MLB Storylines: Orioles capitalize on Cruz's crashing market
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 Saturday, February 22nd.
- The market for Nelson Cruz crashed all the way down to a one-year, $8 million deal with Baltimore. Cruz turned down a one-year, $14.1 qualifying offer with Texas and there were rumors early in the offseason that Cruz also turned down a multiyear deal with the Mariners. The power-hitting outfielder was hoping to secure a long-term contract but will now have to test his luck again next winter. Meanwhile, the Orioles have now lost their first and second round picks in June’s draft after signing both Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez – and they may not be done.
- The Indians continue to be impressed with Carlos Santana’s progress at third base, but the real challenge will begin on Wednesday, when he starts seeing game action at the hot corner. Speaking about Santana, manager Terry Francona said: “I think he's done a remarkable job to get to this point. I think the games will tell us a lot more. He's working hard every day. I think the biggest compliment is, you look at him out there and with trained or untrained [eyes], and you wouldn't say, 'Oh, that's a catcher playing third.' He's playing third."
- Veteran Jason Giambi is already seen as almost an assistant coach, and on Saturday he showed why. During live batting practice sessions, Giambi helped Aaron Harang discover a mechanical issue and while in the box against lefty reliever Josh Outman, he stepped out and informed him that he was tipping his pitches.
News and Notes
- Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported that the Rangers, Orioles, and one NL team are showing serious interest in Ervin Santana. However, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News heard that Texas is not pursuing Santana at the moment.
- MLB.com’s Greg Johns said that the Mariners interest in Kendrys Morales will depend on if Corey Hart’s knees allow him to play the outfield full time.
- MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince wrote that the Blue Jays are betting on better luck with injuries and the development of their young pitchers, and that a deal for a rotation upgrade doesn’t appear to be likely.
- The Yankees and reliever Andrew Bailey agreed to a Minor League contract. The deal also includes multiple incentives. Bailey is rehabbing from November surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and could be ready to pitch for New York by mid-May.
- ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick said that Reds manager Bryan Price intends to have his team be more aggressive on the basepaths in 2014.
- Outfielder Tyler Colvin has signed a Minor League deal with the Giants and has passed his physical. Colvin signed with the Orioles earlier in the winter but failed his physical and the contract was nullified.
- Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that veteran Bobby Abreu is almost guaranteed a spot on the Phillies bench if he performs adequately in Spring Training.
A case can be made that over the last three years, Murphy has been better than Cruz though. We're paying him less money in 2014 and didn't lose a draft pick/money.
And don't agree with saying Murphy has no power. Not a power hitter but definitely has some pop. Career .166 ISO is right in line with what Kipnis put up this year (.168). Wouldn't call Kipnis a power hitter but definitely wouldn't say he has no power.
Calling him a .220 hitter is also a stretch. Sure hit .220 in 2013 when his BABIP took a nose-dive, but he's a career .275 hitter.
I am a season ticket holder but I agree, this offseason has been lousy. People are saying they won't give Cruz a one-year $8M deal, but are okay with giving David Murphy (a .220 hitter with no power) a 2 year $12M? Just like in 2007, we had a chance to capitalize on a great year instead Shappy and Antoinetti sit on their hands. They should have been gone last year but hide behind Francona. Anyone who watched them last year knows they were awful against good teams mostly because they didn't have anyone in the middle of the order. Not saying Cruz is Miggy, but he would be much better than Murphy! Also, they lost 40% of the rotation yet have made no moves other than giving minor league deals to 2 guys who were a combined 6-22 last year. Asking Salazar to win 20 games his second year is too much expectation (a la Jaret Wright). Every year it seems like they just hope 5 or 6 guys have "bounce back" years. The drafting has been horrific yet they give Mirabelli a promotion to VP! Like I said I am a season ticket holder but this has been the most disappointing off-season in a long time, I just thought they would have learned from 2007, especially when they look at their record against the East knowing that is who they will have to beat to get to the WS. You can't rely on beating the White Sox 17 times again.
MLB allowed teams under the old system to deal free agent playesr that accepted an arbitration offers. Rafael Soriano was a prime example of this. Accepted the Braves arby offer when he was free agent eligible...Braves in turn dealt him to the Rays for a player (Jesse Chavez). The player being dealt after accepting arby simply had to agree to the deal (can't be traded before June 15th I believe without player's permission).
Would MLB step in and so no more of that too? Or allow that still since it wouldn't have any effect on the draft since the player accepted the QO offer? Teams may be more willing to deal a prospect than give up the draft pick/draft money...especially if allowed to then negotiate a long-term deal with the player.
The Indians for 15 don't have to worry of not offering Masterson a QO because we know he would not accept it.
Cleveland is a one town sport town that love to support the loser of a football team. For other sports in town they just become front runners. Only support when winning but criticize them to death where they are not..
Would you have committed 4 years and $50M to him? I wouldn't.
"wahhhh, our lineup has no power"
Last year, the Tribe was 9th in MLB in SLG%, 10th in HR
"wahhhhh, we have no cleanup hitter"
Nelson Cruz: 57 career games batting 4th: .235 BA, .766 OPS
"I hope Progressive Field becomes a ghost town"
You may have been a fan for 25 years but you are a TERRIBLE fan. Nothing more than an ill-informed crybaby.
This year FA class was average at best.
I wonder if Giambi will be MLB manager very soon based on how is already coaching and helping players become better. Examples with Outman and Harang. Giambi might found out why Outman has been inconsistent because he tips his pitches. If he solve that problem could be very important lefty for the Tribe this year.
Nelson Cruz isn't worth losing the draft pick for a one year deal.