I thought I would return today to celebrate Opening Day 2010. When I left MLBlogs, the countdown on my blog was at about 50 days. Now, it’s at a little over six hours. It went by quick, and thank god it did.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports has now confirmed (via Twitter) that the Reds have signed the Cuban lefty, Aroldis Chapman, to a five-year deal worth $30 million. The Angels and Blue Jays were long thought to be the front runners, with the Marlins and Red Sox also in the mix.
Chapman, 22, will join a highly talented and young staff that includes Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, and Aaron Harang.
Chapman burst onto the scene in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, when he struck out eight batters in six and a third innings pitched for the Cuban team, despite going 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA. The lefty also went 11-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 2008-2009, striking out 130 in 118 1/3 IP.
As many as 15 teams went to see Chapman pitch in Cuba earlier this offseason, one of which was the Yankees. Among many perks, teams were most impressed by his triple digit fastball.
From a Yankee perspective, you can just be happy he didn’t end up within the divison. The Yankees were never really serious about him anyway. You can also be happy he didn’t end up on the Angels, which were for a long time the front runners.
But, to every team and fan in Major League Baseball, I think we can all now be worried about this staff out of Cincinnati. If you ask me, there is no younger more talented group of pitchers. Props to the Reds officials for putting that together.
Poll of the Day:
Is Chapman too much of an unknown for five-years, $30MM?(polls)
Multiple sources confirm that the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year, $9 million deal with a player option for $5 million. Beltre will fill the void the Red Sox have at third base, and opens up a possible trade with the now useless Lowell.
This is a pretty good deal for the Red Sox. They got him cheap, he’s a pretty good player, and he fits right into their needs. But does he fit into the team?
Using data from fangraphs.com, we see that Beltre doesn’t come close to your typical Red Sox star.
First, lets just go with some stats. Beltre is 31 years old. He has been injured many times in his career. He is a .270 career hitter, with a below average .325 career OBP.
The thing that popped out to me was 36.8% of the pitches Beltre swings at are out of the strike zone. Compare that to the Red Sox team average which is 22.6%, the lowest in the Majors. He also swings at 54.2% of the pitches he sees, compared to the Red Sox team average of 42.3%, again the lowest in the Majors.
Last, let’s look at the Bill James projection for next year. Barring an injury, James predicts Beltre to hit .269 with 17 home runs and 78 RBI’s. Again we look at the essential free agent signing question: Is the team better now then they were before? Well, considering Lowell hit .290 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI’s in 2009, the Red Sox are no better suited now then they were before.
The bottom line here is that Beltre flat out does not make the Red Sox a better team. He doesn’t fit into the patient apporach of the team. That, along with his often injuries, make him a huge threat to the success of the Red Sox. Sure he can be good, but he can also be a disaster.
Best Moment: 2001 WS vs Diamondbacks: Derek Jeter becomes “Mr. November”
Derek Jeter earned his pinstripes by walking off against the Diamondbacks in the 2001 world series with a home run over the right field wall. Still one of the most iconic scenes in Yankee history.
Honorable mention: Aaron Boone walk-off home run in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS vs Boston.
Worst Moment: 2004 ALCS vs Red Sox: Damon’s Grand Slam
Honorable mention: Rivera throws potential double play ball into center field in the bottom of the ninth in game 7 of the 2001 WS.
Honorable mention: 8/7/09: A-Rod walk-off home run in scoreless, 15 inning affair vs Red Sox.
Worst Game: 2001 WS vs Diamondbacks: Luis Gonzalez blooper
A story book series and a near comeback win for the Yankees was gone with the wind after Luis Gonzalez blooped a walk off single over the drawn in infield. Had the infield played back, the Yankees would have 28 world championships.
Honorable mention: 4/25/09: Yankees blow huge lead vs Red Sox.
Biggest Bust: Carl Pavano comes to the Yankees, but doesn’t pitch
Honorable mention: Chein-Ming Wang collapses in 2009 season.
Best play: 2001 ALDS vs A’s: The Jeter “flip play”
Honorable mention: 7/1/04: Jeter dives into the stands.
Team of the decade:
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Alfonso Soriano
3B: Alex Rodriguez
SS: Derek Jeter
LF: Johnny Damon
CF: Bernie Williams
RF: Paul O’Neil
C: Jorge Posada
SP: Andy Pettitte
RP: Mariano Rivera
Manager: Joe Torre
Yankees leaders of the decade:
Most Games: Derek Jeter (1500)
Most Home Runs: Alex Rodriguez (238)
Most Hits: Derek Jeter (1940)
Most Walks: Jorge Posada (707)
Most Wins: Mike Mussina (123)
Most Saves: Mariano Rivera (397)
Most Strikeouts: Mike Mussina (1278)
Most Pitches: Mike Mussina (24120)
Here are this weeks top three…
teams on the rise:
- Seattle Mariners
- Baltimore Orioles
- Philadelphia Phillies
teams on the decline:
- Anaheim Angels
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Boston Red Sox
free agent signings:
- John Lackey to the Red Sox
- Chone Figgins to the Mariners
- Hideki Matsui to the Angels (edit: thanks to Evan Coleman for the correction.)
- Curtis Granderson to the Yankees
- Cliff Lee to the Mariners
- Milton Bradley to the Mariners
available free agents:
- Matt Holliday
- Jason Bay
- Ben Sheets
If you have any questions or comments on any of the picks I made, leave a comment on this entry and I’ll reply to you.
Blue Jays pitcher, Roy Halladay, would waive his no trade clause for a deal that would send him to the Yankees, writes Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun.
Bob Elliot quotes an unnamed Major League executive who said, “I don’t know when he is going and I don’t know where he’s going. But I
do know that Halladay has told the Jays he’ll approve a trade to the
The former Cy Young winner, and 32 year-old, has a career record of 148-76 with a 3.43 ERA in 12 seasons with the Blue Jays,
and he has one year remaining on a three-year, $40 million deal.
The New York Daily News wrote last week that the Red Sox were putting in a “full-court press” for Doc and intend on doing it before the winter meetings begin on December 7th in Indianapolis.
If the Yankees were to trade for Halladay, it would be in a package that would include many young stars. Among which are starting pitchers Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes as well as top prospect catcher Jesus Montero or outfielder Austin Jackson.
Once again, I hope the Yankees can resist this. No doubt Halladay is a great, great pitcher, but at some point you need to just stop. To me, the value of these prospects and the thrill of watching them grow is way more desireable than watching Doc dominate in pinstripes.
Poll of the Day:
Would you give up Hughes/Chamberlain and Montero/Jackson for Halladay?(poll)
Free agent OF Jason Bay reportedly declines initial offer from Sox.
“Nothing will happen by day’s end, but we’ll keep talking,” Joe Urban, Bay’s agent told SI.com.
An unidentified source told SI.com that the offer was somewhere in the four-year, $60 million range.
At 12.01 am ET on Friday, Boston will lose it’s chance to exclusively speak to Bay. At that time, free agents will be able to sign with any team.
“It’s not a surprise that a player that’s gone this far wants to see what’s out there,” Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told SI.com. He declined to speak about the specific offer to Bay.
In 2009, Bay hit .267 and hit 36 homers with 119 RBI’s. He has said that he would like to go back to Boston.