Friday, June 23, 2017

Sporting News: Andrelton Simmons finds motivation in "glove-first" label

Andrelton Simmons provides defense on a level that makes his offensive contributions secondary, maybe even a bonus. But for much of Simmons' big-league career, the imbalance between his defense and offense was so lopsided that he was collared with a dreaded baseball tag: glove-first.

Still, Simmons’ glove was so exceptional that the Braves plugged him in every day for more than three seasons after his debut in 2012. The Angels were then interested enough to trade for him despite weak runs created plus (wRC+) marks of 71 and 81 in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sporting News: MLB's best bangs for the buck

MLB organizations strive to maintain balance between players of all salary levels when constructing rosters. Even for clubs swimming in cash, the goal is to find the best value based on the disparity of expected performance worth and competitive balance commitments for 25 players.

Using FanGraphs’ WAR values (fWAR) and the average annual value (AAV) of contracts for each player, we’ve zeroed in on which players have provided the best bang for the buck at each position, plus at designated hitter, starting pitcher and reliever through games played June 11.

Our investigation turned up five players on first-place clubs, a rookie delivering the best value, four first-round picks, eight players in or beyond their arbitration seasons, an average age of 24.9 and a total value to clubs that stretched beyond $231.6 million.