It’s bombs away off Bronson Arroyo

3 Comments

The Brewers have already hit three homers in three innings off Bronson Arroyo, with Prince Fielder going deep in the second and Mark Kotsay and Ryan Braun delivering back-to-back shots in the third.  That makes 43 homers allowed by Arroyo this season.

Arroyo is now tied for sixth on the all-time single-season homers allowed list:

1. Bert Blyleven: 50 (271 2/3 IP, 1986 Twins)
2. Jose Lima: 48 (196 1/3 IP, 2000 Astros)
3. Bert Blyleven: 46 (267 IP, 1987 Twins)
3. Robin Roberts: 46 (297 1/3 IP, 1956 Phillies)
5. Jamie Moyer: 44 (202 IP, 2004 Mariners)
6. Bronson Arroyo: 43 (178 2/3 IP, 2011 Reds)
6. Eric Milton: 43 (201 IP, 2004 Phillies)
6. Pedro Ramos: 43 (231 IP, 1957 Senators)
9. Denny McLain: 42 (264 1/3 IP, 1966 Tigers)
10. Rick Helling: 41 (219 1/3 IP, 1999 Rangers)
10. Phil Niekro: 41 (342 IP, 1979 Braves)
10. Robin Roberts: 41 (305 IP, 1955 Phillies)

Blyleven (in both cases), Niekro, Helling and Roberts (in the latter case) all had good seasons while giving up all those homers.  Arroyo’s season, though, is right there with Lima’s for the worst on the list.  Lima was 7-16 with a 6.65 ERA in a high-offense era.  Arroyo has a 5.39 ERA at the moment.

On a per-inning bases, Lima’s 2000 season above is the only one that ranks above Arroyo as far as home run rate.  Arroyo is giving up .241 homers per inning.  Lima allowed .244.

Update: Arroyo stayed in until the seventh and gave up one more homer, that to George Kottaras.  It gave him 44 for the season, leaving him tied for fifth place all-time.

What happens with all the players the Braves lost yesterday?

Braves
5 Comments

Yesterday’s unprecedented sanctions leveled on the Atlanta Braves hit them pretty hard, but it also turned a dozen players into free agents. What happens to them now? Who can sign them? When? And for how much?

First off, they get to keep their signing bonuses the Braves gave them. It wasn’t their fault the Braves messed up so it would make no sense for them to have to pay the money back. As for their next team: anyone can, theoretically, sign them. As far as team choice, they are free agents in the most narrow sense of the term.

There are limits, however, because as young, international players, their signings are subject to those caps on each team’s international bonus money which were imposed a few years back. Each team now has a “pool” of finite dollars they can spend on such players and, once that money is spent, teams are severely limited as to what they can offer an international free agent. Each summer the bonus pools are reset and it starts anew.

Which, on the surface, would seem to create a problem for the 12 new free agents, seeing as though a lot of teams have already spent much if not all of their July 2017-18 bonus pools. The good news on that, though, is that Major League Baseball has made a couple of exceptions for these guys:

  • First, the first $200,000 of any of the 12 former Braves players will not be subject to signing pools, so that’s a bit of a break; and
  • Second, even though these players will all likely be signed during the 2017-18 bonus pool period, teams have the option of counting the bonus toward the 2018-19 period. They can’t combine the money from the two periods, but they can, essentially, put off the cost into next year for accounting purposes.

Which certainly opens things up for clubs and gives the players more options as far as places to land go. A club can decide whether or not the guys on the market now look better than the guys they’ve been scouting with an eye toward signing after July 2018 and get a jump on things. Likewise, teams don’t have to decide whether or not to take a run at, say, Shohei Ohtani, burning bonus money now, or instead going after a former Braves player. Ohtani’s money will apply now, the Braves player can be accounted for next year.

The new free agents are eligible to sign during a window that begins on December 5 and ends on Jan. 15. If a player hasn’t signed by then, he can still sign with any club but cannot get a bonus. If a player hasn’t signed anywhere by May 1, 2018, he has the option of re-signing with the Braves, though they can’t pay the guy a bonus either.

Ben Badler of Baseball America has a rundown of the top guys who are now free agents thanks to the Braves’ malfeasance. Kevin Maitan is the big name. The 17-year-old shortstop was considered the top overall international free agent last year, though his first year in the Braves minor league system was less-than-impressive. There are a lot of other promising players too. All of whom now can find new employers.