Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Predicting the remains of the starting pitching free agent market



        The 2019 calendar year is not over yet, but unlike the last few years, the MLB free agency market has moved very quickly. While there are still some quality position players available, the pitching market is about over, after Hyun-Jin Ryu's four year, $80 million agreement with the Blue Jays. Of the 20 free agent pitchers with a WAR of 2 or higher in 2019, 18 of them have signed, leaving Homer Bailey and Ivan Nova behind. That does not include former Cy Young winners Dallas Keuchel and Rick Porcello, plus all-stars in Gio Gonzalez, Julio Teheran, and Michael Wacha. All five of those players have new homes. But there are still teams in need of a starter or two, and there are still some vets looking for a new home.

        A very under looked option is Alex Wood. Wood will be just 29 in 2020. A 2017 all star, Wood has a 3.40 career ERA in 839 innings. In his six career seasons entering 2019, Wood's season by season ERA ranged from 2.72 to 3.84. But injuries stalled his 2019, limiting him to seven starts, where he had a 5.80 ERA. The Angels have been criticized for not being able to land a top starting pitcher this offseason, bringing in just Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran. The Angels could use Wood. A contract could look like a one year deal with a club option, giving Wood in the $4-6 million range. It would be a big gamble, but the former Dodger would definitely make the rotation better.

      Homer Bailey had an interesting 2019. He signed a minor league deal with the Royals, earned a rotation spot and had a hot stretch before being traded to the A's. In 13 starts for the A's, Bailey had a 4.30 ERA, which would have been his best in a season since 2014. With Jon Gray rumored to be on the way out, the Rockies could look for a part time replacement. Bailey's 1.2 HR/9 in 2019 was in the top half in the league. Playing in Coors Field will probably worsen that, but the Rockies could use a pitcher like him.

       The ERA champion in 2016, Aaron Sanchez has fallen a lot since then. Blisters and other injuries have cost him significant time, and his 2019 ERA of 5.89 was a career worst. He was traded from the Blue Jays to the Astros mid season, and while he was a part of a combined no hitter in his first game in Houston, Sanchez made just three more starts, allowing 10 runs. He is just 27, the youngest among notable free agent pitchers. He is less of a guarantee for a turn around than Wood, but he can still be a fifth starter on a bad team. The Giants are a bad team, and desperately need a starter, with only Jeff Samardzija qualifying for the ERA title last year among returners. Only Kevin Gausman has been brought in, and behind Gausman, Samardzija and Johnny Cueto, the rotation looks fuzzy.

          The White Sox brought in Ivan Nova without many expectations for the then 32 year old. Nova was healthy all year, and his 34 starts lead the league. However, so did his 225 hits allowed. He had a very bad 4.72 ERA, but believe it or not, teams are prepared to give rotation spots to pitchers with worse numbers. A team that could be open to a Nova reunion is the Pirates. Chris Archer, Trevor Williams and Joe Musgrove will lock up three rotation spots, and top prospect Mitch Keller will likely get another one. That leaves the fifth one wide open. Steven Brault is the front runner, but his 5.16 ERA in 19 starts last year is unimpressive. Nova pitched some of his best years with the Pirates, with a 3.99 ERA in parts of three seasons.

Monday, December 16, 2019

NHL Trade Review: Coyotes acquire Hall

From Sportsnet


           The Arizona Coyotes have acquired forwards Taylor Hall and Blake Speers from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman Kevin Bahl, forwards Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr, as well as a 2020 1st round draft pick and a 2021 conditional third round pick. The Devils will retain 50% of Hall's salary.

            The Coyotes are not the team that will often make a trade like this. That's likely because they are never good. It is also because they often acquire bad contracts from other teams, and those players never play for them. Take Pavel Datsyuk, Dave Bolland and Marian Hossa for example. But now, the Hossa trade is coming back to hurt them. While Hossa is on LTIR, and will not count towards the cap hit, his contract brings the Coyotes over the cap by over $2 million. Even with the money retained, Hall's cap hit for both teams will be $3 million. Without trading any NHLers, the Coyotes don't clear up much space. They will have to waive someone, put someone on LTIR or make another trade to make the deal work. But it will be worth it. Hall is an elite winger. The Hart trophy winner just two seasons ago, Hall was the 1st overall pick in 2010. In 2017-18, he scored 39 goals with 93 points in his second season with the Devils after being acquired from Edmonton for Adam Larsson. Hall is another first line winger. The Coyotes acquired Phil Kessel, a consistent goal scorer, in the offseason, but he has just seven goals so far. If he is on the same line as Hall, Kessel will score more goals. Hall has not been much of a goal scorer this year, but he already has 19 assists in 30 games. The Coyotes also get an AHL forward in Speers that will just add depth.

               Hall, 28, scored six goals with 19 assists for 25 points in 30 games for the Devils this season. In his NHL career for the Devils and Edmonton Oilers, Hall has scored 208 goals with 328 assists for 536 points in 592 games.

              Speers, 22, has three games of NHL experience, all coming in 2016-17. He did not get a point. In 10 AHL games this year, Speers has one assist.

              The Devils have had a terrible start to the season. They have a 10-17-5 record, and are dead last in the Metropolitan Division. Hall, their star forward, is the top pending free agent, and wasn't going to re-sign. The trade Hall for a haul, acquiring a first round pick, and a third that can be upgraded. If the Coyotes win one playoff round this year, or re-sign Hall, the pick is a second rounder. If both things occur, the Devils get Arizona's 2021 first round pick. With the tight cap space in Arizona, Hall's expected raise and Arizona usually being unappealing to top free agents, Devils fans will have to hope Arizona wins a playoff round to get a pick upgrade. The Devils also acquire three prospects. The oldest is Merkley, who was a late first round pick in the star studded 2015 draft. However, he has played in just one NHL game, and does not have a very impressive AHL track record. Schnarr is a third round pick from 2017, and Bahl was a second rounder from 2018. While a trade was close, the Devils scratched Hall twice for precautionary reasons. The first game was against a big time suitor in Colorado, and the second game was of course, against the Coyotes.

                Merkley, 22, had no points in his one NHL game in 2017-18. In 26 games for AHL Tucson this year, Merkley has scored three goals with 13 assists for 16 points. He had 34 points in 43 games in 2018-19.

                Bahl, 19, has five goals with 15 assists for 20 points in 28 games for the OHL's Ottawa 67s this season. Bahl also had 34 points last year, but in 68 games.

               Schnarr, 20, has one goal with eight assists for nine points in 22 games for Tucson this year, his first professional season. For the OHL's Guelph Storm last year, Schnarr scored 34 goals with 68 assists for 102 points in 65 games.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

MLB Trade Review: Rangers acquire Kluber



         The Texas Rangers have acquired RHP Corey Kluber and cash from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for RHP Emmanuel Clase and OF Delino DeShields Jr.

