November 2008

C.C. Sabathia Rumors: Thursday

Ken Davidoff wrote yesterday:

According to a person in the Yankees’ loop, the team is reluctant to raise its offer to C.C. Sabathia, even if such hesitancy causes him to sign with the Angels.

Something has changed in the last 24 hours, because Davidoff now writes:

The majority of their decision-makers support the idea of going higher for the coveted lefthander, a person familiar with the situation said yesterday.

Davidoff wonders if the Yankees might go to $150MM over six years if the Angels offer $130MM over six.  It doesn’t appear that the Angels have made an offer yet.  Sabathia’s agent Greg Genske is apparently shutting things down for the weekend.

Red Sox Rumors: Lugo, Varitek

According to Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald, the Tigers’ talks for Julio Lugo have stalled and a deal is unlikely.  It seemed simple on the surface: Lugo for Dontrelle Willis or Nate Robertson.

Also, the Red Sox plan to offer arbitration to Type A free agent Jason Varitek.  McAdam says Tek "almost certainly won’t accept the offer."  In a recent poll, about 40% of MLBTR readers surveyed expected the Red Sox to offer arbitration to Varitek.

Towers Finds Third Team For Cubs-Peavy Deal?

Yahoo’s Tim Brown has new info on Jake Peavy:

Padres general manager Kevin Towers said Wednesday night he might have identified a third team that would facilitate sending the standout pitcher to the Cubs, who don’t possess the depth in prospects or big league-ready talent to meet the Padres’ asking price.

Feel free to pose your guesses in the comments.  Cubs top prospect Josh Vitters seems the most reasonable candidate to be in the middle of this trade.  The 19 year-old third baseman is a few years away from the bigs, while the Padres want MLB-ready talent.  Brown says Towers plans to speak with Jim Hendry after the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Dodgers Talks For Wilson At Impasse

WEDNESDAY, 10:34pm: Rosenthal actually posted this update last night, but we’re adding it now.  He says the Pirates sought Hu, Delwyn Young, and a third player for Wilson.  That caused talks to grind to a halt.  Rosenthal added that the Dodgers are showing mild interest in Edgar Renteria but not Orlando Cabrera.

TUESDAY, 6:34pm: Rosenthal says the Pirates wanted Hu and two other young players, and the Dodgers balked at the price.

6:06pm: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers are again considering trading for Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson.  The Bucs would like to receive Chin-Lung Hu in return to replace Wilson at short.  The Tigers are known to have interest in Wilson as well.  He’s set to earn $7.25MM in ’09 and has a $8.4MM option for ’10 with a $600K buyout.  Wilson is known for his defense; he made sixteen more plays than the average shortstop in this year despite playing fewer than 700 innings.

Rosenthal says the Dodgers aren’t likely to sign Rafael Furcal and aren’t pursuing Orlando Cabrera or Edgar Renteria.  He notes that four teams are in on Cabrera.

Rafael Furcal Rumors: Wednesday

7:58pm: Kinzer told Joe Stiglich of the Contra Costa Times that the A’s are "right at the top of the list."

7:05pm: Kinzer revealed to Yahoo’s Tim Brown that the two unknown Furcal suitors "have to make some moves first."  So think of teams with incumbent shortstops, like the Braves.  Or perhaps a team that has to clear payroll like the Cubs.

4:25pm: Kinzer told Haft they’ll have it down to two teams before Monday or Tuesday.  The A’s, Giants, and two other clubs are still in the mix for Furcal.  This time, Kinzer told Haft he did talk to the Giants yesterday.  It’s unknown whether he has an offer from San Francisco, but there’s nothing from the A’s yet.

12:55pm: Susan Slusser and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle learned that Kinzer did have talks with the Giants about Furcal on Tuesday.’s Chris Haft had Kinzer saying last night that he hadn’t spoken to Giants officials in two days.

