UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Saunders will make $6.5 million and could earn an additional $1 million with incentives. The deal includes a mutual option for 2014.
4:49 PM: It’s not official yet, but Joe Saunders has agreed to a one-year deal with the Mariners and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’ll be worth “around $7 million” in guaranteed money.
That’s basically the same contract Brett Myers got from the Indians and a step above one-year deals secured by guys like Shaun Marcum, John Lannan, Jeff Karstens, Mike Pelfrey, Scott Baker, and Jason Marquis this offseason.
Saunders had his sights set on a multi-year deal after throwing 175 innings with a 4.07 ERA for the Diamondbacks and Orioles last season and the 32-year-old left-hander was linked to a fair number of teams, but ultimately none made him a priority.
Saunders will basically replace Jason Vargas in the rotation after the Mariners traded him to the Angels for Kendrys Morales.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Kansas City Royals are trying to package Ian Kennedy in a potential Wade Davis deal. I’m not sure why they would do that.
Davis has had a relatively disappointing 2016 season. He strikeouts are down, his walks are up as is his ERA. Relative is the key word, though. After his transcendent 2015 season he had nowhere to go but down. He’s still a solid closer at worst and a dominant game-changer if/when he’s on and healthy. He’s also under team control through next season for a mere $10 million, making him one of the better superstar bargains in the game. The Royals were said to be asking a LOT for Davis, possibly more than the nice haul the Yankees got for Aroldis Chapman given that extra year of control. Maybe they can’t get what they’re shooting for with him, but they could probably get a lot.
Throwing Kennedy into a potential deal, however, obviously radically changes the potential deal. Kennedy has a 4.41 ERA and has allowed 26 homers this year, more than anyone in the game. He’s also on the first year of a five-year $70MM contract that includes an opt-out clause after 2017. It was a bad contract when he signed it and seems worse after four months of the 2016 season. If you want a team to take Kennedy along with Davis, you’re basically asking them to give you little if anything in the way of prospects for Davis. You’re asking them to give you Kennedy-salary relief in exchange for Davis.
Which is a good way to get rid of salary, I suppose, but sure seems like the squandering of historically overheated relief pitcher market which the Royals could take advantage of better than a lot of clubs.
The Miami Marlins have reinstated second baseman Dee Gordon from his suspension.
Gordon, of course, has missed the last 80 games while serving his drug suspension. He’s coming off a minor league rehab assignment and will be the everyday second baseman for the contending Marlins. He was hitting .266/.289/.340 with three doubles, two triples, five RBI, 13 runs scored, and six stolen bases in 97 plate appearances when he was popped. He was replaced by Derek Dietrich, who hit a nice .275/.366/.398 with 22 extra-base hits, 30 RBI, and 26 runs scored in 314 PA in Gordon’s absence, so don’t expect a tremendous upgrade at second down the stretch, even if they get a nice upgrade in the utility and depth department.
To make room for Gordon, the Marlins designated utilityman and sometimes hero Don Kelly for assignment. Sad jams.
UPDATE: Gordon issued a video apology on the eve of his reinstatement: