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Category Archives: Free Agency

With No Top 50 ALL – Time Contracts Signed This Winter – Who Is Next To Make The List?

Signing Cespedes would not take care of all of New York's postional roster troubles, and injuries may ultimately ravage them again for the next campaign. Many of the Mets Starters are coming off health concerns in 2016. I am not sold they should be placed at such a valuable odd until they sign some players.

Signing Cespedes  has signed the biggest contract of the offseason thus far at 4 YRs/$110 MIL.  it is ranked tied for 60th ALL – Time even though the Annual Average Value is tied for 2nd ALL – Time among position players.  With power having been devalued and a firm new set of penalties for Luxury Tax Threshold Abusers, it may take until the winter of 2018 – heading into 2019 – for another player to ink a contract that places them in the top 50 ALL – Time Salaries.

The winter has seen a lot of great Free Agents sign like Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman, Dexter Fowler, Kenley Jansen, Ian Desmond, Mark Melancon and Edwin Encarnacion, however none of them were historic by any means.

While Cespedes’s $110 MIL pact over 4 years is $27.5 MIL per year, which ties him for the  2nd best AAV ALL – Time for a position player with Alex Rodriguez, (trailing Miguel Cabrera‘s 8 YR/$248 MIL extension that started in 2016) – only brings him in for a tie for about 60th on the ALL – Time Biggest Contracts list.

To crack the top 50 list ALL – Time right now, you need to bring in a deal that makes at least $120 MIL for the life of the contract.

During last years offeseason, David Price ($217 MIL), Zack Greinke, ($206.5 MIL) Jason Heyward, ($184 MIL), Chris Davis, ($161 MIL), Justin Upton ($132.8 MIL) and Johnny Cueto ($130 MIL) all inked pacts in excess of that.

Early in the season, Stephen Strasburg shocked the world with his new 7 YRs/$175 MIL deal soon afterwards. Read the rest of this entry

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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

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

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 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

New York Yankees State Of The Union For 2017: Stemming The Tide For Upcoming Seasons

The Yankees shocked the baseball world by contending for the last 2 months after dealing away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran at the Deadline. With a the young '"Baby Bombers" on the way, tt will take a few good veterans to compliment the talent in order for the Yankees to become extremely dangerous once again. It all starts with the GM Brian Cashman.

The Yankees shocked the baseball world by contending for the last 2 months in 2016 after dealing away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran at the Deadline. With a the young ‘”Baby Bombers” on the way, tt will take a few good veterans to compliment the talent in order for the Yankees to become extremely dangerous once again. It all starts with the GM Brian Cashman.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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I will be the first one to give credit to Brian Cashman for arranging the July Trade Deadline deal moves to free up a rebuild on the fly.  The Yankees rewarded their longterm GM by continuing their season streak of over .500 to 22 years.

The management has also been fortunate that Gary Sanchez fared so incredibly well – so they could sell Brian McCann to the Astros, and effectively free up another $10 MIL into their couch cushions.

As it sits right now the clubs projected roster is looking to be in the $167 MIL range for total team salary.  Unfortunately they are still on the hook to CC Sabathia for $25 MIL and Alex Rodriguez for $21 MIL in 2017. even though latter is not even on the roster anymore.

So what do the Yanks do this winter?  They are perennial abusers of the Salary Tax Threshold, and have been paying 50% of their dollars spent beyond the limit for the last several years. 

With the news of talks proceeding on that number potentially reaching $200 MIL or under the new CBA, the Pinstripers should definitely dole out some bread for Free Agents this offseason.

I would say that for the Bronx Bombers to be competitive for the AL East, they need to add at least $50 MIL in players salaries this winter in order to fight the Jays and Red Sox for the Division.

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MIlwaukee Is Making A Boneheaded Move If Non-Tendering Chris Carter: Should Have Learned From Houston Last Year

Chris Carter would be the perfect addition to compete the M's lineup. This man has been criminally underrated for the power and walks he has put forth over the last 4 campaigns. With the ability to DH/play 1B or LF, Carter would give the Mariners the best lineups on the daily basis to mash the pitching,

Chris Carter would be the perfect ‘cheap’ addition to compete on a lot of American League Rosters. This man has been criminally underrated for the power and walks he has put forth over the last 4 campaigns. With the ability to DH/play 1B or LF, with Milwaukee having 2 years left of team control in Arbitration, the club has DFA’d him, and likely will be forced to release him outright as A Free Agent.  The management also signed an unproven MLB’er (Eric Thames) to a guaranteed $15 MIL over 3 years.  Pretty bad on all front in my opinion!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Last year at this time I made the point that the Houston Astros made a big mistake in non-tendering Chris Carter.  At that juncture, the man has clubbed 90 HRS over the previous 3 campaigns with the Astros.

