Howie Kendrick Rumors
The Angels have reached an agreement with Howie Kendrick on a four-year contract, the team announced. The deal is worth $33.5MM, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times tweets. It will cover the 28-year-old's final year of arbitration and first three years of free agency.
Kendrick is coming off of his best season to date as he hit .285/.338/.464 with 18 homers in 583 plate appearances. Earlier this week, GM Jerry Dipoto confirmed that he opened up talks with the agents for Kendrick and Erick Aybar. Like Kendrick, Aybar also has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining.
By signing an extension with the Angels, Kendrick avoids having to contend with fellow second baseman Brandon Phillips on the open market next offseason.
Lack of batting titles aside, Howie Kendrick has developed into a solid homegrown star for the Halos. The 28-year-old is coming off the finest of his six Major League seasons (a career-high 18 homers and a .285/.338/.464 slash line) and with free agency just a season away, the Angels are looking to lock Kendrick up to a multiyear extension. The Angels have certainly not hesitated to spend money this winter, so let's examine how much it might cost them to sign Kendrick for the long term.
Kendrick turns 29 on July 12 and is entering his last year of arbitration eligibility, where MLBTR projects he will earn around $5.2MM for his 2012 contract. Rickie Weeks is a decent comparable; he was about to enter his age-28 season and his final round of arbitration last spring when the Brewers signed him to a four-year, $38.5MM extension that also included an $11.5MM vesting option for 2015 based on plate appearances. A similar vesting option might be preferred by the Angels, given Kendrick's spotty injury history early in his career.
Weeks' value is in his power and his ability to take walks, whereas Kendrick delivers a higher batting average powered by singles and doubles. Despite these different skillsets, Weeks (106 OPS+ through 642 career games) and Kendrick (105 OPS+ through 655 games) delivered almost the same offensive value through the same point in their careers.
Brian Roberts is another second baseman worth including in this comparison. Roberts had a 98 OPS+ through the first 665 games of his career but his offensive value was boosted by 136 career steals and the best single-season performance of the trio --- a .314/.387/.515 campaign in 2005. Roberts avoided his second time through arbitration by signing a $4.2MM contract for 2007 and a month later inked a two-year, $14.3MM extension that covered both his final arb year and his first free-agent year. The Angels will surely want to extend Kendrick for more than just two years, so perhaps Roberts' next extension (a four-year, $40MM deal that runs through 2013) could be the better model.
There are two other factors that weigh against Kendrick. Firstly, he has yet to enjoy the true superstar campaign that Roberts enjoyed in 2005 or Weeks had in 2010; while Kendrick certainly played well in 2011, his .338 BABIP suggests he enjoyed some good luck along the way. Kendrick's career .329 OBP is also a red flag as to whether or not he can still develop the patience necessary to be a real force at the plate.
Secondly, Roberts and Weeks were the clear choice at second base for their respective clubs, whereas Kendrick has to contend with Jean Segura. Segura was rated as the 57th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2011 season and Minor League Ball's John Sickels rated him the third-best prospect in the Angels' system in his most recent rankings. Segura was moved to shortstop in 2011 and, according to Sickels, "adapted well...although I've talked with people who think he'll still end up at 2B." Should L.A. decide that Segura is best served at second, Kendrick could be moved to third base or left field, where his bat won't play nearly as well. With all this said, Segura is still just 21 years old and hasn't played higher than the high Class-A level. When and if the time Segura is ready for the Major Leagues, Kendrick's extension might already be up.
Let's project Kendrick for a four-year deal that covers his last arbitration season and his first four free agent seasons. Kendrick can receive $4.5MM in 2012 (slightly below Matt Swartz's projection but teams usually get a bit of a discount on arb years in multiyear contracts), then $11MM in each of the following three seasons. It all adds up to a four-year, $37.5MM contract that LAA may consider augmenting with a club option year as well.
