A 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.