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Friday, December 06, 2019

Sources: Yankees make signing righty Gerrit Cole top offseason priority

The New York Yankees have made signing right-hander Gerrit Cole their clear offseason priority and have ownership-level approval to offer him a record-setting deal, sources familiar with their plans told ESPN.

The Yankees’ fondness for the 29-year-old Cole, whose fantastic 2019 season with the Houston Astros set him up to smash David Price’s record $217 million contract for a pitcher, was only reinforced during a meeting with him earlier this week, sources said.

New York and the Los Angeles Angels, a team similarly smitten with Cole and in even greater need of pitching, are preparing for a bidding war that executives expect will reach well beyond $250 million, according to sources. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ interest in Cole is acute as well, though they are also considering bids for right-hander Stephen Strasburg and third baseman Anthony Rendon, sources said.

While the expectation going into the offseason was that negotiations with Cole could stretch into January, the clear willingness of teams to engage in high-year, high-dollar deals could ratchet up the timetable, according to sources. Cole’s agent, Scott Boras, has yet to solicit offers, but the teams’ recognition of Cole’s value and understanding of multiple motivated buyers could have an expeditious effect, sources said.

Something to potentially watch for in the coming weeks.

 

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:27 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, gerrit cole, hot stove, yankees

Phillies plan to pursue free-agent 3B Anthony Rendon, despite luxury tax implications

The Philadelphia Phillies, luxury tax be damned, plan to strongly pursue free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, with third baseman Josh Donaldson as a potential fall-back plan, two people with direct knowledge told USA TODAY Sports.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Phillies have yet to publicly declare their intentions and have not met face-to-face with Rendon.

The Phillies, who signed Zack Wheeler on Wednesday to a five-year, $118 million deal, would go over the $208 million luxury tax for the first time with the potential signing, but it has not deterred owner John Middleton and the Phillies’ aggressiveness in free agency. The Phillies landed the biggest free agent a year ago with the signing of outfielder Bryce Harper to a record 13-year, $330 million deal.

The Phillies still would like to pursue another starter and relief pitching, but Rendon has become their No. 1 target.

So, what would we make of it if the Phillies did this, given trends within the game?

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, hot stove, phillies

Monday, December 02, 2019

Padres get infielder Profar from A’s, deal Allen

After dealing Luis Urías to Milwaukee in a trade last week, the Padres found themselves in need of help at second base. It didn’t take very long for general manager A.J. Preller to find it.
The Padres acquired second baseman Jurickson Profar from the Oakland A’s on Monday for catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named or cash considerations.


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Meanwhile, on the cold, cold Hot Stove . . .

It’s Hot Stove Season baby! You know what that means! Yep: time to watch some teams sign a few relievers to minor league deals and then wait everyone out until February while talking about the need to maintain financial flexibility! FEEL THE BURN.

In more specific news:

John Morosi of MLB Network reports that, based on his conversations with front office folks, either Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor or Kris Bryant are expected to be traded this winter.

We’ve talked a lot about Betts this winter already, and that seems like madness. Bryant’s career with the Cubs began with business-side acrimony, it’s still simmering, and there is no sense that either side is amenable to a long-term deal before he hits free agency. The Indians have been signaling for some time that they have no interest in keeping Lindor long term.

Open thread, for any thoughts concerning transactions.

QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:38 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, francisco lindor, free agency, hot stove, kris bryant, mookie betts

Friday, November 08, 2019

Braves Reportedly Prioritizing Madison Bumgarner

Now that the offseason has begun, we’re likely in for several weeks of rumors centering on longtime Giants left-hander and current free agent Madison Bumgarner. Let’s get the ball rolling in earnest: Atlanta has “made Bumgarner a priority and planned to quickly communicate that to the left-hander,” Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports California reports. If Bumgarner doesn’t re-sign with the Giants, the Braves are the front-runners for his services, according to Pavlovic.

For now, Bumgarner has until Nov. 14 to decide whether to accept the $17.8MM qualifying offer the Giants gave him earlier this week. But rejecting it looks like a formality for the 30-year-old Bumgarner, who MLBTR projects will land a four-year, $72MM contract on the open market. Whether the numbers are exact remains to be seen, but Bumgarner’s surely in line for a substantial payday, so the main question is whether San Francisco will be the team that hands it to him.

