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Chicago Cubs Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guaranteed Contracts/POS/AGE:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arbitration Eligible/POS/AGE

3rd  year

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

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

Pre-Arbitration – Entry Level Contracts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buyouts/Dead Money

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

Conclusions:

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

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

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

Some sort of guaranteed money to the budget would be wise

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

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

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

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

CubsWS

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

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

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

To Subscribe and listen daily to  ‘Our Lead Personality’  Sully’s 20 Minutes Daily (every day since Oct.24, 2012) Podcast click here.  Guaranteed listening to the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast will be the best time you invest in online!

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Early 2017 MLB Team Win Projections

Having a great offsesson despite David Ortiz retiring. Are the deepest all around team in the American League, with the greatest collection of veterans and young players

Having a great offsesson despite David Ortiz retiring. Are the deepest all around team in the American League, with the greatest collection of veterans and young players.  The biggest other move in the Division so far was the Yankees signing Aroldis Chapman, and that may just help the Bombers stay above .500 – and have a chance to compete.

Following the recent Winter Meetings, the new CBA being signed. and then the subsequent few weeks after, the projections are win totals based on the teams if over/unders were to be placed.

From the onset. the Boston Red Sox are the clear favorite in the AL East – with adding Chris Sale, Mitch Moreland, Tyler Thornburg to their ALL – Star cast, while David Ortiz (retired), Travis Shaw (traded) Koji Uehara (Signed with the Cubs), Brad Ziegler (Free Agent) are off the postseason roster that lost to the Tribe.

The players going back to the White Sox were not from the Major League Roster for the most part.

With the Jays having Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Michael Saunders. R. A. Dickey, Brett Cecil off the 25 man roster, to replacing with Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce for the most part as main transactions. this is a far cry from an even trade.  However the club will still likely make some more moves.

Cleveland stands to benefit for the rest of the division all seeming to rebuild. but the Tigers have only dealt Cameron Maybin away – so they are sitting on the cusp of challenging for the AL Central again.  Detroit may want to explore going for it one more year based on what the Royals have done, and the fact the White Sox and Twins might be the worst clubs in the Junior Circuit.

Houston has been super progressive with signing Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran as Free Agents, while also flipping for Brian McCann.  This was a squad that started 7 – 17,before reeling off a nice 77 – 62 mark down the stretch to fall just short of the playoff bar.

Seattle is also positioning themselves upward just by how bad the Rangers have fared this winter.  Not only that, but they added strength to their worst 2 weaknesses in adding Jean Segura at SS. and Carlos Ruiz as a viable backup Catcher. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 9, 2016

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Rob Carr/Getty Images North America, Tim Bradbury/Getty Images North America and Elsa/Getty Images North America

It looks like Koji Uehara is heading to the Cubs. They will have three pitchers who have clinched a World Series title out of the pen.

Why not try to get more?

It is time to celebrate and clinch in this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Enjoy this video podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – May 1, 2016

Hamiltonimage

Getty Images

It is Sunday and time for the SUNDAY REQUEST.

 

Good call.

Three years later we can have some perspective on some of the clear winners and losers of the Free Agent class before the 2013 season.

It is a “keep your promises” episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

Read the rest of this entry

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) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

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

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 26, 2015

Matt Slocumb - AP

Matt Slocumb – AP

The AL East is wide open and Rangers fans need to welcome Josh Hamilton back with open arms.

That and more on Episode 915 of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Matt Harvey, Angel Pagan, Wei-Yin Chen, Jimmy Paredes, Justin Upton, Michael Brantley, Rubby De La Rosa and Daniel Norris all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

Read the rest of this entry

The Top 5 Closers In The MLB For 2015

Rodney had 48 Saves, 0.777 WHIP and a 0.60 ERA in 2012, to place 5th in AL Cy Young Voting and was an ALL-Star.  2013 wasn't as kind (although he did win the WBC) with a 3.34 ERA and a WHIP of 1.335.  The Mariners not armed with many better Options, brought in the 37 Year Old, to a 2 YR/$14 MIL deal.  Rodney did feature a career best 11.1/SO Per 9 IP rate last year, but he also walked 4.9/Per IP as well.  His work translated better in the AL West, where 2/3rds of his games are in Seattle, Los Angeles and Oakland.  Rodney led the AL in both Saves (48) and Games Finished in 2014 (64) - while having a 2.85 ERA, but a high 1.342 WHIP.  The latter is right near his career totals.  Still expect more of the same in 2015, with the M's having one of the better clubs this campaign.

