Cliff Floyd Rumors
Links for Tuesday...
- The Red Sox added pitcher Virgil Vasquez while losing infielder Gil Velazquez.
- Dave Cameron has another free agent bargain: Juan Rivera.
- The Astros made their first Taiwanese signing: 22 year-old righty reliever Chia-Jen Lo.
- Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi hopes to try MLB eventually (but not in 2009).
- Viva El Birdos figures the Cardinals will check in on Kenshin Kawakami.
- Bud Selig has praise for Padres owner John Moores.
- Rays Index passes along a report that Cliff Floyd's injury could end his career. This could open up some free agent possibilities.
- River Ave. Blues says the latest Jake Peavy news is the nail in the coffin for the Yankees.
- MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince is not a big fan of the rumors.
Here's a look at the latest from SI.com's Jon Heyman.
- Heyman heard recent "scuttlebutt" that C.C. Sabathia does not want to play for the Yankees. They're still expected to make a large offer, and Heyman also expects a big play from the Angels. Sabathia reportedly prefers California but has become more open-minded to other locations.
- Cliff Floyd plans to play next year, hopefully for the Rays. The team has a $2.75MM option with a $250K buyout. He's worth it.
- Heyman notes that Randy Winn would've made a fine acquisition for another club. The 34 year-old is hitting .315/.372/.438 in 611 plate appearances. He's set to earn $8.25MM in '09 and can block deals to ten teams.
Let's round up some links.
- Juan Rincon rejected the Twins' Triple A assignment. Anyone want him?
- The Reds received a 23 year-old righty named Henry Arias from the Royals to conclude the March Brad Salmon deal.
- I had forgotten about this...the Royals almost acquired Milton Bradley a year ago for Leo Nunez but the deal was voided.
- Paul Hagen offers some pitching ideas for the Phillies.
- David Cameron explains why the Mariners are so bad.
- The international signing period begins on July 2nd; pitcher Michel Inoa heads the class. It's been suggested the A's could offer him $4MM.
- Jon Heyman says this might be Cliff Floyd's last season. Floyd has a $2.75MM club option for '09.
- Howard Megdal considers Scott Schoeneweis and Brian Schneider the Mets' most tradeable commodities.
- Erick Threets is shocked no team was willing to pick him up and keep him in the Majors. For El Lefty Malo, this serves as a reminder that fans often overvalue their team's players.
With Rocco Baldelli appearing only twice in spring games this year, the Rays may consider reviving talks with free agent outfielder Kenny Lofton. Tampa Bay's right field and fourth outfielder depth is light enough that they've begun to look at infielders Joel Guzman and Ben Zobrist at left and right field, respectively.
Ray's manager Joe Maddon won't even guess when Baldelli will return to full-time play. Baldelli is nursing sore hamstrings this spring. He's expected to play right field, if he can run, and will split time with Cliff Floyd and Jonny Gomes at DH.
Given Floyd's fragility, the Rays will be taking quite a chance if they depend on that combination. Floyd has appeared in 150 games once in the last ten years. Baldelli appeared in 150 games in his rookie year but hasn't in the three years since.
UPDATE, 12-13-07 at 4:44pm: The deal is done, for $3MM plus another possible $2MM in incentives.
FROM 12-12-07 at 2:58pm:
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Rays should have a deal in place with Cliff Floyd by this weekend. Floyd would spend time at DH and right field for them in '08.
UPDATE, 12-6-07 at 2:17pm: Molony confirms that the Rays have talked to the Astros about Scott, though the Padres are still the frontrunner.
FROM 12-6-07 at 8:29am:
A few minor Rays nuggets (hat tip Drays Bay)...
- Marc Lancaster talked to Scott Boras about the possibility of Carlos Pena signing a long-term deal with the Rays. Pena is eligible for free agency after the 2009 season. Boras indicated that Pena would go year to year. If 2008 and 2009 are in the stratosphere of what Pena did in '08, he's looking at four years, $60MM easily in my opinion.
- Adam Rubin reports that the Rays are eyeing Cliff Floyd, a name we've seen linked to them before.
- Marc Topkin considers Luke Scott a realistic possibility for the Rays, Luis Gonzalez and Josh Hamilton not so much. Topkin suggests Andre Ethier could be a good match, in a separate post.
Jerry Crasnick filed more rumors ripe for discussion.
- The Reds may consider trading Josh Hamilton, but not to an NL Central team. There was nothing to the Hamilton-Cubs rumor anyway, according to Bruce Levine. And now officials from both teams have debunked it.
