The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Francisco Liriano Philadelphia Phillies

Has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Phillies. Gets $1.5 million if he makes the team, another $1.25 million if he meets incentives.

Alex Patton Alex
Mike Morin Milwaukee Brewers

Invited by the Brewers to their spring training camp.

Alex Patton Alex
Neil Walker Philadelphia Phillies

Signed with the Phillies as an NRI.

From this point forward, any free agent who gets a guaranteed deal has reason to celebrate.

Alex Patton Alex

Answer to last: no salary. He's a free agent.

Alex Patton Alex

The home league that Bob and Fred and I are in goes by the Founders Ultra rules, with a 17-man reserve list.  Personally, I love it.

We also require a $5 minimum of FAAB bids.  For multiple year leagues, leagues I like that.  For redraft leagues I'm fine with a $0 bid being available.

Cutting the reserve list and making $0 bids basically (a) reduces the value of good research prior to the season, (b) rewards hyperactive in-season FAABing behavior, and (c) disincentivizes creative trading.

Also, what kind of salary does a guy with a $0 bid have for the coming year?

Phil Ponebshek Texpope

I like zero dollar bids. It makes having one dollar that much more effective.

Alex Patton Alex
Marcell Ozuna St. Louis Cardinals

In the free market, there's a problem for players.

There are only 750 active roster spots in MLB.  Throw in maybe another 150 guys on IL makes it 900.

So any team that decided to spend money on Marcel Ozuna was deciding not only to forfeit a draft pick ... but also to surrender a roster spot that could be used for a much cheaper but potentially not THAT much worse guy like Kevin Pillar (Ozuna's 2-year WAR - 5.4 - Pillar's is 3.5).  Yeah - we've seen Ozuna's upside (4.5 WAR is 2014, 5.0 in 2016) but for 2015/16/18/19 his average WAR was 2.3.

If you think there's a really good chance of a 3.5 WAR out of Ozuna, $18 mil is a decent price.  If you think you're more likely to get a 2.3 ... 

I was actually kind of surprised the Braves inked Ozuna - but not surprised they weren't willing to go more than one year, with Pache and Waters getting really close.   In the off-season the Braves gave Markakis and Duvall some money to stick around, and Inciarte's signed through 2021.  Plus that Acuna guy.  

Phil Ponebshek Texpope

Thanks for the thorough answer.

Kevin Wiley kldub4life

Zero dollar bids is something I don't like.

They favor people who don't have life outside of roto and I do. If we are worried about spending all your FAAB, I'd rather have unlimited FAAB and then let the salary cap / roster size work it's magic.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Marcell Ozuna St. Louis Cardinals

The Players Association hurt themselves by not realizing what the cost of direct compensation would lead to. I don't know how they walk that back, since every conversation will start with, as Eugene said, You agreed to this.

On the other hand, I'm reading stories about the Indians not making money. Could that be true? I'm not expert on this, but it seems unbelievable. But if it is even sort of true, the next contract negotiation is going to be hellish for all of us. Less so for the players.

They aren't coal miners. Or air traffic controllers. But in comparison to the owners they're paid like them.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman

Collective bargaining is always about priorities and using power (economic and otherwise) to achieve the best deal that doesn't overburden the other party. It's not like a contract to buy widgets, because you can buy the same widgets from another manufacturer next time, so you have to seek the best possible deal in each transaction. In collective bargaining, you're in a marriage not a series of short-term relationships.  The cliche is that it's labor relations because you are in a relationship.  The fact is, if one side believes a deal is unfair, they live with it for the term of the agreement, and then they use all of their power to change it in the next negotiations.  The QO system appears to be something that the PA will use its power to change.  But, they may have other competition priorities.  Additionally, it's always important to remember that both sides agreed to the current system.  It wasn't imposed.  The PA has to take responsibility for its own poor prediction of how the agreement would affect its members.  It can't merely blame management, although most unions would, because red-meat for the members is sometimes a galvanizing force in developing solidarity. There are usually plenty of issues to blame on management and there's no need to blame management for what the union voluntarily agreed to.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Brad Penny Miami Marlins

If so, I'd ask him, A penny for your thoughts?

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman

Thanks! Good question, one I should probably do a better job of explaining, so here goes...

The Bid Price is based on what a player has cost in recent years, and what he's earned. Plus his age and anything I know about role changes, which in November isn't usually much. My process goes something like: Rosario is 25 years old. He cost $19 last year and earned $27. I'm willing to pay for him to repeat, with a bit extra because he might be better.

For Tatis, the story is a little different. He's just 21. He earned $22 in 334 at bats. Will he get better? Will he get more at bats? The answer to both questions might be yes, but still, there's a lot we don't know. He's super young, we don't know how he adjusts to pitchers adjusting. I'm happy to bump him up from the $10 cost of 2019, but am I ready to move him into the first two rounds? Not yet.

The projections, on the other hand, tackle different questions. They prorate what we know players have done, on the component level, and convert those numbers into a number of at bats, which we guess at.

For Rosario, he's in prime time. He's shown he can do what we thought he could. I think he could have a big year, but the projection isn't the place to express that. He is what he is.

Tatis is more challenging. He was terrific in his 334 at bats, but he got hurt. If we extend those AB and the HR/FB% out to a more or less full season, you end up with him hitting 34 home runs. My projection. That could happen, but experience tells me that more often a young hot streak doesn't extend into the sophomore season, which is why we know it as the sophomore slump. I'll probably bring those HR/RBI/Runs down a bit when I'm tweaking the projections. You still want Tatis, but you don't want him at the price the projection suggests you should pay.

