Mark Townsend

  • A's acquire Khris Davis in attempt to boost offensive firepower

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    Even as spring training approaches, the trade winds are still blowing around Major League Baseball.

    On Friday, the Oakland A's completed a notable deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, acquiring power-hitting outfielder Khris Davis in exchange for catching prospect Jacob Nottingham and right-handed pitcher Bubba Derby. 

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    This deal fits the mold of a Billy Beane late offseason trade with pretty good value. Though Beane has been promoted to executive vice president of baseball operations, new GM David Forst is showing he's been paying attention and learning from the best. 

    In Davis, Forst has added some much needed firepower to the middle of manager Bob Melvin's lineup. Davis connected for 27 homers in just 121 games last season, while Josh Reddick, the A's home run leader, finished with just 20. As a team, the A's hit just 146 homers last season, good for 20th in MLB and last in their division, 26 behind the next closest team. 

  • Hot Stove Digest: Aroldis Chapman avoids arbitration with Yankees

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    Welcome to The Stew's Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you'll find a recap of all the day's action and other fun stuff from around the Internet.

    LOCKED IN:  The Yankees and new closer Aroldis Chapman have avoided arbitration, settling on an $11.325 million salary for the 2016 season. Chapman will be a free agent following the 2016 season. [@Ken_Rosenthal]

    ICYMI: Former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia has been permanently suspended from baseball for his third drug policy violation. [The Stew]

    DONE DEAL: The Indians signed veteran reliever Tommy Hunter to a one-year, $2 million deal. [@hoynsie]

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  • Braves will build new Hank Aaron monument at SunTrust Park

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    The Atlanta Braves have announced that they are no longer contesting the  Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority regarding the future location of the bronze Hank Aaron statue outside Turner Field. 

    The team had hoped to bring the statue with them as they prepare to move to SunTrust Park in Cobb County next season, but will now allow it to remain in downtown Atlanta. Instead, the Braves have announced plans to honor Aaron with a new monument at their new ballpark.

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    Here's the Braves' official statement on the statue dispute, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:  

    In the end, Hank Aaron's legacy wins out, as he'll now be honored by two groups who mean a lot to him. And it's pretty fitting that his words played at least some role in the dispute being settled, as it further cements the respect he's earned both on and off the field. 

  • Glenn Hubbard's snake-draped baseball card is now a bobblehead

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 18 hrs ago

    If you're a casual baseball fan, chances are you have a shoebox or two full of baseball cards packed away somewhere in your home.

    If your fandom goes beyond that casual threshold, then there's a good chance that collection graduated from shoeboxes to regulation boxes a long time ago. And those boxes are probably in a room or closet taking up more space than your family or significant other is comfortable with.

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    For those in the latter category, there are some cards that are cherished more than others. Whether it be a favorite player from their childhood or a rookie card of a future superstar, those valuable cards tend to receive special care. Then there are cards we remember for other reasons, such as a mistake, a funny name or because the card features something truly unique.

    But now, thanks to the Lexington Legends, it's going to reach another new level of notoriety.

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  • Let's help the new Savannah summer league team pick a name

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Baseball fans unite. The new summer league team based out of Savannah, GA. needs help picking a name and they've called upon us for assistance.

    One can't blame them, either. On the heels of the New Britain Rock Cats relocating to Hartford and rebranding as the Yard Goats with help from the Internet, the new Savannah squad is hoping we'll again have the long-term answers to all of their branding and marketing questions as well.

    After all, not only did the Internet help name Hartford's team the Yard Goats, it motivated them to create this incredible jingle that has been stuck in our head for a week straight. 

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    They are as follows:

    The winning name will be announced on Feb. 25.

    ICYMI: Savannah Baseball Name Announcement will be February 25th! Seagulls 🐦 Bananas 🍌 Party Animals 🎉 Anchors ⚓️ or Ports 🚢

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  • Tim Flannery is fed up with Padres fans, writes lengthy statement

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Former major league player and coach Tim Flannery always seemed like a pretty laid back guy when he was actively involved in baseball. 

    However, it would appear fans of the San Diego Padres have found a way under his skin during his retirement, which led to a pretty lengthy rant that was written and posted to Twitter on Wednesday night. 

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    For a quick history lesson, Flannery spent the entirety of his 11-year playing career in San Diego, even playing on their first World Series team back in 1984. Flannery was also a part of Bruce Bochy's coaching staff in San Diego from 1996-2002. After Bochy was allowed to leave San Diego for the managerial job in San Francisco, Flannery rejoined him on the coaching staff until his retirement in 2014. 

    Based on Flannery's rant, it's apparent there are some fans who feel he turned his back on San Diego to join the rival Giants. And it's very clear he's tired of hearing from those people. 

    We're sure you know the one. 

  • Former Met-killer Chipper Jones picks Mets to win World Series

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Former Atlanta Braves superstar Chipper Jones made a career out of knocking around Mets' pitching. In fact, Jones enjoyed so much success against the Mets at their former home, Shea Stadium, he actually named one of his three sons Shea.

    That's some next-level trolling right there. 

    Now though, Jones believes the Mets starting rotation is the most dominant in baseball. Perhaps even dominant enough to shut him down. And even though he's currently serving as a special assistant for the Braves, he's gone on record predicting that pitching will lead their division rivals from New York all the way to a World Series championship.

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    "I think they're my early season pick to probably go all the way," Jones said. "Having made it to the World Series last year, coming up just short, I think they'll probably be the early season favorite to push over the top this year." 

    If so, that's just wrong and selfish, Chipper. 

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  • Hot Stove Digest: Ozzie Guillen returns to managing in Venezuela

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Welcome to The Stew's Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you'll find a recap of all the day's action and other fun stuff from around the Internet.

    HE'S BACK: Ozzie Guillen will manage Los Tiburones de La Guaira, a team in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, during the 2016 season. [Chicago Tribune]

    GOOD READ: Will Yovani Gallardo   continue producing despite diminishing stuff? [The Stew]

    CONSIDERING: If the Orioles land Gallardo, they may also pursue outfielder Dexter Fowler to complete their lineup. [@Ken_Rosenthal]

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  • Status of Hank Aaron statue in question as Braves prepare to move

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    We know for sure that the Atlanta Braves will be moving to SunTrust Park in Cobb County for the 2017 season. What we don't know for sure is whether or not the bronze statue of Hank Aaron that currently stands in front of Turner Field will be joining them.

    According to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report from early Wednesday, the head of the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority claimed to have uncovered documents proving the statue is owned by the authority, meaning it would remain in the city of Atlanta after the Braves' departure.

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    “We were able to work out an agreement with the Braves. We are very excited about it,” Keisha Lance Bottoms, the executive director of the authority was quoted as saying in that story. 

    Stay tuned to this story. It could be interesting.  

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  • Homer History: Todd Helton's blast ignites Rockies historic run

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    As a fan of the Colorado Rockies even before they debuted in 1993, nothing compares to the historic 21-1 run that led them directly to their first and only World Series appearance in 2007. It was a continuous wave of moments and emotions that only baseball fans in the thick of a pennant race can understand or appreciate and, up until that point, those were moments and emotions I had not truly experienced as a fan.

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    In the final two weeks of the regular season, Colorado went from the brink of postseason afterthoughts, which is where they typically resided once September rolled around, to playing a tiebreaker game for the National League wild card against the San Diego Padres.

    That game is the one everyone remembers, because it was the Rockies ticket to the postseason. You could even argue that the drama both teams squeezed into that single, heart-stopping game at Coors Field started the wheels turning for what is now the wild-card play-in round. It was that good, and that memorable, but the reality is none of that would have been possible without the swing that we're privileged to relive today.

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