10 MLB prospects who will make an impact in 2020

It’s fair to say the 2019 MLB season has been the year of the rookie. All around the league, first-year players have burst onto the scene to make immediate impacts, and in some cases have become instant stars. Just look at what some of these guys have done:

The Mets’ Pete Alonso currently leads the majors with 47 home runs.

Before he got hurt, San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. was hitting .317 with 22 homers and 53 RBI in only 84 games.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez has crushed 22 long balls in only 240 at-bats.

Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hasn’t quite dominated the way he did in AAA, but he’s shown immense power and potential, and the show he put on at the Home Run Derby will be talked about for years.

Atlanta’s Mike Soroka is a legitimate NL Cy Young candidate.

The Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds is hitting .328 and could well win the batting title.

The list goes on and on. Keston Hiura, Christian Walker, Eloy Jimenez, Austin Riley, among others look like cornerstone everyday players in the big leagues.

This unprecedented wave of talented players making their debuts all around the same time got us thinking. Let’s take a look at 10 players who could make a similar rookie impact in 2020.

1. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox

The White Sox system has been strong for several years now, and while Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and the above-mentioned Jimenez have already thrived in the big leagues, Robert figures to join them in the near future. The native Cuban dominated three separate minor league levels in 2019, hitting .328 with 32 homers and 92 RBI while stealing 36 bases and adding 31 doubles and 11 triples. He was recently named the minor league Player of the Year by USA Today, and it’s a reasonable assumption that he’ll be patrolling center field at Guaranteed Rate Field very early next spring.

2. Gavin Lux, IF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Lux’s status on this list is a bit tenuous, as he was just promoted to the big leagues this week, and it’s likely going to be close whether or not he accumulates 130 at-bats and loses his 2020 rookie status. Provided he doesn’t, he should be the hands-down favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year next season. In the minor leagues this season the 21-year-old slashed an astounding .347/.421/.607 while crushing 26 homers and driving in 76 runs. He’s a natural shortstop who has played second in his early exposure in the big leagues, a position that may become his ultimate home given the presence of Corey Seager. Regardless at what side of the second base bag he lines up defensively, Lux can flat out hit, and it’s no surprise the Dodgers wanted to give him a look down the stretch to see if he can make a push for a postseason roster spot.

3.  Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros

Houston has been waiting for the talented left-handed slugger to go from dominant minor leaguer to dangerous middle-of-the-order bat in the big leagues, and it seems fair to assume that transition will finally occur next season. With AAA Round Rock in 2019, Tucker hit .266 with 34 homers and 97 RBI — the third consecutive minor league season he drove in over 90 runs. Perhaps even more impressive is the 30 stolen bases he racked up, as no matter what level you’re playing in, it’s incredibly difficult to produce 30/30 seasons. Tucker’s blend of power and speed have long made him desirable to other teams in trade discussions, but the Astros have consistently hung up the phone before talks could get off the ground. His organization’s belief in him hasn’t been deterred, however, and it’s time for the 22-year-old to reward its patience.

4. Carter Kieboom, IF, Washington Nationals

The Nationals took Kieboom in the first round out of high school three years ago, and he’s done nothing but shoot through their system since. In 412 at-bats in AAA this year, the young infielder hit an impressive .303 with 16 homers and 79 RBI while also tallying 24 doubles and 203 total bases. Injuries necessitated a brief big league promotion in late April, and while he did hit his first two big league homers during that 39 at-bat stint, Washington shipped him back to Fresno when it got some veterans back. Next season, however, the Nats figure to have an opening at second base, as Brian Dozier signed only a one-year free agent pact last winter, and his performance has not warranted Washington doubling down, especially given the presence of Kieboom, who conceivably will team with shortstop Trea Turner to form this team’s long-term double play combination.

5. Casey Mize, SP, Detroit Tigers

Mountcastle is far from a perfect prospect, but his power potential is simply hard to ignore. In a little over 500 at-bats for Baltimore’s AAA affiliate in Norfolk, the 22-year-old hit .312 with 25 long balls and 35 doubles. His .527 SLG percentage finished sixth in the International League, and it’s easy to see why the Orioles are high on his bat. That said, Mountcastle does have things to work on. For starters, he doesn’t really have a defensive position. He played third base in 2018 and predominantly first this season while also mixing in some work in left field. A future as a big league DH could very well be in the cards. Plate discipline is also of some concern as the big right-handed slugger walked only 24 times all year, making his .344 OBP simply remarkable. All told, while Mountcastle is raw, the O’s are in no position to not take a flier, and if he gets consistent at-bats in 2020 it may just become too difficult to get him out of the line-up.

8. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

The son of longtime major league third baseman Charlie Hayes, Ke’Bryan has blossomed into quite the hot corner prospect. In 110 games in AAA this season the Pittsburgh’s first-round pick from back in 2015 hit .261 with 10 homers and 55 RBI, but those numbers only tell some of the story. His 31 doubles, 13 steals and renowned defense at an important position help paint the picture of a solid player who can do just about everything on a baseball diamond. The Bucs have started Colin Moran or Jung-Ho Kang most nights at third base this season, and while Kang is no longer in Pittsburgh, Moran is not someone who should block the team’s best position player prospect. Hayes doesn’t profile as a can’t-miss star, but he should be an above-average everyday third baseman for a long time, potentially beginning as soon as next opening day.

9. Justin Dunn, SP, Seattle Mariners

Dunn came to Seattle in the much-discussed winter trade with the Mets that netted the Mariners outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic, and while that alone would seem to make the deal a heist for the M’s, the righty has the potential to make this one of the most one-sided trades of all time. In 25 starts in AA in ’19, the Boston College product worked to a strong 3.55 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP while punching out 158 hitters in 131.1 innings and limiting the opposition to a .236 batting average. Scouts don’t look at Dunn as a future big league ace or even a No. 2, but a strong showing in spring training would put him in discussion for a rotation spot, and it’s certainly feasible he could become a key cog in Seattle’s starting five sometime in 2020.

10. Nate Pearson, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto is a team to buy stock in, as with youngsters Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio already contributing to the parent club, the organization’s farm system has more talent coming. Pearson paces that group. In 25 minor league starts this season the right-hander posted a 2.30 ERA in 101.2 innings while delivering an 0.89 WHIP and a .176 batting average against. He struck out well over a batter/frame while issuing only 27 free passes all season. And on a team with little to be excited about on the mound, particularly after Marcus Stroman was traded for New York, Pearson is quickly going to become a name to know among baseball fans in Canada.

https://www.yardbarker.com/mlb/articles/10_mlb_prospects_who_will_make_an_impact_in_2020/s1_13132_29960984

By: Justin W Mears

Best second-half MLB teams of wild-card era

Whether it comes as a strong finish to an already dominant season or an amazing comeback, or it’s a newly emerged contender coming out of nowhere, there have been some remarkable finishes in the recent history of Major League Baseball. The wild-card era has ushered in far more opportunity for the postseason than ever before but also has raised the stakes within the pursuit.

With 2019’s pennant chase preparing to take shape, let’s take a look back some of the great finishes of baseball’s modern postseason era. 1 of 20

Seattle Mariners, 1995

After owning a 34-35 record at the All-Star break, the ’95 Mariners went from last to first place in the season’s second half. Ken Griffey Jr returned from a two-month absence to hit 10 home runs over the final two months, Edgar Martinez won the AL batting title and Randy Johnson won his first Cy Young Award. The Mariners bested the California Angels in a tie-breaker game to claim their first division title in franchise history. They reached the AL Championship Series, led by a legendary performance by Martinez against the Yankees in the ALDS. Seattle lost to Cleveland in the ALCS. 2 of 20

Chicago Cubs, 1998

While the summer of ’98 is best known for the home run race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, it also is known for a tight NL playoff race. Sosa’s Cubs were one of the hottest teams in the game in the middle of the year before cooling off late. Meanwhile, Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants won nine of their last 12 games to catch the Cubs. The teams squared off in one-game playoff in which Bonds nearly hit a ninth-inning grand slam amid a Giants rally that fell short. The Cubs hung on to win, and they reached the playoffs for the first time in nine years. 3 of 20

