AL West Notes: Pujols, Wilson, Balfour, Kata

Between the Angels' big signings, the Rangers winning the Yu Darvish bidding, the Athletics' rebuilding, the Mariners' dabbling in the Prince Fielder derby and even the news that the Astros are coming in 2013, no division has generated more news than the AL West this offseason.  Here's the latest…

MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post

83 Responses to AL West Notes: Pujols, Wilson, Balfour, Kata Leave a Reply

  1. FreshMintt 4 years ago

    I’m really eager to see how Darvish will perform in the MLB if the Rangers do get a deal done, especially after the Dice-K fiasco.

    • Tired_OF_FakeRumors 4 years ago

      And dont forget that darvish is going to a hitters park and a hot weather in Texas. I bealive in his talent but the transition its gonna be a though  one.Different Language, culture, size of the baseball, pitchin against top competition every night. And all that with high expectation on a contending team REPLACING their staff ACE. And to top it all the owner of that team is one of the best pitchers ever.

      • FreshMintt 4 years ago

        Yeah it’s gonna be interesting to see if he can live up to all that’s already expected of him.

      • Shu13 4 years ago

        I see Nolan as being a plus to helping Yu adjust….

        • DickHarden 4 years ago

          If anyone help a young Japanese man get acclimated to the U.S. it’s an old Texan.

          • Shu13 4 years ago

            LOL….I gotcha on that but I was speaking from a pitching adjustment stand point….

    • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

      Pujols’ contract is backloaded??? Angels really screwed themselfs 6-10 years down the road.. they will be paying Albert possibly close to 35mm at age 41.. considering the bonuses and his backloaded contract. A 35 million dollar paycheck for one season as a DH. Great plan guys.

      • TimotheusATL 4 years ago

        you seem to be implying that pujols is a mortal. i am disappoint.

        • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

          You seem to not make any sense at all.

          • TimotheusATL 4 years ago

            if you assume i was being serious, then yes, you’re right.

  2. jack 4 years ago

    what about the Indians deal for Ubaldo? it’s gonna help the Indians contend

    • Uh, they were 1 1/2 games back when they traded for him, and they finished 15 games back.  He didn’t help them contend, unless you were being sarcastic

      And honestly, I don’t see them repeating that miracle first half again.  Their pythag was actually worse than the Royals.  The next time they contend will probably be with the pieces they get from a future Jimenez trade, assuming he doesn’t sh tthe bed again next season.

  3. joeybw 4 years ago

    Rays welcome Grant “The Aussie” Balfour back with open arms. He is a little expensive so I am sure the A’s haven’t put an untouchable tag on him.

    • Snoochies8 4 years ago

      probably not an untouchable tag, but yeah, it’ll be fairly high

      probably a solid B or a C+ plus some throw-ins for a full year, price may drop at the deadline

  4. 55saveslives 4 years ago

    What is the year by year breakdown? If it’s backloaded, how much will he make at the end?

    • MB923 4 years ago

      Cot’s doesn’t say year by year as of now. All it says is this:

      10 years/$254M (2012-21)signed by LA Angels as a free agent 12/8/1112:$12M, 13:$16Mfull no-trade protectionmilestone bonuses: $3M for 3,000 hits. $7M for 763 HRsdeal includes 10-year personal-services contract to begin once player contract expires

      • MB923 4 years ago

        Kind of odd that he gets a bonus at 763 when in all probability, barring a career ending injury, A-Rod will have that amount by the time Pujols nears there.

        • Shu13 4 years ago

          I wonder if there is a clause related to that(meaning he gets the bonus if he breaks the record….they can’t put a speculative number so they put the number that currently is the “record”….IMO it’s still 755 and 61 single season

          • FreshMintt 4 years ago

            Yeah that’s what I was thinking too, but I guess there is always the possibility that A-Rod doesn’t get there, though I bet he will.

          • Shu13 4 years ago

            A-Rod will need 6+yrs of 20per to break the record….he did only hit 16 this past season due to injury so IMO he isn’t the lock he was looking like but still has a legit shot….

            his HR/PA dropped from 1/19pa to 1/26pa this season…..he better hope that Kobe treatment works….

          • Whole_New_World 4 years ago

            Well, then I guess it doesn’t matter if A-Rod breaks the “record” because, it would still just be a “record”, right?

            (Slippery slope demonizing steroids…gotta pretty much throw out everything from ’95-’05.)

