AL East Notes: Orioles, Cruz, Arroyo, Jays, Sox

The Orioles introduced new outfielder Nelson Cruz today, and MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli has a transcript of the press conference. Cruz, of course, settled for a one-year, $8MM deal with Baltimore after previously declining a $14.1MM qualifying offer from the Rangers. "It was a frustrating process," said Cruz, "but I'm happy for the decisions that I made. I'm really excited for the opportunity." Here are more notes from the O's and the rest of the AL East:

  • We learned previously that the Orioles had made a competitive offer for free agent starter Bronson Arroyo before he signed with the Diamondbacks, and now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has the details. Baltimore ultimately offered Arroyo a $21.5MM guarantee over two years, including a third-year option that could have brought the total value to $33MM. The pitcher instead signed with Arizona for a $23.5MM guarantee, but his deal can only max out at $30MM if his option is exercised.
  • Though agent Scott Boras softened his strong words towards the Blue Jays in comments today, he continued to implore the team to open its pocketbooks by saying that Toronto has a "rare opportunity" to add impact free agents because of its protected first-round draft picks, reports Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca (interview via Jeff Blair of Sportsnet 590 The FAN). In addition to its advantageous draft situation, Boras argued that the Jays have the "flexibility in the long term" to backload contracts.
  • Boras said that client Stephen Drew could significantly upgrade the team's second base position, and that Drew would be willing to shift to the other side of the bag "if the club came and made the position a long-term one for him." Meanwhile, Boras argued that the switch-hitting Kendrys Morales would offer a better option against lefties than incumbent DH Adam Lind, who Boras said could be dealt for pitching. Toronto could recoup a future draft choice via qualifying offer when those players' deals end, the agent added.
  • In spite of (or, perhaps in part, because of) their success last year, the Red Sox are sticking with their strategy of "caution and strict sensibility," writes MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince"We recognize that our goal is to be as good as we possibly can be in 2014 but also 2015 and 2016 and beyond," explains GM Ben Cherington. "To do what we want to do, year in and year out, there has to be integration of young players. We're not going to force that unless we're reasonably confident those guys can contribute right away." 


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63 Comments on "AL East Notes: Orioles, Cruz, Arroyo, Jays, Sox"


jp1198
1 year 6 months ago

As a Red Sox fan, I’m fine if they don’t win it all this year. I’ll be disappointed, but better that they focus on building a juggernaut for the years to come than allocate all their resources towards 2014 – they have a loaded farm system, lots of young talent, and a fantastic core. Ortiz certainly isn’t getting any younger but the farm is so stacked that the Red Sox will be good for a long time after now.

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

October is impossible to predict. To me I think the best a GM can do is build a strong regular season team. And try to get into the playoffs as many times as possible over several years.

Jake13
1 year 6 months ago

It’s so much luck, the Tigers get to the ALCS three times in a row and have nothing to show for it.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 6 months ago

Well, how exactly is Stephen Drew preparing to play the 2nd base position if he is not even on a team yet? I mean he has to get used to his ‘new’ position. He has to get used to the timing of the other SS. Plus, he has to accept the fact, he might not be a SS this year. The longer Boras and Drew wait, the more I see the transition becoming a problem. It’s not as if GM’s are banging down the Door to get Drew.
Look, there’s no doubt he can help a team, but Boras is waiting too long here.
He just needs to get something done.

Kieta Vivian
1 year 6 months ago

Not to mention the fact Boras is asking for a long term deal to play this “new” position. Theres going to be a few of these players each year who stupidly turn down a QO overpay because they listen to their agent who really doesnt have their best interests in mind, and I’ll bet 9out of 10 times it will be a Boras client.Hes great at finding homes for the higher echelon players but if youre mediocre he has no clue how to sell you.

Jeff Hill
1 year 6 months ago

Actually he is now reportedly looking for an opt out clause not a long term deal

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

Boras would be a tremendous political lobbyist wouldn’t he lefty? he’s full of more hot air than any we’ll see from either major political party.

Erik Trenouth
1 year 6 months ago

“Toronto could recoup a future draft choice via qualifying offer when those players’ deals end, the agent added.”
Does Boras really expect people to believe this nonsense. Why in their right mind would any of them turn down a future QO after what happened to them this year?

rikersbeard
1 year 6 months ago

And if it is a deal that extends past the end of the CBA, the QO system may very well have changed.

