Evan Longoria Rumors
Links for Friday...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports believes the D'Backs' new manager, A.J. Hinch, is a "strange choice" because he has no managerial or coaching experience.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff says signing Manny Ramirez was the best move the Mets never made.
- MLB.com's Doug Miller and Ken Gurnick sift through a year's worth of Ramirez-related drama.
- Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune wonders if the Dodgers will have enough payroll flexibility to take on Jake Peavy's contract, now that Manny has been suspended without pay.
- Kirk Kenney of the Union-Tribune asks where Stephen Strasburg belongs in college baseball history.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle has a plan to fix the Astros. He'd like to see them trade veterans like Jose Valverde and Carlos Lee and try to win with youth, even if it means losing first.
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times says the contrast between what the Yankees owe Alex Rodriguez and what the Rays owe Evan Longoria illustrates the difference between the AL East rivals.
- Buster Olney profiled Longoria for ESPN the Magazine.
- More sad news for baseball: Dom Dimaggio died this morning, as MLB.com's Bobbie Dittmeier reports.
Linkage for Thursday...
- Tadahito Iguchi will consider playing in the U.S. or Japan, but he wants a starting job. He hit just .232/.292/.306 in 337 plate appearances, hobbled by a shoulder injury.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he does not have any side agreements with any of their free agents to decline arbitration if offered. That would've been nice for Ivan Rodriguez. River Ave. Blues thinks the Yanks should offer arb to Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Mike Mussina, and Damaso Marte.
- Sox Machine would like to see the White Sox add a defensive player like Mark Ellis.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if Larry Bowa would campaign for the Yankees to sign Manny Ramirez, if Bowa joins the Yankees first.
- Tonight could be Jason Varitek's last game as a member of the Red Sox.
- What might've been: the Rockies seriously considered drafting Evan Longoria.
- Murray Chass talked to Barry Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris.
Let's kick off the morning with some random links.
- Live chat here today at 2pm CST.
- Brian Matusz is hopeful about striking a deal with the Orioles by Friday's deadline. Roch Kubatko has a source saying it's likely.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis warns us not to listen to the posturing - he still expects all the first-round draft picks to sign with the possible exception of Allan Dykstra.
- Should the Mariners offer Raul Ibanez a three-year deal at $10-11MM per?
- No word yet on possible Rays acquisitions in wake of the Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria injuries. Marc Lancaster wonders if Kenny Lofton or...don't say it...Barry Bonds would make sense.
- The Mets had no interest in Adam Dunn. They wonder about his passion, according to Joel Sherman. Did you know he doesn't like baseball?
- The Phillies were more interested in Casey Blake than Manny Ramirez.
- Athletics Nation looks at some free agent options for '09.
- Shannon Stewart didn't understand his latest Blue Jay Experience.
- The Yankees, Mets, Angels, and Padres have scouts at the Olympics to watch Hitoki Iwase, Koji Uehara, Kenshin Kawakami, Yu Darvish, and Kyuji Fujikawa.
Rounding up today's links...
- Live chat here today at 2pm CST.
- Geoff Baker has a link and commentary on Erik Bedard's Philadelphia radio appearance. I'm with Baker - this was an odd choice by Bedard, who typically avoids the media.
- According to Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers are interested in the Giants' Ray Durham and Jack Taschner.
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman believes the Braves will shop Mark Teixeira if they decide they can't contend. They're currently six games out.
- Dave Cameron concluded his MLB Trade Value series at FanGraphs. He considers Evan Longoria the most valuable asset in the game, partially because of his team-friendly contract.
- Ken Davidoff runs through starting pitching trade candidates now that CC Sabathia is off the market.
- Sam Mellinger wonders what it would've been like if the Royals had successfully signed Hiroki Kuroda. Of course, they were eyeing Andruw Jones and Carlos Silva too.
- With Matt Treanor DL-bound, the Marlins' search for a catcher may intensify.
Rumors are a bit sparse today...this should be expected in the weeks and month to come. So here are a few articles for your afternoon reading.
