Author Archives: Eddie Schmid

Brad Penny Rumors: Saturday

1:26pm: According to's Jon Heyman, the Yankees and Giants have also begun showing serious interest in Penny.  Heyman opines, and many others agree, that an "NL team might be better for him."

9:19am: Jon Paul Morosi at FOX Sports says that the Marlins are "among the most serious suitors" for Brad Penny's services in the wake of Penny's release from the Red Sox this week. Penny is apparently set to clear release waivers sometime soon.

The Marlins' interest has been noted here, but it looks like a decision will come soon. Morosi believes that the finalization of the move will probably be predicated on how well the Fish play against the Padres this weekend, and says that winning this series could justify a Penny addition. Morosi also says that the Rockies, while still looking for starting pitching, aren't in the market for Penny.

When Penny departed the Marlins for the Dodgers in 2004 in a trade he was in top form, having put up a 3.15 ERA and 105/39 K/BB ratio in 131 innings that season. He's only matched that brilliance in one season since, but a move to the NL certainly can't hurt.

Odds & Ends: Twins, Astros, Magglio

Some links for the morning:

McLane “Vows To Evaluate” Astros

In the aftermath of Roy Oswalt's critical comments on the play of his teammates, Astros owner Drayton McLane seemed to take issue with Oswalt's concerns as well as agree with them:

“We're going to review every part — from the players to the manager, to the farm system. We haven't picked out any one part of it. Roy had great frustration, and that's part of a champion. He wants to win as much as anybody else. These are problems you need to solve internally rather than through the media.”

McLane didn't give a hard answer on whether he believed manager Cecil Cooper would return for next season. McLane also seemed curious about whom Oswalt was referring to, as the righty didn't name names when he questioned the drive of some fellow teammates.

As much as McLane was disappointed in Oswalt, he seemed to place much value on Oswalt's criticisms and it doesn't appear he wants to punish the pitcher, who is under contract through at least 2011 with the Astros. We probably could have predicted it, but it looks like the Astros could be due for a major facelift come winter.

Reactions to Kazmir Deal

The Scott Kazmir trade caught a few of us by surprise. Let's check out what the wider world of sports has to say about the move:

  • Rob Neyer at ESPN says the Rays' rotation shuffle from Kazmir to Wade Davis cuts their playoff chances from 10 percent to 8 percent and opines, "Giving up two percent in exchange for three talented young players … well, on paper that's a move you'd be thrilled to make, every day of the week."
  • Torii Hunter is happy he doesn't have to face Kazmir anymore, and he and his teammates are excited about the addition, reports Rhett Bollinger at
  • Bill Shaikin at the L.A. Times believes Kazmir is "just what the Angels needed" and that his joining probably spells the end of the John Lackey era.
  • Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman says money was not the primary reason for the deal, and he and Rays manager Joe Maddon express faith that the current crop of talent still keeps the team in contention, reports Marc Topkin at the St. Petersburg Times.

Odds & Ends: Holliday, White Sox, Giants

Some more links to close out the evening:

2010 Club Options: Relievers

With news hitting that J.J. Putz is out for the season and that Billy Wagner had requested that the Red Sox not exercise his 2010 club option upon acquiring him, I thought it'd be interesting to take a look at what contract decisions clubs have to make on top relievers this coming offseason. Let's dive in and try to analyze with what we know so far on some of the more intriguing ones.

