AL Notes: Rays, Garza, Ibanez, Astros

On this date in 1980, the Yankees made Dave Winfield the highest-paid athlete in all of sports with a ten-year, $16MM contract. In the intervening four decades, a ten-year MLB contract is now worth something in the neighborhood of $240MM (Robinson Cano and Albert Pujols) to $275MM (Alex Rodriguez). Meanwhile, $16MM will only buy you one year of Hiroki Kuroda or two years of Marlon Byrd this offseason, per MLBTR's Transaction Tracker. As you rush out and buy your child a bat, a glove, and every baseball instructional video ever made, here's today's American League news and notes:

  • The Rays feel justified in giving James Loney the most lucrative free agent contract during Andrew Friedman's tenure, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays value Loney's defense, quality at-bats, clubhouse presence, and his left-handed bat which balances a predominantly right-handed lineup.
  • Also from Topkin's article, the Rays will now turn their attention to adding bench and bullpen pieces with catcher Jose Lobaton and outfielder Matt Joyce as possible trade chips.
  • The market for Matt Garza is strong because of his 2013 season, AL East pedigree, and not being attached to draft pick compensation, tweets's Jon Heyman.
  • The Angels believe they can sign both Garza and Raul Ibanez and still fall below the $189MM luxury tax threshold, writes's Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal notes the Angels' interest in Ibanez stems from his career slash line of .349/.407/.522 in 327 plate appearances at Angel Stadium.
  • Also from Rosenthal, the Astros are still in the market for a first baseman and could turn to the Nationals' Tyler Moore.
  • Despite the signing of Joba Chamberlain, the Tigers' preference is to have Bruce Rondon set up closer Joe Nathan, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.
  • The Royals are to be commended not just for signing Omar Infante away from the Yankees, but also strengthening their ballclub immediately at a reasonable cost, opines Fangraphs' Jeff Sullivan.

45 Responses to AL Notes: Rays, Garza, Ibanez, Astros Leave a Reply

  1. Tony Matias 2 years ago

    Talk about inflation. Sheesh!

    • Drew Brees 2 years ago

      Yeah as a Mariner fan, you know all about inflation with the Cano signing your team made.

  2. jjs91 2 years ago

    “The Royals are to be commended not just for signing Omar Infante away from the Yankees, but also strengthening their ballclub immediately”. That seems like a rather weird topic, i would hope the second is what they were focusing on.

  3. bhauck 2 years ago

    Revenue growth has outpaced salary growth for decades, and between that 1980 contract and now was the $100m+ collusion of the mid-80s, but sure, let’s always talk about how much the players make and never about how much the owners make.

    • Wek 2 years ago

      Are you going to demand a 1000% salary increase because your company is raking billions in revenue?

      • Kirk Edward Gerwin 2 years ago

        how many people do you see walking around the streets with a replica of your work shirt with your name on the back of it?

        • Wek 2 years ago

          I dont get your point. Mind elaborating a bit more?

          • Sid Slid 2 years ago

            Well, the fact of your point about some nebulous “company” being completely non-analogous to the discussion should tell you something. Does “your company” have a governmentally-sanctioned monopoly? Does “your company” expect you to be its public face to cover for all the nefarious shenanigans they pull when they think either no one is looking or no one can do anything to stop them? Does “your company” get to choose when, where, and how to use you, up to and including the possibility of a career-ending injury? I’m going to go ahead and guess that “your” company’s fortunes aren’t anywhere near as tied to your performance as are those of any MLB team are on their players’. Further, no MLB team currently in existence assumes the risk that any other American company does. Player gets injured? Insurance will pay tens of millions, or more if necessary. Need a new stadium? There’s any number of municipalities with bureaucrats willing to shake hands under the table and look the other way, just for the thrill of being involved.

      • NickinIthaca 2 years ago

        Yes…. yes you should. The growing discrepancy between employee and executive pay is one of the reasons the economy is where it is today. But that is a conversation for a different day and a different discussion board…

        • Wek 2 years ago

          You could try but we all know what will happen if you do.

        • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

          All true. And bad management plays into that as well. I’ve worked for some if the top retailers and I gave yet to see management that is good enough to carry a company through hard times like this.

      • LazerTown 2 years ago

        Is all about supply and demand. Very few people in the world can do what Miggy can do, so he will get paid. Is no different than the top entertainers.

      • LHomonacionale 2 years ago

        Yes, you should. In an ideal world the increase in revenue would be an automatic increase in salary for the players because the players would own the teams.

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        It depends in what industry you’re talking about. You can’t even begin to compare the sports industry with any other industry besides entertainment.

  4. Taylor Hope 2 years ago

    “Rosenthal notes the Angels’ interest in Ibanez stems from his career slash line of .349/.407/.522 in 327 plate appearances at Angel Stadium.”

    Great logic, Angels. ‘Cause he’ll be facing the same pitching he hit off of.

    • matt luce 2 years ago

      Uh Ya pretty much will

      • Taylor Hope 2 years ago

        He’s going to be facing his own pitching staff? Oh.

    • Mystery Man 2 years ago

      Santana is not with the Angels anymore

      • Taylor Hope 2 years ago

        And your point is…? So, potentially one pitcher that he’s batted against. What if Santana goes to the NL? Then what?

    • bjsguess 2 years ago

      This just doesn’t make any sense. What does Raul Ibanez hitting in the mid 90’s in Angel Stadium have anything to do with what Raul Ibanez the 40+ year old will do in Angel Stadium in 2014? This rationale is defies all logic.

      • Tko11 2 years ago

        Same thing when I see people reference teams postseason records like it really matters that the Sox are 12-5 in games 7s (made that up).

      • Taylor Hope 2 years ago

        Can’t tell if sarcasm or agreeing with me but I see Raul putting up overall slash of around .100 points below that next season… .249/.307/.422 sounds like it would be about accurate for an age 42 season. Love the guy but I just don’t see him repeating his performance

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      All teams consider things like that when weighing a decision on a player. Where the logic actually crumbles is thinking he’ll just continue anything like that at age 41.

      • Taylor Hope 2 years ago

        I once thought the same thing until quite a few people opened my eyes to how illogical it is. You aren’t facing the same pitching, why expect the same results?

  5. Tigers72 2 years ago

    I hope the Tigers sign one more reliever for insurance and to help Rondon setup Nathan. I want him to be solid though and not a question mark like Joba.

    • Tigers72 2 years ago

      I think I like Crain for the Tigers to sign as long as he is healthy he should be solid and not terribly expensive. Wouldn’t mind Albers either.

      • Dbacksfan44 2 years ago

        Do the Tigers want to bring back Benoit? If so, he could strengthen the back end of the bullpen

  6. Kasey 2 years ago

    Let’s make something happen then Angels

    • LightUptheHalo 2 years ago

      I think either one of Garza or Tanaka are who the Angels are looking at.

  7. Dbacksfan44 2 years ago

    Who are considered the favorites for Garza? I heard it was the Angels, but does anyone know anything else about it?

    • LightUptheHalo 2 years ago

      I had heard the D-backs as well. I think they like the Halos are looking at Garza along with Tanaka if he’s posted.

    • LightUptheHalo 2 years ago

      I have heard the D-backs

  8. Joe Orsatti 2 years ago

    Raul is a great player. He is 41 and still has 30 home run power. On a 1-yr deal, he could turn out to be a great DH. LA could really use him with Trumbo out of the picture

    • godzillacub 2 years ago

      I don’t think you should really expect the anomaly of last season to repeat itself. Ibanez posted the second highest .ISO of his career (.244) while increasing his K% up to 25.8.

