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With No Top 50 ALL – Time Contracts Signed This Winter – Who Is Next To Make The List?

Signing Cespedes would not take care of all of New York's postional roster troubles, and injuries may ultimately ravage them again for the next campaign. Many of the Mets Starters are coming off health concerns in 2016. I am not sold they should be placed at such a valuable odd until they sign some players.

Signing Cespedes  has signed the biggest contract of the offseason thus far at 4 YRs/$110 MIL.  it is ranked tied for 60th ALL – Time even though the Annual Average Value is tied for 2nd ALL – Time among position players.  With power having been devalued and a firm new set of penalties for Luxury Tax Threshold Abusers, it may take until the winter of 2018 – heading into 2019 – for another player to ink a contract that places them in the top 50 ALL – Time Salaries.

The winter has seen a lot of great Free Agents sign like Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman, Dexter Fowler, Kenley Jansen, Ian Desmond, Mark Melancon and Edwin Encarnacion, however none of them were historic by any means.

While Cespedes’s $110 MIL pact over 4 years is $27.5 MIL per year, which ties him for the  2nd best AAV ALL – Time for a position player with Alex Rodriguez, (trailing Miguel Cabrera‘s 8 YR/$248 MIL extension that started in 2016) – only brings him in for a tie for about 60th on the ALL – Time Biggest Contracts list.

To crack the top 50 list ALL – Time right now, you need to bring in a deal that makes at least $120 MIL for the life of the contract.

During last years offeseason, David Price ($217 MIL), Zack Greinke, ($206.5 MIL) Jason Heyward, ($184 MIL), Chris Davis, ($161 MIL), Justin Upton ($132.8 MIL) and Johnny Cueto ($130 MIL) all inked pacts in excess of that.

Early in the season, Stephen Strasburg shocked the world with his new 7 YRs/$175 MIL deal soon afterwards. Read the rest of this entry

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Chicago Cubs Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

cubs

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!

Washington Nationals Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

People can throw stones on Mike Rizo all they want- but the GM has never lost a trade ever, and he ensured the club reeeived

People can throw stones on Mike Rizzo all they want- but the GM has never lost a trade ever, and he ensured the club received a Starting CF in Adam Eaton to the tune of only $38.4 MIL over the nxxt 5 years – even if it cost a boatload of prospects.  This is part to compensate balloon payments on the horizon that are due to both Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.  The club is projected to spend around $154 MIL on salary in 2015, but that is without a proven closer.  The real question is how far the club will go in money to win in the next 2 seasons before Bryce Harper is a Free Agent?

With the rest of the MLB landscape just obliterating Mike Rizzo for the Adam Eaton trade i will defend him on the caveat that he spends the full amount of available funds saved – in order to take a run at the World Series for the next 2 years while Bryce Harper is still on the club.

At this point. it is a long shot that the DC franchise will be able to retain the 2015 NL MVP’s services as the Nationals already have Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg to historical contracts (both top 20).

Washington sees Jayson Werth finally come off the books after this next year.  While he will have earned $126 MIL from 2011 – 2017 in his total contract, the club can’t point to this as the worst deal on the club currently.

Ryan Zimmerman is still owed at least $47 MIL over the next 3 years – and has seen his production slip for the last few years.

The Max Scherzer contract does pay him $210 MIL over 7 years (in which he is now in year 3)  – however this is deferred over 14 years, so the club can conduct more flexibility in their contracts for the next few years.

Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 Projected Holds Leaders For The MLB In 2017

a betances and miller

It is one of the harder stats to predict every year, and we are talking about the category of Holds.  Last season the New York Yankees disrupted the flow of the entire landscape.

Since the New York club traded both Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, this affected the chances of Dellin Betances winning the year, with him moving to Closer.

Miller himself finished 2nd in the Majors having worked setup for Chapman – and then predominantly clearing the deck for Indians Closer Cody Allen.

Falling into the same atmosphere was perennial winner Tony Watson coming into the 9th inning role once Mark Melancon was dealt to the Washington Nationals. Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 Projected Save Leaders For The MLB In 2017

Aroldis Chapman appeared in 31 Games for the Yankees in 2016, holding 20 Saves and a crisp 2l01 ERA and WHIP of .867

Aroldis Chapman appeared in 31 Games for the Yankees in 2016, holding 20 Saves and a crisp 2l01 ERA and WHIP of  .867.  This was done in just over 3 months.  With the Yankees kickstarting him up from Spring Training, and without the aid of Andrew Miller as a fallback option, I expect the flamethrowing southpaw to have one of his best seasons ever out of the pen in 2017.

