It’s almost impossible to earn a ranking ahead of Bryce Harper, but philosophically we consider a pitcher with present ace stuff and Major League opportunity to be more valuable than even a likely Hall of Fame hitter. Moore made considerable steps forward in 2011 in the command department and catapulted himself forward into becoming the top pitching prospect in the game. He then went on to make three appearances during Tampa’s stretch into the postseason before tossing seven innings of two-hit baseball to open the Division Series in Arlington. Pretty impressive for a 22-year-old.
Moore is 6-fot-2 with extremely clean and effortless mechanics. His body projects, but honestly, what do we need to project here? Moore is the easiest 70 fastball guy in baseball. His secondary stuff and command are top shelf, and his makeup is championship caliber. His fastball reaches 97 mph. His breaker is a deadly downer that consistently receives double-plus grades. His changeup is an easy plus pitch with double-plus potential. His slider is new and rarely used, but it is also plus. Stephen Strasburg didn’t even have four plus pitches as a 22-year-old, and he isn’t a lefty.
Matt Moore will challenge for a Cy Young as soon as he is given slack on the leash to grab 100 pitches per start and 32 or so starts per season. There is not a pitcher in the game today I would rather have signed long-term than Matt Moore. Not Gerrit Cole. Not Tim Lincecum. Not Strasburg. Not Justin Verlander. Not Clayton Kershaw. Matt Moore will be the American League’s best pitcher sooner rather than later.
In 18 days, the Tampa Bay Rays will head to Port Charlotte with an unusual dilemma on their hands or, in this case, arms.
They have too many of them.
Barring any late deals before pitchers and catchers report Feb. 20, the Rays will open camp with six possibly even seven starters on the roster: James Shields, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, Matt Moore...
The Tampa Rays defeated right-handed pitcher Jeff Niemann in salary arbitration Friday.Niemann will earn $2.75 million instead of his requested $3.2 million next season.The 28-year-old posted a record of 11-7 with a 4.06 ERA in 23 starts for the Rays last season.Tampa Bay has never lost an arbitration case in their franchise history.
Two people familiar with the talks say the Cleveland Indians have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent first baseman Casey Kotchman.
Kotchman, who batted a career-best .306 for Tampa Bay last season, will make $3 million this season, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized. Kotchman can make an additional $1.75...
The quest is over! And now we can finally get on with our lives. I wrote about the Indians search for an extra bat for months, and it has finally come to an end.
Two days ago, I flew back home from a business trip. Walking towards baggage claim, I saw a man from a limo company holding up a sign that said “Kotchman.” I then tweeted the following:
24 hours later, Casey Kotchman...
The Cleveland Indians signed first baseman Casey Kotchman to a one-year contract Thursday.
The deal is worth $3 million for the 28-year-old Kotchman, who batted a career-high .306 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs for the Tampa Bay Rays last season.
A strong defensive player, the left-handed hitting Kotchman appeared in a career-high 146 games last season.
He has a lifetime batting...
The Tampa Bay Rays defeated pitcher Jeff Niemann in salary arbitration Friday, improving clubs to 2-0 in decisions this year. Niemann will earn $2.75 million instead of his request for $3.2 million. Tampa Bay improved to 6-0 in arbitration.
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