Brett Anderson Rumors
The Royals continued adding to their rotation last night, acquiring James Shields and Wade Davis from the Rays. It cost them the game’s top prospect, outfielder Wil Myers, and three others: right-hander Jake Odorizzi, left-hander Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard. Here’s some reaction to the deal from around MLB...
- In a piece for Grantland, Rany Jazayerli writes that the Royals almost got fair value for Myers, but the addition of three more prospects turns the trade into highway robbery for the Rays. He goes on to say that in shoving all his chips into the pot, Moore has done the same with his job security, possibly sacrificing the future for an illusory present.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore is "furious" over critiques insinuating that his motivation to make the deal was simply to preserve his job, writes Bob Nightengale of USA Today. In particular, Nightengale writes that Moore was livid over the reaction of ESPN's Keith Law (link included in earlier updates below). Moore calls any such allegations "very, very insulting."
- Baseball America's Jim Callis writes that Myers instantly becomes the Rays' top prospect, and that Odorizzi slots in at No. 5 between Hak-Ju Lee and Alex Colome. Montgomery fits into the mid-teens, and Leonard would rank in the 20-30 range. The trade essentially boils down to Myers-for-Shields, in Callis' mind, as Odorizzi is similar to Davis but at an earlier stage while Montgomery and Leonard are lottery tickets. Because of that, he doesn't think it's a terrible deal for the Royals.
- One NL general manager called the trade "bold on both sides," ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports. Some evaluators prefer the deal for the Royals, while others believe the Rays did better. An AL GM told Crasnick both teams did well. "I don't get all the online angst towards Kansas City," the GM added.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has comments from many of the players involved in the deal. Odorizzi said he "definitely" feels ready for the MLB level, Topkin reports.
- ESPN.com's Jayson Stark points out that Myers is the first person to be named Baseball America's minor league player of the year and be traded before playing an MLB game for the organization with which he won the award.
- Shields told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that he'd be open to an extension of the Royals wanted to discuss one. "No doubt about it," Shields said (Twitter link).
- Approximately 32,000 MLBTR readers voted on the deal and nearly half believe the Rays won. Another 32% say both teams won the deal and 17% say the Royals won.
- It would have taken Jon Niese and Zack Wheeler for the Mets to obtain a similar package to the one the Rays obtained, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports (on Twitter). Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.com first reported this news four days ago.
- Though the trade reflects a sense of urgency from the Royals, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star doesn't get the sense that GM Dayton Moore is on the hot seat (Twitter link).
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney suggests the Rays will delay Myers' arrival at the MLB level to ensure he doesn't obtain a full year of service time in 2013. It's also possible that the Rays could look to extend the promising outfielder, Olney suggests. I agree with both of Olney's point here. There's no way the Rays can allow Myers to get a full year of service in 2013.
- Six pro scouts don't consider the trade one-sided, J.J. Cooper of Baseball America reports. The Royals don't deserve the criticism being directed their way, the scouts told Baseball America.
- Shields will obtain a $750K trade bonus as part of the deal, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- One GM told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that "Myers is no slam dunk" and added that this is "far from a lopsided deal." Rosenthal suggests teams like the Royals can too often get fixated on their prospects and pass on opportunities to compete.
- The Royals tried to trade Myers for Shields straight up, but the Rays said no, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes (Twitter links). The Royals also tried trading Myers to Oakland for Brett Anderson only to be turned down, Passan writes.
- In Passan's view Royals general manager Dayton Moore made a desperate trade that will define his tenure as GM in Kansas City. Still, Passan writes, it's hard to blame the Royals for attempting to win now.
- The Tigers weren't happy to see the Royals acquire Shields, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Shields is a difference maker who will make the Royals better, Knobler writes.
- The Rangers had hoped to add Zack Greinke or Shields this winter, but lost out on both this past weekend, Knobler reports (on Twitter).
- Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star won't be surprised if the Royals seek a low-cost outfielder in free agency (Twitter link). After trading Myers, the club might have interest in spending $1MM or less on a rebound candidate.
