1. #36
    Chi_archie
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    Adam Eaton is surprising
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  2. #37
    Otters27
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    Cubs, Redsox, Indians top 3 favorites for World Series.

    Cubs vs. Redsox would be a great match up.

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  3. #38
    JAKEPEAVY21
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    Encarnacion was quite a pickup for Cleveland.

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  4. #39
    EmpireMaker
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    Just a friendly reminder pitchers and catchers report on February 12. http://atmlb.com/2iPRepG #Mets

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  5. #40
    EmpireMaker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi_archie View Post
    Adam Eaton is surprising
    He is underrated, he might offer some value in fantasy leagues if you are using your high draft choices at other positions.

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  6. #41
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    According to a Reds club source there is still a possibility that Brandon Phillips could be traded to the Atlanta Braves, a deal in which the Reds would pay most of Phillips contract.

    The deal would allow the Reds to open the door for their prized prospect Jose Peraza. However, Reds executives acknowledge that they made promises and assurances to Phillips that they are not living up to and will have to work through those issues directly with Phillips before a deal can be consummated.

    Phillips has a full-no trade clause and nixed a deal to the Washington Nationals last year. The Braves are trying to be more competitive this year as they open their new stadium

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  7. #42
    BigSpoon
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmpireMaker View Post
    Just a friendly reminder pitchers and catchers report on February 12. http://atmlb.com/2iPRepG #Mets

    They should have hosted an outdoor NHL game there.

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  8. #43
    El Nino
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    Mariners add Dyson from the Royals.

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  9. #44
    EmpireMaker
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    12:30pm: Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun tweets that the Orioles will save about $4MM in total on the deal. That would suggest that about $2MM is headed to Seattle alongside Gallardo, who is guaranteed $13MM ($11MM salary + $2MM option buyout) to Smith’s $7MM.
    12:11pm: The Mariners have acquired right-hander Yovani Gallardo and cash from the Orioles in exchange for corner outfielder Seth Smith, the teams announced today. The move fills an on-paper need for both clubs, as the Mariners have been seeking a starter to fill out their rotation, while Baltimore has been in search of a left-handed-hitting corner outfielder.

    From the Orioles’ standpoint, that they were able to jettison Gallardo in exchange for a fairly useful role player comes as a surprise on the heels of a dismal, injury-plagued season for Gallardo. Set to turn 31 next month, Gallardo missed roughly two months of the 2016 season with shoulder injuries. While that’s concerning in and of itself, his contract with the Orioles was dropped from a three-year agreement to a restructured two-year pact following his physical due to shoulder concerns, so there’s perhaps elevated cause for concern.
    [Related: Updated Seattle Mariners Depth Chart and Baltimore Orioles Depth Chart]
    When on the field, Gallardo limped to a 5.42 ERA with 6.5 K/9 against a career-worst 4.7 BB/9 and a 43.2 percent ground-ball rate in 118 innings. Though Gallardo was able to make 23 starts despite the time he missed, he’s now showed a diminished ability to work deep into games in each of the past two seasons, averaging under 5 2/3 innings per start in 2015 with the Rangers and less than 5 1/3 innings per start last year in Baltimore. Gallardo has a guaranteed $13MM remaining on his contract, although $1MM of that sum is deferred without interest.
    It should, of course, be noted that prior to his woeful season in Baltimore, Gallardo was long a steadying presence in the rotation for the Brewers and Rangers. Though he displayed plenty of red flags in his lone season with Texas — diminished strikeout rate and velocity, increased walk rate — Gallardo averaged 32 starts per year from 2009-15, totaling 1339 1/3 innings of 3.69 ERA ball with 8.2 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9. His heater has dipped about three miles per hour from its 92.7 mph peak, but he does bring a track record of useful results to the table. Clearly, the Mariners are hoping that a move to a larger park will help to quell some of the home-run problems that plagued Gallardo in 2016, when he posted a 1.2 HR/9 rate that dwarfed the 0.9 mark he carried into the season.
    If Gallardo is able to rebound in 2017, he comes with an affordable $13MM option for the 2018 campaign ($3MM of that sum would be deferred, without interest, as well). If not, they’ll pay him a $2MM buyout on top of his $11MM salary for the upcoming season. He’ll slot into a rotation that also includes Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton and Nate Karns, with Ariel Miranda representing an additional southpaw option for manager Scott Servais.
    The Mariners have been shopping Smith since at least early December, so it’s not entirely surprising to see them move on from the 34-year-old. Swapping him out for a starter that struggled to Gallardo’s level last year, however, is somewhat of surprise, as Smith is coming off a characteristically solid season at the plate. Last year’s .249/.342/.415 is more or less in line with the cumulative .258/.343/.435 triple slash he’s posted dating back to the 2011 season.

    The Mariners, though, have placed a premium on outfield defense, and Smith’s previously average defensive ratings took a notable tumble in 2016. Smith is limited to the outfield corners, and Defensive Runs Saved pegged him at an unsightly -8 in just 257 2/3 innings in left field last year, while Ultimate Zone Rating pegged him at -6.3. (His work in right field drew more typically neutral ratings.)
    Smith has long been limited from an offensive standpoint as well. Though he’s handled right-handed pitchers with aplomb throughout his Major League tenure (.272/.355/.472), his perennial struggles against left-handed pitching have resulted in a paltry .202/.282/.312 output.
    Unlike Gallardo, Smith is controllable only through the 2017 season, so he’s a short-term option that will still require the Orioles to pick up a platoon partner. However, he’ll bring a quality on-base presence and a needed left-handed bat to a lineup that was heavy on right-handed hitters (Jonathan Schoop, J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Welington Castillo) and light on lefties (Chris Davis, Hyun Soo Kim).
    In the rotation, the Orioles still have five starters upon which to rely in Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Wade Miley and Ubaldo Jimenez, although the latter two on that list struggled every bit as much as the now-departed Gallardo in 2016.
    From a bigger-picture standpoint, the addition of Smith has to lessen the likelihood of a reunion with Mark Trumbo and the Orioles, although it shouldn’t close the door entirely, as the O’s could still find plenty of at-bats between the outfield and designated hitter. It does, however, look to definitively eliminate the Orioles as a potential landing spot for Jay Bruce, to whom the O’s had been linked in trade rumors for much of the winter.
    As for the Mariners, while they may now feel set in the rotation following the addition of a veteran starter, the outfield now looks to have even more uncertainty. Seattle will again deploy fleet-footed Leonys Martin as its primary center fielder, but the corners are currently occupied by a combination of unproven names like Ben Gamel and Mitch Haniger, with veteran Danny Valencia on hand to platoon with Gamel. (Though Valencia has limited outfield experience after spending most of his career at third base.) Nelson Cruz, too, can see occasional time in the outfield, but he’ll be the primary DH in Seattle next year and has long been considered a negative asset with the glove. As such, a further outfield addition for the Mariners — one with fewer platoon issues and/or one with superior defensive acumen — seems like a reasonable expectation as Spring Training nears.

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  10. #45
    Cross
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    Orioles might be sneaky good this year.

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  11. #46
    JAKEPEAVY21
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Nino View Post
    Mariners add Dyson from the Royals.
    solid pickup

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  12. #47
    Chi_archie
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    Quote Originally Posted by koz-man View Post
    According to a Reds club source there is still a possibility that Brandon Phillips could be traded to the Atlanta Braves, a deal in which the Reds would pay most of Phillips contract.

    The deal would allow the Reds to open the door for their prized prospect Jose Peraza. However, Reds executives acknowledge that they made promises and assurances to Phillips that they are not living up to and will have to work through those issues directly with Phillips before a deal can be consummated.

    Phillips has a full-no trade clause and nixed a deal to the Washington Nationals last year. The Braves are trying to be more competitive this year as they open their new stadium
    nice. I'd love to see him less as a bucco fan
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  13. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Nino View Post
    Mariners add Dyson from the Royals.
    Dyson was set to be a free agent after 2017. Royals still have several potential free agents after this season including Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and Danny Duffy.

