San Francisco Giants Rumors
In an interview with MLB Network Radio's Casey Stern and Jim Bowden (audio link), Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that he would have to consider a hypothetical swap of Oscar Taveras and the Rangers' Jurickson Profar. Mozeliak went on to say that while the club is well set in the outfield for years to come, they're not quite as strong in the middle infield. Here's more from around baseball..
- Since word of the Elvis Andrus extension leaked, the Rangers have received at least a couple of trade inquiries on Profar, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, Rangers people say they are as high on Profar as ever and have no intention or need to trade him.
- Even though it's costly to secure insurance for baseball contracts, the Giants are looking into a policy for Buster Posey's lucrative deal, writes Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. An insurer might demand an exclusion for any injury related to the left ankle that he damaged in the 2011 collision with the Marlins' Scott Cousins.
- Nationals third baseman and Brodie Van Wagenen client Ryan Zimmerman is intrigued by Jay-Z's partnership with CAA, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com. “When you get a guy like [Jay-Z], who wants to get involved in baseball — he is obviously one of the icons of our generation for his music,” Zimmerman said. “I think he has become a very savvy and smart businessman. It will be interesting to see what happens and where it goes and how it goes."
The Giants have claimed pitcher Hunter Strickland off waivers from the Pirates, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com (on Twitter). Pittsburgh designated the right-hander for assignment last week.
Strickland, 24, posted a 4.46 ERA in 42 1/3 innings at the Double-A level last season, while also compiling a 2.98 ERA in 45 1/3 innings at High-A. He has yet to advance above the Double-A level, however.
The nine top names to watch in Los Angeles baseball in 2013 include Chase Headley and Robinson Cano, argues Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Headley could be an in-season trade target for the Dodgers, and Cano will likely be connected to the Dodgers as a free agent next winter. Shaikin also suggests that if the Dodgers don't do well in 2013, they could try to hire Rays GM Andrew Friedman. Here are more notes from the West divisions.
- The Mariners' decision to keep Jason Bay and designate Casper Wells for assignment doesn't make sense, Jeff Sullivan of USS Mariner says. Sullivan notes that Wells is younger, had four years of team control remaining, and has recently been the better player on both offense and defense -- and the Mariners will likely lose him for virtually nothing. "Wells, probably, is going to end up getting traded to a team with a thin outfield in exchange for a non-roster barely-prospect," Sullivan says. Sullivan also points out that Wells was one of the key players in the Doug Fister deal with the Tigers. The Tigers already looked like clear winners in that trade, but it's even clearer now.
- The Giants' signing of Buster Posey to an eight-year, $159MM contract demonstrates the inequities between the Giants and the Athletics, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The Giants have opposed the Athletics' move to San Jose. "It's more than mildly ironic that the Giants granted a single player a contract that exceeds the A's entire payroll by a factor of three," says San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo.
- The trade of Vernon Wells to the Yankees gave the Angels additional payroll flexibility, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes. The deal leaves the Angels about $6MM under the luxury tax threshold, Gonzalez reports.
SUNDAY: Bochy's new contract will pay him close to $5MM per year and he could be second only to the Angels' Mike Scioscia as the highest-paid manager in baseball, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Sulia). Bochy would not comment to reporters, including Schulman, except to say Giants' ownership was "very generous."
THURSDAY, 7:40pm: The Giants have sent another release that does not include the team options for 2017, as they originally indicated. Sabean and Bochy's contracts go through 2016 and do not include team options.
7:31pm: The Giants have extended the contracts of general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy through 2016, according to a team release. Dollar figures for the two contracts have not been released.
The Giants won World Series in 2010 and 2012, so it's not surprising the team would want to keep Sabean and Bochy in the fold. Sabean took over as general manager of the Giants in 1996 and has been on the job longer than any other active GM. Bochy has managed the Giants since 2007.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke with Indians manager Terry Francona, who is very grateful to have a fresh start. Francona would love to make things competitive with the Tigers in his first season in Cleveland, but he's not getting ahead of himself. “There are good teams in our division,” said Francona. “We know how good Detroit is, but you know we can’t approach the season like that. We know we’re playing Toronto first and we have to take care of things with them and then move on to the next series." Here's more from Cafardo..
- Carlos Zambrano is an intriguing free agent, but his reputation as a bad clubhouse guy coupled with his downward-trending performance has kept teams away. “You’ve got to be up for what he brings,” said an NL GM. “Not saying the guy hasn’t been good in his career because he has, but when things go bad, he has a rap sheet that shows how he reacts, and that’s hard to overcome.” The 31-year-old boasts a career 3.66 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.
- Brian Wilson could be an option for the Tigers once he’s ready, but one National League GM says that he's going to stick to his plan of not letting anyone see him throw until he's 100%, “I think everyone is anxious to see when that time comes, because if he gets it back to what he used to be, he’s going to help someone immediately down the stretch of a pennant race,” said the GM. Cafardo won't rule out a return to the Giants for Wilson either.
- The serious spleen injury suffered by free agent right-hander Carl Pavano has put baseball in the distant future and could even spell the end of his career. Pavano lost a significant amount of blood and faces a long recovery after he fell at his Vermont home while shoveling snow.
- People in baseball have long been wondering when the Cubs will trade Alfonso Soriano, but Cafardo notes that the veteran seems especially happy with the club and has played with intensity through spring training. Soriano is set to earn $18MM in each of the next two seasons.
