February 2011

Phillies Notes: Utley, Young, Durbin

The latest on the Phillies, before they take on the Blue Jays with former Toronto ace Roy Halladay on the mound…

Valentine Interested In Owning Part Of Mets

Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine could return to the organization after all. Valentine has spoken with serious financial backers about bidding to buy part of the Mets, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Valentine says he's interested in the possibility of owning part of the team.

"I'’ve talked to a number of people interested in purchasing part of the New York Mets, but I'’m not formally with any group that is actively pursuing this venture," Valentine told Rubin.

The Wilpon family is open to selling a minority share in the club, as it faces a $1 billion lawsuit and financial instability. When the Mets needed financial support last fall, they borrowed $25MM from MLB.

Valentine was a candidate for a number of managerial openings last year, though he wasn't a finalist for the Mets position. Terry Collins beat Bob Melvin and Chip Hale for the job in November.

Quick Hits: Beimel, Milledge, Doumit, Wainwright

Links for Sunday evening as we mourn the passing of Dodgers legend Duke Snider..

Yankees Notes: Lee, Sisco

A few Yankees-related tidbits..

  • Jack Curry of YES (via these Twitter links) spoke to Cliff Lee about his offseason and flirtation with the Yankees.  The left-hander said that before the Phillies got involved, the Yankees were a "likely possibility".  Lee had three good options in the Yankees, Phillies, and Rangers, but ultimately felt that he could win multiple titles with the Phils, despite seeing the Yanks as "attractive".  Even though Lee left money on the table to return to Philadelphia, he says that one monster contract is just as good as another in his view.
  • Despite reports to the contrary, the Yankees did not release left-handed pitcher Andy Sisco, writes Josh Norris of The Trentonian.  The 6'10" hurler has a 5.18 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in 151 career big league appearances.  His last stint in the majors came in 2007 with the White Sox.

Week In Review: 2/20/11 – 2/26/11

It's time to take a look back at the week that was..

Full Story | 3 Comments | Categories: Week In Review

MLBTR Originals

Here's a look back at some of the analysis and reporting MLBTR's writing team delivered this week..

Full Story | 1 Comment | Categories: MLBTR Originals

D’Backs GM On Free Agency, Trades, Pitching

Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers touched on a handful of roster issues today and Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has the goods..

  • The D'Backs probably won’t look outside of the organization for help this spring.  Piecoro notes (via Twitter) that this is unlike how he’s operated in past years while serving as the GM of the Padres.
  • Towers thinks that the club has solid depth and says that club scouts are spending more time watching other teams’ minor leaguers.  So while the club could look to make a trade, it likely won't be one to build the club in the short term.  "If anything, we might have some excess, some depth in certain areas. So other teams might hit us. I would imagine that our pro scouts are spending more time on the minor league fields," said Towers.
  • The GM said that contract status won't play a role in deciding the makeup of the back end of the team's rotation, though contract situations such as a large guaranteed deal or a player out of options will likely factor into decisions in some way.  Zach Duke, Armando Galarraga, Aaron Heilman and Barry Enright are the main contenders for the spots, writes Steve Gilbert of MLB.com.  Duke is guaranteed $4.5MM whether he makes the team or not while Galarraga's $2.3MM is only partially guaranteed if he's released prior to Opening Day.  Heilman, meanwhile, is out-of-options and would likely be stowed away in the bullpen to be protected.

Pirates GM: Ryan Doumit Talks Have Quieted

Pirates GM Neal Huntington says that the trade talk surrounding Ryan Doumit has "kind of died" for now, writes Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  This appears to be a recent development, as Huntington confessed just two weeks ago that the club could deal the catcher before Opening Day.

 “Things kind of died, in terms of most conversations, once you get into February,” the GM said. “They (usually) pick back up again the first couple weeks of games. Right now is a very quiet period for most clubs.”

As our own Mark Polishuk recently explained, 2011 is a make or break year for Doumit.  The Pirates hold  options on the soon-to-be 30-year-old worth $7.25MM in 2012 and $8.25MM in 2013 but the club will almost certainly choose to pay a $500K buyout instead.

Huntington also indicated today that if the Pirates decide they can’t keep Rule 5 pick Josh Rodriguez on the roster, they will first try to work out a trade with the Indians in order to keep him.

Cards To Wait Two Weeks Before Looking For Pitching

After losing Adam Wainwright for the season, it's been speculated that the Cardinals would go out on the free agent or trade market to acquire his replacement. GM John Mozeliak showed a much more patient approach last week, saying they'll first look in-house for a solution. SI.com's Jon Heyman reports today (on Twitter) that reliever Kyle McClellan will get the first crack at the job, but if not one emerges within two weeks, the team will "consider outside options."

The 26-year-old McClellan has 202 career relief appearances to his credit but zero big league starts. His last start came in Single-A in 2007, and the last time he started on a regular basis was back in 2004, again in Single-A. McClellan was working under a starter's program in Spring Training before Wainwright's injury, and according to the PitchFX data at FanGraphs, he throws enough pitches for the role: sinker (33.0% of the time), fastball (25.9%), curve (22.3%), and slider (11.9%) while mixing in a changeup (6.1%). Cardinals fans, chime in in the comments if you've seen something different out of the right-hander.

I looked at some potential pitching options for the Cardinals last week, highlighted by free agents Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Bonderman.

Olney’s Latest: Marlins, Padres, Cardinals, ChiSox

ESPN's Buster Olney wrote about the Marlins' revamped bullpen in today's blog post (Insider req'd), noting that they now have a pair of left-handers (Randy Choate and Mike Dunn) to go after the middle of Philadelphia's lineup. They lacked those options early last year. Florida also brought in right-handed relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica in this winter's Cameron Maybin trade.

Here are the rest of Olney's rumors…

  • Padres officials met with prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes recently to stress that they don't want them to put too much pressure on themselves after the trade that brought them to San Diego. The trio was acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez swap.
  • The Cardinals are going to watch their pitchers over the next few weeks in the wake of Adam Wainwright's injury, then see if they "need to change course."
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams told Olney's colleague Gene Wojciechowski "I know what I want for next year right now. I have an idea. But if we're going to have dreams of maintaining where we are payroll-wise or taking it even a step higher, yeah, a lot of it depends on what happens this year." Williams said he would have liked to have done more this offseason, but is thrilled with the payroll owner Jerry Reinsdorf gave him.