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2015 Baseball Thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Fri Jan 16th, 2015 02:54 am
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HBF



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The Steinbrenners are like the Maras and Tisches and the York punk-kids who have no business being in the family business.  To say Cashman has done an exceptional job is just ridiculous.

Evan Gattis was a fan favorite here in ATL and I do like the Braves. There's no way that the team can sell this season as trying to put the best product on the field. I don't think I'd even go for a free ticket this year as they just look awful.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 16th, 2015 05:07 am
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lobo316



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Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has had enough of occupying the basement of the National League Central.

The 25-year-old has spent three of his four major league seasons on Chicago's North Side and has a been a part of a trio of fifth-place finishes.

However, the combination of top up-and-coming prospects in Jorge Soler and Javier Baez, paired with the marquee free-agent signing of Jon Lester, Rizzo sees the winds of change blowing through Wrigley Field and is breathing them in.

“I mean it’s going to happen this year. It’s what we’re going to do,” Rizzo told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times. “We’re going to win the NL Central.”

Rizzo knows his prediction is brash, but he doesn't care. He believes in the talent that the Cubs have acquired and built from within and has no issue setting the bar at its highest peek.

“We should be the team," Rizzo said. "With all due respect to every other team (in the division) – they’re just as good talent-wise. But we’re going to do some things this year. That’s what we’re expecting, that’s what we’re going to put our sights on, and we’re not going to settle for anything less.”

The St. Louis Cardinals claimed the division crown last season with 90 wins – a number the Cubs haven't reached since a 97-win campaign in 2008.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 16th, 2015 06:11 pm
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lobo316



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Alex Rodriguez has never lacked confidence.

The New York Yankees' 39-year-old designated hitter isn't giving up on the notion that he's a third baseman and will play the position this season in the Bronx.

Rodriguez, according to a Newsday report, believes the job is his to lose, even though the club signed Chase Headley to man the hot corner.

An unnamed source cited by Newsday's Steven Marcus said:

Alex's mind is that job's not Headley's, it's Alex's to lose. That's what he thinks. Alex is going into training camp thinking that he is the starting third baseman, that if there's a competition, Headley's got to win it from him. It doesn't matter about the money, what they signed Headley for. This guy (Rodriguez) can play.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in response:

We signed our third baseman, but Alex has to come in to compete for as much playing time as he can possibly get, so I would expect him to come in to be a two-way player, which is offense and defense.

Rodriguez is reportedly working out seven days a week in Florida and is in – wait for it – the best shape of his life. He's expected to report to spring training before Feb. 25, when players are required to be there.

Newsday's source added:

Alex learned a lot in the last year, and by the time he gets back on the field, it will almost be a year and a half. He's changed as a person. He's put his head down and he's working hard because he wants to play the game and respects the game, and he knows that he made some mistakes and the best way to atone for that is to just put your head down and go.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 16th, 2015 10:33 pm
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lobo316



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Nori Aoki will reportedly suit up next season for the team he played against in the World Series just a few months ago, as the 33-year-old outfielder agreed Friday to a one-year, $4.7-million deal with the San Francisco Giants, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Aoki will earn $4 million - plus performance incentives - in 2015 with a $700,000 buyout on a club option for the following season. Though Aoki reportedly received multi-year offers from other clubs, the Japanese expatriate was enamored with San Francisco and eager to play for a contender.

Aoki, who made his MLB debut with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012 after eight season in Japan, is expected to log plenty of innings in left field next season, where he'll likely compete for playing time with Gregor Blanco. The two players, however, share astonishingly similar offensive profiles and have produced at nearly identical levels over the last two seasons.

NAME                AVG    OBP     SLG     WRC+ WAR
Gregor Blanco  0.263  0.337   0.361     103 4.9
Nori Aoki         0.286   0.353   0.366     103 3.9

Last edited on Fri Jan 16th, 2015 10:34 pm by lobo316

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 Posted: Fri Jan 16th, 2015 10:35 pm
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lobo316



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The New York Yankees finalized a one-year deal with infielder Stephen Drew on Friday.

Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed, but CBS Sports' Jon Heyman believes Drew's salary is in the $5-million range, and he can earn up to $7 million with incentives (see stack below).

