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Chris Davis Rumors
The Orioles are looking for a backup catcher, an outfielder, starting pitching and relievers, executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette told Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Duquette hopes to make trades and sign free agents in the near future to address the team’s needs. Here are the details:
- The Orioles like Mark Reynolds’ defense better at first than at third. Duquette continued to downplay the likelihood of a major expenditure at first.
- Expect Matt Antonelli and Chris Davis to contribute at third base in 2012, though Duquette endorses the players in considerably different ways. "He looks like a ballplayer. He's got a good look about him, and he's a former No. 1 pick,” Duquette said of Antonelli. “If you take a look at Bill James' projections, they're projecting Davis to slug at .500 next year,” he said of Davis. Duquette added that he expects Antonelli to be healthy and likes his ability to get on base.
- Manager Buck Showalter prefers to rotate players in and out of the DH spot and Duquette will “be guided by [the manager's] preference." Don’t count on David Ortiz signing in Baltimore. “A 36-year-old DH would be a luxury for us," Duquette said.
- The Orioles will attempt to trade for a backup catcher and they have offers out to some minor league free agents, according to Kubatko (Twitter link).
- Earlier today, Jon Heyman reported that the Orioles have expressed interest in free agent Jason Varitek.
The success of the Orioles' offseason hinges, in large part, on their ability to add to the pitching staff. But at the General Manager Meetings in Milwaukee today, newly-appointed GM Dan Duquette suggested he'll let the market develop before obtaining pitching reinforcements.
"Everybody else is chasing it, too," Duquette told MLBTR. "We have to wait for the sharks to feed and then we'll wait to see what's left over."
In other words, it doesn’t appear that the Orioles will sign highly-coveted free agents such as C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle. Baltimore begins the offseason with internal rotation candidates such as Jeremy Guthrie, Tommy Hunter, Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergesen, Jo-Jo Reyes.
Duquette also noted that the defensive alignment for Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis remains undetermined, though manager Buck Showalter is leaning toward playing Reynolds at first with Davis at third. Duquette hasn't yet considered extensions for Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, but he wants to keep both players in place, so the topic may come up after December.
15 years ago today, the Mariners' acquisition of third baseman Dave Hollins was completed when they sent a 20-year-old first baseman named David Ortiz Arias to the Twins. Arias had just hit .322/.390/.511 for the Low-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. By the following year Ortiz had dropped the Arias in his name and earned a September call-up. Ortiz posted a .266/.348/.461 line in 455 games spanning 1997-2002 with Minnesota, battling wrist and knee injuries. After the '02 season the Blue Jays reportedly expressed interest in Ortiz, but ultimately the Twins non-tendered him in lieu of a raise from his $950K salary. New Red Sox GM Theo Epstein signed Big Papi for $1.25MM, and the rest is history. Today's links…
- The Pirates are far apart in contract talks with Andrew McCutchen, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden. Bowden feels that a six-year deal in the $47-49MM range, plus a club option, would be a fair compromise. In my opinion, there's a good case to be made for a McCutchen contract to exceed the $51.25MM Justin Upton received over six years in March of 2010. McCutchen has played in over 100 more games than Upton had at that point, their offensive lines are very similar, and McCutchen plays center field.
- ESPN's Keith Law discusses MLB's European presence and what must be done for further growth.
- Answering a question from Craig Heist of WTOP about playing in Washington, Rays center fielder B.J. Upton said he'd love to remain in Tampa Bay but otherwise would like to play for the Nationals with old friend Ryan Zimmerman. You can follow Craig on Twitter here; MLB.com's Bill Ladson transcribed the discussion. Upton is heading into his last arbitration year and projects for a $7MM salary.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo names 20 young, next generation GM candidates. To check out MLBTR's top 20 plus honorable mentions, click here.
- Mike Cameron was consistently one of the best players in baseball when he was on the field, writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs.
