December 2007

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Odds and Ends: Cabrera, Blanton, Haren, Sabathia

Let's round 'em up.

  • Indians GM Mark Shapiro will soon get a contract extension offer for C.C. Sabathia approved by ownership.  Then he'll put that in front of Sabathia's agent, with an eye on resolving the situation one way or another before Spring Training.  Shapiro's model will not be Johan Santana's upcoming deal but rather Jake Peavy's three-year, $50MMish extension.
  • White Sox outfielders Ryan Sweeney and Brian Anderson might be on the fringe.  The Marlins, if I recall correctly, once had interest in Anderson as a center field option.
  • Miguel Cabrera is out to prove he's a good athlete and can stay at third base - he's beginning a rigorous workout program like nothing he's ever done before.
  • The D'Backs could pursue Joe Blanton or Dan Haren, while the Yankees may turn to Haren if they fail to acquire Johan.
  • The Yankees are receiving a lot of interest in The Farnz, according to Brian Cashman.

Mets Close On Erik Bedard?

There's some crazy stuff floating around Mets-ville, let's take a look. As usual MetsBlog is on top of it.

  • Mets beat reporter Sweeny Murti said on WFAN that the Mets might be close on Erik Bedard.  This would be very surprising, because even the Mets' best package could be challenged by a number of teams (unless Jose Reyes is the centerpiece).  Plus, why wouldn't the Orioles wait for Johan Santana to be moved first?
  • Matthew Cerrone also heard some craziness involving a three-way deal with Bedard and Miguel Tejada, but there doesn't seem to be anything to it.

Brewers Rumors: Crede, Riske, Gagne, Dotel's Adam McCalvy recently filed a report with a few new Brewers tidbits.  Nothing new on the Scott Rolen front, but feel free to jump over to that rumor to discuss it.  On to McCalvy's article:

  • The Brewers briefly discussed Joe Crede at last month's GM Meetings.  The Brewers and White Sox have been on friendly terms in the past; maybe they can work something out.  There hasn't been much buzz about Crede lately, but the Carlos Quentin acquisition seems to punch his ticket out of town.
  • The Brewers passed on an effective one-year, $8.5MM contract for Geoff Jenkins for '08.  The Brewers prefer to replace him with a lefty hitter with a solid OBP, but don't find the free agent options to be superior.  A Gabe Gross/Tony Gwynn Jr. combo may be sufficient.
  • The David Riske signing may be announced Tuesday, but the Brewers need to clear up a 40-man roster spot first.  My guess is that Melvin will dispense of Kevin Mench one way or another.
  • The Brewers have a passing interest in Eric Gagne and Octavio Dotel, but probably won't end up with either due to injury concerns.  Melvin has not been in touch with their agents.

Crasnick's Latest: Encarnacion, Hamilton, Jenkins

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has been working hard all day to get us some good rumors.  Here's the latest.

  • The Reds want to acquire a starter, but they spent all their money on Francisco Cordero.  The plan is to trade a young player for a cheap starter.  Joey Votto and especially Jay Bruce would be near impossible to acquire.  However the Reds will listen on Josh Hamilton and Edwin Encarnacion.  They never seemed to like Encarnacion.  Crasnick thinks the Cubs could work for Hamilton but they'd need to pony up more than Sean Marshall.  Would Rich Hill be too much?  It's been said in the past that the Rangers inquired on Hamilton.  The Giants, meanwhile, would love to pry Encarnacion loose - Noah Lowry anyone? 
  • The Phillies and Rays spoke to Geoff Jenkins' agent today, and the Padres and Rangers have their eye on him as well.  A poor free agent market for corner outfielders may result in a two or even a three-year deal for Jenkins.

Indians To Discuss Long-Term Deal With Betancourt

Reliever Rafael Betancourt turns 33 in April.  I have to admit, I didn't realize he was that old.  He spent a lot of time in the Boston organization.  Betancourt had a career year in '07, posting a 1.47 ERA in 79 innings.  Also I feel like I have to make the obligatory mention: Betancourt was suspended 10 games in July of 2005 for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.  He was the first Indians player to test positive and at the time spoke of filing a grievance to clear his name.

Anyway we're in happier times now, as Betancourt's agent will meet with the Indians about a possible multiyear extension.  He's got four years of service time, so he'll reach free agency after the 2009 season.

Nats Still Like Jason Jennings

It's no secret that the Nationals like free agent starter Jason Jennings - they touched base with his agent almost a month ago.  Today,'s Jim Molony writes that the Nats are still targeting Jennings on a one-year deal.

