MLB Notes, January 9, 2014

Half-birthday edition!

Remember when these used to be fun? Oh em gee, I couldn’t wait till my next birthday as a kid.

Now? The procrastinator in me says, “Kevin, 30 is YOUR year!” …knowing that I still have 2.5 years to go.

  • The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted 3 new members to Cooperstown yesterday: Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas. the first two listed were childhood idols of mine – the third? He was fun to watch, but I more-so loved playing Big Hurt on my Game Gear.
  • The Rays, who have made the playoffs 2 of the past 3 seasons and 3 of the past 5, currently only have one starting pitcher under contract for 2014: starter Matt Moore. Moore is due to earn 1.1 million this year, while Heath Bell, who was acquired in a 3 team trade in December, will earn 4.5 million.
  • For someone who’s contract has long been debated, the Nationals Jayson Werth was 4th in the majors last year in wRC+ at 160, ahead of the likes of David Ortiz, Paul Goldschmidt and Freddie Freeman. wRC+ is a measure of how many runs a player created and compares it to the league average, which is 100.
  • The Athletics Brandon Moss, who earned 1.6 million in 2013, was 3 in the majors in isolated power (ISO), which measures raw power, or the hitter’s ability to hit for extra bases, with a .260 mark. He also produced a 1.9 WAR mark, which isn’t too shabby while heading into arbitration this off-season.
  • Speaking of the Athletics, third baseman Josh Donaldson, who earned just 492,000 in 2013, put up MVP type numbers with a .301 batting average and 7.0 WAR. Sure, he’s likely to regress a little, but he’s likely to get PAID, too.
  • The two highest paid guys in the majors – in terms of 2014 earnings – will each make 26 million this season. There names? Alex Rodriguez and Zack Greinke. I hear one of the two might not even play a game. We’ll see.
  • The Yankees and Phillies are the only teams each with 3 of the top 10 highest 2014 salaries. The Yankees I can see contending. The Phillies? Not so much.
  • The Mariners landed Robinson Cano with a 240 million dollar deal, the highest this off-season. The second highest was Shin-Shoo Choo, signing with the Rangers for 130 million.




White Sox Notes: January 3, 2014

According to Spotrac:

The White Sox in 2014 have…

  • An active payroll of 71.3 million
  • Earning just under 16 million next season, John Danks is their highest paid pitcher. In 2013, he produced a 0.3 WAR, a 4.75 ERA and a 1.82 HR/9 mark
  • Not far behind, Adam Dunn is owed 15 million for 2014. His 2013 numbers left a lot to be desired: a .219 batting average, a -0.2 WAR and he struck out in 31.1% of his at-bats
  • For those scoring at home, the two White Sox due to make the most money next season – just over 40% of the team’s entire salary – produced a combined 0.1 WAR last season. Essentially, they were good for 1/10th of a win above replacement level.
  • Their 4th highest paid player on the books for 2014 is Cuban defector Jose Abreu, at 8.6 million. Though he is considered to be a top prospect, Abreu has never faced major league pitching.
  • As of right now, Jeff Keppinger is the the opening day starter at third base, set to make 4 million. He produced a -1.5 WAR last season.
  • Certainly this can change before Opening Day, but they currently have 35% of their salary locked up to the DH/1B slot (Dunn, Abreu, Konerko). Only 29% has been designated to starting pitching (Sale, Danks, Paulino)