April 10th


Matt Carpenter – Extension

It apparently still is extension season folks. Slugger and long time Cardinal will remain in St. Louis for two more years. Spanning the 2020 and 2021 seasons, he will earn $18.5 each year plus a $2 buyout if a vesting option does not occur. Bringing the total value to $39MM. Hitting a career high 39 dingers in 2018, he has been quite the solid player manning the corner infield spots the past couple years.


Luke Heimlich – Mexican League Debut

According to MLB Trade Rumors, Luke Heimlich has made his debut in the Mexican league on Tuesday. As you may remember, or have a strong opinion about: Luke Heimlich is the player who has pled guilty in sexually molesting his niece when he was 15. He has since denied every claim that it ever happened. He has always said that he pled guilty just as a “family decision to move on”. Many evaluators have said that Heimlich could pitch in a big league rotation as of now. Because of the allegations he went undrafted in ’17 and ’18. 


Edwin Jackson – Minor’s Signing

Jackson is back with the A’s on a minor league deal. This comes as a regression for him as Heyman had reported that the A’s had offered him a major league contract earlier in the offseason that he declined to test the market. The market giveth and the market taketh. 


Notes 

  • Alex Bregman of the Astros is day to day still after pulling his hamstring
  • Backstop Russel Martin hits the IL with lower back inflammation

PITCH OF THE DAY



Colin Mchugh vs Aaron Judge – Sliders GALORE


Colin McHugh shoutout = Colin hosts a podcast called the twelve-six, in which he features many major leaguers and other prominent figures in baseball. He has interviews with Alex Bregman, Jeff Passan and Sean Doolittle which are all VERY good. Would recommend 10/10.




Business of Baseball – Mutual Option


Definition

A mutual option is an optional year at the end of a contract. In order for the optional year to become guaranteed, both parties must agree to exercise the option.

Mutual options are very rarely exercised. If a player enjoys a strong season, the club will exercise its half of the option in the hope of retaining the player on a one-year deal. However, the player, fresh off a high-quality performance, will likely wish to test the open market in search of a larger guarantee on a one-year or a multi-year contract. Likewise, a player whose stock is down might exercise his half of the option rather than test free agency, but his club may no longer view him as worthy of that salary.

Example

Though rare, the mutual option has been exercised in the past. Planning to retire following the 2015 season, Aramis Ramirez agreed to exercise his half of a $14 million mutual option with the Brewers. Perhaps viewing $14 million as a fair salary for a player of Ramirez’s ability, Milwaukee exercised its half of the option as well.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Viva El Birdos

April 7th


Yasiel Puig – Fights Entire Pirates Roster

Quite the image above, wouldn’t you say? Chris Archer, who is known for showboating after a big strikeout, throws a pitch to Derek Dietrich who takes him out of the stadium into the river. Dietrich pimps the HR with a bat drop and takes a second to admire his work. Archer does not like that and throws BEHIND Dietrich the next AB and the benches clear. Puig takes exception to some words that catcher Francisco Cervelli said and runs out there basically alone to what makes for an awesome picture. 5 total players were ejected. This is what started it all ⬇️


Dallas Keuchel – FA Update

Already a week and a half into the season and starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel is still unsigned. Yesterday a report came out from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal telling that the 6 or 7 year deal approaching $250 MM that he was looking for is not going to happen and that his price is now dropping. Rosenthal reports that if he does indeed sign a one year deal, he still wants it to be more than the $17.9 MM qualifying offer he declined when he left Houston. 


Notes 

  • Reds acquire Rob Refsnyder from Diamondbacks for PTBNL or cash
  • Brewer’s RP Jermey Jeffress is projected to join team next weekend
  • Ervin Santana will get back in the bigs on Tuesday in a start against the Rays

PITCH OF THE DAY

Diego Castillo vs Pablo Sandoval. Sorry Pablo but you don’t even have a chance. 100 mph with that movement, good luck. I love his reaction!



Business of Baseball – Guaranteed Contract

Definition

Players who obtain Major League contracts — either via free agency or extensions — are guaranteed the full amount of money promised by those contracts. Conversely, players signed to Minor League contracts must earn a spot on the roster in Spring Training or via an in-season promotion in order to have their contracts guaranteed. Arbitration contracts are not guaranteed either, as a club can release a player on or before the 16th day of Spring Training and be responsible for only 30 days worth of pay. Players cut between the 17th and the final day of Spring Training must be compensated for 45 days worth of pay (at the prorated version of their arbitration salary). But if a player that agreed to an arbitration salary breaks camp with the club, his contract is fully guaranteed.

Example

Right-hander Josh Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Padres prior to the 2014 season. Despite the fact that he did not throw a single inning for the Padres, he earned the entirety of that $8 million because he had signed a Major League contract.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of

MARCH 20th


Eloy Jimenez – Extension

The White Sox have inked Eloy to a $43MM over 6 years deal. If you haven’t heard his name before, don’t feel bad because I am not surprised. Jimenez is one of the White Sox’s top prospects. Yes, you heard right. He is a top prospect. He has not played one game yet for the White Sox. Due to that fact of not playing a major league game yet, that deal is unprecedented.

