Jean Segura Rumors
Homer Bailey and the Reds were said earlier today to be close to a new deal, but nothing had materialized as of this evening. In the latest update, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports that details are still being worked out. GM Walt Jocketty echoed his star hurler's comments, saying that progress had been made. "There are still some outstanding issues," said Jocketty. "Hopefully they get resolved in the next 24 hours or else people are going to have to suit it up and go east." Jocketty was referring, of course, to donning not baseball uniforms but rather the business attire necessary for an arbitration hearing. "It's a lot of little things," Jocketty continued. "The structure of the contract, how it's paid and things like that."
Here's a look at some other potential extension situations shaping up around baseball ...
- Though the threat of an arbitration hearing has been avoided between Justin Masterson and the Indians, those parties could be operating on something of a deadline of their own. Masterson, a comparable pitcher to Bailey in many ways, is also entering his final season of arb-eligibility before hitting the open market. Though Masterson has said he'd be willing to continue discussions into the season, club GM Chris Antonetti says that he would rather keep talks to the spring, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
- Another power pitcher, Jeff Samardzija of the Cubs, currently stands to qualify for free agency after 2015. As ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers reported today, team president Theo Epstein still hopes a deal can be worked out. On the other hand, his comments echoed some of the sentiment recently expressed by Samardzija, who indicated that the sides had reached something of a stalemate in negotiations. "Sometimes there is going to be a natural gap where a player values himself for what he can do and the team has to factor in a little bit more what he has done," Epstein explained. "It doesn't mean we're tremendously far apart, but if you are apart you kind of table it for another day and we'll see what happens."
- The Brewers previously explored extension talks with young shortstop Jean Segura, but those discussions did not lead anywhere. The club remains interested, but as MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports, nothing has occurred in the interim. "We're always open to [extension talks]," said GM Doug Melvin. "We've locked up some, some we didn't. We didn't get Prince [Fielder]. We offered him a deal earlier on to buy into free agency, but it just depends what players want. Not a lot of them want long-term deals that will take away free agency, and we like to get deals that have at least a year of free agency if we can."
- Another promising young shortstop, the Braves' Andrelton Simmons, has watched as three youthful teammates inked long-term deals in recent deays. As David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes (link behind paywall), Simmons is keeping his eye on the field but would be interested in a new contract. "I'm just focused on playing," said Simmons. "If it happens, great. I love Atlanta. So hopefully something gets done. But you never know." As O'Brien points out, uncertainty remains in Simmons' arbitration value. Not only does it remain unclear whether he will qualify as a Super Two (he has 1.125 years of service time), but his immense defensive value may not translate into commensurate arbitration earnings. Of course, another defense-first shortstop -- Elvis Andrus of the Rangers -- was able to ink a shorter-term, early-career deal (at three years of service) and then land another, much greater extension just a year later.
- The Giants have at least two worthy extension candidates. The first and more pressing, third baseman Pablo Sandoval, is entering his final season before hitting the open market at age 28. But the sides are currently not engaged in talks, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Cotillo notes that today's physical could have a bearing on how things play out. Sandoval, who at times has seen his conditioning questioned, has made some waves by slimming down entering camp this year.
- A different sort of urgency is shaping up with regard to Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, who is scheduled for an arbitration hearing bright and early tomorrow. As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports, though discussions are presently focused on Belt's 2014 salary (the sides stand far apart at $3.6MM and $2.05MM), GM Brian Sabean says he remains interested in exploring a longer-term deal. "We like the player," said Sabean. "We think he's one of the up-and-coming players in the National League and we want to hold onto him. But first things first." What Sabean seems to mean is that Belt's future earning capacity through arbitration is very much tied to the divergent filing figures submitted by each side.
- Indeed, Belt would stand at the same starting point as fellow Super Two first baseman Eric Hosmer (who agreed to a $3.6MM price with the Royals) if he wins his hearing. That would set both players on a potentially higher arbitration trajectory than that of another young first bagger, Atlanta's Freddie Freeman, who just inked a monster extension to avoid arbitration in his first of just three seasons of eligibility. Freeman had filed at $5.75MM, with the Braves countering at $4.5MM; both Belt and Hosmer could easily land in that realm with another big year. As I recently explained in discussing the impact of the Freeman deal, Belt and Hosmer could potentially look to Freeman's eight-year, $135MM contract as a target -- though it remains to be seen, of course, whether their employers would go to that level.