Houston struggled at the First Base Position all year in 2016 – with a collection of Tyler White, Marwin Gonzalez, Luis Valbuena and Yulieski Gurriel.  With just bringing forth 84 wins. with the cutoff for the playoffs at 89 victories, one could say the franchise could have used the slugger ( and his .821 OPS, 41 HRs and 94 RBI).

The ‘Stros’ finished with production of .232/.299/.381 – 19 HRs, 62 RBI out of the position – which had a huge factor in them not reaching the playoffs, having the 2nd worst offensive output for the American League (Yankees – the worst).

Carter is a powerful dude who is a kind of the new Adam Dunn of the Majors.  If he qualified for HR/PER AB ALL – Time with 3000 PA (he has 2645 his 14.97 AB per homer would rank him 13th in Major League Baseball History.  So where is the love? Read the rest of this entry

The Nationals Should Definitely Sign Aroldis Chapman!

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. 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.  He will have a few suitors.  With the Nationals having an escalating payroll, this might be the best way to sign one guy to galvanize the team.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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This is an absolutely pivotal year for the Washington Nationals.  They have many of their players locked up for 1 – 2 more years, but an escalating payroll also has entered the fray, and now they are in deep trouble to re-sign Bryce Harper when he comes up for Free Agency in 2019.

Looking at the projected player payroll for the current roster – and this franchise sits at about $155 MIL in 2017.  They have some maneuvers they could pull off to take the money down slightly. 

I would start with trading Gio Gonzalez to free up $12 MIL.  This guy is the #4 or #5 at best.  Yes we have seen lesser pitchers like Andrew Cashner sign a deal for one year at $10 MIL with the Rangers, however that has more to do with the Texas depth.

By dealing Gonzalez. the Nationals still would have a rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark, Joe Ross and Lucas Giolito, with Reynaldo Lopez and A.J. Cole likely seeing some action first out of the “Taxi squad.”

Quite simply put, the Nationals are extremely talented with 2 pitchers that could win the Cy Young (Scherzer who won it in 2016 and Strasburg, who could have won it had they given out an award at the ALL – Star Break) and up to 3 players that would be listed among the top 15 NL MVP favorites (Harper, Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner), but they do possess a few holes with losing Wilson Ramos and Mar Melancon off the end of the year Roster.

I fully think they should shore up their Late Inning work by signing Aroldis Chapman to whatever he wants this winter. Read the rest of this entry

These 6 MLB Players Have Been Incredible Free Agent Bargains So Far In 2016

Jordan Zimmermann joining the Tigers has reopened their winning window for at least this year.  He has thrown well so far in his early tenure with the Motown Boys.  If they had not signed him, they would be barely clinging to a .500 record

Jordan Zimmermann joining the Tigers has reopened their winning window for at least this year. He has thrown well so far in his early tenure with the Motown Boys. If they had not signed him, they would be barely clinging to a .500 record this far into the campaign.  The Tigers are 23 – 23, but have been surging of late – and Zimmermann is 7 – 2, with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.137 WHIP in 9 Game Starts.  The former Nationals thrower inked a 5 year deal worth $110 MIL, which is nearly half of the total of ace pitchers David Price and Zack Greinke – SP who have struggled mightily to find their own groove in 2016.

Matt Musico (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – chinmusicbaseball.com) 

During this past winter, the MLB free agent market seemed to move a lot slower than in recent memory. While there were plenty of legitimate players available after the holidays and with Spring Training fast approaching, a number of them still managed to bring in huge paydays.

Zack Greinke and David Price both broke records for starting pitchers with their respective $200 million deals, and there were five others who landed a payday of $100-plus million (Jordan Zimmermann, Johnny Cueto, Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Chris Davis). Those huge contracts are great, but they also come with high expectations. Some have dealt with them just fine in 2016, and some are off to a slow start.

There’s plenty of baseball to be played, but with about a quarter of the regular season schedule complete, the following six players have been incredible free agent bargains thus far — especially considering the ever-growing cost of acquiring top talent on the open market.

