stoveA little bit from the rumor/transaction mill to round out your week …

  • The Diamondbacks have reportedly inked first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to an extension, which could have huge implications for the Cubs and Anthony Rizzo. The five year deal starts in 2014 is worth $32 million, according to Ken Rosenthal, and buys out a pre-arb year, three arbitration years, and one free agent year. It also includes an option for 2019, reportedly a team option worth $14.5 million. Goldschmidt, 25, put up a 123 OPS+ last year for the Diamondbacks, his first full year in the big leagues. Given their relative performance and service time, Goldschmidt’s deal is a near perfect comp for a prospective Rizzo long-term deal. The primary difference is that Rizzo will be a Super Two player, so the Cubs are going to owe a touch more for the four arbitration years than they would for three arbitration years and one pre-arb year. If the Cubs could get Rizzo on a six-year extension beginning in 2014 (which, as with Goldschmidt, would buy out one year of free agency), in the $35 to $40 million range, that would probably be a good deal for both sides, assuming Rizzo has a good year in 2013.
  • Bruce Levine chatted earlier this week, and … (1) The Cubs aren’t really interested in shopping Steve Clevenger because he’s solid, young catcher (if that’s true, that would be the very reason to consider trading him); (2) the Cubs are unlikely to be trading someone like David DeJesus just yet, because their lineup needs some “credibility”; (3) the Tigers stopped expressing interest in Carlos Marmol in the second week of Spring Training; (4) the organization is not committed to Josh Vitters as a long-term third baseman, which has become increasingly clear in the last six months; and (5) folks in baseball still believe Vitters will hit, but he’s got no position and might never have enough power.
  • Tim Dierkes has taken over the chats at MLBTR … (1) Tim thinks Jose Valverde is worth about $2 million in a guaranteed deal (which is of modest relevance to the market for Carlos Marmol, who’s probably worth a touch more, but not much); (2) one questioner leads off his question with “Theo Epstein has been with the Cubs for a few years now … ” and leads into the inevitable “patience” issue – if this isn’t the perfect embodiment of the impatience of Cubs fans, I don’t know what is (Epstein has been with the Cubs for less than 1.5 years); (3) summing up the Cubs’ approach: “They believe they’re doing it right, by tearing it down completely. Some would argue a major market team with the fifth-highest ticket price is doing a disservice to its fans by punting for 2+ seasons. Others would argue that if the Cubs are consistently good for 4-5 years when this is done, it was worth it.” (I have always really liked Dierkes’ approach to things, and his even-handed answer there underscores it); and (4) Robinson Cano looks destined for the Dodgers in 2014.
  • David DeJesus keeps abreast of trade rumors that pop up about him, but he’s still hoping he can stick with the Cubs for the long-term. ‘‘I think there’s always a place for a veteran player. I don’t even feel I’m that old,’’ he said, per the Sun-Times. ‘‘But I think I bring a lot to the table. I can offer a lot. I want to be a Cub for the rest of my career. I feel that the competitiveness that I have can [feed] the team.’’ I think DeJesus is a great guy to have on the team, even during a rebuild, but I also think his value this Summer – if he stays healthy and productive – is going to be too high for the Cubs not to trade him. No, he isn’t going to net a huge haul in prospects, but he’s got clear value, especially at his 2013 salary (just $4.25 million) and with a reasonable 2014 option ($6.5 million with a $1.5 million buyout).
  • Today’s Justin Verlander extension might not be the only monster extension before Opening Day – Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants are in serious talks with Buster Posey on an extension (with a hat tip to Jon Heyman), and that the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw could wrap up a deal soon as well.
  • And, as I finished that Bullet, Rosenthal tweets that the Giants/Posey extension is done – eight years, plus an option year. No more free agents ever!
  • UPDATE: Posey’s deal will pay him $167 million over the next nine years, which includes his four arb years and five free agent years. If he was going to get, say $8 million, $10 million, $13 million, and $16 million in his four arb years, that’s $120 million for the five free agent years, or $24 million per year. Doesn’t seem like much of a discount, but I guess it’s cost certainty.
  • itzscott

    I’ve no problem with the extinction of free agents so long as their contracts don’t include no-trade clauses.

    • Edwin

      I’d guess you meant extention.

      • itzscott

        No, I actually did mean extinction.

