The Cubs’ World Series victory triggered an escalator clause in manager Joe Maddon’s five-year, $25MM contract, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Maddon’s annual salary will now be bumped from $5MM to $6MM in the final three years of the deal, though the skipper claims to ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers that he wasn’t even aware of the clause. “I’ve never seen a paycheck,” Maddon tells Rogers.
Here are some highlights from Heyman’s latest lengthy Inside Baseball column…
- The Braves are in the market for a right-handed-hitting outfielder that can handle center field. Currently, Atlanta lacks a clear-cut fourth outfielder and is set to deploy two left-handed-hitting starters in Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis.
- Rockies right-handers Jason Motte and Chad Qualls, each of whom disappointed in the first season of their respective two-year contracts last year, are both available in trade, per Heyman. Motte hasn’t enjoyed a strong season since 2012 and has undergone Tommy John in the interim (making the two-year deal all the more surprising). He’s owed $5MM in 2017. As for Qualls, the 38-year-old is more affordable at $3.25MM this season, but he’s also considerably older and coming off a worse year.
- Jason Hammel and the Mariners were discussing a one-year deal in the $10MM range before he switched agents this offseason. Following the change in representation, Hammel shifted course and took a larger guarantee but a lower annual value, inking a two-year deal worth $16MM with the Royals. Seattle, in turn, picked up Drew Smyly and Yovani Gallardo via the trade market.
- The Marlins’ offer to Kenley Jansen this winter was, perhaps unsurprisingly, extremely backloaded, Heyman reports. The deal would’ve paid Jansen something in the vicinity of $7MM in year one, $9MM in year two, $11MM in year three and $25MM in each of the final two years. That’d obviously be an advantageous structure for owner Jeffrey Loria, who is looking to sell the team.
- The Padres and Tigers are both still looking to add to their roster, with San Diego focusing on shortstop options while Detroit pokes around the market for center field help. Heyman notes that the Friars would prefer a shortstop who is controlled beyond the 2017 season. Currently, the only MLB-ready, in-house option that fits that bill is Luis Sardinas.
- The Twins were willing to pay Mike Napoli $11MM on a one-year deal or $16MM on a two-year pact, but Napoli instead is headed back to the Rangers on a one-year, $8.5MM deal with an option for the 2017 season that would allow him to match the $16MM total he could’ve made over two years in Minnesota. The slugger tells Heyman that he’s already made a lot of money in his career and instead prioritized winning.
- The Rangers are still hoping to talk extension with Jonathan Lucroy and Yu Darvish. Lucroy tells Heyman that he “would absolutely love to stay” in Texas, adding that he likes the culture, the coaches and his teammates. The former Brewers backstop conceded that he at one point regretted signing his initial contract — a five-year deal with a club option that will end up paying him a total of $15.5MM over the six years — though it sounds like those days are behind him. (And, obviously, he’s poised to do quite well for himself in the very near future.) As for Darvish, Heyman notes that his agents may well try to use Stephen Strasburg’s seven-year, $175MM contract as a comp in negotiations, but the Rangers aren’t willing to push it that far to retain Darvish.