Quick Hits: Kershaw, Tanaka, Matsuzaka, Twins

Bargains abound on the free agent market, opines Doug Miller of MLB.com. Miller lists the following sleeper candidates for solid production in 2014: catcher Michael McKenry, first bagger Casey Kotchman, outfielders Chris Coghlan, Derrick Robinson, Grady Sizemore, and Tyler Colvin, and pitchers James McDonaldSuk-min Yoon, and David Aardsma. Here are a few more links to round out the day:

  • Ace Clayton Kershaw has had ongoing discussions with the Dodgers about an extension that could reach ten seasons with over a $30MM annual salary, says Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Club GM Ned Colletti said just recently that talks have been active, and of course the club reportedly extended Kershaw a $300MM offer during the 2013 season. Such a deal would make Kershaw the best paid player in baseball history, both in terms of total guarantee and annual salary.
  • Meanwhile, the Dodgers are still in on the biggest open market pitcher of the offseason, Masahiro Tanaka. As Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com explains, the Yankees have an urgent need for Tanaka, while the Dodgers more aptly want the hurler. If Los Angeles nevertheless outbids the Yanks for the Japanese star, says Saxon, it would represent a fundamental power shift in the game. 
  • You can count the Athletics out of the mix for Tanaka, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). Though GM Billy Beane surprised many when he nabbed Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Slusser says that Oakland is not pursuing Tanaka.
  • Reports earlier this evening that Daisuke Matsuzaka had re-signed with the Mets proved untrue, as multiple reports made clear. But Matsuzaka still realistically could land in New York on a minor league deal, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. He would compete with in-house options for the club's fifth and final rotation slot.
  • The Twins have hit before on the international market, and may now have their eyes on a couple of Cuban pitchers. According to a report on Twitter from 1500 ESPN Darren Wolfson, Minnesota sent three scouts to Mexico to see hurlers Misael Siverio and Odrisamer Despaigne throw in a showcase.

37 Responses to Quick Hits: Kershaw, Tanaka, Matsuzaka, Twins Leave a Reply

  1. LazerTown 2 years ago

    Grady Sizemore, he has been on those lists for 5 years. He can never stay healthy though.

    • stevlich 2 years ago

      It’s Scott Sizemore but he’s also always hurt.

      • mpalet001 2 years ago

        It’s actually Grady Sizemore, and neither can stay healthy so putting them on this list is meaningless. McKenry? yeah, teams would do better by staying away from all of these “bargains”.

        • KJ4realz 2 years ago

          Mckenry was nearly 2 WAR in 2012. As abackup catcher around

          • mpalet001 2 years ago

            If you search the numbers enough I guess you can find something of worth with a player. For the price I guess you could do worse.

    • Karkat 2 years ago

      I keep forgetting that Grady Sizemore is still technically a thing. Last I heard of him was just his leaked iPhone pictures.

      I feel like a team that has some young outfield types should just add him for mentoring and occassional-playing-if-healthy-with-incentives

  2. LazerTown 2 years ago

    A power shift?
    LA county has 10 Million people. and Dodgers are the only ones in the county. Yankees will have a big payroll, but LA county should by all means be able to handle a payroll that high. It has just been simply that NY has tended to outbid many of it’s competitors.

  3. Tre-Day
    Tre-Day 2 years ago

    Maybe they ARE willing to take on Tanaka and still keep Kershaw and Hanley.

  4. murph180 2 years ago

    Was hoping that Dice-K report was true, damn… Hopefully we do sign him because he can compete with Jenrry Mejia for number 5

  5. dieharddodgerfan 2 years ago

    I normally don’t advocate these huge contracts, but Kershaw is only 25 years old so giving him a 10 yr/$300 mill deal would be acceptable to me not only because he’s so good, but also because he has become the face of the franchise, along with Matt Kemp.

    That said, knowing his agent, Casey Close, my guess is they will probably do something like a 7yr/$210 mill deal with an early termination option after like 3 yrs, which will give Kershaw the option to go back out on the market, if he wants.

