Carl Pavano Rumors
The Indians are focused on trade candidates who are under team control beyond 2012, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). This means players such as Shane Victorino aren’t ideal targets for Cleveland. Here are more links from around MLB for Thursday afternoon...
- Marco Scutaro is the most likely Rockies player to be dealt this month, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. The Nationals and Rays are among the teams watching Scutaro, Renck notes.
- The Twins are hoping Carl Pavano and Matt Capps get healthy and pitch well in August so they can pass the pitchers through waivers and consider trading them, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- The Orioles, who continue looking for a third baseman, would have "tried hard" to acquire Placido Polanco if the Phillies hadn't placed him on the disabled list, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new Full Count video up, so let's recap...
- Don't be surprised if the Twins consider trading Justin Morneau. The first baseman is owed $14MM both this season and next, and Minnesota likely needs the position for Joe Mauer long-term. Denard Span, Matt Capps, and Carl Pavano could also be on the block, but Morneau offers hard-to-find power. He has a no-trade clause but the extent is unknown.
- The Phillies hold a $5MM option for 2013 on catcher Carlos Ruiz and an extension is warranted, but at 33 years old, Chooch is three years older than Yadier Molina and four years older than Miguel Montero. They aren't contract comparables.
- This year's crop of free agent center fielders stand to benefit from Adam Jones' new six-year, $88.5MM extension, but age will again be a factor. B.J. Upton will be 28 next season and is two years younger than Michael Bourn and four years younger than Shane Victorino. All three will hit the open market after the season.
- Josh Hamilton is unlikely to sign a contract extension with the Rangers, and the lack of comparable players (both on and off the field) make him even more likely to hit the open market. It's possible the only way to determine his actual value is to let other teams bid for his services as a free agent.
Some NL West notes for Sunday evening..
- More on Ian Stewart from Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post as the 26-year-old says that he's willing to take a significant pay cut to stay with Colorado next season. Stewart says that the club has made no indication of the future outside of telling him to be ready for Spring Training.
- The Rockies would "love" to sign Michael Cuddyer this winter, but Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post thinks they need to focus their offseason spending on pitching rather than offense, given the structure of the NL West. Renck says the club won't get C.J. Wilson, but should "relentlessly" pursue Wandy Rodriguez in a trade, and also do the same with Matt Garza and Carl Pavano. Colorado was Pavano's second choice last offseason after re-signing with the Twins, says Renck.
- Renck's colleague Jim Armstrong tweets that Ian Stewart isn't looking for a change of scenery and will report to the Instructional League on September 27.
- Padres 2008 second rounder James Darnell will miss the Arizona Fall League and undergo surgery to clean up his labrum, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times.
- Bill Neukom's departure from the Giants came down to money and management style, according to Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- In a Q&A with Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffery KNBR Radio, Larry Baer tells fans that the Giants mission won't change much. Baer reminds that his role isn't to evaluate player mechanics, but to make sure that the organization has the funding to field the best team they can to win.
- Earlier today, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti talked about the upcoming offseason.
Links for Wednesday, before Carl Pavano faces some former teammates in the Bronx...
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed to Spencer Fordin of MLB.com that the Yankees were considering Pavano last offseason, despite his injury-riddled stint with the club from 2005-08. "He's resurrected his career," Girardi said. "He's pitched well for the Twins, and he's given them innings. When we've faced him in the playoffs, he's pitched well. The guy knows how to pitch. The big thing for Carl is he's been healthy."
- Neither the Yankees front office nor Girardi seems to assume Jorge Posada will re-sign in New York after the season, when his contract expires, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Posada, who turns 40 in August, does not want to leave and intends to produce and force the Yankees’ hand.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff looks back at the Mets' recent GMs and managers and says the organization hasn't come close to maximizing its resources because of ineffective leaders. Sandy Alderson is the Mets' best hire since Frank Cashen, according to Davidoff.
- MLBTR's Howard Megdal ranked Cashen as the best GM in Mets franchise history during the offseason.
Seven years ago today, the Yankees signed Eduardo Nunez as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic. Now 23, Nunez is in the mix to be New York's utility infielder in 2011 after hitting .280/.321/.360 with more walks (three) than strikeouts (two) in his brief big league debut last season (53 PA).
Here are some more notes that have to do with the Yanks and their fellow AL East clubs...
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post reports that the Yankees "have told their scouts to bear down on several teams they think could have starters available" in a trade this summer. The teams they are targeting include the Braves, Angels, A's, White Sox, and Cardinals according to Sherman.
