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These 6 MLB Free Agents Will be Intriguing to Follow This Winter

Compared to previous years, the 2016-17 MLB free-agent market leaves a lot to be desired, but that doesn’t mean there still aren’t intriguing players to follow as they search for new homes.

Like everyone else, I knew this winter’s class of available players wasn’t great, but the reminder was an unpleasant one while looking at the list again this week. Seriously, just take a look at who is expected to hit the market at shortstop and third base this year and tell me that doesn’t make you shake your head.

With that in mind, it means the few MLB free agents who would’ve been rather intriguing during a normal winter get super intriguing this winter. The following six players have unique situations that will shape their trip into the market over the coming months, and here’s why it’s worth following them on their journey.

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These 6 MLB Hitters are Enjoying Huge Years at the Best Possible Time

Between the regular season and the playoffs, there’s still about two months of baseball left to enjoy, but winter is approaching faster than we realize. It stinks to think about life without baseball (even for a relatively short period of time), but that also means the Hot Stove is coming to keep us occupied.

As we’ve been talking about for quite a while, this winter’s free agent class is less inspiring than others in recent memory. That doesn’t mean there still won’t be a bunch of players signing life-changing contracts along the way, though. Some impending free agents have hurt their stock this year, but the following six hitters have elevated theirs as much as possible over the past five months, especially with less competition than normal from others who will soon need a new home for 2017.

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings – 6/24/16

P – Max Scherzer (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $13,900. In 61 career at bats against Scherzer, the Brewers’ offense is batting .115, with 28 strikeouts, and a .169 OBP. In his last start against Milwaukee, Scherzer held together a perfect game through seven innings. Unfortunately he lost the perfect game in the seventh, but he only gave up one hit with 16 strikeouts in the complete game. In his last three starts, he owns a 2-0 record, 0.90 ERA, and 27 strikeouts.

P – Cody Reed (vs. San Diego Padres): $7,200. In his MLB debut, Reed showed lots of promise. He threw seven innings against the Houston Astros, giving up four runs, and striking out nine. His ability to strike batters out should make him a very good play on Friday. San Diego is ranked 27th in strikeouts, which is great for Reed.

To view the rest of the picks, click the link below:

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MLB Fantasy Daily (DFS) Picks For DraftKings – 5/17/16

 

Cabrera has absolutely destroyed Starter Phil Hughes in his career, - with 6 Bolts in just 43 AB. He and the Tigers take their road act to Target Field again tonight. Last evening they scored 10 runs for the 1st time all season. i would not be surprised to see them turn the feat again tonight. The Tigers are also not overpriced yet as they have struggled most of the year. They are the top stacking option lineup all night.

Cabrera has absolutely destroyed Starter Phil Hughes in his career, – with 6 Bolts in just 43 AB. He and the Tigers take their road act to Target Field again tonight. Last evening they scored 10 runs for the 1st time all season. i would not be surprised to see them turn the feat again tonight. The Tigers are also not overpriced yet as they have struggled most of the year. They are the top stacking option lineup all night.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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15 Games – ALL Day Slate (DraftKings, Tuesday May 17, 2016)

Stacking Options tonight Rank

(1) Baltimore vs Wade Miley

(2) Detroit Tigers vs Phil Hughes

(3) Houston vs Carlos Rodon

(5) LA Dodgers vs Jered Weaver

(5) Chicago Cubs vs Chase Anderson

3 Pitchers to use.

(1) Clayton Kershaw, LAA @ LAD, $13, 700

(2) Wei-Yin Chen. MIA @ PHI, $8500

(3) Juan Nicasio, ATL @ PIT, $7300 Read the rest of this entry

Is Justin Turner Playing Hurt?

With the first month of the season nearly behind us, I think we need consider that something might be wrong with Dodger third baseman, Justin Turner. In the early-going, we could go with “he’s just slumping” out of the gates; but now, 22 games in, you begin to realize you can’t keep making excuses for him. Something is not right with J.T.

To date, Turner’s slash line is way down (Now: .250/.333/.338 vs Last Season: 294/.370/.491). In 68 ABs he has not yet hit a home run, and he only has 5 RBIs. He’s also already made 2 errors at third base in only 20 games; last year, he made 9 total miscues there in 100 games.

So what’s up with J.T.? The Dodgers aren’t publicly saying anything about Turner’s health, but you can see he doesn’t look like himself at the plate or on the field…

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The Dodgers Make The Right Move To Re-Sign Kendrick

The Dodgers may have overpaid to hold on to Brett Anderson with the Qualifying Offer, however lucked out with Howie Kendrick rejected the QO in November, only to sign for just $4.2 MIL for a 2nd year. The club was able to ink the 31 year old to a 2 YR/$20 MIL - where the Qualifying Offer would have paid him $15.8 MIL for just 2016. That is luck for the Los Angeles franchise.

The Dodgers may have overpaid to hold on to Brett Anderson with the Qualifying Offer, however lucked out with Howie Kendrick rejected the QO in November, only to sign for just $4.2 MIL for a 2nd year. The club was able to ink the 31-year-old to a 2 YR/$20 MIL – where the Qualifying Offer would have paid him $15.8 MIL for just 2016. That is luck for the Los Angeles franchise.

Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) 

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The Dodgers are running pretty good today with the status quo on the offensive side of the ball anyway.

Since it was agreed on that Howie Kendrick would sign a 2 year deal for $20 MIL – this is an economic win.

1st off, the Dodgers avoided the $15.8 MIL Qualifying Offer they extended their 2015 2B, then only had to pad $4.2 MIL to the total for a 2nd season.

This is a loss financially for Kendrick, who must have thought a multi-year offer of 3 – 4 campaigns must have been out there for the same kind of money that Daniel Murphy signed for (3 years at $12 MIL per AAV).

Howie Kendrick was unfortunately in the same market as Daniel Murphy and also lost another club that could have bid for his services, when the New York Mets traded for Neil Walker. Kendrick is a .293 Career Hitter, but doesn't really have great power for Extra Base Hits. This brought down his value a little. He is till a great professional hitter. I am surprised the Angels didn't come calling for his services - considering the lower AAV.

Howie Kendrick was unfortunately in the same market as Daniel Murphy and also lost another club that could have bid for his services, when the New York Mets traded for Neil Walker. Kendrick is a .293 Career Hitter, but doesn’t really have great power for Extra Base Hits. This brought down his value a little. He is till a great professional hitter. I am surprised the Angels didn’t come calling for his services – considering the lower AAV.

Not only did the Dodgers brass finally reel in their Starting Second Baseman, they were able to add Chase Utley as a backup/quality bench hitter for $7 MIL.  If you combined Kendrick and Utley salaries, it is just $1.2 MIL over what would have happened had Kendrick accepted the QO.

Love Kendrick as a professional hitter.  The man is a .293/.333/.423 career hitter – and his 2015 season closely resembled this at .295/.336/.409 in 2015 for the Dodger Blue.

It shows that the Dodgers management/ownership is also willing to fork out the necessary dollars to keep up their NL West Division prowess.

As the 3 time defending Division Champs,  they are in prime position to challenge the Giants for a 4th year in a row in 2016.

This contract vaults the Dodgers up to around $245 MIL in total team salary in 2016, yet it was a necessary move.

Los Angeles is also staring at a 50% penalty for going over the Luxury Tax Threshold for a 4th straight year.  They will pay around $28 MIL with cash situated as it is now.

For the fans that wanted the organization to dole up for the bigger Free Agents, it is hard to fathom paying that 50% penalty for years upon years at the present rate.

This approach has had the super management team of Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, Josh Byrnes and newly appointed Alex Anthopoulos under heavy scrutiny, but may work out better in the long run.

Had the club inked Zack Greinke to his $34.42 MIL AAV, that would have put them so far in committed $ over the Luxury Tax, that they would never be able to get under for a reset.

With the 2016 season concluding without a CBA after, it is also wise not to be so far over the Luxury Tax mark when they don’t know what the new deal between the MLBPA and the owners will look like.

2017 has them over $203 MIL in contracts guaranteed to 12 guys already, but 8 players will become Free Agents after the 2016 season, and after 2017’s end comes the best news for Dodger fans.  Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford will finally be off the books!