          The reaction that most casual baseball fans had is that the Indians got fleeced. That could be true. Kluber is a two time Cy Young winner, and DeShields is a career .246 hitter. But there are a lot of concerns entering 2020 with Kluber. He is 33 and will turn 34 on April 10. His velocity has been down in 2018 and 2019. To start 2019, Kluber had a 5.80 ERA in his first seven starts. He was then hit by a comebacker in that seventh start, fracturing his pitching arm. He did not return for the rest of the season, ending his nine year Indians career. His 3rd place Cy Young finish the year before makes the return seem even more disappointing. Kluber has a career 3.16 ERA with 1461 strikeouts in 1341.2 innings, and a 2.99 FIP. The Rangers need pitching bad with only Mike Minor and Lance Lynn making 20 starts. Kluber is not exactly a third starter, but a Lynn-Minor-Kluber led rotation could be dangerous, if there is any help behind them.

           In return, the Indians get an interesting young player in Emmanuel Clase. Clase will turn 22 in Spring Training. He often hits over 100 mph on his cutter, hitting as high as 102. He had a 2.31 ERA with 21 strikeouts and one save in 23.1 innings in 2019, his first taste of MLB action. He finished seven games for the Rangers, as they were perhaps setting him up for a closer role with Shawn Kelley heading out and Jose LeClerc coming off a rough season. In the minors in 2019, Clase had a 2.82 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 44.2 innings with 12 saves.

          The son of the former major leaguer with the same name, DeShields has struggled to hit at the major league level, occasionally sending him back to the minor leagues. However, DeShields is very fast. In 118 games, DeShields stole 24 bases. He has 106 career stolen bases, with just 18 home runs. He hit four home runs with a .249 batting average in 2019. In 15 AAA games, DeShields stole eight bases and hit three home runs. He can be a fourth outfielder or starter for a weak Indians outfield. His career OPS of .668 is terrible, though.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

MLB Free Agency: Yankees sign Cole



         The New York Yankees have signed RHP Gerrit Cole to a nine year deal worth $324 million. It is the most ever given to a pitcher, and the $36 million AAV is the most for a player ever.

         The most obvious question when someone gets $324 million is "Are they worth it?". Cole is going to be worth it. The 28th overall pick by the Yankees in 2008, Cole did not sign and went to UCLA. In 2011, he was the first overall pick by the Pirates. In five seasons in Pittsburgh, Cole had a 3.50 ERA with 734 strikeouts in 782.1 innings. Then, the Pirates put him on the trade market. The Yankees tried to acquire Cole, but he went to the defending champions, the Astros. Cole blossomed in Houston. In two seasons, Cole had a 2.68 ERA with 602 strikeouts in 412.2 innings. In both seasons Cole led the league in K/9. He led the league in strikeouts in 2019 with 326, and the AL in ERA with 2.50. However, he was snubbed of the Cy Young. That went to his now former teammate in Justin Verlander. Cole also finished 10th in MVP voting.

            Cole will be the head of a Yankees rotation that already had ace Luis Severino, plus solid starters James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees will need to shed salary to account for Cole. That could lead to a trade of potential number five starter JA Happ. How the Yankees will be able to re-sign Paxton and Tanaka, or at least one of them (both are free agents after the season) is a big question mark. When the Yankees will need to extend Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres, both franchise cornerstones, having two players earning over $25 million (Cole and Giancarlo Stanton) will not help. But the only number the Yankees care about in their number of World Series rings, which could be multiple.

MLB Trade Review: White Sox acquire Mazara



          The Chicago White Sox have acquired OF Nomar Mazara in exchange for CF Steele Walker.

          This could be an absolute steal for the White Sox. Mazara is 24, and is already a four year veteran. He is very consistent. He hit exactly 20 home runs in his first three seasons, but hit 19 in 2019. His .268 batting average and .786 OPS were both career highs, but not by much. One of his 19 home runs went 505 feet, the furthest hit ball in 2019. He is a below average defender, with -4 defensive runs saved and a -2.7 UZR. The numbers do not look pretty, but keep in mind his age. If Mazara can take his game to the next level, it could be scary. But his extremely mediocre numbers through four seasons are not showing much signs of improvement, potentially prompting the Rangers to trade him.

           Even though Mazara is mediocre, I still thought the Rangers could have received more in return. They get one decent prospect in Walker. Walker is 23, so he is just a year younger than Mazara and won't be making the big leagues in this upcoming season. A second round pick in 2018, Walker signed for $2 million. In 2019, Walker reached as high as High-A Winston-Salem. He hit .284 with 10 home runs, 13 stolen bases (but he was caught seven times) and an .811 OPS. In the Rangers system, MLB Pipeline ranks Walker as their 12th best prospect.

MLB Trade Review: Giants acquire Cozart



          The San Francisco Giants have acquired IFs Zack Cozart and Will Wilson from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for cash and a player to be named later.

          The basis of this trade is that the Giants are getting a recent top pick to take on a bad contract. But, with the Giants not expecting to be good in 2020, the contract is not terrible. Before the 2018 season, Cozart signed a three year, $38 million deal with the Angels. However, in the two years since, Cozart has played in a combined 96 games. The Giants have just one year of Cozart, and will pay him $12.66 million for 2020. Will Wilson was drafted 15th overall in this past draft. He was the Angels' 4th best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. With the Giants having a much better system, Wilson will drop down to their 10th prospect spot. In 2019 for North Carolina, Wilson hit .339 with 16 home runs. Playing for the rookie league Orem Owlz, Wilson hit .275 with five home runs in 46 games.

          The Angels are in the center of a big offseason. While they missed out on top starting pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole, they will be in the market for Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-Jin Ryu and maybe Anthony Rendon. They will likely spend a lot of money, so they needed to shed salary. While they gave up Wilson, it could lead to a much better player. Cozart was a big disappointment. A .254 hitter with 82 home runs in parts of seven seasons with the Reds, Cozart hit 40 home runs combined in 2016-2017, including a 2017 all-star appearance. In two years with the Angels, Cozart hit .190 with five home runs. He hit .124 in 38 games with no home runs in 2019. The Angels will likely have David Fletcher starting at third base, unless a Rendon or Josh Donaldson comes to town.

         Cozart might not be as much as a risk for the Giants as it seems. He will probably be hurt at some point, and his production could lack. But if he can at least hit 10 home runs and hit .250, the Giants will be happy.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

MLB Trade Review: Padres acquire Pham, give up Renfroe in five player deal



          The San Diego Padres have acquired OF Tommy Pham and SS/RHP Jake Cronenworth from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for OF Hunter Renfroe, SS Xavier Edwards and a player to be named later.

