Results tagged ‘ Brandon McCarthy ’

Recap of the 2014 Baseball Winter Meetings

For the most part, I like to write about big time trades and/or signings within a day of when they occur. I feel that waiting too long to give my thoughts on a particular transaction causes it to become old news and therefore not really relevant to the everyday fast developing topics around baseball.Meetings

However, for the 113th annual baseball Winter Meetings that took place this past week in San Diego, things were happening so fast and at such a high volume that I would’ve been blogging multiple times a day to keep on top of the action. I didn’t have time to do that, nor did I want to do that. And thus, I decided to post this recap upon the conclusion of the Winter Meetings. (Keep in mind, not every single signing or trade is included in this post; just the major ones, in my mind.)

Ending on Thursday, this years meetings saw an unprecedented amount of teams signing or trading players. Practically every ten minutes news broke of a new deal or trade that was sure to shake things up in 2015 and beyond. Seeing more trades go down over the past week than the last three Winter Meetings combined, a lot of exciting things look to be in store for the 2015 season.

The Winter Meetings were kicked off with a trade of Brandon Moss by the Athletics on the very first day. Getting sent to the Indians in return for minor leaguer Joe Wendle, Moss will certainly add a bit of pop to Cleveland’s lineup, having hit 25 or more home runs each of the last two seasons.

But the A’s weren’t done parting with players. Following the departure of Moss, Oakland traded away pitching prospect Michael Ynoa to the White Sox along with breakout pitcher Jeff Samardzija, whom the A’s gave up a few of their extremely promising prospects for in a trade back in July. In return for Samardzija, the White Sox simply had to toss a few prospects to the Athletics, in SamardzijaRobertsonMarcus Semien, Chris Bassitt, Josh Phegley and Rangel Ravelo.

In my opinion, and the opinion of many others, the Athletics didn’t get back quite enough in that deal. All of this coming after the trade of Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays, many are really questioning the A’s logic.

No one, however, is questioning the White Sox. After acquiring Samardzija, a lot of people began to talk about the White Sox’ playoff chances in 2015 with their improved pitching staff. But those talks only increased when the Sox announced a four-year, 46 million dollar signing of David Robertson. After the past few seasons Robertson has been able to put together, saving 39 games last year for the Yankees, he was near the top of available free agent relievers. The White Sox adding Robertson to their roster gives their fans hope for a promising upcoming year.

The White Sox aren’t the only Chicago based team that’s setting themselves up for a nice 2015 season, however. Across town, the Cubs are also in line to be much improved. Following the addition of veteran catcher Miguel Montero to their lineup in a trade that sent two minor leaguers, Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley, to the Diamondbacks, the Cubs Lesterobtained one of the biggest free agents heading into the Winter Meetings.

While it took awhile for him to decide on the Cubs, Jon Lester made the choice to head to Chicago for the next six years, signing a contract worth 155 million dollars. Combined with a new manager in Joe Maddon, and a talented young roster of players, it should be fun to watch the Cubs moving forward.

But although there were large deals such as the one Jon Lester signed with the Cubs that went down over the course of the Winter Meetings, there were also multiple smaller deals that could end up having large impacts on the given team(s) involved.

Francisco Liriano resigned with the Pirates on a deal worth 39 million over the next three years; and the Twins picked up Ervin Santana for the next four years, set to pay him a total of 55 million over that span. But the smaller signings I like the most are the ones the Astros made by adding Pat Neshek and Luke Gregerson to their struggling bullpen, which had the worst ERA (4.80) in all of baseball in 2014. After not getting David Robertson or Andrew Miller, the Astros had to settle with these two relievers, but Neshek and Gregerson will go a long way in helping a bullpen that had 26 blown saves in 2014. Even so, the Astros aren’t likely to make the playoffs just yet.

Just the opposite, the Dodgers have been a playoff team for the past two years and seemingly would be so again in 2015 regardless of if they did anything to change their roster. But that didn’t at all stop them from making moves — big moves.

After making an impactful 4-year, 48 million dollar signing of free agent starting pitcher Bandon McCarthy, who was terrific in the second half of 2014 with the Yankees after an up and down career, the Dodgers proceeded to reshape a good portion of their team.

KempComing after weeks of rumors that the Padres were interested in Matt Kemp, the Dodgers complied with the Friars, sending Kemp and Tim Federowicz to San Diego for Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin.

The fact that this trade went through came as a shock to many, as Kemp is a superstar when healthy, and the Dodgers didn’t get much in return, but it needed to be done with the overcrowded Dodgers outfield.

Although the Dodgers were quoted as saying that their All-Star second baseman, Dee Gordon, was not being considered for a possible trade, the baseball world did in fact see Gordon, along with Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas, leaving the Dodgers. Unlike the Kemp trade, Gordon and company getting shipped off to the Marlins in a trade for Andrew Heaney, Chris Hatcher, Austin Barnes and Enrique Hernandez made sense, as this swap seemingly would help both sides.

Part of the trade, though, wouldn’t last even an hour. A brief time after obtaining promising pitching prospect Andrew Heaney, the Dodgers flipped him to the Angels in exchange for Howie Kendrick. In addition, the Dodgers also flipped Zach Eflin, whom they received for Matt Kemp, and another prospect to the Phillies, in a swap for Philadelphia’s franchise hits leader, Jimmy Rollins.

Doing so subsequently fills the holes left by the loss of Hanley Ramirez and Dee Gordon, and now gives the Dodgers a double play combo of Rollins and Kendrick. That’s certainly not bad at all, especially with Kendrick basically coming over for free with the trade of the newly acquired former Marlin Heaney.

But the Andrew Heaney deal with Los Angeles didn’t quiet the Marlins. After locking up Giancarlo Stanton to a 13-year, 325 million dollar deal last month, the Marlins made a promise that they would surround Stanton with talent capable of winning a lot of ballgames, and so far they’re keeping good on it.

Following the addition of Dee Gordon, Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas, Miami later made a trade for another key piece to place in their starting rotation — Reds’ solid pitcher, Mat Latos. Getting Latos for the price of Anthony DeSclafani and Chad Wallach, the Marlins could very well be setting themselves up to be a playoff contender as soon as 2015.

That’s what the Red Sox are attempting to do. Going from last to best to last over the past number of years, logic would tell you that the pattern indicates that 2015 would be another up year. Unfortunately, things don’t always follow CespedesPorcellopatterns. And thus, things have to be done to actually improve the Red Sox’ team and not leave them merely hoping for a miracle season.

The main need for Boston heading into the Winter Meetings was pitching. Signing Justin Masterson to a 9.5 million dollar contract for 2015; trading away Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and another prospect for Wade Miley; and acquiring Rick Porcello from the Tigers by trading off Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wilson and Gabe Speier; the Red Sox quickly added three solid pitchers to their poor rotation in a matter of days. Those three should drastically help them next season, as they already own a great lineup following the signings of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.

So there you have it — a recap of the majority of the deals and trades that took place at the 2014 baseball Winter Meetings, and the possible impacts each move will have for each given team. As many have pointed out numerous times, this was one of the most active Winter Meetings in their long history. But nonetheless, there are still a number of valuable free agents that remain on the market.

From James Shield and Max Scherzer to Melky Cabrera and Chase Headley, there are multiple impact players that are available to any team that does what it takes to get them. With every free agent having to find a home somewhere, the exact ball club they wind up with could have a big effect on the outcome for teams in 2015.

Q and A With Brandon McCarthy

Today’s Q and A is on Brandon McCarthy. Starting Pitcher for the Oakland Athletics.

While this is Brandon’s first year with the Athletics, it’s also the best season of his six season career. Brandon has struck out 106 batters so far this season. (A career best.)

Below’s Q and A is meant to inform you with what Brandon McCarthy’s likes:

1.) Favorite type of music.

