Fox’s Ken Rosenthal’s latest column has all kinds of tidbits to last you until kickoff this afternoon:
An unnamed exec can’t feature the Red Sox pulling off a trade for Adrian Gonzalez that makes it worth the Padres’ while. I agree with Rosenthal: the Padres shouldn’t be in any hurry to trade Gonzalez. Given that he’s locked up at a bargain basement price through 2011, they should wait at least until someone is desperate for offense next June, at which point the offers will only be better. Besides: why trade the only marquee player you have during season ticket renewal season? My guess: Gonzalez is with the Padres on Opening Day.
Josh Beckett is probably going to demand A.J. Burnett money in any extension. The Sox are on the hook for $12 million for him next year. If you’re Theo Epstein I can’t see how you talk extension now. If he goes out in 2010 and pitches like the 2008 Beckett, you’ll be sorry you blew any more money on him than you had to and you’ll be happy to let him go. If he’s a Cy Young contender again, well, you’re still better positioned to bid for his services after 2010 than anyone else. The Red Sox spend quite a bit, but they aren’t usually in the business of spending before they have to, and likely won’t with Beckett.
Jorge De La Rosa “wants to be paid like Oliver Perez.” Query: if you’re De La Rosa’s agent, why on Earth would you bring up a horrendous bust like Perez as you’re beginning to position your client for a pay day? Why don’t you just say “I’d like you to throw money in the toilet at my client like the Mets did with Perez!”
Rosenthal thinks that the Twins’ moves thus far — trading for Hardy; exercising Michael Cuddyer’s option — are all a part of the plan to get Mauer locked up long-term. They were probably the right moves independent of that, but I tend to agree that the Twins are doing what they can to make sure Mauer can’t play the only non-monetary get-out-of-Minnesota card at his disposal, and that’s claiming that the Twins aren’t committed to winning.
As usual, tons of other stuff from Rosenthal, so click on over.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.