April 15th


Shohei Ohtani –  Nearing Return

After a successful Tommy John surgery, two way phenom Ohtani is nearing his return to a major league lineup. He had a successful checkup yesterday, clearing him to begin swinging a bat. Once that starts, he will advance quickly. The Angels really need him back in the lineup as they have had Trout out of the lineup lately, and Justin Upton is still recovering. 


David Robertson – Injury

Closer David Robertson is the latest to hit the IL yesterday. He is suffering from soreness in his pitching elbow, which is no small thing. This is very well the first thing before a chain of lots of very bad things: most notably, Tommy John surgery. Robertson is in his first year of a two year contract worth $23MM. 


Francisco Lindor – Starting Rehab

Superstar Fransisco Lindor is heading to AAA Columbus to begin some rehab games. Obviously the Indians offense, and defense, has taken a hit without Lindor, but it has just been quite abysmal. Lindor will help, of course, but he can’t pick up all the slack. Kipnis has returned to the lineup as well, hopefully these two players can bring the offense back up if the Indians are looking to keep the AL Central crown. 


Notes

  • RHP Mike Folty of the Braves is set to only make one more rehab start before joining the big league rotation, the Braves really need it
  • Chris Iannetta to the IL with a strained lat, Rockies select Drew Butera from AAA
  • Jonny Venters hits the IL with a strained calf
  • Tyler Skaggs has landed on the IL with a left ankle sprain

PITCH OF THE DAY

I love seeing Darvish back on here, the Cubs desperately needed him back, and now he is pitching great again. Just look at this slider: unhittable ⬆️



Business of Baseball – No-trade Clause

Definition

A no-trade clause is a contractual clause that allows players to veto trades to certain teams. No-trade clauses are often worked into contract extensions and free-agent contracts as a perk for the players signing such deals.

Some contracts include partial no-trade clauses, which allow a player to block trades to a specified list of teams. In the case of a partial no-trade clause, the player that agrees to such a clause will sometimes be allowed to update on a yearly basis the teams to which he cannot be traded without his consent. In other instances, teams will concede to a full no-trade clause that allows the player in question to block a trade to all 29 other teams.

Beyond that, a player that has accumulated 10 years of Major League service time and has spent the past five consecutive seasons of that service time with one team gains the right — termed 10-and-5 rights — to veto a trade to any team.

Examples

Per the terms of his contract extension signed in 2011 — which spans the 2016-20 seasons — Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was given the ability to block trades to 23 of the 29 other Major League teams. On the other end of the spectrum, Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco agreed to a very limited no-trade protection as part of his four-year, $49 million contract with Minnesota. As of December 2015, Nolasco was reportedly able to veto trades to just three teams.

The Reds’ Brandon Phillips reportedly invoked his 10-and-5 rights two separate times between the 2015 and 2016 seasons, blocking trades that would have sent him to the D-backs and to the Nationals.

The Nationals had interest in trading for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon in July 2015, but Papelbon had a no-trade provision in his contract that allowed him to block a deal to 17 clubs — including Washington. Papelbon also had a vesting option for 2016 in his contract with Philadelphia that would be exercised if he finished 48 games. As a means of enticing the right-hander to waive the no-trade clause, the Nationals offered to exercise that vesting option in advance, and Papelbon agreed to a slightly reduced rate of $11 million as a compromise. With those roadblocks worked out, the Nationals traded Minor League right-hander Nick Pivetta to the Phillies in exchange for Papelbon to complete the deal.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of ESPN.com

April 13th


Chris Davis – Busts Streak

After a 3-4 day against the Red Sox on a day game at Fenway yesterday, Davis officially ended his streak of going 0-54. Against former Cy Young award winner Rick Porcello no less. Now the longest hitless streak for a position player, who got the first hit since September 18, 2018. Davis had signed a 7-year $161MM deal before the 2016 season. 


Touki Toussaint – Called Up

Yesterday top prospect Touki Toussaint has been recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to man a post in the Atlanta bullpen. Touki came up for 5 starts at the end of last year and struggled with his command. He does have a top notch fastball and curve, but getting it in the zone has always been his issue. In shorter stints we will see if he can focus in a bit more, because his stuff is there to succeed.


