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Friday, January 20, 2017

Ex-Astro Luis Valbuena reportedly agrees to deal with Angels - Houston Chronicle

The Angels get a useful player.

The left-handed hitting Valbuena batted .260 with 13 home runs and an .816 OPS in 292 at-bats last year before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury in late July. The Astros weren’t expected to retain him given the emergence of Alex Bregman at third base and the signing of Yulieski Gurriel last summer.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, free agents, luis valbuena

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jose Bautista close to signing with Blue Jays | MLB.com

The Blue Jays and Bautista have agreed to a one-year contract that includes a mutual option but is pending the completion of a physical, sources told MLB.com on Tuesday afternoon. The deal’s options could keep Bautista in Toronto through 2019. The club has not confirmed the agreement.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 03:27 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, free agents, jose bautista

The Bautista and Saunders news - and what it means for the Orioles’ RF pursuit - BaltimoreBaseball.com

When does Trumbo come back?

So, I don’t view the news from Monday involving Bautista or Saunders as particularly damaging for the Orioles. But I do see the Saunders signing as an indication that the number of free-agent outfielders who can truly help the Orioles, is starting to wane.

That’s key, because adding Welington Castillo and Seth Smith has to be the start of the club’s plan to be better than it was in 2016 and not the full plan.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 08:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles

Friday, January 13, 2017

Payoff for long-term deals a mixed bag | MLB.com

Tracy Ringolsby looks at the history of 10+ year contracts.

The intention is good.

An organization reaches out to a high-profile player, provides him with long-term security, looking to show its fan base a commitment to success.
It, however, is a gamble.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2017 at 07:09 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, long-term contracts

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Jose Bautista is waiting, and it’s costing him money - Beyond the Box Score

This doesn’t suggest an optimistic outcome.

The results fit the narrative, largely. In sum, this group signed for 20% less than projected, a bigger negative gap than the crowd has tended to display on all free agents collectively. The crowd did a remarkably good job of predicting the high-end free agents in the aggregate, with some big misses in both directions balancing each other out. When compared to the pool of free agents as a whole, where the high-end free agents beat their projected values by about 25% on average, the late-signers seem to take a big hit, failing to beat their projected values altogether.

The conclusion that suggests – that late signees make less money than their fast-moving counterparts – is supported by the monthly trend. While there are only seven March signers in the sample, the steady progression of less and less money than originally expected as the months turn over suggests that the longer a player remains unsigned, the worse their prognosis.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 09:28 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Oakland reportedly signs Trevor Plouffe | MLB.com

No dollar figures.

The 30-year-old infielder has come to terms on a deal with Oakland, pending a physical, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 06:33 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, free agents, trevor plouffe

Sunday, January 08, 2017

10 potential free-agent bargains on the market | MLB.com

Might.

It will happen again this year, but that claim comes with a caveat. In picking through the so-called bargain barrel at this stage, you’re bound to turn up more duds than studs. Some of the names on this list will admittedly look ridiculous come September (if they don’t look ridiculous already), but here’s a look at 10 remaining free agents* that might turn out to be diamonds in the rough.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 12:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Metrics show Mark Trumbo valuable at 1B | MLB.com

While I agree Mark Trumbo is a much more valuable player at first base (assuming you don’t already have a first baseman and no better OF candidate), it’s also true that his offense will most likely regress next season. Of course, the reason Trumbo isn’t already signed is most teams seem to accept that regression and are valuing his future play lower than he’s pricing himself.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 07:13 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mark trumbo

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Phillies are perfectly positioned to take advantage of crowded market for hitters | FOX Sports

Moss does seem like a great fit.

A hitter such as Bautista or Bruce could thrive at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. Moss, because of his left-handed bat and ability to play first base, also could provide support for Tommy Joseph, who slugged 21 homers in 315 at-bats last season but was better when he had the platoon advantage against left-handed pitching.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2017 at 07:17 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, phillies

Friday, December 30, 2016

Next Year’s Free-Agent Hitters Offer More of the Same | FanGraphs Baseball

MLB GMs are evaluating players very similarly now. It’s not a coincidence they aren’t willing to pay the glut of hitters excessively.

Overall, next year’s class is probably slightly better for position players. Cain, Frazier, Lucroy, and Moustakas — along with Hosmer, Martinez, and Santana — present more upside and production than Bautista, Cespedes, Encarnacion, Fowler, Reddick, and Turner. After this year’s deep freeze in free agency — perhaps complicated by CBA negotiations — we can probably expect to see deals occur a bit more swiftly a year from now, but the glut of first basemen, designated hitters, and corner outfielders isn’t going away just yet.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2016 at 07:55 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

David Wright, Jacoby Ellsbury and the deals MLB teams would undo | New York Post

Ouch.

For as much as the Mets want to move Jay Bruce and his $13 million, that is a one-year headache. David Wright is beloved in his clubhouse, and looks as if he will be the first above-average player to spend his entire career with the Mets. But he has four years at $77 million left, and due to his spinal stenosis, the organization has no idea how much he can play moving forward and to what level.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2016 at 07:12 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: bad deals, free agents

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Jose Bautista’s path back to Toronto becomes even clearer

Is the last part true? If he’s really as volatile as this suggests, why would a team want to overpay *and* deal with him when there are other options?

Whether they should certainly is disputable. The fears about Bautista are fair. Older players are risky. They have trouble staying healthy. Bautista is right-handed and the lineup desperately could use another left-handed hitter. And this could be the big one: According to sources, while Bautista is willing to accept a one-year deal, he wants it to be at a higher value than the qualifying offer.

With Bautista, respect is paramount – it’s what makes him such an emotional and combustible on-field figure – and even though the Blue Jays organization owes him nothing of the sort, president Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins do understand people. And they know a pissed-off Jose Bautista is not the sort of person worth having around. Every team knows this. It’s why Bautista’s salary in the end will be more reasonable than expected of someone in this market.{emphasis added}

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2016 at 08:34 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, free agents, jose bautista

Friday, December 23, 2016

Pirates sign Ivan Nova to 3-year deal | MLB.com

Standing in front of his locker at PNC Park on Sept. 29, Ivan Nova made his preference clear. He did not want to leave the Pirates’ clubhouse, he said, and he would do whatever he could to return in 2017.

Nova stayed true to his word. The Pirates addressed their biggest offseason need on Thursday, agreeing to a three-year deal with the veteran right-hander. The agreement, confirmed by an industry source, is pending a physical. The contract will pay Nova $26 million, according to reports by FanRag Sports and FOX Sports. The deal includes $2 million per season in performance bonuses, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 23, 2016 at 06:31 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, ivan nova, pirates

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Edwin Encarnacion, Indians agree to three-year contract | SI.com

Here starts the run of first baseman.

The deal is reportedly worth around $20 million annually and contains an option for a fourth season. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the deal guarantees $65 million, with a $5 million buyout on the option.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2016 at 09:22 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, free agents, indians

Monday, December 19, 2016

The market for Edwin Encarnacion is getting interesting. | Sports on Earth

No.

Rockies. Signing Desmond for five years and $70 million to make the move to first base seems like a waste, but signing Encarnacion as a full-time first baseman, given his recent games played history, moving Desmond to the outfield and dealing Charlie Blackmon or Carlos Gonzalez in a trade market flooded with outfielders is kinda complicated. I’m not sure how much sense any of this makes for a franchise with a new-record payroll that ought to maybe consider throwing some cash at Nolan Arenado sometime soon (he’s eligible for free agency in three years). But, after the Desmond deal, Encarnacion to Colorado makes so little sense that it starts to make sense. (Does that make sense?)

Jim Furtado Posted: December 19, 2016 at 12:02 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, free agents

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Marlins agree with Brad Ziegler on 2-year deal | MLB.com

Reliever Brad Ziegler and the Marlins have reached an agreement on a two-year deal valued at $16 million plus incentives, according to a source.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2016 at 02:38 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: brad ziegler, free agents, marlins

Castillo’s commitment, Wieters’ legacy and more from Davis - School of Roch

I also read somewhere that Castillo will be working on his pitch framing this winter. If he can improve his defense, he’ll be a really, really nice sign for the Orioles.

The most encouraging part of yesterday’s conference call with Welington Castillo involved his commitment to improving his defense. He’s focused on the right aspects of his job. It’s the only way he’s truly going to fit in with the Orioles.

“I know my part, I know what to do. My No. 1 job is being on the same page with the pitchers and try to do my best behind the plate,” Castillo said.

“I know that I can hit a little bit and we have a lot of guys in this lineup that, that’s what they do, so my focus is going to be playing really good defense and manage a pitching staff and win games. That’s going to be my focus. It’s not going to be anything different than just play the game, just go out there and have fun and compete.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2016 at 08:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles, welington castillo

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Welington Castillo, Orioles agree to deal | MLB.com

The contract, which includes $6 million for next season and $7 million in 2018 if Castillo elects his option, is the O’s first big move of the offseason and fills one of their primary holes. With Wieters a free agent, the Orioles targeted Castillo and weren’t shy about their interest, with manager Buck Showalter confirming the rumor at last week’s Winter Meetings.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 14, 2016 at 05:28 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles, welington castillo

Let’s get dirty: Dumpster dive pitching candidates – Phillies Nation

I’ve been betting on Anderson for a few seasons. Although I got one decent year, for the most part, I’ve been, like his real employers, disappointed.

Brett Anderson. He’d probably be too expensive, even at a one-year, $6 million deal, for the Phillies to deal with his inherent injury risk. His season career-high for innings is 180 in an eight-year major-league career, and he’s only thrown over 100 innings two other seasons. His back caused him to miss almost all of the 2016 season, and as much as elbows and shoulders usually can be fixed, backs are a lot trickier for a pitcher to come back from. You can book at least one DL trip for Anderson, even in a largely healthy season. That injury history also will reduce his value at the trade deadline, even if he’s been able to trot out every five days for the first half of the season. All that being said, if other teams balk at something like a $6 million contract and the Phillies can get him for $2 million plus appearance and innings incentives and convince him he’ll be starting, it’s probably worth it for a guy who had a good season in 2015, is a lefty and whose peripheral stats have always been better than his actual stats.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 14, 2016 at 12:00 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, phillies

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter: Jansen and Dodgers Make Deal

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2016 at 01:59 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, kenly jansen

Friday, December 09, 2016


Thursday, December 08, 2016

Cardinals near deal with OF Dexter Fowler | MLB.com

Though the Cardinals did not make any transactions during their four-day stay at the Winter Meetings, it did not take long after their return to St. Louis for them to complete their pursuit of a new center fielder.

After a picture of Dexter Fowler boarding a flight from Las Vegas to St. Louis surfaced on social media, MLB.com confirmed through sources that Fowler was en route to St. Louis to undergo a physical on Friday. An agreement between the Cardinals and Fowler is already in place, though the club has not confirmed a deal. Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports was first to report Fowler’s impending physical.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 10:01 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dexter fowler, free agents

The Aroldis Chapman fallout will be even more interesting than the deal itself | FOX Sports

Five years and over $80 million for a reliever? No thank you.

It’s a bizarre baseball reality that the low-revenue Marlins could outbid the high-revenue Dodgers for a player whom the Dodgers signed out of Curacao in 2004, converted from a catcher to a pitcher and developed into an elite closer.

But don’t be surprised if it happens.

The Dodgers’ value-driven front office is not the type to pump $80 million into a pitcher who works 70 innings a season — particularly when the lack of state income tax in Florida, as opposed to the high state income tax in California, will make it that much more difficult for them to beat the Marlins’ offer.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:30 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, dodgers, free agents, kenley jansen, marlins, yankees

Yankees reportedly to sign Aroldis Chapman | MLB.com

While I was sleeping…

Aroldis Chapman and his triple-digit fastball are heading back to the Bronx, as the left-handed closer has agreed to a five-year, $86 million contract with the Yankees on Wednesday night, a source told MLB.com.

The agreement sets a Major League record for the largest contract ever handed to a relief pitcher. The Yankees have not officially announced the signing, as Chapman must still pass a physical to finalize the deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 05:24 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, free agents, yankees

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Ian Desmond agrees to five-year deal with Rockies – The Denver Post

Update 12:44 PM:

Here’s a shocker.

The Rockies have come to a contract agreement with free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond, according to a major league source.

The contract is for five years, $70 million, pending a physical.

Desmond has primarily played shortstop in his major league career, but played in the outfield last season with Texas. The Rockies plan on using Desmond mainly at first base, according to a major league source.

Because Desmond declined the Texas Rangers’ qualifying offer, the Rockies must forfeit their first-round (No. 11 overall) pick in the 2017 draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2016 at 12:42 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, ian desmond, rockies

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