Here are a few more notes from around baseball:
- Former Rangers hurler C.J. Wilson discussed the "communication issues" with the Texas front office that, he says, led him and other free agents to leave the club, reports Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. "When you're a free agent and the team that you're with tells you that they don't think you're that good or whatever, it doesn't give you any incentive to sign back," said Wilson. "They've played the whole wait-and-see card. It didn't really work with [Josh] Hamilton and it didn't work with me, either." A glance at MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows that Texas has been willing to pay its own in some circumstances, giving large extensions to players like Matt Harrison, Ian Kinsler, and Derek Holland.
- The Giants entered their huge extension with backstop Buster Posey knowing that there is a good chance he will have to change positions, writes ESPN's Buster Olney. Posey, a former shortstop, could be moved to third or first in as few as two years, notes Olney. In the meantime, the club can let the situation evolve and see what happens with talented younger players like Brandon Belt and Pablo Sandoval. For his part, Posey says he would be willing to change positions if "it's something that'll help the team," but that his "passion is being behind the plate,"tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- There are a dozen big league skippers on the hot seat this season, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Don Mattingly of the Dodgers, Mike Scioscia of the Angels, and Terry Collins of the Mets all made Rosenthal's list.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Buster Posey said that he wanted to be a Giant for life, and he got his wish with a record-breaking deal that can keep him in San Francisco through his age 36 season. The Giants signed the star catcher to an eight-year, $159MM extension that will get underway after the 2013 season. In total, the new deal will pay the CAA client $167MM over nine years with a $22MM option for 2022, since it overwrites his previously agreed-upon 2013 salary.
The 26-year-old gets a $7MM signing bonus as part of the deal and will receive a $3MM buyout if his option year is not triggered. The hefty contract extension also provides the catcher with a full no-trade clause. The breakdown has Posey earning $3MM in 2013, $10.5MM in 2014, $16.5MM in '15, $20MM in '16, and $21.4MM per season from 2017-2021.
In his young MLB career, Posey has won the Rookie of the Year award, two World Series titles, and the 2012 National League MVP award. Across four seasons, Posey owns a .314/.380/.503 batting line and is coming off of a season where he belted a career high 24 homers.
Posey's contract covers his three remaining years of arbitration and five years of free agency, plus an option that could take care of a sixth free agency year. Before this contract, no catcher had earned more than Mike Napoli's $20.8MM for his arbitration years, and Posey nearly triples that. His $57MM arbitration total is third-highest all-time, behind Ryan Howard and Tim Lincecum. Posey's contract is the largest deal ever given to a catcher and second in dollars to Joe Mauer's eight-year, $184MM deal with the Twins. The contract also marks a record guarantee for a player with fewer than four years of service time. The previous holder of that distinction was Todd Helton, who had an eleven-year deal worth $151.45MM.
The Giants' deal with Posey represents their second consecutive year with a major contract extension completed just prior to Opening Day. Last year, right-hander Matt Cain - also represented by CAA's Jeff Berry - cashed in with a five-year, $112.5MM pact. For Berry, this deal is just the latest on a resume full of lucrative extensions. As MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows, he has recently ironed out deals for clients Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, and John Danks.
Terms of the deal were provided by Buster Olney of ESPN.com (on Twitter) while Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com tweeted the value of the option year. John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter), Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter), and the AP reported other details of the agreement. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here are today's minor moves from around the game.
- The Diamondbacks signed utility man Nick Evans, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter). Evans, who last appeared at the MLB level with the Mets in 2011, was cut loose by the Dodgers earlier this month.
- The Orioles have acquired pitcher Scott Proctor from the Giants for cash, Andrew Baggarly of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reports (via Twitter). Proctor will pitch for Triple-A Norfolk. Proctor last appeared in the big leagues in 2011, when he played for the Yankees and Braves. He pitched in Korea in 2012.
- The Yankees have outrighted reliever Sam Demel to Triple-A Scranton, the team's PR department reports (on Twitter). The team claimed Demel from the Astros earlier this week. The team also added Jayson Nix and Ben Francisco to its 40-man roster, the team notes (on Twitter) and, as MLBTR noted earlier today, designated reliever David Aardsma for assignment. Demel, 27, spent most of 2012 at Triple-A Reno in the Diamondbacks system, posting a 4.07 ERA in 66 1/3 innings with 10.2 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. He has pitched 63 2/3 major-league innings in his career, all with the Diamondbacks.
The Giants and catcher Buster Posey are in serious discussions about a long-term deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. We first learned last week that Posey and the Giants have been discussing a lengthy deal with Posey hoping to become a Giant for life.
A ten-year deal would not be out of the question, according to Heyman, and the two sides have been trying to hammer something out by Opening Day. A ten-year deal that begins in 2013 would buy out six of Posey's free agent seasons and would cost well over $100MM. This winter marked Posey's first time through the arbitration process and the clubs avoided a hearing with a $8MM salary for 2013.
Posey is a super two player and is scheduled to go to arbitration three more times. As it stands, the catcher will be eligible for free agency following the 2016 season. In parts of four MLB seasons, the 25-year-old has a .314/.380/.503 batting line, two World Series titles, a Rookie of the Year award, and an MVP award.
The Giants reached agreement on a deal with star pitcher Matt Cain just prior to Opening Day 2012 that gave Cain an additional $112.5MM over five years.
The Giants were reported to be interested in re-signing Ramirez after they released him last week. Ramirez pitched 63 2/3 relief innings for the Mets last season, posting a 4.24 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9.