Shortstop Jean Segura and the Brewers figure to discuss a contract extension this spring, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports. This isn't the first time the Brewers have discussed an extension with Segura, but Cotillo says that two parties haven't talked much since last fall. In September, MLBTR suggested that Segura might receive about five years and $20-23MM guaranteed in an extension, although that number might need to be upward somewhat given extensions that have been reached since then. He's set to become arbitration-eligible after the 2015 season, and free agency-eligible after 2018. Here are more notes on extensions.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty still has hope that his team can sign Homer Bailey long-term and believes he has made progress toward that goal, ESPN's Jim Bowden tweets. Recent reports have indicated that Bailey and the Reds aren't close on an extension, which makes sense, given Bailey's situation -- he's eligible for free agency after the season and should be in line for a hefty new contract.
- The White Sox and pitcher Jose Quintana do not plan to discuss an extension during spring training, Cotillo tweets. Quintana, 25, posted a 3.51 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 200 innings in 2013. He will likely be eligible for arbitration next offseason as a Super Two player.
- Pitcher Jarrod Parker and the Athletics have not talked about an extension this offseason, but they could do so this spring, Cotillo tweets. The righty threw 197 innings in 2013, posting a 3.97 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. He's arbitration-eligible after the 2014 season.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin says that he will reach out to Jean Segura's representatives over the offseason about a possible long-term extension, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter). The 23-year-old shortstop, who is represented by Joe Klein, will not be eligible for arbitration until 2016.
Of course, Melvin has reportedly already once been rebuffed by Segura's team. As MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth recently explained, however, the time is more ripe for an extension at this point. Though Segura has failed to sustain his torrid start to 2013, he still ended up being a 4 WAR player in his first season of full-time duty. Wilmoth opined that Segura might be worth a commitment of around $20-23MM on a five-year deal, if he sacrificed at least one year of free agency with a club option.
Early in the season, the Brewers reportedly offered shortstop Jean Segura an extension. As FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported, though, Segura's agent, Joe Klein, had limited interest in an extension for his client, in part because Segura had so little big-league experience that it was hard to tell what he was worth. "[W]ith a guy this young, it’s hard to figure out what the right numbers would be," said Klein. "It would be good, be nice if it was possible to do. But I don’t know. It’s way, way on the drawing board.”
Segura is making close to the league minimum this season, and one would think he would be highly motivated to sign an extension. "God give me the opportunity to be professional baseball player and you know, this tough decision to make, but I just wanted to be successful to help my family be good. You know?" Segura told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in May. "And I think this is the only way that I can help them, quickly, you know?"
Still, an extension negotiation so early in the season would have put Klein in a tricky spot. Segura only had about 300 big-league plate appearances to that point, and an extension, even though it would have provided Segura and his family with financial security, would have had every chance of quickly turning into a bargain for the Brewers. In recent years, there have been only three long-term extensions for players with less than a year of service time: Evan Longoria's 2008 deal with the Rays, Matt Moore's deal with the Rays three years later, and Salvador Perez's five-year pact with the Royals. Longoria's contract was unquestionably a great deal for his team, and Moore's and Perez's look like they will be as well.
Now that the season is almost over, there's no indication that Segura and the Brewers have talked again, but Klein's worries about the lack of information about his client should be less of an issue. Klein also now has more leverage, since Segura is closer to arbitration eligibility. Segura now has more than twice as many big-league plate appearances as he did when the two sides reportedly talked early in the season. While Segura cooled down after a very hot start, his abilities to hit for average, steal bases and play shortstop make him an asset worthy of a long-term deal. At age 23, he has been one of the better shortstops in baseball this season.
Jose Altuve's recent four-year, $12.5MM contract with the Astros provides an obvious precedent for an extension for a middle infielder with between one and two years of service time, but Segura is a far better player. According to MLBTR's Extension Tracker, other recent examples of extensions for players with one to two years of service time include Paul Goldschmidt (five years, $32MM), Madison Bumgarner (five years, $35MM) and Carlos Santana (five years, $21MM). All four deals include at least one team option.