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What Is Taking So Long With The Angels And Tim Lincecum Deal?

Matt York - AP

Matt York – AP

Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) 

Which team will sign former Cy Young Award winner, Tim Lincecum? It is a question many baseball fans have been pondering for weeks. It looks like we could have an answer very soon.

It was reported a few days ago that Lincecum signed with the Los Angeles Angels, but there is no finalized answer quite yet. The deal is pending a physical, but it has been nearly three days since hearing any verdict of the final decision.

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The Texas Rangers Or Chicago White Sox Need To Sign Tim Lincecum

(Lenny Ignelzi/AP)

(Lenny Ignelzi/AP)

Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) 

Many baseball fans are wondering where Tim Lincecum will sign. He threw a bullpen for upwards of 20 Major League Baseball organizations about a week ago, but he has yet to commit to a team.

Many teams were impressed with his fastball velocity, which sat in the low-90 MPH range, and his sharp breaking ball. It is only a matter of time before he signs with an organization.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner could greatly improve multiple rotations of competing organizations. The two that come to mind are the Chicago White Sox and the Texas Rangers. Both teams are playing exceptional baseball, but the addition of Lincecum could push them over the top.

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Tim Lincecum Could Be A Difference Maker For A Rotation In 2016

Tim-Lincecum.0218

Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) 

Tim Lincecum will pitch in front of upwards of 15 to 20 teams on Friday. He has been sidelined since last season due to arthroscopic hip surgery. He has been rehabbing for the last few months, and it looks as if he is finally ready to showcase his talents in front of scouts.

There are reports that he is already throwing in the low 90’s, which is great news for the right-handed pitcher.

As of right now, some of the reported teams who will be in attendance on Friday include the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, and the Baltimore Orioles.

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Nats Need Stellar Years From Scherzer/Strasburg Similar To Johnson/Schilling Duo In 2001 – To Win The World Series

Max Scherzer was filthy in the 1st half of 2015 - with a 2.11 ERA heading up to the ALL - Star Break, and Stephen Strasburg ended the 2nd half of the year with a 1.90 in his Post ALL - Star games. If these 2 day aces can be in top form for the whole year, and then carry through to the playoffs, it would go a long with their chances to win a World Series. Since Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister left, the rotation is not as deep as it once was, yet these guys could make for an unforgettable 1 -2 punch in the postseason, and combined with Bryce Harper, potentially win the Fall Classic this year.

Max Scherzer was filthy in the 1st half of 2015 – with a 2.11 ERA heading up to the ALL – Star Break, and Stephen Strasburg ended the 2nd half of the year with a 1.90 in his Post ALL – Star games. If these 2 day aces can be in top form for the whole year, and then carry through to the playoffs, it would go a long with their chances to win a World Series. Since Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister left, the rotation is not as deep as it once was, yet these guys could make for an unforgettable 1 -2 punch in the postseason, and combined with Bryce Harper, potentially win the Fall Classic this year.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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With Zack Greinke flying the coop in Los Angeles over the winter, all of a sudden, this dynamic pair of Nationals chuckers should be the best back to back starting tandem in the Majors right now.

It is a walk year for Stephen Strasburg.  He has shown flashes of brilliance, but has yet to put it together for the whole year.  You could say his career has kind of been like Schilling’s prior to his arrival in Arizona.

I think both guys could near 20 wins each. have mid 2 ERA’s – and both compete against the NL’s elite for the NL Cy Young Award.

If they have great seasons, it should equal a playoff berth – and if not the NL East Division.  Strasburg’s best two years were in 2012 and 2014, so maybe he is just a better even year pitcher himself.

Scherzer is 53 – 20 with a near 1.00 WHIP and ERA of 3 since the start of the 2013 season.  No doubt these 2 guys will pull up awesome numbers in playing the Marlins, Phillies and Braves for almost 40% of their total games.  Add in the Brewers, Reds, Padres, Rockies to the fold, and that becomes half of the year.

Should Washington make the playoffs, that is exactly why they doled out $210 over 7 years for Scherzer in the first place.  The former Tigers pitcher was pretty damn good in the 1st RD of the postseason for Detroit, going 3 – 1, with an ERA of 2.79 and WHIP of 1.034 in 29 Innings worth of work in the LDS rounds.  I think he could take the next step beyond that.

Last year Scherzer threw 2 no-hitters and nearly tossed 2 more.  He has shown he can last longer than ever before.  He was a workhorse with his 228.2 IP. It was a career high, just like his 276 Strikeouts in that timeframe and his incredible WHIP of 0.918 were.

