Buster Posey, Jason Heyward, Colby Rasmus, Gordon Beckham and Matt Kemp make Jon Heyman's list of players who could take another step toward stardom in 2011. Here are the latest rumors from Heyman at SI.com…
- Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez begins the season ‘under the gun,’ according to Heyman. Rodriguez was never the first choice of owner Jeffery Loria, who can make Miami seem like ‘Steinbrenner south.’
- Three GMs predict Albert Pujols will re-sign with the Cardinals after the season, when he hits free agency for the first time in his career. The sides are not negotiating during the season, but earlier in the spring, the Cardinals’ main offer was for over $200MM and nine years.
- A rival GM predicts that C.C. Sabathia is “definitely opting out'' of his contract with the Yankees after the season. It seems likely that the lefty could obtain more than $92MM over four years if he puts together a typical season in 2011.
Kemp is an interesting pick. His .760 OPS last season was short of stardom. 3 walks in the first game is a good sign. Let’s see if he can remain patient at the plate for the rest of the season.
When saying taking another step to stardom I agree that Kemp’s past season was anything but a step forward. He could easily have a bounce back or huge season, but if he has a similar year is that another step towards bumdom?
I love these GMs who know the future 100%. Are these the same GMs who can’t put a winning team on the field or who are always on MLB welfare.
If I’m Brian Cashman, I’m secretly wanting him to opt out of this contract…Yeah, he’s a star pitcher, he’s left handed and a history of producing..
But he’ll be a pitcher who’s 33 years old and put politely, a bit overweight.
Yankees were able to obtain a top left-handed pitcher in the prime of his career, and won a World Series with him. Go for it Mr. Boras…my advice to the Yankees: cut your losses and call it a good 3 year deal. On to the next pitcher…
“On to the next pitcher… ”
Man, have you looked at the state of starting pitching available next year? The vast majority of even halfway decent starting pitchers for next year’s free agent market are in their mid to late thirties and there isn’t a single guy out there even close to Sabathia in terms of both quality and age.
If Sabathia opts out, the Yankees have no choice but to pursue him or basically hope that their prospects work out (Which didn’t suit 2008 very well).
Sabathia would be the best pitcher this winter by a wide margin. As it stands, the contract is set to expire when he was 35. Iwouldbe willing to tack on another 3 years but not the same $23 mil per. Maybe another 3/$50 mil?
agree that baseball has not inflated in the past 3 years and players typically aren’t able to be of higher value as they age, but would CC agree to that? Arod opted for more per year and more years after opting out of his contract. I don’t think CC would opt out for a paycut.
Depends on how you look at it. Arod’s new deal was widely called a bad one. No need to follow suit. The money and years currently lefton the deal remains the same we’re just extending it by a 3/$50 mil.
CCs opt put clearly depends on if the Yankees can acquire another ace mid year. For example say they acquire Felix I believe they’d let CC walk of he ops out. I think next year is Phil hughes year to step up make or break to see of he can ever become that number 2 starting pitcher.
See, the problem with your theory is that the Yankees aren’t acquiring an ace midyear. There is not a single pitcher available, through free agency OR trade, who will be as good as Sabathia for them.
Why oh Why would Cashman secretly want Sabathia to opt out??
Its not like his current deal (if he doesn’t opt out) runs until he’s 40.
I respect both of your opinions. For better or for worse, I have a personal philosophy with signing ANY pitcher above $5M/yr for more than 3 years – especially one’s in this age range. While I also respect CC as a pitcher (and certainly hopes he proves me wrong), he is no exception to this strategy.
On more thing to add: I also have an ethical issue with the greed of “opting out” of contracts to obtain more money. I understand the business aspect of the game, but opting out of a team commitment to milk additional cash, in a recession, to play a game is not a teammate I’d want to employ. But to each their own and it will be interesting to see how this plays out…
In case you have not noticed the yankees are recession proof. Heck most MLB teams are. And he might not opt out for more money he might opt out for more years with the same per year cost. As for your $5mill/yr for 3 years. Do you mean if you were a gm you would never offer a free agent pitcher more than a 3 year 15 million dollar contract?
