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

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization is looking a lot better over the last few years.  They have had 20 Losing seasons in a row - and are one of the 3 teams to not make the playoffs since the 1994 Player Strike (KC and Toronto) and are the the only National League team to hold this distinction.  The club were one of the best franchises around the game of the MLB in the 1970's.  Their recent struggles have been because of drafting prior to the Huntington reign as GM.

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization havebeen looking a lot better over the last few years. They had 20 Losing seasons in a row finally end in 2013, – and at the time were one of the 3 teams to not make the playoffs since the 1994 Player Strike (KC and Toronto) and were the only National League team to hold this distinction until they clinched a wildcard berth in last year’s postseason. The squad even won a game at PNC Park for the 1st time ever in playoffs against the Reds in the NL Wildcard game.  They were ousted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 5 games during the NLDS round.   The club was one of the best franchises around the game of the MLB in the 1970’s. Their recent struggles (prior to 2013) have been because of drafting prior to the Huntington reign as GM.  This Roster Tree will show you they have done well via the trade route for several years.

How All Of The Pirates Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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Neil Huntington has done a great job assembling this Pirates team – and has spun some great trades in order to see his club actually be competitive over the last few years.

He may have taken some flak over not spending any money over the 2013 off season, but let’s see if he is active towards the Trade Deadline.

If the club has money to spend, they could really do some damage with picking up some help to bolster the squad.

Making the playoffs is just not good enough anymore.

You have been given a gift with the longterm deals that Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte have inked, and with the service clock just starting on Gregory Polanco.

It is an OF that hasn’t seen this much talent in Steeltown since the days of Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and Andy Van Slyke. Read the rest of this entry

Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Roster + Organizational Depth Charts (MLB and MiLB)

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

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The Pittsburgh Pirates broke a 21 Year Old playoff drought in 2013, by winning 94 Games, winning the Wild Card Game to the Reds – before bowing out to the St. Louis Cardinals in 5 games of the LDS.

Neil Huntington has done an exceptional job assembling this club both via trade an drafting.

Not signing A.J. Burnett to a deal is actually a smart move when you figure he is going to earn $16.0 MIL in 2014.  If the Bucs GM would have doled out the 1 YR/$14.1 MIL for the cagey veteran, it would have blown the teams salary structure. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 14

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Monday July.01/2013

The Bucs have won 9 straight games and now possess a record of 51 - 30.  You have to think that the club will put the nail in the coffin on its 20 year losing streak - with just needing to win 31 of their 81 games remaining.  Better yet, ESPN has them listed as a 88 Percent chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1992 season.  At the halfway point in the season, the Bucs have the best record in the MLB - and have reached #2 in our power rankings

The Bucs have won 9 straight games and now possess a record of 51 – 30. You have to think that the club will finally put the nail in the coffin on its 20 year losing streak – with just needing to win 31 of their 81 games remaining. Better yet, ESPN has them listed as a 88 Percent chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1992 season. At the halfway point in the season, the Bucs have the best record in the MLB – and have reached #2 in our power rankings.

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

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

Week Stats Ending – June.29/2013

(MLB Reports) AL Hitter Of The Week –  Jason Kipnis (CLE – He reached base 24 times in the 8 games (14 hits, 9 Walks and 1 HBP) – with 3 HRs, 6 – 2B, 9 Runs and 11 RBI.  He hit .519 for the week).

Runners up were:  Miguel Cabrera (DET – OPS of 1.583, with 4 HRs and 7 RBI), Dustin Pedroia (BOS – .560 BA, 14 hits), and Raul Ibanez (SEA – OPS of 1.455 – 3 HRs and 5 RBI.)

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The Week–  R.A. Dickey (TOR – 2 hit CG Shutout versus the Tampa Bay Rays.)

Runners up were: Koji Uehara (BOS – 3 Perfect Saves) and Joe Blanton LAA (1 – 0, with a 1.88 ERA in 2 GS). Read the rest of this entry

The Pittsburgh Pirates Roster Tree Part 2: The Hitters

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Monday, June.17/2013

McCutchen is signed for about an average of 8.5 Million Dollars a year until he hits FA in 2018.  If he can be amongst the running for NL MVP every year like 2012, this will bode well for the Pirates value in his salary.  He is the best player the franchise has drafted since Barry Bonds.

McCutchen is signed for about an average of 8.5 Million Dollars a year until he hits FA in 2018. If he can be among the running for NL MVP every year like 2012, this will bode well for the Pirates value in his salary. He is the best player the franchise has drafted since Barry Bonds.

Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner/Lead Analyst)

Neil Huntington has done a great job assembling this Pirates team – and has spun some great trades in order to see his club actually be competitive over the last few years.

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Bucs – and how they assembled their current rosters.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see w here the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted.

Listed Below is Part 1 of the Roster Tree

Pittsburgh Pirates Roster Tree Part 1: The Pitchers

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Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Team Salary, Pirates Roster + Organizational Depth Charts (MLB and MiLB)

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Friday, Apr.26/2013

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization is looking a lot better over the last few years.  They have had 20 Losing season in a row - and are one of the 3 teams to not make the playoffs since the 1994 Player Strike (KC and Toronto) and are the the only National League team to hold this distinction.  The club were one of the best franchises around the game of the MLB in the 1970's

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization is looking a lot better over the last few years. They have had 20 Losing season in a row – and are one of the 3 teams to not make the playoffs since the 1994 Player Strike (KC and Toronto) and are the the only National League team to hold this distinction. The club were one of the best franchises around the game of the MLB in the 1970’s.  The club has started 13 – 9 in 2013.  This pattern has formed over the last few campaigns, – in the NL Central contention until just after the ALL – Star Break – before swooning in 2011 and 2012.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site ( that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Pirates Organization click here

Pittsburgh Pirates Look at Buc Nation 3 Videos:

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Athletics 8 Game Win Streak Is Nothing New To Pattern Formed Since Last Year

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Friday, Apr.12/2013

Oakland Athletics' Jed Lowrie has made Billy Beane look like a genius once again - with clubbing 16 hits, (8 of the Extra Base Variety), Scoring 10 Runs and Walking 6 times so far in the teams 8 - 2 start.  He has an OPS of 1.258 thus far.

Oakland Athletics’ Jed Lowrie has made Billy Beane look like a genius once again – with clubbing 16 hits, (8 of the Extra Base Variety), Scoring 10 Runs and Walking 6 times so far in the teams 8 – 2 start. He has an OPS of 1.258.  He was acquired from the Houston Astros in a February trade which sent Chris Carter the other way.  The man can play several defensive positions well.  He is due for Arbitration at the end of this season, before becoming a Free Agent in 2015.  Beane doesn’t seem to make a bad move these days.

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

Hands up.. How many people would have thought that the Oakland Athletics would start the 2013 season with the best record in the Major Leagues so far?

Of course this website is not surprised at all.  Jonathan Hacohen (Website Founder and current Oakland A’s Correspondent) wrote a brilliant piece in the 1st week of July/2012 – breaking down Billy Beane‘s new MoneyBall Philosophy here.

I have to admit something right now..  I had not seen the movie “MoneyBall” even by this time.  Yes…brutal and I was kicking myself for not seeing it before hand.

After the movie, I did some digging and was extremely flabbergasted with what I found about Beane’s magic.  I wrote a Roster Tree for the Hitters and Pitchers in the organization.  I studied every single transaction to back track how each of the current member of the team had arrived in an Oakland uniform.  You can find that 2 part series here.

Can the Oakland A’s Do it Again in 2013 Preview:

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The New Bash Brothers of Oakland – The A’s State Of The Union 2013 Part 1: The Hitters

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Sunday March 24th, 2013

With Cespedes (23 HRs)and Reddick (32 HRs) anchoring the middle of the lineup last year in the 2nd half - the Athletics belted an MLB Leading 112 Round Trippers after the ALL - Star Game.  Many players clubbed the long - ball despite limited AB in the lineup.  They also finished 3rd in the Major Leagues for the whole season on the road.  This is bad news for teams in the AL West.  The team looks to duplicate their incredible second half of power into a full season in 2013.

With Cespedes (23 HRs)and Reddick (32 HRs) anchoring the middle of the lineup last year in the 2nd half – the Athletics belted an MLB Leading 112 Round Trippers after the ALL – Star Game. Many players clubbed the long – ball despite limited AB in the lineup. They also finished 3rd in the Major Leagues for the whole season on the road. This is bad news for teams in the AL West. The team looks to duplicate their incredible second half of power into a full season in 2013.

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

The success of the Oakland Athletics was the surprise of the year in 2012. No one expected them to win the AL West after the Angels signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson and with the Rangers coming off of their second straight World Series Appearance. The A’s completely came out of nowhere with players stepping up that no one had heard of.

Josh Reddick proved to be a great acquisition from the Red Sox, hitting 32 bombs and driving in 85 runs. Cuban import Yoenis Cespedes also exceeded expectations after he was signed in the offseason, hitting 23 Homers and driving in 82. These two hard-hitting Outfielders served as mini Bash Brothers.

Of course, no pair of hitters could compare to the Bash Brothers of 1987 consisting of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, who combined for 80 HR.

But, seeing Reddick and Cespedes both have good hitting seasons could have reminded longtime A’s fans of the greatness that happened in 1987, Canseco’s second year and when McGwire was a rookie. Cespedes and Reddick, along with the rest of the Oakland Athletics’ cast brought excitement to the Oakland Coliseum for the first time in a few years. But, the big question is: was last year a fluke?

The Swinging A’s in 2013 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised:

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The Detroit Tigers Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward Updated Mar.09/13

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Justin Verlander has 2 years left on his current contract left at 20.0 Million Dollars Per Year. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder also make north of that total. Justin Verlander will be 31 years old when he hits Free Agency in 2015.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner):

I believe that the Tigers are set up for a solid run as a perennial playoff contender, yet the club needs a small face change in order to get back to the dance in 2013.  I honestly was stunned to see Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Delmon Young and Jose Valverde all play at the type of body structure they possess during the Post Season. 

