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

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Eric Lauer Milwaukee Brewers

In case you missed it (what, you watched football for the last four days?)...

Recent Transactions

The Milwaukee Brewers have traded OF Trent Grisham and P Zach Davies to the San Diego Padres for 2B Luis Urias and P Eric Lauer.

P Drew Pomeranz and the San Diego Padres have agreed to a 4-year, $34 million contract.

P Kyle Gibson and the Texas Rangers have agreed to a 3-year, $30 million contract.

1B Evan White and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to a 6-year, $24 million contract.

C Travis d'Arnaud and the Atlanta Braves have agreed to a 2-year, $16 million contract.

C Yan Gomes and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a 2-year, $10 million contract.

C Stephen Vogt and the Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a 1-year, $3 million contract.

P Kendall Graveman and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to a 1-year, $2 million contract.

IF Wilmer Difo and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a 1-year, $1 million contract.

RP Carl Edwards Jr. and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to a 1-year, $950,000 contract.

IF Josh Harrison and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a minor league contract.

The Oakland Athletics have traded P Jharel Cotton to the Chicago Cubs for cash considerations.

1B Justin Bour and the Hanshin Tigers (NPB) have agreed to a contract.

Check out Baseball-Reference.com's 2019 Free Agency Tracker

Alex Patton Alex
Brennen Davis Chicago Cubs

A more granular view from Baseball America:

Listed below are the prospects with the best tools within the organization. To go directly to Chicago's Top 10, click here

Best Hitter for Average: Nico Hoerner
Best Power Hitter: Brennen Davis
Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Nico Hoerner
Fastest Baserunner: Edmond Americaan
Best Athlete: Brennen Davis
Best Fastball: Brailyn Marquez 
Best Curveball: Jack Patterson
Best Slider: Cory Abbott
Best Changeup: Kohl Franklin
Best Control: Tyson Miller
Best Defensive Catcher: Miguel Amaya
Best Defensive Infielder: Nico Hoerner
Best Infield Arm: Luis Verdugo
Best Defensive Outfielder: Brennen Davis
Best Outfield Arm: Eddy Martinez

Alex Patton Alex

Baseball America looking at the once and future Cubs:

Here's how we project their lineup in 2023, with their 2023 age in parentheses.

Catcher: Willson Contreras (31)
First Base: Anthony Rizzo (33)
Second Base: Nico Hoerner (26)
Third Base: Kris Bryant (31)
Shortstop: Javier Baez (30)
Left Field: Kyle Schwarber (30)
Center Field: Albert Amora (29)
Right Field: Brennen Davis (23)

No. 1 Starter: Yu Darvish (36)
No. 2 Starter: Brailyn Marquez (24)
No. 3 Starter: Kyle Hendricks (33)
No. 4 Starter: Riley Thompson (26)
No. 5 Starter: Corby Abbott (27)
Closer:  Ryan Jensen (25)

Alex Patton Alex
Gerrit Cole New York Yankees

As we wring our hands over who in the world can possibly afford Gerrit Cole...

In November, Fox signed a new seven-year media rights deal with MLB beginning with the 2022 season that is worth almost 50% more than its current eight-year deal with baseball on an annual average rights fee basis. That bodes well for subsequent deals with baseball’s other national media partners, WarnerMedia’s TBS and Walt Disney’s ESPN. Those two agreements also expire after the 2021 season.

https://www3.forbes.com/business/baseball-team-values-2019/

Alex Patton Alex
Scott Alexander Los Angeles Dodgers

Scott Alexander (P) LA - Dec. 01

https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=735987

Alexander (hand) agreed to a one-year, $875K contract Sunday to avoid arbitration with the Dodgers, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Alexander's tenure with the Dodgers has fared pretty well so far and so it makes sense why the ballclub decided to bring him back instead of making him a non-tendered player. His season was cut very short in 2019 due to a season-ending forearm issue with his pitching arm but has put up a 3.67 ERA over 83.1 innings the last two seasons and remains one of the best ground-ball specialist relievers in the game. Arbitration contracts do not become completely guaranteed until the start of the regular season, so the Dodgers could decide to let Alexander go still if his recovery doesn't go well or if they just don't have a spot for him on their 40-man roster.


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Alex Patton Alex
Chris Sale Boston Red Sox

Chris Sale (P) BOS - Dec. 01

https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=735985

Sale (elbow) was cleared to begin an offseason throwing program two weeks ago after visiting with Dr. James Andrews in Florida, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: After receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection for his ailing elbow in August, Sale was scheduled to make a follow-up appointment with Dr. Andrews near the end of the season, but the lefty ultimately pushed the checkup back a few weeks. With Andrews giving him a clean bill of health, Sale will now be able to resume his normal offseason preparations and shouldn't face any restrictions for the start of spring training. After posting a career-worst 4.40 ERA over 25 starts in 2019, a healthy Sale will be looking to bounce back as he enters the first season of the five-year, $145 million extension he signed last March.