Jennings' torn flexor tendon is believed to be an injury he came make a full recovery from by Spring Training.  If so, many other teams will seek Jennings as a possible bargain.  So the Nats aren't going to slip under the radar and get him for $3MM or something.  There will be plenty of competition from teams like the Rockies, Rangers, Royals, and Mets.

Rosenthal's Latest: Feliz, Nathan, Sexson

UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 6:04pm: Update on Richie Sexson: no one wants him, not even the Giants.

FROM 12-3-07 at 1:55pm:

More Rosenthal, let's cut to the chase.

  • The Cardinals could look at Pedro Feliz at third base if they trade Scott Rolen.  Rosenthal is too kind in saying the Cards would have a "sub-par offense on the left side of the infield."  Rosenthal also suggests the Cardinals could take a look at Hank Blalock.
  • Hiroki Kuroda isn't dead set on the West Coast - he's keeping an open mind in terms of location.
  • The Twins are discussing Joe Nathan with the Astros.  Interesting match but who goes over to Minnesota in that one?
  • The Mariners desperately want to trade Richie Sexson.  Meanwhile they also may non-tender Ben Broussard when decision time comes.

Mariners Rumors: Kuroda, Edwin Jackson

UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 5:56pm: Geoff Baker acknowledges that Broussard for Edwin straight up doesn't make sense. The Ms might have to toss catcher Rob Johnson into the deal.

FROM 12-3-07 at 12:31pm:'s Jim Street checks in with the latest Mariners buzz.

  • As I wrote in the Johan Santana post, the Mariners are officially out of the running.
  • Street says the Ms offered Hiroki Kuroda three years and $30MM or so, which doesn't jive with Larry LaRue's report of 4/44.  Street says Kuroda will not decide until after the Meetings.
  • The Rays' Edwin Jackson is available, and the Rays are seeking a veteran first baseman or a young catcher.  The Mariners have both, and Ben Broussard seems like a starting point.

Cubs May Shop Murton, Like Ibanez

UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 5:53pm: Geoff Baker checks in with some more info about the Cubs' interest in Ibanez.  He is apparently their fallback option behind Fukudome.  Baker notes the frightful possibility of using Ibanez in right field.  One trade idea I hadn't considered is swapping Ibanez for Mark Prior.

FROM 12-3-07 at 9:48am:

Jim Hendry may view 26 year-old outfielder Matt Murton as expendable, if only because he's not the left-handed hitter the Cubs crave.

Murton has a respectable career line of .296/.365/.455 in 289 games.  While it would be nice to see his power develop a bit, he's a decent option in right field.  Outside of Kosuke Fukudome, the Cubs might end up acquiring an outfielder who is no better than Murton, just because of handedness.  Even though he's been solid it doesn't seem that the price tag on Murton would be terribly high. 

Meanwhile, Gordon Wittenmyer notes that Brian Roberts and Raul Ibanez remain on the Cubs' wish list.  Murton would be useful for the O's but it would take a lot more to get Roberts.

Heyman's Latest: Santana, Bedard, Willis

UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 5:48pm: Jayson Stark confirms the Reds' interest in Willis.  However he suggests that the Marlins would ask for Homer Bailey and then some in return.

FROM 12-3-07 at 11:41am:'s Jon Heyman checks in with the latest hot stove banter he's hearing.  There's some confusion here as Heyman has contrary info to other published sources.

  • Heyman believes Johan Santana is "more likely than not" to get traded at the Meetings, and quite possibly today. 
  • Heyman says the Red Sox and Yankees are the two teams Santana would waive his veto power for, running contrary to LENIII's recent note.
  • Heyman reports that the Mets offered Gomez/Humber/Heilman for Erik Bedard, though as you may recall Roger Rubin said it was Lastings Milledge and not Gomez.  Whatever it was, the Orioles weren't impressed with the offer.  Heyman says the Mets feel they still have a chance.  The Dodgers, Mariners, and loser of Santana will be in on Bedard as well.
  • Heyman seems to indicate the Marlins are still asking for Adenhart and Ervin Santana in a Miguel Cabrera deal, despite Peter Gammons' comment this morning.
  • The Reds may pursue Dontrelle Willis.  I was thinking they might, the fit makes sense.  A package with Josh Hamilton and one of the Reds' stud pitchers might be required though.  Also keep in mind that Joe Frisaro said the Marlins plan to keep Willis at least until July.
  • Heyman suggests the Mets could re-acquire Xavier Nady to play right field for them.

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