David Price Rumors
In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney says David Price is available right now for the right offer. Rival executives are convinced the reigning Cy Young Award winner will be traded in the next 13 months as his salary through arbitration becomes prohibitive for the Rays. Here are the rest of Buster's rumors...
- The Rays and Price are not close to working out a long-term contract extension.
- The Mets increased their offer to R.A. Dickey, but it's unclear how close the two sides are to a deal.
- Olney speculates that the non-tendered Nate Schierholtz could be a fit for the Yankees, who are looking for a right fielder to replace Nick Swisher.
- The Mariners have money to spend, but it appears they will have to overpay to land any premium free agents.
- Last night we learned the Phillies are pursuing Angel Pagan, and Olney clarifies (on Twitter) that the two sides have been talking for weeks.
- If the Giants don't re-sign Pagan, Olney says (on Twitter) they would seriously consider signing Shane Victorino.
- Scott Kazmir is pitching in winter ball and teams have already started to show interest in the 28-year-old left-hander, tweets Olney.
- The Tigers continue to say they are not in the market for a closer, tweets Olney.
Congratulations go out to David Price and R.A. Dickey, who were named the Cy Young Award winners in their respective leagues by the BBWAA tonight. Price very narrowly beat out reigning winner Justin Verlander while Dickey won by a wide margin over Clayton Kershaw. Here is the full voting for the AL and NL.
Price, 27, went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA in 211 innings this year. He struck out 205 (8.7 K/9) and walked only 59 (2.5 BB/9). Price finished second in the 2010 Cy Young voting and is projected to earn $9.5MM through arbitration this winter, which would be a record for a second time eligible pitcher.
Dickey, 38, went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA in a league-high 233 2/3 innings this season. He also led the league with 230 strikeouts (8.9 K/9). The BBWAA says he's the first knuckleballer to win a Cy Young Award. The Mets and Dickey are currently in negotiations about a contract extension, and the price figures to have just gone up a bit.
Coincidentally, both Price and Dickey are represented by agent Bo McKinnis, as our Agency Tracker shows. Kershaw, Craig Kimbrel, Chris Sale, Jim Johnson, and Matt Harrison all received votes as well, which could impact their arbitration salaries in the future.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has another batch of news items out of the general managers' meetings in Indian Wells, California...
- While the Rays have the pitching depth to move two of their starters, they're likely to move just one of their pitchers. David Price and James Shields are the biggest trade chips, though most in the industry feel Tampa Bay will keep both aces to make a play for the AL East title in 2013. There is "no chance" Price is dealt this winter, one rival executive tells Rosenthal, though Price could be moved next offseason.
- The Brewers are interested in free agent right-hander Ryan Dempster.
- The Mets' willingness to trade R.A. Dickey is seen by "many in the industry" as a tactic to get Dickey to accept a club-friendly extension, which Rosenthal thinks is a flawed strategy.
- Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima is now a free agent who can sign with Major League teams without going through the posting process. Rosenthal says the shortstop-needy Diamondbacks and Athletics are "at least mildly intrigued" by Nakajima and the Giants could also pursue Nakajima as a second baseman if they can't re-sign Marco Scutaro. The Yankees won the right to negotiate with Nakajima last winter after submitting a winning posting bid of $2MM, but Nakajima couldn't come to terms with New York and he re-signed with the Seibu Lions. The 30-year-old Nakajima has a .310/.381/.474 batting line and 104 homers over the last six years with Seibu.
Executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says the Rays can afford to keep both James Shields and David Price on next year's roster, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter link). As I explained this morning, it could be tempting for the Rays to address other needs by trading a frontline starter. For example, the Dodgers are among the teams that could try to obtain Shields from Tampa Bay. Here are today’s links...
- Mark Reynolds would like to play for the Orioles next year, but he’ll explore his options if he hits the open market, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. "If they non-tender me it wouldn't be very smart of me to not see what else is out there," Reynolds said. The Orioles declined their club option for Reynolds today, and they now have a month to determine whether to tender him a contract through the arbitration process.
