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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 2/28/19

Fixing Vlad Jr.’s service time manipulation; building a theoretical winner in Detroit; an early look at the draft

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: Vlad Guerrero Jr., despite being just 19, in Ross Atkins’ words, it’s clear the Blue Jays are manipulating his service time. One way to alleviate this would be to add half-service time for 40-man players and a year earlier of Rule 5 eligibility, forcing teams to actually use their 40-man players who would then get the full year of service time even if they weren’t called up to the big leagues.

Baseball Prospectus | Patrick Dubuque ($): Here’s a fascinating thought experiment: the Tigers could have been decent this year. If they went into this offseason with the thought of signing some short-term deals, like for Charlie Morton, Jose Iglesias, Billy Hamilton, Jeff Mathis, and Adam Jones, among a few others, they could essentially build a .500 team, with a ~20% chance of making the postseason in a weak division, with no long-term financial obligations!

ESPN Insider | Keith Law ($): With a dearth of analytics pieces today, we’re going prospects, featuring some of the best prospects heading into June’s Rule 4 draft. This class features quite a few college position players, and not many college pitchers.