Aledmys Diaz Rumors
Every American League Central team except the Royals has won the division at least once since 2007. Here are some AL Central notes, starting with Tigers, winners of the last two division titles...
- Brennan Boesch doesn't have a clear role on the 2013 Tigers, and it's possible his recent oblique injury hurt his trade value, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press writes. GM Dave Dombrowski has said Boesch won’t be sent to the minors, according to Lowe.
- Jamie Samuelsen of the Detroit Free Press outlines four reasons the Tigers shouldn't sign Justin Verlander to a $200MM extension, before concluding that Verlander would be worth it, especially given the cost of starting pitching in MLB. Verlander has acknowledged that free agency intrigues him.
- Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 hears from a Twins official that the asking price for Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz remains “too high." The Twins are fans of the free agent shortstop, according to Wolfson (on Twitter).
- Asdrubal Cabrera told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that he was surprised to find himself mentioned in offseason trade rumors (Twitter link). The shortstop added that he wants to spend his entire career with the Indians. Cabrera's under contract through 2014, but he'll probably appear on these pages next offseason if the Indians' shortstop prospects continue to develop.
It's hard to top January 31 when it comes to notable baseball birthdays. Three of the game's biggest legends were born on this day: Nolan Ryan (celebrating his 66th birthday), "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks (his 82nd) and the late Jackie Robinson, who was born in 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. Here are some news items from around the majors as we head into February...
- The Tigers have "mild interest" in Cuban shortstop prospect Aledmys Diaz, George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press reports. At least ten teams (including the Cardinals, Twins and Athletics) are known to be interested in Diaz, though Major League Baseball is is investigating whether Diaz is younger than his alleged age of 23 years old.
- Also from Sipple, it seems as if the Tigers will keep Jhonny Peralta, despite some trade rumors surrounding the shortstop this winter.
- The Orioles watched left-hander Arthur Rhodes throw today at Camden Yards, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter link). The 43-year-old Rhodes didn't pitch in 2012 but is looking to continue his 20-year Major League career. Rhodes was drafted by the O's in 1988, played for the team from 1991-99 and currently lives in Baltimore.
- The Orioles also recently worked out utilityman Fernando Tatis, Connolly tweets. Tatis hasn't played in the majors since 2010 when he made 72 plate appearances for the Mets before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. Tatis, 38, played for the Orioles in 2006 and has also suited up for the Mets, Expos, Cardinals and Rangers during his 11-year career.
- The Dodgers could be looking to trade from its starting pitching depth, but Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times suggests the team should hang onto all eight starters given how many of them are battling injury problems.
- The Dodgers' free-spending ways could come back to haunt them later in the decade, ESPN's Dan Szymborski writes (Insider subscription required). It also puts pressure on the team to win sooner rather than later: "A disappointing year or two, and it wouldn't be shocking if the biggest member of the [ownership] consortium started to find the guaranteed cash from the TV contract a lot more appealing than playing high-stakes fantasy baseball."
- ESPN Chicago's Jon Greenberg talks to sabermetrician Tom Tango, who has worked as a consultant to several teams but is now working exclusively for the Cubs.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the Braves, the Rays, Shaun Marcum and Alex Rodriguez on the latest edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast.
The all-unemployed team would feature Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse, Joe Saunders, Brian Wilson and others, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark points out (all Twitter links). The free agent market also includes many designated hitter candidates, which is usual for this time of year. Here are some notes on free agents from around MLB...
- The Brewers are bound to be talking to some of the free agents on Stark’s list, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suggests (on Twitter). The Brewers are known to be seeking infield depth, including a backup at first base.
- Free agent pitchers Mark Lowe and Ryan Rowland-Smith will be throwing for teams at the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona Wednesday, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (all Twitter links). Agents Jeff Frye and Mike McCann want Lowe to show teams he's healthy, Crasnick adds. Lowe posted a 3.43 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 39 1/3 innings for the Rangers last year but missed time with a strained intercostal.
- Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes provided A’s officials with a scouting report on Cuban defector Aledmys Diaz, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Cespedes, who’s also Cuban, told the A’s that the free agent Diaz is a great shortstop who “could help this team," according to Slusser. Major League Baseball is investigating Diaz's age, Baseball America reported last week.
We'll keep track of tonight's international news right here..
- Major League Baseball is investigating the age of Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, multiple sources told Ben Badler of Baseball America. Diaz is presenting himself as a 23-year-old but his birthdate conflicts with previous accounts that would make him 22 or 21. The age difference is crucial for Diaz as Cuban players with at least three years of professional experience in Cuba and who are at least 23 are exempt from the capped bonus pools.
- The Dodgers have signed 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Michael Medina for $275K, according to Badler. The 6-foot-2, 185 pound youngster has a projectable frame with good bat speed from the right side, power, and the ability to use the opposite field. He most likely projects as a corner outfielder.
The Athletics talked to the Astros about a possible trade involving Jed Lowrie earlier this winter, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The A's weren't prepared to meet Houston's asking price of both Chris Carter and a young pitcher in exchange for Lowrie, who has drawn interest from several teams this winter. Hiroyuki Nakajima has since been signed and is slated to be Oakland's regular shortstop, though Slusser speculates that the A's could revisit Lowrie if they develop a need for an infielder during the season.
Lowrie was limited to 387 plate appearances last season due to DL stints with ankle and thumb injuries, and .244/.331/.438 with 16 homers in his first season in Houston. He was arb-eligible for the second time this winter, avoiding the process by agreeing to a one-year, $2.4MM deal with the Astros.
The A's could also add depth at shortstop in the form of Cuban prospect Aledmys Diaz, as Slusser reports the club will have scouts at Diaz's workout later this month. At least ten teams (including the Twins and Cardinals) are known to be interested in Diaz, a 23-year-old who can be signed without having his salary count against the international signing cap.
At least ten teams have expressed strong interest in Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports (all Twitter links). Diaz, who turns 23 tomorrow, is a free agent. More teams appear to have expressed interest once they realized that signing him wouldn’t count against their caps for international bonuses.
The showcase for Diaz and fellow Cuban prospect Dariel Alvarez has been pushed back to the end of January, Sanchez reports. Alvarez, a 24-year-old outfielder, is also a free agent. The Cardinals are among the teams monitoring the two players, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last week. The Twins also appear to have interest. Sanchez introduced us to Diaz and Alvarez in detail back in November.
Here's the latest on the Twins, courtesy of 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson...
- The Twins had numerous discussions with Brett Myers before the right-hander signed with the Indians, but they never made him an offer.
- Rich Harden's minor league contract with Minnesota includes a July 31st opt-out date according to Wolfson. The right-hander can elect free agency if he's not added to the big league roster by then.
- The Twins will have a scout on hand to watch outfielder Dariel Alvarez and infielder Aledmys Diaz tomorrow. The two Cuban defectors are hosting a workout for teams.
- The club has had "brief talks" with free agent outfielders Ryan Sweeney and Scott Podsednik after trading both Ben Revere and Denard Span this offseason.
- The Twins have talked about Brent Lillibridge and Yuniesky Betancourt, but they're likely to sign elsewhere. Minnesota also has interest in Brandon Inge.
- The Indians have reached out to several teams about Jeanmar Gomez, including the Twins. Gomez was designated for assignment earlier this week and Cleveland has ten days to trade, release, or waive him.
The Cardinals have reached the postseason in three of the five seasons since John Mozeliak became the team's general manager. Mozeliak, who was named St. Louis’ GM following the 2007 season, is now in the midst of a comparatively quiet offseason. Here are some details on the Cardinals from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch...
- The Cardinals have not revisited signing free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse since extending him a qualifying offer. Lohse declined the offer, preferring the free agent market. However, the 34-year-old hasn’t received an official offer to this point in the winter. It appears that teams are hesitant to surrender the draft pick required to complete a deal.
- The Cardinals are keeping tabs on the market for Cuban free agents Aledmys Diaz and Dariel Alvarez, Goold reports. Diaz, a shortstop, turns 23 next week, while Alvarez is a 24-year-old outfielder. The Cardinals plan to have a front office member in attendance at an upcoming workout for the players. Jesse Sanchez introduced us to Diaz and Alvarez in a piece at MLB.com back in November.
The Marlins have "zero interest" in Cuban prospects Dariel Alvarez and Aledmys Diaz, a source tells MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. We heard earlier in the week that Miami's interest in Alvarez, a 24-year-old outfielder, was "lukewarm" at best and that the club wasn't planning to attend Alvarez's workout for scouts this Saturday.
The Marlins are often linked to players from Cuba and other Latin American countries with the reasoning that such players would be help attract fans from south Florida's large Hispanic population. Last offseason, for instance, the Fish pursued Albert Pujols and Yoenis Cespedes before both players signed with the Angels and Athletics, respectively. As Frisaro points out, however, the Marlins' current rebuilding process doesn't leave room for spending on international free agents. It's unknown if Alvarez or Diaz will command the type of money that Cespedes got from the A's last winter, but they will both apparently be out of Miami's price range.
The two prospects were profiled last month by MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. Diaz, a 22-year-old shortstop, is the more Major League-ready of the two and already has several teams interested in his services, Sanchez reported. Diaz turns 23 on January 8 and at that age, he won't be subject to the CBA's guidelines for international signings.
- Jeremy Bonderman told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times (on Twitter) that he'll get a shot at cracking the Mariners' starting rotation. He adds that the M's did not go out to see him throw prior to signing him.
- The Athletics asked to remain in the Oakland Coliseum for five more years in a proposed agreement that would delay the target for their move to San Jose until 2018, writes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The A's lease is currently set to expire after this season. The club has waited almost four years for Commissioner Bud Selig to approve or reject the proposed move to San Jose.
- Cuban prospects Aledmys Diaz and Dariel Alvarez are working out in Mexicali, Mexico and will audition for scouts on January 5th, a source tells Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com (on Twitter). Alvarez, a 24-year-old outfielder, and 22-year-old shortstop Diaz were profiled by Sanchez in November.