Brian Sabean Rumors

NL West Notes: Padres, Bradley, Rockies, Sabean

The Padres have “sort of banned the word ‘small-market’ ” in regards to how they both perceive themselves and how they wish to be seen around the league, team co-owner Peter Seidler tells Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune.  The Padres’ busy offseason and second straight year with a payroll in the $100MM range were made possible by increased revenues from Petco Park and national and local TV contracts.  Team president/CEO Mike Dee notes that the Padres’ recent spending “should not be looked upon as an aberration.  This should not be looked upon as ownership is going for broke. This should be looked upon as ownership is doing what they said they were going to when they bought the team, which is trying to make this a franchise that operates at a very high level.”

Here’s the latest from around the NL West…

  • Archie Bradley‘s promotion to the Major Leagues and to the Diamondbacks‘ starting rotation is all but official, Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic writes.  Bradley’s strong performance during Spring Training gave the Snakes reason to explore trading Trevor Cahill, eventually sending the veteran righty to the Braves.  “If [Bradley] had needed more work, Cahill would still be here,” Tony La Russa said.  “Trevor got the attention of a number of clubs, so we started getting calls from different clubs.  It wasn’t a question of let’s trade him at some point. It came to a decision of Archie versus Trevor.”
  • Speaking of highly-touted young arms in the NL West, Eddie Butler still has a chance to earn a place in the Rockies‘ rotation after his start today, Nick Groke of the Denver Post writes.  Jon Gray, the Rockies’ top prospect and one of the top-ranked prospects in all of baseball, will not be starting his MLB career quite yet, as Groke notes in another piece that Gray will begin the season at Triple-A.
  • Brian Sabean’s promotion from Giants general manager to VP of baseball operations will allow Sabean to personally scout new talent, he tells reporters (including The San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea).  This includes players currently in MLB and also international prospects who could become more available thanks to the expanding Cuban market and the possibility of an international draft being instituted.  “The international schedule is moving fast. I don’t see enough of our minor-league teams to draw my own conclusions,” Sabean said.  “I hardly see any games before the June draft, which I used to do. Selfishly, I’d like to see some guys who could be in play trade-wise and free agents to be. This allows me to be more places.”

Giants Extend Sabean, Bochy; Sabean Promoted, Evans Named GM

The Giants announced today that the contracts of general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy have been extended through the 2019 season. Sabean’s extension, however, comes with a promotion, as he’s been named executive vice president of baseball operations. Meanwhile, assistant GM Bobby Evans has been promoted to senior vice president and general manager, while Jeremy Shelley has been named senior vice president and assistant GM (All links to Twitter).

That the Giants front office and primary on-field decision-maker are being rewarded in this capacity is hardly a surprise, considering the team’s recent results. This group of front office and on-field leaders has, of course, led the team to a trio of World Series victories in just five years, capturing baseball’s ultimate prize in the 2010, 2012 and 2014 seasons.

Reports of extensions for Sabean and Bochy surfaced yesterday, although at the time the specific length of each deal remained an unknown. Additionally, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area noted that a promotion could come with Sabean’s extension, meaning that Evans would become the new general manager.

Giants president and CEO Larry Baer offered the utmost praise for Bochy and Sabean in a statement in the accompanying press release:

“Brian and Bruce form the foundation on which all three Championship teams have been built. The strength and stability of Giants baseball is a direct reflection of the strength and stability of the partnership of these two men. My top priority this off season was to ensure that this partnership and our outstanding baseball organization remain intact for years to come.”

Sabean had been baseball’s longest tenured GM, having initially been promoted to the position in 1997. Bochy’s tenure has been shorter, though he’s still one of the longest-tenured managers in all of baseball, having been at his post since October of 2006. Sabean has twice been Baseball America’s Executive of the Year and has also been The Sporting News Executive of the Year, while Bochy is a two-time National League Manager of the Year.

As for Evans, the well-liked executive is entering his 22nd season with the Giants organization. He’s previously worked extensively in contract negotiations for the Giants (both in extensions and free agency), and he’s an integral part of the arbitration process and oversees the signing of the team’s top picks in each year’s draft. Baer offered the following kind words about his newly minted GM: “Bobby and I have worked together for more than two decades, and he has excelled at every aspect of his job.  I have the utmost confidence in his ability to handle the daily activities of baseball operations.”

Per the club’s press release, Shelley joins John Barr and Dick Tidrow as assistant GMs in the restructured front office. Baer referred to Shelley as a “rising star” in the world of baseball operations, calling the promotion “well-deserved.”


Giants Agree To Extend Brian Sabean, Bruce Bochy

8:27pm: Bochy and Sabean have agreed to the extensions and they should be announced tomorrow, Heyman reports (Twitter link).  Slightly amending his earlier tweet, Heyman reports that the extensions will run through “at least” the 2018 season.

8:24pm: The extensions for Bochy and Sabean would run through the 2018 season, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.  Sabean’s deal could also involve a promotion, as CSNBayArea.com’s Alex Pavlovic reports that he and the Giants have discussed making Sabean the organization’s president of baseball operations.  Longtime assistant GM Bobby Evans would then become San Francisco’s new general manager.

9:15am: The Giants are “getting close” to long-term deals for GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy, Bob Nightengale reports in the midst of a longer piece addressing the defending World Series champions. The pair is already under contract through 2016, pursuant to extensions reached back in March of 2013.

It appears, then, that the San Francisco brain trust is not going anywhere soon regardless whether new contracts can be agreed upon. But it is hard to fault the idea of doubling down on a Sabean-Bochy tandem that has delivered three titles in five years, especially after watching other clubs lure rival leaders with big paydays this past offseason.

As Nightengale notes, the recent deals signed by executive Andrew Friedman and skipper Joe Maddon have helped raise the bar in their respective markets. Of course, Bochy, at least, was already said to be paid at or near the $5MM annual rate that Maddon reportedly landed over five years.

As one of the game’s more willing spenders, the Giants might be expected to enjoy somewhat more success than other organizations. And Sabean has not always drawn wide plaudits for his moves, taken individually. But the results speak for themselves: the organization has reeled off winning seasons in five of six years while enjoying entirely unmatched success in the playoff format, all while delivering a variety of popular, star players to a fan base that has turned out consistently.



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.