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On this date three years ago, the Padres returned Rule 5 selection Ivan Nova to the Yankees. The right-hander broke out with a 3.70 ERA in 165 1/3 innings last year, his first full season in the Major Leagues. Here are today's links…
- The Rangers are looking to tinker, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. They’re looking to move Koji Uehara and/or Mark Lowe and aim to acquire a utility infielder and/or right-handed bat who can handle left field and first base. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that other teams are calling about the Rangers’ relievers.
- Magic Johnson, whose group won the bidding for the Dodgers, promises to invest in the team, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports (via the Baltimore Sun). "Teams are investing," the former NBA star said. "That's what you do when you put a winning team on the field. We're not going to be any different from those teams."
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports argues that it would be good for baseball if more of the sport's stars remained involved in high-profile roles after their playing careers end. "Two trends — increasing player compensation and larger ownership groups — have combined to create more opportunities for players to become owners," Astros CEO George Postolos told Morosi.
- Teams with catching depth such as the Yankees, Padres, and Blue Jays aren’t inclined to make deals at this point, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
- Aaron Rowand, who was released earlier today, says he'll "probably" retire if no team needs an outfielder, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (Twitter link).
The Giants, who cut Rowand last August, owe him $12MM in 2012, the final season of the five-year, $60MM deal he signed with San Francisco in 2007. Rowand hit .233/.274/.347 in 351 plate appearances for San Francisco in 2011, playing all three outfield positions.
The Marlins signed Aaron Rowand to a minor league deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Giants, who cut Rowand in August, are paying him $12MM less the MLB minimum salary in 2012, the final season of the five-year, $60MM deal he signed with San Francisco in 2007.
Rowand hit .233/.274/.347 in 351 plate appearances for the Giants this past season, playing all three outfield positions. The 34-year-old was last a useful player in 2009, according to FanGraphs' version of wins above replacement. The White Sox, Rowand's first MLB team, showed some interest in him this offseason.
The White Sox are looking for a "Ubaldo Jimenez package" in return for John Danks, an executive told ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link). The Rockies' haul for Jimenez at this year's trade deadline consisted of four pitching prospects, including two former first-rounders in Drew Pomeranz and Alex White. However, Jimenez was still under team control for two-plus seasons when the Indians acquired him, while Danks' contract expires at the end of 2012.
Let's check out a couple more White Sox links (newest at the top)…
- Referring to the Santos trade, GM Kenny Williams told reporters (including Knobler): "It is the start of a rebuilding … And you guys know I have not used that word in 12 years."
- Danks, Gavin Floyd, Carlos Quentin, and Gordon Beckham could all be gone by Opening Day if Chicago's rebuild goes according to plan, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
- The White Sox have talked to Aaron Rowand's agent about bringing the outfielder back in 2012, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
- Neither Keith Law at ESPN.com or R.J. Anderson and Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus are overly enamored with the newest member of the White Sox, Nestor Molina, acquired today for Sergio Santos. Both pieces require a subscription.
Free agent notes I found lying around on Twitter…
- Righty Chris Young should be ready for spring training following shoulder capsule surgery, his agent told MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- Aaron Rowand is looking for a big league job, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. The Phillies said no.
- Manny Ramirez is calling teams directly in his search for employment, tweets Bob Klapisch.
- Reliever Frank Francisco is likely to sign elsewhere in the wake of the Blue Jays acquiring Sergio Santos, GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters today.
- Infielder Miguel Tejada hopes for a Major League deal, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
- More than a dozen scouts are expected to watch Joel Zumaya throw next week, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and Padres are among the team's that will be in attendance.
- Sidney Ponson has no intention of pitching again, writes MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko. Currently, Ponson is contemplating whether to purchase a boat. I say go for it, big guy!
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that the current version of the Tigers is significantly different than the team that started the season with a 12-17 mark. Rival executives agree that the Tigers, winners of ten straight, wouldn’t be fun to face in a playoff series at this point. Here’s Stark’s latest:
- People close to Indians president Mark Shapiro tell Stark that the longtime GM would be “intrigued” by the Cubs’ GM job. Shapiro’s associates say he’s happy in Cleveland, but suggest he’d listen if Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts came calling. Shapiro declined comment and there’s no indication that the Cubs have spoken to him.