          • Shu13 4 years ago

            Well that is the question…the contract has been reported as a number 763 and not whatever the current HR record is….so IF A-Rod hits 800 does Albert still get the bonus for 763 or does he have to break the at that time record…I’m guessing that the bonus is only paid IF he becomes the HR leader(regardless of the count)…

      • 55saveslives 4 years ago

        Man, if he’s 40 and making 30+ mill  o.O

        • thebigbangdito 4 years ago

          ya.. but there is at least the angels are an AL team so he can dh and you wont have to worry about him being in the field.. **cough***howard**cough**

  5. NathanielFaunce 4 years ago

    The Rangers are building a dynasty.  They arguably have the best team in baseball.

    • Marktown 4 years ago

      You speak the truth. The best front office in baseball, best scouting top to bottom, a GM that listens to his scouts and follows a plan. In Daniels we trust. He put together a World Series team with a bankrupt franchise and got them back the following year. Rangers are in the best position to be the team of the teens. Good time to be a Rangers fan.

  6. NathanielFaunce 4 years ago

    Texas trading Frank Fransisco for Mike Napoli was the best trade of 2011.

    • thebigbangdito 4 years ago

      As an angel fan— i would sadly have to agree

    • Proof positive that AA is not a genius. If he was he’d have put Napoli at 1B or DH instead of giving E5 a job.

  7. OaklandFan22 4 years ago

    I bet the A’s could get a solid prospect or 2 for balfour.

  8. Snoochies8 4 years ago

    yeah, it’ll take a B prospect for balfour right now, teams will probably have to wait until the deadline, or should wait until the deadline, for the price to drop

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      The prices of relievers generally don’t drop at the deadline, because you have teams desperate for an upgrade. 

      Dotel for McDonald/Lambo, Pudge for Farnsworth, Ramos for Capps, anybody? 

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

           those are good points, however, farnsworth and capps had were under control for longer and were younger, and with dotel, the whole dynamic of being a type-A free agent has changed. Compensation was different, you could just have dotel for half a season and still get a draft pick for him, this year, you’d need balfour for a whole season to get any compensation for him.
            on the other hand, i know demand for relievers in the middle of a season is always there, i just think part of that demand for relievers was the compensation that came with it at the end of the year

  9. dose anyone know what teams have interest  in balfour

  10. melonis_rex 4 years ago

    Vernon Wells will make more than Pujols in 2012 and 2013 (and maybe even 2014). 9MM more in 2012. 

     I find that amusing. 

  11. Jbee 4 years ago

    Yeah, even though it happened in 2011, I find it ridiculous that the Pujols deal is the transaction of the year… one even knows how it will turn out, and that wins over the Cardinals trade, that everyone and their mother was calling stupid. You know, the trade that if it were not made they would not have made the playoffs? Yeah, that’s the transaction of the year in my book.

  12. DickHarden 4 years ago

    I hope Pujols prolapses big time.

  13. thebigbangdito 4 years ago

    oops (delete)

  14. thebigbangdito 4 years ago

    no…. interest is only in place for those who are getting years pay after the fact.. example: Manny and the dodgers.. he could get interest (if it was in contract) because they payed him for his services year(s) after he played with them

  15. Snoochies8 4 years ago

    i wonder if the new collective bargaining agreement (now eliminating giving up a draft spot for modified type A’s, which balfour would be next offseason) would give him reason to maybe get rid of that clause in his contract that says he can’t be offered arbitration if he’s a type A. If he’s willing to waive that clause, his value could go way up and since he needs to be on a team for a full season to qualify for compensation, if teams would be more interested in acquiring him before the season begins.

    that is…if he’s able to waive it, i dunno if that’s allowed or not

  16. slider32 4 years ago

    The Jays have dumped most of their relief pitching in the last 2 years, no wonder they finish 4th all the time.

    • Who from the Jays relief core those two years has been good beside Dotel and League? Francisco? Rauch? Frasor? Greggg? Purcey? Miller? Yeah, keeping those guys would have brought a ring back to Toronto.

  17. JonBoyd 4 years ago

    Matt Kata?! The baby-backs are making a comeback!

  18. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Not really when you take into account the deal the Angels got from FOX for the Pujols deal. The Angels seem poised to enter the same discussion as the Red Sox, yanks, and Phillies as baseball’s “evil empires”. Regardless, they’re a team to pay attention to for the next several years.

  19. Shu13 4 years ago

    Keep in mind the TV deal is not starting off big for the 1st few years….it grows in size ea year so his contract will be covered don’t worry about the Angels….Arte is fine….

  20. smt1 4 years ago

    You also have to consider inflation. At a 3% inflation rate, $30 mill 10 years from now is around $22.5 mill in today’s dollars.

  21. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    Wells off the books helps too 

  22. txrangers222 4 years ago

    texas tv deal is worth more than 1.6 billion its closer to 3 billion also in 2015 we get 180 million up front

  23. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    with the economy in its current shape, there is no guarantees of that rate of inflation.