- GM Chris Antonetti suggested there's a slim chance the Indians will re-sign Roberto Hernandez this offseason, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (Twitter links). The chances of re-signing Travis Hafner seem more remote, Bastian writes. The Indians, who declined club options for Hernandez and Hafner earlier today, are not working with a set payroll, according to the GM.
- All Bases Covered Sports now represents free agent reliever Chad Durbin, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter link). Check out MLBTR's Agency Database for current information on players and their agents.
- Earlier in the week I previewed the top offseason storylines at MLBTR. In case you missed it, there’s a parallel piece running online at USA Today and in this week’s edition of Sports Weekly.
Some talent evaluators believe Rays left-hander David Price could be traded this winter, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Here’s the latest from Olney, who runs down potential suitors for Price in his latest column...
- Price’s trade value will never be higher than it will be this winter, Olney writes. However, the left-hander’s salary will rise considerably from $4.35MM following his Cy Young-caliber 2012 season. This means the budget-conscious Rays will probably decide to part with Price at some point between now and when he hits free agency after the 2015 season. “There will be a day when the Rays trade him,” Olney writes.
- Tampa Bay could seek up-the-middle players for Price, who has extraordinary trade value as a controllable top-of-the-rotation left-hander.
- There’s a wide expectation that the Rangers will trade Elvis Andrus this winter. But Andrus isn’t a great fit for the Rays given his salary and service time, so they’d presumably ask about shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar in talks for Price.
- It’s hard to imagine the Royals obtaining Price from the Rays without giving up Wil Myers, Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer, Olney writes.
- Though the Tigers aren’t a strong defensive team their pitchers haven’t complained publicly about the glovework behind them. Olney credits Detroit’s player and manager Jim Leyland for this display of support.
The Yankees enter play today with a one-game lead over the Orioles and four games over the Rays. And, it's a good thing this isn't your father's Yankees, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. If George Steinbrenner was alive today, Rosenthal believes he might have fired manager Joe Girardi after blowing a ten-game lead in the AL East and replaced him with the likes of Lou Piniella. Hal Steinbrenner is almost the polar opposite of his father. So much so that, when Rosenthal asked Brian Cashman of the potential fallout that might occur if the team fails to reach the playoffs, the Yankees' GM said, "We have objective, patient ownership." Also from Rosenthal's column:
- The new schedule hasn't been a cure-all for small market teams like the Rays. Rosenthal suggests one way to mitigate the Rays’ disadvantage would be to scale revenue sharing so they would receive a greater percentage than a low-revenue club such as the Indians, who compete in a division with lower payrolls.
- A criticism of the new playoff system is Wild Card teams who have better records than division winners are penalized in the seeding of the Division Series. Rosenthal's solution is to wait until after the Wild Card game to seed the Division Series.
- The AL CY Young Award voting will be a test of how accepted advanced statistics are by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Rosenthal points out the last eight AL pitchers to either lead or tie for the lead in those categories, like the Rays' David Price this year, each have won the award. The Tigers' Justin Verlander meanwhile leads in wins above replacement and Chris Sale of the White Sox leads in ERA+. Price is tops, however, in quality of opponents faced, based on the rankings of Vince Gennaro, president of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
- Larry Bowa's interview for the Astros' managerial vacancy is a good sign, as rival executives have worried that GM Jeff Luhnow is surrounding himself with too many like-minded sabermetric types rather than building a diverse baseball operations department.
- The Marlins may have difficulty in sticking with their plan to keep Emilio Bonifacio in center field, play Donovan Solano at second, and make the acquisition of a third baseman their top priority. Rosenthal points out the market for third basemen is bare, so one alternative for the Marlins is to acquire an outfielder and move Bonifacio back to third base.
- Look for the Rays to exercise their $2.5MM option on Fernando Rodney. Rodney is bidding to become only the second reliever in history (Dennis Eckersley in 1990) to have a season of 40 or more saves and an ERA under 1.00. Rodney leads baseball with 43 saves and his ERA is 0.66.
