2010 projected leaders: Slugging percentage

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Over the next several days, I’ll be dipping into my 2010 projections and presenting some leaderboards.
Slugging percentage
1. Albert Pujols – .624
2. Ryan Braun – .575
3. Miguel Cabrera – .574
4. Prince Fielder – .570
5. Mark Teixeira – .570
6. Ryan Howard – .561
7. Hanley Ramirez – .549
8. Alex Rodriguez – .548
9. Evan Longoria – .544
10. Adrian Gonzalez – .542
11. Manny Ramirez – .542
12. Joe Mauer – .538
13. Pablo Sandoval – .532
14. Justin Upton – .531
15. Kendry Morales – .529
16. David Wright – .528
17. Adam Lind – .528
18. Jason Bay – .524
19. Matt Holliday – .520
20. Josh Hamilton – .517
21. Aramis Ramirez – .514
22. Justin Morneau – .514
23. Mark Reynolds – .512
24. Carlos Quentin – .512
25. Matt Kemp – .512
– While the Yankees and Red Sox occupied three spots apiece in the top 25 for OBP on Monday, Boston is left out here. The Yankees have two of the top 10, plus Robinson Cano just missing the list at .510. Boston’s highest, though, is David Ortiz at .504, followed by Kevin Youkilis at .498.
– There were three players with isolated slugging percentages (SLG – AVG) of .250 or better not to make the top 25: Adam Dunn (.245 AVG, .504 SLG), Carlos Pena (.243, .500) and Russell Branyan (.234, .493).
– Pujols tops both the OBP and slugging lists, which obviously gives him the top OPS on the board at 1067. Next are Fielder at 976, Cabrera at 965, Teixeira at 962 and Mauer at 958.

Orioles interested in Denard Span

Denard Span
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.

Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.

The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.

Blue Jays showing interest in Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.

Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.

Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.

After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.

Trevor Cahill considering the Pirates as a potential destination

Trevor Cahill
AP Photo/Paul Beaty

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.

It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.

Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.