Outfielder Drew Stubbs is in line for a raise on his $2.825 million salary in 2013 as he is eligible for arbitration for the second of three years. Despite a solidified outfield with Michael Brantley in left, Michael Bourn in center, and the recently-signed David Murphy in right, the Indians are expected to tender Stubbs a contract, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. He would serve in a back-up role, but the Indians could always trade him at some point as well.
Depending on how much credit you give him defensively, Stubbs has mostly graded out somewhere between replacement level and average, according to both versions of Wins Above Replacement (2.0 is average) on FanGraphs and Baseball Reference. He finished 2013 with a lackluster .233/.305/.360 line but stole 17 bases in 19 attempts and has stolen as many as 40 bases in the past with the Reds.
Extension season continues. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt are close to an agreement on a five-year extension. The value is believed to be around $130 million, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goldschmidt was set to become a free agent after the season.
The Cardinals acquired Goldschmidt, 31, from the Diamondbacks in December in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young, and a 2019 competitive balance round B pick. The slugger is a six-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Goldschmidt owns a career .297/.398/.532 triple-slash line along with 209 home runs, 710 RBI, 709 runs scored, and 124 stolen bases. He is also well-regarded for his defense at first base. As a result, he has accumulated 40.3 Wins Above Replacement over eight seasons, according to Baseball Reference.
With Goldschmidt in place, the Cardinals are set at first base for the foreseeable future. Though Goldschmidt got off to a slow start last season, carrying an OPS barely above .700 into June, he recovered and finished with a .922 OPS. That two-month blip aside, there’s no reason to think Goldschmidt’s production is about to fall off anytime soon.