Roy Halladay Rumors
- Halladay is signed through 2013, with an option for '14. It's possible the option will vest if Halladay tosses 225 innings in '13, 415 innings in '12-13, and avoids the disabled list at the end of the '13 season.
- Lee is signed through 2015, with a $27.5MM club option for '16. This option can vest more easily than Doc's, if Lee has 200 innings in '15 or 400 in '14-15 and does not finish the '15 season with a left shoulder or elbow injury. Plus, the massive $12.5MM buyout on that option gives it a $15MM net price, which might be worth exercising if Lee is good but not great in his age 36 season.
- Hamels is signed through 2011 and is arbitration eligible for the '12 season. Will he test the free agent waters after '12? The Phillies were able to sign Hamels to his current deal two years ago, but were not able to secure his final arbitration year let alone a free agent season or two.
- Oswalt is signed through 2011. He has a $16MM mutual option for '12 with a $2MM buyout. The $14MM net price should be appealing to the Phillies if Oswalt performs anywhere near his 2010 level, though the pitcher does have the ability to opt out. There are plenty of possibilities after the '11 season: Oswalt could retire, both sides could decide $16MM is a fair salary for another go-round, the Phillies could choose to decline, or the pitcher could decide he wants security for 2013 and seek a multiyear deal.
My guess: the Phillies will work something out with Oswalt for 2012, and we'll enjoy these four pitching together for two seasons.
Thanks to Cot's for the contract info.
Links on a busy Tuesday as the first day of the GM Meetings wraps up...
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says (via Twitter) the Indians "kicked the tires" on Jake Westbrook, but never formally offered him a contract before he re-signed with the Cardinals.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that the market for Jorge de la Rosa won't take shape until Cliff Lee signs. He's a fallback option for several teams.
- Former Orioles reliever Dennis Sarfate is in talks to join the Hiroshima Carp according to MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Giants are currently in on just two players: Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe.
- Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer says that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro offered a lot of "no comments" when asked about the team's interest in retaining Chad Durbin.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman says (via Twitter) the trade market for Jonathan Papelbon is "very weak," but the Red Sox are willing to pay part of what will surely be a sizable 2011 salary.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman hears that the Yankees will bid at least three years to keep Derek Jeter (Twitter link). Owner Hal Steinbrenner added that "things are going well."
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News has a quote from Yanks GM Brian Cashman: “I’ve got a small player move that I’m working on that might get done at some point this week ... But it’s small.”
- Meanwhile, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yanks are still waiting to hear whether Mariano Rivera wants a one or two-year deal.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Athletics are not moving Conor Jackson, though he remains a non-tender candidate.
- Twins GM Bill Smith said it's "not at all" a question when asked if the team would tender Matt Capps a contract, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post (Twitter link).
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer says that Reds GM Walt Jocketty has talked to Arthur Rhodes' agent and plans to do the same with Miguel Cairo's, but he has yet to talk to any other free agents.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci lists players available on the "secondary market" that could have a big impact, starting with Jack Cust.
- Roy Halladay's Cy Young Award netted him $250K in bonus money, tweets Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The bonus was negotiated into his original contract with Toronto.
- In the wake of Justin Upton being made available, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron examines his trade value.
Phillies righty Roy Halladay unanimously won the National League Cy Young award today, seven years after taking home the American League trophy. Adam Wainwright, Ubaldo Jimenez, and ten others received votes; click here for the full results.
On this date two years ago, the Cubs exercised Rich Harden's $9MM option for 2009 after tests showed that his throwing shoulder was healthy. Harden made 26 starts with a 4.09 ERA, 10.9 K/9, and 4.2 BB/9 in 141 innings that year before joining the Rangers in the offseason. The 28-year-old battled through another injury plagued year in 2010, throwing just 92 innings with a 5.58 ERA, 7.3 K/9, and 6.3 BB/9 for Texas.
Harden might not be able to find a guaranteed Major League deal on the free agent market this winter, but I can guarantee that these links represent the best from around the blogosphere...
- Crashburn Alley re-lives Roy Halladay's playoff no-hitter, moment by moment.
- Meanwhile, Phoul Ballz spoke to some Blue Jays minor leaguers about how Doc's effort inspired them.
- The Nats Blog debates Halladay's Cy Young candidacy. Not that anyone asked me, but I consider him the frontrunner, and it's not particularly close either.
- Blogging From The Bleachers takes an in depth look at how Japanese pitchers have transitioned to MLB.
- The OC Baseball Council examines some potential destinations for Prince Fielder.
- U.S.S. Mariner looks at some free agent second base options for the Mariners.
- Amazin' Avenue reveals their John Hart-Rick Hahn-Chip Hale management plan.
