Category Archives: Awards

Peters, ace of mid-60’s White Sox, passes away, age 85.

Gary Peters, lefty pitching ace of the good-pitching/weak-hitting White Sox teams of the mid-1960s, has passed away at the age of 85. Peters combined with Tommy John and Joe Horlen to form a formidable trio that got little run support.

Peters pitched for the White Sox from 1959-1969, then for the Red Sox from 1970-1972.

He pitched only two games—totaling one inning—for the AL Champ 1959 White Sox.

From 1959-1962 he only got in 12 MLB games, pitching only 21 innings, and giong 0-1, 3.00.

So, in 1963 he still qualified as a rookie, and he won the ROY Award by going 19-8 and by leading the AL with an ERA of 2.33. He also finished 8th in the MVP voting. Peters was given MVP consideration 3x, and each time he finished in the top 10.

In 1964, the White Sox finished second, just one game behind the Yankees for the AL pennant. Peteres led the AL with 20 wins, was an All-Star (the first of two occasions) and finished 7th in MVP voting with a 20-8, 2.50 mark.

Peters again led the AL in ERA in 1966 with a 1.98 mark. In 1967, the White Sox finished 4th in a tight 4-team race, just 3 games behind the pennant winning Red Sox. Peters was 16-11, 2.28 and earned his second and last All-Star nod while finishing 9th in MVP voting.

Peters didn’t put up those kinds of numbers after 1967, although he did go 16-11, 4.06 in 1970 and 14-11, 4.37 in 1971.

For his career, Peters was 124-103 with an ERA of 3.25, ERA+ 106. His 162-game average was 13-11, 3.25.

For a pitcher, Peters was a pretty good hitter, hitting .222 with 19 HR. He batted lefty as well. He had seasons of .259, .235, .244 and .271.

Rolen elected to Hall of Fame

Scott Rolen was the only player selected by the BBWAA today for the Hall of Fame.

Rolen, who baseball-reference.com has listed as the 10th best 3B of all time, played for the Phillies (1996-2002), Cardinals (2002-2007), Blue Jays (2008-2009) and Reds (2009-2012). Based on his stats, it is a tossup whether he should go into to Hall as a Phillie or as a Cardinal.

Rolen was a 7x All-Star who won 8 Gold Glove awards. He was the 1997 ROY, won 1 Silver Slugger Award and was on the 2004 NL Pennant and 2006 WS Champion Cardinals. He received MVP consideration 4x, finishing in the top 10 once (4th in 2004).

His best seasons: (Topped 30 HR 3x, 100 RBI 5x)

1997 Rookie of the Year: .283-21-92, 16 SB OPS+ 121
1998 .290-31-110, 14 SB OPS+ 139 20th in MVP, GG
2001 .289-25-107 16 SB OPS+ 128 MVP-24, GG
2002 .266-31-110, OPS+ 129 AS, GG, SS,
2003 .286-28-104 13 SB OPS+ 138 AS, GG
2004 .314-34-124 OPS+ 158 AS, MVP-4, GG NL PENNANT
2006 .296-22-95 OPS+ 126 AS, GG, WS CHAMP
2010 .286-20-83 OPS+ 126 AS, MVP-14, GG

His 162-game average was .281-25-102, OPS+ 122. He hit 316 HR.

In 39 postseason games, he hit .220-5-12.

Rolen barely made it in. He made it by 5 votes, getting 76.3%, with 75% needed for election.

Getting 50% or more were:

Todd Helton 72.2% (missed by 11 votes)
Billy Wagner 68.1
Andruw Jones 58.1
Gary Sheffield 55 Next year is his last chance.

Jeff Kent got 46.5% in his last year on the ballot. Staying on the ballot besides the 4 listed above were Carlos Beltran (46.5), A-Rod (35.7), Manny Ramirez (33.2), Omar Vizquel (19.5), Andy Pettitte (17), Bobby Abreu (15.4), Jimmy Rollins (12.9), Mark Buehrle (10.9), Francisco (K-Rod) Rodriguez 10.8 and Torii Hunter 6.9

You need 5% to stay on the ballot. Getting votes but dropping off were Bronson Arroyo, R. A. Dickey, John Lackey, Mike Napoli, and Huston Street (who voted for these guys?)

Not getting any votes were: Matt Cain, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta, Jered Weaver and Jayson Werth.

