Alex Gonzalez 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.

Quick Hits: Jurrjens, Dickey, Blue Jays, Dodgers

Wednesday night linkage..

  • Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens is drawing some trade interest, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Jurrjens earned $5.5MM last season and could be a non-tender candidate for next season.  While he finished the year healthy, he may not have a spot in Atlanta's deep rotation next year.
  • Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey now sounds very optimistic about his future with the Mets, a marked change from his tone just a couple of months ago, tweets Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger.
  • Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (via Twitter) hears that the Blue Jays may sign a second baseman in the next few days, though it's not clear who it might be.
  • Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says that he is “probably unlikely” to trade for a starting pitcher this winter and might instead address that need in the free agent market, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.  The Dodgers are looking to add a No. 2 or 3 pitcher to put alongside ace Clayton Kershaw.
  • Earlier today, the Dodgers formally announced that they have hired Mark McGwire as their hitting coach.  McGwire previously served as the Cardinals' hitting coach but hooked on with the Dodgers as he can now work closer to his home in Irvine, California.
  • Shortstop Alex Gonzalez has hired Praver Shapiro Sports Management to represent him, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  You can keep track of every player's representation with MLBTR's Agency Database.
  • Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson interests the Cubs, but they don't have the trade chips to land him, Heyman tweets.
  • The Red Sox announced that they have named Juan Nieves as their new pitching coach.  Nieves spent the last 14 seasons in the White Sox organization and most recently served as their bullpen coach.
  • Agent Joe Urbon told Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer (via Twitter) that outfielder Grady Sizemore plans to play in 2013.  Indians GM Chris Antonetti has said that he is open to bringing Sizemore back, but for less than the $5MM he received last year.
  • Mets assistant GM John Ricco says that the club won't rush to fill their void in the outfield, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.  Instead, the Mets plan to let the market define itself first.

2013 Vesting Options Update

With two weeks left in the season, here's an update on the various vesting options for 2013 from around the league…

  • Brett Myers, White Sox — $10MM option vests with 45 games finished or based on a points system. Myers has finished 39 total games this season and the ChiSox have 12 games remaining. This one is unlikely to vest but is still possible.
  • Kevin Gregg – $6MM option vests with 50 games finished. Gregg finished only 13 games before the Orioles released him last weekend.
  • Jason Bartlett – $5.5MM option vests with 432 plate appearances. Bartlett came to the plate just 98 times with the Padres before hurting his knee and getting released last month. Like Gregg's, this one won't vest.

Chipper Jones has an option worth $9MM+ that will vest with 123 games played, but he's already rendered the option moot by announcing his plans to retire after the season. He recently said that he won't change his mind about retirement despite his strong play as well. Chipper has played in 103 of the Braves' 151 games, so this one isn't even mathematically possible anymore.

Alex Gonzalez has an option worth $4MM that will vest with 525 plate appearances, but he missed the majority of the season with a torn ACL. Gonzalez came to the plate just 89 times before the injury, so the Brewers do not have to worry about this one kicking in.



2013 Vesting Options Update

With a little less than one-third of the season left to go, let's check in on the various vesting option situations from around the league…

  • Jason Bartlett, Padres — $5.5MM option vests with 432 plate appearances. Bartlett came to the plate just 98 times before being placed on the disabled list with a knee injury. He won't return to the lineup anytime soon, so this option will not vest.
  • Kevin Gregg, Orioles — $6MM option vests with 50 games finished. Gregg has finished just 12 of the team's 113 games, so this one is very unlikely even though it's still mathematically possible.
  • Brett Myers, White Sox — $10MM option vests with 45 games finished or based on a points system. Myers has finished 33 games this season, and he has finished four of the ten games he's appeared in with Chicago despite not being the closer. This is one worth monitoring.

Chipper Jones has an option worth $9MM+ that will vest with 123 games played, but he's already rendered the option moot by announcing his plans to retire after the season. He recently said that he won't change his mind about retirement despite his strong play as well. Chipper has played in 71 of the Braves' first 112 games.

Alex Gonzalez has an option worth $4MM that will vest with 525 plate appearances, but he is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Gonzalez came to the plate just 89 times before the injury, so the Brewers do not have to worry about this one kicking in.


2013 Vesting Options Update

Let's check in on the players who have vesting options for the 2013 season…

  • Jason Bartlett, Padres – $5.5MM option vests with 432 plate appearances. Bartlett came to the plate just 98 times before being placed on the disabled list with a knee injury. There is no firm timetable for his return and it seems unlikely that the option will vest at this point.
  • Kevin Gregg, Orioles – $6MM option vests with 50 games finished. Gregg has finished just six of the team's 70 games and it seems likely that Baltimore will keep the option from vesting.
  • Brett Myers, Astros – $10MM option vests with 45 games finished or based on a points system. Myers has finished 23 of the club's 70 games and is a trade candidate. If he continues to close, the option seems likely to vest.

Chipper Jones has an option worth $9MM+ that will vest with 123 games played, but he's already rendered the option moot by announcing his plans to retire after the season. Chipper has played in 38 of the Braves' first 70 games.

Alex Gonzalez has an option worth $4MM that will vest with 525 plate appearances, but he is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Gonzalez came to the plate just 89 times before the injury, so the Brewers do not have to worry about this one kicking in.


Quick Hits: Gonzalez, Mota, Red Sox

Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez has torn his right ACL and is expected to miss the rest of the season, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (Twitter links). It's another setback for the Brewers, who have also lost Mat Gamel and Chris Narveson to season-ending injuries. Gonzalez's vesting option for 2013 is no longer in play, as Haudricourt notes. Here are today's links…


2013 Vesting Options Update

As the calendar gets ready to flip over to May, let's check in on the players who have vesting options for the 2013 season…

  • Jason Bartlett, Padres – $5.5MM option vests with 432 plate appearances. Bartlett currently has 61 PA and has come to the plate at least 432 times in each of the last five seasons.
  • Alex Gonzalez, Brewers – $4MM option vests with 525 PA. Gonzalez has 66 PA at the moment and has eclipsed 525 PA in both 2010 and 2011.
  • Kevin Gregg, Orioles – $6MM option vest with 50 games finished. Gregg has finished three games this season but is a release candidate given his poor performance (7.94 ERA).
  • Brett Myers, Astros – $10MM option vests based on unknown starting or relieving milestones.

Chipper Jones has an option worth $9MM+ that will vest with 123 games played, but he's already rendered the option moot by announcing his plans to retire after the season. Chipper has played in a dozen of the Braves' first 20 games.


2013 Vesting Options

Which players can lock in 2013 contract options based on their 2012 performance?  Let's take a look.

  • Jason Bartlett, Padres: $5.5MM option vests with 432 plate appearances.
  • Alex Gonzalez, Brewers: $4MM option vests with 525 plate appearances.
  • Chipper Jones, Braves: $9MM+ option vests with 123 games.
  • Kevin Gregg, Orioles: $6MM option vests with 50 games finished.
  • Brett Myers, Astros: $10MM option vests based on unknown starting or relieving milestones.

Brewers Sign Alex Gonzalez

TUESDAY, 7:23pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter) that the deal is worth $4.25MM. A $4MM option for 2013 will vest with 525 plate appearances, a level Gonzalez has reached in each of the last two seasons.

MONDAY, 11:18am: The Brewers announced the signing of shortstop Alex Gonzalez today. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted news of the agreement last week, noting that it's a one-year deal with a vesting option for 2013.  Gonzalez will take over as Milwaukee's starting shortstop, a position occupied by Yuniesky Betancourt this year.  Gonzalez is represented by Eric Goldschmidt.  

Gonzalez, 34, hit .241/.270/.372 with 15 home runs in 593 plate appearances for the Braves in 2011.  UZR suggests Gonzalez was average defensively this year and above-average from 2006-10.  Gonzalez seems to represent an upgrade over Betancourt, but not by much.  In November, the Braves elected not to offer arbitration to Gonzalez, so they won't be receiving a supplemental draft pick for the loss.  The Cardinals and Giants had also been linked to Gonzalez.  

As our free agent tracker shows, the list of available shortstops includes Betancourt, Ronny Cedeno,Nick Punto, and Jimmy Rollins.  Most of the clubs that lost or need shortstops, such as the Giants, Braves, Rays, Mets, Phillies, and Astros, say they have acceptable internal candidates.  It doesn't seem like Rollins has much leverage to extract a big five-year deal out of the Phillies. 


Quick Hits: Bell, Reyes, D’Backs, Rox, Rollins

A handful of odds and ends as Friday night winds down …

  • Joe Frisaro of MLB.com has the breakdown on Heath Bell's and Jose Reyes' respective contracts with the Marlins. Bell's 2015 club option for $9MM will vest if he finishes 55 games in 2014 or 100 games in 2013-14. Reyes will earn a $1MM bonus if he wins a World Series MVP.
  • D'Backs GM Kevin Towers told reporters, including Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, that he's looking to fortify his bullpen and perhaps add another starting pitcher (Twitter link).
  • The Rockies are looking for a short-term answer at third base so as not to block the path of prospect Nolan Arenado, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro will meet with shortstop Jimmy Rollins' agent, Dan Lozano, on Saturday, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
  • Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez told Spanish-language sports talk radio show Los Cronistas in Venezuela that he had offers from the Giants and the Mets but that he chose to sign with Milwaukee because he wanted to be a starter (Twitter links). Thanks to MLBTR's Nick Collias for the translation.