Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) Follow @stokes_hunter21
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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
Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) Follow @stokes_hunter21
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The epic is going absolutely nowhere fast, and we have seen a dramatic spike in the last decade of surgeries. We have a dedicated page to the list here.
There have been several scares with some big name pitchers on 9 figure salaries, with Masahiro Tanaka and Clayton Kershaw in recent years, but there will come a day when a guy goes down making $25 MIL plus per year.
You could say that Yu Darvish was heading towards an astronomical payday before his setback this season.
2015 Surgeries (29)
Greg Holland, Royals, Oct.2
Aaron Barrett, Nationals, Sept.3
Nathan Adcock, Reds
Jason Vargas, Royals, Aug.1
Jack Leathersich, Mets, July.30
Don Kelly, Marlins, July.1: OF
Sergio Santos, Blue Jays, July.1
Brandon Workman, Red Sox, June.15
Jarrod Parker, A’s – Honorable mention (3rd TJ Surgery not to occur, but he is out indefinitely after was revealed he had a tear in his elbow – recovering from 2nd TJ Surgery from Mar, 2014 in Minor League rehabilitation earlier in the month.) Still having an elbow surgery, just not the Tommy John operation. Read the rest of this entry
The Blue Jays have used their system well to acquire several key pieces from other organizations via trade over recent years.
Despite all of the prospects that have left, several are still on their way to the Majors for the big club and several are highly touted.
In 2014, the Blue Jays will try to erase a 21 year playoff drought. Will the franchise part with some more of its youth, or may they hold steady with the personnel in the MiLB?
If you are a fan, get to know these players we list in the post, and follow their progress in the Minors. if you click their name, it will take you to baseballreference.com’s player page of them. Read the rest of this entry
How All Of The Blue Jays Hitters Were Acquired:
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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For those that have never seen one of our Roster Trees, we go over how all of the players were acquired.
It works like 6 degrees of separation. By searching back to the origin of all the way back until a player is signed, drafted or purchased.
It totally gives you an idea on how the franchise has fared.
The Blue Jays have seen EE bash out several seasons worth of awesome since then.
By ‘Baseball Writer’ Steve Cheeseman Follow @steveccheeseman
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The Toronto Blue Jays have been a franchise in question for over 20 years. This floundering franchise has gone through 11 manager changes since winning the World Series in 1993 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.
GM Alex Anthopolous numerous moves acquiring major pieces to what was supposed to be a contending team.
R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, Maicer Izturis, Mark Buehrle, and Melky Cabrera. Despite these additions via trade or signing….same story, different season! Read the rest of this entry
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It was a 2013 season that saw the team have the biggest spike in attendance in the majors, but it also came at a hefty price in total team salary.
For as much as the team forked out in payroll, they must not have been able to recoup all of their money.
Their payroll places them right in the middle of AL East pack. The Yankees are right near the Luxury Tax Threshold right now of $189 MIL at $182 MIL – and the Boston Red Sox are hovering at around $160 MIL.
The Orioles will be near the $100 MIL range, and the Rays figure to be in the low $70 MIL area. Read the rest of this entry
For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.
The 2nd move was to also trade Travis d’Arnaud and Buck for R.A.Dickey. However the moves backfired on them in 2013.
What is worse for the team, is the franchise has not been able to develop their own talent over the last several years. Their best players on the club were all brought in via trades.
Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion were absolute steals for the guys they doled out to reel them in (Robinson Diaz, never played in the Majors for Pit in the Joey Bats deal, and they originally acquired in the Scott Rolen traded to Cincy. He was selected off of waivers by Oakland, before he came to the club via Free Agency.
Jose Bautista 2013 Highlights
By ‘Special Guest Blue Jays Writer’ Steve Cheeseman Follow @cheeseman_s
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Another Season, Another Disaster.
The off-season started with a boom, with the signings of Maicer Izturis (3 yr-$9 million), and Melky Cabrera (2 yr-$16million). This was followed by acquiring hard throwing Esmil Rogers from Cleveland.
They weren’t done yet.
