Jose Dariel Abreu Rumors
Yesterday, MLBTR's Matt Swartz detailed why he projects Giancarlo Stanton will earn $4.8MM in arbitration this offseason. It's a number that could fluctuate, as Swartz notes that Stanton's salary could range between $4-6MM and that he could earn more from a new team if he's traded, as his new club would likely want to avoid "breaking rapport with an ugly negotiation." Here's some more on the team from South Beach...
- Logan Morrison is receiving a lot of trade interest, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report (Twitter links). Morrison was Miami's most asked-about player at the GM Meetings besides Stanton, and while no deal is close, the Marlins are listening to offers. Morrison is projected to earn a modest $1.7MM in his first time through the arbitration process and hit .242/.333/.375 in 333 PA last season.
- The Marlins are interested in re-signing right-hander Chad Qualls, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports. Qualls posted a 2.61 ERA, 2.58 K/BB, and 7.1 K/9 in 62 relief innings last season, and the veteran reliever "is weighing all of his options" in free agency.
- Also from Frisaro, closer Steve Cishek is "not available as a trade piece." The Marlins were adamant about keeping Cishek last summer and it appears their stance has not changed, even though Cishek will get expensive as a Super Two player. Cishek is projected to earn $3.2MM as a first-time arbitration eligible player this offseason.
- Michael Hill, the Marlins' president of baseball operations, told The Miami Herald's Clark Spencer that his club would prefer to acquire experienced players who still have three or more years of team control remaining. That Major League experience is key, Hill said: "We want talent, but we’ve done our prospect deals. We’re trying to get better and acquire players that help us now, and in the future."
- Hill also seemed to hint that Justin Ruggiano could be a trade chip this offseason.
- The Marlins weren't very close to signing Jose Dariel Abreu, Spencer reports. Miami "dropped out of the bidding early" after they "made a legitimate initial offer" for the Cuban slugger. Abreu eventually signed a six-year, $68MM deal with the White Sox.
As the White Sox look to rebound from their 99-loss season, everyone is available on the trade block. Well, almost everyone. Avisail Garcia, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and the newly-acquired Jose Dariel Abreu are off limits, executives told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com.
Meanwhile, multiple MLB execs confirmed that the White Sox are open to any and all avenues to reconstruct the roster, outside of moving those four players, of course. General Manager Rick Hahn wouldn't comment on three of the four but he did take the time to say that Sale is off limits.
“There’s a group of guys that we feel are part of our long-term success and having Chris at the front of our rotation we think is a big part of that potential for success,” Hahn said. “Obviously he’s signed for the next six years if we exercise both his options and we fully intend to win within that window. So while we have to not close off any avenues and have to hear other clubs when there is certain valuable commodities, moving him is not something we’re looking to do.”
The Astros might not aim on contending in 2014, but don't be surprised if Houston is one of the offseason's busier teams as the team continues its extensive rebuilding project. Evan Drellich of the Houstron Chronicle has the latest from Astros GM Jeff Luhnow...
- The Astros will look to add some pop to their lineup, Luhnow said, with the outfield being the most logical spot given that most of their infield is set.
- The club could also add a hitter to the first base/DH mix, which is why Luhnow said the Astros were contenders for Jose Dariel Abreu, who ended up signing a six-year, $68MM deal with the White Sox. “We pursued that player and we came up short,” Luhnow said. “That particular case was interesting because the player’s never played in the United States, but the track record in Cuba is pretty impressive, and we had done our homework and felt like that player should produce immediately.”
- The Astros intend to raise their 2014 payroll, and Luhnow said this allows the team to pursue some new avenues. “We have the resources to sign players and agents reach out no matter what,” Luhnow said. “(The level of communication has) not changed. We’re able to engage in a lot more conversations that we weren’t the past couple years. It opens up a different caliber of pool of players for us.”
- The Astros' first overall draft pick is protected but the team would still have to give up its second round pick if they signed a free agent who has rejected a qualifying offer. Luhnow said the Astros would "have to think hard" about giving up such a valuable young asset for such a veteran who could help immediately but would come at a high price. There have been rumors that Houston is willing to make a big splash this winter by pursuing Shin-Soo Choo.
