In order to keep players healthy, reducing the schedule or expanding roster sizes could be topics of discussion in the next collective bargaining agreement, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. The latter idea could be more likely, as many owners would balk at the idea of losing revenue with fewer games on the schedule. Roster expansion could take the form of teams having a 28-man active roster, but only 25 players are eligible for any game day. As Cafardo notes, teams are essentially wasting three or four roster spots under the current rules since those spots are used for starting pitchers who won’t get into the game. Here’s some hot stove news from Cafardo’s latest column…
- Cliff Lee is still something of a question mark for some teams, as it’s unclear as to whether Lee will be able to pitch on Opening Day or around midseason. Agent Darek Braunecker recently said his client would be 100 percent ready if he decided to pitch in a showcase for teams, though an AL official tells Cafardo that he didn’t know much about how Lee was progressing after missing all of 2015 with a flexor tendon tear that wasn’t surgically repaired. Two NL officials tell Cafardo that Lee is looking for a big base salary and a spot on a contending team, which ties into Braunecker’s previous comment about how Lee needs a “perfect fit” in order to return to pitching.
- Cafardo wonders if the Red Sox could make a play for David Freese if the third baseman is still available by Spring Training. Boston already has Pablo Sandoval at the hot corner, though Sandoval struggles so much against southpaws that Freese (a right-handed hitter) could surely get at-bats against left-handed pitching. Though Freese went into the offseason as the top player in a thin free agent market for first basemen, he hasn’t generated a lot of buzz on the rumor mill outside of some talks with the Angels in December before the Halos acquired Yunel Escobar to fill their third base void. If Freese was indeed willing to take a backup or platoon role, I’d suggest he might look at teams who can provide a clearer path to playing time than the Red Sox, who also have Brock Holt, Deven Marrero and Travis Shaw as backup third base options.
- “We have a couple of teams that have been nibbling, but don’t know when they become fully engaged,” agent John Boggs said about his client Shane Victorino. It could be that interest picks up in the veteran once other free agent outfielders leave the market.
- An executive for an NL team says Tim Lincecum is generally seen as “inventory” around the league. Lincecum was said to be hoping to hold a showcase this month to prove his health following September hip surgery and enhance his stock. Perhaps given this health concern, only two teams (the Marlins and Giants) have been linked to Lincecum in recent months. “For the moment, ties with the Giants have been severed,” Cafardo writes, though “who knows” if the two sides could agree to a reunion.
Depending on the asking I wouldn’t mind if the Pirates took a chance on Lee.
Given Ray searage’s reputation to “fix” veteran pitchers who’ve struggled, you think they should take a flier on Lincecum?
Given that Locke and Vogelsong are slated to be their 4/5 starters, i think it’s worth a shot
The Pirates have a reputation for helping pitchers who have struggled; Worley, Grilli, Burnett, Volquez, Bastardo, etc.
Lee is one bad pitch from ending his career. If Lee ever pitched again, he won’t make it through a whole season
Gotta think Lincecum back to the Giants as a swingman is about the only possibility, right?
He would have to beat out Heston for the job.
Kapler's Coconut Oil
All signs point to no at this moment. Why pay millions for a long reliever when you already have one at the league minimum?
It wouldn’t have to be millions. If he can outpitch Heston, they can offer him a league minimum contract with incentives.
Lincecum if worth taking a look at, he won 2 cy youngs.
I think he is worth taking a look at, because some team may be able to use him out of the pen.
But it’s wishful thinking that he could become a cy young contender again. That was 6-7 years ago
I could see the braves taking a chance on him
Wishing Lincecum all the best, but I hope the Giants stay out of the market for him.
Angels should have just re-signed Freese rather than trading for Escobar.
They probably think Yunel can repeat his offensive performance from last year, despite having a .347 BABIP (career .306)
Wow if you didn’t know better, you would have thought this article was written in 2011/12. Freese, Lee, victorino and Lincecum all players who had past success
I know Lincecum’s heart will always be in the rotation, but teams should honestly consider him out of the pen. The way that so many pitchers have turned their careers around by making that switch, it could prolong his career and land him with a contender like the Royals or maybe the Cardinals.
He might be a good fit for the Orioles. Less expensive rebound candidate that will likely sign for a job in the rotation.
That is true. I feel that the Orioles are one more big player away from taking the division. If they could squeeze out a Cespedes or Upton deal, that would be the deadliest lineup in baseball. Who needs pitching then!
Except for the 10% of players who are set for life with a multi-year mega deal I can’t imagine the MLBPA wanting fewer games since payrolls follow revenue growth and a reduction in revenue means lower salaries. Owners would make more money in the post season by expanding the post season but players don’t get as much of the post season revenue as they do regular season (maybe only 20% as much)
Expanded rosters and a DH for NL teams is the best way to keep players healthy
How does a DH for NL teams keep players healthy? Yes a couple of big name pitchers got hurt while batting and/or baserunning last year so it stood out, but how many pitchers DIDN’T get hurt while batting. Teams need to have pitchers work on stretching more and not just their arms. Extra batting practice wouldn’t kill them either. They are baseball players, not pitching machines. They are professional athletes making a lot of money, they should be able to run and hit without breaking something.
