Saito garners interest from eight teams

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Thumbnail image for takashi saito.jpgEight teams, including the White Sox, Cubs, Braves and Mets, have interest in free agent Takashi Saito, according to a Sponichi report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker.



Saito, who turns 40 in February,
posted a 2.42 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 52/25 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings
with the Red Sox in 2009. He signed an incentive-laden contract last
January coming back from a torn elbow ligament (without undergoing
surgery), but the Red Sox declined his $6 million option by releasing
him last month.




While he’s still a fine reliever,
capable of eighth or ninth-inning duties, Saito’s peripherals have been
headed in the wrong direction since his debut in 2006:




2006: 12.9 K/9, 2.64 BB/9, 0.34 HR/9

2007: 10.91 K/9, 1.82 BB/9, 0.70 HR/9

2008: 11.49 K/9, 3.06 BB/9, 0.19 HR/9

2009: 8.41 K/9, 4.04 BB/9, 0.97 HR/9



There’s no shortage of younger late-inning
relievers available this winter, so while the early interest is strong, the veteran right-hander is wading
into some uncertain waters.

Who is the fastest sprinter in baseball?

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We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.

StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.

Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.

That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.

Here are the final All-Star voting results before the close of balloting

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All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.

Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AMERICAN LEAGUE