Coming onto the ballot next year are: Adrian Beltre (ranked 4th best 3B ever, over 3000 hits, over 470 HR, should be a first-ballot HOF), Bartolo Colon (will get some votes, but not HOF), Chase Utley (has a good case, we will see how many votes he gets to start out with 12th best 2B ever but in 16 year career, his stats are built on 5 superb years, other 11 good but not HOF quality), Joe Mauer (very good case. 7th best C ever, .306, MVP, 3 batting titles for a C) as well as David Wright, Jose Bautista, Matt Holliday, Victor Martinez, Adrian Gonzalez, and Jose Reyes. There are others but those are the biggest names.

To me, Beltre and Mauer are no-doubters. Utley needs a bit of review (interesting he and Rollins will both be on the ballot).

Wright is kind of like Don Mattingly. Great career for a while but shortened because of a bad back. Needed a few more (4 or 5?) great years.

The others (Colon, Bautista, Holliday, Martinez, Gonzalez and Reyes) were very good, but to me, not HOF.


Info taken from mlb.com, with my thoughts/opinions.

People will have their own ideas. But it looks like next year’s favorites may be Helton, Wagner, Beltre and Mauer.

Judge named captain; Yanks DFA Luetge. NFL Legend Franco Harris passes away.

At the press conference yesterday to announce his signing, Aaron Judge was named the Yankees’ captain, their first since the retirement of Derek Jeter after the 2014 season.

A press conference regarding Carlos Rodon’s signing will be today.

In order to make room on the team for the signing of Tommy Kahnle, Lucas Luetge was DFA’d.

Sad news: Another part of my childhood is gone. I am a Steelers fan and growing up in the 1970s the Immaculate Reception kind of sealed the deal as far as me becoming a fan of the Steelers. Just a few days before the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, and a few days before weekend celebrations about that play, and a few days before the Steelers were to retire his #32 at halftime of the Steelers/Raiders game Saturday evening, Franco Harris died at the age of 72. RIP, Franco.

McGriff elected to HOF

Fred McGriff, nicknamed the Crime Dog, was unanimously elected to the HOF by a 16-member committee last night.

McGriff, a lefty-hitting 1B, played for the Blue Jays (1986-1990), Padres (1991-1993), Braves (1993-1997), Rays (then known as the Devil Rays) (1998-2001), Cubs (2001-2002), Dodgers (2003) and back with the Devil Rays in 2004.

He started in the Yankees farm system, but in an awful trade, was sent to Toronto in December 1982 for Dale Murray. A year earlier, the Yankees traded Willie McGee to the Cardinals for Bob Sykes. Can you imagine those two on the same team with Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield?

Speaking of Mattingly, he was second in the voting with 8 of the 16 votes. You needed 12 to get in.

The “bad boys” on the ballot, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro and Albert Belle, all received 4 votes or less because of their real or alleged use of PEDs, or in the case of Belle, his prickly personality and behavior. Curt Schilling got 7 votes despite some not liking his outspokenness on certain issues.

Back to McGriff. He wound up with 493 HR (tied with Lou Gehrig on the all-time list) and would have gone over 500 if not for the 1994 strike. He led the AL in HR in 1989 and the NL in 1992. He hit 30 or more HR in a season 10x. He drove in 100 or more runs in a season 8x. His career batting average was .284 and his career OPS+ was 134 (100 is average). He was a 5x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger winner, an All-Star game MVP, and got MVP consideration 8x, finishing in the top 10 for MVP 6x.

He hit .303 with 10 HR and 37 RBI in 50 postseason games, winning a WS ring in 1995 and playing in the 1996 WS.

His 162-game average was .284-32-102, OPS+ 134. Baseball-Reference has him ranked as the 32nd best 1B of all-time. (Mattingly is ranked 39th).



Judge wins AL MVP overwhelmingly.

Over the past few weeks, I was getting a bit ticked at people saying that Shohei Ohtani deserved the MVP over Aaron Judge. For one thing, Ohtani’s Angels finished 33 games behind Houston. It reminded me of what happened when Ralph Kiner went into Branch Rickey’s office asking for a raise. Rickey replied to the future Hall-of-Famer, “We finished last with you, we can finish last without you!”

