Derek Holland Rumors
One year ago, the Red Sox shocked the baseball world when they hit the reset button with their massive blockbuster deal with the Dodgers. Today, Boston finds themselves atop of the AL East, something that very few could have predicted after they shed roughly $270MM in payroll. Alex Speier of WEEI.com has a fascinating article today on the trade that altered the direction of the club and the possible alternatives that could have also taken place. Here's a look at some of the highlights..
- One rumor prior to last year's non-waiver deadline had the Red Sox considering a swap of Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez with the Marlins. However, such a deal never came close. One source familiar with the talks said that Boston would done the deal straight up, but the problem was the difference in salary. Such a move would have required the Marlins to break out the checkbook as there was $37MM+ owed to Ramirez through 2014 and a whopping $110.5MM owed to Crawford through 2017.
- However, there were other proposed deals that had legs, particularly ones involving Josh Beckett. According to multiple industry sources, the Rangers and Red Sox explored a number of possible deals including one that had a framework of Beckett and Jacoby Ellsbury going to Texas with the Red Sox getting left-hander Derek Holland. However, Beckett told WEEI's Rob Bradford that the talks never gained enough traction for the team to discuss the possibility of him waiving his no-trade rights.
- The Dodgers were among the clubs with interest in Beckett prior to the July 31st deadline and that was information that the Red Sox stored for later.
- The club's previous free-spending ways handcuffed them from even considering a run at Yu Darvish after the 2011 season. Of course, the blockbuster with L.A. gave them much more flexibility going forward. GM Ben Cherington acknowledged that a trade deadline deal like the Jake Peavy trade this year simply wasn't possible given the payroll constraints that the team previously faced.
- Boston considered using their prospects to help get out from under bad contracts, but they ultimately decided against that. "We'd made the decision long term, we were just going to need to start holding on to [top prospects] and figuring out what they could do," said one team official. "Instead of picking the right guy, keep them all in the tub and let them decide for us. Back when we were good, that's what we did."
- Up until the Dodgers deal happened, Cherington says that he wasn't planning on making any significant moves in August. There was some thought given to turning the Dodgers down and waiting until the offseason when they could revisit talks with L.A. and other clubs. However, Boston didn't want to let the opportunity to start fresh pass them by.
A ridiculous number of three and four-team trade scenarios have been discussed at the Winter Meetings, most of them seemingly involving Arizona's Justin Upton winding up with the Rangers. We'll track the latest on the discussions right here:
- The Upton talks aren't dead and never have been, an involved official tells Ken Rosenthal, but it doesn't have more legs than it did two weeks ago.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels left the Winter Meetings without a deal, telling reporters including Jeff Wilson, "I would have guessed something would have happened here. And I would have been wrong. It hasn't gotten to the point where something had fallen through that I thought was going to get done."
- The Rangers, D'Backs, and Rays are still at the Winter Meetings, working on an Upton blockbuster according to Rosenthal. A friend of Rays top exec Andrew Friedman says that while Friedman has never done a three-way trade, he's determined to get one done.
- D'backs GM Kevin Towers made it clear that he seeks a shortstop he controls for more than two years, so it seems Elvis Andrus or Asdrubal Cabrera would not be sufficient, tweets Jim Bowden of SiriusXM and ESPN.
- Rosenthal has one possible outcome: Upton to the Rangers, a Rays starter to the D'Backs, and Mike Olt and other prospects to the Rays. The scenario doesn't seem to satisfy the needs of the D'Backs and Rays, but we'll see.
- There's nothing close on the Upton front, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told Bob Nightengale.
- Bowden adds (also via Twitter) that the Mariners' reasoning for being in these talks is to use their prospects to ensure that Upton lands with Texas, which will open the door for them to sign Josh Hamilton. The Mariners are reportedly in serious talks with Hamilton, who considers them his fallback should he not sign with Texas.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio tweets that the Diamondbacks will not budge from their insistence that Andrus or Profar be included in a trade with the Rangers. As such, they're more likely to trade two young pitchers to the Indians to land Cabrera.
- The fourth team in some permutations of the blockbuster is the Mariners, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. One official in the talks sees them as the biggest roadblock, as they're unsure whether to move forward and surrender prospects. A source tells Rosenthal the player the Mariners want most in these talks is Derek Holland of the Rangers. Rosenthal says Rangers GM Jon Daniels is driving the trade, "feverishly trying to land" Upton. In the end, the FOX writer says the four-team blockbuster "appears unlikely to happen."
