8:19pm: According to the AP, the D'Backs exercised Rauch's $2.9MM option for 2010. He'll earn $2MM in '09.
- The D'Backs figure to have nine draft picks in the first 75 or so next year. They will probably offer arbitration to Orlando Hudson, Adam Dunn, Juan Cruz, and Brandon Lyon, and see all of them decline to sign elsewhere. They could end up spending $8-12MM on next year's draft, but at least the farm system will be restocked.
- Team CEO Jeff Moorad says he inquired on Hudson's contract demands and received no response. The D'Backs have $10-15MM to spend and probably cannot afford him.
- Moorad admitted that they will not look to sign Dunn.
- The D'Backs want to bring Randy Johnson back, but only at a discount. If Johnson wants to be paid what he's worth he'll hit the open market.
- Jon Rauch's 2010 option decision is due by Monday. The option is for $2.9MM, but the D'Backs could decline it and go to arbitration with him that year.
- Piecoro does not expect the D'Backs to be in on Japanese free agent starter Kenshin Kawakami.
The AP talked to Hank Steinbrenner today, who said the Yankees are looking at everything and will consider Manny Ramirez. It's not much of a story, as Ramirez is a questionable fit for the Yankees and their priority is starting pitching. Plus, Hank said it.
Alright, time to lump today's remaining options together in one post.
- The Pirates declined Jason Michaels' $2.6MM option. He could re-sign for less.
- The Phillies declined their options on So Taguchi ($1.25MM with a $150K buyout) and Tom Gordon ($4.5MM with a $1MM buyout). The moves may have been Pat Gillick's last as GM.
- The Brewers declined Craig Counsell's $3.4MM option, paying a $400K buyout.
- The Athletics declined Alan Embree's $3MM option. As a Type B free agent, the A's could offer him arbitration. Susan Slusser spoke to Embree, who didn't mind having the option declined.
George King and Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post reported today that the Yankees plan to offer arbitration to right fielder Bobby Abreu. It's an obvious decision, since the Yankees either get him on a one-year deal or get two draft picks when he signs elsewhere. Abreu has said he's looking for a three-year deal, but prefers the Yankees. The authors suggest the Mets could be a fit.
Jennifer Brett of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talked to Dodgers outfielder Andruw Jones, who says he'd like to come back and play for the Braves again. It's unclear from his quote whether Jones is campaigning to return to the Braves in 2009 or after that. It takes two to tango, however, and the Braves are probably looking for an outfielder who is not coming off a historically bad season. The Braves didn't even offer Jones arbitration last year.
A few weeks ago, Jones said, "I'm an everyday guy or I need to move out." However, he hasn't formally requested a trade from the Dodgers. The 31 year-old is set to earn a $15MM salary next year. He'll also receive $2.1MM of his signing bonus in '09 and another $5MM in '10.
According to the AP, the Cardinals signed catcher Jason LaRue to a one-year deal for $950K. LaRue, 34, hit .213/.296/.348 in 189 plate appearances as Yadier Molina's backup.
According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, Rangers GM Jon Daniels will open up discussions to acquire starting pitching at next week's GM meetings. Specifically, Daniels could deal from his catching surplus or trade Hank Blalock. The Rangers will first need to pick up Blalock's $6.2MM option for 2009. One thing to keep in mind about Blalock is that his ability to play third base regularly is in question.
Sullivan names all kinds of potential targets and trading partners - the Mariners, Giants, Rays, Marlins, Reds, Red Sox, and many more. Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported this morning that the Rangers (and Indians) inquired on Scott Olsen.
Here's a list of the possible Type A and Type B free agents this winter, courtesy of ESPN and Keith Law. A few changes to the previous estimates: Bob Howry is a Type A, while Milton Bradley, Ivan Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Luis Ayala, Rudy Seanez, and Arthur Rhodes are Type Bs.
Bobby Abreu (Yankees)
Doug Brocail (Astros)
A.J. Burnett (Blue Jays)
Pat Burrell (Phillies)
Orlando Cabrera (White Sox)
Juan Cruz (Diamondbacks)
Ryan Dempster (Cubs)
Adam Dunn (Diamondbacks)
Brian Fuentes (Rockies)
Brian Giles (Padres)
Bob Howry (Cubs)
Orlando Hudson (Diamondbacks)
Raul Ibanez (Mariners)
Jason Isringhausen (Cardinals)
Derek Lowe (Dodgers)
Damaso Marte (Yankees)
Jamie Moyer (Phillies)
Mike Mussina (Yankees)
Darren Oliver (Angels)
Oliver Perez (Mets)
Andy Pettitte (Yankees)
Manny Ramirez (Dodgers)
Edgar Renteria (Tigers)
Francisco Rodriguez (Angels)
C.C. Sabathia (Brewers)
Ben Sheets (Brewers)
Russ Springer (Cardinals)
Mark Teixeira (Angels)
Jason Varitek (Red Sox)
Kerry Wood (Cubs)
That's 30 Type As, though Giles and Marte may have their options picked up and Mussina may retire.
Jeremy Affeldt (Reds)
Moises Alou (Mets)
Garret Anderson (Angels)
Luis Ayala (Mets)
Joe Beimel (Dodgers)
Casey Blake (Dodgers)
Hank Blalock (Rangers)
Milton Bradley (Rangers)
Paul Byrd (Red Sox)
Mike Cameron (Brewers)
Alan Embree (Athletics)
Eric Gagne (Brewers)
Jon Garland (Angels)
Luis Gonzalez (Marlins)
Ken Griffey Jr. (White Sox)
Mark Grudzielanek (Royals)
Trevor Hoffman (Padres)
Randy Johnson (Diamondbacks)
Jeff Kent (Dodgers)
Paul Lo Duca (Marlins)
Braden Looper (Cardinals)
Mark Loretta (Astros)
Brandon Lyon (Diamondbacks)
Greg Maddux (Dodgers)
Trever Miller (Rays)
Miguel Olivo (Royals)
Brad Penny (Dodgers)
Dennys Reyes (Twins)
Arthur Rhodes (Marlins)
Ivan Rodriguez (Yankees)
Rudy Seanez (Phillies)
Brian Shouse (Brewers)
John Smoltz (Braves)
Frank Thomas (Athletics)
Salomon Torres (Brewers)
Juan Uribe (White Sox)
David Weathers (Reds)
Randy Wolf (Astros)
Gregg Zaun (Blue Jays)
That's 36 Type Bs, though Cameron, Embree, Miller, Olivo, Penny, and Torres could have their options picked up and Alou, Griffey, Kent, and Maddux could retire.
Talking to a few people in the game, it seems that the Type A/B free agent quota depends on the number of Type A/Bs who file. If 62 or fewer such players file (which is possible) then each team will have a quota of three Type A or B signings. Regardless of that, teams are allowed to sign as many Type A/Bs as they lose. As far as I can tell, the quota has never been an issue in the past.
According to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, the Brewers will submit a formal contract offer to C.C. Sabathia today. Ken Rosenthal heard Wednesday that the offer might be in the four-year, $100MM range. Brewers GM Doug Melvin doesn't expect to hear back from Sabathia's agent (Greg Genske) soon, but notes that Sabathia should only have a handful of serious suitors.
Melvin will also submit an offer soon for Ben Sheets. He'll further discuss the possibility with Casey Close at next week's GM meetings. Sheets and Sabathia are Type A free agents, so the Brewers could net four draft picks if they leave. In that case I'd expect them to pursue another starter.
Lefty reliever Brian Shouse prefers Milwaukee, but the 40 year-old hopes for a two-year deal.
Links for Friday...
- The A's claimed infielder Joe Dillon off waivers from the Brewers.
- Dave Cameron criticizes the Royals' acquisition of Mike Jacobs. ESPN's Keith Law also panned the move, suggesting Jacobs was a non-tender candidate for the Marlins.
- Peter Abraham breaks down the different types of hot stove stories and sources.
- Derrick Goold looks at Ryan Howard's arbitration case.
- MLB.com's Chris Haft talked to various scouts about Matt Cain's trade value.
- Edgar Renteria hopes to remain in Detroit, saying "Next year, we are going to win everything."
- ESPN's Tim Kurkjian names his top ten offseason storylines.
- Ken Davidoff says the Mets were interested in Brad Lidge last year, but the Astros' asking price was too high.
- Joel Sherman debates the merits of a Luis Castillo-Andruw Jones swap while stressing that no such deal is actually being discussed.
- The 2008 Fielding Bible awards are out.