Andrew Miller Rumors

East Notes: Peavy, Scherzer, Miller, Mets, Rasmus

Jake Peavy acknowledges that he had an up-and-down season and tells Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com that he feels he has a lot to prove in free agency. However, the 33-year-old righty tells Crasnick that he actually enjoys the skepticism surrounding him after his struggles in Boston and in the postseason with San Francisco. “I need to have people doubting me, because that’s when you dig deep and find out what you’re made of,” Peavy explains. Crasnick spoke to a number of scouts and executives that all feel Peavy is a perfectly capable fourth starter at this point in his career, even if he’s not capable of being the ace he once was. “He’s not a No. 1 or a 2 by any stretch,” a scout tells Crasnick. “But if you have a deep team and you can give him a [Tim] Hudson type of deal and plug him into the 4 or 5 spot, I think he’s worth that.” (Hudson signed for two years and $23MM.) Crasnick hears that the Marlins have already had discussions with Peavy’s camp this offseason. Crasnick’s article has several excellent quotes from scouts and execs on Peavy’s current free agent stock and abilities on the mound.

Here’s more from baseball’s Eastern divisions…

  • John Harper of the New York Daily News still isn’t convinced that the Yankees won’t make a run at Max Scherzer, and he spoke with one executive (that he describes as “friendly” with GM Brian Cashman) who shares that view. The exec noted that while Cashman would love to build from within and hates the idea of surrendering a first-round pick, turning to Scherzer and Andrew Miller while letting David Robertson sign elsewhere would net the Yankees a fairly similar selection to their No. 19 overall pick. Harper also wonders if the leak of the Yankees’ interest in Miller was, to some extent, a deliberate tactic to put extra pressure on Robertson to re-sign.
  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that the Yankees are currently more likely to sign Miller than Robertson, though he eventually notes that the Bombers haven’t ruled out signing both relievers to pair with the electric Dellin Betances as a dynamic bullpen trio. Heyman, too, notes that the Yankees likely see some merit in the idea of pursuing the slightly cheaper Miller while letting Robertson walk to earn a compensatory draft pick.
  • Though much has been made about the Cubs, Rockies, D’Backs and Mariners as a potential trade partner to fill the Mets‘ hole at shortstop, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes that the Red Sox are an interesting partner as well. Prospect Deven Marrero is said to be available in trades, Martino writes, and the Red Sox have a well-documented need for starting pitching, making the two sides a good fit on paper.
  • The Orioles have lost Nelson Cruz to free agency and are facing the possibility of losing Nick Markakis as well, prompting Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports to list a short-term deal with Colby Rasmus as a possibility for the O’s should Markakis land elsewhere (Twitter link).

Pen Notes: Robertson, Romo, Miller, Beimel, Burnett

Here’s the latest on the market for bullpen arms:

  • As the Jays look to make bullpen improvements that will align with the team’s other significant additions, the club has not ruled out a run at David Robertson, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). MLBTR’s Steve Adams predicted that Robertson would score a four-year deal that exceeds $50MM, and he seems within range of achieving that contract if he can push the bidding up to that fourth year.
  • If the Astros don’t land Robertson, the team could shift its sights to Sergio Romo, Heyman tweets. The 31-year-old had a down year, but still delivers strong strikeout numbers while holding free passes to a minimum.
  • The Astros also have interest in the market’s other top option, lefty Andrew Miller, per Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. He could be an alternative to Robertson as a closer target, the report indicates.
  • Another team with interest in Miller is the Yankees, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirming (via Twitter) the report from ESPN.com’s Buster Olney earlier today. As Sherman notes, New York has thus far declined to push into the four-year territory for Robertson, but may have to do so for Miller if the club hopes to be competitive. New York is also poking around the trade market for late-inning arms, per George A. King III of the New York Post.
  • Though the Mets have had at least some interest in lefty Joe Beimel in past years, he is not presently being considered, according to a tweet from Mike Puma of the New York Post. New York is one of many teams with at least one opening for a left-handed reliever.
  • Rehabbing southpaw Sean Burnett will not sign over the winter, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. The once-excellent Burnett has struggled through two injury-plagued campaigns with the Angels. He will target a return to the practice hill this spring, per the report, and hopes to be ready to sign during the upcoming season.

Yankees, Dodgers In “Serious Pursuit” Of Andrew Miller

10:53am: The Dodgers are also in serious pursuit of Miller, tweets Olney.

8:37am: Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that he just spoke with Miller’s agent, who confirmed the Yankees’ interest but said New York is one of multiple teams still in the mix and wouldn’t classify a front-runner.

7:47am: The Yankees are in “serious pursuit” of lefty Andrew Miller, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney (via Twitter). Olney adds that given the teams that are showing the most interest in Miller, a four-year deal is likely, as others have indicated.

Miller was said last week to have multiple three-year offers already in hand, leading to further speculation that four years was the likely outcome. Over the weekend, reports indicated that he’d pared his list of possible destinations down to eight clubs, with AL East rivals Boston and Baltimore among the teams to have shown interest. On Saturday, Miller’s agent, Mark Rodgers, told the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo that the lefty was advancing toward a decision.

MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes pegged Miller for a four-year, $32MM contract in his free agent profile back in mid-October, but given the significant interest in Miller, it seems possible he tops that average annual value. If the Yankees are indeed the team to pay that premium, it could serve as an unofficial means of closing the book on their long relationship with David Robertson — the top reliever on this year’s open market. Robertson is known to be looking for a contract that tops Jonathan Papelbon‘s record-setting four-year, $50MM contract, and he reportedly already has received a three-year, $39MM offer. By signing Miller, the Yankees could add a premium high-leverage lefty to pair with breakout rookie right-hander Dellin Betances and collect a draft pick when Robertson signs elsewhere.



Quick Hits: Liriano, Miller, Papelbon

Max Scherzer tops the list of free agents who could wait until the new year to sign, Jim Duquette writes for MLB.com. Perhaps it’s no surprise that three of the five players on the list, including Scherzer, are represented by Scott Boras, who often prefers to wait for the market to come to him. Duquette suggests that one potential late signee who isn’t a Boras client is Francisco Liriano, who has a qualifying offer attached and who has topped 163 innings in a season only once in his career. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • Andrew Miller‘s next deal will almost certainly be for four years and will set a record for a non-closer relief pitcher, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes. (Jeremy Affeldt‘s current three-year, $18MM deal holds that record, Heyman notes.) Miller and his agent have pared his list of interested teams down to eight; their identities aren’t known, although Heyman notes that the Red Sox and Orioles have shown interest, while the Tigers are said to lack the necessaryfinancial means. A recent report from Baltimore, however, indicated that the O’s were out on Miller.
  • Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon appears to have little trade value and isn’t generating interest from teams like the Blue Jays and Astros, Heyman tweets. Despite being the subject of longstanding worries about his velocity and strikeout rate, Papelbon has gotten good results in each of his three seasons in Philadelphia, so as Heyman suggests, it might seem odd that there isn’t more of a market. His $13MM option for 2016, which will vest if he finishes 48 games next season, might be one source of concern, along with his vanishing peripherals.

Cafardo On Lester, Cespedes, Porcello, Miller

In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that some in the Red Sox organization see Xander Bogaerts as a young Hanley Ramirez.  “They are both fun-loving kids who love playing the game,” Red Sox first base/outfield coach Arnie Beyeler said. “I didn’t see Hanley after the Dominican League, but I remember him as a kid who once he got his chance just did things better than everyone else. He ran better, threw better, hit better. It was easy to see that he was going to develop into a very good baseball player. And you see the same things with Xander.”  More from today’s column..

  • Major league sources tell Cafardo that the Cubs are very serious about Jon Lester while the Giants are becoming more serious about him.  Meanwhile, the Yankees are thinking about getting serious about Lester but haven’t committed to doing so.  The Red Sox remain interested but it remains to be seen how far they’ll go.
  • If the Red Sox sign Jon Lester, Cafardo can see them moving Yoenis Cespedes for a No. 2 or No. 3 starter such as Reds hurlers Mat Latos or Mike Leake.  The Reds would have a need for Cespedes’s bat, but they would also probably have a need for shortstop Deven Marrero.  Meanwhile, Johnny Cueto would cost Cespedes and maybe two top prospects, but it would be tempting for Boston.
  • The Tigers could also be a match in a Cespedes deal.  If those talks were to take place, the Red Sox would have more interest in Rick Porcello than Anibal Sanchez.  David Price could be a possibility if the Red Sox whiff on Lester, but that would be costly.
  • It’s strange to some that the Yankees haven’t re-signed closer David Robertson by now.  One rival AL East GM wonders if the Yankees might change direction and go after someone like Andrew Miller, a power lefty, to go along with Dellin Betances.
  • It’s hard to tell whether the Nationals are serious about trading Jordan Zimmermann because they have the resources to sign him and he’s their best pitcher. “It doesn’t hurt to listen,” said one NL executive about GM Mike Rizzo’s strategy. “If you get overwhelmed, you do it. If you don’t, you keep him. Pretty simple, actually.”  Cafardo writes that the Red Sox, Rangers, and Cubs seem to have the pieces to get a deal done.
  • There are teams interested in Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz.  “There’s a lot of talent there that hasn’t come out,” one NL scout said.

AL Notes: Athletics, Red Sox, Indians, Miller

The Athletics will keep making moves because that’s the way Billy Beane has always done business, and because their situation forces them to, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News writes. The team’s most popular players are the ones who have the most value, and the players with the most value are the best candidates to be traded, because it’s those deals that set the A’s up for the future and help them avoid tight financial spots. That’s one reason the A’s had Josh Donaldson — who they traded to the Blue Jays last night — in the first place, having acquired him when they traded away Rich Harden in 2008. The Athletics have picked up the pace with their trading recently, and the result is “a bit like day trading on the stock market,” but that’s unlikely to change unless the A’s get a new stadium. Here are more notes from the American League.

  • The Red Sox want starting pitching and the Indians have it, but that doesn’t make it likely that Cleveland would trade Danny Salazar or Trevor Bauer to Boston for an outfielder, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer writes. The Red Sox want pitching, but they would likely want more star power, and the Indians aren’t likely to want to deal Salazar or Bauer for one year of, for example, Yoenis Cespedes.
  • Mark Rodgers, the agent for Andrew Miller, says his client is advancing toward a decision, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets. The Red Sox are one of at least ten teams who have interest in Miller. Miller reportedly has at least two three-year offers, making it likely it will take four years to sign him.

AL East Notes: Craig, Miller, Grilli, Jays

The Marlins are known to be looking for first base help and Allen Craig is the latest name to be added to their list of potential trade targets, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (Twitter link).  Dealing Craig would help the Red Sox clear out some of their outfield surplus, while giving Miami a right-handed bat to platoon with Garrett Jones at first base.  The Marlins are dangling young pitchers in trades, though I’m not sure this would necessarily appeal to Boston — the Sox already have plenty of young arms and if they did move an outfielder, they’d likely prefer a proven starter who can immediately be slotted into their 2015 rotation.

Here’s some more from around the AL East…

  • Andrew Miller is in serious negotiations with between eight and 10 teams, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports.  The Orioles aren’t one of the suitors, as Miller’s four-year asking price is higher than they would like to give to a setup man.  Miller has already received multiple three-year offers and reportedly received interest from 22 of the league’s 30 teams.
  • The Yankees have discussed signing Jason Grilli, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti reports.  Grilli could be pursued by the team if David Robertson leaves in free agency.
  • The Blue Jays are in need of relief pitching but would GM Alex Anthopoulos break from his usual modest bullpen spending and pursue a big-ticket reliever like Miller or Robertson?  Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith looks at the pros and cons of signing relievers to big contracts.
  • In a reader mailbag piece, MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm figures the Blue Jays have at least $20MM “and possibly even upward of $30MM” in remaining payroll space, provided that Anthopoulos and Paul Beeston were correct in saying that the club’s payroll would grow past its $137MM mark from 2014.  Some of the space could be created if J.A. Happ or Dioner Navarro are traded.
  • Also from Chisholm’s mailbag, he cites some reasons some players are reluctant to come to Toronto, such as the Rogers Centre’s artificial surface or a lack of desire to move to Canada.  Cole Hamels, Howie Kendrick, Justin Upton and Jay Bruce are just a few of the notable players who reportedly have the Jays on their no-trade lists, though Chisholm notes that several players with trade protection include AL East teams for financial leverage purposes.
  • Sean Rodriguez was “definitely surprised” to be designated for assignment by the Rays, the utilityman tells Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  “This (stinks) right now, but I feel like it may be an opportunity,” Rodriguez said. “What I bring to the table (in terms of versatility) is something a lot of teams like and want to have more of.”

Andrew Miller Has Multiple Three-Year Offers

Andrew Miller is one of the hottest free agents on this year’s open market, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that Miller has multiple three-year offers in hand, making it increasingly likely that he will end up with a four-year deal. Miller’s current offers would give him the highest annual value ever for a reliever without closing experience, Morosi adds, although that’s not too surprising considering that figure is currently at $6MM.

Reports last week indicated that Miller’s agent, Mark Rodgers, had been contacted by a staggering 22 clubs. The Red Sox and Blue Jays are believe to have serious interest in Miller, who is known to be seeking at least a four-year pact on the heels of a dominant season split between Boston and Baltimore. Yesterday, Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com heard (Twitter link) that the Red Sox, in particular, were “very serious” about bringing Miller back into the fold and felt they had the flexibility to make a legitimate pursuit, even in addition to their pursuit of Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester. The Cardinals also met with Miller last week, though those talks were believed to be “exploratory” in nature.

The Cubs are perhaps the only big-spending team that have been rumored to pass on Miller, as they’re said to be looking to lengthen the bullpen with lower-profile additions. Earlier today, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweeted that while the Mets are hoping to add a lefty reliever at the Winter Meetings, there’s “no shot” they sign Miller.


Blue Jays Interested In Jon Lester, Andrew Miller

As if signing Russell Martin wasn’t enough, the Blue Jays are also looking to address their rotation and bullpen.  Toronto is one of the six teams in the market for southpaw Jon Lester, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reports.  The Jays have also been “very aggressive” in courting Andrew Miller, Sportsnet’s Jeff Blair (Twitter link) hears from a source on another team in pursuit of the free agent reliever.

As a durable top-of-the-rotation arm with a lot of AL East familiarity, Lester makes sense for the Jays, though they already have six starters (Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada) in play for their 2015 rotation.  Starting pitching isn’t an obvious need, though since the Blue Jays will probably have to move at least one starter to address other needs anyway, they could package two arms in one deal or make multiple trades.  The Martin signing indicates that Toronto is willing to spend and be players in free agency, though meeting Lester’s projected six-year/$150MM price tag would take things to another level for the Jays.

The Red Sox are known to be one of Lester’s other five suitors, and it’s safe to assume that the Cubs are another given how they’re meeting with him this week and have been so often linked in rumors.

Miller recently met with the Jays, and it’s probably no surprise that Toronto is being aggressive given that they’re one of a whopping 22 teams who have reportedly checked in with agent Mark Rodgers about Miller’s services.  Miller is looking for a four-year deal at minimum, and he’ll likely find it with such a healthy market.  The Blue Jays could offer Miller a closing role, as Casey Janssen is likely to depart in free agency and Toronto has no clear in-house replacement for the ninth inning job.


AL Notes: Lester, Scherzer, Red Sox, Avila

Which of this offseason’s free agents are most likely to justify their contracts? It’s hard to say, given that we most big-name free agents haven’t even agreed to terms yet, but Doug Miller polled MLB.com’s writers to compile a list of top free agents, and they think Jon Lester‘s next contract is most likely to turn out to be a good one. Miller notes that contracts for pitchers often go south, but points out that Lester is healthy, left-handed and relatively young, and has been a consistently strong performer. Perhaps the most outside-the-box choice is Andrew Miller at No. 3, the idea being that Miller’s lack of closer status will limit him on the market, perhaps to three years and under $30MM. Here are the latest notes from the American League:

  • Scott Boras told Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio he has not heard anything from the Tigers indicating they are not interested in re-signing Max Scherzer. MLB.com’s Jason Beck has a partial transcript of the interview, including Boras saying he is not worried about the lack of teams linked to Scherzer while implying clubs may sign his client and then open a spot in their rotation by trading another of their starters calling this “a two-step process.”
  • Speaking of Scherzer (the top ranked free agent on MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agents list), the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman believes the Red Sox should kick those tires because their rotation is in shambles. Lester is the preferred option, according to Silverman, but a trade for Cole Hamels may wind up being the surest route for the Red Sox to get the caliber of starter they need.
  • The Tigers have until Thursday to exercise Alex Avila‘s 2015 option, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. If the Tigers opt for the $200K buyout rather than the $5.4MM option, Morosi notes Avila will remain on their roster because he is still arbitration eligible.