Chris Young

Jose Quintana

Jose Quintana is the unluckiest pitcher alive

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After opening the game with six scoreless innings, White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana was the victim Wednesday when Tyler Flowers’ plate block opened the floodgates for the Giants. It turned what should have been a clear out into the Giants’ first run of the game, and they went on to score seven times in the seventh inning, with four of those runs being charged to Quintana. Since it couldn’t even technically be ruled an error on Flowers or anyone else, all of the runs were earned.

It was just the latest bad break for baseball’s unluckiest pitcher. Quintana is 6-9 this year despite a 3.14 ERA that ranks 14th in the AL (he’d probably be 10th instead if Flowers could have waited to shift his foot over).

In 2013, Quintana was 17th in the AL with a 3.51 ERA, yet finished just 9-7 in his 33 starts.

As a rookie in 2012, Quintana was 6-6 with a 3.76 ERA in 22 starts and three relief appearances.

Add it all up and we have a guy with a sub-.500 career record, despite a 3.46 ERA. That ERA translates into a 119 ERA+, making him one of the six best starters since 1901 with at least 40 decisions and a sub-.500 record.

Johnny Rigney – 122 ERA+ – 64-64, 3.59 ERA from 1937-47
Jim Scott – 121 ERA+ – 107-114, 2.30 ERA from 1909-17
Ned Garvin – 120 ERA+ – 39-65, 2.70 ERA from 1901-1904 (58-97, 2.72 ERA from 1896-1904)
Thornton Lee – 119 ERA+ – 117-124, 3.56 ERA from 1933-48
Jhoulys Chacin – 119 ERA+ – 38-48, 3.78 ERA from 2009-14
Jose Quintana – 119 ERA+ – 21-22, 3.46 ERA from 2012-14

It must be something about the White Sox. Rigney and Scott spent their entire careers with the team, and Lee was there throughout his prime. Even Garvin spent most of 1902 with the team. Chacin seems destined to land there eventually… or maybe he’ll just turn into a winner.

For Quintana, though, wins and losses aren’t the whole picture. It’s also all of the non-decisions. He’s been involved in the decision in just 43 of his 80 starts, which is unique throughout history. Among active starters, only Brandon Beachy joins Quintana in getting a decision in fewer than 55 percent of his starts, and Beachy has started barely half as many games (25 decisions, 46 starts).

Quintana has received a decision in 54 percent of his career starts. AL starters as a whole this year are at 71 percent. The next lowest mark of anyone active with more starts than him belongs to Chris Young, who has received a decision in 62 percent of his 182 starts. And most of the high no-decision guys get that way because they don’t work deep into games. Quintana, though, has averaged 6.05 innings per start in his career. The AL average this year is 5.94 innings per start.

So, with all of those no decisions, Quintana has won just 26.25 percent of his career starts, something that really sets him apart from the earlier group. Even Chacin has won 35 percent of his career starts.

Quintana is far and away the best pitcher ever to win fewer than 30 percent of his starts.

Quintana – 119 ERA+ – 21 W, 80 GS
Henderson Alvarez – 108 ERA+ – 23 W, 80 GS
Tomo Ohka – 105 ERA + – 51 W, 178 GS
Tom Cheney – 104 ERA+ – 19 W, 71 GS
John Thomson – 104 ERA+ – 63 W, 212 GS
Masato Yoshii – 101 ERA+ – 32 W, 118 GS

But it’s also the remarkable consistency. Quintana hasn’t won 30 percent of his starts in any of his three years to date. Since 2000, there are 45 pitchers, minimum 120 innings pitched, to win fewer than 30 percent of their starts with an ERA+ of 110. Quintana is three of them. Ranked by ERA+, his 2014 is 13th on the list, his 2013 is 19th and his 2012 is 27th.

2014 Free Agent Tracker

MLB: Yankees-Brian McCann Press Conference
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Here’s the rundown of where this winter’s top 150 free agents are landing, continuously updated throughout the offseason. Re-signings are posted in red, while players signing with new teams are in blue.

Stars denote players who received qualifying offers and thus will cost their new team a draft pick if they sign elsewhere.

(Non-tenders have been added to the list, noted with an NT.)

All ages are as of April 1, 2014.

1. Robinson Cano (2B Yankees, 31)*: Mariners – 10 years, $240 million
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (OF Red Sox, 30)*: Yankees – seven years, $153 million
x. Masahiro Tanaka (RHP Japan, 25): Yankees – seven years, $155 million
3. Shin-Soo Choo (OF Reds, 31)*: Rangers – seven years, $130 million
4. Matt Garza (RHP Rangers, 30): Brewers – four years, $50 mil + $13 mil vesting option
5. Ervin Santana (RHP Royals, 31)*:
6. Ubaldo Jimenez (RHP Indians, 29)*:
7. Brian McCann (C Braves, 30)*: Yankees – five years, $85 mil + option
8. Curtis Granderson (OF Yankees, 33)*: Mets – four years, $60 million
9. Carlos Beltran (OF Cardinals, 36)*: Yankees – three years, $45 million
10. Hiroki Kuroda (RHP Yankees, 39)*: Yankees – one year, $16 million
11. A.J. Burnett (RHP Pirates, 37):
12. Nelson Cruz (OF Rangers, 33)*:
13. Mike Napoli (1B Red Sox, 32)*: Red Sox – two years, $32 million
14. Tim Hudson (RHP Braves, 38): Giants – two years, $23 million
15. Stephen Drew (SS Red Sox, 31)*:
16. Bronson Arroyo (RHP Reds, 37):
17. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C Red Sox, 28): Marlins – three years, $21 million
18. Joe Nathan (RHP Rangers, 39): Tigers – two years, $20 mil + option
19. Bartolo Colon (RHP Athletics, 40): Mets – two years, $20 million
20. Ricky Nolasco (RHP Dodgers, 31): Twins – four years, $49 million + option
21. Jason Vargas (LHP Angels, 31): Royals – four years, $32 million
22. Kendrys Morales (1B-DH Mariners, 30)*:
23. Brian Wilson (RHP Dodgers, 32): Dodgers – one year, $10 mil + player option
24. Dan Haren (RHP Nationals, 33): Dodgers – one year, $10 mil + vesting option
25. Scott Kazmir (LHP Indians, 30): Athletics – two years, $22 million
26. Phil Hughes (RHP Yankees, 27): Twins – three years, $24 million
27. Jhonny Peralta (SS Tigers, 31): Cardinals – four years, $53 million
28. Grant Balfour (RHP Athletics, 36): Rays – two years, $12 million
29. Scott Feldman (RHP Orioles, 31): Astros – three years, $30 million
30. Corey Hart (1B-OF Brewers, 32): Mariners – one year, $6 mil ($7 mil incentives)
31. Josh Johnson (RHP Blue Jays, 30): Padres – one year, $8 million
32. Paul Maholm (LHP Braves, 31):
33. James Loney (1B Rays, 29): Rays – three years, $21 million
34. Omar Infante (2B Tigers, 32): Royals – four years, $30.25 million
35. Joaquin Benoit (RHP Tigers, 36): Padres – two years, $15.5 million
36. Fernando Rodney (RHP Rays, 37):
37. Marlon Byrd (OF Pirates, 36): Phillies – two years, $16 mil + vesting option
38. Carlos Ruiz (C Phillies, 35): Phillies – three years, $26 million + option
39. Chris Young (OF Athletics, 30): Mets – one year, $7.25 million
40. Suk-Min Yoon (RHP Korea, 27):
x. Yoshio Itoi (OF Japan, 32): Won’t be posted
41. Roy Halladay (RHP Phillies, 36): Retired
42. Joe Smith (RHP Indians, 30): Angels – three years, $15.75 million
43. Derek Jeter (SS Yankees, 39): Yankees – one year, $12 million
44. Scott Baker (RHP Cubs, 32): Mariners – minor league deal ($1 mil + $3.25 mil incentives)
45. A.J. Pierzynski (C Rangers, 37): Red Sox – one year, $8.25 million
46. Randy Messenger (RHP Japan, 32): Staying in Japan – three-year deal
47. Jesse Crain (RHP Rays, 32): Astros – one year, $3.25 million
48. Wandy Rodriguez (LHP Pirates, 35): Pirates – exercised $13 mil player option
49. David Murphy (OF Rangers, 32): Indians – two years, $12 mil + option
50. Edward Mujica (RHP Cardinals, 29): Red Sox – two years, $9.5 million
51. Kevin Youkilis (1B-3B Yankees, 35): Signed to play in Japan
