MLB Notes: Offseason Day 3
Sure enough, soon after I signed off Tuesday evening, Ned Colletti went all Ned Colletti on everyone with his three-year, $22.5 million extension for Brandon League...
Here's a run down of the rest of the noteworthy moves from late Tuesday and Wednesday.
Options Picked Up
David Wright, 3B, NYM ($16 million) - Coming off of a season that was arguably his best since 2008, Wright is still in the process of negotiating a long-term extension with the Mets. For now, he'll head into the year with a $16 million salary and the possibility of reaching the open market next winter if the Mets can't meet his demands. Consider him a top-five third baseman again going into drafts this spring.
Ervin Santana, SP, KC ($13 million) - The Royals sent $1 million and left-handed reliever Brandon Sisk to the Angels for Santana, who is coming off of a very disappointing 2012 campaign. Still, for a young team in dire need of starting pitching, Santana represents a good short-term rebound candidate as he'll be pitching for a long-term deal this season, especially since his K/9 and BB/9 were in line with his career norms and most of the damage in his ERA spike came from the long ball (his HR/FB nearly doubled). Instead of overpaying long term for a starting pitcher on the open market, the Royals are buying low without the commitment.
Jorge De La Rosa, SP, COL ($11 million, player option) - De La Rosa missed most of the 2012 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. There's little to discern from his numbers as a result, while the salary is likely double what he would have fetched on the open market given his injury history. With the Rockies rotation issues last season, getting 30-plus starts from the veteran left-hander would go a long way in providing stability.
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, CLE ($5.75 million) - Lost velocity led to more walks and fewer strikeouts, and the increase of the former was particularly costly for a guy who really couldn't afford to issue any additional free passes. Nevertheless, the Indians may simply feel that they owe it to themselves to see if Jimenez can put the pieces back together given the price they paid the Rockies to acquire him. Keep an eye out for further information this winter, as his collapse is still a bit puzzling.
R.A. Dickey, SP, NYM ($5 million) - In standard 5 x 5 leagues, Dickey earned more than any pitcher in the league this season ($28). The Mets are still hoping to work out a multi-year deal, but it's hardly surprising that his option for 2013 was picked up.
Fernando Rodney, RP, TAM ($2.5 million) - Like Dickey, a no-brainer given his 2012 numbers. Of course the question with Rodney will focus on his improved control and whether or not the reduced walk rate is here to stay.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, PIT ($700,000) - Alvarez hit .257/.334/.499 with 24 of his 30 homers against right-handed pitching last season. If he can find a way to improve against southpaws, or if the Bucs decide he simply needs to avoid them at all costs, an uptick in batting average and Alvarez's on-base percentage should be on the horizon.
Rafael Soriano, RP, NYY ($14 million) - In a word where Brandon League gets three years and $22.5 million, Soriano is probably going to get the four-year deal he wants, and if their respective track record are any indication, Soriano will push into the $8-9 million range.
Travis Hafner, DH, CLE ($13 million) - A no-brainer given the cost, and it's unlikely at this point that Hafner will re-sign with the Indians after a .228/.346/.438 line last season. Now 35, one more look somewhere is probably in store, but the string of injuries here has kept Hafner below 400 plate appearances in four of the last five seasons.
Mark Reynolds, 1B, BAL ($11 million) - Although Reynolds hit 60 homers over his two seasons with Baltimore, he checked in with a 0.8 WAR during that span and remains a defensive liability. A DH role somewhere is the best possible fit, and Reynolds can occasionally play first base if needed, but his career .235/.332/.475 line is indicative of his expected level of performance at the present time.
Joakim Soria, RP, KAN ($8 million) - The Royals have a slew of power arms available in the back of the bullpen, so taking a chance on Soria at that price simply didn't make sense. Perhaps he'll return for a significant paycut, but Soria could be back in early April after having the second Tommy John surgery of his career. At this point, it's simply a guessing game until we see Soria on a mound regularly in spring training.
Ryan Ludwick, OF, CIN ($5 million, mutual) - Although 16 of his 26 homers came at home last season, Ludwick still managed to hit .282/.351/.505 away from Great American Ball Park. The market may be a bit soft for him given than 2012 was a big rebound, and that he'll turn 35 in July. Given his age and potential for a new home park, expecting something in the 18-20 homer range in 2013 is probably a more reasonable bet.
Notes of Intrigue
Brandon League, RP, LAD - Presumably, the big contract the Dodgers gave League will leave Kenley Jansen in a setup role. Statistically, it doesn't make a great deal of sense, but if there's major concern about Jansen's health, the idea of having another late-inning option with experience closing games becomes less ridiculous. However, we're talking about Brandon League. The same guy who has gone three consecutive seasons with a K/9 below 7.0, and the highest walk rate in a full season of his big league career (4.1 BB/9). Sure, the Dodgers can spend like the Yankees under their new ownership group, but that doesn't justify paying an above-average setup man more than he's ever been worth in a season, and guaranteeing that sum for three years.
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