaughn. could barely move by the time he made it to New York city. The Mets paid him almost $48 MIL to have only 567 AB. 

Vaughn only played in 166 games for New York, and was out of league after 2003.  At least Kevin Appier (the traded player for him) was done playing by 2004 as well, but at $20 MIL less cost.

While I agree that the New York (NL) franchise should spend some money they have finally been hoarding up, the  brass have to be careful who they select to throw that dough on.

Jason Bay Hurt for the Mets in July 2010

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“Stoking The Fire” Week 4: Mariners State Of The Union: Spend Some $$$ This Winter Seattle!!

Life has not been so great for the fans of the PAC NW of late.  The Mariners have regressed in the last decade of baseball - and are withering with the lowest attendance teams in the game of baseball.  This followed the 1st 5 years of Safeco Field's existence, where they were drawing over 3 Million fans - and competing in the AL West every year.  It is imperative this team spends money on quality Free Agents this winter.  Loaded with a multitude of young arms, and position players.  this franchise should be seeking power bats in the OF and 1B/DH positions

Life has not been so great for the fans of the PAC NW of late. The Mariners have regressed in the last decade of baseball – and are withering with the lowest attendance teams in the game of baseball. This followed the 1st 5 years of Safeco Field’s existence, where they were drawing over 3 Million fans – and competing in the AL West every year. It is imperative this team spends money on quality Free Agents this winter. Loaded with a multitude of young arms, and position players. this franchise should be seeking power bats in the OF and 1B/DH positions.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Nothing is more a waste of time, than watching a premiere talent like Felix Hernandez, have to suffer in the haphazard city of Seattle, while the team has entered a new generation of futility.

This is a franchise that was abysmal from 1977 – until the time that Ken Griffey JR. came to the rescue.

A few years later, armed with some good drafting – and Randy Johnson from trading away Mark Langston, and the team was ready to compete.

Of course I can always quote “Seinfeld” – where Jay Buhner was also acquired for DH Slugger Ken Phelps.

But since Lou Pinella followed ALL – Stars out the door in 2004, Johnson, (1998) Griffey (1999) and Alex Rodriguez in (2000), the club has fallen on some hard times.

At first the team was stoic with the players leaving the nest, as Jamie Moyer and Ichiro Suzuki helped lead the charge for a record winning 116 Games in 2001.

Suzuki was the right infusion when the other guys left, and he stayed graciously with the team until mid 2012.

Raul Ibanez Highlights:

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Key Players Mixed With Comeback Players Are Keeping The Indians In The Race For A Playoff Spot

The Indians currently sit with a 71-63 record which puts them only 4.5 games out of a Wild Card spot and &.5 games out of the division. Many people didnt really expect Cleveland to do to much but key players like Giambi, Jiminez, and Kazmir are keeping them in the race

The Indians currently sit with a 71-63 record which puts them only 4.5 games out of a Wild Card spot and 7.5 games out of the division. Many people didn’t really expect Cleveland to do too much but with better than expected performances from  Giambi, Jimenez, and Kazmir – they are keeping up in the race for the playoffs.

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer)   

The Cleveland Indians currently sit in second place in the American League Central behind the Detroit Tigers and are in fourth place  in the Wild Card behind Oakland, Tampa Bay, and  Baltimore.

Right now, Key players like Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Kipnis and Just Masterson are leading the way, but is also surprise contributions from  Jason Giambi, and Scott Kazmir  that are also  keeping them in the race for the playoffs.

With time running out, these players need to continue to lead and more players need to start to step up if this team wants to make the playoffs.

Kazmir Dominates:

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