What  a scene it will be at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW in he District today where Aroldis Chapman and Joe Maddon will reunite to celebrate their 2016 World Series Championship.

The big Lefty Cuban should be the favorite to win the 2017 Saves Title for the entire MLB.  It is not that the Yankees will lead the league in wins – heck they may finish 4th in the AL East.  I just believe that with the pop gun offense (say for Gary Sanchez) that the victories will all be closely contested.

I highly thought of Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel for this honor as well, however I like their managers to give them the odd day off ans Save Opportunities.

As of today, we have the Cubs nearing the 100 in plateau again, but just like the aforementioned players above, I think Maddon will use several guys to register Saves for Chicago in 2017 – like Wade Davis, Hector Rondon and Carl Edwards JR.

The reigning World Series Champs are also a lot more prone to blow out teams in a weakened National League where 6 clubs may lose 90 Games or more.

For the sake of preserving arms and fatigue, I would also not be surprised to see a few more SVO’s going to Andrew Miller in lieu of Cody Allen for the AL Pennant winners Cleveland.

(RELATED – Top 5 Home Runs Hitters Projected For The MLB in 2017) Read the rest of this entry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Santa: An Open Letter To Saint Nick From All 30 MLB Teams Fanbases

It is time for our yearly letter to head to the north pole.  Perhaps the 'fat old jolly' guy will respond promptly at the 2016 Winter Meetings. NY Yankees:  They need to speed the clock up like Back To The Future 2.  The Pinstripers are resetting for the 2019 season and beyond Bryce Harper era.  Based on how good the Red Sox Winter meetings have gone this far, you have to know there will also be a lot of Yankees 27 World Series Rings to Boston's 8 on a T-Shirt scoreboard.


NY Yankees: They need to speed the clock up like Back To The Future 2. The Pinstripers are resetting for the 2019 season and beyond Bryce Harper era.
Based on how good the Red Sox Winter meetings have gone this far, you have to know there will also be a lot of Yankees 27 World Series Rings to Boston’s 8 on a T-Shirt scoreboard.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

It is time for our yearly letter to head to the north pole. Perhaps the ‘fat old jolly’ guy will respond promptly at the 2016 Winter Meetings.

The Bronx Bombers will also ask for their former Captain to please make more appearances in the public eye so they can milk the retiring of Derek Jeter‘s #2 on May 14, 2017 for about the next 6 months in a viable smokescreen to their 2017 performance.

Boston:  Can we ask that Richard Simmonds become Pablo Sandoval‘s personal trainer all offseason?.  For a guy who had more broken belts than hits in 2017, Sandoval can re-write his Boston legacy by proving what he can do when they are in the 2017 playoffs.

There also needs to be a discounted rack at Fenway Park for all of the S-Medium shirts that may have been there for the recently departed Yoan Moncada.

The Red Sox are always the clubhouse leaders in big tall lanky pitchers who herk and jerk when throwing, so can we ask the home broadcasting network for extra wide lenses.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 6, 2016

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Elsa/Getty Images North America

The Indians could be making a run for Edwin Encarnacion. Do you know why? Because every other team in their division is rebuilding.

That and the Giants are signing a closer long term which is never smart on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Giants On The Verge Of Signing Closer Mark Melancon

mark-melancon

With the Winter Meetings underway… This is the time where you’ll start to see a lot of names fall off the free agent board. Right now the San Francisco Giants are on the verge of taking off one of the three top closers on the board.

It’s been reported that the Giants have agreed to terms with closer Mark Melancon.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

 

These 6 MLB Free Agents Will be Intriguing to Follow This Winter

Compared to previous years, the 2016-17 MLB free-agent market leaves a lot to be desired, but that doesn’t mean there still aren’t intriguing players to follow as they search for new homes.

Like everyone else, I knew this winter’s class of available players wasn’t great, but the reminder was an unpleasant one while looking at the list again this week. Seriously, just take a look at who is expected to hit the market at shortstop and third base this year and tell me that doesn’t make you shake your head.

