Byung-Hyun Kim Rumors
According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants offered a minor league deal to free agent Byung-Hyun Kim. Schulman's source believes Kim is holding out for a big league deal. Gutsy move, for a guy who posted a 6.08 ERA last year.
The following hurlers had to settle for minor league deals: Tony Armas Jr., Kris Benson, Brendan Donnelly, Jorge Julio, Rudy Seanez, and Steve Trachsel. It's hard to see where Kim is coming from, if the Schulman report is accurate. You'd think Kim would just be anxious to get to camp and start working. In his defense, he is 29 and whiffed 107 in 118.1 innings last year.
ESPN's Jayson Stark dishes some good rumorage in his latest column.
- Stark dug around to find all the Mark Prior suitors and came up with this list: Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, Mariners, Mets, Cardinals, Padres, Astros, Giants, Reds, Nationals (11 teams). Let's compare notes. MLBTR readers have seen the Yankees, Mets, Cards, Padres, Astros, Reds, and Nats linked to Prior already. So Stark has added the Red Sox, White Sox, Mariners, and Giants. The idea of the Mariners runs contrary to this MLB.com article. Stark did not name the Rangers, who are said to be aggressively pursuing Prior. Prior is dead set on a one-year deal and would take a big league mound in May in the best case.
- The Phils are focused on Geoff Jenkins and Mike Cameron, offering two year deals to each. They might just take the first one to accept. Stark says Kenny Lofton could be an option if both decline. Lofton batted a career-best .335 for the Phils in '05.
- Stark rattles off a laundry list of pitchers the Phillies are interested in: Akinori Otsuka, Byung-Hyun Kim, Roberto Hernandez, Kris Benson, John Parrish, Sidney Ponson, Chad Durbin, Kyle Lohse, and Jeremy Affeldt. Given Stark's 21 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer, I imagine he has a connection or two. Most of those are new names besides Benson, Lohse, Ponson, and Affeldt.
- A source of Stark picks the Yankees as the favorite for Johan, but it should be noted that they're having internal debates about pulling Phil Hughes off the table.
- For all the crazy Cubs fans we've got here: Stark says they've talked to the Orioles about both Brian Roberts and Erik Bedard, but couldn't pull off a deal for both. They favor Roberts even though they need Bedard much more.
Plenty of new hot stove talk involving the Mets. Let's get into it.
- First off, there's the fact that Omar Minaya met with Scott Boras yesterday. Minaya says he talked to Boras about all the players he represents. Besides Mr. Rodriguez, Eric Gagne, Byung-Hyun Kim, Kenny Rogers, and Kyle Lohse may be considerations for the Mets. Indeed, there is some buzz that the Mets could bring Kim in to compete for a rotation spot.
- So what about A-Rod? He'd cost the Mets a ton of money, plus the #22 overall pick in the 2008 draft. It sounds like the Mets may hear Boras out as a courtesy, and even put in an offer they feel is reasonable. That number might fall far short of what it will take, as did theirs for Daisuke Matsuzaka and Barry Zito a year ago. That said, Mets insiders aren't afraid of the full retail price of Rodriguez.
- The top priority remains pitching. Carlos Silva, Tom Glavine, Hiroki Kuroda, and A.J. Burnett are on the radar. On the relief side, Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch could again be in the mix. The Nats' are said to have their eye on Carlos Gomez and Mike Pelfrey. Gomez is a hot topic these days - the Twins want him too, and could offer up Matt Garza, Kevin Slowey, or Scott Baker.
Not only did the D'Backs snag Jeff Cirillo today, but they brought back an old friend in 28 year-old hurler Byung-Hyun Kim. The Diamondbacks traded Kim to the Red Sox for Shea Hillenbrand back in May of 2003. With Yusmeiro Petit and Micah Owings filling out the back end of the rotation, the Diamondbacks needed to add some depth.
I like that the D'Backs are willing to spend a few bucks to strengthen the back end of their roster. Kim will make approximately another $800,000, and the Marlins were happy to be free of it. Kim's always posted a nice strikeout rate; maybe the Diamondbacks can help him regain some semblance of control.
I was just talking to a coworker about how the Diamondbacks are in first place with very little star power. Brandon Webb is probably the only player on the roster currently considered elite. Eric Byrnes leads the team with an .871 OPS. Doug Davis is their #2 starter, but they still have the fifth best starting pitching ERA in the league at 4.17. The bullpen's been about equally as good. They're about middle-of-the-pack in defensive efficiency. How is this team 10 games over .500?
Some portion of it has to be luck. The Diamondbacks are 60-50 in real life but have a Pythagorean record of just 51-59. They've got a 23-15 record in one-run games. This might explain why all of Baseball Prospectus's playoff odds reports give a better chance to both the Dodgers and Padres.
Jayson Stark has updated his big ol' rumor post over at ESPN.com. Some highlights:
- Stark believes Mark Teixeira to the Braves or Angels is "almost certainly going to happen." The Angels' willingness to offer Joe Saunders instead of Ervin Santana is seen as a big plus. Meanwhile the Braves want the Rangers to tack C.J. Wilson onto their trade but Texas is resisting. Stark's update counteracts Will Carroll's latest; Will recently wrote: "It's looking more and more like Mark Teixeira is going to stay a Ranger." You decide.
- Toss a few more scenarios into the Octavio Dotel mix: to the Red Sox for David Murphy, or to the Mariners for Wladimir Balentien. Big difference there.
- Stark calls Mark Loretta a "very big name to watch." Hmmm, maybe this trade deadline is lamer than I realized.
- OK, the market is now open on Houston's relievers.
- The Marlins would be happy to trade Armando Benitez or Byung-Hyun Kim. Both would need to shake off major control problems to be of any use.
- Stark says to forget about trades of Daniel Cabrera, Joe Blanton, Richie Sexson, Livan Hernandez, Dontrelle Willis, Todd Helton, Aaron Rowand, and Noah Lowry. C'mon now, that's no fun. Something tells me the rumors on some of this group won't disappear, so it's all good.
As you may have heard by now, a couple of down-and-out pitchers were swapped today as the Marlins sent Jorge Julio to the Rockies for Byung-Hyun Kim.
The hurlers have a lot in common - both are free agents after the season, and the Marlins and Rockies were each on the hook for $2.5MM in salary. Plus, both had fallen out of favor with their respective teams.
The Rockies already have a strong duo for the eighth and ninth innings - Manny Corpas and Brian Fuentes. Dan O'Dowd decided to buy low on Julio, a fairly young reliever whose results never seem to match his stuff. From the gist of the MLB.com article, it sounds like O'Dowd worked the phones for months trying to get something interesting for Kim and Julio was the best he could do.
This could be one of those deals that works for both sides, as I've considered Kim a bit of a sleeper in recent years. The sidearmer had a decent 7.5 K/9 last year, but still posted a 5.57 ERA in 27 starts. If the Marlins can help him regain the control he had in '02-03, he could be a pleasant surprise. And what pitcher wouldn't want to switch from Coors Field to Dolphins Stadium? Coors inflates homers by 12%, while Dolphins Stadium deflates them by 9% (according to the Bill James Handbook). While there are no public plans for it right now, Kim could end up closing for the Fish if current options don't pan out.
A few small Rockies tidbits from Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post:
- Part of the reason the Rockies were unable to bring reliever Ron Villone aboard was that they didn't have room in their budget. To get some flexibility, they'd love to unload Byung-Hyun Kim's $2.5MM and get a cheap reliever in return. Renck mentions that the Rox have kicked the tires on Milwaukee's recently demoted Jose Capellan.
- Scott Boras declared yesterday that there will be no in-season negotiations regarding a multiyear contract for Matt Holliday. Holliday won't reach free agency until after 2009, but if he keeps doing what he's doing he'll make the most money by going year-to-year. Another Boras client, Joe Crede, has followed this model. I believe Crede can compare himself to free agent peers in his final arbitration year after this season. If you think he's on par with Adrian Beltre, he might be in line for $10MM. That might mean a midsummer trade. But I digress.
An unhappy Byung-Hyun Kim isn't doing much for the Rockies in their bullpen, and they'd love to unload the sidearmer and his $2.5MM salary. Ken Rosenthal says the Rox could release Kim if they can't find a taker. That wouldn't look great for Dan O'Dowd, who made the decision to exercise Kim's option back in November.
Rosenthal describes "low-level discussions" regarding Kim with the Orioles, A's, Royals, and Cardinals. The O's wouldn't surrender even Todd Williams for Kim. Joe Kennedy had a strong first effort for Oakland, so their interest may be reduced. I originally thought he'd be a good fit for St. Louis, but Cards fans disagreed. Perhaps Chris Carpenter's condition will heighten their interest.
The Rangers, Pirates, Marlins, and Dodgers have been connected to Kim in the past.
The Rockies have been shopping Byung-Hyun Kim with little success and earlier in the week, it's likely that the Oakland A's can be crossed off the list of possible trade partners. Oakland had been hoping to solidify the fifth starter's slot and Joe Kennedy turned in a nice performance on Tuesday.
Kennedy struck out 9 and allowed only one walk and four hits in five innings. Despite the strong performance however, Kennedy's ERA for the spring stands at 14.11, so don't be surprised if the A's feel the need to start browsing the pitching aisles again.
Ken Rosenthal's recent column is chock full o' rumors as usual. The highlights:
- The Rockies offered Byung-Hyun Kim to the Orioles for reliever Todd Williams but were turned down. The O's may yet work out a deal with the Mets for Williams. Kim, meanwhile, may end up a bargain for some team if the price is that low. Really, he's better than most teams' fifth starters.
- Rosenthal agrees with most that Carlos Zambrano will sign with the Cubs by Opening Day. However, a couple of other big-name free-agent starters to be probably will hit the market. Jason Jennings and Jake Westbrook are two of the younger members of the '08 free agent starter class. Mark Buehrle, Joe Kennedy, Kyle Lohse, and Kim will all be under 30 as well.