1 year 6 months ago

There, my friends, lies the rub. It isn’t worth it to give up a draft pick unless (1) you have a hole at that position in the farm anyway or (2) you have a contract that will provide value comparable to the potential production of a 1st rounder over the next couple of years. Stephen Drew is a good defender, but the Jays need bats after the Melky Cabrera disappointment… and he cost them a draft pick. So… sign someone to a deal that is worth forfeiting a pick, expecting to be able to flip them for another pick after the deal is over… then the compensation system has changed and you can’t do that anymore.

1 year 6 months ago

Cabrera didn’t cost a draft pick. They also need pitching and a second basemen who can post anything above a negative WAR over another bat. Bautista, Encarnacion, Reyes, Lawrie, Rasmus, and Lind are enough to keep them in the game offensively and Cabrera should play better without the tumor.

rikersbeard
1 year 6 months ago

Sure hope he bounces back after having the tumor taken out of his spine. Pretty sure I would do everything worth with something growing in my spine.

1 year 6 months ago

Hard to imagine he wouldn’t be better if he can stay on the field. I think the Jays offense will be a pretty strong force this year, but the rotation leaves a lot to be desired.

Erik Trenouth
1 year 6 months ago

I was looking around on Fangraphs today and saw team projections. Apparently Fangraphs projects the Jays to score the second most runs in the Majors this year. I was pleasantly surprised by that prediction. And just short of Texas for first too. Too bad they weren’t a little kinder to the pitchers.

wallywhack
1 year 6 months ago

The Jays rotation was considered formidable before the beginning of the 2013 season. How does Josh Johnson’s absence sink that standing? The loss of his upside certainly detracts from any projection, but I certainly don’t see the 2014 rotation, as is, as anything less than good enough to keep them in the hunt.

1 year 6 months ago

Dickey and Morrow seriously underperformed. Couple that with the failed bounce back of Romero and Johnson’s absence, I think that standing is rightfully sunk. I agree that there’s sufficient talent that could keep them in the hunt, but I don’t expect much out of them unless they do something to prove otherwise.

dgapa
1 year 6 months ago

People seem to forget that last year they were the odds on favourite to win it all, this year with almost the same team they are some how the worst team assembled?

rikersbeard
1 year 6 months ago

I agree with the general sentiment, though I doubt that offense is really the jays worry/problem.

GD
1 year 6 months ago

This is so humorous considering Boras has been publicly discusted with these QO’s, and now he’s using that as a tactic to get Toronto to sign one of his guys by getting a future draft pick. Ha. That’s if the team decides if they want to extend a QO to one of these players. Boras is trying everything he can in this 11th hour for these last few guys that can’t seem to find homes.

westcoastwhitesox
1 year 6 months ago

important to note he’s scrambling to find them homes because they took his bad advice!

1 year 6 months ago

Wow… Boras must be getting desperate if he is insisting on calling out the Blue Jays like that. I mean, I’m not a PR guy, but this seems like a great way to make sure that a team wants as little to do with you and your agents as possible.

rikersbeard
1 year 6 months ago

Definitely makes it sound like demands have reached their last stage, their last ditch effort, and now either they settle for some team’s offer or they wait until after the draft.

1 year 6 months ago

The Jays have only had one or two Boras clients since the infamous Bill Caudill contract, and it’s fairly clear that there’s some bad blood between Boras and the Jays management, specifically Paul Beeston. It’s not terribly surprising that Boras blasts the Jays publicly, since he really only has those 29 other teams to deal with, and never the Jays.

WindsorJaysFan
1 year 6 months ago

I definitely agree with Boras that Morales would be an upgrade over Lind at the DH position. He’s a switch hitter without the severe splits that Lind has. I wouldn’t mind seeing him at the DH slot over Lind, but it’s unlikely to happen

1 year 6 months ago

I would be a bit cautious in jumping into the “Morales is better than Lind” camp. For a three week stretch of last year, Lind was hitting over .400 with serious pop. Morales is a switch hitter with less pronounced splits, but Morales doesn’t have the kill streak potential that Lind does and certainly doesn’t have the pop that Lind does anymore.

WindsorJaysFan
1 year 6 months ago

They posted fairly similar offense numbers, but Morales did it playing against both lefties and righties, and playing the majority of games in Safeco field, one of the best pitchers parks in MLB.