- Whle the Astros are still focused on adding young talent, they could be open to trading some of that young talent if they feel they have a surplus in a certain area. "So we’re not going to do anything to block any of our players or disrupt their development. But you can argue that we’re in a position where we have some areas of excess in terms of future talent, and we could potentially use some of that to get something," Luhnow said.
- The team hasn't begun talks with Jason Castro's representatives about a long-term extension and none are expected until around January when arbitration decisions are nearing, Luhnow said. Castro is arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason and is Houston's lone remaining arb-eligible player. MLBTR's Matt Swartz projects Castro to receive a $2.2MM salary for 2014.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com participated in a live chat with fans today and shared a number of Giants-related hot stove items...
- The Giants "went hard after" Jose Dariel Abreu and offered the Cuban slugger a contract that paid him roughly the same average annual value of his six-year, $68MM deal with the White Sox. The catch was that the Giants' offer wasn't six years long as they didn't want to make that long a commitment to a player that is projected by many scouts to be a future designated hitter.
- Ryan Vogelsong's $6.5MM option won't be picked up by the Giants but Baggarly thinks the veteran righty will re-sign on a cheaper one-year deal with incentives.
- There is mutual interest between the Giants and Javier Lopez, and the money saved by declining Vogelsong's option could help the club afford the veteran southpaw.
- The Giants are "probably not" realistic players for Masahiro Tanaka, as Baggarly figures that his posting price will exceed what the Giants are willing to offer, plus big spenders like the Dodgers and Yankees are in the mix. Baggarly reported in August that San Francisco had an interest in the Japanese righty.
- Brandon Belt could be approached about a contract extension in Spring Training but the Giants will just work out a one-year deal in the meantime to cover Belt's first year of arbitration eligibility. MLBTR's Matt Swartz projects Belt to earn $2.4MM in 2014 and MLBTR's Tim Dierkes suggests that Allen Craig's extension could be a model for a Belt extension, though with some adjustments since Belt is a Super Two player.
- The Giants are looking only for "reliable innings guys" in their rotation so the likes of Roy Halladay, Tim Hudson and Josh Johnson will only draw the club's interest if they're healthy.
- Though the Giants are looking for a right-handed power bat and might trade prospects to get one, the club is unlikely to move the likes of Kyle Crick, Edwin Escobar or Adalberto Mejia.
- When it comes to left field, the Giants may prioritize defense. Baggarly expects San Francisco to look for a left fielder in a trade rather than free agency.
- Baggarly hasn't heard Scott Kazmir's name mentioned as a possibility in San Francisco.
- Mark Trumbo "has his admirers in the [Giants] front office." While the Angels are known to be willing to move Trumbo for young pitching talent, I'm not sure the Giants are a good trade partner given that they're looking for arms themselves.
- Given Marco Scutaro's age, Brandon Phillips "makes a lot of sense" for the Giants. Baggarly makes it clear that he's only speculating, however. Phillips is rumored to be on the shopping block but Reds GM Walt Jocketty recently denied that he's talked about Phillips with other teams.
- The Giants are very unlikely to surrender their first round (14th overall) draft pick to sign a free agent who has rejected a qualifying offer. This could have a major impact on the chances of the team pursuing Bronson Arroyo, who could be extended a qualifying offer by the Reds. Baggarly feels that Arroyo and Dan Haren are the free agent pitchers who are most likely to be San Francisco targets.
- Recent Pablo Sandoval trade rumors are "total scuttlebutt," in Baggarly's opinion.
John Mozeliak followed an unusual career path that led him to the Cardinals' GM job, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post writes. Mozeliak's career in baseball began when a connection led to him taking then-Rockies pitcher Bryn Smith on a fly-fishing trip. That led to an invitation to pitch batting practice for the Rockies, and from there, Mozeliak worked his way into baseball operations. He headed to St. Louis in 1995, after Rockies assistant GM Walt Jocketty took the Cardinals' GM job. Mozeliak then took over for Jocketty in 2007 and has since led the Cardinals to one World Series title. Now, of course, they're pursuing a second one. Here are more notes from around the National League.
- Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon says that his team would have made an offer to Jose Dariel Abreu if he were a corner outfielder rather than a first baseman, Newsday's Marc Carig tweets. The Mets could certainly use a powerful corner outfielder, but they also have little stability at first base, where Ike Davis and Lucas Duda were disappointing last season. Wilpon also told Carig the Mets had a "glut" of first basemen, but none of them performed particularly well last year, perhaps with the exception of depth piece Josh Satin. One wonders why these players might have impeded the Mets from making a major signing.
- Wilpon says the Mets have received calls from teams trying to trade for a first baseman, tweets Carig.
- Former Cubs star Carlos Zambrano wants to keep pitching, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports. "He’s playing winter ball and wants to continue his career," says agent Barry Praver. Zambrano, who last appeared in the big leagues in 2012 with the Marlins, pitched in the Phillies system in 2013, but his comeback attempt stalled due to shoulder issues.
The Tigers announced today that Miguel Cabrera underwent successful core muscle repair surgery (a.k.a. sports hernia surgery) this morning. The operation was performed by Dr. Bill Meyers in Phialdelphia, and Cabrera's timetable for recovery is expected to be six to eight weeks. The Tigers anticipate that their perennial MVP candidate will be healthy in time for Spring Training. Here's more out of the AL Central...
- At today's press conference to announce the signing of Jose Dariel Abreu, White Sox general manager flatly said that the Abreu signing does not preclude the team from bringing back Paul Konerko in 2014. Hahn added that he spoke with Konerko about the potential of signing Abreu back in September, and Konerko was his first call after they had officially reached an agreement with Abreu.
- Also from the conference, Abreu himself stated (through his translator) that the history of Cuban players finding success in the White Sox organization was an important element for him in choosing to sign with the Sox.
- Abreu's agent, Barry Praver, tells Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago that eight teams made offers to his client, and five of the offers hit $60MM (Twitter link). It's already been reported that the Rockies were surprise contenders, offering $63MM over six years.
- Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press looks at the Twins recent hiring of Larry Corrigan, noting that he is the latest of GM Terry Ryan's former associates to be brought back into the fold. Corrigan had served as a Major League special assignment scout for the Angels but declined a one-year extension, according to Berardino. Ryan has also brought former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky back to the Minnesota front office as a special assistant. The three men were at the helm for the Twins from 1995-2005 and played a large role in building the successful core that brought the Twins to prominence in the 2000s. Corrigan has spent more than two decades with the Twins in the past, signing both Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins.
The White Sox have officially announced the signing of Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu to a six-year, $68MM contract. According to the team's official release, the first baseman will receive a $10MM signing bonus before earning $7MM in 2014-15, $10MM in 2016, $10.5MM in 2017, $11.5MM in 2018 and $12MM in 2019. Abreu, who isrepresented by Praver Shapiro Sports Management, can opt out of the guaranteed salaries in lieu of arbitration after three years if he wishes, according to Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago (on Twitter).
Within the release, White Sox GM Rick Hahn offered the following quote:
"We are very excited to add a talent like Jose to our roster for the next several years. His skill set should translate very well to our ballpark, and we expect him to be a part of successful White Sox teams throughout his time in Chicago."
The Red Sox, Astros, Rangers, Marlins and Giants all reportedly showed interest in Abreu. The White Sox, however, were able to lure him with a contract that's the biggest ever for an international free agent. The contract easily tops the seven-year, $42MM contract Yasiel Puig received from the Dodgers last year.
Abreu, 26, posted video-game-like numbers in Cuba's Serie Nacional, and his power is very highly regarded. Athletics assistant GM David Forst, for example, favorably compared Abreu to Ryan Howard. Some experts have had concerns about Abreu's bat speed, however, and many have been critical of his athleticism and defense. Tim Dierkes' free agent profile predicted Abreu would get six years and $54MM.
In the short term, the signing should help the White Sox generate fan excitement after a miserable 99-loss season in 2013. Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn shared the first base position for the White Sox last season, and both struggled. Konerko is now a free agent, and it's unclear whether he will return next year. If he does, he could get at bats at designated hitter. The White Sox still owe Dunn $15MM for 2014.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports originally reported (via Twitter) that Abreu would sign for six years and $68MM, and that the White Sox were the likely team. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez was the first to confirm the official agreement and that the White Sox were indeed the signing team (also on Twitter).
