I've got great news...my wife and I are having a baby! She is due in late June/early July, and we couldn't be more excited. Ben Nicholson-Smith will be stepping in here at MLBTR for a while, as I'll be focusing on baby-related things.
Links for Friday...
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker talks about hard-throwing Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi, perhaps the top free agent from the country for the 2009-10 offseason.
- I did a Q&A over at Coast to Coast Baseball.
- Some doubt with the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts family: Tribune owner Sam Zell said, "We've made it very public that the Cubs don't fit into the long-term picture of the Tribune. So if the Ricketts deal doesn't get done, I'm sure there will be other ones."
- In separate articles, Dan Uggla and Octavio Dotel comment on the possibility of being traded.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says Edgar Renteria was a good signing for the Giants, if you ignore the actual contract. Eh?
- Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discusses various third base trades the Cardinals could make.
- SI's Tom Verducci likes Freddy Sanchez for the Rays. What's wrong with Willy Aybar and Ben Zobrist?
- Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talked to Braves GM Frank Wren about the team's need for a bat.
- FanGraphs' Matthew Carruth asks: Where's Odalis Perez?
Wagner Mateo is a 16 year-old center fielder in the Dominican Republic. It's been suggested by Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Cardinals are set to offer him a bonus north of $4MM, but Cards vice president/farm director Jeff Luhnow stressed that the team is not ready to make offers (talking to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). The Cardinals did work Mateo out in Florida already. Goold has video and scouting on the kid, as does Kiley McDaniel at Baseball Prospectus. McDaniel suggests the Dodgers and Giants may also be involved.
According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies will replace manager Clint Hurdle today. The Rockies are 18-28 this year, 14.5 games behind the Dodgers and in last place in the NL West. Jim Tracy will be the interim manager, according to Jack Etkin of Inside the Rockies.
Renck says Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd would like to retain Hurdle in a front office role.
According to SI's Jon Heyman, the Mets acquired outfielder Emil Brown from the Padres today for a player to be named later. He's hitting .260/.345/.432 in 41 Triple A games. The Mets are probably just adding minor league depth here.
According to a press release, the Orioles designated backup catcher Chad Moeller for assignment to make room for super-prospect Matt Wieters. Moeller, 34, hit .200/.259/.360 in 54 plate appearances. But more importantly, it's Wieters Time!
On a related note, Tom Tango asked today:
Please, just one time I’d like to hear an honest reason for why star players are being held back. Just once.
One name we can keep out of the rumor mill this summer: Adrian Gonzalez. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports quotes Padres CEO Jeff Moorad:
I've said publicly that no player is untouchable, but I would be hard-pressed to imagine a deal that could ever make sense for Adrian Gonzalez.
In a recent chat at MLB.com, when asked whether the Padres might sign Gonzalez to an extension next year, Moorad replied, "Why wait until 2010?" SI.com's Jon Heyman asked GM Kevin Towers about trading Gonzalez, and Towers said, "Not at this point in time."
A new column from SI's Jon Heyman...
- If you are sick of hearing about Jake Peavy now, just wait until later this summer. The pitcher's no-trade clause has "wreaked havoc" on the Padres, but they'll keep trying to trade him. There are competing opinions as to which teams Peavy would accept a trade, but the Cubs and Dodgers seem to be named most often. Neither club is a perfect match. Over at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Michael Hunt discusses the Brewers possibility; he worries that Peavy's contract could become a burden for the Brew Crew.
- Heyman discusses the situation with Astros manager Cecil Cooper. Could he be fired so soon after having his option picked up? Heyman believes Ed Wade might be a bigger problem, and even suggests that "privately [Shawn Chacon's] inappropriate actions were cheered by some other players." Astros owner Drayton McLane told Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle that a dismissal of Cooper is "not in the cards," yet Wade doesn't believe in giving votes of confidence.
- Heyman talked to one person close to shortstop Khalil Greene who "could see the 29-year-old walking away from the game after this season." Update: Greene's on the DL.
- A competing exec told Heyman he wouldn't be stunned to see the Giants dangle Matt Cain, even though they haven't yet. Heyman suggests gauging the value of Jonathan Sanchez first makes sense.
Rounding up links involving possible Mariners trades...
- Start with Jon Paul Morosi's article at FOX Sports. Morosi talked to Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, who is in no hurry and has not received any offers yet. Seattle, at six games out in the AL West, is technically still focused on the pennant race.
- SI's Jon Heyman writes about Erik Bedard, who may just be the best pitcher available this summer. His contract's not a problem, and I should mention that unlike Jake Peavy, Bedard does not have no-trade protection. Heyman believes that Bedard would probably require a better package than the one the White Sox were going to send to San Diego for Peavy. He likes the Phillies, White Sox, and Brewers as possible suitors.
- Heyman rattles off other Mariners trade candidates when the time comes: Jarrod Washburn, Miguel Batista, Adrian Beltre, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Russell Branyan. In his article, Morosi wondered if now is the time to sell high on reliever David Aardsma.
- Larry LaRue of The News Tribune has the local take.
According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Indians designated outfielder David Dellucci for assignment. The Indians will have to eat the remaining $2.8MM or so on his contract.
Dellucci, 35, hit .275/.333/.350 in 45 plate appearances for the Indians this year. He was coming off a couple of strong seasons for the Rangers and Phillies when he signed a three-year, $11.5MM deal with the Indians in November of 2006. However, the contract has been a flop.