NikeTalk › NikeTalk Forums › The Lounge › Sports & Training › 2016 MLB thread. THE CUBS HAVE BROKEN THE CURSE! Chicago Cubs are your 2016 World Series champions.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2016 MLB thread. THE CUBS HAVE BROKEN THE CURSE! Chicago Cubs are your 2016 World Series champions. - Page 601

post #18001 of 77322
Jose Fernandez deserved to win the ROY just because of the bomb he pimped against Atlanta alone smokin.gif
post #18002 of 77322
If only there were a way to pick up Turner Field and just move it to Oakland, they'd be hyped to have a ballpark like that compared to the dump they play in now.
post #18003 of 77322
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowitness41Dirk View Post

Am I wrong for hoping the odd man out in the Rangers middle infield situation is Elvis?

Should I be writing him off this early?

All depends how you see him...most see him as what you see is what you get and don't see any aspect of his game getting that much better.
post #18004 of 77322
Still not sure why Puig didn't win..
@RazorRamon_
Reply
@RazorRamon_
Reply
post #18005 of 77322
Thread Starter 
Because he didn't deserve it?
post #18006 of 77322
Quote:
Originally Posted by CertifiedFlyBoi23 View Post

Still not sure why Puig didn't win..

Seriously?

I know Miami sucks, but Fernandez was incredible. Cy Young type season.
Instagram: backyardlobo
Reply
Instagram: backyardlobo
Reply
post #18007 of 77322
Don't fall for the hype, Certified. You haven't seen JoFer pitch enough if you think a robbery was committed.

I'm content with both ROY choices.

JoFer, Puig, Ryu.
REAL MADRID - EAGLES - SIXERS - BRUINS
INDIANS - OHIO STATE FOOTBALL - ARIZONA BASKETBALL
Reply
REAL MADRID - EAGLES - SIXERS - BRUINS
INDIANS - OHIO STATE FOOTBALL - ARIZONA BASKETBALL
Reply
post #18008 of 77322

BY6MxhuCAAABeMx.png:large

 

:lol

post #18009 of 77322
Tito pimp.gif
O-H-I-O

CAVALIERS - INDIANS - BROWNS - BUCKEYES
Reply
O-H-I-O

CAVALIERS - INDIANS - BROWNS - BUCKEYES
Reply
post #18010 of 77322
Quote:
Originally Posted by madj55 View Post

If only there were a way to pick up Turner Field and just move it to Oakland, they'd be hyped to have a ballpark like that compared to the dump they play in now.

No doubt.
A T H L E T I C S | U C L A | L A K E R S | R A I D E R S

Reply
A T H L E T I C S | U C L A | L A K E R S | R A I D E R S

Reply
post #18011 of 77322
ok with Tito winning it. well deserved…although i thought ferrell did do a superb job righting our ship. more to work with, though.
Boston Bruins | New England Patriots | Boston Red Sox | Georgetown Hoyas | Michigan Wolverines |
Arsenal FC | Huevos Rancheros Hockey | USMNT
Reply
Boston Bruins | New England Patriots | Boston Red Sox | Georgetown Hoyas | Michigan Wolverines |
Arsenal FC | Huevos Rancheros Hockey | USMNT
Reply
post #18012 of 77322
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinallyFamous View Post

Tito pimp.gif
Definitely well deserved.
Philadelphia Eagles | Michigan State Spartans | Detroit Tigers
Reply
Philadelphia Eagles | Michigan State Spartans | Detroit Tigers
Reply
post #18013 of 77322
Thread Starter 
My MVP and Cy Young picks.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
On Monday, I revealed my rookie of the year ballots (I voted in the National League). Today I wanted to reveal what my ballots would look like for the other major player awards. Again, I only voted for NL ROY, so this is for the purpose of discussion.

National League Cy Young

1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Adam Wainwright
3. Cliff Lee
4. Matt Harvey
5. Jose Fernandez

This one was a rout, and the first-place vote that Wainwright received is quite a bit surprising. Wainwright was a pretty clear No. 2 for me, with Lee third as he was below Wainwright in WAR (per FanGraphs) and pitched in 19 fewer innings.

No starting pitcher has ever won a Cy Young Award for a full season with fewer than 200 innings, so while Harvey may have had a case for a higher spot in his 178 innings (before his season ended with an elbow injury) or Fernandez in his 172 innings (he was shut down due to an innings cap), I couldn't rate either one higher than the three pitchers on the top of my ballot. The New York Mets and Miami Marlins had to backfill the innings Harvey and Fernandez couldn't or weren't permitted to pitch, which costs the team in a way that isn't reflected in any regular or advanced metric.

American League Cy Young

1. Max Scherzer
2. Yu Darvish
3. Chris Sale
4. Felix Hernandez
5. Anibal Sanchez

Scherzer led AL pitchers in FanGraphs' WAR, was 0.3 back of the lead in Baseball Reference's version and led the majors in those filthy pitcher-win thingies, so you'd have to work overtime to put him below first on a ballot.

I think the best case against him is the weak competition he faced, at least compared to non-Tiger pitchers, but putting Darvish or Sale over him seems like a stretch. I did consider the caliber of competition variable when putting those two pitchers over the other Tiger stars; Sale in particular deserves extra consideration, pitching for a bad team with a poor defense behind him in a hitter's park, leading to a losing record that might lead voters to overlook what a great season he had.

Not listed is Hisachi Iwakuma, who led the AL in Baseball Reference's WAR, but was the beneficiary of a fluky-low BABIP and four starts against the Astros.

American League MVP

1. Mike Trout
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Josh Donaldson
4. Chris Davis
5. Evan Longoria
6. Max Scherzer
7. Manny Machado
8. Robinson Cano
9. Dustin Pedroia
10. Yu Darvish

I can't believe we have to do this again, but here we go: Trout was more than two wins better than any other AL player, according to FanGraphs, an enormous gulf that is easily supported by simply looking at basic statistics. Trout trailed Cabrera by 10 points of OBP and 79 points of slugging, but stole 30 more bases than Cabrera, played a tougher position (and played it well while Cabrera played his poorly) and had 60 more plate appearances in which he could continue to deliver value to the Los Angeles Angels.

This is an individual award, and Trout's and Cabrera's teammates are irrelevant to this discussion. Failure to accept that requires an argument from tradition, and those don't fly here.

National League MVP

1. Andrew McCutchen
2. Clayton Kershaw
3. Paul Goldschmidt
4. Carlos Gomez
5. Adam Wainwright
6. Andrelton Simmons
7. Yadier Molina
8. Matt Carpenter
9. Joey Votto
10. Troy Tulowitzki

McCutchen over Goldschmidt is probably the main question in the minds of voters, but this is a simple one: McCutchen had a higher OBP by .003 and a lower slugging by .043 than Goldschmidt, but played a tougher position with plus defense and better baserunning, while Goldschmidt got to play his home games in a better hitters' park. Goldschmidt had a great year, but McCutchen was clearly better.

Kershaw likely won't earn this kind of recognition in the actual balloting, but he's worthy of consideration for the top overall spot, posting the eighth-best WAR (per Baseball Reference) by any pitcher in the past 10 years and leading all NL players this year in that version of the stat.

I know some fans, especially those who still rely on the basic fantasy stats for hitters, will be surprised at the omission of Freddie Freeman, but his case for anything more than a spot at the back of the ballot isn't strong despite his great year. He didn't finish higher than 10th in the NL in either version of WAR, so even if we assume that the advanced defensive metrics (which rate his 2013 performance poorly) don't capture his ability to catch or scoop tough throws, he wouldn't have cracked the top eight for me in the most optimistic reading of his season.

Jimenez fits with Twins, Halos.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I'm not the first to observe that ranking free-agent pitchers is particularly difficult in a year when the market is full of very good second-tier pitchers but arguably lacks a truly dependable ace. Looking at FanGraphs' WAR figures, the top six free-agent pitchers on the market -- A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, Hiroki Kuroda, Ubaldo Jimenez, Ricky Nolasco, and Ervin Santana -- all came in at between 3 and 4 WAR in 2013.

Throw in Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza, Dan Haren, and Tim Hudson, and even if we take it for granted that our group represents the 10 best available pitchers, you could ask 100 different people to put them in order and end up with 100 plausible answers.

With such small differences in perceived talent among those players, even a marginal team-specific variable could be enough to shuffle the order of names on a GM's wish list. And if a team sees the available pitchers as generally interchangeable, its top offseason targets could be determined by the quality of its projected defensive lineup.

As I have argued in more detail elsewhere (with the help of Bruce Springsteen), a big reason run scoring is down is that teams have been much smarter about the types of pitchers they employ based on their parks and quality of defense.

For example, a pitcher who doesn't strike out many batters is most valuable to a team with good defense because he depends more on his fielders to help him get outs. On the other hand, a strikeout-heavy pitcher's value is maximized when he is paired with subpar fielders because he has less to lose from their lackluster defense.

According to the economic principle of comparative advantage, if every team were equal in every way except for the quality of their fielders, the most extreme contact pitcher on the market would sign with the best defensive team, the second-most extreme contact pitcher would sign with the second-best defensive team, and so on. Meanwhile, the best strikeout pitcher would go to the worst defensive team. That way each pitcher is placed where he will be most valuable to his team.

[+] Enlarge
Ed Szczepanski/USA TODAY Sports
Colon would be a disaster pitching in front of certain defenses.
Of course, the real free-agent market is very different from the world of this hypothetical example, but we can still use this framework to analyze which pitchers would be better fits with different types of teams.

Take Burnett (4.0 WAR) and Colon (3.9). FanGraphs sees the two as almost exactly identical in their 2013 values after almost exactly the same number of innings, and in a vacuum there's no wrong answer to the question of whom you'd rather have in 2014.

