Odds & Ends: Alfaro, Brewers, Byrnes, Giambi

Monday links, as we await a flurry of players avoiding arbitration…

  • The Rangers signed 16-year-old Colombian catcher Jorge Alfaro for $1.3MM, reports Jesse Sanchez of MLB.comClick here to watch video, courtesy of Kiley McDaniel.
  • The Mariners agreed to sign 17-year-old righty Kevin Quintanilla out of El Salvador.
  • Here's a link to Jon Heyman's latest at SI.com, where he ranks which teams have had the best offseasons so far.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yankees did not make an offer to Jerry Hairston Jr., nor have they had recent contact with Johnny Damon.
  • Olney also says the Rockies "are staying in contact with Jason Giambi, but they are considering other options first."
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel names the Brewers' arb-eligible seven, while also noting that GM Doug Melvin "remains in touch with the agents for free-agent lefties Doug Davis and Jarrod Washburn."
  • Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes about the Blue Jays' six arb-eligibles, noting that GM Alex Anthopoulos will not negotiate beyond Tuesday's deadline.
  • Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner believes Eric Byrnes is a fit for the Ms, though he acknowledges that the team already has several injury-prone players.  Cameron would be willing to pay about $1MM for Byrnes.  Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic looks back at the positive side of Byrnes' Arizona tenure.
  • In a FanGraphs article, Cameron says the WAR stat does value relievers correctly, and teams are just overpaying for closers.
  • WEEI's Rob Bradford wonders if Jonathan Papelbon's 2010 salary will lead to Theo Epstein's first arbitration hearing.
  • White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he wants to stay with the team beyond 2010, the last year of his current contract.
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan examines the Athletics, who he feels are set up to contend in 2011.
  • At the Cubs Convention over the weekend, GM Jim Hendry said fans can "expect to have two new faces" before Spring Training.  The Cubs seek a reliever and a bench bat. 

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23 Comments on "Odds & Ends: Alfaro, Brewers, Byrnes, Giambi"

5 years 6 months ago

After 3 straight below average years, you gotta think Konerko is due for a dramatic PAY CUT once he hits free agency.

5 years 6 months ago

In two of those three seasons, he posted an OPS slightly above .840…what exactly are you looking at?

5 years 6 months ago

His inflated salary! A hitter making 12 MIL a year should hit better than .250 and K less than 100 times. He’s a classic overpaid power/K/LOW Avg guy.

5 years 6 months ago

I’m willing to bet that a large portion of guys making $12 M a year strikeout more than 100 times a year, and Konerko’s only done it once in the last 3 years.

5 years 6 months ago

PLUS, anyone who signed a contract for 3+ years back in the ’05 or ’06 offseasons are/were due for a salary decreases. Look what happened to Abreu. That’s the economy more so than him not being an effective hitter. Konerko isn’t what he was in ’02, ’04-’06, but he’s still an above average 1B and a good middle of the lineup RH bat. AND we’ve never had problems with his ego, etc… not many teams can say that nowaday about a player that’s been on the team going on 12 years.

5 years 6 months ago

Complaining about Konerko is fine. Using K’s and BA to do so is not.

The guy is a solid hitter and provides average defense (using UZR/150). His wOBA has been 357, 343, and 362. Totally solid and respectable numbers.

He will be in for a large pay decrease for several reasons.

1. The market has changed.
2. The market is not valuing average players properly. Average players (like LaRoche this year or Abreu last year) are seeing huge cuts into their paycheck. Elite players are still getting paid but not the next tier. Konerko clearly is in that tier.
3. The market is not paying for guys on the wrong side of 32.

If the market remains similar in 2010 a guy like Konerko is probably in line for a 1 to 2 year contract at $5 to $6m. At that price he provides a solid value.

5 years 6 months ago

I’m most encouraged by the desire to add a veteran bat. The Cubs as they are now aren’t built to survive the loss of one of their big bats long-term. An injury to Soriano, for example, would create a domino effect where we’ll see too many lineups with Micah Hoffpauir and Andres Blanco. And no one really wants to see Fukudome play too much against lefties even when the team is healthy.

5 years 6 months ago

So has Adam LaRoche and he just got 1/6mil (though could have more from SF). Paulie is a nice player but about average as far as 1b go and definetly in line for a big decrease.

