Billy Beane Rumors

Stark On Madson, Astros, Beane, Nationals

MLB is building momentum toward two 15-team leagues with three five-team divisions per league, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. It doesn't appear that the players’ association will agree to expand the postseason unless owners agree to more balanced schedules and divisions, Stark reports. Here are the rest of his rumors…

  • It appears that the Tigers and Rays will pick up their options for Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth, respectively, this offseason.
  • Two MLB executives predicted to Stark that Ryan Madson will sign a deal like the one Valverde obtained two winters ago: $14MM over two years plus an option.
  • Multiple teams have expressed concerns about Francisco Rodriguez’s off-field “baggage,” though K-Rod stands out as one of the best free agent relievers of the winter.
  • Stark hears that MLB has been slow to approve incoming Astros owner Jim Crane in order to apply leverage on Crane so that he’ll agree to move the Astros to the American League. Earlier today, Bob Nightengale of USA Today had a report that conflicts with Stark’s article.
  • Friends of Billy Beane say the A’s GM has legitimate interest in the Cubs GM job, though he has an ownership stake and lots of freedom in Oakland.
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo will interview managerial candidates this offseason before deciding whether Davey Johnson will return as manager in 2012.
  • First base doesn’t appear to be a priority for Washington, but Rizzo says "you never want to say never” when it comes to possible offseason moves.

GM Notes: Zduriencik, Cashman, Beane, Cubs

The Mariners announced yesterday that they agreed to a multiyear extension with GM Jack Zduriencik. The deal ends speculation about a possible regime change and means there’s one less job opening for GM candidates in MLB. Here are the latest notes on baseball’s general managers…

  • Multiple high-ranking A’s officials tell Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that the Cubs haven’t made any contact with Billy Beane about Chicago’s GM opening. 
  • Newsday's Ken Davidoff thinks Brian Cashman will be back with the Yankees next year, partly because of the Mariners' decision to retain Zduriencik. Not only does that remove one possible destination for Cashman, the longtime Yankees GM has been intrigued by the Seattle job in the past. 
  • Carrie Muskat of MLB.com lists Thad Levine of the Rangers, Ben Cherington of the Red Sox, J.J. Picollo of the Royals, Rick Hahn of the White Sox, Michael Hill of the Marlins and former Twins GM Terry Ryan as potential candidates for the Cubs' job.

Cubs Notes: Evans, Beane, Garza, Pena

Here’s the latest on the Cubs, including an update on their search for a successor to Jim Hendry…

  • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says former Dodgers general manager Dan Evans fits all the criteria chairman Tom Ricketts has established for his new GM. Friends and associates of Evans tell Wittenmyer that the executive has always considered the Cubs' GM job his dream position.
  • A’s owner Lew Wolff told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he wouldn’t prevent GM Billy Beane from exploring job opportunities elsewhere, though he hopes to retain him for a long time. "I would never inhibit anybody from bettering themselves because of a contract," Wolff said, noting that no teams have called regarding the "indispensable" Beane.
  • Wittenmyer says Matt Garza's presence at the front end of Chicago's rotation seems critical to any Cubs turnaround. The Cubs can retain Garza as an arbitration eligible player through 2013, though he won't be cheap.
  • Meanwhile, Carlos Pena told Wittenmyer that he was "pleasantly surprised" that the Cubs pulled him off of waivers after the Yankees claimed him earlier in the week.


Latest On Beane, Cubs

Some baseball people who know Billy Beane well say the longtime Oakland general manager might consider an offer to join the Cubs if they approach him about their vacant GM job, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Cubs fired Jim Hendry on Friday and are already considering replacements, possibly Rick Hahn, Josh ByrnesAndrew Friedman, Ned Colletti and Brian Cashman.

A’s executives are frustrated with the slow pace at which MLB is considering a possible move for the franchise, Slusser reports. There’s concern within the organization that Beane might leave if the A’s don’t get permission to build a stadium in San Jose and the team is sold.

Slusser suggests A’s owner Lew Wolff would grant Beane permission to interview elsewhere if the GM wanted to be considered for other opportunities. Nine years ago, Beane nearly joined the Red Sox, before deciding to stay in Oakland.

Should Beane leave, assistant GM David Forst would be the logical candidate to replace him. Forst, who has declined opportunities to pursue GM jobs elsewhere, currently assumes much of the responsibility in Oakland. His name appeared on MLBTR’s list of GM candidates earlier in the month.