- It's an outstanding day for Rays fans, ESPN.com's Keith Law writes (Insider only). Conversely, this could be the deal that brings Moore's time in Kansas City to an end in Law's view.
- My thoughts: the Rays were justified in trading Shields and Davis for Myers and the other prospects because they obtained more long-term value. While the Royals surrendered a lot, they addressed their most pressing weakness -- starting pitching -- in a meaningful way and increased their chances of competing in 2013. The Royals have much more rotation depth than they did two months ago. Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie, Shields and Davis make the Kansas City staff better. Yet you can make the case that they overpaid every time they acquired a new arm.
The A's announced that Brett Anderson underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his left elbow. Dr. James Andrews performed the operation on Anderson, who will miss the remainder of the season. Here are this afternoon's links...
- The Cubs signed third round outfielder Zeke DeVoss for a $500K bonus, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America. The bonus is roughly $160K more than MLB recommended.
- The Padres have one prospect on Keith Law's recently-published list, Casey Kelly. They'll ask for another elite prospect in exchange for Mike Adams, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- Rookie Michael Pineda and third-year pitcher Trevor Cahill are among the MLB players with the most trade value, according to Dave Cameron of FanGraphs, who lists his #31-35 top trade chips in baseball. Kevin Youkilis and the recently-extended Jaime Garcia check in in the #26-30 range.
- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that his team may not need trades to re-enter the playoff picture. "If we play to our potential, I guarantee we're going to kick some people's butt," Guillen said. "But we're not playing to our potential now."
As the Angels and Mariners begin a three-game series at Safeco Field tonight, let's look at some items concerning those clubs and their other two division rivals....
- Could the Angels considering moving Jered Weaver this summer? FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal looks at what might happen if the Halos fall out of contention, with a Weaver deal being the biggest possible move the club could make to rebuild. I looked at Weaver as both a trade and an extension candidate last April.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan looks at some reader suggestions about what the Rangers might do before the trade deadline. Sullivan speculates that the Orioles could be a good trade partner for the Rangers -- Texas wants right-handed relivers (like Jim Johnson or Koji Uehara) and Baltimore could use a first baseman for the future like Chris Davis.
- Athletics southpaw Brett Anderson will not need Tommy John surgery, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. (Twitter link) Dr. James Andrews instead recommended six weeks of rehabilition for Anderson, and the two will meet again in three weeks for a re-evaluation.
- Also from Buster Olney, (via Twitter), the Athletics could find a suitor for Mark Ellis without leaving the Bay Area. The Giants need second base help with Freddy Sanchez possibly out for the season, while the A's might prefer to give playing time at second base to Jemile Weeks or Scott Sizemore. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes listed Ellis as a possible trade candidate in his examination of what the A's might do if they become sellers. Of note: Ellis does have no-trade protection in his contract, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts.
- The three-team deal between the Mariners, Indians and Mets in December 2008 has proven to be a boon for the M's, writes Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.
Jemile Weeks collects walks just like his older brother Rickie, but while the elder Weeks hits for power, Jemile is more of a contact hitter, writes Fangraphs' Jack Moore in his analysis of the two Weeks brothers. Jemile went 0-for-4 in his Major League debut last night for the A's, leading off and playing second base.
Here are some more items from Oakland, courtesy of Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle...
- "Hideki Matsui's future is cloudy" with the A's, but the veteran may get one more stint of regular playing time to see if he can turn around his disappointing season. As Slusser notes, Matsui has been a better hitter in the second half of the season (a career .855 OPS after the All-Star break), but the team might not want to wait that long. I'd suggest Oakland could probably trade Matsui to a contender for a low-profile prospect rather than release him for nothing.
- Right-hander Graham Godfrey will make his Major League debut in a start against the White Sox on Friday. The A's will have to make a 40-man roster move to make room for Godfrey and Slusser guesses the team will have to designate someone for assignment. That is, unless, the A's have already gotten word that Brett Anderson will need Tommy John surgery and he can be moved to the 60-day DL. Anderson will get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews next week.
