Matt Cain Rumors

Quick Hits: Cain, Hamels, Aybar, K-Rod, Escobar

Happy birthday to Kevin Youkilis (33), Jon Jay (27) and Leo Nun…er, make that Juan Oviedo (30).  This is the first time Oviedo has been able to publicly celebrate his actual birthday in several years, as he kept a listed birthday of August 14, 1983 while living under the Leo Nunez identity.

Here's some news from around the major leagues as we head into Friday…

  • Matt Cain's agent Rick Landrum tells John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that "we'll never give up hope" that Cain and the Giants can work out a contract extension before Opening Day.  There hasn't been much progress in recent negotiations but the two sides "remain open for business," as Shea writes.
  • In addition to Cain, there have been no new developments over the last week in Cole Hamels' extension talks with the Phillies, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
  • Also from Olney (via Twitter), he hears from evaluators that there isn't much trade talk overall around the majors.  Olney predicts things will probably pick up in 10 days or so, once teams start to sort out their needs for their Opening Day rosters.
  • Angels GM Jerry Dipoto has had at least two face-to-face meetings since Monday with Erick Aybar's representatives, reports Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles.  Aybar is believed to be looking for an extension of at least five years.  Dipoto recently said that he thought an extension with Aybar was possible, if not necessarily by Opening Day.
  • The Padres were discussing a one-year, $9MM contract with Francisco Rodriguez over the winter before the club saw an opportunity to acquire Huston Street, reports Scott Miller of CBS Sports. San Diego also talked to free agent Frank Francisco and asked the Athletics about Andrew Bailey.
  • The Royals' extension with Alcides Escobar is the team's latest step in locking up its young talent, reports MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.  "[Owners] Dan and David Glass are determined to keep as many of these young players together as we can, knowing full well that it has to fit within our salary structure and our payroll going forward," Moore said. "It's going to get a little sticky for us, it's going to get a little hairy as we get into 2014-15-16."  Moore declined to comment on the progress of contract talks with another of Kansas City's young stars, Alex Gordon
  • The well-traveled Octavio Dotel shares some of his road stories with ESPN's Jayson Stark.  Dotel will set a new Major League record once he plays his first game for the Tigers this season by becoming the first player to suit up for 13 different teams.
  • "I feel comfortable we finally got to a level [where we] can be competitive every single year," Tigers owner Mike Ilitch told media (including MLB.com's Jason Beck) during a visit to Spring Training today.  "That's always been my goal. I feel good about that. It would be hard to screw that up once you get there. You tell yourself you want to stay there now."
  • The Orioles could be looking for backup catching help if Taylor Teagarden's back injury lingers into the season, reports CSN Baltimore's Rich Dubroff.  Veteran Ronny Paulino is Matt Wieters' backup for now, but Paulino only just arrived in camp due to a visa issue.

No Progress In Talks Between Giants, Matt Cain

The Giants and representatives for Matt Cain failed to make progress towards a contract extension during talks today according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. No further discussions are planned, and although Cain has not set a deadline for a new deal, neither he nor the team wants to be distracted by talks during the regular season.

The 27-year-old right-hander is seeking a contract that reflects his standing as one the best pitchers in baeball, but the Giants are hesitant to pay Cain free agent money a full year before he's scheduled to hit the open market. Rosenthal opines that he could receive a six-year contract worth $20MM annually as a free agent, which would make him the seventh pitcher in baseball history to secure a nine-figure deal.

Earlier this month we heard that the two sides had positive momentum towards a new pact. Cain, a CAA Sports client, has signed extensions twice before, with the second contract buying out one free agent year and giving him a $15MM salary in 2012. He's pitched to a 3.35 ERA in his seven big league seasons, topping the 200 IP plateau in each of the last five years.


Quick Hits: Red Sox, Weeks, Tigers, Cain

The latest links from around MLB, as Albert Pujols flashes some power in Arizona…

  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington told reporters, including Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that the club continues monitoring the market for starting pitching. "We’re not doing our job if we’re not looking, whether that’s trade or free agent opportunities," Cherington said.
  • Excel Sports management represents Athletics second baseman Jemile Weeks, the agency confirmed to MLBTR. Check out our Agency Database for the details on who represents MLB players.
  • There’s no indication that extension talks between the Giants and Matt Cain are stalling, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter links). There’s lots of time remaining before the soft deadline of Opening Day, and it doesn’t appear that the sides are particularly close to a deal.
  • It seems unlikely that the Tigers would give up a major package for a fifth starter, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets. Manager Jim Leyland says he’s pleased with his internal options for the final rotation spot and the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jason Beck tweets.


