Roy Halladay Rumors
With two months of baseball in the books, here's a look at the players who have vesting options for the 2014 season..
- Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013. Suzuki was slated to split time behind the plate with Wilson Ramos this season, but Ramos' hamstring has forced the club to give the veteran catcher 39 starts thus far (counting tonight's game). The most recent update on Ramos, courtesy of the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, says that he'll be sidelined until around July 1st. If Ramos heals up and takes starts away from Suzuki, it will be a club option worth $8.5MM with a modest $650K buyout.
- Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances. Carroll has 105 PAs in 27 games this season. The veteran has had more than his needed total in each of the last three seasons with 500+ plate appearances in each of the last two years.
- Wilson Betemit, Orioles: $3.2MM option vests with 324 plate appearances (combined 700 between 2012 and 2013). Betemit underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on March 26th and a late May update (from Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com) indicates that he still hasn't been cleared for baseball activities.
- Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances. So far, Berkman has 199 plate appearances to his credit and is on pace to lock in his 2014 option with ease. In 2011, his last full season, the slugger racked up 587 PAs.
- Roy Halladay, Phillies: $20MM option vests with 259 innings pitched (combined 415 innings pitched between '12 and '13). This was a longshot to begin with, but shoulder surgery earlier this month makes this one impossible.
- Brett Myers, Indians: $8MM option vests with 200 innings pitched in 2013 and a passed physical after the season. After logging 21 and 1/3 innings in 2013, Myers was sidelined with tendinitis and a mild ligament sprain in his right elbow and has yet to return. When he does come back, it's possible that the Tribe will move him to the bullpen.
- Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched. Zito has racked up 62 and 2/3 innings through eleven starts this season. It's far from a lock, but as it stands the veteran still has a chance at securing his 2014 salary. His numbers are strong as he has a 3.88 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
- Johan Santana, Mets: His $25MM option could have vested with 215 innings pitched or winning the 2013 Cy Young Award, but he won't have a chance at that thanks to a season-ending tear in his pitching shoulder.
It's also worth noting that Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano has a $8MM club option for 2014, but it can vest at any of three levels - $5MM, $6MM, or $8MM - based on the number of days he is not on the DL this year with a recurrence of his right arm injury. It's not known how many days the hurler must steer clear of right arm trouble in order to trigger each level of his option, however. The left-hander made his season debut on May 11th.
The St. Louis Cardinals are the class of the National League right now, having won exactly two-thirds of their first 39 games. They're fourth in the league in OBP and ninth in slugging, and third in runs scored per game partially due fantastic work with runners in scoring position. Their rotation has easily been the league's best with a 2.33 ERA, even without Chris Carpenter. While the Jason Motte-less bullpen has an NL-worst 5.00 ERA, it's at 3.27 in May, with most of the damage coming in one Carlos Martinez outing. By measure of FanGraphs WAR, Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Shelby Miller, and Yadier Molina have been the team MVPs so far. Now let's look at some links from elsewhere around the NL...
- First baseman Anthony Rizzo has a new seven-year, $41MM deal with the Cubs, but pitcher Jeff Samardzija says he isn't ready to talk contract with the club, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Absolutely not," said the pitcher when asked if he's looking to hammer out an extension. "Nope. This is a great team, really coming around right now, playing great baseball. I'm just really looking to keep this going. It's fun to play with these guys." Samardzija, 28, will have four years of Major League service after the season. This is just a theory of mine, but having been lured away from football in '06 with a $10MM contract, Samardzija has more financial security at this point in his career than most players, and continuing to bet on his talent will enable him to maximize his next contract.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that he hasn't been in touch with former closer Brian Wilson lately. Sabean says that he doesn't know how Wilson is throwing but has heard The Beard is "working out like a fiend" and is "going to try to showcase himself over the All-Star break or thereabouts."
- The Phillies issued a statement regarding Roy Halladay today: "Roy had successful shoulder surgery yesterday. He had an arthroscopic evaluation and underwent debridement of his labrum and rotator cuff as well as removal of an inflamed bursa. He'll begin a progressive rehabilitation program and if all goes well, he may possibly begin a throwing program in 6-8 weeks." The 36-year-old will be eligible for free agency after the season. Scrambling for depth in the wake of the injuries to Halladay and John Lannan, the Phillies signed Carlos Zambrano to a minor league deal yesterday with a July 1st opt-out date.
- In other NL East injury news, the Braves announced reliever Jonny Venters had the second Tommy John procedure of his career today. The 28-year-old will be arbitration eligible for the second time after the season, with an expected salary similar to this year's $1.625MM.
- A clerical error could have enabled Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt to pocket an extra $500K a few years back, but he wasn't willing to pocket the money, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle via Affeldt's book, "To Stir a Movement." Affeldt believes his subsequent contract with the Giants went smoothly partly because of that decision.