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  14. #49
    koz-man
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    Report: Reds 2B Phillips blocked trade to Braves

    Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips used his 10-and-5 rights to veto a trade to the Atlanta Braves in November, according to a FoxSports.com report.

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  15. #50
    EmpireMaker
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    Manny Machado enters his second year of arbitration eligibility with a $5MM base salary and a strong case for a solid raise. My model projects him to reach $11.2MM, good for a $6.2MM raise, after an All-Star campaign with a .294 batting average, 37 home runs and 96 runs batted in. The model is a useful tool here, and probably came up with a reasonable guess, because so few comparables are appropriate for Machado’s platform year.

    Position players like Machado generally receive multi-year deals in lieu of one-year pacts once they reach their second year of arbitration. In the last decade, only 10 players have hit at least .280 and belted 30 homers going into their second year of arbitration eligibility, and a full seven of those 10 received multi-year deals before reaching agreement on a single-year number.
    Only two of those cases have occurred since 2007 – Jacoby Ellsbury in 2012 and Chris Davis in 2014. Ellsbury received a $5.65MM raise, while Davis’ salary grew by a full $7.05MM. Both players had better platform years than Machado. Ellsbury hit .321 with 32 home runs, 39 stolen bases and 105 RBI. Davis hit .286 with 53 blasts and knocked in 138. Ellsbury’s case is probably stale, however (it is now five years old), so even though he only received a $5.65MM raise there is reason to expect Machado could eclipse that number. Davis’ case is only three years old, and it’s harder to argue that Machado should get a bigger raise. The model, in fact, does not believe this to be true.
    With Ellsbury’s case stale and Davis’ looking more like a ceiling, it makes sense to look for a floor for Machado. But it is difficult to find one. In the last three years, no other second-year-eligible player has received a single-year deal with a raise larger than the $2.77MM that Daniel Murphy received. But Murphy had only clubbed 13 homers and hit .286. While he had stolen 23 bases, he only knocked in 78 runs. Clearly Machado should get a far larger raise than Murphy.
    Going back further, Hunter Pence in 2011 is a longshot possibility for a floor. He received a $3.4MM raise after posting a .282/25/91 line. Pence’s case was clearly inferior, and the six-year gap between his case and Machado’s certainly makes him a floor.
    It’s clear that Machado is likely to earn less than Davis’ $7.05MM raise, but he’s also likely to get more than Pence’s $3.4MM increase. There is an argument that Machado should earn less than Ellsbury’s $5.65MM raise, but given the five-year lag between the two cases, that may not be applicable anyway. I suspect that the model’s $6.2MM projected raise is as a reasonable of an estimate as we can expect for Machado’s unique situation. It falls short of Davis, but with Machado playing better defense at a harder position, he probably will not fall all that far short despite the significant gap in power numbers.

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  16. #51
    Chi_archie
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    Quote Originally Posted by koz-man View Post
    Report: Reds 2B Phillips blocked trade to Braves

    Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips used his 10-and-5 rights to veto a trade to the Atlanta Braves in November, according to a FoxSports.com report.
    dammit
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  17. #52
    JAKEPEAVY21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi_archie View Post
    Adam Eaton is surprising
    I like Eaton, he plays balls to the wall...110% effort.

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  18. #53
    RockBottom
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAKEPEAVY21 View Post
    I like Eaton, he plays balls to the wall...110% effort.
    I'm just not a fan. He did have a very good year, maybe I'm wrong about him. Reminds me of ex-CWS Aaron Rowand.

  19. #54
    koz-man
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    Quote Originally Posted by koz-man View Post
    Report: Reds 2B Phillips blocked trade to Braves

    Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips used his 10-and-5 rights to veto a trade to the Atlanta Braves in November, according to a FoxSports.com report.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chi_archie View Post
    dammit
    This is like the 3rd trade he vetoed so far....Must like the ribs in Cincy.

