East Notes: Zimmermann, Wieters, Byrdak, Phillies

The Nationals tried to negotiate a long-term deal with pitcher Jordan Zimmermann before eventually signing him for two years and $24MM, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. The deal avoids arbitration this offseason and next, but does not buy out any years of free agency. Zimmermann says the two sides tried to find common ground on a longer contract this week, but were "too far apart to get that done." Kilgore also notes that the structure of Zimmermann's contract — he gets $7.5MM in 2014 and $16.5MM next year — could make it a bit trickier for the Nationals to deal him in the coming seasons. Here are more notes from the East divisions.

  • It's unclear what the Orioles will do with Matt Wieters, Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com writes. The two parties exchanged arbitration figures yesterday, with the O's proposing $6.5MM and Wieters filing for $8.75MM. He's the only arbitration-eligible Oriole who hasn't already agreed to a contract. He's eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, but Melewski suggests there are few indications the two sides have made progress on a long-term deal. Wieters' weaker numbers last season (.235/.287/.417 in 579 plate appearances) also make it increasingly unlikely he'll get a bank-breaking deal like Joe Mauer's or Buster Posey's.
  • The Mets have not made Tim Byrdak an offer this offseason, the lefty himself tweets (via MetsBlog). Byrdak, 40, missed much of 2013 with a shoulder injury. His fastball velocity averaged just 85.4 MPH after he returned in September.
  • The Phillies' moves for the rest of this offseason are likely to be minor, writes MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. One priority might be a left-handed bench player, perhaps an outfielder.

29 Responses to East Notes: Zimmermann, Wieters, Byrdak, Phillies Leave a Reply

  1. FOmeOLS 1 year ago

    If the Orioles were able to see ahead, they would know that they don’t have a chance to keep Matt, and they would’ve drafted a very good replacement catcher a couple of years sooner.
    The Orioles don’t usually Trade well, and they don’t usually sign worthwhile free agents, so building through the draft is very important.
    Unfortunately, they haven’t done that well, either.
    Chance Cisco probably won’t be ready by the time Weiters leaves, and they really need somebody who’s almost ready now, so they can trade Wieters at maximum value, such as it is.

    • I Want My Bird 1 year ago

      Don’t understand why they can’t keep him. He hasn’t lived up to the hype, so value is lower. Even the Rays were able to essentially ‘franchise tag’ Longoria with a long deal. I’m not saying they should, but just don’t understand why they couldn’t. Unless maybe they think Machado will be the next A-Rod and they will need to account for him instead, because they can’t ‘franchise’ both. But overall it’s too bad that it doesn’t look like he’ll be the player everyone thought.

      • Evan Longoria isn’t really comparable to Wieters at all. The first Longoria extension worked because he had no experience and was guaranteeing money that many in his position would never see. The second was a team friendly deal. Unless Wieters is going to take a deal that is friendly to the Orioles, they aren’t in a position to “franchise” him. Wieters will get paid by someone. Longoria might not have.

        • I Want My Bird 1 year ago

          Would he not be in a mood to accept a team-friendly because he hasn’t delivered for the organization that drafted him? Unless he has problems with the organization and/or feels like a change of scenery should be tried … I do think there is a desire in a lot of player’s minds that they would like to play for one team their entire career, like a Chipper.

          • I would highly doubt that he would be in the mood to take less money based on his performance. He’s their only arbitration eligible player whose salary hasn’t been settled yet. Does that seem like a player looking to take a team friendly deal? Couple that with Boras as his agent and the chance that he takes a discount is basically 0.

            Chipper Jones is a very rare type of player today.

          • John Cate 1 year ago

            He’s delivered more than enough. Wieters came into the major leagues with overblown expectations because he had some ridiculous BABIP in his first year in the minors. He’s not a bad player; he’s a slightly above-average hitter who’s won two Gold Gloves already. If Jarrod Saltalamacchia (a hitter of comparable skill but with no glove) is worth $7MM a year, Wieters on the open market is worth at least $10 million a season, and both he and Scott Boras know it.

      • Guest 1 year ago

        Machado the next A-Rod…? What does that mean?

        • I Want My Bird 1 year ago

          He’s totally in the same mold, minus the steroid implication, c’mon everybody has made the comparison.

      • FOmeOLS 1 year ago

        I’d love to keep him, but the front office will never pay him market value, so of course he’ll leave.
        But if the FO had any foresight, they would have planned for this and drafted a quality catcher 3 years ago.
        They’ve had top five draft picks for about ten years, and very little to show for it.

