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MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Moves for Teams To Make in Order To Save Face

This past MLB offseason has been fraught with exciting free agent signings and big-time trades, highlighted by the movement of Adrian Gonzalez, Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford and Cliff Lee, but it has mostly been a “rich get richer” type of deal.

There are still quite a few mediocre teams out there, however, that could make a move in the coming weeks or during the season that would give them a shot at competing for the title.

There are a few key players who could end up being on the move at any point in the next seven months, and they could be the key to a playoff run by certain teams.

Not everyone out there has the capabilities of turning over from a subpar season a year ago to winning 90 games, but there are a select few that could turn their fortunes around.

With some skilled planning—and a bit of luck—there are teams who could end up in the playoffs this season after failing miserably a season ago.

Wit that, here are 10 teams and the players they could acquire to give them the ammunition needed for a possible playoff push.

Note: There has been no real chatter of most of these trades happening. They are mostly speculative and hypothetical.

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MLB Free Agency: Best and Worst Moves By All 30 Teams This Offseason

This past off season in baseball has been one full of player movement, with Jayson Werth kicking off the big dollar December by signing a contract full of zeroes with the Washington Nationals. Many players followed suit soon after.

A lot of players have changed teams, and many teams have changed their fortunes for it, but it is hard to say what this will all amount to on the baseball field as of right now.

One thing we can do, however, is look at each team’s signings and whittle down which were the best and worst signings for each.

So, here I spent hours to find out which signings were the best for each team, and which were the worst.

Without further ado, let us start off with the Arizona Diamondbacks…

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MLB Rumors: Players From Each Position Likely To Move in 2011

The 2010 MLB postseason has hit it’s stride and players are being snatched up like sugar-free doughnuts at a weight watchers meeting.

Many teams look to be left in the dust, I’m looking at you New York teams, and have done little this post-season to improve their teams from a year ago.

They have missed the boat, as they say, and are more or less treading water at this point, signing bench guys and stretching for bullpen help, but gaining no greatly effective players in the process.

Not to worry, however, because that doesn’t mean your team can’t improve between now and 2011’s All-Star break, there is still a trade market that is likely to stay hot all season long.

So, here is a player at each position that is likely to be dealt at some point during the season, and can help a team struggling to grab a wild card spot, or possibly put a team over the top and drive them deep into the playoffs.

All of this is dependent on a team’s season projections (as I see them), so this could all be crap if a team starts hot and decides that buying is more important than selling this season.

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Cliff Lee To Phillies: Five Pitchers to Fill In For The New York Yankees

Well, after a much ballyhooed week of throwing money on the table at Cliff Lee, both the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers ended up coming home empty handed as the Philadelphia Phillies came out of nowhere to win the sweepstakes.

Now, the world seems to have stopped considering the fact that four nine-figure contracts have been doled out so far this offseason, and none of them are being paid for by the Yankees.

Well, all is not lost with New York yet. Sure, they have a rotation that can be considered shaky at best, with a considerable head case in A.J Burnett waiting to give up seven runs in any given inning and Andy Pettite remaining unsigned, but it’s not the end of the world.

The good news is that the failed experiment that was Javier Vazquez’s second stint in the Bronx is over, and Yankee fans will not have to deal with watching him yak away a game in the second inning.

There are still some veritable options out there to fill in for a season or two before either a trade happens or a young guy steps up to fill the role.

So, let’s take a look at the guys still out there who have the ability to step in and be the man somewhere near the back of the rotation for the season.

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Victor Martinez: 10 Players Who Could Replace His Bat in Boston

Whether you think the Boston Red Sox was seemingly out to lunch on resigning Victor Martinez or the Detriot Tigers overpaid for a big bat that comes as a defensive liability, there is one thing for sure, Boston has a big bat to replace in their lineup.

Martinez was the only catcher in the MLB to bat over .300 while hitting 20 or more home runs in the season.

He was the number three hitter in their lineup and one of the most productive hitters on the team in the past few seasons, and he will be tough to replace.