    And, for the record, I do think the Dodgers will still go hard after Tanaka even if they extend Kershaw soon.

  6. nick silverman 2 years ago

    Hope the Dodgers have their priorities straight. Number 1. Extend Kershaw Number 2. Extend Kershaw.

    As Teddy KGB said, “Pay that man his money.”

    • johnsilver 2 years ago

      It is still a highly questionable contract for even the best pitcher
      currently in the game who plays at a position that renders the player unusable with a
      UCL tear, rotator cuff tear, or several other injuries into an albatross
      of a contract.

      Yes.. LAD fans just want him at any price (or
      most do) and can understand that since they are used to him. I look at
      fiscal means as the fan of a team and how 30m is (right now) over 15% of
      how much salary a team can spend. That is more than a huge chunk and LA
      already has large commitments for the considerable future in CC,
      Either, AGone.. The list is long and they are talking about extending
      Ramirez, will be needing to think about Puig in a few years.

      It’s not hard to see why there are rumblings about Tanaka and I don’t think it’s in addition to kershaw for more than 1 season.

      • LazerTown 2 years ago

        They better if they can afford Crawford at 20M per.

  7. kungfucampby 2 years ago

    I’m shocked no one else has taken a rider on James McDonald. He had one of the highest swing and miss rates of 2012.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      Good point. High BB rate, WHIP and lots of runs allowed last year but the sample size isn’t all that large.(29 innings)

    • Nathan Boley 2 years ago

      McDonald is a head case. If he struggles even the slightest, the whole thing comes crashing down like toothpicks.

      • kungfucampby 2 years ago

        Unfortunately that is a lot of pitchers. He definitely is a project but would definitely be worth a one-year deal or a minor-league contract with ST invite.

  8. Hills of Glenallen 2 years ago

    $30 million a season for someone who only plays in 35 out of your teams 162? Yikes…

    • BCleveland3381 2 years ago

      I’ve heard this argument and it’s silly. An everyday player only gets 1/9th of the at bats in any given game. A starting pitcher may only pitch once every 5 games but he faces 100% of the hitters as long as he’s in the game.

      Ill explain it further, as a Mets fan, I’ll use Matt Harvey as an example. Harvey was injured last season missing the last month of the year. Despite that, he pitched 178 innings and faced 690 batters.

      Joey Votto was completely healthy last season. He led the league in plate appearances with 726. There were only 17 guys in all of baseball that faced more pitchers than Matt Harvey faced batters. Clayton Kershaw faced 908 batter last season. Meaning he affected almost 200 more at bats than the closest hitter. Pitchers may play in less games, but if healthy they can easily be involved in more at bats than any offensive player.

      • Dustin Smith 2 years ago

        One of the best explanations I’ve seen. People always argue why pitchers can get more money than hitters. Never realized just how large the impact was

      • MB923 2 years ago

        Excellent points, though there’s also the defense/base running side which you haven’t mentioned. Yes a pitcher plays defense and makes plays too but it is not very common and probably 8-9 times out of 10 you won’t see a pitcher on the base paths.

        Joey Votto was involved in 1408 defensive outs and 1430.2 innings in the field.

        • BCleveland3381 2 years ago

          That argument works on some level, but only when talking about good defender at an important position. A guy like Mike Trout, that plays a good CF(or should this season), is a terror on the basepaths AND at the plate you could argue has more of an effect on an overall season than a top tier pitcher.

          Many of these variables can be changed by the pitcher, too. A high strikeout guy doesn’t allow as many BIP, lessening the pressure on the defense. A good WHIP guy doesn’t allow many baserunners, controlling the base stealing of other teams.

          There are variables on both sides of the argument that could change the argument, no doubt. Point is, the original argument of “$30 million a season for someone who only plays in 35 out of your teams 162? Yikes.” isn’t a good one.

      • Karkat 2 years ago

        Just to illustrate what you said:

        Dustin Pedroia: 160 games, 724 plate appearances in 2013
        Jon Lester: 33 games, 903 opposing plate appearances in 2013

      • Governator88 2 years ago

        That’s pretty eye opening really. I admit I’ve never thought of it like that.

