NL Notes: Reds, Heyward, Gonzalez, Rockies

MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark doesn't expect the Collective Bargaining Agreement to be reopened before its 2016 expiration to address issues with the qualifying offer system, writes Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. "It’s very difficult to open up a CBA," said Clark. "Suffice it to say, if there are issues during the course of any agreement, we continue to have discussions that may not require the CBA be to opened up, making sure that whatever the concerns are, whatever the issues are, and if they can be discussed in some more formal fashion, so be it, but more often than not, come 2016 when we have an opportunity to sit down is when we’ll do so." Last night, Aaron Steen asked MLBTR readers about the qualifying offer and nearly 47% want to tweak the QO while 25% want to eliminate it entirely.

In National League news and notes on Oscar Sunday:  

  • With the ink barely dry on Homer Bailey's six-year, $105MM contract extension, the Reds will be in the same situation with starters Mat Latos, Mike Leake, and Johnny Cueto next year. Owner Bob Castellini told the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay the team wants to retain all three. "We’re going to try to sign all these guys," Castellini said. "Whether we can or not, I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball."
  • Castellini also told Fay he is not pleased with the media's coverage of the Reds' offseason because it has had an adverse affect on the team's revenues. "That season-ticket number is the most important number we can generate," said Castellini. "We knew we wanted to sign Homer. We knew we were going to make some other commitments. It’s not that we didn’t look. It gets written in such a way – 'Well, the Reds aren’t doing anything' – that really does affect people buying season tickets." Castellini provided Fay with details of the club's revenue generated through ticket sales, sponsorships, and the national TV contract adding neither he nor any of the other principal owners or investors have ever taken money out of the franchise.  
  • Last month, the Braves gave Jason Heyward a two-year, $13.3MM contract. In two years, the perfect storm of baseball's economics, Heyward's age, and actions taken by the Braves will set the 24-year-old up for a huge payday on a likely barren free agent market, according to Mike Petriello of in an Insider-only piece (subscription required).
  • With mixed reviews to date, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez made his Spring Training debut yesterday. Phillies GM Ruban Amaro Jr. was upbeat about what he saw, reports's Todd Zolecki. "He probably threw better with his stuff as far as his velocity and breaking ball since he's been in camp," Amaro said. "I was encouraged that his stuff was better than it had been in his sides. And hopefully it will continue to progress in a positive way." Pitching coach Bob McClure added (as quoted by Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Inquirer), "I saw a very competitive (guy), and that is what I was really hoping for. And he might be one of those guys that’s not the best practice player, but you put him in a game and he competes." Reports surfaced last week Gonzalez could open the season in the minors.
  • Solid pitching will be key to any improvement the Rockies hope to make this season. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick focuses on young starters Jonathan Gray and Eddie Butler while the Denver Post's Troy E. Renck examines the Rockies' adherence to pitch counts to protect their starting rotation and the corresponding reliance on their bullpen, which could be called upon to record 10 or 11 outs every game. 

41 Responses to NL Notes: Reds, Heyward, Gonzalez, Rockies Leave a Reply

  1. Rob Pri 1 year ago

    Jason Heyward is the most over-hyped player in MLB today, his numbers do not back up the buzz he receives.

    • Matt Mccarron 1 year ago

      Every player from Bryce Harper to Miggy Cabrera to Robinson Cano to David Wright is over-hyped in one way or another.
      Heyward is a power hitting LF with very good OBP skills and a gold glover. Great throwing arm, good range. Hits for power,
      He hits LH better then RH which is odd.
      In this day and age with contracts, getting him for 7M is a steal. You must remember he is only 24 and hasn’t even touched his prime.
      Hes a similar player to a Dom Brown or even a Utley. Short, quick swing that when he figures it out, wow.

      • Will 1 year ago

        What are you talking about Matt? 1, Heyward plays RF, not LF. 2, I’m going to assume you meant he hits LHPs better than RHPs since he doesn’t switch hit. Now to bust your bubble…..NO HE DOESN’T. He’s a career .273 hitter vs RHP and a career .232 hitter vs LHP. Last year he hit .014 better vs LHP than RHP, but that doesn’t mean he’s better vs RHP. Gonna take more than .014 over one season to overcome a .041 difference for his career. 3, Heyward has the ability to be one of the league’s top OBP guys but he has to stay healthy and be consistent. His long streaks of terribleness during the season will have to become few and far between if he’s going to be tops in the league. He went from 1st amongst NL OFers in 2010 to 14th in 2012, and was 24th last season.

    • rundmc1981 1 year ago

      I might agree with you, but when you remember how much hype he has had when he came up – he threw out the first pitch of his first MLB game to Henry Aaron, later homering in the same game – and the amount of nagging injuries he’s had to overcome you’ve got to give a hat tip to his career 18.4 WAR in 4 years. Any man that can not get knocked down by a jawbreaking fastball from Jon Niese and barely break stride is a bad, bad man.

  2. Red_Line_9 1 year ago

    If you can afford MLB season tickets close enough to actually tell who is on the field….you might also be wealthy enough to afford to fund a mid-tier free agent for the team.

  3. Damon Bowman 1 year ago

    Was Amaro watching the same Miguel Gonzalez I watched yesterday? He couldn’t find the plate and served up some serious meatballs to the top-hitters in the Yankee lineup. Maybe he watched the Miguel Gonzalez of the Orioles instead of the one he signed to pitch for the Phillies?

  4. Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

    The Yankees need to figure out how to trade
    for Jason Heyward before he ever reaches the free agent market and then
    lock him up long term. Otherwise, he will cost them at least $20MM per
    year for 7-10 years. Brett Gardner has been locked up
    long-term for a much cheaper price than what Heyward will command. The Yankees should
    package him with other players in a deal for Heyward, Dan Uggla, and
    cash, giving the Braves some salary relief in addition to a more
    affordable player who will provide more balance to the Braves outfield,
    enabling Justin Upton to move back to his natural position in the
    outfield, right field. It is a deal that could work very well for both teams.

    • GrilledCheese39 1 year ago

      Why would the Yankees trade Gardner right after they extended him?

      • Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

        Do they have anybody else who they could trade to get Heyward?

    • rundmc1981 1 year ago

      You understand that we’re not really hurting for salary relief, especially considering JHey is cost-controlled for 2 years, which is how much longer Uggla has left in ATL. Not to mention the fact that moving JUp back to his “natural” position would be a major def downgrade for ATL. We need more than money because JHey’s don’t come around any day.

      And with Gardener/Ellsbury locked up and Beltran there for 3 years, where are you going to play a gold-glove JHey? Are you going to DH Beltran?

      • Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

        Are you assuming that the Braves are going to be able to resign JHey once he becomes a free agent? If not, wouldn’t you better off with Gardner for the length of his current contract than Heyward for only two more years? Aside from that, it is pretty clear that the Braves would like to dump Uggla and take what they can get in return. Heyward obviously has more offensive upside than Gardner, but as good as he is defensively, he is not as good as Gardner, so I do not know how this swap could possibly be a major defensive downgrade for the Braves.

        • rundmc1981 1 year ago

          Pretty clear they would like to dump Uggla? What’s clear about leaving him in the starting lineup and trotting him out there like the rest of ’em? I don’t see how anything has been “clear”. Sure, he was left off the postseason roster, but he was still adjusting to Lasiks surgery. He’s been productive in the short stint so far this preseason.

          What you’ve got to remember is that they’ll get a compensatory pick if JHey signs somewhere else and 2 years of Heyward. Yes, Gardner is good, but why take on Gardner’s contract – which is good, not great – and lose a high draft pick, and possibly the 2 full cost-controlled years from a player even you’ll admit has a ceiling that has yet to be determined – someone you claim is a $200-million (with a M) player? Just not worth it to trade him unless NYY starts to learn how to draft AND develop their players for more than just players to be named later.

        • rundmc1981 1 year ago

          I’m not assuming anything. ATL FO has already said that they really like JHey and want him around long-term, they (including JHey’s agent) want 2 years to see his ceiling to determine appropriate compensation. ATL has also said they there will be money. Now, does that mean they can get into a bidding war with LAD/NYY? Probably not. But they’ve proven with signing Freeman – JHey’s BFF – that if you produce and they want you, they’ll give you more than a fair amount in years and dollars.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      A bit nuts. And why would the Yankees want to trade for him so they can lock him up to a team friendly extension, only to eat Uggla’s contract, and send more money?

      • Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

        If the Yankees could trade for Heyward and lock him up to an 8-year, $120MM deal, they could probably save about $40MM or more compared to waiting until he becomes a free agent. I would not be willing to eat Uggla’s entire contract, but I would probably be willing to pay somewhere between $6MM and $10MM of it.

        • -C 1 year ago

          If the Yankees could get Heyward for 8/$120M, why would the Braves trade him?? He’s easily signable at that dollar amount. That’s cheaper than Freeman, with more free agent seasons.

          Heyward is going to get $200M+ from someone, assuming he plays fairly well the next two seasons.


          • Zak Arn 1 year ago

            200MM? Haha… yea he’s going to get B.J. Upton-type more likely than not. He’ll need to belt more than 14 HRs and 42 RBIs every other year. Honestly he looks like Chris Young than a 200MM or even 120MM player.

  5. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

    Ruby: “I saw a very competitive (guy), and that is what I was really hoping for.
    Well for 48 Million, I would expect a bit more!
    Not only that his fastball was just o.k. His Control wasn’t the best and with a top speed of 89 miles per hour, if Miguel does find the plate the ball will find the parking lot at Bright House Field. The power hitters will turn it into a Harry Kalas ‘Long’ Drive!!!!

