The latest news from MLB as the countdown to next week’s Winter Meetings continues...
- Brian Cashman admitted to John Harper of the New York Daily News that he's often tempted by potential deals, but the Yankees' GM maintains that he's far from desperate this offseason. “We’ve got a really good team, so I don’t feel like I have to do something stupid,” Cashman said. “If I’m going to do something this winter, I have to feel good about it. I don’t care how big the name is.”
- The Orioles have been impressed by Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, Jon Heyman of SI.com reports (on Twitter).
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto says he's still looking for starters and relievers, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times (on Twitter).
- Phillies officials tell ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that they have no knowledge of Jose Reyes’ recent presence in Philadelphia. The team isn’t considering a $100MM contract or anything close to it for any free agent, including Reyes, Stark reports.
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer says he doesn’t view the newly-acquired David DeJesus as a platoon player, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. DeJesus, who agreed to a two-year, $10MM deal today, may get days off against select left-handed starters, however.
- MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes discussed the Cubs’ offseason, including a potential Matt Garza trade, at Bleacher Nation. As Tim points out, Hoyer encountered a similar situation last offseason when he was weighing offers for Adrian Gonzalez.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson is searching for a closer, but that’s by no means his team's lone offseason need. Here’s the latest, as the Mets work to build their first playoff team since 2006...
- Free agent relievers Jon Rauch and Brad Lidge are “strong” on the Mets’ radar, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (on Twitter).
- The Mets inquired on Andrew Bailey, but they don’t seem to be willing to meet Oakland’s asking price, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). The Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Mariners and Reds are also interested in the former AL Rookie of the Year.
- Though previous Mets administrations liked Orlando Hudson and he’s now “very available,” the Mets aren’t currently interested, according to Sherman (Twitter link). The Padres owe Hudson $5.5MM in 2012 and the team has an $8MM option for 2013 ($2MM buyout).
Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine announced tonight that he's staying put, though the Astros had requested to interview him for their open GM position. Here's the latest on Houston's search:
- The Astros will interview Rockies assistant GM Bill Geivett for their GM position, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Geivett, one of MLBTR's 2011 GM candidates, spoke with MLBTR's Tim Dierkes in August. He is a "serious candidate" for the position, Rosenthal writes.
- The Astros should offer Rays executive Andrew Friedman "autonomy, the title of his choosing, a five-year, $20 million contract [and] maybe even equity in the club" to lure him to Houston from Tampa Bay, writes Rosenthal. Despite Friedman's strong relationships in Tampa Bay, he might be tempted by such an offer.
9:25pm: The Rangers have interest in Fielder, but he's not high on their priority list, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Texas isn't seriously courting Pujols, either.
7:43pm: The Rangers announced that Mitch Moreland underwent right wrist surgery today and may not be ready in time for Spring Training. However, the GM Jon Daniels expects Moreland to be healthy in time for Opening Day 2012 and says the team won't need to change its first base plans drastically.
"We may look for some protection there now, but I don't see it changing the level of investment we're going to allocate there," Daniels said, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
Michael Young and Mike Napoli can also play first base for the Rangers if Moreland's recovery takes longer than expected. Though Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols are available on the free agent market, the Rangers say they don't have interest in costly options at the position.
Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine, who ranked third on MLBTR's list of GM candidates, announced that he is foregoing job opportunities outside of the organization, according to Sullivan. The Astros requested permission to interview Levine for their GM vacancy.
The Tigers, who agreed to sign Ramon Santiago to a two-year deal today, have interest in Coco Crisp. Here are the latest updates from their division, starting with a note on another possible outfield target for Detroit:
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski will watch Yoenis Cespedes play in the Dominican Republic, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, who suggests this is “very unusual” for Dombrowski (Twitter link). Cespedes isn’t yet a free agent, but he’s in the process of establishing temporary residency in the Dominican and may hit the open market soon.
- Before the Royals signed Jonathan Broxton, outfielder Jeff Francoeur and manager Ned Yost went hunting with the right-hander in Georgia, according to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. The outing helped convince Broxton to join the Royals.
- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says the team is "making a mad effort" to sign Michael Cuddyer, according to Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 (on Twitter).
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle hears Josh Willingham may be a fit in Minnesota if the Twins don’t re-sign Cuddyer. Similarly, the Red Sox may have interest if they don’t re-sign David Ortiz, Slusser writes.
The Rockies have grabbed the headlines tonight, trading Chris Iannetta to the Angels for Tyler Chatwood and agreeing to terms with Ramon Hernandez on a two-year deal. However, there’s lots more going on in the NL West. Here are the details:
- There’s a “very good” chance Joe Saunders signs a two-year deal with the Diamondbacks, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). Saunders, a non-tender candidate, has a projected 2012 salary of $8.7MM.
- The Dodgers are looking for starting pitching and remain in on Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark (on Twitter). However, Kuroda may be too pricey for the Dodgers, who also like Jeff Francis.
- The Dodgers will have a new owner before long, so Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times asks baseball people what qualities a good owner has. I recommend DiGiovanna’s piece, which suggests passion and money top the list of traits fans might want in an owner.
- Incoming Giants CEO Larry Baer confirmed that the team will operate with a $130MM payroll in 2012, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The team followed up its 2010 World Championship season with a $118MM payroll in 2011.
- For more news on the Rockies, click here.
The Rockies have been busy this evening. They traded Chris Iannetta to the Angels for Tyler Chatwood and agreed to terms with Ramon Hernandez on a two-year deal. Here are the rest of the day’s notes on the Rockies:
- The Rockies remain hopeful of obtaining Martin Prado from the Braves, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes.
- There’s a decent chance Kevin Millwood re-signs with the Rockies this offseason, according to Renck (on Twitter).
- The Rockies have offered Seth Smith to the Braves, but they don’t have interest in packaging him with Tim Wheeler or Charlie Blackmon.
- The Rockies and Padres haven’t made any progress on a possible deal for Orlando Hudson.
- Rival teams say the Rockies would like a Double-A or Triple-A pitcher for Ian Stewart.
The Angels announced that they obtained catcher Chris Iannetta from the Rockies for starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood. In a related move, the Rockies are close to signing Ramon Hernandez to a two-year, $6.5MM contract.
The trade provides the Angels with additional offense behind the plate and rounds out the team's offense with the kind of high-OBP hitter Dipoto expressed interest in earlier in the offseason. Iannetta posted a .238/.370/.414 line in 2011 and given his career line of .235/.357/.430 the Angels are likely expecting similar production in 2012.
Non-tender candidate Jeff Mathis is probably expendable now, whether that means the Angels trade him before the December deadline to tender arbitration eligible players contracts or cut him loose.
Chatwood, 21, posted a 4.75 ERA with 4.7 K/9, 4.5 BB/9 and a 47% ground ball rate in 142 innings as a rookie for the Angels this past season. The 2008 second round pick entered the season as the 76th ranked prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. He has a 3.40 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in parts of four minor league seasons.
The deal is Dipoto's first since being named the Angels' GM about a month ago. It's worth noting that he made the move with Dan O'Dowd, who was Dipoto's GM at the end of his playing career in Colorado. Dipoto made other significant trades as Arizona's interim GM in the summer of 2010.
The Royals have designated infielder Jeff Bianchi for assignment to create 40-man roster space for Jonathan Broxton, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (Twitter link). Kansas City's 40-man roster remains full.
The Royals selected Bianchi in the second round of the 2005 draft. The 25-year-old posted a .259/.320/.333 line with 23 doubles in 499 plate appearances at Double-A in 2011 and has a career line of .281/.335/.410 over the course of six minor league seasons. He has spent considerable time at both shortstop and second base.
The Rockies are close to signing Ramon Hernandez to a two-year deal and trading Chris Iannetta to the Angels, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Tyler Chatwood should be going from the Angels to the Rockies in the deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). Teams are now examining medicals.
The Rockies' deal with Hernandez will be worth $6.5MM over two years, Rosenthal tweets. Though Hernandez is a Type A free agent, the Rockies won't surrender a draft pick to sign him, since he's a modified free agent under baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The Reds will obtain a compensatory pick for losing Hernandez, however.
The move should provide the Angels with additional offense behind the plate and round out the team's offense with the kind of high-OBP hitter Dipoto expressed interest in earlier in the offseason. Iannetta posted a .238/.370/.414 line in 2011 and given his career line of .235/.357/.430 the Angels are likely expecting similar production in 2012. Non-tender candidate Jeff Mathis is probably expendable now, whether that means the Angels trade him before Friday's deadline to tender arbitration eligilbe players contracts or cut him loose.
Assuming the deal goes through, it will be Dipoto's first trade as the Angels' GM. It's worth noting that he's making the move with Dan O'Dowd, who was Dipoto's GM at the end of his playing career in Colorado. Dipoto made other significant trades as Arizona's interim GM in the summer of 2010.