I like Lind and he finally showed flashes of his SS season back from 2009 this past year, but it would be nice to have a DH that we wouldn’t have to sit or pinch hit for against left handed pitching. It’s a small reduction in power from one side of the plate, but more power from the other side. It more or less balances itself out.

P.S. screw Boras

dgapa
1 year 6 months ago

Unfortunately 3 week stretches mean next to nothing. You need at least minimum 300 PA’s to get to somewhat reasonable conclusions, any player can get hot for a few weeks.

Lucas Kschischang
1 year 6 months ago

Morales is too extreme of an option to replace Lind. Lind is a near elite level bat vs. RHP, but atrocious vs. LHP.

We just need a platoon partner that rips LHP – John Mayberry Jr. was a name that surfaced for a bit a while back during the offseason.

That’s still a name I think would make sense.

In house, the Jays have Moises Sierra, who seems poised to take the DH/LF spot vs. LHP.

Orsulakfan
1 year 6 months ago

I am overjoyed that Arroyo rejected the Orioles’ offer, because as scared as he was of the AL, I was equally scared of watching him!

1 year 6 months ago

If Drew waits a few days, then he could sign a 3/33 deal with Toronto and really become the Kyle Lohse of this offseason. I don’t see that happening though.

Lucas Kschischang
1 year 6 months ago

I like that deal for both sides, maybe backload it so it makes more sense with the deals coming off the Jays books.

something like $7M, $12M, $14M for ’14, ’15, ’16 respectively.

Ausome7
1 year 6 months ago

Boras the gm…

Revery
1 year 6 months ago

Actually agree with Boras about the Jays.

pft2
1 year 6 months ago

Blue Jays already have the best team in Canada, whats the problem.

Drew. Morales and Santana make too much sense for too many teams. Wondering how long it is before Boras and others call it what it is and files a grievance.

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Grievances are for violations of the CBA. What exactly would they be grieving? I don’t know when to accept 14mil when its offered to me?

Croagnut
1 year 6 months ago

Grievances are for violations of the CBA. The rules are straight forward:
1) Team offer QO
2) Player declines QO
3) Player seeks out best deal he can get
What would the grievance be for? Theres no violation of the contract.

Jason MacAskill
1 year 6 months ago

All three of those guys rejected one-year offers for $14 million. Each. Good luck finding an sympathetic arbitrator for that one.

not_brooks
1 year 6 months ago

It’s all about supply and demand.

Where is the demand for a shortstop on a three year deal, or a second baseman who has never played second base as a pro?

Where is the demand for a 31-year-old DH with a .780ish OPS over the past two seasons?

There is a demand for a starting pitcher, but much like Kyle Lohse a few years ago. The fact that Santana set his sights way too high in the first place and is unwilling to lower his demands now sure doesn’t help.

Meh Sheep
1 year 6 months ago

Not to mention they want the contract structured so they can opt out every year so the team has all of the downside risk while the player gets all of the upside.

Example buy this stock from me and if it goes up I can buy it back from you for today’s price and if it goes down you are stuck with it. Who would agree to such nonsense?

northsfbay
1 year 6 months ago

You could have a ceiling and a floor. I am not sure you could get the owners and players to agree to that.

John Murray
1 year 6 months ago

Its nothing new, because Boras has done this to himself. I believe it was two years ago that the last four FAs of the top 20 left on the market were Boras clients. He was just lucky this year that he got some insider info on Cano leaving the Bronx, so he swooped in and gave the Steinbrenners (likely) a 48 hour “take it or leave it” offer on Ellsbury before he would go back to Boston. Boras is an arrogant twerp who causes a lot of panic for his own clients by trying to wait out the market. Michael Bourn. Edwin Jackson. Carlos Pena. These guys all were eleventh hour signings that likely would have signed sooner – and for just as much – if they had a different agent.

Drew is a strong defensive SS with a solid offensive game, and he’d be an upgrade for about 20 teams, but he’s also coming more expensive than the in-house options for just about everybody. Santana’s a #3 pitcher who wants to be paid like a strong #2, and he’s not dropping his price. And Morales, honestly, makes sense for very, very few teams when he costs a first rounder and is best suited to being a DH.

