Sabersphere 2/1: Nick Johnson, Martin Prado, A-Rod

Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Today's Sabersphere looks at Nick Johnson's career, Martin Prado's extension, and if A-Rod should be suspended.

Zachary Levine of Baseball Prospectus looks at Nick Johnson:Farewell to Nick Johnson

"I see him more as Jim Thome without the fashion statement." – BP Annual, 1999

"Johnson is the best prospect in baseball, a ranking very difficult for a first baseman to achieve." – BP Annual, 2000

"He'll likely end up as a cross between John Olerud and Barry Bonds. I think most Yankees fans can live with that, even if it takes him a few years to get there." – BP Annual, 2002

Rob Neyer at Baseball Nation looks at Martin Prado's extension: Does Martin Prado's new deal justify trading Justin Upton?

So now we have another big piece of the puzzle.

When the Diamondbacks traded Justin Upton to the Braves for Martín Prado and a squad of marginal prospects, there was something that just didn't add up: Upton was signed through 2015, Prado just 2013. Could it possibly make sense to trade three years of Upton for one year of Prado?

Alex Remington of Fangraphs looks at if the MLB should suspend A-Rod: Should MLB Punish A-Rod Based on News Reports?

As Dave Cameron wrote two days ago, multiple reports have emerged about numerous baseball players connected to a clinic in South Florida that dispensed performance-enhancing drugs and has been nicknamed "BALCO East."

Dan Lependorf of The Hardball Times shares a telling graphic about the Hall of Fame voting: Visualization: Hall of Fame ballot results from 1968 to the present

With Hall of Fame voting shoved back into the closet for another 11 months, I find it's always useful to step back and try to get a sense of relativity and context for the 2013 set of Hall of Fame ballots still fresh in our minds. In that spirit, I've put together a graphic charting BBWAA voting over the last half-century.

If you would like to submit something for Sabersphere, email me at SpencerSchneier22@gmail.com.

Today's BtB Retro is not all that retro. Recently on the podcast, Bryan Grosnick brought this article up so I thought I'd link it: An alternative method for determining defensive WAR (12/7/12)

According to FanGraphs, Darwin Barney was an excellent defensive player in 2012. Barney, the everyday second baseman for the Chicago Cubs, was worth about 13 runs, or 1.3 wins above replacement, due to his defensive contributions at the pivot. This is a very good number.

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