Saturday, November 22, 2008

Valenzuela injured; Byrne to Make 1st start

Chicago - Due to tendinitis in his shoulder, Louie Valenzuela has been placed on the 15 Day DL. Taking his spot will be T.J. Byrne .
T.J. Byrne
Age: 21B/T: R/R
Born: Stevensville, MI
Position(s): P (SP4)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile
Byrne had just recently been promoted to AAA where he made 1 start before getting the call due to Valenzuela's injury. GM Donald Key answered some questions as to why Byrne: "It really came down either Byrne or James Pong , who really has pitched very well this year. In the end 2 factors played into the decision. 1, Byrne will be plugged into the rotation without anyone else getting out of line where as Pong pitched last night. And 2, and most importantly in my eyes, Byrne has about 200 more IP's in the minors so we didn't want to rush Pong. We consider them to be about equal but Byrne will have to be added to the 40 man next year anyways so why not let him have it now, where as Pong has all of this year and next before needing to be added. We won't hesitate to bring Pong up however should the need arise. I will say that had this season gone like the last few we might have held both of them back, however, we think we have a real shot at the playoffs and they might just give us our best chance."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chicago (NL) Gangsters Minor Review

Chicago - Despite the fact that the Major League Gangsters are not simply rolling over, in fact they are playing some of their best ball recently. However, despite that we all know that this season is a lost season. But fret not Gangster followers, not all is bad down on the farm. Today we will go thru the list of the 10 best prospects in the Chicago system. Honestly it was tough ranking the top few, and you could make a case for some of them to be higher or lower on the list.
  • 10.
    Bernie Hernandez
    Age: 22B/T: R/R
    Born: Jarabacoa, DO
    Position(s): P (ClA)
    View Hardball Dynasty Profile
    - Hernandez is dominating in High A, and despite being 22, he should easily find himself in the Chicago 'pen in the next few years. Only projects as a middle man/setup guy.

  • 9.
    Gene Green
    Age: 22B/T: R/R
    Born: Parkersburg, WV
    Position(s): P (ClA)
    View Hardball Dynasty Profile
    - "Mean" Gene Green was acquired earlier in the year from division rival Atlanta. He pitched well before the trade and has struggled since the move. However, he still projects to help the Chicago pen in a few years. Ceiling is as a setup man.

  • 8.
    Sammy Cedeno
    Age: 19B/T: R/R
    Born: Castlewood, SD
    Position(s): P (SP4)
    View Hardball Dynasty Profile
    - The Gangsters #1 pick in Season 3, he has pitched well at times but has a tendency to give up the long ball(19 HR's in 150 IP). In some systems he might be higher, but here he lands at #8, but could easily be a #2 on a Major League squad someday.

  • 7.
    Mule Nye
    Age: 22B/T: R/R
    Born: New Augusta, MS
    Position(s): RF/1B/DH
    View Hardball Dynasty Profile
    - Mule was a 1st round pick (#20 Overall), their inaugral pick, and has hit well enough to deserve a promotion to AAA. However, with the lack of hitting coach there he remains in AA. Could see a late season promotion before the end of the year straight to the Majors however.

  • 6.
    Deivi Chavez
    Age: 21B/T: R/R
    Born: Santiago, DO
    Position(s): SS/IF/OF/DH
    View Hardball Dynasty Profile
    - Chavez was acquired from Atlanta earlier in the year. He has the potential to be a perrenial gold glover and can even handle the stick some. But lets not fool anyone, the real reason he's on the list is because of the glove. Hit well enough to earn a recent promotion to AA. Could be in the majors by the end of season 5.

  • 5.
    Randy Clemens
    Age: 21B/T: L/L
    Born: Jennings, MO
    Position(s): 1B
    View Hardball Dynasty Profile
    - Clemens has big time power (40 HR's in 419 AB's) and a good eye. Should easily reach the majors by the end of season 5. Will get an end of season promotion to AAA(if not the majors for a September callup) but with the AA team in the playoff hunt and a lack of hitting coach at AAA he will stay in AA till the games are over.

  • 4.
    Jose Puente
    Age: 19B/T: R/R
    Born: Villa Altagracia, DO
    Position(s): P (SP3)
    View Hardball Dynasty Profile
    - Puente was an international signing earlier this year and has not disappointed. Was recently promoted to High A, and should see the Majors sometime around Season 7.

  • 3.
    Dick Stewart
    Age: 18B/T: L/L
    Born: Springfield, VT
    Position(s): LF/1B/DH
    View Hardball Dynasty Profile
    - Stewart was the organizations 1st round pick this year (7th overall) and fell to Chicago due to signability issues. It took a while and they finally got him in camp, and boy are they glad they did. Despite only 103 AB's at Rookie level and 70 AB's at Low A, he has been promoted to High A. Combined in those 2 leagues he batted, .376, with a .476 OBP, .873 SLG, and 1.349 OPS, 19 HR's and 78 RBI's in 173 AB's total. Now we don't expect those #'s to continue, and he struggles more with right handers, but he could be in the majors by year 7 as well.

  • 1B & 1A
    T.J. Byrne
    Age: 20B/T: R/R
    Born: Stevensville, MI
    Position(s): P (SP1)
    View Hardball Dynasty Profile
    James Pong
    Age: 19B/T: S/R
    Born: Tokyo, JP
    Position(s): P (SP2)
    View Hardball Dynasty Profile
    - I had a hard time picking which of these 2 righthanders I'd rather have. They have similar #'s in the same league. Each has been dominant. Pong was an International signing last year in Season 3 and Byrne was a 1st round pick(#8 overall) in Season 2. Picking one over the other is pointless, as they should arrive in Chicago around the same time and help anchor the rotation for years to come.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jackson Juggernauts Season 3 Preview

The Juggernauts again have high expectations after winning the Wild Card last season with a 98-64 record. But, for the second year in a row, Jackson is eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, being swept by Anaheim. The core of the team remains with only two additions.

No longer with the big league club are LF/1B Kenny Cohen, who hit .283 with 12 HRs and 55 RBIs, and Rey Ludwick, a defensive specialist who was outrighted to AAA. Cohen was welcome to resign with the team in the offseason, but he was asking for too much to be a worthwhile signing.

New additions to the team are 1B/LF Cyrus May, who has hit 30 and 37 HRs in seasons 1 and 2 and is being counted on to provide some pop in the middle of the order. Signed for $3.2 M, (less than what Cohen was asking for), Cyrus should set the club record for HRs, which stands at 28. Also added is Rule 5 draftee and SS Eugene Walker. Eugene will take the place of Ludwick as the defensive specialist, but should be able to hit much better than Rey, while providing some speed off the bench. Late season callup Vic Baerga will pitch in the bullpen in long relief until injured starter Patsy Phelps returned from the 60-day DL.

Not currently on the roster, but awaiting their return from the DL is the aforementioned Patsy Phelps, season 1 signee who will miss the first 3 months of the season, but is expected back with around 70 games left. Hopefully he will perform as a top All-Star break addition to push the Juggernauts into the playoffs. Also injured with about 15 days expected on the DL is Skeeter McConnell who struggled all last season after performing as a top leadoff man in season 1.

Lineup (what it will look like when Skeeter returns from the DL)

1- CF Skeeter McConnell - .273 Avg, .324 OBA, 56 steals last season after a .307/.372/54 season 1. If he has an OBA of .350 or higher, he will score lots of runs with 80+ stolen bases.

2- 2B Mario Wright - .266/.322/.500 with 20 HRs, 69 RBIs and 16 SB in 384 ABs after being recalled from AAA after 2 months. He is expected to hit in the .280 range with a .340+ OBA, and hit 30 HRs, while stealing 60+ bases. Should be our first 30/30 man this season. He may move to 3rd in the lineup.

3- DH Edgardo Sosa - .317/.386/.437 with 14 HRs and 89 RBIs to lead the team. I would like to move him down in the order, but it would leave to many RH hitters at the end of the lineup, and he had the best OBA on the team.

4- 1B Cyrus May - .233/.301/.503 with 37 HRs and 126 RBIs for Jacksonville last season. We hope he returns to Season 1 stats of .285/.355/.560 with 40 HRs and 133 RBIs. Can run with 23 SBs last season.

5 - LF William Rothschild - .287/.360/.472 with 24 HRs and 87 RBIs. Should continue to improve, and can hit for more average as a .330 Avg in Season 1 in 440 ML ABs shows.

6 - C Randall Carpenter - .289/.370/.526 with 28 HRs and 83 RBIs. Hit .340 in Season 1.

7- RF Jerry Sutton - .270/.352/.477 with 26 HRs and 80 RBIs. Still a solid hitter at the age of 34.

8- 3B Jumbo Romero - .281/.335/.399 with 9 HRs and 24 SBs. Was disappointing last season after hitting .295 with 11 HRs and 10 steals in season 1 in only 244 ABs.

9- SS Charlie Seay - .241/.303/.367 with 16 HRs and 20 SBs. Plays Gold-Glove caliber defense, but may get replaced in the lineup for more offense on occation.


C Sam Giambi - .294/.344/.361 last season in 115 games. Plays good defense and will play a lot behind the plate with Carpenter getting days off and days at DH.

CF/OF Mateo Johnson- Hit a combined .267/.337/.464 for Vancouver and Jackson last season with 28 HRs and 12 steals. Should play a lot, especially of Skeeter McConnell struggles again this season.

LF/RF Jerry Wengert - .291/.373/.537 last season with 18 HRs andf 72 RBIs. Switch hitter with power who led the team in slugging last season can only play about 80 games now at the age of 35, so will get some spot starts and as a good bat off the bench.

SS/IF/OF Eugene Walker. Isn't being counted on to hit much, but be a solid defensive replacement around the field and give rests to whoever needs it.

Rotation (not including Phelps)

1- LHP Juan Garces - All-Star and Cy Young candidate was 16-6 with a 3.10 ERA in 220 innings last season. Should continue his form this season as a legitimate ace.

2- RHP Olmedo Uribe - More of a 3rd or 4th starter, but is being used to split up the lefthanders in place of Phelps. Was 12-12 with a 4.30 ERA in 222 innings last season.

3- LHP Mateo Mota - Fellow left-handed ace Mota was 15-6 last season with a 2.95 ERA in 220 innings. The future ace should improve this season as well.

4- RHP Juan Terrero - Quality swing man who gets the start in the rotation with Phelps injured. He was 12-6 last season with a 3.87 ERA in 148 innings and 20 starts (35 games) last season.

5- RHP Jamie "I like to smoke da" Bong - Was 6-7 in 41 games (12 starts) and 115 innings with a 4.28 ERA in his first full season in the majors. Has room to grow and should be a 10 game winner if he stays in the rotation the whole season.


LR (L) Gil Frazier - As the LRB or mopup pitcher, Gil only pitched 27 innings with a 3.62 ERA last season. Will be counted on for more this season with no other experienced long relievers.

LR (L) Vic Baerga - Was brought up at the end of last season and pitched in only 1 game. Pitched fairly well in AAA last season ( 4.75 ERA), but made the jump instead of higher rated prospects so the prospects could pitch on a regular basis in the rotation.

SU (R) Jerome Archer Solid reliever threw 43 innings last season with a 3.35 ERA, and was 5/5 in save opportunities.

SU (L) Eugene MacRae - Good lefty had a 3.69 ERA in 68 innings last season after a 2.84 ERA in 98 innings in season 1.

SU (R) Bryan Nelson - Season 2 Rule 5 draftee pitched 27 innings last season with a 4.56 ERA. Should improve this season and will be called on more often.

SU (L) Quinton Tankersley - Very good reliever who will take the ball anytime threw 101 innings with a 3.56 ERA last season. Anchors one of the top bullpens in the majors.

