Blog Archives

Signing Ian Desmond Is Just as Risky This Year as it Was Last Year

Chances are Ian Desmond regrets a decision or two on the business side of his MLB career. He could be in the midst of a seven-year, $107 million extension with the Washington Nationals, but instead bet on himself and paid for it dearly.

Desmond hit the open market last winter for the first time following a lackluster 2015 campaign, and finding a new home wasn’t easy. Having draft-pick compensation attached to him didn’t help, either.

It got to a point where Desmond, an All-Star shortstop in 2012, settled on a one-year, $8 million at the end of February with the Texas Rangers to play the outfield. You don’t see many shortstops having to do that in advance of their age-30 season to facilitate finding a job.

Unlike the first time, Desmond’s second bet on himself to rebuild value and re-enter free agency the next winter appears to have worked. He turned into the Rangers’ everyday center fielder, hitting .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 21 stolen bases, 86 RBI and 107 runs scored in another All-Star campaign.

A Different Story This Time Around?

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

These 6 MLB Players Have Been Incredible Free Agent Bargains so Far in 2016

During this past winter, the MLB free agent market seemed to move a lot slower than in recent memory. While there were plenty of legitimate players available after the holidays and with Spring Training fast approaching, a number of them still managed to bring in huge paydays.

Zack Greinke and David Price both broke records for starting pitchers with their respective $200 million deals, and there were five others who landed a payday of $100-plus million (Jordan Zimmermann, Johnny Cueto, Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Chris Davis). Those huge contracts are great, but they also come with high expectations. Some have dealt with them just fine in 2016, and some are off to a slow start.

There’s plenty of baseball to be played, but with about a quarter of the regular season schedule complete, the following six players have been incredible free agent bargains thus far — especially considering the ever-growing cost of acquiring top talent on the open market.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Odds To Win The American League Rookie Of The Year

The American League has some young talent, however about only half of the guys on this list will even break camp with their parent big clubs,and others will be blocked for various reasons -including against each other on their own squads. There is really only one good bet and one bad for entire 15 guy list.

The American League has some young talent, however about only half of the guys on this list will even break camp with their parent big clubs,and others will be blocked for various reasons -including against each other on their own squads. There is really only one good bet and one bad for entire 15 guy list.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

1st off the Twins have the top 3 players listed for the category in Buxton, Ho-Park and Berrios.

All Minnesota youngsters could make the squad, although Buxton is posting just a .567 OPS  in Spring Training –  after only putting up a .576 OPS in his 129 AB for 2015. He will be given the starting job to either make it or not, after the trade of Aaron Hicks.  Don’t like the favorite status for most of these categories, this will ring true one more time.

Ho-Park has looked solid at the dish so far with a 3 Slash of .283/.306/.543 – with 3 HRs and 13 RBI in his 46 AB, and at 29 years of age – coming over from the KBO, he has years of experience next to his classmates.

Jose Abreu and Ichiro Suzuki both came over as later in life rookies to the Junior Circuit and took the honors  Ho-Park was a beast in Korea – blasting over 50+ HRs in each of the last 2 years there for his club team Nexen.

While you have to temper expectations coming overseas to North America from there, what I love is that the guy improved his numbers in each of the last 5 years.  This bodes well for him in Minny.

With a 4 year deal in his back pocket, Park will and should remain on the big roster based on his early success.

I am not sure he will win the Award, and I am not placing any cabbage on him too, but at least he won’t be subjected to service time restrictions like other rookies. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The MLB Divisions In 2016: Best Value Bets

Should win between 82 - 85 games in my view - and is one the best odds on the board for this wagering.

Should win between 82 – 85 games in my view – and is the best odds on the board for this wagering in any category this week.  Picking them to win the AL East for a +1200 is full value.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

ODDS courtesy of bet365.com

Bad Value – Red Block

Good Value – Blue Block

AL East

As stated in an article this week, I am loving the value of the O’s across the board.  Picking them to win the Division at +1200 should be ranked 1st, to win the American League Pennant at +2800 is 2nd – and to win the World Series at +5000 is third.

Since Baltimore would have a tough NL matchup for the Fall Classic, the best cash should be thrown on the AL East win, then to win the Pennant.

Boston and Toronto are both listed at 87.5 regular season win odds – whereas the Jays are favored to win over that amount just slightly ahead of the Sox.  Here they are evenly slated.

David Price is a regular season beast, and Craig Kimbrel solidifies the Bullpen, but I just can’t put money behind them winning this Division.

It was a good job by BET365 handicapping this Division

Boston Red Sox +175 (6)

Toronto Blue Jays +175

NY Yankees +350

TB Rays +800

Baltimore Orioles +1200 (1)
Read the rest of this entry

Nationals Are Banking On A Trio Of Players To Have Comeback Seasons In 2016

The Nationals have made the playoffs in 2 of the last 4 years with 2012 and 2014 being sandwiched between poor 2013 and 2015 campaigns of failed expectations. With 2 .300 hitters fleeing the club this past winter, coupled with the loss of Ian Desmond to Free Agency, this club needs Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon healthy and on the field in 2016. If they struggle in production or health, the efforts of reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper will not matter.

The Nationals have made the playoffs in 2 of the last 4 years with 2012 and 2014 being sandwiched between poor 2013 and 2015 campaigns of failed expectations. With 2 .300 hitters fleeing the club this past winter, coupled with the loss of Ian Desmond to Free Agency, this club needs Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon healthy and on the field in 2016. If they struggle in production or health, the efforts of reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper will not matter.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

Bryce Harper fashioned one of the greatest years we have ever seen by a 22 year old, and the Washington Nationals still only finished with a 83 – 79 record – and plenty of victories behind the NL Playoff Bar.

Harper took home the MVP efforts, and has to be wondering if his supporting cast has his back for the 2016 campaign – if he can make it safely to base at least 300 times again like he did in 2015.

Perhaps the biggest factor Washington struggled down the stretch was injury.  Ryan Zimmerman couldn’t stay on the field – despite racking up a productive 74 RBI on 346 PA.

Denard Span missed 101 games, which is definitely too bad considering the squad was 36 – 25 in games he was featured in.

Jayson Werth never got on track after injuries plagued him early and often – and had his worst year in a decade – after finishing with top 18 votes for MVP in the previous two seasons.

2014 stalwart Anthony Rendon only mustered a half a season of injury riddled play at a .707 OPS after putting forth a Silver Slugger campaign – with a top 5 MVP vote the previous year.

Ian Desmond also had added a horrible 1st half of the year, before he corrected his problems at the plate, and stopped booting the ball around in the second half. Read the rest of this entry

2016 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

Featured Image -- 1364

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

With just 5 weeks to the regular season – and all of the important Free Agents finally being locked up with Ian Desmond signing with the Rangers, it is time to see where all 30 MLB clubs stack up.

We are going to be running weekly power rankings once the year starts on Apr.3, 2016.

The way I compile the Power Rankings is best on confidence to win the World Series.  Some clubs may be more talented (or playing better) than a squad they are behind in the rankings,  but the Division (and strength of opponents) plays a massive factor.

It is the reason why teams like the Royals or Astros will be selected above a team like the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Pittsburgh Pirates might win 90 games (which may only see one AL club join them), but because they have to contend with the Cards and Cubs in the NL Central, it will be tough for them to receive a great ranking (at least until games are played). Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB Divisions

best Division odd value on the board this week.

Best Division odd value on the board this week.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

As the season approaches we are seeing more and more gambling entities finally display and update their Division odds on a daily basis.

Over the course of the year we will be doing a weekly post on both the World Series and the MLB Divisions for best value.

I have selected one good value pick and one bad value pick for each Division.  Next to a good pick, or a bad one, there will be an assigned parenthesis number for the degree I love the wager compared to the other Division picks.

The Chicago Cubs are the biggest favorite to win their own Division which is not surprising.  In the American League, the KC Royals have the lowest odd.

I like how this establishment has the Royals as their favorite lock to make the postseason, yet still have the Red Sox and Blue Jays favored over them for the World Series odds.

This goes the same for the Giants in the National League.  San Francisco is +900 to win the ‘Fall Classic’, yet the Mets and Nationals are more of a favorite to win the NL East, then they are the NL West. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

The Cardinals continued their great play in the MLB since the turn of the millennium - with an MLB best 100 wins in 2015. The organization has transitioned to the next core of a young nucleus, while still holding on to a couple of capable veterans. Considering they have plenty of depth, and lots of payroll flexibility coming forth, the franchise could orchestrate a blockbuster trade soon. While I would favor Chicago over them slightly for the NL Central, the RedBirds, Mets, Dodgers Tigers and Mariners have the best value, while the Angels, Giants, Padres, Red Sox and D'Backs have the worst on the board this week.