If you saw these guys in a bowling alley, the words ‘World Class Athlete’ would definitely not enter a conversation amongst strangers who were trying to sum them up.  Baseball is a game that your body type doesn’t hold you back, however when you have multiple heavy players on offense, it really clogs up the base paths.  While watching Game #4 was about the time I started to change my opinion on the state of the game needing to be more athletic.

Fielder and Cabrera may be the best 3-4 tandem in the Major Leagues now.  The Tigers can definitely weather these two guys in the lineup even though they jam the teams ability for base running.  The key is to build a bunch of ‘Road Runners’ around them.  I like Austin Jackson, Quintin Berry and Andy Dirks all being in the lineup to help the speed factor. 

Also with Victor Martinez coming back in 2013, the team has one of the best Designated Hitters in baseball back in the fold.   Then the team brought in classy veteran Torii Hunter (after inking him to a 2 YR/$26 MIL Contract.  This shows how urgent it is for the organization to cash in a World Series with their roster.)

Torii Hunter Highlights – Explicit Language is used so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Carlos Gonzalez: Committing Superstar Fraud in Colorado

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Sunday December 30th, 2012

Jonathan Hacohen  (Baseball Writer and Website Founder):  

Today I tackle one of my favorite baseball points of discussion: Carlos Gonzalez – MLB Superstar or simply a product of Coors Field?

It absolutely amazes me how Gonzalez has seemingly fooled the majority of the baseball world. From Twitter to leading baseball magazines, the average baseball fans to leading national writers are convinced that the young man is one of the top players in the game. Whenever I hear the CarGo fan train pulling into the station, I always have one response:  check the home/road splits. Read the rest of this entry

Chicago White Sox: Should They Pick Up Kevin Youkilis’ Option?

Monday August 27th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  The Chicago White Sox weren’t expected to be in the race this late in the season, but hey, here they are, 2.5 games ahead of the favorite Tigers in the American League east division. A big piece to their success has been Kevin Youkilis, who came over from Boston during the final week of June. Red Sox fans refer to him to leaving as a curse, while White Sox fans refer to him as a spark. Sure, his overall numbers aren’t anything to write home about (.254/.380/.469), but third baseman are hard to come by these days, especially experienced ones. And Youk is as steady as they come, health permitting. Youkilis, who has a $13 million option that comes into play once the season concludes, will likely gain a fair amount of interest should Chicago let him test open waters. However, Chicago shouldn’t give him the opportunity to test the market.

OK, so he might not be worth $13 million. But who will skipper Robin Ventura pencil in at third base of Youkilis leaves the windy city? They might as well forget about finding someone in free agency as the pickings are slim. David Wright could headline the group. Unless the Mets pick up his option (which they will), in which case he will only come through trade or in free agency in another year. Also, GM Kenny Williams would have to enter a bidding war with the Mets and several other clubs who have a hole at the hot corner to obtain Wright. Then, the rest of the crop boils down the likes of Placido Polanco, Mark Reynolds, and Brandon Inge. Any intriguing options in that group? I don’t think so. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: August 2012

Monday August.6/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- It has been a crazy month in which teams have stockpiled some heavy talent at the trade deadline to get ready for the playoffs.  Amongst the biggest gainers for the rankings this month were: the Athletics, Reds, Braves, Tigers, Dodgers (because of the deals) and Mariners while the Mets, Red Sox, Indians and Royals saw brutal months all but seal their playoff fates.  I do think that Boston has a punchers chance but that all is dependent on David Ortiz returning to the lineup swiftly.  The power of the best teams is definitely leaning to the National League right now where several teams are playing great baseball.  With one-third of the season left we are all in for a treat as baseball fans.

I will have one more regular season Power Rankings month of September (to be posted on Labor Day Weekend,)  before I also provide a playoff style ranking of the 1-10 seeds right before the Wild Card Teams play the play in game.  It certainly has been awesome to follow how the trade deadline has effected the Monthly Rankings this time around.  I think it is safe to say that this years deadline provided more interest and following-from even the casual fan more than any other year before.  I also believe that the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is now the best Trade Deadline in all of sports.  Social Media has a lot to do with this but so does parity.  The 2nd Wild Card spot has also created more teams willing to trade prospects in lieu of going for it. Read the rest of this entry