10:11am: Rafael Furcal met with the A’s yesterday, and it’s not a stretch to suggest they’re the frontrunner for his services.’s Jon Heyman says the A’s, Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, Braves, and a mystery team remain involved.  Interesting note from Heyman:

Furcal’s agent, Paul Kinzer, said by phone that he hasn’t fielded a correct guess from any media member on said mystery team. I gave it a shot on Tuesday night, throwing out the Reds — who appear to be in the mix on some surprising names — but he said that was incorrect.

Jon!  No!  You wasted your guess.  I believe the mystery team boils down to the Indians or Twins.  Thoughts? 

A.J. Burnett Rumors: Wednesday’s Mark Bowman chatted with A.J. Burnett‘s agent, Darek Braunecker.  Braunecker is confident he can get a five-year deal for Burnett, though a fifth year is not necessarily a requirement.  A four-year deal is possible if the average annual value is significantly higher.  My feeling: why pay Burnett $72MM over four years if you could get that fifth year for a marginal $8MM?

The Braves and Burnett still have mutual interest, and Braunecker characterized talks as positive.  Bowman also talked to Chipper Jones, who had kind words for Burnett.  Bowman believes Jones will feel more comfortable about finishing his career with the Braves if they sign Burnett.

Brown’s Latest: Fuentes, Hoffman, Wilson, Aurilia

Here’s a look at the latest from Yahoo’s Tim Brown.

  • The Mets kicked around the idea internally of signing both Brian Fuentes and Trevor Hoffman.  The eighth inning would be a tough sell for either pitcher though.
  • Brown says that if the Angels fail to sign Mark Teixeira they will try to sign C.C. Sabathia as well as a closer like Fuentes.
  • The Dodgers want the Pirates to eat "a huge chunk" of the $7.85MM Jack Wilson has coming.
  • The Giants and Dodgers have shown interest in Rich Aurilia.

K-Rod Expected To Sign After Meetings

Francisco Rodriguez‘s agent Paul Kinzer spoke to the AP today.  Kinzer says he believes K-Rod will sign after the winter meetings.  He’ll talk to the Mets at those meetings (December 8-11), but wouldn’t reveal any other suitors.

C.C. Sabathia Rumors: Wednesday

6:19pm: It sounds like Sabathia’s agent Greg Genske is shutting things down for the weekend.  He didn’t reveal anything new to Brewers GM Doug Melvin.  Adam McCalvy also notes that the Brewers will offer Sabathia arbitration, a procedural move.

12:49pm:’s Jon Heyman talked to Yankees people who believe the Angels leaked interest in Sabathia to reduce Tex’s demands.  Those people also believe the Halos will limit their offer to the $100-120MM range.  Other factors: Tex makes more sense for the Angels, Arte Moreno loves him, and signing Sabathia could reduce the chances of extending John Lackey.

Nonetheless, Heyman agrees with a rival executive that the Angels are quite serious about Sabathia.

8:51am: The big news yesterday was the L.A. Times report stating that the Angels "are in discussions with C.C. Sabathia and could offer him a contract that approaches the $140 million bid extended to him by the Yankees." 

Ken Davidoff wrote this morning that the Yankees are reluctant to raise their offer to Sabathia, even if it means he signs with the Halos.  Davidoff says the Yanks would step up their efforts for A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe if they lose Sabathia.

Meanwhile Dan Graziano says Yankees officials scoffed at the idea of the Angels turning their attention to Sabathia.  Those officials believe it’s a ploy to get Mark Teixeira to drop his demands.  Danny Knobler, however, believes the Angels have already moved on from Teixeira.  He says the Angels have long-term concerns about Tex’s knee.

Tigers Considering Alex Cora

According to Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press, the Tigers have considered pursuing free agent shortstop Alex Cora.  Cora could be used in a platoon with Ramon Santiago.

Cora, 33, hit .270/.371/.349 in 179 plate appearances this year while playing a below-average shortstop.  He earned $2MM.