The only other deals where a minor leaguer got a multi year extension without a day in the majors are Scott Kingery of the Phillies and Jon Singleton of the Astros. Those two players have a combined -2.5 WAR since they signed those deals, so you could say a deal like this doesn’t always benefit the team. One positive of this, is that he will not start the year in the minors now. Considering that the team does not have an incentive for the extra year of control. 


Craig Kimbrel – FA Update

Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, talks between Kimbrel and the Brewers are “pretty serious” (tweet link)


Matt Joyce – Minor League Deal

Today the Giants announced the signing of veteran outfielder Matt Joyce. After a dreadful season with the A’s last year (.208/.322/.353 in 246 PAs), he is looking to rebound with his second team of the spring. He was with the Indians for the better part of ST so far, but the Indians told him he was not making the roster. The Giants also have signed veteran Gerardo Parra on a minor league deal, and he is also competing with a rule 5 pick Drew Ferguson. 


Notes

  • Twins released 1B Lucas Duda
  • Brewers released SP Josh Tomlin
  • Mookie Betts does not believe they will reach an extension before before he gets to free agency



Stat of the Day – SWEET SPOT

Colloquially, a player who hits the ball solidly is said to have gotten the “sweet spot” of the bat on the ball. The sweet spot classification quantifies that as a batted-ball event with a launch angle between eight and 32 degrees.

A player’s sweet spot percentage — or how often he produces a batted-ball event with a launch angle between eight and 32 degrees — is presented on Statcast leaderboards under SwSp%.

Why it’s useful

While the sweet spot classification does not include exit velocity and thus doesn’t tell the complete story of a batted-ball event, players with a high sweet spot percentage are putting themselves in greater position to succeed. In 2018, Major Leaguers posted a 1.099 slugging percentage on batted balls with a launch angle between eight and 32 degrees.

Sweet spot percentage can be used in concert with hard-hit rate — the percentage of a player’s batted balls that have an exit velocity of 95 mph or higher. For a batted-ball classification that takes into account both launch angle and exit velocity, check out barrels.


Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Photo Curtesy of CBS Sports

March 7th


Luke Heimlich – (Maybe) Mexican League

Oregon ace Luke Heimlich is looking outside the country to pitch. Jeff Passon of ESPN reports that Luke Heimlich has signed with the Dos Laredos Tecolotes of Liga Mexicana de Beisbol. While this was reported, more news have come out that the league may not approve this deal, New York Times’ James Wagner reported. While some have said that he could pitch in a Major League Rotation right now, teams have not drafted him because of a guilty plea he took as a 15 year old. He was accused of the molestation of his 6 year old niece. He still maintains his innocence and says “nothing ever happened.”


Dallas Keuchel – FA Update

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has tweeted today reporting that Keuchel has received multiple offers from the Astros: both a one and two year deal.


Trevor Oaks – Injury

Righty Trevor Oaks will have his a torn hip labrum repaired. The Royals have not announced a timetable for his return, whether that will be in the MLB or not, is still up for talks. Jeff Todd from MLBTR breaks it down:

Oaks was primed to compete in camp for a rotation spot — or, more likely, a place on the depth chart at Triple-A. Having debuted in the majors last season, his first with the Royals after an early-2018 trade, he was certainly a candidate to see substantial time in a K.C. rotation that will enter the season with loads of uncertainty.


Instead, Oaks will miss most or all of the coming season while working back from a procedure that turned out to be “a little more extensive” than originally anticipated. It is believed that he’ll be able to get back to baseball activities in four months’ time, though the timeline up to and past that point will depend upon his actual progression.




Stat of the Day – Run Support per 9

Run support per nine innings measures how many runs an offense scores for a certain pitcher while that pitcher is in the game. That number is then set over a nine-inning timeframe. So the stat essentially answers the question, “How many runs of support does a pitcher receive per nine innings?”

RS/9 is an important tool for evaluating pitchers in the context of their records. Often times, pitchers who haven’t pitched well have good records simply because they’ve received solid RS/9. A similar concept holds true for pitchers who have pitched well but have low RS/9; they sometimes have less impressive records despite their effectiveness.

In no way is RS/9 something a pitcher can control. (On the mound, at least. In National League parks, a pitcher can help his cause as a hitter.) Instead, RS/9 is a nice way of adding context to a pitcher’s win-loss record. Does a given pitcher’s winning percentage seem a bit too high or a bit too low given his other stats? RS/9 is often the culprit.

It’s important to note that for this metric, run support constitutes only the runs that are scored for a pitcher while he is in the game. A few other run-support metrics will take into account how many runs a team scores for its starting pitcher over the course of an entire game. In that vein, RS/9 also works for relief pitchers (although those numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, because relievers have such small sample sizes in terms of innings pitched).

TLDR: This stat shows how good the offense performs while a certain pitcher pitches on a per 9 innings basis.

Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Daily News