Carlos Gomez and the Brewers have agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract extension, the team announced.
Gomez is making $4.3 million this season in his final year of arbitration eligibility and would have hit the open market as a free agent next winter. Instead according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com he’ll get $7 million in 2014, $8 million in 2015, and $9 million in 2016.
Gomez was once a top prospect, but looked like a bust before a career-year at the plate in 2012. He hit .260 with 19 homers and 37 steals in 137 games while posting a .768 OPS that’s 90 points higher than his previous best mark, although Gomez’s awful plate discipline and strike-zone control remained with a 98/20 K/BB ratio. Overall, with both offense and defense factored in, he was probably a top-10 center fielder.
Clearly the Brewers are either buying into last season’s power development sticking around for good or simply believe his excellent range in center field makes Gomez an above-average player regardless of whether he regresses at the plate. Three years and $24 million is a big commitment to someone with a .673 career OPS, but elite defensive center fielders don’t have to hit much to provide big value and $7-$9 million per season isn’t exactly superstar money these days. Depending on how far you trust various defensive metrics, Gomez was worth about twice that much last season.
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.