Roy Halladay's season (and Phillies tenure) could be ended by his upcoming shoulder surgery, and the veteran right-hander took it upon himself to apologize to Phillie fans before Friday's game. "You feel an obligation to the organization, to your teammates, to the fans to try to go out and pitch. Especially on a competitive team that sells out. For me, that was a big factor," Halladay told reporters (including Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer). Halladay hopes to return to the mound in three months though it remains to been how the 36-year-old will respond to the surgery.
Here's the latest from around the division...
- The Marlins' policy against no-trade clauses isn't an insurmountable obstacle to the team's business, opines agent Scott Boras. "I think the no trade policy does affect franchise players. But the number of franchise players in free agency are pretty rare," Boras told reporters (including Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald). "The Marlins in my mind you've got a number of players who like the geographical dynamic of what Miami offers. You've got a footprint now. It's not a wish and a hope."
- The Marlins' injury problems have forced the team to promote prospects like Jose Fernandez, Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna to the Major Leagues earlier than expected, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes. "I don't know if it messes up the plan," president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "You've got to do what you've got to do....Right now, we're so buckled by the amount of injuries to key players. I don't know if we've taken a step back to say, 'OK, is this going to mess up the master plan?' We're trying to make sure Red [manager Mike Redmond] has 25 guys every day, which has been tough."
- Edwin Jackson picked up his first win of the season in the Cubs' 8-2 victory over the Nationals today. Jackson told James Wagner of the Washington Post that he was interested in returning to the Nats last year but the team passed on negotiations after he turned down their one-year qualifying offer. Jackson ended up finding long-term security in the form of a four-year, $52MM deal with the Cubs.
- With Brian McCann back from the DL and Evan Gattis hitting well, the Braves could look to trade catcher Gerald Laird, speculates MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Since this could be McCann's last season in Atlanta, however, Bowman thinks the Braves will keep Laird as a veteran mentor to Gattis in 2014.
- Some other items about the Phillies, Nationals and Mets were covered earlier today by MLBTR's Jeff Todd in an edition of National League Notes.
The Phillies received some bad news earlier today when they learned that Roy Halladay will have to undergo shoulder surgery to remove a bone spur and repair a partially torn rotator cuff. Will they look outside for help? Here's the latest on that and other news from the Phillies..
- General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated the Phillies will actively seek help for their rotation with Roy Halladay undergoing surgery reports Matt Gelb of Philly.com. Recently recalled Tyler Cloyd will take Halladay’s turn in the rotation, while veteran John Lannan is still sidelined with a knee injury. Amaro is reportedly “not even thinking that far ahead” concerning Halladay’s free agency after the season.
- ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweets that since Cloyd was already on their 40-man roster, the Phillies will have an opening if they decide to add a veteran starter from outside the organization. Stark also notes (link) that several pitchers may soon be available via opt-outs in their contracts, including Chris Young, Chien-Ming Wang, and Tim Stauffer.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has a breakdown on starting pitchers who could be moved this season, including the Phillies’ Cliff Lee. Lee may be a “game changer,” but as Heyman notes, the left-hander is still owed $82MM through 2015, which could prove to be too pricey, especially with the Dodgers possibly not being a buyer this time.
Max Fogle contributed to this post.
Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay will undergo surgery on his right shoulder to remove a bone spur and repair a partially torn rotator cuff and fraying labrum, he announced today. Halladay, who spoke to reporters today (including MLB.com's Todd Zolecki) remains optimistic that he will pitch again in 2013, as doctors will look to make the procedure as non-invasive as possible.
This is clearly a large blow to Hallday's free agent stock, as his contract expires at the end of the 2013 season. Halladay has a vesting option that triggers with 225 innings this season or a combined 415 innings between 2012-13. Obviously, neither of those is attainable with him likely on the shelf for what could be a few months.
Halladay will be 36 this offseason and will turn 37 in May 2014, so buyers will be understandably hesitant to commit to him following shoulder surgery. However, we've seen injury-plagued aces such as Ben Sheets (with the A's in 2010) and Dan Haren (with the Nationals this offseason) land one-year deals worth $10MM+, and that outcome seems possible for Halladay, particularly if he pitches again this season and looks sharp.
The veteran was dogged by questions about his velocity heading into the 2013 season and won't get the chance to silence his critics for at least a little while. Through seven starts, Halladay posted a 8.65 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 17 walks for the Phillies. Halladay was asked by reporters if he could be willing to return to the Phillies on a cut-rate deal but didn't seem willing to get into that at this juncture. The veteran also said he wouldn't rule out transitioning into a bullpen role if he can't get enough rehab innings on his way back.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Phillies have made multiple inquiries on the availability of Giancarlo Stanton over the past several months, Major League sources tell Jim Sailisbury of CSNPhilly.com, but have received the same answer as every other team in baseball: Stanton isn't available for the time being.
