Carlos Gonzalez Rumors

Rosenthal’s Full Count Video: Yankees, Ubaldo, Jays

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new Full Count video up, so let's recap…

  • Two GMs tell Rosenthal that the Yankees are more worried about Mariano Rivera's nagging triceps injury than they're letting on. If true, they could increase their efforts to acquire a setup man, though they're hopeful Rafael Soriano will be back from his elbow injury soon after the All-Star break.
  • The Mets have called the Yankees and offered Francisco Rodriguez according to one source, but they're only interested if the Mets call them at the deadline and offer K-Rod at a minimal price.
  • The starting pitching market could soon heat up. The Rockies are getting calls about Ubaldo Jimenez and several other players, though they're not shopping their ace right-hander. Rosenthal says they'll listen on anyone besides Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Jimenez is under contract through 2014 (though he can void that option if traded) and could return a significant package of the players, so the team would give a trade serious consideration.
  • Don't be surprised if the Marlins listen on Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez. Florida will try to get back into contention, though they'll likely entertain offers for both pitchers if that doesn't happen. Nolasco is under contract though 2013, Sanchez under team control through 2012.
  • The Blue Jays offer perhaps the best value on the bullpen market. Jason Frasor, Octavio Dotel, and Jon Rauch aren't in the same class as Heath Bell, though all three could pitch better outside of the AL East and have club options for 2012. They all figure to qualify as Type-B free agents as well.

Heyman on Carlos Gonzalez’s Extension

Carlos Gonzalez's extension with the Rockies is the subject of Jon Heyman's latest feature at SI.com, here are the highlights.

  • The Rockies' offer of a seven-year, $80MM extension was probably less than Gonzalez could have earned between arbitration and potential free agency several years down the road, writes Heyman, but Gonzalez accepted it anyway.
  • Gonzalez, who grew up poor in Venezuela, is exceptionally mature and humble for his age, according to Heyman, and rather than chase top dollar, he preferred the security of the long-term deal with a team that's he comfortable with.
  • Gonzalez had the full support of his agent, Scott Boras, whose clients typically go to free agency rather than signing extensions. Boras provided Gonzalez with the information indicating that Gonzalez could probably make more money if he waited till free agency. 
  • Boras praised Gonzalez for handling and analyzing the information, noting that Gonzalez turned down three or four offers before accepting the one that he did.
  • Turning down top dollar is not new for Gonzalez, however. He accepted a $150K bonus as a 16-year-old international free agent when he could have demanded as much as $1MM, writes Heyman.
  • Gonzalez is a close friend of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who also signed a long-term extension with Colorado this offseason. Tulowitzki said part of the reason he signed his extension is because Gonzalez had told him that he wanted to sign long-term, too.

Analyzing CarGo’s Contract

In January, the Rockies accomplished a feat thought to be impossible: they locked up Carlos Gonzalez, who is represented by Scott Boras.  Despite Boras providing CarGo with "actuary tables that would show Gonzalez's earning power if he would stay healthy and productive," the Rockies were able to buy out three free agent seasons at less than $18MM per year.

Gonzalez's seven-year, $80MM deal set a record for the largest deal signed by a player with between two and three years service time.  The contract topped Hanley Ramirez's six-year, $70MM contract, signed nearly three years ago.  Other recent deals for two-plus players include Justin Upton's six-year, $51.25MM contract and Jay Bruce's six-year, $51MM pact.  A few details on the four contracts:

  • Gonzalez is paid $23MM for his three arbitration years plus $53MM over the course of three free agent seasons ($17.67MM per).  There are no option years, so CarGo could reach free agency at age 32 and score one more huge deal.
  • Ramirez gets $23.5MM for his three arbitration years and plus $46.5MM over three free agent seasons ($15.5MM per).  His deal also has no options, and he can reach free agency at age 30.
  • Upton will earn $20.75MM for his three arbitration years plus $28.75MM over two free agent seasons ($14.375MM per).  The deal has no options, and he can be a free agent at age 28.
  • Bruce will make $25.25MM over four arbitration years plus $25.5MM guaranteed over two free agent seasons ($12.75MM per).  In the likely event Bruce's 2017 club option is exercised, that's $37.5MM over three free agent seasons or $12.5MM per.  If the option is exercised he'll reach free agency at age 30.

CarGo essentially matches Ramirez's arbitration earnings and tops his free agent take by a total of $6.5MM.  In one sense Boras deserves credit for brokering the largest deal ever for a two-plus player, but in another Hanley's agents at WMG win since their deal came almost three years earlier.

Though the Rockies paid top dollar to do Gonzalez's extension now, the savings could still be significant.  Further along in their careers, Ryan Howard and Joey Votto required $44MM and $38MM for their three arbitration years, respectively.  Howard later gave up five free agent seasons at $25MM each, so paying CarGo $16MM in 2015 could be a downright bargain if he remains an elite player.

For my take on the Rockies' other huge extension, the Troy Tulowitzki contract, click here.



NL West Notes: Giants, Gonzalez, Diamondbacks

It's still early in Arizona, where the five NL West teams train, but that won't stop us from providing updates on some of those clubs. Here's the latest…


Rockies Extend Carlos Gonzalez

The Rockies are officially announcing that they have signed Carlos Gonzalez to a seven-year, $80MM extension. The deal will keep Gonzalez in the Rockies' lineup through 2017 along with Troy Tulowitzki, who is under contract through 2020. 

Augusto Cárdenas of Diario Panorama explains that Gonzalez receives a $3MM signing bonus and will earn $1MM in 2011, $5MM in 2012, $7.5MM in 2013, $10.5MM in 2014, $16MM in 2015, $17MM in 2016 and $20MM in 2017.

