Ryan Franklin Rumors
Some links for Sunday...
- As A's were unable to land Adrian Beltre and Marco Scutaro this offseason, GM Billy Beane says that the club had to work harder than ever to fill their holes, writes MLB.com's Jane Lee.
- Cody Ross' arbitration hearing with the Marlins will take place tomorrow morning at 10:00, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Ross - who is one of seven remaining players who has an arbitration hearing scheduled - is seeking $4.45MM while the Marlins are countering with $4.2MM.
- Maury Brown of Biz of Baseball brings us the record of each club in arbitration hearings since the process was first put into place in 1974. In this span, the A's have had the most hearings with 35.
- Brady Gardiner of Sirius XM Radio tweets that Ryan Franklin's agent said that in 2007, his client turned down a more lucrative offer from Toronto to sign with the Cardinals in order to play for Dave Duncan. Franklin signed a one-year, $1MM deal with St. Louis in January of '07.
- Dustin Pedroia takes exception to those who question Boston's offense in 2010, writes WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Pedroia feels the Red Sox lineup can score more runs than the 2009 club. He also voices high praise for Josh Beckett and says he wants Beckett around "for a long time."
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Dispatch answers 10 questions for Cardinals fans, and notes that Russ Springer would take a marked-down contract to return to St. Louis. St. Louis stands to enter camp with rougly a $92,625,000 payroll
- Sid Hartman of The Minneapolis Star Tribune says that Twins' owner Jim Pohlad may have to change his policy of not deferring money if they want to re-sign Joe Mauer. Hartman says Mauer would save millions in income tax by deferring some payments until after he retires.
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post names his winners and losers of the offseason. Roy Halladay and the Twins head the winners, while the Dodgers and Royals highlight the losers.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe runs down each team's offseason, and looks at what lies ahead for each during the 2010 season.
Another round of links before the weekend...
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier suggests J.D. Drew has been worth slightly more than the $42MM the Red Sox have paid him since 2007 because of his on-base skills and strong defense. Drew's no RBI machine, but GM Theo Epstein likes his hitting approach as-is. Considering the massive deals handed out to Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano and others after 2006, Drew's contract seems reasonable.
- Jack Moore of FanGraphs expects Bengie Molina to draw interest this offseason and predicts that the catcher will be worth $4MM or more next year.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch says the Cardinals are in position to bring back their entire bullpen in 2010. The Cards expect Ryan Franklin to close once again next season.
- ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure Jr. reports (via Twitter) that Aroldis Chapman will meet with the Cardinals Monday before going to Boston Wednesday to meet with the Red Sox.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos tells MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that the Jays are talking to other teams about possible trades.
11:20pm: Goold has the contract details. As he mentioned before, Franklin gets about $6.5MM plus incentives for 2010-11. As for Miller:
The contract finalized Sunday picks up and guarantees all of his bonuses for this season — some $680K worth for appearances yet to come — and pays him $2MM for next year. Miller has a $2MM vesting option for 2011. It triggers a $1MM buyout if he makes 45 appearances in 2010 and does not go on the disabled list with the shoulder imperfection discovered in the physical.
2:40pm: The Cardinals extended the contracts of relievers Ryan Franklin and Trever Miller, according to Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). Franklin's deal runs through 2011, while Miller's is through 2010 with a vesting option for '11. Here's the press release from the Cardinals; terms are not yet known.
Franklin stepped into the Cardinals' closer role this year and saved 35 games in 37 tries. His 1.05 ERA is obviously not sustainable, as Franklin has been oddly unhittable and his flyballs have not left the yard. That said, it's hard to see fault in the two-year, $6.5MM price suggested by Derrick Goold of the P-D. Goold says Franklin can earn incentives if he remains the team's closer.
Lefty specialist Miller has answered the bell by holding southpaws to a .100/.161/.175 line this year. As a free agent signing in December, Miller was guaranteed only $500K by the Cardinals due to concerns they had about his shoulder.
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus brings us his latest from around the leagues:
- When they come off the DL, Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins will be used in relief. So, the Twins are hoping to add a starter who can pitch in the playoffs. This means they have until tomorrow at midnight to do so.
- The Yankees would like to re-sign Johnny Damon to a one year deal and give Austin Jackson a second year to develop at Triple-A, while pursuing Matt Holliday and Jason Bay in the offseason.
- The Marlins and Giants are frontrunners to land Brad Penny.
- The Cardinals expect to exercise Ryan Franklin's $2.75MM club option and then sign an extension with their closer for 2011.
- The Royals want to extend G.M. Dayton Moore who is signed through 2010.
- Perrotto says the Cubs are likely to deal Milton Bradley this winter, even if it means eating a large portion of the $21MM owed to him through 2011.
- Jermaine Dye will more than likely not see his $12MM option exercised by the White Sox after a dip in production in tandem with the salary demands of Alex Rios and Jake Peavy.
- For the postseason, the Dodgers are seeking "a left-handed bat with power" for their bench.
- The Nats are auditioning Livan Hernandez as a veteran innings eater for 2010.
- The Diamondbacks may non-tender Conor Jackson.
- Brewers manager Ken Macha said G.M. Doug Melvin "scoured the area for pitching" before the deadline but was unable to add a starter because he refused to trade Mat Gamel or Alcides Escobar.
- After making seven trades this year, the Pirates are the youngest team in the MLB.
Friday, 5:20pm: Via MLB.com's Matthew Leach, Franklin confirms that the two sides are close to an agreement that will keep him in St. Louis through 2011. He says:
"We've been talking for a couple months, and it's getting pretty close. Both sides are going to be happy. My whole thing to be happy is to be able to maybe finish my career here. I'm not saying that I'm done after this, if we get this done, but it would be an awesome thing to be able to end my career here in St. Louis. To be close to home, it's a great opportunity for me and my family."
