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Free Agency and Trades
BREAKING: Mets Sign Sheffield PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Evan Nuckles   
Friday, 03 April 2009 19:30

SheffieldIt did not take long for Gary Sheffield to find a new team, as ESPN.com is reporting that the New York Mets have signed the 40-year-old slugger just three days after being jettisoned by the Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers are on the hook for $13.6 million of his $14 million contract this year, while the Mets signed him for the major league minimum of $400,000. The Phillies and Reds were also reported to have show interest in the veteran outfielder.

Sheffield provides the Mets with a right-handed power bat, something they were lacking in a predominately left-handed batting order. "Gary gives us another element in the lineup and he gives us a different intensity, just because of the competitive guy that he is,"  Mets G.M. Omar Minaya said. His role remains somewhat unclear, however, as he was primarily a designated hitter in Detroit.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel said the team would give Sheffield time to get in shape to play the outfield, which he hasn't done regularly since injuries struck in 2006. Once he shows he's ready, Sheffield will provide depth in right field, Manuel said. Tigers manager Jim Leyland stated previously that the need for versatility was the reason for his release. Now back in the National League, Sheffield will have to readjust to playing the field, and it is questionable how effective he will be.

Sheffield is just one home run away from becoming the 25th player in MLB history to reach 500 home runs. He has played for Milwaukee, San Diego, Florida, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta. He is a .292 lifetime hitter and ranks 27th on the career list with 1,633 RBIs.

 
Gary Sheffield Released, Chipper Jones Extended PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Evan Nuckles   
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 21:43

Tigers Dump Sheffield

Gary SheffieldThe Detroit Tigers released Gary Sheffield today, according to ESPN.com. The 40-year-old outfielder was one home-run shy of the 500 plateau, placing him in a historic group which includes the likes of Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson, and just 19 others.
 
Sheffield can now be signed by any team for the $400,000 minimum, with Detroit paying the remainder of his $14 million salary in the final year of a two-year, $28 million extension. "I wouldn't say I'm shocked, but I am surprised. To do this when somebody is one home run away...I don't know how to react to it," Sheffield stated. Shoulder issues limited Sheffield to a total of 247 games and a .245 average during his stay with Detroit. Only four current players (Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez) are ahead of him on the all-time home-run list. The former All-Star has played for the Brewers, Padres, Marlins, Dodgers, and Yankees, and is also 27th on the all-time RBI list with 1,633.
 
The move came on the heels of the acquisition of outfielder Josh Anderson from the Atlanta Braves in exhange for a Detroit minor-leaguer, and the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly interested in Sheffield following the release of Geoff Jenkins.
 
Chipper to Remain a Brave
 
Chipper JonesThird baseman Chipper Jones signed a three-year, $42 million contract extension today, which should ensure that the 36-year-old long-time Brave will finish his career where it began.
 
ESPN.com reports that the deal will run through the year 2012, and a team option could make it worth $61 million over four seasons. Jones will receive $13 million from 2010 to 2012, as well as an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses based on games played. The contract also contains an option in 2013 for $9 million that could reach as high as $13 million if additional games played criteria is met. He is already set to earn $10 million this season in the option year of a deal that began in 2006, and he gets a $3 million signing bonus to be paid out at $1 million per year over the next three seasons as part of the new deal.
 
Jones is a 6-time All-Star and former MVP winner in 1999. He is the only switch-hitter in MLB history with at least 300 home-runs and a .300 career batting average, and his 408 career home-runs rank him third all-time among switch-hitters behind Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray.
 
White Sox Sign Gavin Floyd to $15.5 Million Deal PDF Print E-mail
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Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Evan Nuckles   
Sunday, 22 March 2009 19:53

Gavin FloydChicago White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd agreed to a four-year, $15.5 million contract with a club option for 2013 on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

The 6’5, 230-pound 26-year-old starter had the best year of his career for the White Sox in 2008, going 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. In addition, he has gone 25-18 in 73 games over portions of five big league seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and White Sox.

Floyd will make $750,000 this year, $2.75 million in 2010, $5 million in 2011 and $7 million in 2012, and the White Sox hold a $9.5 million option for 2013.

Floyd had been set to make $520,000 this year under a one-year deal agreed to Feb. 25. He would have been eligible for arbitration after this season and for free agency following the 2012 season.

Fellow pitcher John Danks and outfielder Carlos Quentin were also approached by the team about multi-year deals following breakout campaigns last year, but only Floyd agreed to a deal.

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Lester Update PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Evan Nuckles   
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 00:25

Jon LesterUpdating a previous story, Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester agreed to a one-year contract today, as reported on ESPN.com.

Lester and his agent had been in talks with the team regarding a long-term extension, and they even reached a point where Yahoo! Sports reported that a five-year, $30 million deal was agreed to Sunday. However, the 25-year-old lefty stated that he had no knowledge of a pending long-term agreement.

The team also inked an impressive cache of young pitchers to one-year deals, including Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, Manny Delcarmen, Ramon Ramirez, Michael Bowden, and Devern Hansack, among others.


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More Manny Ramirez Contract Details Emerge PDF Print E-mail
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Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 09 March 2009 19:05

MannyThe Los Angeles Dodgers will have Manny Ramirez on their books till June of 2013, according to new details of his contract released by The Associated Press.

While Ramirez’s contract is written as a two-year, $45 million agreement, the details of the deferment breakdown as follows:

Ramirez gets a $25 million salary this year, but just $10 million is paid up front. The rest is due in $5 million installments each June 30 in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

His contract calls for a $20 million salary in 2010, with $5 million payable up front. He is due two installments of $3,333,333 by June 30 in 2011 and 2012, and a final payment of $8,333,333 by June 30 in 2013.

His contact allows him to option out of 2010 and must do so no later than five days after the World Series ends or Nov. 10, which ever comes first.

Also, based upon accounting practices, due to Ramirez taking his $25 million salary for 2009 coming without interest, it is given a present day value of $18.4 million by the league.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Lester, Red Sox Reportedly Agree to 5-Year, $30M Extension PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by David Golebiewski   
Sunday, 08 March 2009 13:35

Jon LesterAccording to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Boston Red Sox and left-handed starter Jon Lester have agreed to terms on a 5-year, $30 million contract extension with a $13 million club option for the 2014 season. Lester will take a physical for the team on Tuesday.

Lester, 25, returned from a battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in July of 2007. He was the winning pitcher in the series-clinching game four of the World Series against the Rockies later that year. Lester turned in his first full season in 2008, pitching 210.1 innings with a 3.21 ERA. Lester struck out 6.5 batters per nine innings while nearly halving his walk rate from 4.43 BB/9 in 2007 to 2.82 BB/9 in 2008. Lester's extension is believed to be the largest deal given to a pitcher with roughly two years of major league service time, far eclipsing Fausto Carmona's four-year, $15 million deal with the Indians signed prior to the 2008 season.


David Golebiewski is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey.

 
Baker Gets New Deal PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Evan Nuckles   
Saturday, 07 March 2009 17:11

Scott BakerThe Minnesota Twins locked up starting pitcher Scott Baker today for at least the next four years, according to MLB.com.

Baker received a four-year, $15.25 million dollar contract that includes a $9.25 million club option for 2013. The 27-year-old right-hander would have been arbitration-eligible at the end of this season, and this deal purchases Baker's three arbitration years along with his first year of free agency if the Twins exercise their option.

Baker struck out a team-leading 141 batters in 172 1/3 innings in 2008 and held opposing hitters to a .247 batting average. For his career, Baker is  28-24 with a 4.23 ERA and is entering is fifth season in the majors.

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Pierre Requests Trade PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Evan Nuckles   
Friday, 06 March 2009 12:18

Juan PierreNow that Manny is officially back, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Juan Pierre wants out. The Dodgers have allowed Pierre's agent to explore potential trade interest from other teams after losing his starting job for the second time with Ramirez in the fold again, according to MLB.com.

Finding a suitor could prove to be difficult, as Pierre is in the third year of a five-year, $44 million contract and is still owed $28.5 million. Pierre is aware of the current economic reality, and is willing to defer salary if necessary. "I realize the economic situation," Pierre said of his contract. "I'll defer if it makes it more attractive. I told [manager Joe] Torre today that I totally understand what's going on, and he said he would try to get me in there whenever he can. I have no beef with that. I told Joe I will be the team guy I've always been."

Pierre batted .283 in 2008 along with 40 stolen bases, but his .327 On Base Percentage and minimal power make him more of a fourth-outfielder than a starter. The Dodgers may need to assume a portion of his salary to facilitate a deal given the size of his contract.

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Manny Ramirez Deal Official PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Evan Nuckles   
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 23:09

Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers have officially come to terms on a new deal after the outfielder passed a physical today.

The Associated Press reports that it is a two-year, $45 million deal with a player opt-out clause after the first year. The two sides reached agreement at Dodger owner Frank McCourt's Malibu residence, and Ramirez is set to earn $10 million this year, and $15 million in deferred money with no interest, payable in $5 million installments each Jan. 15 from 2010 through 2012. If it winds up as a two-year deal, he gets $10 million each season, with three payments of $8,333,333 each Jan. 15 from 2011-13. In addition, Ramirez will make a $1 million commitment to the Dodgers Dream Foundation as part of the agreement.

Ramirez was thought to be seeking a 4 to 5 year deal in the $100 million range, but the economic climate combined with possible concerns with the circumstances surrounding his departure from the Red Sox left the Dodgers as the lone team bidding for his services.

Ramirez is expected to meet with the media at a news conference tomorrow at approximately 10:30 a.m. (MT) at Camelback Ranch – Glendale , located at 10712 W. Camelback Road .

“We are thrilled that Manny wants to be a Dodger and that he has made such a tremendous commitment to the Los Angeles community,” said Dodger Owner Frank McCourt. “We witnessed something very special last year in the way that our fans connected with him and the manner in which the team came together. Now, we focus our complete and undivided attention on our primary goal – winning a World Championship.”

“Manny has shown that he has an ability to significantly alter our lineup,” said Colletti. “Our organization has maintained its commitment to our core of young, homegrown talent while also retaining such key veterans as Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal, and now Manny, all of whom helped us reach the National League Championship Series.

“Manny showed great leadership in the clubhouse and on the field last season and to say we’re very pleased that he’s back with the Dodgers is an understatement.”

Ramirez, who hit .396 (74-for-187) with 17 homers and 53 RBI in 53 regular-season games in a Dodger uniform, helped lead the team to a 2008 National League West Division Championship, a sweep of the Cubs in the Division Series, and its first National League Championship Series appearance since 1988.  He became one of the most popular players in franchise history after he was acquired by the Dodgers July 31 along with cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox at last year’s trade deadline as part of a three-team deal with Pittsburgh .

Ramirez’s 21 homers as a Dodger from August 1 through the postseason were the most by any player on the team for the entire season, one more than Andre Ethier’s 20.

The right-handed hitter batted a combined .332 with 37 homers and 121 RBI in 153 games with the Red Sox and Dodgers in 2008.  He ranked third in the Majors in batting average, tied for fourth in homers, and tied for sixth in RBI.  He also ranked second in the Majors with a .602 slugging percentage, behind only Albert Pujols (.653), and fourth with a .430 on-base percentage.

In the 2008 postseason, Ramirez batted .520 (13-for-25) with four homers, 10 RBI, 11 walks, and a .667 on-base percentage in eight games as the Dodgers swept the Cubs in the National League Division Series before falling to the eventual World Champion Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series.

Ramirez ranks 17th on baseball’s all-time home run list with 527, and is one of only eight players in baseball history with at least 12 seasons with 30 or more homers (1995-96, 1998-2006, 2008).  He is also one of just nine players in history to hit at least 20 home runs in 14 straight seasons.

Ramirez, 36, is a career .314 hitter in 2,103 games with Cleveland (1993-2000), Boston (2001-2008), and the Dodgers (2008). Among active players, he ranks sixth in hitting, third in doubles (507), fourth in home runs, and second in RBI (1,725) behind only Ken Griffey Jr.’s 1,772.  Only Griffey Jr. (611), Alex Rodriguez (553), and Jim Thome (541) have more home runs among active players.  Ramirez has won nine AL Silver Slugger Awards for outfielders during his 16 Major League seasons.

Ramirez ranks 20th on baseball’s all-time RBI list.  He has logged at least 100 RBI in 12 seasons, including nine straight campaigns from 1998-2006.  Since “RBI” became an official statistic in 1920, only eight players in history have recorded nine consecutive seasons of at least 100 RBI.  Ramirez has 1,353 RBI since the start of the 1998 season, trailing only Alex Rodriguez (1,378) among all Major Leaguers in that time.  Ramirez’s 418 home runs in that same span rank second behind only Rodriguez (489).

A veteran of 10 postseasons, including four World Series, Ramirez is baseball’s all-time post-season home run leader with 28, and he ranks second with 74 RBI, just six behind Bernie Williams.  Ramirez won two World Series championships with Boston in 2004 and 2007, and was named the World Series Most Valuable Player in 2004.  He also played in the 1995 and 1997 Fall Classics with Cleveland .

Among active players, Ramirez ranks fifth in on-base percentage (.411), and seventh in batting average.  He also ranks eighth in baseball history, and second among active players behind only Albert Pujols (.624), with a .593 slugging percentage.  His 2,392 hits rank ninth among active players, while his 507 doubles are third.

He was the AL batting champ in 2002 with a .349 average and the 2004 AL home run champ with 43.

Ramirez was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Washington Heights , NY , graduating from George Washington High School in 1991.  He was originally selected by the Indians as the 13th overall pick of the 1993 First-Year Player Draft.  He then signed with Boston as a free agent on December 13, 2000.

Added information provided by the Los Angeles Dodgers

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Dodgers Close to Deal with Manny PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Evan Nuckles   
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 00:11

Transaction reportThough no deal has been finalized, the end of a prolonged and somewhat contentious negotiation appears to be near. Sources say free-agent outfielder Manny Ramirez is en route to Los Angeles, and an agreement with the Dodgers may be close.

Ken Gurnick and Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com report that a great deal of progress has been made, and that a deal became imminent when Scott Boras met on Tuesday with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt at Dodger Stadium and attempted to bridge the gap both financially and philosophically, one source said.The two sides were in agreement on a two-year, $45 million contract, but were in dispute over the deferral of salary that would discount the present-day value of the total compensation by $1.5 million (the interest in deferring payment over five years).

Ramirez spoke with the Los Angeles Times earlier in the day, and expressed his desire to remain a Dodger. "I'm happy in L.A. I like my teammates and had a great time.The fans were so good to me; they treated me the best anywhere in my career. And now I think we're getting close (to a deal) ... Tell everyone, Mannywood is coming."

The 36-year-old sixteen-year veteran was a driving force behind L.A.'s 2008 post-season run, and is one of only a handful of MLB players in history to tally at least 30 home runs in 12+ seasons.

 

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