David Wright Rumors
The Yankees are considering a defensive change for next season, shifting Curtis Granderson to left field and Brett Gardner to center, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Granderson's defense has declined in recent years, as he has posted negative UZR/150 ratings in four of the last five years, including a -18.2 UZR/150 in 2012. Gardner, on the other hand, has a career 30.6 UZR/150, ranking him amongst the best defensive outfielders in the game.
Here's the latest from both the Yankees and Mets...
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn't plan to offer Rafael Soriano a deal similar to the one he signed after the 2010 season that established Soriano as Mariano Rivera's set-up man and understudy at closer, reports ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews. "I don't think Soriano would sign here if he's not going to be the closer," Cashman said. "And I don't think we would do again what we did before. He's going to want closer money and I doubt he would want to come back here as a set-up man." Soriano is a free agent after opting out of the last year of his deal, and agent Scott Boras said Soriano is looking for a four-year contract to close. Soriano could still return to the Bronx, of course, if Rivera retires and the Bombers suddenly have a hole at the back of their bullpen.
- Also from Matthews, he reports that the Yankees will make qualifying offers to Nick Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda. Swisher will almost surely turn this offer down but Kuroda "might accept it." The Yankees have interest in bringing back Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez on short-term contracts, while the club also would like to re-sign Andy Pettitte and Russell Martin.
- The Yankees haven't received any calls from teams interested in Alex Rodriguez, reports USA Today's Bob Nightengale. It could be a moot point, as Nightengale hears that Rodriguez isn't willing to waive his no-trade clause for any team.
- The Mets are continuing to talk to David Wright about a multiyear extension but talks are "stuck in neutral" and there is "nothing imminent" between the two sides, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post and Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger (both links to Twitter).
- ESPN's Jim Bowden believes Wright and the Mets will agree to a new long-term contract, but if they can't, Bowden suggests five teams who could become trade destinations for Wright.
The Mets and David Wright plan to intensify talks about a possible contract extension in the near future, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. The sides could discuss years and dollars as soon as this week.
The Mets, who exercised Wright’s $16MM contract option for 2013 two days ago, are determined to keep talks private. So far the sides haven’t discussed years or dollars, but that could change now that the option has been exercised. Jon Heyman reported this week that the negotiations with the ACES client seemed to be progressing.
The Mets will also discuss a possible extension with R.A. Dickey, whose $5MM 2013 option was also exercised this week. There remains a genuine chance that the Mets could trade Dickey, Martino reports.
The Mets have formally picked up their contract options for David Wright and R.A. Dickey, sources told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Mets began the early stages of extension talks with both players after the season but the discussions were reportedly moving slowly.
Wright's option for 2013 will pay him $16MM while Dickey's is for just $5MM. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today that the third baseman was discussing a long-term deal with the club. Officials told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that they expected an extension for Wright to cost about $143MM over eight years when including the 2013 option.
Some have speculated that Dickey could be in line for a Oliver Perez-type extension, which would be for three years at about $36MM. However, the Mets reportedly don't have anything that lucrative in mind. At the age of 38, Dickey's situation is a complicated one as knuckleballers historically haven't fared well beyond 40.
The latest from notes and rumors from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com...
- The Mets are discussing a long-term deal with David Wright, Heyman reports. They'll exercise the third baseman's $16MM option for 2013 by tomorrow, assuming a larger deal isn't completed by then. The sides appear to have made progress, though some say the negotiations are progressing slowly. It appears the discussions will continue after the option's exercised, Heyman writes.
- The Athletics are talking to free agent shortstop Stephen Drew about a new contract, Heyman reports. The A's declined their half of Drew's 2013 mutual option yesterday, but assistant general manager David Forst said the team will continue talking to him about a possible deal.
- Everth Cabrera has hired Scott Boras as his agent, Heyman reports (on Twitter). Cabrera, a former ACES client, will be arbitration eligible for the first time this coming offseason. Be sure to check out MLBTR’s Agency Database for any information about player representatives.
- The Angels are still talking to teams about possible deals involving Ervin Santana and Dan Haren, Heyman reports. In case you missed it, MLBTR reported today that Santana switched agencies again.
Here's the latest from Joel Sherman of The New York Post...
- Sherman has spoken to more than ten executives outside the Mets organization who believe the team will re-sign David Wright and relatively soon. It's a public relations move as much as a baseball move, plus getting him signed quickly will allow them to fine tune their offseason plans.
- Officials expect Wright to receive a seven-year, $127MM extension that, when combined with his $16MM club option for next year, would be worth a total of $143MM across eight years. It would make Wright the highest paid Met in history (ahead of Johan Santana) and the second high paid third baseman in history (behind Alex Rodriguez).
- “Teams no longer like paying big money for closers, there is a lot of tread on his tires and he is not known as a great guy," said one NL executive about Rafael Soriano, who is expected to opt-out of his contract with the Yankees and become a free agent this offseason.
- Sherman wonders if Jose Valverde's late-season collapse will help Soriano on the open market as the Tigers will likely look for a high-end closer. Tigers own Mike Ilitch has a strong working relationship with Soriano's agent Scott Boras.
- Former manager Tony LaRussa recently said he would not have offered more than five or six years to Albert Pujols last winter or Josh Hamilton this winter, and Sherman says the players association was not pleased. LaRussa is currently an advisor to the Commissioner and anything resembling talk of collusion from baseball's higher-ups sets off an alarm.
