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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

New York Mets State Of The Union For 2016

The Mets made it to the World Series in 2015 after a subpar start heading into the Trade Deadline. With a ton of pitching and some decent positional players still on the roster, they could set themselves up for a lengthy run in the NL East. Especially if they can coordinate a couple of trades (Pitching for hitters).

The Mets made it to the World Series in 2015 after a subpar start heading into the Trade Deadline. With a ton of pitching and some decent positional players still on the roster, they could set themselves up for a lengthy run in the NL East. After tinkering with average players in acquisitions (other than Neil Walker – who is a comparable replacement for Daniel Murphy), it looks like GM Sandy Alderson is done constructing the offense for 2016.  I think this is a critical error.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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It has been a decent offseason for the New York Mets so far.  They have resigned Bartolo Colon, filled in the spot at 2B with an almost equal amount of talent for Daniel Murphy, while adding Asdrubal Cabrera is also a wise move.

The organization even resigned Jerry Blevins to the Relief Core.  There is still potential to add another arm or 2 for late innings in the Bullpen.

On Tuesday, it was announced the OF Alejandro De Aza has joined the club for a one year deal at $5.75 MIL (and $1.25 MIL in incentives).  This guy can play all 3 OF positions, but he really should be a 4th OF on a championship team caliber style of team. 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

Chicago Cubs State Of The Union For 2016

I absolutely love the singing of Zobrist for the Cubs. He is a quality veteran Utility guy for this young versatile club. Zobrist at 35 may have been pricey at the four year deal work, but they were able to trade away Starlin Castro as a result. Zobrist was vital to the Royals postseason run - and is Joe Maddon's favorite all time player. His ability to switch all over the field will give guys like Schwarber, Baez, Soler and Russell all the availability to thrive with matchup maneuvers. The Cubs should not stop here though. They need to acquire a CF - and trade for a #3 starter at some point in the next 8 months.

I absolutely love the signing of Zobrist for the Cubs. He is a quality veteran Utility guy for this young versatile club. Zobrist at 35 may have been pricey at the four year deal work, but they were able to trade away Starlin Castro as a result. Zobrist was vital to the Royals 2015 World Series Playoff run – and is Joe Maddon’s favorite all time player. His ability to switch all over the field will give guys like Schwarber, Baez, Soler and Russell all the availability to thrive with matchup maneuvers. The Cubs should not stop here though. They need to acquire a CF – and trade for a #3 starter at some point in the next 8 months.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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The Cubs finally threw their names in the ring on the Free Agent front this week by first signing ultra  Utility man Ben Zobrist to a 4 YR/$56 MIL -on the heels of  John Lackey to a 2 YR/$32 MIL deal.

The club also dealt Starlin Castro away for another team controllable pitcher in Adam Warren.  These are significant steps in the right direction to start their run at the 2016 NL Central Division Title,

2015 was a nice breakout season – and the furthest the team has gone in 12 years however this franchise needs to spend as much money and continue to pursue an end to their century plus World Series drought.

There is no question all other 29 clubs would trade their offensive rosters for the value the young Chicago NL squad is going to put forth the next 5 years. Read the rest of this entry

The Oakland A’s State Of The Union For 2016: Beane Counting Or Picking?

Billy Beane saw his A's have their worst record in 18 years in 2015. It was a rebuilding that included him trading away the AL MVP caliber player in Josh Donaldson for a list of 4 players. It will take a couple of seasons to see how bad this may have been. After that deal, it was business as usual, with the man acquiring 4 decent Starting Pitching prospects for players on the last year of their contract. The team doesn't have any real money committed, and their is a ton of flexibility.

Billy Beane saw his A’s have their worst record in 18 years in 2015 – and worst in his GM tenure. It was a rebuilding effort that included him trading away the AL MVP caliber player in Josh Donaldson for a list of 4 players. It will take a couple of seasons to see how bad this may have been. After that deal, it was business as usual, with the man acquiring 4 decent Starting Pitching prospects for players on the last year of their contract. The team doesn’t have any real money committed, and there is a ton of flexibility.  Whether they spend it is another matter.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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It used to be that Billy Beane would wait until a player was about to hit Free Agency until he would trade that player for the next round of guys.  Now he doesn’t even like his ALL – Stars to hit higher levels of Arbitration.

