The latest hot stove thoughts from SI's Jon Heyman…
- The people Heyman talked to feel that with Ryan Howard averaging $25MM a year starting in 2012, a contract discussion for Albert Pujols has to start at $30MM a year.
- Heyman says that "the belief among skeptics of the deal that [the Howard extension] was an obvious overpay isn't reflected one bit among baseball people." Of course, there are hundreds of baseball people, and the ones I've spoken to agree with the skeptics.
- Adrian Gonzalez's agent John Boggs said, "We're just kind of innocent bystanders," noting that the Padres have not made contact about an extension.
- Jayson Werth's agent Jeff Borris believes his client will be "the premier free agent outfielder" if he doesn't sign an extension. Looking at the list, only Carl Crawford would have an argument. Heyman says there's a "belief around baseball" that Werth will be seeking $100MM. Previously we've heard suggestions of the four-year, $66MM Jason Bay range.
- Heyman says Stephen Strasburg has a contract clause that "permits 100 innings at the major-league level this year." I haven't heard of any clauses of that nature before, but Strasburg and Scott Boras is a powerful pairing.