Clay Hensley Rumors
Links for Monday...
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post has the details of Todd Helton's new contract extension. He can void the deal if two of three general partners sell their controlling interest in the team, and it contains $13.1MM in deferred money at three percent interest.
- The Yankees could look to move Chad Gaudin soon, according to Rosenthal (via Twitter). In another tweet, he mentions that Clay Hensley can opt out of his contract with the Marlins if he's not on the roster by April 1st.
- Jim Bowden shows off his post-trade fist pump in his latest GM's Corner video for FOX Sports. Bowden asked a slew of GMs about their processes for making deals; Frank Wren estimated that less than ten percent of discussions lead to trades.
- In considering Jonathan Papelbon's future, WEEI's Alex Speier demonstrates just how risky large multiyear deals for relievers have been.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says the Blue Jays "will not settle for fringe prospects in return" for relievers Scott Downs and Jason Frasor, and they could use them to continue the rebuilding effort.
- Rosenthal adds that Gary Sheffield is talking to a NL club, though it's not clear which one.
- Meanwhile, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com notes that both Jamey Wright and Austin Kearns have out clauses in their contracts, but a club official said the provisions will not impact the makeup of the team. A source added that there are "no trades on the horizon" for Cleveland.
Links for Friday, as team execs and media folk pack their bags for Monday's Winter Meetings in Indianapolis...
- The Brewers signed Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Oeltjen, 27 in February, hit .303/.362/.500 in his third Triple A tour, playing the outfield corners.
- Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash spells out why his team won't be acquiring Roy Halladay, talking to McCalvy.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets six minor league free agents signed by the Marlins, including Jesse Foppert, Vinny Rottino, and Hector Luna.
- The Pirates expressed "mild interest" in free agent pitcher Clay Hensley, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Hensley, 30, spent the year at Triple A in the Astros and Marlins organizations, posting a 3.56 ERA in 124 innings.
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post feels there's "still a good chance [Ross] Gload returns [to the Marlins] with a two-year deal."
- Darren Dreifort's five-year, $55MM deal tops Jeff Passan's list of the ten worst contracts of the 2000s for Yahoo.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why the Yankees probably won't sign Rafael Soriano.
- In his Winter Meetings preview for AOL FanHouse, Ed Price says there was some discussion about a Tigers-Diamondbacks trade involving Edwin Jackson and Max Scherzer.
- ESPN's Buster Olney talked to rival executives who say the Tigers have not aggressively shopped Curtis Granderson.
- Olney doesn't think the Mariners will pay up for Jason Bay. He believes the Red Sox are "controlling the market" for Bay and Matt Holliday.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals are "increasingly weighing spreading what it would cost to retain Holliday over several players." Bernie Miklasz of the P-D feels the Cards are "enacting their exit strategy from the Holliday sweepstakes." I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals make their best offer soon - let's say $110MM over six years - and entirely move on if Scott Boras rejects it.
- SI's Jon Heyman tweets that Nick Johnson is "drawing interest from the Giants, maybe Braves, and a half-dozen more."
- MLB.com's Corey Brock talked to former Padres GM Kevin Towers, who will meet with the Mets, Yankees, Mariners, and Red Sox at the Winter Meetings.
- ESPN's Keith Law isn't impressed with the Phillies' Placido Polanco signing. My initial impression upon hearing about the signing is that no other team would've valued Polanco that highly.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets that other teams have been more aggressive on Jamey Carroll than the Marlins. Other Carroll suitors include the Rockies, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, A's, Rangers, Pirates, Reds and Indians.
According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins signed Clay Hensley to a minor league deal. He already started for the Zephyrs yesterday. The Marlins released Mike Wood to make room for him. The Astros had signed Hensley back in December after the Padres non-tendered him. He was pretty good in '06 but had labrum surgery since then.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald adds that the Marlins inked reliever Gary Glover. Glover had signed a minor league deal with the Nationals in January.
According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Astros signed pitcher Clay Hensley to a minor league deal worth $550K. Hensley, 29, posted a 3.94 ERA in Triple A and a 5.31 mark in the Majors this year after recovering from labrum surgery. The Padres chose to non-tender him.
Hensley had success back in '06, tossing up a 3.71 ERA in 187 innings on the strength of a 54% groundball rate.
2:01am: MLB.com has the official list.
