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Yesterday Jayson Werth signed the third-largest contract ever for an outfielder, as the Nationals locked him up for seven years and $126MM. He and Vernon Wells figure to be bumped soon by Carl Crawford, though. Many thought Werth would get five years, a few thought six, but I didn't see anyone predicting seven. Reactions:
- ESPN's Keith Law calls the contract "irresponsible" and takes on the "losing teams have to overpay" argument.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says this is "not the drastic overpay that it appears to be on the surface."
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan says that from Scott Boras' point of view, "This deal wasn’t as much about need as it was capitalizing on eagerness."
- Talking to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo, Mets GM Sandy Alderson remarked, "It makes some of our contracts look pretty good. I thought they were trying to reduce the deficit in Washington."
- One GM, upon hearing the length of Werth's contract, told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports it was "absolutely bat—- crazy." CBS Sports' Danny Knobler says one American League GM "nearly fell over when I told him the terms."
- The Phillies' offer, which GM Ruben Amaro Jr. deemed "significant," was for three years and about $48MM according to CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki notes that a fourth-year vesting option would have increased the value to $60MM.
SI's Jon Heyman dishes the latest on the hot stove…
- Heyman provides reasons why he sees the Yankees as the favorite to sign Cliff Lee: their revenue, rotation question marks, and lack of a backup plan chief among them. He also talked to Lee's agent Darek Braunecker about the story about Lee's wife being harassed by Yankees fans at a game. Braunecker said, "That story was blown out of proportion. It's not like she's hypersensitive. She's been with him in Philadelphia and all over, been with him from the get-go. It really was that one time, just a couple clowns…probably intoxicated. I don't know if that will have any bearing on (the decision)."
- Heyman predicts destinations for 15 of the top free agents; nothing crazy.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer draws praise for being upfront about not being able to sign Adrian Gonzalez.
- New Mets GM Sandy Alderson will be paid close to $3MM, while Paul DePodesta will get close to $1MM. With J.P. Ricciardi, Wayne Krivsky, and Omar Minaya also on the ledger, Heyman figures this is baseball's most expensive front office.
- Heyman feels that the Mets "would likely avoid" allowing Francisco Rodriguez to finish 55 games in 2011, which would trigger his $17.5MM option for '12. He also notes that the Mets "will wait to see Jose Reyes play a large chunk of this coming season before getting serious about a long-term deal." That approach might work, but from Reyes' point of view if he's having a great year and is months away from free agency he might as well go to the open market.
- It's a little early for "best shape of his life" reports, but that's the word on free agent righty Brad Penny. The 32-year-old was limited to nine starts this year due to a lat muscle injury.
A few links to check out after the Rangers picked up their first World Series win in franchise history…
- Torii Hunter is at the World Series for TV work, though he did mention liking the idea of Carl Crawford in an Angels' uniform according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Hunter wouldn't confirm if he's been lobbying the soon-to-be free agent outfielder.
- In a mailbag piece, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer answers questions about the Indians chances of signing quality free agents and whether or not Javier Vazquez is a fit for them.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that Giants' lefty reliever Javier Lopez will fall short of qualifying for free agency this offseason by just five days of service time. It's a shame he won't be able to cash in on his dominant postseason (5.2 innings, one hit, one walk, six strikeouts).
- Rosenthal also says that the Brewers are just doing their due diligence, and are expected to name a manager shortly after the World Series (Twitter link).
- Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune lists the hurdles the White Sox would have to clear if they want to acquire Colby Rasmus. He also noted that St. Louis had people watching ChiSox prospects at a recent Arizona Fall League game.
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News provide an offseason to-do list for the Yankees.
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli tweets that the announcement of the Orioles' coaching staff is being held up by Don Wakamatsu. He'll be their bench coach unless he lands a managerial gig elsewhere.
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post explains what impressed him about Sandy Alderson's introductory press conference yesterday.