But Burnett walked, hit or struck out almost twice as many batters (285) as Colon (146) this year, and as a result opposing hitters put 99 more balls into play against Colon than Burnett in 32 fewer opportunities. Similar talent levels, completely different modus operandi. As a result, a team with an especially good (or bad) defense could see Burnett and Colon as equals yet have a strong preference to sign Colon (or Burnett).

Burnett and Colon may provide the starkest illustration of this effect, but by consulting a few of the best defensive metrics, we can speculate on some ideal landing spots for free-agent pitchers of different molds.

The strikeout pitcher: Ubaldo Jimenez
He struck out more than a batter per inning in 2013 (behind only Burnett among free agents, who will almost certainly either retire or stay with the Pirates), and has sat at an 8.2 K/9 or above in four out of his last five seasons.

The Indians would love to keep him, and given that they ranked in the bottom eight in baseball in 2013 in both DRS and UZR, his strikeout skills would make him more valuable to the Tribe than he would be to most clubs. Beyond Cleveland, it is unclear that the market for him is being rationally optimized, according to DIPS matching.

Of the teams MLB Trade Rumors' Steve Adams suggests as comprising Jimenez's likely market, only the Angels and Twins fit the profile of defensive laggards; his strikeout talents -- relatively speaking -- would be somewhat wasted if he were playing in front of the solid-to-excellent defenses of the Pirates, Brewers, Orioles, Giants or Yankees.

The "average" pitcher: Dan Haren
The league-average strikeout rate for pitchers in 2013 was almost 20 percent; coincidentally, Haren is at 20 percent over the last three years, and the Steamer projection system has him right back there in 2014.

There hasn't been much reliable speculation about where he might land this winter, but in terms of ranking as similarly average in defense, the Mets, Padres and Blue Jays would all appear to be good fits.

The contact pitcher: Tim Hudson
He isn't quite Colon in his proclivity for letting batters put the ball in play, but the last time he struck out more than seven batters per inning, Mark McGwire still held the single-season home run record.

Hudson is already finding a strong market for himself as at least eight teams have checked in on him. Looking at the teams we know to be interested, a return to the Braves would make sense given their strong defense, as would moving to Boston, Texas, San Francisco or especially Kansas City, but it's hard to imagine him maximizing his value by being paired with the defenses of Cleveland or Oakland.

It will take a lot more than individual strikeout rates and teams' defensive ratings to determine who signs whom on the free agent-pitching market this winter -- that there are so many plausible mismatch signings just in these three examples shows that they are not the dominant factors in how the market is sorted.

But in a market this tightly packed, there will undoubtedly be situations in which teams don't see major differences between two or three pitchers they might sign. And in those cases, they'd be smart to let the composition of their defensive lineups make the decisions for them.

MLB trying to prevent NFL-type lawsuits.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
When the topic of catcher collisions was raised in a meeting of general managers the other day, the sentiment in the room "was 100 percent," according to one official: The rules need to be changed. Nobody bothered arguing for the status quo, said several officials.

But now Major League Baseball will race against the clock in order to make the changes for 2014, and there is much work to be done. The new rules -- which could mirror those used at the amateur level that all but eliminate collisions at the plate -- must be determined. A system of redress must be created, for umpires within games and for Major League Baseball in case of an egregious offense worthy of suspension.

Joe Torre, the executive vice president of Major League Baseball, told the general managers that he will reach out to Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny -- both former big league catchers -- who have both been vocal in their call for a rule change, to help redefine what can or should not happen on plays at the plate.

Any new rules or intended enforcement will have to be reviewed and approved by the players' association, and given that a primary impetus for the whole discussion is player safety, it’s hard to imagine the union would present a major roadblock.

One official said it might not come together quickly enough for a change in 2014. But a really smart team lawyer noted Wednesday evening that because Major League Baseball has acknowledged the need for change, and the unwanted risk to players on plays at the plate, the potential liability for the sport has risen if the current rules remained in place for next season.

"Now, there isn’t really a choice but for them to get it changed for next year," said the lawyer. "Everybody has said that there needs to be a change [in the rules], and if somebody gets hurt [in 2014] they could sue and claim that Major League Baseball knew there was a problem and didn’t do anything about it."

Baseball executives have privately lobbied for a rule change because of player safety and because of the cost of injuries that stem from collisions, such as Buster Posey’s season-ending injury in 2011. But execs also have cited the concussion-related lawsuits aimed at the National Football League by former players.

Around the league

• Teams are rushing to make their best deals in the secondary pitching market, for those not named Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez or Matt Garza -- pitchers who could require less than a five-year or four-year deal. This is why Tim Hudson is getting good play, and why Bronson Arroyo is in an excellent position to make a deal with either the Minnesota Twins or the San Francisco Giants.

The Twins have made it clear to others that they want to sign two good veteran starters, and they’re making a push for Arroyo. It could be that they’re involved with Ricky Nolasco, who fits their prototype; one rival executive has been told that Nolasco has at least one offer of three years, with the same team indicating a willingness to perhaps go to a fourth year.

The agent who represents Nolasco, Matt Sosnick, would not comment about the specific offers for Nolasco or about which team is willing to go to a fourth year. He did not rule out the possibility that Nolasco could return to the Dodgers.

"We’ve said all along that Ricky’s first choice would be to re-sign with the Dodgers, if they’re interested," said Sosnick.

The market for short-term deals on relievers is also said to be very stout, with teams looking to buy low on guys, as the Rays have in recent seasons. The Royals have talked internally about pursuing Joba Chamberlain -- and given the past relationship of pitching coach Dave Eiland with Chamberlain, there could be a match.

• The Royals want to sign Josh Johnson because he has a chance to be the same type of investment that Ervin Santana was last season. Johnson, who will try to rebuild his value in 2014, will require only a one-year deal, and if healthy and productive, he could help front a rotation.

• The Padres have not spoken with Chase Headley about a possible long-term deal this offseason, and there are currently no plans for negotiations.

• Sources say free agent infielder Jhonny Peralta is looking for a huge deal -- much more than three years, $45 million. Peralta did not receive a qualifying offer from the Tigers, so any team that signs him does not need to forfeit a draft pick. Stephen Drew, the other top shortstop on the free-agent market, received a qualifying offer from the Red Sox, which makes Peralta more appealing in that regard.

• The Giants are looking for a left fielder in free agency, and they have no interest in trading Pablo Sandoval. By the way: The Panda is set to work out in Venezuela.

• Scott Boras tweaked the Mets, as Tim Rohan writes.

The Mets are among the teams bidding on Nelson Cruz, writes Kristie Ackert. David Wright wants the Mets to follow the Red Sox model, writes Marc Carig.

• Hal Steinbrenner is taking a more active role in the operation of the Yankees, writes Joel Sherman.

Wrote here in September about how the Yankees and Brendan Ryan could be a match for 2014 because of the team’s need to build safety nets in the event that Derek Jeter isn’t ready.

Cy Young aftermath

• Max Scherzer won the Cy Young, and Mark Simon explains why he was so good. Scherzer won the award without having a complete game, writes Tyler Kepner.

Scherzer could be gone, writes Jeff Seidel.

If Scherzer actually was traded this winter, it would be a shocker, because Detroit is a win-now team and Scherzer is a difference-making player whose production would be difficult to replace in 2014.

Scherzer is open to talking about a contract extension, writes Tom Gage.

Hisashi Iwakuma finished third.

• Scherzer is the fifth AL pitcher in the wild-card era (since 1995) to start the All-Star Game and win the Cy Young in the same season. The other four are Randy Johnson (1995 Mariners), Pedro Martinez (1999 Red Sox), Roger Clemens (2001 Yankees) and Cliff Lee (2008 Indians).

• Yu Darvish (second) and Hisashi Iwakuma (third) are the first Japanese pitchers to ever finish in the top three of the Cy Young voting. The previous high finish was fourth -- Hideo Nomo twice (1995-96) and Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2008.

Clayton Kershaw joined Sandy Koufax in elite Dodger company. Kershaw also joined Koufax (1962-66) and Greg Maddux (1993-95) as the only pitchers to lead the NL in ERA in three straight seasons.

• Andrew McCutchen is the heavy favorite to win the NL MVP.

Moves, deals and decisions

1. The Orioles aren’t going to trade J.J. Hardy or Matt Wieters anytime soon, writes Peter Schmuck.

2. Jonny Venters signed for 2014.

3. The Marlins might trade pitching for a hitter.

4. Nick Punto signed with the Athletics, writes Susan Slusser.

5. The Dodgers hired Roy Clark.

Dings and dents

1. Dustin Pedroia had his thumb surgery.

AL East

• Brian Wilson doesn’t want to shave, and so the Yankees are passing.

• John Gibbons is still disappointed about what took place with the Blue Jays in 2014.

AL Central

• Chris Sale is in demand.

AL West

• Yu Darvish is closing in on an enormous payday, writes Gerry Fraley.

• Rangers owner Ray Davis, who is becoming much more active in the operation of his team, is representing Texas at the owners’ meetings.

NL East

• Ruben Amaro struck quickly to reel in Marlon Byrd, writes Matt Gelb.

NL Central

• Troy Tulowitzki would be too expensive for the Cardinals, writes Bernie Miklasz.

• Scott Boras says he hasn’t met the Cubs' owners.

NL West

• Dave Duncan is joining the Diamondbacks.

10 biggest holes on contenders.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
A year ago, Marlon Byrd was coming off a season in which he had been suspended for the use of performance-enhancing drugs and was limited to just 47 games, and he eventually settled for a make-good minor league deal with the New York Mets.

Now he's 36 years old and getting a $16 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, which speaks to the level of desperation in play for teams wanting to get better, needing to get better.

