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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***

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San Francisco Giants Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

San Francisco has seem the LA Dodgers spend more than 1 Billion Dollars on player contracts over the last 4 years - all culminating into 4 straight Division titles in the process. Under the new Luxury Tax Yes the organization has handed out big money recently to Johnny Cueto (6 Years/$130 MIL) and both Hunter Pence and Jeff Samardzija are on 5 year pacts that call for $90 MIL. Brian Sabean can actually stomach this abysmal deal because of the sweetheart deal he put forth in retaining Madison Bumgarner early for 6 Years and $35.9 MIL of total money, in which he is in the 6th year of currently. The team still holds two more Team Options for him in 2018 & 2019 which they will surely activate.

San Francisco has seen the LA Dodgers spend more than 1 Billion Dollars on player contracts over the last 4 years – all culminating into 4 straight Division titles in the process. Under the new Luxury Tax Yes the organization has handed out big money recently to Johnny Cueto (6 Years/$130 MIL) and both Hunter Pence and Jeff Samardzija are on 5 year pacts that call for $90 MIL.  The only blip against the radar is the Matt Cain contract.  Brian Sabean can actually stomach that abysmal deal because of the sweetheart pact he put forth in retaining Madison Bumgarner early for 6 Years and $35.9 MIL of total money, in which he is in the 6th year of currently. The team still holds two more Team Options for him additionally in 2018 & 2019 which they will surely activate. His deal paved the way for the team to add valuable players after.

We have been saying for years that the LA Dodgers were going to force the rest of the MLB into many changes as soon as they switched ownership group to the Guggenheim Consortium.

Since that proclamation, the Dodger Blue has spent over 1 Billion Dollars in players salaries over the last 4 years, and are on pace to whisk away $240 MIL more in 2017 (without adding any more players to their current salary structure.)

It has caused a chain reaction among the top clubs competing in the Senior Circuit.  One of those said clubs is the San Francisco Giants.  The team that has won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 has seen a rapid escalation in the money they are doling out on an annual basis.

The major difference between the Giants and Dodgers is how many of the players are being paid that the club originally drafted.

During last year’s Trade Deadline, also threw heavy praise at the brass for picking up Matt Moore, who is listed as the clubs 4th Starting Pitcher, and has 3 separate Team Option for a total of $25 MIL over the next 3 campaigns if picked up. 

Another team friendly option as they can decide each offseason whether it is worth it.

Moore also provides protection in case Cueto opts out of his contract after 2017.

Read the rest of this entry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

San Francisco Giants Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

The Giants have won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 recently. A lot of the core is still intact for 2016 - and they could add in Free Agency over the winter, while the Dodgers may not be as formidable in 2016 either. With some flexibility coming in the forms of finances, the San Fran club should spend what they can in 2016 - go for another few premiere players, before trying any form of rebuilding afterwards. The Giants finished the 2015 season a disappointing 83 - 79 - which continued their odd curse.

The Giants have won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 recently. A lot of the core is still intact for 2016 – and they added Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardija and Denard Span as key Free Agency overs the winter, while the Dodgers may not be as formidable in 2016 either.  The Giants finished the 2015 season a disappointing 84 – 78 – which continued their odd year curse. Already at about a total team salary of $176 MIL in 2016 – with an AAV of about $189 MIL – and may be over it before the season ends.  They would just be 1st time abusers, so they should go for it if a deal can be struck to improve the club. 

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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Yep.  The Giants are heading into an even year this decade – and will try for a fourth time in a row to become World Champions.

The 1st thing we look at when it comes to payroll is how much a team has in guaranteed contracts.  This franchise is looking at $176 MIL in 2016.

Jake Peavy, Angel Pagan, Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez are on the last year of their individual pacts and are not on the payroll beyond this year.

Brian Sabean may consider this when he makes some midseason moves for guys who may be on the last year of their contracts elsewhere. 

The Giants spent almost $40 MIL on Disabled List stints in 2015 – and it may have cost them a chance to make the playoffs. 

They are the 2nd favored team (+900) to win the World Series (in overall MLB and the NL) to the Cubs (+650)

San Fran has a chance to win 4 rings in 7 seasons, and should not be dissuaded from going over the $189 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold either.  The club has paid off all of its debt – and is raking in the cash.

The Giants routinely sellout AT & T Park, and will continue to do so.  This venue is considered the #1 stadium by most of the percentage of people who have seen all 30 MLB Parks. 

