Jeremy Guthrie Rumors
The Royals and Jeremy Guthrie have restructured the final two years of Guthrie's three-year, $25MM contract, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Guthrie had been slated to earn $11MM in 2014 and $9MM in 2015 but will now earn $8MM this coming season, $9MM in 2015 and have a $10MM mutual option added to his contract for 2016, Sherman reports. That option comes with a $3.2MM buyout, meaning that Guthrie is essentially guaranteed the same amount of money, but the Royals have some additional payroll flexibility for the 2014 campaign.
Guthrie posted a 4.04 ERA in a career-high 211 2/3 innings last year -- his first full season with the Royals. He was originally acquired from the Rockies in a 2012 change-of-scenery deal that sent Jonathan Sanchez to Colorado. That trade worked out considerably better for the Royals than the Rockies, as Guthrie posted a 3.16 ERA in 91 innings for the Royals in 2012. That success led to his three-year, $25MM contract last offseason.
Though Guthrie's ERA was solid, it wasn't without red flags. The 34-year-old's 4.7 K/9 rate was the lowest of his career, as was his 91.8 mph average fastball. ERA estimators like FIP (4.79), xFIP (4.55) and SIERA (4.79) all feel that Guthrie had a substantial amount of good fortune last season. The Royals will need him to continue to outperform those metrics with the likely subtraction of Ervin Santana from their rotation.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk examined the market for Kyle Lohse and wrote it would be very surprising to see the Royals make a move for him. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star agrees, even if a rash of injuries were to hit their starters, because the Royals are $10MM over their projected break-even point in payroll. Dutton adds James Shields, Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie, and Wade Davis can't pitch poorly enough this spring to lose their spots in the rotation. Elsewhere around the American League:
- The Yankees will not let the way Alex Rodriguez's ten-year, $275MM contract has panned out affect their negotiations with Robinson Cano, GM Brian Cashman told ESPN Radio's Ian O'Connor (transcript courtesy of ESPNNewYork.com). "There's only so much you can spend, but we'll look at Robbie as an individual, not as it relates to whatever we're doing with Alex Rodriguez and our commitment and the regression we have experienced with Alex," said Cashman.
- The Yankees announced Curtis Granderson will miss the next ten weeks with a fractured right forearm after being hit with a pitch during today's Spring Training game. Non-roster invitees Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera plus minor leaguers Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte are the in-house candidates to replace the Yankees' leading home run hitter from a year ago, tweets the YES Network's Jack Curry.
- If the Yankees do go outside the organization to replace Granderson, they can find a better option toward the end of camp, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
- A deal for Alfonso Soriano could make sense for the Yankees and the Cubs have made it clear to the industry they would be willing to pay much of the $36MM owed Soriano for the next two years, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter links).
- Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com asked if the Yankees turn to Vernon Wells to replace Granderson. If so, the Angels would still have to eat a majority of the $42MM due Wells over the next two years (Twitter links).
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters, including CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff, he's satisfied with the DH candidates already in camp and will not scour the free agent market. "We’re answering the questions here,” Showalter said. “We’re going to find it right here. We spent a lot of time getting this group in. We’re going to look in our backyard." Wilson Betemit is the main candidate to DH against right-handers while Russ Canzler and Danny Valencia are the favorites against left-handers. Dubroff also sees Nolan Reimold in the mix as well as regulars whom Showalter wants to give a breather.
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.
While Jeremy Guthrie’s three-year, $25MM contract prompted some to question the Royals, the deal was considered fair in front offices of some other teams, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Some executives think of the contract as reasonable given Guthrie’s durability at the MLB level. Here are more notes from Olney...
- The Royals will continue seeking starting pitching, even after adding Guthrie and Ervin Santana, Olney writes. They could trade minor leaguers to add to the MLB rotation.
- Royals officials still view the club as a work in progress, but rival evaluators are intrigued by their talent. "They're a team to watch," an AL GM told Olney. The team’s young bullpen draws especially strong reviews, Olney writes.
- The Yankees believe that the return of Hiroki Kuroda increases the chances Andy Pettitte will decide to pitch for another season, Olney reports. The Yankees signed Kuroda to a one-year, $15MM contract yesterday.
The Royals took another step towards solidifying their 2013 rotation when they re-signed Jeremy Guthrie today. Here are some notes about both the Guthrie signing and the club's offseason search for starting pitching...
- The Royals overpaid for Guthrie, opines Fangraphs' Dave Cameron, and Kansas City hasn't made the most of its limited payroll space by committing $17MM to Guthrie and Ervin Santana next season. "Guthrie makes the Royals a little bit better, but they didn’t need to get a little bit better this winter," Cameron writes. "They needed to get a lot better, and now they’re running low on ways to make real significant improvements. For $17 million, plus the $20 million in future commitments to Guthrie, they should have been able to do better."
- Conversely, Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star likes the Guthrie signing since the right-hander can eat innings and he pitched well outside of Coors Field over the last three seasons. With Guthrie and Santana now in the fold, Mellinger argues that GM Dayton Moore or owner David Glass must be comfortable in trading prospects or raising payroll if it means acquiring even more quality arms to solidify the rotation.
