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MLB Storylines: Garza deal finally complete

MLB Storylines: Garza deal finally complete
January 27, 2014
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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 Sunday, January 26th.

Top Stories

  • The Brewers and Matt Garza have finally agreed to their rumored four-year contract. According the's Adam McCalvy, Garza's deal guarantees him $50 million, with $4 million more available in incentives, and a vesting option for a fifth year at $13 million. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweeted that the holdup in the contract was a matter of the two sides agreeing on payouts of deferred money and working out details of the 2018 vesting option.
  • During a media session, Tribe second baseman Jason Kipnis said that he would "absolutely" be open to discussing a multiyear extension with the Indians. Kipnis stated that Cleveland's front office has not yet talked to him about an extension this year, but he suspects that if an extension were to be discussed, it could be during Spring Training.

Other News and Notes

  • Bob Dutton of the News Tribune tweeted that he has heard from industry sources that Matt Garza's new $50 million deal means that Ervin Santana is likely to get no more than $40 million over three years, and possibly much less.
  • Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press tweeted that Twins general manager Terry Ryan has said that he still has his eye on a few free agent position players.
  • Chase Hughes of Nats Insider reported that Washington second baseman Danny Espinosa has been told by Nationals management that he will have a chance to compete with Anthony Rendon for the starting second base job this spring. Espinosa has been the subject of some trade rumors earlier this winter.
  •'s Mark Sheldon said the Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has made it known that he is not interested in signing outfielder Nelson Cruz, due to the draft pick compensation tied to the veteran power hitter.
  • After signing Robinson Cano earlier this offseason,'s Greg Johns reported that the Mariners are likely to fill out the rest of their team with complimentary pieces. Johns noted that Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik has said that his team is still looking for another starting pitcher, but he does not want to pay the high price for pitchers like Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez. The Mariners are still in the running for starter Scott Baker, along with the Indians, and Johns said that Seattle has had many talks with Nelson Cruz, but contract length and amount, and draft pick compensation are still of concern for the Mariners.
  • Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reported that the Mariners have in fact shown interest in Santana, along with the Yankees, Rockies, Dodgers, Orioles, and Cubs. A source also told Cotillo that the Blue Jays remain the most obvious fit for Santana.
  • Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that Michael Young is still undecided on whether he will play in 2014 or retire, but he did say that if he decides to play, it is a "safe bet" it will be with the Dodgers.

I hope many of you were able to make it out to Tribe Fest this year. It was a great experience for fans of all ages and it brought baseball back to the forefront of all of our minds. In just two short weeks, pitchers and catchers will be reporting to camp and another baseball season will be upon us.

User Comments

January 28, 2014 - 8:30 AM EST
Yeah, and people have to quit saying it is the draft pick that is preventing teams from signing guys. I wrote about it a few weeks ago, but teams have ALWAYS given up a first round pick for the top free agents. The difference now is the bonus pool setup and teams losing such a huge chunk of money to sign draft picks with that money.
January 28, 2014 - 8:23 AM EST
There's only one level of compensation attached to players under the new CBA. No more Class A, B, C free agents. Either you offer the player a 1-year $14M+ contract, nd you receive a sandwich round pick if he signs elsewhere, or you let him walk and get no comp. Unless Asdrubal has a big year, there's no way he would turn down the QO.
Joe Chengery
January 28, 2014 - 12:43 AM EST
I've been advocating the Indians resign Jimenez, even if it means trading Cabrera for next to nothing, since I'm not convinced he'll bounce back much in 2014 (if at all). Johnson's signing could open up that door some more if the Indians want to explore that path.

Was wondering, if Cabrera remains with the Indians all year, would Cabrera be worth a draft pick (and if so, what round pick?)? Of course, at this point, I doubt the Indians would even offer Cabrera a QO in fear he would take it, but was curious as to how high of a draft pick he would net if that possibility even existed.
January 27, 2014 - 6:35 PM EST
I've mentioned Elliot Johnson several times, glad to see they signed him. He offers positional flexibility and speed off the bench IF he were to make the team, it would seem likely an injury has occurred or possibly a trade. The odds seem against him, but you never know how things will play out.

I could see a possible scenario with the Indians resigning Jimenez, potentially trading ACab essentially that would open a spot for Johnson.
January 27, 2014 - 5:03 PM EST
Indians signed infield Elliott Johnson to a minor league deal. Johnson was dfa'd by the Royals and picked up by the Braves. He didn't hit much with the Royals but replaced Dan Uggla at 2nd last season for the Braves. His numbers don't necessarily support it but the Royals didn't was to lose him.
Nails in a jar full of pinecone juice
January 27, 2014 - 3:28 PM EST
Drew still has a shot to make some money. But Morales absolutely should have taken his QO.. Drew and Cruz still have enough of a market that they will still end up with OK deals IMO.
January 27, 2014 - 1:53 PM EST
I'd add Stephen Drew to the list of players that should have accepted their QO.
January 27, 2014 - 1:50 PM EST
It would be interesting to see who is signed next between Jimenez, Arroyo and Santana. I think Baker is holding out on Major League deal. If no one does, he might sign right before spring training begins.

Cruz and Morales should have accepted QO . Now they might be this years Kyle Lohse with no when spring training begins.
January 27, 2014 - 12:54 PM EST
On an entirely separate note, I'm curious why Lindor wasn't at Tribe Fest. Most of the other "top prospects" were there. I'm hoping it's got nothing to do with his back injury. Speaking of which, has anyone seen any kind of update on that injury and whether he's expected to be at full speed for Spring Training?
January 27, 2014 - 12:27 PM EST
Totally agree about Kipnis. MLBTR did an extension breakdown last night, and they estimated 5 years 30-35M. I think something will get done this offseason, and 5/35 would be a great deal for all sides. Very similar to the Santana deal, I could see it being something like 2-3M this season, increasing every year to about 10-12M in the final year. Kipnis is a great player, and locking him up through his prime, and getting 1 or 2 of his FA years would be perfect.
January 27, 2014 - 9:43 AM EST
Even less guaranteed money for Garza....pretty interesting. May not necessarily help the Indians in resigning Ubaldo (if they even want too) or extending Masterson....but don't think this hurts one bit...
January 27, 2014 - 9:42 AM EST
Call me crazy, but I'd be a bit surprised if the Indians don't work out an extension with Kipnis before the start of the season. Have been doing deals like that for 20 years. Even recently with guys like Grady, Peralta, and Santana. 5 years and $35M (or thereabouts) sounds fair to me.

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