Jake Peavy Rumors
Matt Harvey posted a game score of 97 while taking a perfect game into the seventh, striking out 12, and walking none over nine innings against the White Sox Tuesday night, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports notes (on Twitter). Only 40 outings of nine innings or fewer since 1916 have earned a higher game score. Here's a collection of notes from around the majors.
- The nine Asian-born pitchers who have pitched in the big leagues this year have combined to post numbers similar to a typical Justin Verlander season, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says. Those nine pitchers have 241 1/3 innings pitched so far in 2013, with a 2.91 ERA, 9.6 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. Yu Darvish has been a big part of that, of course, but Hyun-Jin Ryu, Hisashi Iwakuma, Hiroki Kuroda, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara have also pitched well. The past struggles of pitchers like Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Irabu have allowed today's Asian-born pitchers to fly under the radar somewhat, Cameron argues, and he wonders whether pitchers from overseas leagues might be undervalued in the market. Specifically, he says, emphasis on fastball velocity and breaking balls may cause teams to undervalue pitchers with great splitters or changeups.
- Free agency has become "a used car lot cluttered with lemons," with only a few bargains to be found, Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated argues, citing the examples of Josh Hamilton (Angels), B.J. Upton (Braves) and Zack Greinke (Dodgers). Thus far, Hamilton and Upton have failed to produce with their new teams, and Greinke is hurt. In the past four seasons, Verducci notes, there have been 24 free-agent contracts worth $35MM or more. Most of those have turned out badly, and some (such as Jason Bay's deal with the Mets) have looked bad almost immediately. That means that "win[ning] the winter" by signing the biggest-name free agents isn't all it's cracked up to be, as the 2012 Marlins can attest. This year's Angels and Dodgers have struggled out of the gate, and so have the Blue Jays (who had a big offseason mostly driven by trades).
- The Astros' decisions to designate Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez for assignment made their outfield more athletic, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart says. Robbie Grossman, Brandon Barnes and Jimmy Paredes started in the outfield for the Astros Tuesday night. "We went out to get more athletic, get more guys who have the ability to mishit the ball and still have a possibility of getting on base because of their athletic ability," says manager Bo Porter.
- Will Middlebrooks and David Ross left the Red Sox's game against the Twins Tuesday night after they collided. There is no indication yes that Middlebrooks will miss significant time. But after Middlebrooks, the Red Sox have little depth at third base, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports. Utility infielder Pedro Ciriaco "isn't the answer," MacPherson says, and the choices at Triple-A Pawtucket aren't thrilling. Minor-league veteran Justin Henry, who was acquired in the offseason for Rule 5 pick Jeff Kobernus, may be the best option there. Brock Holt, who arrived from the Pirates with Joel Hanrahan in the offseason, is another possibility. Of course, Middlebrooks himself has struggled this year, hitting just .195/.232/.281.
- Jake Peavy does not have a no-trade clause in his new contract with the White Sox, and he doesn't need one, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. "I told (GM) Rick Hahn that if he didn’t trade me before spring training was over, that was good enough for me," says Peavy, pointing out that it's unlikely he will be traded if the White Sox are contending.
- Rosenthal also notes that Madison Bumgarner's contract with the Giants could be one of the most team-friendly in baseball. Bumgarner, 23, would have been eligible for free agency after the 2016 season, but his new deal contains cheap team options that can allow the Giants to carry him through 2019.
- The Brewers have assigned Francisco Rodriguez to Class A+ Brevard County, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes. Rodriguez will make three relief appearances there, then head to Triple-A Nashville. The Brewers must promote Rodriguez to the majors by May 17, or he can become a free agent. Rodriguez posted a 4.38 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 78 appearances with the Brewers in 2012.
- Diamond Mines' new database provides a fascinating look at old scouting reports, including many in the scouts' own handwriting.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that it would be a shame if David Ortiz can't stay healthy given his level of production so far this year. Even as he seems locked in at the plate, he's not in perfect health. “I’m seeing the ball and hitting the ball good,” the 37-year-old said. “I just keep going out there, seeing and hitting the ball. I’m keeping it simple right now. I’m not trying to do too much and the hits are falling. And some hits get taken away. I’m still not 100 percent down there [pointing to his legs].” Here's more from today's column..
- Right-hander Jake Peavy is on the disabled list again, but he’s going to be very much in demand before the trading deadline if the White Sox start selling off. “He’s a great fit for a team like [the Orioles],” said one National League GM. “They’re looking to add that veteran, battle-tested pitcher to really finish off their staff and that Peavy type would be ideal.” The only problem is that the money might deter them. Cliff Lee of the Phillies would also be an ideal guy, but he too is pricey.
- Teams are still monitoring Javier Vazquez's recovery from knee surgery because he could be talked into pitching again and could be a solid mid-rotation starter. Vazquez was in winter ball and wanted to come back to the majors, but the knee issue seemed to put that to rest. For the right contract, however, he can have a change of heart.
- Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire doesn’t have a contract for next year, but he is earning one with Minnesota’s better-than-expected start. With the pitching staff performing well and the lineup exceeding expectations, don’t be surprised if he gets a mid-season extension.
- Hanley Ramirez is signed through 2014, so the Dodgers may eventually move Dee Gordon to second base, unless they feel they can sign Robinson Cano as a free agent after the season. The Dodgers are unlikely to pick up their $5.75MM option on Mark Ellis.
26-year-old Yankees righty Phil Hughes makes his third start of the year tonight against the Diamondbacks after being hit hard in his first two outings. He's a free agent after the season, and John Harper of the New York Daily News opined on Saturday, "Hughes is a useful pitcher who probably will get a multi-year contract with a National League team that will hope his 4.41 career ERA will improve if he pitches in a roomier ballpark against lineups without a DH." Elsewhere around the American League:
- Why did the Red Sox target Shane Victorino during the offseason? WEEI's Alex Speier lists four reasons: defense, the lack of draft pick compensation required, the ability to get him on a shorter term, and his fit in their market.
- "When you get to a point that I am in my career, no-trade (clauses) mean nothing to me," said White Sox righty Jake Peavy to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, in explaining why he didn't require one in his recent two-year deal with the team. Peavy hopes to win a World Series in Chicago, but he acknowledged that if the Sox look to trade him at some point, it would only be if the team is not contending. Peavy was nearly traded to the Blue Jays in October before signing, we learned Tuesday from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.
- "I'm not going to manage again," Tony La Russa told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports amid "industry speculation" that he could replace Mike Scioscia as Angels manager. La Russa, currently working in the commissioner's office, intends to eventually join a team in an executive capacity.
The Blue Jays were involved in some of the biggest trades of the offseason, but things could have played out differently had it not been for a last-minute extension between the White Sox and Jake Peavy. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca writes that the Blue Jays were close to acquiring Peavy from the White Sox prior to the signing of that two-year, $29MM extension.
The White Sox would've sent $4MM to Toronto along with Peavy in exchange for a player or players whose value exceeded a compensatory draft pick in the eyes of Chicago GM Rick Hahn. Effectively, the Jays were looking at getting Peavy on a one-year, $18MM. Presumably, this is the near-deal that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was referring to back in January.
Peavy himself acknowledged to Davidi that he had heard "some rumblings" about discussions between White Sox and another team, but went on to say that he wanted to remain in Chicago as he felt he had "unfinished business" with the South Siders.
Davidi notes that while the trade didn't end up going through, it helped to lay the groundwork for the Blue Jays' eventual blockbusters with the Marlins and Mets. Anthopoulos and president Paul Beeston had to obtain permission from ownership to exceed payroll to acquire Peavy, and that permission carried over into the eventual trades to acquire Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey.
Here's the latest from the AL Central...
