Notes on Justin Upton and Miguel Gonzalez

If Justin Upton is willing to accept a one-year deal and re-enter the free agent market next winter, it’s certainly news to his representative.

Agent Larry Reynolds told MLB Network’s Jon Heyman that he continues to seek a multi-year deal for Upton, one of the few high-profile outfielders who remains unemployed.

“We are not considering shorter-term deals at this time,” Reynolds said. “The goal has been and will continue to be a long-term contract for Justin Upton.”

It makes sense, of course. Why panic and pull a Nelson Cruz in the second week of January? Those deals usually are done closer to spring training or after pitchers and catchers have reported.

Chris Davis back white.jpgUpton and Yoenis Cespedes want more than the $72 million that Alex Gordon accepted to stay in Kansas City. Chris Davis wants more than the $150 million offered by the Orioles. That’s the best I can do regarding an update.

I was told yesterday that fans spotted Upton in Baltimore with “a couple of suits,” which I’m assuming were being worn by his companions. I checked with numerous people in the organization, including a few suits who I assumed would know, and they had no idea whether Upton was in town. If so, it was news to them.

More good times on the beat.

In the meantime, I’m also assuming that we’ve run out of Joey Terdoslavich puns, though it’s only Day 2.

(I wasn’t immune, of course, with my suggestion that the catcher put down two fingers each time Terdoslavich comes to the plate. My apologies. Must be the stress.)

The Orioles view Terdoslavich as a possible bench player. They’re not projecting him as a starter. He can be optioned or removed from the 40-man roster. But if you want to print those World Series tickets, it’s your time and money.

Here are some leftovers from Miguel Gonzalez’s interview Thursday night on the “Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan:

On whether his strained groin impacted his pitching the rest of the season: “I don’t think that was a problem. I was ready to go once I was cleared. I understand my body more than anyone and I felt pretty good coming in. Obviously, I had some hiccups during the last couple months of the season, but that’s part of the game. Sometimes, we don’t understand that and we tend to struggle with it mentally, but it’s part of the game.”

On the importance of making a Sept. 30 start after recovering from shoulder tendinitis: “It’s always important to know that you’re feeling healthy and you can compete again and everything’s fine. We were able to get that last start and mentally it was definitely a plus, especially for me and the organization.”

On whether the starters can have bounce-back years and get back into the playoffs: “That’s our goal. We always want to make it back and be healthy and hopefully don’t have any issues during the season, which is the most important thing. Especially us as starters, we want to be consistent as much as possible.”

On whether pitching 200 innings remains his goal: “We all know it’s not easy to get 200 innings in the big leagues. (Chris) Tillman is really the only starter we have ... Ubaldo (Jimenez) has done it before, too. We understand it’s not easy to get 200 innings, but if we can get close to that, that would be great.”

On the starters watching their teammates’ bullpen sessions: “I think it’s made a difference on most of the guys. They like it. Tillman likes it, (Wei-Yin) Chen liked it. We all learn from each other and make each other stronger. I think if there’s something wrong, we’ll know right away and try to fix it as quick as possible, and I think that’s what made the difference the last couple years.”

Miguel Gonzalez throwing black.jpgOn whether a starter may notice a glitch in a teammate’s delivery and tell pitching coach Dave Wallace: “We picked up a couple things that we’ve seen from guys that it’s not something they do on a normal basis when they’re on the mound. Tillman’s the one who always goes up to Dave Wallace and tells him what’s going on and usually we talk about it. He’s the one who’s in charge and I let him do it because he’s been in the organization longer and he knows how to express a little better than I do.”

On whether Kevin Gausman is ready to take the next step: “I think he has the ability to stay a starter and be really consistent throughout his whole career. I see him as a starter more than I do a reliever. He’s learned a lot the last couple years, asking questions and doing what he’s supposed to do on the mound. And I like the fact that he’s matured a lot and he’s motivated to do better things in his life.”

More on Gausman: “He’s learned a lot and he understands his body more than anyone and he’s progressed a lot the last couple of years. He’s a smart kid. He learns from everyone else, and to be able to control that third pitch, he’s going to be all right. He’s come a long way and I’m really excited to watch him pitch this year.”

On his impressions of Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright: “Tyler Wilson, I see him more as me because he’s more compact, nice and easy delivery, and he’s definitely a smart kid. He knows what he’s doing when he’s pitching out there. He’s learned a lot. And I know coming from college and doing what he did in college, he’s definitely progressed a lot. And Mike Wright, he has a lot of room to go and he has a power fastball that we all know. He’s capable of pitching in the big leagues and I’m hoping to see either one make that fifth start.”

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