Angel Pagan Rumors
In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney says David Price is available right now for the right offer. Rival executives are convinced the reigning Cy Young Award winner will be traded in the next 13 months as his salary through arbitration becomes prohibitive for the Rays. Here are the rest of Buster's rumors...
- The Rays and Price are not close to working out a long-term contract extension.
- The Mets increased their offer to R.A. Dickey, but it's unclear how close the two sides are to a deal.
- Olney speculates that the non-tendered Nate Schierholtz could be a fit for the Yankees, who are looking for a right fielder to replace Nick Swisher.
- The Mariners have money to spend, but it appears they will have to overpay to land any premium free agents.
- Last night we learned the Phillies are pursuing Angel Pagan, and Olney clarifies (on Twitter) that the two sides have been talking for weeks.
- If the Giants don't re-sign Pagan, Olney says (on Twitter) they would seriously consider signing Shane Victorino.
- Scott Kazmir is pitching in winter ball and teams have already started to show interest in the 28-year-old left-hander, tweets Olney.
- The Tigers continue to say they are not in the market for a closer, tweets Olney.
The third episode of Rosters and Rumblings, the new podcast featuring MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts, was recorded today. Check out the podcast for discussion of the non-tender deadline, the David Wright extension and the Russell Martin signing. Here's the latest from around the league...
- The Diamondbacks want Andrelton Simmons from the Braves in a Justin Upton trade, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Earlier this month we heard the Rangers tried to acquire Simmons so they could flip him to Arizona for Upton.
- Meanwhile, Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal Constitution says (on Twitter) the Braves have interest in free agent outfielders like Ryan Ludwick, Shane Victorino, and Cody Ross even after signing B.J. Upton.
- Both the Braves and Reds are trying to acquire a leadoff hitting left fielder, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden (on Twitter). Both teams had interest in Denard Span before he was traded to the Nationals.
- The Reds have had conversations with the representatives for Victorino and Angel Pagan, GM Walt Jocketty confirmed to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. "Nothing formal though," added the GM, who confirmed speaking with Ludwick's agent as recently as last week.
- Even after claiming and signing Phil Humber, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that he is still in the market for pitching (Twitter link).
After losing out on B.J. Upton, the Phillies are now pursuing Angel Pagan according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Two teams, believed to be the Phillies and Giants, have offered the outfielder a four-year deal.
Pagan, 31, hit .288/.338/.440 with 29 steals and a league-leading 15 triples in 659 plate appearances for San Francisco this year. Rosenthal says the Phillies offered Upton five years and $55MM, but they're concerned about Michael Bourn's price tag. Signing Pagan to a four-year pact would leave them extra cash for third base and the pitching staff.
- A Mets insider told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that the team will likely spend on one outfielder. It’s even too early to rule out a return for Angel Pagan, not that a reunion seems likely. Ryan Ludwick and Cody Ross are among the right-handed hitting free agent outfielders who could draw interest from the Mets, Rubin writes.
- The Mets have also made a list of backup catchers they might target, according to Rubin. Nationals catcher Jesus Flores, a non-tender candidate with a projected salary of $1.2MM, is among the catchers on the team’s list.
- The Mets will likely address their needs via free agency, team insiders told Rubin.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post heard that it was “vital” that Wright’s contract with the Mets surpass Johan Santana’s $137.5MM contract in terms of total value (Twitter link). Wright's eight-year deal will pay him $138MM in total.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs applauds the Mets for not giving up on the team in the short term.
The Phillies haven’t made any major additions to their team to this point in the offseason, but they continue working to address their biggest needs, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. “We’ve had some good discussions, some fruitful discussions, with agents as well as other clubs,” Amaro said. “There are some situations where we’re waiting right now on someone to say ‘yes,’ and other situations where other teams are waiting for us to say ‘yes.’ It’s an interesting dynamic right now.” Here’s the latest on the Phillies, who are looking to contend again following an 81-81 season in 2012:
- Amaro still wants to add at least one outfielder and a veteran reliever for the eighth inning. The club could also pursue help at third base, though that could depend on the team’s search for outfielders.
- Reading between the lines, Salisbury suggests the Phillies have reached out to the Marlins to see if they’d trade Giancarlo Stanton in a follow up to Miami’s recent blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays. “We’ve made some inquiries about a lot of players that went in that trade, both to Toronto and to Miami,” the GM acknowledged. “But nothing imminent so far.”
- Amaro said he has not received any indication that former Phillies closer Ryan Madson is opposed to pitching in a setup role. Madson underwent Tommy John surgery before the 2012 season and is now a free agent.
- While B.J. Upton appears to be the Phillies’ top target, Amaro also mentioned free agents Angel Pagan, Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino as other potential center field options. “We can’t put all our resources in one area and not address others,” Amaro said. He added that the Phillies are more likely to add an outfielder or two in free agency than via trades.
- Earlier this month I previewed the Phillies’ offseason.
Buster Olney outlines the most pressing offseason needs for ten teams viewed as contenders in his latest column at ESPN.com. Here are more of Olney’s notes from around MLB...
- Some GMs and agents say they sense that others are still waiting at this stage in the offseason. There’s a sense that asking prices could drop and opportunities could emerge a little later on.
- The Giants aren’t sure they’re willing to commit to Angel Pagan for as many years as he’s seeking, Olney reports. But the Giants do believe they’ll find a way to re-sign second baseman Marco Scutaro.
- Rival executives say the Angels have a thin farm system, Olney writes. This puts pressure on GM Jerry Dipoto to address his rotation through free agency, which gives Zack Greinke considerable leverage.
- Some general managers believe the secondary starting pitching options are incredibly overpriced, Olney reports. MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker offers a complete list of the unsigned starting pitchers available in free agency.
- Some executives say they’d be comfortable offering Josh Hamilton a three-year deal that includes protective language for the team. I expect Hamilton can do far better than a three-year deal.
- The A’s seem like a possible fit for Asdrubal Cabrera, but they probably wouldn’t want to part with the kind of starting pitching the Indians would want in a trade for their shortstop.
- Rival executives expect Scott Boras to try to engage the Tigers on Rafael Soriano, according to Olney. However, the Tigers have suggested they’d prefer to rely on internal options instead of spending big on a closer.
- Some agents presume the Phillies will be particularly aggressive in addressing their center field need. Acquiring a center fielder remains the club's priority.
- The Red Sox are open to signing Cody Ross, even after agreeing to terms with Jonny Gomes, according to Olney.
The free agent market for center fielders is strong this year, with regulars Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton, Josh Hamilton, Angel Pagan, and Shane Victorino currently unsigned. MLBTR readers narrowly prefer Bourn to Upton, but both figure to receive five-year contracts in excess of $65MM. Hamilton is in a class by himself, leaving Pagan and Victorino as more reasonably-priced options.
Pagan, 31, went from a non-tender candidate a year ago to whipping up Doritos Locos at Taco Bell for adoring fans last month (the latter is generally seen as a good thing). Rival agents may attempt to take Pagan down a peg for a relatively short resume, but only one of his last four seasons was subpar (2011). Pagan is above-average in all aspects of the game, from offense to defense to baserunning. Prior to the World Series exposure he was good in kind of a sneaky way, but the sum total is a player potentially worth five wins above replacement. There's a vibe that his superb timing may result in a contract worth $10-12MM annually over three or four years. It's plausible that someone stretches and adds a fifth year.
Victorino, 32 later this month, is another late-blooming switch-hitter. His success as a big league regular dates back to 2006, however. Compared to Pagan, Victorino had the opposite walk-year effect. His stock took a hit due to struggles against right-handed pitching and an unimpressive final two months after a trade to the Dodgers. The term of his next contract seems likely to be shorter than Pagan's despite their similarity in age. Pagan bounced back after an ugly 2011; there's no reason Victorino can't do the same next year. And keep in mind that even with the down offensive year, Victorino's ability to play a credible center field still made him worth three wins above replacement in 2012.
Pagan and Victorino are overachievers, in that both were discarded by multiple teams and took a while to establish themselves as regulars. Now both are on the free agent market, and their career trajectories might not be as different as you think.
Here's the latest from around baseball as we head into the weekend...
- Hiroki Kuroda has told friends that his preference is to pitch in southern California to be near his daughters' grade school, reports Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. Saxon speculates this could make the Dodgers and Angels the favorites for Kuroda's services, with the Dodgers having the "presumptive edge" with Kuroda due to their past history.
- Angel Pagan could sign before the start of the Winter Meetings on December 3, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Pagan's suitors include "many of the same clubs" who are interested in fellow free agent B.J. Upton, a market that includes the Phillies, Braves and Nationals. The Giants are also in the mix to bring Pagan back to San Francisco.
- Also from Rosenthal, the Marlins made verbal promises to Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle that neither would be traded when Miami was courting the two as free agents last winter. The promises were made in place of formal no-trade clauses, which the Marlins don't hand out as a matter of club policy. Reyes and Buehrle, of course, were traded to the Blue Jays on Tuesday as part of the big 12-player deal that has yet to be officially confirmed by the league.
- Right-hander Ramon Ramirez will no longer be represented by the ACES agency, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Ramirez is the latest of several players to recently switch from ACES, which may be due to MLB's ongoing investigation of the agency for its alleged role in the Melky Cabrera fake website scandal, though the players' union cleared ACES earlier this month.
- Dodgers president Stan Kasten discussed such topics as his plans for the club's minor league system, his career history and MLB labor issues with Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels talked with Michael Moye (Josh Hamilton's agent) earlier this week, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, though it seems as if both sides were just checking in on the other.
- The Blue Jays have generated the most headlines of any team this offseason, but FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi notes some of the holes the Jays still have to fill.
Reds GM Walt Jocketty spoke to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer about some of the free agent names connected to his club this winter...
- The Reds' first priority is trying to find a leadoff hitter, though Jocketty said that Michael Bourn is too expensive for his club and the same could be true about Angel Pagan. Jocketty said that the team hasn't contacted Pagan yet and "not that we wouldn’t but I wonder about the money.”
- Jocketty confirmed that the Reds have talked to Jonathan Broxton and Ryan Madson about returning to Cincinnati, while the team has also spoke to free agent Joakim Soria. Broxton is the only one of the trio who would be able to pitch on Opening Day, as Madson and Soria are both recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Reds are likely one of the eight contenders who Soria's agent, Oscar Suarez, says has shown interest in his client.
- The Reds talked to Torii Hunter's agent "but the money was too much," Jocketty said. The general manager doubted that Hunter's two-year, $26MM contract with the Tigers would impact Ryan Ludwick's price since "they're different kind(s) of players." The Reds have had "preliminary" talks with Ludwick about a new deal.
- Jocketty told FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi last week that the Reds could deal one of their shortstops (Zack Cozart and Didi Gregorius) if the right deal came along, but Jocketty said that neither player is being shopped. "We’re not taking offers,” Jocketty said. “That gets out and then we have to call Cozart and call Didi.”
- The Reds have no plans to extend Jay Bruce's contract. "We control him for five more years,” Jocketty said. “It’s so far off. It’s something we haven’t talked about.” Matt Sosnick, Bruce's agent, raised the possibility of an extension beyond 2016 for his client earlier today.
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.