Franklin Gutierrez Rumors
On this date nine years ago, the A's, Royals, and Devil Rays pulled off a three-team trade that included seven big leaguers. Oakland acquired Johnny Damon, Mark Ellis, and the late Cory Lidle while Kansas City received Angel Berroa, A.J. Hinch, and Roberto Hernandez. Tampa Bay picked up just Ben Grieve. Even though Berroa went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award in 2003, Billy Beane's club walked away as the clear winner of this blockbuster.
Let's take a look at what's being written around the baseball blogosphere as Spring Training inches closer...
- Fenway Nation thinks the Red Sox made a mistake by not re-signing Jason Bay, and wants to see the club atone for it by trading for Adrian Gonzalez.
- Simon On Sports interviewed a blogger from each team about their squad's offseason.
- At Home Plate says the Cardinals overpaid for Matt Holliday not because he isn't worth the money, but because no one else was bidding for his services.
- Athletics Nation graded the front offices of the last decade.
- U.S.S. Mariner calls Franklin Gutierrez's contract extension a major bargain, and notes it's similarities to the deal Mike Cameron signed with Seattle a decade ago.
- DRays Bay wonders if the Rays could use Alfredo Amezaga.
- Phillies Nation takes a look at some of the cheaper free agent pitching options that could entice the two-time defending NL Champs.
- Twins Overlook examines the progression of Delmon Young since arriving in Minnesota.
- River Ave. Blues ranked the $100MM contracts given to position players.
- More Hardball has some New Year's resolutions for various people and teams in the game.
The Mariners finalized the signing of center fielder Franklin Gutierrez to a four-year, $20.5MM deal with a fifth-year club option today. The contract reflects a growing commitment to run-prevention around the league and specifically in Seattle. GM Jack Zduriencik, who signed defensive wizard Chone Figgins earlier in the offseason, said Gutierrez was "a huge part" of the Mariners' league-leading ERA last year.
Gutierrez is arbitration-eligible for the first time, so the deal buys out all three arb years and at least one free agent year. Though it was signed in March of '06, it seems that Grady Sizemore's contract might have been a comparable. Sizemore received $20.7MM for the same four-year slice of his career. On a deal signed in February of '08, Curtis Granderson will earn $27.25MM for that portion of his career.
Gutierrez, 27 in February, hit .283/.339/.425 in 629 plate appearances for the Ms after coming over from Cleveland in a December '08 trade. The real story is his defense, as the Mariners employed him as a full-time center fielder and were rewarded with a 27.1 UZR/150. (the best mark in baseball for any position among those with 1,000 innings).
Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.
1:19pm: Earlier in the week Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the club isn't currently talking trades with the Mariners. A deal is still possible, but the Brewers have shown no inclination to trade Gamel.
10:59am: The Mariners are trying to trade one of their young players and lock another one up long-term, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal hears that the Mariners are trying to trade Brandon Morrow for a corner infielder or DH. The M's may re-visit talks with the Brewers about a Mat Gamel for Morrow swap.
Links for Monday...
- Yakyu Baka translated a recent Yusei Kikuchi press conference. Kikuchi has yet to decide between the U.S. and Japan. The Mets and Tigers attended the conference.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis has the 2010 draft order, and he also explains which picks are protected from Type A free agent signings.
- Jermaine Dye talking to Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald on possibly finishing his White Sox career: "I don't really have a feeling."
- Talking to WEEI's Alex Speier, Jason Varitek would not address next season (he has a $5MM team option and $3MM player option). Manager Terry Francona made sure Varitek received an ovation yesterday.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan gives one-liners on 35 Rangers players.
- Tyler Bleszinski of Athletics Nation talked to A's GM Billy Beane. Beane chatted about Matt Holliday, stolen bases, and the first base depth chart, among other things.
- Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star tells us about new Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times explains how advanced defensive metrics influenced the team's acquisition of Franklin Gutierrez.
- Outfielder So Taguchi hopes to play in 2010, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
It's a busy day for international signings, but lots is going on at the major league level, so let's take a look:
- The Dodgers are looking for pitching, but how about Jason Schmidt? He pitched well at Triple A for the second time yesterday, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff creates a history of recent deadline deals.
- Edgar Renteria told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he turned down two multi-year offers to sign with the Giants.
- Think it's too early to talk about Bryce Harper? Well Joe Dunand Jr., Alex Rodriguez's nephew, is just 13 years old and, as Ian Begley of the New York Daily News reports, he's already quite a slugger.
- The relative of another superstar signed with the Angels. Mike Piazza's second cousin will go pro, according to the Florida Tech Sports site.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times crunches some numbers and suggests Franklin Gutierrez could be more valuable than Adam Jones this year.
- Kevin Towers says the addition of Bob Melvin to the Padres' staff wasn't meant to threaten Bud Black, according to Nick Canepa and Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Julio Lugo admits that his deal with the Red Sox hasn't worked out, according to Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald.
- Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies have more minor league pitching depth than ever.
A few links for a night that has, so far, been a tad less exciting than the one previous in our realm. Congrats to Randy Johnson on his big day.
- Joe Frisaro at MLB.com confirms the discussions between the Braves and Marlins regarding Cody Ross, saying the Marlins were looking to dip into the Braves' pitching depth.
- Mark Bowman reports that the decision to cut Tom Glavine was based "solely on performance" and not for financial reasons.
