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Chuck Carr Houston Astros

Trivia:

Who recorded the first 5-hit game in Marlins franchise history?

Gary Cruciani Megary
Nov 14
C.J. Abrams Washington Nationals

Can you post his 2022 4x4 and 5x5 earnings Peter?

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Nov 14
Jose Abreu Houston Astros

Did Jim Bowden join the rest of the staff three days ago for a hot stove zoom? I don't know, but here's what he says today at The Athletic.

24. José Abreu signs with the Rays on a two-year, $34 million deal.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 14
Michael Conforto New York Mets

Jim Bowdon, gazing into the free agent crystal ball for The Athletic:

22. Michael Conforto signs with the Blue Jays on a two-year, $34 million deal with an opt out after Year 1, giving Toronto a much-needed left-handed power bat to better balance its lineup.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 14
Jacob deGrom Texas Rangers

I mean, it sounds like deGrom gets the chance to opt out, the Braves don't.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 14

Jim Bowden says some of his free agent predictions, posted today at The Athletic, are silly. Surely this is one of them?

7. The Braves stun Mets fans when they land Jacob deGrom on a two-year, $90 million deal that includes an opt-out after Year 1.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 14
Dansby Swanson Atlanta Braves

Another of Jim Bowden's free agent predictions, posted today The Athletic:

18. The Mariners sign Dansby Swanson to a six-year, $154 million deal and move him to second base, leaving J.P. Crawford at shortstop.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 14
Trea Turner Los Angeles Dodgers

One of Jim Bowden's free agent predictions, posted today at The Athletic:

4. The Angels shock the baseball world and sign shortstop Trea Turner to an eight-year, $264 million deal. Turner becomes their leadoff hitter with Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon batting behind him.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 14
Joc Pederson San Francisco Giants

My comment: The Giants are hoping Bowden's wrong.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 14

Jim Bowden today at The Athletic:

... It’s just another reason I love this game so much: It’s so unpredictable, and that includes the offseason. I’ve decided to embrace the chaos this year, so here are 25 predictions — some serious, some silly and others somewhere in between — for what’s shaping up to be another fun offseason. Please share your own predictions in the comments section.

1. Of the 14 players to receive the qualifying offer (one year, $19.65 million), Joc Pederson, Martín Pérez and Tyler Anderson are the only ones to accept it.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 14
Nick Anderson Tampa Bay Rays

Rotowrire:

Inks deal with Atlanta
November 11, 2022
Anderson signed a one-year, $875,000 deal with the Braves on Friday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Anderson last played in the majors for Tampa Bay in 2021, recording a 4.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over just six innings of work. He spent all of last season in Triple-A Durham with a 5.63 ERA and 1.44 WHIP through 16 innings. He will likely have to fight for a spot in the Braves' bullpen or be sent down to Triple-A again, at which point the value of his contract drops to $180,000.
Alex Patton Alex
Nov 14
Robert Suarez San Diego Padres

Resigned by the Padres on a surprising contract -- 5 years 46 million. Only 3 other relievers have gotten 5 year deals and they are all closer types (Jansen, Diaz, Chapman). My only guess is that they knew some other team was likely to offer something similar. And now they have Hader-insurance.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 14
Rafael Montero Houston Astros

Another "keep our guy" reliever overpay.  Though not as much of an overpay as for 5 years of Diaz or Suarez.  But like with Strasburg, at least this is partially a reward for the WS win.

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Nov 13

Rafael Montero (P) HOU - Nov. 12
https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=12735

Montero signed a three-year, $34.5 million deal to return to the Astros on Saturday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Montero's emergence as a trustworthy high-leverage option helped the Astros to a World Series title. The veteran righty carried a career 5.18 ERA and 1.56 WHIP into last season but finished the year with a 2.37 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He also saved a career-high 14 games. The Astros have fully bought into this new version of Montero and now have him under contract through the end of his age-34 season. He should remain in a setup role behind Ryan Pressly to start the year but could claim the closer job if Pressly struggles or gets injured.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 13
Corey Seager Texas Rangers

Re the banning of the shift:

Corey Seager (Brace Hemmelgarn / Minnesota Twins / Getty Images)

Rangers general manager Chris Young said one of his hitters, Corey Seager, will “benefit immensely.”

