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Author Archives: Drew Silva
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer gathered a few bits of information Saturday from Reds general manager Walt Jocketty:
- The Reds have made an offer to Laynce Nix, who was outrighted off the 40-man roster this week and elected free agency. Jocketty believes he "may take it" but first wants to "see what's out there."
- Jocketty believes the Reds will be able to "get something done" with arbitration-eligible outfielder Jonny Gomes, who hit .267/.338/.541 in 2009 with 20 home runs and 51 RBI. It's not clear if the two sides are talking about a multi-year deal, but that would make some sense.
- Jocketty also had some nice things to say about the prospects that the Reds added to their 40-man roster on Friday, protecting them from December's Rule 5 Draft.
To track the Reds throughout the offseason, check out MLBTR's team archive.
Blue Jays CEO Paul Beeston told George King III of the New York Post that ace Roy Halladay "is not inclined to sign" with Toronto if (or when) he hits free agency.
Halladay, 32, is only under contract through the upcoming season and Toronto might not have the kind of money it would take to extend his contract anyway. "We would like to sign him, he is an original Blue Jay and we have never had a pitcher as good as him," Beeston told The Post on Friday. "But he is not inclined to sign with us."
The right-hander has a 148-76 career record and a 3.43 lifetime ERA. He went 17-10 this past season with a 2.79 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and a league-leading nine complete games and four shutouts. There's a good chance he'll be traded before he nears the open market. A deal could go down this winter, or we might have to wait until mid-summer. Either way, all of baseball's biggest spenders are sure to at least try for his services.
According to Japan's Nikkan Sports, via Patrick Newman's NPB Tracker, free agent right-hander Jose Contreras may be seriously considering a move to Japan.
Contreras is heading across the Pacific next week to set his 16-year-old son up in a Japanese high school exchange program. He might also be looking for a new employer, Contreras, 37, posted a 4.92 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and a 106/53 K/BB ratio in 23 starts (131 2/3 innings) during the 2009 season. His fastball averaged 92 MPH, according to FanGraphs.
Japan's Sanspo ran a report last week claiming that Contreras reached out to the Hanshin Tigers, and a source with the team said (translation via NPB Tracker), "It seems like he wants to play in Japan. We’ve already decided against it, but it’s not 100%,” later adding, “(Contreras) seems like he would be quite inexpensive, so there will probably be other teams that show interest.” Contreras may or may not have the stuff to compete in Japan, but keep in mind the Yokohama BayStars rejected Sammy Sosa when he offered to sign in 2006 for a measly $500K. Of course, that was after he hit .221/.295/.376 for Baltimore.
A few more items for Wednesday evening…
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News thinks the Yankees ought to at least call Toronto about right-handed ace Roy Halladay. "I have no idea what the asking price might be," writes Jennings, "but Halladay is better than [John] Lackey and he’ll surely cost fewer prospects than Felix Hernandez."
- As noted by the Boston Globe's Nick Carfado, MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said Wednesday the revenue sharing figures thrown out by agent Scott Boras during last week's GM meetings "have no basis in reality" and that Boras is living in a "fantasy land."
- According to Ryo Shinkawa of NPB Tracker, right-hander Ryota Igarashi and left-hander Hisanori Takahashi filed for international free agency on Wednesday.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star expects Zack Greinke to move on once his contract with the Royals is through. "The good news is that the team has Greinke under contract three more years," writes Mellinger. "The bad news is they have a lot of improving to do in that time."
- Joe Strauss and Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch took to the radio Wednesday afternoon with a few opinions on the Cardinals' offseason plans. Both feel Matt Holliday is only an average defender and that the Cardinals could be looking to add starting pitching via trade this offseason.
According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, the possibility of free-agent outfielder Marlon Byrd returning to the Rangers is "growing dim."
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and Byrd's agent, Sam Levinson, spoke during the GM meetings in Chicago. But negotiations still haven't moved in a positive direction.
"We've had a decent amount of conversation," Daniels told MLB.com. "I expect them to test the market. Based on what they're looking for…we're not in a position to do that right now. We expect them to talk to other clubs and see what's out there. We're going to be looking at alternatives."
Byrd, 32, hit .283/.329/.479 this past season with 20 homers and 89 RBI in 599 plate appearances. He also played an excellent corner outfield. Tim discussed his free agent credentials in depth about three weeks ago.
7:03pm: Gonzalez has filed a blog post on the topic with quotes and more. As he notes, the Marlins will probably step up their efforts to sign Carroll if they're able to trade second baseman Dan Uggla. Most clubs are looking at Carroll as a utilityman; might the lure of more playing time draw him to South Florida?
5:21pm: According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (via Twitter), the Marlins have some amount of interest in free-agent infielder Jamey Carroll.
Gonzalez spoke Wednesday with Carroll's agent, Jonathan Maurer, who said the Marlins are pursuing the 35-year-old infielder, but not as aggressively as some other teams. According to Maurer, 10 other clubs have expressed interest in Carroll, who hit .276/.355/.340 in 2009 and played solid defense at three different spots on the Cleveland infield.
So far we've seen the Phillies, Nationals, Dodgers and A's linked to Carroll in some way this offseason.
MLB.com's Ken Gurnick confirmed Wednesday that Jason Schmidt is likely to retire.
Schmidt filed for free agency last week, but it may have simply been a formality. "Leaving my options open," he said. "At this moment, no, I'm not thinking about pitching anymore. Down the road, I'm not sure. Initially, I'd say no way. I'm not planning on playing at this moment. In my mind, I retired when I left in August."
The 36-year-old right-hander made just 10 starts during his three-year tenure with the Dodgers, finishing 3-6 with a 6.02 ERA. He has pitched 13 major league seasons, and, if truly done, will end his career with a 130-96 record, 3.96 ERA and 1,758 strikeouts.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com on Wednesday that he expects all of his club's potential free agents to reach the open market.
"No," said Melvin.. "I don't think they want to sign, personally. They want to wait until Friday and hope someone picks up the phone and makes them an offer they never thought they would get."
The Brewers, and the rest of baseball's 29 clubs, have until Friday at 12:00am ET to negotiate exclusively with team members who are not under contract for 2010. After that deadline, the hot stove season is truly on and things around here will get even busier.
As McCalvy notes, Milwaukee has nine outgoing free agents: Outfielders Mike Cameron, Frank Catalanotto and Corey Patterson, infielders Craig Counsell and Felipe Lopez, catcher Jason Kendall and pitchers Braden Looper, Claudio Vargas and David Weathers.
The Carlos Gomez acquisition likely means Cameron is gone and the Brewers are ready to give a healthy Rickie Weeks the second base job over Lopez, a Type B free agent who is likely to be offered arbitration but will almost certainly decline. As for the others, we shall see.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos held a press conference with several reporters this afternoon to discuss the club's offseason strategy. Toronto's FAN 590 has the audio. Here are some of the highlights…
- There is no "defined number" for payroll next season and ownership is prepared to provide funds if the right "baseball opportunity" arises.
- Anthopoulos believes the Jays "can be up there with the Anaheims and the Chicagos, and even the Bostons" with a "sustained model of success" and financial backing from ownership.
- But he thinks building a team through free agency isn't the way to go. Building a core through good drafting and scouting is the strategy Toronto will try to employ.
- Anthopoulos is actively involved in trade talks and with free agents to improve the team, but won't do anything to jeopardize the future makeup of the club.
- He has been aware of the availability of every player that has been traded so far this offseason, and directly involved with talks for some.
- Anthopoulos said he has to be open minded about listening to trades for Roy Halladay this winter, but that Roy is "a guy we want to have here."
- That said, Halladay "wants to win" and the Blue Jays were a 75-win team last year. "We haven't met his criteria for winning… and his timeline for winning might not match ours." A contract extension seems unlikely.
- The Blue Jays are "not actively shopping" any of their current players at this moment.
It's going to be a busy and exciting offseason, and we here at MLBTR will have all of the latest news as it breaks. We'll be tracking all of the winter's trades and constantly updating our list of available free agents, so stay tuned. For now, here are a few reactions from around the baseball world on some of the moves that have already taken place…
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America takes a deeper look at the trade that brought Mark Teahen (and $1MM) to the White Sox. Teahen will start at third base in 2010 with sophomore Gordon Beckham sliding over to second.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reviews the swap that netted the Twins shortstop J.J. Hardy. "The deal has the potential to look very good for the Twins if Hardy can regain his pre-2009 form," writes Christensen, "but that “if” is as big as Hardy’s 6-2, 190-pound frame."