Taking nothing away from Ohtani or Kiner, but Ohtani didn’t play a meaningful game since what, mid-June? Meanwhile Judge carried his team, keeping them afloat as a 15 1/2 game lead shrunk to 3 1/2. I read something that from the All-Star Game until the end of the season, Judge, who was hitting a respectable .284 at the All-Star break, hit .349 the rest of the way. The rest of the Yankees hit .223. Now THAT is valuable. THAT is carrying a team. Without that, the Yankees may have suffered the worst collapse ever.

To those who say that what Ohtani does hasn’t been done since Babe Ruth, I get it. And I get that he does it so well. But just because he is a unicorn, doing what no one else does, is that alone reason to give him the award? For if that is the case, just retire the award from now on. I mean, if he hit .235 with 10 HR and went 5-6 with an ERA of 4.75, he’s still doing what no one else does, right? I like Ohtani. He’s a great player. But if he and Mike Trout (who finished 8th for the MVP this year) could not lift the Angels to sniffing distance of Houston, then how valuable were they? And Ohtani did have Trout. No other Yankee besides Judge got even so much as a tenth place vote this year.

The voters got it right. Judge got 28 of the 30 first-place votes, easily beating out Ohtani for the award., with the other two first place votes going to Ohtani. Judge led the majors in 8 different categories, and the AL in another, many by wide margins. He hit 16 more HR than the next best guy. His total bases were some 80 or so above the next best guy. His OPS+ of 211, well, it’s rare when someone is over 200. And as for those who think Judge was all HR, he almost won the Triple Crown, hitting .311. He stole 16 bases in 19 attempts, a ratio better than Ohtani’s, who was only 11 for 20. He made ZERO errors despite switching back and forth between CF (78 games) and RF (73 games). That switching back and forth may have cost Judge a deserved Gold Glove but may have made him more valuable. Ohtani may be a good fielder. But we don’t really know because when he isn’t pitching, Ohtani doesn’t play the field. He DH’s, a luxury the Babe never had.

With his MVP award joining his 2017 Rookie of the Year Award, Judge becomes only the second Yankee to win both awards, the other being Thurman Munson (1970 ROY and 1976 MVP). The ROY was first given out in 1947, which explains why Joe DiMaggio isn’t on that list.

Ohtani is a great player. But 2022 was Judge’s year, and the voters got it right.

The Yankees have made a new offer to Judge. There are no details. We can only imagine what it is. But hopefully a deal is done soon, and the newest Yankees’ MVP remains in the Bronx. Many years from now, we hope #99 joins numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (twice), 9, 10, 15, 16, 20, 21, 23, 32, 37, 42, 44, 46, 49 and 51 in Monument Park.

Two unanimous CYA winners first time since 1968. Cortes 8th, Cole 9th. MVPs announced tonight.

For the first time since 1968 (Gibson and McLain) both CYA winners were unanimous winners of the award.

In the NL Sandy Alcantara became the first Marlin to cop the honor.

In the AL Justin Verlander won his third CYA, adding to his HOF resume. For Verlander, very impressive given his age (39) and coming off TJ surgery.

The Yankees’ Nestor Cortes got three fifth-place votes and finished eighth in the voting. Gerrit Cole got one fifth place vote and finished ninth. We keep wondering when Cole might win the award himself. He has finished second twice, losing out to Verlander in 2019.

The MVP awards will be announced tonight and here is hoping Aaron Judge beats out Shohei Ohtani for the award.

Rizzo Returns; 40-man roster set; Awards season

Nobody steals the Rizz. Anthony Rizzo, who turned down the Yankees’ qualifying offer to become a free agent, returned to the Yankees, agreeing to a deal that will pay him $34MM over two years. The third year is a team option of another $17MM, with a $6MM buyout, so Rizzo is guaranteed $40MM over the next two years.

The Yankees lost Stephen Ridings to the Mets in waivers. Ridings didn’t pitch in 2022 due to injury. He pitched five innings for the Yanks in 2021.

The Yanks set their 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 draft. Some youngsters, especially pitchers, were protected. Here it is.

Pitchers:
Abreu
Jhony Brito #24 prospect.
Cole
Jimmy Cordero
Cortes
Effross (will miss all of 2023 season, TJ Surgery)
Deivi Garcia (has pitched poorly in minors last two seasons) #26 prospect
German
Luis Gil (coming off TJ surgery, will miss most of 2023)
Yoendrys Gomez #12 prospect
Holmes
King (saw a video of him throwing. Good sign).
Matt Krook
Loaisiga
Luetge
Marinaccio
Montas
Peralta
Schmidt
Severino
Trivino
Randy Vasquez #16 prospect
Weissert

Catchers
Higashioka
Rortvedt
Trevino

Infielders
Cabrera
Donaldson
Kiner-Falefa
LeMahieu
Peraza
Rizzo
Torres

Outfielders
Bader
Florial
Hicks
Pereira #5 prospect
Stanton

Obviously as the Yanks sign free agents (Judge, hopefully) or make deals some people will drop off and be replaced. Free agents obviously are not listed, like Judge, Benintendi, Taillon, Chad Green, Marwin Gonzalez, Miguel Castro, etc. But some youngsters needed to be protected from the Rule 5 draft. Others, like #28 prospect Brandon Lockridge, were not protected and could be claimed. The Rule 5 draft is December 7.

It is awards season. AL ROY: Julio Rodriguez, Seattle. NL ROY Michael Harris, Atlanta. AL MOY: Terry Francona, Indians. NL MOY: Buck Showalter, Mets. For Buck, it’s his fourth Manager of the Year award, all with four different teams, and in four different DECADES (1994 Yankees, 2004 Rangers, 2014 Orioles and 2022 Mets).

Aaron Boone finished 5th in the voting. Out of 30 votes, he got one second place vote (3 points) and one 3rd place vote (1 point) for a total of 4 points.

The CYAs will be announced tonight and the MVPs tomorrow evening.


Trevino wins Platinum Glove.

Besides his Gold Glove for best defensive catcher in the league, Jose Trevino has won the Platinum Glove as best defender in the AL period.

One thing I read that worries me a bit. Justin Verlander apparently was quoted as saying that the Yankees are dinosaurs when it comes to free agency. That they are behind the curve. I guess he means that there are new methods to it and that the Yanks are stuck in the 1977 or 2009 times? I don’t know. But a disturbing read nonetheless.

Free agency begins. Some Yankees moves.

From Major League Baseball Trade Rumors.com

The Yankees announced they’ve selected pitchers Jhony Brito and Matt Krook onto the 40-man roster. New York also outrighted outfielder Tim Locastro off the roster, and the speedster elected minor league free agency upon clearing waivers.

Both Brito and Krook have played seven seasons in the minor leagues. That’d have given the right to elect free agency this evening if the Yankees didn’t place them on the 40-man roster. New York clearly values both enough to keep them from hitting the open market, with each player cracking a 40-man for the first time.

Brito, 25 in February, is a former amateur signee out of the Dominican Republic. He’s a quality strike-thrower, and Baseball America wrote this summer that he could develop into a back-of-the-rotation starter. The righty split this year between Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, working to a 2.96 ERA through 112 2/3 combined innings. He only struck out 20% of opponents but had a tiny 7.7% walk rate.

Krook spent the whole year in Scranton, starting 22 of 29 appearances. The University of Oregon product, a fourth-round draftee back in 2016, pitched to a 4.09 ERA over 138 2/3 frames. He had a solid 25.7% strikeout percentage but walked an elevated 12.1% of batters faced. The left-hander is generally regarded by evaluators as a likely future reliever.

Locastro, a 30-year-old outfielder, has seen sporadic action for the Yankees in each of the last two seasons. He appeared in 38 games this year but worked mostly as a late-game entrant based on his speed and defense. Locastro hit .186/.239/.349 in 46 plate appearances this year and is a career .227/.325/.331 hitter. He spent most of the season in Scranton, putting up a .240/.332/.395 line over 47 games.

The Yankees announced that they have added right-hander Jimmy Cordero to their 40-man roster.

Cordero, 31, logged 83 innings of MLB action across the 2018-2020 time frame, putting up a 4.55 ERA in that time. Unfortunately, he required Tommy John surgery in March of 2021, wiping out that entire season. The White Sox outrighted him at the end of that campaign.

He signed a minor league deal with the Yankees for 2022 and was able to return to the mound by June. He eventually made 32 appearances for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. In 38 2/3 innings, he posted a 2.09 ERA, along with a incredible 31.8% strikeout rate and 51.7% ground ball rate.

Based on that strong showing, he’s earned his way back onto a 40-man roster. He has one option year remaining, which will allow the Yankees to use him as an optionable depth arm in 2023. He has between two and three years of MLB service time, meaning they can keep him around for years to come if he continues to hang onto that roster spot.



