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How All Of The Orioles Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree

Adam Jones was brought over in a trade with Chris Tillman, George Sherrill from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Erik Bedard in the 2007 offeseson. Jones is a 3 time Gold Glove Winner, and has 2 straight season of 30+ HRs, and might well be in the top 5 AL MVP consideration this year by the time it is all said and done. This trade started the pendulum swinging back in the other direction - after a horrible 10 year stretch for the O's. Baltimore broke a 15 year playoff drought n 2012 with a Post Season Berth.  This 4 time ALL - Star  is on pace for career highs in HRs and RBI for 2014. Jones, now 28, signed a 7 YRs/$91.7 MIL deal prior to the 2012 season, which means he is with Baltimore until the end of 2018

Adam Jones was brought over in a trade with Chris Tillman, George Sherrill from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Erik Bedard in the 2007 offeseson. Jones is a 3 time Gold Glove Winner, and has 2 straight season of 30+ HRs, and might well be in the top 5 AL MVP consideration this year by the time it is all said and done. This trade started the pendulum swinging back in the other direction – after a horrible 10 year stretch for the O’s. Baltimore broke a 15 year playoff drought n 2012 with a Post Season Berth. This 4 time ALL – Star is on pace for career highs in HRs and RBI for 2014. Jones, now 28, signed a 7 YRs/$91.7 MIL deal prior to the 2012 season, which means he is with Baltimore until the end of 2018

How All Of The Orioles Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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The fortunes of the Orioles have all come based on the heels of 2 nice trades and a 3rd one also tilting the scales in their favor.

1 of the deals was the Erik Bedard for Adam Jones and Chris Tillman, the other great trade was acquiring Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter for Koji Uehara.

These deals gave the club a bonafide Starting Pitcher, a Gold Glove and 30 HRs a year hitting Adam Jones, a 50+ HR guy in 2013 with Chris Davis, and a flamethrowing arm out of the Bullpen with Hunter.

Bedard was lackluster in Seattle briefly, and Koji Uehara wasn’t good in Texas, like he was in Baltimore or now Boston.

You can also trace J.J. Hardy (yet another Gold Glover) back to the assets received from Aubrey Huff. Read the rest of this entry

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Baltimore Orioles Early Season Grades

Baltimore Orioles

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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As the first full month of the season reaches its final week, the Orioles need to get away from the .500 baseball they have been playing in order to make a push towards the 2014 postseason. 

Of course, the season is still very young, as there are about 140 games left to play.

The O’s got an early taste of the competitive AL East Division, as six of their first seven series were against division rivals, including two series verse the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. 

As we are about 1/8th through the season, I decided to grade the Orioles up to this point of the season, looking for ways for them to improve. Read the rest of this entry

With Iglesias Out With A Shin Injury, The Tigers Must Sign Drew – And For A Few Years!!

Stephen Drew has definitely been hindered by the Draft Pick compensation.  Now with Detroit losing their Starting Shortstop for potentially the entire 2014 year, the door has swung open for the 31 Year Old player from Georgia.  If I were Drew and his agent, I would push the envelope for a 2 year deal, or at least have a total near the $14.1 MIL barrier for a one year contract.  Drew is coming off a World Series year in 2013 with Boston, where he fashioned a .777 OPS and 50 Extra Base Hits in just 442 AB.

Stephen Drew has definitely been hindered by the Draft Pick compensation for his services this winter. Now with Detroit losing their Starting Shortstop for potentially the entire 2014 year, the door has swung open for the 31 Year Old player from Georgia. If I were Drew and his agent Scott Boras, I would push the envelope for a 2 year deal, or at least have a total near the $14.1 MIL barrier for a one year deal . Drew is coming off a World Series year in 2013 with Boston, where he fashioned a .777 OPS and 50 Extra Base Hits in just 442 AB.  It will see the Tigers payroll grow some, but is a necessary cost of doing business to preserve the best squad to compete in 2014.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With news coming down the pike that Jose Iglesias could miss the entire year due to a shin splints injury, or at least until the ALL – Star Break, going to sign Stephen for a contract now is a must for the Detroit franchise.

