Keith Law today released his Top 100 prospects list. Joba Chamberlain is No. 3; Clay Buchholz is No. 4.
Chamberlain is best cast as a four-pitch starter who projects as a true No. 1 starter. He has a four-pitch repertoire where all pitches project as average or better … . The fastball and slider are already big league out pitches and in relief, he can probably get away without the other two pitches.
Buchholz is an unusual pitching prospect in that he already brings two plus secondary pitches to the table, including one of the best right-handed changeups in the game today, with good tumble and fading action, and he sells it well with perfect arm speed.
The Red Sox and Yankees both land five prospects in the Top 100, tied for third with the Dodgers behind Tampa Bay and Texas. In order:
3. Joba Chamberlain
4. Clay Buchholz
19. Jacoby Ellsbury
21. Jose Tabata
24. Austin Jackson
28. Lars Anderson
45. Ian Kennedy
55. Jed Lowrie
58. Justin Masterson
100. Andrew Brackman
I’ll let someone else figure out where the former Mets’ prospects rank when compared to Ellsbury (19), Lowrie (55) and Masterson (58) — all thought to be offered to the Twins in some form or other.
by General Red Sox,General Yankees · 34 comments
at 4:54 pm in
You’re the next contestant
on The Price Is Right in the 2008 Yankee First Baseman Lollapallooza. Morgan, meet Jason, Shelley, Wilson….
by General Yankees · 13 comments
at 4:02 pm in
We’re not talking about covert interrogations by jackbooted government thugs, but for some reason this bizarre story stirs up more than a small bit of sympathy in me for The Blue. In an effort to be on top (yet awkwardly behind) of any scandal similar to the Donaghy/NBA fiasco, MLB has taken the stalwart step of interviewing the neighbors of MLB umpires.
According to the article, MLB Ump’s Union spokesman Larnell McMorris said the questions by investigators included such tasty morsels as:
·Do you know if umpire ‘X’ is a member of the Ku Klux Klan?
·Does he grow marijuana plants?
·Does he beat his wife? (should have asked, when did he stop? Sorry, love that chestnut)
·Have you seen the police at his home?
·Does he throw wild parties?
It seems most everyone has to submit to background checks and tests these days to get a job. Heck, you wouldn’t believe what Homeland Security is putting 750 THOUSAND workers in my industry through. And yeah, the umps quite possibly should have capitulated to allow financial background checks, but even that is a reach. I’d be happy if they started here. But this whole business seems a bit offsides, to mix my metaphors.
by General Baseball · 11 comments
at 8:44 pm in
USA Today, via MLBTR:
The New York Mets have agreed to a trade for two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, giving up four prospects to acquire the left-handed ace of the Minnesota Twins, according to two high-ranking Twins officials with knowledge of the talks and a person close to Santana.
The deal is pending the Mets and Santana reaching agreement on a six- or seven-year contract extension and that Santana passes a physical; they have been granted a 48 to-72-hour window to do so. Santana has a no-trade clause that he will waive if agreement is reached on a contract extension.
The Mets paid a high price in prospects to land Santana, agreeing to send the Twins outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.
The best possible option for the Red Sox, short of landing him themselves.
by General Red Sox,General Yankees,The Wire · 121 comments
at 4:27 pm in
Breathe it in, and breathe it out,
And pass it on — it’s almost out.
We’re so creative and so much more.
We’re high above but on the floor.
It’s not a habit, it’s cool — I feel alive.
If you don’t have it, you’re on the other side.
You may have thought the 1996 alt-rock classic by K’s Choice was a sublte anti-drug anthem. Clearly, this conventional take is wrong. The song is actually discussing an addiction that is much more insidious: That of Johan Santana trade rumors.
Gordon Edes says the Twins have ramped up negotiations, and that Red Sox officials wouldn’t be surprised to see a Santana deal done (though not necessarily with Boston) by the end of the week. Buster Olney takes it one step further: A deal could be done "as early as today," and the Twins have asked for teams’ last and best offers.
There’s also this bit:
Two sources involved in the discussions say the Red Sox have indicated they won’t trade Lester, and another highly placed source says Lester remains on the table. A fourth says the Red Sox are willing to deal Lester only in a package with little window dressing — in other words, Lester and Coco Crisp and little else.
It’s over now, I’m cold, alone.
I’m just a person on my own.
Nothing means a thing to me,
Oh, nothing means a thing to me.
by General Red Sox,General Yankees,The Wire · 6 comments
at 2:31 pm in
I know this is a baseball website, but I couldn’t resist. The Boston Globe has decided to recap the perfect 19-0 championship season five days before the game is played. The title of the book "19-0: The Historic Championship Season of New England’s Unbeatable Patriots." As a Giants fan I can laugh it off, but Patriot fans have to be just a little ticked off. Sure the Patriots are the more talented team, but documenting the perfect season before the perfect season is complete? Well that’s just asking for something bad to happen.
by General Baseball · 12 comments
at 11:00 am in
The NYT reports today that David Cone will rejoin the YES network as a game and studio analyst in 2008, filling the void left by Joe Girardi’s shift to the dugout. Nothing but love in these parts for David Cone; the job seems a natural for him. As a player and de facto team spokesman, Cone’s candor and essential even-handedness was something all sensible fans appreciated. He had an intuitive grasp of the “game” between media and athlete—he understood what each of those parties needed to practice their professions—and was gifted in satisfying all parties without resorting to the constant stream of cliches we expect from both sides of that equation. Cone was also the Yankees player rep, and so should give fans a more nuanced picture of the relations between union and ownership, and what they’ve begot. Don’t expect a firebrand. Just a bit of honesty. Welcome back.
by General Yankees · 11 comments
at 9:43 am in
The Red Sox added another piece to their annual strategy of throwing a dozen relievers against a wall and seeing which ones stick. Considering the Sox had the best bullpen in the AL last year, it’s hard to argue with the theory.
David Aardsma, a former first-round pick, has shown some brilliance, and also shown batters some fat fastballs that get hit a long way. The Sox gave up two A-ball pitchers unlikely to go very far. In all, not a bad trade with some decent upside to it.
Meanwhile, there’s that other trade possibility.
[I]t looks like the Twins want to get a Johan Santana trade done this week or begin preparing for his arrival at spring training.
We really won’t know if the Twins waited too long to trade Santana until a deal is made. For now, they insist that that they remain in contact with the Red Sox, Mets and Yankees and no team has pulled out. …
I asked if the Twins have discussed adding a player to any deal to help move things along. I was told no.
I asked about reports that Jon Lester has been pulled from the Red Sox offer. I was told it’s not true.
Olney had been reporting that the Sox pulled Lester from their proposals. Charley Walters — still unfairly ridiculed in some quarters, despite being the first one to break the Sox’ high interest and solid offer in the saga — has reported the Twins tried to get the Angels back in the mix, to no avail.
by General Red Sox · 8 comments
at 3:51 pm in
Proving that his competitive drive is stronger than ever, Roger Clemens has released his own report. At 49 pages, it’s a bit short of George Mitchell’s, but it promises to be just as interesting a read. In it, he makes the case that his trendlines are not as anomalous as his critics (including myself) have argued.
Update: My take on the report after the jump.
by Steroids · 9 comments
at 10:59 am in
Alan Schwarz has one of his typically fine pieces in the Times today. The subject is Eric Walker, who argues that the so-called steroid era has not produced a discernible increase in power numbers across baseball, despite appearances. He blames a juiced ball for an anomalous surge in 1993-94, and uses a statistic called Power Factor (PF), or total bases per hit, to prove his thesis. PF has been steady during the steroid period. I’m wont to believe the steroid effect, whatever it might be, is over-stated by the layman, but Walker’s methodology, as explained by Schwarz at least, is unconvincing. PF doesn’t seem to me a reasonable indication of anything, given the complexity of the system it models and the immense number of moving parts involved (stadium size, expansion, etc.) One of the problems with steroids is that we’re never going to know the true effects, because we’re never going to have a controlled scientific study of what they can or can’t do. That said, when a complex stat so patently fails to explain observed phenomena (Bonds, McGwire, etc.), then you need to look a bit more closely at your own methodology.
This is no defense of the Mitchell Report and subsequent Congressional furor. I can’t imagine anything more sad than subpoening Chuck Knoblauch to testify against his will before grandstanding politicians. Just when it seems things couldn’t get much worse, well, there always seems to be another level to which the game can sink. Ugh.
[Ed Note: Please take the time to read through the comments, as Mr. Walker took the time to respond to this post, and to some of the comments in the thread.]
by Steroids · 12 comments
at 12:59 pm in
The Yanks have avoided arbitration with Robinson Cano, signing him to a 4 year/$28 million deal that has club options for an additional 2 years/$27 million (and a $2 million buyout). Seems like a reasonable deal for all parties. Would indicate that he’s not moving in a would-be deal, but who knows.
by General Yankees · 14 comments
at 2:08 pm in
[Bernie] Williams had a “terrible season” in 2005
“I thought our guys weren’t mentally tough enough to get through it,” Cashman [said about the midge incident]
Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein appeared together on Friday, and the above quotes are some of the choicest from the Yankees’ GM. If only we had this kind of candor more often, and in more timely fashion. We know there is a lot of politics in being a GM, but it’s refreshing to hear Cash speak this way about the players and not sugarcoat everything for ego’s sake.
by General Yankees · 17 comments
at 9:37 am in
La Velle reports the Mets appear to be in the lead to land him. Given Boston’s offers are better in terms of player contributions in 2008 and forward, one can easily conclude the Red Sox are not serious and remain in the discussions only to drive the Yankees’ price upwards. One can easily conclude the Twins know that, too, and that is why they have not taken the deal.
So how exactly does a team make such an offer? Do they come to the table, and while naming each non-serious player in the non-serious offer very slowly, wink hard and bracket each name with air quotes? Does doing so let the Twins know that this offer is to be taken "veeeerrrryyy seriously ;-)" and to leak it in hopes of getting more from the Yankees, but that otherwise there actually is no offer?
It seems that takes more of a leap than to "easily conclude" that the Twins still think they can get the Sox, Yanks and Mets to play off each other and up the bidding — and are perhaps just now realizing that the Red Sox and Yankees would like nothing more than to keep their prospects and let Santana go to the NL.
by General Red Sox,General Yankees,The Wire · 17 comments
at 10:04 am in
A couple days ago, we made light of the fact that the Red Sox would be throwing Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka twice each against a rebuilding Oakland Athletics squad.
Unfortunately, shipping off Rich Harden and Joe Blanton hasn’t been part of that process, and Bob Geren says Harden is ready to go for Game 1 — assuming he’s healthy of course.
So the Tokyo Dome masses should see some good pitching during the series, if nothing else.
by General Red Sox · 0 comments
at 9:30 am in
We all pretty well understand that New York is better than Boston at many things — theater, culture, nightlife, cramming people into places you never thought people could live. But little did we know.
Speaking of subways, have you ever wondered why in New York the subways are identified by letters and numbers, while in Boston they go by colors? Could it be that when they built their systems, people in New York could actually read and count? Just asking.
Considering the column doesn’t even have a single "Sully" reference, I can’t give it any better than a B+.
by Humor · 15 comments
at 1:01 am in
First, the Red Sox shed the lovable loser status and win a freaking World Series (or 2). And now they’re advertising on their uniforms.
The Boston Red Sox are putting advertisements on their uniforms for the first time.
World Series champions said Wednesday they will wear sleeve patches
with the logo "EMC" when they open the season with a two-game series
against the Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome on March 22 and 23. EMC
Corp. is a data-storage company based in Hopkinton, Mass.
This is a shame. We Yanks fans enjoy crass commercialism because, after all, we’re Yankees fans. Capitalism has done us well. Heck, our beloved Bombers even pioneered this uniform advertising practice a couple of years ago (as the linked article notes). But the Sox?! That’s not the franchise’s ethos. If the Yanks were Standard Oil, then the Sox were a Mom and Pop operation that sold vintage clothes and used lamps.
This Yanks fan doesn’t know what to make of these new Sox. They signed onto a major label and started singing about things for which the youth did not care. I’m not sure I’m getting their next album.
Next thing you know, their owner will be making overtures in the press about moving away from good old Fenway.
by Economics,General Red Sox · 29 comments
at 9:38 am in