- Jayson Werth told SI.com's Jon Heyman that he had a "great" meeting with the Red Sox earlier this offseason, after which he figured they would offer six years (Twitter link). They only offered five, so he ended up with the Nationals.
- Carl Pavano spoke to Kelsie Smith of The Pioneer Press about being pursued by the Yankees this offseason. "I don't think [the past] would be a hindrance, but there would have definitely been obstacles," said Pavano. "I'm not naïve enough to think that there wouldn't have been things I would have had to overcome, especially the trust of the fans and maybe some of the guys that were there. That's reality."
- Richard Griffin of The Toronto Star notes (on Twitter) that four of the Blue Jays' ten highest paid players are former closers: Jason Frasor, Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, and Octavio Dotel.
- When asked about the payroll disparity between his Rays and other teams in the division, Joe Maddon told Ken Davidoff of Newsday that he's "never seen a dollar bill throw a strike, or hit a homer, or whatever." (Twitter link)
- In today's blog post (Insider req'd), ESPN's Buster Olney writes about the pressure both the Cardinals and Cubs will be under if Albert Pujols hits the open market. He likens Chicago's situation to what the Knicks and Cavaliers faced during last year's LeBron James madness.
- Carl Crawford told WEEI.com's Dennis & Callahan that the Yankees never made him an offer this offseason, and that he "didn't want to be somebody's backup plan." New York met with Crawford during the winter meetings.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman heard that the Pirates offered Carl Pavano two years and $13MM while the Yankees offered one-year and $9.75MM with incentives (Twitter link). Pavano eventually rejoined the Twins for two years and $16.5MM.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears "rumblings" that certain big market teams want to "drop" the Athletics and Rays, even though there's little chance it actually happens. Contraction doesn't appear to be on the horizon given revenue streams, and as Rosenthal notes, the player's union would consider the elimation of 50 jobs an "act of war."
- In a separate article, Rosenthal explores the domino effect Wainwright's injury may have on the Cardinals.
- Richard Sandomir and Ken Belson of The New York Times report that "a variety of proposals are surfacing that suggest that investors want more than the Mets are offering." The Wilpons are looking to sell about 25% of the team in the wake of the Madoff scandal, but not controlling interest.
- Over at RotoAuthority, Tim Dierkes ranks the top fantasy outfielders.
Twins Assistant GM Rob Antony recently sat down for a chat with Jesse Lund from Twinkie Town to discuss a variety of topics. Let's recap the hot stove talk...
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka first popped up on the team's radar after Antony mentioned to his agent that the team was looking to get more athletic on the infield. This was long before they decided to trade J.J. Hardy.
- The Twins believe Nishioka is a good player, but they understand there might be a bit of a transition period. Not just for the move to MLB, but the move to the United States. They've hired an interpreter for Nishioka, and don't believe the additional Japanese media will be an issue in the clubhouse.
- The three-year, $9MM contract Nishioka signed was "exactly what we pretty much anticipated and were willing to give." They were trying to add speed and athleticism to the lineup, but no one on the free agent market jumped out at them, hence the pursuit of Nishioka.
- Hardy was expected to make $5MM+ in 2011 (he eventually signed for $5.85MM), and the team "just decided that we wanted to put that money into other areas." Carl Pavano, Jim Thome, and most of the bullpen were free agents, so they had to prioritize. "Trying to fit all those guys into a budget was going to be impossible."
- The Twins had conversations with other teams about Hardy, but there were never any real offers. The trade with Baltimore was "by far [their] best opportunity to make a deal." It became apparent that Brendan Harris wasn't a fit anymore, hence his inclusion in the trade.
- Antony says the Twins like Rule 5 Draft pick Scott Diamond in long relief, and Dusty Hughes' success against Minnesota last year played a role in claiming him off waivers.
- Although they would have liked to retain Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch, and Brian Fuentes, the Twins just "couldn't compete" with the multyear offers they were receiving as free agents.
- Thome decided that Minnesota was where he wanted to be after talking with his family, and the money didn't appear to be much of an issue.
- Antony expected Pavano to get two or three years at $10-11MM per season, and he knows the Brewers had some interest in the right-hander. Pavano's agent basically told the Twins he wanted to play there, and he wasn't a guy that was "chasing the last dollar."
- Rumors of Francisco Liriano being available in a trade were just that, rumors. As far as a multiyear deal with the lefty, Antony said there "can be many reasons why you don't consummate a multiyear deal, and sometimes the player doesn't want to, sometimes the club doesn't want to, sometimes you just don't agree on numbers, or whatever. So we're not going to talk about any of our negotiations with that or anything else, but he was a big part of our rotation. We're not talking to anybody right now on Francisco Liriano."
- The team is at the "far reaches" of where they can go with payroll, so they tried to maintain flexibility for 2012 by not doing any multiyears deals this offseason (aside from Pavano).
- "If the right deal arises and we can improve our ballclub, we could look at it from that point of view," said Antony, regarding a potential trade involving one of the team's excess starting pitchers. "I don't think we'd trade away one of our starting pitchers for a middle reliever or something. It would have to be something that would make sense for us. And a trade isn't even the most likely scenario, it's a possible scenario."
The latest on the Yankees from Joel Sherman of the New York Post, as the Bronx Bombers trickle down to Florida for the start of another Spring Training...
- The Yankees have zero interest in Carlos Delgado. The longtime Blue Jays slugger wants to play in 2011, but hasn’t been getting much interest so far.
- The Yankees checked in on Jarrod Washburn earlier in the winter, but talks did not progress much. However, the Yankees would consider Washburn if he’s willing to accept a minor league deal like Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon did.
- The Yankees had interest in Carl Pavano but didn’t want to surrender a draft pick for the former Yankee, so they discussed a scenario that would have seen the Diamondbacks sign Pavano and trade him to New York for prospects. The Yankees could have kept their draft picks and worked out a deal with Arizona GM Kevin Towers, who worked for the Yankees last year and knows their farm system well. The D’Backs would have lost their second-round pick (63rd overall) to the Twins had they signed Pavano.
Last offseason, agents negotiated four contracts known to include the bonus of prohibiting the team from offering arbitration if the player received Type A status. Aside from Orlando Hudson, none of the four came close to Type A (Hudson was a B). In general, none of the 14 Type As who were offered arbitration in November saw their market adversely affected, though Jason Frasor and Frank Francisco played it safe and accepted. It was thought that Grant Balfour might have a hard time finding a deal, but the Athletics inked him for two years and $8.1MM.
Three contracts signed this winter prevent the team from offering arbitration if the player is a Type A at the end of the term:
- Javier Vazquez, ACES. The Yankees may have been counting on snagging a draft pick upon Vazquez's departure, but he slipped to Type B with a lousy 2010. If Vazquez pushes himself back to A status with a strong season for the Marlins, they won't be able to offer arbitration.
- Kevin Correia, Lapa/Leventhal. This agency snagged the "no arbitration offer" clause for Justin Duchscherer last offseason as well. Correia signed a two-year deal with the Pirates, so this clause applies to the 2012-13 offseason. More importantly, Correia has a million bucks in incentives for '12.
- Carl Pavano, O'Connell Sports Management. As a Type B after the '09 season, Pavano accepted the Twins' arbitration offer and took the one-year deal. He moved up to a Type A this winter, and the draft pick cost possibly did give a few teams pause. After the '12 season, Pavano will not be saddled with that cost.
- The contract was negotiated six years ago, but Scott Boras client Carlos Beltran can't be offered arbitration after '11. Beltran was pretty close to Type A for 2009-10 despite playing in only 145 games over that span. Given his $18.5MM salary the arbitration offer question is probably moot for the Mets anyway.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tackles the subject of arbitration hearings in his latest column, pointing out that teams are far more willing to settle on salaries with their players than they used to be. After speaking to Astros president Tal Smith, who says hearings don't involve as much "mud-slinging" as you'd think, Cafardo wonders why more clubs aren't inclined to fight to keep their payroll down. Here are the rest of his notes:
- James Loney won't be traded for now, but the Nationals made a "good push" for him earlier this winter, before they signed Adam LaRoche.
- According to one of Cafardo's Red Sox sources, Jonathan Papelbon will be available throughout the season, regardless of where the Sox are in the standings.
- Cafardo indicates that before Carl Pavano agreed to a two-year deal with the Twins, the Yankees offered the right-hander a one-year pact worth $7MM.
- Ron Washington offers the latest on the Rangers' plan for Neftali Feliz, who could get a chance to start this year after winning Rookie of the Year honors as a closer: "We’re going to bring [Feliz] into camp and give him an opportunity to stretch himself out. And if he shows us he’s better fitted with our ball club to start, then we’ll go in that direction. If not, we know he can close ballgames and we’re very happy with that."
- Joaquin Benoit discussed former teammates Carl Crawford and Rafael Soriano with Cafardo, opining that Red Sox pitchers will love having Crawford behind them, and expressing some surprise that Soriano won't be closing in 2011. He also told Cafardo that he was "getting a lot of phone calls" this winter from fellow relievers who felt Benoit helped them by signing early to his three-year deal.