June 2008

Ichiro Unlikely To Be Dealt

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times runs through the Mariners situation as sellers.  He considers Richie Sexson, Jose Vidro, Kenji Johjima, Miguel Batista, and Carlos Silva as untradeable due to either  performance or contract, or both.

Stone also doesn’t see Ichiro Suzuki going anywhere:

"The hot topic is Ichiro, who has a limited no-trade clause in his contract. The big question is whether he has a de facto full no-trade clause coming from Japan. The industry belief is that Hiroshi Yamauchi, calling the Mariners’ shots from Kyoto, would never allow Ichiro to be dealt. I believe that, too."

He entertains the possibility that Ichiro could get himself traded out of Seattle if he requested a trade himself, but all indications are that he is committed to remaining in Seattle.

Ken Rosenthal confirms this in his latest Full Count video, adding that if Seattle ownership wasn’t equally committed to Ichiro, they would have dealt him last year before signing him to a 5-year $90MM contract.

GM Trade History – Theo Epstein

This afternoon we have another fine effort from MLBTR contributor Brendan Bianowicz.  Brendan compiled Theo Epstein’s trade history.  He added other useful info as well.

Download the spreadsheet here, and let us know in the comments if you see any errors or omissions.

Olney’s Latest: Wolf, Lohse, Sabathia, Fuentes, Oswalt, Bailey

Buster Olney has a new column up. Let’s take a look:

  • He suggests Randy Wolf as a "possible trade chip" with the Padres looking increasingly out of it this year. One problem: Wolf has veto power over trades to 14 teams. He’s been decent this year, with a 4.13 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 98 innings, but nothing to get too excited over.
  • Gossip item: the Mets could have had Kyle Lohse for what the Cardinals are paying ($4.25MM), only Omar Minaya passed.
  • Olney doesn’t see much in the speculation about the Angels wanting C.C. Sabathia. With Kelvim Escobar‘s rehab going well, great first-half performances from Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana, and John Lackey likely to improve going forward, why should they make a push for C.C.? Olney sees the Brewers and the Cubs as more interested parties. (Ken Rosenthal mentioned the Brewers and the Rays as C.C. suitors yesterday.) Later in the post, Olney notes that Sabathia has a 1.96 ERA in his last fourteen starts. Yowza.
  • How the Rockies fare over the next two weeks could determine what becomes of Brian Fuentes.
  • Olney can’t decide whether the Orioles should buy or sell. What do you think?
  • Roy Oswalt won’t get traded, with Olney linking to the Houston Chronicle’s Richard Justice for his evidence. (Oswalt has, of course, been talking like he’d prefer to be somewhere else.) Also working against a deal for Oswalt: his continued experiments with pitching to contact (to keep the ol’ pitch count down) haven’t been going very well this year, either. His K/9 has been declining for years, of course, but it may have reached a point of no return this season. Whatever happens, I’m sure the ‘stros would prefer to move him at peak value, not right now when he has a 4.77 ERA.
  • Homer Bailey, back in Triple A Louisville, isn’t getting any love from the scout quoted here, who says he threw "batting practice fastballs." Bailey was 0-3 with a 8.73 ERA in the majors this year after a hotly anticipated call-up. Given the bounty of young arms they already have, the Reds would probably prefer to trade him…but alas, his value has dropped the way his curveball used to. 

Sarah Green writes for UmpBump and the Boston Metro and can be reached here.

Odds And Ends: Brewers, White Sox, Astros, Harden

A few minor notes from around the MLBiverse…

  • Jon Heyman came up with a list of 19 pitchers that could be made available prior to the trade deadline. He also presents a list of 12 candidates that the Mariners may consider for their vacant GM position.
  • The Brewers’ assistant GM indicated the team would like to add a starting pitcher to give the pitching staff more depth.
  • Ken Williams says that he is happy with the White Sox’ roster and has not assigned scouts to specific players on other teams that could be available.
  • Richard Justice says that the Astros will not ship off veterans before the trade deadline, but also notes that they might not be able to even if they wanted to be active sellers.
  • Rich Harden struck out 11 in eight shutout innings in front of a number of scouts two nights ago.  Also at this link, Joe Blanton and Chad Gaudin have heard trade rumors about themselves.  Gaudin is "convinced that he’s going to be traded."
  • Derek Jeter vouched for Shawn Chacon‘s character.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex and can be reached hereTim Dierkes also contributed to this post.

Schilling Could Return In ’09

Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald is reporting that Curt Schilling’s shoulder surgery went well and he could pitch again in ’09.

“If I want to pitch again, I have a chance to. That’s the bottom line,” Schilling told WEEI yesterday morning. “I’m trying to assess if I’m going to be able to make the commitment for this to happen.”

While a return to the Red Sox may seem like the most obvious destination for Schilling, it will be interesting to see if Theo Epstein is willing to throw good money after bad money. The Red Sox gave Schilling a 1-year/$8MM deal before learning that he would not pitch at all this season.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex and can be reached here.

Billy Beane To Step Down In ’09?

According to Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News, the A’s assistant general manager David Forst has turned down all interview requests. The feeling is that Forst is expected to take over for Billy Beane as Oakland GM as early as next season.

It has been reported previously that Beane would like to test his Moneyball strategies in soccer. A’s owner Lewis Wolff also owns the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS and Beane may decide to focus his attention on the soccer franchise in ’09. It is unclear whether Beane will remain involved with the baseball operations.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex and can be reached here .

Astros Still Like Freddy Garcia

When we last checked in on free agent rehabber Freddy Garcia, SI.com’s Jon Heyman was adding the Astros to the list to bring us to twelve teams.  We might be able to cross the Indians and Mariners off the list, bringing us to ten clubs.

The Astros went public with their interest tonight, as Ed Wade told MLB.com’s Jim Molony that his team will watch Garcia throw.  As you may recall, Garcia came up with Houston and was included in the Randy Johnson deal.  The Astros are 7.5 games out of the wild card, so they’re a long shot for the playoffs.  Perhaps they want to bring in Garcia to audition him for ’09.  He may opt for a more competitive situation though.

Padres Sign Tomko

Brett Tomko has resurfaced for a third stint with the Padres.  He actually has good command, posting respectable K/BB ratios in recent years.  The longball did him in this year with the Royals.  A move back to the NL and PETCO should help, and there’s no risk for the Padres at the minimum salary.

GM Trade History – Billy Beane

A student from Villanova University, Brendan Bianowicz, emailed me asking if he could help with the site in any way.  I had always wanted a full trading history of all 30 GMs.  Brendan jumped at the opportunity to compile this data. 

Today we have Billy Beane’s Trade History for you to download in Excel form.  Brendan gets extra credit for putting free agent and draft pick info in the spreadsheet as well.  Thoughts on this spreadsheet or the endeavor in general?

Rosenthal’s Latest: Sabathia, Blake, Greinke, Tejada

And now…a fresh Ken Rosenthal column.

  • An opposing viewpoint: Rosenthal says "any team that acquires C.C. Sabathia would gain an exclusive window to sign him long-term before he reaches free agency."  Rosenthal notes that the Brewers and Rays are stacked enough to acquire Sabathia and wouldn’t mind taking draft picks for him after the season.
  • Casey Blake is drawing trade interest; his versatility is a plus.  Rosenthal likes the fit for the Dodgers, Mets, and A’s.
  • An anonymous general manager tossed out this "trade concept": Adam Dunn to the Dodgers for Juan Pierre, Chin-lung Hu, and cash.  Thoughts?
  • Teams such as the Braves, Phillies, and Brewers have expressed interest in Zack Greinke at some point, but the Royals plan to keep him.  He’ll be eligible for free agency after the 2010 season.
  • Earlier this year the Cubs inquired on David DeJesus, but now they seem content with their Jim EdmondsReed Johnson platoon.  Maybe talks will be rekindled after the season?
  • The Astros will talk about any player on the roster without a no-trade clause, which would include Miguel Tejada.  Does that mean Jose Valverde, Hunter Pence, and Wandy Rodriguez aren’t off limits?