Olney’s Latest: Brewers, Darvish, Ethier

In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney wrote about the plan Brewers GM Doug Melvin presented owner Mark Attanasio last fall. Melvin had found that trading Prince Fielder would not yield the kind of high-end pitching he sought, so he suggested that the club hold onto their star first baseman before he became a free agent and go all-in this year. Attanasio agreed with the strategy, and soon after came the Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke trades. One year later, Milwaukee has won the NL Central.

Here are the rest of Olney's rumors…

  • The Blue Jays are viewed as front-runners for Yu Darvish by some within the industry. A few days ago we heard that Darvish was still undecided about coming to MLB.
  • Those close to Andre Ethier believe there's no chance he'd re-sign with the Dodgers after the 2012 season. If true, Olney says it would make sense for the team to try to trade him offseason. You can make a case they'd be selling low though, Either had a down season by his standards (.292/.368/.421 with 11 homers) and finished the year on the disabled list due to knee surgery.

59 Responses to Olney’s Latest: Brewers, Darvish, Ethier Leave a Reply

  1. jenry mejia, kirk neiwunhaus, jefry marte for Eithier, get er done

    • $1529282 4 years ago

      What good would one year of Ethier do for the Mets and where would you play him? Outfield corners are set. Duda deserves a shot after the season he’s had. Plus Mejia had Tommy John.

      • Your right Duda deserves a chance, but if they did acquire Eithier, i can see them sitting bay and giving eithier a decent extension, because I dont see the mets keeping Reyes.

  2. Would make sense to shop Ethier around, but I can’t imagine them getting too much with his value fairly low. If they wait until the deadline, there will be teams desperate for a bat and willing to give up more at that point than in January. (i.e. Beltran for Wheeler)

    • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

      True story. Making a favorable trade of a player coming off an injury is a virtual impossibility. The Dodgers tried that with Martin and got nowhere. Even if what the story says about Ethier’s attitude towards the Dodgers is true, we have to know that he’s notoriously moody, so as a general rule it make sense to disregard rumors about his various utterances.

  3. I agree with Morneau, Duda does deserve a shot at getting 600 plate appearances, though his defense needs major work this offseason. Ethier would cause more headaches. Why would the Mets give up three cheap prospects for a player that will make 10 million next season. Expensive, knee problem players are Omar Minaya’s fetish, not Sandy’s.

  4. Go for it AA!!!

  5. NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

    AA better be ready to deal because the Yankees are going to go hard for this guy. 

    • I didn’t realize Brian Cashman was a member of MLBTR

    • Actually I’d say that Cashman better be ready to deal. If AA really wants a guy, he’s going to get him. All he has to do is say is that he wants to make a push for Yu and the money is going to be there from our billionaire owners. 

      • Matt Moore 4 years ago

        Do you understand that every team owner is a millionaire not just the Blue Jays?

        • Millionaires != Billionaires.  Rogers is the richest ownership group in baseball.

        • I’m not really talking about the wealth of the Blue Jays owners even though they are the richest in baseball. I’m talking about the fact that if AA wants to spend money on a player, ROGERS is going to be behind him 100%. And I’m beginning to be under the impression that he really wants to go after Yu.

        • johnsmith4 4 years ago


        • Gumby65 4 years ago

          That’s exactly the mindset that has gotten Frank McLeverege in trouble.  Of course, he COULD be an instant millionaire for life if he would just SELL….

    • chuckd84 4 years ago

      I’m a huge Yankees fan, but I don’t think they have a shot, simply because they don’t have a great rapport with Japanese players. They buried Kei Igawa (although his performance gave them no choice) and also let Matsui go. Darvish is already wealthy, so I don’t think money will be the biggest factor in where he chooses. I’d love to see him in pinstripes, but I don’t have high hopes.

      • Vmmercan 4 years ago

        I think that’s a completely fabricated opinion. There was no outrage (unless I missed it) over Matsui leaving from Japan facets. The Yankees took him, embraced him and he won with them. I don’t think any Japanese teams or players are holding a grudge over Igawa either.

        Do the Sox have an awful relationship now because Okajima was sent to the minors? That accusation sounds absurd.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        does darvish even get to choose, other than saying yes or no to the team with the winning bid?

        • Yes, he has to sign the contract.  The bidding process is for the rights to negotiate.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            other that saying yes or no to the team”

            if he says no, do negotiations begin with the next-highest bidder? i don’t think they do

          • they don’t. The posting fee is returned and the player goes back to playing in Japan.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            i tot so. that’s what i remembered from the botched negotiations the athletics had last offseason. i think he would get to be a regular free agent the following season in that case, but would he want to wait another year?

            actually, maybe he would. he has seemed pretty ambivalent about the whole MLB thing

          • Didn’t the A’s miss out on Hisanori Takahashi after winning the negotiation rights, only to have Taka go to Anaheim?  Or did that take place over two offseasons?

          • shockey12 4 years ago

            It was Hisashi Iwakuma last year. The A’s were wiling to pay him 5-10 million and he wanted a 100 million dollar contract. Aparently Iwakuma is planning on trying again this offseason.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            i believe this year he can negotiate with all teams as a regular free agent

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      If CC opts out I’m not convinced that the Yankees will be a huge player for Darvish; maybe they will, I mean they definitely could be if they wanted, but I’m just not convinced that they will be. 

      If CC opts out and they have to sign him to another huge contract I’d put my money on them going after someone more like a Hiroki Kuroda, or Edwin Jackson; or maybe trade for someone.

  6. ukJaysfan 4 years ago

    How can anyone be seen as a front runner?  It’s a sealed bid auction.  All we can be sure of (if he’s posted), is that one of 30 MLB teams will bid the highest with zero knowledge of what the other teams bid.  Then, only that team can deal with Darvish.  I’m a little lost as to why Toronto is seen as a front runner other than ‘AA never says anything, so lets throw Toronto in the mix to make a story’.

    • How can anyone be seen as a front runner?  It’s a sealed bid auction

      Darvish has to sign the contract too.  If the yankees win the auction but Darvish doesn’t want to sign with the Yankees, he doesn’t have to.  The auction is for negotiating rights.  If Darvish only wants to play for one team, it doesn’t matter what everyone else bids, it just might convolute the process and take a matter of weeks before the Jays bid become the highest after the teams who don’t sign him lose their neg rights.

      • Matt Moore 4 years ago

        Why dont they just do it like a regular f/a? It would be kinda crazy I guess.

        • because he’s a member of the NPL players union and needs to be posted to be freed from that contract, as per the rules of the league/union.

        • Joe L 4 years ago

          The Japanese players would love for it to be like regular FA and would argue that it SHOULD, and I’d agree with them.  They get “auctioned” off like they’re permanent property of the Japanese league to go to the “highest bidder.”  The very language used is gross.  Of course they can refuse to neg. with the highest bidder until they reach the team that they’d like to play for, but why must they go through that?  This is all because so many Japanese players would jump ship to the MLB for the $, but in my opinion, they should be able to choose where they want to play at any points in their career, and not have to become eligible to be “posted.”  

          • What about the contracts they have signed? Should they be able to just walk away from those?

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Not trying to be snippy here, but Japan is a very closed society in a lot of ways and different than ours.

            For example, look at courtesy even.. They bow when the pitcher hits the batter. Think it is impolite to boo. Many, many things are different there (or were when I was there decades ago) and one would have to see it 1st hand probably to understand.

      • es0terik 4 years ago

        If a team loses negotiation rights, the player isn’t posted back up or given to the next highest bidder. If he doesn’t sign with the highest bidder, he goes back to Japan.

    • Perhaps they are considered the front runners because they have a need, an interest, the available money, no other distracting contract issues, and perhaps a sense of how much they would be willing to pay to post him.

    • es0terik 4 years ago

      Front Runners as in, they will try the hardest to get him. There are
      probably 20 MLB teams that won’t even submit a bid, that means that
      those teams are obviously not front runners. The Yankees, Rangers and
      Jays are front runners in that, they are the most interested in getting
      him, and will probably submit the highest bids. Learn the terminology
      before you make an *** of yourself by incorrectly tearing it down.

