How about a little defense in the OF?!
Last night the Mariners and Franklin Gutierrez were said to be close to a deal, and now Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the two sides have agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract. According to Rojas the deal also includes $2 million in potential incentives after Gutierrez spent the past three seasons mostly on the disabled list with an assortment of injuries. This year he played just 41 games, but showed good power when healthy enough to be in the lineup, and he is still just 31 years old. Source: Aaron Gleeman at Hardball Talk
When healthy, the Venezuela native is regarded as one of the AL’s premier defenders, and the Mariners could use his right-handed bat in their lefty-heavy lineup. He hit .283 with 18 homers, 70 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in 2009 in his first year after being acquired by trade from the Indians. The club just signed free agent Corey Hart and traded for Logan Morrison, who are both capable of playing the outfield, but both are returning from knee issues. The Mariners only returning outfielders currently are Michael Saunders, converted second baseman Dustin Ackley and September callup Abraham Almonte. Source: Greg Johns at MLB
Kendrys Morales is being pursued by NL teams as well as AL teams, according to agent Scott Boras. Boras describes Morales as a “first baseman who can DH.” My view: We shall see how much the draft pick affects his value. From: Jon Morosi at Fox Sports
(Right, and Boras probably views a jock strap as a “fashion accessory.”)
“That’s a fair question,” Michael Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations, replied when asked if the team thought about holding on to Logan Morrison just a little longer to see if he returned to earlier form. “And it’s something that we went back and forth with this offseason.” Ultimately, though, the Marlins’ decision-makers chose to go in another direction, signing free agent first baseman Garrett Jones and dealing Morrison to the Mariners for Carter Capps.
“We really haven’t seen a productive LoMo since the 2011 season when he hit 23 home runs,” Hill said. “We needed to upgrade, that six home runs and 36 RBI [last season], it just wasn’t going to get us where we wanted to go.”
By substituting Jones for Morrison, Hill said the Marlins are getting a “consistent run producer, anywhere from 15 to 27 home runs on an annual basis,” and that Jones was “a better fit moving forward.” Nonetheless, Hill acknowledged that the potential is there for Morrison to rebound. “We felt that there was value in LoMo,” Hill said. “He’s just 26 years old and there’s still a ton of potential there. There’s no question there’s a ton of potential. But we wanted to go with a more proven, consistent player. And I think once we made that decision, we went to work on trying to sign the best fit [Jones] to help our ballclub.” Source: Clark Spencer at the Miami Herald
Jose Veras tells MLB.com he has a deal done with Cubs, will have physical in morning. Mariners had offered him, too. From: Brian McTaggart at MLB.com
So they said
In the words of Billy (Digger) O’Dell, “the South can’t be all bad because I’ve never heard of anyone retiring and moving North.” From: Peter Gammons at Gammons Daily
The only thing that would make me happier than re-signing Gutierrez is a lot of things, but many of them are very unlikely or “kind of weird.” Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs
Draft and Prospects
The World All-Stars beat Team Australia 6-0. The Mariners’ David Holman gets the win in relief. Joey Wong named MVP. From: Mariners Minors
Tanaka, who just turned 25, was 24-0 with a 1.27 era with Rakuten. I know W’s and L’s aren’t supposed to count anymore :) but wow. From: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports
One GM who won’t be bidding for Tanaka: “I don’t think there is any doubt” he’ll get more than $100M. From: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports
Estimates on where the Tanaka bidding would go, if he’s posted for MLB teams, reach well over $100 million, because of his age (25). From: Buster Olney at ESPN
Rangers doing significant background work on Masahiro Tanaka. Have room for one significant expenditure. May slow movement on Shin-Soo Choo. From: Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports
By The Numbers
In 2003, at age 22, Mark Prior made four starts of 130 or more pitches in 33 total starts between the regular and postseasons. In 2013, there were just four such games in all of the major leagues in 2,469 regular and postseasons games — none by a pitcher under the age of 25. Source: Cliff Corcoran at Sports Illustrated
Only four active players have a better average at Safeco than Robinson Cano’s .309 .. Carl Crawford, Miguel Cabrera, Ichiro Suzuki and Derek Jeter. Source: STATS_MLB
At Coors Field in 1996, all Major Leaguers hit a collective .323/.391/.540/.931. On 9/17, Hideo Nomo threw a no-hitter there. In his only other appearance at Coors that year, Nomo allowed nine runs. It remains the only no-no ever thrown in Colorado. Source: YCPB You Cant Predict Baseball
There’s a reason the best pitching award is named after Cy Young. He still holds the records for: Most innings pitched 7,351 2/3, most wins 511, most losses 316 and most complete games 749. Today a pitcher would have to average 200 innings pitched a season for 36.7 seasons to tie Cy.
Dying sport? Major League Baseball Sees Record Revenues Exceed $8 Billion For 2013. From: Maury Brown at Forbes.com
The New York Yankees have been hit with a $28 million luxury tax bill, pushing their total past the $250 million mark since the penalty began in 2003. According to MLB calculations Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team that exceeded the tax threshold this year and must pay $11.4 million. Boston finished just under the tax threshold for the second straight year, coming in $225,666 shy of the $178 million mark. Figures include average annual values of contracts for players on 40-man rosters, earned bonuses and escalators, adjustments for cash in trades and $10.8 million per team in benefits. The Yankees finished with the highest regular payroll for the 15th consecutive year, winding up at a record $237,018,889. The Dodgers were just $146,647 behind. Source: Sports Illustrated
Yanks last couple of signings suggest serious intention to get below $189M. A surprise A-Rod arbitration win would hurt them. From: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports
Alex Rodriguez is about to seal a multimillion dollar deal for a tell-all book about his legal battle with MLB, with which he plans to lift the lid on the “full dirt of Major League Baseball’s tactics” he claims have been used against him. Sources exclusively tell Page Six (at the New York Post) that HarperCollins and Random House are two of the top publishers battling for the real A-Rod story, and that a deal could be signed in the next few weeks.
Alex has also recently had several meetings with filmmaker Billy Corben — whose work includes the acclaimed “Cocaine Cowboys,” which depicts Miami drug culture in the 1970s and ’80s — about making a documentary about his battle to stay on the field. Source: Emily Smith at the New York Post