Andre Ethier Rumors
The latest from Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com...
- Both the Dodgers and Red Sox have interest in Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, reports Heyman. He hears Los Angeles could also make a play for Indians closer Chris Perez or Mets right-hander Bobby Parnell as well.
- The Rangers were interested in Anibal Sanchez and Russell Martin before they signed elsewhere, Knobler reports. Now Texas is pursuing Edwin Jackson, A.J. Pierzynski and Cody Ross. Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse aren't thought to be "front-burner" items for the Rangers now, Knobler reports. Knobler suggests the Rangers are interested in a relatively short-term deal for Jackson, who's also drawing serious interest from the Cubs.
- The Dodgers have talked about trading Andre Ethier and signing Bourn to replace him, reports Knobler. Los Angeles is looking for a leadoff hitter. Earlier this week we heard they've considered trading Ethier and signing Nick Swisher.
- The Rangers may be the best bet for Pierzynski since the Yankees still can’t get excited about the backstop, Heyman reports (on Twitter). Instead, New York is looking to go with Austin Romine.
- The Braves continue eyeing a left fielder and would prefer to add a leadoff type, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Bobby Abreu, who is now playing winter ball, hopes to play for two or three more years, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
We've already had one batch of AL East Notes on MLBTR today, but here are some more items on a busy day around the division...
- The Orioles have had a quiet offseason while their division rivals have been spending, writes Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. While the O's didn't make any major signings en route to a playoff appearance last year and face a payroll increase due to several arbitration-eligible players, Schmuck thinks spending on a big free agent like Adam LaRoche would help the team contend again.
- A Dodgers official flatly denied that the Dodgers and Red Sox could make an Andre Ethier/Jacoby Ellsbury swap, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Ethier's name has come up in recent rumors but L.A. isn't shopping the outfielder and doesn't appear eager to move him.
- Also from Cafardo, he hears from an AL general manager that the Red Sox may be trying to deal Ellsbury so they can shift Shane Victorino to center field and then sign Cody Ross. Several teams are interested in Ross but none have yet met his desired price of a three-year, $21-$31MM contract.
- Jose Iglesias has "always been available, but nobody has knocked down [Boston's] door," writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe about the Red Sox prospect's trade value. Given that Stephen Drew was signed to just a one-year contract, it's too early to say that the Sox have given up on Iglesias as a long-term solution at shortstop.
- Also from Cafardo's piece, he thinks that Rafael Soriano and Matt Garza could both still be targets for the Red Sox.
- Right-hander Daniel McCutchen has received multiple offers to play in Japan, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes has learned. McCutchen’s minor league deal with the Orioles permits him to accept an offer from a Japanese team. The 30-year-old appeared in one game for the Pirates this past season, but he spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a 2.98 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 63 1/3 innings.
- The Blue Jays were picked as the 2013 AL East champions by 13 of 20 scouts and executives polled by FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi. In that same poll, the Orioles were picked to finish last by 10 voters, while the Red Sox received six last-place votes and were the only team that didn't get at least one pick as division winners. Morosi himself picks Toronto for first place and Boston for last.
- From earlier today, the Rays signed Roberto Hernandez, the Red Sox finalized the signing of Koji Uehara and I compiled some Yankees-related notes.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
10:04am: A source close to the Dodgers told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the team's one conversation with Swisher came weeks ago (Twitter links). The Dodgers aren't shopping Ethier and haven't received offers for him so far, Heyman adds.
9:30am: Two American League teams asked about Ethier, but the Dodgers have "zero intention" of trading him, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Dodgers will listen to offers.
8:34am: Six months after extending Andre Ethier, the Dodgers are considering trading him. The Dodgers are shopping Ethier, and could be a suitor for Nick Swisher if they complete a trade, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports (on Twitter).
Ethier will earn $85MM from 2013-17 after signing a five-year deal with the Dodgers this past June. Ethier’s deal took place soon after Guggenheim Baseball Management gained control of the team, and foreshadowed the aggressive spending that would take place in the months that followed. The Dodgers acquired Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett from the Red Sox in a midseason trade, taking on approximately $260MM in the process. Then, once the offseason began, they spent aggressively on international free agents and landed the top pitcher available, signing Zack Greinke for $147MM.
