Brian Roberts Rumors
A few links for Wednesday night...
- According to The Sports Network, the Brewers signed minor leaguers Eduardo Morlan and Cody Scarpetta to one year deals.
- Brian Roberts hasn't given up on working out an extension with the O's, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. Kubatko writes "it's pretty clear that he wants a fourth year."
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News profiles Jesus Montero, the 19-year-old who could succeed Jorge Posada if he fares well as a catcher.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock reports that Tigers' pitching prospect Rick Porcello isn't changing his approach as he approaches the majors.
- AZSnakePit.com interviewed D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes about pitching, defensive metrics and the June draft.
- Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Chase Utley looks healthy in Clearwater.
- The Astros hope Miguel Tejada starts the season as their shortstop, according to Brian McTaggart of the Houston Chronicle. Astros GM Ed Wade is apparently "committed to Tejada."
John Perrotto's Every Given Sunday column is up over at Baseball Prospectus. This week, he takes a look at some of the position battles teams will face entering Spring Training. And, as always, there's some interesting items in his Rumors & Rumblings section. Let's take a look:
- Some of the more interesting position battles mentioned: 1B/DH/RF in Oakland (Daric Barton, Jack Cust, Jason Giambi, Aaron Cunningham, and Travis Buck all in the mix), Tampa's closer if Troy Percival gets hurt or falters (Dan Wheeler, J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour), and the White Sox rotation behind John Danks, Mark Buerhle, and Gavin Floyd (Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Bartolo Colon, Jeff Marquez).
- Brian Roberts still wants a four-year deal before Spring Training starts up, or he'll cut off negotiations. Does Roberts make more sense as a cornerstone in Baltimore or as a trade chip?
- Perrotto feels Tom Glavine will inevitably re-sign with the Braves.
- The White Sox have minor interest in signing Ivan Rodriguez as a backup for A.J. Pierzynski. I'm sure Pudge would prefer a starting gig, but at this point, it's tough to be picky.
- We've heard a lot about the Orioles having interest in Rich Hill lately, but Perrotto reminds us that the Mariners are interested in the 28-year-old lefty as well.
On MASN's weekly Brian Roberts segment, the Orioles' second baseman touched on his contract situation, as well as teammate Nick Markakis' new deal. In regard to his own contract, Roberts made it clear that though he's focused on Opening Day, he believes that there's time to make a deal before spring training:
"It is going to come to a point where we have to make a decision one way or the other," he said. "I don't want this to drag out once we get into kind of midway through spring training as I start getting ready to play for the season. I think there will be sufficient time up until then to get this worked out if we can. And if not, then we'll see what happens at the end of the year. We're not at that point yet."
Ken Rosenthal reported previously that Roberts wants a four-year extension to stay in Baltimore. The Orioles made Roberts an offer earlier this month, which was believed to be for $10MM per season, but only for three years.
Links for Saturday morning...
- Pedro Martinez isn't worried that he hasn't signed yet.
- Jason Varitek says he's still "exchanging offers" with the Red Sox. Scott Boras and Theo Epstein didn't comment on the talks, which continue slowly.
- Buster Olney takes a look at the market for Ben Sheets. He says whoever signs Sheets will get a bargain. Some GMs would be impressed if he gets $20MM over two years.
- Nate McLouth isn't optimistic about his chances of signing a multi-year deal with the Pirates.
- Peter Schmuck thinks the O's should find a way to sign Brian Roberts to a long term contract.
- The Blue Jays fired assistant GM Bart Given.
- Gordon Wittenmyer breaks down the Cubs' chances of acquiring Jake Peavy now that the team's about to change hands.
- Richard Justice writes Randy Wolf should have accepted the Astros' offer.
According to Ken Rosenthal, major leagues sources say Brian Roberts wants a four year extension if he's going to stay in Baltimore.
Roberts has had ongoing talks with the Orioles about an extension and they made him an offer earlier in the month. The offer was believed to be for $10MM per season, but only for three years.
A major league source confirmed to Rosenthal that the Orioles have their "ears open" to trade offers including Roberts.
A few notes from Andy MacPhail from the Nick Markakis press conference today, by way of MASN's Roch Kubatko.
- MacPhail indicates a willingness to "swoop in" and acquire a free agent at a bargain price if the right opportunity presents itself.
- Talks on a Brian Roberts extension continue. MacPhail said, "The market really hasn't played itself out," which could be a reference to Orlando Hudson.