- Blogging Mets hands out a final report card for the 2010 Mets.
- Waiting For Next Year compares how the Indians' roster was built to those of some postseason clubs.
- SD Sports Net wonders if Ryan Ludwick should be patrolling the Padres' outfield next season.
- Cubs Pack wonders what life will be like after Aramis Ramirez.
- The Outfield Ivy looks at some first base options for the Cubs next season.
- SPANdemonium lists the game's 50 more underrated prospects.
- Batter's Box names their top ten Blue Jays prospects.
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Links for Thursday, as we await another day of playoff games. It will be nearly impossible to match the show Roy Halladay put on in his playoff debut last night, but October baseball is always worth following...
- Former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he was surprised not to see better offers for Halladay when the right-hander was on the market last year. "We kept sitting there saying, ‘This is Roy Freaking Halladay! Do people know?’ Not only will you have him for this year, but you’ll have him for next year."
- Dodgers executive De Jon Watson told Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse that Zach Lee and James Baldwin are two farmhands to watch. The 2010 draftees are impressing their new organization with their play so far. (Baldwin, the son of former MLB pitcher James Baldwin, is an outfielder.)
- Krasovic also says the Rockies “likely will lose” Jorge de la Rosa to free agency this winter. GM Dan O’Dowd recently said re-signing the left-hander is an offseason priority for the team.
- The Marlins outrighted Brett Carroll, Hector Luna, Mike Rivera, Taylor Tankersley and Tim Wood, which means those five players are no longer on the team’s 40-man roster.
With the signing of Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125MM deal, the scope of what the Phillies can do heading into the 2012 season has come into greater focus. And at the risk of hyperbole, the key takeaway may be: when the Mayans said the world would end in 2012, were they specifically talking about the Phils?
Let's take a look at what Philadelphia will be spending money on as the 2012 season dawns. Roy Halladay is signed for $20MM. Howard, too, is signed for $20MM. Chase Utley is signed for $15.3MM. Joe Blanton is signed for $10.5MM, Shane Victorino for $9.5MM, Placido Polanco for $6.4MM, Carlos Ruiz for $3.7MM, and almost certainly, Brad Lidge will be given a $1.5MM buyout.
That's $87MM going to seven players to play and one player to not play. And for their money, the Phillies will receive:
- The age-32 season of a first baseman whose numbers overall have been in decline through age 30, and whose difficulties against lefties make him a good deal less valuable against situational relievers late in games (Howard).
- The age-35 season of a pitcher who is dominant now, but will be 35 years old (Halladay).
- The age-33 season of a second baseman, a position that is notoriously tough on aging players (Utley).
- The age-31 season of a pitcher with a career 4.21 ERA (Blanton).
- The age-31 season of a center fielder whose value is largely tied to his legs (Victorino).
- The age-36 season of a third baseman whose value is largely tied to his defense (Polanco).
- The age-33 season of a catcher whose career OPS is .720 (Ruiz).
Now obviously, the above list merely points out the red flags of the players under contract. Perhaps all seven of them will perform in 2012 as they did in 2009.
The problem is that even if they do, the Phillies will need to make a relatively small amount of money go a long way.
Consider that the team traded Cliff Lee this past offseason, passing up a chance to have a 1-2 punch in the rotation of Halladay and Lee over concerns that Lee would cost C.C. Sabathia-type money ($23MM annually). It seems fair to assume that the money that would have gone to Lee went to Howard instead. In other words, the $140MM threshold the Phillies find themselves at right now isn't far from where they expect to be in 2012. Certainly, they had no intention of being at $160MM, which is where Lee plus Howard would have landed them.
But we want to be fair to the Phillies, so let's split the difference, and plan for a $150MM 2012 payroll. With $87MM gone, Philadelphia has $63MM left over for: three starting pitchers, six or seven relievers, a shortstop, a left fielder, a right fielder, and four or five bench players.
In other words, even without any decline from any of the seven players under contract that year, the Phillies are going to need a lot of their prospects step up. And if they decide to sign current right fielder Jayson Werth and shortstop Jimmy Rollins- both likely to cost $10MM or more annually and both entering their age-33 seasons in 2012- the entire remaining team will have to be low-cost options fresh from the farm system to make the numbers work.
And we haven't even discussed what Cole Hamels, signed for $9.5MM in 2011, is likely to get in 2012 in what will be his final year of arbitration.
With so many holes to fill, it is hard to believe that Philadelphia decided to put so much of its 2012 payroll into Ryan Howard. This analysis doesn't even get into the problems for the team when Howard pulls down a cool $25MM annually from 2014-2016 for his age 34-36 seasons.
For a team that has managed to position itself as the clear favorite in the 2010 National League, such success may be fleeting.
