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Old 01-16-2018, 06:42 PM   #121
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27 November 2046

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Givens commits future to Des Moines
Cup Final Series hero contracted through to end of 2050 season

By Tim Curtain, 12:55PM, 27 Nov 46

The Magpies have announced that lefty starting pitcher Philip Givens has signed a contract extension with the club which will pay him $28m over three seasons. Givens had recently been awarded $9m for the coming year by the SCL arbitration panel, and the new agreement buys out his final arbitration year and first two years of free agency at only a slightly higher annual rate.

Givens went 10-1 with a 2.65 ERA in 14 regular season starts after joining the club in July. After a generally below-par playoff campaign, Givens put in an excellent display in the crucial fifth game of the Cup Final Series. Insiders tell SCL At-Bat that the financially constrained Magpies view Givens as very good value for the price.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:12 PM   #122
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SCLhotstove.com/tittletattle
Infielder Ríos joins Magpies

Posted by Algenon De’Ath | Nov 29 | 10:12AM

The Des Moines Magpies have reportedly signed free agent infielder Felipe Ríos to a 3-year contract worth $2.5m per annum. The club have not yet formally confirmed the deal.

The 27-year-old third base specialist was taken by the Boston Adventurers with the 14th pick of the 2040 draft. He was put on the fast-track to the major leagues but has never quite lived up to that early potential. He is Glove Wizard calibre at third base, and can also be used in the other three infield spots. GM Billy DePodesta is likely to use Ríos primarily as a left-handed pinch hitter against righties. His acquisition has led to rumours that the Magpies may now view fellow infielder Jeremiah Harvey as expendable and a possible trade chip to strengthen the club’s pitching rotation.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:23 PM   #123
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30 November 2046

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Interest heating up in O’Quinn

Posted by Celeste Saliver | Nov 30 | 2:25PM

One thing is for sure: Michael O’Quinn is going to be the recipient of an extremely lucrative contract for the next few seasons. The free agent catcher is attracting serious interest from at least half a dozen SCL teams. Leading the way currently seem to be the Magpies, who are reported to have made at least two multi-year offers in excess of $19m per annum. But sources say that Lansing and Concord have also had in-depth conversations with O’Quinn’s agent, the former of which are known to have made one firm contract offer already. The Magpies carry the attraction of being the SCL champions, but Lansing probably have the financial muscle to out-bid Des Moines if they really want to land the player whatever the cost.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:24 PM   #124
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Experienced outfielder Sasaki joins Magpies

By Maggie Pye | 5 December | 15 comments

Billy DePodesta has moved to improve the club’s offensive depth by signing slugging outfielder Kei Sasaki to a 1-year deal worth $700,000. Sasaki was the fifth overall pick in the 2039 draft but has never delivered on his potential. The 28-year-old has always had immense power, but has consistently struggled throughout his major league career to make contact and to get on base. Magpies front office sources tell MagpiesNation that Sasaki will start the season on the minor league roster.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:28 PM   #125
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Magpies agree 2-year, $7m contract with Jenkins
Right-hander expected to begin the season in bullpen; Pérez also signs

By Buster Oldknee, 5:19PM, 07 Dec 46

Starting pitcher Derek Jenkins, 29, has agreed a 2-year contract to join the Des Moines Magpies, the club has announced this afternoon. Free agent Jenkins was 10-11 with a 4.09 ERA last season as the fourth starter for an Atlanta team which struggled defensively for much of the year. The Magpies are clearly hoping that Jenkins’s statistics will improve with their elite defense assisting him.

Jenkins throws a classic fastball-slider-changeup combination. When on form, he is a real innings-eater who can go deep into games and give his bullpen a day off. As things stand he would probably take a spot in the Magpies rotation, but if they land Jeremy Williams, whom they are rumoured to be in advanced negotiations with, Jenkins will most probably play a role in the bullpen as a long reliever who can make occasional spot starts.

The club also announced that veteran free agent outfielder Júlio Pérez has also signed a one-year contract for the 2047.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:00 PM   #126
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Busy Magpies agree contracts with Williams, Gorbikov and Xú

By Maggie Pye | 11 December | 510 comments

The Magpies’ frantic start to the hot stove season reached new levels of frenzy today as the club announced three free agent signings, headlined by starting pitcher Jeremy Williams.

The Williams contract has raised eyebrows among fans, and is reported to be worth a hefty $21m over its 3-year duration. Williams, still only age 26, has a career 3.77 ERA in his 6 years in the SCL, during which he has played for a poor Trenton team. He is renowned for his excellent control and has a deceptive knucklecurve as the fourth pitch type in his arsenal. His principal weakness is a tendancy to give up the long ball: in the last two years he has gone for a consistent average of one home run per start.

