Via MLB Trade Rumors, Jon Heyman was on the MLB Network last night and opined that despite some preliminary talks, the Brewers are not likely to be able to sign Prince Fielder to an extension and that the big man will be traded before he can become a free agent after the 2011 season. Ryan Howard’s $25 million/year contract is the culprit. Fielder is younger than Howard, would expect at least that much money over a longer period and that may simply be too rich for Milwaukee.
This isn’t necessarily a controversial position, as the Brewers were suspected to be thinking more along the lines of Mark Teixeira money (his contract tops out at $22.5 million a year). But as we all know, Heyman tends to know what’s happening with Scott Boras clients, which Prince Fielder is one, so the notion that the Brewers aren’t going to have enough money to keep Fielder may be a particularly informed bit of analysis.
It’s a bit premature to analyze Fielder’s worth on the free agent market like we all did with Howard this past week, but my gut feeling is that, yeah, he’s going to ask for and is probably worth Howard money, at least on a per annum basis. Contract length is going to be the real issue with him, and given his apparent future as a DH, you can figure that teams are going to loathe to go long with him.
The Brewers are 9-14 and aren’t playing inspired baseball. If I’m running that team and I think that Boras is going to use Howard’s deal as a starting point, I consider unloading him this year.
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.