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Each MLB Team’s Most Encouraging Sign for the Future

With the exception of the American League Central, where the Kansas City Royals are boat-racing the field, the rest of MLB's division titles and wild-card chases are up for grabs as the stretch drive ramps up. With 17 teams within six games of a postseason trip, the future is now for more than half of baseball. Looking around the league, there are all sorts of encouraging signs for those October hopefuls. The San Francisco Giants aren't in playoff position right now, but they still have seven games left against the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom San Francisco has made a habit of beating up. Even for the reeling Washington Nationals, the future is looking up, as they could soon get their spark plug back. For squads such as the Oakland Athletics and the Boston Red Sox, who have already toppled out of the postseason hunt, finding those encouraging signs requires more digging. The key ...




What Is Victor Martinez Worth on Free-Agent Market After Career 2014 Season?

First, the bad news for Victor Martinez: He'll be 36 in December and is a defensive nonentity. The good news? He's coming off the best offensive season of his career. That second part should outweigh the first if Martinez becomes a free agent, as he's expected to. The Detroit Tigers extended Martinez the qualifying offer of $15.3 million Friday, per Jason Beck of MLB.com. But, as CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports, he will almost surely reject it and test the open market. How much will he get? The answer may hinge less on dollars and more on years. Martinez was unequivocally one of the best hitters in baseball last season, hitting .335 with 32 home runs and 103 RBI. His .409 on-base percentage led the American League, and his .974 OPS led all of baseball. Those are middle-of-the-order numbers any team would drool over. And how about this, from Ace of MLB Stats: But again, Martinez ...




MLB Trade Ideas: Possible Moves to Fill Each Team’s Most Exposed Problem

As the MLB season creeps toward the end of April, all 30 teams have now played approximately 20 games each, and while there were certainly some surprises at the start, the expected cream is starting to rise to the top, while the expected bottom feeders, with some exceptions, are trending toward the bottom of the pack. The Cleveland Indians, one of the early surprises, were swept in a shortened two-game series over the weekend by the Minnesota Twins, and their starting pitching, which carried them through the first three weeks of the season, is starting to show signs of struggles, as Carlos Carrasco was forced to leave Sunday’s game after experiencing tightness in his right elbow. Carrasco joins Mitch Talbot, who was placed on the disabled list last week with right elbow issues as well. The Kansas City Royals, who had surprisingly joined the Indians atop the American League Central ...




Seattle Mariners’ First Loss Comes as a Reality Check

This afternoon, to our dismay, we saw the Mariners revert back to last year's style of play: low run production, a shaky bullpen and carelessness at the plate. We should probably admit to ourselves that this is the way the season will progress, but it's easier just to make legitimate excuses that could possibly explain the woes of the Mariners. We can attribute today's loss to a couple of things. One, an unfavorable pitching matchup. Two, an improvement in the A's' play. As opposed to the first two pitching matchups, this one heavily favored Oakland. In the opener, we saw the Cy Young-winning Felix Hernandez against the relatively young, but talented Trevor Cahill. Felix's complete game versus Cahill's early exit demonstrated the lopsidedness of that matchup. The second game had the potential to be a lot closer, but Jason Vargas looked great, like he did at the end of last season, and while Brett Anderson ...




2011 MLB Opening Day: 8 Reasons Why It Should Be Declared a National Holiday

The blessed event is here once again. It is that one day of the year that baseball fans across the land have been pining for since early November, waiting with breathless anticipation for Opening Day. In the city of Cincinnati, the unofficial birthplace of professional baseball in 1869, Opening Day is treated as an unofficial holiday. In fact, Michael Schuster, a local architect and devout Reds fan, is putting together a petition, to be passed around on Opening Day at Great American Ballpark, to put an initiative on the November ballot to make Opening Day an official holiday in the city of Cincinnati. Makes sense to me. I have been to several Opening Day games over the years, first in Boston, and then in South Florida for the Marlins. On each occasion, I was forced to take a day off, or use up sick time. In Schuster’s comments, he told ...




