Olney On Qualls, Balfour, Damon, Pavano, Soriano

Ivan Nova, Craig Kimbrel and Madison Bumgarner are among the young players who will play major roles in determining their teams’ fates in 2011, as ESPN.com’s Buster Olney points out. Here are the rest of Olney’s rumors, with the latest updates up top:

  • Olney hears that Chad Qualls is looking to re-establish his value with a one-year deal (Twitter link). With all due respect to Qualls, finding a mutliyear deal might never have been an option, since he posted a 7.32 ERA and allowed 85 hits in 59 innings last year.
  • Teams believe Grant Balfour's asking price is dropping, according to Olney (Twitter link).
  • Once Jim Thome signs, other first base/DH types will likely follow. There are lots of them out there, as MLBTR’s Free Agent Tracker shows. Vladimir Guerrero, Jason Giambi, Russell Branyan, Johnny Damon, and Manny Ramirez are still available.
  • Olney says Damon “probably made a mistake in not following up on the Yankees' overtures last winter about a two-year deal.”
  • Carl Pavano and the Twins continue to make progress toward a deal and the sides could reach an agreement by the end of the week.
  • Rafael Soriano is prioritizing money over his 2011 role, Olney writes. Olney suggests that “if some club was willing to pay him to be its bullpen catcher for $45MM over the next three years, Soriano would consider it.”


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117 Comments on "Olney On Qualls, Balfour, Damon, Pavano, Soriano"


4 years 7 months ago

“if some club was willing to pay him to be its bullpen catcher for $45MM over the next three years, Soriano would consider it.”

Yikes, that’s harsh. I assume Olney is after him for being indifferent to whether he’s a closer or a setup man. But I couldn’t hold that against a guy with a straight face, given how often I pooh-pooh the very idea of using your best bullpen arm only in the 9th. Maybe Soriano’s just progressive.

Probably not, I guess.

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

I respect Soriano for actually being transparent about it.

Enough of the typical crap about wanting to play for a winner, being close to family, falling in love with an organization, etc, etc. Most players are motivated by greed. Soriano is just one of the few who come out and say it (at least to the person Olney spoke with).

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Olney said the same thing about Lee moving to Alaska if thats where the money was… we all know how that turned out.

So take his comments with a grain of salt

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

Soriano can forget the Yankees for sure. They have a closer as well as a good bullpen catcher.

4 years 7 months ago

Olney suggests that “if some club was willing to pay him to be its bullpen catcher for $45MM over the next three years, Soriano would consider it.”

Um, who wouldn’t?

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Albert Pujols.

DOG100
4 years 7 months ago

What the yankees dont need is a closer.. They need starter pichers… They could get chris young from SD whos a free agent…. Right now whos only 32yrs old and sign him for a 2yrs for 5 million.. he had a full season was in 2005 and 2006 2005 he was 12 and 7 and 06 11 and 5

4 years 7 months ago

Why on earth would any team give him that much $ to a starting pitcher who hasn’t played a full season since 2007? He’s nothing more than a player that deserves a highly incentivised contract and shouldn’t be depended upon for anything!

DOG100
4 years 7 months ago

True but the need starter and they have the money… ok they dont have to spend that much for him..

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 7 months ago

Ivan Nova and just an innings eater and call it an offseason

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 7 months ago

Ivan Nova and just an innings eater and call it an offseason

4 years 7 months ago

Olney says Damon “probably made a mistake in not following up on the Yankees’ overtures last winter about a two-year deal.”

No he didn’t. He wanted to be a Tiger from day 1.

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

‘There’s no bigger thrill than having your name on the back of a tiger’s uniform’

4 years 7 months ago

You guys are pretty delusional, aren’t you.

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

Johnny and I think you’re jealous!

Chuck345
4 years 7 months ago

If delusional is defined as sarcastic, then yes.

Chuck345
4 years 7 months ago

If delusional is defined as sarcastic, then yes.

4 years 7 months ago

My mistake. Delusion is much easier (not to mention more common) to detect in the written word than sarcasm.

4 years 7 months ago

Who wouldn’t love moving from drab and crime-riddled New York to sunny Detroit?

