Chris Duncan Rumors
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the latest Pirates hot stove chatter.
- The Pirates are not opposed to creating a hole at shortstop for the rest of the year by trading Jack Wilson. They would just need the right return. Teams are still calling on Wilson, with the Dodgers confirmed and the Tigers possible.
- A Jason Bay deal seems less likely - the Pirates' price is high for their star.
- Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte continue to draw interest, with John Grabow in the mix as well. Nady or Marte would require two prospects each. Nady's suitors are the Rays, Mets, Yankees, and Braves. Marte has roughly a dozen suitors.
- Ed Price of the Newark Star-Ledger says the injury to Hideki Matsui led to heightened interest from the Yankees in Nady and Bay. They're also in on Marte and Grabow. The Bucs aren't interested in Melky Cabrera.
- Interesting stuff in this John Perrotto article found via DRays Bay. He names the Red Sox, Tigers, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals, and Rays as teams interested in Marte. The Tigers, Phillies, and Cardinals also have an eye on Grabow.
- Perrotto runs through all kinds of names of interest to the Pirates: Anthony Reyes, Chris Duncan, Jeff Larish, Matt Joyce, Ross Ohlendorf, Brent Lillibridge, Brandon Jones, Jeff Niemann, Jon Niese, Eddie Kunz, and Bobby Parnell.
A few notes to wrap up what I've come across this Saturday:
- The Hardball Times has an interview with Pirates GM Neal Huntington. It's plenty long. He talks about the dynamics in dealing with his former team, the Cleveland Indians.
- Steve Trachsel might be on his way out with the Orioles. Tough to argue against that move. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the O's are in the cellar, and might not climb out for the rest of 2008.
- Chris Duncan down, Joe Mather up. Could Mather be the piece that rounds out a powerful outfield? Or could he be trade bait to bring back, say, a second baseman?
- Glendon Rusch is back in the majors, having been recalled by the Rockies.
Bunch of random topics so let's just get to it and see what it being said in the Blogosphere...
- Big League Stew talks to Bless You Boys about the idea of Barry Bonds signing with the Tigers. BYB argues against signing Bonds noting that the Tigers already have a bunch of slow players (base cloggers?) and what they really need is some more speed in the lineup...Although we keep hearing about collusion and have not heard any numbers bandied about, Bonds has always made it very clear how much he values the almighty dollar. Does anybody else think that Bonds would already be in uniform if he had come out said he would play 2008 for $3-5MM plus incentives? The baggage is what it is, but teams might find it easier to deal with it at a price Bonds is not likely to accept.
- Rockin' The Red takes a look at the five Cardinals that are most likely to be traded during the season...Chris Duncan is an interesting name on the list. With all the outfielders that the Cards have, Duncan is a solid bat that is likely to be a Super-2 at the end of the year.
- The Yankees: Minors to Majors looks at the pending free agents for the Yankees and concludes that there is plenty of compensation picks to be had giving the Yankees plenty of flexibility to sign a high-end free agent like C.C. Sabathia...Of course, that is assuming the Yankees would let something like draft pick compensation stand in the way of signing a free agent. Not likely.
- Wrigleyville23 has had enough of the Brian Roberts-to-the-Cubs media reports...Who?
- The Bronx Zoo would love to see Nick Johnson back in a Yankees' uniform but notes that Dmitri Young may not be a dependable replacement for the Nats.
- Mets Fever notes that eight players have moved among the Brewers, Mets and Nats since this offseason...Let's just say that the Brewers did not get the best of that "three-way trade".
- One writer at DRays Bay is hoping the Rays and M's can re-engage talks for Edwin Jackson...The M's may be interested once again after being two-hit by Jackson yesterday, but maybe the price just went up.
- One name that kept popping up recently as a possible trade piece in the near future was Rich Harden. Well, Harden has once again found himself on the DL and Athletics Nation is not taking it well.
Some random rumorage as the mill slows down a bit...
- RotoWorld reports that the Pirates have released infielder Jose Castillo. Castillo has had flashes of brilliance, for example his 7 HR month in '06. But he's been a disappointment overall and doesn't figure to be anyone's starting second baseman.
- The Yankees and Bucs are discussing a Damaso Marte deal. At the same link a failed Jack Wilson for Chris Duncan rumor is mentioned.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 11:19pm: Ah, the truth comes out. Sammy Sosa's people approached the Royals, but they weren't interested.
FROM 12-4-07 at 3:17pm:
ESPN has a huge team at the Meetings; here are some tidbits that haven't appeared elsewhere on MLBTR.
- Enrique Rojas says the Royals have interest in Sammy Sosa. Could that indicate a Mark Teahen trade is in the works also? Teahen is expected to move to first base to accomodate Jose Guillen, which would push Billy Butler to DH. But Sammy can only DH.