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

San Francisco Giants State Of The Union For 2016

With the club pretty much being set for players all around the Infield and Outfield, and now the Starting Staff, the Giants look poised to make another run at a World Series run for an even year this decade. 2016 will see several of its Bullpen members on the last year of their contracts.

With the club pretty much being set for players all around the Infield and Outfield, and now the Starting Staff, the Giants look poised to make another run at a World Series run for an even year this decade. 2016 will see several of its Bullpen members on the last year of their contracts.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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The only real need to upgrade could be at the Outfield level, with either a CF/LF.    Angel Pagan is also in the last year of his deal, so maybe signing a guy to man the position beyond this coming year would be an option.

The Starting Rotation will be a lot stronger in 2016 with the additions of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija

You can say what you want about Cueto’s time in Kansas City not being as effective., but he has played most of his career in Cincinnati – and pitched extremely well at Great American Ball Park.

Funny enough his best years have also come in even years with finishing 4th in NL Cy Young Voting in 2012, and 2nd   in 2014, when he led the NL in Innings Pitched with 249.2 – and Strikeouts with 241 for the Reds.

Samardzija still has great stuff, and as a #3 Starter, you could see him bouncing back with a nice year in San Francisco. 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

San Francisco Giants Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

The Giants have won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 recently. A lot of the core is still intact for 2016 - and they could add in Free Agency over the winter, while the Dodgers may not be as formidable in 2016 either. With some flexibility coming in the forms of finances, the San Fran club should spend what they can in 2016 - go for another few premiere players, before trying any form of rebuilding afterwards. The Giants finished the 2015 season a disappointing 83 - 79 - which continued their odd curse.

The Giants have won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 recently. A lot of the core is still intact for 2016 – and they could add in Free Agency over the winter, while the Dodgers may not be as formidable in 2016 either. With some flexibility coming in the forms of finances, the San Fran club should spend what they can in 2016 – go for another few premiere players, before trying any form of rebuilding afterwards. The Giants finished the 2015 season a disappointing 84 – 78 – which continued their odd year curse.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

Yep.  The Giants are heading into an even year this decade – and will try for a fourth time in a row to become World Champions.

The 1st thing we look at when it comes to payroll is how much a team has in guaranteed contracts.  So far for next year, this sum is $128.1 MIL for 11 players.

Jake Peavy, Angel Pagan, Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez are on the last year of their individual pacts and are not on the payroll beyond this year. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Farm System Rankings (1 – 30) In 2015

chicago-cubs-logo

By Jordan Gluck (Featured Writer): 

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1. Chicago Cubs- They are still one of the top systems even with  Javier Baez graduating from the list. I love the bats headed by what maybe the top prospect in baseball in Kris Bryant and high end talent in Addisson Russell, Jorge Soler, Kyle Schwarber and Dan Vogelbach.

They also have upside in Albert Almora, Eloy Jimenez and Jeimer Candelario. The pitching on the farm remains the main concern with a wiry C.J .Edwards, a mid ceiling Paul Blackburn and Pierce Johnson and a very far away Carson Sands.

The best farm system in the league that will see some graduates very soon.

2. Minnesota Twins- Last season was unfortunate for the twins and all of major league baseball as  Byron Buxton got injured in spring training and Miguel Sano got TJ surgery.

I believe both of them will bounce back with ease and could be close to the major league level. Pitchers J.O Berrios, Alex Meyer and Kohl Stweart have frontline potential with Meyer possibly a candidate to make the rotation out of spring training.

They took Dee Gordons brother Nick in the first round last year and he can be a complete player. There is upside all over in Lewis Thorpe, Felix Jorge, and 50th overall pick Travis Harrison. A very solid farm that can hopefully bear some fruit this season.

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

Buster Posey is a two time champion signed a contract extension that will see him make $164 MIL from 2013 - 2021.  Will he be able to play the duration of his contract as a backstopper - or will he eventually be moved to 1st Base?

Buster Posey is a two-time champion that signed a contract extension with the NL Bay Area franchise, that will see him make $164 MIL from 2013 – 2021. Will he be able to play the duration of his contract as a backstopper – or will he eventually be moved to 1st Base?  The 27 Year Old was selected 5th overall by the team in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft.