      Steamer projects a .239/.305/.419 line, or -.1 WAR. season.
      Oliver projects a .217/.290/.391 line, or -.7 WAR season

    • bjsguess 2 years ago

      Ibanez would be awful unless he signs for a $1-2M type deal. Steamer and Oliver are pretty in line with what I would expect. A DH would most likely will hit like a 2nd tier shortstop. If they blow $7-8M on him I’m going to be less than impressed.

  9. Chris March 2 years ago

    Lobaton for Keppinger? Sox need a catcher (or two) and have Semien/L. Garcia as backup infielders.

    • tbslim 2 years ago

      No offense but why would the Rays make that trade? A younger, cheaper, more controllable catcher with plenty of upside for an aging, slightly overpaid infielder. We were all sorry to see Kepp go but he wasn’t worth the contract the Sox gave him. The Rays certainly have no reason to take him back with 2 years left on that contract, especially giving up Lobo to do it.

  10. Josh Blackfeild 2 years ago

    If/when the Angels get Garza and Ibanez they’re going to look pretty deadly.

    Aybar (SS)
    Trout (CF)
    Pujols (1B)
    Hamilton (LF)
    Ibanez (DH)
    Kendrick (2B)
    Freese (3B)
    Calhoun (RF)
    Iannetta/Conger (C)

    Weaver (R)
    Wilson (L)
    Garza (R)
    Richards (R)
    Santiago/Skaggs (L)

    • Ferrariman 2 years ago

      if its the Freese/Ibanez/Hamilton/Pujols of 2-3 years ago maybe.

      • tbslim 2 years ago

        They’ve all gotten younger in those 3 years haven’t they?

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        The Angels proved in 2013 that they can absorb the struggles of Pujols and Hamilton. Trout is their center piece now. The media saying the Angels need classic Pujols/Hamilton years is way off compass and is only brought up by someone like Joel Sherman to get attention from viewers and readers. Fact is, starting pitching health, and lack of depth in both SP and bullpen killed their season. As soon as Weaver went down in April I feared they were done. If the Angels can pull off 3rd in BA/4th in OBP/5th in SLG and have 11 players with OPS above 100 with Pujols missing over 60 games and Hamilton having a terrible first half, then vintage years from those 2 would just make the Angels offense a juggernaut that can absorb any pitching problems they have. That’s in an ideal video game world though. Success for the 2014 Angels will revolve around pitching, as with just about every Angels season.

  11. Sid Slid 2 years ago

    The pathetic thing is that Winfield’s $16 million contract, adjusted for inflation, “only” equals $45 million in 2013 dollars (from de gubmint’s own inflation calculator). So, no, it’s not just inflation that has inflated player salaries (RIP, Marvin Miller). I can’t think of a contemporary comparable to a then 29-year-old Winfield, but if Choo and Ellsbury are going to get well north of $100 million, a 2013 talent at the level of Winfield would have to be made a partner in all the Yankees’ financial interests. I mean, Scott Boras would exhaust himself trying to think of creative ways to bend the Steinbrenners over a barrel.

    • LHomonacionale 2 years ago

      It actually seems really odd to me that great players can have such immediate, measurable effect on a franchise’s successes and yet the idea that a player might own a stake in the team itself is just ludicrous. I would like to see contracts that awarded stakes in team ownership for certain major milestones (win X MVP Awards with club, enter Hall of Fame as a member of the club, accumulate X total wins as a member of the club, however one wants to measure Greatness)

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      It’s a combination of inflation and heavily increased media exposure. Now players are on TV every night and in addition to being MLB players/stars, they are also walking, talking figureheads/spokesmen/billboards/etc. We see more ads in the background now because of it. Expenses and taxes for organizations increases over time. There are so many factors that contribute to rising player salaries. I could care less myself. They can make $500 million and I wouldn’t budge. I don’t have that rare talent, and I’m not on TV advertising my team’s logo. I think nitpicking one area over the rise of player salaries is a sign of jealousy.

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