Rodney had 48 Saves, 0.777 WHIP and a 0.60 ERA in 2012, to place 5th in AL Cy Young Voting and was an ALL-Star. 2013 wasn’t as kind (although he did win the WBC) with a 3.34 ERA and a WHIP of 1.335. The Mariners not armed with many better Options, brought in the  then 37 Year Old, to a 2 YR/$14 MIL deal. Rodney did feature a career best 11.1/SO Per 9 IP rate in 2013,  but he also walked 4.9 /Per IP as well. His work translated better in the AL West during 2014, where 2/3rds of his games are in Seattle, Los Angeles and Oakland. Rodney led the AL in both Saves (48) and Games Finished in 2014 (64) – while having a 2.85 ERA, but a high 1.342 WHIP. The latter is right near his career totals. His Walk Rate was 3.8, but that is less than his 4.4 clip for his lifetime.  The man fashioned a 10.3/9 IP SO rate.  I expect more of the same in 2015, with the M’s having one of the better clubs this campaign.  There will be more arrows slings after games.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

With the fiasco that is the Detroit Tigers Bullpen. I look for these guys to roll through several different Closers in 2015.  Joakim Soria would be the 1st one to attempt after Joe Nathan fails.

I also think the Yankees are going dually use Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller depending on the situational maneuvering matchups.  New York will be hard pressed to make the playoffs, but I do think they will net one of the higher team Save totals.

The same could probably said for the Boston Red Sox.  I think the near 40 year old Koji Uehara will have a tough time staying healthy for 100% of the opportunities, however he will be just outside the mark.

St. Louis may end up using someone different from Trevor Rosenthal, because we are due for them to change 9th inning guys. Adam Wainwright, Jason Isringhausen Jason Motte, Ryan Franklin and Edward Mujica have all seen the mantle over the last several years for the RedBirds. 

Rosenthal has actually had one of the longer stints, however he really struggled at the end of the 2014 year (despite 45 Saves), and it carried over to the playoffs, where he featured 10 base runners, while only recording 11 outs.  I am thinking he will not have as many chances in 2015 as well. 

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 7, 2014

Mike Stobe - Getty Images

Mike Stobe – Getty Images

 

It is Sunday which means it is time for The Sunday Request on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

I take a look at spending on a closer, how the right person can come out of nowhere and why it relates to the Howard Stern show.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 5, 2014

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I would hate for last night’s loss to be Koji Uehara‘s last game with the Red Sox… but it might be.

Closer’s flame out and Koji looks like no exception. Remember, he was never meant to be a long term solution.

Today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast. was recorded outside of Sunken Diamond at Stanford University.

Mark Buehrle, Randall Delgado, A.J. Pollock, Victor Martinez, David Ortiz, Devin Mesoraco and Jake Odorizzi all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The O’s Pitchers Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree Explains That The Staff Was Created By Deft Transactions!

Chris Tillman continues to assert himself as one of the emerging great arms in the American League.  The 26 Year Old RHP is 26 - 12 in his last 38 game decisions with a mid 3 ERA.  Not bad when you consider he and Adam Jones were brought to Maryland for former Draft Pick Erik Bedard, (who is barely hanging on to professional baseball - and was hurt or average in his Seattle days).  That deal and the Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis/for Koli Uehara deals kickstarted the renaissance of this historic club.

Chris Tillman continues to assert himself as one of the emerging great arms in the American League. The 26 Year Old RHP is 26 – 12 in his last 38 game decisions with a mid 3 ERA. Not bad when you consider he and Adam Jones were brought to Maryland for former Draft Pick Erik Bedard, (who is barely hanging on to professional baseball – and was hurt or average in his Seattle days). That deal and the Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis/for Koli Uehara deals kickstarted the renaissance of this historic club.  The O’s made the postseason for the 1st time in 15 years during he 2012 campaign, and now possess a massive lead in the AL East with 35 games to go.  The O’s management and brass can take stock in a job well done in building this current group of ballplayers.

