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Free Agent Market

All-Stars making noise in this year’s offseason

From Cy Young candidates to Silver Sluggers, several of the MLB’s top players have made headlines this offseason. Here’s a look at some of the biggest offseason acquisitions and re-signings so far.

The Boston Red Sox have added an ace to their star-studded roster by acquiring Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox in a blockbuster deal. The Red Sox shipped several of their prospects including Cuban infielder, Yoan Moncada, and they received one of the game’s elite pitchers in return.

Chris Sale made five American League All-Star teams as a member of the Chicago White Sox (Courtesy of usatoday.com)

Sale has been an All-Star in each of the last five seasons who has dominated batting lineups in the American League. Despite his individual achievements, Sale has never pitched in the postseason. Now, he has a strong chance to make his postseason debut in 2017. Sale will join 20-game winner, Rick Porcello, and All-Star left-hander, David Price in what could be the best starting rotation in the game.

There was some speculation as to whether or not outfielder, Yoenis Céspedes, would return to the New York Mets in 2017. However, he dispelled those rumors after signing four-year, $110 million deal… Continue reading

The Braves opt for Experience

The Atlanta Braves have reportedly signed Bartolo Colon to a one-year, $12.5 million contract. The 43-year old righty has spent the last three seasons with the Mets, posting a 44-34 record with a 3.90 ERA in 98 games—95 of which were starts.

Once thought of as a long reliever at the start of the season, Colon led the Mets with 15 wins and a 191.2 innings pitched. Injuries to Matt Harvey and Zach Wheeler only highlighted the importance of the former Cy Young award winner in the rotation.

R.A. Dickey (Left) and Bartolo Colon (right) are the newest members of the Atlanta Braves. (Courtesy of espn.com)

This comes a day after Atlanta signed another aging former Cy Young award winner in 42-year old, R.A. Dickey. The knuckleballer is coming off a poor season with the Blue Jays. He went 10-15 and posted a 4.46 ERA in 30 games (29 starts) with Toronto.

The signings of Colon and Dickey look to bolster a struggling Braves starting rotation. Atlanta starters posted a 4.87 ERA in 2016, which was the third worst in the major leagues last season. Only the Twins (5.39) and Diamondbacks (5.19) were worse.

Colon and Dickey will join ace… Continue reading

Which Team Suits Fowler the Best?

Dexter Fowler, 29, is a free agent and one of the last remaining notable free-agents still on the market. Previously, Fowler has enjoyed a long stay with the Colorado Rockies, the club who drafted him in the 14th round of the 2004 MLB Draft. However, the veteran outfielder was traded for the first time in his career in 2014 when he was sent to the Houston Astros for a pair of minor leaguers.

Dexter Fowler in 2015 (Courtesy of chicagotribune.com)

Fowler had a subpar season with the Astros and ended up getting traded to the Chicago Cubs where he took over the starting CF position in 2015. He played in a career-best 156 games last season and batted .250 with 17 home runs. He was a part of their postseason run, coming close to a World Series appearance before losing in the NLCS to the New York Mets. However, this season, Fowler is presumed to arrive in Baltimore, home of the Orioles. Due to his superb defense, Fowler is asking for big money and wants to play for a playoff contender as well.

My prediction: Orioles sign Dexter Fowler to a 2-year, $20 million contract.

MLB Trade Talk

The MLB trade deadline is less than one month away. There hasn’t been any large trades or deals done so far this season, but things should heat up in MLB offices as the deadline approaches on July 31st.

Cole Hamels (middle) talking with Ryan Howard (right) (Courtesy of mlbdailydish.com)

The Philadelphia Phillies have two big-named players that have been linked to trade rumors for quite some time. Cole Hamels is outright the best left-handed pitcher that any team could trade for in 2015. He’s still an ace so I’m surprised that teams who are contending for the playoffs have not pursued him yet. He has a 3.02 earned run average (ERA) and he ranks fourth in the National League in strikeouts with 119.

Ryan Howard, their other big-named player isn’t the MVP that he once was, but he’s still a power threat who can assist teams in need of offense. Through July 10th, Howard has 14 home runs with a .218 batting average this year. Maybe a change of scenery can reignite his career.

