Brennan Boesch Rumors
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner commented on contract talks with second baseman Robinson Cano to David Lennon of Newsday on his way out of the MLB owners meetings today in Manhattan, saying, "We've had several conversations with [agent] Brodie [Van Wagenen], just as we did with [former agent] Scott [Boras] and a lot of it is procedural. But we're going to continue in the weeks to come to work through things and try to come to an agreement." Steinbrenner later added, "We want him to end his career here." Cano has sat atop our 2014 Free Agents Power Rankings since the beginning. More on the Yankees:
- Can a team with a $228MM payroll earn the designation "scrappy?" Steinbrenner used that adjective, expressing admiration for the Yankees' young players and cheap veterans that have allowed them to successfully weather injuries to key players so far. As for getting below the $189MM luxury tax threshold next year, Steinbrenner said, "The math works to me if the young kids do their job. It has to happen. And I've been saying that for over a year now -- that's the goal we're going to push for. But again, I'll reiterate what I always reiterate, which is we're always going to field a championship-caliber team. That's what the fans expect. That's what we expect. It's going to happen. Not going to win every year. Nobody ever does. But we're going to do what we can to field the best team we can."
- "We're going to sit down and figure out what to do when this season ends, hopefully the beginning of November," said Steinbrenner in regard to manager Joe Girardi and his expiring contract.
- Yankees outfielder Brennan Boesch says he left his agent, Scott Boras, and returned to his old agent, Van Wagenen of CAA, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times on May 1st. Boesch will be arbitration eligible for the first time after this season and can hit the open market after the 2015 season. Stay on top of the representation for over 1,000 players with MLBTR's agency database.
- "He’s a good guy and I think he can be a really good player, too. He’ll be back. I just wanted to let him know that it’s up to him," Yankees infielder Jayson Nix told Waldstein, recounting a conversation with the recently-designated Chris Nelson.
- The shift from center to left field shouldn't damage Curtis Granderson's free agent value much, opined multiple executives in speaking with Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Granderson isn't concerned, saying, "Not an issue for me at all. Just want to help this team in any way I can. If they need me to go back to shortstop like I did in high school, I’ll do that."
The Indians have told Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Capps that they'd like to keep them in the organization, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Neither pitcher will make the team's Opening Day roster, but Matsuzaka said he intends to remain with the Indians, Hoynes reports. Meanwhile, Capps has yet to decide whether he’ll stay with the Indians or elect free agency.
Here are some more links for Monday...
- Free agent infielder Ryan Theriot is considering a new career path, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). Schulman hears that the 33-year-old is thinking of becoming an agent.
- Chris Carpenter doesn’t sound optimistic about pitching at the MLB level again, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports (on Twitter). "I want to, but I don't think I can," Carpenter said, adding that he still feels numbness and weakness. His contract with the Cardinals expires after the 2013 season, and he’s not expected to pitch again.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Dan Martin of the New York Post that he's open to the possibility of acquiring another player before the regular season begins. Cashman also said that he considers the Brennan Boesch deal a low-risk, high-reward signing. "The only downside is wasting time and a small amount of money ... Nothing’s been promised to him at all.”
Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times expressed concern the Rays don't have enough power in their lineup to compete over the long haul. As if to add an exclamation point to Shelton's column, the Rays were stymied this afternoon by Jon Lester of the Red Sox, who was perfect for six innings (79 pitches, 53 for strikes) with six strikeouts. The Rays were on the verge of being the victim of a Spring Training perfect game until an infield single by non-roster invitee Jason Bourgeois with one out in the top of the ninth. In other American League news and notes:
- One solution to the Rays' power shortage could be Wil Myers, who was sent to Triple-A yesterday. Manager Joe Maddon told reporters, including the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin, that he believes the timing of Myers' recall will be a baseball decision and not based on service time considerations in order to avoid an extra year of arbitration eligibility.
- The Indians have yet to make a decision on Daisuke Matsuzaka even after a meeting this morning between manager Terry Francona and the front office, tweets the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes. Francona could speak with Dice-K tomorrow.
- The Indians will approach Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley about contract extensions at some point this spring, writes Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- The trade market for Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who will be a free agent after this season, is not good, tweets the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber.
- "The door's not locked. It may not even be cracked open, but it's not locked, either," a Red Sox source told Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com about the chances of Jackie Bradley Jr. making the Opening Day roster.
- The Yankees only signed Brennan Boesch because he has minor league options remaining, according to ESPN's Buster Olney in his Insider blog (subscription required). Olney added, given the apparent lack of interest in Boesch, the Yankees might have the ability, if he struggles in the next few weeks, to get him through waivers, take him off the 40-man roster, and outright him to the minor leagues.
- The Angels have acquired minor league pitcher Mike Cisco from the Phillies for no compensation. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com explains the Phillies had an excess of pitching in Double-A and Triple-A and they wanted to make sure he’d go somewhere he’d have an opportunity to pitch. The Angels liked him and have a spot for him in their system.
SATURDAY: Yanks General Manager Brian Cashman says that Boesch is on a split contract and will earn $1.5MM in the majors and $500K if he's in the minors, according to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger (on Twitter).
The Yankees agreed to terms with the free agent outfielder earlier today, as reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (all Twitter links). The Scott Boras client obtained a Major League deal worth $1.5MM plus incentives, Heyman reports. Boesch will earn $600K in incentives based on plate appearances.
The Tigers released Boesch two days ago after discussing possible trades with a number of interested teams. Ultimately Boesch's $2.3MM salary proved to be an obstacle, and the Tigers released him without getting anything in return. After Boesch's release, the Mets, Red Sox and Astros appeared to have some interest in signing him.
Boesch appeared in 132 games for the Tigers last year, posting a .240/.286/.372 batting line with 12 home runs in 503 plate appearances. The left-handed hitting 27-year-old remains on track to remain under team control through 2015.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch details the latest from Major League Baseball Players Association chief Michael Weiner on the union's views on drug testing. Weiner also discussed the qualifying offer system, expressing that he is "pleased that the number of players that carried compensation dropped way down, from in the thirties to nine," while noting that neither the league nor the union "expected that a player the caliber of Kyle Lohse would have the difficulty he's having," an issue which he "would like to find a way out of ... sooner rather than later, before 2016." Elsewhere around the league:
- Brennan Boesch detailed the series of events that led to him joining the Yankees yesterday, as Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger reports. Boesch was told "earlier this week" that he would be released by the Tigers despite still having multiple minor league options, which the outfielder viewed as "a favor" despite being surprised at the news. When Boesch learned from agent Scott Boras of the Yankees' interest, he instructed Boras to just "get it done" because New York was his top choice.
- The Mets, unlike their New York neighbors, "weren't enthused" about Boesch because they saw him "as another Lucas Duda" and feel comfortable with their in-house options, tweets Jon Heyman. Meanwhile, the club may need to fill in for star third-baseman David Wright to start the season, and Michael Baron of MetsBlog breaks down the internal options.
- Left-handed reliever Franklin Morales is out indefinitely as he deals with a bulging disk in his back, which potentially opens a spot in the Red Sox bullpen for Clayton Mortensen, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Morales' injury situation also makes it is less likely that Boston will deal Alfredo Aceves, Lauber explains, because "manager John Farrell has identified Aceves [as] the primary long man in the Red Sox' bullpen and their best option to provide a spot start in the event of injuries in the rotation."
- As the Angels look over the market for available backstops, they are joined by the Phillies, Pirates, and Rays in looking for "experienced catching," tweets Peter Gammons of MLB Network.
- The Mets' interest in Boesch is "marginal," Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (on Twitter). Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier that the Mets appear to have some interest in Boesch (on Twitter). Anthony DiComo of MLB.com doesn't get the sense that GM Sandy Alderson will pursue Boesch (Twitterlinks). However, DiComo points out that it's too early to dismiss the possibility.
- The Red Sox are talking internally about Boesch, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post has been told the Yankees will at least look into the possibility of signing Boesch (Twitter link). The depth of the New York outfield has been tested in the aftermath of Curtis Granderson's injury.
- The Astros will take a look at Boesch, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports (on Twitter). Like the Mets, the Astros have a relatively young outfield.
General manager Jeff Luhnow told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that he can envision manager Bo Porter leading the Astros for a long time. “He could be one of those guys who is an Astros manager for decades, not just years,” Luhnow said of Porter. “The players knowing that this is the group that’s going to be here -- it begins to lay the foundation for stability, which is really what we’re looking for.” The Astros hired the 40-year-old Porter after the 2012 season.
Here are more notes on the Astros and Texas’ other team, the Rangers...
- Earlier today MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reported that the Astros will take a look at Brennan Boesch (Twitter link). The Tigers released the outfielder this morning.
- The Rangers are high on Jurickson Profar, but it's still not clear what his role will be in 2013, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. The Rangers would "not necessarily" need an everyday role for Profar to justify keeping him on the roster in the view of manager Ron Washington. That said, a Triple-A assignment hasn’t been ruled out. Here's a look at service time considerations for top prospects such as Profar.
- George A. King III of the New York Post reported today that the Rangers are watching Joba Chamberlain.
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said 'a half dozen clubs' asked about Boesch, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). The Tigers will owe Boesch one sixth of his $2.3MM salary if he's not claimed on waivers, Beck reports. The Mariners had some interest in Boesch in December, but have since added a number of corner outfield/DH types. The Yankees and Braves are among the teams that could consider Boesch.
Boesch appeared in 132 games for the Tigers last year, posting a .240/.286/.372 batting line with 12 home runs in 503 plate appearances. The left-handed hitting 27-year-old agreed to a $2.3MM salary for 2013 and had been on track to remain under team control through 2015.
Chris Iott of MLive.com first reported that the Tigers had released Boesch (Twitter link).
The Tigers will consider trading for a closer and Carlos Marmol of the Cubs is drawing interest, so there's a possible matchup on paper. Manager Jim Leyland and GM Dave Dombrowski have publicly downplayed the chances of a trade, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation. Here are some Tigers-related notes...
- One scout notes that Marmol has issues limiting walks, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com. "Less control than [Al] Alburquerque," the scout said (Twitter link). Marmol has a career walk rate of 6.0 BB/9 in seven MLB seasons.
- Beck revisits recent trade rumors involving the Cubs and Tigers, pointing out that three of the four best-paid Cubs have been linked to the Tigers in trade rumors in the last 15 months. Alfonso Soriano, Matt Garza and Marmol have all been connected to the Tigers on this site in the last year-plus.
- John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press argues that the Tigers don't need an experienced closer. Lowe notes that the closers for last year's National League division winners had a total of five career saves entering the 2012 season.
- Brennan Boesch is now healthy, so speculation about possible trades will resume, Lowe writes. Boesch doesn't have a clear role on the 2013 Tigers and could be dealt this spring.
Every American League Central team except the Royals has won the division at least once since 2007. Here are some AL Central notes, starting with Tigers, winners of the last two division titles...
- Brennan Boesch doesn't have a clear role on the 2013 Tigers, and it's possible his recent oblique injury hurt his trade value, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press writes. GM Dave Dombrowski has said Boesch won’t be sent to the minors, according to Lowe.
- Jamie Samuelsen of the Detroit Free Press outlines four reasons the Tigers shouldn't sign Justin Verlander to a $200MM extension, before concluding that Verlander would be worth it, especially given the cost of starting pitching in MLB. Verlander has acknowledged that free agency intrigues him.
- Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 hears from a Twins official that the asking price for Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz remains “too high." The Twins are fans of the free agent shortstop, according to Wolfson (on Twitter).
- Asdrubal Cabrera told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that he was surprised to find himself mentioned in offseason trade rumors (Twitter link). The shortstop added that he wants to spend his entire career with the Indians. Cabrera's under contract through 2014, but he'll probably appear on these pages next offseason if the Indians' shortstop prospects continue to develop.