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lukewarm stoveLast night’s surprising Rangers/Tigers trade has had a little time to settle. The Rangers are getting Prince Fielder and $30 million, while the Tigers are getting Ian Kinsler. The Tigers save a bunch of cash on a guy that, perhaps, they project will rapidly decline (and get a nice player in Kinsler, albeit one on a bad contract), and the Rangers open up a spot for Jurickson Profar and add a big lefty bat. The Rangers, essentially, signed Fielder for seven years and $138 million, with the side benefit of tossing Kinsler, who may have had about $18 million or so in dead money at the end of his current contract. That nets out seven years and $110 million for Fielder. Down year in 2013 and all, that’s really not that bad a deal for a guy who isn’t even 30 yet.

  • So what happens now? Well, everyone is immediately pointing to the Rangers as a candidate to sign Robinson Cano now (example here, out of New York), which screams desperate leverage play by Cano’s agent. Until yesterday, it was looking like a market of one, with the Yankees refusing to be bid up by Cano’s demand for more than $300 million. Suddenly, in come the deep-pocketed Rangers! How perfectly magical!
  • Speaking of Cano, if the Rangers don’t get involved and the market remains thin, Dave Cameron speculated that “a smart team like the Cubs” will jump in at some point. Not so sure about the Cubs being that particular team, but Cameron is right: if the Yankees hold fast at seven years and $160 million, and maybe even move on to other options, some team could wind up with a relative bargain on Cano. How low would it have to sink for the Cubs to get involved? Well, the question is, at what point does he have clear surplus value? I think it’s safe to say that six years and $120 million is a no-brainer (and it would be for 20+ teams in baseball). How about six years and $150 million? Cano is likely to still be a productive player through his age 36 season, even if not quite $25 million. Still, that strikes me as about the ceiling for a team like the Cubs, who might not have the best use for Cano’s most productive years, which will come in the next two seasons. In other words … folks can keep dropping Cano’s name with the Cubs, and I just don’t see it happening at almost any realistic price. In the end, Cano is probably going to get seven or eight years, and close to $200 million.
  • In the same FanGraphs chat, Cameron says a reasonable extension for Jeff Samardzija is about five years and $60 million – that’s the range I’ve been saying for about a year now. Cameron knows what he’s talking about, and the Cubs would be wise to stick to that range. If Samardzija won’t come down, then you cross the uncomfortable bridge of shopping him more aggressively, either now or at the 2014 Trade Deadline.
  • Ned Colleti is pretty open about the fact that he’d move one of his surplus outfielders (presumably one of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier), and Matt Kemp’s agent says he’s resigned himself to the possibility of being dealt. We’ve discussed the Dodgers’ outfielders before, each of which could make some sense for the Cubs, depending on how much money the Dodgers are willing to eat. Kemp is the youngest of the three (just turned 29, versus 32 for Crawford and soon-to-be 32 for Ethier), and offers the most upside. He’s also recovering from shoulder and ankle surgeries, and has played just 179 games over the last two years. How much, per year, is a guy like that worth for the next six years? He’ll be making $21 million for the next two and $21.5 million for the following four. At $15 million per year, would you take the chance? Would you sign Kemp today for six years and $90 million? There’s a lot of risk there, but the answer is undoubtedly yes, right? The Cubs have outfield space for Kemp both in the near and long-term, and he’d be the kind of get-him-while-he’s-available type that could make sense, even if the Cubs aren’t going to be competitive in 2014. It all just depends on the medicals, the Dodgers’ demands, and the money.
  • Apropos of my thoughts earlier on a cheap lefty reliever pick-up, the prevailing rate for a top lefty specialist is three years and $13 million – that’s what 36-year-old Javier Lopez got to return to the Giants.
  • I want to give MLBTR a big smooch for the visual representation of the Tigers/Rangers trade with respect to future payroll commitments before and after the trade. Beautiful use of a graph.
  • TWC

    NEW STOVE!!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. I wondered if that would be the first thing noticed …

      The old one was fine, but it always struck me as too bland. This one looks a little warmer – it’s a close call on whether it’s ‘lukewarm’ – but it also has a lot more character.

      • TWC

        Looks like the fire was just sparked. I’d say “lukewarm” is apt.

      • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

        It was the first thing I noticed.

        • pfk

          First thing I noticed too.

    • Edwin

      What model is that, Pleasant Hearth? I’m more of a TMS kind of guy myself. Though I have seen some nice Vogelzang’s out there.

  • bbmoney

    I like the deal for the Rangers in the short term.

