Odds & Ends: Gonzalez, Benson, Giants, Mariners

A quick rundown of some of the day's items…

  • In an appearance on WEEI's Dale & Holley Show, ESPN's Keith Law said that the Red Sox are the clear front-runners if and when Adrian Gonzalez hits the trade market.  "I really think that Boston could top anybody if Adrian Gonzalez becomes available, and he will," Law said.  The transcript of Law's appearance is available here.
  • It looks like Washington might still be the only team interested in Kris Benson.  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets that the Indians have no interest in the right-hander.
  • ESPN.com's Jayson Stark polled "20 baseball wise men" to get their take on the offseason moves.  The panel picked Seattle and Arizona as the most improved teams in their respective leagues, while Cleveland and the Dodgers were the least improved.  John Lackey was named the winter's best free agent signing, while Brandon Lyon's deal with Houston was considered the worst.
  • Giants infielder Freddy Sanchez underwent shoulder surgery on December 23, but the news of the procedure didn't come out until almost a month later.  Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News believes the club wanted to keep Sanchez's condition a secret in order to help them sign Juan Uribe to a more team-friendly contract.  Uribe signed a one-year, $3.25MM deal on January 5.
  • MLB.com's Jim Street answers some Mariner-related questions in a fan mailbag.  Some topics of note include the possibility that the M's could deal one of their surplus outfielders, and Chad Cordero could also be trade bait if he doesn't make the Seattle bullpen but otherwise appears recovered from shoulder surgery.
  • Matt Klaassen of Fangraphs thinks "Arizona overpaid a bit" in the arbitration settlement between the Diamondbacks and Edwin Jackson, but also notes that "there is reason to believe this deal is fair to both sides."
  • Miguel Olivo took less money to play in Colorado because he wanted to be on a contending team, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
  • "It's decision time" for teams to negotiate with players entering the last year of their contracts, says USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
  • Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros had their arbitration hearing today, and The Associated Press reports that a decision should be reached by tomorrow.  Rodriguez wants $7MM, while Houston has countered with an offer of $5MM.   
  • Jane Lee of MLB.com breaks down the dollars and reasoning behind Oakland's quick flip of Willy Taveras earlier this month.
  • There are no new developments between Jonny Gomes and the Reds, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the two sides are still talking.  GM Walt Jocketty is hopeful the team and player "can get something done this weekend."
  • Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at some of the issues facing the Pirates this spring, and notes that the club's young players could be helped without the pressure to win starting jobs.


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68 Comments on "Odds & Ends: Gonzalez, Benson, Giants, Mariners"


vtadave
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah God forbid the Giants do anything to upset Juan Uribe and his sub-.300 career OBP. That could ruin the franchise.

Mickeyblue
5 years 6 months ago

If Stark considers Lackey the best signing of the offseason he truly shouldn’t be writing about baseball. I think the Lackey signing is possibly the worst of the offseason and is going to be looked at 2-3 years down the road as a really bad signing.

ilikebaseball
5 years 6 months ago

I think it was the “20 baseball wise men” he surveyed who ranked Lackey the best signing and not Stark himself.

toptimrubies
5 years 6 months ago

So according to Stark, the Dodgers payroll this season is 80 million?
I wonder where is he getting that figure, because last I saw it was closer to 100 million.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 6 months ago

if you take out the money owed to players not on the team, it is close to 80M(ie Pierre, Nomar, Jones, etc)

R_y_a_n
5 years 6 months ago

…but that isn’t really how payroll should be determined.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 6 months ago

yea, I agree. But its a way for national writers to make McCourt seem cheaper..

5 years 6 months ago

McCourt doesn’t need any help to make him seem cheap, he just is.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 6 months ago

haha, i know. However, when you are a big market team the difference from 80m and 100m is huge.. Now, that extra 20M is because of his mistakes, but it is still money he is spending…

Rich_in_NJ
5 years 6 months ago

I think A Gone will end up with the Braves.

bbxxj
5 years 6 months ago

I seriously doubt it. The FO has made it pretty clear that Freeman is the future at first and that they would not be willing to trade the needed minor league pieces to get the deal done.

$1529282
5 years 6 months ago

Arizona improved by trading Max Scherzer for an inferior pitcher and signing Adam LaRoche?

Right. That makes sense.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 6 months ago

they improved if Webb comes back. Scherzer, IMO, will be better than Jackson this season(and AZ is paying Jackson pretty nicely now, instead of the next to nothing for Max… when you have a low payroll, things like this matter).