Would such an extension be worth it for Kendrick? An $11MM average annual value would roughly match what Kendrick would get on the open market next winter if he replicates his 2011 numbers this season. The free agent second base market is usually pretty thin, though the 2013 crop could also see Brandon Phillips and Kelly Johnson available (barring something unforeseen, Robinson Cano and Ian Kinsler will obviously have their options exercised).
Kendrick hasn't made his thoughts about an extension known, but one would think he would enjoy staying with a team that looks poised to contend for years to come. The four-year, $37.5MM offer could very well get it done and give Angels GM Jerry Dipoto yet another notable achievement in his first offseason running the team.
Photo courtesy of John Cordes/Icon SMI
The Angels opened extension talks with the agents for second baseman Howie Kendrick and shortstop Erick Aybar, GM Jerry Dipoto told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times. Both infielders are entering their final year of arbitration, but Dipoto has interest in keeping them in Anaheim beyond 2012.
“At this point, it’s something we’ve begun to explore and will continue to explore,” Dipoto said. “There is no timetable, but certainly, it’s something we’re interested in pursuing.”
Kendrick, a 28-year-old Reynolds Sports Management client, posted a .285/.338/.464 line with a career-best 18 homers in 2011. MLBTR projects a $5.2MM salary for him in 2012. That's $500K more than Aybar, who comes in at $4.7MM in our projections. SFX represents the 27-year-old Aybar, who posted a .279/.322/.421 line with 30 stolen bases as the Angels' shortstop in 2011.
It was on this day in 2004 that Alex Cora (then with the Dodgers) engaged the Cubs' Matt Clement in an epic at-bat. In the bottom of the seventh, Cora fouled off 14 consecutive pitches from Clement before finally sending the 18th pitch of the at-bat over the fence for a two-run homer. Los Angeles went on to win the game 4-0, and Cora went on to hit a career-high 10 home runs that season.
Some news items from both of Los Angeles' teams...
- Commissioner Bud Selig said the outcome of MLB's investigation into the Dodgers' finances is not "predetermined," as Frank McCourt claimed weeks ago. "We wouldn't have to go through all this if it was predetermined. I'm doing it because I think it is the right thing to do," Selig said. Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times has the full transcript of Selig's remarks to the media.
- Hong-Chih Kuo's agent says his client isn't considering retiring due to his latest bout with "the yips," reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Kuo was put on the disabled list yesterday with anxiety disorder. The left-hander has an 11.57 ERA in 4 2/3 innings of work with the Dodgers in 2011 after posting a 1.96 ERA over the previous three seasons.
- This is Kuo's second bout of the yips in his career, and the fact that he has overcome these issues before is a good sign, Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass tells Ken Gurnick. Blass would know -- the yips became known as "Steve Blass Disease" in the early 1970's when Blass went from one of the Bucs' top starters to unable to throw the ball over the plate.
- Howie Kendrick's hot start is largely due to such unsustainable peripheral stats as a .396 BABIP, writes Chris Cwik of Fangraphs. However, as Cwik notes, "Even with the regression, Kendrick might post the most valuable season of his career."
- The Angels are keeping calm over the news that Kendrys Morales will be out of the season, reports MLB.com's Lyle Spencer. "It messed us up last year when we lost Morales," said Torii Hunter. "It was a huge blow. We didn't know how we'd replace him, and we struggled all year with it...This year, we've adjusted. He's not here. We've played without Kendrys now." Mark Trumbo will get the bulk of the playing time at first base and while Trumbo is inexperienced, as Spencer recalls, "few experts thought Morales could replace Mark Teixeira" at first for the Halos in 2009.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them - it's a question of how much the players will earn.
Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:
- The Angels have agreed to terms with Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick, tweets Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register tweets that Kendrick will earn $3.3MM, Willits $775K (on Twitter).
- The Giants agreed to terms with Santiago Casilla on a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with incentives, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas (on Twitter). The team also announced that they avoided arb with Jonathan Sanchez and Ramon Ramirez (on Twitter). Sanchez will earn $4.8MM with incentives tweets Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle while Ramirez will earn $1.65MM according to Janie McCauley of The Canadian Press.
