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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

How To Stop Tanking Maneuvers In Order To ‘Rebuild’ MLB Teams

In the last year of the current CBA there may be a change to the new agreement that would stop teams from intentionally losing under the "integrity of competitiveness" clause. Teams such as Houston and Chicago have laid the template down, and now other teams are following suit.

In the last year of the current ‘CBA’ there may be a change to the new agreement that would stop teams from intentionally losing under the “integrity of competitiveness” clause. Teams such as Houston and the Chicago  Cubs have laid the template down, and now other teams are following suit like the Phillies, Braves, Reds, Padres, Rockies and Brewers.

Jordan Gluck (Part Owner/Featured Writer): 

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How to stop Tanking?

Spearheaded by Jeff Luhnow – the complete ‘tank philosophy’ has taken off across sports which is a terrible thing for competitive balance.

Teams in other leagues such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Cubs, Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Timberwolves and Indianapolis Colts have had completely terrible teams with the goal of landing the top selection in that draft(s).

Tanking has become much more widespread and is EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE. The problem is losing this badly leads to teams being terrible likely for long periods of time so they can be at the top of the draft and have a chance at elite players.

The differences in tanking differ by league though, in basketball if you don’t have the elite talent then you will never win and that talent is found almost always at the top of the draft.

In football you need a quarterback to be a super bowl contender and tanking will likely be just for the quarterback as the Colts did for Andrew Luck.

Hockey (like baseball) requires depth but top line players carry a huge premium and are available at the top of the draft and you defiantly need at least a few to be Stanley Cup contenders. Read the rest of this entry

Chicago Cubs State Of The Union: Fall 2013

The Chicago Cubs are still reeling from an abysmal 66-96 2013 season. They finished 31 games back in the NL Central, which saw three of it's five teams reach the playoffs. The wheels are churning in Chicago's farm system as it's seeing a meteoric rise in young talent, but even with the influx of fresh faces, success is still a season or two out of reach for the city's Northsiders. With a rebuild in the process the Cubs needed a new manager with a proven track record for player development. Dale Sveum is out. Rick Renteria is in. 2014 may not be the Cubs' year, but they're working on it.

The Chicago Cubs are still reeling from an abysmal 66 – 96 2013 season. They finished 31 games back in the NL Central, which saw three of its five teams reach the playoffs. The wheels are churning in Chicago’s farm system as it’s seeing a meteoric rise in young talent, but even with the influx of fresh faces, success is still a season or two out of reach for the city’s Northsiders. With a rebuild in the process the Cubs needed a new manager with a proven track record for player development. Dale Sveum is out. Rick Renteria is in. 2014 may not be the Cubs’ year, but they’re working on it.

Chicago Cubs State of the Union: Mired in Mediocrity

By Robert Villarreal (MLB Reports Guest Cubs Writer)

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It’s difficult to ask a Cubs fan to be patient.

The Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908, and every year we’re reminded of the enormity of a centuries worth of atrocious baseball that we must all endure year in and year out.

But in 2009, a man named Sam Zell purchased the Tribune company and decided to sell off some of its parts, namely the Chicago Cubs.

Tom Ricketts, a Chicago native, stepped up and was able to realize a boyhood dream, to own his favorite team. But owning it wasn’t enough.

Cubs fans are hoping the hometown boy can help deliver a promise of a Title in the near future.

Junior Lake Highlights – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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Houston Astros Roster In 2013: State Of The Union:

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Monday, February.11,  2013

houston_astros-9413By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

In 2005, the Houston Astros completed a run to the World Series. It was the culmination of the Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell teams in Houston. That team had players on it named Clemens, Pettitte, Oswalt,Bagwell and Biggio. This Houston team is a far way from that National League Champion. Houston has failed at epic levels the last two seasons. The state of the current union of this team is summed up in one word: bad. With that said, there is a ray of hope in these dark days.

When I first learned of this assignment, I planned on doing a portion of a piece on the Astros most expensive and possibly most prominent offensive piece, Jed Lowrie. Houston, in an effort to aggressively proceed with rebuilding its roster, traded Lowrie for several pieces. The trade itself has been covered by this site and our Astros’ corespondent already so I’m going to focus on piece of it. Chris Carter, the First Baseman/Outfielder, acquired by the Astros. Carter has shown consistent power at the Minor League levels as he consistently posted well above league average ISO numbers. His brief stint in the Majors with the A’s prior to the 2012 season did not see those numbers translate. Finally in 2012, we got a look at what we hope is the real Chris Carter.

Carter posted 16 Home Runs in less than 300 Plate Appearances while posting a spectacular ISO. Carter is not the type of player who will hit for average as his Strike-Out rates are consistently well above league average, but he does so an excellent propensity for taking walks. Carter is an Adam Dunn – type player. Big power, good On Base Percentage, but a high Strike Out rate with a low Batting Average. Overall, I think he will make a fine number four hitter, but the pieces around him need to fit. The other issue is where does Carter play. He is traditionally a First Baseman, but Houston is currently playing 26-Year Old Brett Wallace at first in an effort to determine his value. More important than Wallace though is one of Houston’s top prospects, First Baseman Jonathan Singleton.

Bagwell and Biggio Mix of Highlights:  Who will be the next tandem of Astros greats?:

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Houston Astros Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Thursday, December.27,  2012

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Nicholas Rossoletti (Baseball Writer):

The 2013 Houston Astros payroll is one of the stranger payrolls to look at given the current state of baseball where player’s salaries seem to be ever-increasing.  Before Dec.18, the Astros were paying exactly one player above One Million Dollars annually.  That player was shortstop, Jed Lowrie. Then, the team added 1B/DH Carlos Pena to its roster on a one year deal for approximately $2.9 Million according to reports and reliever, Jose Veras on a 1 Year/$1.85 Million dollar deal.  Thats it.  Three players earning more than a Million Dollars on a professional baseball franchise approximately sixty (60) days until pitchers and catchers report. (Please note that the Astros are rumored to be interested in signing Third Baseman Jose Lopez who may be added to this list). These are your 2013 Houston Astros, who are a far cry from the Astros of the mid-2000’s who signed Andy Pettite, Roger Clemens, traded for Carlos Beltran and made a run at a World Series.  Read the rest of this entry

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