TartanElk
4 years 7 months ago

Oh…wait…

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

That’s a total myth- Detroit is not sunnier

DOG100
4 years 7 months ago

This has nothing to do with this.. if yankees are looking a for a starter picher why not chris young from SD…

4 years 7 months ago

I don’t understand why its such a negative thing if Soriano is flexible with his role. Only in very rare cases (i.e. the Yankees) would Soriano not be the closer…

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

He wants closer money.. most teams with an established closer already in place that would add him for setup or whatever, probably won’t want to offer him closer money…

but then it moves to, why would a team lose a 1st draft pick (possibly 2nd if protected) to sign a non closing reliever.?

4 years 7 months ago

He’s entitled to closer money, even if he’s not recording saves. Again, it would only be a rare situation that he wouldn’t be closing…

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Why would a team pay closer money to another player? …I’m of course talking about a team that already has an established closer.

4 years 7 months ago

If such team has the money to spend, then locking down the 8th & 9th innings would be assets most other teams do not possess.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Yes fine, but Soriano has no leverage. Especially as a type A.. he will not demand closer money and therefore will not get closer money!

4 years 7 months ago

Yup, he certainly doesn’t have leverage. Being a Type-A is a double-edge sword.

jakec77
4 years 7 months ago

Re: Soriano- well, duh. Unless it’s a one year deal, why would he care if it’s as a closer or a set up guy.

Re: DH’s- the real question becomes, which of those guys can potentially play the field enough to get jobs after the DH spots are all filled.

4 years 7 months ago

Who is even interested in Soriano at this point? Let alone willing to pay him half of what he thinks he’s worth. That narrows the list of potential suitors way down.

Dev0
4 years 7 months ago

I want a new job should I take the 1 for less money doing the same thing or the one with more money? I wonder if I took the one for more money if Olney would write a story about me…

Sammy_J_Dogg
4 years 7 months ago

Olney doesn’t begrudge Soriano his choice as here is his entire comment with the context that MLBTR left out:

” In other words, if some club was willing to pay him to be its bullpen catcher for $45 million over the next three years, Soriano would consider it; he is looking for a lucrative deal, which is absolutely his prerogative.”

davethenjmetsfan
4 years 7 months ago

Look at the DH’s available! This is why the NL should adopt the DH. Who may have to retire because there isn’t any room in the league for him? Of course, if the players could only do more than just hit….

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

So the argument for adding the DH is so that aged players that can no longer field a position don’t have to retire?

How about, the fact that pitchers are an automatic out, pitcher safety, overall game excitement…

guydavis
4 years 7 months ago

How about we get a DH for catchers and shortstops too, or while we’re at it go NFL and have one team for defense and one for offense… sure makes things more exciting.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

so because you take a sarcastic over exaggeration approach every one is supposed to some how agree with you?

The fact that you couldn’t mustard up any sort of decent response speaks volumes, either to your intellect or to the overall argument.

guydavis
4 years 7 months ago

No you don’t have to agree with me. My view is pretty simple: The pitcher is on the field, part of the team so should have to hit just like everyone else. I have as much enjoyment watching pitchers hit as DH’s so that argument falls on deaf ears. I’m really not that opposed to the DH rule, although I would rather it not be there. Either way I would like to see both leagues operating under the same rules, because it’s frankly bonkers that they don’t at the moment.

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

Can you please tell me which pitchers are as exciting to watch as most DH’s? 50% the time they strike out / make weak contact. 25% they bunt. 5% of the time they walk. And the remainder 20% is split between solid contact that falls for a hit or that results in an out.

If that is “exciting” baseball then you are watching the wrong teams.

guydavis
4 years 7 months ago

When my teams pitcher gets a hit/RBI/HR you better believe it’s more exciting than when your DH does. Obviously it’s not as often, which I’m fine with, the added strategy involved compensates for this. And yeah I do like the strategy that goes along with it (not saying AL has no strategy like some cos that is dumb, but I do think a pitcher hitting adds MORE strategy to the game, which I like).

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

so because you take a sarcastic over exaggeration approach every one is supposed to some how agree with you?

The fact that you couldn’t mustard up any sort of decent response speaks volumes, either to your intellect or to the overall argument.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

The NL should never adopt the DH. All that does it allow even more out of shape non-athletic people get by in a sport that most already view as the least athletic sport there is. With a DH you allow a hitter(dh) to not have to be able to field, run, or do anything more than walk to the plate and try to hit a 2 run homer. Pitchers should be able to at least lay down a sac bunt and be able to hit around .200. The DH takes one of the best things about baseball out of the game, strategy. The leagues are fine the way they are.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

because theres no strategy employed in the AL right???

give me a break, that argument is highly flawed considering most pitchers can’t field, run or do anything more then walk to the plate and try to lay down a sac bunt.

