Ray’s Ramblings: Chapman Suspended, Cole/Perez Deals
Chapman has been suspended. Cole can’t get a raise while Salvador had no issue getting the Royals to pony up more. Meanwhile, names like Capps, Pence and Pujols are in the news due to injury concerns.
Aroldis Chapman will not face any jail time for his actions off the field. However, he will be punished on it. The Commissioner’s Office handed down word Tuesday that Chapman would be suspended for 30 days under the domestic violence policy of Major League Baseball. Chapman will lose $1.7 million in salary and be ineligible to pitch for his new club, the Yankees, until May 9th against the Royals. Chapman, contrary to what he said previously, has suggested he will accept the suspension and not appeal. Side note – Chapman is not a good person.
The Yankees will be able to turn to Dellin Betances, a righty, and Andrew Miller, a lefty, in April. One would have to think that they will both get work in the 9th inning – last season Miller posted 36 saves and Betances nine – with Miller almost certainly getting the first call. Both men are worth drafting in mixed leagues even if they only get a handful of saves over the course of the season because of their dominating work, but with this news both guys should be moved up the rankings a bit with Miller moving further upward based upon last year’s success.
Follow this link to check out the entire Player Profile Series.
Gerrit Cole will make $541,000 this season with the Pirates. Zack Wheeler, who didn’t throw a pitch last season, will make $546,250 this season with the Mets. Doesn’t make much sense now does it? In fact, the Pirates first offer to Cole was for $538,000 which is less than the $541,000 he made last year. Think about it. The Pirates offered Cole nothing and even threatened to cut his salary. They don’t have to him a rase, they could have lowered his salary, but at the same time how smart was this for the Pirates to do? “I would think Bob Nutting would want to reward a guy for a special performance,” agent Scott Boras said. “Other teams have that system. If Gerrit was with the Mets, he'd get well over $650,000. If he was with the Marlins, he'd get more (than the Pirates will pay).” Cole, who was 4th in the NL Cy Young voting last year had this to say. “When you perform at a level that draws the praise of management, teammates, coaches and fans, you expect appropriate compensation,” Cole said. “I understand the business of this game, but it is hard to accept that a year of performance success does not warrant an increase in pay.” Well said Mr. Cole.
In direct opposition to how the Pirates are treating Cole…
THE PEREZ CONTRACT
Salvador Perez is one of the most durable and effective catchers in baseball. He was being paid like a pauper though having agreed to a contract years ago (he had agreed to a $7 million, five year deal back in 2012). Just 25 years old and the reigning MVP of the World Series, Perez inked an extension worth $52.5 million over five seasons so he will remain under contract through the 2021 season. The details: Perez will get $3 million in 2017, $7.5 million in '18, $10 million in '19, $13 million in '20 and $13 million in '21. "We went into Salvador’s previous deal with expectations that obviously he was going to be a terrific player," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "We've always believed in him, as a talent, as a person, as a teammate. And he's outperformed that contract. He [was an] underpaid player in the game.” Perez has averaged 17 homers with 73 RBI the past three years though his batting average has dropped to a mere .260 in both of the last two seasons. He’s still a top-5 option at catcher given his large workloads (526 plate appearances or more than last three seasons) and run production.
Carter Capps, in a battle with A.J. Ramos to work the 9th inning for the Marlins, might be in trouble. Capps has been sent to have an MRI on his elbow, and this isn’t the first time his elbow has been a concern. Capps, who will be seeing another doctor for a second opinion, missed the final two months of last season with a right elbow sprain. A second opinion… that can’t be a good thing now can it?
Hunter Pence had an MRI on his Achilles tendon. The results of the test show merely inflammation. He is expected to miss a week of action. Should be fine for the start of the season and is a strong bounce back candidate after appeared in just 52 games last season.
Albert Pujols had foot surgery this offseason. There was debate about whether or not Pujols would be available on Opening Day. Per usual, Pujols seems likely to once again beat injury estimates and return to the field sooner than expected. He’s set to run the bases Tuesday and to start doing some defensive work as well. Sounds like he might just be good to go by Opening Day after all.
Stephen Vogt had a bone spur removed from his elbow in late January. The Athletics say he will be good to go for game #1 and he took the next step to make that happen Tuesday with some batting practice, the first time he’s faced live pitching since the surgery. Vogt impressed last season with a .261-18-71-58 line over 511 plate appearances but he did struggle mightily in the second half (.217/.285/.349).
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday through Friday, 7 PM EDT and Friday on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 6 PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work at Fantasy Alarm and on Twitter (@baseballguys).