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MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Arbitration-Eligible Players Who Could Be On the Move

With the World Series in the rearview mirror, the hot stove season is well underway and we now have the time to ponder interesting things like possible free agent acquisitions; trades that may or may not happen this winter; boneheaded contracts that are surely to be handed out because GM’s panic after a down year; and what it would be like to be inside the mind of Brian Wilson for a day.

In some order.

Today, we are looking at some arbitration-eligible players that may turn up on the trade market.

If a player stands to see a significant raise in his salary via arbitration, his club may end up deciding that the best option is to trade him instead of paying an annual salary that it may find a bit, well, exorbitant.

There’s a lot of value in these types of players for smaller market clubs because they usually aren’t making any big free agent splashes or posting eight-figure bids for the right to negotiate with a player. 

(Wait. Didn’t the Oakland A’s just do that? Crap.)

The club can then get a player with a few years of control left without being burdened by a long-term contract.

We are tossing around a few different names for fun, but remember, this list is subjective and is not a prediction of the market. These players may be traded, or they may not be traded. It’s all for discussion.

If you would like to add a name that wasn’t mentioned, or discuss any that were, feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section. 

Now the list …

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MLB Free Agents: Top 20 Hitters on the Market

The moment after Brian Wilson threw the final pitch of the 2010 World Series, 142 Major League Baseball players officially became free agents.

The first champagne cork hadn’t been popped in the San Francisco Giants locker room and approximately 19 percent of opening day rosters didn’t have a contractual agreement for the 2011 season.

Welcome to the MLB Hot Stove season.

We would wait for the Giants to fly back home to San Francisco and hold their championship parade, but we simply don’t have time to do that.

Clubs have five days to exclusively negotiate with their own free agents before the bidding is opened up to the rest of the league.

What does that mean precisely?

When Monday morning arrives next week, Cliff Lee can officially bolt Texas if he chooses to do so.

To prepare for the free agent bonanza that will be upon us shortly, Bleacher Report will take a look at many of the names that could be on the move.

Today, we look at 20 of the “top” hitters on the free agent market.

There’s one distinction in play: This is a list of names, not a ranking, which is why they will not be numbered from 1-20.

Yes, rankings are fun. Debating who’s the “best” at anything provides a great conversation point.

But presenting this discussion in that form would simply be an insult to your intelligence. Why?

Well, let’s say that the free agent market this year is rather feeble, at best.

There’s a handful of intriguing names, and then it drops off rather quickly. Getting to 20 quality names on this year’s list wasn’t the easiest thing to do, and therefore I think you’ll be able to discern rather quickly who is potentially an impact bat and who isn’t.

With that in mind, here’s 20 hitters who are (or could be) free agents this winter.

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2010 World Series: Power Ranking the Last 25 World Series MVPs

With the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers set to begin the 2010 World Series, we couldn’t help but allow our minds to drift to all things World Series related.

Great pitching, late-inning hits, walk-off homers, all of it is great on the World Series stage.

Most semi-serious to serious baseball fans can name the World Series winners from the last 10 years. Some could even name them from the last 20 years. If you can name beyond that, I think you have too much time on your hands.

But here’s a more difficult task: How many World Series MVPs can you remember?

It would be impressive if you could remember the last five. Hell, I had trouble thinking of last year’s until I looked it up.

Since MVPs are largely forgotten, we thought it would be fun to take a look at World Series MVPs from the last 25 years.

How are we going to do that? Power rankings.

We took the past 25 seasons (1985-2009) and ranked the MVPs in some loose order—in other words, don’t get too caught up on who is No. 11 and who is No. 16. They are all MVPs and all worthy of the list.

One clarifying note: Due to a work stoppage, there was no World Series in 1994 and therefore no MVP.

But there was one year on the list that had Co-MVPs, so instead of taking the list back to 1984 (sorry, Alan Trammell) we decided to use those Co-MVPs as two in order to fill the gap from ’94.

One last thing to ponder: Pitching is the headliner of this year’s World Series beginning with Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum. For what it’s worth, out of the last 25 MVPs, 14 were pitchers. Will this year make it 15-of-26?

On to the power ranking… 

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MLB Rumors: Derrek Lee and 10 Guys Who Won’t Be Offered Arbitration

Baseball’s free agency rules are reason No. 1,546,567 fans watch games. Or not. They are confusing, they are mundane, and many of them need to be revamped.

We are going to try to make some sense of one rule here in regards to the status of free agents and what it means for salary arbitration.

Generally, the Elias Sports Bureau releases free agent statuses three times a year. 

In July, usually in advance of the trade deadline, Elias will release its first projection of possible free agents for the coming winter.

Another projection will come after the conclusion of the regular season.

And then the final release will come after the playoffs have wrapped up and all statistics from that season are final.

Elias lists players who may hit the free agent market this year and applies a Type A (top 20 percent at their position), Type B (top 40 percent at their position) or no status to their name.

These “statuses” are derived from a complex system that utilizes a wealth of stats and numbers, and it’s the final status that determines what form of draft pick compensation will be assigned to each given player on the free agent market.

For instance, if a player is deemed a “Type A” free agent and signs with a new team, then that team will have to give up its first-round pick in the coming year — the top 15 picks are protected, however — and the team that “lost” the player will receive the aforementioned first-round pick plus a supplemental-round pick (between first and second round).

If a player is deemed a “Type B” free agent, then any team can sign him without giving up a draft pick while his old team that “loses” him would receive just a supplemental-round pick in return.

If a player isn’t given any status, then there is no form compensation involved.

Take this winter for an example (this is completely hypothetical.)

Say the Boston Red Sox offer Victor Martinez (Type A) arbitration and he declines and instead signs with the New York Yankees as a free agent. The Red Sox would receive New York’s first-round pick in the 2011 draft as well as a pick between the first and second round.

Since two picks are attached to Type A free agents, teams are more apt to offer them arbitration if they aren’t certain they can sign the player to a long-term deal. Type Bs are less likely.

In advance of the 2011 free agent market, lets take a look at ten guys who probably will not be offered arbitration.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Adrian Gonzalez, Dan Uggla and 10 Power Hitters Available

Let’s be honest upfront about this: You don’t need any reason to be distracted from the baseball that’s currently being played in the postseason.

October has been wonderful for baseball fans, especially if you love great pitching.

With the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers set to meet in the ALCS, and the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants set to meet in the NLCS, we don’t need to give you any reasons to take your eyes off the field.

So, in that sense, this is not meant to take away from the games that still remain in the 2010 season.

This is for days like today: a weekday with no games.

And this is also for the fans whose favorite teams happen to be vacationing. For instance, if you’re a fan of the Washington Nationals, it’s never too early to think about next season. (Kidding, D.C.)

The World Series will come and go, and then the hot stove will once again be smoldering as seam-heads wait out the winter months in solitude.

To kick off the hot stove talk a little early, we are taking a look at 10 power hitters available this winter.

Now, this list doesn’t consist solely of potential trades. Frankly, legit power hitters aren’t packing rental trucks and caravanning across America to new homes on a daily basis.

Power is hard to find, so when a club lands a guy that has it, it’s not going to dish him away easily.

To make this list a little livelier we have assembled a mixture of free agents and guys currently under contract.

The marriage works quite well, actually, because the free-agent class this winter is, shall we say, less than marvelous.

As with any list or ranking, this isn’t a prediction of what will happen nor is it suggesting these are the only names that could be on the move. This list is simply for your enjoyment and discussion.

If you think another name needs to be mentioned beyond these 10, feel free to drop it in the comments section and everyone can discuss.

OK, now to the list.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Five Potential Ways To Fix the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011

For Los Angeles Dodgers fans, the realization that their club hasn’t played a meaningful game in the last month of the season remains tough to swallow.

Los Angeles is headed for a sub-.500 record and an offseason of turnover, a 500-foot home run from the last two seasons that saw the Dodgers advance to the National League Championship Series. 

For a club as tradition-rich as the Dodgers operating in the second-largest market in the country—a market that provides a wealth of knowledgeable and passionate baseball people—such unnecessary turmoil that has savaged the organization in the last year has left the team with a county of exasperated fans.

But what the mangled ownership fails to realize is that this is a fan base that lives for the Dodgers, dies for the Dodgers and, above all else, supports the Dodgers.

In 2009, Dodger Stadium packed in more fans than any other ballpark in America. The team thrived, Manny Ramirez drew, and the people cheered.

What about this year, a year that has seen the corpse of Ramirez come and go along with one of the most successful managers in baseball history in Joe Torre because the losing became too much and the absence of a front-office leader became too crippling?

Without much reason to, the fans still showed up.

Los Angeles trails only the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees in attendance this year.

Yeah, I know, population of a city has a ton to do with it, but it doesn’t have everything to do with it. Hell, Milwaukee currently ranks in the top 10 in attendance this year right behind the Boston Red Sox.

So, no, this isn’t St. Petersburg, where great baseball is going unwatched.

This is the feeble state of the Dodgers, where putrid baseball is undeservingly consumed.