          Pham has joined the long list of quality players the Rays traded after not being able to afford. Pham is only in his second season of arbitration, but he is already 31, so he will probably get a nice raise that was too much for Tampa Bay. This could re-start the cycle with Renfroe giving them a quality season(s) until being shipped off for more assets. For a team like the Padres, Pham is a great addition. While Renfroe is a great player, Pham can steal 20 bases and hit 20 home runs, walk 70 plus times a year and hit .270. He is also a pretty durable player. While Pham's one defensive run saved in 2019 is not great on the outside, in his 160 games in the outfield for the Rays, Pham did not make an error. He makes all the easy plays, which is sometimes what you need in a defender. Ever since Pham broke out in 2017 with the Cardinals, he has averaged 21.6 home runs a season, 21.6 stolen bases, has a .284 batting average and an OPS of .380. His WAR adds up to 13.6. However, His lowest WAR in that three year stretch came in 2019, with a 3.3 WAR. Pham has a career OPS of .844 and an OPS+ of 126. His age might scare away suitors, but he is still not a free agent until 2022, and will be arbitration eligible every year until then. In 2019, his only full season in Tampa Bay, Pham had a .273 batting average, with 21 home runs and 25 stolen bases in a career high 654 Plate Appearances.

          The least spoken about person involved in the trade is also the most intriguing player. Jake Cronenworth was the Rays' 17th best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and he will slot into the same spot in the Padres' organization. Cronenworth will be 26 next month and hasn't made his MLB debut yet, which isn't appealing, but Pham did not make his debut until he was 26 and was not a regular until he was 29. A .312 hitter for the University in Michigan, Cronenworth also had 27 saves in his three years there. In 2015, the Rays picked him in the 7th round. In his first three minor league seasons, Cronenworth was primarily a shortstop, but with AAA Durham this past season, Cronenworth was given a pitching chance as an opener. Pitching in seven games (six starts), Cronenworth struck out nine batters and allowed four hits and no earned runs in 7.1 innings. While pitching for Durham, former MLB 50 home run hitters Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton where rehabbing against the Bulls. Cronenworth struck out Stanton and got Judge to ground out, showing he can get major leaguers out. Cronenworth's offensive numbers are impressive as well. He hit .334 with 10 home runs and a .934 OPS with Durham. With rosters expanding to 26 men, Cronenworth could make the Padres if he has a good spring.

          The replacement to Pham for the Rays will be Hunter Renfroe. Not to be confused with the Raiders' receiver with the same name, Renfroe's 2019 numbers don't look amazing. He hit .216 with a 31.2% K rate and a .778 OPS. However, Renfroe hit a career high 33 home runs. But he could have hit more if it wasn't for a terrible second half. Going into the all star break, Renfroe hit 27 home runs. He also had a .252 batting average, and a .921 OPS at that time. He is also a good defender, with making just one error and finishing with a 13 DRS. The first thing the Rays will try to do with Renfroe is figure out how he had an insane first half and work on stretching that out for an entire season, or as long as possible. While Pham is a top of the order guy, Renfroe is a middle of the order hitter. To replace Pham's presence at the number two hole, the Rays could keep Yandy Diaz, Austin Meadows and even Ji-Man Choi at the top two spots in the lineup, with Renfroe, Brandon Lowe and Avisail Garcia in the middle of the order, if Garcia re-signs. The Rays could add another discount bat to replace Garcia.

           Compared to Cronenworth, Xavier Edwards is a much more heralded prospect. Edwards was the 5th best prospect in a stacked Padres system, and is now the sixth best prospect in an equally stacked Rays system (all according to MLB Pipeline). Overall, MLB Pipeline has Edwards as the 72nd best prospect in all of baseball. The 20 year old is a long way from the majors, reaching as high as High-A. In 2019, Edwards had a .322 batting average with 34 stolen bases. He is not a power hitter, with just one home run. The 38th overall pick in 2018, Edwards might already be blocked in the Rays system. They have two young middle infielders in Willy Adames and Brandon Lowe starting at the major league level. Also, the 39th best prospect in all of the MLB is Vidal Brujan, another Rays prospect. Brujan is 21 and like Edwards, is a middle infielder. While Brujan could be dealt in a blockbuster trade, he could block Edwards, leading to Edwards potentially being flipped. Edwards is highly touted by scouts and has a good chance of being a star, leading to this being a potential steal for Tampa Bay, especially if the player to be named is a future stud.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

MLB Trade Review: Mets acquire Marisnick



         The New York Mets have acquired OF Jake Marisnick from the Houston Astros in exchange for LHP Blake Taylor and OF Kenedy Corona.

         The Mets are currently seeing longtime OF Juan Lagares depart in free agency after the team declined his option. Since Yoenis Cespedes will not likely return for at least the first half of 2020 (maybe even the whole season) the Mets need a right handed bat in the outfield to counter the left handed Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil. But more importantly, they could use both fielding and speed more than a bat in a Lagares replacement, mainly because that is what Lagares brought to the team. Marisnick is not a good hitter, but he has hit double digit home runs in each of the last three seasons, with 10 in 2019 and 2018. His one good offensive season was 2017, that saw him hit career highs in home runs (16), RBIs (35), batting average (.243), Slugging percentage (.496) and OPS (.815), among many other categories. But Marisnick has gotten much worse offensively since. His 2019 numbers included a much worse .700 OPS, a .233 average and a .289 OBP. Marisnick stole 10 bases, his first time hitting double digits since 2016. In 2015, Marisnick stole 24 bases. The lack of stolen bases lately does not mean Marisnick has lost some speed. His sprint speed was in the 95th percentile among major leaguers, according to baseball savant. Marisnick played in 120 games this past season, but only had 318 Plate Appearances. The Astros would use him as a defensive replacement late in games. Over the last two seasons, Marisnick has saved 17 defensive runs, but just five of them came in 2019. The Mets could use Marisnick as a fourth outfielder, or a starter if Jeff McNeil plays in the infield.

          The Astros traded Marisnick to cut salary, but more importantly to open up a chance for a young outfielder to stay on the soon to be 26 man roster. Myles Straw, who played in 56 games in 2019, and top prospect Kyle Tucker, who played in 22 games, are both options. Straw's right handed bat could be more appealing since that is what Marisnick was, and because every outfielder excluding George Springer is a lefty hitter. Taking Marisnick's 40 man roster spot is Taylor, who the Mets had recently added to their 40 man. Taylor was a second round pick by the Pirates in 2013, but was traded to the Mets less than a year later with Zack Thornton for Ike Davis. While he has not played in the MLB yet, Taylor had a 2.16 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 66.2 innings for AAA Syracuse (only 0.1 inning for Syracuse), AA Binghamton and High-A St. Lucie. He struck out 11 batters in nine Arizona Fall League innings, allowing two runs. Taylor could make his MLB debut in 2020. Corona is a wild card. A 19 year old, Corona hit .301 with five home runs, 29 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 63 games, reaching as high as Low-A Brooklyn (4 games).

MLB Trade Review: Brewers acquire Narvaez




            The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired C Omar Narvaez from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for RHP Adam Hill and a competitive balance draft pick in round B.