It is time to for Strasburg to leave it all on the table.  Much like his 34 Game Starts in 2014, where he logged 215 Innings and a NL Leading 242 Strikeouts, the former #1 overall pick could really make a fortune in Free Agency with a banner year. At Age 27 until late July when he turns 28, he is still in his prime years coming for the next few campaigns. Read the rest of this entry

Should The Pirates Shop At The Bargain Bin

david freese

Jason Rollison (Featured Baseball Website Writer – piratesbreakdown.com) 

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You can never have too much depth.  It is the mantra of every athletic team from community youth programs to the major sports conglomerates, from badminton to baseball.

Last year, the Pirates had eleven cases of Tommy John surgery throughout the organization. 

They were hit hard at the Triple-A level, especially with injuries. Casey Sadler, Brandon Cumpton, and Jameson Taillon were lost for the season. 

Alen Hanson suffered a hand injury that caused him to miss out on a September promotion.

The Pittsburgh Pirates need to take advantage of the wealth of affordable veteran talent still available on the free agent market. But who?

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Is Edwin Encarnacion The Key To Next Offseason For The Boston Red Sox?

Edwin Encarnacion has been one of the top 5 offensive hitters in the AL since the start of the 2012 year.  It is unfortunate that Bautista and he will probably not remain a Blue Jays beyond this upcoming year.  If EE can't come to terms with the Canadian franchise - perhaps Boston may be a perfect candidate to ink the slugger after this season.

Edwin Encarnacion has been one of the top 5 offensive hitters in the AL since the start of the 2012 year. It is unfortunate that Bautista and he will probably not remain a Blue Jays beyond this upcoming year. If EE can’t come to terms with the Canadian franchise – perhaps Boston may be a perfect candidate to ink the slugger after this season.

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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The 2016 MLB season has just kicked off with the first spring training games of the year, yet it’s not too early to start looking forward to next year.

As things currently stand, there is a lengthy list of players set to become free agents in 2017.

While they possess varying skills and positions, there is one player in particular the Boston Red Sox should focus their attention on, and that is Edwin Encarnacion — who could be the key to next offseason as an excellent candidate to replace the departing David Ortiz.

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Cardinals Extend Kolten Wong

kolton-wong

Jen Rainwater (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – www.bbstmlb.com) 

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In an offseason where the St. Louis Cardinals tried to sell their city to every free agent out there – including outfielder Jason Heyward

Heyward spurned the Cardinals, who acquired him before the 2015 season from the Atlanta Braves.

The team and its players immediately began talking the team, the city and the fans up to Heyward in hopes that the soon to be free agent would want to re-sign with the team.

In the end Heyward decided to take less money to go to the Chicago Cubs. A lot of MLB free agents did the same this year including super utility man Ben Zobrist and most recently outfielder Dexter Fowler.

Perhaps it’s the Cubs’ young talented core and their good chance to finally win a World Series or two after a century-long drought. Perhaps it is that they like manager Joe Maddon‘s style.

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Orioles Setting A Dangerous Precedent With Physicals (Circa Gallardo): Fowler Leaves To The Cubs

Dexter Fowler re-signed with the Cubs for a minimum 1 year deal of $15 MIL in 2016 (with a mutual option for 2017) if he or Chicago don't want to opt out after the upcoming season.) Fowler had been said to have a 3 YR/$33 MIL in place with the Orioles before this happened. Maybe Fowler didn't act 100% in good faith with Baltimore - however the O's don't exactly have a great track record with treating players in regards to physicals anyway.

Dexter Fowler re-signed with the Cubs for a minimum 1 year deal of $15 MIL in 2016 (with a mutual option for 2017) if he or Chicago don’t want to opt out after the upcoming season. Fowler had been said to have a 3 YR/$33 MIL in place with the Orioles before this happened. Maybe Fowler didn’t act 100% in good faith with Baltimore – however the O’s don’t exactly have a great track record with treating players in regards to physicals anyway.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Wow, didn’t see that coming did you Orioles brass?  Dexter Fowler leaves his deal with you guys and re-signs with his old team in Chicago.

I have to wonder if the way things went down with Yovani Gallardo didn’t weigh on Dexter Fowler’s mind.  The track record for Free Agent’s having deals going south is about a 50/50 proposition with the O’s.

