Casey Kelly Rumors
ESPN's Buster Olney wrote about the Marlins' revamped bullpen in today's blog post (Insider req'd), noting that they now have a pair of left-handers (Randy Choate and Mike Dunn) to go after the middle of Philadelphia's lineup. They lacked those options early last year. Florida also brought in right-handed relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica in this winter's Cameron Maybin trade.
Here are the rest of Olney's rumors...
- Padres officials met with prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes recently to stress that they don't want them to put too much pressure on themselves after the trade that brought them to San Diego. The trio was acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez swap.
- The Cardinals are going to watch their pitchers over the next few weeks in the wake of Adam Wainwright's injury, then see if they "need to change course."
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams told Olney's colleague Gene Wojciechowski "I know what I want for next year right now. I have an idea. But if we're going to have dreams of maintaining where we are payroll-wise or taking it even a step higher, yeah, a lot of it depends on what happens this year." Williams said he would have liked to have done more this offseason, but is thrilled with the payroll owner Jerry Reinsdorf gave him.
After being the subject of trade rumors for close to two years, Adrian Gonzalez is finally on his way out of San Diego. The Padres will send their star slugger to the Red Sox in exchange for Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes, and a player to be named later. The Red Sox and Padres officially announced the deal this morning. While no extension is in place, GM Theo Epstein told reporters he's very confident they'll work something out. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is hearing a seven-year, $154MM ceiling.
If Boston waits until after Opening Day to officially ink Gonzalez to a new contract, the deal will not impact the 2011 payroll, saving them money on the luxury tax. Several high-priced members of the Red Sox come off of the books after 2011, including David Ortiz, J.D. Drew, Marco Scutaro, and Mike Cameron.
The 28-year-old Gonzalez is one of the game's premier power-hitters, with no fewer than 30 home runs in each of the last four years despite playing half his games in spacious Petco Park. The Red Sox made the best offer, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that both Chicago teams were serious bidders. The trade all but guarantees that Adrian Beltre will not be returning to Boston, reducing his leverage on the open market. The Red Sox are expected to put Gonzalez at first base and slide Kevin Youkilis over to third.
Kelly, 21, is the headliner for San Diego. He was the 30th overall pick in the 2008 draft and owns a 3.69 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 190 career innings split evenly between Single and Double-A. After dabbling at shortstop earlier in his career, Kelly is a full-time pitcher now. Despite the less than stellar statistics, Callis said the Red Sox still "[envisioned] him becoming a frontline starter with three possible plus pitches and above-average command," and he expects Kelly to rank in the 30-50 range of the publication's upcoming Top 100 Prospects list (Twitter link).
Rizzo, also 21, was a sixth round pick in 2007 and has broken out since missing most of the 2008 season to get treatment for Limited Stage Classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He's hit .279/.349/.476 over the last two years, mostly at the Single-A level. Callis writes that he "generates plus power with strength and leverage" and "should hit for a solid average and draw some walks." Rizzo was also voted the best defensive first baseman in the Double-A Eastern League by managers this season.
Fuentes, 20 in February, is a center fielder like his cousin Carlos Beltran, and hit .270/.328/.377 in 2010, his first full season after being the 28th overall pick in the 2009 draft. Although he "may need four or five seasons in the minors," Callis says he has similar tools to Jacoby Ellsbury but projects to be better with both the bat and glove down the road.
ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes and Dan Hayes of the North County Times first reported that the two sides were closing in on a trade, with Jon Heyman of SI.com eventually tweeting that the deal had been finalized. In between, a slew of writers added details to the proceedings. For the full timeline of events, check out our posts leading up to the agreement.
MLBTR's Mike Axisa, Luke Adams, and Zach Links contributed to this post.
11:33am: Hayes tweets that the two sides have had the deal in place since Thursday night, which is what prompted the flight to Boston.
11:23am: Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports (via Twitter) that Gonzalez has already taken his physical and his surgically repaired shoulder "should be fine." Some minor tests still need to be completed.
11:13am: MLB.com's Peter Gammons tweets that the player to be named later is not a "prime guy." The two teams determine who exactly it will be later.
10:13am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Padres will also receive a player to be named, so it's a 4-for-1 swap. The 40-man roster freeze is in effect until next week's Rule 5 Draft, so it's possible the player is a minor leaguer not on the 40-man that's eligible for the Rule 5.
10:04am: Heyman tweets that there is still work to be done as far as a contract extension for Gonzalez, and that it could take a day or two. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports confirms with a source that the trade is "not completely done." (Twitter link)
9:14am: Hayes tweets that the package includes Kelly, Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes. ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes says (via Twitter) that Theo Epstein flew from San Diego to Boston with Gonzalez, and MLB.com's Corey Brock says that Jed Hoyer implored his scouts to scour the lower level of the minors in 2010 (Twitter link). The second and third player in the deal are key.
9:01am: SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that negotiations about a contract extension will begin shortly, and that Kelly is in fact in the deal. WEEI.com's Alex Speier adds that multiple Red Sox prospects rumored to be in the deal have yet to hear anything from the team about a trade (Twitter link).
7:39am: Olney tweets that the Red Sox flew Gonzalez into Boston to help move the process along, and he is there now.
6:30am: Adrian Gonzalez is expected in Boston today for a physical, reports Nick Cafardo of the Globe. Gonzalez had shoulder surgery to clean up his right labrum in October and has a four or five month recovery timeline. Cafardo says talks have centered around Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo, and the deal "would likely involve three or four players from the Sox, including one who is major league-ready." ESPN's Buster Olney says that all players have been agreed to and the Red Sox are now trying to work out an extension with Gonzalez. MLB has approved a negotiating window.
SATURDAY, 12:01am: The Red Sox are very close to acquiring Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times. Hayes says the trade would just involve Gonzalez and not Heath Bell, whose name has come up in other rumors. Hayes adds that the deal will only involve minor leaguers - not players such as Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Bard, or Jed Lowrie. Top Red Sox prospect Casey Kelly would definitely be involved.
FRIDAY, 4:46pm: The Red Sox and Padres are discussing a potential trade that would send Adrian Gonzalez to Boston, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein appears to be making "some headway" in tempting Padres GM Jed Hoyer with a package of top prospects, Edes reports.
The proposed deal would include minor league players only. Hoyer, new assistant Josh Byrnes and Padres exec Jason McLeod are all former Red Sox executives, so they know the team's system well. Other clubs also have strong interest in the first baseman.
The Padres must address multiple needs on a limited budget this offseason and trading Gonzalez and his $6.2MM salary would give the team some flexibility. However, few hitters have Gonzalez's power and they would create a hole by dealing their first baseman.
- Josh Byrnes tells WEEI.com's Alex Speier that the familiarity between the Red Sox and Padres front offices may actually be a hindrance in making a deal happen.
- Heath Bell's name has been mentioned in some of the Padres/Red Sox trade talks, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. Top Boston prospects Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo are two of the names discussed in a potential package to San Diego, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- Olney also tweets that if Adrian Beltre's first preference is really to return to Boston, then admitting so probably cost him some leverage with the Athletics.
- Boston is Gonzalez's preferred trade destination, tweets Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, possibly due to the fact that the Sox are contenders and they can afford "to give him [a Mark] Teixeira deal."
- Are the Red Sox one of the teams interested in Russell Martin? Heyman tweets that Boston has "always liked" the former Dodger catcher. With Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek behind the plate, Heyman speculates that Martin could fill a utility role for Boston.
- Tim Wakefield talked to the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham about how 2011 will "probably" be his last season and how he's now more comfortable about losing his rotation spot.
- If the Red Sox had been successful in signing Mariano Rivera away from the Yankees, Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports that the Sox would've non-tendered Jonathan Papelbon before last night's deadline. Given the Bell-from-San Diego rumor noted earlier, you wonder if a Papelbon move is yet to come for the Red Sox this winter.
Some items about a team that will likely be very busy this winter...