    I love the deal for the Tigers. Kinsler + 76M in savings over the life of the deals for Fielder. They get money to try to extend their guys (Scherzer or Cabrera) and/or go out and pick up a corner OFer or 3b depending on what they want to do with Castellanos.

    Might be a situation where the deal works for both teams.

  • macpete22

    I don’t see the Rangers getting involved in Cano unless they still decide to trade Andrus/Profar.

    I laughed at the last bullet “Give them a big smooch” haha

  • hansman

    “Would you sign Kemp today for six years and $90 million?”

    Plus losing a first round draft pick (or the equivelant thereof in terms of prospect to trade away).

    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

      I’d jump at it…depending on his medicals. If healthy, he should average 3+ WAR through his age 34 season.

    • Chad

      I wonder what it would take prospect wise (or MLB talent wise) to get him out of LA though?

    • gmichael

      What if they ate a lot money . We traded them shark and we get zach lee and another of their top pitching prospects in return.

      • Austin

        No way LA gives up Kemp, Lee, and another top pitching prospect for Shark. No way

  • Wilbur

    Brett,

    I was wondering if you could expand on your meaning of uncomfortable in your statement “… then you cross the uncomfortable bridge of shopping him more aggressively …”

    Not being critical, just see the option of trading having intriguing possibilities to obtain talent and the option of signing him (at an inflated market value agreed) in two years as attractive as signing him to a contract extension in ballpark of the terms he is seeking.

  • Oswego Chris

    Apparently Brett can now afford a nicer stove…if I were a tiger fan, I would be expecting some accompanying moves

    • MightyBear

      LOL That’s true. I didn’t even notice that. That is a nicer stove.

  • Edwin

    Cano doesn’t seem to make sense for the Rangers. I mean, part of the whole reason they did the move was to open up a spot for Profar.

    • MightyBear

      But if they could trade Profar and others to the Rays for Price and sign Cano, they would have a powerhouse team and with a nucleus that would be around awhile.

      • Frank

        Just like the Angels.

        • MightyBear

          Yep, just like the Angels. Don’t be surprised if the Angels don’t bounce back this year. If they get some pitching.

  • dreese

    NEW STOVE!!

    • TWC

      Only 2 exclamation points?

      You just don’t care enough.

      • DarthHater

        Capitalizing is caring.

  • Frank

    Why keep Samardzija around if your going to suck? If 2014 is the “go” year for the Cubs, then keep him, if not, get the most/best prospects for him and look foreword to 2025. (yes I’m being pissy)

    • Grant

      Because the biggest long-term obstacle to the Cubs being a good team is pitching, and Shark will be difficult to replace in that regard. I’m sure his asking price is a bit high, but $10-15 million more than the suggested $60/5 that is suggested shouldn’t break the bank (over 5 years, we’re talking $2-3 million per year, or basically what we end up paying the average AAAA player that this front office loves to go after). Yes, it’s a gamble, but so is everything in baseball, and I like that Shark believes enough in himself to gamble on himself. That’s the kind of thing winners do, and we need more of that on the team rather than less.

      • Chad

        What? who pays 15 million a year for AAAA players? yeah 2 or 3 million a year isn’t that bad except it total 15, not 5 or 6 million. I don’t believe that Shark is as good as everyone else does. I think he’s fine, but not great. I think he has more value to the cubs now and long term as a trade piece. Especially if he can be packaged with Schierholtz or Russel or Barney (haha)

      • Frank

        He’s only been a starter for 2 years.

        • Chad

          And I would say an average on at that. He’s been very inconsistent. He has great stuff, but if he is still learning to pitch. If he can’t get through the sixth inning consistently then that is an issue. I think he has great value as a trade piece. I’m 99% on board for a trade. If you can get it done for 5/60 or even 5/70 I’m good with that, but he obviously is looking for much much more.

  • Edwin

    I think Cano gets more than 8/200. I’d say it either gets to 8/225, or 10/250.

    • Featherstone

      From who is the question? Yankees appear to be the only bidders.

      • Edwin

        From Yankees. I think the Cubs (or at least some other team) would be in on 8/200, and Cano would be able to leverage that (similar to Sanchez last season) into either more years or more dollars.

        • Featherstone

          With Yankees obvious desire to get under the luxury tax threshold they are not going to bid against themselves in a market of 1.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

    What would the Dodgers be asking for Kemp? Can’t be THAT much. Barney (IF depth), Russell (bullpen help), Alcantaraish prospect?

    • willis

      Maybe a little more, but if health wise he checked out ok, I’d be thrilled to pick him up and add him to this team.

      That’s plain dreaming though.

    • bbmoney

      All depends on how much cash they throw in. If they throw in enough they might want a nice prospect or two. If they don’t give any I don’t think anyone would give them anything.

    • TheRiot2

      Theo is that you ? LOL. It will take more than that pkg. offered + assuming most of Kemps contract,no thank you just the same.

  • CubbieBubba

    I know he isn’t worth the money he will ultimately require, but I continue to be annoyed at comments spouting no value in signing Cano because of how bad the cubs will be for the next 2 years. Isn’t running a slightly better team out there every day a reason? There’s certainly more value in putting people in the seats.

    Anyway, if it is a waste to put Cano on the team, then why would anyone want Kemp? He’s not as expensive but every bit over paid. I don’t see how anyone making the argument to avoid Cano can turn around and pay Kemp 40 million to sit on the DL for the better part of the next 2 years (the very same wasted years) – even if he doesn’t spend all of it on the DL that is a HUGE amount of money for a HUGE risk. And if the Dodgers eat some of that, they’re going to expect to raid someones farm system – which alone should count the Cubs out. No?

    • Chad

      The money for Kemp is not even close to that of Cano. Also in a trade it is likely to get some cash along with Kemp, so the deal is even better, that’s why Brett suggest 6/90, that’s a lot better than 6/180 (it’s actually 2x better)

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    The Rangers could Trade Profar for Brandon Philips and achieve a better value with a slight drop from Cano and a mild improvement over Kinsler

    • FullCountTommy

      Brandon Phillips wouldn’t fetch a prospect anywhere near Profar. He would barely even fetch a top 100 guy

      • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

        A Gold Glove Power hitting 2nd baseman with a manageable contract isn’t worth a Prospect?

        • FullCountTommy

          An undeserved gold glove winner who is 32 and has been steadily declining over the past 3 seasons. Look at his slash lines, trending downward big time. They’re not giving up one of the top 10 prospects in baseball for that

    • bbmoney

      I’m sure they could do that. I have no idea why they would.

      Profar will get paid ~500k this year and will likely be an average 2b or better. They can spend the 14M they’d otherwise pay Phillips in this scenario to improve more elsewhere.

    • Chris

      And then Daniels would be promptly fired for making such a ridiculous deal.

  • The Dude Abides

    Kemp would not be a happy camper on a rebuilding team like the Cubs. We are no where close to competing, if he is traded it will be to the Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, etc. not a 90+ loss team with limited financial resources.

    • Chad

      Does he have a no trade clause? The cubs could easily afford Kemp, especially at !5 mill/year if LAD throws in some cash.

  • Mike

    Does the thought process change on going after Cano if the Cubs were able to get Kemp and cash for prospect like Alcantara? I think 6/150 for Cano would be the max. Assuming healthy, Kemp and Cano in the lineup quickens the rebuild process without impacting the big 4. Yes the health of Kemp is a big risk, but one worth taking.

    • marc

      If we had a player of Kemp’s potential and unlimited resources, are you trading for Alcantara and kicking in cash? They dont need the payroll relief. If I am the Dodgers any conversation involving Kemp starts with Shark AND Alcantara if I am kicking in cash to facilitate the deal.

      • Chad

        Then they better throw in Zach Lee. Shark has more value due to age and lack of injury issues than Kemp at this point. I would do a Lee/Kemp for Shark/Alcantra swap though.

        • marc

          I appreciate what shark is but he only has 2 years of control left. Kemp is signed through his age 34 season, which is a nice age to end the contract and 21m per. If shark is the one moved, I expect to see them kick in a quite bit of cash of course. I dont think they Kemp unless they upgrade in the rotation or 3b. Possibly do Russell, Alcantara, Edwin Jackson, Villanueva?

          • Chad

            The biggest issue is Kemp’s health. That is a huge knock or the dodgers would even consider trading him. Shark is a very young pitcher as far as innings go. The dodger’s rotation is not too shabby but I doubt they want Edwin Jackson. They can afford better than that. I would expect them to put in some cash for sure but not sure on who else goes where.

  • Senor Cub

    I like the Kemp possibility given he is on this side of 30. I would not attach any minor of significance unless they ate tons of that contract. I think it would be fair for someone who only plays 50% of the time the past two seasons.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    It is possible the Rangers could end up with Philips, Choo and McCann

  • MichaelD

    Two points on Dave Cameron’s bringing up the Cubs.