Segura is unlikely to produce the sort of power numbers that would have made Goldschmidt lots of money in arbirtation, but a deal weighted toward the low end of these three extensions might work. Currently, Segura is eligible for arbitration after the 2015 season and for free agency after 2018. A five-year deal, therefore, would buy out all of his remaining pre-free-agency service time. The Brewers would certainly want to include a team option or two in exchange for assuming greater risk. A five-year deal, plus an option, for around $20MM-23MM guaranteed might make sense.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Athletics moved into a tie for first place in the AL West with today's 4-2 victory over the Rangers. Today's game was the first of six head-to-head matchups between Oakland and Texas in September, so it's very possible that we're in for another pennant race that goes right down to the last day between these two clubs.
Here's the latest baseball news out of the Golden State...
- Barry Zito won't be designated for assignment or otherwise removed from the roster, Bruce Bochy told reporters, including Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. The Giants need to open two 40-man roster spaces to accommodate their September callups by tomorrow and Zito could've been a candidate given how poorly has had pitched since mid-May. This cold streak may end Zito's tenure in San Francisco, as while the Giants obviously weren't going to pick up Zito's $18MM option for 2014, Baggarly notes the club could've pursued a new, less-expensive deal with the veteran lefty.
- The Dodgers are known for spending freely but ESPN's Buster Olney illustrates (in an Insider-only piece) how general manager Ned Colletti has inexpensively added to his bullpen and bench depth.
- The Brewers would appear to have gotten the better end of the 2012 deal that sent Zack Greinke to the Angels in exchange for Jean Segura and two minor league pitchers, but Halos GM Jerry Dipoto doesn't regret the trade. "I absolutely understand what the criteria was when we made the trade and why we made it," Dipoto says in an article by Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, noting that the club was leading the AL wild card race at the time and needed to bolster its rotation.
- If the Red Sox can quickly return to contention after a disappointing season, could the Angels rebound from this year's problems to contend in 2014? Grantland's Jonah Keri thinks it would be "a gigantic long shot," given the Angels' deeper roster problems and a lack of minor league talent following several ill-advised trades of prospects, such as the Segura deal.
- From earlier today, MLBTR reported that Mike Zagurski opted out of his Athletics contract and was now a free agent.
MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post
If you're a fan of Major League Baseball and of reading sports tickers on the television, then July is the perfect month for you. More than 20 trades occurred in July 2012 as playoff-hopeful clubs looked to position themselves for strong second halves of their seasons and robust drives for the postseason.
For just about every veteran player on the move to a contending club in July, there is a prospect or two heading back in the other direction -- towards a rebuilding club desperate for a cost-controlled building block. Close to 80 players changed jerseys last July prior to the looming trade deadline at the end of the month, and the 2013 season is expected to be no different.
But just how many of those young players that changed allegiances have maintained their values with their new organizations? Below is a list of the Top 10 young players who were traded last July. Only players who had not exceeded their MLB rookie eligibilities (50 IP for pitchers, 130 AB for hitters) at the 2012 trade deadline were considered for the article, and the list is in alphabetical order.
Rob Brantly, C (Tigers to Marlins): Given the Marlins' starting catcher gig at the beginning of the 2013 season, the offensive-minded backstop's bat has wilted under the pressure, and he has a .587 OPS in 49 games. The good news is that his defense has improved noticeably -- perhaps thanks to the guidance from veteran second-string receiver Jeff Mathis, an excellent defensive player, and manager Mike Redmond, a former catcher. Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel looked at Brantly's inconsistent season.
Matt Dominguez, 3B (Marlins to Astros): It's been an inconsistent season for the young third baseman -- both at the plate and in the field, despite his reputation as a strong defender. Just 23, Dominguez has time on his side as he looks to breathe new life into his withering bat, but questions about his offensive abilities have been floating around since his amateur days. Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle penned a piece about Dominguez' focus on the future rather than the past.
Robbie Grossman, OF (Pirates to Astros): Grossman earned a shot at a starting outfield gig in Houston after a hot April in Triple-A. Unfortunately, he posted an OPS of just .553 and was returned to the minors after 28 games. His offensive struggles followed him back to Oklahoma City and he managed a measly .512 OPS in June.
Johnny Hellweg, SP (Angels to Brewers): Hellweg's raw ability is undeniable but command and control issues have haunted him throughout his pro career. Tall pitchers are considered late bloomers in those areas, and the 6'9'' right-handed hurler definitely fits into that category. He recently received his first big league promotion, but he was roughed up during his first two appearances in The Show. Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel spoke to the rookie, as well as his manager, after his first outing.
