Former Major League outfielder Julio Borbon announced his retirement today, via a post on his Instagram page thanking the many people who supported him throughout his 12 professional seasons. The Rangers chose Borbon with the 35th overall pick of the 2007 draft, and the University Of Tennessee product went on to amass 294 games and 878 plate appearances for the Rangers, Cubs, and Orioles in parts of five MLB seasons between 2009-16. Now that his playing career is over, Borbon is staying in the game as a coach in the Yankees organization. MLBTR wishes Borbon all the best in this new phase of his baseball career.
- Brock Holt is eligible for free agency after the 2019 season, but the Red Sox super-utilityman tells Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald that he “would love to stay here for the rest of my career — I’m happy here, my family’s happy here, I love everything about being a Boston Red Sox.” Holt’s versatility has made him an important depth piece for the Sox, capable of filling in at multiple positions and also providing some decent production at the plate; Holt’s .362 OBP and .411 slugging percentage last season were both career bests. There’s certainly value available for Boston in keeping Holt, and an extension would hardly break the bank (Holt is earning $3.575MM this season). The Red Sox have been discussing extensions with some higher-profile names this spring, which could explain why the team hasn’t yet approached Holt or his representatives about a new deal.
- The Cardinals were the only team that made Matt Wieters an offer this winter, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch tweets, which is why the veteran catcher signed on with St. Louis on a minor league deal. Wieters is far from the only veteran who had a tough time finding work in the quiet free agent market, and the former four-time All-Star’s value took a severe hit following three consecutive subpar years with the Orioles and Nationals. While Wieters had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal, he at least has a solid shot at winning the job as Yadier Molina’s backup.
- Buster Posey appeared in his first Spring Training game today, catching three innings and generally looking in good condition following last August’s hip surgery. “It would have been nice to maybe ease into it a little bit but it was also nice to check off some more boxes, and we’ll see how my body responds tomorrow and Sunday. Overall I was really happy with the way it felt,” Posey told reporters, including Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi indicated earlier this month that the team would bring Posey along carefully in his recovery process, though the catcher seems to be making a case to appear in the Giants’ Opening Day lineup.
Posey has had an amazing career. If he played on the east coast he’d be widely talked about as one of the greatest catchers of all time.
Pretty sure Posey gets a fair bit of recognition around the league as one of the better all around backstops to have ever played the game… Even people saying he’s a sure fire Hall of Famer…. If you want under appreciated, look no further than the classy gentleman who retired at the end of last season… Joe Mauer… Many people seem to loath the fact he was a low power, highly paid first baseman at the end of his career, and seem to forget that the stats he put up in his first decade in the bigs as a catcher may not be replicated for quite some time….. and yet while Posey is Hall bound in many peoples mind, Mauer is seen as borderline somehow???
Buster Posey’s first ten years in the bigs:
One Batting Title
Joe Mauer’s first ten years in the bigs:
Three Batting Titles
How dare you bring up a great player who played for the twins, like Mauer, Kent Hrbek, Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven, Harmon Killebrew.. Don’t you know that only west coast team players ever get slighted?
All Mid Coast teams get slighted. All you hear about on MLB Siris Radio and television is 70% about East Coast teams, 25% about West Coast Teams and 5% about the mid continent teams. I agree with your bias media analogies!
As if the cardinals experience this on the level that other midwestern teams do…
Joe DiMaggio was always introduced as the “World’s Greatest Living Ballplayer.” This while Aaron, Mays, Williams, and Musial were alive. New York bias?
Anyone outside the eastern time zone with maybe the exception of St. Louis gets overlooked.
Look at the difference between the love Jeter and Larkin get despite Larkin being the better player.
Maybe announced, but I would go with Mays. Best all around, five tool player
Mid Coast, huh?
Is Larkin top 6 all time in hits ? Did Larkin get 200 hits eight times ? Let’s not get carried away…
So…where is that coastline?
3 championships. It means a lot to a lot of people.
Absolutely right. I’m lamenting Mauer’s retirement. The Twins seem very hollow without him. I would have done everything possible to talk him out of retirement.
According to Jay Jaffe’s JAWS metric, which is basically a Hall of Fame career monitor, Posey is the 15th best catcher of all time. For comparison’s sake, Mauer is 7th all-time and Molina is 26th. I think Molina is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, and Mauer should definitely be in the Hall too. (The top 10 catchers of all time, btw, in order are Bench, of course, followed by Carter, Pudge, Fisk, Piazza, Berra, Mauer, Dickey and Cochrane. All are Hall of Famers besides Mauer, who’s obviously not yet eligible).