CL (R) Kris Carson - Had 38 Saves last season and is 74 / 84 in his career with a 2.72 career ERA (down to 2.40 last season). One of the top closers in the league, and the 2 time All-Star is still only 28.


If CF Skeeter comes back to hit like he did in Season 1, and 1B Cyrus May provides the pop in the middle of the order, the Juggernauts should challenge for 100 wins if Terrero and Bong pitch as expected. Phelps should provide a boost when he returns and gets the team ready for a playoff run.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Austin Popsicles Season Preview

If Vancouver is allowed to go on and on, then so can I...

After a second season remarkably like the first--horrendous first half followed by inspiring second half leading to 82- and 81-win seasons respectively--the Popsicles appear ready to make the leap into serious playoff contention. I'm always willing to put players into the majors about a year before they're ready. This season is no exception. But some of our fruit has begun to ripen.

Our major problem last year, other than the usual inconsistent bullpen, was the lack of a true leadoff hitter, which left few runners on base for our big power hitters and forced us to play MVP candidate Darren Rossy in the top spot for most of the season. That has changed with the arrival of our new left-fielder Andy Newman, fresh off a AAA campaign where he posted a .443 OBP and stole 57 bases.

We're well-represented in the number two hole as well, which was a revolving door of platoon players last season. A dangerous experiment has converted last season's starting catcher, nightly-news legend David Brinkley, into a first baseman. We assume that his impressive contact rating and excellent splits will offset his teeball-level range. This is David's second full ML season, and he's coming off a solid rookie season where he hit .290 with 12 homers and 61 RBI.

Then the big guns fire, first with Darren Rossy, a serious MVP candidate last year for a third-place team while hitting 47 HRs with 113 RBI, batting .313 and OPSing 1.004--mostly from the leadoff spot. Batting fourth is the amazing Bucky Hernandez, one of CAPB's elite players, who hit 52 HRs for the second season in a row, drove in more than 130 runs for the second season in a row, stole more than 20 bases for the second season in a row, and made one error in 900-plus innings in CF.

Darren and Bucky have good protection this season, thanks to our 3B William Suzuki, acquired early last season from Pittsburgh. Between his two squads, William hit .286 with 36 HRs and 119 RBI. Hitting sixth is our outstanding young shortstop Pedro Guzman, who socked more than 20 HRs for a second straight season and hit a solid .279. Pedro's ratings continue to rise. Hitting seventh is another rising young star, right-fielder Quinn Lorraine, who won his way onto the big-league squad with a stellar spring. Last year at AAA, Quinn hit .316 with a .409 OBP, 12 HRs, and 83 RBI. He's certainly ready to contribute to the big club. Finally, hitting eighth, we have yet another rookie, the physically unattractive yet talented Babe Flair. He has the makeup of a two-bit hood, but the pitch-call rating of a God as well as quite a bit of power. His career minor-league OPS of .943 and flat-out excellent defense bode well for us.

Our bench is led by utility infielder and 3B heir apparent Tomas Goya, another budding star barely of drinking age. Tomas hit .282 with 10 HR and 14 SB in limited action last year, but we're grooming him for big things. Pinch-hitter and LF/1B fill-in Les McNeil, who hopes to return to his season one .292 form after last year's forgettable numbers, and Albert Lopez, unforgivably benched after a season where he won the Gold Glove and stole 21 bases, will both play key roles. Rounding out our position players are Napoleon Larson, providing veteran leadership while playing out his lousy contract, and the insanely overpaid Mo Leach, who got a four-year contract by accident one night when I was drunk. Still, if your 25th man has a career OPS of .782 and can play excellent outfield defense, you're probably in for a good season.

Our pitching staff also looks very good. Opening day starter Jesus Rijo is a high-end workhouse with a career OAV of .240 and a career WHIP of 1.16. He's given me 230-plus innings two years running, and has never faltered. Future Cy Young winner Matthew Harris, another Popsicle rushed into big-league service far too early, is the second starter, coming off a season where he allowed a .230 OAV and a .294 OBP, while proving increasingly unhittable as his ratings soared toward the stratosphere. He starts off this season stronger than ever, with frighteningly limitless potential. Yes, his 2 rating on the GB/FB is a little alarming, but if you strike out 200 batters in 198 innings, you can give up a dinger now and then.

Claude Wilson, our third starter, is a veritable graybeard on our team at 24. He comes off a fine season where he allowed a .242 OAV and a 1.26 WHIP. Fourth is Cristobal Beltran, who had a somewhat disappointing second season, with an ERA near five after a good first season, but he eats innings and has excellent control. Hector Graham, who had a rough rookie season but improved remarkably in the offseason, is our fifth starter.

Our bullpen is headed by hotshot closer Billy Gutierrez, who was nearly unhittable last year, saving 36 games out of 37 opportunities, with an OAV of .145, an OBP of .225, a WHIP of .081, and an ERA of 0.89, while giving up one home run. Nothing can compare with that, but setup men Doc Everett, Vern Garcia, Patrick Webster, and the veteran Joe Maas should be able to get him the ball with regularity.

In a departure from the norm, the Popsicles signed two older free-agent relievers to round out the pen. Brutus Barkley, solid for two years with the former Oakland franchise, now gets a two-year deal in the Popsicles green or whatever the hell that color is. Heath Woods, after two years with LAA, is asked to provide some long relief before he retires to his upstate New York McMansion.

In short (or long), I expect big things from the Popsicles this season. Our division doesn't lack quality squads, but it has balance, and we can win. With that one-two punch at the top of the rotation, a really good lineup, and a great closer, postseason success, while never a certainty, is definitely possible. Assuming we don't start 5-13 for a third straight year, we could be one of the NL's best teams.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Vancouver Pornographers: Season Outlook

The Vancouver Pornographers were able to make decent improvement from S1's 76-win team to S2's 82-win team, thanks largely to solid second-half play. Expectations are higher this season, however, as several young players will make their debuts at Nat Bailey Stadium for a Vancouver team that hopes to make a serious playoff push. Although several key veterans departed via trade and free agency, Vancouver is cautiously optimistic for season 3.

Vancouver has made several major lineup changes since opening day last season. Near the end of S2, Vancouver traded veteran first baseman Mike Higgins and All-Star center fielder Mateo Johnson to the Jackson Juggernauts for two pitchers and a third baseman, primarily to open up spots for younger players. More recently, four key players from the S2 team left via free agency: catcher Tommy Sowders, a defensively challenged prolific slugger who owns the franchise single-season home run record; shortstop Donaldo Sanchez, a defensive specialist; and infielder Adam Governale. Vancouver filled center field, first base, and shortstop internally and turned to the free agent market for a new catcher.

Leading off for Vancouver will be second-year third baseman Davey Borkowski (.303/.362/.489, 46 2B, 21 HR, 64 RBI, 106 RS). Borkowski is an excellent defender (S1 AAA Gold Glove), a versatile hitter, and a strong baserunner. Veteran right fielder Bill Reynolds (.316/.386/.561, 28 HR, 27 SB, 71 RBI) gives the Pornographers a potent 1-2 combination. A switch-hitter with a very balanced skill set, he has good power, speed, and patience.

Borkowski and Reynolds look to offer many RBI opportunities for highly-anticipated 22-year-old rookie Placido Benitez (.395/.475/.866, 56 HR, 154 RBI, 127 RS), a two-time AAA Most Valuable Player and All-Star. The first baseman dominated AAA over the last two seasons, posting an .396/.488/.851 line with 107 home runs, 319 RBI, and a 2:1 BB:K ratio in 230 games. Although somewhat limited defensively, coaches are confident that his exceptional bat will make up for any shortfall with the glove. Following Benitez in the cleanup spot is another rookie, 23-year-old center fielder Benito Espada (.365/.455/.609, 27 HR, 103 RBI, 130 RS). Espada also boasts two All-Star nods, and won a Silver Slugger and Rookie of the Year award last season. Scouts say he's very strong defensively and a good contact hitter. The third rookie in the Vancouver lineup will hit fifth: shortstop Benito Velazquez (.355/.396/.702, 31 HR, 57 2B, 111 RBI), a two-time AAA All-Star and last season's Silver Slugger. The 24-year-old Velazquez is an impatient but powerful hitter and a skilled defender.

At second base and the sixth lineup spot, two veterans will share playing time: Omar Fernandez (.286/.350/.427) and Manuel Granados (.305/.339/.451). Fernandez is a better defender but sometimes has trouble against RHP, while Granados is a more balanced hitter but weaker in the field. In left field and hitting seventh for Vancouver is second-year Juan Gomez (.332/.407/.616 AAA; .269/.331/.470 ML). A natural third baseman with a good glove, Gomez should be a dangerous hitter late in the lineup. At the bottom of the lineup is free agent catcher Dario Zhang (.246/.325/.313). A contact hitter with little power, Zhang is mostly on the team for his defense and turning over the lineup.

Vancouver's bench has some flexibility offensively and defensively. Fernandez or Granados will be able to provide infield depth and a fairly good bat off the bench. Rich Post (.241/.328/.287) is a light-hitting speedster who could see some starts at center or second if he manages to push his OBP north of .350. Matthew Ward (.245/.299/.505, 37 HR, 88 RBI) signed a 2-year contract last year to be Vancouver's slugger, but he's been relegated to the bench for his poor performance. Warm bodies filling out the bench include Moe Randall (.307/.387/.456 AAA; .268/.339/.446 ML), with some power, little speed, and a mediocre glove; and backup catcher Luis Crespo (.238/.308/.341), a weak-hitting defensive specialist.

The most significant loss from Vancouver's pitching staff was veteran starter Todd Gant, an 11-game winner last year and S1 All-Star. Overall, pitching does not look to be the Pornographers' strength this season, although there are some interesting arms in the rotation and bullpen.

Gabe Lewis (224 IP, 9-14, 1.37 WHIP, 4.58 ERA) and Phil Herrera (217, 12-8, 1.18, 3.35) should be a potent 1-2 combination at the start of the rotation, but Vancouver has been unable to get simultaneous quality seasons from both right-handers. Both pitchers are still under 30, however, and the Pornographers remain hopeful that this is their year.

After Lewis and Herrera, the Pornographers will have to turn to a mixture of aging veterans and unproven youngsters. Of the former, 37-year-old Julio Gonzalez (187, 14-8, 1.26, 4.17) contributed a surprisingly effective season, but expectations are minimal for S3. At 38, Brian Witt (176, 9-13, 1.48, 5.47) is also a possible but unreliable contributor. Free agent Edgardo Mendoza (152, 15-8, 1.58, 5.27) was brought on as an insurance policy for these injury-prone vets.

Younger candidates include last year's Rule 5 pick Art Douglas (80, 1.74, 5.94), midseason acquisition Aurelio Martin (142, 12-6, 1.44, 4.82 AAA), and up-and-coming rookie Bob Burch (98, 1.29, 4.58 AAA)

Relief ace Trevor Watkins, a S1 All-Star and S2 Fireman of the Year, will return as Vancouver's closer. He'll be supported by rubber-armed Ernest Barker (112, 1.60, 4.71), S1 free agent signing Darryl Carson (62, 1.46, 4.48), and S1 Rule 5 pick Archie LaRue (66, 1.65, 5.59).

