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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 4/13/19

Albies’ puzzling extension; a rise in league-wide exit velocity; Boston’s early troubles

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MLB: Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Dan Szymborski: Ozzie Albies signed the most puzzling deal of extension mania: a seven-year, $35 million with two options that would buy out the first two years of his free agency. By ZiPS he is probably giving up something like $100-200 million of surplus value that he has no negotiating power anymore in bargaining, and it’s basically a steal unless he retires today.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Arthur ($): The ball has been proven to be more aerodynamic this season, and that has resulted in something like a 0.5 mph jump in exit velocity. It could be random variation as Statcast does toss out many batted balls’ velocities, but considering it’s still only April, it raises eyebrows among many factors that something is up with the ball.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): The Red Sox have been sub-par to start the year, and it isn’t just because of a World Series hangover but because of serious concerns about the rotation—not the bullpen. In particular Chris Sale’s velocity is down is even more troubling, but it will take some time to tease out what’s really wrong.