Todd Helton Rumors
Friday Night Links..
- Despite a published report to the contrary, Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever is not headed to the Mets, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon spoke to a few members of the Reds who would like to see Dusty Baker sign an extension with the club.
- Brandon Inge and Johnny Damon are both okay with having been put on waivers, writes Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press.
- Reds manager Dusty Baker dismissed questions about him possibly becoming the Dodgers manager if Joe Torre retires, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- Mark Kizla of The Denver Post urges Todd Helton to call it quits.
- The Padres don't have much interest in outfielder Cody Ross, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.
- The Pirates will send Luis Heredia to their affiliate in Bradenton not to pitch, but to familiarize himself with the program, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (via Twitter) passes along a report from Japanese outlet Sponichi that the Yankees sent Damon Oppenheimer and scout Billy Eppler to watch Yu Darvish.
- Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (via Twitter) wonders aloud if the Brewers might make a deal in order to free a roster spot for the returning Carlos Gomez.
- Nats GM Mike Rizzo says that Bryce Harper won't be playing in any games for their Gulf Coast League affiliate this season, according to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com.
Let's see what Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has for us in his latest installment of Full Count..
- White Sox GM Ken Williams is said to be confident about landing either Prince Fielder or Adam Dunn. Williams continues to talk to the Brewers about Fielder but there doesn't seem to be a match as they seek pitching in return. Meanwhile, the Nats have told everyone that they'll need to be overwhelmed by an offer to move Dunn. If the White Sox strike out on the two big-time left-handed sluggers, they're unlikely to reach for a player such as Russell Branyan or Brad Hawpe. Instead, they'll look to go small and try to improve their bullpen and bench.
- The Padres are now more focused on offense than pitching, but don't expect them to make a big splash. The club expects pitchers such as Jake Westbrook to clear waivers rather easily in August. Ultimately, they're likely to make two or three small acquisitions, bringing in guys that won't cost a lot but will help their squad contend.
- The Rockies are looking for a right-handed hitting first baseman in Todd Helton's absence. Jorge Cantu was a possibility but his price was high to begin with and now the Marlins appear to be back in contention. Ty Wigginton also appears to be out of reach as the O's want a young shortstop in return. Colorado made an inquiry on Jayson Werth but the Phillies are telling teams that they won't deal him unless they get a major league-ready starter.
We've already looked at the largest contracts by service time and position, so let's now dig up the largest contracts ever given out by each of the 30 teams. These are in terms of guaranteed money only, but some could end up being even larger because of incentives and option years.
- Angels: Torii Hunter, five years, $90MM
- Astros: Carlos Lee, six years, $100MM
- Athletics: Eric Chavez, six years, $66MM
- Blue Jays: Vernon Wells, seven years, $126MM
- Braves: Chipper Jones, six years, $90MM
- Brewers: Ryan Braun, eight years, $45MM
- Cardinals: Matt Holliday, seven years, $120MM
- Cubs: Alfonso Soriano, eight years, $136MM
- Diamondbacks: Randy Johnson, four years, $53.4MM
- Dodgers: Kevin Brown, seven years, $105MM
- Giants: Barry Zito, seven years, $126MM
- Indians: Travis Hafner, four years, $57MM
- Mariners: Ichiro Suzuki, five years, $90MM
- Marlins: Hanley Ramirez, six years, $70MM
- Mets: Johan Santana, six years, $137.5MM
- Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman, five years, $45MM
- Orioles: Miguel Tejada, six years, $72MM
- Padres: Jake Peavy, three years, $52MM
- Phillies: Chase Utley, seven years, $85MM
- Pirates: Jason Kendall, six years, $60MM
- Rangers: Alex Rodriguez, ten years, $252MM
- Rays: Wilson Alvarez, five years, $35MM
- Reds: Ken Griffey Jr., nine years, $116.5MM
- Red Sox: Manny Ramirez, eight years, $160MM
- Rockies: Todd Helton, nine years, $141.5MM
- Royals: Gil Meche & Mike Sweeney, both five years, $55MM
- Tigers: Miguel Cabrera, eight years, $152.3MM
- Twins: Joe Mauer, eight years, $184MM
- White Sox: Frank Thomas, seven years, $64.4MM
- Yankees: Alex Rodriguez, ten years, $275MM
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.