        • Yettyskill 1 year ago

          Tell everyone who the O’s should have drafted within the past 3 years that would have been a suitable replacement for Wieters.

          Since they lack insight and did something wrong according to you

          • FOmeOLS 1 year ago

            You missed my point, but that’s okay

        • Mitch Augustyn 1 year ago

          Wieters wants market value now. He compares with Saltalamacchia and he was signed for $23m for 3 years. He would really have to jack his numbers up to the next level he thinks he will bring in $10- $12M. He is no way in the same league as Joe Mauer was when he signed that deal, Buster Posey or Yadier Molina. Thing is do not get caught up signing him to a long term deal. Look at the great catchers; Berra, Piazza, Campanella, Fisk, Munson I can go on and on. Their best productivity is well before they are 30.

    • Meh Sheep 1 year ago

      The statement they don’t usually trade well is based on what? Most of the current core was acquired via trade. Hardy, Davis, A Jones, Tillman, Hunter were all acquired via trade.

      • FOmeOLS 1 year ago

        How many of those trades were done by Dan Duquette and which were accomplished by Mcphail?

  2. Trading Wieters now would be a mistake. His trade value is low and the Orioles would basically be giving up on 2014. Pretty poor message to say “we could’ve spent a little extra money on pitching and DH but instead we’re giving up so we can trade an important player for less than he’s worth.”

    Midseason would be a better bet.

    • Rabbitov 1 year ago

      O’s basically gave up on this season when they decided to go with an 80 mil payroll despite increased revenue from all fronts.

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        Dan Duquette is going to end up being fired in a couple of years when this club slides, through no fault of his own.

        He was brought on to do what he does best.. Find bargain basement veterans in order to supplement the core guys who were in their prime and coming along, while Angelos appears to be not willing to spend anything to sign/keep these guys he already has..

        *Now* This could change if he somehow works out a LT deal all of a sudden with Machado and Davis, then attempts to bring back JJ Hardy. So far he has done little the last couple of years, rather than extend Jones and give away his closer.

        I don’t like seeing proud franchises like this, who were so bad for so long rise up for a year (or 2) then slide back only because an owner refuses to spend when the owner is fully able to, yet refuses..

        • Rabbitov 1 year ago

          The thing is, when DD leaves we will wish he was back. The problem with DD right now is he has a track record for finding some solid minor leaguers and international guys and I haven’t seen one iota of that so far. Orioles really are in trouble as long as the Angelos family owns the team, and that will be for a long time.

    • FOmeOLS 1 year ago

      I agree completely, trading him now would be surrendering, but they should trade him at the peak of his value if they know now that they are not going to attempt to keep

      • John Donovan 1 year ago

        But the peak of his value was around three years ago.

        • His value can go up quite a bit by midseason. If he’s hitting well, he’ll be worth a lot to contending teams since catcher is often an area of weakness even for good teams. If the Orioles are out of it, a number of contenders will want him.

          • John Donovan 1 year ago

            I agree with you that he will garner interest, but he won’t get the type of return that he would have in 2011 or 2012.

    • Mitch Augustyn 1 year ago

      He is not getting traded. You got him for two years; could be the most productive years of his careers since most catchers productivity falls off the cliff at 31. Catching takes a toll; look at Johnny Bench who left the game at 33 and his last two years he was just hanging on. Cannot go by how the Yankees overpaid for McCann. Pierzyski and Saltamacchaia got $8M or less (Salty $6m this year). He will be 29 after he hits the market. Sign him to 2-4 years if he steps up these next two years.

  3. Natsfan89 1 year ago

    With all of J-Zimms talk of “what’s fair” I’d love to know just how far apart they were. Rizzo has given fair extensions to Gio and Zimmerman both so I can’t imagine he’s trying to rip Jordan off. If you want to test free agency just say so dude.

    • David 1 year ago

      Gio’s deal was much different. He had many years of arbitration left (he may have even been prearb, I can’t quite remember). It was also a team-friendly deal.

  4. Run Support Group 1 year ago

    Trading Martin for Ichiro seems like a very RAJ type of thing to do.

  5. I Want My Bird 1 year ago

    Know he’s not left handed, but Phils might pick up Wells for the bench.

    • I Want My Bird 1 year ago

      Or better phrased- who will pick up Wells for the bench- because you know some team will.

  6. rct 1 year ago

    I could definitely see the Mets passing on him (even though it would cost next to nothing), but as a Mets fan, I’d love to see Byrdak make his way back. He puts up good number vs. lefties and he seems like a great clubhouse guy to have around.

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