Anyway, I think Mauer is getting some short shrift because he spent the last half of his career as a singles-hitting first baseman, but his career as a catcher is stunning. – his 2009 alone, in which he batted 365/444/587 should be enough to get him there, along with his two other batting titles. Posey is now in a position to add to his counting stats, and while I think he’ll also eventually move to first base, he’s still going to be behind the plate for at least a few more years.
Matthew De Lorge
Mauer is NOT a HOF, and I don’t necessarily think Posey is a lock either. Mauer did not sustain greatness for a long period of time, only showed power one season, and the back half of his career was horrible, and not at catcher.
Mauer also never won anything, where Posey led his team to 3 titles. You want to know how much this impacts players HOF status, go compare Kirby Puckett to Don Mattingly. Mattingly and Pucket are almost identical stats wise, but Mattingly was playing a more premier position and locked down gold gloves at that position while he was playing, leaving the game with the highest fielding percentage of any first baseman. Yet, with no rings and only one playoff appearance he is not in the HOF and Puckett is.
Do I agree with this, absolutely not. Mattingly and Mauer did not choose to play on crap teams their entire career. But if this is how they are judging it, Mauer is absolutely not a HOF unless you think Harold Baines deserved to get in, in which case you likely won’t agree with me.
When did 1B become a premier defensive position? Please let me know
I think Mauer will get in to the HOF, and using Puckett as an example just does not feel right.. if Puckett’s career, and life for that matter, had continued he was a no doubt HOF, who will probably end up in irregardless. Mauer was the best catcher in baseball for a decade. 10 years is a long period of time.
Baines and Mauer couldn’t be anymore different.
What’s a good comparison for Baines in today’s game? I’m trying to get my head around how bad his inclusion in the hall is.
Mauer was a catcher, and Mattingly was a first-base only player, because he couldn’t throw. Bad comparison; catcher is the hardest position on the field and first base is the easiest. As far as the “no rings” thing, come on. Ernie Banks and Ted Williams are in the Hall of Fame. They never played for a World Series-winning team.
Mauer is the 7th-best catcher of all time; his 2009 is probably the very best offensive season ever by a catcher. The “back half” of his career was not horrible. He was still an above average offensive player; he was a Wally Joyner-style first baseman. He was a good defensive first baseman but didn’t hit for power.
Anyway, Mauer played more games at catcher than at first, and he was one of the very best-hitting catchers of all time. He should be in the Hall.
Oh wow, I just realized you are using fielding percentage as a real thing. Uh…no.
Baines is a terrible Hall of Fame selection, near the very bottom. The Frisch selections are the worst, of course (Bottomley is maybe worse than Baines) besides the guys like Dean and Joss who aren’t even really qualified for the Hall.
The problem is that selections like Baines’ mean that everyone better than Baines who isn’t in the Hall now has an argument for being in the Hall. Rusty Staub was way better than Baines. Craig Nettles was miles better than Baines. Larry Walker was better than Baines. This becomes an if/then question, and that becomes problematic – if we put everyone better than the worst Hall of Famer into the Hall of Fame then th Hall would be thousands of players. I mean, Steve Garvey is better than Jim Bottomley. Nelson Cruz is better than Harold Baines. But I don’t think any of these guys should be in the Hall of Fame. I don’t want the MLB HoF to turn into the NBA or NFL hall.
Mattingly was brought up solely because this guy is a Yankees fan. Mauer and Posey are superior HOF candidates. The icing on the cake of this garbage argument is that 1B is an important defensive position and Don Mattinglys fielding % really put him in. Puckett actually played an important defensive position but for the purpose of his biased argument we’ll claim mattingly did. Can you take an argument seriously when the guy claims 1B is a more premier defensive position than Cf?
Mauer only played 921 games as catcher. That’s a minimum of 600-800 short of even being in the conversation as a HOF catcher. Just compare him to the number of games played by other modern HOF catchers. He’s not close to HOF standards during his 1B years. I think the guy was great at his peak, but that’s not enough. Not if the main part of his claim to HOF greatness is that “he was all-around great a catcher”, and he only had 50-60% of a catching career.
I’m sorry, I had to go through the hassle of resetting my password because of how terrible this argument is.