Watch Out For the Oakland A’s: Top Pitching and Countless Walk-Offs

Wednesday July 25th, 2012

John Burns:  Nobody would have told you prior to the season that the A’s would be 7 games over .500 in late July. With a 51-44 record the red-hot Oakland A’s have been one of the baseballs biggest surprises in baseball. Oakland is coming off a 4 game sweep of the AL East leading New York Yankees and that is when the A’s caught everyone’s attention. Oakland has a MLB-leading 11 walk-off victories this season. The A’s have the second lowest payroll in the league with $55 million and the New York Yankees who they just swept has a $200 million payroll. The A’s season so far has been basically a recap of the movie “Money ball”, how Oakland is having this success with virtually no superstar and such a low payroll is truly amazing. With the sweep of the Yankees the A’s are tied for a Wild Card spot. July has been a huge month for Oakland and they produced with a 15-2 record so far to show their GM Billy Beane they are serious. Add to that a 7-game winning streak. Still not convinced? Ask the Toronto Blue Jays and Ricky Romero. The A’s have taken 2-straight games in Toronto, including tonight’s 16-0 massacre. These A’s are a team to keep an eye on. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – April 29th, 2012

Sunday April 29th, 2012

Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week (LOTS of Expansion talk this week):

Q: Where will the WBC games be played in March  Chris

Q: Does anyone know what the dates are for the 2013 World Baseball Classic and how it will affect the schedule for Spring Training?  Steve

JH: Hello Chris and Steve. Yes, we love talking WBC on MLB reports. So much so, that we have a page dedicated exclusively to the greatest international baseball tournament of all time! Please click on to find out all the latest World Baseball Classic news and reports. With the WBC qualifiers still coming up, we are still far away from the tournament itself- coming up in March 2013. The qualifiers will be played in Florida, Panama, Germany and Taiwan. Each site will host 4 countries- with 1 winner advancing to the WBC tournament from each pool. For the 1st two tournaments, the finals were held in Los Angeles (Dodger Stadium). As to which cities will be lucky to host the 2013 WBC- stay tuned. I expect the announcement to come sometime between the end of the World Series and New Years. But as soon as we have the info- we will announce it! The WBC will have the effect of extending the spring schedule to some degree. It is a never-ending battle for Major League Baseball, to accommodate spring training while still keeping the WBC schedule on track. It’s not a perfect system, so certainly expect baseball officials to continue to tweak the schedule every tournament until they find the best possible schedule. Read the rest of this entry

An Interview with ‘Rogers Center Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen

Monday April 16th, 2012

Follow Chuck Booth’s streak all the through to the bitter end.  Schedule is this link: or at his official website for all updates!

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and- @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)– For once the shoe is on the other foot.  I asked the MLB Reports Founder and ‘Lead Columnist’ Jonathan Hacohen if I could interview him 5 months after he interviewed me.  Jonathan and I came into talking by both talking to the  MLB FanCave guys at the same time on twitter last June.  Jonathan was really interested in My baseball book “The Fastest Thirty Ballgames” and I sent him a copy of it if he agreed to do a review.  Jonathan finished the book and gave one of the most incredible reviews for my book that I have ever seen for any baseball book anywhere.  Somewhere I had given up all of my creative writing energy in the process while writing this said book.  Jonathan followed up with an interview later.  During the World Series, he offered up a chance to do a guest article since I knew a lot about the ballparks in Texas and St. Louis.  Now I am sure it was all part of his master plan: the one guest article turned into a once a week article, before I even realized it myself, I was writing 2 articles a week and craving more!  I messaged Jonathan about a potential run at the record to see all 30 MLB Parks before anyone on this planet.  The reason is the man loves baseball.  He was just as fired up as I was!  From there we have worked together as a team to provide a different kind of article series that has ever been seen by a baseball writer and website.  I am happy to finally meet Jonathan today live in person for the Jays game during this record chase.  Before we write about that, I had a chance to talk the man about baseball life, the MLB Reports and the Rogers Center.  Here is what we discussed… Read the rest of this entry

Major League Baseball Needs to Adopt An Amnesty Clause

Wednesday December 28, 2011

Jeff P (Guest Writer – MLB reports):  The amnesty clause has received a great deal of attention in the National Basketball Association, as it became a new provision in the new collective bargaining system. The amnesty clause allows a team to terminate a player’s contract, though it comes with certain conditions and restrictions.

First of all, if a player is amnestied, his contract doesn’t go against the salary cap. As a result, players like Chauncey Billups, Travis Outlaw, and others with large contracts, were amnestied. However, only one player per team can be amnestied. When this occurs, he goes to the waiver wire, and teams can proceed to bid for his services.

An amnesty clause would help many MLB teams lower their financial deficits. It might not make players happy, but business is business, and in many cases an amnesty clause is very much-needed.

The amnesty clause not only helps a team clear financial deficit. It can also play a huge role for a team that needs to acquire just one small missing piece in the quest for a championship. Without a doubt, if an amnesty clause is put into place, there will be some talented players available on the waiver wire.  It will be enjoyable for fans to follow the player movement. New players could change the look of different teams. A new available player could take a team to the playoffs. He can help his new team succeed.  Having an amnesty clause in place could prove to be very beneficial to all teams involved, financially and in competitive balance.

Currently Major League Baseball  has no form of amnesty clause in place. Even so, let’s take the time today to project if it was. Here is a look of each MLB team if an amnesty clause was in effect in Major League Baseball.