On this day back in 2003, the Tigers became the first team in baseball history to have four pitchers make their Major League debut in the same game. The starter was 20-year-old Jeremy Bonderman, who gave way to 22-year-old Wil Ledezma, 25-year-old Chris Spurling, and 23-year-old Matt Roney before "veteran" closer Matt Anderson entered the game. Anderson was just 25-years-old at the time, but the first overall pick of the 1997 draft already had 210 big league appearances to his name.
The Tigers went on the finish the season 43-119, and were rewarded by selecting Justin Verlander with the second overall pick the following season. Here's this week's set of links from around the web...
- A Cubbies Consilience throws some kudos Jim Hendry's way for his offseason.
- Camden Crazies calls the O's trade for Julio Lugo an okay one.
- The Kept Faith finds some players Kevin Towers passed on while he was the Padres' GM.
- 1 Blue Jays Way remembers Roy Halladay's time in Toronto.
- Meanwhile, Around The BasePath looks at some expectations for Halladay's first year in Philadelphia.
- Drunk Jays Fans wonders why Lyle Overbay was named the team's every day first baseman when he can't hit lefties.
- Lookout Landing compares Eric Byrnes and Ryan Langerhans with regards to the Mariners' spare outfielder's job.
- Bronx Bombers Beat examines the Yankees' plan for Phil Hughes.
- More Hardball lists the players who will begin the season on the disabled list.
- Capitol Avenue Club rounds out the Braves' roster.
- Crashburn Alley looks at the Phillies' winners and losers from Spring Training.
Links to kick off the work week...
- Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo is scheduled to work out for the Diamondbacks today, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Mateo's reps don't share the Cardinals' concerns about Mateo's vision.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Rays came second in the Kelvim Escobar bidding, offering $600K. Unlike the Mets, the Rays saw Escobar as a second half contributor.
- Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post thinks stat lovers themselves "may be the new inefficiency in the market," making Adam Dunn a bargain at three years and $40MM even if his defense doesn't improve.
- FanGraphs' Dave Cameron explains why the Astros and Royals sit at the bottom of his organizational rankings.
- SI's Jon Heyman names his "bests" for 2010, with the Angels getting the nod for the best rotation top to bottom. Heyman also talks about Jarrod Washburn, considered a person of interest for Seattle.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Ms are "still pondering backup catching options from outside." There aren't too many available backstops who can be considered clear improvements.
- In his latest GM's Corner video for FOX Sports, Jim Bowden gathers all the GMs involved in the Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee deals. Alex Anthopoulos mentioned that Ruben Amaro Jr. would not include Kyle Drabek or Domonic Brown when Halladay was discussed at the GM Meetings, but relented on Drabek a few weeks later.
- Dustin Parkes of Drunk Jays Fans says "the team has put its money where its mouth is" by signing Adeiny Hechevarria.
Roy Halladay hopes and expects to pitch in the postseason with the Philadelphia Phillies, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo also notes that the Red Sox made a fair trade proposal for the ex-Jay, but that Toronto needed to be blown away to deal their ace within the division. Here are some of Cafardo's other hot stove notes:
- One National League scout had this to say about the possibility of the Rangers trading Josh Hamilton: "Everybody in Texas denies it, and I don’t know what to base it on, but there’s a feeling the Rangers may do something, and teams want to be ready." A handful of scouts are keeping an eye on the slugger, just in case.
- The Red Sox' extension talks with Josh Beckett have at least been "amicable, if not productive." Like they did with the J.D. Drew and John Lackey contracts, the Sox could attempt to include medical language in their offer to Beckett.
- After being traded out of New York this winter, Austin Jackson feels more comfortable with Detroit, no longer weighed down by comparisons to legendary Yankee outfielders of the past.
- The Red Sox offered Nick Green a minor league contract before he signed with the Dodgers, and now he represents the type of player they need: a backup shortstop. The team is hoping that Bill Hall proves capable of handling the role so that Jed Lowrie can play every day in Triple-A.
With Felipe Lopez finally catching on with the Cardinals, essentially every big name free agent is off the market (no disrespect to Jermaine Dye and Jarrod Washburn). That allows us to sit back and reflect on all of the offseason's moves, and try to figure out which one was the very best.
Here are some candidates...
- Mets sign Jason Bay to a four-year, $66MM contract.
- Yankees acquire Curtis Granderson for three prospects.
- Phillies acquire Roy Halladay for three prospects.
- Red Sox sign John Lackey to a five-year, $82.5MM contract.
- Mariners acquire Cliff Lee for three prospects.
- Rays acquire Rafael Soriano for Jesse Chavez.
There's certainly no shortage of candidates, but one has to be the best of the best, right? What do you think it is?