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The Cleveland Indians Should Be The Favorite In The AL For 2017 With Encarnacion Signing

Cleveland was one innning away from winning the World Series in 2017, knocked out the Boston Red Sox (who are the odds favorite in the AL currently) and have now added slugger Edwin Encarnacion to their lineup for 2017. Cleveland will also see AL MVP candidate Michael Brantley back to the roster for a full healthy year = after playing the majority of 2016 without his services. A great Pitching Staff, all around defense, combined with a well adjusted lineup, and cupcake Division to play in - and the Tribe should be the favorite to win the AL Pennant next campaign and not the Red Sox.

Cleveland was one inning away from winning the World Series in 2017, knocked out the Boston Red Sox (who are the odds favorite in the AL currently) and have now added slugger Edwin Encarnacion to their lineup for 2017. Cleveland will also see AL MVP candidate Michael Brantley back to the roster for a full healthy year = after playing the majority of 2016 without his services. A great Pitching Staff, all around defense, combined with a well adjusted lineup, and cupcake Division to play in – and the Tribe should be the favorite to win the AL Pennant next campaign and not the Red Sox.

With the news that Edwin Encarnacion signing a 3 Year Deal Worth $55 MIL< and a Team Option for a 4th season that is $25 MIL – or a $5 MIL Buyout, the Indians have put themselves back into the lead as the favorite in the Junior Circuit.

So far, the oddsmakers don’t agree with that last statement, as the Red Sox are currently +475 to win the World Series – while Cleveland is listed at +700 to win the Fall Classic, but lets look at what Cleveland has going for it.

Michael Brantley is coming back (potentially fully healthy, and was a legitimate AL MVP candidate in 2014 and 2015.  Now to have him as a 3/4 tandem with EE, you are talking about a great heart of the lineup.

Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor are full value to kickstart the offense. Both guys are capable of playing all world ALL – Star campaigns upcoming.

Carlos Santana had a career year for HRs (34) RBI (87) OPS (.865) and will still bring in his 100 Walks a year.

Jose Ramirez can hit 6th for me any time.  Tyler Naquin held an .886 OPS in half a years worth AB en route to finishing 3rd in Rookie Of The Year Voting.

The club can fend enough offense in RF a Catcher to hit 8th and 9th. Read the rest of this entry

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Top 5 Projected MLB Holds Leaders (AL + NL) In 2016

With so much uncertainty in the air about Mark Melancon's fate with the club, I can't pick Tony Watson to win this category for a 2nd straight year. He was also the runner up in the 2014 season. I say he is the Closer in the 2nd half of the year. His teammate Jared Hughes will get plenty of opportunities all year in late inning relief.

With so much uncertainty in the air about Mark Melancon’s fate with the club, I can’t pick Tony Watson to win this category for a 2nd straight year. He was also the runner-up in the 2014 season. I say he is the Closer in the 2nd half of the year. His teammate Jared Hughes will get plenty of opportunities all year in late inning relief.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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It is time to get our fantasy teams ready in 2016.  Because of the long winter year for certain players, the Relievers market has a pile of roster moves to go down before opening weekend in April.  There are some guys that could make the list, but I am itching to write my list.

For the reasons I was just talking about, Jeremy Affeldt, Matt Thornton, Casey Janssen, Manny Parra, Eric O’Flaherty, Tommy Hunter, Franklin Morales, Neal Cotts, Nathan Adcock, Wesley Wright, Matt Capps, Sergio Santos, Ryan Webb and Joe Beimel won’t appear – although only a couple of those guys are even relevant to the Holds stat.

The biggest questions to think of include trade possibilities.  Will the Pirates trade Mark Melancon?  If this happens, NL Leader of Holds last year, Tony Watson, may see some time as the Closer for the Bucs. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB Divisions

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Not that much has happened since we last checked into these numbers over the last 3 weeks.  The biggest jump on the board was the Giants going to favorites of the NL West after the Johnny Cueto signing.

The Dodgers have since countered and are making this race for the NL West that much better again.  It wasn’t long ago that the Los Angeles NL franchise were the favorites to win the entire World Series.

I think it is almost a dead heat right now between San Francisco and LA – and could come down to the transactions that are done in the next 8 months.

New York did pick up Aroldis Chapman but are still only listed as the 3rd favorite in the Division.  New York has the best Bullpen, the Jays the best offense – and Boston might be the best overall club in the AL East.

If you believe the Yankees will continue to spend $ like Washington is printing it everyday should they contend this coming season, that +200 for the Division is a good odd. Read the rest of this entry

Boston Red Sox Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

With adding the contracts of David Price and Craig Kimbrel in recent player moves, this pushes Boston to near $200 MIL in team payroll for 2016. I think they should try to add a few pitchers near the 2016 Trade deadline. With a lot of money tied up in the future, any player they take on should have their contracts end in 2016. Boston stands to pay 17.5% for money spent over the $189 MIL limit. They could run with a $220 MIL salaried club in 2016 and only pay around $6 MIL in additional fees. Do it, and pale it back afterwards.

With adding the contracts of David Price and Craig Kimbrel in recent player moves, this pushes Boston to near $200 MIL in team payroll for 2016. I think they should try to add a few pitchers near the 2016 Trade deadline. With a lot of money tied up in the future, any player they take on should have their contracts end in 2016. Boston stands to pay 17.5% for money spent over the $189 MIL limit. They could run with a $220 MIL salaried club in 2016 and only pay around $6 MIL in additional fees. Do it, and pale it back afterwards.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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Well the Boston Red Sox are finally going to join the Dodgers and Yankees as teams that cross the Luxury Tax Threshold for 2016.  This was made possible by recently picking up  David Price for 7 YRs at $31 MIL average per year.

