MLB Winter Meetings: FA’s, Trades & Inflated Contracts

It is a well known fact that ball clubs around major league baseball will overpay for their starting rotation.  Look no further than the deals that have come about in the past few weeks: Jason Vargas signed a 4 year, $32 million deal, Ricky Nolasco signed a 4 year, $49 million deal, Tim Lincecum received a 2 year, $35 million deal, and Tim Hudson signed a 2 year, $23 million deal.

There are three pitchers who are not on the list and who will be looking for even bigger contracts: Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, and Ubaldo Jimenez. Winter meetings start on Sunday and it could mean that the asking price is about to get a lot bigger for these three.  If the market for starting pitchers stays hot then I bet these guys will receive inflated contracts and Ubaldo does not sign with the Tribe. But if teams are unwilling to meet their demands, we may see him in an Indians uniform next season.

There was a lot of chatter about Cleveland signing Tim Hudson, but since he has gone to San Francisco and Scott Kazmir opted for Oakland, the Indians will have to look elsewhere for a starting pitcher. For another team to sign Jimenez means we receive their first round draft pick. There aren’t many clubs that are willing to do that.

To be ready for next season, the Indians will have to sign one more starting pitcher and another relief pitcher to bolster their bullpen.  Salazar will fill the void left by Kazmir, but if Ubaldo does not come back to Cleveland, we’ll need another pitcher for the back end of the rotation.

Another option since Kazmir has gone is trading for Brett Anderson. This morning, Buster Olney from ESPN.com posted a tweet saying the Indians & Mariners were interested in signing Anderson.

A lot will be happening in the next few weeks around MLB. Check back here for more updates or follow us on Twitter: @LivingWithCLE.

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3 thoughts on “MLB Winter Meetings: FA’s, Trades & Inflated Contracts”

  1. Foolishness. I heard that Santana was asking for a contract in the range of 5 years/$100 million. That’s an absolutely absurd contract for .500 4+ERA guy. He’s also the all-time leader in looking identical to Snoop from The Wire. That’s why I was sad to see Kaz go. 2/22 mill is nothing for a solid 3-4 starter, with the market being what it is. At some point you have to take on a little risk. I read that the Indians didn’t want to give him a second year, given he was out of baseball for two years prior to 2013. I do get their reasoning, in that, it’s a lot of innings to eat up in a short period of time, when your arm isn’t use to it. But that means the FO is looking for a one year contract to fill a SP gap.The only people who sign one year contracts are old dudes or oft injured dudes (notoriously either high-injury risk or high-horse-tranquilizer-related-suspension risk, anyways). You’re better off giving Kaz the extra year and $11 mill, than giving a guy like Bartolo Colon 1/$8.5, especially when Kaz just turned 30, had his highest average MPH since his 2007 season, and has won the strikeout title 2 times. He also seemed to gel with the staff and Calloway. Anyways, I guess I’m super concerned that its going to be a repeat of the last time they came off a play off birth and then sat on their hands while he rest of the division got better. That cost half a decade. I would suggest that the window is closing with every day (see: Royals, Twins) and if they’re not going to spend the cash, seriously consider parting with Lindor et al. in exchange for a 100+ RBI guy, and/or #2-3 pitcher, something to put them over the hump.

    1. Seeing the flurry of signings in the past week and a half, I would have to agree. Especially now that the Yankees did not sign Cano, it means they have that they have that much more money to sign another big bat & some pitchers that are still on the market. It’ll be interesting to see what the Indians do in the next few weeks, but I agree – the window is now closing fast.

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