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Paul Goldschmidt Rumors
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.
The Diamondbacks, winners of the NL West in 2011, have pushed the Brewers to a decisive fifth game in the NLDS, and they may not have gotten there without the help of rookie slugger Paul Goldschmidt. Here's more on him and a few other items of note regarding NL West clubs …
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said that extending Matt Kemp is an offseason priority but he won't set a firm deadline to get a deal done, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Last week, Kemp's agent, Dave Stewart, set an extension deadline of Opening Day 2012, and Colletti told Shelburne he too prefers to work out deals in the offseason, but he doesn't have any hard and fast rules: "I've done a handful of deals during a season, but the total number is very small compared to those that have been done in the offseason," Colletti said. "You take every situation case by case, you never say no to anything."
- That Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda vetoed pre-deadline trades to the Tigers and Red Sox bodes well for Los Angeles' chances of re-signing the free agent, opines Jim Bowden of ESPN (via Twitter). We heard late last month that Kuroda is on the fence about re-signing with the Dodgers or returning to Japan.
- The Diamondbacks were awarded an August waiver claim on White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, two sources tell Bob Nightengale of USA Today, but trade discussions didn't progress, as the South Siders were targeting Goldschmidt, whom the Snakes weren't interested in trading. Konerko, who would have had to approve the trade because of his 10-and-5 rights, said a deal was never brought to him — and he's not sure whether he would have accepted.
- The Rockies haven't ruled out bringing back third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes first reported that Kouzmanoff had elected free agency today after being outrighted on Tuesday.
- The Rox also are interested in retaining minor leaguers Jose Morales and Matt Daley, who were also outrighted, according to Renck (via Twitter).