- While the A's are struggling right now, "I don't see Billy Beane pulling the plug in early June no matter how many injuries they've absorbed, or even if Anderson does need Tommy John surgery." Slusser notes that "Josh Willingham's name is definitely out there" in terms of trade rumors.
- Oakland's late-round draft picks included Brett Geren (manager Bob Geren's son) in the 42nd round and Shane Boras (son of agent Scott Boras) in the 39th round. Shane is the second Boras child to be drafted in this year's amateur draft; his brother Trent was taken in the 30th round by the Brewers.
- Andy LaRoche has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, Slusser tweets. LaRoche was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Monday.
The A's will explore ways of upgrading their roster this season, but the youngest members of their rotation are 'basically untouchable,' according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Tyson Ross are likely staying put this summer, Olney reports.
Dallas Braden, now on the 15-day DL and Brandon McCarthy round out Oakland's rotation, which could be a constant for years to come. The A's have Anderson and Cahill under team control through 2015 and 2017, respectively. Ross isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season, Gonzalez isn't eligible until after 2015 and Braden is under team control for 2012-13.
A's starters are first in the majors in ERA (2.59), second in innings pitched (236) and third in BB/9 (2.48) and xFIP (3.29). The early results are good and it wouldn't be hard to argue that Gonzalez (25), Ross (24), Cahill (23) and Anderson (23) have yet to reach their prime.
Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill were born four weeks apart, went in the same round of the same draft and made their MLB debuts the same week. The similarities extend to their stats, their service time and their place in Oakland's long term plans.
Examine their respective extensions, however, and the parallels aren't as strong. Anderson signed a year ago this week for a guaranteed $12.5MM over four years. If the A's exercise both of their club options, Anderson (pictured) will become a free agent after the 2015 season with $31.4MM in career earnings.
Cahill signed a record deal earlier this afternoon that guarantees him $30.5MM over five years. If the A's exercise both of their club options, Cahill will become a free agent after the 2017 season with $57.5MM in career earnings.
At a glance, it appears that Cahill got a decisively better contract by waiting a year, both in terms of guaranteed money and potential earnings over the course of the deal.
There's another way to look at the extensions, though. Anderson will be a free agent by the 2015-16 offseason at the latest, potentially two years earlier than his rotation-mate. Given the scarcity of top starters on the free agent market, Anderson and his representatives at Legacy Sports Group will be in an enviable position when his contract expires, assuming he pitches well; his age 28 and 29 seasons could be worth $40MM total on the open market.
If the A's exercise both of their options for both pitchers, Anderson will have to earn $26.1MM for 2016-17 to match Cahill's career earnings, an achievable goal given the asking price for the few top starters who do reach free agency. Cahill won't earn more than $26.5MM for his age 28-29 seasons, a trade-off for the security he obtains with substantial guaranteed salaries in 2014-15.
The 2016-17 seasons seem distant now and injuries or poor performance could limit Anderson's marketability between now and then. There's no question that he doesn't have the same security as Cahill, but in surrendering fewer years of team control, he'll appear on the open market sooner. That could be a good thing for Anderson, since the market is a profitable place to be for elite free agent starters who have yet to turn 30.
Photo courtesy Icon SMI.
Thursday night linkage..
- Agent Scott Boras said in an interview on MLB Network Radio that he has never seen more interest in a player than he has for client Adrian Beltre.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journel-Sentinel (via Twitter) that he is "making progress" towards a deal with Craig Counsell.
- Zack Greinke has yet to present the Royals with his list of clubs that he refuses to be traded to, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that A's GM Billy Beane said that no move will be ruled out this winter except for dealing starters Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, and Dallas Braden.
- A source told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) that he thinks the Diamondbacks will look for a short-term solution at first base. As Morosi points out, this would mean that Paul Konerko would not be the answer in Arizona.
- John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times thinks the Rays should re-sign Carlos Pena.
- Nats reliever Joe Bisenius has elected free agency after being outrighted, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. The fireballer was a September call-up this year but made just five appearances.
- Jayson Stark of ESPN (via Twitter) expects free agent Hiroki Kuroda to remain with the Dodgers.