        It forces teams to scout, draft & develop like pre-Curt Flood, opens things up for trades which would force the traditional skills back into being a GM and not necessarily a financial genius and evens out the playing field by making it more difficult for teams like the Dodgers, Yankees and maybe some others from having a financial advantage to try to buy a championship.

        • Edwin

          By others, I assume you mean the Cubs and Red Sox. Interestingly enough, one of the reasons the Yankees have been such a great team over the years is that they’ve had a pretty successful farm system.

          Getting rid of FA would be a terrible thing for the players. Salaries would plummet. I think players should have the right to sell their talents to highest bidder in some type of market system.

        • Rebuilding

          From a selfish point of view as a Cubs fan I hate to see that small to mid market teams have gotten smarter about this sort of thing. As the Forbes article showed, the Cubs have financial advantages matched by only a few teams – none of which are in our division and with the exception of the Dodgers are in the American League

    • Edwin

      The no trade clause is done to keep value down. It’s just part of the bargaining.
      So if you don’t give a player a “no-trade” clause, you’ll have to pay more for that player.

      Also, unless you’re a fan of getting rid of 10/5 rights, plenty of teams put in no-trades because by the end of the contract a player winds up with no trade power anyways. Since it’s unlikely you’re going to try and trade a player immeadiately after signing them to a huge contract, you might as well save some $ and give them a no trade clause at the start of the deal.

      As a contract management strategy, I think there are times when including a no trade clause makes sense.

      • hansman1982

        10/5 rights disappear after a trade, a no-trade clause does not thereby giving the player slightly more trade value.

        • Edwin

          Huh. I did not think of that. Cool.

  • Rebuilding

    Man, that is a monster contract for Posey. They better hope that he doesn’t have to move off catcher in the next 5 years. The new TV money coming in to the game is really going to have to change the way we look at payroll

  • Rebuilding

    Also, assuming he doesn’t get injured, it looks like Smardzija is doing the right thing holding off on an extension. If he does what I think he can do this year he’s going to be VERY expensive

    • CubFan Paul

      No more than 5/$55Mish

      • Noah

        If Samardzija has a year like last year, there’s no way he will or should accept 5 years/$55 million.

        • Pat

          Last year he was just a littlle over league average when you include his terrible June. However, even if he just duplicates last year the price would go up a little because you would be removing his arb1 year, which is only costing a couple of million, and adding on a free agent year at the end.

          • Edwin

            Sure, although that FA year at the end is an age 33-34 season. Jeff might be be able to make more as a FA, but he is right at the point of his career that many pitchers start to decline, so that is definitely a factor in how much he is worth.

            • Rebuilding

              Smardzija is a really interesting case. Not many guys his age are in the development stage he is in. He could go from bullpen arm to ace at 27-28. That doesn’t happen often. Add in the bonus he received to sign (as a complete flyer by the Cubs) and he is about as unique as it comes

  • PiattCountyGuy

    Maybe the Cubs can compromise on DeJesus… him and keep his wife!

  • dw8

    The Starlin Castro extension is starting to look silly good, even if he turns into Gary Templeton.

    • Tommy

      Great point.

  • gutshot5820

    If “David Dejesus” is a guy you can’t trade because he gives your lineup credibility, your team is pretty bad.

    • nkniacc13

      true but you can’t “sell off” assests before the year can you?

  • Ian

    Not sure if this fits here, but the report out of Colorado is that Tyler Colvin will begin the season at AAA

  • Jp3

    How much longer will baseball go without a salary cap??? These dollar amounts are getting crazy… I know this is something that will have to get worked in the collective bargaining agreement but baseball can’t possibly keep going on this way… If mike trout gets paid what he’s worth the Angels will have about 80 million in 3 players and leaving the cj Wilson contract out… Sorry to rant about stuff like this but damn this is outrageous.

  • Jp3

    We also should have a salary floor for that matter (paging the Astros in the basement well under the floor…). There is tanking (Cubs) then there’s Astroing and that’s going too far.

  • Voice of Reasonto

    The Cubs lineup has credibility issues BECAUSE David Dejesus is starting in center field!

    The problem is, they have nobody to replace him with. That is the real credibility issue here and the reason the Cubs will stink again this year.

    And, if they trade Dejesus they will get nothing of substance for him. Maybe a bag of balls?