AL Central Links: Volstad, Masterson, Indians, ChiSox

As the World Series shifts to Comerica Park for tomorrow's Game Three, here's the latest from around the AL Central….

  • The Royals' waiver claim pickup of Chris Volstad could be a sign of how the team plans to take a low-cost approach to upgrading its pitching staff, writes Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.  Royals GM Dayton Moore said free agents "won’t be a long-term answer for us” because the club hopes to have homegrown pitching prospects in the rotation by 2014.  “We’ve got to look internally,” Moore said. “We’ve got to look through trades. We’ve got to look, certainly, through free agency…we might be able to pick off a player or two, but we’re not going to build our team through free agency. It won’t work.”
  • Given the Indians' need for pitching and the cost of acquiring new starters, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian believes the team won't deal starter Justin Masterson (Twitter link).  The groundball specialist has been rumored to be on the trade market following a disappointing 2012 season.
  • Travis Hafner's $13MM team option for 2013 is a sure bet to be bought out by the Indians, tweets Bastian, while the Tribe will likely also decline Roberto Hernandez's $6MM club option.  Ubaldo Jimenez's $5.75MM club option for next season is "expected" to be picked up.  Bastian thinks it's "hard to believe" that the Indians would re-sign the injury-plagued Grady Sizemore as a free agent. 
  • The White Sox face four difficult option decisions on Jake Peavy, Kevin Youkilis, Gavin Floyd and Brett Myers, writes Paul Swydan for ESPN (Insider subscription required).  Swydan opines that Floyd is a more proven rotation candidate than Myers and "if only one option of the two is picked up, it should be Floyd's," while Youkilis could be a good candidate to be retained given Chicago's lack of depth at third base.  Peavy's $22MM option "is difficult to justify" given his injury history, though Swydan notes that Peavy provided close to $20MM worth of value during his healthy 2012 season.
  • In other White Sox news, Hahn discussed Peavy's option and more in his introductory press conference as the club's new general manager.


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22 Comments on "AL Central Links: Volstad, Masterson, Indians, ChiSox"


2 years 10 months ago

Those are not difficult option decisions. Buy them all out. Floyd won’t even cost you money, let him walk.

Michael Kenny Jr.
2 years 10 months ago

So you’ve got Sale, Danks, and Quintana. Now how do you finish the rotation? Who do you put at third?

jwsox
2 years 10 months ago

Santiago and axelrod or go after haren

slidingintobase
2 years 10 months ago

they are certain to pick up Floyd – assuming they consider him healthy – and decline the others

Michael Kenny Jr.
2 years 10 months ago

Peavy’s salary on the option would essentially be $18M, since the $4M buyout is a sunk cost. Still, I’d prefer to try to see him signed to a longer, lower AAV contract (3/40 or so?).

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
2 years 10 months ago

I’d be shocked if it took that little to sign Peavy. Peavy is 31 so this is likely to be his last chance for a long term contract so think at least 5 years with an option tacked on. Add to that the way things stand Peavy is second to Grienke on the FA market so $18M a year seems more likely than only $13M a year.

Sox
2 years 10 months ago

No one is going to give Peavy a 5 year deal.

Michael Kenny Jr.
2 years 10 months ago

You can’t take Peavy’s 2012 campaign into account without factoring in 2009-2011. He’s been injured so often that he’s still a risk. That’s why his leverage falls. You’re right that he is probably the second most talented pitcher on the market, but given his inability to stay healthy, there’s no way he gets a five-year deal; even four is a stretch. Maybe he goes for three years with a mutual option.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
2 years 10 months ago

“You can’t take Peavy’s 2012 campaign into account without factoring in 2009-2011.”

Why not? I’ve constantly seen players who have been entirely average during their careers being paid more than they are worth based on their most recent season or even their most recent postseason performance. The truth is with a great deal of GMs their short term memory is the key.

Flharfh
2 years 10 months ago

Plus they could decline the option and make him a qualifying offer, meaning one of three things: that either he accepts and the Sox save money on a one year deal, he leaves and they get a draft pick, or they resign him to a multiyear deal.

Exercising the option is the worst thing they could do, in my opinion.

Peter Dell'Olio
2 years 10 months ago

The Royals should make a move for Tim Lincecum.