Veteran Canadian catcher Wang Xú also agreed a contract with the Magpies today, taking over from Bob Wilson as the club’s third catcher. The final signing was defensive specialist Motka Gorbikov, the former Augusta and Carson City infielder. $2.5m seems a lot to pay a player who, unless the Magpies trade Jeremiah Harvey, will probably start the season on the minor league roster, but club insiders say DePodesta wanted the elite defensive cover for Matt Anderson, and feels Gorbikov could constitute useful trade bait later on.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:02 PM   #127
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Elliott joins Magpies cadre of outfielders
Former Boston left fielder adds to Des Moines free agent arrivals

By Tim Curtain, 8:57AM, 18 Dec 46

Des Moines continued to stockpile outfielders with the arrival of former Boston Adventurers left fielder Al Elliott. Elliott, 26, has posted a .733 OPS over his career, and reached free agency for the first time this autumn. The left-handed bat is a solid all-round hitter, but it’s on the base paths that he really excels. His raw speed and base stealing ability are on a par with the best in the SCL. That suits the Magpies down to the ground, with their willingness to frequently give the green light to steal to their exceptionally quick and athletic hitters. Terry Lawrence, who arrived in Des Moines via trade last month, will make way for Elliott on the active roster.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:03 PM   #128
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18 December 2046

GM’s notebook

- It’s been a productive offseason so far: we’ve managed to land nearly all our free agent targets already.
- The real success has been to add real strength in depth on the minor league roster. We ended the season with essentially no major-league quality players on the minor league roster, and crossing our fingers that we didn’t suffer injuries.
- But we’re still awaiting word from the main offseason target, Michael O’Quinn. He’s been considering our most recent offer, of $21m per year for 4 years, for a couple of weeks now. Hopefully that’s a good sign, but I know that the Sharks are keen to bounce back quickly from their 73-win season and are extremely keen on him too.
- The current player payroll for the 2047 season is $145m, so I have plenty of headroom to given O’Quinn a large annual value contract and stay within Will’s $180m limit.
- Mal Brown is entering the final year of his current contract, and his agent phoned me yesterday to say that he will invoke his 10/5 rights and refuse to be traded. There is no other ace-calibre or ace-potential pitcher on our staff. Replacing him for 2048 is a problem I’ll need to solve.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:05 PM   #129
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GM’s notebook

- Clearly no-one is on Christmas break in the Lansing Sharks front office. The club announced they have agreed to sign one of the other elite hitters in the free agent pool, centre fielder Rich Nelson. They’ll pay Nelson $72m over the next four years. Does this move take them out of the market for O’Quinn?
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:34 PM   #130
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onlytheboxscore.com/Magpies
O’Quinn signing a shrewd move by Magpies
Posted by Bruce Caboose, @bruuuuuuce

The Magpies have landed their principal offseason target, former Austin slugger Michael O’Quinn. The 28-year-old, who has agreed a monster $84m contract over the next 4 years, is expected to play as the Magpies’ designated hitter and hit in the cleanup position in the lineup. He’ll replace the departed Jim Dillman in that role. Several teams were reported to have expressed an interest in O’Quinn, but sources close to the player say that the only serious and concrete offers came in from the Magpies and the Sharks. When it was announced yesterday that Lansing had signed free agent slugger Rich Nelson, the way seemed clear for O’Quinn to join Des Moines, and the move has duly now been confirmed. The Magpies will lose their late first round draft pick.

O’Quinn has an exceptional eye; if the ball is off the plate he won’t take a swing. He has averaged 96 walks over the last two seasons. As a hitter, he has no real weaknesses. He has got on base at a .384 lick in his career, and at over .400 in the last two years. Magpies fans, concerned about the impact of Dillman’s departure on their offense, seemed delighted at the news.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:37 PM   #131
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Severino Guadalajara-Smith
@sabermetricjedi

Loving the move by the #Magpies for O’Quinn. .295/.402/.437 last season, and career 142 OPS+ is great. Would like to see more long balls but who doesn’t like a >.400 OBP? Like it a lot do I! #OBProcks
4:24PM - 26 Dec 2046

Pablo Tapdancer
@tappitytaptap

$84m over 4 years is a big commitment though. #nicelittleearner for O’Quinn but could that contract come back to bite us?
4:28PM - 26 Dec 2046

Genghis Troll
@nothingbettertodo

$84m for hitting a ball with a bat?! #worldsgonemad #ihatebaseball #grrrr
4:30PM - 26 Dec 2046

Geronimo Germwarfare
@geronimoooooo

How many free agents have we signed this winter already?! #hardtokeepup Giving us good depth but apart from O’Quinn do they have the quality #wecanrepeat
4:32PM - 26 Dec 2046
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:40 PM   #132
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GM’s notebook

- Fernando Martínez has agreed a 3-year contract extension worth $39m. It buys out his last two years of arbitration and first year of free agency for only a tiny rise on the $12.9m he’ll earn over the coming year. He’s not a stellar catcher, but dependable enough on both sides of the plate in a crucial position. Whether he’ll see out all the next 4 years here will depend on the development of top prospect Walton White.
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:33 PM   #133
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DePodesta lands Cantrell from Tallahassee

By Maggie Pye | 2 January | 14,668 comments

Magpies GM Billy DePodesta shows no sign of letting up in his offseason hyperactivity. Neither club has officially confirmed the deal, but sources in the SCL Commissioner’s office tell MagpiesNation that the Magpies have acquired Cantrell and minor league starting pitcher Christian Carroll, 27, from Tallahassee, with the Islanders receiving infielder Motka Gorbikov and pitcher Ángel Martínes in return.

Cantrell faced the Magpies twice in the Cup Final Series, pitching poorly in game 3, but excelling in defeat in the famous “Miracle in the 9th Inning” deciding game. He has just reached his first year of arbitration and will earn $14.8m this year. He will take the #2 role in the rotation this season, but the Magpies appear to be lining him up to take over the opening day starter role next year. Tommaso Chigi, Cantrell’s adversary in game 7, has been demoted to the minor league roster to make room.

Gorbikov had only recently joined the Magpies as a free agent. DePodesta was reportedly pushing to include Jeremiah Harvey in the trade, but the Islanders, who had chased a Gorbikov hard during the autumn, were insistent on getting him. They desperately want Gorbikov’s elite defensive skills in their infield. Gorbikov too was understood to be unhappy that the Magpies were not planning to bat him in his preferred lead-off position, and was finding it hard to settle in Iowa. The Magpies are now pursuing additional options to restore their infield depth.
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:37 PM   #134
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3 January 2047

FANGRAPHICS
Chat: Put your questions to Osiris Sabretooth in our first chat of the new year.

10:03

Mr Moomin: It’s been a busy offseason so far for the Magpies, what do you think of their chances of repeating?

10:03

Osiris: Well, I didn’t think they had much chance of winning last year, so what do I know?! Their roster is definitely deeper than last year, but they’ve lost their best hitter and best pitcher. The North Division was exceptional last year, and the Sharks seem to be spending big in an effort to bridge the gap to St. Paul, Des Moines and Madison. There’s no easy route to the playoffs for the Magpies this year.

10:03

Presidential Pardon: I like their signing of O’Quinn, he gets on base.

10:04

Osiris: He’s a nice hitter but I’m not sure he’s the type they needed. If they bat him cleanup I’m not sure he has the power to drive in lots of runs.

10:04

Sabermetric Jedi: O’Quinn has a career 142 OPS+ though Osiris, and his .402 OBP is a sabermetrician’s dream. He gets the Sabermetric Jedi seal of approval.

10:05

Osiris: Actually I think the Magpies’ best move so far this winter is getting Cantrell. Very solid pitcher, still young, could be very difficult to get hits against when supported by that Magpies defense.

10:05

ZZ Bottom: Is Michael O’Quinn a real person? Sounds like a made-up Irish-sounding name.

10:06

Osiris: I have this recurring dream that everyone and everything connected to the SCL is totally fictional. Including me.

10:06

Osiris: Well, folks, that’s it for today. A pleasure as always. See you next time!
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:40 PM   #135
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SCLhotstove.com/tittletattle
Magpies ink Tipton to 2-year contract

Posted by Balthazar Faucet | Jan 18 | 12:47PM

The Des Moines front office has today announced that the club has come to terms with infielder Floyd Tipton on a 2-year deal worth a total of $2m. The 29-year-old has generally been a league average hitter, but has struggled a little over the past couple of seasons at Baton Rouge. Tipton is expected to start the season on the Magpies’ minor league roster.
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:42 PM   #136
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SCLhotstove.com/tittletattle
Baton Rouge win race to sign Hill

