Rosenthal’s Latest: Masterson, Burns, Olt, Francisco

In his latest piece for FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal wonders how the Indians could possibly say no to Justin Masterson's proposed extension. Rosenthal's sources tell him Masterson is seeking a three-year extension on top of his current deal at roughly market value in terms of average annual salary (Rosenthal speculates $17-18MM). Few Cleveland stars in any sport express a willingness to take a discount to stay, adds Rosenthal, and it would send a poor message to fans and the Indians' players to make the decision not to pay Masterson. Here are some more highlights from a jam-packed Rosenthal column…

  • Outfielder Billy Burns might be the most intriguing player in Athletics camp, writes Rosenthal. Acquired from the Nationals in exchange for Jerry Blevins, Burns was attractive to the A's because he was one of just three players in all of minor league baseball with more than 50 stolen bases and an OBP north of .400 last season. Burns has swiped seven bags in eight Spring Training games thus far, and scouts have raved about his instincts as a leadoff man, says Rosenthal.
  • Mike Olt has looked good thus far in camp with the Cubs, and the team's preference is for him to win the third base job out of Spring Training rather than head back to Triple-A. Doing so would allow the club to start Christian Villanueva at third in Triple-A and Kris Bryant at the hot corner in Double-A. Rosenthal points out that if Olt were to rebound from the concussion/vision issues that plagued him last season, the Cubs' haul for Matt Garza would look all the more impressive. Chicago also plucked C.J. Edwards from the Rangers, who enters the 2014 season ranked as the game's No. 26 prospect, per Baseball America.
  • Brewers first baseman Juan Francisco could be squeezed out again and find himself on the move, writes Rosenthal. Francisco is out of options, and the Brew Crew could prefer to take Lyle Overbay as a potential pairing with Mark Reynolds due to Overbay's superior glove. Rosenthal speculates that the Tigers could be a good fit for Francisco, as they have just four players capable of hitting left-handed on their roster. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ran down all of the NL Central's out-of-options players yesterday.
  • It's been reported in recent days that the Royals and James Shields aren't likely to work out an extension, and sources tell Rosenthal the same thing. A Masterson extension would be a clear benefit to Shields, as Shields would have less competition on next year's open market. MLBTR recently examined what Shields might earn as a free agent next offseason.


30 Responses to Rosenthal’s Latest: Masterson, Burns, Olt, Francisco Leave a Reply

  1. Mikel Grady 1 year ago

    Hope olt puts up a monster year. Guy has been through a lot.

    • Rene2331 1 year ago

      Olt would also serve as great protection for Rizzo in the lineup. I hope it all works out we need some pop in the lineup.

  2. daveineg 1 year ago

    Francisco is a guy better suited to DH than anywhere on the field so he has more value in the AL. He hits HR in bunches but when he’s cold, he’s brutal. Brewers aren’t exactly overflowing with LH bats either, but if they were happy with Francisco, they wouldn’t have brought in someone like Overbay.

  3. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Given todays FA market, 3/54 for Masterson’s age 30-32 seasons is a deal. Not sure why Cleveland hasn’t bitten yet.

    • Shin_Soo_Choo 1 year ago

      That’s a huge chunk of the Indians’ payroll and would hinder their future flexibility. Sounds like a no-brainer, but I think the Tribe really needs to think this one out.

      • Greg David 1 year ago

        Especially with Salazar and (it seems) Bauer coming on. It’s possible Masterson could be the number 3 starter by the end of this season or sometime next season if they both live up to their potential

        • Shin_Soo_Choo 1 year ago

          Luckily Salazar and Bauer wouldn’t be eligible for FA until after Masterson exhausts a potential 3-4 year contract. I don’t think Bauer will ever be an effective starter. He over-thinks and aims his pitches which will make anyone extremely inaccurate. Just ask Chuck Knoblauch.

          • Greg David 1 year ago

            Bauer is being effective today. 4 of 6 outs have been strikeouts. Granted its only spring training but it’s looking like the changes in his delivery may have made a big difference

          • Shin_Soo_Choo 1 year ago

            Good to hear. He looked lost in his first outing this spring.

