Boston Red Sox Rumors

Boston Red Sox trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Latest On Phillies: Hamels, Papelbon, Utley

The Phillies are honing in on a decision on lefty Cole Hamels, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com writes. There is at least some consideration being given to holding onto Hamels, per the report.

“This isn’t do-or-die for us,” says GM Ruben Amaro Jr. “In the end, it’s about, ‘What is the return?’ and, ‘Is this the right return?’ If it is, we’ll move forward. And if it’s not, we won’t.” 

There are about six clubs still in talks with Philadelphia on the club’s staff ace, per Stark. But sources from other teams indicate that they believe the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Rangers are most likely to land him. We heard yesterday that the Astros were also still in the mix, along with Los Angeles and Texas.

Regarding the interest of the Dodgers, Stark says that Philly has asked for as many as six quality prospects in a package that would not include top youngsters Corey Seager and Julio Urias. While Los Angeles won’t give up that volume, per the report, the industry consensus is that the Dodgers are in the lead.

As for the Cubs, rival executives tell Stark that Chicago is offering a deal centered around Starlin Castro and/or Javier Baez (though it’s unclear whether both would conceivably be included together). But Philadelphia is not enthused about either player. The Red Sox, meanwhile, just sent top evaluator Allard Baird to watch Hamels throw and obviously have a stacked farm from which to deal. While they (like the Rangers) don’t really profile as a traditional buyer, Boston could still act with the future in mind.

Stark goes on to discuss some other, less likely suitors as well as the impact of the team’s upper-level front office transition on trade talks. It’s a lengthy and information-packed piece that you’ll want to read in full for all the latest on Hamels.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia is obviously also listening to offers for closer Jonathan Papelbon. According to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter), however, the Phillies are having trouble gaining “traction” on a deal. Papelbon’s $13MM option for next year, which is all but certain to vest at this point, “remains a sticking point,” per the report. Stark also adds (on Twitter) that, despite prior interest, the Blue Jays, Cubs, and Dodgers are not presently involved with talks regarding the reliever.

Meanwhile, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com provides an update on veteran second baseman Chase Utley, who says he is progressing as he works his way back from a sprained right ankle. As Salisbury notes, Utley could profile as an August trade piece if he can return to health and show increased productivity. While Philadelphia rebuffed the Dodgers and Marlins last winter when they asked about Utley, explaining that he was not interested in waiving his no-trade protection, Salisbury says that the 36-year-old “seems to have softened his position” on being dealt since that time.


East Notes: Mets, Zobrist, Smoker, Jays, Papelbon, Red Sox, Smyly

Here’s the latest out of baseball’s eastern divisions:

  • New York remains in contact with the Athletics on the versatile Ben Zobrist, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports. The fit is obvious, and the teams have long said to be in contact, but Ackert says that things have progressed to the point that Oakland has made a specific prospect ask. Nevertheless, no deal is imminent, per the report.
  • The Mets are loath to part with outfielder Michael Conforto or shortstop Amed Rosario to add a bat, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears (Twitter link), echoing a recent report. But the team is still certainly after a hitter, as Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets that Michael Cuddyer‘s injury situation has led to a “seismic[] shift[]” in the ballclub’s deadline approach. We had heard earlier in the summer that the team was interested in offense even before Cuddyer’s knee troubles worsened, but at the time the focus seemed more on the infield.
  • Lefty Josh Smoker has opened eyes in the Mets organization, Mike Puma of the New York Post notes on Twitter. The 26-year-old was a first-round pick of the Nationals, but never gained much traction. Now, he’s said to be bringing big heat at Double-A and could be a candidate to see time in the New York pen.
  • The Blue Jays are primarily focused on adding a starter and are not presently discussing reliever Jonathan Papelbon with the Phillies, Heyman adds on Twitter. It could be that Toronto is allowing the development of its rotation plans drive the bus on whether (and how) it acts on the relief market.
  • The Red Sox have already made some moves focused on giving MLB time to younger players, notes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, who argues that Boston ought to do more of the same the rest of the way. One forward-looking deadline move, says Lauber, would be to resume pursuit of Cole Hamels, who per the report would not be inclined to trigger his no-trade clause just because an acquiring team is not in contention.
  • Rays lefty Drew Smyly is making good on reports indicating that he’d try to throw again, as Josh Vitale of the Charlotte Sun reports (Twitter links). After emerging from a 40-pitch live BP feeling well, Smyly says he’s hopeful of beginning a rehab stint soon. It remains to be seen how long he’ll take to work back to the big leagues, particularly with Tampa Bay likely to exercise quite a bit of caution with an important asset.

NL East Notes: C. Johnson, K. Johnson, Parra, deGrom, Prado

The Braves have been determined to deal away Chris Johnson for some time, and the third baseman tells MLB.com’s Mark Bowman that he hopes to find a new home. “I’ve been called in the manager’s office,” said Johnson. “[Manager Fredi Gonzalez] has told me they are trying to move me. I want to be moved, and they want to move me. Hopefully, something gets done.”While saying he’s enjoyed his time in Atlanta, Johnson emphasized that he is interested in receiving a better opportunity for playing time elsewhere. Obviously, the Braves are looking to shave off as much of Johnson’s contract as possible. Under the extension he signed early in the 2014 campaign, he is due roughly $19.99MM (including $2.52MM for this season and the buyout of a 2018 option).

A bit more on the Braves and their division…

  • Kelly Johnson has parlayed a minor league deal into a critical role on the Braves, writes David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Johnson credits first-year hitting coach Kevin Seitzer with helping him to shorten his swing and improve his overall approach at the plate. Of course, as a veteran on a one-year deal with a losing team, Johnson’s name may pop up over the next few days as a trade candidate; I listed him and three others Braves when looking at the trade market for third basemen earlier today.
  • The Mets continue to be intrigued by Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. They’re also looking at Justin Upton and Carlos Gomez, though multiple reporters (most recently Marc Carig of Newsday, who also reported interest in Parra late last week) have characterized that type of high profile acquisition as a long shot. Parra, Heyman notes, is drawing quite a bit of interest around the league.
  • Peter Gammons relays an anecdote from the 2012 trade deadline that could have vastly reshaped the current state of two franchises. When the Red Sox and Mets were discussing a trade for veteran catcher Kelly Shoppach, Boston initially asked about right-hander Jacob deGrom, who had recently undergone surgery. (deGrom was never projected to become the ace that he presently is, of course, and he had just undergone surgery.) However, after talking it over with his minor league evaluators, GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets passed. The two sides eventually lined up on a deal that sent right-hander Pedro Beato to Boston.
  • Marlins third baseman Martin Prado tells Zach Buchanan and Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic that he’s not concerned with the possibility that he could be traded for the third time in the past year. Prado says there’s no sense in thinking, “Oh my goodness, this is going to happen again,” and he’s instead focused on helping his teammates out. He’s candid when addressing the current state of the Marlins, however. “We’re in a pretty bad situation here,” says Prado. “I’m just trying to bring good energy for my teammates and my team. That’s all I can do right now.”


AL East Deadline Notes: Jays, Sox, Yankees, Rays

Blue Jays fans are watching the coming trade deadline with as much anticipation as any group of supporters, as GM Alex Anthopoulos has spoken quite a bit about the club’s intention to look hard at making impactful additions. As Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca writes, it’s worth considering the club’s summer trade history both to gain some insight into how the organization operates and to better appreciate the reasonable expectations. Toronto faces a “tricky time,” says Davidi, who provides a lengthy overview of past deals. Likewise, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal breaks down the recent deadline work of Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, who faces tough questions as his club has stumbled coming out of the All-Star break.

