What would a good recap be without a preview? And seeing as I’m of the opinion that a little bit of news that came out of the end of yesterday is going to be a prevalent force in the rumour mongering today, let’s start there.
The Miami Taxpayers have made Albert Pujols a ten year offer. Ten years!
Yesterday, on our live stream, I put several of my confidence points on Albert Pujols signing back with the St. Louis Cardinals. If I’m doubting that level of confidence, we can only imagine how the Cardinals are playing this. I suppose their laissez-faire approach is appropriate given the low level of reported interest to date and the assumption that Pujols wants to come back to St. Louis, and would give them the chance to match any offter (again, that’s presumably), but things certainly appear to have gotten very real very fast from a negotiating stand point.
Thanks a lot Jeffrey Loria. Thanks a lot.
Prediction: Pujols still signs with the Cardinals, but for more money and a longer term than team previously imagined that they’d be dishing out. We’ll see one of the three richest contracts in baseball history signed by Pujols.
In addition to Pujols, Miami has also been reportedly in the mix for pitcher C.J. Wilson. It was reported last night and then quickly refuted that the Washington Nationals had foolishly offered the left handed starter a six year contract. After the rumour was shot down, the Los Angeles Angels emerged as the new favourite to sign what would be a home town boy.
Prediction: I’ll stick with what I said last week. I’m going to assume that the six year rumour is false and that Wilson signs a five year contract worth $80 million with the Angels that gives Wilson the respect he’s earned while keeping Jered Weaver the highest paid pitcher on the team.
The St. Louis Cardinals are apparently attempting to move Kyle Lohse in order to make room for former Chicago White Sox southpaw Mark Buehrle. A ton of teams are interested in Buehrle, as they should be, considering the amount of years that Wilson is seeking on a new contract. It’s believed that his suitors, including the Nationals, Rangers, Twins and Marlins, in addition to the Cardinals, are looking at a three year deal worth as much as $40 million. If a team is willing to put in a fourth year in the deal, they’d likely win.
Prediction: I think a four year deal for Buehrle makes a lot more sense for a National League team, and the Washington Nationals seem just crazy enough to make such an offer. As the NL East gets better by the day, though, the Cardinals might make the most sense. I wonder though if their efforts to sort out a Pujols contract might interfere with their pursuit of a pitcher. I’m going to guess Buehrle gets a three year deal worth $39 million with some sort of option, perhaps vesting, for a fourth year.
The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly uninterested in signing Jimmy Rollins to a five year deal. We explained why this might be the case yesterday. As the two sides continue to discuss a new contract, I wonder to what degree the Phillies sudden and supposed interest in Aramis Ramirez isn’t a move to create leverage in those talks.
Prediction: Rollins goes back to Philadelphia, but at the Phillies terms which will still end up being an over payment, just not as bad as a five year deal. I’m going to guess four years at $40 million.
The Oakland Athletics have let it be known that their closer is available via trade, and the Boston Red Sox will meet with Billy Beane and company today to discuss a possible deal. Acquiring a closer of Bailey’s caliber, even with his recent elbow problems, should allow the team to add Daniel Bard to the starting rotation. Bailey is a far better option to pick up than Ryan Madson, who remains the best closer available through free agency and likewise, the most expensive.
I believe the Red Sox to be the best fit for Bailey, but I’m sure that Oakland sees that too, and will expect a return that reflects that. Bailey is under team control until after the 2014 season and should fetch at least two very good prospects in return.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Red Sox get frustrated with trade talks and sign Frank Francisco to a two year deal worth $10 – $12 million. The former Toronto Blue Jays closer is likely the best available after Madson, and would only cost a fraction of the price.
All is quiet on the Prince Fielder front. And I imagine things will remain that way until after Pujols signs his deal. I’m going to guess that the Texas Rangers will step up with an Adrian Gonzalez like offer and win Fielder’s services for the next seven years.
The San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays have both been rumoured to have made posting bids for a negotiation window. All of the attention that Alex Anthopoulos has garnered from the Japanese media might be more telling than we realize.
The Wheeling And Dealing
The Los Angeles (Collection) Dodgers signed Jerry Hairston Jr. to a two year deal worth $6 million plus incentives. The team is also very close to landing pitcher Aaron Harang on another two year deal, this one worth $12 million.
The Minnesota Twins are bringing back Matt Capps on a one year deal worth for $4.5 million with a club option for $7 million in 2013 and a $250,000 buyout. The team once traded Wilson Ramos to acquire Capps. Unbelievable.