Tagged: chicago cubs

Yankees ink Joe Girardi for 4 more years


Home is where the heart is.

At least for Joe Girardi, who agreed to stay in New York for $16 million over 4  years including incentives along the way. Yankee fans can now sigh with relief as they will see their skipper signed to the end of the 2017 season.  Joe is a family man with a family plan and made sure that the move was right for his family first. Girardi states “We decided this is where we wanted to come back” and he feels he can turn this club around in what appears that the Yankees may go through a slump next season.

Girardi has a manager of the year under his belt from the 2006 with the Florida Marlins and the year the Yankees won their 27th World Series title he placed 3rd. He will likely place somewhere in the top 5 with his 2013 season performance where he gave the Yankees a near chance to make the playoffs even given the roster being filled with aging players, countless injuries, and the whole Arod situation. Over the last 6 years with Joe as the Yankee manager, they had a 564-408 (.580%) winning record. 1 Pennant and 1 World Series to add to that having finished no worse than 3rd in the AL East division.

The Yankees basically squashed any rumors of him leaving and going to the Chicago Cubs. There were talks that the Cubs were prepared to offer more money than what the Yankees would offer but it looks like the Yankees had the final say and I, as many look forward to seeing Joe Girardi back in the Bronx for the next 4 years.

-Tim Williams


Examining the Matt Garza trade

Welcome aboard to your new team, Matt Garza. The Texas Rangers have completed a trade that sends third basemen Mike Olt, right handed starting pitcher Justin Grimm, right handed starting pitcher C.J. Edwards and a player to be named later to the Chicago Cubs for Matt Garza. The deal could turn into 2 PTBNL depending on if the Cubs select Neil Ramirez or not. If they do, he will be the lone “player to be named later”. All of the Cubs PTBNL options are pitchers. Not really knowing who’s on that list, Neil Ramirez would be a nice addition to the Cubs organization which already got richer by dealing a half a season of Matt Garza who will become a free agent after this season.

A deal like this really shows you the depth and confidence the Texas Rangers have in their minor league system. I really enjoy the willingness and how aggressive the Rangers are to compete for the chance at a World Series championship.

The Rangers get:

Matt Garza – The 29 year old soon to be free agent will join a Texas Ranger rotation that should get them to a playoff spot. Seems as if Garza is over his elbow woes and is pitching to a tune of a 3.17 ERA with 62 strikeouts and 20 walks in 71 innings. In 5 starts at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Garza has an ERA of 6.04 and has given up 5 home runs. Albeit a small sample size, those numbers sure stick out.

The Cubs get:

Mike Olt, 3B – No doubt about it, Mike Olt can hit home runs to the moon, but it has already been reported in the past that he’d been dealing with vision issues. He’s been back on the field for AAA Round Rock and hitting .213 with an OBP of .317 and 11 home runs in 63 games this season. He’s got a long way to go to regain his 2012 form in AA but he’s only 24 years old. Baseball America has him as the 22nd best prospect before the year started.

Justin Grimm, SP – The Cubs get a guy they can throw right in their rotation to replace Matt Garza. Still 24 years old and has shown some bright spots in his time with Texas. Overall it’s clear he was no fit at the Rangers ballpark giving up 15 HR’s but a move to Wrigley sure could help. He has a 6.37 ERA in 17 starts, but 7 for wins. Control is there, but he has just been hit a ton. Grimm owns a career 3.07 ERA in the minors and a nice piece for the Cubbies.

C.J. Edwards, SP – Edwards is currently in A ball with the Hickory Crawdads in the South Atlantic division. The 21 year old starter has been brilliant with the Crawdads this season and possibly could be moved up to AA by years end in the Cubs farm system. In 18 starts, Edwards is 8-2 with a cute 1.83 ERA in 93.1 innings along with a disgusting 122 strike outs and only walking 34 batters. Not to mention he’s only given up 62 hits in that time. Probably the best prospect in this deal. Interesting note, C.J. has not given up any homer’s this season. Actually he has given up 0 home runs in his minor league career.

*Possible Player To Be Named Later:

Neil Ramirez, SP – 24 year old Neil is currently at AA Frisco. Neil Ramirez has similar statistics to Edwards, striking out 11 per 9 innings in 95.1 innings with a bit of a higher ERA at 3.68 mainly due to giving up 8 home runs.

Overall, the Chicago Cubs got what they wanted, a nice haul of prospects to may be able to help out at the big league level at some point in their respective careers and the Rangers got themselves a steady pitcher whom they will take aim for the title this year. You never know until down the road but I do like what the Cubs got as they continue to rebuild.

