Offseason Notes for December 21st

Casey Blake is thrilled to have his name in this edition of Offseason Notes.

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

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Prospecting: John Sickels’ Top-20 List for Boston
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Miami Television

Assorted Headlines
Colorado Signs Third Baseman Blake
The Colorado Rockies have signed 38-year-old third baseman Casey Blake to a one-year, $2 million contract, reports’s Thomas Harding. Provided he can stay healthy — and, really, even if he can’t — Blake is likely to be worth the money pretty quickly: he hasn’t been worth less than a win since 2002, in which season he tallied only 22 plate appearances. He compiled a 1.1 WAR in just 239 plate appearances last season with the Dodgers.

Nationals Among Dobbs’ Final Suitors
Greg Dobbs has suitors, is really the story here at all, courtesy’s Bill Ladson.

For Budget-Friendly Winter Getaways, Try State Parks
The Athens Banner-Herald — as always, quite liberal with their assignation of the “baseball” tag in their RSS feed — has some advice for how you might spend your winter leisure time.

Prospecting: John Sickels on Boston
John Sickels has published his preliminary top-20 list for the Boston Red Sox.

Here are some notes on same:

• Sickels ranks Mike Newman-favorite Xander Bogaerts first overall in the system. As an 18-year-old this year in the Class A South Atlantic (Sally) League, Bogaerts hit 16 home runs in 296 plate appearances, leading all teenagers in that league in home runs on contact, at 8.1%. Both Sickels and the editors at Baseball America — which publication recently released its top-10 organizational prospect lists for the AL East — note that Bogaerts might end up at third, and that he’ll still likely be an above-average hitter at that position. A point of concern for the nerd? Bogaerts’ 24.0% strikeout rate.

• I’ve celebrated Chris Balcom-Miller — who appears in Sickels’ “Others” category — previously in these pages, and will likely continue to do so. Balcom-Miller, who turns 23 in March, did at High- and Double-A in 2011 largely what he’d done in the Sally League in 2010 — namely, induce strikeouts and ground balls while limiting walks. ZiPS projects Balcom-Miller for a 92 ERA+ in 2012 — slightly below the league-average for starters of 96 ERA+.

• Sickels ranks outfielder 2011 sandwich pick Jackie Bradley 13th on the organizational list with the caveat that Bradley “could rank much higher, or much lower, a year from now.” Likely a plus defender in center field, Bradley’s offensive production declined pretty seriously in his last season at South Carolina. If nothing else, he’s a thoughtful interviewee.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Miami 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.

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Sickels also released his preliminary list for the Marlins(december 18th) and the Nationals(december 20th).