Quick Hits: Morales, Tanaka, Dodgers, Giants

Kendrys Morales is being pursued by National League teams as well as American League teams, agent Scott Boras tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Boras describes Morales as a "first baseman who can DH" but Morosi thinks that the draft pick compensation issue will hurt his value.  More from around baseball..

  • One GM tells Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) that he doesn't think there's any doubt that Masahiro Tanaka will get more than $100MM.
  • The Rakuten Golden Eagles can only take in $20MM under the new posting system, but Ben Badler of Baseball America came up with a sneaky way for the club to make more off of the superstar pitcher.
  • The Rangers are doing significant background work on Tanaka, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.  Texas has room for just one significant expenditure, which could slow their movement on Shin-Soo Choo, Passan adds.
  • It's odd to see setup men Boone Logan and Joe Smith get more guaranteed money than established closer Grant Balfour, even if it's over three years rather than two, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Balfour agreed to a two-year, $15MM deal with the Orioles earlier today.
  • The Yankees' last couple of signings would suggest that they seriously intend to get under the $189MM threshold, so a surprise victory for Alex Rodriguez in his battle would hurt the club quite a bit, Heyman tweets.
  • The Rockies are looking for a bench player, but it's not a priority, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Sulia link).


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60 Comments on "Quick Hits: Morales, Tanaka, Dodgers, Giants"


LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t think it suggests they arent serious. The 2b market is pretty barren after Cano. Infante is boringly average and he required commitment. Johnson and Roberts are decent options if arod isn’t suspended. Johnson might even have a pretty good year in the hr dept.

Arod is still by far their best option at 3b even if he is overpaid. It is also probably best for the rest of the deal if he stays in game shape and plays regularly.

pft2
1 year 7 months ago

They could sign Drew and ask him to play 3B until Jeter clearly can not play SS any longer. I think the Yankees release Arod after his suspension (and pay the balance owed over the next 3 years) and he will be blackballed by the other MLB teams, MLB may even partially finance the buy out in the best interests of baseball and deny him the chance to hit his HR bonus milestones.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

The MLBPA will not go along with collusion by the clubs, and there very little chance he gets released. And why would the Yankees go along with it since arod is already a sunk cost? Arod is still a better hitter than Drew, and Drew doesn’t come with an injury free guarantee. Paying the price for Drew really only makes sense if you plan to play him at ss. A .253/.333/.443 3B isn’t worth $14M aav, compared to the alternative of having to pay arod $6M more next year.

Arod is overpaid, but it is a sunk cost. He doesn’t have to earn it to be worthwhile keeping on. He just needs to be serviceable.

andm369
1 year 7 months ago

Arod is still getting 25 mill for 2014. so it would be 11mil more than drew

Joe Brady
1 year 7 months ago

Could be that everyone hates him, and he causes nothing but trouble.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t see that plan working out. Same with the hypothetical last offseason having another team sign your draft costing free agents. Do you really think once Tanaka is free that he willingly give up that $16m. And I doubt Selig approves it, especially since teams would have to advertise that must sign both.

Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 7 months ago

It’s definitely plausible. The teams would never admit it but considering they already do it to a smaller degree. Example Cubs signed Jorge Soler but they also took Gerado Concepcion who is at best a C level pitching prospect. That agent made money selling both players as a package.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

Conception is a decent prospect for just money.

Cubstein
1 year 7 months ago

Even if that were an arrangement who does this arrangement benefit? Concepcion wasn’t as significant a prospect so he didn’t get as much money. He was still considered a much sought after pitcher at the time.

Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 7 months ago

Still trying to figure out why Morales declined that qualifying offer.

Wudlander3000
1 year 7 months ago

You mean why Boras made him decline the QO. 😉

phillies1102
1 year 7 months ago

I really hope Morales gets buffed out of money. He cant play first, its just a matter of teams being desperate for power. The NL market will fade, and only bad teams right now have a true need at DH, teams who love their draft picks more than their children. Morales should have take the “small” sum of $14.1 million.

hediouspb
1 year 7 months ago

morales isn’t bad at first. just because the team played him at dh doesn’t mean that’s the only place he can play.

Joe Brady
1 year 7 months ago

If he was replaced by a good glove, I’d understand. If you prefer Smoak over Morales, it probably means Morales can’t play 1st.

hediouspb
1 year 7 months ago

ortiz has a better glove than many of the guys the sox have played at first while he was there. you get more games out of a guy if he dh’s every day. the only reason he would have to stay at dh is if his body can’t take it. if he’s past the leg issues he’ll be fine at first

soxxxxx
1 year 7 months ago

Literally had the exact same idea, I posted it in the Robinson cano discussion thread, and everyone called me an idiot and said it was collusion.

soxxxxx
1 year 7 months ago

“An interesting loophole would be to post 4 players including tanaka, and the other 3 are replacement players. Whoever bids the most, (let’s say 20 mil on all of the players, so 80 mil in total) is where tanaka should agree to go. Eagles get their money, tanaka gets to go to the US like he wanted”

Don’t believe me? look at my comment history

pft2
1 year 7 months ago

I am pretty baffled by the Yankees. According to a WSJ article the Yankees had a revenue drop of over 50 million last year by missing the playoffs and due to declining attendance and ratings. That could mushroom with another losing season.

