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Axlin16
 Rep: 768 

Re: The MLB Thread

Axlin16 wrote:

Matheny is good buddies with Pujols. The Cards might've just guaranteed Pujols being a Card for life. However money still remains a BIG issue. Pujols has been giving them a discount for YEARS (I think he only made $15 million this past season; ARod makes DOUBLE that). Rumor had it that the Cards offered Pujols $24.5 million a season at the beginning of the season, and Pujols turned it down. This was before he won another ring though, and his buddy was now managing the team.

Pujols could probably get more money than ARod on the open market, probably like $32.5mil a season. Would he take that kind of pay cut, with the LAST CHANCE he has to make a 'big contract', to stay with his buddy and be immortalized in St. Louis? Is it worth losing $80-$100 million over the span of a decade?

I don't think he needs his buddy THAT bad imo. So there's a good chance Pujols will be wearing blue or orange next season. Rumor has it also tho, that the Marlins didn't make a really serious offer to Pujols though. Just showed they were willing to negotiate and did want him in Miami.

Axlin16
 Rep: 768 

Re: The MLB Thread

Axlin16 wrote:

Arizona to re-sign 2B Aaron Hill to 2-year contract
by Bob Baum / AP Sports

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PHOENIX (AP)—Second baseman Aaron Hill has reached an agreement to re-sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to two people familiar with the deal.

The two people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal—$11 million over two seasons—had not been announced. Arizona acquired Hill and utility infielder John McDonald from Toronto for second baseman Kelly Johnson late last season.

After hitting just .225 with six home runs in Toronto, Hill batted .315 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 124 at-bats over the final 33 games to help the surprising Diamondbacks with the NL West title. McDonald already has re-signed with Arizona.

The Diamondbacks declined an $8 million option on Hill for 2012, but he expressed interest in reaching a new agreement with the club. He would get $5.5 million in each of the next two seasons.

The deal, which is pending completion of Hill’s physical, would solidify the infield. Had the team not re-signed Hill, there was a good chance Ryan Roberts would have been shifted to second base and the team would have been in the market for a third baseman.

With McDonald and Willie Bloomquist also re-signed, the Diamondbacks have options if shortstop Stephen Drew is slow to come back from a broken ankle that sidelined him through much of last season.

Hill immediately took to the Arizona environment. Even though it was obvious the Diamondbacks were not going to exercise such a big option on his existing contract, he was extremely open to reaching a new agreement.

“They know I’ve had a blast. They’ve expressed interest in keeping me. It will work itself out,” Hill said the day after Milwaukee eliminated Arizona in the NL division series. “Obviously, it wasn’t the best year all-around, but I did find a little extra spark coming over here, and it felt like the old me again.”

The 29-year-old infielder was a first-round pick—13th overall—by Toronto out of LSU in 2003.

He played nearly six seasons for the Blue Jays. In 2009, Hill hit .286 with 36 home runs, 195 hits and 108 RBIs, leading to a new contract with the $8 million option that Arizona eventually declined. His batting average plummeted to .205 in 2010, although he did hit 26 home runs. Hill’s numbers continued to dip this season, leading to the decision by Toronto to make the trade.

Axlin16
 Rep: 768 

Re: The MLB Thread

Axlin16 wrote:

In 2009, when Hill was still with the Blue Jays, he was thought to be one of the next great power hitting 2B in the game, or at least in the AL at that time. Like Dan Uggla power, but could hit for average.

He never followed up his great 2009 season, and just continued to decline. The Blue Jays had had enough and traded him before the trade deadline to the Diamondbacks in 2011.

He somewhat rebounded in Arizona, hitting a .315 AVG with a .386 OBP for the rest of the 2011 season.

If he can continue the improvement, it'll be good news for him and the D'Backs. But even at $5.5 mil a season... that still seems excessive. The D'Backs better hope they have a club option for 2013 just in case.

Axlin16
 Rep: 768 

Re: The MLB Thread

Axlin16 wrote:

Boras says markets different for Fielder, Pujols
by Rick Gano / AP Sports

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—Scott Boras is already making his case for Prince Fielder over Albert Pujols.

As baseball’s general managers arrived in Milwaukee for meetings that begin Tuesday, Boras emphasized that Fielder is four years younger than Pujols.

“I don’t think Pujols and Fielder are in any way related in the market place,” Boras said Monday. “I think their markets are separate and distinct.”

The slugging first basemen are the top power hitters available in free agency. Fielder helped the Milwaukee Brewers win the NL Central title this season and a trip to the NL championship series, where they were beaten by Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The left-handed hitting Fielder is 27, and the right-handed batting Pujols is 31. Fielder batted .299 with 38 homers and 120 RBIs this year. Pujols also hit .299 with 37 homers and 99 RBIs, helping the Cardinals win their second World Series crown in six seasons.

“I think they are different for a lot of reasons, the primary one being age,” Boras said. “Prince has done some things between ages 22 and 26 that he performed essentially the same production levels that Pujols did in his prime from 27 and 31,” Boras said. “Prince is somebody both a current club and a future club could invest in.”

At the meetings, owners are expected to vote Thursday to approve the sale of the Houston Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane. Owners also are expected to hear a report on the ongoing labor negotiations.

Boras said he will speak with both Brewers GM Doug Melvin and new Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. The meeting this week, which will include owners starting Wednesday, is often used to set up deals that will be consummated during the winter meetings next month.

“When guys are free agents, they take the time to test the market. I basically back off and let them test the market and try to get a feel for it,” said Melvin, who signed star Ryan Braun in April to a deal adding $105 million over five seasons. “I don’t think anything will come out of here and the next step is the winter meetings. If I don’t talk to Scott here, I’ll talk to him prior to the winter meetings. At some point we have to move on and fill the holes in our team.”

Before heading to Milwaukee, management lawyers met with the players’ association in New York and moved closer to a new labor contract to replace the one that expires Dec. 11. The deal would institute restraints on spending in the amateur draft and lessen draft-pick compensation for some major league free agents.

“I don’t think it will change the market either way,” said agent Paul Kinzer, who represents reliever Matt Capps, third baseman Aramis Ramirez and shortstop Rafael Furcal. “I think baseball is going to be stable as usual.”

Kinzer agreed with earlier statements from Epstein that Ramirez’s career with the Cubs is over and he’ll be looking for perhaps a four-year deal with a contender. The Cubs exercised a $16 million mutual option and Ramirez declined it.

“That ship has sailed,” Kinzer said. “No problems there, tremendous respect. Just at the point where that’s an end of an era.”

Since the end of the season, Epstein has moved to the Cubs from Boston and been replaced at Fenway Park by assistant Ben Cherington.

Jed Hoyer left the Padres to become Epstein’s GM in Chicago and was replaced in San Diego by former Arizona GM Josh Byrnes. Dan Duquette replaced Andy McPhail running Baltimore’s baseball operations, and Terry Ryan reclaimed his job as Minnesota GM after Bill Smith, his successor, was fired.

Cherington said Monday night the Red Sox and Cubs still had not settled on compensation for Epstein.

“We still have to figure it out,” he said, adding that it might be best if the commissioner’s office settles the issue.

Cherington also said that Boston managerial candidate Dale Sveum, the Brewers’ hitting coach, is scheduled for a second interview Wednesday in Milwaukee with team owner John Henry.

Epstein met with Carlos Zambrano and his agent, Barry Praver, on Monday in Chicago before coming to Milwaukee and said he would give the temperamental right-hander a chance to earn his way back on the team.

Zambrano cleaned out his locker and talked about retiring after giving up five homers and being ejected during a loss to Atlanta on Aug. 12. His ejection followed two inside pitches to Chipper Jones. Zambrano was suspended 30 days and once that stint ended did not pitch the rest of the season.

