Clips (December 11, 2012) December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012
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Clips
(December 11, 2012)
December 11, 2012
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Today’s Clips Contents
From the Orange County Register (Page 3)
Angels opt out of StubHub agreement
From ESPN.com (Page 3)
Dodgers sign Zack Greinke
From Angels.com (Page 4)
Will Angels' strategy lead to improvement in 2013?
From the Associated Press (Page 7)
Yankees, Angels, Cubs opt out of StubHub deal
December 11, 2012
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FROM THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Angels opt out of StubHub agreement
December 10th, 2012, 4:13 pm · · posted by JEFF FLETCHER, OCREGISTER.COM
Major league baseball announced it was renewing its partnership with StubHub today,
but the Angels are one of three teams that will not participate. The Cubs and Yankees are
also opting out.
“We are actively working on an alternate relationship that we feel will be more beneficial
for the fans in our local market,” Angels spokesman Tim Mead said. “We will have an
announcement shortly.”
StubHub provides fans with an MLB-sanctioned marketplace in which to re-sell their
tickets.
The Yankees chose to opt out because they believed that StubHub artificially deflated the
price of their tickets on the secondary market, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.
In the Yankees case, a switch to Ticketmaster is expected to benefit the season-ticket
holders selling their extra tickets at the expense of fans trying to buy single-game seats.
Because the Angels haven’t announced how they will replace StubHub, it’s unclear
which fans would benefit from a change.
FROM ESPN.COM
Dodgers sign Zack Greinke
ESPN.com news services
The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed Zack Greinke to a six-year contract, the team
announced Monday.
The deal is worth approximately $147 million over six years, a source told ESPN.
The contract will pay Greinke more than the $144 million extension Cole Hamels signed
with the Philadelphia Phillies in July, and is the largest ever for a right-handed pitcher.
In total dollars, Greinke's new deal is the second most lucrative in history for a pitcher,
trailing only the original $161 million deal signed by CC Sabathia in 2009.
Greinke, 29, also will have a full opt-out clause in his new deal, a source told ESPN. He
will not have a no-trade clause, but the right-hander can opt out after the first year if he is
traded.
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The one-time Cy Young Award winner compiled a 15-5 record with a 3.48 ERA and 200
strikeouts in a 2012 season he split between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles
Angels.
The Dodgers prioritized starting pitching shortly after the season ended, with the
intention of finding a No. 2 and maybe a No. 3 starting pitcher to slot behind ace Clayton
Kershaw.
The team viewed Greinke as clearly the best pitcher on the market, with Anibal Sanchez
a distant second. In recent days, the Dodgers had grown discouraged by what they viewed
as an astronomical asking price on Greinke, but apparently his representatives lowered
their sights in the past 36 hours.
FROM ANGELS.COM
Will Angels' strategy lead to improvement in 2013?
GM Dipoto confident bullpen upgrades will help cover rotation losses
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- The bullpen looks improved, with closer Ryan Madson and lefty Sean
Burnett joining a formidable back-end trio of Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs and Kevin
Jepsen. The rotation is perceivably worse, with Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton and (likely)
Garrett Richards replacing Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana. And the offense
is mostly the same, save for the promising Peter Bourjos replacing the proven Torii
Hunter.
Yeah, there's still plenty of time for an offseason surprise or two. But it's very possible -perhaps even likely -- that no other significant moves are made before Spring Training.
If that ends up being the case, did the Angels ultimately improve this offseason?
It depends on your perspective, but first you must consider the circumstances.
Choosing a different path
The $159 million payroll the Angels finished last season with was more of an anomaly
than the start of a trend. The likely scenario -- especially after 2012 yielded a third
straight playoff absence and the lowest average attendance since '03 -- was that they'd go
back to the $140 million range of two years ago. They're pretty much there right now.
Operating under slightly less payroll flexibility, and faced with a pitching market that
quickly became more expensive than anticipated, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto
has taken two fundamental steps this winter.
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1. Act quickly. With at least three pitching holes to fill and over $100 million already tied
to seven players for 2014, the Angels couldn't compete with the six-year, $147 million
deal Greinke agreed to with the Dodgers on Saturday. So, Dipoto swiftly carved out his
own path. The week before the Winter Meetings, he signed Madson and traded Jordan
Walden to the Braves for Hanson. Then, just before those Meetings came to an end five
days ago, he signed Burnett and Blanton, basically solidifying the pitching staff with
more than two months remaining in the offseason.
2. Build from back to front. Dipoto felt all along that the relief-pitching market was
deeper than the one for starters, and he badly wanted to address a bullpen that blew an
American League-leading 47 saves the last two years. So he followed the model of the
'07 National League West-champion D-backs -- for which he served as vice president of
player personnel -- countering a less-than-stellar rotation with a deep bullpen that can
meet it in the middle.
But are the Angels better for it?
Quantity over quality?
Wins Above Replacement says ... maybe.
As currently constructed, the quintet of Blanton, Hanson, Richards, Madson and Burnett
are essentially replacing the quintet of Haren, Santana, Greinke, Walden and LaTroy
Hawkins on the Angels' pitching staff. The combined 2012 WAR of the latter, using
Baseball-Reference.com, was 1.5. The combined WAR of Blanton, Hanson and Burnett
in 2012 was 0.4, with Madson posting a 2.0 WAR in his last full season in 2011 and
Richards likely to get his first shot at being a full-time big league starter in 2013.
Fans, for the most part, say ... absolutely not!
They stomached Hunter's departure only because they remained hopeful that the money
would be allocated toward a top-tier starter -- if not Greinke, then at least Anibal Sanchez
or Kyle Lohse or even Ryan Dempster.
Instead they got Blanton, who's a back-end starter and commands little attention. And
now C.J. Wilson, who was fourth on the Angels' staff at the start of last season and
struggled mightily in the second half, is the No. 2 starter behind Jered Weaver.
Dipoto has refilled his pitching staff with one mid-rotation starter (Hanson), one proven
innings-eater (Blanton) and a couple of high-end relievers (Madson and Burnett), going
anti-2011 and anti-Dodgers this winter. He chose bottom line over blockbuster, substance
over sizzle; in many ways, quantity over quality.
"Sometimes," Dipoto said, "the smartest thing you can do is just make practical
decisions."
Give Dipoto credit for this: He rose above the inordinate sums of money that have been
handed out this offseason.
December 11, 2012
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Final choice a surprising one
Madson was signed to a one-year salary that will finish somewhere between $3.5 and $7
million, depending on how healthy he is and how many games he finishes. Burnett's deal
is for $8 million over two years, with a $4.5 million club option for 2014. Both are
bargains in a market where Jeremy Affeldt ($18 million), Jonathan Broxton ($21 million)
and Brandon League ($22.5 million) each reaped lucrative three-year contracts.
The Hanson acquisition was a prudent one, too, considering he's one season removed
from being one of the best young pitchers in baseball, was traded for a reliever (Walden)
who's no better than sixth in the Angels' present-day bullpen and will make about $4
million in his first arbitration year.
The head-scratcher is Blanton.
The Angels gave him a two-year, $15 million deal with a third-year option, putting their
40-man roster at 39 players, giving them six big league starting pitchers and essentially
taking themselves out of a starters market that boasted so many better options.
Why not wait until the market defined itself a little more clearly? Why not pay a little
more for a better arm?
Perhaps, in meeting with almost every agent at last week's Winter Meetings, Dipoto
figured everyone else would be too expensive to fit under the 2013 payroll. And perhaps
he was determined to not experience a repeat of last August, when spending big on the
rotation didn't allow him to address a needy bullpen.
Here's an alternate way of looking at things ...
Payroll efficient
Blanton and Hanson combined to post a 4.60 ERA in 365 2/3 innings last year and will
cost about $12 million in 2013. Haren and Santana did worse than that (4.75 ERA in 354
2/3 innings) and will cost more than double ($26 million).
As for the only change in the starting lineup, Bourjos instead of Hunter? Bourjos is
projected by Bill James to post a .262/.316/.411 slash line in his return to the starting
lineup in 2013, while Hunter is projected to hit .271/.336/.428 for the Tigers next season - at about 26 times the price.
So the Angels' roster is certainly more payroll efficient. There's no arguing that.
