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The White Sox Need To Sign 1 Of Fowler Or Desmond To Stay Competitive

The White Sox have had a decent offseason however every team that was near or beneath them in the standings have also upgrade their rosters going into 2016. With a need for an upgrade for the OF, and the chance to out forth an incredible homer centric Infield, I would love to see them go after Ian Desmond, and/or Dexter Fowler.

The White Sox have had a decent offseason however every team that was near or beneath them in the standings have also upgrade their rosters going into 2016. With a need for an upgrade for the OF, and the chance to put forth an incredible homer-centric Infield, I would love to see them go after Ian Desmond, and/or Dexter Fowler.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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I like the moves the White Sox have done in the offseason.  The only problem is what the Royals and Tigers also have done this winter will make it tough for Chicago to keep up.

The Pale Hose finished a disappointing 76 – 86 in 2015 and almost 20 games behind Division winner KC for the AL Central.

2014 winter moves of Adam LaRoche, Jeff Samardzija and Melky Cabrera just didn’t work out like they thought.

Despite the poor results off those player acquisitions Rich Hahn acquired Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie so far in the hot stove this year, and also inked catchers Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro as key moves.

I love this aggression – and even believe that LaRoche and Cabrera will have bounce back seasons for the White Sox this season.  Cabrera was pretty decent in the 2nd half, and LaRoche suffered the Adam Dunn NL to AL syndrome.

Having said this already, the Royals are sitting with a talented squad as reigning World Series Champs, and the Tigers added Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Upton, and bushel full of relievers and Cameron Maybin.

There is no doubt in my mind that Detroit will be much better than their cellar dweller 2015 campaign.

The White Sox have a decent pitching staff in its entirety. Maybe not as talented as the Cleveland Indians, but the Tribe doesn’t have the sticks as Chicago either.

KC has the best bullpen in the Division, and will rely heavily on it again with their grinder offense backing it up.

Minnesota has a ton of young offensive superstars in Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier and Byron Buxton, yet also lost team leader Torii Hunter.

Chicago is still spending at a decent clip – having a budget of near $123 MIL so far, but Detroit has crept up to near $200 MIL, and KC has paid for its title, by going near the $140 MIL team salary barrier. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015.  He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues.  Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit.  Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly's, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz.

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly’s, and was tied for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz.  New York brought him back for at least another year, where he helped the Mets go 34 – 23 down the stretch.  Expect more of the same in 2016.  Mets are the best bet of the week for the ‘Fall Classic’ value wise.

Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) 

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A couple of things have happened over the last week.  The Mets signed Yoenis Cespedes and no odd was changed after this.  Very strange indeed.

With adding the Cuban slugger, the Mets have almost assured their fanbase for another post season berth in 2016.  This club is more like it was in the last 2 months than it was in the 1st four months.

Even if the Nationals were to have an unbelievable year – the Mets should still make the postseason as the #1 Wild Card seed.

I have the Mets as a 96 win team after this move, with the Nats listed about 93 victories.  Had the Nats picked up Cespedes, I would have given Washington a 95 – 92 win advantage over New York. (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…)

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) 

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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…)

San Diego Padres State Of The Union For 2016

It was a disastrous plan from the beginning, and now the 2014 winter is causing the 2015 offseason to play out different. The NL West has also seen the Giants and Diamondbacks beef up their Rosters while San Diego has lost their top 3 Bullpen arms. This squad will have a tough time avoiding 100 Losses in the 2016 season in my view. The saving grace is they can trade every Veteran player they can and start building up the club for 3 - 4 more years down the road.

It was a disastrous plan from the beginning, and now the 2014 winter is causing the 2015 offseason to play out different. The NL West has also seen the Giants and Diamondbacks beef up their Rosters while San Diego has lost their top 3 Bullpen arms. This squad will have a tough time avoiding 100 Losses in the 2016 season in my view. The saving grace is they can trade every Veteran player they can and start building up the club for 3 – 4 more years down the road.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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It certainly is a different feel to the winter of the Padres in the 2015 offseason than it was the 2014 Season.  I never bought into the premise of how A.J. Preller built the team last year.