  • J.J. Putz: Mets hold an $8.6MM club option with a $1MM buyout. Pretty easy call–no chance that's exercised. Depending on Putz's health going into next year–he might be due for surgery–odds are he'll take some sort of incentive-based deal.
  • Billy Wagner: Red Sox hold a $8MM club option with $1MM buyout. Unless Wagner flashes unthinkable stuff and helps the Sox hoist a trophy, giving a reliever $8MM coming off of major surgery while pushing 40 might not be too prudent.
  • Ryan Franklin: Cardinals hold a $2.75MM club option with $250k buyout. Barring injury or an impending expiration date on a deal with the devil, you can all but guarantee Franklin will be back. He's got an unfathomable 1.11 ERA and 32 saves in 34 chances in 48.2 innings this year for the Redbirds.
  • Rafael Betancourt: Rockies hold $5.4MM club option. He's been a valuable set-up man for the Rox, not allowing a run in 11.2 innings since being acquired from the Indians. It's a steeper price to pay in this market, but Betancourt has really stabilized a shaky bullpen and if he keeps pitching at this level they probably have to exercise.
  • Luis Vizcaino: Indians hold $4MM option with $500k buyout. Vizcaino will gladly take that half a mil, which will be paid by the Cubs.
  • Doug Brocail: Astros hold $2.85MM option with $250k buyout. He's 42 and has been hurt all year. Gotta pass.
  • Masahide Kobayashi: Indians hold $3.25MM option wit $250k buyout. Another Indians reliever who will take his buyout money and hope he can latch on to a team.
  • Will Ohman: Dodgers hold $2.2MM option with $200k buyout. He was supposed to be a late bargain but has been an injured bust. Unless he can make it back this year and prove useful he'll probably be looking for work again.
  • Alan Embree: Rockies hold $3MM option with $250k buyout. The injured Embree will probably be unemployed this winter.

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Odds & Ends: Red Sox, Cubs, Free Agents

Some links to mull over during game time:

Reds Sign Lew Ford

According to the MILB transactions feed, the Reds have signed OF Lew Ford to a minor-league deal. Ford, 33, returned from a stint in Japan with the Hanshin Tigers and previously had signed a deal with the Rockies this year but never got into game action. Ford last appeared in the majors in 2007 with the Twins, where he posted a .233/.315/.362 line.

Discussion: Johnny Damon

On the first three years of his four-year, $52MM deal, Johnny Damon had been an above-average outfielder for the Yankees, worth roughly $36MM of the $39MM he was paid according to Fangraphs' metrics. This year, however, Damon is on pace for a career season at age 35, and is set to surpass his career high in homers while currently holding a stout .284/.364/.517 slash line. It's got all the makings of the infamous "contract year," and Damon has recently expressed an interest in staying with the Yankees.

Earlier in the year, Damon said he'd prefer to get a two-year deal, but said he'd settle for a one year deal with a vesting option if need be. He also said back in May he didn't expect to be brought back in pinstripes, but now it looks like the Yankees may consider taking him on in a one-year deal through arbitration as Damon is set to become a Type A free agent. 

Damon has a .979 OPS at the new Yankee stadium and .785 away from there, and much has been made of the park being a haven for left-handed batters, so perhaps it'd behoove him to stay there. Arbitration is a possibility for the Yankees, but Damon is probably due for a large raise and the Yankees have been uncharacteristically stingy of late. They also declined to go into arbitration with Bobby Abreu last season. And perhaps a multi-year offer could tempt him out of New York, despite his desire to stay.

So a couple questions here: If you're the Yankees, would it be an easy call to offer Damon arbitration? Or should they hand him a multi-year contract instead? If the Yankees do offer arbitration, do you see Damon accepting or opting for greener pastures? Have at it in the comments.

Odds & Ends: Padres, Rockies, Second Basemen

Some links to peruse this morning:

  • Joel Sherman at the New York Post asked seven top team executives who they'd rather have manning second base over the next five years: Dustin Pedroia or Robinson Cano? Click over for the results.
  • Bill Center at the San Diego Union-Tribune hears that the the Padres are interested in keeping impending free agent backstop Henry Blanco.
  • The Rockies' newly-signed lefty phenom Tyler Matzek said a "gut feeling" led him to ink his $3.9MM deal with the team with only 10 minutes left till deadline, forgoing his career at the University of Oregon, according to the Associated Press. My gut says that $3.9MM is kind of a lot of money, but that could be just me.