The stadium the Miami Marlins will be using begining with  the upcoming baseball season, is seen in this undated handout photograph provided by the team.

Report: Feds open SEC probe into Marlins’ stadium deal


Heath Bell? Check. Jose Reyes? They’re still trying. C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle? Maybe. An investigation by the SEC? Safe to say that wasn’t on the Marlins’ wish list this offseason.

According to a report in the Miami Herald, federal authorities have opened a “wide-ranging investigation” into the Marlins’ ballpark deal with Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami. Specifically, the SEC is demanding financial information regarding nearly $500 million in bond sales and records of campaign contributions from the Marlins to local and state elected leaders.

The county and the city have until January 6 to fork over a host of documentation on the stadium deal, including minutes of meetings between government leaders and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and MLB commissioner Bud Selig and records of Marlins’ finances dating back to 2007.

The subpoenas focus heavily on the Marlins, requesting communications to and from team executives, documentation that might show the team’s ability to pay for or contribute to the financing of the stadium, and information on any meetings involving not only Loria and Selig, but also team President David Samson and former Major League Baseball president and chief operating officer Robert DuPuy. DuPuy was instrumental at the latter end of the hard-fought deal.

The new taxpayer-funded stadium, which is set to open next season, left the county and city on the hook for almost 80 percent of the $634 million price tag. This investigation comes just weeks after a report in the Miami Herald revealed that the stadium will cost taxpayers more money than originally pitched by politicians.

Marlins president David Samson told the Herald that the team has yet to receive a subpoena and merely said “Appreciate the info.” when asked to comment on the investigation.

MVP or not, Mike Trout’s place in history is secure

Mike Trout
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Mike Trout may not win another MVP award, because Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays had a great season and voters seem to be leaning his way, but the Angels center fielder just completed his fourth MVP-caliber campaign in four full seasons as a major leaguer.

Trout has now either won the MVP or (presumably) finished runner-up at age 20, age 21, age 22, and age 23. And there were certainly cases to be made that he was deserving of all four MVP awards. It’s been an incredible start to a career. But how incredible?

Here are the all-time leaders in Wins Above Replacement through age 23:

37.6 – Mike Trout
36.0 – Ty Cobb
34.2 – Ted Williams
31.4 – Mel Ott
30.1 – Ken Griffey Jr.
29.7 – Mickey Mantle
27.7 – Alex Rodriguez
27.5 – Al Kaline
26.7 – Arky Vaughan
26.5 – Rogers Hornsby

I mean, just look at the 10 names on that list. Ridiculous, and Trout sits atop all of them.

Trout has been the subject of intense MVP-related debates in three of his four seasons, but regardless of which side of that coin you favor don’t let it obscure the fact that we’re witnessing something truly special here. There’s certainly room to quibble with the exact rankings–WAR is merely one prominent and easy way to do such things–but however you slice it Trout has been one of the best handful of players in the history of baseball through age 23.

Orioles say re-signing Chris Davis is “a top priority”

Chris Davis
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Last week impending free agent Chris Davis expressed frustration that the Orioles had not approached him about a contract extension during the season, pointing out that the team had previously locked up other players like J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones mid-season.

Now that the season is over and Davis had another monster year Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette told Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun that re-signing Davis is “a top priority” and added:

He’s had a great year and he’s been a great player for us, so obviously, we’d like to have him back. Whether we can do that in the market, that remains to be seen, but we’re going to try.

Davis is 29 years old, has some defensive versatility, and has led the league in homers in two of the past three seasons while posting an .891 OPS during that time. He’s going to get plenty of huge multi-year offers and based on some of Duquette’s other quotes within Encina’s article it sure sounds like the Orioles are preparing for life without him.