Boston Red Sox

The Victim: John Lackey

He had the Boston Red Sox record for the highest earned run average in at least 150 innings in 2011. He is getting paid over $15 million each season. He posted 12 horrific losses, and had a 6.41 earned run average, not to mention he is expected to miss the whole 2012 MLB season, due to Tommy John surgery. The unlucky man’s name is John Lackey.

It all started off on December 16, 2009, when John Lackey signed an eye-opening contract worth $82.5 million dollars over 5 years with the Boston Red Sox. He had a disappointing start as he posted a 14-11 record, with a 4.40 ERA in 2010, and topped that off with a 12-12 record, and a 6.41 earned run average in 2011 and the announcement that he would miss the 2012 season with Tommy John surgery.

His contract is up in 2014.

It is clear to say, John Lackey should be a victim of the amnesty clause.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Victim: Mark Teahen

The Blue Jays don’t need this amnesty clause, since they have been considerably lucky and careful with the contracts of their players.

Mark Teahen was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Chicago White sox near the trade deadline in July. He finished off the 2011 season with a .200 average, four homers, and 14 runs batted in. He is getting paid $5.5 million this coming season, which is the last season of his contract.

Teahen, really doesn’t have much of a role in 2012 as part of the Blue Jays organization. As a backup, a player with $5.5 million contract, in a small market team is enough to be amnestied.

New York Yankees

The Victims: Alex Rodriguez, A.J. Burnett

Yes, there can only be only one victim in the clause, but it was too close to call.

Alex Rodriguez had an off-year. He played less than 100 games, and only posted decent stats. Rodriguez is a good player, and would be a Yankee fixture likely for many more years to come. But he has the largest contract in the league, which must be terminated. He is getting paid almost $30 million per season throughout 2017, and is declining, as next season he will turn 37-years-old.

The Yankees can get much better pieces with the large contract he has.

A.J. Burnett has come off another terrible season, and has shown no signs of getting better. He is receiving about $16.5 million per year throughout the 2013 season, and has given the Yankees nothing but trouble. For the past two seasons, he posted an earned run average above five, and the Yankees would have no reason in the world not to terminate his contract if they had a choice.

Baltimore Orioles

The Victim: Brian Roberts

This was an easy one. Brian Roberts’ season was filled with injuries, and his bat is going into decline. Despite Roberts’ speed and strong defense, overall a .221 average, three homers, and only six steals, do not justify his large contract.

Brian Roberts has $10 million per year remaining on his contract through to the 2013 season. As he gets older and continues his decline, the former all-star’s playing days are nearing an end. With a large contract, it is clear that Roberts would be amnestied if the team had the choice.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Victims: No One

I’ll be honest here, the Tampa Bay Rays have been extremely lucky. The Rays have a terrific team, even as a small market team, and their players played very well during the past season. In fact, the Rays aren’t even paying very high salaries to any players, with the largest salary they have being around $7 million, which is going to James Shields, who was a contender for the Cy Young award last year.

Chicago White Sox

The Victim: Adam Dunn

Adam Dunn, is getting paid $15 million per season through 2014, yet he did not exhibit any valuable skills during his first season in Chicago. His power was barely existent, his average barely got past the .150 mark, and his defensive skills are negligible. Even though the White Sox have Jake Peavy, and Alex Rios, who aren’t worthy of their contracts, they are still playable.

Adam Dunn is just horrible. He is not a useful piece at this point in the White Sox puzzle.

Cleveland Indians

The Victim: Travis Hafner

Travis Hafner has been a nice contributor in previous seasons, but he isn’t worthy of his whopping $13 million per year contract.

In 94 games last season, Hafner posted 13 homers, and a decent .280 average. Hafner is still a good player, although he is not the same player as the 2005 season Hafner, or the 2006 season Hafner where he was contending for the MVP award. Hafner remains a clutch player and positive influence in the dugout, but his contract is slightly high for an aging 34-year-old.

Kansas City Royals

The Victim: No One

The Royals’ team is filled with youth, and cheap pieces. The Royals contracts aren’t very bad as a whole. Their main star, Joakim Soria, had a slumping season last year. Since his contract is made up entirely of options, there is no reason in the world to amnesty him. Also Soria is still an elite player. The Kansas City Royals are looking at some great youth coming up to the big leagues, and own arguably the best farm system in the league.

Detroit Tigers

The Victim: Brandon Inge

Brandon Inge is a clear victim. $5.5 million in salary makes him a clear candidate for amnesty, while his batting average didn’t hit the .200 point, and he only had three homers last season. Despite his strong defensive side, and being a piece to the team, he’d be dropped.

The Tigers, remain a successful team, with large contracts, yet none deserve to be terminated. In the averaged Detroit market, $5.5 million for a player who has no offensive side is a clear victim for the amnesty clause.

Minnesota Twins

The Victim: Joe Mauer

Yes, this is the same Joe Mauer who won MVP a few years ago.  But does he really deserve $23 million annually?

