Author Archives: Luke Adams

Twelve Teams Have Asked Nationals About Espinosa

FEBRUARY 6: At least twelve teams have inquired with the Nationals about Espinosa's availability, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. However, the team remains unlikely at present to deal Espinosa, Ladson says.

Though Anthony Rendon has the inside track at the starting gig at second, Espinosa will have a shot at taking his job back. Alternative outcomes include Espinosa making the club as a reserve or starting out in Triple-A on optional assignment. But Espinosa represents important middle infield depth and still has tantalizing upside at age 26, leaving the Nats uninterested in selling low.

DECEMBER 10: The Nats are balking at moving Espinosa despite interest from the Yankees, among other clubs, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

DECEMBER 9, 6:29pm: One Nationals executive told Kilgore that the Nats aren't shopping Espinosa. Beyond that, GM Mike Rizzo plainly stated that he expects Espinosa to be his team's utility infielder in 2014, noting that despite a lack of experience at the hot corner, Espinosa has the tools to play third base. Kilgore writes that Espinosa has a big proponent in Rizzo, and the Nationals are determined not to sell low on the switch-hitter.

4:25pm: The Nationals are shopping Danny Espinosa in trade talks, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Passan adds that if the Nats are unable to find a deal they like for Espinosa, the infielder could fill the utility role vacated by Steve Lombardozzi.

After a couple solid seasons in Washington, Espinosa saw his production fall off a cliff in 2013 due in part to injuries. In 2011 and 2012, he was an everyday player for the Nats, hitting 38 homers with a .727 OPS in over 1300 plate appearances.

GM Mike Rizzo told reporters today, including Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com (Twitter link), that the Nats will be "open-minded" and won't be afraid to make a trade. However, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post says (via Twitter) that he'd be surprised if the team moves Espinosa, having already rebuffed teams like the Rays and Cardinals, who have tried to buy low.


Seeking Part-Time Writers For New NFL Rumors Website

We're launching a new NFL rumors website early in 2014, in the mold of MLB Trade Rumors and Hoops Rumors. I will be the site's full-time writer and editor, and we're looking to build a team of part-time contributors who will be paid hourly. The criteria:

  • Exceptional knowledge of all 32 NFL teams, with no discernible bias. Knowledge of transaction-related concepts.
  • Extensive writing experience is necessary with professional experience preferred. A background in journalism is a plus.
  • Attention to detail — absolutely no spelling errors, especially for player and journalist names. Ability to follow the site's style and tone.
  • Ability to analyze articles and craft intelligent, well-written posts summing up the news in a few paragraphs. We need the best of both worlds: quick writing with thoughtful analysis. You must be able to add value to breaking news with your own insight, numbers, or links to other relevant articles.
  • Ability to use an RSS feed reader such as Feedly. Ability to use Twitter. Both of these are crucial.
  • Strong evening availability — typically 5-11pm central time shifts. Writers covering Monday through Friday evenings will change week to week, but we'd also like people to regularly take specific weekend daytime shifts.
  • At least some college education is required.
  • If you're interested, email footballapplications@gmail.com and take a couple paragraphs to explain how you qualify and stand out. Many will likely apply, so unfortunately we cannot respond to all applications.

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Tigers Have Serious Interest In Joba Chamberlain

THURSDAY: The Tigers have "serious" interest in Chamberlain, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter).

WEDNESDAY, 1:46pm: The Tigers are a possible destination for Chamberlain as well, tweets Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.

1:32am: The Astros are interested in Joba Chamberlain as a buy-low option, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports (via Twitter). Chamberlain is the latest free agent to be linked to the Astros, who also reportedly have some interest in Michael Morse, Jesse Crain, and Chad Gaudin, among others.

Chamberlain, 28, had arguably the worst year of his big league career in 2013, posting a 4.93 ERA in 45 appearances for the Yankees. However, his 3.54 ERA on the road was significantly better than his 6.23 mark at home, and his velocity and strikeout rates remained solid. Assuming he can reduce his control issues going forward, he looks like a solid bounceback candidate.

On Tuesday, we heard that Chamberlain had received a one-year, $3MM proposal from an interested team. It initially appeared as if the Diamondbacks had put that offer on the table, but at least one report suggested Arizona hadn't offered the right-hander a contract. The Cubs and Royals were also mentioned as potential suitors for Chamberlain over the weekend.



NL Central Links: Walker, Alvarez, Cards, Rule 5

Let's round up a few morning updates from around the NL Central….


Giants Still Looking To Add Right-Handed Outfielder

Giants assistant GM Bobby Evans expressed optimism yesterday that the Giants would add a left fielder by day's end, and for a time it seemed the team was closing in on a trade, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). However, with no agreements in place yet, San Francisco is still seeking a right-handed outfielder capable of hitting for some power, reports Rosenthal.

Many of the names linked to the Giants this week have been free agents, including Michael Morse, Jeff Baker, and Franklin Gutierrez. As for trade candidates, the club is said to have some interest in Brett Gardner and Alejandro De Aza, but the Yankees sound reluctant to part with Gardner, while San Francisco reportedly isn't willing to give up much for De Aza. Additionally, for what it's worth, neither Gardner nor De Aza hits right-handed.