- Buster Olney says the Rangers and Padres are in on Mark Prior.
- The Padres also like lefties Glendon Rusch and Shawn Estes, and may sign both after the Rule 5 as a means of adding starting depth.
- Jayson Stark says the Mariners made an offer to Hiroki Kuroda in the range of four years, $45MM.
- Jerry Crasnick says Anthony Reyes is generating a lot of interest. The Cards, by the way, are open to trading Rick Ankiel, Chris Duncan, or Jim Edmonds.
- The Rockies have gotten in touch with Marcus Giles' agent.
- The Astros aren't interested in Jon Lieber, despite previous reports. They liked Matt Clement a bit among the injury guys but are over him now.
- Ryan Howard's agent and the Phillies will sit down soon to talk about a long-term deal.
UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 4:53pm: MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan mentioned this rumor to Rangers GM Jon Daniels. Daniels told him not to write it. Sounds like there's nothing to the idea of Blalock to St. Louis, but the Dodgers rumor is picking up steam.
FROM 12-3-07 at 4:30pm:
Here's a good one from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Grant admits this is dangerous, unsubstantiated rumormongering. Is there any other kind? The buzz is Hank Blalock to the Cardinals for Scott Rolen and Chris Duncan. Interesting, though we know the Cards are very reluctant to trade Duncan.
Both Blalock and Rolen carry injury risk, so maybe that cancels out. But Blalock only has $12MM left on his deal while Rolen has $36MM and a no-trade clause. Even if you consider Blalock for Rolen an even swap, Duncan probably isn't worth the $24MM salary difference.
Joe Strauss has a new article up at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, discussing John Mozeliak's pursuit of a starting pitcher as well as the availability of two veterans.
Nothing new on Scott Rolen, but Strauss did have an interesting tidbit on Jim Edmonds. Edmonds has a full no-trade clause, and his latest stance is that he'd waive it for a Southern California team only. Since the Dodgers and Angels don't need outfielders, the Padres are the one possibility. The Padres are interested if the Cards throw in some cash. Edmonds makes $8MM in '08 in the last year of his deal.
Also, Strauss contends that center field prospect Colby Rasmus is untouchable, while the Cards would be reluctant to include Chris Duncan in a deal.
Viva El Birdos has a well thought-out discussion of the prospect of the Cardinals trading Chris Duncan for A.J. Burnett. I have a few thoughts to add.
In my opinion Burnett effectively has a one-year deal, only worse. That's because he has the ability to opt out after the 2008 season. So one of two things will happen:
1. Burnett is healthy enough to pitch 170+ innings, opts out, and secures a four-year deal somewhere.
2. Burnett is not healthy enough to pitch 150 innings and chooses to accept the $24MM owed to him over the 2009-10 time period (I consider 150-170 innings a gray area). If a team trades for Burnett, endures an injury-plagued '08, and is then saddled with further burden, that's worse than a straight-up one-year commitment like Jon Garland's.
My other thought is that Duncan is not a fit for the Jays. They're locked in with Lyle Overbay at first and Frank Thomas at DH. Between Adam Lind, Travis Snider, and Alex Rios, the outfield corners are covered. The Jays' biggest need is a shortstop, also a need of the Cardinals. I suppose Duncan could be part of a three-way deal.
A takeaway, as noted at VEB, is that Burnett may well be the one available pitcher with #1 potential not named Johan Santana. Another good point of theirs - he's probably worth $12 mil as a 165 inning pitcher.
The Cardinals message boards are lighting up, and with good reason: there is a legitimate Dontrelle Willis rumor making the rounds.
The thread was started by a respected Cards source who goes by the handle Hawg Wild. I can confirm that this guy has a track record of success. Colby Rasmus is a 19 year-old outfielder in high Class A. He was a first-round pick and is easily the team's best prospect now that Anthony Reyes is in the bigs. According to Rasmus's father:
"Colby just called me and said his agent told him of conversations the cardinals were having with the possibility of Colby and a three or four other Cardinal players going to Florida in return for Dontrelle Willis. Reyes and Colby were the only 2 players Colby was told about, he did not hear who the other 2/3 players were. His words to me, 'Man that sucks.'"
Then to quiet any doubters, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz stepped in:
"I tried to drop a major hint in today's column....FLA wants Reyes, Rasmus and Duncan -- and that's not all. Probably one more... possibly their pick of the Cardinals' system."
The Cardinals need a big move; it looks like Walt Jocketty may package everything he's got to get D-Train. Check out Viva El Birdos for analysis. After much deliberating, Viva chooses to endorse such a trade.