Cliff Floyd Rumors

Passan’s Latest: Crawford, Syndergaard, Tulo

The Dodgers have been floating Carl Crawford‘s name in trade talks, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.  It isn’t known how much the Dodgers are willing to eat of the roughly $69.25MM owed to Crawford through 2017, yet needless to say, it “will need to be a lot.”  L.A. was reportedly open to hearing offers for Crawford last winter, though there unsurprisingly wasn’t much interest given Crawford’s large salary, injury problems and declining performance over the last four seasons.

Here’s some more from Passan’s latest “Ten Degrees” column

  • The Cardinals and Mets are staying in touch with the Rockies about Troy Tulowitzki‘s availability, and the Mets are willing to include top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard as part of a trade package.  Colorado isn’t budging, however, unless Tulowitzki actually demands a trade, which could be part of the “let him be the bad guy” strategy that Passan considers “a ludicrous way to run a franchise.”
  • The Phillies are still looking for “a return of any kind” in exchange for Cliff Lee, according to two executives on teams interested in the veteran southpaw.  This implies that the Phils want more than just salary relief, which could be difficult given the size of Lee’s contract.
  • The four-year, $70MM extension offer the Red Sox made to Jon Lester last offseason may have made sense on paper for a team that is loath to spend big on a pitcher into his 30’s, yet Passan feels this offer was such a lowball that it has turned the Lester extension talks “into a season-long story” and cost Boston its hometown advantage in re-signing the ace.  One Red Sox insider tells Passan that “the likelihood of Boston re-signing Lester lessens by the day” and trading Lester might now be the best way for the Sox to get some value for the left-hander.
  • The Red Sox and Rangers had serious trade talks about Lester in the 2012-13 offseason, even to the point of exchanging some player names.  This obviously doesn’t mean Texas would get in on the bidding on a Lester trade now, given that they’re far out of contention and Lester is only signed through the end of the season.

Keith Law’s First Mock Draft

There is still a lot that can and will change between now and the amateur draft in three weeks, but that didn't stop ESPN's Keith Law from posting his first mock draft today. It's an Insider-only piece, but here are the important points…

  • The Pirates are considering Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, and have "done their due diligence" on Dylan Bundy. Law notes that "under Neal Huntington the Pirates have long considered value relative to cost in their drafts, sometimes preferring to spend less in the first round when they see opportunities to spend their savings on other appealing prospects in later rounds." He has them taking Danny Hultzen first overall.
  • Everyone Law has spoken to says the Mariners will take Rendon as long as the medicals check out, and he hears from the very good source that there is nothing structural wrong with the Rice third baseman's shoulder.
  • The Diamondbacks will take Hultzen third overall if he's available, and they're hoping for Bundy or Trevor Bauer with the seventh overall pick. That pick is compensation for failing to sign Barret Loux last year.
  • The Orioles have interest in Bundy, Bauer, and Jed Bradley with the fourth pick. Law emphasizes that everyone has told him the Royals want a college pitcher with the fifth pick. The Indians have their eyes on Bauer for eighth overall.
  • High school outfielder Brandon Nimmo is looking for $2MM, and Law has him going to the Rays with the 32nd pick.

Mets Came Close To Acquiring Manny After 2004

Manny Ramirez was no stranger to the trade rumor circuit during his time in Boston, long before the team actually went ahead and shipped him to the Dodgers in 2008. The deal that would have sent him to the Rangers in exchange for Alex Rodriguez is perhaps the most well known Manny non-trade, but WEEI.com's Rob Bradford says the team also came very close to shipping Ramirez to the Mets following the 2004 season.

Manny was fresh off being named World Series MVP, but the idea behind trading him was to use the savings for then free agents J.D. Drew and Adrian Beltre. Drew went on the sign with the Dodgers, Beltre the Mariners, though both found their way to Boston eventually.

There were several variations of the deal with the Mets, but the two constants were hotshot prospect Lastings Milledge and the veteran Cliff Floyd. At various other times, the package of players included Heath Bell and Ian Bladergroen, who the Mets eventually traded the the Red Sox for Doug Mientkiewicz.

The deal fell apart because of money. The Mets wanted to the Red Sox to kick in some of the $77MM left on Manny's deal, but Boston "wanted to get money back in the deal to pursue the available free agents." Bradford goes through some what-could-have-been scenarios in his article.

Ramirez went on to hit another 120 home runs and win another World Championship with the Red Sox, while the Mets fell just a game short of qualifying for the 2006 Fall Classic. They did, however, land one superstar responsible for helping the Red Sox end their World Series drought that offseason, signing Pedro Martinez to a four year, $53MM deal in December of 2004.



