Tag:NL West
Posted on: January 13, 2012 8:37 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 10:40 pm
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Yankees add Kuroda to rotation

Hiroki KurodaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Yankees have rebuilt their rotation in one night, not only trading for Michael Pineda, but also agreeing to a one-year deal with right-hander Hiroki Kuroda worth "around" $10 million, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports.

Yankees' big night

Kuroda, 36, was 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA for the Dodgers last season. In four seasons in Los Angeles, Kuroda was 41-46 with a 3.46 ERA.

Kuroda pitched 202 innings in 32 starts for the Dodgers last season, striking 161 batters and walking 49, as his win-loss record took a major hit by bad run support from his teammates.  At one point he lost 10 of 11 decisions despite putting up a 3.12 ERA and holding opponents to just a .244 batting average.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 2:39 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 2:27 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?



By C. Trent Rosecrans


And once again it's time for our bloodfeud showdown in the Would You Rather Have series, and we're still not messing around. So far it's been even difficult for Matt and I to agree -- not to mention you, but that's cool, because it's the offseason and talking about baseball is always good. When there's snow outside my window, I yearn for baseball and baseball talk, so here we go with another hypothetical to keep the boredom and basketball away.

Today, we'll look at two of the best young players in the game, that although they play different positions on the infield, are still cornerstones of their franchise -- Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria. So, which former Dirtbag of Long Beach State would you rather have?

The case for Tulowitzki

It's not that tough to make a case for Tulowitzki in any argument. When you bring up Tulowtizki, you're talking about a career .293/.364/.505 hitter with two Gold Gloves at the most important defensive position on the field. He's also gracious with fans and media alike, apparently a great teammate and a team player. He has a great sense of humor and has even rocked a mullet for charity. He's only 27 and is entering the prime of his career. There's almost nothing not to like about Tulowitzki.

The case for Longoria

A year younger than Tulowitzki, Longoria is one of the game's best players, regardless of position. A career .274/.360/.515 hitter, he's coming off what on first glance is a "down" season, hitting .244/.355/.495 with 31 homers. But look more closely and he had terrible luck, with a career-low batting average on balls in play of .239 -- nearly .100 points lower than his 2010 BABIP of .336. It's the first time in his four big-league seasons that he's had a BABIP less than .300. Despite the low BABIP, he increased his walk rate (13.9 percent) and decreased his strikeout rate (16.2 percent) in 2011, both career bests. Longoria didn't win the Gold Glove at third base in the American League for the first time since his rookie season, but there's no shame in losing to Adrian Beltre when it comes to fielding.

Contracts always play a big role in these kind of decisions and in most real-life decisions. That's where Longoria has the advantage. The Rays may have the most team-friendly contract in baseball, with control of Longoria through the 2016 season, making just $4.5 million in 2012 and $40.5 million due to him over the next five seasons (if the team exercises it's no-brainer team options in 2014-16.) Tulowitzki is also staying put for the near future -- and beyond. The Rockies have him signed through 2020 with a team option for 2021, when Tulowitzki will be 36, owing him at minimum $152.25 million.

Tulowitzki is aided by Coors Field, of course. That subject is going to come up anytime a Rockies player is brought up in just about any discussion -- and for good reason. As good as Tulowitzki is, he's better at Coors Field. In his career, he's a .312/.382/.549 hitter at Coors Field and a .274/.346/.462 hitter everywhere else. Last season the gap wasn't nearly as large, as he hit .310/.381/.567 at home and .292/.362/.519 on the road, with 13 of his 30 homers coming on the road.

Our call

This one may be a tad easier than our last two, but it's still a choice between two of the game's best -- but in the end, the choice is Longoria. Despite playing in fewer games by nearly a season, Longoria's accumulated a better WAR as measured by both Baseball-Reference.com (24.1 vs. 23.7) and FanGraphs (26.9 vs. 24.5), but the biggest reason is the contract status. While it's hard to fault the Rockies for locking up Tulowitzki for the better part of the rest of his career, Longoria's under contract for half the length of Tulowitzki's contract at nearly a quarter of the price. While Tulowitzki gives you positional value, it's not that much more, especially when you have elite defensive talent at both spots.

Fan Vote: Would you rather have Tulowitzki or Longoria on your favorite team?



