Adam LaRoche Rumors

Red Sox Notes: LaRoche, Gonzalez, Ross, Aceves

Here's the latest news from Fenway…

  • The Red Sox are talking to Adam LaRoche, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  With the Sox reluctant to go beyond a three-year contract for Mike Napoli, LaRoche could be the team's fallback plan.  A three-year deal would top the Nationals' best offer to the free agent first baseman, as the Nats "have been fairly steadfast" in not offering LaRoche more than two years.  The Rangers have also been linked to both LaRoche and Napoli this offseason.
  • Also from Heyman's piece, he notes that the Red Sox have "checked in" on Alex Gonzalez and Stephen Drew, though Jose Iglesias will get first priority at shortstop.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury's name hasn't been mentioned in trade talks, team president Larry Lucchino said during an appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan radio show today (partial transcript from WEEI.com's Kirk Minihane).  Lucchino also said that while the Sox haven't closed the door on any free agents, "what we have ruled out is the kind of long-term, gigantic commitment to players if at all possible….We are more concerned about years than we are dollars."
  • From that same radio appearance (courtesy of The Boston Herald's Scott Lauber), Lucchino said the team is still interested in re-signing Cody Ross.  Though Boston recently signed Jonny Gomes, Lucchino said the team wants to build "deep depth" after last year's injury-plagued season.
  • The Red Sox will tender Alfredo Aceves a new contract before tomorrow's non-tender deadline, reports Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.  The pitching-needy Sox value Aceves' versatility as a starter and reliever too much to let him go for nothing, despite Aceves' disciplinary issues in 2012.  Lauber thinks Aceves could still possibly be a trade candidate.

Nationals Notes: LaRoche, Bourn, Harper

Here's a look at the latest on the Nationals..

  • The Nats and first baseman Adam LaRoche are still far apart on hammering out a new deal, tweets Bill Ladson of MLB.com.  The 33-year-old would like to return to the Nationals but is also looking to land a three-year deal.  Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) also hears that there hasn't been much movement on a new contract for LaRoche, which would indicate that they are more outfield-focused at the moment.
  • With the LaRoche negotiations stalling, the Nats are seriously considering changing course and going after Michael Bourn, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com.  The speedster is No. 3 on Tim Dierkes' list of the Top 50 free agents.
  • In an interview on 106.7 The Fan, General Manager Mike Rizzo seemed keen on finding a leadoff hitter/centerfielder to allow Bryce Harper to move to one of the corner positions, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.  When asked about what he wants to upgrade, Rizzo said that he will be targeting a "dynamic" player in centerfield (Twitter link).
  • The Nationals, along with the Tigers, have benefited from learning how to do business with super-agent Scott Boras, writes Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  Boras advised Nats owner Mark Lerner back in 2007 to "lose for a couple more years" and focus on building through the draft rather than spending big on free agents.  

NL Notes: LaRoche, Phillies, Reds, Cardinals

Today is the 63rd anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African-American player to win the MVP Award. This would be the only such honor during Robinson's Hall of Fame career. Here's the latest news from the Senior Circuit:

  • Negotiations between the Nationals and Adam LaRoche are going slowly, a source tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson. The source also says LaRoche's top priority is to return to the Nationals, but the free agent first baseman is thinking about his two children, which is why he wants a three-year deal and has talked with several teams. 
  • A five-year, $75MM contract might be accurate for B.J. Upton but expect Michael Bourn to seek more, tweets Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Despite the declining influence of home runs to change a game, as typified by the Giants winning the World Series after slugging the fewest home runs in baseball, the Phillies still need a power surge in 2013, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Brookover.
  • Centerfield is one position where the Phillies could seek to boost their power output. ESPN's Buster Olney breaks down their various centerfield options in his latest Insiders-only blog.
  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer sees the Reds' 2013 payroll being $92MM, but a team insider tells him the actual number could start with an eight. This would make it difficult, in Fay's opinion, to do anything in free agency except sign a closer or re-sign Ryan Ludwick.
  • Within the same piece, GM Walt Jocketty says he will wait until after Thanksgiving to speak with Scott Rolen, who is contemplating retirement.
  • The Cardinals' needs are simple for 2013, writes Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The team needs to reinforce a thin bench by adding some right-handed power and find a fourth outfielder who can generate some offense. Miklasz adds the health of shortstop Rafael Furcal is also a significant question.
  • Blessed with the deepest of pockets, the Dodgers' desire to pursue an elite starting pitcher reveals myriad ways the team can approach the process, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. Common sense, however, may still prevail at Chavez Ravine as Dodgers controlling partner Mark Walter once eloquently stated, "Pitchers break." 

