Johnny Cueto Rumors
MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark doesn't expect the Collective Bargaining Agreement to be reopened before its 2016 expiration to address issues with the qualifying offer system, writes Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. "It’s very difficult to open up a CBA," said Clark. "Suffice it to say, if there are issues during the course of any agreement, we continue to have discussions that may not require the CBA be to opened up, making sure that whatever the concerns are, whatever the issues are, and if they can be discussed in some more formal fashion, so be it, but more often than not, come 2016 when we have an opportunity to sit down is when we’ll do so." Last night, Aaron Steen asked MLBTR readers about the qualifying offer and nearly 47% want to tweak the QO while 25% want to eliminate it entirely.
In National League news and notes on Oscar Sunday:
- With the ink barely dry on Homer Bailey's six-year, $105MM contract extension, the Reds will be in the same situation with starters Mat Latos, Mike Leake, and Johnny Cueto next year. Owner Bob Castellini told the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay the team wants to retain all three. "We’re going to try to sign all these guys," Castellini said. "Whether we can or not, I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball."
- Castellini also told Fay he is not pleased with the media's coverage of the Reds' offseason because it has had an adverse affect on the team's revenues. "That season-ticket number is the most important number we can generate," said Castellini. "We knew we wanted to sign Homer. We knew we were going to make some other commitments. It’s not that we didn’t look. It gets written in such a way – 'Well, the Reds aren’t doing anything' – that really does affect people buying season tickets." Castellini provided Fay with details of the club's revenue generated through ticket sales, sponsorships, and the national TV contract adding neither he nor any of the other principal owners or investors have ever taken money out of the franchise.
- Last month, the Braves gave Jason Heyward a two-year, $13.3MM contract. In two years, the perfect storm of baseball's economics, Heyward's age, and actions taken by the Braves will set the 24-year-old up for a huge payday on a likely barren free agent market, according to Mike Petriello of ESPN.com in an Insider-only piece (subscription required).
- With mixed reviews to date, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez made his Spring Training debut yesterday. Phillies GM Ruban Amaro Jr. was upbeat about what he saw, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. "He probably threw better with his stuff as far as his velocity and breaking ball since he's been in camp," Amaro said. "I was encouraged that his stuff was better than it had been in his sides. And hopefully it will continue to progress in a positive way." Pitching coach Bob McClure added (as quoted by Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Inquirer), "I saw a very competitive (guy), and that is what I was really hoping for. And he might be one of those guys that’s not the best practice player, but you put him in a game and he competes." Reports surfaced last week Gonzalez could open the season in the minors.
- Solid pitching will be key to any improvement the Rockies hope to make this season. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick focuses on young starters Jonathan Gray and Eddie Butler while the Denver Post's Troy E. Renck examines the Rockies' adherence to pitch counts to protect their starting rotation and the corresponding reliance on their bullpen, which could be called upon to record 10 or 11 outs every game.
A few notes from the Queen City...
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer has the breakdown of Johnny Cueto's new contract. The right-hander will earn $3.4MM in 2011, $5.4MM in 2012, $7.4MM in 2013, and $10MM in 2014. A $10MM club option for 2015 can be bought out for $800K.
- GM Walt Jocketty told Fay that the team and Edinson Volquez are still talking about a multi-year contract extension, and that he's confident they'll get at least a one-year deal done before an arbitration hearing (Twitter link). We first heard that the two sides were talking about a deal late last week.
The Reds and right-handed pitcher Johnny Cueto signed a four-year contract extension with a club option for 2015, the team announced (on Twitter). The deal is worth $27MM, tweets Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com.
Cueto was arbitration-eligible, and he and the Reds were about $900,000 apart on their submitted salary figures, per our Arbitration Tracker. The right-hander was seeking $3.9MM, while Cincinnati offered $3MM.
The deal buys out all three years of Cueto's arbitration eligibility, plus one year of potential free agency. Rumors of the Reds and Cueto having preliminary talks about a long-term extension surfaced in early December but were relatively quiet thereafter, as Cincinnati turned its focus on extending Jay Bruce and buying out Joey Votto's three years or arbitration-eligibility.
It's been a busy and expensive offseason after a resurgent 2010 for the Reds, who've committed a combined $151MM in salaries -- the majority of which went to Votto, Bruce and Cueto -- tweets Fay. Edinson Volquez remains unsigned after he and the Reds exchanged arbitration figures.
The 24-year-old Cueto posted a 3.64 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 185 2/3 innings last year. He has started at least 30 games for three consecutive seasons and has career marks of 7.3 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 4.27 ERA.
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.
On this day 15 years ago, Blue Jays skipper John Farrell signed with Mariners as a free agent. Let's take a look at today's links..
- Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com applauds Athletics GM Billy Beane for upgrading the club's bullpen this winter.
- Leo Nunez's $3.65MM 2011 salary is the most ever for a Marlins reliever under owner Jeffrey Loria, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel. The previous watermark was Armando Benitez's 2004 salary of $3.5MM.
- The Rangers are looking to fill their final roster spot, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg also says that the club plans on extending the contract of GM Jon Daniels this winter.
- The Pirates have made a run at Carl Pavano, but the hurler prefers the Twins as they are a contending team where he can be the ace, writes Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that he is working to sign arbitration eligible players Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto and Bill Bray before the Tuesday deadline.
- The Cardinals have to get a deal done with Albert Pujols, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Here's the latest from the Queen City, courtesy of The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay...
- With Arthur Rhodes set to join the Rangers, the Reds now have money to spend elsewhere, including on a shortstop, lefty hitting outfielder, and potentially a rehabbing starting pitcher.
- Assistant GM Bob Miller told Fay that the Reds have not had any recent conversations with Brandon Webb.
- Miller also confirmed that there have been no further talks with Johnny Cueto about a long-term extension. Earlier this month we heard that the two sides had some preliminary discussions about a contract.
- "That's not going to happen quick," said Miller when asked about an extension for NL MVP Joey Votto. The two sides have had some talks, however.
- Miller confirmed the team's interest in Scott Podsednik.
The Reds have locked up two players and discussed a potential extension with a third, but GM Walt Jocketty isn't stopping there. He has had preliminary discussions with Johnny Cueto's representatives about a long-term deal, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Like teammate Joey Votto, Cueto is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. The 24-year-old posted a 3.64 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 185 2/3 innings last year. He has started at least 30 games for three consecutive seasons and has career marks of 7.3 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 4.27 ERA. Over the course of his career, Cueto has induced an equal amount of air and ground outs (40.0% fly ball rate and 40.6% ground ball rate).
If the Reds extend Cueto it wouldn't be surprising to see them commit about $16MM for his three arbitration years, 2011-13. The right-hander is set to hit free agency after the 2013 season.
On this date four years ago, Trevor Hoffman set a new career saves mark when he retired Ryan Doumit, Jose Bautista, and Freddy Sanchez of the Pirates in order. His 479th save moved him past Lee Smith and into first place on the all-time list, a spot he still holds today with 600 career saves on the nose. Other than Mariano Rivera and the soon-to-retire Billy Wagner, no active closer is within 310 saves of Hoffman's mark.
Here's a collection of links from the last week of the baseball blog world...
- The Hardball Times takes an in-depth look at the legal implications of the Johnny Cueto-Jason LaRue brawl that led to LaRue's retirement.
- Disciples of Uecker checks in with the players the Brewers traded for C.C. Sabathia back in 2008.
- Pittsburgh Lumber Co. looks at how the Pirates bullpen has performed since trading away some key pieces at the deadline.
- The Process Report follows up a previous post and explains how Jose Lobaton continues to help the Rays even though he's never played a game for them.
- Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness breaks down the Dodgers' options with Russell Martin.
- Red Sox Beacon tries to figure out what Boston should do with David Ortiz.
- Amazin' Avenue audits Omar Minaya's front office.
- Crashburn Alley discusses the genius of Charlie Manuel.
- Drunk Jays Fans looked at the merits of Rays' bench coach Dave Martinez as a potential Cito Gaston replacement.
- Feeling Dodger Blue says Tim Wallach should have gotten the Dodgers manager job over Don Mattingly.
- A Fan's Opinion plans out the Angels offseason.
- DesigNate Robertson does the same, but for the Tigers.
- Lookout Landing guesses at the Mariners' 2011 payroll.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
According to the Associated Press, via Yahoo! Sports, the Reds have inked pre-arbitration pitchers Johnny Cueto and Ramon Ramirez to one-year deals.
The contracts are likely in the $450K-$550K range. Cueto, 23, went 9-14 with a 4.81 ERA in 31 starts last season. The 26-year-old Ramirez spent most of '08 in the minors. He went 1-1 with a 2.67 ERA in four starts and a relief appearance for the Reds.
The Cincinnati Reds remain interested in free agents Rocco Baldelli and Jerry Hairston Jr., MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports.
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told Sheldon that he has talked with their agent, Casey Close, during the weekend.
Jocketty said that he expects something to happen this week with regard to Hairston Jr.
The Reds have had no talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Andruw Jones and appear not to be interested, Sheldon notes.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay also spoke with Jocketty. In addition to the Reds' stance on Baldelli, Hairston Jr. and Jones, Fay notes that the Reds won't be trading first baseman Joey Votto.
Jocketty also told Fay that Votto (Canada), Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto (Dominican Republic) might play in the World Baseball Classic.