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Andruw Jones Rumors
Let's check out the latest rumblings from the Bronx….
- The Yankees have stepped up their pursuit of Andruw Jones, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. Heyman previously reported that the two sides were apart on money, despite the team's strong interest in the outfielder. While the Rays and other clubs are still involved, the Yankees appear to be making a push to get something done with the 33-year-old.
- In the same tweet, Heyman adds that Johnny Damon remains a possibility for both the Yankees and Rays.
- Bill Madden of the New York Daily News writes that Rafael Soriano's $35MM price tag isn't the only reason to be concerned about the signing. Madden questions the right-hander's make-up, but says the Yankees are confident that Mariano Rivera will be a "calming, guiding force" for Soriano.
- Speaking to Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News, Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said that while Soriano didn't make a great first impression in Tampa Bay, he turned out to be a "consummate pro." "I wish we were the ones signed up for three more years with him," Hickey added.
Scott Boras told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones and Manny Ramirez can boost fan interest, TV ratings and revenue for MLB teams. Not only that, the agent insists his clients can be key players on winning clubs.
"These guys are star players," Boras said. "They're championship-caliber players. Owners and general managers know they have extraordinary abilities, and they can be a force in the locker room and around young players."
Crasnick surveyed MLB executives and scouts about the three stars and heard the Angels and Rays mentioned as possibilities for Damon. The Dodgers, who have also been linked to the 37-year-old, are “unlikely” to sign him, according to a source familiar with the team’s thinking. The Yankees haven’t ruled out a reunion with Damon, but they’re only interested in him as a fourth outfielder, according to Crasnick.
Jones, another Yankees target, “still has value as an extra outfielder who can fill in at all three spots and mash left-handed pitching," an AL assistant GM said. The Braves briefly discussed a reunion with Jones and the Rockies are another possible fit.
Despite speculation that Ramirez could be a fit in Toronto, where former Red Sox coach John Farrell will take over as manager, it isn’t a likely match. In fact, Crasnick suggests Farrell’s familiarity with the slugger could make the Jays less likely to sign Manny. Tampa Bay could be a fit for Ramirez, who definitely wants to play in 2011, according to Boras.
The Yankees' interest in Andruw Jones is well-known, but now the Rays can be added to the list of suitors for the veteran outfielder, reports Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. (Twitter link) Tampa Bay has less of a pressing need for Jones since the club already has B.J. Upton and Desmond Jennings as right-handed hitting incumbents in the outfield, but with Upton coming off a weak 2010 season and Jennings entering his first full season in the bigs, Jones provides valuable depth should either player falter. He could also provide some pop as a right-handed DH option.
Heyman also mentions Johnny Damon as "a possibility" for both of the AL East rivals. Damon has expressed his own interest in playing for both clubs, and has been described as a fallback option for New York if they fail to acquire Jones. Damon would likely play more DH than outfield in Tampa Bay, since his declining defensive value wouldn't be aided by playing on Tropicana Field's artificial surface.
Yesterday we learned that the Yankees have strong interest in free agent outfielder Andruw Jones. GM Brian Cashman is in search of a backup outfielder who hits right-handed and Jones is one of the better options available at this point in the offseason.
One year ago today, the Reds won the bidding for Aroldis Chapman. The Cuban left-hander made 15 relief appearances in the majors last year and figures to have an even bigger impact on the 2011 season. Here are today's links…
- The Cardinals' negotiations with Albert Pujols could resemble the Yankees' negotiations with Alex Rodriguez, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Cardinals executives have acknowledged that an extension with their first baseman would take the organization "places it hasn't gone" in terms of contract value and potential incentive clauses, Goold writes.
- Benjamin Kabak of River Ave. Blues says he'd lean toward Andruw Jones over Marcus Thames for the Yankees in 2011.
- Meanwhile, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies still have some interest in Jones (Twitter link).
- The Rangers are concerned that Jim Thome would prefer to return to Minnesota, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The Rangers are interested in Thome, though he's not a perfect fit for their needs.
- The Nationals need a utility player who can back Danny Espinosa up at second base and potentially play in the outfield, according to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com. He lists Willie Bloomquist, David Eckstein and Willie Harris as possible fits.
- Dan Szymborski explains the challenges the Giants face if they want to repeat as World Champions in a piece for ESPN.
- The Blue Jays announced that they outrighted Wil Ledezma to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Andruw Jones appears to be the Yankees' top choice as they continue to search for a fourth outfielder, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The sides are still apart on money, Heyman writes. Agent Scott Boras, who represents Jones, also represents Johnny Damon, who is one of the Yankees' backup options. Former Yankee Marcus Thames is still a consideration for the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees are looking for an outfielder who bats from the right side and can handle left and center field against tough lefties. The team wants a player that can give left-handed batters Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner some rest against select southpaws and provide the team with depth.
Jones, 33, hit 19 homers for the White Sox last year, playing all three outfield positions. He has an .863 OPS against lefties in his career, including a .931 mark in 2010.
The MLBTR team sends its condolences to the friends and family of Ryne Duren, the hard-throwing right-hander who passed away today at age 81. Duren pitched for seven teams over his 10 seasons in the majors, but is best remembered as a Yankee for his role in helping the Bronx Bombers win the 1958 World Series. Duren posted a 2.02 ERA and a 10.3 K/9 rate that season, also leading the league with 20 saves.
Some Yankee and Met-related items…
- The Yankees have "started talks" with Andruw Jones, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, though "nothing's close" between the two sides. Heyman mentioned the Bombers were "considering" Jones a few days ago.
- The newly-signed Taylor Buchholz can double his $600K base salary from the Mets if he makes the 25-man roster and reaches various games played incentives, reports Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- Also from Rubin (Twitter link), if the Mets do add another starting pitcher, they don't want to pay more than the $1.5MM (plus another $1.5MM in incentives) they paid to sign Chris Capuano.
- ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews speculates that Andy Pettitte may be holding off on a return to the Yankees due to his pending testimony this summer at Roger Clemens' federal perjury trial.
- The Yankees haven't begun negotiating with their three arbitration-eligible players (Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Boone Logan) yet, reports Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees blog.
- There is "no deal imminent" for Jeremy Bonderman, tweets FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi. The Yankees and Tigers were both connected to the right-hander earlier this week.
- Brian Cashman told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch that he's "monitoring what the necessary requests are, financially or player wise. If some drop, then maybe we'll get a little more serious [about making a move]." Earlier tonight we heard that the Yankees were interested in Jeremy Bonderman.
- The Orioles would still like to add a left-handed reliever, according to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (all Twitter links). Will Ohman is an option, but not the leading option or the only one, according to Ghiroli.
- The Orioles would like to add a veteran starter and the feeling in the front office is that a trade is more likely than a free agent signing. Kenshin Kawakami and Joe Blanton come to mind as possible trade targets, but that's just my speculation.
- Dirk Hayhurst will not be back in the Blue Jays organization next year, the pitcher (and best-selling author) announced on his blog.
- The Yankees will consider Andruw Jones, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link). He bats right-handed and can play all three outfield positions, so he could provide the Yankees with some pop as a fourth outfielder and spell Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner.
- Heyman suggests the Yankees will go for a lockdown bullpen with Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera if Andy Pettitte retires (Twitter link). Click here for more Yankees rumors.
- Carl Crawford's trainer explained the left fielder's offseason workout program to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
Like many clubs, the Royals are seeking a right-handed hitting outfielder. They're considering multiple ex-Braves, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Consitution: Jeff Francoeur, Matt Diaz, Melky Cabrera, and Andruw Jones. Diaz, of course, was with the Royals first.
A few more links for Wednesday night…
- In addition to all the other trade targets and free agents they've been eyeing lately, the Rockies have inquired on Andruw Jones, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman.
- The Mets completed two of their four second-round managerial interviews today. Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork has extensive post-interview remarks from Bob Melvin and a briefer comment from Chip Hale, with Terry Collins and Wally Backman due up tomorrow. Rubin tweets that Sandy Alderson expects to announce the team's new skipper by next Tuesday.
- The Yankees hope to further their discussions with Derek Jeter and Cliff Lee this week, writes Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. Lee is "about ready to entertain offers," Nolan Ryan tells Heyman (Twitter link).
- Some opinions from past and present Red Sox players: David Ortiz guarantees Vladimir Guerrero will return to the Rangers, while Lou Merloni argues that the Sox need to trade Jonathan Papelbon. The Dallas Morning News and WEEI.com have the details.
- A baseball official tells Danny Knobler of CBS Sports that he could see the Rangers, Brewers, and Blue Jays becoming involved in trade talks for Zack Greinke.
- They've made plenty of moves already this offseason, but the Marlins may not be done yet. Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post passes along a quote (via Twitter) from Larry Beinfest that suggests the team will pursue a starting pitcher.
- MLive's Steve Kornacki thinks Joaquin Benoit is "absolutely" worth the $16.5MM the Tigers spent on him.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports considers Ken Williams' offseason plans – A through E.
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