CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Hot Stove U.: The Pena... (01/20)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Transaction Action: Th... (01/19)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Transaction Action: Si... (01/21)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Checking the Numbers: ... (01/20)

January 20, 2010

Transaction Action

International Arbitration Avoidance Day

by Christina Kahrl

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Most of this is just a long list of everyone happily skipping the process, having used it to get a sense of what they want, and then eagerly avoiding presenting cases to the now infamously dim panels. Having seen the sort of money shelled out, we now have a much better sense of what teams have on board as far as their 2010 financial commitments, and what they might be capable of affording to repair a problem at one position or another. Or not, in the case of the Mets and their putting a brave face on employing Omir Santos as their initial catcher of choice, but with as much spinning as they're resorting to these days, perhaps we can consider that Ed Hearn's revenge.


BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with OF-L Luke Scott on a one-year, $4.05 million contract, avoiding arbitration. [1/19]

BOSTON RED SOX
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHP Jonathan Papelbon on a one-year, $9.35 million contract. [1/19]

CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Outrighted C-L Cole Armstrong to Charlotte (Triple-A). [1/19]

Since Armstrong went unclaimed in a market where catching is in short supply, this seems like an easy reason to credit Kenny Williams' crew with designating Armstrong for assignment at the right time of year. As minor risks go, it's a minor success.


CLEVELAND INDIANS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with LHP Rafael Perez on a one-year, $795,000 deal, avoiding arbitration. [1/19]

KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHP Robinson Tejeda ($950,000) and 3B-L Alex Gordon ($1.15 million), avoiding arbitration with both. [1/19]

LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHP Jered Weaver ($4.625 million base), C-R Mike Napoli ($3.6 million), and OF-S Reggie Willits ($625,000), avoiding arbitration. [1/19]

MINNESOTA TWINS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with INF-R Brendan Harris on a two-year, $3.2 million base contract, and RHPs Carl Pavano ($7 million), Matt Guerrier ($3.15 million), Jesse Crain ($2 million), and Pat Neshek ($625,000 base), LHP Francisco Liriano ($1.6 million), SS-R J.J. Hardy ($5.1 million), and LF-R Delmon Young ($2.6 million) to one-year deals, avoiding arbitration with all eight. [1/19]

OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with 3B-R Kevin Kouzmanoff ($3.1 million) and OF-R Rajai Davis ($1.35 million base) on one-year contracts, avoiding arbitration with both. [1/19]

TAMPA BAY RAYS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHP Matt Garza ($3.35 million), LHP J.P. Howell ($1.8 million base), and SS-R Jason Bartlett ($4 million), avoiding arbitration with all three. [1/19]

TEXAS RANGERS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with LHP C.J. Wilson on a one-year, $3.1 million contract, avoiding arbitration. [1/18]
Agreed to terms with RHP Chris Ray ($975,000) and OF-L Josh Hamilton ($3.25 million base) on one-year contracts, avoiding arbitration; signed RHP Colby Lewis to a two-year, $5 million contract. [1/19]

Once a top Rangers prospect who did nothing if not impress speed guns, Lewis returns after recovering from a 2005 rotator cuff repair, a season in the Tigers' system followed by another with the A's, and then a couple of seasons in Japan. He's reportedly still able to throw in the low 90s to complement his curve, while also mixing in a cutter, slider, and changeup in another case of the Japanese leagues' "everything including the kitchen sink" approach to pitching, having remade himself into an extreme strike-thrower. He's already being touted as a potential answer to the Rangers' quest for a more reliable mid-rotation starter, which between the comment and the investment says a lot about their faith in the on-hand options heading into 2010.

However, translating his performances from Japan (and even Sacramento in 2007) suggests he could have value as exactly that: his DERA from Triple-A as a River Cat was 4.19, and his two Rising Sun seasons involved 4.12 and 4.53 marks. Since DERA's scaled so that 4.50 is average, while it might be an exaggeration to prop him up in the third slot and say you're set, a guy with a translated strikeout/walk ratio of better than 3:1 placed in front of the Rangers' improved defense sounds like a solid bet to be an asset if he's your fourth- or fifth-best starter. Given the market alternatives and the expected (larger) expense to choose between certainty and something less than certain found there, you can understand why the Rangers decided to opt for Door Number Three.