Johnny Cueto’s unique windup (Courtesy of eastvillagetimes.com)

Another top pitcher in the NL who could be on the move is Johnny Cueto, the right-handed ace for… Continue reading

Rebuilding Red Sox Sign Cuban Star

The Boston Red Sox made more noise in the offseason when they signed the switch-hitting Cuban powerhouse, Yoan Moncada two weeks ago. Boston just continues to retool their team after finishing last in the AL East in 2014. The 19-year-old Cuban outfielder will have the largest signing bonus in MLB history pending his physical exams. Moncada agreed to a deal that is worth $31.5 million which is by far the biggest bonus among any international free agent.

Cuban phenom, Yoan Moncada(Courtesy of nj.com)

If Moncada can land a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster, he will join a superior lineup that already consists of David “Big Papi” Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. However, some beat reporters now claim that with all the offensive tools that the Red Sox have compiled, they have yet to address their weak, young pitching staff. However, the Red Sox’s chances of reclaiming the AL East title have vastly improved compared to last year.

The 2015 edition of the Boston Red Sox(Courtesy of bostonglobe.com)

Yoan Moncada has been described as one of the more powerful, young outfielders with great speed, an exceptional throwing arm and a fantastic swing. For his first showcase, about… Continue reading

Rags to Riches? The New-and-Improved San Diego Padres in Review

Out of all 30 MLB teams, hundreds of thousands of baseball fans are ecstatic to catch a glimpse of the new-and-improved San Diego Padres. Multiple sources reported that the Padres have been, “hyperactive” ever since the arrival of new general manager, A.J. Preller.

San Diego Padres logo(Courtesy of pinterest.com)

The Padres have now played the ‘do-or-die’ card (win or lose) with the additions of Will Middlebrooks, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and recent signee, James Shields. Although the Padres have been able to fulfill the positions at which they were initially weak, they have to make sure that they don’t limit themselves financially and continue to spread the wealth. Kemp, Myers, Upton and Middlebrooks have all had their ups and downs between efficient and non-efficient seasons but the Padres are hoping that they can put it all together in 2015.

(Left to right) Justin Upton, Bud Norris, Will Middlebrooks and Wil Myers(Courtesy of padres.mlb.com)

This season can go one of two ways for the Padres: They can have a disappointing season like the 2014 New York Yankees (no disrespect, it’s just that they did not seem to play as well as sources had predicted due to injuries). On the… Continue reading

2015 MLB Season Preview

Can you believe that Opening Day to the 2015 MLB season is only 70 days away? 2015 definitely has several storylines that are worth watching. The hot stove brewed a number of blockbuster deals across the MLB so without further ado, I present to you a preview of what’s in store for the 2015 season.

2015 MLB Opening Day logo (Courtesy of pinterest.com)

The Boston Red Sox put themselves in the conversation for being major contenders in the AL East. They acquired Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez via free agency. These sluggers, who have battled against each other in the San Fran-L.A. rivalry, will add much more depth in Boston’s batting lineup. They also added former All-Star switch hitter, Chili Davis, as the team’s hitting coach. Their starting rotation was a subject of much concern going into the offseason. Boston took a step in the right direction this offseason by acquiring Tigers’ right-handed pitcher, Rick Porcello in a trade for outfielder, Yoenis Cespedes. Rusney Castillo, one of the top prospects from Cuba, has a strong chance of being the everyday centerfielder for Boston. He hit well over .300 in 10 games last season. If he can piggyback off of that… Continue reading

Left-Handed Aces Up for Grabs

Headlining the free agent market in the starting pitching category is none other than former Red Sox and Oakland Athletic Jon Lester. Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies is also said to have his name mentioned multiple times in trade talk. These two lefties symbolize one thing: Domination. Lester and Hamels have been classified as aces of their rotation and the blackjack pitchers of baseball throughout their pro careers to this point. Lester has arguably a better career overall than Hamels, recording multiple All-Star appearances and a few World Series rings.