How All Of The Orioles Pitchers Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner) & Nick Delahanty (MLB Reports Featured Writer):

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

The Orioles made a swift and blunt move last off season, when they traded their 2012 and 2013 Closer Jim Johnson for Jemile Weeks.

The club took some flak in virtually discarding a 101 save man over the last few years to save some money.  Johnson was awarded $10 MIL for the year, and has flamed out in Oakland and Detroit since. Those dollars are about what the team receives collectively as a unit.

The team was also lambasted for the signing/not signing of Grant Balfour, because a sketchy physical.  Again, they have looked good in the transaction.

The O’s have done a great job building their Bullpen and Rotation.

Chris Tillman was part of the now extremely lopsided deal, which saw Adam Jones for Erik Bedard  several years back.

That coupled with some waiver claims (T.J. McFarland as a Rule 5 Draft Picks) and former team draft picks – converting in to late inning arms (Brian Matusz and Closer Zach Britton), and you have seen a brilliant molding of a Relief Core.

Darren O’Day was claimed off of waivers from Texas, in the same campaign the club also fleeced the Rangers, with the Chris Davis/Tommy Hunter deal for Koji Uehara.

Ryan Webb was actually optioned to the Minors, despite decent numbers, while clearing a path for Andrew Miller, as part of a deal from Boston.  Miller is one of the better LHP out of the pen in the last year.

The team has supplanted the rotation, with a few key Free Agents over the years, starting with Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez.

Kevin Gausman represents the only starter right now that was drafted by the team originally.

Bud Norris was brought into Baltimore for a couple of former draft picks and a 2014 RD A compensation pick.

The other significant 2013 deal for the staff  – was dealing a Minor Leaguer for Brad Brach.

The Ubaldo Situation

Looking at the numbers, Buck Showalter has the right idea in taking Jimenez out of the rotation.Regardless of the contract figures, Jimenez has failed to be that ace that the Orioles expected to get  when he signed his 4 YR $50 MM dollar contract in the winter.

It’s time to let Jimenez take some time to figure things out, as hopefully skipping a start or two will give him time to work on his mechanics to help get him back on track.

This is also familiar territory for the Orioles, as Showalter and crew have had some good success  sending guys to the bullpen.

Remember, Zach Britton and Tommy Hunter, two of the best arms in the Orioles’ bullpen this season, were starters that struggled, but once they were shifted to the bullpen they seemed to have figured it out and have been very reliable throughout the season.

Maybe Jimenez can find a role in the pen that could help the team clinch a playoff spot. Read the rest of this entry

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

Adam Jones was brought over in a trade with Chris Tillman, George Sherrill from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Erik Bedard in the 2007 offeseson. Jones is a 3 time Gold Glove Winner, and has 2 straight season of 30+ HRs, and might well be in the top 5 AL MVP consideration this year by the time it is all said and done. This trade started the pendulum swinging back in the other direction - after a horrible 10 year stretch for the O's. Baltimore broke a 15 year playoff drought n 2012 with a Post Season Berth.  This 4 time ALL - Star  is on pace for career highs in HRs and RBI for 2014. Jones, now 28, signed a 7 YRs/$91.7 MIL deal prior to the 2012 season, which means he is with Baltimore until the end of 2018

Adam Jones was brought over in a trade with Chris Tillman, George Sherrill from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Erik Bedard in the 2007 offeseson. Jones is a 3 time Gold Glove Winner, and has 2 straight season of 30+ HRs, and might well be in the top 5 AL MVP consideration this year by the time it is all said and done. This trade started the pendulum swinging back in the other direction – after a horrible 10 year stretch for the O’s. Baltimore broke a 15 year playoff drought n 2012 with a Post Season Berth. This 4 time ALL – Star is on pace for career highs in HRs and RBI for 2014. Jones, now 28, signed a 7 YRs/$91.7 MIL deal prior to the 2012 season, which means he is with Baltimore until the end of 2018

How All Of The Orioles Hitters Were Acquired:

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

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

The fortunes of the Orioles have all come based on the heels of 2 nice trades and a 3rd one also tilting the scales in their favor.

1 of the deals was the Erik Bedard for Adam Jones and Chris Tillman, the other great trade was acquiring Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter for Koji Uehara.

These deals gave the club a bonafide Starting Pitcher, a Gold Glove and 30 HRs a year hitting Adam Jones, a 50+ HR guy in 2013 with Chris Davis, and a flamethrowing arm out of the Bullpen with Hunter.

