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Some surprising signings lately:

- Saltalamacchia to the Marlins - talk about going for the money; he goes from a World Series team to a squad that won't be competitive any time soon.

- Brian Wilson gets $10 mil guaranteed from the Dodgers. They already have a ton of relievers, paying that much to their setup guy is nuts.

- Ellsbury to the Yankees for 7 years *$153 mil), I can't see him being that type of player for more than a few more years.

And most of all, Robinson Cano to Seattle? It sounds like they've agreed on a 10 year, $240 million deal. The Yankees' last offer was 7/175. I thought he was re-signing for sure but the Ellsbury deal probably took them out of contention since they're trying to stay under the luxury tax this year. Meanwhile, Seattle is still a long way from contention even with Cano, this one doesn't make a ton of sense.

Red Sox didn't want Salty back, they only wanted a one-year deal on a catcher as they have two blue chip guys coming up.

Willson is crazy.

Granderson 4 years 60 million to the Mets is FREAKING INSANE.

Beltran 3 years 45 to the Yanks

Napoli 2 years 32 to the Redsox.... He makes 40 million over 3 years there... you'll remember his original Boston deal was 3 years 39 million and got voided after his physical. He then took 1 year 5 million + 3 million in incentives, and hit all the incentives.

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Red Sox didn't want Salty back, they only wanted a one-year deal on a catcher as they have two blue chip guys coming up.

Willson is crazy.

Granderson 4 years 60 million to the Mets is FREAKING INSANE.

Beltran 3 years 45 to the Yanks

Napoli 2 years 32 to the Redsox.... He makes 40 million over 3 years there... you'll remember his original Boston deal was 3 years 39 million and got voided after his physical. He then took 1 year 5 million + 3 million in incentives, and hit all the incentives.

I know Salty wasn't going back to Boston but there weren't slightly more competitive teams willing to sign him? Even at 2 years, I think I'd have preferred that to merely collecting a pay cheque and losing for 3 seasons. From the Marlins standpoint it's not a bad deal, I'd go as far as to say it's one of the better FA contracts we've seen so far.

The Mets are taking a huge risk with Granderson. If they get the player from two years ago, he'll be a big help. If they get the one from last year? It'll be one of the worst contracts out there.

Beltran to the Yankees is also a bit odd. There's a bit of a logjam in the outfield now - Gardner, Ellsbury, Ichiro, Soriano, and Beltran. Obviously one will DH but it will be interesting to see how that sorts itself out.

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Here's a weird story, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was selected in the Triple A Phase of MLB's Rule 5 draft today by Texas. They listed him as a 2nd baseman. Apparently they want him to come into Spring Training and talk with their minor leaguers. I could see him maybe doing that if the Mariners took him but Texas?

Bartolo Colon gets 2 years and $20 mil from the Mets. He'll turn 41 in May, that's quite the commitment for an older pitcher with PED issues in the past. That experimental stem cell work he had done really has extended his career though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This Blue Jay off-season reminds me a lot of anticipating a steak dinner and ending up consumming it on a styrofoam plate with plastic utensils.

As long as you get the steak in the end though (and it tastes good), can you live with the frustration it takes to get/eat it (or in this case, land the FA/trade acquisition)?

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The one bad thing with Tanaka finally being posted is that it may slow the market even further. Teams have until the 23rd (or 24th) to negotiate with him. If he and his agent drag it out, guys like Jiminez, Garza, and Santana (Ervin, not Johan) may be waiting even longer to sign. That'll stall their market plus the trades as well. I expect it'll be quiet on the Toronto front for a few more weeks until this situation starts to sort itself out.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Tanaka gets 7 years and $155 M and that doesn't include the $20 M posting fee. That works out to $25 M per year. I thought we'd see around $125 M on a 7 year deal (comparable to Darvish) but wow, that's a ton of money. Naturally, it's the Yankees who coughed up that much.

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Tanaka gets 7 years and $155 M and that doesn't include the $20 M posting fee. That works out to $25 M per year. I thought we'd see around $125 M on a 7 year deal (comparable to Darvish) but wow, that's a ton of money. Naturally, it's the Yankees who coughed up that much.

If Tanaka is close to as good as Darvish, it's money reasonably well spent. I doubt he will be, though. The stories about his pitch count are crazy.

The rules sure favour Japanese players compared to a couple years ago. Tanaka got more than double what Darvish did (and his team got less than half).

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The rules sure favour Japanese players compared to a couple years ago. Tanaka got more than double what Darvish did (and his team got less than half).

