MLB Storylines: Burnett to return for 2014
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.
Here are the stories from Tuesday, January 28th.
- According to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, A.J. Burnett has decided that he will pitch in 2014, and he is open to pitching for a team other than the Pirates. Burnett, 37, is coming off of a year in which he threw 191 innings and posted a 3.30 ERA with a National League-leading 9.8 K/9 rate.
Other News and Notes
- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports said on an appearance on MLB Network that Ubaldo Jimenez may now be willing to drop his salary demands to the three-year, $39 million range. Heyman notes that the Orioles and Blue Jays are the favorites to land Jimenez, but the Indians may swoop in if the price continues to fall.
- According to Heyman, the Blue Jays are a favorite to land at least one of the remaining top free agents. Heyman said that they are in the mix for Stephen Drew, possibly as a second baseman. He also said that despite reports saying the Yankees will not pursue Drew, they seem more interested in him than ever right now. He went on to say that the Red Sox remain the favorite to re-sign Drew, as they prefer to have Drew at shortstop and Xander Bogaerts at third base.
- Also from Heyman, the Blue Jays and Rangers are seen as possible fits for Kendrys Morales, and the market for Nelson Cruz seems to be quite thin at the moment.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that outfielder Tyler Colvin is weighing several minor league contract offers after missing out on a Major League deal with the Orioles due to concerns with his physical.
- Rosenthal also tweeted that Yuniesky Betancourt reached an agreement with Japan's Orix Buffaloes.
- Jon Heyman said that free agent Jeff Baker is drawing interest from the Nationals, Marlins, and possibly the Orioles. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported that Baker is close to making a decision and the Nationals are in the mix.
- South Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon could sign soon, according to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net. Kurtz said that Yoon has offers from four teams and is in discussions with two of them.
- Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweeted that the Orioles and Mets are still in on Fernando Rodney, but it could still be a while before he signs. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reported that the Mariners are also in on Rodney.
Not that Chen is a gamechanger, but solid #5/long man to have. Royals are gonna be tough this year.
As I've said, I do think $90M is possible...but I am not sure it's all that likely. May not leave the Tribe with any room to add a player at the deadline either. Not saying I don't want to see the Tribe push the payroll there, but I think $85M is the more realistic number we could see.
Plus...there's no guarantee Ubaldo will go for a front loaded deal. If he really wants $13M in 2014 then you're talking about a payroll getting closer to $95M than $90M. Again, maybe the Tribe can do that...but I just wouldn't bet on it. Royals have pushed their payroll up to those levels though...maybe the Tribe takes the risk and does it too. We shall see...
I agree that Baker is likely more useful than Adams, but according to the reports, the Indians and the Mariners were both in serious discussions with Baker, but the Mariners were willing to commit to more $. It's also possible the Indians offered more money but he just prefers to play in Seattle.
I'm confused how this is some great failing of the front office. I take my fair share of shots at the mediocre brain trust running the team, but this hardly seems like an instance worth whining about.
The Scott Baker $ you cite is through incentives, so if you end up paying him $4.25 million, it will be a bargain. If he sucks, you're only out a million bucks. David Adams won't be with this team for more than 1 year, if he's lucky. He's trash and no different from Cord Phelps.
Honestly, who would you rather have on the 40-man roster -- Scott Baker or David Adams? (David Adams is a journeyman minor league infielder)
Thanks for the good work, Antonetti.
The problem with signing Ubaldo is you are adding payroll to 2014. With a Masterson extension you are only really adding payroll to 2015 and beyond....
Masterson is getting $9-12M this year whether he is extended or not. Payroll is just about at what it was opening day 2013. Adding Ubaldo on a 3yr/$39M deal adds $13M on top of it...signing Masterson to a 5yr/$70M deal doesn't add any money to 2014. That is very likely the issue.
Sure maybe we can really front load a Ubaldo deal (as I've suggested on the message board)....but still makes things very tight for 2014 in regards to payroll.
Also with Ubaldo...everyone is saying he doesn't cost the Tribe a pick to sign him...which is only kind of true. Another way to look at it...Ubaldo will sign a major league deal with someone before the season starts, he just will. Even Lohse eventually signed with someone. So the Tribe will be getting an extra 1st round pick this year.....unless they are the team that signs him. So in a way, signing Ubaldo does cost us a "potential" pick...and more importantly, the draft money that comes with that pick. You're essentially forfeiting the right to that money.
I'm not saying the Tribe shouldn't sign Ubaldo just to get that pick...but it is something to consider when looking at signing him IMO.
The question is how do other GM's value a rapidly deteriorating, defense-challenged player coming off a down year at $10m for one year? Maybe not much?
Of course we thought last year at this time that the options were looking quite limited for getting much in return on one year of Choo, and CA did pretty well there, so who knows?
I can take the one pick for Masterson if no good trade comes along or if the Indians decide to keep him for 2014, but to get two picks for your two best pitchers (outside of Salazar who still must do it over the course of a full season), I'm not sure it's the best move to strengthen the Indians' championship aspirations right now.
And, I'm not confident about a big bounceback year from Cabrera. I'm hopeful if he's still an Indian, but his problems as analyzed on this site aren't the easiest to fix, and it's not a certainty or even a likelihood of it happening, almost certainly not to the All-Star Cabrera who was on fire the first half of 2011. Plus, the old Cabrera who hit many doubles and extra base hits before the HR surge isn't likely to come back unless he improves his plate discipline and adjusts his approach, both of which aren't that easy to achieve after largely swinging for the fences the past three seasons.
Definitely wouldn't mind him, the fact that it may only take one year makes him very attractive. Problem is he's been worth over $30M the last two years...may need to pony up close to $14-15M on that one year deal, which is gonna be tough for the Tribe to do (if not impossible) without moving someone.
If the price is right maybe this would be better than Ubaldo as a signing to bridge the gap for a year. anderson could be ready for cleveland by 2015. and kluber and zac mac and salazar we will have another season to evaluate.