“We told him we would give him the right to earn his way back to being a Cub and nothing would be given to him. He could earn his way back through very hard work this winter, through rebuilding relationships man to man with all of his teammates and through some other steps we discussed,” Epstein said, declining to reveal specifics.

“We’re not welcoming him back unconditionally at all. We’re going to give him the right to earn his way back.”

Epstein said the Cubs’ selection process for a new manager had moved into the evaluation and decision phase. The team interviewed Red Sox bench coach Demarlo Hale over the phone recently after face-to-face interviews with Pete Mackanin, Dale Sveum, Mike Maddux and Sandy Alomar Jr.

Epstein also said he continues to talk with former Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

“Just getting it right. I think this is an important week. We would like to think we can move into the decision phase,” he said.

He also said he hoped progress could be made on the compensation issue between the Red Sox and Cubs for his services.

“We’ll see how it goes,” he said.

Axlin16
 Rep: 768 

Re: The MLB Thread

Axlin16 wrote:

True Scott, but the thing is Fielder is not the "fielder" that Pujols is, and despite Prince being younger, he's also not in the same shape as Albert either.

I don't think Prince will go the way of Mo Vaughn, but I do think Prince will settle into being a good David Ortiz in his prime, possibly future DH type of player.

Pujols will continue playing 1B for years to come, and even if he starts stinking it up... he can always be thrown into LF or RF.

Despite Albert's age, he's just flat out more versitile than Prince. Prince will end up being alot cheaper though imo.

slashsfro
 Rep: 40 

Re: The MLB Thread

slashsfro wrote:
Axlin08 wrote:

Matheny is good buddies with Pujols. The Cards might've just guaranteed Pujols being a Card for life. However money still remains a BIG issue. Pujols has been giving them a discount for YEARS (I think he only made $15 million this past season; ARod makes DOUBLE that). Rumor had it that the Cards offered Pujols $24.5 million a season at the beginning of the season, and Pujols turned it down. This was before he won another ring though, and his buddy was now managing the team.

Pujols could probably get more money than ARod on the open market, probably like $32.5mil a season. Would he take that kind of pay cut, with the LAST CHANCE he has to make a 'big contract', to stay with his buddy and be immortalized in St. Louis? Is it worth losing $80-$100 million over the span of a decade?

I don't think he needs his buddy THAT bad imo. So there's a good chance Pujols will be wearing blue or orange next season. Rumor has it also tho, that the Marlins didn't make a really serious offer to Pujols though. Just showed they were willing to negotiate and did want him in Miami.

From what I recall reading, the Cards wont increase their offer of 9 years and 210 million dollars.  So if someone else wants to offer more he'd almost have to consider it.  I think it's kinda dumb to state that publicly.

I guess they're betting that Albert has gotten comfortable in STL and would take less money to remain a Cardinal for life.  The thing is though I would have thought that they would have reached an agreement before the season started.  All that did was make him more receptive to other teams offers at the end of the years. 

I was looking over their roster and payroll and without Albert this team is pretty average.  I'm not sure why on earth they're paying Kyle Loshe 12.1 million dollars.

If by some chance Pujols does leave, they almost have to look at Prince Fielder.  I'm interested in seeing who actually bids on Fielder.  Not many teams need a 1B.  Texas and Seattle come to mind.  Seattle's GM was in Milwaukee when he was drafted and their offense sucked last year.  The ballpark is OK for LH hitters.  It's RH hitters that get their power depressed.

Aram should consider signing with the Angels.  He can play 3rd and DH there as well.

Axlin16
 Rep: 768 

Re: The MLB Thread

Axlin16 wrote:

The Angels have supposedly already stated they don't want ARam. I thought that ARam would be a good fit for them too, but they don't seem to be as interested as people originally thought they would.

Theo has already publicly stated that the Cubs are done with ARam after he turned down their $16mil club option for 2012. And I don't blame them or him

ARam realizes this is his last chance to score a big deal, problem is... there's no market for it. ARam is actually gonna LOSE money by walking away from the Cubs. BUT he might get a guaranteed deal for 3-4 years for less money, on a possible contender and that's best case scenario.

