Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 10, 2016

1000px-chicago_white_sox-svgAttention White Sox fans!

The next few years will not feature a lot of wins for your team and LOTS for the Cubs. But if you stay loyal to your team, the amazing rebuilding process by the GM will reward you soon.

Good things happen to those who wait on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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How Did Rick Porcello Go From Afterthought to Ace?

porcello-lede2_origRick Porcello went from league-average starter to Cy Young winner in one year. Unfortunately, it was a year too late to save Red Sox GM Ben Cherington’s job.
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Aroldis Chapman Signing Is The First Step In Yankees Reload

Aroldis Chapman is on pace to be one of the best ALL - Time Closers in the game. Toting a Career ERA of 2.08 - and a incredible 15.2/Per 9 IP SO rate, this man is about as hard to hit as they come. At entering the 2017 season at just Age 28, I would have no qualms about inking this man to a 6 year deal - worth anywhere from $90 - $100 MIL

Aroldis Chapman is on pace to be one of the best ALL – Time Closers in the game. Toting a Career ERA of 2.08 – and a incredible 15.2/Per 9 IP SO rate, this man is about as hard to hit as they come. At entering the 2017 season at just Age 28, a 5 year deal worth $86 MIL is not as risky as it sounds.  This organization is used to having elite Closers like him during their 23 year over .500 streak, so this is par for the course.

Brian Cashman is handling the offseason like he should.  If the brass can somehow pull off a few more trades, than I would really like the projections for future years.

Aroldis Chapman inked a 5 year deal worth $86 MIL (or exactly 5 times the what the Qualifying Offer was this year.)  New York didn’t have to pay the Cubs any compensation for the signing since he was traded to Chicago by these very Yankees at the Trade Deadline.

The whole concept of trading players though the year, only to re-ink them after those said seasons, is a practice that MLB clubs have not done in the past. 

This is a common maneuver for NHL teams over the last 15 – 20 years, and we may it see it happen a whole lot more in future campaigns.

Not only do the Yankees get their man, but they also are armed with all of the prospects they acquired from the July trade.  (Rashad Crawford (minors), Billy McKinney (minors), Gleyber Torres (minors) and Adam Warren. )

Out of those 4 players. Torres may be the best down the road.  He may also even free up the ability to deal a Starlin Castro or Didi Gregorius in the next few years. 

Warren is probably headed back to the Bullpen permanently again in 2017, however he can still grant you a spot start for the rotation. Read the rest of this entry

Breaking Down The Chicago White Sox Winter Meetings

Thee Chicago White Sox sent a very clear message on Tuesday when they traded longtime ace pitcher Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox. After failing to end the fourth longest current postseason drought despite lofty expectations, it was time to rebuild, and nobody was safe. Sale, the team’s dominant pitching ace had worn management’s patience thin this season, first by taking potshots at team president Kenny Williams in light of the Adam LaRoche fiasco, then by taking a knife to some admittedly ugly throwback uniforms that were scheduled to be worn on one of his starts. By dangling Sale this offseason, the White Sox were given carte blanche, able to make as high of a demand as they wanted for their talented, yet still an affordable superstar.

In return for the mercurial All-Star, the Sox received a package of baseball’s top prospect in Yoan Moncada,  an electric arm in Michael Kopech, center field prospect Luis Alexander Basabe, and pitching prospect Victor Diaz.

 

White Sox Trade Breakdown

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 9, 2016

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Rob Carr/Getty Images North America, Tim Bradbury/Getty Images North America and Elsa/Getty Images North America

It looks like Koji Uehara is heading to the Cubs. They will have three pitchers who have clinched a World Series title out of the pen.

Why not try to get more?

It is time to celebrate and clinch in this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Enjoy this video podcast.