New York Yankees, 1998

Not all memorable second-half performances included airtight races to the finish. Take the case of one of the greatest teams of all time, the ’98 Yankees. They were dominant from start to finish, winning 20 games in three separate months en route to a record 114-win season. They won the AL East by 22 games, with a breakout season for a young Derek Jeter, who hit .324 with 203 hits. They finished the season 66 games over .500 and set a record for most wins in a season, 125, after sweeping the San Diego Padres in the World Series. 4 of 20

Cleveland Indians, 2001

Aided by Minnesota’s huge collapse, the 2001 Indians staged an incredible comeback to claim an AL Central title. After reaching the All-Star break 23 games over .500, the Twins dropped 15 of their first 20 second-half contests, losing their grip on the division in the process. Meanwhile, behind a 49-homer season from Jim Thome, after being five games back at the All-Star break, the Indians finished six games ahead to win a sixth AL Central title since 1995, going 9-3 against Minnesota in the second half. 5 of 20

Oakland Athletics, 2001

In the wild-card era, no team has had more second-half success than the 2001 A’s. They set a 162-game schedule record by going 63-18 over their final 81 games, which included an incredible 29-4 record over the season’s final month. Led by their hallowed three-ace rotation of Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson, along with a string of incredible starts from Cory Lidle, who went 11-2 after the break, the A’s set a record for most wins by a wild-card team with 102. It also was the most wins by a second-place club, but they still finished 14 games behind the record-setting 2001 Seattle Mariners.

6 of 20

Seattle Mariners, 2001

Led by an incredible jolt of energy from MVP/Rookie of the Year Ichiro Suzuki, the 2001 Seattle Mariners tied the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the most regular-season wins in history with 116. The team never posted a double-digit loss total in any month and saved the best for last. From Sept. 1 through Oct. 7, they went 20-7, with a 4-3 loss on the season’s final day, costing them a chance to set the outright record for most wins in a season. 7 of 20

Oakland Athletics, 2002

For a second consecutive season, in 2002 Oakland channeled second-half magic, going 24-4 in August, a run that included the bulk of one of the greatest winning streaks in MLB history. Oakland went undefeated from Aug.13 to Sept. 4, embarking on an AL-record 20-game winning streak — which included walk-off wins during the final three victories of the streak. However, taking over the division outright required a second, shorter winning spree, when Oakland won nine of its final 11 games over divisional foes to win the AL West. It was a season that changed the way the sport is perceived and inspired the book and movie”‘Moneyball.” 8 of 20

Florida Marlins, 2003

The 2003 Marlins are the definition of a team that got hot at just the right time. After losing eight of their final nine games in August, Florida entered the final month 13 games back in the NL East and barely in control of a wild-card spot. However, its “team of destiny” run — which included an NLCS victory aided by the “Bartman Game” vs. the Cubs and a stunning upset of the New York Yankees in the World Series — got underway quickly in September. Jack McKeon’s club went 10-2 to start the month and won seven of its last nine to claim the NL wild-card spot. 9 of 20

Minnesota Twins, 2006

In 2006, the Twins pulled off the biggest second-half comeback of the last quarter century, erasing an 11-game deficit in the process. With Johan Santana embarking on a 13-0 second half en route to claiming AL Cy Young Award honors, Justin Morneau capturing AL MVP and Joe Mauer being crowned as AL batting champion, the Twins went 49-27 in the second half. This allowed them to track down the Detroit Tigers, who had posted the game’s top record in the first half but stumbled south of .500 following the All-Star break. Ultimately the Twins won the AL Central on the final day of the season. 10 of 20

Colorado Rockies, 2007

On Sept. 15, Colorado was barely above .500 and 6.5 games back of the San Diego Padres. However, the Rockies soon turned the booster jets on, winning 13 of their final 14 games to incredibly reach 90 wins and force a one-game playoff for the NL wild-card spot. The game featured another incredible comeback, as the Rockies rallied from a two-run deficit in the bottom of the 13th inning, capped by Matt Holliday scoring a still-disputed run on a Jamey Carroll sacrifice fly to send the Rockies back to the postseason for the first time in six seasons.