I think with the Angels having lukewarm interest in ARam right now, that his best bet is to go to the Marlins, whom I have no clue if they'd even be interested, but it's his best fit. Strong latin ties, Guillen as manager, and they're looking to make some splashes to put butts in the seats. A .300/25/100 type 3B is a good way to do that. And in reality, Matt Dominguez is a blip on the radar. He's a future bench warmer, no real talent there at all.

Axlin16
 Rep: 768 

Re: The MLB Thread

Axlin16 wrote:

RE: Pujols & Fielder


The Cards won't get Fielder, nor will they re-sign Pujols unless Pujols is still willing to take HUGE cuts in pay to stay in St. Louis. The Cards won't go after Fielder either. They WILL NOT PAY for that kind of stuff. It's just not gonna happen. Fielder won't get Albert-money, but Fielder is still gonna command $20 million a year, probably incentive-laden where he gets a $2mil raise each season for nearly a decade. Cards won't do that.

What the Cards will do with an Albert-less team, is they'll move Berkman back to 1B, then they'll go get another OF. Possibly Beltran or Sizemore, maybe even Cuddyer, who can alternate between 1B and the OF, like Berkman.

Like I said before, the Cards getting Pujols all depends on whether Albert is willing to take an $80-$100 million pay cut over the next decade. He's already lost probably $40-$50 million staying with the Cards as long as he has, but he did gain two rings. But at this point, he's already accomplished everything he ever needed to as a Cardinal. He doesn't have anything left to prove, which is why I think he goes for the paycheck this time.

Some people think the Dodgers will make a play for Pujols... not gonna happen. They might want an upgrade over Loney, but it ain't gonna be Albert.


Fielder imo will either be a Cub (if they can't get or change their mind about an aging Pujols) OR Fielder will be a Ranger.

jmho

Axlin16
 Rep: 768 

Re: The MLB Thread

Axlin16 wrote:

Tigers' Justin Verlander unanimously wins 2011 AL Cy Young Award
by Jason Beck / MLB.com

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DETROIT -- In the end, the only question about the American League Cy Young Award was Justin Verlander's margin of victory. It was unanimous.

The result was inevitable once Verlander captured the league's pitching Triple Crown. Tuesday was the coronation, making Verlander the Tigers' first Cy Young winner since Guillermo Hernandez in 1984, and the first Tigers starting pitcher to win it since Denny McLain in 1969.

Verlander received every one of the 28 first-place votes cast by two members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America in each AL city -- good for 196 points. The Angels' Jered Weaver received 17 second-place votes and was second in the voting with 97 points, followed by James Shields of the Rays with 66 and CC Sabathia of the Yankees with 63.

Hernandez paired up his Cy Young with a Most Valuable Player Award. Verlander will find out if he has done the same when AL MVP results are announced next Tuesday. That announcement should have a lot more suspense than this one did.

The results fell in line with history for pitchers to win the three Triple Crown categories -- wins, earned-run average and strikeouts. Verlander was the 12th to do it, and all have won the Cy Young that year, including Sandy Koufax in back-to-back years when there was only one award encompassing both leagues. All but one of the previous Triple Crown-Cy Young winners had been unanimous, the lone exception being Roger Clemens missing a few first-place votes in 1997 while on a Blue Jays team that didn't make the playoffs.

Any question regarding a great pitcher on a noncontending team didn't exist this year. The Tigers' first postseason run since 2006 came in no small part due to Verlander, whose consistent dominance provided Detroit with a true ace and a losing-streak stopper on its way to its first division title in 24 years.

