Andrew Bailey Rumors
With the clock ticking on their 30-day negotiating window with Yu Darvish, the Rangers aren't done searching for pitching upgrades. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that Texas still has interest in Athletics closer Andrew Bailey.
If the Rangers were to acquire Bailey, they would almost certainly trade a pitcher - perhaps Matt Harrison - for a first baseman or center fielder, according to Rosenthal.
The Rangers' interest in Bailey is nothing new, though during the Winter Meetings they were said to be balking at Billy Beane's asking price for the right-hander. The Red Sox have been the team linked to Bailey most often in recent weeks, even after their acquisition of Mark Melancon.
Assuming the Rangers can finalize a deal with Darvish within the next month, Neftali Feliz's move to the rotation means the club would have an excess of starting pitching. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote yesterday, Texas could consider starting the season with a six-man rotation. A trade is also a possibility. But if the Rangers decided to move Alexi Ogando to a bullpen which already includes Joe Nathan and Mike Adams, you'd think the team would be less inclined to part with premium prospects for Bailey.
The Red Sox strengthened their bullpen yesterday and they aren’t done yet. Boston continues pursuing relievers, including A’s closer Andrew Bailey, even after adding Mark Melancon, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (on Twitter).
Boston may move Daniel Bard to the rotation and Alfredo Aceves might also start, so Boston's interest in relievers is no surprise. They've been linked to left-handers such as Darren Oliver and right-handers such as Ryan Madson throughout the offseason. Melancon joins Matt Albers, Scott Atchison, Bobby Jenks and Franklin Morales in Boston's projected bullpen.
GM Ben Cherington sounds comfortable with Melancon as a closer, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com (on Twitter). However, Bailey recently told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that he won't be surprised if the A's send him to an East Coast team like the Red Sox.
- The chances of Jimmy Rollins signing with the Tigers seem incredibly thin, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- GM Dave Dombrowski said the Tigers had "minimal" discussions with Aramis Ramirez’s representatives, Chris Iott MLive.com reports. The Tigers did not make the third baseman a formal offer before the Brewers signed him.
- Athletics closer Andrew Bailey admits that he doesn't know where he'll be pitching next year, but the trade candidate sounds prepared for the possibility that he'll be dealt before Opening Day, as Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. Bailey grew up on the East Coast and says he has an understanding of what it would be like to pitch for a team like the Red Sox.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin says he's moving forward under the assumption that Ryan Braun will be in the lineup next year, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports. The Brewers are doing "business as normal," though Braun tested positive for a banned substance and faces a possible 50-game suspension.
Some links as Tuesday turns into Wednesday...
- The Red Sox have not yet made catcher and captain Jason Varitek a contract offer, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Boston added Kelly Shoppach to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway on Tuesday, a move that likely spelled the end of Varitek's time with the Sox.
- There are clubs with interest in trading for both Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey and others with interest in both Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado, but Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Athletics and Braves are likely to deal their players separately to maximize the return. Rosenthal and Morosi note that the Braves and Orioles have discussed a deal that included both Jurrjens and Prado.
- Interest in free agent closer Francisco Cordero has slowed down, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). His market could hinge on how clubs fill their other roster holes.
- The Pirates still have interest in first baseman Derrek Lee even after trading for Casey McGehee, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter). Bringing Lee back at first base would allow them to use McGehee at the hot corner with Pedro Alvarez.
- Heyman hears that the Angels put a deadline on their ten-year, $254MM offer to Albert Pujols (Twitter link). The deal did seem to come together very quickly Wednesday night into Thursday morning last week.
- The Rockies do have some money to spend according to Heyman (on Twitter). In addition to Carlos Beltran and Michael Cuddyer, they also have interest in Hiroki Kuroda, Joe Saunders, and various trade targets.
- Morosi says (on Twitter) that Andruw Jones could also be an option for the Rockies if Beltran and Cuddyer sign elsewhere.
- The Cardinals' interest in pitching upgrades is "understated," reports Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). Both Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook remain on the trade block.
- The Yokohama Bay Stars have released right-hander Hiroki Sanada so that he may pursue a deal in MLB according to a report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. No teams bid on Sanada when he was posted last week.
- The Astros and Rays are possibilities for Ivan Rodriguez, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Though the Mets have discussed Rodriguez, they’re leaning toward relying on Mike Nickeas as their backup to starter Josh Thole.
- MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner says the Joint Drug Agreement should provide Ryan Braun with privacy and fair proceedings. “I urge all to reserve judgment on this matter until the JDA's process has played itself out," Weiner said in a statement.
A few notes from Buster Olney's latest Insider-only blog entry at ESPN.com:
- Olney discusses the Ryan Braun bombshell, noting players across the league "are much more vigilant about PED use than they used to be." While players often treated PED users with indifference in the past, many now view users as a threat to their livelihood. The Brewers released a statement on Braun late last night.
- At least four teams have talked to the Marlins about a Hanley Ramirez trade, but none of the discussions seem to have progressed at all.
- Within the industry, the Rangers are viewed as the frontrunner for Yu Darvish, given the extensive scouting they've done.
- The fact that Albert Pujols agreed to sign with the Angels without a single face-to-face visit with the Angels' brass or to Anaheim is a strong indicator that Pujols was unhappy with the Cardinals' negotiations, says Olney.
- Having dealt Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow, the Athletics will continue making moves and will "probably" trade Andrew Bailey and Gio Gonzalez in the coming weeks.
- The A's preferred Jarrod Parker over Trevor Bauer during trade talks with Arizona, a source tells Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link).
- Assistant GM David Forst confirmed that all of the A's players are available to be traded except for Jemile Weeks, tweets Jane Lee of MLB.com. Two players who have been mentioned prominently in rumors this offseason are lefty starter Gio Gonzalez and closer Andrew Bailey.
- Interest in Gonzalez and Bailey is "intense," a Major League source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. The Rangers, Blue Jays, Nationals and Marlins are targeting Gonzalez, while the Red Sox are after Bailey, according to Rosenthal. The Rangers and Reds like both players.
- The A's objective is to get younger - not necessarily cheaper - and to build a competitive team within three years in anticipation of a potential move to a new ballpark in San Jose, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links).
- Parker and center fielder Collin Cowgill both have a chance to win starting jobs in spring training this year, according to Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter links).
Needless to say, people will be talking about the Angels' blockbuster contract with Albert Pujols for years, if not decades, to come. We published one batch of reactions to the signing yesterday, and now here are some fresh perspectives about the impact of the already-legendary deal...
- The Angels have agreed to a 20-year TV contract with Fox Sports worth at least $3 billion, reports Bill Shaikin and Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times. With the Dodgers' deal with Fox struck down in court and the Lakers moving to Time Warner Cable, the Angels had a clear line to this huge new deal and revenue stream. As Shaikin and Baxter put it to Halos fans, Pujols was "brought to you by Frank McCourt and Kobe Bryant."
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs looks at how major signings rarely lead to long-term boosts in attendance.
- There is no truth to rumors the Angels and A's were discussing a trade involving Mark Trumbo and Andrew Bailey, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser's source calls the rumor "total fiction."
- During labor talks, Arte Moreno was critical of other owners signing players to expensive, long-term contracts, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- Adrian Gonzalez's seven-year, $154MM contract with the Red Sox "looks rather incredible now," writes WEEI.com's Alex Speier. "There is a good chance that Gonzalez will be a better player than Pujols for the next seven years. But even if he is not...the difference will not be as wide as a nine-figure contract chasm would suggest."
While we wait for the big free agents to make their decisions, here's a grab bag of links from Day Three at the Winter Meetings:
- The Athletics feel like they're much closer to moving Andrew Bailey than Gio Gonzalez, but even that may not happen until after the Meetings, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- GM Walt Jocketty finds the lack of action in Dallas for the Reds so far "very frustrating," says MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Jocketty said he was approached with one proposal today that' he's considering, but "nothing is close."
- Candidates for the Royals' utility infielder opening include Edgar Renteria, Mark DeRosa, Orlando Cabrera, and Carlos Guillen, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. No deals are imminent.
- The Rays are still attempting to figure out the best way to bolster their offense, writes Bill Chastain at MLB.com.
- The Mariners are displaying interest in Arthur Rhodes, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Jorge Posada would still like to play if he can find the right situation, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
- Former Angels GM Bill Stoneman will return to the team for another year as special advisor to the GM, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
8:49am: The talks are not that far along and the A's have not asked for Middlebrooks, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The A's would need more, but WEEI's Alex Speier tweets that they've liked Lars Anderson, Raul Alcantara, and Brandon Workman. Things are currently quiet on the Bailey-Red Sox trade front, tweets Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.
6:39am: The A's asked the Red Sox for third base prospect Will Middlebrooks, writes the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. It's probably safe to assume that Middlebrooks, 23, is not one of the prospects mentioned in Gammons' proposal.
5:01am: Peter Gammons of MLB Network tweets that the Athletics are considering a trade offer from the Red Sox that includes Josh Reddick and prospects in exchange for Andrew Bailey. Jed Lowrie is not in this proposal.
The 24-year-old Reddick appeared at all three outfield spots for the Sox in 2011 (earning stellar reviews from UZR and DRS in an admittedly small sample) and hit a solid .280/.327/.457 in 278 plate appearances.
The A's stand to lose their entire starting outfield of David DeJesus (already signed with the Cubs), Coco Crisp, and Josh Willingham to free agency this offseason, so it makes sense that they would have interest in controllable outfielders.
The two teams were reportedly set to meet on Tuesday to discuss a potential Bailey trade, though is is the first we've heard of the results.
The Blue Jays, Twins, and Marlins added closers in recent days, and it's not clear whether the remaining teams with ninth inning openings are willing to spend big. The latest on several closers...
- There is "no interest" from Madson or Rodriguez in accepting arbitration, tweets Peter Gammons of MLB Network. However, one agent believes that if the Red Sox trade for Andrew Bailey, which is a "real possibility," Madson and K-Rod could be in trouble, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
- The Angels are interested in trading for Seattle's Brandon League, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Angels have also expressed interest in free agents Todd Coffey and Jason Isringhausen, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times, but they probably won't move on a reliever until C.J. Wilson decides what to do.
- There's lots of buzz that Ryan Madson and Francisco Rodriguez could accept arbitration with the Phillies and Brewers, respectively, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. I still think Scott Boras will advise both to decline tomorrow night.
- The Rockies are willing to eat all of Huston Street's $8MM salary for prospects, tweets Stark. He says the Padres are a possibility. Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link) hears the Rockies would take on some "but not all" of Street's salary.
- Stark confirms yesterday's rumor that the Royals will listen on Joakim Soria, but they want a front-line starter in return.