Josh Beckett Rumors
- The Cubs will consider Bob Brenly for their vacant managerial post, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- David DeJesus is waiting to hear from the Royals about their decision on his $6MM option for next season according to Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The club has until October 15th to exercise the option, and GM Dayton Moore said he's "not prepared to say what [they're] doing at this point."
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier says that John Lackey hasn't been worth the risk for the Red Sox yet, and he'll have to buck historical trends to be worth the remainder of his five-year, $82.5MM contract.
- Meanwhile, Jim Donaldson of The Providence Journal jokes that the Sox should be able to ask Lackey and Josh Beckett for refunds given how they've pitched after signing their new deals.
- There will be plenty of competition for a spot in the Cubs rotation next season, writes Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune.
- David Barron of The Houston Chronicle looks at how the Reds are thriving thanks to a mix of young players and veterans.
Links for Thursday, as Omar Vizquel goes deep for the first time this year...
- Cleveland manager Manny Acta said Carlos Santana could join the Tribe before the All-Star break, reports Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. The club wanted Santana to work on his game-calling and throwing before bringing him up to the majors, but Acta says the young catching prospect is progressing defensively.
- Kendry Morales will indeed miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery, according to Mark DiGiovanna of the LA Times. There had been some hope that Morales could return in 2010.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin explained to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that developing pitchers takes years. The former Rangers GM pointed to C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis, two strong starters who were drafted about ten years ago under Melvin.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times takes an in-depth look at what GM Jack Zduriencik has done with the Mariners.
- The Astros signed nine draft picks, including fourth rounder Robert Doran, according to a team press release. Doran is a 6'6" college right-hander.
- Ben Goessling of MASN.com says Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham are players the Nationals could someday win with, not players they should look to move.
- As Pat Andriola of FanGraphs shows, the Marlins have made some fantastic low-key acquisitions in recent years.
- Josh Beckett told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he hasn’t thought about the way his recent back injury may have affected his free agent value had he not signed a four-year extension this spring.
- Former Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey would like to manage the team, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Dempsey, a MASN broadcaster who happens to be Gregg Zaun's uncle, has been a candidate to manage the O's three times before.
- Canadian catcher Kellin Deglan, who agreed to a deal with the Rangers, would have liked to play for the Blue Jays, according to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.
- Jake Peavy told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Padres' decision to fire former GM Kevin Towers was an "absolute joke."
- Mike Lowell told Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe that he has though about how he would fit in Anaheim. Lowell also realizes he could be in line for a minor league deal after this season and that possibility does not appeal to him.
Links for Friday...
- If you play fantasy baseball, follow @closernews on Twitter as your guide to all things saves-related.
- Righty reliever Chris Britton has signed with the Lincoln Salt Dogs of the independent American Association according to a team press release. The 27-year-old last appeared in the big leagues with the Yankees in 2008, and spent last season in the Padres' minor league system.
- WEEI.com's Ethan Landy provides a transcript of Peter Gammons' appearance on The Big Show earlier today. Among other topics, he discussed how quickly the Josh Beckett deal came together.
- Satchel Price at Beyond The Box Score looks at some players making big money who are candidates to be released. MLBTR covered the same topic about a month ago.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports considers possible suitors for Carl Crawford once he reaches free agency.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos comments on his hire of stat expert Tom Tango, in this article by Colby Cosh of Maclean's.
- MLB.com's Peter Gammons analyzes Jason Heyward's impact on the city of Atlanta.
- Yahoo's Alex Remington presents the Tommy John All-Stars, comprised of pitchers who had success after the elbow surgery.
Links for Thursday...
- If you're viewing MLBTR on your cell phone, try mlbtraderumors.mobi!
- Alan Embree expects to exercise the opt out clause in his contract if he's not added to the Red Sox's big league roster by April 15th, reports WEEI.com's Ethan Landy.
- MASNSports.com about how a Major League trade comes together. Check it out, very interesting stuff.
- C. Trent Rosecrans of CNATI.com learned from Reds GM Walt Jocketty last night that the team has yet to have contract extension discussions with first baseman Joey Votto. Yesterday we speculated on what it might take to lock Votto up long-term.
