Brian Sabean Rumors

NL Notes: Sandoval, Sabean, Martin, Stanton

The World Series continues in San Francisco tonight as the Legend of Panda continues to grow. Here’s the latest on Pablo Sandoval and the rest of the National League:

  • Without an obvious internal replacement at third base, it’s hard to imagine the Giants will let Sandoval leave even if he asks for a deal similar to the one Hunter Pence received, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Pence netted a five-year, $90MM deal from the Giants and they have shown a willingness to pay big dollars in order to keep their most identifiable players.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman also isn’t as quick to dismiss Sandoval returning to San Francisco tweeting money flows more freely when a franchise reaches the World Series.
  • Tyler Kepner of the New York Times profiles Giants GM Brian Sabean, who answers those who label him as espousing an “old school” philosophy. “When they hear ‘old school,’ they don’t understand that ‘old school’ is trying to get any and every edge,” Sabean told Kepner. “We’re all looking for the misfit toys. We’re all looking for the guys we can plug in that were overlooked because sometimes, you know what, that’s what you’re down to because your payroll’s your payroll. There’s not enough players to go around, so you better be creative.
  • The Pirates have a delicate balancing act in weighing whether to re-sign Russell Martin, opines Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates’ dilemma is whether a small-market team should make the financial commitment to retain a signature player and a clubhouse leader or avoid the risk of extending a catcher who might decline significantly over the course of his next contract.
  • Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton provided reporters, including Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown, with an update on his recovery from being hit in the face with a pitch in September. “I feel great,” Stanton said after being honored as the NL recipient of the Hank Aaron Award. “It’s a lot better than I thought it was going to be.” Stanton did acknowledge he feels an occasional jab of pain when he chews food and has yet to swing a bat. When he does, will likely wear a face guard.

NL Notes: Posey, Cabrera, Phillies, Braves, Grandal

With Derek Jeter‘s retirement and the Giants playing in their third World Series in five years, Buster Posey should be the next face of baseball. That’s the theme of separate articles by ESPN’s Jayson Stark and the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. Starks believes Posey is comparable to Jeter in making his team a perennial World Series contender with an understated, but intently competitive manner, the flowing awards and accolades, and his ability to move merchandise. Sherman theorizes Posey hasn’t already assumed Jeter’s mantle because of the position he plays, the market in which he plays, and a lack of a seminal playoff moment.

Here’s more news and notes from the National League:

  • It will be tough for other teams to copy “the Giants Way” because the Giants themselves can’t explain their success, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. “That’s a tough question to answer,” General Manager Brian Sabean said. “Things develop over time.” Time has been on the Giants’ side, notes Shaikin, as Sabean is the longest-tenured GM in baseball and his top lieutenants (Dick Tidrow and Bobby Evans, who told Shaikin he has never been interviewed for a GM opening) have been with the organization for two decades.
  • Earlier today, MLBTR’s Zach Links predicted Nationals infielder Asdrubal Cabrera will land a three-year, $27MM contract in free agency. CSNWashington’s Mark Zuckerman posits Cabrera’s best days are possibly behind him, so the Nationals’ interest will be based on whether there are better options available either via free agency or on the trade market.
  • The Phillies should have at least $20MM in payroll space this offseason which should be enough for a major signing or a few mid-level signings, provided they are committed to winning in 2015, according to CSNPhilly.com’s Corey Seidman. A.J. Burnett declining his $12.75 option and dealing Antonio Bastardo and/or Domonic Brown could increase that amount, Seidman adds.
  • Braves President John Schuerholz indicated to Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (on Twitter) the club’s first choice to be their full-time GM is John Hart; however, he will not force the timeline.
  • The first home run of the Dominican Winter League was hit by the PadresYasmani Grandal. Now a full season away from his 50-game suspension for an elevated testosterone level and knee surgery and possessing excellent plate discipline (13.1% walk rate in 2014), Grandal can become a breakout offensive force for the Padres in 2015, opines the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Dennis Lin.
  • The Dodgers are in good hands with Andrew Friedman aboard, writes Peter Gammons for Gammons Daily.

Giants Notes: Sabean, Belt, Lincecum

The Giants have a number of interesting young pitching prospects in their farm system and the time may soon come when the club considers trading from this surplus, MLB.com's Chris Haft writes as part of a reader mailbag piece.  That time, however, isn't happening soon since many of these young arms are a long way from being finished products.  Of the nine names mentioned by a reader, Haft thinks "the Giants can consider themselves fortunate if two or three of these young pitchers become productive starters for them."  Haft also discusses the Giants' bench depth, Francisco Peguero's departure, the possibility of a Vernon Wells signing and other topics in response to reader questions.

Here's some more news out of San Francisco…

  • Giants GM Brian Sabean told reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that he doesn't have the "flexibility" to add another free agent starter to the rotation mix.  Sabean said he is fine with his current starting five but noted that while he likes his depth options beyond the rotation, "I can’t tell you we have that confidence yet" until they see them pitch in Spring Training.
  • Sabean also thinks the team will reach an agreement with Brandon Belt before the two sides have to go to an arbitration hearing.  The Giants offered Belt $2.05MM for 2014 while the first baseman asked for $3.6MM, and Belt recently said he wouldn't be offended if the case does end up going to an arbiter.
  • Tim Lincecum told reporters (including an Associated Press writer) that when the Giants' season ended, he didn't think he'd be returning to San Francisco.  As it turned out, Lincecum didn't even get a chance to test the open market as the Giants re-signed him to a two-year, $35MM deal before the World Series ended.


Giants Notes: Sabean, Qualifying Offers, Lopez

Here's the latest from the Giants, courtesy of Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle

  • General manager Brian Sabean says it is "highly doubtful" that the Giants will sign a qualifying offer free agent since the team isn't keen on forfeiting its first round draft pick (14th overall) as compensation.  Sabean's thinking "could change up the line," as Schulman believes the Giants might only jump on such a player if teams are scared off by the draft pick price tag and the player can be had for a relatively low price, a la Kyle Lohse last offseason.
  • In addition to seeking free agent pitching, the Giants are also exploring the trade market for arms.  Schulman doesn't see Max Scherzer as a fit and he says the Giants aren't interested in Jake Peavy.  He calls John Lackey "an interesting case" but that could be just because of Lackey's relative bargain contract rather than any specific interest the Giants have in the Boston right-hander.
  • The Giants will listen to offers about players in their lineup but aren't interested in trading any since the team doesn't have any young replacements ready to step up.
  • One of the few depth positions San Francisco has is at catcher, and Schulman cites the Cubs and Twins are possible trade partners in that regard.
  • The Giants won't bid on Masahiro Tanaka if the current posting system is in place, Schulman reports (Sulia link).  The Giants are surely paying close attention to the ongoing negotiations between MLB and NPB about a new posting process.
  • Javier Lopez tells Schulman that he and the Giants are "continuing the dialog. No rush."  Other teams have called Lopez but Schulman suspects the southpaw would give the Giants a chance to match any offer (Twitter links).

Giants Extend Contracts Of Sabean, Bochy

SUNDAY: Bochy's new contract will pay him close to $5MM per year and he could be second only to the Angels' Mike Scioscia as the highest-paid manager in baseball, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Sulia). Bochy would not comment to reporters, including Schulman, except to say Giants' ownership was "very generous."

THURSDAY, 7:40pm: The Giants have sent another release that does not include the team options for 2017, as they originally indicated. Sabean and Bochy's contracts go through 2016 and do not include team options.

7:31pm: The Giants have extended the contracts of general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy through 2016, according to a team release. Dollar figures for the two contracts have not been released.

The Giants won World Series in 2010 and 2012, so it's not surprising the team would want to keep Sabean and Bochy in the fold. Sabean took over as general manager of the Giants in 1996 and has been on the job longer than any other active GM. Bochy has managed the Giants since 2007.

The team exercised its 2014 options on both Sabean and Bochy last December. Last month, it was reported that the Giants were negotiating extensions with both of them.

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


Quick Hits: Weaver, Giants, Dodgers, Walker

Jered Weaver isn't worried that he might have lost out on a bigger contract when he signed a five-year, $85MM extension with the Angels in 2011, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles times writes. "I don't give a [expletive]," says Weaver. "You can quote me on that." If not for the extension, Weaver would have been a free agent this past offseason, in which Zack Greinke received a $147MM contract from the Dodgers. Here are more notes from around the majors…

  • Giants president Larry Baer is discussing long-term contract extensions with general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Sabean and Bochy are signed through 2014, but, after having won World Series in 2010 and 2012, Baer appears to be planning to keep them in San Francisco much longer, saying their extensions "won't be for one year."
  • The Dodgers have discussed an extension with manager Don Mattingly, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times notes. "I think you might see something come up before the end of the year," says Dodgers chairman Mark Walter. Mattingly is in the last year of a three-year deal. Walter also says that the Dodgers, who already have a $230MM payroll in 2013, still have the financial flexibility to add substantial talent at this year's trade deadline, should the need arise. "I think in terms of who the players are, what we need and what our options are, rather than a total budget," Walter says. An extension for Clayton Kershaw could also be on the horizon.
  • The Pirates and second baseman Neil Walker avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.3MM deal in late January, but "it could be a matter of when, not if" the two parties reconvene talks on an extension, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Walker will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season, at which point he will be 31 years old.

