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|OT| MLB 2020 (Off-season/Spring Training/Regular Season) : Baseball is dull only to dull minds

Musky_Cheese

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The Reigning, Defending, Undisputed World Series Champions...

The Washington Nationals!




Welcome NeoGAF to another baseball year. It never stops after all, 365 days a year.

This OT will cover the 2019-2020 Off Season, 2020 Spring Training, and 2020 Regular Season.

I wanted to start the OT after the World series. Unfortunately after a brief celebration by myself, the Astro's cheating scandal broke. So I waited to start until we had a big Free Agent signing.

We lost someone today from MLB... Gerardo Parra

Parra has signed to play in Japan. https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/11/gerardo-parra-signs-japan-npb-yomiuri-giants.html

Parra was not only a member of the Reigning, Defending, Undisputed World Series Champions... The Washington Nationals. He was also a member of NeoGAF's Reigning, Defending, Undisputed Fantasy Baseball League Champions... The Bear Backs (Super Nationals).

God Bless Mr. Parra and his Baby Shark attack. You will be missed!


We have FA signings to discuss, Team Wishlists to invent, and soon Baseball to watch

And a World Series to win




 

greyshark

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White Sox making some noise in the early going - we’ll see if they have more bite than bark this year. Year 5 of the current rebuild, time to show some results on the field.
 
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greyshark

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Personally I hope the White Sox stay away from Betts unless they can extend him. Even then I’m not sure I’d want to pay what he’ll get in a long term deal.
 

Musky_Cheese

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Personally I hope the White Sox stay away from Betts unless they can extend him. Even then I’m not sure I’d want to pay what he’ll get in a long term deal.
What hope does anyone have in an extension vs him wanting to test the market? My understanding is White Sox passed on both Harper and Machado because they were unwilling to go beyond 7/8 years. Betts will be seeking long term too

Seems White Sox believe in the next 3 years. But do they think they are close for 2020 alone???
 

greyshark

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What hope does anyone have in an extension vs him wanting to test the market? My understanding is White Sox passed on both Harper and Machado because they were unwilling to go beyond 7/8 years. Betts will be seeking long term too

Seems White Sox believe in the next 3 years. But do they think they are close for 2020 alone???
They were willing to go 8/250 for Machado (with incentives to get to 350). Not 10 years but a pretty good offer IMO.

The White Sox have been rebuilding for the better part of a decade and haven’t made the playoffs since 2008. Mortgaging the future hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with an untested team would be insanity IMO.

If I’m management I’m going to trust what I’ve built through the farm. They won’t be able to get to the World Series again solely through overpaying free agents, and they lived through that at the start of this decade with repeated mediocre finishes.
 
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Rock And Roll

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I think the White Sox would be wise to focus their efforts on landing a starter. Giolito had a breakout year and it looks like he might be a late bloomer, Kopech will be coming back from TJ and maybe one of the other young arms takes a step forward next season and puts up respectable numbers. You add an ace to that staff and it's looking pretty good 1 - 3 with the possibility of a 4th stepping up.
 

greyshark

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I think the White Sox would be wise to focus their efforts on landing a starter. Giolito had a breakout year and it looks like he might be a late bloomer, Kopech will be coming back from TJ and maybe one of the other young arms takes a step forward next season and puts up respectable numbers. You add an ace to that staff and it's looking pretty good 1 - 3 with the possibility of a 4th stepping up.
While I’d love to see them sign Cole, the Sox organization has never paid for big FA pitchers - I think their longest ever contract for a veteran pitcher is 4 years.

They invested heavily to get the number of pitching prospects they have, and I believe they will go all in on them delivering. Four rotation spots are spoken for - Giolitto, Lopez, Cease, and Kopech. I predict they’ll sign a veteran innings eater on a short term deal to round out the rotation.

The big dollars are going to the lineup - I think the Central is there for the taking.
 

Rock And Roll

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Alright I'd say it's high time we address the Astros situation.

