To review, we learned yesterday from Ed Price that the Indians are making one last effort to sign ace starter C.C. Sabathia. Now SI.com's Jon Heyman has a new article on the ever-popular topic of Carsten Charles. A summary follows.
- Heyman's sources believe the Indians will not commit to a fifth guaranteed year in their offer.
- At least a dozen teams are interested, and "every contending team but the Cardinals already has checked in with Cleveland."
- Heyman says Sabathia is believed to be seeking at least $125MM. But he talked to "a person who knows Sabathia" who believes the pitcher won't try to wring out every last dollar and might not prefer New York.
- More doubt is cast on the idea of the Indians providing a window to sign Sabathia.
FRIDAY, 12:43pm: Ken Rosenthal says the Nats "reportedly are close to signing" Guzman to a two-year extension.
Here's the thing though - usually when a journalist says "reportedly" he or she means that the info comes from someone else's published report. So maybe Rosenthal is just reading into the below MLB.com article about the Nats' offer. Or, maybe he has his own source saying an agreement is close. I'm not sure.
WEDNESDAY, 7:28pm: According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, the Nationals have offered shortstop Cristian Guzman a two-year extension. This comes as a surprise, as the two sides were expected to wait until after the season. Guzman, 30, is hitting .312/.334/.433 in 351 plate appearances.
Ladson once suggested Guzman might cut the Nationals a break since he was injured for much of his current four-year deal. Ladson says Guzman's camp was not insulted by the team's two-year offer.
There are only a handful of respectable shortstops in the next free agent class. Orlando Cabrera and Rafael Furcal are the main two.
12:37pm: Ken Rosenthal says the O's "have engaged in substantive conversations" to acquire Lopez. The likely return: just a marginal prospect.
9:49am: According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles have intensified their hunt for a starting shortstop.
Zrebiec runs through some options and suggests Felipe Lopez would make sense. The O's have scouted him before. Jim Bowden's asking price shouldn't be too high - Lopez becomes a free agent after the season and hasn't hit well for years.
Here's a look at our shortstop market post. One player I omitted from there who has been connected to the Orioles in the past is Juan Uribe.
A few notes on recent rumors involving C.C. Sabathia from the Blogosphere...
- At the time of the Johan Santana deal with the Mets, many thought the contract would raise the price for Sabathia. The Tribe Time Report wonders if the Santana deal, as well as the Barry Zito deal might actually have been a good thing for the Indians as other teams are more likely to balk at Sabathia's demands.
- Tribal Pursuit feels many Indians fans will be unhappy with the package of players the team receives for Sabathia, if dealt.
- Waiting For Next Year does not believe the Indians have any leverage in their attempt to sign Sabathia to an extension before the trading deadline.
- Outs Per Swing does not see the Rays mortgaging their future for a rental player like Sabathia.
- Knuckle Curve sees four teams as the most likely destinations for Sabathia, including the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs and Dodgers.
- Bugs and Cranks has an image of what Sabathia might look like if traded to the Brewers.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Rockies had two scouts at the recent A's-Phillies series. The Rox are currently eight games out in the NL West despite a 32-47 record.
The following Rockies have popped up in past rumors: Matt Holliday, Brian Fuentes, Garrett Atkins, Kip Wells, and Willy Taveras. Fuentes has been linked to both the A's and Phillies. Ken Rosenthal wrote on Tuesday that the Rockies are willing to trade Fuentes regardless of whether they're in the playoff race.
Nothing major cracking on the hot stove this morning, so we'll kick it off with odds and ends.
- The Padres haven't finalized the deal with top pick Allan Dykstra due to concerns with his physical.
- Sorry Pirates fans, but the team does not have interest in bringing back Shawn Chacon.
- David Lennon believes Omar Minaya's job is safe. Minaya could seek an extension after the season (he's signed through '09).
- In a non-subscriber article, Baseball Prospectus' Joe Sheehan gives his take on whether certain teams should be buyers or sellers.
- Saberscouting gives a scouting report on Michel Inoa.