Carlos Gonzalez – Called Up

Veteran OF Carlos Gonzalez has been called up to play in the Cleveland outfield. After being with the Rockies for the past 10 years, he will now be putting on an Indians jersey. The former MVP candidate and All Star will be called upon to help ease that dumpster fire of an outfield and lineup.


Notes 

  • CC Sabathia made his 2019 debut for the Yankees on Saturday
  • Jordy Mercer hits the IL, the Tigers announced a righty quad strain for him
  • Right Knee sprain shelves Ranger’s Roughed Odor

PITCH OF THE DAY



Reyes Moronta NINTEY ONE MPH CHANGEUP




Business of Baseball – Non-tendered

Definition

When a club “non-tenders” a player, it declines to give that player a contract for the upcoming season, thereby immediately making him a free agent. Players on the 40-man roster with fewer than six years of Major League service time must be tendered contracts each offseason by a set deadline — typically a date in early December — or non-tendered and released to the free-agent pool.

In many instances, a club will non-tender a player because it feels the raise he will receive in arbitration would be greater than his on-field value. In other cases, a club will non-tender a player simply to clear a spot on the 40-man roster — even if that player isn’t due much more than the league minimum the following season.

Examples

Henderson Alvarez was due to receive $4 million or more in arbitration following the 2015 campaign, in which he made just four starts before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. Rather than tender a contract to a player with major durability concerns, the Marlins non-tendered Alvarez in December 2015.

Also in December 2015, the Astros elected to non-tender first baseman Chris Carter rather than pay him a raise on his $4.175 million salary from the prior season. Carter had belted 90 homers with Houston from 2013-15, but he also batted just .218 while striking out in 33.7 percent of his plate appearances during that span.

And though James Jones was not eligible for salary arbitration and would have made scarcely more than the league minimum in 2016, the Rangers non-tendered him in December 2015 to open a 40-man roster spot for further offseason maneuvering. Texas soon re-signed Jones to a Minor League contract, keeping him in the organization without expending a 40-man roster spot.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of NBC Sports

April 2nd


Ronald Acuna – Extension

Yesterday the Braves announced an 8 year, $100MM extension with star OF Acuna. While breaking onto the scene last year at only 20 years old, he won the Rookie of the Year award for the National League, and even was 12th in MVP voting. Acuna batted to a 144 OPS+ in 487 PA after getting his call up. This deal also includes two options which could bring this to a 10 year, $134MM if exercised. The two options both have $10MM buyouts so there is at least $110MM guaranteed. 


German Marquez – Extension

Ace and sleeper for the Cy Young award (in my book) German Marquez has inked a 5 year extension with the Colorado Rockies that is worth $43MM. While he really set himself apart in the second part of 2018, he is nearly getting the same money that Blake Snell ($50MM) got after winning the Cy Young. Marquez and Snell have the same amount of service time, making them pretty good comparables to each other. 


Kevin Pillar – Traded

The Blue Jays and Giants completed a four player trade involving stellar outfielder Kevin Pillar on Tuesday. Newly minted GM Farhan Zaidi has been looking for some OF studs to roam the expansive field at Oracle park since taking over at the helm. The Giants sent three prospects back to Toronto: P Derek Law, IF Alan Hanson, and righty Juan De Paula. Pillar is a below average hitter against righties, but offers a 100 wRC+ against lefties making for a good platoon with Steven Duggar. Pillar is an elite defender and could see time in both corners as well as mainly being deployed in CF. 


Trea Turner – Injury

DO NOT TRY TO BUNT FOLKS!! In Tuesday’s game, Trea Turner tried to bunt and caught a 92 MPH Zach Eflin fastball right to his hand. When he did not even get to finish the at bat, you knew it wasn’t going to turn out good. X-Rays showed the fracture, we will update you when a timetable surfaces on when the exciting shortstop will start getting back in action.


Randal Grichuk – Extension

There have been a surprising amount of extensions happening even though the season has started! Usually they really slow down once the season starts. Not the case in 2019! Grichuk and the Blue Jays have come to terms on a 5 year, $52MM deal with several escalators as well. While his on base skills have never been his strength, he is a speedy outfielder which allows him to have great defensive numbers. This extension is on par with many several players with the same amount of service time. 


Notes 

  • Superstar Francisco Lindor is eyeing to be back by May with his calf strain
  • Rockies lefty Jake McGee has been placed on the IL with a left knee sprain
  • Jacob Nix of the Padres has decided to only rehab his injured elbow instead of undergoing Tommy John. 
  • After the Pillar Trade today, the Blue Jays have acquired OF Scorates Brito from Padres

PITCH OF THE DAY

Blake Snell NASTY slider



Business of Baseball – Contract Renewal

Definition

Players who haven’t signed a long-term contract extension or accrued the MLB service time necessary to be eligible for salary arbitration can have their contracts renewed by their clubs as one-year deals for the coming season.

These pre-arbitration players can negotiate their salaries but have little leverage, as clubs can choose to renew a contract for the Major League minimum if they cannot come to an agreement with the player. Of course, clubs may choose to sign their pre-arbitration players to one-year deals for more than the Major League minimum to build good will for future negotiations, but they are under no obligation to do so.

Clubs cannot reduce players’ salaries by more than 20 percent of what they earned in the previous MLB season — including a player’s base salary and additional payments such as performance bonuses, signing bonuses and deferred compensation — or 30 percent of what they earned two seasons prior, per the Maximum Salary Reduction clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Examples

The Red Sox were not able to come to an agreement with Mookie Betts on a salary for the 2017 season, so they renewed his contract for $950,000 — up from the $566,000 he earned in 2016. The Astros renewed Alex Bregman’s contract for the 2018 season, giving the third baseman $599,000 after he earned $539,400 in 2017.

Conversely, the Cubs and Kris Bryant came to an agreement on a $1.05 million contract for the 2017 season in Bryant’s last year before salary arbitration, setting a record for the largest one-year deal ever given to a pre-arbitration player.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of MLB.com

March 29th


Justin Upton – Injury

Friday news broke that Angels LF Justin Upton will miss 8-12 weeks with turf toe. While he has been resting the past few days from it, after further inspcection he will need several months for it to heal. This is the longest I’ve heard of taking for healing turf toe; so hopefully this does not take the full 12 weeks to heal. The Halos really need that middle of the order bat with Ohtani still not back in the lineup. 


Corey Knebel – Injury

Another injury, I always hate typing these blurbs when they are on injuries. Closer/ Relief Ace Corey Knebel will now miss all of 2019 and most of 2020 with Tommy John surgery. It was reported that he went to multiple doctors to ensure there was nothing else they could do to fix his elbow without having to go full blown TJ. Agreeing to $5.125MM this year makes for potentially the same salary next year in arbitration; meaning that would be really expensive for (maybe) less than half a years worth of a recovering TJ patient: They could non-tender Knebel next year. With Kimbrel and Keuchel out there, that money could easily be re-invested in the free agents. Rumor has it that the Brewers are in talks with Kimbrel, and with this news regarding Knebel, it makes even more sense. 


Notes 

  • Dipoto of the Mariners has acquired Tom Murphy from the Giants. 
  • Mason Williams signed minor’s deal with Orioles, will report to AAA
  • Cameron Maybin finds another team with the Indians. Minor’s deal



Business of Baseball – Competitive Balance Draft picks

Competitive Balance Draft picks were implemented in the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement to create an additional way for small-market and low-revenue clubs to add talent to their organizations. The process to assign picks was amended in the 2017-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The 10 lowest-revenue clubs and the clubs from the 10 smallest markets are eligible to receive a Competitive Balance pick (fewer than 20 clubs are in the mix each year, as some clubs qualify under both criteria). All eligible teams are assigned a pick, either in Competitive Balance Round A or Round B. Round A falls between the first and second rounds of the Rule 4 draft, while Round B comes between the second and third.

Under the 2017-21 CBA, six clubs will be awarded picks in Round A based on a formula that considers winning percentage and revenue. Those six teams will pick in Round A in 2017, 2019 and 2021. The remaining teams — estimated to be between six and eight — will pick in Round B in those years. The groups of teams, which will not change for the duration of the 2017-21 CBA, will switch picking in Round A and B in alternating years based on their initial assignment of round in 2017.

Clubs drafting in the Competitive Balance Rounds also receive more international bonus pool money than the minimum of $4.75 million. Those drafting in Competitive Balance Round A will receive $5.25 million, while those in Competitive Balance Round B will get $5.75 million.

Unlike other Draft picks, Competitive Balance Draft picks can be traded. However, they cannot be dealt simply in exchange for cash, and can be traded only by the club to which it was awarded. In other words, the picks may be traded no more than once.

History of the rule

Under the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 10 lowest-revenue clubs and the clubs from the 10 smallest markets were entered into a lottery. The first six clubs selected in the lottery received a Draft selection in Competitive Balance Round A, while the next six clubs selected received a pick in Competitive Balance Round B.

Example

On June 1, 2014, the Marlins traded their Competitive Balance Round A selection to the Pirates in exchange for right-hander Bryan Morris. The Pirates received the 39th pick in the Draft that followed just days later.


Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of LA Times

March 25th


Francisco Lindor – Ownership Status

During an interview with Zack Meisel of the Athletic (subscription link) Zack met with Indians Owner Paul Dolan. Zack asked Dolan some pretty interesting questions, but the question that got the most interesting answer was one referring to Star Shortstop Francisco Lindor. Zack asked him about whether or not there are plans to spend some big money, referring to the Machado, Harper, and Trout deals, on Lindor, and his quote was “enjoy him and then we’ll see what happens.” Dolan then said that they will be spending $300 MM deals once other teams are spending one BILLION dollar deals. That right there is not what it should be like folks.


Lucas Duda – Signed

After taking his opt out from the Twins last week, Duda has now signed with the KC Royals. Kansas City has told him that he will make the opening day roster, who he was with for the first half of 2018. Duda hit .242/.310/.413 with the same club last year before he was traded to the Braves. 


Notes

  • Andrew Romine resigns with Phillies, to avoid paying him a $100K bonus to keep him in the minors
  • Orioles select contract of Jesus Sucre; Announce Trumbo and Cobb will be placed on IL
  • Devin Mesoraco might not make the Met’s opening day roster, and will retire if not in the bigs. Mets sign Rene Rivera to take his place
  • John Axfora resigns with the Blue Jays. This time a minor league pact, he will be recovering from injury and still has hopes to make the club once recovered



Business of Baseball – 40 man Roster

The 40-man roster includes a combination of players on the 25-man roster, the 7- and 10-day injured lists, the bereavement/family medical emergency list and the paternity leave list, as well as some Minor Leaguers.

In order for a club to add a player to the 25-man roster, the player must be on the 40-man roster. If a club with a full 40-man roster wishes to promote a Minor League player that is not on the 40-man roster, it must first remove a player from the 40-man roster — either by designating a player’s contract for assignment, trading a player, releasing a player or transferring a player to the 60-day injured list.

A player who is on the 40-man roster but does not open the season on the 25-man roster must be optioned to the Minor Leagues. Only one Minor League option is used per season, regardless of how many times a player is optioned to and from the Minors over the course of a given season. Players typically have three option years, although a fourth may be granted in certain cases (usually due to injuries). Out-of-options players must be designated for assignment — which removes them from the 40-man roster — and passed through outright waivers before being eligible to be sent to the Minors.

The 40-man roster is also an important distinction in the offseason, as players who are on the 40-man roster are protected from being selected by another organization in the annual Rule 5 Draft, held each year in December at the Winter Meetings.


Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of

March 24th


Jose Ramirez – Injury Scare

In the third inning of Sunday’s game Jose fouled a ball off his left knee and was CARTED off the field. Stunningly the X-Rays came back negative on a break in the bone. News still hasn’t come out if this would require an IL trip to start the season. If it does, it could be a major blow to the Indians who are already down Lindor and Kipnis.


Erik Kratz – Traded

After being out of options, and being third on the depth chart in Milwaukee, they knew he had to move. The Brewers have found a suitor, getting SS C.J. Hinojosa from the Giants. 


Brad Miller – Signed 

The Indians have signed some IF/OF depth with the signing of Brad Miller. Miller’s best season came in 2016 when he had 30 balls hit over the fence, but over his whole career he owns a 99 wRC+, good for basically league average. His defense has always been below average, but his versatility has always been his strength. 


Daniel Hudson – Signed

After releasing John Axford, the Blue Jays have signed a major league deal with Daniel Hudson for one year worth $1.5MM. 

