Heyman On Lee, Yankees, Harper

The Cubs' acquisition of Carlos Silva for Milton Bradley, the Tigers' decision to let Magglio Ordonez's 2010 option vest and the Yankees' decision to put Phil Hughes in the starting rotation all make Jon Heyman's list of the year's best non-free agent moves. Here are Heyman's latest rumors, from SI.com:

  • Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik isn't waving the white flag yet. He says the AL West is winnable and wants to see how the M's play "in the next couple weeks" before deciding whether to sell.
  • Every executive Heyman spoke to expects Cliff Lee to choose free agency over an in-season extension, no matter what uniform he's wearing this summer.
  • The Yankees now seem like the favorites to sign Lee this winter, but could they acquire the lefty during the season? They will call the Mariners in case they like the asking price for Lee, but the Yanks don't seem like a fit.
  • Bryce Harper will look for a record bonus, according to an NL executive. Heyman's sources say Harper will be aiming for considerably more than $12MM. Stephen Strasburg, who signed for $15.1MM last summer, could be considered a bargain since he has generated lots of excitement (and revenue) in Washington. Harper and agent Scott Boras can point to the buzz around Strasburg in their negotiations with the Nats.


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72 Comments on "Heyman On Lee, Yankees, Harper"


ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

Harper is really nothing like Strasburg. He’s likely years away from making an impact in terms of production and revenue.

Won’t stop Boras, though.

suffern
5 years 2 months ago

Not entirely true. Let’s say the Nats bring up Harper around June next year (unlikely, but for arguments sake).

Think of the impact in terms of ticket sales based on a player playing every day, vs every 5 days. I’m willing to bet Harper sells out a ton of tickets, not just for his first game, but for a good stretch thereafter.

strikethree
5 years 2 months ago

That’s only true if Harper performs and lives up to the hype.

He won’t be selling tickets if he isn’t crushing the ball.

jumbletron
5 years 2 months ago

Yup, Harper’s gonna have to hit dingers in order to really generate significant revenue for the Nats. Fans like nothing more than a guy who can hit a ton of homers, even more than a strikeout pitcher.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

Position prospects normally don’t sell out games like a pitching prospect does, though. Probably for the reason that he plays everyday, and the chances to see him aren’t as limited. I can see him selling out a few games, but ultimately not as much as Strasburg will. And then, of course, he has more oppurtunity to fail, and he’ll go through stretches where he can’t hit a thing. If he has trouble in his first couple of games (which is highly possible), then some of the hype is lost and some of the fans are too.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

Yes the improbable is still possible; that’s true. It’s not really worth talking about though – and it’s definitely not wise to bet on low-probability outcomes.

Organizationally speaking, it would be retarded to rush Harper on such hopes and get 2 years of mediocre production out of him instead of 5 or 6 polished.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

Strasburg only got a small percentage of what his free market value would be. He could never get that, of course, because he only had so much leverage. But Harper has much more leverage. Why not try to get closer to that number? Harper isn’t Strasburg, but he’d command several times a record bonus if he were a free agent.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

In what sense does Harper have much more leverage? As far as I can tell, he has significantly less.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

Strasburg’s only option was to go back for his senior year or possibly go to indy league ball, moves that can backfire, especially for a pitcher, who’s much more likely to get injured. Harper has several more years of draft eligibility and much less injury risk. Unless there’s some reason to think he’ll stop hitting, he can just keep getting drafted until a team gives him what he wants. I’m not saying he will, just that he could.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

You’re not wrong, but Harper’s more or less changed his entire life to get into baseball as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Nationals need a star far less desperately than they did last year – especially when that star is a couple years development away from the Show anyway, and they can get compensated with another stud next year.

Nothing you’ve said about his open market value is off, I just don’t think he’s in a very dominant negotiating position despite it. Gonna be a dick about it and openly turn down $12 million? Enjoy your wasted year of development, kiddo, essentially playing by yourself.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

You’re not wrong, but Harper’s more or less changed his entire life to get into baseball as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Nationals need a star far less desperately than they did last year – especially when that star is a couple years development away from the Show anyway, and they can get compensated with another stud next year.