How All Of The Giants Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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2010…..2012…. and will the fortunes of the Giants turn into another even year World Series Title in 2014 for the club?  Perhaps not, but their offensive lineup has been well manicured over the years.

For the most part, Brian Sabean has built this team from the ground up.  80% of the players like Buster Posey. Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford were all drafted for the club.

All of the bench players were drafted or signed as Free Agents.

The biggest acquisition tree lies with the Hunter Pence deal, and now that he re-signed with the franchise last year through 2018, he has been paying immediate dividends on the investment.

In 2014 thus far, the brick-built OF, leads the NL in PA, AB and Runs Scored, and he has taken over the leadoff position for the injured Angel Pagan.

Speaking of Pagan, it is incredibly important the speedy OF is back in the lineup soon.  The Giants simply aren’t the same offense without him.

Pagan was brought in to the Giants in a 2011 December trade for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez.

When in the lineup, the 32 Year Old CF has been a threat with speed and power – as he has 103 Extra Base Hits in the 288 Games Played for the franchise.

You add in a .290/.341/.427 Slash Line, and he is well worth the 4 YR pact the squad inked him to from 2013 – 2016. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 7 – May 2014

The Mariners are 10 - 4 in their last 14 games - without receiving any outstanding play from one particular player.  They are the biggest jumpers in this weeks rankings, going from #20 - #15.  The club concludes a series vs the Kansas City Royals, before they welcome the Tampa Rays next into Safeco Field.

The Mariners are 10 – 4 in their last 14 games – without receiving any outstanding play from one particular player. They are the biggest jumpers in this weeks rankings, going from #20 – #15. The club concludes a series vs the Kansas City Royals, before they welcome the Tampa Rays next into Safeco Field.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We are almost at the quarter pole for action in the MLB.

The biggest mover and shakers this week were the Seattle Mariners, followed by Baltimore Orioles. LA Angels and San Francisco Giants.

Plummeting in the other directions were led by the Phils, who we dropped from 17th to 24th.

The Yankees, Nationals, Dodgers and Rangers all lost 4 places in the rankings based on sub-par weeks.

The AL New York franchise is about 1 bad week from free-falling to the AL East.  Right now the team has received buoyancy because of ace Masahiro Tanaka being 5 – 0.

Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran are having a tough time finding their rhythm with the Bronx Bombers.

I believe the Dodgers will rectify their situation shortly and take off.

Washington is barely over .500 even though most of their players are playing to their capabilities.

The Royals offense is destroying their team morale, as is the Mets having a tough time with the Relief Core, and their Pitchers are still battling .000 for the year like you and me.

Oakland is still leading the MLB in wins since the start of the 2012 year.

The Red Sox are one of the most likely teams to climb the standings in the next few weeks.

With the Cards not playing well, keep in mind, 18 of the next 21 games reside in Busch Stadium for them.  It is time to make some headway.

The AL has fashioned a 18 – 8 mark in Interleague this week to apply a 34 – 33 overall lead on the NL now.

The Rockies are blasting every baseball into orbit right now.  These guys are hitting as well at home as the Pre-Humidor ERA. Read the rest of this entry

San Francisco Giants State Of The Union: 2014 Preview

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Okay so it is an even year, so most fans in the Bay Area can only think of one thing…Another World Series ring right?

Come on, they won in 2010 and 2012, why not 2014?

The win in 2012 was a nice statistical oddity, but when you factor in that the hunger to win a World Series must dissipate a little bit when you have just cashed one in, then maybe another one can be achieved when the next year hits again.

The Giants went 76 – 86 in 2013, this is more of a stretch, for when they completed the 2011 campaign at 86 – 76 following their 1st World Series Title.

There is room for optimism though, from their top 7 hitters in the Batting Order, this team features some of the streakiest guys at the plate in the MLB. Read the rest of this entry

San Francisco Giants Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here) [twitter-follow screen_name=’prosportsroster’ show_screen_name=’yes’]

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The Giants won the 2010 World Series with a payroll nowhere near the stratosphere of the top MLB clubs, however escalating salaries have arisen from sustained success (also winning another World Series in 2012).

The franchise now hovers around the $140 – $150 MIL mark for the upcoming campaign.

A lot of this cash has come for simply retaining their own talent.

To start the winter off, the squad signed Tim Lincecum 2 YRs/$35 MIL – and then nailed down Hunter Pence to a 5 YRs/$90 MIL deal. Read the rest of this entry

Finally, Some Worth While Free Agents Sign In The MLB 2013 Winter!