What do you all think about punishment? I think Hinch gets a lifetime ban for sure, possibly Luhnow and others in the front office. As for players, it would be incredibly ballsy to ban any of those guys for an extended period of time. What about Beltran and Cora, who allegedly played a big part in this? Do Boston and the Mets have to deal with the aftermath of this?

I also believe that taking 4-5 first round draft picks is suitable for punishment. Considering how much of the game is built around drafting now, that would essentially wipe out a window of returning to contention if they tanked again.

This is such a shitty look for baseball, Manfred is going to have to come down pretty hard.

And as a Giants fan I hate to say it, but it looks like they were cheating in the WS. Not even the Dodgers deserve to lose out due to blatant cheating. I don't think the title will be taken away, but I think that's going to be a tainted WS like another one that happened about 100 years ago.

Lastly, shout out to the Nats for stomping them. Would have be terrible if they won another doing what they were doing.
 
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Musky_Cheese

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Alright I'd say it's high time we address the Astros situation.

What do you all think about punishment? I think Hinch gets a lifetime ban for sure, possibly Luhnow and others in the front office. As for players, it would be incredibly ballsy to ban any of those guys for an extended period of time. What about Beltran and Cora, who allegedly played a big part in this? Do Boston and the Mets have to deal with the aftermath of this?

I also believe that taking 4-5 first round draft picks is suitable for punishment. Considering how much of the game is built around drafting now, that would essentially wipe out a window of returning to contention if they tanked again.

This is such a shitty look for baseball, Manfred is going to have to come down pretty hard.

And as a Giants fan I hate to say it, but it looks like they were cheating in the WS. Not even the Dodgers deserve to lose out due to blatant cheating. I don't think the title will be taken away, but I think that's going to be a tainted WS like another one that happened about 100 years ago.

Lastly, shout out to the Nats for stomping them. Would have be terrible if they won another doing what they were doing.
I think punishment will be determined by who's honest vs who lies

Those who are interviewed by MLB and lie deserve a lifetime ban.
 

Rock And Roll

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I think punishment will be determined by who's honest vs who lies

Those who are interviewed by MLB and lie deserve a lifetime ban.
Beltran would probably be gone if this were the case. Sucks man, he was a HOFer for sure. As far as I'm concerned, this is dramatically worse than steroids. Roids just make you able to hit it 450 feet every single time but you still have to guess correctly on pitch/location. Knowing what is coming is way more of an advantage than muscle mass and reflexes.

Side note I forgot to mention, what about Astros pitching? It's always seemed suspect that they trade for a pitcher (Verlander, Cole) and immediately they start throwing significantly harder with nastier break. But they claimed it was "analytics" and maybe it is. Perhaps they have some sort of secret grip or whatever to make the ball move more. But you would think it would take a few weeks if not a couple months for their trade acquisitions to make the mechanical judgement. These guys come over and it's like they flip a switch out of nowhere.

Trevor Bauer suggested on twitter they were using a foreign substance and got dismissed. But if the Astros are cheating to get ahead on hitting, why wouldn't they cheat to get ahead with pitching? I think MLB has to do a thorough investigation on that as well and find out if anything shady is going on in that department
 
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greyshark

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The integrity of the game is at stake. How can you trust anything once one instance of cheating on this scale is proven? Are any other teams doing something similar? I just don’t know how MLB will be able to neatly fix this.
 

Rock And Roll

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The integrity of the game is at stake. How can you trust anything once one instance of cheating on this scale is proven? Are any other teams doing something similar? I just don’t know how MLB will be able to neatly fix this.
Well judging by the horrid AB's from the Giants this year I think I can safely say they were not doing this.

As for other teams, maybe? Red Sox had that Apple watch, Yanks too. There's been talk this stuff is going on around the league, but I highly doubt any other team has went to the extent that the Astros went to. In my team summary for the playoffs, I mentioned the Astros striking out the least and walking the most of any team in the majors by a wide margin. If other teams were cheating to this extent I think they'd be at least close to matching the Astros in some of those stats.
 

greyshark

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Well judging by the horrid AB's from the Giants this year I think I can safely say they were not doing this.

