Byung-Hyun Kim Rumors
The Rockies have several rumors cooking on the hot stove as we approach the season.
First there's infielder Clint Barmes, recently demoted to Triple A. Patrick Saunders writes that the Rangers are still interested, but the Rockies are asking for too much given his performance last year. A few days ago Ken Rosenthal linked the Twins, Cubs, Marlins, and Royals to Barmes. I imagine the Royals are no longer interested.
Saunders also reports that the Rangers are out on Byung-Hyun Kim. The unhappy pitcher could still end up in Oakland or Pittsburgh.
Also, as reported a week ago, the Rockies have liked Mark Hendrickson for some time and could swing a deal with the Dodgers.
Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post has some trade rumor tidbits from around baseball this morning. To summarize:
- Renck does not think the Phils truly want to use Jon Lieber as a reliever, and mentions two scenarios floating around. Lieber could be paired with Aaron Rowand and sent to the White Sox, which I would think would require at least Mike MacDougal. Would be interesting to see Liebs back in Chicago if old pals KW and "Stand Pat" Gillick can work it out. Or, he could go to Milwaukee for Kevin Mench. Such a trade would have to push Claudio Vargas to the bullpen.
- Renck says the Rockies like Mark Hendrickson despite his mediocrity and their stable of starters. The Dodgers would like to include Hendrickson as part of a bigger deal for a slugger.
- Byung-Hyun Kim to Florida is a long shot unless the Rox eat most of his $2.5MM salary. The Rocky Mountain News reiterates that the interested parties are Florida, Oakland, and Texas. You can add the Pirates to that list as well. The Bucs could also trade for Armando Benitez.
- John Thomson seems likely to be released. The A's have been rumored.
The source I talked to said the Marlins actually have no interest in Kim, and the Dodgers only do if they can move Mark Hendrickson in the trade. It really seems to be the A's leading the pack because of reservations with Joe Kennedy. Kennedy wasn't going to pitch 200 innings anyway, so they've known for a while that they need a strong sixth man.
If the Pirates were to acquire Kim, they'd quietly have some solid starting pitching depth in the organization.
Ken Rosenthal has been hard at work with his sources, and he has a new article at FOX Sports. Some highlights:
- The Marlins and Dodgers are interested in Byung-Hyun Kim as a reliever, and the A's could add him as the fifth starter instead of Joe Kennedy. Kim, a 28 year-old sidearmer, hasn't closed since '03 with Boston. A trade to Florida would make him the ninth inning favorite though. He'll earn $2.5MM this year.
- The Rockies like Mark Hendrickson of L.A., and they may release Josh Fogg this spring. I wouldn't discard Kim while acquiring Hendrickson; Kim projects as a slightly better pitcher. Advantages to acquiring Hendrickson from Dan O'Dowd's point of view: a slightly better groundball rate and two years remaining until free agency.
- The Blue Jays want to give Josh Towers a rotation spot. Towers has nine Ks in nine innings this spring while allowing two runs. Does spring training really have that kind of influence on a team's decision-makers? Towers will make $2.9MM this season, but he's still pretty far from free agency. The Jays would like to trade John Thomson; otherwise they may release him. As a newly signed free agent Thomson can veto any deal. He'd be wise to take a trade to the NL, in my opinion.
- Rosenthal thinks the Orioles and Nationals will be competing for Mark Teixeira, who will become a free agent after the 2008 season. Tex is a Maryland native, which usually doesn't matter for a Boras client. But Boras might actually be able to use this to get the two clubs bidding against each other.
Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says that the Rockies have made it known in recent talks that Kim is available. He speculates that Kim's lower salary and relative youth make him the more attractive pitcher. Oh, and there's also the fact that he's better than Fogg.
You know what would be awesome? If the Red Sox traded for Kim and used him as their closer again. But seriously, there should be strong interest around baseball in Kim as a starter or reliever. He wouldn't be a bad fit on the Cardinals.