It was on this day in 1948 that the Cleveland Indians clinched the World Series with a Game Six victory over the Boston Braves. This marks the Tribe’s last Series championship, the second-longest title drought in baseball behind only the Cubs (who still have a shot at breaking their curse this year). Here’s some news from around baseball as we head into another four-game day of postseason action on Monday…
- Leonys Martin has declined to report to the Rangers’ instructional league team, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. The club kept some players in training should they be needed for a postseason call-up, though GM Jon Daniels said that Martin “apparently was miffed” over being left off the playoff roster in the first place. Given how Martin struggled this season and lost the center field job to Delino DeShields, you wonder if this incident could lead to the Rangers non-tendering Martin; the outfielder is projected by MLBTR to earn $1.6MM in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
- Dexter Fowler is focused on the NLDS and isn’t thinking about his pending free agency, and Cubs GM Jed Hoyer agrees that “it’s not the right time to talk about it.” Still, Hoyer tells the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan that “we’d love to have him (back). We’ve loved everything about his game and the way he has gone about his business for us.” Fowler hit .250/.346/.411 with 17 homers, 102 runs and 20 steals over 690 plate appearances for the Cubs in 2015, though his center field defense was below-average according to the UZR/150 (-1.9) and Defensive Runs Saved (-12) metrics.
- The seven players outrighted off the Phillies roster earlier this week aren’t necessarily out of the club’s plans, interim GM Scott Proefrock tells MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. “I can’t tell you we would rule out resigning any of these guys,” Proefrock said. “We’re just trying to clear up space on the roster. These guys were the first group that we decided to take off.” Ken Roberts is the only one of the seven who will automatically remain in Philadelphia’s system; Jordan Danks, Chase d’Arnaud, Justin De Fratus, Erik Kratz, Adam Loewen and Jonathan Pettibone can all elect to become either Major League or minor league free agents.
- The Padres will add a left-handed bat this winter or else MLB.com’s Corey Brock “would be stunned” (Twitter link). San Diego’s lineup tilted heavily to the right last season and the paid for it, finishing at or near the bottom of several offensive categories against right-handed pitching.
- The Diamondbacks are expected to target a front-line starting pitcher and a back-end reliever this offseason, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert writes in a position-by-position look at the team. The club has to step carefully with regard to top-tier free agents like David Price due to budget concerns, but they have plenty of trade pieces available if they preferred dealing for an ace. (It has already been reported that Mike Leake could be a D’Backs target this winter.) Gilbert notes Patrick Corbin as the lone lock for a rotation spot but there are a lot of players competing for spots behind him.
- The Diamondbacks are happy with Brad Ziegler (who’s likely to see his club option exercised) in a late-inning role but they want more depth around him, Gilbert writes. A trade for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman remains a possibility for if the Snakes want to make a big upgrade to the bullpen.
MLBTR’s Brad Johnson also contributed to this post
I’m not sure if the Cubs bringing back Fowler would say more about Dexter or more about Albert Almora? I’ve heard estimates of four years/$80M for Fowler. That pretty much closes the window on Almora as a CF prospect.
I would be highly surprised to see Fowler get that large of a guarantee over 4 years. I would expect him to get a 13-15 mil a year salary over 4-5 years. Yes, he has produced this year, but what about all the other years.
I’m with you… I’d guess the market for him is $15-17M/yr. ESPN had him getting somewhere between Ellsbury ($21M/yr) and Pagan ($10M/yr) due to his versatility as a switch-hitter with speed, a good OBP and some pop. Several media outlets have thrown that $20M number around.
Dexter Fowler’s FA value will also be determined by the market of CF’s available this off-season, which is fairly weak. At 30, he would appear to be at or near the top of the list that also includes 29 year old teammate Austin Jackson and 32 year old Denard Span.
Exactly. He did himself a LOT of favors in the second half by appearing to prove the first-half OBP issues were indeed a fluke. At 30, I can’t see him accepting a one-year QO from the Cubs when there will be a few 4-year offers out there. Now, $20M per? Seems like a lot for what amounts to one elite half of baseball, but his track record makes $15-17M over four years seem realistic.
This hasn’t really been his best season. More of an average season. But I agree 20MM annually is probably a reach.
I’d set the over-under at 4/60.
I think the Cubs could have him at 4/$60. He’s entering that window where winning will be more important than another $1-1.5M per year. If he leaves, it’d only be because someone tosses that $20M number at him—or because the Cubs want to go another direction.
4yr/80mil? Where u hearing that?????
His main point were the years of Dexter Fowler’s potential FA contract, not the dollars, and it’s subsequent impact on Albert Almora’s status as the Cubs future CF.
In addition to that, the Cubs also have a (nice) problem with a potentially overcrowded future OF among their young core players and top prospects that include RF Jorge Soler, LF/C Kyle Schwarber, 3B/OF Kris Bryant, LF Billy McKinney, along with CF Almora. Even Javier Baez and Starlin Castro have been speculated as possible OF candidates with the Cubs apparent depth of infielders that include shortstops Addison Russell and top prospect Gleyber Torres.
At some point, the Cubs will have to consider trading some of these players for needed depth at some of the systems weaker areas, like pitching and catching, but the question remains…should the Cubs commit years and dollars to a veteran FA like Fowler when they have seemingly sufficient and lower cost depth among their current stock of players and prospects?
Beyond Almora, there’s a dearth of CF prospects in the system. I think Charlie Blackmon could be had from Colorado for a few of the superfluous prospects. With club control through 2019, he’d be a cheaper version of Fowler.
ESPN suggested “Four years at $70-80 million” in August (http://es.pn/1L8KIjM). Jon Heyman of CBS and Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago suggest a QO of “$15.7-16M” (http://bit.ly/1jtPpv7). Rant Sports suggests $20M/per (http://bit.ly/1jtPBu8).
BBProspectus (http://bit.ly/1hBJT8d) sees something in the 4yr/$65M range—similar to Michael Bourne or Nick Markakis—which feels more correct to me.
I see 4/56-68 as the most likely range, but that’s a fair bit more (esp at the high end) than Bourne or Markakis, fwiw.