Minnesota Twins: It’s Time for the Josmil Pinto Era

For the first time in what seems like an eternity, Minnesota Twins’ fans have been witnessing non-Joe Mauer starting catchers behind the dish this season. The Twins decided that Mauer, who has been the Twins’ starting catcher since June of 2004, would transition to first base—full time—in 2014.

The team’s offseason signing of Kurt Suzuki to a one-year, $2.75 million deal only solidified the organization’s impactful decision.

Mauer, owner of a career .322 batting average and park-adjusted 136 OPS+, has missed far too many games in his career due to the rigors associated with squatting and blocking pitches. In fact, the 30-year-old St. Paul native has sat out 144 games total since 2011.

Yet, considering the former-Oakland Athletics’ farmhand hasn’t posted an OPS+ over 90 since 2009, rookie Josmil Pinto might make Suzuki’s reign as the starter short lived. Continue reading

Could the Texas Rangers Be a Fit for Daniel Murphy?

As most teams whittle down their rosters in preparation for opening day, the Texas Rangers were dealt a last-minute curveball. Rangers’ starting second baseman Jurickson Profar will miss 10-12 weeks after suffering a slight muscle tear in his right shoulder, according to U-T San Diego’s Dennis Lin.

Even though the Rangers prefer to tap someone internally to take Profar’s place, per Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson, such a decision would either involve starting non-roster invitee Kensuke Tanaka or rushing 20-year-old prospect Rougned Odor.

Instead, general manager Jon Daniels could do what he’s done so many times before: make a “win-now” trade. And New York Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy would be a perfect fit.

Continue reading

Ervin Santana: A Potential Bargain for Pitching-Starved MLB Teams

At the same point last offseason, starting pitcher Kyle Lohse was still a free agent. In fact, it would take until March 25 for Lohse to finally sign a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. But unlike Lohse, who too wore the rejected-qualifying offer Scarlet Letter, current free agent Ervin Santana has apparently waved the white flag in his pursuit of a multiyear deal.

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the 31-year-old is eager to sign with a team and get to spring training—even at the cost of a lucrative, long-term contract. Aside from how most teams would forfeit an unprotected first-round pick to sign the right-hander, the sheer opportunity to sign a free-agent pitcher of Santana’s caliber to a one-year deal instantly makes him a bargain. Continue reading

Timeline of Nick Franklin’s Shorstop Defense Scouting Reports

Below is a timeline of Nick Franklin‘s shortstop defense scouting reports. Continue reading

Nick Franklin: MLB Suitors Should Beware of His Defense at Shortstop

Going into the offseason, the Seattle Mariners obviously weren’t satisfied with their production up the middle. To address their concern, the Mariners boldly handed Robinson Cano a $240 million contract to man second base for the next decade. And with the more defensively apt Brad Miller entrenched at shortstop, it leaves 22-year-old Nick Franklin without a starting job.

But then again, middle infielders with a career minor league .819 OPS+ don’t grow on trees. The Mariners have reportedly been contacted about Franklin’s services by both the Tampa Bay Rays, per CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, as well as the New York Mets, per ESPN’s Adam Rubin.

Yet unlike the Rays, who might acquire Franklin as a means to stockpile unique talent, the Mets likely view the second baseman as a solve at shortstop. Continue reading

How Much MLB Teams Paid Per Win in 2013

Back in September 2011, I wrote an article entitled “How Much Money is a Win Worth?“, depicting how much teams paid for a win in the 2011 season. The take away from the article debunked the myth that a high payroll is the most effective way to win games.

To see if 2011’s conclusion still rung true, I created the below chart to identify how teams in 2013 fared. Continue reading

What Changed the New York Yankees’ Mind About Brett Gardner?

According CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the New York Yankees reportedly extended outfielder Brett Gardner to a four-year, $52 million contract.

Gardner, 30, is young by Bombers’ standards and has excelled as a starter over the past four seasons. And with a career park-adjusted 97 OPS+, 10.3 percent walk rate, 161 steals (an 80.9 percent SB%) and 84 defensive runs saved (DRS) in the outfield, Gardner is undoubtedly a valuable asset.

Yet, in less than a three-month period since signing Jacoby Ellsbury, which subsequently incited hoopla surrounding Gardner’s future with the organization, per The Star-Ledger’s Andy McCullough, the southpaw went from seemingly expendable to a core organizational mainstay. Given the extreme variance, it only makes one wonder: What could have changed the Yankees’ mind about Brett Gardner? Continue reading