Offseason Notes, With a Picture of Mark Gubicza

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Prospecting: John Sickels’ Top-20 List for Cleveland
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Los Angeles Angels Television

Assorted Headlines
All the nerd that’s fit to print.

Seattle Signs Japanese Right-Hander Iwakuma
The Seattle Mariners have signed 30-year-old Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with a potential $3.4 million possible in incentives,’s Greg Johns reports. Iwakuma is the player with whom Oakland won the rights to negotiate last year but failed to reach an agreement. Per his player page at Patrick Newman’s NPB Tracker, Iwakuma appears to throw six pitches with some frequency. (Mike Axisa provides a more thorough look at Iwakuma today at the site.)

Dodgers Re-Sign Reliever MacDougal
The Los Angeles Dodgers re-signed (soon-to-be) 35-year-old right-hander Mike MacDougal to a one-year, $1 million contract on Thursday,’s Ken Gurnick. MacDougal hasn’t been particularly effective over his career (104 xFIP- last season, 97 xFIP- career), but his sinker is a lot of fun to watch. Per PITCHf/x, he threw it ca. 77% of the time last season, at an average of 94.6 mph — which, that’s why he had a ground-ball rate of 60%.

Three Weeks of Minor-League Signings
Baseball America’s Matt Eddy has a record of the last three weeks’ of minor-league transactions, including some semi-notable moves not covered in previous editions of the Notes — moves like Eric Patterson to Detroit, Josh Fields to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the perenially lovable R.J. Swindle to the entirely less lovable St. Louis Cardinals. (Thanks to Mike Axisa for the note.)

Prospecting: John Sickels on Cleveland
John Sickels has published his preliminary top-20 list for the Cleveland Indians.

Here are some notes on same:

• Sickels ranks shortstop prospects Francisco Lindor, Tony Wolters, and Ronny Rodriguez first, third, and sixth overall (respectively) in the organization. Cleveland took Lindor eighth overall out of a Florida high school in the most recent draft and, per Baseball America’s pre-draft scouting report, it wouldn’t have been laughable to see him go first. Rodriguez had 11 homers in 349 plate appearances as a 19-year-old at Class A Lake County. A note on that, however: per StatCorner, Lake County appears to have a 134 home-run park factor for right-handed batters.

• Right-hander Dillon Howard is the other player (along with Lindor) who held out to the deadline in 2011, finally signing for $1.85 million after being taken 67th overall. Sickels ranks him second overall in the organization on the promise of his (i.e. Howard’s) “body and stuff”) but only with a B- rating, due to lack of pro data.

• Pitching for the first time in Double-A, 24-year-old right-hander Austin Adams, whom Sickels ranks 14th, struck out 22% of the batters he faced in 136.0 innings. He has real velocity (as high as 100 mph, per farm director Ross Atkins) and, apparently, a hard-breaking curve, too.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Los Angeles Angels Television
This offseason, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs. (Click here for more on this project.)

Rate other teams: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago (AL) / Chicago (NL) / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Colorado / Detroit / Miami / Houston.

Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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12 years ago

which, that’s why [MacDougal] had a ground-ball rate of 60% and a BB+WP+PB/9 of approximately 12.*

*Made up stat, may not be accurate but sure seems like it at times