Rosenthal On Gardner, Kemp, Drew, Mariners

Ken Rosenthal shares a few anecdotes from the Winter Meetings as well as some hot stove notes and opinions in his latest entry for FOX Sports…

  • It seems as if the Yankees will keep Brett Gardner since the team likes the idea of he and Jacoby Ellsbury combined in left and center field and hitting 1-2 atop the lineup.  That said, Rosenthal thinks that while the Yankees like Gardner, they won't re-sign him next offseason, as Gardner will look for a new team that can offer him a center field position and a leadoff spot.
  • Matt Kemp "seems to have ticked off someone in [Dodgers] upper management, though few seem to know who or why," Rosenthal writes.  This could be part of the reason behind the Kemp trade rumors, though Rosenthal feels the Dodgers will have to eventually deal Kemp if they're serious about restocking their farm system.  That deal might not happen until after 2014, however, as the Dodgers would be selling low on Kemp now and a rebound would both up his trade value and help the club on the field given Carl Crawford's health problems and Joc Pederson's inexperience.
  • The Dodgers are "disinclined" to sign Stephen Drew.  This could be another case of the Dodgers focusing on their minor league development, as signing Drew would block prospect Corey Seager, not to mention cost the Dodgers their first round pick in next year's amateur draft.
  • The Mariners are more likely to look internally to find closing help, rather than acquire a stopper as originally planned.
  • Rosenthal thinks the Mariners need to add another starting pitcher and another big bat, with Nelson Cruz seeming like a "must-have" given the uncertainty about Corey Hart's health.  The additions of Hart and Logan Morrison are seen by rival executives "as somewhat incoherent" given that both players share injury histories and are the same type of 1B/DH types, though the M's plan to try Hart in the outfield.
  • The Mets have received criticism from their fans for their low payrolls in recent years, but Rosenthal notes that the team's free agent expenditures are a sign that the Amazins are willing to spend.

78 Responses to Rosenthal On Gardner, Kemp, Drew, Mariners Leave a Reply

  1. vtadave 2 years ago

    I predicted Drew to LA, so I still think it can happen, but prefer Uribe on a 2-year deal given the draft pick and the fact that Seager hopefully is ready by 2016.

    • Puig Power 2 years ago

      That’s just foolish to trade a draft pick for Stephen Drew. I hope it does not happen.

    • Eslva917 2 years ago

      If he would have rested the last two weeks we could have had for both playoff rounds and that would have been the difference, maybe another reason Sue was fired.

  2. JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

    Gardner-Ellsbury 9-1 is more likely.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      Yeah it’s likely Ellsbury-Jeter at 1-2 and Gardner 9th.

      • Colin Christopher 2 years ago

        I get that Jeter has probably “earned” the #2 spot, but wouldn’t you want Gardner and Ellsbury’s speed at the top of the order? Gardner’s career OBP is actually a couple of points higher than Ellsbury’s in only about 100 fewer games.

        • MB923 2 years ago

          Yes it would make sense, though not so much against a LHP. I just can’t picture them dropping Jeter all the way down below. Keep in mind they (Ellsbury/Gardner) would still be hitting back to back in the 9 and then 1 spots.

          We’ll see what The Binder does.

          • LazerTown 2 years ago

            Will all depend on health and suspensions.
            I could see something like this.

            But that all changes if Arod gets suspended, or anyone else gets injured. Also I figure Jeter will get many off days at dh. I assume Soriano and Beltran will rotate at dh, since Beltran is better in the field, but at this point in his career they want minimize the wear on his legs.

            That is a pretty good lineup though if healthy, with really only Johnson being somewhat mediocre.

  3. Delia Enriquez 2 years ago

    I think the Yankees could re-sign Gardner to a 2-3 year extension if he’s willing to play LF. He plays LF brilliantly and I think he could be a better LF than a CF. Also, Soriano’s contract expires after this year which means there would be a spot wide open for Gardner.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      LF is pretty much Gardner’s secured spot anyway. Likely Soriano and Beltran would split RF/DH. When Jeter needs the DH spot, they’d likely bench Soriano and play Beltran in RF, possibly Ichiro. All of this is of course assuming Gardner and Ichiro are both with the team.

      I think Ichiro could be a serviceable bench player by providing late inning defense or pinch running. Still plays good D and still got some wheels.

    • Why would Gardner want that? This will be his best chance at a big payday unless he spends the year injured.

      • Dave Guarnieri 2 years ago

        The Yanks like Gardner so much that they went out and spent a zillion dollars on a guy with the same skill sets only better so they can hold onto Gardner so he can walk at the end of the year. Mind boggling.

  4. Matt 2 years ago

    My prediction: Kemp gets traded to the Reds for Brandon Phillips and Homer Bailey

    • How does that restock the Dodgers farm system?

      • schellis 2 years ago

        It doesn’t, but a team with the Dodger’s financial means don’t really need to have a fully stocked system. I mean look at the Yankees.

        • They have Alexander Guerrero for second. He’s unproven, but the Dodgers aren’t going to block him with a guy like Phillips. They would’ve picked up the option on Ellis if they didn’t plan to use Guerrero.

          • schellis 2 years ago

            Not disagreeing with that at all. Unless they felt that Guerrero wasn’t ready and wanted to use him as something of a super utility type. Or move Hanley to 3B, and Guerrero to SS.

            Again I don’t think this rumor has any legs and is more likely just someone throwing a lot against the wall hoping something sticks so they can be proven right.

        • Puig Power 2 years ago

          Every team needs a fully stocked system. Every team wants to be the Cardinals. There’s a reason for that, and this offseason everyone knows why. It’s expensive to get free agents. Cost controlled is the new buzzword and deservedly so.

        • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

          It’s odd. Ownership can say every day that they’re working to rebuild the farm system, and still some refuse to believe it. What’s up with that?

    • schellis 2 years ago

      I’ve heard this rumor as well. I think the Dodgers would have to kick in enough of Kemp’s contract to make it similar to BPs for the Reds. I just don’t think it really has enough legs to work.

  5. skrockij89 2 years ago

    The M’s still easily have 15 to 20 million to get to last year payroll. I heard they were willing to spend more this year. They can get a few other pieces for this team. Either by trade or free agency.

    • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

      No, they’re probably around $85MM right now.

      • Tim Bowers 2 years ago


        M’s payroll was 39 Mil before any signings.

        Willie B – 3 mil
        Cano – 24 mil
        Hart – 6 mil
        LoMo – 1.5 mil

        So they’re just under 75 mil right now.

        • xthetouristx 2 years ago

          This is incorrect. The Mariners payroll is just over 10 million more than you think it is thanks to arbitration, buyouts, and incentive projections. 85.8 million.

          • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

            I was just about to list everything, but this is good enough.

          • Tim Bowers 2 years ago

            I’d like to see some numbers

          • xthetouristx 2 years ago

            22 Felix (plus award bonuses)
            24 Cano (plus award bonuses)
            9.0? [give or take] Hart
            6.5 Iwakuma (plus incentives)
            2.8 Bloomquist
            2.8 Smoak
            2.2 Saunders
            1.7 Morrison
            1.7 Hultzen (don’t know if the Mariners consider him part of their major league payroll)
            1.7 Ackley
            1.0 Harang
            0.9 Saunders
            0.5 Gutierrez
            1.0 Incentives, raises to minimum players, MLB salaries for call-ups
            8.0 16 players at minimum

            Projected arbitration from mlbtraderumors. Buyouts from Cots.

          • Tim Bowers 2 years ago

            Hmm good list, kudos

      • drwheelock 2 years ago

        Nope they are at $71M right now, and that includes the expected $2.5M each for Arb Figures for Smoak and Saunders

        • xthetouristx 2 years ago

          The Mariners are at 85.8 million right now when you include incentive projection, arbitration projection, and buyouts. So you’re wrong.

          • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

            Oh, the Mariners are at $85.8M if you include spending that hasn’t even been spent yet, and is completely speculative…

            Hey buddy, in the real world, we only count guaranteed money; we don’t know how much the players are really going to make, and we definitely don’t count incentives in the opening day payroll.

            So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, YOU are wrong.

  6. Tyler 2 years ago

    Mariners need Cruz and Ubaldo. Then trade Montero, Smoak, and someone for another OF (Carlos Gomez)

    • skrockij89 2 years ago

      Highly doubt Milwaukee is willing to trade Gomez. I can see them get Bautista or Rasmus.

      • Rasmus, maybe. Bautista, no. Jays want to contend too and Bautista’s injuries make him a poor sell high candidate.

      • Tyler 2 years ago

        I would hate for them to get Rasmus…and I know about Gomez i just have wishful thinking.

    • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

      Cruz isn’t very good. Why would they need him? Especially if he’s looking for the moon. If the M’s plan on using Hart in the OF, they should get a genuine CF, preferably a righty

      • skrockij89 2 years ago

        Kemp is the only one to fit that description.

        • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

          Kemp is an awful CF and his leg is still in a boot, so I doubt it’s going to improve his defense.

          • skrockij89 2 years ago

            Not much else is available. Seattle doesn’t mind losing defense in order to add offense.

          • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

            Last season they ended up losing more game despite scoring more runs because their OF defense was so bad. The best season they have had under Z was when they had a good defensive outfield. If they have Cano at 2B they can punt a little offense in CF.

          • drwheelock 2 years ago

            I’m sure Seattle will resign Gutierrez for around $2M+ incentives. Despite the past injuries, as long as he’s healthy you run with him in CF. Probably our best CF option at this point, unless a trade comes through.

        • xthetouristx 2 years ago

          Really? Kemp is the only right-handed hitting CF in the game of baseball?

      • Tyler 2 years ago

        27 homeruns in about 100 games last year? Id say thats pretty good.

        • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

          That’s all he does. He’s a hacker with no glove coming off a PED scandal who’ll probably fall off a cliff next season

        • $3513744 2 years ago

          Let’s see how well those homeruns translate from leaving Texas.

          • Tyler 2 years ago

            All of his homeruns in Texas would have been homeruns in Safeco. I dont think weather played too much of a factor too.

          • $3513744 2 years ago

            meh. i’ve seen too many RH hitters go to safeco to go out to pasture to assume that will happen. so i’d still like to see it before i believe it.

          • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

            You mean like Boone and Sexon? And the park has been altered to make it more friendly to right-handers. This club was destroyed by generic lefties like Scott Diamond last season because they had no good righties. I don’t like Cruz but you can’t avoid getting RHB because Safeco doesn’t like them.

          • xthetouristx 2 years ago

            Not when you compare the air in Arlington vs. Seattle. Denser are knocks a ball down.

  7. Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

    Really Rosenthal? Nelson Cruz is a “must have” for the Mariners, but Hart and Morrison are head scratchers due to injury concerns?? Tell me again why Cruz has only 1 season of more than 128 games played…

    • Rosenthal thought that Cano to Seattle had 0 chance of happening. He just wants to buy his ticket for the bandwagon.

  8. westcoastwhitesox 2 years ago

    The M’s spent big on Ichiro and then padded the lineup with crappy players…expecting a profit at year-end but never a championship. The Morrison and Hart signings are more of the same, unless the M’s pony up for some elite offensive players.

    • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

      When healthy, Hart is one of the better RH power hitters in the game. And how is Cano not elite? The M’s tried to win, they just didn’t know how. They only started slashing the payroll when Z arrived, that was because the club had a rotten foundation and throwing money at the team wasn’t going to make a difference. Now that Z has restocked the farm they think they’re ready to take the next step.

      • westcoastwhitesox 2 years ago

        Thanks; I didn’t realize Hart was as good as he apparently is. Cano = Ichiro as the 1 elite offensive player. I really hope you’re right…I don’t have as much faith in Mr. Z, but I would loooooove to see some playoff baseball in Seattle!

  9. Bradley Maravalli 2 years ago

    Mariners. Re-Sign Morales. Trade Ackley. Trade prospects for a star OF like Kemp. Offer Arroyo a quality contract. Start praying.

    • skrockij89 2 years ago

      I wouldn’t mind that at all but you still have to worry about the Hart/Smoak/Morrison/Montero situation. Montero still has a few options left and Smoak would be traded by then. So it could work out.

    • Jonathan Barlock 2 years ago

      Dodgers aren’t moving Kemp unless they get a steal

    • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

      Morales is gone. Kemp would be a waste of resources. I wouldn’t want to give up good prospects for a chance to pay Kemp tens of millions and hope he doesn’t fall apart. Those injuries are serious and recurring.

  10. mas419 2 years ago

    Mariners bullpen was awful last year, they need outside help.

    • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

      They have some candidates in the minors who can help, like Carson Smith, and Pryor should be healthy. Ramirez will be in the ‘pen if/when the M’s sign another starter, also. I’m not too worried about the ‘pen.

      • Tim Bowers 2 years ago

        Why do you think E-Ram will be in the pen if the M’s get another starter?

        You’re assuming Paxton will still be here, I assume? I wouldn’t if I were you.

