Tim Lincecum Rumors
In a piece inspired by early-season injuries to key relievers Tom Verducci of SI.com points out that closers tend to be inefficient investments. "No one wants to admit it," he writes, "but the modern bullpen is a failure." Here are the rest of today's links...
- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he likes what he has seen from manager Ozzie Guillen despite last week's controversial remarks. “He’s very good for here," Loria said. "Excellent. Not only for here, for any team."
- When the Yankees signed Derek Jeter to a three-year, $51MM contract two offseasons ago, they felt it was an overpay, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. But the shortstop played tremendously down the stretch in 2011 and has started the 2012 season well.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney suggests the Giants will likely want to see Tim Lincecum rebound from his early-season struggles before offering him an extension at market value.
- Indians manager Manny Acta told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that top prospect Lonnie Chisenhall remains Cleveland's future third baseman and won’t become trade bait this summer (Twitter link, audio here).
Giants VP of baseball operations Bobby Evans said he contacted Buster Posey's agent today in regards to a possible multiyear extension for the catcher, and also told Tim Lincecum's agent that the right-hander is also still in the team's plans. (Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweet the details from Evans' talk with media members.)
The Giants and Posey first talked a possible extension in the spring and now that Posey has shown himself to be apparently recovered from the broken leg that prematurely ended his 2011 season, it's no surprise that the club has revisited locking up its best young position player. Carlos Santana's recent five-year, $21MM extension with the Indians will probably serve as a reference point for what a Posey extension might look like.
As for Lincecum, it sounds as if Evans was simply making a courtesy call to indicate that nothing had changed in regards to the Giants' desire to sign Lincecum to a long-term contract. "Obviously we'll be looking toward that in the future," Evans said. Earlier today, Schulman wrote that the added cost certainty achieved by signing Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain to extensions increases the chances of the Giants also extending Lincecum.
Despite the Giants' recent spate of moves, it may yet be a while before we see Posey or Lincecum extended. Evans said he didn't expect any negotiations to take place during the season but "there will be a time we address that" (Twitter link).
Long-time Athletics minor league roving instructor Ron Plaza passed away last night at age 77, according to a team media release. Plaza had been with the A's since 1983, and also worked for the Reds and Cardinals organizations during his 61-year career in baseball as a player, manager and coach. We at MLBTR send our condolences to Plaza's family, friends and colleagues.
Here's the latest from both the A's and the Giants...
- The Athletics aim to put their new stadium and proposed move to San Jose on the agenda for next month's owners meetings, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. By forcing the other owners to vote on the move, the A's would finally get some resolution on an issue that has dragged on for three years. Neither A's owner Lew Wolff or GM Billy Beane would comment on the story.
- One of Slusser's sources (Twitter link) isn't certain if the A's will be successful in getting their case heard at the owners meetings. It will ultimately be up to Bud Selig, who decides on the meetings' agenda.
- Madison Bumgarner's extension with the Giants is "a win for everyone involved," writes Dave Cameron for Fangraphs.
- The Giants now have greater cost certainty with Bumgarner and Matt Cain both locked up to multiyear contracts, which Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter) feels will make the team likelier to sign Tim Lincecum to a long-term deal "if he has a good year." Lincecum signed a two-year pact with the Giants in January that puts him on pace to hit free agency after the 2013 season.
There's an "understanding" between the Giants and Matt Cain that they'll try to wrap up contract extension talks before the Opening Day, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. There is no evidence they are close to a deal or that they've even made progress in recent weeks. Extension talks with Tim Lincecum are on hold so the team can focus on Cain given the short window.
The Giants made Cain an initial offer a few weeks ago, though the 27-year-old right-hander is said to be seeking a nine-figure guarantee. The team's offer was not close to $100MM according to Heyman. Cain will earn $15MM in 2012 before hitting the open market next winter, when he will arguably be the best free agent right-handed starter since Mike Mussina in 2000.
Lincecum signed a two-year extension worth $40.5MM this offseason, and San Francisco offered him a five-year deal worth roughly $100MM not too long ago. The two sides are said to be $75MM or so apart.
Here's a look at some items out of the National League West..
- The Giants offered Tim Lincecum at least $100MM over five years a couple months back, but it now it appears that the two sides are at least $75MM apart, with the right-hander looking for a seven- or eight-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- Jeff Moorad has withdrawn his application to be the controlling partner of the Padres, meaning that John Moores will own the team for the foreseeable future, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
- Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres runs down the particulars of what this means for the future of the club. Moorad will remain the Vice Chairman and CEO of the Padres while Moores will remain the majority owner of the team as he has since 1994-95. Krasovic also writes that MLB is likely to approve the 20-year TV deal between the Padres and FOX.
- Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez don't exactly see eye-to-eye with former teammate Ubaldo Jimenez on his dissatisfaction with the Rockies, writes Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. The pitcher said that he was upset with the club in part because Tulowitzski and Gonzalez received lucrative new deals following the 2010 season while he did not.
The Giants made their roster available to the media today, on the eve of the club's annual FanFest event. Here's latest on the 2010 World Champs...
- “We’ve talked … and it’s a process,” said Matt Cain to reporters (including Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News) when asked about an extension. “We’ll see what’s going to happen. We’re definitely here for this year.”
- The right-hander did stop short of saying he'll give the team a hometown discount. “That’s tough,” he said. “You definitely love being in San Francisco, and we do. We have a year till free agency. That’s something as a player you think about, having that opportunity. It’s hard to say what will happen in these next several months.”
- “Budget won’t be a factor," said GM Brian Sabean when asked about signing both Cain and Tim Lincecum long-term. "We’ll have enough wherewithal in the budget that we won’t have to pick. Whether that happens, I can’t predict. But we have it in the budget to sign both players.”