The Mets' contract talks with David Wright and R.A. Dickey have not advanced to the point of discussing years or dollars, a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. General Manager Sandy Alderson has remained in touch with representatives for both players but the sides are “still talking about when to really get talking,” according to the source. Martino writes that some in the organization believe that the Mets will sign Wright but ultimately trade Dickey. Here's more on the Mets and other items out of the NL East..
- Alderson disclosed that manager Wally Backman will return to the Mets' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas next season, tweets Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. The 53-year-old has managed in the organization's minor league system for the past three seasons.
- The Phillies had some interest in bringing Backman aboard as their Triple-A manager in Lehigh Valley to replace Ryne Sandberg, Martino tweets. Sandberg was bumped up to third base coach for the Phillies earlier this month.
- The Marlins are said to have interest in Reds pitching coach Bryan Price for their managerial vacancy, but Price has recently agreed to a new deal with the club, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. However, Price won't comment on whether the club has asked for permission to talk to him, writes Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson has made it no secret that signing both David Wright and R.A. Dickey beyond 2013 is one of his top offseason priorities, and a source told Andy Martino of The New York Daily News that formal contract negotiations with both players could begin next week. "Too early to tell," said a source when asked if either player could agree to a new deal this month.
Earlier this week we learned that the team intends to open talks with Wright by offering a deal in the $100MM range, which would be in line with the six-year, $100MM extension Ryan Zimmerman signed with the Nationals earlier this year. The 29-year-old Wright hit .306/.391/.492 with 21 homers this year, and the Mets will surely exercise his $16MM club option for next season soon after the World Series.
Dickey, 37, could be in line for an Oliver Perez-like contract following his Cy Young caliber season, meaning three years and $36MM. The club will surely exercise his $5MM club option for 2013 as soon as necessary. Martino hears that Alderson is sincere in his desire to sign Dickey, but there is some in the organization who are concerned about his age and injury history. The knuckleballer pitched through a torn abdominal muscle this season and dealt with a right foot problem last year.
The Mets are expected to start negotiations with David Wright by making an offer for somewhere in the neighborhood of $100MM, people familiar with the team's thinking told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Mets are also expected to give negotiations at least most of October before even considering a deal for the star third baseman.
Heyman was told that General Manager Sandy Alderson & Co. hope to make Wright a Met "for life." A deal could include team options toward the end of the pact with the hope that the 29-year-old stays productive into his late 30s. Wright has opted to remain with the embattled ACES agency but Heyman writes that there's no indication that they have pressed the contract talks because of the timing of the probe into their practices.
While Wright is likely seeking a $100MM+ deal, a veteran agent told Mike Puma of the New York Post that R.A. Dickey is probably eyeing Oliver Perez-type money, which would be $36MM over three years. However, Heyman writes that the Mets don't want to go beyond two years for Dickey as the Mets have concerns that his high-velocity for a knuckleballer will hurt his longevity. A rival GM sees the soon-to-be 38-year-old as being worth $15MM, but the Mets aren't believed to be thinking of a deal in that ballpark.
GM Sandy Alderson recently said that the Mets will make every effort to retain both David Wright and R.A. Dickey beyond next season, and today Mike Puma of The New York Post reports that new deals could happen quickly. His source says it's "conceivable" that both players could have new contract extensions in place, at least in principle, before the World Series.
Alderson has acknowledged that he's had "informal conversations" with Sam and Seth Levinson, Wright's representatives, however Puma hears that the GM has yet to reach out to Dickey's agent Bo McKinnis. While Wright will likely seek a long-term contract in excess of $100MM, a veteran agent told Puma that Dickey is "probably looking at Oliver Perez dollars for sure." That would be three years and $36MM.
The Mets hold club options for the 29-year-old Wright ($16MM) and 37-year-old Dickey ($5MM), though both players can become free agents after 2013. Both options can be torn up or simply guaranteed and blended into new contracts. Alderson has referred to Wright and Dickey as core pieces of the club has they move forward and continue to rebuild.
The fourth-place Mets will wrap up their season against the Marlins this afternoon, a season that saw them sit in second place and 4.5 games out of first as late as July 7th. GM Sandy Alderson spoke to the media earlier today, saying he is "not prepared to blow up the team and start over again." Let's recap the full media session with some help from ESPN New York's Adam Rubin...
- "I don't want to give the impression that we're going to be out in the free-agent market looking for significant additions," said the GM. "We have lots of payroll tied up in a handful of players. That's a situation that gradually has to resolve itself."
- Alderson said he believes the team is headed in the right direction, but they are not yet in a position to spend lavishly or "pay for today with deferrals until tomorrow."
- The Mets will make every effort to retain both David Wright and R.A. Dickey. The team holds affordable club options for both players, but they can become free agents after 2013.
- Alderson would not rule out a contract extension that takes Wright to the end of his career, and he acknowledged that both sides have already had "informal conversations."
- The team's goals are to first build through the farm system, retain core players, and add players from the outside on a "fairly judicious basis."
- "I think it's possible, given what we have, that we'll be more active in the trade market," said Alderson. "But that's not a given, necessarily. I really do believe some of our players are on the verge of making bigger contributions." Alderson said they would be cautious with their starting pitching depth, however.
- The team's payroll for 2012 ended up being about $100MM, and the $9MM in total buyouts owed to Jason Bay and Johan Santana will be considered part of the 2013 payroll. Both players can become free agents after next season.
- Manager Terry Collins is under contract through next year and there have not yet been any talks about signing him to a contract extension.