- Meanwhile, Newsday's David Lennon wonders if Alderson's hiring will boost ticket sales (via Twitter). Mets' attendance has dropped from an average of 51,165 fans per game in 2008 to 32,401 in 2010 despite the opening of CitiField last season. Obviously the economy is part of the problem.
- Jennings also passed along a lengthy quote from Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who explains his desire to make his team younger without sacrificing their ability to be competitive.
- Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle compares the path the Rangers and Giants took to the World Series to some of the moves the Astros made a few seasons ago.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Baltimore Orioles | Carl Crawford | Chicago White Sox | Cleveland Indians | Colby Rasmus | Houston Astros | Javier Lopez | Javier Vazquez | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | New York Yankees | San Francisco Giants | Sandy Alderson | St. Louis Cardinals | Torii Hunter
The Phillies won their second World Series in franchise history two years ago today, beating the Rays in the first suspended game in series history. Game Five started on October 27th, 2008, and the two clubs played to a 2-2 tie through the first five and a half innings before rain forced the suspension. The game didn't resume until October 29th due to the weather, but when it finallly did the Phillies outscored Tampa 2-1 the rest of the way for a 4-3 final score.
There's no weather-related delay for these links; here's the best from around the web this week…
- Capitol Avenue Club provides a primer for the Braves' offseason.
- Pine Tar And Pocket Protectors explains how Mark Teixeira built the AL Champion Rangers.
- The Baseball Opinion re-lives Sandy Alderson's biggest trade.
- DRays Bay compiles Andrew Friedman's offseason to-do list.
- Meanwhile, The Process Report thinks about Nick Johnson as a cheap option for the Rays.
- Drunk Jays Fans reacts to the John Farrell hiring and more.
- Baseball Analytics breaks down Pat Burrell's resurgence.
- Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness wonders if Ivan DeJesus should get a crack at the Dodgers second base job next year.
- Disciples of Uecker says it's time for Josh Butler to put up or shut up. The Brewers acquired Butler for Gabe Gross in 2008.
- Yankeeist wonders what would have happened if the Yankees managed to acquire Dan Haren this summer.
- SPANdemonium compares the Rangers, Rays and Royals.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Andrew Friedman | Atlanta Braves | Baseball Blogs Weigh In | Dan Haren | Gabe Gross | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mark Teixeira | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Nick Johnson | Pat Burrell | San Francisco Giants | Sandy Alderson | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays
Sandy Alderson is "the overwhelming favorite" to become the next Mets GM, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post. A source with knowledge of the hiring process told Puma Alderson is "close to a slam dunk" for the position. His source adds that Alderson has the votes of Jeff and Fred Wilpon and only needs the approval of team president Saul Katz. Puma speculates that Alderson's hiring could be announced on Friday, a World Series travel day.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News agrees that Alderson is the favorite and also speculates on a Friday announcement. Martino says Rangers GM Jon Daniels is no longer being considered for the Mets job.
Alderson, 63 next month, served as GM of the Athletics from 1983 through the 1997. He later worked in the commissioner's office and for the Padres.
- Over at RotoAuthority, Tim Dierkes lists some Baltimore Orioles to watch for your fantasy team next season.
- ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin re-posted a selection of questions from a 2008 interview conducted with current Mets' GM candidate Sandy Alderson. Very interesting read.
- Damaso Marte underwent shoulder surgery this weekend and won't begin throwing until after the 2011 All-Star Break, writes MLB.com's Dan Mennella. If the Yankees want to look for some low-budget options, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith looked at some bargain southpaws last week.
- Joel Sherman looks at the delicate situation that is Derek Jeter's free agency. Sherman concludes that Jeter is more valuable to the Yankees than to other teams, and that the 37-year-old will have to accept that it's not a "divine right" that he hit at the top of the order and play 150 games per season if his production doesn't improve. According to Sherman, Jeter's numbers may only warrant a one-year, $7MM deal or so on the open market, but the Yankees will bid higher. He offers up a speculative three-year, $45MM deal.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin says the Diamondbacks will be pulling for Josh Byrnes to win the Mets' GM opening, as any money the Mets pay him will be deducted from what Byrnes is still owed from his five-year contract with Arizona. Potentially saving $1MM or so annually on their GM may be a factor if the two candidates end up being neck-and-neck, according to Rubin.
