MLBDepthCharts.com is the creation of baseball junkie Jason Martinez, who has been intrigued by the construction of rosters since childhood. The website, and a soon-to-be-released digital magazine, allows readers to follow along as he deconstructs and rebuilds the pieces to the roster puzzle for all 30 major league organizations. The website has become a valuable resource for baseball fans, fantasy geeks, beat writers, reporters, scouts, and front office executives. In July 2011, MLBDepthCharts was named to SI.com’s inaugural Twitter 100, a list honoring the most essential twitter feeds in the sports world.
Jesse Behr: Since the story is hot off the press, what’s your reaction to the Marlins reeling in Heath Bell?
Jason Martinez: I understand the concerns people are going to have. Giving a 34-year-old with a declining strikeout rate a three-year, $27 million deal is risky for obvious reasons. But let me put a positive spin on this, since I’ve watched him on a daily basis here in San Diego. His stuff is still there. I couldn’t tell you the reason why his K rate is down, but the mid-90′s heater and sharp breaking ball haven’t gone away. He’s been one of the best relievers in baseball for the past five seasons, first as a setup man to Trevor Hoffman, then as the Padres’ closer. Bell will be fine for the first two years in Miami. I’d worry how effective he’ll be in year three of the deal when he’s 36 years old. But that’s less of a concern for a team that has a sense of urgency to compete in 2012.
AP Photo/Amy Sancetta
by Tyler Wasserman | @tylerwasserman | firstname.lastname@example.org |
Last week, former-star outfielder Grady Sizemore agreed to stay with the Cleveland Indians on a one-year contract. He’ll be paid a guaranteed $5 million, with another $4 million available to him based on his plate appearances. He will need to have at least 500 PA to gain anything above the guaranteed $5 million.
We all know that injuries are a huge issue for Sizemore. He has played in just 210 games over the past three seasons combined. His last elite season was 2008, when he had 745 PA and 124 weighted Runs Created. However, he was still productive in 2009, creating 66 runs in just over 500 PA. Extrapolate this into 745 PA and he would be almost at 100 wRC—certainly not elite, but definitely valuable.
Though it certainly doesn’t hurt, you don’t have to play pro ball or go to an Ivy League school to become a GM. Here are the ‘imperfect’ roads taken by the current class of *general managers, listed in reverse chronological order:
Dan Duquette, Baltimore Orioles
Amherst College, 1980
Played baseball as a catcher at Amherst College. Started his career with the Brewers as a scouting assistant. Served as General Manager of the Montreal Expos (1991-1994) and Boston Red Sox (1994-2002). Named General Manager of the Orioles in November 2011.
by Jesse Behr | @jj_behr | email@example.com
The Atlanta Braves have sent veteran right-hander Derek Lowe to the Cleveland Indians for minor league left-hander Chris Jones. The Braves announced that they will eat $5 million of the remanining $15 million on Lowe’s contract. Lowe is one of five qualified pitchers from the 2011 season who’s GB rate was above 56 percent. The others? World Champion Jake Westbrook (59.3), Pirates Charlie Morton (58.5), former Braves teammate Tim Hudson (56.7) and Rockies Jhoulys Chacin (56.3). With Lowe, the Tribe has added a longtime “groundballer” to a pitching staff that already prides itself in inducing the worm burner. After all, three of the top 10 groundballers now reside in Cleveland.