Chan Ho Park Rumors

Morning Links: Red Sox, Phillies, Rays

Plenty to absorb this morning, baseball fans:

Phillies Free Agent Notes's Todd Zolecki runs down the Phillies offseason, looking at how the club is planning to improve coming off back-to-back World Series appearances. Here's some highlights:

  • The Phillies are looking to upgrade at third base, as we've heard before. Chone Figgins figures to be too expensive for their liking, and they'll look for a shorter, more affordable contract. Zolecki names the same possibilities we heard earlier in the week: Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa, and Placido Polanco.
  • Philadelphia has interest in Fernando Rodney, but it may not be mutual, as Rodney likely would prefer a team with whom he can close. As Zolecki writes, that is "not an option" in Philly.
  • The Phillies have seven impending free agents: Paul Bako, Miguel Cairo, Scott Eyre, Pedro Feliz, Pedro Martinez, Chan Ho Park, Matt Stairs, and Jack Taschner. Zolecki says Park and Eyre are the two most likely to return, with Ruben Amaro Jr. already having contacted Park's agent.
  • Bako's return hasn't been ruled out, but Amaro has said that he's seeking a backup catcher. Feliz is in a similar situation, with his return not being ruled out but the team looking to upgrade.
  • If Stairs returns, it will be on a minor league contract. Taschner and Martinez are not expected to return.
  • The futures for Eric Bruntlett, Clay Condrey, and Tyler Walker are in question.

Phillies’ Third Base Targets

The Phillies have Placido Polanco, Mark DeRosa, and Adrian Beltre on their third base wish list, according to sources speaking to Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Salisbury adds that Chone Figgins and Miguel Tejada are also of interest, but to a lesser degree.

Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told Salisbury he'd "rather do something early," but doesn't see that happening.  DeRosa signed early with the Cubs three years ago, specifically on November 14th.  Salisbury debates the merits of Polanco, DeRosa, and Beltre in his column.  Which do you prefer?  By the way, ESPN's Jayson Stark finds Figgins an unrealistic fit for the Phillies for a variety of reasons.

In other Phillies news, Salisbury notes Korean reports suggesting Chan Ho Park wants to start in 2010.  Amaro has heard differently from Park's agent.  Starting was a big factor in Park's decision to sign with the Phillies a year ago.

Phillies Notes: Myers, Stairs, Eyre, Park

4:32pm:'s Todd Zolecki tweets more info on the Phillies.  He says that if Matt Stairs returns, it would be a minor league deal.  The team will wait to see how Scott Eyre's elbow surgery turns out.  And they've contacted Chan Ho Park's agent about a possible new contract.

1:33pm: Pitcher Brett Myers was told today by Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. that the team will not pursue a new contract with him, according to Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Myers told Salisbury he's open to starting or relieving with his new club.

Myers, 29, posted a 4.84 ERA in 70.6 innings this year.  The Phillies' Opening Day starter missed time with hip surgery and a back strain.  He could be an interesting buy-low opportunity for many teams.

Odds & Ends: White Sox, Phillies, A’s

Only a handful of games on the schedule tonight, but here are some links to make up for it….

  • White Sox GM Ken Williams is let down by his team's performance this season, according to Chris De Luca of The Chicago Sun-Times. Players like Jake Peavy and Alex Rios were acquired with more than just 2009 in mind, but the Sox still hoped to earn a playoff spot in a weak division this year. Dave Cameron at FanGraphs and Rob Neyer at point out that the White Sox didn't underachieve, but rather performed almost exactly as expected. Whether Williams' disappointment will inspire any major offseason moves remains to be seen.
  • Scott Merkin at suggests one possible change for the 2010 White Sox: Matt Thornton replacing Bobby Jenks as the team's ninth-inning option.
  • More potential musical chairs in the bullpen ranks from's Jayson Stark. He talks to one scout who suggests that the best closing candidate for the Phillies in October might not be Brad Lidge or Ryan Madson, but Chan Ho Park, if he's healthy. As a soon-to-be free agent, Park could certainly see his stock rise with a strong postseason.
  • Buster Olney and take a look at what moves the Oakland Athletics could make this offseason. The theme is a familiar one in Oakland: veteran bargain hunting. Olney mentions Jermaine Dye and Miguel Tejada as two players in their mid-30s the Athletics might look into signing, and also thinks the A's will try to bring back Justin Duchscherer if they can.
  • T.R. Sullivan at writes that Nolan Ryan is interested in ownership of the Texas Rangers. Current owner Tom Hicks has expressed willingness to surrender controlling interest of the club.

Phillies Bullpen Update’s Todd Zolecki notes that the Phillies still have a few holes in their bullpen.  The club has expressed interest in Joe Beimel, Will Ohman, and Randy Flores this offseason, but those guys are still seeking relatively expensive (and lengthy) contracts. 

"They’re looking for the multiyear deals," GM Ruben Amaro said Wednesday. "It’s more an issue of length than dollars, I think."

Zolecki believes that the Phillies may ultimately decide to solve their bullpen issues from within.  Chan Ho Park could make for a useful long reliever if he’s unable to crack the starting rotation.  Kyle Kendrick and J.A. Happ might also have to settle for bullpen roles and should provide the Phillies with a couple of serviceable middle relievers until left-hander J.C. Romero returns from suspension.

Odds and Ends: Saito, Teixeira, LaRoche

More Tuesday links…

  • Over at RotoAuthority, David Chase examines more of the optimistic Spring Training reports of ’08.  Particularly interesting: did pitchers follow up on their intention to use a new pitch?
  • The Marlins’ Scott Proctor signing is official.  Also, Chan Ho Park with the Phillies.
  • Carl Pohlad’s three sons will take over for their father.
  • McCovey Chronicles trade idea: Randy Winn for Xavier Nady.
  • Add Randy Choate to the minor league deals for the Rays.
  • Economist J.C. Bradbury says "the economic downturn cannot explain the magnitude of Pat Burrell‘s discount."  He believes teams are exaggerating the recession effect.
  • Keith Law says the risk in giving Milton Bradley a three-year deal "seems excessive" but notes that Bradley is an excellent hitter and above-average defender.
  • Patrick Newman learned that Takashi Saito received almost ten offers last month, including proposals from the Cardinals and Red Sox.  Newman also has new reports of various minor league-level Japanese players who want to join MLB organizations.
  • Tony Massarotti has all kinds of questions about Boston’s failure to sign Mark TeixeiraCraig Calcaterra offers analysis on the team’s Boras relationship.  Check out stuff from today’s Yankees press conference here and here.
  • Sox Machine on how Jim Thome staying healthy messed up Ken Williams’ plans.
  • Dejan Kovacevic says Adam LaRoche would like to stay in Pittsburgh past ’09, but the team is not considering an extension.

Phillies Sign Chan Ho Park

MONDAY: David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News says Park held a press conference in Korea today to announce his signing with the Phillies.  It’s a one-year, $2.5MM deal with up to $5MM in incentives, according to the Korea Times.  Park relishes the chance to start for the Phils.  He said the Giants, Diamondbacks, Royals, and Blue Jays also expressed interest.

With Park signing as a starter, where does that leave Jamie Moyer?  The Phillies still have one unsettled rotation spot, though this may reduce their urgency.

THURSDAY: Todd Zolecki says the Phillies "are working on hammering out a deal with pitcher Park, who would work in relief."

WEDNESDAY: According to Yahoo’s Tim Brown, the Phillies are close to signing Chan Ho Park.  He says the Phils may view him as a starter.  Park’s average fastball velocity jumped from 88.4mph in ’07 to 92.6mph in ’08, leading some to label him a sleeper.

Odds and Ends: Hoyer, Denker, Manny

Links for Monday…

Odds and Ends: Lowell, Sabathia, Polanco

I’m going to start up a catch-all Odds and Ends post for smaller rumors and notes today.  Refresh to see it grow.