October 2007

Tigers Rumors: Rogers, Jones, Jenkins

Lynn Henning of the Detroit News has some Tigers tidbits today.

  • The Tigers want to bring Kenny Rogers back, who has said Detroit is the only place he’ll play if he doesn’t retire. 
  • The team will finally go with Joel Zumaya in the closer role next year, but they’d like Todd Jones around as a backup.  Jones’ first pick is Atlanta but it’s not known if they’re interested.  The mustachioed closer earned $5MM this year.
  • Henning indicates that the acquisition of Edgar Renteria will allow the Tigers to be content with a Marcus Thames/Timo Perez/Ryan Raburn combo in left field, instead of signing Geoff Jenkins.  Maybe the Tigers don’t want to appear too desperate for Jenkins, or maybe they’re serious.

Odds and Ends: Cook, Benoit, Griffey, Riske

Some random tidbits that didn’t get their own posts today…

Elias Rankings Released

This is like Christmas for baseball nerds like me.  The Elias rankings are out – here’s the AL and here’s the NL.

I’ve updated the 2008 MLB Free Agents post to reflect those who are off the market and also added Types.  And here’s a look at which first round picks are protected and which aren’t.

Random thoughts:

  • The Yankees could get nice consolation prizes in the form of first-round picks if they lose Jorge Posada or Mariano Rivera.  For example if the Mets sign Posada the Yankees get their #22 overall pick.  If the Phils sign Rivera the Yanks get their #24 overall pick.
  • Would the Red Sox offer arbitration to Curt Schilling, even if they’re lukewarm about keeping him?  He’s a Type A.
  • If the Mets want to go with the freshly signed Easley at 2B, they can net a pick for Luis Castillo because he’s a Type B and will get a multiyear deal.
  • I believe Tadahito Iguchi cannot be offered arbitration, so his Type A status doesn’t mean much.
  • The Cards may snag a pick by offering arbitration to David Eckstein, if they don’t want to sign him for three years.  He’s a Type B.
  • It would be odd if Mike Lowell and Alex Rodriguez swapped teams, as the Red Sox would nab their rival’s #28 pick and the Yanks would get Boston’s #30. 
  • The Yankees should root for the Mets to sign A-Rod.  That way they get the #22 pick next year and the best player moves out of the league. 
  • Should the Giants offer arbitration to Barry Bonds?  He’s a Type A but they could be stuck with him.
  • The Twins might get a first round pick for Torii Hunter.  The Phils could get one for Aaron Rowand. Both are Type A.
  • The Braves got screwed – Andruw Jones‘ awful season knocked him down to a Type B.
  • The Brewers could win big with two first-round picks and two supplemental picks if they let Francisco Cordero and Scott Linebrink walk and they sign with the right teams.
  • The "bigger" names among starters – Kyle Lohse, Carlos Silva – net no draft picks for the Phils or Twins.  It had been previously suggested that Silva was Type B.

Reds Pick Up Dunn’s $13MM Option

ESPN reports the Reds have exercised Adam Dunn‘s $13MM club option.  This is expected and activates a full no-trade clause for Dunn through June 15th.  As Tim noted here, he’ll then have the option to choose 10 clubs to which he can be traded.

MLBTR readers were more or less unanimously in favor of Dunn’s return.  40 homers at $13MM seems a no-brainer to me.  He’s a patient hitter and the Reds’ most potent bat.  At that price, if the Reds do intend to deal him they will find ample value.  But don’t forget that Reds CEO Bob Castellini told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the possibility for an extension exists.

The Reds were feeling decisive today and also brought back Scott Hatteberg ($1.84 million option) and Javier Valentin ($1.35 million option) while declining Eddie Guardado‘s option.  Both options exercised make sense for the Reds at those bargain basement prices.

Padres Rumors: Maddux, Cabrera, Barrett, Bradley

As usual, Tom Krasovic has the scoop with the Padres.

  • The Padres expect Greg Maddux back, at a salary near the $10MM he earned in ’07.  One way it could happen – Mad Dog declines his $8.75MM player option and the Padres exercise their $11MM club option.  Otherwise they’ll just tear it up and figure something out.
  • The Padres will pass on available third basemen Alex Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera.  It sounds like a Padres team source is indicating the Marlins plan to shop Cabrera aggressively.  As if this offseason wasn’t going to be crazy enough, here’s another marquee player on the market.  The Padres have some depth at third base, so they’ll sit out.
  • Apparently the Elias rankings have leaked out somewhere, though I haven’t seen the list yet.  Michael Barrett and Milton Bradley both earned Type A designation, though it won’t matter if the Padres don’t offer arbitration to either.  With either player there’s a decent chance he would accept the offer.  Barrett maybe not, as he might be able to find a two-year deal elsewhere.  Still, it’d be risky.  Unfortunately Mike Cameron and Doug Brocail got the Type B designation (not that that makes sense).  Cameron will probably get offered arbitration; it would’ve been nice to get the Braves’ 18th overall pick.

Mets Exercise Alou’s Option, Re-sign Easley

According to RotoWorld, the Mets have exercised Moises Alou‘s $7.5MM option for 2008.  With a $1MM buyout, this was effectively a $6.5MM decision.  Even with time lost to injury Alou should be worth 3-4 wins, so the price is right. 

They also re-upped Damion Easley, not sure the amount quite yet.  Maybe $1.5MM or so.  He had a nice 76 games this year and it wouldn’t be the end of the world to give him the regular 2B job. 

Now the Mets can move onto more important issues, like filling second base and catcher and driving up the price for A-Rod. 

Kerry Wood May Be A Hot Commodity

I’ve followed Kerry Wood throughout his career, and I’ve always been a fan.  He seems to get a special admiration from Cubs fans despite his injury-plagued career.  Mark Prior doesn’t get the same reception.

The Cubs are at a crossroads with both of their former aces.  Wood made his "miracle" return to a big league mound on August 5th as a reliever, and looked sharp for the most part.  Now there are rumblings that he might want to try starting again.  I would be truly surprised if he made 25 starts, but I’m rooting for him.

Wood is going to be tantalizing to teams in the same way A.J. Burnett was.  That could mean maybe $12-14MM guaranteed over two years plus incentives.  I could really see such a contract in this market.  In the above-linked article, Paul Sullivan cites a Joe Girardi connection as a reason Wood could sign with the Yankees.  He also names other teams that "figure to be interested": both Texas teams, the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Reds.  Interest could be widespread as teams might see Wood as a possible bargain with swingman potential.  However I can’t see Wood making switching between starting and relieving midseason without health issues.   

Cards Hire Mozeliak As GM

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, negotiations with Chris Antonelli broke down and the Cards have instead hired John Mozeliak as their GM.  He gets a three-year deal.  Mozeliak has experience and familiarity with the organization.  He’s said to have a solid relationship with Jeff Luhnow.  Luhnow’s presence may have been a factor driving Walt Jocketty and Antonelli away from the job.

Mozeliak had already gotten down to business as interim GM, re-signing Joel Pineiro and Russ Springer while exercising Jason Isringhausen‘s option.  Perhaps his next move will be to have a chat with Curt Schilling.

Rosenthal’s Latest: A-Rod, Glaus, Cordero

Ken Rosenthal’s work is a must for any rumor junkie.  Here are some highlights from his latest column.

  • Rosenthal gives his take on possible A-Rod destinations, discussing the Mets, Tigers, and Dodgers in depth.  He tosses out an idea I hadn’t seen before – moving David Wright to left field and declining Moises Alou‘s option.  MetsBlog discusses Scott Boras’ sales pitch to the Mets. 
  • The Cards want to hire Chris Antonetti, but the Indians don’t want to let him go.  Rosenthal says they may have to pay him GM money and/or promise him the post in the future.
  • Rosenthal has a new I hadn’t mentioned for the Yankees’ third base vacancy, though I believe several commenters did.  That name is Troy Glaus, about whom the Yanks inquired last summer.  There are complications aplenty with Glaus: foot problems, $12.75MM owed to him in ’08 and an $11.25MM player option for ’09, a full no-trade clause, and a steroid connection.  Sounds like Jason Giambi Part II.
  • Francisco Cordero would be priced out of the Brewers’ range if he demands a four or five year deal worth $9-11MM annually.  I assume he will, though the Brewers could afford it.

Mets Targeting Jorge Posada

We’ve seen the connection made many times already, but now consider the interest official.  The Mets are targeting Jorge Posada.  The Yankees are expected to offer a three-year, $40MM type deal to him soon.  That’s all well and good but I can see him getting four years and $56MM given the season he had.  Perhaps the Yanks will extend themselves to that range though.

The Mets are playing the field, as they’ve given Paul Lo Duca‘s agent an impression that they’ll be making an offer.  I like the idea of the Mets overpaying for Posada, as catcher is a clear position they can upgrade via free agency.