- Sabernomics takes a look at the economics of the Evan Longoria deal.
- Tom Verducci puts Manny Ramirez in historical perspective. 'Ducc thinks that Manny is better than some of us give him credit for. Which is difficult, because you have to give him all the credit in the world (at the dish, at least).
- Rob Neyer (subscription required) talks about the Yankees releasing Jason Giambi. He links to an article saying that Giambi simply cannot hit power pitchers anymore. Unfortunately, that idea is bunk, according to SG of Replacement Level.
- Keith Law (also subscription) has some thoughts on the Miguel Tejada age situation. I'm just wondering that with the way ESPN handled this, aren't they closing doors to other interviews? If I was a past steroid user, I'd definitely be wary of an interview request from ESPN.
Posted by Joe Pawlikowski, who writes for River Ave. Blues, a Yankees blog.
I've got a slew of links for you.
- Saberscouting has a mock June draft up.
- Ryan Klesko officially retired. Chipper Jones let the cat out of the bag in February.
- Voros McCracken sees the Evan Longoria contract as a low-risk proposition for the Rays.
- The A's are still discussing an extension with Huston Street, though nothing appears imminent.
- The Giants DFA'd Rajai Davis. Anyone need an outfield burner?
- Sam Mellinger explains how the Hideo Nomo signing was the type of move the Royals need to make.
- Our Brian Bannister Q&A continues to get mileage, this time snagging a mention in the Seattle Times. I'm trying to line up some more player Q&As, by the way.
And now for more Odds and Ends around the league:
- In his latest "Full Count" audio piece at Fox Sports, Ken Rosenthal expects the Reds to do some roster shuffling that could come down to trades. Scott Hatteberg has become "expendable" with the recent emergence of Joey Votto and by the fact that the Reds have too many lefty hitters.
- Cork Gaines latest Baseball Blogs Weigh In delved into the Evan Longoria signing. To add to that, Ken Rosenthal, also in his Full Count piece, notes favorably that Longoria has set himself for life without having to establish himself and that his payday will come at age 31, still in time for a 4-5 year deal.
- The Boston Herald's reporting Bartolo Colon could opt to leave the Red Sox if he's not in the bigs by May 1st. Manager Terry Francona hopes he will "forego the decision for a while (most likely until May 15)." With a recent setback being the reason he's not in the majors, I don't see him going anywhere just yet.
- An amusing quote from columnist John Mehno of the Beaver County Times on whether the Pirates can be expected to lock up any of its young talent: "Given the lack of can’t-miss prospects in the system, Pirates rookies intent on becoming instant millionaires should probably keep buying lottery tickets."
By Nat Boyle
Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Rays announced a historic long-term deal with their rookie-of-the-year candidate, Evan Longoria. If all the options are picked up and bonuses earned, the Dirtbag from Long Beach State will earn $44.5MM over the next 9 years.
Some have noted that the Rays are following the blueprint of the Indians from the 90s, by locking up their young talent long-term. However, this move is unprecedented for a player so early in his career, as last night marked only his 7th game as a major leaguer.
Buster Olney notes that this deal is not surprising as teams are even starting to consider giving star college players 10-year deals when they are drafted. While there is certainly risk with the deal, historically the risk is minimal for top position prospects. Fred Claire notes that long-term deals are now the norm, but that these deals are being reserved for players with impeccable character traits.
Lets take a look at what is being written about this contract in the Blogosphere...
- skyking162 looks at the math behind the Longoria deal in a two part series. In Part 1, they calculate how much money the Rays are saving. They note that the Rays are paying Longoria during his arbitration years as if he would be worth $9MM on the free agent market. In Part 2, they calculate the addition of the option years and note that the upside far outweighs any downside.
- Outs Per Swing notes that signing Longoria before he becomes a star will help the Rays avoid making the same mistake the Marlins made with Miguel Cabrera.
