Stark On Clemens, Dodgers, Red Sox, Mauer

In his latest column,'s Jayson Stark writes that Astros players have told their friends on other teams that they already think Roger Clemens' arrival in Houston is a done deal.  An old friend of Clemens himself also told Stark that he is convinced The Rocket is gearing up for a big league comeback.  Here's more from Stark..

  • The Dodgers have $181.3MM committed to 17 players for next season, putting them at $3.3MM over the $178MM tax threshold. However, team president Stan Kasten says that he isn't terribly concerned about it.  "I don't know. It's not something we've focused on yet," he said. "To us, that's a secondary issue. First, we want to put the best team on the field now and worry about other things later. We're not focusing on that yet."  In the long term, Dodgers' brass wants to lean heavily on scouting and player development with a payroll close to what other teams in "similar markets" have, according to Kasten.
  • The Red Sox are giving agents and other teams the vibe that they aren't in a rush to spend just because of their new found payroll space.  People who have talked with Boston predict that they're more likely to make creative moves this offseason rather than eat an undesirable contract like that of a Joe Mauer or Cliff Lee.
  • Speaking of Mauer one exec that checked in on him says trade talk surrounding the catcher lately is "garbage."  As for Lee, Stark writes that he is also likely to stay as the Phillies made it clear earlier this year that they have no interest in moving him.
  • Stark asked an AL scout and an NL scout about their thoughts on Dan Haren, who will be a free agent after the Angels buy out his final option year.  Both said that while there are concerns about his velocity and his all-around stuff, he could be an intriguing one-year pickup at the right price. 
  • The scouts were also asked about Jeremy Guthrie and neither scout was terribly high on him.  The NL scout pointed out his high volume of mistakes over the plate but said that he would install him in the back of a rotation on a one-year deal.  The AL scout on the other hand said he would rather take his chances with Daisuke Matsuzaka or Haren.

35 Responses to Stark On Clemens, Dodgers, Red Sox, Mauer Leave a Reply

  1. GMwannabe 3 years ago

    Haren is a guy I’d love for the Sox to take a chance on if the deal is reasonable. The guy was dominant as recent as last season..

    • WasianCU 3 years ago

      He still shows flashes of dominance this season. I think a lot of teams would be interested in a one year deal for him but I don’t think the Angels decline the option anyway so the point is moot.

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

        Eh, at this point I don’t think Haren is worth $12M unless it’s on an incentive deal.

        • Johnny JÅime 3 years ago

          He was hurt for a portion of the season, Halos are picking up the option.

      • GMwannabe 3 years ago

        the option is 15 mil isnt it? thats pretty pricey after the performance this season, even for the Angels. I suppose it depends whether or not they try to re-sign Greinkie

  2. bigpat 3 years ago

    Guthrie was just fine everywhere except for that joke of a ballpark in Colorado. He’s nothing special but is someone you should be able to plug into your rotation and not really have to worry about it. He’s sadly the Royals best pitcher.

  3. ugotrpk3113 3 years ago

    I’m so happy that the Sox figured out it was time to smarten up and think about the direction of the team. I hope they PROVE they mean it by avoiding Hamilton and Greinke, getting rid of Valentine, and building the farm up.

  4. sdsuphilip 3 years ago

    But hey the Dodgers fans said they don’t have a spending limit? Looks like they do, big shocker there

    • rainyperez 3 years ago

      It’s obvious what they were trying to do this season which was win now.

      Yes, they are set up for the future but nobody likes to lose money even if you’re rich. If these investments don’t pan out and the Dodgers aren’t a playoff contender year in and year out the spending won’t be as extravagant as this season.

  5. tomymogo 3 years ago

    If Dodgers don’t make the playoffs then they’ll regret all those deals. I know as a fan we normally focus on short term, but I like to think about the business side of things and I like Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez, but the other guys are gonna prevent them from making moves. They don’t “need” anything this offseason, but they will at some point over the next 5 years, and team owners want to see some return on investment by then

    • Robb Logan 3 years ago

      What these moves did was buy the Dodgers 5 years to rebuild a pretty thin farm system while staying at the very minimal a very competitive team in the NL West in that span. This is what Kasten is a master at, the farm system but he knew he would have to also field an above average ball club so if that means swallowing some cash for a few years Guggenheim partners were willing to do it to get Kasten and company on the right path.

      • tomymogo 3 years ago

        Why was it a weak farm system? They really haven’t won last few years, which means they got high draft picks, unless they pulled a Houston and didn’t sign them, and they hadn’t really traded a lot of guys until now.

        Adrian Gonzalez is a big pickup, and definitely an upgrade over Loney, but is he worth about 55 million a year, because acquiring Crawford and Beckett is the real problem. Maybe a move to the NL benefits both guys who knows

        • BlueSkyLA
          BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

          The Dodgers won the NLDS in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 and 2011 they were break-even, so they got middling picks for those two recent seasons only. The Dodgers were once renowned for their scouting operations and their baseball camps in places like the DR. All of that dried up and blew away under the Fox and McCourt ownerships. It’s going to take time to get it back.

      • Well they certainly have a lot of work to do after trading away Eovaldi, de la Rosa and Webster

        • thegrayrace 3 years ago

          Plus Martin and Lindblom. They were pretty highly regarded, too.

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

        I think this is the plan alright, but we all have to worry about it working out. Right at the moment this team is agonizingly bad, falling to some of the worst teams in baseball while showing virtually no fight at all. And we know we are stuck with this core of players for the next few years, whether they can turn themselves into a winning team or not. On paper, this lineup is a dream team. On grass, they are a nightmare.

  6. I’m not sure Mauer is exactly an undesirable contract. He still has an OBP over 400 and had a relatively weak lineup around him this year.

    • A lot of Mauer’s perceived value is his position. At catcher, he is an MVP candidate with his production. But the decreased likelihood of him being able to stay at catcher long term makes him much less valuable. At first base or DH his production is easier to replace.

    • ugotrpk3113 3 years ago

      20+ million dollars for a 300/400 and minimal power 1B/C isn’t exactly desirable. You can find players around that that make 10-15 million less.

  7. MarinersRoyalsBraves2014 3 years ago

    How bout Carlos Villanueva, Doing great. UFA

  8. tomymogo 3 years ago

    If I’m Boston, I would be interested in Cliff Lee. In free agency, Cody Ross, Big Papi, Nick Swisher, Edwin Jackson, and Stephen Drew

    All of the sudden Red Sox are contenders again.
    CF Jacoby Ellsberry
    2B Dustin Pedroia
    1B Nick Swisher
    DH David Ortiz
    3B Will Middlebrooks
    RF Cody Ross
    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    SS Stephen Drew
    LF Daniel Nava

    Cliff Lee
    Jon Lester
    Edwin Jackson
    Clay Bucholtz
    Felix Doubront

    • Nava over Kalish?

    • Or Swisher in LF and Loney at 1b?

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

        No Loney. For heavens sake, no to Loney. I’d rather Gomez over Loney.

        • thegrayrace 3 years ago

          Hahaha. As a Dodger fan, I’m relieved that’s now someone else’s problem. Granted, Crawford and Beckett may prove to be huge issues for us in the long-term, but I can’t even begin to explain how much I tired of debating the usefulness (lack thereof, really) of James Loney over the past 4 years.

          • dthcm 3 years ago

            Crawford should do well in LA. He never got comfortable in Boston. Beckett who knows?

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          Agree on Loney.. Unless they want him as some kind of backup at minimal amount? I would rather see carlos pena, even Casey kotchman over Loney.

          As for that ESPN article.. Would be willing to see Guthrie in Boston as a SP.. not sure why he had issues in the NL, but he seems to be back to his old self and not buying the “too much over the plate” argument his story suggests.. he has always had that problem to a degree. Would rather have him than Matsuzaka by a long shot and Haren, especially when haren is going to be looking for north of 10m. Guthrie has AL east success and still throws mid 90’s, with a nasty sinking FB.. I’d take him as a back end SP. He is better than Doubront, just older.

    • crashcameron 3 years ago

      who are you proposing that gets the Phillies interested enough now to trade Lee? before the Dodger thing went down i was envisioning some kind of money swap between Sox and Phils, something built around a Crawford for Lee $$$$-deal

    • sherrilltradedooverexperience 3 years ago

      No, not really.

  9. sherrilltradedooverexperience 3 years ago

    i just hope the dodgers don’t overdo the doling out of huge contracts and end up looking like the Mets usually do in the Bonilla years and presently.

  10. thegrayrace 3 years ago

    Swisher will take the best offer he can find. With Hamilton, Bourn, Victorino, Upton, Ross, etc. also available free agents, he can want $100m, or $1b, but he’s not going to get it.

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