Chan Ho Park Rumors

Odds & Ends: Lowe, Bay, Gonzalez

News and notes from around the big leagues tonight…

  • Derek Lowe tells MLB.com's Mark Bowman that he doesn't expect to be back in Atlanta in 2010 and feels rather disrespected by being put on the trade market just a year after signing with the Braves: "I would have never even considered going there if I knew that ultimately this was going to happen."
  • The Providence Journal's Joe McDonald considers Theo Epstein's comments from the Mike Cameron press conference to be a virtual farewell to Jason Bay's time in Boston.
  • As if the Mike Gonzalez and Garrett Atkins signings weren't enough, the Orioles also "made a pretty good run" at trading for Adrian Gonzalez at the winter meetings, tweets ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes.
  • Scott Merkin of MLB.com is reporting (via Twitter) that Jason Botts has been given an invitation to spring training by the White Sox.  Botts played in Japan last season after posting a .230/.325/.344 line in 326 plate appearances with Texas from 2005 to 2008.
  • MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (via Twitter) quoted Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. as saying "Right now, it doesn't look good," in regards to Chan Ho Park re-signing with Philadelphia.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark talks with Baseball America's John Manuel about how the Phillies' farm system looks in the wake of the big Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee deal.
  • Jose Contreras wanted a three-year contract from the Rockies, but the club "didn't bite," reports Thomas Harding of MLB.com.  Harding notes that Colorado may have to wait to see what happens with Rafael Betancourt's possible arbitration case before they can make a move toward signing relievers like Contreras or Joe Beimel.
  • If the Nationals can't sign any relief help, they will move a willing Collin Balester into the bullpen, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
  • Jake Westbrook seems fit after his stint Puerto Rican Winter League, reports MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.  It was rumored that the Tribe would have been in the market for a veteran starter (maybe Carl Pavano) to anchor their staff had Westbrook suffered a setback from his Tommy John surgery in 2008.

Phillies Bullpen Search: Dotel, Putz, Smoltz

The Phillies are moving on to other bullpen options, now that the Astros have signed Brandon LyonScott Lauber of the News Journal reports that the Phils have had conversations with the representatives for Octavio Dotel and J.J. Putz. They're negotiating with Chan Ho Park, but Lauber hears that other teams might be interested in Park as a starter, which he would prefer.

Lyon had been linked to the Phillies for weeks before former Phillies GM Ed Wade signed him to a $15MM deal with the Astros. As Amaro tells Lauber, the Phillies were interested until the end.

"We were in there pretty deep,” Amaro said. “Ed stole him from us.”

The Phils also had productive talks with John Smoltz, who seems willing to pitch in a small ballpark for the chance to win another title. We heard earlier in the week that the Nats are also interested in Smoltz.


Overnight Links: Rodney, Lyon, Nationals, Weaver

The Hot Stove never sleeps…

  • With Brandon Lyon headed to Houston, Steve Kornacki of MLive.com expects the Tigers to intensify their efforts to re-sign Fernando Rodney.
  • Speaking of Lyon, Dave Cameron at FanGraphs calls his signing by the Astros "the latest act in a joke that’s gone on far too long." Ouch.
  • MLB.com's Bill Ladson says that the Nationals' agenda hasn't changed; they're looking for quality pitching and a backup infielder.
  • The Angels will be among the teams at Aroldis Chapman's workout next week, reports Mike DiGiovanna of The LA Times.
  • The Dodgers have interest in re-signing righty Jeff Weaver, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. The 33-year-old Weaver had a 3.65 ERA in 79 innings for LA last season.
  • Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com notes that the Tigers have only $33MM committed to their 2011 payroll, and would have a big chunk of money to play around with next offseason even if they scale their payroll back a bit.
  • Bill Beane left the Winter Meetings late Wednesday afternoon according to MLB.com's Tom Singer, and is ready to get some serious work done. "You really do more productive work when you get back home, and can get on the phone away from the distractions," Beane said.
  • Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro acknowledged that it's possible the team may move past Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre, says MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.
  • MLB.com's Chris Haft wonders if the Giants could benefit from the Yankees' glut of outfielders.


