Boof Bonser Rumors
FRIDAY: La Velle E. Neal III has an update on this one - he says a Twins official shot it down. He hasn't heard anything other relievers linked to the Twins.
TUESDAY: According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, the Twins inquired on Rangers reliever Joaquin Benoit. Sullivan says the Twins are willing to trade Boof Bonser. I suppose this could have appeal to the Rangers in that Bonser could be a rotation candidate.
Benoit, 31, posted a 5.00 ERA in 45 innings this year while battling shoulder issues. He's set to earn $3.5MM plus games finished incentives in '09 before becoming eligible for free agency. Bonser is under team control through 2012.
6:38pm: Phil Miller says the Twins' young pitching is quite popular at the Meetings.
12:04pm: The latest from La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
- The Twins have discussed Kevin Kouzmanoff, Ty Wigginton, and Jorge Cantu internally. It's not known whether they've actually inquired.
- Jack Wilson is still on the Twins' radar.
- Several teams have asked about Boof Bonser.
Taking a look back at this week's happenings here on MLBTR...
- The biggest move of the month was the Diamondbacks' acquisition of slugger Adam Dunn for Dallas Buck, Micah Owings, and Wilkin Castillo. I can't remember any August trades of this magnitude.
- Bronson Arroyo told the media Dunn would be seeking over $100MM this offseason; Dunn denied the report wholeheartedly. I'd be surprised to see him get $100MM, but I also certainly don't think it would be the worst signing we've seen in the past few offseasons.
- The Red Sox acquired Paul Byrd from the Indians. Boston will pay the remaining portion of Byrd's salary. Byrd has been very good lately, and you can never have too much pitching depth. Not a bad move for Boston, in my opinion.
- The Twins were very active in discussions this week, though nothing surfaced as of yet. Minnesota claimed Jarrod Washburn off waivers from Seattle, but a deal wasn't worked out. Boof Bonser and salary relief was originally thought to be the offer, but that report was later denied. Passing a chance to unload Washburn's salary makes no sense to me. The Twins also claimed Alan Embree from Oakland, but he was pulled back.
- Freddy Garcia signed a minor-league contact with the Tigers. They must have liked what they saw at his audition. If he can return to be as effective as he was in his Chicago days, that would be a great signing. Nice low-risk move for Detroit.
- We've seen a lot of teams signing their young talent to long-term deals, but it looks like San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum will not be one of them. He'd prefer to go year-to-year.
- Minor moves happening around baseball: The Reds DFA'd David Ross, the Blue Jays released Shannon Stewart, and the Twins signed Bobby Kielty to a minor-league deal. The Giants DFA'd Jose Castillo, and Richie Sexson's time in New York was cut short when he was released after just 35 plate appearances. The Rockies added another arm, signing Oscar Villareal.
- And now, for the draft-pick signings! Here are all the signings and not-signings teams made with their top picks this week: The White Sox signed Gordon Beckham, the Orioles signed Brian Matusz, the Padres signed Allan Dykstra, the Rangers signed Justin Smoak, the Giants signed Buster Posey, the Pirates signed Pedro Alvarez, the Royals signed Eric Hosmer, and the Reds not only signed Yonder Alonso, but Venezuelan outfielder Yorman Rodriguez as well. The Nationals failed to sign Aaron Crow, and the Yankees failed to sign Gerrit Cole.
- And to cap things off, since we just covered a bunch of guys who probably weren't even alive when Jamie Moyer first started pitching in the Majors... he didn't deny the possibility of pitching until he's 50. He's 45 right now with 11 wins and an ERA of 3.64, who knows?
8:42pm: Hold the phone - John Hickey says Bonser's name never came up in the Washburn talks. Jim Street and Larry Stone agree. The criticism of the Mariners may be somewhat unjustified. Hickey says Nick Blackburn was on the table for a very brief period of time. Lee Pelekoudas was tight-lipped on the topic.
4:52pm: Even Washburn can't believe the Mariners wouldn't trade him for Bonser. He's disappointed the trade didn't go through. Perhaps a new GM will deal him this winter.
FRIDAY, 12:19pm: Joe Christensen has details on the Twins' uncharacteristic claim of Washburn. He heard they offered the Mariners Boof Bonser (plus apparently the salary relief), but the Ms wanted someone like Nick Blackburn or Kevin Slowey. It is hard to see this as anything but a blunder for the Mariners' front office.
On a related note, Scott Miller says Lee Pelekoudas will not become the Mariners' permanent GM, while Jon Heyman says Kevin Towers is unlikely. Pat Gillick is still rumored as a possibility for the next team president.
11:48pm: Baker says the Twins put in claims on both Washburn and Ibanez, but only won the Washburn one. With Washburn, the Twins would've put him in the rotation and moved a starter to the setup man role. Baker notes that a deal still could happen.
4:58pm: SI.com's Jon Heyman says the Twins won the Washburn claim and the Tigers won the Ibanez claim. The Red Sox and Mets also put in claims on Ibanez. Interesting on both fronts, but no deals were struck so both players will remain with the Mariners.
Heyman says that while the Twins' Washburn claim had the flavor of a blocking move, the two teams did have trade discussions. There wasn't really anyone to block, unless the White Sox were lying about their lack of interest.
4:56pm: The Cardinals did not put in a claim on Washburn, according to Derrick Goold.
3:00pm: Geoff Baker expects that the Mariners will hold onto Ibanez, given the compensatory picks they'll receive this winter. He further speculates that Washburn's next start will not be for Seattle.
9:57am: Geoff Baker confirms both players have been informed they've been placed on waivers. He sees the Jays, Red Sox, and Rays as possible AL claimants for Ibanez. Buster Olney considers the Twins a possibility as well. There seems little chance Ibanez would slip to the NL. Baker and Olney also heard an unconfirmed rumor that the Cardinals claimed Washburn.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Mariners players Jarrod Washburn and Raul Ibanez were claimed on waivers yesterday. The Ms have until tomorrow afternoon to work out a deal with the claiming teams. Rosenthal says the Yankees did not claim Washburn.
At the least, the Mariners have a chance to unload Washburn's contract. Ibanez is inexpensive, so they'll want quality prospects in return. The Mariners can also elect to keep both players if they don't like the offers.
The American League received first crack at the two Mariners, in the following order (omitting non-contenders):
- Blue Jays
- White Sox
- Red Sox
- A friend pointed out to me how strange it is that the Twins were willing to take on Jarrod Washburn's salary and give up Boof Bonser but chose to trade Johan Santana before the season. If Bill Smith could go back in time, would he still make that deal?
- A Gary Sheffield acquisition by the Rays is "unlikely but not impossible," according to one Buster Olney source.
- As expected, Jason Kendall's option for '09 vested. He's off the list!
- The Rangers were willing to trade Gerald Laird and a solid prospect to the Marlins for Chris Volstad.
- The Padres are wavering on Brian Giles' 2009 option. Scott Miller also wonders if they'll be able to take on Trevor Hoffman for another year.
- Miller says the Marlins had a deal for Manny Ramirez worked out, but the commissioner's office killed it because the Marlins would've been getting draft picks rather than a second player. Manny would've vetoed it anyway.
- Rob Neyer thinks the Yankees will exceed a $200MM payroll if need be next year.
- There seems a good chance Randy Johnson pitches next year.
- Randy Winn and Bengie Molina may be traded this winter.
- Missed this one from Monday - the White Sox acquired reliever Franklyn German from the Pirates for a player to be named later.
La Velle E. Neal III and Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune have the latest Twins buzz.
- The Twins would like to trade Boof Bonser to make room for Francisco Liriano. The Giants and Rangers might be interested.
- Targets for the Twins: relief help, third base, and second base.
- Talks for Adrian Beltre are not dead. The Mariners are eyeing Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, and Denard Span. The Twins aren't biting. Sounds like the Mariners want a premium arm for Beltre from the Twins or Giants, but those teams see it as more of a salary dump.
- The Twins asked about Brian Roberts but couldn't get anywhere.
- The Rays might be looking at Craig Monroe as a bench option.
According to Bob Dutton of the KC Star, the Twins are in the market for a second baseman. Alexi Casilla has a serious thumb injury. Dutton mentions Mark Grudzielanek, Rich Aurilia, and Brian Roberts as possibilities. Roberts, however, may be off the market. Dutton says the Twins could use Boof Bonser and Craig Monroe as bait.
Here's a look at the trade market for second basemen.
New collection of rumors from ESPN's Jayson Stark...
- The Twins have asked the Giants about Rich Aurilia. They've been dangling Boof Bonser for a position player; would they trade him back to San Francisco for Aurilia?
- On the Phillies' radar: John Grabow, Will Ohman, Arthur Rhodes, and Jack Taschner.
- A Brian Fuentes trade remains doubtful.
- The White Sox will trade Orlando Cabrera for the right pitcher. The Sox aren't generating much interest in their prospects.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has Rangers rumors for us today.
- Wilson sums up the suitors for catcher Gerald Laird: Yankees, Reds, Marlins, and Brewers. The Giants could also jump in if they trade Bengie Molina. Wilson heard that the Rangers are not shopping Laird, though.
- The Rangers inquired on three pitchers recently: Zack Greinke of the Royals, Boof Bonser of the Twins, and Nick Masset of the White Sox. Greinke would be near-impossible to pry loose, though Chris Davis would be an interesting offer.
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 10:50am: LaVelle E. Neal III and Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune looked into both of these rumors, and found nothing.
FROM 11-27-07 at 10:25pm:
We have seen some Unfounded Rumors come to fruition in the past; you never know. No insult is intended towards the originators of these, but they are reports I have not been able to verify. I know most of you just want rumors any way you can get them.
- DRays Bay has some chatter about a possible Boof Bonser to Tampa Bay deal. Apparently quotes from Bonser himself played a part in this one, though Marc Topkin isn't buying it.
- Over at Minor League Ball, a person posted about a rumor heard on a California radio station: Justin Morneau to the Angels for Ervin Santana and Casey Kotchman. This one has zero verification but it's rapidly making its way around the Internet today.
So there you go, a couple of Unfounded Rumors to mull over this evening.