- The Royals aren't done shopping for pitching and ESPN's Buster Olney says the club's plan is to acquire another veteran by trading prospects. ESPN's Jayson Stark, however, says that teams who have spoken to the Royals say Kansas City is "now more likely to go young than [for] another vet" in their pitching search (both links are to Twitter).
- In other Royals news from earlier today, the team agreed to a new contract with catcher Brett Hayes and designated eight players for assignment.
The Royals announced that they signed right-hander Jeremy Guthrie to a three-year contract through 2015. Excel Sports Management represents Guthrie, who hit free agency this offseason after splitting the 2012 season between the Rockies and Royals. Guthrie will earn $25MM over the course of the three-year, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). He'll earn $5MM in 2013, $11MM in 2014 and $9MM in 2015.
Guthrie pitched poorly in Colorado (6.35 ERA, 21 home runs allowed in 90 2/3 innings), but pitched closer to his career norms after leaving Coors Field. In 14 starts with the Royals, Guthrie posted a 3.16 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. He has been durable enough to complete 175 innings or more in each of his six full seasons at the MLB level. However, he has allowed more hits than innings pitched in his career and remains somewhat home run prone with 1.3 home runs allowed per nine innings.
Guthrie joins Ervin Santana, Bruce Chen, Luke Hochevar and Luis Mendoza in the Royals' projected 2013 rotation. Danny Duffy, Felipe Paulino, Chris Volstad and Nathan Adcock could also be considerations for the rotation.
Tim Dierkes ranked Guthrie 48th on MLBTR’s list of the year’s top 50 free agents, predicting a deal with the Pirates. I mis-read the market for Guthrie in September, anticipating a one-year deal in the $6MM range. Credit Excel for finding a three-year guarantee for a mid-rotation starter.
One reader has correctly predicted the destinations of every top 50 free agent who has signed to this point in the offseason. Be sure to see where you rank in MLBTR's free agent prediction contest.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
The Royals have already made headlines this offseason by acquiring Ervin Santana from the Angels, but general manager Dayton Moore will have quite a bit more on his plate over the course of the winter. Here's the latest news pertaining to Kansas City...
- The Royals remain interested in Jeremy Guthrie despite recent reports that the right-hander is looking for a three-year deal, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN. Olney gives no direct indication that the Royals are considering a three-year offer, though.
- John Lamb and Mike Montgomery are both expected to be added to the 40-man roster before Tuesday, when 40-man decisions are due, according to the Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton. Top prospect Wil Myers is not, however, as he is not yet eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. The Royals are also considering Chris Dwyer, Justin Marks (who was acquired in the David DeJesus trade) and Juan Gutierrez. Dutton notes that Gutierrez's strong performance in the Venezuelan Winter League is what has made the 29-year-old veteran a candidate.
- More from Dutton, who tweets that the Royals have released minor leaguers Ysmelin Alcantara, Henry Moreno and Jose Rodriguez. Each of the three is at least 22 years old, but none appeared above Low-A ball, and none of the three topped a .661 OPS on the season.
CAA Sports is the lone agency representing Ryan Howard, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reports (Twitter links). The Phillies first baseman had previously been co-represented by CAA Sports and Excel Sports Management.
“I believe that CAA Sports is best positioned to help me achieve my goals both on and off the field,” Howard said in an official statement.
Meanwhile, Excel Sports Management has added two pitchers who were former clients of CAA. MLB agents Casey Close and David O'Hagan added free agent right-hander Jeremy Guthrie and Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz to their list of clients at Excel, Mullen reports.
Be sure to check MLBTR’s Agency Database for up to date information about players and their agents.
"I think he’s looking at other opportunities, and we’ll see where that goes," said Royals GM Dayton Moore. "It’s hard to predict what is going to happen with a lot of these guys in free agency. It only takes one or two clubs…He’s looking to get the best deal."
Guthrie, 33, pitched to a 3.16 ERA in 91 innings for the Royals after being acquired from the Rockies at midseason. The former Oriole is one of only ten pitchers to throw at least 175 innings every season since 2007, so he offers lots of reliability. Ben Nicholson-Smith examined Guthrie's free agent stock in September, and the Royals have expressed interest in bringing him back.
Earlier today, ESPN's Buster Olney said we shouldn't be surprised if the Royals trade one of their core homegrown bats for starting pitching this offseason. Here's the latest on the club courtesy of The Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton...
- “I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s going to explore free agency,” said GM Dayton Moore, acknowledging that they're unlikely to agree to a new contract with Jeremy Guthrie during the exclusive negotiating period. “We’ll continue to monitor how that goes. He’s going to explore his options, and it’s important that we do as well.”
- Talks about a new contract with Joakim Soria are ongoing. The Royals are expected to buy the right-hander out of his $8MM option following his second Tommy John surgery. Moore described the discussions as "moving at (their) own pace."
- Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times notes that the Royals have been heavily scouting Mariners left-handed pitching prospect James Paxton in the Arizona Fall League. Dutton wonders if the two teams could work out a trade involving one of Kansas City's bats given Seattle's need for offense.