Links for Monday...
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post has the details of Todd Helton's new contract extension. He can void the deal if two of three general partners sell their controlling interest in the team, and it contains $13.1MM in deferred money at three percent interest.
- The Yankees could look to move Chad Gaudin soon, according to Rosenthal (via Twitter). In another tweet, he mentions that Clay Hensley can opt out of his contract with the Marlins if he's not on the roster by April 1st.
- Jim Bowden shows off his post-trade fist pump in his latest GM's Corner video for FOX Sports. Bowden asked a slew of GMs about their processes for making deals; Frank Wren estimated that less than ten percent of discussions lead to trades.
- In considering Jonathan Papelbon's future, WEEI's Alex Speier demonstrates just how risky large multiyear deals for relievers have been.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says the Blue Jays "will not settle for fringe prospects in return" for relievers Scott Downs and Jason Frasor, and they could use them to continue the rebuilding effort.
- Rosenthal adds that Gary Sheffield is talking to a NL club, though it's not clear which one.
- Meanwhile, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com notes that both Jamey Wright and Austin Kearns have out clauses in their contracts, but a club official said the provisions will not impact the makeup of the team. A source added that there are "no trades on the horizon" for Cleveland.
The Rockies and first baseman Todd Helton signed a two-year extension that covers the 2012-13 seasons. Contract details: it's a two-year, $9.9MM extension paying $4.9MM in '12 and $5MM in '13. Helton will defer $13.1MM beginning next season.
Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports first reported the extension and its terms and Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported that it had been signed. Renck writes that Helton will work for the Rockies once he's done playing, perhaps as a coach. The club wants to keep him in a Rockies uniform for life.
"We view him in the same way as a Cal Ripken, George Brett and Tony Gwynn. He's a Rockie, and a Hall of Famer we believe," said GM Dan O'Dowd.
As part of his mammoth nine-year, $141.5MM deal, Helton was set to earn $16.6MM this year, $19.1MM in '11, and presumably a $4.6MM buyout after that season. The Rockies freed up $8.6MM on their 2011 payroll, as Helton will now earn $10.5MM during that season. The move is reminiscent of the Reds' recent restructuring of Scott Rolen's contract.
Now, instead of concluding his Rockies contract at age 38, Helton will be 40. Helton is on track to perhaps retire a Rockie once his contract is up. Despite his back woes, he really only slipped in 2008.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy doesn't "want to be the organization that pops up every three years or so," according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Renck offers up a look at the needs the Rockies will need to address at this year's Winter Meetings in order to strengthen the club's chances to be perennial contenders:
- General manager Dan O'Dowd will meet with Rafael Betancourt's representation today. We've heard that Betancourt may accept arbitration from the Rockies, but with the Red Sox and Phillies interested in his services, that may change. O'Dowd says he wants things to work out with Betancourt, but they've identified alternatives in the event that they don't.
- Colorado would be interested in bringing LaTroy Hawkins back to Coors Field. Hawkins is coming off a strong year with the Astros in which he posted a 2.13 ERA through 63.1 innings, fanning 45 and walking 17. His FIP checked in at a much more pedestrian 3.97, however.
- The Rockies have requested Justin Duchscherer's medical records and will meet with his agent today.
- They've inquired on free agent Chad Tracy in an attempt to add a left-handed bat off the bench. Even without Tracy, however, they could still find a suitable backup to Todd Helton in their own clubhouse, as Brad Hawpe is open to spelling Helton from time to time.
