2:35pm: Alvarez can earn up to $5.85MM if all available incentives are achieved, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. That includes a $4.25MM guarantee and $1.6MM in possible incentive pay.
2:23pm: The prospective deal is for one year, with $4MM in guaranteed money and “big incentives,” tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
2:18pm: The Athletics are nearing agreement on a contract with free agent righty Henderson Alvarez, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter. Alvarez, 25, was non-tendered recently by the Marlins, who set him loose rather than committing to pay a projected $4MM through arbitration.
The major question with Alvarez, of course, is the health of his shoulder. He underwent surgery in late July and had apparently not progressed to the point that Miami felt confident in a tender. Alvarez is said to be likely to miss the first month of the regular season in the best case scenario.
Of course, there’s some real upside to be captured for the A’s if things work out. Alvarez posted a 2.98 ERA in the 289 2/3 innings he threw over the 2013-14 seasons. He’s not a big strikeout pitcher, but has managed to generate those excellent results with strong control and groundball production.
Then, there’s the contractual upside to be found. Because he entered the offseason with just over four years of service on his clock, Alvarez can be tendered a contract in 2017. That would effectively provide an option to Oakland, with the cost to exercise it dependent upon Alvarez’s performance (upon which his prospective arbitration earnings would depend).