            Throughout his minor league career, Narvaez was not much of a power hitter. While he hit for average in the beginning, Narvaez's career high home run total was two through 2017. That includes the minor and major league. Entering part of his third MLB season with the White Sox, Narvaez played in a career high 97 games, and hit nine home runs, four and a half times more than his total the year before. However, the White Sox decided to sell high on Narvaez, and traded him to the Mariners last offseason for future closer Alex Colome. Narvaez got a starting gig in Seattle, and potentially with the help of the juiced baseballs, hit 22 home runs. He also had a .278 batting average, and a .813 OPS. For a catcher, those are good offensive numbers. But, he his main issue is his defense. Narvaez's -20 defensive runs saved were the second worst among catchers, only ahead of Pittsburgh's Elias Diaz. Boston's Xander Bogaerts was the only other player at any position with a lower DRS than Narvaez, at -21. The Brewers needed to replace Yasmani Grandal, the top free agent catcher, who signed with the White Sox. Defensively, Grandal is not great, but he is definitely an improvement to Narvaez. But offensively, the difference is not much. Grandal had a 121 wRC+. Narvaez's was 119. He is an underrated catcher.

            The Mariners traded Narvaez mainly because they have a replacement for him. Tom Murphy played in just 76 games, but he hit 18 home runs, and had a better wRC+ than both Narvaez and Grandal (126). He also had a positive DRS of six. Murphy, like Narvaez, could be traded. But he is very underrated, and the Mariners should keep him. The backup role could go to Austin Nola, the older brother of Aaron Nola, the Phillies' ace. Nola transitioned to catcher in the minor leagues, and debuted in 2019. He hit 10 home runs in 79 games. Only seven of those games saw him play catcher, as he was mainly a first baseman. But with the new hole at catcher, Nola can fill in. Acquired from the Mets last year from Keon Broxton, Hill spent all of 2019 for Single-A Wisconsin. He had a 3.92 ERA with 109 strikeouts in 121.2 innings. The Mets picked him in the 4th round in 2018 from the University of South Carolina. The draft pick might be the more enticing asset acquired. It marks the second consecutive offseason the Brewers traded a competitive balance pick (acquired Alex Claudio from Texas for one).

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

MLB Trade Review: Angels acquire Bundy

From NBC sports


        The Los Angeles Angels have acquired RHP Dylan Bundy from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for RHPs Kyle Bradish, Isaac Mattson, Zach Peek and Kyle Brnovich.

        The Angels have a very weak rotation, and they are desperately looking to improve it this offseason. They are very much in the running for top free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole. However, if Cole doesn't work out, they will need to get multiple pitchers (they need multiple pitchers even if they land Cole). Bundy is a big reclamation project. In 2011, he was the 4th overall pick. But, he has had a terrible major league career. Recently, the only thing Bundy has done consistently that is good is strike out batters. His K/9 has been over 9 the last two seasons. The Angels obviously think that they can change Bundy. His 2.5 WAR in 2019 was not bad, but his 4.79 ERA was.

        Bundy, 27, had a 4.79 ERA with 162 strikeouts in 161.2 innings (one out from qualifying) in 2019. In his MLB career, all in Baltimore, Bundy has a 4.67 ERA with 602 strikeouts in 614.1 innings. He has a career WAR of 7.2.

        The Orioles hope that one of the four prospects they acquired can at least be as good as Bundy. The one with the best shot of doing that is Bradish. Among the four, he was the only one to be a top 30 prospect in the Angels system by MLB Pipeline, at number 21. Mattson, who reached AAA in 2019, could be the first one to the majors.

        Mattson, 24, had a 2.33 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 73.1 innings for AAA Salt Lake, AA Mobile and High-A Inland Empire in 2019. In his minor league career, he has a 2.89 ERA with 242 strikeouts in 199 innings.

         Bradish, 23, had a 4.28 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 101 innings for High-A Inland Empire in 2019, his first pro season after attending New Mexico State. He was a 4th round pick in 2018.

         Peek, 21, had a 4.02 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 87.1 innings at Winthrop University in 2019. He was drafted by the Angels in the 6th round this past draft.

          Brnovich, 22, was an 8th round pick in 2019. For Elon University, Brnovich had a 3.66 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 86 innings.

Monday, December 2, 2019

MLB Trade Review: Padres acquire Profar



          The San Diego Padres have acquired IF Jurickson Profar from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for C Austin Allen and a player to be named later.

           Profar was acquired by the A's last offseason in a three team trade from the Rangers after what was his best season in 2018. Profar, who was once the top prospect in all of baseball, always dealt with injuries and 2018 was his first 100 game MLB season. Profar had missed all of 2014 and 2015, and a portion of 2016 and 2017 prior to his breakout season. But in his one and only season in Oakland, things went wrong. Profar's batting average fell to .218 from .254. He had a .793 OPS in 2018, but that fell to .711 in 2019. Looking at those numbers, it seems that Profar really declined. But the Padres are looking past that number, and seeing that Profar was just unlucky. Profar hit 20 home runs in both 2018 and 2019. His walk rate increased by .2% and his strikeout rate decreased by .3%, both good things. Where Profar really fell in his batting average on balls in play (BABIP). Profar's BABIP was a very low .218, matching his normal batting average. League average for BABIP is normally around .300. Even in his breakout 2018, Profar had a low BABIP of .269. Profar's ISO was only 12 points lower (.192) in 2019 than in 2018 (.204). But Profar's main issue is that he does not hit the ball hard at all. His average exit velocity is in the 18th percentile among MLB hitters, and his hard hit % is even lower, in the 16th percentile. If Profar can hit the ball harder, he will be a much better hitter, but that could be said for everyone. In both 2018 and 2019, Profar attempted to steal a base 10 times. He was perfect in 2018, but was caught once in 2019. The Padres recently traded Luis Urias to the Brewers, opening up a second base spot. Veteran Ian Kinsler plays second base, but he had a terrible first season with the Padres. Profar now slots in as the starter.

             The deadline to tender a contract to a player is tonight at 8 pm ET. By trading Profar, it probably means that the A's were not going to tender Profar a contract, making him a free agent. The A's were reportedly shopping Profar, and now they finally found a trade partner. They get Allen, a catcher that just recently made his MLB debut, and a player to be named later. I would not bet on Allen sticking in Oakland long. He was not a ranked prospect in the Padres' system, and he won't be with the A's. He will already be 26 by Opening Day. In 34 MLB games, Allen went 14-for-65 with no home runs and a terrible .277 slugging percentage leading to a weak .559 OPS. If the A's don't make another catching move, Allen will compete for a backup catching job behind Josh Phegley. However, top catching prospect Sean Murphy is also one of the biggest catching prospects in the league, and he played in 20 MLB games last season. He is MLB ready. Allen could be Phegley's backup if Murphy starts in AAA. Besides Murphy, the A's have catchers Kyle McCann (18), Jonah Heim (21) and Drew Millas (23) in their top 30 prospects list by MLB Pipeline.

