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Monday, April 15, 2019

Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel reportedly are lowering their free agent asking prices

Work can be hard to find for All-Stars these days. Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel can attest to that.

The pair of free-agent pitchers have not yet found a home two weeks into the regular season because teams haven’t been willing to meet their asking prices. However, that may change soon as the pair reportedly are willing to accept smaller deals.

On Saturday night, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Kimbrel is now seeking a three-year deal at a lower annual average value than he originally demanded. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on Sunday that Keuchel could be open to a one-year deal.

How much longer these players’ absences will continue is a tough questions. Some teams may prefer to wait until June when the draft pick penalty no longer applies. But something needed to change, and apparently that may be the players’ asking prices.

As with the limbo, it will be interesting to see how low they can go….

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: craig kimbrel, dallas keuchel, free agency

Monday, April 01, 2019

Passan: Huge contracts and big concerns. What’s going on with MLB salaries?

I’ve said it before…the union needs to shift from worrying about the top and start working from the bottom up.

7. With all this money being spent, average salaries still can go down.

It’s true. As of right now, the average salary in baseball has dropped for a second consecutive year. Now, it’s a slight drop and one that both the league and union acknowledge has some accounting oddities that might explain it.

In extension-heavy years, large chunks of money tend to get lost in the average-payroll report from the league. For example: Harper’s deal will pay him around $26 million a year, but for average-salary purposes, it’s counted as $11.5 million because the signing bonus enriching him now will be prorated over the length of the contract. Machado is at $12 million and deGrom at $9.5 million for the same reason. The $40 million missing there—it’s about $50,000 more per player.

That, of course, doesn’t make the situation any better for many of the rank-and-file players who bear the brunt of the game’s paradigm shift. They see industry revenue growing ... and players’ salaries not growing accordingly. MLB continues to say the growth is similar, with teams now spending 55 percent of revenue on major league and minor league players. Others are exceedingly skeptical of both numbers and believe the revenue number the league uses ($9.4 billion a year) is well short of the widely believed $10 billion-plus number.

It’s little solace to those who feel underpaid or are unemployed. There are plenty of the latter still: Jose Bautista, Evan Gattis, Matt Holliday, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Madson, Logan Morrison, James Shields, Denard Span and more. The lesson here is a brutal one ...

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2019 at 03:47 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, free agency

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cubs sign Kyle Hendricks to four-year extension, team option for 5th year

Hendricks extension with #Cubs is four years, $55.595M, according to a source. Includes club option for fifth season as well.

Red Voodooin Posted: March 26, 2019 at 01:57 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: contract extensions, cubs, free agency

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Stark: Everybody’s out to get 30-something baseball players these days — even Alexa – The Athletic

Wonderful article by Jayson Stark.

So is that true, that no one really knows? Here’s the tricky part of this: No one knows for sure when any individual player will peak and decline, because, from Hank Aaron to Tom Brady to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the world of sports has always been filled with freaks of nature who defy their age and defy the averages.

But in an era in which front offices are consumed by the goal of minimizing risk, they know exactly when most players will peak and decline. And it’s those judgments that are wreaking havoc on the free-agent market – and ratcheting up the pressure on even star players, because sooner or later, that gong will be sounding for them.

“I think your leash is way shorter,” said Matt Carpenter. “Say you’re a 32- or 33-year-old who shows up and puts up zero WAR after being a 4-win or 3-win guy for many years. And then you throw up a zero. It can get hard to find a place to play. Adam Jones is a great example. That’s the tough part about this aging thing.”

No, the tough part about “this aging thing,” for players, is figuring out how they’re supposed to respond – to all of the above. But as with everything these days, it’s complicated.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 13, 2019 at 02:57 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: aging, free agency, pay site

Monday, March 11, 2019

ESPN - Keown - Bryce Harper is One Very Big Deal

When Harper told his agent, Scott Boras, that he wanted a lifetime deal—with a no-trade clause and none of the agent’s signature opt-outs—Boras said, “Well, teams don’t want to employ you at 35, much less 39, so we’re going to have to give something up to get that.” The casualty, to use the term loosely, was the average annual salary—$25.3 million. Manny Machado’s, to pick one, is higher. Harper didn’t care.


