Adrian Gonzalez is going to be the biggest story of the trade deadline this year. Everyone assumes that the Red Sox will be the front runners for him. And if they continue to stink, they may push even harder for him than they otherwise would. But they’re not the only team in baseball who could use a cheap awesome first baseman. Jon Paul Morosi suggests the Braves could be in on AG.
The basis: well, not even a rumor really. Just the realization that (a) the Braves need offense and could use a first baseman; and (b) Adrian Gonzalez is a first baseman. Trades have materialized from less, of course, but at the moment that’s all there is. No word from a Braves source. No word from a Padres source.
And I sort of hope it stays that way. As I wrote earlier in the week, the Braves are not new to this trade-for-a-stud-first baseman thing. They did it with Mark Teixeira a few years ago, and it was fairly disastrous in terms of the young talent the Braves had to give up. Given that Gonzalez is even cheaper and under team-control longer than Teixeira was, the price in prospects would likely be even higher.
And it would be an overpayment no matter what Gonzalez does while signed for 2010 and 2011, because there is no conceivable way that the current owners of the Braves — Liberty Media — would approve the $180 million+ or whatever it would take to sign AG long-term.
If the Braves traded for Adrian Gonzales it would be like a guy making $40K a year leasing a BMW. Maybe the monthly payments are technically affordable in the short term, but it’s gonna cost too much regardless and at the end of the day he’s not even gonna own the thing.
In short: nice attempt to stir the sauce pan on the hot stove, Jon Paul, but I don’t think anything is cooking here.
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.