The 2013 baseball season is still in its fetal state. Teams like the Colorado Rockies, for instance, have until March 31–about 17 days from now–to make organization-altering decisions, like tapping Miguel Batista over Daniel Rosenbaum as their long man.
Oh, there will be blood (or at least, poetry).
For the New York Mets, however, there are grander issues at hand. As etched in stone as the Mets’ poor fate seems to be, there are some key future dates that will help shed light on the team’s actual chances this coming season. From April 19 through April 28, the Mets play nine games against perennial rivals, the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Philadelphia Phillies.
In addition, the oft-anticipated Subway Series (consisting of four games) commences May 27 at Citi Field, and concludes May 30 at Yankee Stadium. Heck, even the free post-game Foreigner concert is scheduled for June 14–which will be 67 games into the season. By mid-June, will the Mets be “Hot Blooded” or “Cold As Ice”? Only time will tell. Continue reading
Promoting a Major League-ready prospect seems like a logical move for any organization looking to win. Yet, even the most consistently solid organizations are faced with a few hurdles that prevent the obvious from happening. Below is a list of five top prospects who could easily help their respective teams now, but are still projected to start 2013 in the Minors.
Wil Myers (Tampa Bay Rays)
Wil Myers was involved in one of the biggest trades this off-season, heading a package which sent “ace” pitcher James Shields to the Kansas City Royals. Yet, even though the Rays could certainly use Myers’ bat in the lineup (.314/.387/.600 line and 37 HR in 2012), the organization has been pretty vocal about their plan to place Myers in Triple-A to start the season.
While it’s possible the Rays are stashing the 22 year-old in the Minors for future arbitration reasons, the team also doesn’t want to “rush” their new top prospect–especially since he’ll be learning a new position (right field). Continue reading
Posted in Blocked Prospects, Closer Looks
Tagged Baseball News Source, Ben Berkon, Blocked Top Prospects, Gerrit Cole, Jedd Gyorko, Jurickson Profar, The Beanball, Top Prospects Headed for Minors But For How Long, Trevor Bauer, Wil Myers
With the ever rising cost of offense, more and more teams are looking to platoons as low-cost, high-reward options. The platoon is hardly a new managerial tool, but it seems as though there are more teams using the stat-heavy angle to leverage player’s stronger sides to enhance the team’s production–while also saving a penny or two in the process. Below is an in-depth, projected list of National League organizations and their respective platoons for 2013.
ATLANTA BRAVES – 3B -As much as the Braves like Juan Francisco‘s pop, it still looks like the Reds got the better end of the deal that sent him to Atlanta for power-reliever J.J. Hoover (208 ERA+ in 30.6 IP in ’12). But that’s a moot point. The Braves plan to use a combination of Francisco and Chris Johnson at third base to replace Chipper Jones. It was pretty evident last season that the 25 year-old was not a full-time player (88 OPS+ and 5.3% BB%), but he was, at least, better against RHP (.245/.291/.477) than he was versus LHP (.189/.225/.243). Also, all 9 of Francisco’s homeruns came against righties.
Using Chris Johnson in a traditional platoon might be a bad move, as the right-handed hitter is actually better against his own kind (career .283/.323/.452) than he is against southpaws (career .255/.294/.372). The 28 year-old enjoyed a better overall season than Francisco did in 2012, posting a 108 OPS+ and 15 HR. Even though Johnson was a minor piece in the deal that landed Justin Upton in Atlanta, with a giant void at third base, the hitter might become an integral part of the organization–at least for 2013. Continue reading
The Cleveland Indians made a surprise splash on the free-agent market, inking speedy outfielder Michael Bourn to a four-year, $48MM deal (with a $12MM vesting option). While most organizations had been turned off by Bourn’s rejected-qualifying offer status, since the Indians’ first round pick is protected, the team only has to surrender a competitive-balance pick. Yet, even though the Indians retained their first-round pick, and added a top-shelf lead-off man and defender for arguably a fair price, it was still a curious move for the should-be re-building franchise.
Over the past four seasons, Bourn has been worth 19.0 WAR–or 4.75 WAR per season. Per Bill Petti, one can assume a 0.5 WAR decline through age 32, and a 0.7 WAR decline through age 34 (the age he’ll be once the full contract expires after 2017). If that’s the case, the 30 year-old might be worth 14.55 WAR throughout his full five-year contract. And with inflation, he could be worth around $82MM during that period of time too. Continue reading
With the ever rising cost of offense, more and more teams are looking to platoons as a low-cost, high-reward alternative. Even though penny-pinching organizations like the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays have long been using the platoon, now even bigger market teams–like the Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees–are beginning to join the fray. Below is an in-depth, projected list of the organizations and their respective platoons for 2013. Continue reading
Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics have long been known for acquiring undervalued players. Some recent examples of this are Chris Young (11.7 WAR, 103 OPS+ from 2010-12), John Jaso (6.1 WAR, 115 OPS+ from 2010-12), and Brandon Moss (1.9 WAR, 160 OPS+ in 2012).
They’re also equally known for selling high on replaceable assets, like, for instance, trading Andrew Bailey (7.04 ERA, 63 ERA+ in 2012) for Josh Reddick (4.5 WAR, 110 OPS+ in 2012), Miles Head (.333/.391/.577/.968 line at Advanced-A/Double-A), and Raul Alcantara (wasn’t good in 2012, but who cares).
But when the A’s signed Cuban-import Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $36MM deal last off-season, it was surprising. It was surprising because the signing had nothing to do with the usual peripheral analysis, and market inefficiency recognition. No, the A’s signing Cespesdes was a pure scouting move–something the A’s rarely tap into. And it paid off, big time. Continue reading
There has been a lot of big splashes this off-season. The Dodgers signed Zack Greinke to a six-year, $147 million deal. The Angels inked Josh Hamilton to a $125 million contract. Heck, even Jeremy Guthrie turned 91.0 IP of 1.30 ERA+, 3.16 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 2.95 K/BB baseball into a three-year, $25 million shocker. And barring injury or incredible levels of ineffectiveness, these players will most certainly be major factors on their respective organization’s active rosters.
Yet, there are also a lot of players who don’t quite share that blanket of security. In an attempt to pinch a penny or fill out a last-minute roster spot, teams also sign players to Minor League deals, in the hopes that they turn into the next R.A. Dickey.
Below are five players who were signed on Minor League deals with the potential to make Major League impact. Continue reading
The majority of the top free-agent pitchers are now off the market. In terms of starters, Zack Greinke signed with the Dodgers, Anibal Sanchez with the Tigers, Edwin Jackson with the Cubs, and Dan Haren with the Nationals. As for relievers, Mariano Rivera is predictably back with the Yankees, Jonathan Broxton re-signed with the Reds, and Rafael Soriano recently inked with the Nationals. So unless pitching-hungry teams want to surrender an unprotected first-round pick by signing the 34 year-old Kyle Lohse, or overpay Jose Valverde or Matt Capps to close games, organizations in need of hurlers might need to look into alternate options. Continue reading
Mike Morse is the definition of a late-bloomer. From 2005 to 2009, the outfielder/infielder owned a respectable but light-hitting .293/.355/.409/.764 line with a 106 OPS+. By comparison, Daniel Murphy posted a similar .291/.332/.403/.735 line with a 102 OPS+ in 2012. So while Morse could handle the stick, he didn’t change games with it. That is, until 2010. Continue reading
Posted in Closer Looks, Trades
Tagged A.J. Cole, Ben Berkon, Jaso Trade, John Jason, Michael Morse, Mike Morse, Nationals, Nationals Trade Mike Morse, Nationals Trade Morse, The Beanball, What Should We Expect from Mike Morse in 2013?