Today the Yankees have announced they have avoided arbitration by coming to terms on a 4 year with a 5th year contract. There is $37.25MM guaranteed, and the option is worth $15MM, making the contract worth $52.25 if the Yankees claim that option. Severino really has earned this contract, pitching his name onto a top pitcher in baseball. Pitching 193.1 IP in 2017, and 191.1 in 2018, he is durable while posting a 3.07 and 2.95 FIP, respectively. With the overpowering fastball, and the killer slider, he is positioning himself to be a top of the rotation starter for the Yankees for a long time.
Tiger’s righty Michael Fulmer has lost his arbitration case against his team. Fulmer had filed at $3.4MM while the team won the case at $2.8MM. An interesting move for Michael, challenging the team, as it was after having his worst season of his career. The 2016 Rookie of the Year pitched his way to a 4.52 FIP, almost a full run higher than his 2017 campaign: most likely due to his uptick walks (3.13 per nine, compared to 2.19) and allowing more home runs (1.29 per 9 compared to .71).
Robert Murray of the Athletic reports that the San Francisco Giants have agreed to terms with utility-infielder Solarte. While only batting to a 77 wRC+ in 2018, Solarte is usually close to a league average hitter. The Giants have hedged this signing with lots of incentives; Solarte will make $1.75MM and $250 in incentives.
STAT OF THE DAY
Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) measures how often a ball in play goes for a hit. A ball is “in play” when the plate appearance ends in something other than a strikeout, walk, hit batter, catcher’s interference, sacrifice bunt, or home run. In other words, the batter put the ball in play and it didn’t clear the outfield fence. Typically around 30% of all balls in play fall for hits, but there are several variables that can affect BABIP rates for individual players, such as defense, luck, and talent level. Hitters have more control over their BABIP than pitchers do and that lack of control for pitchers has lead to the creation of Defense Independent Pitching Statistics (DIPS).
BABIP is one of the simplest and more important sabermetric statistics, but it is also one of the most misunderstood. Understanding the factors that lead to a higher or lower BABIP is important for analyzing player performance and knowledge about the principle itself will lead you to a more nuanced appreciation of the game. – Fangraphs
TLDR: Its the percent of time a ball goes into play.
The Royals have announced a minor-league deal with veteran righty Drew Storen, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter). He’ll earn at a $1.25MM level if he makes it to the majors, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter), with $900K in incentives also available, per MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (Twitter link). The deal includes an invite to participate in MLB camp. It also allows Storen to opt out on March 25th if he has not been added to the 40-man roster, Flanagan adds on Twitter. – MLBTR
The Angels agreed on Friday to sign left-handed reliever Dan Jennings to a minor-league contract and invite him to spring training. Jennings, 31, would make $1 million and an additional $500,000 in incentives if he makes the 25-man roster, according to a person with knowledge of the situation but not authorized to speak publicly. He spent last season with the Milwaukee Brewers after being released by the Tampa Bay Rays … He also had a 4.09 fielding independent pitching [FIP] number while striking out fewer batters per nine innings (6.3) than he did in any of his previous full major league seasons. – Maria Torres, LA Times
The Giants have agreed to a contract with free-agent outfielder Craig Gentry … Gentry, 35, spent the 2018 season with the Orioles organization and appeared in 68 games at the MLB level, tallying 169 plate appearances and hitting .269/.321/.346 along the way. Those numbers align rather closely with the .262/.333/.339 slash that Gentry has posted in parts of 10 big league seasons with the Rangers, Orioles, Athletics and Angels. – MLBTR
The Oakland A’s signed infielder Cliff Pennington to a minor league deal on Friday, reports Martin Gallegos of the East Bay Times. The team also confirmed the move, as well as the fact that Pennington is a non-roster invitee to spring training … Pennington was Oakland’s 1st-round draft back in 2005 and debuted with the team in 2008. He played here for five years, including a postseason appearance as part of the magical 2012 squad, before bouncing around to the D’Backs, Blue Jays, Angels, and Reds. On the field, Pennington is a glove-first utility player. He doesn’t hit much, as his career 79 wRC+ makes clear, but he can play both middle infield positions and help out elsewhere when needed. – Alex Hall, Athletics Nation