However, having a 1/2 season player, a player who is expected to regress… a lot… and a guy try to come back from shoulder surgery(and have your whole year rest on those three questions and an inconsistent offense) doesnt make the offseason anywhere near the best in baseball…

Hoosierdaddy92
5 years 6 months ago

journalists should just come out with a statement as simple as this “the red sox are in the best position to get every player that is somewhat available.” even if it makes no sense at all.
The Red Sox have Adrian Beltre at 3b for at least this year and probably next year, and Youkilis at 1st for the forseeable future. Not to mention Lowell riding the pine. THE RED SOX AREN’T GETTING ADRIAN. SHUT UP DROOLING RED SOX FANS! they already commited some of the money they have to spend next year on Lackey’s contract, Cameron’s contract, and most likely Beltre’s. Additionally, they have to resign or fill the hole of V-Mart next year at catcher. Youk can’t shift to catcher. No way they will trade for, AND extend Adrian Gonzalez, which will be vital, especially if they don’t even currently have a position for him.
Look for some teams more like the White Sox, Braves, or Tigers to make that move, ESPECIALLY if they don’t get Damon this year. Detroit Tigers could get in the mix as well, considering they restocked a good portion of the farm, will have the money to spend after this season to extend him, and need a power bat to complement Miggy. Miggy could stop being the defensive liability he is and shift to DH. Braves have a lot of prospects to spare, and their eagerness to make the trade will depend on whether they are contending. If that 1-5 pitching staff lives up to the hype this season, they may jump on the opportunity and go into contend now mode.
Lastly, don’t count the Angels out of the Mix. They got Texeira for not much and they could work their magic again. Morales could move to OF and they’d use a guy like Juan Rivera as trade bait. they will also have the money.

primetime21
5 years 6 months ago

You mention Beltre and Cameron’s contracts for next year but don’t mention Lowell and Ortiz coming off the books? Seems like a slanted take to me.

jhd5787
5 years 6 months ago

Beltre won’t resign with the sox. He is gonna use fenway to “showcase” offense and then try to cash in in as a free agent. His agent is Boras. Of course the guy is opting out.

Hoosierdaddy92
5 years 6 months ago

you wanna talk about slanted takes? Why wouldn’t beltre take the option next year? Playing for the contending Red Sox, he’s has a pretty good chance to reach the 640 plate appearances and raise the value of next years option to 10MM and you really think a 3B in his mid-thirties is gonna get a better contract than that? If he doesn’t he most will have been injured and would have to sign a low-level contract with a crappy team for about 5MM, what he’d make as a Red Sox player. He specifically signed there to play for a contender. He’s in his mid-thirties, even with Boras as his agent, he WILL not get another 10MM per year, multi-year deal. We already saw this with Damon. Additionally, there’s no guarantee Fenway will “showcase” his offense.

wolf9309
5 years 6 months ago

you think that he will get to 640 PAs despite the fact that he never has in his career and he will almost certainly not be batting above 6th in the order? Interesting.

Fenway will certainly showcase his offense compared to how safeco did.

Hoosierdaddy92
5 years 6 months ago

you wanna talk about slanted takes? Why wouldn’t beltre take the option next year? Playing for the contending Red Sox, he’s has a pretty good chance to reach the 640 plate appearances and raise the value of next years option to 10MM and you really think a 3B in his mid-thirties is gonna get a better contract than that? If he doesn’t he most will have been injured and would have to sign a low-level contract with a crappy team for about 5MM, what he’d make as a Red Sox player. He specifically signed there to play for a contender. He’s in his mid-thirties, even with Boras as his agent, he WILL not get another 10MM per year, multi-year deal. We already saw this with Damon. Additionally, there’s no guarantee Fenway will “showcase” his offense.

chowdah219
5 years 6 months ago

That wasnt a very well thought out arguement seeing the sox have 40+ mil off the books next year..so really..what dont YOU just shut up do a little more homework..FAIL!!!

