UPDATE: “Andy MacPhail vehemently denied a report today from Foxsports.com that said the club had made an 8-year, $130 million offer to free-agent outfielder Matt Holliday.” Buster Olney‘s source: “The story is not accurate in any respect.”
Ahem. I wonder if someone, say, an agent known for trying to create the perception of high demand for his clients, had anything to do with getting that little nugget out there?
2:54 P.M.: Following up on yesterday’s stuff about the Cardinals’ optimism regarding Matt Holliday comes word from FOX’s Tracy Ringolsby that the Orioles, who had previously been sniffing around Holliday, could be more serious players than we first thought:
Baltimore, meanwhile, did make an eight-year, $130 million offer to
Holliday, and general manager Andy MacPhail did discuss the possibility
of arranging a meeting between himself, Orioles owner Peter Angelos and
Holliday in Austin, Tex., where Holliday is living in the offseason.
$130 million over eight years is $16.25 million a year. That’s way more playable than I think anyone had assumed Baltimore’s offer to be, and certainly looks a lot nicer a few weeks deeper into the offseason. I would assume that, like the Cardinals’ offer, which is reportedly in the $15-16 million range, some of those years are all vesty and optiony.
But if there’s any movement on that — say, one extra guaranteed year or some easing up on the rigor of the vesting — Holliday could easily wind up in Baltimore instead of St. Louis. And the fact that the Orioles are willing to talk to Holliday about this some more suggests that there could be movement.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.