Blake DeWitt Rumors
6:13pm: In addition to the Cubs, the Diamondbacks are also interested in Stewart, tweets Jon Heyman of SI. The 26-year-old is very likely to go somewhere, according to Heyman.
FRIDAY: The Rockies think highly enough of Stewart that they would not consider trading him for DeWitt, according to Renck.
11:39am: The Rockies have already moved Ty Wigginton and Chris Iannetta this offseason, and they're reportedly open to dealing Ian Stewart and Huston Street as well. Troy Renck of The Denver Post reports that Colorado has asked the Cubs for Blake DeWitt in exchange for Stewart, but talks between the two clubs have since cooled.
DeWitt, 26, is a left-handed bat with experience at second, third, and in left field. He's hit .258/.309/.396 with nine homers in 447 plate appearances for the Cubbies after coming over in the deal that sent Ted Lilly to the Dodgers at the 2010 trade deadline. Renck says the Rockies would prefer to get a pitcher in any deal involving Stewart as well.
The Dodgers acquired veteran lefty Ted Lilly, infielder Ryan Theriot, and $2.5MM from the Cubs for second baseman Blake DeWitt and minor league pitchers Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit today. Lilly has $4.24MM remaining on his contract, while Theriot has $918K. The Cubs are picking up about half of the tab on the players they're sending.
Lilly set himself apart from the many brutal pitching signings made in the 2006-07 offseason by making 113 starts for the Cubs with a 3.70 ERA, 7.6 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9 over the four-year deal. Though he began this season on the disabled list due to November shoulder surgery, Lilly sports similar numbers in 2010. He serves as proof that velocity isn't everything, with the sixth-slowest average fastball velocity in baseball at 86.1 mph. Lilly currently projects as a Type A free agent, though the Dodgers' recent history suggests they will not offer him arbitration and therefore will not receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.
Theriot, 30, has a .284/.320/.327 line on the season. He'd been the Cubs' starting shortstop for a few years, but moved to second base when they promoted Starlin Castro in May. Theriot's walk rate reached 11.0% in 2008, but is down to 4.6% this year. He's under team control through 2012, if the Dodgers want to tender a contract two more times.
DeWitt, 25 next month, is having a better season than Theriot at .270/.352/.371. He's under team control through 2014, so the Cubs acquired a long-term asset for second base. Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein calls his the "prettiest swing you'll see never turned into results," calling DeWitt a "constant source of disappointment" for the Dodgers.
Wallach, son of former big leaguer Tim, was a third-round pick of the Dodgers last year. Baseball America ranked him 20th among Dodgers prospects heading into the season, saying he could blossom into a No. 3 in time. He's currently in Low A. Smit, a reliever, spent most of this year in High A ball where he posted a 2.49 ERA, 8.2 K/9, and 1.8 BB/9 in 50.6 innings. He's now in Double A.
1:09pm: The Cubs will get DeWitt and two minor league pitchers for Lilly, Theriot, and $2.5MM tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.
1:03pm: Lilly and Theriot for DeWitt is done, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
12:34pm: Blake DeWitt and at least one other player would go to the Cubs as part of a Lilly-Theriot deal if the sides can reach an agreement, tweets Rosenthal. The inclusion of Theriot will seal the deal from the Cubs' point of view, tweets Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times. Lilly doesn't appear to have many suitors aside from the Dodgers.
11:39am: The latest on Cubs southpaw Ted Lilly...
- The Cubs are likely to send Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark.
- The Dodgers are growing more optimistic about acquiring Lilly, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.
- The Yankees are not pursuing Lilly, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, unless the Cubs "put him on a platter and give him away."
- The Dodgers, Twins, Tigers, and Yankees have varying degrees of interest in Lilly, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. A deal with the Dodgers seemed fairly close last night.
Sunday night linkage..
- Despite their budget constraints, Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times expects the Rays to upgrade their roster. Topkin mentions several quality free agents who may have to accept minor league deals such as Jim Edmonds, Rocco Baldelli, and ex-Ray Jonny Gomes as proof that the market is rife with valuable players.
- At the Mariners Fan Fest event, pitcher Mark Lowe told the crowd in attendance that he keeps up on all of the latest transactions with MLBTradeRumors (video from MLB.com, :40 mark). Dave Sims - the television voice of the M's - followed that up with his own mention of MLBTR. Thanks guys!
- Tim brings us the terms of Jamey Carroll's contract with the Dodgers via Twitter. Carroll will earn $1.35MM in 2010 and $2.5MM in 2011. The 35-year-old could also earn up to $525K per year in plate appearance incentives.
- The Dodgers are among the teams that have reviewed Chien-Ming Wang's medical records, according to a tweet from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Recently, ESPN's Jayson Stark pegged the Dodgers as a possible destination for the 29-year-old.
- Washington GM Mike Rizzo and Orlando's Hudson's representative haven't talked in a couple of days, according to MLB.com's William Ladson (via Twitter). Furthermore, Rizzo says that if Hudson has brought his price down, it's news to him (also via Twitter).
- In response to a fan asking how much he thinks Prince Fielder will sign for, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy writes that he doesn't think he will sign at all and will instead opt to hit the open market after the 2011 season (via Twitter).
- Jon Weisman of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Dodgers' rumored signing of Reed Johnson likely means that Ronnie Belliard will get the nod over Blake DeWitt at second base. Weisman's reasoning is that the roster, as it stands now, would feature an all right-handed bench without DeWitt's inclusion. Weisman wonders if this overload of righty sluggers means that the Dodgers will pursue another free agent backup outfielder.
Some Dodgers notes from Ken Gurnick of MLB.com's latest mailbag...
- The club is uneasy about Blake DeWitt as their everyday second baseman because of his lackluster defense. If DeWitt's offense were on par with the likes of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, Jamey Carroll would likely be slotted on the bench rather than split time with the 24-year-old.
- The Dodgers made an earnest attempt to land Roy Halladay prior to the blockbuster deal that shipped him to Philadelphia. According to sources, the Blue Jays would have preferred L.A. as a trading partner, but of course, it wasn't really up to them. Ultimately, it didn't matter how much the Dodgers could give Toronto or potentially give Doc in an extension, the Phillies were at the top of his list.
- One reader asked why the Dodgers don't lock up their young core players in long-term contracts rather than go to arbitration with them. Gurnick says that it is often a risky proposition and references the regression of Russell Martin as an example. Had the Dodgers given him a hefty four or five-year deal after his back-to-back All-Star seasons, they would have likely regretted it after his slide the past two seasons.
The Dodgers signed veteran infielder Jamey Carroll to a two-year deal, as first reported by ESPN's Buster Olney. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports specified the contract's value as $3.85MM. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times says there's another $500K in incentives. Carroll reportedly drew interest from eight teams this winter.
Carroll hit .276/.355/.340 in 358 plate appearances with Cleveland last season, playing mostly as a second baseman but also seeing significant time at third base and in the outfield. His versatility makes him particularly attractive to the Dodgers, since they stand to lose multiple infielders to free agency and Carroll would fill any number of holes on the bench or in the starting lineup should Blake DeWitt struggle as the everyday second baseman.
Where did the cash-strapped Dodgers get the money for Carroll? Hernandez notes that the infielder's funds came from the money GM Ned Colletti saved by shipping Juan Pierre to the White Sox. Colletti quickly spent about half of the Pierre savings on Carroll.
This post has been rewritten by Tim Dierkes.
Some Saturday links:
- The Mets have yet to make an offer to John Lackey and continue to focus on Jason Bay, according to David Lennon of Newsday (via Twitter).
- Meanwhile, Jon Heyman tweets that the Mets would be willing to give Bay a five-year deal if necessary.
- Braves GM Frank Wren said the club is open to retaining Kelly Johnson at a lesser salary, he said that he would be better suited to an opportunity where he could get more at-bats, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- While Wren continues to explore other options on the open market, the club is leaving the door open for Jason Heyward to win the job in right field, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Prior to being selected by the Mets in the Rule 5 draft and sold to the Dodgers, Carlos Monasterios told Bravos de Margarita that both the Dodgers and the Tigers were in contact with him (passed along by Diamond Leung).
- The Red Sox trade of Mike Lowell to Texas has not been officially completed as Rangers officials are looking over the third baseman's thumb, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- Recently non-tendered Jack Cust could be a fit for the White Sox, writes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
- Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick told Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic that the club still has room to spend this winter.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says that barring something that's not currently on the team's radar, the second baseman job will go to Blake DeWitt plus a veteran, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America brings us the latest minor league transactions. Most notably, former Seton Hall Prep standout and Yankees' first round selection Eric Duncan has landed with the Braves.
Jon Heyman has a new column up at SI.com, so let's dive on in...
- Scott Boras said on Sunday that the Cardinals have not made any proposals in an effort to retain Matt Holliday, and Heyman says "the chances for Holliday to remain a Cardinal look slim at this point."
- A source familiar with the situation said the Angels offered John Lackey an extension earlier this year worth less than $40MM over three years on top of 2009's $10MM salary, so if they wish to re-sign him now, they'll have to completely rethink their original stance.
- The Red Sox are trying to bring Jason Bay back on a four year, $60MM deal, though his agent maintains that Bay is the "most complete player on the market."
- The Mets, Giants, Braves, Cubs, Mariners, and Yankees could also be interested in Holliday and/or Bay.
- The Mets are believed to have Holliday higher on their wish list than Bay, and are also expected to pursue Randy Wolf.
- There is speculation that Lackey would like to pitch at home in Texas, but the Rangers' interest might depend on how quickly their sale is resolved.
- Heyman says that "MLB has set a tentative Thanksgiving deadline for the sale of the Rangers, but the price tag is expected to be in the $500 million range, and in cases of such big money there are no guarantees that things will go quickly."
- Roy Halladay, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Bobby Jenks, Dan Uggla, and Milton Bradley should highlight a star studded trade market.
- Halladay seems like a good bet to be moved, while the Red Sox and Dodgers represent possible suitors for Gonzalez.
- Tampa has a replacement for Crawford in top prospect Desmond Jennings, while Jenks and Uggla would be moved in cost cutting deals.
- Teams will certainly inquire on the availability of Felix Hernandez, but Heyman says the team plans to spend the winter trying to lock him up long-term. At the GM Meetings today, GM Jack Zduriencik said "Felix is our property. We're going to have him the next two years."
- The Yankees have started to think about re-signing both Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui.
- Both the Brewers and Mariners are expected to have interest in Jarrod Washburn.
- If the Angels don't re-sign Chone Figgins, they are expected to pursue Adrian Beltre to fill their third base hole.
- The Rangers will let Hank Blalock walk as a free agent, and are expected to promote top prospect Justin Smoak next year.
- Orlando Hudson is expected to leave the Dodgers as a free agent, though Heyman says they could re-sign Ronnie Belliard to compete with Blake DeWitt at second base.
- Team officials would not be shocked if the Red Sox tried to move David Ortiz and/or Mike Lowell, though it's going to be tough to move them with all the DH-types available on the free agent market.
MLB.com's Ken Gurnick takes a look at what he figures to be an "exciting" offseason for the Dodgers. Let's go over the highlights:
- No surprise that Gurnick lists Manny Ramirez as the biggest question mark heading into 2010. Manny's 37, and while many feel he's a lock to pick up his $20MM option for 2010, Gurnick cautions not to be too sure. As Gurnick points out, Manny is as unpredictable as they come, as is his agent, Scott Boras. Gurnick reminds us of 2006, when no one thought J.D. Drew would walk away from $33MM guaranteed, but he and Boras did just that, securing more years and more dollars with the Red Sox. Additionally, Manny's told his teammates that the pounding on his legs is getting to him, and that he ought to be a designated hitter.
- The Dodgers are set to have up to $40MM come off the books this offseason, which should more than cover the arbitration raises due to Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, George Sherrill, and Hong-Chih Kuo.
- Jason Schmidt accounts for $15.5MM of that $40MM sum. Gurnick says that Schmidt is "expected to retire."
- The Dodgers did extremely well signing Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf to one-year deals last offseason, but now find themselves right back where they started, writes Gurnick, with second base and starting pitching as the biggest needs.
- Gurnick lists outfielder Jason Repko as a non-tender candidate.
- Rather than give the second base job to Blake DeWitt, Gurnick feels that an acquisition for second base is "almost a certainty."
Today was hectic, but imagine how much wilder it would have been if these two deals had gone through:
- Via Twitter, Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Padres almost dealt Heath Bell and Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers for James Loney, Russell Martin, Blake DeWitt, James McDonald and Ivan Dejesus. Wow.
- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports confirms that the division rivals considered a blockbuster deal involving those players.
- Knobler also says the Rangers and Angels both pursued Heath Bell aggressively this afternoon. The Angels and Padres were discussing Jose Arredondo, Sean O'Sullivan and Sean Rodriguez.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin says his team was involved in a "big one that didn't happen," according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The Crew also had interest in Jarrod Washburn and Brian Bannister.
- Melvin says everyone asked the Brewers for Mat Gamel and Alcides Escobar. Since the Brewers didn't want to deal either prospect and don't have the young pitching to offer rival teams, they had limited options.