AL Notes: Twins, Pelfrey, O’s, Yankees, Royals

Most agents and executives will be flying out of Orlando today, but that doesn't mean there's not still time for teams and players to strike a few deals. Here are the latest American League updates from the 2013 Winter Meetings:

  • The Twins are making progress in talks with free agent starter Mike Pelfrey, reports La Velle Neal III of the Star Tribune. The Twins and agent Scott Boras have met since the team offered a two-year, $10MM deal, and appear to closing the gap, though GM Terry Ryan is in no rush to finalize an agreement today.
  • Dan Duquette and the Orioles have done "a lot of work" to prepare for the Rule 5 draft, and are very likely to select a player later this morning, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports details.
  • The Yankees have several needs on their roster that Brian Cashman is ready to address, but he's dealing with a thin pitching market and still determining which of the team's targets are attainable, writes Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. "I'd rather go the easier route, and pull something down and everybody's like 'That's a good move!'" Cashman said. "I don't know if that's going to happen. I might have to go the harder, longer route. But we'll see."
  • As various reports continue to link the Royals to Omar Infante, the team continues to sing Emilio Bonifacio's praises. GM Dayton Moore indicated Wednesday that the club is "very pleased" with Bonifacio at second base, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.

Joaquin Benoit Seeking $7-10MM Annually

Joaquin Benoit and his agent are believed to be seeking an annual salary of between $7MM and $10MM per year, reports ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter). That would make Benoit slightly more affordable than fellow free agent reliever Fernando Rodney, who is reportedly looking for $10MM+ annually.

Coming off a season in which he recorded a 2.01 ERA and 9.8 K/9 in 67 innings, Benoit represents one of the more appealing options on the relief market, which should give him some leverage in negotations. Back in October, MLBTR's Steve Adams predicted that the righty would land a two-year deal worth $16MM, so an annual salary of $7-10MM isn't an unreasonable request for Benoit and his reps at ACES.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported late last night that teams believe Benoit's likeliest potential destinations are the Indians, Padres, Mariners, Cubs, and Yankees.


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Winter Meetings Review: Day 3

After a pair of notable trades were agreed upon on Day 2 of this year's Winter Meetings, Day 3 featured a couple more trades and also saw a few free agents come off the board. Here's a recap of Wednesday's major headlines:

Transactions:

Rumors:


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NL East Notes: Mets, Marlins, Phillies, Blevins

It sounds as if Ike Davis will remain a member of the Mets beyond the Winter Meetings, but will likely be dealt this month, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Rubin hears that the Mets are being reasonable in their demands for the first baseman, and with the Rays and Brewers both in on James Loney, the loser may wind up with Davis. Speaking of Loney, Rubin adds that Loney is still asking for three years, but is unlikely to get more than two (Twitter links).

As the Mets continue to seek out the best possible return for Davis, let's check in on a few more items from around the NL East….

  • The Marlins are still weighing trade options for a third baseman, president of baseball operations Michael Hill confirmed on Wednesday, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. The team hopes to add a player who is ready to contribute in 2014 and has the flexibility to switch positions when 2013 draftee Colin Moran is ready for the bigs.
  • Ruben Amaro Jr. suggests the Phillies have "left no stone unturned" in their search for starting pitching. However, while the team has laid plenty of groundwork, Amaro and the Phils may leave Orlando without having added a starter, as Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.
  • The Nationals sorted through as many as four trade options before deciding to acquire Jerry Blevins, according to GM Mike Rizzo (link via James Wagner of the Washington Post). Washington liked Blevins because he represents a "younger, controllable type of guy" at an affordable rate, says Rizzo.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Overnight Links: Padres, Rule 5, Rockies, Iglesias

MLBTR's 24/7 coverage of the 2013 Winter Meetings rolls on, with a few late night (or is it early morning?) links….

  • When the Astros and Padres both included players to be named later in Wednesday's Anthony Bass trade, our Steve Adams suggested the move was related to Thursday's Rule 5 draft, and Jim Callis of Baseball America confirms as much. According to Callis (Twitter links), the Astros and Padres have switched spots in the draft, with San Diego likely to select a pitcher first overall.
  • Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that the Yankees expect to lose players in Thursday's Rule 5 draft, naming Tommy Kahnle and Danny Burawa as two pitchers who could be selected.
  • The Rockies are looking to add a left-handed reliever and have the money to be flexible, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
  • While they've been linked to major trade candidates like David Price and have one of their own in Matt Kemp, the Dodgers expect to leave Orlando without having completed a major deal, GM Ned Coletti said Wednesday, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
  • A number of scouts are going directly from the winter meetings to Mexico to watch a showcase for Cuban right-hander Raicel Iglesias, tweets Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports. The workout is scheduled for Friday.
  • The Rangers can afford to approach the free agent and trade markets with patience, says Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, writing that Texas isn't necessarily under any pressure to make another big move.