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Are Long-Term Deals for Young Infielders Working? PDF Print E-mail
Articles of Configuration
Written by Brian Walton   
Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:00

Last week, I wondered aloud where the five-year contract given to Jon Singleton before he appeared in a single Major League game may lead. In reality, the outfielder and the Houston Astros did not get there alone.

Long before Singleton, clubs have been giving players contracts earlier and earlier in their careers. Let’s look at how a few of them are working out.

Specifically, I have been watching three players, all second basemen, who received long-term contracts recently. They are Jedd Gyorko of the San Diego Padres, Jason Kipnis of the Cleveland Indians and Matt Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Based on results in the early going, it is hard to justify their combined 18 to 21 contract years of commitment totaling at least $140 million.

Oldest of the three at 28 years old, Carpenter was a five-year college player at TCU after Tommy John surgery. Drafted by St. Louis in the 13th round in 2009, Carpenter reached the Majors midway through the 2011 season as a third baseman.

Playing six different positions for the 2012 Cardinals, Carpenter cobbled together 340 plate appearances. Continuing a proficiency he displayed in the Minors, where he had a career on-base mark of .408, Carpenter extended his past into his present by logging an impressive .392 OBP. He finished sixth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.

Blocked by David Freese at the hot corner and with his club needing help at second base, Carpenter successfully initiated an on-the-fly position change for 2013. Not only did he prove his mettle with the glove, the left-handed hitter went on to lead the league in hits, falling just one short of 200. Carpenter also paced the circuit in runs scored and doubles.

In recognition of his emergence, Carpenter was recognized with his first All-Star selection, a Silver Slugger Award and a fourth-place finish in the National League Most Valuable Player voting.

More importantly, St. Louis validated the performance with a long-term contract offer to a player who had barely two years of major league service. This March, the two sides came to terms on a heavily-backloaded deal that will keep Carpenter in a Cardinals uniform through at least his age 33 season, 2019.

The base commitment is $52 million over six years. Carpenter received a $1.5 million signing bonus, $1 million in 2014, and then salaries of $3.5 million, $6.25 million, $9.75 million, $13.5 million and $14.5 million. In 2020, the Cardinals will have an $18.5 million option on his services, with a $2 million buyout. He gets a $500,000 payment if traded from now through 2017 and $1 million if dealt during the remainder of the contract.

Carpenter would have been first-time arbitration eligible next season, so this deal covers his first two years of free agency, or third if the option is exercised.

With Freese traded away to the Angels, the Cardinals moved Carpenter back to his long-time position of third base for 2014. While many observers expected an even more comfortable hitter at the plate, this season did not start that way.

Carpenter got out of the blocks slowly – very slowly. A month and a half into the schedule, his line was a pedestrian .256/.356/.319/.675. In the month since, Carpenter has improved his season line to .294/.385/.385/.770. Still, that OPS is down over 100 points from 2013. Remember that last point, please.

With five and a half contract years to go, the Cardinals have to hope the 2013 Carpenter is what they will see the rest of the way. Time will tell.

Now 27 years of age, Kipnis was originally drafted by the Padres in the fourth round in 2008 but did not sign until the next season after the Indians re-drafted him in the second round. Like Gyorko, he was a highly-regarded prospect before reaching Cleveland in July 2011.

In his first full year in 2012, Kipnis launched 14 home runs and plated 76 in 152 games. The left-handed hitter increased those totals to 17 and 84, respectively, last season and he earned an All-Star berth. Kipnis’ line was a solid .284/.366/.452/.818.

The Tribe, which originally offered the first multi-year contracts to arbitration-eligible players two decades ago, did it again.

With slightly over two years of MLB service, Kipnis originally had to accept his club’s offer of just over the minimum salary of half a million dollars this season. But just a few days into the 2014 regular season schedule, the team tore up the deal.

In its place was established a new contract for six years, $52 million (sound familiar?) plus a 2020 option for $16.5 million or a $2.5 million buyout. Like Carpenter's, the deal starts low and escalates heavily in the later years. The contract buys out Kipnis’ first two years and perhaps third of free agency.

