New Milford made steps towards completing the 2017 roster by announcing some contracts, promotions and cuts.
The biggest announcement were the contracts given out. The headliner was Mookie Betts getting a 10 year Franchise tag, which will keep him in New Milford until he is 33 years old. “We feel comfortable doing this with a speed guy. He is a special player. We thought about not franchising him, but the 16M in savings over the life of the contract told us otherwise. He is face of our franchise for the next decade.”
New Milford also handed out a pair of 4 year contracts to C James McCann and OF David Peralta. “Again, no brainers to us.”
OF Michael Saunders got a 3 year contract, with P Shane Greene getting a 2 year deal. RP Jerry Blevins, CF Michael Bourne, IF Dan Descalso, CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RP Blake Treinen, and OF Richie Weeks got one year deals.
Five members of the 2016 farm were promoted to the big club. OF Hyun Soo Kim, RP’s Matt Bowman, Buddy Boshers, Hunter Cervenka, and Chris Devenski. “Our farm was so good last year, even guys we cut (Broxton and Sardinas) made teams, just not ours,” said an embarrassed Peburn.
Matt Carpenter, Jason Castro, Troy Tulowitzki, Derek Dietrich and Greg Garcia were kept on the hitting side. The rotation of Kershaw, Tanaka, Quintana and Moore was untouched.
Matt Albers, Abraham Almonte, CJ Hinojosa, Jed Lowrie, Clint Robinson, Felipe Rivero, Charlie Furbush, Connor Gillepsie, Jake’s Marisnick and McGee, Xavier Scruggs, Richie Shaffer, were all handed pick slips as well as long time Blazer Brett Anderson. “Brett was great for us but justifying that contract was just not feasible, so we cut him without penalty. We wish him the best,” said Peburn.
The Blazers now have just under 30 million dollars to fill 10 roster spots. With only one need, the Blazers have some flexibility. “We only really need one hitter then we can just hunt for upgrades. With Carpenter’s positional flexibility, we don’t have to overpay for a position and can just let the auction come to us,” smiled Peburn.
With a auction loaded with talent, there is lots of buzz about the possibilities. The most frequent scenario has long time Blazers Robinson Cano re signing with the Blazers. “We have signed him to two contracts in the past, so it seems logical,” explains Peburn, “but we’ll just see where this goes.” “Other then the SS’s in the auction, we can really sign any IF, so we will look for a good value. We can also upgrade in the OF, SP or RP if anything falls. We also have some money earmarked for the draft for a few players we have our eye on.”
The farm is barren with all the promotions leaving only stud pitchers Kopech, Anraku and Medeiros, with ML ready OF’s Jones and Eibner. “It is tough restocking the farm every year picking so low, but again, our under rated GM abilities will do the job filling the pond as we always do. We’ve done our homework and can’t wait to grab 10 guys who interest us in the farm draft.”