Tag: Baseball

The Saga Ends: Manny Machado And San Diego Padres Reach Deal

In a offseason filled with controversy regarding mega star free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, at least one domino has finally fallen.

It was announced on Tuesday that the padres had signed Machado to a contract worth $300 million over 10 years. The contract comes with an opt out clause after the first five years. Machado had gauged many teams interest this offseason including the Yankees, Phillies and White Sox. Machado was expected to sign a contract in the $250 to $280 million range, but that changed upon his deal with San Diego. Machados contract is now the largest in history for American sports. Machados signing indicates the Padres desire to quickly return to contention, as their farm system contains several highly touted prospects including Fernado Tatis Jr. (#2 overall) Mackenzie Gore (#15 overall) and Luis Urias (#23 overall).

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MLB News: The Weekend Recap

The Reds, Dodgers Blockbuster:

Over the weekend, we saw a few relatively high-profile trades, but none bigger than this one. The Reds and Dodgers agreed to terms to send OF Yasiel Puig, OF Matt Kemp, LHP Alex Wood, C Kyle Farmer, and $7M in cash to Cincinnati in exchange for SP Homer Bailey, and Minor Leaguers Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray.

Many sources agree that this particular trade feels rather lopsided, seeing as the Reds were able to ship off Homer Bailey’s albatross of a contract while giving up minimal talent in the process (though both prospects were held quite high in scouts’ eyes) for four very solid major league pieces — though two of said players hit the open market next year.

The motivation for the Dodgers in this trade resides in the salary flexibility. After receiving Homer Bailey, the Dodgers are expected to release him, making him a free agent while the Dodgers pay the remainder of his salary — a whopping $23 Million. They, in turn, shed any money owed to either of their former major leaguers, allowing them to assess any holes that they currently desire to fill, especially those behind the plate, as well as at second base. It is also of popular opinion that the Dodgers are now even more well positioned to make a run at superstar Bryce Harper, though, even after trading two of their prominent outfielders, the Dodgers still have the likes of Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Alex Verdugo, and Andrew Toles available to play the field, giving them quite a few viable options that don’t cost $30 Million+.

The Three Team Trade for Profar:

This trade was certainly the most interesting of the three that took place this weekend. The Oakland Athletics, in absence of infielder Jed Lowrie, received a former number one MLB prospect, INF Jurickson Profar, from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Minor League infielder Eli White and international bonus slot money. The Athletics also sent minor league RHP Emilio Pagan and a 2019 first-round pick to the Tampa Bay Rays in the trade. The Rangers then shipped Minor League RHP Rollie Lacey to the Rays in exchange for Minor League pitchers Kyle Bird, Yoel Espinal, and Brock Burke, thus completing the complex transaction.

The A’s received their controllable utility infielder, while the other two teams involved bolstered their systems, and shuffled around a few prospects.

Swapping Santana For Gamel:

A few weeks back, the Mariners traded one Santana away, only now to receive another Santana from the Milwaukee Brewers this past weekend.

Domingo Santana was once a very well regarded threat within the MLB, mashing 30 dingers over 151 games in 2017, while also stealing 15 bases. However, the limited power that he showcased in 2018 after hitting only 5 home runs over 85 games raised some questions about the young outfielders’ consistency. Yet, he seemed to catch the Mariners eye, and they decided to send OF Ben Gamel, as well as Minor League pitcher Noah Zavalos to the Milwaukee Brewers for control of the young slugger.

This adds a necessary power bat to the Mariners question-filled lineup, and also gives them a piece in which they can speculate on, and possibly dish for an inflated price down the line. As for the Brewers, they receive a corner outfielder with an impressive ability to create contact, as well as a minor league pitcher with upside.

 

Astros Find Their Lefty Bat, Sign Michael Brantley

Multiple sources have reported that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley agreed on a two year, $32 Million contract this Monday.

The Astros are a right-hand-heavy lineup, and acquiring a contact-bound left hander with significant pop and speed is sure to help them smooth out the bumps in their offense. Pair Brantley’s 2018 slash of .309/.364/.468 and 17 home runs with other Houston guys like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, George Springer, and more, and you’re looking at a pretty devastating lineup.

Even with this significant addition, the ‘Stros also are looking into signing a new designated hitter, as well as possibly trading for the Marlins’ All-Star catcher, JT Realmuto.

The 2017 World Series Champions are looking to make another run, and their terrifying rotation paired with their deep offense is sure to turn some heads in their favor.

MLB: An Ode to the Retirees

Recently, the world of Major League Baseball bid ‘adieu’ to two more all time greats, Joe Mauer and Adrian Beltre, who announced their individual exits from the game of professional baseball this winter. It’s startling to me that only one player from the 20th Century remains active in baseball, that player being Bartolo ‘Big Sexy’ Colon.

As somebody who began following baseball vigorously as a young boy, I have outstanding memories of both of these players, and am heartbroken to see their careers come to an end. However, it is exceedingly exciting to look back at the careers they have led, and to know that each of them will undoubtably receive Hall of Fame honors one day.

Joe Mauer – A Lifelong Twin

I remember being obsessed with Joe Mauer’s statistics as a kid. I had never seen somebody, especially a catcher achieve such high batting averages in my lifetime. Mauer was, for most of his career, the best in the game. In his age 23 season, Mauer hit a major league leading .347 in 140 games played. That kind of average was unheard of for a player at his position — unless you’re Mike Piazza that is. However, even Mike Piazza couldn’t believe his eyes when Mauer fever struck in 2009, and he bat an absolutely insane .365 with 28 home runs, his career high.

Over the span of his career, Mauer had seven seasons of a .300 average or higher. He easily inserted his name among some of the greatest catchers of all time, joining the likes of Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, and more. Sadly, concussion issues would inhibit his ability to continue to play at the catcher position and, as such, he transitioned to first base, where he would finish his career.

Joe Mauer was a breath of fresh air in a world of increasing strikeout rates and decreasing averages. His ability to produce quality at-bats and make solid contact with the ball was unparalleled for most of his career. He was a natural hitter, a great person, and, unquestionably, a future Hall of Famer. He will be severely missed in the world of America’s Pastime.

Adrian Beltre – An Infinite Source of Joy

Beltre is, flat out, one of the greatest players to ever emerge from the Dominican Republic. Over a 21 year career, Beltre amassed 477 long balls, 3,166 hits, and played in 2,933 games. He is an indisputable member of the Hall of Fame, but that’s not the reason people loved him.

Adrian Beltre lived for the game of baseball. Any time the camera would catch him, Beltre would always have a smile on his face and a joke on his mind. Whether he was busting the opposing pitchers chops, moving the on deck circle, or getting his head touched by his long time neighbor, Elvis Andrus, Beltre was always about having fun on the diamond.

Some of my favorite moments of his, and these are just a few.

Both of these dignified players will be severely missed, both by myself and by their fans. Personally, I wish them all the happiness in the world with their futures. They both were one-of-a-kind, and are irreplaceable pinnacles of baseball.

Corbin Signs Six-Year, $140M Deal With Nationals

After a vicious bidding war, Patrick Corbin, the market’s top pitcher, finally inked a six-year, $140 Million deal with the Washington Nationals.

Corbin is coming off of a career year in which he pitched to a 3.15 ERA over 200 innings with 246 total strikeouts.

The deal came down between the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, and Washington Nationals, but neither of the former two teams were willing to meet Corbin’s demand for a sixth year.

This deal is due to set the rate for the rest of the pitching market this offseason, and is the first big domino to fall in what is to be a record breaking free agent signing period.

 

MLB News: Mets, Mariners Blockbuster Finally Comes to Fruition

After what seems like an age, the Mets and Mariners have finally mutually agreed upon the blockbuster trade in which the Mets will receive 2B Robinson Cano, CL Edwin Diaz, and $20 Million in cash in exchange for OF Jay Bruce, RHP Anthony Swarzak, OF Jarred Kelenic (Mets #3, MLB #62), RHP Justin Dunn (Mets #4, MLB #89), and RHP Gerson Bautista.

The deal had stuttered to a halt for a time as the teams were finalizing the financial intricacies of the trade, but finally reached completion Saturday night.

Overall, the trade seems relatively well balanced. The Mets move forward with their ‘win now’ mentality and receive arguably the best closer in baseball, as well as a long-tenured veteran who swings a hefty bat and has yet to show sign of regression — yet being the operative word.

The Mariners on the other hand receive two veterans in Bruce and Swarzak, both of which they may decide to move at any given deadline, as well as two extremely talented prospects — one of which, being Kelenic, is considered to have ‘superstar’ level tools. They also come out of the deal taking a flier on reliever Gerson Bautista, a work in progress, yet still young right hander. Plus, the Mariners finally shed the abysmal contract held by Robinson Cano — something their General Manager, Jerry Dipoto, was dead set on doing.

This is just one of the many trades that are sure to ensue leading up to the winter meetings, so stay tuned for more!

MLB: Ten Non-Tendered Players That Could Shake Up the Offseason Market

Yesterday’s Non-Tender Deadline flushed a swath of talent into the 2018-19 free agent market. This year in particular, there are some big names that have shaken up the playing field — but which of these players could draw the most interest?

1. OF, Billy Hamilton

Once a coveted player within the Reds’ organization, Hamilton has plunged into free agency — something that almost nobody expected. While, yes, Hamilton has struggled in terms of getting on base, he is the fastest man in baseball — fast enough to have drawn comparisons to the likes of Rickey Henderson. I’m sure, if he wanted to, he could bunt his way to a .300+ average — apparently that is an impractical approach. Regardless, Hamilton is sure to draw a mess of interest from multiple teams. If not initially a starter, he would at least represent a threat off of the bench, and a deadly one at that.

