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C.J. Wilson Rumors
The latest updates out of the AL West:
- The Rangers are searching for a utility infielder that can play shortstop, but competition is fierce at the Winter Meetings, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Sullivan says at least ten teams are looking for a player that fits that description.
- An AL West source told Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston (Twitter link) that he expects the Athletics to move Gio Gonzalez.
- Both the Angels and Rangers have plans to meet with C.J. Wilson's agent Bob Garber at the Winter Meetings. The southpaw is said to have received a six-year offer from a team that is not the Rangers.
11:25pm: Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) is getting the sense that the Angels' offer to Wilson won't top the five-year, $85MM deal that Jered Weaver got. Mark Buehrle and Hiroki Kuroda could be attractive alternatives for the Halos.
9:26pm: Wilson has offers from the Angels, Marlins, and two other clubs, sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com (via Twitter).
8:30pm: Marlins still have an offer out to Wilson, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.
7:42pm: Pitcher C.J. Wilson is not a top target for the Nationals, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson. One person told Ladson that the left-hander isn't really on the club's radar screen.
5:41pm: Wilson's suitors include the Nationals, Marlins, Rangers, Angels, and Red Sox as the meetings commence, sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
10:53am: Others teams are viewing the Nationals as the early favorite to land C.J. Wilson, according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter). The Nationals, along with the Marlins and Blue Jays, are seen as probable big spenders at the meetings.
Furthermore, Heyman tweets that he sees Wilson leaving Texas unless the left-hander is willing to cut his $120MM asking price in half as the club seems comfortable with filling out its rotation from within. Yesterday, Heyman reported that the Rangers haven't been making any progress with Wilson.
Earlier today, we heard that three teams have offers to Mark Buehrle. All three teams are offering the years and dollars that Buehrle is seeking, but he's yet to receive an offer that contains a no-trade clause. More on Buehrle as the rumors pile up:
- The Nationals have made it clear that Buehrle is their top target, writes ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
- The Nationals made an offer to Buehrle, MLB.com's Bill Ladson has confirmed (via Twitter). Roy Oswalt is still in the mix as well.
- The Marlins' offer to Buehrle is considered "a very strong one," and likely makes the club the current frontrunner, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com. The White Sox remain in a quiet holding pattern but it should be noted that they would be willing to give the veteran a no-trade clause, as that's something they've done in the past.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel examines the Marlins' team policy of not including no-trade clauses in their contracts and wonders if an exception should be made for Buehrle (or other top free agents).
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Rangers, Nationals, and Marlins are being the most aggressive on Buehrle. Washington prefers a shorter deal with Buehrle to a longer contract with C.J. Wilson.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that Buehrle is seeking $14MM annually. There are indeed 14 teams interested in Buehrle according to Heyman, and he calls the Twins and Diamondbacks "surprise entrants" while noting that the asking price is prohibitive for them.
A few odds and ends to pass along …
- Free agent outfielder/DH Johnny Damon prefers to re-sign with the Rays but said he hasn't had discussions with Tampa because EVP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is a "free agent," according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. Friedman isn't under contract and is expected to be courted by the Astros to be their next GM, but Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reiterates that it's unlikely Friedman will leave the Rays.
- The Rangers are making "no progress" in talks with free agent starter C.J. Wilson, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com, who suggests Texas may look elsewhere — perhaps at Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols.
- Tim Wakefield would like to pitch one more year with the Red Sox, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. The free agent knuckleballer, 45, has also mentioned the possibility of pitching in the National League.
- NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson plans to bid on the Dodgers as part of a potential ownership group with former Braves and Nationals president Stan Kasten and Mark Walter of Guggenheim Partners, a financial services firm, according to Bill Shaikin and Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. Johnson is a former minority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, selling his 4.5 percent stake in the team in 2010, according to the report.
The Red Sox will meet with the agent for C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt at the winter meetings in Dallas next week, reports Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald (on Twitter). Both pitchers are represented by Bob Garber.
Most of the recent reports involving the Red Sox have focused on their now completed managerial search or their still ongoing closer search, but the club is also looking to solidify its starting staff. Clay Buchholz will return from injury to join Josh Beckett and Jon Lester atop the rotation, but both Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey are out following Tommy John surgery. Alfredo Aceves figures to be given a chance to start, but Boston still needs to add depth beyond those four.
The Rangers, Nationals, and Marlins are said to be pursuing Wilson, who is looking for something close to a six-year deal worth $120MM. The Rockies had shown the most interest in Oswalt so far this offseason, but they've recently dropped out of the running.
Some late night links from around the league…
- According to a report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (on Twitter), at least one MLB team has bid on Hiroyuki Nakajima since the posting process started on Monday. The Seibu Lions are expected to accept the highest bid, regardless of amount.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels has spoken to C.J. Wilson's agent as recently as today reports Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star Telegram (on Twitter), and MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says the two sides are expected to meet again at the winter meetings.