2008 World Series MVP, Cole Hamels(Courtesy of fastphillysports.com)

Hamels has been overshadowed by the regular season record of the Phillies these past seasons and the lack of run support. Although, Hamels is still under contract for a few more years, the Chicago Cubs have apparently shown strong and serious interest in the lefty. The Philadelphia Phillies have not been the same since 2009, the year they lost in the World Series to the New York Yankees. Their farm system lacks in depth, development and performance. They also had a managerial issue in the past year and many players have walked away from the club in spite of playing on… Continue reading

Report: Logan Morrison believes he’s staying in Miami

Miami Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison, who has been drawing interest from at least ten Major League teams, believes he’s staying with the Marlins and will not be traded.

 

Logan Morrison (Courtesy of mlbreports.com)

Morrison said he believes the Marlins would only trade him if the team “receives a vitamix in return.” Morrison, 26, hit .242 with 6 HR in 85 games during the 2013 season. He’s suffered from knee injuries over the last two seasons, but is expected to be fully healthy come Spring Training. Several teams including the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox have expressed public interest in Morrison.

 

Morrison is a career .249 hitter in four Major League seasons, all with the Marlins. He had a career high 23 HR in 2011, but has never played more than 123 games in a season due to injuries. If what Morrison says is true, then the Marlins’ Winter Meetings shopping spree may end before having even begun.

 

The Marlins recently signed shortstop Rafael Furcal to a one-year contract. Furcal missed the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery, having last played with the Cardinals in 2012. That signing might be the only edition Marlins’ fans see… Continue reading

Brian McCann signs with the Yankees

Seven time all-star catcher Brian McCann will join the New York Yankees. According to reports, McCann has signed a 5-year, 85 million dollar contract with the Bronx Bombers. The deal is contingent on McCann passing a physical.

 

Brian McCann (Courtesy of bleacherreport.com

McCann, 29, hit .259 with 20 home runs in 102 games with the Braves last season. 2013 marked McCann’s sixth straight 20 home run season.

 

Moving to the American League will prove well for McCann, who hasn’t played 130 games in a season since 2010. He is projected to be the Yankees starting catcher as well as occasional DH.

 

In nine big league seasons, McCann is a .276 hitter with 176 home runs.

Report: Prince Fielder may be headed to the Rangers

Texas just got a little bigger!

 

Prince Fielder going to the Rangers (Courtesy of matchincome.com)

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Tigers and Rangers are on the verge of a deal that would send Detroit first baseman, Prince Fielder, to the Rangers in exchange for Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler. Heyman also reports there might be more players involved in the deal in addition to Fielder and Kinsler.

 

Fielder, 29, hit .271 with 25 HR and 106 RBI for the Tigers. 2013 marked the third straight year Fielder drove in more than 100 RBI. Despite what many might think, the 5-11, 275 pound Fielder has missed just one regular season game since the 2009 season.

 

Trading Fielder to Texas would give Detroit more payroll flexibility. Fielder signed a 9-year, $214 million contract with the Tigers prior to the 2012 season. The Tigers still owe Fielder more than $160 million over the next seven seasons.

 

Kinsler, 31, had a sub-par 2013 campaign. He missed 26 games due to a right intercostal strain and had the second worst slugging percentage (.413) in his career. The 3x all-star would give the Tigers stability at second base, though it’s… Continue reading

Carlos Beltran drawing interest from Yankees and Red Sox

According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, Free Agent OF Carlos Beltran is drawing preliminary interest from the Yankees and Red Sox.

 

Beltran, 36, hit .296 with 24 HR with the Cardinals in 2013. He last played in the American League during the 2004 season as a member of the Royals.

 

A friend of Beltran’s said the all-star outfielder “would love to come back to New York, but I think he’d like Boston, too.”

 

Carlos Beltran (Courtesy of mets360.com)

As an aging superstar, Beltran would want to sign with an American League team so he could DH. The Red Sox already have a full-time DH in David Ortiz (despite his playing of first base in the World Series.) The Yankees don’t have a full-time DH, but do have aging players in Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez (should Rodriguez be eligible to play in 2014) who will need the occasional time off.

 

The Yankees pursuit of Beltran will determine the future of free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson. Granderson, injured most of the 2013 season with the Yankees, has drawn already interest from the Mets, according to the New York Daily News.… Continue reading

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