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Who Will Be Better Long Term: Wil Myers or Yasiel Puig?

Baseball’s infatuation with Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder Yasiel Puig almost hit John Madden / Brett Favre levels. Puig, a 22-year-old from Cuba, burst onto the scene when he hit .436 with a 1.180 OPS and seven home runs in June. His June was so fruitful that the import, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract in 2012, was almost elected to the All-Star Game. Puig has since cooled off, posting a .303 batting average, .791 OPS and two home runs so far in July, but critics expect him to become an elite major league hitter. And, as for... 
 

The 10 Best Available Rentals at the MLB Trade Deadline

For a lot of teams, making the playoffs is a big deal. For instance, the Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t been October-bound since 1992. But it sometimes takes more than just a team’s current roster to make the push and of course, succeed in the playoffs. These contenders often look to sellers to pawn off a variety of helpful players, including rentals. Rentals are players who are to-be free agents and are essentially “rented” for the final few months. In the Pirates’ case, especially with the recent injury to star closer Jason Grilli, the team... 
 

MLB Trade Deadline: 8 Players Over 35 Who Could Be Traded

The major league trade deadline will go down 12 days from now (July 31). Contending teams usually covet players in their prime and sellers prefer acquiring prospects—but sometimes, aged veterans get traded too. With the All-Star game behind us look for trade rumors to really heat up over the next several days. Earlier we took a look at players under 30 who could get moved, below are eight players who are 35 and over who could be traded at the deadline.  Read More »
 

10 Least Likely 2014 MLB Hall of Fame Candidates

The 2014 MLB Hall of Fame class boasts some of the greatest modern day players. Greg Maddux will likely be an automatic addition, with Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Mike Mussina and Frank Thomas being very worthy in their own right. But there are also a lot of eligible players who are completely undeserving of being enshrined in Cooperstown. Below are the 10 least likely 2014 MLB Hall of Fame candidates.  Read More »
 

2013 Trade Deadline: 15 Players Under 30 Who Could Get Moved

With the trade deadline looming (July 31), it’s inevitable that players—both good and bad—will switch jerseys and play for different teams come August. For the most part, contending teams look to acquire seasoned veterans to plug into familiar starting or part-time roles in an attempt to make a playoff run. However, in regards to this particular trade deadline, there appears to be a rather high volume of players under the age of 30 who could be dangled. Below are 15 players under 30 years old who could get moved at the trade deadline this... 
 

Relievers Who Could Be Closing After the Trade Deadline

With the trade deadline steadily approaching (on July 31st), several players will inevitably find themselves playing for new teams. The focus of the deadline–at least from an analytical perspective–is usually the high powered team(s) that acquire the one or two “difference makers,” with the hopes of propelling themselves into the playoffs. However, the “sellers” experience big roster changes too. In the case of trading veteran closers, “sellers” often turn to comparatively inexperienced setup men or... 
 

Shawn Kelley: Most Dominant Yankees Reliever Not Named Rivera

His 4.78 ERA might look bruising. His 4.1 BB/9 is above the league-average. And he’s already surrendered the same amount of home runs in 26.3 innings this season as he did in 44.3 innings last season. Yet, Shawn Kelley is still one of the New York Yankees most dominant relievers. The Yankees quietly acquired Kelley from the Seattle Mariners this past offseason in exchange for minor league outfielder Abraham Almonte. Even though Kelley had hurled a respectable 116 ERA+ (vs. 3.25 ERA), 1.30 WHIP, and 3.00 K/BB over 44.3 innings for the Mariners... 
 

A’s Dan Straily Should Stay in the Major Leagues

The Oakland Athletics have been cultivating quality, homegrown pitchers since the late-1990s. The likes of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Rich Harden, Joe Blanton, Huston Street, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, and Andrew Bailey have all come up through the farm system. Heck, even Jason Isringhausen, Dan Haren, and Gio Gonzalez–though not original Athletics–have too found solace as young acquisitions for the A’s at the major league level. Yet, even though the A’s have long prided themselves on the ability to develop... 
 

Houston Astros: Will AL West Teams Have an Unfair Advantage?

Some teams don’t like to admit that they’re re-building. The New York Mets, for instance, dealt R.A. Dickey a month after he won the Cy Young award in exchange for prospects that likely won’t make a difference for several years. Yet the term “re-building” will never leave the lips of the organization’s owners or front office, as they either have a delusional take on reality, or a crippling fear of any public relations backlash. But in Houston, the Astros are far from shy about their clear organizational strategy.... 
 

