Trever Miller Rumors

2011 Vesting Options Update

11:33am: ESPN's Adam Rubin explained in a chat today that Cora's option vests with 80 games rather than 80 starts.  Cora is on pace to play more than 90 games this year.

8:32am: We entered the season with nine vesting options to watch, but we're already down to five.  Let's take a look.

  • Trever Miller, Cardinals.  The lefty's $2MM option vests with 45 games.  So far he's appeared in 17 of the team's 52 games, putting him on pace for 53.  Miller appeared in ten games in May and is back on track. 
  • Alex Cora, Mets.  Cora's $2MM option vests with 80 starts.  He's started 19 of the team's 52 games, putting him on pace for 59 starts.  Cora will need to make about 15 starts per month from here on out to reach the target.  His 2011 contract may depend on Luis Castillo's foot problems and reduced playing time against righties
  • Darren Oliver, Rangers.  Oliver's $3.25MM option vests with 59 appearances.  He's made 24 in the team's first 50 games, putting him on pace for about 78. 
  • Ramon Hernandez, Reds.  Hernandez's $3.25MM option vests with 120 games played.  He's played in 33 of 52, putting him on pace for 103.  He'll need about 22 games per month to hit the target.  Ryan Hanigan's broken thumb is a factor.
  • Magglio Ordonez, Tigers.  His $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances.  He's on pace for 156 games and 658 PAs, so even a DL stint wouldn't necessarily prevent Ordonez from locking in his 2011 salary.
  • As a reminder, the vesting options for Brian Fuentes, Billy Wagner, Matt Cain, and Kerry Wood have already been addressed

2011 Vesting Options Update

We entered the season with nine 2011 vesting option situations to watch.  With one month in the books, several have already been pretty much decided.  Let's take a look.

  • Brian Fuentes, Angels.  A back strain put Fuentes on the DL for a little while, making it unlikely he reaches 55 games finished.  He'd need 51 in the team's remaining 136 games to cause his $9MM option to vest.
  • Billy Wagner, Braves.  Wagner's $6.5MM option vests with 50 games finished.  He's finished eight games so far, and would have a shot at 50.  However, the 38-year-old lefty recently told Braves manager Bobby Cox he'll retire after the season.
  • Trever Miller, Cardinals.  His $2MM option vests with 45 games, and he's appeared in seven so far.  That's behind Miller's typical pace; he's averaged 71 the last three years.  It's probably random, and Miller should still reach 45 games. 
  • Matt Cain, Giants.  The $6.25MM option probably would've vested, but the Giants decided to guarantee Cain's 2011 salary at $7MM as part of an extension.
  • Kerry Wood, Indians.  His $11MM option vests with 55 games finished, but a back injury has Wood just now approaching his 2010 big league debut.
  • Alex Cora, Mets.  His $2MM option vests with 80 starts.  He's started ten games so far.  With Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes in the Mets' middle infield, we can't rule this one out yet.
  • Darren Oliver, Rangers.  His $3.25MM option vests with 59 appearances.  He's already made a dozen, so this is looking likely.
  • Ramon Hernandez, Reds.  His $3.25MM option vests with 120 games played.  Hernandez is at 16 so far, with the red-hot Ryan Hanigan getting more playing time recently.
  • Magglio Ordonez, Tigers.  His $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances.  He's at 25 games started and 113 plate appearances, so he'll get there barring injury.
  • We're down to five vesting options to monitor: Miller, Cora, Oliver, Hernandez, and Ordonez.  Also keep an eye on Francisco Rodriguez, whose scary $17.5MM option for 2012 vests with 100 games finished in 2010-11, 55 games finished in '11, and a successful physical after the '11 season.  K-Rod has finished nine games on the young season.

2011 Vesting Options

Vesting options are always fun for hot stove junkies to follow during the season.  Last year we had Kevin Millwood's $12 Million Out and the Tigers allowing Magglio Ordonez's pricey option to vest.  2011 vesting options to watch this year:

  • Brian Fuentes, Angels: $9MM option vests with 55 games finished.  Fuentes has finished 55+ three times in his career, last year included.  Fernando Rodney will be lurking.
  • Billy Wagner, Braves: $6.5MM option vests with 50 games finished.
  • Trever Miller, Cardinals: $2MM option vests with 45 games, but reverts to a club option with a left arm or shoulder injury.
  • Matt Cain, Giants: $6.25MM option vests with 182.3 innings or 27 starts.  The Giants will exercise this even if it doesn't vest, as the alternative will be going to arbitration with Cain and potentially paying him more.
  • Kerry Wood, Indians: $11MM option vests with 55 games finished.  A trade into a non-closing job could affect Wood's bank account.  That's three closers whose GF totals we'll be monitoring. 
  • Alex Cora, Mets: $2MM option vests with 80 starts.
  • Darren Oliver, Rangers: $3.25MM option vests with 59 appearances.
  • Ramon Hernandez, Reds: $3.25MM option vests with 120 games played.
  • Magglio Ordonez, Tigers: $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances.
  • Note that a game finished is given to the last non-starting pitcher of record.  Also, thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.

