Thought you might like this Robinson Cano heat map/spray chart/stat analysis combo I did last night: From: Mark Simon at ESPN New York
So they said
“Casey Close has done a nice job, I’m sure not only with us, but with everyone else, to kind of keep us informed on the timing, the schedules and how things are going to work,” D-backs GM Kevin Towers said referring to Tanaka’s agent. “He’s pretty much asked those clubs that are involved that just less is better and not to really say anything or divulge the process or what’s happening. We’re all up to speed with what’s to take place and how it will take place, just really not in the position to share any of it.” Source: Steve Gilbert at MLB.com
“Hal Steinbrenner left the Yankees without a catcher in 2013, and that was one reason they finished in a tie for third in the American League East. He can’t leave them without an ace in 2014 and still claim to embrace the same win-at-almost-all-costs mentality that defined his old man.” Source: Ian O’Connor at ESPN New York
“I try to stay away from attacking individuals, and prefer to focus on the quality of the argument that they’re making. I wish more people would do the same.” Source: Dave Cameron at FanGraphs
Mariner’s potential off-season targets
Superstar free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka kicked off his free agency in earnest with clandestine meetings Wednesday and will see as many as a dozen or so teams by Friday in the Los Angeles area. The Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, White Sox, Yankees and Diamondbacks are believed to be among teams to have meetings planned. Tanaka, who is expected to receive in excess of $100 million, and perhaps well in excess of that figure, is scheduled to be seen by a Los Angeles doctor while there in order to provide a medical status to all the interested teams.
There was no official word from any of the teams said to have meetings planned, as it appears this is being taken as a heavily guarded secret. Teams love the fact that Tanaka is only 25 (he just turned 25) but the one question is the heavy workload he’s had early — a question that could be alleviated to some degree with the medical exam. Scouts marvel at Tanaka’s exceptional poise and mound presence, and though most suggest Darvish may be more talented, others aren’t so sure. Said one GM, whose team isn’t even believed to be involved, “Tanaka’s the better pitcher.” Source: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports
Matt Kemp has begun hitting. Expected to play during spring. Beckett should be ready for start of spring. From: Ken Gurnick at MLB.com
By The Numbers
Since 2012, most GS with 8+ IP & ER ≤ 1: Félix Hernández 20 – Clayton Kershaw 17 – Cliff Lee 11 – Homer Bailey 11 – Adam Wainwright and Bartolo Colon 10. From: MLB Play Index
Since 2008, most GS with 8+ IP & ER ≤ 1: Félix Hernández 50 – Cliff Lee 49 – Roy Halladay 37 – Cole Hamels 31 and Clayton Kershaw 30. From: MLB Play Index (Imagine the contract Felix would get this off-season if he was a free agent.)
Mike Napoli saw 667 fastballs with runners on base last season, the most in baseball. He was followed y Joey Votto (655) and Dustin Pedroia (640). Source: The Bill Chuck Files
Phils signed former M’s MiLB’er SS Anthony Phillips. Played 3 games in Jackson in 2012. Played 124 games in High Desert last year. From: Chris Harris at Jackson Generals
Comment From Peter Dipito. Final bid and winner for Tanaka?
Jeff Sullivan: Still feeling Yankees, now seeing something like 7/$150M.
Comment From Gums: Which of the remaining non-Tanaka free agents do you anticipate to provide the best WAR/$?
Jeff Sullivan: Capuano?
Comment From Eastern NC: Should the Orioles sign Kendrys Morales? Nelson Cruz? Is a guy like Morales worth a first round pick?
Jeff Sullivan: They should sign whichever one would settle for like 2/$20m. It’s basically between them and the Mariners for both, and the Mariners have less room for Morales than they do for Cruz. You don’t want to give up a first-rounder for either, but then a pick is nothing but a few million dollars, really. So you just account for that in the size of your FA bid.
Comment From Wilbur: Care to suggest an outfielder the Mariners should target? Trade more viable than the FA leftovers? (Please, no Cruz!)
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners like Cruz the most, and could well end up with him, but my preferences would be, say, Jon Jay, or one of the Padres guys. People have floated the idea of Rasmus but I don’t know how well the teams match up. Wouldn’t want to trade Nick Franklin for one year of that guy.
Comment From Zack: Do you think teams are overvaluing later first round picks in the 20’s?
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I think teams have too high an opinion of their own abilities to get value out of those picks.
Comment From Guest: Who has the best 2014 – [Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, or Matt Garza]?
Jeff Sullivan: I like Jimenez! Jimenez, then Garza, then Santana.
Comment From brad: What’s Brad Miller’s offensive ceiling this year and floor?
Jeff Sullivan: If everything goes amazing, .340-.350 wOBA. But he could also end up in the .300 neighborhood, sort of like last year’s Nick Franklin. I think he’s steady and safe and predictable, though. Nothing outstanding, just a good cheap player at an important position.
Comment From Dan: Are LASIK and PEDs really that different?
Jeff Sullivan: This was the question I had in college when I first started wondering for myself whether steroids are really that bad. It’s an important fundamental question.
Comment From Erich: With the rash of players (Morales, Cruz, etc.) seemingly overestimating their markets and rejecting their initial teams’ QOs, how do you think the calculus changes with regards to players accepting QOs in the future?
Jeff Sullivan: Again, I think we should wait to see where these guys actually end up before we look for conclusions, but clearly players and their agents are going to need to have longer, more realistic conversations. I’d say it’s more likely a player accepts now than it was a few months ago.