Author Archives: Brian Shephard

Griffey Open To Return To Mariners In 2010

Ken Griffey Jr. told The Associated Press that he would be open to playing another year in Seattle "if the situation is right for both himself and the club." The future Hall-of-Famer would not admit to leaning toward a return, but he seems to be keeping the option open.

In his first year back with Seattle, Griffey has a .221/.329/.399 line with 14 home runs and 43 RBI in 377 plate appearances. He has been the DH for 74 games and played 11 games in the outfield.

Discussion: Managers On The Hot Seat

Scott Miller of writes that some managers around the league might be fearing for their jobs as their teams play out the string. Managers who "are thought by some to be" on the hot seat, with relevant quotes from Miller, include:

  • Baltimore's Dave Trembley – "in imminent danger"
  • Houston's Cecil Cooper – "appears a goner"
  • Cleveland's Eric Wedge – his "future is very questionable"
  • The Mets' Jerry Manuel – "forget it. He stays."

Miller also discusses the situation in Washington, D.C., where the Nationals must decide whether to retain interim manager Jim Riggleman.

Also of interest is Miller's mention of Bobby Valentine, who is about to leave Chiba Lotte in Japan after seven years. Miller says that Valentine is "the name to watch" on the managerial front. 

Who better to sort all of this out than our readers? First of all, who deserves to be out of a job when the 2010 begins? What should the Nats do with Riggleman? Where might Valentine find a job? Who will keep their managing job unjustly? Let's get at it in the comments section.

Williams Discusses Thome and Contreras Trades

ESPN's Peter Gammons has a long-awaited interview with White Sox GM Ken Williams about the trades that sent Jim Thome and Jose Contreras packing. Williams argues that the trades did not amount to "a raising of the white flag" and says he was trying "to do right by players who certainly did right by us."

Williams says that he assured Thome that he would not be traded against his wishes. "He told me he was more interested in winning another ring than hitting 600 homers," the GM said. "We wanted to accomodate [him] so that he could finish the season the way he wanted."

Regarding Contreras, Williams says that manager Ozzie Guillen was not planning to start the pitcher down the stretch. "I thought this was a way to give him the opportunity to start and rebuild his value in the free-agent market," Williams said. 

According to Gammons, Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who "dealt with" Brad Penny when both were with the Dodgers, did not want the veteran starter on his staff although GM Dan O'Dowd had interest. So, O'Dowd turned to the White Sox for the starter he needed.

Discussion: What Should Braves Do With Their Pitching Surplus?

Mark Bowman of has an excellent rundown of the Braves' payroll going into 2010. He focuses on Tim Hudson, who had scouts from the Rockies and the Diamondbacks watching him make his return to the mound last night.

It would seem that the Braves have some decisions to make about their starting rotation going into next season. They currently have Hudson, Javier Vazquez, Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami, Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson

According to Bowman, the Braves have a few different options. They could pay Hudson's $1MM buyout and let him go. They could attempt to trade Vazquez for prospects. They could even trade Kawakami for financial relief, though the return for him would be less than what Vazquez would bring. 

Bowman argues that if both Hudson and Vazquez stay with the Braves, Atlanta's rotation "would be deeper than any of the great ones it possessed during the 1990's." Do you agree? How should the Braves proceed?

Odds and Ends: Nomar, Astros, Kazmir

A few links to get the evening started…

  • Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the Phillies are still "mildly following" Nomar Garciaparra. Though Nomar would not be eligible to play in the postseason for Philadelphia, he might provide some depth down the stretch.
  • Astros owner Drayton McLane "has fired more managers, general managers and coaches the last five years than any other owner in baseball," according to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. Justice posits that the axe might drop on someone new during the Astros' off day tomorrow. 
  • The Tampa Tribune's Marc Lancaster talked to Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, who argued that the team's trade of Scott Kazmir was "not a salary dump" but "a reallocation of resources."

Who Will Catch For The Brewers In 2010?

The Brewers face a tough decision about who to put behind the plate next year, according to Adam McCalvy of Veterans Jason Kendall and Mike Rivera have said they want the job, and prospect Angel Salome is an option as well.

Kendall, who has caught the majority of Milwaukee's games for the last two seasons and is approaching free agency, has made it clear that he would like to return next year. "This is my first choice and they know that," Kendall said. "I really, really love it here."

Meanwhile, Rivera feels like he is ready for full-time duty. He is about to turn 33, but will be eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season. He hit well in limited duty last year and has hit .241 with 2 homers in 83 at-bats this year.

Salome has battled injuries this year, but posted a.360/.415/.559 line at AA Huntsville as a 22-year-old last season. According to McCalvy, he "should be ready to make the leap" from prospect to pro next year. 

McCalvy writes that the Brewers will not make any decisions until the offseason and that who will win the job is "anybody's guess."

Odds and Ends: Garland, Ordonez, Pettite, Peavy

Links from around the league on a slow Monday night…

Discussion: Should The Cubs Re-Sign Harden?

Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune outlines the dilemma the Cubs will face when Rich Harden becomes a free agent after this season: he is perhaps the ultimate risk-reward player. When he's healthy, as he has been during the second half this year, there are few better. But his injury history suggests that teams should use caution when signing him.

Sullivan writes that any team wishing to sign Harden will "probably" have to pony up $50-60MM over four years. That is a hefty sum for a starter who has made 20 starts in a season only twice since 2004. What do you think? Should the Cubs re-sign Harden? Should any team spend that much on a player with Harden's injury history? What other teams might be in the mix for Harden?

Mets Deny Sheffield’s Request For Extension

FRIDAY, 9:10am: Sherman reports that Sheffield demanded to be released or traded to the Marlins.

THURSDAY, 8:48pm: SI's Jon Heyman reports, via Twitter, that the Giants were the team that claimed Sheffield on waivers earlier this month.

6:23pm: David Lennon at Newsday reminds us that earlier this month, the Mets placed Sheff on waivers, but pulled him back when he was claimed. This means he cannot be traded; the Mets could release him or place him on irrevocable waivers and lose him if he is claimed.

5:57pm: Via Twitter, Sherman cites a Mets official who says that "Sheffield has not been released."

5:47pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that Gary Sheffield and the Mets are at odds about his contract situation. Sherman cites "two sources" who say that Sheffield asked the team for a contract extension and was denied. The sources say he is now threatening to leave the team.

The two parties are now in discussions, according to Sherman, and the release of the aging outfielder is "a possibility." Sheffield was pulled from the roster for tonight's game, but Jerry Manuel said he pulled himself "to clear his head."

Odds & Ends: Padilla, Riggleman, Cabrera, Twins

Some links to wrap up your Thursday night…