Pedro Alvarez Rumors
- 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.
Random links to start the morning...
- Ben Shpigel says Billy Wagner's $10.5MM for '09 is not covered by insurance, making the Mets unlikely suitors for K-Rod (hat tip to MetsBlog).
- The Padres claimed knuckleballer Charlie Haeger. You have to like the move; he's only 24.
- Ken Davidoff writes about Nationals pitcher Tim Redding, who dreams about returning to the Yankees one day.
- Davidoff also says that contrary to popular belief, C.C. Sabathia did not buy a home in Southern California.
- In another post, Davidoff lists the worst trades of '08.
- Nats GM Jim Bowden will probably bring in a veteran first baseman next year due to health concerns with Nick Johnson and Dmitri Young.
- Not much cooking on the Pedro Alvarez front...Bud Selig testified yesterday, and the next part of the hearing isn't until September 23rd.
- Andrew Baggarly explains Bengie Molina's contentious relationship with the Giants.
- From Saturday: Carl Pavano's side of the story. Can Pavano be a useful pitcher next year?
- Larry Borowsky would like to see the Cardinals enterain an extension for Todd Wellemeyer. He's eligible for free agency after the '09 season.
- Joel Sherman isn't sure the Yankees will invite Andy Pettitte back next year.
- Brad Penny says he pitched through a shoulder injury because of uncertainty around his '09 option.
- Interesting fact...A.J. Burnett is second in MLB with 3286 pitches thrown (Sabathia jumped into the lead last night). Many of the '07 leaders in pitches thrown came down with injuries this year.
- Michael O'Keefe sits down with agent Scott Boras.
- ESPN's Buster Olney notes that the Blue Jays will pursue a shortstop this winter.
- All you ever wanted to know about Dr. James Andrews.
- Jed Hoyer explains where Curt Schilling learned his negotiating tactics.
Let's round 'em up...
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- Andy Pettitte seems to want to play next year, but Peter Abraham believes he may have to take a pay cut.
- Gerry Fraley writes about the Rockies and Mike Hampton. It's safe to rule out a return to Colorado for Hampton, who is currently auditioning for his next team.
- The Royals dismissed their scouting director Deric Ladnier, offering him another position in the organization. Craig Brown reflects on Ladnier's tenure.
- More Royals linkage: Rany Jazayerli defends the Gil Meche signing and implores the team to lock up Zack Greinke this winter. Jazayerli would also like the team to pick up knuckleballer Charlie Haeger, recently designated for assignment by the White Sox.
- Patrick Newman continues to update us on Japanese amateur pitcher Junichi Tazawa, who is coveted by several MLB teams. If Tazawa starts a trend, an interesting debate could follow. Newman also has a running list of Japanese free agents for this winter.
- Bobby Valentine may be clashing with his boss over in Japan.
- Will the Rangers cut Hank Blalock loose, or exercise his $6.2MM option? Blalock's ability to play third base remains a question mark, but he will try to improve his arm strength this winter.
- Neither the Pirates nor Pedro Alvarez's people will be present at today's hearing. ESPN's Buster Olney says Alvarez can't win - he's either villified in Pittsburgh or forced into next year's draft. In the latter case, Alvarez could lose money down the line.
I am going to toss up some links as I come across them, so check back on this post.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has an excellent piece on the Pedro Alvarez situation, including quotes from Scott Boras and Max Scherzer. The grievance will be heard tomorrow, but the entire process could take months.
- The big news of the day is not hot stove related. Albert Pujols is considering offseason Tommy John surgery, which would require seven to nine months of recovery time. It could cause him to miss April of '09. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal's sources say Pujols does not intend to have the surgery this offseason.
- In the same article, reliever Jason Isringhausen says he hopes to be ready for spring training after elbow surgery. He spoke of getting "an incentive-based deal with someone."
