MLB News and Notes: Kershaw gets unparalleled extension
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.
Here are the stories from Wednesday, January 15th.
- The Dodgers agreed to a seven-year, $215 million extension with their ace Clayton Kershaw. The deal also includes an out clause that can be exercised after five years. Kershaw's average annual salary of $30.7 million is the highest yearly salary ever given in the Major Leagues. Kershaw, 25, has won two Cy Young awards (2011 & 2013, and finished 2nd in 2012) and was originally set to reach free agency in 2015.
Other News and Notes
- Former Indians slugger Travis Hafner has agreed to join the coaching staff of Division II Notre Dame College (OH), according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. Hafner joins head coach Len Barker on the Notre Dame College staff. Barker is a former Indians great who threw the last perfect game in Tribe history back in 1981.
- The Orioles agreed to sign pitcher Alfredo Aceves to a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invite. If he makes the big league club, Aceves would earn a base salary of $1.2 million with incentives that could reach $3 million.
- Baltimore also will sign outfielder Tyler Colvin, pending a physical. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweeted that it is believed Colvin will be receiving a Major League deal.
- The Cubs reached a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training with Chris Coghlan, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year with the Marlins.
- Brian Startare of ESPN Radio 97.5 reported that former Philadelphia manager Charlie Manual will join the Phillies front office, serving as a senior advisor to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
- Angels owner Arte Moreno told Jon Morosi of FOX Sports that the team has spoken with Matt Garza. It is believed that the Angels prefer Garza over Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, due to the lack of draft pick compensation attached to Garza.
- Zach Duke will be going to Spring Training with the Brewers on a Minor League deal.
- Chris Cotillo also reported that the Royals have signed Brad Penny to a Minor League deal with a Spring Training Invite. Cotillo says Penny, who did not pitch in the Majors in 2013 and threw only 28 innings in 2012, will come to camp as a starter.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweeted that Mark Reynolds has several offers and is expected to accept one by the end of the week.
- Peter Gammons of MLB Network wrote that the Blue Jays will not get into any bidding wars for starting pitchers, and are looking to build their pitching staff on "youth and rehabs." Gammons said Toronto will only be in on Santana and Jimenez if their price tags drop considerably.
So, the Dodgers just stated that, even though their budget is now about 250 Million, they still have enough to make a play for Tanaka. There is only so much TV money and if the total is divided more equally regardless of market, this functions as a type of salary cap or salary equalizer itself. As to the NBA, just because only teams have won the title since 1980, competitive balance is also measured by the number of different teams that make the playoffs. Of course a salary cap improves, if not fixes, competitive balance issue. The Cavs have a good chance of keeping Deng because of it. Please allow me to reiterate without an ounce of doubt that a salary cap would facilitate competitive balance in MLB, and most competent MLB analysts agree that it would.
Did you really just say the NBA is a good model for how to foster competitive balance in a professional sport?!?!?
I hope that was a joke. Since 1981 only 9 NBA teams have won an NBA title and only 1 of those 9 teams has been outside the top 12 markets in the country, or a 'small market' (the San Antonio Spurs). The NBA is without question the WORST model for fostering competitive balance. They have a salary "cap" AND a salary floor....but yet teams are still allowed to go over the cap when they want.
Consider this...in that same time span (since 1980), MLB has seen 19 different teams win the World Series. Hell, since 2001 alone we've seen 9 different teams win the World Series. Sure only St. Louis isn't in a large market, but still more competitive balance in baseball than basketball (by far).
I'm not saying baseball's system is perfect (far from it), but it's way better than basketball.
The sport that does the best at competive balance is probably football and the NFL....but two big differences there other than a salary cap (which doesn't fix anything really). First there are non-guaranteed contracts...and the biggest thing by far...NO LOCAL CABLE DEALS. All teams get a cut of the Fox, CBS, etc TV deals. You don't have the NY Giants or NE Patriots getting 10-20 times larger TV deals than the Browns or the Colts. Notice the Dodgers only went on this crazy spending spree once they got that insane TV deal from Fox. Sure the Tribe spent some last year after a new TV deal...but the Tribe TV deal vs the Dodgers TV deal....it's like comparing my yearly salary to Kershaw's yearly salary. Not even in the ballpark.
Unless MLB fixes the issue with TV deals, nothing will change in baseball...salary cap won't fix things, probably just make them worse (we'll end up like the NBA)...
I actually agree with Hermie. I don't think that the Kershaw deal hurts the Tribe's chances. Imo the only chance the tribe has -- and has had -- is if Justin wants to give the tribe a home-town discount. And this to me was HIGHLY improbable. Also, I'm thinking he's only going to get $18-22m if he has a "really good year", i.e. another all-star game, at or close to 20 wins, 200+ innings, top-ten ERA leader, etc.
Masterson called, said, "Kershaw got $215 mill? Over seven years. Guess I can't get seven years (he wasn't going to anyways). Hell, I guess I won't even TRY for seven years. I might as well start at five years. To hell with $20 million. There's no way ANYONE will overpay for good pitching help, because Hermie said so!"
I'm sure the Indians are lining up their $15 million offer as we speak. Oh wait, he covered himself by saying that the Indians wouldn't sign him. So when they don't, he can say he said that, and if they do, he's got that covered too.
blah, back to Cleveland.com I go. At least over there, they know they're dbags.
I'm surprised actually that Kershaw didn't get more than $215M, though sounds like he may have given up years to get that opt out.
Masterson and any pitcher looking to hit the market next winter is definitely smiling today...but $18-22M is probably pushing it for Masterson unless he has the best year of his career by far in 2014. Only once has he been worth $17M let alone $18-22M (was worth $19.2M in 2011).
It may sound crazy, but I actually think this deal may have slightly helped the Tribe's chances of extending Masterson. I am not saying it makes the chances good (I agree Robert, I would be on the surprised side if we got a deal done), but consider Kershaw is 3 years younger than Masterson with the same amount of service time...and has a career fWAR more than double Masterson's (28.4 vs 14.1).
Kershaw will make $30M in 2015 (his first "free agent" year)...if Kershaw is more than twice as good as Masterson, why would Kershaw making $30M make Masterson worth $18-22M? Also think Kershaw signing for only 7 years (6 free agent years) that helps limit the years Masterson will/could get. Never really thought he'd get 6 years on the open market but with Kershaw getting 7, think it guarantees 5 is his max, and he may actually max out at 4 guaranteed plus an option.
Kershaw got paid a ton...he's also the best pitcher in baseball. Masterson is a good pitcher...maybe very good, but Kershaw getting paid what he's worth shouldn't mean Masterson will now cost more than he's worth (or ever been worth), not when you still have so many unsigned guys for next winter: Scherzer, Shields, Lester, Bailey.
Again, don't think the Tribe extends Masterson...but also don't think Kershaw's deal really hurts the Tribe's chances.