Fixing The Franchise: The San Francisco Giants – MLB First Year Player Draft 2019

The Giants have the 10th overall pick heading into the 2019 First Year Player Draft. Our organization is hoping to grab some talent on the mound – but we have to take a best player available approach. Having the 10th pick in the draft is not a terrible spot, but some of our preferred players will be off the board when it is our turn to pick.

Looking ahead at the players available – there are a significant amount of 80 grade potential prospects.

What I am going to do is breakdown how the first nine picks of the draft play out – then provide the pool of players I am deciding between at pick 10.

Round 1

1. Orioles – LF – Jose Vizcaino

Scouted

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There is no doubt that Jose Vizcaino is a threat on the bases – he is already scouted near elite speed. Although Vizcaino is just 18 years old, the Dominican shortstop is below average at the plate – and projects to be above average at best as he gets older. His glove is not elite, which is what I would want if I were picking first overall. I think this is a reach for the Orioles.

Current Overall

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The potential grade is there – but overall he is not talented and won’t impact the Orioles for quite some time. Hopefully he can grow into that 6’5″ frame and develop a bit at the plate.

2. Royals – SS – Dwight Ludwig

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Dwight Ludwig seems to be a more balanced player that the #1 Jose Vizcaino. Ludwig is coming out of college and I would want a more polished 21 year old if I were picking at #2 overall.

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This pick was a reach and the Royals truly botched this pick. Ludwig has potential, but I don’t see him living up to that anytime soon. He could end up like Ray Black in my organization – high potential but low overall late into his 20’s.

3. White Sox – SS – Jason Fisher

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My guys scouted Jason Fisher as the best of the first three players taken. He projects well at the plate and in the field. He has the potential to be an everyday player in the White Sox organization.

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These first three picks were shocking to me. These are three organizations that took long term projects – two of which are already 21 years old.

4. Marlins – C – Ethan Schmoll

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Ethan Schmoll is another older draft pick – at 22 years old. He projects to be an above average hitter and catcher. He has a big frame and should be pretty solid behind the plate. With that in mind – this is a reach at #4.

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Yikes – 46 overall. Without that high potential, Schmoll would not make it onto many of these rosters.

5. Tigers – SP – Travis Akers

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Travis Akers was the #1 player on my draft board. He currently has a good skill set and projects to have elite stamina and velocity. He enters the draft at just 19 years old, which gives him some time to figure things out in the minors.

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Akers is already a solid pitcher and would have been fighting for a spot in my Major League rotation already. I am sad to see him off the board. The Tigers made a good pick here.

6. Padres – 1B – Hank York

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I see this as a pretty bad pick at #6. The Padres definitely reached here. Hank York has good potential – but it is in many areas that you don’t seek out for a first baseman.

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Luckily for the Padres Hank York is just 19 years old. He needs to really develop that bat in the Minor Leagues to have a chance in the Major Leagues. The Padres attempted to draft the heir to Eric Hosmer at first base and I am unsure if York is that guy.

7. Rangers – CF – Omar Cedeno

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Omar Cedeno is the first outfielder off the board in the 2019 draft. He is a speedy center fielder that projects to be a good contact hitter at the plate.

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So far in this draft – my scouts have been pretty on the mark. They have been correct with the potential and overall of all players drafted so far. Cedeno is another player that I would deem a reach this early in the first round. After seven picks, only one player that I was considering for the #10 pick has been taken.

8. Reds – SP – Frank Pond

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I spoke too soon, there goes #2 from my draft board. Frank Pond is a smaller pitcher – but he projects to be a solid Major League arm in a few years.

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This was a good pick for the Reds. He already has a decent overall and is just 18 years old.

9. Blue Jays – CP – John Lovallo

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For me, this is a bit early to draft closer John Lovallo, but the Blue Jays were high on this guy. The German righty brings the head and has elite break on his pitches already. Give him a couple years to work on his control and he has the potential to be an All-Star.

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Great potential and the velocity and break are already there. This was an OK pick for the Blue Jays at #9.

10. Giants

At pick number ten, only two of the players I truly had my eyes on were off the board – Travis Akers and Frank Pond. I had identified pitching as an area of need heading into this draft. However, there were not many pitchers that I deemed worthy of the #10 pick at this point. As an organization we are far away from fielding a competitive team, so it may be better to draft based on best player available rather than need.

One player that caught my eye through the scouting process was 18 year old Dominican LF Miguez Becerra. He has elite future grades in the areas of contact and speed.

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Roger Miranda, a 22 years old also from the Dominican Republic – is another player that can hit. He already is scouted to have elite speed as well.

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Second baseman Alvin Darden looks to be a solid prospect. He is young and has a solid bat already. He looks like he will continue to develop at the plate.

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This is something that totally surprised me. With the minimal scouting I have done on this prospect, Clifford James is already graded as an elite player. When I look across the board at his abilities all I see are Well Above Average to Elite future grade. Is his potential worth the risk here at #10?

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I came into this draft wanting to take a pitcher at #10, and Dane Dagenais is available. I had him ranked as the third best pitching prospect. To me, he projects to be a middle of the rotation guy. He is also just 18 years old, which is enticing.

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10. Giants – LF – Miguel Becerra

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With the 10th pick in the 2019 draft I decided that Miguel Becerra was the best guy to get. I am very pleased with this choice – he already can hit and run with the best of them. Becerra may find his way into the Giants lineup as soon as Opening Day 2020.

14. Phillies – SP – Dane Dagenais

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The Phillies grabbed Dagenais shortly after my pick at #10.

Comp Round A

1. Marlins – CF – Roger Miranda

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There goes Roger Miranda. I am glad that I went with Becerra at #10 over Miranda – but damn, look how fast Miranda is already.

Round 2

5. Tigers – 2B – Alvin Darden

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I have filed a petition with Major League Baseball to look into the scouting practices of the Detroit Tigers. This is the second player that I have been high on that they have taken shortly before me. I was hoping that Darden would make it to me in the second round.

10. Giants

Of the players I mentioned earlier – Clifford James was still on the board. I know that I have hardly scouted him. I know that he will probably not be as elite as my minimal scouting says he will be.

10. Giants – 3B – Clifford James

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I drafted him anyways. There was nobody else that I was super high on and decided he was worth the risk. The potential is not quite there, but he is already a decent player. Not a bad second round draft choice.

Round 3

10. Giants – SP – Connie Nowakowski

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This was another player that I did not thoroughly scout – but from what I saw he looked to be elite. Definitely worth the risk in round 3.

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Dang. Connie Nowakowski is a decent arm already, but I do not anticipate much from him past AAA in the future.

Round 4

10. Giants – CP – Edgar Nunez

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Somehow Edgar Nunez was still around in the fourth round. He projects to be an elite closer – he just needs to work on his control.

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Honestly, not a bad pick in the 4th round. He will spend a few years in the system – I am optimistic that he will develop into a solid bullpen piece.

Round 5

10. Giants – SP – Paul Finn

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More of the same, a player that I had not really looked at – but I deemed worth the risk of taking in the 5th round.

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He is an OK talent with good potential. We will have to wait and see on this draft choice.

Round 6

10. Giants – RP – Willy Anderskow

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A total crapshoot in Round 6. If he comes out as a somewhat decent player I’ll be happy.

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Honestly, not too bad for my last pick in the draft.

Draft Day Steals

Round 6 – Andres Campos – Mets

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Although the potential is not there, the overall already is. Andres Campos is a talented 3rd baseman that should make his way onto the Met in 2020.

Round 5 – Edgar Merced – Orioles

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Edgar Merced is a pretty talented 18 year old. He can do it all. The potential is not there, but I don’t think that is needed with the skillset he already has. He should be starting for the Orioles in 2020.

Coming Up

We will cruise through the rest of the month of June to see where the organization is at. How do you feel about the draft choices I made? Are you all in on Becerra?

– Buzz

Fixing The Franchise: The San Francisco Giants – May 2019

We are back to chronicle another month of baseball for the 2019 San Francisco Giants. If you want to catch up on the season so far, click the links below:

Spring Training 2019
Opening Day 2019
April 2019

May Results

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MLB

After a 3-5 start to the month, the Giants were able to sweep the Reds to bring their record to 6-5 for May. The series finale on May 12th was capped by a walk-off single by Pablo Sandoval for a 5-4 victory and series sweep.

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The Giants ended the month with a 12-15 record, this was an improvement over the previous month – but still not great. The Giants are now 21-36 on the season and 15.5 games back of the Dodgers in the N.L. West. As far as records go, the Giants are now the 3rd worst team in all of baseball – ahead of the Orioles and the Tigers.

AAA

The River Cats struggled this month – producing a 10-20 record in April. They have fallen to dead last in the PCL Pacific North Division – 3 games behind the Rainiers.

AA

The Flying Squirrels were 15-14 through the month of April – bringing them to a 30-23 record on the season. They currently sit in second the the EL Western Division – 1 game back of the Eerie Seawolves.

Hot and Cold

MLB

Hot

NamePos.Stats
Josh Bell1B.311 AVG, 12 HR, 34 RBI*

*Season stats

Josh Bell is a solid player and he is having a great season so far. I need to make sure that I can keep him happy so he is willing to stick around for this rebuild. As long as I can keep his morale up we should be good for a few years. Bell is making a case to be my only All-Star this season.

o

Cold

NamePos.Stats
Williams JerezRP8.13 ERA, 21 BB, 27.2 IP*

*Season stats

Williams Jerez was designated for assignment after another poor month.

AAA

Hot

NamePos.Stats
Sean HjelleSP3.09 ERA, 28 K, 32 IP
Heliot RamosCF.294 AVG, 85 AB, 10 RBI

After a terrible first month to the year, Sean Hjelle was able to bounce back with a solid May. Heliot Ramos is starting to heat up as well, which is what I expect from one of the top prospects in the organization.

Cold

NamePos.Stats
Jake WongSP4.60 ERA, 14 BB, 31.1 IP
Ryder Jones3B.158 AVG, 57 AB

Jake Wong looked very below average on the mound in May. I was hopeful that he would be able to pitch for the Giants by the end of the season – but now I am not so sure. Ryder Jones struggled at the plate and may be destined to be a career minor-leaguer.

a

AA

Hot

NamePos.Stats
Ray BlackRP3.38 ERA, 9K, 8 IP

Ray Black has been talked about as a top prospect for the Giants for a long time – and at 28 years old he is finally starting to perform.

T

Cold

NamePos.Stats
Seth ElledgeCP5.95 ERA, 16.2 IP

Not much to say here – this was a bad month for Seth Elledge from the bullpen.

I

Roster Moves/Injuries

  • Ronnie Jebavy (AAA) sprained his ACL and missed two weeks.
  • Logan Wyatt (AA) pulled his hamstring and missed a few weeks.
  • Dereck Rodriguez returned from the Injured List on May 30th. James Shields was struggling on the mound – with a 1-8 record and 5.64 ERA. I decided to check the market and see what kind of return I could get for him before releasing him. Nobody seemed interested, so I designated Shields for assignment.
  • Travis Bergen was called up from AAA to take the spot of Williams Jerez, who was also designated for assignment.
  • Conner Menez was sent up to AAA after posting a 1.77 ERA in 40.2 IP at AA.
  • Jackson Rutledge was sent up to AA.

