February 2009

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Red Sox Not Interested In Pedro

According to Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald, the Red Sox are not interested in bringing Pedro Martinez back to Boston. McAdam's sources say Pedro's representatives approached the Red Sox this week to determine interest and heard from the Red Sox that they don't have room for Pedro.

Pedro, who won two Cy Youngs and a World Series in Boston, will pitch in the WBC for the Dominican Republic and hopes to attract interest with a good showing.



Manny Ramirez Rumors: Friday

10:18pm: Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle comments on the "comical circus surrounding the Manny Ramirez negotiations."

Sometime soon, Jenkins writes, "Manny will stroll into the Dodgers' clubhouse with a big smile on his face, as if nothing in the world is wrong. I wonder if his teammates will portray him as they did last year, the wacky savior who really isn't such a bad guy. Now that he'll be getting an opt-out for the 2010 season, he's merely a mercenary waiting to get a real offer from a team that truly appreciates him."

5:43pm: Jackson cites a "well-placed source" who says that Boras responded to the Dodgers' two-year, $45MM offer with a counter proposal of two years and $55MM.

Jackson also writes that "it was Boras, not the Dodgers, who requested as far back as last fall that a portion of the money be deferred so that the total value of the package could be greater."

Jackson notes that there is currently no offer on the table and that "it doesn't look like this is headed for a quick resolution."

4:42pm: Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com got a hold of Boras shortly after the noon deadline.

"I told Ned that we stand by our proposal," Boras told Bloom. "As far as we're concerned, there's no deadline. We're still talking... We're waiting for their response."

Boras made a counter offer to the Dodgers this morning, requesting a two-year, $45MM contract without the deferred payments.

3:31pm: Jackson reports that Colletti and Boras spoke on the phone around noon, but nothing came of it.  It sounds like that deadline wasn't taken too seriously by either side.

2:47pm: The noon deadline has passed (on the West Coast) without word from Boras, Manny or the Dodgers.

2:01pm: Giants managing partner Bill Neukom spoke to reporters, including the San Jose Mercury News' Andrew Baggarly, on Friday morning.  He left open the possibility of his club making a late run at Ramirez.  Neukom also believes there are teams involved other than the Dodgers and Giants:

We’ve been in touch with Manny and his agent for months about this,” Neukom said. “We’ve explored a number of situations. I think by far the Dodgers have been more active. Then there are these other teams Boras has talked about. We’re not a phantom team. There are other teams that haven’t been named that are in this. So we’ll see.

1:15pm: According to SI.com's Jon Heyman, Manny is willing to accept the Dodgers' most recent offer if the money is not deferred.  Most of you have probably already assumed this.

12:16pm: GM Ned Colletti told Jackson that deferred compensation has been "part of the deal from the very beginning."  It was even part of the Dodgers' initial one-year, $25MM offer.

It sounds like there's a lot of confusion on both sides. "I have asked Scott many times to tell us where we are at, what we are bidding against, to tell us what we have to meet," Colletti said Friday morning.  "We have yet to be told what the parameters are.''

11:35am: Yahoo! Sports' Steve Henson passes along an e-mail that Boras sent to multiple media outlets Thursday night:

We are continuing to work within the scope of the parameters established during our discussion Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, which included a two-year term and ability for the player to void the contract after the first year.

“Per that face-to-face meeting, we agreed to continue to have discussions until Friday at noon, which included our two proposals today, our most recent at two years, $45 million. We are waiting to hear their response.

11:19am: Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News is venting:

The wonder is that the Dodgers wasted their time making an offer that they HAD TO KNOW wouldn't be accepted. Why would they do that, you ask? Well, now Frank McCourt gets to say to his fan base, "Hey, I tried.'' Well, no, Frank, you really didn't.

9:21am: According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, deferred payments were the key issue in Manny Ramirez's rejection of the Dodgers' most recent offer.  As Hernandez explains,

Under the terms of the contract that Ramirez was offered by the Dodgers on Wednesday, he would've received $10 million this year. And by exercising the option for the second year, he would've received $10 million in 2010.

Ramirez, who turns 37 in May, would've been paid the remaining $25 million over the next three years without any added interest. He would've received $10 million in 2011, $10 million in 2012 and $5 million in 2013
.

Scott Boras made a counter offer using the same basic language and numbers of the club's two-year, $45MM offer, but without the deferred payments.  Boras told the Dodgers that they have until noon to strike a deal.



Odds and Ends

A few links on a slow Friday night:



Mets, Ron Villone Agree To Terms

According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, the Mets have agreed to terms with left-handed reliever Ron Villone on a minor league contract.  Apparently the Scott Boras Corp. can still get things done in the midst of the Manny negotiations.

Villone, 39, posted a 4.68 ERA over 50 innings last season with the Cardinals.  He's likely to join the Mets' spring training camp once he passes a physical.



Padres Sign 29 Pre-Arb Players

MLB.com's Corey Brock reports that the Padres agreed to one-year contracts with 29 pre-arbitration players on Friday.  Some of the bigger names on the list: Cha Seung Baek, Cla Meredith, Wade LeBlanc, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Chase Headley.

All players on San Diego's 40-man roster are now under contract.



Reds Ink Cueto, Ramon Ramirez

According to the Associated Press, via Yahoo! Sports, the Reds have inked pre-arbitration pitchers Johnny Cueto and Ramon Ramirez to one-year deals.

The contracts are likely in the $450K-$550K range.  Cueto, 23, went 9-14 with a 4.81 ERA in 31 starts last season.  The 26-year-old Ramirez spent most of '08 in the minors.  He went 1-1 with a 2.67 ERA in four starts and a relief appearance for the Reds.



Brewers Sign Two Pre-Arb Players

According to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, the Brewers have finalized one-year contracts with reliever Carlos Villanueva and catcher Mike Rivera.

Yovani Gallardo is the club's last unsigned pre-arbitration player.  As we've mentioned before, these are guys with zero to three years of MLB service time.  Most pre-arb players receive contracts in the $450K-$550K range.



Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Yankees, Oil Can, Halladay, Mets

On this date 21 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles traded Ray Knight to the Tigers, only one year after signing the World Series hero as a free agent. The O's received Mark Thurmond, who would go 1-8 in 1988 with an 85 ERA+. Knight would only play 105 games for the Tigers before retiring. With spring training now in full swing, several veteran free agents are still without contracts or guaranteed jobs and may be on the verge of retirement. Let's take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere...

  • More Hardball puts together a 25-man roster of veteran players in camps on minor league deals.
  • 6 Pound 8 Ounce Baby Joba spoke with Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch about a number of topics including what the will happen once the current contracts for Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter expire.
  • Sully Baseball makes a case for a team, any team, signing Oil Can Boyd.
  • The Phrontiersman takes a look at the possibility of the Phillies trading for Roy Halladay at some point during the season.
  • Megamets argues for the Mets adding Dennys Reyes, over the other available lefty relievers.
  • The Sports Banter puts together their own list of off-season winners.
  • Midwest Sports Fans project the Twins opening day roster.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com. If you have a suggestion for this feature, Cork can be reached here.



Garciaparra Pondering Retirement?

12:56pm: Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has confirmed that his club is no longer interested in Garciaparra (courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Murphy):

"I would not view him as someone who will be with us," Amaro said.  Murphy doesn't expect the Phillies to add any more free agents before the start of the regular season.

9:47am: According to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, free agent infielder Nomar Garciaparra is deciding between retirement and a one-year contract with the A's.

The Phillies have apparently moved on.  The A's are also currently working on deals for shortstop Orlando Cabrera and left-hander Dennys Reyes, and Rosenthal heard from a source that the club could "increase their pursuits" of those two players "due to their uncertainty over Garciaparra."

Garciaparra, 35, hit .264/.326/.466 with eight homers and 28 RBI in 163 at-bats last season.  It sounds like he needs to make a career decision fairly soon.



Phillies Release Adam Eaton

According to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, the Phillies have released right-hander Adam Eaton.

Eaion went 14-18 with a 6.10 ERA over 49 starts after inking a three-year, $24.5MM contract before the 2007 season.  He would've struggled to crack the starting rotation this season, but the Phils are still on the hook for the more than $8.5MM remaining on his current deal.









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