Tommy Joseph, C (Giants to Phillies): Joseph has experienced a major setback with the bat in 2013. After beginning the year in Triple-A, he hit just .209 before a concussion knocked him out of action. Now healthy again, Joseph is getting back into playing shape while at the A-ball level. The struggles and injury helped to ensure that he missed an opportunity to fill in at the big league level when both Carlos Ruiz and Erik Kratz went down in Philadelphia. Jeff Schuler of The Morning Call wrote a piece on Joseph's return from the disabled list.
Jean Segura, SS (Angels to Brewers): Perhaps the biggest success story on this list, Segura is currently in the hunt for a batting title in the National League. He also has surprising pop and an outside chance at eventually becoming a 20-20 (HR-SB) hitter. Originally a second baseman, the sturdy but diminutive hitter was relocated to the left side of the infield, but it remains to be seen how long he'll stick there. Either way, he could be a mainstay in the middle of the diamond for years to come. Mike Woods of the Sheboygan Press recently spoke to Segura who admitted to being surprised by his success in 2013.
Jacob Turner, SP (Tigers to Marlins): Turner's value has taken a hit over the past year or two as his stuff has regressed. Scouting forecasts focus more on the ceiling of a No. 3 or 4 starter now, rather than that of the No. 1 or 2 starter ceiling from the early days of his pro career. Despite that, Turner has had an excellent start to the 2013 season at the big league level by posting a 1.76 ERA and holding hitters to a .229 batting average in six starts.
Christian Villanueva, 3B (Rangers to Cubs): The emergence of Mike Olt in the Rangers system made Villanueva expendable. The Cubs third baseman has the chance to develop into a multifaceted player, albeit one without any true standout tool. He's showing solid gap power at the Double-A level but both his batting average and his on-base percentage are down in 2013.
Arodys Vizcaino, SP (Braves to Cubs): Vizcaino, 22, hasn't pitched since 2011, but he's been the property of three organizations thanks to his power arm. The right-hander injured his elbow early on in his career with the Yankees and finally underwent Tommy John surgery, missing all of the 2012 season. He looked ready to return in 2013 before undergoing a second surgery on his throwing elbow.
Asher Wojciechowski, SP (Blue Jays to Astros): One of the most unheralded acquisitions of 2012, Wojciechowski was a supplemental first round selection from the 2010 amateur draft. He didn't respond well at all when the Jays attempted to rework his delivery and his results suffered. He has rediscovered his prospect value with the Astros, although inconsistency continues to haunt him. It remains to be seen if his future lies in the starting rotation or the bullpen.
Honorable Mentions: Colton Cain, SP (Pirates to Astros); Kevin Comer, SP (Blue Jays to Astros); Kyle Hendricks, SP (Rangers to Cubs); Marc Krauss, OF (Diamondbacks to Astros); Ethan Martin, SP (Dodgers to Phillies); Carlos Perez, C (Blue Jays to Astros); David Rollins, SP (Blue Jays to Astros).
2012 Trade Deadline Winners: Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers
2012 Trade Deadline Losers: Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays
Klein told Rosenthal, "They contacted me. Right now, I guess it’s in my court. But with a guy this young, it’s hard to figure out what the right numbers would be. It would be good, be nice if it was possible to do. But I don’t know. It’s way, way on the drawing board."
Segura, 23, has only 80 big league games and 314 plate appearances under his belt, almost all of it with the Brewers since coming over from the Angels as the centerpiece of last summer's Zack Greinke trade. He has around 110 days of big league service. As MLBTR's extension tracker shows, two position players have signed extensions with less than one year of service: Evan Longoria in 2008 ($17.5MM over six years) and Salvador Perez in 2012 ($7MM over five years). Those two deals were/are considered extremely club friendly, and each contained a trio of club options. So you can understand Klein's hesitancy.
Perez's contract gave him some extra money up front, so perhaps Segura could be paid $3MM for 2013-15, his three pre-arbitration seasons. His three arbitration years might be valued at $12MM or so, and buyouts on option years could bring the total close to Longoria's $17.5MM over six years. As a power hitter, Longoria's arbitration years would be valued more highly, but his contract is five years old, so it's fair to suggest Segura could be in that range for 2013-18. Perhaps Klein could at least bring the Brewers down to two club options rather than three. Segura is under the Brewers' control through 2018 regardless, so those free agent years may be the key to a potential deal.