In 2014, the left-handed hitter has been plagued by bad luck, an oblique strain that cost him almost the entire month of May. Kipnis has just three home runs and 19 RBI in 40 games. His OPS is down 110 points from last season’s .818.

Like Carpenter, Gyorko was primarily a third baseman coming up through the minor leagues only to be blocked at the position and moved to second base as a Major Leaguer. Unlike Carpenter, Gyorko was considered a top prospect since being drafted in the second round in 2010.

The right-handed hitter made the 2013 Padres out of spring training and began his MLB career at the age of 24. A successful rookie season followed, during which Gyorko launched 23 long balls and plated 63 in just 125 games.

Just as Carpenter was sixth in the NL Rookie of the Year vote in 2012, Gyorko finished in the same spot in 2013.

That rookie showing was enough for the Padres. They quickly negotiated a six-year deal plus an option year with the 25-year-old that was announced two weeks into this season. Gyorko is guaranteed over $35.5 million through his first year of free agent eligibility with a salary that escalates by several million annually. San Diego can keep him in 2020 as well for another $13 million or $1 million buyout.

2014 has not been kind to the West Virginia native as he literally limped onto the field. Gyorko managed just two hits over his first six games on the way to a dreadful start that had him at the bottom of all NL hitters.

By June, the Padres were threatening to demote their second baseman to the minor leagues. Not three days later, it was disclosed Gyorko had been suffering from a case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. It is the same challenging-to-heal malady that ruined Albert Pujols’ 2013.

Gyorko went onto the disabled list on June 6 with a line of .162/.213/.270/.482. One has to wonder if San Diego wishes they had waited a bit longer to pull the trigger on the big contract.

In fact, one might have to ponder the same question for all three. Will Singleton soon join them?

 

Brian Walton was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 16-year history. He also holds the all-time NL Tout single-season records for wins and saves. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 June 2014 11:08
 
We Don’t Have to Take a Singleton Risk PDF Print E-mail
Articles of Configuration
Written by Brian Walton   
Saturday, 07 June 2014 00:00

As much as we try to make fantasy baseball model the real thing as much as possible, one difference has been highlighted in recent days – the long-term contract.

In most keeper leagues, an owner has to deal with escalating salaries, but when things go awry, a player can be unceremoniously released. As painful as it might be, the fantasy owner can cut bait, and in doing so, is absolved of future financial commitment.

That is not the case in Major League Baseball. In fact, clubs are lining up to take larger and larger portions of risk in return for the potential of saving cash down the road. The idea of buying out arbitration years in return for several free agent seasons following, pioneered by then-Cleveland general manager John Hart in the early 1990’s, has morphed into what may become a monster.

Hart realized the only way his mid-market Indians could hold onto their home-grown stars such as Carlos Baerga and Manny Ramirez was to lock them in with long-term contracts a number of years prior to free agency. The club could secure that commitment by paying more money up front to players who at the time were probably only making MLB minimum salary.

Unlike in fantasy, the commitments being made now, coming earlier and earlier in players’ careers, are binding and inescapable. Instead of just covering the arbitration years – seasons four through six in the bigs – these new deals are now also buying into the first three years of a player’s career as well.

That is a period when player salaries are traditionally kept under tight team control, usually in the $500,000 to $1 million annual range. It is also a time in which many contenders fall by the wayside, proven to be major league pretenders instead.

singletonA new high (or low, depending on your perspective) occurred earlier this week. On Tuesday, the Houston Astros announced a five-year deal with top prospect Jonathan Singleton that guarantees him $10 million over the next five seasons. The contract offers the potential for Singleton to expand his earnings to as much as $35 million in total through options and incentives.

The rub is that Singleton was preparing to suit up for his very first game in the major leagues. His only track record was in the minor leagues. Increasing the risk is the 22-year-old’s checkered past with drugs and alcohol. Of course, that may be one reason the player readily accepted such an offer so early in his career.

For clubs, these kind of contracts are all about risk mitigation. In this case, the rebuilding Astros appeared to be willing to take the chance that Singleton will not become Joe Charbonneau in return for what would be a very team-friendly contract if he becomes the next Albert Pujols.

