Chris Carter Rumors

Report: Chris Carter Claimed By Yankees

7:07pm: Buster Olney has some more color to this "he claimed, she claimed" story.

Olney writes in ESPN the Magazine, "The rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox burns strongly even when it comes to waiver claims.

"When the Mets and Red Sox worked out a trade for left-hander Billy Wagner earlier this week, Chris Carter, an outfielder-first baseman currently playing for Class AAA Pawtucket, became part of the deal as a player to be named headed to Boston. In preparation for the deal, the Red Sox placed Carter on waivers, with the intention of moving him on to the Mets.

"But the Yankees placed a claim on Carter — perhaps to create some 40-man roster discomfort for the Red Sox. In order to complete the Mets trade, the Red Sox are now pulling Carter back from waivers — and for the rest of the year, they must carry him on their 40-man roster.

"And Boston may struggle to squeeze bodies onto its 40-man roster in September. When Paul Byrd was a free agent, he informed teams that as a condition for signing him, he wanted a guarantee that he would be added to the 40-man roster for the final month. If Boston has made that same concession, the Carter claim by the Yankees might have made that just a little more difficult."

5:50pm: In what should come as a surprise to no one, Amalie Benjamin clarifies that the Red Sox have pulled Carter back, and will deal him in the offseason.

5:30pm: Because it wouldn't be a normal day without some bad news for the Mets, Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports on her Twitter account that Chris Carter, the more significant of the two players rumored to be headed to the Mets in exchange for Billy Wagner, has been claimed by the New York Yankees.

It isn't clear that this hurts the Red Sox any, since the trade is not dependent on Carter passing through waivers. Instead, the claim prevents the Mets from getting a first-hand look at Carter until after the season. Presumably, the Red Sox will pull him back, though they also have the option of working out a deal with the Yankees (not likely) or letting the Yankees have him for nothing (see previous parenthetical statement). So much for city unity.

Worth noting: the Yankees have the best record in the American League, meaning that 1) no one else in the AL claimed Carter, 2) if they hadn't claimed Carter, the Red Sox could have traded him to the Mets without any problem had the National League followed suit, and 3) the Yankees, apparently, weren't willing to show pity upon their injury-shattered New York brethren.


Odds And Ends: Prospects, Giambi, Angels

Some links for your Friday afternoon…

  • Baseball America lists the hottest prospects in the country. Chris Carter, Pedro Alvarez and Martin Perez are some of the more recognizable players heating up.
  • A's prospect Brett Wallace tops Marc Hulet's list of top prospects traded this summer over at FanGraphs.  
  • Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail hears that the Jays have no interest in Jason Giambi.
  • Angels manager Mike Scioscia tells ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian the keys to his club's suddenly unstoppable offense: effective baserunning and contributions from all 13 position players. Kendry Morales has performed well at first in place of Mark Teixeira and the rest of the Angels are all hitting.  
  • Torii Hunter, who was having a big year before hitting the DL, experienced a setback this week, according to his blog.  
  • The Angels signed 40th overall pick Tyler Skaggs for an undisclosed amount, according to Ben Bolch of the LA Times 

Odds And Ends: Alvarez, DePodesta, Strasburg

A few links for Saturday…



Red Sox Standing Pat

The Red Sox don't plan on pursuing any recently released players, according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal.  Names like Frank Catalanotto and Jeff Keppinger have been floated in connection with Boston, but club officials believe the roster is set (Keppinger's already an Astro).

"It looks like we have our team," manager Terry Francona said Thursday.  The Sox appear satisfied with Chris Carter and Nick Green as viable fill-ins for injured players Mark Kotsay and Julio Lugo.


Gammons’ Latest: Martin, Dunn, Quentin

Here’s the latest blog post from ESPN’s Peter Gammons

  • Takashi Saito is mentioned as a free agent this winter, but I believe it’s a situation where he can only re-sign, return to Japan, or retire.
  • Gammons heard talk that Russell Martin could be switched permanently to third base.  In that scenario, the Dodgers would sign a pitching-oriented catcher such as Jason Varitek.  Would that be a good move?
  • Adam Dunn knows it’s cliche, but he intends to prioritize winning over money when he hits free agency.
  • The D’Backs were asking a lot for Carlos Quentin last winter, with the White Sox, Red Sox, and Indians interested.  Josh Byrnes was not able to get Michael Bowden, Jed Lowrie, or Cliff Lee.  Arizona ended up getting Chris Carter from Chicago and flipping him to Oakland in the Dan Haren deal.  Carter mashed 39 home runs in A ball this year.  You can’t say the Diamondbacks gave Quentin away for nothing, since they acquired a crucial component for the Haren trade.
  • A year ago, Yankees GM Brian Cashman asked Joe Torre and his coaches their opinion on a Robinson Cano for Orlando Hudson swap.  Don Mattingly and Larry Bowa were heavily in favor of keeping Cano.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Teixeira, Burnett, Sherrill

Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, who should probably take a vacation in August.

  • The D’Backs inquired on Mark Teixeira, but a trade is unlikely.  Tex might be the best available hitter, as Matt Holliday seems likely to stay put.
  • The Rockies scouted Nick Adenhart‘s last start.  The Angels have more interest in Brian Fuentes than Holliday.
  • Tons of scouts converged on Camden Yards last night to watch A.J. Burnett and George Sherrill pitch (those hoping to see Sherrill were disappointed).  The Cardinals, Phillies, Yankees, Brewers, Marlins, Dodgers, and Tigers all had scouts there to watch at least one of the pitchers. 
  • Rosenthal says trade interest in Burnett "remains minimal," as teams fear the pitcher’s contract.
  • The Orioles are taking a look at the Brewers’ Triple A team, but it is believed that they are reluctant to part with more prospects.
  • The A’s chose first baseman Chris Carter over Emilio Bonifacio in the Dan Haren trade.

Dan Haren Trade Analysis

The first domino fell tonight as an ace starter, Dan Haren, was dealt to the Diamondbacks for a bevy of prospects.  I believe the D’Backs won this one.  Let’s dig into the details.

Take Haren, a horse of an American League pitcher, and throw him in the easier league.  The D’Backs got themselves a bona fide ace to pair with Brandon Webb, and they get him for three years at a reasonable price.  He makes a mere $16.25MM over 2008-10; he’s worth at least three times that amount.   (Arizona also gets 26 year-old reliever Connor Robertson, who hasn’t really conquered Triple A yet.)

To balance out the immense value of Haren, the A’s get six young players.  Four of them represent the #1, 3, 7,  and 8th ranked prospects on Baseball America’s top ten for the team.

Carlos Gonzalez, 22, is the stud of the group.  He can play right or center and has definite star potential.  However, he’s no lock to become Carlos Beltran or Jeff Francoeur.

Southpaw starter Brett Anderson turns 20 in February.  He’s more about polish and command than stuff, and is a curious guy to be the main pitching prospect in the Haren deal.  He’ll try to tackle Double A in 2008.

We’ve discussed 21 year-old first baseman Chris Carter recently; the D’Backs just acquired him for Carlos Quentin.  Who knew it was setting up a Haren deal.  He’s a slow guy with massive power and plenty of strikeouts.  He’ll give High A ball a try in ’08.

Outfielder Aaron Cunningham turns 22 in April.  He’s one of those guys who doesn’t do anything poorly but isn’t great at any one skill either.  Baseball America thinks he’ll become a solid fourth outfielder.

24 year-old southpaw Dana Eveland came to Arizona along with Doug Davis.  He’s drawn David Wells comparisons and has proven himself in the high minors.  He missed a lot of ’07 with a torn tendon in his pitching hand. 

Greg Smith is a 24 year-old southpaw starter with a good curveball and mediocre fastball.  His strikeout rate was just 5.85 per nine at Triple A in ’07.

I’m surprised Billy Beane didn’t get more "sure thing" young players for his best trading chip.  Gonzalez will probably pan out, but he really needed a high octane near-MLB young gun starter too and he didn’t get it.  I will give him credit for spreading out his risk over six prospects, though.  Josh Byrnes gets an ace without giving up anyone he needed in ’08.


Dan Haren Traded To Diamondbacks

It looks like Billy Beane has pulled the trigger on a trade for Dan Haren, sending him to the Diamondbacks for a package of prospects. The departed: Carlos Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith, Chris Carter, and Aaron Cunningham. The A’s also sent right Connor Robertson to the D’Backs.

The D’Backs also completed another deal, sending closer Jose Valverde to the Astros for Chris Burke, Chad Qualls, and Juan Gutierrez.

Tim will be around later to share his views on the trade.

-Joe


Phillies Interested In Otsuka?

UPDATE, 12-14-07 at 10:09am: Ah, now the true story comes out on Otsuka.  MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers were going to send him to the White Sox for Chris Carter but the Sox nixed the deal after looking at Otsuka’s medical reports.  No surprise the Rangers non-tendered him, now.  Hat tip to Rangerfans.com.

FROM 12-14-07 at 8:47am:

Reliever Akinori Otsuka hit the free agent market on Wednesday; he turns 36 in January.  With a career ERA of 2.44 in 232 innings, it’s surprising the Rangers chose to non-tender him.  Otsuka earned $3MM in 2007, and even with a raise he’d have been a decent play on a one-year deal.

Unless, of course, the Rangers believes something is still wrong with Otsuka’s elbow.  I think that has to be the case, despite a trickle of positive reports recently.  The Phillies are the latest team to express interest in Otsuka.  Also, Tom Krasovic suggested a few days ago that the Padres might look to bring him back.

Back to the Phillies for a moment – Steve King notes that they have no interest in free agent Morgan Ensberg.  Also, they’re still planning to watch Kris Benson throw next week.


D’Backs Trade Quentin To White Sox For Chris Carter

According to MLB Radio via MetsBlog, the D’Backs will send outfielder Carlos Quentin to the White Sox for first baseman Chris Carter.  Here’s the MLB.com link.  Kenny Williams and Josh Byrnes have gotten together on many trades in the past. 

Carter was recently ranked Chicago’s 4th best prospect by Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein, and their best position player prospect.  The 21 year-old first baseman will try his hand at High A in 2008.  Goldstein calls him a "true slugger with tremendous strength and power to all fields," while noting that he is poor defensively even at first base.  Carter’s a few years off, so Conor Jackson doesn’t have to worry quite yet.

Quentin didn’t have a place on the D’Backs after they signed Eric Byrnes to a contract extension.  2007 was a lost year for Quentin as he dealt with shoulder and hamstring issues.  He plans to have labrum surgery to fix the shoulder this winter.  The 25 year-old has mashed at Triple A and knows how to take a walk – he is exactly what the White Sox needed.  Faith in Kenny Williams has been restored, perhaps.

It’s tough to pick a winner here; I like the deal for both clubs.  I love it for the White Sox, who had a strong need for position-playing young talent.  The D’Backs did well getting Carter, though they weren’t able to spin Quentin into a starting pitcher.  Quentin wouldn’t have gotten a chance to rebuild value with Arizona at the big league level in 2008 anyway.  Yahoo’s Jeff Passan is not impressed with the move for Arizona.