Let's take a look at the latest from Ken Rosenthal.
- The Orioles have their ears open Brian Roberts, whose trade value has diminished as he nears free agency. The White Sox can't afford him, the Braves are reluctant to give up talent, and the Cubs didn't discuss him in the Felix Pie talks. The Roberts market may improve once Orlando Hudson signs.
- Rosenthal's source says the Michael Young-Jermaine Dye discussions did take place. If you read Dave van Dyck's article, Ken Williams never specifically denied talks with the Rangers.
- Rosenthal believes that if the Cubs make another big move, it'll be a Jake Peavy trade. They're not in on Hudson.
- The Dodgers have roughly $50MM in payroll flexibility right now.
- The Giants may be looking at Manny Ramirez, but they've also looked in trades for hitters - "presumably" Prince Fielder or Corey Hart included. Those talks with the Brewers didn't go far. The Giants may be willing to move Jonathan Sanchez, but the Jorge Cantu talks have stalled.
- So far the Dodgers and Russell Martin have only talked about a one-year deal.
- The Mariners are Brewers are eyeing Craig Counsell.
- The Ms "likely are willing" to trade Aaron Heilman.
In light of the imminent Nick Markakis extension, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun is making a prediction: Brian Roberts will not receive an extension, and will start the season on the Orioles. The Orioles had reportedly offered a multiyear extension at about $10MM per, but the two sides had not made progress as of early January. Schmuck reasons,
"...the market for him right now is pretty soft. The proof in that is free agent Orlando Hudson, who is basically Brian without all the stolen bases and is still waiting to be signed. Why would anyone give up a package of young players for Brian, who has to be signed beyond this season? The same team could sign Hudson for less than Roberts wants without having to give up more than draft choice compensation."
Dan Connolly posited the same reasoning last week. For the record, Schmuck thinks the Orioles should extend Roberts to "mollify the fanbase" and support their young pitching staff by maintaining solid infield defense up-the-middle.
Links for Friday...
- David Chase looks at fantasy baseball's top strikeout pitchers.
- The third year of Milton Bradley's contract turns into a club option if he has serious health problems this year.
- Two players expected to attend the Brewers' open tryout this month: Randall Simon and Mark Bellhorn.
- Dave Cameron looks at the premium teams pay for proven closers.
- Bobby Valentine comments on the Orioles' Koji Uehara signing in Dan Connolly's article. Within that article Connolly suggests the trade market for Brian Roberts may be suffering because of Orlando Hudson's availability on the free agent market.
- The D'Backs wouldn't be thrilled, but the Yankees could sign Juan Cruz and only surrender a fourth-round pick.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington said the team is looking at some comeback-type free agent outfielders. Dejan Kovacevic guesses that Emil Brown, Craig Monroe, or Jonny Gomes could fit the bill.
- The Red Sox designated knuckleballer Charlie Zink for assignment.
- J.C. Bradbury believes the Braves were misleading with the public regarding their offer to John Smoltz.
10:46pm: Roch Kubatko says Zaun wants a two-year deal but the Orioles prefer one year. The O's are also talking with Ivan Rodriguez. Kubatko adds that Kenshin Kawakami was seeking a three-year deal. In another post, Kubatko says the O's have no interest in Shelley Duncan, but Richie Sexson and Ty Wigginton are possibilities for first base. Peter Schmuck adds Nick Swisher, Ryan Garko, Billy Butler, and Ryan Shealy as trade possibilities.
Dan Connolly says the Orioles offered Brian Roberts a multiyear extension at about $10MM per, but the two sides have not made progress and Roberts doesn't want talks dragging into the season. Andy MacPhail said he hasn't had trade talks for Roberts for at least a month. As for Nick Markakis, the sides were about $10MM apart on a possible six-year extension.
11:31am: Orioles notes...
- As you know, the Orioles reached an agreement with their first-ever Japanese player, Koji Uehara. It's a two-year deal worth $10MM guaranteed, with another $6MM in incentives and bonuses. Patrick Newman offers commentary on the signing, which is not getting a ton of press in the Japanese media. Keith Law wonders if Baltimore was a wise choice for Uehara.
- Dan Connolly says the Orioles' immediate priority is now to add a catcher, with Gregg Zaun and Ivan Rodriguez the candidates.
- Peter Schmuck says the O's are looking for a reserve infielder as well. They've talked to Chris Gomez's agent and Willie Bloomquist "might be another possibility."