Alcides Escobar Rumors

Rosenthal’s Latest: Vlad, Cano, Peavy, Hardy

Today we have a fresh column from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

  • Vladimir Guerrero‘s $15MM option for ’09 is a lock, but perhaps the Angels will reconsider extending him beyond that.  Some of the money could be used to make Mark Teixeira the next franchise player.
  • Rosenthal says "virtually every club with a need at the position" has shown interest in second baseman Robinson Cano.  If you give Cano a mulligan for April, he hit .297/.326/.448 in 2008.  That seems like a reasonable American League projection going forward.  Cano, 26 in a few weeks, is signed through 2011 with two club options beyond that.  The Yankees would look for a starting pitcher in return.
  • Rosenthal agrees the Padres will explore the trade market for ace Jake Peavy.  He expects Kevin Towers to wait until the big-name free agent starters sign, which will accentuate the relative affordability of Peavy’s contract (basically four years, $63MM).
  • Rosenthal says Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy knows he is likely to be traded to make room for prospect Alcides Escobar.  It’d be a reasonable move, but only if Escobar proves he is a capable replacement.
  • Pat Gillick told Rosenthal he will not be returning as Phillies GM next year, despite recent speculation.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Giles, Dodgers, Indians, Fielder

Ken Rosenthal has a new Full Count video up over at FOX Sports. Here’s the highlights:

  • The Red Sox wanted to use Brian Giles in right field against certain right-handers, and shift J.D. Drew over to center field for those games. Giles blocked the trade for family reasons, according to Rosenthal, despite the chance at an increased pay day and an opportunity to play in the postseason.
  • Rosenthal says that while the Dodgers are under pressure to re-sign Manny Ramirez, there may be more pressure to sign Casey Blake after this season. Rosenthal points out that Blake is batting .333 in his first 16 games in Dodger blue, and the Dodgers traded away their best young third baseman in Andy LaRoche in order to get Manny. The Dodgers aren’t sold on Blake DeWitt as a long-term option.
  • Rosenthal feels that the Brewers are now less likely to shop Prince Fielder in the offseason, though he points out they could fetch quite a nice haul of Major-League-ready talent if they shopped Fielder as an alternative to Mark Teixeira. Rosenthal feels that J.J. Hardy is a much better bet to be shopped though, as Alcides Escobar could be used to replace him in 2009.
  • Rosenthal wonders if, given Kelly Shoppach’s emergence, the Indians could try to trade him for a top-end starter. Rosenthal offers two scenarios for Cleveland: Trade Shoppach and sign Jason Giambi, or keep Shoppach, sign Orlando Hudson, move Victor Martinez to first base. Both scenarios have the same goal of adding offense and allowing Matt LaPorta to remain in the outfield.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Tejada, Laird, Renteria, Sherrill

New one from Ken Rosenthal

  • The Padres will ask Greg Maddux again to consider accepting a trade to a team not located on the West Coast.  The Dodgers haven’t shown interest.
  • One big league source told Rosenthal that the Astros have had "absolutely no dialogue" about Miguel Tejada
  • The Marlins are the most aggressive suitor for Gerald Laird.  The Brewers, Reds, and Yankees are also in on the Rangers’ catcher.  Rosenthal points out a Doug Melvin connection – Melvin acquired Laird as the Rangers’ GM back in ’02.  [UPDATE: Rangers guru Jamey Newberg tells me that it was actually John Hart and Grady Fuson who acquired Laird in ’02, not Melvin.]  The Rangers continue to target young starting pitching in return.
  • Looks like speculation, but Rosenthal wonders whether the Cardinals would consider re-acquiring Edgar Renteria.
  • So far the Orioles have had no success trying to acquire shortstops like Erick Aybar, Alcides Escobar, and Reid Brignac for George Sherrill.

Stark’s Latest: Dunn, Tankersley, Sherrill

ESPN has a new Trade Deadline blog going; here’s the link.  Jayson Stark already has two entries up, found here and here.  Let’s dig in!

