Big League Stew

  • Hall of Fame 2017: The five biggest storylines heading into results day

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    The day is upon. Results for this year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame vote will be announced at 6 p.m. ET and, if you watch this show every year, you know there will be shortage of news, opinions and grandstanding.

    Nobody does the Hall of Fame quite like baseball, where the day results are announced is damn near as contentious and dramatic as the actual presidential Election Day. Baseball’s Hall of Fame day comes with big helpings of outrage and hand-wringing. It’s a given at this point.

    Results at 6 p.m. Outrage at 6:05 p.m. Set your watch by it.

    There have been a lot of storylines zooming around these past few months, from whether this is finally the year Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell get in, to how the players linked to steroids will fare. Then there are the interesting new names on the ballot, among them: Vladimir Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Jorge Posada.

    Ahead of the results announcement (which you watch live on MLB Network), we’re looking at some of the major storylines and giving our best insight/analysis about how they’ll be wrapped up by the time the camera turn off.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Edinson Volquez's brother murdered in Dominican Republic

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    For the second time in 15 months, Miami Marlins pitcher Edinson Volquez has tragically lost a family member. Brandy Volquez, the pitcher’s 25-year-old brother, was stabbed to death Monday, according to reports out of the Dominican Republic.

    The younger Volquez was killed in a brawl, according to the Kansas City Star, which translated from the Dominican outlets. Volquez pitched two seasons for the Royals before joining the Marlins in free agency for $22 million over two seasons. From The Star:

    A Dominican TV station said a brawl resulted in Brandy’s death. Around 3 a.m. Monday, Brandy was involved in a fight with two brothers in the El Cafe de Herrera district, according to that report, and one man is in custody, while another is in an area hospital.

    Volquez, 33, said: “I don’t think they were bad people. (Brandy) had a family and it’s shameful what happened last night. I hope justice is served.”

    He also posted this picture of his brother on Instagram:

  • Hot Stove Digest: Astros still interested in Jose Quintana

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 14 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 quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.

    STILL TRYING: The Houston Astros are still engaged in trade talks for a number of elite pitchers, including Chicago White Sox starter Jose Quintana. The 27-year-old lefty posted a 3.20 ERA over 208 innings last season. The White Sox have shown a willingness to part with talented players in the right deal this winter, and the Astros have consistently been named as a possible partner for Quintana. Despite that, the two sides haven’t been able to come together on a deal just yet.

    If a trade fails to materialize with Chicago, the Astros are also considering Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer and Oakland Athletics ace Sonny Gray. While both of those players could be available, the Rays and the Athletics haven’t been as eager to part with significant talent this offseason. [@BNightengale]

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Angels paying Josh Hamilton $26 million to play for rival Rangers

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 18 hrs ago

    After playing in just one minor-league game in 2016, outfielder Josh Hamilton is ready to make a comeback. The 35-year-old agreed to return to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, signing a one-year, $535,000 deal.

    That’s actually the major-league minimum, and Hamilton will only make that much if he appears in the majors this season. That’s no guarantee considering the 35-year-old hit just .253/.291/.441 over 50 games in 2015.

    While that seems like a far cry from what Hamilton was making in his prime, that’s not exactly the case. Though the Rangers will pay Hamilton the major-league minimum, the Los Angeles Angels are still on the hook for the final year of the five-year, $125 million mega deal Hamilton signed in 2012.

    Hamilton’s contract with Los Angeles didn’t exactly work out as planned. He hit .255/.316/.426, with 31 home runs, over two seasons with the team. Prior to signing with the Angels, Hamilton posted a .305/.363/.549 slash line in five seasons with the Rangers.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Jose Bautista's new deal with Blue Jays is a far cry from what he wanted

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    Jose Bautista is coming back home. The slugger has reportedly signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, his home since 2008, and the team he broke out with nearly seven years ago. The deal contains a mutual option, making it possible Bautista stays in Toronto past 2017.

    According to Yahoo Sports’ own Jeff Passan, the deal isn’t 100 percent complete, but when it is, Bautista will have an $18 million base salary in 2017, plus a buyout for 2018 that could give him more guaranteed money.

