The Rangers top priority is finding a manager. Their other top priority is building a rotation, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The Rangers aren’t expected to “play in the top end of free agency,” according to GM Jon Daniels, but they will need to locate some external rotation help. Even if staff ace Yu Darvish is pronounced healthy and ready to resume throwing in November, the club needs a mid-rotation pitcher to slot after Derek Holland. Grant assumes Colby Lewis will be re-signed (I agree) and the final spot will likely fall to Nick Tepesch or Nick Martinez. Martin Perez is a mid-season option as he works back from Tommy John surgery, and Matt Harrison could potentially slot into the rotation if he recovers from spinal fusion surgery. My own two cents: in order to avoid a repeat of 2014, the Rangers need at least one more viable major league starter than Grant suggests.
- The Pirates would like to re-sign catcher Russell Martin, says Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The issue – he’s arguably outperformed peers like Yadier Molina, Miguel Montero, and Brian McCann in the seasons leading up to a new contract. Molina signed for $75MM, Montero for $60MM and McCann for $85MM. Martin’s combination of defensive value and stealthy offensive prowess makes one wonder if Molina’s five-year, $75MM deal could be in play. If so, it would be hard for Pittsburgh to flex the muscles necessary to retain him.
- We haven’t heard much from newly minted Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart, but he seems to be a fan of Mark Trumbo, according to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona. With Paul Goldschmidt set to return to first base in 2015, Trumbo will either slot in left or right field. Arizona brought in Trumbo to provide a double threat with Goldschmidt in the middle of the order. While some have looked to him as a trade candidate, it sounds like Stewart is inclined to see what he can do when healthy.
Trumbos woes at the plate have less to do with his health and more to do with playing a comfortable spot on the field. Its hard for someone to focus in the box, when they’re worrying about the field.
I don’t know about that. He raked for the Angels as an outfielder at times as well as slumping as a 1B/DH. He’s just a streaky hitter.
Trumbo for Alvarez swap – Let’s go Bucs/Snakes. Overcome plunkgate and make it happen.
Don’t see a need to trade Trumbo. Arizona was so bad this year, that would expect them to be out of it next year too. Trumbo’s value is really low, see what you have first, it’s not like they will be fighting for a playoff spot.
Whoever gives Martin anything more than 35/4 is going to regret it on the first year. Sure, the guy is very good with the pitching staff but offensively he is going to revert to the mediocre player he was before this year. He is not going to put a .350 OBP let alone a .400 OBP again. His BA will go back to sub .250 and 13-15 HR will be his ceiling. He will be 32 next year so that doesn’t help him either. Molina, Montero and McCann had a pretty good track record by the time they signed their contracts while Martin only has 2014 that he could use as leverage.
That may be true if it’s anyone other than the Pirates, or perhaps a club with a nice young staff on the verge of competing, like the Marlins or Mets. However, in the context of the Pirates, they really don’t have viable options as they are already a playoff-caliber team with only a couple of positions where they can possibly upgrade to offset the 3-4+ WAR they’d lose if Martin left (1b, arguably RF if Polanco is less than expected). Thus, in context, Martin’s value to the Bucs is likely higher than it is most everywhere else. I’m pretty sure the Bucs would feel safer with an overpay to Martin than they would dropping $17-$20 mill/year on one of the big name FA pitchers, which would be one of the few avenues available to replace Martin’s WAR.
Martin’s OPS+ this year was 136, a number that he has never seen before or never will see again. Career year at 31-years-old. He’s basically a .230 hitter, with moderate power and a nice glove. Pay accordingly. If someone wants to give him an outrageous contract, good luck. They’ll regret it one month in.
Russell Martin is the type of player who puts up good to great numbers nearly every season and gets credited with a lot of his teams’ success, but is consistently viewed as replaceable, not worth the money to keep. People keep expecting him to drop off the moment he signs any new deal it seems.
I don’t think McCann is worth $17MM a season, so I don’t think Martin should get that much, but 3 years/$42MM w/ a $14MM vesting option seems fair and equitable for both sides.
Who views him as replaceable?
Well, the Yankees tried to replace him with Chris Stewart. It was painful.
So did the Dodgers, but that’s a two year old narrative widely accepted as a mistake. I don’t see any consistency with that statement in the year 2014.
I’m just saying he HAS been and I’ve seen some people say “he’s bound to drop off. Let him walk.”
Okay, yes- it’s a HUGE risk for the Pirates, but they want to contend, right? They gave McCutchen that extension, Pedro Alvarez is a solid to fantastic player…the pirates could have a nice 4-5 years with these core of players. It could be worth it if the prospects develop and the cheap pick ups over perform like so many WS outlier teams hope for.
And I see Martin as an integral piece of that potential core.
That isn’t what you said.
It’s pretty much widely accepted across baseball that losing Martin would be a tremendous blow to the Pirates. There’s an article about it almost every day on this site. It’s not some revelation you magically discovered.
McCutchen signed a very team friendly contract. Alvarez is between a bench player and solid IMO, but certainly not fantastic. What happens if the Pirates have one contract that isn’t a bargain? What’s the risk?
Good to great numbers nearly every season? By what, catcher standards?
For the past 5 years, Martin has been a low average, low OBP, moderate power guy. Now he all of a sudden, he has a high average, an OBP over .400, but has seen a dropoff in power(probably the result of him only playing 111 games). Russell Martin hasn’t even remotely approached the numbers he has been putting up this season in 7 years when he was 24 and with the Dodgers.
I don’t mind your contract proposal but some team will most certainly be willing to offer Martin a Molina/Montero/McCann deal when Martin’s numbers don’t support that kind of deal except for this career year.
Could it also be that Martin is becoming a smarter hitter? The Pirates announcers talked a lot throughout the season about how Martin had changed his approach this season (and the dividends were great for him). I’d think with his age and game aptitude, there’s no reason to think that approach won’t continue to yield better results than when he was more pull-happy in his early career (which yielded better power numbers). Also, I still don’t see a long-term deal for Martin as a bad idea because the guy can still go out and play third base if his physical regimen (he UFC trains in the off-season?) doesn’t keep him in the shape for catching. What Pirate fan is going to be upset about ownership giving this guy a market deal? 5/$75 sure. Do it.
It could be all those things,Will, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving a 5/75 to a 31 year old catcher who just had a career year. You don’t want to make the mistake giving a guy a contract that big if you are the Pirates. I just don’t see Martin as the guy.
It’s not just the Pirates. Even the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox would be in a difficult position with old Martin making +$15mil for multiple years.
Please, Jon Daniels, no more depending on Matt Harrison in 2015. It was a huge mistake to place so much faith in him in 2014, leaving the Rangers short of pitching. It’s sad to think of his career ending at an early age, but it’s very likely that he won’t pitch again. Sign two adequate players for the rotation and give the Rangers a chance to be competitive again.
Could not agree more… The last 2 years, I have seen enough of starters like Tepesch, Martinez, Bonilla, Irwin, Saunders, Baker, Ross, Scheppers, Mikolas, Williams, Wolf, Grimm, Lindblom, and Blackley.