Aaron Rowand Rumors

Giants Notes: Burrell, Rowand, Beltran, Hernandez

Before accepting a trade to San Francisco, Carlos Beltran refused to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Pirates, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Like the Indians, the Pirates made an aggressive push for Beltran before he headed for Northern California. Here’s the latest on the Giants, as they prepare for a run at a second consecutive title…

  • Jon Heyman of SI.com suggests that there won't be much room for Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand in San Francisco (Twitter link). Beltran, Nate Schierholtz, Andres Torres and Cody Ross figure to get most of the playing time in the Giants’ outfield. The Giants are expected to release Burrell to create space on the roster for Beltran.
  • The Giants aren't discussing an extension for Beltran, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). The switch-hitter hits free agency after the season and cannot be offered arbitration.
  • Some Giants people believe the Reds will deal Ramon Hernandez for a pitcher, according to Schulman (on Twitter).

Heyman On Hamilton, Young, Felix, Royals

Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton is out for six to eight weeks after enduring a non-displaced fracture of his right shoulder and, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com, some people in Cincinnati may not be completely surprised. After the 2007 season, Reds medical people strongly suggested that the front office should trade Hamilton because of his health reports. Here’s the latest on the Rangers and other notes from around the league:

  • The Rangers were “extremely close” to sending Michael Young to Colorado about a month before Spring Training, according to Heyman. The Rockies loved Young and he would have welcomed a trade to Denver or to either L.A. team. The infielder has since reconciled himself to his role in Texas.
  • A rival GM says he’d trade Felix Hernandez to the Yankees for Ivan Nova, Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos and Jesus Montero if he were running the Mariners.
  • One GM says Royals GM Dayton Moore did a good job of ‘bottom feeding’ this winter to come up with left-handers Bruce Chen and Jeff Francis on affordable deals.
  • Andres Torres suffered an Achilles injury, so the Giants need outfield depth and are unlikely to release Aaron Rowand soon. Rowand has a .923 OPS so far including two hits yesterday.

Giants Notes: Ross, Runzler, Rowand, Belt

The defending World Champions are off to a slow 1-3 start and will face the Padres tomorrow after a day off. Here's the latest on the Giants…

  • Chris Haft of MLB.com outlines some ways the Giants could create roster space for Cody Ross and Brian Wilson when they return to action. It appears that the Giants will option Dan Runzler to create space for Wilson, but creating space for Ross won't be as simple. Rookie Brandon Belt may have to return to the minor leagues.
  • Haft adds that there's little to any trade rumors involving Aaron Rowand.
  • Manager Bruce Bochy has earned the Giants' respect because they aren't concerned that his motives go beyond winning, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. That means Belt's transition from prospect to big leaguer has been relatively smooth.
  • John Klima of the LA Times explains how Belt, a fifth rounder, beat many highly-touted prospects to the majors and has earned a roster spot on the defending World Champions.

Schierholtz, Ishikawa On The Bubble For Giants

The Giants have a pair of out of options position players on the bubble in Nate Schierholtz and Travis Ishikawa.  According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, "Schierholtz could be the easiest and most likely to be dealt. Perhaps soon."

Schierholtz, a right fielder, is trying to break into an outfield that already features more expensive players such as Cody Ross, Andres Torres, Pat Burrell, Mark DeRosa, and perhaps Aaron Rowand.  And don't forget top prospect Brandon Belt, who could force Aubrey Huff to left field or play there himself.  Just for good measure, Ishikawa is playing a little outfield this spring.

The 27-year-old Schierholtz has failed to produce in 758 scattered big league plate appearances.  He has, at least, shown the ability to hit for average, power, and a strong contact rate in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.  Going back to the Baseball America 2008 Handbook, Schierholtz "plays a strong right field and has an above-average, accurate arm."  He would have been a more interesting player for the Royals to try in right field than Jeff Francoeur, and could make sense for the Phillies currently.

Trading Rowand would alleviate the Giants' outfield logjam slightly, but Baggarly says there's nothing cooking on that front.  Rowand is a release candidate in my mind, unless there's a team willing to pick up a couple million bucks of the $24MM owed to him for 2011-12. 

Baggarly notes that both Schierholtz and Ishikawa could be on the outs if Belt makes the team.  On Friday, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the situations of Rowand, Ishikawa, and Schierholtz will not be big factors in the Belt decision.  Belt's service time might be a consideration, not that the team would admit that publicly.  If the Giants can survive the season's first nine games without Belt, they can delay his free agency by a year. 

Quick Hits: Peavy, Kontos, Rowand, Reyes

Some links to round out this Monday evening..

Quick Hits: Rowand, Cabrera, Simon, Loans

Here are some items of note for Friday night, including an interesting question posed by Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com on the Mets' and Dodgers' messy financial situations:

  • Giants outfielder Aaron Rowand will be under a lot of scrutiny this spring, writes Chris Haft of MLB.com, as he looks to be the odd man out in San Francisco's crowded outfield. It won't be easy to flip him though, Haft notes, because two years and $24MM remain on his contract, and he's coming off a down year in 2010. If the Giants do move Rowand, according to Haft, their trade partner will probably ask them to eat some salary or take on a similar financial commitment in return.
  • Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera made his on-field debut at Spring Training on Friday, writes Jason Beck of MLB.com. His arrival, of course, was delayed by last week's arrest for allegedly driving under the influence and resisting arrest. Cabrera is facing the proverbial two-strike count with respect to his off-field travails, writes Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports: If Cabrera slips up again, he will likely face serious repercussions from Major League Baseball.
  • Orioles right-hander Alfredo Simon is no longer facing a civil suit after he was a suspect in a fatal shooting in his native Dominican Republic on New Year's Eve, but, per a Santo Domingo prosecutor, an investigation is ongoing and Simon has been denied bail, according to the Baltimore Sun. Prosecutors have till April 9 to file formal charges that could lead to a trial.
  • The Mets' $25MM loan from MLB may be the most damning indication of their financial woes, says Rosenthal in an audio clip. Rosenthal also finds it curious that MLB loaned the cash to the Mets but denied the Dodgers' request to borrow $200MM from FOX, as was reported by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. "It's a simple question of fairness," says Rosenthal.

Giants, Cubs Discussed Rowand-Fukudome Swap

The Giants and Cubs discussed a trade that would have sent Kosuke Fukudome to San Francisco for Aaron Rowand, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (all Twitter links). The bad contract swap appears to be a "long shot," however. If they can't trade Rowand, the Giants may listen to offers for Nate Schierholtz, according to Crasnick.

Cubs GM Jim Hendry pulled off a successful bad contract swap last offseason when he sent Milton Bradley to Seattle for Carlos Silva. Pulling off another such trade will be tricky, though. Rowand will earn $24MM through 2012 and Fukudome will become a free agent after earning $13.5MM in 2011, so the contracts are not perfect matches. Rowand has a limited no-trade clause and Fukudome has no-trade protection, so a potential deal could require the players' approval.

Odds & Ends: Crawford, Thome, Rowand, Greinke

On this date in 1974, the Braves traded Hank Aaron to the Brewers for Dave May. Today, the Braves made some less memorable moves. Here are the day's links…

Odds & Ends: Zambrano, Millwood, Orioles, Ausmus

Let's check out some tidbits from around the web on this Fourth Of July eve..

Odds & Ends: Strasburg, Piniella, Ely, Marlins

Jamie Moyer, we are all witnesses.  Some quick notes as we finish up the work week….

  • Stephen Strasburg allowed just one hit and one walk over six shutout innings in his debut for Washington's Triple-A affiliate, reports The Associated Press.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com predicts the Cubs' woes may drive Lou Piniella into retirement when his contract is up after this season.
  • The Los Angeles Times' Steve Dilbeck thinks the Dodgers erred in sending rookie right-hander John Ely back down to the minors so quickly.
  • Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald has some details of Florida owner Jeffrey Loria's chat with reporters today.  Loria dismissed any problems between him and manager Fredi Gonzalez, though Spencer notes that Loria "never exactly came out and said Gonzalez's job was 100 percent secure."  Loria was vague about when Mike Stanton would be called up to the majors, but the owner noted that the Marlins "don't want him to come and fail. If he's going to come here, he's going to come here to stay."
  • Speaking of Stanton, his name came up more than once during Baseball America's J.J. Cooper's chat with fans today.  When asked if he'd rather have Stanton or Jason Heyward for the next 10 years, Cooper's answer was "Heyward and it didn't really take any time to think about it," though that's more of a nod to Heyward's limitless potential than a slight towards Stanton.
  • Brian McCann revealed today that he is having more vision problems, and he will again start wearing glasses in the field, reports David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney reports (via Tweets here and here) that the Mariners will still be paying Milton Bradley while he is on the team's restricted list.
  • Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News writes that of all the catcher possibilities the Rangers looked at over the winter, little-regarded Matt Treanor became the team's "savior" due to his solid defensive and game-calling skills.  (Probably on purpose, Taylor doesn't mention Treanor's .619 OPS.) 
  • Aaron Rowand, like Barry Zito, is also starting to live up his big Giants contract, writes Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com.  Urban notes that Rowand's early-season success may be due to a better offseason fitness regiment and a total swing overhaul.