5 Top Prospects Headed for Minors, But For How Long

Promoting a Major League-ready prospect seems like a logical move for any organization looking to win. Yet, even the most consistently solid organizations are faced with a few hurdles that prevent the obvious from happening. Below is a list of five top prospects who could easily help their respective teams now, but are still projected to start 2013 in the Minors. Wil Myers was involved in one of the biggest trades this off-season, heading a package which sent “ace” pitcher James Shields to the Kansas City Royals. Yet, even though the... 
 

National League: Projected Platoons for 2013

With the ever rising cost of offense, more and more teams are looking to platoons as low-cost, high-reward options. The platoon is hardly a new managerial tool, but it seems as though there are more teams using the stat-heavy angle to leverage player’s stronger sides to enhance the team’s production–while also saving a penny or two in the process. Below is an in-depth, projected list of National League organizations and their respective platoons for 2013. Atlanta Braves: THIRD BASE -As much as the Braves like Juan Francisco‘s... 
 

Michael Bourn: Good Deal, But Not For Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians made a surprise splash on the free-agent market, inking speedy outfielder Michael Bourn to a four-year, $48MM deal (with a $12MM vesting option). While most organizations had been turned off by Bourn’s rejected-qualifying offer status, since the Indians’ first round pick is protected, the team only has to surrender a competitive-balance pick. Yet, even though the Indians retained their first-round pick, and added a top-shelf lead-off man and defender for arguably a fair price, it was still a curious move for the... 
 

American League: Projected Platoons for 2013

With the ever rising cost of offense, more and more teams are looking to platoons as a low-cost, high-reward alternative. Even though penny-pinching organizations like the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays have long been using the platoon, now even bigger market teams–like the Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox–are beginning to join the fray. Below is an in-depth, projected list of the organizations and their respective platoons for 2013. Baltimore Orioles: LEFT FIELD – Nate McLouth quickly went from a hot... 
 

Oakland A’s: How Valuable is Yoenis Cespedes?

Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics have long been known for acquiring undervalued players. Some recent examples of this are Chris Young (11.7 WAR, 103 OPS+ from 2010-12), John Jaso (6.1 WAR, 115 OPS+ from 2010-12), and Brandon Moss (1.9 WAR, 160 OPS+ in 2012). They’re also equally known for selling high on replaceable assets, like, for instance, trading Andrew Bailey (7.04 ERA, 63 ERA+ in 2012) for Josh Reddick (4.5 WAR, 110 OPS+ in 2012), Miles Head (.333/.391/.577/.968 line at Advanced-A/Double-A), and Raul Alcantara (wasn’t good... 
 

5 Minor League Deals With Potential Major League Impact

There has been a lot of big splashes this off-season. The Dodgers signed Zack Greinke to a six-year, $147 million deal. The Angels inked Josh Hamilton to a $125 million contract. Heck, even Jeremy Guthrie turned 91.0 IP of 1.30 ERA+, 3.16 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 2.95 K/BB baseball into a three-year, $25 million shocker. And barring injury or incredible levels of ineffectiveness, these players will most certainly be major factors on their respective organization’s active rosters. Yet, there are also a lot of players who don’t quite share... 
 

MLB Free Agent Pitchers: 4 Low Risk Options Coming Off Injured 2012 Seasons

The majority of the top free-agent pitchers are now off the market. In terms of starters, Zack Greinke signed with the Dodgers, Anibal Sanchez with the Tigers, Edwin Jackson with the Cubs, and Dan Haren with the Nationals. As for relievers, Mariano Rivera is predictably back with the Yankees, Jonathan Broxton re-signed with the Reds, and Rafael Soriano recently inked with the Nationals. So unless pitching-hungry teams want to surrender an unprotected first-round pick by signing the 34 year-old Kyle Lohse, or overpay Jose Valverde or Matt Capps to... 
 

MLB Free Agency: Why Has There Been No Interest in Kelly Johnson?

When it came to older infielders this off-season, both the free-agent market and team’s interest were flush. In fact, all of Marco Scutaro, Jeff Keppinger, and Maicer Izturis received surprising three-year, multi-million dollar contracts. There’s nothing wrong with any of those players, per-say, but how about if there was a younger, superior player available instead? How about if this player was still available? This player, of course, is Kelly Johnson. The 30 year-old Johnson had a mixed bag season for the Blue Jays in 2012, posting... 
 

Do the 2013 Detroit Tigers Need a “Proven” Closer?