With that in mind, it means the few MLB free agents who would’ve been rather intriguing during a normal winter get super intriguing this winter. The following six players have unique situations that will shape their trip into the market over the coming months, and here’s why it’s worth following them on their journey.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

2016 Fantasy Baseball Dynasty League Trades Analysis

Following a 2nd place finish in 2015, this is the active roster I ended the year with:

C– Travis d’Arnaud

1B– Brandon Belt

2B– Robinson Cano

3B– Anthony Rendon

SS– Brandon Crawford

LF– Yoenis Cespedes

CF– David Peralta

RF– Bryce Harper

UTL– Daniel Murphy

Starting Pitchers– Madison Bumgarner, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Sonny Gray, Justin Verlander

Relief Pitchers– Ken Giles, Daniel Hudson, Jonathan Papelbon, David Robertson, Shawn Tolleson

Off. Bench– Robinson Chirinos, Justin Bour, Jonathan Schoop, Alex Rodriguez

P. Bench– Nick Martinez, Carlos Rodon, Arquimedes Caminero, Jenrry Mejia, Drew Pomeranz, Tom Koehler

Offensive Prospects– Chance Sisco, A.J. Reed, Kean Wong, Tim Anderson, Jorge Mateo, Eloy Jimenez, Manuel Margot, Bradley Zimmer, Brett Phillips

Pitching Prospects– Edwin Diaz, Anderson Espinoza, Michael Fulmer, Taylor Guerrieri, Pierce Johnson, Yoan Lopez, Francis Martes, Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty, Casey Meisner, Luis Ortiz

 

While I did finish the season in 2nd, my roster needed some serious improvements. I had a lot of faith in my ability to scout prospects, so I figured it was time to unload some prospects for win-now talent and trust my ability to refill my minor league system with less publicized talent. You can see all of the trades I made in the offseason and during the 2016 season in order from oldest to most recent below (all trades made prior to the season are in bold and in season is in italics):

 

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Who Owns October In MLB Playoffs 2016? (#WOO) Tallies Updated For October 9, 2016

Josh Donaldson is the first 2 WOO player and Roberto Osuna is the first 2 WOO pitcher. Meanwhile Justin Turner has his own claim on October.

Time to see who owned October.

Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO (Who Owns October.)

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

At the end of the post season, we will see who had the highest WOO total as a pitcher and a hitter.

A complete description of the rules can be found HERE.

From October 8th.
NL Division Series Game 2 and AL Division Series Game 3:

Receiving 1 WOO’s 

 

Josh Donaldson doubled twice, singled, drove in a run and dashed home with the Division Series clinching run from second as Toronto finished the sweep of Texas in 10, 7-6.

Mark Melancon closed the 5-2 Nationals victory with a scoreless ninth, saving the game against the Dodgers.

Daniel Murphy reached base 4 times, scoring a run and driving in 2 to help the Nationals take game 2 of the Division Series over Los Angeles, 5-2.

Roberto Osuna threw a scoreless 9th and 10th to send Game 3 into extras and earned the 7-6 decision for Toronto over the Rangers.

Receiving 1/2 WOO’s 

Rougned Odor scored twice and hit a critical homer but the Rangers season came to an end with their 7-6 loss to Toronto in 10 innings.
Justin Turner got on base 4 times and scored a run but the Dodgers were topped by the Nationals, 5-2.

Current ‘WOO’ Totals MLB 2016:

Hitters ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Josh Donaldson – Blue Jays 2, Justin Turner – Dodgers 1 1/2, Javier Baez – Cubs 1,  Edwin Encarnacion – Blue Jays 1, Dexter Fowler – Cubs 1, Conor Gillaspie – Giants 1, Brandon Guyer – Indians 1,Jason Kipnis – Indians 1, Daniel Murphy – Nationals 1,  Troy Tulowitzki – Blue Jays 1, Elvis Andrus – Rangers 1/2,  Andrew Benintendi  – Red Sox 1/2, Mookie Betts – Red Sox 1/2, Gregor Blanco – Giants 1/2,  Ian Desmond – Rangers 1/2, Curtis Granderson – Mets 1/2, Rougned Odor – Rangers 1/2, Buster Posey – Giants 1/2, Mark Trumbo – Orioles 1/2,