  7. I would love for the Blue Jays to get Yu Darvish but I wouldn’t give him as much money as Dice-K got.  At maximum I’d do a 40 million posting fee and a 5 yr 75 million dollar deal which is 12.5 per.  However, I have never seen this guy pitch live so scouts a GMs obviously have a better gage on the salary he will get than I do

    • shockey12 4 years ago

      He’s basically I slightly more polished Japanese Brandon Morrow

    • That’s more money than Dice-K. They paid a $51M posting fee and signed him to a 6y/$52M deal for $103M total commitment. 
      You’re paying $115M for Darvish in your scenario. I think after the failures of Daisuke and Kei Igawa, posting fees will go way down and contracts probably will too. I’d expect the posting fee for Darvish to be in the $15M range and his contract would likely be 6yr/30 or so.

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        I think you’re likely way under on those numbers.  The posting fee will probably be 2-3 times that, and you do realize that your suggested 6/30 deal would only be 5Mil per year right?

        • they posting fees are so high, in part, because they are bidding silently against the other mlb teams. If you really want the guy, you might overpay to ensure you win the posting. A number of teams probably throw out a lower posting bid, just on the off chance all the other gms hope to steal away with a low bid. 

      • jb226 4 years ago

        I couldn’t find great sources, but it looks like Darvish made 330 million yen for the 2010 season, which comes to about $4.3MM.  I assume he made at least slightly more for 2011.  You think he’s going to give up the stardom he has in Japan and move across the world for less than $700k a year in an offseason where he would probably instantly become the best starting pitcher available (sans CC, at least)?  ‘Cause I don’t.

        I doubt $15MM for the posting fee too, though I agree it will probably be under Matsuzaka’s.  Three times less seems unrealistic though.

  8. BruinPirateAnteater 4 years ago

    Ethier doesnt want to be a Dodger, Micheal Young doesn’t want to be a Ranger and we need a 3B. Its simple: ship Ethier to TX for Micheal Young + some cash. Done! Let’s get it going!

    • It would bring Mike back home. He’s from West Covina, a suburb of LA.

    • Is that true about Young?  I thought he didn’t want to be a Ranger only until he realized that he was still going to get everyday playing time.

    • Matt Moore 4 years ago

      I dont think you know what you are talking about. Im not a Rangers or Dogers fan but I think Young is fine in texas and Eithier is like 100 years younger than Young anyways. Eithier is in his prime and Young is at the beginning of the end.

    • pretty sure that the Rangers definitely jump all over that. The dodgers could do better than that though.

    • ultimate913 4 years ago

      So you’re saying Young + cash would be worth the picks they’d obtain by offering arb after next year?

      I doubt that.

  9. diehardmets 4 years ago

    The whole bidding process for Japanese players is beyond dumb. A team like the Yankees could outbid the Blue Jays with no intention of signing Darvish, and then simply let him go back to Japan. It’s unfair to not only the teams with lower salaries, but also to the players coming over.

    • nietzschesass 4 years ago

      To make sure, that process was invented by the MLB, not the NPB.

      • diehardmets 4 years ago

        Yes it was. Not that it matters who created it, it’s still a terrible system.

    • Joey E 4 years ago

      look, i know the yankees have a lot of money, that would be a flat out waste. sure they’ve wasted money on guys like nick johnson,carl pavano, kei igawa, but this is a guaranteed waste

      • ultimate913 4 years ago

        The thing is, it wouldn’t be.

        If the player and the team who won the bid don’t agree on a contract, that teams gets the money back. So it’s like nothing happened. Which is why it isn’t fair to other teams who are very serious about signing that player.

        • Joshua 4 years ago

          Not true. If the team negotiates I’m bad faith, the 2nd highest bid can be accepted

      • diehardmets 4 years ago

        The team who makes the winning bid gets the posting fee back if the player doesn’t sign. At no net loss to themselves, they just prevented a possible ace from joining their competition.

    • ukJaysfan 4 years ago

      While it’s true that *could* happen, if MLB or the MLBPA got an idea that a team did that, there would be hell to pay.

  10. ramjamrock 4 years ago

    I know that trades between the Giants and Dodgers aren’t very common, but what about a J. Sanchez / Ethier swap? Both are free agents after next year, and are coming off down/injury years. I don’t know if the Dodgers have any pitching prospects knocking on the door, so I don’t know if they’ll be looking for a starter next year. I thought I heard that Kuroda wanted to return to Japan.

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