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All Nine MLB Player Offered Qualifying Offers Reject Them, Now Free Agents PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 09 November 2012 19:32

You could say these players batted 1.000. A new system where clubs offer a “qualifying offer” of $13.3 million for the upcoming season to potential free agents got its first test, and with it, all nine players that were made the offers rejected them. In doing so, the clubs will now get a compensatory pick in the upcoming Rule 4 draft, and the players that rejected the offers are now free agents. This doesn’t mean a player can’t re-sign with their former club, it simply means that the player is now a free agent. Of the nine, one has already re-signed with their former club. Designated hitter, David Ortiz rejected the one-year, $13.3 million offer as he and the Red Sox reached a two-year, $26 million deal that with incentives, could push to $30 million.

The following are the nine players that rejected the qualifying offers, thus becoming free agents:

Player

Club

Michael Bourn

Atlanta

Josh Hamilton

Texas

Hiroki Kuroda

New York Yankees

Adam LaRoche

Washington

Kyle Lohse

St. Louis

David Ortiz *

Boston

Rafael Soriano

New York Yankees

Nick Swisher

New York Yankees

B.J. Upton

Tampa Bay

*Reached deal before today's deadline

Source: MLB Players Association


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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MLB Contracts Options Update: R.A. Dickey, Rafael Soriano, Luis Ayala, Travis Hafner, More PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 14:10

MLB

Oct 31, 3:37pm ET - Rays update
Oct 31, 3:15pm ET: With the Hot Stove already in full swing, clubs and players are engaged in exercising contract options. Here’s an update

  • The New York Mets have exercised their club option on R.A. Dickey for 2013 at $5 million. The club continues to work on potential multi-year extensions for both Dickey and David Wright.
  • The Baltimore Orioles have exercised their club option on Luis Ayala for 2013 for $1 million
  • The Kansas City Royals have declined their club option on Joakim Soria, who now becomes a free agent. Soria had a $750,000 buyout clause as part of his deal on the option year.
  • Rafael Soriano has opted out of his final year with the New York Yankees and is now a free agent.
  • The Cleveland Indians exercised their club option on Ubaldo Jimenez for 2013 for $5.75 million
  • The Cleveland Indians have declined the club option for Travis Hafner who is now a free agent.
  • The Cleveland Indians have declined the club option for Roberto Hernandez who is now a free agent.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have exercised their club option on RHP James Shields for the 2013 season for $9 million. The Rays have one more option year on Shields’ contract for 2014 that if exercised would be $7 million, or a $2 million buyout.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have exercised their club option on RHP Fernando Rodney for the 2013 season for $2.5 million.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have exercised their club option on C Jose Molina for the 2013 season for $1.8 million.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have declined their $6 million club option on DH Luke Scott for the 2013 season. Scott has a $1 million buyout clause and is now a free agent.

CHECK THE BIZ OF BASEBALL FREE AGENT TRACKER FOR UPDATES

More updates as they become available.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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2012-13 MLB Free Agent Tracker PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 30 October 2012 22:00

MLB

UPDATED: 11/03/12 (8:10pm ET - Ortiz and Boston reach 2-year deal, Haren FA, Colon and A's reach 1-yr deal)
The World Series had barely ended when baseball’s “third season”. Below 137 players became free agents pursuant to Article XX B (2) of the Basic Agreement. 

Free agent players are eligible to negotiate and sign with any Club beginning 12:01 AM EST Saturday, November 3. We’ll be tracking the signings. Below this table of 137 are players that have club, player, or mutual options. See whether those are being picked up or declined, along with contract details.