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 13

What will all the rule changes actually do? Evan Drellich of the Athletic talked to the best and the brightest.

LAS VEGAS — Major League Baseball will be played differently next summer, and that means teams are already behaving at least a little differently this winter.

At the general managers’ meetings on Tuesday, several top club executives acknowledged they’re evaluating players in a fresh context this offseason because of MLB’s new playing rules for 2023: the ban on the shift, the pitch clock, the restrictions on pitchers checking runners and the new larger bases.

“We have done work to try to predict what the effects of these rules will be for individual players,” said Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, “and we have and we certainly will do work to see as a team, the way we play the game, how do we win with these new rules? And that’s important too.”

Ultimately, all the changes are explicitly intended to alter the results on the field. MLB tested the changes in the minor leagues in an attempt to measure impact, and commissioner Rob Manfred and his group liked the numbers they found.

“Fans will appreciate the bigger bases which promote player safety and more stolen-base activity,” Theo Epstein, a league consultant, said at MLB’s headquarters in September. “And I think fans will cherish the moments, absent the extreme defensive shifts, when games are decided not by whether their team’s infield is positioned by the perfect algorithm, but by whether their team second baseman can range to make an athletic dive and play with everything on the line.”

Naturally, then, some players’ stocks will rise in the new look, while others’ will fall. Left-handed hitters — who are often significantly hurt by the shift — and base stealers will be more valuable, said Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto, “at least in theory.” Hitters for average, as well.

“Everybody would like to get a little faster, a little more athletic, but the bigger bases certainly give you a head start,” Dipoto said. “I don’t know that you have to have Rickey Henderson on your roster to do something, to take a step forward, in a base stealing perspective. But that’s an area where we would like to get better.”

From there, one could theorize that pitchers who are quick to the plate and catchers with the best arms and pop times might become more valuable too.

“It’s a question of, does that rising tide lift all boats, right, or does it disproportionately affect a certain percentage of guys?” Astros general manager James Click said. “Are there a certain group of guys who are always like just two inches shy of a steal that now will be able to steal more bases? If there are guys that are always safe by a 10th of a second, I don’t think it’s going to have much of an effect on them.”

Meanwhile, infielders with more range who can make up some of the ground that used to be covered by the shift could be newly coveted. But it could be more difficult to evaluate the future contributions of a middle infielder if that infielder is coming from a team that heavily shifted in recent years.

“Can’t really do that,” Dipoto said. “But we can, through Statcast data, get a pretty good idea of what that player’s natural range is.”

“I think we’re so good as an industry now and measuring just about everything,” said A’s general manager David Forst. “You see how guys move, you see their reaction time, you see their sprint speed. I think we can make the adjustments.”

Particularly at this moment, before the clubs are working off a pile of major-league-level data, the impact of the rules will be in the eye of the beholder.

Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak thought that between all the rule changes, the effect on his winter would be “pretty minimal.”

“When you look at some guys that had like extremes, that looked like they were more frustrated with the shift than the others, yeah, you can probably pencil in like five or six more hits depending on how frequently they hit,” Mozeliak said. “But overall, I don’t think it’s gonna be like that big of a change.”

“It’s very difficult to predict, especially when so many of these hitters have been in these shifts for so long,” Click said. “You never know what the behavioral effect is going to be when all of a sudden they see a different defensive climate. Are they going to change their approach or not? One of the things I’ve been surprised by in the game is that we haven’t seen, at least in my experience, the pivot from the hitters. You would think that if baseball wanted to encourage guys to put the ball in play, that the best way to do it would be to leave half of the field completely undefended. And we just haven’t seen hitters adjust that way.”

“He was one of the most punished hitters by the shift, and we’re excited for him,” Young said. “I think it’s going to affect every player slightly differently. I think that, in general, the game will adjust, and we’ll factor that into some of our personnel decisions. But by and large, I think that we’re excited for Corey; that should have a positive impact.”

One executive The Athletic approached on Tuesday, Chris Antonetti of the Guardians, didn’t want to discuss the impact on his evaluations at all. Likely, Antonetti declined for the reason GMs and presidents often don’t like to discuss interesting things: because they think it’s a competitive advantage to stay quiet.

Another general manager said he would speak candidly only if he could speak anonymously.

“Defensively with the infielders, at least from our team, it doesn’t seem like a forefront-of-the-conversation type of thing,” the GM said. “Offensively we’re definitely being very mindful of left-handed hitters, and I think it’s gonna benefit hitters. I don’t know if that’s all going to show up in the market this offseason, but whatever is gonna happen, it’s gonna happen here in the next couple years.”

Player evaluation isn’t the only hurdle for teams as spring training approaches. Simply making sure players adequately follow the new rules, particularly the pitch clock, will be its own task.

“The biggest thing will be, how do our key players adjust to the pitch clock?” Mozeliak said. “I’m talking about veteran players. The younger guys that came up, I mean, you watch Nolan Gorman, he never leaves the box. He’s ready to go. So for him, this is business as usual. But I think when you look at some of the older, experienced players, it’s like, how are they going to do it? Watching the World Series or postseason this year, I was just like, uh uh.”

But ultimately, there’s only so much that can be ascertained ahead of time. In a game where so much can be measured, a prediction built on the results of a different environment is just an educated guess.

“We have to stay really humble about what we think we can know before we see 30 teams competing in this new landscape,” Bloom said. “It is likely that there will be some changes with certain guys that are not what we would consider to be the most predictable right now. So I do think we need to do work. And we have done work on how they might affect certain guys. But if we let that distract us from correctly evaluating the fundamental building blocks of good baseball players, I think we are going astray.”

 The Athletic’s Levi Weaver contributed to this story


Alex Patton Alex
Nov 13
Trea Turner Los Angeles Dodgers

In the roto world, Trea stands well above the other blue-chip shortstops who are available this winter. In the real world -- at least as it's measured by Baseball-Reference's WAR -- it's quite different. In fact, B-R WAR says John Heyman has it all wrong.

The Big Four in the order that Heyman ranks them, with their overall WAR scores at Baseball-Reference (and the fielding component):

Trea Turner 4.9 (dWAR 1.0)

Carlos Correa 5.4 (dWAR 1.1)

Xander Bogaerts 5.8 (dWAR 1.3) 

Dansby Swanson 5.7 (dWAR 2.0)

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12

Jon Heyman ranking the free agents in the Post:

2. Trea Turner 

While he says he will consider every team including the Dodgers, the belief (at least among Dodgers people) is that they still have to overcome his East Coast bias. If geography counts, the Phillies may have the advantage (his wife is from New Jersey). The Mets would work geographically, but that scenario is farfetched; it’d probably be easier to stay out west than convince a great shortstop to learn center field. 

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Carlos Correa Minnesota Twins

Jon Heyman ranking the free agents in the Post:

3. Carlos Correa 

The Dodgers might even prefer Correa to their own Turner, but as reported here, they seem reluctant to bring in a hero of the scandalous 2017 Astros team that beat the Dodgers in that World Series. Don’t count out the incumbent Twins. While they aren’t in a big market, their owner is among the richest in the game. And they absolutely loved him. “He had a great time there,” his agent Scott Boras said. “It really turned out to be a great fit. It’s certainly something we’re going to discuss.” 

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Dansby Swanson Atlanta Braves

John Heyman ranking the free agents in the Post:

7. Dansby Swanson 

The Braves are believed to have opened with an in-season offer of about $100M, and while the Georgia native would presumably love to stay, that doesn’t feel like it’s in the ballpark. One common guess heard down here is $140M to stay home, which is the same pay both Javier Baez and Trevor Story got (although those deals don’t look too good right now). The Dodgers surely will be in on him, as they ultimately were with his former Braves teammate Freddie Freeman. 

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12

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