- The Braves agreed to terms with Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Moylan gets $2MM, O'Flaherty gets $895K according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners agreed to terms with Brandon League, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas, the team announced. Aardsma will earn $4.5MM with plenty of incentives, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (plus Twitter link).
- The Rangers agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links). Cruz gets $3.65MM, and Wilson gets $7.05MM with a chance to earn another $100K according to his agent Bob Garber, via email.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley (2.535MM) and Tim Stauffer ($1.075MM), according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
- The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoided arbitration with a $2.45MM deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The team has confirmed the deal.
- The Pirates announced that they agreed to terms with Joel Hanrahan. It's a $1.4MM deal, according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
- The Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with Tom Gorzelanny, despite reports that a trade to Washington is imminent. Gorzelanny will earn $2.1MM next year, according to Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com (on Twitter). They also announced a two-year, $4.7MM deal with Sean Marshall.
- The Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year deal with Joe Saunders.
- The Padres agreed to a $2.535MM deal with Mike Adams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).
- The Angels agreed to a $3MM deal with Erick Aybar and a $2.975MM deal with Kendry Morales.
- The White Sox agreed to a $5.05MM deal with Carlos Quentin, according to Rosenthal.
- The Braves agreed to a $3.1MM deal with Martin Prado and a $3.25MM deal with Jair Jurrjens according to Rosenthal.
- The Orioles agreed to a $5.85MM deal with J.J. Hardy, according to Rosenthal.
- The Athletics agreed to a $4.75MM deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to Slusser (Twitter link).
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Cody Ross, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ross will earn $6.3MM in 2011.
- The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jonathan Papelbon ($12MM) and Jacoby Ellsbury ($2.4MM).
- The Yankees avoided arbitration with Joba Chamberlain ($1.4MM), Phil Hughes ($2.7MM) and Boone Logan ($1.2MM), according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (all Twitter links).
- The Dodgers agreed to a $6.275MM deal with Chad Billingsley, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The White Sox agreed to a $6MM deal with John Danks, according to Heyman (on Twitter).The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and agreed to a $5.95MM deal, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The Indians avoided arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo, the team announced. The deal is worth $3.975MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Twins avoided arbitration with Matt Capps ($7.15MM) and Glen Perkins ($700K), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rays avoided arbitration with Andy Sonnanstine, agreeing to a deal worth $913K plus incentives, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
- The Mets avoided arbitration with Mike Pelfrey, agreeing on a deal worth close to $4MM, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra, signing the players to one-year deals, the team announced. Parra will earn $1.2MM, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Dallas Braden ($3.35MM) and Conor Jackson ($3.32MM), according to MLB.com's Jane Lee (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Brandon Morrow, the team announced.
- The Indians announced that they agreed to a one-year deal with Rafael Perez (Twitter link). It's worth $1.33MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Josh Willingham, agreeing to a $6MM deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Astros signed Michael Bourn to a one-year, $4.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter).
- The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they avoided arbitration with Michael Morse.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Anibal Sanchez, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). They agreed to a $3.7MM deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Twitter link).
- The Orioles avoided arbitration with Felix Pie, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The deal is for $985K.
- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Rajai Davis, agreeing to a two-year, $5.25MM deal with the outfielder.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Clay Hensley and agreed to a $1.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- The Astros agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Jeff Keppinger, avoiding arbitration, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The White Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal with Tony Pena, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick with a $6.775MM deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Clint Barmes, signing the infielder to a one-year, $3.925MM deal, according to Rosenthal. The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The Rockies avoided arb with Felipe Paulino and agreed to a one-year, $790K deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to terms with Yunel Escobar on a $2.9MM deal for 2011.
- The Indians signed Chris Perez for 2011, avoiding arbitration, the team announced (on Twitter). It's a $2.225MM deal, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they agreed to terms with Kyle Davies on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. It's a $3.2MM deal, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel (on Twitter).
- The Reds avoided arbitration will Bill Bray, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). The AP says the deal is for $645K.
- The Nationals avoided arbitration with Doug Slaten, and agreed to a one-year, $695K deal according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Heath Bell and agreed to a one-year, $7.5MM deal.