Prospects

As we enter the month of June, things have changed in the Top 50 Prospects list. Here is where things stand:

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Some players within the organization found themselves at new spots on the MLB Top 50 Prospects list. Here is where I would rank the prospects within our system after a month of baseball:

Org. RankMLB RankPlayerAgePos.Pot.Ovr.Level
#1#9Royce Lewis19SSA66AAA
#2#35Joey Bart22CA66AAA
#3#40Ke’Bryan Hayes223BA68AAA
#4#41Alexander Palma22RFA65AAA
#5NRHeliot Ramos19CFA63AAA
#6NRHunter Bishop20CFA61AA
#7NRLogan Davidson21SSB64AAA
#8NRShea Langeliers21CB66AA
#9NRTrevor Stephan22SPB62AA
#10NRJake Wong22SPB66AAA

Coming Up

I will breakdown all of the prospects that the Giants are looking at in the 2019 First Year Player Draft.

– Buzz

Fixing The Franchise: The San Francisco Giants – April 2019

A month of baseball is in the books, and things are going about as expected. The Giants are struggling through the month of April. If you want to catch up on the season so far, click the links below:

Spring Training 2019
Opening Day 2019

April Results

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MLB

The Giants ended the month with a 9-21 record, already 11 games back of the first place Dodgers. As far as records go, the Giants are only a half game better than the Major League worst Baltimore Orioles.

AAA

The Rive Cats are looking good – they are in first place in their division. They are two games up on the Tacoma Rainiers. From a talent perspective the River Cats are only the 27th best AAA team, but that isn’t stopping them from putting up a solid record so far.

AA

The Flying Squirrels are sitting in first place after a month of baseball. They are two games up on the second place Eerie SeaWolves. The Flying Squirrels have a +40 run differential, they are a solid squad.

Hot and Cold

MLB

Hot

NamePos.Stats
Darwinzon HernandezSP1.00 ERA, 14K, 18 IP
Vince VelasquezRP2.63 ERA, 19K, 24 IP
Dominic SmithLF.309 AVG, 94 AB, 6 HR, 14 RBI

Darwinzon Hernandez was called up to replace an injured Dereck Rodriguez, and Hernandez is determined to keep his spot. Vince Velasquez has been throwing a ton of innings out of the pen and he has shown that he should be in the organization’s long term plans. Dominic Smith is currently leading the team with an OPS of .942.

Cold

NamePos.Stats
Williams JerezRP9.82 ERA, 9 BB, 14.2 IP

There is not much to say about that line – another month like that and Williams Jerez will not have a spot on this roster.

AAA

Hot

NamePos.Stats
Jake WongSP2.61 ERA, 23 K, 31 IP
Alexander PalmaRF.437 AVG, 32 AB, 3 RBI

With the hot start to the year, I decided to give Alexander Palma a starting role in CF – replacing Magneuris Sierra (.208 AVG). Jake Wong has had a solid month on the hill, he is next in line to be called up The Show if the need should arise.

Cold

NamePos.Stats
Sean HjelleSP7.03 ERA, 13 BB, 24.1 IP

Sean Hjelle could not handle the spotlight of being one of the top prospects in the organization – he imploded this month. Hopefully he can turn things around – or he will find himself down in AA.

AA

Hot

NamePos.Stats
Tyler PhillipsSP0.56 ERA, 13K, 16 IP
Shea LangerliersC.314 AVG, 70 AB, 13 RBI

Tyler Phillips has been just about perfect through his first 16 innings of work. Shea Langerliers is making a case for finding room for both him and Joey Bart on the AAA squad.

Cold

NamePos.Stats
Sam WolffCP4.22 ERA, 10.2 IP

It is hard to have much confidence in a closer when they are putting up numbers like Sam Wolff is. I decided to give Ray Black (1.64 ERA) the closer role on AA.

Roster Moves/Injuries

  • Dereck Rodriguez suffered a torn hamstring against the Padres on April 8th. He was projected to be out for 1-2 months. Darwinzon Hernandez was called up from AAA to fill his spot in the rotation.
  • Alek Manoah fractured his arm on April 22nd, leaving him out through the next two months. Tyler Phillips took his spot in the AA rotation.
  • Mike Yastrzemski broke his ankle on April 28th. This will sideline him for a couple months. Chris Shaw will take his spot in the lineup against righties. Mike Gerber was called up from AAA to fill the 25 man roster.

Prospects

After a month of baseball, the prospect list looks pretty much the same. There has been some movement, but not much. For now, here is where things stand:

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We had another Giant make their way into the MLB Top 50 Prospects list. Things have also changed a bit amongst our organizational prospects. Here is where I would rank the prospects within our system after a month of baseball:

Org. RankMLB RankPlayerAgePos.Pot.Ovr.Level
#1#26Royce Lewis19SSA65AAA
#2#40Joey Bart22CA66AAA
#3#45Alexander Palma22RFA64AAA
#4#50Ke’Bryan Hayes223BA68AAA
#5NRHeliot Ramos19CFA62AAA
#6NRHunter Bishop20CFA60AA
#7NRLogan Davidson21SSB64AAA
#8NRShea Langeliers21CB65AA
#9NRTrevor Stephan22SPB60AA
#10NRJake Wong22SPB66AAA

Coming Up

I will sim another month and check back in on all levels of the organization. Scouting will be important, as we have the first year player draft coming up in early June.

– Buzz

Fixing The Franchise: The San Francisco Giants – Opening Day 2019

In this post, we start the 2019 season with the San Francisco Giants organization. The team is looking quite a bit different already. Just seven players remain on the squad from the initial 25 man roster. If you want to catch up on the season so far, click the link below:

Spring Training 2019

Contract Extensions

A number of players were looking for contract extensions prior to the start of the season. Some players wanted security with all of the recent roster turnover, others were happy to be in San Francisco and wanted to stay. I wanted to extend players that I saw being with the team for the foreseeable future.

NamePos.AgePot.Ovr.Yrs.Total SalaryOption
Josh Bell1B26A835$30MNone
Dereck RodriguezSP26B815$15.5MNone
Reyes MorontaRP26B815$18MNone
Dominic SmithLF23B752$1.5MNone
Caleb FergusonRP22B752$1.7MNone
Steven DuggarRF25A692$1.2MNone
  • Josh Bell signs for a five year extension. This buys out his three years of arbitration as well as two years of free agency. I lock him down through is age 31 season.
  • Dereck Rodriguez signs for a five year extension. I buy out his remaining renewable years as well as three years of arbitration. He will be a Giant through his age 31 season.
  • Reyes Moronta signs for five years – like the others i have him through his age 31 season. I buy him out through his first year of free agency.
  • Dominic Smith signs through his two renewable years, as do Caleb Ferguson and Steven Duggar.

Updated Budget

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Not much has changed for the 2019 season. We add some money onto future years – but not a substantial amount. I am very happy with the financial flexibility I will have moving forward.

Prospects

The minor league system for the San Francisco Giants is full of talent. It is tough to analyze the Top 50 prospects in the game at this point – with so many of them due to be called up early in the season. For now, here is where things stand:

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As an organization we boast a few of the best prospects in the game – along with some organizational talent. Here is where I would rank the prospects within our system:

Org. RankMLB RankPlayerAgePos.Pot.Ovr.Level
#1#26Royce Lewis19SSA65AAA
#2#37Joey Bart22CA66AAA
#3#44Ke’Bryan Hayes223BA67AAA
#4NRHeliot Ramos19CFA61AAA
#5NRHunter Bishop20CFA60AA
#6NRAlexander Palma22RFA63AAA
#7NRLogan Davidson21SSB64AAA
#8NRDarwinzon Hernandez22SPB65AAA
#9NRShea Langeliers21CB65AA
#10NRSean Hjelle21SPB65AAA

MLB Opening Day

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Opening day was finally upon us. The experts around the league had the Giants ranked as the 30th best team talent-wise. As we all know, anything is possible at the beginning of the season – even for a team that traded away over $140M in contracts in the last few months.

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We had Dereck Rodriguez on the hill against Chris Paddack for Opening Day in San Diego. The lineup for the Giants was questionable at best – the only proven bats in the order were Josh Bell and Pablo Sandoval. Some up and coming players were also in the lineup; Cole Tucker, Dominic Smith, Steven Duggar, and Mike Yastrzemski. These player all needed to take this opportunity and seize it – with the deep talent in the minor-leagues, those players know that there is talent waiting in the wings.

Action was slow to start the game. Each team was able to scatter a few hits without any damage in the first two innings.

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In the bottom of the 3rd the first runs came across the plate – Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a two run shot toward the Western Metal Supply Co. building to put the Padres up 2-0. Rodriguez really regretted hanging that cutter up and over the middle of the zone.

The 4th started off with Mike Yastrzemski making a so-so effort on a low Manny Machado line drive, the ball landed just under Yastrzemski’s glove and rolled all the way to the right field wall. Rodriguez was able to retire the next three Padres in order to keep the score at 2-0.

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Josh Bell led off the 7th with a single down the left field line.

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With one out Steven Duggar drove a line drive over the head of Franmil Reyes in right field to give the Giants runners on 2nd and 3rd. After a Yastrzemski foul pop-out, Stephen Vogt came through for the Giants – singling up the middle to score both runs and tie the game.

Rodriguez had thrown seven strong innings, but with the game tied and a pitcher leading off the 8th inning, I had to bring in a pinch hitter. Rodriguez ended his day giving up just 4 hits and 2 earned runs while striking out 6. The decision to hit for Rodriguez proved to be wise, as Chase Headley led off the inning with a line drive single up the middle. I brought in Austin Slater to hit for Carlos Asuaje, who struggles against lefties – Robbie Erlin was pitching this inning.

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Dang – double play. Or was it? Bruce Bochy challenge the out at first. It was overturned! Unfortunately the Giants once again did not capitalize – we were tied at 2-2 heading into the bottom of the 8th.

Santiago Casilla came in to pitch for Rodriguez. I decided to go with the double switch, keeping Chase Headley in the game at 3rd base, and placing Casilla in Sandoval’s spot since he had just hit. Casilla retired the side in order as we headed in to the 9th.

The Padres brought in Adam Warren to pitch. Dominic Smith started things off with a line drive single to left center field. I brought on Jose Reyes to run for him. After two failed bunt attempts, Steven Duggar went down swinging for the first out. Jose Reyes stole second on the first pitch of the next at bat – and on the following pitch tried to take third but was thrown out. Yastrzemski struck out and the inning was over.

In the bottom of the 9th, Casilla started out hot. He struck out the first two batters of the inning. Up came Manny Machado. Casilla started off immediately with two swinging strikes. After wasting a knuckle curve outside the count was 1-2.

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Machado turned on the next pitch, a fastball, and drove it to left field. Austin Slater jumped at the wall.

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His effort wasn’t enough. The ball sailed over his glove by a few feet and the Padres won the season opener with a walk-off homerun by Manny Machado.

AAA Opening Day

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The Sacramento River Cats were starting Darwinzon Hernandez against Justus Sheffield and the Tacoma Rainiers on opening day. The River Cats had a rough start to the game as Magneuris Sierra misplayed a ball in center field, allowing a leadoff triple. On the next play a slow roller was hit to third, Ke’Bryan Hayes threw home but the runner slid under the tag to put the Rainiers up 1-0.

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Royce Lewis led off for the River Cats in the bottom of the first. He fouled off his first pitch down the left field line. Lewis took the very next pitch – showed the Giants exactly why they traded Madison Bumgarner for him – and drove it over the wall in left center field for a solo homerun.

After allowing a leadoff single – Hernandez hung a slider to Orlando Calixte, who drove it out of the park – giving the Rainiers a 3-1 lead in the top of the 2nd.

After a Heliot Ramos ground out – Zach Green and Magneuris Sierra both singled to give the River Cats runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. The Cats were unable to capitalize and stranded both runners.

Matt Beaty started the River Cats off with a single in the Bottom of the 4th. Heliot Ramos then hit a line drive off the left field wall for a double, setting up 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. With one out, Sierra drove a ball to left center, deep enough to score Beaty from 3rd on a sac fly.

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In the 7th inning Hernandez continued to pitch a strong game. He struck out the side – and completed his third straight inning without allowing a runner on base. In the bottom of the 7th, with two outs, Seth Beer doubled down the 3rd base line. This knocked Justus Sheffield from the game. Unfortunately, Logan Davidson was unable to knock in the tying run from second.

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With two runners on and one out in the top of the 8th, the Rainiers hit a bloop single to shallow center field. Sierra came up throwing and gunned the runner out at home for the second out of the inning. Hernandez was able to exit the inning unscathed, striking out his 11th Rainier of the game.

In the Bottom of the 8th the River Cats had two outs and a runner on 1st. Beaty drove the ball to the right center gap for a triple, scoring Hayes all the way from first to tie the game at 3-3.

In the bottom of the 9th – Seth Beer singled with two outs. Alexander Palma came in to pinch run and immediately stole second base. Logan Davidson was once again unable to come through – stranding Palma on second.

As we went to extras, Hernandez wanted to keep going, but we had to keep his long-term health in mind and remove him from the game. He ended his night with 12 strikeouts.

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In the top of the 11th, Miguel Diaz came back for his second inning of work. He hung a changeup to J.P. Crawford who drove it over the right field wall to put the Rainiers up 4-3. Diaz struck out the next three batters – but the damage was done.

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In the bottom of the 11th, Matt Beaty continued his solid day by hitting a homerun of his own over the right field wall. The game was tied 4-4, and Beaty was now a double shy of the cycle.

With two outs in the bottom of the 12th, Hayes singled. Ronnie Jebavy came in to run for Hayes and stole second. Joey Bart left him stranded on second and struck out to end the inning.

In the top of the 17th with one out and one on, Jaycob Brugman hit a ground rule double to deep center field – putting runners on 2nd and 3rd. I decided to pull Travis Bergen from the game, who at this point had thrown a scoreless 2.2 innings. I brought in Joey Gerber to get me three righty vs. righty matchups in a row. On Gerber’s very first pitch, the Rainiers attempted a squeeze. Their batter missed the bunt and the runner from 3rd was out by a mile.

With two outs and a runner on 3rd – the River Cats had a devastating error.

A soft line drive was hit to Lewis at short, and he somehow missed it. The run scored, putting the Rainiers up 5-4, and costing me a controller in the process.

Logan Davidson started off the bottom of the 17th with a single.

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

With two outs and a runner on first, Joey Bart came up and hit an absolute shot to left-field. John Andreoli gambled and absolutely laid out and caught the ball to end the game.

AA Opening Day

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

Alek Manoah was making his debut for the Flying Squirrels on the mound against Jesus Tinoco and the Hartford Yard Goats.

Drew Weeks initiated the scoring for the Yard Goats in the 1st, with a two out RBI double down the left field line. Bret Boswell scored Weeks with a single down the 1st base line to put the Yard Goats up 2-0/

Logan Wyatt led off the bottom of the 1st with a single on the first pitch he saw. Hunter Bishop was hit by a pitch with two strikes, giving the Flying Squirrels two on and nobody out. Will Maddox grounded into a double play, moving Wyatt to 3rd. Jarren Durran was up next and lined a single up the middle to score Wyatt and bring the score to 2-1.

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

Brice Turang led off the 4th with a single, and promptly stole second base. With one out Jeremiah Jackson drove the ball to left center gap for an RBI double, tying the game at 2-2.

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

The bottom of the 6th started much like the 4th. Turang got on with another single and stole second once again. Shea Langerliers hit a line drive up the middle for a base hit. Turang got a bad read on the ball and ended up at 3rd. The Flying Squirrels had 1st and 3rd with one out. Jackson grounded into a double play to end the threat.

Alek Manoah had a solid day on the mound, but I needed an offensive spark – I called for a pinch hitter to lead off the 7th. Manoah ended the day with 10 strikeouts while giving up just 3 hits for 2 earned runs. That pinch hit decision proved to be meaningless – as the Flying Squirrels could not get anything going in the 7th.

With Hunter Bishop making the final out of the inning, I decided to go with a double switch. I brought Conner Menez in his spot to pitch. Bryce Johnson came in to play CF.

With one out in the top of the 9th – Peter Mooney tripled for the Yard Goats. This ended the day for Menez. I brought in Sam Wolff to face back to back righties. This proved to be wise, as Wolff got the two guys he faced out.

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

The Flying Squirrels were unable to get anything going in their half of the 9th – sending this game to extra innings. Peter Boswell led off the 10th with solo homerun, putting the Yard Goats up 3-2. The next batter, Sam Hilliard, doubled – ending Wolff’s night. With one out, Chris Rabago doubled off the wall – scoring another run for the Goats. Those two runs proved to be the difference – the Yard Goats took home the 4-2 victory.

Coming Up

I will sim the season a bit and see how all levels of the organization are doing. We will keep an eye on the trade block and waivers to see if there are any additional moves I can make. How do you think this season will turn out? Will the Giants be competitive?

– Buzz

Fixing The Franchise: The San Francisco Giants – Spring Training 2019

This is a really tough year to be a fan of the San Francisco Giants. As I type this they are 30-39 on the season and 16.5 games back of the first place Dodgers. They have no path to the playoffs in the near future. They have old and bloated contracts that will hinder them for the foreseeable future. Long story short – the Giants need to unload their bad contracts and re-stock their farm system. Their quickest path to success is to blow things up.

If you are following along with Fixing The Franchise: The Miami Marlins, you will notice that I have a much quicker path to success with that ball club. I am going to play by different and more realistic rules with this San Francisco Giant organization.

Rules

  • I cannot tinker with trades. I can only offer up players, or identify players that I am interested in.
  • Players have to be played at their primary position, unless there are injuries.
  • I can make realistic position moves – if I can justify it in writing.
  • I have to make this a realistic rebuild – meaning the Giants are not buyers this season, I am only able to trade talent for prospects.
  • I am using the latest version of OSFM Rosters – which includes draft picks from 2019.

State of the Initial Roster

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

This team is bad. In my lineup, if I am looking for young talent to build around I see Steven Duggar, Mike Yastrzemski, Joe Panik and Tyler Austin – none of which are all that young. Every other starter is into their 30’s and does not match the timeline of my rebuild. I also have some hefty contracts with Posey, Longoria, Belt and Crawford.

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

The rotation looks much better. Dereck Rodriguez is talented and only 26, Shaun Anderson is a good player at just 24 years old. Trevor Gott and Reyes Moronta are also within the rebuild window as 26 year olds. I absolutely have to get rid of Jeff Samardzija with his $18M a year contract. Bumgarner is also an impending free agent, I need to flip him for prospects.

Budget

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

The contracts that I have are insane. I am locked into Johnny Cueto, Buster Posey, and Evan Longoria through 2022. I have Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford for a combined $27M through 2021. Jeff Samardzija and Mark Melancon are costing me $34M through 2020. If any of these players were in their prime, these numbers would be reasonable. As it stands, I am not fielding a competitive team with these players. I simply needs to unload these contracts to jump start my rebuild.

Getting Rid of Bad Contracts

Looking at my budget – I am locked into many aging former-stars for multiple years at 7 or 8 figure contracts. That is not going to work for my team. I want to just get these players off of my roster and set myself up for the future.

Cueto

The first player that I want to unload is Johnny Cueto – he is 33 years old and owed $21.6M annually through the 2022 season.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Johnny Cueto3379BAngelsJeremiah Jackson19SS61B
Jonathan Lucroy32C74C
Matt Harvey30SP77C

With the salary of Cueto considered – no teams were willing to take him on entirely for prospects. I was able to make a deal with the Angels – acquiring two of their pricey vets and a decent prospect. Jeremiah Jackson was a second round pick in the 2018 draft. With this trade I am able to save $7.2M this season.

Longoria

My next move was to get rid of that Evan Longoria contract. He is owed between $13M-$20M annually through the 2022 season. I simply cannot pay a 33 year old that much, no matter how awesome he was in the past.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Evan Longoria3378CAstrosSeth Beer22LF59B
Miguelangel Sierra20SS57C
Wade Miley32SP76C

Not bad. I was able to acquire two prospects and a vet with an OK salary. I saved $8.6M on this season alone by moving on from Longoria.

Posey

The last of my 2022 monster contracts – Buster Posey. He has been the face of the franchise and the heart and soul of the team for almost a decade. Rookie of the Year, MVP, and three time World Series Champion. Baseball is a business, and I cannot be paying a 35 year old catcher $19.8M in 2022

I offered up Posey and there was not a single team that would take him on alone. To entice teams I pulled a move out of the Houston Texans playbook. Not long ago they attached a 2nd round pick to unload the Brock Osweiler contract. My version of this was to attach Tyler Beede to Posey in order to get a team to make an offer. It worked.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Buster Posey3288ATwinsRoyce Lewis19SS65A
Tyler Beede2566BMarwin Gonzalez303B79C

Oh my god. I somehow was offered the #1 overall pick from the 2018 draft. What a deal. Posey is out but I may have a new face of the franchise for years to come. Hopefully Royce Lewis lives up to his potential. I was so excited I forgot to see how much money this would save me.

Samardzija

The next big contract to move is Jeff Samardzija – $18M per year through 2020. There was not a lot of interest in the former Notre Dame Wide Receiver.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Jeff Samardzija3481BIndiansJason Kipnis312B81C

This move looks like a wash – but it saves me $10M. With Jason Kipnis at a much lower salary I may be able to immediately flip him for a few mid-level prospects.

Melancon

Next to go was Mark Melancon – owed $15.5M through 2020. Much like Posey, he was too expensive to take alone. I decided to attach him to 26 year old RP Trevor Gott in hopes of getting a prospect back.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Mark Melancon3488BDodgersKody Hoese213B62B
Trevor Gott2682CMatt Beaty261B63B
A.J. Pollock31CF78C

Whoa, a trade with the Dodgers. I was able to acquire their 1st round pick from the 2019 draft – Kody Hoese – a power hitting 3rd baseman. I also grabbed A.J. Pollock – who I will be immediately trading. This move saves me $3.4M.

Pollock

OK, Pollock is owed $12M a year through 2023 – we need to dump him somewhere.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
A.J. Pollock3475CPhilliesVince Velasquez26RP74B

Nice. I grabbed a Major League level relief pitcher and saved $9.8M in the process. Not bad.

Belt

Brandon Belt is the next to go – he is owed $14.5 per year through 2021. Unsurprisingly, nobody wants to take on his contract without getting something in return. I attached Fernando Abad – and the Mets showed interest.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Brandon Belt3083BMetsDominic Smith23LF73B
Fernando Abad3370DJuan Lagares30CF75C

Not a bad return for Belt and a RP I would never use. Dominic Smith was the 11th pick of the 2013 draft. I also save $10.1M on this trade.

Crawford

We have just a few bloated multi-year deals left to move, and this next one hurts. I have to move on from Brandon Crawford at shortstop. I love him as a player, but I can’t pay him $12.5M a year through 2021. Without attaching a prospect I did not get much interest. I decided to add on Andrew Suarez to see what interest I could draw up.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Brandon Crawford3382CAthleticsLogan Davidson21SS64B
Andrew Suarez2668BStephen Piscotty28RF77B

This is an interesting trade. I save $6.5M with this move. I also snag Logan Davidson, the 29th pick of the 2019 draft out of Clemson. Stephen Piscotty is not a bad player to acquire either – it just depends on if I want to keep him through his contract, which goes through 2023.