Latest On Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner

It appeared earlier this week that the Giants and Matt Cain had built momentum toward an extension. One person in the know even said there's no chance the 2013 free agent signs for less than $100MM. Here are today's updates on talks between Cain, the Giants and teammate Madison Bumgarner:

  • The Giants agreed to a one-year deal with Bumgarner, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The pre-arbitration eligible starter will earn $575K or so in 2012.
  • There's no hard deadline for talks with Cain, Schulman adds. Cain would like negotiations to be done with by Opening Day.
  • Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com suggests the Giants could work out extensions for Cain and Bumgarner within the week. The sides have been working late and the Giants like package announcements, Baggarly tweets. MLBTR has previewed possible extensions for Cain and Bumgarner this past offseason.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that Kevin Brown, the only right-handed pitcher in history to obtain a $100MM deal, signed his contract 13 years ago and suggests the market is ready for a correction by a present-day right-hander such as Cain. The Giants are privately optimistic that they'll lock Cain up, Rosenthal writes.

Latest On Matt Cain

The Giants and Matt Cain appear to have positive momentum in contract extension talks, based on this passage from Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com:

From what I’ve been told, the two sides have reached greater common ground in recent weeks. Cain wants to stay and the Giants have the wherewithal to keep him. Those tend to be the most important factors. It’ll be a surprise to many, both in the organization and out, if Cain’s deal doesn’t get done before the season starts.

The Giants open the season in Arizona one month from today.  Cain, a CAA Sports client, has signed extensions with the Giants twice before.  The second contract bought out one free agent year, giving Cain a $15MM salary in 2012 before he's eligible for free agency.  As a 27-year-old in his prime, Cain should become the seventh pitcher in baseball history to sign for more than $100MM.  There's "no shot" he signs for less, a person familiar with the situation told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.


West Notes: Cespedes, Cain, Beras, Murphy, Villalona

On this day in 2009, the Dodgers agreed to re-sign Manny Ramirez to a two-year, $45MM contract.  Ramirez's time in Los Angeles came to an end in August of 2010 when he was claimed off of waivers by the White Sox.  As a Dodger, the slugger hit .322/.433/.580 with 44 homers in 223 games.  Here's a look at some items out of the AL and NL West..

  • Yoenis Cespedes was warmly welcomed by Manny, writes Yahoo's Steve Henson. Ramirez discussed hitting extensively with his new friend, and ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that Cespedes says it's an "honor" to play with Ramirez. (Twitter link). 
  • There was a belief around baseball that Matt Cain was going to be an easy sign for the Giants, but that now seems less certain, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  Word was that the hurler might even be prepared to sign back with the Giants for less than $100MM but that seems far less likely.
  • If the league upholds Jairo Beras' contract with the Rangers, sources with several teams have said that they will be furious, writes Ben Badler of Baseball America.  MLB has granted some players leniency in the past if they willingly came forward with a new age or a new identity, but that does not appear to be the case in this situation.
  • Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels says that multiple teams have inquired on David Murphy, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Even though Murphy is slated to come off of the bench, Daniels says that the outfielder is a huge part of the club.  The Twins inquired on Murphy back in December but Texas was unwilling to compromise their outfield depth.
  • Angel Villalona's name plate has been removed from his locker and that's a sign that his visa issue isn't close to being resolved, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.  The Giants first baseman is facing legal trouble in his native Dominican Republic.
  • The Athletics formally introduced Cespedes today and the outfielder said that Miguel Tejada told him that Oakland was a good organization to grow up in, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

NL West Links: Cain, Giants, Ethier, Quentin

On this date in 1999, the Diamondbacks acquired Tony Womack from the Pirates for Jason Boyd and a minor leaguer. Womack hit .269/.314/.362 in five seasons with the D'Backs, helping the club to the 2001 World Championship. Here's the latest from the NL West…

  • Giants CEO Larry Baer wouldn't give away much regarding contract talks with Matt Cain except to say that they are "back and forth" and "ongoing," tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.
  • "I'm going to be respectful of the process here," said Baer to reporters (including MLB.com's Chris Haft) when asked about the Giants potentially relinquishing territorial rights to San Jose, allowing the Athletics to move. "You know, I think that's really important. The game is bigger than any internal machinations."
  • "I can't tell you what will happen with that," said Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick when asked about signing a contract extension after the team is sold at the end of April. "The only thing I can change is the way I play. Today is today, and that's all I can handle. I'm here to play for today." Ethier can become a free agent after the season.
  • Carlos Quentin is returning home to Southern California following his trade to the Padres, and Don Norcross of The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote about the excitement he brings to the team.

