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MLB Off Season Thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Tue Nov 17th, 2015 03:07 am
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lobo316



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Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto continues to be aggressive in restructuring his roster less than two months on the job.

The Mariners acquired outfielder Leonys Martin and right-hander Anthony Bass from the Texas Rangers on Monday, in exchange for right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen, outfielder James Jones and a player to be named later.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels said last week that he had been receiving interest in the 27-year-old Martin after he appeared to fall out of favor with the team for not reporting to Arizona to work out after being left off Texas' ALDS roster.

Limited to 95 games with wrist and hand injuries, Martin hit .219/.264/.313 with five home runs and 14 stolen bases. He's slashed .257/.307/.360 with 20 home runs, 46 doubles and 81 stolen bases in 397 games across the last three years, appearing in all three outfield positions.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 17th, 2015 03:07 am
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lobo316



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Two of Major League Baseball's legends will be awarded the highest civilian honor handed out by the United States government.

Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Willie Mays will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 24. The award recognizes individual contributions to the national interests of the United States, world peace, culture, or other significant public or private endeavors.

Berra, who died in September at the age of 90, was an 18-time All-Star and 13-time World Series champion. Berra also served in the Navy during World War II.

"Yogi received this highest of civilian honors in recognition of his military, civil rights, and educational activism," the Yogi Berra Museum said in a statement. "We are proud and honored that his ideals will continue to influence future generations through the educational services and character curriculum of his beloved museum and learning center."

Mays, a 19-time All-Star and two-time NL MVP, spent 22 seasons in the majors before retiring in 1973. He served in the Army after being drafted during the Korean War.

Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks was the last major leaguer to receive the award in 2013.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 17th, 2015 09:10 pm
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lobo316



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Aubrey Huff isn't happy with how his time in baseball ended - with him slinking out of an otherwise joyous clubhouse at Comerica Park - so the 39-year-old will try to author a new epilogue to his career.

Back in 2012, Huff was too consumed by depression and anxiety to partake in the revelry that followed his San Francisco Giants' second World Series championship in a three-year span, but the first baseman has since conquered his mental health issues and is working towards a comeback.

"I'm realistic,'' Huff told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times on Monday. "I'm fully aware people will think this is crazy. That's fine.''

Huff, a fifth-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1998, hit just .192/.326/.282 (77 OPS+) in his final season with the Giants, but owns an .806 OPS over parts of 13 seasons in the majors. Huff insists his swing hasn't deteriorated, either, in the time he's spent overcoming the mental health issues that plagued him three years ago.

"Everyone else was celebrating, I had a belly full of Xanax, I was miserable, I couldn't care less, I was the first one out of the clubhouse,'' Huff said.

Huff, who posted an .891 OPS with 26 homers as recently as 2010, said he hopes to land an invitation to spring training and would relish an opportunity to play winter ball to prove he can still contribute. And, he added, he can envision himself returning to Tampa Bay, where he played 799 games and hit 128 homers from 2000 to 2006.

"I keep telling my trainer and my wife, for whatever reason I keep seeing myself in a Rays uniform.''

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 Posted: Tue Nov 17th, 2015 10:44 pm
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CanadianHorseman



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He had better get the Jeter treatment from all the other MLB teams.


from bleacherreport.com:






Three-time World Series champion and Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz is reportedly planning to retire from baseball after the 2016 season.  

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com first reported the news. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe noted the slugger made comments pointing toward that conclusion last season. He also provided some potential background information on why the decision is coming out now:

Pete Abraham@PeteAbe
Ortiz said last spring he did not want a Jeter-like retirement tour but that his agents and sponsors did. Maybe they won out.
10:00 AM - 17 Nov 2015


Ortiz will be entering his 20th season in the major leagues next spring. Originally signed by the Seattle Mariners, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins, where he made his debut in 1997 and spent the first six years of his career.

Things really took off for Big Papi once he arrived in Boston as a free agent in 2003. He hit 31 home runs during his first campaign with the Red Sox en route to becoming one of the league's most consistent, dangerous power hitters.

One year later, he helped lead the organization to its first World Series triumph since 1918. The 2004 championship would be followed by titles in 2007 and 2013.

He'll head into 2016 with a .284 average and a .378 on-base percentage for his career. He's also tallied 503 homers, 1,641 runs batted in and 1,340 runs scored. He continued to perform at a high level in 2015 with 37 long balls, his most since 2006.

In 2009, his name was listed as having allegedly failed a drug test in 2003 during a league-wide "suspicionless" drug-testing survey despite a confidentiality agreement being in place. The 39-year-old Dominican Republic native told Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe he hopes that doesn't ruin his chances to make the Hall of Fame: "If one day I'm up for the Hall of Fame and there are guys who don't vote for me because of that, I will call it unfair."