Giants Exercise Options On Sabean, Bochy

The Giants exercised their 2014 options on GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Bochy joined the Giants initially in October of '06, while Sabean became assumed his role in '96 and is the game's longest-tenured GM.  With the pair having won two World Series in a three-year span, it was an easy call to keep them in place for 2014. 

Sometime next year the Giants will initiate extension talks for Bochy and Sabean beyond 2014, president and CEO Larry Baer told reporters including Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.


Sabean: Belt Staying Put

At times it's not clear where Brandon Belt fits on the Giants' roster. The 24-year-old gets regular plate appearances, but he shares the first base job with Brett Pill, Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey. However, GM Brian Sabean says Belt’s not trade bait. 

"He's going nowhere," Sabean told Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle. "The kid's earned his way onto the team … and we all want him to take over as the first baseman, and help this lineup, and I think it'll turn out that way.”

Sabean cautioned that Belt will have to earn his playing time and noted that some of his at bats have been disappointing. Belt, a top prospect entering the 2011 season, has a .234/.317/.407 line in 259 plate appearances as a Major Leaguer. He appeared in left and right field last year, but has played exclusively at first so far in 2012.


Giants Extend Brian Sabean, Bruce Bochy

The Giants announced that they extended the contracts of GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy through 2013. The deals for Sabean and Bochy include team options for 2014.

"They have effectively built and fostered a winning tradition at all levels of our organization," incoming CEO Larry Baer stated. "I have no doubt that they will achieve continued success for the Giants in the coming years and beyond.”

Every MLB team has changed GMs at least once since the Giants promoted Sabean in 1996. The 55-year-old is in the midst of the longest run by a GM in Giants history. He has led the team to five postseason appearances, two NL pennants and a World Championship in 15 seasons.

Bochy, the winningest manager in Padres history, ranks third among active big league managers in wins and is 27th on the all-time list. He has led the Giants to a 409-401 record in five seasons in San Francisco. The Giants had exercised the 2012 options on Sabean and Bochy before the 2011 season.


Odds & Ends: Shell, Kuroda, V-Mart, Okajima, Davies

Links for Monday evening…

  • Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com tweets that the Royals have signed reliever Steven Shell to a minor league deal. Shell, 27, had a 3.59 ERA in 72.2 innings with the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate last season.
  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post lists the Cardinals, Phillies, and Rockies as some of the teams that were interested in Hiroki Kuroda before he re-signed with the Dodgers (Twitter link).  Kuroda, however, re-signed without fielding offers from other teams according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.
  • Add the Rangers to the list of teams showing interest in Victor Martinez says SI.com's Jon Heyman (via Twitter).
  • WEEI.com's Rob Bradford tweets that Hideki Okajima is subject to a normal arbitration calendar this offseason. In the past the Red Sox had to offer him a contract by November 20th.
  • Non-tender candidate Kyle Davies hopes to remain with the Royals, says MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. Davies hasn't heard anything from the team regarding his future.
  • Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that Cliff Lee's agent Darek Braunecker is still unsure if he will attend this week's GM Meetings.
  • MLB.com's Jane Lee provides a list of power bat the Athletics could potentially pursue as free agents this offseason.
  • The Yankees don't believe that Derek Jeter will ultimately leave New York, but they're prepared for a long negotiation according to Heyman (Twitter link).
  • Meanwhile, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com tweets that there is still no word whether or not Andy Pettitte will return to pitch in 2011.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak doesn't expect any roster moves at this week's meetings according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says the team is growing more optimistic about re-signing Jake Westbrook, however (Twitter link).
  • Indians GM Chris Antonetti told Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer that it's too early in the offseason to tell whether his team's needs will be filled through trades or free agency.
  • MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith is on location at this week's GM Meetings in Orlando, and you can follow him on Twitter at @mlbtrorlando for the latest breaking news and analysis.
  • There is mutual interest between the Marlins and free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, reports Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post. Capozzi says the team might not be able to afford him, though they could free up payroll space by dealing Dan Uggla
  • FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says that the Dodgers are looking to add power to their lineup, and James Loney is the player they're most most willing to trade. They would then turn around and sign one of the many power-hitting first baseman available on the free agent market.
  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that the first round of manager interviews includes one or two more candidates while the second round will consist of three or four candidates according to Andy Martino of The New York Daily News (all Twitter links). The second set of interviews could begin in Orlando this week, and Alderson said his father's death on Sunday will not slow things down.
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick profiles Giants GM Brian Sabean and the work that lies ahead following his team's World Series victory.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues looks at how signing Lee would impact the Yankees' future payroll. Meanwhile, Brian Cashman told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch that he doesn't expect to get any deals done this week.
  • Best of luck to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. He's trading in the Blue Jays' beat for the Indians' beat.