Jeff Hill
1 year 6 months ago

I disagree with you on the Sox resigning Ellsbury for two reasons. A. They like what they have in JBJ and b IMO (semi proven) they do not want to give out big contracts any more like the ones they gave to Crawford, Gonzalez, and what Ellsbury got. He will become the most overpaid player in the MLB within three years of deal due to all of the games he will miss and also not putting out any power in a hitters park. I have heard one journalist say that the type of position player they would give 20+ million to is a power hitter.

John Murray
1 year 6 months ago

I think you misunderstand me. I’m a Sox fan, and I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. At $153 mil over 7 years, I never would want Ellsbury. My point was, Boras played the Yankees’ panic over losing Cano and likely told the gullible Steinbrenners that “this is the price before I go back and negotiate with the Red Sox”. I’d doubt Boras would be anxious to negotiate with the Sox anyway, because he knows they aren’t in love with vets like the Yankees clearly are. Ells, to me, is barely a notch above Michael Bourn, who’s also a GG outfielder, is capable of stealing 50 and has hit .300 as well – and he got 4/$52 mil. Personally, I see Ells as a 5/$75 mil player, and he’s been overpaid in the same way that the Rangers overpaid Elvis Andrus.

Jared S
1 year 6 months ago

He also said in the interview that Lind can be traded for starting pitching help.

Actually Boras, we have enough of those #4 & #5 starter types already thanks. Completely worth writing up a big contract for Morales.

rdg69
1 year 6 months ago

Boras is now the Jays GM. Arrogance personified.

pft2
1 year 6 months ago

Might do a better job.

cyberboo
1 year 6 months ago

If I was the GM of the Jays, I would say no problem and I am offering a one year deal for your free agents – take it or leave it, since they aren’t a guarantee. Boras then agrees or he continues to beat the bushes trying to find a team to take them. Put the blame back on Boras, because if the players were worth what they are asking, teams wouldn’t be concerned with a no name draft pick and they would be signed already, since the value would be there to warrant it. If the player isn’t better than what you already have, you never handicap your payroll by signing players at twice the amount you are already paying someone to do the same thing. That is how companies go bankrupt in failure. Santana is a #4 pitcher, regardless what fans believe. If he was a 1, 2, or 3, Anaheim, a pitching-starved team would have never let him go in the first place. Just an FYI, but the front office will always know everything about the players in fact, where fans speculate in opinion only and seek to sabotage teams through their own mentality, not through reality.

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

I wouldn’t offer Morals the QO next winter unless he had a real breakout. I would be too terrified he would accept.

George Vander Buist
1 year 6 months ago

Um, Scott Boras – this might be one of the dumbest things you’ve said. If Lind can be traded for pitching to someone so easily then why don’t you sign your client Morales with these mystery teams who would trade for Lind? As you said , Morales is a better choice so why doesn’t he have a contract yet?

westcoastwhitesox
1 year 6 months ago

well said!

homer
homer
1 year 6 months ago

In my opinion boras crosses a line when he starts telling teams how they should operate their business. He has no more right to tell the jays what they should do than someone telling him how to manage his clients.

George Vander Buist
1 year 6 months ago

I wonder how Adam Lind and his own agent now feel about Boras and company?

jb226
1 year 6 months ago

I had the same thought. Telling a team they should trade a player (and even for what!) in order to sign his client crosses a line for me.

northsfbay
1 year 6 months ago

Boras is too greedy. His clients make enough money.

NoAZPhilsPhan
1 year 6 months ago

Any bets that next year more players accept QO’s and that less players are represented by Boras?

homer
homer
1 year 6 months ago

I am actually hoping (though not expecting) some narrative from Cruz and his agent how his contract got to where it is. Declining 14 mil, then declining both a 2 and then 3 year offer. Might be good reading for future free agents but also general folks like me to understand their thought process. Hearing their side of the story might change some perceptions.

NoAZPhilsPhan
1 year 6 months ago

I doubt you will ever hear the truth from an agent. That’s like expecting a shark to go vegan.

Zac
1 year 6 months ago

Boras dug himself into a hole with Drew. His only hope now is if some team loses their SS or if the Yanks or Sox believe they need him for depth. Other than that, with Spring Training just around the corner, most teams are set and won’t bring anyone in till later.

Elston Howard
1 year 6 months ago

But you don’t pay $9M/year for depth. Drew is a $4-5M utility man at this point. His bat and health are too suspect to invest the kind of money he and Boras think he deserves.