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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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. 

Read the rest of this entry

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):

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

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):

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

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): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter

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

Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Roster + Organizational Depth Charts (MLB and MiLB)

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

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

The Pittsburgh Pirates broke a 21 Year Old playoff drought in 2013, by winning 94 Games, winning the Wild Card Game to the Reds – before bowing out to the St. Louis Cardinals in 5 games of the LDS.

Neil Huntington has done an exceptional job assembling this club both via trade an drafting.

Not signing A.J. Burnett to a deal is actually a smart move when you figure he is going to earn $16.0 MIL in 2014.  If the Bucs GM would have doled out the 1 YR/$14.1 MIL for the cagey veteran, it would have blown the teams salary structure. Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 Holds Leaders In MLB 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It is the secondary stat category to Saves for Relievers, but it most cases, the guys pulling down innings in the last few frames play just as an important part of game – if not more.

Last year, two Tampa Bay Rays were in the top 5 – with Jake McGee sitting in 5th with 26 – while Joel Peralta was the clubhouse leader for the MLB at 41.

The guys have to be at the forefront for the 2014 race as well.

Lets just see who we the MLB Reports take for Holds Leaders in 2014. Read the rest of this entry

The Mark Trumbo Trade Watch Continues in LA: Could He Be Headed To STL, TB, MIA, PIT Or Other?

The Angels have spent almost a half of a billion in Free Agency over the last 3 years, and all they have to show for it, is back to back 3rd place finishes in the AL West.  The team will lose Jason Vargas this year, and the Angels are expected to non-tender Tommy Hanson.  The team also featured an anemic Bullpen in the 2013 campaign.  If the Angels are wishing to trade Mark Trumbo, they best acquire 2 Pitchers that can fill in their weaknesses.  Los Angeles have a surplus of OF/DH and 1B on the Roster with Hamilton, Pujols and Bourjos.  Trumbo will be a heavy commodity sought after because he has 3 years of Team Control left with any aspiring club that brings him in.

The Angels have spent almost a half of a billion in Free Agency over the last 3 years, and all they have to show for it, is back to back 3rd place finishes in the AL West. The team will lose Jason Vargas this year, and the Angels are expected to non-tender Tommy Hanson. The team also featured an anemic Bullpen in the 2013 campaign. If the Angels are wishing to trade Mark Trumbo, they best acquire 2 Pitchers that can fill in their weaknesses. Los Angeles have a surplus of OF/DH and 1B on the Roster with Hamilton, Pujols and Bourjos. Trumbo will be a heavy commodity sought after because he has 3 years of Team Control left with any aspiring club that brings him in.

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

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

The Angels have doled out nearly half a Billion in contracts over the last 3 winters of Free Agency and have nothing to show for it but heartache, misery – and a team that was once a perennial playoff favorite dropped under .500 for only the 2nd time in the last decade during the 2013 season.

Hemorrhaging funds for a club not competing can’t sit well with the team owner Arte Moreno.  Amidst in all of this would be a contract for Mike Scioscia as manager for $5 MIL a year, that renders him unfireable, and  even untradeable.

This team is loaded with talented players like Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Howie Kendrick – and of course Mark Trumbo.

Mark Trumbo’s 1st 24 HRs of 2013

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How All Of The Red Sox Hitters Were Acquired Onto The Roster + Analysis: Fall 2013

Ben Cherington pulled off the biggest salary dump in MLB History in 2012, with his clearing the deck of Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett.  He replaced them with saavy, playoff tested Veterans - on lower value, and year contracts.  His club won the 2013 AL East with the revamped squad - that improved almost 30 Wins from 2012.

Ben Cherington pulled off the biggest salary dump in MLB History in 2012, with his clearing the deck of Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett. He replaced them with saavy, playoff tested Veterans – on lower value, and year contracts. His club won the 2013 AL East with the revamped squad – that improved almost 30 Wins from 2012.  So how did the entire roster of hitters all come to be Boston Red Sox Property?   We will now tell you.

How All Of The Red Sox Hitters Were Acquired:

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Boston Red Sox – 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.  Today, we will cover the Hitters.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

David Ortiz Talks Up The Boston Crowd After The Boston Tragedy – Warning:  Explicit Word Used – Parental Discretion Is Advised

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 21, 2013

 Boston Herald - Jim Michaud Photo

Boston Herald – Jim Michaud Photo

The Red Sox won the AL East.

I said they were going to stink. I was wrong. And MAN I am glad to eat crow about THAT one. And I do eat crow on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

But the Pirates are making big mistakes, and none bigger than keeping Mark Melancon in the closer role.

Recorded in a Ralph’s in Pasadena.

Jon Lester, Torii Hunter, Matt Adams and Jordan Zimmermann all owned baseball on September 20, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE.

Subscribe on iTunes HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 21, 2013

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