- Jayson Werth's teammates don't see him returning to the Phillies next season, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.
- Curt Young has declined the Athletics' offer to return as the club's pitching coach and will pursue another opportunity, according to a team press release. The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser speculates that he might be joining former Oakland colleague Terry Francona in Boston. That would make sense, given Toronto's decision to hire John Farrell. Slusser says the A's offered Young a raise of nearly 40% on a one-year deal.
- The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, however, tweets that Young is likely on his way to the Diamondbacks' organization.
- For A's fans thinking this could mean a reunion with Rick Peterson, Slusser also tweets a reminder that Peterson has one more year on his contract with Milwaukee.
A few links to check out as the Giants try to join the Rangers in the World Series…
- Over at RotoAuthority, Tim Dierkes lists some Pittsburgh Pirates that could help your fantasy team next season.
- Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com report that Joey Cora and Bob Melvin are among the final candidates for the Brewers managerial opening. Pat Listach was informed that he is no longer considered a candidate for the job according Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel.
- Elsewhere in Milwaukee coaching news, the team has confirmed that Dale Sveum will return as hitting coach on a two-year deal according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (via Twitter). Sveum was a candidate for Pirates' manager job.
- The Marlins have no immediate plans to interview Yankees bench coach Tony Pena for their managerial opening now that New York has been eliminated from the postseason, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun-Sentinel.
- Meanwhile, Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com lists ten issues the Yanks must deal with this offseason, starting with Derek Jeter's contract situation.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that Jeff Bagwell has informed the Astros that he will not be returning as hitting coach. Astros senior director of social media Alyson Footer says (via Twitter) that there are no hard feelings on either side.
- MetsBlog.com's Matthew Cerrone muses about the Mets acquiring a starting pitcher.
- In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney explains how the Rangers were able to take on payroll over the last year despite being bankrupt.
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post reports that when the Mets interview GM candidates Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes for a second time this week, they will focus on what each would do in the immediate future, meaning the upcoming offseason.
- Meanwhile, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets that because Josh Byrnes is still under contract with the Diamondbacks for the next five years, the Mets would only have to pay him a "reasonable amount" if they hire him as their new GM. That amount would then be deducted from what Arizona is paying him.
- In the wake of their ALCS loss to the Rangers, John Harper of The New York Daily News says that the failed Cliff Lee trade ultimately cost the Yankees.
- Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle thinks there's a case to be made for the Astros signing Lance Berkman this offseason.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post thinks the Rockies should make a run at Javier Vazquez if the price is right (Twitter link).
After a first round of interviews, the Mets have narrowed their general manager search down to two candidates: Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes. Both have experience running a team, Alderson with the A's (1983-1997) and Byrnes with the Diamondbacks (2005-2010), and both surely have different strengths and weaknesses. Byrnes gives them a younger exec perhaps more well-versed in today's game, Alderson a veteran front office presence with deep roots in the game.
Both Alderson and Byrnes will interview for the second time this week, and a decision will presumably be made shortly thereafter. Time for the poll…
Who should the Mets hire to be their next GM?
The Mets will interview Sandy Alderson, Rick Hahn, Allard Baird, and Josh Byrnes this week for their general manager vacancy, according to Dan Martin of the New York Post. David Lennon of Newsday tweets that it's Baird today, Hahn on Tuesday, Byrnes on Wednesday, and Alderson on Thursday or Friday. Martin adds that a team official told him other candidates could be added to the list.
Alderson is "perceived to be the favorite," writes SI's Jon Heyman. Heyman notes that Alderson has longtime ties to Mets owner Fred Wilpon, as well as support from fans and media members. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, however, puts on the brakes and provides four tough questions for Alderson that he'd like to see answered.