Clayton Kershaw

Leaderboards vs. the projections: the pitchers

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Here’s part two of my look at the actual leaderboards versus my projected totals. I’ll be listing players with their season totals and then where I had them ranked and projected.

1. Justin Verlander: 24 (6th, 16)
2. Ian Kennedy: 21 (67th, 11)
2. Clayton Kershaw: 21 (10th, 15)
4. Roy Halladay: 19 (1st, 19)
4. CC Sabathia: 19 (2nd, 18)
6. Jered Weaver: 18 (19th, 14)
7. Yovani Gallardo: 17 (19th, 14)
7. Cliff Lee: 17 (3rd, 17)
9. Gio Gonzalez: 16 (31st, 13)
9. Zack Greinke: 16 (31st, 13)
9. Dan Haren: 16 (19th, 14)
9. Derek Holland: 16 (67th, 11)
9. Daniel Hudson: 16 (31st, 13)
9. Tim Hudson: 16 (10th, 15)
9. Ivan Nova: 16 (87th, 10)
9. James Shields: 16 (31st, 13)
9. C.J. Wilson: 16 (31st, 13)

I had five pitchers winning 17 games, including Halladay, Sabathia and Lee. The other two were Jon Lester, who finished with 15, and Tim Lincecum, who ended up with 13.

Kennedy was obviously the biggest miss. I had him as a solid fantasy starter because of a strong WHIP and strikeout rate. But I didn’t think he’d be so good and I didn’t expect the team around him (the Arizona bullpen in particular) to perform so well.

1. Clayton Kershaw: 2.28 (3rd, 2.97)
2. Roy Halladay: 2.35 (2nd, 2.84)
3. Cliff Lee: 2.40 (4th, 3.04)
4. Justin Verlander: 2.40 (23rd, 3.51)
5. Jered Weaver: 2.41 (21st, 3.49)
6. Ryan Vogelsong: 2.71 (no projection)
7. Tim Lincecum: 2.74 (5th, 3.09)
8. Cole Hamels: 2.79 (15th, 3.39)
9. James Shields: 2.82 (76th, 4.12)
10. Doug Fister: 2.83 (113th, 4.38)

As you’ve probably noticed by now, I’m a bit more conservative with pitching projections; not since Pedro Martinez’s prime have I projected anyone to finish with an ERA in the low-2.00s.

I had Felix Hernandez atop my ERA leaderboard this year at 2.74, but he came up well short at 3.47 for the year. Two of the other guys in my top 10 got hurt (Josh Johnson and Brett Anderson), while Mat Latos, Tommy Hanson and Lester failed to make the cut here.

1. Justin Verlander: 250 (6th, 202)
2. Clayton Kershaw: 248 (5th, 205)
3. Cliff Lee: 238 (28th, 178)
4. CC Sabathia: 230 (11th, 192)
5. James Shields: 225 (34th, 172)
6. Felix Hernandez: 222 (4th, 207)
7. Roy Halladay: 220 (7th, 197)
7. Tim Lincecum: 220 (1st, 232)
9. David Price: 218 (8th, 194)
10. Yovani Gallardo: 207 (2nd, 211)

Seven of the top 10 match up here. The exceptions are Jon Lester (211 projected, 182 actual), Jered Weaver (193 projected, 198 actual) and Jonathan Sanchez (193 projected, 102 actual in 101 1/3 IP). Of course, I had just six pitchers projected to fan 200 batters.  In actuality, 14 did.

Marc Anthony gets into the agent business, signs Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman
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There is a somewhat mixed history of entertainers and musicians getting into the sports agent business. Sometimes it works out (Jay-Z has done OK). Sometimes it doesn’t (Master P says “Hi”).

Add another one to the list. A pretty big one. Ken Rosenthal reports that Marc Anthony’s Magnus Media is getting into sports. And the company, Magnus Sports, just signed a new client: Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. From Rosenthal:

The company said in a news release that it will team with a baseball agency, Praver Shapiro Sports Management — and that the group’s first major client will be Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.

Praver Shapiro represents a number of Latin players, including Marlinsshortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler, Reds pitcherRaisel Iglesias and free-agent third baseman Juan Uribe.

Chapman is on the trading block right now but 2016 is his walk year, and barring injury he’ll due for perhaps the biggest payday a closer has ever seen. Whether he’ll actually get it depends on the negotiating skills of the biggest salsa artist the world has ever seen.

Gentlemen: you have a year to get some song title pun/headlines ready.

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.