August 2008

Elias Rankings Update

Eddie Bajek of Detroit Tigers Thoughts ran the Elias numbers for the NL infielders.  Thoughts:

  • Despite his injury, Orlando Hudson appears safe as a Type A.  The D’Backs could get a draft pick bonanza if Hudson, Adam Dunn, and Brandon Lyon are offered arbitration and sign elsewhere.  That won’t help them in ’09 though.
  • Casey Blake is a Type B; I could see him seeking a multiyear deal in a weak third base market.  The Dodgers may re-sign him, though.
  • Rafael Furcal seems to have neither Type A nor Type B status, due to his injury this year.  So the team that signs him does not have to worry about losing draft picks.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Pedro Alvarez

Let’s take a look at what is being written about the Pedro Alvarez-Scott Boras-Pirates situation in the Blogosphere…

  • The Pittsburgh Lumber Co. feels this situation is more about Boras versus MLB than Alvarez versus the Pirates. They feel it is too early for Pirates fans to turn against Alvarez and suggest this will all be forgotten next summer.
  • Where have you gone, Andy Van Slyke? wonders if this is not about getting more money for Alvarez. They wonder if Boras has a more sinister motive, to set a precedent for allowing negotiations after the August 15 deadline, in essence making the deadline meaningless.
  • Bucs Dugout wonders if the Alvarez situation will cause problems for Rangers’ prospect Julio Borbon.
  • Babes Love Baseball says Alvarez is just the latest soul to be claimed by Boras.
  • Walk Off Walk normally sides with the players against the owners, but even they think Boras has gone too far this time.
  • Pirates beat writer Dejan Kovacevic has details about the grievance, which will focus on Alvarez.

Cork Gaines writes for and can be reached here.

Molony’s Latest: Fuentes, Red Sox, White Sox

Here’s the latest from’s Jim Molony.

  • The Red Sox are eyeing Rockies closer Brian Fuentes, though Ken Rosenthal has said Fuentes cannot be traded this month.  Plus, the Rockies still intend to make a playoff run in the weak NL West.
  • The Red Sox and White Sox had scouts at Wednesday night’s Astros-Reds game.  Roy Oswalt pitched that one, but he won’t be traded.  The Reds still have some good trade candidates in the bullpen (David Weathers has cleared waivers, Jeremy Affeldt is a free agent after the season).

Odds and Ends: Hart, Ellis, Mientkiewicz, Varitek

Today’s random links…

Olivo Won’t Be Back With Royals In ’09

According to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, catcher Miguel Olivo won’t be back with the Royals in 2009.  (Olivo’s exact words: "Hell no.")  Olivo’s $2.7MM option for ’09 is mutual, so he’ll decline it even if the Royals exercise it.  Olivo is upset about his lack of playing time, but he knew John Buck was part of the team when he signed.

Olivo, 30, is hitting .264/.291/.472 in 261 plate appearances.  As Mellinger points out, that ugly OBP is actually a career high.  To his credit, Olivo has hit lefties well and gunned down a healthy 37.9% of attempted thieves.  Olivo will join a poor free agent class of catchers.

Hank Promises Changes

WEDNESDAY: More on this topic…Hank named Sabathia and Burnett as pitchers of interest.  It’s not surprising to hear those two will be on the Yankees’ radar.

THURSDAY, 3:26pm: Also of note, Ken Davidoff talked to Brian Cashman about nine-figure free agent deals.

8:47am: Not exactly news, but we’ll mention it anyway.  Hank Steinbrenner on 2009:

"There is going to be a lot going on this offseason.  I promise you that."

Previously, Hank mentioned the Yankees’ likely pursuit of veteran pitching.  It would make sense to bring Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte back on reasonable one-year deals if possible, and then break the bank on a third, younger free agent like C.C. Sabathia, Ben Sheets, or A.J. Burnett.  Expect the Yanks to be aggressive in their pursuit of Sabathia.  Some good pitchers will be coming over from Japan, but I’m guessing the Yankees will pass.

The infield remains locked in, with Jorge Posada probably needing some time at DH.  Hideki Matsui may as well, so bringing in a legitimate full-time first baseman makes sense.  If the Yankees can’t get Mark Teixeira, they’ll probably have to turn to the trade market (or consider Adam Dunn as a first baseman).  The trade market may offer Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Adam LaRoche, Mike Jacobs, Todd Helton, and Nick Johnson.

It would not be surprising to see the Yankees let Damaso Marte go and spend some bucks on the bullpen.  Many of the top free agent relievers (Brian Fuentes, Francisco Rodriguez) prefer to close however.  A trade might be ideal here as well (Ron Mahay, Heath Bell, John Grabow, Kevin Gregg).

Phillies Acquire Matt Stairs

5:56pm: ESPN’s Buster Olney says the Jays will receive pitcher Fabio Castro, who warmed up during today’s game against the Cubs.  The 23 year-old lefty has struggled with his control, but still makes for a solid acquisition by J.P. Ricciardi.

12:19am: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies acquired outfielder/first baseman Matt Stairs from the Blue Jays.  The prospect in the deal has yet to be determined.  Stairs was designated for assignment recently.  He fills the Phillies’ need for a left-handed bench bat (likely taking them out of the market for Mike Lamb).

Stairs, 40, hit .250/.342/.394 in 368 plate appearances with the Jays this year.  He was mostly shielded from left-handed pitching.  Stairs is owed $400K this year and $1MM in ’09.

Interestingly, the Jays will now give 20 year-old top prospect Travis Snider a look.

Stark’s Latest: Teixeira, Lamb, Ibanez, Blake

Hot stove highlights from Jayson Stark’s latest

  • Stark sees the Mets picking up Carlos Delgado‘s $12MM option for ’09, taking them out of the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes.  He sees the Yankees in the mix for Tex.  Will Teixeira top the $140MM the Rangers offered him?
  • The Yanks will also pursue a top flight starting pitcher, with C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets as Plans A and B.
  • Stark does not see the Braves diving into megadeals for Sabathia, Sheets, or A.J. Burnett.  They’ll have payroll room, but could pursue trades or mid-tier free agents.
  • Stark says friends of Tom Glavine and John Smoltz indicate they both want another go at it in ’09.  They’re hoping the Braves will offer low-base incentivized deals.  If the Braves spurn Glavine, I wonder if he’ll sign with the Nationals.
  • Mike Lamb and the Phillies have mutual interest.  A trade might make more sense than awaiting his release, so that he’d be eligible for the postseason roster.
  • A friend of Raul Ibanez says the Mariners are unlikely to convince him to re-sign.  They’ll snag a couple of draft picks if they offer arbitration and he signs elsewhere.  The prospect of losing a draft pick makes Ibanez less attractive to other teams though.
  • The Dodgers are considering re-signing Casey Blake and moving Blake DeWitt to second base.

Odds and Ends: Indians, Rays, Jays

Time to cobble together today’s links.

Todd Jones’ Tigers Career May Be Over

According to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press, Todd Jones may have thrown his last pitch for the Tigers.  The 40 year-old is on the DL with shoulder inflammation and tendinitis, and manager Jim Leyland doesn’t expect him back before the end of the season. 

Jones is a free agent this winter.  He earned $7MM for 41.2 innings of 4.97 ball, walking more batters than he struck out.  Despite the poor season he’ll surely find interest on the market.