Quick Hits: Playoffs, Offseason Grades, Closers

Here are some miscellaneous links as Wednesday turns into Thursday…

  • The expectation within baseball is that the ten-team playoff format will happen this season, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). The deadline for the new system to be implemented is March 1st.
  • ESPN's Jim Bowden graded the offseason for each American League and National League team (Insider req'd). The Marlins, Angels, and Yankees each received an A.
  • USA Today's Bob Nightengale wrote about the tremendous turnover rate at the closer position. Only four current closers – Mariano Rivera, Brian Wilson, Joakim Soria, and Carlos Marmol – have held the job for longer than two full years.

Full Story | 65 Comments | Categories: Uncategorized

65 Responses to Quick Hits: Playoffs, Offseason Grades, Closers Leave a Reply

  1. Someone with ESPN Insider want to post the grades for all the teams?

    • maxbelmont 3 years ago

      Exactly, I give up trying to click on the link knowing that I’ll have to pay to read the column. 

      • bayareabeast 3 years ago

        exactly i dont understand why mlbtr does that..if someone is paying for information from a sight youd think they would be reading it on that sight, not going to another sight to read it.

  2. Snoochies8 3 years ago

    what was the a’s grade?

    my opinion on a few of the moves

    Gio Gonzalez (A) realllllly hard not to love the return from him, 2 players that (probably) will make an impact this year, a catcher that should be making an impact in 2 years, and a pitcher with #1 upside.

    Bailey/Sweeney (C+ at best) Like Josh Reddick, but thought the prospect return could’ve been better, oh well. However, I’m really happy beane was able to unload knee-less sweeney

    Cahill/Breslow (B) loved getting parker, liked getting cook, would’ve rather gotten a true prospect (eaton or pollock) over cowgill, 

    Bartolo Colon (B) fine as a stop gap, really can’t complain

    Jonny Gomes (D) Pretty pointless, could’ve had cowgill or taylor platoon with smith, although $1 million would be easy to dump

    • With the signing of Manny and Cespedes, the A’s should get rid of Gomes. He isn’t very good and they already have a bunch of OF’s.

    • thebigbangdito 3 years ago

      dont forget Manny lol

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        haha i didn’t, i wrote out my personal grades for all the acquisitions, but then decided it’d be easier to read if it was just a few

        by the way, i thought manny’s signing was a C+ at best, kinda pointless (like jonny gomes), but there’s no risk and no roster spot taken up so he could also be cut easily, and for just something like $350K, plus he won’t be bringing back a prospect or draft pick, so that’s another reason he’s kinda pointless

    • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

      They got a D+

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        ouch, i would’ve thought at least a C+, i thought it was pretty good altogether

        • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

          Nah just messing, I don’t have Insider, waiting for someone to post all the grades!

          • Snoochies8 3 years ago

            that explains why i thought it felt breezy all of a sudden.

            it being jim bowden giving the grades, i would not have been surprised in the least

    • BDLugz 3 years ago

      A’s got a C+ from Bowden.  10th in the AL

  3. $7562574 3 years ago

    what did yankees do to receive a?

    • They dumped Burnett onto the Pirates, acquired Pineda from the Mariners, and signed Kuroda.

    • BitLocker 3 years ago

      Traded a prospect for a #2 starter that will be in control for 4-5+ years, signed kuroda to fill out rotation, and signed Ibanez. Basically made their weak rotation into one of the top rotations in the AL and obtained better offense.

      • I like Kuroda, but the NL West is as forgiving to pitchers as the AL East is gracious to hitters.

        • MB923 3 years ago

          Kuroda still has done decently against some of the strong NL teams from the NL Central and NL East

          From 2008 – 2011

          Phillies – 1.41 ERA
          Braves – 2.10 ERA
          Reds – 2.61 ERA
          Brewers – 4.09 ERA
          Cubs- 1.23 ERA
          Cardinals – 3.19 ERA

          For some bizarre reason, the NL team that does the best against him is the Mets, 5.75 ERA

    • David 3 years ago

      Traded a DH for a #2 Starting Pitcher but other than that, not much else. They had the best record in the AL and second best record in the MLB last year. There wasn’t much that they had to do so doing very little is a good sign in this case.

