Free Agency Newsbeat
Thursday, April 21, 2016
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.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
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.”
Tuesday, March 01, 2016
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.”
Saturday, February 27, 2016
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?
Thursday, January 21, 2016
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.
Thursday, December 24, 2015
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.
Posted: December 24, 2015 at 05:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
Saturday, December 12, 2015
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.
Posted: December 12, 2015 at 08:32 AM | 18 comment(s)
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
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.
Posted: December 02, 2015 at 11:07 AM | 25 comment(s)
Monday, November 30, 2015
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.”
Posted: November 30, 2015 at 03:37 PM | 150 comment(s)
Sunday, November 29, 2015
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.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
As a prelude to the Hot Stove shopping season, Cespedes’ representatives at the Creative Artists Agency and Roc Nation distributed a coffee table-type book to a select list of teams. The book, titled “52 Reviews” (in honor of Cespedes’ jersey number), has a black-and-white cloth cover, runs about 100 pages and features laudatory comments and testimonials from managers, coaches, players, front-office executives and members of the media.
In a bow to technology, the book also has a video player embedded inside the front cover. Executives who push the “play” button are treated to an array of Yoenis Cespedes home runs, jaw-dropping throws and other highlights set to music.
The Cespedes pitch created something of a buzz at the recent general managers meetings in Boca Raton, Florida. Although ESPN.com was unable to obtain a copy of the book, several MLB executives gave it reviews that sounded like something fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
One GM described the book as “unique, well-done and creative,” while a National League executive said it was the subject of some “gawking” in his team’s front office. An AL front-office man, meanwhile, wondered about the printing costs.
“It’s beautifully done,” the executive said. “I don’t know where to start to guess at the expense involved with this. My hunch is, 5 percent of whatever [Cespedes] is going to earn is significantly more than the investment in the book.”
Posted: November 21, 2015 at 05:35 PM | 15 comment(s)
Friday, November 20, 2015
I wouldn’t ordinarily post my own stuff, but this was of interest when it was posted last year. We wrapped up our simulation where we take 30 fans and have them work out trades and free agents under quasi-real world conditions. This is the result.
New York Yankees
Declined option on Brendan Ryan, Ryan picked up the player option
Non-tendered Andrew Bailey and Sergio Santos
Acquired Aroldis Chapman from Cincinnati for Michael Pineda, Slade Heathcott, and John Ryan Murphy
Acquired Ben Revere and Wendell Rijo from Boston for Brett Gardner
Acquired Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs for Ian Clarkin, Jacob Lindgren, and Jose De Leon
Acquired Jorge Alfaro and Cornelius Randolph from Philadelphia for Rob Refsnyder and Nathan Eovaldi
Signed Justin Upton to a 8 year $230 million deal
Signed Zack Greinke for 7 years $210 million
Signed Tyler Clippard to a 3 year $26 million deal
Signed Doug Fister to a 2 year $25 million deal
Signed outfielder Chris Young to a 1 year $8 million deal
Signed Edwin Jackson to a minor league deal
Recommended Budget: $241 million
Final Payroll: $296.6 million
Holy Steinbrenner, Batman!
Monday, November 16, 2015
Isn’t Jaret Wright still available?
Who’s available? A power ranking:
1. Stephen Strasburg
Oh, he’s an ace, alright. Probably. He comes with risks (Tommy John history, a lousy 2015 season, Scott Boras), but if you’re going to pay for talent, it helps if the pitcher has talent. Strasburg has talent. He practically leaks talent. Uh, anyone want to get some rags and help us out with this talent? It’s sort of getting everywhere.
But, yes, Strasburg has the potential to lead a rotation. Most definitely. Don’t forget just how awe-inspiring he can be at his best.
2. C.J. Wilson
He used to be okay! He’ll be 36, but I could see a team giving him a two- or three-year deal.
Wilson might be the second-best pitcher on the 2016-2017 free agent market.
3. Jered Weaver
Wait, he throws 83 miles per hour.
4. R.A. Dickey
Wait, he’s 83 years old.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
In conjunction with an annual fall tradition, ESPN.com polled 34 general managers, assistant GMs, scouting directors and other baseball evaluators on seven questions that will help dictate the course of the Hot Stove season.
3. Which free-agent power hitter would you rather invest in for the long haul—Chris Davis or Yoenis Cespedes?
Responses: Cespedes 17. Davis 15. Two respondents said they would pass on both.
Posted: November 10, 2015 at 01:52 PM | 3 comment(s)
Ben Nicholson-Smith assesses the market.
Even building an elite team offers few guarantees. Just as lesser teams can advance, top teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t even assured of a Division Series appearance in some years.
“It drives teams to the middle,” an AL executive said. ” The main thing is teams are less likely to rebuild because 86 can get you in, and then anything can happen.”
The first steps to sneaking in typically take place during the winter. As baseball’s middle class grows and summer trades become harder to pull off, the off-season becomes that much more vital for would-be contenders.
Posted: November 10, 2015 at 01:47 PM | 3 comment(s)
Friday, November 06, 2015
Ace right-hander Zack Greinke got a qualifying offer from the Dodgers, as did Jordan Zimmermann from the Nationals, Hisashi Iwakuma from the Mariners, Yovani Gallardo from the Rangers, Brett Anderson from the Dodgers, Wei-Yin Chen from the Orioles, John Lackey (Cardinals), Jeff Samardzija (White Sox), Ian Kennedy (Padres) and Marco Estrada (Blue Jays).
Qualifying offers also were extended to a who’s-who of star position players: outfielders Jason Heyward (Cardinals), Alex Gordon (Royals), Dexter Fowler (Cubs), Colby Rasmus (Astros) and Justin Upton (Padres); slugger Chris Davis (Orioles); catcher Matt Wieters (Orioles); and infielders Howie Kendrick (Dodgers), Ian Desmond (Nationals) and Daniel Murphy (Mets).
High-profile free agents such as David Price (traded from Detroit to Toronto), Yoenis Cespedes (traded from Detroit to the Mets) and Johnny Cueto (traded from Cincinnati to Kansas City) weren’t part of this group because they were dealt in the middle of the 2015 season.
Starter Doug Fister and outfielder Denard Span of the Nationals, as well as Angels third baseman David Freese, were notable players who did not receive qualifying offers.
Some interesting names this year.
The Cubs will give the $15.8-million qualifying offer to outfielder Dexter Fowler, the Mariners are planning to give the qualifying offer to pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, the Padres are said by sources to be likely to give one to pitcher Ian Kennedy, and the same goes for the Dodgers with second baseman Howie Kendrick and pitcher Brett Anderson and the Mets with infielder Daniel Murphy.
The qualifying offer was originally designed to provide teams with compensation for the very top free-agent players, and perhaps bring a very slight drag on the free-agent deals of those superstar players. But the reality is that the teams now see a value in extending the qualifying offer to even very good players who fall short of that great category, with one-year deals unwanted by free agents, and draft choices carrying increased value.
The Rangers are said to be all but assured of giving the qualifying offer to pitcher Yovani Gallardo, and the same goes for the White Sox with pitcher Jeff Samardzija, a big talent who didn’t have a particularly good year. The Blue Jays are giving out no signs, but there seems a decent chance starting pitcher Marco Estrada, who had a big postseason, gets the qualifying offer, as well. A big October can change a team’s thinking. That may be the case with Murphy, who went into the postseason with no chance of receiving a qualifying offer but now seems all but assured of getting one.
for his generous support.
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