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More links for the afternoon…
- Today's chat will take place in a little over an hour, at 2pm CST.
- It's worth checking out this Jerry Crasnick article at ESPN.com just for the photo of Nick Markakis balancing a folding chair on his chin. As Crasnick says, Markakis, Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold and Luke Scott will be an impressive group of outfielders on improved O's teams in the near future.
- In the midst of his mid-season awards, SI.com's Tom Verducci says the Tigers and Dodgers deserve credit for well-thought-out offseason moves.
- David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News lays out five possible packages the Phillies could offer the Jays for Roy Halladay. Every deal is headed by Dominic Brown or Kyle Drabek and includes other quality prospects.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Doug Melvin and Ryan Braun will meet today to discuss Braun's recent suggestion that the Brewers need pitching.
- One of this year's big acquisitions, Mark DeRosa, will hit the 15-day DL, according to Roger Hensley of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Baltimore Orioles | Billy Butler | Brian Roberts | Chris Gomez | Cleveland Indians | Gregg Zaun | Ivan Rodriguez | Kansas City Royals | Kenshin Kawakami | Koji Uehara | New York Yankees | Nick Markakis | Nick Swisher | Richie Sexson | Ryan Shealy | Ty Wigginton | Willie Bloomquist
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.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Brian Fuentes | Chase Utley | Corey Hart | Derek Lowe | Kelly Johnson | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Mark Teixeira | Milton Bradley | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Nick Markakis | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | Rafael Furcal
According to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles’ contract extension talks with Nick Markakis are on hold and probably will not be revisited for at least six weeks.
The Orioles are looking to sign Markakis for his three arbitration years as well as at least three of free agency. Markakis would like to observe the free agent market before resuming talks with the Orioles. Perhaps Markakis and his agent plan to value his free agent years based on the contracts for players like Raul Ibanez and Bobby Abreu.