First, comparing a CF to a 1B is never an apt comparison, because CF is a prime defensive position while 1B is where they often stick hitters who can’t field; I mean, how many people in this Mauer-doesn’t-get-respect thread are pointing out it’s because he was moved to 1B? Look at the lists of players with most GG at each position, and note that the only positions that aren’t top-loaded with HOFers known for the defense are pitcher (which is basically, Who cares?) and 1B.
Even ignoring that Puckett, who played a defensive position, has similar totals to Mattingly, who played an offensive position, Puckett piled up similar or better counting stats in two fewer seasons. Puckett’s case is also bolstered by the sudden-end-to-his-career factor, which voters appreciate more than Mattingly’s decline and retiring due to injuries.
JAWS has Puckett as 23rd all time at CF, while Mattingly is 39th at 1B.
And while comparing Mattingly to titleless super-HOFers like Ted Williams and Ernie Banks may not be convincing, never winning a World Series still didn’t keep players like Jim Rice, Ryne Sandberg, Billy Williams, Edgar Martinez, or Ralph Kiner out of the HOF. [I’ll not that while Rice, Kiner, and Martinez got in on their last year of eligibility, Mattingly still only peaked at 28.2%. And actually winning a WS didn’t help Lou Whitaker, who debuted the same year as Puckett and Mattingly and didn’t even get 5%.]
See? While I don’t agree with this argument, it’s at least a logical one.
Matthew De Lorge
Defensive? OF is a lot easier of a position to fill than 1B. And if you want to speak as if 1B is garbage, Mauer played the second half of his career there so…….
When Mattingly was playing 1B it was one of the richest positions in baseball, with Paleiro, Thomas, McGuire, McGriff, Murray, Bagwell, etc etc.. First base was/is a premier position, and considering what having a garbage 1B does for the infield, you are clueless if you think it’s a position that isn’t regarded defensively as well.
He said premier position, not premier defensive position. Read before you refute.
Oh Samuel….when was the last time you ever heard of a great defensive player moving to first base? It doesn’t happen, ever, because first base is where you stick the bad defender.
He immediately followed it up with mentioning how Mattingly won many Gold Gloves there, so…
If 1B is so prime a defensive position, why is it the ONLY position where winning a ton of Gold Gloves doesn’t correlate to getting into the HOF? [Other than pitcher, which is a whole different thing.]
You show yourself that 1B is a prime position because of its OFFENSE. And because of that, you need to compare Mattingly’s stats TO OTHER FIRST BASEMEN, which was the entire point of my argument that comparing Mattingly to Puckett is not apt. THAT was my point. (And especially since Puckett was a CF, which is different from the more offensively inclined corner outfielders.)
I also specifically mentioned the Mauer-playing-1B thing; and I never said 1B was trash, I merely stated it isn’t considered a prime DEFENSIVE position because, again, it and pitcher are the only positions where 8 or more GG doesn’t basically assure your HOF induction (barring horrible offense)?
And my overall point was that CF is a prime defensive position, which should not be compared offensively with 1B, a prime offensive position.
And bringing up the fact Mauer spent the latter half of his career at 1B kind of proves part of my point: When a player with a good bat can no longer field, what position do they move them to?
Of course any team would want a 1B who can field well, but it’s the position where that matters that least.
Good defensive players who can’t hit lose their jobs; good offensive players who can’t field get moved to 1B, unless they have a DH spot available. (And what position do DHs generally play in interleague games with no DH?)
If you can show me even a few instances where a player was moved FROM 1B because of their bad defense (and not to DH), then I’ll concede. And a single bad-fielding 1B moved to CF would also suffice. [Because of technicalities, I’ll specify that the example needs to be for a season or more.]
And again, to reiterate: 1B is not a “trash” position. It is a position where defense counts the least (excluding pitcher and DH, if you want to get technical), which means it places far more emphasis on offense, meaning that comparing the statistics of a 1B with a CF to show that a World Series ring must be the reason the CF is in the HOF while the 1B is not, is not a good comparison.
Matthew De Lorge
Amazing because whenever I hear the HOF argument on Mattingly he is immediately compared to Puckett, and the only things I have heard people use against Mattingly IS the playoff performances that he was not part of, being on a crap Yankees team most of his career. Nobody has ever used the positional argument….maybe because Puckett was a trash CF defensively.
I was using the Mattingly/Puckett comparison because Mauer/posey to me is similar. Mauer put up good numbers, but playing for the Twins will be a strike against him, while Posey has been a part of 3 WS champions. Most people around baseball you hear talk about Mauer either has him just outside of getting into the HOF or not in at all.
Mauer never hit for power, didn’t play his whole career at C and played for a garbage team. He is a fringe HOF that will only get in if a veterans committee is insane enough to do it like they did with Baines.
Keep dreaming Mauer is getting in, because likely isn’t. Johnny Damon has a better chance.
Don’t forget Posey’s 4 time silver slugger awards there to. Definitely on his way to the hall. Hope for a great comeback season for him.
True, he does have 4…… Mauer has got 5
Mauer was only a catcher for six seasons, moving away from the plate when he was like 27. Huge difference, man.
Mauer played more games at catcher than anywhere else, by far. 9 full seasons as a catcher.
Posey does have that whole 3 World Series rings thing. That might matter
You also forgot for Posey:Come Back Player of the year,Rookie of the Year,tougher Ballpark to hit in,For the Gold Glove has gone against Molina,one of the best of all time and posey is still going and Mauer is done.I like Mauer a lot but sorry Posey is better
Well we can also throw in there a ROY, 3 WS titles, and a Comeback Player of the Year.
Not to mention the fact that Mauer caught 10 seasons exactly and then limped out the rest of his career. His peak wasn’t bright enough, and his overall career wasn’t strong enough. Even his MVP season was completely out of character.
His peak was amazing; probably the best 5-year peak for a catcher ever. Hal Newhouser is in the Hall for way less. Koufax is in the Hall for a 4-year peak.
Posey has 33 awards to his name. Look it up – Baseball Almanac.
I have never even heard of Julio Borbon. Must have been a AAAA player.
Why need of Borbon? He is a loser.
Might have been a better sign bringing back the long retired Reds reliever pedro borbon who was an effective reliever during the 70’s.
Just recently posters argued me that teams dont maje household name…1 article you have Posey and Holt.
Thats why you have to play on east coast
Posey was slow as molasses going first to third tonight though. I think we’re going to see him stretch a few more doubles into singles this year than in years past.
He was never exactly a speed demon.
Yeah, that is nothing new. He has had catchers legs for 3-4 years now
He’s been among the slowest runners in the sport for a few years now, not surprising.
What’s crazy is Posey will sneak a steal in every now and then with those catchers legs if he can catch a pitcher napping.
The tehn slowest runners in MLB, 2018 season – worst to first:
Most are catchers, and DShs, of course. Posey was 40 from the bottom – he was the 40th slowest player.
BTW, the slowest non-catcher/1B/DH was Yangervis Solarte.
It’s just a matter of time before the Red Sox resign or extend Holt. My guess is they wait until after the season is over for payroll threshold reasons.
Glad Holt wants to stay.
He’s a class act an very versatile.
I presume Alex Cora loves Holt probably DD does as well.
Holt with be traded for a RP amd resigned.
A’s love versatility and have reliever depth. Feel free to take fernando rodney for him lol
Haha..classic DD move
I think players like Holt will be highly valued as benches continue to shrink; there were some AL teams last season that went long stretches with just 3 bench players – a backup catcher and two utility guys. Until MLB expands rosters or limits pitchers on the roster, guys who can play all over the field are a new market to exploit. It’s actually something teams should try to develop with their busted infield prospects – try them out all over the field and see if they can handle it.
Dude I totally forgot about Julio Borbon. Highly touted prospect coming out of Texas but never realized his potential though
Had so much fun saying Borbon’s name. Wishing him the best!
Borbon was born in the states but went to high school in the D.R. for some reason.
Off the top of my head, Edgar Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Alex Rios and Alex Reyes were all born in the continental U.S. but grew up in a Caribbean country/territory.
It seems more unusual for someone to go to H.S. in the D.R. and then play U.S. college baseball. I don’t pay close attention to college ball so I’m not sure how unusual.
Seems like you could make more money as an international FA in his position, although maybe being born in the U.S. precluded him from doing that? Not sure.
Looking at Wikipedia, Borbon was born in Mississippi because his Dad was attending Miss. State University at the time.
I think Mauer will eventually make the Hall Of Fame. It may not even take him that many years on the ballot. The standards keep going down. He wasn’t great and played a lot of first base over the last several years after the Twins moved to Target Field… The Metrodome was a great hitters park.
Mauer wasn’t “great”? Jeez, I don’t know. Yeah, he switched over to first as he aged….but man he was easily the AL’s best for a lot of years. Huge Avg and OBP guy. If he played in Boston or NY, I’m pretty sure he’d be widely known as “great”.
Agreed. If you put Jeter on Oakland or Pittsburgh, he might be borderline fall of famer, much less first ballot.
If you ignore his almost 3500 hits, almost 2000 career runs, and a career .310/.377/.440 slash rate, then yeah, he’d totally be a borderline HOFer if he played in a smaller market.
He’s like, one of the top-10 catchers of all-time, even though he only played the position for 9 seasons.
“A lot of years”. It was only 921 games at catcher, which isn’t even close to the number of games by existing HOF catchers. 921 games at catcher isn’t even in the ballpark. It’s basically half of what the other guys did.
I suppose if you think peak value is more important than career value; I mean, the Hall has tons of guys with short careers who are in because of peak value – Koufax, Dean, Newhouser, just off the top of my head. Mauer is qualified for the Hall, and his peak is better than any catcher’s peak, probably. His selection wouldn’t degrade the Hall at all.
Also, on “a lot of years”– the number of years he caught more than half of his team’s games was 6. That’s not “a lot”. He was “great”, but for a shorter time than you recall. The fact that he put up “great offensive numbers for a catcher” while he was playing 1B and dH is coloring your memory.
And the Hall of Fame standards were at their very worst during the Frankie Frisch years, long agom=, when he was putting all of his buddies in the Hall, guys like Jim Bottomley, who is clearly not an elite player.
To be fair to Bottomley, Bottomley received 33% of the writers vote in 1960, finishing fifth on a ballot with over a dozen future HOFers on it.
As compared to another Frisch teammate, Freddie Lindstrom, whose best showing in the BBWAA vote was 4.4%.
The again, Don Larsen lasted 15 years, peaking at 12.1% and never finishing below 5.9%, despite a record of 81-91 and a 3.78 ERA, despite the HOF specifically stating that players should not be elected for singular achievements such as a perfect game or hitting .400, so pointing out Bottomley’s decentish support may not be productive.
There’s just way roo many guys like Bottomley in baseball history. 35 career WAR is pretty terrible for a Hall of Famer; the only guys lower than him are players from the 1800s and guys who are in as managers, and other chaff like Chick Hafey and High Pockets Kelley – guys who are clearly not Hall of Famers. There’s at least 20 first basemen better than Bottomley who aren’t in the Hall, and easily 100 players better than Bottomley who aren’t in the Hall.
True. I was mostly arguing that, based on voting history, Bottomley is less obvious a Frisch cronyism selection than others. Looking at his HOF statistics other than JAWS, his numbers are pretty near “likely HOF induction” level. Considering they didn’t have WAR to evaluate back in 1974, it’s moderately understable how he got in. Hindsight is 20/20.
As opposed to High Pockets Kelly, whose HOF scores are all at most halfway toward “likely induction” and didn’t even get support from the writers when he was eligible, so his entire HOF candidacy hinges on being teammates with Frisch (and Bill Terry, people forget he was just as cronyist and helped induct some more guys like Lindstrom after Frisch died).
Holt might be able to get a 3 yr deal next winter. But I’m guessing probably 2 yrs will be the max for him.
Re-signing Brock Holt looks like a good idea. There will be few other re-signings after this season. The question is how aggressive DD will be in approaching the trade deadline–it will depend on the club’s standing by mid-July–but it’s not hard envisioning trading Sale to a NL contender for a young arm or two. And Bogaerts? I’ve seen articles and comments wildly overestimating his AAV to come. The Aaron Hicks contract looks like the closest comp right now.
Horace I agree with you on bringing back Holt. But, with the money talked about for Bogaerts and Sale. Never gonna happen. All in eggs one basket for Mookie. That is who is going to get the money.
bosox have plenty of expiring contracts to pay everyone fair market value. they’re in great shape with plenty of financial flexibility it’ll be interesting if DD can get creative at replenishing the farm. definitely trending up
Weiters is getting old fast. 3 crap years with two teams is spelling the end. Minor league deal is all I would have gave him and it seems MLB agrees. Why waste a roster spot on him when you can bring in youth and give them a look. Not much difference.