Based on the strength of a .267/.326/.481 campaign with Boston, free agent Cody Ross is seeking a three-year deal worth at least $6 million and maybe as much as $8 million per season. Word is that the Orioles are one of the teams pursuing him. They shouldn’t be. In Nolan Reimold, the Orioles have a…
The Ravens targeted playmaking wide receiver Chris Moore with their second pick (107th overall) in the fourth round. While the Ravens expect wide receivers Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman to return from season-ending injuries in 2015, Moore could earn a role in the rotation and should add depth to a position where injuries have been a problem.
During his college career, Moore had 26 touchdown catches and excelled both as a deep threat receiver and as a possession receiver. His 21.1 yards per catch average last season ranked eighth in the nation, as Moore finished with 39 receptions for 823 yards and seven touchdowns for the season.
The Ravens were also attracted by Moore’s size -- 6-foot-1, 205 pounds. Moore showed a willingness to catch balls in traffic at Cincinnati, and he also broke tackles that led to long runs after the catch.
The Ravens also signed deep threat receiver Mike Wallace during free agency, so on paper, quarterback Joe Flacco will begin training camp with a diverse variety of weapons. Big plays were sorely lacking in the Ravens’ passing game last season, but Moore could play a part in changing that.
Through the first month of the 2016 season, the NL East looks like it could be deeper than it was a year ago. That is, of course, excluding the Atlanta Braves, who are currently MLB's worst team with a .217 win percentage after 23 games.
The Nationals and Mets look very good. The Phillies are 13-10 and winners of three straight. Whether they can keep that up, though, is doubtful.
On paper, the Marlins have the third-best roster in the division and in terms of starpower can measure up to just about any team in baseball. With Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, in particular, they have two superstars in their prime.
Depth was the biggest concern for Miami heading into this season and now it's about to be seriously tested. All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, who won the NL batting title in 2015, has been suspended for 80 games for performance enhancing drugs. His loss is a big one.
The Marlins' lineup is impressive, but it looks a lot better with Gordon at the top setting the table for Stanton, Christian Yelich and Justin Bour. Few players in baseball can provide the threat Gordon can not only as a leadoff hitter, but as a baserunner as well. Gordon led the league each of the last two years in steals, with 58 last year and 64 the season before that.
It's only logical to think Gordon's loss will have a profound effect on the Marlins, that his absence alone could pave the way for the Phillies to be the third-best team in the NL East. But, interestingly enough, the Marlins are red-hot right now. They've won six straight and just swept the Dodgers in L.A. The Dodgers had one of baseball's best records prior to the series and won the NL West last year.
Miami may appear okay right now, but they will have to stay afloat for three full months without Gordon. He can't return until late July and by then it could be too late.
At 11-11, the Marlins have an average record and rank as a pedestrian team in many categories. They aren't scoring a ton of runs and no part of their pitching staff has stood out as above average. Their starting rotation, in particular, does not appear to be a strength, especially if Fernandez pitches the way he has to begin this season. Wei-Yin Chen hasn't been very good, either.
If the Marlins have been a middle of the road team overall with Gordon, it's hard to see them proving to be anything more than that without him. Miami had the best chance of making the NL East a three-team race this season and Gordon's suspension may have sealed their fate. Now the division now looks even more like a direct battle between the Nationals and Mets, unless the Phillies have something to say about it.
The Ravens finally drafted a cornerback, taking Tavon Young of Temple with their first pick in the fourth round (104th overall). Young is a Maryland native who went to Oxon Hill High School, and the Ravens hope Young’s homecoming will strengthen their secondary.
For five straight years, the Ravens have not drafted a cornerback during any of the first three rounds. Jimmy Smith, their first-round pick in 2011, is the last cornerback the Ravens have spent a high pick on, and it was revealed this week that Smith would undergo surgery to remove bone chips from his foot.
Smith is expected to recover in four to six weeks, but even before his most recent foot issues, the Ravens entered this draft looking for corners. The starting spot opposite Smith is wide open, and even if Shareece Wright or Kyle Arrington wins that job, Young has a chance to contribute immediately in a nickel-back role.
Young had seven career interceptions at Temple, but he was not among the bigger corners in this draft pick at 5-foot-9, 185 pounds. Young might have his work cut out covering taller receivers, but he was durable and tackled well – two traits that likely attracted him to the Ravens.