2. INF, Jonathan Schoop

Schoop, sadly, fell from grace in 2018 after his remarkable 2017 campaign in which he slashed .293/.338/.503 with a terrifying 32 long drives. That kind of impact will not go unnoticed, especially from a lower-end production spot like second base or shortstop. I’m sure Schoop will receive heavy interest, both from competitive teams, as well as those who are looking to snag a young, controllable infielder with a great deal of upside. In all honesty, he’s a great fit for any team, especially given the fact that he’s still only 26 years old.

3. INF/OF, Derek Dietrich

(Ok, so Dietrich wasn’t technically non-tendered, but I think he’s still well worth the mention.)

Dietrich is a below average defender, but he has experience at almost every single position in the game. In addition, he swings a pretty good left-handed bat, and definitely has a bit of pop in him. His versatility should make him a well received market asset, and will surely land him on a team this winter, namely those who miss out on Marwin Gonzalez.

4. 1B, Justin Bour

Bour is only one year removed from a monster season in which he slashed .289/.366/.536 with a whopping .902 OPS. If that doesn’t interest you, then I don’t know what will. Bour is patient at the plate, has a remarkable amount of power, and is actually quite solid defensively. Teams should be able to look past his struggles during the 2018 season, and will look to give him a shot to return to form.

5. RHP, Hunter Strickland

Yeah, I can’t lie to you, this guy is a jerk. I wouldn’t want him anywhere near my team, however, I wouldn’t want him on another team either. Strickland can pitch, and he’s proved that time after time. However, the main reason he was likely non-tendered is because of the Giants’ interest in Bryce Harper — the two players don’t exactly have the cleanest history. Regardless, I have no doubt that a team with zero interest in Harper will be looking to snap up Strickland, no matter how bad of a teammate he may be.

6. RHP, Matt Shoemaker

Shoemaker was once seen as the future of the Angels’ rotation, but due to recent struggles, he’s now been thrust into the open market. While his numbers over the last few years have been less than encouraging, his peripherals look quite good. Low-ish BB/9 rates, higher K/9 rates, low FIPs here and there. There will definitely be a few rebuilding teams looking to fill out their rotation, and Shoemaker could be an excellent rebound candidate.

7. INF/OF, Yangervis Solarte

I’ve always liked Solarte — he’s an oft-overlooked utility man with an electric personality, plus he has some good pop in his bat. However, his most encouraging figure lies within his strikeout rates. Solarte has never, during his five year major league career, struck out more than 72 times in a season. So, if your team wants a versatile guy off the bench, or even in the starting lineup, that strives to make every single at bat one of quality, Yangervis Solarte could very well be your guy.

8. RHP, Brad Boxberger

Not only is Boxberger the owner of one of the coolest names in baseball, but he also puts his money where his mouth is in terms of numbers. Boxberger has shown promise in the closing role, having logged 32 saves in 2018 and 41 in 2015, the same year in which he earned all-star honors. Boxberger’s only caveat lies within injury concerns. He missed time both in 2016 and 2017 due to various injuries, but returned in 2018 to pitch a full 53.1 innings. Boxberger could be a helpful pickup for any team, especially those looking to get into the reliever market for easy flipping.

9. RHP, Mike Fiers

Fiers was a real surprise in 2018, pitching his way through a full 172 frames whilst maintaining a solid 3.56 ERA for both the Tigers as well as the Athletics. After struggling for Houston in both 2016 and 2017, it was nice to see Fiers come back and toss what could go down as his career best season. Though Fiers is 33 and doesn’t exactly have time on his side, he could very well fetch a deal from a team looking to fill a rotation spot, and, should his success continue, he could be flipped to a contender.

10. RHP, Shelby Miller

All right, here it is folks, the one you’ve all been waiting for. Shelby Miller, who was once traded for the first overall pick of the 2015 MLB Draft in Dansby Swanson, as well as a 25 year-old Ender Enciarte, AND pitching prospect Aaron Blair, was non tendered by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. In what must be the worst trade of the modern era, the Diamondbacks received what could only be described as a waste of space. Through three injury-plagued years, Miller only managed to amass 139 innings, and they weren’t good ones. This may have you thinking, ‘how in the world could you possibly believe that this guy could stage a comeback?’ Well, for one thing, he’s only 28 years old. Second, it was no secret that Miller was a ground ball guy — he never really had the stuff to accumulate double digit strikeouts. Finally, when he’s healthy, he has excellent durability and control. If he can find his velocity, get back into a winning mindset, and is paired with a solid infield defense, he could be a massive pickup for any team. After all, in both trades involving him, he garnered insane returns — maybe he can squeeze his way into another one.