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  20. #55
    EmpireMaker
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    Pros/Strengths

    It took a few seasons for Valbuena to turn into a quality major leaguer, but he’s now coming off a four-year stretch (divided between the Cubs and Astros) in which he batted a respectable .237/.333/.428 and accounted for 8.4 fWAR in 1,773 plate appearances. Since 2014, his breakout offensive season, the lefty-swinging Valbuena has handled right-handed pitchers with a .253/.344/.473 line in 1,068 trips to the plate.
    Before undergoing season-ending hamstring surgery last August, Valbuena was on track for a career year with a .260/.357/.459 line in 342 PAs. He was also amid his third straight season with an above-average isolated power number (.186 – the league mean in 2016 was .162). Valbuena’s patient, too, having posted double-digit walk rates in each season since 2012. He helped his cause last year in collecting free passes at career-high 12.9 percent clip, which ranked 19th in the majors among those with at least 300 PAs and well above the 8.2 percent average. Further, Valbuena swung at pitches outside the zone a personal-best 23.1 percent of the time, which was good for 21st in the league.
    Cons/Weaknesses
    While Valbuena has been terrific against righties, his bat has been virtually unplayable at times versus same-handed pitchers. In 530 career PAs, he has hit a meager .221/.310/.356 against lefties – including a lackluster .206/.299/.335 over the past three seasons. Along with his platoon issues at the plate, Valbuena isn’t a threat on the bases, which is particularly unfortunate when considering his high-OBP ways against righties. It also helps explain his history of recording low batting averages despite avoiding egregious strikeout totals. Better, faster baserunners take advantage of reaching, but Valbuena has never swiped more than two bags in a year, and he hasn’t exceeded the one-steal plateau since 2009.
    Defensively, Valbuena isn’t a major liability at third, but he hasn’t been able to approach the effectiveness he showed there from 2012-13. That 1,700-plus-inning sample saw Valbuena rack up 11 Defensive Runs Saved and combine for a 21.6 Ultimate Zone Rating. He has registered minus-12 DRS to go with a minus-11.7 UZR in almost 2,500 innings since, though most of the DRS damage (minus-10) came in 2014.
    Valbuena’s aforementioned hamstring surgery could also qualify as a negative, but there’s no word on whether that’s affecting his market.
    Background
    A native of Venezuela, Valbuena joined the Mariners organization back in 2002 as an undrafted free agent. The former middle infielder ended up debuting in the majors in 2008 with Seattle, which traded him to the Indians during the ensuing offseason. That deal also involved the Mets and included 11 other players (to name a few, Jason Vargas, Franklin Gutierrez and Joe Smith). Cleveland eventually sent Valbuena to Toronto for cash considerations in November 2011, but the Blue Jays lost him on waivers to the Cubs in advance of the 2012 season. That proved fruitful for the Cubs, who got a couple good years from Valbuena before shipping him and righty Dan Straily to the Astros in January 2015 for center fielder and 2016 World Series champion Dexter Fowler.
    In his major league career, Valbuena has raked in $14,275,200 in earnings, according to Baseball Reference. He’s a client of Elite Sports Group.
    Market
    “Several” teams have expressed interest in Valbuena this offseason, his agent, Scott Schneider, said last month. The only reported suitors are the Yankees and Rays. Neither team looks like an obvious fit, though, given the options they have on hand at third, first (Valbuena’s occasional position since 2015) and designated hitter.
    Clubs that could still stand to upgrade in the corner infield include the Braves, Red Sox, Athletics and Rangers. Atlanta might be the best choice, as Valbuena and right-handed-hitting third baseman Adonis Garcia would have the potential to make for a formidable offensive platoon. Boston has the luxury tax threshold to consider, meanwhile, and has already picked up first baseman Mitch Moreland in free agency. The Sox also seem content to roll with Pablo Sandoval and Brock Holt at third. Oakland is focused on adding a righty bat, which would rule out Valbuena, and Texas is set at third with the great Adrian Beltre. The Rangers still need first base help, but they’re zeroing in on Mike Napoli.
    Expected Contract
    MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes forecast a two-year, $14MM deal for Valbuena entering the offseason. That still looks reasonable, but settling for less might be in the cards because so few teams look like clear matches for Valbuena.