His on-field performance certainly warrants a spot in Cooperstown, even with very limited action in the field as he spent most of his time at designated hitter. He was one of the crucial pieces in Boston's run of success.

One thing's for sure: Ortiz will always hold a special place with Red Sox Nation, regardless of what the Hall of Fame voters eventually decide.
 



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 Posted: Wed Nov 18th, 2015 12:42 am
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lobo316



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Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Brett Anderson is doubling down on himself in 2016.

The 27-year-old accepted a one-year, $15.8-million qualifying offer last week, despite acknowledging Monday that he turned down several opportunities with more security.

"There were some multi-year offers, but my situation was a little unique and I just kind of wanted to bet on myself," Anderson told reporters.

Limited to just 32 starts in the previous four seasons due to injuries, Anderson went 10-9 with a 3.69 ERA across a career-high 180 1/3 innings in 2015.

While Anderson became just the third player in history to accept the qualifying offer, he said he had discussions with the Dodgers about a multi-year deal and could revisit those talks in the future.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 18th, 2015 04:00 am
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lobo316



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Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister was voted as the 2015 American League Manager of the Year on Tuesday.

Banister, 50, became the third Rangers manager in club history to receive the honor, joining Johnny Oates (1996) and Buck Showalter (2004).

The selection of Banister marked the first time the AL award went to someone who was in his first full season as a manager, and just the fifth time overall. Other first-year winners such as Hal Lanier, Dusty Baker, Joe Girardi, and Matt Williams came from the NL.

Texas saw a 21-win improvement from 2014 under Banister's guidance - the second-largest increase of any team in baseball, behind only the Chicago Cubs. The Rangers became just the fifth team to make the postseason after having the league's worst record the season prior, and only the second in the AL.

Banister helped lead the Rangers to an AL West title in an 88-74 campaign, taking them to the postseason for the first time since 2012. He became the only manager in franchise history to guide the Rangers to either a first-place finish or a postseason berth in his first year as manager.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 18th, 2015 04:00 am
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lobo316



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Joe Maddon's auspicious first season with the Chicago Cubs earned the 61-year-old Manager of the Year honors Tuesday for the third time in his career, one shy of the all-time record shared by Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox.

Maddon, who previously received the award in 2008 and 2011 during his tenure with Tampa Bay Rays, received 18 of the 30 first-place votes to edge out Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets manager Terry Collins.

Under Maddon’s stewardship, the Cubs went 97-65 record this season, a 24-win improvement over their 73-89 finish in 2014, their first (and only) campaign with manager Rick Renteria.

Maddon, who signed a five-year contract last November, also helped the Cubs earn their first playoff berth since 2008 amid some major contributions from some of the league’s most highly touted youngsters. Though the Cubs ousted the Cardinals from the National League Division Series in four games, Maddon's squad was subsequently swept by the New York Mets in the NLCS, wherein they scored just eight runs in four contests.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 18th, 2015 04:02 am
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lobo316



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The San Francisco Giants rewarded Brandon Crawford for his breakout 2015 campaign, agreeing to a six-year deal with the All-Star shortstop worth a reported $75 million.

The extension, announced by the club Tuesday, buys out Crawford's final two years of arbitration and first four seasons of free agency. Crawford's deal includes a full no-trade clause, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

At an average annual value of $12.5 million, Crawford's new contract represents a significant raise from the $3.175 million he earned in 2015.

The 28-year-old hit a career-high 21 homers and posted a .782 OPS across 143 games last season, securing a Silver Slugger Award as the top offensive shortstop in the National League.

A reliable glove in the middle of the infield, Crawford's range at the position also landed him a Gold Glove after saving the second-most runs in the league, according to FanGraphs.

Crawford, who grew up in the Bay Area rooting for the Giants, has played at least 143 games in each of his last four seasons after making his major league debut in late May 2011. He also played a key role in the Giants' 2012 and 2014 World Series titles.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 18th, 2015 04:02 am
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lobo316



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The Los Angeles Angels bolstered their infield depth Tuesday afternoon, agreeing to a two-year deal with veteran utility man Cliff Pennington worth a reported $3.75 million, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

Pennington, 31, split the 2015 campaign between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays, stumbling to minus-0.4 wins above replacement while posting a career-worst .578 OPS over 105 games. A first-round pick in the 2005 draft, Pennington spent time at four different positions - shortstop, second base, third base, and left field - while also making an unexpected relief appearance on the mound for Toronto in Game 4 of the ALCS.

Over parts of eight seasons in the majors, Pennington owns a .245/.313/.344 slash line (81 OPS+) with 30 home runs and 18 defensive runs saved across stints with the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, and Oakland Athletics.