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      His contract was reduced to $12M after some “issues” were found.

      • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

        I could have sworn it was reduced from 60 to 48.
        Anyway, you’re right.
        It’s not that bad of a contract then.
        The thing is Miguel better become more Jamie Moyer like!

        • Zak Arn 1 year ago

          No reduced to 12MM and spring training is actually the first time RAJ has seen MAG pitch, ever.

  6. Wee McGee 1 year ago

    Mr. Castellini is a great owner, and the city of Cincinnati is lucky to have him.

    • SwingtimeInTheRockies 1 year ago

      So it would seem. I wonder if he can pull off locking up all of those guys.

      • Jay King 1 year ago

        My belief is we will probably get 2 of 3 starters. I feel like Latos and Leake will be the guys signed. So far Leake should nto be too expensive. Latos will be more than Bailey cost. Cueto seems like the guy that they will just say thank you for your time good luck to you.

        This is just gut feelings on my part, well that and Leake won’t cost an arm and a leg

  7. Metsfan93 1 year ago

    Let’s say Heyward has two fully healthy 2010/2012 type seasons, around 5 WAR with 25 HR or so. What then? Who is comparable to Heyward?
    He burst onto the scene with a great rookie season at 20 and had a fantastic age-22 season, battling injuries the other years and, in 2011, some disappointing performance. If he cranks out two healthy seasons, he could get something like a 10-year guarantee worth 20 MM per on the open market, with most of the seasons in the contract coming pre-decline.

    • rundmc1981 1 year ago

      Wait…wait…with those numbers? I love JHey and have always seen the man’s potential, but 10 years guaranteed? If one team spends all their TV contract bonus money on JHey they really do deserve to have their profit-sharing rights taken away from them. I’m sorry, but those numbers aren’t $200MM worthy, even with 2 healthy seasons of 25 HR (which can easily be done by him). Just wait til you see him for a full season batting leadoff.

      • Metsfan93 1 year ago

        We’re talking about a 26-year old outfielder who has 16.5 WAR in 2170 PA- if he bats leadoff for two healthy seasons it isn’t impossible to see him collect 11 WAR in that time. He’s a very, very good player and very, very young. Even his two down seasons have been worth 2 and 3.4 fWAR…
        I think he’s fully worth a major payday

        • erm016 1 year ago

          He’s not worth $200 mil for anything less than 20 years.

          He’s good, but he’s injury prone and not consistent.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            In my original post I include the caveat that both 2014 and 2015 are full, healthy, excellent seasons. That would shed both the injury prone and inconsistent labels..

          • Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

            This is exactly why I would like the Yankees to trade for him. If he has two productive seasons, he is easily going to cost $200MM over 10 years on the open market. If the Yankees could trade for him right now, they could probably lock him up for 8 years and $120MM with a team option year or two.

          • CT 1 year ago

            If he signs an 8 year 120M extension, I’d bet the farm it’s with the Braves before the Yankees.

          • -C 1 year ago

            No, they couldn’t. No one is locking him up cheap, the Braves have already tried and failed.

            Now, if you want to pay $200M+ for him, you’ll have that opportunity in a couple seasons, more than likely.


    • Zak Arn 1 year ago

      Chris Young.

      • Metsfan93 1 year ago

        Chris Young’s best season would slot in around Heyward’s fourth best in my hypothetical situation.

        • Zak Arn 1 year ago

          94-27-91-28-.257 in 156 games 5.5 WAR. Doesn’t hurt to look things up once in a while.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            I care about fWAR more than bWAR, and Young peaks at 4.5 under that method. Heyward already has two seasons of over 4.5 fWAR, and would have two more in my scenario, including three of his four seasons leading up to free agency. Regardless, a better Chris Young with fewer AVG problems, more youth, similar defense, and higher ceiling sounds like a pretty darned valuable player to me.

  8. jdsmith84 1 year ago

    “We’re going to try to sign all these guys,” Castellini said. “Whether we can or not, I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball.”

    Spoiler alert: they can’t. Given today’s free agent pitching prices and what they just spent on Bailey, if these guys all remain healthy and effective it would cost at least $50 mil per year to extend all three.

  9. Zak Arn 1 year ago

    Not a game, not a game… we’re talking about practice.

  10. GoFish 1 year ago

    Is there really a reason for the Reds to extend all three pitchers? Couldn’t they let, say, Leake go and replace him with Stephenson?

    • Jay King 1 year ago

      I think Leake will be the easiest to sign.. I think the Reds will take advantage of that. I know Latos will cost a lot but I feel the Reds should hang onto him especially with all they gave up to get him.

    • Zak Arn 1 year ago

      Lock them up, not worry about SPs, trade prospects for OFs.

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