So I didn’t explain this theory in full. Given, post-steroid era, that injuries occur quite frequently with starting pitchers, I believe that signing a pitcher past 3 years can be quite a risk and set an organisation back for many years. Being a fan of a small-market team, it doesn’t quite weigh as heavily with a team like the Yankees and cash to burn. I certainly do not dismiss the value of pitching as I believe it is the key component to winning baseball – especially having a quality ace in the playoffs.
My rule is as follows:
* Any pitcher earning more than $5-7M/yr cannot be signed for more than a 3 year contract.
So if I was a team like the Brewers, I would have bid for a higher per year payment for Sabathia but for no more than 3 yrs: 3yr-$75M with team option years with significant buyouts to entice the player; but protect the team from injury or unproductivity (e.g. Zito) – oh yes, and always buy insurance with these players.
While I understand that players want long-term deals, small market teams usually do not compete for 7 years at a time (e.g. Rays) and need to build up their farm talent for 1-3 productive seasons (e.g. 2011 Brewers) before rebuilding. So what teams have is wasted of money for uncompetitive seasons, risk of holding the franchise back for many years, and aging players past their prime (e.g. Sabathia at 37 will not be the same player at 30-31).
I could be too risk-adversed or simply a horrible GM, but if I ever got this opportunity, I would try to employ this rule.
I understand that the Yankees are fairly “recession-proof” but that doesn’t separate the fact that the US is living in a recession and someone making $23M a year in his baseball contract alone is potentially opting out of a team commitment for pure greed. If the Yankees are ok with this then be my guest, but I would hope the intent of the opt out clause was to protect him if he had personal issues or really couldn’t handle NY as most players can’t.
I agree with you to a point. I do see the problems with signing high value deals over long periods of time as potentially crippling to teams. Is it sometimes is it worth the risk? I would say yes, but with the difficulties in predicting the future performance of a player, due to injuries, aging, other factors, ie look at the mets, it would have to be for special players even for a large market team.
based on your restrictions. you wouldn’t sign any free agents and rely solely on cheap young prospects to get soak up the majority of your innings.
While that may be good for a while, but eventually through arbitration the pitcher, if they have excelled, will begin to earn more then 5-7 a year. Not to mention the fact that once they hit free agency they will be gone to a team who is willing to pay them market value and beyond..
your theory may be nice on paper, but it doesn’t work because it doesn’t take in to consideration market value…you have a notion that players are making too much money… who would you rather have make more money.. the owners?
Maybe if they think it is so wrong for players to opt-out of their contract, they shouldn’t offer an opt-out clause in the contract? Does that make sense? Opting out is no different than a player not signing an extension and going to free agency. It is their right to do as a player. CC has earned the right to be a free agent again if he chooses.
You and everyone else here also knows that him opting out would be the absolute worste thing for the Yanks. They will have to offer him the most money and bring him back again. Look at what that rotation would be without CC this year.
I agree it’s his right to take advantage of the contract but the opt out was given for a different reason. Cashman offered it because he was concerned with Sabathia’s family and wanted to give him a chance to leave if they did acclamate to NY. Whatever….. I just don’t view it the same as Arod’s opt out ot AJ’s w/ the Blue Jays. That was clearly to get more money.
“I also have an ethical issue with the greed of ‘opting out’ of contracts to obtain more money.”
Statements like this really bother me because they are either ignorant or dismissive of how things come together.
It reminds me a lot of the issues people are raising about unions lately. They love to pull some ridiculous perk that a union has gotten for its members and hold it up as proof of greed and corruption, but they fail to realize the union didn’t just snap their fingers and get these things — they got them through negotiations, and if the party on the other side of the table wasn’t completely incompetent, they got it because they gave up something in return, typical higher pay or benefits.
