Joey Votto Rumors
- Alex Rodriguez spoke glowingly about Miami and the Marlins' new stadium this weekend, as Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports writes. The Miami native didn't hold back, uttering phrases like "such a beautiful stadium," "I get chills," "a very special day" and "the Marlins do a phenomenal job." Henson wonders if the Marlins could trade for Rodriguez at some point before 2017, when his contract with the Yankees expires.
- Indians outfielder Ryan Spilborghs will report to Triple-A tomorrow, unless he finds a job in the Major Leagues today, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian tweets.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs discusses the Votto contract talks, writing that "you have to wonder if the Reds got inspired to kick things into high gear after they saw what the new owners were willing to invest in Los Angeles."
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney points out that Cole Hamels gained tremendous negotiating leverage with Matt Cain's $112.5MM extension (Twitter link).
Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols won't be the only first basemen to cash in with historic contracts this offseason. Joey Votto and the Reds are nearing an extension that will keep the first baseman in Cincinnati for a long time, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes and Ben Nicholson-Smith have learned. Dan Lozano of Icon Sports Group represents Votto.
Terms of the deal are not known, but it wouldn't be surprising if the total contract value surpasses $200MM. Votto will earn a total of $26.5MM through 2013 on the extension he signed last winter. I suggested in January that an additional $161MM could be enough to keep Votto in place long-term.
Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, has evolved into one of the game's elite players since debuting in 2007. He followed up his MVP season with a .309/.416/.531 line, 29 homers and 40 doubles. The 28-year-old has been a seven win player each of the past two seasons, according to FanGraphs' version of wins above replacement.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire. This post was originally published on April 2nd.
Wednesday night linkage..
- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton said that it will be "miraculous" if he and the club come to terms on a new deal before Opening Day, writes Drew Davidson of the Star-Telegram.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Tracy Ringolsby of FOXSports.com that while the club is making progress in multi-year contract talks with Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto, nothing is imminent.
- Pitcher Jeff Francis has decided not to exercise his opt-out clause with the Reds, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Francis told the club that he'd be willing to go to Triple-A and start.
- The Rays are a thorn in the side for people those who contend that teams with limited budgets can't win, writes Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Tampa Bay is bumping up their payroll this year in an effort to spark attendance and revenue at Tropicana Field.
- After spending just one day in major league camp, it looks like Xavier Nady may have a chance to crack the Nationals’ roster, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. One spot is up for grabs between Nady and Jason Michaels, who has an out clause. The out clause may actually work against him as the player that the Nats choose will likely be sent to the minors once Michael Morse returns.
In what has to be one of the more unusual clubhouse transactions in baseball history, Carlos Beltran has come through on his promise to pay for ex-Mets teammate Jonathon Niese's nose job. Beltran footed the $10K bill for Niese's rhinoplasty, which, as Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld famously observed, is a pretty unusual name for such a procedure.
Some news from around the majors...
- The terms of Roberto Hernandez's restructured contract with the Indians have been reported by The Associated Press. The pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona will now earn $2.5MM in 2012 (down from $7MM) with another $2.7MM available in roster and performance bonuses. The Tribe's $9MM option on Hernandez for 2013 drops to $6MM, though Hernandez can earn that money back based on innings pitched and bonuses carried over from 2012. Cleveland also holds a $14MM team option on the right-hander for 2014 that is apparently still intact.
- Cole Hamels feels bad that his friend Ryan Madson will miss the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but Hamels said that Madson's situation won't cause him to rethink his own plans for free agency, reports Scott Miller of CBS Sports. "If you're in the game long enough, nothing can push you in a different direction and make you worry," Hamels said. "If you're able to reach free agency, you've obviously had success in the big leagues, and there are going to be teams that trust you....Surgeries are a lot better today, they're not as scary as they were 10 or 12 years ago."
- The Pirates haven't yet expressed interest in left-hander John Grabow, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Grabow exercised an out clause in his Dodgers contract earlier today and is now a free agent. Grabow was originally drafted by the Bucs in 1997 and pitched for the club from 2003-09.
- Right-hander Kip Wells threw for the Mets a few weeks ago and hit 93 mph on the radar gun, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Wells hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009 but recently signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks.
- “I’ve been a Red for 10 years now,” Joey Votto tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I don’t daydream about playing for another team. I don’t.” Votto is scheduled to hit free agency after 2013 but again reiterated that he hopes to remain with the Reds and is only focused on the upcoming season.
The Padres signed Hall of Fame outfielder Rickey Henderson on this date in 2001 and the 42-year-old went on to steal 25 bases with San Diego in his final season as a Major League regular. Here are today's links...
- Joey Votto told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that it'd be tough for a premium position player to sign a five-year deal. "No matter how fond a person is of the city, players have to maximize the number of years," Votto said. The first baseman, who is under contract with the Reds through 2013, says Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols "did excellent'' in free agency this offseason. Votto added that he would like to stay with the Reds and that the Cincinnati market seems strong.
- Twins GM Terry Ryan said there's a "possibility" the club looks to obtain a utility player from outside of the organization, according to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger (Twitter links). Ryan said he’s open to promoting a Double-A player like Brian Dozier, but not for the utility role.
- Rival executives say manager Don Mattingly is one of the reasons the Dodgers are currently an underrated team, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The second-year skipper told Rosenthal that Spring Training has been easier this year, since he’s no longer breaking new ground at every turn.