Drew transitioned to second base from shortstop for the Yankees last year, and slashed a disappointing .150/.219/.271 in 46 games. He will likely remain at second base with the acquisition of Didi Gregorius.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 16th, 2015 10:36 pm
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lobo316



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The baseball world is holding its collective breath as Max Scherzer decides his future. Detroit Tigers general manager and president Dave Dombrowski is over it.

"I would say no, probably not," Dombrowski said about bringing back Scherzer. "We've been in a situation where we're pretty well set with our starting pitching. We've got five starters we're comfortable (with). I guess you never tell what happens, but we're not in any type of active pursuit of any other pitching right now."

Scherzer turned down a six-year, $144-million extension from the Tigers last spring, and is reportedly seeking a deal in the $200-million range this winter. Scherzer's agent, Scott Boras, is notorious for waiting deep into the winter in order to maximize value for his clients.

Scherzer, 30, has compiled a 91-50 record with a 3.58 ERA over seven seasons and was the American League Cy Young Award winner in 2013.

The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals are believed to be the front-runners for Scherzer's services.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 17th, 2015 01:41 am
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Benlen



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lobo316 wrote: Nori Aoki will reportedly suit up next season for the team he played against in the World Series just a few months ago, as the 33-year-old outfielder agreed Friday to a one-year, $4.7-million deal with the San Francisco Giants, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Aoki will earn $4 million - plus performance incentives - in 2015 with a $700,000 buyout on a club option for the following season. Though Aoki reportedly received multi-year offers from other clubs, the Japanese expatriate was enamored with San Francisco and eager to play for a contender.

Aoki, who made his MLB debut with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012 after eight season in Japan, is expected to log plenty of innings in left field next season, where he'll likely compete for playing time with Gregor Blanco. The two players, however, share astonishingly similar offensive profiles and have produced at nearly identical levels over the last two seasons.

NAME                AVG    OBP     SLG     WRC+ WAR
Gregor Blanco  0.263  0.337   0.361     103 4.9
Nori Aoki         0.286   0.353   0.366     103 3.9

YUCK!!!!



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 Posted: Sat Jan 17th, 2015 02:16 am
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lobo316 wrote: The baseball world is holding its collective breath as Max Scherzer decides his future. Detroit Tigers general manager and president Dave Dombrowski is over it.

"I would say no, probably not," Dombrowski said about bringing back Scherzer. "We've been in a situation where we're pretty well set with our starting pitching. We've got five starters we're comfortable (with). I guess you never tell what happens, but we're not in any type of active pursuit of any other pitching right now."

Scherzer turned down a six-year, $144-million extension from the Tigers last spring, and is reportedly seeking a deal in the $200-million range this winter. Scherzer's agent, Scott Boras, is notorious for waiting deep into the winter in order to maximize value for his clients.

Scherzer, 30, has compiled a 91-50 record with a 3.58 ERA over seven seasons and was the American League Cy Young Award winner in 2013.

The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals are believed to be the front-runners for Scherzer's services.

I really hope the Yankees don't blow all this money on another pitcher who will suck in 3 years, especially when we still desperately need offense.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 17th, 2015 03:07 am
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Pitcher David Price has agreed Friday to a one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers for $19.75 million, according to multiple media outlets.

The agreement, which has yet to be announced, is the largest one-year deal for a player who filed for arbitration, topping Max Scherzer's $15,525,000 agreement with the Tigers last year.

Price, who avoided arbitration, went 15-12 with a 3.26 ERA and a league-leading 271 strikeouts in 2014 with the Tampa Bay Rays and Tigers, who acquired him in a three-team trade July 31.

The move paid dividends for the Tigers when Price held Minnesota scoreless in a division-clinching victory on the final day of the regular season. Detroit won the AL Central for a fourth consecutive year.

The left-hander, who will become a free agent after the 2015 season, made $14 million last season and was the AL Cy Young Award winner for the Rays in 2012.

Price will be a big part of Detroit's attempt to defend its spot atop the division, which looks increasingly tenuous after Kansas City went to the World Series as a wild card last year and the Chicago White Sox made a few significant moves this offseason. Cleveland could also be a threat with its promising rotation.

He is part of the Tigers' star-studded rotation that also includes Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez, although the Tigers traded Rick Porcello this offseason and may lose Scherzer to free agency.

Scherzer remains on the open market, and the Tigers have already shuffled their rotation a bit more. They acquired right-hander Shane Greene from the New York Yankees, and Alfredo Simon was traded from Cincinnati to Detroit last month.