In one way I am disappointed that Baltimore didn’t land Fowler, because I think that deal would have definitely narrowed the gap in the AL East. Read the rest of this entry

Blue Jays Vs. Jose Bautista: The Art Of Negotiations

Jose Bautista must stay on the field the entire season if the Canadian franchise has any hopes of playoffs. Joey Bats should be capable of clubbing between 35 - 40 HRs in 2014. Whether the skipper bats him 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the lineup still remains to be seen. Bautista features a 3 Slash of .261/.381/.542 during his 5+ seasons tenure with Toronto.

Jose Bautista must stay on the field the entire season if the Canadian franchise has any hopes of playoffs. Joey Bats should be capable of clubbing between 35 – 40 HRs like he did in 2015. Whether the skipper bats him 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the lineup still remains to be seen. Bautista features a 3 Slash of .264/.384/.538 during his 8 seasons tenure with Toronto – clubbing 243 HRs and adding 632 RBI.  At Age 36 next winter, he is said to be seeking 5 Years and $150 MIL from the team.  That may not work.

Shaun Doyle (Featured Baseball Writer – Owner jaysfromthecouch.com) 

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THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS AND JOSE BAUTISTA ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A GAME OF CHICKEN. WITH NO NEGOTIATIONS, WHO WILL BLINK FIRST?

 

Have you ever seen a cartoon where people get into a fight and dirt is flying around like a tornado, legs and arms flail about and then the dust settles and one of the participants is left by themselves?

In those cases, one of the fighters ends up just fighting with themselves and then looks around to find nothing but quiet.

That’s kind of what happened Tuesday with Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays. In the span of 24 hours, we’d heard that Bautista was not going to negotiate for his potential extension.

What ensued was a tornado of speculation and nonsense that resulted a whole lot of nothing…except an interesting staring contest.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Don’t Cry For Players That Were Given The Qualifying Offer: And Are Not Being Signed

The Players of the MLBPA will have their chance to collectively bargain the rule of Qualifying Offer after the current CBA ends at the end of this year. Despite hearing a ton of groaning on radio airwaves from MLB hosts, the problem is just not as direr as they project. I may say they are trying to shock their audience for 24/7/365 programming. I argue the point that the 'QO' is not that bad.

The Players of the MLBPA will have their chance to collectively bargain the rule of Qualifying Offer after the current CBA ends at the end of this year. Despite hearing a ton of groaning on radio airwaves from MLB hosts, the problem is just not as dire as they project. I may say they are trying to shock their audience for 24/7/365 programming. I argue the point that the ‘QO’ is not that bad.  The Draft Picks assigned for the players should not dissuade teams from singing them, as the percentage of picks 11 – 30 of the 1st Round do not have a huge conversion rate in the Majors that would trump these players current production anyway.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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I will spare a ton of rhetoric and cut right to the chase.  3 out of the 20 players are still without a deal that were linked to the Qualifying Offer of $15.8 MIL in November.  This not egregious in any way in my view.

Dexter Fowler, Yovani Gallardo and Ian Desmond all could have taken the deal, played one more year and then hit the open market again.  Heck, they still can, but probably are not going to get in the vicinity of that cash for a one year deal with a Draft Pick nailed to it.

If anyone is to blame it is their agents.  This is simply the price of doing business.

Desmond for sure has no one to blame when the Nats hit him with a 7 year deal worth $107 MIL prior to 2014. Don’t you think he would love a Mulligan on that one? Read the rest of this entry

Forget Prospects When Your Window Is Open To Win With Good (To ALL – Star) MLB Players Available!

I am sick and tired of hearing about Draft Picks being coveted by clubs, and in particular with the picks 11 - 30th having to be given up as compensation for signing a guy who was extended a Qualifying Offer. Prospects turn into Suspects in a real hurry. Only 4 or 5 out of the picks 11 - 30 contribute significantly within 4 years. Meaning if your roster is poised now, go ahead and burn your pick by signing proven players that can help your squad right now!

I am sick and tired of hearing about Draft Picks being coveted by clubs, and in particular with the picks 11 – 30th having to be given up as compensation for signing a guy who was extended a Qualifying Offer. Prospects turn into Suspects in a real hurry. Only 4 or 5 out of the picks 11 – 30 contribute significantly within 4 years usually. Meaning if your roster is poised to win right now, go ahead and burn your pick by signing proven players that can help your squad right now!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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I can’t stand it when I hear that ready to win Major League Clubs are holding off on good Free Agent Signing because of a pending Draft Pick in the coming MLB Amateur Draft being forfeited.

