February 12th

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Photo Credit – LA Times

MAJOR NEWS

Sergio Romo

The Marlins have signed Sergio Romo to a one year deal worth at least $2.5MM, with other incentives on top of that. Romo had a decent year in 2018 posting a 4.04 FIP who was also “The Opener” several times with the Rays. While he could compete for the closer role for the fish, the aging Romo has some competition with Drew Steckenrider and flamethrower Tayron Guerrero.

NEWEST RUMORS

Bryce Harper

Harper is reportedly not even considering short term deals. I personally was thinking that Harper was confident enough in himself to take a pillow contract and get somewhere in a 1 year $40-50 range and gamble on himself until next year. In the devils advocate you could say “well what’s going to change next year”? And you would probably be right. Apparently thats what Bryce himself is thinking.

STAT OF THE DAY

FIP

Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) measures what a player’s ERA would look like over a given period of time if the pitcher were to have experienced league average results on balls in play and league average timing. Back in the early 2000s, research by Voros McCracken revealed that the amount of balls that fall in for hits against pitchers do not correlate well across seasons. In other words, pitchers have little control over balls in play and assuming short-term fluctuations in BABIP are attributable to the pitcher is likely incorrect. McCracken outlined a better way to assess a pitcher’s talent level by looking at results a pitcher can control directly: strikeouts, walks, hit by pitches, and home runs.

FIP is a measurement of a pitcher’s performance that strips out the role of defense, luck, and sequencing, making it a more stable indicator of how a pitcher actually performed over a given period of time than a runs allowed based statistic that would be highly dependent on the quality of defense played behind him, for example. Certain pitchers have shown an ability to consistently post lower ERAs than their FIP suggests, but overall FIP captures most pitchers’ true performance quite well. – Fangraphs

TLDR: Pitchers don’t have control on balls in play. FIP measures what a pitcher can control

MINOR NEWS

Jorge Posada

The Marlins are “expected” to hire long-time MLB catcher Jorge Posada as a special adviser to the club’s baseball operations department, according to Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link). Posada’s precise duties aren’t yet known. Posada obviously has deep ties with Marlins CEO Derek Jeter. The pair starred together for years with the Yankees, forming half of the legendary “core four” that helped lead the New York organization to five World Series titles. –MLBTR

Gerardo Parra

Gerardo Parra, who played the previous three seasons for the division rival Rockies, is signing a minor league deal with the organization, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area. The deal was first reported by Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Parra will be in big league camp. Parra, 31, has played all three outfield spots in the majors and adds depth to a young group. The Giants have openings in right and left, with Steven Duggar on track to start in center. – Alex Pavlovic NBC Sports

Jose Lopez

The Giants announced Tuesday that they’ve claimed right-hander Jose Lopez off waivers from the Reds. In order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, San Francisco designated left-hander Josh Osich for assignment. Cincinnati had designated the 25-year-old Lopez for assignment Monday after signing Zach Duke.

February 4th

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Photo by SB Nation

MAJOR NEWS:

Steve Delabar retires

After 6 seasons in the Major leagues Steve Delabar has announced his retirement. Although he hasn’t filed the proper paperwork, on the Outta the Park show Steve said he is now pursuing a different path as a high school baseball coach. Steve made one All-Star squad, but some might remember a 2017 PED suspension.  Steve ends his career with 194.2 IP with a 4.11 FIP.

David Carpenter to the Rangers via Kyle Boddy

Via Kyle Boddy on twitter, David Carpenter has been signed by the Texas Rangers to a minor league deal. Driveline Baseball’s Kyle Boddy reported it as Carpenter has been revamping himself at said facility. After Bauer did the same, he was in the running for the Cy Young award until he was hurt. Carpenter may be someone to put on your watch-list.

NEWEST RUMORS

Jacoby Ellsbury

Buster Olney has reported that the San Francisco Giants have “talked about” a trade involving the injury prone center fielder. As the seriousness is still unknown by the teams, it would be an interesting move by the Giants. While Ellsbury has upside, he did not play in 2018, and missed 50 games in 2017. Considering the large contracts the Giants already have on the books for 2019, one would wonder if they can afford another.

MINOR NEWS

A.J. Cole

After the Indians claimed the righty from the Yankees on Jan. 11, his future is now uncertain yet again. A.J. Cole has been designated for assignment. Since he is out of options, the claiming team will have to put him on their major league roster, or try to pass him through waivers.

Nick Wittgren

The Marlins have sent Nick Wittgren to the Indians for Jordan Milbrath. After a solid year (3.63 FIP over 63 IP combined) In AAA and the majors, it was a shock when the Marlins DFA’d him last week. It could be a solid pickup for the Indians. He has spent the past 3 years on the shuttle between the Marlins and AAA New Orleans.

Austin Brice

The Marlins have claimed Austin Brice off waivers and at the same time, DFA Isaac Galloway. Austin Brice, RHP, goes back to the team who drafted him in the ninth round in 2010. After being with the Reds in 2018, he was claimed by the Angels in November, Orioles in January and now the Marlins. Galloway did have his major league debut this past year, but with only a 94 wRC+ apparently he didn’t impress.

Francisco Liriano

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Liriano has signed a minor-league deal with the Pirates. After 13 seasons (Three and a half of which with the Pirates), the veteran is now trying to prove himself for another year. With $1.8MM base salary if he indeed does make the Major League roster, and $1.5MM in potential bonuses, the Pirates add a low risk player. While he is assuredly looking at the rotation as his landing spot, it is quite full. Pirates however do lack in lefty bullpen help.

Jerry Blevins

Journeyman Jerry Blevins has an inked deal that will take him to Oakland. It is currently a minor league contract, with $1.5MM on the table if he makes the majors. This will be his second stint with the club, after making his debut and 7 seasons with the A’s he is back. Getting up there in age at 35, he is trying to use pitcher friendly O.co Stadium to his advantage to bounce back from a subpar 2018 season.

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