In all fairness, there has been a negative backlash to the Singleton deal from some other agents, worried that the overall market for pre-free agent players would be pulled down due to this contract. That may prove to be the case or it may not.

At least there is a practical limit to these cradle signings. A few years back, after a rash of draftees demanded and received Major League contracts to come to terms, MLB prohibited the practice. If you remember the name Zack Cox, then you know this continued example of owners creating rules specifically to protect themselves from themselves was a good idea.

For those of us being fantasy general managers only, we should be relieved we don’t have to carry such risk over the long haul.

 

Brian Walton was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 16-year history. He also holds the all-time NL Tout single-season records for wins and saves. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 June 2014 09:04
 
Adding La Stella? Fuggedaboutit! PDF Print E-mail
Articles of Configuration
Written by Brian Walton   
Saturday, 31 May 2014 00:00

The exceptional knowledge of our own Lord Zola has been demonstrated countless times over the many years Mastersball has been in place in its various representations. In no manner has that been proven to be truer than in the area of gaming theory.

For example, just recently, Todd determined there was more to say about the various weekly transactions across the industry showcase leagues of Tout Wars and LABR. He stepped into the void with his insightful "Todd's Take," in which he shares his unique perspective focusing on FAAB strategy, game theory and league dynamics.

Among his remarks last week in reference to our common league, National League Tout, was the following: “I'm in this league along with Brian and the thing I see is our competitors are not afraid to stash current minor leaguers even though as Brian points out, you're taking a goose-egg for a week as rules require all acquired players to be active…”

The context was speculative $1 bids on minor leaguers Kris Bryant, Casey Kelly, Odrisamer Despaigne and Allan Dykstra. The first three were still in Double-A, though the Cuban right-hander Despaigne has since been promoted to Triple-A.

On Wednesday, another prospect introduction occurred when Atlanta tacitly admitted what we have known for some time – that Dan Uggla should no longer play every day. The Braves brought up top second base prospect Tommy La Stella and skipper Fredi Gonzalez promptly installed him into the lineup.

This subject returned to my consciousness again because of Lord Z’s strong advocacy of La Stella this spring. In his NL Tout closing vow just last week, Todd added this. “Looks like I have some work to do - scouring the minors for possible call-ups before they occur.”

Well, in this case, we all are weeks too late. Even Todd was trumped when La Stella was taken by Gene McCaffrey of Wise Guy Baseball - back on draft day, in the reserve rounds. McCaffrey has held onto La Stella for the two months since, despite burning one of his four reserve spots the entire time.

There is no need to feel sorry for Zola, as he passed on La Stella at least once as the reserves were selected. I know that because the second baseman was McCaffrey’s second pick. The first time through, he took Dodgers’ uber prospect Joc Pederson! (To his credit, Lord Z made another good round one selection in Wilmer Flores. My choice of Jacob Turner was less inspiring, however.)

This gobbling up of prospects is not a new phenomenon in NL Tout. Believe it or not, it used to be worse.

After all, there are only a few ways to improve one’s team during the season and none are sure things. Trades are difficult to engineer and the price is high. Holding FAAB waiting for interleague trading from the American League to the NL usually ends in disappointment.

A few years ago, so many prospects were being hoarded while still in the minors that the Tout governing board made a decision. Reserve rosters were slashed from six to four. This would make early prospect speculating more painful, they reasoned.

While that logically has to be the case, I am not sure I would even call the change a speed bump.

After all, I should know. I have been holding Oscar Taveras since bidding $3 for him at the draft. I am hoping that when the Cardinals play on the road in June interleague play, we will finally see Oscar’s MLB debut. Of course, he will have to make hay in a hurry (or strategically stab more pins in his Allen Craig and Matt Holliday voodoo dolls) to be assured of remaining north of Memphis through the summer and fall.

I am not alone. At least six NL prospects were taken – not in the reserve rounds, but much earlier, during the main phase of the draft. They received winning bids totaling $17, but have remained in the minors through the first third of the season.

