Javier Lopez Rumors
The Giants and Javier Lopez have agreed to a two-year, $8.5MM contract, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press. The money will be divided evenly in each year as the left-handed reliever will earn $4.25MM in 2012 and '13.
Lopez had a base salary of $2.375MM in 2011 and was two innings short of earning a $25K bonus for reaching 55 innings. In 53 innings of work this year, Lopez registered a 2.72 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9. The 34-year-old was expected to receive plenty of interest on the open market from teams in search of a quality matchup lefty.
The Giants now have to decide on the $5MM option for fellow lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt. Sabean expects to retain Affeldt even if the club declines his option and renegotiates a new contract. The Giants have until the end of the day Monday to either exercise the option or pay a $500K buyout.
Here are some notes from both divisions out west...
- Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda shrugged off speculation from the Japanese media that he'll return to Japan to pitch a farewell season with Hiroshima in 2012, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Kuroda put the odds of him pitching in MLB or going home next season at 50-50.
- Expect lots of teams to talk with the agent of Giants reliever Javier Lopez, writes ESPN.com's Buster Olney. The 34-year-old has postseason experience and teams such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Brewers, and Cardinals have been after a good matchup lefty this year.
- Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez expect to be ready for opening day but manager Bruce Bochy and GM Brian Sabean already have discussed the importance of covering themselves with other options at the position, writes Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News.
- Rich Harden would like to return to the Athletics and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle says that’s something that could happen. The injury-prone veteran would likely sign for an inexpensive one-year deal.
- With his strong work down the stretch, Jerome Williams has become the leading in-house candidate to assume one of the spots behind Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana in the Angels' 2012 rotation, writes Lyle Spencer of MLB.com.
The Cardinals won and the Braves lost, so only 2.5 games separate the two clubs in the National League Wild Card race. Here's the latest news from around MLB...
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington didn't say whether he intends to offer arbitration to Ross Ohlendorf this offseason, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Ohlendorf would earn a raise from his current $2.025MM salary if the Pirates tender him a contract this winter.
- The Cubs told scouting director Tim Wilken that he'll be back in 2012, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. There had been some rumblings that Wilken would receive a four-year extension like the one director of player personnel Oneri Fleita obtained, but Wilken will return on a one-year deal.
- Giants officials acknowledged to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that it will be hard to bring back both Jeremy Affeldt ($5MM option) and Javier Lopez (free agent) next year. The two left-handers could hit free agency this offseason.
- Jayson Werth told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that he still believes that the Nationals are headed for success. The outfielder hasn't lived up to his $126MM contract so far, but he says he has found his swing and regained his composure.
- Mike Mosa, the agent for Tim Byrdak, told MLBTR's Tim Dierkes that Byrdak's decision to sign an extension with the Mets had to do with the team's willingness to include an opt-out in his deal for 2011 (Twitter link).
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explains that serious analysts don't believe "that awards voting should be done according to an ordinal ranking" of the wins above replacement statistic. WAR is a tool that guides baseball fans, not an absolute statement about value or ability.
- In this week's edition of Ask BA, Jim Callis of Baseball America explains that he doubts we'll ever see an international draft because of all the logistics that would be involved. Commissioner Bud Selig has long supported a worldwide draft, which will come up during this round of collective bargaining.
The Giants avoided arbitration with Javier Lopez, agreeing to terms on a deal for 2011, according to the team (on Twitter). The left-hander had filed for $2.88MM and the team offered $2MM, as MLBTR's Arb Tracker shows. The sides agreed to a $2.375MM deal, according to the AP (via ESPN). That puts Lopez's 2011 salary slightly below the midpoint of the two submissions.
Lopez posted a 1.42 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 0.9 BB/9 in 27 relief appearances after the Giants acquired him from the Pirates midway through the 2010 season. He pitched tremendously for the eventual world champions, improving on the solid numbers he had posted in Pittsburgh. Overall, Lopez had a 61.8% ground ball rate last year, up from his career mark of 56.1%. The 33-year-old has struggled with walks in his career (4.0 BB/9) and right-handed hitters have a .296/.377/.432 line against him.
Andres Torres is now the Giants' lone unsigned arbitration eligible player.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. Let's keep track of those figures here, with the latest updates on top. You can track all of the players that avoided arbitration today here.
- MLB.com's Jane Lee tweets that Craig Breslow filed for $1.55MM, but the Athletics countered with $1.15MM.
