Nick Markakis Rumors

Odds & Ends: Reynolds, Gammons, Orioles

Some late night links after Jake Peavy allowed three runs in five innings in his first start for the White Sox…

  • Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic notes that Mark Reynolds is likely to fall short of qualifying as a Super Two, meaning he'll have to wait until after 2010 to become arbitration eligible. He also says that it "does not appear there have been any discussions about a long-term deal with Reynolds, but the club does not seem averse to the idea of an extension."
  • ESPN's Peter Gammons writes about how great Victor Martinez has been for the Red Sox since being acquired at the trade deadline. He also praises Casey Kotchman, but I think I'd rather have Adam LaRoche, who has a 1.053 OPS since the trade.
  • Orioles Manager Dave Trembley indicated that the team needs someone to hit behind Nick Markakis until some younger players like Matt Wieters and Adam Jones are ready to do it, according to MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko
  • If you aren't already, make sure you follow MLBTR on Twitter.

Odds And Ends: O’s, Phillies, Braun, DeRosa

More links for the afternoon…


Odds And Ends: Orioles, Bowden, Nathan

A few links for Sunday afternoon…

  • According to MLB.com’s Spencer Fordin the Orioles used "number crunching and statistical analysis" to compare Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis to similar past and present players before locking them up to deals worth $40MM and $66MM, respectively.
  • Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Joe Nathan‘s happy to see Jonathan Papelbon making lots of money this year ($6.25MM) because it’s good for closers in general.
  • Jayson Stark of ESPN.com points out the absurdity of the Manny Ramirez negotiations and suggests the structure of a deal that could work for both sides. It’s been nearly four months since the Dodgers made their initial offer of two years and $45MM.
  • Pete McElroy of MASN Sports reports that Dmitri Young‘s "shocked" to see Jim Bowden resign. Young, who first dealt with Bowden on the Reds, spoke glowingly of his former GM.
  • According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck Jim Leyland confirmed that the Tigers had some offseason discussions about Juan Cruz.
  • The draft’s still three months away, but Keith Law of ESPN.com is already putting together scouting reports about some top amateur players.
  • MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer dreams up a deal that sends Adrian Gonzalez and Jake Peavy to the Angels for 10 players.


Arbitration Awards Increase By Record Amount in 2009

While the value of most free agents plummeted this offseason, players in salary arbitration did quite well for themselves. Writing for the Associated Press, Ronald Blum reports that the 111 players in salary arbitration received an average pay increase of 172 percent this year.

That figure is up from 120 percent last year. The previous record of 169 percent was set in 1999.

The big winners this year were Nick Markakis and Ervin Santana, whose salaries rose 24-fold and 16-fold, respectively.

Writing for MLB.com, Fred Claire argues that the arbitration process is "a far greater escalator of salaries than free agency." He quotes a veteran baseball executive who says of the arbitration process, "mediocrity is handsomely rewarded and excellence goes out of sight."


Brian Roberts Addresses Contract Situation

On MASN’s weekly Brian Roberts segment, the Orioles’ second baseman touched on his contract situation, as well as teammate Nick Markakis‘ new deal. In regard to his own contract, Roberts made it clear that though he’s focused on Opening Day, he believes that there’s time to make a deal before spring training:

"It is going to come to a point where we have to make a decision one way or the other," he said. "I don’t want this to drag out once we get into kind of midway through spring training as I start getting ready to play for the season. I think there will be sufficient time up until then to get this worked out if we can. And if not, then we’ll see what happens at the end of the year. We’re not at that point yet."

Ken Rosenthal reported previously that Roberts wants a four-year extension to stay in Baltimore. The Orioles made Roberts an offer earlier this month, which was believed to be for $10MM per season, but only for three years.