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  21. #56
    El Nino
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    Quote Originally Posted by koz-man View Post
    This is like the 3rd trade he vetoed so far....Must like the ribs in Cincy.
    An old show pony like that doesn't want a rebuild project in Atlanta. Team will be in the cellar for a while.

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  22. #57
    JAKEPEAVY21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockBottom View Post
    I'm just not a fan. He did have a very good year, maybe I'm wrong about him. Reminds me of ex-CWS Aaron Rowand.
    Rowand is exactly who he reminds me of.

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  23. #58
    BigSpoon
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Nino View Post
    An old show pony like that doesn't want a rebuild project in Atlanta. Team will be in the cellar for a while.
    Both clubs are rebuilding at this time. No offense to the native Ohioans in here but I'd rather live and play in ATL myself.

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  24. #59
    koz-man
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    Nats say Max Scherzer has pitching finger injury, to miss WBC

    WASHINGTON -- NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer injured a finger on his pitching hand and will miss the World Baseball Classic.

    The Washington Nationals announced Monday on Twitter that their star right-hander has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger.

    Max Scherzer has an injury to a finger on his pitching hand. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP PhotoThe team said the ongoing rehabilitation will keep Scherzer off the U.S. team at the WBC, which is in March, but he is still "expected to be a full participant" at spring training, which starts next month.

    Scherzer went 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA and 284 strikeouts last season, including a record-tying 20 in one game, for the NL East champion Nationals, becoming the sixth pitcher in major league history to win AL and NL Cy Youngs.

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  25. #60
    Chi_archie
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    Drone helicopter accident
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  26. #61
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    Top Cuban outfield prospect Luis Robert left his home island in November, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. His whereabouts are not given in the report, but it seems he is working towards joining a major league organization.
    Clubs figure to line up for a chance at the 19-year-old Robert, a right-handed-hitting outfielder who Badler labels one of Cuba’s five best talents, citing his plus bat speed and power. Though he may ultimately turn into a corner outfielder, Robert is currently capable of playing center. Already a productive player in his age-18 season, Robert turned things up a notch in his most recent Serie Nacional action. Before he departed, Robert was hitting a robust .401/.526/.687 with 12 home runs and 11 steals over 232 plate appearances. That put him at or near the top of the leaderboard in most major offensive categories — certainly, rather a notable output given his age (even with the number of talented players that have departed Cuba’s top league in recent years).
    As Badler explains at length, Robert’s timeline for obtaining clearance will play a major role in determining his earning capacity and ultimate landing spot. Because the old CBA’s international rules will apply through to the end of the current July 2 signing period — which wraps up on June 15 of this year — it’s still possible that Robert will become eligible to sign under the current system. If not, he’ll be subject to the tighter cap that is set to go into effect under the new CBA (which Badler detailed in full right here).
    While Robert could certainly still land a significant payday under either regime, the current one holds out the hope for the greatest riches. That’s because it allows organizations to spend at leisure, so long as they are willing to sacrifice their ability to dole out $300K+ bonuses for two future years and pay a 100% tax on the amount they go past their pool allocation. Under the new system, all clubs will face spending caps, which can be extended only through trades for additional space. While some smaller market teams will receive slightly higher allocations, most organizations won’t be able to go past $4.75MM with their base pool and can’t trade for more than a total of $8.3MM. Plus, Badler notes, some teams have already committed portions of their 2017-18 pool space to other players.
    If Robert is cleared to sign before the signing period is up, he’d at least have greater options. That would open the door to the clubs that have already gone past their limits — the Astros, Athletics, Braves, Cardinals, Nationals, Padres and Reds. Otherwise, those organizations would join others (the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, and Royals) on the sidelines for significant international talents. Alternatively, he could join another club either before or after the signing calendar flips. Badler notes that the White Sox have been discussed as a team with possible interest; if Robert is cleared in time, Chicago (or another hypothetical team with heavy interest) could elect to spend past its 2016-17 pool limits (thus taking on penalties) or make Robert the signature piece of their 2017-18 signing group.

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  27. #62
    Cross
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    I hope he makes it past the sharks.

