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New York Yankees State Of The Union For 2017: Stemming The Tide For Upcoming Seasons

The Yankees shocked the baseball world by contending for the last 2 months after dealing away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran at the Deadline. With a the young '"Baby Bombers" on the way, tt will take a few good veterans to compliment the talent in order for the Yankees to become extremely dangerous once again. It all starts with the GM Brian Cashman.

The Yankees shocked the baseball world by contending for the last 2 months in 2016 after dealing away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran at the Deadline. With a the young ‘”Baby Bombers” on the way, tt will take a few good veterans to compliment the talent in order for the Yankees to become extremely dangerous once again. It all starts with the GM Brian Cashman.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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I will be the first one to give credit to Brian Cashman for arranging the July Trade Deadline deal moves to free up a rebuild on the fly.  The Yankees rewarded their longterm GM by continuing their season streak of over .500 to 22 years.

The management has also been fortunate that Gary Sanchez fared so incredibly well – so they could sell Brian McCann to the Astros, and effectively free up another $10 MIL into their couch cushions.

As it sits right now the clubs projected roster is looking to be in the $167 MIL range for total team salary.  Unfortunately they are still on the hook to CC Sabathia for $25 MIL and Alex Rodriguez for $21 MIL in 2017. even though latter is not even on the roster anymore.

So what do the Yanks do this winter?  They are perennial abusers of the Salary Tax Threshold, and have been paying 50% of their dollars spent beyond the limit for the last several years. 

With the news of talks proceeding on that number potentially reaching $200 MIL or under the new CBA, the Pinstripers should definitely dole out some bread for Free Agents this offseason.

I would say that for the Bronx Bombers to be competitive for the AL East, they need to add at least $50 MIL in players salaries this winter in order to fight the Jays and Red Sox for the Division.

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Cleveland Indians State Of The Union For 2017: The Tribe Better Not Trade Andrew Miller!

The Cleveland has ridden great drafting, trades and salaried contracts to put themselves into contention for the AL Pennant over the next couple of years. The last thing they need to do is try and deal the one Bullpen who helped pushed them over the top in the Junior Circuit in 2016. At worst start the season with Andrew Miller - and if things go horribly, you can always trade him midway through the year with other guys as well.

The Cleveland has ridden great drafting, trades and salaried contracts to put themselves into contention for the AL Pennant over the next couple of years. The last thing they need to do is try to deal the one Bullpen member who helped pushed them over the top in the Junior Circuit in 2016. At worst, start the season with Andrew Miller – and if things go horribly, you can always trade him midway through the year with ome other guys as well.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

The 2016 season showed us just how valuable that a Relief Pitcher like Andrew Miller can be.  Loaded with an arsenal of great Bullpen guys, Terry Francona flipped the coaching book on its keester by bringing back the old way that Relievers used to be implemented late in the games.  I was a kid who would watch Goose Gossage mow down hitters as a hired gun late in contests.

We all saw it before our very own eyes.  Now comes the most ridiculous notion ever of considering trading him?  Really Cleveland??  You better not even fathom this until at least midway through the 2017 campaign.

I understand it is tough for a mid market club doling out $9M a year for a guy who might log 70 Innings – and not save the games he is in, but they just need to look at how good they fared in 2016.

The Tribe was without its best player all year in Michael Brantley, and also without Danny Salazar/Carlos Carrasco for the majority of the playoffs too.  There is no way this club should have gone this far, and pushed the Cubs to the brink of elimination in the Fall Classic, before the reigning champs came back to ruin the party in Cleveland.

If I were in Chris Antonetti’s shoes I don’t start any dialogue about 2017’s roster without Andrew Miller on the opening day squad.

$9 Million is not earth shattering cash when you consider Andrew Cashner - and his bloated ERA of 5.25 just backed up his dome into Texas and settled for a cool $10 MIL for the 2017 season. If Cleveland can't afford the guy they might as well pack up town in the middle of the night and head elsewhere (something that has happened in Cleveland before.)