Also (and not from MLBTR) the Yanks are reportedly interested in Masataka Yoshida from Japan, who I wrote about a few days ago. Lefty hitting OF. Good bat-to-ball contact. Think Benintendi with more power.

The Yanks offered the qualifying offer to Anthony Rizzo ($19.65MM). We will see if he accepts or wants a little more, like 2 years/$40MM.

To no surprise, Aaron Judge added the Silver Slugger award to his Hank Aaron Award. We wait for all-MLB and MVP awards.

News and Notes.

To no one’s surprise, Aaron Judge was named as one of the three finalists for the AL MVP award. He is considered the favorite to win the award. I still get ticked by people pushing for Alvarez (it’s a regular season award, people!) or Ohtani (the Angels finished 33 games back. So, you are telling me that without him they are 45 back? Whoopdie damn do.).

The Contemporary Baseball Committee will be looking at 8 ex-players for the HOF. Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling. Five of the eight would be controversial selections because of steroids and/or personality issues, despite in some cases 3000+ hits, 500+ HR, 300+ wins. I won’t get into that. We know about all that. That leaves McGriff, Mattingly and Murphy. I believe McGriff, who is tied on the all-time list with Lou Gehrig with 493 HR (and no steroids) should have already been put in. I’d love Mattingly, but Mattingly’s 1994-1989 pre-back injury (HOF quality) and 1990-1995 post-back injury numbers (merely above average) are drastically different. If Donnie could have only stayed healthy and put up numbers 1990-1995 that matched his 1984-1989 numbers, then he would be a more serious candidate. Murphy I am on the fence on. A back-to-back MVP (1982 and 1983) that like Maris (1960 and 1961) isn’t in the HOF. Maybe a few more HR (he had 398) or a higher average (.265) would have given him a better shot. Once he turned 32, he wasn’t the same player. A few more seasons at his peak would have given him a better chance.

The Yanks have not only players as free agents, but coaches too. Pitching coach Matt Blake is a free agent. (GM Brian Cashman is coming back but as of now is working pro bono. His contract expired October 31 and no new deal has been done yet). Assistant pitching coach Hensley Meulens is gone to be hitting coach for Colorado.

As expected, the Yanks picked up the team option for Luis Severino at $15MM for 2023. Anthony Rizzo opted out of his contract and is a free agent. Here are the Yankees’ free agents and my thoughts.

Andrew Benintendi. Yanks will make an offer to try to keep him.

Zack Britton. Interesting call. With Chapman departing, Yanks could use a lefty reliever, but Britton will be 35 next year and missed almost all of 2022 after a poor 2021 and TJ surgery. Pass. Use $ for Judge.

Matt Carpenter. A tough call. Turns 37 around Thanksgiving. If Stanton is DH most of the time, where does that leave Carpenter? I think it depends on if Judge stays or goes. If Judge stays, pass. If Judge goes, then the Yanks may look to sign Carpenter and Stanton and Carpenter could switch between RF and DH.

Miguel Castro. Pass. The Yanks could probably replace him with Weissert at a lower cost (save $ for Judge). They already have Trivino, Marinaccio, King, Holmes, as RH relievers, as well as Schmidt and German if Schmidt and German aren’t starters. And Stephen Ridings should be over his injury issues that cost him 2022.

Aroldis Chapman. Pass. Goodbye and Good Riddance for missing that mandatory workout before the ALDS.

Marwin Gonzalez. Pass. Only hit .185 in 2022. Since 2019, has only hit .198. Oswaldo Cabrera can fill his utility role for less money. 34 next year. Like Britton, pass, go with youth and less $$. Save $ for Judge.

Chad Green. Pass. Will miss most if not all of 2023 because of TJ surgery. Instead of paying him will need to throw that $ at Judge.

Aaron Judge. Obviously the #1 Yankees target and priority.

Anthony Rizzo. The Yanks will look to retain him.

Jameson Taillon. Questionable. Even if the Yanks get Judge back, is there enough money left to go after a Carlos Rodon (my choice)? Would they give a low in years but high in $$ deal to Verlander, DeGrom or Kershaw? Could go either way here.

Of course, getting rid of the salaries of Donaldson and Hicks would help. As of now, the Yanks think both have something left (excuse me while I get sick), but of course they aren’t going to say anything that diminishes whatever trade value they have.