Pitchers ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Roberto Osuna – Blue Jays 2,  Madison Bumgarner – Giants 1, Marco Estrada – Blue Jays 1, Kenley Jansen – Dodgers 1, Jon Lester – Cubs 1, Mark Melancon – Nationals 1, Andrew Miller – Indians 1,  Marcus Stroman – Blue Jays 1,  Travis Wood – Cubs 1, Johnny Cueto – Giants 1/2, Darren O’Day – Orioles 1/2, Noah Syndergaard – Mets 1/2,

What would a Nationals trade for Mark Melancon look like?

The Pittsburgh Pirates historically move closers at the right time. Is history about to repeat itself?

Today, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been in talks with teams regarding Mark Melancon.

With the Washington Nationals specifically named, how do the Pirates line up as trade partners with the franchise formerly known as the Expos?

Before we can delve into that, we should note that the Nationals were in on Aroldis Chapman. As Jon Heyman reported:

The Nats declined to give up  Lucas Giolito for Chapman, then they declined to give up Joe Ross. After those two attempts by the Yankees, New York is said to have requested a four-player package centered around young pitching. Anyway, the Nats didn’t do it and never got close

Jon Heyman

First, let’s be very clear. In the closer market, there is Chapman, and then there is everyone else. We can use logic to tell us that the Nats will not give up Lucas Giolito – the consensus top pitching prospect in baseball entering 2015 – in any type of 1-for-1 deal. Thus, any deal that includes Giolito and Player X or Prospect Y likely will not work either.

Joe Ross is interesting as he can be seen as somewhat expendable. He’s been a very solid performer, with an ERA in the mid 3.5 or lower range with low-enough walk and home run per nine rates. This year he is averaging about 7.5 K/9. He is controllable through 2022, and is pre-arbitration.

Despite all these accolades, the Nationals are set at the top of their rotation with Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Giolito. Tanner Roark is in tow and controllable through 2020. Gio Gonzalez has a team option for the next two years, but the club might want to clear space for Erick Fedde, another talented starting pitching prospect.

Putting Together the Package

Taking all of that into consideration, and it would appear that Ross or Roark would be imminently available. Roark might have a slight edge over Ross in esteem due to a slightly longer track record and having slightly better control.

It is easy to envision a 1-for-1 swap of either Ross or Roark for Melancon’s services. We have seen a plethora of “baseball trades” in recent years, afterall.

But, as is often the case, trade deadline deals are rarely that easy. If we expand our criteria to see how the team’s farm systems match up, there is a lot of similarity. The Nationals have an abundance of infielders with multiple position chops as well as the usual assortment of pitching. Much like the Pittsburgh Pirates, their pipeline is surprisingly well-stocked for a team that traditionally has been built through free agency.

I could easily see a swap of B-level prospects being included in a potential deal, or a prospect going to the Pirates as a throw-in.  Regardless, any deal with the Nationals would have to involve either Roark or Ross. Both are young, controllable and capable.

With just over 72 hours left until the deadline, the club might just be able to find a better deal elsewhere, but it’s clear that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals line up well as trade partners.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Payroll In 2016 + Roster That Could Have Been

payroll-breakdown-1024x576

Jason Rollison (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – piratesbreakdown.com) 

After a second consecutive exit from the playoffs by way of the wild card game, the Pittsburgh Pirates promised a bigger payroll this season, but could they have done better?

In December, Neal Huntington and Frank Connelly both hinted the Pirates target payroll would be approximately $105 million for opening day.  As it stands, the Pirates opening day payroll was about $100 million.

That wouldn’t be so bad if the team’s pitching staff wasn’t off to a rough start, the first base platoon partner wasn’t gone after two weeks, and the Cubs weren’t the center of the baseball universe at the moment.  The saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20,” but we consider what could have been if the Pirates had spent their money a little differently.

Let’s start with the breakdown of the opening day payroll broken down by position: (Note: Only players included on opening day 25-man roster/DL are included below.)

The rules for this little experiment are simple.  We cannot exceed $105 million, and our payroll has to include 28 players due to Jared Hughes, Elias Diaz, and Jung-Ho Kang starting the season on the major league disabled list. 