Putting aside all the Kellys added to rosters since the season began, here are eight of the National League prospects who have continued to be hoarded in NL Tout since draft day:

Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates, $5 – Tristan H. Cockcroft, ESPN

Alex Guerrero, 2B, Dodgers, $4 – Steve Gardner, USA TODAY

Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks, $3 – Mike Gianella, Baseball Prospectus

Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals, $3 – Brian Walton, Mastersball

Andrew Heaney, LHP, Marlins, $1 – Peter Kreutzer, Ask Rotoman

Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers, (reserve) – McCaffrey

Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies, (reserve) – Gianella

Jon Gray, RHP, Rockies, (reserve) – Derek Carty, Fantasy Insiders

If you are looking to invest in a National League prospect, the above players are especially noteworthy as they have held the confidence of their NL Tout owners since March.

In multiple cases, including outfielders Polanco, Taveras and Pederson, there is strong suspicion their MLB clubs have been artificially keeping them in the minors despite obvious need. The motivation is financial – to hold off until the Super Two deadline passes, which should occur very soon. This maneuver could enable the teams to avoid several million in arbitrated salary in two years.

Other NL Tout-drafted prospects since cut loose include:

Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs, $1 – Kreutzer

A.J. Cole, RHP, Nationals, (reserve) - Kreutzer

Andrew Lambo, 1B, Pirates, (reserve) - Cockcroft

Matt Wisler, RHP, Padres, (reserve) – Phil Hertz, BaseballHQ

Albert Almora, OF, Cubs, (reserve) – Scott Wilderman, onRoto

Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates (reserve) – Wilderman

As noted above, Bryant has already been re-acquired in Tout. Others may still come onto the big league radar this season - with the exception of Taillon (Tommy John surgery) and Almora (still in high-A ball).

Footnote: Within 30 minutes after I posted this article on Friday night, Taveras' promotion to St. Louis was announced. My view is that with Matt Adams on the disabled list and interleague play just ahead, Taveras will be given at least two weeks to prove he belongs. If he gets out of the blocks well, there could be no looking back.

Brian Walton was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 16-year history. He also holds the all-time NL Tout single-season records for wins and saves. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 May 2014 14:09
 
Being Jeff Luhnow Is Not Easy PDF Print E-mail
Articles of Configuration
Written by Brian Walton   
Saturday, 24 May 2014 00:00

I had the pleasure of getting to know Jeff Luhnow during his years running the draft and the farm system of the St. Louis Cardinals. While I admire him greatly and would love to have his current position as a major league general manager (After all, who wouldn’t? Isn’t the desire to be a GM why we play this game?), Luhnow’s challenge is unenviable.

As everyone reading this probably knows, the Houston Astros team Jeff inherited prior to the 2012 season was a non-contender. In fact, it was the worst in the game in 2011. Perhaps even more painful was that it appeared that little of any impact help was on its way through the farm system.

Luhnow’s bold strategy was to blow up the Astros, flipping most of the best veteran major league talent for prospects. A string of last-place finishes meant a gaggle of number one draft picks ensued as well.

Because of the string of futility, the GM was given some rope by a number of frustrated Astros fans. Though respectability is still ahead, top prospect George Springer has reached the bigs with many others expected to come up behind soon.

Since the Astros had pretty much hit bottom and Luhnow inherited the mess, he may not have felt as much personal angst over making the tough decision to rebuild. There, I said it!

Rebuild.

I have played fantasy baseball for…a long time now…and have never given up. In the case of a re-draft league, that is hardly a noteworthy comment. However, in the case of a keeper league such as the Xperts Fantasy League, it is another matter entirely.

2014 marks my 10th year in the XFL and I have yet to admit defeat by pulling a Luhnow – dumping my top contributors in return for younger, cheaper future keepers – until now.

You don’t need to look at the calendar to realize we haven’t even yet hit Memorial Day. As you well know, as we pass the holiday marking the opening of summer, it is the customary time to take stock of one’s team.

Instead, I am already pretty much done dealing. It happened all within a 48-hour period. Before getting into the details, a bit of background, though.

If I graphed my history in the 15-team XFL, it would track pretty closely to a traditional bell curve. A couple of early 10th place finishes were left behind, as I enjoyed four years of serious contention in 2008-2011. Going for a title, I dumped a number of my prospects, but unfortunately, my best placement was a very close third.

