Paul Goldschmidt Rumors
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly will soon be fired, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal argues. "My guess is that Mattingly gets this series, and if things don’t go better, that’s it," Rosenthal says. "The Dodgers are off Thursday, then begin a five-game homestand against the Cardinals and Angels. You can look it up — managerial changes often occur on off-days before a homestand." The Dodgers are currently 17-25 after being swept by the Braves. Rosenthal notes that GM Ned Colletti might find himself on the hot seat as well, but that the typical pattern is for the manager to be the first out the door. When asked recently whether Mattingly would remain with the Dodgers through the end of the season, team president Stan Kasten replied, "I assume so," but noted that he expected the team to play better. Here's more from the NL West.
- Despite his hot start, Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt isn't worried about money he might end up losing as a result of his recent extension, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports. "You make the best decision at the time," says Goldschmidt. "I love it in Phoenix. I was happy we got a deal done. And I'm happy to get it done in spring training, so it didn't become a distraction." Heyman cites an anonymous agent who says that the extension could cost Goldschmidt $75MM. That seems like an exaggeration, but Goldschmidt could easily make his five year, $32MM deal look like a bargain from the Diamondbacks' perspective if he continues hitting anything resembling his current .335/.418/.645 pace.
- Didi Gregorius' surprising hitting so far in the big leagues is making the Diamondbacks' end of the Shin-Soo Choo / Trevor Bauer deal with the Reds and Indians look better with time. But Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic wonders whether Gregorius' hitting can last. No one in the last ten years has posted a career minor-league OPS below .725 (minimum 1,900 plate appearances) and a career major-league OPS above .741 (minimum 500 plate appearances). Gregorius had a .694 career minor-league OPS; his major-league OPS through 106 plate appearances is .884.
- Rockies pitcher Roy Oswalt will join the Double-A Tulsa Drillers on Tuesday and will make his first start on Friday, ROOT Sports' Tracy Ringolsby notes (on Twitter). Ringolsby projects Oswalt would make his fifth minor-league start June 14. Oswalt can opt out of his contract with the Rockies on either June 18 or June 28 if he has not been added to the big-league roster. Oswalt's command was strong in extended spring training, MLB.com's Thomas Harding notes (on Twitter).
Another day, another gem from a Cardinals starter. Adam Wainwright took a no-hitter through 7 1/3 innings en route to a complete game, two-hit shutout in St. Louis' 3-0 victory over the Rockies. Wainwright's outing was a day after Shelby Miller's complete game one-hitter against Colorado, in the process tying a Major League record for most consecutive batters retired by one team against another. Between Eric Young's leadoff single on Friday and Todd Helton's fifth-inning walk against Wainwright today, the Rockies sent 40 batters to the plate without success.
Here's some news as we head towards a full slate of Mother's Day baseball...
- The Cardinals' pitching depth was one reason they were comfortable letting Kyle Lohse leave in the offseason, the latest case of the Cards saving money and still contending thanks to their constant supply of young talent, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes. “I would say it this way: you don’t want to have a situation where you can’t re-sign your best talent, long term, but there are times when you have to pick and choose where you want to invest it," St. Louis GM John Mozeliak said. "Our model has been, if possible, to have that flexibility within our payroll allocation without going too long and deep.”
- Paul Goldschmidt is hearing unanimous praise from scouts and is being compared to some of the game's elite hitters, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Goldschmidt took a .977 OPS into Saturday's game, and as Piecoro notes, the Diamondbacks' five-year, $32MM extension (with an option on a sixth year) with their first baseman is looking like a major bargain.
- Also from Piecoro, he hears from Justin Upton and Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers that neither side has hard feelings about the big trade that sent Upton to the Braves in January. It has particularly worked out for Upton, who is enjoying an MVP-caliber season for NL East-leading Atlanta.
- Padres backup catcher John Baker could be expendable once Yasmani Grandal returns from his PED suspension. Baker tells Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he enjoys playing with the Padres but is prepared for whatever happens.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America recaps the week's minor league transactions.