(more…)


Rockies Notes: Fuentes, Gonzalez, Kazmir, Beimel

Let's take a look at some Rockies-related tidbits..

  • The Rockies like Brian Fuentes but the left-hander is looking to close and also looking for roughly $5MM per year.  Colorado isn't looking to shell out that kind of money for the 35-year-old, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
  • After resolving his visa issues, Carlos Gonzalez arrived in Denver today and will take a physical tomorrow to finalize his seven-year, $80MM contract, Renck writes.  The Rockies will likely hold a presser on Tuesday to announce the deal.
  • The Rockies lost interest in pitcher Scott Kazmir once they re-signed Jorge de la Rosa, Renck tweets.
  • One reader asks Renck via Twitter if the Rockies are still interested in reliever Joe Beimel.  It appears that other clubs have more interest in the veteran as Colorado hasn't talked to his representation lately.

Odds & Ends: Thome, Vladdy, Blue Jays, CarGo

As Cooperstown welcomes Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame, some of these news items concern a few of Alomar and Blyleven's former teams and teammates…

  • Jim Thome is said to be looking for a one-year deal worth as much as $8MM, reports ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill.  Thome's strong 2010 season notwithstanding, that would represent a whopping increase over the $1.5MM contract he signed with Minnesota last year.  The Twins have been considered the favorites to re-sign Thome, but if the team balks at that asking price, Churchill suggests they could instead turn to Vladimir Guerrero as a DH option.  Churchill adds that Tampa Bay could also be interested in Guerrero if the price is right.
  • Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos "conceded that it's looking more likely that" Jose Bautista will be Toronto's Opening Day third baseman rather than its right fielder, reports Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press.  Anthopoulos noted that the club is still looking at other third base/right field options and also may still be in the market for another reliever.  The Blue Jays have added Octavio Dotel, Chad Cordero and Wil Ledezma to their bullpen mix over the past two days.
  • Carlos Gonzalez had a lengthy meeting with agent Scott Boras in December to discuss a possible extension with the Rockies, so the agreed-upon deal wasn't at all "an impulse decision," tweets The Denver Post's Troy Renck.
  • Also from Renck (Twitter link), the Rockies are "not totally out" of the bidding for Joe Beimel, but other clubs "have shown stronger interest."  We heard last month that the Rockies weren't one of several teams who had made Beimel a contract offer.
  • The Pirates' desire to add left-handed relievers has only grown in the wake of Ledezma going to Toronto, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Speaking of the Pirates, Bucs president Frank Coonelly discussed the team's relief options and other topics in his monthly chat with fans on MLB.com.
  • With so many intriguing designated hitter possibilities on the market, Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees blog notes that it's an unfortunate time for the Yankees to be shifting Jorge Posada into the full-time DH spot.

Poll: Recent Rockies Extensions

The Rockies have locked up Troy Tulowitzki through 2020 and they've agreed to a deal that should keep Carlos Gonzalez in Denver through 2017. Both are powerful young hitters capable of playing premium defensive positions at a high level, so any team would want them.

Tulowitzki, 26, finished fifth in MVP voting in 2009 and 2010. He plays Gold Glove defense and has an electrifying bat capable of carrying a team (remember those 15 September home runs?). Gonzalez, also a Gold Glove winner, is just 25. He won a batting title last year and hit 34 home runs. Few teams have two elite young players like Tulo and CarGo, so it's not surprising that GM Dan O'Dowd wanted to keep them around.

But the Rockies didn't have to offer Tulowitzki and Gonzalez massive extensions to keep the players in Colorado. They were both under team control through 2014 before they agreed to extensions. You could argue that the Rockies took on unnecessary risk with their recent deals. It begs the question…



Heyman On Crawford, Pavano, CarGo

There’s word that many Angels people were in favor of offering Carl Crawford a seven-year deal worth $142MM or so, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The Red Sox won the bidding for the All-Star left fielder with a $142MM offer that left the Angels without one of their offseason targets. Owner Arte Moreno has said that his team never made Crawford an offer, but he acknowledged the Angels' interest. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors:

  • There are thought to be one or two teams looking at Carl Pavano other than the Twins and Nationals, according to Heyman. The Mariners and Rangers have been linked to Pavano this winter, but it's not clear if those clubs are currently interested.
  • Heyman reports that the Rockies are still trying to lock up Carlos Gonzalez. Meanwhile Troy Renck of the Denver Post hears that the Rockies could move closer to an extension with the 25-year-old this week 

Rockies, Gonzalez Appear To Be Nearing Extension

The Rockies appear to be nearing an extension with Carlos Gonzalez. The outfielder's Twitter account announced that a contract is "is almost a fact" and confirmed that it would be in the seven-year, $80MM range. Troy Renck of the Denver Post says it sounds like a deal will be completed this week (Twitter links).

The deal would keep Gonzalez in the Rockies' lineup through 2017. He and Troy Tulowitzki, who is under contract through 2020, will be cornerstones in Colorado for the foreseeable future.

Gonzalez is not yet arbitration eligible, so the contract would cover one pre-arb season, three arbitration seasons and three free agent years. Agent Scott Boras has a tendency to let his clients hit the open market, but this deal would put Gonzalez's free agency off until he's 32. However, Boras proved with the Jayson Werth deal that it's possible for early thirties outfielders to cash in via free agency.

The precise breakdown of the proposed deal remains unclear, but it doesn't appear as though the Rockies are getting a hometown discount.

This post was originally published on January 3rd.