    • Joshua Jongsma 3 years ago

       Strengthened their rotation with Pineda and Kuroda, unloaded Burnett. Strengthened the bench by adding Ibanez and keeping Chavez and Jones. Solid offseason all around.

    • Cashman dressed up as an elf, climbed down from a roof of a skyscraper, and also updated his “Relationship status” on Facebook.

  4. David 3 years ago

     I wouldn’t say they made the offense better since they traded Montero but they scored the second most runs (only team that had more was Boston) in baseball and the offense did not need that much of a jump start.

  5. Still think a one game playoff between two wildcards is crazy (in a bad way), but what can I do about it?  At least it’ll be exciting.

    • MB923 3 years ago

      Agreed. 1 WC team can win 95 games and the 2nd can win 90 games. No point of the team that wins 95 games to put any effort at all into those remaining games. I do prefer a best of 3. Or as someone one said, a best of 2. Play a double header with the better team hosting both games. If home team wins 1 of the 2, they get the WC. Away team has to win both.

  6. Wes Whitenack 3 years ago

    Off season Grades: 
    Angels: A
    Yankees: A
    Tigers: A- 
    Rangers: A-
    Red Sox: B
    Blue Jays: B
    Rays: B-
    Royals: B-
    Mariners: B-
    Athletics: C+
    Twins: C
    Indians: C-
    Orioles: D-
    White Sox: D-

    Marlins: A
    Reds: A-
    Diamondbacks: A-
    Nationals: B+
    Rockies: B+
    Padres: B+
    Cubs: B+
    Phillies: B
    Cardinals: B
    Brewers: C+
    Giants: C+
    Dodgers: C+
    Astros: C+
    Pirates: C-
    Braves: D+
    Mets: D

    •  Thanks for doing this.

    • Thanks. Are letter grades only listed? I’d like to hear his reasoning for some of his grades.

      • kräftig. entschieden 3 years ago

        Especially the Cubs’ grade… does that just come from Rizzo coming over? I guess he could also be considering the new Epstein/Hoyer team.

        • dskirsa 3 years ago

          Wes posted the grades and that’s not enough?  If you want to read the article so bad, pony up for a Insider Subscription.  It’s not that expensive…a two year subscription works out to $2.50 a month. 

    • Smrtbusnisman04 3 years ago

      The Pirates should get a better grade. They upgraded at some key positions, got a possible ace in AJ Burnett.

      The one failure was that they didn’t extend Andrew Mcutchen, which was an imperative move for them to make.

    • Houston_Astros 3 years ago

      Did you really give the A’s a c+?

      And the Phillies made the wost move of the offseason!
      The Tigers are rated too high.

      I appreciate the effort you put into that, but…..

      Unless you just posted this, in which case, my comments are just for discussion.

  7. LUWahooNatFan 3 years ago

    Nasties are winning that 2nd Wild Card

  8. Who cares about teams’ offseason grades, the best news of the Quick Hits: “The expectation within baseball is that the ten-team playoff format will happen this season”


    • MB923 3 years ago

      I just really hope it’s a best of 3 as opposed to a 1 game playoff.

  9. Ian Gooda 3 years ago

    I can’t fathom what gets the Jays a B. Is it just the pickup of a closer?

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

      They basically built a lights-out bullpen for nothing, and avoided giving out horrendous contracts like the Angels and Tigers did, both ahead of them in the grading.

      • skoods 3 years ago

        Sergio Santos is unproven and is NOT lights out. Darren Oliver is a fossil. Blue Jays = 4th place as usual.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

          I take it your bridge is under construction?

        • Santos is still a high upside player without much mileage on his arm with a very team friendly contract who can produce monster K/9 numbers.

          Who cares if Oliver is a fossil, it’s for 1 year. I suppose the Yankees pen sucks too because they have a fossil of their own? Age means nothing when you can perform.

          They also brought in CoCo to back-up for Santos if he falters, they still have Janssen who is a more than solid 7th inning guy, brought back Frasor who is a 6-7th inning type guy, and have a mix of youth and veterans competing at the back-end of the bullpen.

