Brett Anderson Rumors
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.
5:01pm: Scott Miller of CBSSports.com says the Rockies are prepared to turn around and trade Street to another team.
4:08pm: Gonzalez confirmed his inclusion in the trade in a phone call to Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today.
3:42pm: A Rockies spokesman told the AP that talks are fluid, and "everything's speculation." Heyman is now aboard with Gonzalez/Smith/Street as the package. Seems solid for one year of Holliday and the accompanying draft picks.
3:20pm: Susan Slusser spoke to Smith, who is flying to Denver for a physical. She agrees that Street and Gonzalez are the other two players.
2:54pm: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick confirmed Smith is in the deal.
2:30pm: Brown says the two teams have agreed in principle to a deal that will send Gonzalez, Smith, and Street to the Rockies.
2:24pm: The ESPN report now says Brett Anderson was under discussion as well as Smith.
2:03pm: The ESPN guys talked to A's assistant GM David Forst, who said, "It's still an ongoing discussion."
2:00pm: Ken Rosenthal chimes in. The deal may not be finalized for about 48 hours. Players discussed over the weekend: Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street, and Smith. Rosenthal says the A's do not plan to flip Holliday or trade him in July. Rosenthal also says the A's could increase payroll to as high as $80MM, which could mean $25-30MM to play with.
1:57pm: ESPN's Buster Olney and Jerry Crasnick say the two teams have agreed to terms, and believe pitcher Greg Smith was under discussion.
1:51pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown also says a deal is close.
1:27pm: According to SI.com's Jon Heyman, the A's traded for Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday. More as it comes in!
MLBTR: Some have called Billy Beane's return on Dan Haren "quantity over quality." Do you agree? What is your opinion on the Haren haul?
Slusser: My understanding is that the A's felt that Arizona might be the best match all along for Haren and that they received pretty much exactly what they asked for, so clearly these are prospects the A's valued highly, Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson in particular. Maybe there's some belief the A's should have gotten one of the Diamondbacks' young big-leaguers, but that was never on the table. I'm not sure they would have done better elsewhere, and they got some quality and certainly quantity - which isn't a bad thing. Mark Ellis was a throw-in in the Damon deal, essentially; no one really noticed him at the time. He turned out to be the most valuable piece, long-term.