$9 Million is not earth shattering cash when you consider Andrew Cashner – and his bloated ERA of 5.25 just backed up his dome into Texas and settled for a cool $10 MIL for the 2017 season. If Cleveland can’t afford the guy they might as well pack up town in the middle of the night and head elsewhere (something that has happened in Cleveland before.)  The 6 FT 7 – 31 Year old-fashioned a 10 – 1 record this year. with an incredible 123 Ks and just 9 BB in his 74.1 IP worth of work.  Miller then fanned 30 batters, walked just five, while sporting a 1.40 ERA in 20.1 IP in the postseason, winning the ALCS MVP honors and nearly helped lead his team to Cleveland’s first WS win since 1948.  If the goal is to win in the playoffs you can’t trade this guy right now.  He is money there, and you have a chance to go back to October baseball again in 2017.

This 2016 AL Pennant squad should be conceivably better with a healthy Michael Brantley coming back, equaled with more seasoning from Tyler Naquin, and topped off with the emergence of Francisco Lindor/Jason Kipnis as an awesome double play combination.

it may be hard to fill the 34 HRs and 101 RBI that Mike Napoli brought forth, but one could still find a few cheap replacements to pull in some nice numbers. They could employ another DH full time like Pedro Alvarez on the cheap, and work in some against LHP – by bringing back Rajai Davis who crushes southpaws.  Davis could act as a 4th OF in the midst of Naquin, Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall.

The Indians still also have Brandou Guyer – who can handle a stick against LHP as well  – and act as a DH/OF.

Cleveland is currently slated to pay around $105 MIL to all of its current guys.  Maybe there is only a few million in the coffers to play in Free Agency this offseason, yet this teams strength is its Bullpen – so don’t trade from that position of strength.

Terry Francona should be given all ample bodies to begin the campaign.  If it all goes awry during the season you can always trade some players midway through the year if it looks like it will not be their year.

Furthermore, I would ride the beginning of the year just like they ended the playoffs.  I would not change anything at all out of the gate.  I would start the year off by playing with a huge sense of urgency.

The way the rest of the AL  Central is looking, with the Tigers and white Sox talking a bot cutting payroll and maybe going for a rebuild, combined with KC potentially selling on their pending Free Agents in the next couple of years like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Wade Davis, then you could see how a quick Cleveland start could discourage the rest of the pack.

The Dodgers just set a record for innings logged into the playoffs and it served them well.  The good news is the Indians can rely on their starters to provide some much needed rest for their late inning arms, by logging some of their own innings.

Go into frontrunner mode and let Francona figure out a way to get the likes of Miller, Allen and Shaw enough rest – so they can patchwork it through the end of the season.

Winning a bunch of games early, added with an awesome 2016 season – should see the Indians organization see a rise in attendance through the wickets to start the year.  An early lead would only help the situation out.  Cleveland should go all out to win in 2017.  Go the way of the 2014 Royals turning a World Series loss into a repeat trip the next year.

Cleveland will need Miller’s skill set when it comes time for the playoffs too.  This guy just seems to get better the more work he gets.  Keep riding the horse.

The franchise is so lucky that they have Lindor in Pre-Arbitration status – and that despite missing almost all of the 2016 season – that Michael Brantley is criminally underpaid for his services on the board. 

Kipnis, Kluber and Carrasco were also extended contracts at the exact perfect time. Having all these guys not cost a boatload is the reason you could have afforded Miller in the 1st place

Bryan Shaw and Carlos Santana are the only guys that are free after the 2017 year anyways.  Those guys while vital to the team this year, can be replaced – whereas a guy like Miller is a game changer in his role.  If they really need to keep the finances in line, they would be better served to dangle these players as trade bait first.

Terry Francona has won 2 Manager of the Year Awards in his 4 seasons in Cleveland. He is also underrated in his Bullpen management. The organization should let him have all of the weapons in the Relief Core. I think he should also run with the style he used in the playoffs to start the year. Worry about resting the guys later in the year if they come flying out of the gates early. This way of thinking could have us return to what Relievers used to be implored for in game use.

Terry Francona has won 2 Manager of the Year Awards in his 4 seasons in Cleveland. He is also underrated in his Bullpen management. The organization should let him have all of the weapons in the Relief Core. I think he should also run with the style he used in the playoffs to start the year. Worry about resting the guys later in the year if they come flying out of the gates early. This way of thinking could have us return to what Relievers used to be implored for in game use.

*** 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***

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A big thanks goes out to our ‘Chief Writer/Part Owner’ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

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Who Owned Baseball June 27, 2016 (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES

Kris Bryant went 5 for 5 with 3 homers, driving in 6 and scoring 4 to lead the Cubs in a wild 11-8 slugfest in Cincinnati.

Jon Gray struck out 8 Blue Jays over 7 innings, walking none and worked around a pair of homers to get the 9-5 victory for Colorado.

Nick Franklin singled, doubled and homered, driving in 5 runs as the Rays snapped their losing streak, 13-7 over Boston.

Danny Duffy pitched 8 innings, allowing 2 runs, walking none and struck out 8 Cardinals batters to earn the 6-2 decision for the Royals.

They all owned baseball on June 27, 2016.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

Who Owned Baseball June 26, 2016 (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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RICH SCHULTZ/GETTY IMAGES

Tyler Duffey did not allow a hit until the 6th and finished with 8 innings, 2 hits, 8 strikeouts and 1 run as the Twins clobbered the Yankees, 7-1.

Jose Fernandez struck out 13 Cubs and allowed just 4 hits and 1 run to earn the 6-1 decision for the red hot Marlins.

Lonnie Chisenhall collected 9 total bases with his 4 hits, including a homer and 3 RBI as the Indians continued to roll, 9-3, in Detroit.

Freddie Freeman reached base 4 times, including a homer and a pair of runs scored in the Braves 5-2 victory over the Mets.

They all owned baseball on June 26, 2016.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 7 – May

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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MAY 15, 2016

Well not much has changed from this week as compared to last week.  Detroit carried its free fall to 4th in the AL Central, the Yankees took 5 of 7 contests – and 7/10 in their homestand to save their season for now.

Miami and Philadelphia continue to stick around in the NL East, and the Giants and Dodgers finally had winning weeks to make the NL West Division Leader respectable.

Nobody looks scarier right now than the Boston Red Sox offense, who led by David Ortiz, Jackie Bradley JR. and Xander Bogaerts, plated 10 runs or more in 5 of the last 6 games, after going their 1st 32 games without doing so.

I am still awaiting for a Jays big winning streak.  Houston has not played winning baseball since the 1st 6 weeks of the 2015 – and are tending to resemble the 2007 Tampa Bay Rays more than anything.

All offense and little pitching and defense.

There is nobody struggling worse than Logan Morrison, Russell Martin, Carlos Gomez and the consortium of LF’s in Anaheim! Recently bouncing out of this list are Jason Heyward and Chase Headley.

We are nearing the quarter pole and rapidly approaching Memorial Day Weekend, so it is not early anymore.
Read the rest of this entry

MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 6 May

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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MAY 8, 2016

Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

Rank – Team Record (Last week rank) (Up down) (W – L Record Last week)

(1) (1)  Chicago Cubs (E) (24 – 6) :  A real bad day for the Cubs is battling with a team like Washington on Sunday, to see whether or not they are going to sweep them or go 3 – 1 in a series.

Yep, they swept the 4 game set in a 13 inning walk off HR by Javier Baez – to cap a 7 – 0 week. They are on pace for about 129 wins right now.

Depth of the Starting Rotation is looking solid with Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jason Hammel (Killer J’s) and Kyle Hendricks.

Hector Rondon is not even needed in most leads, with the team almost at a +100 differential through 30 games,

(2) (3) Chicago White Sox (+1) (22 – 10) ( 4 – 2):  Chris Sale is 7 – 0, and may go Ron Guidry (circa 1979 on us).  If anyone will win 25 games in a year, it would be him or Jake Arrieta.

Bob Welch won 27 games in 1990 for the A’s was the last guy to do that.

Has anyone noticed that Brett Lawrie has an OBP closer to .400 – than his usual .310 – .320?

Jose Quintana is finally receiving some run support.  If Todd Frazier and Jose Abreu start hitting for BA, than look he the hell out.  We could see a “Windy City” World Series for the 1st time since 1906. Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball April 30, 2016 (Daily MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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Mike Stobe – Getty Images

Michael Conforto continued his hot streak with 3 hits, including a homer, a 3 RBI to help the Mets past San Francisco, 6-5.

Jackie Bradley Jr.hit a double, walked and tripled twice, driving in 3 and scoring 2 as the Red Sox crushed the Yankees 8-0.

Francisco Liriano pitched into the 7th, finishing with 6 2/3 innings, 5 hits and 1 run and got the 5-1 decision for the Pirates over the Reds.

Wade Miley threw a complete game 5 hit shutout, walking none and striking out 4 Royals to earn the 6-0 victory in Seattle.

They all owned baseball on April 30, 2016.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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.

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As the Pirates Lurch Forward Towards Opening Day, The Debate Over The Everyday Lineup Continues

pirates+logoJason Rollison  (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – pbcbreakdown.com) 

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With John Jaso now seemingly entrenched at the top of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ lineup, coupled with Andrew McCutchen pointed towards remaining in the number two slot, many observers now wonder what the rest of the batting order may look like against the Cardinals on April 3rd.

Despite the focus on the top of the order, it may be the bottom of the order that can take a step forward for the club.

In 2015, the seventh and eighth hitters for the Pirates performed reasonably well.

There are a couple of interesting notes when considering the Pirates’ performance form the bottom two spots in the order.

First, the 114 rating for wRC+ (weighted runs created +) led the NL from the seventh spot (100 is considered an “average” score). This will likely continue for 2016, as we will see shortly.

From the eighth spot, the wRC+ rating of 93 might seem underwhelming, yet only two teams in the NL had a rating of 100 or more. The St. Louis Cardinals were far and away the most productive in this regard, with a 110 rating.

2016 will likely be another story completely, as the changes at the top have ramifications that will be felt all the way through the order. While Pedro Alvarez‘s free swinging ways often led to his insertion in the lower third, his departure and a re-focusing on quality at bats results in a case of addition by subtraction.

If spring batting orders over the past week are any indication, Jordy Mercer, Gregory Polanco or Josh Harrison could be reliable bats at the 7th spot.

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Projected Top 5 Home Run Hitters In Major League Baseball For 2016

Giancarlo Stanton should contend for the NL HR championship crown in 2016. He is capable of cracking 40 - 50 HRs if he can play a year completely healthy. The Marlins are lucky to have one of the best young hitters in the game on offense, and to also have Jose Fernandez as their #1 Pitcher. Finances dictate the club will only be able to secure one long term - and Fernandez has more years left of team control, and is going to cost the team less cash.

Giancarlo Stanton should contend for the NL HR championship crown in 2016. He is capable of cracking 40 – 50 HRs if he can play a year completely healthy. The Marlins are lucky to have one of the best young hitters in the game on offense.  We will predict he will lead the overall MLB as well.  Stanton cracked 27 HRs in just 74 Games Played in 2015 before a broken hand derailed his last three months of the season.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

So I think I fared fairly well from my prognostications of last HR leaders last year – although I was seriously off on Mark Trumbo and George Springer and of course Nelson Cruz did not slow down in 2015.

I almost nailed the totals for the top 1 – 4 in the AL.  Bryce Harper did emerge.  I also said that Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista would be near the top of the list of near misses, but those continued to be productive past that.

So it comes to another year of figuring out this maze of the top power hitters.  I still believe that if Giancarlo Stanton remains healthy for a full season – that he will bomb 50 HRs.  I am picking him to be the National League Leader. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Archives Oct 1, 2013 – Oct 31, 2013 (Episodes 343 – 373)

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Paul Francis Sullivan (please call him Sully) does a podcast 365 days a year – unless it is a leap year – then he will do another 1. He has done a show everyday since Oct.24/2012. This to date represents a streak of 1231 days consecutively!

Past the CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY are episodes 343 – 373 of the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

We will also archive all of his podcasts to date (in coming weeks) so they are easily accessible for all his fans. Check out all his Archived info here.

Our website followers have grown larger each year for his podcast.

Follow Sully Baseball On Twitter

To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Archives Sept 1, 2013 – Sept 30, 2013 (Episodes 313 – 342)

sunkenDFiamond

Paul Francis Sullivan (please call him Sully) does a podcast 365 days a year – unless it is a leap year – then he will do another 1. He has done a show everyday since Oct.24/2012. This to date represents a streak of 1230 days consecutively!