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Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:21 am
 

Report: Twins to host 2014 All-Star Game

Target Field

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Minneapolis' Target Field will host the 2014 All-Star Game, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted.

The Mets' Citi Field, as long assumed, will host the 2013 game with the Twins' new park hosting in the next season, according to Nightengale. Major League Baseball has yet to announce the awarding of the 2013 game, but it will still be held in New York at the Mets' new park. That little detail is holding up the official announcement of the 2014 game, as well.

The Mets haven't hosted an All-Star Game since 1964. Commissioner Bud Selig has hinted strongly the Mets would get the 2013 game.

The Twins haven't hosted an All-Star Game since 1985 when it was played at the Metrodome. The Twins also hosted the 1965 game at Metropolitan Stadium.

The Cubs had also been rumored to have bid on the 2014 game to celebrate the centennial of Wrigley Field. 

The National League and American League traditionally alternate hosting the game, but that tradition was broken in 2007 when the game was played in San Francisco (after being played in Pittsburgh in 2006) to accommodate the 2008 game to be held in the final season of old Yankee Stadium.

The Marlins and Rays are the only franchises to have never hosted the game, while the Nationals haven't hosted the game in the franchise's current home of Washington D.C., but the Expos hosted in 1982. Washington D.C. last hosted the game in 1969 when the current Rangers were the Washington Senators. The Padres, Phillies, Reds and Yankees haven't hosted the game at their current stadiums.

After the Mets host the All-Star Game in 2013, the Dodgers will become the franchise with the longest drought of hosting the game. The Dodgers haven't hosted the game since 1980.

The 2012 game will be held in Kansas City. That game was announced in June, 2010 -- roughly 25 months before the game was to be held. The 2013 game is 18 months away and it has yet to be announced. Last week the Sports Business Journal reported the hold up had nothing to do with the Mets ownership situation, but instead was the logistics of scheduling the event were making it difficult to make the game official. The 2008 game at Yankee Stadium was announced in January of 2007, as well.

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 1:39 pm
 

Interminable Prince-to-Nationals rumors live on



By Matt Snyder


If it's starting to feel like an inevitability that top remaining free agent Prince Fielder will end up with the Washington Nationals, that's because nearly all of the chatter is focused on a Nats-Prince marriage. The funny thing is, some of the local beat writers continue to report that the Nationals won't bid on Fielder -- along with a big caveat.

Take Wednesday's report from MLB.com's Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson. The first line of the report says "there is a '99 percent' chance that the Nationals will not sign" Fielder. Of course, it later says the Nationals aren't willing to "give Fielder anything close" to the contract that the Angels gave Pujols.

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Step back and think about it for a second, though. The teams most connected to Fielder at this point are the Nationals, Mariners, Rangers and Orioles. The Blue Jays have been mentioned and Wednesday ESPN.com's Buster Olney even said the Dodgers "should" try to ink Fielder. The one thing we know about all of those teams is that -- while some of them could afford to do so -- they aren't willing to pay Pujols money for Fielder. If we can gather anything from the reports of the past six weeks, it's that Fielder isn't going to get a mega-deal.

So it's easy to say the Nationals won't sign Fielder "at his current asking price," but that doesn't mean they won't sign him. In fact, as Nationals Journal reported Thursday morning, Fielder's agent Scott Boras met with Nationals owners Ted and Mark Lerner Wednesday night.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens with the robust slugger, who will sign before spring training begins (MLB.com) -- just don't start counting teams out when you see a caveat like "at his current price." Asking prices fall. Just ask Ryan Madson -- another Boras client, by the way -- and the Cincinnati Reds.

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Posted on: January 11, 2012 8:08 pm
 

Giants lock up Vogelsong with extension

By Matt Snyder

Ryan Vogelsong has agreed to a two-year contract with a third-year option to stay with the Giants, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned. Vogelsong wasn't going anywhere for the 2012 season, as he was still arbitration-eligible, but this deal eats up the last year of arbitration in addition to his first year -- and maybe second -- of free agency.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

Vogelsong, 34, was one of the feel-good stories of the 2011 season. He hadn't pitched in the majors since 2006, having spent three years in Japan and 2010 in Triple-A. He only got a shot in the Giants rotation due to an injury to Barry Zito. Vogelsong took the opportunity and ran with it, finishing 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA. He made his first All-Star team and finished 11th in NL Cy Young voting.

