November 2009

Heyman On Lowell, Tejada, White Sox

The latest from SI's Jon Heyman

  • The Phillies had a "brief talk" with the Red Sox about Mike Lowell, but Heyman finds a free agent signing more likely.
  • A competing agent believes Fern Cuza might be able to get a three-year deal for Miguel Tejada, which seems unlikely to me.  Heyman says Tejada is drawing interest from the Cardinals, Astros, Giants, Phillies, and Rangers.  The Rangers keep getting linked to starting infielders, but they're really only looking for a backup.
  • Heyman notes that the White Sox signing Andruw Jones represents a rare Kenny Williams-Scott Boras matchup.  He says Boras tried to sell the Sox on bringing back Joe Crede, prior to their Mark Teahen acquisition.
  • Kendry Morales apparently advised Aroldis Chapman to switch from API to the Hendricks brothers.

Cardinals Sign Ruben Gotay

The Cardinals signed minor league free agent infielder Ruben Gotay, tweets's Matthew Leach.  Gotay, 27 next month, has big league experience with the Royals, Mets, and Braves.  This year he hit .272/.429/.450 for the D'Backs' Triple A club, playing second and third base.  Gotay's 102 walks in 479 plate appearances (21.3%) make him an intriguing pickup.

Do Red Sox Prefer Holliday Over Bay?

3:34pm: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says Bay is still a top priority for the Red Sox, who are "trying to build on" their rejected $60MM offer.  Cafardo says that offer was over five years, though most have reported it to be over four.

8:30am: How much do you trust the information of "one rival executive?"  Such a source makes for the basis of the latest blog post from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  This exec told the FOX writers that the Red Sox prefer Matt Holliday over Jason Bay, and do not intend to re-sign Bay despite ongoing negotiations.

The writers go on to explain that the Red Sox would stand to gain a draft pick by signing Holliday instead of Bay.  They'd lose their #29 pick to the Cardinals by signing Holliday, but would get a pick back from the team that signs Bay and would also receive a supplemental pick.  Furthermore, the writers believe Bay will not be signed by a team with a protected first-round pick (such as the Mets). 

Robinzon Diaz Becomes A Free Agent

The Pirates designated catcher Robinzon Diaz for assignment on Friday, and now according to a team press release he has cleared waivers and been unconditionally released.  The 26-year-old catcher hit .279/.307/.357 in 138 plate appearances for the Pirates this year, catching 283 innings.

The press release also notes that recently-designated players Jeff Karstens and Justin Thomas cleared waivers and have been outrighted to Triple A.

Odds & Ends: Matsui, Cardinals, Arb Offers

Links for Monday…

Heyman On Tigers’ Edwin Jackson Demands

SI's Jon Heyman tweets a rumor of the Tigers' demands from the Mariners in an Edwin Jackson trade:

"Hearing Tigers sought young pitchers Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelley for Jackson.  Mariners apparently said no."

So the Tigers offered two years of Jackson for four years of Morrow and five of Kelley.  Were the Mariners right to turn it down?

Pirates Sign Wil Ledezma

The Pirates signed lefty Wil Ledezma to a minor league deal, according to a team press release.  Ledezma, 29 in January, bounced around in the Nationals and Blue Jays organizations this year.  He compiled a 3.49 ERA in 38.6 innings at three minor league stops, whiffing over a batter per inning but walking 4.2 per nine innings.

Cardinals To Re-Sign Jason LaRue

The Cardinals will re-sign backup catcher Jason LaRue, according to the team's Twitter feed.  In his second year as Yadier Molina's backup, LaRue hit .240/.288/.327 in 112 plate appearances and caught 254 innings.  He earned $950K for his efforts.

Rangers Rumors: Marlins Talks, Dye, Millwood

The latest Rangers hot stove buzz, courtesy of's T.R. Sullivan

  • The Rangers were told by the Marlins that Josh Johnson is not available, which jives with Michael Hill's recent comments.  Texas also inquired on other Marlins pitchers, and Sullivan says "there doesn't appear to be a match."
  • Sullivan says the teams had "absolutely no discussions" about Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla.  On November 19th, ESPN's Jayson Stark had written that talks with the Giants and Rangers for Uggla had gotten hot and heavy at the GM Meetings.
  • The Rangers will need to add a utility infielder, with Omar Vizquel signing with the White Sox.
  • Jermaine Dye remains a top Rangers target as they search for a right-handed middle of the order bat.  Dye's willingness to play first base appeals to the Rangers.  Despite the nice fit, Sullivan believes Dye will land in San Francisco.
  • The Rangers "are not trying to move" veteran starter Kevin Millwood.  Millwood under contract for 2010 after recording "The $12 Million Out" on September 21st.

Rockies Leaning Toward Keeping Spilborghs

The Rockies "plan to keep [outfielder Ryan] Spilborghs unless they receive a substantial offer," according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Despite Spilborghs' first-time arbitration-eligibility and Scott Boras representation, and admirers in the Braves and White Sox, the Rockies do not expect to trade him.

Spilborghs, 30, makes for a solid fourth outfielder.  He slipped to .241/.310/.395 this year, dragged down by slumps in July and September.  He played all three outfield positions, with the most time spent in left field.

With Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez, and Seth Smith highly likely to stay put, the Rockies will probably have to trade one of Matt Murton, Brad Hawpe, or Spilborghs.  Non-tendering Murton is another possibility.