Anthony Rizzo Rumors
- Clubs have already started calling the Padres about Anthony Rizzo, and the Rays and Cubs are among those interested according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). Rizzo could be on the market after Yonder Alonso joined San Diego in the Latos trade.
- Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports provided the details of the incentives in Albert Pujols' contract with the Angels (Twitter link). The slugger will get $3MM for his 3,000th career hit and $7MM for his 763rd career home run, which would break the all-time record. The soon-to-be 32-year-old currently has 2,073 hits and 445 homers.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has restructured his front office slightly, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Vance Lovelace was promoted to director of professional personnel after serving as special assistant to the GM and director of pro scouting. Rick Ragazzo replaces Lovelace as director of pro scouting after serving as a special assistant to the GM.
- The Dodgers are still fighting with Hartford Life Insurance Co. over Paul Shuey's $3.25MM salary for the 2004 season, reports Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. The team sued the insurance company in 2006, saying they didn't honor their claim when the right-hander did not pitch that season due to injury.
Some highlights from Josh Byrnes' conference call this afternoon..
- Padres GM Josh Byrnes said four teams had the right package of young players to make a run at Mat Latos, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Ultimately, he said, the Padres winnowed it to two teams before deciding on the Reds.
- Byrnes said that the Padres view Yonder Alonso as a first base candidate and not as a left fielder, Crasnick tweets. Right now, it appears that Alonso and Jesus Guzman will duke it out for the job in Spring Training (Twitter link).
- For the time being, it seems that the Padres' current plan is to slot Alonso in at first and have Rizzo go back to Triple-A, tweets Crasnick. Byrnes admits that the deal will probably be a tough pill to swallow for Anthony Rizzo, tweets Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.
- The Padres GM says that he won't rule out another trade, but he is comfortable with his team's surplus of offensive players, Crasnick writes (via Twitter).
- Newcomer Yasmani Grandal will be given more time in the minors, tweets Crasnick. Byrnes referred to Nick Hundley as the club's "No. 1 guy" and a key part of the team.
Today the Diamondbacks purchased the contract of Wily Mo Pena with the aim of employing him in the middle of their order as a designated hitter during the AL leg of their interleague schedule. The D'Backs had open spots on the 40-man roster for Pena, who hasn't played in the bigs since '08 but has a .363/.439/.726 line with 21 home runs in 271 Triple-A plate appearances. Today's links...
- Braves GM Frank Wren spoke to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the state of the trade market, saying teams are "starting to reach out and talk to each other." He added that they "talked to a number of clubs about where they think they’re going to be going at the trade deadline, but that’s even somewhat nebulous on a lot of clubs."
- Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times explored the idea of the Mariners trading either Jason Vargas or Doug Fister for offensive help and tried to figure out what a realistic return would be.
- In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney mentions that Grant Balfour of the Athletics is among the relievers expected to be available this summer. He speculates that the Rangers could be a fit.
- Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal looked at how the Red Sox were about to snag Anthony Rizzo in the sixth round three years before he was a key piece in the Adrian Gonzalez trade.
- NPB has decided against pursuing changes to the posting system according to a Japanese report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Reasons include the difficulty of changing things on MLB's side, as well as the potential for large posting fees offered by the current system.
- In the wake of Andrew Miller's return to the big leagues, WEEI.com's Alex Speier listed the seven pitchers in the last 15 years that reached the Majors the year they were drafted. It's not a pretty list.
On this date in 1997, the Reds called Aaron Boone up and sent his brother, Bret, to the minors. Bret would emerge as a power threat the following year and average 26 homers per season for the next seven years. Aaron put together a solid 12-year career that featured an All-Star Game berth and one of the most memorable home runs in Yankees history. Here's the latest from around MLB...
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner runs through some possible left field targets for the Mariners, including Ryan Ludwick and Luke Scott.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that he doesn't want 21-year-old first baseman Anthony Rizzo to try to replace Adrian Gonzalez, the man he was traded for last winter. "Adrian Gonzalez at 21 years old was toiling in Triple-A," Hoyer said. "It took Adrian a number of years before he really established himself as a Major League player."
- Hoyer says he's not surprised that Gonzalez has turned in a "monster" season for the Red Sox so far. Unfortunately for the Padres, they couldn't afford him long-term.
- The Orioles have agreed to terms with third round right-hander Mike Wright, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
- The MLBPA Alumni Association is working on a program that will transition players to jobs beyond the playing field, according to Evan Drellich of MLB.com. Most Major Leaguers retire without millions of dollars saved up, so the program will be important for players like veteran minor leaguer Andy Tracy, who expects to retire after the season.
On this date 30 years ago, the Padres drafted future Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn in the third round of the amateur draft. Gwynn collected 3141 hits and eight batting titles in 20 seasons as a Padre before being enshrined in Cooperstown in 2007. We wish Gwynn all the best in his battle with cancer. Here are today's Padres links...
- Padres first base prospect Anthony Rizzo will be called up and will be starting in Thursday night's lineup against the Nationals, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times. Corey Brock profiles the competitive 21-year-old at MLB.com in a piece that’s worth checking out.
- It appears that the Padres would trade Ryan Ludwick to Cincinnati for Reds outfielder Chris Heisey or prospects, according to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News. Reds left fielders have combined to hit .222/.315/.385 this year, while Ludwick has a .256/.327/.402 line.
- Heisey, 26, has a .281/.345/.438 line in 110 plate appearances this year and has played all three outfield positions.
Since the Marlins called Mike Stanton up to the Major Leagues a year ago today, he has hit 35 home runs and posted a .257/.332/.520 line. Stanton was clearly MLB-ready and Florida's timing worked out in another respect, too. The Marlins slugger will have just two years and 118 days of service time after the 2012 season, which hasn’t typically been enough for super two eligibility and an extra year of arbitration.
A year later, another group of prospects is appearing on MLB rosters and, as always, there are service time implications for all involved. Before we get too worried about whether these prospects will qualify for super two status, let’s be clear about a few variables.
It’s too early to know how much service time will be required for super two status three offseasons from now, because the cutoff date changes most years. Plus, baseball’s collective bargaining agreement expires after 2011, so there’s no guarantee that the super two will even exist a few years from now (though coming up with an alternative that satisfies baseball’s owners and the players’ association will not be easy). Finally, most players who reach arbitration do get optioned to the minor leagues at some point, so there’s a good chance some of the players below will return to the minors before becoming arbitration eligible.
With that in mind, here are the service time implications for a few recent callups:
- Anthony Rizzo, Padres - If Rizzo debuts tomorrow, as Dan Hayes of the North County Times reports he will (Twitter link), he'll pick up a maximum of 112 days of service time this year and the Padres probably won't have to worry about super two status.
- Dee Gordon, Dodgers - Tom’s son was called up Monday and he has already had his first three-hit game. Gordon can pick up a maximum of 115 days of service time this year. Last year’s cutoff was unusually low at two years and 122 days, so the Dodgers appear safe.
- Jemile Weeks, Athletics and Charlie Blackmon, Rockies - Both players got the call yesterday, which means they can pick up a maximum of 114 days of service time this year. It’s likely not enough for super two status, even if they never see the minors again.
- Cord Phelps, Indians - Phelps, the first member of the Indians’ 2008 draft class to reach the majors, will debut today. He won’t pick up more than 113 days of service time this year, so the Indians probably won’t have to worry about super two status for Phelps, Lonnie Chisenhall or Jason Kipnis.
Here are a few items of note out of the NL West, where only 7.5 games separated the first- and last-place clubs entering Tuesday's action:
- Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo may be called up as soon as Wednesday, according to a baseball source, writes Corey Brock of MLB.com. Friars GM Jed Hoyer said that Rizzo is "close to ready," tweets Brock.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is making all the right moves, writes Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. Chiefly, Towers has improved the Snakes' bullpen and bench, cut down on the lineup's strikeouts, and improved the clubhouse, according to Bordow.
- The Rockies stayed true to tradition by selecting a left-handed pitcher in the first round, writes Jack Etkin of Baseball America (subscription needed). The Rox were thought to be on a position player but instead opted for college southpaw Tyler Anderson out of Oregon. Previously, they took Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek in the first rounds of the 2008 and '09 Drafts, respectively.
On this date in 2002, the Padres used the 13th overall pick in the draft to select Clemson shortstop Khalil Greene. He reached the big leagues in 2003 and hit .248/.304/.427 in parts of six seasons with San Diego before being traded to the Cardinals for a pair of minor league relievers (including Luke Gregerson). Let's recap the latest from San Diego...
- Tim Sullivan of The San Diego Union-Tribune notes that the Padres have asked Brad Hawpe to start taking more fly balls in right field, setting the stage for an Anthony Rizzo promotion. The first baseman is hitting .377/.455/.738 with 16 homers in Triple-A after being acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade.
- Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres spoke to GM Jed Hoyer about the clubs's scouting department with the draft coming up. The team had just a dozen full-time amateur scouts when Hoyer took over, the fewest in baseball. They've since added ten more.
- Chris Jenkins of The San Diego Union-Tribune notes that the Padres only have one of their own true first round picks on their 40-man roster. That would be right-hander Tim Stauffer, who went fourth overall in 2003. Click here to see all of San Diego's first round picks.
The Padres are last in the National League in runs per game, but first base prospect Anthony Rizzo may help solve San Diego's offensive woes before long. Here's the latest on Rizzo and the Padres:
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer has said there are legitimate developmental concerns for keeping Rizzo in the minor leagues, such as the prospect's offensive approach against left-handed pitching. But service time may also be a consideration for clubs wishing to avoid going to arbitration an extra time. As Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes, the Padres "are dragging their feet for long-term financial reasons at the presumed cost of being more competitive right now."
- MLB executive VP of labor relations Rob Manfred told Sullivan that "there’s nothing illegal, immoral or fattening about it" because cutoffs such as the one for super two status are always subject to strategy.
- The Padres will listen to offers for any of their relievers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The inquiries have already started on Mike Adams, Luke Gregerson and others, according to Morosi.
Giants catcher Buster Posey appeared to suffer a serious leg injury while blocking the plate in extra innings last night. Posey's agent, Jeff Berry, says he's going to call Joe Torre about changing rules for plays at the plate to make collisions safer for catchers, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. "It's brutal," Berry said. "It's borderline shocking. It just stinks for baseball." Here are some other notes from the NL West:
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer told Bill Center of of the San Diego Union-Tribune that top first base prospect Anthony Rizzo is "not yet" ready for the Major Leagues. The Padres want Rizzo to stay in the Majors once he arrives, so "the timing and situation has to be right."
- Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd told Dave Krieger of the Denver Post that he has the financial freedom to make a trade. "I have some flexibility that we saved for opportunities that may come up," O'Dowd said. "It would be hard to do multiple things, so we're probably going to have to prioritize what that is if something should come available." Though the Rockies aren't about to make a sudden move, they'll keep talking to teams about possible deals.
- The Rockies will call on internal options to replace Jorge de la Rosa, who will miss the rest of the season with Tommy John surgery, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Rockies owner Dick Monfort says the team didn't have insurance on the left-hander's contract.
- The D'Backs continue to eye other teams' arms as they look to bolster their Triple-A pitching depth, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.