After last years all in effort to make a run at the postseason, Beane started the dismantle process of his squad.  Perhaps the most controversial move was to flip Josh Donaldson for a package of four players.

A lot of people are still upset about that deal considering Donaldson is going to be a perennial MVP candidate, however he was that already for the A’s, and it failed to result in a placement beyond the 1st round. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Top Free Agent Predictions (Picks 26 – 50)

Matt Wieters accepted the 1 Year Qualifying Offer with the Baltimore Orioles. He joined both Colby Rasmus and Brett Anderson as the 1st 3 men to ever accept the 'QO' under the new format. Marco Estrada was also taken off off the market Friday, accepting a 2 YR/$26 MIL deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Matt Wieters accepted the 1 Year Qualifying Offer with the Baltimore Orioles. He joined both Colby Rasmus and Brett Anderson as the 1st 3 men to ever accept the ‘QO’ under the new format. Marco Estrada was also taken off off the market Friday, accepting a 2 YR/$26 MIL deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jordan Gluck (Part Owner/Featured Writer): 

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MLB Free Agent Predictions

I will be using mlbtraderumors.com top 50 free agents to make things easy. To be clear there are other free agents outside this list (some who I think should be on it) who will be available and many could have breakout or comeback seasons.

Additionally there will be players that get non tendered during arbitration. Well so here are my predictions.

Players 1 – 25 link

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Do It Cashman/Rizzo: Strasburg For Andrew Miller And Brett Gardner!

As good as Stephen Strasburg was in the 2nd half of the 2015 year, ( 6 - 2 with a 1.90 ERA post ALL - Star), he will be a Free Agent after 2016. The Nats need a leadoff man, and a lockdown Closer- after they potentially trade attitude problem Jonathan Papelbon. It makes for both clubs to pull the deal off. There will also not be any recourse action as they are all set to switch leagues. The trade would see the Yankees flip leadoff OF man Brett Gardner and Closer Andrew Miller in return. Both of those 2 Yankees have 3 years left on their current deals.

As good as Stephen Strasburg was in the 2nd half of the 2015 year, ( 6 – 2 with a 1.90 ERA post ALL – Star), he will be a Free Agent after 2016. The Nats need a leadoff man, and a lockdown Closer- after they potentially trade attitude problem Jonathan Papelbon. It makes for both clubs to pull the deal off. There will also not be any recourse action as they are all set to switch leagues. The trade would see the Yankees flip leadoff OF man Brett Gardner and Closer Andrew Miller in return. Both of those 2 Yankees have 3 years left on their current deals.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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After seeing the trade go down for Alex Hicks, I then saw the trade proposal of Andrew Miller and Brett Gardner for Stephen Strasburg.  This was inferred by MLB.com columnist Richard Justice. Here are my thoughts on it.

This would be a phenomenal deal for both clubs.  The Yankees can clear some salary to sign another Starting Pitcher in addition to Strasburg coming in, and the Nats would get their new leadoff man and shutdown Closer.

Although there are some things to consider….It looks like the club will go forward with Bryce Harper at CF then.  This would mean that Gardner and Jayson Werth would round out the Outfield.

I also think the Nationals should include Jonathan Papelbon in this deal – or flip him in another deal to clear a spot for Miller to Close.

Straburg will make from $11 – $13 MIL for the 2016 season in his last year of Arbitration before hitting Free Agency – which would equal out Gardner’s salary.  Andrew Miller is set to make $9 MIL a year for the next 3 seasons.

New York will need to replace Miller in some capacity for sure.  Whether that is another late inning arm to set up Dellin Betances – or even sign another Closer would have to be the idea.  Miller and Betances were the two best pitchers for the club in 2015.

The team would be well served to land the services of Joakim Soria.

For the record, Papelbon only makes $11 MIL in 2016 before becoming an outright Free Agent in 2017. Read the rest of this entry

How To Fix The Nats For 2016: Washington Nationals State Of The Union

In 2012, the Nationals won the NL East and then followed up with a disappointing 2013 year. The same pattern happened in 2014 and 2015. The Nats window is closing as the club only has one more of team control on Stephen Strasburg - and the total salary for the club escalates with Bryce Harper being Arbitration Eligible starting next year. The team has solid Starting Pitching and a lineup that is coming back for the most part. A key acquisition for both the offense and defense may suffice.

In 2012, the Nationals won the NL East and then followed up with a disappointing 2013 year. The same pattern happened in 2014 and 2015. The Nats window is closing as the club only has one more of team control on Stephen Strasburg – and the total salary for the club escalates with Bryce Harper being Arbitration Eligible starting next year. The team has solid Starting Pitching and a lineup that is coming back for the most part. A key acquisition for both the offense and defense may suffice.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst)

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So having been back from my 224 MLB Game all year trip in 2015 – I was happy to have put in such a great season of witnessing games.  My real disappointment was the Nationals not making the playoffs in 2015.

I am guilty as charged for having a National League favorite team in Washington, and also be a Yankees fan for the American League.

I am a Nats fan because they used to be the Montreal Expos before 2005.  It was a tough negotiation to have been a fan when they moved to D.C., but I followed the team. I saw some bad baseball via MLB.TV for about 6 or 7 years. Read the rest of this entry

New York Mets Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

New York Mets

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst): 

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So you are the New York Mets, and you have just lost the World Series, what is next?  First off, you have several Free Agents walking out the door that you may not be able to re-sign.  Most notably Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy.

Forget about the postseason in which the man was banged up, Cespedes was one of the biggest reasons you even made it to the playoffs to begin with.  The Mets should try to sign him.

Daniel Murphy carried you through two rounds of the postseason – but looked horrible in the field during the World Series.  So what is the prognosis on his status with the club?  Let him walk… His playoff numbers, coupled with a high need for second baseman in the Majors may well skyrocket his next deal.

At first glance though, this is not the end of the world for the Wilpon led New York franchise.  The entire Starting Staff could be composed of team controllable salaries.  Bartolo Colon is a Free Agent now too, but maybe he would sign a small guaranteed contract with incentives. Read the rest of this entry

Milwaukee Brewers: Rebuild Or Reload?

brewers

Milwaukee Brewers: Rebuild or Reload?

Jordan (Part-Owner/Organizational Expert): 

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The Brewers are off to an awful start this year due to a number of factors but primarily horrendous starting pitching. Their farm system is somewhere from below average to bad and their payroll is over $100Mthis season for a small market team.

So the questions I will ask and answer are why are they so bad? Why have they failed to develop starting pitching? How can they try to fix it.? and How long is it going to take?

First lets look at their roster which when it first meets the eye doesn’t look like a team 10 games under .500 but more like an average team. Yes I under stand that Jonathan Lucroy is injured which is a big factor as he’s a middle of the order bat, handles the pitching staff and is a team leader. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 5 Holds Leaders In The MLB For 2015

joba chamberlain 2

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

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

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

The Top 5 Closers In The MLB For 2015

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

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

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

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

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

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The Oakland A’s Payroll In 2015 + Going Forward: Beane Counting

The A's GM has done a masterful job putting together a World Series worthy rotation without breaking the bank to do it. Even for the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) and Samardija (about the same in Arbitration), the Bullpen doesn't make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A's payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015, and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success. The Oakland GM knows how to turnover a roster, developing a young nucleus for 3 year intervals. The A's have made the playoffs three straight years - but struggled down the stretch in 2014 - before dropping the Wild Card in spectacular fashion, after holding a 7 - 3 in the 8th inning.     The A's GM has done a masterful job putting together a World Series worthy rotation without breaking the bank to do it. Even for the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) the Bullpen doesn't make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A's payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015, and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success. The Oakland GM knows how to turnover a roster, developing a young nucleus for 3 year intervals. The A's have made the playoffs three straight years - but struggled down the stretch in 2014 - before dropping the Wild Card in spectacular fashion, after holding a 7 - 3 in the 8th inning.