The Dodgers have a ton of young talent coming into the fold here.  Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda are under team control for a long period of time here.  You still have Julio Urias just coming up to the Major Leagues for service time as well.

The Infield is definitely going to be clogged up with Utley, Enrique Hernandez and Alex Guerrero on the depth chart.  Guerrero is out of options and will need to be kept on the Major League Roster (or be released, waived or DFA’d).

Of course Justin Turner is listed as the Starter at 3B for now.  Micah Johnson and Utley may join Hernandez as guys that could spell him at the hot corner.

Guerrero could also play the OF, but I am sure that Dave Roberts would love to use Scott Van Slyke as 1st on the taxi squad.

Los Angeles has also strengthened its bench with this move.  The one thing they could still use it Relief help.  That may be obtained by signing more Free Agents, or perhaps this may clear the deck for another trade to happen.

The Dodgers were 10th in the NL during 2015 – with a .250 Batting Average, and losing a .293 hitter last year would have been tough for this years lineup.

With Corey Seager for a full year, and a return to prominence for Yasiel Puig, this squad could really put up some runs and improve all facets of the offense.

While the club wasn’t so great at Batting Average, they were 3rd in the Senior Circuit in Slugging Percentage at .413.

One has to also think that Chase Utley will be a lot better in reserve role – compared to his .202/.291/.363 3 Slash Line with the team last year.  I would say he could be 80% like his worst year (prior to 2015), where he hit .259/.344/.425 in 2012.

For the record, baseballreference.com has Utley hitting .247/.315/.398 in 2016.  I am sure the club would take that.

Whether the implementation of a lot of players on the roster – as opposed to having a limited bench and depth if they would have signed Greinke projects well to the upcoming season is yet to be determined. 4

No doubt they are not as strong in the Rotation at the top. But perhaps the addition of Scott Kazmir, the return of Hyun-jin Ryu, Alex Wood for a full year, and a surprise comeback from Brandon McCarthy could pick up the slack.

Signing Kendrick was the right move all day long.  This is one less position with the team having questions for.

The fans are seeing a different management philosophy with the new brass under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman They are taking a big long term picture look. Even though they wasted $90 MIL in dead money last year with questionable decisions, they are trying to clear the deck for many years by dropping the heavy amount of committed dollars. With a new CBA forthcoming, who knows what the new Luxury Tax Threshold will be. At least by keeping the new contracts to smaller years and figures, Los Angeles may be able to drop underneath the limit in 2018 - 2020.

The fans are seeing a different management philosophy with the new brass under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman. They are taking a big long term picture look. Even though they wasted $90 MIL in dead money last year with questionable decisions, they are trying to clear the deck for many years  in the future, by dropping the heavy amount of committed dollars. With a new CBA forthcoming, who knows what the new Luxury Tax Threshold will be. At least by keeping the new contracts to smaller years and figures, Los Angeles may be able to drop underneath the limit in 2018 – 2020.  Right near they are at a 50% penalty for every season they are over the Luxury Tax ($189 MIL) until they get under.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of bbba.work and their other members***

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A big thanks goes out to our featured writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

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Los Angeles Dodgers State Of The Union For 2016

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D'Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming - or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentelmen

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D’Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming – or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentlemen.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Dodgers are having the same kind of offseason the Baltimore Orioles had in 2014 – going into 2015.

If everyone remembers that year, they rejected a couple year contract with Grant Balfour, when he failed a physical, and they did the same thing with Grady Sizemore.

That club also traded back to back 50 Saves guy Jim Johnson.  By the way, the 2014 O’s won the AL East with a 97 – 65 record.

Key cogs in the wheel were new Closer Zach Britton, and Super Utility man Steve Pearce.  A lot of parallels can be made between that squad and the Dodgers.

Late last week, the Dodgers pulled out of a three year deal wish Hisashi Iwakuma because they had concerns with a physical.

For the whole winter they have watched the Giants sign Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, while the Diamondbacks stole Zack Greinke way from them, while trading a kings ransom for Shelby Miller. (more…)

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