Which is exactly why things need to change in Chavez Ravine this winter so that an organization worthy of October returns there, so that fans deserving of a World Series get there.

Here we present five potential changes that could help the Los Angeles Dodgers return to prominence in 2011.

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2010 MLB Playoffs: Six Phillies Who Will Determine World Series

With the Atlanta Braves coming into Philadelphia this week for a three-game series, the Phillies couldn’t have it set up any better.

On Monday evening the Phillies had a three-game lead over the Braves in the National League East and still had three games at Atlanta remaining on the schedule.

If Philadelphia wanted to lock up the N.L. East crown, this series would go a long way towards popping the champagne.

And that’s precisely why manager Charlie Manuel had his best three guys ready to take the mound.

Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt were all scheduled to face the Braves.

One quick sweep later and the Phillies can breathe easy with a six-game lead. Meanwhile, the Braves cling to a half-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the Wild Card race.

A month ago Atlanta looked like they were in control of the division. A Hollywood ending was unfolding: a division title and playoff run in Bobby Cox’s final season as the manager of the Braves.

Except too many people discounted the ability and experience of the Phillies, if that’s even possible to do with a team that has represented the N.L. in the last two World Series, winning one of them.

Fast-forward and the Phillies have run off 10 straight wins and sit days away from clinching a playoff berth.

With Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt all doing their part to anchor a rotation that has quickly become the best in baseball, the Phillies have become favorite picks to reach the World Series again this fall and perhaps win their second title in three years.

As a preview to October and a hat tip to those predicting the Phillies will win it all, we look at six of the most important Phillies who will determine whether or not the city is crowned champions in 2010.

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Joe Torre to the New York Mets: Would It Alter the Manager’s Legacy?

Joe Torre is as New York as Broadway and the Meatpacking District combined.

He’s an Italian man that was born there, played there, managed there, earned his fame and fortune there, became a champion there, and damn if he ain’t going to die there, too.

When Torre bolted from New York—perhaps not voluntarily—after bringing the Yankees six American League pennants and four World Series titles in 12 seasons, it’s not all that surprising that he landed in Los Angeles.

It’s about as far away as he could get from the circus that engulfed his name when, in the 2007 ALDS, late owner George Steinbrenner said Torre’s contract would not be renewed if the Yankees didn’t advance past the Cleveland Indians.

Well, bugs swarmed Joba Chamberlain and the media swarmed Torre.

In four games, the Yankees were gone, and Torre was gone.

While the passion for managing remained, Torre had accomplished too much in his career to take some middling job.

If he was going to return to the dugout, it had to be for a franchise that threw around some name recognition.

And it just so happened that the Dodgers needed a new skipper after Grady Little resigned following the 2007 season.


A Rebirth in Los Angeles

Torre and the Dodgers: It was a no-brainer, really.

After 12 summers of running New York, Torre’s persona had swelled enough that he was Hollywood-caliber before ever landing on the West Coast.

Torre’s credibility and pedigree strutted into L.A., and immediately gave a once-proud franchise some direction.

Before Torre stepped foot in Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles had won one postseason game since the famous 1988 World Series title.

One postseason win.

A Jose Lima gem against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004. That’s it.

Torre immediately worked wonders with the Dodgers, taking a young core of talent and molding them into a championship contender.

Torre took the Dodgers to the NLCS in 2008 and 2009, losing to the Philadelphia Phillies both years. 

But Torre’s mark had been made. He set a standard that hadn’t been in L.A. since Lasorda left the dugout.

And then 2010 came.

Restricted by lousy owners and their egregious expenses, which were exposed by their public divorce, general manager Ned Colletti handed Torre a team that was short on pitching and had almost zero shot from the beginning to contend for its own division, much less a pennant.

In the final year of his deal, Torre didn’t get a prosperous postseason, but rather a somber summer.

By the time September baseball rolled around, the Dodgers had long been left in the twilight of the season, and Torre announced he wouldn’t be back.

Why would he? For a man that has done it all, what did this job have to offer him anymore?

But knowing Torre, he wasn’t about to retire so easily.


Torre in Orange and Blue?

When Torre returned to Yankee Stadium this week to honor George Steinbrenner—his first return to the The Bronx since 2007—reporters asked him if he would consider taking the New York Mets job.

With the Mets becoming a running joke around the league, the public opinion is that manager Jerry Manuel will not be back next year.

Torre said there’s “no question” he would take a phone call from the Mets and consider returning to New York to manage in Queens.

This peeved Manuel, who wondered aloud why Torre would comment on a job that’s currently occupied. Torre later apologized to Manuel, and said he was not entertaining the Mets job. 

