Yesterday Craig noted a “tweet” from
Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus saying there would be “two huge
announcements” coming at the winter meetings. Well, Richard Sandomir of the
New York Times revealed one of them in the New York Times on Saturday
night. It seems Bloomberg, best known for their financial software,
have decided to embrace sabermetrics.
Bloomberg is actually in business with baseball. It has licensed M.L.B.’s
statistics; pitch location and velocity data; and video to create the
team software and fantasy products for fans that will roll out in
February. For the past year or so, it has been soliciting the opinions
of team executives and players about the team software.
The challenge for Bloomberg is to create software that is better,
faster and more visually useful than what rivals offer to help develop
players and predict their performances. A demonstration of Bloomberg’s
software showed dazzlingly colorful graphics and an easy way to plot
statistics and compare players in complex combinations.
Each team, according to the Times,
will get a six-month free trial of the software. I don’t expect this
announcement will resonate much with your everyday fan, but for those
who have followed Baseball Prospectus and the Hardball Times over the
years, the resources and partnership with MLBAM have to be worrisome.
Free agent outfielder A.J. Pollock has landed on the Dodgers’ radar, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal says the two appear to be in discussions regarding a deal for 2019. Terms of any prospective deal have not been released, but interest is presumed to be fairly high as he checks two boxes on their wish list: that of a right-handed hitter and an experienced centerfielder.
Pollock, 31, rounded out a seven-year career with the Diamondbacks in 2018. While he was sidelined for nearly seven weeks after fracturing his left thumb on a dive gone wrong, he finished the season batting a hearty .257/.316/.484 with a career-best 21 home runs, 13 steals (in 15 chances), and 2.5 fWAR across 460 plate appearances. He received a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the club at the end of the year and elected to enter free agency in hopes of a better deal, which some have estimated at five years and $80 million.
So far, it’s not clear whether teams are willing to meet those terms. Pollock profiles as both a solid hitter and defender, but he hasn’t played a season in full health since 2015, which may be a deal-breaker for those in search of long-term talent. Even with that caveat, however, the Dodgers are far from the only club willing to enter negotiations with the outfielder this winter. The Braves have been linked to Pollock since December, and the Mets and Reds have expressed varying levels of interest as well.