Here's to a great week!
Commissioner Rob Manfred recently detailed plans to play MLB games in London as soon as 2017. But how would that work. From Yellon:
Most likely, I'd envision London MLB games working this way: they'd be played on the weekend before the All-Star break, a two-game series, Saturday and Sunday. That way, each team involved would give up only one home date each in order to participate. Whichever teams are chosen would play series on the East Coast on the previous Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. They'd then have a day to fly from the East Coast to London, another day to get settled and organized, and then play Saturday and Sunday.
The best game time would probably be 8 p.m. London time, which would be 3 p.m. on the East Coast, 2 p.m. in Chicago and noon Pacific time. That way, the MLB players would be playing at a time when they could ordinarily be playing in the USA and could keep (more or less) to their regular time schedules.
They'd then have the four days of the All-Star break to return to North America and get over any jet lag. The only players possibly negatively affected would be anyone from those teams heading to the All-Star Game, but those players could be excused from pre-game festivities and simply head directly to the game.
Cincinnati tried really hard to trade Phillips this offseason, but with no deals so far, it looks like it'll be him, and not prospect Jose Peraza, at second base for the Reds.
A look at why Justin Upton's ability to opt out of his contract could actually be a good thing for Detroit.
This FanGraphs notes piece features a section on reliever value that highlights the recent trends for relievers. From Laurila:
Talking to Burke Badenhop about bullpen usage and leverage is a lot like talking to Glen Perkins about bullpen usage and leverage. The latter is an all-star closer and the former is a journeyman with four career saves, but they share the same mentality. Both recognize that the biggest outs often come before the ninth inning.
Darren O'Day is especially good at getting righties out, and he's about to get paid handsomely to do so. The sidewinder recently re-signed with the Orioles for $31 million over four years, one year after Andrew Miller inked a four-year, $36 million deal with the Yankees â heretofore exorbitant contracts for non-closers. As a matter of comparison, Perkins will be paid $19.3 million over the next three.
"As the wheels keep turning, as baseball evolves, teams are going to start using their best relievers to get the biggest outs," said Badenhop. "They're not going to keep putting them in a box where they only pitch the ninth. And the teams that are early adopters are going to reap the most benefits, because everyone is probably going to start doing it."
Speaking of relievers, it looks like Arizona isn't quite set on Brad Ziegler at the back of their bullpen. The D-Backs general manager Dave Stewart isn't shy about making deals, huh?