If you have Joey Votto (for example), playing 4 games in the field and 3 games at DH per week, hes less likely to get injured than if he plays 7 games at 1B a week.
It would also make FA better. Think about when VMart, Nelson Cruz and Beltran were FAs. Not many NL teams want to take a chance on them because they weren’t going to be able to play the field all week without either hurting their value or hurting themselves.
If you wrap players in bubble wrap and put them on a shelf they are less likely to get injured as well. That doesn’t make it a good idea. Injuries are a part of the game and you are never going to stop them.
I’d rather players like VMart and Nelson Cruz stay in the AL. I watch National League games almost exclusively, barring interleague games and the occasional Sunday night game. I have no problem with the DH in the AL because it gives DH fans something to watch as well. The AL can start having completely separate offensive and defensive teams like the NFL for all I care. But I (and many others like me) don’t like the DH and would prefer to watch the game the way it was designed to be played. If you would rather not watch pitchers hit, then become a fan of an AL team. There is 15 to choose from, you should find one you like.
Nevertheless, Brixton explained to you how an NL DH will help to keep players healthy. But you seem to be arguing that you don’t like the DH.
Fine, but your sentiment about how “the game was designed to be played ” doesn’t quite cut it. The game has gone through a lot of tweaks and modifications over its history, and certainly you can agree that the average pitcher is less of an offensive asset than he was when the game was first devised.
My comment was in reply to BaseballFuries btw
David Freese should try and sign with the Reds. Without Frazier, there will at bats up for grabs. He should be able to rebuild his value somewhat. Even if the Reds want to use Peraza there at the start of the season, it would be wise to get a veteran back up in case he isn’t ready.
The Reds need to find ways to get Phillips, Suarez, Cozart, Peraza and at some point, Jagielo, ABs at the big league level at 2B/3B/SS.
I don’t think Freese is going to have to take a 1 year deal anyways.
I forgot about Jagielo, so the Reds are probably out. I just don’t see any team giving Freese a multi year deal now. Who even needs a 3B right now? Since they lost Walker and Ramirez, I could see the Pirates making a play if the price is right. I can’t think of anyone else that needs one. He might do well to stay unsigned into Spring Training and wait for an injury or two.
Pirates will play Kang at 3rd. As for other options, Cleveland? Urshela and Ramirez won’t do the trick if they want to contend. Milwaukee? They only have Cecchini and Middlebrooks but they would likely offer a one year deal.
Lincecum should consider San Diego, he could fill kennedy’s spot in the rotation and he wouldn’t have to learn new hitters by staying in the same division. Pitcher friendly ballpark, and if he signs a pillow contract he could lure a team into giving him a multi-year contract to likely be his last contract of his career after this year. Not to mention he owns the Padres and has thrown both of his no-hitters against them so I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having him in their dugout.
Shields, Ross, Cashner, Lincecum, Morrow/Maurer
Get him on a 1 year 5-6 million dollar deal? Could be a nice fit
I really like this idea for San Diego. They don’t have much for pitching prospect knocking at the door and I also think that Maurer works better in the ‘pen than he would as a #5 starter.
The idea of expanded rosters is a good one, but my primary concern would be an esthetic one–I would really not want to see a team with 15 pitchers on it, and 4-5 relief pitchers every game.
More like 7-10 a game. 3 hour 30 minute games would be average.
Wish the Braves could sign Lee to a low 2 year deal if he would do it could really help the youngsters.
What if instead of expanding the active roster, teams could be eligible to make 3 players inactive and still have an active 25? Just an idea.
That’s exactly what Cafardo is saying:
“Roster expansion could take the form of teams having a 28-man active roster, but only 25 players are eligible for any game day. “
Owners won’t like paying those three players. It will more likely be one or two, after negotiations. What are the players giving up for these extra spots?
The Pirates seem like a good spot for him!
Tigers need all the BP depth they can get, plus rotation help. Bring Timmy to Detroit. He can throw relief at least probably, and best case scenario he becomes the world’s unlikeliest bounceback.
freese should sign with st louis. move carpenter to right field, piscotty to first
I really dislike the idea of expanded rosters but think it is only a matter of time when the MLB goes that direction. With top starting pitchers so valuable, expanded rosters would allow teams to shorten the game when they have a more mediocre starter that struggles the 2nd or third time through the lineup. Those pitchers can give it there all for 4-5 innings and then it is a bullpen game. The extra roster spots would almost never go to position players. I think fans would lose out if it did happen as it would slow down the game and likely would lead to lower scoring games.