February 2008

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Miguel Cabrera Talking Extension

SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers and Miguel Cabrera's agent have "begun to talk" about a long-term deal.  Heyman believes a deal could be hammered out fairly quickly given the nice fit with Detroit for Cabrera.  Heyman doesn't have inside info on the years or amount, but got Cabrera to admit that ten years, $200MM sounded about right.

Would an extension start with 2009, Cabrera's last arbitration year?  I imagine so, though maybe the ten years would start with 2010. Regardless, Cabrera's level of production is truly worth $20MM annually into the forseeable future.  Doesn't hurt that he's gotten into shape a bit, either.



Long-Term Deal For Felix Hernandez?

According to John Hickey of the Seattle PI, a long-term deal for Felix Hernandez before the end of Spring Training seems possible.  Hernandez won't make much above the minimum for '08, but maybe the Mariners can buy out his 2009-11 arbitration years at a discount.  Hickey notes that Ms GM Bill Bavasi "detests the arbitration process."

The Padres bought out Chris Young's arb years for $13.25MM in an extension done a year ago.  Around the same time, Matt Cain received about the same amount to cover his arb years (though with a club option for the third).  Based on those, Felix could push for $15-17MM or so in my estimation.  Thoughts?



Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Garcia, Lohse, Colon

With a full slate of Spring Training games underway today, there are still some big names hanging out in the free agent market. After the Red Sox signed signed former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal, there are still two big-name starting pitchers that have yet to find new homes. Former all-star Freddy Garcia is not expected to be ready until mid-season after having rotator cuff surgery last fall, but may have interest from several clubs. On the other hand Kyle Lohse is still looking for work despite being perfectly healthy. His biggest ailment maybe that his agent's name is Scott Boras. With just over four weeks until opening day, let's take a look at coverage of these pitchers in the blogosphere.

If there is a topic you would like to see covered in "Baseball Blogs Weigh In" please let me know HERE.

  • Mets Fever notes that the names Garcia and Lohse keep popping up on the radar and they are not surprised considering that the Mets rotation is a crapshoot once you get past Johan Santana.
  • Sox and Pinstripes says that signing Garcia would be a smart move for the Red Sox. With Colon and Curt Schilling, Garcia would provide the Sox with plenty of second half pitching insurance.
  • Fire Brand of the American League is hoping the Red Sox will sign Garcia as they believe he will be more dependable than Colon.
  • MetsBlog can't see the Mets signing Lohse unless they can find a way to unload Orlando Hernandez. And then they would only go for a one year deal.
  • Sox & Dawgs notes the age-old baseball cliche that a team can never have too much pitching and likes the addition of Colon.
  • Bugs & Cranks says that the signing of Colon has them seeing El Guapo Deja Vu and wonder if he will be as important and beloved as another former Cy Young winner, Eric Gagne.
  • Surviving Grady notes that every good sitcom needs a fat guy and now the Red Sox have theirs in the form of Colon.

By Cork Gaines



Royals Not Interested In Sosa

TODAY: Royals GM Dayton Moore denies interest in Sosa, saying he's not looking to acquire any free agents currently.

THURSDAY: According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, the Royals' talks for Sammy Sosa have some life again.  However, a Royals official told ESPN last week that the team prefers to go young.  Meanwhile, Jose Guillen is campaigning for Sosa. 

Really, Sammy taking away ABs from any current Royal doesn't seem to make any sense.  You'd hate to see Billy Butler affected, and even a trickle down minor loss of opportunity for Joey Gathright, Ross Gload, Mark Teahen, or Ryan Shealy would be counterproductive.  It's time for Sosa to settle in as a bench player who can mash lefties, rather than shoot for 400+ ABs.



Stark's Latest: Patterson, Lohse, Lofton, Clemens

Finally, new info regarding some of the remaining free agentsJayson Stark has the scoop.

  • Seems there's a chance Corey Patterson takes a cheap deal to return to Baltimore.  He could be relegated to fourth outfielder duty in that case.  Stark says the Marlins have discussed Patterson internally, but aren't sure if they could afford the Boras client.  Patterson would be a nice stopgap for Cameron Maybin, who'd be well-served with some time in Triple A.  Ken Rosenthal also mentioned the Florida possibility.
  • One of the most surprising free agents at this point is Kyle Lohse.  Stark shoots down the notion of Lohse signing with the Met or Phillies on a one-year deal.  Rosenthal tossed out the Cards and O's as slight possibilities.  It's tough to be impressed with Boras' work with Patterson and Lohse this year.  Stark's colleague Buster Olney even speaks of rumors that Lohse could ditch Boras. 
  • Kenny Lofton wants a Major League deal, and the offers so far have been minor league (including one from the Reds).  I don't find this an unreasonable demand on Lofton's part; he's still a useful player.  He's OK with starting the season late and coming in as a mercenary when a spot opens up.
  • Stark talked to a friend of Drayton McLane who believes the Astros' owner could roll the dice on Roger Clemens at the right price.



Rosenthal's Latest: Lohse, Furcal, Lofton

FOX's Ken Rosenthal checks in with the latest buzz from Spring Training.

  • The Mets, Cardinals, and Orioles are listed as possibilities for Kyle Lohse.  However, the Mets may deem him unnecessary, reports are conflicting on the Cards' interest, and the Orioles are wary of the price.
  • Rosenthal says Rafael Furcal's agent met with Ned Colletti a few days ago, but the Dodgers would likely want to see Furcal return to form before entertaining an extension.  Click here to see the other shortstops eligible for free agency after the '08 season.  The Dodgers may have a viable replacement for Furcal in defensive whiz Chin-Lung Hu.
  • Rosenthal notes that the Yankees, in search of a right-handed outfielder, considered Shannon Stewart and Mike Cameron this winter.
  • Kenny Lofton's chances of a getting the big league deal he wants with the Reds or Twins look slim. 
  • The rumor going around for Corey Patterson is the Marlins, if the price is right.
  • Rosenthal confirms two additions for our 2008 Out Of Options list - Gabe Gross and Clint Barmes.
  • Rosenthal says the Mets need a right-handed hitter who can play left field and first base.  Here are some names I came up with: Ryan Ludwick, Xavier Nady, Matt Murton, Franklin Gutierrez, and Kevin Millar.  Granted, not all those guys know their way around first base.



Brian Roberts Rumors

Jeff Zrebiec and Roch Kubatko of the Baltimore Sun are on top of the Brian Roberts rumors.  Let's discuss.

The Cubs had two scouts watching Roberts play yesterday, so this thing is still alive and kicking.  The Sun gets the impression that the Mark DeRosa heart surgery does add some urgency for the Cubs.  Perhaps this means they'll concede a little bit extra on their offer.

The authors reiterate Ronny Cedeno and Sean Gallagher as part of the deal.  They say the O's might want Jose Ceda or Donald Veal as the third player, and could ask for a fourth as well.  It's been said that the Cubs are unwilling to part with Ceda.  We're probably a few weeks from completion but a deal seems plenty possible.



Tim On GetSportsRadio.com

Today I did a podcast/radio show with Dan Clasgens of GetSportsRadio.com.  The focus was on the Reds, but we touched on many subjects.  You can download an mp3 of the show here.


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Gammons' Latest: Bonds, Murton

ESPN's Peter Gammons has a new blog post with some hot stove info.

  • Gammons has a quote from Andrew Friedman that should be the final word on Barry Bonds to Tampa Bay: If I didn't entertain ideas, be it a signing of a great hitter like Bonds or a trade, I should be fired.  But that is past.  Let's take Friedman at his word and rule Bonds out for the Rays.
  • Gammons notes that the Cubs have discussed Matt Murton with the Rangers and Red Sox, but he alone wouldn't get them Marlon Byrd or Coco Crisp.  Murton was drafted 32nd overall by Boston in '03, and then traded to the Cubs a year later in the Nomar Garciaparra deal.  Murton would remain pretty well blocked in Boston though.



Help Wanted

I am looking to add some weekend assistance to the MLBTR team.  Specifically, I have two slots open for MLBTR coverage: Saturdays from 1pm-5pm and Saturdays from 5pm-9pm.  Times are in CST.  I'm open to the idea of one person taking both slots.  The gig pays on a per post basis (a post is typically 3-4 short paragraphs).

Here's what I'm looking for:

  • Strong writing skills and a casual style similar to the one found on the site now.
  • Strong knowledge of all 30 teams and no discernible bias.
  • Technical ability to post and edit on a blog; experience helps.
  • Ability to monitor breaking news for all 30 teams and post quickly but without errors.
  • Ability to write interesting short feature type posts for the site during your time slot if the hot stove is cold.
  • Regular availability each week during at least one of the above time slots.  You'll have to be on your computer nonstop for the entire four-hour period.
  • If you applied before, feel free to apply again.  I know I had to pass on many good writers at that time.
  • Send all inquiries to mlbtrweekend@gmail.com, and thanks for the consideration.


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