Brian Wilson Rumors
Here's the latest on the World Series champions, courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle's Hank Schulman...
- The Giants aren't close (Twitter link) to a deal to bring back former closer Brian Wilson. The club assumes that Wilson will only consider a return once he's closely looked at his other choices. Schulman reported earlier this month that Wilson had some hard feelings towards the Giants for non-tendering him and was looking to pitch elsewhere, preferably for the Red Sox or one of the Los Angeles teams.
- Nick Swisher doesn't appear to be a target (Twitter link) for the Giants.
- Cody Ross, Scott Hairston and Reed Johnson were all considered by the Giants as right-handed hitting outfield options, but the three players "either were not willing to take a part-timer's salary or not what the Giants wanted defensively." San Francisco instead reached agreement with Andres Torres to a one-year, $2MM contract earlier today.
- Giants president Larry Baer said his club feels no pressure to make any big moves to counter the Dodgers. "Our strategy is just different, developing guys and bringing them through the system and sprinkling in free agents and trades when it makes sense," Baer said. "We've done free agents before, but we're trying to do more of a homegrown thing...You can't let what any other team does alter your strategy. That would be a mistake. If we're going to look at the Dodgers spending all this money and say we're going to be free-agent-centric, we don't think that would be smart."
- In news from earlier today, the Giants are believed to have offered Ichiro Suzuki a two-year, $15MM contract, but Ichiro is on his way to taking a slightly smaller contract to re-sign with the Yankees.
One AL GM said the Indians got “incredible value” for Shin-Soo Choo by obtaining Trevor Bauer in last night’s three-team trade, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. While evaluators love Didi Gregorius’ glove, they wonder if the Diamondbacks’ new infielder will hit enough to merit an everyday job. Here's the latest from Olney (some Twitter links)...
- Free agent right-hander Brian Wilson is expected to have opportunities to close, Olney writes. The Giants non-tendered their longtime closer last month, making him a free agent.
- Agents and executives wonder what will happen with free agent center fielder Michael Bourn, Olney reports(on Twitter). In my view the Rangers and Mariners appear to be two possible destinations for the Scott Boras client.
- The Indians could still trade Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Masterson and Vinnie Pestano, as Olney points out (on Twitter). There’s “not much action” on Chris Perez, however.
- Some evaluators say the Red Sox are poised to move on the pitching market as prices drop, according to Olney(on Twitter). GM Ben Cherington figures to add starting pitching depth at some point, as his projected rotation consists of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, John Lackey and Franklin Morales.
- It’s apparent that the Mariners aren’t the top choice of the best free agent hitters. Olney suggests Seattle will end up signing a leftover player, though they’re pressing to land someone of note.
- Phillies officials have privately maintained that they’d be prepared to offer Josh Hamilton a three-year deal.
- Although he hasn't talked to Brian Wilson's agents at the Winter Meetings, Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com there is an understanding to stay in touch. Wilson's agent Dan Lozano told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle seven teams have expressed interest in his client, either as a closer or setup man.
- Ichiro Suzuki is not a fit for the Giants in left field because he's too much like Gregor Blanco, tweets Shea.
- Shea has the financial breakdown on Marco Scutaro's new three-year, $20MM contract with the Giants.
- The Dodgers are in the market for a left-handed reliever now that Randy Choate has agreed to a three-year deal with the Cardinals, tweets Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
- The Dodgers would like to add one or maybe two backup-type catchers to compete with Tim Federowicz, tweets Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles.
- The Chavez signing gives the Diamondbacks an extra infielder, but GM Kevin Towers said he might wait until Spring Training to make a trade (Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reporting).
- The Padres' Andrew Cashner is not expected to be ready for Opening Day after suffering a lacerated tendon in his right thumb last week, an injury suffered at the hand of a hunting buddy as the two were dressing meat (MLB.com's Corey Brock reporting).
The World Champion Giants dropped $40MM on a four-year deal to bring back center fielder Angel Pagan today. I expect Pagan to prove a worthwhile investment, providing enough value at the front end of the deal to make it a win overall. The latest on the Giants' other dealings...
- The Giants' payroll is going to the $140MM range up from the low $130s, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Giants seek a right-handed complement to projected starting left fielder Gregor Blanco, writes Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, and they've checked in with Scott Hairston's agent. Reed Johnson, Andruw Jones, and Ben Francisco could be a few other names to consider depending on how much the team wants to spend, in my opinion.
- Giants VP Bobby Evans wouldn't rule out second baseman Marco Scutaro getting a three-year offer on the open market, in talking with Baggarly.
- Giants manager Bruce Bochy considers Sergio Romo his closer, tweets Baggarly, but plans on calling recently non-tendered reliever Brian Wilson soon to recruit him to return.
Wilson, who lives in Los Angeles, has expressed interest in playing for the Dodgers, Angels, and Red Sox. Wilson pitched in only two games last season, as he underwent his second Tommy John surgery in April. Hernandez believes Wilson could sign an incentive-laden deal similar to the one Ryan Madson signed with the Angels.
The back end of the Dodgers' bullpen appears to be set with the recently-signed Brandon League plus Kenley Jansen and Ronald Belisario under team control. Hernandez reports the Dodgers have talked to the Pirates about Joel Hanrahan, but a trade appears unlikely, according to a person familiar with the situation.
News and notes out of the AL and NL East..
- Ichiro Suzuki's agent says he's ready to open the floor to other suitors as talks with the Yankees have stalled, but GM Brian Cashman says that Suzuki already knew that he would be put on the backburner for a bit, writes Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. "Now that our pitching has been settled, which was our priority on the front end, we'll move from the defense to the offense and engage all the players we have interest in and have interest in us," said Cashman.