Nothing you’ve said about his open market value is off, I just don’t think he’s in a very dominant negotiating position despite it. Gonna be a dick about it and openly turn down $12 million? Enjoy your wasted year of development, kiddo, essentially playing by yourself.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

Not disagreeing. Both sides need to make this happen. The Nationals can’t afford to get a compensation pick for the number one overall pick and then be forced to take a signability guy because that pick won’t be protected. And Harper has, as you pointed out, done everything to get into pro ball as early as possible (which sounds suspiciously like good ballplayer makeup to me, but that’s another story). Both sides will find the right point, which will be very high, but probably not quite Strasburg high.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

Not disagreeing. Both sides need to make this happen. The Nationals can’t afford to get a compensation pick for the number one overall pick and then be forced to take a signability guy because that pick won’t be protected. And Harper has, as you pointed out, done everything to get into pro ball as early as possible (which sounds suspiciously like good ballplayer makeup to me, but that’s another story). Both sides will find the right point, which will be very high, but probably not quite Strasburg high.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

I really don’t like the idea of draft choices getting paid this much.. They’ve got as much money as they need before they even put on a major-league uniform. I feel like they don’t even have to worry about how they play in the majors because they’ve already made the big bucks, and I can see this turning into less desire and more busts. A player should have to earn his money in the major leagues, not be given major league money for being a good player in college.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

Then you want elite athletes to play other sports. If there were no draft or arbitration rules holding down salaries, these players would actually be making much more on the open market. Giving a couple million dollars to an amateur who looks good to all your scouts and will be under your control cheaply for years is an exponentially better decision than giving a hundred million dollars to a pitcher in his 30s who’s had four good seasons.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

Giving a couple million dollars to an amatuer is acceptable. But, they keep getting paid more and more every year. Only in baseball do draft picks get paid this much. I understand the advantages of having a young player opposed to the guy in his 30’s, but at least that guy proved he can succeed at a major league level. Still not saying $100 million is acceptable, but a guy getting $15 million right out of the gate, without even proving that he can pitch at a big league level doesn’t seem too ideal either.

I just think they should earn their cash by showing that their stuff can translate, like it used to be.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

1) “Only in baseball do draft picks get paid this much.” That’s not even slightly true. First round football draft picks make much more. Besides, in other sports, these guys immediately make six figure salaries at a minimum, even if they’re buried on the bench. In baseball, if they really stink, their bonus may be the only money they ever make. No one in baseball has ever made nearly as much money as Ryan Leaf or Jamarcus Russell while providing nearly so little value.

2) “I just think they should earn their cash by showing that their stuff can translate.” Then you’re throwing the value of scouts out the window completely and saying that players should only be rewarded for past experience (which is the ethos that makes most big free agent contracts a bad deal for the team). Every scout was sure Strasburg would be a superstar. Almost every scout is sure Harper will be a star. Both performed superbly for their ages and levels of competition. You may have some sort of moral problem with kids getting this kind of money right out of the gate, but teams aren’t stupid to pay it.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

As far as your 1st point goes, I worded that statement horribly wrong. Totally my fault, I was trying to compare to non-athletic jobs, in which is case it makes no sense for me to use the term ‘draft choices’. I guess I was thinking one thing an typed another. Either way, that point is non-essential to my argument, and doesn’t make much sense either way. I take it back.

On the second point..

I’m not throwing the value of scouts out of the window completely. They still evaluate who the better player is, and who should be drafted. The only difference is that they won’t have to be worried about signing them because of high demands, because they would be getting paid just the same if a different team drafted them. As far as players being rewarded for past experience: yes, that is what I’m saying. Because he has shown that he can do his job at a major league level. He has earned that money. And I never said that teams are stupid to pay draft choices; because it can definitely pay off, and I would do the same thing if I were in charge of signing these guys. I’m just saying that I don’t like it, and that the draft would do better for baseball if it wasn’t this way.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

You shouldn’t pay a player for what he’s already done, though. Most guys, by the time they hit free agency, are looking for contracts that will pay them big money into their decline years.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

Yeah, but at least they proved that they CAN do it.. I realize that there’s a whole reverse argument to this, such as that the draft choices have the potential to do it. I guess there’s no fair way to do it, and I’m going to save myself and step out of this debate now. You guys have obviously put more thought into this.. I just wanted to express my feeling on the whole situation.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

The reverse argument, just for the record, is that you could sign the top two players in this draft for less than the Phillies have committed to paying Ryan Howard in one year of his late thirties, when all historical evidence suggests players like him are unlikely to be very good then.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

The reverse argument, just for the record, is that you could sign the top two players in this draft for less than the Phillies have committed to paying Ryan Howard in one year of his late thirties, when all historical evidence suggests players like him are unlikely to be very good then.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

Yeah, but at least they proved that they CAN do it.. I realize that there’s a whole reverse argument to this, such as that the draft choices have the potential to do it. I guess there’s no fair way to do it, and I’m going to save myself and step out of this debate now. You guys have obviously put more thought into this.. I just wanted to express my feeling on the whole situation.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

You shouldn’t pay a player for what he’s already done, though. Most guys, by the time they hit free agency, are looking for contracts that will pay them big money into their decline years.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

As far as your 1st point goes, I worded that statement horribly wrong. Totally my fault, I was trying to compare to non-athletic jobs, in which is case it makes no sense for me to use the term ‘draft choices’. I guess I was thinking one thing an typed another. Either way, that point is non-essential to my argument, and doesn’t make much sense either way. I take it back.