- Advanced statistics are taken with a grain of salt by many players, including several in the Rangers clubhouse, Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Derek Lowe, for one, believes his unimpressive peripheral stats were part of the reason why it took him until March to find a contract with a team. Texas, unlike several Major League clubs, doesn't have a full-time statistical analysis department in their front office though the club uses sabermetrics as part of their player evaluation process.
Rule 5 pick Nate Freiman has made the Athletics, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes (on Twitter). Freiman hit .298/.370/.502 for Double-A San Antonio in the Padres system last year. The Astros took him in the Rule 5 Draft, and he was later claimed by the A's. He will have to stick on Oakland's roster throughout the season if the A's intend to keep him. Freiman is expected to play primarily against lefties. Here are more notes from the West divisions.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers says the biggest hangup during negotiations of the Paul Goldschmidt extension was the team option at the end, AZCentral.com's Nick Piecoro writes. Goldschmidt's contract is a five-year deal that begins in 2014 and includes a $14.5MM team option for 2019, with a $2MM buyout. The contract guarantees Goldschmidt $32MM total. "We wanted at least a year of free agency and probably the thing that took the most time was they didn’t really want an option year," Towers says. "A mutual option, no option, guarantee six years. We had to have some kind of an option."
- Julio Borbon has made the Rangers' 25-man roster, but he might not have a spot when the Rangers add fifth starter Nick Tepesch on April 9, says MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Borbon is out of options, and the Rangers say they have had trade discussions about him. Borbon is 27 and has yet to establish himself in the majors, though, so other teams likely wouldn't be willing to part with solid talent in a trade.
The Diamondbacks have confirmed the extension of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt via a team press release. The five-year, $32MM extension was but the third-largest agreed to yesterday, as it was eclipsed later in the day by the massive extensions for Buster Posey and Justin Verlander. Goldschmidt is now under contract with the Diamondbacks through 2018. The SFX client's deal includes a team option for 2019 that could be worth $14.5MM and boost the overall value of the pact to $46.5MM.
Goldschmidt wasn't scheduled for arbitration eligibility until after the '14 season and wouldn't have been able to hit free agency until after the 2017 season. The deal buys out Goldschmidt's pre-arbitration years, arbitration years, and at least one of his free agency years. The long-term deal comes as something of a surprise since we recently heard that the first baseman rebuffed Kevin Towers' attempt to start talks.
The 25-year-old has been impressive thus far in his young career, hitting .286/.359/.490 in 2012 with 20 homers and 18 stolen bases in 21 attempts across the last two seasons. Goldschmidt's case is a unique one because as MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows, no first basemen have signed long-term deals with between one and two years of service time. However, several hitters have done so, including Goldschmidt's former teammate Chris Young.
This marks the fifth extension issued by Towers and the D'Backs this offseason. Before this, Arizona worked out deals with Aaron Hill (three years, $35MM), Martin Prado (four years, $40MM), Cliff Pennington (two years, $5MM), and J.J. Putz (one year, $7MM).
Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter) first reported the agreement. Terms were provided by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweeted additional contract details. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here's the latest news from Chase Field...
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers said "there may be" other players he will look into extending this spring, Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (via Twitter). Paul Goldschmidt and Ian Kennedy look like the two top candidates for extensions in Magruder's opinion. The club is already talking to Goldschmidt about a long-term deal and Kennedy agreed to a one-year, $4.265MM deal for 2013 in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Kennedy and Goldschmidt are under the Diamondbacks' control through the 2015 and 2017 seasons, respectively.
- Towers said he didn't talk to Goldschmidt's agent from SFX today, Magruder tweets. Towers didn't have any new details since the two sides met last week.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link) senses more optimism about a possible Goldschmidt extension than he did last month. Goldschmidt originally wasn't interested in negotiating when Towers approached him about a multiyear deal earlier this winter.
- Randall Delgado talks to Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic about being able to focus just on pitching with the D'Backs after being the subject of trade rumors for several months. Delgado was part of the trade package sent to Arizona from Atlanta in the Justin Upton deal, and last summer the Braves nearly sent Delgado to the Cubs in exchange for Ryan Dempster. “I heard my name in other rumors before, but this one was like big," Delgado said about the Dempster speculation. "It was on TV. It was on radio. It was everywhere. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God. I feel like I’m more on that team than here.’ ”
Goldschmidt, 25, has established himself as one of the game's most impressive young first basemen over the course of his first 193 games. He batted .286/.359/.490 in 2012 with 20 homers and 18 stolen bases in 21 attempts. Goldschmidt's case would be fairly unique, as he is currently under control through the 2017 season and two years away from arbitration eligibility.
As MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows, no first basemen have signed long-term deals with between one and two years of service time, though several hitters have done so. Interestingly enough, Goldschmidt's former teammate, Chris Young, inked a five-year, $28MM extension with the exact same amount of service time that Goldschmidt currently has -- one year, 59 days.
If the two sides are indeed in the midst of negotiations, it would signal a change in Goldschmidt's attitude. Just over a month ago, GM Kevin Towers told reporters that he approached Goldschmidt about a long-term deal, but was rebuffed as the first baseman wanted to hold off on that discussion.
An extension for Goldschmidt would be the fifth such contract issued by the Diamondbacks this offseason. To date, the team has extended Aaron Hill (three years, $35MM), Martin Prado (four years, $40MM), Cliff Pennington (two years, $5MM) and J.J. Putz (one year, $7MM).
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers says he has discussed a contract extension with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, according to AZCentral.com's Nick Piecoro. Goldschmidt is represented by Joe Sambito of SFX. Piecoro quotes a source saying that it would be "a surprise" if Goldschmidt and the Diamondbacks were to strike a deal in the near future, however. Last month, the Diamondbacks attempted to initiate talks with Goldschmidt, but Goldschmidt had indicated that he wanted to go year-to-year in an attempt to build up more value.
Goldschmidt, 25, would be eligible for arbitration after the 2014 season and eligible for free agency after the 2017 season. MLBTR's Extension Tracker reveals that, in the past five years, no first basemen with between one and two years of service time have signed long-term deals, so establishing a baseline value for Goldschmidt is difficult. (Goldschmidt himself had told Towers in February that he wanted to build up more service time before discussing an extension in order to get a clearer sense of who is "peer group" was.)
Allen Craig, who recently signed a five-year, $31MM extension with the Cardinals, shares passing similarities with Goldschmidt as a hitter, but also has a year more service time than Goldschmidt. Craig will make $11MM in the final guaranteed year of his contract. Replacing that year with a pre-arbitration salary for the first year of a potential Goldschmidt deal produces a starting point of five years and $20.5MM, which would cover all of Goldschmidt's remaining pre-arbitration seasons. The Diamondbacks would presumably also want to add a team option or two at the end of the deal, giving them the chance to buy out one or more of Goldschmidt's free agent years.
Here are more notes from the National League.
- A return to form by Brian McCann will likely ensure that the he signs with a new team next winter, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. McCann, who is recovering from labrum surgery, will likely return to the Braves' lineup about two weeks into the season. Some of McCann's old teammates tell Rosenthal that McCann was unhappy last season, when he played through injury and hit only .230/.300/.399, down from .270/.351/.466 in 2011. A phone call from GM Frank Wren to McCann after the season may have helped improve the relationship between the team and its star catcher, but that might not matter once he becomes a free agent at the end of the season. If McCann hits well in 2013, the Braves might not be able to afford him, Rosenthal says; if McCann hits poorly, the Braves might not want him, at least not an expensive long-term deal.
- The Nationals added Rafael Soriano this offseason, but not a lefty reliever, despite the departures of Sean Burnett and Tom Gorzelanny, MLB.com's Marty Noble notes. That likely leaves Zach Duke as the only lefty in the Washington bullpen. But manager Davey Johnson, who can count on tough righty relievers like Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Craig Stammen in addition to Soriano, says it's no problem that the Nats didn't acquire another lefty. "I don't have room for another lefty reliever," he says.