      • OUTFOXEM 2 years ago

        You left out that NL pitchers also bat. So give them 2 PA’s for each start, and that’s another 70+ plays they’re involved in. Of course pitchers are usually terrible hitters, so one could argue that they’re a detriment in this case, but it’s still another 70 or more plate appearances that they’re involved in. If a pitcher was also a decent hitter, that just further bolsters a pitcher’s value (making Babe Ruth’s case for the GOAT a slam dunk).

        For the record, Kershaw had 92 PA’s last season, making it an even 1000 plate appearances he was involved in.

  9. stevlich 2 years ago

    The Yankees must sign Tanaka or they have no chance to contend.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      No, they must stay healthy and improve that run total from last year. Injuries and a sub par offense all year is what cost them a chance. They lose an effective Rivera and Pettitte (Oldest SP and oldest RP in baseball last year) but also dump a very ineffective Hughes and Joba (hey 2 of their youngest pitchers).

      The pitcher they need to do the best is CC.

  10. Mike1L 2 years ago

    $300M for ten years for a pitcher. The Dallas Braden story reminds you just how much of a risk that is. Don’t know how many people remember Wayne Garland, but that was another ten year deal (for $200K per year, 1976). At 25 he was 20-7 with a 2.67 ERA for Baltimore. Then signed with Cleveland. Fried his arm in 1976 (21 CG, 283) innings, and threw about 330 iP for the rest of his career.

    • John Donovan 2 years ago

      Why does everyone jump to the conclusion that innings pitched or complete games ruined Garland’s career? There were many pitchers in the 70s such as Gaylord Perry, Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Frank Tanana, Vida Blue, Jerry Koosman, and many others that pitched as many innings and had long careers. I think maybe we should reexamine the conclusions drawn about innings pitched and arm injuries.

  11. BCleveland3381 2 years ago

    Dice K to the Mets on a minor league deal would be the best option. With a rotation of Colon, Wheeler, Gee, and Niese, he could battle it out in spring training with Rafael Montero and Jenrry Mejia for the 5th starter. If he doesn’t get the job, he goes to AAA until someone in the rotation goes down with an injury.

  12. formerdraftpick 2 years ago

    I would like to see Colvin sign with the Pirates and man right until Polanco is ready.

  13. Governator88 2 years ago

    I feel like the Dodgers are flexing muscles this week to intimidate the Yankees on Tanaka and just how silly they can spend money.

  14. John Donovan 2 years ago

    Has the way teams managed pitchers really improved since 1976? Pitchers don’t throw nearly as many innings and injuries seem to be more common now. For every Wayne Garland or Matt Keough, there was a Don Sutton or Bert Blyleven that pitched that many innings or more and were rarely injured. I’m not saying that the “new school” philosophy is incorrect, but it doesn’t really seem to be better for the pitchers.

  15. stl_cards16 2 years ago

    Thankfully the way teams value a pitchers win total has improved as well.

  16. John Donovan 2 years ago

    Back then wins actually meant something though because a pitcher often completed a game. A win was directly because of one pitcher. A pitcher earned a win back then and you lost the occasional 1-0 game, but you also won the occasional 1-0 game so it didn’t matter that much. Now wins are practically meaningless because there are 6 pitchers per game that could “earn” it by getting one guy out and it doesn’t matter anymore.

  17. Mike1L 2 years ago

    We know that medical care and surgical techniques have improved tremendously. I wonder if the way they use pitchers these days, which is throw as hard as you can and then let your six man bullpen take over, doesn’t in some way cause at least some of them to overdo it.

  18. John Donovan 2 years ago

    I think it does. I also think offseason weight training has a lot to do with it as well. You have to remember with early pitchers, they would pitch 300-600 innings a season, but when the season was over they didn’t pitch again. Now pitchers lift weights and build their strength in a more unnatural way and they do it year round. Some even pitch year round so the muscles and tendons have no extended time to heal.

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