Chris Iannetta Rumors
The Rockies are exploring signing catcher Ramon Hernandez and the Angels like Chris Iannetta, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, a Rosenthal source describes the discussion between the two teams involving Iannetta as "just conversation (that) never got real far." Iannetta, 28, has more value to the Rockies than any other team, because he can void his 2013 club option if traded.
The Reds' Ryan Hanigan is also on Jerry Dipoto's wish list for the Angels, as Rosenthal told us six days ago. Meanwhile the Rockies are not considered close to signing Hernandez, who had the good fortune of being reclassified as a Type B free agent. The Rockies are the first team to be linked to Hernandez this winter.
On this date 15 years ago, Barry Bonds stole his 40th base of the season to become the second member of the 40-40 club. Matt Kemp is now two homers away from joining the elite club himself. Here's the latest from Bonds' former division, starting with an update on Kemp's current club...
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer told Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune that the 2011 season was an instructive one for him. "I missed on some guys we signed after they had off years and that helped lead to a disappointing 2011,” he said. Hoyer's also looking to improve his bench dramatically this offseason, when the Padres' payroll could climb over $50MM.
- Clayton Kershaw told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that he has started to think about next year's contract. The Dodgers left-hander, who earned $500K this year says he's looking forward to the arbitration process and isn't overly concerned about obtaining a long-term deal. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained earlier today that Kershaw could earn a record $7.7MM as a first-time arbitration eligible starter if he wins the Cy Young Award.
- The MLB Players Association intends to monitor the Dodgers' offseason spending very carefully, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner sent team's players a memo explaining that all Dodgers have been paid what they're owed so far. The memo acknowledged that it's not clear how the financial issues surrounding Frank McCourt and his team will ultimately be resolved.
- Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports says Chris Iannetta will open the 2012 season with the Rockies (Twitter link). The catcher is no stranger to these pages, but his .370 on-base percentage and powerful right-handed swing give the Rockies lots of reasons to want him around, despite the presence of Jordan Pacheco and Wilin Rosario.
Let's round up the latest updates on the Rockies, courtesy a pair of Denver Post scribes....
- The deepest part of the Rockies' roster is the bullpen, writes Troy Renck. The team figures to try to take advantage of that depth, and deal from a position of strength when they discuss trades this winter.
- Within the same piece, Renck adds that, while Colorado will listen to inquiries on Seth Smith and Chris Iannetta, Ty Wigginton is the position player most likely to be traded. There are "strong indiciations" that the Rox would pay a chunk of Wigginton's salary if it would help facilitate a deal.
- GM Dan O'Dowd discussed the team's outlook with Renck's colleague Jim Armstrong, saying that his approach in the offseason will depend on what's available on the trade market: "In reality, to be a championship club, we probably need a front-of-the-rotation starter, and we also need another middle-of-the-lineup bat."
- More O'Dowd: "I'm telling you we absolutely will (spend), but it's got to be something we really like. We're not going to spend money for the sake of spending money. If we don't find that piece, it will be more finding the Mark Ellises and complementary pieces that bridge the gap until the (prospects) are ready to come."
The Rockies are sending Jason Hammel to the mound for his final start of 2011 tonight, as they run out the clock on the remainder of their season. Let's round up some Rox links, courtesy of Troy Renck of The Denver Post...
- "Nothing is impossible, but I would say Chris would be our catcher next year," said GM Dan O'Dowd to Renck, referring to Chris Iannetta. The team does not want to rush prospect Wilin Rosario, but Renck notes that the situation is subject to change if Iannetta draws interest on the trade market. The Blue Jays, Padres, and Red Sox have had interest in the backstop at various points this season.
- Yesterday we heard that the Rockies have interest in re-signing J.C. Romero, and Renck says a versatile lefty reliever is one of the team's needs. He mentions that Romero joined Colorado on the recommendation of good friend LaTroy Hawkins, who pitched for the Rockies during their run to the 2007 World Series.
- Carlos Gonzalez told Renck that he believes the team is not far away from contention in the NL West (Twitter link).
- MLB and the players' association hope to announce the details of a new labor deal before the World Series ends, but they have some major issues to work out before then. Stark hears that the draft, including spending and compensation, could be an ongoing source of tension this month.
- The sides have discussed a reverse luxury tax that would penalize teams that spend well under the average payroll.
- MLB executives are impressed by the way the Rays have resisted rushing young pitchers to the Major Leagues to ensure they're prepared for a full season of work once they arrive. Tampa Bay executive Gerry Hunsicker says it's "not rocket science."
- One rival executive thinks James Shields is staying put this winter. It won't be surprising if the Rays listen on Shields, since he would have through-the-roof value as a trade chip.
- Brad Lidge, who has pitched well since returning from the disabled list, will listen to offers from teams that are interested in him as a setup man this offseason, according to agent Rex Gary. There's no indication that the Phillies have discussed a new deal with Lidge, though he is open to returning to Philadelphia (the team will decline its $12.5MM option for 2012).
- The Rockies will try to lower payroll by $4MM or so to the $83-84MM range this offseason and they may get partway there by dealing Chris Iannetta.
- Stark heard from rival executives who expect Albert Pujols to stay in St. Louis, Prince Fielder to join the Nationals and Jose Reyes to sign in San Francisco.
The Tigers extended their winning streak to ten games tonight with a 14-4 victory over the White Sox. Here's the latest from around MLB...
- Deadline deals played a significant role in this year's AL Central race, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. The Tigers and Indians were both aggressive on the trade market in July and August, as our Transaction Tracker shows.
- Chris Iannetta told Thomas Harding of MLB.com that he hopes to remain with the Rockies, though he has lost playing time to rookie backstop Wilin Rosario in recent weeks.
- The Mariners announced that they promoted Roger Hansen, who is now a special assistant to GM Jack Zduriencik. The 50-year-old Hansen spent 18 years working for the Mariners in player development, most recently as the organization's minor league catching coordinator.
- As Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal shows, Jose Reyes of the Mets has raised his on-base percentage to .375 with a counter-intuitive method.
Joey Votto celebrated his 28th birthday with a 3-for-4 performance today against the Rockies, including his 27th homer of the year. It wasn't enough, however, as Cincinnati dropped a 12-7 result to Colorado.
Some notes from around the majors....
- The Red Sox could use another solid starting pitcher but "for the moment don't feel there's anyone out there available who's better than what they have," a team official tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- The Rockies will give catcher Wilin Rosario a lot of playing time this month as they decide what to do with Chris Iannetta this winter, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. If Rosario plays well, Colorado may decide to deal Iannetta, who's due to make $3.55MM in 2012. Iannetta's name was mentioned in trade rumors involving the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Pirates and Padres at the July deadline.
- Johan Santana will probably not pitch in the Major Leagues for the Mets this season, reports Anthony DiComo for MLB.com.
- Dontrelle Willis probably won't be back with the Reds next season, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Willis has re-established himself as a big league starter this year but Fay figures that this progress has likely priced the southpaw out of the Reds' range.
- Another Red who likely won't be back in Cincinnati next year is Paul Janish, opines Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News. Despite some excellent glovework (a +11.6 UZR/150 at shortstop this year), Janish will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter and is probably a non-tender candidate with Zack Cozart taking over at short.
- Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune says several American League scouts have asked him about Jesus Guzman's fielding ability in recent weeks, a sign that AL teams could have an interest in Guzman as a DH candidate. Center discusses Guzman, Bud Black's status, a possible extension for Cameron Maybin and other Padres-related topics in an online chat with fans.
- Andruw Jones has been playing all season with a small tear in his left knee, reports Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. The Yankees discovered the injury during Jones' physical but signed the veteran outfielder anyway (both Twitter links).
In the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal, we learn how this year's trade deadline could have turned out drastically different..
- The Rockies wanted five of Boston's top prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez: Will Middlebrooks, Kyle Weiland, Josh Reddick, Felix Doubront, and Ryan Lavarnway. The Red Sox would have gotten more than just Jimenez in return as Rosenthal tweets that the Rockies offered Jimenez and outfielder Seth Smith in return for the quintet of prospects. There were other possible fits in such a deal including Ryan Spilborghs, Chris Iannetta, and Rafael Betancourt.
- The Rangers had enough prospects to get Carlos Beltran in addition to Koji Uehara and Mike Adams at the deadline. To do that, they would have needed to take either Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland out of the Adams deal as the Mets are fond of both. Rosenthal was told that one of the two pitchers was in the offer for Beltran.
- The Indians traded their two best pitching prospects to land ace Ubaldo Jimenez but the deal wasn't just for this season. Cleveland is mindful of the big picture and they have their key pieces locked up for the next few years. Jimenez, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Shin-Soo Choo are under control for the next two seasons while Justin Masterson and Chris Perez are under control for the next three. If the Tribe doesn't win in the next few years, they can always flip some of those players for prospects.
1:12pm: These talks have cooled a bit, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.
12:47pm: The Blue Jays are working hard on Iannetta, tweets Andrew Baggarly. The Rockies catcher is not in today's lineup.
1:08am: The Indians and the Blue Jays are pursuing Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta heading into Sunday’s deadline, according to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Iannetta has also received mild interest from the Padres and Red Sox this week.
The Pirates were also looking into the 28-year-old but their interest has apparently dropped off. Iannetta is hitting .221/.375/.402 with 10 homers this season.
One of the biggest trade chips in baseball - Carlos Beltran - joined the NL West this week, but a handful of impact players could leave the division within 50 hours. Heath Bell, Mike Adams (latest rumors), Ubaldo Jimenez (latest rumors) and Hiroki Kuroda (latest rumors) are all on the block. Here are the latest notes and rumblings from the NL West...
- The Padres have some interest in Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). The Pirates' interest in Iannetta has cooled.
- The Rockies intend to try to re-sign Mark Ellis, who hits free agency after the season, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports.
- Tom Verducci of SI.com presents the nine pitchers to throw 500 innings for the Rockies before Jimenez. Jason Jennings, Shawn Chacon and Jeff Francis are among the pitchers on the list, so Verducci says Colorado “should absolutely see if they can prey upon the needs of the Yankees, Reds and Tigers.”
- The Giants remain interested in Ramon Hernandez, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Reds haven't made the backstop available at this point, but the Giants have had interest since early July (and perhaps earlier).
- Yhency Brazoban reached an agreement with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, according to a Sports Hochi report that Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along. We heard earlier in the week that the reliever was on the verge of leaving the Diamondbacks' organization for Japan.