If we choose any players the Pirates did not sign, we will assume the Pirates could have signed said player(s) to the same terms.  Knowing what we know now, here’s a look at what the Pirates roster could have been.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

MLB Betting Specials: # Of No-Hitters, Will There Be A Guy With 50 Saves Or 16 Strikeouts In A Game For 2016?

Max Scherzer threw 2 no-hitters in 2015, and carried no - no's into the late innings on a few other occasions. It seems every night there is a no - hit watch, so 4.5 on the over/under for the year seems like a big no-brainer to throw down some cabbage on. In 2015 alone, there were 7 no-hitters hurled out.

Max Scherzer threw 2 no-hitters in 2015, and carried no – no’s into the late innings on a few other occasions. It seems every night there is a no – hit watch, so 4.5 on the over/under for the year seems like a big no-brainer to throw down some cabbage on. In 2015 alone, there were 7 no-hitters hurled out.  At +115, it will pay you $1.15 for every dollar wagered

Hunter Stokes (MLB Reports Part Owner + Chief Writer) 

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# Of No-Hitters For 2016 MLB Over/Under 4.5

Yes:  +115  or No: -115

This is a resounding yes in my view.  In 2015, Max Scherzer threw 2 no-no’s, and could have easily thrown 2 more.  This was 2 of 7 doled out last campaign.

Mike Fiers, Cole Hamels, Jake Arrieta, Hisashi Iwakuma and Chris Heston also cemented their place in history by accomplishing the feat.

There are so many teams that are loaded with HR happy clubs that have plenty of swing and miss candidates like the Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles.  This also brings us to our next stat. Read the rest of this entry

Projected Top 5 Save Leaders In The American And National League For MLB 2016

Craig Kimbrel is still about as filthy as they come in nailing down games in the Majors. With 225 Saves and a 1.63 ERA in the last 5 years of his career, this 27 year old flamethrower brings his talents to Beantown and a top rated club. Last year was the 1st season he didn't lead the National League after four consecutive years of leading the Senior Circuit. He still managed 39 Saves for a 74 win San Diego team. Since the Red Sox are going to be somewhere in the 90 win range, Kimbrel should at least be in the mid 40's in Saves again for 2016.

Craig Kimbrel is still about as filthy as they come in nailing down games in the Majors. With 225 Saves and a 1.63 ERA in the last 5 years of his career, this 27 year old flamethrower brings his talents to Beantown and a top rated club. Last year was the 1st season he didn’t lead the National League after four consecutive years of leading the Senior Circuit. He still managed 39 Saves for a 74 win San Diego team. Since the Red Sox are going to be somewhere in the 90 win range, Kimbrel should at least be in the mid 40’s in Saves again for 2016.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Figuring out the Saves Leaders for the 2016 year is a lot easier to project than the Holds Leaders we did last week.  Perhaps the easiest to discern is also the National League.

Since I projected 7 teams will win 90+ games in the Senior Circuit I have listed 5 teams with their Closer out of the fold there.  I did however, leave out Hector Rondon and Mark Melancon.

I feel the Bucs may trade Melancon despite being in a position to make the playoffs.   I also think the Cubs will blow out a ton of clubs this season in games, and therefore not need Rondon to lockdown a 3 run or under lead.

This is the same reason why I won’t label Roberto Osuna for the top 5 in the American League either.  It is also not unfathomable to see the Jays go with Drew Storen to close down games.

I fully think that Craig Kimbrel will lead the entire Major Leagues for the Boston Red Sox as their Closer.

I may have gone with Aroldis Chapman on the list as well, however his pending suspension for his domestic violence call in should see him riding pine for at least 25 games.  The New York Yankees should still lead the Junior Circuit for total team Saves.
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) 

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

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

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

MLB Power Rankings: Early Win Total Predictions For Spring Of 2016

Just because there is parity in the American League it doesn't mean that the Junior Circuit will not club the National League in Interleague this upcoming season. In fact, I am calling for them to be 50 games over .500 versus the Senior Circuit in the AL vs NL schedule. Most of that will be versus the weaker NL clubs, however the better NL clubs will not entirely dominate the whole AL either.

