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What Is Madison Bumgarner Worth in Upcoming Giants Megadeal?

There's what Madison Bumgarner is making, what he's worth and how much he might make in his next contract. Spoiler alert: These three things are very different. What's certain is the San Francisco Giants have gotten a lot more than they bargained for when they extended Bumgarner in April 2012. The left-hander's contract guaranteed $35 million through 2017, with two club options in 2018 and 2019 worth at least $12 million and at most $16 million depending on his performance in Cy Young voting. In five regular seasons since, this has paid for a 2.96 ERA across 1,072 innings. Bumgarner has further earned his cash by helping deliver World Series titles in 2012 and 2014. He won the latter championship almost single-handedly. By Baseball-Reference.com's version of wins above replacement, Bumgarner has only been the 11th-best pitcher in the league over the last five years. This is somewhere between hogwash and codswallop. He's at worst ...




Why Did MLB Home Run King Mark Trumbo Come so Cheap to Orioles?

Major League Baseball's reigning home run champion has a new contract, and it's not the most expensive contract signed this winter. Not even close. Mark Trumbo, he of the league-leading 47 home runs in 2016, agreed to return to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports was first with the details of his new deal: And that's all there is to it. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, there's no opt-out in Trumbo's contract. He'll be an Oriole for three more years, spanning his age-31 season to his age-33 season. With that, we now know the terms of the 11th-largest contract signed this winter. Trumbo's deal ranks just ahead of the three-year, $33 million pact that Kendrys Morales signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. The group of 10 players ahead of him is headlined by Yoenis Cespedes at four years and $110 million and also includes three relievers (Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen ...




MLB Spring Training 2017: The Top 10 Outfielders to Watch

What's about to proceed is a slideshow about outfielders to watch that won't mention Mike Trout. It sounds blasphemous, but there's a method at work here. The idea is to focus on 10 outfielders who will be worth monitoring during 2017 spring training. What they have in common is not that they're slam-dunk superstars but that they have questions to answer. Some must show they're ready to be healthy and productive in this upcoming season after failing to be one or both in 2016. Others must show they're ready to turn their unproven talent into proven talent. Others must show they're ready to do jobs they may not be cut out for. Let's get to it.Begin Slideshow




Breaking Down the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Class and Biggest Snubs

For a lucky few, today's the day Cooperstown called to say, "Welcome." For everyone else: "Thanks for playing." The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017 was finally announced Wednesday. To nobody's surprise, this is the fourth straight year that the Baseball Writers Association of America voters selected multiple players for induction.   With not a moment to lose, let's get to breaking down the newest members of Cooperstown and all the notables who missed the cut.        The 2017 Hall of Fame Class Jeff Bagwell Jeff Bagwell earned 71.6 percent of the vote in his sixth year on the ballot in 2016, putting him just shy of the requisite 75 percent. In his seventh year, he's finally in with 86.2 percent. It's about time. Jay Jaffe's Jaffe WAR Score System (JAWS), which is convenient for measuring players against their Cooperstown peers, rates Bagwell as the sixth-best first baseman in history, behind only Albert Pujols and four current Hall of ...




Jose Bautista’s $18M Re-Up Keeps Blue Jays Near Top of AL East

Jose Bautista may have entered the free-agent waters thinking they would take him to a better, richer harbor. Instead, they've pushed him right back from where he came. And that's not so bad. A move that has seemed inevitable finally came to fruition Tuesday, when Bautista re-signed with the Toronto Blue Jays on a deal that, as reported by TSN's Steve Phillips (via MLB Network Radio), will pay him at least $18 million and perhaps as much as $60 million: Since mutual options are rarely exercised, however, it's likely this pact will end up costing the Blue Jays just the $18 million. That's only slightly more than the $17.2 million they would have paid Bautista in 2017 if he'd accepted the club's qualifying offer in November. And to hear Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tell it, Toronto also got Bautista back for less than what was available elsewhere. For Bautista, who's hit an MLB-high 249 ...




MLB Spring Training 2017: The Top 10 3rd Basemen to Watch

We could go on and on (and on) about Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado and the other superstars at third base in today's MLB. The position is capital-L Loaded. But since we know what those third basemen are all about, let's pivot to some guys who more closely resemble question marks going into spring training. Ahead is a list of 10 (11 if you want to get technical) third basemen worth keeping an eye on in February and March. Some will be returning from 2016 seasons marred by poor health and/or poor production. Others will be battling for playing time. Others still are young up-and-comers looking to make a good impression. One in particular figures to be a major piece of trade bait. Bottom line: What they have in common is that they're all interesting. Read on to hear more.Begin Slideshow




Red Sox Spring Training 2017 Preview: Predictions, Players to Watch and More

When the Boston Red Sox report for spring training, they'll officially embark on a 2017 season that they hope will result in their fourth World Series title since 2004. Oh, by the way, the magic date is February 13. That's when Red Sox pitchers and catchers are due to report to Fort Myers, Florida. Position players will report three days later. After that, all sorts of stretching, working out, assorted high jinks and, yes, even a few games here and there will ensue. There's no telling what will happen. But at the least, we can preview it and offer a few predictions.                               The Big Newcomers With most of last year's AL East-winning roster due to return, the Red Sox didn't have many items on their offseason shopping list. So they went for quality instead, with the catches o' the winter being...     ...




Is MLB Headed for Dearth of Intense Division Races Next Season?

There are things the 2017 MLB season can be counted on to deliver. Mike Trout will make highlights. Giancarlo Stanton's bat will make loud noises. Bartolo Colon will make assorted GIFs. But if you're counting on some intense division races, we need to talk. It's a little early to be looking that far ahead, but not too early. With spring training now just a month away, we basically know what teams look like on paper. And that's what matters for projections. And right now, they paint a picture of a lopsided power structure.  According to FanGraphs, there's a clear favorite in all six divisions. And by "clear favorite," I mean a team projected to win the title by six or more games. Like so: This would be unusual. Last season, two of the six divisions were decided by five games or less. There were two such division races in 2015, 2014 and 2013 as well. In ...




MLB Free Agents 2017: Predicting Landing Spots for Top Players Still Available

These are hard times for MLB free agents. With spring training fast approaching, roster spots and money are in shorter supply than they were at the beginning of the offseason. This much is certain, though: The top free agents still standing won't be unemployed forever. They're going to land somewhere. So, let's go ahead and predict where these somewheres will be. Since the free-agent market has largely been picked clean, we're only going to focus on the 10 best players still looking for work. We'll find homes for them by speculating about what's spinning around the rumor mill and on where their talents fit. Let's start with the best free agent remaining and go from there.Begin Slideshow




Alex Reyes Will Emerge as MLB’s Newest Ace in 2017 Rookie Season

Alex Reyes' journey has already taken him from New Jersey to the Dominican Republic to the top of prospect rankings and finally to the major leagues in 2016. Next stop: the top of the St. Louis Cardinals starting rotation. OK, so that's not set in stone. With a healthy Lance Lynn set to rejoin Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Mike Leake and Michael Wacha in 2017, the Cardinals have five proven starters for five spots. That's a tough nut for a 22-year-old with only 46 major league innings to crack. The Cardinals did remove a key barrier in Reyes' way when they traded Jaime Garcia in December, however. After that, Mike Matheny declared the young right-hander would get his shot. "He should be a starting pitcher," the skipper said, via MLB.com. "We'll see how it plays out through spring training. There are certain guys who have slotted innings set for them, and Alex is going ...




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