Bedard was lackluster in Seattle briefly, and Koji Uehara wasn’t good in Texas, like he was in Baltimore or now Boston.

You can also trace J.J. Hardy (yet another Gold Glover) back to the assets received from Aubrey Huff. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 6, 2014

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

It is Sunday and man do I have a challenging Sunday Request!

Should the Giants do it?

Should the Red Sox pursue it?

It is a tougher decision than you would think when you consider how quickly closers flame out!

I take on the challenge on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Matt Garza, Casey McGehee, Chris Archer, Nelson Cruz, Homer Bailey, Yasiel Puig, Jose Quintana andDanny Valencia all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball.

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The Boston Red Sox State Of The Union Part 2 – The Pitchers: 2014 Preview

This is a not a slight on the Red Sox at all, but they should not be favored to win the American League right now.  Detroit should be that placeholder.  I am not sure the Red Sox will even in the AL East.  I would go with the Rays or Yankees before them right now.  The Rays had one of the best second half records in 2013, and the Yankees are a lot better as well.  I am also not sure of the team losing Ellsbury, Drew, Dempster and Saltalamacchia has improved itself with Capuano, Middlebrooks, Pierzynski and the tandem of Sizemore and Bradley JR.

This is a not a slight on the Red Sox at all, but they should not be favored to win the American League right now. Detroit should be that placeholder. I am not sure the Red Sox will even win the AL East. I would go with the Rays or Yankees before them right now. The Rays had one of the best second half records in 2013, and the Yankees are a lot better as well. I am also not sure of the team losing Ellsbury, Drew, Dempster and Saltalamacchia has improved itself with Capuano, Middlebrooks, Pierzynski and the tandem of Sizemore and Bradley JR.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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For added depth in the Bullpen, the franchise added Edward Mujica, amply giving the team multiple options at Closer should Koji Uehara not duplicate his 2013 success in 2014.

The management did a great job in peacemealing this Pitching Rotation in 2014.

Big injuries, 3 different Closers, and finally won the hottest Closers to end a year in Uehara pitching for the clubs final outs to win the Fall Classic.

The latest addition as of now for the 2014 season, are Chris Capuano for the Starting staff and also Bullpen arm Burke Badenhop, who came over from a nice year in the pen for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The club will sees Ryan Dempster take the year off for injury, but are stoked about saving his $14 MIL pricetag that he is forfeiting this season.

The Bullpen features Koji Uehara, Craig Breslow, Edward Mujica, Brandon Workman, Burke Badenhop, Andrew Miller, Junichi Tazawa and Alex Wilson round out the potential Relief Core.

The Starting Rotation was also held together with duct tape and barbed wire in 2013, but it was enough to aid the awesome offense, and the team will sporting championship rings because of it.

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The O’s Add Nelson Cruz + The AL Beast Just Got Stronger!

Nelson Cruz is 34 - and has a long history of injuries -  and now of PED use.In the last 5 years, he has only played over 128 games for the season once.  Now he was on pace to top that in 2013 - before his PED suspension from the Biogenesis Scandal.  Will he go to Seattle, another AL team, or is the NL going to be his final destination for next campaign.  I thoroughly believe he should just be a permanent DH.

Nelson Cruz is 34 – and has a long history of injuries – and now of PED use. In the last 5 years, he has only played over 128 games for the season once. Now he was on pace to top that in 2013 – before his PED suspension from the Biogenesis Scandal.  I thoroughly believe he should just be a permanent DH.  He will likely be used in that role with the O’s.  With a full season of AB, this slugger should probably hit between .260 – .270, with 25 – 30 HRs and range from 80 – 90 RBI.  To sign this guy to a 1 Year Deal – worth $8 MIL, when he was already given the Qualifying Offer by Texas is a fantastic acquisition for the Orioles.  It also comes in the same week they picked up Ubaldo Jimenez and Korean chucker Suk-Min Yoon.  Baltimore just entered back into the Division race!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Dan Duquette has announced his presence with authority this week.

From Suk-min Yoon (3 YRs/$5.6 MIL), Ubaldo Jimenez (4 YRs/$48 MIL), to then flat out rob Nelson Cruz for a 1 YR/$8 MIL deal, the GM has served notice that the franchise is here to compete.