- O'Dowd will keep the team's struggles against left-handers in mind if teams inquire about names like Brad Hawpe and Jorge De La Rosa.
- O'Dowd says he'll remain open to anything, but the difference between this year and last year is that he's not specifically looking to move some players.
More links as Colby Rasmus and Pablo Sandoval turn 23...
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle reports that attendance has dropped 12% at Astros games this year and could fall further. Team owner Drayton McLane won't say how much he'll spend on payroll next year.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says there's room for Russell Branyan on next year's Mariners team. Could $10MM over two years work for both sides?
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick says Todd Helton has a chance at a Hall of Fame plaque, whether or not the first baseman is comfortable discussing his chances at immortality.
- The Orioles agreed to sign fifth rounder Ashur Tolliver for $200k, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America. They also agreed to terms with Randy Henry for $365k and Ryan Berry for $418k. All three bonuses are higher than recommended.
Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Braves gave off the impression that Tom Glavine was merely a "famous, low-priced insurance policy" when they released him two days ago. He has more on the Braves and the rest of the majors; let's take a look:
- John Smoltz told Heyman that he once turned down $53MM from the Yankees to sign with the Braves for $30MM.
- The Braves are now unable to add payroll.
- That could make it tough for them to reacquire Mark DeRosa, who's on the block and would be a nice piece for Atlanta.
- One executive said Justin Upton has "a lot of Ken Griffey Jr. in him." Check out Tim's Q&A with Upton to see how the former number one pick handles the hype.
- Miguel Tejada's name has surfaced in trade talks, but most contenders see him as a third baseman and some don't like his bat anymore.
- The Rockies are willing to discuss dealing "nearly every player" they have. Heyman says "they'd probably love to find someone" to take on Todd Helton's contract. He's owed about $50MM still, so I'd think the chances are slim.
Another column from Ken Rosenthal at FOX Sports? Sure, why not.
- The Rockies, 12 games out in the NL West, "appear headed for a selloff." Garrett Atkins isn't popular (although deep in today's chat, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggested there could be a match with the Cardinals), and Todd Helton is too pricey. But Brad Hawpe, who has $12MM coming to him from now through 2010, could be an appealing trade chip. Hawpe has a 2011 club option for $10MM, but he can void it if traded. Rosenthal likes the Rays; the Braves would also be a nice fit for Hawpe in my opinion.
- Rosenthal believes it would be hard for the Giants to find a young slugger who would be equal value for Matt Cain, who can be controlled cheaply through 2011. We learned earlier this week that Cain is not being dangled.
- The Pirates have no financial need to dump veteran contracts, an idea we've read in the past. They're getting calls on Jack Wilson, but teams are reluctant to take on all the $5.8MM he still has coming. They have the same problem for Adam LaRoche. And Rosenthal says the Bucs are "philosophically opposed to the idea of a low-revenue team sending money to a high-revenue team to secure better prospects in a trade, the way the Indians did last season when they moved third baseman Casey Blake to the Dodgers."
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has lots of rumors in his latest article:
- Apparently the Giants were willing to offer Manny Ramirez a four year deal in the form of a one year deal with three option years. No more details are known, except that the Giants remain interested in Manny.
- Brad Ausmus has had ongoing talks with the Padres and Dodgers, according to Cafardo's sources. The Red Sox aren't interested.
- The Angels, Giants and Mets are possible suitors for Xavier Nady.
- Cafardo's heard other clubs talking about the Red Sox and Rockies restarting the Todd Helton for Mike Lowell trade talk, but hasn't heard anything similar from the Red Sox.
- At least one of Cafardo's sources thinks Prince Fielder would make a lot of sense in Boston. Clay Buchholz could be a starting point if these talks were to start.
- Ben Sheets is becoming a bargain, so the Braves or Rangers could jump in and sign him affordably.
- Cafardo calls Atlanta an "emerging" destination for Adam Dunn.