Chris Capuano Rumors
- Manhattan federal judge Jed Rakoff tossed out nine of the 11 counts in Irving Picard's $1 billion complaint against Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, reports Kaja Whitehouse of the New York Post. Rakoff set the ceiling at $386MM in an order issued today, according to the Associated Press.
- Mets manager Terry Collins had this to say to David Lennon of Newsday on impending free agent shortstop Jose Reyes: "I think he'll be back." Reyes presents a lose-lose scenario for the Mets, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post, because the fan base would be upset if the shortstop leaves but he does not necessarily represent a sound investment. Sherman is of the opinion that Reyes "will receive nothing less than six years for $114MM in free agency," which equates to $19MM per year.
- Reyes was pulled after singling in his first at-bat today, to preserve an NL-leading .3370577 batting average. Strange way to end what could have been Reyes' last game as a Met. Ryan Braun could top Reyes' mark tonight by going 3-for-3 or 3-for-4.
- ESPNNewYork's Adam Rubin analyzes the Mets' upcoming offseason. He believes Mike Pelfrey will return and Angel Pagan will not, and the Mets are also displeased with the recent performance of catcher Ronny Paulino. For estimated salaries on all five arbitration eligible Mets, click here.
- Though the Mets would like to re-sign Chris Capuano, Rubin believes the lefty would have to fight for a rotation spot. I'd be surprised if Capuano is willing to do that.
- Rubin expects the Mets to go outside the organization for a closer, and sign a second lefty as well.
The Red Sox could use pitching depth, but it doesn't appear that they're going to get any. GM Theo Epstein doesn't expect to be able to trade for a starting pitcher before the regular season ends, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).
The Red Sox expressed interest in Chris Capuano this month, but weren't able to work out a deal with the Mets. There aren't many realistic alternatives on the trade market this time of year, so it appears likely that the Red Sox will have to make do with what they have this week, when they wrap up the regular season against the Orioles at Camden Yards.
Boston's lead over the Rays in the Wild Card race has diminished to a single game, which explains Boston's interest in pitchers who would be ineligible for the postseason. Getting there will be enough of a challenge for the Red Sox, who have won just six games this month. Josh Beckett, Erik Bedard and Jon Lester are scheduled to start in Baltimore, but the team could use reinforcements, especially after playing two games, including one 14 inning contest, in the Bronx yesterday.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe discusses player conditioning and expanded rosters in his latest column, before sharing a few notes and rumors from around the league. Here are a few highlights from the piece:
- While the Brewers have been all but ruled out of the Prince Fielder sweepstakes in some corners, Cafardo hears from big league sources that the Brew Crew may make a bid to retain their first baseman after all.
- It appears Buck Showalter will have a significant infuence on Orioles' moves and decisions going forward. If Andy MacPhail leaves the team this winter, the O's may hire someone to hold the general manager title, but have Showalter acting as the de facto GM.
- Cafardo speculates that the Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, Twins, Tigers, and Cardinals could all be in on C.J. Wilson this offseason.
- "Nobody has any real answer" about why the Red Sox and Mets couldn't reach an agreement on a Chris Capuano trade. We heard earlier this week that the Sox tried to acquire Capuano to help them clinch a playoff spot, but that talks were dead.
- Although Manny Ramirez has mentioned the possibility of playing in Japan, Cafardo doesn't think a Japanese team would be willing to take on a two-time PED user.
- Cafardo has heard Bobby Valentine mentioned as a potential replacement if the Red Sox and Terry Francona part ways. Earlier today, FOX's Ken Rosenthal looked into whether or not Francona's job is in jeopardy.
Some links on this Saturday evening...
- Mets lefty Chris Capuano told Ron Chimelis of The Springfield Republican that he didn't hear anything about a potential trade to the Red Sox until after the deal was dead. "I didn't hear about it until after my start Thursday in St.Louis," said the lefty. "That's when I spoke briefly with (Mets GM) Sandy Alderson, who said there was just some talk that didn't pan out.''
- MLB.com's Peter Gammons reports (on Twitter) that two teams trying to trade for Marlins closer Leo Nunez at the deadline were told no. "Now I know why," said the GM of one of those teams, referring to Nunez's identity scandal. "I admire Larry Beinfest for doing what he did."
