Robinson Cano Rumors
Cano, 30, will earn $15MM next season. He hit .313/.379/.550 with a career-high 33 homers this season, his third straight year of MVP-caliber performance. Cano is due to become a free agent after next season and we recently heard that agent Scott Boras is seeking a ten-year contract at "top-of-the-market dollars" for the second baseman.
Granderson, 31, will also earn $15MM next year after triggering escalator clauses in his contract with last season's fourth place finish in the MVP voting. He hit .232/.319/.492 with 43 homers in 2012, his second consecutive season with 40+ dingers. GM Brian Cashman recently said he won't trade the outfielder in a reactionary move following his poor postseason showing.
The Yankees signed Aardsma to a one-year contract last offseason with an eye on 2013 since the right-hander was coming off Tommy John surgery. The 30-year-old threw just one inning in September after spending the summer rehabbing. Aardsma will make just $500K next season, with more available in incentives.
The latest from ESPN.com’s Buster Olney...
- Brian McCann’s $12MM option for 2013 no longer seems as appealing as it once did, Olney writes. The Braves are working to address many offseason needs with a modest payroll and McCann's recent shoulder surgery was more extensive than expected. Olney points out that the Braves could attempt to negotiate a deal at a lower salary or exercise the option and trade McCann to a team such as the Rangers or Yankees. Of course the Braves could simply bring the catcher back for another season in the hopes that his shoulder recovers.
- Next year’s free agent class might be light on impact talent other than Robinson Cano, Olney writes. In general it probably doesn’t make sense to expect stacked free agent classes at a time that teams are locking up players to extensions that cover their prime years.
- Japanese pitching prospect Shohei Otani intends to pursue a career in MLB, and a number of teams are interested in the hard-throwing right-hander. The Red Sox and Rangers “have done the most work in this arena,” according to Olney.
On this date back in 2000, the Blue Jays gave Carlos Delgado the richest contract in baseball history in terms of average annual value, a four-year pact worth $17MM per year. Delgado hit .282/.405/.555 with 146 homers during the life of the deal. Here's the latest from his former division, the AL East...
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post hears that Robinson Cano is seeking a ten-year contract at "top-of-the-market dollars." The Yankees will retain Cano for 2013 with their $15MM club option, but it's unclear if they will break team policy to discuss an extension before he hits free agency.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos and manager John Farrell didn't always see eye-to-eye, reports Bob Elliott of The Toronto Sun. He says Farrell wanted to release Omar Vizquel in July and wasn't pleased the club didn't acquire starting pitching at the deadline. The Jays and Red Sox are currently making progress in talks to send Farrell to Boston.
- Raul Ibanez told reporters (including Kristie Ackert of The New York Daily News) that he is "not even thinking about" free agency at the moment. The 40-year-old hit .240/.308/.453 in 425 plate appearances for the Yankees this season, including a number of huge homers in the postseason.
- The Red Sox must focus on quality over quantity in their search for starting pitching this offseason, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal. Four of the team's five rotation spots already seem to be accounted for, so there is room for a high-end arm.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com wrote about the Orioles' second base job, which is up in the air. Brian Roberts is still recovering from hip surgery, and both Robert Andino and Omar Quintanilla are non-tender candidates.
- Meanwhile, Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com lists five players the Orioles should look to sign long-term, including Jim Johnson and Matt Wieters.
- Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that the team had approximately a dozen offseason conversations with Carlos Beltran's agent, Dan Lozano. That's a stark contrast from Beltran's statements, who said the two sides never talked. Shea speculates that Lozano didn't convey any of the communication to Beltran, who is of course, squaring off against his former teammates in the NLCS.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America has a rundown of 10 minor league deals that reaped significant Major League benefits, including Gregor Blanco, Brandon Moss and Quintin Berry.
- Mets 2011 draftee Bradley Marquez will undergo surgery on his left knee after sustaining an injury playing football at Texas Tech, writes ESPN's Adam Rubin. The Mets allowed Marquez to continue playing football in order to facilitate the signing of their 11th-round selection.
