The Braves could offer Kris Medlen a two-year deal

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Kris Medlen is arbitration eligible and could make close to six million bucks if he goes through the process. He’s just coming off of his second Tommy John surgery, however, and teams generally don’t like to give $6 million deals to injury risks like that. Which makes him a good candidate to be non-tendered.

But, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Braves may try to keep Medlen in the fold all the same, just at a lower price:

Some security for Medlen, some cost savings for the Braves and, of course, the chance to have Medlen pitch for them if he makes a successful comeback.

If Medlen is not non-tendered today, you have to figure it means that the Braves are optimistic of working…

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Umpire Dale Scott comes out as gay

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Outsports reports that umpire Dale Scott has come out as gay. He’s the first active umpire to do so. Former umpire Dave Pallone came out after he left umpiring.

Scott’s coming out wasn’t done in some big announcement. It wasn’t a political or social stand. It was merely Scott allowing a picture of him and his husband of nearly 30 years, Michael Rausch, to be used in a small magazine profile.

Scott tells Outsports that his colleagues and MLB knew Scott is gay and that it’s not been a thing to them at all. Which makes sense. These guys work together, travel together, eat together, catch all kinds of hell from players, managers and fans together and know each other’s spouses and everything.

And of course this all puts lie to the notion from ignorant talking heads about how openly gay athletes are “distractions” or problems for sports teams. Umpires are a…

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From Baggage Handler to Miner to Storm Chaser, Matt Fields is Now Trying to Become Royal

Originally posted on Indy Ball Island:

Current Kansas City Royals AAA prospect Matt Fields makes crushing home runs and getting on base look easy for the Omaha Storm Chasers. However, many people don’t know the long and often difficult road that has led him to this point in his career. Drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2004, Fields spent six years in the organization. With the Rays, he reached as high as AA before being released in 2010.

After his release, Fields took his talents to the independent Frontier League. He spent the entire 2011 season with the Southern Illinois Miners;  However, Fields soon learned that independent baseball is a whole different world than affiliated ball. Although he had a great season, hitting .272 with 17 home runs in 57 games, he realized that independent ball can make a player feel stuck and complacent. There are many players who know that they aren’t going anywhere else, so they have a “whatever” attitude.  Those…

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Melky Cabrera’s Unique Case

photo courtesy of www.cbc.ca
photo courtesy of http://www.cbc.ca

The Toronto Star’s Brendan Kennedy published a very interesting article this morning on the efforts of the Toronto Blue Jays to re-sign their left field slugger and free agent Melky Cabrera. It has been common knowledge that both sides expressed interest in coming together on a deal, it is also apparent that the 30 year old Dominican native is looking to cash in on his 2014 performance.

Considering his age and history this may be the last major deal available for Cabrera, it makes sense that he would like to parlay this deal into something that would provide him a home for several years to come.  Having already earned $28,643,600 in his eight seasons in Major League Baseball, the switching hitting slugger is more likely seeking stability as well as to secure his and his family’s financial future to generations to come. And in the grand scheme of life, who can really blame him?

There are, however, several factors that may lead to the length and dollar amounts of his newest deal being less than he is hoping.  If one is to push the health issue he suffered in 2013 aside, there is his PED history that still lingers.  Not only does his fifty game suspension in 2012 come into play, there is also side effects of the lack of PED use in the game to be considered.  Unlike recent decades, which saw many players extend their prime years into their late thirties, the lack of PED’s in the game means the prime years for most players are between the ages of 27-32, with expected declines in performance to be seen in each following season. At the age of 30, Cabrera, can be expected to have two to three seasons of similar performance to 2014, at most.

One must also consider Cabrera’s ability to play the outfield as a factor.  With defense and pitching being major factors in today’s game, the slow-footed left fielder, may not be long for an outfield position.  If the production at the plate can continue the lack of defense could and probably would be acceptable; however with age, not only does hand speed slow, but so does foot speed. This reason alone may limit any long-term offers from National League teams where the DH rule is non-existent, thus drastically reducing his options as a whole.

These factors are why the following quote from the aforementioned article strike a chord. Each of the players mentioned have seen a dramatic fall off of production and health after signing their respective deals.  These deals being considered it would be hard to convince many front office executives that Cabrera’s trajectory would be any different

Several agents — not Cabrera’s — have previously told the Star they expect him to receive between $12 million and $15 million per season on a three or four-year deal, pointing to Shane Victorino’s three-year, $39-million contract with the Red Sox and Curtis Granderson’s four-year, $60-million deal with the Mets as comparisons.

With the addition of the Blue Jays front office extending Cabrera a qualifying offer of $15.3M earlier this week, there could be many teams that balk at a long-term offer for the fear of losing a draft pick in 2015.  The exceptions may be teams who feel they need one more bat in the line-up in order to contend. With that being said, there are several that could bite the bullet.

Teams that could be in play:

  1. Seattle Mariners: with the team having a good showing in 2014, it could be possible they try to bolster their line-up with a proven bat. The addition of Robinson Cano, helped the Mariners but their offense as a whole was still anemic.
  2. Texas Rangers: After a disastrous 2014 campaign the Rangers could go all in for 2015, in addition the loss of Alex Rios could push them to add an outfield bat.
  3. Baltimore Orioles:  If the O’s are unable to come to agreement with Nick Markakis and/or Nelson Cruz, look for them to possibly make a bid.
  4. Detroit Tigers: The Tigers will more than likely to lose their right-field regular, Torii Hunter and quite possibly designated-hitter Victor Martinez, making the addition of a proven bat a priority.

BBWAA Award finalists to be announced Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

The votes have been cast and we’ll soon learn the names of the finalists for this season’s major awards.

The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) will reveal the top three finalists in the American League and National League for the 2014 Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player Awards tomorrow on MLB Network at 6:00 p.m. ET, hosted by Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds and Bill Ripken.

The winners will be announced next week, from November 10-13. Here’s a quick rundown of the calendar:

·         Monday, November 10: AL & NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award

·         Tuesday, November 11: AL & NL Manager of the Year Award

·         Wednesday, November 12: AL & NL Cy Young Award

·         Thursday, November 13: AL & NL Most Valuable Player Award

As always, HardballTalk will have full coverage (and when warranted, snark and/or…

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