Since Scott Feldman and Rich Harden should be set atop the rotation, that should leave just two slots open to a group that includes young veterans Brandon McCarthy, C.J. Wilson, and Matt Harrison, sophomore Derek Holland, and huge human Tommy Hunter. Not to mention the continuing mystery of what role Neftali Feliz might find himself in.


TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHPs Jason Frasor ($2.65 million) and Jeremy Accardo ($1.08 million) and LHP Brian Tallet ($2 million) on one-year contracts, avoiding arbitration with all three; signed RHP Steven Register and OF-L Jeremy Reed to minor-league contracts. [1/19]

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with SS-L Stephen Drew on a one-year, $3.4 million contract, avoiding arbitration. [1/19]

CHICAGO CUBS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with LHP Tom Gorzelanny ($800,000), RHP Angel Guzman ($825,000), C-S Koyie Hill ($700,000), 2B-L Mike Fontenot ($1 million), and UT-R Jeff Baker ($975,000) on one-year contracts, avoiding arbitration with all five. [1/19]

COLORADO ROCKIES
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHP Huston Street on a three-year, $22.5 million contract, RHP Rafael Betancourt on a two-year, $7.55 million contract, OF-R Ryan Spilborghs on a two-year, $3.8 million contract, and RHP Jason Hammel on a one-year, $1.8 million contract, avoiding arbitration with all four. [1/19]

There's an argument that Street's not a closer because he doesn't have "closer stuff," but in the same way that there aren't 30 rotation aces, yet there have to be 30 number-one starters, there are people who get paid a certain amount to generate saves, and who do that pretty effectively. It might be sort of ironic that I'm the last person to credit cosmetic evaluations, but whatever Street supposedly lacks in makeup or mere mileage, this doesn't seem like a terrible multi-year commitment to have made. Add in some bargain pricing for Betancourt, and it looks as if Dan O'Dowd didn't do so badly in his bit of panel-avoidance.


MIAMI MARLINS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHP Leo Nunez ($2 million) and 1B/3B-R Jorge Cantu ($6 million), avoiding arbitration. [1/19]

HOUSTON ASTROS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHP Matt Lindstrom ($1.625 million base), C-R Humberto Quintero ($750,000 base), and CF-L Michael Bourn ($2.4 million), avoiding arbitration with all three. [1/19]

LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with LHPs George Sherrill ($4.5 million) and Hong-Chih Kuo ($975,000), C-R Russell Martin ($5.05 million), and 1B-L James Loney ($3.1 million), avoiding arbitration with all four; signed C-S J.D. Closser to a minor-league contract. [1/19]

This group gets added to last week's commitments made to Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley, while Andre Ethier and Jonathan Broxton have apparently both agreed to multi-year deals as well. That's going to add up to more than a $15-million boost to the 2010 payroll relative to last year's compensation for those players, with another $8 million getting added via the accelerating values of the deals for Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal, and Hiroki Kuroda. That sounds like a lot of additional commitments, but in terms of money management, it's somewhat modest, even with the team shelling out another $10 million-plus to non-Dodgers like Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones. Keep in mind that while the Dodgers have agreed to pay out a certain amount of compensation for player's participation in the 2010 season, because of the way in which the Dodgers have structured some of the deals, they're not paying all of that money out at once. Indeed, they haven't finished paying off 2009, and won't for several years yet.

Consider the unusual case of the second year of Manny Ramirez's deal, which is worth $20 million all told, but sort of worth just $5 million because the other $15 million gets paid off later, starting in 2011 and ending in July 2013. As far as cutting checks, it looks like Ramirez is actually getting paid just $10 million within this calendar year: his $5-million base for 2010, plus a $5-million payout to him via his deal's first-year compensation, which is due as a lump sum on June 30. The club will still be paying for 2009 in $5-million lumps on that same date in 2011 and 2012. This isn't the only deferred payment deal on the company balance sheet. Furcal's signing bonus from last year's three-year contract doesn't get paid until 2012 and they only finish paying off Kuroda's bonus from his three-year pact this March, as he begins the third year.

All of which goes to say that this year's actual outlay of cash is going to end up being less than their financial commitments to field their 2010 roster, and makes that much more murky the rationale behind their not offering Randy Wolf arbitration, among other payroll-related oddities.


NEW YORK METS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RF-R Jeff Francoeur ($5 million), LHP Pedro Feliciano ($2.9 million), and RHP Sean Green ($975,000) on one-year contracts, avoiding arbitration with all three. [1/19]

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHP Chad Durbin on a one-year, $2.125 million contract, avoiding arbitration; signed RHPs Brandon Duckworth, Nate Bump, and Jason Standridge to minor-league deals. [1/19]

PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with LHP Zach Duke on a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration; claimed OF-L Brandon Jones via waivers from the Braves; designated RHP Steven Jackson for assignment. [1/19]

I've had a reliable weak spot in my head/heart for Jones for a couple of years now, so naturally I figure this is a nice enough little snag from the wire. That said, it's of a piece with Pirates SOP of late, in that their need for talent of every stripe winds up with their winding up with bottom-end talents washed out of every other organization. Whether or not Jones was or is a viable alternative to the likes of Garret Anderson is a proposition you don't want to have to put to anyone, least of all yourself. Jones is Brandon Moss or Delwyn Young redux, and you can perhaps place Ryan Church in their class. There's not a ton of unrealized upside here, the track records involved aren't likely to yield up tremendous surprises in terms of performance. Jones' breakout season of 2007 involved a first-half repeat of Double-A, and his ISO tipped over .200 playing for the Mississippi Braves. In more than a 1000 Triple-A PAs since, his ISO has dropped below .150. That's effectively the difference between modest prospectdom and Triple-A lifer. While Jones has some patience (his walk rate above A-ball is better than 10 percent) and a good measure of plate coverage and ability to make contact, he's a corner outfielder without much defensive value. Add the lack of power, and it would be a bit of a stretch to suggest we're talking about the second coming of Al Martin. Jones is already heading into his age-26 season, so it isn't even a case that, as a matter of youth, he's got a ton of untapped, unrealized potential going for him.


SAN DIEGO PADRES
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHP Mike Adams on a one-year, $1 million contract, avoiding arbitration. [1/19]

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with OF-R Ryan Ludwick on a one-year, $5.45 million contract, avoiding arbitration. [1/19]

WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to terms with RHP Jason Bergmann ($750,000), C-Rs Jesus Flores ($750,000) and Wil Nieves ($700,000), and LF-R Josh Willingham ($4.6 million), avoiding arbitration with all four. [1/19]

Christina Kahrl is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Christina's other articles. You can contact Christina by clicking here

Related Content:  Arbitration,  PECOTA,  Depth,  Triple-A,  Player Cards,  Year-to-date,  Depth Chart,  Team

9 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Hot Stove U.: The Pena... (01/20)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Transaction Action: Th... (01/19)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Transaction Action: Si... (01/21)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Checking the Numbers: ... (01/20)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article What You Need to Know: September 2, 2014
Premium Article The Call-Up: Daniel Norris
Premium Article The Call-Up: Maikel Franco
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bo Gone
The Future
Premium Article The Call-Up: Joc Pederson
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: September 2, 2014

MORE FROM JANUARY 20, 2010
Premium Article On the Beat: Midweek Update
Premium Article Ahead in the Count: Revising Player Contract...
Premium Article Checking the Numbers: Valuing Volatility
Premium Article Hot Stove U.: The Pena vs. Reynolds Slugfest

MORE BY CHRISTINA KAHRL
2010-01-24 - Premium Article Transaction Action: Brewing Up a Reunion and...
2010-01-22 - Premium Article Transaction Action: Overpaying Pineiro and L...
2010-01-21 - Premium Article Transaction Action: Signing and Selling
2010-01-20 - Premium Article Transaction Action: International Arbitratio...
2010-01-19 - Premium Article Transaction Action: The King's Coffers and A...
2010-01-18 - Premium Article Transaction Action: NL Ketchup
2010-01-17 - Premium Article Transaction Action: The Kouzmanoff Trade
More...

MORE TRANSACTION ACTION
2010-01-24 - Premium Article Transaction Action: Brewing Up a Reunion and...
2010-01-22 - Premium Article Transaction Action: Overpaying Pineiro and L...
2010-01-21 - Premium Article Transaction Action: Signing and Selling
2010-01-20 - Premium Article Transaction Action: International Arbitratio...
2010-01-19 - Premium Article Transaction Action: The King's Coffers and A...
2010-01-18 - Premium Article Transaction Action: NL Ketchup
2010-01-17 - Premium Article Transaction Action: The Kouzmanoff Trade
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2010-10-31 - Premium Article World Series Prospectus: Game Three Analysis
2010-07-10 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Surrendering Lee
2010-02-18 - Premium Article Camp Battles: AL West
2010-01-25 - Unfiltered: Projecting the Aged and the Impo...