Billy Beane Rumors
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.
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 Byrnes, Andrew 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.
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.
- 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."
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.
- Texas Rangers - Jon Daniels
- Seattle Mariners - Bill Bavasi and Jack Zduriencik
- Oakland Athletics - Billy Beane
- Los Angeles Angels - Tony Reagins
Here's some links to kick off the week...
- Bill Center of The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Padres haven't contacted John Boggs (Adrian Gonzalez's agent) to discuss a contract extension yet, mentioning that Gonzalez could be an $18-20MM player. FanGraphs valued Adrian's 2009 performance at $28.4MM, tenth best among position players.
- The Toronto Star's Richard Griffin looks at some potential suitors for Roy Halladay, saying that there are ten teams that meet the necessary criteria to make a deal work.
- Meanwhile, Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe touches on two players figured to be tied to the Red Sox this winter: Gonzalez and Halladay.
- T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes that the Rangers have plenty of trade fodder thanks to their pitching, and they may be willing to deal someone like Brandon McCarthy.
- Scott Lauber of The News Journal looks at some third base options for the Phillies.
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday ranks the ten best general managers, with Billy Beane taking the top spot for the second year in a row.
- John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press takes a look at the key free agents in the AL Central.
- MLBTR's own Cork Gaines analyzes how the Rays have fared in free agency during Andrew Friedman's tenure.
- J.C. Bradbury defends his stance that just because there are more available free agents at a given position, it doesn't mean their prices wil drop.
Links for Monday...
- Yakyu Baka translated a recent Yusei Kikuchi press conference. Kikuchi has yet to decide between the U.S. and Japan. The Mets and Tigers attended the conference.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis has the 2010 draft order, and he also explains which picks are protected from Type A free agent signings.
- Jermaine Dye talking to Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald on possibly finishing his White Sox career: "I don't really have a feeling."
- Talking to WEEI's Alex Speier, Jason Varitek would not address next season (he has a $5MM team option and $3MM player option). Manager Terry Francona made sure Varitek received an ovation yesterday.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan gives one-liners on 35 Rangers players.
- Tyler Bleszinski of Athletics Nation talked to A's GM Billy Beane. Beane chatted about Matt Holliday, stolen bases, and the first base depth chart, among other things.
- Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star tells us about new Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times explains how advanced defensive metrics influenced the team's acquisition of Franklin Gutierrez.
- Outfielder So Taguchi hopes to play in 2010, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
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.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has a nice interview with A's general manager Billy Beane.
When asked about whether he's planning on being active at the deadline, Beane's answer: "We have always managed our budget, and we could quite possibly lose money this year - very likely we will. But we won't have to make trades for financial reasons. If we make any, it will be for baseball reasons."
Slusser asked him "What is the most pressing need?" Beane's answer: "Some of it is pretty obvious. We need to get some position players and some bats... We need to get some core position players in place. The good news is that we have some kids coming that I think will be a part of that. With the injuries, we've had a tendency to rush some of the development and it's not ideal. We want to make sure we do everything to give them a chance. But obviously as we go through the summer, we might want to see if some of these guys are ready for the next level."
Beane also acknowledged Bob Geren has faced his fair share of adversity during his three years with the A's. Is his job safe? Beane says yes.
ESPN.com's Buster Olney wonders if the currently injured Jose Reyes has already peaked, quoting a scout who says "I don't see a lot of evolution there ... Jimmy Rollins struggled early in his career, but then he just kept getting better and better, and I'm not really seeing that in Reyes." Olney likens the situation to Mark Prior's, who seemingly held the Cubs hostage with his potential. Reyes will turn just 26 next week, but Olney says that going forward "the Mets should not assume that Reyes is going to be an unmovable foundation piece," however he is not advocating a trade just yet.
Here's the rest of Olney's rumors:
- Olney heard that the Pirates were concerned about Nate McLouth's defensive abilities, so they moved him now before his trade value diminished.
- Billy Beane will soon have to make a decision about whether or not he should trade Matt Holliday, because other teams will start inquiring soon.
- Olney speculates that the Cardinals could be interested in Holliday, which would satisfy Tony LaRussa's desire for a big bat. He also says that Cards' prospect Brett Wallace would be a good fit for Oakland, but that seems like a hefty price for just three or four months of Holliday.