For the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) the Bullpen doesn’t make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A’s payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015 (down about $10 MIL from 2014), and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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MoneyBall 1..MoneyBall 2… So we all have seen the movie or at least read the book – or heard about somebody referencing it all the time on the Baseball airwaves.  Beane does it a different way, and he keeps the rest of the landscape second guessing.

This website has been one of the frontrunners of dissecting his moves over the last few years, and have accurately predicted a lot of what would happen with the terms of the club.

As much as the MLB Reports has loved the movements the team has done, we have not picked them to advance in the postseason in any prognostications, but we have continuously marveled on how the GM keeps wheeling and dealing.

Chuck Booth likened him to a “Baseball Rounder”, using a nice analogy from the world of poker.

The A’s GM is the best at creating value to his team but exercising all of the freebies in the league, coupled with knowing how to maneuver when the time is right.

Trading Josh Donaldson may come back to haunt him, but he did receive a plethora of young talented throwers, and perhaps Brett Lawrie will emerge into his talent after all.

Being a “Baseball Rounder” is being the smartest guy in the room, and knowing your opponents moves before even they do.

For a Year to Year Breakdown For all of the A’s players salaries please visit here

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Washington Nationals Pitching Roster Tree For 2015

Stephen Strasburg

How All Of The 2015 Nationals Pitchers Were Acquired:

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

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The Nationals have done a great job of stockpiling pitching arms since relocated to the district in 2005.  From Stephen Strasburg, to Jordan Zimmermann, and unheralded pitchers like Craig Stammen and Ross Detwiler.

The acquisitions tree saw Minor League Prospect A.J. Cole drafted by the organization, traded to Oakland in the Gio Gonzalez, only to be brought back in the 3 way deal with the A’s and Seattle, that saw Mike Morse sent to Seattle.

A small part of that transaction included Ian Krol, who was packaged with two Nats selections in the MLB Amateur Draft (Robbie Ray and Steve Lombardozzi).

We have even traced a tree that stems all the way back to the Montreal Expos Drafting Jose Vidro.

The Starting 5 pitchers all contributed to Washington being the top seed in the National League during the 2014 year,

A big thank-you must be send to Yanks GM Brian Cashman, for giving the Nationals Tyler Clippard first, but then to also let Matt Thornton be claimed for no parts going back the other way.

Drew Storen is yet another 1st RD Draft Pick that is part of the Pitching Staff for Washington.

Tanner Roark was also stolen in a deal for Christian Guzman from Texas, with the latter having just a small cup of coffee with the Rangers organization, while Roark might have been the best #5 Starter in baseball this past campaign.

Xavier Cedeno joins Thornton as the only players to have been claimed by the squad. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 8, 2014

"Photo:

The Cardinals and the Giants cement their reputations as the teams of the decade.

One reason they both made it this far was some questionable bullpen management from the opposing manager.

It is a dynasty episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

 

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Current 2014 MLB Team Payrolls: Trade Deadline Manuevering

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers.  Los Angeles is currently sitting at nearly $240 MIL for total team payroll, and will enter the 2nd year of their Luxury Tax Threshold Penalty, where they will pay a 30% surcharge on any monies spent over $189 MIL.  As it stands right now, the club will pay somewhere north of $15 MIL this year.  If the Dodgers are in penalty again for 2015, they will pa 40% of any cash over the Threshold.  Abusers of the tax for 4 years and beyond pay $50%.  With their payroll this year, it would cost Los Angeles over $25 MIL if they were at that limit.

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers. Los Angeles is currently sitting at nearly $240 MIL for total team payroll, and will enter the 2nd year of their Luxury Tax Threshold Penalty, where they will pay a 30% surcharge on any monies spent over $189 MIL. As it stands right now, the club will pay somewhere north of $15 MIL this year. If the Dodgers are in penalty again for 2015, they will pa 40% of any cash over the Threshold. Abusers of the tax for 4 years and beyond pay $50%. With their payroll this year, it would cost Los Angeles over $25 MIL if they were at that limit.