Bruce Rondon is considered the favorite to become the Tigers closer After closing for the Detroit Tigers for the past three seasons, Jose Valverde was granted his free-agency. The pitcher’s departure–perhaps not to-be-missed by fans who watched him under perform in the playoffs (16.20 ERA and 2.40 WHIP in 1.6 IP)–has left the team without a seasoned closer. Yet, even though Valverde’s 3.00 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 110 Saves seems good enough for a closer, the righty only posted a 1.94 K/BB and alarmingly annual xFIP spikes (from... 
 

Could the Atlanta Braves Sign B.J. Upton and Michael Bourn?

Is it possible the Braves could re-sign Michael Bourn? Going into the off-season there were nine players who declined their qualifying offers–thus forcing any prospective team without a protected first-round pick to surrender their draft choice as compensation. Of those nine players, two re-signed with their former teams (David Ortiz and Hiroki Kuroda), two signed with teams with low-seed picks (Josh Hamilton and B.J. Upton), and one signed with a protected pick (Nick Swisher). And then there were four: including center fielder Michael Bourn. Bourn... 
 

Upton, Kubel: Which Outfielder Should the Diamondbacks Trade?

Arizona has five starting-caliber outfielders There have been a lot of rumors surrounding the Arizona Diamondbacks and their outfield depth. Especially now with the recent, [extremely] surprising signing of Cody Ross, the Snakes legitimately have five starting-caliber outfielders. While a case could be made for trading any one of Justin Upton, Adam Eaton, Jason Kubel, or Gerardo Parra, one must seriously consider whether the prospective return for these players would actually help the future of the franchise, or hurt it. JUSTIN UPTON So far, the... 
 

Giancarlo Stanton: Five Possible and In-Depth Trade Scenarios

Marlins will listen to offers, but will they make a deal? It would be silly for the Miami Marlins to trade Giancarlo Stanton. At age 22, Stanton enjoyed his consecutive 30-plus homerun season–37 homeruns to be exact–and a dominant .290/.361/.608 line to go along with it. His 5.4 WAR is elite-worthy. And with just 2.118 years of service, Stanton and his growing talent are under team control for the next four years (or close to it). Yet, despite all this–and just being paid about 2% of his true value–the Marlins are willing... 
 

Minnesota Twins’ Rotation: Has it Improved for 2013?

Scott Diamond is one of  two remaining starters from 2012 In 2012, the Minnesota Twins endured their second straight ninety-plus loss season. While their hitting wasn’t spectacular (combined 99 OPS+, which was slightly below league average of 100 OPS+), it was really their pitching that did them in. The Twins pitching staff ranked second-to-last in the American League with a combined 85 ERA+. Considering the league average was a 101 ERA+, the 2012 Twins’ hurlers were pretty pathetic. More specifically, the team only had one starting... 
 

Who is Going to Close for the Houston Astros?

Veras appears to be  the favorite for the job heading into spring The Houston Astros are in complete rebuilding mode, as they should be. Since July 2010, the Astros have traded Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, Matt Lindstrom, Jeff Keppinger, Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn, Mark Melancon, Carlos Lee, J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, Chris Johnson, and Wilton Lopez. The hope is obviously to build a stocked farm system, and compete in a few years–but only time will tell if their acquired/drafted talent is worth the wait. That’s... 
 

There’s Still Room for the Dodgers to Improve

Colletti said the Dodgers are never “going to be reckless with what we do.” Apparently no one told the Los Angeles Dodgers that other teams use a standard five-man rotation. But perhaps the Dodgers just aren’t like “other teams.” Despite already sporting a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, and Ted Lilly, the Dodgers actively pursued starting pitching this off-season to deepen their rotation depth, inking high-priced free-agents like Zack Greinke and Japanese import... 
 

Mets Should Sign Carlos Villanueva to Replace R.A. Dickey

Villanueva is one of the more versatile pitchers on the free agent market How does a team replace a starting pitcher who dazzled opposing batters with an almost un-hittable, floating pitch, won over fans with a quirky, folk-hero personality, and worked so hard to finally live-up to his former first-round pick status an incredible fourteen years after the fact? With R.A. Dickey presumably headed to the Toronto Blue Jays–seemingly any moment now–the Mets will have to find a replacement for Dickey’s innings in the rotation. As witnessed... 
 

Aside from Trading or Extending R.A. Dickey, What Else Can the Mets Do?

Mets still need to field a full roster of competent players After re-signing David Wright to a lifetime contract, the Mets have now turned their attention to, simultaneously, contractually extending and evaluating the trade market for R.A. Dickey. Unlike Wright, trading Dickey would not have the same type of PR backlash, and additionally, the return would hypothetically fill a few voids. But the New York Mets have more than a few voids to fill. There’s also no guarantee that Dickey will actually be traded before the season starts or that the... 
 
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