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

 Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America

Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America

Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Majority Owner/Lead  Analyst)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NY Yankees Player Milestones In 2016: A-Rod, Teixeira, Beltran + CC

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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There is no doubt about it that the Yankees are old.  However, they have some guys who are chasing down some historical numbers this season in Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran.

A-Rod is chasing down Babe Ruth next on the ALL – Time HR list with just trailing him 714 – 686.  If he can crack 28 jacks, he will tie the “Sultan of Swat” and with 29 he will surpass him.

If #13 manages just 23 HRs, he would become the ALL – Time American League HR champ, as Babe Ruth hit 708 of his 714 big fly’s in the Junior Circuit, before tallying 6 more with the Boston Braves.

Rodriguez is also chasing down many other categories like Hits, Runs, RBI, GP, XBH and Strikeouts.  Of course he already holds the record for Career Grandslams with 24.

If he can somehow reach the 30 HR barrier, it will be his 16th year of that many, and break a tie with Aaron for that honor.

A-Rod is just 60 Runs Scored behind Willie Mays. Read the rest of this entry

Chris Davis (Tied For 19th) + 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

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

Jason Heyward Signs With The Cubs For The 13th Highest Contract In MLB History

Jason Heyward

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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It has been announced that Jason Heyward has just inked an 8 YR deal with the Chicago Cubs for $184 MIL deal.  The contract calls for a player opt out after 3 years, but for now he is tied with Joe Mauer for 13th overall in total dollars during a deal.

Whether Heyward is worth that kind of dough in AAV is beside the point.  At 26, he was one of the youngest Free Agent players of all time that could garner that type of cash.

No question about the man’s defensive prowess being unique in the game right now.  He has also cut down on the amount of Strikeouts from early in his career. Read the rest of this entry

Greinke Signs With Arizona: 12th Best Deal ALL – Time Of 50 MLB Richest Contracts.

Zack Greinke opted of his deal after this season, even though he will stay have nearly $26 MIL per year left on his deal running through 2018. There is no doubt in my mind that LA will probably walk away from Greinke. I base that on the comments from GM Andrew Friedman - who isn't looking to spend a lot of money, and also shed payroll. If the brass is able to pull of some swift financing, they should be able to absorb a ne deal with the RHP, and not have the salary for the club be blown out of proportion.

Zack Greinke opted of his deal (6 YRs/$147.6 MIL) after this last season with the Dodgers, even though he will still nearly $26 MIL per year left on his deal running through 2018. The 32 Year Old has been dynamite since moving to Los Angeles, featuring a 60 – 17 (.779) record with a mid 2 ERA since he was dealt to the Angels in mid 2012 from the Brewers.  He just inked the most lucrative deal ever signed for the MLB in AAV at $34.42 MIL per year.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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A collective haymaker punch has just been thrown at the rest of the National League West.  The Diamondbacks have inked Zack Greinke to a 6 YRs/$206.5 MIL pact as of last night.

This is the 3rd richest Pitcher contract ever signed behind David Price‘s 7 YRs/$217 MIL deal – and Clayton Kerhsaw’s extension of 7 YRs/$210 MIL.

It is also the highest Average Annual contract  ahead at $34.42 MIL per season, edging out both Price and Miguel Cabrera at a clip of $31 MIL each a campaign for their respective deals.

Greinke, 32, who finished 2nd in NL Cy Young Voting with an incredible 1.66 ERA in 222.1 IP worth of work in 2015 had opted out of his 6 YRs/$147.5 MIL deal with the Dodgers after just 3 years.

The Right Handed Pitcher left 3 years and $77.5 MIL on the table – and this was the right move as he was slated to earn just under $26 MIL a season for that contract.

This is the 12th richest deal of ALL – Time in the Major Leagues – and is also the 12th player to crack the $200 MIL+ barrier.

Read the rest of this entry

Price With Richest Pitcher Contract In MLB History (8th Best In History): Top 50 ALL – Time Deals

David Price has just inked the most expensive pitcher contract in the history of the MLB. With his and Jordan Zimmermann both hitting the top 50 contracts of ALL - Time in the last week, it has pushed Homer Bailey out of the top 50 deals of all time for chuckers. Right now, there is no one that has had the Tommy John Surgery while having a contract as a pitcher in the top 50. Expect that to change. Which poses the question - are pitchers really worth 9 figure deals?

David Price has just inked the most expensive pitcher contract in the history of the MLB. With his and Jordan Zimmermann both hitting the top 50 contracts of ALL – Time in the last week, it has pushed Homer Bailey out of the top 50 deals of all time for chuckers. Right now, there is no one that has had the Tommy John Surgery while having a contract as a pitcher in the top 50. Expect that to change. Which poses the question – are pitchers really worth 9 figure deals?

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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David Price just inked the richest deal in MLB history with the Boston Red Sox at 7 YRs/$217 MIL.  It is also the 8th richest contract ever doled out.

The question is whether or not it is a worthy investment to put that much dough on the table for a guy that will progressively decline as the deal goes on.

If you follow our Tommy John Surgery Tracker, you will find that 30 or so pitchers are having their names added to the list.  Last season, the first 9 figured player – and top 50 salaried player had their arm go under a TJ Surgery in Home Bailey.

The time is coming again when an even higher profile pitcher will have to go down with it while his name is on a pact for a huge 9 figure salary.

it is the main reason why some clubs just can’t afford the risk.  Boston has the funds to do this, and this clearly was the prudent move for the franchise to do after losing out on Jon Lester last season.

Most of the Starting Pitchers have not seen better years with their names on this list like Justin VerlanderFelix HernandezMatt CainBarry ZitoCole HamelsCC Sabathia and Mike Hampton. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 11, 2015

Barton Silverman/The New York Times

Barton Silverman/The New York Times

10 years ago, Jason Giambi gave one of the strangest press conferences in baseball history. Even though I am a Red Sox fan, I found the surreal presser to be oddly endearing and sympathetic and made me see Giambi for what he was: A big dumb lovable lug.

Meanwhile today, A-Rod is apologizing to the Yankees, who SHOULD be welcoming him with open arms.

Over in Boston, their outfield is crowded as hell. Don’t worry. Time will sort it out.

East Coast Bias? Maybe for today on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Max Scherzer’s $185 MIL Deal (Inflation Pro-Rated) Puts Him 11th In MLB History For Top Contracts

Scherzer's 7 Year/$210 MIL deal is actually worth $185 against the cap, and we are giving him the same for the ALL-Time Contracts. This sum puts him just behind Derek Jeter for 11th in MLB History. Jon Lester and he are the only 2 men to enter the top 50 this year after 7 players made the cut last off year. Cabrera, Cano, Kershaw, Tanaka, Ellsbury,Trout and Choo all have made the chart since the end of the 2013 World Series.  The deal called for a $50 MIL signing bonus. The 2013 former AL Cy Young winner, will make $15 MIL in deferred salary for the next 14 seasons.  The 30 Year Old, will join the NL's best club of 2014, as far as wins are concerned, bringing in a 96 - 66 record.  The RHP has led the AL in wins the last 2 years (21 Wins and 18 Wins respectively), and has compiled a 55 - 15 (.786 Winning Percentage) since the start of the 2012 campaign.

Scherzer’s 7 Year/$210 MIL deal is actually worth $185 against the cap, and we are giving him the same for the ALL-Time Contracts. This sum puts him just behind Derek Jeter for 11th in MLB History. Jon Lester and he are the only 2 men to enter the top 50 this year after 7 players made the cut last off year. Cabrera, Cano, Kershaw, Tanaka, Ellsbury, Trout and Choo all have made the chart since the end of the 2013 World Series. The deal called for a $50 MIL signing bonus. The 2013 former AL Cy Young winner, will make $15 MIL in deferred salary for the next 14 seasons. The 30 Year Old, will join the NL’s best club of 2014, as far as wins are concerned, bringing in a 96 – 66 record. The RHP has led the AL in wins the last 2 years (21 Wins and 18 Wins respectively), and has compiled a 55 – 15 (.786 Winning Percentage) since the start of the 2012 campaign.

The highest contracts in MLB history (Red means Active Contract)

 1. Giancarlo Stanton, $325, 000, 000 (2015 – 2027)

*2. Alex Rodriguez, $275,000,000 (2008-17)

*** With A-Rod’s suspension in 2014, he forfeited $22.13 MIL bucks, so it will now end up 10 YRs/$252.87 MIL for the duration of his deal.  You can’t tell me he will be worth 40% of what the Yankees will be paying him next year, and all the way till the end of 2017.

