After playing a central part in the Dodgers’ spending spree over the past couple of months, general manager Ned Colletti is about to be rewarded by the team’s new ownership group.
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers have opened talks with Colletti on a long-term contract extension. Team chairman Mark Walter confirmed that a new deal is on the table, but said he did not know any details of the discussion. Colletti’s contract is guaranteed through this year and includes mutual options.
Colletti was hired as Dodgers’ general manager after the 2005 season. The team made the playoffs in three of his first four years on the job, but haven’t played postseason ball since 2009. Despite the high-profile additions of Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Brandon League, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett over the past two months, the Dodgers currently sit 4 1/2 games behind the Giants in the National League West and 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.
It’s a little surprising to see this happen before the season ends, as it would be perfectly understandable if the new ownership group wanted to install one of their own guys if they miss out on the playoffs, but they are apparently satisfied with the status quo. And hey, the way the Dodgers are throwing coin around right now, Colletti could make more mistakes like Juan Uribe and Andruw Jones and it may not matter that much.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.