- D'Backs GM Kevin Towers said today, "I've had more multi-team talks this year than ever before. In every discussion it seems three or four teams are involved."
- One scenario had Upton going to the Rangers, Cabrera to the D'Backs, and Martin Perez and more to the Indians, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Indians are pushing for the Diamondbacks to include Tyler Skaggs in a deal for Cabrera, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. However, Arizona would prefer to move Trevor Bauer.
- Although the Diamondbacks like many of the Rangers' prospects, such as Mike Olt, Leury Garcia, and Cody Buckel, they continue to want Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in return for Upton, tweets Passan. At this point, it seems more likely that the D-Backs would move Upton in a multi-team scenario that nets them Cabrera rather than trading straight-up with the Rangers.
With the Rangers believed to be very much involved in the Zack Greinke sweepstakes, Texas is a candidate to add a big-name starter this week, in which case the team may look to trade one of its in-house options. As such, rival teams are calling to inquire about the availability of left-hander Derek Holland, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
The Brewers, Twins, and Royals are among the clubs that have been in touch with the Rangers about Holland, says Morosi.
We'll round up today's rumors on Justin Upton, one of the winter's most intriguing trade candidates, right here, with the latest updates added to the top of the page throughout the day...
- The Mariners and Diamondbacks met tonight, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Diamondbacks are said to be one of the most aggressive teams at the Winter Meetings so far, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney, who says rival teams believe Arizona will move Upton.
- The Rangers haven't given up on Upton, though the D-Backs continue to insist Elvis Andrus is included in any deal, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Texas would prefer to build a package around players like Mike Olt and/or Derek Holland rather than giving up Andrus or Jurickson Profar, according to Rosenthal.
- Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com tweets that the Rangers and D-Backs are still talking about Upton, but that there's "nothing there" at the moment.
The Rangers are one of three teams to win 90-plus games in each of the past three seasons (the Yankees and Rays are the others) but they’ll be spectators for the remainder of postseason following a loss to the Orioles in Friday night’s Wild Card play-in game. Here’s the latest from Texas...
- It wouldn’t shock baseball people if the Rangers walk away from Josh Hamilton altogether this offseason, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. The assumption around MLB is that the Rangers know Hamilton better than anyone else, so potential suitors will be carefully monitoring Texas’ bids. However, the Rangers intend to sit back and let other teams make the first move.
- It might be time for the Red Sox to use Jacoby Ellsbury as a trade chip for rotation help, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. GM Ben Cherington is expected to consider a multiyear extension for the center fielder, but agent Scott Boras figures to seek a deal in the $160MM range. The Rangers could find themselves in the market for a center fielder this offseason, so Lauber wonders if they'd make Derek Holland available in a deal for Ellsbury.
- One MLB executive said there’s “zero” chance the Red Sox sign Ellsbury to a contract extension before he reaches free agency at the end of the 2013 season, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reported last month. Ellsbury has one more season of arbitration eligibility after earning $8.05MM in 2012.
8:56pm: The total value of Holland's deal will be $49MM if both option years are exercised according to Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). The contract values each of his free agent years at $10-11MM compared to $11-13MM for Lester, Gallardo, Romero, and Cahill.
8:42am: We can officially pencil Derek Holland into the Rangers' rotation for the foreseeable future. The Rangers agreed to terms with the left-hander on a five-year, $28.5MM contract extension. The deal covers the 2012-16 seasons and includes two club options, as MLBTR's Tim Dierkes first reported. Martini Sports Management represents the 25-year-old Holland.
Yovani Gallardo, Ricky Romero, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Trevor Cahill signed five-year deals in the $30MM range at similar stages in their respective careers and were no doubt points of reference in talks leading up to today's agreement. Holland has more career innings than any of those pitchers did at the time of their extensions, but none of them had a career ERA above 3.94 at the time of their deals, while Holland has a career mark of 4.73. The deals for Cahill and Buchholz include two club options, while the others include just one.
Holland posted a 3.95 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 46.4% ground ball rate in 198 innings this past season. If he can replicate that level of performance, the deal will prove to be a success for the team. Yet Holland obtains financial security by agreeing to terms now instead of going year to year.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News first reported that the sides were on the verge of an agreement with Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com adding detail. Photo courtesy Icon SMI.
The Rangers are "on the verge" of signing left-hander Derek Holland to a contract extension, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The deal would be for at least five years (though the 2016 season), overriding Holland's near-league minimum salary for this season and covering his three arbitration years and his first year of free agency.
