Alex Rodriguez Rumors
The Red Sox will interview Rick Peterson for their pitching coach job, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). The Orioles granted Boston permission to interview Peterson, who is currently Baltimore's director of pitching development and is a former pitching coach with the A's, Mets and Brewers.
Here's the latest from around the AL East...
- No teams have yet contacted the Yankees about a possible Alex Rodriguez trade, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Orioles have scouted Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, confirming an earlier report from Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News that the O's had interest in the 18-year-old prospect. Since Otani has already been drafted (though not signed) by the NPL's Nippon Ham Fighters, Connolly suspects the O's might not make any quick attempts to sign Otani given the Orioles' issues last season in trying to sign Korean southpaw Seong-Min Kim.
- Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton are both too expensive for the Orioles' taste, writes MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko in an analysis of free agents who won't be pursued by the O's this winter. The team doesn't have interest in free agent pitchers Derek Lowe, Jeremy Guthrie, Edwin Jackson or Erik Bedard, while Kevin Youkilis is a longshot based on Baltimore's concerns about his health.
- James Loney has a less than 50-50 chance of returning to the Red Sox, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich, though the Sox see Loney as a "Plan B" if they're still looking for first base help later in the offseason.
- The Rays have been denied permission by St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster to explore new stadium sites in nearby counties in Tampa Bay, reports Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. The Rays' lease at Tropicana Field runs through the 2027 season.
- Mariano Rivera's retirement could help the Yankees avoid a tough decision with the closer's job, opines Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York. If Rivera retired, the Yankees could then pursue a new contract with Rafael Soriano without worrying about committing too much payroll space on closers.
- From earlier today, Joel Sherman of the New York Post had more items about the Yankees.
John Farrell has officially joined the Red Sox after many months of intense speculation. Here are some links, starting in Boston with Farrell’s new team...
- Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo is a strong candidate to join Farrell with the Red Sox, perhaps as the team's bench coach, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. We heard lots about the possibilities for Lovullo yesterday.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman acknowledged that Alex Rodriguez is not a superstar, but said he's still an "above-average" player, Peter Botte of the New York Daily News reports. The GM repeated that a deal involving Rodriguez seems "unrealistic." The 37-year-old has five years and $114MM remaining on a contract that includes no-trade protection.
- Derek Lowe, who pitched out of the bullpen for the Yankees down the stretch, says he would like to start again in 2013, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Lowe hits free agency this offseason and probably won't interest the Yankees as a starter in the estimation of Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues.
- Andruw Jones, who also hits free agency this offseason, said he intends to play for four more years, according to King.
Rangers right-hander Mike Adams had successful surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome yesterday, reports Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com (on Twitter). The free agent-to-be reliever should be healthy in time for Spring Training. Here's the latest from baseball's two West divisions...
- "They pay me to be me, and I will be," said Giants closer Brian Wilson to reporters (including Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle). He is recovering from Tommy John surgery and hasn't thought about his role going forward (Twitter links). Wilson is a non-tender candidate after earning $8.5MM in the second year of a two-year deal in 2012.
- "I think there will certainly be interest," said Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson to Arizona Sport 620's Burns & Gambo when asked if the team has trade interest in Alex Rodriguez. The D'Backs are said to be seeking a third baseman, and GMs Kevin Towers and Brian Cashman worked together in the Yankees' front office in 2010.
- The Rangers have hired Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan to be their hitting coach, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Texas has since confirmed the hire.
Earlier today we learned that the Yankees intend to exercise Curtis Granderson's $15MM club option for 2013, and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the team is disinclined to explore a long-term extension for the slugger. Let's see what else is going on in the Big Apple...
- The Yankees are still planning on making a qualifying offer of about $13.5MM to free agent Nick Swisher, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, the club will only do so in order to receive draft pick compensation and have no expectations of Swisher accepting the deal.
- Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman told Heyman that he has no plans to shop Alex Rodriguez this winter. Furthermore, the GM doesn't seem to think that there's much of a market for the third baseman. "He's got a full no-trade, and his contract is what it is,'' Cashman said.
- Yankees president Randy Levine confirmed to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that both Cashman and manager Joe Girardi will return in 2013. Heyman adds (via Twitter) that the status of the team's coaches will be up to Cashman and Girardi. Cashman told Heyman that as far as he's concerned, all of the coaches are safe (Twitter link).
- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post believes that Rodriguez will return to the Yankees and refuse to waive his no-trade clause as he stated last night. The highly-paid third baseman has been linked to the Marlins in recent days following his disappointing performance in the playoffs.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Congratulations to Buster Posey and Fernando Rodney, who were named MLB.com’s comeback players of the year for their respective leagues. Rodney had a historic season, posting a 0.60 ERA and striking out more than a batter per inning in Tampa Bay. Posey had an MVP-caliber year after missing most of the 2011 season with a broken leg and damaged ankle ligaments. Here are today’s links...
- The Cardinals, now just one win away from another World Series appearance, are doing just fine without Albert Pujols, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes. St. Louis’ roster looks just as scary as it did a year ago thanks to an abundance of homegrown contributors.
- The Cardinals are believed to have offered Pujols a seven-year deal with three player options last offseason, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports. St. Louis GM John Mozeliak said Pujols was a "special part" of the organization. "In a normal — or in a more sterile — environment, we wouldn't pursue those types of things," the GM told Shaikin.
- The Nationals' bullpen might be overhauled this offseason, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes. Sean Burnett will likely hit free agency and Tyler Clippard could be traded. The Nationals figure to tender Tom Gorzelanny a contract and should have interest in re-signing Mike Gonzalez. Kilgore wonders if Ryan Madson could be a free agent target for Washington.
- An American League scout suggested to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that no teams would be interested in Alex Rodriguez, who’s owed $114MM plus bonuses over the course of the next five years (Twitter link). For more on the Yankees’ offseason plans check out this collection of links.
After 95 regular season wins and two postseason series, the Yankees' year has ended. The Tigers swept the ALCS in four games, which means it's now time for the Bronx Bombers to look ahead to the 2012-13 offseason. Here's the latest...
- Yankees management wants to step away from the disappointment of the 2012 ALCS before finalizing offseason plans, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Yankees will continue relying on power hitters, even after a team-wide slump against the Tigers. “I’m not going to turn myself into the Bronx Bunters because all of a sudden we didn’t hit for this week in October,” GM Brian Cashman said.
- Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte hopes to decide within a few weeks whether he'll return for another season of baseball in 2013, Jeff Bradley and Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger report. “I still have the desire to compete, but there are family things. I just have to try and figure that out,” Pettitte said.
- Nick Swisher would "absolutely" like to re-sign with the Yankees and described his tenure in New York as "awesome," Bradley and McCullough report.
- Ichiro Suzuki said he hopes to be needed and wanted but declined to get into specifics, Bradley and McCullough report.
- Bradley also outlines an offseason to-do list for the Yankees. The possibility of a trade sending Alex Rodriguez to Miami might be tempting for the New York front office.
- Curtis Granderson said he expects to return in 2013, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. Unless the Yankees trade the center fielder he'll still be wearing pinstripes when the season opens.
- Cashman said he isn't worried about the age of his team, Hoch reports. "I don't care if it's old; I care if it's good," Cashman said.
Alex Rodriguez told reporters (including Peter Botte of the New York Daily News and MLB.com's Bryan Hoch) that he will return to the Yankees in 2013 and he won't waive his no-trade clause. "I will be back. I have a lot to prove," Rodriguez said. "I’ve never thought about going to another team. My focus is on staying here. Let’s make that very, very clear." We heard earlier today from USA Today's Bob Nightengale that Rodriguez wouldn't ask for a trade himself, but has told his close friends that he would approve a deal if it was to another large market.
Rodriguez was again out of the starting lineup today, though he entered the game as a pinch-hitter and went 0-for-2 in New York's 8-1 loss to the Tigers that eliminated the Yankees from the postseason. Rodriguez appeared in just six of the Yankees' nine playoff games, delivering three hits (all singles) and two walks in 27 plate appearances.