  24. Red_Line_9 4 years ago

    Was the contract with or without interest.  That could offset inflation.

  25. The Rangers lost Wilson and are losing Hamilton, Adams, Napoli, Lewis, Lowe & Torrealba after this year, I think Kinsler too? 

    They better go hard this year, because their window is actually about to close. I wouldnt say any kind of dynasty is imminent, especially with the Angels getting the best player, who regardless of “true age” can definitely be counted on to destroy pitching for the next 3 years at least. The Angels pitching staff is absurd too. The Rangers do have a great farm and might be able to replace the talent thats leaving, but its relying on prospects to hit ceilings, not a given.

    I’d say the best teams in the AL are the Angels, Rangers, Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees and Rays, and none of them really stand out over the other. There is no clear best team in this league. Maybe if Texas sign Darvish, Fielder and Oswalt they can say that, but not as of now.

  26. Why would a non-contending team have an experienced and solid RP as a closer? They should trade Balfour to a contender because he’s kind of really good, and use Devine or FDLS as closer. 

    I don’t want to see anyone over 27 on the A’s team come August, that’s not the best way to rebuild. 

  27. Derek Florko 4 years ago

    What does it matter if they trade him in the division, the A’s aren’t trying to win anyway

  28. CJ Wilson’s WAR totals the last 2 years: 4.6, 5.9. 

    Not overrated. Bad players simply dont have those numbers. 

    Prince Fielder on the other hand, is overrated.

    Also Weaver-Haren-Wilson is the best front end SP in the AL. There is no one close. Pro-Rangers people are so shook by the Angels moves its hilarious.

  29. Ta-Kuan Fuan 3 years ago

    Check his road ERA for the past 2 years. Add in the fact that he’ll be pitching half his games in a pitcher’s park and you should only expect better numbers from hiim.

  30. WasianCU 4 years ago

    The money isn’t deferred so there is not interest.  It is simply back-loaded meaning his salary will be hire later.

  31. WasianCU 4 years ago

    Backloading the contract makes this deal look even better.  We already knew $254 mm for a guy was a ton of money and a huge risk.  With the backloaded contract, it actually reduces the overall cost because of inflation.  This also provides the Angels with payroll flexibility until some of these contracts come off the books and allows the annual value from their new TV deal to come increase.  Potentially, by the time he is making $30mm as a 40 year old the effects of the Angels and Pujols branding efforts have been seen and are making up for most of his salary.

    You may not agree on this deal being good or not, but to say this is looking worse because of this new information is simply false.

  32. It would suck if he didnt’ have a NTC b/c it would make it harder to move him w/o eating a bunch of $$ but since he does….what does it matter what year or part of the contract is loaded….as stated below this makes perfect sense since the TV deal isn’t in full effect for a couple more years….so they will be banking extra $$ early in his contract from marketing etc to cover teh later years….also allows player flexibility now when there are already fixed contracts to deal w/….

  33. txrangers222 4 years ago

    texas is already talking to napoli about an extension and lowe & torrealba are not that great also hamiliton can never stay healthy who would pay him 100 million dollars when he cant say healthy wilson is overrated. rangers talking to ian kinsler about extension lewis can be replaced so do your research before you comment.

  34. melonis_rex 4 years ago

    Check that massive TV deal the Rangers got last year. They can keep payroll high, which probably means extensions for at least some of those guys. 

  35. oz10 4 years ago

    We are in contract talks with Hamilton and Napoli. I agree with losing Adams next year and Lowe has not pitched all the way to his potential so I don’t think that is a huge loss as he can be replaced. Torrealba will not see as much playing time this year or the following years with Napoli (assuming we do sign a longterm deal). Kinsler has two more years left on his deal and they are looking to extend him now. Luckily if we lose Lewis, the FA market for starters next year is pretty good. We also still have a top 5 farm system and that gives us the ability to trade and to develop. I could see Perez in our bullpen sometime next year and a starting candidate in 13. 

    The goal for this offseason for the Rangers is to extend the core guys which includes Napoli, Kins and Hamilton. I really think that if they see that they will not be able to sign Hamilton they will make a late hard push for Fielder.

    And we don’t need Oswalt. He is injury prone at this point and we already have an excess of SP’s. Darvish (assuming he is signed), Holland, Harrison, Feliz, Ogando, Lewis, and Feldman. I think Ogando and Feldman end up back in the pen and an easy insurance policy if Darvish and/or Feliz don’t work. Of course a lot of this depends on our younger guys continuing their development at the rate they have over the last couple of years.

  36. Marktown 4 years ago

    What is this love you have for Oswalt? A mid-thirties pitcher with a bad back isn’t better than any of the options the Rangers already have.