Outfielder J.D. Martinez and right-handers Al Alburquerque and Simon were the other Detroit players eligible for arbitration.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 17th, 2015 07:10 am
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lobo316



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WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a $7.4 million, one-year contract and avoided salary arbitration.

Washington also agreed Friday to one-year deals with starter Doug Fister ($11.4 million) and reliever Drew Storen ($5.7 million).

Strasburg went 14-11 with a 3.14 ERA last year, and his 242 strikeouts tied for the NL lead. He made $4.1 million.

The 2009 No. 1 overall draft pick is 43-30 with 3.02 ERA over parts of five seasons.

Fister went 16-6 last year with a 2.41 ERA.

Storen regained the closer's job late in the season and finished with 11 saves and a 1.12 ERA.

Washington agreed Thursday with catcher Wilson Ramos ($3.55 million), right-hander Craig Stammen ($2.25 million). Second baseman Danny Espinosa ($1.8 million) and backup catcher Jose Lobaton ($1.2 million).

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 Posted: Sat Jan 17th, 2015 06:13 pm
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chrob61



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Here's a "scouting report" on Scherzer: great arm, gets you into the 7th inning, no further. Like Verlander, he doesn't pitch to contact.

You might say he has this strikeout fetish or something....throws way too many pitches, herky jerky delivery is a guarantee of extended time on the DL.

I hope the Tigers don't re-sign him!

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 Posted: Mon Jan 19th, 2015 06:20 pm
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lobo316



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The Washington Nationals are proof the best teams on paper don't always win. But that's not stopping general manager Mike Rizzo from assembling a roster chock full of talent.

Washington added to its abundance of star power Sunday, with multiple reports saying the club has agreed to a seven-year deal with free-agent pitcher Max Scherzer. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately known, but the contract will likely be the richest deal in franchise history and the largest ever awarded to a free-agent pitcher.

A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the deal will be worth more than $180 million.


Scherzer joins a remarkable Nationals rotation that currently includes Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, though it appears increasingly unlikely those five will comprise the club's Opening Day staff. Zimmermann and Fister are both entering the final year of their contracts, and the former has been subject to persistent trade rumors this winter.

Rosenthal's colleague Jon Morosi indicated Sunday that the Nationals are also willing to listen to offers for Strasburg, who remains under club control for two more seasons.

Scherzer, meanwhile, appears destined to be the second-richest pitcher in baseball behind Clayton Kershaw and the $215-million extension he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers last winter.

YEAR  IP        SO   ERA  WHIP
2010  195.2  184  3.50  1.25
2011  195     174  4.43  1.35
2012  187.2  231  3.74  1.27
2013  214.1  240  2.90  0.97
2014  220.1  252  3.15  1.18


Scherzer has established himself as one of the top arms in baseball since joining the Detroit Tigers in a three-way trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks during the 2009 offseason. The hard-throwing right-hander has averaged 203 innings per year over the last five seasons and boasts the fifth-highest strikeout rate over that stretch. His 723 strikeouts since 2012 leads all major-league pitchers.

The 2013 Cy Young Award winner was considered the top free agent available this winter after posting his second consecutive 200-inning season. He joins a Nationals team that won a National League-best 96 games in 2014, but suffered its second early-round playoff exit in three years.

Nevertheless, the Nationals are set to enter the 2015 season as prohibitive World Series favorites. Washington's rotation - whether it includes Zimmermann, Strasburg or Tanner Roark - projects to be the top staff in baseball.

Scherzer, 30, was considered a long shot to return to Detroit after rejecting a six-year, $144-million extension last spring. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski conceded as much Friday, saying the club was unlikely to pursue the right-hander.

Instead, Scherzer's career now comes full circle. Sunday's signing reunites him with Rizzo, who drafted Scherzer in 2006 while serving as the vice president of scouting for the Diamondbacks.

Last edited on Mon Jan 19th, 2015 06:21 pm by lobo316

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 Posted: Mon Jan 19th, 2015 06:23 pm
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lobo316



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The St. Louis Cardinals will wear a patch on their jerseys this season featuring the initials of outfielder Oscar Taveras, the team announced Sunday.

Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. said the black patch will be inscribed with the letters "OT" and be added to the sleeve of the Cardinals' 2015 uniforms. The club is omitting Taveras's No. 18 from the patch because right-hander Carlos Martinez has already requested to wear the number in honor of his late teammate.