This disappointing postseason performance has led to speculation about Rodriguez's future with the Yankees. The Marlins have been linked to the Miami native, but executives on both sides have denied that talks have taken place. Beyond Rodriguez's no-trade clause, of course, is the $114MM remaining on his contract through the 2017 season, his age (37), his recent injury history and the fact that Rodriguez posted a .783 OPS in 2012, his career low for a full season. The Yankees would have to eat most, if not all, of Rodriguez's remaining salary unless they got another bad contract back in return.
Brad Ausmus has a supporter in former teammate Andy Pettitte, who tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that Ausmus would be a "great" choice to manage the Red Sox. Ausmus is one of four candidates (along with Tim Wallach, DeMarlo Hale and Tony Pena) who have interviewed for the job, though the Sox are also negotiating with the Blue Jays about manager John Farrell. Here's the latest from around the AL East...
- Sources familiar with the Dodgers' and Marlins' plans tell Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that neither team has an interest in Alex Rodriguez. The Miami source said that rumors about talks between the Yankees and Marlins about Rodriguez are "BS. [It's] not happening."
- The Angels may not be interested in an A-Rod-for-Vernon Wells deal due to the salary differences and the fact that the Angels see prospect Kaleb Cowart as a potential starting third baseman by 2014, opines MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (Twitter links).
- Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun grades each member of the Orioles' roster.
- As the Red Sox and Blue Jays continue to negotiate about Farrell, an anonymous AL East GM tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he isn't a fan of manager trades. "I don't think it's a great practice to deal for managers. I'm surprised the league allows it," says the general manager. "If the guy doesn't want to be there you just let him go. What's the big deal? You get someone else who does want to be there and who you feel will do a good job."
- Gerry Hunsicker and Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman talk to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times about Hunsicker's decision to leave the Rays for the Dodgers.
- From earlier today on MLBTR, I compiled some news about the Blue Jays.
Alex Rodriguez would welcome a trade from the Yankees under the right circumstances, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Rodriguez won’t ask to be traded, but he has told close friends he won’t block a deal as long as he’s going to a large-market team.
The Marlins, Angels, White Sox and Dodgers could pursue the slumping 37-year-old, Nightengale suggests. Rodriguez can block any trade and has five years and $114MM on his contract, so he won’t be easy to move. At this level, dollars figure in as much as talent. "They're not trades. They're business deals," Brewers GM Doug Melvin noted.
Baseball executives suggested to Nightengale that Rodriguez is worth $7-10MM per season at this stage in his career. Manager Joe Girardi has benched Rodriguez against right-handed pitching, an indication the Yankees doubt his ability to produce. The Yankees and Marlins have reportedly had preliminary discussions about a deal involving Rodriguez, though both sides have publicly denied the reports.
THURSDAY: Marlins president David Samson told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com that there have been "no conversations between the Yankees and the Marlins.”
WEDNESDAY: Earlier today, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman shot down a report from Keith Olbermann which indicated that the club has talked with the Marlins about a possible trade involving Alex Rodriguez. However, Yankees president Randy Levine and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria have in fact had a casual conversation about relocating the embattled third baseman to Miami, a source tells Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
It should be noted that the conversation first began in a "joking" fashion according to the report, which would indicate that any talks between the two sides are in an embryonic stage. However, the source believes that the chat could develop into serious trade talks this winter. Loria reportedly said, "Alex is Mr. Miami, it would be great if he played here for us." The Yankees president then responded, "You can have him."
A second source with knowledge of A-Rod's thinking said Miami is likely the only place that he would accept a trade to. For his part, Levine refused to comment on the conversation with Loria in an interview with ESPN New York's Ian O'Connor and declined to speculate on Rodriguez's future with the Yanks beyond this year. Rodriguez is owed $114MM over the next five years, not including potential bonuses for home run milestones.
It would not be unprecedented for Yankees brass to conduct business with limited involvement from Cashman. Two years ago, the club brokered a substantial deal for reliever Rafael Soriano despite the GM's objections.