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MetroplexJim
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2018/11/07 11:33:41 (permalink)

BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread

Even though "my teams" (Pirates, Nats, Rangers) had seasons that ranged from disappointing to dismal, 2018 was a truly wonderful season that fully restored MLB to its rightful place as the true "National Pastime".
 
Congratulations to the BoSox who won the "real" WS v. the Astros before they roughed up the over-SABREmetricized Dodgers.  And a special thanks to those small-market Brewers for an inspiring season.
 
----------------------------
 
So, O.K., now that 2018 is settled it's time to analyze where Harper and Machado will land.
 
  • Team that can't afford them due to market size:  Pirates, Brewers, Royals, Athletics, Marlins, Orioles, Padres, Reds, Diamondbacks, Rays, Indians, Tigers, Twins, White Sox.
  • Team that can't afford them due to prior, unfortunate signings: Angels, Mariners.
  • Teams that could afford them, but don't need them: NYY, BoSox, LAD.
  • Teams that could afford them but have too much sense:  Cards, Astros, Braves.
  • So that leaves the Phillies, Cubs, Mets, Rockies, Giants, Nats, Blue Jays, and Rangers.
 
I'm guessing that the Cubs outbid the Phillies, Giants, Mets, and Jays for Machado, them trade Addison Russell for pitching.
 
Harper is harder.  The Jays, Phils, Mets, and Rangers will outbid the Rockies and Giants.  I'm thinking either the Phillies or the Rangers - both of which are needy and have loads of cash.  Perhaps the edge will go to the Rangers who will be moving indoors in 2020 and, as they have the DH, can probably offer the 10 years Harper wants.
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JRPfeff
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/11/07 11:41:01 (permalink)
You just couldn't wait, eh Jim?
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/11/07 12:00:25 (permalink)
As I expected, the Nats really don't want to pay the price necessary to sign their fragile prima donna. 
 
At the same time, they do not want to alienate the many Nats fans who don't know of Harper's corrosive impact on the Nats' clubhouse.
 
So, at season's end they offered him $300 MM for 10 years knowing full well that Harper and his greedy agent would reject their kind, generous offer.
 
Then, the Nats "leaked" the news of their offer. 
 
Mission(s) accomplished.
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/16 11:54:24 (permalink)
In case anyone's interested, PNC Park single-game tickets are already on sale and very easy to purchase online; it's possible to specify the exact seats desired, which is a really nice feature.
 
Apparently the White Sox are considered to have a legitimate shot at signing Harper and will also meet with Machado...
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/19 20:53:50 (permalink)
So how do Pirates fans feel about Andrew McCutchen signing with the Phillies?
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buffetbuster
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/20 10:56:35 (permalink)
SC-
McCutchen is a terrific person and I would love to see him go somewhere he can get a ring.  I don't know if that is in Philly.  I know it's not in Pittsburgh.
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/20 11:29:25 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
So how do Pirates fans feel about Andrew McCutchen signing with the Phillies?

buffetbuster
SC-
McCutchen is a terrific person and I would love to see him go somewhere he can get a ring.  I don't know if that is in Philly.  I know it's not in Pittsburgh.


There is not a Pirate fan in all of creation that wishes anything but baseball success and a fulfilling life for Cutch.
 
Generally speaking, off-seasons are tough on us Yinzers.  We feel like orphans out in the cold peering through frosted windows at "the major markets" feasting by the fire whilst exchanging the Harpers & Machados with the Cutches and Brantleys as stocking-stuffers decorating the fireplace.
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/22 18:05:27 (permalink)
Smartest signing of the year, so far:  the Rockies' getting Daniel Murphy for 2 @ $9MM + a mutual option.  This takes Desmond off First Base and lets him be a super utility who is good at all positions except pitch and catch.  They need to re-sign LeMahieu to put the cherry on top of this.
 
Just as smart, but yet to happen:  Nellie Cruz by the Astros.  He averaged 41 HR and a .902 OPS for Seattle; imagine him in that Houston small-park!
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/22 20:28:16 (permalink)
A year ago I don't think anyone would've ever imagined Murphy as a "bargain" free agent, but since he signed a relatively cheap contract fairly early I have to wonder if there might be something the general baseball public isn't aware of.
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/23 09:09:56 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
A year ago I don't think anyone would've ever imagined Murphy as a "bargain" free agent, but since he signed a relatively cheap contract fairly early I have to wonder if there might be something the general baseball public isn't aware of.