    That contract looks a little different than what Bautista originally wanted when he started considering the future just 11 months ago. And by a little, I actually mean a LOT. In February 2016, before he’d stepped onto the diamond for the 2016 season, Bautista wanted a five-year extension with the Jays worth more than $150 total. In fact, when the rumor about Bautista’s asking price came out, he denied it was true — because he was asking for more.

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  • The 2017 Hall of Fame ballot: Will these guys be one-and-done?

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

    For the past two weeks, we’ve been dissecting some of the most interesting players, cases and debates on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot. While we’d like to say we saved the best for last, that’s not exactly the case here.

    Instead, we close with 15 guys for whom just being on the ballot will most likely be their moment of glory. There are 19 players on the ballot for the first time this year. We’ve already written at length about Vladimir Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Jorge Posada and revealed whether we’d vote for them. Here’s where we chime in on the rest of the first-timers. Guys like Mike Cameron and Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield and Magglio Ordonez.

    Here’s a look at the other 15 players on the Hall of Fame ballot, how we’ll remember them and whether we’d vote for them.

  • Alex Rodriguez to host show helping ex-athletes manage their money

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

    Alex Rodriguez’s baseball-playing career might be over, but he’s still looking for another hit. Since leaving the game, A-Rod has excelled both in the boardroom and in the broadcast suite. He’s managed A-Rod Corp. with ruthless efficiency (even though we’re not sure what they do), and he emerged as a future broadcasting star with Fox Sports during the postseason.

    Rodriguez’s latest venture aims to bring both of those things together in perfect harmony. The former New York Yankees designated hitter is set to host a pilot titled “Back in the Game,” in which he’ll help ex-athletes who are struggling with debt.

    Today in news I did not expect: former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez has been tapped to host a pilot on CNBC, ” Back in the Game”

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  • Aroldis Chapman gets no praise from President Obama during visit

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Monday was a big day for the 2016 Chicago Cubs. President Obama welcomed them to the White House to celebrate their World Series victory, just days before he’ll be leaving office. And celebrate is what they did. There were laughs, smiles, and the giving of gifts, including a W flag and a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field for the president.

    In the speech he gave commemorating the visit, President Obama made a point to call out the many Cubs who made a difference to the team during the regular season and the postseason. He named 14 guys: Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Dexter Fowler, Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, David Ross, Ben Zobrist, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Schwarber, Miguel Montero, Carl Edwards and Mike Montgomery.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Padres sign Wil Myers to six-year, $83 million extension

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Wil Myers isn’t leaving San Diego any time soon. A few days after the Chargers deserted the city for Los Angeles, the San Diego Padres reached an agreement to keep their cornerstone first baseman around for at least another six seasons.

    The deal is worth $83 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The structure of Myers’ salary is unusual, however. Myers will make just two million in 2017, three million in 2018 and then see his salary jump to $20 million for the final three years of the deal. There’s also a $20 million option, meaning the deal could wind up being seven years total.

    The 26-year-old turned in a career-year for San Diego in 2016. Over 676 plate appearances, Myers hit .259/.336/.461, with 28 home runs. That performance earned him his first trip to the All-Star game.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Phillies find perfect free-agent fit in Michael Saunders

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Few teams understand exactly where they are in their contention cycle more than the Philadelphia Phillies. They proved as much Monday, reportedly agreeing to a one-year deal with free-agent outfielder Michael Saunders. While Saunders isn’t the best player remaining on the market, he’s the perfect fit for the Phillies.

    It’s tough to criticize any one-year deal, and Saunders’ contract with Philadelphia is no exception. The 30-year-old will make just nine million in 2017, and has an $11 million club option for 2018. That option can increase to $14 million depending on whether Saunders can reach certain incentives.

    Last season, Saunders hit .253/.338/.478, with 24 home runs, over 558 plate appearances with the Toronto Blue Jays. His excellent first half, in which he hit .298/.372/.551, with 16 homers, earned him his first-ever trip to the All-Star game. He couldn’t keep up that hot streak. Saunders slumped badly in the second half, hitting just .178/.282/.357 to finish the year.

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