As baseball executives meet in Orlando this week for the GM meetings, these are the 10 biggest holes that have to be filled among would-be contenders:

1. Texas Rangers: middle-of-the-order bats

Josh Hamilton walked away a year ago, Nelson Cruz is prepared to walk away now, and the Rangers -- who have historically posted top-notch, productive lineups in the way Duke has had good basketball teams -- have a problem. With Cruz, they clubbed 176 homers last season, and without him, they will lack thump.

This is why Brian McCann could make sense for them, or Carlos Beltran, or both. This is why they could be the best match for the Dodgers for an outfielder trade. This is why rival executives believe that if and when Giancarlo Stanton is traded, the Rangers will be at the front of the line and sticking their elbows out.

The Rangers are focusing on upgrading the offense, writes Jeff Wilson.

2. Kansas City Royals: starting pitcher

Ervin Santana is asking for a lot of money, making it highly unlikely that he'll return to the Royals. But if they're going to make the same kind of step forward that the Pirates made last season and reach the playoffs, they're going to need to replace at least a heavy share of Santana's indispensable production. The right-hander accounted for 211 innings, with a 3.24 ERA.

Maybe this means signing someone like Tim Hudson, or taking a two-year gamble on Bartolo Colon. But they'll need somebody, because Wade Davis was a disappointment and because the young prospects who could help in years to come don't appear to be ready.

Kansas City is willing to lose a draft pick to sign a player who makes sense. From Bob Dutton's story:
The Royals are, at this point, unwilling to go beyond three years for any free agent, which effectively eliminates outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo from consideration.

It might also kill their chance to retain pitcher Ervin Santana, who wants $100 million over five years. Even if his price drops, as many in the industry suspect, to $60 million over four years, the Royals are still likely to pass.

For deals of three years or less, however, Moore appears to possess sufficient payroll flexibility to add two significant contracts of, say, $15 million per year.

One of those deals, if the Royals stick to their stated priorities, will be a starting pitcher, i.e, either retaining Santana or finding a replacement such as Tim Hudson, Phil Hughes or Josh Johnson.

They'd like the other one to be an outfielder who represents a significant upgrade over a David Lough/Justin Maxwell platoon.

3. St. Louis Cardinals: shortstop

They reached the playoffs in 2012 with Pete Kozma filling in, and made it to the World Series in 2013 without finding an upgrade. But the time has come for them to find a long-term solution, which is why they're searching for a young shortstop -- at a time when there are few to be had.

On paper, there would seem to be a possible match with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a deal for Didi Gregorius, a strong defender who could be superfluous with the emergence of Chris Owings; Arizona is looking for pitching depth, and, as written here last week, a way to structure a deal with the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija and Nate Schierholtz.

4. New York Yankees: No. 3 hitter

As of today, the top of their lineup looks like this:

CF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
1B Mark Teixeira
LF Alfonso Soriano

They must wait for Robinson Cano's representatives to speak to other clubs, and while the Yankees expect to have further dialogue with the All-Star second baseman, they are cognizant that some team might drop into the conversation in the way that the Angels did with Albert Pujols and alter the whole landscape.

Could the Rangers, who could start Cano at second, move Ian Kinsler to first and market Jurickson Profar for somebody like Giancarlo Stanton, be that team? Could it be the Mariners?

General Manager Brian Cashman believes Cano will go to the highest bidder, as Mark Feinsand writes.

5. Cleveland Indians: starting pitcher

Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir combined for almost 350 innings, and while the Indians are excited about Danny Salazar's potential, they need at least one established veteran to help to plug a rotation hole.

6. Los Angeles Angels: rotation help

They finished 22nd in starters' ERA last season and won't win the AL West unless that gets better. The problem is that they don't have a lot of payroll flexibility, which is why GM Jerry Dipoto is weighing interest in Mark Trumbo and others. There is some speculation that the Angels might target David Price.

7. Arizona Diamondbacks: starting pitcher

Trevor Cahill was acquired two winters ago to be someone who could lead a rotation and he has been less than that, and Ian Kennedy was such a disappointment last season that he was moved to the San Diego Padres.

The Diamondbacks need someone who can front their rotation in 2014, along with Patrick Corbin, and help to buy time for top prospect Archie Bradley. This is why they are picking up the threads of their midsummer talks with the Cubs and resuming their pursuit of Samardzija. He isn't a star, in the way that Price is, but they can afford Samardzija; they cannot afford Price.

8. Detroit Tigers: closer

Drew Smyly will step into a rotation that will be strong again, regardless of whether the Tigers deal Rick Porcello or (less likely) Max Scherzer, who will win the AL Cy Young Award Wednesday. But the Tigers' revolving door of closers never stopped last year, and Joe Nathan would be a perfect short-term solution for a team that's in win-now mode.

9. Boston Red Sox: catcher

Boston is working to address this quickly, and sources say the Red Sox have offers out on catchers, including Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The defending champions are among the teams bidding on Carlos Ruiz -- although sources indicate they have not yet made an offer in the $20 million range.

The Rockies also are in on the bidding on Ruiz, as Troy Renck writes.

10. San Francisco Giants: rotation

They paid big dollars to retain Tim Lincecum, but still need at least one more veteran to improve a unit that struggled badly in 2013. If they make a competitive offer to Bronson Arroyo, they may well have the inside track on the right-hander.

10a. Oakland Athletics: rotation

Colon finished second in the AL in ERA last season at 2.65, and threw the third-fewest pitches per inning. He'll probably be too expensive for the Athletics to re-sign, so they'll need somebody to step into his spot.

If they can sign a veteran, they'll be in position to trade Brett Anderson, who has pitched in only 22 games the past two seasons but is still just 25 years old.

Around the league

• The Phillies are doing a lot of stuff, and in keeping with Ruben Amaro's history, the moves are swift and aggressive: They signed Marlon Byrd to a two-year, $16 million deal, and they are reportedly discussing a swap of young slugger Domonic Brown for All-Star Jose Bautista.

Bautista is 33 years old and has missed 114 games the past two seasons, and is under contract at $14 million annually for each of the next two years with a club option of $14 million for 2016. Brown is 26 years old and coming off a season in which he hit 27 homers and posted a .324 on-base percentage.

If this trade talk is real and actually made, it'll be a case of two teams trying to deal a player before his respective value sinks. There would be no other reason for the Phillies to trade a younger, cheaper player for a veteran with a significant injury history.

Wednesday morning, a lot of cold water was being thrown on the idea of a Bautista-Brown trade.

• Nelson Cruz is a star attraction at the GM meetings.

• The Dodgers are talking with other teams about outfielders, from Carl Crawford to Yasiel Puig.

• Clint Hurdle was named NL Manager of the Year. Terry Francona edged out John Farrell for AL honors. Big-market bias was the reason that Farrell lost, writes John Tomase.

• Astonishingly, Turner Field will be demolished when the Braves depart -- after only 20 years. The mayor gave no specifics about what will happen.

• Mark DeRosa announced his retirement.

• As expected, the conversation about banning home plate collisions is moving forward. Sources said that the sentiment within the room of general managers was "100 percent -- unanimous" in favor of making the change. But they will be fighting the clock in coming up with a new set of rules, from how to change the plays at the plate to how to render penalties for those who violate the rules.

Moves, deals and decisions

1. Roy Clark left the Nationals to join the Dodgers.

2. Paul Konerko likely has a spot with the White Sox next season if he wants it, writes Colleen Kane.

3. The Reds hired a couple of coaches.

4. Bronson Arroyo is talking about a three-year deal with the Twins.

5. Minnesota signed Jason Bartlett.

6. There could be an Astros-Jose Veras reunion.

7. Boston signed a Cuban defector.

NL East

• The Mets face pressure to sign veterans, writes Ken Davidoff.

• Mike Rizzo is open to upgrades, writes Adam Kilgore.

NL Central

• The Cardinals have a lot of options.

• Bill Mueller is a candidate to be the hitting coach for the Cubs.

NL West

• Jeff Sanders ranks the Padres' relief prospects.

AL East

• The Rays are not planning an offseason shopping spree.

• The Jays are looking for Brandon Morrow to rebound.

• David Ortiz's deal looks like a bargain in the current climate, writes Rob Bradford.

AL Central

• The Indians are looking for an assistant hitting coach.

AL West

• The Rangers hired two coaches they know well.

HOF logjam suggests new rules needed.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Very soon, the Hall of Fame ballot will arrive, with these players who I believe are Hall of Fame worthy:

Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Greg Maddux, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Mike Mussina, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Frank Thomas.

I think you also could make a heck of a case for Edgar Martinez, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell.

That's 16 players I'd definitely vote for, and three others I'd like to continue consider within the shifting landscape of who is already in the Hall of Fame.

But in the end, my ballot will almost certainly look something like this at the time I mail it in in December.

1. Barry Bonds
2. Greg Maddux
3. Roger Clemens
4. Mike Piazza
5. Tom Glavine
6. Rafael Palmeiro
7. Frank Thomas
8. Jeff Bagwell
9. Craig Biggio
10. Jack Morris

For the first time, I will not be voting for Mark McGwire, who I suspect will be in jeopardy of receiving less than 5 percent of the vote for the first time in his candidacy this winter. I will not be voting for Schilling, who I absolutely think is a Hall of Famer, with his outstanding regular-season numbers bolstered by his 11-2 record and 2.23 ERA in the postseason. I won't be voting for Raines, despite having voted for him in recent seasons. I won't be voting for Mussina or Kent, two players I hope to vote for in the future.

The flip-flops won't be because I like to change my mind. It's because under the rules of the Hall of Fame voting, writers are permitted to vote for only 10 players in a given year, and because candidates from the steroid era are getting stacked up, like jets on a runway.