- Rosenthal hears the Tigers and Red Sox are the most serious suitors for left-hander John Lannan (Twitter link). However, Lannan hasn’t looked great this spring and the Nationals aim to clear his entire $5MM salary in any trade. Chien-Ming Wang’s hamstring injury could also affect Lannan's status as a trade candidate.
- The Blue Jays remain interested in upgrading their rotation, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets. It doesn't sound like the chances of a deal involving Gavin Floyd are particularly high, however.
The big news out of the AL East today is that longtime Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek will announce his retirement later this week. The 15-year veteran will retire with two World Series rings, three All-Star Game selections and 193 home runs. Here are some notes on his former division rivals...
- Nick Johnson told Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com that the success of his 2012 season will come down to health. The Orioles signed Johnson to a minor league contract, but the first baseman didn't draw much interest this offseason. "There weren't a lot of teams giving me an opportunity," he said.
- Andy Pettitte visited Yankees camp and told reporters, including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, that he doesn't plan on making a comeback. Pettitte said he's "loving life" away from the ballpark and enjoying time with his family.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports asked Joey Votto about his interest in playing for the Blue Jays and didn't sense much enthusiasm from the Etobicoke, Ontario native (Twitter link). Votto, who is under contract with the Reds through 2013, recently said he prefers to keep contract talks private.
Here's a look at some items out of the Central divisions..
- Even though the outfielder has suffered yet another setback, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com doesn't see the re-signing of Grady Sizemore as a mistake for the Indians. The 29-year-old is set to earn $5MM with as much as $4MM in incentives in 2012.
- Jason Kendall enjoys serving as a coach for the Royals but still hopes to play again, writes Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The 37-year-old hasn't played since his stint with Kansas City in 2010.
- Reds CEO Bob Castellini also gave a solid endorsement of skipper Dusty Baker, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The manager is in the final year of his contract.
- Castellini says that there's mutual interest between the club and Joey Votto in completing a new deal, tweets Morosi. The slugger has been tight-lipped on contract talks but acknowledged that they are something of a distraction. Ben Nicholson-Smith recently wrote that it could cost as much as $160MM to keep Votto signed through 2020.
- Castellini also acknowledged that the club is active in talks with second baseman Brandon Phillips, Morosi tweets.
- Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio wants to wrap up contract extensions for GM Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke before Opening Day, writes Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Meanwhile, Attanasio didn't say much about free agents-to-be Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum.
Much of the recent chatter surrounding the Reds has focused on a possible extension for Brandon Phillips. Here are a few links about Phillips' teammates as Spring Training gets started in Goodyear, Arizona...
- Joey Votto said he prefers to keep contract talk to himself, his agent and the Reds, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “As much as people, players want to say, ‘no, it’s not a distraction.’ It’s exhausting. It’s a lingering issue," he said, before making reference to Prince Fielder 's new deal. Last month I suggested it could cost upwards of $160MM in additional commitments to keep Votto in a Reds uniform through 2020
- Reds closer Ryan Madson told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that he remains a Scott Boras client.“I plan on being with Scott for the foreseeable future,” Madson said. “Everything is the same." Madson signed for $8.5MM this offseason -- less than originally anticipated.
- Scott Rolen told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that he’s focused on the upcoming season, not whether he’ll continue playing beyond 2012. The third baseman turns 37 in April and is entering the final year of his contract.
Links for Monday night...
- Russell Branyan intends to play in 2012, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes tweets. Branyan posted a .197/.295/.370 line with the Diamondbacks and Angels in 2011, but hit 25 home runs in 2010.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty said he hopes to lock Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips up long-term, even though doing so would require major commitments, MLB.com youth correspondent Meggie Zahneis reports. "Everyone has to understand that these are expensive deals and there is only so much we can do," Jocketty said. An extension for Votto would likely require one of the largest deals in MLB history.
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner argues that the Mariners should make another move or two, even if they don’t project to contend in 2012. There’s value in staying in the pennant race and the Mariners can maximize their chances of staying competitive by adding to the roster before Opening Day, Cameron writes.
- Ben Badler of Baseball America offers scouting reports on six intriguing international players not named Yoenis Cespedes. Outfielder Jorge Soler, lefty Gerardo Concepcion and right Armando Rivero are worth watching, Badler writes.
- Astros owner Jim Crane announced that the team will not be changing its name. “The Houston Astros are here to stay,” he said.
Joey Votto’s under contract for two more seasons, but recent deals for Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols show it won’t be easy to keep the first baseman in Cincinnati beyond 2013. Earlier today I suggested it could cost upwards of $160MM in additional commitments to keep Votto in a Reds uniform through 2020. Here’s the latest on the Reds, starting with Votto...
- Reds CEO Bob Castellini believes the team could initiate extension talks with Votto this year, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. "I think Walt has been in pursuit of that for a while," Castellini said. "It's something we know is a big challenge for us. It's certainly is desirable."
- Brandon Phillips says he’s going to leave discussions about an extension up to his agent, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I'm not tripping about it,” the second baseman said.
- The MLB Players’ Association values Ryan Madson’s contract with the Reds at $8.25MM, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. One third of Madson’s $6MM salary is deferred without interest in 2012, Rosenthal writes. The deal includes an $11MM mutual option for 2013 with a $2.5MM buyout.