Olney On Mazzaro, Drew, Morales, Huntington, Perkins

ESPN.com's Buster Olney touched on a number of interesting topics today in his Insider blog and podcast. Among them:

  • One reason that Pirates reliever Vin Mazzaro may have cleared waivers is simply that he stood to be paid nearly twice the league minimum salary. "Once you go to spring training, you’ve spent almost all the money you’re going to spend," a general manager told Olney. "There aren’t many teams with a lot of extra money lying around." 
  • That same fact has a bearing on the situations of compensation free agents Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales. Olney polled executives around the league, finding that none were willing to pay either player at the qualifying offer rate of $14.1MM. The highest figure he heard was $10MM to $12MM AAV for Drew and a $8MM to $10MM rate for Morales on a multi-year deal, with most respondents landing well shy of those amounts. There were many other concerns raised as well, ranging from those players' injury histories to questions about their commitment to a new team (e.g., would they play through a late-season injury?) and worry about "the layoff and need for a modified spring training."
  • Turning to the podcast, Olney spoke with Pirates GM Neal Huntington, who said that the team left its playoff run determined to return with focus. Instead, Huntington said that his concern entering the spring was how to keep positive energy flowing after the front office was criticized for its quiet offseason. Huntington said that the team wanted to do more, but that there "wasn't the right move out there" and he felt the organization needed to continue to "stretch when it's appropriate, stay disciplined when it's appropriate." Looking ahead, the GM said that, "if need be we can go outside because of the depth of our player development system."
  • Huntington also discussed his team's well-publicized use of defensive shifts, saying that it is all about "maximizing our chances to put balls in play and turn them into outs" and indicating that much of the work is in shading out of the standard alignment. The approach for each situation is developed through what he calls a "multi-tiered process" within the organization. 
  • Olney also chatted with newly extended Twins closer Glen Perkins, who is under team control through 2018. Perkins said that he made clear to his agent as far back as his first extension that he was happy to take a deal and stay in town rather than "pric[ing] myself out" of the organization. The lefty says that maximizing money is not the most important thing, and saw value in the possibility of a World Series run with his hometown club while providing for his family's future when he had the chance. He kicked things off by suggesting a new deal to his agent, with a deal coming together quickly thereafter. 
  • Asked for his opinion on the idea of players accepting so-called team-friendly deals, Perkins said that the chances of upside are met (and often exceeded) by the possibility of "blowing your arm out." It becomes somewhat easier to take on risk as a player's earnings rise throughout their career, Perkins noted, but looking for "a little more" is tough when "you're always one pitch away." His ultimate advice to players is hard to disagree with: "get yours while you can."

10 Responses to Olney On Mazzaro, Drew, Morales, Huntington, Perkins Leave a Reply

  1. sammykhalifa 1 year ago

    Yeah, let’s “Cap” the draft but keep unlimited spending on free agency. Victory for the Small Guy!

  2. daveineg 1 year ago

    Pitching and defense aren’t going to be good enough in a loaded division.

  3. NomarGarciaparra 1 year ago

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought draft pick compensation would still happen now. Don’t you have to wait until after the draft?

    • chicothekid 1 year ago

      you still gotta pay them right now and you still lose your draft pick right now. you cannot offer either of them a QO if you do sign them now. if signed now, the team they left still gets a supp pick. after the draft, you don’t lose your draft pick and the team they left doesn’t get one either. you pay a prorated portion of their salary for the year.

      • NomarGarciaparra 1 year ago

        Yeah exactly, that’s what I thought. So if a team wasn’t willing to lose the pick, why would they be willing now?

        • LazerTown 1 year ago

          They weren’t willing to lose the pick while also playing $14MM aav on multiple years. Once you chop it down to $10MM over 1 year that is not too bad of a deal for a team, especially if they see that they are still in it. It’s also fine for the player because while they didn’t make as much this year, next winter they will have been able to have a full season of production, while also having no draft pick compensation. If they sit out half the year they could potentially be pretty bad in 2nd half missing all that time.

  4. chicothekid 1 year ago

    there’s not as many SS’s as you might think, and with the yankees in the market, subtract one from that total.

    • Metsfan93 1 year ago

      Hanley, JJ, Lowrie, Asdrubal is four legitimate options. Drew doesn’t want to go up against that group. He should wait out until the draft and hope a contending team with an impending free agent (….Dodgers or Orioles, basically) has their starter go down and is willing to commit to Drew long-term. Re-entering the free agent market next offseason when Addison Russell, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, and Carlos Correia will have basically eliminated four landing spots, including the homes of two free agents, is not the best strategy.

  5. GoRav114 1 year ago

    Just like they will pay JJ Hardy 21 million a year for five years to replace Jeter. They always fill in their needs by overpaying the best available free agent. (assuming Tulo is traded halfway and signed to an extension or re signs with CO I think JJ is the next best available)

    • Metsfan93 1 year ago

      Tulo is signed *very* long-term. He’s signed through 2010, I believe. Either 2019 or 2020. He isn’t a free agent any time soon.

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