EAST RUTHERFORD, N. Bob Gibson .J. -- Restricted free-agent linebacker Mark Herzlich has re-signed with the New York Giants. The Giants announced the signing of the fourth-year player Friday without releasing terms. In his first three years with the Giants, Herzlich played in 43 games with six starts. He has 57 tackles (44 solo) on defence and 33 special teams tackles. The former Boston College product played in all 16 games for the second year in a row, with two starts. He had a career-high 32 tackles (26 solo) and a team-leading 14 special teams tackles (12 solo) playing mostly as a backup to Jon Beason at middle linebacker. Vince Coleman . Louis still looking for a way out of Tampa Bay, the 38-year-old NHL veteran isnt showing his cards. Paul DeJong . The Wizards gave up two seldom-used players — forward Jan Vesely and point guard Eric Maynor. Vesely goes to the Nuggets, while Maynor gets shipped to the 76ers. Philadelphia receives two second-round draft picks, one from the Wizards in 2015 and one from the Nuggets in 2016.TSN Baseball Analyst Steve Phillips answers several questions surrounding the game each week. This weeks topics include whether the Giants World Series success this decade makes them a dynasty, what to expect out of Melky Cabrera negotiations in Toronto and how a slate of new MLB executive hires will work out. 1) If San Francisco can get by the Royals, that will be three World Series wins in the last five years. Are the Giants a dynasty? The San Francisco Giants’ success is tough to explain. They are in their third World Series in the last five years. In most any other sport, there would be talk of a dynasty if a team had this level of success. The Miami Heat went to four straight Finals in the NBA recently. The New England Patriots run of championships in the early 2000’s felt dynastic. But whenever the notion is raised about the Giants it just doesn’t pass the gut test for me. It is true that the Giants play their best baseball when the games mean the most. Once they get to the playoffs they have shown they know how to win. The dynasty argument takes a hit with regard to the Giants because they never seem to enter a season or post-season as the team to beat. We just never seem to ever consider them the best roster in the playoffs. In fact, this year they would have been my five-seed in the National League and my nine-seed overall. This alone precludes the label of dynasty even if they win the Series. To be a dynasty you can’t be a surprise team to win the championship. But having said that: THE GIANTS ARE ON THEIR WAY TO WINNING THEIR THIRD WORLD SERIES IN FIVE YEARS. The Giants’ starting pitching is good, led by their ace Madison Bumgarner, but it’s not great. Their bullpen is certainly productive as well but they are far from perfect. The offence is about average, as they don’t have great power or speed. So how is it that they find themselves in the World Series again? Brian Sabean, their general manager does a great job of finding the right second-tier players. They don’t go out and sign the biggest free agent. They don’t trade for the big name starter at the trade deadline. They just find the right players. Now they do have a great home-grown Cy Young candidate in Bumgarner and MVP-winner in Buster Posey. But beyond those two are a mix of just pure “baseball players.” Bruce Bochy, the Giants’ manager, does an amazing job getting the most out of his roster. He puts his players in the right situations to succeed. Sure, the Giants’ players have flaws and warts just like every other player but somehow Bochy utilizes them in a way to hide the warts. He also creates an environment where it is ok to fail as long as you learn from it. He has the ability to bring a diverse group of men together for a common goal and purpose and to attack it with great respect for one another. The players all have great respect for him and each other. They are truly a team. I sat in the interview room after Game 1 of the World Series as Bumgarner, Hunter Pence and Bochy all were questioned about the Giants’ victory. The level of respect shown to one another was amazing. Bumgarner is a humble boy of just 25 years of age but he has the poise and resume of a 15-year veteran. Pence is quirky and a bit peculiar, but lovable. The two spoke about each other with such reverence and respect it was amazing. It is the same respect that Bochy shared in his comments about his entire team (as well as the Royals). This is unique. So, what is the formula in San Francisco? It is less about stats and numbers and all about people. It’s about Sabean and Bochy. If you take these two decision-makers and put them in any market, I guarantee they would put a cost-effective winner together. The Giants organization and their fans are lucky that they have the Midas touch. Cooperstown will welcome both of them someday. 2) In light of the Blue Jays opening contract talks with left fielder Melky Cabrera, do you think they’ll be able to re-sign him? What do you think Cabrera is worth on the open market? I think the Blue Jays have a chance to sign Melky but they will not get a hometown discount in doing so. In fact, the Jays will have to offer the most significant contract that any team considers. Melky has not gotten a huge payday yet on his career. I know, I know. He signed a two-year, $16M contract but he has a shot at a much more significant deal than that. Melky and his representatives know this is the best negotiating position he has ever had. This is his shot at a deal to change his family’s life for generations. In order to determine how much money he will command in the market we have to determine who the players are in the negotiations. We know the Jays have interest in Melky. The Orioles will have interest in Melky if they are unable to sign Nelson Cruz or if they lose Nick Markakis to free agency once they decline his $17.5M option. The Tigers may have interest in Cabrera if they let Torii Hunter walk away. The Mariners need to upgrade their offence. There is speculation that they have interest in Cruz as well, but if he signs elsewhere, their sights will shift to Melky. The Texas Rangers suffered miserably in 2014 from numerous injuries. They are getting almost everyone back healthy next year. They had Cruz before and have interest in his possibly returning to Arlington. Like multiple other teams, Cabrera will be a fallback Plan B if they don’t land Cruz. The Mets will likely have interest in him as well. They may not have the money to go after Cruz but settling for Cabrera still helps their offence. The Reds missed Shin-Shoo Choo this season after he left to go to Texas for a big-time contract (seven years/$130M). Ryan Ludwick has an option for 2015 but the Reds can reject the option year and sign Cabrera who is a better fit for their offence. It is clear that Melky will have plenty of suitors. He will be a Plan B for teams that lose out on Cruz. He won’t get the kind of deal that Choo got but he will get more than Giants’ outfielder Angel Pagan’s four-year/$40M deal. I think Cabrera will command somewhere between fourr years at $48M and five years at $60M. Michael Wacha. Just for the record: I wouldn’t pay Melky that kind of money. He doesn’t have power or speed and therefore has to hit over .300 to have any real impact. Plus, Cabrera is not as good an outfielder as he once was. If his skills continue to deteriorate he will be even more overpaid at the $12M/year range. 