Yet they seem focused on lowering their payroll to levels not seen since 2002 (in inflation adjusted dollars) and avoiding a tax which could be as little as 15 million if they go over the LT threshold by 30 million. And doing so at a time they have no prospects.

Right now I have them as a 85 W team, and that may be generous. Good news for the AL East, and especially the Red Sox, who look to have no competitors if the Rays deal Price.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

Depending how things go they have a very good lineup, much better than the Sox’s. They still need to add another good pitcher, but if they sign Tanaka I wouldn’t be surprised to see 95 wins. There is questions with the Yankees current front 3, but there are questions on the Sox pitching too. RS are far from running away with the division.

Dale Pearl
1 year 7 months ago

Only time will tell but I totally disagree on this. I think that the Sox lineup albeit a cheap low cost lineup, are clutch hitting team. You cannot say the same with the way overpaid yankees. Ellsbury, now that he has a long term contract makes we wonder which version is going to show up opening day.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

I’d have to say the Sox lineup is better, though if we position by position

C – Yankees
1B – Red Sox
2B – Red Sox
SS – Push. Jeter with age and Boagertes with inexperience (though if they re-sign Drew then I’d go with Drew)
3B – Push. No fulltime 3B yet for the Yankees and Middlebrooks isn’t very good (would still call it somewhat of a push but a little edge to Red Sox if Boaegertes went there)
LF – Push. 2 entirely different players (Nava and Gardner that is)
CF – Yankees
RF – Yankees
DH – Red Sox
SP – Red Sox
Bullpen – Red Sox

Joe Brady
1 year 7 months ago

They don’t have a better lineup than the RS. Add up all the projected OPS’s of both lineup.

hediouspb
1 year 7 months ago

projections are going to be flawed. too many people in the sox line up with less than three big league years to look at.

Dynasty22
1 year 7 months ago

The offseason isn’t over. The Yankees won 85 games last year running out AAAA guys for the majority of the season which also contributed to declining ratings and attendence. Yes, the Yankees are lowering payroll but they purposely exceeded the 189 mark last year when the new luxury tax rules weren’t in place. For example, they signed Youkillis to a 1/12 deal as well as paid Vernon Wells salary for last year in exchange for paying him nothing this year. Considering that everyone last year was crowning the Blue Jays the AL East champs while saying the Red Sox were going to finish 4th or 5th, you shouldn’t be arrogant.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

I guess I wasn’t everyone.
I stated Jays really didn’t do anything to separate themselves from the rest of the AL East, and had many questions that could be a disaster. I thought they would be better than they were, but they were far from a complete team.

Dynasty22
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah, me as well. But all the “experts” were basically giving the Blue Jays the crown.

slider32
1 year 7 months ago

Your the almighty Kreskin!

Joe Brady
1 year 7 months ago

I had the RS finishing 1st, though I thought they’d all finish with 82-90 wins.

The_Unnatural
1 year 7 months ago

Right now fangraphs has them at 80 wins.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Keywords you said were “Right now”. The season doesn’t start “Right now”

Joe Brady
1 year 7 months ago

It is only not ‘right now’ if you expect a lot of activity. Unless they sign Tanaka, the it is ‘right now’.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Considering they still have a few issues that need to be addressed (another starter, probaby another IFer, and 1 or 2 more relievers) I would have to say there is quite a bit of activity.

slider32
1 year 7 months ago

Heck, they won 85 last year with everyone hurt, this is a 90 plus team right now and if they sign Tanaka they will be the favorites. I don’t see CC having another bad year, great pitchers don’t have two bad years in a row unless they are finished.

Joe Brady
1 year 7 months ago

85 wins, but a negative run differential. To think of it as a 85-win team would be to make the same mistake as Seattle did after 2009, when their record was far better than the run differential.

hediouspb
1 year 7 months ago

the point is to get that tax percentage down to free the payroll up. hope that teams don’t extend a few of the top pitchers this year and put a $250mil team on the field with little tax impact in 2015… using now till 2017 to try and build the farm by drafting young guys and focusing on development.

northsfbay
1 year 7 months ago

The writer suggests that Tanaka does a kick back to get a job, which is illegal in this country.

hediouspb
1 year 7 months ago

he’s buying his conditional release…

James Exercise
1 year 7 months ago

I think its good news that we havent heard about Tanakas posting situation , if they werent going to post him, wed know already. As far asthe Yanks being n 85 W team, that is quite illogical, seing ad to how they had a worse team last year and rcked up that many wins. Theyre a contender to say the lest. If they land Tanaka, even more so. I think hell either end up in Seattle, New York , Texas or LA. Just deoends on whos willingto spendtop dollar.

Michael Kenny Jr.
1 year 7 months ago

If the draft pick compensation is hurting Morales’s value, maybe that’s a sign that he should not have turned down the QO.

Cubstein
1 year 7 months ago

Draft pick compensation hurts everyone’s value who is tied to it. That draft pick can be assigned a dollar value and that player is going to earn that much less.

