Ian Kinsler Rumors
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel that he has yet to meet with Casey Close, the recently-hired agent of Zack Greinke (Twitter link). The right-hander can become a free agent after this season.
- "I don't know how to answer that ... It's been a very confusing process," said Ian Kinsler when asked if the Rangers have made him a formal offer according to Drew Davison of The Forth Worth Star-Telegram. The two sides have been discussing a six-year extension recently.
It’s been a big week for extensions, as Joey Votto and Matt Cain signed historic contracts on Monday. Here are some extension updates from around the league, starting with a couple additional notes on Votto’s deal.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer has the annual breakdown of Votto's deal (Twitter links). He'll earn $12MM in 2014, $14MM in 2015, $20MM in 2016, $22MM in 2017, and $25MM during each of the final six years. The club option for 2024 is worth $20MM with a $7MM buyout.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has a breakdown of Jonathon Niese's new extension with the Mets (on Twitter). The southpaw gets a $250K signing bonus with annual salaries of $769.5K, $3MM, $5MM, $7MM, and $9MM. The two club options ($10MM and $11MM) can each be bought out for $500K.
- Reds president and CEO Bob Castellini was the one driving the Votto deal, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. Other ownership groups have some concern over the ten-year deal, Crasnick adds.
- The Rangers are discussing a long-term deal with Ian Kinsler, and while the sides are in agreement on the contract length -- six years -- they haven’t yet found common ground in terms of contract value, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Kinsler doesn’t want to negotiate after the season begins on Friday.
- Casey Close, the agent for Zack Greinke, and Brewers GM Doug Melvin will speak tomorrow to “fill each other in on where discussions stand,” the GM told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Greinke had been representing himself, but his new agent will handle talks from here on.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
10:33pm: The Rangers will likely make a contract offer when they meet with Kinsler's representatives on Wednesday, tweets Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
7:20pm: The Rangers and Ian Kinsler are discussing a six-year extention for the second baseman, though the two sides haven't yet been able to agree on financial terms, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Kinsler's current contract expires after this season, though Texas holds a $10MM option on him for 2013. The new deal would replace that option and run through the 2018 season. Rosenthal says the Rangers are willing to give Kinsler a contract that would exceed Dan Uggla's five-year, $62MM pact with the Braves.
One of the possible holdups, Rosenthal opines, could be Robinson Cano's next contract. The Yankees hold a $15MM option on Cano for 2013 and Cano's next deal (whether in free agency or in an extension with New York) will assuredly pay him more. While Cano is likely to command a larger deal, Kinsler doesn't want to be "shortchanging himself" by signing an extension that ends up worth much less than what Cano eventually earns. The Yankees have said they plan to keep Cano, though since their team policy is to not enter into early negotiations with pending free agents, there haven't been and won't be any early hints about a new Cano contract that the Rangers and Kinsler can use as a baseline.
The Rangers apparently have just three days to hammer out a new deal with their second baseman, as Kinsler told Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he doesn't want negotiations to last into the season. Kinsler said an extension "could" still be possible and he wants "to be treated fairly amongst his peers."
Rosenthal recently reported that the length of the contract, not the value, was the main obstacle between Kinsler and the Rangers, so it's a sign of progress that the two sides have apparently settled on a six-year deal. Kinsler would be the fourth, and most high-profile, Ranger to sign an extension this offseason, following Elvis Andrus, Nelson Cruz and Derek Holland's multiyear deals.
Outgoing Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has some authority over the land surrounding Dodger Stadium and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if he’ll look to lure the NFL back to Los Angeles. Here are some more rumors and notes from Rosenthal and his colleague, Jon Paul Morosi:
- Rosenthal checks in on extension candidates around the league, offering insight into the negotiations. The likely asking price for Brandon Phillips is a raise from his current $12MM salary on a four or five-year deal.
- The issue in contract talks between Ian Kinsler and the Rangers is years, rather than dollars, Rosenthal writes.
- The Phillies haven't had substantive extension talks with Cole Hamels in the last three weeks, Rosenthal tweets.
- Hall of Famer Dave Winfield told Morosi that he has thought about teaming up with others to bid for an MLB team. “There’s been interest on my part,” Winfield said. “I really don’t need to go into more detail at this point, but that is something I’ve considered.” It’s hard not to wonder if Winfield could look to purchase the Padres, one of his former teams.
Three years ago today, the Padres traded Khalil Greene to the Cardinals for Luke Gregerson and Mark Worrell. Greene hit .200/.272/.347 during his one season in St. Louis and has been out of baseball for two years while Gregerson has emerged as one of the game's best setup relievers. Here's the latest from baseball's two West divisions...
- Bidding for the Dodgers is down to three groups according to Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter): Steven Cohen & Patrick Soon-Shiong, Magic Johnson & Stan Kasten, and Stan Kroenke.
- The Rangers and agent Jay Franklin met on Friday to discuss a contract extension for Ian Kinsler, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Franklin is “not very optimistic” a deal will be reached before the season. Kinsler is under contract for 2012 with a $10MM club option for 2013.
