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Casey Janssen Rumors
The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to a two-year, $5.9MM contract extension with right-handed reliever Casey Janssen. The deal, which eliminates the need for an arbitration hearing, includes a 2014 option worth $4MM. Janssen will earn $2MM in 2012 and $3.9MM in 2013, MLBTR has learned.
The contract buys out Janssen's final year of arbitration eligibility and his first free agent season. Janssen and agent Jim McDowell had asked for $2.2MM in arbitration, with the Blue Jays countering at $1.8MM.
The 30-year-old posted a 2.26 ERA with 8.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 47.3% ground ball rate in 55 2/3 innings last year, when he earned $1.095MM as a second-time arbitration eligible player. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca first reported that the sides were nearing a two-year deal.
As MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows, Alex Anthopoulos has now completed seven extensions since becoming Toronto's GM.
The Blue Jays are nearing a two-year deal with reliever Casey Janssen that includes a third-year option, tweets Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. As the Blue Jays are a file and trial team, a multiyear deal was the only way to the impending arbitration hearing. Janssen and the Jays had a $400K spread, with $2.2MM and $1.8MM submissions, respectively. The two-year deal would buy out one free agent year with an option on a second.
Janssen, 30, posted a 2.26 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 0.32 HR/9, and 47.3% groundball rate in 55 2/3 innings last year. He earned $1.095MM in 2011, his second arbitration year. Janssen's extension would mark the seventh in the career of Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, according to our transaction tracker.
Let's take a look at some links for Monday night..
- Jane Lee of MLB.com writes that Athletics manager Bob Geren believes that his club has improved by leaps and bounds this winter.
- Recent addition Orlando Cabrera might not hold the Indians' starting second-base job for long, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
- Yankees captain Derek Jeter is not going to be happy about the comments made by Hank Steinbrenner earlier today, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out that Braves GM Frank Wren is now under contract for the same period as manager Fredi Gonzalez, whom he hired to replace Bobby Cox. Earlier today the two sides agreed to a two-year contract extension.
- There may not be a spot in the Blue Jays' bullpen for pitcher Casey Janssen but the veteran says he's not looking for a way out of Toronto, writes Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.
- New to San Diego, Jorge Cantu says that he's ready to produce even though he'll be asked to move around the diamond, writes MLB.com's Tom Singer. The Padres offically inked Cantu to a one-year deal worth $850K towards the end of January.
- Speaking of brand new members of the Pads, Kevin Frandsen is delighted to be back in the National League, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times.
San Diego's relievers combined to strike out more than a batter per inning over the course of the 2010 season, while limiting hits, walks and homers. Manager Bud Black saw five of his relievers appear in 30 or more games and emerge with ERAs under 2.00 at the end of the season and the Padres' NL West rivals weren't the only ones to notice.
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says he'd like to have a deep bullpen in 2011, like the Padres did last year. He says he's happy to keep more relievers than usual on his roster this year and that the acquisition of Frank Francisco doesn't mean a trade is imminent. The Blue Jays' plans for their relievers haven't changed.
"No impact at all," Anthopoulos said yesterday on a conference call to announce the acquisition of Francisco from the Rangers. "They're all quality relievers and we love having depth in the bullpen one through seven."
Or maybe one through eight. The Blue Jays have discussed the possibility of opening the season with an eight-man bullpen to accomodate their arms and provide manager John Farrell with a variety of options. Though the Jays could open the year with an extra arm in the 'pen, Anthopoulos said a traditional seven-man ensemble is more likely at this point. The Blue Jays' rotation is relatively young and inexperienced, so the team's front office would like to support starters like Brett Cecil and, possibly, Kyle Drabek with steady relief pitching.
"It's certainly part of it," Anthopoulos said. "We don't want to overtax our young starters."
The Blue Jays don't want to overtax their relievers, either. Anthopoulos says there can be a ripple effect when teams have deep bullpens. If every reliever is capable of performing in meaningful situations, no pitcher gets overused. But Anthopoulos has no illusions; even qualified, well-rested relievers struggle and the 2011 Blue Jays won't be any different.
"We all know that they will get hurt," he said. "Some of them won't perform. They'll have bad months."
Take Jason Frasor (pictured), one of the holdovers in the team's new-look bullpen. He walked nearly a batter per inning in April, 2010 and posted an 8.38 ERA through the season’s first month, but recovered from his turbulent start and put together a fine year. He'll join Francisco and free agent signings Jon Rauch and Octavio Dotel, the relievers Anthopoulos expects to compete for the Jays' closing job.
Shawn Camp, Casey Janssen and Carlos Villanueva are also right-handed relievers under team control for $1MM-plus in 2011, so the Blue Jays have a surplus of big league arms and could hear from pitching-starved teams before the season begins.
The Jays have seven established right-handed relievers, but Toronto's left-handers have considerably less experience. David Purcey, an out-of-options 28-year-old, was reasonably effective in 2010. He's a leading candidate to make the club, though his walk rate and fly ball rate have been high throughout his brief MLB career. Jo-Jo Reyes is also out of options, but he has made just 11 relief appearances as a pro. Jesse Carlson, who was a mainstay in 2009, could also crack the team's roster.
While their AL East rivals to the south, the Rays, had to lower payroll this offseason and rebuild their bullpen on a budget, Anthopoulos reaffirmed that he has the flexibility to ask for more money if necessary. The Blue Jays can continue spending on their bullpen, even as their young starters become more expensive.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
Teams and players exchange arbitration figures tomorrow if they haven't already come to terms for 2011. That means plenty of players will likely avoid arbitration today. We'll keep track of them all right here and with our Arbitration Tracker; the latest updates are at the top of this post:
- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Shawn Camp, agreeing to a one-year, $2.25MM deal, according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm (on Twitter).
- The Tigers avoided arbitration with Armando Galarraga by agreeing to a one-year, $2.3MM deal, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.
- The Orioles and Jim Johnson have agreed to a one-year, $975K deal, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun.
- The Blue Jays have reached agreement on a one-year, $830K deal with Jesse Litsch, according to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star (Twitter links).
- The Indians have avoided arbitration with Asdrubal Cabrera, agreeing to a one-year deal, according to the team's Twitter feed. The deal is worth $2.025MM, according to the Associated Press.
- The Marlins have agreed to terms one-year deals with Leo Nunez and Edward Mujica, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (via Twitter). Nunez will earn $3.65MM, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com tweets. Meanwhile, Mujica will make $800K according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel (via Twitter).
- The Blue Jays and Casey Janssen have agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.095MM, according to the Associated Press.
- The Rays and B.J. Upton avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4.825MM, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (Twitter links).
- The Nationals avoided arbitration with John Lannan, agreeing to a one-year, $2.75MM deal, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Rockies and Matt Lindstrom agreed to a two-year deal.
- The Royals avoided arbitration with Robinson Tejeda, agreeing to a one-year contract, the team announced. It's worth $1.55MM, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). The deal leaves Billy Butler and Kyle Davies as Kansas City's remaining unsigned arbitration eligible players.
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Noon ET today was the deadline for both the team and player to submit their salary figures for arbitration, however the two sides can come to an agreement at any point before the actual hearing. The hearings are scheduled for the first week of February.
We'll keep track of the players who avoid arbitration today by agreeing to deals here. Make sure you check back in for updates, and be sure to click the "Continue Reading" link to see today's full list of settlements. Yesterday's list can be found here.
- Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels avoided arbitration with Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits by signing the duo to one-year deals. Napoli will earn $3.6MM in 2010 with a $100K bonus if he makes 120 starts. Willits' contract is worth $625K.
- Zach Duke's one-year contract with Pittsburgh is worth $4.3MM with no performance bonuses, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The Padres and reliever Mike Adams have agreed to a contract, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter). Brock's follow-up tweet says Adams' deal is worth $1MM, virtually splitting the difference between San Diego's $875K offer and Adams' $1.2MM demands.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets that the Twins have agreements in place with all eight of their arbitration eligible players. In a follow-up tweet, Christensen reports that Francisco Liriano agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM and Jesse Crain agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM.
- Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the Mets avoided arbitration with reliever Sean Green (via Twitter). The one-year deal was worth $975K, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron.
