Tag: Robinson Cano

Cespedes Getty

Yoenis Cespedes joins Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports


Following in the footsteps of fellow MLB players Robinson Cano, CC Sabathia, and his teammate and countryman Rusney Castillo, Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will now be represented by Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports.

Cespedes was previously represented by Adam Katz of Wasserman Media Group, who negotiated his four-year, $36 million deal with the Athletics in February of 2012. He has one year remaining on that deal, so he’s clearly preparing for what next offseason will bring. Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that Brodie Van Wagenen will serve as as the point-person in regard to a contract for Cespedes, so this is a similar arrangement to what we have seen with Cano and Castillo.

Cespedes, 29, batted .260/.301/.450 with 22 home runs and 100 RBI over 152 games this season between the Athletics and Red Sox. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote over the weekend that Boston could make him available in a trade as they attempt to address their current outfield logjam.

The Yankees are going to give Brian Cashman a contract extension

Brian Cashman

Buster Olney reports that the Yankees “have begun the process of constructing a new contract for longtime general manager Brian Cashman.” His expires after the season, and the Bombers want him back, it seems.

Not sure how I feel about that, actually. Cashman has long been a good GM, but is he the right GM for where the Yankees are and what they need? If your team is old and, it would seem, at the end of competitive arc, however long it has been, and now needs to build up talent in the system, do you stick with the guy whose system hasn’t developed a solid young position player since Robinson Cano?

I’m not saying Cashman should be fired or let go completely. The guy knows the organization well and can navigate all that a Yankees executive needs to navigate better than probably anyone. But I wonder if at this stage he shouldn’t be more of a team president or GM emeritus type as opposed to the guy tasked with what appears to be a necessary rebuild in the Bronx.

Pouliot’s 2014 American League awards picks

Mike Trout

If the American League MVP race doesn’t provide as much intrigue as usual this year, at least the Cy Young competition still offers some controversy. Here are my AL picks for the three player awards, with the NL selections to follow on Tuesday.


1. Mike Trout
2. Michael Brantley
3. Robinson Cano
4. Victor Martinez
5. Adrian Beltre
6. Jose Altuve
7. Josh Donaldson
8. Jose Abreu
9. Adam Jones
10. Jose Bautista

Trout wasn’t quite as good this year as he was the previous two, but he’s still the AL’s best player and he’ll finally get his much deserved first MVP award, thanks to the Angels’ ascension. It’s not a particularly close race for first. Trout was third in the AL in OPS behind Martinez and Abreu, but the margin was minuscule. In fact, in OPS+, they graded out at 169 for Abreu, 168 for Martinez and 167 for Trout. And if Trout wasn’t as valuable defensively or on the basepaths as he was in previous years, he still obviously had much more value there than Martinez or Abreu.

Brantley is the clear No. 2 in my mind: 156 games with the AL’s seventh best OPS, plus 23 steals in 24 attempts. WAR isn’t fond of his defense, but I don’t find any fault with him in left field. It gets a whole lot more difficult to separate the candidates after that. Both versions of WAR favor Donaldson and Alex Gordon because of their defense. I’m going Cano third because he was a better hitter than both and still an above average defensive second baseman in my mind. Martinez comes in fourth despite his total lack of defensive value; it was just an awesome offensive season. Particularly nice is that he grounded into a modest 17 double plays, despite the fact that he’s slower than molasses, he was always putting the ball in play (just 42 strikeouts) and he so often had Miguel Cabrera on first base ahead of him.

Abreu’s lack of defensive value, combined with his early DL stint, drops him to eighth on my ballot, though I’m guessing he’ll finish third behind Trout and Martinez when the actual results are revealed in November.

Tough to leave off the list were Kyle Seager, Gordon and both Cy Young candidates.


AL Cy Young

Felix Hernandez: 15-6, 170 H, 68 R, 56 ER, 16 HR, 248/46 K/BB in 236 IP
Corey Kluber……: 18-9, 207 H, 72 R, 64 ER, 14 HR, 269/51 K/BB in 235 2/3 IP

That’s awfully, awfully close.

Fangraphs WAR, which is based strictly on homers, strikeouts and walks, obviously favors Kluber. Baseball-reference WAR, which isn’t FIP based, also prefers Kluber.

The ERA crown went to Hernandez, who finished at 2.14 after having four earned runs from his next-to-last start taken away over the weekend (it was his own error that led to the runs, and yes, it was clearly an error). Kluber finished at 2.44. Even with the extra four earned runs, Hernandez would have come in at 2.28, though he would have lost first place to Chris Sale at 2.17.

