Trade deadline winners and losers

Leave a comment

So, I’m mostly trade deadlined out after about 90 tweets and writing up all of the finalized deals over at Rotoworld, but I think I have enough left for a winners and losers blog.
I’m focusing strictly on Friday’s action. Looking at the big picture, I’d say the Pirates and Dodgers would also figure into the winners column.
Winners
– Red Sox – The price for Victor Martinez was pretty steep, but it was better to give up Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone’s potential than Clay Buchholz. Martinez provides outstanding protection for Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell. Also, the Red Sox picked up Casey Kotchman to become the new Doug Mientkiewicz now and likely a key piece in 2010. Now Terry Francona will have to try to figure out how to keep everyone happy.
– Tigers – Detroit has little minor league depth, but the team still managed to acquire Jarrod Washburn without giving up a major piece. I’m skeptical that Luke French will last as a starter, and while Mauricio Robles has a great arm, he also has a lot of hurdles to clear on his path to the majors. Washburn should remain rather effective in Comerica Park, and the Tigers will get a sandwich pick if he leaves as a free agent.
– Marlins – They should have gotten a reliever, too, but they could pick one up next month. Nick Johnson should be a run-scoring machine in front of Hanley Ramirez, and his addition will put Emilio Bonifacio on the bench against righties. Bonifacio has actually been OK against lefties this year, so he can start in left field against them.
– Twins – Minnesota sat back and watched Oakland’s price tag drop with no other suitors for Orlando Cabrera. Sure, Freddy Sanchez might have been a bigger upgrade, but Cabrera came far cheaper.
– Padres – They shed the entire $55 million obligation to Jake Peavy and still got the same kind of package from the White Sox they accepted when they tried to trade a healthy Peavy in May. I’m not sure it makes them winners, but they solved their money problems and they’ll still have Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell next year.
– Edwin Encarnacion – Dusty Baker didn’t appear to be giving up on him, but most everyone else in Cincinnati had. The change of scenery should do him some good, but he needs to take advantage or the bust label could stick.
– Adam LaRoche – Serving as a part-timer for the Red Sox for the next two months might have hurt him as he heads into free agency at season’s end. Now he’ll get to be a regular for a contender. His fantasy owners also qualify as winners.
– Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda – Two left-handers sure to enjoy pitching in Petco Park. Richard will join the rotation now, and both should be there next year.
Losers
– Reds – Scott Rolen is having an All-Star campaign, but I’m not convinced it’s not his last gasp. The Reds will be on the hook for his entire $11.5 million salary next year, and they gave up three nice chips to get him. As long as their odds are for this year, it was the wrong strategy.
– Royals – GM Dayton Moore overpriced Mark Teahen, David DeJesus and Willie Bloomquist. Incredibly, he wants to keep the same pieces in place for 2010.
– Brewers – Claudio Vargas is not the answer. The Brewers needed a starting pitcher, and it looks like they were hurt by their lack of second-tier prospects. They weren’t going to move Mat Gamel and Alcides Escobar and they didn’t have much else to barter with.
– Braves – I wouldn’t want to count on Adam LaRoche being an upgrade over Kotchman, and Kotchman could have been kept in 2010 to serve as the bridge to Freddie Freeman. LaRoche is a free agent, and right now, he’s not a great bet to qualify as a Type B and draw draft-pick compensation.
– Diamondbacks – They could be one of August’s most active teams with Jon Garland and Chris Snyder sure to clear waivers and Doug Davis and Jon Rauch also possibilities. However, they’ve yet to help their chances for 2010 with the Felipe Lopez and Tony Pena trades.

Jose Bautista: “I haven’t had to” pay for a meal in Toronto since famous bat flip

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning in Game 5 of baseball's American League Division Series, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

Arguably the most memorable moment of the 2015 season came in the seventh inning of Game 5 of the ALDS between the Blue Jays and Rangers. The game was tied 3-3, but the Jays were threatening with runners on the corners and two outs. Jose Bautista launched a 1-1 Sam Dyson fastball for a no-doubt tie-breaking three-run home run that would send the Jays into the ALCS to face the eventual world champion Royals.

Bautista didn’t immediately run to first base after hitting the home run. He admired it, looked at Dyson, and then flipped his bat triumphantly. As far as bat flips go, it was a 10 out of 10. Yasiel Puig was proud.