Gonzalez

My next move is to get rid of the newly added Marwin Gonzalez contract. He is 30 years old and I don’t need him around for the rebuild. Much to the dismay of Heliot Ramos – I attached his brother Henry Ramos to this deal.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Marwin Gonzalez3077CMarlinsMagneuris Sierra22CF63B
Henry Ramos2657CGarrett Cooper28RF73C

Magneuris Sierra was the key piece in the Marcell Ozuna trade to the Cardinals. I also save $10.1M in this deal.

Kipnis

Time to move Jason Kipnis next. I was kind enough to let him know I would trade him right away – he didn’t even come to San Francisco.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Jason Kipnis3177CBravesShea Langerliers21C65B

Another great move for the future of the Giants. I move Kipnis and his $8M this year – for 2019 9th overall pick Shea Langerliers.

Piscotty

I want to move Stephen Piscotty next. He has a long commitment and I am unsure if I want to go all in on Piscotty.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Stephen Piscotty2875CBrewersBrice Turang19B63B

I grab another young shortstop prospect in Brice Turang. A 2018 first round pick for the Brewers. I save $6.3M this year with this move.

Harvey

Matt Harvey and his $11M this year have to go. I don’t want his personality around on my squad. His interview with Dan Patrick still bothers me.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Matt Harvey3077CNationalsJackson Rutledge20SP57B
Brandon A. Beachy3266BAdam Eaton30RF76C

I pick up another 2019 first round pick in Jackson Rutledge and only had to attach a 32 year old minor leaguer to Harvey to get it done.

Bumgarner and Smith

OK – now it is time to move some big names. Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith do not benefit my ball club this year. They are free agents in 2020 – it is time to collect some prospects for them. I am going to attach both players in a trade to see what kind of big return I can get.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Will Smith3990APiratesCole Tucker22SS77B
Madison Bumgarner2985BKe’Bryan Hayes223B67A
Peter Maris2555CJosh Bell261B81A

Wow! The left side of my infield and Josh Bell! All three players are controllable for the foreseeable future. What a trade!

Tucker

Hayes

Bell

Eaton

Adam Eaton does not fit into my future plans. Time to trade him before he steps on the field in a Giants uniform.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Adam Eaton3072CMarinersGeorge Kirby21SP65B

I needed to beef up my minor league pitching depth and this helped in a big way. George Kirby was the 20th pick in the 2019 draft. This takes another $4.6M off my salary.

Pillar

I love Kevin Pillar – but a $5.8M 30 year old CF on a rebuilding team doesn’t do me any good.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Kevin Pillar3079CRed SoxDarwinzon Hernandez23SP65B

Holland

This is another player that does not fit my franchise moving forward. Derek Holland is expensive and I would rather give the innings to a younger players.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Derek Holland3271CBlue JaysRyan Noda221B45B

I save $6.5M with this move and pick up a decent 1B prospect with good potential.

Dyson

Sam Dyson is a solid relief pitcher. Someone else can use him this year that has an eye on competing. I need to get a good prospect in return for him.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Sam Dyson3076CYankeesTrevor Stephan22SP61B

I snag a solid pitching prospect and save $5M on the 2019 season.

Lagares

Just like the other vets I acquired, I have no plan for Juan Lagares. I would rather give the playing time to a younger player.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Juan Lagares3073CYankeesClarke Schmidt22SP63B

I save $4.7M and snag another young pitcher with good potential for my farm system.

Panik

Joe Panik has been a solid player for the GIants for a few years. He is getting older though and does not fit the vision I have for the future of the ballclub. It is time to say goodbye to another World Series Champion.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Joe Panik2875BBlue JaysAlek Manoah21SP64B

With this trade I save just about $4M and also grab the 11th overall pick from the 2019 MLB Draft.

Lucroy

Jonathan Lucroy was another player that was acquired as part of moving a larger contract. Just like the others, it is time to say goodbye before he puts on a uniform.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Jonathan Lucroy3272CPadresMiguel Diaz24RP68B

Miguel Diaz is a solid player that I can add to my bullpen and will find his way to the 25 man roster in the immediate future.

Miley

Wade Miley is a decent arm with a good personality. While it would be nice to keep him around and fill out my rotation – I am all in on grabbing prospects.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Wade Miley3273CCardinalsSeth Elledge22CP56B

I save almost $5M in this trade and snag a good prospect at just 22 year old.

Vincent

Simply just another aging vet that I have no use for this season.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Nick Vincent3280CRangersTyler Phillips21SP59B

I save about $3M with this move and grab another arm to continue to add to my minor league depth.

Watson

I love Tony Watson – I respect him enough to seek out a competitive club to send him to. He is 33 years old and I want him to have an opportunity to make it to the playoffs in 2019.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Tony Watson3379BBrewersEthan Small21SP61B

I grab another 2019 first round pick in Ethan Small, and save $3M in the process.

Pomeranz

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Drew Pomeranz3074CMarinersJoey Gerber21RP62B

Solano

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Donovan Solano3170CRed SoxJarren Duran22RF59B

Cooper

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Garrett Cooper2871CWhite SoxLuis Gonzalez23CF59B

Austin

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Tyler Austin2769ADodgersCaleb Ferguson22RP75B

This is a huge move. Tyler Austin does not fit the path of this franchise. He is just a bit too old to fit the timeframe I have set for our club. Caleb Ferguson can come in and get some innings right away.

Coaches

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

The Giants had a pretty good staff to begin with. Considering all of my prospects, I absolutely must have the best coaches. I let go of Jose Alguacil and Ron Wotus. I picked up Landon Baldwin and Jay Makepeace to take their spots.

Free Agents

After all of the move that I made – I could hardly field a Major League team. There is an odd beauty to tanking and rebuilding, you have to perform just well enough to not get fired. I turned to Free Agency to help fill out my 25 man roster.

PlayerPos.AgeOvr.Pot.Yrs.Contract
Carlos Asuaje2B2773B2$1.9M
Chase Headley3B3472C2$4.6M
James ShieldsSP3769B1$600K
Bartolo ColonSP4568A1$600K
Jason HammelSP3671C1$1.7M
Jose Reyes2B3569C1$600K
Santiago CasillaRP3873B1$1.9M
Alexander PalmaRF2263A1$100K
Joaquin BenoitRP4175A1$2.4M
  • After three seasons with the Padres, Carlos Asuaje found himself playing in Korea with the Lotte Giants in 2019. I called him up to be my everyday second baseman and brought him back to the United States.
  • Chase Headley was a 2015 target for the San Francisco Giants when they lost Pablo Sandoval. I do not want to rush Ke’Bryan Hayes to the show, so this will buy me some time.
  • James Shields, Bartolo Colon, and Jason Hammel fit the mold of players that used to be great that the Giants sign five years after their prime.
  • I pick up a versatile player in Jose Reyes to play a utility role for this club.
  • Santiago Casilla comes back to the Giants, along with Joaquin Benoit to fill out my bullpen.
  • Alexander Palma was sitting in Free Agency for some reason. At just 22 years old and with A potential I had to grab him. He will start the year in the minor leagues.

Making Room For Free Agents

In MLB the Show 19, rosters are capped at 90 players. In order to make room for the free agents above – I had to release the following players:

PlayerPos.AgeOvr.Pot.
Pat VenditteRP3358D
Ronnie FreemanC2850C
Sam SelmanRP2850C
Enderson FrancoRP2654C
Michael ReedLF2659C
Brock Stassi1B2961C
Levi MichaelSS2861C
Keyvious SampsonSP2862C
Chase JohnsonSP2761C
Ben MadisonSP2160C
Gio Brusa1B2559C
Samuel CoonrodRP2657C
Sam MollRP2758C
Jandel GustaveRP2562C
Anthony GarciaRF2761C

Updated Budget

Before

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

Now

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

I went from having a 2019 player salary total of $177M to now having player salaries coming in at $33M. I shaved $144M off of my total payroll for the 2019 season. I had $62M committed through the 2022 season, and now I have zero commitments in 2022. In fact, I only have $3M committed in the 2020 season. Those values will increase a bit – I have some contract extension possibilities that I need to take a look at.

Current Roster

Pitching Staff

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

Dereck Rodriguez is the ace of the staff. Following Rodriguez is a trio of vets in Shields, Hammel and Colon. I have the youngster Shaun Anderson as my #5 starter – I don’t want to put too much pressure on him during his rookie campaign. My bullpen is a grab bag of old and young talent. Reyes Moronta and Caleb Ferguson are in my long term plans – Vince Velasquez is currently auditioning for that as well. Casilla and Benoit are short term options to keep the team competitive.

Lineup

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19
MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19
RHPPos.LHPPos.
1Carlos Asuaje2BCole TuckerSS
2Pablo Sandoval3BJose Reyes2B
3Josh Bell1BJosh Bell1B
4Dominic SmithLFChase Headley3B
5Steven DuggarCFAramis GarciaC
6Mike YastrzemskiRFAustin SlaterRF
7Stephen VogtCDominic SmithLF
8Cole TuckerSSSteven DuggarCF
9PP

Outside of Josh Bell – there are not many exciting bats in this Giants lineup. Dominic Smith, Steven Duggar, and Cole Tucker are giving fans a glimpse of the future. We don’t project to score too many runs, so we can let the fans see what the young bucks can do. Outside of those four players, everyone else in the lineup is in a platoon role. We do not have the talent, so we need to play the odds and take on the best matchups this season.

Coming Up

The Giants are a completely different franchise as we head in to the 2019 season. We are no longer the aging over-priced team. We are a franchise with a ton of minor-league talent and a bright future. In the next post we will look at some contract extensions, top prospects lists, and opening day.

– Buzz

Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – Winter 2019-2020

We had an incredible run last season. The Marlins won the N.L. East, defeated the N.L. Central champion Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS, and came within one game of the World Series.

My minor league system is incredibly depleted. I am OK with that. The Marlins are going for World Series victories, not AA and AAA titles.

I want to beef up my lineup a little bit heading into the offseason. I also think there are a few spots in my bullpen that I can improve. Other than that I am interested to see how this season plays out with the Miami Marlins.

If you need to get yourself caught up on the complete 2019 season, the links are below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft
June Through The Trade Deadline
August And September
NLDS 2019
NLCS 2019

Hall of Fame

Ichiro Suzuki was the lone Hall of Fame inductee this offseason. He ended his career with 3,089 Hits, 500 steals, and a .311 AVG over 20 seasons.

A New Manager

Don Mattingly’s contract ran out at the end of the season. A new change of direction may be exactly what this club needs. I decided to put an offer out to a former World Series Champion – Joe Maddon. My offer was for 3 years and $25 million dollars.

Joe Maddon decided to accept the Mets offer to be farm director.

Next I decided to go after a younger manager – Alvin Da Costa. At only 45 years old he was younger and unproven. He looked like he would be a key asset to our offensive approach moving forward.

Alvin Da Costa took the Tigers offer to be farm director.

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

I next approached Gene Holbrook. At only 43 years old, he preaches speed and plate vision. I offered him a 3 year $20 million dollar deal. He accepted. The Marlins had a new boss.

Exclusive Free Agents

I had six players that I had an exclusive window to negotiate with following the season:

NamePos.Ovr.Age
Craig KimbrelCP8531
Josh FieldsRP8034
Ervin SantanaSP7937
Logan Morrison1B7332
Ryan MadsonRP6539
Troy TulowitzkiSS6935

I considered tendering a qualifying offer to Kimbrel. If another team were to sign him, I would snag another early draft pick. If he accepted the qualifying offer I’d be on the hook for a year at $18.3M.

I decided to let all of those guys walk in favor of getting a younger roster and financial flexibility.

