Picking the “10 greatest living baseball players”

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In honor of Stan Musial’s 90th birthday Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote an interesting article laying out his picks for the “10 greatest living baseball players” (retired only, with no active guys).

Here are his 10 picks: Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson, Tom Seaver, Mike Schmidt.

Goold is one of my favorite mainstream baseball writers, so not surprisingly his list is a good one and his reasoning behind the picks are sound, but I disagree with a few of his selections.

However, instead of focusing on my opinion I thought it would be interesting to select the “10 greatest living baseball players” based strictly on the numbers, and more specifically their career totals in Wins Above Replacement. In other words, which 10 living, retired players were worth the most runs and wins above a replacement-level player at their position.

Here’s the WAR-based list: Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roger Clemens, Stan Musial, Rickey Henderson, Mike Schmidt, Frank Robinson, Tom Seaver, Joe Morgan.

The only difference between Goold’s list and WAR’s list? Goold has Yogi Berra and Sandy Koufax, while WAR has Roger Clemens and Joe Morgan. Greg Maddux wasn’t on Goold’s list and also narrowly missed the WAR top 10, which surprised me as he’d probably crack my top 10.

And, of course, Neifi Perez.

Report: Christian Yelich’s relationship with Marlins ‘irretrievably broken’

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Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.

Longo said,

They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.

The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.

He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.

This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.

Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.