Free Agents Newsbeat
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
A report out that a free agent won’t automatically sign with one team? Why, what possible motive could he have for drumming up more interest in other teams?
Still, it’s quite a leap from loving his stay in Boston to being likely to return there this winter as a free agent. The reality is, it’s probably the opposite. The strong belief around the game is that Lester is likely to sign somewhere other than the Red Sox.
Most folks around baseball would be surprised if Lester and the Red Sox could agree on a contract at a time other teams will be bidding hard for him. After all, the two sides couldn’t come close to doing it when they had a clear shot at contract. A return by Lester to Boston was dubbed a “long shot” by league officials who have familiarity with the situation.
The Cubs and rival Yankees, among others, look like much more likely landing spots for Lester at this time, in fact. The Yankees have admired Lester’s guts and clutch pitching for years (and especially that career 0.43 World Series ERA) and would surely make a play for the former Red Sox ace. Meanwhile, folks around the game suggest Lester’s old friends Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, who picked Lester for Boston and are now running the Cubs, are extremely likely to be in there pitching, as well. Epstein and Hoyer “absolutely love” Lester, is the word from one official who knows Chicago’s top execs well.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
With concerns about calcium, shouldn’t he think about heading to Milwaukee?
Praise has been far from faint for Rusney Castillo, who is considered to be the latest in a long string of impact players imported from Cuba. The highly regarded 27-year-old outfielder seems to be nearing a decision on where he will play, as Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald and ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes report that Castillo is expected to “declare his intentions any day now.”...
Castillo should be in line for an impressive payday, though it’s unlikely that he receives as much as Jose Abreu got from the White Sox last offseason. Represented by Roc Nation Sports, Castillo was said to originally be in line for a $25-$35 million deal, but it now looks like he will outdo the $42 million that Yasiel Puig got from the Dodgers a couple years ago. According to Peter Gammons, he is now looking at a deal between $40 and $70 million, while FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi pegs him as receiving something around six years and ~$50 million….
There seems to be a long line of suitors for Castillo, though the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, and Cubs seem to be leading the pack. ...
Those five clubs are far from alone in their pursuit of Castillo. The Mariners, Orioles, Giants, Astros, Blue Jays, White Sox, and Braves have also all been mentioned as potential suitors, and could wind up nabbing him when his decision is announced, likely within the next few days.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Scott Boras, the agent for top remaining free agents Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew, came out swinging against the half dozen or so anonymous team executives and officials who negatively speculated in a recent article on the value of those two players. Boras says those unnamed executives and officials are breaking league rules in a recent article by suggesting low player values, issuing critical comments and ultimately hurting their markets.
Boras… said he intends to pursue a grievance, going so far as to urge the league to use subpoena power to unearth their identities…
Boras further says there needs to be a “remedy” for the two free agents, which could mean monetary damages or possibly relief from a two-year-old rule that cost them and a select few others free agents in the marketplace…
The CBA specifically disallows executives from publicly making comments that could deflate players’ markets, both sides agree. And MLB did recently sent out a memo reminding execs to abide by the rule, so the league isn’t suggesting the execs’ comments were appropriate….
In response to the players union statement earlier Friday calling for an investigation, MLB hinted in its statement that other reasons beyond the unnamed comments are likely behind the players’ current predicaments. However, an MLB official said the league accepted the union’s request to launch an investigation into the situation and will do so…
The players union backed Boras’ complaints and issued its own statement earlier Friday.
Union leader Tony Clark said in his statement, “I am angered that numerous baseball executives have blatantly and intentionally violated our collective bargaining agreement by offering to ESPN comments about free agent values of Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales. These statements undermine the free agent rights of the players and depress the market values. Today, I have called upon the Commissioner’s office to investigate immediately and thoroughly the sources of these statements and to take appropriate action to enforce our agreement.”
Since CBS apparently doesn’t realize that the Internet works because different sites are willing to link to each other, here is the article in question (ESPN Insider).
Murray sez: Glory! “Wrong Hole, Buster”
[The use of anonymous quotes is a] highly questionable journalistic practice and is frowned on by reputable news organizations.
