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.


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65 Comments on "Quick Hits: Playoffs, Offseason Grades, Closers"


3 years 6 months ago

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

maxbelmont
3 years 6 months 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 6 months 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.

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months 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

3 years 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

dont forget Manny lol

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

They got a D+

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

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

inleylandwetrust
3 years 6 months ago

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

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

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

$7562574
3 years 6 months ago

what did yankees do to receive a?

3 years 6 months ago

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

BitLocker
3 years 6 months 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.

3 years 6 months ago

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

MB923
3 years 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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.

3 years 6 months ago

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

David
3 years 6 months 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.

3 years 6 months ago

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 6 months 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.

Wes Whitenack
3 years 6 months ago

Off season Grades: 
AL
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-

NL:
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

3 years 6 months ago

 Thanks for doing this.

3 years 6 months ago

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

kräftig. entschieden
3 years 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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.

LUWahooNatFan
3 years 6 months ago

Nasties are winning that 2nd Wild Card

3 years 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

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

Ian Gooda
3 years 6 months ago

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

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months ago

I take it your bridge is under construction?

3 years 6 months ago

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.

3 years 6 months ago

Reds DEF get an A

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

Ron Loreski
3 years 6 months ago

Thank God for Josh Judy….MVP!

BDLugz
3 years 6 months ago

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

BDLugz
3 years 6 months ago

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

Clayton Wilson
3 years 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months ago

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

3 years 6 months ago

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

Dudeitsian
3 years 6 months ago

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

3 years 6 months ago

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

Raylan Givens' Stetson
3 years 6 months ago

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

Paul Shailor
3 years 6 months ago

And they added Cahill.

Raylan Givens' Stetson
3 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

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

Raylan Givens' Stetson
3 years 6 months ago

Agreed.

mmwatkin
3 years 6 months ago

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

Paul Shailor
3 years 6 months 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.

3 years 6 months ago

Lie. Jonathon Papelbon

Fishing Bill
3 years 6 months ago

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

3 years 6 months ago

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.

MB923
3 years 6 months 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)

Joshua Jongsma
3 years 6 months ago

 Isn’t that why they traded for Latos?

inleylandwetrust
3 years 6 months ago

F.

BDLugz
3 years 6 months ago

B+