Odds And Ends: Varitek, Markakis, Johnson

Links for Thursday night…

  • Curt Schilling thinks the Red Sox need Jason Varitek.
  • Buster Olney writes that some executives think Type A free agents like Varitek, Orlando Cabrera and Juan Cruz should sign soon instead of waiting until the season starts.
  • Ken Rosenthal proposes a ‘Juan Cruz rule’ so that players like Cruz aren’t the ones hurt by the compensation system.
  • Andy MacPhail provides some of the reasons he wanted to lock up Nick Markakis. He has plenty of good ones to choose from.
  • Chico Harlan of the Washington Post spoke with Nick Johnson, who "expressed no particular desire" to play in his home state of California.
  • Kobe Bryant jokingly suggested that he could play left for the Dodgers instead of Manny Ramirez.

Markakis Finalizes Extension With Orioles

fielder Nick Markakis and the Baltimore Orioles have made "real progress" in their contract-extension negotiations in recent days, according to club president Andy MacPhail.

One source told Connolly that the two sides are close to agreeing to a six-year deal worth between $64MM and $66MM in guaranteed money.

Markakis, 25, hit .306 with 20 home runs and 87 RBI in 2008.


Orioles Talking With Luke Scott, Eyeing Ohman

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun writes about the Orioles’ attempt to sign arbitration-eligible outfielder Luke Scott before figures are submitted on Tuesday.  Baltimore’s other arb-eligible players are Nick Markakis and George Sherrill.

The O’s made an offer to Scott’s agent Page Odle on Tuesday, and the offer was countered on Thursday.  Odle described it as "pretty positive dialogue."

Zrebiec also learned from Odle that the Orioles remain interested in Will Ohman, as are the Braves, D’Backs, Indians, and Rangers.  Ohman has two offers in hand, but not from the O’s.

Regarding Sherrill, MLBTR has learned that the Orioles called his agent yesterday to give a number they were looking at.  It was their first contact of the offseason.


Orioles Rumors: Roberts, Uehara, Zaun, Pudge

10:46pm: Roch Kubatko says Zaun wants a two-year deal but the Orioles prefer one year.  The O’s are also talking with Ivan Rodriguez.  Kubatko adds that Kenshin Kawakami was seeking a three-year deal.  In another post, Kubatko says the O’s have no interest in Shelley Duncan, but Richie Sexson and Ty Wigginton are possibilities for first base.  Peter Schmuck adds Nick Swisher, Ryan Garko, Billy Butler, and Ryan Shealy as trade possibilities.

Dan Connolly says the Orioles offered Brian Roberts a multiyear extension at about $10MM per, but the two sides have not made progress and Roberts doesn’t want talks dragging into the season.  Andy MacPhail said he hasn’t had trade talks for Roberts for at least a month.  As for Nick Markakis, the sides were about $10MM apart on a possible six-year extension.

11:31am: Orioles notes…

  • As you know, the Orioles reached an agreement with their first-ever Japanese player, Koji Uehara.  It’s a two-year deal worth $10MM guaranteed, with another $6MM in incentives and bonuses.  Patrick Newman offers commentary on the signing, which is not getting a ton of press in the Japanese media.  Keith Law wonders if Baltimore was a wise choice for Uehara.
  • Dan Connolly says the Orioles’ immediate priority is now to add a catcher, with Gregg Zaun and Ivan Rodriguez the candidates.
  • Peter Schmuck says the O’s are looking for a reserve infielder as well.  They’ve talked to Chris Gomez‘s agent and Willie Bloomquist "might be another possibility."

Rosenthal’s Latest: Teixeira, Markakis, Johnson

We have a new column from Ken Rosenthal this evening.

  • Mark Teixeira is holding up many areas of the free agent market, as guys like Brian Fuentes and Milton Bradley know the Angels will be interested if Tex signs elsewhere.
  • Rosenthal believes the Yankees should continue to be aggressive and make a competitive bid for Teixeira.
  • The "poor working conditions and occasionally unruly crowd behavior" make it hard for the A’s to attract free agents.  Their move in 2012 should help.
  • Rosenthal believes Chase Utley‘s seven year, $85MM deal could provide a framework for a Nick Markakis extension.
  • The A’s will wait for free agent bargains now that they’ve lost Rafael Furcal.
  • The Red Sox and Mets are the main suitors for Derek Lowe, with the Yankees less likely.
  • The Braves have been shopping Kelly Johnson for an outfielder.  Attempts to acquire Ryan Ludwick or Corey Hart did not work out.