February 2008

Mets Dangled El Duque

According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman:

The Mets quietly sought trade offers for Orlando Hernandez late this winter, with the idea that if anyone bit, they would sign Kyle Lohse. But apparently there were no takers.

Swapping El Duque’s 140-150 innings for Lohse’s 190 might add a few wins, given the replacement level pitchers the Mets went to in ’07.   Hernandez at $6.5MM isn’t  terribly appealing though.  The Mets could probably get Lohse for a similar amount on a one-year deal.  Maybe they still should and just force Hernandez into the bullpen whether he likes it or not.

Mets Not Interested In Garcia

TODAY: SI.com’s Jon Heyman says that line about Garcia just visiting friends may be a cover.  That’s because Garcia brought his agents with him and went to Omar Minaya’s office.  So this apparently had a business element after all.  Heyman adds that two or three other clubs are interested, with the Yankees an option given Garcia’s apparent affinity for New York.  If he’s throwing well on June 1st I predict the rumors will involve ten plus teams.

2-20-08: The New York Post is reporting that the Mets will not sign free agent Freddy Garcia. Earlier today Jon Heyman had reported that the Mets were meeting with Garcia. Omar Minaya stated that Garcia was just in camp to meet with Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez, with whom Garcia is friends.

By Cork Gaines

Brian Roberts Rumors

MONDAY: SI.com’s Jon Heyman says a Roberts to Chicago trade still has a little life, and the Orioles are scouting Cubs’ players.  Meanwhile Jason Churchill wrote a few days ago that the O’s may require Felix Pie or Tyler Colvin instead of the Cubs’ apparent offer of Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, and Kevin Hart.  Churchill says the O’s are also high on Eric Patterson.

SUNDAY: Check out this piece by Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Here’s the one-liner that has caught some readers’ attention:

Sources say that Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will be traded to the Cubs as soon as the Orioles decide which pitchers they want in return.

All sorts of Cubs pitchers have been rumored in these talks: Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher, Jason Marquis, Jose Ceda, Donald Veal.  It’s been said that the Cubs won’t part with Ceda. My best guess is that this deal does get done before Opening Day.

No Market For Reed Johnson

According to a source of Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, the market for left fielder Reed Johnson is "non-existent."  This is not a big surprise – Johnson was a candidate to be non-tendered this winter.  He had back surgery in April and is set to earn $3.27MM in ’08.

Blair speculates that the Jays may be inclined to listen to offers for Adam Lind.  Back in November, ESPN’s Keith Law had this to say about Lind:

Lind has a classic left-hander’s swing and good hand-eye coordination. His power is fringe-average but projects to above-average. He’s best suited to play first base, but it’s possible to live with his defense in left because of how he’ll hit.

Rays Considering Bonds, Piazza, Lofton

12:28pm: Andrew Friedman denies it, calling the Bonds rumor a "non-story."  They never even had a harmless internal conversation about Bonds, then?

11:27am: Japan is a legitimate possibility for Barry Bonds, but he may not have exhausted his MLB options just yet.  Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times says the Rays have had internal discussions about signing Bonds (hat tip DRays Bay).  At some point, one of the 30 teams is going to acknowledge that Bonds adds wins.  Most fans have proven that they care more about wins than steroid use.

Other considerations for the Rays include Mike Piazza and Kenny Lofton.  In the case of all three players, the Rays would have a logjam on their hands.   But the chance to do some bargain shopping could prove irresistible.

Odds and Ends: Choo, Inge, Lohse, Francona

Let’s round up some rumors and links.

Bonds’ Agent: Japan Is An Option

Barry Bonds‘ agent, Jeff Borris, told Metro News in Canada that Bonds intends to play in 2008 and that Japan is a very real possibility.

“He’s not retiring,” Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris, told Metro yesterday. “He intends to play somewhere. If a door doesn’t open for Barry in the major leagues, as unbelievable as that possibility sounds, then Japan certainly is an option.”

Currently, Borris is in Florida  driving from camp to camp trying to convince GMs  to sign Bonds. As we get closer and closer to the regular season, whispers will start turning into shouts involving the B-word: Blackballed.

By Cork Gaines

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David Wells Denied By Cardinals

David Wells‘ agent, Gregg Clifton, reached out to the Cardinals recently to see if his client could assist them  with their early season rotation uncertainty.   It’s been said that Boomer, 44, is looking to make about 20 starts this year.  He earned $3MM in ’07.

Derrick Goold says the Cardinals prefer their in-house options over Wells.  What does PECOTA have to say about this?

David Wells
– 4.55 ERA
Anthony Reyes – 4.32 ERA
Brad Thompson – 4.29 ERA
Todd Wellemeyer – 4.39 ERA

Seems the Cardinals are on track with this one.  I’m sure they’d be ecstatic to get those ERAs out of that trio.  Goold says the Cards will continue to track free agents.  Kyle Lohse and Jeff Weaver are two who are healthy right now, if nothing else.  As for Roger Clemens, the Cards aren’t terribly interested given Clemens’ probable late start.

RSS Feed

I have to apologize in advance for my RSS feed this week – as I republish older posts you are going to see those hit the feed again.  I hope my feed subscribers will consider those as "MLBTR classic reruns" and hang with me.

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La Russa Suggested Bonds

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals manager once again suggested the team consider signing Barry Bonds this winter.  GM John Mozeliak and company decided to pass on the idea.  They’ve already brought in Juan Gonzalez as an aging wild card slugger, anyway.

A St. Louis talk show host, Kevin Slaten, recently started a feud with La Russa over the manager’s steroid connections and his unwillingness to discuss them.