Andy LaRoche Rumors
Here are some links to kick off Sunday morning:
- Some Blue Jays players approached CEO and President Paul Beeston with complaints about Cito Gaston, reports Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun. “They raised the issues,” said Beeston. “They were listened to. They have not been addressed at this time. I had my ears open. I kept my mouth shut. I gave them some comments and that’s all I want to say about that.”
- Jordan Bastian of MLB.com writes that newly appointed Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos was emotional in his introductory presser. The article notes that the position of president and CEO will be filled soon, relieving the interim hire, Paul Beeston. Beeston says that while the next president and CEO will have the authority to hire its own staff, he will recommend that Anthopoulos remain as GM.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that Kevin Towers didn't deserve to get fired considering all the obstacles he has had to work around in San Diego.
- Towers conducted a farewell press conference in San Diego and Craig Elsten of 619sports.net posted some key sound bytes. Towers insisted that the organization maintained a strong focus on scouting and player development under his watch. He also said that he has been contacted by seven or eight other teams to work immediately, but wants to take some time off before jumping into another job. The 47-year-old made it known that he wants the opportunity to be a GM again. Also available are team owner and CEO Jeff Moorad's post-podium comments.
- The Pirates have talked to Andy LaRoche about possibly moving from third base to second next year to make room for Pedro Alvarez, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Pirates would like to call-up Alvarez by the middle of the 2010 season, but first he must improve his strength and conditioning. The 22-year-old excelled after his mid-season promotion to AA, posting .333/.419/.590 with 13 HR in 60 games.
- More from Kovacevic as he labels the Pirates' trade of Nate McLouth to the Braves to be the worst personnel move of the year. Kovacevic says the deal hurt the players' trust in Pittsburgh management and was a poor public relations decision.
- Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post tweets, "Jerry Manuel was in meetings all morning and said he expects an announcement tomorrow on changes and the team's offseason plans."
- Jon Heyman reports via Twitter that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria refused to comment on a possible manager change. Recent reports suggest that Fredi Gonzalez could be on the way out and Bobby Valentine could be on the way in.
Time for some afternoon links...
- Over at SI.com Jonah Keri looks back at a win-win trade that lost its luster. Josh Hamilton and Edinson Volquez seemed like perfect fits for their new teams just last year, but injuries have shelved both.
- In his MLB.com chat, Pirates president Frank Coonelly defended the organization's choice to flip Jason Bay for prospects last summer. FanGraphs values Andy LaRoche's 2009 performance more than Bay's, believe it or not.
- Coonelly says the Pirates are the only club to have offered Miguel Angel Sano "significant dollars." Don't expect Sano to sign until the investigation into his age is complete, however.
- Brandon Phillips would consider playing short if the Reds want him to, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Let's dig through today's rumor bin...
- The Jays claimed southpaw Reid Santos off waivers from the Indians. MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince says the Indians are clearing room on their 40-man roster in preparation for the winter.
- Dejan Kovacevic has yet to observe why new Pirates third baseman Andy LaRoche is so highly regarded.
- Jamey Newberg feels Hank Blalock's $6.2MM option for '09 is an easy call to exercise.
- J.C. Bradbury sees a rift within the Braves organization.
- Craig Calcaterra dismisses the silly idea of Frank McCourt suing Andruw Jones.
- Paul Lo Duca would prefer a non-guaranteed deal next year if he gets a chance to compete for a starting job.
- Ian O'Connor doesn't see Alex Rodriguez finishing his contract as a Yankee.
- C.C. Sabathia just wants to be happy in his next destination.
- Will the Braves re-sign Mike Hampton this winter? Is it possible both he and Carl Pavano are useful pitchers in 2009?
Digging into today's random links...
- Joel Sherman looks at what went wrong for the Yankees this year. Did they fall too in love with their farm system?