As for other teams, maybe? Red Sox had that Apple watch, Yanks too. There's been talk this stuff is going on around the league, but I highly doubt any other team has went to the extent that the Astros went to. In my team summary for the playoffs, I mentioned the Astros striking out the least and walking the most of any team in the majors by a wide margin. If other teams were cheating to this extent I think they'd be at least close to matching the Astros in some of those stats.
While I don’t disagree, what about the perspective of the more casual fan that wouldn’t necessarily look into it? They hear that the best team in baseball has been cheating for years, and now every 100 win team is under suspicion.
 

Rock And Roll

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While I don’t disagree, what about the perspective of the more casual fan that wouldn’t necessarily look into it? They hear that the best team in baseball has been cheating for years, and now every 100 win team is under suspicion.
Not much you can really do about that unfortunately when it comes to the casual fan/observer. Up here in Canada people think the sport is still overrun with steroids and that the Yankees win every year.
 
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Musky_Cheese

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Beltran would probably be gone if this were the case. Sucks man, he was a HOFer for sure. As far as I'm concerned, this is dramatically worse than steroids. Roids just make you able to hit it 450 feet every single time but you still have to guess correctly on pitch/location. Knowing what is coming is way more of an advantage than muscle mass and reflexes.

Side note I forgot to mention, what about Astros pitching? It's always seemed suspect that they trade for a pitcher (Verlander, Cole) and immediately they start throwing significantly harder with nastier break. But they claimed it was "analytics" and maybe it is. Perhaps they have some sort of secret grip or whatever to make the ball move more. But you would think it would take a few weeks if not a couple months for their trade acquisitions to make the mechanical judgement. These guys come over and it's like they flip a switch out of nowhere.

Trevor Bauer suggested on twitter they were using a foreign substance and got dismissed. But if the Astros are cheating to get ahead on hitting, why wouldn't they cheat to get ahead with pitching? I think MLB has to do a thorough investigation on that as well and find out if anything shady is going on in that department
I heard they were checking the Catchers gear between innings for pine tar. The idea was being that thru the game, they’d apply pine tar to the catcher gear and the catcher would apply that to the ball when returning it to the pitcher.

No doubt there is something going on, but I imagine they aren’t exclusive in that department.
 

Rock And Roll

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I heard they were checking the Catchers gear between innings for pine tar. The idea was being that thru the game, they’d apply pine tar to the catcher gear and the catcher would apply that to the ball when returning it to the pitcher.

No doubt there is something going on, but I imagine they aren’t exclusive in that department.
Catchers loading the ball is nothing new. I'm sure the Astros are at the cutting edge of cheating and have found new innovative ways to apply foreign substances.
 

Musky_Cheese

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Catchers loading the ball is nothing new. I'm sure the Astros are at the cutting edge of cheating and have found new innovative ways to apply foreign substances.
True. Just saying I've heard people talking about tar, and seen umpires checking balls after Astro catchers touch them.

Likely won't know unless someone from the inside spills the beans.
 

Musky_Cheese

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Mike Moustakas and the Reds agree top 4 year $64 million deal

Also on a personal note, Koda Glover has announced his retirement. Only 26 years old. Injuries as a derailment. We will miss you in Nats Land Koda
 

Rock And Roll

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Usually it's the big names that sign first and then the dominos fall. This offseason it's the mid tiers going off the board first. I wonder what Stras and Cole are asking if teams seem to be going to other options.
 

greyshark

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Seeing reports that Bumgarner might get even more than Wheeler. Not sure I’d want to spend that much on him - I feel like he’s already started to decline.
 