Especially in the post steroid era, where you find most DH’s give the team options to rotate, play the field etc. Your argument really doesn’t hold water any more

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

To each their own, I have been to many AL games, all everyone does is sit back and wait for the homerun. That’s not baseball to me. The NL does just fine without the DH and will continue to do so. There was a manager from an NL team a couple years ago talking about getting ready to manage against the AL (I believe in interleague play) and he even said something like” I guess all you have to do is pull your pitcher before he gives up a 3 run homerun” I can’t remember who it was though.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

could it maybe be because there is just plain and simple more powerful hitters in the AL compared to the NL… look at the power from the lineups like the Yankees, Red Sox, Jays, White Sox, Texas etc .. GM’s have to build their lineups like that to compete with the big boys in the AL. . doesn’t mean that no strategy is employed.

I think Mike Scioscia and Joe Maddon highly reject your statement

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

Yes, the only baseball is in the AL. We are all happy with the baseball that we watch. So why change it? People that grew up watching the AL think the NL is boring and needs the DH. People that grew up watching the NL love the strategic and small ball style and don’t feel a need for a change. That’s the way it will always be.

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

That’s not true either.. I grew up with NO DH and it was implemented long after that. The DH allows for older veterans to prolong their careers and adds more offense and gives a better challenge to pitchers, not an automatic out to the pitcher or “breather” as some may call it.

guydavis
4 years 7 months ago

What does pitchers not being able field have to do with it?

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

Pitchers on the field/running bases is good for injuries. Ask the NYY and Wang. Bucholz last year from Boston for -0- reason being out there at all.

If the NL teams insist on that pitchers at the teams nonsense and want inter league play, they can bat THEIR pitchers and the AL teams employ the DH like has been implemented since 1973 and they can continue with their foolishness.

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

Pitchers on the field/running bases is good for injuries. Ask the NYY and Wang. Bucholz last year from Boston for -0- reason being out there at all.

If the NL teams insist on that pitchers at the teams nonsense and want inter league play, they can bat THEIR pitchers and the AL teams employ the DH like has been implemented since 1973 and they can continue with their foolishness.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

The NL should never adopt the DH. All that does it allow even more out of shape non-athletic people get by in a sport that most already view as the least athletic sport there is. With a DH you allow a hitter(dh) to not have to be able to field, run, or do anything more than walk to the plate and try to hit a 2 run homer. Pitchers should be able to at least lay down a sac bunt and be able to hit around .200. The DH takes one of the best things about baseball out of the game, strategy. The leagues are fine the way they are.

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

“If the players could only do more than just hit… they would still be viable players and not Just DH’s

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

I really like watching pitchers come to the plate, pure athletes and all over the likes of Vlad Guerrero, David Ortiz, Jim Thome. it sure makes a game exciting when pitchers bunt with 1 out and a runner on 1st base doesn’t it, rather than try and actually knock the runner in?

national league baseball is sooo exciting having an automatic out in the batting order.

acerulli1
4 years 7 months ago

american league baseball is soooo exciting not having to think ahead, strategize, or even wake up to manage the game. there is BASEBALL for the enlightened mind, and then there is home run derby for those who have a distaste for thought, i.e., american league baseball.

“The designated hitter is like allowing someone else to take Wilt Chamberlain’s free throws.” – Rick Wise (for those whose sports knowledge does not pre-date 1995, you can substitute Shaquille O’Neal for Wilt Chamberlain and the premise remains the same)

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Your basketball comparison makes zero sense, like actually none.. Its absolutely idiotic

if you want a good comparison, its like having Peyton Manning lineup to return a punt.

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

he was trying to bring in the 1 season Wilt ‘the Stilt” was allowed to take off and slam dunk free throws from the line, but only 1 season, which ain’t near the same.

the DH has allowed many HOF’ers to continue their great careers, including the 1st few, like Orlando Cepeda who could hardly walk in ’73.

fact is pitchers for the most part reek at the plate and no denying it and managers that bat them 8th in the order are even funnier to watch.

