Matt Belisle Rumors
The Rockies have been scouting the Giants’ minor league teams, so a deal could be developing, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes (Twitter links). The Giants asked about acquiring Marco Scutaro for bench help a couple of weeks ago and relievers Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle could also interest San Francisco, Schulman writes. Here are more notes on the 37-60 Rockies...
- The Rockies don’t want to move Michael Cuddyer and are determined to keep Belisle, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes.
- Scutaro, Jason Giambi, Betancourt, Matt Reynolds and Jonathan Herrera are the most likely Rockies to be traded in that order, Heyman writes.
- The Rays, Nationals, Rangers and A’s appear to have interest in Scutaro, along with the Giants. Heyman reports that the Rockies could either seek a highly-regarded prospect for Scutaro or accept salary relief and a fringy prospect.
- Several teams have called about Reynolds, Heyman reports.
The chances of Cole Hamels getting traded are diminishing, but they haven't disappeared, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports. The Phillies are trying to sign the left-hander to a long-term deal, but will weigh trade offers if they can’t agree on an extension. Here are Stark’s latest rumors...
- The Rays would be looking for a combination of high-end young pitchers, a young catcher and a controllable hitter if they discuss trades involving James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson. Wade Davis is drawing as much interest as Shields, now that he’s pitching well out of the Tampa Bay bullpen, Stark reports.
- The Astros have told rival teams that they’d absorb a substantial percentage of Wandy Rodriguez’s salary in a trade if it allows them to get “the best value back.”
- The Padres aren’t shopping Edinson Volquez, but they haven’t made him untouchable.
- Teams don’t expect the Marlins will trade Josh Johnson, who’s under contract for 2013.
- Brandon McCarthy’s history of shoulder problems diminishes his trade value. “He's not going anywhere," one executive predicted to Stark.
- The Nationals haven’t been focused on finding a center fielder.
- Hunter Pence is attracting as much interest as anyone on the Phillies, including Hamels. However, the Phillies have downplayed their interest in trading the right fielder. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Placido Polanco and Kyle Kendrick would be available if the Phillies decide to sell this month, Stark reports. Rollins can veto any trade and would only accept deals to West Coast contenders.
- The Pirates have asked about tons of hitters, including Billy Butler, but they’re still in a “buy-low frame of mind.” The Royals have told clubs they’d have to be overwhelmed to part with Butler, Stark reports.
- The Rockies are trying to move Marco Scutaro and Jason Giambi, but they’d have to be “bowled over” to deal relievers such as Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle and Matt Reynolds.
The Blue Jays designated Edwin Encarnacion for assignment on this date two years ago, and he cleared waivers two days later once the 29 other MLB teams had passed on him. Encarnacion now has 20 homers and a .283/.351/.574 slash line, so he's making a strong case for inclusion in next month's All-Star Game. Here are today’s links...
- The Rockies would have to be overwhelmed to trade Rafael Betancourt or Matt Belisle, so deals are highly unlikely, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (Twitter links). Teams don't generally view the Rockies as a team with lots of assets to trade, according to Olney.
- The Mets are going to wait a few weeks before "digging into" the trade market, Olney tweets.
- GM Brian Sabean told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that the Giants identified Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan as trade targets this past offseason because, in spite of their flaws, they’re both impact MLB players. “We're talking about switch-hitters who can hit almost anywhere in the lineup, play all three outfield positions and help you on both sides of the ball. There's a lot to like," Sabean said. Check out Crasnick’s piece for a detailed look at how the Giants scouted and built their new-look outfield.
- The Blue Jays have been telling teams they can’t take on any salary, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- Pierre would earn $800K on the Major League roster and he could earn additional incentives based on plate appearances, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The outfielder signed a minor league deal with the Phillies last week.
- Belisle will earn $4.1MM in 2013 and his extension includes a mutual option worth $4.25MM for 2014, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. If Belisle accepts his half of the option, the Rockies can still decline for $250K. The deal includes $450K in incentives for games finished.
- Andrus gets a signing bonus of $750K, $2.375MM in 2012, $4.8MM in 2013, and $6.475MM in 2014, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets.
Belisle was already under contract for 2012 ($3.775MM salary) under an extension he signed a year ago. The new deal is worth an additional $4.35MM, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets.It covers the 2012 and 2013 seasons and includes a mutual option for 2014. Belisle, 31, posted a 3.25 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 72 innings last year. His extension resembles the one the Rockies and right-hander Rafael Betancourt agreed to last month.
The Rockies were one of the most aggressive teams in baseball in terms of extensions last offseason. They locked six of their players up on multiyear deals, including two contracts worth $80MM or more.
It’s still too early to say with much authority that the deals failed or succeeded, but Troy Tulowitzki’s contract doesn’t expire until 2020 at the earliest and that’s a long wait, so let's check in on the deals now. The early verdict? Nearly five months into the season, the Rockies’ new deals are going well, largely because their biggest investments are looking good. That in itself doesn't justify the moves, but it's certainly better than the alternative.
Tulowitzki (ten years, $157.75MM), Carlos Gonzalez (seven years, $80MM), Matt Lindstrom (two years, $6.6MM), Jason Hammel (two years, $7.75MM), Rafael Betancourt (two years, $8.02MM) and Matt Belisle (two years, $6.125MM) all signed long-term last winter. Conventional wisdom says multiyear deals for relievers and megadeals for players already under long-term control aren’t the most prudent ways of spending money, especially for a mid-market team. Nevertheless, the Rockies went ahead with the moves and they’re going well so far this year.