Friday, November 29, 2019

The best all-decade team there is: the obscure Yankees



       If you are a subscriber to The Athletic, you might have noticed a lot of "all-decade" teams and lists coming out recently. Maybe it is a little too early for them; it's Thanksgiving, not Christmas, but that has birthed a team that will destroy every single all-decade team any writer at The Athletic can make up. That is the obscure former Yankees. The 2010s wasn't exactly the most successful decade for the Bronx Bombers. They only missed the playoffs three times, and had a winning season every single year, but they did not win a World Series for just the third decade (1980s and 1910s) since the name change from the Highlanders after 1912. But along the 2010s, the Yankees picked up many stars, and many players that you probably don't remember. I compiled a 25 man roster of just former Yankees from the 2010s that didn't play too much. The original roster had 43 players, so there were a bunch of cuts, so sorry in advance to fans of Rico Noel, Antoan Richardson, Ji-Man Choi, Ike Davis, Andrew Brackman, Breyvic Valera, Jace Peterson, Eric Young Jr, Billy Butler, Jake Barrett, Connor Mullee, Ryota Igarashi and much more. Let's start with our destroying catchers.

Erik Kratz - 4 games in 2017
Kratz might be considered cheating, because he is still in the Yankees organization. But, the team needed a stable middle of the order bat that can play catcher. Kratz had played on five teams since 2010, and received a World Series ring from the Royals in 2015, when he played a whopping four games that year for them. That was Kratz' career resume on August 24, 2017. Yankee fans might not remember the date at first site, but they will know it as the day the Yankees and Tigers fought a lot, leading to Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine, the two catchers on the team, getting suspended. The only other catcher on the 40 man roster, Kyle Higashioka, was injured. So on August 31st, the Yankees acquired Kratz from the Indians for cash considerations. Thanks to some sneaky appealing and dropped appeals on the suspension, the Yankees were able to get Kratz into four games. Kratz went 2-for-2, with a double and two RBIs. He stayed with the organization in 2018, but never played in the majors, and was traded to the Brewers. He actually played in 67 games, plus some playoff games that season in Milwaukee. The played for the Giants and Rays in 2019, but after Tampa Bay released him, he returned to the Yankees on a minor league deal, but he hasn't played with the big league club yet. He is currently 40 years old.

Gustavo Molina - 3 games in 2011
Everyone knows the three Molina brothers that were catchers. Bengie, Yadier and Jose have played in a lot of games. But little did they know that they had a long lost brother Gustavo. Unlike his fake brothers that were from Puerto Rico, Gustavo hailed from Venezuela. He signed as an amateur free agent with the White Sox on the third day of 2000, and made his MLB debut for Chicago in 2007, and later was claimed off waivers by the Orioles. Combined, he played in 17 games that year. Molina appeared in two games for the Mets the next year, and didn't play in 2009 before making a triumphant return to the MLB, playing in four games in 2010 for Boston. The Yankees signed Molina in December 2010 as catcher insurance. Molina went 1-for-6 in three games with a double. The Yankees brought Molina back for 2012, but he never played in the MLB, and hasn't played since. Now 37, Molina has an impressive career WAR of -0.7, with six hits in 47 at-bats.

Travis Ishikawa - 1 game in 2013
Ishikawa was a 22nd round pick by the Giants in 2002. From 2006-2010, Ishikawa played in 281 games for the Giants, and missed 2011 before signing with the Brewers before 2012. He played in 94 games, and signed with the Orioles. He played in Baltimore for six games, then was claimed off waivers by the Yankees on July 7th. He started one game, went 0-for-2, and six days after being claimed off waivers, he was released. That was it for him in 2013. He started 2014 with the Pirates, later returned to the Giants that season and hit a semi-important home run and started 2015 with the same team, then returned to Pittsburgh. He played in 44 games in 2015, and that was the last of Ishikawa in the majors. He hasn't played baseball since 2016.

Chris Parmelee - 6 games in 2016
The Yankees had a first base crisis in 2016. Greg Bird missed the entire year with an injury, Mark Teixeira was hurt, so the team turned to former Mariners top prospect Dustin Ackley, but he soon went down, and in came Parmelee. In six games, Parmelee went 4-for-8 with a double, two home runs and four RBIs. However, in game six, he suffered a hamstring injury that was hard to watch. Parmelee, the 20th overall pick by Minnesota in 2006, hit 28 home runs in five seasons for the Twins and Orioles before joining the Yankees. He has not appeared in a major league game since his cameo with the Yankees. Parmelee is still just 31, and had a .814 OPS for AA Tulsa (Dodgers) in 2019. 

Corban Joseph - 2 games in 2013
The only second baseman on the team, Joseph is the first member to debut with the Yankees. Joseph was a 4th round pick by New York in 2008, and debuted in 2013 as a 24 year old. He went 1-for-6 with a double, a walk and a run. But Joseph's story doesn't end there. In 2018, five seasons after he played for the Yankees, Joseph played in 14 games for the Orioles, with just 18 at-bats. He is one of the few players on this team to play in the MLB in 2019. He combined for 28 games played for the A's, Giants and Pirates. With Oakland, Joseph hit his first, and at the moment only, MLB home run.

Troy Tulowitzki - 5 games in 2019
One of the two members of the 2019 team on this team, Tulowitzki is also the most famous member of the squad. The 7th overall pick in 2005 by the Rockies, "Tulo" played in 10 seasons for Colorado, and was a five time all star, with a pair of Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers. Tulowitzki had a bad contract and was always injured when he was traded to the Blue Jays mid season in 2015. As he was traded, Tulowitzki started to fade. He missed all of 2018, and the Blue Jays then released him and ate up money. Tulo signed a league minimum deal with the Yankees, and was their Opening Day shortstop this past season. He went 2-for-11 with a home run for the Yankees, before straining his left calf. Tulowitzki later retired without again.

Cole Figueroa - 2 games in 2015
Figueroa is one of our two third basemen. He was drafted in the 9th round by the Blue Jays in 2006, did not sign, and then was drafted three rounds earlier by the Padres two years later. He never played in San Diego, instead debuting with the Rays in 2014, appearing in 23 games. Figueroa was mainly a second baseman, so he could give Joseph a breather if necessary. However, when he played in two games for the Yankees in 2015, both were at third base. Figueroa went 2-for-8 with two doubles and two runs, but never appeared in pinstripes again. He played another 23 more games in 2016 for the Pirates, then ended his MLB career, without a major league home run.

