December 13, 2012
Thursday, December 13
Welcome to the Rumor Roundup! I’m not Daniel Rathman (who'll be back tomorrow), and that means this won’t be as good as it should be. Seriously, he’s fantastic; you’ll realize that about halfway through this. But we do have some rumors percolating—some big, some small—so let’s get right into it. We’ll start with a story near and dear to my heart.
R.A. Dickey Isn't Happy with the Mets
"In the context of the market, you want what you think is fair. I feel like we're asking for less than what's fair because that's how it's been for me. There is a surprise sometimes when things don't get done quickly and you already think you're extending the olive branch. At the same time, they have a budget they have to adhere to. I don't know those numbers. And I try not to take it personally."
Adam Rubin’s story indicates that Dickey, who is under contract for $5 million in 2013, is asking for $26-28 million over the following two seasons. The Mets have been reluctant to offer more than $20 million combined over 2014 and 2015.
Meanwhile, two major pitching transactions over the weekend may have contrasting effects on Dickey’s future in Queens. The Royals/Rays blockbuster, in which Kansas City parted with a slew of prospects for James Shields, appeared to put a potential trade partner on the sidelines. Then Zack Greinke signed with the Dodgers for six years and $147 million. The Mets have to be watching these deals go down, hoping on the one hand that the Rays’ impressive haul begets a similar package under their Christmas tree, while on the other hand praying the Greinke deal doesn’t whet Dickey’s appetite. But Dickey is watching these deals too, and with a pair of pitchers he’s outperformed over the past few years establishing a high market value, perhaps the odds of an extension just went down.
The bottom line here is that Dickey is right about asking for less than what’s fair—comically, almost ridiculously right. The Mets have, however unwittingly, earned themselves a ton of leverage in these negotiations; their original offer was an incredible $16 million for 2014-15. (Have I mentioned that Dickey won the Cy Young award last season?) Dickey countered with an offer that would make you think he’s half the pitcher Greinke is. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to project Dickey’s future, but if the Mets can make payroll with David Wright, what’s the holdup for a player who clearly wants to stay?
Red Sox in on Ryan Dempster
Boston’s rotation nominally includes Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront and John Lackey—heavy emphasis on “nominally”—but their best starter last season may have been Franklin Morales, the hard-throwing lefty who pitched mostly up to the standard of his 28 relief outings in nine starts and struck out a batter per inning overall. You may also remember last winter’s acquisition of Andrew Bailey, which, well, could have gone better (even without the Josh Reddick renaissance). So, in a perfect world where Lackey comes back from Tommy John surgery, Doubront and Buchholz come of age, Lester rebounds and Morales continues his 2012 form, could Dempster be an option at closer, where his prior experience and impending Jerry Remy impression would lift morale? Probably not, but I’d submit that his versatility makes him all the more appealing to Ben Cherington, who watched his staff crumble at both ends last season.
Josh Hamilton Wants a Texas Return
Heyman says the Mariners, long considered a top contender for Hamilton, are still very much in the running, but it appears that Jack Zduriencik is planning for life without Hamilton, which appears to involve Brennan Boesch. Yeah. According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Tigers might want a piece of Seattle’s left-handed relief corps, which consists of Oliver Perez, Lucas Luetge, and Charlie Furbush. Boesch’s numbers took a serious dip in his first season as Detroit’s most-of-the-time right fielder (-1.1 WARP), but he has shown 20-homer pop (prorated) in a large ballpark, and… you know what? After the Hamilton item, this has to be depressing for Mariners fans. Let’s just move on.
Will Scott Rolen Un-Retire?