- A friend of Mark Buehrle's doesn’t believe the left-hander would retire after the season, when he is set to hit free agency. Buehrle would have been open to pitching for the Cardinals, but they have a full rotation set up for 2012, assuming they exercise Adam Wainwright’s options.
- White Sox officials have been saying they need to cut payroll, according to Stark. Like the Cardinals, they have five starters under team control for 2012 even without Buehrle.
- The Phillies aren’t likely to exercise Roy Oswalt’s $16MM option, but other than that the right-hander’s future remains unclear. He is another pitcher who has expressed interest in St. Louis, but it’s not a likely fit given the Cardinals’ depth. Oswalt doesn’t want to pitch in the American League or for a non-contender, according to Stark.
- The Marlins won’t be able to obtain manager Ozzie Guillen from the White Sox unless they’re willing to part with a “big-time player.”
- It appears that the Rays are open to the idea of bringing Johnny Damon back for another season.
- Aaron Rowand wants to play in 2012, though he isn’t likely to return this season. He’ll be looking for the opportunity to pick up regular at bats next year, according to Stark.
Tejada, 37, hit .239/.270/.326 in 343 plate appearances with San Francisco after signing a one-year, $6.5MM contract in November 2010. Rowand, 34, hit .233/.274/.347 in 351 PAs. The Giants had to eat the balance of his 2011 salary plus the $12MM he's owed for 2012.
- Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles says it’s probably too late for a shakeup to affect the Giants’ season. They trail the D'Backs by 5.5 games, so their postseason chances are slim, but they got better today and for next season by designating Rowand and Tejada for assignment, Brisbee argues.
- There will be no dynasty for the Giants, Jon Paul Morosi writes at FOX Sports.
- ESPN.com's Jim Bowden and Padres GM Jed Hoyer agree that MLB should reduce the number of players MLB teams are allowed to call up in September.
- A trade involving Padres starter Aaron Harang has become more likely, according to Morosi.
- The Padres are still discussing Chad Qualls with multiple teams, according to Morosi (on Twitter).
Aaron Rowand's Giants tenure has come to a close. The team designated the outfielder for assignment today, reports Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. The Giants cleaned house, also designating Miguel Tejada this morning. GM Brian Sabean says he'll try to trade both players.
Rowand, 34, hit .233/.274/.347 in 351 plate appearances this year, playing center and left field. GM Brian Sabean signed Rowand to a five-year, $60MM deal in December of 2007. Cutting him now means eating $1.8MM in salary this year and $12MM for 2012. The 2007-08 offseason was chock full of bad contracts, including Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Silva, Francisco Cordero, Andruw Jones, Jose Guillen, Luis Castillo, Scott Linebrink, Kaz Matsui, Geoff Jenkins, and David Riske.
Rowand was signed following a strong 2007 season for the Phillies (6.0 WAR), but he ended up hitting .253/.310/.394 in 509 games over four seasons for the Giants. His defense, at least, was generally graded as a positive by UZR.
Ubaldo Jimenez makes his Cleveland debut tonight as the Indians look to gain more ground on the division leading Tigers. Here are today's links…
- Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello tell John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press that they were pleased to see the Tigers extend the contracts of GM Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland.
- Former Angels scouting director Eddie Bane told Bill Shaikin of the LA Times that GM Tony Reagins fired him last winter because of a personality clash and because Reagins wasn't happy with the Angels' recent drafts. Bane, now a scout with the Tigers, drafted Garrett Richards, Mike Trout and Tyler Skaggs in 2009 and Tyler Chatwood in 2008.
- Aaron Rowand told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he has enjoyed his time in San Francisco, downplaying speculation that he would prefer to be in Chicago again.
- The Yankees have some interest in signing recently-released left-hander Arthur Rhodes to a minor league deal, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Pirates have improved this year, despite their recent skid. They aren't better than the Brewers or Cardinals, but they're better than they used to be.