That last sentence is the key one. It applies to Heaney and Hendricks. Heaney has great stuff, a bad record, and high risk. Earnings in the last five? Terrible. Hendricks has a long history of success. Nothing is guaranteed, but you want Heaney cheap for upside, because you can't be sure about him, and Hendricks you'll pay more for because he earned 8-39-14-18-19 each of the last five years. 

Ps. My Hendricks projection is much more negative for Hendricks than his past performance. That's because he's one of those guys who consistently outperforms his component stats. That is, he gets better results than you'd think he should based on his strikes, balls, hard hit, etc. So, as I get into the finer parts of projection, I'm likely to revise his stats down, to better, because history says they are. The projections for veteran players in the Guide are mostly based on the math.

Pps. Hope this helps.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Luis Robert Chicago White Sox

This year he's second on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list.


Luis Robert

White SoxOF

ETA: 2020 
Final 2019 Ranking: 3 
Tools: Hit: 55 | Power: 70 | Run: 70 | Fielding: 60 | Arm: 70 
2019 Average Exit Velo: 90

Skinny: Robert tore up the minors in 2019 and hit a career-high 32 homers. He smashed through the Carolina League before crushing Southern League pitching for 56 games and made it all the way to Triple-A Charlotte, where he tacked on another 16 homers in a hitter-friendly home ballpark. The outfielder also recorded a 30-30 season, possibly the first of many for the rising star.


Alex Patton Alex

Last year Robert was seventh on Baseball America's list of prospects who "struggled with injuries who we're hoping have a healthy new year."

7. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox

Robert combines exciting upside with swing-and-miss risk that we've pointed out since he was still in Cuba. That risk showed up more than the upside did in Robert's first season with the White Sox last year, although I think it would be a mistake to take too much away from Robert's 2018 struggles without accounting for the context of his season.

Robert had been in a layoff from competitive baseball since leaving Cuba, then while adjusting to a new country, he never got an opportunity to get his timing back at the plate. He tore a ligament in his thumb that kept him out the first two months of the season, then played for a little less than a month before re-injuring that thumb and missing another month. So Robert played just 50 games between two Class A levels last year, never staying on the field for more than one month at a time. Robert's profile still includes contact and pitch recognition risk, but he also just needs to stay healthy and get a fair opportunity to get his timing back.

Alex Patton Alex
Forrest Whitley Houston Astros

Whitley still ranks high among the top 100 prospects this year. (He's the only Astro in the top 100.)


ETA: 2020 
Final 2019 Ranking: 13 
Tools: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 40 
2019 Average Fastball Velo: 95

Skinny: Whitley had a season to forget after the Astros tinkered with his delivery and it ended up costing him his command and control. He got back on track somewhat in the Arizona Fall League, and now he’ll try to show he’s still the top prospect everyone loved just a year ago.


Alex Patton Alex
Sixto Sanchez Miami Marlins

This year:


Sixto Sanchez


ETA: 2020 
Final 2019 Ranking: 19 
Tools: Fastball: 70 | Changeup: 60 | Slider: 60 | Control: 60 
2019 Average Fastball Velo: 96

Skinny: Sanchez was the top-ranked pitching prospect in the Southern League, posting a 2.53 ERA with 97 strikeouts alongside 19 walks in 103 frames. He has three plus pitches and advanced control, which should help him debut for Miami in 2020. 


Alex Patton Alex

First on BA's list last year of "10 prospects who have struggled with injuries who we're hoping have a healthy new year."

1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Phillies

After Astros righthander Forrest Whitley, Sanchez has a compelling argument as the next best pitching prospect in baseball. He sits in the mid- to upper 90s and can break triple-digits, doing it without much effort and while filling the strike zone.

Yet Sanchez threw just 46.2 innings last year, with his final outing coming on June 3 before he went on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. The Phillies say Sanchez is healthy and ready to go for spring training, but he was out longer than they initially anticipated and missed the Arizona Fall League. He's still only 20, but his 95 innings in 2017 are the most he has ever thrown. If he can handle a starter's workload, Sanchez has the potential to anchor a rotation.

Alex Patton Alex
Forrest Whitley Houston Astros

Heads BA's list of ten players "whose prospect stock we believe would benefit the most from a year free of injuries."

Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros

After an incredible 2018 season and similarly impressive Arizona Fall League, Whitley entered the season as the game’s top pitching prospect. He had five pitches that projected as plus or better and seemed poised to make his big league debut at some point during the regular season. In 2019, however, nearly nothing went according to plan.

Whitley was hit hard and often in 2019, and was eventually sent back to the Astros’ minor league complex in West Palm Beach, Fla. to rehab what was diagnosed as right shoulder fatigue. He made it back late in the year and returned for another successful turn in the AFL, which helped rebuild his eroded prospect stock.

He’s still just 22 years old, and a fully healthy 2020 season would put him right back on track toward a future at the top of the Houston rotation.

Alex Patton Alex
Wander Franco Tampa Bay Rays

Baseball America rolled out its Top 100 Prospects today. Rays not only have the top prospect, they have the most (8) in the top 100. Dodgers are next with seven. Brewers are last with zero.

Alex Patton Alex

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