Noon ET today was the deadline for both the team and player to submit their salary figures for arbitration, however the two sides can come to an agreement at any point before the actual hearing. The hearings are scheduled for the first week of February.
We'll keep track of the players who avoid arbitration today by agreeing to deals here. Make sure you check back in for updates, and be sure to click the "Continue Reading" link to see today's full list of settlements. Yesterday's list can be found here.
- Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels avoided arbitration with Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits by signing the duo to one-year deals. Napoli will earn $3.6MM in 2010 with a $100K bonus if he makes 120 starts. Willits' contract is worth $625K.
- Zach Duke's one-year contract with Pittsburgh is worth $4.3MM with no performance bonuses, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The Padres and reliever Mike Adams have agreed to a contract, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter). Brock's follow-up tweet says Adams' deal is worth $1MM, virtually splitting the difference between San Diego's $875K offer and Adams' $1.2MM demands.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets that the Twins have agreements in place with all eight of their arbitration eligible players. In a follow-up tweet, Christensen reports that Francisco Liriano agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM and Jesse Crain agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM.
- Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the Mets avoided arbitration with reliever Sean Green (via Twitter). The one-year deal was worth $975K, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron.
- The Tigers avoided arb with Gerald Laird and Zach Miner as well according to James Jahnke of The Detroit Free Press. MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets the details on the one-year contracts: Laird will earn $3.95MM, Miner will earn $950K.
- Christensen tweets that the Twins avoided arb with Brendan Harris, signing him to a two year deal worth $3.2MM with another $650K in possible incentives.
- The Tigers and Bobby Seay avoided arbitration according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter), agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.475MM.
- Thesier tweets that Matt Guerrier agreed to a one year deal worth $3.15MM with the Twins, avoiding arb.
- Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, with Delcarmen getting $905K plus incentives according to Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Boston avoided arb with Jonathan Papelbon as well.
- Pat Neshek agreed to a one year deal with $625K with another $75K in incentives, avoiding arbitration with the Twins according to MLB.com's Kelly Thesier (via Twitter).
- The Nationals have agreed to terms with Jason Bergmann, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, and Josh Willingham according to a team press release. All four players avoided arbitration. MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez tweets that Willingham will make $4.6MM next season, while Bergmann will make $750K according to a tweet from MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman tweets that the Braves and Peter Moylan have agreed to a deal, avoiding arbitration. He gets $1.15MM.
- Matt Garza avoided arbitration with the Rays, tweets Topkin. The two sides agreed to a one year deal worth $3.35MM,
- MLB.com's Jim Street tweets that the Mariners and David Aardsma have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.75MM.
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Michael Bourn, Matt Lindstrom, and Humberto Quintero according to a tweet from MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Bourn gets $2.4MM, Lindstrom $1.625MM, and Quintero $750K (via McTaggart's Twitter).
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post reports that the Rockies and Jason Hammel have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $1.9MM.
- The A's agreed to a one year deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, reports The Oakland Tribune. Oakland acquired Kouzmanoff from the Padres over the weekend.
- Jered Weaver agreed to a one year deal worth $4.265MM with the Angels to avoid arbitration, according to a tweet from Jon Heyman.
- Topkin tweets that J.P. Howell agreed to a one year deal worth $1.8MM, avoiding arbitration with the Rays.
- According to the team's official Twitter feed, the Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Jason Frasor ($2.65MM) and Brian Tallet ($2MM) by agreeing to one year deals.
- Delmon Young avoided arbitration with the Twins by agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.6MM, according to a tweet by Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune. Kelly Thesier of MLB.com tweets that Young will get $25K each for 575 and 600 plate appearances.
- According to a team press release, the Royals have avoided arbitration with Alex Gordon and Robinson Tejeda. Terms of either deal was not disclosed.
- Heyman tweets that Stephen Drew and the Diamondbacks agreed to a one year deal worth $3.4MM, avoiding arbitration.