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  28. #63
    JAKEPEAVY21
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Nino View Post
    An old show pony like that doesn't want a rebuild project in Atlanta. Team will be in the cellar for a while.
    I'd rather play for Atlanta...they have a lot of young talent at least.

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  29. #64
    koz-man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi_archie View Post
    Drone helicopter accident
    Another one.!!!...Major Sports are going to ban drones soon...

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  30. #65
    BigSpoon
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    Quote Originally Posted by koz-man View Post
    Another one.!!!...Major Sports are going to ban drones soon...
    Teams are going to write in no drones in contracts soon.

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  31. #66
    Cross
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    What a weird world we live in.

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  32. #67
    EmpireMaker
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    The Athletics have an agreement in place with free agent infielder Trevor Plouffe, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The deal, which is pending a physical, will be a one-year agreement, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). She adds that Plouffe is likely to see the bulk of the playing time at third base for the A’s next season, with Ryon Healy shifting to designated hitter and first base. Plouffe is represented by CAA Baseball.
    [Related: Updated Oakland Athletics Depth Chart]
    Prior to this new deal with the A’s, the 30-year-old Plouffe had spent his entire career in the Twins organization. A first-round pick by the Twins back in 2004, Plouffe took quite some time to blossom into an everyday Major Leaguer but cemented himself as the Twins’ everyday third baseman beginning in 2012. That season saw Plouffe belt 24 homers in 119 games, and while that mark still stands as a career-best, Plouffe has consistently shown solid pop from the right side of the plate over the life of his big league career.

    Plouffe hit .260/.303/.420 with 12 homers in an injury-ravaged 2016 season that included three trips to the disabled list for an intercostal strain, a fractured rib and an oblique strain. Those three maladies combined to limit Plouffe to just 84 games and 344 plate appearances — both his lowest marks since establishing himself as a regular with the Twins. Those injuries combined with Plouffe’s projected $8.2MM price tag in arbitration (courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz) and a stacked corner infield/DH scene prompted the new Minnesota front office to part ways with him following the season rather than tender him a contract in arbitration.
    In his first four seasons as a regular, he proved to be a roughly league-average bat, hitting .248/.312/.426 and averaging 23 homers per 162 games played. A right-handed hitter, Plouffe has been significantly more productive against lefties (career .268/.344/.465).
    However, despite possessing fairly notable platoon splits, it seems that Plouffe will be in line for near-everyday at-bats, as was the case during his tenure with the Twins. Plouffe never rated as an exceptional defender at the hot corner, but the converted shortstop went from dreadful Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating marks to above-average grades over the course of his time in Minnesota as he grew more accustomed to his new position. (His 2016 defensive metrics were poor, though certainly one can imagine his persistent injuries impacting his mobility on the field.)
    From 2014-15, Plouffe posted a +5 DRS and +8.4 UZR, so with better health there’s reason to believe he can return to form with the glove. That would be an improvement over the younger Healy, who was below average per DRS (-2) and UZR (-9.4). Though Healy may not see many reps at third base in 2017, it seems logical to expect that the A’s will want to keep his bat in the lineup as much as possible. The 25-year-old compiled a .305/.337/.524 slash with 13 homers through 72 games as a rookie, suggesting that he could be a 20-homer bat for the A’s even if his .352 BABIP is bound to regress to some extent.
    Plouffe also reportedly drew interest from the Red Sox, Braves and Royals, and he was speculatively linked to the Marlins as well. Instead, he’ll opt for a homecoming of sorts, returning to his home state (albeit a few hundred miles north of his Los Angeles area roots) and a presumably larger role as he takes aim at a healthier season in 2017.

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  33. #68
    Chi_archie
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    Quote Originally Posted by koz-man View Post
    Another one.!!!...Major Sports are going to ban drones soon...

    oops, I was being sarcastic and I should have had a question mark on there as well
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  34. #69
    JAKEPEAVY21
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    Plouffe could be a decent pickup for Oakland.

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  35. #70
    koz-man
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    MLB just released the official 2017 spring training schedule. We're exactly 6 weeks away from having a game to watch (Diamondbacks vs. Grand Canyon University). Feel warmer yet

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