With his career winding down and Tim Hudson being 38 years old, will he be able to recover from a gruesome ankle injury in 2014. Should the Braves resign him for depth in the rotation - or cut ties outright? Mr. Hudson will need   He was 114 - 72 (.611) in 9 seasons with the Braves.

With his career winding down and Tim Hudson being 38 years old, will he be able to recover from a gruesome ankle injury in 2014 with the SF Giants?  Mr. Hudson was 114 – 72 (.611) in 9 seasons with the Braves – with a 3.56 ERA.  He will make his return to the Bay Area in California, where he started his 1st 6 years with the Oakland A’s.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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After playing Baseball Stars 1 and 2 on my old Nintendo Entertainment System for 3 weeks, I was happy to receive my baseball fix from the MLB once again..

Yesterday, a slew of Free Agents signed.. Okay… not true….2 noteworthy players inked deals to prolong their careers.

I am talking about Tim Hudson signing a 2 YR/$23 MIL with the Giants, and Carlos Ruiz, signing a 3 Year Deal worth potentially $26.5 MIL, with a Team Option for a 4th year at $4.5 MIL.

Tim Hudson’s 2013 Season Ending Ankle Injury – Not for the weak of heart!

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Giants’ Brian Sabean Has Options As Trade Deadline Looms

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Saturday, July.27, 2013

Tim Lincecum is not having the best season pitching for the Giants. However he did throw a no-hitter a couple of weeks ago against the San Diego Padres. The next start that followed he got hit hard. He has a 4.77 ERA in in 120 innings pitched while giving up 13 HRs and striking out 127 batters. The strike out number looks good, but having a WHIP of 1.37 does not. The opposition has a .253 batting average against him this season, with right-handers hitting .262. The opposing teams love to hit with runners in scoring position facing him, as they a .297 average in this situation.

Tim Lincecum is not having the best season pitching for the Giants. However he did throw a no-hitter a couple of weeks ago against the San Diego Padres. The next start that followed he got hit hard. He has a 4.73 ERA in 120 innings pitched while giving up 13 HRs and striking out 127 batters. The strike out number looks good, but having a WHIP of 1.37 does not. The opposition has a .253 batting average against him this season, with right-handers hitting .262. The opposing teams love to hit with runners in scoring position facing him, as they a .297 average in this situation. That average increases up to .302 with runners in scoring position and two outs. The Giants could use him as a reliever, if his struggles continue this season.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

The defending World Series Champions San Francisco Giants are struggling this season and with the trade dealing approaching fast will they become buyers or sellers.

The good news for them is that they play in a very weak National League West Division. The current leader in the division, Los Angeles Dodgers a couple of weeks ago was 9 ½ games out of first, and now they are in first place.

Tim Lincecum 2010 Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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MLB Team Power Rankings

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Sunday June.02/2013

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far;.  He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2ndi n AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind - blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played.  He is on pace for 51 HRs. 195 RBI and about 250 Hits.  He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence - and a lineup full of ALL - Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500.  It certainly isn't this 30 Year Olds fault.

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far; He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2nd in AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind – blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played. He is on pace for 51 HRs, 195 RBI and about 250 Hits. He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence – and a lineup full of ALL – Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500. It certainly isn’t this 30 Year Old’s fault.

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

Featuring the Podcasters the Big ticket Show in the Audio Portion

I will be doing a stat fueled rankings list on this Thursday.  These rankings will have some stats and  random thoughts of what I will be talking about in today’s podcast with the Big Ticket Show (AKA, Triple Play Podcast.)

Games Prior to Sunday June.02/2013

Cardinals 2013 30/30 Preview

Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to continue… or scroll past the Triple Play Podcast. Read the rest of this entry

Brian Wilson’s Legacy In San Francisco

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Friday January 25, 2013

Brian Wilson suffered a season ending injury in April of 2012. He could only scrape together 1 save in 2 opportunities. The Giants wound up winning the World Series even without their star closer.

Brian Wilson suffered a season ending injury in April of 2012. He could only scrape together 1 save in 2 opportunities. The Giants wound up winning the World Series even without their star closer.

