I suppose this applies to everyone by virtue of the new wild card, but for some reason I found it really cute that the Pittsburgh Pirates had someone calculate it:
Team president Frank Coonelly had Dan Fox, the Pirates’ statistical guru, build a computer model to illustrate the impact: The Pirates’ chance of making the playoffs increased 13 percent.
“We’re very much in favor of that,” Coonelly said with a smile.
This reminds me of teenage boys calculating their odds of losing their virginity by analyzing the male-to-female ration of their school. I mean, sure, I suppose that increases the chances of something happening, but there are a hell of a lot more factors in play, ya know?
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.