Super-utility player Emilio Bonifacio has decided to change agents in advance of his coming free agency, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reports on Twitter. Bonifacio has moved from Paul Kinzer to Gene Mato, according to Dierkes. The 29-year-old switch-hitter delivers much of his value through baserunning and defensive versatility. A consistent threat to swipe thirty bags, Bonifacio ranks 12th in all of baseball since 2011 in the baserunning component of Fangraphs’ WAR calculation. In his eight seasons of MLB action, Bonifacio has seen extensive time at both middle infield spots, center field, and third base. Bonifacio is somewhat less accomplished with the bat, of course. His 2014 production — .259/.305/.345 over 426 plate appearances — is not far off from his career line of .262/.319/.341, which is approximately 20% below the league average rate. Bonifacio put up a .753 OPS in his best season as a hitter, his 2011 campaign with the Marlins, though that was fuelded by a .372 BABIP
A.J. Hinch said all the right things when he was introduced to the media at a press conference Monday at Minute Maid Park as the Astros’ new manager, which wasn’t easy considering how many questions he was peppered with throughout the day.
The Marlins made a 15-game improvement over last season’s 62 wins, but president of baseball operations Michael Hill explains to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that the team still has work to do, as they’re not one of the 10 teams whose season has yet to end. A busy offseason figures to be ahead, and at the forefront of the action will be an attempt to sign Giancarlo Stanton to a long-term deal. Marlins president David Samson spoke candidly to Spencer about the team’s hopes, and concretely stated that Stanton will not be traded this offseason: “He’s on this team [in 2015] either way. I can’t wait until after the season to sit down with Giancarlo and [agent] Joel Wolfe and talk about contract. We’re ready. We want him to be a Marlin well past his arbitration years. We hope that he believes in us and believes in Miami and believes in the direction of this team and recognizes that he has a chance to be the leader of a successful team for many years to come.” Regardless of whether or not a long-term deal is reached, Stanton’s salary figures to soar after an MVP-worthy campaign in 2014. Before his season came to a frightening end after he was struck in the face by a Mike Fiers fastball, Stanton had compiled an electric .288/.395/.555 batting line with a league-leading 37 homers and a career-best 105 RBIs. That type of production will warrant a sizable raise from his $6.5MM salary in arbitration. Spencer speculates that Stanton’s salary could double to $13MM, which seems entirely plausible; last offseason, Chris Davis earned a record $7MM raise for a second-time arbitration player — the same juncture at which Stanton currently finds himself.
Jim Callis analyzes how each playoff team used the Draft, international signings, trades and free agency to reach the postseason — from the Cardinals and Royals, who relied heavily on homegrown talent, to the A’s. Orioles and Tigers who imported most of their players.
The A’s have opted to go with eight pitchers on their 25-man roster for tonight’s winner-take-all AL Wild Card Game in Kansas City. As expected, Oakland is carrying just one extra starter not named Jon Lester, who will take the bump against the Royals for his 12th career postseason start.
Rickie Weeks doesn’t think that he’ll be back with the Brewers next season, he tells Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Weeks, who has an $11.5MM club option that won’t be exercised, didn’t request a final appearance with the team in the season’s last game. “I told the manager if the time permitted itself during the game to put me out there, OK. If not, so be it,” he said. “Life still goes on
At a news conference at Minute Maid Park this evening, the Astros named A.J. Hinch their next manager.
With the competition for the right to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy at the conclusion of the 110th World Series narrowed down to 10 teams, MLB.com staff members — including studio analysts, columnists and editors — shared their predictions for the results of each round.
A crowd of 5,000 filed into Kauffman Stadium on Monday to watch the Royals work out and take batting practice in the “Take the Crown Rally” event. It was an unusual scene for a fan base that will experience postseason baseball for the first time in nearly three decades on Tuesday night when the Royals face the A’s in the American League Wild Card Game.
Terry Ryan confirmed he’ll be back as Twins general manager next season, but Ron Gardenhire’s future with the organization still remains undecided after being offered an undisclosed job with the Twins despite being dismissed as manager on Monday.