Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the Padres released Brett Tomko and Tadahito Iguchi following today's game. The move was made to make room on the 40-man roster for prospects Matt Antonelli and Wade LeBlanc.
Tomko was 2-7 with a 6.30 ERA in 22 appearances (10 starts) this season. Iguchi was hitting .231/.292/.304 in 81 games this season. Tomko signed a 1-year deal prior to the season that paid him $3MM. Iguchi was given a 1-year extension that paid him $3.85MM this season.
Ken Rosenthal over at FOX Sports has up a new Full Count video up:
- The Phillies want Pat Burrell back, and they feel they have a better than 50-50 chance of re-signing him because Burrell has mutual interest. Rosenthal thinks Burrell should command somewhere between $14MM and $17MM per season.
- Rosenthal discusses the Rockies' offseason, throwing out the usual suspects (Matt Holliday, Garrett Atkins, and Todd Helton) as possible trade pieces. Rosenthal points out Helton's salary makes him difficult, and also proposes a scenario in which the Rockies trade both Atkins and Holliday, sign Burrell to play left field, and move Ian Stewart to third base full-time.
Sunday afternoon is here again... let's have a look back at some of the moves and rumors since last time:
- The injury-plagued Red Sox acquired Mark Kotsay to help compensate for their injuries. In exchange, the Braves received minor league outfielder Luis Sumoza. Nice acquisition by the Red Sox; Kotsay has been swinging a solid bat this season.
- The Twins acquired Eddie Guardado from Texas in exchange for minor league pitcher Mark Hamburger. Guardado has spent the majority of his career with Minnesota and provides a solid arm to the bullpen. To make room for him, they DFA'd Mike Lamb. Nice move by the Twins, with the added benefit of being able to see "Rangers trade Guardado for Hamburger" in the news. Now that's a headline!
- The Phillies added a veteran player as well, when they acquired Matt Stairs from Toronto in exchange for minor league lefty Fabio Castro. Stairs should be a decent option off the bench, and he's still perfectly capable of hitting the ball out of the park.
- Scott Boras continues to find ways to create controversy. He's now claiming that Pittsburgh's top pick Pedro Alvarez verbally agreed to his $6MM signing bonus after the midnight deadline, and is trying to demand that the contract be renegotiated for a higher number. The Players Association has filed a grievance on his behalf. Alvarez could wind up back in the 2009 draft pool. Here's a look at some baseball blogs' opinions on the matter.
- Minor moves: The Diamondbacks claimed Wil Ledezma off waivers from San Diego, the Braves signed Elmer Dessens to a minor-league contract, and the Astros gave one-year extensions to both Brian Moehler and Darin Erstad.
It's official: The Diamondbacks have acquired Blue Jays shortstop David Eckstein in exchange for minor league pitcher Chad Beck, according to MLB.com.
Eckstein has posted a respectable line of .273/.352/.355 this season over 75 games with Toronto.
Rotoworld sees Beck, 23, as a long shot to make it to the majors as starter, but feels he can reach the big-league level as a reliever. Beck has had success at both Class-A levels this season. He posted a 2.04 ERA with South Bend, and after being promoted to High-A Visalia, struggled as a starter but has posted a very nice 1.37 ERA as a reliever for the club.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle is reporting that Miguel Tejada is planning to skip winter ball this year, and will look to sign an extension to keep him wearing an Astros uniform for several years to come.
Tejada is a rare case - a star player who plays Winter Ball every season. This winter, however, Tejada plans to relax and spend time with his family as he looks ahead to 2009:
“I want to have a super season,” he said. “I want to see if after next year I can stay here.”
Given the weak shortstop market right now, it seems like a good move to keep Tejada around if the price is reasonable.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a source that claims the Player's Association will only focus on the status of Pedro Alvarez' contract and not on the contract of Eric Hosmer. Kovacevic says the MLBPA will argue that Hosmer's contract was only delayed so the Pirates could have more time to negotiate with Alvarez.
However, Jonathan Mayo obtained a copy of the grievance filed by the union which suggests that Alvarez' contract will not be the sole focus (emphasis Mayo's).
The Commissioner's Office, without notice to the MLBPA, unilaterally determined to permit Clubs to negotiate with drafted players after the August 15, 2008 deadline, and unilaterally determined to accept agreements by Clubs after the August 15, 2008 deadline.
Mayo feels that the use of plurals in the grievance indicates the union is contesting more than one contract. Mayo says the grievance, combined with MLB not allowing Hosmer to play until this issue is resolved, suggests that this is about more than just the contract status of Alvarez.
Mayo also speculates that part of the desire to make Alvarez the top-paid draftee, may stem from Buster Posey's decision to go with an agent other than Boras. Mayo wonders if Boras is in-part driven to prove Posey made a mistake.
- In the above article, Kovacevic also indicates a third team may have submitted their agreement after the midnight deadline. However, Kovacevic does not name the team. Of the teams to announce their agreements to the public after the midnight deadline, includes the Padres (Allan Dykstra), Rangers (Justin Smoak) and Giants (Posey). Could a third player be dragged into this mess?
- Kovacevic has a second piece in which he details the contentious history between the Pirates and Boras, and how this may have led to the current rift between the two sides.
- Kovacevic is also reporting that Pirates' president Frank Coonelly fired another shot at Boras, blaming the agent for getting Hosmer involved.
- Baseball Prospectus has a list of incidents that could be used as precedents in the Alvarez case.
Jim Hickey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is reporting that the Mariners and their top pick, Josh Fields, remain about $500K apart in their negotiations. As a player that has completed his college eligibility, Fields was not subject to the August 15 deadline for picks to sign.
Fields' agent, Scott Boras is demanding $2MM while the Mariners are said to be offering $1.5MM, which is in line with the MLB's slotting recommendations. Hickey feels it is unlikely that Boras and Fields will move from their asking price and seem willing to let Fields pitch for an independent league team this year and re-enter the draft next June.
Bleeding Blue and Teal thinks the Mariners may be better off not signing Fields. They question the M's need for a closer while the team is rebuilding and note that Seattle could have four of the top 50 picks next year if Fields goes unsigned.
Fields (#20 overall) is one of three first round picks that has not signed. The other two players, Aaron Crow (WAS, #9 overall) and Gerrit Cole (NYY, #28) did not sign prior to the deadline. Crow has signed with an independent league team and Cole will play for UCLA.
- Sources tell Sherman that Steinbrenner wants to make CC Sabathia the highest paid pitcher ever.
- Sherman thinks Shane Victorino would be a nice fit for the Yankees in center field.
- Some Yankees officials are toying with the idea of trading some of their young pitching if the Yankees do land Sabathia and another veteran such as AJ Burnett. Sherman thinks a player like Phil Hughes could be used to land a young center fielder or first baseman such as Joey Votto of the Reds.
- Sherman feels giving Mark Teixeira a 10-year deal would be a mistake.
- Sherman also wonders if Robinson Cano should be dangled this off-season in an attempt to land a starting pitcher like Zach Greinke, Chad Billingsley or Matt Cain.
- Sherman thinks the Yankees should offer Bobby Abreu arbitration in hopes of landing two draft picks, and says if Abreu accepts the arbitration it would not be a terrible thing, but would force somebody else to be moved.
A few notes from around the MLBiverse...
- Troy E. Renck says Willy Taveras prefers to stay with the Rockies, despite being claimed off waivers. Taveras speculates that he was claimed by either the Yankees or the Nationals. Renck says it is unlikely that Taveras will be traded during the season.
- Tom Haudricourt is reporting that the Brewers don't expect to make any deals prior to tonight's deadline to acquire players that would be eligible for the post-season.
- Tony Jackson of the LA Daily News is reporting that Jeff Kent's knee injury could be career-ending. Kent is contemplating retirement following the season. He is not signed for '09.
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the D-Backs are the favorite to land David Eckstein from the Blue Jays, prior to tonight's deadline for players to be eligible for the post-season. Previously we heard that both the D-Backs and the Angels were in pursuit of Eckstein.
Eckstein, 33, is almost certain to be traded before the deadline for setting postseason rosters at midnight Sunday. While talks are fluid, the Jays currently are more inclined to trade with the D-backs, sources say.
Rosenthal says the Angels are now considering other options, including Omar Vizquel of the Giants and Juan Castro of the Orioles.