Frankly, this was a long time coming.  The team has now thrust its name into the conversation with the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees.

On the clock is the Toronto Blue Jays!! Read the rest of this entry

The Boston Red Sox Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

Dustin Pedroia is an example of how to handle your own talent as far as payment.  He was signed from 2009 - 2015 , which is 7 YRs/$55 MIL, and then they extended him from 2016 - 2021 (6 YRs/$85 MIL).  Being a bit of a bargain on a yearly basis, this natural leader - and former MVP, has given the franchise money flexibility for every year during the duration of his deal.

Dustin Pedroia is an example of how to handle your own talent as far as payment. He was signed from 2009 – 2015 , which is 7 YRs/$55 MIL, and then they extended him from 2016 – 2021 (6 YRs/$85 MIL). Being a bit of a bargain on a yearly basis, this natural leader – and former MVP, has given the franchise money flexibility for every year during the duration of his deal.  The now 30 Year Old, has a Career 3 Slash of .302/.370/.823.  His numbers are great for his 162 game average, with 104 Runs Scored and 194 Hits.  Pedroia is pesky with his 46 Doubles, 16 HRs per year.

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

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The Boston Red Sox pulled of a major “Hoodini Act” by freeing themselves of the long term contracts of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett in an Aug, 2012 trade.

The club used the dollars saved to reel in Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes in 2013.  All of these guys were massive contributors to the 2013 World Series team.

The Beantowners still live and die by their Starting Pitching.  Jon Lester and unpredicted Jon Lackey had renaissance campaigns – while Clay Buchholz cobbled enough health together for a 12 – 1, 1.74 ERA season.

Replicating their championship season will be tougher in 2014.

David Ortiz Highlights

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The Boston Red Sox Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB)

Jackie Bradley can go a long way to help BoSox fans forget about the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury.  Known as a patient batter with tonnes of speed, and exceptional fielding, Bradley taking the next leap up to the MLB on  a permanent basis would do wonder for the Red Sox in 2014.

Jackie Bradley can go a long way to help BoSox fans forget about the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury. Known as a patient batter with tonnes of speed, and exceptional fielding, Bradley taking the next leap up to the MLB on a permanent basis would do wonder for the Red Sox in 2014. At 23, he has a Career Minor League 3 Slash of .297/.404/.876

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

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It has come time for us to flip the calendar at the MLB Reports and shift gears into all of our 2014 season previews.

Each of the 30 MLB teams will have a organizational depth chart blog, a payroll blog, and 1 or 2 State of the Union Pieces from this day – all the way until the 1st day of MLB play this campaign.

We start of with the defending World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox.

Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts Are Future Superstars

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 2, 2014

JETER HAYES

Today on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I talk about the greatest moment of every baseball year: The moment a team wins it all and stands alone as the kings of baseball.

My fascination with the ending of the baseball year and how it is celebrated is something I can discuss for hours. Today I do so for a little more than 20 minutes.

And yes, I talk about that picture above of Charlie Hayes and Derek Jeter making the final out of the 1996 World Series.

To subscribe to The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 2, 2014

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 31, 2013

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It is the final episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast for 2013.
It was a year of some great memories, some events that were impossible to predict and a tournament that showed the best talents from all over the world (that was played in October.)

Plus I explain why I will NOT rank the off season moves this year year.

To subscribe to The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 31, 2013

The O’s Have Continuously Dropped The Ball This Winter – The Latest Is The Grant Balfour Fiasco:

Grant Balfour has been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL  deal - and justifiably so.  The Orioles are losing credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver.  So, good luck on signing a Free Agent Pitcher in the future.  The O's are also reeling on the Free Agency Market, having not signed anyone of real value, while Brian Roberts, Scott Feldman and Nate McLouth have left the city.  2013 saw the club win 85 games, and that was part of a superhuman effort from Chris Davis.

Grant Balfour has been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL deal – and justifiably so. The Orioles are losing credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver. So, good luck on signing a Free Agent Pitcher in the future. The O’s are also reeling on the Free Agency Market, having not signed anyone of real value, while Brian Roberts, Scott Feldman and Nate McLouth have left the city. 2013 saw the club win 85 games, and that was part of a superhuman effort from Chris Davis.  The team is completely missing the ball in their chance to rundown a World Series Title by playing conservatively with their money.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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‘Stoking The Fire’ – Week 10

The Orioles have continued to stumble along in the offseason – meanwhile pissing off their fanbase.  The latest Grant Balfour fiasco is going to set the franchise back.

it is not just the future Free Agent players that will think twice about setting foot in Maryland for the sake of landing a deal, but this kind of move could definitely deflate attendance next campaign.