PLAYER TEAM SIGNED WITH DEAL
Baker, Jeff AT

Batista, Miguel AT
Bourn, Michael AT
Diaz, Matt AT
Durbin, Chad AT
Hinske, Eric AT
Johnson, Reed AT
Overbay, Lyle AT
Ross, Dave AT
Sheets, Ben AT
Saito, Takashi AZ
Chavez, Endy BA
Hall, Bill BA
Johnson, Nick BA
McLouth, Nate BA
Saunders, Joe BA
Thome, Jim BA
Wolf, Randy BA
Cook, Aaron BO
Loney, James BO
Matsuzaka, Daisuke BO
Ortiz, David BO BO 2/$26M
Padilla, Vicente BO
Podsednik, Scott BO
Ross, Cody BO
Hudson, Orlando CWS
Camp, Shawn CC
Broxton, Jonathan CI
Cairo, Miguel J. CI
Navarro, Dioner CI
Rolen, Scott CI
Kotchman, Casey CL
Sizemore, Grady CL
Francis, Jeff CO
Giambi, Jason CO
Sanchez, Jonathan CO
Bruney, Brian CWS
Liriano, Francisco CWS
Lopez, Jose CWS
Pierzynski, A.J. CWS
Wise, DeWayne CWS
Laird, Gerald DE
Sanchez, Anibal DE
Valverde, Jose DE
Young, Delmon DE
Guthrie, Jeremy KC
Greinke, Zack LAA
Hawkins, LaTroy LAA
Hunter, Torii K. LAA
Isringhausen, Jason LAA
Izturis, Maicer LAA
Abreu, Bobby LAD
Blanton, Joe LAD
Choate, Randy LAD
Kennedy, Adam LAD
League, Brandon LAD LAD 3/$22.5M
Victorino, Shane LAD
Wright, Jamey LAD
Gaudin, Chad MIA
Kearns, Austin MIA
Lee, Carlos MIA
Oviedo, Juan MIA
Zambrano, Carlos MIA
Marcum, Shaun MIL
Rodriguez, Francisco MIL
Gonzalez, Alex MIL
Capps, Matt MN
Pavano, Carl MN
Byrdak, Tim NYM
Cedeno, Ronny NYM
Hairston, Scott NYM
Ramirez, Ramon NYM
Rauch, Jon NYM
Shoppach, Kelly NYM
Young, Chris NYM
Chavez, Eric C. NYY
Feliciano, Pedro NYY
Garcia, Freddy Antonio NYY
Ibanez, Raul J. NYY
Jones, Andruw NYY
Kuroda, Hiroki* NYY
Lowe, Derek NYY
Martin, Russell NYY
Pettitte, Andy NYY
Rivera, Mariano NYY
Suzuki, Ichiro NYY
Swisher, Nick NYY
Colon, Bartolo OA OA 1/$3M
Gomes, Jonny OA
Inge, Brandon OA
McCarthy, Brandon OA
Pierre, Juan PH
Schneider, Brian PH
Correia, Kevin PI
Grilli, Jason PI
Qualls, Chad PI
Marquis, Jason SD
Millwood, Kevin SE
Olivo, Miguel SE
Perez, Oliver SE
Sherrill, George SE
Affeldt, Jeremy SF
Cabrera, Melky SF
Mota, Guillermo SF
Nady, Xavier SF
Pagan, Angel SF
Penny, Brad SF
Sanchez, Freddy SF
Scutaro, Marco SF
Theriot, Ryan SF
Berkman, Lance SL
Fuentes, Brian SL
Lohse, Kyle SL
Farnsworth, Kyle L. TB
Howell, J.P. TB
Keppinger, Jeff TB
Pena, Carlos TB
Peralta, Joel TB
Upton, B.J. TB
Adams, Mike TE
Dempster, Ryan S. TE
Hamilton, Josh TE
Lewis, Colby TE
Lowe, Mark TE
Napoli, Mike TE
Oswalt, Roy TE
Uehara, Koji* TE
Frasor, Jason TO
Johnson, Kelly TO
Lyon, Brandon TO
Villanueva, Carlos TO
Vizquel, Omar TO
De Rosa, Mark WA
Duke, Zach WA
Gonzalez, Mike WA
Jackson, Edwin WA