$6592481
2 years 10 months ago

I imagine the Giants asking price will be too high (especially considering the year he just had), and KC would never pay what his current contract requires. The salary is simply too high for the Royals.

diehardmets
2 years 10 months ago

Can the Mets PLEASE sign Sizemore? He wouldn’t cost that much and is better than the crap they run out in LF/RF now if he’s healthy.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
2 years 10 months ago

Except Grady didn’t step on a baseball field last year. And he barely stepped on one the year before. Would an empty out field serve the Mets better?

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
2 years 10 months ago

It’s strange, I could have sworn the Royals owner Glass said he was willing to spend. Dayton Moore today picks up a pitcher like Volstad. Which is it spend, spend, spend or save, save, save? Volstad, Guthrie, Chen, and Hochevar in the same rotation if that is indeed what happens, now that should be interesting. I am sure Royal fans are lining up for 2013 season tickets as I type this in anticipation of these four aces breaking thru in 2013.

Also, Peavy provided close to $20MM worth of value during his healthy 2012 season. What? Peavy had a nice streak going during the middle of the 2012 season, but to say that was worth 20 million?!? I guess the value of 20 million isn’t what it used to be.

johnsilver
2 years 10 months ago

Hard to see any rationale for picking up any of those options.. None make sense..

Just to make a point.. 13m next year would be the most Youk would have ever made, yet his 2012 season was also the worst he ever had by far and he’s not even a league average defensive 3b anymore, plus somewhat injury prone.. Mark Reynolds 13m option makes more sense even.

jwsox
2 years 10 months ago

They also will probably look to trade Thornton and non tender Humber, they will likely let aj walk unless he takes a big pay cut, but this is likely his last contract so he will look to get paid. So decline all the options, non tender Humber let aj walk, trade Thornton this could bring the savings for the whitesox close to 40million factor raises and arb guys, a total saving of 30 million. The sox want a 97mill payroll which is what they were at this year. 30 million to play with in free agency is nice. They could go after haren or heck even greinke and sign a random vet to play third or dare I say it trade for arod.

johnsilver
2 years 10 months ago

probably wouldn’t hurt and talk to Youk about coming back.. mybe 2/13m. Just 13m for 1 year is too much and He really, really can’t take the pounding at 3b over a long season any longer and play the position 6-7 days a week, they need someone to handle it at least a couple days a week so he can sit, or DH/1b.

will
2 years 10 months ago

so, the Indians save roughly 20-24 mil just by not bringing Hafner (13) Hernandez (6) and Sizemore (5) back…. Doubt they will spend anywhere close to that on a power hitting OF, 1B or a front line (even 2nd tier) pitcher….. For that kind of money (not counting close to another 5 mil Hanahan and others make) and we could really get a nice player or 2 to make us contenders since we were early in season each of last 2 years then faltered.

The owners won’t do that tho…

NorCalTribeFan
2 years 10 months ago

WHAT power hitting first baseman? WHAT front line pitcher? The best free agent first baseman available is probably Carlos Lee. He is far from a sure thing. We could buy David Ortiz away from the Red Sox, I suppose….but that would cost $15 million or so for multiple years. There are good pitchers available, but a front line guy would cost us 20 million a year for five years at least, and IT WOULDN’T GET US TO THE PLAYOFFS. We are more than one player away. Raises and two of the players you are talking about would cost us $40 million or more per year for several years, and here’s the thing: the failure rate on contracts like that is huge. Dolan could lose tens of millions per year for years to come. I’m not a big fan of his, either, but he is not stupid.

The Cleveland market cannot support spending like that. The Indians have few good choices this year.

Time to blow it up.

$6592481
2 years 10 months ago

There isn’t much for them to use to blow up. The team could be worse, but not by much. If they trade anyone now (not named Choo, Kipnis, or Cabrera) they would be selling low and get not much in return. Kipnis is the kind of player a rebuilding team wants to keep. Trade away Perez, Choo (he definitely should go since he will not resign with the Indians), and Cabrera (I would hate to see him go, but he’s one of the few trade chips we have). They need to get some promising prospects in return, and most importantly they need to draft better. In five years they went from having one of the best farm systems in baseball to one of the worst. They are a long way from contention, but blowing it up won’t help simply because they don’t really have anything worth blowing up. Sad but true.

Oh yeah, and Antonetti needs to go.

NorCalTribeFan
2 years 10 months ago

I think they could get some useful, young players for Choo and Perez. Eventually, I think Cabrera has to go, too. For that matter, if Masterson is pitching well next year, he could definitely get something. The point is that they need to set things up for the wave of decent players who were in A ball this year. They really don’t have much in AA or AAA.