Brian Wilson Rumors
The MLBPA announced that Dave Prouty has been promoted to the position of general counsel, replacing executive director Michael Weiner in that role. The 54-year-old Prouty becomes the fourth general counsel in the history of the MLBPA. “I am confident that Dave will excel in his new role and that the players will continue to receive the high level of legal representation they have come to expect from their union,” Weiner said. Here are some links from around MLB...
- While emphasizing that GM Brian Sabean decides which players to sign, Giants skipper Bruce Bochy won't rule out a return for Brian Wilson, writes Chris Haft of MLB.com. "I can't say that [Wilson] will be back." But, Bochy added, "I can't say the door's closed on Brian Wilson. ... I don't think that's completely shut."
- The Mets are still hopeful on Michael Bourn and General Manager Sandy Alderson talking about him publicly is a positive sign, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, nothing appears to be imminent between the club and the top remaining free agent left on the open market.
- In an appearance on ESPN Dallas’ the Ben & Skin Show, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said he hopes to stay in Texas long-term (story via Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com). However, the Scott Boras client said he’s prepared to “see what happens” when his contract expires following the 2014 season. “We’re still talking about it. That’s all I can say. For sure, I would love to stay here.”
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti suggested on MLB Network that free agent third baseman Scott Rolen will "probably end up some other place than Los Angeles,"Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. The Dodgers had “some interest” in bringing Rolen on to provide depth at the corner infielder positions, Colletti acknowledged.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has the details on the incentives included in the contracts for Kyle Farnsworth and Kelly Johnson. The Rays announced their deals with both players yesterday.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Mets' search for bullpen help has led them to some prominent free agent relievers. The Mets are pursuing Jose Valverde, and would even consider bringing Francisco Rodriguez back to New York, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. However, a deal with Brian Wilson is now considered “very unlikely.”
The Mets are interested in signing Valverde, but only on their terms. Rubin suggests the Mets might be prepared to guarantee Valverde $4MM on a deal with significant incentives. Though the Mets have some interest in Rodriguez, he is believed to be seeking about $7MM, according to Rubin. Both free agent right-handers are clients of the Boras Corporation.
The Mets visited Roy Oswalt to convince him to join the team as its closer, Rubin reports. Oswalt is not interested in becoming a closer, so he’s no longer an option for GM Sandy Alderson. The Mets have one serious offer out to a late-inning reliever who’s not a closer, Rubin adds. The team expects to hear back from the player shortly.
Earlier today, Mets GM Sandy Alderson joined Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio. Here's a look at some highlights with all links going to Bowden's Twitter..
- The GM said that he would be very reluctant to give up a first-round pick to sign Michael Bourn, but Bowden (on Twitter) got the impression that they are considering the possibility because of the strength of their farm system. The Mets have interest in Bourn and the player's union could potentially support them if they try and argue that their No. 11 pick should be protected from compensation.
- Alderson said that the club may go back and see Brian Wilson pitch again in a few days (Twitter link). The last time they saw the former Giants closer it was early on in his process. It has been said that the Mets would jump at the chance to sign Wilson to a minor league deal, but that seems unlikely.
- Alderson implied that if the trade of Justin Upton to the Braves had happened before Scott Hairston's signing with the Cubs, the club may have had a chance to grab Hairston (Twitter link). Meanwhile, the GM says that he is still looking for ways to upgrade the outfield.
Condolences go out to the family and friends of Hall of Famer Stan Musial, who passed away this afternoon according to the Cardinals. He was 92. Stan the Man was a .331/.417/.559 career hitter who slugged 475 homers and was thrice named league MVP during his 22 seasons with St. Louis.
Here's the latest from around the league as Saturday turns into Sunday...
- “I’m going to be brutally honest as I always am, I don’t [think Brian Wilson will return],” said Giants GM Brian Sabean to Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of The New York Post. Sabean acknowledged talking to Wilson's agent about a low-base salary, incentive-laden contract prior to non-tendering him.
- Some teams interested in acquiring Justin Upton have been struggling to get a response from the Diamondbacks according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). There's plenty of interest, but offers haven't been easy to make.
- Rich Hill told reporters (including Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal and Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald) that he is confident he'll find a big league contract on the open market (Twitter links). The lefty reliever has not talked about returning to the Red Sox on a minor league deal.
- Larry Stone of The Seattle Times took an updated look at the Mariners' payroll, which currently sits just north of $78MM according to his calculations.
The Mets would take Brian Wilson on a minor league deal, but that's not happening right now, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Earlier today, we learned that the Giants are in talks with fellow reliever Brandon Lyon and his signing would almost certainly mean that Wilson is out of the picture in San Francisco. Even if that happens, it's hard to imagine Wilson having to take a minor league contract from a team. Here's more on the Mets and other items from the NL East..
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said earlier today that the club is close to finalizing deals with a few of their arbitration eligible players but declined to say which ones, tweets Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The Nats signed Drew Storen to a one-year deal today but they still have Roger Bernadina, Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Ross Detwiler, Craig Stammen, and Jordan Zimmermann on the docket.
- In an interview with Mike Francesa on WFAN, Mets GM Sandy Alderson was asked to grade the club's offseason. "I'd say right now it's an incomplete but there's still time in the semester," said the GM, according to Marc Carig of Newsday (on Twitter).
- Alderson also said that the club is involved in a number of things at the moment and expects to have some additions before the start of spring training, according to the Mets (on Twitter).
- Rafael Soriano was surely lured to the Nationals in part by his two-year, $28MM deal, but he said at today's presser that the opportunity to win a World Series also played a role, according to the Nats' official Twitter.
The Giants are in deep discussions with reliever Brandon Lyon, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. If the Giants sign the right-hander, it is expected to be the last move they make this winter.
If inking Lyon does close the books on significant moves for the 2012/13 offseason, that would spell the end of fellow reliever Brian Wilson in San Francisco. Giants vice president Bobby Evans says that it's an oversimplification to say that signing Lyon would leave Wilson on the outside, but he acknowledged that "there are only so many spots that can be filled."
In 67 outings for the Astros and Blue Jays last season, Lyon posted a 3.10 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. It was an all-around strong showing for the 33-year-old who was limited to just 15 games in 2011 due to bicep surgery.
The Diamondbacks had insisted on receiving Major League-ready talent in any trade for Justin Upton, but were willing to accept prospects in last week's proposed deal with the Mariners that Upton blocked with his no-trade clause. D'Backs GM Kevin Towers tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that the change in philosophy was due to the rising cost of free agents and the fact that the Snakes had added outfield depth in Cody Ross.
"It’s easier to do more of a prospect-driven deal than before. To me, it would have to be the right prospects," Towers said. "We’re targeting people’s best prospects and upper-level guys that we think are close -- if not (major league-ready) this year, then next year.”
Some more news from around baseball...
- The Diamondbacks seem intent on trading Upton, leaving MLB.com's Matthew Leach puzzled at why the club would move a talented young player on a controllable contract.
- The Mets haven't given up on the possibility of offering Brian Wilson a Major League contract, reports Newsday's Marc Carig (Twitter link). We heard earlier today that the Mets were unimpressed when they watched Wilson throw over the weekend.
- The Braves have one of the least-profitable TV deals in baseball but team CEO Terry McGuirk says that low broadcasting revenues aren't hampering how the club does business, McGuirk tells David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Braves have 14 years left on their current TV deal, which McGuirk describes as “iron-clad."
- Athletics GM Billy Beane said it was difficult to move a highly-regarded pitching prospect like A.J. Cole, CSN Bay Area's Casey Pratt reports. However, the GM said it had to be done to help the A's contend in 2013. "We're shifting all of our focus on the Major League club and trying to take as much advantage as we can of the opportunity we have," Beane said.
- Beane said he prepared to go with a platoon of Derek Norris and George Kottaras behind the plate, MLB.com's Jane Lee reports (Twitter links). "Only if it was John Jaso" would he have made a move to improve Oakland's catching. Beane said he had been trying to acquire Jaso from the Mariners over the last couple of months.
- Buster Posey tops the list of baseball's best 25-year-old players, according to ESPN's Keith Law (ESPN Insider subscription req'd).
- Cubs president Theo Epstein told reporters (including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune) that Edwin Jackson's age and track record made the team comfortable enough to sign him to a big free agent contract.
- In another item from Sullivan, Epstein said that he expects the Cubs to contend in 2013 despite the fact that they're still ostensibly rebuilding. "Otherwise, there’s no reason to show up or build a team,” Epstein said. “It’s postseason or bust every year. That’s what our goal is."
The Mets completed a nine-figure contract extension and made a blockbuster trade this winter, but they’ve been quiet in free agency. Mike Puma of the New York Post has the latest on their current pursuits...
- The Mets watched free agent reliever Brian Wilson this weekend, and weren’t impressed, Puma reports. The Mets don’t consider the rehabbing right-hander to be worthy of a big league deal at this point. Wilson, who’s recovering from Tommy John surgery, wasn’t interested in a minor league contract, according to Puma. The Mets could watch him pitch later on, but right now he’s not physically ready in the view of Mets personnel. “He’s got a ways to go,” one person said. The Mets were known to have interest in Wilson.
- It’s believed that the Mets countered Scott Hairston’s asking price of two years and $8MM with a one-year, $2MM offer, Puma reports. One source suggested to the Post that the Mets will find a way of adding an outfielder even if they don’t re-sign the free agent Hairston.
As arbitration eligible players around MLB agree to terms with their respective teams, be sure to use MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker. The tool allows users to search in many ways, including by team and by service time. Here are the latest links from around MLB...
- The Giants' multiyear deals with Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro are among five free agent contracts that could backfire, ESPN.com's Jim Bowden writes.
- The Giants would offer Brian Wilson a big league contract, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). The Mets are also in on Wilson, who was non-tendered by San Francisco at the end of November.
- Doug Lara, Marlon Byrd's personal hitting coach, told Puro Beisbol last week that the outfielder is in discussions with the Marlins. Byrd has been playing for the Tomateros de Culiacán this winter (translation via Nick Collias).
- Dennys Reyes told Puro Beisbol that he has offers from the Dodgers, Orioles, and Blue Jays. Among the three, Reyes said, "I'd like to return to the Dodgers," the team he debuted with as 20-year-old in 1997 (translation via Nick Collias).
- Free agent right-hander Jair Jurrjens told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he feels good physically and has begun throwing bullpens (Twitter link).
2:45pm: Alderson is "not sure" if the Mets will extend Wilson an offer, reports the New York Post's Mike Puma.
10:03 am: The Mets are showing strong interest in former Giants closer Brian Wilson, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson watched Wilson yesterday in a private workout.
Before the New Year we learned that Wilson narrowed down his list of suitors in half from about nine or ten to approximately five. The Giants are open to a reunion but are only willing to give Wilson a deal with a low base salary and performance-based incentives. The 30-year-old made only two appearances in 2012 before suffering a season-ending elbow injury.