Rock And Roll

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Even if Bumgarner ain't what he used to be, him getting paid less than Wheeler would be absurd. The premium on Bumgarner is for his postseason excellence. You're getting a guy who has tossed a few complete game shutouts in the playoffs and has an absurd World Series ERA. If he goes to a competing team and continues his postseason dominance there's no question in my mind that should punch a ticket to the HOF.
 

greyshark

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Even if Bumgarner ain't what he used to be, him getting paid less than Wheeler would be absurd. The premium on Bumgarner is for his postseason excellence. You're getting a guy who has tossed a few complete game shutouts in the playoffs and has an absurd World Series ERA. If he goes to a competing team and continues his postseason dominance there's no question in my mind that should punch a ticket to the HOF.
I don’t dispute his postseason excellence, but are you really comfortable with shelling out big dollars for what he did in 2012/2014? I wouldn’t call him an ace at this point in his career.

With Wheeler the expectation is he will either continue or improve on his current numbers - justifying a longer term investment.
 

Rock And Roll

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He's never really been an ace to begin with. He's always been a 3rd in the rotation guy, it's just the Giants rotation has been awful for the decade so he's been slotted first.

Comparing the two statistically, Bumgarner has been the better pitcher on paper. I don't fuck with advanced metrics because my brain is too small, but aside from FIP Bumgarner had a better 2019 (not surprising because the Mets defense was awful). They're pretty identical in other categories so in conclusion, yeah I'd give Bumgarner more money. They're the same age, Bumgarner has had a better career and has the postseason thing going for him.

He's 30, not 35. Sure he's got more mileage on his arm because he's been in the league since he's 19 but I'm willing to bet he's still got a few more good years left on his arm and for a team eyeing contention now why wouldn't you go for a guy who more or less single handily won a WS for his crappy team in 2014?
 
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Like most pitchers, once you get U-shaped stats, it's time to avoid. Hitters seem more consistent. But basketball is another sport where a players U-shaped stats are a good indicator.

Start of career = hit or miss

Prime = best stats

Getting older = stats getting crap

Lately, Bumgarner is in that getting older/crappier stats trend. Avoid. His ERA/WHIP inched up in his injury seasons and last year it was almost 4.00/1.20.
 

Musky_Cheese

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LOL. Who knew the going rate in baseball for a pitcher with an ERA/WHIP of close to 4.00/1.25 would be worth about $24 mill/yr.
Seems like a lot for a guy who has yet to show ability in success past the 5th or success after 2nd time thru.

As a 3-5, ok not a huge problem. But as a 1-2, it kinda is. If I know I have to go to the pen to get 9+ outs.
 

Rock And Roll

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Bumgarner's decline isn't really tied to age in my opinion. I watch the Giants all year and he's really sharp. The problem is he gets titled easy and then immediately gets hit.

Ump calls a bordering pitch a ball four? He acts like a bitch. Then the next guy up smacks a 2 run dinger because he grooves one down the middle. More than half the time, when something doesn't go his way he gives up a few. He only started acting like this after 2014 which went to his head. Plus if you give the umps a reason not to like you, they won't give you borderline shit.

Now at 30 years old he's way too old to stop acting like a baby, unfortunately that's the way he is. And without Posey catching him I wonder if his behaviour will get worse. But just pull him at the first sign of trouble in the 6th or 7th or mound visit immediately when that shit starts and you should be able to avoid those situations. In terms of his actual velocity and everything, it was up this year after 2 injury seasons. He's never been a hard thrower so he's sitting at where he's always been more or less.
 

Rock And Roll

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Great for Stras and the Nats. He's a franchise type player and a guy who is rightfully the face of the organization.

Now that he's off the table, there's a couple assumptions I think we can make.

1) Anthony Rendon will be playing elsewhere (more or less confirmed by Nats ownership with recent comments)
2) Gerrit Cole is about to sign a large contract
3) The Phillies (and Braves) are going to have to make a big move if they wish to compete
 
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Strasburg staying with the Nationals, 7 years $245 million being reported:

Solid pitcher, but too injury prone for me. $35m/yr for someone who might only pitch 20 games and will be in his late 30s at the end of the contract. Wow.