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Setting the Market

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Setting the Market

Unread postby paulcousineau » Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:34 pm

As reported on Baseball Tonight, ESPN's Buster Olney says that Carlos Zambrano is close to reaching a deal with the Cubs for 5 years and $80M.

If true, the result for the Tribe and their pending Free Agent pitchers is two-fold:

First, the deal sets the market for elite starters with the idea that the Zito deal proves to be the aberration and the deals that Oswalt and Carpenter got were more in line with what the going rate has become.
5 years, $16M per is much more palatable than the ridiculous (in guaranteed years and guaranteed money) Zito deal when it comes to a starting point for the Indians and Sabathia.
The trouble that the Indians and Sabathia were having at the negotiating table, and what led them to break off negotiations, is that they had no idea where the market would be after the 2008 season. The numbers in the Zambrano deal just set the market.

The second result of Zambrano signing is that Westbrook (assuming he doesn't extend at some point in the season) just got bumped up the list of available FA pitchers after the 2007 season. There's a good possibility that Westbrook (again, if he isn't extended) goes into FA as the top SP on the market, where a lot of years and dollars are thrown around.

If what Olney reports is true, let's hope that the Tribe and Westbrook are close, because Jake's value just got a nice boost.
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:43 am

The Indians are in a tough spot here.

Having Westbrook hit FA the year before Sabathia really FUBARs things if you ask me. They obviously prefer to keep Sabathia, but they also don't want to lose both. Sabathia hitting FA next year and Westbrook in 2009 would work out so much better.....the market would be a lot more set for Sabathia and both sides would have something to work on.

That said, I'm really interested to see what happens with Westbrook. Hafner I have no doubt is being resigned. But, how they handle Westbrook is going to be interesting to watch. He is in a FA year, which typically means a pitcher puts up incredible numbers. Do you extend him now and risk him not being on his A-game all year? Or, do you ride him out and get a fantastic year out of him? Trade him mid-season?

I have no idea what Westbrook will command this upcoming offseason, but I believe 5 years $60M is what will get Westbrook to resign right now. Would you pay Westbrook $12M a year? I'm torn on that, and right down the middle.
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Unread postby dpdad » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:22 am

Would you pay Westbrook $12M a year? I'm torn on that, and right down the middle.

Jake is an innings eater with 15 wins each of the past two years, he is healthy, and doesn't turn 30 until September '07. I say sign him at 12M. Byrd will be gone next year, and Miller will be in the rotation making the minimum. Use Byrds 7-8M for Jake. Plus, I don't think the Indians have a prayer of resigning CC after his contract expires in '08. The price will be too high then, plus CC's physique concerns me. Carrying all that weight around as CC gets older puts him at too much risk for an injury at the price he will command.

Dolan needs to step up and show the fans he is willing to put his money where his mouth is. Signing Westbrook and Hafner will go a long way towards that.
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Unread postby paulcousineau » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:52 am

I agree that the Indians are in a tough spot with Jake and C.C., and that Hafner is likely to sign an extension in the near future.

If I'm the Indians and can get close with Westbrook, I pull the trigger.

The 5th year is the sticking point for me, though. The rest of this team is signed to affordable-enough contracts that they could probably go into the $12M range for Jake. 3, or even 4, years doesn't bother me. It's that 5th that takes you into dangerous territory.

If I'm Shapiro, I sign the guys ready and willing to sign now and take a wait-and-see approach with the Hefty Lefty.

That old "one in the hand is worth two in the bush" has to be applied to ensure that one of these guys stays in the rotation going forward, regardless of the "waves of arms" that are forthcoming.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:58 am

The DiaTriber wrote:If I'm the Indians and can get close with Westbrook, I pull the trigger.
...
That old "one in the hand is worth two in the bush" has to be applied to ensure that one of these guys stays in the rotation going forward, regardless of the "waves of arms" that are forthcoming.

I would like to verify that Marte, Barfield, and Peralta can play defense first. Westbrook could potentially have terrific years a la Brandon Webb if infield defense contributes ... but if it can't and we've mis-evaluated the defensive skill sets, it might be better to focus on signing pitchers who don't need so much help ...
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Unread postby BadBecks » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:53 am

That old "one in the hand is worth two in the bush" has to be applied


Just remember not to try to go for her "back door" when she's not expecting it. You'll just end up sleeping on the couch my friend.

ANYWAY, I'd earmark some of that $$$ for Pronk. Then I would only sign Jake if I knew C.C. is long gone (likely). Miller is about ready and what if Carmona carries his spring #'s here (though I doubt that'd happen)? Just a thought considering how cheap the Dolan family has showen us so far.
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Unread postby rigs » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:49 pm

Shapiro has spent years creating the "flexibility" to allow the team to make these extensions. Jake should get a very reasonable offer from the Tribe.
I am not going on board with the Hafner will be extended crowd til I see it come to fruition.
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:19 pm

The key here, to me, is they HAVE to resign one of Westbrook/Sabathia. I'm the biggest supporter of the pitching depth in the minors, but I also feel that they need to keep one (or both) of Sabathia/Westbrook here long term. 200 inning a year pitchers don't grow on trees. Especially good ones. I'd feel much better about our future with a 2009 projected rotation of Sabathia/Westbrook, Lee, Sowers, Miller, and Carmona.
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Unread postby Chris Bando » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:46 pm

RIGS wrote:Shapiro has spent years creating the "flexibility" to allow the team to make these extensions. Jake should get a very reasonable offer from the Tribe.
I am not going on board with the Hafner will be extended crowd til I see it come to fruition.

Do you actually think the Dolans are going to pay Westbrook the 12-14 million a year he will command?

A ground ball pitcher, with Jhonny Peralta, at shortstop?

The Indians will not resign Westbrook in my view. And if you think there's any chance of them giving Sabathia 20 million a year, you haven't been playing attention for the last decade.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:54 pm

Chris Bando wrote:.

Waterbury! Waterbury! Maine!

Ah, memories.
.
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Unread postby Chris Bando » Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:09 pm

Steve Buffum wrote:
Chris Bando wrote:.

Waterbury! Waterbury! Maine!

Ah, memories.
.

Those were the kindest heckles I heard. Being a backup catcher on a 100 loss team wasn't fun at times.

Keep up the great work with The B-List Steve. I've been checking in every day to read it since I found it last year.
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