1 year 7 months ago

It was a clear mistake for Morales, who isn’t a 14 million a year player and has no appeal to NL teams. Boras was banking on Seattle giving him the 2 year deal and that backfired. The days of multi year contracts for DH’s not named David Ortiz are likely over.

Evan
1 year 7 months ago

The Rangers need Choo so much more badly than they need Tanaka. They need someone to get on base at a high clip in front of Prince-Beltre. The incremental value resulting from that is greater than any other move they could possibly make.

bleedDODGERblue
1 year 7 months ago

Why are the Dodgers mentioned in the headline here?

b00tz
1 year 7 months ago

I wondered the same, but thinking it over for a sec, I think its implied.

jeremy
1 year 7 months ago

im guessing because of tanaka

Tim Bowers
1 year 7 months ago

Morales should fire Boras for instructing him to decline the QO.

What a terrible decision, and one that most saw coming.

BRIANS81177
1 year 7 months ago

I highly doubt any NL team believes what Boras is saying. He played something like 8-10 games in a row at 1B and had to go on the DL. His body is shot.

1 year 7 months ago

He’s trying to get an AL club to bid against itself. Problem is that he needs to find an AL bidder in order to do that.

dc21892
1 year 7 months ago

I’m willing to bet someone will overpay for him just for his power threat alone.

1 year 7 months ago

Possible, but what’s your definition of an overpay for Morales? Between his value, lack of position, and market for his services, I can’t really think of a number that I’m confident on.

The Orioles are certainly intriguing given their wide open DH slot. I’d offer Morales a 2/14 deal. 2/20 might be more realistic, but I’m not sure I’d say no if I were him. There are not a ton of teams that can add a full time DH without making a couple adjustments and I’m not sure they would for a guy like him.

Chris Koch
1 year 7 months ago

Let’s be honest here, Morales cannot go through the embarrassment of agreeing to a 2/14 deal. He turned down 14 for this year to then agree on 2years at 14?

I think he goes the line of 3/33 like Lohse with Milwaukee last year. Probably an option that kicks in worth 16 that 4th year on a games played/PAs bonus.

1 year 7 months ago

A 3 year deal? Very doubtful.

This situation has been compared to Varitek’s declining of arbitration a few years back. He declined what would’ve been around a 10-12 one year deal and ended up with a one year 5. From a team that he was the captain of. There’s precedent.

“Being honest” doesn’t mean that he gets a great deal. 2/14 is lower than I think he’d get, but he has no leverage and half the potential teams that Lohse did who could be seeking his services. Lohse was a pitcher who had a pretty good year. Morales is a DH coming off a good, but not great year. Big difference.

dc21892
1 year 7 months ago

Overpay in terms of years. Could see 3/39. Maybe 2/26 with a vesting option. Sounds absurd but we’ve all witnessed Boras work his magic before.

1 year 7 months ago

Fangraphs did an article on him a couple days ago. They see the Orioles, Rangers, Twins, and Yankees (which I don’t agree with because of the outfield surplus) as suitors while more or less completely ruling out the NL. With Cruz still on the board, I don’t see Texas making any moves on Morales.

13 AAV seems like a tall order for a bidding war between the Twins and the Orioles.

Chris Koch
1 year 7 months ago

And yet Boras sold Lohse to Milwaukee last year. My guess is he has Milwaukee’s Owner listening once again. Of the NL teams that laughably could be interested, Milwaukee is the one that I’d think would offer Morales a 3/33 contract believing they are entrenched with a Playoff caliber team.

Joe Brady
1 year 7 months ago

Lohse is a legitimate player. He was an outstanding player in 2011-2012. There were some doubts about how he’d transition to the AL, but he figured to be a #3+. There is probably no one for whom Morales would be considered a priority.

MadmanTX
1 year 7 months ago

The Rangers are in the best position to get Tanaka. He and his former team can maybe work something out off the books out of his future earnings, I don’t think his new team (the Rangers) should be effected by it. This whole new agreement on the posting system is supposed to allow small market teams to compete for Japanese players, but the irony is that all posting fees being equal, would a Tanaka choose the Astros over the Rangers? Noooope.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 7 months ago

Tanaka situation is easily solvable.

They can easily double the amount of the Posting Fee, through a very simple addition to the system:

$20MM is the cost to the winner.

$3MM is the NON-REFUNDABLE cost to the those that do not win.

If there are 8 teams bidding, then the Ratuken gets over double the revenue this way.

Chris Koch
1 year 7 months ago

The best thing to happen for Baseball is to have Morales not be signed until after the June draft. Missed out on it by Lohse being signed last season. Don’t sign him anyone! The QO is a joke! It’ll be 15mil then 16mil then 17mil in 4years. You tell me how any, any small market team hands out a QO, when it’s worth 1/5-1/7th their entire team’s payroll? It’ll be the big markets like Boston/NY though giving away 3 a year.

bernbabybern
1 year 7 months ago

The commish would not allow an end around of the posting system rules, not one as obvious as the idea here. A kickback he wouldn’t know about.