Craig Calcaterra

ogando getty

The Red Sox and Dodgers have been “aggressive” on Alexi Ogando

11 Comments

Peter Gammons reports that the Red Sox and Dodgers have been “aggressive” on free agent right-hander Alexi Ogando.

He’s obviously a gamble. Ogando suffered a sprained UCL in his right elbow last June, ending his season. He had compiled a 6.84 ERA and a 22/15 K/BB ratio in 25 innings of relief prior to the injury. On top of that, an American League executive told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe the other day that Ogando‘s medical records “don’t look great.”

So, one assumes that “aggressive” here is a relative term.

The 24th best GM in history is a guy y’all have probably never heard of

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 10.57.06 AM
10 Comments

As I mentioned yesterday, friends-of-HBT Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have written a book: In Pursuit of Pennants, which examines how front offices have historically found innovative ways to build winning teams. In support of that, they are counting down the top-25 GMs of all time over at their blog. Since it’s slow season, I’m going to continue linking to the countdown as it’s great stuff we rarely read about in the normal course.

That goes for today’s entry — number 24 — which covers John Quinn. Who, I’m assuming, most of you have never heard of. Who was he?

Part of a distinguished family of baseball executives (father Bob Quinn, son Bob Quinn, and son-in-law Roland Hemond were all GMs for multiple teams), John Quinn spent 44 years in baseball front offices, including 27 years as general manager for the Braves and Phillies.  He had a hand in creating three pennant winners and (famously) nearly a fourth, and started the building of a team that would bring glory to Philadelphia after his departure.

Go get edumacated.

Chipper Jones and his cat enjoyed the National Championship Game last night

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 10.18.46 AM
38 Comments

Chipper Jones in retirement: Hating Angel Hernandez, starting forest fires, having shade thrown his way by current Braves, saving stranded travelers and livetweeting the OSU-Oregon game last night via selfies:

Keep killing retirement, Chipper.

Daniel Nava may switch-off of switch-hitting

Daniel Nava AP
3 Comments

This comes up from time to time for switch-hitters with extreme platoon splits. The Nats have considered asking Danny Espinsoa to stop switch-hitting.  Aaron Hicks did it. Shane Victorino. Even Chipper Jones gave it a moment’s thought when he had some power issues from one side in the middle of his career. It can be a touchy subject. But Daniel Nava and the Red Sox are considering it, and Nava seems OK with it. From Rob Bradford of WEEI:

“I have thought about it. Is it something I’m going to do? I don’t know. It’s a tough thing to do,” he said. “[Shane] Victorino did it a couple of years ago, just dropping it. It definitely runs through my head. It’s definitely something I’m considering doing, but at the same time it’s something I’ve never done. Would I even be effective lefty on lefty, or would it be better hitting against lefties from the right side. I would have to go out and give it a test run.”

Easier for Nava of course, as a guy who is fine facing righties as a lefty (he had a .372 OBP against righties last season). When a switch hitter has trouble with righties, however, not being a switch hitter can basically gobble up most of his playing time.

As it was, Nava hit .159/.209/.190 against lefties as a righty last season. And isn’t that much better as a righty in his career (.209/.287/.298). Nothing to lose by giving lefty vs. lefty a go now, right?

Cuban RHP Yoan Lopez signs with the Diamondbacks for $8.25 million

cuba hat
3 Comments

Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that Cuban righthander Yoan Lopez has agreed to sign with the Diamondbacks for $8.25 million.

Badler says that Lopez, who is only 21, typically registers in low-90s, but that he has filled out some and his velocity has ticked higher at times. In Serie Nacional, Badler says that Lopez posted a 3.12 ERA with a 28-11 K-BB mark in 49 innings in seven starts. Read Badler’s whole scouting report here, including a video of Lopez’s fastball.

Badler thinks Lopez will begin in A-ball.