It would be hard to argue that Tulowitzki isn’t the best shortstop in the game. Gonzalez has boosted his walk rate, lowered his strikeout rate and, thanks to a recent hot streak that has included seven home runs in 12 days, raised his season line to .289/.360/.523. Betancourt, Belisle and Lindstrom (now on the DL) have each pitched at least 43 2/3 innings with at least 6.2 K/9, no more than 2.3 BB/9 and an ERA of 3.41 or below. Even Hammel, who just lost his rotation spot to Alex White, provided Colorado with three months’ worth of solid starts before faltering in July and August.
The extensions look good so far, despite the Rockies’ disappointing 63-68 record. At this point, that’s all Colorado could hope for. But every player they locked up could have been on the team this year even if GM Dan O’Dowd hadn’t inked them to long-term deals, so the final verdict on the 2010-11 offseason deals will have to wait for another decade or so.
The Rockies are currently 9.5 games out in the NL West. They don't have any crucial players heading to free agency after the season, but they may still have some expendable veterans. In particular, MLB.com's Thomas Harding says "information is surfacing that the Rockies could be willing to deal any of three key right-handed relievers" - Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt, and Matt Belisle.
Street, 28 in August, has a 3.56 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 1.67 HR/9, and 39.0% groundball rate in 43 innings this year. At the deadline he'll have $2.37MM left on his contract this year, plus $7.5MM in '12 and a $500K buyout after that season for a total of $10.37MM. Yesterday, Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports wrote that there have been "recent inquiries" on Street. However, keep in mind that GM Dan O'Dowd has no directive to shed salary. If Street is dealt, Matt Lindstrom would probably close, as indicated on our depth chart at CloserNews.
Betancourt, 36, has a 4.66 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 1.47 HR/9, and 30.6% groundball rate in 36 2/3 innings. His numbers are similar to Street's in that he limits free passes but is prone to the longball. Betancourt will have $1.22MM left this year at the deadline, plus $4MM in '12 and a $250K buyout after that season for a total of $5.47MM. Since he doesn't have saves on his resume, he earns half as much as Street.
Belisle, 31, has a 3.46 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 0.86 HR/9, and 46.8% groundball rate in 41 2/3 innings. He will have $1.05MM left this year at the deadline and $3.775MM in '12 for a total of $4.825MM. This is the first time his name has been mentioned as a potential trade target.
The Yankees, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Phillies, and Rangers are contenders who are in the hunt for relief help.
The two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.35MM last month to avoid arbitration. The new contract buys out Belisle's final season of arbitration-eligibility and one year of free agency.
Belisle, 30, found a home in Colorado's bullpen in 2009 after years of trying to cut it as a starter with the Reds. He broke out in a big way in 2010, leading all big league relievers with 92 innings pitched. Belisle struck out 91 batters (8.9 K/9) and walked just 16 (1.6 BB/9) in all those innings, though it's worth noting that five of those walks were intentional. He was also adept at getting ground balls, with a 46.3% grounder rate.
Colorado has now signed a total of six players to multiyear contract extensions this winter, as our Transaction Tracker shows. The others: Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Lindstrom, Jason Hammel, and Rafael Betancourt. The total value of those extensions is north of $220MM, with most going to Tulo and CarGo.
The Rockies have agreed to a one-year, $2.35MM contract with Matt Belisle, reports Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Colorado avoids salary arbitration with Belisle, who was in his third and final arb-eligible season.
Belisle and the Rockies agreed to an $0.85MM contract for 2010, and the right-hander responded with the finest season of his seven-year Major League career. Belisle posted a 2.93 ERA, and 8.9 K/9 rate and a very impressive 5.69 K/BB ratio in 76 games for Colorado, all of which were career bests.
Belisle, 30, is the first of six arb-eligible Rockies to settle a contract with the club. These cases and every other arbitration-eligible player in baseball can be followed on the MLBTR Arb Tracker.
Let's continue our look at each team's amateur spending with the Atlanta Braves. Here are the five largest signing bonuses they've paid out...
- Mike Minor, $2.42MM (2009)
- Jeff Francoeur, $2.2MM (2002)
- Matt Belisle, $1.75MM (1998)
- Jason Heyward, $1.7MM (2007)
- Edward Salcedo, $1.6MM (2010)
The seventh overall pick in 2009, Minor shot through the minors this season and made eight starts (and one relief appearance) for the Braves. His 5.98 ERA in 40.2 innings was ugly but the peripherals were excellent: 9.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. He figures to get a much longer look next season.
Francoeur, the 23rd overall pick in 2002, burst onto the scene with a .300/.336/.549 effort in his 2005 rookie campaign, but struggled thereafter. He hit just .266/.308/.424 with the Braves before being traded to the Mets for Ryan Church a few weeks before the 2009 trade deadline. Belisle was the 52nd overall pick in 1998, but he never appeared in a game for Atlanta. He pitched well in the minor leagues before missing the entire 2001 season due to injury, and the Braves eventually shipped him to the Reds as a player to be named later in a 2003 deal for Kent Mercker.
Heyward somehow lasted until the 14th overall pick of the 2007, and he just wrapped up a tremendously successful rookie campaign: .277/.393/.456 in 623 plate appearances. He should receive plenty of Rookie of the Year votes, if not in the award outright. Salcedo turned pro just this summer, and hit .225/.307/.333 in 304 A-ball plate appearances. He is arguably the team's best position player prospect due to his talent level and physical gifts.
Kenshin Kawakami was a long-time veteran of the Japanese leagues, but if we relax our criteria a bit to include players with zero MLB experience, his $2MM signing bonus would slot in at number three.