Thursday, February 28, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 28, 2019 -- "Missed Opportunities and the White Sox"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"You can squint and see a path for this year’s White Sox team. Be optimistic about the combination of talent and reps in the infield and the starting rotation. Project 100 innings of good work at the back of the bullpen. Expect Eloy Jimenez to be a four-win bat from the jump. The AL Central is laughably weak. I’m putting my chips down on the Twins to benefit from that, but you can make a real case for the Sox as well.

"That case just would have been a lot easier to make with a five-win star added to the mix."

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 27, 2019 -- "Yasmani Grandal and the Brewers"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"There’s a lot of potential regression in those top three lineup spots. Christian Yelich and Jesus Aguilar had career years at the plate, and Lorenzo Cain had his second-best season. The three combined to be worth 18 wins in 2018, and you don’t have to be pessimistic about the group to expect that number to be lower this year."

Monday, February 25, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 25, 2019 -- "Mike Trout and the Angels"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"The 2019 Angels don’t appear to be a threat to the league’s top three teams, but they should be a factor in battling for the second wild-card spot. The floor, when you start with Mike Trout, is just so high that having an average team around him can keep you in the conversation. Andrelton Simmons is a star, Justin Upton is a good player, the Heaney/Skaggs combination could get a little better. Remember, too, that it’s a short list of teams even trying for that crown. Just eight AL teams are even trying to compete in 2019. Someone has to go play in Fenway Park on October 2, and it may as well be the Angels."

Friday, February 22, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, Feburary 22, 2019 -- "Unhappy Locals and the Cardinals"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"I’m perfectly happy to call out ownership groups that won’t spend money or make every effort to improve the team. The Cardinals’ not signing Bryce Harper, in an offseason in which they traded for Paul Goldschmidt, doesn’t fit that mold."

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 20, 2019 -- "Manny Machado and the Padres"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $39.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"Manny Machado, very soon, is going to be the best player on a playoff team in a city that is a far better baseball town than it’s ever given credit for. San Diego is Milwaukee with perfect weather, a place that has always shown up for good teams and of late, has shown up better than you might think for bad ones.

"With the departure of the Chargers, and all respect to the Gulls and Sockers, the Padres are the last bastion of major pro sports in the city. When the Padres are good, they will get to own San Diego in a way few baseball teams can own their city these days. The money and the weather provide plenty of reasons for Machado to sign, but there’s reason to think that this will end up a great marriage of player, team, and city."

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 16, 2019 -- "$55 Million in Dead Money and the Giants"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"The Giants have done almost nothing this winter, bringing in an assortment of fourth- and fifth-tier free agents (Pat Venditte, Drew Pomeranz, Stephen Vogt, Rene Rivera, Gerardo Parra, Yangervis Solarte) who will do little to close the 20-game gap between them and the Dodgers. They haven’t consummated the expected trade of Madison Bumgarner, a franchise hero in the final year of a contract on which the Giants have made tens of millions of dollars in profit. They haven’t, despite taking meetings, signed Bryce Harper, a move that would be consistent with this team’s willingness to put its profits into the roster, but not be nearly enough to make them a contender. The Giants have laid out more than $700 million in major-league salaries and benefits in the four seasons since their last championship. You can’t paint them as unwilling to spend."

Friday, February 15, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 15, 2019 -- "Signing Machado AND Harper"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"Let’s focus, though, on the type of team that has historically signed the biggest free-agent deals, the ones trying to launch themselves into contention, the ones for whom marginal wins mean the most. Between the likely value of the two players, and the current rosters and projections of the teams, it seems to me that there are 11 teams for which you can make a real argument for this. Go to both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper and offer them a contract that makes them the highest-paid player in baseball next season, and allows them to leave the next time the market looks better than sticking around."

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, Feburary 14, 2019 -- "Defensive Improvement and the A's"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"A baseball team has about 4000 balls in play against them every year. The number varies widely around that figure, but it’s a good round number for our purposes. The A’s turned 2.5% more of those balls into outs in 2018. That’s 100 outs instead of hits, mostly singles, but enough doubles and triples to leave a mark. That’s how you allow 150 fewer runs year over year with just a small change in strikeout and walk rates."

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 13, 2019 -- "LABR Recap"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"One of the things to keep in mind is that on February 12, we don’t know enough to nail the end of a draft. I mean, someone can nail their last five picks; we probably drafted 100 saves in the last four rounds, but I can’t tell you how they will be distributed among the dozen relievers we picked. Three Indians outfielders went in short succession, and it’s not certain any of them will have a job in June. I emphasized getting guys who I liked, whose talent I believed in, and didn’t worry about role so much. Zach Britton may be all the way back. Blake Swihart stole eight bases last year and could make a great C2. Scott Kingery was a top-25 prospect a year ago. I’ll take my chances with these guys on February 12, knowing full well that by April 12, they may be on the league’s waiver wire."

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 12, 2019 -- "LABR"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $39.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"One issue I’ve had in roto-style leagues is not being category-conscious enough. Targeting one of those middle infielders in the first round is one way to get steals, but I’ll have to be aware of my stolen-base count throughout the draft. My tendency to draft youth means I get a lot of players who contribute some steals, but the goal is to get some more speed-based players in the draft’s first half. I’m a very big Mallex Smith fan. I like Amed Rosario as a breakout. It’s almost an article of faith that I’ll have Roman Quinn on my team."

Friday, February 8, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 8, 2019 -- "Four Departed Stars and the Marlins"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"The Marlins were a bad idea from the start, existing only because collusion created a need for expansion fees. They are a bad organization that makes bad decisions and puts bad baseball teams on the field. They’ve been run by a succession of bad owners. This is as unwatchable a team as there is in baseball. Whatever the floor is for attendance in 2019, the Marlins could drop through it this year."

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 7, 2019 -- "Endless Movement and the Mariners"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $39.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"The Mariners at least have a chance to be an entertaining sort of bad, with a plus offense and a minus pitching staff. Santana, Bruce, and Encarnacion will hit dingers, Gordon and Mallex Smith could steal 125 bases between them, and there are no automatic outs in the lineup. All of that is good, because this staff is bottom-five in the AL, and I can’t put them lower because there are some really awful pitching staffs in the AL. This Mariners team resembles, more than anything, some of the franchise’s old Kingdome teams. The results will be from that era as well."

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, February 5, 2019 -- "The Missing Middle"

This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with Joe and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $39.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"Historically speaking, it shouldn’t be the Red Sox and Yankees and Dodgers signing Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but rather the teams just outside the playoff picture last year, like the Mariners and Rays. Those are the teams that have gone big in free agency in the past. The next group down, too, the ones on the come-up like the White Sox and Padres and Phillies. There’s more precedent for sub-.500 teams signing $200 million players than there is for playoff teams doing so.

"Those are the teams that, thanks to massive growth in national revenue, thanks to the $68 million one-time payment from the sale of BAMtech, thanks to the sharing of local revenue, have sat out free agency. It’s not the lack of action at the top of the standings or the payroll scale that breaks from history, but rather the lack of action from the teams who would normally be climbing the ladder."