Chipper Jones Rumors
Braves GM Frank Wren will meet with Bobby Cox and the team's scouts to decide how to replace Chipper Jones, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter). They could rely on Martin Prado, Omar Infante, Brooks Conrad and Eric Hinske, or they could look to acquire a player from outside the organization. Tell us what you think Wren & Co. will do:
How will the Braves replace Chipper Jones?
Chipper Jones will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, according to Chris Dimino of 790 The Zone (Twitter links). It’s a major blow for the Braves, but they should have enough depth to win without Chipper.
When Martin Prado returns from his finger injury, he and Omar Infante can combine to play second and third and Brooks Conrad can continue backing up at the hot corner. Eric Hinske, primarily an outfielder, won the 2002 Rookie of the Year at third and has played there on occasion in 2009-10.
Aramis Ramirez, Pedro Feliz, Wes Helms, Adam Kennedy, Jose Lopez, Brandon Inge, Jhonny Peralta, Ty Wigginton, Edwin Encarnacion, Melvin Mora and Willie Bloomquist are among the infielders who could clear waivers this month. The Mariners tried to engage the Braves on Chone Figgins last month, so perhaps Jack Zduriencik will call Frank Wren to see if the Braves are interested now.
Chipper Jones confirmed in a press conference this afternoon that he is leaning toward retiring at season's end, tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com. The switch-hitting veteran says he won't address the subject again until after the season, in part because he doesn't want to overshadow Bobby Cox's retirement (Twitter link). In a blog entry for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, David O'Brien provides an entire transcript of Chipper's comments.
Chipper's performance so far this year (.234/.378/.366) represents his worst statistical season since becoming a full-time player in 1995. However, his career numbers remain Hall of Fame-worthy: .306/.406/.537 and 430 home runs in nearly 9500 plate appearances.
After 2010, the 38-year-old will have earned over $141MM throughout his major league career, according to Baseball-Reference. He'd be leaving plenty of money on the table if he decides to retire after this season though, as his current contract would pay him at least another $28MM through 2012, along with potential performance bonuses and a 2013 club option.
Links for Thursday, as Ubaldo Jimenez keeps winning...
- Chipper Jones may have decided on his future; David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via Twitter) that the Braves will hold a press conference for Chipper at 5pm CST today.
- The Cubs seem close to signing first rounder Hayden Simpson, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox are not close to dealing Mike Lowell to the Rangers or Twins.
- The Red Sox want the Twins and Rangers to pick up salary in a Lowell deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Twins and Rangers are still reluctant to pay much of the $7MM remaining on Lowell's contract.
- Pat Andriola of FanGraphs says Jake Westbrook could be a good fit for the Mets, who are looking for starting pitching.
- A Tigers official tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that things have been “quiet” on the trade front so far.
- Cubs GM Jim Hendry told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he has "no intention of firing Lou Piniella."
- Miguel Montero tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com that he was flattered by the interest Boston had in trading for him after the 2008 season. Speier hears that the Red Sox and D'Backs, who were never on the brink of a deal, were discussing a swap based around Michael Bowden or Daniel Bard.
- If you've ever wondered what it would be like to watch a game beside Padres GM Jed Hoyer, check out this profile by Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Within the piece we hear that Hoyer would like to make San Diego an especially appealing destination for pitchers.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick examines the Padres' amazing pitching and points out that manager Bud Black and Hoyer were pitchers themselves.
A few links to check out as you celebrate Kansas City being awarded the 2012 All-Star Game...
- Chipper Jones isn't ready to talk about his future yet, reports Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A settlement of the $28MM left on his contract is one issue that has to be cleared up before Jones can announce any retirement plans, if any.
- Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star says the Royals should find a way to maximize David DeJesus' value, either through trade or letting him leave as a free agent and receiving compensation draft picks. DeJesus currently projects to be a Type-B free agent, assuming the team declines his $6MM option for 2011.
- Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post mentions that Rockies' manager Jim Tracy indicated that Juan Rincon would likely be the reliever to bounce back and forth between the big leagues and Triple-A this year, however he's out of options and would need to clear waivers each time he is sent down.
Links for Wednesday, before Pedro Alvarez makes his MLB debut...
- Jack Curry of the YES Network (via Twitter) hears from a baseball official that the Phillies are interested in adding a starting pitcher. Curry specifically names Cliff Lee, though I can't imagine the team re-acquiring him just a few months after shipping him to Seattle.
- The Orioles have contacted Buck Showalter about managing the team, according to Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com.
- The Cubs hired a statistical analyst for the team's baseball operations department, according to ESPN.com's Bruce Levine.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that it's an "extreme long shot" that the Rangers acquire Roy Oswalt.
- One GM told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that teams are now demanding big returns for players who will eventually be traded for less.
- DJ Bean of WEEI.com introduces us to Red Sox fourth rounder Garin Cecchini, who told every major league team he wouldn't sign for less than mid-first-round money. Specifically, Cecchini wants $1.75MM, according to Bean.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that he hasn't given up on his team and wants to see how it fares over the course of the coming week.
- Chipper Jones' agent, B.B. Abbott, told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Chipper will "absolutely not" retire during the season.
- The Yankees released David Winfree from their Triple A team, according to Donnie Collins of the Times-Tribune.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post points out that the Yankees won't have to pursue free agents Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth if Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson keep playing this well.
- A's assistant GM David Forst tells MLB.com's Jane Lee that the club would like to add depth to its lineup, even after the Conor Jackson trade (Twitter link).
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the club would consider trading for or signing a reliever.