- Commissioner Bud Selig is "working actively behind the scenes" to find a resolution between the Giants and Athletics regarding Oakland's stadium situation according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Pat Burrell has formally agreed to scout for the Giants this season, reports Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle. The slugger retired this offseason and is currently providing internal evaluations of San Francisco's prospects.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports wrote about the evolution of the DH position, where clubs are using a rotation system similar to the Rangers last season.
We've already looked at the NL West tonight, so let's stay on the left side of the map to check in on the latest from the AL West...
- Ian Kinsler and the Rangers had "one serious conversation" about a contract extension this offseason but that was "about it," reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Kinsler expects the club to re-open talks during Spring Training and said he wants to stay in Texas, noting that a possible switch from second base would be "open for discussion." The Rangers will pay Kinsler $7MM this season and they hold a $10MM option on him for 2013.
- Manny Ramirez's deal with the A's has led to some "mixed results" in the Athletics' clubhouse, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Ramirez's ex-teammates Coco Crisp and Bartolo Colon are in favor of the move, while one unnamed player "expressed concern" that if Ramirez makes the team, he'll be taking away at-bats from younger players who will be a bigger part of Oakland's future.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia talked to Bobby Abreu last month to discuss his role on the team, reports Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. "In talking to Bobby, he does want to play every day, but he's tempered that with an understanding of the potential of this team to win and he understands the situation," Scioscia said. Abreu is expected to split time with Kendrys Morales and/or Mark Trumbo at DH this season and last week the Halos explored a deal that would've sent Abreu to the Yankees in exchange for A.J. Burnett. I recently looked at the fantasy implications of the Halos' DH situation in a post for MLBTR's sister site Roto Authority.
Some links as Saturday turns into Sunday...
- The Indians offered Carlos Pena a one-year deal worth $8MM, reports Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Pena took less money (one-year, $7.25MM) to return to the Rays, however.
- One of the two sides will have to get creative for Roy Oswalt to land with the Cardinals, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He says the team's motives are unclear as well, noting that St. Louis recently checked in on Edwin Jackson.
- Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler says that he doesn't have anything new to report on a possible long-term extension, writes Richard Durrett of ESPN.com. Kinsler added that there haven't been many discussions with the club in regards to a new deal, but we know that there has been some conversation.
- More from Durrett, as he writes that Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison isn't concerned about hearing Roy Oswalt's name being connected to the club. Harrison would likely be bumped out of the rotation if Texas signs the veteran, but Harrison says that he's okay with moving to the bullpen.
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.
Earlier this week we heard that the Rangers intend to look into contract extensions for their core players, and that process has started with Ian Kinsler. Kinsler told Jeff Wilson of The Star Telegram that his agent, Jay Franklin, has had preliminary talks with the team about a new deal.
"I want to stay here," said Kinsler. "I was drafted by the Rangers, and I want to be a Ranger. You never know how long it's going to take. I think the sooner the better for them, and the sooner the better for me."
Kinsler, 29, hit .255/.355/.477 with 32 homers and 30 steals in 34 chances this season. He also walked 89 times compared to just 71 strikeouts, and UZR says his defense at second has been above-average in recent years. Kinsler has had some injury problems in his career though, spending time on the disabled list in 2010 (ankle sprain, groin strain), 2009 (hamstring strain), 2008 (sports hernia), 2007 (stress fracture in his left foot), and 2006 (dislocated thumb).
There is one year left on the five-year, $22MM deal Kinsler signed before the 2008 season. He will make $7MM in 2012, and the team holds a $10MM club option for his services in 2013. Dan Uggla's five-year, $62MM extension with the Braves could serve as framework for a new contract, as could a new deal between the Reds and Brandon Phillips. Baseball Time In Arlington suggests three years and $17MM annually tacked onto his existing contract.
A Marlins shakeup is looming and the focus is on the team's minor league system, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in this week's edition of Full Count. Jim Fleming, the vice president of player development and scouting, has informed his staff that he will be reassigned. The club's revenues will grow once they move into their new stadium but they still need to do a better job of producing homegrown talent. Let's take a look at some more highlights from Full Count..
- The Red Sox are reluctant to give lucrative long-term contracts to closers, but with Jonathan Papelbon they might not be able to resist. Papelbon will want an increase from his $12MM salary, perhaps something closer to Mariano Rivera's $15MM average yearly pay. It's possible that no team will want to go there but Rivera has just one year left on his deal and Rafael Soriano hardly looks like the heir to Mo's throne. Rosenthal wonders aloud if the Yankees would jump in and offer Papelbon a backloaded deal to take over as closer.
- The Rangers would seem to be an obvious suitor for Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols, especially in light of Mitch Moreland's recent struggles. Texas will have to spend on pitching if they lose C.J. Wilson in free agency and they might prefer to keep both their payroll and roster flexible. Josh Hamilton is only one year away from free agency and Ian Kinsler is only two years away.
- The sale of the Astros to Jim Crane is not yet official and some in baseball believe that he will not be approved as owner. Others, however, view a deal as inevitable. Current owner Drayton McLane wants out and Crane is offering a fair price for the club. Perhaps most importantly, there does not appear to be any other bidders. McLane has been loyal to the commissioner's office and he will want to see that loyalty reciprocated.