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The San Francisco Giants Should Sign Matt Wieters, Play Posey At 1B + Belt In LF

Matt Wieters accepted the 1 Year Qualifying Offer with the Baltimore Orioles last year - and he payed his first full campaign since 2013. At Age 30, he is still a decent Catcher both offensively and defensively. I first came up with this idea a few years ago, but Posey was still putting world class numbers out of the backstopper position, and they and several Outfielders. Now.there is an opening beyond the grass, so Brandon Belt could move there - freeing up Posey to play First Base.

Matt Wieters accepted the 1 Year Qualifying Offer with the Baltimore Orioles last year – and he played his first full campaign since 2013. At Age 30, he is still a decent Catcher both offensively and defensively. I first came up with this idea a few years ago, but Posey was still putting world class numbers out of the backstopper position, and they had several Outfielders on the depth chart. Now.there is an opening beyond the grass, so Brandon Belt could move there – freeing up Posey to play First Base – and the team to sign Wieters.

The Giants are one of the best franchises at fostering their home grown talent.  It has culminated in 3 World Series from 2010 – 2014, and the franchise has several of its core players locked up for the next 3 – 5 years.

With the recent news of the Luxury Tax Threshold penalizing the Dodgers something fierce for obliterating their payroll, the NL West has come back to the Giants to win – considering the LA squad has taken down 4 straight Division Titles.

San Francisco started the process of healing their Bullpen this winter. by forking out some big dollars to secure Closer Mark Melancon ( 4YRs/$62 MIL).  There is still a long way to go in shoring up the Relief Core, but they should have the funds to do it.

Which brings me to my next point.  Beyond the suspicion that Eduardo Nunez may not be a great long=term fit in the Bay Area, the Roster is pretty secure in the rest of the lineup – except for say the LF position.

There are not a lot of prime Free Agents on the open market that can play the OF.  Michael Saunders will cost too much money…Angel Pagan..well the Giants should just say no…Colby Rasmus…yikes…Brandon Moss….um….should be a 1B/DH type in the American League.

As for the depth chart currently for Bruce Bochy‘s squad…..Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker and Gorkys Hernandez…Not sure that cuts the mustard on a playoff caliber squad.

My thought is – why not sign Matt Wieters to a 3 – 4 year contract worth about $33 – $44 MIL ($11 MIL AAV) – to be the prime Catcher for the Giants – then move Posey to First Base and Brandon Belt to LF? To me it makes sense. Read the rest of this entry

Signing Wllson Ramos WAS A Great Necessary Gamble For The Tampa Bay Rays

Wilson Ramos was in heavy NL MVP consideration in the 2st half off 2016 - .330.382/.546 - with 14 HRs and 48 RBI for his 1st 68 Games Played before he slowed down a bit in the 2nd half before tearing his ACL (for the 2nd time of his Carrer) in the last weekend of the regualr season

Wilson Ramos was in heavy NL MVP consideration in the 1stt half off 2016 – .330./382/.546 – with 14 HRs and 48 RBI for his 1st 68 Games Played before he slowed down a bit in the 2nd half before tearing his ACL (for the 2nd time of his Career) in the last weekend of the regular season.  Ramos can deliver as a #4 or #5 Hitter on the Rays if he is fully healthy.  The big Venezuelan should see some time as Designated Hitter and Catcher in 2017 – before taking over the primary duties as Catcher in 2017.  For a 2 YR/$12.5 MIL minimum commitment, this is a steal for Tampa if Ramos can bounce bacl.

You have to feel horrible for the Wilson Ramos tearing his ACL late in the season for the Nationals.  He was one of the most valuable players in the National League for the 1st half of the year.

Ramos would have been the #1 Catcher on the open market had he remained healthy, and could have seen a deal that rivaled the Russell Martin contract from a few seasons ago (5 YRs/$82 MIL).  Instead he lost 75% of his value as an injured player.

The 2 year pact comes with a base of $12.5 MIL – and has been said to include several incentive bonuses.  This is exactly the kind of risk the Rays need to make in order to compete.

