Offseason Notes for January 25th

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Other People’s Inboxes: Braves Shortstop
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Oakland Television

Assorted Headlines
Washington Regards Cespedes as Corner-Type
The Washington Nationals, a team thought to be in pursuit of Yoenis Cespedes, regard the Cuban emigre as more of a corner outfielder, or maybe even a first baseman, according to’s William Ladson. That news isn’t entirely shocking, probably, to anyone who saw video of Cespedes’ first Dominican League home run, in which video the right-handed batter does appear to have cultivated some mass.

Uehara Rejects Trade to Toronto
Texas Ranger reliever Koji Uehara refused a trade to the Toronto Blue Jays, reports Richard Durrett of ESPN. Per Durrett, Uehara has a limited no-trade clause that includes six teams — and Toronto is one of those. Two things regarding this. For one, Uehara was so good in 2011. Por example: 65.0 IP, 35.0% K, 3.7% BB, 32.2% GB, 58 xFIP-. Of the 129 relievers with at least 50 innings pitched, Uehara was fourth in that last category, behind only Craig Kimbrel, Jonathan Papelbon, and Kenley Jansen. For two: the Blue Jays are really attacking excellent and cheap relief right now, having already acquired Sergio Santos and Darren Oliver this offseason.

Drew Likely to Retire
Outfielder J.D. Drew (a.k.a. Johnny Smiles) is likely to retire this offseason, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. In what was clearly a poor offensive year for Drew (.222/.315/.302, .270 BABIP in 286 PAs), Drew still was still only worth 0.7 fewer wins than Delmon Young. Were he to make the decision official, Drew would leave behind a career WAR of 47.6 — which, if you want to get punched in your head by a Bostonian, you can announce loudly is almost as good as Jim Rice‘s career total.

Other People’s Inboxes: Braves Shortstop Situation
In which the author covets his neighbor’s emails.

This question was stolen from the inbox of’s Mark Bowman.

Do the Braves actually think they can compete without a proven shortstop? Alex Gonzalez‘s contributions were underrated.
— Bob S., East Petersburg, Pa.

Hey, Bob. East Petersburg, huh? I’m from the West Side. For the sake of civility, though, I’ll put my allegiances (and loaded weapons) aside for the moment.

Tyler Pastornicky is currently slated to be the starting shortstop for the Braves. Despite the lack of a standout tool, Pastornicky made it to Triple-A Gwinnett — and survived — as a 21-year-old. To wit: 117 PA .365/.407/.413 (.398 BABIP), 6.8% BB, 9.4% K, 1 HR, 7-for-10 SB. A very rough WAR-ing of his ZiPS projection suggests he’d be worth ca 1.8 WAR in 600 plate appearances. By contrast, Alex Gonzalez was worth only 1.1 WAR last year, his age-34 season, in 593 plate appearances.

Even more exciting for the present author is the prospect of Andrelton Simmons. The 22-year-old Simmons probably has a 20-25 power tool on the 20-80 scouting scale, but his defense is supposed to be excellent. He’d be worth 1.6 WAR per ZiPS based just on his offense and positional adjustment — that is, without defense.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Oakland Television
This offseason, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs. (Click here for more on this project.)

Rate other teams: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago (AL) / Chicago (NL) / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Colorado / Detroit / Miami / Houston / Los Angeles (AL) / Los Angeles (NL, Home Games) / Los Angeles (NL, Away Games) / Milwaukee / Minnesota / New York (AL) / New York (NL).

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One Response to “Offseason Notes for January 25th”

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  1. Rex says:

    If there’s ever been a “Free Brandon Allen” for broadcasters, the A’s have it. The River Cats radio broadcaster Johnny Doskow is of Major League quality and should definitely be in the bigs. And yes I am aware that broadcasters of minor league teams are not controlled by the major league office. Here’s to hoping that Johnny gets the call.

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