  • The Yankees have explored the idea of acquiring Adam Dunn, though they’re reluctant to meet the Reds’ demands.
  • The Marlins are proposing the idea of swapping lefty Taylor Tankersley for a more experienced one like Brian Fuentes or George Sherrill.  So far, nothing’s cooking.  Tankersley, 25, was demoted to Triple A earlier this month after being bitten by the home run bug.  He dealt with shoulder tendinitis in early ’07.
  • The Rockies instead have their eye on Florida’s Ryan Tucker, a young Double A righty with a mid-90s heater and a 1.41 ERA.  I don’t see that happening.  Stark says they want to push the bidding closer to the deadline though.
  • The Orioles are apparently trying to pry Alcides Escobar or Mat Gamel from the Brewers for Sherrill, but as you know they’re not biting.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Fuentes, Holliday, Sherrill

Ken Rosenthal tops off the day with a column full of rumors.

  • Signing Mark Teixeira as a replacement for Manny Ramirez doesn’t make sense for the Red Sox, who don’t want to take on that kind of mega-contract.
  • The Phillies were recently working on a blockbuster with Colorado that would have netted them Brian Fuentes and Matt Holliday for something like Shane Victorino, J.A. Happ, Carlos Carrasco, and Lou Marson.  Those talks have stalled, and the added payroll might’ve been a problem for the Phillies anyway.
  • Though Frank McCourt denies it, Rosenthal says the Dodgers owned vetoed a CC Sabathia/Casey Blake/Jamey Carroll blockbuster because of a desire to keep trades payroll-neutral.
  • The Rockies, as well as the many suitors for Brian Fuentes, fear he could accept an offer of arbitration and saddle them with an $8MM salary in ’09 instead of two draft picks.  Given Fuentes’ stated desire to close, I find this unlikely.
  • A Pirates scout watched David Price‘s last start, though he was likely looking at other members of the Montgomery Biscuits.  The Rays are known to be interested in Xavier Nady.
  • The A’s, stacked with second base candidates, are already getting calls on Adrian Cardenas.  Trading Mark Ellis would make more sense though.
  • Rosenthal believes the Orioles are reluctant to trade George Sherrill because they don’t have a suitable replacement for him in the ninth inning this year.
  • Brewers minor league shortstop Alcides Escobar is untouchable, and his ascent could lead the team to shop J.J. Hardy this winter.

Dodgers Interested In Jack Wilson, C.C. Sabathia

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers have jumped into the fray for C.C. Sabathia.  They don’t have a Matt LaPorta-caliber prospect, but they could make a substantial three-player offer.  The Dodgers, being a big market club, could try to sign Sabathia before he hits free agency.

Rosenthal says the Dodgers are simultaneously pursuing Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson.  He might require some of the same prospects, so L.A. probably can’t get both Wilson and Sabathia. Since Wilson is signed for ’09, such an acquisition might allow the Dodgers to let Rafael Furcal walk as a free agent.  Based on Ned Colletti’s comments to, he seems willing to let some talent go to get a regular shortstop.

On the Brewers-Sabathia front – LaPorta is in play, but if he’s included Alcides Escobar is out.  The Brewers do not plan on offering up J.J. Hardy (Tom Haudricourt agrees).  Rosenthal talked to some baseball people who believe Sabathia will be traded before his Tuesday start.

Brewers Offer LaPorta For Sabathia

10:45am: Haudricourt explains why he thinks the Brewers could and would acquire Sabathia.  Haudricourt wonders if the Crew will make a knockout offer right now rather than be forced to wait until the deadline.  It could be a difference of four extra starts. 

The Brewers would not, however, offer both LaPorta and Escobar. 

FRIDAY, 8:17am: Most people assumed the Brewers would not part with last year’s 7th overall pick, left fielder Matt LaPorta.  However, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers’ offer for Sabathia does include LaPorta and may include shortstop Alcides Escobar as well.  The feeling is that the Brewers would be reluctant to include both players, but maybe the Indians could chip in another player.

LaPorta is the big, centerpiece type name I imagine the Indians crave…if the Brewers are willing to trade him they’re the clear frontrunners.  Brewers beat writer Tom Haudricourt has his doubts that both LaPorta and Escobar would be offered.

THURSDAY, 8:14pm: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a new post up with some buzz around the Brewers’ possible pursuit of C.C. Sabathia.

Haudricourt confirmed with GM Doug Melvin that the Brewers had a scout watching Sabathia last night.  Haudricourt adds that the Indians reportedly scouted Brewers prospect Taylor Green as well as their stacked Double A team.

This info gels with something Buster Olney wrote this morning:

Heard this from rival talent evaluators: The Indians have dispatched scouts to watch the minor leaguers of teams that might be interested in Sabathia, and those talent evaluators expect the Indians to begin presenting proposals to other teams for the left-hander very soon, perhaps at the beginning of next week.