Ryan Howard Rumors
Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer talked to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., who said the team is still involved in contract negotiations with Ryan Howard's agent Casey Close.
This is Howard's second arbitration year; he's requested $18MM while the Phils countered at $14MM. A panel of three people will decide whether Howard earns $18MM or $14MM in 2009, unless the two sides reach an agreement prior to the hearing. Salisbury believes the hearing is scheduled in the February 9-13 range.
ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote last week that the previous request record for a second-year arb player was Derek Jeter's $10.5MM in 2000. Howard is in uncharted waters once again.
A few more links for Wednesday...
- Ryan Howard said a long-term deal with the Phillies would be "beautiful," for what it's worth.
- The New York Times' Ben Shpigel comments on the Aaron Heilman deal and its effect on new teammate Jeff Samardzija.
- Marty Noble of MLB.com learned that Mets GM Omar Minaya met with Pedro Martinez in the Dominican Republic today, but did not make an offer (and re-signing him remains a long shot).
- Yahoo's Tim Brown has the roundup on the Twins' hot stove happenings.
- Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com takes on the Manny Ramirez-to-Mets conspiracy theorists.
Links for Tuesday...
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- Rangers president Nolan Ryan called the Winter Meetings "a big waste of money and time."
- Nationals GM Jim Bowden implied that a Tom Glavine signing is unlikely.
- Kyle Lohse feels the pain of all the unsigned free agents; he didn't sign until March 14th last year. Lohse said he "put a lot of pressure on all parties" to get his four-year, $41MM extension done on September 29th. Given that it wasn't on the open market, Scott Boras did well for Lohse.
- The Dodgers prefer Dennys Reyes over Luis Ayala, says Ken Gurnick.
- Joe Posnanski loves the Zack Greinke signing. Sam Mellinger says the Royals and fans are no longer allowed to complain about baseball's financial structure.
- Maury Brown leans slightly toward Ryan Howard winning his arbitration case. I think the Phillies will prevail.
- Brandon Lyon turned down more lucrative offers for a chance to close in Detroit. ESPN's Keith Law likes the Tigers' signing, in part due to Jim Leyland's track record with relievers.
- The Marlins seem to prefer the trade market, if they are to add a catcher.
- Joe Nathan knows his $47MM extension signed in March of '08 is looking pretty good right now.
According to the AP, Ryan Howard asked for $18MM in arbitration. The Phillies put in a $14MM figure. Prince Fielder requested a pretty reasonable $8MM; the Brewers came in at $6MM.
Reader Connor Garrison has identified an interesting point made in the middle of an article from MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
The article focuses on the addition of Derek Lowe to the Braves' rotation, but offers a reason as to why the Braves went so strong so quickly after Lowe.
Says Bowman: "Motivated by last week's meeting and under the belief that the Phillies might attempt to create payroll space by trading Brett Myers, the Braves acted quickly and provided an offer that Lowe couldn't refuse."
Myers may have been taken off the block after Lowe signed with the Braves. On the other hand, perhaps a bigger-than-expected deal for Ryan Howard could convince the Phillies to revisit the idea of trading Myers.
After Greg Dobbs' 2-year, $2.5MM deal, six players are left on the arb list: Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Jayson Werth and Chad Durbin.
According to Zolecki, "The Phillies have been talking with Madson about a contract extension, but he reportedly turned down a three-year, $12 million offer."
Zolecki also doesn't expect Howard's deal to be done anytime soon.
ESPN's Jayson Stark says we're headed for a historic arbitration class. Players file today, and the dollar submissions become known on Tuesday. If the sides can't come to an agreement, they go to a hearing and an arbitrator chooses one of the two salary submissions. Be sure to read the article, but here are a few highlights.
- Ryan Howard's dad may be behind the player's unprecedented salary expectations. Howard may ask for $15-17MM in his second arbitration year. He could be a trade candidate in the 2009-10 offseason.
- Prince Fielder's numbers and accolades don't match up to Howard's, so Scott Boras may have difficulty matching Howard's first arb year record award of $10MM.
- Cole Hamels could ask for $5MM or more, but seems more amenable to a long-term deal than Howard. Will the Phillies offer him more than three years?
- Other interesting names: Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, Felix Hernandez, Dan Uggla, Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Russell Martin, B.J. Upton, Ryan Zimmerman, Jeff Francoeur, and Ervin Santana.
- Looking for a surprise summer trade candidate? Stark talked to one AL exec who wondered if Verlander could be made available if the Tigers are out of contention.
David Murphy notes the Phillies' large group of arbitration-eligible players: Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Ryan Madson, Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, and Greg Dobbs. Scott Lauber suggests their combined salaries could double in 2009 - from $19MM to $38MM.
Murphy says there's not much of a precedent for Hamels, who will easily top Chien Ming Wang's $4MM from last year. Ryan Howard also stands to tack millions on to last year's $10MM award. Negotiations for a long-term deal are not active for either player, but the Phils will probably at least discuss it with Hamels' agent. Between these two players, the Phillies may add $10MM to the payroll. Most of the others will also receive raises exceeding $1MM.
Links for Friday (feels like a Monday)...
- Boston's deal for catcher Josh Bard is official. Bard had offers from the Cubs and Nationals as well.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman ranks the top 20 remaining free agents.
- RotoAuthority asks readers to name their #1 sleeper for 2009.
- The Marlins reportedly have interest in reliever Jesus Colome.
- MLB.com's Barry Bloom explains that the arbitration filing period begins Monday. He gives a nice primer on the arbitration system for those that need to brush up. Ryan Howard is due for another big raise.
- Buster Olney does not like the Cubs' recent moves, particularly the Mark DeRosa trade.
- Jeff Wilson says the Rangers remain in contact with free agent reliever Eddie Guardado.
5:44pm: MLB.com's Ken Mandel says the Phillies have Rocco Baldelli, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Kevin Mench on the radar in the event they don't re-sign Burrell. The Phillies have long liked Baldelli, though the Rays hope to talk contract soon. Reds GM Walt Jocketty recently met with Hairston's agent, and feels he made progress. And the Hanshin Tigers hope to lure Mench to Japan.
9:38am: Checkin' in on the Phillies...
- GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had an informal five-minute talk with Casey Close, who represents Ryan Howard and Joe Blanton.
- Talks have not yet begun with free agents Pat Burrell, Jamie Moyer, and Scott Eyre. Conversations will begin soon with Moyer and Eyre.
- Curt Schilling would be open to returning to the Phillies if he pitches next year. Amaro says he hasn't even considered the possibility yet. He would make a nice fifth starter if they can re-sign Moyer.
- The Phillies control setup man Ryan Madson through 2009, but he's represented by Scott Boras. Boras compared Madson to Mariano Rivera circa 1996, so don't look for an affordable long-term deal.
- Amaro talked to at least 27 other GMs at the meetings.
- No word yet from the Philly writers on Andrew Baggarly's rumor that the Phils will listen on Jimmy Rollins.