- The Red Sox are "undecided" about a bid for Tsuyoshi Nishioka, reports WEEI's Rob Bradford. There was some debate earlier in the week whether or not Boston is interested in the Japanese infielder, and Bradford speculates that the Sox might not bother posting a bid given how Jose Iglesias is positioned to be their shortstop of the future.
- David Ortiz is "fine" with not getting an extension from the Red Sox though he still feels his strong 2010 season was deserving of a multi-year deal, reports ESPNBoston.com's Jackie MacMullan. In thinly veiled references to his own situation, Ortiz predicts Vladimir Guerrero will re-sign with Texas for "more than one year, too" and wants Derek Jeter "to get rewarded for all he had done for [the Yankees]."
- ESPN's Keith Law was a guest on WEEI's Minor Details podcast, and WEEI.com's Alex Speier has a partial transcript of Law's Boston-related comments. Law is very complimentary of Boston's minor league system, saying that they have the variety of prospects necessary to fit the needs of about 20 other teams.
- When asked about a potential Adrian Gonzalez deal, Law says he wouldn't be willing to send a top prospect like Casey Kelly to San Diego since Gonzalez is just under contract through 2011. "Casey Kelly is not untouchable for me, but he’s pretty darn close to it," Law said. "I don’t think I’d trade Casey Kelly for one year of Adrian Gonzalez, and I love Adrian Gonzalez.”
- Law calls Felix Doubront and Jed Lowrie "very valuable secondary piece[s]" to a trade given that both players can immediately join a major league roster. Law cites the Padres and Pirates as "a great fit" for a pitcher like Doubront.
Some links to check out as Cody Ross attempts to follow up yesterday's two-home run performance and the Phillies look to even the score...
- Speaking of Ross, Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News reports that Giants GM Brian Sabean left a "clear impression" before tonight's game that the outfielder will be tendered a contract this offseason.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe tweets that Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale is getting a second interview for the Blue Jays managerial position.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that the Mets have been "asking around" about Rangers GM Jon Daniels, and things could get interesting. Daniels can opt out of his contract after the season since the team was sold.
- Steve Popper of The Bergen Record says that the Mets might not be making the popular choices right now, especially with Francisco Rodriguez, Oliver Perez, Carlos Beltran, and Luis Castillo, but they're the right moves.
- Popper also reports that the Tigers denied the Mets permission to talk to assistant GM Al Avila about their GM vacancy.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Eric Young will be named the D'Backs first base coach later this week. In a second tweet, he says Eric Wedge's former pitching coach Carl Willis will likely play a big role on his new staff in Seattle.
- Despite the expected heavy interest from the Yankees and Rangers, Michael Silverman from the Boston Herald thinks the Red Sox should make a serious run at Cliff Lee.
- In the second page of that same article, Silverman quotes an unnamed executive in saying that a package consisting of Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and prospect Anthony Rizzo wouldn't be enough to pry Adrian Gonzalez away from the Padres. He speculates the names that would be mentioned next would include Casey Kelly and Jose Iglesias.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports says it makes more sense for the Orioles to trade for a middle-of-the-lineup hitter and an ace starter than seek one in free agency, and asks readers whether or not the O's should pursue Zack Greinke. In his blog post earlier today, ESPN's Buster Olney didn't see Baltimore as a fit for the Kansas City ace.
- Reduced payroll will force the Rays into some tough decisions, writes Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. As Topkin points out, nearly the entire bullpen is entering free agency. Rafael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Randy Choate, Joaquin Benoit, and Chad Qualls are only signed through 2010, while Dan Wheeler's $4MM option will be declined and Lance Cormier could be non-tendered. Balfour and Choate are most likely to return, while Benoit will likely look to capitalize on his monster season.
- Richard Griffin from the Toronto Star spoke with Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, who could be a candidate for the Jays' managerial opening, about the difficulty of getting a foot in the door as a manager. As Griffin says, part of the reason they continue to interview candidates while other teams are filling their managerial positions could be because they have a high level of interest in someone like Mackanin, whose team is still playing.
- The Phillies' worst nightmare isn't losing to the Giants in the NLCS or losing to the Yankees in the World Series, according FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. It's going to the World Series and facing the ace they traded away last offseason, who now sports a Rangers uniform -- Cliff Lee.
