C.J. Wilson Rumors
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.
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.
Here are some links for Monday night as we anticipate the end of a managerial search in Boston and the beginning of a GM search in Houston...
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker hears that Matt Murton will return to the Hanshin Tigers for 2012 (Twitter link). Murton could have been an outside-the-box alternative for teams looking for outfield help this offseason. The 30-year-old has a .286/.352/.436 line in parts of five MLB seasons and has hit well in Japan.
- C.J. Wilson, who visited with the Marlins today, has another free agent visit scheduled this week, but it’s not with the Rangers, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter).
- Twins people expect former GM Bill Smith to remain in the organization, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Minnesota replaced Smith with longtime GM Terry Ryan earlier this month.
- Speaking of the Twins, they’re one of many teams in on Yoenis Cespedes, according to Yahoo’s Tim Brown. This appears to be the first time they’ve been linked to the 26-year-old outfielder.
- The Astros are shopping Wandy Rodriguez all over, according to Brown.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America hears that the 30 MLB teams will be limited to $180MM in total spending for the first ten rounds of the draft under the new collective bargaining agreement (Twitter link).
- Teams that fail to sign top draft picks can’t re-allocate the money saved toward deals for other draft picks, according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. For example, a team that fails to sign a top pick who had a recommended bonus of $1.5MM would see its spending ceiling fall by $1.5MM and would not have the option of spending that $1.5MM on other players.
Here are some links from Miami, on the day that Robb Nen celebrates his 43rd birthday. Nen still holds the Marlins' franchise record with 108 saves...
- "They rolled out the red carpet. They seem to have a plan and made it very clear they'd like [C.J. Wilson] to be a part of it," said Bob Garber, Wilson's agent, to Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post. The Marlins hosted the lefty at their new ballpark today. Garber wouldn't say if the team made an offer, but did say his client will "probably" make a decision during the winter meetings next week.
- The sentiment is that Albert Pujols will return to the Cardinals, but Capozzi says the Marlins still hope to sign Jose Reyes and either Wilson or Mark Buehrle. It's also possible they'll try to add both starters.
- The Marlins have interest in 18-year-old Cuban outfielder Yasiel Balaguer, reports Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald (on Twitter). They will scout him this Wednesday in the Dominican Republic. Last year we heard about his "explosive speed and throwing arm."
The Angels are one of five or five teams with "serious interest" in free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, agent Paul Kinzer told Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. DiGiovanna notes that earlier this month Angels GM Jerry Dipoto described his interest level in Ramirez as "lower, but I never close the door on anyone."
Ramirez is open to playing on the West Coast, Kinzer told DiGiovanna. With full no-trade rights this summer, Ramirez was not so flexible. DiGiovanna believes Ramirez could make a decision on his new team at next week's Winter Meetings. On November 14th, Kinzer told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports Ramirez seeks a four-year deal or three years with an option.
The Angels are interested in relievers Matt Capps, Heath Bell, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, and Scott Linebrink, adds DiGiovanna. They're also very interested in starter C.J. Wilson, who's touring the country meeting with suitors.
The Marlins will attempt to woo C.J. Wilson with a South Florida visit and stadium tour on Monday, writes Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel. Rodriguez writes that the Marlins are likely to put a bid in for Wilson considering that pitching is their top priority and the winter meetings are just around the corner.
Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Albert Pujols have already visited Miami and each free agent received an offer from the club. Prince Fielder is about the only high-end free agent that the Marlins haven't hosted and nothing is scheduled yet, which may or may not speak to their interest level.
Buehrle got to check out the Marlins' new park well before Wilson, but that doesn't mean that Buehrle is higher on the club's board. A source who spoke with a Marlins official in the early stages of the free agency period said he believed Miami preferred Wilson.