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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dexter Fowler, Casey Close, Collusion and the Value of Information

Now, teams don’t even need to do the work of creating or maintaining an information bank. Every time a team source leaks a contract offer to a reporter, who then posts it to Twitter or a rumors blog, another piece of that same kind of information bank is gained by anybody with access to the internet. When injury information is added to the equation, it only creates a more sensitive situation for the player, particularly when the medical information is disputed as it was with Balfour, Hernandez, Sele and others.

This issue has come up multiple times over the course of the current collective bargaining agreement, which began in 2012 and will run out at the end of the current season. In 2012, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported on multiple public statements that were close to crossing the line, including a “high-ranking” Rangers official telling USA Today his club didn’t plan to offer Josh Hamilton a contract longer than three years, Tony La Russa telling ESPN any contract over six years in length is “scary and dangerous,” and Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski telling reporters Detroit would not be offering contracts to departing free agents Jose Valverde and Delmon Young….

So when Close railed against the Orioles and the media, this was not just the bitterness of an agent and his client watching money slip away. The players and the union fought for specific rules against the tactic that was deployed against his client. They fought for these rules because this kind of sharing of information, whether done in secret or done through the media, has caused substantial damage to players’ earning power in the past. And it doesn’t particularly matter whether team officials are creating these leaks with the intent of damaging a player’s market value; the impact is the same.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2016 at 09:56 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: agents, collusion, dexter fowler, free agency

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ex-World Series hero David Freese finds new home in Pittsburgh

Ice to see you, Mr. Freese.

Freese is 32 years old and is more than adequate as a corner infielder. He is a World Series hero, though, he granted, from what seems, “forever ago.” He is a terrific guy to have around, a quality gaining favor again in light of the revelation not all numbers are the same.

So, yeah, with at least some residue of his prime remaining and his sport being more flush than it’s ever been, Freese stood in the middle of that thoroughfare. And rose the shade on his glass box. And waited. And watched the world go by.

“It’s been interesting to say the least, but I stayed patient,” he said. “I came into the offseason kinda looking around at the jobs, you know, and I was like, ‘Man, this could get interesting.’ So, I was prepared that if something didn’t happen fairly quick, I could be around for a little bit. There weren’t too many openings to be an everyday guy. A couple trades were made. Cleveland was an example, where they always wanted [Juan] Uribe. After that it was, ‘Here we go.’ I stayed patient.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2016 at 10:07 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: david freese, free agency, pirates

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Ian Desmond, Ryan Howard, Gerrit Cole and tough truths about contracts | NBC SportsWorld

So is the Players Association going to pay him the difference?

In other words, from a baseball perspective, Desmond would have to be certifiable to ACCEPT a deal that far below market value. And here’s where it gets even trickier: One of those unnamed sources told me that Desmond wanted to sign the deal, but he felt pressure from the Players Association not to take a low offer that might depress the market for other players.

Desmond said this very thing publicly after turning down the deal:

“If you said, ‘Hey Ian, we want you to play here for the rest of your career,’ OK. Yeah. Absolutely. Duh.  Where do I sign up?” he told The Washington Post. “At the same time, there have been a lot of people that have come through this game that have sacrificed a lot for us, the players that are coming through now. I don’t want to sign a deal … that is so bad that a future shortstop gets screwed because I signed a terrible deal. I’m not going to be that guy, that kink in the chain.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2016 at 05:53 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, ian desmond, nationals

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Very Simple Fix for the Qualifying Offer | FanGraphs Baseball

Will the union really want to give up something in exchange for a problem for very, very, very few players? Here’s a fix that won’t take the money away from the membership: if you are a mid-range player without a distinguished skill set or you are a player coming off a mediocre year, take the qualifying offer. Wasn’t that easy?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2016 at 06:29 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, qualifying offers

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Mets sign left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo to bolster bullpen

It’s not the free-agent signing that fans are pining for, but getting lefthanded reliever Antonio Bastardo on Wednesday might prove to be very important for the Mets.

The team agreed with Bastardo on a two-year, $12 million deal. If that sounds like a lot for a set-up reliever, it’s similar to what others like Mark Lowe, Steve Cishek, and John Axford − all righthanders − have received this winter.

Bastardo, meanwhile, was one of the few quality lefties in this free-agent market. Lefties are in such demand, in fact, that Ollie Perez received a two-year, $7 million deal from the Nationals.