The last two years, I skidded to eighth and then 14th. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, my pitching anchors, Justin Verlander and Adam Wainwright, were getting too expensive to keep, requiring almost $60 of my $260, and the next generation was weak in comparison.

Though I was in last place in mid-May 2014, I wasn’t overly concerned. Certainly, I was not in a hurry to take action, but my competitors felt otherwise.

It seems like each year, the XFL dumpers make their moves earlier and earlier.

By the time I made the difficult decision to join in, here are some of the players to have changed teams in a gaggle of trades in the few days heading into last weekend:

Veterans – Ian Kinsler, Pablo Sandoval, Prince Fielder, Adam Jones, Joe Nathan, Troy Tulowitzki, Brett Gardner.

Prospects – Alex Meyer, Marcus Stroman, Garin Cecchini, Dominic Smith, Gregory Polanco, Miguel Gonzalez.

Watching all this unfold, I knew in my heart that I had to jump into the fray and do it quickly. The pump had been primed and it was my turn to drink. Contenders were analyzing the moves made by their peers and several felt they needed to respond.

The final spark was an innocuous inquiry from 2011 and 2012 league champion Don Drooker. Donald’s Dux already took me on a trade in which I received Josh Hamilton for Starlin Castro and wanted more. In this case, it was speed in the name of Ben Revere. Knowing my interest in the Cardinals, he offered St. Louis pitching prospect Alex Reyes, still cutting his teeth in Low-A.

Revere, whom I had purchased for $15 in the November draft, was not part of my future plans. Yet, he wasn’t going to bring enough in trade to improve my long-term health, so I went bold. I asked Drook what it would take to get Matt Harvey.

I had decided my best approach was to acquire a handful of top players, some of the very best. I already had eight prospects on my 40-man roster, but none of them were name brands. I now preferred quality over quantity.

In the meantime, another contender, Lawr Michaels, approached me – get this – asking for Revere, among others. Who could have guessed that the Phils’ outfielder would be in such demand?

Drooker balked at making Harvey available, not a surprising initial reaction. I told him that I was looking at another bigger deal that included Revere, which was absolutely true.

The next day, I contacted the Dux again, specifically teeing up Verlander. Don again declined, referencing the Tigers’ ace’s last four starts. In my final attempt before moving on, I tossed out Wainwright for his consideration.

That did the trick. Drooker offered Harvey and Reyes for Wainwright and Revere. To make this work, however, I had to extract Revere from what had grown to a 10-player deal with Michaels.

Having one Tommy John rehabber in Harvey lined up, I decided to target two more from Lawr – Matt Moore and Miguel Sano. Lawr wanted Kenley Jansen and preferred Mark Teixeira over Nick Swisher. He was willing to exclude Revere.

I let Drooker know I accepted his offer and did the same with Michaels.

It will take another six years of $3 per year salary escalation for Harvey (and Moore) to reach the current keeper price for Wainwright (and Verlander). That gives me a lot of runway to make hay with my two new young aces.

While this was all going on, I had a third deal still percolating. One by-product of being in last place is to own the first spot in the monthly free agent draft. Since I am now playing for next year, that first pick isn’t that important to me. To a contender, however, the selection had real value.

Defending champ Trace Wood was the eager buyer. It took an on-base leader in Asdrubal Cabrera ($14) to couple with my first pick in June to shake loose the top middle infield prospect in baseball, Oakland’s Addison Russell. Fortunately, Wood did not target Revere.

Russell, though not sidelined with Tommy John like my other three acquisitions, has been out all season to date due to a hamstring injury. As a result, he isn’t likely to get a real chance in the bigs until 2015. That is just fine with me, however, so I made the deal. I also received a fourth-round pick in our supplemental draft next spring.

In summary, I added four well-known names in Moore, Harvey, Sano and Russell and gave up Wainwright, Jansen, Teixeira and Cabrera. I shed about $50 of salary and with keeper prices, should have all four new players for the next five or six years for sure.