I've explained here in the past that I vote for the best players from the era, regardless of established or suspected links to performance-enhancing drugs, given the failure of the entire institution of baseball to address the problem for more than a decade. I believe -- but can't prove, one way or the other -- that an enormous percentage of players were using PEDs, and that we cannot retroactively punish players for doing something that the sport implicitly condoned with inaction. For me, the PED issue is all about context.

But I'm in the minority on that, which is why the names of McGwire, Palmeiro, Bonds, Clemens, etc. keep returning to the ballot. There is no resolution, no final yes or no.

So, in filling out my ballot, I'm like the air traffic controller trying to figure out a fair and equitable way to line up everybody -- and I suspect there is a growing number of writers who are dealing with the same issue.

The problem is that those who are hurt, more than anybody, are some of the candidates who aren't first-ballot, slam dunk, no-brainer choices.

Maddux is an easy first-ballot choice, with a career ERA+ of 132, four Cy Young Awards, 18 Gold Glove Awards and 355 career wins. So is Glavine, with his 305 victories and six top-three finishes in the Cy Young voting, including two first-place finishes.

But Mussina's candidacy is not quite as overwhelming, nor is that of Kent -- nor Morris, who is in his last year of eligibility.

Because we are restricted to voting to 10 players per year, I've got to leave off some players who I think are Hall of Fame worthy, and depending on how I handle the ballot, there might not really be an opportunity to consider a Trammell, Smith or Martinez.

In the end, I'm pretty sure I'm going to post the names of the best players on the ballot -- and in the absence of PED consideration, that would begin with Bonds, unquestionably, and include Clemens, Piazza, Palmeiro and others who probably don't have a shot at being elected. I'm posting Morris among the 10 because it's his last year on the ballot, and given that I've voted for him in the past, I'd like him to have one last, best shot, after polling at 67.7 percent last year.

But this is only how I'm handling the surplus of candidates; other writers who are similarly conflicted will handle it differently, which means there will be a lack of consensus that damages the candidacy of individual players.

Over the past decade, more and more former players have talked about how their peers who used performance-enhancing drugs damaged all of the players from the era.

In a roundabout way, because of the ballot restrictions, the same thing is happening again: The presence of the PED users is hurting the non-users.

Tyler Kepner, longtime baseball writer for the New York Times, became the latest to raise the idea of opening up the ballot to more than 10 spots in the latest meeting of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, at the World Series. I emailed yesterday and asked him to explain why.

He responded that the use of 10 spots has "always seemed like an arbitrary cut-off point, and strikes me as unfair to both the voters and the candidates. It's true that only 22 percent of the voters used all 10 slots last year. But think about it -- since nobody made it last year, that means at least 22 percent of the voters will have to drop someone they deemed worthy of the Hall of Fame last year in order to accommodate any newcomers.

"So you're left with the choice of leaving off deserving newcomers like Maddux/Glavine/Thomas/etc. and voting the same way you did last year, or dropping someone who was worthy of the honor a year ago just to follow the 10-man-limit rule. That doesn't seem right. The only question any voter should have to consider is whether a player is worthy of the Hall of Fame: yes or no, that's it."

I completely agree with Tyler. Each player should be judged on his own merits, not how he's lined up on the ballot relative to other candidates.

Around the league

• Ervin Santana is among the players who must decide today whether to accept a qualifying offer.

• The major awards will be announced this week. Clint Hurdle has been a positive force for the Pirates. Wil Myers is favored to win the AL Rookie of the Year.

• Derrick Goold has been writing about the possibility of more talks between the Cardinals and Rockies over Troy Tulowitzki for many weeks, and as the GM meetings begin, it's worth reviewing the pros and cons for St. Louis and Colorado.

The Cards are looking for a shortstop, of course, and Tulowitzki would fit that need. But he is owed $130 million through the 2020 season, a staggering sum of money -- and over the past four seasons, injuries have limited him to 122, 143, 47 and 126 games. (He also missed 61 games in 2008.)

Tulowitzki, now 29 years old, is the face of the Rockies franchise, the star. They cannot simply give him away -- and given the amount of money owed to him and his injury history, the Cardinals aren't going to be eager to hand over a boatload of prospects.

So unless the Rockies decide they just want to dump the contract, and are willing to eat a significant portion, reaching a deal would be a challenge for both sides.

It'd be a lot simpler (i.e., with a lot less risk) for the Cardinals to target one of the younger, cheaper shortstops who are available, such as the D-Backs' Didi Gregorius.

The Cardinals have seen their shortstop search coming.

• Catchers will be a hot topic at the GM meetings.

NL East

• The Phillies have plenty of holes to fill.

NL Central

• Bronson Arroyo has called Cincinnati home.

• Don't expect Theo Epstein to gamble on free agents.

NL West

• The Dodgers could be talking about some big names.

AL East

• There is a caveat to signing Carlos Beltran.

• Ben Cherington has made the right calls, writes Scott Lauber.

AL Central

• Three Tigers prospects have gained experience in the Arizona Fall League.

AL West

• The Rangers are talking about middle infielders.

Five players to avoid this winter.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Unless you're that neighbor, your Halloween decorations were taken down a week ago, leaving your home free of ghosts, zombies, green witches in need of a dermatologist and slowly rotting pumpkins. You might be thinking ahead to turkey and mashed potatoes, but baseball's decision-makers still have their own haunted house to get through.
Baseball's offseason is full of opportunity, but also fraught with peril for general managers. These terrors won't stalk you and your friends with a chainsaw through a Victorian mansion on a dark, rainy night -- probably not even Scott Boras -- but many will give front offices a serious case of buyer's remorse.

Several players in particular stand out to me as possibilities that should be run away from, as quickly as possible, even if they're not wearing a hockey mask or brandishing an ax.


Brandon Phillips | 2B | Cincinnati Reds
It's no secret at this point that the Reds are interested in moving Phillips in the offseason. While he has been a key part of Cincinnati's lineup in recent years and signed his current contract extension just a year and a half ago, there has been tension between Phillips and the Reds, partly stemming from contract negotiations that were heated at times.

Cincinnati believes that Phillips would fetch an impressive return on the market, and that's where the problem lies. On the surface, Phillips' résumé looks impressive. He just won his fourth Gold Glove and finished with 18 homers and his first career 100-RBI season. But as usual, the devil is in the details.

A .706 OPS was the lowest for Phillips in a full season in his career, more than a 100-point drop-off from his .810 OPS just two years ago. Phillips did hit very well with runners in scoring position (.338/.404/.469), but those kind of situational splits aren't something that players ever keep up on a long-term basis, so that can hardly factor into a decision to trade for Phillips.

Add in his age (33 by next year's All-Star Game) and the $50 million remaining on his contract, and you have a player who may well be worth the cash, but not worth a significant prospect haul. Even in a weak free-agent market for second basemen, it's better to either go after Omar Infante or try to fill another hole.


Kendrys Morales | 1B/DH | Free agent
He was one of the bright spots on a 91-loss Mariners team, hitting .277/.336/.449 and, perhaps even more important, he stayed healthy, playing in a career-high 156 games in 2013. Morales isn't quite over the hill yet -- he turns 31 next season but he's not exactly a guy you get defensive value from -- and can help a team, but the problem comes down to dollars.

Morales turned down Seattle's qualifying offer, essentially turning down a one-year, $14 million contract, suggesting that he's not going to come as a bargain for his next franchise. Factor in that you lose a high draft pick in order to bring in Morales, and it's hard to justify the type of contract he'll initially be demanding this winter.

For a guy who is going to cost you a pretty penny and a draft pick, he's a poor target.



Los Angeles Dodgers outfielders
Yes, this technically refers to three players, but no more than one of them will be moved this offseason. The Dodgers' outfield is very crowded, with Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford all signed to expensive, long-term deals. Puig isn't going anywhere, but the other three are likely all available at the right price.

The problem is, all three are substantially less valuable players and substantially more expensive than they were three years ago. The player with the highest upside, Matt Kemp, has seen both his offense and defense decline sharply after a series of injuries, and has $128 million remaining on his contract. Ethier has essentially become a good platoon outfielder with $71.5 million in guaranteed salary left on his deal. And despite Crawford's "comeback season," a .283/.329/.407 line with solid defense in left, he's not worth $82.5 million over the next four years.

The Dodgers are willing to eat some salary, but just how much would they have to eat? I ran projections through the ZiPS projection system, and for each player just to be worth acquiring in return for nothing, ZiPS estimates the Dodgers would have to eat $51 million for Kemp, $40 million for Crawford and $38 million for Ethier. Los Angeles has a lot of cash, but if it has to eat this much salary, the club is going to expect something of value in return. If someone else wants to make an expensive gamble, let them.


Jarrod Saltalamacchia | C | Free agent
Saltalamacchia hits free agency at a good time, still on the sunny side of 30, coming off a career-best .273/.338/.466 line, and the only catcher clearly better on the market, Brian McCann, is set to make a lot more money. Still, he's a player who is likely to be overrated.

He has good extra-base power, but his line was boosted by a .372 BABIP in 2013, something he's not going to be able to do going forward. While he's also a better defensive player than he once was, and his problems throwing are behind him, he's still merely an adequate option behind the plate and baserunners aren't afraid of him.

For a team looking for a stopgap backstop, an older catcher who won't require a long contract, such as A.J. Pierzynski or Carlos Ruiz, makes more sense.


Ricky Nolasco | RHP | Free agent
Ted DiBiase (the Million Dollar Man of the WWE), a great philosopher of the past, once told us that "every man has a price." Unfortunately, Nolasco's price, at least initially, appears to be $80 million. Nolasco's a dependable innings-eater, but not much more than that. While his FIP is always better than his ERA, when you're talking long periods rather than a season, ERA becomes a better predictor of future ERA than FIP.

After five seasons of Nolasco underperforming his peripherals, frequently by drastic amounts, it would be a mistake to think that success is right around the corner for him. Even his 3.70 ERA in 2013, his best since 2008, is only slightly better than average for a pitcher in Dodger Stadium.

The nature of the free-agent market means that if you're going to get one of the better starters, you're probably going to end up overpaying. If you're doomed to overpay for a quality starter, overpay for one with tantalizing upside, such as Masahiro Tanaka or Ubaldo Jimenez. Nolasco may actually get in the neighborhood of his $80 million, but make sure it's not from your team.

How Mets can make playoffs.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
With the mega-contracts to Johan Santana and Jason Bay finally off of the books, and David Wright and Jonathon Niese now the New York Mets' only players signed to long-term contracts, the club can spend close to $50 million toward 2014's payroll without exceeding last year's relatively frugal $93 million payroll.
Remember, this is a team that had a payroll of $142 million as recently as 2011. In other words, the Mets have room to spend even if you factor in the owner's financial woes, and, perhaps more surprisingly, a realistic chance of making the playoffs if they do.

The myth of certainty
According to 2014 Steamer projections, the Mets can expect to win 75 games if they stand pat. Depending on how you perform the calculations, baseball teams appear to be spending anywhere from $6 million to $7 million per win on the open market.

Therefore, if the Mets spend $50 to $60 million on free agents they might reasonably expect to improve by eight wins. The problem, of course, is that if a 75-win team improves by eight games, it's still only an 83-win team and 83 wins won't get the Mets into the playoffs.

While this argument seems quite reasonable, it wildly overestimates how much we actually know about the future quality of any team and underestimates the fickle nature of the game.

[+] Enlarge
Adam Rubin/ESPN
Noah Syndergaard was among the top pitchers in the minors in 2013.
Each year, Vegas forecasters, along with a number of prognosticators and baseball writers, project the win totals for each team. Vegas and the best of the forecasters are typically off, either high or low, by about seven games. To be clear, I'm not just stating that an occasional surprise team ends up seven wins better or worse than expected, rather that expert predictions of win totals are off by seven wins, on average -- sometimes they do much worse.

While an 83-win team won't make the playoffs, a team expected to win 83 games just well might. The question then becomes: How much can the Mets improve their chances by spending $50 million and adding eight wins and, would they benefit considerably less than a team projected to be stronger?

To answer this question let's compare the Mets with two ostensibly superior teams, first the San Francisco Giants, who are projected to improve and win 87 games next year and, second, the Boston Red Sox, who are expected to maintain their excellence and win 94 games.

Based on 5,000 simulations of the season, and taking into account the inherent uncertainty in projections of team outcomes, the Mets, as currently constituted, are projected to win their division 10.5 percent of the time and to win a wild card 3.5 percent of the time. This gives them roughly a 12 percent chance to play in the division series. Meanwhile, the Giants and Red Sox are projected to have a 39 percent chance and a 68 percent chance of playing in the division series, respectively.

But what happens when we give each team an additional eight wins? The Mets now play in the division series 34 percent of the time. The souped-up Giants and Red Sox play in the division series 67 percent and 88 percent of the time, respectively. According to the simulations, the Giants, a quality but not an elite team, gained the most from their imagined spending binge, improving their chances of making the division series by 26 percent.

The Mets, however, weren't that far behind, improving their division series chances by 22 percent and edging out the Sox, who improved by 20 percent. In other words, while the Mets' chances aren't as good as those of the Giants or Red Sox, signing free agents improves their playoff chances by a comparable amount. While risk and uncertainty are generally seen as negatives, to a team that projects to be not quite good enough, risk and uncertainty are dear friends.

Bats to target: Getting more from less
While it seems to be almost a truism that you ought to put your best players on the field as often and for as long as possible, there are in fact situations where you can get more value from players by playing them less. For instance, Mitchel Lichtman recently made a compelling case that teams would increase their chances of winning by pulling starting pitchers -- even aces in the middle of dominating performances – earlier in games.

[+] Enlarge
Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sport
Much of David Murphy's poor 2013 season can be explained by a .227 BABIP.
This year's free agents present two opportunities for the Mets to get more for less. Shin-Soo Choo was a valuable player in 2013, to the tune of 5.2 WAR, despite being asked to do two things he simply can't do very well: play center field and hit left-handed pitching.

The Mets could counterintuitively extract more value from Choo by asking him to do less both offensively and defensively, playing him in an outfield corner and pairing him with a lesser right-handed bat who can start against tough left-handed pitching. Andrew Brown or, if his improved 2013 minor league performance proves real, Cesar Puello could provide a suitable right-handed bat.

While at first blush, using Choo, who looks to command upwards of $15 million annually, in a more limited role appears wasteful, it plays to Choo's strength, his ability to pound right-handed pitching, while minimizing his weaknesses (Choo has a career .932 OPS against right-handed pitchers and a career .680 OPS against left-handed pitchers). Similarly, Stephen Drew (career .876 OPS vs. RHP and .585 OPS vs. LHP) could be better utilized with the help of a caddie who hits from the right side of the plate and the Mets have such a player on hand in Ruben Tejada.

In the other outfield corner, the Mets should take a chance on David Murphy who, coming off an abysmal 2013 season, should be available for a modest price. The good news is that Murphy's strikeout rate and power numbers still resemble those of his finer seasons, making him a good candidate to rebound. Like Choo, he could benefit from sitting against left-handed pitching but, unlike Choo, he is a plus defensively and projects as a defensive upgrade over the speedier Eric Young Jr.

Best pitchers we haven't seen
In 1985, Bill James introduced the idea of calculating major league equivalents (MLEs) from minor league statistics to predict well how minor league players will perform in the majors. Based on their MLEs, Mets right-handed pitching prospects Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero were the second- and fifth-best young pitchers in the minors last year -- with MLE kwERA's of 3.67 and 3.79, respectively.

In fact, with Matt Harvey out for the year, Syndergaard and Montero project to be the Mets' best starting pitchers. Last year's list of the top 10 MLE's among young pitchers included Dan Straily, Shelby Miller, Tony Cingrani and Jose Fernandez, each of whom burst on to the scene in 2013.

In addition to Syndergaard and Montero, the Mets have capable arms in Niese and Dillon Gee along with promising young arms in Zack Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia. Given the Mets' depth of young arms, giving a long-term deal to a veteran pitcher such as Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco or Ubaldo Jimenez, would be particularly unwise. A short-term deal with a risky but high-upside starter, however, would fit the Mets' needs. Remember, for the 2014 Mets, risk is a friend.
Ya gotta believe!
Based on Steamer's WAR projections, the Mets can improve by 10 wins for roughly $50 million.

Player POS AAV* (yrs) WAR
S. Choo RF $16.2M (5) 2.9
S. Drew SS $11M (3) 2.0
D. Murphy LF $6.4M (2) 2.4
J. Johnson SP $10M (2) 2.3
J. Crain RP $6M (2) 1.1
Total $49.6 M 10.7
*AAV=average annual salary
Of those kinds of pitchers, Josh Johnson, Dan Haren and Scott Kazmir are the best candidates. Johnson and Haren are terrific candidates to bounce back from uncharacteristically poor seasons and Kazmir's injury history combined with his resurgent 2013 season, make him the epitome of a high-variance pitcher.

The Mets face a similar situation with their bullpen, which has its share of capable and promising arms but little star power. Here too the Mets would be wise to roll the dice, perhaps by offering Jesse Crain a modest short-term deal rather than spending more for an established closer.

One possible free-agent haul
In the table to the right I have outlined five potential free-agent signings that would add more than eight wins to the Mets' ledger and cost less than $50 million. The hypothetical salaries shown below are from FanGraphs' contract-crowdsourcing project and the projected Wins above Replacement (WAR) are based on 2014 Steamer projections. This is, of course, merely one possible path of many.

With aggressive spending it's possible for the Mets to bring back hope and, yes, even have a realistic shot at the playoffs. They can do so without locking up significant amounts of money long term, without trading away young cost-controlled players and, thanks to their 2013 record, without losing a first-round draft pick. For the Mets, the proverbial next year may finally be here.
post #18014 of 77322
Thread Starter 
Rumors.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Peralta and Mets not a great fit?
November, 14, 2013
NOV 14
3:01
PM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET1COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
On Tuesday night, the New York Mets sat down with Jhonny Peralta to begin the negotiation process and see if the two sides might end up being a good fit.It's not typical for free agents to attend the annual GM Meetings, but given Peralta's 50-game suspension last season due to his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, it probably didn't hurt the shortstop's cause.

No deal was struck, but even if the talks went well, the fact that Peralta's asking price is in the range of $45 million for three years might cause the Mets to balk on pursuing Peralta. The Mets are also believed to be interested in Nelson Cruz and Curtis Granderson, but it would be premature to say that the team is ready to make any offers to any free agents at this time.


Adam Rubin
That's all from the GM Meetings
"They began meeting with teams considering acquiring Ike Davis, with the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros all having had at least preliminary dialogue with the Mets, according to team sources. The Mets may also deal Daniel Murphy this offseason. He is due for a salary of about $5.1 million next year and is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season. If Murphy is dealt -- not a foregone conclusion, unless it can address other needs -- Eric Young Jr. potentially could slide to second base."
Tags:Curtis Granderson, New York Mets, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta
Yankees exploring all options
November, 14, 2013
NOV 14
2:18
PM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET2COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
While the New York Yankees are expected to be quite active in free agency this winter, with the team very likely to make offers to Brian McCann and at least one of the top outfielders on the market, don't expect any huge announcements just yet.

For now, the Yankees are prepared to take their time before plunging into a spending spree. To that end, the team is reportedly doing their due diligence on Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew. Given the injuries that Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter suffered in 2013, the Bronx Bombers don't want to be without any alternatives at first base and shortstop, should those players end up shelved again at some point in 2014.

The team is also said to be close to a deal to bring defensive shortstop stalwart Brendan Ryan back, though that contract is expected to be small enough that it would not preclude the Yankees from continuing to court the likes of Drew or Jhonny Peralta going forward.


Andrew Marchand
Source: Yankees not expecting quick strike
"The source said the Yankees are keeping their options open and have not ruled out Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury as possibilities, though, Carlos Beltran is their top outfield choice because the length of his contract would be shorter. The Yankees also have interest in Stephen Drew as crutch for Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. "
Tags:New York Yankees, Kendrys Morales, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan
Tanaka's arrival could be delayed
November, 14, 2013
NOV 14
2:05
PM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET2COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
One of the hottest pitchers on the market this winter may not be on the market after all. Masahiro Tanaka's arrival in the United States is at risk of being put on hold until the 2015 season after baseball officials could not come to a new agreement on the posting process.

It was originally reported that the Japanese players union approved a two-year deal that would continue the practice of major league teams bidding for the right to negotiate with players who want to come over to the United States, but have not yet become free agents with nine years of service time in Japan.

Under that deal, as had been the case in the past, only one team would "win" the chance to negotiate with players like Tanaka, who went 24-0 with Rakuten in 2013. A new wrinkle in this agreement was that major league teams that failed to come to terms with a player for whom they won bidding rights would be fined. This change was just one of the things that did not sit well with major league baseball officials, so at least for now, there is no deal in place.

Tanaka is still pitching with Rakuten in the Asia Series, a tournament of league champions from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Europe. That competition will end on November 20, so as long as a new deal is indeed worked out before then, there shouldn't be any problems. However, if a stalemate ensues, Tanaka may still end up coming to the United States in 2014 -- just not until November.
Tags:Masahiro Tanaka
The top free agent starting pitchers are...
November, 14, 2013
NOV 14
1:53
PM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET1COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
Continuing our ongoing tour of the top free agents on the market at each position, and the early speculation of where each might potentially end up, today we examine the available crop of starting pitchers.

The free agent starting pitcher market is sure to be impacted, at least somewhat, by the two-year, $35 million deal that Tim Lincecum signed with the San Francisco Giants in October. At the very least, it's probably going to urge some of the bigger available names to seek a bigger contract than perhaps they would have been able to get before Lincecum's huge contract was agreed upon.

With some veteran pitchers, such as A.J. Burnett and Hiroki Kuroda, chances are they'll either sign a one-year deal to stay where they are, or else retirement beckons. With Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka, it all comes down to which team wins the right to negotiate with him through the posting fee process. However, for the rest of the free agent starters, here's a look at what they reportedly are looking for in a contract and where they might end up for 2014 (and beyond):
Ubaldo Jimenez: First he declined an $8 million option for 2014, then he turned down the $14.1 million qualifying offer given to him by the Cleveland Indians. Clearly this is a player looking for a multi-year deal and a huge raise after earning only a little more than $15 million in his entire six-year career. There's still a chance he and the Indians come to terms on a deal, but the first team that offers him a four-year contract could end up winning his services. Early favorites: Cleveland, NY Yankees, San Francisco.
Ervin Santana: Even though he has had three straight losing seasons, Santana is reportedly looking for a five-year, $112 million contract. Couple the high asking price with the loss of a draft pick that comes with a Santana signing, due to the Kansas City Royals having made a qualifying offer to the pitcher, and those demands might well have to drop significantly before a deal is struck here. The Minnesota Twins have expressed some interest in the pitcher, but if Santana sticks to his $100 million guns, he could turn into this year's version of Kyle Lohse. Early favorites: NY Yankees, Minnesota, Kansas City.
Ricky Nolasco: Because Nolasco was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2013 season, he was not eligible to receive a qualifying offer. That certainly makes him a bit more appealing on the free agent market, as teams won't have to forfeit a draft pick to sign a pitcher who has thrown at least 190 innings in each of the past three seasons. Still, Nolasco is said to be asking for a five-year, $80 million deal, and that might be too much for a pitcher better suited for the back end of a rotation rather than as an ace. Early favorites: NY Yankees, NY Mets, Minnesota.
Matt Garza: Coming off of an elbow injury, Garza faded down the stretch for the Texas Rangers after getting traded to the team in late July, so the luster on him has faded a bit as he enters free agency. However, he's going to be only 30 years old in 2014, and his career 3.84 ERA will no doubt be attractive to teams. Texas is all but out on Garza, but the San Francisco Giants might be interested in adding a pitcher of his caliber to their rotation. Early favorites: San Francisco, LA Angels, Baltimore.
Bartolo Colon: One of the few pitchers left in the game over the age of 40, there's no way Colon should be expecting a multi-year contract, even if he might think he deserves one after posting a stellar 18-6 record in 2013. He earned only $3 million last season, and a big raise is certainly a reasonable request, but there was no way the Oakland Athletics were going to tender him a qualifying offer. Colon wants to pitch three more years, and wants to stay in Oakland, so perhaps a reasonable compromise can be reached here. If not, maybe he'll find a home with a team looking for a veteran to help anchor an otherwise youthful staff. Early favorites: Oakland, Atlanta, Miami.
Scott Kazmir: The door is all but closed for a return to Cleveland for Kazmir, who resurrected his career with the Indians in 2013 thanks to a 9.2 K/9, his best rate since 2008. Kazmir's insistence on a multi-year deal is likely to be the deal-breaker there. If Kazmir is willing to be a bit flexible, Baltimore has expressed interest and could well be a solid landing spot. Early favorites: Baltimore, NY Mets.
Scott Feldman: Arriving in Baltimore in early July via trade, Feldman went 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA in 15 starts with the team. Both player and team seem to want the relationship to continue, so odds are looking good that a deal can be struck here, even given the Orioles' aforementioned interest in Kazmir. Early favorite: Baltimore.
Tim Hudson: Quite frankly, Hudson can pretty much go where he wants, as upwards of 15 teams -- including the Atlanta Braves -- have already been linked to the pitcher through various rumors. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports feels that the Boston Red Sox may have the inside track, citing Hudson's relationship with David Ross. Any team that proposes a three-year deal could move to the head of the line. Early favorites: Boston, Kansas City, Colorado.
Dan Haren: After a 10-14 season with the Washington Nationals, Haren's asking price makes him one of the bigger bargains on the free agent market, if a team believe he can regain his All-Star form. Certainly the New York Yankees are going to have Haren on their wish list if they end up passing on the pitchers looking for $80-$100 million paydays, but what about the Chicago Cubs? Remember that Chicago thought they had a deal in place to acquire Haren from the Los Angeles Angels around this time last season, and with the team said to be looking to trade Jeff Samardzija, they're going to need a starting pitcher or two. Why not Haren? Early favorites: NY Yankees, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco.
Bronson Arroyo: Even at the age of 36, Arroyo had no problem reaching the 200-inning milestone in 2013, making him one of the most reliable pitchers on the market. Arroyo has said he'd be interested in joining the New York Mets and has expressed a desire to be on the East Coast, if possible. However, interest from teams west of the Mississippi, especially in Minnesota, has been increasing of late. Early favorites: Minnesota, NY Mets, Philadelphia.
Roy Halladay: Interest in Halladay isn't expected to be all that great until much later on in the free agent process, after all the pitchers who didn't miss most of 2013 due to shoulder surgery sign their deals and teams that still have rotation holes end up calling on Doc. The Phillies say they're still interested in a deal, though at far less than the $20 million he made last season. As it stands, until the field thins a bit, there won't be any requests for house calls. Early favorite: Philadelphia.
Josh Johnson: To say Johnson's 2013 was a disappointment would be an understatement. His 2-8 record and 6.20 ERA in 16 starts for the Toronto Blue Jays made the decision to let the veteran pitcher walk a very easy one indeed. That said, he turns just 30 in January, and the hope is that October surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow will be enough to restore the pitcher to his All-Star form. Expect a one-year deal for Johnson to get a chance to prove himself, with the Royals being a very likely fit. Early favorites: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Chicago Cubs.
Next five names: Jason Vargas, Phil Hughes, Paul Maholm, Jason Hammel, Jake Westbrook.
Tags:Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson, Scott Kazmir, Roy Halladay, Dan Haren, Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Feldman, Bronson Arroyo, Bartolo Colon, Tim Hudson, Ervin Santana
Wolf back on teams' radar?
November, 14, 2013
NOV 14
11:56
AM ET
By Joe Kaiser | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET2COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT

At 37, Randy Wolf is coming off a season missed due to Tommy John surgery, but there's a good chance he'll be back in 2014.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that Wolf will throw for interested teams later this month near his home in Los Angeles, and "is likely to generate considerable interest among teams in search of a veteran No. 4-5 starter."

This is only speculation, but Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Milwaukee and the New York Yankees are some of the teams that could show interest in the veteran lefty with a career 4.20 ERA.
Tags:Randy Wolf
Boston eyeing Chris Young?
November, 14, 2013
NOV 14
10:36
AM ET
By Joe Kaiser | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET1COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports this morning that Boston is targeting former Arizona and Oakland outfielder Chris Young.

Crasnick tweets that Young "is on the Red Sox list of fallback CF options if they don't re-sign Jacoby Ellsbury."

According to Crasnick, the Red Sox are said to also be considering three or four other candidates aside from Young, though it remains unclear who they are.

The bottom line here: Boston doesn't appear to be 100 percent sold that Jackie Bradley Jr. is ready given his struggles in the big leagues last season, and could very well sign a free agent outfielder to help bridge the gap until Bradley is ready.
Tags:Boston Red Sox, Chris Young
Orioles might be willing to deal
November, 13, 2013
NOV 13
2:31
PM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET3COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
Reports are that the St. Louis Cardinals rejected a deal that would have sent Shelby Miller to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for shortstop J.J. Hardy, winner of back-to-back Gold Gloves. That's not surprising, given Miller's huge long-term upside, combined with the fact that Hardy will be a free agent at the end of the 2014 season.

Baltimore Orioles beat writer Brittany Ghiroli claims that although those reports do indeed have a ring of truth to them, the team is not actively shopping shortstop J.J. Hardy "who is in the last year of a very affordable contract extension, and would have to blown away by a deal to move him."

However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Orioles are willing to trade away Matt Wieters, explaining that the catcher is, like teammate Chris Davis, "two years away from free agency and represented by Scott Boras." The implication here is that negotiating a new deal with Boras might prove to be too expensive, and like what the Tampa Bay Rays are doing with David Price, the return value for a player in that kind of contract situation will never be greater.
Tags:Baltimore Orioles, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy
Bringing the Beard to Detroit?
November, 13, 2013
NOV 13
1:22
PM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET3COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
With Joaquin Benoit departing via free agency and Bruce Rondon probably still at least a season away from making the jump to closer, the Detroit Tigers are busy shopping around or a little help at the back end of the bullpen.

On Tuesday. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports suggested that Joe Nathan would be a good fit for the Tigers, especially noting that by signing the soon-to-be 39-year-old, at the very least they would not have to face him. "Nathan has a career 1.44 ERA against Detroit and more saves (36) than against any opponent other than the Kansas City Royals," Morosi wrote.

However, another option that appears to be entering the conversation is Brian Wilson. Wilson, in his return from Tommy John surgery, looked very strong in his 24 appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers at the end of the regular season and the playoffs. That's probably why, in addition to the Tigers, teams interested in the Beard are said to include the Cleveland Indians, who have moved on from Chris Perez, and the Colorado Rockies, who had scouted Wilson before he ultimately ended up signing with the Dodgers.
Tags:Colorado Rockies, Brian Wilson, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Joe Nathan
Mets fielding offers for Davis
November, 13, 2013
NOV 13
12:18
PM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET1COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
The New York Mets appear to have decided internally that they'd prefer to deal first baseman Ike Davis and stick with Lucas Duda at the position, barring any free agent signings that may fall into their lap to change the situation in Flushing.

According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, Davis was the topic of trade talks between the Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers, with outfielder Norichika Aoki's name mentioned as a possible player moving in the deal. Though this particular rumor was said to be unlikely to happen right now, as free agent options start to dry up at first base, Davis's market value will certainly rise.

Other teams mentioned by Martino as being interested in Davis were the Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports adds the Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros into the mix as well. Given the high volume of teams entering the conversation, it does seem very likely that Ike Davis will be playing for someone other than the Mets in 2014.


Adam Rubin
Salary projection: Ike Davis
"Considering a midpoint between the Mets’ likely offer and Davis’ goal of $3.85 million, Davis’ true value hovers slightly below that midpoint. To argue he is worthy of a $4.0 million salary when his average and power dropped tremendously after 2012 proves difficult. A lower batting average can be overlooked when a player is putting the ball over the fence. However, with significant questions remaining about Davis’ power, and with Lucas Duda challenging his spot on the depth chart, Davis will be penalized in arbitration."
Tags:New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, Ike Davis, Norichika Aoki
Diamondbacks over Hill?
November, 13, 2013
NOV 13
11:53
AM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET2COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
Could the Arizona Diamondbacks be considering a deal that would send second baseman Aaron Hill packing? Hill, who hit .291 over 87 games in 2013 after missing close to two months of the season with a fractured left hand, is about to get a huge boost in salary starting in 2014.

Hill, who made just $11 million combined over the last two seasons, will be paid $35 million over the next three seasons. As Arizona Diamondbacks beat writer Nick Piecoro points out, that might be an appealing price tag to teams that end up missing out on the far more expensive Robinson Cano.

"If they were to deal Hill... they could slide third baseman Martin Prado to second to make room for prospect Matt Davidson, or they could keep Prado at third and shift shortstop Chris Owings to second," Piecoro said.

Still, with the Diamondbacks having only one starter last season finish over .500 -- Patrick Corbin, who went 14-8 -- using Hill as a trade chip to acquire some help in the rotation might be a better allocation of resources going forward.


Buster Olney
10 biggests holes on contenders
"The Diamondbacks need someone who can front their rotation in 2014, along with Patrick Corbin, and help to buy time for top prospect Archie Bradley. This is why they are picking up the threads of their midsummer talks with the Cubs and resuming their pursuit of Samardzija. He isn't a star, in the way that Price is, but they can afford Samardzija; they cannot afford Price."

Tags:Arizona Diamondbacks, Aaron Hill, Martin Prado, Chris Owings
And the top free agent outfielders are...
November, 13, 2013
NOV 13
11:38
AM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET1COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
Continuing our ongoing tour of the top free agents on the market at each position, and the early speculation of where each might potentially end up, today we examine the available outfielders.

The bar has already been set pretty high in terms of how much money it might take to come to terms with even the lesser names on the outfield free agent list. Hunter Pence signed a five-year, $90 million extension to avoid free agency in September, which means we're probably looking at $100 million-plus deals for the outfield elite. Plus, considering the Philadelphia Phillies just signed Marlon Byrd to a generous two-year, $16 million deal, it appears that true outfield bargains will be tough to find this offseason.

Here's a look at a few of the key outfielders that teams are going to be competing for:
Jacoby Ellsbury: Clearly the gold medal in terms of free agents this offseason, Ellsbury is a career .297 hitter who has averaged 55 stolen bases per 162 games. He turned down a qualifying offer on the Red Sox, which was as much of a no-brainer as they come. With more than a third of the league believed to have already inquired about his price tag, Ellsbury can pretty much choose where he wants to play for the rest of his career, and get paid handsomely at the same time. Although there has been a lot of buzz regarding a hard sell by the Seattle Mariners, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick thinks they might not be as gung ho on Ellsbury as previously thought. Expect renowned agent Scott Boras to let this bidding heat up a bit. Early favorites: Texas, Seattle, Boston.
Shin-Soo Choo: We may have to wait a while to see Choo's name on a new contract, as reports suggest he's seeking a contract worth more than Jayson Werth's seven-year, $126 million contract, which was signed in 2010. Certainly Choo's ability to get on base -- he was one of only four players to have an OBP of .420 or higher in 2013 -- makes him worthy of asking for such a lucrative deal, though the asking price likely cuts out a majority of potential suitors. If the New York Yankees decide to shell out the big bucks to replace Curtis Granderson, they could end up winning this auction. Early favorites: NY Yankees, Boston, Detroit.
Curtis Granderson: There's a chance that Granderson will stay in New York, but he might have to head over to Flushing in order to do so; the Mets appear to be serious in their pursuit of the outfielder. That said, given his Chicago roots, chances are good that if he's not going to be able to play for a team that will immediately contend, he could choose to play close to home. Early favorites: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, NY Mets, NY Yankees.
Carlos Beltran: He turns 37 in April, so this contract is likely the last multi-year deal he'll ever sign. After seeing what Byrd just got with Philadelphia, Beltran probably won't sign for less than three years and $40 million. That probably takes teams like Baltimore and Kansas City out of the running, but the Yankees and Rangers are both believed to be stepping up negotiation efforts. Seattle has also been linked to Beltran, but unless the "big spenders" drop out of the running by signing a different outfielder, it's hard to see the M's coming out on top here. Early favorites: NY Yankees, Boston, Texas.
Nelson Cruz: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Cruz was close to signing with the Phillies, but was looking for a five-year, $75 million deal. Philadelphia clearly thought that was too much, and moved on to Marlon Byrd. If that experience causes Cruz to drop the asking price a bit, he could be signed somewhere fairly soon. It's worth noting that the qualifying offer the Rangers made to Cruz, which adds the cost of a lost draft pick to the equation for outside teams, is doing the outfielder no favors right now. Early favorites: Oakland, NY Mets, Seattle.
Franklin Gutierrez: After winning a Gold Glove award in 2010, Gutierrez appeared in just 36 percent of Seattle's games over the past three seasons, visiting the disabled list six times. That's why it's not surprising to see Seattle decline his $7.5 million option and allow him to explore free agency. Maybe the team will end up inviting him back for a lot less money to give him a chance at redemption. That is, unless some other cost-conscious team doesn't take a shot at him first. Early favorites: Seattle, Houston, Baltimore.
David Murphy: Although he hit a career low .220 for the Rangers last season, he did hit double-digit home runs for the sixth consecutive season. That batting average might keep his asking price down, but Murphy could still end up with a two-year, $14 million deal, given the inflation in the outfield market. And if he rediscovers his stroke -- he is a career .275 hitter -- he could end up being a steal. Early favorites: Baltimore, NY Mets, NY Yankees.
Next four names: Chris Young, Nate McLouth, Michael Morse, Andres Torres.
Tags:Curtis Granderson, Franklin Gutierrez, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran, Nelson Cruz, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Murphy
Phillies still looking for Bats?
November, 13, 2013
NOV 13
10:50
AM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET1COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
The Philadelphia Phillies raised more than a few eyebrows when they signed free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year, $16 million deal. The size of the contract was a bit of a surprise, but certainly, the fact that the team felt it needed an outfielder upgrade was not a big shock. In fact, they might not be done in that regard.

Philadelphia's expected 2014 starting outfield prior to the Byrd signing was Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf and Ben Revere. According to Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News, Ruben Amaro said it was possible the team was going to continue to pursue outfield bats going forward. However, a rumored trade of Brown to the Toronto Blue Jays seems very unlikely to come to pass.

