Chris Iannetta Rumors
Red Sox rumors from those covering the team...
- GM Theo Epstein said he isn't close to any trades, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo lists Scott Downs, Kerry Wood, Kyle Farnsworth, and David Aardsma as potentially available relievers, but says "the Sox aren’t crazy about bringing Aardsma back unless they could do so cheaply." Cafardo lists familiar names on the outfield front in David DeJesus and Cody Ross, while noting that Corey Hart "is likely out of Boston's range." Cafardo does not see the Sox pursuing a starting pitcher.
- MLB Network's Peter Gammons chimes in on Downs, tweeting, "before [the Yunel] Escobar deal, [the Blue Jays] wanted [Jose] Iglesias for Downs." That gives you an idea of the Jays' initial asking price for one of the best available relievers; the Dodgers, Yankees, and Phillies are also known to be interested.
- Gammons also tweets that the Rockies turned down an offer of Jed Lowrie for Chris Iannetta. We learned last night that the Sox are not currently pursuing Iannetta, however.
- Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald confirms yesterday's report that the Sox are interested in Florida's Leo Nunez. However, Lauber writes that, "they believe the Marlins will require a hefty return" for the righty reliever.
- Adrian Beltre is not thinking about his next contract yet, learned WEEI's Alex Speier.
The Red Sox are not discussing Chris Iannetta with the Rockies, though they do like him and did inquire about him earlier in the season. Red Sox officials tell Dan Barbarisi of the Providence Journal that the Red Sox are not currently pursuing the catcher, though Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier today that talks were on again.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the banged-up Red Sox are now looking for catching help, relievers and outfield depth (Twitter link). There aren't a ton of catchers available, but Chris Snyder and John Buck make at least some sense.
Iannetta is under team control through 2013 on an affordable deal, but the Rockies can entertain the idea of trading the 27-year-old, since they hold a $2.5MM option for Miguel Olivo (and his .922 OPS) in 2011.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports kicks off his latest column with a look at Alex Rodriguez's $30MM worth of home run incentives. The chase isn't generating the buzz the Yankees anticipated when they re-signed A-Rod. On to Rosenthal's rumors...
- Talks are on again between the Red Sox and Rockies regarding catcher Chris Iannetta. The Rockies would want to improve their big league club with an in-season deal, so perhaps we'll hear heightened Iannetta buzz during the offseason if Miguel Olivo is retained.
- The Nationals do not seem to have chosen a course with Adam Dunn in terms of trading or extending him now.
- The Athletics have no intention of trading Coco Crisp or Mark Ellis, as both players have club options for 2011.
- Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli is "a frequent trade target of rival clubs," but the team likes having depth at the catcher position.
- As part of the Yunel Escobar-Alex Gonzalez talks, the Braves and Blue Jays discussed Jose Bautista. For now, the Braves still have time to evaluate Nate McLouth's recovery from a concussion. MLB.com's Mark Bowman wrote today that the Braves have considered David DeJesus, Cody Ross, Corey Hart, and Josh Willingham as potential trade targets.
Links for Wednesday...
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that fifth overall pick Drew Pomeranz is scheduled to go to Cleveland on Monday to take a physical and "hear the Indians' sales pitch." Hoynes says there have been no negotiations to date.
- Marlins' president David Samson told Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald that they're "not ready to say for certain that trade didn't work," referring to the Miguel Cabrera blockbuster (Twitter link). Both Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin, the two centerpieces of the deal for Florida, have struggled in the big leagues and are currently in the minors.
- Upon hearing about Boston's interest in his services, Adam Everett said "I haven't heard that, but great team, great city, and it sounds interesting," according to FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi (via Twitter).
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets the leaders in wins above replacement, or WAR, from last year's free agent class. Andy Pettitte tops the list, followed closely by Livan Hernandez and Aubrey Huff.
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post notes (via Twitter) that the Marlins spoke with Bobby Valentine this morning. The Marlins' opening interests Valentine.
- Prince Fielder and Corey Hart tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that they realize they could be traded. Morosi says the Brewers should trade Hart for pitching, but Hart would prefer to stay in Milwaukee.
- Kenny Williams told Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune that the White Sox could become buyers.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that the Blue Jays could trade pitching away this trade deadline (Twitter link).
- Chris Iannetta told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that he did his best to ignore rumors that the Red Sox were interested in him.
- At this point, Pedro Martinez doesn't want to think about whether he'll play this year. He told Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald that he doesn't know anything right now.
- Steve Gould of the Baltimore Sun reminds us that 2009 first rounder Matt Hobgood is still a teenager and says Orioles fans should be more patient with the tall righty.
- MLB.com's Fred Claire shows that the Orioles are looking for the kind of stability that was once found in Baltimore and that the Angels now have.
Following Troy Tulowitzki's wrist injury, the Rockies are considering their next move, hoping to stay in contention in a competitive NL West. Troy Renck of the Denver Post has a few tidbits on their potential plans, in a series of tweets:
- After Tulowitzki got hurt, we heard that the Rockies might pursue infield depth. Renck writes that the club is "monitoring" the infield market, specifically naming Dan Uggla and Ty Wigginton as two players they'll watch. FOX Sports' Tracy Ringolsby also mentioned Wigginton as a possibility for Colorado earlier today.
- The Red Sox and Rangers could have interest in Chris Iannetta, with the Rangers focusing on him for this season and the Sox looking ahead to next year. Boston's current catcher, Victor Martinez, faces free agency at season's end, while Iannetta's contract runs through 2012.
- Prior to the trading deadline, the Rockies may also make minor deals involving players like Omar Quintanilla and Jay Payton. The Astros have been interested in Quintanilla before.