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
The Fielding Bible released its list of the best defensive players in all baseball, and one of only two back-to-back names is Alex Gordon of the Royals. (Of course, the other -- Yadier Molina -- has accumulated six total nods.) Elsewhere in the AL Central ...
- First baseman Paul Konerko is apparently unsure of how to interpret the White Sox' signing of Jose Dariel Abreu, He said he doesn't "know what the story is behind that" -- referring to Abreu's long-term deal -- as reported by Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). A meeting between player and team has yet to be put on the schedule, according to Kane.
- Meanwhile, Abreu's deal has seen mixed reactions. Count Dan Farnsworth of Fangraphs in favor of the deal: he predicts that Abreu will be one of the game's 25 best hitters, making him well worth his contract.
- The Indians will "almost certainly" make a qualifying offer to starter Ubaldo Jimenez, says Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Echoing other recent reports, Bastian says that the team would like to retain him on a one-year deal in the QO range, but will not be interested if his price tag approaches the $35MM given the similarly situated Tim Lincecum. While opinions have varied as to whether Lincecum's deal will have a real impact on the open market, it could have a fairly direct bearing on Jimenez since it takes one competitor out of the free agent supply.
- Bastian also opines that the Indians will most likely shop for a mid-tier rotation piece while aiming to extend Justin Masterson. MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth recently previewed the Tribe's offseason, discussing the internal rotation options and noting that the club could well need a replacement for Jimenez.
- Brad Ausmus has interviewed for the Tigers' managerial opening, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports via Twitter. For more details, see this article from John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.
Figures such as John Farrell of the Red Sox and new Reds manager Bryan Price have altered the debate on whether pitching coaches make good managers, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe writes. Cafardo says names such as Greg Maddux and Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves could surface as candidates for openings in the future as pitching becomes a larger part of the game. Let's take a look at the latest from around the American League:
- Within the same article, Cafardo quotes an anonymous general manager who says he expects a team to offer Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli a three-year contract. Boston would prefer to give Napoli a short-term deal, Cafardo says. However, they'll enter the offseason needing a first baseman after missing out on Jose Dariel Abreu.
- The Indians were never close to offering Abreu a deal in the same range as the one he got from the White Sox, Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer writes in response to a reader question.
- Jake Peavy took the hill in Game 3 tonight for the Red Sox, but as Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald notes, he nearly became a Cardinal earlier this season. St. Louis was involved in talks with the White Sox at the deadline for Peavy, who was eventually shipped to Boston as part of a three-team trade. Peavy tells Lauber he's happy with the way things turned out.
- Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon says he'll interview for the Mariners' manager job, MLive.com's Chris Iott writes. That confirms an earlier report by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. McClendon has already interviewed for the Tigers' manager opening.
- The Orioles' No. 1 priority this winter will be improving the starting rotation, but Executive Vice President Dan Duquette won't make a big commitment in free agency or trade top prospects to do so, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports.
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis offers his thoughts on this year's World Series contenders in a special piece for the Los Angeles Times. In the article, Ellis breaks down the Dodgers' loss to the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series, as well as the approaches of the St. Louis and Boston offenses. More Saturday night National League links:
- Congratulations to the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran, who was presented with the Roberto Clemente Award earlier this evening for his contributions on and off the field. As Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, the high school that the outfielder established in Puerto Rico, has graduated its first class of students.
- Many of the players that Tony La Russa led to a World Series victory in 2011 as manager of the Cardinals are no longer with the team, but La Russa says that the organizational culture remains unchanged. The team is “set up real well for the next three to four years," he comments in an article by Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. La Russa also offers praise for current Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny and his thoughts on the role of the manager in today's game.
- Sources tell Troy Renck of The Denver Post that the Rockies bid as much as $63MM for Jose Dariel Abreu, who eventually signed with the White Sox for $68MM over six years. Renck says the revelation that the Rockies are willing to go as high as $10MM annually for a player is an "intriguing development" and notes that the club is expected to sift through possibilities in the outfield and at first base. The Rockies also appear to ready to listen to offers for Dexter Fowler, Renck writes.