Tag:NL West
Posted on: January 27, 2012 6:59 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 9:18 pm
 

Video: Mattingly and son in trick shot video

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Warning to all bears in the greater Evansville, Ind., area -- don't wear a Giants hat. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly doesn't like that.

Or at least he doesn't in this video with his son, Preston.



These trick shot videos have been around a while, and while some of the tricks are impressive, I'm never sure why these guys are so excited about making them. If you have seven minutes worth of trick shots -- no matter how impressive -- you pretty much expect to make some, right? And doesn't it get old after a while?

Oh well, at least the younger Mattingly, 24, signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees earlier this month as a minor-league free agent. The 2006 first-round pick of the Dodgers hit .232/.281/.354 at two levels of Class A ball last season.

The video, though, is for a good cause. The group, which also includes Orioles minor leaguer Kipp Schutz and Indiana tight end Max Dedmond, used the video to sell T-shirts raising money for Evansville Boys and Girls Club, according to the Evansville Courier & Press. The T-shirts feature the bear mascot of Mattingly's alma mater, Central High School. The bear is named Bearwinkle, hence the Trickwinkle name of the group raising money. The group has already donated "around $1,000" to the Boys and Girls Club, with more on the way.

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 12:00 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 12:05 pm
 

Ryan Theriot signs with Giants

By Matt Snyder

Free agent infielder Ryan Theriot has signed a one-year contract with the Giants, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned. The deal is worth $1.25 million and has $750,000 worth of incentives.

Though Theriot better fits defensively as a second baseman, he has a great shot at significant playing time at shortstop for the Giants. The only person standing in his way is Brandon Crawford, who hit just .204/.288/.296 last season, which is dreadful. Crawford could then fit well as a late-inning defensive replacement, as he's the superior defender. It's just that the Giants need the most offense they can get from any spot.

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Theriot, 32, hit .271/.321/.342 with 26 doubles for the World Series champion Cardinals last season. He has spent all but 54 games of his career in the NL Central, mostly with the Cubs, but those other 54 games were in the NL West with the Dodgers in 2010.

Also of note, Theriot rejoins former LSU and Cubs teammate Mike Fontenot. Those two just can't be kept apart, huh?

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:43 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 9:45 pm
 

Report: Giants agree to deal with Clay Hensley

Clay HensleyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Giants have added right-hander Clay Hensley to the bullpen, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports. The one-year, major-league deal is worth $750,000 with another $300,000 in incentives and awards, pending a physical, according to Crasnick.

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The 32-year-old Hensley was originally drafted by the Giants in 2002, but was traded to San Diego when he was still a minor-leaguer. He's pitched six seasons for the Padres and Marlins, going 6-7 with a 5.19 ERA for the Marlins last season, striking out 46 in 67 2/3 innings, starting nine games among his 37 starts.

Hensley had seven saves in 2010 when he put up a 2.16 ERA in 68 appearances -- all in relief -- for the Marlins. Overall he's 24-26 with a 3.94 ERA in 211 games and 49 starts.

With the Giants, Hensley will at the front of the team's bullpen, behind the likes of closer Brian Wilson and set-up men Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez.

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:04 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 10:40 pm
 

Keppinger close to signing with Rays

By Matt Snyder

The Rays are close to an agreement with free agent infielder Jeff Keppinger, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has confirmed. The news was first reported Wednesday night by the Tampa Bay Times, which reported that we should expect the signing by the end of the week.

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Keppinger, 31, split last season between the Astros and the Giants. He only appeared defensively at second base, which was a departure from his utility infielder role in the previous five seasons. He hit .277/.300/.377 with 20 doubles. He is a career .281 hitter with a .332 OBP.

Keppinger won't be counted on as an everyday starter with the Rays. They already have Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez to play up the middle. Reid Brignac can backup shortstop, so Keppinger looks likely to be the backup at second base. That also means he's an available fill-in if Ben Zobrist plays in the outfield, where he started 33 games in 2011. But, again, this won't be happening regularly as the Rays have Desmond Jennings, B.J. Upton and Matt Joyce in the outfield.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 2:30 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 3:41 pm
 

Giants, Lincecum agree on two-year deal



By Matt Snyder


The Giants have signed ace Tim Lincecum to a two-year contract worth more than $40 million, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned.

This contract is interesting because it avoids arbitration -- where Lincecum was asking for a record amount -- for this season and next season. However, he was set to be a free agent after the 2013 season anyway, so the contract will not lock him up for any of those free agency seasons. Thus, any club possibly eyeing a run at Lincecum in the 2014 free agency class can still pine after him. It's possible he'll be up for grabs, but it's also two years away. A lot can happen before then.

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It's worth noting the Giants tried to get Lincecum to sign a more long-term deal. Heyman reported Sunday that the Giants had offered Lincecum "at least" $100 million over five years, but the Lincecum camp turned that offer down. In accepting something with a very similar average annual value but not the extra three years, it could be a major sign that Lincecum wants to test the market in two years. But, again, a lot can change until that comes to fruition.

Lincecum, 27, is an elite pitcher. He was 13-14 last season, but don't let the record fool you, as the Giants were offensively challenged. Lincecum had a 2.74 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 220 strikeouts in 217 innings. He finished sixth in Cy Young voting. He won the Cy Young in both 2008 and 2009 for the Giants and was the ace of the staff that helped carry the Giants to their first World Series championship (2010) since moving to San Francisco.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 24, 2012 1:21 pm
 

J.D. Drew likely to retire from baseball



By Matt Snyder


After 14 seasons and truckloads of cash, J.D. Drew is likely going to retire, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned. Heyman notes Drew was only going to play if he found the "perfect" spot, and that evidently isn't going to happen.