Around the league we had a few key players re-sign for massive extensions:

PlayerPositionTeamYRSContract
Will SmithCPGiants5$52.50M
Marcell OzunaLFCardinals5$68M
Trevor RosenthalRPNationals4$33.2M
Madison BumgarnerSPGiants5$75.50M
Dellin BetancesRPYankees3$24.90M

40 Man Roster

I had to set my 40 man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft. I was afraid of losing some of my younger prospects with more potential. I decided to remove the following guys from my 40 man roster:

NamePos.Ovr.AgePot.
Ben MeyerRP5327B
Brett GravesRP6127B
Dixon Machado2B6728C
Yadiel Rivera2B6327C
Devin Marrero3B6729C
  • Devin Marrero was claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Renewable Contracts

These are the players that were still under team control – and the contracts that I offered to each of them after the season. You have to offer a contract to a player in order to renew them the following season – if they do not accept your offer, you can renew them for 80% or more of their previous salary.

PlayerPosAGEOVRPOTYRSContractAccepted
Willians AstudilloC2877B5$8MYes
Antone CruzCF1976C4$5.2MYes
Bryce Geiger1B1975C3$2.2MYes
Chris MartinRP3375C2$1.1MYes
Alfredo MolinaRF2573C1$70KYes
Tayron GuerreroRP2971B2$920KYes
Maxwell CastilloRP2371C2$2.5MYes
Martin RiedlingRF1971D1$70KYes
Kevin TrejoRP2470C1$70KYes
Giancarlo GarciaSP2869C1$70KYes
Sandy AlcantaraSP2468B3$1.5MYes
Guillermo PerezSP2068B1$70KYes
Marshall DaleyRP2067D1$60KYes
Garrett Cooper1B2967B5$1MYes
Elliot ZimmerSP2067B1$70KYes
Alex HealyLF2466B1$70KYes
Clifton HandCF2166C1$70KYes
Phil HastingsRP1966D1$60KYes
Dan McMahanSP1965C1$70KYes
Angel PeraltaRP2365B1$70KYes
Darwinzon HernandezRP2365B3$180KYes
Julio LopezCP2464B1$70KYes
Alex MateoRP1964D1$60KYes
Randy PeraltaRP2164C1$60KYes
Willis YoungSP2360B1$70KYes
Charles Holmes1B2459B1$70KYes
Gary FernandezSP2255B1$60KYes
Rodney Tucker3B2751A1$70KYes

Everyone accepted the contracts that I offered. I was incredibly pleased with some of the deals I was able to make. Locking up Willians Astudillo, Antone Cruz, and Bryce Geiger for multi-year team-friendly deals bodes well for the future of my club.

Free Agents

Free Agency was kind of boring for me. I put together an incredibly talented Major League roster in 2019. I didn’t want to overpay for anyone – especially when there was not a player that would drastically improve my squad. I cautiously went into free agency, looking to add pieces at the right price.

PlayerPos.AgeOvr.Pot.Yrs.OfferAccepted
Nick MarkakisRF3678B1$3.7MYes
Justin Barnett3B2071C1$80kYes
Bobby CovingtonCF2271C1$80KYes
T.J. HagerCP2676B1$100KYes*
Scott RagsdaleSS2776B1$100KYes*
Babe FoxxLF2575C1$80KYes
Sandy DunlapCP2975A1$90KYes
Thad HarperRF2874C1$80KNo
Nolan EdwardsCP2774B1$80KYes
Darnell Morse2B2671B1$80KYes

I was able to add a few players to my squad prior to the Rule 5 Draft. Nick Markakis was a solid addition to my lineup – he is a great contact hitter and can provide veteran leadership for my younger players. I also take his bat away from the Braves – which will only help in the battle for the N.L. East. T.J. Hager and Scott Ragsdale were picked up with the intention of being on my bench. However, I was unable to add both players to my 40 man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft – and lost both of them.

Significant Free Agent Signings

PlayerTeamPos.AgeOvr.Pot.Yrs.Contract
Craig KimbrelNationalsCP3185B4$20.4M
Yasmani GrandalAstrosC3187A6$65.7M
Gerrit ColeAthleticsSP2989A5$65.3M
Pedro StropRed SozCP3484B2$14.8M
Will HarrisIndiansRP3592A1$6.8M
Steve CishekDodgersRP3387B3$28.8M
Sean DoolittleRed SoxCP3391A4$40.2M
Josh DonaldsonIndians3B3491A2$22.1M

The boldest move of Free Agency was the Oakland A’s picking up Gerrit Cole for a 5 year $65.3M deal. They have their ace locked down for the foreseeable future. I was right in not giving Craig Kimbrel a qualifying offer, as his AAV is around $5M, and not the $18M I would have had to give him.

Trades

As you know by now, I am always looking to make moves to improve my roster. I was able to make a few moved to make the Marlins a much better team heading into 2020.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Adalberto Mondesi2486BTwinsWhit Merrifield31912BA
Darnell Mores2671B
Willis Young2360B
Sandy Dunlap2975ATwinsAdalberto Mondesi2486SSB
Antone Cruz1976C
Matt Dudley1960B
Nolan Edwards2774BRangersJose Leclerc2686RPB
Justin Barnett2071C
Clinton Hand2166C
Elliot Zimmer2067BPhilliesSeranthony Dominguez2584RPB
Chad Marquez2265B
Alfredo Molina2573C
Chris Taylor2977BPadresKenny Davies1974RFB
Garrett Cooper2965BCarmen Cedeno1967SPB
Dan McMahan1965CDarnell Smyth22481BC
  • I first acquired All-Star second baseman Whit Merrifield from the Twins for Gold-Glove shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and a couple of OK prospects.
  • Next I had a hole at shortstop to fill. I went back to the twins. I wanted Adalberto Mondesi’s speed and glove back. I had to give up a number of significant players in order to get him back. Antone Cruz – my rookie sensation, was now a Twin. I also had to include young CF prospect Matt Dudley – a 2019 second round pick, and RP Sandy Dunlap – who I had just signed.
  • I needed to replace Kimbrel and Fields next – two players that I allowed to walk in Free Agency. I continued to beef up the youngest and best bullpen in the league by trading for Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Leclerc.
  • Chris Taylor had low morale – he wanted more playing time. While I appreciated his versatility I have a younger version of him in Kike Hernandez, and now with Johan Camargo on the bench he was a distant option. I decided to look for a younger outfield guy to have off of the bench. The Padres had minor league all star Kenny Davies on the block. He was just 19 years old – I decided this was a better direction for my franchise.
  • The Blue Jays and Giants made the only significant trade of the offseason on November 18th, 2019. The Blue Jays traded away former Marlin 3B Brian Anderson, and OF Randal Grichuk. The Giants gave up 1B Brandon Belt, SP Andrew Suarez, and RP Tyrell Jarrell.

Minor League Free Agents

PlayerPosAGEOVRPOTYRSContract
William McCauleySP2767D1$60K
Pete CrosbySP2166D1$60K
Orlando FernandezSP2064D1$60K
Fletcher SandersonSP1963D1$60K
Danny MartinSP2460C1$60K
Giancarlo TorresSP2245B1$60K
Honus CoveyC1954D1$60K
John WimberlyC2452D1$50K
John Meyers1B2059D1$60K
Hitoki Sasaki1B2454D1$50K
Richie Aviles2B3070C1$70K
Larry Isaacs2B2867D1$60K
Jered Bronson2B2346B1$60K
Ben Zobrist2B3868A2$1.1M
Mike Will3B2253C1$60K
Jon Lowery3B2347B1$60K
Troy TulowitzkiSS3569C2$1.1M
John GizziSS2657C1$60K
Henry BorbonLF1970C1$70K
Terrell PukLF1957C1$60K
Marcos BarreraCF2961C1$60K
Tommy GloverCF2258C1$60K
Jose ArrojoCF2057C1$60K
Nelson CruzRF3968A2$1.1M
Elvis GonzalesRF1861D1$60K
  • For the most part, these guys are filling out my minor league rosters. It was nice to pick up veterans Nelson Cruz, Troy Tulowitzki and Ben Zobrist. They can help out the young guys on the farm and are around if I need them later in the year.

Contract Extensions

NamePos.AgePot.Ovr.Yrs.Total Salary
Seranthony DominguezRP25B884$9.5M
Jose MartinezRF31C802$3.6M
Kenny DaviesRF19B782$2.0M
  • I basically bought out the renewable years for Kenny Davies, a bonus was his overall rating jumped from a 74-78 after his extension.
  • I was very pleased with the negotiations with Seranthony Dominguez. I have him for the next four years at a very team friendly price. His overall also improved, going from an 86-88.
  • Jose Martinez has such a good bat – I am happy to have him for the next two seasons at a discounted rate.

Prospects

RankNamePos.Pot.AgeOvr.
37Derrick MeyerCPA1867
Carlos AlvaradoCB1873
Sandy AlcantaraSPB2468
Alex HealyLFB2466
Guillermo PerezSPB2068
Carmen CedenoSPB1967
Pablo ValenzuelaCB1869
Darwinon HernandezRPB2365
  • My minor league system is definitely in a different place than it was last year. I will be curious to see how some of my draft picks pan out over the course of the next few seasons. Derrick Meyer is the only player to crack the top 50 at #37.

Where Are They Now?

Below are some of the notable players/prospects I traded away in the past to get my team to where it is at today. I will continue to track their progress – hoping none of these player turn out to be Hall of Famers.

RankNamePos.Pot.Age.Ovr.New Organization
26Cyrus ReynaRPA1974Mets
30William RyuCPA2176Blue Jays
35Tom ParkSPB2070Brewers
38Gilberto BecerraCPA2272Rays
40Lawrence JacksonSPB2675Pirates
  • Brian Chu, my former top prospect is now platooning at 2B for the Blue Jays in his first full season in the bigs. They are also starting Scott Ragsdale at shortstop, a player they snaked from me in the Rule 5 draft.
  • Antone Cruz is leading off against lefties for the Twins.
  • Clinton Hand is the everyday center fielder for the Rangers. T.J. Hager is their closer – another player I lost in the Rule 5 draft.

Up Next

We head into the 2020 season. I will take a detailed look at my lineups for the season as well as opening day. Do the Marlins have what it takes to make it back to the playoffs? Can they make it to the World Series this year?

– Buzz

Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – NLCS 2019

The Miami Marlins took down the Cincinnati Reds in 5 games in the NLDS. You can read previous installments on this season at the links below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft
June Through The Trade Deadline
August And September
NLDS 2019

We now take on the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League Pennant.

NLCS

The Dodgers had a great regular season – finishing with a 105 – 57 record. They also produced Cy Young Award Winner Clayton Kershaw, Batting Title holder Justin Turner, and Reliever of the Year Kenley Jensen. Oh yeah, they have also been to the previous two World Series – losing both.

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Justin Turner is definitely someone that I need to worry about, but the Dodgers also have Cody Bellinger providing pop from the cleanup spot.

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The Dodgers have a good stretch in their lineup from 2-5, all players that I need to be worried about hitting the ball out of the yard at any moment. Outside of those four hitters – I am comfortable with my pitching staff attacking anyone. We just need to be careful with Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and Joc Pederson.

The Marlins lineup lived up to their expectations in the first round of the playoffs. We do have two struggling bats in the lineup with Johan Camargo and Adalberto Mondesi.

Game 1

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E

The Dodgers took an early lead in the bottom of the second. Joc Pederson hit a solo home run to start the inning off. They were able to manufacture another run with a sac fly to go up 2-0.

In the bottom of the 3rd, Justin Turner hit a solo shot to add an extra run to their lead.

In the top of the 5th, Johan Camargo got a run back for the Marlins, with a solo homerun of his own to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Dodgers.

In the bottom of the 7th Justin Turner hit his second homerun of the night, putting the Dodgers in front 4-1.