Is it better? Dipoto thinks so -- but of course, he's quite biased on this subject.
"Where we are as a club, as a pitching staff, we need to fortify our innings to make sure
that we field one through 12 as competitive a pitching staff as we can field," Dipoto said
just before leaving the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday.
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"I feel like we have 11 men in place on our Major League pitching staff, and every one of
the 11 guys, when they take the field, is a competitive Major League pitcher and the
innings are going to grow. To that extent, I feel like we're in pretty good shape. We have
a very good defense, we've got a strong offensive club, we have a top of the rotation that's
representative with the better top of the rotations in the league, and we've got a bullpen
now that I think matches up depth for depth with anything that we've had here for quite
some time."
FROM THE ASSOCIATD PRESS
Yankees, Angels, Cubs opt out of StubHub deal
NEW YORK (AP) -- Major League Baseball Advanced Media and StubHub.com
announced a new five-year deal Monday that continues the website's role as the official
secondary ticket market for the sport while eliminating the cheap listings that had become
an eyesore for some clubs.
The minimum price for baseball tickets on StubHub in 2013 will be $6, a far more
appealing number for the league after some seats were listed for pocket change during the
first five-year deal that expired after this past season.
The $6 ticket includes commissions and the delivery fee for the website, which
previously charged customers at least $10.40 after they selected their seats.
"The bottom line is that we felt like for both our fans and for our teams there was an
optics issue," StubHub spokesman Glenn Lehrman said. "In other words, there was a lot
of chatter about .99 tickets, cheap tickets, and the reality is that's not what the ticket was
selling for."
StubHub calls including the fees in the ticket listing an "all-in pricing model," and
Lehrman said the San Francisco-based company has been testing the system on the
website all year long, mostly with Major League Soccer games. The plan is to implement
the new format across the site by the end of 2013.
Bob Bowman, the CEO of MLBAM, the interactive media and Internet company of
Major League Baseball, praised StubHub for working with them to address their
concerns. But the changes weren't enough for the New York Yankees, Los Angeles
Angels and Chicago Cubs, three teams that opted out of the deal.
"We're continuing to explore our options in the secondary ticket market," said Julian
Green, the vice president for communication and community affairs with the Cubs.
The Yankees and Angels are working with Ticketmaster on a new arrangement,
according to a person familiar with the situation, and will announce their plan in a few
weeks. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no
official announcement has been made.
December 11, 2012
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Fans will still be able to purchase tickets for the three missing teams on StubHub. The
biggest difference involves the sellers, who will have to type in the ticket information and
use a different way to get the ticket to the buyer for the home games of the Yankees,
Cubs and Angels.
Bowman said he thinks the ticket integration for the teams covered by the deal is good for
fans, but the decision by the three teams that opted out gives them a chance to take a look
at other models for the secondary ticket market.
"They are doing what they think is in their best interests and what's in their fans' best
interest and it's our job to work with them and get them to a good spot," he told the AP in
a phone interview.
Bowman also said some teams are going to experiment with the blackout window before
games. Most teams stop ticket sales on the site two hours before the game, and a handful
of clubs are going to experiment with a six-hour period next year.
StubHub struck one of its first major sports deals with the Seattle Mariners in 2001 and
has separate partnership agreements with about half of the 30 major league teams,
covering everything from signage to promotions. It became the "Official Fan to Fan
Ticket Marketplace" for MLB.com in 2007.
"This partnership broke new ground when it was first introduced, and it has allowed us to
greatly improve the StubHub MLB fan experience," StubHub President Chris Tsakalakis
said in a release. "The opportunity for StubHub to continue to partner with MLBAM is
something we relish, especially as we look to continuously integrate new technology that
will enhance the experience, particularly on mobile devices, for baseball fans."
Under StubHub's new pricing model, customers will pay a $2.25 delivery fee per ticket
up to $10. That's compared to a flat $5.40 delivery fee before. The service fee was
lowered to $3 for tickets under $50, and is a percentage of the price above that number.
"Our original StubHub partnership provided a valuable service, giving fans a secure,
simple and affordable solution for the secondary market, and this renewal reflects its
successes in an ever-evolving space," Bowman said.
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