Vogelsong was good enough to convince the Giants to trade Jonathan Sanchez for possible offensive help in Melky Cabrera. Vogelsong is now slotted as the Giants' fourth starter behind Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.

Of course, this isn't the contract extension to a pitcher Giants fans are clamoring for. General manager Brian Sabean reportedly is working toward locking up Lincecum and Cain long-term, but news on that front has been very slow of late.

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Posted on: January 11, 2012 4:39 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 5:53 pm
 

Emaus changes teams again, traded to Red Sox

By Matt Snyder

Brad Emaus' wild ride around the league continues. He has been traded from the Rockies to the Red Sox, the Rockies announced Wednesday. In return, the Red Sox will send either a player to be named later or cash considerations to the Rockies.

This marks the fourth time in just over 13 months Emaus has changed teams. He was selected by the Mets in the Rule 5 Draft Dec. 9, 2010, but then shipped back to the Blue Jays in late April. A day later, Emaus was traded to the Rockies. And now he's headed to Boston.

Emaus, a 25-year-old second baseman, hit .162/.262/.162 in very limited action for the Mets (42 plate appearances) before he was demoted -- and, per the rules of the Rule 5 Draft, shipped back to Toronto. In just 45 Triple-A games, Emaus hit .313/.389/.564 with nine homers and 28 RBI. He has a pretty good Triple-A line in what basically amounts to one minor-league season (.303/.393/.519 in 132 career games).

Expect him to provide nothing more than organizational depth for the Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia is obviously firmly locked in at second while Nick Punto and Mike Aviles can serve as infield backups.

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 11:53 am
Edited on: January 10, 2012 11:57 am
 

Rockies' Nicasio on comeback from broken neck



By Matt Snyder


Here's a heart-warming story for you on this Tuesday. Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio -- who broke his neck last season -- is on the comeback trail. In fact, he's on track to compete for a job in the starting rotation come spring training.

"He's been throwing to hitters with an L screen (that provides protection)," said Rolando Fernandez, the Rockies' director of Latin America operations (DenverPost.com). "He's doing good."

Nicasio broke his C1 vertebra on August 5 last season when he violently fell to the ground after being struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond. Nicasio was forced to undergo surgery -- in which doctors put in a metal plate to stabilize the neck -- and was then placed in a cervical collar. He quickly began to progress shortly thereafter, though, getting back all his movements and walking within the next few weeks. And he's now facing hitters, albeit with the benefit of L-screen protection.

The next step, which may very well prove more tough mentally than physically, will be for Nicasio to face hitters without the benefit of the L screen in spring training. Rockies' pitchers and catchers report to camp on February 19, so he still has over five weeks to prepare.

Nicasio, 25, was 4-4 with a 4.14 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 58 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings last season as a rookie. He was very impressive in Double-A (5-1, 2.22 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 10.0 K/9) before injuries in the Rockies' rotation forced him to be promoted.

The Rockies currently have Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel pretty firmly entrenched in the starting rotation. After that, Nicasio figures to be competing with Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Kevin Slowey, Tyler Chatwood, Clayton Mortensen and Esmil Rogers for one of three spots.

While it would be a stretch to say Nicasio is one of the physical favorites, he's gotta be the sentimental favorite.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 8, 2012 1:19 pm
 

Report: Disney family to bid on Dodgers

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Walt Disney Company used to own the Angels, now the Disney family wants to own the Dodgers.

The family of the late Walt Disney has partnered with Stanley Gold in an attempt to buy the Dodgers, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Roy Disney, nephew of Walt Disney, would own the team as a private investment, not connected to the Walt Disney Co. Gold is the chairman of Burbank-based Shamrock Holdings. Gold and Roy Disney made a public push to out Michael Eisner as the chief executive of the Walt Disney Co.  in 2004.

The Walt Disney Company sold the Angels to Arte Moreno for $180 million in 2003.

While Frank McCourt made a mess out of the Dodgers, the number of groups lining up to bid on the team seems to assure McCourt will make a tidy profit out of his 2004 purchase of the Dodgers. McCourt bought the team for $430 million from NewsCorp and the sale price will likely top $1 billion -- with some estimates reaching $1.6 billion. Other groups of bidders include Magic Johnson, Joe Torre and Peter O'Malley, while Mark Cuban could also get involved.

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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