Yesterday I said “Holliday signs with St. Louis in the next 48 hours, right?” Fine, make it next week, but the end game approacheth
Last night Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch reported
that the Cardinals and Matt Holliday are “working toward an agreement
that multiple sources described as gaining momentum.” There is no
indication that the deal they’re working on is based on any offer other
than the original Cardinals offer from several weeks ago. There is no
suggestion of other teams talking to the Holliday camp.
Indeed, assuming there are substantive talks finally happening between Holliday and the Cards, yesterday’s stuff about there being other teams involved makes perfect sense: Boras needs to be able to tell
the Cardinals that there are other teams involved in order to get a bit of leverage, and needs a couple
of reports he can hold up in an effort to support the assertion. So
what happens? Someone floats the Orioles story to Ringolsby so Boras can claim that Baltimore is interested. Someone floats the “other teams” thing to Heyman
so Boras can point to more. The funny part? I suspect that the quick
debunking of the Orioles report yesterday actually helped move these
negotiations along, in that it rendered the “other teams” gambit
transparent and forced Boras to stop playing and get down to brass tacks.
Ultimately, Holliday is going to get a big deal out of the Cardinals,
maybe as early as today. I suspect, however, that the deal is going to
hew pretty closely to the last offer the Cardinals made him, and that
there never really was any serious interest from other teams.
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.