5 years 6 months ago

1 mil for byrnes? are you kidding me? he’s already getting paid 11 mil from the dbax this year to NOT be on their team… anything more than the league min would be a horrible move for any team. (think sheffield last year… league min and he didn’t do much. think of how mets fans would’ve felt if they actually paid him 1 mil).

5 years 6 months ago

You should read the article, where it is explained why the Ms would need to give the D’Backs $1 mil in salary relief to get Byrnes.

5 years 6 months ago

where do you think byrnes will end up tim? i know they have a lot of outfielders but he is from there and grew up a giants fan. he even spent the home run derby in mccovey cove with his dog.

5 years 6 months ago

Funny how Jeff Passan more of praises the Athletics in this article, and has no mention of how bad or mediocre all the names he mentioned did (Anderson 4+ ERA, Cahill 4.5+, Mazzaro 5.3+, Gio 5.75, and others) this previous season. Yet when he writes about the Kansas City Royals, he doesn’t mention the MUCH EASIER Division in the AL Central, how when the Royals were healthy in 2008 had the same record as the Athletics did in 2009, and how winnable this division would be in 2010 alone, not to mention 2011.

5 years 6 months ago

The A’s had a rotation of top prospects who were 20-22; like every young SP, they will continue to get better.

What do the Royals have for young pitching outside Greinke?

5 years 6 months ago

Hey Bannister19, Im sure you were thinking Tom Glavine stunk in 1988 too huh? lol.

A’s will contend this year. I dont like the line “they realize the Angels are perennial contenders” LAA look like barely a .500 team this year: No Lackey replacement, terribly terrible bullpen, an aging defense, hoping Wood breaks out etc. The A’s are loaded at almost every position and the power will come from Cust, Carter & Taylor a while later on. For now, they now boast a plus defender all across the diamond. How many other teams can say that? Seattle has better overall defenders (Franlyn&Ichiro&Wilson are better than anyone the A’s have) but lack at C, 1B. Can anyone name another team with 8 plus defenders? I cant.

Bottom line: at least for the first half of the season, expect lots of 2-1 games where Oakland is involved. When Carter & Taylor come up, things are going to get VERY interesting in the West…

5 years 6 months ago

i love how Jim Thome refers to Konerko as “our captain” in the article. Makes you think he still has his sights on coming back to the White Sox this year.

5 years 6 months ago

He better be back in a White Sox Uniform. Him saying that just reminds you how much he thinks of the team, and how much he loves the team.

5 years 6 months ago

The Yanks should take a chance with Byrnes. He fits the criteria of what they need. A decent fielding RH left fielder on the cheap but with upside. Seems like the Yanks are being a little to lax with things. I’m cool with passing on Damon if his demands are too high and going with Gardner as a starter. What I’m not cool with his going with Hoffman as our 4th OF and not having a back up in case Gardner slips.

5 years 6 months ago

Personally, having an injury risk in Johnson is enough. Adding another one in Byrnes is a bad idea.

5 years 6 months ago

Man, I wish I was paid that much when -I- was 16.

5 years 6 months ago

I really wish that Cameron and the guys at Fangraphs would review their WAR calculation for relievers. Top reliever in all of baseball according to WAR is Broxton (at 2.9). You have to 49 starters before you get down to a WAR of 2.9. When you guys like Garland, Zito, and Lowe being more valuable than Rivera there is a problem with the calc.

5 years 6 months ago

I COMPLETELY agree. While I usually love Dave Cameron’s (and pretty much all FanGraph pieces) I disagree with this one. I think if they can’t come up with a way to value relievers, they shouldn’t just continue to defend WAR. It simply does not work for determining how valuable relievers are.

5 years 6 months ago

Relievers by the very nature of the game cannot be viewed the same as SPs. Zito will always be worth more than Rivera because he throws more innings and gets more outs (even though he’s quite mediocre at doing so). Closers and relievers are specialty players who should be judged accordingly. Getting 3 outs is infinitely easier than getting 18+ and should be viewed as such. You arent going to win more than 2 games a year because a guy gets 3 outs 50 times for you. Its just not as important.

5 years 6 months ago

im a yankees fan and this is a tossup for me, but what about eric byrnes to the yankees for low cost. be the 4th outfielder who is not afraid to get his jersey dirty and can give both swish and gardner a day off if theyre struggling or just need a day off. i dont know, just an idea.