THT Links: Maximizing Shareholder Value

A lot of links to help get you over “hump day.” Sorry, I’ve been interviewing for jobs lately, and ironic office humor has been the order of the day. So if you’re stuck in a cubicle and need a break from “maximizing shareholder value,” this one’s for you.

More Name Than Game – Patrick Sullivan over at Baseball Analysts takes a fun look into guys whose reputations far exceed their playing abilities.

Blunders – Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star is quickly becoming one of my favorite big paper columnists, and not just because he’s started a blog that he actually updates. See, unlike many columnists, Posnanski actually seems to like the game of baseball, and comes across as someone you would actually enjoy talking about the game with.

Anyway, he gives us his 10 favorite bad trades in this entry, but I heartily encourage you to check out the rest of his work.

Matsuzaka Strong in Debut – Great recap of Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first outing against major leaguers this spring from the Boston Globe. My favorite tidbit was that Matsuzaka thanked Francona for fielding drills after spearing a line drive.

Vazquez Signs ExtensionJavier Vazquez signed a three-year extension with the White Sox worth $34.5 million yesterday. Many analysts have lauded the deal, citing the rising market, I’m not so sure. In 2008, the first year of the new deal, the new THT projection system (available as a spreadsheet with our new Preseason Book) has him with a 4.68 ERA, which is respectable, but in only 158 innings, good for just 1.59 wins above replacement. Vazquez would need to hit his projected 75th percentile upside of 2.52 wins to be worth his contract, based on Dave Studeman’s research into the cost of buying a marginal win. While almost all projection systems are conservative regarding innings, Vazquez has been worked hard the past few years, and could be headed for a breakdown.

Road to RecoveryBartolo Colon threw well in his first bullpen session of the spring, as he recovers from rotator cuff surgery. The Angels expect him to pitch in a game at some point during spring training, but have not set a timetable for his return.

Royals Roundtable – If you’re a Royals fan, you must read this. Some of my favorite columnists of the day, including former THT writers Aaron Gleeman and Dan Fox, tackle Royals questions over at Baseball Think Factory.

Sights and Sounds – Ryan Ambrust of Baseball Toaster shares with us his day at Phoenix Municipal Park watching the A’s and Royals. This pictures alone make me want to blow off grad school and my job and just drive down to Arizona.

Who Is Josh Barfield – A nice player profile of Indians second baseman Josh Barfield. He’s gotten some hype after being traded this offseason, but fantasy players should probably stay away.

Piazza Out – Mike Piazza was hit by a pitch on the elbow during the A’s-Royals game yesterday and will be out for a few days.

Shakedown – Apparently, an ex-con tried to extort Ronnie Belliard out of $150,000, claiming that he impregnated his daughter. Read the stories for all the juicy details.

Spring Optimism – The Dodgers are apparently considering moving Nomar Garciaparra to third base, which would be a horrendous move given his already fragile condition and recently horrendous fielding at shortstop.

Batting Champ Injured – Freddy Sanchez sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee while turning a double play yesterday. It doesn’t look too bad now, but based on my experience following baseball injuries, this could be one to watch.

Today at THT

Business of Baseball Report – Baseball in Israel and a baseball card company is sold.

The Best Benches in the American League – The Los Angeles Angels top this list of teams with the deepest rosters in the junior circuit.

Mental Health and the CBA
A particular bit of language in the latest CBA could have negative consequences for some players.

It’s the Hardball Times 2007 Season Preview – Whether you’re a fanatical fantasy player, or just want to see what’s up with your favorite team, the THT 2007 Season Preview is just for you.

THT Links represents the best efforts of our editors in scouring the various tubes of the interweb for both relevant and irrelevant news items. If you have happened upon a story that we have overlooked or wish to give feedback of any sort, please notify us at THT Links.

Updated weekdays at noonish, ET.

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