- An interesting Rays-centric back-and-forth continues, with Jeff Passan filing a reubttal on Jonah Keri's site.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy looks at the recent instances of teams signing home-grown pitchers to extensions.
- Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins was on the Dan Patrick Show talking about the surprise he and Jayson Werth felt when Cliff Lee was dealt. Rollins said the Yankees would've kept Lee and Roy Halladay and made a run with the pair of aces.
- Padres exec Paul DePodesta explains that while it was painful to lose Chad Huffman to a waiver claim, there's a silver lining in the organization's improved depth.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has the details on Josh Beckett's new contract with the Red Sox, which totals $68,520,403.
- Many lesser-known players have been released in recent days; Baseball America's Matt Eddy has the details.
Why isn't there more baseball today? Links for Tuesday...
- BoSox manager Terry Francona is glad that the organization hammered out Josh Beckett's extension before it became a media circus, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal.
- I'll be joining Jeff & Jeff on KFNS St. Louis today at 1:25pm CST. Click here to listen live.
- SI's Jon Heyman wonders if the Diamondbacks and Rockies will get in on free agent lefty Jarrod Washburn.
- Josh Beckett initially wanted to top Carlos Zambrano's five-year, $91.5MM deal, reports WEEI's Rob Bradford. The market has changed since that deal was signed in August of '07, and the Red Sox secured Beckett for four years and $68MM.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says rival agents are exasperated by Adam Lind's four-year, $18MM extension, given the three club options. Frustrated agents - always a good sign for the team.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch analyzes changes in the Cardinals' Opening Day payroll compared to '09.
- Steve Sommer of FanGraphs finds the best one-year deals at $2MM guaranteed or less for 2009, with Carl Pavano's Indians contract leading the way.
- The Twins look at seven factors when considering signing a young player to a long-term extension, learned Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- Baseball America's Will Lingo puts together a list of lesser-known future GM candidates in the latest Ask BA.
Some links on what promises to be one of the best days of the year...
- Chris Haft of MLB.com writes that the Giants' bench is lacking in right-handed bats, though he doesn't suggest they'll look to make a trade.
- The Red Sox have expressed reluctance in the past to sign pitchers to long-term contracts, but MLB.com's Ian Browne notes that Josh Beckett's extension means the club has four important starters under team control through 2014.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Beckett extension was directly motivated by the Red Sox' rivalry with the Yankees.
- Beckett told reporters that he focuses on the security that comes with his extension, not the money he could potentially have obtained on the open market, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
- The San Francisco Chronicle had some nice things to say about MLBTR in its business report. Check it out.
- The Mariners remain the favorites to sign Dominican pitcher Rafael DePaula, according to Jorge Arangure Jr. of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
- Michael Aubrey cleared waivers and was outrighted to the minors, according to an Orioles press release. The team designated Aubrey for assignment last week.
- Check out this two-sport star: the White Sox hired former Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause to oversee the team's scouting in the Dominican Republic, according to ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out that the Pirates will have the lowest Opening Day payroll in baseball and asks when the future starts for the Pirates. His answer? Once Pedro Alvarez takes over third base at PNC Park. If all goes well for Pittsburgh, that could happen before midseason.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has the Mariners' payroll at about $89MM, a little higher than USA Today's $86.5MM figure.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels tells Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that speculation that the Rangers are looking for reasons to fire manager Ron Washington is "silly."
- As Jeff Powalisz of the Boston Globe points out, Boston's free agent acquisitions are already contributing.
- Matt Stairs will become the first modern-day position player to suit up for 12 different teams when he takes the field for the Padres, as MLB.com's Corey Brock points out.
The Red Sox signed Josh Beckett to a four-year extension, the team announced today. The deal, which is worth $68MM, pays Beckett a $5MM signing bonus and salaries of $15.75MM from 2011-14. The right-hander also has a clause blocking trades to three teams, two of which he can choose. After the 2011 season, Beckett should have ten and five rights which will allow him to veto any trade.
MLB.com's Ian Browne first reported the deal's value, after ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes suggested it would approach $70MM. Alex Speier of WEEI.com added the yearly breakdown (via Twitter) and Jon Heyman of SI.com explained the deal's no-trade protection (via Twitter).
