As the Phillies introduce Jake Arrieta today, the organization is now much more clearly in a competitive posture than it was at the outset of the winter. But the pedal won’t be fully pressed down, it seems, despite the presence of a few other notable free agents who’d improve the near-term outlook in Philadelphia. GM Matt Klentak says that he does not anticipate any further additions before the start of the season, as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki tweets.
More from the NL East:
- The Mets continue to have cause for optimism on outfielder Michael Conforto, whose scary shoulder injury made for quite an offseason concern. He’s now nearing game readiness, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets, and anticipates getting into a spring game next week. That doesn’t mean that Conforto will be on the Opening Day roster, but certainly suggests he’s on track to return relatively early in the season. In other injury news, via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo (Twitter links), the Mets say that outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has a sore wrist. Though there’s no indication at present that it’s a worrying injury, he has undergone an x-ray and is waiting for the results. Meanwhile, veteran third baseman David Wright is no closer to a return; rather, he’ll hold off on baseball activities for at least eight weeks after being examined recently.
- New Mets first baseman Adrian Gonzalez discussed his fresh start and unusual offseason with Mike Puma of the New York Post. Notably, Gonzalez says he was initially resistant to the Dodgers’ request that he waive his no-trade protection to go to the Braves in a contract-swapping move that ultimately left him landing in New York. But Los Angeles “sweetened the deal every single time” he met with the team, says the veteran, who acknowledged there was compensation involved.
- Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com examines the Nationals’ decision-making process with top prospect Victor Robles, who is impressing in camp despite a middling stat line in Grapefruit League action. The 20-year-old is ready for the majors, by all accounts, though the organization certainly has plenty of good reasons not to carry him out of camp. First and foremost, the organization has a solid center field combo already lined up in Michael Taylor and the out-of-options Brian Goodwin; in that sense, then, promoting Robles would mean parting with depth. Service-time considerations are also a factor; since Robles picked up 25 days of service last year, he’s just 147 days away from a full year of service. If the Nats wish to delay Robles’s eventual entry onto the open market, they’ll need to keep him down until early May; keeping him from potential Super Two status would likely mean waiting to bring him back up until the middle of the summer.
Something I’m always unsure about but can’t seem to find the answer.
Say they bring Robles up and he stays in the show for the next year and a 50 days. That puts him at 2 years of svc time. If they then moved him back to he minors for several years, does the arbitration years still come after the third year or does he have to get called back up and get another year of service time in MLB even if it’s 5 years later.
They don’t get arbitration until they have passed the 3-year mark at the MLB level (or 2 year mark if super 2).
So if they get sent down after 2.99 years of service time, they are not ever eligible for arbitration until the offseason AFTER they get called up again.
In the meantime, they get paid as a minimum scale rookie. Though of course they can’t be kept indefinitely, options would get used each year the team does this.
I’m about as pro-labor a guy as you can find, and Gonzales certainly had that contract right, but after the season he just had with LA, and the fact that he had just one year left on his deal, you do kind of wonder how much “sweetening” he needed. If you really don’t want to go, and you are making $20+M per year, what does it take? You can just say no, or you can work out some local charity deal for window-dressing?
“Adrian, we want you to leave.”
“I’d rather not…”
“Here’s some money.”
“I still want to stay…”
“Here’s more money. We really want to get rid of you.”
Give me free Dodger dogs for life and you got a deal.
Farmer John disagrees
Maybe it wasn’t monetary. Maybe they offered him some post playing career office gig.
Might have been a carrot and stick conversation…Adrian, you aren’t going to play here, and what will it take to get you to waive your NTC?
Not a good look for him in my eyes. First he is a no show in the playoffs, he’s in front of cameras talking baseball instead of in the dugout with his teammates. Now he knows he’s not going to play, getting 20 million, and he wants to be paid out to start fresh with a new time and actually get playing time instead of being backup 1B for the guys he didn’t want to back in playoffs?
Well yes that is usually how contracts work. If you don’t like that he had those rights, feel free to criticize the entity that gave him his contract in the first place.
Adrian did not handle his final year in LA very well irrespective of how his departure occurred. Dodger fans are quite disappointed at how he acted during the postseason (vacationing during playoffs) etc….. most fans expected more from Adrian.
I don’t believe he’s allowed in the dugout if he isn’t on the active post season roster
Not sure about that, Pedro Baez wasn’t on the roster and he was there in the dugout
” Rule 3.17 Players and substitutes of both teams shall confine themselves to their team’s benches unless actually participating in the play or preparing to enter the game, or coaching at first or third base. No one except players, substitutes, managers, coaches, trainers and bat boys shall occupy a bench during a game.
PENALTY: For violation the umpire may, after warning, remove the offender from the field.
Rule 3.17 Comment: Players on the disabled list are permitted to participate in pre-game activity and sit on the bench during a game but may not take part in any activity during the game such as warming up a pitcher, bench-jockeying, etc. Disabled players are not allowed to enter the playing surface at any time or for any purpose during the game. ”
Non-roster players can’t be in the dugout; perhaps Baez was on the DL?
What? He had a no-trade clause. If the Dodgers wanted to be rid of him so badly, and he wanted more playing time, it was his prerogative to simply stand pat (while fulfilling his contractual obligations by reporting to camp) until the team decided to release him.
The onus was on the Dodgers to convince him that accepting a trade would be more beneficial to him than simply forcing the team’s hand to cut him. What incentive is there to “do a solid” for an organization that was trying to get rid of him? None, that’s why the Dodgers had to create some.
It’s logic like yours that frustrates me
Catch tha Taste
The MLB really has to fix this issue with the Super Two status. The fact that players who have earned an opportunity in the MLB are being forced to the minors in favour of inferior players is bad for baseball and fans. The best players should be in the show and these prospects should have an opportunity to make the club out of spring training. Can you imagine attending Spring Training knowing that you have no chance of making the club no matter what you do on the field and how demoralizing that would be to your psych?
Blame the union. They negotiated that nonsense.
Love Boras and Arietta whining about teams tanking…. The Phillies got rid of talent the last couple years but are ramping up again. Cubs got rid of players the rebuilt, Astro’s did it. Yankees have been going for youth. The Yanks would love to unload a couple of big contracts but no one will take them.. Just can’t handle teams wanting to emulate the Cubs, Astros, Yankees, etc. and going with younger guys.
Yanks only want to unload one big contract.
If the young guys knocking on the door get in this year, you will see other larger contracts will quickly go. I could see at least Walker go if not Drury too if the young guys tear it up at AAA for the first half of this year.
The point of my comment still holds true. Many teams are now wanting to see what their young guys can do considering the young guys carried the Cubs and Astros to WS wins and the Yanks and others deep into the playoffs. Not the rush to overpay for older guys nearing or already in their decline.
First off why in the hell would they want to rid themselves of a 25 YO cost controlled player they just sent prospects for in Drury. They have no reason to jettison Walker since he came on a dirt cheap one year contract. They are nothing like the the Cubs and Astros who tanked to get where they are now.
Mispoke on Drury meant to say Gardner. I could see Walker going in a trade if and only if Torres or Andujar tear it up and push Walker to the trade block. Yes Walker is reasonable but if one of the youngsters is better, why not flip him for a decent return if they can? Like I said, they Yanks have been looking to promote from within as opposed to trading all of the top prospects like they used to do, payroll be damned. Never said the Yanks tanked, but they using the same model of other teams in going with younger players if at all possible. It worked for them last year in using the younger guys to get to the ALCS.
If the Yankees had any desire to trade Gardner, they would have no trouble finding a taker. Of course, they don’t, because he is a very useful player.
This is a player who has posted between 2.4 and 3.8 WAR over the past five seasons with one very affordable year remaining on his contract, with another very affordable TEAM option year.
Right now the Yankees have the right mixture of veterans and youngsters. They have no need to deal Gardner because,one he’s the team leader, two provides speed and defense. If they add anything at the deadline it will be pitching and perhaps a backup catcher.
Like I said, if they get a youngster who out plays Gardner, they will look to trade him. Did not mean they would trade anyone right now but they are looking at their own top prospects as players more than they are looking to trade them. The whole point of my post is that just about all teams are looking to use younger players as opposed to overpaying for older overpriced players the last couple of seasons. The agents and older players are not liking it. That was the point.