- The White Sox and John Danks avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year deal worth $3.45M, according to ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine.
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets that the Mets and Pedro Feliciano have agreed to a one year deal worth $2.9MM, avoiding arbitration. There's another $100K in performance bonuses.
- The Star Telegram's Anthony Andro reports that the Rangers and Chris Ray have avoided arbitration. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says it's a one year deal worth $975K.
- Russell Martin has agreed to a one year contract worth $5.05MM, avoiding arbitration with the Dodgers according to Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (via Twitter)
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that the Blue Jays and reliever Jeremy Accardo have agreed to a one year deal worth $1.08MM, avoiding arbitration.
- Rafael Perez agreed to a one year deal with the Indians to avoid arbitration according to a team press release. MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince tweets that Perez will make $795K in 2010.
- The Orioles and Luke Scott avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $4.05MM according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. He earned $2.4MM last season, hitting .258/.340/.488 with a career high 25 homers.
- MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweets that the Cubs have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($975K). Mike Fontenot ($1MM,) Koyie Hill ($700K), Angel Guzman ($825K), and Tom Gorzelanny ($800K). Terms of the deals came from Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun Times (via Twitter).
- Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the Pirates and Zach Duke have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year deal.
- Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Radio reports that Mark Lowe and the Mariners have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1.15MM salary for next season.
- LaVelle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune tweets that the Twins and J.J. Hardy have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $5MM. He gets a small raise over last year's $4.65MM salary after hitting .229/.302/.357.
- According to the Cardinals' official Twitter feed, the team has avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick by agreeing to a one year deal. Heyman tweets that he'll receive $5.45MM next year after earning $3.7MM in 2009.
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Josh Hamilton, giving him $3.25MM plus awards-based bonuses according to a tweet from SI.com's Jon Heyman. It was his first time eligible. Hamilton hit .268/.315/.426 in 2009, missing time with back trouble and a sports hernia.
- Mark Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times tweets that the Rays and Jason Bartlett have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $4MM salary for 2010. He earned just under $2MM in 2009, hitting .320/.389/.490 with a career high 14 homers.
- Casey Janssen agreed to a $700K deal for 2010 to avoid arbitration, according to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed. It was his first time up for arbitration.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun Sentinel reports (via Twitter) that the Marlins and Jorge Cantu have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $6MM. Cantu hit .289/.345/.443 while making $3.5MM in 2009, his first year of arb eligibility.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that both Carlos Gomez and Rickie Weeks have agreed to one year deals to avoid arbitration. Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel tweets that Weeks will earn $2.75MM next year, while Gomez will earn $1.1MM as a Super Two.
- Heyman tweets that the Dodgers have avoided arbitration with both George Sherrill and James Loney. Sherrill gets $4.5MM plus incentives in his third year eligible, Loney $3.1MM in his first go around.
- According to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed, reliever Shawn Camp has agreed to a $1.15MM deal for 2010, avoiding arb. He was eligible for the second time after posting a 3.50 ERA in 79.2 innings last season.
- Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that Leo Nunez and the Marlins have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $2MM salary for 2010. Sticking with the theme of the day, it was his first time eligible for salary arbitration.
- MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets that the Dodgers and Hong Chih-Kuo have agreed to a one-year deal worth $950K, avoiding arb. It was Kuo's first time eligible.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Mets and Jeff Francoeur have avoided arb by agreeing to a $5MM deal. Francoeur earned $3.375MM in 2009 and hit .280/.309/.423 for the Mets and Braves.
- Heyman tweets that Howie Kendrick and the Angels have agreed to a $1.75MM deal with incentives. This was Kendrick's first crack at arbitration.
- Heyman tweets that the A's and Rajai Davis agreed to a $1.35MM salary for 2010, plus incentives. This was Davis' first year eligible for arbitration.
- Heyman tweets that Jonathan Sanchez avoided arb with the Giants by agreeing to a $2.1MM deal, plus incentives. He posted a 4.24 ERA in 163.1 innings last year, and was up for arbitration for the first time in his career.