- The Hanshin Tigers will pick up Matt Murton's option for 2011, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (via Twitter). Jack Moore of FanGraphs recently updated us on Murton's success in Japan.
- Ben Badler of Baseball America hears that the Mariners will likely sign right-hander Jose Torres for $800K (Twitter link).
- MLBTR has an internship opportunity for a limited number of regular readers. Any skilled and experienced writers with an eye for detail should describe their experience as writers and editors in a couple sentences and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of the day.
- Yunesky Maya was already unblocked, but he can sign with anyone now that he has been cleared by the FAC office, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNdeportes.com (link in Spanish).
- Chipper Jones could announce that he will retire after the season, according to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle says Nationals GM Mike Rizzo misread Stephen Strasburg and should have called him up early on in the season.
- From what Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog gathers, the Mets and Mariners have talked a lot about Cliff Lee.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik declined to comment on whether the team would trade Lee now, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
- Jay Greenberg of the New York Post says the Mets seem likely to keep relying on R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi, as tempting as Roy Oswalt may be.
- Buck Showalter and Phil Garner both told MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli that the O's have yet to contact them about managing the club.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times suggests the Cubs could benefit from becoming sellers. - it just wouldn't be an easy sell to the fan base.
- David Ortiz tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he misses Manny Ramirez, though the two didn't socialize much beyond the ballpark.
Links for Thursday, as the Phillies attempt to get their offense going...
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer tells FanGraphs contributor Mike Lee that trading within a division makes sense at times. The entire interview is worth a read.
- In a clip for FanHouse TV, former Mets GM Steve Phillips explains what he meant when he said he would deal Stephen Strasburg for Roy Oswalt.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo breaks down this year's class of draft-eligible catchers and describes Yasmani Grandal's development into a top prospect.
- David Patton, who was designated for assignment when the Cubs had to make room for Bob Howry, has cleared waivers and re-signed with the Cubs, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat (via Twitter).
- Chipper Jones told 790 the Ticket in Miami that he might not play next year, even though he's under contract (transcript on Sports Radio Interviews, hat tip to USA Today). Chipper has gone back and forth on the issue this year.
- Angel Pagan is a better player than Jeff Francoeur for 2010 and beyond, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- The Phillies are more likely to trade for a third or fourth starter than an ace this summer, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports. Knobler hears that the Phillies may match up best with a team looking to shed the salary of an expensive starter.
- Drew Pomeranz pitched well in front of a dozen or more scouting directors, writes ESPN.com's Keith Law. Meanwhile, teams have questions about righty Anthony Ranaudo's medical history.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown and Jon Heyman of SI.com believe Stephen Strasburg will make his MLB debut on June 8th, though both writers remind us that the date could change (Twitter links).
- David Golebiewski of FanGraphs says Carlos Pena should show more plate discipline and pull the ball if he wants to sign a big free agent contract this offseason.
Chipper Jones is no longer thinking about retiring before his contract expires, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jones, 38, is under contract through 2012 and the Braves have a $7MM club option for 2013. After a disappointing 2009 season (at least by Jones' standards), Chipper said he didn't want to play if he wasn't producing at his usual level. Now, the third baseman is no longer contemplating retirement.
“I’m good,” Jones said. “I feel like I’m doing my job. There hasn’t been a point where I got in bed and couldn’t sleep because I’m worried about what’s going on."
Jones has a .230/.402/.368 line so far this year and while his slugging percentage has dropped for a third consecutive season, Jones points to his league-leading 25 walks. Those free passes have kept his on base percentage near his career average, so Jones is content to keep playing. The 17-year veteran is set to make $28MM in 2011-12.
We've already looked at the largest contracts by service time and position, so let's now dig up the largest contracts ever given out by each of the 30 teams. These are in terms of guaranteed money only, but some could end up being even larger because of incentives and option years.
- Angels: Torii Hunter, five years, $90MM
- Astros: Carlos Lee, six years, $100MM
- Athletics: Eric Chavez, six years, $66MM
- Blue Jays: Vernon Wells, seven years, $126MM
- Braves: Chipper Jones, six years, $90MM
- Brewers: Ryan Braun, eight years, $45MM
- Cardinals: Matt Holliday, seven years, $120MM
- Cubs: Alfonso Soriano, eight years, $136MM
- Diamondbacks: Randy Johnson, four years, $53.4MM
- Dodgers: Kevin Brown, seven years, $105MM
- Giants: Barry Zito, seven years, $126MM
- Indians: Travis Hafner, four years, $57MM
- Mariners: Ichiro Suzuki, five years, $90MM
- Marlins: Hanley Ramirez, six years, $70MM
- Mets: Johan Santana, six years, $137.5MM
- Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman, five years, $45MM
- Orioles: Miguel Tejada, six years, $72MM
- Padres: Jake Peavy, three years, $52MM
- Phillies: Chase Utley, seven years, $85MM
- Pirates: Jason Kendall, six years, $60MM
- Rangers: Alex Rodriguez, ten years, $252MM
- Rays: Wilson Alvarez, five years, $35MM
- Reds: Ken Griffey Jr., nine years, $116.5MM
- Red Sox: Manny Ramirez, eight years, $160MM
- Rockies: Todd Helton, nine years, $141.5MM
- Royals: Gil Meche & Mike Sweeney, both five years, $55MM
- Tigers: Miguel Cabrera, eight years, $152.3MM
- Twins: Joe Mauer, eight years, $184MM
- White Sox: Frank Thomas, seven years, $64.4MM
- Yankees: Alex Rodriguez, ten years, $275MM
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.