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Ryan Vogelsong Rumors
The Twins are focused on pitching upgrades this offseason, and here’s the latest on the arms that Minnesota is (or isn’t) currently exploring…
- Justin Masterson was linked to the Twins earlier this winter but 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson reports (via Twitter) that “about every sign” indicates the Masterson will sign with another team. The Twins aren’t scheduled to meet with Masterson during the Winter Meetings and the right-hander has already met with several teams over the last few days.
- The Twins have been in touch with Francisco Liriano‘s agent throughout the offseason and they’re expected to meet Monday with Brett Anderson‘s agent, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Anderson is looking for a short-term deal to rebuild his value after an injury-plagued 2014, while Liriano looks to command a significant multiyear guarantee. Neal (via Twitter) doubts the Twins would surrender the draft pick it would take to sign Liriano, who rejected the Pirates’ qualifying offer.
- Also from Neal, the Twins are one of over a dozen teams who have checked in on Pat Neshek this offseason. Neshek was originally drafted by Minnesota in 2002 and pitched for the team from 2006-10.
- The Twins have called about right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Vogelsong has a 3.74 ERA, 2.35 K/BB, 7.05 K/9 and 42.4% grounder rate over the last four seasons with the Giants, throwing at least 179 2/3 IP in three out of those four years.
- Before Jason Frasor re-signed with the Royals, the Twins made a push to land the righty reliever, agent Dave Meier told Berardino. “The Twins had a lot of interest in him,” Meier said. “They stepped up and made an early offer. We were definitely considering that along with Kansas City and a couple other teams. The Twins were one of a select few clubs as we kind of narrowed things down.”
Pablo Sandoval is seeking a six-year contract on the open market, his agent Gustavo Vasquez tells Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Given his client’s age, Vasquez doesn’t feel that a four- or five-year deal is a sensible target. “Maybe if he was 30 or 31 we could talk about four or five years,” Vasquez said to Schulman. “But he’s 28. He deserves more than that.”
Vasquez explained to Schulman that the six-year term of the contract is more important to Sandoval than the average annual value. That comment isn’t surprising, as a player will typically downgrade a contract’s AAV as the years increase. While he said Sandoval has no specific dollar figure in mind, other reports have indicated a target north of $100MM. So, while the AAV of the deal may be somewhat flexible, it seems Vasquez must be eyeing at least a $17MM annual salary for his client.
The Giants have yet to make a formal offer and instead have been discussing various options regarding the length of the deal, according to Vasquez. He’s already spoken to multiple teams about Sandoval and is expected to have several face-to-face meetings at next week’s GM Meetings in Phoenix. The agent notes that Sandoval isn’t necessarily interested in dragging out the process and would sign quickly if he received an offer he likes.
As Schulman writes, he got a different sense from Giants GM Brian Sabean regarding an offer to Sandoval at the team’s postseason debriefing. Sabean told reporters that the Giants have explained to free agents Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong that they first need to sort of Sandoval’s situation before moving onto them, and his comments did imply that they’ve made some form of offer: “We’ve told both Peavy and Vogelsong we need time to sort things out. Again, it goes back to Pablo. Pablo is the only one we’ve engaged as far as an offer and moving forward. The other four free agents know where we stand.”
Sandoval figures to be an attractive option on the free agent market this winter, though it remains to be seen whether any team will be be comfortable with his desired six-year term. The Red Sox have been linked to him on multiple occasions, and the Marlins are another team reported to have interest. Sandoval would also make sense for the White Sox. The Yankees have a definite need in the infield, though to this point, they’re not focused on Sandoval and are said to prefer to re-sign Chase Headley.
If the Royals win the World Series it would be difficult to imagine GM Dayton Moore leaving for the Braves‘ vacancy. However, those who know Moore well say that he felt comfortable in Atlanta, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. On top of that, the Braves would offer Moore a bigger budget to work with. More from today’s column..
- Word is spreading that the Red Sox could make Yoenis Cespedes available. The slugger will make $10.2MM in the final year of his deal and his desire not to play right field or work on his defense could spell the end of his time in Boston. A Cespedes deal would allow the Sox to make room for Mookie Betts or add a left-handed hitter.
- The Giants are a team to watch when Nick Markakis hits the open market as expected. Even though they’re enjoying Travis Ishikawa‘s work, they are unlikely to commit to him as an everyday left fielder. The Mets could also be in the mix.
- One agent believes Jake Peavy has turned his next contract from a one-year, $7MM deal into a three-year, $36MM deal based on his second half with the Giants. Cafardo notes that the Giants won’t re-sign Ryan Vogelsong and with little help coming from Triple-A, they’ll likely have to bite on a Peavy deal.