- Alex Rodriguez may be in the midst of a disappointing October, but at least he has a long-term contract in place. Robinson Cano, an offseason extension candidate, may have diminished his bargaining power by hitting poorly in the postseason, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Plus, Rodriguez's struggles probably won't make the Yankees over-eager to spend a comparable amount on another struggling player.
- The Nationals are set at every infield position but first base heading into the offseason, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes. Ian Desmond could be in line for an extension this offseason, and Kilgore suggests a six-year, $45MM contract could work for both sides. It sounds as though there's a good chance Adam LaRoche will re-sign in Washington, even if he declines his side of the mutual option on his contract.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean said coaches Ron Wotus and Dave Righetti would be excellent managers given the opportunity, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). Wotus is the Giants' bench coach and and Righetti is the team's pitching coach.
Bobby Valentine has officially been dismissed, which means the Red Sox will embark on their second managerial search in as many years. GM Ben Cherington has said he hopes to conclude the search earlier this time. Here are some notes on Boston’s division rivals...
- Former Orioles president Andy MacPhail told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that he's happy for the team’s fans, players and executives. He acknowledged that it "would have been a lot of fun" to be present for Baltimore's playoff run, but said he doesn't regret stepping down to spend time with his family. MacPhail said he's starting to think about working in baseball again and noted that, at 59 years old, he's "way too young" to do nothing. "I think there are a variety of things that would interest me," he told Connolly.
- MacPhail noted that Dan Duquette has done an excellent job of finding starting pitching depth this year.
- Executives suggest an extension for Robinson Cano could cost the Yankees $200MM, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan writes. The second baseman says he hasn’t “thought about anything," but the Yankees can’t allow him to hit free agency in Passan’s view. New York will exercise its $15MM option for Cano after the season, delaying his free agency until the end of the 2013 season.
- Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said he's "not going to be flippant" about Tampa Bay's impressive pitching depth this coming offseason, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Friedman also said he expects to talk with Larry Reynolds, the agent for B.J. Upton, even though the sides aren't expected to agree to a new contract.
- Mike Axisa rounded up the latest Red Sox-related rumors earlier today. Here's one more note from Boston: the Blue Jays would want “a decent player” in a deal for manager John Farrell, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports.
The Yankees will reach a crossroads with three of their most productive players this offseason when Nick Swisher hits free agency and Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano get a little closer to the open market. Jayson Stark surveyed MLB executives about the value of those Yankees and passed along the results in his latest column at ESPN.com. Here are the details and more notes from Stark...
- Two National League executives had no reservations about spending on Cano. “Pay him what he's worth," one said. The other said Cano has a legitimate case for a $200MM extension.
- The execs praised Granderson as a person but questioned his value on the field. A $100MM contract would be excessive in the view of one executive. Both Cano and Granderson will be eligible for free agency following the 2013 season, assuming the Yankees exercise their '13 club options.
- Similarly, the executives don’t consider Swisher a candidate for a Jayson Werth-type deal (seven years and $126MM). Swisher may look to match Werth’s contract as a free agent this coming winter.
- The Nationals have considered picking up their side of Adam LaRoche’s $10MM mutual option for 2013 and keeping Bryce Harper in center field, Stark reports. Alternatively, they could sign Michael Bourn when he hits free agency, move Harper to a corner spot and trade Michael Morse. I examined LaRoche’s option in detail last week, before his recent hot streak.
- The Phillies are looking at third base and left field options for next year and that search includes players already in the organization. One scout has been impressed by 26-year-old Darin Ruf, who hit 38 home runs at Double-A this year. "He might be Matt Holliday," the scout said, praising Ruf's hitting ability.
- An old friend of Roger Clemens doesn’t believe the seven-time Cy Young Award winner when he says he’s not thinking about playing at the MLB level. The person expects Clemens to sign with the Astros this month.
David Wright is more than a year away from hitting free agency, but the Mets hope to sign him to an extension sooner, rather than later, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Mets don’t want to experience the tension that would occur if Wright enters the 2013 without a long-term deal, and the team’s officials sound confident they’ll find common ground with the ACES client this offseason.