Adam Jones and Martin Maldonado Find New Homes | FanGraphs Baseball

Great stuff from Dan. It’s tough to be a platoon outfielder when your team carries 13 pitchers.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2019 at 11:48 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Friday, March 01, 2019

VP Ken Williams: It’s a shame if White Sox are portrayed as cheap | Chicago Sun-Times

Teams can’t just budget based on this year and next. They need to have a long-term plan, which includes an eye on their view of their competitive window.

“People are lost on the fact that on a yearly basis, our offer was more than San Diego’s. The average annual value was $31 [million] and change. So it was about years guaranteed. So there is an argument that could be made that our offer was the better of the two. It certainly had more upside for him. All he had to do was basically stay healthy.’’

All the Sox had to do was dig a little deeper. But Williams said the long-range cost was too much.

“Our fans would have been much more disappointed in our inability to keep this next core together,’’ he said. “We would have overextended ourselves had we gone to an uncomfortable level.’’

The Sox’ potential stars — Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech, Tim Anderson, Carlos Rodon and Yoan Moncada — are years away from arbitration and big paydays, and this fact remains: The richest contract ever signed by a Sox player is Jose Abreu’s $68 million deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2019 at 08:56 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, free agency, white sox

Dodgers whiff on Bryce Harper, and a chance to solidify a franchise for a decade - Los Angeles Times

The Dodgers are the smartest front office in baseball. (The Astros and Yankees are right behind them.) One area they are ahead of the curve is assessing long-term risk for free agents. Their reported offer dovetails with comments about preferring higher AAV/shorter long-term contacts which the front office talked about this off-season. The Dodgers believe the discount on today’s dollars is not worth the increased risk over the longer term. (Jon Morosi reported that the Dodgers were willing to go four years at $45M per season. Plaschke says five years at $45M.)

Scott Boras understands risk as well. That’s why Harper went for the most guaranteed dollars, which really is 10/330 spread over 13 years. Had Harper agreed to 4/$45M, he would have hit free agency again at 30 years old. At that point, he would have needed to get 6/$150M - $25M AAV (or 8 years at $18.75M AAV). That wouldn’t have been a really high bar if Harper is really the player Boras has sold. Boras and Harper didn’t think Harper betting on himself was worth the risk. I agree with them, which is one of the reasons I don’t like the contract from Philly’s end.

While Andrew Friedman and his crew have admirably built six consecutive West Division champions and two consecutive World Series teams, an organization with buckets of chips will not push them all in for a shot at one big pot.

In his five years here, Friedman has never spent more than $60 million for a free agent from outside the organization. Even when he has paid big money to retain the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, he’s never paid out more than $93 million. Those are outrageous sums, of course, but in the high-priced world of baseball’s top free agents, that just doesn’t play.
...
The word is that the Dodgers might have gone as high as five years and $225 million for Harper. The guess here is that he would have taken less money to come to Los Angeles, considering it easily was his first choice. Couldn’t there have been a compromise in there somewhere?

 

 

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:54 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, dodgers, free agency, giants, phillies

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Phillies have offered Bryce Harper over $300M but word is others are over $300M, too…

Does Heyman get a cut of Harper’s contract too?

 

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2019 at 10:57 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, free agency

Why Bryce Harper would take short Dodgers deal over long Phillies’

I know Boras works for Harper. I just can’t see Boras and the union signing off on Harper going shorter term with a high AAV.

The Dodgers can show Harper everything — except the money. They have had a policy under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to avoid mega-long-term deals, and they have the leverage in this situation to stick with this strategy because without Harper, they are still heavily favored to win a seventh straight NL West title.

What the Dodgers are willing to do is make Harper the annual value champion, so at least $35 million a year, perhaps closer to $40 million, but only for three or four seasons — perhaps five years to get a deal done. So to just give a guesstimated total, $150 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2019 at 10:36 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, dodgers, free agency, phillies

Will this be Jose Abreu’s final year with White Sox? ‘I would like to stay with this organization forever’

Will this be Jose Abreu’s final season with the White Sox?

The closest thing this team has to a face of the franchise at the moment — at least until Eloy Jimenez arrives from the minor leagues — is slated to hit free agency at the conclusion of the 2019 campaign. His advancing age could mean he doesn’t quite line up with the approaching wave of prospects planned to power this team to perennial contention. It’s possible that these will be the final 162 games we see of Abreu in a White Sox uniform.

But the relationship between Abreu and the White Sox says something different.

Well, with free agency in the shape that it’s in, that’s a increasingly real possibility…..

