Pedro Alvarez Rumors
The latest on the Pirates, from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Extension talks with Nate McLouth are dormant, but talks with Paul Maholm are not. Maholm is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so he's under team control through 2011.
- Doug Mientkiewicz was overwhelmed by the support he's getting from Pirates fans.
- Scott Boras apparently told the Pirates Pedro Alvarez was working very hard to stay in shape while their negotiations dragged, but team president Frank Coonelly says Alvarez "was not in good condition" when he showed up for the Florida Instructional League in September.
A few notes from the MLBiverse...
- Ken Williams says the White Sox are in a position where they could either add more young players to develop or add some veteran pieces to the group. Williams says whichever road they choose, the team is "in a pretty good position."
- Joe Posnanski, on his blog, takes a look at some recent rumors surrounding the Royals. He feels that is the rumors have any truth to them, they are scary, noting that it would lead to an OBP-deprived lineup. Posnanski feels Dayton Moore is a "smart baseball man" and won't make the moves being rumored.
- Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star looks at the Jays roster and dreams about the free agents that could fill in the holes.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Joe Crede will not return to the White Sox.
- DraftInfo talked to Eric Hosmer about his first year as a pro. Hosmer discussed the Pedro Alvarez situation, noting that he was never worried with Scott Boras as his agent.
Links for Wednesday...
- I did a Q&A with the Roselle Press. The article includes a sweet picture of me hacking the Internet.
- Greg Cote of the Miami Herald speculates on the new-look 2009 Marlins. If defense is a goal, they could look to acquire Adrian Beltre and try Jorge Cantu at first base. Randy Winn could improve the defense in right.
- John Fay runs through the Reds' nine free agents. He believes Jerry Hairston Jr. wants to return.
- Brian Cashman wants to acquire a real first baseman, rather than have Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui spend time there.
- The Mariners received permission to interview Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava, according to Geoff Baker.
- It's still not known whether the Dodgers will bring GM Ned Colletti back for the final year of his contract. Interesting note from ESPN's Buster Olney - the Andruw Jones signing was engineered by owner Frank McCourt rather than Colletti.
- Olney feels Brian Cashman is more likely to pursue Derek Lowe than Mark Teixeira.
- Will Joe Girardi's presence discourage free agents from signing with the Yankees?
- McCovey Chronicles sees the Giants trading for a second or third baseman this winter. I tossed out a bunch of names in my Offseason Outlook.
- Pedro Alvarez clammed up when asked precisely what time he accepted the original deal from the Pirates.
- MetsBlog tries to figure out whether Ryan Church loves or hates New York.
- Oliver Perez predicts a tough offseason following the Mets' final-day elimination. On the bright side, he stands to earn a ridiculous amount of money as a free agent.
Here's your weekly look back at some of the biggest stories we've covered on MLBTR!
- The Pedro Alvarez drama may finally be behind us. The Pirates' first-round pick agreed to terms with the organization on a new four-year, $6.355MM major league contract. Jim Callis and Dejan Kovacevic have some more insight to offer on the signing here. The contract was officially signed later in the week, and the grievance was resolved. Royals fans and Eric Hosmer are also both relieved that this is over I'm sure.
- The Blue Jays began talking extension with A.J. Burnett this week. Later on, we learned that the Jays would offer a two-year, $30MM extension onto the remaining two years of his contract, bringing the total remaining value to four years, $54MM. Burnett seemed pleasantly surprised with the amount of money the Jays were said to offer. He expected they'd offer less. You're always going to be wondering just how many innings he can give you in a season, but in a world where Carlos Silva makes $12MM per season, if Burnett is healthy he'd be a steal at this price.
- Lots of question marks for another AL East team's rotation, with the Yankees trying to figure out just what exactly Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina are planning for 2009. Pettitte has said that he'll play for the Yankees or retire. Bringing Pettitte back only makes sense if he's willing to take a much smaller contract. I think around $10MM would make sense; someone also suggested a $7-8MM deal with incentives. That seems fair as well. As for Mussina, he initially said that he didn't think he'd pitch in 2009, but later at least discussed the possibility of pitching for 300 wins. His first preference would be to pitch for the Yankees again. Congrats to Moose on picking up win number 20 today, by the way. Another milestone in a great career.
- Erik Bedard's injury and operation weren't as serious as thought, and the Mariners now face more of a decision on bringing him back. If he's healthy enough to pitch, I can't see a reason not to bring him back. Maybe they can at least get a few months of the pitcher they initially thought they were getting, and get something in return in July.
- Curious about what it will take for your club to reel in that free agent you're craving? Buster Olney took a look at the market earlier this week that might shed some light on the issue.
- One player who will be in that free agent pool is Orlando Cabrera. He openly criticized his teammates, saying that none of them wanted to win enough, and that "they were the problem," not him. Cabera's hitting a very weak shortstop market; he should draw a lot of interest from numerous clubs. Interestingly, that article suggests Chicago's biggest rival - Minnesota - as a possible landing place for Cabrera.
- Two players officially called it quits this week. Todd Jones retired, notching 319 saves in his career. Elsewhere, J.T. Snow signed a one-day contract with San Francisco, so he could officially retire as a Giant.
- Tim updated the Offseason Outlook series with entries for the Reds, Rockies, and Rangers.
- Has anyone seen Brad Penny recently? No? Apparently, neither have the Dodgers.
- Brewers fans, act quickly to snag free tickets to tonight's game courtesy of Eric Gagne. Nice gesture.
- Of course Ned Colletti wants to re-sign Manny Ramirez. It's just a question of dollars and years. Does Manny get the rumored 4/100 he might desire?
- The Jays locked manager Cito Gaston up through 2010.