- Chris Sale doesn't know of any discussion between his representatives and the White Sox about a possible long-term deal but is happy to take one-year contracts for now, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. "I know it [a multiyear deal] happens from time to time," Sale said. "But I'm just doing my stuff. If something happens, we'll see." Sale will be arbitration-eligible for the first time next winter and is scheduled for free agency after the 2016 season.
- Jake Peavy and White Sox GM Rick Hahn talked to MLB.com's Scott Merkin about the steps that led to Peavy re-signing with the club, both sides' mutual interest in continuing their relationship and Peavy's agent switch to CAA's Jeff Berry.
- Jeremy Guthrie talks to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel about why he re-signed with the Royals, despite offers from other teams. Guthrie signed a three-year, $25MM contract with Kansas City in November.
- Jim Leyland thinks Andy Dirks has the ability to be an everyday player, but the Tigers manager tells reporters (including MLB.com's Adam Berry) that he would like to have a right-handed hitting outfielder who could occasionally spell Dirks when Detroit faces a tough lefty starter.
- Some more White Sox and Tigers items can be found in Ben Nicholson-Smith's edition of Quick Hits, published earlier today on MLBTR.
The White Sox held another seminar with fans this morning as part of SoxFest 2013 with General Manager Rick Hahn and manager Robin Ventura fielding questions. When asked what to expect out of the White Sox this season, Hahn encouraged fans to keep their expectations high, tweets Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. Here's more from today's Q&A...
- If the White Sox are in contention this season, Hahn says that they'll be able to add to their payroll if there are upgrades available, Hayes tweets. The GM added that "the money has always been there", Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
- Hahn said that the club didn't have internal options to fill the void that would have been created if Jake Peavy left via free agency, according to Hayes (on Twitter). The White Sox worked out a contract extension with Peavy early in the offseason rather than picking up his $22MM option for 2013. The 31-year-old will earn $14.5MM in each of the next two seasons with an option for 2015.
- Ventura explained that third baseman Brent Morel will be in the mix this season and his lack of playing time last season was a result of his injuries, Hayes tweets. Morel drew trade interest from the Marlins at one point last month as the free agent third base market was quite shallow.
- Hahn said that this season will be a rebuilding year for Nestor Molina, the right-hander who came to the White Sox in exchange for Sergio Santos last winter, Gonzales tweets.
The Rockies have six known candidates for their managerial vacancy in Jason Giambi, bench coach Tom Runnells, former shortstop Walt Weiss, Jerry Manuel, former Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, and current Diamondbacks bench coach Matt Williams. While they have expressed interest in Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, a major league source told Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post that the list is not likely to be expanded beyond those six. The source didn't completely rule out the possibility of more names being added, though Wotus hasn't had an interview scheduled with the club. Here's more from around baseball..
- In a conference call with reporters, White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn said that the short length of Jake Peavy's deal was "absolutely key" in getting the deal done, writes Jim Margalus of South Side Sox. Hahn went on to reiterate that he hopes to have Kevin Youkilis, A.J. Pierzynski, and Brett Myers back with the club in 2013.
- After acquiring reliever Heath Bell and shortstop Cliff Pennington, the Diamondbacks don't have a lot of free agent needs this winter, writes Corey Brock of MLB.com. General Manager Kevin Towers will now look to add a starting pitcher, left-handed reliever, and possibly a third baseman. Towers obviously isn't averse to trading and could go that route rather than looking to the open market.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker runs down this year's NPB free agents with possible major league interest. Relievers Kyuji Fujikawa and Hideki Okajima are already well-known but shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima and second baseman Kensuke Tanaka could also make the jump this winter. The Yankees won the rights to sign Nakajima last year but were unable to come to terms with him on a deal. Tanaka appears to be a prototypical small-ball player and is reportedly willing to take a minor league deal.
- Reds pitching coach Bryan Price has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Marlins' managerial vacancy, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
It didn't take long for Rick Hahn to make his first move as the general manager of the White Sox. Four days after officially introducing Hahn as GM, the team announced a two-year, $29MM contract extension with Jake Peavy. The deal will keep Peavy in Chicago through 2014 and includes an option for 2015.
“Jake Peavy showed again last season why he is capable of being one of the top pitchers in the American League,” Hahn said in a statement released by the team.
Peavy gets a $14.5MM salary in 2013 and 2014. The 2015 option becomes a player option if Peavy reaches innings thresholds in 2013 and 2014. Peavy's previous contract included a $22MM club option with a $4MM buyout. Peavy still receives the buyout, according to the team. It will be paid in equal installments from 2016-19.
Peavy, 31, started 32 games this past season -- easily his best showing since he pitched for the Padres. In 219 innings Peavy posted a 3.37 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. He would have been one of the top starters available in free agency if the White Sox had declined his 2013 option without re-signing him.
This marks Rick Hahn's first major deal as Chicago's GM. CAA Sports represents Peavy, who was without representation as recently as a few weeks ago.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Rick Hahn was officially introduced as the new White Sox general manager at a press conference today and addressed some hot stove topics with the media (including Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago and Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune).
- Hahn projected that the 2013 White Sox payroll should be "right in the same neighborhood" of the team's $97.67MM payroll from last season.
- The team has had "good talks back and forth already" with Jake Peavy's representatives. The Sox hold a $22MM option on Peavy for 2013 that they're expected to buy out for $4MM, and while Hahn left the door open for Peavy to return, the price tag may be too high. "I know Jake’s preference – which he hasn’t been shy about – is to be back here in Chicago," Hahn said. "And that’s always a good place to start. But there does come a point where there are certain opportunities elsewhere that don’t make sense for us to try to chase.”
- Hahn has spoken with A.J. Pierzynski's agent though there is "a good dialogue" between the two sides, Hahn noted that the team won't know their chances of bringing the veteran catcher back until the market develops.
- "Given the sort of shallowness of this year’s free agent market and the fact that there are some clubs with some money to spend, I’m not overly optimistic that we’re going to be huge players in free agency," Hahn said. “But at the same time, we’re going to be out there looking for values and certainly continue to talk to our guys and see if we can’t fit them in for next year, too.”
- While Hahn was considered for some other GM openings with other teams in recent years, "I don't feel I ever seriously got on the doorstep of leaving," he said (via Gonzales' Twitter account). Hahn was known to be a candidate for the Cubs' general manager opening last winter.
The Nationals and Cardinals began their NLDS today, 79 years to the day of the last playoff game for a Washington franchise. The series will also feature the largest age gap between two managers facing off in the post-season (27 years and 235 days between 69-year-old Davey Johnson of the Nationals and 42-year-old Mike Matheny of the Cardinals), according to the Elias Sports Bureau via a tweet by ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. Other notes and nuggets from the Senior Circuit:
- It is highly unlikely the Braves will attempt to sign Josh Hamilton because they typically don't pursue top-of-payscale free agents who come with questions, tweets the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien.
- Adrian Gonzalez told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he felt he struggled this season because he was "trying too hard." Gonzalez was even disappointed by his career-high 47 doubles. Also in the profile, the Dodger first baseman discussed the responsibility he feels as a Mexican-American athlete in a heavily Latino city.
- The Dodgers will continue to strengthen their starting rotation which could lead them to target Zack Greinke, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.
- The Cubs will need to acquire two or three starting pitchers merely to put a representative team on the field, opines Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Wittenmyer adds don't look for the Cubs to sign Greinke or Jake Peavy, as Shaun Marcum and Anibal Sanchez are more in line with the current front-office thinking.
- Jake Westbrook, rehabbing from discomfort in his right oblique, threw a bullpen session this morning and hopes to be available for bullpen duty if the Cardinals advance to the NLCS, reports MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch. The throwing schedule for Westbrook is fluid because he will be leaving the team after Game 2 to be with his wife, who is scheduled to be induced into labor for the birth of their fourth child on Thursday.
- The Cardinals will win the World Series in six games over the Tigers, predicts Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com in his playoff prognostication column.