The Rotoworld Draft Guide is now available

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Little known fact: like “Maude,” “Trapper John M.D.” and “Laverne and Shirley,” HardballTalk is a spinoff. Well, sorta.  Our roots are certainly elsewhere, as every writer up in this thing either wrote or currently writes for Rotoworld.  Well, not me. I’m lazy. But all the other guys do.

And the coolest thing Rotoworld does apart from being awesome on a daily basis is putting out its annual Draft Guide. The Draft Guide that is now on sale.  Seriously: go here and get it.

In it: tons of analysis, projections, and profiles for over 1,000 players ranging down to A-ball.  Articles covering prospects, keeper-league strategies, mock drafts, sleepers and busts. There are customizable, printable cheat sheets, updated depth charts for all teams and all manner of other goodness.

Though I am too lazy for most things, I did do two articles in it. One is my 2012 “Year in Preview” in which I make hilarious (well, I think they are) predictions of what might come to pass this year.  The other is the top 25 moves of the offseason. Bonus: if you order the online version instead of buying the guide at the store, you actually can see that I acknowledged the Prince Fielder deal! Print deadlines are awesome!

But my stuff is just for the fun of it. The real appeal, here is for fantasy players.  It’s chock full ‘o the kind of goodness you need to pwn your leagues.  Aaron, Matthew, D.J., Drew and many others worked a ton of hours to put this bad boy together.  It’s great stuff.

So go get it. You won’t be sorry.

Japanese outfielder Yoshida to negotiate with MLB teams

Masataka Yoshida
Yukihito Taguchi/USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Outfielder Masataka Yoshida will be able to negotiate with Major League Baseball teams starting Wednesday under the posting system with the Japanese big leagues.

A member of Japan’s Olympic team last year, Yoshida will be posted at 8 a.m. EST on Wednesday and MLB teams have until 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 20 to reach an agreement, the commissioner’s office said Tuesday.

The 29-year-old hit .335 with 21 homers and 88 RBIs in 119 games this year for the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League. A left-handed batter, he has a .327 average with 133 homers and 467 RBIs over seven seasons in the Japanese majors.

Yoshida hit .350 with two RBIs as Japan won last year’s Olympic gold medal.

Under 2017 changes to the posting system, the posting fee will be 20% of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options. The percentage drops to 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any amount over $50 million. There would be a supplemental fee of 15% of any earned bonuses, salary escalators and exercised options.

Hard-throwing right-hander Kodai Senga, another member of the Olympic team, is a free agent and does not have to go through the posting system because he has 11 seasons of service time in the Japanese major leagues.

Senga, who turns 30 in January, was 11-6 with a 1.94 ERA in 22 starts for the Pacific League’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He pitched three scoreless innings in two outings against the U.S. in the Olympics, allowing one hit and striking out six with two walks.