Elvis Andrus Rumors
Believe it or not, but the last place Red Sox may actually be in better position for future years than the AL East champion Yankees, argues Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. The Yankees have tens of millions tied up in an aging and increasingly unproductive roster, while the Red Sox shed much of their major payroll commitments when they dealt Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers.
Here are some news and notes from around the baseball world...
- Elvis Andrus is a major trade chip for the Rangers if they choose to move him, notes Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, who outlines Andrus' trade value and circumstances behind a possible deal. Durrett also says Texas could instead try to trade an older, more expensive player like Nelson Cruz or Ian Kinsler.
- The Rangers have interest in B.J. Upton but they see him as a corner outfielder rather than in center, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com as part of a fan mailbag.
- The longer Zack Greinke takes to pick his next team, the longer it will delay the rest of the Angels' offseason moves, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Greinke is the Angels' top target and his status with the team could determine what the Halos do with Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Torii Hunter.
- The Rockies have Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and A's third base coach Mike Gallego on their list of possible external candidates for manager, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Mark Wiley is the favorite to become the Rockies' new director of pitching operations, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Wiley, currently a Marlins scout, would oversee pitchers at all levels of the Colorado organization as the team tries to develop arms capable of performing at Coors Field.
- Andy Pettitte hopes to have a decision made about his playing future "in a month or so," reports ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand. The Yankees southpaw hinted last week that he was looking to return in 2013.
- The Yankees are in for a busy offseason though "by any objective measure, the Yankees aren't a team in need of a major overhaul," writes Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. Costa details the five most pressing questions facing the Bombers this winter.
- Wilson Betemit doesn't appear to have much of a role on next year's Orioles roster, writes CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff. Betemit is owed $1.75MM from the O's in 2013 and his $3.2MM option for 2014 will vest with 324 more plate appearances.
- The Twins have no plans to alter the dimensions at Target Field next season, team president Dave St. Peter said in an e-mail to reporters (including MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger).
Congratulations are in order for the Reds, who clinched their second NL Central title in the last three years with this afternoon's win over the Dodgers. Top offseason addition Mat Latos threw eight shutout innings in the win. Here's the latest from around the league as Saturday turns into Sunday...
- The Rangers will not trade Elvis Andrus this winter, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). They haven't had any talks about moving him and don't plan to.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com Gregor Chisholm that Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow are the only starters guaranteed a rotation spot next year (Twitter link). Both pitchers are signed to guaranteed multiyear contract extensions.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told Zachary Levine of The Houston Chronicle that he will meet with owner Jim Crane and other front office members on Monday to "gauge the pace" of their managerial search.
- Jeff Karstens has not started a game for the Pirates since August, and Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says (on Sulia) that it could be because the front office wants to get a longer look at some other starters. Karstens will earn $3.1MM this year and is a non-tender candidate.
- Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times looked back at all the prospects traded by Ned Colletti during his tenure as Dodgers GM. Only two -- Edwin Jackson and Steve Johnson -- are playing important roles for contenders this year.
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.
Stephen Strasburg may not be there, but the Nationals are going to the playoffs. The Nats clinched a postseason berth with tonight's 4-1 win over the Dodgers and now have a magic number of eight to clinch the NL East. This is the franchise's first postseason appearance since reaching the NLCS (as the Expos) in 1981, and the first time a Washington baseball team has made the postseason since the Senators played in the 1933 World Series.
Here's the latest from around the majors...
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic talks to several executives and scouts about Justin Upton's trade value, with the general consensus being that the Diamondbacks can still command a high price for the outfielder, though Upton's disappointing 2012 campaign has hurt his value. Opinion was split on whether the D'Backs or Rangers would have to add players in such a possible Upton-for-Elvis Andrus deal.
- Upton discusses his season, his career development and his feelings about the trade rumors in an extensive profile by Robert Sanchez of ESPN The Magazine.
- John Axford believes the Zack Greinke trade was the inspiration for the Brewers' surprising turn-around, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Since Greinke was dealt to the Angels on July 27, the Brewers have surged back into the NL wild card race with a 32-18 record, including today's win over the Pirates. "Personally, I thought it was going to be more motivation for certain guys," Axford said. "There wasn't ever a thought on this team that this was a lost season. It was disappointing for a while....But there's no guy on this team that's going to lie down and give up. It's shown recently."
- "The sense now is that some teams would still be willing to take [Yunel Escobar] on provided he delivers a proper penance first," writes Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi. Escobar is scheduled to return on Friday from his three-game suspension for wearing eye black that contained a homophobic slur. This incident could spur Escobar's departure from Toronto, especially since the Blue Jays have promising shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria waiting in the wings.
- ESPN's Jim Bowden lists ten of the top managerial candidates, a compilation that includes nine men who have never managed at the Major League level and two-time World Series winner Terry Francona. Two names on Bowden's list (Tim Bogar and Dave Martinez) are reportedly the top candidates to become the Astros' new manager.
- Jim Thome's quest for a World Series ring has surprisingly taken him to the Orioles instead of the Phillies, writes MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince, but the slugger has dropped hints that 2012 may not be his last season.
