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Marty’s Musings: the pre-holiday lull

March is still a long, long time away, but the baseball news has ground to a halt. Staving off the cold of December as best we can, in this week’s Musings.

NLCS - Los Angeles Dodgers v St Louis Cardinals - Game One Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Welcome to “Marty's Musings,” my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the previous week in MLB and previewing some of this week's expected news and notes.

In this week's Musings: the Phillies sign their diamond-in-the-rough to a multi-year deal; a domestic abuse “advocate” is likely to be suspended for domestic violence; and we remember Craig Sager, who the world lost too soon.

News & Notes

65 - the age of sportscaster Craig Sager, who passed away last week after a battle with myeloid leukemia. Sager covered the baseball playoffs for TBS, and spent a good part of his career covering professional and college basketball, the Olympics, and a number of other major events for CBS. Sager waited at third base to interview Hank Aaron the night Aaron passed Babe Ruth. A great on-air sports personality, Sager will be missed.

5 - length of the extension in years for Odubel Herrera of the Phillies, a 2014 Rule Five draftee who will remain the Phillies centerfielder for the foreseeable future. Philadelphia gave up next-to-nothing to get him two years ago, and he has developed into a very solid piece over his time with them. In 2015, Herrera broke out as a four-win player, posting a .207/.344/.418 slash line along with 8 home runs and 16 stolen bases (in 24 attempts). Last year, he followed up his debut performance with another strong showing (3.8 fWAR) and similar offensive and defensive numbers. His quality fielding and solid offensive contributions make the $30.5 million guaranteed over five years (with two additional club options of $11.5 and $12.5 million) an easy win for the Phillies.

1.7 - billions of dollars (with a “b”) that Jeffrey Loria said he would take in order to sell the Marlins to an outside bidder. While in a vacuum, the possibility of Loria no longer being an owner is probably very good news, the valuation is almost certainly higher than the Marlins are worth, and the MLB team sale process is a difficult one for outsiders to break into. Before celebrating the Marlins’ liberation from one of the most despised owners in sports, remember that this is the same league that awarded Loria those Marlins after he orchestrated the departure of the Expos from Montreal.

298 - career relief appearances (plus four starts) for newly minted Marlins reliever Junichi Tazawa. Taz signed a two-year, $12-million contract with Miami after the Fish failed to secure any of the top closer free agents. Over the course of eight seasons in Boston, Tazawa threw 312 innings of 3.58 ERA and a 4.23 FIP.

30 - likely length of an impending suspension for Mets closer Jeurys Familia for his involvement in a domestic abuse incident this past October. The charges were dropped last Thursday, but MLB’s recent history suggest he will be suspended regardless. Neither Jose Reyes nor Aroldis Chapman faced criminal charges for their domestic violence incidents and both served suspensions.

104 - Days to Opening Day!


Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano