Bregman enjoys life as World Series champ

Nov 17, 2017 | No Comments

The Astros certainly have been active in the two weeks since their World Series triumph over the Dodgers. No player, though, has been living it up as much as 23-year-old third baseman Alex Bregman, who might as well print some “U.S. Tour 2017” t-shirts.

MVP: Stanton by a nose, Altuve towers over AL

Nov 17, 2017 | No Comments

Always a premier power threat, Giancarlo Stanton became the first player in Marlins team history to be honored with the National League Most Valuable Player Award by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Thursday.

Jose Altuve Wins American League MVP Award

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was the clear favorite among Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters for the American League Most Valuable Player award, as he took 27 of 30 first-place votes en route to his first MVP nod. Altuve, a diminutive but dominating figure, led the American League in hits for the fourth-straight season and finished with a .346/.410/.547 slash with 24 home runs and 32 steals. While the Astros’ postseason success did not weigh in the balloting, the team’s 101-win regular season campaign surely did not hurt Altuve’s candidacy. Some thought it would be a tighter race between Altuve and the towering Aaron Judge, who was an easy choice for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Judge topped fifty homers while also pacing the A.L. in walks (as well as strikeouts). While he rebounded from a late-summer swoon to post a monster month of September, finishing with an excellent .284/.422/.627 campaign at the plate, Altuve’s steady excellence earned him the award. Third and fourth place went to Jose Ramirez of the Indians and Mike Trout of the Angels, respectively.

Votto 2nd in historically tight MVP vote

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

Reds first baseman Joey Votto finished second in the vote for the National League Most Valuable Player Award. In voting revealed on Thursday, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America named Giancarlo Stanton the winner of the award, with Paul Goldschmidt finishing third.

AL West Notes: Maxwell, Avisail, Healy Trade, Rangers, Astros

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

OaDespite recent allegations of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct, Bruce Maxwell is still viewed by the Athletics as their catcher next season, GM David Forst told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle at this week’s GM Meetings. “We’ll let the criminal proceedings play out,” said Forst, “But from a baseball standpoint, I expect Bruce to be our catcher next year.” Maxwell has already plead not guilty to the charges brought forth against him after he allegedly waved a gun in the face of a Postmates delivery employee last month. The Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported earlier this week that there’s no trial date yet, but a hearing wouldn’t occur until early 2018. Even without Maxwell’s off-the-field issues, though, catcher would seem to be a potential area for improvement for the Athletics. Maxwell will turn 27 in a month, has batted just .251/.331/.354 in 354 MLB plate appearances over the past two seasons and has thrown out a respectable but unspectacular 25 percent of opposing base thieves in his big league career. Baseball Prospectus rated him as an excellent pitch framer coming up through the minors, though he’s yet to post quality marks with the A’s. More from the AL West… Within that same piece, Shea also reports that the A’s have some interest in White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia. Oakland is known to be on the lookout for a right-handed-hitting outfielder that can play left field now that the trade of Ryon Healy has opened the door for Khris Davis to serve as the DH. While Garcia, 26, checks some boxes for Oakland, however, he’s not a perfect fit; the young slugger is only controlled for another two seasons, making him more of a mid-term play than a long-term asset. Beyond that, he’s only played 118 innings in left field as a big leaguer, and his defensive ratings in right field haven’t been positive on the whole (though they’ve improved dramatically in the past two seasons).

Rangers Plan To Discuss Extension With Jon Daniels

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

The Rangers will sit down with general manager Jon Daniels to discuss a contract extension in the near future, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Talks could begin prior to Thanksgiving, according to Grant, who suggests that the team intends ultimately intends to come to an agreement with Daniels on a new contract. Daniels’ current three-year deal expires after the 2018 season. Daniels was barely 28 years of age when he was named general manager of the Rangers, making him the youngest GM in the game’s history. He’s now overseen the Rangers for 12 seasons, though, and is among the game’s longest-tenured general managers. At the time Daniels was promoted to GM (when then-GM John Hart resigned), the Rangers had struggled to losing records in five of their past six seasons. While winning didn’t come immediately under Daniels’ watch, he eventually built the Rangers up to a perennial contender. Texas averaged 92 wins per season from 2009-12 and appeared in back-to-back World Series in 2010-11. The Rangers have won 87 or more games six times in the past nine seasons and only had two losing records in that span (including this past year’s 78-84 finish).

AL, NL MVP reveals next on Network

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

There’s jaw-dropping power on the ballot. There’s craftsmanship on there as well, players who’ve elevated hitting a baseball into an art form. Actually, that’s all of them. Finally, there’s the basic — and unanswerable — question of what constitutes “value.”

Free Agent Rumblings: Walker, Cobb, Chatwood, Minor, Lucroy, Bautista

Nov 15, 2017 | No Comments

As major league organizations compete to bring home the shiniest new cars in Playoffville (Copyright Scott Boras), let’s check in on the latest rumored connections: The Pirates have at least “some interest” in old friend Neil Walker, Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweets. Morosi cites uncertainty surrounding Jung Ho Kang as driving the possibility of a reunion, though as MLB.com’s Adam Berry writes, there’s another perspective on that subject, too. GM Neal Huntington says there’s still some hope that Kang will be able to return and finish his contract. If not, though, he feels the team is in good shape in the infield without him, due in part to the acquisition of Sean Rodriguez over the summer. It seems there’s some mutual interest between the Cubs and righty Alex Cobb, as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. That’s not a surprising connection, given the common roots with the Rays of Cobb and several key Cubs figures. The sides have engaged in preliminary discussions, though Wittenmyer’s sources tell him that contract particulars haven’t yet been broached. Another starter getting a bite is Tyler Chatwood, in whom the Orioles have shown interest, per Morosi (via Twitter)

Strong arms: Cy Young winners next on Network

Nov 15, 2017 | No Comments

The American League and National League Cy Young Awards, which will be handed out by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America tonight (6 p.m. ET, MLB Network), are a celebration of some of the best pitchers of a generation.

AL West Rumors: Mariners, Ohtani, Ichiro, Astros, Bush, Melvin, Maxwell

Nov 14, 2017 | No Comments

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto acknowledged to reporters at the GM Meetings that his club has interest in right-hander Shohei Ohtani, though like other GMs, his comments were mostly vague (link via Greg Johns and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com). “We, like 29 other clubs, have scouted him extensively,” said Dipoto. (Johns and Frisaro note that Dipoto and VP of scouting Tom Allison watched Ohtani pitch in Japan this past September.) “…He’s obviously an incredibly talented player and whoever gets him will be quite happy, I’m sure.” Dipoto wouldn’t comment on whether the team is giving serious consideration to a reunion with Ichiro Suzuki, who is now a free agent. While Dipoto suggested that Ichiro’s free agency “opens a door,” he went on to add that he’s “not entirely sure” it’d be a priority, given the team’s needs at first base, in center field and on the pitching staff. More from the division… Fresh off a World Series victory, the Astros would like to supplement their bullpen with a left-handed reliever, reports Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. Kaplan lists Mike Minor and Jake McGee as two potential targets for the ’Stros, noting that Minor’s frequent outings of more than one inning in 2017 could appeal to Houston.