Torre had to say that because the Mets still have games to play. Manuel is still the manager, and it’s one of those unwritten baseball rules that you don’t comment on a job that isn’t currently open.

But make no mistake: If Manuel is fired and the Mets offer Torre the job, he will sit down with his wife and give it serious consideration. 

That’s the obvious part of this. Sure, at 70 years old, some people probably think Torre should pack it up and enjoy the rest of his time with his family.

He’s done enough in baseball.

But, that’s not the question here. Torre’s the only one that can decide when he’s had enough.

No, the question here is this: How would Torre be perceived if he did take that Mets job?


Fairly or Unfairly, How Would Torre Be Perceived?

We aren’t talking about fairness or truth.

Torre could very well have genuine interest in continuing to manage, whether that is the Mets or somebody else.

But how would the New York media perceive Torre? Would they think it’s some ploy to steal the headlines from the Yankees, some sort of revenge for getting run out of The Bronx?

If Torre took over the Mets, then suddenly they are on the back pages, and the Yankees are not.

It wouldn’t even matter if the Yankees had won a second consecutive World Series.

Torre at Citi Field would be the hot topic, the juicy storyline that never sleeps in New York City.

Regardless of Torre’s motivations, taking the Mets job could make him out to be a bit of a drama queen.

It could appear that Torre’s as interested in making news and being in the spotlight than he is about winning.

Of course, nobody really knows how Torre feels about all of this.

But do you think for a second that winning with the Mets and stealing the attention of the city from the Yankees wouldn’t be one sweet carrot on top of the winning and the money? Let’s not be so naïve.

This is an interesting dynamic for Torre, more so for him than any other man because of what he has accomplished in baseball and how his tenure with the Yankees ended.

Torre is a sure-fire Hall of Fame manager, and has always been revered. He has been portrayed as a man of class, integrity, and grace.

There is not one thing in baseball that he hasn’t done, and there’s not one thing in baseball that he has left to prove.

So, that begs the question: If managing the New York Mets would stir up the notebooks once again in the Big Apple and create a potentially damning situation for Torre’s image, would the move even be worth it for a man that has conquered New York, and then some?

Follow Teddy Mitrosilis on Twitter. You can reach him at

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New York Yankees: Could Not Trading for Starting Pitcher Cost Them a Repeat?

On the night that the New York Yankees unveiled a seven-foot tall monument of their late owner George Steinbrenner, the American League leaders won their 91st game of the season by beating the Tampa Bay Rays.

With 12 games to play, New York leads Tampa Bay by 1.5 games in the A.L. East and leads the Minnesota Twins by one game for the best record in the league. 

New York leads the league in runs scored, is third in homers, second in walks, first in OBP, and second in OPS.

On the mound, the Yankees rank in the upper-half of the A.L. in ERA, walks, and strikeouts.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, there is no problem exactly.

New York is a juggernaut, much like the team that beat the Philadelphia Phillies last year to win the World Series.

Prior to the season, the club made two moves that got The Bronx talking. One worked out OK, the other not so much.

New York traded for Curtis Granderson in hopes that he would help it upgrade defensively in centerfield as well as bring some additional pop to the top of the order.

Granderson has done that.

His 21 homers have been nice even if his OBP is lacking for a player with his skill set.

The other deal—bringing in Javier Vazquez—hasn’t paid off for New York. After having a tremendous 2009 with the Atlanta Braves, the Yankees thought they were getting an All-Star caliber pitcher, a guy they could lock into the middle of their rotation.

Vazquez hasn’t been that, but rather a weak link in a solid rotation.

Vazquez’s walks are way up and his strikeouts are way down compared to a season ago. Sure, some of that has to be credited to moving from the National League to the A.L. East, but the point is that Vazquez isn’t who New York thought it would get.

And that’s the issue we are getting at with these Yankees. No, Vazquez isn’t the problem, he’s just part of the problem.

How Deep Is the Starting Rotation?

If there’s one thing that may stifle New York’s chances of repeating as World Series champions, it’s lack of depth in the starting rotation.

The rotation is the one where area that general manager Brian Cashman didn’t address at the trade deadline this summer.

Cashman wanted to upgrade his bench, and he wanted to get some bullpen help.

Adding Lance Berkman and Austin Kearns to the bench worked fine, although both of them have been relatively non-factors. Kearns has struck out in more than a third of his at-bats while Berkman has yet to hit a homer since coming to New York via Houston.

When the Yankees made their title run last year, a large part of it was due to Phil Hughes and his transformation of the bullpen.

