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Good morning baseball fans!
After missing his second straight start, the Nationals placed Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with an upper back strain.
One team that is interested in Reds outfielder Jay Bruce: the Dodgers.
Another outfielder that could potentially be traded, Josh Reddick, will continue extension talks with the A’s.
Both the Mets and Giants view Yunel Escobar as a potential fit as the trade deadline draws near.
If a team was to go after Yulieski Gourriel, how much would it cost?
But just like with the teams and Gourriel’s expected performance, we’re basically guessing. I won’t be surprised by any contract figure between $20 million and $60 million, which is a pretty wide range. The Dodgers factor can’t be ignored, and since they don’t seem to have a budget, perhaps they’ll just say this is worth the risk to protect their farm system from having to make a July trade. But based on what we do and don’t know about projecting players transitioning to MLB, and how aging curves have changed, I don’t think I’d be rushing to give Gourriel the Olivera contract, or anything close to it.
If I was in charge, I’d probably top out around $30 to $35 million, but my confidence in that evaluation is not particularly high. In the next few weeks, we’ll find out if an MLB team is more confident in their evaluation, and if they are, whether that confidence is valid. Given the recent results in this market, we probably shouldn’t be that confident that we can project Gourriel with any kind of real precision.
Speaking of those A’s, Danny Valencia continues to draw interest, with the Royals and Indians joining the mix.
Ervin Santana is likely to become available at the trade deadline by the Twins.
Miami is looking at both Aroldis Chapman and Fernando Rodney.
Getting ahead on the first pitch has been a huge part of Johnny Cueto’s success this season.
Nevertheless, success for Cueto this season has come from his ability to capitalize on the first pitch. Even though at-bats ending on the first pitch are at a career high for Cueto this season, they have still only accounted for a small portion of the total batters he has faced. This has allowed him to turn an ever-increasing ability to throw first-pitch strikes from a positive to an absolute strength. Starting hitters off with a strike early on has helped him maintain such a low walk rate, which is one of the driving forces behind his elite production overall. Another factor is his ability to keep that ball in the park, which is positively affected by throwing a first-pitch strike. Part of this comes from the vast space that is AT&T Park, while a fair amount of it comes from the softer contact and higher ground ball rate generated after starting off a hitter with strike one.
An amazing start to the 2016 season for Johnny Cueto has given the Giants one of the best 1-2 punches in all of baseball. Any normal season would likely have Cueto as a favorite to take home the National League Cy Young award, but alas Clayton Kershaw is still a NL pitcher. Regardless, Cueto has been lights-out in the first season of his six-year, $130 million deal. A large reason comes from just how valuable a first-pitch strike has been for him, in terms of the rest of the at-bat.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1959, with players voting, Henry Aaron gets a unanimous vote for the All-Star Game, becoming the first player to be selected.