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Chicago Cubs Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

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Look, there is no way to sugar coat it, the Jason Heyward contract is about the biggest dumpster fire of a contract there may ever be.  Having said that, everyone receives one mulligan. 

Even 3 time World Series winning GM Brian Sabean has had a horrible Matt Cain contract to contend with the last half decade.

Theo Epstein hasn’t made too many blunders – and winning a World Series with both the Red Sox and now the Cubs has solidified a position for him in Cooperstown.

Also lucky is the brilliant signing of Anthony Rizzo of a 7 YR deal prior to 2013, and when he asserted himself as a perennial MVP contender.

Despite carrying a projected payroll in 2017 of around $171 MIL – the team has plenty of expiring contracts in the name of Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Jon Lackey, Jon Jay, Pedro Strop, Miguel Montero and Koji Uehara. to replenisg te talent again in 2018 – and going forward

There are only 4 players signed for $79.2 MIL so far.

This is a perfect contrast to the Heyward pact.  Should Rizzo's Team Options be picked up for 2020 and 2021 (for $16.5 MIL each year), then the club will still only have paid him $74 MIL from 2013 - 2021, spanning 9 years at an Annual Value of $8.2 MIL.  That is completely lights out for the organization going forward.

The Rizzo longterm deal a perfect contrast to the Heyward pact. Should Rizzo’s Team Options be picked up for 2020 and 2021 (for $16.5 MIL each year), then the club will still only have paid him $74 MIL from 2013 – 2021, spanning 9 years at an Annual Value of $8.2 MIL. That is completely lights out for the organization going forward.

The one factor of brilliantly drafting and then rostering a club full of guys the same age is that they are all on entry level contracts for a few years before the squad becomes increasingly expensive before Arbitration rights kick in.

2018 will see Kris Bryant, Kyle Hendricks and Addison Russell all hit 1st year Eligible on Arbitration, and then 2019 has Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, Willson Contreras and Carl Edwards JR. hit the 1st year. 

it will be at this point the team shoots up the salary page.

Other than Jon Lester, Heyward and Ben Zobrist,  there are no real big salaries on the table for the team to digest.

The biggest dilemma will be the status of Jake Arrieta.  My guess is that he will want too much money and walk away from the Cubs.

More important than that even is simply signing Free Agents (not named Arrieta) by Epstein.

Epstein is creative.  It is okay to figure out a Starting Pitcher in Free Agency, and also add another Closer if need be.  Who knows, by 2018, Hector Rondon and Carl Edwards JR. may be able to lock down that role.

There is still money to spend in the 2017 and 2018 winter markets for sure.

Also playing in the NL Central provides them with security of being able to outspend all the other teams – with the Cardinals only being in the atmosphere.

It is not like they are fighting in the tough NL West with the Giants and high spending Dodgers.  It will still mean facing off against those clubs. and contending with the aging Nationals roster, and New York Mets young staff for a few seasons.

Wrigley Field will be sold out, the revenue streams will break out to record levels, all freely flowing cash into the Ricketts family pockets.

The good news is they are not in cap hell yet  The bad news is that it would only take one more bad deal/paired with Heyward, in order to prevent the club from signing all of their young superstars to extensions.

Epstein is too smart for that.  Look for high value Annual Average Value’s that have expiring contracts before the 2018 and 2019 seasons.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade for an existing ace pitcher.

Think Zack Greinke now, or a guy like Justin Verlander in 2018 or 2019, where the other club may eat some of the salary, ask for a high level prospect, and then have a legitimate Starter to lug some innings in the playoffs.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if the brass orchestrates a trade for a guy like Chris Archer – or Sonny Gray (midway through this year if he has healed himself).

Maybe it would cost you a Javier Baez, or a combinations of Carl Edwards JR./Albert Almora JR. to do it, however with Ben Zobrist still in town, defense alignment can be configured in a lot of different ways for at least the next 2 – 3 years.

Like I stated in the Giants Payroll article, the new CBA has also reeled in the Dodgers spending $300 MIL on team payroll.  The best thing that could happen for the Cubs is if Clayton Kershaw were to opt out of his deal beyond 2017.

That would either bring up the price for the Dodgers to sign him, or even give them the chance to sign the guy themselves.  Yes. the Cubs have more flexibility than the Dodgers for at least a couple of offseasons.

Guaranteed Contracts/POS/AGE:

Jason Heyward – OF (28):  With a grand sum of $184 MIL from 2016 – 2023 ( 8 years) this is a brutal deal – and the club is lucky to have already won a World Series in season 1 of this pact.

Heyward will make an astonishing $28.2 MIL for both the 2017 and 2018 seasons.  Epstein at least frontloaded the contract to erase some of the burden by the time the young talent comes up for raises.

This deal is the 13th richest in history for a guy who carried a .631 OPS. in 2016  I tend to think that Heyward will be closer to his Career OPS of .761 the next few years with the pressure somewhat off him now. 

Hit him 7th or 8th and let him work out his kinks. Defense is at least not a problem here with him winning a 4th Gold Glove.

This could end bad in 2017 – with Heyward riding pine for some of the year – if the club opts to use Zobrist, Schwarber and the tandem of Jon Jay and Almora JR. as the OF.

You also have to think that Joe Maddon won’t hesitate to find Willson Contreras reps as well.

Jon Lester – SP (33):  Lester is in the 3rd year of a 7 YR/$165 MIL deal, and is set to reel in $25 MIL in 2017. The deal calls for $27.5 MIL in both 2018 and 2019, before scaling back to $20 MIL in 2020. 

There is a 2021 Club Option as well. Details on that: $25M Team Option, $10M Buyout option guaranteed with 200 innings in 2020 or 400 IP in 2019-20. 

With the Buyout that large, the man would have to fall from grace hard, to not get the Option.  Although he would be nearly 40, $15 MIL extra will probably not be that bad.

Lester is worth every dollar the club has spent so far.  It is hard to find playoff proven commodities on the open market.

Ben Zobrist – UT (36):  Zobrist is the only player in the MLB who was won 2 straight World Series, as also being a member of the 2015 WS Champ KC Royals.

With the availability to play 5 defensive positions, Zobrist was the perfect compliment to the Cubs defensive roster in 2016 – although he played predominantly at 2B. 

With the emergence of Baez in the playoffs, he will likely rove more around in 2017.

Zobrist earns $16.5 MIL in both 2017 and 2018 – before retreating back to $12.5 MIL in 2019.  He will be in his Age 39 season at that point, and it may not look so hot at that point, but one can’t argue at his flexibility on the Roster providing so many options in the title run.

You can even say that his positional switching gives the club a better chance to hold onto Kyle Schwarber (instead of trading him in the American League).

John Lackey – SP (38):  Lackey joined Lester, David Ross. and Epstein as guys who have won World Series in 2013 with Boston and the Cubs in 2016.  He will make $16 MIL in 2017 before hitting Free Agency in 2018.

Lackey lugged 188.1 IP and gave the Cubs a 3.35 ERA in the process.  It doesn’t even matter that he was being pulled in the early innings of the postseason.

Jake Arrieta – SP (31):  Arrieta earns a tidy $15.6 MIL this year and will likely head out into Free Agency as a Scott Boras client.  Unfortunately the man is going to be 32 heading into 2018.

I would not offer him higher than a 4 year deal at $20 – $21 MIL after, yet that will not get the job done when he hits the open market.  Someone will pony up 5 YRs/$125 MIL for him, you watch.

Miguel Montero – C (34);  Montero will make $14 MIL in 2017 – and I am not sure he will Catch more than about 60 games.  Contreras at last is on an entry level contract to offset this salary.  I am surprised the team has not ventured out to trade him.

Wade Davis – CL (32):  It cost the club Jorge Soler and 4 years of Team Control, yet this was the way to go.  $10 MIL for one year of Davis (who Closed for the 2015 wS Champion Royals) is smart business practice.

To acquire an elite Reliever such as this is a great move – when you consider the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants spent $86 MIL, $80 MIL and $62 MIL to sign Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon respectively.

Soler was going to be their 7th option as an OF.  Davis, by the way, has a 0.83 ERA in 32.2 IP for his postseason career – and has carried a mid 1 ERA from 2014 – 2016 as a late inning Reliever – spanning 183 IP.

I would also think the club will extend the Qualifying Offer to him this winter ( $17.5 – $19 MIL range for one year), so they may even recover a 2nd or 3rd Draft Pick back all for just $10 MIL.

Jon Jay – OF (32): Has a 2017 contract or $8 MIL to play OF.  He has a career .352 OBP, so could hit 1st or 9th for Maddon, working as an on base guy for the big boppers.  Brilliant little move.

Anthony Rizzo – 1B (28):  Rizzo will take him $7 MIL for 2017, coming after the heels of an ALL-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and top 4 MVP season in which he clubbed 30+ HRs and added 100 RBI for a 2nd straight season.

Rizzo also makes $7 MIL in 2018, $12 MIL in 2019, and two Team Options in a row call for $16.5 MIL and $2 MIL Buyouts for both 2020 and 2021.

It is contracts like this that setup championship caliber clubs for the organization.

Other valued deals that compare to it last decade or so.  Paul Goldschmidt (5 YRs/$32.5 MIL), Madison Bumgarner (6 YRS/$35.6 MIL) and Andrew McCutchen ( 6 YRs/$51 MIL)  that coincided with 4 straight top 5 NL MVP finishes.

Rizzo should challenge for an MVP every year of that remains on this deal.

Koji Uehara – RP (42):  $6 MIL for one year seems like a lot or a guy of his age, but Uehara has plenty of playoff/Closer experience that is invaluable to a club like this.  I would take it easy on him in the regular season and save the bullets for playoffs.

Hector Rondon – RP (29):  $5.8 MIL for this former Closer is not a bad deal in 2017. Rondon has one more year left of Arbitration before hitting Free Agency in 2019.  He has 77 Saves and a career ERA of 2.97.

Brian Duensing – SP/RP (33):  Makes $2 MIL in 2017 and a Free Agent in 2018. A spot start here and extra Bullpen arm,

Justin Grimm – RP (29): Avoided Arbitration with a $1.8 MIL, has 2 more years left of Arbitration before he is a Free Agent.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $157.5 MIL (13 Players)

Arbitration Eligible/POS/AGE

3rd  year

Pedro Strop – RP (33):  Is projected to to earn $5.5 MIL in Arbitration, and is a Free Agent in 2018.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $5.5 MI:  Total money is now $163 MIL

Pre-Arbitration – Entry Level Contracts:

Tommy La Stella – INF (28):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2020 and a Free Agent in 2021.

Kyle Hendricks – SP (27): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2020 and a Free Agent in 2021.

Kris Bryant – 3B Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2021 as a “Super 2” and a Free Agent in 2021.  Bryant is only 25 Years old, and will have 4 years of Arbitration kick in starting next season.

Since the club opted to start his 2015 after the 10 days of service time, they wll retian his rights until the end of 2021.  Bryant is on pace to end up recording Arbitration cash if he keeps his career trajectory.

The club should really look to extend him similar to the Mike Trout 6 YRs.$144 MIL deal he got.

Addison Russell – SS (23):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2021 as a “Super 2” and a Free Agent in 2022.