Well, I’d agree with you that I’m sure the Yankees would be thrilled if Clint Frazier hit and defended so well that it forced them to consider trading a valuable piece like Gardner. Having too many good, reasonably priced players is a good problem to have. Gardner’s contract is a good deal itself.
I’m not sure what any of that has to do with the Boras/Arrietta starting point of your argument.
I get your point about teams wanting to use their younger players vs trading them. The Yankees have already done enough trading and what they have is what they’re gonna go with for now. There’s enough room for the young players to show what they’ve got and Gardner’s gone after the year anyway. They’re not only looking at this year but the next couple because they are loaded already.
My point is, Boras/Arrieta we’re commenting how the Phillies were being aggressive to win unlike most of the rest of the league. This article did not include a bunch of quotes by Boras who complained that some were tanking like what the Cubs and Astros did, some more were not willing to pay the luxury tax to compete,, while only a some really were interested in competing. He is busy making excuses why his guys did not sign huge long term big money contracts when teams have seen teams like the Cubs and Yanks and Dodgers and others are using their top prospects to play instead of trading them and going after high priced vets on the trade market and in FA. That is why I brought this up. Just thinking the Yanks are doing a better job now by using the players that they developed and not trying to buy a championship through FA and splash trades. I like what they are doing.
The Yankees “signed” the largest FA contract of the offseason.
When they traded for Stanton, that’s effectively what they did – took on the most money of any team.
So your comment about the Yankees not going after high priced contracts on the trade market just isn’t true.
But, they dumped Castro’s contract and 2 low level prospects. They did not trade any top prospects in the deal. In the past, they woul have kept,Castro and dealt,top,prospects instead. Yes, large contract acquired but kept under the tax threshold which is what Boras was whining about. Boras wants teams like the Yankees to spend on his players and pay the tax as well. Yanks would not have done the deal if it would have taken them over the threshold.
OK, so how does your response conflict with what I wrote?
we might see the first time in recent memory that the yankees let more than one of their home grown stars walk in free agency!
I’m curious how that Gonzalez payment works against the luxury tax. The whole point of the trade was to shift money for tax purposes, and paying a guy to consent to being traded and then released to get him off the payroll seems like it should count against the tax calculations. I can’t imagine they paid him too much regardless, but I wonder if MLB audits this kind of thing
I imagine it does and MLB would be interested in any effort to circumvent the luxury tax threshold.
good point Bluesky
That’s a good question and honestly I’ve never thought about it before, but you’re right.
aff10…..I am 95% certain I read in the CBA wording specific to that scenario but don’t have time to peruse the CBA right now. Every penny paid to a player, from meal allowances, to moving expenses when traded, to reimbursements for rented housing, furniture and cars (in the right circumstance) is charged to the trading team and falls under the CBT.
I don’t doubt that you are correct about this, but I wonder if these are the same numbers MLB uses for calculating the luxury tax threshold. I don’t think we completely know how that is done.
this is from a piece by Tim Cantu about the tax threshold (and i remember reading somewhere else once that this comes to about 12 million per team)
besides payroll, 1/30th of the costs of player benefits (a specific list of items like worker’s comp premiums, employer portions of social security taxes, Spring Training per diems, All-Star Game expenses, moving expenses, and so on–the CBA provides for all sorts of extra negotiated benefits for MLB players or call-ups, and a team’s CBT payroll includes the 1/30th share of that total across MLB);
Interesting. If these overhead costs are close to the same for all teams, why do they even bother including them in the luxury tax calcs?
BlueSky…”…why do they even bother including them in the luxury tax calcs?” Because it’s all part of player compensation. It is all, mind-numbingly, spelled out in the CBA starting on page 106 Article XXIII. The hardest part, to me anyway, of dredging though something like CBT is when then refer to other articles within the CBA, ML Rules or Uniform Players Contracts. To decipher you usually need 3-4 windows open and a lot of patience.
My point being, if these costs are virtually the same for all of the teams, they’d wash out of the mix.
Sir, will you please leave without making a scene?