Kyle Holland (MLB Reports intern):

Brian Wilson has been a member of the San Francisco Giants since the summer of 2006. He started off as a reliever, beardless might I add, and gradually made his way up to the closer he is today. Back then he wasn’t the big name player that he is now. Back when they still had the likes of Barry Bonds on the team. Only recently has he made his way to one of the best closers in the league, and one of the craziest.

2010 is when he really made his way onto the scene. Sure, he was an All-Star in 2008 but quite frankly; the Giants weren’t nearly good enough for him to be noticed. San Francisco finished fourth in the NL West with a 72-90 record, a little surprising considering Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young Award. Out of those 72 wins, Wilson saved 41 and got the win in 3 of them.

Best Brian Wilson Interview Of ALL-Time:

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2012 Offseason Giants Key Free Agents: To Sign Pagan and Scutaro?

Thursday November 29th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

It is not an outrageous thought that the San Francisco Giants, coming off their second World Series title in three years would not have a problem signing two key free agents. Angel Pagan was a fixture at the top of the lineup throughout the year and played a big part in helping the Giants reach the playoffs and World Series. Marco Scutaro, a trade deadline acquisition, provided the Giants with the boost they needed to leave the Dodgers in the dust in the NL West. Not to mention, Scutaro caught fire in the NLCS against the Cardinals and wound up NLCS MVP. Signing both of these guys would most likely make the Giants favorites for a Wild Card at the least. It could be hard to compete with the Dodgers for the West after the blockbuster trade that they made with the Red Sox, but Scutaro and Pagan could help. So, how likely is it that both free agents sign with the Giants and return for 2013? Also, why has this team been so quiet in pursuing other Free Agents so far?

Unfortunately for most Giants fans, not very likely. I see the Giants signing one or the other. Angel Pagan, coming off a great season, will undoubtedly ask for more than he’s worth. The Giants also have highly regarded prospect Gary Brown waiting in the wings. He is suited to man centerfield for years to come. Pagan is probably looking for at least four years, and Brown will most likely be ready by late 2013 or 2014. Pagan would probably demand somewhere around $10-12 million per year. He has been a great fit for the top of the Giants lineup, setting the table for Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey. He led the league in triples and scored 95 runs, partially due to his great second half. Pagan’s speed is especially valuable in the spacious outfield of AT&T Park. Gary Brown also has great speed, so there will not be too much of a discrepancy in the defensive abilities once Brown is a Giant. What comes to my mind when I think about rewarding Pagan with a large contract is Aaron Rowand. The Giants made a huge mistake by giving Rowand a large contract after just one good year. Pagan, like Rowand at the time, has not had a streak of consecutive great years, so signing him for more than a few years could be risky.

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Contact Hitters and Pitching Are Keys to Winning In the MLB Playoffs: Bravo Giants! Attn: Yankees!

Saturday, Nov.10/2012

 

The Giants GM Brian Sabean saw that his offense had significant holes from previous years and before 2012, dealt for Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. Both are decent contact hitters, with decent power and speed. It also took for the emergence of Marco Scutaro and the renaissance play from Pablo Sandoval to show that teams that can make regular contact (and are armed with great pitching,) ultimately win in the playoffs.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I can’t believe I am going to utter these next few words, “I am starting to shift on the idea of eliminating the DH in the AL and also I am beginning to find the National League Brand of Baseball a lot better these days.”  I am not just saying this because the National League has registered 5 World Series Wins out of the last seven years (STL x 2, SF x 2 and PHI vs BOS AND NYY since 2006.)  I just find that the American League Baseball is becoming boring.  If you have read my articles in the past, I hate teams that strikeout non-stop and when you put two of these teams together for a Series like the AL routinely does, the games are filled with heavy pitch counts, four-hour games and not much contact.  This years ALCS represented an all-time low for fan excitement.  Put aside that I am a Yankees fan for a minute, it was absolutely brutal baseball.  In fact, last years ALCS was no picnic either.  If the games continue on like this, they might as well scrap the DH, start having the umpires call more strikes on the hitters and have all AL Teams convert to a National League style of game.

The National League has seen the Cardinals give us thrilling moments and comebacks to epic proportions over the last 2 years. I honestly think that Mark McGwire is not receiving enough credit for molding that team into a bunch of contact hitters.  You watch the 2013 offense of the LA Dodgers, they will all have a different approach.  We will save the DH debate for another day,  but lets just say that 2012 was the worst year for DH’s in some time if not ever.  There are only about 3-4 decent DH’s left in the game and if David Ortiz is not in the lineup for the Red Sox, there are no more marquee guys that just hit and not field!  The National League Teams plan on more contact for runs created out of necessity and it is always reflective  by the competitive games we see them play in the playoffs.