We heard in December that the two sides were discussing a five-year extension with an option for a sixth year, though talks were thought to be shelved in January. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith considered that extensions given to such pitchers as Jon Lester, Ricky Romero and Yovani Gallardo (five years for around $30MM) were "unavoidable points of reference" for a possible Holland extension.
The Rangers have also signed Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus to extensions this offseason, though those contracts were just for two and three years, respectively, and only covered each player's arbitration seasons. Obviously Texas has more interest in locking Holland up for the longer-term, given that Cruz is 31 and Andrus could be made expendable in a few years by top shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar.
Holland, 25, was a key part of the Texas rotation last season, posting a 3.95 ERA in 32 starts with a 46.4% ground ball rate and a 2.42 K/BB ratio. He also threw a gem in Game Four of the World Series, shutting out the Cardinals on just two hits over 8 1/3 innings. Holland is represented by Martini Sports Management.
The Rangers and left-handed starter Derek Holland have stopped discussing a possible contract extension for the time being, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports. The Rangers and Holland’s representatives at Martini Sports Management started discussing a long-term deal in December, but aren’t likely to resume negotiations this offseason.
Holland, who missed this year's super two cutoff and is not yet arbitration eligible, will remain under team control through 2015. A five-year deal would buy out one pre-arbitration season, his three years of arbitration eligibility and his first season of free agency.
The 25-year-old posted a 3.95 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 46.4% ground ball rate in 198 innings this past season. He set career highs in everything from ERA to innings to strikeouts (162) to wins above replacement (3.6).
Yovani Gallardo, Ricky Romero, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Trevor Cahill are unavoidable points of reference for the Rangers and Holland’s representatives. All five starters signed five-year deals in the $30MM range at similar stages in their respective careers. Holland has more career innings than any of those pitchers did at the time of their extensions, but none of them had a career ERA above 3.94 at the time of their deals, while Holland has a career mark of 4.73. Options are often a point of contention in extension talks, so it's worth noting that the deals for Cahill and Buchholz include two club options, while the other deals include just one.
Time for some links from baseball's two West divisions...
- "I think so," said Dodgers GM Ned Colletti when asked if he was done with his free agent shopping, reports Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). They re-signed Mike MacDougal to a one-year deal today, the tenth free agent they've signed this winter.
- The Rangers continue to have dialogue about long-term contract extensions with core players like Ian Kinsler and Derek Holland, reports Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. "Our general feeling is to try not to negotiate during the year, but we've made exceptions," said GM Jon Daniels.
- Daniels also refused to comment about the Rangers' talks with Yu Darvish, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. "It's best for us to lay low," said the GM. "The less noise around that, the better."
- Athletics GM Billy Beane told MLB.com's Jane Lee that he has some interest in a few free agent outfielders, and he's also exploring trade possibilities (Twitter link). Bullpen help is another possibility, says Joe Stiglich of The Bay Area News Group (on Twitter).
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said they are "still keeping our ears open" regarding veteran starters even after signing Hisashi Iwakuma, reports Shannon Drayer of MyNorthwest.com (on Twitter).
- ESPN's Buster Olney says (on Twitter) that the union calculated the value of Albert Pujols' contract with the Angels at $246,841,811. Ronald Blum of the AP has a breakdown of the perks in the contract, such as a suite on road trips.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post has the details of Wil Nieves' minor league contract with the Rockies (on Twitter). The backstop will earn $700K in the majors and $14K per month in the minors. He's also been invited to Spring Training.
9:24pm: The potential extension includes a club option for a sixth year, according to Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com.
12:29am: The Rangers are discussing a five-year extension with left-handed starter Derek Holland, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). Holland missed this year's super two cutoff and is not yet arbitration eligible. A five-year deal would buy out one pre-arbitration season, his three years of arbitration eligibility and his first season of free agency.
Yovani Gallardo, Ricky Romero, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Trevor Cahill are unavoidable points of reference for the Rangers and the Martini Sports Management client. All five starters signed five-year deals in the $30MM range at similar stages in their respective careers. Holland has more career innings than any of those pitchers did at the time of their extensions, but none of them had a career ERA above 3.94 at the time of their deals, while Holland has a career mark of 4.73. Options are often a point of contention in extension talks, so it's worth noting that the deals for Cahill and Buchholz include two club options, while the other deals include just one.
Holland, 25, posted a 3.95 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 46.4% ground ball rate in 198 innings this past season. He set career highs in everything from ERA to innings to strikeouts (162) to wins above replacement (3.6). The Rangers control Holland's rights through 2015.