Scott Sizemore - 6 games in 2014
Sizemore might be taking up most of our third base time. The Tigers' 5th round pick in 2006, Sizemore debuted for Detroit in 2010, hitting three home runs in 48 games. He played in 17 games for the Tigers at the start of 2011, but was traded to the A's for David Purcey, and hit 11 home runs in 93 games, which is not bad. But, he did not play at all in 2012, and played in just two games for Oakland in 2013, bringing us to 2014. Sizemore signed with the team in January, and played in six April games. He went 5-for-16 with three runs scored and four RBIs, and was released on July 31st, but re-signed less than two weeks later. However, he never played in the majors again. Sizemore is currently 34.

Dustin Fowler - 1 game in 2017
Fowler also feels like cheating. He never had an at-bat for the team, and did not even play a full inning. But, he will have to lead our three man outfield. Fowler was an 18th round pick by the Yankees in 2013, and when he was called up, he was actually a top prospect in the organization. In the first inning of his major league debut, Fowler attempted to catch a foul ball from White Sox slugger Jose Abreu. The ball went into the stands, and Fowler banged into the railing, and was severely injured. He ended up with a ruptured patella tendon, ending his season. There was an odd lawsuit involved later. At the 2017 trade deadline, Fowler was traded to the A's for star starting pitcher Sonny Gray in an underwhelming deal. He played in 69 games for the A's in 2018, had a terrible .610 OPS, and spent all of 2019 in AAA, but he could still make a future impact.

Eury Perez - 4 games in 2014
I don't know much about Perez, let alone how to pronounce his name (it's EE-YOUR-EE). Perez is your classic speedster. He had four stolen bases and two hits for the Nationals (22 games) from 2012-13. He played in four games for the Yankees, stole one base and went 2-for-10. That would be it for Perez's illustrious Yankees career. He actually played in 47 games for the Braves in 2015, with five RBIs and three stolen bases. Perez has not appeared in a major league game since.

Darnell McDonald - 4 games in 2012
The last hitter on this slightly extended roster, McDonald was a first round pick by the Orioles in 1997. He debuted for them in 2004, and played in just 17 games. He would not appear in an MLB game until 2007, when he had a four game stint with the Twins. He didn't play in 2008 before spending 2009 with the Reds. He then went to the Red Sox, and over three seasons, played in 234 games with 17 home runs. 38 of those games came in 2012. On America's birthdate, the Yankees claimed McDonald off waivers from their rival. McDonald went 0-for-4 in four games. He played in 25 games for the Cubs as a 34 year old in 2013, and despite hitting .302, that was his last major league appearance.

Kyle Davies - 1 game in 2015
Davies was a weak starting pitcher with a career 5.57 ERA in 152 games (144 starts). Now, he is just mistaken for Zach Davies, a current pitcher that is not related. The two Davies' were even confused by pundit Ken Rosenthal, when he broke the news this week of Zach's trade to San Diego. Anyways, back to Kyle. Davies pitched in seven seasons for the Braves and Royals, lastly 2011. But, four seasons later, he made a surprise cameo for the Yankees. In one game, Davies pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief. That was the end of his MLB career. Davies will have to be one of our aces, since we have three starters (two legitimate ones). 

Wade LeBlanc - 1 game in 2014
In his career, LeBlanc has been a starter and a reliever. He was a second round pick by the Padres in 2006. He played for the Padres, Marlins, Astros and Angels before joining the Yankees in 2014. As a 29 year old, LeBlanc pitched in one inning for the Yankees, and allowed two runs. That was it for him in New York. He returned to the Angels to end 2014, missed 2015, and spent 2016 with the Pirates and Mariners. He pitched in 50 games for Pittsburgh in 2017, and actually signed with the Yankees at the start of 2018. However, he did not make the team, and instead returned to Seattle, where he had a 3.72 ERA in 162 innings, mainly as a starter. However, he had a terrible 5.71 ERA in 2019, and lost his rotation spot. The Mariners declined his option for 2020, and he is now a free agent. He will likely be a reliever for his next team.

Chris Bootcheck - 1 game in 2013
Bootcheck will be in our three man rotation, but he isn't really a starter. He pitched in 91 career games, and three were starts. Those starts came early in his career with the Angels. He later transitioned as a main reliever for Los Angeles. He allowed 18 runs in 13 games for the Pirates in 2009, and would not pitch again until 2013. That was his year in pinstripes. Bootcheck would appear in one game, allowing two hits, two walks, striking out one and allowing a run in one inning. That would be the last of his major league career. Even though he hasn't started a game since 2005, we are hoping that Bootcheck can be a serviceable third and final starter for us. 

Joe Mantiply - 1 game in 2019
Our second and final member of the 2019 Yankees, Mantiply was a rare August trade acquisition. Starting this past season, teams can only trade players after July 31st that have not been on a 40 man roster all season. That applies to Mantiply, who the Yankees sent cash to the Reds for. Mantiply had one prior season of experience. He pitched in five games for the Tigers in 2016, but logged just 2.2 innings. He is not exactly a multi-inning guy. Despite that, the Yankees left him out for three innings in one game. Mantiply allowed three runs and struck and two, and was later DFAd. He remains in the organization but I'd be surprised if he pitches again.






Ronald Herrera - 2 games in 2017
The first pitcher with multiple games as a Yankee, Herrera signed with the A's in 2011 as an amateur free agent. Herrera was traded to the Padres for Kyle Blanks, then in 2015 the Yankees got him for Jose Pirela. Herrera made his MLB debut in 2017 as a 22 year old. He allowed two runs in three innings. At the end of the season, to free a 40 man roster space to protect players for the Rule 5 draft, Herrera was traded to the Rangers for Reiver Sanmartin, who the Yankees traded to the Reds in a different Sonny Gray trade. Herrera has not appeared in a game since, but he is just 25 still, so he has a chance.

Tyler Olson - 1 game in 2016
Olson will be our shutdown lefty reliever, at least if he performs like he did in 2017. Olson debuted for the Mariners in 2015, allowing eight runs in 13.1 innings. That offseason, he was traded to the Dodgers and then to the Yankees. He appeared in a single game, allowing two runs in 2.2 innings. But he was claimed off waivers by the Royals and then by the Indians. In 2017 for the Indians, Olson pitched 20 innings in 30 games, allowing just six walks, striking out 18 and not allowing a single earned run, and faced the Yankees that postseason. However, Olson has significantly regressed since then. He is still with Cleveland.

Danny Burawa - 1 game in 2015   
Burawa is from Riverhead, about an hour and 40 minutes on a drive from Yankee Stadium. He was drafted by the Yankees in the 12th round in 2010. He debuted in 2015, but he allowed four runs in 0.2 innings. That would do it for Burawa's Yankees' career. The Braves claimed Burawa off waivers, and he pitched in 12 games, with a 3.65 ERA. However, Burawa has not pitched in a major league game since. Soon to be 31, he hasn't pitched professionally since 2016.

Matt Tracy - 1 game in 2015
Another member of the 2015 team, Tracy was drafted by the Yankees in the 24th round of the 2011 draft. Like Burawa, Tracy made his MLB debut as a 26 year old. Also like Burawa, Tracy's stay was short. He pitched in just one game, allowing three unearned runs in two innings. He has not pitched in another MLB game since. However, he does have a career ERA of 0.00. Tracy posted good numbers in AAA Buffalo (Toronto) in 2018, the last we've seen of him.

Bruce Billings - 1 game in 2014
Billings is a multi-innning reliever, so he could be used as an opener for us. He was drafted by the Rockies in the 30th round of the 2007 draft. His MLB debut was for Colorado. He pitched in one game in 2011, allowing a run in two innings. He was traded to the A's as an add-on with veteran Mark Ellis. He allowed nine runs (seven earned) in three games (five innings) for the A's. He would not pitch again until 2014, with the Yankees. Billings' one game saw him go four innings, and he allowed four runs. Kind of like the original Mantiply.

Chris Leroux - 2 games in 2014
One of the only pitchers with multiple games played as a Yankee, Leroux was drafted by the Florida Marlins as a 7th rounder in 2005. Leroux played for the Marlins in 2009 and 2010, combining for an ERA over 8. He then spent four seasons for the Pirates leading up to his age 30 season, 2014. He was with the Yankees, appearing in two games. Leroux allowed five runs in two innings over two games. That would end Leroux's MLB career. 

Mike Zagurski - 1 game in 2013
Mike Zagurski was drafted in the 2005 draft's 12th round by the Phillies. That is the same team he debuted for in 2007. Zagurski did not play in 2008 or 2009, before returning to the Phillies in 2010 and 2011. Zagurski was on the Diamondbacks for 2012, and started 2013 with the Pirates, before being released and signing with the Yankees in September. Zagurski got one out in his lone game, but allowed two runs, for a 54.00 ERA. He would later pitch for the Brewers in 2018, allowing seven runs in one inning. He has a 7.78 career ERA.

Steve Garrison - 1 game in 2011
Steve Garrison was a Brewers draft pick in 2005, in the 10th round. He was traded in 2007 to the Padres with Joe Thatcher for Scott Linebrink. He was later claimed off waivers by the Yankees. Garrison was able to appear in one game, pitching to two batters, retiring both of them. He never appeared in an MLB game again. He will be very good for our team, as his 0.000 WHIP is tied for the best of all time.

Romulo Sanchez - 2 games in 2010
Sanchez is the lone member of the 2010 team. The Yankees won the World Series the year before, so they weren't employing random players yet. Sanchez was signed as an amateur free agent by the Dodgers in 2002, but was released almost exactly two years later. He then signed with the Pirates, who he pitched with in 2007 and 2008. He allowing 16 runs in 31.1 innings. He did not play in the majors in 2009, but made a cameo with the 2010 Yankees. Sanchez pitched in two games, allowing one hit in 4.1 innings with five strikeouts and no runs allowed. That would be the end of Sanchez's illustrious career. 
 
Davis Aardsma - 1 game in 2012
Aardsma will act as our closer, and he is the final player on our team. A 2003 first rounder by the Giants, Aardsma debuted the next season. He would bounce around from the Giants to both Chicago teams to the Red Sox until landing with the Mariners in 2009. From 2009-2010, Aardsma was their closer, racking up 69 saves. However, he would not pitch in the majors in 2011. Aardsma pitched in one game for the Yankees in 2012. He allowed one run in one inning. He pitched for the Mets in 2013, and for the Braves in 2015. That was the last time the now 37 year old would pitch in the MLB.

That concludes our star-studded team. In a 162 game season, I'd predict a 102-60 record, and go 11-3 in the playoffs, winning an easy World Series. It will destroy any all-decade team you could make up, even if no one has heard of 10 of these guys, and 20 of them are out of baseball.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

MLB Trade Review: Brewers, Padres make four player swap




             The San Diego Padres have acquired RHP Zach Davies and OF Trent Grisham from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for LHP Eric Lauer and INF Luis Urias.

             At first sight this trade could come as a surprise for many different reasons, and it is surprising that all four players included were dealt. The one veteran in this trade is Davies. Davies is only 26, and 2019 was just his 4th full season in the big leagues, so it is hard to call him a veteran. But, everyone else in the trade debuted in 2018 or 2019, and he is definitely the senior of the group. Davies had his best season in 2019. His 3.55 ERA was a career high, and while he made 31 starts, he did not qualify for the ERA title, with 159.2 innings pitched (you need 162 IP to qualify). That is averaging just over 5 innings an outing. Going through the batting order three times has been an issue for many pitchers. But for Davies, that was a strength. Opponents had just a .578 OPS against Davies their third time up. They had a much better .778 OPS on their first attempt. In high leverage situations, batters had a .619 OPS against him. But Davies' main issue was always strikeouts. He struck out just 102 batters in 2019, for a measly 5.7 K/9. His career K/9 isn't much better, at 6.4. This hurt his FIP, which was lowered down to 4.56. So, his fWAR was 1.6, worse than a pitcher like Dylan Bundy, who gave up 22 more runs in two more innings. Davies is due for a raise in arbitration and will be a free agent after 2021. If the Padres don't add any more to their starting rotation, slot in Davies as starter number two behind Chris Paddack, and potentially behind Joey Lucchesi as well.

              Unfortunately, Trent Grisham has played just 51 regular season MLB games, and he is already known for the wrong reason, his terrible error in his one postseason game, the NL Wild Card game. Filling in at the end of the season for injured MVP runner up Christian Yelich, Grisham hit six home runs with a .231 average and a .410 slugging, which is not good. But his defense is good. In those 51 games, he had a 2.1 UZR and five defensive runs saved. With Ryan Braun's defense hurting and him just turning 36, Grisham seemed to have a future in the Brewers' outfield. He could see some time platooning with Manuel Margot in San Diego's center field.

               Going to the flip side of the deal, Luis Urias was MLB Pipeline's 16th best prospect in the league entering 2019. However, he really struggled at the plate. In 71 MLB games, Urias hit four home runs with a .223 batting average and a .655 OPS. He also made nine errors at shortstop alone (41 games). However, he still had a 1.0 bWAR. But, he is still just 22 and had a .998 OPS at AAA El Paso (73 games) in 2019. That included 19 home runs. He seems to be blocked with Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. at the left side of the infield for years to come. Urias can play second, and that was where he was expected to start 2019 at, following Ian Kinsler's awful 2019. The Brewers could experiment with Urias as their shortstop. Orlando Arcia hit 15 home runs in 2019, but he had a weak .633 OPS, slightly below his career mark of .652. Arcia also had a -0.1 WAR. Third baseman Mike Moustakas is a free agent, so Urias could be used there. The team will still trust Travis Shaw, who hit more than 30 home runs in his first two years with the team, even though his .157 average, .551 OPS 2019 season was about as bad as it gets.

