LATEST STORIES FROM THE OUTSIDE CORNER

Yankees agree to four-year contract extension with Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees once again spent money on a player Sunday, but instead of dishing it out on a free agent, they retained one of their own. Outfielder Brett Gardner agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract extension with the team that begins in 2015 and will take him through the 2018 season. The Yankees also have a $12.5 million club option on the contract for 2019.   ...
Via The Outside Corner
February 23, 2014  |  Discuss

Zack Greinke is not happy about playing games in Australia

The Los Angeles Dodgers will kick off their 2014 season a week before nearly the entire rest of the league, playing a two game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. One of the players who isn't too pleased with this turn of events is Dodgers starting pticher Zack Greinke, who may start one of the games as the team attempts to keep 2013 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw's innings...
Via The Outside Corner
February 23, 2014  |  Discuss

Report: Nelson Cruz signs one-year deal with Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles continued their fancy offseason spending, agreeing to a one-year contract with Nelson Cruz for $8 million. The contract's details were reported by ESPN's Enrique Rojas, and as always, the completion of the deal is pending a physical. Cruz is reportedly going to serve as Baltimore's designated hitter, and I'd expect that Cruz will displace non-roster invitee...
Via The Outside Corner
February 22, 2014  |  Discuss

The four horsemen of the Oakland Athletics

These aren't your Athletics of a decade ago, when their division champion teams were loaded with stars like Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson. Only one member of the 2013 A's was as much as a four win player, and only three others joined him in being a three win guy. Thus, it's simultaneously difficult and easy to choose the four horsemen...
Via The Outside Corner
February 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Three key questions for the Oakland Athletics

It's not all gravy for the Oakland Athletics. Yeah, they've won two straight AL West championships, but I look at this team and I see a few question marks. Billy Beane has always been great at picking guys off the scrap heap and making the most of their abilities, but this Oakland club isn't just the detritus of other teams - there are some real solid players in this bunch. However...
Via The Outside Corner
February 21, 2014  |  Discuss

The two biggest weaknesses of the Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics had a busy offseason, mainly spent upgrading their bullpen. Billy Beane has never been one to throw around large amounts of salary, but he did that this winter when he traded for Jim Johnson and signed both Scott Kazmir and Eric O'Flaherty to two-year, multi-million deals. But the A's aren't flawless, as no teams really are. Their two biggest weaknesses are...
Via The Outside Corner
February 21, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 season preview: Oakland Athletics

In 2012, the A's needed to scrape and claw to win the AL West. They held sole possession of first place for just one day all season - the final day of the year, when they completed a sweep of the Rangers at O.co Coliseum. Oakland's 2013 run wasn't nearly as dramatic - they spent most of the second half in first, and broke free of Texas for good on September 6th. However, both 2012...
Via The Outside Corner
February 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest - welcome to Athletics Day

TOC's season preview series is now one-third of the way complete - well, it will be after today, when we turn the spotlight to the two-time defending AL West champion Oakland Athletics. The A's were able to breathe a bit easier during the 2013 season than they were in 2012, but ran into the same buzzsaw in October - the Detroit Tigers. Can Oakland finally make the jump past Detroit...
Via The Outside Corner
February 21, 2014  |  Discuss

The four horsemen of the Texas Rangers

As we've established during our initial team season previews here at The Outside Corner, a club's "four horseman" does not necessarily mean its four best players. The intention is to present the four guys who might have the greatest influence on their team's fortunes with their success or failure during a season. Players like Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo and Neftali Feliz will certainly...
Via The Outside Corner
February 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Three key questions for the Texas Rangers

Going into the 2014 season, the Rangers' biggest concern appears to be their starting pitching. The team has one, perhaps two spots to fill in its rotation, depending on who's healthy. With Matt Harrison again having back issues, there may be three openings on the staff. So that may be the key question for Texas right now. But we've already beaten that drum in our two previous...
Via The Outside Corner
February 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Braves continue extension party, sign Andrelton Simmons for seven years

Hey Braves? This whole contract extension business is getting out of hand. The latest young member of their roster to sign a long-term extension with the club is shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who will make $58 million over the next seven years. The extension will take Simmons through the 2020 season when he turns 31 and buys out his first two years of free agency. 2013 was Simmons...
Via The Outside Corner
February 20, 2014  |  Discuss

The two biggest weaknesses of the Texas Rangers

With the additions of Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo, the Rangers once again have a fearsome lineup and look as if they could be one of the best teams in the AL this season. But general manager Jon Daniels has not assembled a perfect roster. (To be fair, has any MLB GM put together a flawless club?)  There are a couple of weaknesses that could prevent Texas from fulfilling...
Via The Outside Corner
February 20, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Season Preview: Texas Rangers

For the past couple of seasons, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has been reluctant to make the big addition that could push his team back into World Series contention. No Zack Greinke, no Cole Hamels, no Justin Upton. Apparently, he and the rest of the Texas front office learned that lesson. The Rangers were one of the boldest and most aggressive clubs this offseason, adding...
Via The Outside Corner
February 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest - welcome to Rangers Day

Since losing the 2011 World Series in heartbreaking fashion to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Texas Rangers have done nothing but go backwards. They collapsed down the stretch in 2012, losing the AL West title to the Athletics and falling to the Orioles in the AL Wild Card game. Last season, the Rangers didn't even get that far - they dropped a tiebreaker game to the Rays for the AL...
Via The Outside Corner
February 20, 2014  |  Discuss

The four horsemen of the Los Angeles Angels

When we came up with this "four horsemen" series, it was really just meant as a clever framing device to talk about the four key players on each team and kept with out incremental counting gimmick (two weaknesses, three questions, you get it). However, with the Angels, the reference to the four horsemen of the apocalypse is remarkably apt and not because the franchise is one the...
Via The Outside Corner
February 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Reds sign Homer Bailey to six year, $105 million extension

Go ahead and pull Homer Bailey's name off of the free agent market for next winter - he's reportedly signed a six-year extension with the Cincinnati Reds worth $105 million. The right-hander will turn 28 in May, and was the seventh-overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft. Bailey has come into his own during his last two years in the league, tossing a pair of no-hitters and crossing...
Via The Outside Corner
February 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Three key questions for the Los Angeles Angels

As you can imagine, the Angels have some 'splaining to do after falling short of expectations and the playoffs four seasons in a row. A novel could be written about the many open questions they will have to address if they want to return to contention. Alas, there is only so much time at our disposal, so we will focus on just the three main quandaries the Halos will face in 2014...
Via The Outside Corner
February 19, 2014  |  Discuss

The two biggest weaknesses of the Los Angeles Angels

Despite all the big signings and trades of the last few offseasons, the Angels find themselves in limbo. They aren't a bad team, but they probably aren't that good either. At best, they are a fringe playoff contender that need to avoid having their biggest weaknesses exploited in order to actually have a shot at breaking their post-season drought. The problem is that there weaknesses...
Via The Outside Corner
February 19, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Season Preview: Los Angeles Angels

Four consecutive seasons and counting without a playoff appearance for the Angels has patience wearing thin in Los Angeles (of Anaheim). While they may have resisted the urge to make big, splashy moves this offseason, they also may not have done enough to break their post-season drought. Could the Halos really be on the verge of another fruitless season despite a massive payroll...
Via The Outside Corner
February 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest - welcome to Angels Day

Today is day number eight of our preview season, and we're going to turn our focus to one of the most disappointing teams in baseball over the last two years, the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels spent big following the 2011 and 2012 seasons, and earned a total of zero playoff berths as a result. This season, they barely spent much of anything at all, instead relying on trades to bolster...
Via The Outside Corner
February 19, 2014  |  Discuss

The Four Horsemen of the Seattle Mariners

You can probably figure out at least two of the four players most important to the Mariners' success in 2014 -- it's finding the other two for this piece that was a bit more challenging. While some teams have four (or more) guys who are clear keys to success, the Mariners have two top-tier stars and a bunch of Wild Cards. Fitting for a team trying to turn around national perception...
Via The Outside Corner
February 18, 2014  |  Discuss

Three Key Questions for the Seattle Mariners

The Mariners fancy themselves contenders, but part of the reason they're being met with skepticism (other than the fact that we've seen this kind of optimism before, only to have expectations blown up by June) is that there are more than a few questions still surrounding this team. We'll do our best to narrow it down to three. Can Robinson Cano live up to his contract? Well...
Via The Outside Corner
February 18, 2014  |  Discuss

Orioles spent money to get Ubaldo Jimenez, why not spend more?

The Orioles finally spent some money in free agency, inking pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year, $48 million deal on Monday. It's the first time Baltimore has given a four-year contract to a free agent since catcher Ramon Hernandez agreed to a 27.6 million contract in 2006. And it's the biggest offer the O's have made to a free agent since Miguel Tejada signed a six-year, $72 million...
Via The Outside Corner
February 18, 2014  |  Discuss

The Two Biggest Weaknesses of the Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are desperate. They haven't had a winning season since 2009, haven't been to the playoffs since 2001 and the past four seasons have been four of the of the 10 lowest-scoring seasons in franchise history. This offseason has seen a damning report about their front office surface and a spending spree that seems to say they're done trying to build long-term success with...
Via The Outside Corner
February 18, 2014  |  Discuss

WATCH: Insane bench-clearing baseball brawl erupts in Cuba

On Monday night in Cuba, all hell broke loose. Baseball America captured this incredible video of a brawl between Villa Clara and Matanzas. After Eriel Sanchez of Matanzas homered, Villa Clara pitcher Freddy Alvarez hit both Yasiel Santoya and Victor Mesa Jr., whose father is the manager of Matanzas. After Mesa got hit, he dramatically jogged back to the dugout, leading to teammate...
Via The Outside Corner
February 18, 2014  |  Discuss
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