Bill DeWitt Jr. announces #STLCards will honor the late Oscar Taveras wearing an OT sleeve patch in 2015. #OT18 pic.twitter.com/J3WPMuTwau

— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) January 18, 2015
DeWitt revealed the plans during the club's Winter Warm-Up event in St. Louis, which included a video tribute honoring Taveras. The team also pledged to renovate a baseball field in Taveras's hometown of Sousa, Dominican Republic.

"(It will) give the young kids down there a chance to dream like Oscar did of someday playing in the big leagues and getting their start on that field," DeWitt said, according to MLB.com. "There was so much outreach and a tremendous following for Oscar down there, I think this will be a nice symbol of what he meant to that area, and I think it's the appropriate place to do it."

Taveras and his girlfriend were killed in a car accident Oct. 26. It was later revealed that Taveras had high blood-alcohol content in his system at the time of the crash, marking the second time in franchise history a player was killed while driving intoxicated. Police said former Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was drunk at the time of his fatal car crash in 2007.

"We'll make a special effort to do even more in the future," DeWitt said, in reference to the club's plan to dedicate more time to discuss decision-making responsibilities during spring training. "Some of the ... young kids come in, a lot of them, in particular the younger kids, maybe been away from home for the first time, just explain to them the responsibility program. We do that, but we'll emphasize it even more."

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 Posted: Mon Jan 19th, 2015 09:46 pm
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lobo316



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The Houston Astros have traded outfielder Dexter Fowler to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Luis Valbuena and right-handed pitcher Dan Straily.

The Cubs announced the move on Monday.

Fowler, 28, hit .276 with eight home runs, 35 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 2014, his only season with Houston. He previously played with the Colorado Rockies after debuting in the majors in 2008.

Valbuena, 29, hit .249 with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs in 149 games with the Cubs last season.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told the Houston Chronicle that Valbuena will compete for the starting job at third base.

"If a player isn't helping us win games ... we have other options," Luhnow said. "Valbuena will get a long hard look at third base."

Straily, 26, went 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA in 14 total appearances last season, which he split between the Oakland Athletics and Cubs.

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 Posted: Mon Jan 19th, 2015 09:49 pm
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lobo316



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an update on the Scherzer deal



Free-agent pitcher Max Scherzer has agreed to a seven-year contract with the Washington Nationals, a source confirmed Sunday night to ESPN.com's Jim Bowden.

The deal is for $210 million with half deferred, FOX Sports reported. Scherzer reportedly will receive $15 million annually for 14 years.

A source had earlier told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that the Nationals wouldn't have the financial flexibility to sign the right-handed Scherzer unless they have a trade in place to move starter Jordan Zimmermann and possibly shortstop Ian Desmond.

As of Saturday, the source told Stark, the Nationals did not have trades in place for Zimmermann or Desmond.

The Washington Post and CBS earlier reported the deal.

Neither the Nationals nor Scherzer's agent immediately responded to requests by The Associated Press for comment Sunday night.

The NL East champion Nationals' starting rotation already includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister -- Scherzer's former teammate with the Tigers -- Gio Gonzalez, and Tanner Roark.

Scherzer, 30, is a career 91-50 with a 3.58 ERA in seven seasons with Arizona and Detroit. He won the 2013 American League Cy Young Award and has made the All-Star team in each of the past two seasons.

He was 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 2014, a year after going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and being voted the best pitcher in the American League.

He turned down an offer from Detroit this past March that would have paid him $144 million from 2015-20.

During the winter meetings in San Diego last month, agent Scott Boras gave indications that he was seeking a record payout for Scherzer.

The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw ($215 million), Detroit's Justin Verlander ($180 million) and Seattle's Felix Hernandez ($175 million) have signed the three biggest deals by starting pitchers in baseball history. But they all agreed to extensions before hitting the open market.

"All the prominent pitchers who've signed were not free-agent players," Boras said in San Diego. "If you put a pitcher like Kershaw into the free-agent market, you're going to get a much different calibration and value. I'm not sure Kershaw's [contract] is relevant.''

Reports from multiple media outlets Sunday said the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tigers -- high-profile clubs that have been linked to Scherzer in speculation throughout the winter -- were not among the finalists to sign him.

Scherzer has spent the past five seasons in Detroit after he was traded there by the Arizona Diamondbacks following the 2009 season.

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