As Heyman notes (via Twitter), the Red Sox save on luxury tax spending by completing the deal after the season's start. The extension gives the team control of Beckett, John Lackey, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz through 2014, as Speier notes (via Twitter).
Beckett was set to hit free agency after the season, so the contract averages out to $17MM per year for four free agent years. That's slightly less than what Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez got for the free agent years covered under their newly-signed extensions. It's more per year than the $16.5MM Lackey signed for last winter and, unlike Lackey's contract, Beckett's deal doesn't include injury protection for the Red Sox, according to Edes.
SUNDAY, 8:04pm: The Beckett extension talks are in the final stages, a source told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. The source "insisted" that the deal is not yet complete.
The Red Sox did not offer the soon-to-be 30-year-old a fifth year, though Beckett did not insist upon it. The source said that the righty will receive "[John] Lackey money", despite having a shorter deal. If Beckett receives a four-year deal at the same rate as Lackey, it will be worth $70.5MM in total.
Interestingly, there is no language in the contract that affords the BoSox protection in the event that Beckett has shoulder issues.
WEDNESDAY, 8:34pm: Scott Lauber passes along word from his Boston Herald colleague Michael Silverman that the value of the contract will be $68MM over four years, according to Silverman's "sources familiar with the negotiations." ESPN's Gordon Edes adds from a Red Sox source that the team is "making progress," but the source was unsure when the deal would be completed.
5:05pm: Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman is reporting that Josh Beckett and the Red Sox "are closing in" on a four-year extension for the right-hander worth close to $70MM. Heyman says the deal should be announced early next week, since by waiting to finalize the contract until after Opening Day, Boston will save some money under the luxury tax.
If the deal ends up being four years in length, it will represent a victory for the Red Sox, who didn't want to make any longer of a commitment due to some concern over Beckett's throwing shoulder.
Links for Thursday...
- Rays infielder Elliot Johnson is the latest out of options player to hit the waiver wire, reports Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
- Lefty James Paxton signed with the American Association's Grand Prairie AirHogs in advance of re-entering the draft, reports Baseball America's J.J. Cooper. Cooper says the AirHogs' schedule should allow for three weeks of playing time for Paxton before the draft. The Blue Jays drafted the Scott Boras client 37th overall as an A.J. Burnett compensation pick, but were not able to sign him. Paxton was involved in some drama with the NCAA and eventually decided to withdraw from the University of Kentucky.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a clarification from Yu Darvish, who says his recent comments did not refer to moving to MLB.
- Forced to make a pick, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports takes the White Sox as his World Series champions.
- Rosenthal says that with Brandon Webb's return date uncertain, the Diamondbacks are trying to trade for a starter.
- Aaron Gleeman suggests the Twins' new stat guy might have a hard time having his voice heard.
- WEEI's Alex Speier notes that a Josh Beckett extension would give the Red Sox four pitchers with contracts of at least four years, more than any other team. Still, Jon Lester's contract is quite team-friendly.
- The Red Sox are positioned as long-term contenders, writes Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe.
- Baseball Prospectus' Jeff Euston looks at the concept of contract renewals for zero-to-three players. Tom Tango responds, saying "the inequity in the front-end helps to drive the salaries on the back-end in free agency."
- Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press feels that Ben Revere would be the most expendable Twins' prospect if they are to go after Padres closer Heath Bell.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets that the Brewers released outfielder Tike Redman.
3:55pm: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe weighs in, agreeing with Olney's optimism for a deal but saying Beckett's agent currently seeks a five-year extension in excess of John Lackey's $82.5MM. WEEI's Rob Bradford talked to Beckett, who is mostly staying out of the negotiations between the team and agent Michael Moye.
Olney envisions a total package in the $65-70MM range. His colleague Gordon Edes wrote on Saturday that "concerns about Beckett's right shoulder have dissuaded the Red Sox from going to a fifth year."
Beckett projects as one of the best available free agent starters after the 2010 season, and with a strong season he could conceivably get a sixth guaranteed year on the open market. Cliff Lee, Javier Vazquez, and Brandon Webb will also be eligible for free agency after the season if they're not signed to extesions.