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Jered Weaver Rumors
Despite what has been a wildly disappointing season to this point, the Red Sox aren’t likely to completely blow up their roster again, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports in his latest 10 Degrees column. For all of Boston’s 2015 woes, the team will still have Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts up the middle in 2015, and the departure of Mike Napoli via free agency could allow Hanley Ramirez to move over to first base with Rusney Castillo getting an everyday outfield role. Blake Swihart, too, has shown promise this month and gives the team another building block. Passan hears that the team has no designs on trying to dump either Ramirez or Pablo Sandoval to another club.
A few more notes from around the AL…
- Nick Castellanos isn’t hitting well in 2015, but manager Brad Ausmus tells MLB.com’s Jason Beck that the Tigers will remain patient with the young third baseman. The team has a plan on how to handle Castellanos’ struggles, and while Ausmus wouldn’t elaborate, there’s no talk of sending him to Triple-A or reducing his playing time dramatically. The 23-year-old Castellanos is hitting just .217/.267/.328 in 255 plate appearances this year.
- Angels right-hander Jered Weaver hit the DL last night due to hip inflammation, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times, and he’ll undergo an MRI to determine if there is anything more severe at play. Weaver said he’s felt a sharp pain in his hip on and off as of late, and DiGiovanna notes that there’s always some concern with this type of injury that the MRI will reveal a tear and necessitate surgery. The Halos did position themselves to be able to replace an injury to one of their starters this winter by acquiring Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano.
- Cody Anderson is the Indians‘ latest attempt to fix what has been a revolving door in the fifth spot of their rotation, writes Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com. The 24-year-old rookie made his big league debut Sunday and pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Rays, limiting Tampa to six hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Manager Terry Francona was impressed not only by the results and Anderson’s poise on the mound, but his ability to hold runners and field his position. “I’m sure there’s a lot of guys in player development today that are really proud,” said Francona. “And, they should be, because he did a hell of a job.” For the time being, it seems that Anderson will have the opportunity to lock down that rotation spot, and I’d imagine his ability (or inability) to do so could impact Cleveland’s plans come July.
In an interview with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link), Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said his club had looked at signing Kevin Correia and Kyle Kendrick. Houston’s interest in Correia was reported earlier this week, while Kendrick has been linked to the ‘Stros as another potential fit to fill out the back of their rotation. Luhnow also stated that the Astros had been looking at other similar starters with Major League experience. Here’s some more from both the AL and NL West divisions…
- The Athletics have checked in on free agent outfielder Nolan Reimold, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets. The Indians and Orioles are also known to be interested in Reimold, and Dan Duquette said earlier today that the O’s have extended an offer for Reimold to return to Baltimore.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto was non-committal about the idea of his team pursuing any of the top arms available in next year’s free agent market, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez writes. Payroll space could be an issue given how (according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts) the Halos have over $128MM committed to only seven players for the 2016 season.
- With Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson both set for free agency after 2016, Gonzalez wonders if the Angels could sign a major starter and then use Weaver or Wilson as trade bait, similar to how the Nationals signed Max Scherzer and now have the depth to explore trading Jordan Zimmermann or Doug Fister. There were rumors earlier this winter that the Angels were already shopping Wilson, though Dipoto issued a denial.
- Sergio Santos will earn $1MM if he makes the Dodgers‘ Major League roster, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports (via Twitter), plus another $3.05MM is available in incentives. Santos signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers last month.
- The Dodgers are committed to rebuilding their minor league system and thus are wary about exceeding their international bonus pool to sign Yoan Moncada, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes. While L.A. is very interested in Moncada, any team that wants to sign the Cuban phenom would have to greatly exceed their bonus pool to do so, and thus be limited to international signings of $300K or less for the next two international signing periods, or until July 2017. Of course, several teams have employed the strategy of exceeding the pool limit to load up on premium international talent during one signing period — the Red Sox, Angels, Rays, Yankees and Diamondbacks already face that $300K limit during the 2015-17 international signing market.
- The Diamondbacks hired former slugger Joe Carter as a special assistant to GM Dave Stewart, the team announced. Carter and Stewart were teammates in Toronto in 1993-94, both playing major roles in the Blue Jays’ 1993 World Series title.
1:10pm: The Angels are not interested in Harang and will instead replace Weaver with Richards, tweets Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.
11:55am: Angels righty Jered Weaver is out four to six weeks with a broken left (non-pitching) elbow, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The injury was suffered Sunday night as Weaver dove away from a Mitch Moreland line drive. The Angels have since announced Weaver being placed on the DL, with righty reliever Dane De La Rosa being added and Andrew Taylor transferred to the 60-day DL.
There were already some concerns about the health of Weaver's right arm, noted Dave Cameron of FanGraphs yesterday, but losing him for a month or so will put their depth to the test.
The Angels could stretch Garrett Richards out to start, turn to Jerome Williams, or dip into Triple-A for someone like Barry Enright. Though April trades are rare, the Rockies' Aaron Harang is available and the Dodgers' Chris Capuano ought to be. The Dodgers' Ted Lilly, who has a rehab start tomorrow night, is not likely to join Capuano in the team's bullpen. He should also be on the market.
Jered Weaver isn't worried that he might have lost out on a bigger contract when he signed a five-year, $85MM extension with the Angels in 2011, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles times writes. "I don't give a [expletive]," says Weaver. "You can quote me on that." If not for the extension, Weaver would have been a free agent this past offseason, in which Zack Greinke received a $147MM contract from the Dodgers. Here are more notes from around the majors…
- Giants president Larry Baer is discussing long-term contract extensions with general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Sabean and Bochy are signed through 2014, but, after having won World Series in 2010 and 2012, Baer appears to be planning to keep them in San Francisco much longer, saying their extensions "won't be for one year."
- The Dodgers have discussed an extension with manager Don Mattingly, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times notes. "I think you might see something come up before the end of the year," says Dodgers chairman Mark Walter. Mattingly is in the last year of a three-year deal. Walter also says that the Dodgers, who already have a $230MM payroll in 2013, still have the financial flexibility to add substantial talent at this year's trade deadline, should the need arise. "I think in terms of who the players are, what we need and what our options are, rather than a total budget," Walter says. An extension for Clayton Kershaw could also be on the horizon.
- The Pirates and second baseman Neil Walker avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.3MM deal in late January, but "it could be a matter of when, not if" the two parties reconvene talks on an extension, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Walker will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season, at which point he will be 31 years old.
The Angels trail the Athletics by two games with one week remaining in the regular season schedule. Here are some notes on the team’s offseason plans from Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com…
- Reliever Jason Isringhausen estimates that there’s a 70% chance he’ll retire after the season, Gonzalez reports. Isringhausen said he misses his family but added "there's no telling what will happen once I get home."
- Right-hander Jered Weaver indicated that he won’t mind if the Angels sign Zack Greinke to a contract that’s larger than his five-year, $85MM deal. "Whatever they have to do to make our team better," Weaver said. Greinke, the top free agent starter available this offseason, figures to obtain a contract worth $100MM-plus.
- Weaver would have been a free agent this winter if he hadn’t re-signed with the Angels, but he sounds content to have a contract in place. "That's why I got my deal done a year ago," he said.
On this date last year, Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano no-hit the White Sox. Here are some links for Thursday afternoon, starting with a note on Jered Weaver, who no-hit Liriano's Twins last night…
- Weaver pitched a no-hitter for his hometown team in front of his fans and family last night and as Scott Miller of CBSSports.com writes, it's for days like yesterday that the right-hander signed a long-term deal with the Angels. Weaver signed a five-year, $85MM contract last summer instead of testing the open market, where he likely would have obtained a larger guarantee. So far this deal seems to be working well for both sides.
- Outfielder Erik Komatsu expects to learn if he has a new team by tomorrow, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The Cardinals designated the Rule 5 pick for assignment earlier in the week and other MLB teams now have the chance to claim him off of waivers.
- Pablo Sandoval is expected to miss four to six weeks with a fractured hamate bone, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle first reported (on Twitter). The Giants are calling up Conor Gillaspie for now, and it appears they'll rely on their internal options while Sandoval's out.
SI's Jon Heyman leads his latest column with a discussion of the Albert Pujols situation, which is due to flare up once the season ends. Heyman's sources say the Cardinals are "not overly confident" about retaining Pujols. Heyman hears the Cardinals are not inclined to increase their offer much from nine years and around $210MM, although the SI writer thinks the team could reduce the number of years to boost the average annual value past the $23MM range. Heyman hears Pujols is "not overly thrilled" that the Cardinals' offer last winter wouldn't place him in the top ten among MLB player salaries, though by my count there are only five players currently averaging $23MM or more as their AAV.
Heyman has plenty more musings on the Pujols topic in the column; here are a few other highlights…
- The Pirates intend to extend the contract of GM Neal Huntington. He says the Bucs have waited for the draft and trade deadlines to pass. Huntington was hired four years ago.