Salisbury notes that while the Phils lack a deep farm system, they do have plenty of near-MLB-ready arms such as Jesse Biddle, Jonathan Pettibone and Adam Morgan that could be used to headline a Stanton package. Of course, as Salisbury notes, if and when the Marlins decide to listen to offers on Stanton, they may not be keen on trading him within the division. That hasn't stopped the Phillies -- and reportedly the Mets -- from showing interest.
Salisbury writes that the very reason that the Phillies have such great need for Stanton's services could lead the team to be sellers come the trade deadline. Philadelphia outfielders are hitting just .215/.285/.330, which has contributed to their 13-16 record. Here are the highlights from his list of potential trade chips...
- Cliff Lee could become the prize of the July trade market should the Phillies sell. The Red Sox inquired on Lee before the Winter Meetings but were rebuffed. Given their first-place standing, they could look at Lee as a means to push them toward a World Series run.
- Jonathan Papelbon is another expensive piece that the Phils could move, and Salisbury wonders if the Tigers could be interested, given deep-pocketed owner Mike Illitch's desire to win a World Series. Detroit has had bullpen issues all season and recently re-signed Jose Valverde to reprise his role as closer. However, Salisbury reports that the Tigers are one of the team's in Papelbon's no-trade clause.
- Jimmy Rollins could be moved but would have to waive his full no-trade clause in order for that to happen.
- There's a sentiment that the Phillies would prefer to keep Chase Utley than deal him this summer if he remains healthy. Utley will gain 10-and-5 rights in August, Salisbury notes.
- Salisbury also mentions Carlos Ruiz, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Delmon Young as players the Phillies would consider. Halladay's inconsistency and Howard's price tag would be prohibitive factors in any trade talks for that duo.
As we close in on the month of May, let's check in on the players who have vesting options for the 2014 season...
- Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013. Prior to Opening Day, the Nats announced that Suzuki would be in a timeshare with Wilson Ramos behind the plate. However, Ramos' hamstring has led to Suzuki starting 16 of the club's 23 games so far in 2013. Ramos is scheduled to rejoin the club on Monday, but if he suffers another setback, Suzuki could have a realistic shot at triggering his '14 option.
- Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances. Carroll has surpassed that mark in each of the last three seasons with 500+ plate appearances in each of the last two years, but he has just 18 PAs as April comes to a close.
- Wilson Betemit, Orioles: $3.2MM option vests with 324 plate appearances (combined 700 between 2012 and 2013). Betemit suffered a PCL tear during the last week of Spring Training, keeping him out of action until at least mid-May. When he returns, he figures to see less action than he did last year thanks to Manny Machado.
- Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances. So far, Berkman has 19 games under his belt with 80 plate appearances. He'll be within reach as long as he stays healthy. In 2011, his last full season, Berkman racked up 587 PAs for the Cardinals.
- Roy Halladay, Phillies: $20MM option vests with 259 innings pitched (combined 415 innings pitched between '12 and '13). So far, Halladay has logged 28 and 1/3 innings through five April starts but the 259 mark remains a longshot. However, it's worth nothing that Halladay has come close to that figure twice in the last six years (2008, 246 IP; 2010, 250.2 IP) and surpassed it once in his career (2003, 266 IP).
- Brett Myers, Indians: $8MM option vests with 200 innings pitched in 2013 and a passed physical after the season. Myers is expected to miss most of May due to tendinitis and a mild ligament sprain in his right elbow. So far, the right-hander has 21 and 1/3 innings to his credit in 2013.
- Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched. Zito has 23 and 2/3 innings so far through the month of April and will make his fifth start of the year tonight against the Padres.
- Johan Santana, Mets: His $25MM option could have vested with 215 innings pitched or winning the 2013 Cy Young Award, but he won't have a chance at that thanks to a season-ending tear in his pitching shoulder.
It's also worth noting that Francisco Liriano has a $8MM club option for 2014 with the Pirates, but it can vest at any of three levels, $5MM, $6MM, or $8MM, based on the number of days he is not on the DL this year with a recurrence of his right arm injury. It's not known how many days the hurler must steer clear of right arm trouble in order to trigger each level of his option, however. Liriano has yet to take the hill in 2013, but he is expected to make his big league debut on May 10th vs. the Mets.