Hoosierdaddy92
5 years 6 months ago

realistically, how much of that 40MM do you think they already commited for next year? Yes, they have Papi, Beckett, Lowell, VMart all coming off the books next year. But they have already increased payroll this year to sign Lackey, Cameron, Scutaro and Beltre. You also have to consider this. V-Mart will be more expensive to sign back next year, prolly about 12-13MM. Beckett will be another 20MM pitcher. Some may argue that Lackey is Beckett’s replacement after this season, but then they will be relying on somebody like Buchholz to step up to Beckett’s production. He has the tools to do that, but he would likely have to be included in a hypothetical A-Gonz deal. additionally about Beltre not taking the option. If all goes right for the Red Sox this year and they make it to the WS, I can not see Beltre turning option down. He’s in his mid-thirties and stated he wanted to play for a contender. He’s not going to get too many more BIG contracts, so the argument that he’s playing for one is ludicrous.
What the Sox SHOULD do instead with the money they have next year, is focus on retaining players like Beckett and V-Mart next year, and getting some ABs for Westmoreland and Kalish @ DH once Papis gone and JD Drew gets hurt.

wolf9309
5 years 6 months ago

you would have a kind of point except that Chowdah’s statement was inaccurate. They have about $57.5 million coming off the books after 2010 between losing Ortiz, Lowell, Varitek, Beckett, VMart, and Lugo’s salary. Plenty of money to do as they please. Then Beltre will almost certainly not make 640 PAs and almost certainly will not take his option.

Hoosierdaddy92
5 years 6 months ago

realistically, how much of that 40MM do you think they already commited for next year? Yes, they have Papi, Beckett, Lowell, VMart all coming off the books next year. But they have already increased payroll this year to sign Lackey, Cameron, Scutaro and Beltre. You also have to consider this. V-Mart will be more expensive to sign back next year, prolly about 12-13MM. Beckett will be another 20MM pitcher. Some may argue that Lackey is Beckett’s replacement after this season, but then they will be relying on somebody like Buchholz to step up to Beckett’s production. He has the tools to do that, but he would likely have to be included in a hypothetical A-Gonz deal. additionally about Beltre not taking the option. If all goes right for the Red Sox this year and they make it to the WS, I can not see Beltre turning option down. He’s in his mid-thirties and stated he wanted to play for a contender. He’s not going to get too many more BIG contracts, so the argument that he’s playing for one is ludicrous.
What the Sox SHOULD do instead with the money they have next year, is focus on retaining players like Beckett and V-Mart next year, and getting some ABs for Westmoreland and Kalish @ DH once Papis gone and JD Drew gets hurt.

putzoo
5 years 6 months ago

Keith Law is nothing more that a pompus windbag who is a Red Sox shill. If he knew anything about baseball he would still be working for the Jays.

Hoosierdaddy92
5 years 6 months ago

agreed. Youkilis is their 1b and Beltre will be their 3b for the next two years. They should save their prospects and money from A-Gonz and focus on resigning Beckett and V-Mart with the money they have next offseason, given both will be considerably more. Then give players like Westmoreland a chance to DH in Papi’s place.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 6 months ago

While it’s risky to do this (they currently lack that WOW-type bat, the type that puts the fear of God into other pitchers. Youk is a very good hitter, probably their best all-around, but he is not this type of batter), it’s probably the best course of action, since there is much hype around their young hitters.

Hoosierdaddy92
5 years 6 months ago

that’s what i have been saying. I don’t hate the Red Sox. I actually think they have one of the best farm systems to date. And I really believe that they have prospects in their system that can cheaply and effectively hit like Adrian Gonzalez. I think Gonzalez is merely the response a lot of Red Sox fans want to have to combat the Teixeira signing. I believe that the team that trades for Gonzalez will be looking to him as the guy that can help them this year, that they essentially NEED. The Red Sox COULD use him if Beltre doesn’t come back next year (which I doubt he won’t return). The Red Sox really need to just add a DH for next offseason, a scary one, but why waste the money on a All-Star fielding one as well, when you have that in Youkilis. Save the money, give your cheap prospects some chances.
There’s really two teams outside of the NL West that could use a 1b of the future and are trying to contend now. and that’s the White Sox and Mariners. I think it will be one of these two teams that gets him. Mariners just traded a lot of prospects though for lee, but so did the White Sox for Peavey. I give the White Sox the upper-hand though because they traded pitchers and have position players to spare and recently have good trade negotiations with the padres
Braves are there too although they have allstar 1b prospects who they claim are the 1b of the future. Same with the Rangers.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 6 months ago

While it’s risky to do this (they currently lack that WOW-type bat, the type that puts the fear of God into other pitchers. Youk is a very good hitter, probably their best all-around, but he is not this type of batter), it’s probably the best course of action, since there is much hype around their young hitters.

Hoosierdaddy92
5 years 6 months ago

agreed. Youkilis is their 1b and Beltre will be their 3b for the next two years. They should save their prospects and money from A-Gonz and focus on resigning Beckett and V-Mart with the money they have next offseason, given both will be considerably more. Then give players like Westmoreland a chance to DH in Papi’s place.

