Brandon Workman Rumors
Earlier today, Ryan Dempster announced he will not pitch in 2014 forfeiting the $13.25MM he was due in the final year of his pact with the Red Sox. Boston, however, does not intend to pursue Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, or other free agent starting pitching, writes WEEI.com's Alex Speier. The Red Sox expect to slot Felix Doubront into the starting rotation and Brandon Workman into the swingman role with their stable of pitching prospects providing depth, according to Speier. Elsewhere in the American League:
- Speier notes in the same article the Red Sox have newfound financial flexibility with Dempster's salary now off the books. Boston projects to have a 2014 payroll of $176MM (including $9MM allocated for in-season trades and roster additions), a $13MM cushion against the luxury tax. The Red Sox could re-sign Stephen Drew, but Speier wonders whether common ground can be found.
- GM Ben Cherington passed on the opportunity to discuss the Red Sox's unexpected financial windfall saying the focus should be on Dempster, reports the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets the Yankees are not considering any additional free agent acquisitions, which would rule them out on Drew.
- Jimmy Paredes, claimed on waivers yesterday by the Orioles, is a prime candidate to lose his 40-man roster spot once the team makes its signing of Suk-Min Yoon official, according to MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. Yoon has passed his physical, per multiple reports.
- Mark Mulder, who saw his comeback bid with the Angels end when he ruptured his left Achilles tendon, told reporters, including Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, he has yet to decide whether he will attempt another return in 2015. "I'd love to say yes, but I don't know. I have to wait and see what the doctors say -- see what the process is of how healthy I can get it, how good it feels." Mulder undergoes surgery Monday and the rehab could last up to eight months.
Phillies lefty Cliff Lee is "eminently available," writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Given that the 34-year-old has at least $70MM remaining on his contract through 2015, his availability has sparked a debate over his true trade value. The latest:
- The Phillies have no no obvious bidders for Lee at this point, tweets Heyman, who adds that he would be surprised to see a team give up three top prospects and take on the remaining $70MM on Lee's contract.
- The Red Sox are no longer pursuing Cliff Lee, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio (Twitter link).
- There is "very little chance" of the Phillie trading Lee, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said on MLB Network on Tuesday afternoon.
- The Red Sox feel a trade for Lee is highly unlikely, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown, but Jake Peavyand Bud Norris are still in play for them.
- The Phillies are believed to have asked for a package headed by Bogaerts and Brandon Workman, plus a big league ready outfielder, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark. Stark's source agrees with the consensus, that the Sox won't give up Bogaerts.
- Though the Phillies want Bogaerts as the centerpiece of a Lee deal, the Red Sox "view his inclusion as a non-starter and will not consider proposals that involve him," writes John Tomase of the Boston Herald. He says the Red Sox are willing to deal multiple top ten prospects though.
- The Phillies won't settle for anything less than top Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts at the head of any package for Lee, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- The Red Sox are the biggest player in the Lee derby, writes Heyman. "If there are other teams heavily involved in talks for Lee, they are doing it in an extremely stealthy manner," he adds.
8:49am: The talks are not that far along and the A's have not asked for Middlebrooks, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The A's would need more, but WEEI's Alex Speier tweets that they've liked Lars Anderson, Raul Alcantara, and Brandon Workman. Things are currently quiet on the Bailey-Red Sox trade front, tweets Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.
6:39am: The A's asked the Red Sox for third base prospect Will Middlebrooks, writes the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. It's probably safe to assume that Middlebrooks, 23, is not one of the prospects mentioned in Gammons' proposal.
5:01am: Peter Gammons of MLB Network tweets that the Athletics are considering a trade offer from the Red Sox that includes Josh Reddick and prospects in exchange for Andrew Bailey. Jed Lowrie is not in this proposal.
The 24-year-old Reddick appeared at all three outfield spots for the Sox in 2011 (earning stellar reviews from UZR and DRS in an admittedly small sample) and hit a solid .280/.327/.457 in 278 plate appearances.
The A's stand to lose their entire starting outfield of David DeJesus (already signed with the Cubs), Coco Crisp, and Josh Willingham to free agency this offseason, so it makes sense that they would have interest in controllable outfielders.
The two teams were reportedly set to meet on Tuesday to discuss a potential Bailey trade, though is is the first we've heard of the results.
Among AL East clubs, only the Yankees will play on the season's first day Thursday. Here's the latest from the division...
- Relievers Dennys Reyes and Matt Albers made Boston's 25-man roster, reports WEEI's Alex Speier. Hideki Okajima and Alfredo Aceves were optioned to Triple-A. GM Theo Epstein explained to reporters that the choices were about "preservation of pitching depth," since he would have lost Reyes and Albers if they didn't make the team. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald has quotes from Okajima's agent Joe Rosen on the decision.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter stirred the pot in this Men's Journal interview with Paul Solotaroff, saying, "I’d like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll." Epstein has already accepted an apology from Showalter on the comments, tweets Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
- Red Sox 2010 second-round pick Brandon Workman changed agents from Kevin Hubbard to Jeff Berry of CAA Sports, reports Speier. Workman had signed for $800K, about $165K over slot. Track all the latest in our Agency Database.
- Another strong year might make C.C. Sabathia the Yankees' best free agent signing ever, suggests Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The contract could end up being a three-year, $60MM deal if the lefty opts out after the season.