Brandon League Rumors
Some baseball people believe the Mariners are willing to trade closer Brandon League, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, and sources say several teams have reached out to Seattle to express interest.
The Dodgers checked in on League during the Winter Meetings, according to the report, although their interest is not believed to be serious at this point.
The Mariners' decision to trade League may be held up by their possible negotiations with Prince Fielder, according to the report, as it could be hard to sell Fielder that they're serious about building a contender while simultaneously trading away a useful veteran coming off his best season.
League, 28, is a projected free agent after the 2012 season. He's eligible for arbitration for the fourth (he's a Super Two) and final time this offseason and is in line to make $4.2MM through that process, according to MLBTR's projected arbitration salaries. He has been a possible trade candidate since popping up in rumors prior to last season's non-waiver trade deadline, although Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said earlier this offseason that a trade was "not likely at all."
The Blue Jays, Twins, and Marlins added closers in recent days, and it's not clear whether the remaining teams with ninth inning openings are willing to spend big. The latest on several closers...
- There is "no interest" from Madson or Rodriguez in accepting arbitration, tweets Peter Gammons of MLB Network. However, one agent believes that if the Red Sox trade for Andrew Bailey, which is a "real possibility," Madson and K-Rod could be in trouble, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
- The Angels are interested in trading for Seattle's Brandon League, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Angels have also expressed interest in free agents Todd Coffey and Jason Isringhausen, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times, but they probably won't move on a reliever until C.J. Wilson decides what to do.
- There's lots of buzz that Ryan Madson and Francisco Rodriguez could accept arbitration with the Phillies and Brewers, respectively, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. I still think Scott Boras will advise both to decline tomorrow night.
- The Rockies are willing to eat all of Huston Street's $8MM salary for prospects, tweets Stark. He says the Padres are a possibility. Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link) hears the Rockies would take on some "but not all" of Street's salary.
- Stark confirms yesterday's rumor that the Royals will listen on Joakim Soria, but they want a front-line starter in return.
For a while, it seemed as though we'd have a quiet trade deadline. So much for that - today we saw Ubaldo Jimenez, Derrek Lee, Orlando Cabrera, Rich Harden, Koji Uehara, Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Jason Marquis, Mike Aviles, Jerry Hairston Jr., Doug Fister and David Pauley all get traded. Let's gear up for the deadline itself with another round of links...
- The Twins would like to move Kevin Slowey and the Rockies are interested, though they don't want to pay too much for him, according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- Teams are still calling on Bruce Chen, Jeff Francis and Kyle Davies of the Royals, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). Any deal will likely come at the deadline tomorrow.
- Teams are still inquiring on Brandon League, even though top Mariners executives have said he's going nowhere, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels expects a quiet day tomorrow, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- The Astros would love to convince Carlos Lee that there's no point in refusing to waive his no-trade clause, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
- The Astros wanted a package of players including Josh Reddick and Kyle Weiland from the Red Sox for Hunter Pence, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
Brendan Ryan singled in the seventh to break up C.C. Sabathia's perfect game bid, but that didn't stop the Yankees from extending Seattle's losing streak to 17 games. The latest on the struggling Mariners...
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that teams may value Doug Fister more than Hiroki Kuroda because Fister pitches in the American League and is under team control well beyond 2011, unlike Kuroda (Twitter link).
- The Mariners would deal Erik Bedard, who will pitch in front of a full scout section on Friday, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Fister, however, would "take a lot" to acquire.
- Bedard won't be easy to obtain, either. Sean McAdam of CSNNE hears that the Mariners are asking for a "ton" in exchange for the lefty (Twitter link).
- How many times does Jack Zduriencik have to repeat that Felix Hernandez isn’t going anywhere? The Mariners' GM told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that Hernandez is staying put this summer.
- Brandon League told Greg Johns of MLB.com that he hopes to stay in Seattle. League appears to be in luck; Zduriencik said earlier today that he’s not trading his closer.
TUESDAY, 3:20pm: To further enforce the point, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told MLB Network Radio's Jim Bowden that League "is going to be here" (Twitter link).
MONDAY, 8:12pm: Mariners president Chuck Armstrong told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that we shouldn't expect Seattle to trade Brandon League this month. A deal is “not likely at all – at this point,” Armstrong said.
League, 28, is one of the most coveted players available, according to Morosi. The right-hander has a 3.26 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, a 57.3% ground ball rate and 23 saves in 38 2/3 innings. He earns $2.25MM this year and is under team control through 2012.
The latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark...
- The Rangers and Phillies are the favorites for Padres closer Heath Bell, with the Cardinals, Angels, Braves, and Reds also in the mix.
- One executive Stark spoke to wouldn't be surprised to see a dark horse like the Reds or Brewers make a late run at Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran.
- An official who spoke with the Rays over the weekend said that while they're not trading James Shields, they'll decide later this week on players like Johnny Damon and Kyle Farnsworth. B.J. Upton could be dealt even if the team closes its 6.5 game wild card deficit.
- The Rays and Blue Jays have been scouting each other's farm systems recently. One scout speculated that the Jays could join a three-team Upton trade somehow.
- One team says Brian Sabean's off-limits prospects are Zack Wheeler, Heath Hembree, and Gary Brown, along with Brandon Belt. That'd leave the team without any top 50 prospects to move, with Francisco Peguero and Ehire Adrianza in the next tier based on Baseball America's preseason rankings. There's also Double-A lefty Eric Surkamp, who brought his ERA down to 2.00 yesterday.
- The Phillies are steering teams to their High-A Clearwater club, as they don't want to trade big leaguers and not to add much more than a million bucks in payroll. Jonathan Singleton, Brody Colvin, Trevor May, Sebastian Valle, and Jiwan James are names to watch there assuming Jarred Cosart is untouchable. Stark says the Phillies have cooled on Beltran and Hunter Pence is a long shot, so the focus is now the back end of the bullpen. Heath Bell is the top target, with Brandon League also on the radar.
Here are some late night links as Thursday turns into Friday...
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports spoke to rival executives who believe the only three Mariners off limits in trade talks are Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, and Dustin Ackley. Impending free agents like Adam Kennedy, Jack Wilson, and Jamey Wright are certainly on the block, but pitchers Jason Vargas, Brandon League, and Doug Fister would be the most interesting trade candidates.
- The Blue Jays scouted Kevin Slowey's minor league rehab start on Wednesday night, tweets Morosi. They've had interest in him since Spring Training.
- MLB.com's Todd Zolecki says the Phillies are unlikely to add both a reliever and a right-handed bat before the trade deadline. Healthy returns from Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras could be all the bullpen help they need.
The Mariners are sellers, and they might be willing to part with decent pitching. Here's the latest...
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik still plans to retain ace Felix Hernandez, he tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal says the Yankees occasionally check in to see if the team will change its stance, but there's no indication they'll budge. Yesterday, though, CBS' Danny Knobler reported that the Mariners are willing to discuss starters Jason Vargas and Doug Fister. Both seem capable of ERAs around 4.00 going forward.
- The Mariners are fielding a heavy volume of calls on closer Brandon League, reports Jon Paul Morosi. Morosi believes League is favorable to Mike Adams in some regards. Both are under team control through 2012. Fantasy leaguers might want to add David Pauley in the event League is traded, writes Dan Mennella at CloserNews.
- The Mariners need to raise payroll and add offense, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
It's unlikely that incoming Astros owner Jim Crane would want to start his tenure as Houston's new owner by opposing MLB's other teams, as Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports points out. That means it will be hard for Crane to turn Bud Selig down if the commissioner asks the Astros to move to the American League West at some point. Here are more of Morosi's notes from around MLB:
- The Mariners are taking calls on Brandon League and have no plans to make Felix Hernandez available (Twitter link).
- Despite the many injuries to their starting pitchers, the Red Sox haven't begun an all-out search for rotation help, according to Morosi. The Red Sox, who have checked in on Carlos Beltran, are prioritizing a right-handed hitting outfielder.
- The Blue Jays are hearing from teams interested in their relievers (Twitter link).
- The Angels prefer left-handed hitters over right-handed hitters, according to Morosi (on Twitter). They had serious discussions about the left-handed hitting Garrett Jones earlier in the year.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them - it's a question of how much the players will earn.
Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:
- The Angels have agreed to terms with Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick, tweets Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register tweets that Kendrick will earn $3.3MM, Willits $775K (on Twitter).
- The Giants agreed to terms with Santiago Casilla on a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with incentives, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas (on Twitter). The team also announced that they avoided arb with Jonathan Sanchez and Ramon Ramirez (on Twitter). Sanchez will earn $4.8MM with incentives tweets Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle while Ramirez will earn $1.65MM according to Janie McCauley of The Canadian Press.
- The Braves agreed to terms with Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Moylan gets $2MM, O'Flaherty gets $895K according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners agreed to terms with Brandon League, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas, the team announced. Aardsma will earn $4.5MM with plenty of incentives, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (plus Twitter link).
- The Rangers agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links). Cruz gets $3.65MM, and Wilson gets $7.05MM with a chance to earn another $100K according to his agent Bob Garber, via email.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley (2.535MM) and Tim Stauffer ($1.075MM), according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
- The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoided arbitration with a $2.45MM deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The team has confirmed the deal.
- The Pirates announced that they agreed to terms with Joel Hanrahan. It's a $1.4MM deal, according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
- The Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with Tom Gorzelanny, despite reports that a trade to Washington is imminent. Gorzelanny will earn $2.1MM next year, according to Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com (on Twitter). They also announced a two-year, $4.7MM deal with Sean Marshall.
- The Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year deal with Joe Saunders.
- The Padres agreed to a $2.535MM deal with Mike Adams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).
- The Angels agreed to a $3MM deal with Erick Aybar and a $2.975MM deal with Kendry Morales.
- The White Sox agreed to a $5.05MM deal with Carlos Quentin, according to Rosenthal.
- The Braves agreed to a $3.1MM deal with Martin Prado and a $3.25MM deal with Jair Jurrjens according to Rosenthal.
- The Orioles agreed to a $5.85MM deal with J.J. Hardy, according to Rosenthal.
- The Athletics agreed to a $4.75MM deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to Slusser (Twitter link).
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Cody Ross, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ross will earn $6.3MM in 2011.
- The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jonathan Papelbon ($12MM) and Jacoby Ellsbury ($2.4MM).
- The Yankees avoided arbitration with Joba Chamberlain ($1.4MM), Phil Hughes ($2.7MM) and Boone Logan ($1.2MM), according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (all Twitter links).
- The Dodgers agreed to a $6.275MM deal with Chad Billingsley, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The White Sox agreed to a $6MM deal with John Danks, according to Heyman (on Twitter).The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and agreed to a $5.95MM deal, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The Indians avoided arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo, the team announced. The deal is worth $3.975MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Twins avoided arbitration with Matt Capps ($7.15MM) and Glen Perkins ($700K), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rays avoided arbitration with Andy Sonnanstine, agreeing to a deal worth $913K plus incentives, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
- The Mets avoided arbitration with Mike Pelfrey, agreeing on a deal worth close to $4MM, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra, signing the players to one-year deals, the team announced. Parra will earn $1.2MM, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Dallas Braden ($3.35MM) and Conor Jackson ($3.32MM), according to MLB.com's Jane Lee (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Brandon Morrow, the team announced.
- The Indians announced that they agreed to a one-year deal with Rafael Perez (Twitter link). It's worth $1.33MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Josh Willingham, agreeing to a $6MM deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Astros signed Michael Bourn to a one-year, $4.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter).
- The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they avoided arbitration with Michael Morse.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Anibal Sanchez, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). They agreed to a $3.7MM deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Twitter link).
- The Orioles avoided arbitration with Felix Pie, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The deal is for $985K.
- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Rajai Davis, agreeing to a two-year, $5.25MM deal with the outfielder.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Clay Hensley and agreed to a $1.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- The Astros agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Jeff Keppinger, avoiding arbitration, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The White Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal with Tony Pena, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick with a $6.775MM deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Clint Barmes, signing the infielder to a one-year, $3.925MM deal, according to Rosenthal. The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The Rockies avoided arb with Felipe Paulino and agreed to a one-year, $790K deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to terms with Yunel Escobar on a $2.9MM deal for 2011.
- The Indians signed Chris Perez for 2011, avoiding arbitration, the team announced (on Twitter). It's a $2.225MM deal, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they agreed to terms with Kyle Davies on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. It's a $3.2MM deal, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel (on Twitter).
- The Reds avoided arbitration will Bill Bray, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). The AP says the deal is for $645K.
- The Nationals avoided arbitration with Doug Slaten, and agreed to a one-year, $695K deal according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Heath Bell and agreed to a one-year, $7.5MM deal.