52. Chris Perez (RHP Indians, 28): Dodgers – one year, $2.3 million ($4 mil incentives)
53. Michael Morse (OF Orioles, 31): Giants – one year, $6 million
54. Justin Morneau (1B Pirates, 32): Rockies – two years, $13 million
55. Javier Lopez (LHP Giants, 36): Giants – three years, $13 million
56. J.P. Howell (LHP Dodgers, 30): Dodgers – two years, $11.25 mil + mutual option
57. David DeJesus (OF Rays, 34): Rays – two years, $10.5 mil + option
58. Mark Ellis (2B Dodgers, 36): Cardinals – one year, $5.25 million
59. Boone Logan (LHP Yankees, 29): Rockies – three years, $16.5 million
60. Jason Hammel (RHP Orioles, 31): Cubs – one year, $6 million
61. Bruce Chen (LHP Royals, 36): Royals – one year, $4.25 mil + $5.5 mil mutual option
62. Francisco Rodriguez (RHP Orioles, 32):
63. Juan Uribe (3B Dodgers, 35): Dodgers – two years, $15 million
64. Jake Westbrook (RHP Cardinals, 36):
65. Chris Capuano (LHP Dodgers, 35):
66. Carlos Marmol (RHP Dodgers, 31):
67. Dioner Navarro (C Cubs, 30): Blue Jays – two years, $8 million
68. Kelly Johnson (2B-OF Rays, 32): Yankees – one year, $3 million
69. Ryan Vogelsong (RHP Giants, 36): Giants – one year, $5 mil + $2.5 mil incentives
70. Manny Parra (LHP Reds, 31): Reds – two years, $5.5 million
70 1/2. Jose Veras (RHP Tigers, 33): Cubs – one year, $4 million + option
71. Colby Lewis (RHP Rangers, 34): Rangers – minor league deal ($2 mil + $4 mil incentives)
72. Eric Chavez (3B Diamondbacks, 36): Diamondbacks – one year,$3.5 mil + $1 mil incentives
NT. Garrett Jones (1B-OF Pirates, 32): Marlins – two years, $7.75 million
73. Michael Young (INF Dodgers, 37): Retired
74. Joe Saunders (LHP Mariners, 32):
75. Nate McLouth (OF Orioles, 32): Nationals – two years, $10.75 mil + option
76. Chad Gaudin (RHP Giants, 31): Phillies – minor league deal ($750,000)
77. Mark Reynolds (1B-3B Yankees, 30): Brewers – minor league deal ($2 mil + $500,000 incentives)
78. Scott Downs (LHP Braves, 38): White Sox – one year, $4 mil + vesting $4 mil option
79. Mike Pelfrey (RHP Twins, 30): Twins – two years, $11 million
NT: John Axford (RHP Cardinals, 31): Indians – one year, $4.5 million
80. Paul Konerko (1B White Sox, 38): White Sox – one year, $2.5 million
81. Gavin Floyd (RHP White Sox, 31): Braves – one year, $4 mil ($4.5 mil incentives)
82. Joba Chamberlain (RHP Yankees, 28): Tigers – one year, $2.5 million
83. Eric O’Flaherty (LHP Braves, 28): Athletics – two years, $7 million
84. Brian Roberts (2B Orioles, 35): Yankees – one year, $2 million
85. Kurt Suzuki (C Athletics, 30): Twins – one year, $2.75 million
86. Raul Ibanez (OF-DH Mariners, 41): Angels – one year, $2.75 million
87. Joel Hanrahan (RHP Red Sox, 32):
88. Matt Belisle (RHP Rockies, 33): Rockies – one year, $4.25 mil (option exercised)
89. Oliver Perez (LHP Mariners, 32):
90. Rafael Furcal (SS Cardinals, 36): Marlins – one year, $3 million
NT. Ronald Belisario (RHP Dodgers, 31): White Sox – one year, $3 million
91. Geovany Soto (C Rangers, 31): Rangers – one year, $3.05 million
NT. Jerome Williams (RHP Angels, 32):
92. Jason Kubel (OF-DH Indians, 31): Twins – minor league contract ($2 mil + $1 mil incentives)
NT. Ryan Webb (RHP Marlins, 28): Orioles – two years, $4.5 million
NT. J.P. Arencibia (C Blue Jays, 28): Rangers – one year, $1.8 mil + $300,00o incentives
93. Chris Carpenter (RHP Cardinals, 38): Retired
94. Franklin Gutierrez (OF Mariners, 31): Mariners – one year, $1 million
