Mike Oz

  • Hot Stove Digest: Jim Johnson returns to Braves on a one-year deal

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 24 mins 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.

    DONE DEAL: The Atlanta Braves, who have been trading away lots of players lately, bring one back. They've again signed relief pitcher Jim Johnson, who had a 2.25 ERA in 49 appearances last season for Atlanta before he was traded to the Dodgers and his season went south. In L.A., he had a 10.13 ERA in 23 appearances. This new deal is for one season and $2.5 million. [AJC]

    DONE DEAL: The Boston Red Sox have reportedly signed veteran Chris Young, the outfielder, to a multi-year deal. He hits lefties well and ought to have fun against the Green Monster. [Fox Sports]

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  • Report: Barry Bonds could be the Marlins' next hitting coach

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    The always-unpredictable Miami Marlins could be cooking up a move that would make their 2016 season a lot more interesting. The team is reportedly considering the ever-controversial Barry Bonds for a hitting-coach position.

    Bonds, of course, is baseball's all-time home-run leader and one of the best technical hitters the game has ever seen. He also has a big ol' PED asterisk next to his name.

    [Elsewhere: Ten Cyber Monday gifts for the biggest baseball fan in your life]

    Anything having to do with Bonds — from his Hall of Fame candidacy to his Instagram account — is sure to get baseball fans of a certain mindset riled up. Jon Heyman from CBS Sports has the scoop on the Marlins' interest in Bonds:

    Team higherups have quietly been discussing this possibility for weeks.

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  • MLB players get record postseason payout of $69 million

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

    In yet the latest example of MLB's embarrassment of riches, the league announced Monday that players earned a record $69.8 million from the postseason, their share of gate receipts from playoff games. 

    The Kansas City Royals, the World Series winners, got the biggest piece of the pie: $25.1 million or $370K per playoff share. New York Mets players, who won the NL but lost the World Series, earned $16.7 million or $300K per playoff share.

    [Elsewhere: Johnny Cueto turned down six-year, $120 million offer from Arizona]

    Players on those teams vote on whether to give full shares, partial shares or cash awards to people in the organization. Full-time players get full shares, but a rookie who joins the team for a week might get a partial share or cash award. From there, some teams give postseason checks to coaches, trainers, clubhouse attendants, the grounds crew and so on.

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

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 10 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 11 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 11 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 12 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 12 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 12 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 12 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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