Alex Rios Rumors
More links to take a look at...
- The Nationals agreed to terms with five Dominican players, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- Bradford Doolittle of the Kansas City Star says Royals fans should hope the Nats don't sign Stephen Strasburg. If Washington can't strike a deal with Strasburg, he could become an option for the Royals in next year's draft.
- One executive believes the Jays should trade Alex Rios for a bag of balls, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com.
- Not a rumor, but I can't resist. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that it's Shaq week in St. Louis as Albert Pujols prepares to take on Shaquille O'Neal for the big man's reality show.
- At SI.com, Jonah Keri says the Rays will be contenders going forward, even if they decide to trade multi-talented outfielder Carl Crawford this offseason.
ESPN.com's Buster Olney says we should know today whether anyone has successfully claimed Cristian Guzman off waivers. However, some executives say Guzman isn't worth the $8MM he makes annually. Here are the rest of Olney's rumors:
- J.J. Hardy hasn't yet cleared waivers and Olney wonders if the Red Sox could target him. They had interest in Hardy earlier in the year, but the two teams couldn't agree on the shortstop's value.
- The Rays are one of the teams claiming many players. They don't expect to acquire all the cheap youngsters they claim, but they could face a roster issue if they're handed multiple players.
- Every talent evaluator Olney speaks with believes the Jays need to take advantage of the club that claimed Alex Rios and dump the right fielder's salary while they can.
A variety of links to look at this morning...
- The Blue Jays have until 12:30 CST tomorrow to deal Alex Rios, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com.
- Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog considers possible replacements for current Mets GM Omar Minaya.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Pirates will have to be something more than an "unmitigated disaster" for Neal Huntington's moves to start looking good, since the GM obtained half the team's roster in recent trades.
- Victor Martinez tells Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald that he's looking forward to his first home game as a member of the Red Sox.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer shows that the Reds' moves impacted players personally and professionally.
- Baseball America's Conor Glassey reports that the Phillies signed third rounder Kyrell Hudson to an over-slot bonus worth about $475k.
Danny Knobler from CBS Sports writes that two baseball sources have confirmed to CBS Sports that Alex Rios was claimed on waivers, and one source stated that he was claimed by the White Sox. Knobler says that the Jays will keep Rios if they're not offered enough in return.
Additionally, an unknown team placed a waiver claim on Houston shortstop Miguel Tejada. The Astros have since pulled Tejada back. Any guesses as to who the claiming team was?
Knobler also says that the Rays have been very active in placing claims on any low-salary players, in order to block them from being traded to the Red Sox or Yankees. Knobler says that the Rays, however, are not believed to be the team that claimed Tejada.
Some links to peruse with your Sunday brunch:
- The A's are apparently in the process of finalizing a five-year naming rights contract with Verizon for Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, say Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross at the San Francisco Chronicle. Ownership could come into a lot of cash that way.
- John Harper at the New York Daily News believes the Yanks' handling of the Red Sox this weekend means Yankees GM Brian Cashman has outmaneuvered Theo Epstein.
- The Brewers have signed their fifth-round pick, D'Vontrey Richardson, but terms haven't been disclosed just yet, says Tom Haudricourt at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
- Phil Rogers at the Baltimore Sun believes that the Indians' and Pirates' firesales "raise competitiveness issues."
- Dan Novick at the Hardball Times asks the $64,000 question: "Why should I care about Alex Rios?"
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com has a new Full Count video up. Let's dive in...
- Whatever the Blue Jays do with Alex Rios will tell us everything we need to know about the team's financial state and their opinion of Rios. Toronto could shed more than $60MM in obligation by letting the claiming team have him.
- Some executives believe Rios still has some trade value, and if the Jays wait until the offseason they'd be able to negotiate with all 29 other clubs. The problem is that the free agent market will again be flooded with outfielders.
- Free agent southpaw Mark Mulder could be throwing for teams within 7-10 days. Mulder is working with Rick Peterson, his former pitching coach, in New Jersey this weekend, The pair recently corrected a "minor mechanical flaw," and Peterson told Mulder's agent Greg Clifton that he was shocked the pitcher was in such good shape.
- Teams are looking at Mulder for September, with the Yankees, Brewers, Dodgers and Rangers are among the cubs that have expressed interest. Just as a reminder, if Mulder joins a big league team after August 31st, he would be ineligible for the playoff roster.
- Forget about all that talk from Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. about going with a six-man rotation, Jamie Moyer will "almost certainly" head to the bullpen once Pedro Martinez is ready. The team just hasn't figured out how to break the news yet.
- Justin Masterson was throwing 93-97 in his first appearance with Cleveland, causing some club officials to wonder if he should be a closer down the line. Short term, the Indians need him in the rotation and he has the everything needed to become a third or fourth starter.
Executives tell Jon Heyman of SI.com that we saw the "softest deadline ever" last week because there's still the possibility for trades this month. Here's an explanation of how trades can occur after the deadline and here are the players Heyman deems likely to clear waivers (player who clear waivers may be traded):
- Bronson Arroyo, Adam Dunn, Jose Guillen, Aaron Harang, Adrian Beltre, Aubrey Huff, Jason Giambi, Melvin Mora, Miguel Batista, Juan Cruz, Ty Wigginton, Ron Mahay, Willie Bloomquist, Lyle Overbay, Willy Taveras.