 

QLE Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, jose abreu, white sox

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Santoli: Blame quant funds for baseballs soft free agent market

Saw the interview about this article yesterday.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

After veteran salaries drop, baseball players want change

When these are your best examples, you need to rethink your premise.

Neil Walker’s salary dropped from $17.2 million to $2 million in two years. Greg Holland was cut from $14 million to $2 million this season. Daniel Murphy fell from $17.5 million to $10 million.

While Manny Machado agreed to a pending $300 million, 10-year contract with San Diego and Bryce Harper is likely to top Giancarlo Stanton’s record $325 million, 13-year deal, many less-than-superstar veterans have been routed on the free-agent market.

Players want change, and management could be open to negotiations for alterations to the collective bargaining agreement as part of an extension of the current deal, set to expire in December 2021.

“It’s really clear there’s been a redistribution of how clubs are looking at veteran players,” agent Scott Boras said Wednesday. “We have a clear problem in the industry of a non-competitive cancer. Like any patient with a malady, we have to address it immediately. Otherwise it is going to get steadily worse.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:36 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Young Yankees fan really didn’t want Machado in New York - ESPN Video

I’m surprised this kid doesn’t already have a show on ESPN. He’d fit in perfectly.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Now that Manny Machado got $300M, Bryce Harper and the Phillies are on the clock

And then there was one.

Bryce Harper, the second baseball star seeking a $300 million contract this offseason, saw Manny Machado get his money Tuesday and is now awaiting a ridiculous payday of his own.

Machado got $300 million over 10 years, enough to leave your mouth agape, enough to set a new free-agent record in baseball, enough to provide for generations of his family and the exact number both Harper and Machado were said to be chasing this offseason.

It’ll be a record until it isn’t anymore — which could be tomorrow or next week. Because Harper’s contract, whoever it’s with, should beat Machado’s. And the Philadelphia Phillies, the team that promised to spend “stupid money” this winter, might be feeling the most pressure now to woo Harper.

Of course, I’ve been hearing the claim that Harper will sign tomorrow since before the election, so….

 

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, free agency, hot stove, phillies

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

With Manny Machado’s deal, reports of baseball’s demise might have been exaggerated - The Washington Post

So the owners aren’t trying to win if they don’t put all new money into player salaries. Shouldn’t players who want to win be willing to accept less than full market value so their teams can afford more good players?

Of course not.

“Every time you look around, more money is pouring into the game from some new source,” Zimmerman said last week. “And a lot of owners seem to be keeping it, putting it in their pockets and not trying to win. We players all try to win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 07:46 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Baseball’s Shifting Financial Equation: Long-Term Security Over Free Agency - WSJ

Agents point to early extensions that now look like incredible bargains. Cleveland Indians righty Corey Kluber, for instance, signed a five-year, $38.5 million extension before the 2015 season that could’ve turned into seven years and $77 million with bonuses and team options. His 2.96 ERA since then is the best in the American League, and he has statistically already outperformed the entire contract by a wide margin with up to three years remaining.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Ricky Romero. He signed a five-year, $30 million extension with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 with less than two years of service time. After an All-Star 2011, he fell apart, posting a 5.97 ERA in his next 36 games. He never appeared in the majors after 2013—but still received every cent of his contract.

“We all want to make an instant call on how good of a deal it is without really knowing what’s going on in a player’s life,” agent Jeff Beck said. “It may look bad at some point, but $45 million is a lot of money”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 07:13 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Twitter: Scott Lindholm: Big Contract Performance

 

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Clark: Some teams make little effort to justify ticket costs

NEW YORK (AP) — Players’ union head Tony Clark took the extraordinary step of saying baseball fans should question whether it makes sense to purchase tickets for some teams, responding to Commissioner Rob Manfred’s assertion that free-agent players have failed to adjust their economic demands in a market upended by analytics.

Top free agents Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel remain unsigned with spring training under way, creating tension during negotiations on management’s proposals for a pitch clock and new limitations on relief pitchers. The union responded with a wider list of plans that include economic initiatives such as expanding the designated hitter to the National League and altering the amateur draft to make rebuilding less appealing.

“Markets change,” Manfred said Sunday. “We’ve had a lot of change in the game. People think about players differently. They analyze players differently. They negotiate differently.”

Tony Clark, as we all know, is an expert on the subject of things that get a large amount of money that they don’t deserve….