                  2019 was a weird year for the final member of the trade, Eric Lauer. Lauer had a 4.34 ERA in 23 starts in 2018, his rookie season, but started Opening Day 2019 for the Padres as a 23 year old. In 30 games (29 starts), Lauer had a 4.45 ERA, and struck out 138 batters in 149.2 innings, for an 8.3 K/9, much better than Davies. Lauer, a 1st round pick back in 2016, is not well regarded and is seen as the 4th most important player of the trade. He will likely take Davies' rotation spot for the Brewers. The Brewers' 2020 rotation is all over the place, and could see multiple additions. Downgrading Davies to Lauer could mean that the Brewers have another move up their sleeve.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

MLB Trade Review: Blue Jays acquire Anderson



         The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired RHP Chase Anderson from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for 1B Chad Spanberger.

         The Blue Jays' 2020 rotation is by no means set. After trading Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez at the trade deadline, Anderson could be the main veteran in the rotation. Matt Shoemaker will return after allowing five runs in 28.2 innings in his first five starts in April, then tearing his ACL. Trent Thornton seems like a lock, and Anthony Kay, acquired for Stroman, has a good chance. Thomas Pannone and Jacob Waguespack are also battling for a spot, and another player will likely be acquired. With Kay, Thornton and Waguespack debuting in 2019, you could see why the Jays needed a veteran presence in their rotation. Anderson has been an up-and-down pitcher in his career. He had a strong 2017 and a decent 2019, but lead the league in homers allowed in 2018, despite a 3.93 ERA. A great comparable for Jays fans is Marco Estrada. The Blue Jays acquired Estrada, a homer prone pitcher, from the Brewers, in 2014. He was great in 2015 and 2016, before falling off the next two years.

          Anderson, soon to be 32, had a 4.21 ERA with a 4.83 FIP and 124 strikeouts in 139 innings for the Brewers in 2019. In his MLB career for the Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks, Anderson has a 3.94 ERA with a 4.54 FIP and 721 strikeouts in 857 innings.

         Anderson was becoming an odd man out in the Brewers' rotation. The team likely would have declined Anderson's $8.5 million option that was due yesterday (this post is a day late). Instead, they are able to get some value in Spanberger, and not eat up any money. A 24 year old, Spanberger made it to AA for the first time in 2019. He was acquired midway through 2018 as part of a package for Seunghwan Oh.

        Spanberger, 24, had a .237 average with 13 home runs, 59 RBIs and four stolen bases in 480 Plate Appearances for AA New Hampshire. In his minor league career, Spanberger has a .274 average with 59 home runs, 200 RBIs and 23 stolen bases in 1259 Plate Appearances.

Monday, October 28, 2019

NHL Trade Review: Red Wings acquire Perlini



          The Detroit Red Wings have acquired forward Brendan Perlini from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Alec Regula.

          The Blackhawks have not been using Perlini. He had been healthy scratched in all but one of the Blackhawks' first 10 games this season, leading to him asking for a trade. A former 12th overall pick, the United Kingdom native has potential. The Red Wings could use Perlini for their bottom six. He is still 23, and is making under $900k. He will be an RFA after the season. Perlini was acquired with Dylan Strome from the Coyotes last season, and had 15 points in 46 games post trade.

          Perlini, 23, has no points in one game this year. He scored 14 goals with seven assists for 21 points in 68 games last season. In his NHL career for the Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes, Perlini has scored 45 goals with 27 assists for 72 points in 200 games.

           In return for their extra forward, the Blackhawks received Regula. He was drafted by Detroit in the third round in 2018. The defenseman is currently off to a very hot start for the OHL's London Knights. Up until their five goal effort yesterday, the Blackhawks had scored just 20 goals in nine games this season, but that is now up to a not terrible 25 in 10 games. Giving a forward like Perlini a chance could have helped. However, Regula is a good prospect, and this could be a big win for them.

            Regula, 19, has scored four goal with seven assists for 11 points in 10 games for the Knights this year. In three seasons for London, Regula has scored 22 goals with 53 assists for 75 points in 143 games.

Friday, October 25, 2019

NHL Trade Review: Ducks acquire Gudbranson



         The Anaheim Ducks have acquired defenseman Erik Gudbranson from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Andreas Martinsen and a 2021 7th round pick.

         The Ducks could use a defenseman. Besides Josh Manson, they didn't have any right handed shot defenseman with 100 games played since the start of the 2016-17 season. However, Gudbranson isn't much of an impact player. Including 2019-20, he has two years left on his contract with a $4 million cap hit. Gudbranson is a physical defenseman, but he doesn't have much appeal besides that. He is still an upgrade for the Ducks, who are seeking defensive help. They recently signed Luca Sbisa, but he was claimed off waivers immediately.

          Gudbranson, 27, has no points in seven games this season. In his NHL career for the Penguins, Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers, the former 3rd overall pick has 16 goals with 48 assists for 64 points in 474 games.

           The Penguins need cap room. They were shopping bottom pairing defensemen Gudbranson and Jack Johnson, who are both overpaid. They had come close to some trades including Johnson, but they haven't completed any yet. Martinsen is a depth forward with some NHL experience. The Penguins badly need forwards with Alex Galchenyuk, Nick Bjugstad, Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin on IR, the latter two being on LTIR.

           Martinsen, 29, scored one goal with three assists for four points in 24 games for the Blackhawks in 2018-19. In his NHL career for the Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche, Martinsen has scored nine goals with 14 assists for 23 points in 152 games.

Monday, October 7, 2019

NHL Trade Review: Senators acquire Namestnikov



From Newsday
        The Ottawa Senators have acquired forward Vladislav Namestnikov from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Nick Ebert and a 2021 4th round draft pick.

        The Senators likely will be at the bottom of the league this season. But in Namestnikov, they see a player that can be traded later. A pending UFA, Namestnikov has a lot to play for this season. If he has a good stint with the Senators, he can be flipped for picks at the trade deadline. He didn't have a good two games for the Rangers this year, with no points and a -2 rating. He has struggled since joining the Rangers at the 2018 trade deadline. The Rangers retained 18.8% of Namestnikov's contract ($750k).

        Namestnikov, 26, has no points in two games this year. He scored 11 goals with 31 points in 78 games for the Rangers last season. In his NHL career for the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, Namestnikov has scored 66 goals with 92 assists for 158 points in 362 games.

        Namestnikov had fallen out of favor in New York, and with valuable youngsters Filip Chytil and Vitali Kravtsov in the AHL, the eyes were on Namestnikov to play well. He didn't, and now he is gone. Trade talks surrounding him took place throughout the offseason, with his contract soon expiring. They get a defenseman in Ebert that came back to North America after a stint in the Swedish League.

         Ebert, 25, has no points in 1 AHL game this season. He scored 11 goals with 22 assists for 33 points in 49 Swedish League games this past season.