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That is how the game ended. The Dodgers brought Kenley Jensen in to close out the 9th.

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Justin Turner ended the game with two homeruns and Walker Buehler was electric on the mound. He threw 8 strong innings while only allowing a single earned run.

Game 2

After the game 1 loss I decided to mix things up and give Julio Teheran his first postseason start. He was well rested and ready to go. We had Teheran vs Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound.

Adalberto Mondesi has struggled at the plate with a .136 AVG – I gave Kike Hernandez the start at shortstop. He thrives against lefties and has the extra incentive of playing against his old squad.

With the first pitch of the game Johan Camargo singled up the middle. Christian Yelich flew out to right field. Jose Martinez lined a single up the middle. With 1st and 2nd and one out Vladamir Guerro Jr. grounded into a fielders choice. That brought Max Muncy up with 1st and 3rd and 2 outs. Muncy singled to left field scoring Camargo. Marlins up 1-0.

In the top of the 3rd Yelich hit a solo homerun to put the marlins up 2-0.

The top of the 5th started off with back-to-back-to-back singles with Yelich, Martinez and Guerrero Jr. The Marlins were somehow unable to score after that great start to the inning.

Jorge Alfaro led off the 6th with a single. Yelich came up with two outs and hit his second homerun of the game, putting the Marlins up 4-0.

Dave Johnson pinch hit for the Dodgers to lead off the bottom of the 6th and hit a solo homerun. That put the Dodgers down by three runs, and unfortunately for them – that was the only damage they could do offensively. The score remained the same as the Marlins took home the victory 4-1.

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Teheran was solid throughout the night and stayed in to finish out the game. He ended his night with 10 Ks and only allowed 2 hits.

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Christian Yelich was the difference in this game. He had an incredibly night at the plate and just about single-handedly won this at the plate for the Marlins.

Game 3

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The series was tied heading back to Miami. Kike Hernandez once again started at SS, as the Dodgers were throwing lefty Clayton Kershaw. I had Chris Archer on the mound.

The game was scoreless until the top of the 4th inning when Cody Bellinger hit his first homerun of the series, a solo shot.

With two runners on, and 2 outs in the top of the 5th inning, Cory Seager singled in a run to put the Dodgers up 2-0. The Dodgers put another run across the plate in the 6th, ending Chris Archer’s night on the mound.

In the 7th, Bellinger singled with 2 outs, bringing up Joc Pederson to the plate. Pederson hit a two run bomb to put the Dodgers up by 5.

The Dodgers scored again in the 9th, going up 6-0.

The Marlins were able to get a run back in the 9th, but couldn’t put a rally together and lost 6-1.

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Kershaw proved why he was the Cy Young winner, He went 8.2 IP with 8 Ks, only allowing one run.

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Game 4

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With one out in the bottom of the second, Jorge Alfaro homered to put the Marlins up 1-0.

In the bottom of the 3rd – with Jose Martinez on base following a walk, Christian Yelich added to the lead with a 2-run homer of his own. Max Muncy singled – and with 2 outs in the inning – Johan Camargo joined the 2-run homer club to put the Marlins up 5-0. Adalberto Mondesi double the next at bat – running Kenta Maeda from the game after just 3.2 IP.

In the bottom of the 5th, Camargo hit his second homerun of the game to put the marlins up 6-0.

In the 7th, Ender Inciarte doubled home Mondesi to add another run.

And that was all she wrote. The Marlins won 7-0 and tied the series up at two games apiece.

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Marcus Stroman threw 8 strong innings, allowing just two hits and striking out 12. Camargo was the star at the plate, with a 2 homerun performance.

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Game 5

The series was all tied up at 2-2. This was the final game in Miami before heading back to Los Angeles. It was Jameson Taillon on the mound against Walker Buehler.

In the ALCS the Red Sox were up 3-1 against the White Sox. Would we have a rematch from last years world series? I hope not.

Vladamir Guerrero Jr. led off the 2nd inning with a solo shot putting the Marlins up 1-0.

Max Muncy led off the 5th inning with a single. Jorge Alfaro put one deep, where the homerun statue used to be, to give the Marlins a 3 run lead.

In the top of the 7th, Drew Jackson put some fight into the Dodgers with a 2 run homerun of his own, cutting the Marlin lead to just one run.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Marlins had the bases juiced with just one out. The pitchers spot was up, so I brought in Kike Hernandez to hit against lefty reliever Caleb Ferguson. Hernandez drove the second pitch he saw for a double down the line, clearing the bases and giving the Marlins a 6-2 lead.

In the bottom of the 8th, Christian Yelich led off the inning with a homerun. The Marlins strung together a few singles with two outs to score another run and grab an 8-2 lead.

The Dodgers couldn’t put together a threat in the 9th. The Marlins were heading to Los Angeles with a 3-2 lead in the series.

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MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

Game 6

It was Trevor Williams against Hyun-Jin Ryu. With a lefty facing the Marlins I once again started Kike Hernandez at Shortstop. He was hot in the playoffs so far – hitting .417.

In the American League the White Sox grabbed a win, bringing the series to 3-2 in favor of the Red Sox.

In the bottom of the first inning, Cody Bellinger made his mark on the game with a 3-run homerun.

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The game was pretty slow for a long point after that. Neither offense was able to put much together, that is until the top of the 8th inning. With two outs in the inning Jorge Alfaro singled. Willians Astudillo pinch hit for the pitcher and had a single of his own. This put two runners on base for Johan Camargo. With one swing of his bat, the game was tied 3-3. Yelich was up next and had a single of his own. The very next batter, Jose Martinez, hit a double into the right center gap – scoring Yelich from first. The Marlins were now up 4-3. It was Vladamir Guerrero Jr.’s turn next. He took the first pitch and singled up the middle, scoring Martinez from second. 5-3 Marlins.

In the bottom of the 8th the Dodgers had two runners on and only one out. In a risky move, the Marlins brought in Edwin Diaz. Diaz struck out Austin Barnes to get two outs. The Dodgers brought in Dave Johnson to hit for their pitcher. He flew out to left and the threat was over.

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With one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the 9th, Christian Yelich made a huge error on a ball hit right at him. The Dodgers had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Cody Bellinger was at the dish. He already had a homerun earlier in the game, so I gave him the free base.

Diaz was able to strike out Joc Pederson. The bases were juiced and the series was on the line. With two outs A.J. Pollock came to the plate. Pollock hit a single up the middle with two strikes, scoring both runs and tying the game. Diaz struck out the next batter, and we were going to extras.

The Marlins were out 1-2-3 in the top of the inning, and Diaz struck out all three Dodgers he faced. We headed to the 11th.

An error by Kike Hernandez and back to back singles loaded the bases for the Dodgers with one out in the bottom of the 11th. A.J. Pollock hit a deep fly ball to Center Field, scoring the runner from 3rd and giving the Dodgers a 6-5 win. We were heading to Game 7.

Game 7

We had Julio Teheran vs Rich Hill on the mound. Over in the American League the Red Sox finished off the White Sox and were headed to the World Series.

Game 7 started much like Game 6 did. In the bottom of the first inning Bellinger hit a 2-run homerun to put the Dodgers up 2-0.

Christian Yelich led off the top of the 4th with a single. A couple of at bats later Vladamir Guerror Jr. singled him home to get a run back.

In the bottom of the 5th, Justin Turner doubled to score Andew Toles and give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. After a single by Cory Seager and a walk by Joc Pederson, A.J Pollack singled to score two more runs. The Dodgers were now up 5-1.

In the top of the 6th, Jose Martinez walked, and with two outs Ender Inciarte hit a 2-run homerun to bring the Marlins back. the score was now 5-3.

In the top of the 9th the Dodgers brought Kenley Jensen in to close this series out. He retired the Marlins in order, and the game was over. The Dodgers were headed to the World Series.

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MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

World Series

The Dodgers were once again facing the Red Sox in the World Series.

With the series tied at 3-3 they were heading towards a decisive Game 7. It was Rick Porcello for the Red Sox vs Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound.

Mookie Betts put the Red Sox up early with a 3-run homerun in the top of the 1st. The Dodgers never had a chance from that point, and the Red Sox were back-to-back World Champions.

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Up Next

We head into the offseason. I will take a look at my staff and my roster and see which ways I can improve as we head into the 2020 season.

– Buzz

Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – NLDS 2019

The regular season is in the books for the 2019 Miami Marlins. We are playoff bound, taking on the N.L. Central winning Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS. You can read previous installments on this season at the links below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft
June Through The Trade Deadline
August And September

I am feeling pretty accomplished at this point. I took one of the worst teams in baseball – and after only 68 trades and free agent signings – took them to the playoffs.

NLDS

As I mentioned earlier, the Reds won their division and were pretty consistent throughout the regular season.

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The Reds only have a couple of bats that I need to worry about – Scooter Gennett provided the most power and Tucker Barnhart was the most consistent at the plate. They also have Joey Votto – who you can’t forget about. On the mound, Tanner Roark was their best arm, but Luis Castillo is the true ace of the staff.

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Honestly, their lineup is not very much to worry about. It seems just fine – but there are only a couple of intimidating bats. Outside of Votto and Gennett there is truly nobody I need to be too careful pitching to.

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Now that is a nice looking Marlins lineup. Jose Martinez, Christian Yelich, Vladamir Guerror Jr., and Max Muncy give me an incredibly tough heart of the order to get through.

Game 1

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Ender Inciarte took the first pitch of the game and lined it to right center field for a single. Jose Martinez did the very same thing with the second pitch, and the Marlins had two on and nobody out with Christian Yelich coming to the plate. Yelich flew out to right, not quite deep enough for Inciarte to tag up on. Vladamir Guerrero Jr. came up and hit a shot to the Left Fielder Jesse Winker – who made an incredible catch down the left field line. Inciarte took off from second – not expecting a catch to be made and was doubled up at second base to end the inning.

The Reds were also able to put to hits on the board in the first inning. Jorge Alfaro threw out their leadoff guy on a steal attempt, and no damage was done after that.

In the top of the second, Jorge Alfaro lined a single up the middle with one out. Johan Camargo was up next and drove a double into the left-center gap – scoring Alfaro from first to put the Marlins up 1-0.

With two outs in the bottom of the second, Matt Kemp hit a towering shot off the top of the left field wall for a double. Jameson Taillon was able to strike out Tucker Barnhart to end the threat.

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Taillon, who hit .049 on the year, led off the 5th with a single to shallow right field. Inciarte followed with a single to left field. Martinez was up next and drove a double to the right center gap with his first pitch, scoring both runners. Yelich was beaned and Valdamir Guerrero Jr. singled up the middle to load the bases with nobody out. This knocked Luis Castillo from the game, and the Reds brought in a relief pitcher.

Max Muncy grounded to Joey Votto at first base – who tried to turn two – luckily the turn was not quick enough. A run scored and the Marlins still had first and third with only one out. Alfaro next singled down the 3rd base line to score Yelich. Camargo and Mondesi both hit the ball well on the next two at bats – but they hit it directly to Reds players to end the inning. The damage was done and the Marlins were up 5-0.

The Reds were able to score in the 5th and 6th inning to bring the game a bit closer.

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In the top of the 9th Yelich drove the first pitch over the left field wall for a solo homerun – putting the Marlins up 6-2

In the bottom of the ninth Matt Kemp led off the inning with a single. Jose Alvarado was able to get a fly out and strike out the final two batters to end the game.

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Alvarado was great on the mound – only allowing a single hit in two innings of work. He was so great that the Marlins were able to save their pen for another day.

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Game 2

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The first two innings were rather quiet at the plate. The Marlins were able to get a hit in each of the first two innings, and the Reds got their first hit in the second with Yasiel Puig. That threat ended quickly when Christian Yelich made an amazing catch to end the inning.