- Cutting Ian Stewart, who is suffering from a quad injury, doesn't make sense for the Cubs, Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago argues, since the savings from cutting Stewart would be insignificant. The Cubs can avoid paying most of Stewart's one-year, non-guaranteed contract if they release him in Spring Training, but the entire cost of the deal is just $2MM.
No National League division has produced more pennant winners over the last 15 seasons than the NL West. The Giants have own three of those pennants (plus two World Series titles to boot) and the Padres, Rockies and Diamondbacks all have one each over that span. The Dodgers are the odd team out but they're sparing no expense to get back to the World Series as soon as possible. Here's the latest from around the division...
- The Diamondbacks are looking to re-open extension talks with Paul Goldschmidt before Opening Day, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Goldschmidt turned down the club's initial attempt to negotiate a few weeks ago, telling GM Kevin Towers that he wanted more time to establish value.
- The Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw haven't yet begun serious negotiations about a long-term contract, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports (via CBS Sports' Dayn Perry). The two sides hadn't even begun talking by mid-February and there is an unofficial deadline of Opening Day, as Kershaw says he doesn't want negotiations to drag into the season.
- If the Dodgers trade one of their extra starting pitchers, they could look to obtain a right-handed hitting outfielder in return to provide a backup plan if Carl Crawford struggles or isn't healthy, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times opines.
- Brock Bond went from being an "accidental" draft pick in 2007 to reaching his first Major League Spring Training camp after six years in the Giants system, CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly writes.
- Over at Roto Authority, Steve Adams recently judged whether three NL West outfielders would be fantasy sleepers or busts in the coming season.
Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers revealed this weekend that he approached first baseman Paul Goldschmidt about the possibility of signing a long-term extension. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert has more on Goldschmidt plus notes on some players who recently signed deals of their own...
- Though the Diamondbacks were interested in locking Goldschmidt up, they will honor his request to wait before engaging in serious contract talks. "We tried, but he was just confident in his ability at the time and said, 'You know, I'm not looking for security right now and need a little bit more time just to kind of have a better idea with another year of play who my peer group looks more like,'" Towers said.
- Earlier on in their history the Diamondbacks signed many players to deals that included deferred salaries. The team has now paid off most of that $250MM commitment, which has led to increased financial flexibility.
- Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick explained that the upcoming national television deal should allow teams such as the Diamondbacks to spend more aggressively and retain their top players. "Our view with some of our key players is we can invest in multiple year deals in advance of the wave of money, where all clubs will begin to perhaps spend more on free agents or on their own players,” Kendrick said.
- Kendrick said he’s not concerned that Martin Prado and Aaron Hill might decline over the course of their recently-completed contract extensions. "If these guys continue to play at the level that they have played, which we hope they will, then I think we will look at all these signings, hopefully all these signings, as good investments," Kendrick said.
Yesterday, the Cardinals avoided arbitration with David Freese on a one-year, $3.15MM deal, which took care of all of their unsigned arbitration eligible players. However, the third baseman says that he wants to be in St. Louis for life, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "If a long-term deal is going to happen I know for a fact that I have to do some things. I have to be a leader. I have to do what I do on the field. I have do the things expected of me," Freese said. Here's more from around baseball..
- Teams are interested in Scott Podsednik but he likely will need to wait for one that wants more help, suffers an injury, or misses out on a free agent like Michael Bourn, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Earlier today, we learned that the Twins haven't ruled out making a play for the outfielder.
- Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette says he hopes to have the Jair Jurrjens situation resolved by the start of spring training, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The Orioles have yet to finalize their one-year, $1.5MM agreement with the pitcher and are believed to be concerned about his knee.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers says he approached Paul Goldschmidt about a long-term deal but the 25-year-old wanted to wait before talking about it, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Goldschmidt won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2014 season and isn't scheduled to hit free agency until the winter following the 2017 season.