95. Jamey Wright (RHP Rays, 39): Dodgers – one year, $1.8 million
96. Edinson Volquez (RHP Dodgers, 30): Pirates – one year, $5 million
97. Rajai Davis (OF Blue Jays, 33): Tigers – two years, $10 million
98. Shaun Marcum (RHP Mets, 32): Indians – minor league deal ($1 mil + $3 mil incentives)
99. John Buck (C Pirates, 33): Mariners – one year, $1 million
100. Matt Thornton (LHP Red Sox, 37): Yankees – two years, $7 million
101. Lance Berkman (DH Rangers, 38): Retired
102. Roberto Hernandez (RHP Rays, 33): Phillies – one year, $4.5 million
103. Jeff Baker (INF-OF Rangers, 32):
104. Kevin Gregg (RHP Cubs, 35):
105. Takashi Toritani (INF Japan, 32): Remained in Japan
106. Erik Bedard (LHP Astros, 35):
107. Skip Schumaker (2B-OF Dodgers, 34): Reds – two years, $5 million
108. LaTroy Hawkins (RHP Mets, 41): Rockies – one year, $2.5 mil + option
109. Tim Stauffer (RHP Padres, 31):
110. Ryan Madson (RHP FA, 33):
111. Clint Barmes (SS Pirates, 35): Pirates – one year, $2 million
112. Willie Bloomquist (INF Diamondbacks, 36): Mariners – two years, $5.8 million
113. Delmon Young (OF-DH Rays, 28): Orioles – minor league deal ($1 mil +$750,000 incentives)
114. Ted Lilly (LHP FA, 38): Retired
115. Luke Scott (OF Rays, 35): Signed to play in Korea
116. Jose Molina (C Rays, 38): Rays – two years, $4.5 million
117. Brendan Ryan (SS Yankees, 32): Yankees – two years, $5 mil + option
118. Johan Santana (LHP Mets, 35):
119. Michael Gonzalez (LHP Brewers, 35):
120. Nick Punto (INF Dodgers, 36): Athletics – one year, $3 mil + option
121. Chad Qualls (RHP Marlins, 35): Astros – two years, $6 mil + option
122. Brayan Pena (C Tigers, 32): Reds – two years, undisclosed sum
NT. Andrew Bailey (RHP Red Sox, 29):
123. Aaron Harang (RHP Mets, 35):
124. Luis Ayala (RHP Braves, 36):
125. Jerry Hairston Jr. (INF-OF Dodgers, 37): Retired
126. Juan Carlos Oviedo (RHP Rays, 32): Rays – one year, $1.5 million
NT. Daniel Hudson (RHP Diamondbacks, 27): Diamondbacks – minor league deal
127. Kyle Farnsworth (RHP Pirates, 37):
128. Barry Zito (LHP Giants, 35):
129. David Aardsma (RHP Mets, 32): Indians – minor league deal ($1 million)
NT. Wesley Wright (LHP Rays, 29): Cubs – one year, $1.425 million
130. Yuniesky Betancourt (INF Brewers, 32): Signed to play in Japan
131. Alfredo Aceves (RHP Red Sox, 32): Orioles – minor league deal ($1.2 mil + $1.8 mil incentives)
132. Placido Polanco (3B Marlins, 37):
133. Daisuke Matsuzaka (RHP Mets, 33): Mets – minor league deal ($1.5 million)
134. Wilson Betemit (3B FA, 32): Rays – minor league deal
NT. Jayson Nix (INF Yankees, 31): Rays – minor league deal
135. Brett Myers (RHP Indians, 33):
136. Jeff Karstens (RHP Pirates, 31):
137. Roy Oswalt (RHP Rockies, 36):
138. Juan Pierre (OF Marlins, 36):
139. Octavio Dotel (RHP Tigers, 40):
140. Frank Francisco (RHP Mets, 34):
NT. Tommy Hanson (RHP Angels, 27):
141. Clayton Richard (LHP Padres, 30):
142. Reed Johnson (OF Braves, 37): Marlins – minor league deal
143. Wil Nieves (C Diamondbacks, 36): Phillies – one year, $1.125 million
144. Grady Sizemore (OF FA, 31): Red Sox – one year, $750,000 ($5.25 mil incentives)
145. Tsuyoshi Wada (LHP Orioles, 33): Cubs – minor league contract
NT. Lou Marson (C Indians, 27): Phillies – minor league contract
146. Yorvit Torrealba (C Rockies, 35):
147. John Lannan (LHP Phillies, 29): Mets – minor league contract ($1.5 mil)
148. Andres Torres (OF Giants, 36):
149. Jamey Carroll (INF Royals, 40): Nationals – minor league contract
150. Rich Hill (LHP Indians, 34):