For current organizations like the  Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, Detroit Tigers, KC Royals, Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants – all of them project to be contenders in 2016 except the O’s, and the last 6 clubs listed here are acting on that – while the 1st 4 are not.

Let me kind of qualify that.  The Jays did in 2015 – and may do so in 2016.  The real truth will be told by the August.1 Trade Deadline.  Not picking up a top end rotation guy by then will hurt their chances to win in the last few months and definitely in the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry

The White Sox Need To Sign 1 Of Fowler Or Desmond To Stay Competitive

The White Sox have had a decent offseason however every team that was near or beneath them in the standings have also upgrade their rosters going into 2016. With a need for an upgrade for the OF, and the chance to out forth an incredible homer centric Infield, I would love to see them go after Ian Desmond, and/or Dexter Fowler.

The White Sox have had a decent offseason – however every team that was near or beneath them in the standings have also upgrade their rosters going into 2016. With a need for an upgrade for the OF, and the chance to put forth an incredible homer-centric Infield, I would love to see them go after Ian Desmond, and or Dexter Fowler.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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I like the moves the White Sox have done in the offseason.  The only problem is what the Royals and Tigers also have done this winter will make it tough for Chicago to keep up.

The Pale Hose finished a disappointing 76 – 86 in 2015 – and almost 20 games behind Division winner KC for the AL Central.

2014 winter moves of Adam LaRoche, Jeff Samardzija and Melky Cabrera just didn’t work out like they thought.

Despite the poor results off those player acquisitions Rich Hahn acquired Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie so far in the hot stove this year, and also inked catchers Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro as key moves.

I love this aggression – and even believe that LaRoche and Cabrera will have bounce back seasons for the White Sox this season.  Cabrera was pretty decent in the 2nd half, and LaRoche suffered the Adam Dunn NL to AL syndrome.

Having said this already, the Royals are sitting with a talented squad as reigning World Series Champs, and the Tigers added Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Upton, and bushel full of relievers and Cameron Maybin.

There is no doubt in my mind that Detroit will be much better than their cellar dweller 2015 campaign.

The White Sox have a decent pitching staff in its entirety. Maybe not as talented as the Cleveland Indians, but the Tribe doesn’t have the sticks as Chicago either.

KC has the best bullpen in the Division, and will rely heavily on it again with their grinder offense backing it up.

Minnesota has a ton of young offensive superstars in Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier and Byron Buxton, yet also lost team leader Torii Hunter.

Chicago is still spending at a decent clip – having a budget of near $123 MIL so far, but Detroit has crept up to near $200 MIL, and KC has paid for its title, by going near the $140 MIL team salary barrier. Read the rest of this entry

The Padres Should Definitely Not Pursue Yoenis Cespedes: But The Angels Should

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly's, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz. The 30 Year Old would not be a good fit in San Diego - where they have a similar player in Matt Kemp already. His presence with Trout and Calhoun in Los Angeles would be the best all around Outfield in the Majors should he sign there.

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly’s, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz. The 30 Year Old would not be a good fit in San Diego – where they have a similar player in Matt Kemp already. His presence with Trout and Calhoun in Los Angeles would be the best all around Outfield in the Majors should he sign there.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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With Yoenis Cespedes still on the open market a lot of speculation is running rampant on which squads should be in the running for his services.

While I am not sure I buy the theory at all, the Padres have been said to be checking in on the big Cuban star.

This type of signing would be a monumental mistake in my view.

I would hope that A.J. Preller would have learned his lesson by acquiring high strikeout, low OBP players that have power that may not translate to their home park in Petco Park. Read the rest of this entry

Detroit Shores Up Offense; Adds Justin Upton

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Just when you thought the Tigers were done, they bounce back once again for another impactful January singing.  Welcome to the D, Mr. Upton!!

With a rumor that came out of nowhere and the focus on Yoenis Cespedes, Detroit will sign Justin Upton to a 6-year $132.75 million dollar contract.  

The contract will have an opt-out clause reportedly after the 2nd year and includes a partial non-trade clause.  Detroit will undoubtedly be hit with a luxury tax, only determined after the last arbitration case is finished.

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Chapman To The Yanks Means ‘New York’ is In It To Win It For 2016

Aroldis Chapman is the most dominant Left Handed Reliever in the game right now - and is heading to the Bronx with the 2 other top Strikeout Ratio artists in Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.  The Yankees will be able to hold down plenty of leads.  But this deal means more than just the player coming to New York.  It is the first time we have seen the brass step up to say we are going to win this thing in 2016.  Look for subsequent moves to be made now that this is the mindset.

Aroldis Chapman is the most dominant Left Handed Reliever in the game right now – and is heading to the Bronx with the 2 other top Strikeout Ratio artists in Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. The Yankees will be able to hold down plenty of leads. But this deal means more than just the player coming to New York. It is the first time we have seen the brass step up to say we are going to win this thing in 2016. Look for subsequent moves to be made now that this is the mindset.  Chapman has 1 Year of Arbitration left before hitting the open market next winter).

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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We have given Brian Cashman a lot of flak about how he has run the Yankees in the last half dozen year or so.  While I like the Aaron Hicks and Starlin Castro deals, this is the first deal where I felt the Pinstripers were serious about winning again.

Read about the deal for Chapman from MLB Trade Rumors

Everyone will be proclaiming them the best 1/2/3 knockout punch in late inning relief in the entire Majors.  You will also hear a ton of things about Strikeout Rates – and historical Bullpens.

You will also hear a lot about player integrity and character.  Since when do the Bronx Bombers ever care about whether a guy has some off field issues?

What I took out of yesterday’s deal is that the brass has given the green light to play ball in 2016.

With a payroll reaching $220 MIL now (easily payable with a team that makes as much as the Yankees), who cares if the team spends another $25 – $30 MIL after the Chapman deal? Read the rest of this entry

Teams That Should Take Advantage Of A Weak Penalty For The Luxury Tax In 2016

In the last year of the current CBA, there is potentially only one more year to take advantage of a feeble penalty as a first time abuser in 2016. With Boston set to join the Dodgers and Yankees as abusers, I took a look at other teams who should consider the 2016 campaign as a rare gamble to dole out some cash in seeking a World Series trophy before the new CBA is authored in prior to the 2017 season.

In the last year of the current CBA, there is potentially only one more year to take advantage of a feeble penalty as a first time abuser in 2016. With Boston set to join the Dodgers and Yankees as abusers, I took a look at other teams who should consider the 2016 campaign as a rare gamble to dole out some cash in seeking a World Series trophy before the new CBA is authored in prior to the 2017 season.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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The Boston Red Sox might just be on to something.  They will be penalized for the 1st year of going over the new $189 MIL limit in 2016, but it is also the last year the CBA may have the percentages.

Currently right now, there is a 17.5% penalty for spending dollars over $189 MIL.  The Dodgers and Yankees are the only other teams that are budgeted over the mark in addition to Boston.

On the cusp are the Detroit Tigers, sitting at around $177 MIL – while the Giants and Angels are nearly at $170 MIL.  The Cubs are also near the $165 MIL area.

Why not spend like crazy in 2016 – and take advantage of the system as it is presented towards you? Read the rest of this entry

On The Trading Block In The NL East

The Phillies have not had a winning season since 2011 after putting forth a decade straight of them. A promising second half to the season - couple with full seasons by Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco could have them inch closer back to achieving that mark in the next few years.

The Phillies have not had a winning season since 2011 after putting forth a decade straight of them. A promising second half to the season – couple with full seasons by Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco could have them inch closer back to achieving that mark in the next few years.

Jordan Gluck (Part Owner/Featured Writer): 

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On the Trading Block NL East

Atlanta Braves: The Braves have quite a few players that they can trade and under John Hart you don’t know what direction they will go in this offseason.

Can they be in a position to compete moving into the new Sun Trust Stadium next year or is it a longer term rebuild

I think this team really isn’t 2 bad and could compete for a wild card this season with the addition of a 3B (Rio Ruiz?) and consistent starting pitching.

However it is clear their sights are not set on this season but on the future as indicated by their trade of Andrelton Simmons. Read the rest of this entry

David Oritz Is Retiring After 2016: It Is A Perfect Time To Eliminate The DH!

