Carl Pavano Rumors
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke with Indians manager Terry Francona, who is very grateful to have a fresh start. Francona would love to make things competitive with the Tigers in his first season in Cleveland, but he's not getting ahead of himself. “There are good teams in our division,” said Francona. “We know how good Detroit is, but you know we can’t approach the season like that. We know we’re playing Toronto first and we have to take care of things with them and then move on to the next series." Here's more from Cafardo..
- Carlos Zambrano is an intriguing free agent, but his reputation as a bad clubhouse guy coupled with his downward-trending performance has kept teams away. “You’ve got to be up for what he brings,” said an NL GM. “Not saying the guy hasn’t been good in his career because he has, but when things go bad, he has a rap sheet that shows how he reacts, and that’s hard to overcome.” The 31-year-old boasts a career 3.66 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.
- Brian Wilson could be an option for the Tigers once he’s ready, but one National League GM says that he's going to stick to his plan of not letting anyone see him throw until he's 100%, “I think everyone is anxious to see when that time comes, because if he gets it back to what he used to be, he’s going to help someone immediately down the stretch of a pennant race,” said the GM. Cafardo won't rule out a return to the Giants for Wilson either.
- The serious spleen injury suffered by free agent right-hander Carl Pavano has put baseball in the distant future and could even spell the end of his career. Pavano lost a significant amount of blood and faces a long recovery after he fell at his Vermont home while shoveling snow.
- People in baseball have long been wondering when the Cubs will trade Alfonso Soriano, but Cafardo notes that the veteran seems especially happy with the club and has played with intensity through spring training. Soriano is set to earn $18MM in each of the next two seasons.
The Rockies are no longer looking at free agent starter Carl Pavano, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (via Twitter). It's likely that the team backed off its pursuit due to Pavano recently suffering a ruptured spleen, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Pavano is expected to need six-to-eight weeks to recuperate from the injury, which occurred while he was shoveling snow at his home.
The Mets and Rockies had both recently been linked to Pavano and New York had already moved on, agreeing to sign Shaun Marcum earlier today. Colorado has been looking to sign either Pavano or Derek Lowe this week though Renck reported yesterday that the Rockies weren't close to signing either pitcher. It's hard to see Pavano finding a new team before Opening Day given that he'll miss most of Spring Training and was already an injury risk given that he missed the last four months of the 2012 season with a shoulder injury.
- Though the Rockies continue looking for starting pitching, they aren’t close to signing Carl Pavano or Derek Lowe, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. Renck reported earlier this week that the Rockies were pursuing the free agent right-handers aggressively.
- The Rockies would love to sign free agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a minor league deal, Renck reports. The veteran backstop played for the Rangers, Brewers and Blue Jays in 2012.
- The Yankees discussed Delmon Young internally, but didn’t have great reports on his performance, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Phillies signed Young to a one-year contract yesterday.
- Vernon Wells could spend much of the coming season on the Angels’ bench, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Wells is unlikely to be traded, yet he doesn’t project as a regular. Though the Angels explored deals involving Wells, owner Arte Moreno was never willing to absorb a substantial part of the $42MM remaining on Wells’ contract to complete a trade. Naturally other teams weren’t interested in paying Wells $21MM per season through 2014.
We've seen a couple of Minor League signings in the AL West tonight, with the Astros adding Erik Bedard and the Rangers adding Nate Robertson. Here's some more news coming out of baseball's two western divisions...
- The Rockies have offered Yorvit Torrealba a Minor League contract, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding (via Troy Renck on Twitter). Torrealba hit .227/.293/.330 in 218 plate appearances between the Rangers, Blue Jays and Brewers. He hit .258/.316/.394 over the course of four seasons with the Rox from 2006-09.
- Renck believes that the Rockies have a good chance at landing Carl Pavano, but suspects that the veteran righty has at least one other offer (Twitter link). Colorado is said to be aggressively pursuing Pavano.
- There's a "definite opportunity" for Rick Ankiel to make the Astros' 25-man roster this Spring, manager Bo Porter told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. The team is looking for a left-handed complement to J.D. Martinez and Justin Maxwell. Ankiel inked a Minor League deal with Houston earlier this month. Porter was his third base coach with the Nationals.
- In that same piece, Porter says that he spoke with recently suspended prospect Jonathan Singleton and told Singleton the organization is behind him as he looks to atone for his mistake.
The Rockies signed Chris Volstad yesterday, but that’s not stopping them from going after more veteran pitching. The club is “aggressively pursuing” free agent right-handers Carl Pavano and Derek Lowe, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. The Rockies would like to complete another deal this week.
Lowe, a 39-year-old client of the Boras Corporation, posted a 5.11 ERA with 3.5 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 142 2/3 innings for the Indians and Yankees this past season. He has drawn interest from multiple teams as a free agent. Pavano, 37, has drawn interest from the Mets, Twins and Marlins this winter. The Dave Pepe client posted a 6.00 ERA in 63 innings for the Twins in 2012, spending considerable time on the disabled list with a shoulder strain.
Free agent outfielder Scott Hairston is choosing between his former team, the Mets, and New York's American League representative, the Yankees. As we await news on Hairston's decision, here are some Mets-related links...
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he'd like to add a starting pitcher of the Chris Young or Carl Pavano ilk, ESPN.com's Adam Rubin reports. “I couldn’t identify who that might be at this point, but that general category of player is probably what we’re looking at,” Alderson said. The Mets have also been linked to Shaun Marcum, though Marcum's asking price could deter the Mets.
- Alderson said the Mets also hope to add at least one veteran reliever before Opening Day, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports. The GM explained that it was a difficult winter to build through free agency. "The free agent market for outfielders was almost as overpriced as the market for starting pitching," he said. "But be that as it may, we're still looking." A trade remains possible, though there are some prospects Alderson wouldn't deal.
- The Mets need outfield depth, but don't expect them to consider Michael Bourn. They would have to surrender their first round pick to sign a free agent such as Bourn, and Alderson confirmed to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger that the Mets aren’t about to give up their top draft choice. “We’ve very wary of that. It’s not our M.O,” he said.
- Mets scouts have watched Javier Vazquez, McCullough reports. Teams have been watching the right-hander throw in Puerto Rico.
Mark Hale of the New York Post has a number of updates related to New York’s two teams. Here’s the latest (all links go to Twitter)...
- The Mets remain interested in Scott Hairston, Hale reports. GM Sandy Alderson has checked in on a number of outfielders, including Jason Kubel and Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks.
- Agent Dave Pepe, who represents free agent right-hander Carl Pavano, said there’s some mutual interest between the Mets and his client. "We clearly have an interest and I think they do too,” Pepe told Hale. “We’ll see where it goes.” The agent added that Pavano’s workouts are going well and that he’s drawing interest from multiple teams.
- The agent for Scott Podsednik said the Mets haven’t shown any interest in the free agent outfielder, Hale reports.
- Agent John Boggs said the Yankees and Mets are among five teams to express interest in free agent outfielder Ben Francisco. Playing time will figure into Francisco’s decision, according to Boggs. The right-handed hitting Francisco has a career line of .252/.329/.414 against left-handed pitching.
- The Yankees don’t have interest in Jim Thome, Hale reports.
8:36am: Free agent left-hander Joe Saunders is talking to the Orioles, Mariners, and Padres according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Pirates also had interest, but the Francisco Liriano signing presumably takes them out of the running.
Saunders, 31, pitched to a 4.07 ERA in 174 2/3 innings for the Diamondbacks and Orioles this season. He posted his typically low strikeout (5.8 K/9) and walk (2.0 BB/9) rates to go along with the lowest full season ground ball rate of his career (43.1%). MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked the veteran southpaw as the 25th best free agent available this winter, predicting he would re-sign with Baltimore.
Scott Hairston would like to return to the Mets in 2013 but the club also has their eye on another free agent outfielder. Here's more on that and other news out of Queens..
- Kevin Burkhardt of SNY (via Twitter) hears that the Mets are very interested in Grady Sizemore. Sizemore missed the entire 2012 season with the Indians and is coming off of microfracture surgery on his right knee.
- The Mets have reached out to the reps of free agent left-hander Francisco Liriano, right-hander Carl Pavano, and many others to replace R.A. Dickey, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (on Twitter). Talks between Liriano and the Twins have reportedly regressed and earlier today we learned that Minnesota is showing intense interest in Rich Harden.
- Phil Mickelson will not be part of the Padres' ownership group, reports Tod Leonard of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The golf star said he isn't "able to make that kind of long-term commitment to the city and to the team."
- It doesn't seem logical for the Rangers to give Edwin Jackson (what would have to be) a four-year, $50MM contract, opines MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. We heard earlier tonight that the Rangers and Cubs were the final two contenders for Jackson's services.
- Major League Baseball has ruled that the $2MM the Angels will donate to Josh Hamilton's charitable foundation will count towards the team's luxury tax payments and be counted as "noncash compensation," reports The Associated Press. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal noted the charitable portion of Hamilton's contract earlier today.
- It can be difficult for players to mentally adjust to the "baseball limbo" that is the offseason rumor mill, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick writes.
- Money has been no object for Tigers owner Mike Ilitch as he pursues a World Series title, but ESPN's Buster Olney wonders if the Tigers' next owner will be able to keep the club's payroll in the $150MM range given the limitations of Detroit's market. (An ESPN Insider subscription is required to read Olney's column.)
- Nick Swisher will not be visiting the Giants during his tour of potential destinations, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. With the Giants not having enough payroll space left to pursue Swisher, I think we can finally put this rumor to bed.
- The Twins and Carl Pavano don't appear to be a fit, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger writes. The two sides met during the Winter Meetings and though Pavano has pitched well in Minnesota, he turns 37 in January and missed most of last season with an injured shoulder. I agree with Bollinger that the Twins would probably want a more reliable option than Pavano given that several other projected members of the Twins rotation are also coming back from injuries.
- Baseball people suggest Trevor Bauer has a better chance of becoming an impact player than Didi Gregorius, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes. The Diamondbacks sent Bauer to the Indians last week in the three-team deal that brought Gregorius to Arizona. As Piecoro explains in detail, however, there were some questions about Bauer's personality and his ability to be a team player.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post