    1) From past statements it is clear that Cameron thinks the Cubs could be contenders in 2014 and 2015. That would seem to contradict the front office.

    2) From that chat he makes it clear he does not think that Cano would get below $200 million. Now it is not 100% clear but it seems to suggest that he thinks the Cubs would come in if it got around $200 million.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I mostly just liked that Cameron called the Cubs a smart team. As for the Cubs jumping in around $200 million, I just don’t see it.

      • MichaelD

        I would agree with both of your points. I just wanted to point out that Cameron has been less bearish than just about anyone on the near-future Cubs.

        Pun intended.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Robb Hoff of Yahoo indicates.
    The Reds would stand to gain quality players in return for Phillips should the decree to trade him be given.

    • bbmoney

      Brandon Phillips was and still is a good baseball player. But he’s 33. He’s shown signs of slowing down offensively (91 wrc+ last year) and as is he’s a .320 OBP guy who’s put up his offensive numbers in a GREAT hitters park.

      He’s owed too much money to bring back much of a return. Certainly nothing approaching Jurikson Profar.

      • bbmoney

        Sorry will turn 33 next year. My bad.

  • SenorGato

    I find the narrative on Cano this offseason – that nobody wants him – to be a little fishy. OTOH, I want it to keep up so the Cubs can take advantage of this inefficiency. Nobody wants an elite player and is willing to help drop the price by ignoring him? Great – lets go get that guy.

    • SenorGato

      Also infinitely more into the idea of just giving Cano money over paying for Kemp in dollars and prospects. This is particularly true since Cano is a horse while Kemp has battled injuries.

  • MightyBear
    • SenorGato

      I got as far as:

      “There’s always the initial sticker shock: Busted PED user Marlon Byrd to the Philadelphia Phillies for two years, $16 million and a vesting option? At age 36? Really?”

      before I threw my arms into the air. There’s no such thing as a good FA deal to these people…There’s no winning, and it’s getting incredibly fucking annoying. It was already annoying of course, but it seems like the whole goal of the internet and media these days is to promote outrage at player salaries without even pretending to want to understand. 8 million for a guy who’s averaged 2.5 wins since 2010 even with his horrific 2012 is not a big deal. REEEEEEEALLLY getting sick of reading this over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…

      • hansman

        What a lot of folks miss on Byrd is how he went into beast mode from mid-June on. Dude was one of the best players in baseball during that time.

      • MichiganGoat

        When was Byrd busted for PEDs? I know he was associated with Balco but I don’t rember him getting caught and suspended or am I forgetting something?

    • On The Farm

      Here was Brett’s take on that article from this morning’s bullets:

      http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/11/21/alex-rodriguez-walks-out-on-arbitration-hearing-and-other-bullets/

      3rd bullet.

  • Dumpgobbler

    If I’m in the front office I offer Shark 5 / 60-70m contract. If he declines I take the best trade offer for him. I really, really hope we don’t go into next season with him and no extension. Kemp would be tempting at 6/90. If he has a clean bill of health anyways. Wan’t no part of Crawford / Ethier.

    • Chad

      Cubs could easily trade him at the deadline next year and possibly get an even better return than right now. Or he could blow out his arm. Who knows.

      • Dumpgobbler

        Doubt that. Fewer teams to deal with, and half a year less of pitching. Right now you could make an argument that about 20+ teams could use Shark. At the deadline cut that in half. The latter of your argument is what really concerns me.

        • Chad

          Desperate teams though. Just look at what 3 months of Garza was worth.

          • YourResidentJag

            Quantity vs quality trades here. Big difference. Shark shouldn’t be a quantity trade.

      • Mick

        Here are my top-5 Shark trades of this winter:

        5. Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman – Blue Jays
        4. Lucas Giolito and AJ Cole – Nationals
        3. Henry Owens and Jackie Bradley
        2. Kyle Crick and Clayton Blackburn – Giants
        1. Archie Bradley and Adam Eaton – D Backs

        • Edwin

          Are these supposed to be Shark only deals, or are the Cubs kicking in other part/prospects?

          • Mick

            They could probably kick in Schierholtz, Russell, etc. to make a deal work.

        • On The Farm

          I would be happy after all of these trades I think. I would re-order it to:
          5. Jays,
          4. Red Sox (love Owens, not in love with Bradley)
          3. SF (I would value SFs two arms over a good Ownes and JBJ)
          2. Nationals (really like both of these guys arms)
          1. D backs.