3) Which of the new GM hires – Dave Stewart in Arizona, John Hart in Atlanta, and Jeff Bridich in Colorado – were you most impressed with? Dave Stewart has a tonne of experience that he brings to his new position. He has been a star pitcher, pitching coach, assistant general manager, agent and now general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He certainly has knowledge of the game and has always brought intensity to everything he has done. One of the biggest challenges he will face is that he can’t afford to worry about being liked. As a general manager you have to make tough decisions that aren’t always popular with players. He has always been a players’ guy. As an agent he represented players. They came before the organizations. As an assistant general manger he was the liaison with the players. They went to him with questions, concerns and complaints. He went to the players to deliver messages on behalf of the manager and front office. As a general manager you can’t always tell players what you are thinking. You have to protect the players from some of the facts. Another area of concern that I have is whether he truly understands the intensity of the job of general manager. In fact, it is not a job it is a lifestyle. He will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It takes a toll on you. It takes pounds of flesh out of you. There is a reason I have white hair. The other interesting thing will be the relationship between Stewart and President of Baseball Operations, Tony La Russa. La Russa is always the smartest baseball guy in every conversation. He will want to be hands-on and there will inevitably be disagreements. How those get settled will be fascinating. Jeff Bridich was hired on Oct. 8 to replace Dan O’Dowd and Bill Geivett who were making baseball decisions in Colorado. O’Dowd had served as GM for 15 years. Bridich has been in Rockies organization since Dec. 2004. He was manager of minor league operations, director of baseball operations and senior director of player development before being named GM. So if we do the math he served under O’Dowd for about ten years. He is a bright young man (37). He graduated from Harvard in 2000. He can think on his feet and has the ability to connect with people. The obvious question is why hire someone who has been part of every decision over the last 10 years? He has been part of the brain trust that has only two winning seasons during his tenure. Certainly assistants that get promoted can be their own man when they take over the helm. But they will call upon their experience in many circumstances and can be stuck in old methods. I was a bit surprised they stayed in-house, not because of a judgment in his ability but because of his being more of the same that hasn’t worked. John Hart has a tremendous track record. He is a great baseball mind. He is well-respected by other executives, He has a track record of success as the general manager of the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers. He had retired from being a baseball executive on a daily basis as had served as a senior advisor for the Rangers. He also served as an analyst on MLB Network. His acceptance of the role of president of baseball operations for the Braves came as a shock. It just seemed like he was done with the daily grind. Hart and Braves President John Schuerholz are best friends and certainly that was a factor in his accepting the role with the Braves. Hart will be the most impactful of the three hires. Look for the Braves to return to the postseason again soon. Very soon. Like next season. 4) As the World Series gets ready to head back to San Francisco for Games 3, 4 and 5 we are reminded that in fact the rules will be different there than in Kansas City. Going back to the NL park, the designated hitters will move to the bench and the pitchers will hit. Billy Butler who is such an important part of the Royals lineup will be watching the game until he is called upon to pinch-hit late in the game. In Game 1, Madison Bumgarner sat and watched with his team on offence as the DH’s were used. Bumgarner is one of the better hitting pitchers in baseball but that advantage went to waste in the AL park. I am sick of the fact that each league has its own rules. Why can’t everybody come to an agreement about one set of rules? I would by far prefer National League Rules; the pitchers hitting and no designated hitter. But if it took the use of the DH in both leagues to have some level of continuity I would accept that too. One league should not hold an advantage in a Series over another because of changing rules or the structure of the roster. The playoffs are already played differently than the regular season. With all of the off-days built in to playoff series and days off in between series the structure of the roster to thrive in October is different than that from April-September. During the season clubs use a five-man rotation while in October teams can get by with three or four starters. Relievers are usually available for every game of the post-season because of the off days, whereas, in the regular season teams may play 20 consecutive days and pitchers need days off to recover. With all of the interleague play and the All-Star Game impacting home field advantage it is time to make the American League and National League play under the same rules. I know the union will throw a fit if they have to give up salaries for designated hitters but trade something for it in the next collective bargaining agreement. Maybe each team has to add a 26th player to the roster to compensate for the trade of playing by National League rules. I am hoping Rob Manfred can bring some common sense to changing the game. It needs it. ' ' '
Not at your computer? It’s easy to manage your forum on your phone. Create, delete and rearrange posts, or share them on social media. Enable/disable your comments and more. You can also pin your favorite posts so more people will see them and they get more engagement within your forum’s community. Because Wix Forum is so mobile friendly, once your forum is set up, all you need is your phone.