- At least six teams have called the Pirates about third baseman Andy LaRoche in recent weeks. If LaRoche pans out and Pedro Alvarez comes aboard, the Bucs could have a surplus at some point.
- Craig Harris examines the rise of D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes.
- Eddie Bajek updated the Elias rankings for the AL 1B/OF/DH category. They're fluctuating wildly. Eddie also did catchers for both leagues; Ivan Rodriguez is headed into Type B territory. Gregg Zaun lost Type B status.
- Mike Hindman conducted a roundtable asking what kind of contract the Rangers should offer Milton Bradley.
- 29 teams passed on Rays reliever Grant Balfour last spring. Now he has a 1.62 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 50 innings. Balfour's been through a lot.
- Joe McDonald and Sean McAdam don't see the Red Sox signing A.J. Burnett (or any big-name free agent starter).
- Padres CEO Sandy Alderson scoffed at the idea of a $40MM payroll for '09. I never heard that figure tossed around; Buster Olney suggested the $50MM range.
- Maury Brown heard a rumor that Thomas Ricketts won the bid for the Cubs.
We saw the non-waiver trade deadline come and go this week, and plenty of action to go along with it. Let's recap the big moves of the week:
- The Dodgers, Pirates, and Red Sox completed a three-team, blockbuster trade that sent Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles, Jason Bay to Boston, and Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Craig Hansen, and Brandon Moss to Pittsburgh. The Pirates got a pretty nice haul, and while Bay won't necessarily replace Manny's production, he's much more affordable, signed through '09, and doesn't disrupt the clubhouse. The Dodgers add the big bat they need for a push in the NL West, though are now overloaded with overpaid outfielders. All in all, I don't think any team made a bad deal in this one.
- The Angels made a big move in adding Mark Teixeira to their lineup, sending Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Stephen Marek to Atlanta in exchange. The Angels didn't need help at the time - they're running away with the AL West - but this move will undoubtedly be significant in the postseason. Great boost to the Halos' lineup.
- The White Sox and Reds completed a trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to Chicago in exchange for Nick Masset and Danny Richar. I don't understand this trade from the Sox perspective. Griffey was only hitting .245 at the time of the trade, and his range in center field isn't close to what it once was. Still, he's a presence in both the lineup and the clubhouse. Will playing for a contender rejuvenate him?
- The Yankees acquired future hall-of-famer Ivan Rodriguez from the Tigers in exchange for Kyle Farnsworth. With Jorge Posada out for the season, New York did a good job of solidifying their catcher's spot, while the Tigers got some much-needed improvement in their bullpen.
- The Twins aren't known for making big trades at the deadline, and they held true to that in 2008. However, they made a move that could be bigger than any trade they might have made, when they designated Livan Hernandez for assignment, and recalled Francisco Liriano from Triple-A Rochester. The Twins DFA'ed Craig Monroe as well. The Rockies are looking for a fifth starter, and could have interest in Hernandez.
- Relievers on the move: Arthur Rhodes was traded to the Marlins, giving them another effective lefty option in the bullpen. The Astros acquired LaTroy Hawkins, still buying despite being 9.5 games out of the wildcard race at the time.
- The Nationals released Paul Lo Duca and Felipe Lopez. Both were highly unsuccessful this season, though they could generate interest from other teams.
- Tim explained the rules behind waiver trades for those who are unfamiliar with how the process works after the July 31st non-waiver deadline. He also takes a look at some noteable names who stayed put at the deadline.
- Minor moves: The Yankees signed Victor Zambrano to a minor league contract, while the Red Sox did the same with former Cleveland closer Joe Borowski.
- The Diamondbacks are talking extension with their second ace, Dan Haren.
- USA Today wrote an article on MLBTR. Check it out!
Update 1:55 pm: The Dodgers have acquired Casey Blake from the Indians.
Before Friday night's game, Torre discussed the team's options and how they'll address them if indeed they'll make a move before this year's trade deadline.
