Aaron Boone Rumors

Odds & Ends: Boone, Smoltz, Benson

Links for Tuesday…

Aaron Boone Likely To Retire

Aaron Boone is likely to retire, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).  Boone, 36, worked hard to rehab from March open heart surgery and picked up 14 plate appearances at the end of the season.

Boone would finish with a career line of .263/.326/.425 in 4,329 plate appearances, mostly as a third baseman.  He played for the Reds, Yankees, Indians, Marlins, Nationals, and Astros.  He's best known for his home run off Tim Wakefield in the 2003 ALCS, which gave the Yanks the AL pennant over the Red Sox.  Several months later, Boone's ACL tear prompted the Yankees to acquire Alex Rodriguez.

Astros Not Close To Signing Pedro Martinez

10:56am: John Perrotto, the Baseball Prospectus writer who first ran the Pedro-to-the-Astros story, has issued a mea culpa:

Let’s get this straight right off the top: I was wrong, way wrong about Pedro Martinez being on the verge of signing as a free agent with the Astros.

WEDNESDAY, 9:17am: Oritz reports that third baseman Aaron Boone will leave the Astros to undergo open heart surgery.  It's unclear when or if he'll ever play baseball again.  This appears to be the only big announcement that the Astros had planned for this morning.

TUESDAY, 9:35pm: Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle talked to Astros GM Ed Wade, who said the team has had "zero discussions" on the Pedro front.  Martinez is not close to signing with the Astros.  De Jesus Ortiz was also able to determine in talking to owner Drayton McLane that he is not selling the team or firing, hiring, or signing anyone.  The press conference also has nothing to do with steroids.  MLB.com's Alyson Footer also confirmed that the Astros are not close to an agreement with Pedro.

Meanwhile, Manny Ramirez spoke to Pedro and learned that the pitcher is down to two options (MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reporting).  SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote Monday that the Mets and Dodgers seem to be the likely possibilities.

8:25pm: John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus says the Astros are close to an agreement with Pedro Martinez.

6:34pm: According to MLB.com's Alyson Footer, the Astros scheduled a press conference for tomorrow morning at 8:45am CST.  Footer says the Astros confirmed it's not about Ivan Rodriguez.  Any guesses?

Astros Sign Aaron Boone

According to MLB.com’s Alyson Footer, the Astros signed third baseman Aaron Boone to a one-year deal today.  Boone may get a chance to platoon with Geoff Blum at third base.

Odds and Ends: Perez, Torres, Beimel

Links for Friday, with an unplanned emphasis on relievers…

Nats Extend Wily Mo Pena, Sign Aaron Boone

UPDATE, 12-8-07 at 12:21pm:  The Boston Herald’s Rob Bradford says Wily Mo could’ve gotten more guaranteed money if he’d stuck with his previous agent, Josh Zeide.

FROM 12-6-07 at 11:20am:

The Nats made a couple of moves today.

  • The rumored extension to Wily Mo Pena is done.  He gets $2MM in ’08, plus a mutual option for ’09.  The club can exercise it for $5MM, and if they decline Pena can take it for $2MM.
  • Aaron Boone signed a one-year, $1MM deal with incentives.  Boone, who turns 35 in March, hit a respectable .286/.388/.423 in part-time duty with the Marlins this year. 
  • The Nats re-signed Ryan Langerhans to a minor-league deal.

Odds and Ends: Guillen, Crede, Hamilton, Boone

Rounding up some of the day’s random rumors and tidbits…

  • Jose Guillen might get a light suspension for his exploits.
  • There was a report that the Brewers were close to obtaining Joe Crede, but it was published last night.
  • The BBWAA approved a new resolution for 2013.  Any player with a contract provision linked to a major award of theirs will not be considered for that award.  Makes sense – to repeat Curt Schilling’s situation.  Curt Schilling could get a million bucks by netting one Cy Young vote in 2008.  The BBWAA would rather preserve its right to have members make off-the-wall votes on occasion without bribery being accused.
  • The Reds traded Buck Coats to the Jays.  They also released Jorge Cantu.  They now have an open spot on the 40-man roster.
  • Could the Rays re-acquire Josh HamiltonThere’s speculation on the topic in Nashville.
  • Buster Olney says Aaron Boone interests the Giants, Nationals, and Brewers.

Marlins Interested In Torrealba, Barrett, Maroth

Joe Capozzi checks in with a look at the Marlins’ approach toward free agency this winter.

It sounds like the Fish are willing to spend a few bucks to upgrade on Miguel Olivo in the catcher spot.  Do they go for the defensive-minded Yorvit Torrealba, or the typically offensive-minded Michael Barrett?  So far the Marlins are leaning toward Torrealba, but would have to beat the Rockies’ two-year, $6MM offer.  And the Mets’ level of interest probably just increased with Jorge Posada staying with the Yankees

Barrett has a Jeffrey Loria connection, but might seek a two-year deal for $8MM or so.  The Padres might roll the dice and offer him arbitration.  If they do he declines then the price for another team to sign him increases signficantly – a first or second round draft pick.  The Marlins #6 overall pick is protected, as is the Devil Rays’ #1 overall pick.  In contrast, teams like the Brewers, Blue Jays, Mets, and Rockies risk losing first round picks if they sign Type A free agents who declined arbitration.  Another way to lose those picks would be to sign Type A guys before December 2nd.

Capozzi says the Fish could also look at Paul Lo Duca, Damian Miller, or Rod Barajas if the first two choices fall through. 

The Marlins will surf the bargain bin for one veteran starter, and they’re currently targeting Mike Maroth.  I like it.  He’s an Orlando native who could bounce back and win ten games in ’08.  Capozzi also says the Marlins are in touch with Aaron Boone‘s agent, but will have competition from the Nationals.

State Of The Marlins

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson has all sorts of info concerning the state of the Florida Marlins.

  • We’ve heard this before – the Fish can’t afford to keep both Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera.  Do you trade the cheaper guy, or the more valuable one?  As Jackson says, it really just depends on the offers.  It wouldn’t be a complete shock to see both traded if the Marlins received separate knockout offers on each.
  • The Marlins are likely to non-tender Miguel Olivo, with an eye on bringing Paul Lo Duca back to Florida to provide veteran leadership for the young pitching staff.  Other free agents on the radar: Yorvit Torrealba, Michael Barrett, Jason Kendall, and former Marlin Ramon Castro.  Several of these are $5MM players, so the team’s owner would have to sign off.
  • Some kind of MLB-ready starting pitching is likely to come back in a Willis or Cabrera deal.  But otherwise the Fish will try an injury-discounted guy like Kris Benson.  The market has no shortage of these types – Matt Clement, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Jason Jennings, Jon Lieber, and Jaret Wright all fit the mold. 
  • The Marlins will listen on Scott Olsen, but aren’t opposed to keeping him.
  • For now, Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera are staying put on the left side of the infield.  Good luck improving the defense.
  • The Marlins would like to bring Aaron Boone back for ’08.