5 years 6 months ago

someone had too much hatorade

5 years 6 months ago

someone had too much hatorade

5 years 6 months ago

Houston doesn’t deserve Wandy, only offering 5 mil.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

The Mariners looked as though they were putting a nice little team together until they inexplicably acquired Milton Bradley.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

Actually that was a far better move for the Mariners than the Cubs. Silva is truly a waste of a roster spot and while Bradley has a volatile attitude he could be grateful enough to get out of the pressures of Chicago. Ultimately while it was an exchange of bad contracts, most people are willing to bet Bradley has a better chance to produce than Silva.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

Who cares about the contracts? The M’s brought in a total a-hole in Bradley who has played on 7 different teams in his 9 year career, soon to be 8 in 10. There’s a reason for that. He’s a tool. The only pressure he was under in Chicago was to hit the ball & behave himself. That pressure doesn’t change just because he’s in Seattle on a team hoping to contend & ultimately dethrone the Angels.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 6 months ago

The pressure he experienced was from the fans.

However, the source of that pressure was himself. The fans just took the ridiculous statements he made about them and used them against him.

(Referring to the racist remarks he made).

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

As I said, the only pressure was to produce like a $10MM player, which he was. Chicago is a major market & like any major market if you get paid you had best play. He attacked the fans & that will not fly in any market, especially a major one.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 6 months ago

The pressure he experienced was from the fans.

However, the source of that pressure was himself. The fans just took the ridiculous statements he made about them and used them against him.

(Referring to the racist remarks he made).

5 years 6 months ago

“most people are willing to bet Bradley has a better chance to produce than Silva.”

And then there are those like myself that don’t expect either of them to produce.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

Amen, brother.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 6 months ago

As usual, a fool-hearty article on ESPN. Calling Lackey the best signing when Matt Holliday sits in third, which was easily a far better signing than Lackey as Holliday is not injury-prone and, as long as he produces like he is able to, gives Albert Pujols that many more amazing stats, thus making the Cards that much better over the span of a full season. Don’t get me wrong-I won’t be biased and say the Lackey signing was horrible. It’s simply that there was a signing that was better out there. I’d even put the Figgins signing about even, since Figgins isn’t being overpaid, whereas Lackey is (Yes, I also think A.J. Burnett is being overpaid a big deal, too).

BaseballFan0707
5 years 6 months ago

As usual, a fool-hearty article on ESPN. Calling Lackey the best signing when Matt Holliday sits in third, which was easily a far better signing than Lackey as Holliday is not injury-prone and, as long as he produces like he is able to, gives Albert Pujols that many more amazing stats, thus making the Cards that much better over the span of a full season. Don’t get me wrong-I won’t be biased and say the Lackey signing was horrible. It’s simply that there was a signing that was better out there. I’d even put the Figgins signing about even, since Figgins isn’t being overpaid, whereas Lackey is (Yes, I also think A.J. Burnett is being overpaid a big deal, too).

louis_09
5 years 6 months ago

Just a couple of things in response to what I’ve read:
1. How is what the Giants did different from a player and his agent hiding a potential injury…signing an extension…and then disclosing it in spring training, thus screwing the team? It’s not. Both sides of baseball transactions are treated with pessimism – that is why player contracts are GUARANTEED, and MLB teams buy INSURANCE on contracts.
2. The Braves have the pieces, IF THEY ARE WILLING TO PART WITH THEM, to go get whoever they want (except for maybe Albert Pujols). Period.
3. Boston has the money to get Adrian Gonzalez. Just like my Pirates, the ownership of the Boston Red Sox is making money. Every year. That said, unlike my Pirates, I think Boston’s ownership would cut into their income to grab him. Even if it is temporary (like the time it would take to trade some bad money away…probably giving it away), I think they would do so. The Boston Red Sox are a huge money maker. Another $15m/year wouldn’t even dent what I believe ownership’s net income is per year.
4. Pirates management did what they said they would NOT do – bring in old-heads to fill up the roster. But I feel that is what EVERY team has to do. That is why older players become “infielders” instead of just a SS; they become “utility” players instead of a RF. Their experience lends value that you just don’t get in young kids. Young kids bring energy and fun to the game that you just don’t get in old-heads. The combination of both can be found on EVERY successful team in the game. I’m not saying they’re going to compete, but with the mediocrity (Cards are solid, but Cubs? Reds? Astros? Brewers?) I’m not counting ANY team out of the NL Central.
5. Aren’t we all excited that spring training is here? :)

humbb
5 years 6 months ago

Pot … Kettle

55saveslives
5 years 6 months ago

How is “not mentioning” lying?

Uribe was a Free Agent and could have signed anywhere else.

5 years 6 months ago

Because Uribe wouldn’t have hung the injury over the Giants head and demanded more money? If it were the other way you’d be crying about Uribe being greedy or congratulate him for “getting all the money he can.” Giants fans should be grateful their GM was able to pull this move off.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

That was a few years ago… don’t kid yourself, the Braves have enough in the farm to make a major trade: Heyward, Freeman, Teheran, Vizcaino, and that’s just a few. Not to mention Hanson or Jurrgins could also be leveraged in a trade.

bbxxj
5 years 6 months ago

Are you insinuating that we don’t have the pieces to get the deal done? That’s not the case. Maybe the sting from that trade will deter us but we still have one of the top systems in the game.

icedrake523
5 years 6 months ago

Sorry, but that doesn’t apply. Just because he’s a Met fan doesn’t mean he supports the front office. And what the Giants did is a shady, underhanded tactic.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

That’s close to being true for almost any major trade. Let’s not kid ourselves, if Gonzalez is traded then the price tag will be high enough for any team to ask themselves afterwards “is it worth it.”

5 years 6 months ago

The point is Boston has the pieces and the desire to make the deal happen. They will not be overbid for Gonzalez.

Hoosierdaddy92
5 years 6 months ago

considering felipe lopez is still looking for a suitor at 4.5MM and Uribe got 3MM, I’d say Uribe got a pretty good deal regardless.

humbb
5 years 6 months ago

Actually I thought it was rather unique, original, and concise, given the context of the frustrated Mets fan who started this waste of time. But since it went over your head, I must expand.

“Players are DEFINITELY going to want to play for the Giants when they know the front office is a bunch of lying-…” You actually had to stop yourself when you realized the hypocrisy with respect to your own situation, metsville.

The Giants front office could not even come close to the depths of unethical conduct that the Mets’ Wilpons, Omar, Bernazard and the medical staff have sunk to over the last few years.

Players definitely want to play for the Mets. They’re lining up outside Citi Field as we speak.

Concerned over the Giants “not mentioning”? … it’s called negotiation and not showing your hand. Players and agents do it all the time during the offseason. That’s why teams demand physicals on all new contracts.

Oh, and by the way, I’m sure Uribe was thrilled to sign with the Giants for $3M, and I doubt the team would have offered much more anyway.

Have a nice day!

5 years 6 months ago

It’s only Juan Uribe. A guy like that can be swindled no problem.

bbxxj
5 years 6 months ago

Outside of maybe Texas or Boston who could still have a good deal of depth after a AGone trade?

Also you think AGone would take all of Heyward, Hanson, Jurrjens, Freeman, Teheran, Vizcaino, Escobar, Schafer, Medlen, Kimbrel and Delgado then maybe we would have no system depth left.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

Don’t mess w/ Juan: remembre he killed those pirates in the Dominican a few years back?

5 years 6 months ago

Did you ever stop to consider why Bengie Molina chose the Giants over the Mets, even though it was for less money? It could be that since the Mets already screwed him over once he wasn’t going to give them another opportunity to do it again.

The “pot and the kettle” comment, while you think it “unoriginal” is entirely appropriate.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

GMs stick it inside of players all the time. Sabean is an awful GM but he did nothing unconventional here.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

Mike Piazza likes men.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

Actually, Lackey cracked 13 wins in 2004 & 2005 as well, but who really cares about that? Wins are a relatively meaningless statistic for pitchers. Lackey is a bulldog & a great fit for any contending team’s rotation, especially the Red Sox. He is not being asked to be a top end of the rotation starter. He’s a number 4 & will be one of the most dominant number fours in baseball.

If you’re valuing how many wins he racks up over his ERA or WHIP you’re sick in the head.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

Don’t get hung up on wins. Inaccurate representation of a pitcher.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

No GM worth his salt is basing his free agent pitching acquisitions off win totals.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

What’s ignorant about liking men? Who doesn’t?

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

Which part of my entirely truthful statement are you disputing?

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

What are you arguing?

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

First of all, I don’t see where in anything I said that I implied or stated you were a Piazza fan. Perhaps a guilty conscience? Secondly, I’m gay, black & Muslim.

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

Why are you quoting yourself?

Ricky Bones
5 years 6 months ago

If the fact that a GM would attempt to get a player at the lowest price possible is a completely unfamiliar & foreign concept to you then I really don’t know how further to proceed w/ this discussion.