Casey McGehee Rumors

Athletics Win Hisashi Iwakuma Bid?

SUNDAY, 10:00pm: Iwakuma's agent Don Nomura tweeted about the Athletics winning the bidding, it appears.

SUNDAY, 8:55am: NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman passes on a pair of Japanese reports suggesting that Rakuten will accept the top bid for Iwakuma, which could be higher than $16MM (Twitter links).

SATURDAY, 1:48pm: Rosenthal writes that the A's "are believed to have made a strong push" for Iwakuma. He speculates that if the Brewers are willing to part with Casey McGehee, they could potentially match up for a trade with Oakland given their need for pitching. 

1:07pm: Rosenthal says that the Athletics also bid on Iwakuma (Twitter link) with the idea trading one of the excess starters for a bat if they landed him. The FoxSports.com scribe adds that the Rangers may have bid too low.

12:11pm: FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Rangers may be the high bidder for Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma. Last night we heard that the Mariners were the favorite to land him. In a second tweet, Rosenthal says that Texas definitely submitted a bid, but there's no guarantee that the Rakuten Golden Eagles will accept the high bid. They were seeking $16MM-17MM in the posting process.

The Rangers had tremendous success bringing Colby Lewis over from Japan last year, so it makes sense that they'd explore that avenue again. Iwakuma is widely considered to be the second best starting pitcher in Japan behind Yu Darvish

The bidding closed last night, and reports out of Japan indicated that Seattle submitted a bid of $13MM. Iwakuma was also said to prefer the West Coast.


Rosenthal’s Full Count Video: Dunn, Oswalt, Haren

In his latest Full Count video at FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal looks at possible next moves for the Angels, Yankees, Mets, and White Sox. Let's check out the highlights….

  • The Angels are expected to respond in some form to the Rangers' acquisition of Cliff Lee, with a corner infield bat still their top priority. While Rosenthal agrees that the Halos would like a third baseman who's under team control past this season, he thinks they could look at a rental for first base, since Kendry Morales will be back next spring.
  • Besides Adam Dunn, Rosenthal names Jose Bautista, Adam LaRoche, Ty Wigginton, and Jorge Cantu as potential fits for the Angels, suggesting Bautista makes the most sense. Rosenthal also speculates that, if their respective teams made them available, Mark Reynolds and Casey McGehee would intrigue the defending AL West champs.
  • Lee was the only starting pitcher the Yankees really coveted, so don't expect them to pursue players like Roy Oswalt or Dan Haren now that they missed out on the left-hander.
  • Rosenthal expresses skepticism that Oswalt or Haren will get dealt at all. Houston doesn't appear willing to take on enough of their ace's contract, while the D'Backs would need to be "blown away" to trade Haren.
  • The Mets' search for pitching has them looking at Jake Westbrook and a handful of other arms. Rosenthal notes that the team has had interest in Octavio Dotel as a free agent in the past, and that some members of the Mets' organization are "wary" of Ted Lilly.
  • The White Sox made a run at Cliff Lee, but never got close to landing him. Although a left-handed bat remains their biggest need, there aren't many on the market who appeal to them besides Dunn, whose price tag is "exorbitant." They might settle for acquiring a right-handed hitter, and could also pursue another starter if Daniel Hudson struggles.

Counsell May Sign By Monday

Barry Meister, who represents free agent infielder Craig Counsell, told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that his client may have a deal finalized with the Brewers (or possibly another team) by Monday.  Milwaukee made an initial offer to the 39-year-old veteran on Dec. 4, and then reportedly upped it yesterday.  The conventional wisdom has been that Counsell will re-sign with the Brewers, given that he lives in the Milwaukee area and that both the player and team have seemed eager to work out a deal.  No dollar amounts have been mentioned, but it would surely be a raise from the one-year/$1MM contract that Counsell received from the Brewers last winter.  Despite Counsell's age, the offer may also be for more than one year in length.

Counsell has spent the last three seasons in Milwaukee and also played for the Brewers in 2004.  He hit .285/.357/.408 over 459 plate appearances in 2009, notching a career-high in OPS for a season in which he had more than 189 PAs.  Solid numbers aside, Counsell's value to the Brewers in 2010 will be to provide veteran leadership backing up the club's young infield corps of Mat Gamel, Alcides Escobar and Casey McGehee.

Should the talks between Counsell and the Brewers fall apart at the eleventh hour, we know that the Reds and Dodgers have also shown interest in the veteran utilityman.



Rogers On White Sox, Gamel, Cabrera, Yankees

The White Sox have a new third baseman of the future, writes Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. Dayan Viciedo held his own as a 20-year-old in AA this year (.708 OPS), but Brent Morel has passed him on Rogers' depth chart with a torrid stint in the Arizona Fall League. Here are the rest of Rogers' rumors:

  •  A's GM Billy Beane likes what he sees from pitching prospect Fautino de los Santos, who is hitting the mid-nineties as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
  • Casey McGehee has emerged as a solid player, but the Brewers are reluctant to trade Mat Gamel, even if it would net them the starting pitching they covet.
  • The Twins are talking to Orlando Cabrera about returning to play second base.
  • Rogers says the Yankees are more likely to sign Johnny Damon than Hideki Matsui.

Mat Gamel, Trade Bait?

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is speculating that Mat Gamel might be a candidate to be traded in the offseason based on comments made by Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash during their end-of-season press conference on Wednesday.

The Brewers' management team said that Casey McGehee has "taken the bull by the horns" for the starting third base job next season in the wake of McGehee's .301/.360/.499 performance in 394 plate appearances as a rookie last season.  Gamel, in contrast, posted a .242/.338/.422 line in 148 plate appearances.

Melvin ruled out Gamel moving to the outfield and Ash said that the Brewers will "probably have to be higher risk taking than we have been in the past" in terms of dealing prospects, thus making it appear that Milwaukee will at least listen to offers for their slugging prospect.  Gamel is a year removed from an overall .923 OPS between Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville in 2008 and is an attractive option for a team looking to shed payroll and give the Brewers one of the starters on their winter wish-list.  An American League destination might be the ideal spot for Gamel, who made seven errors in 61 chances at third base last season.