- There have been preliminary talks between the Red Sox and Koji Uehara about staying in Boston,but the sides aren’t close to a deal.
WEDNESDAY: Vogelsong has passed his physical, and his deal is complete, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.
FRIDAY, 3:50pm: Vogelsong gets a $5MM guarantee, which means the Giants saved about $1.5MM by declining his option, according to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
2:25pm: The Giants and Ryan Vogelsong have reached agreement on a one-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). It was reported yesterday that the Giants were nearing agreement on a deal with Vogelsong that would guarantee him north of $3MM and possibly take him into the $7-8MM range with incentives.
The Dave Meier client was a minor league deal reclamation project for San Fran who turned in two outstanding seasons over 2011-12. However, injuries slowed him down last year, however, leading him to a 5.73 ERA in 103 2/3 innings. Vogelsong registered a notably lower 5.8 K/9 rate in 2013 and saw his HR/FB leap to 13.4%. While advanced metrics put a better light on his campaign, his 4.91 FIP and 4.50 xFIP were hardly promising.
The Giants recently turned down a $6.5MM club option on the right-hander but have now decided to bring him back on a deal that protects them in the event of another down/injured year. In his last three seasons with the Giants, the 36-year-old has a 3.63 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 78 starts and two relief appearances.
With Vogelsong back in the fold, the Giants will likely steer their attention away from signing a starter to a multi-year pact and zero in on left field, according to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
5:23pm: The Giants are offering "north of $3MM for sure" in guaranteed money to Vogelsong, Schulman reports, and roughly $4MM in total. Signing Vogelsong would mean the Giants would (at least for now) turn away from signing another starting pitcher to a multiyear deal and instead focus on finding a left fielder. Also from Schulman (Twitter link), the Giants were still interested in Bronson Arroyo as of this morning, though it's unclear how signing Vogelsong could affect their pursuit of Arroyo.
TODAY, 12:41pm: The club is nearing a one-year pact with Vogelsong, reports MLB.com's Chris Haft, with "momentum" gathering toward an agreement. Vogelsong reportedly wants incentives that could boost the contract value into the $7-$8MM range, while the Giants have indicated that they'd be amenable to bringing him back on a deal that combines base salary and incentives to reach or exceed the value of the option that the club declined. Of course, given that San Francisco decided against promising Vogelsong $6.5MM, it seems clear that the guaranteed portion of a new deal would fall shy of that figure.
YESTERDAY: The Giants are moving toward a deal with free agent starter Ryan Vogelsong, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco recently declined a $6.5MM club option on the 36-year-old righty.
Vogelsong, a client of Dave Meier, was a minor league deal reclamation project for San Fran who turned in two outstanding seasons over 2011-12. He suffered an injury-aided downturn last year, however, posting a 5.73 ERA in 103 2/3 innings. Vogelsong registered a notably lower 5.8 K/9 rate in 2013 and saw his HR/FB leap to 13.4%. While advanced metrics put a better light on his campaign, his 4.91 FIP and 4.50 xFIP were hardly promising.
The Giants' two-year, $23MM deal with Tim Hudson is drawing praise from several pundits. MLBTR's Steve Adams, Fangraphs' Dave Cameron and ESPN's Keith Law all see the contract as a possible steal for the Giants since even coming off a fractured ankle, Hudson doesn't carry as many question marks as other starters who may command much larger deals. Here's some more on the Giants…
- The Giants don't like any of the free agent options to fill their hole in left field and will look to trade for outfield help at the Winter Meetings, CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly reports. The club could end up settling for a left-handed hitter to platoon with Gregor Blanco in left.
- Also from Baggarly, the Giants have made some progress in talks with Javier Lopez.
- The Giants are still looking for a left fielder and one more starting pitcher, ESPN's Buster Olney reports. Olney guesses that Bronson Arroyo or Ryan Vogelsong could be that pitcher, depending on which contract is the better fit (Twitter links). Vogelsong would obviously come at a much lower price than Arroyo, though if San Francisco could cheaply address their left field situation, I could see them spending extra to acquire Arroyo.
- The Giants checked in on Dan Haren, Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter link) but "other teams [were] far more aggressive," according to a source. The Twins and Yankees have been linked to Haren so far this offseason.
- Also from Schulman, it seems as if the Giants aren't going to offer any starter more than three guaranteed years. This could keep them from landing Ricky Nolasco, who is looking for a four-year contract.
Here's the latest from both the Athletics and Giants…
- The A's are scheduled to meet with Adam Katz, Bartolo Colon's agent, this week to discuss a one-year deal for the veteran righty, CSNBayArea.com's Joe Stiglich reports. Colon has shown an interest in returning to Oakland but a number of teams would be interested on Colon for just a one-year commitment.