In this week's installment of his Baseball Notes column, the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo breaks down the winners and losers of the trade deadline. His assessment includes a few surprises, such as praising the inactive Blue Jays for "not settling for pennies on the dollar." Here are the rest of the highlights from Cafardo's piece:
- This year's deadline could make teams even less willing to include no-trade clauses in future contracts. Players like Derrek Lee and Roy Oswalt took advantage of their clauses, making it difficult, or in Lee's case impossible, for their respective clubs to move them.
- Having said that, Cliff Lee "has made it clear" he wants a no-trade clause in his next deal, having played for four different clubs in the past two seasons. As the best pitcher available this winter, he should be in a position to make that demand.
- The Brewers would like to keep Jim Edmonds around past this season if he's healthy and willing to return. It appears, however, that he's leaning toward retirement.
- Had David Ortiz not turned his season around earlier this year, the Red Sox would have been one of the teams in on Adam Dunn before the deadline.
- With the Red Sox' starting rotation currently full, a few teams thought Boston may part with Casey Kelly. According to Cafardo, the Sox may try to move Daisuke Matsuzaka when they feel Kelly is major league ready.
8:02pm: The Blue Jays are asking the Mets for a top prospect in exchange for Downs according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). The Twins have assigned a scout to watch the Blue Jays' relievers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
7:48am: Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has the best reliever available in Scott Downs, and he knows it. Check out these asking prices for two months of Downs' services, courtesy of George A. King III of the New York Post: Joba Chamberlain or Jesus Montero from the Yankees, Casey Kelly or Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox (Montero link from SI's Jon Heyman via Twitter). With almost 80 hours remaining until the trade deadline, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Other teams are also trying to buy low on Chamberlain, who sports a 5.95 ERA, 10.0 K/9, and 3.6 BB/9 in 42.3 relief innings this year. The Diamondbacks also tried to get Chamberlain as part of a Dan Haren deal. Joba is under team control through 2013 and arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season.
Regarding the Yankees' search for a bench bat, King says they've spoken to the Orioles about Ty Wigginton. The O's are dangling Miguel Tejada, who's generated only lukewarm interest from the Yanks. Tejada is said to be the Phillies' primary infield target. As for a Yankees-Orioles deal, SI's Jon Heyman tweeted two days ago that O's owner Peter Angelos doesn't want to trade with his division rival.
- Now that the Red Sox have acquired utility infielder Jack Hannahan, ESPN's Buster Olney speculates (via Twitter) that Jed Lowrie might be expendable, and a candidate to be dealt to San Diego.
- In an appearance on WEEI's Big Show, J.P. Ricciardi doesn't think Boston will do "something crazy" at the trade deadline and deal a top prospect like Casey Kelly. WEEI.com's Jay Asser has the full transcript of Ricciardi's comments.
- WEEI.com's Rob Bradford tweets that Mike Lowell's minor league rehabilitation game was attended by scouts from the Blue Jays, Orioles, Royals and Tigers. Detroit actually had two scouts present, though nothing should necessarily be read into this fact since Pawtucket was playing the Tigers' own Triple-A affiliate. Given how many rumors the Tigers have been tied to themselves, those scouts also could've been looking at some Mud Hens players.
ESPN.com's Buster Olney asked an "independent evaluator" to guess what the Red Sox would have to give up to obtain Adrian Gonzalez. Olney's source says the Padres need to acquire Ryan Westmoreland and Casey Kelly, plus other highly-touted prospects. Gonzalez is under control for two more years at $10.25MM. He'd probably be worth $40MM-plus over two years on the open market, so the Padres have some serious bargaining power. Here are the rest of Olney's rumors:
- The A's are interested in Adrian Beltre, but "only in an Oakland economy size financial package."
- Some teams bristle at the idea of paying eight figures for Beltre.
- Some teams have been put off by Adam LaRoche's asking price.
- The Orioles checked out of the Matt Holliday derby when they learned that he's asking for considerably more than $75MM.