While recent history suggests the team can afford to spend big on Swisher, GM Ned Colletti would need to create roster space for him. Swisher, a client of MVP Sports Group, is two years older than the 30-year-old Ethier. A switch-hitter, Swisher doesn't have the same pronounced platoon splits Ethier does. While Ethier thrives against right-handers and struggles against left-handers, Swisher has a career OPS of .820 against right-handers and a career OPS of .842 against left-handers.
The Indians met with Swisher last night and the Red Sox, Phillies, Mariners, Rangers, and Orioles have also been linked to him. Some of these teams could have interest in trading for Ethier, particularly if the Dodgers are willing to cover some salary to facilitate a deal.
Let's round up a few rumblings from Nashville on players who might be on the trade block...
- The Phillies are dangling pitcher Vance Worley as a trade chip and may be willing to include pitching prospect Trevor May in a deal, writes Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
- The Dodgers are becoming aggressive in shopping starters Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, in a potential sign of confidence regarding a Zack Greinke signing.
- There have been "no conversations" about trading Andre Ethier, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly tells Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
- One rival executive thinks the Royals will eventually make a deal for Rays starter James Shields, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Within his piece, Knobler explains why the Royals are more inclined to trade Wil Myers than Billy Butler.
- The return the Twins received for Denard Span has somewhat hampered the Indians' efforts to trade Shin-Soo Choo, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains in a pair of Twitterlinks.
- Ramon Santiago's name has surfaced at the Winter Meetings as a potential trade candidate, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter). While Beck isn't sure if the Tigers would move him, he says the utility infielder could draw interest.
- The Dodgers are "aggressively shopping" Juan Uribe in Nashville, but predictably aren't receiving much interest, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets that when he asked an MLB official if the Yankees could have interest in Uribe with Alex Rodriguez out, he was met with a chuckle.
The Dodgers have been said to have interest in free agent outfielder Torii Hunter, but their level of interest may have been overstated, according to Dylan Hernandez and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The team met with Hunter’s agent at the GM meetings this week, but a source says that it was Hunter’s agent who initially reached out to the Dodgers, not the other way around. Since the Dodgers won't move Andre Ethier, Hunter's only possible role would be as a fourth outfielder and the veteran isn't terribly interested in doing that. Hunter's agent has also talked with the Tigers, Rays, Yankees, and Phillies and tells clubs that his client wants a multi-year contract. Here's more from around baseball..
- MLB.com's Thomas Harding writes that Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey isn't sure whether the club will trade him this winter if they can't reach agreement on a contract extension, but his preference is to stay in New York.
- The Mets don't want to go to arbitration with Andres Torres, but the club has not ruled out bringing him back for 2013, a source tells Dan Martin of the New York Post. Torres would be in line for a slight raise over the $2.7MM he earned last season through arbitration, but the club could bring him back at a more reasonable price. I profiled Torres as a non-tender candidate back in September.
- The Yankees have faith they can make deals with pitchers Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda, and Andy Pettitte, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. When it comes to Kuroda, the Yanks see Japan as a bigger threat to pull him away than teams like the Red Sox or the Dodgers.
- The weak crop of catchers on this year's open market could yield a high return for the Red Sox if they trade Jarrod Saltalamacchia, writes Tim Britton of The Providence Journal.
Earlier today, the Dodgers made history when they submitted the winning bid on Hyun-Jin Ryu for $25,737,737.33, the largest ever for a South Korean player. Here's more on the Dodgers..
- The Dodgers won't be trading Andre Ethier, so Torii Hunter would need to accept a lesser role if he signed with them, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The veteran, who is close with both Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford, has interest from nine other clubs including the Tigers, White Sox, Rangers, and Mariners (Twitter link).
- Clayton Kershaw's hip issues won't deter GM Ned Colletti from working out a new deal with Clayton Kershaw, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "I think we'll probably sit down and talk about it once we get past this period of time, the free agent period of time," Colletti said. "We signed him for another year, there's another year after that. That said, if there's a common ground on both sides, it's worth investigating."
- Agent Scott Boras says that Ryu wants to be a starter in the major leagues, tweets Hernandez. Boras added that if Ryu doesn't wind up signing with the Dodgers, he expects the posting fee to increase dramatically next year (Twitter link).
Here's the latest from Bob Nightengale of USA Today...
- The Dodgers are "aggressively pursuing" Torii Hunter according to a team executive. GM Ned Colletti wouldn't confirm the team's interest, but he did say that he did not have any trade talks about Andre Ethier during the GM Meetings this week.
- The Dodgers will have meetings early next week to formulate a plan that involves signing Hunter and acquiring a frontline starter. They've already spoken to representatives for Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez, but are out on Ryan Dempster.
- The Rangers tried to acquire Andrelton Simmons from the Braves so they could flip him to the Diamondbacks in a deal for Justin Upton. Arizona wants a young shortstop, but Texas is loath to give up Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar. Atlanta wouldn't budge, however.
Here's the latest from FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal as he dissects the buzz and rumors currently circulating around the league...
- The addition of two former members from the Rays organization has nothing to do with a potential pursuit of center fielder B.J. Upton, says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
- While some teams may prefer Upton over Michael Bourn thanks to his age (nearly two years younger) and the ability to hit for power, Rosenthal points out that Bourn's value comes from being a well-rounded player.
- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche's decision regarding his free agency may greatly impact Washington's course of action this offseason, especially with left fielder Michael Morse.
- The notion that the Dodgers may consider moving Andre Ethier just months after signing him to a five-year, $85MM contract simply wouldn't be the best move for Los Angeles heading into 2013, opines Rosenthal.
- Look for the Yankees to re-sign Russell Martin, but the Bombers have had their eye on free agent David Ross, who has served as Brian McCann's backup with the Braves since 2009.
- The Cardinals and second baseman Skip Schumaker may be parting ways this offseason as the veteran no longer has a defined role with the club thanks to the emergence of young talent.
TUESDAY: A trade involving Ethier is "not happening," Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
MONDAY: The Dodgers made headlines this season when they signed Andre Ethier to a five-year, $85MM extension. ESPN's Buster Olney reports that now, just months later, the team is open to the concept of trading their slugging right fielder (Twitter link).
The 30-year-old Ethier hit .284/.351/.460 with 20 home runs in 2012. Despite that production, there would be many deterrents for teams that show interest. Ethier struggled mightily against left-handed pitching, triple-slashing just .222/.276/.330 against southpaws. He'll be 31 years old on April 10 next season, and he will be 35 years of age when his $85MM extension expires. Beyond that, defensive metrics such as UZR and the Fielding Bible have never been fans of his glovework (though he has one Gold Glove under his belt).
However, most believe that Ethier would have fetched a larger payday had he become a free agent this offseason rather than signing his extension. Teams that would have had interest in the longtime Dodger could look at this as an opportunity to get Ethier into their lineup while saving some money. He would also present an alternative for teams that miss out on Josh Hamilton in free agency.
Here's the latest from the City of Angels (and Dodgers)...
- Andre Ethier would've gotten more than a five-year, $85MM deal as a free agent, opines Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in his latest Hot Corner video. Rosenthal noted that even in a crowded market for outfielders, Ethier's numbers were better than every other potential free agent outfielder (except Josh Hamilton) and Ethier could've found a contract akin to Jayson Werth's seven-year, $126MM deal with the Nationals. Still, Rosenthal calls Ethier's extension good for both sides, as Ethier enjoys playing for the Dodgers and the team gets to keep a big bat at a relative bargain price.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto talks to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times about the trade that brought Dan Haren to Anaheim, a deal that Dipoto swung from the other side while acting as the Diamondbacks' interim general manager.
- The Angels announced they have agreed to terms with 14 draft picks, with fourth-rounder Alex Yarbrough named as the highest-selected of the signees. The Halos have reached deals with 25 of 38 draft picks thus far. The Angels didn't make a selection until the third round, as they lost their first and second-round picks as compensation for signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson last offseason.