Already in 2017, the team is committed for around $162 MIL – and that is without their stalwart DH of David Ortiz anymore.  2018, the salary obligations are at $151 MIL, and the franchise has already lumped $139 MIL on the books fr the 2019 cash.

This is a leap of faith for the franchise, as they were always reluctant to pay top dollars for Free Agent Pitchers.

Last year’s signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez are looking like poor moves right now, however they can be helped with bounce back years in 2016. Read the rest of this entry

Trades Are Coming In Fast This Winter

A.J. Preller has been really active trying to replenish his prospect pool after making a big splash in his rookie offseason. The Padres finished a dismal 74 - 88. At least he recognizing the error of his ways - and trying to eradicate his mistakes. He dealt his two best Relievers already, stockpiling 6 prospects in return.

A.J. Preller has been really active trying to replenish his prospect pool after making a big splash in his rookie offseason. The Padres finished a dismal 74 – 88. At least he recognizing the error of his ways – and trying to eradicate his mistakes. He dealt his two best Relievers already, stockpiling 6 prospects in return in the trades.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Onwer) 

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It seems everyday now that there is a new MLB Trade to discuss.  I love it.  Nothing is better than this kind of thing during a long offseason.  I thought we would take a minute to break down what has occurred so far since the World Series ended.

The Mariners, Padres are doing multiple trades trying to revamp their teams cosmetically.

The trade I like for both clubs the most is probably the John Ryan Murphy to the Twins for Aaron Hicks deal. Read the rest of this entry

The Seattle Mariners State Of The Union For 2014 Part 1: Winter Deals + Pitchers

Felix Hernandez has been the face of the Seattle Mariners since 2009 when he won 19 games for the Mariners.  He followed up with a CY Young season in 2010.   The last 3 years, he has gone 39 - 33, with a lowe 3 ERA, but finished 4th in Cy Young Voting in 2012, and was oine of the frontrunner to win the 2013 AL Cy Young - before the team shut him down for the rest of the year in Sept (still finished 8th in Voting).  Hernandez sports a 110 - 86 record with a 3.20 ERA for his 9 year career.  Expect nearly 16  - 18 wins this year with a near 3 ERA.  Photo: Chris Carlson - AP

Felix Hernandez has been the face of the Seattle Mariners since 2009 when he won 19 games for the Mariners. He followed up with a CY Young season in 2010. The last 3 years, he has gone 39 – 33, with a lowe 3 ERA, but finished 4th in Cy Young Voting in 2012, and was one of the frontrunners to win the 2013 AL Cy Young – before the team shut him down for the rest of the year in Sept (still finished 8th in Voting). Hernandez sports a 110 – 86 record with a 3.20 ERA for his 9 year career. Expect nearly 16 – 18 wins this year with a near 3 ERA. The Mariners have only had 2 winning seasons out of the time “King Felix has been on the team.  A start at Safeco Field for the team by him is worth about 10K fans extra. Photo: Chris Carlson – AP

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

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A decade of frustration has set in after the clubs best stretch of success proceeded if from the time Ken Griffey Jr. arrived, until longtime MGR. Lou Piniella left the fold in 2003.

That was the last season the Mariners were sniffing around a playoff spot.

Back then, attendance was nearly 40K per game at Safeco, and you see tailgate parties, and the smell of garlic wafted through the surrounding area of the park.

In 2012, the club hit an all time low in attendance for the new stadium, and it wasn’t much better in 2013.  Seattle drew just over 20,000 fans per game.

Something had to be done.  Other than games that brought tonnes of excitement, and the King’s Court Section for Felix Hernandez home outings, there wasn’t much for the teams fanbase to be happy about with the home team.

Read the rest of this entry

The Seattle Mariners Payroll In 2014, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects, Depth Charts, (MLB + MiLB)

The Mariners have one of the gem stadiums in all of baseball right now.  It is too bad the team on the field has not been that great - in what has been a brutal decade.  Jack Z.. was just extended for one more year.  While it wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement, the club's youth has finally shown some promise.  The team has a promising amount of young pitchers, good Starting Pitching already in the Majors, and a few positional players that look like they will stay in the bigs.  Of concern is the fact they will lose several veterans in Mike Morse, Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez after this year.  That is, unless they decide to trade any of them in the next week.

The Mariners have one of the gem stadiums in all of baseball right now. It is too bad the team on the field has not been that great – in what has been a brutal decade. Jack Z.. was just extended for one more year. While it wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, the club’s youth has finally shown some promise. The team has a promising amount of young pitchers, good Starting Pitching already in the Majors, and a few positional players that look like they will stay in the bigs. Of concern is the fact they will lose several veterans in Mike Morse, Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez after this year. That is, unless they decide to trade any of them in the next week.

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  

The Mariners were one of the best teams in the Major Leagues when they moved into Safeco Field.

Despite losing Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson and Ken GriffeyJR. in successive seasons, the team matched a Major League Record with 116 Wins during the 2001 year.

Ichiro Suzuki admirably took over the reigns as the team leader, and carried the club on his shoulders for the next years.

Lou Pinella was there until 2003 – and was having his team in perennial contention since the 1995 year.

After 2003, the club has been abysmal in the next decade.

The team has had several face lifts, rotation managers – and the attendance has come down for over 3 Million fans per year, and now the can barely draw about 1.5 MIL people.

Seattle is one of the biggest markets in North America, and can totally put forth a winning team – and a high payroll.

For the team to even sign some Free Agents, the young players of the organization have to start playing well and to potential.

Any team with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma is not that far off from competing.

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

For all 30 teams Organization Lists from the MLB Reports, plus any related Payrolls, Depth Charts, Roster Trees, State Of The Unions click here.

Felix Hernandez Perfect Game Highlights 2012

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