- While Justin Marks may not blossom into a superstar, some think that he could develop into a No. 3 or 4 starter, writes MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. The Royals acquired the left-hander from Oakland along with Vin Mazzaro in exchange for David DeJesus.
- In an interview on MLB Network Radio, free agent Craig Counsell said there's a "definite possibility" that he could return to the Brewers.
ESPN's Jayson Stark kicks off today's column with a look at which teams' starts he considers reality and illusion. Beyond that, a look at his hot stove rumblings...
- One club official who "felt out" the Padres over the winter believes they'll hold on to their top players if they're in contention in July. As Stark says, the market would look a lot worse without Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell.
- Stark names six sluggers who "might be in play" this summer: Josh Hamilton, Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche, Rick Ankiel, Paul Konerko, and Manny Ramirez. Hamilton and Manny are longer shots, but they'd certainly get the hot stove burning.
- As for Jose Guillen - executives Stark talked to just aren't interested, despite his .377/.406/.738 start.
- In search of new stadiums, where could the Rays and A's legitimately threaten to move? Stark and his sources run through ideas and can't find a viable city.
- A friend of Cal Ripken's tells Stark "there's a lot of mutual respect" between Ripken and Orioles owner Peter Angelos. Ripken seeks a difference-making job, rather than just a title. It doesn't necessarily have to be with the Orioles.
- The Cubs told Derrek Lee's agent Casey Close they'd prefer to let the season play out before talking extension. Lee discussed the situation during Spring Training.
- Stark's sources consider Brett Anderson's four-year, $12.5MM deal a very team-friendly contract. To the A's credit, most young pitchers are not willing to give two club options. Playing devil's advocate - did the potential cost savings justify committing four years to Anderson after just one year of service? You can find multiple clubs that do not share Oakland's enthusiasm for locking up good young pitchers.
Links for Saturday..
- R.J. Anderson at FanGraphs isn't quite sure why Brett Anderson (and his agent) would agree to the four year extension he signed, but he also notes that Oakland's side of the deal isn't exactly risk-free.
- Baseball color analyst John Smoltz won't completely rule out a return to baseball, writes Chad Finn of the Boston Globe. In March, Ken Rosenthal noted that the Phillies have shown strong interest in the soon-to-be 43-year-old as a possible mid-season addition.
- Ozzie Guillen stood up for White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Orioles owner Peter Angelos said that he would be happy to sit down and talk with Cal Ripken Jr. if he is interested in a position with the club, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.
- Mets manager Jerry Manuel shot down rumors of a clubhouse rift, tweets David Lennon of Newsday.
- Outfielder Fred Lewis is happy to be a member of the Blue Jays, according to Larry Millson and James Hall of MLB.com. The Giants shipped the 29-year-old to Toronto earlier this week and will receive either cash or a player to be named later in return.
The A's signed lefty Brett Anderson to a four-year contract extension, the team announced (via Twitter). The deal runs from 2010-2013 and includes club options for 2014 and 2015. The extension buys out Anderson's last two pre-arbitration seasons and his first two arbitration years. The options cover Anderson's final arb year and his first year of free agency.
As the Associated Press reported (via ESPN.com), Anderson will earn $500K in 2010, $1MM in 2011, $3MM in 2012, and $5.5MM in 2013. The options are for $8MM in 2014 and $12MM in 2015, with a $1.5MM buyout for each year. Anderson will also receive a $1MM signing bonus, paid in four equal installments between now and November 2011. Overall, the deal will guarantee the left-hander $12.5MM and could be worth as much as $31MM over six years.
In comparison, Brandon Webb signed a $7.5MM extension covering the same four-year chunk of his career in 2004. The Anderson contract overwrites the 2010 deal worth $410K that the A's re-signed him to last month.
The 22-year-old lefty pitched to a 4.06 ERA in 175.1 innings last year with 7.7 K/9 and 2.3BB/9. He has pitched similarly well in his two starts this season. Baseball America ranked Anderson the seventh-best prospect in the game going into the 2009 season.