Odds & Ends: Floyd, Looper, El Duque, Manny

Links for Monday…


Padres Release Cliff Floyd, Shawn Hill

The San Diego Padres have parted ways with outfielder Cliff Floyd and pitcher Shawn Hill, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. They are the second and third players the Padres waived today, after the team also released righty Cha Seung Baek. Like Baek, Hill had been identified as a non-tender candidate by Tim.

Neither player was a major contributor in San Diego this season. Hill started three games for the club, posting a 1-1 record and a 5.25 ERA. Floyd made 17 plate appearances in 10 games, recording just two singles and a walk.


Odds & Ends: Rios, Hardy, Knapp

A couple more links as the day winds down…

  • According to Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune, one scout called Alex Rios "a teaser," and that he's the kind of the guy that "can get you fired." Kenny Williams sure hopes that's not the case.
  • Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider explains why the Mariners should go after J.J. Hardy. Something tells me we'll see quite a few more posts like this.
  • Jason Knapp, one of the prospects the Indians acquired for Cliff Lee, will have arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder to remove "loose bodies," according to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince. GM Mark Shapiro says they will not file a grievance.

Padres Add Cliff Floyd, DFA Matt Bush

8:47pm: According to MLB.com’s Corey Brock, the Padres designated right-hander Matt Bush for assignment to make room for Floyd.  Bush was drafted first overall in the 2004 draft as a shortstop, but never made it past the Single-A level at that position.

6:16pm: Paul DePodesta, a member of the Padres’ front office, took to his own personal blog for a little insight on the Floyd signing:

We’ve been talking for a number of weeks internally about the need to add a left-handed bat into the mix, as our bench was looking awfully right-handed. In an ideal world, we wanted to find a guy who could provide three primary skills: 1) the ability to do damage against RHP as either a pinch hitter, DH or occasional starter, 2) the ability to play somewhere other than 1B if need be, and 3) the ability to act as a leader for our younger players. We found a match in Cliff.

8:06am: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Padres have agreed to terms with outfielder Cliff Floyd on a one-year deal.  ESPN’s Jayson Stark says the deal guarantees him less than $1MM.  Floyd, 36, hit .268/.349/.455 in 284 plate appearances for the Rays last year; he suffered a slightly torn labrum in the World Series.  He earned $2.75MM and had an ’09 option for the same amount declined in November.  Rosenthal says Luis Gonzalez was the Padres’ second choice.

A few days ago, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune suggested the Padres had Floyd and Livan Hernandez on the radar.


Padres Eyeing Livan Hernandez, Cliff Floyd

Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to Padres GM Kevin Towers, who said last week he’s interested in starter Livan Hernandez and outfielder Cliff Floyd.  The Padres are no longer targeting a $40MM payroll, so it seems they can afford to add a million or two for these two free agents.  The Padres have two open spots in the rotation.

Hernandez, 34 in February, posted a 6.05 ERA and 3.35 K/9 in 180 innings last year for the Twins and Rockies.  He earned $5MM.  Floyd, 36, hit .268/.349/.455 in 284 plate appearances for the Rays last year; he suffered a slightly torn labrum in the World Series.  He earned $2.75MM and had an ’09 option for the same amount declined in November.

Center adds that the Padres had free agent pitchers Brian Lawrence, Steve Trachsel, and Scott Elarton work out at Petco Park recently but decided not to invite them to Spring Training (Ben mentioned this on Saturday; just a reminder).  Trachsel was designated for assignment by the Orioles in June of last year and was thought to be considering retirement.


Cliff Floyd Hopes To Return To Rays

According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark:

The signing of Pat Burrell seemed to close the door on Cliff Floyd‘s return to Tampa Bay. But Floyd’s agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, continue to speak with the Rays about finding a role for Floyd, who served as Tampa Bay’s primary lefthanded DH last year. Floyd has told friends that returning to the Rays is still his first choice.

On November 3rd, the Rays chose a $250K buyout over Floyd’s $2.75MM option.  Floyd, 36, hit .268/.349/.455 in 284 plate appearances in ’08.  Floyd decided to rehab his shoulder injury rather than have surgery.


Crasnick On Retirement Candidates

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick looks at nine veteran players and estimates their chances of retiring.  He assesses the situations of Jim Edmonds, Garret Anderson, Ken Griffey Jr., Cliff Floyd, Jeff Kent, Nomar Garciaparra, Luis Gonzalez, Frank Thomas, and Moises Alou.

Crasnick feels Edmonds, Anderson, Griffey, and Floyd are likely to play, while the rest are not.  Of the long shots, Thomas seems most intent on playing in ’09.