Mike Oz

  • Braves trade another one, sending Cameron Maybin to the Tigers

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 7 days ago

    Of the all trades the Atlanta Braves have made in the past year, this one might make the most sense: They've sent Cameron Maybin to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for a pair of young lefties, Ian Krol and Gabe Speier.

    Maybin, 28, revived his career with the Braves in 2015, after he came over from San Diego in the Craig Kimbrel trade. Maybin's .267/.327/.370 was a career best, as were his 10 homers and 59 RBIs. He also proved he could still swipe a bag, finishing the season with 23 stolen bases.

     [Elsewhere:  Nationals MVP Bryce Harper to the haters: "I enjoy getting booed"]

    So, for the rebuilding Braves, who are looking to cut costs and extract value wherever possible, Maybin was the ideal trade chip. He's coming off a career season and anybody in the market for an outfielder could land him relatively cheap.

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  • StewPod: Yasiel Puig, Jose Fernandez and MLB beef season

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 8 days ago

    It's apparently beef season in baseball. We're getting stories this week about unsettled problems involving Yasiel Puig in L.A. and Jose Fernandez in Miami. And, of course, awards season always brings out a lot of angry baseball fans.

    Here to talk about all that and more on this week's StewPod are Mike Oz and Chris Cwik. We also delve into what rumors we believe this time of year. Bad News Ramen joins us for his Three Strikes segment and we talk Disneyland and parents throwing you under the bus in our Important Questions.

    [ Related: Nationals' Bryce Harper wins NL MVP unanimously ]

    [Music: Pusha T — "Untouchable"]

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  • Josh Donaldson wins AL MVP award after fantastic first season with Blue Jays

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 8 days ago

    [Related: Nationals' Bryce Harper wins NL MVP unanimously]

    Donaldson received 23 of 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America, besting the reigning AL MVP Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, who got seven first-place votes. Lorenzo Cain of the Kansas City Royals finished third. There was some debate whether Trout could repeat, but in the end, voters preferred Donaldson in rather convincing fashion. Perhaps surprisingly so. 

    If you like runs — and what baseball team doesn't — it was hard not to vote for Donaldson. He led the AL in RBIs and runs scored, plus hit .297 and played great defense at third base. In context, he made a big difference in Toronto, where his bat proved to be the missing piece for a potent lineup that scored the most runs in baseball and won its first AL East crown since 1993.

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  • MVP 2015: Sizing up the finalists for MLB's top award

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 9 days ago

    On one side, there's the kid from whom we expected the world. On the other, a 29-year-old who was traded and had to switch positions before he became a star. On Thursday, though, they could both be MVPs.

    Bryce Harper and Josh Donaldson highlight this year's MLB Most Valuable Player races. They're the favorites in their leagues, with Harper, the young Washington Nationals star, more of a sure thing. Donaldson, the Toronto Blue Jays third baseman, will face some challenge from Mike Trout — just like any would-be AL MVP will for the next decade.

    [Related: Transformation complete: Cubs' Jake Arrieta takes home NL Cy Young]

    The awards will be handed out at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network, based on votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America. We know the three finalists in the AL and NL, so here's a look at each player's season, the case for them and the case against them:



    Case against: Harper bested him in batting average, on-base and slugging percentage, homers and runs scored.

  • Astros ace Dallas Keuchel wins AL Cy Young award

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 9 days ago

    For all that, Keuchel earned on Wednesday the ultimate recognition a pitcher can get — the Cy Young award.

    [Related: Cubs' Jake Arrieta takes home NL Cy Young]

    Keuchel received 22 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America, beating out David Price, who earned eight first-place votes for his impressive season with the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays. Sonny Gray, the ace of the Oakland Athletics, finished third.

    Keuchel is the third Astros pitcher to win the Cy Young, following Roger Clemens in 2004 and Mike Scott in 1986.

    The numbers speaking volumes about Keuchel's success, but they don't say it all. Keuchel's emergence signaled a change in Houston. With Keuchel a true No. 1 at the top of their rotation, the Astros took on the feel of a contender right away in 2015.

    Now, with a Cy Young forever next to his name, Keuchel isn't just the Astros ace, he's one of the best pitchers in baseball.

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  • David Ortiz makes his retirement plans official: 'After next year, time is up'

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 9 days ago

    On his 40th birthday, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz made official the news that leaked a day earlier: He plans to retire from baseball after the 2016 season.

    Ortiz made the announcement in a video for The Player's Tribune, the Derek Jeter-run website, saying he was looking forward to his next chapter:

    “I thought a lot about it," Ortiz said. "For every single one of us, athletes-wise, we run out of time at some point and life is based on different chapters and I think I am ready to experience the next one in my life. I picked this day to announce that after next season, I’m going to be done with my career playing baseball. I would like people to remember me as a guy that was just part of the family. A guy that was trying to do the best, not only on the field, but with everyone around him."

    Now, we await the first of many retirement gifts coming Big Papi's way.

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  • Tigers get Francisco Rodriguez in trade with Brewers to help woeful bullpen

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 9 days ago

    It's no secret the Detroit Tigers need bullpen help. They've been among the worst bullpens the past two seasons, based on ERA. So new GM Al Avila made shoring up the bullpen one of the first things on his to-do list this offseason, swinging a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for veteran closer Francisco Rodriguez.

    Yep, good ol' K-Rod is coming to Detroit.

    The trade was first reported by Venezuelan baseball scribe Augusto Cárdenas, who says the Tigers are sending the Brewers infield prospect Javier Betancourt in the deal and a player to be named later. Betancourt was Detroit's 11th best prospect, according MLB.com. He's 20 years old and hasn't yet played above Single-A. 

    [Related: Cy Young 2015: Sizing up the finalists]

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  • Brandon Crawford's six-year, $75M extension is a savvy move for the Giants

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 10 days ago

    Brandon Crawford and the San Francisco Giants are a great match. So great that there's a picture of a 5-year-old Crawford (with good hair, even then) at a Giants game next to a sign asking to keep the team in San Francisco. He's a Bay Area kid who grew up dreaming that he'd play shortstop for the Giants. 

    And now, the two sides won't be parting ways anytime soon. 

    The Giants and Crawford agreed to a six-year contract extension Tuesday that will keep the slick-fielding shortstop playing his home games at AT&T Park until 2021, when he'll be 34 years old. That's two arbitration seasons and four years of free agency locked up for the Giants.

    [Elsewhere: There's no logical reason for the Marlins to want to deal Jose Fernandez]

    It's how the Giants often business — and, hey it's hard to argue with their success.

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  • Joe Maddon caps Cubs' surprising season with NL Manager of the Year award

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 10 days ago

    Joe Maddon's first year with the Chicago Cubs sure was a thrill, starting with his controversial courtship and ending with a surprise trip to the NLCS.

    On Tuesday, Maddon's 2015 got a notable postscript: He was named Manager of the Year in the National League by the Baseball Writers Association of America after getting 18 of the 30 first-place votes. It's the third time Maddon has won the award and now he's the ninth person to win the award in both leagues. 

    [Related: Rangers' Jeff Banister wins AL Manager of the Year]

    No matter which of the finalists' name was called, there would be a worthy winner. Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals, who finished second, overcame a litany of injuries to post the best record in baseball and Mets skipper Terry Collins, who finished third, took the New York Mets to a surprise NL East title.

    Because Joe Maddon, as it turns out, is just getting started.

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  • Report: David Ortiz will retire after 2016 season with Red Sox

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 10 days ago

    [Related: What's next? This is likely just the start for Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa]

    That news comes to us from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, though neither Ortiz nor the Red Sox have confirmed it themselves:

    Sources: David Ortiz will retire at end of 2016 season.

    Get ready for a farewell tour, folks, because Ortiz — who turns 40 on Wednesday — has never been one to shy away from the spotlight. He's not as universally loved as Mariano Rivera was, but Ortiz still ought to garner considerable celebration around baseball. We're already imagining the gifts Ortiz is going to get, as he waves goodbye to fans all over baseball. 

    [Related: You can play as David Ortiz in Fallout 4 but probably not for long]

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