3. Alex Rodriguez, $252,000,000 (2001-10)

*4. Miguel Cabrera $248,000, 000 (2016 – 2023)

Go see #25.  He has the 4th and 25th top contracts of ALL – Time.  This contract doesn’t start until 2016.

*5Albert Pujols, $250,000,000 (2012-21)

*6. Robinson Cano$240,000,000 (2014 – 2023) Read the rest of this entry

Giancarlo Stanton Signs Record 13 YRs/$325 MIL Deal, Will He Be Worth It? + Top 50 Salary Deals ALL – Time

 

Giancarlo Stanton, who will turn just 25 in a few days, ended the year with the HR crown at 37 and added 105 RBI - to win the Hank Aaron Award. With the big slugger due for huge Arbitration awards in the next few years, the club starting

Giancarlo Stanton, who will turn just 25 in a few days, ended the year with the HR crown at 37 and added 105 RBI in just 539 AB before having his season ended with a Hit By Pitch. With the big slugger due for huge Arbitration awards in the next few years, the club started bargaining withe their young superstar towards a long-term contract once the year was over.  They came up with a record breaking 13 Year Deal worth $325 MIL at the end of it.  Stanton also holds his own ticket for the future as well, with a full no no-trade clause, and an opt year after the 2020 campaign.

Chuck Booth (Lead Analyst/Website Owner): 

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With the ink not even being finalized on the historic deal between the Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton, it has been confirmed the deal is for 13 years at a clip of $325 MIL.

Among the provisions includes a no-trade clause, and an opt-out after the 2020 season, which would be 6 years into the deal.

It will be interesting to see how the dollars are broken up per year.  If I were Stanton, I would have wanted for the Annual Average money be even throughout the pact, otherwise I may be leery of the club trying to let him walk out after the 6 years – by not having a competitive club.

Although, if it is back end loaded the team would certainly have the flexibility to spend more cash on their current roster for the next 6 campaigns,  Tough dilemma for sure to be in.

No matter how long the 2014 NL MVP runnerup stays in South Beach, this is a smart business transaction for the franchise, regardless of the outcome.  It just may backfire from a baseball operational sense in terms of finances for signing other players too.

The Miami Marlins had to do this contract to save face from the 2012 break up of the squad.  Now while the big blockbuster trade has given the team the ability to contend for a playoff spot in the near future – and was a smart organizational move, as the fans also have been sold a bill of goods from the Marlins ownership since day 1 of the teams existence.

This is a marketing plan as much as anything that will be brought forth by the baseball impact.  Stanton is the marquee player on the team, and trading him away in the next 2 years would have had a devastating effect on the fanbase.

One isn’t sure whether they can sustain enough revenues to produce a winning product on the field for an extended period of time, however having the most dynamic power hitter in your lineup for the next 13 years will be a nice reason to come to the yard. Read the rest of this entry

With V – Mart’s 4 YR Deal For $68 MIL, The Market Threshold Is Set For Nelson Cruz

Victor Martinez has thrived offensively in Detroit hitting behind Miguel Cabrera.  Aside from the 2012 injury where he missed the whole season to a broken ankle.  V-Mart's 3 Slash Line for the Tigers is .321/.379/.486 - with 56 HR and 283 RBI in 1656 AB for the squad.  2014 is the last year of the 35 year old's 4 YRs/$50 MIL deal, and he will be on the open market after this campaign.  This was another good reason to bring in David Price by trade to win the elusive World Series.  There is no guarantee the Tigers could afford to bring him back for 2015 or beyond.

Victor Martinez has thrived offensively in Detroit hitting behind Miguel Cabrera. Aside from the 2012 injury where he missed the whole season to a broken ankle. V-Mart’s 3 Slash Line for the Tigers is .321/.381/.487 – with 58 HR and 289 RBI in 1706 AB for the squad. 2014 was the last year of the 35 year old’s 4 YRs/$50 MIL deal.  There was no guarantee the Tigers could afford to bring him back for 2015 or beyond because of the chance they would move Cabrera to DH in a few years.  However, the “Motown Boys” will have the best Designated Hitter in the game right now, back in the fold for the next 4 campaigns.  The one person who may not like the $ portion of the contract is Nelson Cruz, who is seeking a deal of 5 years at above the dollars per year V-Mart just reeled in.

Chuck Booth (Lead Analyst/Website Owner): 

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Yesterday Victor Martinez finalized re-signing with the Detroit Tigers for 4 YRs/$68 MIL.  This both was a great deal for the “Motown Boys” and also set a likely threshold for Free Agent DH slugger Nelson Cruz.

The Orioles DH/OF must not be happy with the amount of cash that V-Mart signed with, because there is no way he should reach that stratosphere.

2014 Stats

Victor Martinez (35):  .335/.409/.565, with 32 HRs 103 RBI and only 42 SO in 561 AB.

Nelson Cruz  (34):  .271/.333/.525, with 40 HRs 108 RBI and 140 SO in 613 AB.

 

Career

Martinez:  .306/.373/.475

Cruz:  .268/.328/.501 Read the rest of this entry

The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – Now: SF Cements Their Place From 2010 – 2014 With WS Birth

The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, if they make a World Series Appearance in 2013, they could break up the best teams for the years to include the Red Sox from 2004 - 2007, the Phillies from 2008 - 2009, and then you would have to place the Giants as the best overall team from 2010 - 2014.  Can they keep up the format of winning a World Series every 2 years again next campaign?

The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, and now are in the 2014 World Series – with a great chance to win 3 titles in 5 years against Kansas City.   The best teams for the last several years include the Red Sox from 2004 – 2007, the Phillies from 2008 – 2009, and then you would have to place the Giants as the best overall team from 2010 – 2014. Can they keep up the format of winning a World Series every 2 years again this year? The Red Sox (3 Titles), plus the Giants and Cards each having 2 Fall Classics, are the only 3 teams to have multiple World Series Trophies since the 2004 year.

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

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There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. 

If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. 

Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s. 

As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. 

I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. 

If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

Read the rest of this entry

For The Most Part – The Top Salaried Players (#1 – #25 In The MLB Are Certainly Not Playing Like It!

Prince Fielder

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Some of the highest paid athletes are really struggling to earn their keep.  Even if A – Rod were playing, it is quite possible he would be a shell of his former self, and way overpaid.

You add in the horrific injury riddled years for Joey Votto and Prince Fielder, and you are talking about a lot of dough for players not even in uniform presently.

Then there is a productive hitter like Troy Tulowitzki, who can’t remain on the field, despite putting up world caliber numbers when he is in the lineup.

Joe Mauer and Matt Kemp have also dealt with injuries and timing issues at the plate, but they still could turn it around for the tail end of the season – and going forward.

Justin Verlander tops the list of the paying the man too late in the game, and this will not bode well for the Free Agent Max Scherzer.

You also have aging veterans that are helping their teams win games like Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez, but they are also not where they were at the time all of that cash was thrown their way.

Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout‘s deal don’t even start yet on this list, and somehow I think they will do alright.

Robinson Cano has looked decent in the 1st of a 10 year deal, but lets reassess this in 2018…

The Yankees have a huge problem on their hands with their representatives out of these players.

Mark Teixeira only has power left, and can hardly stay on the field, while CC Sabathia may be done as a top of the end starter.

Masahiro Tanaka was lights out in his time in New York this year, however he could be facing Tommy John Surgery soon, and may cost the franchise a lot of money to sit out.

Not even the Jacoby Ellsbury deal has reason for them to feel comfort.  His numbers are similar to the ones he put up in Boston, yet he will see his speed evaporate over the years going forward.

This is part 1 of a 2 part blog series on player contracts. Tomorrow we address players 26 – 50. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland A’s Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going FWD: Updated For Trade Deadline Deals

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration.  He will likely cost in the $12 - 15 MIL range for 2015.  He tops the list of several A's players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry.  While the club is going for it in 2014, there unloading of Cespdes's $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises.  Some of the club will be traded or released.  The A's should still have about $25 MIL to spend on 7 or 8 guys next year.  Their $95 MIL payroll in 2014 is their highest ever recorded for any one year.

