The Nationals made Ian Desmond a seven-year, $107MM extension offer last year, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports, though that also included contract deferrals that would have reduced its true value. Negotiations are expected to pick back up in the months to come, per Kilgore, and that offer will presumably be the starting point. Desmond, who put up another strong year and is now one year away from the open market, is one key piece of the team’s increasingly pressing long-term strategic questions.
Here’s the latest out of the division:
- The Marlins’ interest in the starting pitching market is fairly diverse, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. Possible trade targets range from buy-low (Ubaldo Jimenez) to buy-high (Johnny Cueto), and interest on the free agent markets includes Kyle Kendrick and Ervin Santana. The unifying force here is probably the expected ability of these varying arms to provide innings; as I noted yesterday, the Fish hope to add a solid, veteran presence to their staff.
- Spencer also spoke with the Miami brass about Giancarlo Stanton, and discusses the team’s reasoning for trying to build a winner around him now, even if an extension cannot ultimately be worked out. “We’re trying to get away from that, that we have to trade everybody because they get expensive,” Hill said. “Enough of that. We want to win. We want to keep as many of our pieces as we can.”
- There are “a lot of good fits” for Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd, who is likely to be traded, sources tell Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Philadelphia is seeing interest in Ben Revere as well.
- Of course, the flashier chip for the Phils is lefty Cole Hamels. As Salisbury reports, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says “the free agent market will kind of dictate where this thing goes,” referring to the possibility of striking a deal. “[A]t some point the dominores will start to fall and then we’ll see where it takes us,” said Amaro, who notes that there is no need to deal Hamels since he “traverses the timeline” of contention that the club has in mind.
- Hamels would prefer to be dealt, according to a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Nightengale provides additional teams to which Hamels cannot decline a trade (on top of the previously-reported Cubs): the Yankees and Rangers are the two A.L. clubs, with the Dodgers, Nationals, Cardinals, Braves, and Padres among the National League teams.
- The Braves increasingly sound inclined to aim for the near future, and we’ve already heard several prominent names listed as possible trade candidates. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman provides two more, via Twitter: reliever Jordan Walden (who projects to earn $3MM in arbitration) and young second baseman Tommy La Stella.
- Braves president of baseball operations John Hart says the sides will “need to get creative” to work out a deal to keep Kris Medlen, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. While the team has every hope of keeping the righty, his second Tommy John procedure and $5.8MM projected arb price tag do not make for a straightforward situation given the team’s tight payroll. Sherman suggests that a significantly lower guarantee, combined with incentives and a 2016 option, could be palatable for both sides. It seems that Medlen would be able to do better, however, were he to force the Braves’ hand: he would either be tendered a contract, or hit the open market with plenty of suitors given his upside.
The Phillies will have to come down on their asking price because no smart GM would make the trade for him. Not worth taking on his 110M salary plus giving up at least 2-3 highly talented prospects a long with other chips.
His contract, money-wise, would be a better deal than signing a free agent like Lester, Scherzer, etc. They would command deals over $100 million over seven years. Hamels is owed $96 over the last four years. Could be a bargain and the Phils said they’d eat salary too. If they eat salary, maybe prospects would be more viable.
It’s really 110M because he wants the last year picked up so if you’re one of the 20 teams on his No-Trade, the only way you get him to waive that is if you guarantee it. For some teams like the Cubs and Sox who have shown interest, money isn’t the problem, the problem is giving up a tons of prospects even if the Phillies decide to eat some of the contract which I doubt would be much.
Interesting that the piece list 8 teams Hamles could be traded to without his consent: Cubs, Yankees, Rangers, Nationals, Braves, Dodgers, Padres and Cardinals. I don’t think the Braves, Padres and Cardinals would allocate such a big piece of their payroll to just one player. So that leaves 5 teams in all likelihood they could send him to without his consent unless there are other teams not mentioned. Of the 5 remaining teams the Cubs and Rangers would seem the most likely fit salary wise.
I think if the Phillies were to eat enough money to get it down to ~$20MM/yr the contract would be feasible for St. Louis. I would think a bat is more of a priority, though.
That would only require the Phillies to pick up about $10MM of the total money he’s due. He does have a 5th year vesting option which I think is a bit of a fly in the ointment. He should be able to reach the vesting option based on his past IP’ed history.
That only requires the Phillies to pick up about $10mm of the total money he’s due. He does have a 5th year vesting option which I think could be a turn off for some teams. He should be able to reach the vesting option based on his past innings pitched history.
That’s a very lucrative offer for Desmond, if he can’t be had for that then forget it.
If he doesn’t drop off of get hurt, he’ll more than likely receive a more lucrative contract in free agency or from the Nationals. $107MM is not worth it when you can get realistically get more.