Notes

  • Hanley Ramirez has a really good chance to make the opening day roster
  • Matt Duffy will start the year on IL
  • Sandy Leon has been placed on waivers by the Boston Red Sox. 
  • Nick Green will be returned to the Yankees after being selected in the rule 5 draft by the Diamondbacks
  • Jordan Romano has been returned to the Blue Jays after being selected in the rule 5 draft by then Rangers



Business of Baseball – 25 Man Roster

A club’s 25-man roster is its full roster of active Major League players. Typically, a club will have some combination of 12 position players and 13 pitchers or 12 pitchers and 13 position players. Players on the 25-man roster (or the Major League injured list) accrue Major League service time. All players on the 25-man roster must also be on the 40-man roster. Teams are required to have a minimum of 24 players on their 25-man roster.

In the case of doubleheaders, clubs are allowed to recall one additional player who is on the 40-man roster to serve as the 26th member of the active Major League roster only for the day of said doubleheader. That player accrues one day of MLB service time and is returned to the Minor Leagues following the completion of the doubleheader.

Upon being optioned to the Minor Leagues, a player must remain there for a minimum of 10 days before he is eligible to be recalled to the Major League roster, unless he is serving as the 26th man for a doubleheader or replacing a player who has been placed on the injured list. In these exceptions, there are no minimum number of days in which the optioned player must remain in the Minors.

On Sept. 1, teams can carry up to 40 players on their active roster until the start of postseason play, at which point the maximum reverts back to 25. All players added to the active roster during this period must be on the 40-man roster.

THIS IS ONLY FOR 2019 – 2020 ROSTERS WILL EXPAND TO 26 MEN


Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Minor League Ball

March 18th


GIO GONZALEZ – SIGNED

Finally, another free agent off the board. In a tweet from Jeff Passan of ESPN, he details that this is (surprisingly) a minor league deal! it is crazy that a player his caliber has to settle for a minor league deal. Last year he ended with a 4.16 FIP, which is NOT bad by any means. After a run with the Nationals in which he had a 3.28 FIP over three years previous to 2018, it seems like there should be some left in the tank. Gio’s deal is for $3MM plus incentives.


INDIANS AND PADRES – TRADE RUMORS

Earlier in the offseason, there were numerous reports that the Indians were shopping their two top pitchers, Kluber and Bauer, around to see if they could dump a salary or two. Since Christmas or so, those talks seemed to subside. After today’s tweet from Ken Rosenthal, they have picked back up: this time with the Padres. Ken does point out that he does not think this would happen before Opening Day next week.


NOTES

  • Dustin Pedroia will not be ready for Opening Day.
  • Dodgers announced front office promotions



Stat of the Day – Bolt

Definition: A Bolt is any run where the Sprint Speed (defined as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window”) of the runner is at least 30 ft/sec.

Players’ Bolt totals for each season are displayed on the Sprint Speed leaderboard. It is a cumulative stat, unlike Sprint Speed.

Billy Hamilton finished first or second in Bolts in each of the first four seasons in Statcast history. Trea Turner ranked first in 2018, with 145 Bolts — 43 more than any other player — though he ranked fourth on the Sprint Speed leaderboard (min. 10 competitive runs).

Since Statcast was implemented Major League-wide in 2015, the number of Bolts per season typically has been similar to the number of stolen bases. For example, there were 2,377 Bolts and 2,474 steals in 2018.

TLDR: If a runner crosses 30 ft/sec he will tally a bolt. Only the fastest of the fast get that. 

Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Federal Baseball


March 16th


Carlos Gonzalez – Signed

Today, a free agent thought to have had a place to go on a major league deal, signed a minor league deal with the Indians. Carlos Gonzalez used to be a staple in the middle of the Rockies lineup, but the past few years has slid back a bit. While he could make up to $2MM if he makes the big leagues, it is still risky if the Indians cut him in the next two weeks. Lets hope CarGo kept in shape over the offseason.


Gio Gonzalez -rumors

Gio Gonzalez, one of the top three free agents left, is now hearing some rumors of a Yankee connection. With Severino and CC Sabathia not ready for the season, they are looking to turn to two rookies: Domingo German, and Luis Cessa. While they are planning to have their regulars back by May, that is still over a month without them, and heaven forbid another starter go down during the season, you never can have too much pitching.




Stat of the Day – Hit Probability

Introduced before the 2017 season, Hit Probability is a Statcast metric that measures the likelihood that a batted ball will become a hit.

Each batted ball is assigned a percentage based on how often comparable balls have become hits since Statcast was implemented Major League wide in 2015, using exit velocity, launch angle and, on certain types of batted balls, Sprint Speed. (As of January 2019, Hit Probability now factors in a batter’s seasonal Sprint Speed on “topped” or weakly hit” balls.) For instance, a line drive to the outfield with a Hit Probability of 70 percent is given that figure because balls with a similar exit velocity and launch angle have become hits seven out of 10 times since the implementation of Statcast.