- Henry Schulman asks C.C. Sabathia whether San Francisco will be on his list.
- A case for the Braves to sign Barry Bonds.
- Sam Mellinger continues his look at Dayton Moore's work in Kansas City.
- Theo Epstein expects Red Sox execs Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer to become GMs soon.
It's Thursday, and that means it's time to dig in and feast on Jayson Stark's latest rumor-packed column.
- The Braves have shifted their focus from starting pitching to an impact bat in left field. Stark suggests Raul Ibanez, Jason Bay, and Xavier Nady would make sense. Matt Holliday would be too costly; Adam Dunn is not mentioned.
- We have seen the surprising rumor that the Angels could pursue C.C. Sabathia. However, Stark's sources are in agreement with Bill Plunkett - the Angels are likely to stand pat.
- Francisco Rodriguez wants four years and more than $60MM, a dangerous record-breaking commitment. The Halos aren't even sure if they'd do three years and a vesting option.
- There have been no recent extension talks between the Angels and Vladimir Guerrero, but his $15MM option for '09 is an easy call.
- As we've written before, A.J. Burnett is like a rental, but worse. He either pitches well and opts out or pitches poorly and you're stuck with him. Stark adds that despite Burnett's willingness to pitch for the Cubs, he's not on their list. The Cubs are still planning a run at Sabathia. The Brewers are also serious about the Cleveland ace.
- The Mets might shop Oliver Perez, but I'd be surprised if he draws much interest.
- The Blue Jays were already one of Adam Dunn's ten no-trade teams. His no-trade rights switched from full to ten teams on June 15th.
- Bill Bavasi talked to the Reds about bringing Ken Griffey Jr. back to Seattle, but Lee Pelekoudas isn't interested.
- Interesting Indians players who might be available: Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, and Franklin Gutierrez.
- The Yankees aren't interested in Erik Bedard, but the Phillies are. The teams have differing opinions on whether Bedard's surly demeanor would present a problem.
THURSDAY, 4:24pm: Chacon has been placed on waivers and will be released without pay assuming he clears.
WEDNESDAY, 10:21pm: An explanation for the suspension has come out. Chacon had an altercation with GM Ed Wade, throwing him to the floor at one point. What little trade value Chacon might have had is gone now.
8:01pm: It was only a matter of time. Shawn Chacon, unhappy with his bullpen demotion, has asked the Astros for a trade. He says he signed to be a starter and turned down more money to relieve for other teams. Chacon would like to be released if the Astros can't trade him. The 'Stros reacted by suspending him.
Teams probably won't be champing at the bit to add Chacon, who was predictably lousy in 15 starts.
Before trading ace starter C.C. Sabathia, the Indians intend to make one final attempt to sign him long-term. Ed Price notes that Sabathia does not want to discuss a contract during the season and the Indians won't be ponying up Johan money.
The sides last negotiated in February. The Indians offered four years and around $68-72MM, plus a bonus for his '08 salary. Will the Indians crack and offer a fifth year?
Time for some random linkage.
- I'll be on XM Radio today at about 5pm CST - channels 176-189 with Mike Ferrin.
- The Dodgers signed Jerome Williams - remember him?
- Viva El Birdos runs through starting pitchers who might be on the Cardinals' radar.
- Sam Mellinger of the KC Star takes a look at Dayton Moore's trade record. Meanwhile, Joe Posnanski explains why the Royals should sign Barry Bonds.
- Ken Rosenthal doesn't want to let Ed Wade off the hook in the Shawn Chacon dustup.
- Red Reporter thinks the Reds are winning the Edinson Volquez-Josh Hamilton swap.
- Rangers first base prospect Chris Davis is getting the call.
- Russell Branyan has been training his eyes.
- "Unsubstantiated report" - the Phillies might have interest in recently-designated reliever Vinnie Chulk.
- Mariners beat writer Geoff Baker expects the team to shop Ichiro.
- Buster Olney sees the Rays as a sleeper in the C.C. Sabathia derby.
- Omar Minaya defends the Luis Castillo signing.