Matt Silverman and the brass are gambling that Ramos could come back in early spring, and then split time as both a DH and Catcher throughout the 2017 season, until he could take the primary backstopper position for the 2018 year.

Tampa Bay struggled in 2016 – failing to register their 1st 80 win season since 2007. but a lot of that was due to Starting Pitcher injuries – or guys underperforming.  Among the position that were bad was the Catching Position. Read the rest of this entry

The 19 Most Powerful MLB Hitters Who Didn’t Hit 30 Homers in 2016

One of the biggest displays of power on a baseball field includes a hitter stepping into the batter’s box and mashing a pitch over the outfield wall. A lot of fans enjoy watching home runs more than anything, and posting a gaudy number in that department can help a player land a huge pay day.

But in today’s game, we all know there are more ways to value a player’s power than by simply seeing how many homers they’ve hit in a given season or career. We displayed that in a recent article when talking about New York Yankees rookie sensation, Gary Sanchez.

FanGraphs’ Isolated Power (ISO) metric is one of my favorite advanced stats because it shows a player’s raw power. Those who posted 30-plus homers dominate the 2016 ISO leaderboard, but the presence of a few players got me thinking…

Which hitters had the highest ISO without reaching the 30-homer plateau? FanGraphs says an “excellent” ISO is .250, while a “great” one is .200 or above.

So, I sifted through the leaderboard for all the qualified hitters with at least a .200 ISO to see which ones were the most powerful from this past season.

Here is that list. The bolded and italicized numbers indicate they led this group in that particular category. Below the table, I provide one takeaway for each player.

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Giants Trade Chris Heston to the Mariners

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After the San Francisco Giants signed one of the elite premier closers in the game Mark Melancon, they had to figure out who would be the odd man out on the 40-man roster. The Giants decided that they would be willing to part ways with pitcher Chris Heston. Let’s not forget that Heston tossed a no-hitter for the Giants a little over a year ago. Which is probably why they were able to trade him last night to the Seattle Mariners for a “Player to be Named Later”.

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Cubs Acquire Closer Wade Davis: It’s A Smarter Maneuver Than You Think

Wade Davis has been one of the filthiest late inning Relievers in the game over last three years, and only comes with a salary for one year at $10 MIL.

Wade Davis has been one of the filthiest late inning Relievers in the game over last three years, and only comes with a salary for one year at $10 MIL.  Chicago is really smart for doing this as Aroldis Chapman cost the Yankees $86 MIL for 5 years yesterday, and Kenley Jansen is not far behind.  he Cubs may also give Davis a Qualifying Offer after next season is over.  Who knows, maybe he would accept a one year deal at $18 MIL to stay on this World Series Contender.  The most important factor in landing Davis is his playoff pedigree.  He has proved he is an elite Closer on the grandest of stages – something that Chicago plans to be involved in again to defend their championship.

With the news that the Cubs brought in Wade Davis in exchange for Jorge Soler, the Cubs have effectively brought in a 9th Inning Man – who won the World Series for the Royals in 2015 as their stopper.

Davis will earn $10 MIL in 2017, and can may be extended the Qualifying Offer for 2018 in the process.  With another spike potentially in the top 125 salaries (this years total was $17.2 MIL) maybe Davis would take the one year deal for 2018 after this next season.

As one of the game’s premiere Late Inning arms since the 2014 season, Davis is also a perfect replacement for the departing Aroldis Chapman.

With a team that has a World Series under its belt, they just added a Pitcher with a 4 – 0 record, with a 0.84 ERA and 0.959 WHIP in 32 Innings worth of work – spanning the 2014 and 2015 World Series trip for Kansas City. He has performed at the optimal level – under the most pressure. Read the rest of this entry

The Nats Pay A Steep Price For Eaton: The New CF Has A Team Friendly 5 Year Deal Which Is The Key To Salvage The Trade

For a second straight week we love the Nationals with the best odd value of the week. They have some financial flexibility to bring in a few more ALL - Star Caliber players and also possess the prospects in order to get it done. If you believe (like I do)

Mike Rizzo is getting scorched for the fact he gave up the #3 and #38 top MLB Pipeline Prospects.  Throw in their #6 prospect – and you can see how people have said the Nats GM orchestrated a bad deal.  I am not one of those people.  This was a move that is more financial based than even the young players.  If Washington is still able to get a top line Closer, and add several more pieces, while dancing around the Luxury Tax Threshold of $195 MIL – I am down with this trade if they re-spend the cash on another Starter that is MLB ready this season.