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration. He will likely cost in the $12 – 15 MIL range for 2015. He tops the list of several A’s players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry. While the club is going for it in 2014, there unloading of Cespdes’s $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises. Some of the club will be traded or released. The A’s should still have about $25 MIL to spend on 7 or 8 guys next year. Their $95 MIL projected payroll in 2014 is their highest ever recorded for any one year.

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

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Wow.  What a roster that has been assembled by Billy Beane in the last 30 days or so.

Make no bones about it, the reason the Money Ball GM was able to this was one from depth strength – coupled with being the master of financial flexibility.

We all know that the A’s have shied away from giving long term pitching contracts, or heck, from lucrative long contracts to positional players.

Ever since the team offered Jermaine Dye a big deal at the time, only to see his production fall off, then to be resurrected in other uniforms, did the management learn to ply their craft.

The team also doled out megabucks for Eric Chavez after that, then to watch him suffer through countless injuries.

Players like Nick Swisher, Miguel Tejada, Johnny Damon, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder have left the nest to make fortunes in other locations.

Beane made off like a bandit dealing Rich Harden before he eventually broke down.  Oh yeah, the GM received Josh Donaldson for that trade.

It has been a brass that sees about 50 roster transactions every year.  The key is to always sell high, and mix in the right amount of Free Agent veterans.

All of that ‘baseball rounding’ afforded the “Moneyball” GM to go for it this year. Read the rest of this entry

Cespedes Wins The 2014 MLB HR Derby With An Awesome Power Display: Stop Complaining About The Contest Experts!

Yoenis Cespedes became just the 2nd player to win back to back titles in the M:B HR Derby Last Night.  By winning his 2nd title, he also joins Prince Fielder and the aforementioned Griffey, as the only three guys to win multiple titles.  At just age 28, and with that swing, you have to think he has a chance to eclipse everyone and take down a few more of these HR Derby Trophy's.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I have had enough with the experts flogging on the HR Derby last night.

Yes, it took long, but not as long as last year. I believe the actual event was under 3 hours. What every one was feeling had a lot to do with the hour plus rain delay.

I loved the new format of 7 outs, and AL vs NL. If there is anything I think the MLB could do away with – is having 5 players in each league participant.

I firmly believe that Jose Bautista and Giancarlo Stanton suffered because of an inactive round caused by them both winning a bye. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2014 Home Run Derby + ALL – Time Derby Winners + Cespedes Wins 2014 Title

HR Derby 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I said yesterday that I believed Todd Frazier would be an underdog darkhorse to win the HR derby at Target Field.

Little did I know he is tied for the 8th favorite out of 10 hitters.

The ALL – Star longball competition has changed formats.  There are 3 players from the AL and NL that survive the 1st RD (7 outs each hitter).

The top players in each league (during the 1st round) win a bye into the semi-final round automatically, while the 2nd and 3rd seeds in each league square off in the 2nd round in a matchup each.

Once the winners are established in that round (7 Outs), the remaining 4 contestants will be duking it out in their respective leagues to find who owns the National League and American league big fly bragging rights.

It is all players within their own league until the final.

The winners of the AL/NL will face off for the championship.  Again, all rounds contain 7 outs.  Maybe this will ease some of the time constraints. Read the rest of this entry

Cleveland Indians Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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The Indians were big players in the 2012 offseason – heading into the 2013 year.

The club stepped up and signed 1B/OF Nick Swisher to a 5 YRs/$70 MIL deal – and inked OF Michael Bourn to a 4 YR contract worth $48 MIL.

Indians Management also took a risk on SP Scott Kazmir.

But perhaps their best acquisition in the 2012 winter was picking up Terry Francona as their new bench boss. Read the rest of this entry

Cleveland Indians State Of The Union For 2014

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays.  Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff berth in 2014.  The club ended the year on a 10 game winning streak and extended it by 1 in the Season Opener at Oakland.  The Indians are pretty much hanging with 'status quo' among their franchise this winter.  They have also lost Scott Kazmir, and potentially Ubaldo Jimenez to Free Agency as well,  Of course Joe Smith signed with the Angels and they released Chris Perez, so other than Terry Francona winning the Manager of The Year in the AL, it hasn't been a banner offseason in Cleveland thus far.