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 15 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. Realistically, only he and a few other players are even at the All-Star level, and if given the choice if there were no DH slot in the game, I guarantee you their teams would brave their physical defiencies - in order to keep their bat in the lineup. The AL has had the Designated Hitter Position since the start of the 1973 season.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 15 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. Realistically, only he and a few other players are even at the All-Star level, and if given the choice if there were no DH slot in the game, I guarantee you their teams would brave their physical deficiencies – in order to keep their bat in the lineup. The AL has had the Designated Hitter Position since the start of the 1973 season.  But that was before Free Agency where the American League has an advantage for signing top guys because of the DH slot, and then there were no Interleague Games, where the AL has a 12 year winning streak, and is routinely posting over a .540 Win Percentage against.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Onwer) 

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David Ortiz has announced he is retiring after the next season.  Thus ends the greatest Left Handed DH of ALL-Time, (sorry Harold Baines).

The Designated Hitter Position has been taking a hit for effectiveness more and more over the last several years, and more teams than not use it as a rest for veterans.

Listed on MLB.com, only 5 DH’s qualified for the Batting Title race in 2015.

Billy Butler had a crappy year.

David Ortiz started slowly being hampered by the new foot in the box rule, before settling in to a 37 HRs and 108 RBI campaign – with a .913 OPS. Read the rest of this entry

Toronto Should Sign A Free Agent Slugger/Leadoff Guy Then Flip Encarnacion: Blue Jays State Of The Union 2016

The Blue Jays ended the longest MLB playoff drought in 2015 - and made it to game 6 of the ALCS. With losing David Price and Mark Buehrle after this year, how should the team work this off year? I say they should treat 2016 as World Series or bust. Sign a bopping Left Handed Bat, or at least a left handed Leadoff Batter, and then trade everyone they possibly can at the Deadline for a run at the World Series. After next season, Edwin Encarnacion and Joey Bats are also Free Agents. More onus to go for it this upcoming year.

The Blue Jays ended the longest MLB playoff drought in 2015 – and made it to game 6 of the ALCS. With losing David Price and Mark Buehrle after this year, how should the team work this off year? I say they should treat 2016 as World Series or bust. Sign a bopping Left Handed Bat, or at least a Lef Handed Leadoff Batter, and then trade everyone they possibly can at the Deadline for a run at the World Series. After next season, Edwin Encarnacion and Joey Bats are also Free Agents. More onus to go for it this upcoming year.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Jays are coming off an awesome year for the franchise.  Yet all of this coincided with them losing GM Alex Anthopoulos and may see David Price and Mark Buehrle not return in 2016.

This offense and fielding defense is hands above the rest of the Division right now.  With the Yankees holding off father time in 2015, they may not be able to do it in 2016, and the Red Sox not having enough resources to sign a pile of Free Agents in the winter, the only Canadian franchise should be favored heavily to win the AL East in 2016 right now.

For the organization there within lies a dilemma.  The team is on the cusp of a championship so how do they add the last pieces? Read the rest of this entry

Its Time For Boston To Break From Philosophy + Sign An Ace: Red Sox State Of The Union 2016

The Red Sox will need to spend some money on Pitching this season. But don't be surprised if they overstock on a few more offensive pieces in the lineup, and then use some of their prospects to obtain even more pitching. They orchestrated a trade for Closer Craig KImbrel on Friday. A bona fide shutdown guy with 225 Career Saves and an ERA of 1.63 lifetime. The winter has just started for the Beantowners.

The Red Sox will need to spend some money on Starting Pitching this season – and preferably and ace.. They orchestrated a trade for Closer Craig Kimbrel on Friday. A bona fide shutdown guy with 225 Career Saves and an ERA of 1.63 lifetime. The winter has just started for the Beantowners.  With many veterans currently aging, and the young nucleus all being under team control, the time to capitalize on the higher drafting as a result of finishing last in the AL East 3 times in 4 years is right now.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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Okay, for years the Boston Red Sox would never pay for a #1 Starter on the Free Agent Market – even their owns. They traded away Jon Lester prior to trying to resign him in 2014, and it backfired on them when he hit the Free Agency market not having played his entire career in Boston.

For the most part, I have agreed with the idea of not paying a guy as an ace.  Here is the problem..The team had finished last in the AL East 3 of the last four campaigns, and that is unacceptable.

You add in Ben Cherington doling out long term deals to Rick Porcello, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval in the last year, and all had bad years.  So the temptation may not be to sign anyway.  Again, wrong.. You are the Boston Red Sox.

Well mired in the lower tiers of records the last 4 years (except for the 2013 season), the club has accumulated a great deal of talent in the Minor Leagues.

The franchise is in great shape heading forward, but this comes down to the right time to strike on the rest of the league. Read the rest of this entry

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