- The Tigers avoided arb with Gerald Laird and Zach Miner as well according to James Jahnke of The Detroit Free Press. MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets the details on the one-year contracts: Laird will earn $3.95MM, Miner will earn $950K.
- Christensen tweets that the Twins avoided arb with Brendan Harris, signing him to a two year deal worth $3.2MM with another $650K in possible incentives.
- The Tigers and Bobby Seay avoided arbitration according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter), agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.475MM.
- Thesier tweets that Matt Guerrier agreed to a one year deal worth $3.15MM with the Twins, avoiding arb.
- Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, with Delcarmen getting $905K plus incentives according to Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Boston avoided arb with Jonathan Papelbon as well.
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Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com suggests the Blue Jays might want to set their sights on 2010, after which they stand to lose Lyle Overbay, Scott Downs, Scott Rolen, and Roy Halladay to free agency. Not to mention Cito Gaston and J.P. Ricciardi, whose contracts will both expire barring an extension. Morosi writes,
"Six pitchers currently reside on the disabled list, and ace Roy Halladay was a recent visitor. Vernon Wells and Alex Rios, signed through 2014, haven't been hitting. The team is in fourth place and would probably need to climb the standings quickly in order to convince ownership that additions to an $80 million payroll are warranted this month."
Morosi adds the following:
- Halladay is not going anywhere.
- Ricky Romero and Scott Richmond are most likely staying put, says Morosi, and I doubt anyone here disagrees.
- Pitching is not a need for 2010 with the anticipated return of Jesse Litsch, Shaun Marcum, and Dustin McGowan.
- The Jays are almost certain to keep Downs, who has become a premier reliever in the American League.
Morosi suggests, the Jays trade a pitcher or two to boost their team OPS which lags in the AL East behind the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays. Given the above, Morosi suggests Brian Tallet as a trade chip. "Tallet could be looked upon as a viable option for teams looking for a mid-rotation left-handed starter, particularly if the Mariners stay in the race and elect not to move Erik Bedard and Jarrod Washburn."
They may also look at dealing from their collection of right-handed setup men, such as Casey Janssen, Jeremy Accardo, Brandon League, or Jason Frasor. Just speculating here but Janssen may be the most attractive since he can start. As a reliever in 2007, Janssen had a 2.35 ERA in 72.2 IP with 6 saves before missing 2008 with a torn labrum.
Morosi has a few more bullet points to discuss:
- Freddy Sanchez's contract contains an $8MM option for 2010 that automatically vests after 635 PAs, or only 600 if he makes the All Star team. So, it stands to reason that Sanchez will either make the All Star Team or see his trade value increase. This may be moot given Sanchez is on pace for 660 plate appearances. Morosi says one Mariners official doesn't think Pittsburgh is considering trading Sanchez. The M's have need for a pure hitter as well as a second baseman given concerns about Jose Lopez ability to stay at 2B long term.
- The M's asked about Jeremy Hermida, but there wasn't a lot of movement. Morosi notes Hermida's trade value has fallen significantly.
- Kevin Correia is pitching fantastically but the Padres haven't put him on the open market. Morosi doesn't report much excitement among other clubs.
- Morosi says "one person in the industry who knows Oakland general manager Billy Beane well," guessed Matt Holliday will stay with the team so Beane could collect the compensatory draft picks. Morosi quotes the source: "Billy loves the draft."
News comes today that Blue Jays pitcher Casey Janssen will miss the season with a torn labrum. He was a bullpen ace last year, and was expected to move back to the rotation this year.
Robert MacLeod’s above-linked article quotes Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi saying he might explore the trade market in the wake of the injury. If we take J.P. at his word this time, which starters could be possibilities?
The Brewers have the most obvious surplus with Chris Capuano, Dave Bush, and Claudio Vargas. Bush came up a Blue Jay before being traded to Milwaukee with Gabe Gross for Lyle Overbay. The Cubs could spare Jason Marquis, for what it’s worth. How about free agents? Kyle Lohse called the AL "arena baseball," leaving Jeff Weaver as the uninspiring option. And I suppose a third stint with David Wells is possible.