The answer to that question is no. Mauer had an unexpected downfall in the 2011 season, where he only played 82 games, batted .287 (36 points less than his career average), and hit only three homers. His plagued season earns him the amnesty spot. He isn’t consistent on the field, nor is he healthy. No one here can argue $23 million is well deserved at this point.  Too much risk for us.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Victim: Vernon Wells

When we hear the name Vernon Wells, the thoughts are apparent: a once powerful bat, with a whopping contract. Wells was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the last offseason for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. Napoli had an outstanding breakout season while Vernon Wells just proved he can’t hit a ground ball through the middle.

Wells has a well-known name. He is a three-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner, and had a nice batting average once upon a time. When a person looks at his whopping contract, the jaws are widened, and the name will get cut off the list with amnesty.  If only it were that simple for the Angels.

Seattle Mariners

The Victim: Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki had a horrific 2011 season despite his 40 stolen bases, which is a mere luxury for the team considering Chone Figgins, and various other sources of speed on the team. The Mariners would be quick to amnesty Ichiro, because his bat is slumping, average is down, he has no power, and speed in itself isn’t worth $17 million a year.

Texas Rangers

The Victim: No One

The Rangers do not have many problems with contracts, and have none worth the amnesty clause. They really need little work with their team, and are only a little step away from winning their rings, which they almost got each of the last two years.

Oakland Athletics

The Victim: Brian Fuentes

The Athletics are a small market team, but received little help from the closer who had absolutely no luck last year, which resulted in eight losses on his record. Brian Fuentes in actually doesn’t deserve to be amnestied, considering he had a decent 3.70 earned run average. Fuentes is set to earn $5.5 million this year.

With the contract being large for a small market team, and his unsuccessful 2-8 record, they would cut him in a second.

New York Mets

The Victim: Jason Bay

The Mets are plagued with their high, unsuccessful payroll, and with often injured Johan Santana and Jason Bay. There is a lot to say about Bay, as he was signed for a whopping $16 million per year, failed to reach the .250 batting average mark, and didn’t even provide a power bat, as he posted only 12 homers during the 2011 season.

Johan Santana, can also be a likely victim. Santana, is going to get paid a whopping $24 million next year, and still might be plagued with his constant injuries. Santana has lost a great deal of time due to injuries, although he still has a nice chance to come back with a successful future in a Mets uniform. Bay though is a lost case in my estimation, and the Mets without amnesty would need to suffer with him throughout the 2013 season.

Florida Marlins

The Victim: Ricky Nolasco

The Marlins have a new team, a new star, an above average pitcher in Mark Buehrle, and some depth adding to it.

Ricky Nolasco posted a horrific 4.67 earned run average last year, and had 12 losses. This could result in an amnesty clause cut. Nolasco’s contract isn’t very pretty, as he still has a remaining $20.5 million through the next two seasons.

Nolasco is still a decent piece, and would be picked up by a team, for reasonable money.  He has good skills, but his stats ruin his chances of being worth a big contract in the Major League Baseball market.

Washington Nationals

The Victim: Jayson Werth

The Nationals have an up-and-coming team. They have Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, some nice depth, given their current roster, and of course, the newly acquired Gio Gonzales. However, Jayson Werth is a failure, and is set to receive $116 million over the next six years.

Jayson Werth had a horrific season in 2011, giving the Nationals troubles all season long. Werth posted 20 homers last year, but only had a .232 average, as he showed similar symptoms of slumping power hitting, as did Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and several others.

With an amnesty clause, the Nationals would cut Werth with a blink. Werth had a terrible season, and didn’t satisfy any of the Nationals needs.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Victim: Joe Blanton

The Philadelphia Phillies have an All-Star rotation, and Joe Blanton just doesn’t make the cut. Joe Blanton, had an injury-plagued season in 2011, and Vance Worley took his spot, and was extremely successful. Rookie Vance Worley unexpectedly posted eleven wins, a 3.01 earned run average, and earned a spot in the rotation.

With Joe Blanton slumping and barely playing last season, his $8.5 million contract coming into the bank in 2012, he is a clear cut for the Phillies.

Atlanta Braves

The Victim: No One

There’s really is no one to choose from the team. The Braves, had a good season, and their players succeeded greatly. Derek Lowe was dealt, Chipper Jones was an All-Star, and Dan Uggla had a late season surge. There is no one left. Their team is set, if only there was an amnesty to cut Derek Lowe’s remaining $10 million dollar contract.

Cincinnati Reds

The Victim: Scott Rolen

Scott Rolen had his time. The Reds are going to pay Rolen $6.5 million next year, while he only posted a .242 batting average. The Reds are clear to cut him despite his attitude as a great teammate, and his decent glove.

Bronson Arroyo is another candidate, though his season was a really big slump. For some reason, the feeling inside me tells that he will have a nice season next year.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Victim: Randy Wolf

The Wolf is out of the house. Wolf had a nice season last year, but can the 35-year-old continue his winning ways?

Wolf will be receiving $9.5 million next year, and the hopes are pretty low him. Not many believe he will be worthy of $9.5 million, including the Brewers. Soon enough, he will be the victim of amnesty clause.

