Quick Hits: McCutchen, Upton, Cameron

15 years ago today, the Mariners' acquisition of third baseman Dave Hollins was completed when they sent a 20-year-old first baseman named David Ortiz Arias to the Twins.  Arias had just hit .322/.390/.511 for the Low-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.  By the following year Ortiz had dropped the Arias in his name and earned a September call-up.  Ortiz posted a .266/.348/.461 line in 455 games spanning 1997-2002 with Minnesota, battling wrist and knee injuries.  After the '02 season the Blue Jays reportedly expressed interest in Ortiz, but ultimately the Twins non-tendered him in lieu of a raise from his $950K salary.  New Red Sox GM Theo Epstein signed Big Papi for $1.25MM, and the rest is history.  Today's links…

  • The Pirates are far apart in contract talks with Andrew McCutchen, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden.  Bowden feels that a six-year deal in the $47-49MM range, plus a club option, would be a fair compromise.  In my opinion, there's a good case to be made for a McCutchen contract to exceed the $51.25MM Justin Upton received over six years in March of 2010.  McCutchen has played in over 100 more games than Upton had at that point, their offensive lines are very similar, and McCutchen plays center field.
  • ESPN's Keith Law discusses MLB's European presence and what must be done for further growth.
  • Answering a question from Craig Heist of WTOP about playing in Washington, Rays center fielder B.J. Upton said he'd love to remain in Tampa Bay but otherwise would like to play for the Nationals with old friend Ryan Zimmerman.  You can follow Craig on Twitter here; MLB.com's Bill Ladson transcribed the discussion.  Upton is heading into his last arbitration year and projects for a $7MM salary.
  • MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo names 20 young, next generation GM candidates.  To check out MLBTR's top 20 plus honorable mentions, click here.
  • Mike Cameron was consistently one of the best players in baseball when he was on the field, writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs.
  • The Orioles will try Chris Davis at third base for the rest of the season, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.  The 25-year-old was a key piece of the July 30th Koji Uehara trade with Texas.  With Mark Reynolds getting comfortable at first base, it's conceivable that the Orioles will sit out the corner infielder bidding this winter.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports chronicles how Joey Gathright went from being managed by Jose Canseco as a member of the independent league Yuma Scorpions to a minor league deal with the Red Sox.

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10 Comments on "Quick Hits: McCutchen, Upton, Cameron"

3 years 11 months ago

The Rays are coming!

John Franco
3 years 11 months ago

If the Pirates are really going to buy out Cutch’s 3 arb years and sign him for 2 years of free agency, that’s going to cost them a lot more than 50mil.

3 years 11 months ago

McCutchen is gonna require at least $18MM per free agent year (yes, this is what baseball has come to- even I am shocked) and I imagine he’d need at least $21MM minimum for the 3 years of arbitration- probably closer to $30MM. By my calculations the minimum they could lock him up for would be 5 years/$75MM and the real number will be closer to $85MM. That’s WAY more than $50MM. This is the club that gave Jason Kendall, an ultra-light hitting 2nd rate defensive catcher 6 years/$60MM. Time to man up, Pittsburgh and give McCutchen something he can sign and respect himself for in the morning.

John Franco
3 years 11 months ago

Your numbers look more like mine. I’ve got something like 5/65 (1 year of FA) or 6/82 (2 years of FA).

3 years 11 months ago

Worst comparison ever. Especially considering the fact that Jason Kendall certainly was not an “ultra-light hitting 2nd rate defensive catcher” when the Pirates gave him that 6/$60MM extension.

From 1996 through 2000, Kendall averaged a .314/.402/.456 line. That’s good for an .858 OPS. Add in 30 doubles and 19 stolen bases per year, and the nine homers per year are just icing on the cake. And, sure, his defense was never top of the line, but until he got old, he was a solid defensive catcher with a good arm and great game calling abilities.

Jason Kendall was basically Joe Mauer before Joe Mauer came along. Sure, Kendall fell apart a few years after he signed that big deal, but you can’t really blame the Pirates, considering how good he was before big money.

3 years 11 months ago

It was the exploding ankle that made Kendall not worth the paper his contract was printed on. He was never the same after that and the decline in his attitude increased with the ddecline in his play. 

3 years 11 months ago

“…give McCutchen something he can sign and respect himself for in the morning.”

Yeah, because $50MM +/- isn’t worth getting out of bed for.


Also, as pointed out by others, you are waaayyy off regarding Kendall (who also got screwed out of ROY by Todd Hollandsworth. Todd Hollandsworth? Gah.)…

3 years 11 months ago

I’d much rather see Rizzo go after Span again then Upton

3 years 11 months ago

mccutchen should not sign anything with pittsburgh go to arb every year untill free agency then leave when he can for big money

3 years 11 months ago

“The Orioles have had a desperate need for a top shelf corner infielder since Rafael Palmeiro left for less money in Texas after the 1998 season. That was 13 years ago, and the Orioles haven’t even tried to sign such a player since then.”

You forgot about their attempt in signing “hometown” boy Mark Teixeira a couple of years ago. So while Lee and Wigginton certainly do not count, Teix definitely does. With who is available this winter, Pujols seems like a longshot and Fielder is, let’s face it, a DH-in-waiting. Not to mention those guys are going to require a $100million contract, which the Orioles won’t do considering their cheap*** owner.

Sounds to me like you have a huge problem with the Orioles. You’re kind of pointing fingers in the wrong area. If anything, blame their owner. He’s such a bad owner that I can’t even remember his name (I lied. You can’t forget an owner as terrible as Angelos.) No matter who they make their GM, they’re never gonna be good unless Angelos decides to let actual people who know about baseball run his team, rather than someone who thinks he knows baseball. A GM can’t do anything if your owner doesn’t give you free reign. It’s not like they were run that poorly when McPhail became GM. He made some good trades and great drafts, so I wouldn’t really call the organization a classless joke. Just their owner. Just sayin.