Pitching Prospects
5 Robin Stoops, 25, AAA (162, 15-6, 1.44, 4.87). Something of a long shot, but could be a major league contributor. ETA now
4 Earl Womack, 20, AAA (55, 1.24, 4.09 AA). A S2 trade acquisition, has a shot at being a decent long reliever or back-rotation starter. ETA 1-2 years
3 Frank Carver, 21, AAA (117, 1.25, 3.44 AAA). Lacks starter stamina, profiles as a solid setup man or long reliever. ETA 1 year
2 Benji Duncan, 25, AAA (30, 29/30 SV, 1.01, 2.64 AAA). While not quite a closer candidate, Duncan should be a quality setup man. ETA 1 year
1 Ozzie Sauveur, 19, LoA (56, 2-2, 1.46, 5.14 Rk). The 12th overall pick last season, Sauveur projects as a true ace. ETA 3+ years

Position Prospects
5 Chris Tannehill, 20, AAA (.342/.430/.511, 16 HR, 87 RBI, 88 RS HiA/AA). Another trade acquisition; probably not good enough to take PT away from other CIFs in system. ETA 2-3 years
4 Carlos Benitez, 22, AAA (.285/.373/.496, 27 HR, 90 RBI, 85 RS AA). Better defender than hitter, but should be enough as a 4th OF. ETA 1-2 years
3 Luis Ortiz, 22, AA (.321/.410/.575, 32 HR, 135 RBI, 119 RS LoA). Quality hitter and good defense in right. ETA 2-3 years
2 Clarence Lloyd, 23, AAA (.308/.362/.561, 20 HR, 123 RBI, 109 RS AAA). Excellent defender and good hitter, but may not have a spot in the lineup. ETA 1 year
1 Bobby Jacquez, 21, AA (.338/.395/.595, 30 HR, 53 2B, 129 RBI, 123 RS HiA). Should be a serious contributor in the majors. ETA 1-2 years

Monday, April 14, 2008


For just the 3rd time in 11 seasons in a "randallball" run world, we had a violation of the player salary cap this season. The offending owner, veteran davesanchez of the Pittsburgh Penguins agreed to the "punishment" and forwarded a GC equal to one HBD season ($25.00) to the league to be "held in escrow" should he decide to not remain in the league until the contract expires. The most puzzling thing about the contract is that the big bucks were forked over for a relief pitcher - a damn fine relief pitcher, but a relief pitcher nonetheless. It makes sense when you realize that davesanchez is in a lot of pain (and likely on a lot of medication) as he preps for his impending back surgery.

This is your brain on drugs.

The player involved is two time All-Star Bubbles Rapp: . The poppable one will be 36 at the end of the contract. Let's hope for Pittsburgh's sake that he doesn't fall victim to the "cap violator curse" that has bitten before.

Because of this event, it has become apparent that the brief salary cap description (available in the league forum, here) does not contain a complete enough discription of just what exactly the cap entails. As such, I have taken the time to draw it in more clear detail just what constitutes a violation in CAPB.

In seasons 1 and 2 of CAPB (and NABCL, for that matter) the player salary cap was $12m per season. In season 3 of both worlds, that limit jumped to $13.5m. What this means is that any contract given during season 3 cannot have any season of that contract exceed the current cap. Since the current cap is $13.5m, the max legal contract that should have been offered to Rapp (or any other FA) is 5 years/$67.5m - and that $67.5m needs to be maxed at $13.5m on each of the 5 seasons, not averaged out to $13.5. Any bonus that exceeds that amount would also be a violation.

In season 4, the cap remains in place at $13.5m per season. In season 5, the amount jumps once again to $15.0m. So a contract offered to a season 4 FA cannot exceed $13.5m in value (including bonus) in any season of the contract (even those seasons in which the cap is greater than $13.5m). A contract offered to a season 5 FA cannot exceed $15.0m in value (including bonus) in any season of the contract, so the max contract would be $75.0m (5 seasons of $15.0m each, no signing bonus).

If the market dictates that we raise the cap in future seasons (i.e., if FA demands exceed the cap) we will examine the player cap at that point. It should be pointed out, though, that we are currently in season 8 of NABCL and this has not happened.

Any further questions about the player salary cap should be directed to yours truly, via sitemail or trade chat.

Good luck on the upcoming season to everyone....GO RIVER DOGS!

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