Cardinals Extend Ryan Franklin, Trever Miller

11:20pm: Goold has the contract details.  As he mentioned before, Franklin gets about $6.5MM plus incentives for 2010-11.  As for Miller:

The contract finalized Sunday picks up and guarantees all of his bonuses for this season — some $680K worth for appearances yet to come — and pays him $2MM for next year. Miller has a $2MM vesting option for 2011. It triggers a $1MM buyout if he makes 45 appearances in 2010 and does not go on the disabled list with the shoulder imperfection discovered in the physical.

2:40pm: The Cardinals extended the contracts of relievers Ryan Franklin and Trever Miller, according to Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter).  Franklin's deal runs through 2011, while Miller's is through 2010 with a vesting option for '11.  Here's the press release from the Cardinals; terms are not yet known.

Franklin stepped into the Cardinals' closer role this year and saved 35 games in 37 tries.  His 1.05 ERA is obviously not sustainable, as Franklin has been oddly unhittable and his flyballs have not left the yard.  That said, it's hard to see fault in the two-year, $6.5MM price suggested by Derrick Goold of the P-D.  Goold says Franklin can earn incentives if he remains the team's closer.

Lefty specialist Miller has answered the bell by holding southpaws to a .100/.161/.175 line this year.  As a free agent signing in December, Miller was guaranteed only $500K by the Cardinals due to concerns they had about his shoulder.

Trever Miller Guaranteed $500K

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, lefty reliever Trever Miller gets only $500K guaranteed for 2009 from the Cardinals.  He’ll need to make 70 appearances to get the additional $1.5MM.  Apparently the Cards really didn’t like what they saw in his shoulder, but Miller still wanted to pitch for them.

Cardinals Rumors: Greene, Ludwick, Pitching

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted a few Cardinals rumors online today:

  • Miklasz spoke with Cardinals GM John Mozeliak and found that the Padres aren’t paying Khalil Greene any of his $6.5MM salary next year. Earlier in the week, it wasn’t clear whether they’d be chipping in.
  • Talk that the Cards could trade Ryan Ludwick to the Braves was mostly rumor and “never had traction.”
  • Mozeliak hopes to build on the Trever Miller signing and acquire more pitching. Specifically, he’d like a starter, a reliever who could close and another lefty.
  • Not surprisingly, Mozeliak says there’s no chance the Cardinals will go after any of the high-profile free agents on the market.
  • Second base doesn’t appear to be a priority for the Cardinals.

Cardinals Sign Trever Miller

5:27pm: Miller gets $2MM if he reaches all appearance-based incentives.  Strauss says the only team Miller considered while his deal was being redone was the Rays, despite inquiries from other clubs.

2:49pm: Here’s the press release from the Cardinals.

2:42pm: According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals signed lefty reliever Trever Miller to a one-year deal.  Strauss wrote on Monday that Miller’s physical raised concerns related to his 2000 surgery for a torn labrum, which put a hold on a two-year agreement.

Cards Decline To Offer Arb To Springer, Looper, Isringhausen

TUESDAY: Another note from Strauss – it seems the Cardinals are moving on from Springer.

MONDAY: According to’s Matthew Leach, the Cardinals declined to offer arbitration to Russ Springer, Braden Looper, and Jason Isringhausen (as well as their other free agents).  The Looper decision comes as a surprise, as he earned only $5.5MM in ’08 and would’ve been a solid addition or trade chip for ’09.  He’s a Type B free agent, but the Cards won’t get a pick now.  Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Looper is seeking at least a three-year deal.  Springer is a Type A, so now he’s much more attractive to other teams.

Strauss has a few other Cards notes.  He says the Cardinals are not one of the teams interested in Randy Johnson, but may have interest in Andy Pettitte.  Also, the signing of lefty reliever Trever Miller is being held up due to health concerns that surfaced at the physical.

Cards Make Offer To Rhodes

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals made an offer to lefty reliever Arthur Rhodes.  Rhodes’ agent says nine teams expressed interest, and a handful made offers.  More offers are forthcoming for the 39 year-old.

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak continues to hammer out the details of a contract with Trever Miller; he hopes to add two lefties to the pen.

Goold says the Cardinals are also considering two righthanded relievers in Brandon Lyon and Jason Isringhausen.  Three other teams have expressed interest in Isringhausen, who would like to regain his job as the Cardinals’ closer.

The Cardinals remain in the mix for Edgar Renteria, and they’ll be consulted before a deal is finalized with any other team.  They’ll wait until after the December 1st deadline for offering arbitration.

Odds and Ends: Halladay, Lopez, Glavine

Links for Monday…