Houston Astros

The Victim: Carlos Lee

Unfortunately for the Houston Astros, with all honesty, their team is horrific.  So horrific that Carlos Lee is their star.

Carlos Lee is set to receive a whopping $19 million a year, and he is expected to have a similar year to this past year, which was 18 homers, a .275 batting average, and 94 runs batted in. Despite his decent stats, the $19 million really hurts.  The Astros wouldn’t mind oto cut Lee in a second, if the amnesty clause rule was in effect.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Victim: No One

Did anyone realize the Pittsburgh Pirates payroll is only $10 million more dollars than Alex Rodriguez’s contract?

Yep, it’s $42 million this coming season, and they have no immediate victims worth using the amnesty clause. They aren’t even paying a single player more than $5.5 million. That is insanity in this day and age.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Victim: No One

The Cardinals players as a whole were extremely successful this year. There was Lance Berkman, who coming off a slumping season broke out in 2011, with a 30 homer, .300 batting average season. Kyle Lohse had a surprising 3.39 earned run average, and 14 deserving wins. The Cards are in good shape going into 2012.

Chicago Cubs

The Victim: Alfonso Soriano

If only a team can use the amnesty clause an unlimited amount of times. The Chicago Cubs have Alfonso Soriano, who is receiving $18 million per season throughout 2014. They also have the clubhouse hell known as Carlos Zambrano.

Alfonso Soriano makes the cut.  The 35-year-old enjoyed a nice power season last year, as he posted 26 homers, though his .244 average makes him a clear choice for the cut. The seven time All-Star is on a downfall, and he would be the Cubs choice if there was an amnesty clause rule.

San Francisco Giants

The Victim: Barry Zito

The San Francisco Giants, have a strong rotation, and similar to the situation the Phillies had with Joe Blanton, the Giants have a decision to make with Barry Zito.

Barry Zito has $39 million remaining on his contract for the next two years.  His injury-plagued season may cause him to be lost, and stuck with no spot. Replacing Barry Zito in the rotation was Ryan Vogelsong in 2011, who had a 13-7 win to loss record, and a 2.71 earned run average. Zito is now working in Triple-A after suffering from two hectic injuries in the 2011 season.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Victim: No One

The Diamondbacks had a whopping breakout season last year, and have almost no financial issues either. They have a clear path to be successful in the upcoming years.  As their total payroll is only $56 million, there is no reason to cut anyone at the moment (especially since Joe Saunders is off the roster).

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Victim: Juan Uribe
The Los Angeles Dodgers are completely plagued by financial difficulties. Frank McCourt gives the team financial chills, and as a result the player who would be cut is Juan Uribe.

Juan Uribe is a terrible batter at the moment. After playing 77 games in 2011, he barely hit over .200, and only posted four homers. He has $15 million remaining on his contract, and with those stats, who would want to pay for that?

Colorado Rockies

The Victim: Jorge De La Rosa

After suffering a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, the Rockies would be bound to drop De La Rosa. Jorge De La Rosa had an average season last year despite being injury-plagued and inconsistent.

The last thing Rockies want is another dominant player having injury issues in the 2012 season. With Carlos Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki suffering injuries last, year the last thing the Rockies want is $10 million dollar starter Jorge De La Rosa on the roster, and unable to contribute.  The team needs to free up money for healthy alternatives.

San Diego Padres

The Victim: Jason Bartlett

The San Diego Padres, are financially in no deficit. In 2011 their payroll barely exceeded 45 million dollars, though they wouldn’t hesitate to cut an unneeded player.

Jason Bartlett, is a decent player, though his bat is unworthy of $5.5 million.  He has a nice defensive side, and he has decent speed, though it is difficult to overlook his .245 batting average, and two homers last season.

The 32-year old had a paltry .307 slugging percentage last season, which was an all-time MLB record for the lowest slugging percentage for a player with over 512 at bats in a season.

***Today’s feature was prepared by Jeff P, Guest Writer to MLB reports.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Jeff on Twitter.***

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The Grandy Man Interview: Curtis Granderson Talks Pizza, Wrestling and Choosing Your Friends

Friday December 9, 2011

Playing in his second season with the New York Yankees, Curtis Granderson had one of the best seasons of his career, which entered him into MLB records books.  This season, Granderson was voted to the American League All Star game as starting center fielder.  The left-handed hitter has home run power, a great glove, speed, along with athleticism on the field.   His efforts off the field are as remarkable as his play on field.  Curtis represented MLB at the White House in their anti-obesity effort and created the Grand Kids Foundation, focused on improving the educational experience for youth nationwide.  Ten-year-old Haley had a chance to sit down with Curtis Granderson before a game in July, and talk baseball, but discovered the Yankees center fielder is an avid WWE fan along with being a published author and all- around nice guy.

Haley:  In August my family is following the Yankees to US Cellular Field, Kauffman Stadium, Target Field and Camden Yards with stops at Miller Park, Wrigley and Busch Stadium.  Do you have a favorite ballpark and why? Is there a ballpark where you feel you always play well other than Yankee Stadium?