“Hard Rock mostly.” 

2.) Favorite song.

“Figure .09 (By Linkin Park.)” 

3.) Favorite food.

“Don’t have one. Maybe pot pies.” 

4.) Favorite T.V. show.

“Arrested Development, 30 Rock, [and] It’s always sunny in Philly.” 

5.) Favorite movie.

“Good Will Hunting.” 

6.) Favorite book.

“Lonesome Dove.” 

7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.

“Read [or] watch soccer.” 

8.) Favorite time of year.

“Fall, maybe? Don’t really know.” 

9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.

“Soccer.” 

10.) Favorite player growing up.

“Frank Thomas.” 

11.) Favorite shoe brand.

“Under Armour. (And not just cause they pay me.)” 

12.) Favorite car.

“Don’t know to be honest.” 

13.) Favorite subject, when in school.

“History maybe? Not sure.” 

14.) Favorite quote.

“Worse things have happened to better people.” 

15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.

“Being a part of a WS winning team.”

I hope this helped you to learn more about Brandon McCarthy of the Oakland Athletics.

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Big thanks to Brandon McCarthy for answering my questions.

You can follow Brandon McCarthy on twitter: @BMcCarthy32

The next Q and A entry will be posted Saturday, September 10, on Shawn Kelley, of the Seattle Mariners.

PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, Jeremy Guthrie, Bryan Harper, Casper Wells, Bud Norris, and David Huff.

Q and A With David Huff

Today’s Q and A is on David Huff. Starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.

Although he hasn’t pitched as many game this year as he has in the past two years with the Indians, David Huff has still dominated on the mound. With 19 strikeouts through 26 innings pitched.

Below’s Q and A entry is meant to help you better understand David Huff’s interests:

1.) Favorite type of music.

“Classic Rock.”

2.) Favorite song.

“Stranglehold. (By Ted Nugent.)”

3.) Favorite food.

“PB&J.”

4.) Favorite T.V. show.

“Family Guy.”

5.) Favorite movie.

“Rudy.”

6.) Favorite book.

“October 1964.”

7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops.”

8.) Favorite time of year.

“California Winter.”

9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.

“Soccer.”

10.) Favorite player growing up.

“Tom Glavine.”

11.) Favorite shoe brand.

“Nike.”

12.) Favorite car.

“Austin Martin DBS.”

13.) Favorite subject, when in school.

“History.”

14.) Favorite quote.

“Limits, like fears, are nothing but an illusion.-Michael Jordan”

15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.

“My CG against the Texas Rangers. (AL Champs.)”

I hope this helped you to learn more about David Huff of the Cleveland Indians.

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Big thanks to David Huff for answering my questions.

You can follow David Huff on twitter: @theREALdavehuff

The next Q and A entry will be posted Wednesday, September 7, on Brandon McCarthy, of the Oakland Athletics.

PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, Jeremy Guthrie, Bryan Harper, Casper Wells, and Bud Norris.

Q and A Entries Update

As stated before, I’m doing a Q and A on a MLB player, or baseball analyst, ever Wednesday and Saturday, until the end of the baseball season. Below is an updated list of the players that have answered my questions, and the ones that haven’t answered, but said that they would:

ALREADY POSTED:

Brent Lillibridge

Daniel Hudson

Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner

Jeremy Guthrie

GUARANTEED FUTURE ENTRIES:

Brandon McCarthy

Shawn Kelley

Frank Catalanotto

Josh Lueke

David Aardsma

Bud Norris

John Baker

Bryan Harper

Chris Sampson

Casper Wells

Casey Kelly

HAVEN’T ANSWERED YET, BUT SAID THEY WOULD:

Shelley Duncan

Chris Rose

R.A. Dickey

Torii Hunter

Sam LeCure

Chuck Knoblauch

So be sure to check back every Wednesday and Saturday (at least) to read a new Q and A entry. (Order is not yet determined.)

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