 

 

QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, rob manfred, ticket prices, tony clark

Monday, February 18, 2019

NY Post: Davidoff: The factors that conspired to create MLB’s free-agent freeze

4. A change in team strategies. Though a winter transactions deadline has seemingly never existed, teams used to eye the December holiday season as an ideal time to finalize the major touches on roster renovations. They had tickets to sell, obviously, and the more time to pound the drums on their new and improved products, the better.

Gradually, it occurred to many clubs: Whatever they lost in ticket sales from playing the calendar differently could be recouped and then some by waiting out free agents. Last year, the Royals re-signed third baseman Mike Moustakas, who had turned down a qualifying offer for $17.4 million, for a paltry $5.5 million in March. And here we are in mid-February with plenty of big names still looking for work.

bobm Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Q&A with Alex Cobb: ‘I’m not going to be bitter. I’m not going to be upset I’m in the position I am.

Will Alex Cobb’s 2018 season impact this year’s free agent stragglers?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2019 at 07:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cobb, free agency, orioles

The Bryce, Manny stalemate and the latest on MLB free agency

Jeff Passan with a little insight.

2. Justin Verlander and a brigade of other players to end their public grousing on the health of the free-agent market? Probably not.

One part of their messaging is hitting home: More and more players, in speaking out on the matter, are saying there are more than 100 jobless free agents. This is not true. A liberal accounting of the so-called XX(B) free agents—ones who have six-plus years of service—counts about 50. Of those 50, about half are clearly major-league-caliber players. A few come with enough warts to straddle the line between a big league deal and a minor league deal. The rest will get non-roster invitations to camp.

Look, 100 jobless free agents is a sexy talking point. It works. For an organization like the players’ association, which has struggled with messaging, the widespread adoption of the 100-jobless-free-agents narrative is promising, especially when the message is spread in such a scattershot fashion, with Verlander’s tweet the latest among this new oeuvre of player communication.

The problem is, it’s not real, and when players resort to exaggerating to make a point that needs no exaggeration—25 legitimate big leaguers without major league deals as spring training begins is indicative of a problem—it sets them up as boys who cried wolf. Which is a shame, seeing as their main talking point should carry a serious wallop.

Sixty percent of baseball teams are carrying payrolls $50 million below the $206 million luxury-tax threshold. Just shy of half the teams in the game are $75 million below. Eight teams are more than $100 million under the threshold. More than a quarter of the game isn’t even spending half of what it can before incurring a penalty that barely penalizes anyway. It’s one thing for the highest-spending teams not to exceed the luxury tax. It’s another for the teams that receive tens of millions in revenue-sharing dollars to practically sit out offseasons.

So, yes, it is troublesome that Machado and Harper and Dallas Keuchel and Marwin Gonzalez and Mike Moustakas and Gio Gonzalez and Adam Jones and Josh Harrison and Clay Buchholz and Jose Iglesias and Martin Maldonado and Carlos Gonzalez and Tyler Clippard and Evan Gattis and Denard Span and Edwin Jackson and Derek Dietrich and Adam Warren and Tony Sipp and Matt Wieters and Carlos Gomez don’t have jobs. They could be ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2019 at 07:47 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

There’s no crying in free agency: What it’s really like to wait for a deal – The Athletic

A comprehensive look at free agency this year, by Britt Ghiroli.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2019 at 07:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Friday, February 15, 2019

Nightengale: Trevor Bauer’s radical idea on MLB contracts could benefit everyone

As free agents have struggled to land long-term deals over the past two winters, the 28-year-old believes that signing only one-year contracts would make him affordable to all 30 teams, even with an annual price tag of at least $35 million.

“I’ll go year-to-year my entire career,” said Bauer, who is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2020 season. “Why would you lock yourself in a situation that may not make you happy? I think that’s highly inefficient. Everybody is afraid of risk. Everyone is scared.

Jack Sommers Posted: February 15, 2019 at 04:41 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cleveland indians, free agency, trevor bauer

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Astros SP Justin Verlander Says Free Agency System is ‘Broken’

Astros pitcher Justin Verlander said MLB’s free agency system is “broken” on Monday, tweeting about the “100 or so free agents left unsigned.” The seven-time All-Star also noted the ongoing negotiations between teams and 26-year-old superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, both of whom remain unsigned with the first spring training games less than two weeks away.

It seems that these sorts of articles are piling up, doesn’t it?

 

QLE Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, justin verlander

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