Bautista-to-Philadelphia buzz began thanks to a tweet from Philadelphia sportscaster Howard Eskin, who said late Tuesday night that "serious talks" between the teams was underway. However, on Wednesday morning, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports dismissed the idea that any such deal would happen, saying the teams were "not even close."

Such is the ebb and flow of the hot stove time of year, but even if the Bautista deal ends up bearing no fruit, expect the Phillies to continue to be on the market for bats as the winter progresses.


Buster Olney
10 biggests holes on contenders
"Bautista is 33 years old and has missed 114 games the past two seasons, and is under contract at $14 million annually for each of the next two years with a club option of $14 million for 2016. Brown is 26 years old and coming off a season in which he hit 27 homers and posted a .324 on-base percentage. If this trade talk is real and actually made, it'll be a case of two teams trying to deal a player before his respective value sinks. There would be no other reason for the Phillies to trade a younger, cheaper player for a veteran with a significant injury history."
Tags:Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Ben Revere, Marlon Byrd, Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf, Joey Bautista
How much will Nelson Cruz command?
November, 12, 2013
NOV 12
4:07
PM ET
By Joe Kaiser | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET1COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
Despite the many reasons why teams could shy away from Nelson Cruz this winter, which we pointed out yesterday, the reality is that Cruz is one of the bigger corner outfield bats available. That, according to ESPN Insider Jim Bowden, will be enough to land him another big deal.

Bowden lists the 33-year-old Cruz as the No. 12 ranked free agent in this year's class, and still expects him to land a three-year deal valued at $48 million. In Bowden's estimation, potential suitors include Texas, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Kansas City, the New York Mets, Arizona, Seattle and the Chicago Cubs.

Here's Bowden to explain why Cruz is still so highly in demand.


Jim Bowden
With a low supply of corner outfielders, Cruz is in demand
"Cruz is beginning his decline years, but is still capable of batting .260 with 25 home runs. With an industry shortage of corner outfielders with plus power, he'll easily get a multiyear contract despite his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal."
Tags:Nelson Cruz
Philadelphia's backup plan to Ruiz
November, 12, 2013
NOV 12
3:57
PM ET
By Joe Kaiser | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET2COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
If the Philadelphia Phillies can't reach a deal with Carlos Ruiz, the team's primary backstop for the past eight seasons, they know who they want to replace him.

ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets on Tuesday: "Sources say #Phillies making A.J. Pierzynski No. 1 catching option if can't reach deal w Carlos Ruiz."

Today, ESPN Insider Jim Bowden listed the 36-year-old Pierzynski as the No. 36 free agent in this year's class, and predicted that he'll sign a one-year deal worth $8 million. For the record, he predicted that Ruiz will get a two-year deal worth $16 million.
Tags:Philadelphia Phillies, Carlos Ruiz, A.J. Pierzynski
Cleveland's stance with Kazmir
November, 12, 2013
NOV 12
3:35
PM ET
By Joe Kaiser | ESPN.com
RECOMMEND0TWEET1COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
Scott Kazmir reclaimed his baseball career in Cleveland this past season, one of several feel-good stories in a feel-good season for the Indians. But will Kazmir's Cleveland career last beyond 2013?

According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the chances of that may be slim.

"The Indians would be interested in a one-year deal for Kazmir but believe he's certain to have multi-year offers after resurrecting his career in Cleveland this past year, going 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA. Cleveland is in a better position with much better rotation depth than in past years; the Indians are said to have seven potential starters."

Believe it or not, Kazmir will only be 30 on Opening Day, and after a season where he struck out 162 batters in 158 innings and finished with a very respectable 4.04 ERA, the Indians are probably correct in anticipating that the veteran left-hander will get at least one multi-year offer this winter. We'll be sure to keep you posted when potential suitors emerge, but the Minnesota Twins are one team that reportedly has already shown interest.
Tags:Cleveland Indians, Scott Kazmir
post #18015 of 77322
Where the hell did Santana come up with that number? laugh.gif
@JFedeDPT

Help Brooklyn Youth: Athletes * Scholars * Community Leaders http://gobrooklyn.org
Reply
@JFedeDPT

Help Brooklyn Youth: Athletes * Scholars * Community Leaders http://gobrooklyn.org
Reply
post #18016 of 77322
Thread Starter 
It's all San Fran's fault mean.gif
post #18017 of 77322
 
Originally Posted by Proshares View Post

It's all San Fran's fault mean.gif

I understand you and others thinking this to an extent.  But what I dont understand is why you guys are viewing Timmy's resigning as setting the market.  It didnt.  Timmy resigned with his former team.  A lot of what his contract is worth (lets be honest...almost all of it) was based on what he did and means to us, not what he will accomplish (yes I am aware how stupid that is, but its still the truth).

 

Timmy would not have gotten $17.5M a year on the open market.  He wouldnt have.  So why is it that this contract is viewed by you guys as setting the market?  Not only that, how does Timmy's 2 year deal in anyway "set the market" for people like Nolasco and Ervin Santana to ask for ridiculous $80/$100M deals? 

post #18018 of 77322
Thread Starter 
I was only half kidding. I knew I'd bait you smile.giflaugh.gif

But seriously, I know and I hear you. It was an ownership/lifetime achievement award type of deal. It's the players that don't see it that way and the agents that will use that to barter better deals laugh.gif they see Timmy getting that money and a full NTC, look at their numbers and wonder why they can't get more.

And TBH, why not? If they sucker some team into giving them something in that range, then more power to them.

San Fran didn't set the market but kinda did in a way if you follow my drift.
post #18019 of 77322
Jayson Werth and Andrew McCutchen put up pretty similar numbers this season.
post #18020 of 77322
Miguel Cabrera MVP pimp.gif well deserved!

I like that Major League Baseball is now publicizing who voted for who. However, they need to take it a step further and make the writer justify why hevoted the way they did. If you dont agree with me, you need to look no further than seeing Josh Donaldson with a first place MVP vote, and Mike Trout with a seventh place vote. Those are complete jokes, and should need to be explained.
post #18021 of 77322
Sometimes I don't think even the guys that vote that way have a legitimate reason as to why.

Like the dude from Cincy that gave Waino the first place vote for Cy Young despite the Reds crushing him this season while Kershaw shut them down. laugh.gif
post #18022 of 77322
Quote:
Originally Posted by madj55 View Post

Jayson Werth and Andrew McCutchen put up pretty similar numbers this season.

What numbers are you looking at? laugh.gif
Instagram: backyardlobo
Reply
Instagram: backyardlobo
Reply
post #18023 of 77322

I can't even be upset. I'm just laughing. I knew this was coming.

post #18024 of 77322
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooIRON MANoo View Post

What numbers are you looking at? laugh.gif
Offensively, at least.

Werth: .318/.398/.532/.931 with 25 homers and 82 RBI's

McCutchen: .317/.404/.508/.911 with 21 homers and 84 RBI's
post #18025 of 77322
Quote:
Originally Posted by dland24 View Post

Miguel Cabrera MVP pimp.gif well deserved!

I like that Major League Baseball is now publicizing who voted for who. However, they need to take it a step further and make the writer justify why hevoted the way they did. If you dont agree with me, you need to look no further than seeing Josh Donaldson with a first place MVP vote, and Mike Trout with a seventh place vote. Those are complete jokes, and should need to be explained.

Josh Donaldson definitely didn't deserve a first place vote, but he was certainly worthy of being considered.
A T H L E T I C S | U C L A | L A K E R S | R A I D E R S

Reply
A T H L E T I C S | U C L A | L A K E R S | R A I D E R S

Reply
post #18026 of 77322
happy.gifsmokin.gif
TEAM ECONOMICS

From Smith to Friedman, we know what's up


Official Member of the Steeler Nation
IX X XIII XIV XL XLIII Champions
Reply
TEAM ECONOMICS

From Smith to Friedman, we know what's up


Official Member of the Steeler Nation
IX X XIII XIV XL XLIII Champions
Reply
post #18027 of 77322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Th3RealF0lkBlu3s View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by dland24 View Post

Miguel Cabrera MVP pimp.gif well deserved!

I like that Major League Baseball is now publicizing who voted for who. However, they need to take it a step further and make the writer justify why hevoted the way they did. If you dont agree with me, you need to look no further than seeing Josh Donaldson with a first place MVP vote, and Mike Trout with a seventh place vote. Those are complete jokes, and should need to be explained.

Josh Donaldson definitely didn't deserve a first place vote, but he was certainly worthy of being considered.

I didnt say he didnt deserve consideration. I watched him very closely all season long. He had a great year. Wouldnt even have brought it up if he got 7th place, 5th place....or hell even a third place vote. But for someone to say that he believe Josh Donaldson was the most valuable player in all of the American league? That guy deserves to have his voting rights revoked.

Same for the guy who gave Mike Trout a 7th place vote.
post #18028 of 77322
Miggy pimp.gif

Detroit stand up!!!
Lookin to get a discover card? Contact me and sign up under me and $100 FREE when you get approved. GET 10-15% cashback on NDC FNL FTL, etc etc
Reply
Lookin to get a discover card? Contact me and sign up under me and $100 FREE when you get approved. GET 10-15% cashback on NDC FNL FTL, etc etc
Reply
post #18029 of 77322
Mark Trumbo nerd.gif
O-H-I-O

CAVALIERS - INDIANS - BROWNS - BUCKEYES
Reply
O-H-I-O

CAVALIERS - INDIANS - BROWNS - BUCKEYES
Reply
post #18030 of 77322
Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera for having better teammates than Mike Trout.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sports & Training
NikeTalk › NikeTalk Forums › The Lounge › Sports & Training › 2016 MLB thread. THE CUBS HAVE BROKEN THE CURSE! Chicago Cubs are your 2016 World Series champions.