The Giants are the lone club Bumgarner has known since they selected him 10th overall in the 2007 draft. Although he has since turned into a decorated hurler who has helped the Giants to three championships, there hasn’t been any indication that the team has seriously pursued a contract extension. The Giants did elect against selling off Bumgarner prior to the July 31 trade deadline, but it’s possible they would have gone another way had it not been for an improbable midsummer surge. The team ultimately faded after its torrid July stretch, finishing 77-85, and now it could lose Bumgarner for nothing more than draft-pick compensation if he rejects its QO and heads elsewhere.

Hopefully, a sign that the hot stove may be warmer than it has been….

QLE Posted: November 08, 2019 at 12:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agency, hot stove, madison bumgarner

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Get ready for another cold offseason

It’s pretty early in the offseason. Teams can’t even sign free agents yet. But they are signaling to the public that, haha, no way do they plan to spend much money this winter.

First the Cardinals who, based on their far-from-impressive NLCS showing strike pretty much everyone as a club that, while good, needs to make some additions to take things to the next level. Will they be spending? From the Athletic:

The Cardinals have practically no financial flexibility, if history is a guide . . . The only way the Cardinals take on significant salary is to trade a major league player or two — and most of their highest-paid players are virtually unmovable — or convince the owners to spend well beyond what they have spent before . . . Does that seem in character for this team? I’ll answer that. No, it does not.

The team’s owner, Bill DeWitt Jr., was asked about that, couched in a question or two about the team’s real estate development, Ballpark Village, next to Busch Stadium. As we have chronicled in the past, teams are increasingly getting into the real estate business and such developments can be pretty massive cash cows for them. The question, though, is whether the real estate money is going to be used to subsidize spending on the baseball team or, rather, if the baseball team is primarily a promotional tool — maybe even a loss leader — for the real estate development.

Something to post now, then check back on in a few months’ time to see how accurate it was.

QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 12:51 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, gerrit cole, hot stove, real estate

Friday, November 01, 2019

Cole, Rendon among 131 free agents on market

NEW YORK (AP) — Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon became a free agent Thursday, a day after homering to spark Washington’s seventh-inning comeback in Game 7 of the World Series.

Houston pitcher Gerrit Cole also went free after warming up in the bullpen but never getting into the season finale.

And Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the World Series MVP, could be joining them in the next few days. He has the right to opt out of his contract, which has $100 million over four years remaining.

Baseball’s business season starts shortly after the final out.

For those wanting something to follow this off-season.

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 01:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, free agents, gerrit cole, hot stove

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Indians to exercise Kluber’s option, decline Kipnis

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians wasted no time on one of their biggest offseason decisions: Bringing back Corey Kluber was a no-brainer.

Cleveland said it intends to exercise Kluber’s $17.5 million contract option for next season, when the two-time Cy Young Award winner is expected to be healthy _ and maybe rejuvenated _ following an injury-shortened 2019.

Kluber made only seven starts before a line drive in Miami broke his right arm. The 33-year-old endured months of inactivity and rehab and was nearing a return when a strained oblique muscle set him back.

On Wednesday, team president Chris Antonetti announced the team’s decision on Kluber. And while the move wasn’t unexpected, the timing was unusual because the Indians typically take their time with major moves.

 

QLE Posted: October 03, 2019 at 12:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: corey kluber, hot stove, indians, jason kipnis, options

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Nationals Reportedly Made Recent Extension Offer To Anthony Rendon

The Nationals have made a late-season push to retain pending free agent star Anthony Rendon, according to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.

Per the report, the club dangled a seven-year offer in the range of $210MM to $215MM. While there were deferrals in the proposal, it would’ve functioned more like the Max Scherzer contract than the long-fuse offer the team made last year to Bryce Harper.

The offer was put on the table in early September, according to Svrluga, and it doesn’t seem as if it’s likely to be accepted. Rendon is now just weeks away from the open market and appears destined to reach it. He’ll do so armed with the knowledge that the Nats have intense interest in keeping him.

It’s not entirely clear whether the D.C. organization will keep this particular offer on the table once the offseason begins. Neither is it known whether the team is willing to go any higher if that’s needed. Regardless, it’s a nice starting point for Rendon, who has ramped up his already excellent play to higher-than-ever levels in 2019. He’s slated to reach free agency as the top available position player.

And the hot-stove season begins, even before the playoffs do….

 

QLE Posted: October 01, 2019 at 12:13 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, extensions, hot stove, nationals

 

 

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