Up until the Buck Showalter era, this kind of move was vindictive of the 1999 – 2009 regime of the Baltimore brass.

Grant Balfour Deal with the O’s Negated.

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Where Will Brian Wilson End Up?

Brian Wilson has a great comeback bid in the 2013 campaign.  When you add up his Appearances in the regular season - and playoffs, he threw 19.2 IP - in which he entered 24 Games, and only gave up 1 ER in the process.  Good for a cumulative 0.47 ERA.  He also has yet to yield an ER in 17.2 Post Season Career Innings.  Boston, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers should be his top suitors this winter.

Brian Wilson has a great comeback bid in the 2013 campaign. When you add up his Appearances in the regular season – and playoffs, he threw 19.2 IP – in which he entered 24 Games, and only gave up 1 ER in the process. Good for a cumulative 0.47 ERA. He also has yet to yield an ER in 17.2 Post Season Career Innings. Boston, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers should be his top suitors this winter.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Perhaps nobody is happier than Brian Wilson, that Tim Lincecum resigned in San Francisco for 2 YRs/$35 MIL.  While I think that is a bit of an overspend, it was what the Free Agency Market is dictating.

Having said this, the Relief Core of Pitchers available on the open market is quite interesting.

It is my contention, that Brian Wilson has the best value out there for clubs.

Forget about ‘lets wear my hat at a 45 degree angle’ Fernando Rodney, who was a world beater in 2012, before he almost cost the Rays a playoff spot in 2013.

Grant Balfour has a good case for a big raise, however he will be 36 years old in a few months.  My guess is Billy Beane will find a way for him to sign a short term deal anyway.

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BBA Awards 2013

As a member of the BBA, MLB Reports chooses the following for each award:

 

Please enter your choice for the Connie Mack Award: *

The Connie Mack Award is given to the top manager each year.

 
AL:  John Farrell, BOS – NL:  Clint Hurdle, PIT
 

Please enter your choice for the Willie Mays Award: *

The Willie Mays Award is given to the top rookie each year

 
AL:  Wil Myers, TB – NL:  Yasiel Puig, LAD

Please enter your choice for the Goose Gossage Award: *

The Goose Gossage Award is given to the top reliever each year.

AL:  Koji Uehara, BOS NL:  Craig Kimbrel, ATL

Please enter your choice for the Walter Johnson Award: *

The Walter Johnson Award is given to the top pitcher each year.

AL: Max Scherzer, DET – NL:  Clayton Kershaw, LAD

Please enter your choice for the Stan Musial Award: *

The Stan Musial Award is given to the top player each year.

AL:  Mike Trout  NL: Paul Goldschmidt

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 18, 2013

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The ALCS and the NLCS seem to be heading to a collision course with Game 7.

And the Red Sox have stumbled across a difference making closer.

That and more on today’s Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Koji Uehara and Mike Napoli received full WOO’s.

Jose Iglesias and Anibal Sanchez received 1/2 WOO’s.

Confused what a WOO is? An explanation for Who Owns October can be found HERE.

An updated WOO tally can be found HERE.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 18, 2013

Who Owns October? (WOO) Tally Updated For October 17, 2013 Games

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO.

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

For a full explanation, click HERE.

From today’s games:

Receiving 1 WOO:

Mike Napoli hit one of the longest homers you will ever see to straight away center field. He finished a triple shy of the cycle, scored twice and drove in a run for the Red Sox 4-3 nail biter in Detroit.

Koji Uehara continued his dominance of Tigers batters. He faced 5 batters, retired them all including a pair of strikeouts as he slammed the door shut in Boston’s 4-3 win.

Receiving 1/2 WOO:

Jose Iglesias singled, scored a run and made a remarkable circus catch on an Ortiz pop fly, giving the Tigers a chance in their 4-3 loss to Boston.

Anibal Sanchez was not his no hitter self. But he cut his walks down to zero and let up only 3 earned runs in his 6 innings of work. He kept the Tigers in the game but they couldn’t catch Boston, 4-3.