Pennington, a switch-hitter, could split time at third base this season with 25-year-old rookie Kyle Kubitza, while also receiving the occasional start at second in lieu of Johnny Giavotella.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 18th, 2015 10:32 am
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CanadianHorseman



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Rich Hill has signed a 1 year deal with Oakland worth $ 6 million.


from cbssports.com:


Rich Hill will reportedly take the mound for the A's in 2016.


According to multiple reports, the Athletics have agreed to terms with veteran lefty Rich Hill on a one-year contract. According to Jeff Passan, the deal will pay Hill $6 million in 2016.

Hill, 35, spent the bulk of this past season in Triple-A and the independent Atlantic League. The Red Sox summoned him to the majors in time to make four late-season starts, and he excelled over that span: 1.55 ERA, 36 strikeouts, five walks in 29 innings. For his career, Hill has pitched to a 4.54 ERA (100 ERA+) and a 2.10 K/BB ratio across parts of 11 big-league seasons. In Oakland, he's expected to join the rotation.



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 Posted: Wed Nov 18th, 2015 06:28 pm
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lobo316



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For Marco Estrada, comfort is everything.

The Toronto Blue Jays officially announced a two-year deal with the right-hander on Tuesday. While financial terms weren't disclosed, it's reportedly valued at $26 million.

"We feel this is a big step for us in our challenge to defend the AL East title," interim general manager Tony LaCava said. "Marco is a huge part to our success last year."

Following a career season, the Blue Jays extended a one-year, $15.8-million qualifying offer, though Estrada's wishes were granted when the team followed by offering a multi-year deal.

"You think about the qualifying offer and how much money that is, but I want to be here for a few years and I'm just glad they offered a two-year (deal) with that," Estrada said.

Acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers last November, Estrada emerged as one of the Blue Jays' most reliable starters after starting the year in the bullpen.

The 32-year-old won a career-high 13 games, posting a 3.13 ERA and 131 strikeouts over 182 innings. His 1.04 WHIP was the second-lowest mark among the American League's qualified starters. He followed his strong regular season performance by going 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA across three postseason starts.

Estrada, who made $3.9 million in 2015, acknowledged it's possible he could have landed a better deal by letting free agency play out, but wanted to remain in Toronto.

"Could I have gotten more years on the open market? Maybe. But I just wanted to come back here," he said. "It was the number one team I wanted to come (back) with. Once they offered a two-year deal, I wasn't thinking of going to free agency anymore."

Estrada will join R.A. Dickey, Marcus Stroman, and potentially Drew Hutchison and Aaron Sanchez in the rotation, though LaCava said the team is still looking to acquire starting pitching.

"We're engaged with a number of free agents and we're talking to a lot of teams as well," he said.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 18th, 2015 06:43 pm
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lobo316



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Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has made it a priority to address the bullpen this offseason - the team's biggest area of weakness the past half-decade.

The Tigers opened negotiations with former closer Joakim Soria earlier this week and have inquired on several more high-profile closers available via trade, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, though they aren't comfortable with the asking prices for the likes of Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller.

After building up their weak farm system last season following the trades of David Price and Yoenis Cespedes, Rosenthal notes the Tigers are likely reluctant to deal any of their young pitchers in order to acquire a premium backend piece.

The cost in the closing market isn't cheap, as evidenced by the Boston Red Sox parting with two top prospects - four in total - in order to land Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres last week.

Detroit's bullpen finished 27th in the majors with a 4.38 ERA last season, and hasn't ranked within the top 10 in ERA since 2006.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 18th, 2015 08:52 pm
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lobo316



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Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has landed his closer.

The Milwaukee Brewers traded right-hander Francisco Rodriguez to the Tigers on Wednesday, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The return is not yet known.

Francisco posted a 2.21 ERA and 62 strikeouts across 57 innings last season, while converting 38 saves. The Tigers are expected to absorb all of the remaining $9.5-million remaining on his deal.

Last edited on Wed Nov 18th, 2015 09:01 pm by lobo316

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 Posted: Wed Nov 18th, 2015 09:41 pm
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chrob61



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Has K-Rod still got some mileage on him?   The Tigers could use the help!

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/tigers-get-francisco-rodriguez-in-trade-with-brewers-to-help-woeful-bullpen-170704874.html

Last edited on Wed Nov 18th, 2015 10:15 pm by chrob61

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 Posted: Thu Nov 19th, 2015 12:13 am
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lobo316



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NEW YORK - Major League Baseball's minimum salary will remain at $507,500 next year because of a lack of inflation.

The sport's collective bargaining agreement called for a cost-of-living adjustment based on the yearly increase through October of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, rounded to the nearest $500.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Tuesday that measure decreased over 12 months. Baseball's labor contract said the 2016 minimum cannot be lower than the 2015 figure, and MLB and the players' association confirmed the amounts Wednesday.

The minor league minimum for a player signing a second major league contract remains $82,700 and the minor league minimum for a player signing an initial big league contract stays at $41,400.

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