Past the CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY are episodes 313 – 342 of the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

We will also archive all of his podcasts to date (in coming weeks) so they are easily accessible for all his fans. Check out all his Archived info here.

Our website followers have grown larger each year for his podcast.

Follow Sully Baseball On Twitter

To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Archives Aug 1, 2013 – Aug 31, 2013 (Episodes 282 – 312)

sunkenDFiamond

Paul Francis Sullivan (please call him Sully) does a podcast 365 days a year – unless it is a leap year – then he will do another 1. He has done a show everyday since Oct.24/2012. This to date represents a streak of 1229 days consecutively!

Past the CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY are episodes 282 – 312 of the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

We will also archive all of his podcasts to date (in coming weeks) so they are easily accessible for all his fans. Check out all his Archived info here.

Our website followers have grown larger each year for his podcast.

Follow Sully Baseball On Twitter

To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Archives July 1, 2013 – July 31, 2013 (Episodes 251 – 281)

sunkenDFiamond

Paul Francis Sullivan (please call him Sully) does a podcast 365 days a year – unless it is a leap year – then he will do another 1. He has done a show everyday since Oct.24/2012. This to date represents a streak of 1228 days consecutively!

Past the CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY are episodes 251 – 281 of the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

We will also archive all of his podcasts to date (in coming weeks) so they are easily accessible for all his fans. Check out all his Archived info here.

Our website followers have grown larger each year for his podcast.

Follow Sully Baseball On Twitter

To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Archives June 1, 2013 – June 30, 2013 (Episodes 221 – 250)

sunkenDFiamond

Paul Francis Sullivan (please call him Sully) does a podcast 365 days a year – unless it is a leap year – then he will do another 1. He has done a show everyday since Oct.24/2012. This to date represents a streak of 1219 days consecutively!

Past the CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY are episodes 221 – 250 of the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

We will also archive all of his podcasts to date (in coming weeks) so they are easily accessible for all his fans. Check out all his Archived info here.

Our website followers have grown larger each year for his podcast.

Follow Sully Baseball On Twitter

To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The Overall Homer Crown In 2016 MLB Baseball: Battle Of The Big Fly’s

Stanton has light tower power - and should lead the NL in Homers if he can remain healthy for a whole year. While it doesn't lock up a postseason berth having an MVP type season - coupled with a CY Young caliber pitcher on the field, it should translate in a chance to contend for the year.

Stanton has light tower power – and should lead the NL and MLB in Homers if he can remain healthy for a whole year.   In just 74 Games Played last campaign, the big slugger belted 27 HRs.  The problem is always staying on the field.  There is no reason to think he can’t crack 50+ HRs if he played a full season.  To aid his efforts as the biggest favorite to win this years MLB Homer crown – is that Marlins Park is bringing in the fences and also lowering them.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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I am flat-out wondering why these guys failed to include Chris Carter on this list?  For a prolific Home Run Hitter over the last 3 years (90 bombs), this guy is getting no respect.

I mean they have Corey Seager, Matt Adams and Freddie Freeman at the +20000 clip, but no word for a guy who finished 2nd in 2014 MLB Homers?

Carter is headed to the best home run park in the Major Leagues in Milwaukee, and will not be on a competitive club, where his AB may be in question.  Sure the guy might fan 250 times in 600 AB this season, but he may crack 40 taters for all we know.

I have requested this gambling website send me the odd for Carter (you can request a player that wasn’t listed), and I will get back to you shortly.

Let me start by saying that if Giancarlo Stanton remains healthy for a full year that he should definitely lead the Majors in longballs.  Despite us predicting him to do this, his odd only is listed as our #5 value best bet on the board. Read the rest of this entry

What Should The Yankees Do For 1B Depth Now + Beyond 2016 With Bird Hurt?

Justin Morneau would definitely be a flier for some team based on his recent concussion history. Although he did recently win a Batting Title for the Colorado Rockies. A club like the Indians may use his services where he could DH some and play 1st Base.

Justin Morneau would definitely be a flier for some team based on his recent concussion history. Although he did recently win a Batting Title for the Colorado Rockies in 2014 by Batting .319. The former AL MVP has a swing a lot like former Yankees player – Tino Martinez and would be perfect depth for the Yankees.  Morneau, 34, could also take some Designated Hitter reps against tough Right Handed Pitchers.  The Canadian posted a .316/.364/.487 3 Slash Line with 20 HRs and 42 Doubles in his 670 AB spanning the last 2 seasons for the Rockies.  I believe he could put up at a .275/.333/.425 line for the Yankees if they brought him in.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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It is unfair for a player like Gregory Bird, that he tore his labrum and will miss the entire 2016 season. 

With Mark Teixeira spending a pile of time on the meat wagon for various injuries in the last few years, the young 23 year old slugger could have solidified a long-standing place on the team if he could have had the opportunity forthcoming.

Instead this little injury is really putting the ‘Pinstripers’ depth to question before pitchers and catchers even report at First Base.

Brian Cashman has to play this thing right – as any injury ‘Tex’ could cripple the club.  The organization should dole out some decent cabbage for a guy to backup at 1st now with this news.

At first glance you have to look at the potential Free Agents out there left on the table.  Both Pedro Alvarez and Justin Morneau are still on the open market.
Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

The Nationals were 36 - 25 in the games that Denard Span appeared in for the 2015 year.  He is going to help some offense as a legitimate leadoff man in 2016 who can play a decent CF.  HIs pending departure will be felt significantly more if Jayson Werth has another injury riddled year - or if Michael Taylor can't take the next step in 2016.

The Nationals were 36 – 25 in the games that Denard Span appeared in for the 2015 year. He is going to help  the Giants offense as a legitimate leadoff man in 2016 and can play all 3 positions in the Outfield.  They have 3 decent starting players beyond the grass, and should be able to fill all 162 games with Belt and Blanco also being on the depth chart out there.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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I absolutely love the Giants Free Agent Signing of Denard Span.  This is a club that has extreme depth in all 3 OF positions now, and Span has worked the role of a Leadoff man brilliantly in the last several years.

Yes between he, Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan they have spent time on the sick bay over the last few years, but when you add that Brandon Belt could play LF, or Gregor Blanco who filled in admirably well in 2015, than you see that the roster just became stronger.

It is for these reasons alone I have finally taken the +900 odd off as one of my worst picks on the betsheet.  This signing definitely tips the scales back in San Frans favor over the Dodgers.

The 1 – 8 lineup looks nice with Span, Joe Panik, Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt, Matt Duffy, Brandon Crawford and Angel Pagan all capable MLB Starter.  I could see this squad leading the Batting Average in the Majors in the coming year.

While I love the club, the odd at +900 is bang on now. 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) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

(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

Los Angeles Angels State Of The Union For 2016

The Angels could easily upgrade 2B and an LF spots, and will need to compensate for Albert Pujols to at least miss the start of the 2016 season as well. They have great depth in the Pitching Rotation, however are bogged down by the Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson costing them a combined $40 MIL. Add in $30 MIL in buyout/dead money and the team will have a tough time competing in 2016 without nearing $200 MIL in total team payroll.

The Angels could easily upgrade their 2B and LF positions, and will need to compensate for Albert Pujols to at least miss the start of the 2016 season as well. They have great depth in the Pitching Rotation, however are bogged down by the Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson costing them a combined $40 MIL. Add in $30 MIL in buyout/dead money and the team will have a tough time competing in 2016 without nearing $200 MIL in total team payroll.  This means that Arte Moreno will have to give new GM Billy Eppler some more money to dole out to Free Agents.  Will he do it?  I am afraid for the Halo’s in 2016 if he doesn’t bring in 2 – 3 more upgrades..

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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It has been a slow but somewhat productive winter for the Angels brass, and in particular for new GM Billy Eppler.  They have done the kind of deals that will work only if they still pull the trigger on signing a premiere player.

Los Angeles acquired a 3B already in Yunel Escobar, who was only traded for by flipping Trevor Gott and a mid level prospect. Not bad for a guy who batted .315/.374/.415 over the past year, makes $7 MIL in 2016, and has a Team Option for 2017 at another $7 MIL – or the club can Buy him out for a cool million.

