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New York Yankees Need To Go Full Bore To Start 2016: Seek Reinforcements Midway Through If Need Be

The Yankees were almost flawless in their 1st 33 games to start the 2015 campaign. Quick starts by Teixeira and A-Rod fueled the offense, while Miller and Betances did not yield a run in this stretch either. Pineda was 5 - 0, Tanaka was healthy, and their duo of Ellsbury and Gardner were hitting north of .300

The Yankees were almost flawless in their 1st 33 games to start the 2015 campaign. Quick starts by Teixeira and A-Rod fueled the offense, while Miller and Betances did not yield a run in this stretch either. Pineda was 5 – 0, Tanaka was healthy, and their duo of Ellsbury and Gardner were hitting north of .300.  The club was able to coast for the last 129 games of the year when injuries and age caught up to them.  Considering they spent no real money in the winter, they should go for bore early in the season, and then bring in a boatload of people late via trade  to compensate for injuries that will probably occur to their roster.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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On May.11, 2015 – the New York Yankees had just finished an 11 – 5 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Rays – and this led to a record of 21 – 12 to start their first 33 games.  It would be important on so many levels in completing the campaign.

You see – in the next 129 games the club would go just 66 – 63 to secure the 1st Wild Card Berth.

Mark Teixeira had clubbed 11 HRs over the wall with 27 RBI.  Alex Rodriguez had 8 big fly’s with many of them giving the Bronx Bombers a shot in the arm for victory.

Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances both had not yielded a run to that point. Michael Pineda was a brilliant 5 – 0, and that was about the time that Masahiro Tanaka began having health issues.

You throw in Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner both hitting well over .300 – and it was easy to see how the Pinstripers had taken off to a great start. Read the rest of this entry

The Angels Are Going Cheap In 2016 When They Need To Buck Up One More Time: Sign Fowler!

Billy Eppler and Arte Moreno really need to evaluate how much the 2016 Angels are going to need offense. Easily the worst bench in 2015, coupled with the loss of David Freese so far, the club has not addressed the weaknesses they have at LF and 2B. With Pujols hurt to start the year, this club may be out of it before he returns. At $164 MIL projected they are $25 MIL underneath the limit for payrolls before paying a penalty. Many players are coming off the books after 2016 as well. Spend the dough needed to compete, or risk missing the playoffs - and burning another year of Mike Trout.

Billy Eppler and Arte Moreno really need to evaluate how much the 2016 Angels are going to need offense. Easily the worst bench in 2015, coupled with the loss of David Freese so far, the club has not addressed the weaknesses they have at LF and 2B. With Pujols hurt to start the year, this club may be out of it before he returns. At $164 MIL projected they are $25 MIL underneath the limit for payrolls before paying a penalty. Many players are coming off the books after 2016 as well. Spend the dough needed to compete, or risk missing the playoffs – and burning another year of Mike Trout.

Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) 

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I won’t be the first one to be on this wave of people who think that the Angels are rotting away the career of Mike Trout in a Halo’s uniform.

The best overall player in the American League (and at least for right now) plus the Major Leagues must be furious with the lack of offensive help arriving in Anaheim this off season.

New Angels GM Billy Eppler is following the directive of Arte Moreno not to spend over the Luxury Tax Threshold.  Now it is catching up with them on the field.

Throw in a disastrous move of bringing in Josh Hamilton a few years back – a debacle that will see the club fork out $53.4 MIL over the next 2 year to see him play in Texas. (more…)

MLB Power Rankings New Year Of 2016

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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(1) Chicago Cubs: Big additions of Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey.  Tonnes of young superstars only ging to get better.

(2) NY Mets:  Starting Pitching best in the Majors.  Offensive depth better in offseason.  Need David Wright to stay healthy.  NL East easiest bottom 3 teams in the bigs.

(3) Kansas City Royals:  Easiest Division in the Majors.  Back to Back AL Pennants and defending World Series Champs.  Look for some more mid year deals. (more…)

Arizona Diamondbacks State Of The Union For 2016

The first big surprise of the winter came when the Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke. The organization followed that up with trading a heavy price tag to acquire Shelby Miller to back him up. Dave Stewart has taken a lot of crap for a lopsided deal. I think that is very speculative to talk like that. Besides Free Agent Pitchers are expensive, and a way for small market clubs to negate that is to trade for a controllable player. Tony La Russa also knows that his club is setup for a winning window of approximately 3 - 4 years.

The first big surprise of the winter came when the Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke. The organization followed that up with trading a heavy price tag to acquire Shelby Miller to back him up. Dave Stewart has taken a lot of crap for a lopsided deal. I think that is very speculative to talk like that. Besides Free Agent Pitchers are expensive, and a way for small market clubs to negate that is to trade for a controllable player. La Russa also knows that his club is set up for a winning window of approximately 3 – 4 years.  Keep the aggression when it comes to upgrading this team.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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You simply couldn’t have asked for a better start to a winter in 2015 for Arizona.  They are legitimate contenders in the NL West, and still should have the wherewithal to spend another $20 – $25 MIL on salaries for 2016.