Iglesias was supposed to solidify the Infield in Motown this upcoming campaign with his exceptional defense.  However, lets be realistic in that his offense is a bit challenged.

Now with news of his injury wreaking havoc for most of 2014, the Tigers are left with a major void at the position.

Stephen Drew 2013 World Series HR

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As Washington Fans Return To Baseball, Remember That OBP Equals Time Of Possession

With a brutal season of football just put recently behind them, many fans in the DC will look to baseball to stoke their fire in sports.  The Nationals are still a favorite to win the NL East.  With NFL fans hating the complexities of the MLB game, this blog gives a simile of a concept adaptation.

With a brutal season of football just put recently behind them, many fans in the DC will look to baseball to stoke their fire in sports. The Nationals are still a favorite to win the NL East. With NFL fans hating the complexities of the MLB game, this blog gives a simile of a concept adaptation.  It boggles my mind why more analysts do not try and use parallel’s between the two sports to attract more football fans to the MLB brand.

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

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When baseball fans huddle together and complain about the masses one of the biggest complaints about Washington DC’s sports fan base is that there are too many football fans.

That they view baseball through the football colored glasses of a short season and reactionary moves.

A player has a bad week or two to start the season and it is time to get rid of them, or a pitcher has a bad inning and it is time for the manager to come get them.

The type of responses to baseball that a baseball fan wouldn’t have.

Anthony Rendon’s Sac Fly

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The Nationals Case Against Extending Jordan Zimmermann

The problem with any of the Nationals players not name Harper or Strasburg, is that any time the club is talking about extending one of their players before them, those guys have to be kept in mind for when they hit Free Agency.

The problem with any of the Nationals players not named Harper or Strasburg, is that any time the club is talking about extending one of their players before them, those guys have to be kept in mind for when they hit Free Agency..  The Nationals are creeping up the payroll scale each year that their core is together.  Whether it is Arbitration, or players like Jayson Werth and Gio Gonzalez being paid more as their own contracts mature.  2014 will see the club set another record for player salaries, adding to the fuel that it will be tough to extend Zimmermann.

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

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With how much love role players like Michael Morse and Steve Lombardozzi have garnered from Nats fans as they’ve left town it will be amazing to see what happens when the Washington Nationals lose a legitimate star player.

With Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann both two years away from free agency there is a high likelihood that that day is soon approaching.

The Nationals have made several overtures to Jordan Zimmermann but no deal has been reached or even come close. Zimmermann wants fair market value which is understandable but what is fair market value for a pitcher like him?

Zack Greinke with a career 3.65 ERA and one Cy Young under his belt set the record for free agent pitchers with the $147 million contract he signed last off-season heading into his age 29 season.

Jordan Zimmermann April 2013 Shutout – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised

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The Nate McLouth Signing Demonstrates A Lesson Learned For Washington About Bench Players

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013.  Heck, they didn't even qualify for the playoffs.  Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn't maximize their potential this year.  However, the club did go 24 - 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year.

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013. Heck, they didn’t even qualify for the playoffs. Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn’t maximize their potential this year. However, the club did go 24 – 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot. Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year.  But a most underrated facet of an NL club sometimes is their bench.  Washington hopes to have a better bunch of pine riders in 2014 – than they did in 2013.

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

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When the Nats built a bench on the cheap in 2012 it worked.

Steve Lombardozzi, Roger Bernadina, Chad Tracy, and Tyler Moore all had outstanding seasons, and the four of them combined cost less than half of what the Nationals will be paying Nate McLouth in 2014, but when they tried to do the same thing in 2013 it was a disaster.

The only back-up outfielder to have a higher than .700 OPS was Corey Brown and that was in 15 plate appearances. Hardly enough of a sample size to be trusted.

Nate McLouth gives the Nationals bench something it severely lacked in 2013, a reliable veteran. McLouth’s numbers aren’t great.