This came on the heels of trading for Andrelton Simmons, who has 5 years of Team Control left for a guy that only had one more year of salary on the books in Erick Aybar. 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

Milwaukee Brewers State Of The Union For 2016

New Milwaukee GM David Kearns has his hands full trying to compete in the NL Central for the next several seasons. Really the club should be starting a full scale rebuild that includes trading Ryan Braun. Jonathan Lucroy and potentially Wily Peralta. With dealing with the Cubs, Cards and Bucs all in the NL Central, expect a 100 loss season coming forth for the club.

New Milwaukee GM David Stearns has his hands full trying to compete in the NL Central for the next several seasons. Really the club should be starting a full scale rebuild that includes trading Ryan Braun. Jonathan Lucroy and potentially Wily Peralta. With dealing with the Cubs, Cards and Bucs all in the NL Central, expect a 100 loss season coming forth for the club.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Milwaukee Brewers owner just sent out an open letter to all of the fans explaining to them his gratitude, and promised that the organization is committed to winning long term.  I liked his candor, but it will be some time before this team has many victory laps.

The NL Central has turned into a fierce 3 club race, with the Reds and Brewers being left in the dust.  Cincinnati has already thrown the white flag this week in trading Todd Frazier and now potentially Brandon Phillips.  They would have already traded Aroldis Chapman as well if it weren’t for a domestic dispute.

The time to rebuild for the club is now.  I would think the club should also entertain trade talks with Ryan Braun and Jonathon Lucroy over the next 6 – 8 months. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

The Cubs signed Jason Heyward over the last week - and may have dealt a massive blow to the rest of the National League that could be felt for several years.  Despite the signing, the odds for Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles Dodgers did not change.  This is not what is supposed to happen when a player like Heyward signs.  The +800 odd is a absolutely bang on though.  I would not put any money down for the value, however they would be my pick to win the World Series if I picked any one team right now for next year's Fall Classic.

The Cubs signed Jason Heyward over the last week – and may have dealt a massive blow to the rest of the National League that could be felt for several years. Despite the signing, the odds for Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles Dodgers did not change. This is not what is supposed to happen when a player like Heyward signs. The +800 odd is bang on though. I would not put any money down for the value, however they would be my pick to win the World Series if I picked any one team right now for next year’s Fall Classic.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The ripple effect of the Johnny Cueto‘s signing did not hit the odds very much for the Giants.  San Fran went from +1800 to only +1600 in one week.  The Dodgers also did not lose any ground – standing firm at +1200??

This is crazy. I am not saying the Dodgers value at +1200 isn’t actually right.  What I am saying is that the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series Champs should be right there with them.  At least at +1300 – or even more favored than the 2nd place Arizona Diamondbacks.

San Francisco has the best Starting Pitching and Bullpen in the Division. This team also has a comparable lineup 1 – 8 with both the 2 clubs in Arizona and Los Angeles.

There is no doubt that the D’Backs heart of the lineup is better, but guys like Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Matt Duffy all featured decent offense in the 2015 campaign. Read the rest of this entry

Projected Top 5 Home Run Hitters In Major League Baseball For 2016

Giancarlo Stanton should contend for the NL HR championship crown in 2016. He is capable of cracking 40 - 50 HRs if he can play a year completely healthy. The Marlins are lucky to have one of the best young hitters in the game on offense, and to also have Jose Fernandez as their #1 Pitcher. Finances dictate the club will only be able to secure one long term - and Fernandez has more years left of team control, and is going to cost the team less cash.

Giancarlo Stanton should contend for the NL HR championship crown in 2016. He is capable of cracking 40 – 50 HRs if he can play a year completely healthy. The Marlins are lucky to have one of the best young hitters in the game on offense.  We will predict he will lead the overall MLB as well.  Stanton cracked 27 HRs in just 74 Games Played in 2015 before a broken hand derailed his last three months of the season.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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So I think I fared fairly well from my prognostications of last HR leaders last year – although I was seriously off on Mark Trumbo and George Springer and of course Nelson Cruz did not slow down in 2015.

I almost nailed the totals for the top 1 – 4 in the AL.  Bryce Harper did emerge.  I also said that Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista would be near the top of the list of near misses, but those continued to be productive past that.

So it comes to another year of figuring out this maze of the top power hitters.  I still believe that if Giancarlo Stanton remains healthy for a full season – that he will bomb 50 HRs.  I am picking him to be the National League Leader. 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

Dear Santa 2015: A Xmas Letter (Wishlist) From All 30 MLB Teams And Their Fanbases

santa claus

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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It is that time of year.  All the executives should be toting their favorite team pencil and get ready for a letter to old Saint Nick.

The Winter Meetings have concluded, and as of right now, the Cubs went four hours without acquiring someone so the rest of the league can quickly exhale for a few minutes.

This is the lull of the offseason right now with not much happening from right now all the way through to the Baseball Hall Of Fame Vote.

Speaking of the Hall of Fame – do you think Pete Rose does autograph signings in Vegas on Dec.25 – before gambling the winnings at the craps table right after?  Okay sorry Pete. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 1, 2015

NLCS - St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants - Game Four

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Barry Bonds could be the Marlins new hitting coach?

That is great but they should take it a step further. He should be a PLAYER coach!

It is a return of the King episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Cleveland Indians State Of The Union For 2016

The Indians had a disappointing 2015 with an 81 - 80 record, however some trades midway through the year have cleared the deck to acquire some upgrades at the OF and 1B positions. They should take advantage of this, and a lot of depth at the Starting Pitching to address their needs. If they play their cards right, they could some top players near the Trade Deadline next year and contend for a playoff spot in the American League.

The Indians had a disappointing 2015 with an 81 – 80 record, however some trades midway through the year have cleared the deck to acquire some upgrades at the OF and 1B positions. They should take advantage of this, and a lot of depth at the Starting Pitching to address their needs. If they play their cards right, they could some top players near the Trade Deadline next year and contend for a playoff spot in the American League.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Indians have had three straight losing seasons.  The problem is that they have gone from 92, to 85 to 81 wins over the last 3 years.  That is not the kind of trajectory you want to be on.

With the strong onus on the clubs drafting and decent trades over the last few years, it has been the Free Agency signings they haven’t fared so well on.

Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn killed their budget over the last few years, but at least they got from under those two players by dealing them both with some cash to Atlanta for 3B Chris Johnson.  The result is some better flexibility with cash going forward.

It is funny though, as they could use a CF and a 1B/DH type as their top two needs on the acquisitions market this winter.  They could use a guy with some pop from the right side as a Center Fielder.  The Tribe should definitely target Austin Jackson as a priority. 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

WHO OWNED BASEBALL – THE FINAL RESULTS FOR 2015

Slide1

The regular season is over. My daily tally for Who Owns Baseball is at an end. Every day I determine which player had the best individual day on a winning team to earn a full WOB and on a losing team for a 1/2 WOB.

These are final leaders in each categor for Who Owns Baseball

NATIONAL LEAGUE HITTER WHO OWNED BASEBALL

(AP Photo/Al Behrman)

(AP Photo/Al Behrman)

JOEY VOTTOCincinnati Reds

(Final Total – 7 1/2 WOB.)

Second Place (TIE):

Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks.
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates.
(Final Total – 7 WOB.)

NATIONAL LEAGUE PITCHER WHO OWNED BASEBALL

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

CLAYTON KERSHAW – Los Angeles Dodgers

(Final Total – 13 1/2 WOB.)

Second Place:
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs
(Final Total – 11 WOB)

Third Place
Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
(Final Total – 9 1/2 WOB.)

AMERICAN LEAGUE HITTER WHO OWNED BASEBALL

Rob Carr - Getty Image Sports

Rob Carr – Getty Image Sports

MIKE TROUT – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

(Final Total – 10 1/2 WOB.)

Second Place:
Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
(Final Total – 6 1/2 WOB)

Third Place
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
(Final Total – 6 WOB.)

AMERICAN LEAGUE PITCHER WHO OWNED BASEBALL

Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle

Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle

DALLAS KEUCHEL – Houston Astros

(Final Total – 10  WOB.)

Second Place (TIE):

Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics.
Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox.
(Final Total – 7 WOB.)

THE WINNERS FROM PREVIOUS SEASONS:

2013

NL Batter: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

NL Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

AL Batter: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

AL Pitcher: (3 Way Tie) R. A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays
Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays
Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers

2013

NL Pitcher: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates

NL Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

AL Batter: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

AL Pitcher:  Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

 


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