Atlanta Braves Rumors
In addition to Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle, the Marlins made an offer to free agent closer Ryan Madson, reports SI's Jon Heyman. Unlike the other three, the Madson offer has yet to inspire a visit to Miami. Heyman notes that the proposals are preliminary, and the team is not concerned about all four accepting. Marlins president David Samson explained Saturday on 790 The Ticket with Glenn Geffner that the team has a free agent flow chart in which they expect a playoff team with every outcome (transcript courtesy of Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post). More from Heyman...
- The Mariners will make a run at Prince Fielder, tweets Heyman, but they're unsure if there's room in the budget. Heyman suggests the Ms will not be in on Pujols.
- Heyman explains the mess that was the Phillies' negotiations with Madson. He says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. proposed $44MM over four years, which Madson accepted an hour or two later. Oddly, Amaro added at that point that he needed the approval of CEO David Montgomery, according to Heyman. The next day Amaro told agent Scott Boras he'd been unable to get that approval. However, Amaro told Heyman there was no agreement "either verbal or in writing," and also said, "I will stand by my history of integrity forever." Amaro also said Montgomery was aware of the negotiations as they occurred and wasn't responsible for killing the deal. It appears Amaro and Boras are not on the same page as to what constitutes an agreement.
- The Braves seek a Zack Greinke-like deal for Jair Jurrjens, writes Heyman. He later tweeted, "Jurrjens understandably popular on trade market. A star and only 25. You know Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, others are in."
- The Mets have crossed Chris Capuano off their list given his desire for a two-year deal.
Kimbrel received all 32 first-place votes, becoming the tenth unanimous selection. Freddie Freeman, Vance Worley, Wilson Ramos, Josh Collmenter, Danny Espinosa, Darwin Barney, and Kenley Jansen also received votes in the NL. Kimbrel tied John Axford for the NL saves lead with 46, setting a rookie record in the process.
Mark Trumbo, Eric Hosmer, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Dustin Ackley, Desmond Jennings, and Jordan Walden followed Hellickson in the AL. Hellickson posted a 2.95 ERA in 189 regular season innings for Tampa Bay this year.
Jonathan Papelbon became the first major free agent to change teams yesterday, agreeing to a four-year contract worth $50MM with the Phillies. Reactions to the contract were generally mixed, though almost everyone agreed that the size of the deal was staggering. Let's round up the latest from the relief pitcher market...
- Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune reports that Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has had preliminary talks with Kerry Wood, who is expected to return next season. The 34-year-old righty pitched to a 3.35 ERA in 51 IP after returning to Chicago's north side on a below-market one-year, $1.5MM contract last winter.
- Despite reports of a four-year, $44MM offer, MASN's Jen Royle hears from a source that the Phillies only offered Ryan Madson a three-year contract. They were unwilling to give him the extra year he wanted (Twitter link).
- The Red Sox, meanwhile, were not willing to give Papelbon a guaranteed fourth year according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- MLB.com's Peter Gammons reports (on Twitter) that the Red Sox offered Papelbon to the Braves in exchange for Javier Vazquez two offseasons ago. Atlanta rejected the offer, then traded Vazquez to the Yankees shortly thereafter.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports wrote about how the rest of the closers' market is shaping up and the impact of Papelbon's contract. Here is our look at the trade and free agent markets for right-handed relievers.
The Diamondbacks have been one of baseball’s busiest teams so far this offseason. GM Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson agreed to extensions and John McDonald, Henry Blanco and Willie Bloomquist have all re-signed with the defending NL West Champions. Here’s the latest from the division...
- If the Rockies are indeed interested in Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune doubts the Padres would be willing to pick up any of Hudson's salary in a trade. Hudson will earn $5.5MM in 2012, with an $8MM option for 2013 that can be bought out for $2MM. Center also discusses several other Padres topics in his weekly chat with fans, such as the possibility of moving in the fences at Petco Park.
- Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong told Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles that he has been approached by at least one of the groups trying to buy the Dodgers. Soon-Shiong is considered to be the richest man in Los Angeles and bought a 4.5% share of the L.A. Lakers last year.
- The Rockies aren't going to revisit their pursuit of Michael Young, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Colorado and Texas were very close to a deal involving Young last winter in the wake of Young's trade request, but Young settled things with Rangers management and now there is "no motivation for [the] Rangers to move him."
- Also from Renck, he doesn't think the Rockies will look to move Matt Belisle this winter, though Matt Lindstrom could be available.
- As part of a reader mailbag, MLB.com's Chris Haft was surprised that the Giants needed to include Ryan Verdugo along with Jonathan Sanchez in the deal that brought Melky Cabrera to San Francisco. That said, Haft writes "it's conceivable that the Giants might have obtained the most that Sanchez and Verdugo would bring."
- The Rockies “love” Jamey Carroll, but wouldn’t be interested in signing him to a multiyear deal, according to Renck (Twitter links). The former Rockies infielder is nearing a multiyear deal with Twins.
- The Rockies aren’t likely to sign Michael Cuddyer, but they continue pursuing Martin Prado, Renck reports.
- The Diamondbacks have a multiyear offer on the table to Aaron Hill and it expires Monday, according to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter). If Hill signs, the Diamondbacks will turn their attention to starting pitching.
- Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests the Giants should re-sign Carlos Beltran to a two or three-year deal.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
2:24pm: Carroll's nearing a multiyear deal with the Twins, according to Crasnick (on Twitter). He would be Minnesota's everyday shortstop.
12:50pm: The Twins have had recent discussions for Carroll, according to Morosi (Twitter link).
12:19pm: The Braves and Indians aren't finalists for Carroll, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
11:40am: The Padres are not the team nearing a deal with Carroll, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
10:57am: The Dodgers aren't the team that's nearing a deal with Carroll, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter). Troy Renck of the Denver Post says the Rockies aren't the mystery team (Twitter link) and Morosi reports that the Tigers aren't involved.