Phillies Rumors: Lyon, Drabek, Blanton

Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., who said that he doesn't expect to make any big splashes during the winter meetings. Martino shares a handful of other Phillies tidbits with us….

  • Faced with a tight budget, Amaro says he wouldn't mind heading into 2010 without adding any major bullpen arms, and using in-house candidates instead.
  • Despite that statement, the Phillies are still interested in Brandon Lyon and have been in touch with the right-hander's agent.
  • Contract offers have been extended to Scott Eyre and Chan Ho Park. Amaro indicates that if the pair of relievers decline those offers, the club "might have to go ahead and move on."
  • Kyle Drabek will definitely not be a part of the Phillies' bullpen plans. Amaro says there's "no chance" the team will break in Drabek as a reliever. The top prospect will likely start the year in Triple-A.
  • There has been speculation that the Phillies could try to trade Joe Blanton to free up some payroll space, but those rumors haven't been confirmed.

Twitter Rumors: Doumit, Mahay, Wolf, Jenkins

Collecting some tweets I couldn't quite turn into posts…

  • Four unknown teams are in on Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit, says Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • The Nationals have interest in free agent catcher Brad Ausmus, says MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
  • The Red Sox have interest in free agent lefty Ron Mahay, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. The 38-year-old posted a 4.29 ERA, 7.5 K/9, and 3.9 BB/9 in 50.3 innings for the Royals and Twins this year.  Two years ago he was quite a hot commodity on the free agent market.
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says Brett Myers is seeking a two-year deal.  The Rangers and other teams are interested at one year.  Crasnick wrote a few days ago that the Astros are also interested, while Andrew Baggarly named the Giants as a suitor today.
  • Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times shoots down Danny Knobler's rumor that the Pirates have interest in Juan Pierre.  Nonetheless, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets of interest from the Pirates, White Sox, and a third team.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Yankees want to resolve the Andy Pettitte/Johnny Damon situations before moving on to Hideki Matsui and other starting pitcher options.
  • White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune that the Sox are not in the market for a pure DH.
  • The Brewers are making a "strong run" at Randy Wolf, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • Ruben Amaro Jr.'s comment that "those are guys we will probably count on" implies relievers Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey will be tendered contracts by the Phillies (Andy Martino reporting).
  • Crasnick says Geoff Jenkins wants to make a comeback in 2010 and has been working out at first base and outfield in hopes of landing a bench role.
  • Crasnick says to expect the Cubs to tender a contract to Mike Fontenot on Saturday.
  • Bill Shanks quoting Braves manager Bobby Cox: "clubs are knocking on the door for Kelly Johnson."  I imagine Johnson will be dealt by Saturday.
  • ESPN's Gordon Edes says that while Red Sox owner John Henry is a big fan of Miguel Cabrera from their Marlins days, the Red Sox "don't have the Major League-ready position players Detroit wants in return."
  • Crasnick expects Elmer Dessens to re-sign with the Mets, though the pitcher has talked to the Dodgers and Padres.
  • Yahoo's Steve Henson says the Braves want to move Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez, but not Kenshin Kawakami.
  • Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies will meet with Chan Ho Park's agent today "and attempt to resolve their differences over Park's value."  The Phils did not offer arbitration to Park, a Type B free agent.  Park craves another shot at starting, which won't happen in Philly.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Phillies like Brandon Lyon, but aren't "willing to pay the price for him."  Lyon is said to be seeking a multiyear deal.  He is expected to turn down the Tigers' offer of arbitration today.  The Yankees have been named as another suitor.
  • Crasnick says the Astros "have very little money to spend, unless Drayton McLane suddenly has a change of heart."

Phillies Outlook For The Week

David Murphy offers up an insight into the Phillies issues this week, stating that the Phillies will likely be far less active than last year, when they signed Raul Ibanez, set their sights on Chan Ho Park, and extended Jamie Moyer. The Phils have already signed Placido Polanco, Brian Schneider, and Juan Castro this offseason, leaving general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. with fewer needs during his trip to Indianapolis:

  • Despite locking up Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, and J.C. Romero over the past few seasons, the Phillies find themselves in need of relief help. As we all know, Lidge was dreadful in 2009 and is coming off arthroscopic elbow surgery. Romero is coming off surgery as well and could miss a month of the season. Brandon Lyon is the team's primary target.
  • Amaro has said adding a bench bat is bottom on his list of priorities, as the spot could be filled by recently-signed minor league free agent Dewayne Wise, or prospect John Mayberry Jr. Still, a move shouldn't be ruled out, according to Murphy.
  • In regards to a No. 5 starter, the Phillies haven't ruled out a return for Pedro Martinez, but Murphy feels it is unlikely. While Kyle Kendrick was impressive late in the season last year, an alternative to him and Jamie Moyer wouldn't hurt.
  • Murphy is interested to see the outcome of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday this week, given the Phillies' success there in the past. Perhaps you've heard of Shane Victorino? He turned out to be an OK selection.

Phillies Decline To Offer Arb To Eyre, Park

Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets the unsurprising news that the Phillies have not offered arbitration to Type B free agents Scott Eyre and Chan Ho Park.  Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. all but confirmed this news earlier today, but noted that the team was still open to re-signing both pitchers.


Phillies Rumors: Pitching, Park, Eyre

MLB.com's Todd Zolecki spoke to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. today; here's the latest.

  • Amaro would like to add starting pitching depth, perhaps a player "who may not be on anybody's radar screen."  He's looking for low-risk, high-reward (who isn't?)  Amaro didn't deny Jayson Stark's John Smoltz rumor, but he downplayed it a bit.
  • Scott Lauber of The News Journal says the Phils haven't ruled out re-signing Pedro Martinez, but Amaro hasn't had any recent discussions with Pedro's agent.
  • Amaro said it's unlikely the Phillies will offer arbitration to Type B relievers Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre tonight.  Amaro prefers the flexibility, but won't rule out re-signing them.
  • Amaro would be willing to give up the team's #27 draft pick for the right Type A free agent.  So, we can't rule out the various Type A relievers who were offered arbitration today (Jose Valverde, Mike Gonzalez, Rafael Soriano, and Rafael Betancourt so far).

Phillies Eyeing John Smoltz

The Phillies have kicked the tires on free agent pitcher John Smoltz, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.  Smoltz could be a fit as a starter or late-inning reliever, assuming he gets past his dislike of Citizens Bank Park.  Smoltz, 43 in May, pitched well for the Cardinals last year, posting 40 strikeouts and nine walks in 38 innings.  His strikeout-walk numbers for Boston were strong as well, though he had problems with hits and home runs.

Stark, by the way, believes the Phillies will not offer arbitration to either of their Type B free agent relievers, Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre.


Phillies Notes: Free Agent Targets, Park, Eyre

Scott Lauber of The News Journal spoke to Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. today about some of the team's offseason plans. Here are a few of the highlights from Lauber's article:

  • The Phillies' offseason wishlist: a third baseman, bullpen help, bench depth, and starting pitching depth.
  • The team expects to have about $120MM committed in salaries and $20MM to spend to fill their needs.
  • Amaro Jr. doesn't comment on specific free agents he's interested in, but Lauber suggests Mark DeRosa and Placido Polanco are still the club's top targets.
  • The "greatest challenge" Amaro Jr. will face in attempting to sign free agents could be persuading players to assume lesser roles. That could mean convincing a closer such as Fernando Rodney to assume a setup role, or asking someone like Juan Uribe to come off the bench.
  • Amaro Jr. expects relievers Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre to test the free agent market. Eyre has said he'll only pitch for the Phillies, but the Phillies GM is skeptical about whether that's really true.