  10. Reds DEF get an A

    Mat Latos
    Sean Marshall
    Ryan Madson
    Ryan Ludwick
    Andrew Brackman
    Josh Judy
    Jeff Francis

    • Ron Loreski 3 years ago

      Thank God for Josh Judy….MVP!

    • BDLugz 3 years ago

      And… knocked down to a B+ due to overpays in the 2 main trades.  That seems fair.

    • BDLugz 3 years ago

      And… knocked down to a B+ due to overpays in the 2 main trades.  That seems fair.

  11. Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

    Braves get a D+ for lack of moves compared to their division rivals, Royals get a B- for……..for what, exactly? Sanchez, Chen, and Betancourt?

    • Snoochies8 3 years ago

      broxton too i guess? maybe standing pat and not trading wil myers for gio? oh right, and the cuban guy they signed too..maybe

      • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

         Then the Braves deserve a B+ for not trading Jurrjens, Prado, and one of their top pitching prospects for guys like Adam Jones and Seth Smith.

        Regardless of where the Braves are ranked, I like seeing these lists. Just wish I could see some reasoning behind the rankings.

        • kräftig. entschieden 3 years ago

          I think the Braves are in a spot where they needed to do more, since more is at stake at the top of the division and the division has four legitimate contenders. The Royals are building longer-term, so maybe their standards are a smidge lower? I don’t know if I actually agree with that but it’s a possibility.

          • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

             I’m mildly disappointed in their offseason, but there weren’t many realistic upgrades out there. Cuddyer or Willingham could’ve helped, but the Braves would’ve had to clear a good chunk of money.

            I like Wren’s plan, actually. From the looks of it he’s decided to stick with the current roster and hope the offense bounces back(which is a good bet) and the young arms continue to develop. With Hudson out until around mid-May and Hanson and Jurrjens returning from injuries, I can understand why Wren was reluctant to trade pitching. If they stay healthy and the offense continues to disappoint, he’ll make a move or two.

            I think the Braves will have a better club this season, but the competition got a lot tougher.

          • skoods 3 years ago

            Maybe if fans would actually go to the game, they’d be able to afford some new players.

          • Corporate owned by Liberty Media as a tax write-off.  They aren’t spending any more than they have to regardless of attendance.

  12. Dudeitsian 3 years ago

    So teams got applauded for locking up a lot of long term money. SWEEEEEET

  13. have held the job for longer than two full years.
    Author forgot about Jose Valverde, apparently.

  14. Raylan Givens' Stetson 3 years ago

    So the Diamondbacks got an A- for signing Kubel and pushing out Parra?  Hmmm….

    • Paul Shailor 3 years ago

      And they added Cahill.

      • Raylan Givens' Stetson 3 years ago

        I wouldn’t call that trade a bad one, but I wouldn’t call it a fantastic one either.  It’s certainly not worthy of the high grade given to them.

        • Paul Shailor 3 years ago

          Oh IMO it is def too high of a ranking, I was just saying that they have done other things as well.

  15. mmwatkin 3 years ago

    Hasn’t Jose Valverde been the Tigers’ closer for the last two years? 

  16. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    I dont really see how the tigers are an A-. They got Fielder, okay? They lost Martinez and didnt get a fifth starter. Am I missing something here? I mean not saying the Fielder signing was good or bad, just saying one major signing gets them an A- when the production from him will be a slight improvement from a career year from VMART. I just dont see what other moves they have made to cement them as having that amazing of an offseason.

  17. Lie. Jonathon Papelbon

  18. Fishing Bill 3 years ago

    Comment cleaning I see, well I still don’t like seeing “news” that plugs ESPN paid insider content. Doubt I’m alone either.

  19. His point is that Papelbon and other closers that have been closers for 2+ years have changed teams recently. Papelbon is on the Phillies now.

  20. MB923 3 years ago

    I thought the same at first glance, but when you click on the article, right at the top it says Tenure elusive. It also mentions it in the first paragraph- “no closer has held his job longer than four full seasons with his current team” (with the exception of Rivera)

  21. Joshua Jongsma 3 years ago

     Isn’t that why they traded for Latos?

  22. InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago


  23. BDLugz 3 years ago


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