Picks of the Pen

Look at Jorge Posada‘s picture from MLB’s home page!  With a face like that, you can see why so many teams want him in their clubhouse immediately.  To like, ward off evil or illustrate how to correctly handle a sinus problem or whatever he’s doing here.

Veteran presence!

Links, coming at you.

Blaine, Senior Editor

This week, after the winner of the Yu Darvish sweepstakes was revealed, most attention turned to the markets remaining available starting pitchers. With few appealing options to be had via free agency, many teams began focusing on arms that could be obtained through trade.

Gio Gonzalez, one of the top pitchers available, was traded this week to the Washington Nationals in exchange for a bevy of young, talented prospects. While the Nationals added a top young arm to their already impressive rotation, they had to give up quite a package of players to do so. District on Deck’s Aaron Somers told readers whether or not the Nationals gave up too much for the young left-hander.

Chris, Staff Writer

I enjoyed Mickey Brignall’s piece about the top 10 transactions of this offseason. I really like the fact that the number one move does not involve a player.

Outside of our Call to the Pen brethren, I would suggest checking out FanGraph’s Dave Cameron and his article on Gio Gonzalez which provides excellent detail about Gonzalez compared with several pitchers. He determines Gonzalez may not be ace material but a definite plus for the Nationals.

Justin H., Staff Writer

Mike Fast of Baseball Prospectus goes in-depth with the hit and run play. He analyzes the data to show how well the play works, which teams do it best, and what player help the play be successful. In perhaps the only research project ever done on the subject, Fast explores 11 years of data to draw his conclusions.

Chris Carreli, our very own staff writer here at Call to the Pen, analyzed the John Danks contract in Chicago. He gave us a quick cost/benefit analysis and showed us what the White Sox would need out of Danks to break even in the deal.

Since I missed last week’s picks, you get some bonus picks this week.

Joe Posnanski, one of my all-time favorite sports writers, discusses who the real Albert Pujols is. He reminds us Pujols plays in a different era than the players who would spend their whole careers with one team, and we can’t fault him for that.

Bill King makes a splash with his first piece over at Seedlings to Stars.  King examines the new MLB CBA and it’s effect on young talent.

Joe, Staff Writer

Patrick Reddington at Federal Baseball talks about rumors regarding Prince Fielder and two tweets from new Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez.

Here on FanSided, Call to the Pen’ very own Justin Hunter has another Fielder-related post with a West Philadelphia theme to it. He believes that another star first baseman should sign with a team in L.A., and this is definitely an interesting read. This piece was undoubtedly difficult for a Padres fan/editor to write, but Justin hit this one further than the Prince could ever hope to.

Check it out, knuckleheads.

Justin K., Staff Writer

A lot of people probably don’t know that MLB has a vice president of security.  They probably think that “security” in pro baseball goes as far as those ushers who make you wait between at-bats to return to your seats.

“Hey!  I paid a very reasonable $57 for both of these beers!” you reply.  “I’ll return to my seats whenever I want!”

But they hold their hand up and mutter something about distracting the hitter and everyone looks at you like you’re an asshole, so you obey.  But Bill Bordley will tell you, sometimes, things get a little crazier than fake merchandise and disgruntled fans trying to juggle concessions.  Take a gander at this viewpoint of Wilson Ramos‘ kidnapping in the Washington Post from the perspective of Bordley, VP of MLB security.  He doesn’t have two decades of secret service work under his belt just to sit there.

Speaking of security, or insecurity, do Mets fans still have feelings for Carlos Beltran?  Ben Berkon does.  On Rising Apple, he discusses the ex-All-Star Mets’ signing with the Cardinals, and not only wishes him well, but suggests Beltran will be World Series hero.

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