The 30-year-old Bastardo went 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA for the Pirates last season in a set-up role, holding lefthanded hitters to a .138 batting average.

Along with Jerry Blevins, Bastardo gives the Mets two lefty relievers who are exceptionally tough on lefthanded hitters, and adds some much-needed depth to the back end of the bullpen.

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 21, 2016 at 02:34 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, mets

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Free agency was born 40 years ago today | HardballTalk

O.K., so this is what Craig Calcaterra is writing about now. Actually he was writing this yesterday. I don’t really know what he’s writing about now, although he’s probably just sleeping at the moment.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2015 at 05:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Alex Rodriguez $252 million contract with Texas Rangers remains landmark on 15th anniversary

Rodriguez exercised his right to void the final three years of the contract after seven seasons, and agent Scott Boras revealed the news during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the 2007 World Series—just as the rival Red Sox were putting the finishing touches on a sweep of the Rockies. Yankees executive Hank Steinbrenner initially said there was “no chance” the team would re-sign Rodriguez, but six weeks later Rodriguez inked a new 10-year, $275 million deal with New York.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2015 at 08:32 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, free agency

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

How did the price tag for elite pitchers get so high? - The Boston Globe

A very interesting take by Alex Speier.

Ultimately, the Red Sox are making a huge commitment, but they’re not simply making that commitment to the best pitcher available – a sometimes less-than-impressive pool – but instead to someone who is unquestionably one of the best pitchers in the game. For such a pitcher, in the aftermath of a second last-place finish in as many years, the team elected to spend, a sign of the staggering resources that have been made available by Red Sox owners to Dombrowski to address the team’s deficiencies.

It’s a deal that guarantees nothing. Starting with Brown’s landmark deal, 11 pitchers prior to Price have set a record for average annual salary. Just two of those pitchers – CC Sabathia in 2009, Barry Zito in 2010 (when he wasn’t part of the postseason rotation) and 2012 – have been on World Series winners.

Some of those record contracts (Mike Hampton, Johan Santana) were greeted with considerable fanfare and concluded as franchise-derailing albatrosses. The Red Sox understand that history. They were willing to bet on Price as an outlier.

That willingness suggests that the Red Sox are operating from a different vantage point than they were when they seemed almost relieved at times that they didn’t re-sign lefthander Jon Lester to a contract that might have represented around half of what the team is committing to Price. But by all indications, they can afford this risk.

The Red Sox have crossed a momentous contractual threshold. It will be years before the wisdom and success of the deal can be judged.

But despite the sticker shock that inevitably greets a record contract, it seems fair to suggest that the Sox’ first foray into a nine-figure commitment for a pitcher won’t remain the pitching gold standard forever, or even for the life of his contract. The game, as Colletti noted, continues to move forward.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 02, 2015 at 11:07 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, free agency, red sox

Monday, November 30, 2015

GM Jed Hoyer: Chicago Cubs not close but moves are coming - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

Hoyer couldn’t pin down whether the Cubs would add via trade or free agency, calling both markets “developing.” Several free agents have signed contracts, including pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, who agreed on a deal with Detroit over the weekend. The big question for the Cubs has been whether to spend a limited increase in their budget mostly on one player or to spread it around to various needs, which include center field and starting pitching.

“Those are the philosophical questions we’ve all been having over the last couple of months,” Hoyer said. “There’s good with both. Elite players can change a team.”

The “elite” players on the market who the Cubs have been tied to include pitcher David Price and outfielder Jason Heyward, but Hoyer indicated it’s the smaller moves that are sometimes just as important. The Cubs have signed or picked up several relievers over the last few weeks but still haven’t made the one or two big moves many are expecting.

“Depth is underrated, especially in the winter,” Hoyer explained. “Everyone will write out lineups in the offseason and they don’t focus on bench, they don’t focus on the bullpen, they don’t focus on guys in Triple-A that are going up and down. Over the course of six months, those are the little moves that make a huge difference.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2015 at 03:37 PM | 150 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agency, jed hoyer

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tigers, Zimmermann reportedly reach deal

DETROIT—The Tigers on Sunday have reportedly come to terms with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, according to CBSSports.com. FOX Sports said the deal is expected to be for five years and roughly $110 million. The Tigers have not commented.

FOX reported late Saturday night that the two sides were in negotiations, which were believed to have grown serious. A baseball source later confirmed the two sides were in talks, though no deal was believed to have been finalized.



 

 

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