Thursday, November 24, 2011

Baseball News - November 23 2011

A lot of rumours, a few transactions and few heads turned as end of season awards are announced:

  • The AL MVP was awarded to Justin Verlander.   What does the world of baseball writers have against Jose Bautista?  This is not meant as a slam at the quite worthy Justin Verlander but the Tigers pitcher was already awarded the Cy Young as the best pitcher in the American League.  How does a .302-43-103 season in just 149 games not get awarded the MVP?  He was first in home runs, second in OBP, 10th in batting average and 11th in RBI's on a team that ranked in the bottom third of the league in OBP and BA.  I understand that a player on a team that makes the playoffs stands a better chance but let's look at it differently:  If we take Jose Bautista out of the Blue Jays lineup how many games do they win? 
  • The NL MVP kind of surprisingly went to Ryan Braun of the Brewers. Again, he had a great season and his team made the playoffs.  Matt Kemp nearly won the triple freaking crown in the NL this season and although Braun had an impressive season, Kemp was simply better in every category.  Maybe I'm putting too much emphasis on the numbers but I think its more impressive when an individual player performs at an elite level on a bad team.  Braun had the luxury of super slugger Prince Fielder in the batting order.  Who did Kemp have?
  • I love the signing of Joe Nathan by the Rangers.  Although seven million per season may seem like a lot for a 37 year old reliever, Nathan was finally back in his regular form at the end of 2011 season.  I'm certain many organizations would have easily paid this price for the former Twins closer.  Is this the final piece to the puzzle for the World Series that the Rangers have yet to solve?  I would have been more comfortable if it was Nathan in to close out the 9th of Game Six in this past season's Fall Classic, than Neftali Feliz.
  • We're still waiting on the the big free agents to sign before we'll start to see alot of the major player movement.  
  • Don't be surprised if Jonathon Broxton of the Dodgers signs something similar to Nathan's deal.  He's the perfect example of a free agent value as it was an injury, not lack of talent, that deflated his 2011 statistics.
  • How much you want to bet that Grady Sizemore is on a few sleeper lists in 2012?  He could be risk/reward pick because of his power but he doesn't run anymore and his contact rate his deplorable.  I would be higher on him if he regained his circa-2006 walk rate.  I think one year and five million is almost too much risk.

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