To say I am delighted is an understatement. Once others started to move, I got into the action and moved strongly and swiftly – and I may not be done yet, after all. Once Hamilton is back, his power would help a contender, as would Verlander’s strikeouts.

The message to you is don’t hesitate. If you have to break down and pull a Luhnow, get on with it. When you are ready to move, be as decisive in trading as you are in drafting your initial roster and acquiring free agents. Determine your targets and go out and get them!

Brian Walton was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 16-year history. He also holds the all-time NL Tout single-season records for wins and saves. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 May 2014 16:35
 
Small Miscues Can Add Up PDF Print E-mail
Articles of Configuration
Written by Brian Walton   
Saturday, 17 May 2014 00:00

This week’s message is a simple one. Perhaps it is too elementary for many. Yet it is one that can be taken for granted. I have been playing a long time and re-learned it the hard way this past week.

Pay attention!

With spring in the air and related outside projects awaiting, visitors in the house and a full weekend of Mother’s Day-related activities planned, there were plenty of potential distractions around.

As a result, I did not watch daily transactions as closely as usual. OK, really I skipped a couple of days, figuring I would catch up on Sunday night before weekly transactions are due.

The result was sort of like what I received earlier in life after cramming for exams at the last minute – much less in return than desired.

In the particular league in question, mid-week transactions are allowed when a player is deactivated due to injury, sent to the minor leagues or released. The same applies if a player comes off the disabled list.

Because I was not paying full attention to roster moves in Major League Baseball, I did not notice that the San Diego Padres activated third baseman Chase Headley off the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. His first day back, San Diego’s number five hitter launched a home run and drove in three. Also important in an on-base percentage league like this one, Headley also drew two free passes.

To help put that performance into perspective, in his 76 plate appearances prior to injury, Headley had just 13 hits and six walks.

The player in my lineup while Headley was on the disabled list was Jeff Bianchi. Not only did Milwaukee’s reserve third baseman did not play last Saturday, he had just two at-bats the entire week. During his too-long stint on my roster of two week’s duration, Bianchi contributed no home runs, no RBI, no steals, two runs scored and an on-base percentage of .167.

Despite Aramis Ramirez having been placed on the disabled list, I dropped Bianchi – though it was a day too late. With Mark Reynolds able to shift to the hot corner and Lyle Overbay available to play first, Bianchi should remain nailed to the Brewers bench for the foreseeable future. If only I had seen that coming.

A couple of weeks ago, I took a flyer on then-just promoted outfielder Randal Grichuk of St. Louis. After seven strikeouts in 21 at-bats and a .182 OBP, the right-handed hitter was returned to Triple-A for more seasoning.

With that transaction effective on Friday, I thought I was ready. I actually had two outfielders potentially available, with one on my bench and another available to bring off the disabled list.

My backfill choice for the dropped Grichuk was Logan Schafer, again of Milwaukee. I thought that at-bats could be had given Ryan Braun’s oblique injury. During the weekend, Schafer had one hit in five at-bats with an RBI.

The other choice would have been the right one – the Mets’ Eric Young, Jr. I had been worried after Young was struck in the face by a ball during batting practice at the start of the week. The outfielder went six days without starting, but when he did on Sunday, a significant result ensued. EY went 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two stolen bases.

Like in the case with Headley’s return, I missed Young’s big day – due to a basic lack of attention on my part.

Perhaps I could have shaken off those mistakes more easily had I not made two other blunders this past week in another league. There, I picked up Ryan Vogelsong and Jordan Lyles, only to leave them on the bench in favor of Tim Lincecum and Alfredo Simon.

The two starters were torched for nine earned runs in just seven innings while Vogelsong and Lyles yielded just five earned runs in 21 1/3 frames - and added 15 strikeouts to boot.

Sure, the long summer is still ahead. These miscues will not make or break my season. Yet they were potential moves entirely under my control, but were missed. Especially with a team not in contention and struggling to become relevant, these kinds of small cuts in aggregate can eventually become fatal wounds.

The bottom line message is simple – pay attention each and every day all season long.

 

Brian Walton was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 16-year history. He also holds the all-time NL Tout single-season records for wins and saves. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 May 2014 08:11
 
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