- RotoAuthority examines the fantasy aspects of the three big weekend callups in Gordon Beckham, Tommy Hanson and Andrew McCutchen.
- The Marlins promoted their 2007 second-round pick, the other Michael Stanton, to Double-A Jacksonville, according to the Miami Herald. The outfielder posted a .968 OPS for High-A Jupiter.
- Dave Cameron at Fangraphs examines the Pirates' haul in the Nate McLouth deal and doesn't think it was enough.
- Geoff Baker at the Seattle Times makes an interesting comparison between Adam Jones and Franklin Gutierrez.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsbugh Post-Gazette recounts the details of the deadline deal that sent Jason Bay to Boston, specifically the final 7 minutes that reshaped the future of the Pirates organization. It's a really interesting read for any rumor-enthusiasts. Some points of interest:
- According to Kovacevic, before finally dealing Bay at the buzzer, Pittsburgh had been working on dealing Bay for over a year and a half.
- Before the 2008 season, the Bucs had come close to dealing Bay and catcher Ronny Paulino to Cleveland for Cliff Lee, Franklin Guttierez, and Kelly Shoppach. The Pirates did not feel it was enough and killed it.
- Just 20 minutes before the 4p.m. deadline, Kovacevic says the Braves and Rays were considered the primary trading partners, particularly the "prospect-rich Rays." But with only 15 minutes left, "the Pirates called each [team] to insist upon a specific prospect package and summarily were rejected," writes Kovacevic.
The Rays Index takes a look at this article from a Tampa Bay perspective.
According to a report by The Sports Network on the Miami Herald's website the Mariners have agreed to terms with four pre-arbitration players, including Brandon Morrow. David Aardsma, Franklin Gutierrez and Cesar Jimenez are the three other players to agree to terms with the M's.
THURSDAY, 12:56am: Rosenthal raises the question of whether the Mets will exercise Putz's 2010 option for $9.1MM now that he's a setup man. I think if he's worth that amount pitching the ninth he's worth it pitching the eighth.
10:17pm: MLB.com's Jim Street confirmed the deal. The Mariners give up Putz, Green, and Reed and get Heilman, Chavez, Carp, and Gutierrez. The Indians give up Gutierrez and get Valbuena and Smith. The Mets give up Heilman, Chavez, Carp, and Smith to get Putz, Green, and Reed.
The Mets succeeded in overhauling their bullpen without giving up premium pieces. Assuming Putz and K-Rod are healthy, they'll be playing seven-inning games.
The Mariners can try Heilman the rotation, and add good outfield depth. I'm kind of lukewarm on the Indians' benefit.
10:02pm: Geoff Baker says a previous incarnation with the Rays instead of the Mets fell apart. In that deal, the Tigers would've included Jeff Larish.
9:27pm: Rosenthal has an update:
Under terms of the deal, the Mets would get Putz, outfielder Jeremy Reed and reliever Sean Green. The Mariners would receive reliever Aaron Heilman, outfielder Endy Chavez and first baseman Mike Carp from the Mets. They'd also get Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians and minor leaguers. The Indians would get reliever Joe Smith from the Mets and infielder Luis Valbuena from Seattle.
David Lennon seems to agree.
9:06pm: Jon Heyman says the Mets would surrender six players in this blockbuster.
8:40pm: MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince says the three teams "appear to be on the verge" of a deal. He says that if the deal goes through the Mariners would get Gutierrez and the Indians would get Joe Smith and Mariners prospect Luis Valbuena. Heilman and Jeremy Reed would also be involved in some capacity. Graziano suggests not all of the players in the trade have been decided upon. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik admitted a proposal is on the table.
8:06pm: Rosenthal softened the language of his post - he now says the Mets are trying/working to acquire Putz rather than close to a deal. He also mentions that the deal would involve one or more prospects.
8:00pm: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Mets are close to acquiring Mariners reliever J.J. Putz in a three-team trade. Putz and K-Rod will be quite a late inning tandem. The Indians are also involved in the trade. Other players in the mix: Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Mike Carp, and Franklin Gutierrez. Rosenthal is not sure yet who's heading where.
Dan Graziano has the story as well, but does not mention the Indians.
MONDAY: Royals GM Dayton Moore emphatically denied the rumor, calling it a "flat-out lie." OK then.
SUNDAY: Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes some surprising news, as it seems the Indians and Royals are discussing a swap of Mark Teahen for an outfielder. It's not often you see two teams in the same division make a trade, but both sides seem to have interest.
Dutton lists the three potential targets as Franklin Gutierrez, Ben Francisco, and minor leaguer Trevor Crowe. All three are capable of playing center field, which would allow the Royals to move David DeJesus to left field on a full-time basis.
Teahen would likely return to his natural position, third base, after spending the past two seasons in the outfield where he has struggled offensively. Teahen's best season at the Major League level came as a third baseman in 2006, when he hit .290/.357/.517 in 439 plate appearances. The Indians are looking for a replacement at third base, with Andy Marte having failed to live up to expectations and Casey Blake's departure.
Crowe could potentially be the best fit. He's a swtich-hitter who posted a .381 OBP between Class-AA and Class-AAA this season, and will turn 24 in November. The Royals could certainly use a strong OBP player in their lineup. Teahen would be a very affordable solution for Cleveland, as he's arbitration-eligible this season but will likely be in the $3MM range for 2009.