Comparisons to an extension similar to what he may get are:  Jason Kipnis and Matt Carpenter (6 YRs and $52 MIL)

Matt Szczur – UT (28): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Javier Baez – 2B/3B (24):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Mike Montgomery – SP/RP (29): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Kyle Schwarber – OF (24): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Willson Contreras – C (25): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2022 – 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Albert Almora JR – OF (23):   Is Arbitration Eligible from 2022 – 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Rob Zastryzny – RP (25) Is Arbitration Eligible from 2022 – 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $6.0 MIL MIL Toral Money Oveall – $169.0 MIL

Buyouts/Dead Money

Jason Hammel – $2 Million Buyout for 2017 that was agreed to in a gentleman’s deal. There is no dead money on he books past 2017 thus far.

Conclusions:

Despite the Heyward mistake of a deal, Epstein has done everything right.  It will be a constant maneuvering of the incoming talent – to surround the plethora of young superstars the club has.

The Cubs have the availability to sign an elite pitcher in Free Agency in the year or 2, or trade for one.  Beyond that, the team can’t make another top 50 ALL – Time Salary roster mistake.

The brass should also investigate early extensions for Bryant, Ruseell and Contreras immediately while they may afford to wait for Hendricks and Schwarber yet. 

Some sort of guaranteed money to the budget would be wise

As for Arrieta, he is just too old – an unorthodox in order to grant him the cash he will seek.  Epstein has to find creative ways to bring in a #1 or $2 beyond this campaign. 

Chicago is fantastic shape financially to spend as much as it takes to ensure a dynasty in the next half-dozen years. 

If I were in charge I would try to limit any big historic contracts to their own young superstars from this point forwards. 

Also don’t be afraid to trade one of the premiere young offensive players for a quality Starter (#1 or #2 Starter)like Baez, Contreras or Almora.

CubsWS

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

I am happy to be back at the helm of the MLB Reports, after completing my record 224 Games in the MLB Trip in 2015.  It was the 4th time I have seen all 30 MLB Parks since 2008. During that time away I was fortunate to do 100 Media Interviews

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

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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

Who Owns October In MLB Playoffs 2016? (#WOO) Tallies Updated For October 11, 2016

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Wally Skalij / Los Angels Times

There are some agonizing 1/2 WOOs in San Francisco and a wild game played in Los Angeles. The playoffs are taking shape.

Time to see who owned October.

Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO (Who Owns October.)

And at my discretion, I award a 1/2 WOO’S to a worthy player on the losing team.

At the end of the post season, we will see who had the highest WOO total as a pitcher and a hitter.

A complete description of the rules can be found HERE.

From October 11th.
NL Division Series Game 4:

Receiving 1 WOO’s 

 

Aroldis Chapman struck out the side and clinched the Division Series for the Cubs, 6-5 in San Francisco.

Adrian Gonzalez homered and walked, driving in a pair and helped the Dodgers force a deciding game with Washington with a 6-5 final.

Clayton Kershaw struck out 11 Nationals in 6 2/3 innings and doubled and scored.The bullpen let the inherited runners score, making his ERA look ugly, but in the end he set up the Dodgers dramatic 6-5 victory.

Ben Zobrist hit a key double that sparked the Cubs stunning 9th inning rally, driving in a run and scoring a run to break the Giants hearts, 6-5.

Receiving 1/2 WOO’s 

Conor Gillaspie continued his October heroics with 4 hits, an RBI and a run scored. But he could not prevent the bullpen disaster that is the 2016 Giants and the Cubs took the game and the series, 6-5.

Matt Moore allowed 2 hits and 1 earned run and 1 unearned run over 8 brilliant innings, striking out 10 along the way. But the Giants bullpen had a total meltdown and the Cubs scored 4 in the 9th and completed the Division Series, 6-5.

Daniel Murphy drove in 4 runs with a pair of hits including a game tying knock in the 7th. The Nationals would lose the game to the Dodgers, 6-5.

Current ‘WOO’ Totals MLB 2016:

Hitters ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Josh Donaldson – Blue Jays 2, Conor Gillaspie – Giants 1 1/2, Daniel Murphy – Nationals 1 1/2, Justin Turner – Dodgers 1 1/2, Javier Baez – Cubs 1, Mookie Betts – Red Sox 1,  Coco Crisp – Indians 1,  Edwin Encarnacion – Blue Jays 1, Dexter Fowler – Cubs 1, Adrian Gonzalez – Dodgers 1, Brandon Guyer – Indians 1, Shawn Kelley – Nationals 1,  Jason Kipnis – Indians 1,  Joe Panik – Giants 1,  Troy Tulowitzki – Blue Jays 1, Jayson Werth – Nationals 1, Ben Zobrist – Cubs 1,  Elvis Andrus – Rangers 1/2,  Andrew Benintendi  – Red Sox 1/2, Gregor Blanco – Giants 1/2, Kris Bryant – Cubs 1/2,  Ian Desmond – Rangers 1/2, Curtis Granderson – Mets 1/2, Rougned Odor – Rangers 1/2, Buster Posey – Giants 1/2, Carlos Ruiz – Dodgers 1/2, Mark Trumbo – Orioles 1/2,

Pitchers ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Roberto Osuna – Blue Jays 2,  Madison Bumgarner – Giants 1, Aroldis Chapman – Cubs 1, Marco Estrada – Blue Jays 1, Kenley Jansen – Dodgers 1, Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers 1, Derek Law – Giants 1, Jon Lester – Cubs 1, Mark Melancon – Nationals 1, Andrew Miller – Indians 1,  Marcus Stroman – Blue Jays 1, Josh Tomlin – Indians 1,  Travis Wood – Cubs 1, Jake Arrieta – Cubs 1/2,  Johnny Cueto – Giants 1/2, Matt Moore – Giants 1/2, Darren O’Day – Orioles 1/2, Noah Syndergaard – Mets 1/2,

Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 8/29/16

P- Carlos Martinez (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $10,300. Carlos Martinez has been an incredibly reliable option in daily fantasy throughout the 2016 season. Over his last three starts, C-Mart has a 2-0 record, 2.14 ERA, and 16 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. He has won both of his starts against the Brewers this season, allowing one run on nine hits in 13 innings pitched.

P- Matt Boyd (vs. Chicago White Sox): $6,700. Boyd has been really good since joining the starting rotation. He is now 5-0, with a 2.38 ERA in eight starts. Over his last three starts, he has a 2-0 record, 1.89 ERA, and 14 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched. If he can pitch like he has been recently, I don’t think the Chicago White Sox offense can touch him.

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 8/11/16

P- Jameson Taillon (vs. San Diego Padres): $8,600. Taillon has been the definition of consistent. Over his last five starts, he has thrown exactly six innings, with a 2.40 ERA, and 28 strikeouts. Each one of those outings led to a quality start. He will be facing the Padres on Thursday, who doesn’t have a very impressive lineup.

P- Matt Garza (vs. Atlanta Braves): $5,700. In 120 career at bats against Garza, the Braves’ lineup is batting .217, with a .280 OBP, and a .331 slugging percentage. Garza has been very effective in his last three starts, which is a great sign for hopeful success against the Braves on Thursday. Over those starts, he is 2-0, with a 3.12 ERA, and 10 strikeouts.

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 8/10/16

P- Jose Quintana (vs. Kansas City Royals): $10,300. Over his last three starts, Quintana has a 1-0 record, with a 1.74 ERA, and 16 strikeouts in 20.2 innings pitched. He is one win away from his 10th win, so he should be amped to succeed. Over the last 10 games, the Royals rank 26th in OPS with .654, so clearly they are struggling offensively. Quintana should have no problem taking care of business on Wednesday.

P- Jason Hammel (vs. Los Angeles Angels): $8,000. In 66 career at bats against Hammel, the Angels’ offense is batting .212, with two XBH, and a .286 OBP. Over Hammel’s last 21 starts, he has given up one or zero runs in 10 of those starts. He is also very effective at home this season, which is a plus for Wednesday night.

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 7/26/16

P- Felix Hernandez (vs. Pittsburgh Pirates): $8,600. The Pirates offense has struggled over the last seven days. In that time span they are batting .237, with a .297 OBP, and a .678 OPS. In 109 career at bats against Felix, the Pirates offense is batting .165, with a .229 OBP, .249 slugging percentage, and 35 strikeouts. He is coming off an injury and a rough first start, but his career numbers against the Pirates makes me very confident in this pick.

 

P- Ervin Santana (vs. Atlanta Braves): $7,800. In 139 career at bats against Santana, the Braves’ lineup is batting .223, with .251 OBP, .454 slugging percentage, and 28 strikeouts. Santana has been on a great hot streak recently. Over his last six starts, he owns a 2-1 record, and a 2.03 ERA.

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 7/2/16

P – Jose Fernandez (vs. Atlanta Braves): $13,800. Jose is expensive on Saturday, but he is worth it. He is facing one of the worst offenses in baseball and he has been red hot recently. Fernandez is coming off an absolute gem against the Chicago Cubs, in which he threw seven innings, striking out 13, and allowing only one run. He is now averaging 13.12 strikeouts per nine innings this season.

P – Adam Wainwright (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $7,500. This is a bit of a risky pick, but it was necessary to choose a cheaper option since Jose Fernandez was so expensive. Wainwright has struggled this season, but he is facing an offense he has dominated throughout his career and they are ice cold over the last seven days. In 137 career at bats against Wainwright, the Brewers’ offense is batting .234, with two home runs, and a .274 OBP.

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Who Owned Baseball June 27, 2016 (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

Screen shot 2016-06-27 at 8.38.34 PM

JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES

Kris Bryant went 5 for 5 with 3 homers, driving in 6 and scoring 4 to lead the Cubs in a wild 11-8 slugfest in Cincinnati.

Jon Gray struck out 8 Blue Jays over 7 innings, walking none and worked around a pair of homers to get the 9-5 victory for Colorado.

Nick Franklin singled, doubled and homered, driving in 5 runs as the Rays snapped their losing streak, 13-7 over Boston.

Danny Duffy pitched 8 innings, allowing 2 runs, walking none and struck out 8 Cardinals batters to earn the 6-2 decision for the Royals.

They all owned baseball on June 27, 2016.

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

Who Owned Baseball June 26, 2016 (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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RICH SCHULTZ/GETTY IMAGES

Tyler Duffey did not allow a hit until the 6th and finished with 8 innings, 2 hits, 8 strikeouts and 1 run as the Twins clobbered the Yankees, 7-1.

Jose Fernandez struck out 13 Cubs and allowed just 4 hits and 1 run to earn the 6-1 decision for the red hot Marlins.

Lonnie Chisenhall collected 9 total bases with his 4 hits, including a homer and 3 RBI as the Indians continued to roll, 9-3, in Detroit.

Freddie Freeman reached base 4 times, including a homer and a pair of runs scored in the Braves 5-2 victory over the Mets.

They all owned baseball on June 26, 2016.

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

Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 6/23/16

P- Jerad Eickhoff (vs. Minnesota Twins): $9,400. All of the top tier pitchers have tough match-ups on Thursday, but Eickhoff has a very favorable matchup. He will be facing the Minnesota Twins, who have scored the fewest runs in the American League this year. So far in 2016, Eickhoff is 4-9, with a 3.49 ERA, 83 hits against, and 73 strikeouts in 85 innings pitched. His record isn’t pretty, but it is more a matter of lack of run support, which shouldn’t be an issue against the Twins.

 

P- Tim Lincecum (vs. Oakland Athletics): $7,100. Lincecum dominated the A’s in his season debut on Saturday. The A’s offense has really struggled recently, so Lincecum should be able to take care of business again on Thursday. Over the last seven games, the A’s rank 29th in runs, 29th in OBP, and 29th in slugging. This will also be Lincecum’s debut at his home stadium, so the crowd will be behind him, which should help him succeed.

 

To see the rest of the picks, click the link below:

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings – 5/14/16

Santana

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

If you have any questions or comments about this article or fantasy baseball, please Tweet me. I post daily DFS lineups for Draft Kings everyday, so please make sure to follow my blog.

Saturday could be a very rough day for pitchers, which is why I’m spending more money on hitters.

Out of the 15 games on the slate, 11 games are being played at a stadium that has at least a 10 MPH wind blowing towards the outfield.

Weather can play a huge role in daily fantasy, which is why the intense winds on Saturday could really shake up some of the potential pitching match-ups.

P – Aaron Nola (vs. Cincinnati Reds): $9,500

P – Ervin Santana (vs. Cleveland Indians): $7,000

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Stephen Strasburg Ties Felix Hernandez For 17th On The MLB’s ALL – Time Top 50 Contract List With Extension

 Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America

Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America

Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Majority Owner/Lead  Analyst)

Stephen Strasburg shocked he baseball world the other day – by inking a 7 year extension worth from $175 – $180 MIL.  It ties him for 17th All – Time with Felix Hernandez to start with, but he can earn an additional $7 MIL with $1 MIL per year bonuses for reaching 180 IP.

The deal pays him $15 MIL annually from 2016 – 2023, and then the deferrals kick in from 2023 – 2030, in 7 installments of $10 MIL each.

Some will say his deal is worth more like $162 MIL in present day dollars, however we do not operate our top 50 contracts list like that.  The deal is guaranteed at $175 MIL for now, and we will change it if bonuses are hit.

With this contract, the Nats have 4 current players that are on this ALL – Time List with Scherzer (10th), Strasburg (T 17th), Zimmerman (37th) and Werth (Tied 44th).

This signing is a great move to open a 3 year window for Washington, as they also have Bryce Harper under team control until after the 2018 season, however it also may seal the fate the of the young reigning NL MVP to move elsewhere for 2019.

Werth’s contract does end at the end of the 2017 year. but Zimmerman is still on the books until at least 2020.

It will be tough to come up with the dough necessary to drop a 11 – 13 years contract worth $35 – 40 MIL per annum when it comes to Harper.

Even with Scherzer’s and Strasburg’s deals both containing a ton of deferred money- all of them will still run simultaneously to Harper’s deal – even if they are not on the roster each after the 2023 season.

I think you couldn’t risk trying to outbid everyone for Harper’s services, yet to pay Strasburg market value makes sense.

This club could even save some payroll by trading Gio Gonzalez, as they have Joe Ross and Tanner Roark starting in the rotation for depth, and Lucas Giolito has not started his time service clock. Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball May 6, 2016 (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

JoseRamirezCapture

TONY DEJAK/AP

Jose Ramirez reached base four times, doubling twice, driving in five to help the Indians clobber their divisional rival Royals, 7-1.

Ben Zobrist got on four times, homering twice and driving in 4 as the Cubs beat the Nationals, 8-6.

Cole Hamels let up a lead off single and then didn’t allow another hit for 7 shutout innings, walking two Tigers and striking out 9 to earn the 5-1 victory for Texas.

Francisco Liriano struck out 10 Cardinals and allowed only 5 hits and 2 walks over 7 innings as the Pirates took the game 4-2.

They all owned baseball on May 6, 2016.

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

The Oakland A’s Call Up Top Pitching Prospect Sean Manaea

Sean Manaea

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

The Oakland Athletics had a choice to make. They had options for who would be their fifth starter this week and it’s not the more obvious of choices. It’s 24-year-old Sean Manaea, the A’s number two overall prospect and top pitching prospect.

According to multiple sources, including Sports Illustrated, MLB.com and the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s will call up Manaea to start Friday against the Houston Astros.

Manaea has barely spent time in the minors but vice president of baseball operations for the A’s Billy Beane has said that he wouldn’t bring him up unless he thought he was ready.

The A’s are likely just testing the waters, seeing if Manaea transition his unbelievable number of strike outs effectively in the majors.

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MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 1 – April

cubs

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

Team – Rank (W – L Record) (Last week ranking in parenthesis)

(1) Chicago Cubs  (5 – 1)  (1):  The Cubs weathered the loss of their slugging OF Kyle Schwarber this week – by taking 5 of the 1st 6 games played, and all on the road.  After these 6 contests – the squad is outscoring their opponents 42 – 15.

Love the idea of setting the table with Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist 1-2-3 prior to the boppers coming after in Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

Having the 2015 NL ROY may help Rizzo win the NL MVP this season.  He had 10 RBI this week – including a 6 RBI effort.

Jake Arrieta is already 2 – 0, and this team shows no signs of slowing down.

(2)  KC Royals  (4 – 1) (2):  This club just knows how to win with the dominant Bullpen and clutch hitting.  They have only yielded 11 runs thus far, and this team has not even hit huge strides on offense yet.

The AL Central is better in 2016 there is no question, however KC will be ready to take them on.  There may not be a more filthy Late Inning Reliever right now than Wade DavisEdinson Volquez has picked up right where he left off in 2015 as well. Read the rest of this entry

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Sports Selections For MLB Action – Apr 8, 2016

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Josh Robbins (Featured Fantasy Writer/60ft6in.com) 

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Hi, my name is Josh Robbins.  I would like to share my Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) strategy with you throughout the MLB season.  Fanduel is my preferred game of skill.

Welcome to the first full weekend of the 2016 MLB season.

3-Strikes: Here’s what you expect from my daily articles:

My Top 3 Starting Pitchers (aces, mid-level, bargain)

My Top 3 Stacking Options (multiple players from the same team)

My Top 3 BVP (Batter vs. Pitcher) Options Read the rest of this entry

New York Yankees Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

 

With almost $100 MIL tied up in contracts for Sabathia, A-Rod, Teixeira and a potential Tommy John Surgery candidate in Masahiro Tanaka, this New York squad is in some deep trouble for next season. Despite the recent playoff misses, and injury prone players brought in by Brian Cashman, the club saw fit to grant him a 3 year extension last month. It may take a small miracle for them to make a playoff spot next campaign..

With almost $100 MIL tied up in contracts for Sabathia, A-Rod, Teixeira and a potential Tommy John Surgery candidate in Masahiro Tanaka, this New York squad is in some deep trouble for this season if injuries occur.  It may take a small miracle for them to make a playoff spot next campaign again without spending some cash.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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Brian Cashman can finally see some relief from some exorbitant contracts plaguing him from the last several years.

2016 sees the last year on deals for Aroldis Chapman,  C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Carlos BeltranAlex Rodriguez is still on the book for one more year after this.

Sabathia does have a Vesting Option for $25 MIL if salary guaranteed if he 1) does not end 2016 on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury, 2) does not spend more than 45 days in 2016 on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury or 3) does not make more than six relief appearances in 2016 because of a left shoulder injury.

The Yankees can’t guarantee this will happen. Therefore the club must treat this contract as part of their deal for 2017 as well.  The Buyout would be $5 MIL.

Sabathia’s drinking aside, they are paying for the good years right now, and he is no better than a 5th Starter – and at 36 years of age with 3000+ IP logged for his career, there may be not much left in the tank. Read the rest of this entry

The Chicago Cubs Offense Will Lead To Many World Series Titles

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It has been 108 years since the Cubs last won a World Series

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

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Could this be the year that the Chicago Cubs break their curse of not winning a World Series title since 1908?

Many baseball fans and critics believe they have the best shot out of all teams in Major League Baseball.

The Chicago Cubs organization has done an amazing job at developing homegrown talent over the past 4 to 5 years and this young talent is starting to make a massive impact in the big leagues.

Not only are the Cubs producing homegrown talent, but they made a huge splash in the free agency market this Spring.

This team has so much talent that there are multiple very talented players who currently don’t have a spot in the lineup.

In this article I will highlight each position and share the key organizational depth that could possibly bring home a World Series title in 2016.

Each position will list players who are projected to start and prospects that could have an impact within the next 2-4 years.

Players with multi-positional eligibility will have this listed in their bio. Prospects will be listed at positions that they are projected to play when they arrive in the big leagues.

Please click the link below to see my analysis on Miguel Montero, Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo, Dan Vogelbach, Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez, Addison Russell, Gleyber Torres, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Ian Happ, Albert Almora, and more:

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

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.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Get Ready For The ‘Zombie Cardinals’ Version 11.0 In 2016: Cubs Are Favored In Division – But Gap Isn’t Huge

St. Louis has been an elite team in the National League for the last 15 years. While Chicago deserves to be favorite in the NL Central - and to win the World Series, never sleep on the St. Louis Cardinals. This team has 9 LCS Appearances since 2000, and did win 100 win games last campaign. Throw in a championship pedigree - and a brilliant youth movement, aided by a few cagey veterans, and the gap is just not that great compared with the Cubs.

St. Louis has been an elite team in the National League for the last 15 years. While Chicago deserves to be favorite in the NL Central – and to win the World Series, never sleep on the St. Louis Cardinals. This team has 9 LCS Appearances since 2000, and did win 100 win games last campaign. Throw in a championship pedigree – and a brilliant youth movement, aided by a few cagey veterans, and the gap is just not that great compared with the Cubs.  A huge effort by Adam Wainwright, with less than perfect years from Arrieta and Lester may be all it takes for the RedBirds to remain the kings of the NL Central.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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The Cubs have signed Dexter Fowler and traded away Chris Coghlan yesterday, and the Cards will have another week this winter where they are not the focus of the NL Central.  It probably suits them just fine.

On the heels of a 100 win campaign during 2015, the gambling websites, PECOTA and FanGraphs are all projecting a massive regression for St. Louis in 2016.  I am not one of those people.

I, for one, think the Cardinals are still to be reckoned with.

Switch out a potentially healthy Matt Holliday, coupled with full years from Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk – for the departed Jason Heyward to the Cubs, and I like that.

Throw in Adam Wainwright and Mike Leake, for the loss of Lance Lynn and John Lackey, and I still like that almost as even.

No doubt that Ben Zobrist was a good singing for the Chicago Cubs this offseason, but lets not throw St. Louis over the cliff just yet. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

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 tied for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz.  New York brought him back for at least another year, where he helped the Mets go 34 - 23 down the stretch.  Expect more of the same in 2016.  Mets are the best bet of the week for the 'Fall Classic' value wise.

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 tied for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz. New York brought him back for at least another year, where he helped the Mets go 34 – 23 down the stretch. Expect more of the same in 2016. Mets are the best bet of the week for the ‘Fall Classic’ value wise.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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A couple of things have happened over the last week.  The Mets signed Yoenis Cespedes and no odd was changed after this.  Very strange indeed.

With adding the Cuban slugger, the Mets have almost assured their fanbase for another post season berth in 2016.  This club is more like it was in the last 2 months than it was in the 1st four months.

Even if the Nationals were to have an unbelievable year – the Mets should still make the postseason as the #1 Wild Card seed.