Posted by Charlotte Chocolate | Jan 31 | 4:15PM

Lefty starting pitcher Del Hill has signed for the Baton Rouge Deltas, the club said today in a statement. Hill, 33, had a sensational and surprising year for the Magpies in 2046, throwing 225 innings and posting a career-best 2.67 ERA. He led their pitching staff in their playoff push, but missed the unforgettable postseason run through injury. As spring training has got nearer, sources say that Hill was unable to get the annual value he was seeking, settling for $4.7m, but the Deltas did agree to the 4-year contract that Hill was insisting on. It means Hill is likely to finish his career in Louisiana. Des Moines receive picks in the first supplemental round and the Deltas’ second round pick in this summer’s player draft in compensation.
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Old Yesterday, 03:39 PM   #137
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Dillman joins Lansing push to rebound

Posted by Charlotte Chocolate | Jan 31 | 4:40PM

Former Magpies slugger Jim Dillman has reportedly agreed a 2-year contract with the Lansing Sharks. He led the Magpies offense to the SCL championship last season, but left for free agency when the club as a free agent were unwilling to meet his salary demands for a contract extension. Dillman, who turns 33 in 2 days’ time, will earn $37m over the 2 years. He joins fellow free agent Rich Nelson in Lansing’s push to bounce back from a disappointing 2046 season and compete in the strong North Division. Des Moines fans will be unhappy to see Dillman in the uniform of a divisional rival.
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Old Yesterday, 03:45 PM   #138
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onlytheboxscore.com/Magpies
Magpies face tough battle to repeat in tough WL North Division
Posted by Thomas Sphincter, @thesphinxman

The Magpies shocked the SCL last season by bringing home the franchise’s first championship. But in a Western League North Division featuring the 108-win Rockets, 97-win Brown Bears and free-spending Sharks, they face an uphill battle to even reach the playoffs, let alone win a second straight title. GM Billy DePodesta lost his best hitter, Jim Dillman, and best-performing starter, Del Hill, but has recruited well to replace them. Their BuTToNS projection puts them in third place on 84 wins and just outside the wildcard spots.

Rotation: Mal Brown (4*) will lead the rotation yet again in his 8th and final season with the club. Kevin Cantrell (4*) will probably take over the staff ace role next year. Philip Givens (2.5*) can be ace quality on his day. If they play to their potential, free agent signing Jeremy Williams (2.5*) and perennially under-rated lefty P.J. Hendrickson (1.5*) are a very tidy #4 and #5 pairing. Cup Final Series hero Tommaso Chigi has been unsentimentally pushed onto the minor league roster.

Bullpen: Júlio Martínez (4.5*) is an elite closer earning elite middle reliever wages. He’ll be set up by Manny Gallegos (4.5*) and raw talent Jorge Cruz (5*). Young lefty Robinson Ortíz (2*) is improving all the time, and a candidate to step up into the rotation during the course of the season. Don Rich (4.5*) and 2046 first round draft pick Wesley Weaver (1.5*) keep their places, while offseason recruit Derek Jenkins (2.5*) will take mop-up duties. Richard Wilhelm is the best reliever in the minor league squad, although Bernardo Merrado has a high ceiling and is developing fast.

Catcher: Fernando Martínez (3.5*) won last season’s battle with Valentín Ortíz (1.5*) for the starting role, and will play most days. Big winter signing Michael O’Quinn (4.5*) is a catcher by trade but will play designated hitter. Prospect Walton White could challenge Ortíz for the backup position.

Infield: Enrique Limón (4*) provides quality offense from first base. Starters Orlando Gonzáles (4.5*), Carlos Zúñiga (3*) and Matt Anderson (3.5*) provide exceptional defense around the diamond. Jeremiah Harvey (3.5*) was heavily linked with an offseason trade but has stayed. His patchy hitting means he must settle for a backup role alongside lefty Felipe Ríos (2*). Floyd Tipton provides veteran quality on the minor league roster.

Outfield: The Magpies have Glove Wizard-standard defense across the outfield. Guillermo Díaz (4.5*) will bat lead-off, and is a constant stolen base threat. Bob Miller (2*) excelled on both sides of the ball in the club’s championship drive. Dave Dodd (4.5*) is an elite defender in the important centre field position. The fourth outfielder is lefty Al Elliott (2.5*). António Fernández, Terry Lawrence and Júlio Pérez give more depth in the outfield positions than the Magpies probably need.

Conclusion: The 2047 Magpies have a balanced roster with defense again the standout attribute. They will be in the mix for a playoff spot, but the North Division is shaping up to be incredibly tough. 97 wins was only good enough for third place for the Brown Bears last year, and the standard could be even higher this year after Lansing’s heavy expenditure on free agents. A repeat SCL championship looks highly unlikely.
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