- The Orioles will try Chris Davis at third base for the rest of the season, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The 25-year-old was a key piece of the July 30th Koji Uehara trade with Texas. With Mark Reynolds getting comfortable at first base, it's conceivable that the Orioles will sit out the corner infielder bidding this winter.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports chronicles how Joey Gathright went from being managed by Jose Canseco as a member of the independent league Yuma Scorpions to a minor league deal with the Red Sox.
The Rangers beat the Orioles 30-3 on this date four years ago. In one of the most bizarre statistical quirks in recent memory, Rangers reliever Wes Littleton actually picked up a save in the game. Here are today's links, starting with an update on Texas and Baltimore…
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels reached out to Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail when he heard about Chris Davis' strained shoulder, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The Orioles, who obtained Davis from Texas in a trade late last month, haven't had serious talks about reworking the deal, according to Sullivan. Daniels says the sides could revisit the trade at some point, though.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel says it's doubtful that the Marlins would allow president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest to interview for the Cubs' GM opening (Twitter link).
- The Nationals, D'Backs, Red Sox, Pirates and Rays had the best drafts this year, Jim Callis writes at Baseball America.
It's unclear how much the Orioles knew about the possibility that Chris Davis had shoulder problems when they acquired him late last month, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun writes. Davis hit the Orioles' 15-day DL not long after joining Baltimore in the deal that sent Koji Uehara to Texas. Here are some more notes on the O's from Zrebiec…
- Mike Gonzalez and Vladimir Guerrero haven’t drawn interest from contenders looking to fortify their rosters for the stretch run, Zrebiec hears. That could change later this month and if it does, it’s likely that Gonzalez and Guerrero would clear waivers.
- Keep track of which players have cleared with our list.
- Orioles officials appear to believe that if Alfredo Simon has a future in Baltimore, it’s in the bullpen. Simon has made some good starts this season, but with Jim Johnson likely headed to the rotation, Baltimore’s bullpen could use some reliable arms in 2012.
After weeks of searching, GM Jon Daniels has acquired some help for his bullpen. The Rangers acquired Koji Uehara and $2MM from the Orioles for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter in a move the Orioles confirmed this evening.
Uehara, 36, has a 1.72 ERA with 11.9 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 47 innings this year. He earns $3MM and has a $4MM option for '12 that vests with another 12 appearances. He'll be a welcome addition to the back of manager Ron Washington's bullpen. Dan Mennella has all the fantasy angles covered at CloserNews.
Davis, 25, has a .250/.299/.403 line in 77 Major League plate appearances this year. He has destroyed Triple-A pitching this year, hitting 24 homers and posting a .368/.405/.824 line in 210 plate appearances. Davis, who struggles to hit lefties, has a .248/.300/.454 career line in parts of four seasons.
Hunter has appeared in eight games this year and has a 2.93 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 so far (he was on the disabled list from late March to the beginning of July). The 25-year-old former first rounder has also logged 30 2/3 minor league innings this season and he has a 4.99 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 for the Rangers' top two affiliates. Hunter was a member of the Rangers' rotation last year, when he started 22 regular season games and three in the playoffs.
Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun first reported the move. Jon Heyman of SI.com and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News added detail.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com has the latest on the Texas Rangers' pursuit of bullpen help and a few other items of note on the relief market.
- The Rangers are stocked with prospects and cash, and they are shopping for top-flight relievers.
- Texas' trade targets include San Diego's Heath Bell and Mike Adams, Oakland's Andrew Bailey and Washington's Tyler Clippard.
- The asking price for each of those relievers is high. The A's and Nats, in particular, will need to be overwhelmed to move Bailey and Clippard, respectively. Both right-handers will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason.
- For trade partners in need of offense, the Rangers have a useful trade chip in slugger Chris Davis, who is Major League-ready.
- The Padres are discussing their relievers with the Yankees, Phillies and other clubs.
As the Angels and Mariners begin a three-game series at Safeco Field tonight, let's look at some items concerning those clubs and their other two division rivals….
- Could the Angels considering moving Jered Weaver this summer? FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal looks at what might happen if the Halos fall out of contention, with a Weaver deal being the biggest possible move the club could make to rebuild. I looked at Weaver as both a trade and an extension candidate last April.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan looks at some reader suggestions about what the Rangers might do before the trade deadline. Sullivan speculates that the Orioles could be a good trade partner for the Rangers — Texas wants right-handed relivers (like Jim Johnson or Koji Uehara) and Baltimore could use a first baseman for the future like Chris Davis.
- Athletics southpaw Brett Anderson will not need Tommy John surgery, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. (Twitter link) Dr. James Andrews instead recommended six weeks of rehabilition for Anderson, and the two will meet again in three weeks for a re-evaluation.
- Also from Buster Olney, (via Twitter), the Athletics could find a suitor for Mark Ellis without leaving the Bay Area. The Giants need second base help with Freddy Sanchez possibly out for the season, while the A's might prefer to give playing time at second base to Jemile Weeks or Scott Sizemore. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes listed Ellis as a possible trade candidate in his examination of what the A's might do if they become sellers. Of note: Ellis does have no-trade protection in his contract, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts.
- The three-team deal between the Mariners, Indians and Mets in December 2008 has proven to be a boon for the M's, writes Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.
The Rangers were close to sending Michael Young to the Rockies for two young players before the season, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The deal didn’t go through, but the Rangers appear to have assured the Rockies that they’ll have the first chance to acquire Young if he becomes available once again. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors:
- One GM told Heyman that Mets Rule 5 selection Brad Emaus looks like a Quadruple A player.
- The Rays could have interest in adding a hitter now that Manny Ramirez isn’t around and Heyman suggests Chris Davis would be a fit. I wrote last month that the Rays are one team that could have interest in the first baseman if the Rangers make him available.
- C.J. Wilson could ask for $82.5MM on his next contract, as Heyman points out. The left-hander hits free agency after the season and could compare himself to A.J. Burnett and John Lackey in negotiations with the Rangers and/or other clubs.
- Alex Rodriguez worked out with Melky Cabrera this offseason and “begged” the Yankees to sign the outfielder to no avail.
- The Orioles are “very high” on Jake Arrieta, the 25-year-old who made 18 starts as a rookie in 2010 and remains in Baltimore’s rotation.
Links for Saturday evening..
- New to Arizona, J.J. Putz tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he's a perfect fit for the Diamondbacks.
- Second baseman Josh Barfield is competing for a utility spot on the Phillies but isn't concerned with talk of Luis Castillo, writes Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.
- Brian MacPherson and Tim Britton of The Providence Journal wonder how much longer Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek will continue to play. Varitek could be asked to backup Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2011 but could still be given plenty of playing time in a platoon. McPherson set the over/under at 2.5 years but Britton takes the under, pointing out that the list of catchers who have played the most games is chock full of players who retired before reaching 40-years-old. The team captain will celebrate his 39th birthday in less than a month.
- Pirates left-hander Joe Beimel was scratched again due to elbow pain today, which seems to contradict what GM Neal Huntington said yesterday after picking up Garrett Olson off of waivers, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Huntington insisted yesterday that the addition of Olson was not motivated by concern about Beimel or Scott Olsen.
- Pittsburgh right-hander Kevin Hart was on the bubble for a roster spot with the club and out of options for 2011, but the club will now have more time to consider him after a shoulder injury sent him to the 60-day DL, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs rallies against the tyranny of the corner label.
- Red Sox veteran David Ortiz told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that the pressure isn't off, even with the new additions.
- ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider req'd) hears from a talent evaluator that the best way for Kevin Millwood to get back to the big leagues is by signing with a team and pitching in games. "That's no way to win a job — sitting at home," said the source. Millwood's fastball was clocked at 85 mph during a recent workout.
- The Rangers ackowledge that Chris Davis has opened some eyes with his strong Spring Training, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. He's under consideration for a roster spot, though teams have inquired about his availability.
- Now without star second baseman Dan Uggla, the Marlins are once again in a transitional phase, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
- While he really enjoyed his time in Houston, Lance Berkman is happy to be with the Cardinals, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.