Archive for December, 2016

Former Padres All-Star Chris Cannizzaro Dies at Age 78

Former San Diego Padres catcher Chris Cannizzaro—who was the organization's first All-Star in the 1969 season—died Thursday night, according to Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune.  He had lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). "He taught me a lot about pitching and how to be a professional baseball player," pitcher Randy Jones, Cannizzaro's former teammate, told Kenney. "He was hard-nosed, old-school. He fit me perfectly, to tell you the truth." Jones added: He wasn’t afraid to take charge. Like young (pitchers) could be stubborn, might say, ‘My curveball’s my best pitch.’ He’d say, ‘Well, you better learn how to use the fastball.’ Chris Cannizzaro would make you learn how to use it, and he’d stay on you. He’d push you. That’s old school, and you needed that. I always enjoyed that. He loved to compete and play. Cannizzaro was a .235 career hitter in a 13-year career that included stints with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Padres, Chicago ...




New Year’s Resolutions for All 30 MLB Teams in 2017

If baseball is America's favorite pastime, the country's second favorite is making New Year's resolutions—and breaking them. Doing so might result in some extra pounds in the spring or more clutter in the garage, but typically, it's nothing that's going to impact our 2017 negatively. The same can't be said for each of Major League Baseball's 30 teams. Some of these resolutions revolve around adding (or subtracting) pieces to a team's roster. Others have to do with ensuring a team can keep its best player—or players—around for the foreseeable future. There are even a few that have nothing to do with the on-field action. But one thing is for sure: Not following through on these resolutions will have consequences, some that resonate well past the upcoming season.Begin Slideshow




Updating the Hottest Questions Remaining in the 2016-17 MLB Offseason

Much of the Major League Baseball offseason picture has been painted, yet it still looks incomplete. Though we have a better idea of how the remainder of the winter—and, subsequently, the 2017 season—may play out, there are still questions left unanswered. Let’s try to tackle what remains to be asked about this offseason and what these questions mean for players and teams alike heading into the 2017 season.Begin Slideshow




How Good Can Cubs Offense Be If Jason Heyward Returns from Dead in 2017?

Last winter, the Chicago Cubs signed Jason Heyward to an eight-year, $184 million contract. Less than 11 months later, they won their first World Series since the Teddy Roosevelt administration. Here's the rub: They did it as much in spite of Heyward as because of him. Heyward played 142 games in his first season on the North Side and won a Gold Glove for his work in right field. His exploits in the batter's box, however, defined abysmal. He hit .230 and set career lows in on-base percentage (.306) and slugging percentage (.325). It's not as if his stat line was undone by one cold stretch, either. Heyward spread his mediocrity across the season, hitting above .250 in only one calendar month (June, when he hit .257) and posting an especially anemic .213/.270/.308 slash line after the All-Star break. He did little to redeem himself in the postseason, going 5-for-48 with 13 strikeouts and starting ...




Matt Wieters: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation on Free-Agent Catcher

Catcher Matt Wieters remains among the top players available in free agency, but his market appears to be heating up with multiple teams showing interest. Continue for updates. Braves, Nationals Among Teams Vying for Wieters Thursday, Dec. 29 According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals appear to be Wieters' top two suitors. Per Heyman, Atlanta has long stood out as a landing spot for Wieters, but the Nats have jumped in to replace some of the production lost by the departures of catcher Wilson Ramos and infielder Danny Espinosa. Heyman also named the Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets as possible fits, although they may all be content with their current catching situations. Wieters is coming off a 2016 season that saw him hit .243 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI for the Baltimore Orioles. He was also named to his fourth All-Star team in eight MLB seasons. The 30-year-old ...




Fact or Fiction on All of Week 9′s Hottest MLB Free-Agency, Trade Rumors

Fact—New Year's Eve is fast approaching. Fiction—all of MLB's big-name free agents who remain unsigned will find new homes before the ball drops. As you'd expect, having so many notable players still in search of employment has led to increased activity in the rumor mill. Now that Edwin Encarnacion has come off the board, some of those players who were seemingly in holding patterns are finally seeing significant interest from multiple suitors. Free agents aren't the only ones receiving attention, though, as the trade market remains active with plenty of speculation surrounding a pair of the American League Central's best. Will Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier or Chicago White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana be traded? Will Matt Wieters wind up spending the 2017 season close to where he played his college ball? Where will the "Party at Napoli's" break out next? We'll hit on all that and more in this week's edition of ...




These MLB Stars Are the Only Ones Worthy of 2017 HOF Enshrinement

The first year Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot, I voted "not now." OK, technically I just didn't vote for them, but as I explained then in a column for CBSSports.com, it was more of a "not now" vote than a "not ever" vote. "They may never get in," I wrote, "but my guess is eventually they will." Eventually is coming. It likely won't happen this year based on early voting numbers tracked so carefully by Ryan Thibodaux. But Bonds' and Clemens' numbers went up last year after the Hall of Fame made changes in the electorate, and Thibodaux's tracking numbers suggest they'll rise even more significantly this time around. Some votes switched after a Hall of Fame committee decided to enshrine Bud Selig, the commissioner who oversaw baseball's steroid era. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports talked to some of those voters and explained why they switched. The Selig decision didn't ...




The Jaw-Dropping 2016-17 MLB Free-Agent Class That Might’ve Been

So, here it is. We've come to it at last. The point in the MLB offseason where the baseball news cycle is emptier than our holiday cookie jars. This winter more than most, it was bound to come sooner rather than later. Trades are all well and good, but they're the side dishes of the hot-stove season. The main course is free agency, and it was never a secret that it wouldn't have much to offer this winter. To wit, the best pitcher was a 36-year-old who was recently seen pitching in independent ball. Arguably the best position player was a 31-year-old outfielder who's had only two great seasons. "This year's free-agent class might be the worst I've ever seen," wrote ESPN.com's Keith Law. I can't refute that. I will say this, though: In the parlance of our times, the 2016-17 free-agent class could have been yuuuuuuuuuuuuge. Officially, it takes six major league seasons to qualify ...




All 30 MLB Teams’ Updated To-Do List Heading into 2017

As always, it's been a busy offseason around Major League Baseball, with teams already crossing off a number of items on their winter shopping lists. Earlier this offseason, a piece entitled "All 30 MLB Teams' Blueprint to an 'A' Grade in the 2016-17 Offseason" was written by yours truly as a to-do list of sorts for each team to follow. As we get set to flip the calendar over to 2017, now seems like the perfect time to look back on that piece and provide an updated look at what each club has accomplished and still needs to accomplish before the start of spring training. Ahead you'll see the same to-do list we offered up for each team back on Nov. 10, with certain items crossed out based on what additions have already been made and a full breakdown of each item. Also included are a few new shopping-list items for some teams, which ...




4 Free-Agent Signings Set to Improve Their New MLB Clubs the Most in 2017

It makes sense that to improve a Major League Baseball club, a player could not have been on the team last season. Though the Los Angeles Dodgers' re-signings of Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Rich Hill were monumentally important, they didn't improve the club from its standing in 2016. Instead, players who signed with new teams have the chance to make an impact in their new settings. All signings are not created equal, so here are the most impactful among them. Each of them fills a need glaring for each club when the 2016 season concluded.Begin Slideshow




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