For the majority of the last week we heard the Nationals were trying to land Andrew McCutchen in a trade, but they shocked the world on Wednesday by acquiring CF Adam Eaton from the White Sox in exchange for three RHP (Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning). 

These three guys represent the club’s #1, #3 and #6 prospects.  Giolito was ranked #3 overall and Lopez #38 by MLBPipeline.com

This seems like a lot for just one player – but you have to look at several factors here.

Mike Rizzo landed a player that just turned 28 a few years ago.. He is the leadoff guy the team has needed ever since the departure of Denard Span.  This is so critical when you consider the Nats will likely only have Bryce Harper for the next 2 years. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 8, 2016

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Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America

The Cubs brought in Wade Davis, who will be the closer for the defending World Champions for the second straight year.

If he clinches a post season series in Chicago, he will join a select fraternity in terms pitchers for 2 different franchises.

Slam the door on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Ian Desmond Signing Could Start Colorado Rockies Domino Effect

Ian Desmond is headed to the Colorado Rockies for 5 years and $70 million and according to various reports, he’s expected to start at first base. This in itself is puzzling; first base will be Desmond’s third position in three years following stints at shortstop and center field for the Nationals and Rangers respectively. Following an offensive collapse in 2015 that saw the then 29-year old slash .233/.290/.384, Desmond bounced back last season to hit .285/.335/.446. He went from a below average wRC+ of 83 to an above average figure of 106. He then used his 2016 numbers to gamble on himself, rejecting the Rangers’ qualifying offer and forcing the Rockies to cough up the 11th overall pick in the 2017 draft to sign him.

Committing $70 million and a draft pick to a player that will be learning a new position for the second time in two years is odd, but not unprecedented (see Hanley Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox). About a month ago, FanGraphs posted an article arguing that the Rockies could be on the verge of contention.

To read about the ramifications of the Ian Desmond Signing on the Rockies plans, please click on over to offthebenchbaseball.com

Dear Santa: An Open Letter To Saint Nick From All 30 MLB Teams Fanbases

It is time for our yearly letter to head to the north pole.  Perhaps the 'fat old jolly' guy will respond promptly at the 2016 Winter Meetings. NY Yankees:  They need to speed the clock up like Back To The Future 2.  The Pinstripers are resetting for the 2019 season and beyond Bryce Harper era.  Based on how good the Red Sox Winter meetings have gone this far, you have to know there will also be a lot of Yankees 27 World Series Rings to Boston's 8 on a T-Shirt scoreboard.


NY Yankees: They need to speed the clock up like Back To The Future 2. The Pinstripers are resetting for the 2019 season and beyond Bryce Harper era.
Based on how good the Red Sox Winter meetings have gone this far, you have to know there will also be a lot of Yankees 27 World Series Rings to Boston’s 8 on a T-Shirt scoreboard.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

It is time for our yearly letter to head to the north pole. Perhaps the ‘fat old jolly’ guy will respond promptly at the 2016 Winter Meetings.

The Bronx Bombers will also ask for their former Captain to please make more appearances in the public eye so they can milk the retiring of Derek Jeter‘s #2 on May 14, 2017 for about the next 6 months in a viable smokescreen to their 2017 performance.

Boston:  Can we ask that Richard Simmonds become Pablo Sandoval‘s personal trainer all offseason?.  For a guy who had more broken belts than hits in 2017, Sandoval can re-write his Boston legacy by proving what he can do when they are in the 2017 playoffs.

