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Russell Martin Drawing Significant Interest from Pirates

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, catcher Russell Martin is drawing significant interest from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers. The Yankees are still seen as the favorite to resign him, but will have to deal with some competition.

Martin, who will be 30 in March, is coming off a season where he hit .211/.311/.403 with 21 home runs and a 2.2 WAR in 133 games with the Yankees.

Any deal with Martin will presumably be a multi-year deal. In Martin’s final year of arbitration eligibility in 2012, he received $7.5 million.

The Pirates are pretty desperate at the catching position right now and Martin is the second best remaining free agent at the position behind Mike Napoli, so making a strong play for him is probably a good idea.

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Andrew McCutchen wins Gold Glove Award

Published on October 30, 2012 by in Features

Ummm, OK.

In what is pretty astonishing news, Andrew McCutchen has won the NL Center Field Gold Glove Award. McCutchen’s speed definitely allowed him to cover a lot of ground and make some highlight reel catches, but statistics and watching him day in and day out show that he probably wasn’t deserving of this, much like Nate McLouth in 2008.

McCutchen’s UZR/150 ranked 9th among 11 qualified NL center fielders and hit a total of zero (perhaps an exaggeration) cut-off men in 2012.

But in all seriousness, even with how silly the Gold Glove Award is, it’s pretty awesome McCutchen won. He is an amazing player and this is the first of hopefully many “major” awards he will win during his career as a Pirate.

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Roundtable with Dejan Kovacevic this Evening

This evening at 9 PM, Dejan Kovacevic will meet and discuss the whole Navy SEALS training thing that went on during Pirates Fall Instructs. Hopefully it will provide some clarity on the whole situation, especially what was released late last night [link].

The forum will take place at Bucs Dugout [link]. Please follow Charlie’s rules listed on the page.

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BBA: 2012 Stan Musial Award

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I have the privilege to vote on all of the awards that are handed out by the organization at season’s end. The Stan Musial Award goes to the most valuable player in the league.

1) Buster Posey, C, San Francisco
It’s hard to realize, but 2012 was Posey’s first full ML season and man was it good. He led the NL in WAR (8.0) and won the batting title with a .336/.408/.549 line.

2) Ryan Braun, LF, Milwaukee
Braun’s 2012 was even better than his 2011 MVP campaign. Whether or not you believe he deserves it, his numbers don’t lie. He hit 41 homers and was second in the league in WAR (7.9).

3) Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh
It was awesome to see McCutchen blossom into the MVP-caliber player the Pirates have so desperately needed for years. His 7.4 WAR was 5th best in the league.

4) Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego
Headley was a hot commodity during the deadline and he ended up showing why. He ended up staying with the Padres and amazingly put up a line of .286/.376/.498 with 31 homers in the worst hitter’s park in the majors.

5) David Wright, 3B, New York
Wright had a big bounce back season after a 2011 season where he posted just a 1.9 WAR. He hit .306/.391/.492 with 21 homers this season and finished 3rd in the NL in WAR (7.8).

6) Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles
Kershaw led all NL pitchers in WAR (5.5) and ERA (2.53). Somehow he is still just 24 years old. It’s crazy what he has accomplished so far.

7) Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis
I hate him so bad, but Molina put up his best season of his entire career. And in the Cardinals’ first year without Albert Pujols, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Molina hit .315/.373/.501 with 22 homers and threw out 35 of 73 attempting base stealers.

8) Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee
Ramirez rejuvenated his career with the Brewers and posted the highest WAR (6.5) of his career at age 34. He hit .300/.360/.540 with 27 home runs.

9) Aaron Hill, 2B, Arizona
Hill was the best second baseman in the NL this year and also put up his best season of his career. He set career highs in BA (.302), OBP (.360), SLG (.522), and WAR (6.2).

10) Jason Heyward, RF, Atlanta
Heyward put together the breakout season that Braves fans had in mind when he was a hugely touted prospect. At age 23, Heyward finished 6th in the NL in WAR (6.6) thanks to a solid line (.269/.335/.479) and very strong defense (21.5 UZR).

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BBA: 2012 NL Walter Johnson Award

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I get the privilege of voting on all the awards handed out at the end of the season. Here is my ballot for the Walter Johnson Award, which goes to the league’s best pitcher.

1) Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles
Kershaw gets the slight edge in what is probably the closest battle for the top spot in any of the ballots I’ll be casting this postseason. He gets the nod due to leading the NL in ERA (2.53) and having the highest WAR (5.5) among all NL pitchers. His 227 2/3 innings and 230 strikeouts were also both second highest in the league.

2) Gio Gonzalez, LHP, Washington
Gonzalez has proven to be an amazing acquisition for the Nationals as the always solid southpaw posted his best season to date with a 21-8 record and 2.89 ERA. His 5.4 WAR was good for second among NL pitchers and his 9.35 K/9 was highest in the league.

3) R.A. Dickey, RHP, New York
The knuckleballer had a season to remember. Dickey led the NL in innings pitched and strikeouts and was 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA. His previous career high in wins was 11. He baffled hitters all season long at age 37 and seems to have found his calling on the mound.

4) Cliff Lee, LHP, Philadelphia
I don’t even know how it’s possible that a pitcher who started 30 games and posted a 3.16 ERA could end a season with a 6-9 record, but Lee somehow did it. 11 times this year, the Phillies failed to score three or more runs in games he started. He posted the third highest pitching WAR in the league at 4.9, so it is safe to say the Phillies really should have lost more of his starts than they did.

5) Kris Medlen, RHP, Atlanta
Medlen started the year off in the Braves’ bullpen but made his final 12 appearances as a starter. The Braves won all 12 of his starts. For the year, he finished 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA and 120:23 K:BB rate over 138 innings.

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BBA: 2012 NL Goose Gossage Award

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I get the privilege of voting in the awards that are handed out. The Goose Gossage Award is presented to the league’s best relief pitcher.

1) Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Atlanta
Kimbrel was just absolutely lights out for the Braves this year. Over 62 2/3 innings, he posted a miniscule 1.01 ERA and struck out 16.66 batters per nine innings. He also converted 42 of 45 save opportunities. The 24-year-old has emerged as the best reliever in the National League.

2) Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati 
Kimbrel’s season was the best in the league this season, but Chapman’s was pretty close. Chapman was slated for the Reds’ rotation this season, but losing Ryan Madson for the year forced him back to the bullpen where he quickly took over the closer’s role. In 71 2/3 innings, he had a 1.51 ERA and struck out 15.32 batters per nine innings. He went until June 7th without giving up an earned run.

3) Sergio Romo, RHP, San Francisco
Romo gets slated into a pretty distant third place, despite putting up his usual solid season. Romo stepped up to help anchor a Giants bullpen that lost Brian Wilson for the year. Over 55 1/3 innings, Romo posted a 1.79 ERA, good for fourth among qualified relievers and struck out 10.25 per nine innings. He also converted 14 of 15 save opportunities.

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