It was one of the easiest over/under wagers of the year.  It ended in the club losing more games than they did the previous year – despite running a higher payroll.

The franchise loses Justin Upton to Free Agency, and have traded or lost their top 3 Relievers in Craig Kimbrel, Joaquin Benoit and Shawn Kelley.

Preller has also made a few questionable moves in acquiring Jon Jay for one year – and giving up on Jedd Gyorko.  In my view, this is a weird move.

In an Infield that is already lacking power, this latest move furthers the need to bring in more hitters. (more…)

Chicago White Sox State Of The Union For 2016

The White Sox should be decisively better in 2016, however to lump them in with the Royals right now for the Division is just not practical yet. However the team could hit on all cylinders and then add players as the year goes on. Chicago only stands to lose four player to Free Agency after 2016 in John Danks, Adam LaRoche, Al Avila and Dioner Navarro. The latter 2 were brought in on one year deals to provide the Catching tandem in 2015.

The White Sox should be decisively better in 2016, however to lump them in with the Royals right now for the Division is just not practical yet. However the team could hit on all cylinders and then add players as the year goes on. Chicago only stands to lose four player to Free Agency after 2016 in John Danks, Adam LaRoche, Al Avila and Dioner Navarro. The latter 2 were brought in on one year deals to provide the Catching tandem in 2015.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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Chicago has finally thrown their hat into the ring for the AL Central Race.  They have pulled off a trade to acquire Todd Frazier in as 3 way deal with the Reds and Dodgers.

The end result is they get 2 years from the former Reds, while parting with Trayce Thompson, Frankie Montas and Micah Johnson away from the club. It is a quality versus quantity deal.

This comes on the heels of the club picking up Brett Lawrie for 3 years worth of service for a couple of Minor Leaguers.

Before these deals, the club really only hand secured a tandem of Catchers with Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro for the offense.  Now they have much more depth, and are asserting themselves with one of the better lineups in the AL Central.

If Adam LaRoche can bounce back with his usual 25 HRs and  80 RBI power, you could have 3 Infielders and the Designated Hitter all crack 20+ HRs in the 2016 campaign.

Jose Abreu also stands to benefit with bringing in a hitter like Todd Frazier.  You could see a lineup that goes Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera, Jose Abreu, Adam LaRoche, Frazier, Lawrie, Avisail Garcia, Avila or Navarro and Tyler Saladino.  This looks a lot lengthier than a few days ago.

By the moves they made, they could also trade LaRoche to another club if they were so inclined.  There is no reason to think the Avila and Navarro couldn’t see some DH action for their roles in the 2016 club. (more…)

WTF Pittsburgh? Are You Contenders Or Are You At The Kids Table?

This club has improved a great deal over the last 8 years, and they are in great His strategic moves over the next 12 months will determine if that means a playoff round win.

This Pirates club has made themselves relevant in the NL for the last 3 years with appearing in the Wild Card game – and pushing the Cards to the brink of elimination in 2014.  However this organization has looked petty in looking too much to the bottom line so far this offseason.  They have lost 4 players from the 98 win team of 2015 – and only have Jon Niese and Juan Nicasio as guys that help the MLB squad in 2016.  They still have 3 months to go, but thus far the winter has been a tire fire.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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What the hell are the Pirates doing this offseason?!!  I mean I have tonnes of respect for Neil Huntington – however the brass has made some highly questionable moves to save some money.

The Pittsburgh window to win is 2 – 3 more years, yet it almost looks likes the management is throwing a preemptive strike to blow the club up.

Okay, I may be overstating the facts a little here – as there is still well over 3 months before the club even hits Spring Training.

The club first non-tendered Pedro Alvarez – rather than head to the last year of Arbitration with him.  He would have made in the neighborhood of $10 MIL in 2016 – I get that, but losing a 25 – 30 HR out of your lineup will be tough to adjust for. (more…)

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