|Hot Stove: Rays, David Price avoid arbitration with 1-year deal||01.02.13 at 9:40 am ET|
According to multiple reports, the Rays and left-hander David Price — the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner — avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the deal will pay Price $10.1 million in 2013. Price, who is arbitration eligible for the second time but remains three years from free agency, more than doubled his 2012 salary of $4.35 million. The 27-year-old went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 211 innings, leading the American League in wins and ERA.
|Hot Stove: LHP Francisco Liriano reportedly agrees with Pirates||12.21.12 at 1:20 pm ET|
Liriano spent 5½ seasons with the Twins before being traded to the White Sox in late July. The 29-year-old Dominican compiled a 6-12 record with a 5.34 ERA for the year. In his six-year career he’s 53-54 with a 4.40 ERA. His career highlight is a 1-0 no-hitter he pitched against the White Sox on May 3, 2011.
Veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski reportedly has a one-year deal with the Rangers, pending a physical. Pierzynski, who turns 36 on Dec. 30, hit .278/.326/.501 with 27 home runs and 77 RBIs in 135 games last season.
In 15 big league seasons with the Twins (1998-2003), Giants (2004) and White Sox (2005-12), Pierzynski has hit .284/.324/.429 with 155 home runs and 730 RBIs. He’s a two-time All-Star (2002, ’06) and he won a Silver Slugger in 2012.
|Hot Stove: RHP Edwin Jackson reportedly headed to Cubs||at 9:14 am ET|
Jackson, 29, went 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA for the Nationals last season. he is 70-71 with a 4.40 ERA in his career.
|Hot Stove: R.A. Dickey reportedly finalizes extension with Blue Jays||12.17.12 at 12:49 pm ET|
The Blue Jays and pitcher R.A. Dickey agreed on a two-year, $25 million extension, according to multiple reports, allowing completion of a trade that will send the 2012 National League Cy Young winner from the Mets to Toronto.
The Mets will receive highly regarded catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud., a 23-year-old who hit .333 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs at Triple-A Las Vegas before tearing a knee ligament in June, requiring season-ending surgery.
New York also reportedly will receiver Single-A right-hander Noah Syndergaard and major league catcher John Buck, while sending catcher Josh Thole to Toronto.
Dickey, 38, went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA this past season. The knuckleballer is signed for $5.25 million in 2013 but could not agree on an extension with the Mets, leading to the trade.
|Hot Stove: Agent confirms Anibal Sanchez will return to Tigers for 5 years, $80M||12.14.12 at 10:56 am ET|
Right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez reached agreement to return to the Tigers on a five-year, $80 million contract, his agent told ESPN on Friday morning. Agent Gene Mato confirmed that the free agent will stay in Detroit, following reports a day earlier that Sanchez had a deal with the Cubs for six years and $147 million.
Sanchez, a former Red Sox minor leaguer who was traded by Boston to the Marlins in 2005 along with Hanley Ramirez for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, was shipped from Miami to Detroit shortly before the trade deadline this past July.
In Detroit, Sanchez went 4-6 with a 3.74 ERA and 57 strikeouts against 15 walks in 74 2/3 innings. In seven major league seasons, Sanchez has a 48-51 record with a 3.74 ERA and 733 strikeouts vs. 320 walks in 869 innings.
|The age and risk of the Josh Hamilton class, ages 32-36||12.13.12 at 4:27 pm ET|
A few days ago, we offered this column on Josh Hamilton and the likelihood of diminishing returns in the fourth year of a contract. In light of the fact that the 31-year-old (who will turn 32 early next season) signed a five-year, $125 million deal with the Angels, it seemed appropriate to update the numbers to examine the standard performance of comparable hitters as 36-year-olds (Hamilton’s playing age in the fifth year of a deal), particularly given that, as Rob Bradford reported, the Sox were only interested in Hamilton on a deal of three or fewer years.
Hamilton is the 60th player since 1901 with an OPS+ (meaning OPS compared to league average but adjusted for park, with 100 representing 100 percent of league average, and 130 representing a player who is 30 percent better than average) of between 130 and 140 during his age 27-31 seasons and at least 100 homers during that time. As a group, his predecessors have seen their OPS+ drop from an average of 135 to 122 between ages 32-34 to 111 at age 35 before bumping back up to 114 at age 36.
However, the availability of those players into their mid-30s has seen considerable declines. While there were 60 players in the initial “Hamilton class” between ages 27-31, there were just 38 players who remained active at age 36. Meanwhile, of those who did play at age 36, those 38 players averaged 391 plate appearances, broken down as follows:
500-plus plate appearances: 12
400-499 plate appearances: 9
300-399 plate appearances: 4
200-299 plate appearances: 7
100-199 plate appearances: 3
1-99 plate appearances: 3
So, of the 60 original members of the Hamilton group, and excluding the six who remain active but younger than 36, just 38.9 percent have been healthy and productive enough to claim as many as 400 plate appearances at age 36. Players who are elite in their primes tend to remain productive (albeit considerably less so, and with far less power) as they age into their mid-30s, but their ability to stay on the field at age 35 and 36 tends to drop precipitously, to the point of creating the possibility of a very expensive contract albatross.
Here’s the breakdown of hitters in the Hamilton class:
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