Author Archives: Nat Boyle

Miguel Angel Sano To Sign With Twins

WEDNESDAY: Kovacevic has details on the breakdown in communication between the Pirates and Plummer.  MLB.com's Jen Langosch has a statement from Huntington; here's the money quote:

"Miguel Sano has apparently agreed to terms with another organization without his agent engaging the Pirates in legitimate negotiations."

TUESDAY: Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the Twins will sign Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano. Sano will receive a bonus of $3.15MM, the largest for an international amateur player given this summer. Sano's would be the second largest Latin American signing bonus ever behind only Dominican pitcher Michael Ynoa, who signed with the A's for $4.25MM last year, says Baseball America. It's the second largest in Twins history behind Joe Mauer's $5.15MM.

Last May, Kovacevic said Sano's bonus could reach $3MM. The deal will be signed tomorrow; however, Jorge Arangure of ESPN the Magazine adds via Twitter that "this deal isn't completed until Sano gets a visa to play in the U.S. And that's no given." While his age remains unconfirmed, Sano's saying he's 16.

The signing comes as a surprise. As many as 8-10 teams were reportedly interested in Sano, but it was the Pirates that had intensely pursued him. Kovacevic notes a breakdown between Sano's agent, Rob Plummer, and the Pirates:

"Plummer made clear that his relationship with the Pirates, particularly general manager Neal Huntington and Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo, became frayed during the process. The Pirates were the most aggressive team once the July 2 international signing period began, making offers of $2 million at the time and $2.6 million a month ago — the latter payment to be split in three parts — but talks were minimal in the past three weeks… each side expressed strong distrust in the other."

According to Kovacevic, Plummer says Huntington never believed other teams were interested in Sano and was overly concerned he was bidding against himself.

Tim Dierkes also contributed to this post.


Perrotto’s Latest: Cubs, White Sox, Chipper, Josh Johnson

The latest from John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus:

  • The Cubs are trying to sign John Grabow and Reed Johnson before they reach free agency.
  • Perrotto says those that know Chipper Jones believe he would actually retire after next season if he can't perform up to his standards.
  • There's a possibility the Marlins will try to deal Josh Johnson this winter even though he won't be a free agent until after 2011. Johnson is not anticipated to take a hometown discount to stay in Florida.
  • Perrotto expects Russell Branyan will re-sign with the Mariners before he reaches free agency.
  • Seems like pure speculation, but a Jake Peavy for Carlos Zambrano deal this offseason would not surprise some in Chicago.

Cafardo’s Latest: Felix Hernandez, Red Sox

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has his Sunday column up. Let's have a look.

  • Cafardo expects the Red Sox to make another push for Felix Hernandez in the offseason. Hernandez's price tag could prove too high for Seattle to retain him; however, they are open to extending him. Before the deadline, the Red Sox reportedly offered a 5-for-1 deal for the ace that Seattle turned down.
  • The Indians have yet to see dividends pay for the players they received for Cliff Lee. Cafardo writes, "Righty Carlos Carrasco is 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA (six homers in 14 innings); catcher Lou Marson is hitting .154; shortstop Jason Donald went on the disabled list in Triple A; and righty Jason Knapp underwent surgery to remove fragments from his shoulder."
  • Cafardo wonders if the Nats would've dealt Cristian Guzman had they known Ian Desmond would emerge as their shortstop of the future.
  • Chiming in on the Jason Bay or Matt Holliday discussion, Cafardo quotes scouts who seem to have him leaning toward Holliday as the better option, particularly for Boston.


Boston’s Roy Halladay Offer

5:29pm: ESPN's Peter Gammons echoes Heyman's report, and adds that Josh Reddick is the positional prospect that would have gone to Toronto.

MONDAY, 3:01pm: So what did the Red Sox actually offer for Halladay?  SI's Jon Heyman heard Buchholz, Masterson, Bowden, Hagadone, and a positional prospect.  Should Ricciardi have pulled the trigger on this 5-for-1 blockbuster?

SUNDAY, 1:12pm: Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports that Epstein has denied the rumors. When asked if there was any truth to the rumored offer for Halladay, Epstein responded with a simple "Nope."

10:14am: Last month, Theo Epstein said Boston aggressively pursued Roy Halladay at the deadline and that their final offer was "probably the best offer [J.P. Ricciardi] received." According to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, that  may have been a 6-for-1 offer of Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, Daniel Bard, Michael Bowden, Felix Doubront, and Nick Hagadone.

One National League scout is quoted having "zero idea why they didn't take the Boston offer." Elliott cites a Toronto scout who says the Jays didn't take the offer for two reasons: 1) They weren't confident Masterson would succeed as a starter, and 2) they were afraid of Halladay beating them in 2010.

The same scout is quoted, "We don't have a quality arm like Halladay," said the scout, "but I've seen four of those (Red Sox) arms and they're quality. Hit on three of six and you'd be fertile for a long time."

What do you think? Does this seem uncharacteristic of Theo Epstein?


Perrotto’s Latest: Vazquez, Valverde, DeRosa, Pavano

In today's column over at Baseball Prospectus, John Perrotto says nobody has been better at making deadline deals in the previous two seasons than Theo Epstein. I might agree but would love to hear some counter arguments.