- Zachary Levine of The Houston Chronicle has some figures for the Astros. Wandy Rodriguez filed for $10.25MM, Hunter Pence for $6.9MM. The team countered with $8MM and $5.15MM, respectively.
- Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star tweets that Billy Butler filed for $4.3MM while the Royals countered with $3.4MM.
- Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Javier Lopez filed for $2.875MM and Andres Torres for $2.6MM (Twitter link). The Giants countered with $2MM and $1.8MM, respectively.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Johnny Cueto filed for $3.9MM, but the Reds countered with $3MM. He adds that Edinson Volquez filed for $2MM, the team $1.3MM.
- Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times tweets Jered Weaver filed for $8.8MM, but the Angels countered with $7.365MM. He adds that Mike Napoli filed for $6.1MM, the team for $5.3MM.
- Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinal has the figures for some prominent Brewers (Twitter link). Rickie Weeks filed for $7.2MM, Shaun Marcum for $5MM, and Kameron Loe for $1.65MM. The team countered with $4.85MM, $3MM, and $1.055MM, respectively.
- MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets that James Loney filed for $5.25MM, and the Dodgers for $4.7MM.
- Gurnick adds that Hong-Chih Kuo filed for $3.075MM, the Dodgers countered with $2.55MM (on Twitter).
- Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun has the skinny on two of the Orioles' key players (Twitter link). Luke Scott filed for $6.85MM and Jeremy Guthrie for $6.5MM. The team countered with $5.7MM and $5MM, respectively.
- Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune reports that Delmon Young filed for $6.25MM, the Twins $4.65MM (on Twitter).
- Christensen also reports that Francisco Liriano filed for $5MM and the Twins $3.6MM (on Twitter).
- Christensen adds that Kevin Slowey filed for $3.1MM, the Twins $2.3MM (on Twitter).
- Adam Rubin of ESPN New York tweets that R.A. Dickey filed for $4.7MM, the Mets $3.35MM.
- Andy McCullough of The Star Ledger reports that Angel Pagan filed for $4.2MM, and the Mets for a little over $3.06MM (on Twitter).
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that Josh Hamilton filed for $12MM, the Rangers $8.7MM.
- Anthony Andro of The Star Telgram reports that Darren O'Day filed for $1.4MM and the Rangers for $1.05MM (Twitter links).
- Frank Francisco filed for $4.875MM, the Rangers $3.5MM according to Andro.
- Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press tweets that Jose Bautista filed for $10.5MM, the Blue Jays $7.6MM. Michael Vlessides nailed both figures when he spoke to MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith back in October.
- MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm tweets that Jason Frasor filed for $3.725MM, the Blue Jays $3.25MM.
In case there was any doubt, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Brewers aren't going to trade Ryan Braun. However, the Brewers are open to trading any of their other top hitters for rotation help. That means Rickie Weeks, Casey McGehee and, of course, Prince Fielder would be available in the right deal. Here are the details and the rest of Rosenthal's rumors:
- The Brewers don't want to trade top players for back-of-the-rotation starters, but teams are reluctant to include top young pitchers in potential deals.
- The Padres have spoken repeatedly to the Brewers about minor league infielder Brett Lawrie, who could be obtained for young pitching.
- Adrian Gonzalez is still drawing trade interest, even though he won't be ready to swing a bat until the end of Spring Training.
- Two GMs tell Rosenthal that the Red Sox are open to trading Felix Doubront. One says Boston would part with the left-hander "in a heartbeat" and the other guaranteed the Red Sox will trade him by mid-summer. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told Rosenthal that the Red Sox "value Felix tremendously" and that the report "couldn't be further from the truth."
- Every young Orioles pitcher "could be in play for the right bat," Rosenthal reports.
- If the Marlins trade Dan Uggla, they would use the savings to sign at least one free agent. John Buck is a target for the Marlins regardless of whether they trade or extend Uggla.
- The A's don't have interest in Mark Reynolds.
- The Rockies are drawing lots of interest in Clint Barmes. They could trade or non-tender the infielder if they aren't able to sign him to a multi-year contract.
- Cody Ross and Javier Lopez are strong candidates to receive extensions from the Giants.
A few links to check out after the Rangers picked up their first World Series win in franchise history...
- Torii Hunter is at the World Series for TV work, though he did mention liking the idea of Carl Crawford in an Angels' uniform according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Hunter wouldn't confirm if he's been lobbying the soon-to-be free agent outfielder.
- In a mailbag piece, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer answers questions about the Indians chances of signing quality free agents and whether or not Javier Vazquez is a fit for them.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that Giants' lefty reliever Javier Lopez will fall short of qualifying for free agency this offseason by just five days of service time. It's a shame he won't be able to cash in on his dominant postseason (5.2 innings, one hit, one walk, six strikeouts).
- Rosenthal also says that the Brewers are just doing their due diligence, and are expected to name a manager shortly after the World Series (Twitter link).
- Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune lists the hurdles the White Sox would have to clear if they want to acquire Colby Rasmus. He also noted that St. Louis had people watching ChiSox prospects at a recent Arizona Fall League game.
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News provide an offseason to-do list for the Yankees.
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli tweets that the announcement of the Orioles' coaching staff is being held up by Don Wakamatsu. He'll be their bench coach unless he lands a managerial gig elsewhere.
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post explains what impressed him about Sandy Alderson's introductory press conference yesterday.
- Meanwhile, Newsday's David Lennon wonders if Alderson's hiring will boost ticket sales (via Twitter). Mets' attendance has dropped from an average of 51,165 fans per game in 2008 to 32,401 in 2010 despite the opening of CitiField last season. Obviously the economy is part of the problem.
- Jennings also passed along a lengthy quote from Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who explains his desire to make his team younger without sacrificing their ability to be competitive.
- Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle compares the path the Rangers and Giants took to the World Series to some of the moves the Astros made a few seasons ago.
Links for Sunday, as the White Sox complete a weekend sweep in Boston....
- Xavier Nady has been doing quite well since the Cubs dealt Derrek Lee to the Braves, writes MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- Cal Ripken Jr. told Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun that recently-appointed O's manager Buck Showalter is one of the best baseball guys he has spoken to.
- Javier Lopez tells Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he's not too upset about falling just short of free agency heading into next year.
- There's a chance Rod Barajas remains a Dodger past this season, according to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.
- NPB Tracker, via Twitter, passes on a news item from Sponichi that says the Mets, Rangers, and Rays all watched Yu Darvish pitch this weekend.
- Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders if Carlos Zambrano's impressive performance over the last month means the Cubs may not ditch him after all.
- What does the future hold for the Yankees' "Core Four"? Joel Sherman of the New York Post explores that question in his latest column.
- Tim Wallach's number one goal this winter is landing a major league managerial job, writes Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff lists three "hot names" for potential general manager openings this offseason: Damon Oppenheimer, Kevin Towers, and Logan White.
Lopez, 33, has two impressive numbers to his name this year: a 2.79 ERA and a 60.2% groundball rate. Otherwise he's struck out few and walked many overall. His splits show that he's somewhat effective against lefties and a poor choice against righties. He signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh before the season, and is still owed $287K this season. He is under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next year.
Martinez, a 27-year-old righty, posted a 3.32 ERA, 7.2 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9 with six home runs allowed in 81.3 Triple A innings this year. Baseball America ranked him 30th among Giants prospects heading into the '09 season. They called him "a groundball machine" with a "sinking 86-88 mph fastball, a true curveball and a plus changeup consistently down in the strike zone." Martinez has yet to figure things out in his 41 career Major League innings, but he has retained his ability to generate grounders.
Bowker, a 27-year-old outfielder and first baseman, hasn't done much in the Majors aside from a less-than-terrible '08 rookie season. He has managed to rake in the Pacific Coast League after multiple stints there, for what it's worth. Baseball America ranked him ninth among Giants prospects before the '08 season, saying "he has strong hands and can hit good fastballs."
Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweeted that Lopez was on the verge of being dealt while Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News later confirmed the deal and added details (all Twitter links).
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Scott Downs, Will Ohman, Javier Lopez, Craig Breslow, George Sherrill, Doug Slaten, Brian Tallet, Mark Hendrickson, and Bruce Chen make up most of the trade market for left-handed relievers. Today's rumors...
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that he feels the Giants, Phillies, Red Sox, Twins, and Rays could use a left-handed reliever.
- Morosi tweets that the Pirates are getting calls on Lopez, who is affordable now and under team control for 2011. Lopez has surrendered too many walks to both lefties and righties, but his groundball rate is 59.6% and he's whiffed southpaws at a strong rate.
- The Indians are getting hits on Rafael Perez, tweets Morosi's colleague Ken Rosenthal, but they aren't motivated to trade him. Perez is technically under team control through 2013. With a 5.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9, Perez's best asset is his 57.4% groundball rate - much like Lopez.