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Brian Wilson Has Earned Himself Some $$$ With His 2013 Showing: And Is The Best Relief Pitcher Left In The Playoffs!

From 2008-2011, Brian Wilson was one of the top closer in the Majors with 163 Saves.  He Saved 48 Games with a 1.81 ERA only 3 years ago in  2010 for the World Champ Giants.  He went through TJ Surgery for a 2nd time in April of 2012 - who will give him a chance in 2014, by signing the pending Free Agent?

From 2008-2011, Brian Wilson was one of the top closers in the Majors with 163 Saves. He Saved 48 Games with a 1.81 ERA only 3 years ago in 2010 for the World Champ Giants. He went through TJ Surgery for a 2nd time in April of 2012.  He has since made an awesome comeback with the Dodgers, only giving up 1 ER in his Dodgers 24 Appearances, including 6 Scoreless frames in the 2013 playoffs.  Who will give him a chance in 2014, by signing the pending Free Agent?  Dodgers fans are hoping he stays.

Hunter Stokes (Featured Baseball Columnist): 

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I am big Brian Wilson fan.  Part of me was devastated when the Giants won the World Series in 2012, because he was not on the team.

I was happy to learn that he bid his time this season, made sure he was fully healed up from his 2nd Tommy John Surgery, and made a triumphant return with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He could have rushed back in the spring, signed with another club, and tried haphazardly to work through his pitching in game action, however the man knows his body tweaks.

Brian Wilson as Captain Highlander on George Lopez Show

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Who Owns October? (WOO) Tally Updated For October 13, 2013 Games

ELISE AMENDOLA/AP

ELISE AMENDOLA/AP

Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO.

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

For a full explanation, click HERE.

From today’s games:

Receiving 1 WOO:

David Ortiz hit what could have been the most dramatic home run of his career, which is saying something. With one swing of his bat, he turned a 5-1 8th inning hole with 2 outs into a 5-5 tie as his grand slam landed in the bullpen.

It was the first time in a playoff history that a grand slam was hit to tie the game in the 8th inning or later. It changed the tide of the series and set up the 9th inning walk off win for the Red Sox over Detroit.

After the Red Sox tied the game, they needed a shut down inning. They got that from Koji Uehara, who prevented the Tigers big sluggers from getting a chance to bat by tossing a 1-2-3 9th. He would be credited with the victory in Boston’s 6-5 walk off win over Detroit.

Receiving 1/2 WOO:

Alex Avila drove in a run in the second and launched a 2 run shot in the 6th that gave the Tigers a 5-0 lead that they could not hold against Boston.

Max Scherzer became the latest Tigers pitcher to flirt with a post season no hitter. He was remarkable over 7 innings, letting up just 2 hits, 1 run and striking out 13. His bullpen betrayed him and he had to settle for a no decision in the Red Sox stunning 6-5 win.

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2013 MLB Playoff Predictions By MLB Reports

In my view, Evan Longoria could end up being the MVP of the entire playoffs.  I am predicting the Tampa Bay Rays are going to win the World Series versus the LA Dodgers, in what should be a classic Pitching duel of some of the best Starters in the game of baseball today.  Wil Myers and Ben Zobrist help pitching in will also be Paramount.  Picking up proven playoff performer Delmon Young (HR'd last night - and is .266/.328/.887 - with 9 HRs and 16 RBI In 109 AB was also a good move by the Rays brass.  If these guys hit, the Pitching should do enough.

In my view, Evan Longoria could end up being the MVP of the entire playoffs – with his penchant for being clutch in the last games of years. I am predicting the Tampa Bay Rays are going to win the World Series versus the LA Dodgers, iIf Wil Myers and Ben Zobrist help bashing the ball around, then this team is scary. Also picking up proven playoff performer Delmon Young (yes that guy) (HR’d last night – and is .266/.328/.887 – with 9 HRs and 16 RBI In 109 AB) was also a good move by the Rays brass. If these guys hit, the Pitching should do enough.

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

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Okay, now that the Wild Card Games are over, I am 2 – 1 this week in predicting the outcomes of games.  I had both Rays wins and lost with the Reds.

For those that have been reading my gambling pick posts, will also see that I have been discussing some of the odds posted for the playoffs.  Check out those here.

I am not going with the masses this year, however I am picking 2 favorites and 2 underdogs in the 1st Round. 

Really, I think the matchups are a lot more even than even some of the biggest betting industry odds are suggesting.

I may have also taken the Athletics all the way to the World Series if Cespedes wasn’t hampered by his injured Right Shoulder.

Yoenis Cespedes HR Derby Mashing

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Dustin Pedroia’s Contract Extension + Jake Peavy Trade Thoughts

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Sat. August.3/2013

While Shortstop has been a revolving door since the days of Nomar Garciaparra, Second Base has been held down by one of the best in the game since his rookie season in 2007. As impressive an offensive player as Pedroia is, he's equally impressive on defense, saving 73 Runs on at 2nd over his career. His UZR/150 is 9.4.

While Shortstop has been a revolving door since the days of Nomar Garciaparra, Second Base has been held down by one of the best in the game since his rookie season in 2007. As impressive an offensive player as Pedroia is, he’s equally impressive on defense, saving 73 Runs on at 2nd over his career. His UZR/150 is 9.4.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

I think that one could refer to this time of the baseball season as the “dog days” of the summer.

While much is made of how a team finishes the regular season down the stretch in September, every game counts and August could definitely separate contenders from pretenders.

After ceding 1st place in the AL East briefly, the Red Sox are back where they want to be at the top.

The lead is just 1 game over the Rays currently, but the Red Sox are playing some very exciting baseball including two straight walkoff wins both technically taking place on the 1st of August.

While late July baseball news is usually dominated by trades, the Red Sox took care of some other business before getting involved in the trade scene.

The club signed Second Baseman Dustin Pedroia to a 7 Year $100 Million contract extension.

The deal will take him through the 2021 season, making it increasingly likely that he spends his entire career in a Red Sox uniform.

Read the rest of this entry

Top MLB Teams 1 – 30: Monthly Rankings + (Top 200 Stats For Reading And Fantasy Baseball)

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Thursday July.11/2013

The Giants have gone 9 - 23 in their last 32 Games and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series.  Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots.

The Giants have gone 9 – 23 in their last 32 Games – and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series. Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots this past time.  Should they also become sellers at the Trade Deadline,  Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence could fetch a few players in return.  The Giants are currently 40 – 50 and 6.5 Games behind the NL West Leading DBACKS – but are in last in the NL West.

 

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

The time has come for the July Power Rankings with Stats Edition.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during these weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll past the video and picture.

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Red Sox Mid-Season Update: (Pitching)

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 Thursday. July.11/2013

I think it's safe to say that Clay Buchholz is the best pitcher on the Red Sox staff. He was looking like a strong candidate for the 2013 AL Cy Young Award until he was injured. Now he is on the road back as he threw his 1st bullpen Wednesday, and his 2nd is scheduled for Friday. Then he is set to start a rehab assignment if all goes well. I'm fine with him taking his time though. He NEEDS to be healthy for the playoffs.

I think it’s safe to say that Clay Buchholz is the best pitcher on the Red Sox staff. He was looking like a strong candidate for the 2013 AL Cy Young Award until he was injured. Now he is on the road back as he threw his 1st bullpen Wednesday, and his 2nd is scheduled for Friday. Then he is set to start a rehab assignment if all goes well. I’m fine with him taking his time though. He NEEDS to be healthy for the playoffs.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

The MLB All-Star game is nearly upon us, and technically we are already passed the halfway point in the season, so it seems like a good time to do an update on where the Red Sox stand at this point.

The Boston Red Sox currently hold a record of 56-37. They still sit in 1st place in the AL East, 3.5 games ahead of the 2nd place Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox have led the division for most of the season and continue to exceed all preseason expectations.

In the early part of the season, the Red Sox were winning with pitching and hitting that was statistically at the top of the MLB. That is no longer the case. Their offense is still near the top, but their pitching has fallen off.

The Red Sox currently lead the MLB in Runs (484) and OPS (.802) showing their offensive prowess. However, their pitching staff currently sits in 17th in the Majors with an ERA of (3.96), 17th in K/BB ratio (2.43), 24th in WHIP (1.35), and have the 6th most Blown Saves (14).

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 14

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Monday July.01/2013

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

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

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

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

Week Stats Ending – June.29/2013

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

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

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

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

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