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Free Agency Newsbeat

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Four Soon-to-Be MLB Free Agents Whose Stock Is Rising

The winter’s free-agency freeze induced a wave of anxiety around baseball, leading to a slew of extensions signed early in the season. Brandon Lowe agreed to a six-year deal in Tampa Bay after just 129 MLB at-bats. Eloy Jimenez signed long-term with the White Sox before he ever set foot in an MLB batter’s box. Many players seem either desperate to shed their rookie deals or terrified of entering free agency. The market’s paralysis can deter even the top talents from leaving their current teams. (See Arenado, Nolan and Trout, Michael.)

There remains a sample of quality free agents in the 2019-20 class, however, even if J.D. Martinez and Stephen Strasburg choose not to opt out of their current deals. Expect multiple nine-figure contracts, and one pitcher who could become the league’s most expensive arm. So which upcoming free agents have helped their cause as we begin to consider the next class?

In case you want to know who won’t get signed this coming winter….

QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 05:13 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, free agency, gerrit cole, josh donaldson, will smith

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Phillies Phile Lawsuit To Prevent Phanatic Phrom Becoming Phree Agent

Biggest mascot case since the Mr. Met - Mrs. Met divorce?

In a federal lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in New York, the Phillies accused Harrison/Erickson Inc., the creators and designers of the Phanatic, of threatening to withdraw from their 1984 agreement to let the Phillies use the mascot “forever.” According to the suit, the designers have “threatened to obtain an injunction against the Phillies’ use of the Phanatic” and “make the Phanatic a free agent,” selling the rights to the furry, green-beaked creature to another sports team if the Phillies do not renegotiate with the mascot’s creators and pay them “millions of dollars.”

The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 03, 2019 at 07:02 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, lawsuits, mascot law, mascots, philly phanatic

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Braves, Dallas Keuchel agree to deal, per report | CBS Sports

 

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:02 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dallas keuchel, free agency

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Dallas Keuchel knows what he’s worth and will not settle

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — The man in sunglasses on a patio that overlooked a pool, a fairway and then the Pacific Ocean on Monday afternoon was Dallas Keuchel, who is at the moment unemployed. In his seventh month of free agency, what he desires is a job at a salary he considers to be fair, and what he has found instead is the long conversation about an industry he is willing to call on its failures.

He did not set out into free agency intent on further exposing its flaws, he said. He did not hope to conduct his free agency as a service to his fellow ballplayers or their union or, for that matter, conduct it into May and possibly June or whenever.

The plan, for what in his view was a relatively small and reasonable share of the profits, was to pitch.

He is 31 years old. He has been told his body is healthy, he said, down to every last MRI and every last subsequent sinkerball. A summer ago he was pitching to a 3.74 ERA across more than 200 innings, not his best — his best came with a Cy Young Award trophy, his next-best with a World Series parade — and still more than presentable. It is not a time to be pitching to junior college players every fifth day, even if they are game, even if it is what prepares him for a season already six weeks gone.

It will be interesting to see how much longer this lasts, especially as demolition derby continues with MLB pitching.


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

 

 

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