Matt Harrison Rumors

Rangers Discussing Extension With Matt Harrison

The Rangers have begun "preliminary negotiations" with Matt Harrison's representatives about a contract extension, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Texas GM Jon Daniels said earlier this month that the left-hander was among the extension candidates on the Rangers roster.

"We've touched base with all the guys we want to extend," Daniels said. "Harry's one of them. He's earned that conversation."

Harrison has developed into one of the cornerstones of the Texas rotation after back-to-back quality seasons, posting career-bests in ERA (3.29), K/BB ratio (2.25), groundball rate (49%) and innings pitched (213 1/3) in 2012.  The ACES client's strong campaign will earn him a nice raise in his second trip though the arbitration process; MLBTR's Matt Swartz projects Harrison will earn a $6.1MM contract, most than double Harrison's $2.95MM salary from 2012.

A Harrison extension would be more expensive than the five-year, $28.5MM deal the Rangers gave to another young left-hander, Derek Holland, last March.  Holland was 25 years and still a year away from arbitration when he signed his extension, whereas Harrison turned 27 in September and is eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.  Chad Billingsley's three-year, $35MM extension with the Dodgers before the 2011 season is a decent comparable for Harrison, though Billingsley had thrown over 200 more innings at the time of his multiyear deal than Harrison has at this point in his career.  It seems likely that Daniels will look for at least one option year, as he did in recent extensions for other Texas pitchers such as Holland and Scott Feldman.

The Rangers usually don't finalize contract extensions until the spring, as Wilson notes, so Harrison could settle his 2013 contract first before he and the team look to the multiyear contract.  Wilson also speculates that Alexi Ogando and Elvis Andrus could be extension candidates for Texas this winter, which could make it two extensions in as many offseasons for Andrus, who is locked up through 2014.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/11/20/4430052/harrison-extension-an-early-priority.html#storylink=cpy

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Tuesday

Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here.  Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing.  Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints.  Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:

(more…)


Morosi On Blue Jays, First Base, Starters, Cespedes

The baseball world figures to remain relatively quietly until after the New Year, but as Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes, there is still a lot of work to be done before the season begins. Let's round up Morosi's rumors…

  • The Blue Jays are saying they will not give a hitter a contract of more than five guaranteed years, though they'll likely have to violate that policy if they want to sign Prince Fielder.
  • The Brewers, Cubs, Nationals, Indians, Mariners, Orioles, Rangers, Rays, and Pirates are all considering non-Fielder upgrades at first base. Carlos Pena, Casey Kotchman, and Derrek Lee remain unsigned, among others.
  • Some within the game believe that Joakim Soria and Carlos Marmol could be had at the right price. The Cubbies are said to be planning a "complete and total rebuild."
  • Both Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook remain available, and the Rangers may be willing to trade Matt Harrison for a more established starter.
  • Most believe Yoenis Cespedes will sign for more than the $30.25MM Aroldis Chapman received because as a position player, he carried less risk. A larger number of interested teams and the new collective bargaining agreement will also help his cause.


Rosenthal On Marlins, Oswalt, Rangers

Let's see what Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has for us in his latest Full Count video..

  • If the Marlins do not start playing more consistently, manager Fredi Gonzalez will be on the hot seat.  Florida is one win below .500, which probably does not strike most as a failure considering their modest $47.4MM.  However, as Rosenthal put it, owner Jeffrey Loria is not exactly "Mr. Patient".  At the start of Spring Training, Loria said that the team had all the ammunition needed to make the postseason.
  • Roy Oswalt could be the best starter available at the deadline, depending on three factors.  The team must be willing to move him, the 32-year-old must be willing to waive his no-trade clause, and a team must be willing to take on the rest of his contract.  Oswalt will only approve deals to certain clubs and two of them, the Braves and Cardinals, are already flush with starting pitching.  Money will be a major factor, as he is set to earn $15MM this season and $16MM in both 2011 and 2012.  The final year of the deal holds a $2MM buyout.
  • Rangers pitchers Matt Harrison and Rich Harden are effectively on notice.  Tommy Hunter is set to begin a rehabilitation assignment and Derek Holland has been stellar thus far in Triple-A.  There are even more arms waiting in the farm system, including Tanner Scheppers, the 44th overall selection in the 2009 draft.

Rangers Notes: Byrd, Holland, Feliz

It's hard to gauge what the Texas Rangers will look to do this offseason.  There are reports that they are interested in acquiring outfielder Milton Bradley from the Cubs, who would likely eat a large chunk of the $21MM owed to him over the next two years of his contract.  At the same time, they may not have the cash necessary to retain Marlon Byrd, who has posted .283/.328/.483 with a career-high 20 HRs.  Buster Olney and the Baseball Prospectus staff break down the season that was for the Rangers and what they can expect going forward.  An ESPN Insider subscription is required to read the article, but here are the nuts and bolts of it:

  • Signing John Lackey, widely regarded as this offseason's top free agent starter, would certainly bolster their rotation.  However, Buster Olney says that GM Jon Daniels could be handcuffed financially by the impending change in ownership. 
  • Olney also theorizes that Daniels may not be able to roll the dice on the problematic Bradley, for fear of a public relations backlash under a new regime.
  • The ownership situation is murkier than most, as anywhere between four and six groups are in contention to purchase the club.  One group is led by team president Nolan Ryan, whose involvement is largely considered productive.
  • The aforementioned Byrd earned $3MM in 2009, the final year of his contract.  Re-signing him might require a two or three-year commitment at triple the price.
  • Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus says that the Rangers have a good amount of pitching talent, but feels that they must live up to their potential.  Rookies Derek Holland (ERAs of 5.77 in August and 10.20 in September) and Neftali Feliz have run out of gas down the stretch, but have shown tons of upside.  If the Rangers feel confident in Matt Harrison and oft-injured Brandon McCarthy, they might not have to spend on a high-priced arm this winter to complement Kevin Millwood.

Rangers Notes: Byrd, Holland, Feliz

It's hard to gauge what the Texas Rangers will look to do this offseason.  There are reports that they are interested in acquiring outfielder Milton Bradley from the Cubs, who would likely eat a large chunk of the $21MM owed to him over the next two years of his contract.  At the same time, they may not have the cash necessary to retain Marlon Byrd, who has posted .283/.328/.483 with a career-high 20 HRs.  Buster Olney and the Baseball Prospectus staff break down the season that was for the Rangers and what they can expect going forward.  An ESPN Insider subscription is required to read the article, but here are the nuts and bolts of it:

  • Signing John Lackey, widely regarded as this offseason's top free agent starter, would certainly bolster their rotation.  However, Buster Olney says that GM Jon Daniels could be handcuffed financially by the impending change in ownership. 
  • Olney also theorizes that Daniels may not be able to roll the dice on the problematic Bradley, for fear of a public relations backlash under a new regime.
  • The ownership situation is murkier than most, as anywhere between four and six groups are in contention to purchase the club.  One group is led by team president Nolan Ryan, whose involvement is largely considered productive.
  • The aforementioned Byrd earned $3MM in 2009, the final year of his contract.  Re-signing him might require a two or three-year commitment at triple the price.
  • Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus says that the Rangers have a good amount of pitching talent, but feels that they must live up to their potential.  Rookies Derek Holland (ERAs of 5.77 in August and 10.20 in September) and Neftali Feliz have run out of gas down the stretch, but have shown tons of upside.  If the Rangers feel confident in Matt Harrison and oft-injured Brandon McCarthy, they might not have to spend on a high-priced arm this winter to complement Kevin Millwood.

Rangers Sign 16 Players

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Rangers have signed 16 players to 2009 contracts. These players include Scott Feldman and Matt Harrison, who are both expected to make the Rangers starting rotation.

Position players include catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and right fielder Nelson Cruz.

Here’s a list of the others:

  • Pitchers – Josh Rupe, John Bannister, Tommy Hunter, Luis Mendoza, Dustin Nippert, Omar Proveda, Kason Gabbard
  • Position Players – Joaquin Arias, Jose Vallejo, Brandon Boggs, David Murphy, and Greg Golson

The Rangers have yet to sign Josh Hamilton, Taylor Teagarden, and nine others.


Braves Acquire Mark Teixeira

UPDATE: ESPN adds that one of the pitching prospects is Neftali Feliz.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the deal is finally done, pending a review of medical records.  The Braves will receive Mark Teixeira and lefty reliever Ron Mahay, while the Rangers will get Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, and two pitching prospects.  Matt Harrison is said to be one of them; his MRI today came up clean.

I’ll have some analysis of the deal once we have all the details.  Kind of makes tomorrow anticlimactic, doesn’t it?



Matt Harrison Removed From Teixeira Deal

UPDATE: Sent Bowman an email about Harrison – it was definitely supposed to be his left (pitching) shoulder.  The MLB.com article has been updated. 

22 year-old Double A southpaw Matt Harrison might be the Braves’ top pitching prospect, and he was part of the team’s offer for Mark Teixeira.  However, Harrison is having shoulder problems and has apparently been removed from the deal.  Ken Rosenthal does not indicate which shoulder, while MLB.com’s Mark Bowman repeatedly says it’s his right shoulder.  Harrison is to see a doctor on Monday.

Furthermore, one source of Bowman’s thinks Harrison is still in the Braves’ offer along with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Elvis Andrus.  Another source of Bowman’s believes the injury isn’t a dealbreaker.

Rosenthal, however, says the Braves gave Texas a list of pitchers to choose instead of Harrison, not including Jo-Jo Reyes.  Rosenthal adds that talks are fluid and it could become a 4 for 2 deal.  That might convince the Braves to part with Reyes.

Salty was the only position player not used in today’s 14-0 blowout; Brian McCann did not get relief.  That decision certainly seems related to an impending trade.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks inquired on Teixeira and were told it would take Conor Jackson, Carlos Gonzalez, and a pitching prospect.  The Dodgers have been slipping while Arizona has been playing well, and the result is a virtual tie for first place.  It would be interesting if the Diamondbacks jump in and become aggressive buyers. 



Braves Make Offer For Teixeira

According to Ken Rosenthal’s sources, the Braves have made an offer to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison, and Elvis Andrus.  That’s without any relievers coming back to Atlanta.  That’s three young players all with a chance to become above-average big league regulars.  You couldn’t really criticize Daniels for it, no matter how it turned out.

The only other major player seems to be the Angels.  The Halos recently tweaked their original offer of Casey Kotchman plus Nathan Haynes or Terry Evans.  There’s now a pitcher in the mix, apparently one of Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, or Nick Adenhart.  I’d consider this a comparable offer, especially if Adenhart was the one. 

The Dodgers aren’t out of it, but I don’t see them getting Teixeira.