Friday, November 21, 2014

Bargain Basement MLB Players For 2015

MLB Bargain Players
Two weeks ago we took a look at the big name free agents and where they could end up. Last week we took a look at the second tier free agents and where they could end up. This week, let’s take a look at potential bargain bin deals.

Emilio Bonifacio/UP- Bonifacio is a speed demon with not too much batting power, but one who has a lot of defensive versatility. He won’t light the world on fire, but he can provide versatility on defense and some speed (and average production,) on offense. I look for a team like the Twins to sign him.

Kelly Johnson/2B- Kelly Johnson is a decent player who is often overlooked. Johnson has power for a second baseman, so if you like pop in your middle infielders, Johnson is your man. A return to Toronto could be in the works or maybe the Rangers.

Rickie Weeks/2B- I can already hear Brewers fans screaming when I say his name. But still, Weeks is a potential reclamation project for the ages. If someone can figure out how to get the player Weeks was in his earlier years out of him, they will have an all time steal. If not, well it is just another page in the downfall of Rickie Weeks. Maybe a team like the Yankees or Dodgers would have some interest.

Josh Willingham/LF/DH- Willingham has had a nice long career and has been one of the most unsung players of his generation. Still, at 36 years of age, Willingham has some pop left in that bat, and would provide a good bench option for a contender. Think someone like the Blue Jays.

Chris Capuano/LHP- I am one of those people who still believe Capuano has something left in the tank to give to a contender. He has a nice curveball and can still get left handed batters out. A return to Milwaukee’s bullpen could be a realistic outcome.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Second Tier MLB Free Agents 2015

MLB Free Agents
Last week we looked at baseball’s big name free agents and where they could land. This week. Let’s look at the second tier of free agents and where they could end up.

Billy Butler/1B/DH- Butler was an integral part of the Royals postseason run. However the team declined to pick up his option making him a free agent. He could very well end up back in Kansas City but that is unlikely. He is also likely to stay in the American League as he is strictly a DH. He could play first base, but that is like asking David Ortiz to play first base. Butler’s destinations include Oakland, Texas, and Seattle.

Adam LaRoche/1B- LaRoche has made himself into a fine player as a member of the Washington Nationals. He could end up back in Washington, but he is also going to explore his options. He could DH as well, but he is statistically he is one of the best, if not the best defensive first baseman in recent memory. He was a prime candidate to come to Milwaukee before the Adam Lind trade. Now his destinations include Oakland, Boston, and ending up back in Washington.

Asdrubal Cabrera/SS- Cabrera was traded from Cleveland to Washington before the trade deadline and had a great late run to finish the season to make himself into relevant free agent again. Cabrera is a solid defensive shortstop with a good decent. Cabrera’s destinations the New York Yankees, a return to Washington, Los Angeles(both leagues), Minnesota, and just about everyone else who needs a shortstop.

Melky Cabrera/OF- Cabrera signed with Toronto following his suspension for PED’s in San Francisco two years ago. He has played well in Toronto. His landing spots if he does not return to the Blue Jays include the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, and the Texas Rangers. Although it is certain he re-signs with Toronto.

A.J. Burnett/SP- Burnett is 38 years old and does not want to switch teams again. He either goes back to Philadelphia for one more season or he calls it a career and heads home to Little Rock, Arkansas.

Jake Peavy/SP- Peavy was important to the Giants in this World Series run. The Giants have given up on Tim Lincecum. Peavy goes back to San Francisco.

David Robertson/RP- Robertson stepped into the closer’s role for the Yankees this season and did awesome. He wants big money though. Fortunately the Yankees can afford to give it to him. No way he ends up anywhere other than back in New York.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Biggest Free Agents Of 2015 MLB Season

MLB Free Agents
Now that the MLB season is over, it is time for the baseball off season to get started, which means the free agent signings are coming. Now in baseball, free agency is a little bit bigger of a deal and is more important than in football. This year’s free agent class is pitcher heavy. Let’s take a look at some of the notable names.

Jon Lester- The Red Sox traded Lester this season at the deadline, but that does not mean he won’t end up back in Boston. However since he was traded, the “hometown discount” is gone. He won’t end up back in Oakland though. Possible landing spots are the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and Atlanta Braves.

Max Scherzer- Max Scherzer made it very clear he did not want to sign an extension and wants to cash in big time. Money will be the deciding factor in this signing. The Tigers, Yankees, Dodgers, and Cubs will all have interest.

James Shields- Shields, who pitched well in the postseason and led the Royals on their miracle playoff run, is the other big name pitcher that will be cashing in this off season. Shields will consider other things than just money though and won’t cost as much to sign than the other two. The Twins, Rangers, Braves, Cubs, Yankees, Dodgers, and maybe even the Royals will all have interest.

Pedro Sandoval- Kung Fu Panda (Sandoval,) has already turned down the Giants qualifying offer, and will hit free agency. He is a bit of a "head scratcher" though, and probably thinks he is worth a lot more than he really is. The Giants, Brewers, Mariners, Angels, and Braves could all have interest, although a return to the Bay Area is likely.

Russell Martin- Russell Martin went to Pittsburgh two years ago and made a great name for himself, and he might be the most valuable player on the free agent market this offseason. He is an instant all star catcher with leadership skills that are off the charts. He will get a bigger deal this time around than the one he signed two years ago. The Pirates, Rangers, Cubs, Tigers, and Athletics will all have interest.

Chase Headley- A big name, but a return to New York is all but in the bag. If the Yankees go another direction, he could end up with the Brewers, Braves, or even the Mariners.

Hanley Ramirez- Hanley has become the biggest shortstop on the market, and he hasn’t played short in a while. Ramirez will end up either back with the Dodgers and if not the Dodgers the Yankees.    

Friday, October 31, 2014

Madison Bumgarner Wins MVP and Drinks Multiple Brewskis | My Take On The Best Players of 2014

Madison Bumgarner
Before I begin, let me give a round of applause to the San Francisco Giants. Madison Bumgarner put together one of the best World Series performances in recent memory and deserved the World Series MVP award. We will now be debating until the end of time whether Mike Jirschele should have sent Alex Gordon but that is another debate for another day. But now, before the wild party of the baseball off season begins, lets take a look back at the MLB season and hand out some awards.

National League MVP: Andrew McCutchen/OF/Pittsburgh Pirates- I know, I know, many of you are going to scream Clayton Kershaw, but I just can’t give out an MVP award to a pitcher. They have their own award. Josh Harrison finishes second on my list and Giancarlo Stanton finishes third.

National Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw/SP/Los Angeles Dodgers- In a runaway. This is the best pitcher on the planet right now, but he is starting to develop a reputation for coming up short in the postseason. Second on this list is Adam Wainwright. Third is Johnny Cueto.

National League Rookie Of The Year- Anthony Rendon/3B/Washington Nationals- This wasn’t a great year for rookies in the National League so Rendon gets this award by default.

National League Manager Of The Year: Clint Hurdle/Pittsburgh Pirates- The Pirates got off to a rough start. They could have easily quit but Hurdle did not let them. They fought their way back and ended up with one of the two Wild Card spots. Second on this list is Bruce Bochy and third is Mike Matheny.

National League Least Valuable Player- B.J. Upton/OF/Atlanta Braves- The Braves signed Upton to a five year 85 million dollar contract before last season. That is turning out to be one of the worst free agent signings ever. Upton has had two horrible seasons and may find himself on the bench in 2015. Second on this list is Ryan Braun and third is Ryan Howard.

American League MVP- Victor Martinez/DH/Detroit Tigers- MikeTrout is about to be screwed out of another MVP award, this time at the hands of Miguel Cabrera’s teammate Victor Martinez. Second on this list is Miguel Cabrera and third is Mike Trout.

American League Cy Young- Corey Kluber/SP/Cleveland Indians- Yes, you see that right. Kluber had the American League’s best season, going 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA. Second on this list is Jon Lester and third is Felix Hernandez.

American League Rookie of The Year- Matt Shoemaker/SP/Los Angeles Angels- This man was nothing short of amazing in his rookie season. Shoemaker finished 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA. Second is Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Royals Versus Giants World Series Preview

World Series
Well, we have reached the World Series, and of course, the match up features two wild card teams. ESPN has called this Series the worst World Series match up ever. They tried to make that argument based on the fact that this is two wild card teams. That is not really the case however. They are just upset because there is no big flashy name in this series. This is not Dodgers-Yankees or Red Sox-Phillies, this is Giants-Royals. I personally think this is a refreshing world series for a change. For those of you who are sick and tired of the same old line of New York, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, etc., this series is for you. Personally, I believe this series has a chance to be one of the best ever.

The pitching in this series is going to be absolutely phenomenal. Both of these teams have ridiculous bullpens and strong rotations. One of the keys to winning this World Series will be whoever figures out how to get some offense on the other team’s bullpen. Te key for the Royals bullpen will be to get four leads to Matt Holland. If they can do that, the Royals win this series, and I expect if the Royals can just get four leads to their bullpen, they will have an easy time.

For the Giants, they will need Madison Bumgarner to continue pitching how he has been pitching. One of the keys for the Giants in this series will be if Bumgarner can win two games. If he can, they have a great shot to win this series. If not, their chances of winning this series decrease dramatically. Overall this will be a closely contested series. Final verdict: Royals in 7 in a very low-scoring series.