MLB Rumors: Luis Castillo Might Return to the Florida Marlins

According to the Palm Beach Post's Joe Capozzi, the Marlins have begun discussions on bringing back former Marlin great Luis Castillo, who was recently released by the New York Mets.  Castillo, 35, won three Gold Gloves with the Marlins and was a three-time All-Star while winning World Series rings in 1997 (though he didn't play in the postseason) and 2003. Currently Castillo holds the franchise records in games played (1,128), runs scored (675), hits (1,273), stolen bases (281), walks (533) and triples (42). A Castillo return to Miami wouldn't be a response to reuniting the former Marlin to finish his career where it all began but, in part, due to the recent struggles of Matt Dominguez. A week and a half ago, his average was at .353 but that has dipped to near the Mendoza Line as more of the seasoned pitchers have been out there, as opposed to the ...




Derek Jeter or Brett Gardner: Who Belongs in New York Yankees’ Leadoff Spot?

One of the latest rumors coming out of New York Yankees spring training is who will be the leadoff hitter in the batting order. Will it be veteran shortstop and captain Derek Jeter or up-and-coming outfielder Brett Gardner?  At the beginning of spring training, Yankees manager Joe Girardi maintained that the No. 1 spot is Jeter’s. "We signed him to be our shortstop and we signed him to be our leadoff hitter. He had a couple of rough months last year [but by] September he was back to being Derek, I thought. So I'm not really too concerned about him as our leadoff hitter.”   It seems that many Yankees fans, according to a CBS New York online poll, believe that Gardner deserves the leadoff spot. At last check today, Gardner had just over 70 percent of voters listing him as the one who deserves the leadoff spot. Here is ...




MLB’s Smokin’ Aces: The Best No. 1 Pitcher in Each Team’s History

Who is the best starting pitcher in each franchise's history?  Is the player from 80 years ago or is he pitching today? Is there a clear choice or is there a choice to make between two or three pitchers? The only rules I have as criteria are: The pitcher must have pitched in a minimum of four seasons for the team (unless there wasn't a very good choice, then any pitcher qualifies) Any starting pitcher in the franchise's history can be considered, from any city the team played in (for example, any pitcher that was on the Washington Senators that became the Minnesota Twins will be eligible for the Twins) Only stats for that team can be considered, and Any pitcher with ties to PEDs cannot be considered. We'll tackle each franchise in alphabetical order. Please feel free to suggest a different option.  State your case well enough and I just might change ...




MLB Predictions: Predicting the Records of the Teams in the NL Central

Spring Training is in full force now, and we now have some insight into the teams of the MLB. This piece is second in a series of seven, each predicting the records of teams in each division and then predicting the entire postseason (the schedule for which can be found on the last slide). During the offseason, the Brew Crew did come winter cleaning of their roster, the Cards lost their two aces, and all four other teams in the Central made some interesting moves.  Now that the chips have fallen from the offseason, it is time to start predicting how the teams will do in 2011. So, with no further ado, let’s get this started.Begin Slideshow




Boston Red Sox: Daisuke Matsuzaka Pitching Himself out of Rotation

It's been a horrific spring training so far for Daisuke (Dice-K) Matsuzaka.  He's pitched just one clean inning in nine chances this spring. Matsuzaka was hit hard again on Thursday by the Florida Marlins, giving up five hits, five earned runs and two walks in 3.2 innings.  In his three spring training starts, he's allowed 11 earned runs on 12 hits, five base on balls and three home runs in 8.2 innings.  But the Boston Red Sox aren't going to panic yet, claims Terry Francona. Matsuzaka's their fifth starter for a reason.  Still, his performances have been troublesome to watch. The Red Sox won negotiation rights to Matsuzaka by posting a $51.1 million bid back in November 2006, which led to his six-year, $52 million contract through 2012. He is now in the fifth season of the deal and will make an estimated $10 million in 2011.   Sure, it's only spring training, but am I the ...




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