Some players who could clear waivers:
- Jon Garland, Doug Davis, Gil Meche, Alex Rios, Carl Pavano, Mark Hendrickson, Jhonny Peralta, Jamey Carroll, Ron Villone.
And some players who probably won't clear waivers, but who could be dealt to a claiming team:
- Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Heath Bell, Adrian Gonzalez, Marco Scutaro, Chad Qualls, Michael Wuertz, Brian Bannister, Josh Willingham, Gary Sheffield, David Eckstein, Jason Frasor, Mark Teahen.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that the Angels and Cardinals will have a hard time assembling a package enticing enough for the Blue Jays to part with Roy Halladay. One GM said the Angels have "zero chance" at acquiring the Jays ace. Players like Brandon Wood and Howie Kendrick have lost some of their appeal and prospect Jordan Walden finds himself on the DL for the second time this season.
- The Dodgers are interested in Halladay, Jason Frasor and George Sherrill.
- The White Sox would probably have to part with Gordon Beckham to acquire Doc.
- The Jays and White Sox haven't discussed an Alex Rios deal recently, but the White Sox have long been interested in the Jays outfielder.
- Jason Bay is close to setting a cutoff date for negotiations on an extension with the Red Sox.
Some links to peruse in between home runs...
- Here are the latest minor league transactions from Baseball America.
- CBS Sports reports that Indian pitcher Rinku Singh picked up his first win as a pro. Check out Dejan Kovacevic's article on Singh's team, the Bradenton Pirates, which has players from five continents on its roster.
- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports has a source who believes a Roy Halladay deal is more likely in the winter. It's hard to imagine Halladay's value being much higher than it is now.
- Francisco Rodriguez told Kevin Baxter of the LA Times that he enjoys baseball less than he did growing up, but realizes it's a business.
- Edwin Jackson isn't bitter about his Tampa Bay Rays tenure, according to Kevin Baxter of the LA Times.
- The AP (via the Miami Herald) reports that a number of agents are pressing the Players' association to file a collusion grievance against teams.
- John Perrotto of PiratesReport.com revisits a deal that would have sent Paul Maholm to Toronto for Alex Rios in 2005 and wonders if the Pirates and Jays could make the same deal work today.
- Click here to listen to my chat with Justin Hull on 1570 The Score this afternoon.
This year’s outfielders have a lot to live up to on July 31st. It was just a year ago that the Red Sox parted with Manny Ramirez and acquired Jason Bay. This time, Matt Holliday’s the big name, but there are also a few cheap, powerful players out there for teams looking to add an outfielder. Here’s your list of trade candidates, ranked from highest 2009 salary to lowest:
- Matt Holliday - At $13.5MM, Holliday's pricey, but he's a good defender with a history of batting excellence. With just seven extra base hits in the last month, Holliday's no longer perceived as a sure thing.
- Jermaine Dye - He makes $11.5MM this year and there's a mutual option with a $1MM buyout for 2010 on his deal. The White Sox want to win now though, so Dye doesn't appear to be on the block.
- Gary Matthews Jr. - The Angels would presumably pick up salary in any deal involving Matthews, as he makes $10MM this year and $23MM over the course of the next two years.
- Juan Pierre - Another overpaid outfielder in LA, Pierre makes $10MM this year and $18.5MM over the course of the next two. At least he's hitting well, with an OBP approaching .400 and a career-high slugging percentage.
- Alex Rios - He makes $5.9MM this year and has $60MM more coming his way between now and 2014. His teammate, Vernon Wells likely could not be traded.
- David Dejesus - Under contract for $3.6MM this year, he can play all three outfield positions, but his .714 OPS is ordinary.
- Mark Teahen - Makes $3.6MM as well and can play the outfield, though he's been manning third for the Royals. He has a .344 OBP and 27 extra base hits.
- Jeff Francoeur - He's struggled since last year and makes $3.4MM this season, so the suitors are not lining up for Francoeur.
- Josh Willingham - He has 10 homers for a .534 slugging percentage and he'll earn $3MM in 2009. Mike Rizzo says Adam Dunn's staying in Washington.
- Luke Scott - He makes just $2.4MM this year and won't be a free agent until after 2012, so the Orioles have a cheap, powerful asset on their hands. They have three talented outfielders already in Nolan Reimold, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, so they could conceivably part with Scott.
- Jeremy Hermida - With good patience, some power and a $2.25MM contract, Hermida could appeal to teams in need of a bat.
- Cody Ross - Like Scott, Ross is cheap and powerful. He's slugging .505 and makes just $2.2MM this year. He's scheduled to hit free agency after 2011.
- Scott Hairston - He was just traded, but he plays solid defense and has extra base power, so Hairston, who makes $1.25MM this year, could appeal to other teams.
- Ryan Spilborghs - Apparently the Rockies would prefer to hold onto Spilborghs, who's under team control for three more years and makes just $415k this season.
The Tigers, Braves, Mets, Giants and Reds could all look for outfield bats.