Congratulations to Ryan Braun for beating out Matt Kemp for the 2011 NL MVP. A big assist to the other Milwaukee Brewers for being better than the Los Angeles Dodgers, thereby making Braun more valuable. At least I guess that’s how that worked.
Braun received 20 of the 32 first place votes, Kemp got 10 and Prince Fielder and Justin Upton each got a single first place vote. Overall, Kemp was second, followed by Fielder, Upton, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto and Lance Berkman. It’s interesting that Clayton Kershaw was 11th after having a pretty dominant kind of year. Was the difference between his season and Justin Verlander’s really 10 slots on the ballot? An interesting philosophical question. Also: Michael Young got boned. He was such a great leader that he should have gotten some NL votes too.
Anyway, as said before, Braun had an outstanding season. I think Kemp’s was better once you factor in defense and the quality of pitching he had to face over the course of the year, but you really do need to be a special kind of person to get truly outraged here. I would have voted differently, but this is way closer to tomato/tomahto territory than it is to travestyland.
Congratulations Ryan Braun.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.