  4. dishnet34 1 year ago

    I don’t necessarily think the Tigers could use Francisco…we’re set at 1B, 3B, and DH. Unless he can play outfield (since Dirks is injured), I don’t buy into Rosenthals’ speculation. (Though if it’s for AAA, I could see it)

    • Chris Koch 1 year ago

      How about using Francisco at 1b Cabrera at 3b and Castellanos in the OF spot vs. 3b. At least as a temporary fix?

  5. dishnet34 1 year ago

    I don’t necessarily think the Tigers could use Francisco…we’re set at 1B, 3B, and DH. Unless he can play outfield (since Dirks is injured), I don’t buy into Rosenthals’ speculation. (Though if it’s for AAA, I could see it)

  6. schaddy24 1 year ago

    I think the Cubs owe it to themselves to have Olt in the majors to start the year. If he plays well, it will help determine where other prospects play defensively in the future. There is a lot of positional shuffling to be done, and the sooner it starts, the sooner everyone can adjust to their future defensive home.

  7. Casey Roshek 1 year ago

    I think the Brewers like Francisco. They traded for him and he has done well so far this spring.

  8. Red_Line_9 1 year ago

    Where would the A’s play Burns to utilize his combo of obp and speed?

    • letsgogiants 1 year ago

      He’ll probably start the season in AAA, given he has played no games there and has only 30 games of AA experience as well. The outfield combo is already pretty full in Oakland with Cespedes, Crisp, Reddick, Gentry, Moss (who can play RF pretty well), and Taylor (who’s out of options). But I’m sure if anyone gets injured, he’ll be first in line to get called up.

    • Snoochies8 1 year ago

      When/If he’s ready for the bigs, most likely off the bench as a late inning defensive replacement/pinch hitter/pinch runner

  9. Brian Baker 1 year ago

    Francisco/Reynolds platoon would be a ton of HR and a ton of K’s for Brew Crew. I’d prefer him over Overbay since Francisco can play 3B as well.

  10. GrilledCheese39 1 year ago

    I’d like to see Francisco go to the Pirates. Good bench piece and possible platoon option at 1B. Trade one of those bullpen pieces for him. Mazzaro? He’s getting into arb years and the pirates don’t pay money to relievers when they have a plethora of them. A trade just like the Veras/McGehee trade of just a few years ago. Mazzaro for Francisco. Get it done NH.

    • Chris Koch 1 year ago

      The Brewers are very deep at Relief Pitchers. Too Deep honestly, they have solid arms that won’t be of use except in the AAA.

  11. Steve Rosenquist 1 year ago

    No way Brewers keep Reynolds or Overbay over Francisco. Francisco can play third and has much more potential than Reynolds or Overbay. Either Brewer catcher can play first if they need a righty to sub Francisco.

  12. Sufferfortribe 1 year ago

    Indians just need to extend Masterson now. We will never be able to afford to sign true, top-tier, free agent pitchers when they come on the market. With Masterson, this is very doable. And when they’re done with him, move on to extending Jason Kipnis. Git r done, Antonetti.

  13. Sufferfortribe 1 year ago

    Indians just need to extend Masterson now. We will never be able to afford to sign true, top-tier, free agent pitchers when they come on the market. With Masterson, this is very doable. And when they’re done with him, move on to extending Jason Kipnis. Git r done, Antonetti.

  14. Matt Bennett 1 year ago

    Where will Josh Vitters play?

    • John Wiszezur 1 year ago

      Vitters has already transitioned to the outfield. And if he can’t get his swing back, he needs to transition to Corporate America like the rest of us.

      • Matt Bennett 1 year ago

        Did he transition over the off-season? Because he has only played three minor league games in the outfield. I wish the Orioles would make a trade for him. They don’t have one legitimate third base prospect in the system.

    • Mikel Grady 1 year ago

      Left out

    • Mikel Grady 1 year ago

      Left out

  15. Brewhawk 1 year ago

    Brewers could use Francisco as a LH power bat off the bench and injury replacement for the inevitable Aramis Ramirez DL stint(s).

  16. Jeff Weissbuch 1 year ago

    Really they don not want to win because there is no room for Juan. I hardly thinks that a good reason.

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