Drew, 36, did have a very good offensive career. He hit .278/.384/.489, good for a 125 OPS-plus, with 242 homers, 944 runs scored and 273 doubles. He finished sixth in MVP voting in 2004 -- his lone season with the Braves -- and was an All-Star in 2008. His career 45.9 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is really good as well. He also won a World Series ring with the 2007 Red Sox.

On the other hand, many seem to scoff when hearing Drew's name and immediately think "overrated." That's because, in some ways, Drew's career could be considered disappointing. He entered the league as the top prospect in baseball, one of the most heavily hyped in the past 20 years. His agent, Scott Boras, continually got him paid like a megastar as well, as Drew accumulated $108,091,688 (Baseball-Reference.com) in his 14-year career. That's an average of roughly $7.72 million per season, which is pretty tough to do in the MLB system.

In addition to the hefty salary, Drew's inability to stay completely healthy contributed to the stigma that he was overrated. He never appeared in more than 146 games in a season and averaged just 470 plate appearances per campaign from 1999-2011.

This all led to Drew being one of the most polarizing players in baseball. He could have been one of the greats, but instead he's largely viewed as an overpaid, injury-prone slugger with great rate stats.

I would expect Drew to be on the Hall of Fame ballot five years from now -- I mean, Bill Mueller, Brad Radke, Phil Nevin and Tony Womack were on the ballot this year -- but just that one time, as he'll surely get less than five percent of the vote.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:52 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Santana or Posey?



By Matt Snyder


One position we haven't yet covered in this series to this point is the man behind the plate. And when I thought about catchers, I believe I found just about the perfect duo to provide an incredibly tough choice.

Indians catcher Carlos Santana is just 25 and already one of the most important members of the up-and-coming Tribe. Giants catcher Buster Posey is only 24 and easily one of the most irreplaceable parts of the Giants. You could call them stars now or future superstars. And both have already gone through a major leg injury.

Let's break it down.

The case for Santana

The tools are there to become one of the best young run producers in the game. Santana hit just .239 last season, but he walked enough to put up a .351 on-base percentage, which is a much more important stat. He also slugged 27 homers and 35 doubles. Also note that a torn ACL ended his rookie season prematurely, so Santana is likely looking at big step forward in 2012. With the lineup around him comprised mostly of young players with good potential, expect Santana to push his runs and RBI up around triple digits (he had 79 RBI and 84 runs last season).

Would You Rather Have
A slight plus here for Santana is that while both of these catchers has already suffered a major injury, we've already seen how Santana came back. Posey is still recovering.

The case for Posey

He opened the 2010 season in Triple-A. By the end of it, young Buster Posey was catching the final strike of the World Series and rushing into Brian Wilson's arms to celebrate. In between, Posey hit .305/.357/.505 with 18 homers, 23 doubles and 67 RBI in just 108 regular-season games. This was good enough to win the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year. Posey also hit the ball well during the postseason, putting up a .744 OPS.

Also, Santana is a pretty bad defensive catcher and while Posey isn't great, he's not bad. He works well with the staff and has thrown out 37 percent of would-be basestealers so far in his young career. Santana has thrown out 28 percent, which isn't awful, but most metrics aren't kind to him and the Indians have toyed with moving him to first base permanently. Even if we wanted to argue some of these points -- like that Posey has played first base at times, too -- there isn't much question Posey is a better defensive catcher.

Now, we said above that Posey still hasn't proven he will again be the player he was prior to the broken leg. It's possible there are no setbacks and he returns to the Posey of old, but there are no guarantees. Just ask Kendrys Morales. So far, so good, however, as all reports from Posey's camp suggest he's making good progress.

Our call

Man, flip a coin. I hate going on the injury thing, because the smart money is on a full Posey recovery. So we'll just assume he comes all the way back -- meaning both of these young catchers star for the foreseeable future. If Santana goes the way of former catcher Victor Martinez (1B or DH), his bat means that much less to the lineup, while Posey can nearly match his offensive production from behind the plate. If Santana stays behind the plate, he hurts the team defensively. If both were moved, though, Santana would be the pick because I feel like he has a slight bit more offensive upside. If Posey suffers any setbacks, Santana would be the obvious pick. So this is razor thin, but my choice is Posey in an absolute photo finish. Hey, as I've said before, I enjoy gambling.

Fan Vote:



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Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:08 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 10:04 pm
 

Free agent Cody Ross agrees to sign with Red Sox

By Matt Snyder

Free agent outfielder Cody Ross will sign with the Red Sox, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has confirmed. Heyman has learned the contract is for one year and $3 million.

Ross provides necessary insurance in the outfield for the Red Sox now that Carl Crawford had to undergo surgery on his wrist and is questionable for opening day. Plus, it's possible Ross ends up being the starter over Ryan Sweeney in right field anyway.

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Ross, 31, hit .240/.325/.405 with 14 homers and 25 doubles last season. It marked a disappointment, as this was coming on the heels of him playing postseason hero for the 2010 World Series champion Giants.

So, yeah, not exactly impressive numbers from Ross in 2011, but Sweeney's triple slash line was .265/.346/.341 and he only hit one home run. And if Crawford isn't ready to start the season, these are the starting corner outfielders. The other alternatives at this point are Mike Aviles -- who may be splitting time at shortstop with Nick Punto -- and Darnell McDonald.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com