Picks of the Pen: Yoenis Cespedes is Anti-Moneyball

Yoenis Cespedes will make $36 million over four years, but he won’t be doing it in Miami like everybody else.  No, he’ll be taking his talents to Oakland, which is exactly where no one expected him to end up.

The deal is an exciting risk, leaving many people flailing their arms and screaming “BUT WHAT ABOUT MONEYBALL?!”  Well, with the A’s being far from the only team instituting the practice Billy Beane has become famous for trying, it appears Oakland concluded that Moneyball was nice, but sometimes what you need is money and the balls to spend it.

Keep on linkin’ below.

Blaine Blontz

I figured last week would be fairly quiet outside of a possible Roy Oswalt rumor/signing and whatever news Yoenis Cespedes stirred up. For the most part it was, but something very big happened involving the Baltimore Orioles, the club I follow. The O’s shipped de facto ace Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for two pitchers, Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom.

The writers of Birds Watcher gave their thoughts on the deal involving the fan favorite: Gut Feelings on the Guthrie Trade, Baltimore Orioles the Day After, and Goodbye Guthrie.

Another interested story from last week involved none other than A.J. Burnett. The Yankees are looking to deal the disappointing right-hander (no surprise) and they were able to find someone to talk trade with (fairly surprising). The Pirates have at least kicked the tires on Burnett and are showing at least some interest in him.

Steve Slowinski of FanGraphs asks the question, why?

Justin Klugh

CBS has a habit of understanding exactly what people want.  A second incarnation of NCIS?  Yes, please!  To CBS, the world is full of bored, shallow mid-to-late 60-year-olds, demanding military justice.

Well, CBS has nailed it again, this time through their sports phone apps.  You can now download the “Baseball Boyfriend App,” which allows you to drafta  single player, draw a heart around their pictures, and follow their stats.  If the player starts slacking, you can dump them.  Just like in real life!  Ha, ha.  Women.  Sometimes they dump you.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone who heard that description and thought it was good.

Nate Gilmore gave an exhaustive report on recent dealings by the Twins on Puckett’s Pond, including things who the two players involved are, and what kind of things they are good at.  It’s the kind of thorough homework you probably wouldn’t have found on Darin Mastroianni or Esmerling Vazquez before the internet.

Chris Carelli

Jonah Keri of Grantland wrote a great story about the lost art of doctoring pitches. There were many methods used to give the pitcher an advantage and it even helped some make it to the Hall of Fame.

Justin Hunter delved into the once spectacular promise Rich Harden possessed and wonders if he will ever get it back.

Kyle Davis

Aaron Somers of District on Deck takes a nice and good and hard look at the recent John Lannan for Peter Bourjos trade rumors that have been floating around for some weird reason. Such a trade would be a monumental steal for the Nationals, but fans shouldn’t hold their breath. That would be weird, and besides, Tony Reagins isn’t around any longer, you know.

Over at Baseball Nation, Jeff Sullivan reviews a handful of notable home runs hit off some extreme pitches. Extreme in location and velocity, that is, not extreme like the citrusy flavor of the once popular soft drink Surge. The results are very neat. There are all sorts of cool words and pictures and videos and stuff.

Justin Hunter

The Common Man of the The Platoon Advantage had some commentary on bracelets. We’re not talking any old bracelets, but George Brett’s magic, healing bracelets. With Brett’s company being sued over false claims, TCM made the comparison the PED’s.  Confused?  Just read it, you’ll like it.

Wally Fish spent a lot of time going through each team’s prospects and ranking them against each other. He could have stopped there but he didn’t. Wally went further in depth and ranked each team’s farm system against each other. This is one of the most objective farm system rankings out there.

Joe Soriano

FanGraphs contributor Wendy Thurm has a guide to Spring Training written up on SB Nation, and she gives us tips on how to meet players and gives us a look at the drills these players will be performing.

On FanSided, the excellent Robbie Knopf has an article on Rays Colored Glasses about the chances of 9th round catcher Jake DePew breaking out. It’s a must-read piece for Rays fans which goes into depth with the advanced statistics and addresses things like DePew’s low 14.1 LD%.

Doug Wachter

Picks for this week are Bradford Doolittle’s piece on the divergent directions of the Cubs and White Sox at Baseball Prospectus and Nate Stoltz’s post at Seedlings to Stars on a couple White Sox minor leaguers who could break through and provide some much-needed blue-chip talent for the Sox’ ugly system.

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Tags: A.J. Burnett Jason Hammel Jeremy Guthrie Matt Lindstrom Rich Harden Roy Oswalt Yoenis Cespedes

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