Nate McLouth Highlights in 2012 – Mature Lyrics So parental guidance is advised

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Notes On Free Agent Signings And Acquisitions Of The Last Week

Robinson Cano has seen his stock plummet down the river this winter.  While he still will likely sign a deal for more than $25 MIL per year, it may have to be somewhere other than the Bronx.  Meanwhile Jay - Z and his new baseball agent company is teetering with this client.

Robinson Cano has seen his stock plummet down the river this winter. While he still will likely sign a deal for more than $25 MIL per year, it may have to be somewhere other than the Bronx. Meanwhile Jay – Z and his new baseball agent company is teetering with this client.  The best move for that camp is to wait it out like Prince Fielder did 2 years ago.  It may take for an unexpected injury – or for a team to panic after the majority of the Free Agents have signed in order for him to maximize his dollars in 6 – 7 year deal.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 Winter Transactions Part 2

For part one of this transaction summary click here.

The White Sox sign 1B Paul Konerko (37) – 1 YR/$2.5 MIL (1.0 MIL deferred to 2021).

I like this deal for the White Sox.  He is the team leader and can pass on knowledge to the young guys.. Expect for them to try and trade Adam Dunn halfway through the year if Konerko is playing well.

The Rockies sign 1B Justin Morneau (32) – 2 YRs/$13 MIL.

Love this move.  The Rockies could potentially see this man hit 20+ HRs and knock about 30 – 40 Doubles per year.  He carries a decent average too.

Justin Morneau Minnesota Twins Highlights

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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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Hey Nationals Fans: Don’t Forget About Danny Espinosa As A Utility Infielder!

In 2011 Danny Espinosa finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting and was a 3.2 fWAR player. In 2012 he took a small step backwards offensively but was off the charts defensively and was a 3.4 fWAR player. As an offensive player his OPS was average to above for a second baseman and his defense was above average. He could also play short when needed and did so very well 2012 When Ian Desmond spent a month on the DL. Add it all up and for two seasons Danny Espinosa was a decent offensive middle infielder and played above average defense at two positions.

In 2011 Danny Espinosa finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting and was a 3.2 fWAR player. In 2012 he took a small step backwards offensively but was off the charts defensively and was a 3.4 fWAR player. As an offensive player his OPS was average to above for a second baseman and his defense was above average. He could also play short when needed and did so very well 2012 When Ian Desmond spent a month on the DL. Add it all up and for two seasons Danny Espinosa was a decent offensive middle infielder and played above average defense at two positions.

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

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The Nationals are currently in need of a utility infielder that can hit better and has more versatility than Steve Lombardozzi

In 2013, the Nationals considered Lombardozzi such a below average short stop and third baseman that they started Anthony Rendon and Chad Tracy at those positions when giving the starters days off.

Rendon looked good at second base and the advanced stats agreed, but he is not a short stop.

Danny Espinosa 2012 Highlights – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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September Callup Candidates For The Nationals: Washington With A Great 36 Game Sked To End 2013

The Nationals will need a massive collapse from either the Pirates, Reds or Cardinals in order to qualify for the Post Season in 2013.  Despite the struggles, the club still has to go about the business of preparing a 40 Man Roster in September.  Lets preview some of the news, injured players coming back, and recent performances of some of the guys in the Minor League System.

At 62 – 64 with 36 games left, The Nationals will need a massive collapse from either the Pirates, Reds or Cardinals in order to qualify for the Post Season in 2013 being 10.5 Games behind the playoff bar. Despite the struggles, the club still has to go about the business of preparing a 40 Man Roster in September. Lets preview some of the news, injured players coming back, and recent performances of some of the guys in the Minor League System.

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

September is just 10 days away. With 9 games in those 10 days, a lot of things can happen with the Nats. They can still go on a run and get back into the thick of things in the Wild Card race.

The reason for this is easy…. The Pirates, Cardinals and Reds are play each other a pile in the last 5 weeks of the year, so all the Nationals have to do is to take care of business, and they can be back in the conversation for the playoff game at least.

The Nats also have a ridiculously easy schedule coming from now until the end of the year in their final 36 games. 

Coming up.  1 more @CHC, 3 @KC (they are struggling now), then a 6 game homestand versus the Marlins and Mets.   They should go 7 – 3 here.