- DRG of Rays Index takes exception to writers that now say sending Longoria to the minors had nothing to do with delaying his free agency clock. DRG notes that keeping Longoria in the minors for two weeks meant the Rays only had to buy out two free agency years instead of three, thus saving the team money. He also refers to reports of players being upset about the deal. He says they should talk to Rocco Baldelli and ask him if he thinks it is a good idea to leave money on the table for a little security up front.
- Her Rays needs help deciding on the white Longoria jersey or the grey.
- Baseball Musings is surprised by the move but notes that this is just another reason to like the future of the Rays.
- Babes Love Baseball thinks the Rays bought the car without so much as a test drive.
- Fanhouse notes that the Rays are doing a great job of locking up their young talent and while Longoria may be underpaid the first six years of the deal, he will make up for it in the option years and beyond.
12:23pm: MLB.com has the particulars: $17.5MM guaranteed over six years, with the potential for $44MM over nine years. I like this unprecedented move by the Rays.
11:25am: Rosenthal says it will be something like $17MM over six seasons plus options for two free agent years. There will also be incentives along the way.
10:45am: Ken Rosenthal has the scoop. It's a long-term deal for Evan Longoria. I definitely didn't see this coming - he only has six games in the bigs! Interesting move. I'm curious to see if the Rays snagged options for any free agent years.
10:12am: Baseball Digest Daily reports that the Rays have a press conference and major announcement planned a couple hours from now. No one has any idea what it's about.
Barry Bonds signing? B.J. Upton extension? Something about the new stadium? Let's hear your guesses.
Yesterday Rob Neyer of ESPN.com wrote about the fates of Baseball America's top two prospects, Jay Bruce and Evan Longoria. While Bruce start the season in the minors, Neyer notes that the Reds could be a playoff contender if Bruce and Joey Votto receive 1,000 plate appearances. On the other hand, a decision has yet be made on where Longoria will start the season. Neyer feels that the Rays may wish that Longoria was not playing so well in Spring Training. He thinks the Rays should forgo the potential savings of keeping him in the minors and buy some goodwill with the fans by showing them that the team is serious about winning.
Keeping top prospects in the minors to begin the season is likely to become a growing trend. Decisions in both of the above cases may at least in part be based on future arbitration and free agency eligibility. A team can delay free agency by just postponing a player's debut a few weeks. And as arbitration figures continue to rise, team's can delay the start of the arbitration clock by waiting until June to promote a prospect. Last season the Brewers accomplished this with their top prospect Ryan Braun by waiting until May 24th to promote him to the majors. In doing so, Braun will not be eligible for arbitration until after the 2010 season.
Let's take a look at what is being written about Bruce and Longoria in the Blogosphere...
- Redleg Nation understands starting Bruce in AAA, but laments the idea of having Corey Patterson batting leadoff. They worry that this confirms the belief that Dusty Baker prefers veterans even if they are less talented.
- Red Reporter is split on the issue of Bruce noting that the issue is not as clear as we would like it to be. They also wonder if the Reds are staggering the debuts of their prospects so their arbitration and free agency clocks are also staggered.
- Bugs & Cranks wonders if the Reds had already decided Bruce's fate even before bringing Patterson on board, for the sole purpose of delaying Bruce's arbitration clock.
- At Fanhouse, Pat Lackey tries to justify the demotion of Bruce, noting that he may be better off developing under the tutelage of somebody other than Baker, getting more experience and delaying his arbitration clock.
- On the other hand, Eamonn Brennan of Fanhouse thinks any team not managed by Baker would have kept Bruce on the roster.
- Rays of Light notes that Longoria's future teammates may not be happy if he is demoted. Rays of Light wouldn't be happy with a demotion but they understand the reasoning.
- Outs Per Swing notes that if Longoria is demoted, Willy Aybar will start at third. They do not believe that Aybar's recent hamstring issues will have an effect on the team's decision regarding Longoria.
- Sports Indeed notes that Longoria is receiving a lot of playing time in the spring and wonders if this is an indication that he will be on the opening day roster.
- Rays Index predicts a May 26 debut for Longoria based on his arbitration clock.