Austin Jackson Rumors
Some links for Wednesday night...
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo released his list of the top 50 prospects in the game. Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg rank one-two.
- Livan Hernandez sent a contract proposal to Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo back in December, but he never received a response according to a tweet from MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- MLB.com's Matthew Leach reports that Cardinals' GM John Mozeliak confirmed that any pickups from here on out would be on the offensive side of the roster.
- Scott Boras said that "The Yankees never even made an offer to me regarding Johnny Damon during the entire process," according to a tweet from Tyler Kepner of The New York Times. In a second tweet, Kepner says Boras indicated that the two-year, $14MM offer the team reportedly made was conditional on whether or not Nick Johnson would sign.
- ESPN's Jorge Arangure reports that 17-year-old righty Rafael DePaula is back on the market after being suspended for a year by MLB after lying about his age. His agent hopes to have him signed within the next 15-20 days, and Arangure mentions that both the Yankees and Red Sox are interested.
- Pirate relievers Anthony Claggett and Steven Jackson both cleared waivers according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, and have been outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis. Claggett was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Octavio Dotel, Jackson for Ryan Church.
- Astros' GM Ed Wade said that signing Wandy Rodriguez to a long-term deal would become a "front-burner discussion for us" if he repeats his 2009 success in 2010, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Wandy had a 3.02 ERA with an 8.4 K/9 in 205.2 innings last season.
- Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com says that the Braves have discussed Johnny Damon recently, but came up with three reasons why he wasn't a fit.
- David Murphy of The Philadelphia Daily News lays out the Phillies' payroll commitments for the next four years. As of right now, the team stands to shed almost $70MM off the books following the 2011 season.
Some Tuesday links...
- After talking to someone familiar with the process, FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi guesses (via Twitter) that Tim Lincecum will file for somewhere between $12-13MM in arbitration.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer has the Reds' 2010 payroll at just about $70MM at the moment.
- In a mailbag, Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe says that the Red Sox aren't likely to go out and spend on a high-risk, high-reward pitcher like Ben Sheets after signing John Lackey.
- Joe Frisaro of MLB.com doesn't think the Marlins will look to trade Dan Uggla, even after he agreed to a deal yesterday that makes him the team's highest paid player in 2010.
- Meanwhile, Frisaro says that Cody Ross is likely headed to an arbitration hearing after negotiations hit an impasse.
- Tony Massarotti of The Boston Globe wonders if the Red Sox are doing the right thing by going year-to-year with Jonathan Papelbon through his arbitration years.
- After turning down the Mets' latest offer, ESPN's Buster Olney thinks (via Twitter) that the Mariners might be a good fit for Bengie Molina.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that the Brewers will continue negotiating with their six remaining arbitration eligible players today, though GM Doug Melvin said that no multi-year deals are in the mix.
- John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press says it wouldn't be a shock if Justin Verlander sought at least $6MM through arbitration this year after seeking $4.15MM last year. Joe Blanton received just under $5.5MM in his second year of arbitration, so I wouldn't be surprised if Verlander submitted a figure closer to $8-9MM.
- Meanwhile, Lynn Henning of The Detroit News spoke to some scouts who think Austin Jackson might not be ready for the big leagues, at least at the plate. Jackson is slated to start the year as the Tigers' everyday center fielder.
- MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets that the Jose Valverde deal is official.
- The Rays aren't close to deals with any of their four arbitration eligible players, reports Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times. Tampa has a self-imposed deadline of noon ET today to get deals done, which is when the two sides must submit their salary figures.
- In a chat with readers, Tom Boswell of The Washington Post said he heard the Nationals were close to a "trade for a major-league ready pitcher of Jordan Zimmermann quality but it fell through when the other team backed out." He thinks Josh Willingham may have been involved.
- The Giants haven't confirmed if they're still interested in Miguel Tejada according to Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, however he spoke to someone who says Tejada remains on the Twins' radar.
WEDNESDAY, 9:03am: Let's add Nick Piecoro's take from the Arizona Republic. I'm with him - I don't hate it for Arizona as much as most people. - Tim Dierkes
- Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press says it's a "damn shame" the Tigers had to trade Curtis Granderson.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Tigers had to make the move because they're overpaying a group of underperforming veterans.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo breaks down the minor leaguers in the deal. For those of you wondering about Austin Jackson's defense, Mayo offers the following: "Many feel he has the skills to be an everyday center fielder at the Major League level, with above-average range and a solid arm." But will he have Granderson's knack for the spectacular play?
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says the deal is very good for the Yankees, okay for the Tigers and bad for the D'Backs.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says he has "no idea" why the D'Backs would make this deal. Law considers the Tigers and Yankees winners.
- Frankie Piliere of AOL FanHouse says the Tigers are "clear winners" in this deal.
What do you think about the deal?
WEDNESDAY, 2:35pm: This deal is official, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
TUESDAY, 1:24pm: As chronicled here, a three-team blockbuster trade has been agreed upon between the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Tigers. The players:
- The Yankees receive center fielder Curtis Granderson, who turns 29 in March. Granderson is owed $5.5MM in 2010, $8.25MM in '11, and $10MM in '12, with a $13MM club option/$2MM buyout for '13. That's $25.75MM guaranteed over the next three years. Melky Cabrera could now be expendable for the Yankees, and the Cubs are one possible suitor.
- The Diamondbacks receive a pair of starting pitchers: Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. Jackson, 26, is under team control for '10 and '11 and is owed an arbitration raise on this year's $2.2MM salary. Kennedy, 25 this month, missed most of the '09 season due to surgery to remove an aneurysm near his shoulder. As far as I can tell he is under team control for another six seasons. This is the second year in a row Jackson has been traded at the Winter Meetings.
- The Tigers receive four players: starter Max Scherzer, relievers Daniel Schlereth and Phil Coke, and center fielder Austin Jackson. The Tigers get five years of Scherzer, six of Schlereth, five of Coke, and six of Jackson, potentially 22 years of control in total. Scherzer, 25, and Jackson, 23 in February, are probably considered the prizes of the haul.
12:48pm: Heyman tweets that an agreement has been reached, with only medicals pending. We'll do a fresh post once this trade is official. To reiterate: the Yankees get Curtis Granderson, the D'Backs get Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, and the Tigers get Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke.
Sherman notes that the Yankees managed to pull off the Granderson acquisition without giving up Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, or Mike Dunn.
12:35pm: Olney now says this deal is close. Sherman says medical records are being exchanged on Granderson. In another tweet Sherman says there's no deadline on the deal, but one source says it's "on the goal line." He adds that removing Dunn from the deal was key for the Yanks.
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times says the deal is "very close," and would be Austin Jackson, Coke, Scherzer, and Schlereth to the Tigers, Edwin Jackson and Kennedy to the D'Backs, and Granderson to the Yankees.
12:19pm: Rosenthal says the revised deal has the Tigers getting two players from the Yanks rather than three, with Coke or Dunn out. AOL FanHouse's Ed Price tweets that the D'Backs and Tigers are awaiting signoff from the Yankees, and expect an answer within 40 minutes.
11:24am: More from Olney - the D'Backs are aiming to get Edwin Jackson and Kennedy in the deal. Olney speaks of "growing confidence on at least two of the sides" involved, and his sources have the odds of a deal in the 20-30% range. One Heyman source said 50%.
11:15am: Rosenthal and Morosi note that the Yankees and Tigers are open to making a Granderson deal and leaving the D'Backs out of the discussion. Still, the three-team talks are ongoing and fluid, with the Tigers requiring a "high-ceiling, close-to-the-majors center fielder" as part of the Granderson package. Austin Jackson could be that player.
ESPN's Buster Olney says it's the Tigers that re-ignited the three-way talks, and they've lowered their asking price.
10:33am: Heyman tweets that this deal is "back with a chance." Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News agrees, noting that the Tigers "may be caving" on the price for Granderson. He says the Yanks would likely downgrade one of the pitchers, most likely Dunn. Wouldn't be the Winter Meetings without three-team trade scenarios and the constant back-and-forth.
10:30am: Just to add a little intrigue, ESPN's Buster Olney says "one idea raised" was the Yankees getting both Granderson and Jackson. Regardless, two of the teams involved backed out of this three-team mess.
8:29am: SI's Jon Heyman tweets that this one "looks very unlikely." In his scenario Heyman had Daniel Schlereth, Scherzer, and more going to Detroit. He adds that the Yankees are saying no to the deal, which would've cost them the four prospects named below. Similarly, Morosi now finds the chances of this one to be "not good" because the Yankees balked at the price.
7:35am: Buster Olney adds that the talks progressed to the point where only one team liked the deal; he's not sure whether talks can resume or not.
TUESDAY, 7:00am: Morosi tweets that the deal is still a possibility as of this morning, according to one source.
MONDAY, 11:23pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Tigers were never satisfied with the blockbuster talks.
10:05pm: The D'Backs pushed for a blockbuster three-way deal with the Yankees and Tigers today, only to see one of those two teams veto it, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, the teams are discussing the following scenario.
The deal would send Curtis Granderson to the Yanks, along with a prospect or two from the D'Backs. Arizona would obtain Edwin Jackson from the Tigers and Ian Kennedy from the Yankees. The Tigers would obtain Max Scherzer from the D'Backs and Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Michael Dunn from the Yanks.
Talks are apparently at an "impasse" now, though the D'Backs continue to push for a trade.
10:31pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Yankees spent "much of the day" trying to acquire Granderson. They still haven't offered Johnny Damon a contract.
5:14pm: Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times talked to a Cubs source who's heard nothing to support rumors that the Tigers are trying to move Granderson this week.
4:05pm: With USA Today's Bob Nightengale suggesting the Tigers hope to trade Curtis Granderson this week, the center fielder requires his own post.
ESPN's Peter Gammons says the Tigers wanted shortstop prospect Starlin Castro and two others from the Cubs. That price is too high for the Cubs. Gammons' colleague Buster Olney says the Tigers want Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson from the Yankees for Granderson.
Collecting some tweets I couldn't quite turn into posts...
- Four unknown teams are in on Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit, says Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- The Nationals have interest in free agent catcher Brad Ausmus, says MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The Red Sox have interest in free agent lefty Ron Mahay, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. The 38-year-old posted a 4.29 ERA, 7.5 K/9, and 3.9 BB/9 in 50.3 innings for the Royals and Twins this year. Two years ago he was quite a hot commodity on the free agent market.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says Brett Myers is seeking a two-year deal. The Rangers and other teams are interested at one year. Crasnick wrote a few days ago that the Astros are also interested, while Andrew Baggarly named the Giants as a suitor today.
- Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times shoots down Danny Knobler's rumor that the Pirates have interest in Juan Pierre. Nonetheless, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets of interest from the Pirates, White Sox, and a third team.
- ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Yankees want to resolve the Andy Pettitte/Johnny Damon situations before moving on to Hideki Matsui and other starting pitcher options.
- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune that the Sox are not in the market for a pure DH.
- The Brewers are making a "strong run" at Randy Wolf, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Ruben Amaro Jr.'s comment that "those are guys we will probably count on" implies relievers Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey will be tendered contracts by the Phillies (Andy Martino reporting).
- Crasnick says Geoff Jenkins wants to make a comeback in 2010 and has been working out at first base and outfield in hopes of landing a bench role.
- Crasnick says to expect the Cubs to tender a contract to Mike Fontenot on Saturday.
- Bill Shanks quoting Braves manager Bobby Cox: "clubs are knocking on the door for Kelly Johnson." I imagine Johnson will be dealt by Saturday.
- ESPN's Gordon Edes says that while Red Sox owner John Henry is a big fan of Miguel Cabrera from their Marlins days, the Red Sox "don't have the Major League-ready position players Detroit wants in return."
- Crasnick expects Elmer Dessens to re-sign with the Mets, though the pitcher has talked to the Dodgers and Padres.
- Yahoo's Steve Henson says the Braves want to move Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez, but not Kenshin Kawakami.
- Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies will meet with Chan Ho Park's agent today "and attempt to resolve their differences over Park's value." The Phils did not offer arbitration to Park, a Type B free agent. Park craves another shot at starting, which won't happen in Philly.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Phillies like Brandon Lyon, but aren't "willing to pay the price for him." Lyon is said to be seeking a multiyear deal. He is expected to turn down the Tigers' offer of arbitration today. The Yankees have been named as another suitor.
- Crasnick says the Astros "have very little money to spend, unless Drayton McLane suddenly has a change of heart."
2:09pm: SI's Jon Heyman sees a potential Red Sox-Yankees battle brewing for Halladay. He says the Blue Jays told the Yankees they're interested in Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, and Austin Jackson (not necessarily all four).
10:22am: Joel Sherman of the New York Post terms the Yankees as "bystanders rather than aggressive pursuers" when it comes to Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. The Yankees remain "averse to giving up both high-end prospects and a top-of-the-market contract extension to secure one player." Some members of the Yankee front office would prefer to acquire Doc but not extend him. Speaking in general terms, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian he'd prefer not to give an extension window in a trade. Sherman also learned that the Blue Jays "have yet to divulge exactly what it would take to land Halladay."
As for Halladay's Spring Training deadline for a trade, Sherman talked to "outside executives" who don't take it entirely seriously. Regarding agent Jeff Berry's comments to ESPN about the deadline, Anthopoulos told Bastian, "I just want to hear it for myself and talk to him." Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun notes that George Bell issued the Blue Jays a similar ultimatum at the 1987 Winter Meetings.
In his usual Sunday morning column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo passes on some hot stove talk from around the majors. Let's check out the highlights....
- The fate of John Lackey could potentially affect the offseason plans of each of the AL East powers. Both the Yankees and Red Sox have interest, and Cafardo suggests that landing Lackey would allow the Red Sox to turn around and move Clay Buchholz in a deal for a coveted bat, like Adrian Gonzalez.
- Cafardo relays this quote from an AL GM: "The Red Sox could be the major player this offseason if certain things fall together for them. They still have enough chips in their farm system to make something big happen."
- The Yankees, meanwhile, appear willing to part with Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain in the hunt for Roy Halladay, though they'd like to hang on to Austin Jackson.
- Gary Sheffield will return in 2010 and has softened his stance on DHing since his Tigers days. He now says he'd accept a DH role, though he'd still like to play in the field occasionally. Cafardo names a handful of teams that could find a spot for Sheffield, noting that the 41-year-old would love to return to Atlanta or play in his hometown of Tampa Bay.
- The Twins and Brewers are "very interested" in Carl Pavano.
- The Brewers could also be players for John Smoltz, though the Cardinals would like to bring him back.
The tireless Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com has a new Full Count video up. Let's dive in...
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Rosenthal that he was "very aggressive" going after pitching help, whether it be high-end starters, low-end starters, or relievers. "I was on all of it," Cashman said.
- Cashman specifically targeted Jarrod Washburn, but the Mariners asked for top prospect Austin Jackson in return. The Yankees were also "one of several clubs" to inquire about Felix Hernandez.
- Rosenthal says Heath Bell was their primary target among relievers, as the idea was to make him the primary setup man for Mariano Rivera, and possibly put Phil Hughes or Alfredo Aceves back into the rotation.
- The Dodgers "never got close" in their attempted blockbuster for Adrian Gonzalez and Bell. The deal would have helped Los Angeles' rotation by shortening the game from the back end with another elite reliever.
- They still have issues in the rotation however, as Jason Schmidt topped out at 87 last night. Only two National League clubs have gotten fewer innings out of their starters than the Dodgers.
- We won't know the true result of the Pirates' firesale until 2011 or 2012, but the early returns on the Jason Bay trade are not good. Rosenthal says the Rays may have been willing to pay more for Bay at the time, possibly including the since-traded Jason Hammel and/or Edwin Jackson in a package.
- Hitters and relievers will be in "ample supply" during the August waiver period, but quality starting pitchers ... not so much. Doug Davis might be one of the best available starters, and the Diamondbacks will need to be realistic about a return since they are unlikely to offer him arbitration after the year.
- There was "precious little action" on Davis in July. When Rosenthal mentioned to a club official that the offers for Davis might not be much better in August, the official responded "they can't be much worse."