He mentioned the need to be active on the trade front, but noted that after the injuries to Nomar Garciaparra and Rafael Furcal, other teams are asking too high a price. He did confirm, however, that Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti is looking to make a move while reiterating that the team won't "mortgage the future" in exchange for a rental:
Where we're at, are we interested in a player that can help us now? Yes. Will we mortgage the future? No. We're willing to give up something. I don't think you want to sacrifice the future for somebody who's going to be here just this year. If you borrow or rent for half a season and give up more, next year you're filling holes again."
MLBlogs writer Ken Gurnick followed up with Dodgers' sources on the rumor that they're on the verge of trading Andy LaRoche (possibly +1) for A's reliever Huston Street, to which they scoffed.
For the record, Street signed a one year deal with the A's in January to avoid arbitration.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com. Comments? Rumors? alexo05 [at] umpbump [daught] com.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre pledged to play young third baseman Andy LaRoche in all three games of the current series against the Rockies. Tony Jackson of the L.A. Daily News wonders whether the Dodgers are showcasing him. Or, the Dodgers may just want to see if he can win the starting gig.
LaRoche, 24, began the season on the DL with a torn thumb ligament. He then hit .277/.444/.420 in 38 Triple A games. In the minors and in his brief Major League career, LaRoche has drawn a ton of walks. He's yet to flash much power in the bigs, but it's a small sample.
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti is said to be targeting third base and/or shortstop help. Possible veterans on the radar: Jack Wilson, Casey Blake, and Adrian Beltre.
As America collectively recovers from yesterday's festivities, here are some odds and ends from the world of baseball.
- The Rangers signed 33 year-old reliever Kiko Calero to a minor league deal. Calero is currently pitching with a torn rotator cuff.
- The Dodgers' Andy LaRoche commented to XM Radio on the idea of a C.C. Sabathia acquisition. He doesn't seem to acknowledge that he could be part of such a deal.
- Larry King chatted with Barry Bonds a couple of weeks ago. His impression is that Bonds would like to play but doesn't expect an offer. King also mentions an interesting unsubstantiated Boston rumor.
- Joe Frisaro of MLB.com thinks newly-DFA'ed Joe Borowski could be an option for the Marlins.
- The D-Backs DFA'd Jeff Salazar. The 27 year-old outfielder hit .202/.319/.333 in 117 plate appearances this year.
- With his salary due to more than double next year, Bronson Arroyo knows that this is "the prime year for me to be traded."
The Dodgers' Andy LaRoche suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb when he was hit by a pickoff throw in Friday's spring game. In the same game, Nomar Garciaparra was hit by a pitch on his right wrist. LaRoche will undergo surgery and will miss eight to 10 weeks. Garciaparra suffered no break but is in pain and will be evaluated today.
If Garciaparra joins LaRoche in sick bay, the recent Brandon Inge-to-the-Dodgers rumor that was declared dead this week may be resurrected. If both LaRoche and Nomar miss significant parts fo the season, the Dodgers' already shallow infield will need a warm body or two.
By Big Mike Glab
The Dodgers' rotation stands at Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Jason Schmidt, and Esteban Loaiza - six deep on the surface. But Kuroda has never pitched in the Majors, Schmidt is a question mark, and Loaiza may not have much left. More and more, it's looking like Ned Colletti wants to add one more veteran starter.
Troy E. Renck believes the Dodgers are after Joe Blanton, with the A's asking for Andre Ethier, Andy LaRoche, and a prospect. I could see this happening. Ethier is fairly expendable, and the Dodgers have not seemed keen on LaRoche recently. Maybe L.A. would move separately to acquire Joe Crede or even try to get Eric Chavez along with Blanton. Renck thinks the Dodgers may be interested in Livan Hernandez as an alternative to Blanton.
He also says the Reds are "pushing hard" for Blanton, which jives with the previous info. The Reds are still kind of shaky behind Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo.