It was no secret that the Phillies were trying to move outfielder Marlon Byrd when front office personnel and the media descended upon San Diego earlier this week. The Phillies also tried, to no avail, to move first baseman Ryan Howard. MASN’s Roch Kubatko notes that when the Phillies discussed a potential Byrd trade with the Orioles, they tried to attach Howard in the deal as well.
Howard, 35, ranked among the game’s least valuable players in 2014 and is still owed $60 million through 2016. The Phillies would no doubt need to pick up a healthy portion of his remaining salary in order to entice another team to acquire the former MVP.
Byrd, 37, is under contract for just the 2015 season at $8 million, but his 2016 option can become guaranteed at the same price if he accrues 550 plate appearances next season. Other options for the Orioles include Delmon Young, Michael Morse, and Melky Cabrera.
Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Mariners have made a three-year contract offer to free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, but for now at least he’s holding out for a four-year deal.
This morning reports out of Baltimore said the Orioles were willing to sign Cabrera for 2-3 years, but four years was too rich for their blood. Of course, if enough teams express interest in him at three years there’s seemingly a pretty decent chance one of them will cave on the fourth year to get a deal done.
Cabrera hit .301 with 16 homers and an .808 OPS in 139 games for the Blue Jays this year and then turned down a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer, meaning any team that signs him will also forfeit a draft pick to do so.
It’s looking like Melky Cabrera is going to max out at a three-year deal at this point. First the Mariners “appeared unwilling” to go more than three years for Cabrera. Now Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles would consider Melky Cabrera on a 2-3 year contract but they “ain’t going 4 tho,” according to Encina.
The outfield options available out there in the world aren’t fantastic beyond Cabrera, so it’ll be interesting to see if he holds out for four.
With a void in right field, many consider the Mariners a natural fit to sign free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera. However, it’s far from a sure thing.
Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners “appear unwilling” to offer a contract beyond three years. In addition, they aren’t expected to give Cabrera a higher AAV (average annual value) than they already gave Nelson Cruz ($14 million per season over four years). If that’s the case, their max offer for Cabrera could be $42 million over three years, which likely isn’t good enough. Still, Dutton writes that “many in the industry believe he will sign eventually with the Mariners.”
With previous trade targets like Matt Kemp and Yoenis Cespedes now off the board, some of the alternatives to Cabrera include Dayan Viciedo of the White Sox, Justin Upton of the Braves, Seth Smith of the Padres, and free agent outfielder Alex Rios.
Even after signing Nelson Cruz for $57 million the Mariners are still looking for more right-handed power and Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that they’re “showing increased interest” in White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo.
Viciedo was first linked to the Mariners way back in March, but stayed in Chicago and ended up hitting just .231 with a .686 OPS in 145 games. He has plenty of power, smacking 21 homers this year and 20 homers per 150 games for his career, but Viciedo is a lifetime .254 hitter with a terrible 388/95 K/BB ratio and .298 on-base percentage. And at age 25 he’s also a really bad defensive outfielder.
Seattle may view Viciedo as a fallback option if they can’t sign free agent Melky Cabrera, but they’re very different players and Cabrera is superior offensively and defensively.