Carlos Beltran Rumors
The Giants made their roster available to the media today, on the eve of the club's annual FanFest event. Here's latest on the 2010 World Champs...
- “We’ve talked … and it’s a process,” said Matt Cain to reporters (including Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News) when asked about an extension. “We’ll see what’s going to happen. We’re definitely here for this year.”
- The right-hander did stop short of saying he'll give the team a hometown discount. “That’s tough,” he said. “You definitely love being in San Francisco, and we do. We have a year till free agency. That’s something as a player you think about, having that opportunity. It’s hard to say what will happen in these next several months.”
- “Budget won’t be a factor," said GM Brian Sabean when asked about signing both Cain and Tim Lincecum long-term. "We’ll have enough wherewithal in the budget that we won’t have to pick. Whether that happens, I can’t predict. But we have it in the budget to sign both players.”
- Sabean also said that increasing payroll to add players in midseason has "always been possible with our ownership group" according to John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Giants wanted Carlos Beltran back as a left fielder, says Shea (on Twitter). They were willing to give him two years, but not the $26MM the Cardinals gave him.
The Blue Jays held their State of the Franchise event tonight and president Paul Beeston, general manager Alex Anthopoulos and manager John Farrell offered insights into the team’s past moves and future plans. The details:
- Beeston expects the Blue Jays to make the postseason two or three times in the upcoming five seasons, Mike Wilner of Sportsnet Radio FAN 590 tweets.
- Beeston said the Blue Jays did not view Prince Fielder as a fit because of his contract demands, Wilner tweets. Fielder signed for nine years, but the Blue Jays don’t offer players anything more than five.
- Anthopoulos said two free agents turned down more years and more money from the Blue Jays to sign elsewhere this offseason, Wilner tweets.
- Anthopoulos said the following about Carlos Beltran: "some guys don't want to play on turf, no matter how much you pay them. Some guys don't want to DH." (quote via Wilner on Twitter)
- Farrell said former MLB catcher Kevin Cash will be an advance scout for the Blue Jays in 2012, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star tweets. The Blue Jays signed Cash as an amateur free agent in 1999 and he played in Toronto for three years. He last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2010.
- Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said this weekend that his team must stay within certain financial limitations to put a competitive team on the field year after year, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The Cardinals would have liked to retain Albert Pujols, but keeping him wasn’t necessarily realistic. “It's how much can I afford to pay one player and put together a team that's going to be competitive? That's the whole jigsaw puzzle that all teams have,” DeWitt said.
- Carlos Beltran said the Indians, Rays and Giants were among the finalists for his services this offseason, MLB.com's Matthew Leach reports. Beltran said another team offered a three-year deal worth less money, B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com tweets.
- Cubs director of scouting and player development Jason McLeod said he's looking forward to meeting with his scouts this week to find ways of drafting more effectively under the new collective bargaining agreement, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
- Tom Haudricourt on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets that there's an expectation that the Brewers will sign outfielder Norichika Aoki. They have until 4pm CDT tomorrow to sign Aoki, or else he’ll be returned to the Yakult Swallows and the Brewers will get their $2.5MM posting fee back.
Six years ago today, the Diamondbacks officially traded third baseman Troy Glaus and shortstop prospect Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for righty Miguel Batista and second baseman Orlando Hudson. Josh Byrnes and J.P. Ricciardi were the respective GMs. Glaus' retirement came with little fanfare despite 320 career home runs and four All-Star Game appearances. Santos eventually found his way to the White Sox, who helped him become a successful reliever and recently traded him back to Toronto. Batista is a 40-year-old free agent with 101 career wins to his name. Hudson, a four-time Gold Glove winner, is a trade candidate for the Padres, the team Byrnes now heads up. Ricciardi now serves as a special assistant to Mets GM Sandy Alderson, who appears to have interest in re-signing Batista.
MLBTR was less than two months old at the time of the Glaus trade; you can read my paragraph on it here. Back then the site was a one-man show with gray text against a black background, and Twitter did not exist. We've come a long way! On to today's links...
- Carlos Beltran offered to sign with the Yankees for the same two-year, $26MM deal he ultimately signed with St. Louis, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Adds Heyman, "Like seven years ago, they declined."
- Reliever Manny Corpas, who agreed to a non-guaranteed split contract with the Cubs, has a $1MM base salary while in the bigs with another potential $1MM in incentives, tweets Heyman.
- The Mets sent R.A. Dickey's agent a letter to warn that they can void his contract if he's injured climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in January, writes Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. As GM Sandy Alderson noted, that hasn't dissuaded the 37-year-old knuckleballer.
- The Rockies' interest in Cody Ross is based on whether they trade Seth Smith, writes ESPN's Buster Olney.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan looks at the 2012-13 free agent class, writing, "What the class lacks in breadth up top it makes up for in depth." We've got the full list here. The potentially available young starting pitching looks deep in theory, but we'll see which of Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, and Brandon McCarthy are extended.
Some links as Sunday turns into Monday...
- In a mailbag, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer says he still expects the Indians to pursue a veteran hitter before the season. The Tribe recently made a run at Carlos Beltran.
- Each year is a different story for the Red Sox, but the club typically meets its biggest needs in November and December, writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. However, since the current ownership group took over a decade ago, they have made some key additions in January and February, including their pickup of David Ortiz off of waivers in early 2003.
- The Red Sox were among several suitors for Carlos Beltran who dangled the designated hitter spot as a way to prolong his career, but the veteran wanted to continue to play in the outfield, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Blue Jays, and Indians were also among the American League teams in the mix for Beltran.
- The Orioles aren't counting on Brian Roberts being ready for Spring Training, so Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com takes a look at the club's second base situation heading into 2012. Based on executive vice president Dan Duquette's comments yesterday, it doesn't sound as though the club is looking to trade for a solution at second.
- Agent Scott Boras, who negotiated Daisuke Matsuzaka's six-year, $52MM deal in 2006, is no fan of the Japanese posting system, Silverman writes. Boras says that the actual talks with Boston weren't unpleasant, but he would have preferred to see his client choose between other cities that might have fit him better.
Two years ago today, the Blue Jays traded Brandon League and Johermyn Chavez to the Mariners for Brandon Morrow. Morrow has pitched to a 4.62 ERA as a starter in his two seasons with Toronto while League became an All-Star closer last season. Here's the latest from the AL East...
- In an ESPN Insider-only piece, Jim Bowden reports that the Red Sox offered a position player heavy package to the Athletics for Gio Gonzalez before he was traded to the Nationals. Bowden adds that the Blue Jays were only willing to part with risky low-level minor leaguers for the southpaw.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Red Sox's pursuit of both Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey was "very much part of conversation for majority of the time," but they shifted their attention to solely Gio after they learned they were competing with the Nats (Twitter links). The Blue Jays jumped into the bidding late, adds the FOX scribe.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the Orioles are not shopping Adam Jones, but GM Dan Duquette will listen to offers and make counter proposals. We recently learned that the Orioles wanted Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, and at least two of the Braves' young pitchers in return for their center fielder.
- The Yankees considered pursuing Carlos Beltran earlier this offseason according to Bob Klapisch of The Bergen Record (on Twitter), but ultimately decided against it because of his balky knees. Beltran agreed to a two-year deal with the Cardinals yesterday.
- MLB.com's Mike Bauman writes that the Red Sox's makeover - from the front office to the manager to the roster - will be heavily scrutinized this season.
Cornelius Alexander "Connie" Mack was born on this day in 1862. After an 11-year playing career, Mack went on to become the manager and co-owner of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1901 and was a fixture in the A's dugout for the next half-century. Between his 50 years with the A's (and three years managing the Pirates from 1894-96), Mack won five World Series titles and compiled a 3731-3948 record. Needless to say, Mack's records for managerial wins and losses will never be broken.
Some news from around the majors...
- The Indians made "an aggressive" two-year contract offer to Carlos Beltran worth "very close" to the $26MM Beltran received from the Cardinals, a source tells Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- The Braves have been rather quiet this offseason but "the fact is we like our team," GM Frank Wren tells David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We continue to have some conversations,” Wren said. “We’d have liked to have gotten something done in November in some areas, but just weren’t the matches....We’re continuing to work different options. This was not a good free-agent year, not a lot of players that impacted teams, especially in the areas we would like to get better in.” Wren said the Braves may wait to see how their players perform during Spring Training before deciding if they need to bring in some new acquisitions.
- The Padres still have around $7-$9MM to spend this winter, observes Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune as part of his weekly chat with fans.
- Center also discusses Anthony Rizzo trade rumors, citing the Rays and Cubs as the most interested parties. Center thinks teams who miss out on Prince Fielder (such as possibly the Mariners and Orioles) could look at Rizzo as well.
- The Reds will use Sean Marshall as a setup man, not as a closer, once their deal with the Cubs is finalized, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Fay also wonders if the Reds are working out a contract extension with Marshall, as the price of Travis Wood plus two prospects seems high for a reliever who is only under control through 2012.
- The Mariners are still interested in Jeff Francis, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Seattle wants a veteran like Francis for the rotation to serve as a bridge for the team's young pitchers. We heard about the Mariners' interest in Francis earlier this month, and the Twins, Pirates, Cubs and Rockies have also been linked to the Canadian left-hander.
- Patrick Ebert of Perfect Game runs down the 10 biggest stories that emerged from this year's amateur draft.
- Former Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez told Todd Hollandsworth and Jim Memolo of MLB Network Radio (as reported by MLB.com's Joe Frisaro) that he didn't agree with Miami's signing of Jose Reyes. "You already have an All-Star shortstop, why spend money on another All-Star shortstop?" Rodriguez asked. "Why not put the money into another player, like Albert Pujols or a front-line pitcher?” Rodriguez also wondered how "a very proud player" like Hanley Ramirez would handle switching positions and having Reyes be the center of media attention in Miami.
