One day after crashing hard into the right-field wall at Cubs Park on Friday, Ryan Raburn was still experiencing some discomfort in his left knee. Indians manager Terry Francona planned on keeping the utility man out of Saturday’s lineup anyway, but Raburn will likely sit out on Sunday as well.
Third baseman Chase Headley’s strained right calf continues to improve and is already to the point where it’s almost like the injury never occurred.
Billy Burns is a 5-foot-9 blur. He’s all speed all the time, a Pete Rose-type hustler, some scouts say, and maybe the fastest to grace the game since Rickey Henderson.
On the Angels, Albert Pujols and Mike Trout work in tandem. The veteran is a daily, present reminder to Trout of the commitment level it takes to maintain annual MVP-type production, and the young superstar serves as a daily, present reminder of the value of youthful exuberance.
Many have been quick to call Justin Masterson’s reported three-year extension proposal to the Indians a bargain, but Dave Cameron of Fangraphs takes a step back and wonders how benevolent Masterson is really being. Cameron admits that he, too, initially considered a three-year, $45MM or four-year, $60MM deal to be a huge value, but he looks at the cognitive bias of “anchoring,” in which we subconsciously turn an initial price for one item into an anchor price for others. Cameron argues that rather than comparing Masterson to the statistically similar Homer Bailey, who signed away five free agent years for $95MM, we should look at Masterson’s expected value over the next three to four years. Doing so presents the case that Masterson’s offer is fair, but hardly a tremendous discount for Cleveland. He adds that the Indians aren’t a club that can afford to pay market value for too many wins, so it may not be as much of a no-brainer as many initially believed. More from the AL Central… While he’s yet to determine if the Twins have placed a call, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN knows that White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza has quite a few fans in Minnesota’s front office (Twitter link)
Dr. Frank Jobe, the man who performed the first — or, perhaps more accurately, the – Tommy John surgery, has passed away at the age of 88. As MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes, the longtime Dodgers medical director was instrumental in pioneering that now-commonplace, immensely impactful procedure: “it was Jobe who invented it, performed it, refined it and taught it to hundreds of training orthopedic surgeons.” Needless to say, Jobe’s contributions to the game will continue to have impact for generations to come, and MLBTR joins the rest of the baseball world in saluting him in passing. If you’re interested in learning more about his remarkable life, see this excellent bio piece from MLB.com’s Doug Miller. More from the NL West: Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin suffered an arm issue of his own, rupturing his left biceps tendon, but will not need surgery at this point, MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports. GM Josh Byrnes said he feared the worst — a season-ending injury — but that after consulting the medical staff ”the strong consensus was no surgery.” Though a timeline has not yet been set, Maybin could return within four to six weeks. San Diego should have plenty of depth to cover in Maybin’s absence, though the club will certainly hope for a positive resolution of this latest setback for the 26-year-old, who signed a five-year, $25MM deal before the 2012 season. Meanwhile, the Padres have let third baseman Chase Headley know that they fully intend to make him a qualifying offer at the end of the year, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com via Twitter. While this does not come as a surprise, it indicates that San Diego — like the Indians with Justin Masterson — views the QO as a card to be played in extension talks.
As has been previously discussed on MLBTR, the MLB collective bargaining agreement contains a provision that allows certain free agents who are signed to minor league contracts to receive a $100K retention bonus if they do not receive a binding promise to be added to the team’s 25-man roster (or the Major League disabled list) five days prior to the season. If the team decides to pay the retention bonus, the player also receives a June 1st opt-out clause. Contracts can permissibly include terms that are more favorable to the player, such as greater retention bonuses and/or earlier opt-out clauses. For the current season, MLBTR’s TIm Dierkes tweets, decisions must be made by March 17th for the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, and by March 25th for the rest of the league. Last year, numerous XX(B) free agents received either a roster guarantee or a bonus. Two categories of free agents are eligible for this distinction: (1) those who have at least six years of Major League service time and had a Major League contract expire at the end of the previous season; and (2) those coming off of MLB deals that were signed when they were at least 23 years of age and had seen action in five seasons in one of the major international leagues. In either case, the player must sign his minor league deal ten or more days prior to Opening Day to qualify. Here is a list of this year’s crop of Article XX(B) free agents, as of today
Francisco Lindor is at his first Spring Training with the Indians, and the switch-hitting shortstop is likely headed to Double-A Akron or Triple-A Columbus to begin the season, but he knows this month is a chance to not only learn from the big league players and coaches, but to impress anyone watching.
The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options. That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors, so the team would be at risk of losing them in attempting to do so. I’ve included players on multiyear deals. This list was compiled through MLBTR’s sources. Next, we’ll take a look at the AL Central. Indians: Carlos Carrasco, Josh Outman Both Carrasco and Outman will be on the Indians’ pitching staff, noted Tony Lastoria of FOX Sports Ohio on Monday. Carrasco is battling a few others for the fifth starter job, but if he doesn’t earn it he’ll go to the pen
In his latest piece for FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal wonders how the Indians could possibly say no to Justin Masterson’s proposed extension. Rosenthal’s sources tell him Masterson is seeking a three-year extension on top of his current deal at roughly market value in terms of average annual salary (Rosenthal speculates $17-18MM). Few Cleveland stars in any sport express a willingness to take a discount to stay, adds Rosenthal, and it would send a poor message to fans and the Indians’ players to make the decision not to pay Masterson. Here are some more highlights from a jam-packed Rosenthal column… Outfielder Billy Burns might be the most intriguing player in Athletics camp, writes Rosenthal. Acquired from the Nationals in exchange for Jerry Blevins, Burns was attractive to the A’s because he was one of just three players in all of minor league baseball with more than 50 stolen bases and an OBP north of .400 last season. Burns has swiped seven bags in eight Spring Training games thus far, and scouts have raved about his instincts as a leadoff man, says Rosenthal. Mike Olt has looked good thus far in camp with the Cubs, and the team’s preference is for him to win the third base job out of Spring Training rather than head back to Triple-A