- The Cubs actually want to add two left-handed hitting outfielders, for some reason. Beyond Kosuke Fukudome, Geoff Jenkins remains on the radar. Jim Hendry likes Chone Figgins, but the Angels would ridiculously ask for Aramis Ramirez in that one.
- Scott Boras is still saying Andruw Jones isn't looking for a one or two-year deal.
- The Rays have checked into Shawn Green, Geoff Jenkins, and Cliff Floyd. No truth to the rumor that Green is considering retirement.
- Brandon Inge hits the market, though he's got three years and $19.1MM left on his deal. Plenty of clubs are in the market for a third baseman assuming the Tigers will eat some of the contract. Inge probably won't be moving back behind the plate, by the way.
Random rumors, let's round 'em up.
- How about Bartolo Colon to the Mets? David Lennon notes that Omar Minaya sold the farm to acquire him in 2002 as the Expos' GM.
- Scott Lauber says Aaron Rowand is insisting on a five-year deal. He adds that the Phils have interest in Geoff Jenkins but he might be too expensive.
- Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller are considered untouchable, so don't look for the Tigers to make any big trades.
- Patrick Saunders runs down some free agents the Rockies may consider for the back end of their rotation: Tony Armas, Matt Clement, Steve Trachsel, Josh Fogg, Jason Jennings, Jon Lieber, Mark Redman, Brett Tomko, and Kip Wells.
- The Rays may go after Tony Clark, in large part because they're seeking leadership. Marc Topkin agrees, and also rattles off Geoff Jenkins, Brad Wilkerson, Cliff Floyd, Mike Lamb, Mark Sweeney, Corey Koskie, and Greg Nortion as other possibilities.
- It's expected that Eric Gagne will not accept Boston's offer of arbitration, because he wants to close. One place he could do so is Texas, who like him if he'll take one year.
- The Marlins' new marketing materials exclude Miguel Cabrera.
- The Rangers have interest in Sean Casey and Mike Lamb.
Picking up some rumors and tidbits that haven't been otherwise posted during this busy day...
- An Atlanta TV station states that Tom Glavine would take a lot less money to play for the Braves. Also, the Astros have reportedly been in touch with him.
- Joe Torre senses that Jeff Kent will return in 2008. The Dodgers certainly hope so; he led the team with 20 home runs in '07.
- Trey Hillman took a parting shot at Japanese reporters (hat tip to JapanBall).
- Reliever Masafumi Hirai might come over to MLB. I'll have to learn more about him.
- Hiroki Kuroda prefers to play on the West Coast because he doesn't like cold weather. Hmmm, Chicago might not work for him. Kuroda has declared free agency, and the Mariners are interested. There is word here that the Rangers have scouted him as well.
- The Braves are interested in Masahide Kobayashi to close, while the Mariners like him as a middle reliever (link in Japanese).
- There will be no Mike Lowell + A-Rod combo in Boston.
- Luis Gonzalez would like to return to the Tigers, while the team is interested in Cliff Floyd and Shannon Stewart for left field. Ben Broussard may also be on the radar.
- The Rangers also like Broussard, and they've contacted Mike Lamb as well regarding their first base vacancy. Lamb could play third if they trade Hank Blalock. Jon Daniels also has Kerry Wood in his sights.
- The Rockies like Shawn Chacon, but only as a reliever.
- Derrick Goold breaks down the options for the Cardinals at shortstop.
- Don't forget to make an entry in our Hot Stove Hysteria contest. The deadline is November 12th. If you feel the need to edit your entry, just post a new one. They're time-stamped; your latest entry will be used. A new prize has been added: a fantasy draft kit from Big Dawg Baseball.
Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times has a Cubs update for us this morning.
Let's start with Kerry Wood, who would garner plenty of interest on the open market. Despite rumors that Wood might look elsewhere for a chance to start, he's likely to stay with the Cubs as a starter.
The Cubs are on Curt Schilling's list, and they'll be in the mix for him if his price is reasonable. I take that to mean not much more than $12-13MM. A cheaper option might be Hiroki Kuroda, though that could take a three-year commitment. So, perhaps a larger cash outlay.
The Cubs will probably pass on Alex Rodriguez, though he would've been a nice fit at shortstop in my opinion.
Options: the Cubs exercised Daryle Ward's for $1.2MM. They passed on Steve Trachsel's $4.75MM option, which is a relief since there had been rumors of exercising it. Cliff Floyd is probably gone as well.