Carlos Gonzalez Rumors

Quick Hits: Gregg, Tulowitzki, Gonzalez, Kendrick

Kevin Gregg blasted the Cubs after misunderstanding comments from manager Dale Sveum and president Theo Epstein said it was possible that he would release the veteran.  However, the Cubs decided over the weekend to accept Gregg's apology for the incident and will hang on to him, writes Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune.  Here's more from around baseball..

  • The Rockies are not shopping all-stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, sources with direct knowledge of the club's plans told Troy Renck of the Denver Post.  There's still a very small possibility that one will be dealt to address multiple needs, but there is zero likelihood that both will be moved. Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that Rockies ownership doesn't have much interest in moving either player.
  • Also from Renck, he expects the Cardinals to pursue a trade for Tulowitzki this offseason.
  • After being shut down for the season, Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick is now shifting his focus towards 2014 and thinking about where he could be pitching next season, writes Kevin Roberts for MLB.com.  Kendrick, who made $4.5MM this season, will be eligible for salary arbitration this offseason.  
  • Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review puts the spotlight on Dan Fox, the man who built the Pirates' analytical department.

Rosenthal On CarGo, Dodgers, Price, Mujica

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal has a new video up outlining potential hot stove moves this offseason. Let's take a look:

  • The Rockies' ownership doesn't have much interest in trading Carlos Gonzalez or Troy Tulowitzki, though Gonzalez would be more likely to be traded if the club does decide to make a move. The Rangers, with their stocks of young pitching and middle infielders, could be a partner. If on offer in such a deal, Jurickson Profar could handle second base for the Rockies, and could shift to shortstop if the team eventually moves Tulo off of the position. We heard last week that the Mets have interest in CarGo.
  • The Dodgers are expected to trade one of their "big four" – Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier or Yasiel Puig – according to rival executives speaking with Rosenthal. Puig is, of course, the least likely to be moved.
  • The Rays are expected to consider trading David Price over the winter, with Rosenthal again suggesting the Rangers as a team to keep an eye on, noting that Texas had two scouts on hand to watch a recent Price start in Minnesota. The Cubs could also be interested, though their farm system is stronger in position players than it is in pitchers.
  • One major league exec suggests that the pressures of impending free agency and closing for a contender have affected the CardinalsEdward Mujica. A longtime setup man, Mujica was suddenly positioned on the verge of a "major payday" after taking on the Cards' closer role, Rosenthal says.

East Links: Jeter, Drew, CarGo, Gonzalez, Lester

Yankees GM Brian Cashman may be forced to play the bad guy role again as the club considers how they'll address Derek Jeter given the captain's age and durability issues, John Harper of the New York Daily News writes. Three scouts and three executives polled by Harper each said they believe Cashman will acquire an everyday shortstop this offseason, as they don't believe Jeter will be able to handle the position and the Yankees don't have acceptable alternatives. "He’ll be a 40-year old shortstop who already had limited range," one executive said, noting Jeter's injured ankle. "If you’re the GM, it’s your responsibility to make the tough decision for the good of the ballclub.” Here's more notes from around the majors' eastern divisions…

  • The majority of the six baseball people who Harper spoke with suggested shortstop Stephen Drew as a potential free agent acquisition for the Yankees. While Drew has posted a solid .249/.331/.436 line this season and would be a good fit for Yankee Stadium, signing with the Yanks would place him in a delicate situation. "Would Drew — or anyone else — want to sign on as the guy pushing an unwilling Jeter into a role where he would DH mostly and play short only occasionally?" Harper asks.
  • The Mets covet the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez, and one executive familiar with the Rockies' thinking tells Harper they're likely to listen to offers for the star outfielder. However, a trade appears unlikely, as the Rockies want young position players and aren't interested in what the Mets can offer in that regard. Colorado may also consider offers for Troy Tulowitzki, Harper says.
  • CC Sabathia's 4.90 ERA would be the second-worst mark in Yankees history by a pitcher to surpass the 200 inning threshold, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. “I have always been bend-but-don’t-break, and I have broken a lot this year,” Sabathia commented. Sherman says Sabathia has adjusted his delivery in order to better stay on top of the ball so that his fastball does not cut toward the middle of the plate. 
  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson is on track to become the first GM in club history to post increasing loss totals in each of his first three seasons from the team he inherited, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets. The team clinched its fifth consecutive losing season in dropping today's game with the Marlins.
  • The Phillies have no plans for recent Cuban acquisition Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to pitch competitively this season, Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer says. The team sees Gonzalez sliding into the third slot of their 2014 rotation behind Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee"We just want to see where he's at," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "We want to get him assimilated into our organization and be ready to go for spring training."
  • The Red Sox have yet to broach the subject of Jon Lester's next contract, GM Ben Cherington revealed in an interview with WEEI.com. "We just feel like those issues are better left for after we’re done playing, which hopefully is several weeks from now," Cherington said. We recently heard that the Sox are "all but certain" to pick up their $13MM option on Lester for next year.