I love the aggression set forth by the management.  I hope they keep the pedal to the metal on this one.  A nucleus of a team lasts 3 – 4 years for a mid market club, and by the acquisitions the team has done here completely reflects that.

We have discussed how the Houston Astros developed their young club for a few years now.  It is clearly the best way to rebuild a team.

Another reason why the team has had the financial flexibility to create these maneuvers is that they have Paul Goldschmidt on perhaps the best valued contract in the game of baseball right now.

The other Infielders in the mix for the Diamondbacks need to step up the production for he Arizona squad in 2016.  Whether it is Chris Owings at 2B or Nick Ahmed at SS, these positions were not league average for the slots, as was third base either.

Arizona was carried offensively by Goldschmidt and a great productive OF in A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Ender Inciarte.

The club dealt Inciarte in the Shelby Miller deal, but could pick up the slack with giving his OF position to Yasmany Tomas full time in 2016.

Welington Castillo was one of the most prolific Catchers in the Majors least year, featuring a 3 slash of .255/.317/.496 with the Diamondbacks, clubbing 17 HRs and knocking in 50 RBI during his 254 AB this past season

In a roundabout way, he bettered what the club had previously in Miguel Montero, who incidentally was the reason why Castillo was flipped to Seattle initially.

That trade made up for the previous fiasco that was the trade for Mark Trumbo the previous season. (more…)

Atlanta Braves State Of The Union For 2016

Before the recent deal for Shelby Miller the Braves had been questioned on whether the rebuild they are currently going through was going to work. Now all of a sudden, the club going through trading of all veterans - starting with Jason Heyward a year ago, looks so much better. The next year or 2 is still going to be painstakingly to endure, but the organization now has a promising future

Before the recent deal for Shelby Miller the Braves had been questioned on whether the rebuild they are currently going through was going to work. Now all of a sudden, the club going through trading of all veterans – starting with Jason Heyward a year ago, looks so much better. The next year or 2 is still going to be painstakingly to endure, but the organization now has a promising future.  Atlanta will enter a new park in Sun Trust Park, located in Cobb County, GA for 2017 after playing one more year at Turner Field in 2016.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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John Hart knows how to build teams in the Majors.  He was at the forefront of the Cleveland Indians in the 1990’s when they signed a bunch of young nucleus players to multi year extensions.  It was a trend that worked out for nearly a decade.

A pile of organizations copied this template.  I must admit I thought he may have been a bit past his prime when the Braves finally hired him on last year,  but he seems to carrying out the mission with Atlanta as well.

Of course taking over for Frank Wren – there was not much to go but up.  Dan Uggla, Derek Lowe and B.J. Upton ultimately cost the former GM his job, but it should be noted he did orchestrate 3 decent trades in acquiring  Justin Upton, Michael Bourn and Javier Vasquez much earlier.

The Braves did the right thing in dismantling the 2013 to 2014 squad.  It would have cost too much money to re-sign Brian McCann and Jason Heyward – and Justin Upton may soon reel in a 9 figure sum.

Atlanta also traded away Craig Kimbrel and Andrelton of late.  The haul for Kimbrel was nice, while Simmons was set to make $53 MIL over 5 years. Not huge cash, but for a guy more noted for defense, and with a team rebuilding, losing the dollars owed was a more significant move.

I also can’t emphasize enough how awesome it was to rid themselves of the Melvin Upton JR. contract. (more…)

Players With Potentially Expiring Contracts In 2016: Trade Bait, CBA + Payroll Implications

In the last year of the current CBA, there is potentially only one more year to take advantage of a feeble penalty as a first time abuser in 2016. With Boston set to join the Dodgers and Yankees as abusers, I took a look at other teams who should consider the 2016 campaign as a rare gamble to dole out some cash in seeking a World Series trophy before the new CBA is authored in prior to the 2017 season.

In the last year of the current CBA, there is potentially only one more year to take advantage of a feeble penalty as a first time abuser in 2016. With Boston set to join the Dodgers and Yankees as abusers, I took a look at other teams who should consider the 2016 campaign as a rare gamble to dole out some cash in seeking a World Series trophy before the new CBA is authored in prior to the 2017 season.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

The Boston Red Sox might just be on to something.  They will be penalized for the 1st year of going over the new $189 MIL limit in 2016, but it is also the last year the CBA may have the percentages.

Currently right now, there is a 17.5% penalty for spending dollars over $189 MIL.  The Dodgers and Yankees are the only other teams that are budgeted over the mark in addition to Boston.

On the cusp are the Detroit Tigers, sitting at around $177 MIL – while the Giants and Angels are nearly at $170 MIL.  The Cubs are also near the $165 MIL area.

Why not spend like crazy in 2016 – and take advantage of the system as it is presented towards you? (more…)

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