Tag Archives: The Beanball

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

Atlanta Braves: Is Andrelton Simmons the Next Extension Candidate?

In an offseason in which most teams handsomely rewarded mediocrity, the Atlanta Braves chose an alternative path. And instead of chasing the likes of Robinson Cano and Masahiro Tanaka, who signed for a combined $395 million, or re-signing Brian McCann, whom the New York Yankees eagerly gobbled up, general manager Frank Wren focused on extending the organization’s burgeoning, homegrown talent.

Since the 2013 season ended, Wren extended Jason Heyward (through his remaining arbitration years), Freddie Freeman, Julio Teheran and most recently, Craig Kimbrel. Even Wren himself was extended within the past 48 hours, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s David O’Brien.

The general manager’s sole dip into free agency, in fact, has just been signing ex-Chicago White Sox hurler Gavin Floyd to a one-year, $4 million deal. And Floyd, who is nine months removed from Tommy John surgery, is really just a Plan B for a rotation featuring all Braves-developed pitchers; pitchers with an average age of 25.4, too.

With an established organizational strategy in place, one has to wonder where Wren and the Braves will draw the line, if at all. Is it possible that the reigning National League East champion Braves could manage to retain most of their productive core players? Continue reading

The Downfall of Not Starting Juan Lagares

The other night, I received a seemingly cryptic email from my older brother. The subject was, “This is idiotic.” I opened the email to uncover exactly what I thought I’d find: a smack-my-head worthy link about the New York Mets. It’s a long-withstanding family tradition to share these types of things, after all.

According to NBC Sports’ Bill Baer (via The Star-Ledger‘s Mike Vorkunov), Terry Collins and perhaps the Mets too apparently feel that center field is a wide-open competition.

Specifically, per Collins:

We’ve got three guys that can play center field that we know of and by gosh the best one is going to be out there because it’s a big position.

One can only assume he means Chris YoungEric Young Jr. and incumbent Juan Lagares. But since Chris Young was inked this offseason to a $7.25 million contract—and is projected to play a corner—it appears as though only one of EYJ or Lagares will be a starter. And this, folks, is silly. Continue reading

The Baltimore Orioles Are a Good Fit for Ubaldo Jimenez

It took until mid-February, but Ubaldo Jimenez, one of the better starting pitchers on the free-agent market, has finally put pen to paper. Jimenez, who posted a 3.30 ERA, park-adjusted 114 ERA+ and 2.43 K/BB in 2013, is set to sign a four-year, $50 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The deal matches the one the Milwaukee Brewers handed Matt Garza in January, but is perhaps surprising to some given Ubaldo’s struggles from 2011 to 2012 (a combined 5.03 ERA, 82 ERA+ and 1.87 K/BB). Yet, despite the contract-year alarm bells going off, there are a few factors that point to at least a continuation of success in 2014 with the Orioles. Continue reading