This type of article is what has angered Clark and the union. One such example ran on the [ESPN] web site last week with the heading “Execs put a price on Drew, Morales.”
Written by Buster Olney, the site’s lead baseball writer, the piece offers no names of people he quotes but quotes an assortment of people identified as Executive No. 1, from the National League; Another NL official, An American League executive, A second AL official, A third NL official, AL talent evaluator, AL exec and An AL evaluator.
In his years covering the New York Yankees for The New York Times, Olney would not have been able to write such a story.
The union is not debating journalistic practices here. The problem the union has with what these people say, or are purported to say, is the impact their comments might have on other clubs that might be considering signing Drew or Morales.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
It seems reasonable that Santana’s new team can expect him to continue his ground ball tendencies, assuming he keep using his sinker. This is especially important against right-handed batters, as it gives him just enough of a different tool to compliment his fastball and slider. One could even argue that his performance has room for improvement if he mixed in an even greater percentage of sinkers. If Santana mixed in more sinkers, and maybe even matched his fastball usage, the results could be fantastic for whichever team ends up signing the oft-ignored pitcher.
Sunday, March 09, 2014
Cardinals limited roster space get even more limited…. Anyone have projections for Diaz yet?
The Cardinals have agreed to terms on a four-year, major-league deal with shortstop Aledmys Diaz, a Cuban who defected from the country and had to wait out a years suspension before being eligible as a free agent. The team announced the deal Sunday afternoon.
Saturday, March 08, 2014
A pitcher with injury concerns signing with the Jays. What could go wrong?
The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with Ervin Santana on a one-year, $14MM deal, Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes tweets. Earlier in the day, Soldevila had reported that Santana would sign with an AL club for $14MM. Santana has until recently been represented by Proformance, although there have been recent reports about the possibility of Santana ending his relationship with that agency.
Santana pitched 211 innings with the Royals in 2013, posting a 3.24 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. After the season, he rejected a $14.1MM qualifying offer, hoping to strike it big on the free agent market. Obviously, that didn’t happen, as the issue of draft pick forfeiture supressed the market for Santana and several other players. The Blue Jays have two first-round picks, at No. 9 and No. 11, and both are protected. So they’ll have to give up the No. 50 overall pick for signing Santana.
Santana’s one-year deal gives him the opportunity to hit the free agent market again next offseason, when he will turn 32. If he performs well, however, he may still have to deal with the qualifying offer issue.
Joe Saunders was the opposing pitcher who helped end the Texas Rangers’ last playoff appearance two seasons ago.
Now the veteran left-hander will get a chance to earn a spot in the Texas rotation after finalizing a one-year contract that guarantees him the $500,000 minimum.
Saunders’s salary would increase to $1.5 million if he makes the team. He can earn performance bonuses in addition to his salary under the deal completed Tuesday.
With injured lefty Derek Holland expected to be out at least half the season after knee surgery, Saunders joined the team in Arizona on Wednesday to provide another potential starting option.
“I feel like I’m right on track,” said Saunders, who had been throwing bullpen sessions on his own.
Saunders has an 89-81 career record with a 4.30 ERA in 221 games, all starts with the Los Angeles Angels (2005-10), Arizona (2010-12), Baltimore (2012) and Seattle (2013). The 32-year-old lefty was 11-16 with a career-high 5.26 ERA in 32 starts last season before Seattle declined his 2014 option.
Oliver LOOGYs are signed now.
The Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with left-hander Oliver Perez on a two-year, $4.25MM deal, pending physical. Perez, a client of Scott Boras, will earn $1.75MM for the coming year and $2.5MM in 2015.
Perez, 32, has revitalized his career over the past two seasons as a reliever with the Mariners. He has tallied a 3.16 ERA with 10.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 31.8 percent ground-ball rate in 82 2/3 innings in that time. Opposing left-handers have batted .254/.346/.316 against him in that time, while righties have had a tougher time getting on base but slugged at a higher clip with a .237/.309/.411 batting line.
for his generous support.
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