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In the top of the third Scooter Gennett made his own web gem play – robbing a hit from Trevor Williams

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The game was quiet – until the bottom of the 5th. Yasiel Puig led the inning off with a mammoth homerun to left center field. Williams was able to retire the next three batters in order – but the Reds had a 1-0 lead.

We didn’t have much action again for the next few innings. Williams pitched a great seven innings, and wood lasted through 8 full innings – holding the Marlins scoreless.

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In the top of the 9th with one out Yelich singled to left field. On the next pitch he stole second base.

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Jose Martinez lined up the middle to score Yelich and tie the game at 1-1. Antone Cruz came in to run for Martinez. Cruz stole second on the first pitch of Max Muncy’s at bat. The next pitch was a wild pitch, advancing Cruz to third base with one out. Muncy struck out, and Vladamir Guerror Jr. flew out to end the inning, leaving Cruz stranded on 3rd base.

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Joey Votto was up to lead off the bottom of the 9th inning. Votto was up on the count 1-0 and absolutely turned on the ball, sending a shot down the right field line. The ball unfortunately stayed fair – giving the Reds a 2-1 walkoff victory.

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Williams and Wood had incredible stat lines in this pitcher’s duel:

  • Williams: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7 K
  • Wood: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 K
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Game 3

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With the series tied at 1-1 and heading to Miami, we had Chris Archer against Tanner Roark on the mound.

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This was a straight up pitcher’s duel through the first four innings. The Marlins were able to sprinkle a few hits here and there – and the Reds had a hit of their own. No team was able to advance a runner past second base through the first four frames.

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With one out in the bottom of the 5th inning Adalberto Mondesi roped a ball to the right-center field gap – using his speed to make it safely to third with a triple. Chris Archer came up to the plate next and struck out – bringing up Ender Inciarte with two outs and a runner on third. Inciarte lined a pitch off the hip of Roark and the ball deflected to the 3rd baseman. Inciarte was able to beat out the throw at first – scoring Mondesi – giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead.

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Jose Martinez was up next. On the first pitch of the at bat Inciarte stole second. Martinez then hit a line shot to right field, where Yasiel Puig was waiting to make an incredible diving catch, saving a run and ending the threat from the Marlins.

In the top of the 6th, the bats of the Reds finally came to life. Jorge Peraza singled to left field. Joey Votto came to the plate and did what Joey Votto does, hit a homerun to right field. This gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.

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In the top of the 7th Archer allowed a double to Puig and a walk to Kemp. There was one out – after a mound visit the boss decided to keep Archer in the game. With a 2-2 count, Archer hung a slider to Tucker Barnhart – who put it into the right field bleachers. This gave the Reds a 5-1 lead. Archer stayed in to finish the inning, but the damage was done.

In the top of the 8th Craig Kimbrel came in and got the first two guys out. Eugenio Suarez came up, and with two strikes hit a blast over the left field wall. 6-1 Reds.

The Miami Marlins were unable to string together enough hits to create a threat. The Reds took home a 6-1 victory and 2-1 series lead.

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Game 4

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In Game 4 we had Marcus Stroman vs Luis Castillo. I was surprised to see the Reds bring Castillo out again so soon, especially after his game 1 performance. He was sitting with an 11.25 playoff ERA.

I decided to sim this game – I had played the first three games and it was not working out to well for me.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning Miami scored first – getting four runs across the dish. Christian Yelich homered – scoring two runs. Marcus Stroman was able to help himself later in the inning with a 2 run single.

The Reds responded with two runs of their own in the top of the 4th. Matt Kemp had a 2-run homerun of his own. The Reds were down 4-2.

  • In the bottom of the fourth the Marlins scored twice. 6-2 Marlins.
  • In the top of the 6th the Reds scored two more runs. 6-4 Marlins.
  • In the top of the 8th the Reds scored 3 runs. 7-6 Reds.
  • The Marlins scored one in the bottom of the 8th. 7-7.

For some reason – Marcus Stroman was still in the game. He was at 132 pitches. I needed to take over. I stopped the sim and entered in the Top of the 9th. I brought in Edwin Diaz, and the Reds didn’t have a chance.

In the bottom of the 9th Max Muncy ledoff with an infield single. Johan Camargo singled after a Jorge Alfaro line out. The Marlins had 1st and 2nd with one out. Antone Cruz came in to run for Muncy at 2nd.

Adalberto Mondesi grounded to the second baseman. Double play ball. The Reds got the out at second, then threw to first. The throw was wide and Mondesi was safe. However – Cruz decided to push things and round 3rd, he tried to score from second on a double play ball. Votto was able to get the throw home in time, ending the inning.

I went back to simming because I got bored at this point. I had a headache from staring at the screen. The Marlins got out of the inning without giving up a run. I accidentally pushed the wrong button when I wanted to hit for the Marlins in the bottom of the 10th. The Marlins scored and won 8-7.

It looks like Kike Hernandez pinch hit and doubled. With two outs Yelich doubled – scoring Hernandez and tying the series 2-2.

Game 5

In game 5 we had Jameson Taillon vs Alex Wood. I decided to go with the quick manage because I was pretty burnt out at this point.

Miami scored first in the 4th inning. They put three more across the plate in the 6th to go up 4-0. They scored again in the 7th. The Reds came back with 2 more in the 8th.

Now was my time to enter the game. We were up 5-2 heading into the 9th.

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With one out – Yelich doubled down the line. Martinez was up next and struck out.

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Muncy came to the plate and absolutely wrecked a ball – hitting it deep over the right field wall. The Marlins were up 7-2 heading into the bottom of the 9th.

Taillon was still in the game – but at 111 pitches I decided to be safe and bring in Edwin Diaz to close this series out.

With a quick 1-2-3 inning it was all over – Diaz sat the Reds down in order and the Marlins were off to the NLCS.

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Up Next

We are going to follow the Marlins to Los Angeles for the NLCS against the Dodgers. Over in the American League we have a surprising ALCS – with the White Sox against the Red Sox.

– Buzz

Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – August And September 2019

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Another month is in the books for the 2019 Miami Marlins. You can read previous installments on this season at the links below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft
June Through The Trade Deadline

August was an awful month for the Miami Marlins. In the midst of an already terrible month – Chris Taylor dislocated his ankle on August 25th – ending his season. Antone Cruz had been tearing it up at AAA – hitting .291 AVG with 5 HR and 22 RBI. At just 18 years old, Cruz found himself on my bench heading into the most important part of the season.

On August 29th Cruz had his coming out party. In just his third game with the club – and on the fifth at bat of his young career, he hit a homerun for his first major league hit. He came to the plate with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth – down by one run. With a runner on first and second he drove the first pitch deep into the left center field gap – in a perfect place for both runners to score and the Fish to take home the W.

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That game he would go on to be 4/5 with 2HR, 2B, 2R, and 5RBI.

After an embarrassing start to the month, in which had just 5 wins to go along with 15 losses, the Marlins finished August strong. They were winners of their last 8 games of the month – ending the month with a 13-15 record.

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Christian Yelich was now the leader in the MVP race – proving that gutsy trade to be worthwhile.

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Aaron Nola led the Cy Young race – despite Clayton Kershaw having superior numbers.

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Vladamir Guerrero Jr. Finally found himself atop the Rookie of the Year race after claiming his second Rookie of the Month award in August.

Other News:

  • Brian Chu, now the #6 prospect in baseball, found his way onto the Blue Jays. Hopefully Marcus Stroman proves his worth – or I may really regret that trade.
  • The New Orleans Baby Cakes finished the year at 68-72 – out of the AAA playoffs.
  • The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp finished at 30-40 in AA. No playoffs for them either.

September

As we entered September the Marlins found themselves at 68-67, 3 games back of the Braves and Phillies – who were tied for the division lead. The Marlins were actually further back in the wild card race now, at four games behind the Rockies. *The Rockies had a great month, they were two games under .500 at the trade deadline.

The Marlins winning streak continued into the month. Christian Yelich sustained a lat strain on September 5th and missed a few games. The win streak eventually ended against the Brewers on September 9th – ending at 15 games.

On September 29th – the last game of the year – the Marlins found themselves one game up on the Braves for the division lead. They were playing at Philadelphia. The Phillies were out of it, and I had Chris Archer on the mound. I was feeling good.

Apparently, I was wrong to feel good. Archer laster just 1.2 innings – and the Phillies took home the win 9-4. Luckily for the Marlins, the Braves lost to the Mets – giving me the division crown.

Our playoff series was against the Cincinnati Reds, who won the N.L Central with a 97-65 record.

Pitching

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Trevor Williams had a great season. He put up Cy Young numbers – and any other season he would have won it with a 17-4 record and 2.16 ERA. The rest of my rotation was pretty great as well, all starters in my staff had a sub 3.50 ERAs.

Hitting

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Christian Yelich had an MVP worthy season and makes that trade much easier to stomach. He had a .296 AVG and .390 OBP with 39 HR and 114 RBI. Max Muncy also had a great year with a .281 AVG and .379 OBP. He led the league in HR with 45 and slugging percentage at .594.

Awards

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Clayton Kershaw took home the Cy Young Award.

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Bryce Harper was the MVP. It sure doesn’t hurt to be the cover athlete for the game. I would argue that Christian Yelich ended up with superior numbers on the season.

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Vladamir Guerrero Jr. came through the win the Rookie of the Year award. He had a good debut season at the plate. I will expect his numbers to improve with the money I am paying him now.

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I had a number of players take home the Gold Glove for their positions this season:

  • Adalberto Mondesi – SS
  • Johan Camargo – 3B
  • Ender Inciarte – CF
  • Christian Yelich – RF
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The Marlins also had a good showing with the Silver Slugger:

  • Max Muncy – 1B
  • Julio Teheran – P
  • Christian Yelich – OF

Up Next

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I will go in depth with the 2019 MLB Postseason. The Marlins will take on the Reds in the Division Series – hopefully they can bring home the pennant.

– Buzz

Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – June Through The Trade Deadline

Another chunk of the season is gone for the 2019 Miami Marlins. You can read previous installments on this season at the links below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft

June

The Marlins had another solid month. Thankfully, Vladamir Guerrero Jr. finally started to perform – earning the N.L. Rookie of the Month Award.

Around the league there were a couple of trades with recognizable names:

DateTeamTradesToFor
6/12Blue JaysJustin SmoakRangersDrew Smyly
6/12CardinalsJedd GyorkoDiamondbacksNick Ahmed
6/18YankeesAustin RomineRangersMike Minor

All-Star Break

The Marlins had been playing solid baseball. We came into the All-Star break with a 48-41 record. The Braves still held on to first in the N.L. East, but only by 1.5 games. The Phillies were right on our tail at 48-43.

Pitching

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Chris Archer was still having a dominant season. He led the staff in ERA, wins and K’s. Trevor Williams and Ervin Santana continued to be incredible contributors to the rotation as well. The bullpen remained pretty solid, but there was room for improvement there.

Hitting

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Max Muncy was having a great first half of the season. He was putting up great all-around numbers. Muncy was hitting for power and average – I was thrilled with what he had shown. Ender Inciarte was a great addition as a leadoff guy. Jose Martinez also had been really consistent at the plate.

Marlins All-Stars

The Marlins were only able to produce three players to the All-Star team:

  • SP – Chris Archer: 8-3, 1.94 ERA
  • SP – Trevor Williams: 11-2, 2.26 ERA
  • RF – Jose Martinez: .299 AVG, 15 HR, 45 RBI
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The biggest snub was Max Muncy. As you can see in the picture above he is tearing it up this season. While Muncy was not an all star he was selected to participate in the Homerun Derby. He put on a good showing but did not win.

Trades At The All-Star Break

Pirates

I turned to the trade block once again. My team was right on the tail of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. I felt like I was just a couple moves away from catching them and taking control during the second half of the season. The lowly Pirates were sitting 9.5 GB in the NL Central, and were willing to move the ace of their staff.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Dallas Keuchel3186BPiratesJameson Taillon2789SPA
Lawrence Jackson2573B
Gilberto Becerra2170A

This is a big gamble for my franchise. I am trading away two of my best prospects – and the man slated to be my ace at the beginning of the season. Lawrence Jackson (#26) and Gilberto Becerra (#32) also find themselves as two of the Top 50 prospects in the game.

I am comfortable trading Keuchel away at this point – he is rocking a 5-9 record with a 3.97 ERA. Jameson Taillon on the other hand is 5-7, however he has a 2.20 ERA. I also will have Taillon under team control for the next four seasons, while Keuchel can walk at the end of the year.

Mets

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Adam Liberatore3182BMetsEdwin Diaz2589CPA
Cyrus Reyna1872APhil Hastings1867RPD
Charlie Weaver1973C

The Mets were sitting at 35 – 56, 15.5 games back of the Braves. I wanted to beef up my bullpen. I talked to the Mets and told them I was interested in Edwin Diaz – the Mets are terrible, they don’t even need a closer. They came back and told me they wanted one of my top prospects, Cyrus Reyna, a Major League reliever (Liberatore), and a solid AAA OF prospect in Charlie Weaver. Reyna was ranked as the #27 best prospect in baseball at the time of this trade.

Miami has not seen a World Series since 2003 – looks like I am all in this year. I am OK with moving on from Liberatore – he has a 4.55 ERA – I will also save about $1.5M in this deal.

Brewers

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Alex Jordan2269BBrewersJosh Hader2485CPA
Fuzzy Miklich2269B
Tom Park1969B

The Brewers were sitting at 40-51, 10.5 games back of the Cubs. I just traded away my only left-handed reliever. I am in the process of compiling the best bullpen in baseball – now is the time to capitalize on it. Tom Park is one of my best pitching prospects, and the #30 prospect in all of baseball. Alex Jordan and Fuzzy Miklich are two key contributors on my AAA squad. It is hard to find a left-handed arm out of the pen like Josh Hader’s – so I took this deal.

July

Around the League

As it stands, the Marlins are at 55 – 52 on the season. They sit in 3rd of the N.L. East behind the Phillies and Braves. The Marlins are 2.5 games behind the division leading Braves. The Marlins are also just out of reach of a Wild Card spot, only 1.5 games back of the playoffs.

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Clayton Kershaw continues to dominate. Madison Bumgarner and Aaron Nola are having solid seasons, but Kershaw clearly stands out here. Chris Archer falls off of this list for the first time in 2019.

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Bryce Harper is having a pretty great season. This will be a tight race for N.L. MVP – Christian Yelich and Kris Bryant are also having impressive seasons. Justin Turner was having a great first half, but fell off the map in July.

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Drew Jackson is the surprise leader for N.L. ROY. The Dodgers Shortstop/Utility Player has had a good start to the year. Pete Alonso is putting up his expected power numbers. Fernando Tatis Jr. is becoming more consistent and living up to his hype. Jimmy Colon is no longer on the map for N.L. ROY.

Minors

There were not a ton of great performances from my minor league teams through the month of July. Kevin Chacin was the only player that truly stood out.

  • Kevin Chacin – SP (AAA): 41.2 IP, 1.51 ERA, 42 K
  • Julio Lopez – CP (AA): 10.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 11 K
  • Dixon Machado – 2B (AAA): .425 AVG, 3 RBI

Deadline Day

On July 20th Chris Archer got injured against the Dodgers. He suffered from a shoulder strain and would be out a few weeks. I decided to call up Sandy Alcantara to fill his spot in the rotation. Alcantara did well in his few starts, but this really scared me. I do not have much starting pitching depth outside of my Major League roster.

Deadline day arrived and my Marlins were sitting a few games back of the Braves still. We were within reach of the division lead, and had control of a Wild Card spot. July was a really disappointing month – and the Marlins ended the month getting swept by the Diamondbacks in a four game series.

Now was the time to really see how I could improve my squad as we continued to push towards the playoffs.

Pirates

I feel bad digging into this franchise again – but it is also kind of their fault. The Pirates put Josh Bell up on the block…

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Pedro Alvarez3273CPiratesJosh Bell26801BB
Russell Brooks2168B

Their loss is my gain. I traded away Pedro Alvarez who was not really producing at the plate – and didn’t provide me any flexibility off the bench. They also acquired Russell Brooks – I was willing to let go of him because I have Bryce Geiger at first base in AAA, who is better and younger. Josh Bell gives me some versatility off the bench and a DH option against A.L. teams.

Tampa Bay Rays

I originally contacted the Rays to get Blake Snell, but they asked for too much.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Jamie Leece2273BRaysJose Alvarado2393RPB
Samuel Guerra2164BManny Diaz2447CFD
Sam Da Silva27533BD

The Rays were 12.5 games back in the east and looking to add prospects. They were also looking for a 3rd baseman of the future. I used this to acquire another elite relief pitcher. Jose Alvarado provides me another great left-handed option out of the pen. He has an immense level of talent at such young age.

Red Sox

My roster was full – and Luis Garcia was going to be sent down after all of my bullpen acquisitions. I decided to test the market and see if I could recoup some of the prospects I had traded away.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Luis Garcia3279CRed SoxDarwinzon Hernandez2260RPB
Roger Chavez2555RFC

Darwinzon Hernandez is a decent prospect. He is relatively young and has good potential. Roger Chavez is nothing more than a roster filler for me, but maybe he will turn into something.

Blue Jays

The Blue Jays had Marcus Stroman on the block. They were way out of contention at 46-63. I decided that I was in a spot where I could beef up my rotation.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Brian Chu2472ABlue JaysMarcus Stroman2784SPB
Juan Franco2250B

Ervin Santana is in a bit of a funk because he lost a few of his compatriots on the squad. I will more him to the bullpen while his morale is down and give Stroman his spot. Unfortunately, I had to include SS Brian Chu, the #11 prospect in all of baseball.

Thoughts

I absolutely decimated my minor league system to acquire the talent I got at the deadline. I traded away MOST of my top prospects, including five of the Top 50 prospects in all of baseball:

RankNamePos.AgeNew Organization
11Brian ChuSS24Blue Jays
26Lawrence JacksonSP25Pirates
27Cyrus ReynaRP18Mets
30Tom ParkSP19Brewers
32Gilberto BecerraCP21Pirates

Although I have destroyed my minor league system in the short term, I was able to acquire some truly talented players in Marcus Stroman, Jameson Taillon, Jose Alvarado, Josh Hader, Edwin Diaz and Josh Bell.

Around the League on Deadline Day:

Division Leaders:

A.L.N.L.
WestCentralEastWestCentralEast
A’s
(68-42)
Twins
(61-46)
Red Sox
(68-42)
Dodgers
(68-42)
Reds
(62-45)
Braves
(59-51)

Wildcard Standings:

A.L. Wild CardGBN.L. WildcardGB
Astros (62-47)Cubs (61-46)
Mariners (61-50) Phillies (57-51)
Yankees (60-49)Giants (57-51)
White Sox (59-48)Diamondbacks (57-52)0.5
Indians (58-49)1.0Marlins (55-52) 1.5
Rangers (55-54)5.0Rockies (54-56)4.0
Rays (55-55) 5.5Cardinals (50-58)7.0

Trades Around the League:

DateTeamTradesToFor
7/30RoyalsWhit MerrifieldTwinsKohl Stewart, Ramon Lozano, and Aldaberto Mejia
7/31PadresKirby YatesA’sKenny Davies, Vincent Gehrig

The Twins were able to beef up their lineup by acquiring All-Star second baseman Whit Merrifield from the Royals. The A’s took the scraps that I left on the bullpen market, acquiring Kirby Yates from the Padres.

Contract Extensions:

On July 31st you are allowed to sign players on your roster to contract extensions. I decided that this was a great opportunity to lock down some of my stars. My main goal was to buy out arbitration years and get some discounted free agent years.

NamePos.AgePot.Ovr.Yrs.Total Salary
Edwin DiazCP25A923$14M
Jameson TaillonSP27A923$22M
Vladamir Guerrero Jr.3B19A875$40M
Josh HaderCP24A854$19M
Jose AlvaradoCP23B914$12.4M
Johan Camargo3B25B815$19M
Marcus StromanSP27B843$23.5M
Julio TeheranSP28B812$12.8M
Chris TaylorCF28B802$5.6M
Josh Bell1B26B752$6.2M
  • I was able to buy out the remaining arbitration years of Edwin Diaz, Jameson Taillon, Josh Hader, Chris Taylor and Josh Bell.
  • I was able to lock Johan Camargo into a five year extension – securing all of his arbitration years and one year of free agency.
  • Vladamir Guerrero Jr. signed a pretty fair contract for himself and the club. I could have just kept him on his rookie deal for next to nothing. Instead, I opted to pay him a fair amount – to keep him happy. This contracts gets him through his first two years of arbitration.
  • I just acquired Marcus Stroman – I don’t want to give up those prospects for nothing. This deal buys out his remaining arbitration year and two years of free agency.
  • Julio Teheran signed over his next two years of free agency at a steal of only $6.4M per year.

One Last Thing…

After all of the trades, and all of the contract extensions, there was one more thing that I wanted to take a look at. I wanted to beef up my lineup a little more. I did the rounds and checked in again with teams that were out of the race. Then I thought back to the Brewers, they have a former Marlin that would be a great addition to this team. I decided to check in with them about Christian Yelich

Brewers

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Josh Hader2490ABrewersChristian Yelich2790RFA
Danny Valencia3476CTerrell Cheek2354RFC
Josh Bell2680BTheo Law2451LFD

I just signed Josh Hader and Josh Bell to great contracts! However, I was in a spot where I could trade a relief pitcher, and a couple of bench guys for the new star of my team. Needless to say, I had to bring Yelich back to Miami. Done deal.

Padres

I now needed to replace Hader in my pen. I checked with the White Sox to see what they wanted for Jace Fry – too much. Next I went to the Padres and targeted their young lefty Jose Castillo.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Alden Floyd 2269BBrewersJose Castillo2380RPB
Marco Montanez2063C2354RFC
Carmen Cedeno1866B

Dang – there went my last Top 50 prospect in Alden Floyd. I am OK with this move though. Castillo is only one year older than Floyd and much better.

Minor league signings:

NameAgePos.Ovr.Pot.Yrs.Sal.
Willis Young22SP58B1$70K
Charles Holmes231B58B1$70K
Alex Healy23LF65B1$70K

One More Extension:

NamePos.AgePot.Ovr.Yrs.Total Salary
Jose CastilloRP23B845$11.5M
  • With this last extension I signed Jose Castillo through his age 28 season. I will have him for the next five years at $2.3M per year. He will become a free agent at the end of this extension.

Budget

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After all of those moves – our budget remains essentially unchanged. The Marlins made the jump into the $80M dollar range. A few of our larger contracts – Kimbrel, Santana and Madson – will be coming off the books in 2020.

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The players salaries jump a bit for the 2020 season. I am comfortable with the extensions players have signed. Looking at the list of the top salaries in 2020 – all of those players are expected to be key contributors next season.

Up Next

Next I am going to take a look at how the regular season turned out. Will the Marlins catch the Braves in the East? Will my new acquisitions perform up to expectations? Will I live to regret any of my contract extensions?

– Buzz