I have the Mets as a 96 win team after this move, with the Nats listed about 93 victories.  Had the Nats picked up Cespedes, I would have given Washington a 95 – 92 win advantage over New York. Read the rest of this entry

Chris Davis (Tied For 20th) + Justin Upton (38th) Join The Top 50 All – Time Salary List

Losing Chris Davis and his 45+ HR power would have been very difficult to replace. The O's have their man with a creative deferral payment plan that will see them pay Davis $119 MIL from 2016 - 2022, and then pay out $42 MIL over the next 15 years in deferrals.

Losing Chris Davis and his 45+ HR power would have been very difficult to replace. The O’s have their man with a creative deferral payment plan that will see them pay Davis $119 MIL from 2016 – 2022, and then pay out $42 MIL over the next 15 years in deferrals.  The $161 MIL has him tied for 19th ALL – Time in MLB Player Contracts with CC Sabathia.  The Orioles slugger led the league with 47 HRs (2nd time in 3 years), and has clubbed 126 HRs (led all of the MLB) in the last 3 seasons despite being levied a 25 game suspension for his medication in Sept of 2014.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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Chris Davis, 30 in 2016,  and Justin Upton, 28,  are now in the 9 figure club and among historical contracts of ALL – Time.  Davis inked a 7 YR deal for $161 MIL – while Upton is at 6 Years for $132.75 (distributed evenly throughout.)

The Big 1B/OF for the O’s will make $119 MIL from 2016 – 2022 paid evenly by $17 MIL per year before the crazy deferral program kicks in.  From 2023 – 2030, Davis will earn $3.5 per annum for another $31 MIL.  The deal then goes from 2031 – 2037 at a 1.4 MIL per annum clip.   All told it is $161 MIL spread over 21 years. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Power Rankings New Years 2016

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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(1) Chicago Cubs: Big additions of Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey.  Tonnes of young superstars only ging to get better.

(2) NY Mets:  Starting Pitching best in the Majors.  Offensive depth better in offseason.  Need David Wright to stay healthy.  NL East easiest bottom 3 teams in the bigs.

(3) Kansas City Royals:  Easiest Division in the Majors.  Back to Back AL Pennants and defending World Series Champs.  Look for some more mid year deals. Read the rest of this entry

Tampa Bay Rays State Of The Union For 2016

The Rays have still been one of the best teams in baseball since the start of 2008. Last year marked their 1st losing season since 2007 - and that was only at 80 - 82. But with the starting positional players listed on depth chart all being below league averages on offense - except for Logan Forsythe and Evan Longoria, they will need a few breakout players from their bench. It may be time trade one or 2 Starting Pitchers to add some offensive help. If they fall out of contention, it also may not be a bad idea to trade all veterans that they can. This may include Evan Longoria.

The Rays have still been one of the best teams in baseball since the start of 2008. Last year marked their 1st losing season since 2007 – and that was only at 80 – 82. But with the starting positional players listed on depth chart all being below league averages on offense – except for Logan Forsythe and Evan Longoria, they will need a few breakout players from their bench. It may be time trade one or 2 Starting Pitchers to add some offensive help. If they fall out of contention in 2016 it also may not be a bad idea to trade all veterans that they can. This may include Longoria.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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The Tampa Bay Rays failed to make it to .500 or better for the 1st time since 2008 in 2015, however with a 5 game winning streak at the end of the campaign, they made it to 80 wins or better for an 8th year in a row.  I highly suspect this year that may come crashing down.

First Boston went off on a spending spree to amp up its roster, and now the Yankees have added Aroldis Chapman to the fold, and upgraded at Second Base with Starlin Castro.

Toronto made its moves for the better in late July, and should be a team to be reckoned with again in 2016.

Only the Orioles don’t look to compete in the AL East during the 2016 campaign with the Rays thus far, and they still may be tough to play 19 times a year if they are to re-sign Chris Davis.

Tampa Bay still clearly has the best Pitching Rotation in the Division with Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly, Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi filtering in spots 1 – 5.  But will it be enough to help a fledgling offensive in 2016? Read the rest of this entry

Los Angeles Angels State Of The Union For 2016

The Angels could easily upgrade 2B and an LF spots, and will need to compensate for Albert Pujols to at least miss the start of the 2016 season as well. They have great depth in the Pitching Rotation, however are bogged down by the Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson costing them a combined $40 MIL. Add in $30 MIL in buyout/dead money and the team will have a tough time competing in 2016 without nearing $200 MIL in total team payroll.

The Angels could easily upgrade their 2B and LF positions, and will need to compensate for Albert Pujols to at least miss the start of the 2016 season as well. They have great depth in the Pitching Rotation, however are bogged down by the Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson costing them a combined $40 MIL. Add in $30 MIL in buyout/dead money and the team will have a tough time competing in 2016 without nearing $200 MIL in total team payroll.  This means that Arte Moreno will have to give new GM Billy Eppler some more money to dole out to Free Agents.  Will he do it?  I am afraid for the Halo’s in 2016 if he doesn’t bring in 2 – 3 more upgrades..

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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It has been a slow but somewhat productive winter for the Angels brass, and in particular for new GM Billy Eppler.  They have done the kind of deals that will work only if they still pull the trigger on signing a premiere player.

Los Angeles acquired a 3B already in Yunel Escobar, who was only traded for by flipping Trevor Gott and a mid level prospect. Not bad for a guy who batted .315/.374/.415 over the past year, makes $7 MIL in 2016, and has a Team Option for 2017 at another $7 MIL – or the club can Buy him out for a cool million.

This came on the heels of trading for Andrelton Simmons, who has 5 years of Team Control left for a guy that only had one more year of salary on the books in Erick Aybar. Read the rest of this entry

Tampa Bay Rays Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

The Rays are one of six teams that are projected to spend over $30 MIL in Arbitration Eligible Players along with the Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, New York mets Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals all will likely pay more in totality than the Rays for 2016.

