Gammons On Top Starters, Shields, Blue Jays, Drew, Polanco

In two pieces today for, Peter Gammons discusses a variety of hot stove topics. In particular, even before Clayton Kershaw's market-busting extension earlier today, Gammons noted that the price of starting pitching has been a hot topic among baseball GMs.

  • The two key situations driving market pricing, he writes, are the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes and how the Rays handle David Price. Tanaka could command $120MM or more from the Yankees or Dodgers, says Gammons. As for Price, Tampa is increasingly inclined to hold onto their ace at least until the trade deadline, when they can try to extract a higher price or hold onto him for a postseason run. 
  • These situations could have a substantial impact on several other high-end starters that are set to become free agents next year. James Shields has let the Royals know that he is looking to score a contract on the magnitude of Zach Greinke's six-year, $147MM deal.
  • Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Reds do not plan on approaching key extension candidates Jon Lester and Homer Bailey, respectively, until Spring Training.
  • After disappointing returns on some of their major pitching acquisitions last year, the Blue Jays are not going to engage in any bidding wars for starting pitching, Gammons says. The club will instead "build on youth and rehabs," and will only jump into the mix for arms like Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez if they "fall down to [Toronto]."
  • Agent Scott Boras has increasingly given indication that free agent Stephen Drew is willing to play positions other than shortstop, says Gammons, which may increase his appeal to both the Yankees and Red Sox. As Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes in a separate piece, Boras says that Drew has suitors other than the Sox and Mets, though he declined to name them.
  • Already considered one of the game's top prospects, Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco has raised his stock even further with big numbers (including a .428 OBP) in he Dominican winter league. Polanco, 22, could have an impact by the mid-season of 2014. More importantly for the Bucs' long-term plans, one National League GM tells Gammons that the prospective Pittsburgh outfield of Polanco, Andrew McCutchen, and Starling Marte "will be the best outfield in the game." 

37 Responses to Gammons On Top Starters, Shields, Blue Jays, Drew, Polanco Leave a Reply

  1. rouscher 1 year ago

    At james shields age,i dont see him getting greinke money, more like adam wainwright money

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      Oh, certainly, but you should set your sights high. At this point he is almost at free agency, he is looking for a contract on par with that. Similar to how the Dodgers had to pay market value for Kershaw extension.

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      I’ll judge that with what Garza gets this year. Shields is better than Garza, older or not. Yes.. Shields has/had problems in some parks (Fenway) but is about as good as they get. I think he can pull an AAV in at least as high as could Lester and he’s head and shoulders better than any of the guys available this year, other than possibly Tanaka.

      • chris hines 1 year ago

        The problem is he isn’t in this market, he’s in a market with Lester and Scherzer, Shields best bet for that kind of deal is if both get extended before next offseason then he’s the best option on the table.

    • Lionel Bossman Craft 1 year ago

      Shields never got a CY Young but ok.

  2. not_brooks 1 year ago

    Greinke was heading into his Age 29 season.

    Shields will be heading into his Age 33 season.

    I guess it doesn’t hurt to shoot for the moon.

  3. johnsilver 1 year ago

    I think Lester’s time will come to an end in Boston if he is looking for market value and years, as in what grienke got and maybe even what Cain got. Boston isn’t desperate for pitching, has shown they are not afraid to let franchise icon’s, or top players leave and have an abundance of SP talent either ready, or about to be ready at the AA and above levels.

    If Lester is looking for 20m or above and seeking 6 years or more? he will be with another team in 2015. He will be able to get it on the market if he chooses, just like Shields and is a prime example of why teams should develop as much prime SP talent as they should from within.

    • Karkat 1 year ago

      Sox have arguably two of the top LHP prospects in Henry Owens and Trey Ball in their system, and Owens in particular is close to major league ready, so we’re not wanting for left-handed quality arms. That said, I hope the Sox and Lester agree to terms on an extension.

      • SierraM363 1 year ago

        We may need to suffer through a couple years of seasoning until those prospects blossom. Lester’s first few years weren’t too hot.

        • johnsilver 1 year ago

          He was just diagnosed with leukemia.. There was a reason for that. He didn’t get his velocity, much less his stamina back until 2009.

        • Karkat 1 year ago

          Well Lester also was fighting cancer at the time, so…?

          • SierraM363 1 year ago

            I’m sure that’s a part of it, but we can’t expect too much out of them too soon. Buccholz and Masterson also took some time to develop. I’d hope they have some good veteran help to guide them along if we don’t resign Lester.

      • Tko11 1 year ago

        The only stats I can find for Ball are from the Gulf Coast League and that’s only 7 innings. It says he started 5 games and only lasted a combined 7 innings giving up 10 hits and 7 runs while walking 6. What makes you say he is a top LHP prospect other than him being young?

        • Karkat 1 year ago

          His tool set is highly regarded. He’s a solid left handed pitching prospect.

