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- Tigers To Acquire Joakim Soria
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- Masahiro Tanaka Has Slightly Torn UCL
- Brandon Phillips Tears Ligament In Thumb
- Yadier Molina Out 8-12 Weeks For Thumb Surgery
- Indians Acquire Chris Dickerson
- Aiken Has Elbow Injury; Astros Seeking Discounted Deal
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Angel Pagan Rumors
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports spoke with agents and rival executives about where Josh Hamilton might land and the Nationals, Phillies, Mariners, and Orioles often came up in conversation. The Phillies would appear to be a stretch for both financial and baseball reasons, but two industry sources say the club is quietly checking in on him. It was reported earlier this week that the O's are targeting Hamilton but Rosenthal would be surprised if owner Peter Angelos, who emphasizes that his GMs find him players with a history of good conduct, can be talked into it. Here's more from Rosenthal..
- The Brewers are discussing a new deal with first baseman/right fielder Corey Hart. The 30-year-old is seeking a three-year extension but the Brewers might prefer to give him two more years while increasing his 2013 salary. Hart is under contract for one more season at $10MM.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean expressed confidence that the team would re-sign free agents Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, and Jeremy Affeldt. Meanwhile, sources say that other teams are more aggressive than the Giants on Pagan right now.
- It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Indians trade Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, Chris Perez, and Justin Masterson, all of whom have two or fewer years of control remaining. However, catcher/first baseman Carlos Santana, signed for four more years, is more likely to stay.
- "We're not going to do that," said Beane to MLB.com's Lyle Spencer when asked if the Athletics will trade one of their starting pitchers for a shortstop. "In years we've been successful, it's because we've had good young pitchers."
- Giants GM Brian Sabean confirmed to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick that the team will tender a contract to Hunter Pence prior to the November 30th deadline. With a projected salary of $13.8MM, Pence will be this winter's most expensive arbitration case.
- Sabean also told Crasnick that the Giants are "actively working" to re-sign Angel Pagan, Jeremy Affeldt, and Marco Scutaro. He said he's "optimistic" about all three but declined to go into detail about the talks.
MLB executives expressed surprise that Torii Hunter, Edwin Jackson, Angel Pagan and Mike Napoli didn’t get qualifying offers by Friday’s deadline, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Here are more notes and rumors from Olney…
- One high-ranking executive suggested Hunter will get some two or three-year offers as a free agent. The outfielder ranked 20th on MLBTR's list of top 50 free agents.
- Evaluators were puzzled by the Nationals’ decision not to make Jackson a qualifying offer. An offer would have set them up for draft pick compensation or another affordable one-year deal.
- GMs and agents expect Pagan to get multiple offers for three years. A four or five-year deal doesn’t seem out of reach for the center fielder.
- Some rival officials expected the Rangers to make Napoli a one-year qualifying offer and set themselves up for draft pick compensation.
- Brad Ausmus, one of the top managerial prospects in MLB, told Olney that it’s important for managers to remember how difficult it is to play at the highest level. “The managers who understood the patience involved are the managers who have related to the players best on teams I have been a part of, and garnered their respect,” Ausmus said.
- The Padres have had some extension talks with Chase Headley, Olney reports. While both sides are interested in a deal, it’s hard to value Headley following his impressive second half performance.
- The Padres will focus on adding starting pitching this offseason, Olney reports. Rival executives like San Diego’s pitching depth, but GM Josh Byrnes will still pursue additions.
The Giants don't plan on making qualifying offers to Marco Scutaro, Jeremy Affeldt or Angel Pagan by tomorrow's deadline, reports Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted that Pagan would get a qualifying offer (a one-year, $13.3MM contract) that would ultimately be rejected by the outfielder as he will no doubt receive multiyear offers on the open market. Without a qualifying offer, Pagan can sign elsewhere and the Giants wouldn't receive any draft picks as compensation.
Here's some more news from around the NL West…
- The Giants want to bring back all three players, though Baggarly reports that team officials "are less confident about their ability to" re-sign Pagan given how much interest the outfielder is likely to get from other teams.
- Scutaro, Affeldt and Pagan all want to return to the Giants, though Affeldt specified that he's looking for a multiyear contract, writes Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Giants are talking to the agents of the three players to see if a deal can be struck before the end of the team's exclusive negotiating period, tweets Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. None of the deals are close and Schulman predicts that Pagan will test the market, while Scutaro is the player with the best chance to re-sign quickly.
- Walt Weiss, Jason Giambi and Matt Williams will all meet with Rockies owner Dick Monfort and GM Dan O'Dowd, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. These three and Tom Runnells (who has already met with management) appear to be the final candidates to be the next Rockies manager. (Both links are to Twitter).
- The Rockies are unlikely to pick a new manager by the end of the week, writes MLB.com's Thomas Harding, as O'Dowd is currently out of town and will then be attending next week's GM meetings.
- The Astros have claimed right-hander Sam Demel and infielder Jake Elmore off waivers from the Diamondbacks, according to an Astros media release. Demel, who came to Arizona in the 2010 trade that sent Conor Jackson to Oakland, has a 4.95 ERA in 72 relief appearances for the Snakes since 2010, with a 1.85 K/BB ratio and 48 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings. Elmore, 25, was a 34th-round pick of the D'Backs in 2008 who made his Major League debut this season, posting a .497 OPS in 73 plate appearances.
- In news from earlier today, the Giants declined their 2013 option on Aubrey Huff and I posted a collection of Diamondbacks notes.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean has the makings of a dynasty centered around strong pitching and affordable young position players such as Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. Here are some links surrounding the team that captured its second World Series title in three years last night…
- The Giants will decline their $10MM club option on Aubrey Huff, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area. The news isn't much of a surprise given Huff's injuries and struggles at the plate since 2010. Huff's contract contains a $2MM buyout.
- MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez spoke to several members of the Giants organization about the impact that Marco Scutaro had on the team following his acquisition from the Rockies.
- Gonzalez's colleague, Chris Haft, writes that the Giants and Scutaro will "likely forge a deal" this offseason, as the 37-year-old is too valuable both on and off the field to let go.
- Haft also writes that Angel Pagan is expected to receive a multi-year contract with an average annual value perhaps in the $10MM range in a thin free agent market. Sabean will need to determine if Pagan is worth that to his team.
- Haft goes on to say that Jeremy Affeldt could be in line for a multi-year deal on the free agent market. That, along with the presence of Jose Mijares could mean that Affeldt will find himself wearing a new uniform come 2013.
The Orioles drew first blood in their big four-game series with the Yankees, slugging six homers en route to a 10-6 victory. Mark Reynolds hit two home runs, and has now enjoyed three multi-homer games against New York within the span of a week. Baltimore is now tied with the Yankees atop the AL East.
Here's some news from around baseball…
- If Lance Berkman retires, he tells Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports Houston that he intends to finish his degree at Rice and be an assistant coach for the school's baseball team. Berkman said he is still leaning towards retirement but is focused on the Cardinals right now and will save a final decision under the offseason.
- Between Bryce Harper's play in center field and new leadoff hitter Jayson Werth's performance (a 1.014 OPS in 14 games as the leadoff man entering tonight's action), Amanda Comak of the Washington Times wonders if the Nationals may not need to focus on these long-time problems areas this offseason.
- The Royals should re-sign Jeremy Guthrie to a two-year, $15MM contract and non-tender Luke Hochevar, opines Rany Jazayerli of Rany On The Royals. Jazayerli believes Guthrie would pitch well in the AL Central while Hochevar hasn't been able to translate his decent advanced metrics into on-the-field success.
- Fangraphs' Dave Cameron cites Angel Pagan as "the most underrated player in baseball." Pagan has a .284/.336/.430 line with eight homers, 78 runs scored and 23 steals for the Giants this season. He is also a free agent this winter, and compares well with bigger-name free agent center fielders like Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton.
- Players and owners aren't close to a decision about limiting September roster sizes, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. We heard earlier this week that MLB was looking to change the rules for next season, but Rosenthal reports that since different teams deal with the September rosters in different ways, some clubs aren't willing to commit to the players' demands for minimum number of active roster spots for each game.
The Blue Jays designated Edwin Encarnacion for assignment on this date two years ago, and he cleared waivers two days later once the 29 other MLB teams had passed on him. Encarnacion now has 20 homers and a .283/.351/.574 slash line, so he's making a strong case for inclusion in next month's All-Star Game. Here are today’s links…
- The Rockies would have to be overwhelmed to trade Rafael Betancourt or Matt Belisle, so deals are highly unlikely, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (Twitter links). Teams don't generally view the Rockies as a team with lots of assets to trade, according to Olney.
- The Mets are going to wait a few weeks before "digging into" the trade market, Olney tweets.
- GM Brian Sabean told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that the Giants identified Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan as trade targets this past offseason because, in spite of their flaws, they’re both impact MLB players. “We're talking about switch-hitters who can hit almost anywhere in the lineup, play all three outfield positions and help you on both sides of the ball. There's a lot to like," Sabean said. Check out Crasnick’s piece for a detailed look at how the Giants scouted and built their new-look outfield.
- The Blue Jays have been telling teams they can’t take on any salary, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
Two of the NL West's biggest stars were sidelined today as Matt Kemp (left hamstring strain) and Troy Tulowitzki (strained left groin) were both placed on the 15-day disabled list. It's a particularly tough blow for Kemp, who had just returned on Tuesday from a DL stint due to the same injury.
Some other news from around the division….
- With the Diamondbacks making a $60MM commitment to Miguel Montero, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic looks at that deal's long-term impact on the Snakes' payroll.
- The Giants look like the clear winners of their offseason trades for Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jonathan Sanchez and Andres Torres (who were sent to the Royals and Mets, respectively, in those trades) have both struggled, while Pagan and Cabrera have helped anchor the Giants' lineup.
- "I never think about that," Cabrera told MLB.com's Chris Haft and Jay Lee in regards to a possible in-season extension. "I leave that to my agents. They're they ones who know. I never think about contracts, just about staying focused on baseball." ESPN's Buster Olney reported earlier today that the two sides hadn't made progress on a new contract. Earlier this month, I examined what a possible Cabrera extension could cost the Giants.
- The Giants, Diamondbacks and Dodgers are among the teams interested in Kevin Youkilis, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Los Angeles might be the most intriguing of these three, as the Dodgers are looking for position player help and would be the most able to absorb Youkilis' salary thanks to their new ownership group. The Phillies and Indians have also been scouting the Red Sox infielder, while the Reds don't seem interested.
The Angels announced that Mickey Hatcher has been removed from his job as the team's hitting coach. Hatcher will be replaced by Jim Eppard, who had been the hitting coach at Triple-A Salt Lake City. This was Hatcher's 13th year as the Angels' hitting coach, and his firing is surely a response to the club's overall lack of offense this season, particularly from Albert Pujols. (Ironically, Pujols hit three singles in today's 4-0 win over the A's.) Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times thinks this move came from owner Arte Moreno and is another sign that GM Jerry Dipoto is in charge of the team, not Mike Scioscia (both Twitter links).
Here are some items from around the majors…
- David Wright told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he hasn't been approached by the Mets about a contract extension and he hasn't thought about the possibility of in-season negotiations. We heard on Sunday that the Mets will likely offer Wright a multiyear contract, possibly sometime this summer.
- Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan, both free agents after the season, told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that they'd be open to midseason contract talks with the Giants but are both just focused on baseball for now.
- Danny Duffy's Tommy John surgery is just the latest blow in what has been a hard-luck season for the Royals, writes Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star. The Royals will essentially lose a year of control over Duffy (who will accumulate service time while on the DL) and "the pressure on the Royals…to sign a frontline starting pitcher this winter just intensified," said Mellinger.
- High school outfielder Byron Buxton holds the top spot in Baseball America's ranking of the top 100 prospects in the June amateur draft. The Astros hold the #1 overall selection.
- ESPN's Buster Olney looks at ten starting pitchers who could be trade candidates this summer.
- The early results of last offseason's trades are evaluated by MLB.com's Joey Nowak.
- Marlins Park is proving to be very pitcher-friendly, but Marlins president David Samson told reporters (including Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post) that the team wasn't planning to move in the fences after the season.
- David Wright tells reporters (including Jon Heyman of CBS Sports) that there have been "zero" discussions with the Mets about a contract extension. Wright doesn't mind, since he considers contract talk to be a distraction from playing. We heard last week that the Mets were keen to offer Wright a new deal but first wanted to ensure that he could stay healthy.
- "Whether he realizes it or not, Wright, who has said consistently he doesn’t want to leave New York, is starting to put pressure on Mets ownership to get negotiations going to ensure that he does indeed stay," writes Bill Madden of the New York Daily News. Madden feels the Mets should do everything in their power to extend Wright, their franchise player.
- Angel Pagan talks to ESPN New York's Mike Mazzeo about being traded to the Giants in December, which Pagan said surprised him.
- Left-hander Danny Herrera will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his pitching elbow, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post