Joe Maddon shocked many people by opting out of his contract with the Rays today and has now become the most coveted managerial free agent in recent history. While early speculation was that he’d follow former GM Andrew Friedman to the Dodgers, Friedman and the Dodgers have issued a statement backing Don Mattingly as their manager, definitively stating that Mattingly will manage the Dodgers next season. There’s been plenty of other Maddon chatter, however, so we’ll keep track of the latest on his situation here… Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke with Maddon on the phone (Four links to Twitter) and was told that Maddon didn’t feel the Rays would commit to him the dollars he was hoping for on a new contract. Maddo, 60, has had jobs throughout his career where his salary was dictated to him, and he felt this would be his last chance to find out how the open market would value him. He added that he was unaware of a clause in his contract that allowed him to opt out if Friedman left the team, and it was new Rays president of baseball ops Matthew Silverman who told Maddon of the clause. He said being contacted by teams with managers is none of his business. “They will do their business how they want to do it,” he told Sherman. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (via Twitter) that Maddon was looking to be compensated with a deal that would’ve paid him like one of the top two or three skippers in the game, meaning something north of $5MM per season
Alex Rios‘ up-and-down career trend continued in 2014, with an ill-timed replacement-level performance. The Rangers declined the outfielder’s club option, putting the 11-year veteran on the free agent market for the first time in his career. Strengths/Pros Rios has had a productive career. A first-round pick of the Blue Jays out of Puerto Rico in 1999, Rios finished fifth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in ’04. A few seasons later he nabbed back-to-back All-Star appearances, and went on to post seasons worth three or more wins above replacement in 2010, ’12, and ’13. When he’s at his best, Rios has shown 20 home run power as a right-handed hitter and the ability to hit .280 or better. There were positives in his 2014 season. Rios hit .304/.335/.430 through July, which was a little better than his successful 2013 campaign
On the third episode of the MLB Trade Rumors Podcast, Jeff Todd runs down the transactional news from the week (1:20) before being joined by Angels assistant GM Matt Klentak (2:07), who talks about the state of the Halos as they look to supplement a 98-win team while remaining cognizant of the future. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes also joins the line (24:05) to talk through upcoming qualifying offer decisions around the league and predict whether or not this will be the year that a QO is finally accepted. http://traffic.libsyn.com/mlbtr/MLB_Trade_Rumors_Podcast_-_Episode_3.mp3 Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and please leave a review! You can download the episode directly with this link. You can access the podcast via SoundCloud at this link. The podcast is also available via Stitcher at this link. The MLB Trade Rumors Podcast runs weekly on Thursday afternoons.
The prospects discussed in this week’s Inbox (or any, for that matter), just might be getting your favorite team to the Fall Classic in the near future. We’ll kick things off with an Arizona Fall League question about Mark Appel, then spend some time in Atlanta and Chicago, finishing off with the start of the pipeline: the First-Year Player Draft.
Facing three straight games at AT&T Park, the Royals may find the Giants’ home has a familiar feel that bodes well for their chances in San Francisco.
Travis Ishikawa knows the pitfalls of what Michael Morse is dealing with right now, himself having once been relegated from the starting lineup to a pinch-hit role, but that doesn’t mean the Giants’ current starting left fielder has much advice to impart to his teammate who spent much of the regular season there.
Some 16 years after quitting baseball to move to Europe, Jeremy Guthrie will take the game’s grandest stage for the biggest start of his career Friday. Tapped as the Royals’ Game 3 starter, Guthrie inherits the swing game in a 1-1 World Series against the Giants.
The Giants were Larry Baer’s first job after college in 1980, and since returning in 1992, he has methodically risen through the organization. Now he’s the man ultimately responsible for one of baseball’s most respected franchises. But Baer’s real love of the Giants goes back to his boyhood.
A ballclub’s general manager is often referred to as its architect. In that sense, Brian Sabean has built something enduring in San Francisco, at least as much as the fragile nature of the game’s success allows him to do.
The Royals have endured comparison after comparison to the 1985 World Series champions, but in at least one respect, the current club may have a leg up on the team from 29 years ago.