Mets Monitoring Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gonzalez

The Mets "retain an unfilled craving for a marquee outfielder," writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, and are monitoring superstars such as Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins and Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies.  One Mets person told Martino "there is heat there," in regard to the team having a preliminary discussion with the Marlins about Stanton.  Still, Martino is unsure whether GMs Sandy Alderson and Larry Beinfest have discussed the powerful right fielder.

To acquire four years of Stanton, the Mets would likely have to part with their two best prospects, pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis D'Arnaud.  An associate of Alderson's told Martino the GM "did not have any extra attachment to those players, simply because he traded for them."

According to Martino, the Mets debated using Wheeler to get Justin Upton or Wil Myers, during the Winter Meetings.  They also considered asking for the Dodgers' Andre Ethier in an R.A. Dickey deal, and this spring checked in on the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano.  So, it appears the Mets' long-term interest in improving the outfield runs the gamut, from the game's best young stars to overpaid veterans.  The Mets were willing to increase payroll to the $125MM range last winter for the right players, writes Martino.

Keep in mind that no deals are close, and the idea that Stanton or CarGo could become available this year is speculation.


Rangers Notes: Cruz, Gonzalez, Ryan

In the wake of Nelson Cruz's connection to a Miami-based clinic that allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to several MLB players, the Rangers released an official response (transcribed by ESPN Dallas) saying that they were contacted about the story by the Miami New Times last week and then themselves contacted Major League Baseball.  Beyond these details, the club had "no further comment" about the allegations.

Here are some more items out of Arlington…

  • If Cruz ends up having to serve a 50-game suspension, ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett doesn't think the Rangers would respond by signing Michael Bourn.  Texas isn't interested in signing Bourn to the four- or five-year deal that he desires but could possibly explore a shorter-term agreement if Bourn lowers his demands.  If lieu of a new acquisition, Durrett notes that the Rangers could use internal options to replace Cruz, such as moving Mike Olt, Ian Kinsler or Mitch Moreland to the outfield.
  • The Rangers had a "preliminary chat" with the Rockies about Carlos Gonzalez, MLB.com's Tracy Ringolsby reports, but the talks didn't lead anywhere since the Rangers weren't willing to give up Olt or Jurickson Profar.  Several teams asked Colorado about Gonzalez during the Winter Meetings but were told the outfielder wasn't available.
  • Also from Ringolsby's piece, Rangers president Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels were satisfied with the team's fairly low-key offseason, despite missing out on signing Zack Greinke and losing Josh Hamilton to the Angels.  "You have to guard against overreacting to something someone else did or not getting the players you anticipated," said Ryan. "When things don't work out the way you hoped, you have to step back, digest the circumstances, and figure out what to do to keep moving forward."

Quick Hits: Gonzalez, Fowler, Harrison, Nationals

Several teams have shown interest in the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler, but the club hasn't had trade discussions on either player in recent days, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  Colorado heard from a number of parties interested in Gonzalez during the Winter Meetings but they reportedly told teams that he wasn't available.  Meanwhile, Fowler's name has popped up quite a bit in trade rumors in recent months with the Braves, Reds, and Phillies all showing interest earlier this offseason.  Here's more from around baseball..

  • Nationals manager Davey Johnson said at last night's BBWAA dinner that he was caught off guard by the club's signing of Rafael Soriano, writes James Wagner of the Washington Post.  "That kind of surprised me,” Johnson said. “I didn’t know we were needing a closer. I thought we were done” this offseason."
  • The Rangers are basically paying Matt Harrison as just a slightly above-average starting pitcher in his new deal and even if his results fall back to his peripherals, he'll still outpitch his contract, writes Jack Moore of Fangraphs.  Texas agreed to a five-year, $55MM extension with the 27-year-old last week.
  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider sub. req'd) writes that there are interested teams champing at the bit to get involved in the Justin Upton conversations with the Diamondbacks.  The D'Backs spent the early part of the month talking with the Mariners and Cubs, who are both on his no-trade list. 

NL West Notes: Rockies, Ryu, Pagan, Scutaro

The Diamondbacks' agreement with Brandon McCarthy was the biggest news out of the NL West today, but here are a few more items from around the division…..


Rockies Not Planning To Trade Tulowitzki Or Gonzalez

While the Red Sox and Marlins have both completed major payroll-clearing deals over the last few months in order to rebuild, the last-place Rockies have no plans to deal either Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The Rockies want to keep their offense strong and, while the team is desperate for pitching, their specific need for controllable groundball pitchers who can handle Coors Field leaves them with a limited number of trade options, even for All-Star talents like Tulowitzki and Gonzalez.

Both players signed major extensions within a three-month span in late 2010-early 2011 and appeared to be installed as franchise cornerstones for the next decade.  Tulowitzki had already been locked up through 2013 but his new contract guarantees him $144MM through the 2020 season, which includes a $4MM buyout of a $15MM team option for 2021.  Gonzalez is still owed $71MM through the 2017 campaign on the seven-year, $80MM extension he signed before the 2011 season.  Neither player has no-trade protection, though they will each receive a bonus (Tulowitzki $2MM, Gonzalez $1MM) if they are dealt.

Besides the salaries, both players carry some red flags.  Tulowitzki missed the last four months of the 2012 season due to a groin injury, while Gonzalez's success could be due to his hitter-friendly home ballpark — Gonzalez has a career 1.054 OPS at Coors Field and just a career .735 OPS on the road.


Rockies Notes: Hernandez, Gonzalez, Tulowitzki

Ramon Hernandez ruptured his left distal hamstring tendon and will miss the remainder of the season, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. The 36-year-old will undergo surgery next week after playing in just 52 games. Here are more Rockies-related notes from Troy Renck of the Denver Post…

  • Hernandez would probably have been an offseason trade candidate, Renck writes (on Twitter). Completing a deal will now be more challenging because of Hernandez’s injuries and age. Hernandez will earn $3.2MM in 2013, the final season of the two-year, $6.4MM contract he signed last offseason.
  • The Rockies need pitching, but Renck repeated that he wouldn't trade Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez for arms (Twitter link). It's risky to assume pitching performances will translate in Denver, as Renck notes.

Rosenthal & Morosi On Gonzalez, Phillies, Perkins

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledges his team’s upcoming series in Atlanta will have an impact on Philadelphia’s trade deadline plans, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. “We have to play well against these guys,” Amaro said. “They’re a very tough team. We don’t necessarily have to sweep ‘em. But it’s important for us to win the series.” Here are the latest rumors from Rosenthal and colleague Jon Paul Morosi…

  • Carlos Gonzalez is at or near the top of the Rangers’ wish list of outfielders for 2013, Morosi and Rosenthal report. For now, however, the Rockies are keeping Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler off-limits in trade talks.
  • Mariners relievers Shawn Kelley, Josh Kinney and Steve Delabar are drawing mild interest, Morosi tweets.
  • Left-hander Glen Perkins is drawing heavy interest, Morosi reports (on Twitter). The Twins have a very high asking price for Perkins, who signed a three-year, $10.3MM extension with the club in March.
  • The Orioles would like to add a left-handed reliever, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
  • The Giants want a right-handed bat and are expected to make a push for Hunter Pence if the Phillies make him available, Morosi reports (on Twitter). Jonathan Broxton is also of interest for the Giants, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
  • The Pirates aren't optimistic about their search for a hitter at this point, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter).
  • The White Sox haven't ruled out the possibility of adding another reliever, Morosi reports (on Twitter).