Quick Hits: Free Agents, Drew, Roe, Zaidi, Twins

It's hard to believe that Roberto Alomar isn't even the best player with an "A" name born on February 5th, but those are the breaks when you share a birthday with the legendary Hammerin' Hank Aaron.  Happy birthday to both Hall of Famers, as Aaron celebrates his 80th birthday while Alomar turns 46 today.  Here's some news from around the baseball world…

  • In his latest article for his Gammons Daily site, Peter Gammons opines that several of the free agents whose markets are hurt by being tied to draft pick compensation (such as Ubaldo Jimenez, Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew) may have been better served by accepting qualifying offers from their former teams and using those one-year deals as pillow contracts to multiyear deals next winter.  The qualifying offer issue isn't nearly as big a problem facing the game, Gammons believes, as the issue of smaller-market teams having fewer avenues to signing amateur and international talent.  "The system rewards a top five market like Houston for losing, and punishes the Rays, Indians and Athletics for being highly competent small markets," Gammons writes.
  • Also from Gammons, he notes that Scott Boras, Drew's agent, "is invested" on getting the Red Sox to re-sign the shortstop to a three-year deal that includes an opt-out clause.  Such a clause would create a possible pillow contract situation for Drew, and also possibly clear room for prospect Deven Marrero to soon take over at short in Boston (Marrero also happens to be a Boras client).
  • Six teams were interested in right-hander Chaz Roe when he elected free agency earlier today, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link).  Roe has narrowed his choice down to two of the six clubs.
  • Athletics director of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was recently promoted to the role of assistant general manager, and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle profiles Zaidi's impressive (and unconventional) rise up the ranks.  The 37-year-old Zaidi is highly regarded around baseball, and he's credited within the A's organization as being a key figure in the club's use of platoons and the signing of Yoenis Cespedes.
  • The Twins "have expressed zero interest" in signing Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson reports (Twitter links).  It's possible the Twins could still make a move, Wolfson notes, as the club did heavily scout Diaz last year.  The Twins were one of several teams linked to Diaz last offseason but their interest had cooled due to Diaz's asking price.
  • Ken Davidoff of the New York Post shares his predictions on where the seven top remaining free agents on the market will land.
  • The fates of Jimenez, Ervin Santana, A.J. Burnett and Bronson Arroyo could impact the Red Sox, as teams that come up short in signing any of the free agent hurlers could approach the Sox about a trade for their excess starters, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald writes.  This scenario wouldn't include the Blue Jays or Orioles, however, as the Red Sox aren't interested in sending pitching to division rivals.


Leave a Reply

47 Comments on "Quick Hits: Free Agents, Drew, Roe, Zaidi, Twins"


kungfucampby
1 year 5 months ago

Draft pick compensation seems unfair because it is. Its real purpose is to keep free agency salaries low. It’s performing that function masterfully.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

The compensation is not the problem, its the punishment for the team signing the free agent. Why the MLBPA agreed is beyond me,

kungfucampby
1 year 5 months ago

It’s pretty baffling.

Jeff
1 year 5 months ago

Between this and PEDs, I suspect we’re headed for a labor stoppage on the next deal.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Doubt it. Look at the salaries in baseball they are very high. The $14M offer was more than Morales or Cruz would have gotten in recent years. They just way overvalued their markets. They aren’t stars, or even very good players, but want be paid $15M a year.

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

It’s going to be hard to get the general public behind them also. remember every other time they went on strike?

Salary amounts are beyond belief. Yes.. The players tried using the line that 1 in a certain percentage can play MLB, but when minimum salary is 500k.. Causing a work stoppage will be hard and I really doubt the owners will do a lockout again.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Both sides are making tremendous amounts of money. It takes more than a few guys not getting what they want to stop it. Even without draft picks is Ervin really a $100MM pitcher? Garza had no draft pick and he got $50M.

rct
1 year 5 months ago

What exactly about PEDs would lead you to suspect that it’d facilitate a labor stoppage? The players, the union, the owners, and the commissioner all want the same thing in re: PEDS. They want them out of baseball, period.

Denny Doyle
1 year 5 months ago

“its the punishment for the team signing the free agent. Why the MLBPA agreed is beyond me”

Why would the MLBPA care if teams are getting punished. Their business is the betterment of the players. Since overall payrolls are going up around the league, they should be pleased with the agreement.

johnny
1 year 5 months ago

The MLBPA should care about the team’s punishment being too harsh, as it leads to good players going unsigned. That’s the whole big thing about the discussion. The players are hurt because of the draft pick loss, the “punishment.”

hediouspb
1 year 5 months ago

it was a replacement for the old system that was allowing teams to keep middle relievers and catchers signed for cheep dollars. the number of players effected by the system is small and the ones out there are not good enough to warrant huge contracts.

you can’t just look at the players having a hard time and judge the system. it is supposed to allow teams to keep mid level talent and receive something for having high end talent walk.

Zac
1 year 5 months ago

If it’s real purpose is to keep salaries low, than its not really working considering the huge contracts that many of these players have received over the years. I think it’s a good thing because it helps teams like the Rays get something back when they cant afford to outspend the Yankees, Dodgers and other high priced teams. A majority of players are overpaid as it is, I don’t believe this is effecting their future salary.

Denny Doyle
1 year 5 months ago

When you look at the individual cases of Jimenez, Morales and Drew, the system appears to be “unfair”. But overall team payrolls have exploded the past 2 seasons. The fact that these players made poor decisions at the beginning of FA shouldn’t be held against the entire system. 14.1mil is nothing to sneeze at, I doubt these guys could’ve gotten that kind of money, under the old system either.

daveineg
1 year 5 months ago

All the screaming going on about draft pick compensation isn’t because it’s an unfair system. It’s because agents overvalued their players. Now they want to be compensated for their mistakes?? Small and mid market teams are never in on top free agents, even their own because they can’t afford to. What’s fair about that? Baseball’s been unfair ever since the dawn of free agency and the refusal of big market ownership to share local revenue.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

Gammons must forget that Drew already did the pillow contract. Not sure what a pillow contract does for a player already coming off a good season, since they will suffer the same problem next year being 1 yr older, and risking an injury that kills their market value.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

not to mention that instead of just vs peralta, next winter has Hanley, Lowrie, Hardy, A Cabrera.

homer
homer
1 year 5 months ago

An injury should kill their market value.

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

That would be someone like Jed Lowrie and let me make a prediction.. Lowrie somehow manages to stay healthy next season..That would make 2 years in a row.. Oakland should offer him a QO. He’d be a far more valuable commodity on the open market than somebody like Drew.. Lowrie can play 3b/SS/2b and carries a better bat than Drew, who hasn’t hit since injuring his ankle that well.

Lowrie may not have the slick glove at SS (his worst position), but he’d be a fair 2b/3b for some team and it he puts up close to what he did in 2013 would get a 3y offer as a 30YO heading into 2015.

rct
1 year 5 months ago

Also, if Drew so badly wants a pillow contract situation, he could have just accepted the QO and had $14MM this season without lifting a finger.

hediouspb
1 year 5 months ago

or perhaps he realizes that the $14 he was offered is a 40% increase on what he took last year.

northsfbay
1 year 5 months ago

The players have to adapt to the changes. You always have to change with the times.

ley_z
1 year 5 months ago

Tired of hearing about how the Red Sox will “trade from their excess of pitchers”. Let’s look at the options: Lester, Buchholz, and Lackey- NOT getting traded. Jake Peavy- seems unlikely, he is great for a 4th starter and if they needed him enough to trade for him last season, why unload him now?

That leaves us with Dempster and Doubront to battle for the 5th spot. Both have been mediocre starters but acceptable swingmen. No team in baseball needs to pull a trade for a guy like that, they are everywhere. Makes far more sense to keep both and let them fill the same role: starting until they blow up, then relieving until they get it together, then starting again, etc.

Denny Doyle
1 year 5 months ago

Doubront is 26 year old coming off 160 innings and 4.32 ERA (1.29 ERA in playoffs), who made only 500k last year. “they are everywhere” – No they’re not.

ley_z
1 year 5 months ago

You mention a 4.32 ERA like it is something impressive. You also mention his playoff ERA, which is based on 7 total innings, all out of the bullpen. The fact is, Doubront has never been highly touted, never shown dominance at any level. The guy seems like a 4-5 starter at best. You’re right that he has upside being just 26, but that’s exactly the reason a trade match would be so hard to find. The Red Sox inherently will want more for him than anyone would be willing to give up, so they might as well keep him as their 5 starter.

Denny Doyle
1 year 5 months ago

Simply put, I see a guy on roughly the same trajectory as Justin Masterson. Masterson was even traded at a similar age/service time. He was the centerpiece in trade for Victor Martinez. There’s no reason to believe Doubront doesn’t carry that same relative value.