Thursday, 9:34pm: According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals and closer Ryan Franklin are near agreement on a two-year, $6.5MM contract extension that will keep Franklin with St. Louis through the 2011 season.
"A club source indicated some language had yet to be formalized but conceded that momentum appeared in place for an announcement, perhaps as soon as today," writes Strauss.
The agreement includes the previously negotiated $2.75MM club option in 2010, along with a $3.75MM deal for 2011. According to Strauss, there are also numerous other performance incentives for Franklin, 36, to attain to increase the total worth of the deal.
Franklin was not even the closer at the start of the 2009 season, but he has thrived in the role, with a 1.07 ERA in 50 1/3 innings so far this year.
A week ago, John Perrotto mentioned Tony La Russa was considering using Chris Carpenter as a closer. Today, Matthew Leach of MLB.com reports Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is comfortable turning toward internal options to fill the closer role.
Chris Perez and Jason Motte, as well as Ryan Franklin are listed as most likely options. Franklin had 17 saves last season for St. Louis. Leach mentions the Cardinals could attempt to work out a deal for Brandon Lyon or Juan Cruz, as well as the possibility of signing free agent Chad Cordero, to add depth and expand their options in the ninth inning. Interest in Cordero is more curiosity than anything, says Leach.
What about Carpenter? Said Mozeliak, "The right-hander will only pitch out of the bullpen if there is a compelling medical reason to use him there rather than in the rotation." Tony La Russa expressed similar sentiments on Monday, according to Leach, despite Perrotto's report last week.
Returning Adam Wainwright to the closer role has not been discussed.
The Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss today reports that there is growing concern about the work of closer Jason Isringhausen, who has already blown five save chances this year. After his most recent blow-up, Izzy said he is sick of embarrassing himself and hurting the team. He suggested a meeting today with manager Tony La Russa, pitching coach Dave Duncan and general manager John Mozeliak to find at least a temporary alternative to using him in the ninth inning.
In the short term, Ryan Franklin or Randy Flores could be called on to close games for the Cards, though neither pitcher strikes out many batters. Ron Villone currently has an ERA under 1.00 and is averaging almost one strikeout per inning, but the last time he finished a season with an ERA under 4.00 was 1997. Still, he might prove a capable option while Izzy works to get his groove back.
If Isringhausen can't correct his mechanics, St. Louis could be in the market for a closer come July. Closers who could be available include George Sherrill, Matt Capps, Chad Cordero and Huston Street (who has had his own struggles of late). Joakim Soria seems a logical trade candidate, though there is talk he could be converted to a starter.
It seemed Jason Isringhausen's career was in jeopardy less than a year ago, but he's fully returned to form and re-established himself as a successful closer. He's been ridiculously hard to hit this year, allowing a career-best 4.85 hits per nine innings.
The Cardinals hold a very reasonable $8MM club option for 2008, with a $1.25MM buyout attached. So there's no doubt Izzy will be donning Cardinal red once again next year. He'll probably reach his 300th save, too. The Cardinals may do that one better, though, giving him a contract to cover 2008-09 as they did Jim Edmonds. I admit I liked the Edmonds deal at the time, but the Cardinals could've minimized risk by simply exercising his '07 option and leaving waiting on '08. The same may apply here.
Additionally, it seems Cards reliever Russ Springer has scrapped retirement plans and would like to come back in 2008. It's known that Springer has his son attending a specific school in St. Louis and would like to keep him there. So look for the Cards to ink him for $3MM or so. Surely he could get a two-year deal on the open market, so the length will depend on Springer's plans.
Walt Jocketty already locked up Ryan Franklin, another member of the St. Louis pen having a fine season. Franklin is signed for 2008-09 for $5MM, with a club option for 2010.
Coming into the season, who would've thought the three righties would form perhaps the best relief trio in the game? The surprising nature of this speaks to the volatility of bullpens, which makes you wonder whether the Cardinals will want the same three pitchers under more expensive contracts in 2009.
Today seems to be a bit of a slow day on the trade rumors front. I'm still working on gathering some Tejada info. For now I'll just say that you shouldn't discount the White Sox even after both major Chicago newspapers quoted Kenny Williams saying no deal will happen. As commenters in this thread pointed out, Williams has been known to keep a low profile and be less than forthright when talking to the media.
Somehow, a rumor came about yesterday that San Francisco's KNBR 1050 was reporting that the Pirates had dealt Craig Wilson to the Athletics for Kirk Saarloos. This rumor appears to have been fabricated; it doesn't seem that the radio station ever proposed it. KNBR didn't return my emails, but I'm still pretty sure there's nothing to the rumor. It's not implausible, as Billy Beane is the type of GM to acquire an undervalued player and worry about his outfielder surplus later. I don't believe Dave Littlefield's statements about not wanting to trade Wilson. He'd be valuable to many teams, and the Pirates' recent acquisitions indicate that they'll deal him.
Good readin': 1060west has updated its post about the Cubs' revamped bullpen. This quote resonated with me:
"Seen in the light of statistical evidence, it becomes clear that nothing has been done to improve the Cub bullpen from April 2005 to this stage; in fact, if anything, the Cubs have actually gotten weaker in going from Hawkins to Howry and Remlinger to Eyre."
The main point is that Hendry tends to purchase free agent relievers for big bucks following the reliever's best season. Not a smart strategy.
The Phillies and Ryan Franklin? This won't end well. I'm just happy to see than Ryan Madson will finally get a shot in the rotation; he's got a 3.25 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 7.27 K/9 in 166 Major League innings. High strikeout totals and good control are always a great combo.