-Tim Williams


Bouncy Bouncy: Who will have a Bounce Back Year?

On this day, March 4th of 2008, Brad Hawpe and the Colorado Rockies agreed to a 3-year contract worth $17,425,000. The first 2 years of the deal turned out pretty nice for both parties. The third year of the Triple Hawpe’s Brewed contract, not so much. B-rad hit .255/.343/.432 and 7 HR’s in 88 games with Colorado before ending the year with the Tampa Bay Rays. The following year, attempting to have a bounce back season he signed with the San Diego Padres. Only playing 62 games for the Padres and that was all the big league action Brad Hawpe saw after that.

This article is about five players I think will bounce back in the 2013 season:

Ike Davis, 1B, New York Mets

Ike Davis burst on the scene in 2010 as a rookie with the Mets with a stellar rookie campaign. He reached just over 600 plate appearances with a slash line of .264/.351/.440. Ike hit 19 HR’s, knocked in 71, scored 73 times. Even walking 72 times. Last year he was coming off a injury plagued 2011 season and had some bright spots in 2012. Those being a career high, 32 homeruns and 90 RBI’s. You’re probably thinking, why would be be on this list? He hit a measly .227 with an On Base Percentage of .308 and was bothered by a nagging ankle and trying to fight off the valley fever. Yes, valley fever is a real thing. Coming into this season he’s healthy, more alert and has his energy back. I don’t think he’ll top the homers, but everything else should rise.

Dan Haren, SP, Washington Nationals

I never thought of Dan Haren being on any sort of bounce back or comeback list. I mean, it’s Dan freakin’ Haren.  But here it is. Now 32, had his option declined by the Los Angeles Angels and a botched trade to the Chicago Cubs. Haren was snatched up by the ever so loved Washington Nationals for 1 year, $13 Million. Coming off a season dealing with back soreness that had him see some DL time. He simply just gave up too many hits, 190 in 176.2 innings and served up 28 long balls. The ERA a lofty 4.33. The Nats don’t see the back problems striking again, or at least hope so. I think the return to the National League and a change of scenery will do him right.

Brett Gardner, LF, New York Yankees

Brett Gardner missed most of last season with an arthroscopic procedure removing inflamed tissue from his elbow. Limiting him to just 16 games. Though a small sample size, in those 16 games he hit .323 with an On Base Percent of .417. Possible career year? We’ll never know. If it’s one thing he’s good at it’s getting on base (career .355 OBP) and stealing them. Thus a possible position shift to Center this year. I went to a game in 2009 at Yankee Stadium and witnessed him steal 2nd and 3rd back to back. Dude is crazy fast. The Yankees are going to rely this year partly on roadrunner’s ability to stay healthy and utilizing his speed to contend this year. I can see him bouncing back with 40+ steals in 2013.

Vance Worley, SP, Minnesota Twins 

Vance stepped into a big role with the Philadelphia Phillies as a starter and he delivered big in 2011. The Vanimal went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 21 starts and 25 total appearances that led him to a 3rd place finish in Rookie of the Year voting. Which is a nice honor. In the 2012 season he was hit with some right elbow problems, leading to 2 trips to the disabled list including missing his last 3 starts to remove bone chips from his elbow. The main difference from the 2012 and 2011 seasons was less strikeouts and giving up more hits. Part of the trade that sent him and Trevor May to the Twins for the speedy outfielder Ben Revere, he is healthy and in Twins camp. He will fill a much needed role in the Twins rotation. Though he never topped 133 innings and making a transition to the American League, he is still only 25 years young and I have faith he can string together a descent comeback. Though he wont get many wins.

The Vanimal.

Victor Martinez, C/DH, Detroit Tigers

This counts as a bounce back candidate, right? He did miss the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL from a preseason workout. Another weapon is back for the Tigers, who have another possible shot at winning the World Series.  Victor will mostly serve as the DH but could see some time giving Prince a rest at 1st, and possibly behind the plate. Jim Leyland claims Martinez is good to go and his knee shouldn’t be a problem going forward. He owns a career line of .303/.370/.470 in 1149 career games. The guy has such a passion for the game, remember when he teared up when he was traded to the Red Sox? A true class act and he’ll probably hit 5th in what might be one of the best lineups MLB has seen. If the knee holds up, expect big things.

There you have it, 5 players that I think will bounce back in this coming 2013 season. No doubt this year will be one for the ages. Thanks for reading Fully Torqued.

-Tim Williams

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