Big League Stew

  • Commissioner Rob Manfred really wants to shorten baseball games

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    Since Rob Manfred became Commissioner of Baseball two years ago, pace of play has been one of his major focus points. He thinks that games are too long, and shortening them would help appeal to younger viewers. Manfred has talked about pace of play a lot, most recently on MLB Network on Friday morning. The MLB Network Twitter account tweeted a short video of his segment, and he names a few ways that pace of play could be improved.

    "There are things that move the game along without changing the competitive posture." – @MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on #MLBNHotStove pic.twitter.com/4SlA3p7wOF

    — MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 20, 2017

    Here’s what he said:

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    Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

  • Hot Stove Digest: With Mark Trumbo gone, who are the best free agents left?

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 20 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.

    THE BIGGEST NEWS OF THE DAY: Mark Trumbo is headed back to the Baltimore Orioles, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan. Trumbo was the best free agent left on the market. He’ll get about $37 million over three years. He led the AL in home runs last year, his first in Baltimore. Having a qualifying offer attached to him hurt his value on the open market, however, so he’s headed back to Baltimore for what seems to be much less than he originally hoped for. [Yahoo Sports]

    NOT QUITE: Trumbo’s camp was asking for $80 million last month. So he didn’t quite get that. [@ChrisCotillo]

    — Topps Company (@toppscards) January 19, 2017

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  • Opening 25-year-old baseball cards with Aaron Boone

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    You shouldn’t be surprised to find out Aaron Boone knows a ton of baseball players from the 1990s. He was one, of course, in the latter part of the decade. His brother Bret debuted as a rookie in 1992. And his dad, Bob Boone, retired in 1990.

    So yes, Aaron Boone was a perfect guest for my 25-Year-Old Baseball Cards segment, in which I crack open some wax packs from 1992 with a player or manager and see what kind of stories they have to share. And Boone had plenty.

    These days, he’s a baseball analyst for ESPN. You’ve seen him calling games on ESPN or appearing on shows like “Baseball Tonight.” This season, he’ll be back in the booth for “Sunday Night Baseball” too. It’s pretty clear from our chat that he knows the players of today and yesterday equally well.

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  • Neftali Feliz's new one-year deal with the Brewers is a win-win

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    One of the more overlooked free agents on the market finally find a new home.

    Neftali Feliz, who earned Rookie of the Year honors as the Texas Rangers closer in 2010, reached a one-year agreement with the Milwaukee Brewers, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan:

    Neftali Feliz's deal with Milwaukee is for $5.35M guaranteed and can max out at $6.85M. He's expected to be the Brewers' closer.

    — Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 19, 2017

    Milwaukee is a perfect spot for Neftali Feliz. Will get ample opportunity to close, rack up saves and hit market again as a 29-year-old.

    — Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 19, 2017

    The Brewers are one of the few teams that could offer Feliz an opportunity to close again, so this is a great landing spot for a veteran reliever looking to re-establish past value.

    Feliz did allow a career-high 10 home runs over his 53 2/3 innings, which is troubling. There’s also this:

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  • Even more MLB games will be available to stream in 2017

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Good news for people who want more ways to watch baseball! NBC Sports Regional Networks has reached a deal with MLB Advanced Media on in-market streaming rights. Starting with the 2017 season, several Comcast regional sports networks will be able to stream baseball games online for their paid subscribers. (NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast.)

    Involved in this agreement are four regional sports networks that service five different MLB teams: CSN Chicago, which covers the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, CSN Philadelphia, which covers the Philadelphia Phillies, CSN Bay Area, which covers the San Francisco Giants, and CSN California, which covers the Oakland Athletics.

    This deal includes access to pregame and postgame shows, and everything will be available for streaming on the NBC Sports app (available on smartphones and multiple other platforms like Roku and Apple TV), or directly on the website for the specific regional sports network.

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  • Reds trade pitcher Dan Straily to Marlins for three players

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Just because the Hall of Fame announcement was Wednesday doesn’t mean that the rest of baseball stops. Teams are still trying to make themselves better as spring training rapidly approaches, and now there’s a trade to show for it.

    The Cincinnati Reds have traded right-handed pitcher Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins for three players: right-handed pitchers Luis Castillo and Austin Brice, and outfielder Isaiah White.

    Three players is a pretty big return for one guy. And an especially big return for a guy like Dan Straily, who the Reds picked up on waivers just last April. Straily proved to be a valuable contributor to the Reds during the 2016 season, pitching to an ERA of 3.76 over 34 games (31 of them starts). Home runs were a pretty big problem for him at Great American Ballpark: he gave up 31 of them over 191.1 innings, tied for seventh in all of baseball. But Marlins Park is an enormous, domed cavern, and pitching there should help his home run numbers take a trip in the right direction.

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  • Is Bryce Harper lobbying the Nationals to spend more money?

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Sometimes it’s difficult to fully grasp the concept or context of a tweet. Even when tweeting was a simple 140-character message, it could be a struggle to understand its true meaning. Now that its evolved into subliminal messaging expressed through emojis, it can border on impossible.

    Fortunately, Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper spared us any emojis in his much-talked about tweet from Wednesday, which focused on the potential addition of two new free agents. But its contents were still left open to various forms of interpretation and speculation.

    To present the full picture, Harper was responding to a tweet from ESPN’s Jim Bowden, which noted Washington’s lingering interest in free agents Matt Wieters and Greg Holland. However, in the same tweet-breath, Bowden also indicated budget issues created by the team’s new spring training complex could prevent further spending.

    #Nationals still have interest in both Wieters & Holland..but they are way over budget on Spring Training Complex making decision difficult

    The players are much the same, which may have prompted this response from Harper.

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  • Hot Stove Digest: Kole Calhoun signs three-year extension with Angels

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day 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.

    COST CERTAINTY: The Los Angeles Angels bought out all three years of Kole Calhoun’s arbitration eligibility on Wednesday, signing him to a three-year, $26M contract. The deal reportedly includes an option for 2020 worth $14M. Though Calhoun would have remained under team control, the deal allowed them to set his salary now, rather than work year-to-year. The 29-year-old seems like a good bet to maintain his value after batting .271/.348/.438 with 18 home runs and 75 RBI over 157 games last season. [@BillShaikin]

    WELCOME BACK: The A’s signed veteran pitcher Ross Detwiler to a minor league contract. The 30-year-old left-hander appeared in nine games for Oakland last season (seven starts), posting a 6.14 ERA. He’ll enter camp as a non-roster invite competing for a rotation spot. [Yahoo Sports]

  • Jorge Posada falls off Hall of Fame ballot after just one year

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The first member of the Core Four eligible for the Hall of Fame might be the only member who never gets the call. New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada received just 3.8 percent of the vote Wednesday, falling off the Hall of Fame ballot after just one year.

    The fact that Posada was not inducted into Cooperstown shouldn’t come as a major surprise. The bigger shock is that Posada failed to receive the five percent of the vote necessary to remain on the ballot in his first year of eligibility. While few would passionately argue Posada was worthy of enshrinement, he had an excellent career that was boosted by many external factors the voters seem to love.

    Statistically, Posada doesn’t hit any of the benchmarks usually associated with induction. Over 17 years in the majors, he slashed .273/.374/.474, with 275 home runs. He made five All-Star teams, won five Silver Sluggers and finished in the top-10 in MVP voting twice.

    Both of those figures are close, though, and Posada’s case gets even stronger when you consider his non-statistical impact on the game.

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  • Why didn't Vladimir Guerrero get into the Hall of Fame?

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    There was only room for three in baseball’s 2017 Hall of Fame class.

    Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez received the call on Wednesday after finishing above the 75-percent threshold needed for election. Not far behind though were a pair of hopefuls in Trevor Hoffman, who finished a mere five votes short of election, and first-timer Vladimir Guerrero, whose 71.7 percent finish put him just 15 votes shy.

    Guerrero’s election in particular would have made for a fun storyline for a few reasons, not the least of which being that he absolutely belongs. It would have been great to see a pair of first-ballot guys get in, but instead that distinction belonged solely to Pudge Rodriguez. Beyond that, it would have been a joyous occasion for the still supportive Montreal Expos fanbase had both Raines and Guerrero gotten their due.

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