Just because there is parity in the American League it doesn’t mean that the Junior Circuit will not club the National League in Interleague this upcoming season. In fact, I am calling for them to be 50 games over .500 versus the Senior Circuit in the AL vs NL schedule. Most of that will be versus the weaker NL clubs, however the better NL clubs will not entirely dominate the whole AL either.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Updated on Feb.18, 2015

There is parity in the American League and their is a growing distance between the good and the bad clubs in the National League.

One could argue that the top 7 teams (NYM/CHC/SF/WSH/STL/PIT, LAD) in all of the Majors reside in the NL right now, and you then you can counter that by saying they have the 6 worst squads as well (PHI/ATL/MIL/CIN/SD/COL).

The funny thing about this whole ordeal is that the AL is absolutely going to cream the NL in Interleague this forthcoming season.  On a 12 year win streak already,  I am predicting a 175 – 125 W – L for the games between both leagues. The AL speedbags the National League in my view.

Last year, the American League held a 167 – 133 mark over the National League so that prediction up there is not foreign by any means. 

Read the rest of this entry

MLB Power Rankings New Years 2016

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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(1) Chicago Cubs: Big additions of Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey.  Tonnes of young superstars only ging to get better.

(2) NY Mets:  Starting Pitching best in the Majors.  Offensive depth better in offseason.  Need David Wright to stay healthy.  NL East easiest bottom 3 teams in the bigs.

(3) Kansas City Royals:  Easiest Division in the Majors.  Back to Back AL Pennants and defending World Series Champs.  Look for some more mid year deals. Read the rest of this entry

Teams That Should Take Advantage Of A Weak Penalty For The Luxury Tax In 2016

In the last year of the current CBA, there is potentially only one more year to take advantage of a feeble penalty as a first time abuser in 2016. With Boston set to join the Dodgers and Yankees as abusers, I took a look at other teams who should consider the 2016 campaign as a rare gamble to dole out some cash in seeking a World Series trophy before the new CBA is authored in prior to the 2017 season.

In the last year of the current CBA, there is potentially only one more year to take advantage of a feeble penalty as a first time abuser in 2016. With Boston set to join the Dodgers and Yankees as abusers, I took a look at other teams who should consider the 2016 campaign as a rare gamble to dole out some cash in seeking a World Series trophy before the new CBA is authored in prior to the 2017 season.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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The Boston Red Sox might just be on to something.  They will be penalized for the 1st year of going over the new $189 MIL limit in 2016, but it is also the last year the CBA may have the percentages.

Currently right now, there is a 17.5% penalty for spending dollars over $189 MIL.  The Dodgers and Yankees are the only other teams that are budgeted over the mark in addition to Boston.

On the cusp are the Detroit Tigers, sitting at around $177 MIL – while the Giants and Angels are nearly at $170 MIL.  The Cubs are also near the $165 MIL area.

Why not spend like crazy in 2016 – and take advantage of the system as it is presented towards you? Read the rest of this entry

WTF Pittsburgh? Are You Contenders Or Are You At The Kids Table?

This club has improved a great deal over the last 8 years, and they are in great His strategic moves over the next 12 months will determine if that means a playoff round win.

This Pirates club has made themselves relevant in the NL for the last 3 years with appearing in the Wild Card game – and pushing the Cards to the brink of elimination in 2014.  However this organization has looked petty in looking too much to the bottom line so far this offseason.  They have lost 4 players from the 98 win team of 2015 – and only have Jon Niese and Juan Nicasio as guys that help the MLB squad in 2016.  They still have 3 months to go, but thus far the winter has been a tire fire.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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What the hell are the Pirates doing this offseason?!!  I mean I have tonnes of respect for Neil Huntington – however the brass has made some highly questionable moves to save some money.

The Pittsburgh window to win is 2 – 3 more years, yet it almost looks likes the management is throwing a preemptive strike to blow the club up.

Okay, I may be overstating the facts a little here – as there is still well over 3 months before the club even hits Spring Training.

The club first non-tendered Pedro Alvarez – rather than head to the last year of Arbitration with him.  He would have made in the neighborhood of $10 MIL in 2016 – I get that, but losing a 25 – 30 HR out of your lineup will be tough to adjust for. Read the rest of this entry

Pittsburgh Pirates State Of The Union For 2016: All Hands On Deck To At Least Start 2016!

Pittsburgh had the 2nd best record in the Majors with 98 wins, yet were samarily dismissed in the Wild Card Game by the Cubs - and a lightning hot Jake Arrieta at the time It may actually get worse for the Bucs in coming years with the emergence of the young NL Chicago squad and the continued dominance of the St. Louis franchise. My idea is to spend some money this offseason, but if you are 5 or 6 games behind the playoff bar near the Trade Deadline, to deal all guys on the remainder year of their contracts and to retool for 2017.

Pittsburgh had the 2nd best record in the Majors with 98 wins, yet were samarily dismissed in the Wild Card Game by the Cubs – and a lightning hot Jake Arrieta at the time It may actually get worse for the Bucs in coming years with the emergence of the young NL Chicago squad and the continued dominance of the St. Louis franchise. My idea is to spend some money this offseason, but if you are 5 or 6 games behind the playoff bar near the Trade Deadline, to deal all guys on the remainder year of their contracts and to retool for 2017.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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I start this blog by praising Neil Huntington and his management for how they assembled this team over the last 6 – 7 years.

It follows the Royals and Twins before them as smaller market clubs that finally used the draft to their advantage after struggling for years.

Here is the thing though..You have a team that needs the final pieces now to compete for a championship!

Heading into 2016 the teams core nucleus comes back, and the club will attempt for a 4th straight playoff appearance.

There are 8 players on the last year of their deals, and you have several other players that will become increasingly more difficult to keep as their Arbitration Dollars exponentially grow over the coming years. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 5 Holds Leaders In The MLB For 2015

joba chamberlain 2

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Holds is a category that is starting to garner more respect each and every campaign in the MLB.  Having said that, it doesn’t always mean the pitcher is throwing well if he owns a lot of them for the year.  It is just one stat that should be accompanied by others.

When searching to figure out who will have the most of these in a season, it is important to see the amount of games the guy will enter.

For the last several years, Tyler Clippard has dominated in the National League  With his trade to the American League, it opens up the leaderboard for this campaign.

It has been said, that the former Nationals Reliever will see some mop-up duty as a closer for the A’s to start the year.  Had Sean Doolittle been healthy from the start of the year, I would have placed a massive wager that Clippard would lead the MLB in Holds one more time.

Instead, I will go with his teammate Eric O’Flaherty to make the top 5 on the list.  I also don’t think it would be a foreign idea to see  Ryan Cook push the top Bullpen Holds Leaders by years end. 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): 

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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. 

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ALL – Time TJ Surgery Tracker 1974 – 2014 (30 Updates Including Jonny Venters 3rd Time)

Dr. James Andrews - leading Tommy John surgeon is the new senior leader on this innovative and break through procedure, championed 1st over 40 years ago, and responsible for extending over 700 players careers now.

Dr. James Andrews – leading Tommy John surgeon is the new senior leader on this innovative and break through procedure, championed 1st over 40 years ago, and responsible for extending over 700 players careers now.

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out:

Links

More Tommy John Surgeries By The Numbers + Who Is the 1st $100 MIL Pitcher To Go Down With It? + A Scherzer Angle?

TOMMY JOHN SURGERY – 2014 (30)

2014

Jonny Venters – (3rd Time Probable) Braves: Aug/Sept 2014

Jeremy Hefner, NYM Aug 2014 (TJ Watch List – Possible 2nd TJ Surgery)

Tyler Skaggs, Angels, Aug 10 – will have season ending TJ surgery soon.  expected to be out til 2016

Nate Jones, White Sox, July.30

Tyler Chatwood, Rockies, July,19

Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees (Partially Torn UCL, (TJ Watch List), July 10th

Bronson Arroyo, D’Backs July Surgery.

Matt Wieters, Orioles, June 17th

Sean Burnett, Angels, June 5th

Chris Withrow, Dodgers, June 3rd

Jose Cisnero, Astros, May 28th

Martin Perez, Rangers, May 19th.

Jose Fernandez, Marlins, May 16th

A.J. Griffin, Athletics, Apr.25th .