- Derek Jeter told ESPN's Rick Reilly (passed on by Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News) that he would potentially be open to playing for a team besides the Yankees once his current contract expires. "Well, if I wanted to keep playing, yes," Jeter said. "It's a business. People forget that." Jeter is under contract through the 2013 season with an $8MM player option for 2014; the shortstop turns 40 years old in June 2014.
The Diamondbacks traded Stephen Drew this week, officially acknowledging that he won’t return in 2013. The team will rely on Willie Bloomquist, Jake Elmore and John McDonald for the remainder of the 2012 season, but they’ll pursue shortstop help over the winter, GM Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
"There's not a lot on the free-agent market, so more than likely it's going to take a trade,” Towers said. “We'll probably have to trade a good player -- or a couple of good players -- to find one."
Towers expects to encounter an “overpay situation” in his search for shortstops because there is only so much talent to go around. “Teams tend to really horde those type of players,” he said. The Rangers have enviable depth at the position in Elvis Andrus and top prospect Jurickson Profar. GM Jon Daniels says it’s a good problem to have.
“We don't know exactly how it's going to play out long term, but I'm not really all that concerned about it,” Daniels said. “I know that all the possibilities are good ones for us."
Piecoro suggests the Diamondbacks will talk to the Rangers this offseason. The Reds have middle infield depth behind Zack Cozart (Didi Gregorius and Billy Hamilton) and the Blue Jays have Adeiny Hechavarria and Yunel Escobar.
The Diamondbacks would like to see more of Elmore, but don’t seem convinced he’s more than a part-time player, according to Piecoro. And while they like prospect Chris Owings, they don’t expect him to be ready for the MLB level in 2013. Bloomquist and McDonald are both under contract for 2013.
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.
- Pierre would earn $800K on the Major League roster and he could earn additional incentives based on plate appearances, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The outfielder signed a minor league deal with the Phillies last week.
- Belisle will earn $4.1MM in 2013 and his extension includes a mutual option worth $4.25MM for 2014, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. If Belisle accepts his half of the option, the Rockies can still decline for $250K. The deal includes $450K in incentives for games finished.
- Andrus gets a signing bonus of $750K, $2.375MM in 2012, $4.8MM in 2013, and $6.475MM in 2014, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets.
Four years ago today, the Mariners acquired Erik Bedard from the Orioles in exchange for five players: Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Kameron Mickolio, and Tony Butler. The deal was one of our Trades of the Decade. Here's the latest from the AL West...
- Athletics GM Billy Beane recently signed a lengthy contract extension, though ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider req'd) opines that losing may wear on him if the team doesn't get back into contention. He wonders if a potential new Dodgers owners could come calling in the near future.
- If the Athletics do move to San Jose, owner Lew Wolff says they would be labeled the San Jose A's, reports Joe Stiglich of The Bay Area News (on Twitter).
- The Rangers bought out Elvis Andrus' three arbitration years, but assistant GM Thad Levine told Richard Durrett of ESPN Texas that the club does want to keep him beyond that.
The Rangers and shortstop Elvis Andrus have officially signed a three-year extension. The deal, which doesn't include any options, is worth $14.4MM, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports on Twitter. The Boras Corporation represents Andrus, who was arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason and had a hearing scheduled for Thursday. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported the agreement.
Andrus had filed for $3.6MM in arbitration, while the Rangers had countered with a $2.65MM submission, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. The 23-year-old Venezuela native is under team control through 2014, so the deal buys out all of his arbitration seasons and no free agent years.
Andrus owns a .271/.340/.343 line with 102 stolen bases (135 attempts) as a Major Leaguer. He has appeared in at least 145 regular games in each of the past three seasons and contributed in the postseason in 2010 and 2011. Andrus is an above-average defender at short, according to UZR.
Photo courtesy Icon SMI.
The Rangers recently extended 23-year-old shortstop Elvis Andrus for three years and $14.4MM. The contract covers Andrus' three arbitration years. As we'd expect for a Boras Corporation client, the Rangers were not able to secure any free agent seasons. Does this contract extension offer value to the Rangers as opposed to just going year-to-year?
I talked to a couple of agency employees who estimated Andrus' year-to-year arbitration earnings in the range of $15.3-15.5MM, with salaries around $3MM, $4.8MM, $7.5MM if his offense holds steady. Andrus brings runs and steals to the table and might win some Gold Gloves, but arbitration doesn't pay this skillset handsomely. The Rangers didn't get much cost savings here, unless Andrus takes his offensive game to another level.
As with any extension, the Rangers got cost certainty, in that they don't have to haggle with the Boras Corporation three times to determine Andrus' salaries. There is also the benefit of pleasing Major League Baseball, as the contract might help keep future shortstop salaries down.
The downside for the Rangers is that Andrus' earnings for 2012-14 are now guaranteed, even if his offense suffers a downturn or he endures a significant injury. Such events would have limited his arbitration salaries. J.J. Hardy's 2009 season is a good example: his performance and playing time plummeted, so he settled with the Brewers for just a $750K raise. The Rangers no longer have that protection, and all they received in return was a million or two in savings and some cost certainty.