The Rockies have released catcher Paul Lo Duca, writes Jack Etkin of Inside The Rockies. The veteran lost his spot on the Triple-A roster when fellow backstop Paul Phillips cleared waivers and accepted his minor league assignment. Phillips was DFA'd to make room for Chris Iannetta.
In 14 games for Colorado Springs, Lo Duca hit .233/.292/.302 with one HR. The 38-year-old, who spent 2009 away from baseball, played for Rockies manager Jim Tracy when Tracy managed the Dodgers.
Prior to Opening Day, the Mariners were said to be keeping an eye on Lo Duca.
The Rockies will designate Paul Phillips for assignment to make room for Chris Iannetta, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter). Phillips will report to Triple A if he isn't claimed. That's where Iannetta posted the .349/.447/.698 line that forced the Rockies to call him up.
Miguel Olivo has been hitting well, so the Rockies have barely used Phillips this season. The 33-year-old has picked up just 19 plate appearances this year, hitting .294/.368/.294. That's a decent approximation of how Phillips has hit in his seven-year major league career.
The key to the Rays' success so far has been their pitching staff, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, who praises Tampa Bay for playing so well despite a few slumping bats. Cafardo says that it may be hard for the club to add another piece or two before the trade deadline, since their budget is already maxed out. However, Cafardo acknowledges that with Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena facing free agency, the Rays may go all-out this year and stretch their budget a little in hopes of winning a championship. Here are some of Cafardo's other notes:
- After this season, David Ortiz is probably "done in Boston unless he takes a massive pay cut." Ortiz might have trouble catching on anywhere next year, since there's virtually no market for one-dimensional players, and he may not be willing to accept a role similar to Jason Giambi's in Colorado.
- If Ortiz and Victor Martinez continue to hit, the Red Sox are very unlikely to pursue Chris Iannetta.
- One of the winter's most disappointing new additions has been Garrett Atkins, who is homerless and sports a .221/.261/.283 slash line in 119 plate appearances. The Orioles will have to consider releasing him if he doesn't turn things around.
- The Rangers are looking for a starting pitcher and a productive right-handed bat. A Rangers official tells Cafardo that he'd still love to see Mike Lowell in Texas.
- Cafardo thinks that if the Red Sox fall out of playoff contention and become sellers, they could replenish their farm system, acquiring multiple players for Martinez, Lowell, Ortiz, Adrian Beltre, Marco Scutaro, and Jeremy Hermida. I'm less optimistic than Cafardo about the caliber of talent the Sox could land for most of those guys.
Links for Saturday....
- With Rafael Furcal returning to the Dodgers, the out-of-options Nick Green is a candidate for demotion, writes Evan Drellich of MLB.com.
- Roy Oswalt told Houston owner Drayton McLane that he wouldn't mind coming back and finishing his career with the organization, tweets Alyson Footer of the Astros.
- More on Oswalt: Footer (via Twitter) is skeptical about the Mets' chances of acquiring Houston's ace. Meanwhile, manager Brad Mills doesn't expect Oswalt's trade request to be a clubhouse distraction, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
- At MLB.com, Peter Gammons takes a look at a few underachieving teams who are under pressure to make changes.
- Scott Olsen has been placed on the disabled list, but Stephen Strasburg won't be the pitcher called up to take his roster spot, tweets Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
- Jack Curry of the YES Network (via Twitter) asked Mets GM Omar Minaya if Jerry Manuel is managing to save his job. Minaya answered, "I don't want to say that. I wouldn't say that's the case."
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Chad Gaudin received and turned down a minor league assignment offer from the A's.
- Mike Lowell told Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald that he has no regrets about passing on a four year, $37.5MM contract offer from the Phillies after the 2007 season.
- Jayson Werth said he's "played [his] entire career for this year," according to David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Werth, of course, is referring to his contract year and impending free agent payday.
- Chris Iannetta remains the one who got away for the Red Sox, who almost drafted the catcher back in 2004 according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier.
- Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune analyzed the Carlos Gomez-J.J. Hardy trade now that we're six months out.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Reds have gotten tremendous production out of their bargain basement left field combo of Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix ($1.4MM combined salary).
Peter Gammons made one of his regular appearances on WEEI's The Big Show on Friday afternoon to chat about the Red Sox. Matt West has the full transcript, but here are a few of the more pertinent notes....
- David Ortiz's improved play led to a question about Boston's future plans at the DH spot. Gammons thinks that it will depend on if Victor Martinez is willing to re-sign "at a DH price or at a catcher’s price. If its a catcher’s price I don’t think Victor will come back; if its a DH price I think they’ll bring him back."
- Along those same lines, Gammons notes that "a DH price" is lower since league-wide, designated hitters are producing fairly average numbers: "The DH has been devalued, there are a lot of 35-, 36-year-olds who used to have the juice of life that don’t have it anymore."
- Mike Lowell's agents have told Gammons that eight to ten teams are interested in their client, though Gammons doesn't necessarily believe them. He thinks Lowell will end up being dealt from Boston at some point, though Gammons notes that two possible contenders for his services (the Mets and Rangers) are out of the running given the production of Ike Davis and Vladimir Guerrero, respectively.
- Gammons cites Tampa Bay as a potential destination for Lowell if the Sox end up releasing him. Lowell would split time in a platoon at DH with Hank Blalock.
- In regards to the rumors about Chris Iannetta, Gammons says the Red Sox attempted to acquire the catcher two years ago and "do really love him." A deal could still happen later in the year though Gammons doesn't know if Boston could meet Colorado's trade needs.