10:36am: The Blue Jays are showing serious interest in Carroll and were one of three finalists for him as of yesterday, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (all links go to Twitter). Morosi hears that the infielder is "very close" to agreeing to a deal.
7:38am: Jamey Carroll is nearing a multiyear deal with an unknown team, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (all Twitter links). The Tigers, Rockies, Dodgers and Indians have been mentioned as potential suitors for Carroll, a Millenium Sports Management client who is expected to sign within a few days. The Phillies and Braves have also expressed interest.
The 37-year-old infielder played shortstop and second base for the Dodgers in 2011, posting a .290/.359/.347 line in 510 plate appearances. He hasn't posted an on-base percentage below .355 in any of the past four seasons and he has a career mark of .356 after a decade in the Major Leagues. Carroll, who also has experience at third base and in the outfield, stole ten bases without getting caught this past season. He is not a ranked free agent and won't cost his new team a draft pick.
This post was originally published on November 11, 2011.
There’s been lots of chatter about Martin Prado and Ryan Madson this week. Prado could be traded and Madson may or may not sign a lucrative new deal with the Phillies. Here are the latest updates from the NL East...
- The Rockies aren't the only team to inquire on Prado, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wonders if Mark Cuban would have interest in buying the Braves should they hit the market at some point. Just as importantly, would MLB have interest in letting Cuban buy a team? The Dallas Mavericks owner has a reputation for challenging the status quo.
- Executives and agents are split on whether $44MM in guaranteed money is too much for Madson, according to Heyman (Twitter links). The Phillies had been nearing a four-year deal for the closer that would have included a vesting option for 2016, but there's not much optimism that Philadelphia CEO David Montgomery will approve the deal, Heyman reports.
- MLBTR’s Mike Axisa checked in on the Mets earlier today.
MLB executives expect Albert Pujols to re-sign in St. Louis, but predicting Prince Fielder’s next team is considerably more challenging. ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark surveyed a dozen MLB executives about likely landing spots for the two free agent first basemen and the details are worth examining. Here they are, along with more notes from Stark:
- The average prediction for Pujols’ next contract was more than $28MM per season for 8.5 years. All but one respondent expect Pujols to re-sign with the Cardinals, though there’s buzz that the Cubs, Marlins and Rangers are “gearing up” for him.
- Executives expect Fielder to sign a seven-year deal in the $22-23MM range. Some doubt NL teams would commit more than five years to Fielder because of concerns that he’ll be incapable of playing passable defense once he hits his mid-thirties.
- Manny Ramirez tried out for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, but it didn’t go well, possibly because Japanese teams prefer to avoid players with baggage.
- The players and owners are considering significant changes to the schedule in talks for a new collective bargaining agreement. The sides are considering a proposal that would split MLB teams into six divisions of five teams, ensure identical schedules for teams within the same division and boost inter-league play considerably.
- Stark hears that the Nationals are focused on finding veteran starting pitching and a center fielder. One executive believes the team prefers Mark Buehrle to C.J. Wilson or Roy Oswalt.
- The Phillies have interest in Jason Kubel and have checked in on Grady Sizemore.
- More than six teams have expressed interest in Jimmy Rollins.
- The Braves seem interested in shedding salary and they continue to float Jair Jurrjens’ name. It appears that they’d move Martin Prado after his disappointing 2011 season.
- Rival teams say the Royals are no longer looking to trade for a top-of-the-rotation starter, according to Stark. They acquired Jonathan Sanchez earlier in the week and now prefer to hold their prospects and spend on back-of-the-rotation arms.
- The Red Sox are less likely to spend on a right fielder if they re-sign free agent DH David Ortiz.
- Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler is off-limits in trade talks, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter links).
- The Braves and Rockies are expected to keep lines open about a possible deal involving Prado, according to Renck. Fowler won't be going to Atlanta, but the Braves do like Seth Smith.
- The Rockies have had internal conversations about trading for Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson or signing former Rockie Clint Barmes, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The Rockies sent Barmes to the Astros a year ago this month and he responded with a .244/.312/.386 line and solid defense in Houston.
The Rockies contacted the Braves about Martin Prado, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Rockies, who haven't yet exchanged named with the Braves, view Prado as a starting second baseman who can produce runs.
Prado projects to earn approximately $4.4MM next season as a second-time arbitration eligible player and the Braves seem willing to move him in the right deal. Rockies outfielder Seth Smith appeals to the Braves, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
Second baseman Mark Ellis is a free agent, so the Rockies are exploring multiple options at second base, including Jamey Carroll. Like Michael Cuddyer, another Rockies target, Prado is versatile enough to handle the outfield and multiple infield positions. Prado posted a .260/.302/.385 line in 2011, while playing first, third and left field. He made the NL All-Star team in 2010 and had a .307/.350/.459 line in 651 plate appearances.
GM Frank Wren told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that the Braves will increase their payroll in 2012, but that doesn’t mean they’ll pursue top free agent shortstops (all Twitter links). Wren indirectly ruled free agents Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes out by expressing a strong preference for one-year deals.
Though the Braves remain open-minded regarding possible trades, Wren explained that a free agent signing is more likely. Shortstop prospect Tyler Pastornicky is not ready for full-time MLB duty, according to Wren. Alex Gonzalez, Atlanta's shortstop since July 2010, hits free agency with a Type B ranking (Reyes and Rollins are Type As).
Heading into the offseason, it appeared Wren would have as little as $7MM to work with. The Braves spent $91MM on payroll in 2011, when they won 89 games and narrowly missed the playoffs. I recently examined the trade and free agent market for shortstops.