BTW.. Why bring up Rick Wise? i vividly recall him from his Philly, cardinal and Boston days and really can’t think of anything zany regarding him, except the year he pitched really well for Boston and when he was traded for ‘lefty” Carlton who COULD hit.

4 years 7 months ago

Good lord, why not just discuss steroids? It’s just as boring as taking shots at each league….

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

shutty

4 years 7 months ago

Good lord, why not just discuss steroids? It’s just as boring as taking shots at each league….

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

Strategy?

It’s a close game. 7th inning. Pitcher is coming to bat.

Let’s see. You can either let him hit with a very low likelihood that he will contribute anything OR bring in a pinch hitter. If you bring in a pinch hitter you need to make a call to the bullpen and get someone warmed up.

Wow. That’s some intense strategy going on there.

Of course, this SAME situation occurs in the AL as well. Except instead of hitting for the pitcher you may hit for your SS/C, etc. It’s really not all that hard.

And don’t get me started on the super complex double switch that only Rhodes Scholars can somehow figure out.

For those that like the DH rule (me) we simply want the best hitters going against the best pitchers. If I wanted to see some pitcher flail away at the plate I would head down to my local batting cages for a good laugh.

The game is slower, less exciting, and more traditional. I get it that there are people who actually prefer this. And that’s fine. But let’s not make up silly excuses like the strategy is so much more complex in the NL.

acerulli1
4 years 7 months ago

american league baseball is soooo exciting not having to think ahead, strategize, or even wake up to manage the game. there is BASEBALL for the enlightened mind, and then there is home run derby for those who have a distaste for thought, i.e., american league baseball.

“The designated hitter is like allowing someone else to take Wilt Chamberlain’s free throws.” – Rick Wise (for those whose sports knowledge does not pre-date 1995, you can substitute Shaquille O’Neal for Wilt Chamberlain and the premise remains the same)

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

I really like watching pitchers come to the plate, pure athletes and all over the likes of Vlad Guerrero, David Ortiz, Jim Thome. it sure makes a game exciting when pitchers bunt with 1 out and a runner on 1st base doesn’t it, rather than try and actually knock the runner in?

national league baseball is sooo exciting having an automatic out in the batting order.

slider32
4 years 7 months ago

Boras has priced Soriano out of the market the way he did with Damon last year. Soriano will get signed when the price comes down. 3/45 million is too high for him. I can see him getting 2/16 from the Yanks or Angels.

slider32
4 years 7 months ago

Boras has priced Soriano out of the market the way he did with Damon last year. Soriano will get signed when the price comes down. 3/45 million is too high for him. I can see him getting 2/16 from the Yanks or Angels.

4 years 7 months ago

2 yr $16 is too low. he’d sign a 1yr $10 mil. deal before that. 3 yrs at $15 mil per is too much money as all the boras clients ask for; That’s mariano rivera type money the best closer ever. I’m thinking 3 yr $31.5 mil with a vesting opt. for a 4th yr. A team that can offer him a closers role will get him for that. Angels should sign him.

acerulli1
4 years 7 months ago

“Olney suggests that ‘if some club was willing to pay him to be its bullpen catcher for $45MM over the next three years, Soriano would consider it.’”

Isn’t Olney also the guy who, not that long ago, told a NY radio station that if the hosts offered Cliff Lee 1 dime more than anyone else to pitch for their American Legion team, he would take it? Perhaps Buster would be better suited backing off the superlatives.

Some people never learn.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

Maybe we should just get rid of the pitcher all together and use a pitching machine. Now that would be exciting heh?

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

Maybe we should just get rid of the pitcher all together and use a pitching machine. Now that would be exciting heh?

Sammy_J_Dogg
4 years 7 months ago

This strategy argument is tired and old. The strategy only applies when you have a pitcher hurling a gem while his offense isn’t scoring. The rest of the time, decisions to take pitchers out of NL games is no different than in AL games. I know, I know, nothing is more exciting than the double-switch, a move you never know took place until after the fact.
It’s more than just one automatic out. If you have two outs, you can essentially pitch around both the 7th and 8th hitters to get to the pitcher’s spot early in the game. Even late in the game, it’s not as though the bats coming off an NL bench are all that potent. NL line-ups are six batters deep and seven through the pitcher are a wasteland. One third of the game involves watching lightweights hit less than their weight. Boy oh boy is that great fun. I suppose it does make the game shorter though, so you got that going for you.