Signed pre-rankings:

Jose Abreu (1B Cuba): White Sox – six years, $68 million
Tim Lincecum (RHP Giants): Giants – two years, $35 million
Alexander Guerrero (INF Cuba): Dodgers – four years, $28 million
Ryan Sweeney (OF Cubs): Cubs – two years, $3.5 million + option
Jason Frasor (RHP Rangers): Rangers – one year, $1.5 million

Other signings:

Matt Albers (RHP Indians): Astros – one year, $2.45 million + option
Felipe Paulino (RHP Royals): White Sox – one year, $1.75 million
Casey McGehee (3B Japan): Marlins – one year, $1.1 million
David Cooper (1B FA): Indians – one year, undisclosed sum
Jason Giambi (DH Indians): Indians – minor league contract
Munenori Kawasaki (2B Blue Jays): Blue Jays – minor league contract
Jonathan Sanchez (LHP FA): Cubs – minor league contract
Chris Snyder (C Orioles): Nationals – minor league contract
Chien-Ming Wang (RHP FA): Reds – minor league contract

Chris Young (RHP Nationals): Nationals – minor league contract

Mets GM Sandy Alderson met with Curtis Granderson on Sunday

Curtis Granderson AP
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While there has been some conflicting information on the Mets’ interest in a meeting with right-hander Bronson Arroyo, general manager Sandy Alderson has another free agent on his radar.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Alderson had a meeting with Curtis Granderson yesterday. We heard about a month ago that the Mets had “preliminary interest” in the free agent outfielder, so this latest report would seem to indicate that they could be serious about making a run at signing him. Or at the very least, that they haven’t ruled out the possibility.

Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears that Granderson wants a minimum of three years on his next contract. He is attached to draft pick compensation, but one possible advantage for the Mets is that they would only have to surrender their second-round pick in order to sign him.

The Mets already signed Chris Young to a one-year deal late last month, but they are said to still be on the lookout for other outfielders, preferably of the power-hitting variety. Granderson would satisfy both criteria. While the 32-year-old was limited to just 61 games this past season due to a pair of freak injuries, he amassed 84 home runs from 2011-2012. Granted, his age and strikeout rate are concerns and he would likely lose a few homers making the switch from Yankee Stadium to Citi Field, but he would give the Mets a legitimate power threat behind David Wright.

The Mets sign Chris Young

Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics
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Jon Heyman reports that the Mets have signed outfielder Chris Young to a one-year contract, pending a physical. The deal is for $7.2 million.

This makes some sense. Young is coming off of two straight blah seasons (in 2013 he hit .200/.280/.379 with 12 homers and 10 steals). But he does have a good mix of power and speed, and if he can raise that batting average up even as high as .250 he’s not a bad value as an every day center fielder.

Nationals sign Mexican League closer Gabriel Alfaro

Gabriel Alfaro
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In addition to re-signing Chris Young yesterday the Nationals also announced the signing of Gabriel Alfaro, a 30-year-old right-hander who’s spent the past two seasons thriving in the Mexican League.

Alfaro, who began his pro career pitching in the Blue Jays’ farm system in 2005, posted a 2.58 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 129 innings as Oaxaca’s closer during the past two seasons, saving 26 games each year.

For the Nationals there’s no real risk involved in giving him a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training and if Alfaro’s stuff translates to the majors they may have found a solid setup man.