Daniel Seco contributed to this post.



Rosenthal’s Latest: Upton, Rays, Youkilis, Dodgers

Here's the latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports

  • The Rangers continue to insist that they will not trade either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar for Justin Upton, which could allow the Rays to emerge as the front-runner. They could offer the Diamondbacks James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson in addition to shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee.
  • The White Sox and Phillies are interested in Kevin Youkilis, and the Dodgers are considering him as well. Rosenthal says other clubs are concerned whenever Los Angeles is reportedly in on a player given their financial might.
  • The Orioles and Nationals are still engaged in a dispute over money received from MASN — both clubs own the network, but Baltimore's stake is nearly 90% — though Nats GM Mike Rizzo said that will not limit the club's ability to spend.
  • Angels GM Jerry Dipoto is not concerned about finding a pure closer. He intends to add the best bullpen arms he can and let things figure themselves out.
  • A rival executive told Rosenthal that he expects Dan Haren to sign with the Padres. Haren is a West Coast guy and Padres GM Josh Byrnes originally acquired him from the Athletics while running the Diamondbacks a few years ago.
  • “Like him. Don’t love him," said a Red Sox official when asked about Adam LaRoche. Boston is reportedly pursuing the first baseman.
  • Joakim Soria and Ryan Madson will not be ready to pitch at the start of the season. Both right-handers are coming off Tommy John surgery.

Quick Hits: LaRoche, McLouth, Mets, Bauer, Weglarz

Condolences to the family and friends of Lee MacPhail, who passed away at the age of 95 today. MacPhail was a long-time executive who worked with the Yankees and Orioles in addition to serving as Commissioner William Eckert's chief aid. He also served as president of the American League and was the oldest living Hall of Famer.

Here is the latest from around the league as Friday turns into Saturday…

  • MLB.com's Bill Ladson hears that Adam LaRoche hasn't heard from the Nationals in a few days, but he's still interested in returning to the team (Twitter link). LaRoche turned down Washington's qualifying offer today.
  • The Orioles are still talking to Nate McLouth, reports Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). The team is optimistic a deal will get done, but nothing is imminent.
  • The Mets have more payroll flexibility than expected, but GM Sandy Alderson told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he's still "realistic" about the players they can acquire (Twitter links). Alderson referenced the "bottom end" of the free agent market.
  • "We are not shopping him," said Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez when asked about the Trevor Bauer trade rumors. "Again, if they ask, [GM Kevin Towers'] response is 'Hey, we are willing to listen,' and that's what's happened here."
  • Earlier today we heard that the Tigers made a contract offer to Jeremy Bonderman, but the right-hander told MLB.com's Jason Beck that it's news to him (Twitter links). Bonderman cautioned that he usually lets his agent handle contract matters.
  • MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that outfielder Nick Weglarz is drawing interest as a free agent thanks to his left-handed bat. The 24-year-old hit .239/.349/.413 with 14 homers in 436 plate appearances for the Indians' Double-A affiliate last year.

Quick Hits: Giants, Affeldt, Hart, Tigers, Soriano

The 4pm CST deadline for players to accept qualifying offers has come and gone and none of the eight players in play opted to return to their respective clubs for a $13.3MM salary in 2013.  That means that Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano, B.J. Upton, Adam LaRoche, Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, and Kyle Lohse will net their teams a compensatory pick if they sign elsewhere.  Here's the latest from around baseball..

  • The Giants are confident that they will be re-signing Jeremy Affeldt and the club believes that they will work out a three-year deal, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  GM Brian Sabean indicated yesterday that he is optimistic about being about to keep Affeldt, Angel Pagan, and Marco Scutaro.
  • Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter) that he has not approached Corey Hart's agent about an extension and doesn't have immediate plans to do so.  A report earlier today suggested that the Brewers and Hart were discussing a deal to keep him beyond 2013.  The first baseman/right fielder is set to earn $10MM next season.
  • The Tigers aren't interested in Soriano and plan to stay in-house to find their closer, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.  Right-hander Bruce Rondon, 21, will get a chance at the job.  

Nationals Notes: Johnson, Pitching, Jackson, LaRoche

Earlier today, Tim Dierkes profiled the Nationals in the latest installment of the Arbitration Eligibles series.  Here’s more on the Nats..

  • The Nationals have yet to reach agreement on a new deal with manager Davey Johnson for 2013 and beyond, but General Manager Mike Rizzo says he is confident about getting a deal done, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
  • Johnson told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that he is also confident that an agreement will be reached and that a deal could be struck as early as Thursday.  “There isn’t really any rush for me,” Johnson said. “I’m not worried about it. I assume everything is going to worked out. I don’t feel like it’s an emergency. I feel like I’m still the manager.
  • Rizzo said the Nats aren’t far down the road on anything when it comes to the starting pitching market, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times tweets.  Right-hander Edwin Jackson has said that he would like to return to Washington but will also listen to offers from other clubs.
  • Meanwhile, Rizzo was honest when asked about the club’s decision not to extend Jackson a qualifying offer, explaining that he liked some free agent options better and didn’t want to get locked in, Kilgore tweets.
  • The Nationals have been in contact with Adam LaRoche‘s agents and continue to talk, tweets Comak.
  • Ladson also notes that the Nationals re-signed catcher Carlos Maldonado to a minor league contract and signed outfielder Ray Kruml to a minor league deal.  Maldonado elected free agency last month.

Red Sox, Rangers Pursuing Adam LaRoche

The Red Sox and Rangers are pursuing free agent Adam LaRoche, major league sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  The first baseman has garnered enough interest that he is expected to reject the Nationals' one-year, $13.3MM qualifying offer by Friday's deadline.

Morosi writes that the Rangers' interest in the 33-year-old is yet another sign that Texas is preparing for life without Josh Hamilton in 2013 and beyond.  The Red Sox, meanwhile, have been linked to LaRoche for a good while as they look to fill their void at first base.


Nationals Notes: Johnson, LaRoche, Second Base

Some links pertaining to the reigning National League East champions…

  • The Nats and manager Davey Johnson continue to work toward a new contract for 2013, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Johnson is under contract through 2014 as a special advisor to the team, and his contract language and salary need to be reworked if he is to manage once again.
  • Johnson tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he wants to manage again in 2013, and GM Mike Rizzo says he wants Johnson back in the position as well.
  • The team is not close to a new contract with Adam LaRoche, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson. There is still mutual interest from both parties. The Nats made a qualifying offer to LaRoche, and he has until Friday to decline it. That outcome, of course, is all but a foregone conclusion. If the team fails to sign LaRoche, Michael Morse will likely man the position next season.
  • In that same piece, Ladson also notes that the team views Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi all as starting middle infielders. That evidence is supported by the fact that Ladson's source tells him the team is still in pursuit of a backup middle infielder despite the trio's presence. It seems implied that one of the three could be on the trading block this offseason, though that's just my speculation.
  • Lastly in his piece, Ladson notes that the Nats re-signed minor league outfielders Chris Rahl and Jimmy Van Ostrand to minor league contracts. Rahl, 28, hit .291/.339/.467 in 92 games for Double-A Harrisburg. Van Ostrand, 27, batted .310/.370/.465 in 80 games for Harrisburg after being picked up from the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters.

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

Here's the latest from FOXSports.com'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.