The Rays are one of six teams that are projected to spend over $30 MIL in Arbitration Eligible Players along with the Baltimore O’s, Toronto Blue Jays, NY Mets, Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals all will likely pay more in totality than the Rays for 2016.  The team will only have around a $70 MIL payroll for the coming year.  Don’t look for them to add that many pieces either with drawing just under 1.3 Million fans in 2015 – the worst attendance figure in the Major Leagues.   The club has won at least 80 games a year since 2008, and still they can’t draw at Tropicana Field.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Rays only have four players on current contracts so far this winter, but they also only stand to lose 2 players after the 2016 year in James Loney and Logan Morrison.

Tampa has 3 players in the 1st year of Arbitration and 5 guys in the 2nd Year of Arbitration.  The 2nd year guys include Jake McGee, Logan Forsythe and Alex Cobb – all could be added with 1st Year ARB player Drew Smyly as distinct trade candidates.

Already having 5 pending Free Agents in 2018 has to be in the minds of the management.  All of them will not end the 2016 year on the Roster in my view.

Morrison and Loney both may not reach opening day as both being on the Roster either. Read the rest of this entry

Kansas City Royals State Of The Union For 2016

Back to Back AL pennants and this years World Series Winners. They are the biggest favorite to win their respective division so far on the board. The KC franchise has most of the core nucleus all heading for Free Agency before the 2018 season. If I were a fan of this club - I would be okay with the team rebuilding after this, but for now to throw all chips in and try to cash in on a chance for a small dynasty. Dayton Moore and the Brass should use any one of their Minor League Players to acquire the next piece or 2 to make that happen in 2016 and 2017.

Back to Back AL pennants and this years World Series Winners. They are the biggest favorite to win their respective division so far on the board. The KC franchise has most of the core nucleus all heading for Free Agency before the 2018 season. If I were a fan of this club – I would be okay with the team rebuilding after this, but for now to throw all chips in and try to cash in on a chance for a small dynasty. Dayton Moore and the Brass should use any one of their Minor League Players to acquire the next piece or 2 to make that happen in 2016 and 2017.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Royals are back to back AL Pennant winners and the reigning World Series Champions right now.  Furthermore, they are playing in the most winnable Division in the Majors right now.

Kansas City were the 1st real small market club to win the World Series since the 2003 Marlins club took home the Fall Classic that year.

Just like the 2014 winter, the club will sustain losses between the end of the year to Spring Training the following year.

The door is not closed on Alex Gordon yet, however I don’t think it is in the clubs best interest to pay a 9 figure salary to a guy who is already 30.

KC has already seen Ben Zobrist sign with the Cubs, Johnny Cueto with the Giants, and Greg Holland will not pitch at all in the 2016 season with Tommy John Surgery recovery, and certainly not for the Royals.

Dayton Moore has done a decent job acquiring talent though.  The team resigned Starter Chris Young, and they added one time Royals Closer Joakim Soria.

The window is not just for 2016 – as the club only stands to lose back up Catcher Drew Butera following next year, but also for 2017. Read the rest of this entry

Giants Ink Johnny Cueto: It’s Tied For The 37th ALL – Time In MLB Contracts

Johnny Cueto is 97 - 70 (.578) career with a 3.30 ERA however he has put forth a 2.71 ERA since the start of the 2011 year. Much like his new team, Cueto has performed better in the even years of this decade, where he finished 2nd in Cy Young Voting in 2012 and 4th in 2014 Cy Young Voting.

Johnny Cueto is 97 – 70 (.578) career with a 3.30 ERA however he has put forth a 2.71 ERA since the start of the 2011 year. Much like his new team, Cueto has performed better in the even years of this decade, where he finished 2nd in Cy Young Voting in 2012 and 4th in 2014 Cy Young Voting.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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The landscape of the NL West just changed again. As of right now I give the Giants as equally a shot to win the NL West as I do the LA Dodgers.  Signing Johnny Cueto is an awesome move.

Even better than the 6 YRs/$130 MIL deal is an opt out clause after 2 years, when Cueto can forego the final 4 years of the pact – leaving the San Fran club with $84 MIL on the table.

The current contract also calls for a Team Option for a 7th year.

Cueto, who is 30, most likely will opt out after 2017 if he can put up great back to back seasons as good as his 2.71 ERA since the start of the 2011 campaign, – only bested by Clayton Kershaw in that time frame.

Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB Divisions

Even with the Cubs signing Jason Heyward and being the favorite to win bot the NL Pennant and World Series, they have to contend with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016 once again. The Redbirds won 100 games and are coming back with another great squad. That is the sole reason why they are not the biggest favorite to win their own Division.

Even with the Cubs signing Jason Heyward and being the favorite to win bot the NL Pennant and World Series, they have to contend with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016 once again. The Redbirds won 100 games and are coming back with another great squad. That is the sole reason why the Cubs are not the biggest favorite to win their own Division.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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These odds are a pretty good reflection of the landscape in the MLB right now.  The best value on the board would be the NY Yankees are +240 and Detroit at +250.  Both of these clubs are old, but if they can play to their talent level and avoid injury, could win their Divisions.

I fully expect the Cubs will win the National League Central Division, but the +140 odd doesn’t pay enough to entice a wager.

The worst odd on the board has to be the Texas Rangers.  I am not sure they are that much better than the Houston Astros right now, and they have not had a banner winter yet – while Houston has solidified their Bullpen by adding flamethrower Ken Giles.

Add in a full year of Carlos Correa – and Houston should be the Division favorite.

I think the Twins might be a nice long shot wager at +310.  This club did finished 2nd in the American League Central Division during the 2015 year with 83 victories. Read the rest of this entry

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