          • Tko11 1 year ago

            Hey I would love if it worked out, we will have a clearer picture following this season though.

        • johnsilver 1 year ago

          What Karkat meant, or where think he got his information from is a MLB,com poll that has Ball as I “think” the 9th best LHP prospect in the game currently ranked. Owens was the 2nd. It might have been Sickels, but think it was a MLB poll.

    • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

      Personally, I feel Lester should be given a 5 year 100 million offer and if he doesn’t take that they should replace him with a free agent on a 3 or four year deal and allow the prospects a little more development time. Should be interesting to watch what the team does with the rotation over the next two years.

  4. Remember92 1 year ago

    Wonder if the Bucco’s will ever have the stones to ask Cutch to move to right field in a couple years? Considering Polanco is the best CF out of the three ( which is a scary thought in itself!) Doubt they consider it to keep him happy since he signed such a team friendly deal. And way below market on another extension is the only way we ever keep him long term. Probably have to keep him happy….

    • I always figured Marte would supplant Cutch right away in CF, but obviously that didn’t happen. In such a move, Cutch would go to LF where he still covers the ground and his arm plays better. No matter where these three guys run out there though, it looks like it’s going to be Bonds/Van Slyke/Bonilla fun at the very least.

      • Remember92 1 year ago

        With half of their games at PNC, and the short Clemente Wall, the weakest arm would go to right IMO. And considering Cutch is the slowest of the three. That would give you Marte’s speed and howitzer attached to his shoulder to cover the North Side notch. That’s why they feel they will always need at lesst two CF quality outfielders to cover that big area. Just dont see them ever doing anything to ruffle Cutch’s feathers. Regardless if its the right baseball move. And better defense than the early 90’s crew for sure. But the offense will have to be seen to be believed. But boy oh boy, I hope youre right. Because that would be a treat.

        • CrisE 1 year ago

          You still play half your games on the road, where a strong RF arm is usually key. On the other hand none of these are Damon-like weak wings so it really doesn’t matter a ton.

    • Guest 1 year ago

      Marte might actually be the best option for RF due to that rocket launcher he has for an arm.

  5. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

    Agent Scott Boras has increasingly given indication that free agent Stephen Drew is willing to play positions other than shortstop… Oh, I guess no one is really hankering to sign this guy then!

    • chris hines 1 year ago

      Well I mean it’s a somewhat limited market considering you need to be a contender to justify the price and need an upgrade at SS, that’s what maybe 5-6 teams? Open it up to 3Band 2B and you add more teams, only smart play at this point.

  6. pastlives 1 year ago

    re: the Jays not adding a starter, I’ll believe it when I see it

    • ice_hawk10 1 year ago

      Yeah really doubt they stand pat. Of course they give every indication they’re willing to run with what they have. They’re not going to be screaming from rooftops that they’re desperate to spend money on a starter.

      Interesting that Drew may be willing to play another position, he’s been my perfect world solution for the Jays at 2B.

    • Matt 1 year ago

      They might sign a starter it just likely wont be Garza, Jimenez, or Santana. There are to many other teams needing Quality starters so AA will likely be outbid. Its the AA way

  7. oleosmirf 1 year ago

    Drew’s value significantly decreases if he switches positions though. His bat is above average for SS, but at 3B or even 2B, he’s just average there, at best.

    • Tko11 1 year ago

      Yeah the Sox are probably better off just leaving Middlebrooks at 3B. The only way Drew works is if he plays SS and Bogaerts at 3rd.

    • chris hines 1 year ago

      In theory his glove should play better at 2B or 3B, it’s obviously not a guarantee but there’s a pretty good chance. If so it helps even out the bat taking a hit, though he was pretty bad on the road and god awful against LHP in 2013.

  8. chris hines 1 year ago

    What’s that say about Josh Bell’s future in Pit? Trade bait?

    • Remember92 1 year ago

      He will most likely move to first if his hit tool develops as projected. Especially with how Meadows and Ramirez are projecting in their development at this point.

  9. frogger6 1 year ago

    was the nl gm who said that the pirate’s gm per chance?

  10. NOLASoxFan 1 year ago

    Boras is practically begging the Yankees to sign Drew to play 3rd for a year and then take over for Jeter. No way does he want him going back to the Red Sox where he’d push Bogaerts to 3rd. That would make a tiny inroad in the colossal payday he’s got lined up for Bogaerts in six years.

  11. dmm1047 1 year ago

    Boras is still touting that Drew has plenty of suitors? So why hasn’t he been signed yet? Might his suitors be VFW softball teams?

  12. Ley_Z 1 year ago

    The Yankees should really now sign Drew if he is willing to be flexible. He would probably get to play at least 80 games at SS anyway.

  13. Holy Smokes 1 year ago

    Peter Gammons makes up more stories than he actually reports. It amazes me that any player would talk to this guy.

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