MLB's new system also prevents posted Japanese players from donating money to their former teams (which would have been a way to circumvent the posting restrictions).

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Let me be so bold to predict that this whole management team will break at the seams and torn asunder by the all-star break.

It's not often that GM's get changed midseason but who knows.

I came across this video the other day, I think you can relate to the frustrations in here...(it also points out a couple of behind the scenes notes, such as a change in the radio commentary crew):

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It's not often that GM's get changed midseason but who knows.

I came across this video the other day, I think you can relate to the frustrations in here...(it also points out a couple of behind the scenes notes, such as a change in the radio commentary crew):

It's not playing for me. As for the Blue Jays, way too many things have to go right to be successful. I like a lot of things AA has done, but at some point that has to play into contesting for the division as opposed to the basement of the division.

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Interesting development today concerning collisions at the plate. Call me crazy, but the whole point of blocking the plate is that the ball is late and the catcher wants to delay the runner so they can get late tag on him/her.

Blocking is still legal to a degree (once the catcher has the ball), the rule pretty much is getting rid of intentional collisions. This seems to be a decent summary:

For base-runners: They basically will need to pick a path to the plate and not deviate from it to initiate physical contact with the catcher. Doing so will result in the runner being called out, even if the catcher loses control of the ball. (They can deviate from that path to avoid contact though, such as trying to get around a tag.)

For catchers: They won’t be able to block a runner’s path unless they have the ball. If they do, any player tagged out will be called safe.

The goal is to have more swipe tags and less collisions and it's hard to argue with that idea. There still will be some collisions and some blocking though, they're not completely gone, just reduced.

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How about this strategy--- as a catcher block the plate every time--- if the balls on time you tag him out or he is automatically out if he tries to take you out (tag or no tag)--- if the ball is late, runner is safe anyway--- catcher has upper hand because he knows when ball is arriving--- runner may only have split second to react and make his choice.

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How about this strategy--- as a catcher block the plate every time--- if the balls on time you tag him out or he is automatically out if he tries to take you out (tag or no tag)--- if the ball is late, runner is safe anyway--- catcher has upper hand because he knows when ball is arriving--- runner may only have split second to react and make his choice.

If the plate is being blocked before the catcher has the ball though, the runner is automatically safe, whether he's tagged out or not.

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If the plate is being blocked before the catcher has the ball though, the runner is automatically safe, whether he's tagged out or not.

95% of the time the feet are already planted and a catcher is giving a fielder a target which means the ball has not left the fielders hand let alone the catcher receiving the ball. What constitutes blocking the plate?--- 1 foot on the base path-2 maybe--- are you expecting catcher to get position after he receives ball? seems to me as reported there are some flaws here in the adopted rule.

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95% of the time the feet are already planted and a catcher is giving a fielder a target which means the ball has not left the fielders hand let alone the catcher receiving the ball. What constitutes blocking the plate?--- 1 foot on the base path-2 maybe--- are you expecting catcher to get position after he receives ball? seems to me as reported there are some flaws here in the adopted rule.

Yeah, it's a weird rule. I would guess that the catcher will be required to stand ahead of the right-handed batting box, on top of the baseline to field an incoming throw. Using my wonderful MS Paint skills, the catcher would be about here...

Home_Plate.jpg

Then when he has the ball, he can take the step back into the right batter's box and be in a legal blocking position to make the tag. That's how I'm interpreting it at least.

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As a person that has done a little catching in his time, i would suggest that your scenario would give the runner an advantage. Your asking the catcher to take his position after the catch which would delay the tag. Secondly as a runner knowing that the catcher could not occupy the basepath, I would always run wide and could easily beat the catcher in a close play. Secondly the catcher or fielder always has the right to play the ball on the entire field ahead of the baserunner. It shouldn't change here. i would suggest that they just make it similar to first base if they want to eliminate collisions.

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As a person that has done a little catching in his time, i would suggest that your scenario would give the runner an advantage. Your asking the catcher to take his position after the catch which would delay the tag. Secondly as a runner knowing that the catcher could not occupy the basepath, I would always run wide and could easily beat the catcher in a close play. Secondly the catcher or fielder always has the right to play the ball on the entire field ahead of the baserunner. It shouldn't change here. i would suggest that they just make it similar to first base if they want to eliminate collisions.

I'm just going off of the summary I posted a few posts up - the catcher can't block the runner's path unless he has the ball. If his foot is blocking the plate and the ball isn't in his glove, that constitutes illegal blocking by definition of the rule. I agree that there's an advantage to the runner but I think that's what the rule actually does provide.

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