Wright earns $15MM this season and his contract includes a $16MM club option for 2013 ($1MM buyout) that will definitely be exercised. The 29-year-old is playing at an MVP level this year, which means the Mets probably can’t expect to lock him up for a deal similar to Ryan Zimmerman’s six-year, $100MM contract.
Cano's contract status is similar to Wright's. The second baseman earns $14MM this year and his contract includes a $15MM club option ($2MM buyout for 2013). Like Wright, Cano is playing at an MVP level and his contract option is sure to be picked up. The Yankees have a club policy of waiting for players to hit free agency before negotiating contracts, but Cano says he’d listen if the Yankees have a proposal.
“I am always open to hearing anything,” he said, according to Sherman. “If it works for both sides, that is great. But I have to hear an offer.”
The Yankees aim to avoid the luxury tax by 2014, so GM Brian Cashman might have to get creative to retain Cano and Curtis Granderson (Granderson is also under team control through 2013). Cano, 29, felt underpaid on the contract he signed with his previous representatives and wants to make a score on his next contract, Sherman reports.
Agent Scott Boras, who represents Cano, said it costs elite prices to buy elite players out of free agent years. Boras pointed out that the Yankees generate far more revenue than most teams and said clubs sometimes have to commit to ten-year deals for the privilege of locking up an elite player for his prime years.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman spoke with reporters prior to today's game against the Angels and Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger has the goods..
- Cashman implied that the Yankees might break policy and explore contract extensions early this winter with both Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson. The Yankees hold club options in 2013 for both Cano ($15MM) and Granderson ($13MM) but may be motivated to extend both before they hit the open market. The Yanks want to get their payroll below $189MM in 2014 to avoid stiff penalties and could make the numbers work if they lock in both players early.
- Cashman doesn't want to overpay to make improvements at the deadline that will only be "marginal." He wouldn't rule out some activity before the July 31 but he's "very skeptical" about the chances of finding something worthwhile on the market.
- The GM said that he wanted to avoid wearing Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones thin by playing them in the outfield but he seems content to wait on Brett Gardner's return rather than overspend for an outfielder via trade.
Here are some links to read before the Home Run Derby begins, starting with last year's derby winner...
- The Yankees have had internal discussions about a long-term contract for Robinson Cano, Jack Curry of the YES Network writes. GM Brian Cashman acknowledges that the team has considered trying to lock the second baseman up to an extension. "Oh, yeah. But we haven't done it yet," Cashman said.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com suggests the Orioles should seek upgrades aggressively without parting with elite prospects Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado. Executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette is working to add starting pitching between now and the end of July and names like Zack Greinke and Wandy Rodriguez have emerged as possibilities.
- Commissioner Bud Selig told reporters he's "very satisfied" with baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement so far, Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal tweets.
Teams interested in acquiring starting pitching help surely noticed when the Cubs placed right-hander Ryan Dempster on the disabled list with right lat tightness today. Dempster, 35, is one of the top starters known to be available in trades. Here are today’s links...
- A quick sale of the Padres may not be possible at this point, writes Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. The three apparent finalists are all leading bid groups with multiple investors, which will require extensive background work once a sale is announced.
- Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com examines the trade stock of some of the Phillies biggest names in the event that their slide continues into late July.
- Blue Jays righty Kyle Drabek is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow, tweets Barry Davis of Sportsnet.ca. This will be the second time Drabek has been through Tommy John.
- Free agent designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero isn't close to signing, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- There's no indication the Tigers are interested in Jim Thome, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press reports. Thome, a "longtime tormentor" of the Tigers, bats left-handed, which means he’s not a perfect fit in Detroit. The Tigers are interested in acquiring a bat before the July 31st trade deadline and they'd prefer to add a right-handed hitter, Morosi reported yesterday.
- GM Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that the Yankees haven't pursued contract extensions for Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson, but aim to keep both players long-term (Twitter link).
- Maury Brown explains that TV deals are boosting franchise values across MLB in a piece at Baseball Prospectus.