11:45pm: Price reports that the Angels are telling people there's a significant chance they deal an infielder, likely Izturis. The 29-year-old made just $1.6MM this season, so he won't be in line for a big contract next year, even though it's his last season before hitting free agency.
11:29pm: Ed Price of AOL FanHouse hears that the Angels are exploring a trade for an infielder. Price's source says the infielder is likely Maicer Izturis, but could also be Howie Kendrick.
Price says Erick Aybar and Brandon Wood sound "untouchable." However, we know the Angels would consider dealing Aybar. GM Tony Reagins told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that he's "open minded" to the possibility, though it doesn't appear likely. It's hard to imagine that Wood is untouchable, either. He's valuable, but other than Derek Jeter and Evan Longoria, how many untouchable players are really out there?
In his latest article, Jayson Stark also discusses the many Rockies and Angels thought to be available. Here are the latest rumors:
- The Phillies are "hunting quietly" for right-handed outfielders. Ryan Spilborghs is on their radar.
- One official said Dan O'Dowd would consider moving "anyone" on the Rockies.
- The Rangers are believed to be watching Huston Street closely.
- Jason Marquis could become available too, but some think the Rockies should hang on, given his success.
- The Angels seem willing to listen on Mike Napoli, Jeff Mathis and their entire infield, which consists of Kendry Morales, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Chone Figgins.
- They appear to have interest in young, high-upside pitchers, which could mean they're unsure they'll re-sign John Lackey after the season.
- The Dodgers are "sending out signals" that Juan Pierre could be available when Manny Ramirez returns. It's unclear whether the Dodgers would pick up any of the $15MM or so remaining on Pierre's contract.
- Among top starters, Erik Bedard is "most frequently connected with the Phillies," but many people around baseball doubt he would fit in Philadelphia.
- Phillies prospects Lou Marson and Michael Taylor are likely available, but J.A. Happ, Antonio Bastardo, Dominic Brown, Kyle Drabek, Jason Knapp, Jason Donald and Carlos Carrasco would be much harder to acquire.
- One scout thinks the Pirates may have acquired three future stars for Nate McLouth.
Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times does not expect the Angels to swing a deal for Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday. Trading young pitching is generally against the Angels' philosophy.
Shaikin says the Rockies would demand prospect Nick Adenhart for starters, and the Angels might consider that. However, the Rockies also want Howie Kendrick and one of Ervin Santana or Joe Saunders. The Angels wouldn't give up that type of package for Miguel Cabrera last winter, and they won't give in for Holliday.
I've defended Holliday in many MLBTR chats; I think he is capable of a .900 OPS away from Coors Field. But based on the rumors, the Rockies are asking for too much for a year and two months of him.
Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times takes a look at the spate of recent long-term deals for young stars. Talking to different players and agents, Shaikin found no consensus on whether such contracts are a good idea.
- Some folks (including Shaikin and Pat Gillick, apparently) believe it's wise for richer clubs to go year-to-year to avoid getting stuck with a bad contract. I'm sure teams have done comprehensive studies on these types of contracts, but my guess is that flops are few are far between. I can only think of a handful (Angel Berroa, Eric Hinske come to mind). As Scott Boras says, teams usually choose players who will succeed.
- Boras advises his clients to go year to year and maximize their total earnings. He suggests young players signing long-term are getting "30 cents on the dollar." Paul Cohen, author of the Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria contracts, preaches security over maximum earnings.
- Ned Colletti revealed that he has twice approached catcher Russell Martin about an extension, and has been denied. Martin will be arbitration-eligible after this season and should add an extra zero to his $500,000 salary, at least.
- Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick would consider a long-term offer, and GM Tony Reagins isn't opposed to long-term deals for young players.
- First baseman Casey Kotchman is a year-to-year guy. He astutely notes that in most professions employees aren't even guaranteed one year.
- Jumping over to the Boston Herald - the Red Sox have twice approached Dustin Pedroia about a deal. Pedroia is amenable to the idea.
- It's not known if the Marlins are planning to buy out Dan Uggla's arbitration years, but he seems open to it.