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

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2014 Team Salaries Rank  (In Millions)

1. LAD – $239.8 ( 2nd time abuser – Luxury Tax Penalty at 30% over $189 MIL = $15.24 MIL to be added at the end of the year.) (1st in NLW)

2. NYY – $200.0 ( 4 or more time abuser – Tax Penalty at 50% over $189 MIL for an additional $5.5 MIL to be added at end of the year.) (1st In ALE)

3. PHI – $177.4 (1st in NLE)

4. DET – $163.0 MIL (1st in ALC)

5. BOS – $157.9 (2nd in ALE)
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MLB Teams Pitching Payroll vs Positional Players Payroll In 2014

The Dodgers are the new kings of spending money on payroll in the MLB.  They already spend the most money their Pitching Staff, are the only team well over the $200 MIL mark, and are also creeping up on the New York Yankees for position player spending.  With the Bronx Bombers not in a playoff spot currently, the Dodgers may pass the Pinstripers by adding salary to their lineup, or by New York deciding to trade a few players from their position lineup.

The Dodgers are the new kings of spending money on payroll in the MLB. They already spend the most money their Pitching Staff, are the only team well over the $200 MIL mark, and are also creeping up on the New York Yankees for position player spending. With the Bronx Bombers not in a playoff spot currently, the Dodgers may pass the Pinstripers by adding salary to their lineup, or by New York deciding to trade a few players from their position lineup.

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

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The LA Dodgers have 5 quality Starting Pitchers, and a bevy of former Closers in their Relief Core.

The boys who play their home games at Chavez Ravine, would fit into the top half of entire team payrolls for the majors with each of their pitching and offense separately.

If the Yankees trade 1 or 2 hitters before the Deadline, or the Dodgers add an offense player to their depth, they will hold the #1 spot in both distinctions.

New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and both of the Los Angeles franchises are in the top 10 in each. Read the rest of this entry

Washington Nationals Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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The Washington Nationals have had an escalating salary structure for the last few years.  The truth is that their talent needs to be paid as time goes on.

In 2014, the Budget is looking to be around $130 MIL so far, after just being over $110 MIL.

The situation is more expensive next year, with 10 players under the Arbitration Eligible – highlighted by Stephen Strasburg for his 2nd year of it.

Among the others are:  Craig Stammen, Danny Espinosa, Tyler Clippard, Doug Fister, Drew Storen, Ross Detwiler, Wilson Ramos, Jerry Blevins, Jose Lobaton and Ryan Mattheus. 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

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo: January Man

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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It was an innocent enough radio interview. The standard with Mike Rizzo late in the off-season with nothing happening.

He was asked if everything on the checklist had been marked off and answered in the affirmative and then was asked if there were still moves left to be made.

To this question Mike Rizzo gave the standard and cliched GM answer of anytime we can do anything to improve the club that makes sense for blah blah blah. You get the idea.

There was nothing special at all about this interview. It was a time filler between Redskins talk on a local Washington DC radio station, but there was something in Mike Rizzo’s voice.

He sounded ecstatic while talking about improving the team. Reading between the lines it was as if he was smirking into the phone and really saying watch what I’m about to do. Read the rest of this entry

September Callup Candidates For The Nationals: Washington With A Great 36 Game Sked To End 2013

The Nationals will need a massive collapse from either the Pirates, Reds or Cardinals in order to qualify for the Post Season in 2013.  Despite the struggles, the club still has to go about the business of preparing a 40 Man Roster in September.  Lets preview some of the news, injured players coming back, and recent performances of some of the guys in the Minor League System.

At 62 – 64 with 36 games left, The Nationals will need a massive collapse from either the Pirates, Reds or Cardinals in order to qualify for the Post Season in 2013 being 10.5 Games behind the playoff bar. Despite the struggles, the club still has to go about the business of preparing a 40 Man Roster in September. Lets preview some of the news, injured players coming back, and recent performances of some of the guys in the Minor League System.

By Sean Hogan (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

September is just 10 days away. With 9 games in those 10 days, a lot of things can happen with the Nats. They can still go on a run and get back into the thick of things in the Wild Card race.

The reason for this is easy…. The Pirates, Cardinals and Reds are play each other a pile in the last 5 weeks of the year, so all the Nationals have to do is to take care of business, and they can be back in the conversation for the playoff game at least.

The Nats also have a ridiculously easy schedule coming from now until the end of the year in their final 36 games. 

Coming up.  1 more @CHC, 3 @KC (they are struggling now), then a 6 game homestand versus the Marlins and Mets.   They should go 7 – 3 here.

From there, they have a 10 game road trip with 3 @PHI, 3 @MIA and 4 @NYM.  The team could go 7 – 3.

Followed by the road trip is a 10 game homestand:  3 VS PHI, 3 VS ATL (they may have clinched by then – or at least resting guys), and to vs the Marlins ends the stretch.  The team could go 8 – 2.

The Nats end up playing their last 6 on the road versus the Cardinals and Diamondbacks in 3 game series each.  If they win both series, it could be a 4 – 2 road trip. 

You could see the club win 26 of their last 36 games – to have them equal 88 wins.  The Pirates would need to win 15 games out of 36 in this scenario.

While it would still make it unlikely to be in the Wild Card Game, it could put some pressure on the 3 NL Central franchises.

The Cardinals would have to win 16 out of 36 games to stay ahead, and the Reds would need 17 wins out their last 35 games to stay head.

They could also go on a losing streak and drop out of the race just as easily. For the most part, the Nats’ September call-up candidates will be the same, but their eventual roles may differ.

The only player on the 40-man roster that I don’t think has a chance of making it to the Majors in September is Matt Purke, who has always struggled with injuries and is just starting to hack it in high A ball.

Jeff Kobernus – 1st Career HR

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How All Of The Nats Players Were Acquired: (Trade, Signed, Drafted, Waiver Wire) + Analysis

How All Of The Washington Nationals Players Were Acquired:

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future.  Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now.  Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season - the future is definitely bright in DC

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future. Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now. Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season – the future is definitely bright in DC.  The club has strong pitching in the Major Leagues – with some help coming  for more years to come.  They have potential ALL – Stars in almost every position.  Lets see how all of the players were acquired.

Tuesday July.23/2013

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Washington Nationals – 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.

The Rise of the Nationals

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

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Thursday July.11/2013

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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Washington Nationals Organization: Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Friday, June.21/2013

The Nationals were everyone's Preseason favorite to get to the 2013 World Series.  A litany of injuries, with a few slumps from some key Veterans - have caused them to only be hovering around .500.  They still have a chance to rundown the Atlanta Braves in the NL East if they can put together the kind of winning baseball they put forth during the 2012 campaign.  Even if it doesn't come to fruition this year, the club looks solid in the coming years.  Only a World Series Championship will forever cement their legacy as a great club.

The Nationals were everyone’s Preseason favorite to get to the 2013 World Series. A litany of injuries, with a few slumps from some key Veterans – have caused them to only be hovering around .500. They still have a chance to rundown the Atlanta Braves in the NL East if they can put together the kind of winning baseball they put forth during the 2012 campaign. Even if it doesn’t come to fruition this year, the club looks solid in the coming years. Only a World Series Championship will forever cement their legacy as a great club.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

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 Nationals Organization clickhere

From Last To First – The Rise Of The Nats

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Exploring The Nationals Depth: Organizational State Of The Union

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Sunday, May. 26/2013

Mike Morse was only signed through the 2013 season, while the brass felt that the Nationals had a playoff Roster of players.  From one injury after another, it is too bad the club didn't still have this guy to help the depth.  Morse has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .248/.311/.766 - with 10 HRs and 18 RBI

With Mike Morse  only being signed through the 2013 season, and the brass feeling that the Nationals had a playoff Roster of players without him, they dealt one of their best deep ball threats from the last couple of years. From one injury after another, it is too bad the club didn’t still have this guy to help the depth. Morse has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .248/.311/.766 – with 10 HRs and 18 RBI with Seattle this campaign.  The Nationals were not planning on resigning “Da Beast” past this season – and were able to replenish some pitching in the Minors by re – acquiring A.J. Cole.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt the 2013.

By Sean Hogan (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

I’ve recently complained that the Nationals’ lack of organizational depth is a major reason for their mediocre start to the season. Key contributors C Wilson Ramos (twice), 3B Ryan Zimmerman, RF Jayson Werth and RHP Ryan Mattheus have all gone on the disabled list while LHP Ross Detwiler and LF Bryce Harper have narrowly avoided their own stints. None of that is even to mention 2B Danny Espinosa, who is playing with a torn rotator cuff. 

Kurt Suzuki has filled in admirably for the injured Ramos, but out of that bunch, that’s pretty much the only bright spot. Anthony Rendon and Chad Tracy struggled at 3B filling in for Zimmerman while Roger Bernadina and Tyler Moore have been downright awful in the corner OF spots. Super-sub Steve Lombardozzi has limped along to a -0.3 WAR, almost as bad as Espinosa’s -0.4. 

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Game 1 Recap Of The Nats Big Opening Day Win – A Glimpse Of Things To Come

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Tuesday, Apr.02/2013

Just as impressive as Harper taking on higher expectation in 2013 is Stephen Strasburg being unleashed on the world for a full season for the first time and starting off with an 80 pitch performance of seven shutout innings.Strasburg didn't even have his best command falling behind 1-0 on 13 of the 23 batters he faced. Strasburg finished the day with only three Strikeouts and no walks giving up only three hits, but this wasn't the dominate swing and miss Strasburg.

Just as impressive as Harper 2 HRs yesterdayn- was Strasburg’s being unleashed on the world for a full season.  His start featured an 80 pitch performance over 7 shutout IP. Strasburg didn’t even have his best command – falling behind 1-0 on 13 of the 23 batters he faced. He finished the day with only three Strikeouts, but no walks and giving up only 3 hits.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

Seeing Stephen Strasburg picked to win the Cy Young should come as no surprise to anyone. He did finish 2012 tied with Gio Gonzalez for the best FIP in the majors at 2.82 – and led all starters with a staggering 11.13 K/9. There are arguments that can be made that when Stephen Strasburg is firing on all cylinders –  he is the best pitcher in the NL and among the best on the planet.

The same argument cannot be made for Bryce Harper as an Outfielder. Based on stats last year,  he finished seventh in the NL in fWAR and tied for eighth in wOBA with Jay Bruce and Garrett Jones.

No one is picking Jay Bruce or Garrett Jones for their MVP. In all of the NL Bryce Harper‘s .352 wOBA ranked sixteenth.

Bryce Harper 2 HR Performance On Opening Day – MLB Reports does not own anything from this video:

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Nats Acquire LHP Ian Krol To Complete The Mike Morse Deal

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Wednesday, Mar. 27/2013

Ian krol is a 6 FT 1 and 190 LB native of Illinois who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 7th Round of the 2009 Amateur Draft,.

Ian Krol is a 6 FT 1 and 190 LB native of Illinois – who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 7th Round of the 2009 Amateur Draft, He was selected right out of high school and jumped two levels of the Minor Leagues before he even hit the age of 19.  Controversies and in injuries then ensued. Last year he played with Stockton (A+) and Midland (AA) – going 3 – 9 with a 5.20 ERA.

By Sean Hogan (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

The Nationals already came out ahead in the Michael Morse trade, acquiring two Righties with upside in A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen. Last Wednesday, they added to the previous bounty when the player to be named later was named:was… wait for it……..

LHP Ian Krol. The Lefty, who was once lauded by prospect gurus Kevin Goldstein and Keith Law in 2010, has fought through some self-inflicted drama as well as some minor injuries since then; the Nationals are picking him up in hopes that he’ll continue to be “a joy to watch” as Goldstein mentioned and will build upon his solid 2012 season.

Krol is a pitcher, not a thrower. His mechanics are excellent, throwing from a ¾ arm slot, and he has no issues locating his three pitches. Like former Nats prospects Tommy Milone and Danny Rosenbaum, Krol lacks velocity, topping out at 90-91 MPH. In order to keep climbing up the ladder, he must continue to exhibit excellent command on the hill and induce ground balls.

Ian Krol Bullpen Session:

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The Washington Nationals Franchise Part 6 of 6: 2013 Team Payroll And Contracts Updated Mar.8

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Thursday, March.07/2013

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner):

Perhaps no team will have more of a chance to win the 2013 World Series with Harper and Strasburg will be another year older, while both Zimmerman’s can both have been healthy for the year.  They have two Mutual Options for them to re-sign which I mention on the next page.  They do have several Arbitration Eligible Players including Super ‘2’ Free Agents Jordan Zimmerman and Tyler Clippard.  The Nationals should try to lock most of these guys up as long as they can.  Especially guys like Desmond, Espinosa and Storen.  

Their price shall only skyrocket as they become older.  The Nationals will not have to worry about their starting outfield of Morse, Werth and Harper as they are all signed for next year.  Strasburg enters the final year of this entry-level deal and Gio Gonzalez also has a nice value deal for the salary part of it.

Kurt Suzuki had a strong finish in 2013, so you could see the club maybe trading away he or Wilson Ramos before 2013 Trade Deadline.  I suspect the Phillies to be stronger this year, so major improvements by Harper and rejuvenated play from both Zimmerman’s will be crucial to the clubs success.  Micheal Lerner has made it abundantly clear he wants a championship for this club ASAP.  He will spend any amount of money .  The rest of the lineup looks set and ready to mash in 2013!

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, The Nationals top 25 Man Roster from 20o5-2012 click here

MLB 13 The Show – Bryce Harper Interview:

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The Washington Nationals Roster for 2013: State Of The Union Updated Mar.7/2013

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Thursday March 7, 2013

The Nationals are one of 2 teams in the MLB (The Mariners is the other) that have never made a World Series Appearance.   Will this change in the Year 2013?

The Nationals are one of 2 teams in the MLB (The Mariners is the other) that have never made a World Series Appearance. Will this change in the Year 2013?

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer):  .

It’s clear that the Washington Nationals have turned the corner as a franchise on the rise. Their most recent high included a 2012 campaign that had them winning 98 games in the regular season, good for the most in the majors, but ended with heartbreak in a game 5 loss in the NLDS at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. Moving forward to 2013, the Nationals will certainly hope to make it deeper into the playoffs, but it will be easier said than done. The Nationals have shown patience in the past, but have made some aggressive moves this off-season.

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MLB Reports Playoff Power Rankings and Predictions 2012

Friday, October.5/2012

The Reds have Joey Votto back and definitely are the deepest team in the playoffs. They start in San Francisco versus the Giants on Saturday in a best of 5 Series in the NLDS Round.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In what could be one of the most exciting days in MLB History, we present to you a special edition of the MLB Reports Power Rankings,

1.  Cincinnati Reds:  The reason I have chosen these guys is because of their path to the World Series is probably easier than any other team in the MLB when it comes to Strength of Schedule.  Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Todd Frazier will challenge for NL Cy Young Votes and the Rookie of the Year Award.  They have a healthy Joey Votto and it is time for Brandon Phillips to show his playoff metal.  They have the greatest bullpen in the playoffs and are playing in the 1st round against the San Francisco Giants.  The Great American Ball Park should be a great home field advantage.

Unheralded Player to watch in this Playoffs:  Starting Pitcher Homer Bailey has pitched really well this year and is coming off a recent no-hitter.

2.  Detroit Tigers:  The Tigers are playing their best baseball of the season and caught a break when the Athletics won the AL West.  Miguel Cabrera was on fire in September en route to his AL Triple Crown win.  The Tigers were 32-11 in their last 43 home games and their solid pitching bodes well versus all of the homer centric teams in the AL.  Their toughest competition would be the Yankees and Rangers and I am not sure those teams will be able to match the pitching of the club.  While in my rankings I have given the #1 ranking to the Reds, the Tigers were my preseason pick to win the WS Title and it will all be on the backs of Prince Fielder and Cabrera. 

Unheralded player to watch in the Playoffs:  Omar Infante He is a great all around player who comes up with clutch hits.

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