By: Matt Whitener

https://www.yardbarker.com/mlb/articles/best_second_half_mlb_teams_of_wild_card_era/s1__29700269#slide_1

MLB manager hot seat rankings

With the MLB regular season now about one-third of the way finished, we have a clearer picture of where each team stands. Some managers are already looking over their shoulders as a result of poor team performance. The following gallery is a ranking of MLB manager job security from one (least secure) to 30 (most secure).

1. Dave Martinez, Nationals

Brad Penner / USA Today Sports Images

While the Nats allowed Bryce Harper to walk in free agency, they entered the season with high expectations after signing Patrick Corbin. The roster has its share of stars with Corbin, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon, yet the team was almost out of the playoff race entering June. Washington was also the most disappointing team of 2018, at 82-80, and fired pitching coach Derek Lilliquist in early May. Frankly, it’s surprising Martinez has lasted this long in his second year.

2. Mickey Callaway, Mets

Noah K. Murray / USA Today Sports Images

The Mets sideshow continues. Callaway’s team finished with 77 wins in his first season but seemingly went all in this offseason by adding Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano and Wilson Ramos and also allowed rookie Pete Alonso to stick on the roster out of spring training, thereby losing a year of team control. Yet, New York was below .500 entering June, and the pitching staff (Callaway’s area of expertise) has been disappointing.

3. Don Mattingly, Marlins

Aaron Doster / USA Today Sports Images

It’s hard to believe him, but Marlins CEO Derek Jeter has insisted he expects the Marlins to win now. Jeter and Mattingly go way back to their days with the Yankees, but if Jeter truly practices what he preaches, Mattingly could be on the chopping block. To the surprise of no one (except maybe Jeter), the Marlins were 21-36 through June 3 and in contention for the worst record in baseball.

4. David Bell, Reds

Brad Penner / USA Today Sports Images

On one hand, the Reds ranked fourth in run differential in the NL through June 1. On the other hand, they were in last place at 27-32 with a lineup that has been a massive disappointment. The Reds’ pitching additions have worked out for the most part, particularly Sonny Gray and Tanner Roark, but the team had much higher expectations in Bell’s first season. It would be surprising if Cincinnati fired Bell in his first year but not unprecedented.

5. Ned Yost, Royals

Jim Cowsert / USA Today Sports Images

Yost gets some leeway for leading the Royals to two World Series, but the organization’s last winning season was its World Series championship 2015 season. K.C. won only 58 games last year and is well on its way to another embarrassing finish. The hiring of former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as a front office assistant opened some eyes, and he would make sense as a replacement if the Royals move on from Yost, whose contract expires after this season.

6. Joe Maddon, Cubs

Jasen Vinlove / USA Today Sports Images

Maddon is in the last year of his contract with the Cubs, and the team has high expectations for 2019 despite making few offseason moves. While they have appeared in four straight playoffs, including their historic World Series win in 2016, their playoff success under Maddon has otherwise been fleeting. The NL Central has never been tougher during Maddon’s tenure than it is this season, but the team might decide to finally move on from him if it doesn’t go further in the playoffs this year.

7. Mike Shildt, Cardinals

Jim Cowsert / USA Today Sports Images

Shildt was the Cardinals savior last season, going 41-28 after the first-time manager was promoted following Mike Matheny’s firing. His start to this season has been more innocuous at 30-28, third place in the loaded NL Central. The Cardinals are desperate to make the playoffs after failing over the last three seasons and trading a significant package for Paul Goldschmidt in the offseason. Shildt can’t be faulted for the team’s starting pitching struggles, but ownership could make changes if the team disappoints again this year.

8. Brad Ausmus, Angels

Jesse Johnson / USA Today Sports Images

You’ve probably heard this one before, but the Angels have been plagued by multiple pitching injuries and have struggled to find hitters around Mike Trout this year. They had the same issue recently under Mike Scioscia, and Ausmus hasn’t been able to buck the trend despite being far more amenable to using openers and defensive shifts. Ausmus should get some slack, but it’s inexcusable for the team to not be competitive for so long. The Angels are at risk of finishing below .500 for the fourth straight season.