- Also from Stiglich, he wonders if Alberto Callaspo could be expendable now that Nick Punto has been signed to increase the Athletics' infield depth. Callaspo is set to platoon with Eric Sogard at second base next season, but Callaspo's salary ($4.875MM) is a high one for the payroll-conscious A's.
- Bronson Arroyo has been linked to the Giants in trade rumors, so CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly breaks down the pros and cons of an Arroyo signing for San Francisco.
- The Giants are "continuing a dialog" with Ryan Vogelsong's representatives, assistant GM Bobby Evans tells Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter).
- The Padres will likely discuss an extension with Chase Headley during the GM meetings, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). As Heyman notes, there is "no evidence [the] sides have ever been close to" an agreement. Headley is set for free agency following the 2014 season and while his name has surfaced in trade talks, the current belief is that the Padres will keep him and hope he can return to form following a disappointing 2013 season.
- An informal poll of six scouts reveals clear preferences for Adam Eaton over A.J. Pollock and Chris Owings over Didi Gregorius, The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro writes. The Diamondbacks could deal one of their young center fielders or shortstops for help in other areas this offseason, though one scout notes that Arizona would be left with solid players no matter who they dealt.
- It's a little unusual that Clayton Kershaw hasn't signed a huge extension with the Dodgers yet, though ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon notes that if Kershaw isn't comfortable signing for a decade or longer, that could be in the Dodgers' best long-term interest.
- It has been rumored that the Dodgers could trade from their surplus of outfielders this offseason but GM Ned Colletti told reporters (including MLB.com's Ken Gurnick) that they have a lot of question marks, health-wise. Colletti pointed to last season's pitching injuries as an example of how you can never have enough roster depth: "We went to Spring Training with eight starting pitchers and everybody said we needed to trade some of them. Pretty soon we didn't have enough. We'll see what happens. We have to have big league coverage."
- Also from Gurnick, the Dodgers have an interest in bringing back Juan Uribe on a short-term contract. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicts Uribe will find a two-year, $12MM deal in free agency but that even could be a bit long given that Hanley Ramirez might be moved to third if Alexander Guerrero works out best as a shortstop rather than as a second baseman.
- Ryan Vogelsong has received interest from multiple teams and there's no guarantee he'll re-sign with the Giants, MLB.com's Chris Haft writes. Haft also explores some other free agent options as part of the mailbag piece.
The Padres will look for a lefty reliever and a left-handed hitter this offseason, GM Josh Byrnes says (via ESPN's Jim Bowden on Twitter). In addition, the Padres hope to get better health from their players next season. The Padres have recently been connected to Mark Trumbo, who is right-handed. There are a few good lefty relief options on the free agent market, J.P. Howell, Manny Parra and former Padre Oliver Perez among them. Here are more notes from the West divisions.
- The Giants officially declined Ryan Vogelsong's 2014 option today, and while that doesn't mean he won't return, both sides are exploring other possibilities, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "I don’t think today necessarily eliminated the chances of him coming back," says assistant GM Bobby Evans. "But it does put a step back in the process, obviously, as he looks at other options. He could find something very appealing, or we could find something that doesn’t filter back to him." There are currently no talks between the two parties.
- After declining his end of a $9MM mutual option for 2014, Joe Nathan says he doesn't expect to be back with the Rangers, writes Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. The veteran closer acknowledged that he's seeking a two-year deal and doesn't sense much interest from Texas. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes sees Nathan landing something in the neighborhood of a two-year, $26MM deal this winter.
- Major League Baseball intimated to Oakland Coliseum officials that they will help the Athletics move across the bay and play at the rival Giants' AT&T Park in San Francisco if they don't come to terms on a new short-term lease for the team, sources tell Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle. Coliseum brass are pushing for a long-term lease renewal, while the A's want some flexibility in the event that they can get a ballpark deal done in San Jose.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
MONDAY: The Giants have officially declined Vogelsong's option, Baggarly tweets.
SUNDAY: The Giants have informed right-hander Ryan Vogelsong his $6.5MM club option will not be exercised but negotiations have begun on a restructured contract, sources tell Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. Vogelsong will receive a $300K buyout.
The Giants are interested in bringing back Vogelsong, according to Baggarly, but for a smaller guaranteed salary with incentives based on innings and/or starts. Vogelsong missed nearly three months with a broken pinky on his throwing hand and struggled to a 5.73 ERA, 5.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, and 10.8 H/9 in 103 2/3 innings over 19 starts. Baggarly theorizes the savings from Vogelsong could be reinvested into re-signing lefty specialist Javier Lopez.
The Giants are expected to officially announce its decision on Vogelsong tomorrow.