- Richard Griffin says the Blue Jays will be better for it if they lose A.J. Burnett. Meanwhile, River Ave. Blues is open to the idea of the Yankees signing him.
- No, Corey Patterson is not dating Dusty Baker's daughter. And Baker says he wasn't behind the signing, either.
- The Reds might not be in the market for a catcher this winter, if they go with Ryan Hanigan as the starter in '09.
- The Mariners officially founded the 100/100 club.
- Peter Abraham sees the Yankees going with Brett Gardner as the center fielder in 2009. Peter Gammons is "convinced he is going to be an everyday center fielder."
- Sam Mellinger discusses a way to drastically shake up the Royals: trade both Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria for loads of young, cheap players. As he notes, the strategy could work out but might cause a fan revolt.
- Andrew Baggarly wonders if Noah Lowry's injury problems could prevent a Matt Cain trade. Also, Baggarly sees a non-tender in Kevin Correia's future.
- Frank Coonelly suggested Pedro Alvarez's new deal is comparable in value to the original. Scott Boras then jumped on the conference call to say it was a favorable change, and much different from the original. Additionally, Coonelly contacted Baseball America's Jim Callis to dispute the idea of a premeditated plan to negotiate with Alvarez after the deadline.
- The Marlins will focus on improving their defense this winter.
5:47pm: Alvarez's contract is signed.
3:26pm: MLB just issued a press release...the dispute has been resolved. Alvarez and Eric Hosmer are free to play ball.
10:06am: According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pedro Alvarez and Scott Boras are in downtown Pittsburgh this morning. The union's grievance might be dropped today (testimony has been postponed), and Alvarez should take his physical and sign the contract soon.
A few questions to ponder. If Alvarez wins ROY in 2010, will all be forgiven in Pittsburgh? And will the Pirates be willing to use their early first-round pick next year on a Boras client?
- After Bud Selig testified on the first day of the hearing, Scott Boras and the Pirates got in touch (it's not known who broke the ice). The Pirates renegotiation doesn't look great for president Frank Coonelly, who was publicly against the idea.
- Callis implies that MLB and the Pirates may have made a calculated move by finishing the Alvarez deal after the deadline. Maybe Boras and Alvarez aren't the villains here, after all. Unlike the Julio Borbon signing in '07, the Pirates didn't contact the players union for approval of the extension. Hopefully Alvarez is given a fair shake by baseball fans.
- Callis considers the new deal an improvement for Alvarez and Boras, despite the present-day value of $5.67MM. The Pirates save face with the lower number, but ultimately it looks like Boras and Alvarez won this battle.
1:08pm: Kovacevic has more. He says talks have begun toward resolving the grievance filed by the players union. He also indicates Alvarez has yet to take his physical. Meanwhile the Royals hope this means they can get Eric Hosmer back out on the field soon.
8:42am: Good news for Pirates fans - top draft pick Pedro Alvarez agreed to terms on a new contract with the Pirates. It's a four-year Major League deal worth $6.355MM, with a couple of option years after that. The union's grievance may no longer be an issue.
Dejan Kovacevic says that with interest and inflation Alvarez is getting around $5.67MM (less than the $6MM minor league deal he originally signed). On the other hand, Alvarez will now be added to the 40-man roster.
On deadline day, Alvarez and other players did not receive big league deals partially because the two parties no longer had time to conduct a physical. I'm wondering if the Pirates and Alvarez met up and did this recently. And when did they find the time to do this post-deadline renegotiation? I'm surprised it was allowed.
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- Great stuff on the Pedro Alvarez situation from Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein. Goldstein's source says the union will claim that the Pirates and MLB engaged in a premeditated conspiracy, perhaps designed to take Scott Boras out of the picture by negotiating past midnight. The article is subscription-only. At $40 a year, BP is well worth it.
- It seems that Type B status is slipping away for Tigers reliever Kyle Farnsworth. Ivan Rodriguez recently fell from A to B, but the Yankees may choose not to offer him arbitration.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis says Mariners top draft pick Joshua Fields wants $2MM, while the team is holding firm at $1.5MM. Fields is advised by Scott Boras.
- Interesting note from last week...Bernie Williams is training and does not consider himself retired.
- Patrick Newman discusses the Junichi Tazawa situation in-depth. He says NPB's commissioner plans to meet with Bud Selig. One reason MLB looks extra-appealing to Tazawa: NPB limits draft pick bonuses to $1MM.
- Geoff Baker discusses Jose Guillen.
Digging into today's random links...
- Joel Sherman looks at what went wrong for the Yankees this year. Did they fall too in love with their farm system?
- At least six teams have called the Pirates about third baseman Andy LaRoche in recent weeks. If LaRoche pans out and Pedro Alvarez comes aboard, the Bucs could have a surplus at some point.
- Craig Harris examines the rise of D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes.
- Eddie Bajek updated the Elias rankings for the AL 1B/OF/DH category. They're fluctuating wildly. Eddie also did catchers for both leagues; Ivan Rodriguez is headed into Type B territory. Gregg Zaun lost Type B status.
- Mike Hindman conducted a roundtable asking what kind of contract the Rangers should offer Milton Bradley.
- 29 teams passed on Rays reliever Grant Balfour last spring. Now he has a 1.62 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 50 innings. Balfour's been through a lot.
- Joe McDonald and Sean McAdam don't see the Red Sox signing A.J. Burnett (or any big-name free agent starter).
- Padres CEO Sandy Alderson scoffed at the idea of a $40MM payroll for '09. I never heard that figure tossed around; Buster Olney suggested the $50MM range.
- Maury Brown heard a rumor that Thomas Ricketts won the bid for the Cubs.