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Josh Donaldson Rumors
Dodgers starter Zack Greinke is on the record with his assessment of rotation-mate Clayton Kershaw's seven-year, $215MM megadeal, telling Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that Kershaw will earn "maybe … a little more than I thought, maybe a million a year more." The always-frank Greinke says the deal is likely fair for both sides, though he adds that Kershaw's opt-out clause, which could allow him to enter the free-agent market at age 30, may tilt the pact in favor of the pitcher. "The opt-out is big … That's the main reason you might say it will be better [for Kershaw]," Greinke said. Greinke, of course, has an opt-out clause in his own contract that could see him hit the free agent market again after the 2015 season. Here's more from baseball's Western divisions:
- The Diamondbacks will likely send whoever loses the battle for their shortstop job to the minors, GM Kevin Towers told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, with veteran Cliff Pennington expected to make the club as a backup. Towers is already indicating that Didi Gregorius may be the favorite over Chris Owings, however, noting his strong play in 2013 as a rookie.
- Athletics stars Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes both say they'd like to remain with the A's beyond their current years of team control, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Cespedes reportedly turned down longer-term deals with other clubs for his current four-year deal with Oakland, which will allow him to become a free agent again at age 30. However, he says his preference will be to remain with the A's if he receives equivalent offers from Oakland and another club at that time.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson of the Athletics has switched representation, moving from the Bledsoe Brothers to Dan Lozano and MVP Sports, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported last week (via Twitter). The 27-year-old enjoyed a breakout campaign last year in his first season of full-time MLB duty.
Unless Oakland GM Billy Beane wants to talk about an early extension, Donaldson's new agency will see its first real action before the 2015 season, when Donaldson is likely to reach arbitration eligibility as a Super Two. After landing fourth in the American League MVP voting in 2013, Donaldson will not qualify for free agency until 2019, leaving the A's with plenty of cheap team control.
As always, you can visit MLBTR's Agency Database for information on player representation.
Hunter Pence's new five-year deal with the Giants isn't the only extension talk in the Bay Area. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that Josh Donaldson is very open to the idea of signing a long-term deal with the Athletics. Donaldson tells Slusser that he and his agent, Hunter Bledsoe, have discussed the possibility, and he would "absolutely love" to sign an extension, provided it's a fair deal.
Said Donaldson: "I'm a guy who's been downplayed my entire career. Even when I was a first-round draft pick (in 2007), I took 10 percent less than the guy before me. I just want something fair, something that's justified." Donaldson's .302/.383/.502 batting line, 24 homers and elite third base defense should earn him some AL MVP votes. Here's more from the AL West…
- Mark Trumbo might be the Angels' best trade chip in their quest for controllable young pitching this offseason, writes MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. The Mariners, Pirates and Royals all had interest in Trumbo this past July, according to Gonzalez, and more teams figure to be interested over the winter. Trumbo told Gonzalez that he doesn't fear the change that would come with a trade like he would have earlier in his career.
- Mariners manager Eric Wedge, who has told the team he won't be back in 2014, told reporters (including Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times) that he wouldn't even accept a five-year extension from the team. Wedge cited a difference between his vision for the team and the vision of GM Jack Zduriencik, president Chuck Armstrong and CEO Howard Lincoln. Wedge felt the team needed to supplement young talent with proven talent and told Baker that he didn't have as much say in personnel decisions as he'd have liked.
- A statement released by the Astros explained the team's position in the wake of a report that Comcast filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition on behalf of the Comcast SportsNet Houston network that the Astros co-own with the Houston Rockets and NBC Universal. Brian McTaggart has the gist of the statement in an article for MLB.com. The statement alleges that Comcast improperly filed the petition to try to block the Astros from terminating the club's media rights agreement with Houston Regional Sports Network. "We will continue to work toward obtaining full carriage so that all of our fans are able to watch the Astros games while making sure that the Astros are able to compete for championships," the statement read.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.