- The Mets have fielded calls from six or seven teams are looking to meet and discuss a deal for R.A. Dickey, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Mets and Dickey have been trying to work out a contract extension for two months, but it appears general manager Sandy Alderson has the green light to now to more seriously consider trade alternatives instead. The Mets are expected to seek a catcher and outfield help in any trade.
- The Mets will are willing to get creative with backloaded contracts in order to entice free agents with more money and multiyear deals, a person with knowledge of the team's thinking tells Marc Carig of Newsday. That thinking could come into play at this week's winter meetings in Nashville. The Mets still won't splurge on a big ticket free agent but could try and get creative in order to improve their outfield situation.
- Brian Wilson has interest in the Red Sox as well as the Giants, Dodgers, and Angels a source tells Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Wilson is reportedly unlikely to re-sign with the Giants after being non-tendered.
The non-tender deadline passed at midnight ET last night, and more than 30 new free agents hit the open market after their teams declined to make a contract offer. Our Non-Tender Tracker has the full list.
Most non-tendered players are fringe roster guys, but a few are established big leaguers who may have seen their performance slip or battled injury. In all cases, the team didn't consider him to be worth his expected salary in the upcoming season. Here's a look at some of this year's most notable non-tenders.
- Jair Jurrjens - Still just 26, Jurrjens is one year removed from a 2.96 ERA in 152 innings. He's battled numerous injuries (including right knee surgery) and pitched so poorly earlier this year that he was sent to Triple-A. That said, the combination of age and past performance gives Jurrjens some of the highest upside on the free agent market.
- Jeff Karstens - Karstens, 30, was limited to just 90 2/3 innings this year due to shoulder and hip problems, but he's pitched to a 3.59 ERA with a 1.7 BB/9 in 253 innings since the start of last year.
- John Lannan - The Nationals didn't have a place for Lannan this year, so the 28-year-old spent most of the season in Triple-A despite a $5MM salary. The left-hander has thrown at least 180 innings in each of the last five seasons, so he adds a reliable southpaw to a free agent class surprisingly short on that type of pitcher.
- Mark Reynolds - Power is hard to find these days, and the 29-year-old Reynolds hit 37 home runs just a year ago. He dipped to .221/.335/.429 with 23 homers this year, though he did produce a .258/.374/.525 line with 20 homers in 353 plate appearances from early-May through early-September. Although his best position is first base, a power-starved team could give Reynolds a look at third base given the shallow free agent pool.
- Geovany Soto - The free agent catching market is weak, especially now that Russell Martin has signed with the Pirates, so the 29-year-old Soto could become a popular target in short order. He hit just .198/.270/.343 in 361 plate appearances this year, but a year ago he put up a respectable .228/.310/.411 line with 17 homers. Enough teams need catching help that Soto should have little trouble finding a new employer.
- Brian Wilson - It's been two years since Wilson, 30, was truly dominant. He's coming off his second Tommy John surgery and posted a 3.11 ERA in 55 innings last season while his strikeout (8.8 K/9) and walk (5.1 BB/9) rates took big hits, but teams do love to roll the dice on formerly elite closers coming off down seasons and/or injury. Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle hears Wilson was upset after being non-tendered and has told people he will not re-sign with the Giants.
- Other non-tendered players like Scott Atchison, Tom Gorzelanny, Mike Pelfrey (coming off Tommy John surgery), and Nate Schierholtz have proven useful in various roles and figure to be relatively popular targets as free agents.
Wilson, 30, has saved 171 games for San Francisco throughout the years. He only appeared in two games this season before blowing out his elbow and requiring Tommy John surgery. Wilson earned $8.5MM this year and was arbitration-eligible for the fourth time as a Super Two. Matt Swartz projected him to earn the same salary again next year.
Although re-signing with the Giants remain possible, recent speculation indicated Wilson could also have interest in pitching for the Dodgers or Red Sox. He makes his offseason home in Los Angeles and grew up in New Hampshire rooting for the Sox. If Ryan Madson's contract is any indication, Wilson is looking at a one-year, low-base salary, incentive-laden contract for next year.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Here's the latest on the World Champion San Francisco Giants...
- "We are open to the idea," said GM Brian Sabean when asked about a long-term contract extension for Buster Posey, though he said they were "not necessarily" open to the idea with Hunter Pence. John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle and Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com passed along the quotes (Twitter links).
- The Giants have had conceptual talks about a multiyear deal with reliever Santiago Casilla, reports Baggarly (on Twitter). The team is not active in any trade discussions, Sabean confirmed.
- Brian Wilson is unlikely to re-sign with the Giants if and when he gets non-tendered, hears Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- In the wake of the Madson signing, the Angels are letting teams know Jordan Walden is "very available" according to ESPN's Jayson Stark (on Twitter). The 25-year-old right-hander pitched to a 3.46 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 39 innings this year.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto would not say whether he was still pursuing Japanese free agent reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, reports Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).
- The Angels will tender contracts to all four arbitration-eligible players according to DiGiovanna (on Twitter). Kendrys Morales, Alberto Callaspo, Jerome Williams, and Kevin Jepsen represent the team's class of arb-eligibles.
- The Angels have claimed shortstop Thomas Field off waivers from the Twins, the team announced. The 25-year-old has hit .260/.315/.260 in 54 plate appearances with the Rockies over the last two years.
- The Padres offered Hiroki Kuroda a one-year deal worth $17-18MM, reports George A. King III of The New York Post. The right-hander instead took a one-year, $15MM deal to return to the Yankees.
- Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports hears Brian Wilson's first choice (aside from the Giants) would be to pitch for the Dodgers next year (Twitter links). Wilson lives in Los Angeles during the offseason and will likely be non-tendered later this week.