- Joel Sherman doesn't buy into the speculation that the Mets will be aggressive in pursuing Francisco Rodriguez due to Billy Wagner's injury. K-Rod has had 61 save opportunities this year, 14 more than anyone else. No other pitcher has reached 60 opps this decade. Rodriguez may pursue a five-year, $75MM deal.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci looks at the dumbing down of bullpen roles.
- Andrew Baggarly offers a possible explanation for Conor Gillaspie's call-up: a "predraft understanding." Gillaspie signed for slot as the 37th overall pick. Adding him to the 40-man roster now is less than ideal.
- RotoWorld's Matthew Pouliot predicts destinations and contracts for free agent pitchers. His article also includes non-tender candidates.
- Cork Gaines gives a rundown of the Rays' 2009 commitments.
- This week's chat has been moved to Wednesday at 2pm CST.
A few more notes from the MLBiverse...
- Dejan Kovacevic is reporting the Pedro Alvarez case may not be settled until well after the season. While there is a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, some feel that the case is too complex for a single hearing.
- Peter Schmuck feels the O's will sign a "couple of Paul Byrd-type pitchers," rather than open the pocketbook for a front-of-the-rotation starter.
- It is just speculation, but Nick Cafardo feels the Tigers and Cardinals will be the front-runners for Francisco Rodriguez...Of course this was written prior to the news that Billy Wagner will be out for the '09 season.
- Manager Ron Washington said he wants Milton Bradley back with the Rangers in '09, adding that he is not worried about having too many outfielders.
- Peter Abraham says the trades made by the Yankees prior to the deadline have backfired, with only Xavier Nady proving to be a valuable pickup.
- The Phillies have designated RJ Swindle for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Swindle made three appearances for the Phillies earlier this season. In Triple A, Swindle had 51 strikeouts in 36.1 innings, with a 1.98 ERA in 27 appearances.
- Athletics Nation takes a look at the outfield logjam the A's have for '09. While a trade or two seems like the obvious solution, Athletics Nation is worried the pieces are currently undervalued.
Sunday afternoon means it's time to look back at the week and recap the major stories here on MLBTR. Let's take a look:
- Arizona made a move to help replace Orlando Hudson when they acquired David Eckstein from Toronto for minor league pitcher Chad Beck. Second major move we saw from the D'Backs in August, and it seems like a fair price to add some stability to the middle of their infield for the remainder of the season.
- Brief update on the Pedro Alvarez drama. The Pirates will not re-negotiate his contract even if that option is somehow allowed.
- Tim began a couple of new series this week, one being the Offseason Outlook series, which will take a look at potential signings and moves for each team this offseason. So far, the Giants, Mariners, Padres, and Orioles have been covered.
- Tim also broke down some of the free agent market, taking a look at free agent starters sorted by strikeout rate, and position players sorted by on-base percentage.
- Curious to see if your team's pitchers will be Type-A or B free agents? Here's a look at the Elias rankings for both American League and National League free agent starters.
- Speaking of starting pitchers, Randy Wolf (Type B) has decided that his desire to pitch closer to home wasn't as important as he originally thought. He'll be open to all options this offseason. Wolf has pitched well since being acquired by Houston, despite moving to a more hitter-friendly park.
- Can't say I'm surprised, but if you any Seattle fans were hoping for a big-name free agent this offseason, you'll have to wait a bit longer.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly chatted with fans at MLB.com today. Highlights:
- The Pedro Alvarez drama will not prevent the Pirates from drafting a Scott Boras client in the future. Coonelly's history with Boras was not a factor in the negotiations.
- Coonelly is confident Alvarez will be a Pirate soon, and doesn't think the contract can be voided. He adds, "under no circumstance could Alvarez be granted free agency."
- The Pirates will not be spending $10MM+ per year on a free agent starting pitcher.
- Coonelly insists the Pirates were not shopping Ian Snell at the trade deadline. Jayson Stark and Jon Heyman said Snell was available, with the Bucs asking for Franklin Morales and two other prospects from the Rockies.