Alex Patton Alex
Zach Davies San Diego Padres
Jose Osuna Pittsburgh Pirates

Connected for half of his homers while pinch-hitting.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 30
Howie Kendrick Washington Nationals

Howie slashed .361/.415/.611 this year as a pinch-hitter.

He had 13 pinch hits. In the 13 seasons leading up to this one, he had 14.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 30
Tucker Barnhart Cincinnati Reds

0-for-21 as a pinch-hitter.

Why so often?

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 30
Cesar Hernandez Philadelphia Phillies

Mlbtr lists Hernandez as a possible non tender with a projected salary of 11.1 via arbitration.

some feel Harrison’s minor league signing is an additional signal that Hernandez will not be on the team. 

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 30
Zach Davies San Diego Padres

Is the over/under pick/pan bar now set at $12?

At $3 he was a pick of mine last year (in both of my leagues, PCL + Home) ... and he very much helped me (obviously) ...

I don't know anything you don't know ... my heart hopes for more/better next year, obviously ... it's hard for me to "pick" a soft-tosser at $12 ... but I do think he'll be a safe place to invest $12 into a starting pitcher ...

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Nov 30
Joe Panik San Francisco Giants

Chad Jennings at the Athletic, wondering if we might not see Panik in Ft Meyers this spring:

Panik just turned 29, he surely needs a fresh opportunity to prove
himself, and the Red Sox just happen to have a ton of unpredictability
at second base.

This isn’t a bad winter to go bargain shopping at second base. The
free-agent market offers Jason Kipnis, Brian Dozier, Asdrubal Cabrera,
Neil Walker, Eric Sogard, Starlin Castro, Ben Zobrist, Jonathan Schoop
and – of course – Brock Holt. That level of redundancy will surely bring
down prices, and some of those guys are going to sign for low, low
money.

Panik is singled out here because he’s still relatively young, and he
might be on the lower end of the pay scale after a couple of
disappointing seasons. On the plus side, his hard-hit percentage was the
best of his career last season, his line-drive percentage was basically
in line with his best years in San Francisco, and his numbers did
improve after he joined the Mets in August.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 29
Jose Martinez St. Louis Cardinals

Chad Jennings at The Athletic, trying to help the Red Sox get under the luxury tax:

If the Red Sox can free salary and address a different need by trading J.D. Martinez: Jose Martinez

Why so cheap? He’s owed $2 million in the final year of a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals.

Why show interest? He’s proven to be a nice hitter, but one who’s best kept out of the field, making him a better fit in the American League.

To be clear, Jose Martinez is no J.D. Martinez. Not even close,
really. But the past three years, he has a 121 wRC+, which is the same
as Marcell Ozuna, Nick Castellanos and Francisco Lindor. His .819 OPS in
that time frame is better than Mike Moustakas, Gary Sanchez, Eddie
Rosario and DJ LeMahieu. Jose Martinez can’t hit like J.D. Martinez, but
he could make up for quite a bit of lost offense should the Red Sox
trade their designated hitter.

Granted, trading J.D. Martinez is easier said than done. The fact he
didn’t opt out suggests even agent Scott Boras doesn’t see a tremendous
market for him at $23.75 million. If the Red Sox could find a trade
partner, though, and get something meaningful in return — a starting
pitcher, a first baseman, a late-inning reliever — they could probably
save some money and make up some of the difference by swinging a trade
for Jose Martinez, who’s a suboptimal fit in St. Louis.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 29
Zach Davies San Diego Padres

As a Brewers fan, I would say he's a pick just based on the fact that he'll get 3 to 4 more wins since at the end Counsell was pulling his starters early.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 29
Pierce Johnson San Francisco Giants

It appears that both Pierce Johnson and Joely Rodriguez will be handed
their releases this coming Monday. Both are coming off of great years
and should be a welcome addition to a MLB bullpen for 2020. Here's the links to their NPB stats for 2019.

http://npb.jp/bis/eng/players/63165138.html

http://npb.jp/bis/eng/players/83985136.html


Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Nov 29
Zach Davies San Diego Padres

What do you think, Howard? A pick or a pan in the Guide?

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 29
Roberto Ramos Colorado Rockies

How often does a player make the AFL and then get left off the 40 man and made available for the rule V draft. 

It will be interesting to see if the 26th roster spot increases the number of Rule V picks this year.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 29
Xander Bogaerts Boston Red Sox

Also of note in the opposite direction - position players generally peak ages 26-28.  He is the right age for that. His walk rate increased, showing he was seeing pitches better than he did before.  Power usually improves and speed declines in late 20s through age 31 season.  HIs BABIP was not out of his career normal range.  Power for all players was higher than expected - it's all relative.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Nov 28

Kingham is off to the KBO, signing on with the SK Wyverns. It makes a lot of sense for both parties. SK Wyverns just posted Hwan-Hyun Kim and the status of Angel Sanchez is up in the air. Both were in the KBO Top-5 in ERA last year.

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Nov 28

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