In 2012, the Giants made 4 key acquisitions before and during the season to change their offensive demeanor.  If you ask me flat-out as a  baseball observer, there is no way the Giants win the World Series without Marco Scutaro or Angel Pagan at the top of the lineup.  I also am conceding credit to Melky Cabrera’s hitting contributions as a contact hitter before being busted.  Before Melky Cabrera was shown the door for PED’s, he was the same hitter as Scutaro in the 2nd half and postseason, in just hitting every single pitch that was thrown at him.  To be honest here,  Angel Pagan does strike out a fair bit as a lead off hitter, however he also has speed that makes him dangerous whenever the ball is contacted.  It is all about a mixture of power, speed and contact hitters.  To illustrate this fact, Hunter Pence (also picked up near the Trade Deadline) did not hit well in the regular season or playoffs for average, yet he was able to drive in a pile of runs because guys ahead of him were always on base.  All he needed to do was to make contact for his RBI. Read the rest of this entry

San Francisco Giants: Do They Miss All-Star Closer Brian Wilson?

Saturday September 8th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: When Brian Wilson was ruled out for the remainder of the season more than four months ago, the Giants’ hearts sunk, their fans’ hearts sunk, and anyone that was involved with the organization found themselves in despair. Wilson was and still is the heart of the Giants. He was one of the many pieces that led San Francisco to the their championship in 2010. But since throwing that final 3-2 pitch to Nelson Cruz to clinch the title, his right arm has experienced some serious ramifications to throwing over 60 innings during that magical 2010 season. Signs of fatigue often appeared in 2011 when he only pitched 55 innings and collected 36 saves. For Wilson, those numbers aren’t nearly the norm.

As a result, he was shut down in September with arm issues. That was the last of Wilson the baseball world saw in 2011, and 2012 has basically just been the same string of events. After supposedly feeling great during spring training, his elbow flared up once again very early in the season, and after pitching just two innings, he was done for good. Now, he is currently rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery, the second time he has endured the infamous surgery over the course of his seven-year career. While Wilson continues to rehab, the Giants continue to lack the closer’s presence that he brought to the table. Read the rest of this entry

Top Ten Stat of The Week: Team Wins Since The Start of the 2003 Season

Monday  July 23, 2012

With only one World Series Win and a 2003 Loss to the Florida Marlins, it hasn’t stopped the Yankees from raking in wins every year. They have averaged 95 wins a season since 2003.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)-  This weeks installment is actually a top 11. I bent the rules a little to accommodate the A’s.  It is hard to maintain a great franchise in today’s Major Leagues.  Sure the heavy hitters like New York and Boston will always be sniffing around the top of the league with their huge payrolls, but most teams don’t have the luxury to spend like these two teams do because of their limited revenue streams.  In the last few years, the Phillies, Angels and Tigers have entered the echelon of top spenders.  Spending money doesn’t always equal great results.  The Texas Rangers have only had success lately and were often victim to heavy payrolls and not great results.  How many years did Peter Angelos try to buy a contender with Baltimore?  He has dedicated himself back to the right way of building a team the last couple of years and it has worked through player development.

Minnesota and Oakland have been run incredibly well for a long time.  If this list was for a five-year stretch, you would have seen the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the top 10.  These are the small market teams that have been consistently playing well against the  big boys.  The Twins have only faded back in the standings in the last couple of seasons.  The Atlanta Braves finally had their consecutive playoff years stopped in 2005 and they were only mediocre for a few seasons.  Right now, they might be the best team in the National League. The Angels, Twins, Dodgers, Athletics, Dodgers and Braves did not make any World Series appearances since 2003.  Out of these teams, the Angels have the most wins.

According to the movie ‘The Natural,’ losing is a disease, and like other diseases, (insert disease here) it is curable.  Most of these teams have not even struggled in the last 10 years.  The Yankees have only won one World Series in this time frame, despite dominating the win total every year.  In fact, the last time the Yankees has a losing season was 1991.  The Cardinals and the Red Sox both have won 2 World Series, and the Cardinals are the only team  to have appeared in the Fall Classic 3 times during  this stretch. Read the rest of this entry

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