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News and Notes: March 24, 2020

The Latest from around the Game

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here are some news and notes from the Sabermetrics world:

  • Over at MLBTradeRumors, take a look at this deep dive into the much maligned Joe Mauer extension, signed ten years ago yesterday. Mauer, of course, was once one of the best players in baseball as Minnesota’s primary backstop, peaking in his 2009 MVP season with a 170 wRC+ and 8.6 fWAR. Concussions led to a position change and ineffectiveness, however, leading to some to consider his $184 million extension to be a bust. As MLBTR notes, however, that’s not entirely fair; after all, Mauer still posted near Hall-of-Fame offensive numbers for his career (123 wRC+), especially for a catcher.
  • Bleed Cubbie Blue’s Sara Sanchez continues to be one of the best baseball writers around, and shows why with her latest piece, this time looking at legendary baseball broadcaster Vin Scully. Scully, of course, retired in 2016 after a remarkable 67-year run as the voice of the Dodgers, and Sara talks about his efforts to bring hope to baseball fans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Over the Monster made a fascinating journey into the future with Shelly Verougstrate’s projection of the 2024 Boston Red Sox. One big question she asked is whether the Sox will attempt to extend young third baseman Rafael Devers, who came into his own with 32 home runs, 5.9 fWAR, and a .311/.361/.555 batting line (132 wRC+). How much of Devers’ breakout was due to the juiced ball is open to debate, but Devers is undoubtedly a talented young player, and at just 23 may well be a cornerstone of the next contending Red Sox team.