The six-time All-Star admitted “I haven’t had to” pay for a meal in Toronto since that moment in the ALDS, as Jonah Birenbaum notes for The Score. Bautista also served as the assistant coach for musician Drake at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. As Drew noted earlier, Bautista had a pretty nice view at the NBA Slam Dunk Contest as well.

The Jays are hopeful to sign Bautista, 35, to a multi-year extension. In six seasons since breaking out with the club in 2010, he has hit .268/.390/.555 with 227 home runs and 582 RBI in 3,604 plate appearances. No one has hit more home runs since the start of the 2010 season, as Miguel Cabrera is the closest at 199. And only Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano, and Albert Pujols have driven in more runs in that span of time. It’s easy to see why, despite his age, the Jays want to keep Bautista around a little while longer.

Dallas Keuchel, Astros did talk long-term contract

Screenshot 2016-02-14 at 1.24.05 PM
Scott Halleran/Getty Images North America
1 Comment

Dallas Keuchel‘s agent Darek Braunecker told MLB Network Radio in early January that he had not engaged in any long-term contract negotiations with the Astros’ front office. Two weeks later, the sides reached a one-year, $7.25 million agreement, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing. So was a bigger financial commitment ever discussed?

Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle has the answer, writing in his offseason review that the “Astros and Keuchel have had substantial talks about extensions [this winter] … but to no avail.”

Keuchel carries all the leverage in the world after winning the 2015 American League Cy Young Award with a 2.48 ERA, 1.017 WHIP, and 216/51 K/BB ratio in 232 innings. He also made three appearances in the postseason to a 2.57 ERA in 14 frames.

Keuchel’s $7.25 million salary for 2016 will be a record for a player in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Locking up some of his free agent years (2019, 2020, 2021, etc.) would likely take a commitment of $120 million or more.

Houston has the 28-year-old left-hander under contractual control through 2018, and it sounds like the plan is to go season-to-season with his salaries.

He’ll remain a huge value to a good-looking Astros team.

Yadier Molina gets cast removed from surgically-repaired thumb

Screenshot 2016-02-14 at 12.27.52 PM
Norm Hall/Getty Images North America
1 Comment

Yadier Molina underwent surgery to repair a ligament tear in his right thumb shortly after the Cardinals were eliminated from the NLDS by the Cubs, and then he needed a followup procedure two months later.

It’s been an offseason of rest and rehab for the seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glover, though he’s about ready to ramp up the intensity of workouts with the beginning of spring training approaching …

Brayan Pena was signed to a two-year, $5 million free agent contract this winter to provide more reliable depth behind the plate. He’ll be the Cardinals’ starter at catcher come Opening Day if Yadi isn’t quite ready.

Molina started a whopping 131 games behind the plate in 2015.

Jose Fernandez wants $30 million a year, Marlins don’t plan on paying

Jose+Fernandez+Atlanta+Braves+v+Miami+Marlins+URVbRE-s179l
Rob Foldy/Getty Images North America
13 Comments

You’ve heard the stories by now. Jose Fernandez does not get along with Marlins management and is doubtful to sign a long-term contract with the team.

There’s still time for those relationships to be repaired — Fernandez can’t become a free agent until after the 2018 season — but we also have a monetary issue at play.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes Sunday that the Marlins are “under the impression” Fernandez and his representatives want $30 million per year on a long-term deal, a figure the Marlins “have no plans to meet.”

If the Marlins won’t pay, Fernandez and his reps will seek that number when the ace right-hander reaches free agency. That could be the same offseason Bryce Harper tries for $500 million.

A friend of Fernandez told Jackson that the 23-year-old native of Cuba was upset about some of the trades the Marlins made last summer and the removal of pitching coach Chuck Hernandez. You probably heard talk of Miami shopping Fernandez this winter, but the asking price was predictably sky-high.

Fernandez has been limited to 19 starts over the last two years because of Tommy John surgery and a biceps injury, but he boasts a stellar 2.40 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 10.5 K/9 in 289 career major league frames. He will make $2.8 million in 2016 and carries two more years of arbitration eligibility.

If he can put together a run of 30-start, 200-inning seasons, Fernandez will get that $30 million per year and probably much more.