  11. RudyMay45 2 years ago

    If the Yanks feel that Gardner is leaving after 2014, why not trade him now? I’ve never considered him more than a better-than-average 4th outfielder. Very little power, .270 hitter and doesn’t drive in runs. Makes me nuts that folks have forgotten how Bernie Williams was the anti-Gardner; hit for high average, 25-30 hrs a season and at least 100 rbi. I really don’t understand why the Yanks don’t prioritize those types of players anymore. All they seem to be interested in are Ellsbury and Choo-type table-setters. One dimensional players aren’t going to win many pennants or world series.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      Career .295 hitter with RISP. Yes he does drive in runs when the rare opportunity happens. To drive in runs, you would have to bat behind guys who get on base. There’s a reason leadoff hitters and #9 hitters don’t get many RBI. But it doesn’t mean they can’t do it.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      Gardner succeeds at his areas. He isn’t Bernie, but that doesn’t make him a failure. His 5 best years he was a 140 wrc player. Only 6 outfielders last year hit that mark, Trout, Werth, McCutcher, Choo, Holliday, and Cuddyer. I don’t think it’s a failure that Gardner doesn’t match up to any of those guys. He was still in the top 30 outfielders, and defense is where his value comes from.

    • godzillacub 2 years ago

      Brett Garnder is 16th in WAR among outfielders since 2010, and he missed almost an entire season.

      Considering him a 4th outfielder is what is nuts. He’s literally been one of the best outfielders in the game for several years.

      Bret Gardner 2010 – 2013 (14.5 WAR)
      Bernie Williams 2000 – 2006 (11.3 WAR)

      • RudyMay45 2 years ago

        Nice numbers. But as a Yankee fan that watches 145-150 games a year, it really bugs when Gardner comes up with RISP and the game on the line, and he hits one of his patented, upper-cut balls to center field. If you bleed pinstripes like me, all you can do is think about how Bernie or Paul O’Neill would clear the bases in those situations more often than not. That’s where all those rings from 1996-2000 came from.

  12. Fernando Ruiz 2 years ago

    All these Kemp rumors really need to stop! He will be a Dodger for a very long time. Kemp in CF, Puig in RF and Pederson in LF will be the dodgers long term solution. I hate when all these people are offering nothing but trash in exchange. IN KEMP I TRUST!!

    • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

      What are they going to do about Crawford and Ethier? They’ll have to eat $50MM to get rid of them.

  13. BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

    I think what Kemp did to tick off ownership was to run himself right out the postseason, and very possibly run the Dodgers out of the World Series besides. A lot of the trade talk was about telling Kemp that he needs to stay focused if he wants to remain in LA.

  14. Eslva917 2 years ago

    Wonder what Kemp said to Stan Katans

  15. Mackster248 2 years ago

    I have no idea why Drew is asking for so many years+money. The qualifying offer he got from BOS was wayyyyy more than he’s worth. He was awful and INJ plagued in ARZ and they basically just let him go. He did alright for BOS, but he doesn’t hit for average. I know SS position is weak this FA, but anything more than 8 million per year is vastly too much for Drew.

  16. neoncactus 2 years ago

    Maybe instead of upsetting someone in upper management, more trade talk is centered on Kemp because the potential of him returning to top form will bring more back in a trade than Crawford or Ethier.

    • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

      Consider: Kemp is just back in shape to play after missing most of the season, and right away he makes a terrible base running mistake that undermines the Dodgers’ postseason plans. The team comes up two games short of their first series appearance in 25 years. You don’t have to look too hard to see the finger pointing. Mattingley obviously shouldered some of the blame, also Trey Hillman. We can be sure that Kemp got his ration too. Maybe they do trade him someday (but not before they have a better CF solution), but I think all this recent trade rumoring was more about getting the message through to Kemp that he needs to play his best game.

  17. Joe Valenti 2 years ago

    I haven’t been a fan of any of the Mets signings. I can’t tell if it’s based off the last 4 years and the fact that I’m brainwashed into wanting low risk signings….

  18. Joe Valenti 2 years ago

    I haven’t been a fan of any of the Mets signings. I can’t tell if it’s based off the last 4 years and the fact that I’m brainwashed into wanting low risk signings….

  19. markjsunz 2 years ago

    Kemp is expected to make a full recovery. The Dodgers were upset with Kemp because he did not tell them his shoulder was still bad.
    Who would the Dodgers trade for a healthy Kemp? With the lineup they have there is no escape for the opposing pitcher. You have to pick your poison. Having a guy like Uribe in the 7th. spot.
    Unless the Dodgers get back a lights out starting pitcher that is young and salary controlled.

  20. xthetouristx 2 years ago

    Right. However, projecting no incentives are reached is extremely financially irresponsible. This website has been pretty darn accurate with predicting arbitration raises as well, so discounting those numbers, while they arent 100% accurate (but will be close!) is also financially irresponsible. That is how companies wind up operating at a loss when their budget says they shouldn’t be. And maybe you should stop with your projecting “everyone” thinks 75 million. People on this very thread agree with me. The people I’ve seen who don’t agree don’t even take buyouts or deferred signing bonuses into account.

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