After recovering from a microfracture he finished strong over his last 40 games with the Cubbies.  He's not a plus or even average defender at second, but he should do just fine at first.  In any case, there is a glut pf F.A. second basemen.  Schoop went cheap and Dozier likely will, too.
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/23 09:39:21 (permalink)
Congratulations to the Reds' management for making their team (at least) more entertaining by adding Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to Votto, Suarez, and Gennett. 
 
Puig, especially, should thrive within the confines of The Great American Small-park and away from the L.A. media circus.  And, he's only 27.  If I were the Reds' management, I'd extend him immediately.  L.A.'s "disappointment" with his "not fulfilling his potential" obscures the fact that he has a career OPS+ of 127 and is a "plus" defender.
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/27 10:04:04 (permalink)
Ever the crafty purloiner of value, Billy Beane may well have pulled off the best trade of his career by fleecing the Rangers of Jurickson Profar.
 
Profar was the #1-ranked MLB prospect for two years running, but freakish injuries (e.g., a torn bicep) prevented him from developing his ballyhooed potential.  Last year, his age 25 season, he finally got >500 PA's and put up an OPS of nearly .800 with 20 HR and 77 RBI.  He is a switch-hitter who is a plus defender at every infield position.  Beane now has two years of control in what will be his prime, ages 26 and 27 seasons.  This should be his true breakout year.
 
The jury is still out, but this trade could well be "historic" on a scale of Brock for Broglio or F. Robby for Pappas.
post edited by MetroplexJim - 2018/12/27 10:08:38
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/27 18:01:31 (permalink)
Obviously the Rangers felt they were getting enough in return to let Profar go, but given the choice would they have been more inclined to keep him over Rougned Odor?
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2018/12/28 09:31:15 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
Obviously the Rangers felt they were getting enough in return to let Profar go, but given the choice would they have been more inclined to keep him over Rougned Odor?



Ruggie is 'just fine' at second.  Profar was a ready replacement for Beltre - a plus defender and a fast-developing offensive piece.
 
In any case, I (continue to) believe that the Rangers are the oft-mentioned "mystery team" pursuing Harper.
 
In any case, the Rangers' primary need is for a hitting coach that will teach Gallo, Odor, and (possibly) Harper a "two strike approach".  Gallo can literally hit it out with a check swing and Harper has already proven he can go yard with a broken bat!  The Rangers need someone to harness that power like Tesla did with the Niagara.
 
Example of Gallo hitting one where Trout can't:
 
post edited by MetroplexJim - 2018/12/29 11:42:47
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JRPfeff
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/02/19 14:55:20 (permalink)
$300 million! Sounds like a bargain.
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/02/21 17:45:08 (permalink)
Two of "my teams" will come to have severe regrets: the Bucs for trading Austin Meadows and the Rangers for giving up on Jurickson Profar.
 
Profar, MLB's #1 prospect for two years running, had two horrible injuries that retarded his progress, a torn labrum and a torn bicep, that cost him two years of development.  Last year, in only his age 25 season, he finally began to play up to his vast potential.  Yet the brilliant Billy Beane picked him up for a few crappy prospects.
 
The Bucs traded Austin Meadows, along with his fellow #1 draftee Tyler Glasnow for a few years of control of "never was" Chris Archer.  Compare Meadows' development to that of Christian Yelich.  The Bucs got robbed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/02/21 18:08:02 (permalink)
JRPfeff
$300 million! Sounds like a bargain.




For a smirking street thug?  Non, gracias.
Further, his offensive stats will suffer 'major shrinkage' moving from hitter-friendly Camden Yards into the heavy night air of spacious Petco.
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/02/22 11:04:22 (permalink)
The contract does have an opt-out clause after 5 years and I'm not sure if it's bilateral or applies only to Machado, but it would make sense for the Padres to have an escape hatch if things don't work out.
 
I suspect that while it's not being said, the Padres are counting on Eric Hosmer to act as something of a mentor.
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/02/23 14:29:37 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
The contract does have an opt-out clause after 5 years and I'm not sure if it's bilateral or applies only to Machado, but it would make sense for the Padres to have an escape hatch if things don't work out.
 
I suspect that while it's not being said, the Padres are counting on Eric Hosmer to act as something of a mentor.




Rest assured, the "outs" are solely at Machado's option. 
That's what $300 MM guaranteed means.
As for Hosmer, … well he's no Willie Stargell.
post edited by MetroplexJim - 2019/02/28 19:49:17
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phlmaestro
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/02/28 16:42:36 (permalink)
The emotional roller-coaster is finally over for Phillies fans. Harper is a Phillie, essentially for life.  I'm not thrilled with giving him a 13-year contract. But I wanted the team to sign him pretty badly, so I'm not going to complain about the contract details.
 