Here’s more from the AL East:

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman indicated that he does not expect to strike a major deal this summer, as Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports. “I would predict it more likely not doing anything than doing something significant,” Cashman said. “We’re making our phone calls, talking to all clubs involved. We’ve practically analyzed everything.” In addition to citing his belief in the club’s current options, Cashman said that the “the acquisition costs might be prohibitive or that unicorn might not exist.”
  • Going into further detail, Cashman indicated that the Yankees are unlikely to go get a big-time arm to add to their staff, as Feinsand further reports“Are there available starters that are better? Yes, but the acquisitions cost are certain players that I have no intention of moving at this stage,” Cashman said. “I would say the smarter play would be to hold off on shooting any of those particular bullets.”
  • Neither do the Yankees seem likely to be aggressive in attempting to upgrade at second base. Cashman said that the infield market was particularly thin, noting that it was hard even to identify available options that could theoretically provide better production than incumbent Stephen Drew. Cashman also addressed the decision to send down young second baseman Rob Refsnyder, saying he preferred that approach to designating another player for assignment. “I can get Refsnyder back,” he said. “As we approach the trade deadline, I think it’s better to have all assets in play to give us as much flexibility as we can have.”
  • Rays owner Stuart Sternberg indicated that his club will also likely rely primarily on internal options rather than making a deadline splash, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports“People say, ‘Buyer? Seller?’ It will be no different than we’ve done in years past,” said Sternberg. “I think we’re in almost precisely the same spot we’ve been in every year since ’08. Which is, we’re close, we feel we have a really good team. We’d like to see our team on the field all at once. And we’ll try to be opportunistic.” Though the team has obviously scuffled of late, and will be prepared to sell if it falls too far back, the Tampa Bay owner said he hopes to remain in contention and believes the current roster is good enough — especially with players returning from injury — to stay in the mix.

Red Sox Designate Sandy Leon For Assignment

The Red Sox have designated catcher Sandy Leon for assignment in order to clear space on the active roster for Blake Swihart, manager John Farrell told reporters, including WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford (Twitter link). According to Farrell, the Sox are looking for more offense out of the catcher position. Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald tweets that while Swihart will play more than a standard backup, Ryan Hanigan will still be Boston’s primary backstop.

Boston acquired the 26-year-old Leon from the Nationals in exchange for cash considerations during Spring Training. As an out of options player — which was part of the reason he was acquired in the first place — there was no way for the Sox to send him down in exchange for Swihart without removing him from the 40-man roster.

Leon has split time behind the plate this season with both Hanigan and Swihart, but he’s struggled with the bat. In 102 plate appearances, Leon’s batted just .180/.247/.191 with a double serving as his lone extra-base hit this year. Leon, however, has gunned down an outstanding 56 percent of opposing base stealers (9 of 16), though he’s been a bit below average in terms of framing, per Baseball Prospectus and StatCorner.com.


Gammons On Red Sox, Padres, Reds, Zobrist, Hamels, Relievers

In his latest column at GammonsDaily.com, legendary journalist Peter Gammons writes that while we often get caught up in the fascination of which big names will be dealt, the best moves oftentimes look incremental at first glance. The Cubs’ acquisition of Jake Arrieta in 2013’s Scott Feldman trade wasn’t one of the most notable moves that year, but it’s been a coup for Chicago. Likewise, the three-team deal that sent Jose Iglesias to Detroit, Avisail Garcia/Frankie Montas to the White Sox and Jake Peavy to Boston was notable, but the impact of the deal looks far greater now than it did at the time. The Indians’ acquisition of Corey Kluber from the Padres in a three-team deal that sent Jake Westbrook to St. Louis and Ryan Ludwick to San Diego didn’t look particularly exciting, either, and the Giants have had huge success with additions like Javier Lopez and Marco Scutaro. All are good examples to keep in mind when looking at any trade that occurs over the next 11 days.

Some highlights from the rumors and rumblings that Gammons hears as the trade deadline nears…

  • The Red Sox were optimistic coming out of the break, but their offensive woes through two games have the team wondering about selling pieces of value from the big league roster. At the same time, however, the Sox haven’t ruled out Johnny Cueto or Cole Hamels. A Cueto acquisition seems particularly contradictory, given his status as a rental. However, Gammons notes that the Sox have considered the move, thinking that he could help them make a run and that a rental might give them an inside edge on signing him in free agency. Gammons is the second journalist to mention this today, as WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford offered a similar take earlier.
  • The Padres were taking bids on pending free agents during the All-Star break, but they’re wondering if improved pitching can carry them into relevancy late in the year. The Padres had an ERA over 4.00 as a team each month but are sitting at 2.93 through 113 2/3 July innings. It’s a small sample, of course, but the team’s talented rotation has underperformed for much of the year. (A suspect defensive alignment can’t have helped matters, of course.)
  • The Reds are the “primary seller to watch,” says Gammons, and as one GM points out, it’ll be somewhat unfamiliar territory for the club. “It’s not easy for them,” the GM told Gammons. “Walt Jocketty has been so successful over the years, he hasn’t had much experience with the sell mode. [Owner Bob] Castellini has been reluctant to pack it in.”
  • The Red Sox may have at one point discussed Cueto, but Gammons writes that the Astros are presently willing to rent the Cincinnati ace. The Royals could be in that boat as well, he adds.
  • Jeff Samardzija is another big rental name on the market, and while the White Sox are hesitant to sell, they expect him to test free agency and know that the Astros and Blue Jays are willing to rent. Gammons adds that the Blue Jays, in particular, have also expressed interest in both Ian Kennedy of the Padres and Mike Leake of the Reds.
  • The Dodgers make the most sense for Hamels, and while multiple reports have indicated that they won’t part with Corey Seager or Julio Urias, Gammons hears that they may be hesitant to move prospects in their next tier. Los Angeles is reluctant to part with either right-hander Jose De Leon or catcher Austin Barnes, per Gammons. An NL GM called Phillies president-in-waiting Andy MacPhail a “cautious, prudent trader” and noted that unlike Samardzija, Cueto, Leake, Kennedy and Scott Kazmir, Hamels doesn’t have to be traded right now.
  • The Royals, Nationals, Cubs, Mets, Yankees and Pirates are all in the mix for Ben Zobrist at this time.
  • Another GM told Gammons that there are “at least 16 teams” that are pursuing bullpen help. The BravesJim Johnson is drawing quite a bit of interest, with the Blue Jays and Red Sox among the teams to reach out to Atlanta for the purpose of inquiry.

Pitching Notes: Hamels, Cueto, Kazmir, Haren

While some have speculated that Cole Hamels is pitching with an injury following a disastrous pair of starts (14 runs in 6 2/3 innings), ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweets that other clubs don’t believe there to be a physical issue with the Phillies‘ ace. One NL exec told Stark that he didn’t buy it. “If he was iffy, they wouldn’t put him out there. He’s too valuable,” Stark was told. Here’s a look at the latest pertaining to Hamels and the rest of the trade market for starting pitchers…

  • The newest column from Joel Sherman of the New York Post follows up on a pair of tweets from last Friday in which he stated that it was surprising how many execs feel that Hamels won’t be traded at all this season. Many feel that Phillies president-to-be Andy MacPhail will want to hire a more robust analytics department to weigh in on the trade and wouldn’t want a “lame-duck GM” to have final say on such a franchise-altering trade. According to Sherman, if there’s one team that’s considered the in-season front-runner for Hamels, though, it’s the Dodgers. Other clubs are wary of taking on Hamels’ entire deal and parting with prospects, but the deep-pocketed Dodgers don’t have as great a concern. (Hamels’ remaining money following the 2015 season, in fact, is nearly identical to the remaining amount on the contract of Zack Greinke, who is a lock to opt out of his deal.) The Dodgers, however, aren’t willing to part with top prospects Corey Seager or Julio Urias. Sherman also discusses Johnny Cueto in his column, noting that one AL exec told him, “Cueto is getting traded. That’s a fact.”
  • Rob Bradford of WEEI.com hears that despite the Red Sox‘ desire to acquire young arms that are cost-controlled beyond 2015, the team does still have some degree of interest in both Cueto and Hamels. The Sox would likely only be interested in Cueto, a rental, if the Reds were more attracted to the prospects that Boston would offer than the Yankees, says Bradford. They’d have to feel the price was right, and as he notes, that’s unlikely. As for Hamels, Bradford characterizes a deal as a “long shot” but notes that other teams are highly unwilling to part with the type of arms that the Sox presently covet. For what it’s worth, Bradford writes that despite Hamels’ recent struggles, he isn’t injured.
  • Scott Kazmir turned in a dominant effort against the Twins on Saturday, easing a good deal of the worry that stemmed from a previous exit to a start after three innings. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes, one AL scout told her: “I saw what I needed to see. He did everything. He worked out of trouble. He worked deep into the game.” Perhaps more interestingly, Slusser hears that the Athletics would prefer to acquire Triple-A prospects in exchange for Kazmir. It would seem that GM Billy Beane, then, is hoping to acquire players that can contribute to his club immediately, or at least in the near-term, as he has so often done in the past. (Jeff Todd and I have previously discussed that very trend in Beane’s trades on the MLBTR Podcast.)
  • Marlins manager Dan Jennings said in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM today that Dan Haren has been drawing interest (Twitter links). Jenning said he fully expects Haren’s next start to be heavily scouted and added that Haren is “certainly someone teams have been asking about.” A full-scale fire sale seems unlikely in Miami, however, as Jennings also said, “if there are moves to be made, it will not be a total reset.”
  • Earlier today, it was reported that the White Sox are now in “listening mode,” with Jeff Samardzija being the most likely member of the club to depart via trade.

Phillies Notes: Hamels, Revere, Giles

Phillies lefty Cole Hamels had a rough outing on Sunday but he insists that he’s healthy, as Todd Zolecki of MLB.com writes. He also says he’s not worried about how his recent outings may impact his value.  “I think my track record speaks for itself,” the Phillies ace said. “But sometimes you can get yourself in a rut and you’ve got to get yourself out, and sometimes you get on a hot streak and you can go for months, so it’s just being able to start back over and see what I can do from the first pitch.”

Here’s more related to Hamels and the Phillies:

  • People around baseball are wondering if there’s something wrong with Hamels, Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweets. In his last two outings, Hamels has thrown a combined 6.1 innings while allowing 14 runs, 20 hits, and two walks. Hamels has a history of minor elbow and shoulder injuries. He missed a few starts earlier this season with a hamstring strain. For what it’s worth, his velocity has remained consistent through his recent plunge. A decline in velocity is often a leading indicator of injury.
  • The Red Sox sent VP Allard Baird to scout Hamels today, reports Gordon Edes of ESPN. Unfortunately, today’s outing probably didn’t provide much useful information for potential suitors. In my opinion, the Red Sox may not be the best positioned to acquire Hamels. On the fringe of the AL East pennant race, Boston is on Hamels’ limited no-trade list. It’s unclear if he would waive his no-trade protection to join the Sox if they fall farther out of the race.
  • In addition to the Red Sox, the Dodgers, Orioles, Rangers, and Cubs had scouts in attendance for Hamels’ start, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Angels were also present, but they were said to be scouting hitters.
  • Outfielder Ben Revere understands he could be traded in the next few days, writes Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He admits that anxiety increases as the trade deadline approaches. Revere, 27, is hitting .297/.336/.377 with a career high .080 ISO. It wouldn’t shock me if the Phillies kept Revere. None of the current contenders are said to be looking for a speedy outfielder, so most teams probably view him as a tertiary target. I could see him filling a role similar to that of Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson. However, with his huge range in the outfield and reliable offensive production, he can be of some benefit to the Phillies as they break in a new generation of pitchers.
  • Ken Giles is prepared to step in as closer, writes Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phillies are widely expected to trade All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon in the next couple weeks. Giles ticks all the prerequisites of the modern closer. His fastball touches 100 mph, and he also features a wipeout slider. In his brief major league career, he has a 1.46 ERA, 11.99 K/9, and 2.92 BB/9 in 86 innings. For those looking to keep up to date on all closer news, check out @CloserNews on Twitter.

AL Rumors: Axford, Hamels, Red Sox

It’s been almost one year since the trade that sent Tommy Milone from the A’s to the Twins and the deal has suited the hurler well, Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com writes.  Through eleven starts this season with Minnesota, Milone owns a 2.84 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.  Milone didn’t demand a trade from Oakland, but he did politely request one.

It wasn’t like a ‘Here, trade me type thing,’” Milone said. “Obviously it wasn’t something that was supposed to be (public). It’s just one of those things that if they felt there wasn’t a spot open up here, then I’d like to see if there’s an opportunity elsewhere. And I guess it presented itself with Sam Fuld being available. It’s kind of bittersweet to leave after a few years of being here, leaving some of the guys and the coaching staff. But there was an opportunity.”

Here’s more from the AL..

  • The Tigers are among the teams that have inquired on Rockies reliever John Axford, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.  However, at this point, it’s far from a certainty that the Tigers will be buyers.  The Tigers are 45-46 after today’s loss against the Orioles.  Here’s more from the American League..
  • The Red Sox, as expected, were on hand for Cole Hamels‘ Sunday start and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that there was a high-ranking scout there to watch the Phillies ace.  Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter) noted that it might be hard to gauge Hamels as the Marlins are missing Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, and Michael Morse.   Even with Miami at less than 100% strength, Hamels didn’t have a great showing, allowing five runs on eight hits in three innings of work.
  • A scout at today’s game told Crasnick (on Twitter) that Hamels “looked hot..and not very interested in being out there.”  Of course, that’s somewhat understandable to those of us in the Northeast today.
  • Manager John Gibbons told reporters that Aaron Sanchez will pitch in relief when he returns to the Blue Jays later this week, Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star tweets.   One might speculate that Sanchez being slotted in the bullpen might be a sign that Toronto intends on acquiring a starter between now and the deadline.  Sanchez will make one relief appearance in Triple-A before joining the Blue Jays’ bullpen.

Cafardo On Wright, Puig, Red Sox, Angels

In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe backed Commissioner Rob Manfred’s optimism about possibly expanding.  The last time baseball expanded was in 1998 with the additions of the Rays and D’Backs and Cafardo feels that MLB is due.  Manfred recently acknowledged there’s been interest from a few cities, including Montreal (former home of the Expos), Charlotte, and Portland.  Cafardo goes on to list other potential spots for expansion franchises, including Vancouver, Las Vegas, Nashville, northern New Jersey, and Brooklyn.  Of course, with those last two, there are obvious territorial issues to consider.  Here’s more from today’s column..

  • If third baseman David Wright doesn’t look like himself when he comes back or if he doesn’t come back at all in 2015, the Mets will give some thoughts to acquiring a pair of hitters.  One of those players, Cafardo writes, would likely be a shortstop.  There’s currently a feeling in the organization that the Mets will make a move for a hitter in the coming days with pitcher Jon Niese being the outgoing asset.
  • There is more and more talk of Yasiel Puig losing popularity with his Dodgers teammates, a major league source tells Cafardo.  Puig was once viewed an untouchable player because of his talent, but the new regime does not feel that way at this time. Cafardo wonders aloud if they would move the slugger for a pitcher and pondered him as a match in a Cole Hamels deal with the Phillies.
  • There’s “a buzz in the ownership/management community” that chairman Tom Werner could be more involved in the Red Sox‘s day-to-day operations, with president and CEO Larry Lucchino being less involved. Werner’s pace-of-play ideas have worked out well so far and he is being viewed as a more influential figure both in Boston and throughout the game.  There have been rumblings of Lucchino losing power in Boston for some time now.
  • Former Padres skipper Bud Black has a great relationship with owner Arte Moreno and manager Mike Scioscia and Cafardo feels that talk of him becoming the Angels‘ GM bears watching.
  • Meanwhile, Angels assistant GM Matt Klentak, he writes, may get strong consideration from both the Angels and the Phillies.  He worked for Andy MacPhail in baseball’s Labor Relations Department, so he has an in with Philly.  MLBTR wrote that Klentak was a strong GM candidate all the way back in 2011.