As for Sale, I’m discounting him from this discussion. He was more effective than either Felix or Kluber, but he finished 60 innings shy of both. The other two pitched 33 percent more than Sale did.

Hernandez led the AL with a 0.915 WHIP. Kluber’s was a much more pedestrian 1.095.

Kluber faced the tougher competition; his opposing batters had a .715 OPS, whereas Hernandez’s came in at .704.

In the end, I think this comes down to defense. The Mariners’ had the second best defensive efficiency in baseball, behind only Oakland. The Indians ranked 25th. That goes a long way towards explaining how Kluber gave up 37 more hits despite recording 21 more strikeouts and surrendering two fewer homers.

If you buy into that — that the gap between Seattle’s defense and Cleveland’s defense was that huge — then you have to give the Cy Young Award to Kluber. If you don’t, then you might prefer Hernandez. Personally, I don’t think the Mariners’ defense was quite that good — the outfield was something of a mess until Austin Jackson arrived and Brad Miller isn’t anything special at short — but I do believe the Indians defense was that bad and perhaps worse. For that reason, I’m throwing my support behind Kluber. It’s still close, but I think it’s the right call.

1. Kluber
2. Hernandez
3. Sale
4. Jon Lester
5. Max Scherzer


AL Rookie of the Year

1. Abreu
2. Dellin Betances
3. Collin McHugh

A year ago, I had Jose Iglesias edging 3 1/2 months of Wil Myers atop my ROY ballot. Neither of those seasons would have cracked the top five for AL rookies this year.

Just look at the starting pitching options:

Collin McHugh: 11-9, 2.73 ERA, 157/41 K/BB in 154 2/3 IP
Yordano Ventura: 14-10, 3.07 ERA, 153/68 K/BB in 179 IP
Masahiro Tanaka: 13-5, 2.77 ERA, 141/21 K/BB in 136 1/3 IP
Matt Shoemaker: 16-4, 3.04 ERA, 124/24 K/BB in 136 IP
Marcus Stroman: 11-6, 3.65 ERA, 111/28 K/BB in 130 2/3 IP
Roenis Elias: 10-12, 3.85 ERA, 143/64 K/BB in 163 2/3 IP
Jake Odorizzi: 11-13, 4.13 ERA, 174/59 K/BB in 168 IP

Only one of them can make the cut, and I’m choosing McHugh. Betances was probably the AL’s best reliever, or at least he and Wade Davis were 1 and 1a. Abreu was Abreu. Honorable mention goes to Danny Santana and Kevin Kiermaier on the offensive side. Santana hit .319 and swiped 20 bases in 405 at-bats. Kiemaier’s .263-10-35 line in 331 at-bats doesn’t look like anything special, but he played some terrific defense in right and center.

Derek Jeter has the most popular player jersey since the All-Star break

Derek Jeter

The top of the list of best-selling jerseys since the All-Star break is not surprising. But the names which follow him suggest that, contrary to popular opinion, baseball will not be devoid of stars once Jeter retires.

MLB Most Popular Player Jerseys – 2nd Half
Based on sales on MLB.com/Shop of Majestic jerseys since the 2014 All-Star break

1. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
2. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Mike Trout, LA Angels of Anaheim
4. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
5. Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
6. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
7. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
8. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
9. Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics/Boston Red Sox*
10. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
11. Albert Pujols, LA Angels of Anaheim
12. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
13. Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
14. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
15. Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
16. Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics
17. Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
18. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
19. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
20. Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers

Numbers 2 through 5 are stars who will be around a good long while. As are 7, 9, 12 and 16-20. But sure, baseball is devoid of players anyone has heard of before.

Rays call up Nick Franklin from Triple-A

nick franklin getty

Tampa Bay has called up switch-hitting infielder Nick Franklin, whom the Rays acquired from the Mariners on July 31 in the three-team trade revolving around David Price.

Franklin hit just .210 in 27 games at Triple-A following the trade, but he came up with some big hits during the International League playoffs and the out-of-contention Rays will want to get a look at him to evaluate for next season.

Franklin was in line to be the Mariners’ starting second baseman until they signed Robinson Cano for $240 million, at which point they tried him at shortstop and in the outfield before ultimately deciding to ship him to the Rays.

He’s struggled mightily in the majors so far, but Franklin is still just 23 years old, can handle second base defensively and could also potentially be useful at other positions, and has generally hit well at Double-A and Triple-A. Expect him to have a sizable role in Tampa Bay next season.