Quick Hits: Orioles, Beane, Bourn, Beltran

The Cardinals acquired Woody Williams from San Diego on this date ten years ago. The right-hander pitched 75 innings of 2.28 ERA ball and helped the Cardinals reach the postseason, where they lost to the eventual World Champion Diamondbacks. Here's the latest from around MLB…

  • As Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun points out, Buck Showalter took over the Orioles one year ago today. In 162 games under Showalter, the Orioles are 76-86. The honeymoon is over, but Showalter is "the most prepared and observant person [Connolly has] been around in this game."
  • The Phillies may tinker with their roster in August by calling up a reliever or acquiring a bat in a minor trade, Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.
  • Yahoo's Steve Henson looks back at the 13 most lopsided trades in baseball history. If you guessed that Jeff Bagwell, Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek would appear on the list, you're right.
  • Moneyball has become a "period piece," Tom Verducci writes at SI.com. The advantages Billy Beane once had in Oakland have been neutralized by stadium revenue for other clubs and savvy front offices around baseball. "The biggest problem we have is that until we get a stadium it's going to be treading water for us," Beane said. "There cannot be any long-term planning. It's likely to get worse before it gets any better. It's going to be more than challenging."
  • GM Jon Daniels says the Rangers checked in on Michael Bourn without pursuing him seriously, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter).
  • ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick examines the Giants' feeble offense and the impact that Carlos Beltran will have on it. 
  • As Scott Miller of CBSSports.com shows, the Diamondbacks have once again become relevant in the NL West thanks, in large part, to an improved pitching staff.

Billy Beane Talks To Athletics Nation

General manager Billy Beane spoke to Tyler Bleszinski of Athletics Nation about a week ago.  Check out the interview here and here.  A few hot stove-related highlights:

  • Beane was told the A's were the runners-up in the Aroldis Chapman bidding.  He said "I think we got slightly outbid" by the Reds' six-year, $30.25MM offer to the Cuban lefty.
  • Center fielder Coco Crisp, signed to a one-year, $5.5MM deal, was considered "good value relative to the cost."  Beane admitted that the A's probably will not be able to afford to re-sign Crisp if he has a healthy season.  While there was trade interest in Rajai Davis, Beane is looking for continuity.
  • Beane was frank in saying that he expects to "follow the cycle" of the last 10-15 years if the team does not get a new venue.  That implies trading Ben Sheets and/or other veterans in July if the team falls out of contention, but conversely making acquisitions if the A's are still in the hunt.
  • Brad Pitt met with Beane in preparation for the actor's role in the Moneyball movie.  Beane described Pitt as "very down-to-earth."

GM Trade Histories: AL West

Brendan Bianowicz has one more big update to our GM Trade History Series.  Check out the AL West spreadsheets below for GM information on trades, free agent signings, and more.


Odds & Ends: Gonzalez, Halladay, Rangers

Here's some links to kick off the week…


Odds & Ends: Kikuchi, Dye, Varitek

Links for Monday…


Odds & Ends: Reds, Braves, Cards, Cubs, Red Sox

A few links to start your evening off right…

  • Reds CEO Bob Castellini says he believes "we’re not at that point" of selling players yet, according to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. The Reds were rumored to be making a move earlier.
  • The Braves are "confident that they could stand pat through Friday's Trade Deadline and still have the pieces to continue their run toward the postseason," according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
  • MLB.com's Matthew Leach writes that "John Mozeliak sounded like it's all but certain that the Cardinals will not trade any more prospects before the deadline." He does mention that if they can move Troy Glaus, they will look into it.
  • Alfonso Soriano said he doesn't think the Cubs need any big trades, according to Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune. The Cubbies were reportedly looking for a lefty reliever over the weekend.
  • Ben Collins of The Boston Globe has an interesting quote from Red Sox manager Terry Francona: “I listen to the talks. I don’t listen to the radio, but I talk to Theo. Some of the people I hear talked about on the radio — you guys have no idea.”
  • Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune mentions that Twins starter Kevin Slowey is going to have season ending surgery on his right wrist. The club has been looking for infield help, but this could have them searching a little harder for pitching help.
  • SI.com's Cliff Corcoran wrote about the five contenders with the biggest pitching needs and the biggest offensive holes.
  • ESPN's David Schoenfield listed the 15 players with the least trade value. Barry Zito and the $89.1MM owed to him through 2013 tops the list.
  • ESPN's Howard Bryant penned a long but very interesting piece about Billy Beane and his legacy since Moneyball.