The Cardinals continued their great play in the MLB since the turn of the millennium – with an MLB best 100 wins in 2015. The organization has transitioned to the next core of a young nucleus, while still holding on to a couple of capable veterans. Considering they have plenty of depth, and lots of payroll flexibility coming forth, the franchise could orchestrate a blockbuster trade soon. While I would favor Chicago over them slightly for the NL Central, the RedBirds, Mets, Dodgers Tigers and Mariners have the best value, while the Angels, Giants, Padres, Red Sox and D’Backs have the worst on the board this week.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

I was all set to pounce on my 1st American League bet for the Fall Classic in 2016 earlier this week – when the O’s were at +5000, and presumably bringing both Dexter Fowler and Yovani Gallardo into the stable. 

With Fowler opting back to Chicago, the odd also dropped to +4500 in the meantime (also following the Gallardo wait time for the physical fiasco), and the value is no longer there. 

Baltimore is a low 80 wins team in my view, and will not have enough for the postseason.  Fowler would have added a few W’s for sure.

Of course with the chaos that has ensued,  the Cubs have gone from +700 to +650 prohibitive best odd.  There is no doubt in my mind they should be the consensus favorite. 

One of these years the #1 seed will capitalize and win.  I am still not plunking down cabbage at that clip though.

If I were to do my year end picks right now, I would still have Chicago ending their World Series 108 seasons drought – but I can’t place them as twice the favorite as the St. Louis Cardinals.

Still not sold on the Cubs Bullpen either, and I think Jon Lester can be had in the postseason.  The Mets also line up favorably versus Chicago based on pitching matchups.  New York has the better odds to wager with.

I am currently writing a faceoff piece between the Cubbies and Cards that I will post over the weekend.  The difference is not a whopping 8 or 10 games like FanGraphs and PECOTA say.  St. Louis should still be in the mid 90’s for victories by years end. Read the rest of this entry

Orioles Setting A Dangerous Precedent With Physicals (Circa Gallardo): Fowler Leaves To The Cubs

Dexter Fowler re-signed with the Cubs for a minimum 1 year deal of $15 MIL in 2016 (with a mutual option for 2017) if he or Chicago don't want to opt out after the upcoming season.) Fowler had been said to have a 3 YR/$33 MIL in place with the Orioles before this happened. Maybe Fowler didn't act 100% in good faith with Baltimore - however the O's don't exactly have a great track record with treating players in regards to physicals anyway.

Dexter Fowler re-signed with the Cubs for a minimum 1 year deal of $15 MIL in 2016 (with a mutual option for 2017) if he or Chicago don’t want to opt out after the upcoming season. Fowler had been said to have a 3 YR/$33 MIL in place with the Orioles before this happened. Maybe Fowler didn’t act 100% in good faith with Baltimore – however the O’s don’t exactly have a great track record with treating players in regards to physicals anyway.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

Wow, didn’t see that coming did you Orioles brass?  Dexter Fowler leaves his deal with you guys and re-signs with his old team in Chicago.

I have to wonder if the way things went down with Yovani Gallardo didn’t weigh on Dexter Fowler’s mind.  The track record for Free Agent’s having deals going south is about a 50/50 proposition with the O’s.

In one way I am disappointed that Baltimore didn’t land Fowler, because I think that deal would have definitely narrowed the gap in the AL East. Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Cry For Players That Were Given The Qualifying Offer: And Are Not Being Signed

The Players of the MLBPA will have their chance to collectively bargain the rule of Qualifying Offer after the current CBA ends at the end of this year. Despite hearing a ton of groaning on radio airwaves from MLB hosts, the problem is just not as direr as they project. I may say they are trying to shock their audience for 24/7/365 programming. I argue the point that the 'QO' is not that bad.

The Players of the MLBPA will have their chance to collectively bargain the rule of Qualifying Offer after the current CBA ends at the end of this year. Despite hearing a ton of groaning on radio airwaves from MLB hosts, the problem is just not as dire as they project. I may say they are trying to shock their audience for 24/7/365 programming. I argue the point that the ‘QO’ is not that bad.  The Draft Picks assigned for the players should not dissuade teams from singing them, as the percentage of picks 11 – 30 of the 1st Round do not have a huge conversion rate in the Majors that would trump these players current production anyway.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

I will spare a ton of rhetoric and cut right to the chase.  3 out of the 20 players are still without a deal that were linked to the Qualifying Offer of $15.8 MIL in November.  This not egregious in any way in my view.

Dexter Fowler, Yovani Gallardo and Ian Desmond all could have taken the deal, played one more year and then hit the open market again.  Heck, they still can, but probably are not going to get in the vicinity of that cash for a one year deal with a Draft Pick nailed to it.

If anyone is to blame it is their agents.  This is simply the price of doing business.

Desmond for sure has no one to blame when the Nats hit him with a 7 year deal worth $107 MIL prior to 2014. Don’t you think he would love a Mulligan on that one? Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: