Record of the Day
Most years on World Series winning teams by non-Yankees: Eddie Collins, six.
Yogi Berra holds the all time record for World Series rings at 10, but Collins holds the record for a non-Yankee. He won his first World Series for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1910 at just 23 years old while leading the American League with 81 stolen bases and adding a .324 average for good measure. He played on the repeat World Series champions in 1911, then was there to watch his A's win the Series again in 1913. He joined the White Sox in 1915 and won the World Series with them in 1917. Collins returned to Philadelphia in 1927 and played in nine games for the 1929 World Series winners, though he did not appear in the Series. The A's won it all again in 1930, but the 43-year-old Collins again did not play in the World Series.
Free Agent Signings
Dodgers resigned Mike MacDougal (3-1, 2.05 ERA, .257 BAA, 1 save, 2012 age: 35) to a one-year, $1 million deal.
Red Sox signed Carlos Silva (missed 2011 season, 70 career wins, 4.68 ERA, 2012 age: 33) to a minor league deal.
The Silva deal may not seem all that important, but one must remember that the Yankees signed to pitchers, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, to very similar deals and look how that turned out. Colon and Garcia, with histories similar to Silva, turned out to be solid additions to the Yankee rotation. Silva is a 32-year-old hefty Venezuelan right hander with a history of precise control. He spent all of 2011 in the Yankees', of all teams, minor league system before his release after seven starts for High Class A Tampa, AA Trenton, and AAA Scranton in which he was 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA. He last pitched in the majors in 2010, making 21 starts for the Cubs and going 10-6 with a 4.22 ERA, so he is not all too far off from success. His best season was 2005, when he was 9-8 with a 3.44 ERA and .290 BAA in 27 starts for the Twins. One stat really stood out from the rest that year; he walked only nine batters in 188 1/3 innings. That is actually the modern record (post 1900) for least walks surrendered in a season among pitchers who qualified for the ERA title (min.162 innings). Though he ran into difficulty in 2006, he won 13 games with a 4.19 ERA in 2007, his final year with Minnesota. He joined Seattle in 2008 but struggled immensely, going 5-18 with a 6.81 ERA in 36 games (34 starts) over his two seasons there. He was traded to Chicago for Milton Bradley after the 2009 season, where he rebounded in 2010. Over his nine-year career, he was 70-70 with a 4.68 ERA in 316 games (180 starts) for the Phillies (2002-2003), Twins (2004-2007), Mariners (2008-2009), and Cubs (2010). Now with the Red Sox, his new deal can be looked at as a low-risk, high-reward signing, meaning that if he does not perform, the Sox do not suffer through a big contract, but if he does perform, Boston did not have to pay much for the benefits.
Cubs traded Carlos Zambrano (9-7, 4.82 ERA, .277 BAA, 2012 age: 31) to the Marlins for Chris Volstad (5-13, 4.89 ERA, .289 BAA, 2012 age: 25) and cash considerations.
Everybody gets what they want here. After 11 years, the Cubs are finally rid of their loudmouth, temper-tantrum throwing starter, while the Marlins acquire a veteran to team with Mark Buehrle to lead their young staff. Zambrano gets a fresh start in an environment that can only benefit him because of his relationship with manager Ozzie Guillen. Volstad gets a change of scenery which will hopefully bring out the talent the Marlins always knew he had. Zambrano also comes cheaply to Miami; the Cubs will pick up $15.5 million of the total of $18 million owed to Zambrano in 2012. His past success is tainted by his infamous tantrums, which usually break headlines once or twice per season. The 6'5", 270-pound righty is also one of the top hitting pitchers in the majors, owning 23 home runs and a .241 career average. He emerged as a rookie in 2002 at the age of 21, posting a 3.66 ERA in 32 games (16 starts) for the Cubs. He turned more heads in 2003, his first full season as a starter, by going 13-11 with a 3.11 ERA and .239 BAA in 32 starts. His best season came in 2004 when he made his first of three All Star teams by going 16-11 with a 2.75 ERA and .225 BAA in 31 starts. After a 14-6 2005, Zambrano won 16 games but also earned his first NL Silver Slugger for pitchers in 2006 by hitting six home runs in 73 at bats (roughly 45 home runs in a full, 550 at bat season). He set a career high with 18 wins in 2007, then won 14 in 2008 while also having an incredible offensive year. In just 83 at bats, he hit four home runs, knocked in 14, and batted .337 (in 550 at bats, would be 27 HR, 93 RBI, 186 hits). This netted him his second Silver Slugger. 2009 was the first time since 2002 in which he would not win double digit games, as he went 9-7 with a 3.77 ERA in 28 starts. While compiling an 11-6 record in 2010, Big Z posted his lowest ERA, 3.33, since his 3.26 mark in 2005. Despite his success, Zambrano would have a disappointing 2011 in which he was 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA. In his 24th and final start of the season on Aug. 12, Zambrano would give up eight runs in four and a third innings to the Braves, then throw inside to Chipper Jones en route to being ejected. Zambrano stormed off the field and packed up his locker, threatened to retire, and was subsequently suspended for the rest of the season. He would never pitch for the Cubs again. Over his 11-year career, he is 125-81 with a 3.60 ERA and .235 BAA in 319 games (282 starts). As a hitter, he has hit 23 home runs, knocked in 69 runs, and batted .241 in 659 at bats.
The Cubs acquired Volstad in the deal, a one-time top prospect who never panned out in South Florida. The 6'8" righty was promoted to the bigs in 2008 at just 21 years old, going 6-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 15 games (14 starts). This gave the Marlins false hope, as they at that time believed he would be a future ace. In his first full season for the Marlins in 2009, Volstad was 9-13 with a 5.21 ERA in 29 starts. Despite the disappointing season, Volstad pitched another full season in the Marlins rotation in 2010, going 12-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 30 starts. Looking like he was on the road to improvement, the South Florida native took a step backward in 2011, going 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA in 29 starts for the last place Marlins. Over his four-year career, he was 32-39 with a 4.59 ERA and .275 BAA in 103 games (102 starts). I think he is a late bloomer and will shine in Chicago. Maybe not immediately, but he will shine.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera pleaded no contest to his DUI case, which he was arrested for in February.
Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves
If your team is not included, please leave a comment.
HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. BAA: batting average against. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage