Archive for March 2009

Braves lock up Chipper for 3 more years.

March 31, 2009

chipHow can it be a bad move signing an extension for the best switch hitter ever to play the game. It can’t. The Braves locked up Chipper Jones for another 3 years worth $42 million dollars.

How can you go wrong signing a guy who batted .364 last year. (no that’s not a misprint) Jones seems to be getting better with age: He has registered three consecutive seasons with an OPS better than 1.000. On a per at-bat basis, Jones is extremely productive for a 36 year old and 3 years doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. Now keep in mind that Chipper is not going to be an everyday player, he hasn’t played more than 137 games sense 2003, but even missing 40 or so games hes still the man. How many guys can say they havent hit less than 25 home runs sense 1993?

A six-time All-Star, Jones was the NL’s Most Valuable Player in 1999. His .310 career batting average ranks second among switch-hitters, trailing only Frankie Frisch’s .316. He has 408 home runs, trailing only Mickey Mantle (536) and Eddie Murray (504) in homers by a switch-hitter. He is the only switch hitter with 300 HR and a career .300 BA . So is it really a reach to call him the greatest switch hitter of all time?

Now that we have concluded that Jones is awesome lets consider his worth over the next three years. Due $10 million this season in the option year of a contract that began in 2006, Jones gets a $3 million signing bonus as part of the new deal, payable in $1 million installments each Jan. 15 starting next year.
Jones receives annual salaries of $13 million from 2010-12 and can earn $1.5 million a year in performance bonuses: $750,000 each for 135 and 140 games.
His contract contains a $9 million option for 2013 that would become guaranteed if he plays in 123 games in 2012 or averages 127 games in 2011-12. The option price could increase by up to $4 million: $1 million each for 128, 133, 138 and 140 games in 2012 (or averages of 132, 137, 138 and 140 in 2011-12). In addition, he could earn $1.5 million in performance bonuses based on the earlier criteria.
If the vesting option fails to become guaranteed, the club would hold a $7 million option.
Taking into consideration his health and ability I predict his stats over the life of the contract  to look like this

2009:  .320 BA  27 HR  85 RBI

2010:  .300 BA  22HR  80 RBI

2011.  .3334 BA  32HR  90 RBI

2012   .298 BA  20HR  76 RBI

If he could put up these numbers is he worth it?  Definitely! People talk like hes already 40 when he is only 36. This contract all but guarantees that he will retire a Brave. and probably one of the greatest Braves of all time.

Watch his hitting mechanics in this video. This is why he is great!

Tigers Release Gary Sheffield

March 31, 2009

070603_sheffield_vmed_10awidecIn a Shocking turn of events the Detroit Tigers have released Gary Sheffield. The tigers will owe him his guaranteed $14mill for 2009. He was also just one HR short of 500.

WHAT???!!! are you kidding me. I expected to see a ha ha or in other news Jim Leyland has started growing pot in the clubhouse. I never saw this coming and neither did he or any of his teammates. Ok ,he has been battling some injury issues sense that freak collision  with second baseman Placido Polanco in shallow right field during a July 2007 game against the Royals. But hes healthy now and he’s Gary FRIGGEN Sheffield.

Assuming that he will clear the three day waiver period without being claimed by another team. (why would they pay all that money when Detroit will have to) He will become a free agent and can sign for the league minimum of $390,000.

The Tigers cite their reasoning for the move is to give more at bats for Marcus Thames and  to rotate players around the DH spot and use it to keep some of their other sluggers in the lineup without them having to play the field every day. With Shef in the line-up he locked up the DH spot because Detroit had no plans to use him in the field. Now don’t get me wrong Thames can certainly hit the long ball, but that batting average of his has declined every season, and his .208 performance in the second half of 2008 was just plain awful.

I say that a healthy Shef can still hit 35+ HR and hit at least .270. Discounting 2008 which he was mostly injured as recently as 2007 he had 22 stolen bases and  hit 25 Dingers. At 40 he is still in great shape and has always had a good work ethic. He has even improved the running his mouth excessively over the last couple of years. Shef says he can still play the field and I believe him. Shef has never made a claim about his ability that he hasn’t lived up to.

Now we get to the discussion of who will pick him up? He will be a great DH for someone and can play in RF, though probably not on an everyday basis. There is also the hitting career number 500 HR to  bring in fans factor.  At the league minimum he would be a steal. I could almost see him going to a division rival to try and stick it to the tigers. How about the Twins wouldn’t he be a fantastic upgrade over Jason Kubel who cant hit lefties? (.232 in 2008) or perhaps Kansas City, hes gotta be better than Billy Butler as a DH. Perhaps the Indians could use him being that Travis Hafner is just coming back from surgery. (although it looks as if he will be fine.)

My Point is that hes a good fit on a lot of teams as a DH/part time outfielder. My advice to Gary at this point is: Gary don’t get greedy take the league minimum there will be plenty of teams willing to pay it. If you still have in the tank what you say you do ,prove it!

UPDATE: It seems the Phillys have already contacted Sheffields agent  details here

Source: Dozens of MLB prospects detained

March 31, 2009

Source: Dozens of MLB prospects detained

hummm go figure coruption in basball to get better players. Ill look into this further

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Rangers still contemplate Jone’s Fate

March 30, 2009

andruwjones_thumbThe Rangers may not decide between Frank Catalanato or Andrew Jones before they break camp on Thursday. This spring Cat is hitting .344 with one homer and 6RBI’s in 32 at bats while Jones sports a .277 average with one home run and 4 RBI in 47 at bats. It would seem that Cat is the better choice even though hes 34 years old. But wait a minute ,The Rangers already have 4 lefty hitters in their line up and one switch hitter. Is adding another lefty bat  a good Idea.

The Story of Andrew Jones is a sad one he went from 10 time gold glove winner and starting CFer for the Atlanta Braves to hitting .158 in 208 AB (talk about losing your Mojo) in 2008 .The question you must be asking is how does someone go from the top of their game to bottom of the trash heap? My best guess is Money makes you lazy. Just ask Angel Berroa,Jimmy Gobble,Melky  Cabrera,Nomar Garciapara or Pudge Rodriguez. Now I’m not saying all these players got lazy and lost their Mojos. I’m sure some of them were probably Juicing and decided it wasn’t worth getting caught (see Pudge’s enlarged head) Still others got cocky and lost their work ethic.

Is it to late for Andrew ? Is he done at 30? Will he ever find that swing again that made him one of the most feared hitters in baseball? Only time will tell. My advice to Texas is to give him a shot.  It’s a Bench role anyhow if it doesn’t work out you can DFA him later but even with the good hitting Spring that Catanlanato is having Jones is still younger and better. I think that the going from 14 million a year to 1 million should be incentive to Jones to reinvent his career.  Andrew go get a new personal trainer and stay away from the donut table.

Cubs closer decision the right one

March 30, 2009

At the Beginning of Spring training for the Cubs we all knew it would be a war for the closer role between Kevin Gregg whom they acquired from the Marlins and Carlos Marmol who brilliantly set up for Kerry Wood last season.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella named   Gregg the closer on Sunday and said he’ll keep  Marmol in his same setup role. Marmol was disappointed at the news.

Marmol 26, is 8 for 11 in save opportunities but as a set-up man for Wood, who left for Cleveland as a free agent, last season led the league in strikeouts by a reliever recording 114 .  Gregg 30, was named to the all-star team last year  and has 61 saves over the past two seasons. His career mark being 62 for 77 in saves.

Marmol  is still young and will have plenty of opportunities to land the closing role in the future.Marmol missed some time to play in the WBC and this may have cost him in the long run. Gregg   has not given up a run in 8 1/3 innings over nine spring games. Marmol will defer to his setup job where he was so strong last season.

With this One two punch at the end of the game opponents will be forced to have the lead in seven innings or likely be shut down. This move is the right one and will likely make the Cubs a favorite in their division.

gregg

So you think you can blog

March 30, 2009

I’m looking for a team that can help bring this blog into the forefront  of competitive blogging up there with blogs like deadspin or MLBTR. Im hoping to staff 5 writers plus myself this is one person to cover news from each division around baseball. I already have my eye on a couple of young inspiring blog authors that I think have skills, but I want the competition to widen.

If you love baseball and want to be apart of this winning team drop me an e-mail at  mdrook6206@hotmail.com I’m looking at having a team in place within the next couple of weeks. Here are some of the qualifications for the job.

1. You must love Baseball

2. You must hate stupidity

3. Sarcasm is king

4. you have to do my dry cleaning  (kidding)

5. A hatred for ESPN is helpful but not required.

6. If you think Joe buck is the greatest don’t bother applying

7. Im looking for someone that can commit to at least one  feature story a week.

8.  Did I mention you should love Baseball.

9. Sorry this is not a paid gig. My intent is only to make you famous.

Drop me a note and lets chat. I look foreword to hearing from all you behind-the-foul-pole3aspiring writers.

Mike

King of the Foul Pole

Gardner digs his way into Yanks lineup

March 30, 2009

brett2Brett Gardner has won the starting CF Job with the NY Yankees. This was a forgone conclusion in most peoples minds considering how Melky Cabrera stunk up the place last year. So bad in fact that he was sent down to Scranton to reobtain his Mojo. Melky’s only advantage is that he is a switch hitter and has a strong throwing arm. He runs poor routes and is very inconsistent at the plate.

Gardner was on fire at the end of last season and has carried that over into what could only be called a brilliant spring. Gardner brings speed to the bottom of the order and will probably torture pitchers on the base paths all season. He has great base stealing skills and is very aware on the base pads turning singles into doubles and double into triples. Hes aggressive and will make the other teams throw a strike to beat his incredible speed.

If you haven’t noticed I’m a big fan of Brett Gardner. I’m a big fan of anyone who can run like him. Don’t get me wrong hes no Ichiro Suzuki but if he hits .280 and steals 50 bases this year than he was worth the risk.