- The Cubs will look again this offseason to move Alfonso Soriano, who is one home run and one RBI shy of his first 30-homer, 100-RBI season since 2005. If the Cubs fail to receive a sufficient offer, they could always bring back Soriano, owed $36MM over the next two years, and try to move him at the deadline again. Rosenthal cited the example of Carlos Lee of how it is easier to deal an overpriced player the closer he gets to the end of his contract.
The Pirates know what it’s like to fall out of contention after playing well for four months and they hope to avoid a repeat of last year’s late-season struggles. “Our young players have been through it once,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. “They don’t ever want to go through it again.” Here are the rest of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB...
- The Yankees aren’t ruling out keeping Nick Swisher when he hits free agency after the season, but it seems more likely that he’ll sign elsewhere. It appears that Swisher will be tied to draft pick compensation this winter.
- The Blue Jays will likely discuss an extension with manager John Farrell this offseason so he doesn’t enter the 2013 season without long-term security. If Farrell isn’t ready to commit to an extension, the Blue Jays could look to work out a deal with the Red Sox, who previously employed Farrell as their pitching coach.
- Rosenthal points out that Marco Scutaro has provided the Giants with offense and versatility since San Francisco acquired him from Colorado last month.
- Though the Brewers’ season has generally been disappointing, the team has developed Mike Fiers into a promising starting pitcher, found a second catcher in Martin Maldonado and traded for shortstop Jean Segura. The Brewers are impressed by Aramis Ramirez’s leadership, according to Rosenthal.
- Rosenthal suggests we shouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers make another waiver trade before the month of August ends. They already acquired Joe Blanton from the Phillies in one waiver deal.
- Could the Rays trade David Price to the Rangers for a package of players built around Elvis Andrus and Martin Perez this winter? Rosenthal speculates about the possibility, but there’s no indication the sides are discussing a deal.
The Rays are saying they’d move any pitcher except David Price and Matt Moore, but Shields is the most likely one to be traded, Knobler tweets. The Angels have discussed a package that includes center fielder Peter Bourjos and catcher Hank Conger. However, they were rebuffed when they offered Bourjos for Shields, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
Shields earns $7MM in 2012 and his contract includes club options for 2013 ($9MM with a $1.5MM buyout) and 2014 ($12MM with a $1MM buyout). Shields, the third-place finisher in last year's AL Cy Young voting, has completed at least 200 innings in every one of his five full seasons. The 30-year-old has a 4.39 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 131 1/3 innings so far in 2012.
The Rays avoided arbitration with starter David Price on a deal worth $4.35MM, tweets MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith. Price's salary matches Dontrelle Willis' first-time pitcher record set six years ago. I thought he'd do better. It seems the "raise argument" did not apply on top of Price's $1.25MM 2011 salary, which represented the last year of a Major League deal he signed upon being drafted.
The team also avoided arbitration with B.J. Upton, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. Upton gets $7MM plus some small plate appearance bonuses, tweets Topkin. MLBTR projected the Reynolds Sports Management client at $7.6MM.
The Rays appear headed for an arbitration hearing with pitcher Jeff Niemann.
Here's a look at some news out of the AL East..
- The Rays are concentrating on upgrading at first base, DH, and landing two relievers, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. They want to hang on to their pitching depth, but that would change if Joey Votto of the Reds became available.
- More from Sherman (via Twitter) on the Rays as he writes that the club is always open to anything, but have it in their budget to keep David Price at $4-$4.5MM as a Super Two. Price could earn $7-8MM in 2012 through arbitration according to MLBTR's projections. Sherman adds that it would take a gigantic return for them to move him.
- As expected, the Yankees intend to follow up with Freddy Garcia’s agents once more, a person with knowledge of the situation, told Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has already talked with Garcia’s representatives, even before the right-hander was a free agent.
- Dale Sveum is interviewing again Wednesday with the Red Sox and GM Ben Cherington is unsure if they will bring back anyone else for an interview, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
- Talks between the Red Sox and Cubs over compensation for Theo Epstein will continue this week but Commissioner Bud Selig is likely to settle matter, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald tweets. Cherington says that Selig hashing things out is probably what's best for both parties.