  37. Jon Melton 3 years ago

    Wow pete hates the Rangers did they do something to your family or what, or just tired of them beating the A’s like a redheaded stepchild,  well its not stopping anytime soon and as for who we loose Jon Daniels is in complete control and has the faith of his rangers fans we arent going anywhere and neither are your A’s

  38. oz10 4 years ago

    I am not shaken by it. I have watched enough Ranger’s baseball to know that a lot of CJ’s success came from having a great left side to the infield. Andrus has a lot of range where Aybar is limited and Beltre is a vacuum cleaner over at third. Not saying it will be major or drastic but this will come into play on CJ.

    Also, this backloading of Albert’s contract to sign CJ makes no sense as CJ’s contract is backloaded, too. Between Weaver, CJ, and Pujols they will have 52 million in ’14, 56 million in ’15 and 60 million in ’16. That is more than a third of current budget for 3 players. Obviously the budget will grow a bit by this time but that is a lot of commitment to 3 players.

  39. Lanidrac 4 years ago

    No one is saying he isn’t good. He’s just not as good as people think he is and is being significantly overpaid.

  40. Jon Melton 3 years ago

    When this team shows any real offense outside the guy who will set the record for single walks in a season Puljos,  and maybe you should look at TB rotatio take theirs anyday over LA. All in all your A’s will also continue to suck and will be the AL west bit^^

  41. oz10 4 years ago

    Love the new reports that do have that deal back closer to the 3 billion total. As far as the 180 milion in 2015, I haven’t read that, not sayin you are wrong but do you have an article anywhere mentioning it? I thought we borrowed about that much from Fox when we signed the deal to help payoff a lot of the Hick’s debt and saving us 20 million per year in interest on the outstanding loans by paying them upfront.

  42. oz10 4 years ago

    Yes and no, you do need some veterans to show the young guys the ropes.

  43. Adam R 4 years ago

    Aybar is not limited… 

    Andrus has a 4.65 range factor per 9 innings
    Aybar has a 4.61. League average is 4.36

    Beltre had a 2.76. Callaspo had a 2.76. 3B league average was 2.62.

  44. oz10 4 years ago

    or you can go by UZR which has Aybar at a 1.2 to Andrus’s 7.0. Granted Aybar makes no errors but even the naked eye can tell you he doesn’t have the range. Beltre had 11.2 to 7.6. Range runs (RngR on fangraphs) which covers how many runs they save by the amount of ground they can cover has Beltre at Beltre at 10.4 and Callaspo at 5.7. Andrus led this category for shortstop with a 10.4 while Aybar was below average with a -4.0, fifth worst. So yes, Aybar has limited range.

  45. oz10 4 years ago

    and if you want a larger sample, here is the past 3 years: UZR/RngR

    Andrus 19.2 / 26.1
    Aybar 3.7 / -2.1

  46. oz10 4 years ago

    and if you want a larger sample, here is the past 3 years: UZR/RngR

    Andrus 19.2 / 26.1
    Aybar 3.7 / -2.1

  47. oz10 4 years ago

    Do you also know the formula for range factor? They only take into account put outs and assists, not the actual range. It is a pointless stat. All this stat says is that Aybar can make a lot of outs, not that he can get to balls in the hole. I remembered there was a reason I stopped refering to this stat but had to relook it up. If you prefer Baseball reference to fangraphs I would recommend using either the Rdrs (runs saved defensively above average) or Rdrs/yr which is the calculation for the year. And don’t think I am knocking Aybar. He is a solid SS who makes very few errors, he just doesn’t have a lot of range.

  48. Lanidrac 4 years ago

    Inflation, the TV deal, and the Pujols marketing won’t even be close to offsetting this kind of financial stupidity.  Plus, although your current contracts will be off the books, you’re going to want some new high price contracts to build around your 40-year-old superstar in order to do anything at that time. Bottom line, even with inflation and the expected increased revenue, there’s no way you’ll have the money to be able to build a winning team around Pujols in the later years of this contract.

  49. melonis_rex 3 years ago

    Fuentes isn’t going anywhere, sad to say. There’s your “veteran presence and experienced closer” in the A’s pen. Let him show Devine and FDLS the ropes and trade Balfour.

  50. oz10 3 years ago

    Congratulations! You won the award for not reading the post before that I was commenting on! The post before specifically that stated that there should be no one on the A’s over 27. Fuentes is over 27, way over 27. Most veterans that are neede to teach the younger guys are over 27.

  51. Ta-Kuan Fuan 3 years ago

    Current TV deal is roughly $50MM/yr. New TV deal will be around $150MM/yr. That extra $100MM could theoretically cover another team’s entire payroll.

  52. Jon Melton 3 years ago

    Pete is an A’s fanboy anything they do is Gold

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