9. Clint Hurdle, Pirates

Philip G. Pavely / USA Today Sports Images

The Pirates remain within striking distance in the NL Central, though winning the division doesn’t truly look realistic with Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams injured. Pittsburgh’s pitching staff has been far worse than expected as a result, and their negative-68 run differential through 58 games currently is the third-worst in the league. Hurdle has done a nice job considering the circumstances, but the team has finished above .500 only once in the last three years and could be in for a standings plunge if it doesn’t get healthy quickly.

10. Scott Servais, Mariners

Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today Sports Images

The M’s had a fire sale this offseason despite winning 89 games in 2018 but were able to get off to a hot start anyway. The Jay Bruce trade on June 2 likely was the first domino to fall in a continuing rebuild with the team standing 17 games out of first place. Servais hasn’t done anything wrong, but it remains to be seen whether the front office sees him as the right manager for what will soon become a younger roster.

https://www.yardbarker.com/mlb/articles/mlb_manager_hot_seat_rankings/s1__29249243#slide_10

By: Seth Trachtman

How MLB players performed in first season after signing massive deals

Giancarlo Stanton: $325 million (2015)

The deal Stanton signed in November 2014 with the Marlins blew away the previous MLB high-water mark by more than $50 million; the 13-year contract also set a standard for length. The first year of the deal was a disappointment for Stanton, who was limited to only 74 games due to a broken bone in his right hand. At the time of the injury in June, he had 27 home runs, four that traveled more than 460 feet.

Alex Rodriguez, $252 and $272 million (2001, 2008)

A-Rod redefined the game’s financial high-water mark not once, but twice, the first time coming when he inked a $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers in 2001. In his first year in Arlington, Rodriguez led the American League with 52 home runs and 393 total bases. He also became the third player in history with 50 homers and 200 hits in a season. He made $20 million more on his second epic deal, this time with the Yankees in 2008. That season he hit 35 home runs, scored 104 runs and led the AL with a .573 slugging percentage.

Miguel Cabrera, $247 million (2014)

On the heels of his third consecutive batting title and second straight AL MVP, Cabrera was signed by the Tigers to a $247 million extension. Although 2014 would be the only year between 2011 and 2015 that Miggy would not top the AL in batting, he still managed to hit .313, drive in more than 100 runs for the seventh consecutive year for the Tigers and lead the league with 52 doubles.

Robinson Cano, $240 million (2014)

The Mariners shocked the baseball world with the deal for Cano’s services, reaching a level the Yankees refused to go for their All-Star second baseman. In Year 1 in the Pacific Northwest, Cano made his fifth consecutive All-Star team and finished fifth in AL MVP voting. However, he posted his lowest power numbers in seven years (14 HRs, 82 RBI) because of a gastrointestinal issue that plagued him late in the year.

Albert Pujols, $240 million (2012)

Angels owner Arte Moreno stunningly lured Pujols from St. Louis with the second-largest contract in MLB history at the time. Although Pujols hit 30 home runs and 50 doubles and drove in 105 runs for the Angels in 2012, his overall performance was well short of the lofty standards he set in St. Louis. He hit at least 40 HRs six times with the Cardinals.

Joey Votto, $225 million (2012)

With an NL MVP, Gold Glove and two on-base crowns already under his belt, the Reds made Votto the highest-paid player in franchise history in April 2012. He led the NL in walks (135) and on-base percentage (.474) and had a career-best .337 batting average. Votto’s torrid 2012 season was interrupted in mid-July because of a meniscus tear in his left knee. He missed 1 1/2 months.

David Price, $217 million (2016)

At the time of his signing, Price’s deal was the richest in history by a pitcher, earning him just under $1 million per start. Although he finished with 17 wins and led the AL in innings pitched with 230, his first year in Boston was an up-and-down affair. His first-half ERA was over 4.00, and he allowed the most hits in the AL that season. His postseason struggles continued as well — he allowed five runs over 3.1 innings in an ALCS defeat.