Pedro Figueroa, Rangers, Apr.30th

Ivan Nova, Yankees, – Apr.29th

Josh Johnson, Padres, – Apr.24

Matt Moore, Rays – Apr.24, 2014 –  Link: With Moore Out For TJ Surgery – The Rays Should Hold Onto Price Through 2015

Jameson Taillon – Pirates – April 9, 2014

Bobby Parnell – Mets – April 8th

Cory Gearrin – Braves – Mar.29 – Went on the 60 Day DL with partial ligament  tear of right elbow Mar.29, 2014 – May Require TJ Surgery.”

David Hernandez – D’Backs – Surgery April 2014.

Bruce Rondon – Tigers –  Mar.2014

Patrick Corbin – D’Backs –  Mar.2014.

Jarrod Parker – Athletics –  March 2014

Brandon Beachy – Braves – “2nd TJ Surgery” Mar 2014

Kris Medlen Braves – Mar 2014

Luke Hochevar– Royals – March.07, 2014.

Miguel Sano – Twins (Position Player) Mar, 2014.

Cory Luebke – Padres:   Luebke went under the knife for his 2nd TJ Surgery Feb 2014. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The Red Sox Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree – Updated For Cespedes + Craig + Johnson Deals

David Ortiz is incredible based on the consistent numbers he has put forth since everyone thought his career was winding down several years ago.  The 38 Year Old DH continues to bash homers, win games, and now with a flurry of trades, the organization has given him some reinforcements.

David Ortiz is incredible based on the consistent numbers he has put forth since everyone thought his career was winding down several years ago. The 38 Year Old DH continues to bash homers, win games, and now with a flurry of trades, the organization has given him some reinforcements in the 1 -9 lineup for a few years.

How All Of The Red Sox Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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The Boston Red Sox are smart enough to realize a retool was in order.

To kickstart the festivities, the club made a pair of moves that includes Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland for Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes, followed by dealing Jon Lackey to the Cardinals for 1B/OF Allen Craig and SP Joe Kelly.

These deals have helped the Red Sox be better balanced on offense, and has freed up roster spots for their young prospects to thrive.  Read the rest of this entry

ALL – Time Tommy John Surgery List 1974 – Present

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out: Read the rest of this entry

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

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

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

How All Of The Pirates Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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

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

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

Making the playoffs is just not good enough anymore.

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

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

Houston Astros Roster In 2014 Part 1: How All Of The Hitters Were Acquired

The Astros decided to rebuild a few years ago  In doing so they traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, at first, and then have since also traded Bud Norris, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes.  Many of the transactions have given the team many of its current roster today, with many of the players also with the organization - while hardly any of the departing guys are with the team that dealt for them.  Today is the 1st part of a 2 parter seeing how the current club was assembled by the Astros.

The Astros decided to rebuild a few years ago In doing so they traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, at first, and then have since also traded Bud Norris, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes. Many of the transactions have given the team many of its current roster today, with many of the players also with the organization – while hardly any of the departing guys are with the team that dealt for them. Today is the 1st part of a 2 parter seeing how the current club was assembled by the Astros.

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

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At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Houston Astros – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching. 

It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

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

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

Sometimes pitchers will be in the hitters part of the write-up and vice versa.  This is simply done when one side of hitter or pitcher is dealt for each other.  Read the rest of this entry

Pittsburgh Pirates State Of The Union: 2014 Preview

The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates went from zeros to heroes, after 20 seasons of cellar dwelling.  Finally, the people of Pittsburgh PA, finally had something to cheer about besides the NHL's Penguins, and NFL's Steelers.   They were the last NL team to make the playoffs (Post 1994 Player Strike)

The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates went from zeros to heroes, after 20 seasons of cellar dwelling. Finally, the people of Pittsburgh PA, finally had something to cheer about besides the NHL’s Penguins, and NFL’s Steelers. They were the last NL team to make the playoffs (Post 1994 Player Strike).

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Pirates not only kicked the playoff curse in 2013,  but they also embarked on a journey that saw them improve on their win total for a 4th consecutive season.

In a row, it went 59, 72, 79 and 94 wins respectively from 2010 – 2014.

Neil Huntington could finally show the fruits of his labor in assembling his team.

In the last few years particularly, stalwart Draft pick Andrew McCutchen has asserted himself as one of the premiere players to suit up in the MLB right now. Read the rest of this entry

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