- "There are some who could see" Rangers ace C.J. Wilson "wanting to go to his native Southern California." Heyman views the Angels as a threat for Wilson.
- Heyman says Angels people suggest they would have been willing to resume extension talks with Jered Weaver next year if they hadn't reached a deal by the team's deadline this year.
- The Twins are interested in re-signing reliever Joe Nathan, though they won't be picking up his $12MM option.
Four years ago today, the Dodgers claimed Esteban Loaiza off waivers from the Athletics, taking on over $8MM and getting very little from the pitcher in return. I'm sure Billy Beane and Ned Colletti still chuckle about the transaction. Today's links:
- Jamie Moyer, 49 in November, will continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery at the Phillies' Spring Training home in Clearwater, Florida. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki explains that Moyer remains a free agent, but his former team honored his request to use their facilities and expertise. We all look forward to seeing Moyer's 81 mile per hour heater in the Majors once again, perhaps next year.
- Josh Beckett is a family man now, the Red Sox righty explained to WEEI's Rob Bradford. Beckett anticipates a series of one-year deals once his current contract expires after the 2014 season, and plans to disappear without fanfare when it's time to retire.
- Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times has contract details for Jered Weaver's new deal with the Angels. The contract has a full no-trade clause, a $1MM signing bonus, and salaries of $14MM for 2012, $16MM each for '13 and '14, $18MM for '15, and $20MM for '16.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis looks at the 2005 draft for each of the 30 teams, ranking the Red Sox first and the Cubs last.
Links for Friday, before Jim Thome makes his return to Cleveland as the Indians host the Royals…
- Athletics pitcher Rich Harden thought he was Boston-bound on the night of July 30th, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com breaks down Cleveland's trade for Thome, calling it a "tremendous acquisition by [Indians GM Chris] Antonetti."
- Paul Swydan of FanGraphs says Thome's arrival in Cleveland may be just what the Indians need, since he’ll provide some much-needed pop.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick says Jered Weaver's extension with the Angels is mostly unrelated to the contracts similar pitchers will sign. Weaver is simply a terrific pitcher who decided to stay close to home, not a trailblazer or a benchmark, Crasnick writes.
- Tom Verducci of SI.com points out that the cases of Carlos Zambrano and Brandon Webb can help us understand Weaver's deal.
- Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times argues that the Dodgers should trade Jamey Carroll to a contender to give him another shot at the postseason.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says he favors expanded playoffs, two 15-team leagues and balanced interleague schedules for teams in the same division. However, MLB owners don't appear to be ready to go to two 15-team leagues by next year.
Boras Corporation client Carlos Gonzalez bucked the agency's trend in January, signing a seven-year, $80MM deal instead of going to free agency as soon as possible. Publicly, Scott Boras said, "I was very much on board with this decision," though the agent made sure to show CarGo what he was missing. Since the deal was a record contract for a two-plus player, Boras at least had that feather in his cap.
Angels righty Jered Weaver is not a two-plus player; he has five-plus years of service time and had to get past only the 2012 season before a likely $100MM+ free agent deal. Instead he signed for five years and $85MM. One way to look at that is since Weaver could have gotten $13MM in arbitration for '12, he gave up four free agent years for $18MM apiece, without negotiating on the open market. That is decidedly not the Boras Way.
Talking to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Boras explained, "He knows his value. He had close to 30 illustrations given to him to understand his value. He knows not becoming a free agent would cost him millions and millions of dollars. But the necessity to stay home was compelling." Nightengale estimates a potential $60MM loss for Weaver. For a 30-year-old ace, $23MM per year over six free agent seasons would have been possible, and $24-25MM over seven may have been within reach depending on various factors.
Boras acknowledged that with so many top starting pitchers locked up, the free agent demand will be greater and teams will be aggressive. For the upcoming offseason, that means huge deals for C.C. Sabathia and C.J. Wilson; I think Wilson can reach $100MM. Guys like Edwin Jackson and Hisashi Iwakuma may be lifted up as well.
Following the 2012 season, Matt Cain, John Danks, Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Shaun Marcum, Colby Lewis, and Anibal Sanchez project to be among the top starters available. But how many of them will be locked up in the next 15 months? Hamels appears open to a new extension, telling Nightengale, "Teams are being a lot smarter now, When they have somebody they want to keep, they make sure to get it done. They don't want to let it get to an iffy situation. The Phillies ought to know me pretty well by now, too, so we'll see what happens."