Verlander topped all AL pitchers with 24 wins, a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts, becoming the first American Leaguer to do that since Johan Santana of the Twins in 2006 and the first Tigers pitcher since Hal Newhouser in 1945. No AL pitcher won so many games in a season since Bob Welch won 27 for the 1990 powerhouse Oakland Athletics. No Major League pitcher had posted that combination of strong Triple Crown stats in the same season since Randy Johnson of the D-backs in 2002, no American Leaguer since Oakland's Vida Blue in 1971.

Verlander also led AL pitchers with 251 innings, a .192 opposing batting average and a 0.92 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) ratio.

If there was a stat for intimidation, he might have won that, too. Between his 100-mph fastball, sharp-breaking curveball, pinpoint command and his ardent belief -- almost arrogance -- that no player should be able to get a hit if a pitcher executes his pitch, he was the most formidable pitcher in the game.

"When you take that kind of stuff out there, three outstanding pitches and one average pitch, that's pretty tough," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

This was the Verlander many Tigers officials, notably Leyland, believed he could be once he combined his immense talent with a smart approach to hitters. But they couldn't expect these overwhelming results.

"Obviously from a personal standpoint, it was an amazing year," Verlander said earlier this month upon being honored as MLB Player of the Year as part of the Players Choice Awards. "I worked extremely hard for this, and I told you guys a few times, if you expect greatness, it shouldn't surprise you. I've always expected myself to be able to pitch this way. It still doesn't surprise me that I did."

His May 7 no-hitter at Toronto was the most dominant pitching performance of the season, with an 11-pitch, eighth-inning walk to J.P. Arencibia accounting for the lone baserunner. His handful of attempts at another no-no, including two bids that lasted into the eighth inning, provided the best suspense of the summer until the playoff races arrived.

He could overpower hitters one night, then finesse them to defeat five nights later. None of his no-hit bids featured the same mix of pitches.

"He works all his pitches, and he really believes in every single one of them," said Orlando Cabrera, who broke up one of those no-hit bids with an eighth-inning single for Cleveland in June. "He can throw every single pitch for a strike."

Still, for much of the summer, Verlander wasn't a clear-cut Cy Young favorite, exchanging the wins lead with Sabathia and jostling for lowest ERA with Weaver. Verlander took command of the race when he outpitched Weaver in a highly-touted matchup July 31 at Comerica Park, taking a no-hit bid through seven innings before allowing an Erick Aybar bunt single. The Tigers won the game, 3-2.

That was Verlander's third win in a streak of 12 straight victories in as many starts before the Orioles roughed him up in his regular-season finale. Weaver had an opportunity to take the ERA title, but he was scratched from his final start.

By then, the argument was largely over, anyway. Verlander began the year as a pitcher who gave Leyland fits at times because of the potential he had. He ended it having proven himself as the best pitcher Leyland has ever managed.

Verlander said all along he would wait until after the season to look at the numbers and admire. Now is his time.

Axlin16
 Rep: 768 

Re: The MLB Thread

Axlin16 wrote:

Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson wins AL Rookie-of-the-Year Award
by Bill Chastain / MLB.com

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Jeremy Hellickson began the 2011 season with a tender right hamstring and lofty expectations. The right-hander overcame both to perform with excellence, and on Monday afternoon, Hellickson won the American League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award.

"I'm very excited. It's something I really wanted to win," said Hellickson during an afternoon conference call. "I felt like there were three or four other guys who were just as deserving, so it's very exciting."

The Baseball Writers' Association of America, a professional association for baseball journalists writing for daily newspapers, magazines and qualifying Web sites, is responsible for voting on several awards annually, including Most Valuable Player Award, Rookie of the Year Award, Cy Young Award and Manager of the Year Award.

Hellickson became the second Rays player to win the award, joining Evan Longoria, who won the 2008 AL Rookie of the Year Award.

"I guess I was a little surprised [to win], because, like I said, there were a handful of guys who I thought all had the same chance to win," said Hellickson. "I thought I had a good chance, but once I finally did hear my name, I was really happy."

Hellickson was listed first on 17 of the 28 ballots (which are submitted by two writers in each AL city), second on five and third on two to amass 102 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system.

Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo (.254, 29 homers, 87 RBIs) received five first-place votes and was the runner-up with 63 points. Another first baseman, the Royals' Eric Hosmer (.293, 19 homers, 78 RBIs), had four first-place votes and finished third with 38 points.

"There was no wrong choice," said Hellickson. "[Trumbo and Hosmer are] both definitely well-deserving. I played against both those guys. Trumbo got me in St. Pete this year, so I definitely know what he's capable of doing, and Hosmer has all the potential in the world."

The other first-place votes went to Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova (16-4, 3.70 ERA), who placed fourth, and Seattle Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley (.273, six homers, 36 RBIs), who was sixth, behind Mariners pitcher Michael Pineda (9-10, 3.74 ERA).

Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings, who made his big league debut July 23 and posted a .259 average over 63 games, received one third-place vote to finish tied for seventh place.

Arriving in Port Charlotte, Fla., last spring, Hellickson was projected as a favorite for the award. After incurring a strained right hamstring during the first week of Spring Training, he quickly grew familiar with riding a stationary bicycle, swimming in the pool and daily electronic stimulation and ice treatments, which eventually led to bullpen sessions on the side and throwing batting practice to hitters.

Hellickson was ready to go once the season began, and he proceeded to go 7-3 in his first 11 starts, including a complete-game shutout of the Orioles on May 13 en route to his stellar rookie campaign.

By the time the 24-year-old's first full season in the Major Leagues was complete, he led all rookies in ERA (2.95), innings pitched (189), games started (29), quality starts (20), opponents' batting average (.210) and tied for second in wins (13).

Hellickson went undefeated in five consecutive starts against AL East opponents in September as the Rays earned the AL Wild Card berth.

"I think he deserved [the award]," Rays right-hander James Shields said. "I think the kind of year that he put on for our team and how clutch he was throughout the entire season, I think was definitely worthy. I think he put up good enough numbers to do it. As far as I'm concerned, he was the best rookie pitcher out there, the most consistent rookie pitcher out there. The guy went seven innings every time out."

Shields complimented his teammate for how he blended in with the other starters, particularly where work ethic was concerned.

"At the beginning of Spring Training, he had that hamstring injury, but he definitely worked hard coming off that injury," Shields said. "And I think it's a little bit easier with our pitching staff to fall into that type of work ethic.

"He put his time in every day and worked hard and stayed healthy all year. I don't think he missed a start. And that's a tribute to his work ethic."

Hellickson became the 10th starting pitcher to win the award and only the second in the past 30 years, along with the Tigers' Justin Verlander, the 2006 winner.

Hellickson is where he is after paving a blistering path through the Minor Leagues to Tropicana Field. He logged five consecutive winning seasons in the Minors Leagues, culminating in 2010 with a 12-3 record and a 2.45 ERA for Triple-A Durham. When the Rays called him to the Major Leagues for his Aug. 2, 2010, debut, he was leading the league in wins, strikeouts and ERA.

Hellickson went 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in four August starts for the Rays in 2010 to become the first pitcher since 1900 to pitch at least six innings and give up three or fewer hits in each of his first three starts. He closed out the season in Tampa Bay's bullpen, finishing his first stint in the Major Leagues 4-0 with a 3.47 ERA in 10 games.

"I think [gaining Major League experience in 2010] helped a lot -- just getting my feet wet, getting four or five starts in, even getting to stay around during the playoffs," Hellickson said. "So I knew what that was all about. I think that helped out tremendously. ... I think that's a good way to do it."

Hellickson was sitting on top of the baseball world Monday afternoon, but don't look for him to rest on his laurels. The Iowa native was already looking forward to next season.

"You really have to improve on everything," Hellickson said. "I started doing a better job this year of holding the runners. I think that had a lot to do with my success this year. [i] worked on my pitches during the year, made some of my pitches better -- you have to improve on everything. You can't ever be satisfied, so [I plan to] keep working on everything this offseason."

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