But I will complain about what recent days and weeks say about the 21st century.  For weeks, we've had daily rumors around here on Twitter, all of which turned out to be false. The past couple days, the media jumped on the notion that the Phillies had lost out on Harper and that he would sign with the Dodgers or Giants. 
 
I miss the 20th century, when you waited for stuff to happen, then read about it after the fact.
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/02/28 18:16:53 (permalink)
13 years and nobody gets to opt out.  And with $330mil invested, I wonder how much influence he'll have when ownership and upper management have to make decisions.
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/02/28 20:13:11 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
13 years and nobody gets to opt out.  And with $330mil invested, I wonder how much influence he'll have when ownership and upper management have to make decisions.


The Phillies manager is like a new age nut job who takes analytics to ridiculous extremes. I'm hoping that if they aren't doing well deep into next season, Harper starts pressuring management to get a different manager.
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MetroplexJim
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/02/28 20:17:21 (permalink)
Baseball brings happiness.  
 
Not only is it the most complex, intriguing, enduring, and elegant team sport -- its business affairs are endlessly fascinating for Ph.D. economists.
 
Phillies Phanatics are especially happy today.
 
I wish them the best.
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phlmaestro
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/02/28 20:56:52 (permalink)
I've read in a couple different articles that Harper was attracted to the Phillies hitter-friendly ball park for one thing.
 
He also prioritized spending the rest of his career in one place and being part of the community. The fact that the Phillies were willing to offer such a long contract played into that.  He didn't want an opt-out in the contract, which a lot of stars get now, because of his strong desire to spend the rest of his career in one place.
 
That's good to know.
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/03/06 20:27:26 (permalink)
#34 is the most-issued number in Philadelphia history as it's graced the backs of 64 different players, with the longest period of ownership belonging to the immortal Barry Lersch (1969-73).  Looks like his claim to Phillie fame will be going by the wayside.
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PHI/uniform-numbers.shtml
 
And should Harper last the length of his contract he'll easily surpass Rollie Fingers as the player to have worn #34 for the most seasons, although he'll fall short of the 1-team mark of 14 seasons (Felix Hernandez, David Ortiz, Paul Splittorff).
https://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/numbers.cgi?number=34&year=0
 
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phlmaestro
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/03/06 21:13:43 (permalink)
Harper is wearing #3, and it set a record for the highest selling jersey ever in the first few days or the first day; I forget.
 
He didn't want to take #34 because it was worn by Roy Halladay. He just died in that plane crash not that long ago, so it's sort of sensitive around here. Most Phillies fans look at it as a very classy move by Harper.
 
While I have a Halladay t-shirt with the #34 on the back, I've also been a very big 76ers fan for many years and associate the number more with Charles Barkley than anyone else. He played in Philly twice as long as Halladay.
 
I guess I had never heard him speak other than in commercials before his initial Phillies press conference and set of interviews. I was very pleasantly surprised by the fact that he comes off as relatively mild mannered; very different from the image I had based on how flamboyant he can be on the field.
post edited by phlmaestro - 2019/03/06 21:15:41
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/03/07 08:25:11 (permalink)
Interesting, I didn't know that.  I did see that no one wore #34 last season and since Halladay died after the 2017 season I wasn't sure of its status.
 
Looking at the list of #3s I think Harper's already the best Phillie to ever wear it and he has yet to play a regular season game.
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/03/07 12:29:49 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
Interesting, I didn't know that.  I did see that no one wore #34 last season and since Halladay died after the 2017 season I wasn't sure of its status.
 
Looking at the list of #3s I think Harper's already the best Phillie to ever wear it and he has yet to play a regular season game.



Going back to the 76ers, when it comes to Philly sports, #3 is most associated with Allen Iverson, at least until now.
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Wintahaba
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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/03/07 13:17:21 (permalink)
Is everyone in Philadelphia now doing the "Harper Hair Flip"?

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Re: BASEBALL 2019 - The Official Thread 2019/03/18 22:11:11 (permalink)
I don't think I've ever been happier with a rule change than when I read that MLB, starting in 2020, is going to mandate that relief pitchers face a minimum of three batters unless the inning ends sooner. 
 
I've been bringing that up as the best way to speed up the game for several years. Actually, I always said they should make them face a minimum of two batters. This is even better. When you get into September and October, from the sixth inning on, they spend more time on pitching changes than on playing the game. It's bad for the game in my opinion. That won't be the case any longer after this season.
 
The League is doing what needs to be done. The increasing influence of analytics on the sport is leading managers to change pitchers more frequently than ever and that would have probably only gotten worse if nothing was done.
 
post edited by phlmaestro - 2019/03/19 07:39:06
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