If you've not yet seen Jean Segura's baserunning misadventures yesterday, do yourself a favor and check out the video and story from MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. As McCalvy and others have noted, Segura's strange travels on the basepaths are reminiscent of a 1911 steal of first by one of baseball's great characters, Germany Schaefer of the Senators. Schaefer was only able to make such a unique play for the hapless Senators that year because they acquired him from the Tigers in 1909. The aging Schaefer was largely a role player in D.C., putting up 5.9 WAR (per Baseball-Reference) over 1909-14, though he did post 3.1 WAR in the season of his famous antic. The man he was traded for, Jim Delahanty, was not only outstanding in the Tigers' 1909 World Series loss, but posted 8 WAR over 1909-12.
- Echoing what we heard yesterday regarding the Rangers' replacement options for the injured Matt Harrison, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com writes that the Rangers have few, if any, external targets worth pursuing. Durrett says the team lacked depth at the start of the year with Martin Perez and Colby Lewis out, leaving the team without attractive internal options to fill in for Harrison. But the market is not promising either. While Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell of the Astros are presumably available, Houston will surely look for a big return at this stage, especially in a deal with a team with which they share a home state and division.
- Roy Halladay of the Phillies had a strong start last night against the Cardinals, holding their big bats to just two hits over seven innings and logging six strikeouts. Halladay, who currently sits at tenth in MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings, has followed his disastrous first two starts with two solid outings. The once (and future?) ace could shoot back up the rankings if he can maintain his current momentum.
- It is worth looking back at the details of the soon-to-be 36-year-old Halladay's contract. The deal includes a $20MM option for 2014 which vests if Halladay meets all the following conditions: 225 innings pitched in 2013; 415 innings pitched in 2012-13; Halladay does not end 2013 on the DL. As ESPN's Jayson Stark reported back when Halladay was acquired by the Phillies, the deal does not include any club or player options. Halladay threw just 156 1/3 innings last year and has tossed 22 1/3 to date in 2013, meaning he would need to log another 236 1/3 innings this year. That seems exceedingly unlikely, albeit not outside the realm of possibility: Halladay accumulated 266 innings as a 26-year-old in 2003, his only full-season pace that would make the innings figure achievable. Even Doc's 2010 season, the most recent year in which he led baseball in innings pitched -- Halladay posted a career second-best tally of 250 2/3 -- would have left him short. Accordingly, unless Halladay turns back into the workhorse he was at his absolute career peak, he is destined to become a free agent.
- The Rockies, who stand in first place in the NL West, have called up reliever Josh Outman from Triple-A, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The club optioned Chris Volstad in a corresponding move. Outman came to Colorado last year, along with Guillermo Moscoso, in the deal that sent Seth Smith to Oakland. The Rockies waived Moscoso last November after he threw 50 innings of 6.12 ERA ball in 2012. Outman was even worse, posting a 8.19 ERA over 40 2/3 innings for the Rockies last season. The 28-year-old has been excellent thus far in Triple-A, however, and the club will hope that he can even out the results of the trade. Smith was a useful contributor for Oakland's division-winning run last season, putting up a .240/.333/.420 line in 441 plate appearances. He has been that much better so far in 2013, slashing .405/.479/.619 in his 48 plate appearances.
The Phillies were a .500 team in 2012 after winning five consecutive NL East titles. They enter the 2013 season with a payroll in excess of $150MM and new additions such as Michael Young, Delmon Young, John Lannan and Mike Adams. Here's the latest on the Phillies...
- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told the Associated Press that he wants to continue managing the Phillies after the 2013 season (link via ESPN.com). Manuel, who's entering the final year of his contract with the team, said he has no plans to retire. "I'm not ready for somebody to tell me to go home. I'm not ready to quit managing." Ryne Sandberg looms as a possible replacement for Manuel.
- Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has drawn positive reviews from scouts this spring, but there are some questions surrounding Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes. Halladay, a potential 2014 free agent, hasn’t looked good in recent outings. “I’ve got to believe he’s just working to get ready at this point,” one scout told Martino.
- Howard "was hobbling around a little and struggled versus good stuff" in the words of a scout. This could become a long-term problem for the Phillies, who owe Howard $105MM through 2017.
Recently, I crunched the numbers on vesting options from the last three years and found that just over 29% of them were triggered. Which players can lock in their 2014 options based on their performance this season? Let's take a look..
- Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013.
- Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances.
- Wilson Betemit, Orioles: $3.2MM option vests with 324 plate appearances (combined 700 between 2012 and 2013).
- Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances.
- Roy Halladay, Phillies: $20MM option vests with 259 innings pitched (combined 415 innings pitched between '12 and '13).
- Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched.
- Johan Santana, Mets: $25MM option vests with 215 innings pitched or winning the 2013 Cy Young Award.
It's also worth noting that Francisco Liriano has a $8MM club option for 2014 with the Pirates, but it can vest at any of three levels, $5MM, $6MM, or $8MM, based on the number of days he is not on the DL this year with a recurrence of his right arm injury.