 

The following players are eligible for free agency pending option provisions in their Uniform Players Contract (UPC):

PLAYER TEAM Exercised
Hudson, Tim AT 1/$9M
Jones, Chipper AT Retiring
Maholm, Paul AT 1/$6.5M
McCann, Brian AT 1/$12M
Blanco, Henry AZ
Lindstrom, Matthew AZ
Ayala, Luis BA 1/$1M
Ludwick, Ryan CI
Madson, Ryan CI
Hafner, Travis CL Club Declined, FA
Hernandez, Roberto CL Club Declined, FA
Jimenez, Ulbaldo CL 1/$5.75M
De La Rosa, Jorge CO Player exercises option, $11M
Floyd, Gavin CWS
Myers, Brett CWS
Peavy, Jacob CWS 2/$29M
Youkilis, Kevin CWS
Dotel, Octavio E. DE 1/$3.5M
Peralta, Jhonny DE 1/$6M
Snyder, Chris HO Club declined, $500K buyout, FA
Soria, Joakim KC Club Decline, $750K Buyout, FA
Haren, Danny LAA LAA unable to trade with CHC for Marmol, $3.5M buyout, FA
Santana, Ervin LAA 1/$13M, then trade with cash to Royals for minor leaguer LHP Brandon Sisk on 12/31
Coffey, Todd LAD Club Decline, FA
Rivera, Juan LAD Club Decline, FA
Treanor, Matt LAD Club Decline, FA
Baker, Scott MN Club Decline, FA
Wright, David NYM 1/$16M
Dickey, R.A. NYM 1/$5M
Aardsma, David NYY 1/$500K
Cano, Robinson NYY 1/$15M
Granderson, Curtis NYY 1/$15M
Soriano, Rafael NYY Player Decline, FA
Balfour, Grant OA 1/$4.5M
Drew, Stephen OA Club Decline, FA
Contreras, Jose PH
Polanco, Placido PH
Ruiz, Carlos PH
Wigginton, Ty PH
Barajas, Rod PI
Alvarez, Pedro PI 1/$700K
Huff, Aubrey SF Club Decline, $2M buyout, FA
Molina, Jose TB
Rodney, Fernando TB
Scott, Luke TB
Shields, James TB
Feldman, Scott TE Club Decline, FA
Oliver, Darren TO 1/$3M
Burnett, Sean WA Player declines mutual option, FA
LaRoche, Adam WA Player declines mutual option, FA

Source: MLBPA, Biz of Baseball research


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Umpires for the 2012 World Series PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 08:23

Gerry Davis, a 29-year Major League Umpire, will serve as the chief for the 108th World Series and will be behind the plate for Wednesday’s Game One of the 2012 Fall Classic between the American League Champion Detroit Tigers and the National League Champion San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, when play gets underway, today.

Davis will lead a crew featuring fellow regular season crew chiefs Brian Gorman and Joe West along with Fieldin Culbreth, Dan Iassogna and Brian O’Nora.

This is the fifth World Series assignment for both Davis, who was a Fall Classic Umpire in 1996, 1999 and 2004 before being appointed crew chief for the 2009 World Series, and 35-year Major League Umpire West, who worked the World Series in 1992, 1997, 2005 and 2009.   This marks the third World Series for Gorman (2004, 2009), the second for Culbreth (2008) and the first for both Iassogna and O’Nora.

When Davis works Game One, he will set a new record for the most Postseason games umpired in Major League history.  After handling five games in the 2012 Division Series, Davis has worked 111 Postseason games, matching retired umpires Jerry Crawford and Bruce Froemming for the most ever.

Each of the six World Series umpires was assigned to a 2012 Division Series, for which Davis, Gorman and West were series crew chiefs.  The rotation for the 2012 Fall Classic, which will be covered by FOX Sports and ESPN Radio, follows:

WS GAME ONE UMPIRE PREVIOUS CAREER POSTSEASON ASSIGNMENTS
HP Gerry Davis* 11 DS; 8 LCS; 4 WS
1B Dan Iassogna 5 DS; 1 LCS
2B Fieldin Culbreth 5 DS; 6 LCS; 1 WS
3B Brian O'Nora 5 DS; 1 LCS
LF Brian Gorman^ 10 DS; 4 LCS; 2 WS
RF Joe West^ 7 DS; 7 LCS; 4 WS

Indicates World Series Crew Chief; ^ - Indicates Regular Season Crew Chief

Source: Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Red Sox Name John Ferrell Manager, Send SS Aviles to Toronto as Compensation PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 21 October 2012 13:20

John Ferrell

The man the Red Sox had had on their radar is now officially their new manager. Boston has announced that they have acquired Manager John Farrell from the Toronto Blue Jays and agreed to a three-year contract that will run through 2015 (financial terms were not reveals). As compensation to the Blue Jays, to whom Farrell was under contract through 2013, the Red Sox sent shortstop Mike Aviles and received in return right-handed pitcher David Carpenter. The Red Sox sought and received permission from Toronto to talk directly to Farrell and made the agreement late last night.  The transaction was agreed upon by both clubs, and was contingent upon the Red Sox reaching an agreement with Farrell for their managerial position.

Farrell, 50, was the Red Sox’ pitching coach from 2007-10, a period in which the staff held opponents to an American League-low .254 batting average and led the league in strikeouts (4,771).  Farrell is the seventh manager in major league history acquired by one club while under contract to another.

“I’m extremely excited to be returning to the Red Sox and to Boston,” said Farrell.  “I love this organization.  It’s a great franchise in a special city and region, with great fans, and we want nothing more than to reward their faith in us.”

“We are thrilled to name John Farrell as our new manager,” said Executive Vice-President/General Manager Ben Cherington, who made the announcement.  “John has been a major league pitcher, front office executive, coach, and manager.  His broad set of experiences, and exceptional leadership skills, make him the ideal person to lead our team.  I have known him in various capacities throughout my career, and I hold him in the highest regard as a baseball man and as a person.”

Under Farrell, the Blue Jays finished 81-81 (.500) in 2011 and 73-89 (.451) in 2012.  Prior to joining the Red Sox in 2007, Farrell spent five years as Director of Player Development for the Cleveland Indians (November, 2001-November, 2006).  The Indians earned “Organization of the Year” honors in 2003 and 2004 from USA Today’s Sports Weekly and were named by Baseball America as the top farm system in 2003.

“We met some outstanding managerial candidates in this process,” said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino.  “John Farrell brings a unique blend of managerial experience, leadership and presence, pitching expertise, front office experience, and an established track record with many members of our uniformed staff and members of our front office.  He will hit the ground running.”

When Farrell was Boston’s pitching coach, right-hander Clay Buchholz and southpaw Jon Lester were All-Stars.  In his first year with the Red Sox, the club won the 2007 World Series.  They reached the postseason each of his first three seasons in Boston.

Compensation to acquire a manager from another club has been required four times previously, and 52 years ago, two managers were traded for each other.  In September, 2011, Miami acquired Ozzie Guillen and right-hander Ricardo Andres from the White Sox and sent right-hander Jhan Marinez and infielder Ozzie Martinez.  In October, 2002, Tampa Bay acquired Lou Piniella and infielder Antonio Perez from Seattle and sent outfielder Randy Winn.  In November, 1976, Pittsburgh acquired Chuck Tanner and cash from Oakland and sent catcher Manny Sanguillen.  In November, 1967, the Mets acquired Gil Hodges from Washington and sent right-hander Bill Denehy and cash.  During the 1960 season, managers Joe Gordon and Jimmy Dykes were swapped by Cleveland and Detroit, respectively.

