In case you're wondering, the guy in the brown jacket is Scott Boras
This time of the Spring is good for a few different things:
1. Seeing outfielders lose fly-balls in Arizona's "high sky" (is there any other kind?)
2. Watching an at-bat where the pitcher, catcher and batter are all wearing numbers above 60
3. Seeing an anonymous hitter from the minor league camp hit a walk-off home run for the "big club"
However, something that will never show up in a Spring Training box score is which players are in-line for and/or discussing a possible contract extension with management. Some of these undertakings are done rather privately, while others (see Albert Pujols) are at the forefront of the day's happenings in both Arizona and Florida.
I'm going to mention Pujols here, but that is as far as I plan to go with his situation. Everything I know about Albert tells me he is a man of his word, so I believe him when he says he will NOT be discussing an extension with the Cardinals until the end of the 2011 season.
In any event, I don't believe the two sides are even in the same zip code. No team in their right mind will give Pujols the length of an extension that he desires, but some team may just come close.
***Note: That is Scott Boras in the brown jacket in the above picture. I know, I almost threw up too.
While some players don't run off at the mouth and demand new contracts, others let people know in a big way. Cano is one of the former, by letting his play do his negotiating.
With that being said, Cano has recently enlisted the help of the Anti-Christ of sports agents, Scott Boras. You didn't think I was going to say Arli$$ Michaels did you?
Cano isn't scheduled to become a free-agent until the end of the 2014 season if the Yankees pick-up their team options in both 2012 and 2013. At the age of 28, Cano is just hitting his prime as the best second baseman in MLB—and he is only going to get better.
If Derek Jeter, at nearly 10 years his senior, could sign a 3-year $51 mm deal this winter, just what is Cano worth? While I'm not a negotiator, I would expect an extension for a minimum of 5 years and $100 mm to be a good starting point. Call me crazy, but it will likely be significantly more, thanks to Boras.
He is a number four starter in name only. We've seen him pitch exceedingly well even before Cliff, Roy and Roy rolled into town.
Simply put, Hamels can be a real beast out there. One major plus he has going for him is his age. He turned 27 in December and has A LOT of good years ahead of him. Halladay and Oswalt are both 33 and Lee is 32.
Oswalt has a mutual option for 2012 but has also hinted at retirement, so it would be very possible for him to be somewhere other than Philly in 2012. That would certainly make money available for a Hamels extension as would Jimmy Rollins relocating in 2012 as a free-agent.
The Phillies would be quite dim if they chose not to invest in Hamels' left arm for the long haul. This should be a priority for them.
Yes, I know that the Rockies already spent the entire state budget of Colorado on Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. That hasn't stopped them from saying that Jimenez is their next priority.
What makes that curious isn't the amount of money they would have to shell out, but the fact that Jimenez is already under contract including team options through 2014. The Rockies got a bit of a gift with the current contract and have Jimenez at a bargain price.
It now seems that Jimenez may have to wait a little longer for that "big" payday until next winter. We shall see.
I never know exactly what to think about what or how the Padres do things. I have to admit they stole this guy from the Mets though.
Bell has made it pretty clear that he would like to stay in San Diego. The Padres have now said they would entertain contract extension discussions with Bell throughout the spring.
While Bell isn't giddily optimistic that something will get done, he is pleased that both sides will be trying to get something amicable worked out for both parties.
Sounds like a pretty good attitude. His current job is stressful enough already.
Casey McGehee is an interesting...um...case. He was jettisoned by the Cubs a couple years back with the belief that he was one of those dreaded 4-A players. You know, the type that puts up really good numbers in Triple-A but would never be good enough to be a successful major leaguer.
Brewers 1, Cubs 0.
I have to admit that while on waivers, a total of 25 teams passed on McGehee, so it's not just the Cubs I suppose. During the 2010 season all McGehee did was lead the Brewers with 104 RBI.
During the past week, there had been serious discussions on a longer-term contract extension. Unfortunately that didn't happen, with McGehee signing only a one-year deal. From all appearances, the discussions will continue.
The Brewers have set a precedent in locking up their players by buying out both arbitration and free agent years. They did it with Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart and most recently, Rickie Weeks. I see the same happening with McGehee in rather short order.
This guy got hosed. I can say that with a measure of certainty. I just don't understand how he lost his arbitration case. I know they have comparables and formulas and maybe even a Magic 8 Ball in-play. All I know is that Weaver is going to get P-A-I-D soon.
Angels owner Arte Moreno confirmed several weeks ago that talks on a long-term contract extension between the team and Weaver's camp were commencing. That's good news for both sides in my opinion.
There could be difficulties in potential negotiations stemming from Moreno's previous dealings with Weaver's agent Scott Boras. Moreno has never hidden his distaste for Boras, but he leaves the dealings with Boras to his front office staff.
Weaver loves Los Angeles and I have a feeling he'll take that into serious consideration when the time comes.
The Freak. He's got two Cy Young awards and a World Series ring in only four major league seasons. Not a bad start to a career.
The two-year contract Lincecum signed in 2010 will expire at the end of this season, which makes 2012 his final arbitration year and 2013 his first year of free-agency. I can imagine the Giants will be looking to lock him up long-term much sooner rather than later. In fact I'm a little surprised they haven't been working hard on something already.
I hope the Giants aren't still basking in the glow of that World Series victory, because they can't afford to ignore the situation. Lincecum is the face of the Giants. Is he a little off-center? I'd say quite possibly. The bottom line is that he's one of the best and they should do whatever they have to in order to ensure he stays a Giant.
The Cubs didn't trade a lot for Garza just to let him walk in a couple years when he finally becomes a free-agent. Not even the Cubs are that dumb. I'm pretty sure.
The new owners in Chicago allowed the front office to do their thing by importing Garza to the Windy City. Now they have to pony up and pay the man.
Garza is eligible for arbitration in 2012 and if he has the success many believe he will, the Cubs will be paying through the nose. As we've all seen with other teams, buying out a player's arbitration years and even a couple years of free-agency can be a win-win for the team and the player.
I haven't heard anything very recently about such a deal, but getting things completed before the season begins is always a good thing.
Clayton Kershaw is quite possibly the best pitcher very few people have heard of. Maybe that's because he's in L.A., or maybe because the team has been just a sideshow to the McCourt Family Feud.
Whatever the case may be, Kershaw is a serious bad-ass on the mound. You might be a little curious as to why he is on this list since he isn't even eligible for arbitration for the first time until next year.
He's here because there have been other young pitchers that have signed long-term contracts in the very same situation Kershaw finds himself in. Yovani Gallardo is one such pitcher. These types of contract will buy out the arbitration and a free agency year or two as well.
If I were making decisions for the Dodgers, I would already have discussions currently ongoing. Kershaw is one of the top young pitchers in the game, I say lock him up.
The Oakland A's have a few young, budding stars on their team. Starting pitcher Brett Anderson is one of those guys. Closer Andrew Bailey is another. The difference between the two is that Anderson signed a contract extension last season, while Bailey is still waiting.
For those of you that haven't looked at Bailey's numbers from the past two seasons, you're going to see them right now.
7-6, 1.70 ERA, 115 G, 51 SV, 132.1 IP, 83 H, 37 BB, 133 K, 0.907 WHIP
Those numbers are strikingly similar to those of Mariano Rivera's from the past two seasons except for the saves.
I'm not sure what Billy Beane has been up to, but he needs to get on the horn. Bailey is arbitration eligible next year and due for a nice pay day if he is able to duplicate his success of the past two seasons.
Just get it done already.