From there, they have a 10 game road trip with 3 @PHI, 3 @MIA and 4 @NYM.  The team could go 7 – 3.

Followed by the road trip is a 10 game homestand:  3 VS PHI, 3 VS ATL (they may have clinched by then – or at least resting guys), and to vs the Marlins ends the stretch.  The team could go 8 – 2.

The Nats end up playing their last 6 on the road versus the Cardinals and Diamondbacks in 3 game series each.  If they win both series, it could be a 4 – 2 road trip. 

You could see the club win 26 of their last 36 games – to have them equal 88 wins.  The Pirates would need to win 15 games out of 36 in this scenario.

While it would still make it unlikely to be in the Wild Card Game, it could put some pressure on the 3 NL Central franchises.

The Cardinals would have to win 16 out of 36 games to stay ahead, and the Reds would need 17 wins out their last 35 games to stay head.

They could also go on a losing streak and drop out of the race just as easily. For the most part, the Nats’ September call-up candidates will be the same, but their eventual roles may differ.

The only player on the 40-man roster that I don’t think has a chance of making it to the Majors in September is Matt Purke, who has always struggled with injuries and is just starting to hack it in high A ball.

Jeff Kobernus – 1st Career HR

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How All Of The Nats Players Were Acquired: (Trade, Signed, Drafted, Waiver Wire) + Analysis

How All Of The Washington Nationals Players Were Acquired:

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future.  Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now.  Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season - the future is definitely bright in DC

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future. Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now. Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season – the future is definitely bright in DC.  The club has strong pitching in the Major Leagues – with some help coming  for more years to come.  They have potential ALL – Stars in almost every position.  Lets see how all of the players were acquired.

Tuesday July.23/2013

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Washington Nationals – 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 or signed.

The Rise of the Nationals

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Anthony Rendon: The Nats New Second Baseman Is Proving A New MLB Thought Process About Fielding

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Friday, June.07/2013

There is some concern over Rendon's defensive stylings at second. He did make two errors in three games, but minor league errors can be deceiving. Error in general can be deceptive but minor league fields are not taken care of in the same way as major league fields and often times do not play true. It is also unknown how far he ranged to get to the balls that he made errors on or anything else about how they happened. What is known is that before he was recalled the Nats called AAA manager, Tony Beasley, and asked him if Rendon had the footwork to handle second base. The answer was yes.

There is some concern over Rendon’s defensive stylings at second. He did make two errors in three games, but minor league errors can be deceiving. Errors in general can be deceptive but minor league fields are not taken care of in the same way as major league fields and often times do not play true. It is also unknown how far he ranged to get to the balls that he made errors on or anything else about how they happened. What is known is that before he was recalled the Nats called AAA manager, Tony Beasley, and asked him if Rendon had the footwork to handle second base. The answer was yes.

By David Huzzard (of the Citizens Of Natstown Website, please visit here for an awesome Nats Website)

There is a scene in the movie Moneyball where manager Art Howe refuses to play Scott Hatteberg at first base because he has a first baseman in Carlos Pena and Hatteberg is not a first baseman.

Anthony  Rendon is not a second baseman and the Nats have a natural second baseman in Steve  Lombardozzi .

The chances that the Nats situation goes the way of the A’s situation is unlikely as Rizzo and Davey have often been in step when it comes to moves.

There have been some recent signs that maybe Davey isn’t too keen on the new guys.

Anthony Rendon Spring Training HR:

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Exploring The Nationals Depth: Organizational State Of The Union

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Sunday, May. 26/2013

Mike Morse was only signed through the 2013 season, while the brass felt that the Nationals had a playoff Roster of players.  From one injury after another, it is too bad the club didn't still have this guy to help the depth.  Morse has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .248/.311/.766 - with 10 HRs and 18 RBI

With Mike Morse  only being signed through the 2013 season, and the brass feeling that the Nationals had a playoff Roster of players without him, they dealt one of their best deep ball threats from the last couple of years. From one injury after another, it is too bad the club didn’t still have this guy to help the depth. Morse has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .248/.311/.766 – with 10 HRs and 18 RBI with Seattle this campaign.  The Nationals were not planning on resigning “Da Beast” past this season – and were able to replenish some pitching in the Minors by re – acquiring A.J. Cole.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt the 2013.

