Rosenthal On B.J. Upton, Bourn, Morse, Ethier

Here's the latest from's Ken Rosenthal as he dissects the buzz and rumors currently circulating around the league…

  • The addition of two former members from the Rays organization has nothing to do with a potential pursuit of center fielder B.J. Upton, says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
  • While some teams may prefer Upton over Michael Bourn thanks to his age (nearly two years younger) and the ability to hit for power, Rosenthal points out that Bourn's value comes from being a well-rounded player. 
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche's decision regarding his free agency may greatly impact Washington's course of action this offseason, especially with left fielder Michael Morse
  • The notion that the Dodgers may consider moving Andre Ethier just months after signing him to a five-year, $85MM contract simply wouldn't be the best move for Los Angeles heading into 2013, opines Rosenthal.
  • Look for the Yankees to re-sign Russell Martin, but the Bombers have had their eye on free agent David Ross, who has served as Brian McCann's backup with the Braves since 2009.
  • The Cardinals and second baseman Skip Schumaker may be parting ways this offseason as the veteran no longer has a defined role with the club thanks to the emergence of young talent. 

47 Responses to Rosenthal On B.J. Upton, Bourn, Morse, Ethier Leave a Reply

  1. W.G 3 years ago

    I love Skip Schumaker’s versatility and is all-out style playing, but where could the Cardinals put him? I don’t know. I would hate to see him leave, but I would much rather see him somewhere where he could play more.

    • I have very similar feelings. Schumaker is a guy that just plays to the max, always leaving everything he’s got on the field. I’d want him back though, to help mentor Matt Carpenter, Wong, Jackson, Dezzy, etc. They say he’s a leader in the clubhouse too, and that is irreplaceable.

  2. Dylan 3 years ago

    Dear Ruben:
    1. You don’t have to be the first to sign the players, wait out the market and see how it develops.
    2. You don’t have to go an extra year to get the guy.
    3. Keep your first round pick. They are extremely important with this new CBA.
    4. Don’t sign anyone whose last name ends in an “N” for they will all be overpaid (This is includes Hamilton, Bourn, Upton, and Pegan).

    • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

      I think he learned his lesson from the Papelbon signing last year (at least I hope). Some of the comments he’s been making lately have been about waiting out the market and not rushing to sign players.

      • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

        I thought you were going to say he learned his lesson after signing a player whose name ends in “N” last season.

        • Dylan 3 years ago

          Didn’t even think about that, but +1 for you sir. Add Blanton to that list as well…although it was an extension not a free agent signing.

    • Brendan Purcell 3 years ago

      Agree on all but Pagan. 4-WAR player who will be signed for $11M/year.

      • LazerTown 3 years ago

        I don’t think he is really that valuable. He is definitely an option if some of the other free agents get too expensive. But I still don’t view him as an elite player.

        This seems like an odd offseason. I really don’t remember before all of these simply mediocre free agents expected to get big salaries. Upton, victorino, lohse, Bourn, pagan. Are all not elite players yet could all very well get $10m+

        • Brendan Purcell 3 years ago

          Pagan has two full seasons and has WARs of 5.1 in 2010 and 4.0 in 2012. From 2008 to 2012, his 150-game WAR average is above 4.0.

          I agree about Lohse, Victorino, Upton, and Bourn though. Bourn is the best of them, but the three other don’t deserve more than $10M.

  3. Yanks101 3 years ago

    why such the push for the yankees to sign a catcher at 7 mil who is one of the worst in baseball?

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      definitely there are worse. Salty on the sox for one, with an obp 25 points lower. Yankees just like the way he has handled the staff and there is value to that.

      • LazerTown 3 years ago

        Add: Nats acquired Kurt Suzuki at the deadline who is pretty close to Martin and he was an upgrade for them.

  4. Natsfan89 3 years ago

    If LaRoche comes back Morse is gone. That simple.

    • Dylan 3 years ago

      They should be able to get some decent pieces for Morse as well. I’d think they’d want maybe a catching prospect or some arms. They really don’t need much besides a CF and I think they believe Goodwin is that guy.

      • Natsfan89 3 years ago

        They’re pretty deep at catcher. Suzuki and Ramos on the big league roster and then they have Solano and Leon in the minors who are decent back ups. If Morse goes he goes for a young starter who’s still in his arb years.

        • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

          I could see the Rays being interested in him given their abundance of young arms.

          Maybe even a Shields/Morse swap as they’re both under control until 2014… at lest I think.

          • FS54 3 years ago

            I think Shields will cost more than just Morse.

          • I think thats solid. I wouldn’t give up more than Morse + B level prospect from the nats perspective

  5. diesel2410 3 years ago

    A deal with the Rays and Nats revolving around Shields and Morse is interesting

    • Natsfan89 3 years ago

      I think Morse gets traded for a starter if LaRoche comes back but I don’t know if a Morse+prospects for Shields trade gets done. The Rays want top prospects and, while the Nationals showed they aren’t afraid to deal their best guys with the Gio trade, none of the guys they dealt had the ceiling of guys like Meyer, Rendon, or Goodwin (except maybe Cole) and they already have 4 good starters in Strasburg, Gio, Zimmermann, and Detwiler.

      But who knows. Rizzo was ready to trade Zimmermann, Storen, and Espinosa for Grienke a few years ago.

      • Actually word is that he was only going to trade one of them most likely if that trade ever happened, but that specifics of player names never even got started much.

        Anyways, I don’t think the nats would want to do much more than Morse + a ‘B’ prospect for Shields IMO

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          Not sure if that gets it done. He really had a down year and honestly he is already 30, 31 on opening day. They would be banking that 2012 was a down year and not him already declining. If he was a few years younger it would be fine.

          • Shields is even older than Morse, both will be 31 all of next season. Shields is coming off a pretty good but not stellar season and is more expensive than Morse. All things considered, when you look at it, there isn’t a huge disparity between the two. At least not enough that it would make sense (for either team) to give too much.

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            Wasn’t more the age per say that got me, just the proven track record at their age. Shields has proven himself, his era bounces around, but usally his xFIP stays around in a good range.
            Morse on the other hand has really only had 1.5 good years after bouncing around forever. This year he wasn’t nearly as good as his previous 2 years, could be a similiar to ibanez, who doesn’t really figure it out til almost 30 or he could have just had a few good years and then disappear.

          • Right. But I think Morse was pretty solid considering all the time he missed this year at the start. He only rehabbed for a few games…so essentially his first few weeks were almost a rehab, and he still put up good ratio numbers. So all in all, I think Shields is a little better but not too significantly. But eh, who really know..

          • Natsfan89 3 years ago

            What do you mean down year? Morse didn’t have a down year, he just missed the first 3rd of the season with an injury.

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            .320 obp which is 40 points lower, and slg was 80 points lower. Even if you throw out his first half, his 2nd half #’s still down from previous year.

            Was worse than Granderson this year, and everyone was calling for him to be traded.

  6. I’d take Bourn on the Rangers, over Upton, any day.

    • Dylan 3 years ago

      As in Jason Bourne…sorry I had to.

    • diesel2410 3 years ago

      Yes but many other teams would pick Upton. The Rangers don’t need more power

  7. DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

    Russell Martin and/or David Ross would be just fine behind home. I would not complain about that tandem one bit. Ross is one of the most consistent backup catchers in baseball. The work he did behind McCann is impressive. Despite a down season, Russell Martin still hit his 20 + Homeruns and produced a 1.5 WAR and he also got hot at the right time, with the Yankees going into October. Hitting .211 doesn’t look like much but for Martin it is considering he sat on .180 – .190 for most of the season. He is still just 29 years old and he knows the pitching staff better than anyone on the Free Agent market. He went from a 2.4 WAR with a .734 OPS to a 1.5 WAR and a .714 OPS. Had Martin not been so cold for so long, he would have produced just fine. I like the idea of retaining him and if they can get Ross to back him up … even better. There are teams in the league with worse tandems.

    • Frank 3 years ago

      i don’t see Ross leaving the Braves, esp with McCan out prob for first month of the season

      • DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

        That is my first thought as well. I completely agree, Ross will still get his playing time in Atlanta with McCann’s injury. However I’m just pointing out that it’s interesting to see the Yankees showing interest in Ross. That means if they lose out on him, a guy like Kelly Shoppach or Miguel Olivo might also be considered. Chris Stewart is a good receiver, framer, and thrower, but if they can improve at backup catcher offense even by a little it would certainly help Russell Martin.

        • Frank 3 years ago

          Kelly Shoppach would be good as a back up, I liked the way he handled the pitching staff when he came over to the Mets but he struggled on the offensive side, but he did show some power at times, Yanks would be in great shape with Martin as there starter and Shoppach backing him up

          • Yanks101 3 years ago

            You guys are crazy. Martin is in no world worth 7 million dollars mabye 1.5. His batting average will not get better it will prgressively get worse.
            I would be okay if they let martin walk and install Cervelli as starting catcher. Youd ont need offense at catcher, take that money and go get a good outfielder

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            That would be a disaster. Martin still hit 20 hr, got his obp up, worked well with the staff. Carvel lei is not a starter. You would be getting worse defense and worse offense from that spot. There Lso isn’t really any good free agent outfielders besides swish and Hamilton. This is definetely a good year to be a free agent in that a lot of questionable players could get big money.

          • gemmatmorrow 3 years ago

            I don’t dislike Cervelli but he is not a starting catcher. The team obviously thinks so, seeing as he went from catching almost half the 2011 season to playing all of 2012 in AAA. That they didn’t even have him stick around to be the backup says a lot.

          • Vmmercan 3 years ago

            Agree they don’t see him as a starter, but to be fair, he was supposed to be the backup and was injured in spring training. Stewart performed in his role all year, so Cervelli never really had a shot to return until his callup (he also struggled for awhile in AAA).

    • paylly 3 years ago

      Not the Dodgers! Martin’s stats are on a long downward spiral, why do you think the LAD made little effort to keep him?

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

        FWIW, after non-tendering Martin, the Dodgers made him an offer very similar to the contract he signed with the Yankees. I think he took the Yankees’ offer because he’d developed a bad case of warning track power in LA and he knew he’d always look like a whiffer if he stayed.

  8. Frank 3 years ago

    Smart move for the Nats is to resign LaRoche and trade Morse, a great fit for Morse would be the Rays or Red Soxs

  9. Any chance that the Dodgers wanting to move Ethier and his deal would be to possibly free up money and a position to make a run at Hamilton?

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

      There ended up being little or no truth the rumor that the Dodgers were trying to deal Ethier. Not sure why it is still being discussed like it is about to happen. Besides if the Dodgers really are going in pursuit of Hamilton, they wouldn’t have to trade Ethier to free up money. Not only do they have plenty of money to burn, they couldn’t realistically considering trading Ethier without filling his position first. That’s called burning your bridges before you cross them.

  10. n0s 3 years ago

    Am I the only one who can’t figure out why David Ross would be signed over Russell Martin? One is going to be 36 on Opening Day, is a career back-up, and the last and only time in his career that he played over 100 games, he batted .200 and was 30 years old.

    I’d take Russell Martin as my starting catcher over David Ross 10 times out of 10.

  11. HerbertAnchovy 3 years ago

    I feel that The Blue Jays should acquire Schumaker to play second.

  12. PUDGE4MGR 3 years ago

    Ethier for Holland???

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