- Before signing with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks for $5MM over two years, Wily Mo Pena had drawn interest from the Indians, Giants, Brewers, and Mariners according to SI.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter).
- Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times wonders if the Darren Ford signing clears the way for the Mariners to trade some of the outfielders on their 40-man roster, like Trayvon Robinson, Michael Saunders, or Franklin Gutierrez.
- “We’re very open,” said Athletics assistant GM David Forst to John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle when asked if any of the club's pitchers were untradeable. “If we didn’t have the (pitching) depth, we wouldn’t have this option.” Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey have been popular names, but Forst's statement suggests Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy could be had as well.
The Marlins have discussed the possibility of signing Prince Fielder and some of their front office executives like the idea of pursuing the 27-year-old free agent, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. However, Miami is more active in its pursuit of Albert Pujols and other top free agents. The latest:
- The Marlins are putting an all-out press on Jose Reyes and hope to sign him before next week's Winter Meetings, according to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio (Twitter link).
- However, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark hears that the Marlins have made so little headway with Reyes that they could make a push for Aramis Ramirez (Twitter links). Agent Paul Kinzer acknowledges he has had some discussions with the Marlins, but says talks are now becoming serious with four teams.
- The biggest obstacle preventing Mark Buehrle from signing in Miami is the team's reluctance to give him a no-trade clause, according to Rosenthal. The holdup in the talks may push the Marlins to pursue another free agent lefty, C.J. Wilson. The Rangers and Angels are also in the mix for Wilson, while the Nationals like both Wilson and Buehrle. Though Buehrle prefers the Midwest, he'd be happy to join former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen in the National League, Rosenthal reports.
The Marlins agreed to sign Heath Bell last night and they may make more major free agent signings later this month. Here’s the latest from Jon Heyman of SI.com, starting with a note on the Marlins (Twitter links):
- The Braves want a young outfielder and shortstop plus other players for Jair Jurrjens.
- The Yankees have looked at free agent left-hander Mike Gonzalez.
- The Nationals will push for C.J. Wilson, according to Heyman. They want a left-handed starter and Wilson appears to be their top target.
- The Marlins are optimistic about signing Jose Reyes and they are considering upping their initial bid (it was in the $75-90MM range). The Mets and Marlins appear to be Reyes' two main suitors, but interested teams view the Tigers as a threat to sign the shortstop. “They are good poker players,” one exec said.
- The Astros are shopping Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and Carlos Lee. I’d guess it’s unlikely they make a move before they hire a new GM.
- The Astros "will do whatever it takes'' to hire Rays executive Andrew Friedman, according to Heyman. Friedman is unsure if he wants to leave the Rays, however.
- The Padres and Brewers are showing interest in former Mets and Expos GM Omar Minaya and he may make a decision soon.
- Jorge Posada would like to play if he can find the right job and Heyman suggests the Marlins are a possible fit for the switch-hitter.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Andrew Friedman | Atlanta Braves | Brett Myers | C.J. Wilson | Carlos Lee | Houston Astros | Jair Jurrjens | Jorge Posada | Jose Reyes | Miami Marlins | Mike Gonzalez | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Omar Minaya | San Diego Padres | Wandy Rodriguez | Washington Nationals
Here are some notes from the AL East on the day the Red Sox officially introduced their new manager…
- The Red Sox and manager Bobby Valentine agreed on a two-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The Red Sox hold team options on Valentine for 2014 and 2015, tweets WEEI.com's Alex Speier.
- Valentine reached out to David Cone about becoming the new Red Sox pitching coach, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link). Cone isn't expected to take the job but was "flattered."
- The Yankees turned down a request by C.J. Wilson's agent for a visit to Yankee Stadium, reports ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand. That's not a good sign for Wilson's chances of signing with the Bombers, which Marchand believes are "less than five percent."
- Erik Hahmann of the DRaysBay blog looks at the situation between the Rays and lefty J.P. Howell. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes listed Howell as one of this winter's non-tender candidates.
- The Blue Jays are still open to bringing back Kelly Johnson next year, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Also from Morosi, he thinks the Blue Jays could — and should — sign free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
- Eric Chavez definitely wants to play in 2012 and a number of teams have strong interest in him, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). Some West Coast teams are interested in Chavez and the Yankees appear to be in the mix as well.
- The Rays have some interest in Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, but probably can’t afford him, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
- The Orioles hired former Phillies GM Lee Thomas as a special assistant, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com first mentioned the possibility (on Twitter). It's worth noting that Scott Proefrock and Joe Jordan of the Phillies are former Orioles front office employees.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
- Wilson asked the Angels for $100MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter links).
- Though agent Bob Garber requested a meeting with the Yankees, the sides haven't scheduled a visit at this point, according to Heyman.
- 16.44% of MLBTR readers expect Wilson to be the next big name free agent to sign. He appears to be looking to complete a deal by next week.