The Brewers have locked up many key players over the years, but never one with less than a year of service. They signed Ryan Braun in '08 (1.008 in big league service), Yovani Gallardo in '10 (2.112), Corey Hart in '10 (4.157), Rickie Weeks in '11 (5.131), Braun again in '11, Jonathan Lucroy in '12 (1.136) and Carlos Gomez in March (5.141).
The Twins have plenty to be excited about following the hot starts of top prospects Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports in his first Prospect Heat Check column. Passan spoke to 20 GMs and executives, with one AL evaluator telling him that "Sano is exploding," and adding that the 20-year-old looks to have improved at third base. Here's more on the Twins and more from baseball's Central divisions...
- Former Tigers reliever and current Twins setup man Casey Fien sympathizes with the trials that his former roommate Casper Wells has gone through early this season, writes John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. Fien recalls Spring Training of 2010, when he went from the Tigers, to the Red Sox, to the Blue Jays and back to the Tigers in the span of a month. Wells was with four organiations in April.
- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts presented his plans for a $300MM renovation for Wrigley Field today, and Fran Spielman and Stefano Esposito of the Chicago Sun-Times have the highlights. Ricketts caused controvery by stating that if the Cubs are unable to receive the outfield sign space they need (among other requests), they would have to consider moving from Wrigley Field. Ricketts went on record as saying the Cubs need "to run a business like a business and not a museum."
- David Kaplan of CSN Chicago tweets the following Ricketts quote from his presentation: "We anticipate increasing spending on the baseball side as soon as we know what we can do with this plan."
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale praises Brewers GM Doug Melvin for insisting that the Angels include shortstop Jean Segura in any return for Zack Greinke last July (Twitter link). Segura entered play Wednesday hitting .367/.418/.567 three doubles, three triples, three homers and seven steals.
One of the trade deadline's major chips has switched teams, as the Angels have acquired Zack Greinke in a trade with the Brewers. Milwaukee will receive top infield prospect Jean Segura and Double-A right-handers Ariel Pena and John Hellweg in exchange for their ace.
Greinke returns to the American League after spending the last season and a half with the Brewers. The right-hander lived up to expectations in Milwaukee, posting a 3.67 ERA and a 9.9 K/9 rate in 49 starts with the team and playing a major role in the Brewers' charge to the NLCS last season. Still, the Brewers are undoubtedly disappointed to be moving their ace less than 20 months after acquiring him from the Royals for a major prospect haul that included Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress, though they were able to recoup some of that minor league depth back in this deal.
Segura was rated as the 55th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America headed into this season and the shortstop put up solid numbers at Double-A Arkansas, hitting .294/.346/.404. Segura also made his Major League debut on July 24 as the Angels called him up as depth for the injured Erick Aybar. With Mike Trout and Garrett Richards now in the majors, Segura was considered to be the top prospect remaining in the Halos' system. The 22-year-old has been considered by some teams to be best suited for second base, according to ESPN's Buster Olney, though for now Segura fills the shortstop void left behind by Escobar in the Brewers' system.
Pena, 23, has a 3.37 ERA, an 8.9 K/9 rate and a 2.2 K/BB rate in 111 games (103 of them starts) over six seasons in the Angels' system. Hellweg, also 23, was a 16th-round pick for the Angels in the 2008 amateur draft. He has a 3.66 ERA and a 9.6 K/9 rate in 127 minor league games (38 starts) though control has been an issue, as Hellweg has a career 6.4 BB/9 rate.
Pitching wasn't expected to be a need position for the Halos going into the season, but with Dan Haren and Ervin Santana struggling, the team was in need of another big arm. Greinke is a free agent this winter and the Angels are in a good payroll position to keep him; Los Angeles could decline its $15.5MM and $13MM options on Haren and Santana, respectively, plus Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu's contracts will be off the books after this season.
The Angels not only upgrade themselves by acquiring Greinke, they also deal a blow to their AL West rivals --- the Rangers were one of several teams in the mix for Greinke. With one major arm removed from the trade market, teams like the Rangers, Braves, White Sox or Dodgers could now their attention to other possibly available aces like James Shields or Josh Johnson.
Photo courtesy of Frank Victores/US Presswire.