It’s the same with baseball opt-outs, including Sabathia’s. Opt-outs are negotiating tactics like any other. They offer security both in the sense of comfort with the city and club (prominent in CC’s case) and a guarantee that the contract you sign is the LEAST money you can get over that term. They are, in essence, a part of the value of a contract and while you are welcome to have ethical issues with whatever you please, giving a player an opt-out and then complaining about how greedy it is if he uses it doesn’t follow. There’s no guarantee your contract would have gotten accepted at all without it, especially for the same amount of money on it.
you know jack. Sabathia is not 33 years olf, fool.he’ll be 31 in July. Check your facts before you post such nonsense,. And he has lost 30 pounds. You must be a Red Sox fan.
I don’t understand why people think having an ace pitcher is a necessity. Most if not all teams who get an ace pitcher from free agency tend to have a relative weak back end rotation. With $92 mil over 4 years you can definitely get a well balanced rotation of #2s and #3s starters. Sure, you wont have a sure fire win every five days but you wont be losing 2-3 games a week. With the Yankees offense, they can afford to have multiple #2s and #3s pitcher in rotation instead of an ace pitcher.
Ace pitchers show their worth in the postseason, when they have to outduel the other teams best pitcher.
Not to mention the fact that #2, and #3 starters get paid 15-18 million a year.
But you cant get to the post-season with just an ace. You need the other 4 starters do their job too. I do agree with you that having an ace pitcher is important for the post-season for the same reason you mentioned but if you were to use a 3-man rotation to avoid your #4 and 5 because they suck, you’ll probably overwork your #1, 2 and 3 and end up with mediocre pitching for the WS. And as I said, with the Yankees line-up, it shouldn’t hurt them.
Bwt, whose team #2 gets paid $18mil a year? I would consider that the price for an ace caliber pitcher. I’ll say a #2 is probably worth about $14-16mil while a #3 is probably worth about $10-13mil.
Because if you have a true “ace” ( only the Yankees, phillies, giants, mariners, brewers, cards and maybe the dodgers) have a true ace and even most of those teams only count when healthy. A true ace means you stand roughly a 75% chance of winning the game based solely on the pitcher. Because an ace is going to win you 20+ games and keep you in the other 10-15 starts
also fyi only 3 pitchers won 20+ games last year
Well consider that for years the Yanks had the like of Mussina, Pettitte and Wang as their #1’s and it was until they brought in a power Ace like Sabathia that they won #27. There’s definite value in that. The Yanks have had pretty solid rotations with Sabathia,or at least on paper.
You have to consider the lineup’s performance too. The Yankees with Moose, Petitte and Wang were able to reach the post-season just fine. It wasn’t as much as the pitchers not being able to perform during the post-season, it was the offense that was almost non-existent. And when those three guys were in the Yankee’s rotation (2008) one look at what they had for the back end of their rotation, Syndney Ponson and Darrel Rasner as the #4 and #5.
I never said having a two #2 or three #2 and scraps for your #4 and 5 was fine. That’s not a balance rotation. Having three #2 and two #3 or vice versa is what I would consider a balance rotation that would be acceptable for a team with the offense like that of Yankees, probably Boston and Philadelphia too.
Btw, Texeira and AJ came along with Sabathia and they contributed a fair amount so you can’t say #27 was all because they brought in Sabathia. He did have an impact on the team but #27 was not because of him only. And yes, Sabathia does make any team’s rotation look better but how good can he make the rotation look when he’s 35,36 or 37 while making $+20mil? I’m not opposed to have Sabathia now or until his contract expiries, but I certainly do not want him when he’s in his 36-37 while making $+22mil a year.
If he were to opt out then we would know where he would go automatically. The Phillies.
I don’t think he will leave the Yankees or that he wants to. I think he will use the opt-out clause as leverage to improve the deal for the rest of the contract (either in dollars, years or both). I believe it will get signed prior to him officially opting out.
East Coast Bias
I’ll put the over/under at 1.5 on how many Sabathia opt out topics there are per week.
Brandon Belt is only starting at 1B because of Cody Ross being out, right? I’m smarter than Jon Heyman.
About Pujols and Sabathia you really don’t have to write a book on this thread. Sabathia would be an idiot not to opt out and Pujols wants his pay dau but the Cards have no significant competition so he’s never gonna get close to what he wants or what he would get if the Red Sox, Mets and Yankees were interested.