10:05pm: Here is a list of players who were non-tendered today, and therefore became free agents.
- Aquilino Lopez
- Joey Gathright, John Bale
- Jamie Burke
- Joe Nelson
- Aaron Miles, Randy Flores, Tyler Johnson
- Norris Hopper, Gary Majewski, Matt Belisle
- Doug Mathis
- Daniel Cabrera, Lance Cormier
- Denny Bautista
- Ty Wigginton, Reggie Abercrombie
- Jonny Gomes
- Willy Taveras
- Takashi Saito, Scott Proctor, Yhency Brazoban, Angel Berroa
- Clay Hensley and Charlie Haeger
- Chris Britton and Justin Christian
- Tim Redding
- Chris Capuano
- Kevin Cash
- Chuck James
- Chris Burke, Robby Hammock, Wil Ledezma, Jeff Salazar
A couple of Padres rumors this morning from Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune...
- Reliever Heath Bell says talks on a multiyear deal didn't get very far and he's content using the arbitration process for the first time. Bell stands to earn a million or two in '09.
- The Reds are interested in Padres pitcher Clay Hensley. Hensley, 29, posted a 5.31 ERA in 39 big league innings. He pitched another 48 innings in Triple A. His strong groundball rate could make a nice fit for the Reds. Jeff from Cot's Baseball Contracts told me Hensley has enough service time to qualify as a Super Two, meaning he'll be arbitration-eligible this winter.
- Tim Sullivan of the U-T says Brian Giles is the Padres' primary offseason issue. In my opinion, it'd be embarrassingly cheap for the Padres to choose the $3MM buyout over the $9MM option.
- Nothing imminent on the Trevor Hoffman front.
A new trade rumor has surfaced, though Kevin Towers may have already shot it down.
The report on San Diego radio (specifically XX Sportsradio 1090) was that the Padres could send southpaw reliever Justin Hampson as well as groundball artist Clay Hensley to the Reds for Adam Dunn. Kevin Towers described this rumor as "not worth chasing" to the San Diego Union Tribune's Tim Sullivan.
Hampson is the only lefty in the Padres' pen, and he's allowed just two earned runs in 22.1 innings. However, his strikeout rate is quite low and his history isn't that impressive. The Padres insist they don't need a southpaw in the pen, but could easily bring up Royce Ring if they trade Hampson.
After a breakout rookie season in '06, Hensley hasn't been able to get on track this year. He's been battered around in 12 starts split between the Padres and Triple A. He had a fine spring but blister and groin injuries surfaced and Hensley ended up losing his rotation spot to Justin Germano.
Kevin Towers and Wayne Krivsky have matched up on a trade once before. In March of 2006, Towers sent catcher Dave Ross to the Reds for right-handed starter/former top prospect Bobby Basham.
- A little elaboration on the Adam Dunn to San Diego idea - Rosenthal throws Clay Hensley's name into the mix. Hensley has had a rough couple of months, with a nasty blister, a groin strain, and some awful starts. His 54% groundball rate would be a nice fit in Chicago or Cincinnati. Another player I could see catching Wayne Krivsky's eye is Cla Meredith.
- The Cubs continue to shop Jacque Jones, hoping to slide Felix Pie in every day. Pie is ready for the show, but the Cubs would like something to show for Jones. He is earning $4MM this year and $5MM in '08. It looked like a bargain after Jones hit .285/.334/.499 last year, but he's tanked in the Cubs' crowded outfield. He could fit well with the Padres, a team that doesn't hit lefties or righties. Jones normally just struggles with lefties. Jacque was born in San Diego, too. Kevin Towers and Jim Hendry matched up for a couple of smaller deals last summer with Todd Walker and Scott Williamson.
- Mike Lowell may leave Boston after this season as a free agent. He's easily the best affordable 3B on the market. Perhaps the Yankees want him back. Other possibilities include the Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Phillies, and Astros according to Rosenthal. Hard to believe Lowell is so popular and successful after he was a throw-in forced upon the Red Sox in the Josh Beckett deal.
- Eric Byrnes is probably headed out of Arizona, and he'd be a valuable center field addition who won't break the bank. He'll be 32 in '08, and on a reasonable three-year deal could be a better value than Ichiro, Torii, or Andruw. Wouldn't be surprised to see the White Sox get involved.