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

I’ve recently complained that the Nationals’ lack of organizational depth is a major reason for their mediocre start to the season. Key contributors C Wilson Ramos (twice), 3B Ryan Zimmerman, RF Jayson Werth and RHP Ryan Mattheus have all gone on the disabled list while LHP Ross Detwiler and LF Bryce Harper have narrowly avoided their own stints. None of that is even to mention 2B Danny Espinosa, who is playing with a torn rotator cuff. 

Kurt Suzuki has filled in admirably for the injured Ramos, but out of that bunch, that’s pretty much the only bright spot. Anthony Rendon and Chad Tracy struggled at 3B filling in for Zimmerman while Roger Bernadina and Tyler Moore have been downright awful in the corner OF spots. Super-sub Steve Lombardozzi has limped along to a -0.3 WAR, almost as bad as Espinosa’s -0.4. 

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Triple Play Podcast Ep #8 – Bucs And Nats Time In The Around The Horn Feature

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Monday, May  13th, 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.

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

Guests in this Podcast – MLB Reports Nationals Correspondent David Huzzard of Citizensofnatstown.com ( and MLB Reports Pirates Correspondent Brad Cuprik

On a Mother’s day edition of the triple play podcast we heed the advice of our mother’s and turn the lemon of our original guest being unable to join us into the lemonade of Bard Cuprik of mlbreports.com  (Check out his latest Roster Tree piece – where he goes through the 6 degrees of separation of a how each pitcher arrived in a Bucs uniform here ) – and David Huzzard of the Citizens of Natstown podcast (and Writer) dissects the pitching and the Nationals start to the 2013 Season. Read the rest of this entry

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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Granderson Is Out For 10 Weeks: What Can Cashman Do?

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Monday, February.25, 2013

Granderson has back to back 40 HR years with the Yankees. New York can ill afford to be without a productive LF for the 1st quarter of the year.  I believe they should make a trade to bolster their team.  When Granderson comes back, you could always have an extra player for depth still.

Granderson has had back to back 40 HR years with the Yankees in 2011 and 2012. New York can ill afford to be without a productive LF for the 1st quarter of this season. I believe they should make a trade to bolster their team. When Granderson comes back, you would always have an extra player for depth still.

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

The start of the season is starting to look extremely bleak for the Yankees so far.  Derek Jeter is coming off of a broken ankle, A-Rod is out indefinitely with (insert whatever ailment here) until after the ALL-Star Game, Mariano Rivera is 43 – and trying to make it through one more season after tearing up his ACL last year, Phil Hughes is having back spasms, Joba Chamberlain seems healthy – (but you never what freak injury is going to happen to him next,) Michael Pineda is still recovering from shoulder Surgery, so what else was going to happen?  Add Curtis Granderson and a fractured right forearm to the walking wounded list.

This injury should alarm the Yankees and their fans.  The team is not strong depth-wise, as they have been in decades, so “The ‘Grandy Man’ not being able to play until early May should cause New York GM Brian Cashman to explore all of his options.  Like I have said in previous articles – ‘Financial Armageddon’ is coming for the club in 2014, plus the team is rapidly becoming older by the year.  It is safe to say that this year might be the last kick at a championship for some time.  What may the Yankees do to replace Granderson for the 1st quarter of the season?

Juan Rivera hits a Walk-Off for the Dodgers:

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MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: September 2012

Monday, September.3/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement.  I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience.  Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots.  The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!  

This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots.  So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division  The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating.  Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera?  He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game.  The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs?  They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty.  Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would  be in the playoffs.

Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately  miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season?  I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year.  1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%.  So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet.  Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006? 

The Best Players over the last month were:  Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez.  The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas.  The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.)  I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record.  At least you are not going into the NL West  to compete with the LA Dodgers!  The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well.  Toronto misses their top sluggers.  What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse.  Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt.  When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards!  So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry

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