As usual, Perrotto has his share of rumors from around the league:

  • The Braves need offense and are considering dealing Javier Vazquez to get it.
  • Don't expect Jose Valverde to return to Houston next season. He plans to test free agency and will likely find a better paycheck elsewhere.
  • The White Sox plan to re-sign Freddy Garcia to be their fifth starter.
  • The Cardinals would like to re-sign Mark DeRosa before he reaches free agency at the end of the season.
  • The Twins are planning an attempt to re-sign Carl Pavano, also a to-be free agent at season's end.
  • If the Nationals can acquire a shortstop in the offseason they would like Cristian Guzman to move to second base.

Discussion: Cubs Leadoff Hitter

According to Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun Times, Alfonso Soriano's days leading off firmly in the rearview, says Lou Pineilla. Who can fill his shoes? Ginnetti quotes Pineilla:

"It depends on what the club does over the winter,'' Piniella said of the leadoff role. ''I like [Kosuke] Fukudome at the top of the order, but I don't know about leadoff. He and [Ryan] Theriot are our best options the way we are now.

"But if we got someone who is capable of stealing 30 or 40 bases in the mix, that would change things. If you look at our offense, adding a speed guy and another bat [are priorities].''

The glaring free agent solution is Chone Figgins, but let's hear some creative alternatives. Or perhaps an argument in favor of keeping the Fukudome/Theriot tandem?


Figgins, White Sox A Good Fit?

Chone Figgins seems to be a hot topic this weekend. Mark Saxon of The Orange County Register writes there's a mutual attraction between Figgins and the  White Sox.

"The Chicago White Sox have made little effort to hide their high regard for the Angels' leadoff hitter, who is having a career year and is eligible for free agency in November. Along with the New York Yankees, Chicago could be a formidable suitor if the Angels don't sign Figgins in their exclusive 15-day window after the World Series."

Figgins likened Ozzie Guillen's style to that of Mike Scioscia, noting both would play to his strengths as an aggressive leadoff hitter.

While he has expressed excitement to enter free agency as a man in demand, he maintains a preference to remain in Anaheim. Saxon notes that Mike Scioscia "said Figgins' improved discipline, defense and overall hitting in recent seasons have made him an attractive long-term investment" so a three-year deal for the 31-year old might become an expectation. Figgins could aim around $10MM per year.


Rich Harden Rumors: Sunday

8:26pm: Count Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune among those who believe a trade will get done by Monday's deadline:  "The guess here," Rogers writes, "is that Twins GM Bill Smith is going to wake up on Monday, consider how catchable the Detroit Tigers remain, and pay the price."  The Twinkies currently stand 65-65 — 4.5 games back of Detroit in the AL Central.

12:57pm: Joe Christensen says "doubts have emerged" about the Twins completing a trade with the Cubs for Rich Harden. Christensen quotes sources who say "the Cubs had yet to open a window for the Twins to negotiate a long-term deal with Harden." Twins officials have yet to confirm or deny that they were the team that claimed Harden.

Christensen notes the Twins would deal for Harden even without a long-term extension given Harden will be a Type A free agent.


Perrotto’s Latest: Twins, Damon, Franklin, Penny, Dye

John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus brings us his latest from around the leagues:

  • When they come off the DL, Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins will be used in relief. So, the Twins are hoping to add a starter who can pitch in the playoffs. This means they have until tomorrow at midnight to do so.
  • The Yankees would like to re-sign Johnny Damon to a one year deal and give Austin Jackson a second year to develop at Triple-A, while pursuing Matt Holliday and Jason Bay in the offseason.
  • The Marlins and Giants are frontrunners to land Brad Penny.
  • The Cardinals expect to exercise Ryan Franklin‘s $2.75MM club option and then sign an extension with their closer for 2011.
  • The Royals want to extend G.M. Dayton Moore who is signed through 2010.
  • Perrotto says the Cubs are likely to deal Milton Bradley this winter, even if it means eating a large portion of the $21MM owed to him through 2011.
  • Jermaine Dye will more than likely not see his $12MM option exercised by the White Sox after a dip in production in tandem with the salary demands of Alex Rios and Jake Peavy.
  • For the postseason, the Dodgers are seeking “a left-handed bat with power” for their bench.
  • The Nats are auditioning Livan Hernandez as a veteran innings eater for 2010.
  • The Diamondbacks may non-tender Conor Jackson.
  • Brewers manager Ken Macha said G.M. Doug Melvin “scoured the area for pitching” before the deadline but was unable to add a starter because he refused to trade Mat Gamel or Alcides Escobar.
  • After making seven trades this year, the Pirates are the youngest team in the MLB.

Reds Rumors: Looking To 2010

The Reds seem unlikely to make a move. As they stand, John Fay of The Cincinatti Enquirer asks whether the Reds have a shot at making a run in 2010. His answer?

“It will depend on how the young players develop. Adding [Scott] Rolen’s salary took away all of the flexibility the Reds had in their payroll. They’d have to move one of the aforementioned veteran pitchers in the offseason to open money to pursue free agents. That’s probably not going to happen. Again, when the Reds got Rolen, it was a clear signal that CEO Bob Castellini thought the Reds were a short-term fix from contending in 2010.”

The “aforementioned veteran pitchers” he mentions: Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, or Francisco Cordero. Fay notes their are several holes in which young players will need to step up. He breaks them down by position.