Cafardo On Rays, Lee, Fielder, Cubs, Eckstein

At Thursday's Baseball Writers Dinner, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said that he felt good about his rotation heading into Spring Training, but admitted that the Yankees and Rays have fewer question marks in their respective rotations, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  The GM might now have the payroll flexibility to bolster the starting five after sending Marco Scutaro to the Rockies for Clayton Mortensen last night.  Here's more from Cafardo..

  • After taking care of their first base vacancy, the Rays can now accelerate a deal for B.J. Upton to get a shortstop.  Currently, Sean Rodriguez is slated to play there over Reid Brignac.  Tampa Bay could also use an everyday catcher, with Jose Molina currently slated to start.
  • Astros first baseman Carlos Lee has to approve any deal because of his 10-5 rights, and hasn't been receptive to waiving those privileges in the past.  The veteran is scheduled to make $18.5MM, but the club has said that they are willing to eat half of it to get a deal done.  Cafardo thinks they'd cover even more of it to appeal to a team like the Tigers.
  • One AL East GM thinks that the Prince Fielder sweepstakes will come down to the Rangers and Nationals, with the Brewers and Cubs taking a shot if he settles for a one-year deal and elects to become a free agent again.
  • There has been talk that Victor Martinez’s injury could open the door for the Cubs to unload overpriced players such as Alfonso Soriano or Marlon Byrd, but Cafardo isn't buying it.
  • David Eckstein, who didn't play last season, has decided to retire even though there were teams willing to bring him into camp.  The 37-year-old hit .280/.345/.355 in his ten-year Major League career.
  • If the Orioles, Tigers, or Yankees don’t come through soon, Johnny Damon could be in a real bind as far as finding a job.  Cafardo opines that he would be a great fit in Detroit to replace the veteran leadership of Martinez.
  • With DH openings few and far between, Cafardo also wonders about the futures of Vladimir Guerrero, Hideki Matsui, Magglio Ordonez, Raul Ibanez, and J.D. Drew.
  • Cherington says that he won't consider bringing Drew back to Boston.  Recently, an National League GM told Cafardo that he believes that Drew can be a great bat off of the bench for an NL team.
  • Larry Lucchino won’t say whether he has re-upped with the Red Sox on a long-term deal, but Cafardo takes that as a yes.


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102 Comments on "Cafardo On Rays, Lee, Fielder, Cubs, Eckstein"


Iconoclast17
3 years 7 months ago

If Damon’s not careful he’s going to wind up back in Oakland.

3 years 7 months ago

Why sign Damon when you can sign Manny?!?!

Richard Ellard
3 years 7 months ago

Thomas- REALLY? Maybe because Manny would have to serve a 50 game suspension first!

3 years 7 months ago

It was a joke.

Iconoclast17
3 years 7 months ago

Well, Beane could sign both. The A’s need a DH and BB usually grabs a veteran bat (very veteran) to fill that role: Thomas, Piazza, Matsui, Cust, for instance.

3 years 7 months ago

Beane should control the pitching. When it comes to hitting, he has no clue.

Iconoclast17
3 years 7 months ago

Sadly, true. And, when the A’s to get hold of a real hitter, Andre Eithier, Carlos Gonzalez—Beane quickly dispatches them.

Beane’s very smart but he continues to overvalue the Derek Barton’s of the world. Coco Crisp is an exception to the walk rule, though, so maybe there’s hope.

Richard Ellard
3 years 7 months ago

Thomas- REALLY? Maybe because Manny would have to serve a 50 game suspension first!

scott brecht
3 years 7 months ago

There is no reason the Cubs would sign Fielder on a 1 year deal.  This writer’s credibility is lost with that statement.  

kräftig. entschieden
3 years 7 months ago

Not a writer, an “AL East GM”. But I agree, it wouldn’t make sense with the acquisition of Rizzo.

scott brecht
3 years 7 months ago

Nick Cafardo wrote the article.  

SumatranRatMonkey
3 years 7 months ago

Really confused as to what you’re thinking here.  Yeah Nick Cafardo wrote the article, but it’s not his opinion on Fielder, it’s what someone else said.  How is his credibility lost?

kräftig. entschieden
3 years 7 months ago

Not a writer, an “AL East GM”. But I agree, it wouldn’t make sense with the acquisition of Rizzo.

stewie75
3 years 7 months ago

i think it’d be a GOOD idea to sign him, cubs would give up what, a 2nd round pick in a draft where teams are restricted in spending? and if fielder has his usual first half, theo & jed could flip him for prospects further along with minor league scouting reports, meaning the bust factor would be lower and they’d be ready for the majors sooner. and all it’d cost is a 1 year deal? what’s the downside here?

3 years 7 months ago

Fielder should become a Blue Jay. That would be great.

3 years 7 months ago

As much as I don’t like to say this stuff, Maggs, Ibanez, Drew, and Vlad look to be unemployed next year unless they take pay cuts/part time jobs. Damon has his shot still and Matsui is probably the biggest threat out there just because he attracts the Asian crowds. However Detroit wants Cepedes and will probably go with an in-house candidate over the FA market.

3 years 7 months ago

As much as I don’t like to say this stuff, Maggs, Ibanez, Drew, and Vlad look to be unemployed next year unless they take pay cuts/part time jobs. Damon has his shot still and Matsui is probably the biggest threat out there just because he attracts the Asian crowds. However Detroit wants Cepedes and will probably go with an in-house candidate over the FA market.

3 years 7 months ago

I agree. Matsui is still a threat at the plate. the yankees need a left-handed bat (to platoon with Andrew Jones), he is still seen as a WS-hero in NY, and he can help Kuroda transition to a new league/clubhouse. he will be cheap to sign and the fans still love him!

CandyMaldonadoLand
3 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t go so far as to call Marlon Byrd overpriced. John Lackey, on the other hand…

rockfordone
3 years 7 months ago

Blockbuster – Rays send Upton, Moore, Lee and Brignac to White Sox for ARam and AJ Pierz

3 years 7 months ago

You smoke a lot of weed?

stewie75
3 years 7 months ago

*crack

Stuart Brown
3 years 7 months ago

I hope you’re not serious. That’s a horrible, horrible trade for the Rays.

sam agsar
3 years 7 months ago

I think the Rays might have to throw in Price, Longo, Shields and a couple more prospects to even this trade out.

3 years 7 months ago

No way. Throw in Dunn or Rios, and then the White Sox MIGHT do that.

scott brecht
3 years 7 months ago

i really hope you are being sarcastic

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

Obviously…

scott brecht
3 years 7 months ago

i really hope you are being sarcastic

Stuart Brown
3 years 7 months ago

I hope you’re not serious. That’s a horrible, horrible trade for the Rays.

dylanp5030
3 years 7 months ago

Yeah, Moore is one of the most valuable rookies right now. He’s not going anywhere.

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

The mental hospital is just down the road. Please keep right

3 years 7 months ago

Eckstein, you will always be remembered for your stance and that World Series MVP award.

3 years 7 months ago

Upton for a SS? Hmm…..who matches up?

I personally thought the RFO was set with Upton in CF going forward.

3 years 7 months ago

inb4 Ian Desmond. There aren’t that many short stops available worth Upton, even though he’s been a bust. 

3 years 7 months ago

What about JJ Hardy though? He’s 30 years old and the Orioles won’t compete for years and years. Upton has some upside. And they have some money, so if they can’t resign him they can always trade him for a couple of prospects.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

Upton is a free agent after this year, Hardy just signed an extension. How does this make any sense?

3 years 7 months ago

Ah, I forgot all about that extension.

3 years 7 months ago

Do you seriously think Hardy for Upton is even remotely fair for the Rays, or that it makes sense at all for them?

3 years 7 months ago

I think if the Rays could get Hardy for Upton, they wouldn’t think twice.

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

I would absolutely swap Upton for Hardy. He brings tremendous power to the lineup and fills the SS hole. It’s very unlikely though because it doesn’t make sense for Baltimore

Blue_Bomb
3 years 7 months ago

If they trade for an SS, is S-Rod still a starter? He’s my fantasy 2B :(

tigers22
3 years 7 months ago

that’s unfortunate. 

Blue_Bomb
3 years 7 months ago

Well I drafted him in one of the last few rounds of a 16-team league, so i’m sure I can find or trade for someone else if need be.

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

Then your team must suck

johnsilver
3 years 7 months ago

The idea of JD Drew as a DH is one of the most outlandish and never going to happen of the many Cafardo always writes about every week.

Drew cannot even hit anymore..Big **IF** he manages to find a job, if will be because he can play a still decent RF with a good arm and not because he can hit. His bat deserted him 2 years ago and has long since been MIA.

sourbob
3 years 7 months ago

Marlon Byrd’s 2011 value, according to Fangraphs: $9.1MM.
Marlon Byrd’s average value, last 5 yrs, Fangraphs: $11.5 MM.
Marlon Byrd’s 2012 salary, 2012: $6.5MM.

How is that overpriced?

The Cubs have some serious dead weight to unload, but Byrd is a guy they can deal while rightly insisting his contract has surplus value.

scott brecht
3 years 7 months ago

i expect him to have a better year this year than last.  he never looked comfortable after coming back from getting beaned in the face.  

101andCounting
3 years 7 months ago

I also heard that he dropped forty pounds this offseason by doing Muay Thai. He could come out the gates pretty hot this year.

3 years 7 months ago

I loved Marlon when he was here in Texas with the Rangers. I was dissapointed that we couldn’t pay him. He’s a great guy and a really good/underrated player.

3 years 7 months ago

I don’t buy Upton getting traded at this point.  His value to other teams would be pretty low while Rays would value him higher.  If Upton continues to produce the way he has been doing for last couple of years, he would elect FA after turning down arb. offer.  

Possibly meaning two 1st round picks for compensation.  There is also a possibility Upton finally having some breakout year due to his first FA year and with the slash line he had after August, .333/.432/.606 in last 26 games.

I don’t think there is any viable SS option in market who projects to be better than S-Rod neither.

javywoz
3 years 7 months ago

I think this is pretty dead on.  Any SS who might be available (outside of HanRam) is a minimal upgrade to SRod, and that improvement would pretty much be completely negated from the dropoff of BJ to a Fuld/Guyer platoon. 

IndianaBob
3 years 7 months ago

Desmond Jennings will play CF if Upton is traded.  They could try to upgrade with youth at SS/1B/corner OF/C in return for Upton.

diehardmets
3 years 7 months ago

If I’m the Rays, I would keep Upton for now and let Sean Rod start at SS. He has had some gaudy minor league numbers and perhaps he can tap into them to some degree. If not, Beckham and/or Lee should be ready for the majors soon. As for C, Chirinos or the lesser known Stephen Vogt could start there with Molina as back up and probably produce acceptable offensive numbers.

IndianaBob
3 years 7 months ago

Sean only hits lefties (.377 lefties vs .259 righties wOBA).  Brignac does not hit anyone.  They really need a SS that is decent against righties.

Vote4DougWilson
3 years 7 months ago

I could live with
Jackson (cf) Damon (dh) Boesch (rf) Cabrera (1b) Avila (c) Delmon (lf) Peralta (ss) Inge/Kelly (3b) Santiago (2b)

3 years 7 months ago

Avila is not batting 5th. 

3 years 7 months ago

I would much rather have Delmon DH and sign a LF. Hello Andy Dirks :p !

3 years 7 months ago

Block Buster: Geo Soto, Darwin Barney, Brett Jackson for Upton and Shields

3 years 7 months ago

Throw in the other 22 players on the Cubs and the Rays will wait a couple of extra seconds before they hang up the phone.

chrisenvy
3 years 7 months ago

I can’t imagine the Rays doing that.

chrisenvy
3 years 7 months ago

I can’t imagine the Rays doing that.

Dynasty22
3 years 7 months ago

If I were the Rays, I would try B.J at the number 2 slot before I would trade him. He seemed to do well there during the final two months.

javywoz
3 years 7 months ago

This, Upton had a 1.000+ OPS batting 2nd towards the end of the year. 

3 years 7 months ago

Not that this changes the fact that Tampa Bay could use a catcher, but I’m fairly certain that, if they started the season with this roster, they’d use Jose Lobaton in platoon with Molina (at least, and probably as the primary backstop). Lobatan put up big numbers in a half-season at AAA last year and got several starts during the stretch drive. I don’t think he’s a long-term solution, but certainly has more upside than 37-year-old Jose, who has never been a #1 option anywhere. 

3 years 7 months ago

I was thinking the M’s could ship Olivo and Ryan to Tampa for a bag of oranges. Then I remembered, it said the Rays needed a catcher.

The M’s will sign Fielder. Have you heard anything from the M’s? That’s the way it always is with Zduriencik.

3 years 7 months ago

JJ Hardy for Niemann, Beckham(SS prospect), Dietrich(SS/3B prospect) ?