West Links: Cain, Conger, McCarthy

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, a free agent after this season, discussed his contract earlier today, intimating that he won't take a hometown discount to remain in Texas. It should make for an interesting season for the All-Star. Here are some other links from around the West divisions …

  • Giants pitcher Matt Cain's agents, Landon Williams and Rick Landrum, have joined CAA Sports, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal, and are continuing extension negotiations on behalf of the right-hander under that company (Twitter links). As with Hamilton, Cain hinted earlier this month that he's not inclined to accept a club-friendly deal.
  • With Chris Iannetta on board as the Angels' starting catcher, it looks like Hank Conger will begin the season in the minors so as to avoid riding the bench in the Majors, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLA.com. Conger could be expendable, Saxon adds, if Iannetta and the Halos exercise their $5MM mutual option for 2013.
  • Athletics starter Brandon McCarthy's transition from a disappointing prospect to a post-hype breakout star in 2011 is documented by Eddie Matz of ESPN The Magazine. McCarthy overhauled his pitching approach after studying up on sabermetrics, parlaying his 2011 success (AL-best 2.86 FIP) into a $4.275MM arbitration reward for 2012 and a shot at a possible long-term extension.

Quick Hits: Cain, Garland, Guillen, Flores, Chen

Spring Training complexes in Florida and Arizona are starting to come alive with baseball activity, but there are meaningful games already being played all across the country. Stanford right-hander Mark Appel – the current favorite to go first overall in this year's draft – allowed just two hits and one run in seven innings against Vanderbilt yesterday, kicking off the NCAA baseball season. Here's the latest from around the big leagues…

  • “We’d all like something resolved by the end of spring training,” said Matt Cain to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com when asked about a contract extension. “I don’t think either side wants that to linger into the season.” Cain has already indicated that he will not give the Giants a hometown discount after already signing one team friendly contract.
  • Jon Garland will take his physical on Monday, reports Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland-Plain Dealer (on Twitter). Garland agreed to a minor league deal with the Indians earlier this week, but the physical is far from routine after shoulder surgery.
  • Carlos Guillen told MLB.com's Greg Johns that he had other opportunities, but chose to return to the Mariners on a minor league contract. "I decided to come here because this is my first house," he said. "I know the city, and I'm happy to be back."
  • Jesus Flores told Amanda Comak of The Washington Times that he hadn't planned on being a backup catcher at this point of his career, but asking the Nationals for a trade is "not on [his] mind." The 27-year-old Flores will backup Wilson Ramos this season.
  • Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen hasn't even thrown a pitch since signing a three-year, sub-$12MM deal with Orioles earlier this offseason, but he's already told Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun that he hopes to stay in MLB for the next ten years (Twitter link).
  • Rod Barajas told MLB.com's Tom Singer that he's excited to be reunited with A.J. Burnett. Barajas and Burnett played together with the Blue Jays before both landing with the Pirates this offseason.

Giants Notes: Cain, Lincecum, Payroll, Beltran

The Giants made their roster available to the media today, on the eve of the club's annual FanFest event. Here's latest on the 2010 World Champs…

  • “We’ve talked … and it’s a process,” said Matt Cain to reporters (including Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News) when asked about an extension. “We’ll see what’s going to happen. We’re definitely here for this year.”
  • The right-hander did stop short of saying he'll give the team a hometown discount. “That’s tough,” he said. “You definitely love being in San Francisco, and we do. We have a year till free agency. That’s something as a player you think about, having that opportunity. It’s hard to say what will happen in these next several months.”
  • “Budget won’t be a factor," said GM Brian Sabean when asked about signing both Cain and Tim Lincecum long-term. "We’ll have enough wherewithal in the budget that we won’t have to pick. Whether that happens, I can’t predict. But we have it in the budget to sign both players.”
  • Sabean also said that increasing payroll to add players in midseason has "always been possible with our ownership group" according to John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Giants wanted Carlos Beltran back as a left fielder, says Shea (on Twitter). They were willing to give him two years, but not the $26MM the Cardinals gave him.