Barrels — a metric introduced in 2016 — have a combination of exit velocity and launch angle that results in a minimum Hit Probability of 50 percent, though the Hit Probability of the average Barrel is much higher (82 percent).

Why it’s useful:Hit Probability tries to get to the heart of what a pitcher and hitter control while attempting to take out the effects of defense and ballpark. Setting aside foot speed for infield hits, a batter’s impact on whether the ball was a hit or an out ends as soon as the bat makes contact. Likewise, a pitcher cannot control what happens to a batted ball after it leaves the bat.

With knowledge of the probable outcome of each batted ball, an expected wOBA can be created for each player — factoring in non-contact figures like a player’s strikeout and walk rates.

TLDR: Hit probability is what it sounds like: the chance a hit would be a hit. Sometimes batters get lucky.


Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of MLB.com

February 23rd

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Craig Kimbrel – Rumor

There have been some contradicting rumors surrounding Kimbrel today. At first there was a tweet by Jim Bowden of The Athletic that stated that Kimbrel’s price was not coming down and that he might consider sitting out a year to get that deal. Just two hours after that tweet came out, Ken Rosenthal of the same company said that he had talked to David Meter (Kimbrel’s agent) and the rumor of him potentially sitting out a year is “utterly false”. Kimbrel has yet to sign a deal and spring training games have already begun.

 

Bryce Harper – Update

According to several Jon Heyman tweets, Harper had meetings with two teams on Saturday, but apparently they got somewhere with the Phillies. Sources say that they will be finalizing a 10-year deal with him on Monday. With Spring Training games already started, I’m sure they want Bryce to get to know his new teammates soon.

 

Hanley Ramirez – Minor League Deal

The Indians have agreed to a minor league deal, pending a physical, with free-agent first baseman Hanley Ramirez, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

Cleveland’s the first team for the 35-year-old Ramirez since Boston unceremoniously released him last June 1. Ramirez drew little reported interest after the Red Sox cut ties with him, owing to back-to-back seasons of subpar production at the plate and an inability to add value in the field or on the base paths. Formerly a superstar with the Marlins and a quality player with the Dodgers, Ramirez combined to hit a meager .245/.318/.421 (91 wRC+) with 29 home runs and minus-0.7 fWAR in 748 plate appearances from 2017-18.

 

Jose Martinez – Signed for 2 Years

Jose Martinez is used to being the odd man out in St. Louis, where his inability to play defense has limited his starting opportunities with the Cardinals. Despite effectively serving as a walking trade rumor for most of the last seven months, Martinez remains with the Cardinals — and on Saturday he received a pay bump after agreeing to a two-year deal worth more than $3 million” – CBS Sports

 

 

Jose Iglesias – Minor League Deal

Jose Iglesias has joined the Reds on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. He could earn $2.5MM if he makes the roster, plus another $1MM based on games played!

“Iglesias, 29, is one of the game’s premier defenders at shortstop and actually had an improved year at the plate in 2018, hitting .269/.310/.389 in 464 plate appearances — good for both a 90 OPS+ and wRC+ (essentially indicating that his bat was about 10 percent worse than that of a league-average hitter after adjusting for his home park and league). For a player with his defensive prowess, that level of offense is more than acceptable, which is why both Fangraphs (2.5) and Baseball-Reference (2.2) both felt that Iglesias was worth more than two wins above replacement last season.” – Steve Adams, MLBTR

 

Kaleb Cowart – Re Claimed by Angels

“The Angels have claimed RHP/IF/OF Kaleb Cowart from the Tigers, per a team release. The 26-year-old Cowart has spent his entire playing career with Los Angeles, but was claimed by both the Mariners and the Tigers earlier this offseason. Right-hander J.C. Ramirez has been placed on the 60-day DL to make room for Cowart on the 40-man roster.

The former first-rounder has worked all over the diamond in his four big-league stints with Los Angeles, appearing at 3B, 2B, SS, 1B, and LF in 2018 alone. Now, like Seattle and Detroit before it, the club has plans to try him as a two-way player.” – Ty Bradley, MLBTR

 

MLB Trade Rumors Minor Roundup: Click HERE


 

Stat of the Day – UZR

UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) is an advanced defensive metric that uses play-by-play data recorded by Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) to estimate each fielder’s defensive contribution in theoretical runs above or below an average fielder at his position in that player’s league and year. Thus, a SS with a UZR of zero is exactly average as compared to a SS in the same year and in the same league. If his UZR is plus, he is above average, and if it is minus, he is below average.

It is similar to offensive linear weights, where each event is assigned a number of runs, or fraction of a run, which is equal to the average value of that event as compared to a generic PA, generally for that year and for that league. With UZR and offensive linear weights a player gets credit for the theoretical value of an event (for UZR, those events are turning a batted ball into an out, allowing a batted ball to drop for a hit, making an error – or a fielder’s choice – that allows the batter to reach base, or making an error that allows a base runner to advance one or more bases) rather than what actually transpired during or subsequent to that event, in terms of any scoring on that play, base runner advances, etc., and regardless of the score or inning of the game.

 

Stat of the Day Curtesy by FanGraphs

Header Photo Curtesy by NBC Sports

February 20th

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Bryce Harper – Free Agent Update

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Phillies’ “total focus” is on Harper, with other free agents a second thought. They are still being cautious, as they don’t want to outbid themselves, thus overpaying. The Giants are said to only looking for a shorter (than 10 years) deal. Also MLB.com has written an article stating that the nationals are NOT willing to go near the 10 year $300MM that Machado got. That is a curious statement because there were multiple reports stating that thats about the offer that the Nationals gave him at the beginning of the offseason. Not sure what has changed, but maybe thats the money they gave to Patrick Corbin.

 

Josh Harrison – Signed with Tigers

The Detroit Tigers have signed veteran utility man Josh Harrison to a one year, $2MM deal with an additional $1MM in incentives. Harrison has experience playing both corner outfield spots, and the defensive metrics really favor him at 2B and 3B. His bat has had some good and bad seasons, but his base running stats have always been stellar. A solid pickup for the Tigers, who could be using this signing for a possible flip at the deadline since they aren’t looking too great to contend in the AL Central.

 

Tyler Clippard – Minor League Deal

Tyler Clippard was once one of the prime late inning relievers. Now after some bumps in the road, he is now accepting a minor league deal. Even has recently as 2014 he had a FIP of 2.75, he used to be right near closer territory for the Nationals. Right then the year after his FIP skyrocketed to 4.28. It has not been smooth sailing for the righty since, as the Indians will be the 8th organization in 6 years (Athletics, Mets, Diamondbacks, Yankees, White Sox, Astros, and now Indians). Yikes.

 

Trevor Plouffe – Minor League Deal

With Machado gone elsewhere, veteran 3B Trevor Plouffe has agreed to a minor league deal with the Phillies today, where he hopes to take the reins of the 3B spot. Currently the Phillies have Maikel Franco slotted to start the season there, but Plouffe and his veteran presence have a shot at making the team. With both Franco

 


 

Stat of the Day – Catch Probability

Catch Probability represents the likelihood that a batted ball to the outfield will be caught, based on four important pieces of information tracked by Statcast. 1. How far did the fielder have to go? 2. How much time did he have to get there. 3. What direction did he need to go in? 4. Was proximity to the wall a factor?

Accordingly, each tracked batted ball to the outfield is assigned an expected Catch Probability percentage — relative to comparable catch opportunities in the Statcast era — based on distance needed and opportunity time. The more time a fielder has to react to a ball and the less distance needed to reach it, the higher the Catch Probability.

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Distance needed is used instead of distance covered, which measures the ground a fielder covers from the point the ball is struck to the time the play is made, to prevent fielders from receiving additional credit for taking longer-than-necessary routes to the ball. Meanwhile, opportunity time is calculated from the point the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand (rather than when the batter makes contact) to credit instances in which a fielder adjusts his position based on where the catcher sets up or what type of pitch is called.

There have been two updates to Catch Probability since it’s release. In May 2017: it Accounted for going back on the ball, and in 2018 it started accounting for difficulty of getting near the wall.

TLDR: A lazy fly ball and a sinking liner can both be outs; while one is exponentially harder to catch. Catch Probability puts a number on it. 

 

Stat of the Day Curtesy of BaseballSavant.com and MLB.com

Header Photo Credit Curtesy by SI.com