Granderson:  I like the Anaheim Angles Stadium because it has good weather to play in and the playing surface is well taken care of, making it a nice place to play ball.  I also enjoy the Rally Monkey because he is fun to watch but as a player it means that the Angels are doing well.  Other stadiums that I like to play in are Mariners Safeco Field and of course at home in Chicago at US Cellular Field and Wrigley.

Haley:  Since I am going to be in Chicago, who has the best Pizza in Chicago?  Who in New York? Do you like Deep Dish or Thin Crust Pizza?

Granderson:  My favorite Pizzerias in Chicago are Lou Malnali’s, Giordanos and Gino’s and in New York Artichoke Basille’s.  Sometimes I like Dominos thin crust pizza, because I like my crust crunchy.  If I am really hungry, I will order deep dish.

Haley:  Coney Island Hot Dogs or Nathan’s Hot Dogs?

Granderson:  Since I played in Detroit, I would have to say Coney Island Hot Dogs.

Haley:  What is your favorite meal?

Granderson:  I really love Thanksgiving dinner because you get to eat a little bit of everything and you can go back over and over for more helpings.

Haley:  My little brother is a fan of WWE, I heard you are as well. Who are some of you favorite wrestlers of today?

Granderson:  Of course I like CM Punk because he is a great wrestler and from Chicago.  Jon Cena is another favorite.   I also like the Divas because they work hard and are as good as the guys.

Haley:  Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Granderson:  I have an older half-sister, Monica.

Haley:  In your book All You Can Be: Dream It, Draw It, Become It, you share the lessons that you learned growing up. What is one lesson you would tell the Baseball Youth readers if they haven’t read the book?

Granderson:  The selection of friends, good and bad, positive or negative and the people you surround yourself with, will shape your whole life.

Haley:  I also know you are an ambassador for MLB and have traveled to England, Italy, South Africa, China, and New Zealand. Is there any place you would really like to go and represent MLB?

Granderson:  I have never been to South America so that would be amazing.  I would also like to go to Japan and Australia, those would be on my top-3 list.

Haley:  Why did you choose the #28 in Detroit and #14 in New York?

Granderson:  I was given the #28 in college, which was great because the numbers 2 and 8 are my favorite numbers, so it was both of them together.  When I became a Yankee, Joe Girardi was #28 so I chose #14 because that was my number from high school.

Haley:  I get to go to a lot of Yankees games and have noticed that you have two rituals can you to explain them?

Haley:  1)  When you step up to the plate you tap it with the bat from left to right then the top. Why?

Granderson:  No particular reason. I guess it is just a habit.

Haley:  2)  When you are leading off from first and the pitcher makes a move you always walk around first base same way every time. Why?

Granderson:  Because I don’t want to get picked off or called out.

Haley:  Do you have any other rituals or superstitions?

Granderson:  I only chew sugar-free bubble gum. (Curtis asked Haley: “Do you like gum?” Make sure you take a hand full when you leave the dugout.)

Haley:  What is it like in the Dugout before and after a game?

Granderson:  It is a fun place filled with energy and lots of handshakes. We are always meeting people before games.  After the game it depends if we won or lost.  If we win everyone is happy and celebrating and if we lost we need to move on to the next game.

Haley:  When you are on the road do you share rooms with your teammates?

Granderson:  In the majors we get our own rooms.  In the minors we share rooms. I used to share with Ryan Raburn, Joel Zumaya and David Espinosa.

Haley:  A.J. Burnett has created a celebration for a walk off win, a pie in the face.  Have you ever gotten pied?

Granderson:  No, I have not been pied.  If I get pied it means we won but I am afraid it will burn.  (The pies are Shaving Cream)

Haley:  Who is the biggest practical joker you have ever been on a team with? Have you ever been the victim of a practical joke?

Granderson:  Brandon Inge on the Tigers will do funny pranks, silly ones and even some gross ones.  We had a little battle going when I played for Detroit.  Once I opened his car and filled it with paper and construction tape, making it a big mess inside the car and out.  Jorge Posada is a real joker as well.

Haley:  In 2007 you became just one of four players in MLB history to record 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs & 20 stolen bases in a single season. What are some of your other accomplishments you are proud of?

Granderson:  Graduating from University of Illinois-Chicago and that I am 1 of only 37 players with college degrees.  Making it to the 2006 World Series.

Haley:  Do you have any other favorite sports besides baseball?

Granderson:  I like basketball, especially college ball. I also like hockey, football and bowling and I used to run cross-country.

Haley:  What’s your favorite team?

Granderson:  The Kansas City Jay Hawks.

Haley:  Who would you consider your closest friends on the Yankees?

Granderson:  Of course I have special bond with my fellow outfielders Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner.  But I also like to hang out with C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Russell Martin we go out to dinner and movies together.

***Reproduced with permission from Baseball Youth Magazine.  This interview originally appeared in the Nov/Dec 2011 edition of Baseball Youth Magazine***

Curtis Granderson Social Networking links:

Haley Smilow Social Networking Links:

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