Posts Tagged ‘Free Agency’

Agent Scott Boras has set an asking price of $210 million over a seven-year deal for outfielder J.D. Martinez, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports.

Teams were already under the impression that Boras would seek top dollar for Martinez – one of, if not the most coveted asset on the open market.

The 30-year-old Martinez is coming off an incredible season split between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks in which he hit .303/.376/.690 for a remarkable 1.066 OPS across 119 games.

Boras will be involved in some of this offseason’s most expensive signings, as he also represents free agents Eric Hosmer, Jake Arrieta, and Mike Moustakas.

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The Toronto Blue Jays expect to be players in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes once he’s posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters.

General manager Ross Atkins said the team will be “extremely prepared” to make a pitch when the time comes, adding he thinks Toronto is a “perfect fit” for the pitcher-outfielder hybrid, according to Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae.

The 23-year-old Ohtani is expected to be highly coveted for his ability to crush home runs while also shutting down opponents from his perch on the mound. Ohtani missed action throughout 2017, playing in only 65 games as a hitter, and tossing only 25 1/3 innings.

In 2016, he slashed .322/.416/.588 with 22 home runs, 18 doubles, and 67 RBIs.

The Blue Jays will have to get creative with their international bonus pool money if they intend to take a run at bringing Ohtani north. They only have $50,000 available, compared to $3.535 million for the Texas Rangers, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have picked up the $14.5-million team option on star outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

After a down year in 2016 led to rampant trade rumors surrounding the former Gold Glove winner, the 31-year-old McCutchen bounced back, posting a 122 wRC+ over 156 games.

Following the 2018 season, McCutchen will be eligible for free agency.

McCutchen has finished in the top five of National League MVP voting in four of his nine seasons, including winning the award in 2013.

Subsequently, the Pirates announced they had declined the 2018 options on catcher Chris Stewart and pitcher Wade LeBlanc. Stewart was due $1.5 million next year, but the Pirates will incur a $250,000 buyout instead, while LeBlanc was due $1.25 million and will cost $50,000 to buy out.

Say what you will about Milwaukee, but Giannis Antetokounmpo loves it.

The Bucks phenom has rapidly developed into a superstar, and this young season has made a better case than anyone that he’s the league MVP.

Antetokounmpo, 22, believes his adopted city suits his personality, and is probably conducive to his on-court success.

“I’m a low-profile guy,” he told The New York Times’ Marc Stein. “I don’t like all these flashy cities like L.A. or Miami. I don’t know if I could be the same player if I played in those cities.”

That figures to be music to the ears of Bucks nation, as Milwaukee is one of the NBA’s smaller markets and, as such, tends to have a tougher time luring and keeping stars. There was offseason speculation that teams were plotting to poach Antetokounmpo, who responded with this tweet:

The Greek Freak has already shown loyalty to the club that drafted him 15th overall in 2013, giving the Bucks a discount on a four-year, $100-million contract extension last year to keep him in Wisconsin through 2021.

He said he “can take this organization to the next level and bring that championship.” While Milwaukee isn’t a title contender given its roster holes – including a lack of shooting and speed – Antetokounmpo is doing his part, and more.

Following a breakout campaign that saw him earn his first All-Star, All-NBA, and All-Defensive nods, the versatile 7-footer is putting up a league-leading 31.3 points on 60 percent shooting to go along with 10.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game for the 4-4 Bucks.

Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron filed a grievance against the team that will determine whether he will be a restricted or unrestricted free agent after this season, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The grievance is over the Bengals placing McCarron on the non-football injury list at the start of training camp in his rookie year in 2014, even though he had passed his post-draft physical.

McCarron believes he was healthy enough to come off the NFI list during training camp, allowing the year to count toward free agency. He wasn’t added to the active roster until Dec. 9, preventing the season from counting toward free-agent status, as he wasn’t considered eligible to play in the minimum of six regular-season games, as mandated in the collective bargaining agreement.

A ruling from an arbitrator expected sometime this winter would determine McCarron’s status at the end of the league year.

Should McCarron be deemed a restricted free agent, the Bengals are likely to place a first-round tender on him, likely limiting the interest of teams willing to sign him.

If McCarron is granted the grievance and allowed to enter unrestricted free agency, he’d be in line for a considerable pay day in the free-agent quarterback class. He could also force the Bengals to choose between himself and incumbent starter Andy Dalton, who has concluded the guaranteed money portion of his contract.

Lorenzo Cain is prepared to part with the city he’s called home since 2011, if that’s what it comes to.

Speaking with MLB Network Radio on Tuesday, Cain admitted that while he would relish a return to the Kansas City Royals when he becomes a free agent this offseason, he’s amenable to the prospect of starting fresh elsewhere, too.

“It’s fun and exciting, not knowing where you’re going to go or where you’re going to be. It’s a process that I’m new to, but I’m just trying to go with the flow,” Cain said. “Everyone in Kansas City knows that I love playing there and I would love to be back.

“But, if they decide not to bring me back, I’m open for business and I’ll be ready to go for whoever is ready for me.”

Cain likely won’t be short of interested suitors. The 31-year-old will join a limited free-agent class of outfielders that’s headlined by Arizona Diamondbacks slugger J.D. Martinez and Cleveland Indians right fielder Jay Bruce, though the market could get interesting if others like Andrew McCutchen, Justin Upton, and Michael Brantley exercise their opt-out clauses.

After a debut 2010 campaign with the Milwaukee Brewers saw him traded to Kansas City the following winter, Cain has featured for the Royals over the past seven seasons and helped the club win the 2015 World Series.

He’s coming off one of his best seasons with Kansas City, slashing .300/.363/.440 with 15 home runs and stealing 26 bases across 155 games in 2017.

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Oklahoma City is one of the smallest cities in America to boast a professional sports team, but it’s clear the Thunder‘s bankroll is anything but tiny. Even after reportedly agreeing to a five-year extension that brings Russell Westbrook‘s outlook to an NBA-record $233 million over the next six seasons, the franchise may have its sights set on new financial stratospheres.

The Thunder’s ownership group is reportedly committed to taking on a massive luxury-tax bill next season, according to former NBA general manager and current ESPN analyst Bobby Marks.

That suggests the Thunder don’t envision recent offseason additions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony as rental players and will attempt to retain their new core past 2017-18. George and Anthony each have player options for the 2018-19 season reportedly valued at $20.7 million and $27.9 million, respectively.

George will almost certainly decline his option, entering unrestricted free agency. The Thunder hold his Bird Rights, allowing them to go over the salary cap to re-sign him, and if he makes an All-NBA Team, he’ll be eligible for the Designated Veteran Player Extension – what Westbrook reportedly agreed to Friday.

Anthony may very well decide to execute his player option, as he’ll be 34 years old next summer and, depending on how this year with the Thunder goes, may not be able to attract a significantly better deal on the open market.

The 2018-19 luxury tax threshold is projected to be $123 million, based on the league reportedly informing teams to budget for a $101-million salary cap. Teams whose salaries exceed the tax limit pay additional fees based on how much they overspend. Unless the Thunder dump about $13 million in salary before the end of this season, they’ll have to pay the even more exorbitant repeater tax, after being a tax-paying franchise in three of the past four seasons.

For instance, the Thunder would pay an additional $2.50 per dollar every dollar over the tax limit, up to $5 million; the taxes become increasingly punitive for each tax bracket, eventually reaching $4.25 per dollar for teams that spend greater than $20 million over the tax limit. If the Thunder entered 2018-19 with a $143-million team salary, they would pay approximately $65 million in luxury taxes.