Clayton Kershaw, $214 million (2014)

Kershaw had arguably the greatest new-money season in MLB history in 2014. The Dodgers’ lefty went 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA in a season that also included a 41-inning scoreless streak. He was a unanimous NL Cy Young Award winner and the first hurler named NL MVP since Bob Gibson in 1968.

Prince Fielder, $212 million (2012)

The Detroit Tigers surprisingly signed the slugging first baseman to a nine-year, $214 million deal. (In 2011, he carried Milwaukee to the NLCS.) In his first of two seasons in Detroit, Fielder hit a career-best .313. slugged  30 home runs, drove in 108 runs and scored 83. He also won his second All-Star Home Run Derby crown, joining Ken Griffey Jr. as the only player with multiple Derby crowns at the time.

Max Scherzer, $210 million (2015)

In his first NL season, Scherzer threw two no-hitters, becoming the sixth player to accomplish the feat twice in a season. At one point, the Nationals’ pitcher retired 52 consecutive batters. He led the league in complete games (4) and shutouts (3).

Full List

By: Matt Whitener

 

 

Ichiro Suzuki to retire

Ichiro Suzuki will announce his retirement following the completion of Thursday morning’s game between the Mariners and Athletics in Tokyo, Jim Allen of the Kyodo News reports (Twitter link). Ichiro has already informed the Mariners about his decision. The 45-year-old outfielder is in Thursday’s lineup, starting in right field in the 2,653rd game of his MLB career.

The official announcement ends months of speculation that Ichiro would hang up his spikes at the conclusion of the two-game series, giving the legendary hitter the opportunity to take a final bow in his home country. Last May, Ichiro moved from the Mariners’ active roster into a front office role, and while he didn’t play again in 2018, both sides made it clear that he intended to continue his on-field career.

With these two games, Ichiro has now appeared in parts of the last 28 seasons in both Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball, completing one of the most remarkable careers in the history of the sport. Over 951 games with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan and then 2,653 games with the Mariners, Yankees and Marlins in North America, Ichiro recorded more professional hits than any player ever.

Heading into Thursday’s action, Ichiro had an incredible 4,367 career hits — 1,278 in NPB, and 3,089 in MLB, reaching the 3,000-hit club in the majors despite not playing his first North American game until he was already 27 years old.

After nine years as a star in Japan, Ichiro made a heavily-anticipated jump to the majors prior to the 2001 season after the Mariners won a posting bid to acquire his services. The transition was more than just seamless — Ichiro’s debut in the Show saw him hit .350/.381/.457 over a league-high 738 plate appearances for a 116-win Mariners team. He became just the second player to win both the Rookie Of The Year and MVP Awards in the same year, also winning the first of three Silver Slugger Awards and the first of 10 Gold Gloves.

Ichiro’s smooth left-handed hitting stroke and quick acceleration out of the box made him a threat to reach base every time he made contact. Perhaps the most notable of his many achievements was setting a new single-season hits record in 2004, as his 262 hits broke the 84-year-old mark formerly held by Hall-of-Famer George Sisler.

Ichiro’s defense and baserunning were perhaps just as impressive as his exploits at the plate. He stole a league-best 56 bases in 2001, and finished his career with 509 steals, tied for 35th-most in Major League history. As a right fielder, Ichiro unleashed a throwing arm that instantly drew comparisons to Roberto Clemente in terms of both power and accuracy.

While his skills inevitably declined with age, Ichiro did his best to stave off Father Time, playing past his 45th birthday due to a near-mythic fitness regime and nonstop preparation. This work ethic helped make Ichiro one of the most respected players of recent times, idolized by both fans and teammates alike all over the world.

We at MLB Trade Rumors congratulate Ichiro on an incredible career, and wish him all the best in his post-playing days.

Original Article

By: Mark Polishuk

Report: Yankees among the teams interested in J.T. Realmuto

Can we name one high-profile player available in free agency or the trade market that has not been linked to the New York Yankees?

Having already acquired ace pitcher James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners, New York apparently has a few different fires burning around the hot stove.

We can now add Miami Marlins All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto to the mix of players the team has been linked to. According to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, New York has indeed shown interest in Realmuto.

This pretty much tells us what we need to know about New York’s stance regarding Gary Sanchez’s defense behind home plate. Any move to acquire Realmuto would either include Sanchez transitioning to first place or being traded.

Realmuto, 27, has been among the hottest names on the trade market over the past calendar year. And it now looks like the Marlins are looking to move the disgruntled backstop.

The veteran hit .277 with 21 homers, 74 RBI and an .827 OPS last season. He’d be a major upgrade over Sanchez from a defensive standpoint.

Though, interest in a player of Realmuto’s ilk and age is going to continue being strong. This means New York would have to offer a whole heck of a lot in return to add one of the game’s best catchers.

Original Post

By: Vincent Frank

Marlins Trade Dee Gordon To Mariners. Did They Get A Good Deal?

Written by RJ Anderson at CBS Sports.com

On Thursday night, the Miami Marlins took the first step in a potential fire sale by moving second baseman Dee Gordon and international bonus pool money to the Seattle Mariners.

While Gordon looks to transition to center field for the Mariners, we decided to evaluate the Marlins’ return — Nick Neidert, Christopher Torres, and Robert Dugger — by asking Rotoworld prospect expert Christopher Crawford for his insight. Remember to follow Crawford on Twitter.

Would you say the Marlins got a legit return for Gordon, or was this a salary dump?

I would say that it’s closer to a salary dump than a legit return, but it’s definitely somewhere in the middle. When healthy, Gordon has shown the ability to be one of the better contact hitters in baseball, and he still has the speed to be among the league leaders in steals. Getting two of the Mariners’ best prospects is certainly a positive, but when you consider that Seattle still has one of the worst groups in the sport, it isn’t saying quite as much as that should.

What’s Nick Neidert’s long-term outlook?

Neidert is a starter, and should be a good one. He has a plus change — some have given it plus-plus grades — and he pounds the zone with four unique pitches that he commands as well as throwing them for strikes. The question is going to be if his 88-92 mph fastball can play up with the change, and if either breaking ball is good enough to miss bats. If it is, he’s a three. If not, he’s a four, but a good, reliable four.

Can Christopher Torres be the Marlins’ shortstop of the future?

Defensively, I don’t think there’s any question Torres can. His actions are excellent, and he has the athleticism and arm strength to be a real asset in the field. Offensively, there’s some question marks here. There’s very little power, and there’s significant contact issues. He does have good speed, however, and with some mechanical adjustments he might make enough contact to  have a 50-grade hit tool. He’s definitely interesting, but risky.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Mariners Trade for Yonder Alonso From A’s

Written by Mike Axisa at CBS Sports.com

The Seattle Mariners have baseball’s longest postseason drought, and with a wild-card spot within reach, the club has added a big bat for the stretch run.

Sunday afternoon the Mariners acquired All-Star first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Athletics for outfield prospect Boog Powell. Both teams have announced the trade.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the Mariners claimed Alonso on trade waivers, then worked out a deal. Here’s how trade waivers work. The short version: players claimed on trade waivers can only be traded to the claiming team while players who go unclaimed can be traded anywhere.

Alonso, 30, will be a free agent after the season, so he is a rental for the Mariners. They figure to platoon him with Danny Valencia at first base. The left-handed hitting Alonso is hitting .266/.369/.527 with a career high 22 home runs this season, including .286/.391/.557 with 18 of those 22 home runs against righties. Valencia, a righty batter, is hitting .297/.368/.505 with four homers against lefties.

The 24-year-old Powell returns to the team that initially drafted him. He was Oakland’s 20th round pick in 2012, then was traded to the Rays in the big Ben Zobrist/Yunel Escobar deal in January 2015. Tampa Bay then flipped him to the Mariners in the Brad Miller/Logan Morrison trade in November 2015.

Powell, who is not related to former Orioles great Boog Powell, made his MLB debut earlier this season and is hitting .194/.310/.194 in 23 games. He put up a .340/.416/.490 batting line with six home runs in Triple-A before being called up. The A’s figure to plug him right into their lineup down the stretch.

To continue reading this article, click here.

MLB Playoff Predictions


Written by E Sarmiento at iSportsTimes.com

It’s shaping up to be a wild last two and a half weeks before the wildcard phase begins on October 4.

There’s a lot of baseball to be played and when the dust settles, the standings may encounter a few shakeups from the top. Teams vying for the wildcard slots are in a tight race, and we’re not sure who ends up where by the time the playoffs begin.

American League

The American League is still a free-for-all in some aspects, although the Texas Rangers may have the AL West locked up. Current AL Central leaders Cleveland Indians are six games ahead of the Detroit Tigers, and are also taking it easy. Everywhere else is mayhem.

AL East

The division that has the closest gap between teams and where the wildcard teams can probably be found, as the Red Sox’s current position can change in the coming days. The Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays are two games behind Boston, and both teams are currently surging, closing the gap atop the AL East. You can’t disregard the New York Yankees either, going 7-3 in their last 10, although their lineup is riddled with injuries, which might hurt their final push for a wildcard spot.

AL Central

The Indians seem to be resting its starters for a deep run into the playoffs, and seemingly can afford to do so, as the Tigers are sputtering to the finish line, going 5-5 in their last 10 games. Although mathematically still in the running, the Tigers need a solid push to qualify for a wildcard berth.

AL West

The Seattle Mariners are 8-2 in their last 10 games, ripping off seven straight wins against the Rangers, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Rangers aren’t scared though, having almost a 10-game lead.

AL Prediction: The Orioles will steal the top seed and leave the Boston Red Sox duking it out for a wildcard spot with the Blue Jays. Cleveland Indians head into the playoffs alone, leaving the Tigers in AL Central. Rangers in, Seattle competing for a spot in the wildcards. It’s bedlam as Boston, Toronto, New York and Seattle fight it out for the two spots. It’ll be Boston and Toronto in the wildcard berths by October.

 

 

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Orioles Trade for Wade Miley


Written by Eduardo A. Encina at the Baltimore Sun.com

The Orioles’ acquisition of Wade Miley is a long time coming. They have been searching for a left-handed starter since Wei-Yin Chen signed a free-agent deal with the Miami Marlins, officially leaving them void of a left-hander in their starting rotation.

Since spring training, Orioles manager Buck Showalter has played down the need for a left-handed starter, noting that there are fewer left-handed lineups around the American League, but the Orioles still coveted a capable left-hander all along.

It’s one thing to have an entirely right-handed rotation. It’s another thing to have one that posted a combined 5.15 ERA in the first half. So something needed to change, and while Miley has struggled to duplicate his early-career National League success in the AL, he’s a durable veteran arm who provides innings. And that in itself is an upgrade.

He might not wow you with his numbers – a 7-8 record and 4.98 ERA in 19 starts – or his stuff – a low-90s fastball, slider, changeup and occasional curveball – but if he can provide the Orioles with five or six innings an outing, it will do.

Keep in mind that Miley is under team control for another season beyond this year, so the Orioles acquired a rotation piece through 2017 for a relatively cheap cost.

The Orioles liked Cuban lefty Ariel Miranda, who went to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Miley, but it was obvious that Miranda wasn’t ready to contribute to the major league club any time soon. He earned a brief callup as an extra left-handed relief arm, but the organization wasn’t going to inset Miranda into a patchwork rotation anytime soon, and if he wasn’t left-handed, he probably wouldn’t have earned that promotion in the first place.

Being able to get out of Toronto with a win on Sunday afternoon was big, not just in reclaiming the AL East lead, but also for club morale moving forward that the Orioles can win games at the Rogers Centre.

For now, as Showalter says, they’re someone else’s problem. The Orioles won’t face the Jays until a three-game series at Camden Yards on Aug. 29-31.

But the next time the Orioles play at the Rogers Centre, those games could be critical. The Orioles’ final trip to Toronto is Sept. 27-29, the first stop of a six-game road trip that also includes a trip to New York to end the regular season.

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