- The Giants haven't spent much to address their lack of hitting this winter, writes Fangraphs' Wendy Thurm.
The Cardinals have addressed the Albert Pujols-sized void in their lineup by agreeing to terms with free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran. The contract is a two-year, $26MM deal that includes a full no-trade clause and will be finalized once Beltran passes a physical. Beltran is represented by Dan Lozano.
Beltran, who turns 35 in April, hit .300/.385/.525 in 598 plate appearances for the Mets and Giants in 2011. It was a solid return to good fitness for the six-time All-Star, who was plagued by knee injuries over the previous two seasons and made only 612 plate appearances combined in 2009-10. Beltran is slated to play right field in St. Louis until Allen Craig returns from injury, and then Beltran will shift to center field (with Jon Jay still receiving significant playing time). Beltran is also likely the Cardinals' top DH option during interleague games in American League ballparks.
A contract with a $13MM average annual value and no-trade protection is a very nice win for Beltran and Lozano, especially given that Beltran's market was rather thin as recently as two weeks ago. Once Michael Cuddyer and Josh Willingham signed, however, interest in Beltran picked up considerably. Beltran ended up receiving a higher AAV than either Cuddyer ($31.5MM over three years) or Willingham ($21MM over three years) received from the Rockies and Twins, respectively. The Indians and Blue Jays were considered to be the other finalists for Beltran's services, with the Rays and Red Sox also in the mix.
Though Beltran was a Type A free agent, the Giants will not receive a compensatory draft pick since they weren't allowed to offer him arbitration due to a clause in Beltran's previous contract with the Mets. The Cardinals, as well, don't have to give up any draft picks for the signing.
The Red Sox were one of the finalists for Gio Gonzalez, but GM Ben Cherington was "not motivated" to deal four prospects for Gonzalez, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. With Gonzalez now on his way to Washington, the Sox will look at other pitching targets like Gavin Floyd, Roy Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda and Andrew Bailey, all of whom have drawn some interest from Boston this winter.
Here's the latest from the AL East...
- The Red Sox will hire Bob McClure as the club's new pitching coach, reports Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. McClure has spent the last six seasons as the Royals' pitching coach and was hired by Boston last month as a minor league instructor and special assignment scout.
- The Yankees' chances of signing Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes are "slim to none," according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger (Twitter link).
- The Yankees weren't close to a deal for John Danks, a source tells Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. Brian Cashman and Kenny Williams "haven't spoken in weeks" after some initial contact, but the Yankees weren't interested in meeting Chicago's demands for their left-hander. Danks and the White Sox agreed to a five-year contract extension yesterday, ending the Danks trade rumors for the foreseeable future.
- The Yankees and Red Sox were the only teams that paid a luxury tax penalty for 2011, reports The Associated Press. New York paid a $13.9MM penalty (the team's lowest since 2003) while Boston paid $3.4MM.
- The Rays fell out of the race for Carlos Beltran due to Beltran's concerns about playing on turf and spending too much time as a designated hitter, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. The Cardinals, Indians and Blue Jays appear to be the finalists for Beltran, though the Jays could be similarly hampered by the turf and DH issues.
- The Blue Jays are looking for bullpen help in the form of a lefty specialist and a right-handed setup option, reports MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm. Also as part of this mailbag piece, Chisholm answers a reader question about Prince Fielder by noting that the Jays are "extremely unlikely" to pursue the free agent slugger unless his "market completely collapses." The major stumbling block is the Jays' club policy against not giving a player more than five guaranteed years on a contract, while Fielder is looking for a 10-year deal.
Carlos Beltran may choose his next team by the weekend and he has many suitors to consider. The Cardinals, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rays and Indians are all "seriously in the mix" for Beltran, according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. Here’s the latest on Beltran, who’s open to DHing part-time...
- Though the Indians are in the mix for Beltran, they're more likely to obtain a first baseman, tweets Heyman.
- The Cardinals view Beltran as the best, most cost-efficient option, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Cardinals are believed to have offered a two-year deal worth at least $8MM per season at one point, Heyman writes.
- Beltran is down to the Cardinals, Indians and Blue Jays, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Miller names the same three teams and says the Beltran talks appear to be coming to a head. (Twitter link).
- The Red Sox are out on Beltran, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- The Cardinals intensified their talks with Beltran last night and into this morning, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. One of Goold's sources says the Cardinals are the "leading candidate" to sign Beltran.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian hears nothing has changed regarding the Indians' projected 2012 payroll (Twitter links). This means adding someone like Beltran would likely require the club to shed payroll elsewhere, but Cleveland’s interest in Beltran is legitimate.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains how Beltran would fit on the Indians' roster. Cleveland jumped into the bidding for the switch-hitting free agent yesterday.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reminds us that Beltran declined to be traded to the Indians in July, when he said he’d only join the Phillies or Giants (Twitter link).