BTW: You saw 7 inns of relief in the playoffs. I saw some really tough innings in crucial games against powerhouses Detroit and St Louis to help win WS, done at a very young age.

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

I apologize for this in advance, but every time I see the name Denny Doyle? It reminds me of Doug “The Dude” Griffin he took over for at 2b in Boston and that great run at the plate Doyle had on that ’75 ALCS team.

Denny Doyle
1 year 5 months ago

Lol, Doyle was the man, at least for ’75 (I had his image as my avatar, but recently reformatted mac). Clell Lavern Hobson over at 3B (don’t understand why he went by ‘Butch’). Freddie Lynn crashing into walls. That team was great, “if” Rice doesn’t break his wrist . . .

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

He sure was and a nice guy also. One of the few brother trios to play MLB i guess. Dimaggio, Alou, Molinas. Probably a couple more.

redsoxu571
1 year 5 months ago

Cost-controlled 26 year old LHP with strikeout stuff is quite hard to find. After a slow start Doubrant put up a 3.81 ERA in his final 130 innings (3.50 over 129 innings if you take away a hiccup final start when he was tiring). And he did it in Fenway Park through an AL East schedule. Funny how people forget that last part…if Doubrant were a Padre he’d be viewed as a “burgeoning star”.

That doesn’t mean he should be viewed as a big chip, but he has significant trade value.

Mike1L
1 year 5 months ago

I’m astonished by the Boras ask for Drew. Three plus an opt-out? I guess that’s why they pay him the big bucks…

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Well before the winter meeting Boras mention Elvis Andrus’ deal as a comparison for Drew so he is slowing coming down to a realistic demand.

Mike1L
1 year 5 months ago

I’m surprised there were no comparisons to Honus Wagner

BrocNessMonster
1 year 5 months ago

It’s also Babe Ruth, Axl Rose, and Bob Marley’s birthdays.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Time to start looking to draft players born on Feb 6, seems like a good birthday for hitters

Aaron Somers
1 year 5 months ago

Ruth is today. Aaron/Alomar were yesterday, when this was posted.

BoSoXaddict
1 year 5 months ago

I really hope the Sox pass on Drew if it’s gonna be for 2 or 3 years but, then again, I’m a Middlebrooks apologist and, above all, am interested in letting the “kids” play…like they originally intended after 2012. Sure, it would be nice to have Drew THIS year, but after that? With XB, Cecchini, Marrero and probably still Brooks in the mix for 2 spots? not so much.

J
1 year 5 months ago

Not to mention the silliness of clearing room for Deven Marrero. They have this other young SS named Xander Bogaerts who is supposed to be kinda ok.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

Just wait until April or June when injuries and non-performance rear their ugly head. In June more teams may be in on Drew since they won’t lose a pick

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Team should want the opt-out. Get rid of him earlier.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

Good hitter, not so sure he can handle SS. Also, his price goes up as a SS when the Red Sox try and extend him. Better if he is at 3B then they can move him

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Not to mention that Marrero hasn’t even proven he is very good. He can still certainly be something, but it’s not a very good argument not to sign someone who last year had a .676 ops in A+ and .558 ops in AA. That isn’t the line of someone knocking at the door, if he was strong in AA or AAA I could see that as the case, but he still looks like he is a minimum of 1 year away, more likely 2+, Drew could be gone by then.

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

Fantasy, for the fact that Cecchini is the 3b of the future and Marrero will play no part in the long term future of the team, barring some kind of trade.

J
1 year 5 months ago

This really confused me. Are you saying the Red Sox should play him at a less premium position because he’ll cost more? If so that’s silly. If he can play SS, he should play SS.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

He is best wherever it makes the team best. He is a Boras client, it is going to be a huge extension if it is one. Boras will market him as a ss if he can play ss. If the sox do need an upgrade in a couple years it’s easier to find that strong bat at 3B than it would be if they insist on Bogaerts at 3B.

Denny Doyle
1 year 5 months ago

Marrerro is suppose to be a good defensive SS with a strong arm, with little power and lots of speed. Don’t see how that translates to 3B at all.

Aaron Somers
1 year 5 months ago

So you’re suggesting Marrero is Jose Iglesias with speed?

Denny Doyle
1 year 5 months ago

Im suggesting Marrero is Marrero. Iglesias has one of the best gloves in the major leagues, which is not the same as ‘good def SS’ by Double A standards. Also, Iglesias has greatly overachieved since he hit the big leagues. We can only hope Marrero follows a path similar to Igesias.