On November 14th, Anthopoulos completed a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins, receiving pitchers Josh Johnson (2-time All-Star)and Mark Buehrle (4-time All-Star), short-stop Jose Reyes (4-time All-Star, 2011 NL Batting Champion), catcher John Buck, utility man Emilio Bonifacio, and $8 million in cash in exchange for pitcher Henderson Alvarez, short-stop Yunel Escobar, catcher Jeff Mathis, and prospects.
Odd makers out of Las Vegas named the Toronto Blue Jays as the favorites to win the 2013 World Series. Too good to be true right? Pretty much.
Munenori Kawasaki – See You Tomorrow
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Friday, August.16, 2013
By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner) Follow @aecanada12
The Toronto Blue Jays have not had the greatest of seasons with them dead last in the American League East division. They trail the Boston Red Sox by 15 games and the chances of them being a Wild Card team are slim at best.
One of the reasons that this season has been a nightmare for the team that made plenty of noise during the offseason is with their pitching. They have allowed 590 runs this season, and only the Houston Astros have allowed more runs at 633 this season.
J.P. Arencibia Toronto Blue Jays Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised
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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024 and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website here Follow @prosportsroster
You guys are all in for a treat. Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website. He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs. We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams.
Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective. If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.
In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball. He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job. So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!
Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis. After you click on it….Bookmark it. There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page. Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!
For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Blue Jays Organization click here
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By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): Follow @brianm731
Considering the collapse of the 2012 White Sox, the team losing A.J. Pierzynski and Kevin Youkilis to Free Agency, one might not expect the 2013 White Sox to fare any better. But, looking on the bright side, they should have a solid starting staff, with Chris Sale having another year of experience under his belt, and, hopefully, the return of a healthy John Danks. That’s a pretty good 1-2 punch. Next is Jake Peavy. Not a bad 1-2-3 punch, if you ask me. Follow those 3 with Gavin Floyd and/or Hector Santiago/Jose Quintana, not too shabby. An “expert” may look on the not so bright side, and see a “whole lotta outs in the lineup”.
Between Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez (both struggled in 2012) and the newly anointed starting Catcher, Tyler Flowers, that’s a combined average of .237 (which equals a whole lotta outs). While some say Beckham’s and Ramirez’s defensive prowess make up for their offensive deficiencies, many White Sox fans disagree. But, if Alex Rios and Adam Dunn can carry over their production from 2012 into 2013, the Sox could be in the running for the division title again. The addition of Jeff Keppinger at third base, while not a high-profile move that White Sox fans had grown accustomed to with former GM Kenny Williams, he is solid at the plate and in the field. Let’s take a look at the Sox payroll for the 2013 season….
DeWayne Wise’ catch to preserve Mark Buehle’s perfect game:
Thursday November 8th, 2012
Sam Evans: When it comes to closers, 2012 was the year of the injured veteran reliever. A couple of teams probably would have had different postseason success had they been able to use their reliable ninth-inning man. From Mariano Rivera to Sergio Santos, the list of closers that missed the 2012 MLB season goes on and on. Here’s an early glance at some of these pitchers hoping to rebound from their respective off years in the upcoming season.
Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees: Mariano Rivera is the best closer in the history of baseball and probably the best relief pitcher as well. Even as a forty-one year old in 2011, Rivera was forty-four for forty-nine in save opportunities. That was his ninth consecutive season with thirty or more saves. Unfortunately, Mariano Rivera missed almost all of the 2012 season due to a torn ACL he suffered while shagging fly balls. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday September 18, 2012
Peter Stein: Follow @peterwstein
The following stat is the most telling about the roles of closers from a fantasy baseball perspective: 47 players have recorded 5 or more saves and a total of 61 have record 3 or more in 2012. The dispersion of saves throughout baseball reaffirm the old fantasy adage to never overpay for saves, demonstrating just how volatile the closing position is… and the difficulty of predicting saves.
A look at the top-five save leaders tells us even more:
Fernando Rodney (0.66 ERA, 0.78 WHIP 43 saves)
Jim Johnson (2.82 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 43 saves)
Rafael Soriano (2.07 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 40 saves)
Chris Perez (3.48 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 36 saves)
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of my archived articles section here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
It has been a disastrous season for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012. Only the Boston Red Sox can usurp them in the AL East for being more disappointing. It is not entirely anyone’s fault, injuries to many key pitchers-plus the loss of Jose Bautista just after the All-Break, crippled the team’s ability to compete. Just chalk up the season to unlucky. Fortunately for the Blue Jays, Alex Anthopoulos has kept the team flexible with the payroll going forward. I still think that getting out of the Vernon Wells and Alex Rios contracts was the biggest ‘Houdini Act’ of the New Millennium. Since he got out from under those contracts, only Joey Bats makes more than 10 Million Dollars now on the club. To contend in the AL East, the Jays will need to spend at least 100-110 Million Dollars. The core of the team is intact for a couple of more years. From 2013-2016 is the clubs best window to make a charge at the playoffs and have some success.
Perhaps the best move that the Blue Jays GM did this year was to lock up Edwin Encarnacion to a 3 YR/27 Million Dollar contract before he hit the Free Agency Market. In a downtrodden year, EE could have requested an arm and leg for his services and been obliged. He left between 8-10 Million Dollars on the Table in my opinion. The keys will be to lock up a couple of their young player to long-term contracts. The catching looks solid (Arencibia and Mathis) for years to come with some more prospects filtering through the Minor Leagues (Travis D’arnaurd.) Trading away Eric Thames and Travis Snider paved the way for the club to lock-up Colby Rasmus long-term-and maybe take a run at a power hitting Outfielder. The team’s starting pitching must heal up from multiple Tommy John Surgeries and come back to be relevant. The team should definitely be players for free agent pitchers.
For Part 1 of a 7 Part Article Series: The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993, click here
For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series: Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll: A Readers Thoughts, Click Here:
Chicago White Sox: How Big of An Impact Has Manager Robin Ventura Made In His First Year on the Job?
Sunday August 5th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: Chicago White Sox’s manager, Robin Ventura has revitalized baseball in Chicago. The Ozzie Guillen era is far is the past, and Ventura’s new brand of baseball has the White Sox in the thick of the American league playoff race.
Chicago, who finished 16 games behind the first place in 2011, currently stand atop the Central division and own the third best record in the American league. Yet, being in the playoff chase in early August wasn’t what White Sox fans were merely expecting. After trading young closer Sergio Santos to the Toronto Blue Jays during the offseason, and pondering upon the idea of shipping John Danks away as well, it appeared as if General manager Ken Williams was looking to reconstruct his roster for the future and beyond. It would make sense, too, after granting Guillen’s request to be released during the offseason. Guillen, an icon in Chicago, managed the Sox for eight years (2004-2011), leading them to a memorable World Series win in 2005. But as his tenure came to an emotional end, it was time for a change. A new manager, a new roster, and a new feeling seemed to be the philosophy after the hiring of Ventura. But as we sit here in August, that philosophy doesn’t seem to matchup with prior predictions. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday May 6, 2012
Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer): Seeing Mariano Rivera go down with a torn ACL is like driving by a car accident and reflecting on how easily it could have been you in that accident, or in this case- how it could have been your team’s closer cringing in pain on the warning track. And this is the year of the injured closer: from Boston’s Andrew Bailey to San Francisco’s Brian Wilson, closers across the league have been dropping like flies. Other closers, like the Angels’ Jordan Walden, have stayed healthy but haven’t played well enough to keep their coveted ninth inning role. Even though there has only been a month of baseball so far, much has changed for some clubs.
Today, I’ll be taking a look at every team’s closer situation, and breaking down how it got to be the way it is: Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday February 1st, 2012
Sam Evans: Closing ballgames takes confidence, skill, and experience. There are select players that have earned the closer role at the highest level possible. These players come in all shapes and sizes, with diverse backgrounds.
Without further adieu, here are the closers for all fourteen American League teams:
New York Yankees: The Yankees have had the same closer for the last fifteen years. That is by far the longest stretch of any closer with their current team. Arguably the most successful closer of all time, Mariano Rivera has constructed his whole career around one pitch.
Rivera’s cutter is simply dominant. He breaks more bats than any other closer in the league, and he knows where to throw it to specific hitters. Even at 42 years old, hitters know what’s coming but still have no chance of making solid contact. In 2011, Rivera had a 1.91 ERA and he recorded 44 saves. Mariano Rivera still has at least five more years closing out games. The Yankees should be content with him as their closer for as long as he wants to pitch.
Tampa Bay Rays: Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth had a surprisingly effective 2011. Coming into the year, he was expected to compete with young prospect Jake McGee for the closer role. Farnsworth stole the show and was Tampa’s closer for the whole season. He posted a 2.18 ERA in 2012, along with 25 saves. It was a nice bounce back year for the once overpaid, angry reliever.
The Rays picked up the fiery reliever’s option for 2012, so he will likely retain his job as the Rays’ closer. However, if Farnsworth can’t get the job done, Joel Peralta or Fernando Rodney (87 career saves) will step in.
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox bullpen has had a perplexing offseason so far. They let their closer leave in free agency and they moved two of their other best relievers to the rotation. Now, they’ll be trusting a young, former Rookie of the Year, who hasn’t thrown fifty innings since 2009. I think the Red Sox made the right move by letting Jonathan Papelbon walk, but I don’t see the benefit in moving Daniel Bard to their rotation.
Moving from Oakland to Boston, Andrew Bailey will have to learn to deal with constant criticism and media pressure. He’ll go from pitching in front of 10,000 people every night to almost 40,000. It’s impossible to quantify how much of an impact that will have on Bailey, but it’s got be at least a small factor.
The Red Sox will have a strong bullpen, despite which of their relievers end up in their rotation. Besides Bard, the Red Sox also acquired Mark Melancon who could see time as Boston’s closer. Melancon isn’t as good of a pitcher as Bailey, but he is still a strong option for late-inning relief.
I’m not high on Bailey and I see him having issues in 2012. Bailey relies too heavily on his fastball and his curveball was not effective last year. If he succeeds in Boston, then the Red Sox will look like geniuses for trading for him. If he struggles, then new General Manager Ben Cherington will have some questions to answer about the future of this bullpen. (I wrote more about the Red Sox bullpen here.)
Toronto Blue Jays: With the abundance of closers on the market, Toronto went out and got their closer of the present and future, in Sergio Santos. They had to give up Nestor Molina, a young starting pitching prospect, but they scored Santos and his team-friendly contract.
Since being converted from shortstop to pitcher a couple of years ago, Sergio Santos has molded into a top-notch closer. In my opinion, he has the second best slider in baseball. (Braves closer Craig Kimbrel gets a slight edge.)
The Blue Jays have a fairly strong bullpen and General Manager Alex Anthopoulos could always trade for more bullpen pieces. Rebuilding Toronto’s major league team is going to take a couple of years and right now the bullpen appears to be the least of their worries.
Baltimore Orioles: Jim Johnson emerged as a star for the Orioles in 2011. The twenty-eight year old reliever threw ninety innings but recorded only nine saves. The Orioles leader in saves last year was Kevin Gregg with 22 saves. This was surprising considering Gregg wasn’t even one of the Orioles top three relievers.
I’ve been a huge fan of Pedro Strop ever since he was with the Rangers organization. The twenty-six year old had a 2.62 FIP in 2011, and the Orioles have implied he’ll be their setup man in 2012. With Johnson, Gregg and Strop all gunning for the Orioles closer job in 2012, they’ll definitely have competition throughout the year. I’d expect Johnson to get the most saves, but Strop could have a breakout season as a 9th inning superstar. Plus Alfredo Simon could always get hot and take back the role if he fails as a starter.
Detroit Tigers: For the Tigers, having a closer they can trust to close out games in 2012 will be huge. The Tigers are going to have plenty of late-inning leads, thanks to a strong pitching staff and a powerful offense. Jose Valverde has been the Tigers closer for the last two years and he’s excelled at the back of the Detroit bullpen.
Papa Grande took a step forward in 2011. He saved 49 saves in just as many opportunities in 2012. His electric (and to a lesser extent, annoying) personality provides a spark at the end of Tigers games.
Valverde will be back in 2012 and will help Detroit down the stretch as they look to make a run at the World Series.
Chicago White Sox: The White Sox no longer have a clear closer after trading Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays. Now, their bullpen will rely on the flame-throwing lefty Matt Thornton and rookie Addison Reed.
Matt Thornton had a rough 2011. He lost his closer job to a former shortstop and saw his strikeout rates plummet. In 2010, he struck out 12.02 batters per nine innings. In 2011, he saw that rate drop to 9.5. He also walked more hitters than he had in previous years, and his LOB% dropped to 61.2%. In 2012, he will probably see his numbers improve moderately- but not to the level they were at in 2010.
Addison Reed is the best prospect in the White Sox deprived farm system. He will probably start the year in the majors. He has a higher ceiling than any other White Sox bullpen arms and that might lead to a job closing for Chicago. Reed is a nice sleeper in 12-team leagues, in which you are looking for saves.
Manager Robin Ventura has said that Reed is likely to make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. He also said that the closing job is Matt Thornton’s to lose. I don’t think it will be very long before Reed takes over the job from Thornton, so Reed will probably get the majority of saves for the White Sox this year.
Kansas City Royals: Last year, it seemed inevitable that the Royals would trade away their longtime closer Joakim Soria. Then Soria’s value dramatically dropped. In May, Soria gave up ten runs in ten innings, and Royals fans started to panic. Eventually, Soria got back to the pitcher he always was. He finished 2011 with 28 saves, his lowest total since 2007. General Manager Dayton Moore made the right move hanging on to Joakim Soria because his value was so low at the trade deadline.
For 2012, Soria will be the Royals closer barring a trade. Not to be forgotten is former Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton who was signed this offseason. The Royals have a talented young bullpen that has the chance to develop into one of the best in the league.
Minnesota Twins: The Twins have no real closer heading into the 2011 season. Sure they have Matt Capps, who has 124 career saves. But he’s not a legitimate option if they plan on contending this year. They recently signed former Detroit Tiger Joel Zumaya who is coming back from a serious arm injury, but he used to be able to throw triple digits.
For fantasy players looking for sleepers, this team isn’t a bad place to start. Any one of the Twins pitchers could step up and take the closer role. This might be the worst bullpen in the league, so Minnesota will probably have to make some moves this year.
Cleveland Indians: The Indians a strong bullpen that should be able to give their starters a proper amount of rest. Vinnie Pestano is the best reliever on the team… and he’s not even closing. Pestano was worth 1.5 WAR in 2011, and he had 23 saves. If Chris Perez were to slip up in his closing duties, Pestano could easily fill in.
Chris Perez is a very good closer because he is a clutch performer. He doesn’t strike out many hitters and he walks a lot of hitters (1.50 K/BB in 2011), but he doesn’t blow many saves. He was 36 for 40 in save opportunities last year.
Even though Perez will likely be the starting closer on Opening Day, if Pestano keeps pitching like he has, he could eventually take over the position.
Seattle Mariners: The Mariners probably should have traded their closer, Brandon League, this offseason. As strong of an asset as League is, the Mariners won’t be contending in 2012.
When Brandon Leauge decides to throw it, he has one of the best splitters in the league. Last year he threw his splitter 28.2% of the time. Mariners fans want him to throw it more because of how dominating it can be. In 2011, using his splitter more led him to 37 saves and a 2.78 FIP. If League were to be traded or injured, Shawn Kelley, Tom Wilhelmsen, or Chance Ruffin would likely step into the role.
Oakland Athletics: Since the A’s traded Andrew Bailey, their closer responsibility is no longer set in stone. Brian Fuentes will likely start the year as their closer, but he has 37 career blown saves and is no longer the pitcher he once was.
The next pitcher in line to get saves is probably Fautino De Los Santos. As a rookie in 2011, De Los Santos struck out 11.61 batters per nine innings. Fautino De Los Santos may be electric but he only has thirty-two career saves (all of which were in the minors.)
Texas Rangers: The Rangers have the most depth out of any bullpen in the AL West. Joe Nathan will be the closer out of spring training. If Nathan were to fail, the Rangers also have Mike Adams, Koji Uehara (barring a trade) and Alexi Ogando (if he doesn’t start) waiting in the wings. If the Rangers bullpen were a flavor of milkshake- they would be banana. Not always the first thing that comes to mind, but after you try it, it’s much better than you expected.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The Angels should have spent more money this offseason on their bullpen. Jordan Walden is far from a sure thing. Although it was his rookie year, Walden had his ups and downs in 2011. Walden looked nervous at times. Hopefully in his second year, he will have a better ” closer’s mentality.”
Setting up Walden will be most likely be Scott Downs, who was extremely lucky in 2011. Downs had 26 holds and a 1.34 ERA. He had a 3.40 xFIP and he left 86.4% of his men on base. In 2012, there’s no question that Downs is going to regress. The only question is how much.
Overall: The bullpens in the American League aren’t as strong as they look. There are talented pitchers on nearly every team, but no bullpen stands out as the clear winner. 2012 is going to be the an important year for closers, as there will be many AL teams in contention (especially if the 2nd Wild Card goes through). Some say that the whole closer role and mentality is not important. But once this year’s playoffs are upon us, I think 2012 will prove just how important closers really are.
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter***
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.Follow @mlbreports
Thursday December 8, 2011
MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: With the Winter Meetings at an end, players/teams/agents are left standing to look over the game of musical chairs and who is left standing. A particularly interesting position was closer- with more eligible players than open positions. In the past few weeks, we have seen many signings and trades in this area. Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies. Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays. Huston Street to the Padres. Francisco Rodriguez accepted arbitration from the Brewers. Heath Bell to the Marlins. Joe Nathan to the Rangers. Andrew Bailey is openly being discussed in the trade market as leaving the A’s. Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch joined the Mets. As a result, one big name is left standing with no dance partner. Ryan Madson is still on the open market with few promising prospects ahead.
As the story goes, Madson was supposed to re-sign with the Phillies. A reported 4-year, estimated $44 million contract was put on the table by the Phillies early in free agency. Player and agent (Scott Boras) happily accepted and a Philadelphia return was in order. Not so fast. There are conflicting stories on what transpired. Needless to say, there was never a firm deal in place and the Phillies moved quickly to sign the top closer on the free agent market, Jonathan Papelbon. Since then, there has been little discussion on Madson. There have been reports throughout the process linking him to the Jays, Marlins and Red Sox. Well…the first 2 teams have filled their vacancies. The Red Sox have Daniel Bard as the incumbent set-up man who could get a look at the closing position- although he may end up in the rotation. Other than that, there seems to be little hope for Madson.
Last night, Madson chose not to the K-Rod route and accept salary arbitration. As a result, he remains out in the market waiting for his next contract offer. Francisco Cordero is in the same boat, although he is still likely to go back to the Reds on a 1-2 year contract from the whispers around the league. But even if the Reds do not retain Cordero, it is unlikely that they will sign Madson- especially given the young players they still need to lock-up to extensions. So what other options exist for Madson? Perhaps the Orioles. Maybe the Rays. The options are getting bleak.
This is one of the few times that you will see Scott Boras caught “with his pants down” so to speak. For an agent that is well known to be able to create and stimulate markets and demands for his clients, Boras has come up short for Madson. The perception is that the Phillies did what was best for them in signing Papelbon, which left Boras outraged and in a bind. With little to no teams looking for closers, Boras essentially only has the Red Sox to work with. At this point, he may need to take a 1-2 year deal for Madson, in the $7-10 million range to rebuild his value and try again on the open market in the future. A risky proposition, but with few options- Madson may have no other choice.
I was actually quite surprised that Madson didn’t take the Phillies offer of arbitration. Based on his stellar 2011 numbers, he could have expected a strong 1-year contract at least. Now Boras and Madson are left to take their chances on the open market. For a closer with only 1 full year on the job, time is not on Madson’s side. A proven closer like Francisco Cordero knows that he find a contract soon. Heck, even K-Rod knows that he just needs another solid season under his belt and his next deal will follow shortly after. Madson was in line for his first and only big payday this offseason. If he gets hurt or becomes ineffective in 2012, that dream vanishes. Scott Boras better work overtime to get the Red Sox biting on his closer client. Otherwise, it may not turn out to be a very Merry Christmas in the Madson household this year.
Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.