Vandals Took The Handles
For a long time I thought Desmond would work his way over to the Yankees to replace Jeter. But today he finds himself with one of the best organizations in MLB whose team should be a WS contender for then next 3-5 years. And suddenly, the Yankees competitiveness on the field appears questionable. He might elect to be a long-time National, along with Ryan Zimmerman and others.
I don’t know, the Nats have a ton of future obligation money tied up and a lot of their core group coming into FA or huge pay increases. I’m sure they’ll probably extend a few of them but they are going to start bleeding a lot of talent after next year, and I’m not sure ownership wants to massively raise their payroll to keep it all together.
The Nats have certainly helped their cause, but I wouldn’t dismiss the Yankees on-field product over any stretch of time. Not that it’s right or wrong, but if the NYY are bad, they’ll bring in new bodies until something works.
Tough call for the Braves. I understand not wanting to give Medlen guaranteed $5 million, but I also think you might lose him if you non-tender. Not a given that the Braves incentive-laden deal will be most appealing. What if someone else offers more incentives AND a higher guaranteed contract?
$5MM for one of the best relievers in baseball when healthy? Additionally, signing him could, not definitely, help him take a home-town discount if he’s healthy and productive in 2015. I see it as a risk to pay him the $5M, but for a 1-year deal on a potential all-star who’s still young? It makes sense to me for the Braves to do it, even if it takes more guaranteed money.
The risk lies in the fact that both Medlen and Beachy are coming off a 2nd Tommy John. Not a ton of guys have had it twice, and the results are very shaky. Braves are a mid-market team, and $5 million is a lot if he isn’t the same pitcher.
And if he or Beachy is the same guy, or even somewhat close to it, it’s only $5MM for an all-star. $5MM isn’t a lot, even for the Braves. That’s Andrew Bailey money for essentially Andrew Bailey, with hopes the results are different.
Sure, but with his upside, you need to take that chance. If ATL paid Gavin Floyd coming off his 1st TJ surgery $4MM on 1-year, why wouldn’t you take a chance on someone that could, at the very least, serve as a solid RP/long relief for a little over $1MM more? If we’re choosing between Walden’s $3MM price tag and Medlen’s $5MM price tag to do possibly much of the same thing and set-up, I’d go with a one-armed Medlen over Walden’s skippy delivery every day of the week.
Both uptons to nyy for Gardner?
Too much money for the Braves to pick up and Gardner is nowhere near as good as Justin Upton. Also, if they Yankees lost Justin Upton in FA, they lost Gardner who is the best “young” player on their team. As well, the Yankee outfield is crowded and why on earth would they want BJ Upton?
Gardner is 31 which is young for a Yankee but not so much in general. And B-Up would would make a expensive pinch runner/backup outfielder, depending how much Braves ate.
Interesting that Hamels supposedly ‘prefers to be dealt.” Can’t blame him, the way RA parades him out there, and if the Phillies really are in sell-mode, Hamels is likely going to want to go some place where he can pitch in meaningful games.
Would also be interesting if Hamels gets his wish, while Pap doesn’t and he continues goading the home crowds. Always a fun time to be had.
Pap has a lot of money tied to him for being a reliever. (Because of Pap, I don’t think Robertson will get the money he wants, however I really think Miller could considering how lights out he was down the stretch and in the postseason.)
Hope the Braves can work it out with Medlen somehow. Been a fan of him longer than any current Brave.
The Marlins quote made me laugh. We’ve heard similar things from them before. When I read that all I think of is Loria replacing Saddam Hussein singing “I Can Change” from the South Park movie.
LaStella on the block…looks like the Jose Peraza era is about to begin!
I think only Simmons and Freeman aren’t on the block as far as position players go. I don’t think it necessarily means La Stella will be moved.
True, though as you can tell, I want to move on from LaStella and start with a true leadoff hitter in Peraza.
As much as I love Medlen, he has little upside IMO. Quite frankly considering him a starter at all may be wishful thinking these days. I really do hate to say it, because he’s a great pitcher when healthy. I just don’t think he can handle the workload of a starter any more. It would be much wiser to use him from the pen. Thus, his upside is very much limited. Hopefully he won’t try to force the Braves hand, because I’d love to see him stick around and work his way back with us. Just not convinced if starting pitcher is where he belongs these days. Not because of ability, but durability.
My only concern about Hill’s comments about wanting to contend is the Marlins signing Stanton then saying, “Sorry. We’re out of money.” The owner seems like a person who would do that.
Wonder what it would take to get Hamels to Texas. I’d have no interest seeing us land him if it costs a lot in prospects. I’d hate to lose these guys, but I think Luke Jackson and Nomar Mazara would be a good package to start with. Throw in a middle INF prospect like Hanser Alberto and eat a decent amount of the contract and maybe both teams could agree with that deal?
Look Its Placido Polanco
Why would the Phillies settle for less then “a lot of propsects”? They don’t need any help carrying the payroll – if anything they’ll throw in some cash to up the prospect haul.
Cole Hamels is not an undesirable contract that some team can help absorb.