- Sabean also said that increasing payroll to add players in midseason has "always been possible with our ownership group" according to John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Giants wanted Carlos Beltran back as a left fielder, says Shea (on Twitter). They were willing to give him two years, but not the $26MM the Cardinals gave him.
Moneyball received six Academy Award nominations on Tuesday, joining Pride Of The Yankees and Field Of Dreams as the only baseball-centric movies to ever be nominated for the prestigious Best Picture Oscar. While I'm not sure if I'd call Moneyball one of the very best films of the year, it's definitely a well-made, entertaining movie, as outlined in my review from last September.
Here are some non-cinematic notes from both the Athletics and the Giants in this roundup of Bay Area news...
- Xavier Nady and the Giants share a mutual interest on a minor league contract, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. The 33-year-old Nady hit .248/.287/.359 in 223 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks last season.
- Also from Schulman, he outlines the Giants' several shortstop/utility infield options for next season, which include Brandon Crawford, Emmanuel Burriss, Mike Fontenot and the newly-signed Ryan Theriot. Schulman also notes that Fontenot's $1.05MM contract with the team is non-guaranteed and that Burriss is out of options.
- Tim Lincecum's two-year, $40.5MM extension with the Giants was finalized today after the right-hander passed his physical.
- Manny Ramirez is "essentially a no-risk option" for the Athletics, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. A's managing partner Lew Wolff said yesterday that he would open to the possibility of his team signing the controversial Ramirez.
- From that same piece, Slusser notes the A's still have interest in bringing back Conor Jackson, despite the fact that the club just signed Jonny Gomes. Jackson played in Oakland from June 2010 to August 2011 before being dealt to the Red Sox for right-hander Jason Rice.
The Giants and Tim Lincecum have agreed to a two-year, $40.5MM contract extension, avoiding arbitration with the two-time Cy Young Award winner. The contract became official once Lincecum passed his physical with the team.
The two-year deal buys out Lincecum's final two seasons of arbitration eligibility and avoids a potentially historic hearing. The right-hander will earn $18MM in 2012 and $22MM in 2013 to go along with a $500K signing bonus. The deal includes a limited no-trade clause that allows Lincecum to select a certain number of teams to which he can block a trade. Both sides remain open to discussing a longer term contract in the near future.
Lincecum, a Beverly Hills Sports Council client, filed for a $21.5MM salary through arbitration and the Giants countered at $17MM, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. Both figures set new records for players with less than six years of service time. Derek Jeter ($18.5MM) and the Yankees ($14.25MM) had established the previous marks more than a decade ago, in 2001.
Lincecum, 27, has a 2.98 ERA with 9.9 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 47.1% ground ball rate in 1028 career innings. He already has two Cy Young Awards and four All-Star Game selections to his name. Only four pitchers -- Roy Halladay, C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander and Dan Haren -- have produced more wins above replacement since 2007, Lincecum's rookie season.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle was the first to report that an agreement had been reached, with Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reporting earlier on Tuesday that the sides were "very, very close" to a two-year deal worth a little more than $40MM. Schulman, his Chronicle colleague John Shea and Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News all added contract details (all links are via Twitter).
- It appears likely that Giants starter Tim Lincecum will sign a two-year deal in the $41-42MM range, Rosenthal writes. The Giants and their ace right-hander exchanged arbitration submissions last week and the club has since offered Lincecum a deal worth $100MM-plus.
- It’s possible that Edwin Jackson will sign a one-year contract, like fellow Scott Boras client Ryan Madson. The Red Sox and Mariners could be interested in Jackson if he’s willing to sign for one year.
- The Red Sox aren’t pursuing Wandy Rodriguez, according to Rosenthal.
- The Orioles could be a logical trade partner for Yankees right-hander A.J. Burnett in Rosenthal’s estimation.
- The Red Sox seem to have interest in acquiring an everyday shortstop and the Reds, Giants and Rays are looking for veteran shortstop help, Rosenthal writes.
- Free agent infielder Ryan Theriot would prefer to stay in the National League, unless he can obtain a starting job.
- Earlier in the offseason the Astros inquired about Ian Desmond, who hasn’t convinced everyone with the Nationals that he’s their long-term solution at shortstop.
- Some teams would play Gordon Beckham at short, according to Rosenthal. Beckham has only played second and third in three seasons at the MLB level.
- The Angels aren’t ready to trade Bobby Abreu, who could be a fit for Detroit’s DH opening.
Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays were both elected into the Hall Of Fame on this day in 1962 and 1979, respectively. As you might expect, both legends went to Cooperstown in their first year of eligibility. Mays received 409 of 432 votes; at the time, only inaugural inductees Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner had received a higher percentage of the vote.
While we ponder how in the world anyone could leave Mays, Robinson or any of the original HOF class off a ballot, here are some items from around the NL West...
- At least ten parties submitted bids to buy the Dodgers, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Among the bidders are former Dodger owner Peter O'Malley, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and ownership groups fronted by such familiar names as Magic Johnson and Joe Torre.
- With Tim Lincecum and the Giants reportedly close on a two-year contract extension, MLB.com's Chris Haft talks to former general managers John Hart and Jim Bowden about how a short-term deal could benefit both sides.
- The Marco Scutaro trade was "a clear win" for the Rockies, writes Fangraphs' Paul Swydan, as Scutaro will solve the team's problems at second base and with the No. 2 spot in the batting order.
- The Rockies didn't, however, "outfox" the Twins in the Kevin Slowey trade, an MLB talent evaluator tells Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Slowey was only a Rockie for about six weeks before Colorado dealt him to Cleveland on January 20.
- In news from earlier today, the Padres avoided arbitration with southpaw Clayton Richard and the Diamondbacks claimed catcher Craig Tatum off waivers from the Astros.