In Farrell’s first year as the Red Sox’ pitching coach, the staff led the American League with a 3.87 ERA (618 ER/1,438.2 IP).  Red Sox pitchers also led the AL in strikeouts with 1,185 in 2008 and 1,207 in 2010.  From 2007-10, hurlers posted the third-best ERA in the league, 4.11 (2,637 ER/5,778.1 IP).

The move by the Red Sox comes after the firing of Bobby Valentine, who lasted just one tulmoltous season in Boston after finishing just 69-93, last in the AL East.

Aviles, 31, played 136 games for the Red Sox in 2012, primarily at shortstop (128 games).  He hit .250 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI.

Carpenter, 27, has struck out 60 in 60 innings over 67 career major league games, all in relief, with the Astros (2011-12) and Blue Jays (2012).  He is 1-5 with one save and a 5.70 ERA (38 ER) in his big league career.

The right-hander appeared in 33 major league games in 2012, including 30 with the Astros prior to being sent to the Blue Jays in a 10-player trade July 20.  In 2012, he also pitched in 23 minor league games for Houston’s Triple-A club in Oklahoma City and Toronto’s Triple-A Las Vegas affiliate, posting a 1-1 record with four saves, a 3.08 ERA (9 ER/26.1 IP), with 25 strikeouts and only seven walks in 26.1 innings.

He made his major league debut with the Astros in 2011, and was 1-3 with a 2.93 ERA (9 ER/27.2 IP) while striking out 29 in 27.2 innings in 34 outings.

Originally a catcher, Carpenter converted to pitching mid-way through the 2008 season.  Since that time, he has averaged 9.56 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (215 K/202.1 IP) while compiling a 12-9 record with 53 saves and a 3.02 ERA (68 ER) in 178 career minor league games exclusively in relief.

Source: Boston Red Sox


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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MLB's 2012 LDS Seeing Historic Moments Leading Up to Two Game 5s on Fri PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 12 October 2012 14:13

2012 Division Series

It’s just the League Division Series, right? Well, baseball fans, the 2012 postseason has seen some incredible highlights that all boil down to tonight’s two Game Five’s (Orioles at Yankees, 5:07 p.m. ET, followed by Cardinals at Nationals at 8:37 p.m. ET, both on TBS). Here’s some tidbits:

  • All four Division Series go the full five games for the first time (previous high was 2011, when 19 of potential 20 games were played).
  • The first 16 years of the Wild Card era (1995-2010) saw a total of 14 Division Series Game 5’s. The past two years have treated us to seven.
  • There have been eight one-run games in the Division Series, tied with last year for the most ever (the record for an entire Postseason is 13, also set last year).
  • Jayson Werth’s walk-off home run Thursday was the third walk-off hit of the Division Series (and third in just 20 hours), tying 1981, 1995, 1997 and 2003 for most in a single year of Division Series.
  • The Yankees-Orioles ALDS is only the third Postseason series ever with back-to-back 12+ inning games (2004 ALCS, 1986 NLCS).
  • Justin Verlander became the first pitcher ever with multiple 10+ strikeout performances in a single series. Homer Bailey and Adam Wainwright also had 10+ strikeouts in a start, and the four total performances tie this Division Series with 2010 for the most ever.
  • The Giants became the first team ever to come back from down 0-2 in a Division Series by winning the final three games on the road. They are just the sixth team overall to come back from down 0-2 in the DS.
  • The Yankees & Orioles have played 41 of 43 innings in this ALDS either tied or within one run.

Source: Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Top 20 Top-Selling MLB Jerseys, Once Again, Sees Derek Jeter At #1 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 01 October 2012 12:44
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Derek Jeter (yet again) is MLB's top-selling baseball jersey

Today, MLB and the MLBPA released information on what players have the most popular jersey sales and with it, unsurprisingly, many of the players within are headed for the postseason or are leading the league is statistical categories. Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers and Ichiro Suzuki of the Yankees top the list, released jointly today by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, with rookie sensations Bryce Harper and Mike Trout rounding out the top five.  Ichiro’s placement certainly comes from excitement that surrounded his trade from the Mariners to the Bronx Bombers this season. Jeter was the best selling jersey last season, as well (see the 2011 listing).

Six players, including Ichiro, Harper, Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Yu Darvish and Chipper Jones, who is retiring and certain to be Cooperstown-bound, made the top ten after not appearing in the top 20 on the 2011 calendar-year list released in March of this year.  Seven additional players – Matt Kemp, Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, Jose Bautista, Yadier Molina, Miguel Cabrera and Brett Lawrie – who did not make last year’s list cracked the top 20 this time around.  McCutchen is likely to win the batting title and is good news for the Pirates who have languished in the standings for over a decade. Players representing 12 different MLB Clubs make up the list of top 20 most popular jerseys, including Postseason contenders that haven’t been represented on the list in recent years such as the Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.  The top 20 include nine infielders, seven outfielders, two pitchers and two catchers. Of the top 20, 18 were All-Stars in 2012.

What's interesting to note is who is not in the list. After ranking #3 in jersey sales last year, Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels drops out of the top 20.

MLB Most Popular Jerseys 2012

Based on sales of Majestic jerseys since the 2012 All-Star break

  1. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
  2. Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
  3. Ichiro Suzuki, New York Yankees
  4. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
  5. Mike Trout, LA Angels of Anaheim
  6. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
  8. Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves
  9. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
  10. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
  11. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
  12. David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals
  13. oey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
  14. Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers
  15. Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
  16. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
  17. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
  18. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
  19. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
  20. Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays

Source: MLB/MLBPA


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Melky Cabrera Becomes Ineligible for Batting Champion after Changes to Rule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 21 September 2012 15:34

Melky CabreraThe question had been looming since the day of his PED suspension: would Melky Cabrera of the Giants be allowed to win the batting title? Cabrera, who leads the league in batting average with .346 has been stuck on the number ever since. Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates is currently in second with a .339 average.

Today, MLB and the MLBPA addressed the matter by making changes to the rules that will prevent a player with a PED suspension from winning the individual batting, slugging or on-base percentage champion, by making a change to the last sentence of Official Baseball Rule 10.22(a). That now shall not be applicable for the 2012 season for any player who failed to obtain 502 plate appearances if such player served a drug suspension for violating the Joint Drug Program. 

In an interesting twist, the agreement was reached at the request of Cabrera, who was suspended for 50 games without pay on August 15, 2012 after testing positive for testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association jointly announced today that for purposes of determining the individual batting, slugging or on-base percentage champion, the last sentence of Official Baseball Rule 10.22(a) shall not be applicable for the 2012 season for any player who failed to obtain 502 plate appearances if such player served a drug suspension for violating the Joint Drug Program. This agreement was reached at the request of San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, who was suspended for 50 games without pay on August 15, 2012 after testing positive for testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

 “After giving this matter the consideration it deserves, I have decided that Major League Baseball will comply with Mr. Cabrera’s request,” said Commissioner Selig. “I respect his gesture as a sign of his regret and his desire to move forward, and I believe that, under these circumstances, the outcome is appropriate, particularly for Mr. Cabrera’s peers who are contending for the batting crown.”

“Melky Cabrera, through a written request to me, asked the for the Union’s assistance in removing him from consideration for the 2012 National League batting title,” said MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner. “We complied with Melky’s wish and brought the matter to the Commissioner's Office, which agreed to suspend the rule. We commend Melky's decision under these circumstances."

“I have no wish to win an award that would be tainted” said Cabrera in a statement. “I believe it would be far better for someone more deserving to win. I asked the Players Association and the league to take the necessary steps to remove my name from consideration for the National League batting title.

"I am grateful that the Players Association and MLB were able to honor my request by suspending the rule for this season. I know that changing the rules mid-season can present problems, and I thank the Players Association and MLB for finding a way to get this done.”

Seth Levinson of ACES, Inc., Cabrera’s agent, added: “I am not surprised by Melky’s request. Melky is a truly humble person, and he is embarrassed by his mistake and sincerely regrets letting down his teammates, the Giants organization, and the fans. Since his suspension, Melky has been adamant that he did not want the batting title award, and that he wanted to solely focus on working hard to return to baseball so he could be in a position to win that award with honor.”

At the time Cabrera was suspended, he had 501 plate appearances and a .346 batting average, which led the National League. 502 plate appearances qualify a player for a batting championship.

The rule now reads:
 
Rule 10.22(a): “The individual batting, slugging or on-base percentage champion shall be the player with the highest batting average, slugging percentage or on-base percentage, as the case may be, provided the player is credited with as many or more total appearances at the plate in league championship games as the number of games scheduled for each club in his club’s league that season, multiplied by 3.1 in the case of a Major League player. Total appearances at the plate shall include official times at bat, plus bases on balls, times hit by pitcher, sacrifice hits, sacrifice flies and times awarded first base because of interference or obstruction. Notwithstanding the foregoing requirement of minimum appearances at the plate, any player with fewer than the required number of plate appearances whose average would be the highest, if he were charged with the required number of plate appearances shall be awarded the batting, slugging or on-base percentage championship, as the case may be.
 
Note: Bold text indicates the portion of the rule that will not apply to a player who has been suspended for violating the Joint Drug Program during the 2012 season.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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The 2013 MLB Regular Season Master Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 16:44

Major League Baseball today announced its master 2013 regular season schedule, which will begin with ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” on March 31st.  Details on the Opening Night match-up are forthcoming.  Twelve Opening Day games are currently set for Monday, April 1st.  The final day of the 2013 regular season is scheduled for Sunday, September 29th.

Among the changes to the scheduling format for 2013:

  • Next year’s schedule will call for Clubs to play 19 games against divisional opponents, for 76 division games total.  The 19 games will be played in six series – three at home and three on the road.
  • Each Club will play either six or seven games vs. non-divisional League opponents.  These six or seven games will be played in two series – one at home and one on the road.  Overall, 66 games will be played against non-divisional League opponents.
  • Each Club will play 20 Interleague games throughout the regular season.  These 20 Interleague games will be played in eight series – four at home and four on the road.  Interleague series featuring prime rivals will include back-to-back two-game series spanning both cities/venues.  The week featuring Interleague Play’s prime rivals will begin on Monday, May 27th, with the host Clubs in the same match-ups shifting on Wednesday, May 29th.

The Cincinnati Reds will host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 1st in the season’s first edition of Interleague Play, which will be played throughout the regular season.   Other Opening Day games on Monday include the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting the San Francisco Giants; the New York Mets hosting the San Diego Padres; the Washington Nationals hosting the Miami Marlins; the Chicago White Sox hosting the Kansas City Royals; the Minnesota Twins hosting the Detroit Tigers; the Arizona Diamondbacks hosting the St. Louis Cardinals; the Oakland Athletics hosting the Seattle Mariners; the Atlanta Braves hosting the Philadelphia Phillies; the Milwaukee Brewers hosting the Colorado Rockies; the Pittsburgh Pirates hosting the Chicago Cub; and the New York Yankees hosting the Boston Red Sox.

Seven games are scheduled for Tuesday, April 2nd, including the inaugural American League contest for the Houston Astros, who will host the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park.  The Astros will be members of the A.L. West next season, when each of MLB’s six divisions will have five Clubs for the first time.  The first full slate of 15 games will be scheduled for Wednesday, April 3rd.

The Dodgers will host the Padres on Monday, April 15th, which is Jackie Robinson Day throughout Major League Baseball.  The first day of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft will be Thursday, June 6th.  The 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field, the home of the Mets, will be held on Tuesday, July 16th.  The final day of the regular season will feature 11 series that are divisional match-ups.

Select READ MORE to see the complete American League and National League schedules for 2013

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