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Chan Ho Park Rumors
Plenty to absorb this morning, baseball fans:
- The Red Sox have asked the Braves for medical records of free agent relievers Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano, according to George King of the New York Post. WEEI.com also notes that catcher George Kottaras has been released.
- Chan Ho Park wants to be a starter, while the Phillies, most other teams, and the results on the field see him as a reliever. Todd Zolecki also writes about why he's not surprised that the Phillies are considered by many to be the front runners to land Mark DeRosa.
- DRaysBay.com evaluates whether the Rays should trade Carlos Pena.
- Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic estimates that the Diamondbacks have about $14MM to spend this winter.
- Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets have hired Dave Jauss as bench coach.
- Kelly Thesier of MLB.com looks at the minor league free agents from the Twins.
MLB.com'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.
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.
4:32pm: MLB.com'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.
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 ESPN.com 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 MLB.com 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 ESPN.com'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 ESPN.com 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 MLB.com 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.
MLB.com’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.
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.
Links for Monday…
- Baseball America ranks the teams by their total draft expenditures. The Royals spent over $11MM, leading the pack.
- SI’s Tom Verducci talked to one "club pitching expert" who considers free agent Chan Ho Park a sleeper starter for next year.
- MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan figures a long-term extension for Josh Hamilton will be a top priority for the Rangers this winter. Sullivan also has a note about Jake Peavy only wanting to go to an NL team, despite the recent article about Peavy being open to three AL clubs.
- Red Sox assistant GM Jed Hoyer turned down a chance to interview for the Mariners job, according to Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald.
- McCovey Chronicles is baffled by the Giants’ decision to let second baseman Travis Denker go.
- Chad Durbin suggests Manny Ramirez charged in aggressively from left field yesterday for show.
- We took a look at Ryan Dempster from a fantasy baseball perspective a few days ago.
I’m going to start up a catch-all Odds and Ends post for smaller rumors and notes today. Refresh to see it grow.
- A reader emailed me to tell me that Buster Olney said on XM Radio recently that there are talks of the Twins going after Scott Rolen. These reports can be tough to confirm, but there you go. UPDATE: Joe Christensen squashes this one.
- Mark Feinsand doesn’t think Epstein is keen on giving Mike Lowell even a three-year contract. He might get five on the open market. UPDATE: The Red Sox apparently have a three-year offer out to him, and he’s still mulling it over.
- The White Sox inquired about Bill Hall, but Kenny Williams and Doug Melvin couldn’t find a match.
- Baseball America weighs in on the Brad Lidge trade. BP’s Nate Silver gives his opinion here and here. He thinks the Phillies made a mistake.
- The Astros have contacted Jeremy Affeldt‘s agent. Also, Jim Molony speculates in this piece that speedy Josh Anderson could be expendable because of the Michael Bourn addition.
- Back to where it all began: the Dodgers have signed Chan Ho Park. No need for more starters now!
- Andy Pettitte hopes to tell the Yankees whether he’ll play by the New Year. Also, Ken Davidoff notes that the Yanks would prefer to trade Hideki Matsui over Johnny Damon, but Godzilla’s full no-trade clause would be the problem.
- Theo Epstein let Scott Boras pitch his entire client list last night, A-Rod included. There’s a very slight chance the Red Sox sign Eric Gagne, and a contract extension for Jason Varitek may have been discussed. Also I hear Boras did the hard sell on Bruce Chen. Just kidding. UPDATE: That slight chance for Gagne just went away, as he’ll be closing according to Boras.
- Mark Shapiro is preparing a contract extension offer for C.C. Sabathia; he’ll have to run it by the Dolans first. No surprise there. Paul Hoynes notes that Sabathia gets an extra $2MM for ’08 if he wins the ’07 Cy Young. Shapiro, by the way, would listen to offers on any player. I get the feeling the Indians could come from out of nowhere and do something big this winter.
- Could the Tigers send Placido Polanco to the Mets? Mark Healey suggests it.
- The Giants included a vesting option for 2009 in Omar Vizquel‘s deal. McCovey Chronicles weighs in.
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