          • mdavis

            throw in a Pirates trade with Taillon +, or what about the Orioles? Gausman +

            • Mick

              I definitely thought about the Pirates and Orioles but as smaller market teams tend to hang on to top prospects it just didn’t make sense for them to trade SP’s close to or at MLB ready. If only the Mets were in a position to compete, I might have put them #1 with Noah Syndergaard.

          • Mick

            I agree w/your Red Sox take but there could be surplus value there with Bradley after his failed first attempt with the big league team. Giolito scares me a little bit needing TJ surgery right out of high school. There could be other teams that come out of the woodwork too like Baltimore, Kansas City, Texas, Seattle, Atlanta, Philly, Cincy, etc. If we’re not even competitive within our own division over the next couple years there’s no point to keep Shark, best to trade him while his value is at it’s highest.

        • YourResidentJag

          You should add Lee and Stripington from LAD>

  • Jono
  • North Side Irish

    JIM BOWDEN ‏@JimBowdenESPNxm 5m
    Josh Johnson told us it came down to PGH,Chic,KC &SF but Padres was his first choice.He said Bud Black & PC was huge factor Sirius 209 XM 89

    Doesn’t say which Chicago team though…

    • MightyBear

      Could have been both.

      • North Side Irish

        At one point it was reported all his finalists were NL teams, but KC is on this list too…

  • Kevin

    I definitely take a flyer on Kemp. If we can get him at $12-15 million a year. We wouldn’t have to rush him recovering from injuries as the Dodgers were because we wouldn’t be competitive in 2014 but 2015 would start to look much better with someone like Kemp only turning 30 in our outfield.

  • Sect208Row15?

    I would love to know how many STH did not renew.

    • North Side Irish

      I know a lot of people who have gotten the call from the Cubs this year. We have friends who didn’t renew and their ST rep called them and asked them to reconsider. Suggested getting only two tickets instead of four.

      But I’ve also hear the Waiting List is still over 100K long…

      • MichiganGoat

        I know this is a concern for many people but season ticket sales will be just fine there are plenty of people that have been waiting for years to get a ticket opportunity and will jump on the chance to get in regardless of how bad things look right now.

        • hansman

          Ya, and they are purging a lot of the ticket scalpers from the rolls right now so that will move the line more quickly as well.

          • MichiganGoat

            Good point I didn’t even think about that regardless ST sales will be just fine, now attendance is another question.

            • Rebuilding

              I Had a friend sign up recently and he was in the 90,000 range. There are people that have been waiting years and years for the chance. But I do know a couple of people that were in the 20,000 range last year who are now getting calls that they are eligible. I wonder if they have possibly upped the ST base expecting that there might be fewer walk ups this year?

    • Caryatid62

      I’ve been contacted 3 times by the cubs to let me know my number’s been called. I was 21,000 before this year.

    • hansman

      The gal who called me this year I was being called since I was in the top 27,000.

      I am guessing that not ALL of the Cubs ST holders cancelled.

  • North Side Irish

    Danny Ecker ‏@DannyEcker 4m
    Plan Comm. reviewing Wrigley tweaks here at City Hall. New to the mix — a “brand arch” over Clark St. w/ signage instead of the ped bridge

  • ActionJackson

    Why not Shark for Elvis Andrus and Martin Perez. Supposedly Texas might still be interested in moving Profar or Andrus. We get our young pitcher (lefty at that) with 5 years of control and we get Andrus who can move to 2B and leadoff or you could move Castro to 2nd and Andrus to SS . We would have control for 9 years at 14.75mm a year (he signed a 8yr 118mm extension starting 2015). Would look nice to have an up the middle of Andrus and Castro as well as a Andrus and Castro hitting lead off and second in the order

    • Chad

      Baez, Alcantara. We have prospects at those 2 positions and Perez is not as highly thought of as he once was I believe. I am hoping Shark could actually net us a better pitching prospect than Perez. Also, I don’t see Texas in a big hurry to ship Andrus. More likely Profar who you could flip, but no way they do that deal for Shark.

      • Chad

        they being Texas

    • On The Farm

      And people complain that we take too many Boston/SD cast offs, another trade with Texas? Find a new partner with more intriguing pitching options.

    • Rebuilding

      We already have a shortstop who can’t hit. Andrus is signed to a 10 year deal that jumps to $15 mil per in 2015. He showed less range than Castro last year and only made 8 fewer errors in 15 fewer games. Castro is younger, has shown he can be a better hitter and is signed to a better deal

  • waffle

    I cannot see any way we are in on Cano. I fully expect the Yanks to out compete themselves (as usual) for his services.

  • Jono

    Granderson

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