Braden Looper Rumors
Links for Wednesday...
- Anthony Lerew cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A, tweets Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The Royals designated Lerew for assignment over the weekend.
- Kat O'Brien of The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote a very interesting piece about what happens in Cuba once their players defect. Said one local cab driver: "[Aroldis] Chapman doesn't exist. He never existed."
- Pirates' team president Frank Coonelly chatted with fans at MLB.com. He fielded a question about what the Pirates would do with the second overall pick in June's draft if for some reason the Nationals pass on Bryce Harper.
- The Tigers released minor leaguer Kory Casto, reports Tom Gage of The Detroit News. Casto had been signed to a minor league deal after a .271/.334/.378 performance for the Nationals' Triple A club. Baseball America ranked him fourth among Nats prospects heading into the '07 season.
- Which of Zach Duke, Paul Maholm, and Ryan Doumit is most likely to be traded this summer? Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tackles the question.
- SI's Jon Heyman speculates that the Phillies would probably have to trade Raul Ibanez to be able to retain Jayson Werth after this season.
- Adeiny Hechavarria's visa has been approved and he's headed to the U.S. to take his physical this week for the Blue Jays, tweets ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan suggests the Rays will have long-term difficulty competing, while Jonah Keri offers a rebuttal.
- Rocco Baldelli still has hopes of playing baseball, according to this FOX Sports Florida article. He's currently rehabbing a shoulder injury and working with Rays minor leaguers.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin says the Mets will not place Canadian third base prospect Shawn Bowman on waivers until they've exhausted trade possibilites.
- In search of an accurate Mariners payroll number, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times arrives at about $93MM.
- Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies explains why free agent Braden Looper would be a good fit for Colorado. On a related note, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post learned that the Rockies are not interested in Jarrod Washburn.
- Elsewhere on the "nothing brewing" front, Jim Bowden of FOX Sports tweets that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told him the team has had no discussions regarding Pedro Martinez.
There aren't many options for teams looking to sign a dependable starter, but the free agent market isn't completely barren yet. Of all the free agents remaining, only three pitchers logged more than 100 innings last year. Here's the latest on all eight starters to pitch as many as 40 innings last year (or what Roy Halladay logs in an average month):
- Braden Looper, 194.2 IP - The Dodgers are interested on a minor league deal and the D'Backs aren't likely to pursue him, despite Brandon Webb's questionable status for Opening Day.
- Jarrod Washburn, 176 IP - The Twins and Mariners seemed to lead the way for Washburn early on, but the Scott Boras client said yesterday that he doesn't expect to return to Seattle. The D'Backs don't appear likely to pursue Washburn and we haven't seen the Orioles connected to him for a month.
- Mike Hampton, 112 IP - He will miss the 2010 season after undergoing rotator cuff surgery.
- John Smoltz, 78 IP - Smoltz hasn't ruled out the Braves, but the Cardinals don't appear to have the money to sign him and the Nationals haven't spoken to him recently. Jon Heyman of SI.com says Smoltz is content to wait for the right deal, which may mean a mid-season signing.
- Bartolo Colon, 62.1 IP - The former Cy Young Award winner wants to pitch, but wasn't publicly linked to any teams this winter.
- Sidney Ponson, 58.2 IP - There has been no reported interest in Ponson this winter.
- Adam Eaton, 49 IP - There has not been interest in Eaton, either.
- Pedro Martinez 44.2 IP - The Phillies have been linked to Pedro throughout the offseason. Pedro may wait to sign in-season, as he did last year.
Some links to read with Opening Day just a month away...
- MLB.com's Peter Gammons says one suggested way to improve competitive balance is by breaking up the Yankees and Red Sox. In the scenario he presents, the Yanks and Mets would be put in one division, the Sox and Rays in another.
- Tom Tango of ESPN's The Max Info blog built a 25-man roster out of players that signed just a one-year deals this offseason, and all for under $100MM (Insider req'd).
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports thinks that agent Ron Shapiro's extended stay in Twins camp means the club is making progress on extension talks with Joe Mauer.
- The D'Backs don't appear likely to pursue Braden Looper or Jarrod Washburn, even if Brandon Webb starts the season on the DL, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
- Ben Sheets told reporters there is "zero bad blood" between him and the Brewers, his former team, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Teams are still interested in Jarrod Washburn, though he's not close to a deal, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports explains the story behind the reunion of A's GM Billy Beane and his adviser, Grady Fuson.
- The Red Sox obtained 15 of the 39 players on their 40-man roster through the draft, notes Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball in this look at the Boston club.
- Prince Fielder tells ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he isn't going to stress about his future, but he hopes to be part of the Brewers organization for 30 years.
- Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports thinks the floor for a Fielder extension might be $95MM over five years.
- Former Met and Marlin Henry Owens is auditioning for the Mets, according to Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.
- Top Marlins prospect and MLBTR reader Logan Morrison is on Twitter.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that the Reds are unlikely to make a trade unless one of their players gets hurt (Twitter link).
- Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal profiles Bryce Harper, the 17-year-old phenom who is expected to be a top pick in this year's draft.
- Fielder, also a Scott Boras client, could be up for an extension. ESPN.com's Buster Olney says many GMs emerge from initial contract negotiations with Boras thinking there's "no (expletive) way" they reach an agreement.
- Gordon Beckham tells MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he tries to ignore the trade rumors he appears in. The infielder says he wants to play for the White Sox for years.
- Bengie Molina tells Jesse Spector of the New York Daily News that he would have signed with the Mets if they had offered two years. Their one-year $5.5MM offer didn't sway him.
The Dodgers remain interested in free agent pitcher Braden Looper, but they're not willing to offer him more than a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. They would like to add the 35-year-old righty to the group of starters competing for the final spot in the team's rotation.
Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that Looper could wait for pitchers to get injured before signing (Twitter link).
Monday night linkage..
- The Tigers went from sellers to buyers this offseason, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck.
- Hank Blalock's former teammates are surprised to see him still without a job, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Earlier today we heard that the Rays and Marlins are thought to have interest in the 29-year-old.
- Pitcher Cha Seung Baek tried out for the Mariners today, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. Baek last pitched in the majors in 2008 and was released by San Diego in October of 2009.
- Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com spoke to White Sox GM Ken Williams, who said that he nearly pulled off a deal that would have possibly given the club the best rotation in the history of the game. Williams wouldn't name names, but Garfien believes that he was referring to Roy Halladay.
- Nats pitcher John Lannan has decided to part ways with agent Andrew Mongelluzzi and latch on with Brodie Van Wagenen of Creative Artists Agency, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Lannan will be arbitration-eligible after the 2010 season and become a free agent after the 2013 campaign.
- While the Dodgers remain in contact with Braden Looper's representation, the chances for a deal are slim as they cannot offer him a spot in the rotation or the salary he wants, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
- In an interview with Rob Dibble and Steve Davis, Kris Benson said that he and the Nationals were "still talking." There's been word of the Nats' interest in the 35-year-old as of late, though Benson says he's not in a rush to sign anywhere.
- Ladson writes that Washington has not had any recent conversations with John Smoltz. The Nationals are reportedly one of ten teams that have expressed interest in the 42-year-old.
- On his blog, Ladson writes that the Nationals are trying hard to add another veteran starter after striking out on Chan Ho Park and Braden Looper. It should be noted that the Nationals did not confirm extending offers to either pitcher.
Links for Monday...
- Cliff Floyd is currently doing TV work, writes Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweeted that the Nationals offered contracts to Chan Ho Park and Braden Looper. Park went with the Yankees, while Looper told the Nats he's going in a different direction.
- Orlando Hernandez is looking to get back in the game, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.
- Magglio Ordonez wants to play at least four more years, reports Tom Gage of the Detroit News.
- FOX Sports' Jim Bowden questioned Justin Upton, Theo Epstein, Jon Daniels, Dayton Moore, Kevin Goldstein, and Dave Cameron about modern statistics, and it made for an amusing video segment.
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post talked to several Nationals players about their arbitration hearings, which were not enjoyable. ESPN's Rob Neyer doesn't think it makes sense for players to attend.
- Manny Ramirez believes this is his last year with the Dodgers, reports Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.
- Duaner Sanchez signed with the Mexico City Red Devils, reports Noroeste. Though Sanchez is said to be throwing "an easy 90 mph," his shoulder is still not 100 percent. He hopes to find his way back to the bigs after being released by the Padres in May of '09. Thanks to Nick Collias for the translation.
- Jesse Lund of the Twinkie Town blog has an excellent discussion with Twins assistant GM Rob Antony. Antony provided details on the J.J. Hardy trade talks, and also noted that the Kevin Kouzmanoff rumors were "a little blown out of proportion."
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post doesn't buy the idea that the pressure will be off for Javier Vazquez as the Yankees #4 starter.
- Regarding catcher A.J. Pierzynski entering his contract year, White Sox GM Kenny Williams told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, "At some point, we'll check in with A.J. and his guys on expectations."
- The Diamondbacks offered Dominican shortstop Edward Salcedo around $1MM, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
A pair of Cleveland Plain Dealer writers address the latest Indians-related news in their recent pieces. Paul Hoynes fields readers' questions in a mailbag, while Terry Pluto talks Tribe in an all-Cleveland article. Here are a few highlights:
- Pluto describes Cleveland's lack of consistency as the main reason why ownership reduced the team's payroll for 2010. The bump in player salaries following a strong 2007 season didn't result in on-field success over the last two years. As a result, the Indians will field one of the league's least expensive teams this season, after their 2009 payroll started around the middle of the pack.
- Pluto also says that Chris Antonetti's promotion to GM comes as no surprise, since Antonetti has been handling many of the GM duties for the last year.
- When asked if the Indians should have pursued a pitcher instead of signing Russell Branyan, Hoynes notes that Jarrod Washburn and Braden Looper were likely out of the Tribe's price range, though the club at least had interest in Washburn.
- Unless they could decisively upgrade their current rotation, the Indians thought that adding offense provided the better value, according to Hoynes.
- Hoynes finds it unlikely that the Indians will be able to move Kerry Wood or Travis Hafner this season. Their bloated contracts are only one part of the problem, since neither player enjoyed a strong 2009 campaign.
The Orioles have some interest in Jarrod Washburn, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. However, Morosi's source says that Scott Boras would have to lower his client's price "pretty far" for the Orioles to become serious bidders for Washburn.
Links for Monday...
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy posts an unofficial list of Brewers' players who are out of options. Joe Inglett and George Kottaras appear to be the players most on the bubble.
- In a mailbag, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat says that the Cubs are still looking for righthanded relief help.
- MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince explains that Grady Sizemore's 2012 club option becomes a player option if traded. He also notes that the Indians are not in on Felipe Lopez.
- Braden Looper will not settle for a low base salary or a minor league deal, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Biz of Baseball now has Opening Day and year-end payroll data by team.
- Giants president Larry Baer mentioned MLBTR in a recent KNBR interview with Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN believes it's possible the Orioles will trade Ty Wigginton. Wiggy has $3.5MM coming in 2010.
- Benjamin Kabak of River Ave. Blues ponders the benefits of the Yankees bringing Gary Sheffield back on a minor league deal.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs would like the Mariners to spend a few million on Jarrod Washburn, provided he'd be willing to pitch out of the bullpen when Erik Bedard is ready.
- ESPN's Tim Kurkjian explains why the Reds should sign Johnny Damon.