Hughes became the set-up guy to Mariano Rivera, and he excelled in that role. Hughes pitched so well that he even hinted he would be open to becoming the closer when Rivera decided to walk away from the game.

No need for that.

Rivera has pitched as well as ever, and the Yankees put Hughes in the starting rotation full-time this season, a role that he has grown accustomed to and has had some early success in.

That left a void in the bullpen.

With Joba Chamberlain struggling and the Yankees not entirely comfortable with handing all of the responsibility to David Robertson, Cashman went and got Kerry Wood.

The epitome of a high-risk, high-reward move, Wood brought his power stuff to New York and has been phenomenal because he has been able to stay healthy. Wood has a 0.39 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 23 innings, his fastball and slider as toxic as ever.

But, boy, the bullpen may need to be that good if New York’s rotation can’t roll out four consistent guys come October.

Look, it’s not as if the Yankees rotation can’t dominate any team on any night. It can. The upside there is tremendous. But the questions, you may say, are plentiful.

CC Sabathia… Then What?

You have CC Sabathia. He’s a horse that manager Joe Girardi can count on for two or three times per series in the playoffs and a guy that you could stack up against any other pitcher in baseball and feel good about. So, the Bombers at least have that much.

But that’s where the certainty ends.

Andy Pettitte had a phenomenal first half but then missed extended time after the All-Star break due to a leg injury and is just working his way back now. How will his leg(s) and arm hold up when the furnace gets cranked up in the postseason? Is his body and arm in the proper condition to handle that stress?

We don’t know.

A.J. Burnett will get the ball, but that’s because of his upside, which is magnificent, and the fact that the Yankees need to justify the mega-dollars they handed him two winters ago along with Sabathia.

But which Burnett New York gets is anybody’s guess.

And then there’s Hughes.

Hughes has good stuff and looks like he has settled into being a starter, but there’s something entirely different about starting in the playoffs when your team is facing elimination, a level of nerves Hughes has never encountered.

That’s where Cashman may have whiffed at the deadline by not securing a Cliff Lee or a Dan Haren.

The Yankees went after Lee hard, but they reportedly didn’t want to empty the farm system for a guy they could go after five months later in free agency.

Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero was the deal breaker, and then the Texas Rangers stepped up and offered the Seattle Mariners a package built around Justin Smoak.

With that, Lee went to Texas.

And what about Haren?

He would have been great, too, but it again came down to prospects versus dollars for New York.

Cashman didn’t want to split with many premier prospects if he had to pay Haren’s contract entirely, which would have been in excess of $30 million.

Cashman reportedly was willing to part with Joba Chamberlain, but only if the dollars made sense.

It didn’t happen, and now Chamberlain is back to throwing bullets out of the bullpen.

Some shine came off Lee when he got hammered around during August, and some people questioned his health and whether or not he was “breaking down.”

I don’t buy it. I’d still love to lead my rotation with Cliff Lee in the postseason.

The Yankees have the talent to win a title again this year.

Who knows, maybe their starting rotation will be the cog that gets it done?

Or maybe New York will just hit its way to victory?

But unless Pettitte pitches like he did in the first half and Burnett pitches up to his ability, Cashman may have plenty of time to wonder this winter why he didn’t pull the trigger on another starting pitcher.

Follow Teddy Mitrosilis on Twitter. You can reach him at

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MLB Pennant Races: Ranking Top Eight Tiebreakers of All Time

For baseball fans, the pinnacle of the six-month grind awaits on the horizon.

With only a few weeks left in the regular season, it’s hard not to let the mind drift to October baseball, playoff drama, and the crowning of a new World Series champion.

Currently, three divisions stand all but settled.

The Minnesota Twins have a six-game lead in the American League Central, the Cincinnati Reds have a seven-game lead in the National League Central, and the Texas Rangers sit eight games up in the A.L. West.

That leaves us with three divisions up for grabs.

The New York Yankees are a half-game back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the A.L. East after losing their fourth straight.

The Philadelphia Phillies hold a one-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the N.L. East.

And the San Diego Padres are a half-game up on the San Francisco Giants with the Colorado Rockies only two-and-a-half games back in the N.L. West.

If there’s a God, we will get to enjoy the best thing other than Game 7 of a World Series: a one-game playoff to decide the division. A 163rd game, if you will. 

In anticipation of our wish, we are ranking the top “tiebreakers” of all time. 

There’s only been 13 of these gems ever.

Keep in mind, one-game playoffs are only used to decide divisions and wild cards today. But prior to 1969—the year the League Championship Series debuted—these tiebreakers also decided league pennants.

Here’s the best eight tiebreakers ever played.

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