On the second point..

I’m not throwing the value of scouts out of the window completely. They still evaluate who the better player is, and who should be drafted. The only difference is that they won’t have to be worried about signing them because of high demands, because they would be getting paid just the same if a different team drafted them. As far as players being rewarded for past experience: yes, that is what I’m saying. Because he has shown that he can do his job at a major league level. He has earned that money. And I never said that teams are stupid to pay draft choices; because it can definitely pay off, and I would do the same thing if I were in charge of signing these guys. I’m just saying that I don’t like it, and that the draft would do better for baseball if it wasn’t this way.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Matt Ryan was drafted #3 overall and signed a contract that made him a higher paid player than Tom Brady, before he ever threw a pass in the NFL, so yeah…

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Matt Ryan was drafted #3 overall and signed a contract that made him a higher paid player than Tom Brady, before he ever threw a pass in the NFL, so yeah…

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

I’ve already explained that statement..

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Yeah, my bad, I didn’t read your other post before I commented.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Yeah, my bad, I didn’t read your other post before I commented.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

I’ve already explained that statement..

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

Out of curiosity, do you have any argument against an open market in baseball?

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

In what sense?

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

See comment below re: regulation

strikethree
5 years 2 months ago

Well, if teams don’t like the player’s demand, then they shouldn’t draft him.

Would you like it if I set a cap for your salary? Sure baseball players don’t actually produce anything except entertainment, but they make so much because there is a demand for it.

The other side to it is that the player is forced to deal with only one team. That one team probably isn’t the team he wants to play for. Plus, he probably has to move to a new city and he also has to commit the next 7+ years of his life there. Not to mention that he will make less than if other teams were also allowed to bid. A team like the Yankees would have outbid the Nats 5-fold.

Yes, he makes millions without “proving” anything; however, would you still hate the idea if you were in his shoes? Heck, I’d probably be a little peeved if I couldn’t play for the team I wanted.

Only the top guys get over a million anyway.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

I’m not saying that they should never get their fair dues, just that they shouldn’t get it right out the gate. They’ll get paid all the money they want if they prove to be the player that they were drafted to be.

Playing for a team he wants to play for can come in time as well. Sure, he’ll have to spend a fair share of time with the team that he didn’t ‘want’ to play for, but this isn’t playing baseball just for fun; it’s his job. Therefore, he should do his job where ever the team that pays him is. You don’t get promoted to CEO of a business as soon as you graduate college.

Sure, if I was in his shoes I’m all for the money. But if I were in the GM’s shoes I’m all for him proving that he’s going to be worth the money.

strikethree
5 years 2 months ago

“You don’t get promoted to CEO of a business as soon as you graduate college.”

Yes, baseball is a business. However, you forget one thing: players are not only employees, they are also commodities.

If you don’t pay for the talent, someone else will. There is a reason draft picks are very expensive. Again, that reason is demand.

I am of the philosophy that if there is someone out there willing to pay you the money, who the hell am I or anyone else to stop them?

“But if I were in the GM’s shoes I’m all for him proving that he’s going to be worth the money.”

Obviously if you are the buyer, you wan’t the safest option. However, it is the player that is selling his services. Shouldn’t he have options too?

Again, I agree that these draftees are not “proven” but guess what? Teams are still willing to give them deals based on a player’s talent. The draftee will get millions without having a major league AB because an organization is willing to pay him. That is what we call a market economy. Heck, your proposed revision might even be more costly to low revenue teams. Imagine paying the huge incentives when guys perform?

Sometimes life just isn’t fair. I’ve seen plenty of instances in business where a guy gets promoted just because they have the right connections. Does he necessarily deserve it? Maybe not, but as long as someone is willing to pay him, then why not?

In the end, it is up to the organization to evaluate the financial prospects of a draftee. That is the team’s job. Likewise, I don’t buy stocks and then tell my brokerage I will only pay if the stock performs. It just doesn’t work that way.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

Well said. I stand by my point, but I haven’t researched it enough for my vote to count.

I guess I would just LIKE it better without draftees getting paid as soon as the graduate, and I still think that’s the fair way, but I see why it goes the other way.

strikethree
5 years 2 months ago

Of course, of course. In all honesty, our opinions have little bearing anyway.

I just wanted the other side to be noted too.

There isn’t a certain right or wrong answer — it’s all a matter of preference.

strikethree
5 years 2 months ago

Of course, of course. In all honesty, our opinions have little bearing anyway.

I just wanted the other side to be noted too.

There isn’t a certain right or wrong answer — it’s all a matter of preference.

VoteForPrado
5 years 2 months ago

Well said. I stand by my point, but I haven’t researched it enough for my vote to count.

I guess I would just LIKE it better without draftees getting paid as soon as the graduate, and I still think that’s the fair way, but I see why it goes the other way.

strikethree
5 years 2 months ago

“You don’t get promoted to CEO of a business as soon as you graduate college.”

Yes, baseball is a business. However, you forget one thing: players are not only employees, they are also commodities.

If you don’t pay for the talent, someone else will. There is a reason draft picks are very expensive. Again, that reason is demand.

I am of the philosophy that if there is someone out there willing to pay you the money, who the hell am I or anyone else to stop them?

“But if I were in the GM’s shoes I’m all for him proving that he’s going to be worth the money.”

Obviously if you are the buyer, you wan’t the safest option. However, it is the player that is selling his services. Shouldn’t he have options too?

Again, I agree that these draftees are not “proven” but guess what? Teams are still willing to give them deals based on a player’s talent. The draftee will get millions without having a major league AB because an organization is willing to pay him. That is what we call a market economy. Heck, your proposed revision might even be more costly to low revenue teams. Imagine paying the huge incentives when guys perform?

Sometimes life just isn’t fair. I’ve seen plenty of instances in business where a guy gets promoted just because they have the right connections. Does he necessarily deserve it? Maybe not, but as long as someone is willing to pay him, then why not?

In the end, it is up to the organization to evaluate the financial prospects of a draftee. That is the team’s job. Likewise, I don’t buy stocks and then tell my brokerage I will only pay if the stock performs. It just doesn’t work that way.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

“Would you like it if I set a cap for your salary?”

In fairness, if you were capping it at like $15 million, I’d probably be ok.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

Generally speaking I don’t much like the selective deregulation arguments I see about this. It’s not fair, so many say, to cap salaries or bonuses. Yeah, true. But you aren’t complaining about the renewability of contracts and the general market prohibitions prior to six years of service time. In fact, most of you love that stuff. The entire structure of the league turns on those regulations. And what’s fair about those rules that would not be fair about a salary cap?

The answer is “nothing”. So while I’m not in favor of salary limits, the fairness argument against them can’t be used by anyone who doesn’t object to those regulations which have the same effects.

strikethree
5 years 2 months ago

Actually, I wouldn’t mind a fully deregulated draft system. (That’s probably because I am a Yankee fan)

Although, I am realistic and I know that won’t happen. It probably would destroy all chances of small market competition.

And you don’t need to be totally one way or the other. (Like in politics there are left-leaning Republicans and vice versa) Just because I am against incentive based contract deals that are forced upon draftees by the league (instead of being agreed upon by both parties), doesn’t mean that I have to support full deregulation.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

Actually I’m pretty sure it would force the hands of “small market” ownership groups to pay up or get the hell out.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

Actually I’m pretty sure it would force the hands of “small market” ownership groups to pay up or get the hell out.

strikethree
5 years 2 months ago

Actually, I wouldn’t mind a fully deregulated draft system. (That’s probably because I am a Yankee fan)

Although, I am realistic and I know that won’t happen. It probably would destroy all chances of small market competition.

And you don’t need to be totally one way or the other. (Like in politics there are left-leaning Republicans and vice versa) Just because I am against incentive based contract deals that are forced upon draftees by the league (instead of being agreed upon by both parties), doesn’t mean that I have to support full deregulation.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

“The answer is “nothing”. So while I’m not in favor of salary limits, the fairness argument against them can’t be used by anyone who doesn’t object to those regulations which have the same effects. ”

That is a lot of negatives, but I would have to say that (after figuring out exactly what you were saying) I agree with you, and I’m also not in favor of salary restrictions. The only reason that would justify players being paid less is if ticket/concession/parking prices go down as well and the overall revenue stream of baseball decreases, which would obviously never happen.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

No it wouldn’t not!

