Tag: Philly Lists

Projecting the Top 15 MLB Trade Targets Available in July

As the calendar changes to July, those MLB trade whispers will turn into loud shouts. Because of that, there’s no better time to rank the top 15 trade targets who figure to be available over the next month. 

Players like Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto and Scott Kazmir have heard their names grind through the rumor mill for the better part of the 2015 season. While those stars will command the majority of the attention, players like Ben Zobrist, Adam Lind and Mike Leake can also be difference-makers for contenders. 

When ranking these top trade targets, we took contract length, money owed and overall talent into account. 

Let’s get started!

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Highlighting Each MLB Team’s Best Homegrown Player in 2015

The MLB trade deadline and the offseason winter meetings get plenty of attention as teams look to bolster their rosters with big signings or trades, but the key to sustained success is still developing homegrown talent.

On the heels of the 2015 MLB draft, and with a number of notable prospect call-ups made around the league in recent weeks, let’s take a look at the best homegrown talent on each MLB roster.

First, here are a few items of note regarding who was eligible for this list:

  • International Players: Any player signed as an international free agent was eligible to be considered a homegrown player, with the exception of players from Cuba and Japan who were already established professionals when they made the jump straight to the majors. That means guys like Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish, Jose Abreu, Aroldis Chapman and Alexei Ramirez were not eligible. On the other hand, guys like Jorge Soler and Yasiel Puig who came over and spent time in the minors before reaching the big leagues were eligible.
  • Amateur Draft Picks: For a draft-eligible player to be considered homegrown, he had to be drafted by the team he’s currently playing for. So while someone like Chris Archer was technically developed in the Tampa Bay Rays farm system, he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians so is therefore not eligible.

The goal here was to name the best homegrown player on each roster as of today, so for the sake of this exercise, past success and track record meant far less than current talent level and recent performance.

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8 Offseason MLB Moves Looking Like Steals 2 Months into 2015 Season

Every year in MLB, teams make moves in hopes of improving their respective ballclubs. While some of those transactions turn out to be underwhelming flops, many wind up being under-the-radar steals.

The 2015 season has had its share of bargain buys. Players like Shelby Miller, Josh Donaldson and Dee Gordon have settled into their new homes and performed at a high level.

There are plenty of factors that go into being a “steal.” Contracts, team control, production and trade packages all play into a team’s ability to make a shrewd deal.

The following eight players are making huge impacts with their new clubs. They are among the league leaders in many statistical categories and won’t hamper an organization financially for years to come.

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MLB’s Biggest Winners and Losers at the 2015 Quarter Mark

In some respects, the one-quarter mark of the 2015 MLB campaign is an arbitrary signpost. In another way, we’ve reached an important milestone.

There’s still enough baseball left for anything to happen. Hot streaks will turn cold, injuries will hit, slumps will end, teams will rise and fall and maybe even rise again.

But we’ve also watched enough action to draw some conclusions and make a few semi-definitive statements. Like, say, naming the biggest winners and losers of the season’s first lap.

Keep in mind: A “winner” label doesn’t guarantee continued success, just as our “losers” aren’t doomed in perpetuity. 

This is based solely on what we’ve seen so far and not what the remaining three quarters have in store.

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Predicting MLB’s All-Bust Team for 2015

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are that your favorite baseball team might have a bust—or two—sitting on its roster heading into the 2015 season.

We aren’t talking about these players being busts in the sense that they won’t put up some quality numbers and prove to be valuable additions to their new clubs. Rather, we’re talking about them as busts in terms of failing to meet the expectations—often unrealistic—that follow them into the new year.

Some of those expectations are based on past performance, while others are completely based on the lucrative multiyear contract that a particular player signed this winter. And some players made the cut due to circumstances that, quite frankly, are completely out of their control.

For our purposes, we’ll focus on players who are going to make their debut with a new team in 2015 only, taking players who overachieved in 2014 but remain with the same club, like the Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve, out of the mix.

Who is destined to not live up to the hype in 2015? Let’s take a look.

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Every MLB Team’s Biggest Trade Chip 2 Months from the Deadline

The 2014 MLB trade deadline is still two months away, but it’s never too early to get the rumor mill churning. There is still a lot of baseball to be played, as most teams have not yet established themselves as buyers or sellers. But we can already start to paint a picture of who will be available at the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

Upcoming free agents playing for noncontenders are obviously the most likely candidates to find themselves on the block. We’ll also turn our attention to the farm systems of clubs that look like clear-cut contenders here in May.

This is obviously subject to change in the weeks and months ahead, but here is a preliminary look at which player each team’s top chip could be when trade season rolls around.


All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted. All injury information courtesy of MLBDepthCharts team pages.

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Grading All 30 MLB Teams’ 1st Month of Baseball

The first month of the baseball season is officially over, which means it’s time to dish out grades for all 30 MLB teams. In the report cards that follow, each team is graded on four categories: offense, rotation, bullpen and overall.

The overall grade takes into account the previous three categories. However, in certain cases, it’s no easy task to arrive at a final letter grade—especially when teams score particularly high in one section and particularly low in another.

In general, the rotation grade carries the most weight. However, whether a team met preseason expectations also factored into the equation.

Now, let’s take a look at the report cards for all 30 MLB teams.

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All 30 MLB Teams’ Blueprint to a Perfect Spring Training

Those with a vested interest in such things surely never actually expect spring training to go according to plan. That’s just not how spring training rolls.

But hope that things go according to plan? Oh yeah, there are most definitely hopes that maybe, just maybe spring training will go just…perfectly.

We’re here to play along with the idea by asking: What would constitute a perfect spring training for all 30 teams in Major League Baseball? Since these are the things that matter the most, we’re going to proceed with a template that addresses the following:

  • (Player A) will look healthy
  • (Player B) will tease a rebound
  • (Player C) will tease a breakout
  • (Prospect D) will look ready for The Show
  • (New addition E) will live up to his billing

There will be some cases when two players belong to a certain category, but other than that, well, that’s the template. We can proceed…now.


Note: Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted/linked.

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MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 MLB Lineups Rank at the One-Quarter Mark

We have reached the one-quarter mark on the 2013 MLB season, and it has been a season largely dominated by starting pitching to this point.

That said, there have been a number of players, and teams for that matter, putting up impressive offensive showings here in the early going.

As one would expect, American League lineups tend to generate more runs thanks to the presence of the DH. The gap isn’t all that significant, though, as NL teams have averaged 4.08 runs per game in 2013, while AL teams have averaged 4.43 runs per game.

So as we pass the quarter pole on what has already been an exciting season, here is an updated look at where all 30 MLB lineups current rank.


*All stats courtesy of MLB.com and current as of May 13.

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MLB Power Rankings: Ebbets Field and the Top 50 Stadiums in Baseball History

With the addition of MLB Network and expanded coverage on ESPN and other networks, a baseball fan can literally watch hundreds of baseball games each year from their own home. That said, nothing beats attending a game in person, as it is as much a part of summer as anything.

I have the privilege of living in the Chicago area and going to several games each year at the baseball mecca that is Wrigley Field, and with so many stadiums being rebuilt in the last decade it is one of the few classic stadiums still standing.

Baseball went through a stretch in the 1960 and 1970 when “cookie cutter” multipurpose stadiums were all the rage, and because of that there was an era of stadiums that were uninspired to say the least.

Still, there have been some truly great stadiums over the years, and what follows is the 50 greatest stadiums in baseball history.

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