There also needs to be a discounted rack at Fenway Park for all of the S-Medium shirts that may have been there for the recently departed Yoan Moncada.

The Red Sox are always the clubhouse leaders in big tall lanky pitchers who herk and jerk when throwing, so can we ask the home broadcasting network for extra wide lenses.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 7, 2016

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Jon Durr/Getty Images North America

Chris Sale was dealt to the Red Sox from the White Sox… and oddly it could make a lot of sense for both teams.

The Red Sox are trying to win now and got him without bteaking up their young outfield.

The White Sox need quality AND quantity in their farm and Sale’s value is at its peak.

Socks are changed and bad puns are made on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Mastering the Curve

Boston Throws Down A Hell Of A Haymaker To The Rest Of The American League With Acquiring Chris Sale

Chris Sale has been as about as dominant as a pitcher as there as been in the American Leaue since he entered intothe rotation

Chris Sale has been as about as dominant as a pitcher as there has been in the American League since he entered into the rotation.  He is 74 – 50 with a clean 3.00 ERA over his career thus far – wtth 5 straight top 6 Cy Young Finishes and ALL – Star Appearances.  Sale set career highs in Wins (17) CG (6) and IP (226.2) during the last campaign.  He is only set to earn $38 MIL over the next 3 seasons total, so the cap hit is even better news for the Red Sox, who are already nearing the Luxury Tax Threshold Limit, and are subject to a 50% penalty as 3rd time abusers in 2017.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

The Red Sox have landed an ace in the winter for the 2nd straight winter.  Boston has acquired Chris Sale from the White Sox in exchange for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech – with two other prospects Alexander Basabe  and Victor Diaz also heading to the Pale Hose.

This is the type of trade that brings a championship.  For a MLB club that was right up against the Luxury Tax Threshold already of $195 MIL for 2017, having Sale only making $38 MIL over the next three years is the biggest plus to this pact going down.

Boston loses a young player like Moncada for sure. and he may be World Class in the future, but you have to give something up to get something.  The Beantowners will still also be alright for their future with the likes of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley JR. just kickstarting their young careers, while they also held onto other great prospects like Andrew Benintendi and Blake Swihart.

They still have plenty of colorful veterans (with plenty of postseason experience) in talking of Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez – and yes even Pablo Sandoval. Read the rest of this entry

The Dodgers Will Regret The Rich Hill Deal: Yet Another Injury Prone Chucker In The Rotation

The Dodgers have spent over $300 MIL in back to back years, and are the clubhouse leaders in Luxury Tax penalties paid. At a 50% penalty, the Los Angeles forked out $40 MIL in Luxury Taxes in 2016. With an estimated $193 MIL payroll - considering there are several roster holes now created by departing players, the team will need to spend around $235 MIL in 2017 total payroll. With a 50% penalty - and an additional 40$ hit for going $40 MIL over the new $195 MIL limit in 2017, I highly expect the organization will be less willing to spend 90 cents extra for every dollar spent beyond that.

The Dodgers have spent over $300 MIL in back to back years, and are the clubhouse leaders in Luxury Tax penalties paid. At a 50% penalty, the Los Angeles forked out $40 MIL in Luxury Taxes in 2016. With an estimated $204 MIL payroll – considering there are several roster holes now created by departing players, the team will need to spend around $235 MIL in 2017 total payroll. With a 50% penalty – and an additional 45%  hit for going $40 MIL over the new $195 MIL limit in 2017, I highly expect the organization will be less willing to spend 95 cents extra for every dollar spent beyond that.  Because of the Rich Hill signing, it will make it tough to get back Justin Turner and land a Closer – without paying the maximum surcharges for payroll.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

I don’t hide the fact that I have been a Dodgers fan for some time.  I have continuously ripped the past and present management for signing players that are injury prone.  For the last 4 years the Injury/Dead money the club has doled out has rivaled what some of the lowest payroll clubs on an annual basis.

So what do the brass do?  They ink a guy, who is 37, and could barely toe the mound for a handful of starts due to a blister, to a 3 Year Deal worth $16 MIL per year.  Didn’t they learn their lesson with the Scott Kazmir contract?  How about Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brett Anderson or Bronson Arroyo?

This is not even taking into a factor all of the positional players and Relief Guys they have taken a powder on (hit the ground and dust flies up because of being knocked out).  The Franchise ate $41 MIL in 2013, $37 MIL in salary for 2014, $86 MIL in 2015, and $71 MIL in 2016.

For those scoring at home, that is a whopping $233 MIL in lost cash since the beginning of 2013, which was the Guggenheim Consortium’s first full year at the helm.

When you factor in some more penalties for exceeding the Luxury Tax Threshold, the organization is well over the $250 MIL mark in 4 seasons.  Now 2017 doesn’t look to be much different – with $47 MIL in dead money already on the board.

Carl Crawford ($21.9 MIL), Alex Guerrero ($7.5 MIL), Hector Olivera ($4.7 MIL), Matt Kemp ($3.7 MIL) and Jose Tabata (250K) are not even on the active roster anymore, yet they will see some serious coin paid out by the Dodger Blue.

The Dodgers are also paying guys $10 MIL to play in the Minor Leagues. Read the rest of this entry

Signing Ian Desmond Is Just as Risky This Year as it Was Last Year

Chances are Ian Desmond regrets a decision or two on the business side of his MLB career. He could be in the midst of a seven-year, $107 million extension with the Washington Nationals, but instead bet on himself and paid for it dearly.

Desmond hit the open market last winter for the first time following a lackluster 2015 campaign, and finding a new home wasn’t easy. Having draft-pick compensation attached to him didn’t help, either.

It got to a point where Desmond, an All-Star shortstop in 2012, settled on a one-year, $8 million at the end of February with the Texas Rangers to play the outfield. You don’t see many shortstops having to do that in advance of their age-30 season to facilitate finding a job.

Unlike the first time, Desmond’s second bet on himself to rebuild value and re-enter free agency the next winter appears to have worked. He turned into the Rangers’ everyday center fielder, hitting .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 21 stolen bases, 86 RBI and 107 runs scored in another All-Star campaign.

A Different Story This Time Around?

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Behind the Scenes at the Winter Meetings…. AKA Baseball Heaven

First things first, the MLB Winter Meetings are nirvana for baseball nerds like myself…..

Oh, hey legendary sportswriter Peter Gammons, how are you? What’s that Boston Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski? Sorry I couldn’t hear you because I was too busy saying hi to your manager John Farrell. Hey LA Times Dodgers’ beat writer Andy McCullough, have you seen NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra? I need to follow up on our conversation earlier and I got sidetracked by the New York Posts’ Joel Sherman. Oh, by the way, cool new glasses Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle.

You couldn’t turn around without being starstruck by people who would only be stars to readers of this blog. It was fantastic.

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It wasn’t just shaking hands and pleasantries, though. I was able to have some really good conversations. For instance, while waiting for the guys on the MLB TV set to announce baseball’s two newest hall of famers, John Schuerholz and Bud Selig (whom I have some thoughts on), I had a really interesting semi-debate with MLB.com’s Mark Bowman about the independence and objectivity of an MLB-owned news organization and the conflicts faced by writers of even nominally independent outlets like ESPN.

To continue reading about Max Frankel’s trip to the Winter Meetings, please click on over to our mostly baseball blog, Off The Bench.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 6, 2016

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Elsa/Getty Images North America

The Indians could be making a run for Edwin Encarnacion. Do you know why? Because every other team in their division is rebuilding.

That and the Giants are signing a closer long term which is never smart on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Giants On The Verge Of Signing Closer Mark Melancon

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With the Winter Meetings underway… This is the time where you’ll start to see a lot of names fall off the free agent board. Right now the San Francisco Giants are on the verge of taking off one of the three top closers on the board.

It’s been reported that the Giants have agreed to terms with closer Mark Melancon.

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Texas Rangers State Of The Union For 2017: Jon Daniels Must Counter To Houston/Seattle’s Early Moves

The Texas Rangers won an American League best 95 games last season - to win their 2nd AL west Division. and to make the playoffs for the 5th time since 2010. The winter has not gotten off to a good start, as they have watched the Astros and Mariners all add depth to their teams - while Texas has lost players from their year end roster. The team has to get involved right now to change the course of this offseason. The time to win is now with Yu Darvish and Jonathon Lucroy in walk contract years - while their ALL - Star Veterans like Cole Hamels and Adrian Beltre become another year older.

The Texas Rangers won an American League best 95 games last season – to win their 2nd AL west Division. and to make the playoffs for the 5th time since 2010. The winter has not gotten off to a good start, as they have watched the Astros and Mariners all add depth to their teams – while Texas has lost players from their own year end roster. The team has to get involved right now to change the course of this offseason. The time to win is now with Yu Darvish and Jonathon Lucroy in walk contract years – while their ALL – Star Veterans like Cole Hamels and Adrian Beltre become another year older.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

The Rangers have been one of the better teams in the MLB since the 2010 season.  Back to Back AL Pennants, and now back to back AL West Division wins have seen them reach the playoff 5 times out of the last 7 campaigns.

For those who like pitching – the franchise has 2 number one aces for at least one more year in Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels.

Simply put, the development of all of their Draft Picks, domestically or international, coupled with the management’s keen eye for talent, have the club still in the conversation for another few years.

Here is the thing though….The Astros and Mariners have been the two busiest clubs in acquiring talent thus far in the winter.  Both of these teams have closed or narrowed the gap on Texas already,

Houston has signed Free Agents Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran – with also dealing for Brian McCann.  This will not affect their 2017 squad as both didn’t require anybody from the Major League Roster to get it done.

Seattle has not made as big of a splash like Houston, but has shored up some depth, and have nicely added Jean Segura (who was an ALL – Star and top 15 NL MVP in 2016 – without losing anything of note.)

Texas has signed Andrew Cashner and lost Beltran for sure…yikes.. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2017 World Series: Nats/Giants/Astros Great Value – Bounce On KC/NYY

For a second straight week we love the Nationals with the best odd value of the week. They have some financial flexibility to bring in a few more ALL - Star Caliber players and also possess the prospects in order to get it done. If you believe (like I do)

For a second straight week we love the Nationals with the best odd value of the week. They have some financial flexibility to bring in a few more ALL – Star Caliber players and also possess the prospects in order to get it done. If you believe (like I do) that the Nats are serious about trading for guys like Andrew McCutchen and Chris Sale, than it is imperative you get this club at their odd this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

The Nationals are really making noise about trying to land Andrew McCutchen and Chris Sale.  Even if they don’t fulfill the need, I still think they will add more depth via trade for another good Starting Pitcher and also add an impressive CF, and reliever.

We shall wait and see whether or not that could be the likes of Dexter Fowler or a reunion with Ian Desmond to play CF, Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen to be added to for late inning work.  At +1200 the Nats are full value for the best odd of the week.

The NL East may be easier to win than the NL West and NL Central if you think the way that most good handicappers are right now.  The Mets are dreaming if they think they can contend with 3 Infield Starters with bad backs, and a declining metrics Shortstop, added to not a true CF, and a horrible Catcher offensive situation.

I am trying not to bag on the Mets too much here, as I think they could still rally to win 85 – 90 wins again next year based on the strength of the rest of the Division, it is just the health concerns that would frighten me to pieces. Read the rest of this entry

The Unluckiest Pitching Staff Ever Assembled

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“Big Ed” Walsh, HOF right-hander for the Chicago White Sox, was an ornery sort. He wasn’t the type of guy who went in for small talk. If he had a problem with you, you knew it – and you didn’t want a problem with Big Ed. He intimidated opponents and teammates alike (he once threatened to kill his third baseman for misplaying a bunt – and his third baseman didn’t think Walsh was speaking figuratively).

He was also tougher than glove leather. Joe McGinnity, a stalwart contemporary, might have been known as the “Iron Man” – but Walsh was at least his equal in terms of endurance. In 1908, Walsh started a third of Chicago’s games, winning 40 and pitching 464 innings.

Big Ed was even better in 1910, leading the league in ERA (1.27), adjusted ERA (189), WHIP (0.820), SO/W (4.23), and saves (only five, but still). He fashioned seven shutouts, racked up 369.2 innings and generated 10.9 pWAR. For his efforts, he was rewarded with an 18-20 record, leading the league in losses (and, one assumes, withering glares at one’s teammates).

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 5, 2016

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Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America

Well… Bud Selig is in the Hall of Fame. And with his election, my reverence for the honor Hall of Famers get has been a little diminished.

Let’s not do TOO much revisionist history on episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Ernie Fazio’s Meteoric Rise to a Major League Baseball Career

In baseball, young players are rushed to the majors all the time for a variety of reasons. This can be especially true for expansion teams, who are attempting to stock their rosters with any semblance of big league talent. Sometimes it ends up working out for the player and other times, like in the case of infielder Ernie Fazio, things just don’t up clicking and leading to a lengthy career.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 4, 2016

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Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America

It is Sunday and time for the Sunday Request.

No way. No f—ing way. Yeah, I know good things happened on his watch. But he also was involved with one of the most shameful episode in the history of baseball.

I am not talking about steroids or the strike.

One word: Collusion.

I am thinking about the good of the game on episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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6 MLB Teams That Will Be Hurt Most By The New CBA

Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharin and tougher  Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharing for Oakland and not being able to recoup 1st RD Draft picks by losing star players will hurt them even greater.  The AL West also has 4 big market clubs residing it now, with Houston being a lot better than they were in 2013 and 2014, the best time the A's have seen of recent vintage.  it will be a tough grind for Oakland to compete until a new stadium is built.

Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharing and not being able to recoup 1st RD Draft picks by losing star players will hurt them even greater. The AL West also has 4 big market clubs residing it now, with Houston being a lot better than they were in 2013 and 2014 when they first joined the Division from the National League, This time frame was the best the A’s have seen of recent vintage. it will be a tough grind for Oakland to compete until a new stadium is built.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Yesterday we talked about 6 teams that stand to gain an advantage under the new CBA,  Today we explore the 6 teams that were hurt most.

While the news of taxing the higher revenue generating teams will work to bridge the top teams to the mid – market revenue clubs. the abolishing of a 1st RD Draft Pick compensation pick being lost to franchises for having signed one of their Qualifying Offer rejected players will hurt many franchises.

Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Oakland. Colorado, San Diego and Milwaukee all had days in my opinion.  The Rays, Twins, Reds and Marlins are not too far from list either, however all of those organizations also are not good shape with the new pact either, however they are not as bad as the top 6 clubs.

The Pirates were already thinking about trading Andrew McCutchen, and this should give a violent shove in that direction. 

It will also show that players such as Carlos Gonzalez, Sonny Gray, Charlie Blackmon, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Gerrit Cole, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Nolan Arenado will all be dealt before their Team Control expires. It is the new landscape of the CBA. 

I would hate the new CBA as these clubs.

Under the old agreement . these teams may have been more apt to take their chances on a playoff run – sighting at least a 1st RD Draft Pick would be coming back their way should their superstars leave their squads. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 3, 2016

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Justin McGuire, former MLB Editor of the Sporting News and creator of the new podcast Baseball By The Book, is my guest today.

We talked about which teams should have the greatest sense of urgency going into 2017 and some Hall of Fame thoughts.

The clock is ticking on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Follow Justin on Twitter by clicking HERE.

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