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

“The answer is “nothing”. So while I’m not in favor of salary limits, the fairness argument against them can’t be used by anyone who doesn’t object to those regulations which have the same effects. ”

That is a lot of negatives, but I would have to say that (after figuring out exactly what you were saying) I agree with you, and I’m also not in favor of salary restrictions. The only reason that would justify players being paid less is if ticket/concession/parking prices go down as well and the overall revenue stream of baseball decreases, which would obviously never happen.

aap212
5 years 2 months ago

All these obvious nuggets of information attributed to inside sources. Jon Heyman needs four unnamed executives just to tell him that the sky is blue.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

Where did you hear that?

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

I’ll admit that I was one of the people who thought that Joba should have been given another season to grow as a starter. Guess that’s why I don’t run a baseball team :/

5 years 2 months ago

i still think he’ll get another shot at it, maybe next year, when they don’t have as many pitchers. Assuming Andy retires i would be extremely surprised if joba didnt get another shot at starting.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

I agree with you, I think that after this season Pettitte will retire, Vazquez will walk and Cashman will fill one spot with a FA (most likely Lee) and one internally, most likely Joba. I still think Joba can be a solid MOR starter in the AL East.

5 years 2 months ago

i think he has the potential to be the second starter at the top of his career. I think he can be better than burnett. Lets not forget joba is still pretty young. If he develops a changeup and or a cutter like hughes did, he can be very good. Hopefully with all the time in the pen a little bit of mo’s magic can rub off on him.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Wouldn’t that be something, Mariano teaching his insanely devastating cutter to all the youngsters. Anyway, yeah Joba probably has the potential to be better than A.J., I just think that all this jerking around between starting and relieving is gonna mess with his confidence, hopefully he can overcome it and be a solid #2 behind Phil. Wouldn’t that be crazy, the Yankees top 2 starting pitchers being homegrown youngsters. I can dream I suppose.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

Realistically, though, don’t you think he’s likelier to become a closer than a #2?

5 years 2 months ago

realistically, i think that’s probably more likely. What i want them to do is send him down to the minors next season. If he came back as a starter with control and command of all his pitches that would be great.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Of course he’s more likely to become the future closer, I’m just hoping that he is able to develop into a #2/3 because I think there’s more value in ~190 IP. I think he’ll be given another chance to be a starter and if he is mediocre or worse, then he’ll probably just become the heir apparent to Rivera.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Of course he’s more likely to become the future closer, I’m just hoping that he is able to develop into a #2/3 because I think there’s more value in ~190 IP. I think he’ll be given another chance to be a starter and if he is mediocre or worse, then he’ll probably just become the heir apparent to Rivera.

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

Realistically, though, don’t you think he’s likelier to become a closer than a #2?

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Wouldn’t that be something, Mariano teaching his insanely devastating cutter to all the youngsters. Anyway, yeah Joba probably has the potential to be better than A.J., I just think that all this jerking around between starting and relieving is gonna mess with his confidence, hopefully he can overcome it and be a solid #2 behind Phil. Wouldn’t that be crazy, the Yankees top 2 starting pitchers being homegrown youngsters. I can dream I suppose.

5 years 2 months ago

i think he has the potential to be the second starter at the top of his career. I think he can be better than burnett. Lets not forget joba is still pretty young. If he develops a changeup and or a cutter like hughes did, he can be very good. Hopefully with all the time in the pen a little bit of mo’s magic can rub off on him.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

I agree with you, I think that after this season Pettitte will retire, Vazquez will walk and Cashman will fill one spot with a FA (most likely Lee) and one internally, most likely Joba. I still think Joba can be a solid MOR starter in the AL East.

5 years 2 months ago

i still think he’ll get another shot at it, maybe next year, when they don’t have as many pitchers. Assuming Andy retires i would be extremely surprised if joba didnt get another shot at starting.

5 years 2 months ago

What has Joba done to indicate he could become a #2 starter? I am still not sure why they are not committed to grooming him into their future closer.

5 years 2 months ago

He has/had a good fastball, great slider and an average curveball. If he develops one or two more pitches and can control them, why wouldn’t he be able to be atleast a 2 starter.

5 years 2 months ago

He has/had a good fastball, great slider and an average curveball. If he develops one or two more pitches and can control them, why wouldn’t he be able to be atleast a 2 starter.

jwredsox
5 years 2 months ago

everyone knows Harper will seek out the highest bonus ever we don’t a freakin update on it once a week

5 years 2 months ago

are you telling me rivera had no impact on hughes’s cutter? because you know that’s not true