It's Saturday, and that means it's time for yet another NL East Review version of Fish Bites. Here are the links that the entire writing crew at Fish Stripes compiled for your perusal.
- The buzz around the Marlins has quieted down a bit this week since their flurry of free agent visits last week. Still, the Marlins are being active in the free agent market because they can afford to, according to David Samson as reported by MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Here was the most interesting nugget of that piece:
"The way we're doing business is different," team president David Samson said this week on "The Dan LeBatard Show" on the team's flagship station, 790 The Ticket. "We still have to be smart. We still can't make up for injuries. We're definitely going to have a higher payroll, but we need the players to perform and we need them to be good.
"The way we've done business is trying to get by with our revenue streams, and now our revenue streams are higher. We have a larger pool of talent available to us than we've ever had."
This sounds like a smart idea by the Marlins front office and ownership group. You have more money, but it doesn't mean that you forego wise spending. Yes, the Marlins have talked to almost every free agent on the market it seems, but this is merely them setting up contingency plans; there is no way they will sign everybody, so they need to have backup plans available for the money they have.
- One of the players the Marlins will supposedly be going after heavily is Cuban export Yoenis Cespedes. H/T to reader Jess'HittheBall for pointing out this important piece by Clay Davenport in 2005 about translating Cuban performances to major league statistics.
- After visiting the official Cuban baseball site in search for numbers, I found this scouting article regarding Cespedes. Unfortunately, the scout discusses his numbers more than what he sees of the player, and that does not help me at all. He does make mention of the important fact that Cuban baseball is notoriously high on run scoring, so the inflated offensive numbers we saw from Cespedes are not nearly as impressive in a league, as the author puts it,
...where .300 hitting is an mere afterthought and where his robust ranking stood only number 32 in the entire circuit.
There also seems to be personal issues associated with a previous car crash and subsequent investigation surrounding Cespedes that were not resolved before he left the island.- The Marlins are almost sure to break their record for largest deal every given by the team in terms of total value. Here is a list of all the MLB franchises' richest deals, as provided by Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel.
- In other news, Jim Bowden reports on Twitter that the Marlins are moving forward without Juan Carlos Oviedo, aka Leo Nunez. Smart move, as he would have cost too much money for his role as setup man or closer.
- Looking for a job in baseball? The Marlins are hiring at the Marlins job fair.
- We mentioned earlier this week that owner Jeffrey Loria said he's serious about signing free agents. David Hill of Marlins Diehards absolutely believes him. Not because he's a trustworthy guy or anything, but because for all that Loria is not, he is at least a shrewd businessman looking to make a profit off of his new investment, and that would involve getting people to buy tickets.
- Speaking of the unis, remember how everyone hated them? Apparently they are selling at a "staggering" pace according to Samson.
In terms of revenue, Samson said sales of Marlins apparel on Friday, Saturday and Sunday equaled "17 percent of the merchandise we sold all of last year.
The favorites? It seems people like the batting practice jersey a lot. I'll admit, those look pretty nice, though not at $80.
- The move to new park may bring about new park effects, and Steve Slowinski of FanGraphs attempted to project those park effects. His conclusion was that the new Marlins ballpark may actually be slightly more favorable towards pitchers than Sun Life Stadium was. No word on whether the strange strikeout park effects will still be present.
NL East Links
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes a look at an Atlanta Braves prospect who had himself quite the Arizona Fall League campaign. The name Joey Terdoslavich may ring a bell for some University of Miami baseball fans. Although being left off the recent Baseball America Top 10 Braves Prospects list, most would agree he has a bright future and can flat out hit.
- We all know how bad the New York Mets and their financial situation looks. So it should be no surprise that they are attempting to raise $200 million by selling minority stakeholder pieces. You too can own part of the New York Metropolitans for a mere $20 million!
- Amazin' Avenue blogger and friend of Fish Stripes Eno Sarris takes a look at what closers the Mets should look into. Much like him, I don't want one of the "elite" closers on the market, but rather someone on the cheap like Frank Francisco if necessary.
- The Philadelphia Phillies re-signed catcher Brian Schneider to a one-year deal. Schneider was pretty much the epitome of horrible last year, putting up a .502 OPS over 139 plate appearances. It's really hard to get worse production than that from any spot on the field, even at backup catcher. It's odd that they would resign him so early given how terrible he was, but then again, the Phillies did go 28-8 in his starts last year and teams often overlook actual production in favor of intangibles and defense when it comes to backup catcher, Of course, at $800 thousand, there's not a whole lot you can do wrong baseball-wise.
- Even as we say that, Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley reviewed the Phillies' multi-year deals of the past and graded the last Schneider deal as "good." Overall, his assessment is that Amaro is doing just fine.
- The NL Rookie of the Year was announced earlier this week (congratulations to Craig Kimbrel), but on the Washington Nationals' side, Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos both were among the many rookies in the 2011 season to garner RoY votes. Wilson Ramos came in 4th with 6 points. while Danny Espinosa came in 6th with three. Ramos is projected to play as well as he did last season, but Espinosa's intriguing combination of power, speed, and strikeouts galore will be interesting to watch next season, to say the least.
- Finally, I did a two-part Q&A with Ted Youngling of The Nats Blog. Here is part two, in which I discuss baseball and off-the-field Marlins antics.