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS in 2013, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays. Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff berth in 2014. The club ended the year on a 10 game winning streak – and extended it by 1 in the Season Opener at Oakland. The Indians are pretty much going with ‘status quo’ into this year. They lost key Starters Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez to Free Agency.  Of course they saw Joe Smith sign with the Angels and they released Chris Perez, so other than Terry Francona winning the Manager of The Year in the AL, it wasn’t a banner offseason.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Indians had one hell of a rollercoaster ride in the 2013 year.  It ended with the club making their 1st playoff game since the 2007 ALCS.

To make it to the #1 Wild Card Slot, Cleveland reeled of 10 straight victories, and hosted the one game battle against the Rays.

Albeit the team could not beat the Rays, and were left to settle with one home date in the postseason.

With 92 Wins, with no lineup player having an exceptional year except for maybe Jason Kipnis, there was no doubt Terry Francona peeled off one of the great managerial jobs ever.

Almost instantly after the year, the club lost Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Kazmir, Chris Perez, Joe Smith and Drew Stubbs (trade). Read the rest of this entry

What Miguel Cabrera’s New Contract Means To The Tigers And Him

Miguel Cabrera‘s new 8 YR/$248 MIL contract extension comes days after the club couldn’t come to terms with reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

The numbers are mind boggling.

He breaks the ALL – Time record for Average Annual Contract per year is at $31 MIL AAV (from 2016 – 2023), and also he is owed the most dollars at any given time by a contract at $292 MIL for the years of 2014 – 2023.

This man is the best pure offensive player in the game, and has only become better with age, but a lot of people are worried about the back end of this deal.

I fully understand that. Read the rest of this entry

Forget The DH, Forget The Pitcher Hitting, Lets Hit With 8! Also Teams Should Hit Best Players At The Top

Disagree with me all you want, but I think the MLB would be better served to have just 8 hitters hit in one rotation of the batting order.  It is time to eliminate the DH and the pitcher both from hitting.  Give the fans more of what they want, the most feared hitters in baseball potentially batting 70 - 80 times more a year.

Disagree with me all you want, but I think the MLB would be better served to have just 8 hitters hit in one rotation of the batting order. It is time to eliminate the DH and the pitcher both from hitting. Give the fans more of what they want, the most feared hitters in baseball potentially batting 70 – 80 times more a year.  I also agree with Sully Baseball, that your best hitters should be afforded the most opportunities to contribute to your offense.  This means hitting in the highest slot in the order they can based on OBP, Slugging and overall Run production.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): w/assist to “Lead Personality” Paul Sullivan (Sully)

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(The 8 hitters in  lineup concept is my idea solely, I am agreeing with Sully on his lineup relevance for his approach for 1 and 2 hitters) – CB

I was listening to an archived show I did with James Acevedo, on our inaugural “2 And A Hook Podcast” show last March.

We were talking about the Designated Hitter position weakening by the year, and the Pitcher not doing any justice at the plate either.

In the show, I haphazardly referred to “they should just hit with 8 hitters.”

I forgot about the whole thing soon after saying it last year, but now I haven’t stopped thinking about for the last hour of today.

Baseball writers often will tell you it is best to write what is fresh on your mind. Read the rest of this entry

The Homer Bailey Extension Is Good For The Short Term In Cincy: Not Sure About The Long – Term Though

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Homer Bailey may be the 3rd Starting Pitcher on the depth chart, but he happened to be the 1st guy up on Free Agency out of Mat Latos (2016 FA) and Johnny Cueto (2016 FA).

For this reason alone, I like the team extending the 27 Year Old to a 6 YR deal worth a minimum of $105 MIL, and with a Mutual Option for $25 MIL for the 2020 campaign – that could make it a 7 YRs/$125 MIL pact.

The deal starts off pretty good for dollar sense in the first two years, with Bailey making $8 MIL in 2014, and $9 MIL in 2015.

From there if I can borrow a line from Anchorman “That escalated quickly”, the next few years go like this, $18 MIL, $19 MIL, $21 MIL and $23 MIL for the years starting in 2016 – and finishing in 2019. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Athletics Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

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

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Billy Beane is a master tactician when it comes to freeing up some cash in order to acquire more players.

Oakland ended last year with a payroll of about $70 MIL.  So far this offseason, the A’s GM has picked up several relief pitchers and also signed Scott Kazmir to a 2 YR deal worth $22 MIL.

The team also said goodbye to Bartolo Colon,(who signed with the Mets for a 2 YRs/$20 MIL deal).

Beane has held a fantastic track record of assessing talent, so don’t be surprised if the stocky 40 year old breaks down in the Mets uniform – and not under the A’s watch. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Freddie Freeman Is 29th With His New Deal – But It Makes Sense

Freddie Freeman Highlights 2013 – Mature Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Freddie Freeman is worth the money he just signed for when it comes to his talent level, age and production thus far.

Yesterday, the 24 Year Old First Baseman inked a 8 YR deal worth $135 MIL with the Tomahawk Choppers.  As someone who was just entering the 1st year of Arbitration Eligibility, he was bought out of that negotiation.

The Braves will pay more money in the short – term, but will make up for it in the long run – by not having to dole out 200+ MIL bucks for the guy once he could have hit Free Agency. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Masahiro Tanaka Is 18th

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan.  At his current $10 MIL a year salary, he is a complete bargain compared to what Tanaka received from the Yankees.  It was because of the record posting fee the Rangers doled out - to have the exclusive rights to talk to Darvish.  You have to wonder what he must be thinking of the Tanaka deal.  bunch of financial freedom to sign other long term deals.  Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 - 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013.  Darvish's high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll.

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan. At his current $10 MIL a year salary, he is a complete bargain compared to what Tanaka received from the Yankees. It was because of the record posting fee the Rangers doled out – to have the exclusive rights to talk to Darvish. You have to wonder what he must be thinking of the Tanaka deal. Texas reaped the benefits of financial freedom to sign other long term deals like Choo, and acquire Fielder based on this move. Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 – 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013. His high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With Masahiro Tanaka’s new deal – for the 1st time all of the MLB’s ALL-Time top 50 contracts are $100 MIL or more.

Adam Wainwright was effectively bumped out of the #50 slot, leaving 4 guys tied for 47th, all registering deals of $100 MIL (Carlos Lee, Ryan Zimmerman, Albert Pujols (2004 – 2010) and Evan Longoria.

Masahiro Tanaka also joins Robinson CanoClayton KershawShin-Soo Choo and new teammate Jacoby Ellsbury, as players that have made it to the list this offseason.

Masahiro Tanaka’s Japan Highlights

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“The Record” Clayton Kershaw Contract By The Numbers: How It All Stacks Up

Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YRs/$215 MIL extension t- that will run through the years of 2014 - 2020 with the LA Dodgers.   The deal is slated for an opt out clause after the 2018 season by Kershaw, when he will be only 30 years old.

Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YRs/$215 MIL extension – that will run through the years of 2014 – 2020 with the LA Dodgers. The deal is slated for an opt out clause after the 2018 season by Kershaw, when he will be only 30 years old.  The terms go like this for years.  2014:  $22 MIL ( $18 MIL signing bonus is part of that), 2015: $30 MIL, 2016: $32 MIL, 2017 and 2018 he will earn $33 MIL).  From here that will have been $150 MIL for the 1st 5 years of the contract.  If Kershaw remains past this, the deal pays $32 MIL in 2019 – and finally $33 MIL in 2020.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The verdict is in.  Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YR Extension for $215 Million.

It is the highest Annual Average Contract ($30.7 MIL) in the history of Major League Baseball, topping A-Rod’s previously set deal worth $27.5 MIL.

The deal is also the richest contract ever in Pitching history – surpassing Justin Verlander’s 7 YRs/$180 MIL extension from 2013 – 2019.

It is the 6th highest deal ever in the MLB, and Kershaw becomes the 7th player ever to receive a contract north of $200 MIL.

Clayton Kershaw Highlights 2013

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The Cleveland Indians Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB) 2014

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays.  Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff birth in 2014,

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays. Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff birth in 2014.

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

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The Indians had a triumphant and surprising year in 2013.  They blasted their way out of the gate led by Mark Reynolds and Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson.

Halfway through the year, renaissance pitching from Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir helped jump into the foray among all the best AL clubs.

This club took advantage of a cupcake schedule – in order to reel off a 10 game winning streak to tend the campaign.

For those people who failed to see what a tough May.15 – June.15 schedule they had, in which they played almost all of the Division leaders across the board in the MLB, being all over .500 teams.

Because of that stretch, they deserved the late season ease of sked.

Jason Kipnis Highlight Reel 2013

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Ortiz Is Almost Done Playing: Who Will Be The Next Great DH Among The AL Clubs??

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs - trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups - why aren't teams focusing on the DH position more.  Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles.  In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if "Big Papi" is hurt or struggling.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs – trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups – why aren’t teams focusing on the DH position more. Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles. In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if “Big Papi” is hurt or struggling.

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

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There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox has won 3 World Series Titles in the last 10 years because they have had the quintessential DH in the American League.

While other teams have used the position as a rest stop for aging players, or stop-gap measure for players with defensive faulty, clubs have not seemed to have stressed emphasis on the slot in the lineup.

My question is why?  With everyone always searching for an edge in today’s game, you have one sitting right in front of you, that equates to over 600 AB a year.

David Ortiz (Post Season Heroics 2013)

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The Top 50 Contracts Of All – Time In The MLB

Technically A-Rod has received the two top contracts in baseball history, however he opted out after the 2007 year for the 1st one, so really it was a 7 Year Deal worth approximately $158 MIL that was paid out to him between 2000 and the end of the year in 2007.  Rodriguez contract from 2008 - 2017 also includes $30 MIL worth of player performances for passing milestones.

Technically A-Rod has received the two top contracts in baseball history, however he opted out after the 2007 year for the 1st one, so really it was a 7 Year Deal worth approximately $158 MIL that was paid out to him between 2000 and the end of the year in 2007. Rodriguez contract from 2008 – 2017 also includes $30 MIL worth of player performances for passing milestones.

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

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I start this paragraph saying that it blows my mind away that Alex Rodriguez has the #1 and #2 best contracts of ALL-Time.  This is sick.

At least he might forfeit up to $21 MIL of his salary in 2014, and another $5 – $7 MIL in 2015 – if the 211 game ban sticks. 

Therefore can we really say that he would have the top 2 earnings leaders for any given contract?  He would have to give up $27.51 MIL of it for that to happen.

Pujols would take over the reigns as the #2 contract with his 10 YRs/$250 MIL deal then.

Some of them are classic overpays, and others actually have netted the franchise their true value back and then more.  You can be your own judge.

Albert Pujols 2012 Highlight Mix – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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AL Central Hot Stove Round Up – Updated For The Joe Nathan Signing With The Tigers

Doug Fister was just traded away last night for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and a Minor League Pitcher.  I definitely am seeing the vibe that this franchise is about to make another huge move towards a player in Free Agency.

Doug Fister was just traded away last night for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and a Minor League Pitcher. I definitely am seeing the vibe that this franchise is about to make another huge move towards a player in Free Agency.  If this wasn’t the case, then what the hell are the Tigers doing trading away a pitcher like this?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Detroit Tigers threw down the first gauntlet in transactions of the Division.  But have they made their team any stronger?  As of right now they are still weaker to start the 2014 year than they ended the 2013 campaign.

Things have been quiet out of Motown on offensive players, however they have been circling the world of Brian Wilson for the Relief core, before they finally lost interest.

Joe Nathan was signed to a 2 Year Deal today by the Tigers.  It was a swift move to sign the guy, although financial terms have not been entirely disclosed yet.

By singing Joe Nathan to amp up the status of the Bullpen, the teams looks decisively better already.   

They should not stop there for relievers. 

I would still try to bring in a Grant Balfour or Jesse Crain as late inning assassins – before having any of the old crew of Joaquin Benoit or Jose Veras be the guys to depend on.  Do not resign them Dombrowski!

Look for an upcoming article I am writing about the Detroit Tigers, that will ask the question, who would you rather have long – term, Miguel Cabrera or Max Scherzer?

Of course a lot of this is dependent on how much Mike Ilitch wants to spend on his club.

Brian Wilson 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – 2013: The Biggest Question Is, Who Owns 2004 – 2013, BOS or STL?

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 - 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013.  They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade - but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 – 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013. They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade – but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch from 2004 – now?

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

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There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. 

If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. 

Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s. 

As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. 

I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. 

If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

2013 Boston Dream Season – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised

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