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 news and notes throughout baseball, in preparation for Opening Day, 2018.
In this week’s Musings, we mourn the loss of a 1990s pitching icon, reflect on Carlos Beltran’s career, take a look at the qualifying offers, and celebrate an outfielder’s achievement in a different sports setting.
News and Notes
40 - Years of age for the late Roy Halladay, who died in a tragic plane crash last week. ‘Doc’ started nearly 300 games over the course of his 16 year career, earning a Cy Young Award in both leagues, one with Toronto and one with Philadelphia. Halladay is known as one of the good guys in the game, someone who younger players looked up to, and a genuine nice guy. Halladay spent a good part of his playing career and his retirement working for philanthropic causes. His family worked with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and he was nominated for several Roberto Clemente Awards.
20 - Major league seasons by journeyman Carlos Beltran, who announced his retirement this week. Beltran ended his career on a high note after helping the Astros win their first-ever World Series title. Beltran won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, and never looked back. Over the course of his two decades, he posted over 2,700 hits including 435 home runs and 565 doubles. Per Jay Jaffe’s JAWS system (the most advanced way to measure worthiness into the Hall of Fame), Beltran sits eighth all time compared to other center fielders in terms of JAWS value. His 69.8 bWAR is just slightly less than the 71.2 average for all other center fielders.
223 - Free agents on the market, with Yu Darvish and JD Martinez topping the list. It’s not going to dazzle as much as the 2019 list will, but teams can fill holes in all aspects of their roster with this class. Adding Shohei Otani as a wild card free agent as number 224, and this should be a fun offseason.
9 - Players who all rejected their qualifying offers. The one-year $17.4 million salary did not entice any of the three (likely) departing Royals (Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain), nor any of Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, Greg Holland, or Carlos Santana. All nine players will become free agents seeking longer-term deals.
300 - The perfect bowling score for Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, who participated in the Professional Bowling Association World Series of Bowling. Betts has long been known for his prowess on the lanes, and he held his own against the rest of the field, ranking 156th out of 195 players. He estimated that this is probably his tenth ever perfect game.
2- Years Alex Anthopoulos spent with the Los Angeles Dodgers before being picked off as the next General Manager for the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are facing discipline for questionable actions related to reaching agreements with underage players abroad. Specifically, John Coppolella is taking heat for signing violations. We don’t yet know how deeply the problems run, but AA will take over a franchise that is very young, and may have sanctions imposed on them by MLB for past transgressions.
137 - Days until Opening Day.