Author: Craig Calcaterra

David Ross

The Braves are considering David Ross and A.J. Pierzynski as possible backup catchers


With the assumption that the Braves are either going to play Evan Gattis in left field or trade him and that they’re going to give the starting catching job to Christian Bethancourt, they’ll be in need of a veteran backup. Mark Bowman says that two veterans are being considered:

Ross had a stint with the Braves between 2009 and 2012. He’ll turn 38 in March. Pierzynski will be 38 next month. Both project to be sub-.300 OBP guys, but that’s not what the Braves are likely to care about in their backup catchers. Rather, it’s just the ability to squat behind the plate for four or five dozen games next year. Each of which should be handle that.

The Red Sox and Phillies have talked about a Cole Hamels deal


In the wake of the Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval news, the most common comment I’ve heard is “well, the Red Sox still need pitching.” About that:

The Red Sox could certainly use him and the Phillies could certainly use, well, anyone, so there is at least a theoretical matchup here. The biggest issue is whether Ruben Amaro, who is reported to be a bit unrealistic about the potential return he can get for his players, will ask for something reasonable in return.

Report: Hanley Ramirez’s deal is four-years, $88 million with a vesting option for a fifth

Hanley Ramirez

Ken Rosenthal has some new details on Hanley Ramirez’s deal with the Red Sox:

This makes more sense from Ramirez’s perspective, as it makes him a $20 million+ player both for the guaranteed and vesting part of the deal. One assumes the vesting part is to protect the Sox against a physical breakdown of Ramirez.

A full postseason share for the Giants was $388,605.94


Major League Baseball just announced the amount of full playoff shares for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants and the AL Pennant winning Kansas City Royals. The Giants’ take: $388,605.94 per share. The Royals: $230,699.73.

The Giants share this year is a record high. Previous record: the 2012 Giants, who gave out $370,872.53 per full share. Last year’s share amounts were $307,322.68 for the Red Sox and $228,300.17 for the Cardinals.

Each team can vote how many full shares to allocate. They can also issue partial shares and cash awards. It’s overall pool for player shares comes from 50 percent of the gate receipts from the Wild Card Games, 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first three games of the Division Series; 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first four games of the League Championship Series; and 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first four games of the World Series.

Other playoff teams got shares as well. Full share amounts:

  • Baltimore Orioles: $125,288.04
  • St. Louis Cardinals: $115,480.62
  • Detroit Tigers: $31,543.93
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: $29,844.65
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: $31,542.85
  • Washington Nationals: $29,418.13
  • Oakland Athletics: $15,266.43
  • Pittsburgh Pirates: $16,555.58

The 2015 Hall of Fame ballot is out — Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez are new on the ballot

Boston Red Sox

source: Getty Images

It’s almost that time! The time to argue for a couple of months on-end about the Hall of Fame! The ballot has been released. Here it is, with 17 holdovers and 17 newcomers.

Here are the new guys:

Randy Johnson
Pedro Martinez
John Smoltz
Carlos Delgado
Gary Sheffield
Nomar Garciaparra
Troy Percival
Rich Aurilia
Aaron Boone
Tony Clark
Jermaine Dye
Darin Erstad
Cliff Floyd
Brian Giles
Tom Gordon
Eddie Guardado
Jason Schmidt

Quick analysis: Johnson and Martinez should be shoe-ins. Smoltz will get a LOT of support and could very well make it. No one else need apply, though I think Gary Sheffield deserves far more support than he’ll get.

And here are the holdovers, with their vote totals from last year:

Craig Biggio (74.8%)
Mike Piazza (62.2%)
Jeff Bagwell (54.3%)
Tim Raines (46.1%)
Roger Clemens (35.4%)
Barry Bonds (34.7%)
Lee Smith (29.9%)
Curt Schilling (29.2%)
Edgar Martinez (25.2%)
Alan Trammell (20.8%)
Mike Mussina (20.3%)
Jeff Kent (15.2%)
Fred McGriff (11.7%)
Mark McGwire (11.0%)
Larry Walker (10.2%)
Don Mattingly (8.2%)
Sammy Sosa (7.2%)

Analysis: Biggio should get over the hump and certainly deserves it. It’s hard to see anyone else gaining enough ground to make it, though Piazza should make a push. Multiple guys, of course, deserve to be in the Hall of Fame here. Among them: Bagwell, Raines, Clemens, Bonds, Schilling, Martinez, Trammell, Mussina and McGwire. Many make a good strong case for Walker and Sosa does have 609 home runs.

But, of course, there are politics to all of this. And silliness. And controversy. And a lot of Hall of Fame voters who have no business near a ballot.

And, like I said, we have a good month or so to discuss all of that. And most certainly will.