The Red Sox will be hard pressed to equal his production with a free agent signing this season, as this year’s class is nowhere near as good as last season’s, but here are a few players that could help the team ease the burn.

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Felix Hernandez Wins Cy Young, Writers Embrace Statistical Revolution

This year’s AL Cy young winner, Seattle Mariners Felix Hernandez beat out Yankees ace CC Sabathia and the Tampa Bay Rays young pup David Price, and for that one can only think, “Thank god.”

The voters, for the second year running, rightfully ignored the win/loss column on the respective stat lines of each player, and rightfully gave the award to a man who won 13 games, and lost 12.

If you were to tell this to a baseball writer who lived and wrote in the Sixties, or even the Nineties, they would be irate.

“Daggummit,” you would hear, “how can a fella barely crack .500 and be the best darn pitcher in the dagum league?”  And yes, writers of yesteryear all talked like an 1840s gold prospector if you were curious.

The only other player to win the award with as few wins in the history of the Cy Young award was Fernando Valenzuela, who went 13-7, who won the award in 1981, a strike shortened season.

So, Hernandez has the honor of having the fewest wins of a Cy Young Award winner who pitched a full season and didn’t have a fistful of saves.

It would have been easy for the voters to look at Price’s 19-6 record and terrific 2.72 ERA and give him the nod, or even Sabathia’s league leading 21 wins and decided that he was deserving.

Just a few short seasons ago, this is probably what would have happened, leaving the most dominant pitcher in the league with no hardware to show of his magnificent season.

Hernandez, along with his 13 wins, voiced a 2.27 ERA, the lowest in the Majors, 232 strikeouts, good for second, and a tiny 1.06 WHIP.

The writers took into account the fact that Felix could do nothing to make up for the Mariners historically terrible offense, which scored a pitiful 513 runs, and in ten of his starts this season, they were held to one or fewer runs.

In the past two seasons, three of the four Cy Young winners have had 16 or fewer wins, and have accounted for the three fewest win totals for Cy Young winners in the history of the award, a significant change in the way of voting.

Voters are now embracing the statistical revolution in baseball brought along by Bill James and the people at SABR who have brought along a slew of new statistics to evaluate players in a more accurate and sophisticated manner.

Writers have begun to favor newer, formerly frightening sounding stats from WAR, VORP, and WPA to the frighteningly simple OBP.

Long gone are the days of three main stats used to designate the best players in the league, and finally the writers and voters are catching up with that trend.

Better late than never, kudos to Felix and kudos to the writers, you guys definitely got this one right.

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Cincinnati Reds Former Manager Sparky Anderson Leaves Lasting Legacy

Sparky Anderson, the man that managed the Cincinnati Reds for 9 seasons and the Detroit Tigers for 17 seasons, died yesterday from complications from dementia, according to his family.

Sparky had his first cup of coffee in the majors way back in 1958, playing a full season and batting .218 with the Philadelphia Phillies, rendering him a relative unknown when he arrived in 1970 in Cincinnati to take control of the youthful and emerging Reds.

His youth matched that of his players and, in his first season, he won 102 games. He would win nearly 900 games in nine seasons with the Reds, with three seasons of over 100 wins, while averaging 96 wins a season throughout his tenure.

Sparky was part of a youth movement in Cincinnati and brought along with him the emerging tactics of the day.

He was part of the transition toward using more relief pitchers, often taking his starter out at the first sign of weakness and he leaned heavily on his relievers. In fact, Rawly Eastwick was the back-to-back saves leader from 1975-1976, the Reds championship seasons.

Anderson took control of a diverse group of players, with names ranging from Cesar Geronimo, Tony Perez and Dave Concepcion, to George Foster, Joe Morgan and Ken Griffey Sr., to Johnny Bench and Pete Rose.

No matter the players differences, they had one thing in common, their outright respect for a truly great manager.

Pete Rose said many times, “I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit for Sparky.”

Sparky was well-respected by nearly everyone in baseball circles and got all of the reverence and adoration that comes with bringing a winner to Cincinnati, one of the greatest and oldest of baseball towns.

He was never afraid and never wavering on his decisions, giving of an air of confidence wherever he did go. Whether it be to take out a struggling pitcher, or moving Pete Rose to third base 1975, a move that was immensely criticized by the fans, the reporters and the organization, but the Reds still went on to win back-to-back titles.

He was so dedicated to those around him that he got fired for it.

After two second place seasons in 1977 and 1978, the Reds wanted him to bring in new assistant coaches, something which Anderson refused to do. Despite being fired, he resented no one.

He said at Bob Howsam’s (the Reds general manager who hired and fired Anderson) funeral, “The man changed my entire life, my home, everything. He was precious to me.”

Sparky exhibited a love and dedication for the game, yet understood the business side of the game that allowed it to prosper. It allowed him to make a living from the game that he loved.

He went from Cincinnati to Detroit, a place where the city cherished him just as much as the people in Cincinnati did.

He won 104 games and the World Series with the Tigers in 1984, his last pennant, his last 100-win season and his last championship.

He would go on to finish with 2194 wins, good enough for third all-time when he retired in 1995 and is now sixth on the list.

At his Hall of Fame induction in 2000, he pined on just how lucky he was.

“Players earn this, by their skills. Managers come here, as I did, on their backs, for what they did for me. I never believed different, I will never believe different, and I think that’s what made my career so lucky. I was smart enough to know the people that were doing the work, and I could never under any circumstances ever thank ’em.”

His rise was so improbable, having coached for only six season at the single and double-A level, but he did so with such confidence and ability that he would not be denied.

He was a humble man to the end and may not have a single enemy in the world, save for a few shaky starting pitchers and aging minor league umpires that he yelled at back in his playing days.

R.I.P Sparky Anderson.

The world has lost a great manager and an even better man.

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Brian Wilson of SF Giants and the Best Facial Hair of World Series Winners

The San Francisco Giants just won their first World Series since 1954.

Their previous championship seasons had left various memories, such as John McGraw refusing to play the Boston Americans in 1904 and presiding over their next three championships until handing over the reins to Bill Terry in the 1933 championship expedition.

And of course, who could forget the underdog Giants in the 1954 World Series and Willie Mays’ dramatic over-the-shoulder catch leading to a sweep of the Indians?

This World Series, however, will have a different legacy.

No, it’s not that it is the first title to come to San Fransisco since the team arrived in 1952. It’s not even that it’s two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum’s first ring.

No, this one will have a much more profound meaning in history.

The legacy of this series will be, of course, Brian Wilson’s beard.

This is a great moment in baseball facial hair history, of which there have been many in its storied past.

The annals of Cooperstown are littered with Grizzly Adams-style full beards, Fu Manchus, handlebars, mutton chops, chinstraps, soul patches, goatees, pencil-thins, Marios and an endless array of five o’clock shadows.

Here are the top 10 facial-hair-having champions in baseball’s storied past.

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New York Yankees: 10 Players the Bronx Bombers Should Aim for This Winter

The big story of this Yankee season has been the starting pitching, so it is no coincidence that this list has only four batters included.

The Yankees have had disastrous seasons for how much they are paying both AJ Burnett and Javier Vazquez.

So it is without question that the Yankees need to address the top five arms on the squad and shore up their rotation when it comes time to make their offers to free agents this winter.

Without further ado, here are the 10 players that New York should take a run at this winter.

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MLB Playoff Schedule 2010: Ranking The Matchups

The playoffs are here yet again boys and girls and that means raucous crowds, high pressure situations, and games that start after my bedtime.

The divisional series crank up Wednesday night with three exciting games on tap to fill your hearts with joy.

So sit back, relax, and let the wave of playoff baseball rush over you, here is what you can expect in terms of each match-up in the divisional round of these 2010 playoffs.

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