- Meanwhile, Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald reports that Nunez came clean about his identity because it was his dying father's last request.
- Third baseman Aramis Ramirez told ESPN 1000 Chicago that he wants to sign with a contender this winter. On Tuesday, the veteran said that he's probably played his last game with the Cubs.
- Cardinals right-hander Edwin Jackson would like to return to the team next season, writes Steve Overbey for MLB.com. However, there might not be a spot for him in the rotation next season if Adam Wainwright returns healthy.
- Darryl Strawberry regrets leaving the Mets for the Dodgers prior to the '91 season and says that impending free agent Jose Reyes should stay in New York, writes Peter Botte of the New York Daily News.
- As ESPN.com's Buster Olney touched on earlier today, the acquisitions of Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke helped propel the Brewers to the division crown. Outfielder Ryan Braun was quick to say that it was pitching that put the club in this position, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.
- Questioning the logic of the Diamondbacks' Dan Haren deal from July 2010 seems unfair, writes Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. Piecoro also writes that the club's increased scouting for the 2009 draft proved to be beneficial at the 2010 deadline.
The Nationals have won nine of their last eleven games, including a four-game sweep of the Phillies. They'll try to keep their hot streak alive tonight against the struggling Braves, who hold just a two-game lead over the Cardinals in the NL wild card race. Some news from the NL East....
- The Nationals are in the "preliminary stages" of negotiations with Chien-Ming Wang about an extension, Wang's agent Alan Nero tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson (Twitter link).
- C.C. Sabathia thinks Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins may sign with the Giants in the offseason, reports Jon Heyman from Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Sabathia and Rollins are long-time friends and, as Heyman notes, Rollins was the first to predict that Sabathia would sign with the Yankees in the 2008-09 offseason.
- The Marlins may have been unable to deal Leo Nunez at the trade deadline due to the ongoing saga of Nunez's true identity, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Within that same link, Dan LeBatard is reporting that Major League Baseball (who must've been aware of Nunez's issues, as the Marlins were) nixed a deal involving Nunez last July.
- Chris Capuano is interested in returning to the Mets next year but said he prefers to be a starting pitcher whenever he goes, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- Jose Reyes likes playing for the Mets but isn't sure how his free agency will play out this winter, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. "This is the only team that I played [for] so far in my whole career," Reyes said. "I feel comfortable here. I feel good with the ownership. I feel like we are family and stuff like that. At the same time, this is a business. And to be honest with you, I don't know what's going to happen.
- Davey Johnson wants the Nationals to add some outfield depth this winter, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times explores the possibility that southpaw Mike Zagurski (dealt from the Phillies to the Diamondbacks earlier today) could end up returning to Philadelphia as the player to be named later in the deal, a rare "traded for himself" move.
The slumping Red Sox are looking for pitching reinforcements and spent many days trying to obtain left-hander Chris Capuano from the Mets for cash, according to John Tomase of the Boston Herald. Boston’s lead over the Rays and Angels has shrunk to just 2.5 games after a 5-16 September slide.
The Red Sox would start Capuano Sunday against the Yankees if they complete a deal, but it appears that the Mets will keep the 33-year-old, who has a 4.47 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 175 1/3 innings this year. Rob Bradford of WEEI.com hears that the Red Sox aren't lkely to make any deals and Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com hears that talks are "dead." Boston wouldn’t be able to use Capuano in the playoffs - they’re simply interested in boosting their chances of reaching the postseason.
Earlier today we learned that Wilpons' deal with David Einhorn is dead, so now let's recap the rest of the news surrounding the Amazins...
- In the wake of the Einhorn non-deal, the team may now try to sell ten ownership shares for $20MM each to match the $200MM they were expected to receive from Einhorn, report Gregory Zuckerman, Matthew Futterman, and Brian Costa of The Wall Street Journal.
- GM Sandy Alderson indicated to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that the team's payroll will go down next year. "[The] fact is, even at $100 million or $110 million, we're still in the upper echelon of payrolls," said Alderson. The Mets started the year with a payroll of about $140MM.
- Rubin reports (via Twitter) that lefty reliever Danny Ray Herrera was on the list of players the team chose from to complete the Francisco Rodriguez trade. The Mets have two players to be named later coming from the Brewers, though the identities of both are still unknown.
- "If there's something like that out there, that would be great," said Chris Capuano to Rubin when asked about signing a multi-year deal as a starting pitcher after the season. "If it's a one-year deal or something, at this point in my career I'm excited to have the opportunity to go out there as a starting pitcher. I’m not as concerned with the contracts and everything else. As long as I have an option next year to start, I"ll be happy." Capuano has a 4.38 ERA in 26 starts this year.
This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports. Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause). This list can always be found in the sidebar under MLBTR Features. Player names are linked to the source articles.
Updated 8-30-11 at 10:56pm
- Aaron Harang, Padres - Harang's ERA is a respectable 3.92 with 6.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
- Dontrelle Willis, Reds - Willis has bounced back with the Reds, posting a 4.10 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9, and 56.8% groundball rate in 52 2/3 innings.
- Carlos Zambrano, Cubs - Zambrano cleared waivers prior to being placed on the disqualified list. He has a short fuse, lousy stats, and over $22MM remaining on his contract through next year.
- Rodrigo Lopez, Cubs - Not surprising to see the journeyman clear waivers.
- Chris Capuano, Mets - Capuano owns a 3.74 SIERA as of August 14th and earns only $1.5MM plus incentives, so it's hard to see why a few teams didn't place claims.
- Bronson Arroyo, Reds - His peripheral stats haven't changed much, but Arroyo has a 5.31 ERA as of August 15th. $15MM of his $35MM contract is deferred through 2021 without interest. The deferrals are voided if he's traded, however. At any rate, expect Arroyo to stay put.
- Bruce Chen, Royals - Chen has his moments, but it's not surprising to see him clear waivers.
- Jason Vargas, Mariners - Like many of the starters here, Vargas' fastball wouldn't break a window. But he has less than a million bucks left on his contract this year and is under team control through 2013. He'd fit nicely at the back end of several rotations.
- Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals - His three starts this season were his first in over two years, so it's understandable that contenders wouldn't jump to claim him.
- Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals - Booted to the bullpen last month, the 29-year-old flyballing southpaw has posted strong strikeout rates in recent years but can't hold a rotation job.
- Ted Lilly, Dodgers - He always has strong strikeout-to-walk numbers, but is prone to the longball. With over 82% of his $33MM contract remaining ($27MM+), it's no surprise he cleared waivers.
- Joe Nathan, Twins - Nathan won't be traded, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
- Chad Qualls, Padres - Qualls is enjoying a bounce-back season, though his strikeout rate dipped to 5.3 K/9 this year.
- Bill Bray, Reds - Bray has been decent this year, and a little tougher against lefties. He'll be arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason.
- Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers - A dominant reliever last year, Kuo has dealt with a back injury and anxiety disorder as his control has eluded him.
- Huston Street, Rockies - Between a recent triceps injury and the $9MM+ owed to him through 2012, Street was expected to clear.
- Brian Fuentes, Athletics - He's owed over $6MM through next year, and has been mediocre for the A's.
- Jon Rauch, Blue Jays - Rauch is affordable, but he's on the DL for an appendectomy and wasn't great before that.
- Mike Gonzalez, Orioles - Gonzalez has been dominant in August, and against lefties. The problem is that he's still owed almost a million bucks.
- Kevin Gregg, Orioles - Gregg might be the worst reliever holding down a closer's job, and he's owed at least $6.4MM through next year.
- John Grabow, Cubs - He's been ineffective even against lefties, and he has over $700K remaining.
- D.J. Carrasco, Mets - The Mets signed Carrasco to a two-year deal in December - their biggest acquisition of the offseason - but optioned him to Triple-A in April. He stayed there until mid-June.
- Aramis Ramirez, Cubs - In July, Ramirez's agent said that his client would consider an August deal but he has since had a change of heart. The Cubs hold an option on Ramirez's deal worth $16MM.
- Alfonso Soriano, Cubs - This one was also obvious. SI's Jon Heyman notes on Twitter that the Cubs are willing to pay a "major, major chunk" of the $58.35MM owed to the left fielder through 2014.
- Lance Berkman, Cardinals - Berkman has said he hopes to re-sign with St. Louis after the season, when he hits free agency. Still, it's a surprise to see him clear waivers.
- Ryan Theriot, Cardinals - Theriot earns $3.3MM this year and will be a non-tender candidate after the season.
- David Wright, Mets - It's surprising that Wright cleared waivers, but it doesn't mean the Mets have interest in dealing him. Wright earns $15MM next year and can void a $16MM club option for 2013 if traded.
- Conor Jackson, Athletics - Olney notes that the Red Sox asked about the light-hitting 1B/LF/RF, but there doesn't seem to be any traction there.
- David DeJesus, Athletics - DeJesus has had a rough year but could at least be useful against right-handed pitching.
- Hideki Matsui, Athletics - The Athletics have several waiver trade candidates, and Matsui's hot second half and low salary (owed less than $2MM the rest of the season) could make him a popular target.
- Jason Bay, Mets - With Bay being owed at least $38.8MM through 2013, this was expected. It's only been 12 games, but Bay is at least having his first good month of 2011.
- Willie Harris, Mets - The versatile Harris has less than $200K left on his contract.
- Angel Pagan, Mets - It's been a dismal year for Pagan, who may be in line for a non-tender after the season.
- Carlos Lee, Astros - No surprise here, as the 35-year-old is hitting .263/.321/.417 and is owed almost $23MM through next year. El Caballo's ten-and-five rights kick in after the season.
- Johnny Damon, Rays - Damon blocked an August trade last summer and 12 months later he's a candidate to be traded once again.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
The Mets roared back from a 7-1 deficit through 6 1/2 innings today, scoring eight runs in two frames against Milwaukee at Citi Field. Unfortunately for the Mets, the Brewers enjoyed their own comeback, scoring four times in the ninth off closer Jason Isringhausen to cinch the 11-9 victory. Picking up the win for the Brewers (despite allowing three runs in an inning of work) was ex-Met Francisco Rodriguez, who is the subject of the first of these Amazin' news items...
- Rodriguez said he would consider returning to the Mets as a free agent this winter, reports Matt Ehalt for ESPN New York. "I understand this is a business, they did what they needed to do and feel what they need to early in the year to trade me, (but) the door is still open," Rodriguez said. "I'm not the type of person that is going to burn bridges and say, no, I'm not coming this place because they trade me or whatever. I'm open-minded and open to come here to New York once again in the future."
- Chris Capuano's 2011 salary currently stands at around $2.65MM, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Capuano signed with New York for a base salary of $1.5MM last winter, but he is on pace to more than double that total thanks to incentives. Rubin notes that Capuano will receive $75K for each of his next seven starts, plus $550K if the southpaw can reach the 170-inning plateau. Capuano threw 5 2/3 innings today, bringing his total to 145 1/3 innings pitched for the season. (both Twitter links)
- Four unnamed opposing executives describe Mike Pelfrey as "a back-of-the-rotation cog," reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Despite this middling evaluation, Sherman feels the Mets will tender Pelfrey a contract for next year, pay him roughly $6MM after an arbitration bump and then perhaps try to move him at the trade deadline. The executives all feel, however, that both Pelfrey and the Mets "know they are not in a long-term marriage."
Having dropped five in a row, the Mets are in line for the 14th overall draft pick next year, but they could certainly make a "run" for a top ten pick. The latest on the team:
- The Mets drafted high school outfielder Brandon Nimmo 13th overall this year. Slot for that pick is $1.656MM, according to Baseball America, though Nimmo may need more. With tomorrow night's deadline looming, will Nimmo sign or will he honor his commitment to Arkansas? Talking to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Brandon's father Ron said the two sides haven't made any progress since draft day (Twitter link). However, Ron feels that both parties have wiggle room.
- Mets starter Chris Capuano cleared waivers, ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted earlier today. That surprised me, as I explained here. Capuano seemed like a decent fit for a contender like the Diamondbacks, even before they lost new acquisition Jason Marquis for about a month to a broken fibula today.
- Mets manager Terry Collins intends to let his current relievers finish out the year, he told ESPN's Adam Rubin. Rubin had previously wondered if today's unimpressive performance from Ryota Igarashi would be the nail in the coffin (Twitter link).