Conor Jackson Rumors
Here's some late-night linkage as the Rays and Red Sox head to extras in Tampa ...
- The Rockies are drawing interest from trade suitors on outfielder Ryan Spilborghs and reliever Rafael Betancourt, and some teams have recently inquired about closer Huston Street, writes Tracy Ringolsby of FOXSports.com. Spilborghs is a free agent at season's end, while Betancourt and Street are both under contract through 2012 with options for 2013.
- The Pirates are looking for bats and have checked with the Athletics on Josh Willingham and Conor Jackson, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers are getting "a lot of play" on right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Kuroda, however, has a full no-trade clause, and as we found out earlier today, some execs think he won't accept a trade to an East Coast team.
Peter Gammons spoke with a host of scouts, general managers, and MLB executives, all of which is compiled in his latest piece at MLB.com, which is chock full of trade-related news:
- The Astros are asking for as much in return for Wandy Rodriguez as the Rockies are for Ubaldo Jimenez. General manager Ed Wade is in a difficult position, caught between an ownership change.
- Half a dozen teams are looking for right-handed offense, but the Rockies won't trade Ryan Spilborghs and the Cubs are holding onto Jeff Baker. Gammons says that reduces that market to Conor Jackson, Josh Willingham, Reed Johnson, Lastings Milledge, and Jeff Francoeur. The Twins recently announced they won't trade Michael Cuddyer as well.
- The Dodgers want to shed salary, but don't have much to shed besides Jamey Carroll and Hiroki Kuroda. Gammons spoke with two East coast executives that said Kuroda, who has a full no-trade clause, won't accept a deal to an East Coast team.
- The Athletics will move veteran bats and probably a reliever or two.
- The Mariners won't have a fire sale, and aren't likely to get much for Erik Bedard in light of his injury.
- The Nationals are willing to trade Tyler Clippard, and have been continually pursuing Michael Bourn. They're also one of several teams who showed interest in Julio Borbon prior to his injury.
- Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail is in a tough spot because he doesn't know which way owner Peter Angelos wants him to go, according to a rival GM.
- Jordan Pacheco and Wilin Rosario make it possible for the Rockies to trade Chris Iannetta, but the Red Sox seem content wth their catching options.
On this day in 1931, the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League traded catcher Ernie Lombardi to the Brooklyn Robins (who later became the Dodgers). Lombardi, an Oakland native, only played one season in Brooklyn, but he went on to enjoy a Hall of Fame career spent mostly with Cincinnati.
Here are some news items about the modern-day Oakland nine...
- Brian Fuentes' now-finalized two-year contract is worth a guaranteed $10.5MM with a $6.5MM club option for 2013, reports The Associated Press. Fuentes will earn $5MM in both 2011 and 2012 and be paid a $500K buyout if the option isn't picked up. The left-hander can also earn escalating six-figure bonuses relating to games finished and will be paid $200K if he's traded at any point during the life of the contract.
- In spite of the games-finished bonuses, Fuentes says he has no problem serving as a set-up man for incumbent A's closer Andrew Bailey, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I was told he's the closer," Fuentes said. "There is no competition in my mind."
- Slusser also has details on the plate-appearance bonuses in Conor Jackson's new Oakland contract. The A's avoided arbitration with Jackson on Tuesday.
- Slusser hears from assistant GM David Forst that the club might be in the market for a backup infielder, though the Athletics want to keep Steve Tolleson, who was designated for assignment today.
- Major League Baseball needs to faciliate the Athletics' desired move from Oakland to San Jose for both the sake of the franchise and the league as a whole, argues Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them - it's a question of how much the players will earn.
Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:
- The Angels have agreed to terms with Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick, tweets Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register tweets that Kendrick will earn $3.3MM, Willits $775K (on Twitter).
- The Giants agreed to terms with Santiago Casilla on a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with incentives, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas (on Twitter). The team also announced that they avoided arb with Jonathan Sanchez and Ramon Ramirez (on Twitter). Sanchez will earn $4.8MM with incentives tweets Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle while Ramirez will earn $1.65MM according to Janie McCauley of The Canadian Press.
- The Braves agreed to terms with Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Moylan gets $2MM, O'Flaherty gets $895K according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners agreed to terms with Brandon League, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas, the team announced. Aardsma will earn $4.5MM with plenty of incentives, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (plus Twitter link).
- The Rangers agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links). Cruz gets $3.65MM, and Wilson gets $7.05MM with a chance to earn another $100K according to his agent Bob Garber, via email.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley (2.535MM) and Tim Stauffer ($1.075MM), according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
- The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoided arbitration with a $2.45MM deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The team has confirmed the deal.
- The Pirates announced that they agreed to terms with Joel Hanrahan. It's a $1.4MM deal, according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
- The Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with Tom Gorzelanny, despite reports that a trade to Washington is imminent. Gorzelanny will earn $2.1MM next year, according to Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com (on Twitter). They also announced a two-year, $4.7MM deal with Sean Marshall.
- The Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year deal with Joe Saunders.
- The Padres agreed to a $2.535MM deal with Mike Adams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).
- The Angels agreed to a $3MM deal with Erick Aybar and a $2.975MM deal with Kendry Morales.
- The White Sox agreed to a $5.05MM deal with Carlos Quentin, according to Rosenthal.
- The Braves agreed to a $3.1MM deal with Martin Prado and a $3.25MM deal with Jair Jurrjens according to Rosenthal.
- The Orioles agreed to a $5.85MM deal with J.J. Hardy, according to Rosenthal.
- The Athletics agreed to a $4.75MM deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to Slusser (Twitter link).
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Cody Ross, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ross will earn $6.3MM in 2011.
- The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jonathan Papelbon ($12MM) and Jacoby Ellsbury ($2.4MM).
- The Yankees avoided arbitration with Joba Chamberlain ($1.4MM), Phil Hughes ($2.7MM) and Boone Logan ($1.2MM), according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (all Twitter links).
- The Dodgers agreed to a $6.275MM deal with Chad Billingsley, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The White Sox agreed to a $6MM deal with John Danks, according to Heyman (on Twitter).The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and agreed to a $5.95MM deal, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The Indians avoided arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo, the team announced. The deal is worth $3.975MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Twins avoided arbitration with Matt Capps ($7.15MM) and Glen Perkins ($700K), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rays avoided arbitration with Andy Sonnanstine, agreeing to a deal worth $913K plus incentives, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
- The Mets avoided arbitration with Mike Pelfrey, agreeing on a deal worth close to $4MM, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra, signing the players to one-year deals, the team announced. Parra will earn $1.2MM, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Dallas Braden ($3.35MM) and Conor Jackson ($3.32MM), according to MLB.com's Jane Lee (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Brandon Morrow, the team announced.
- The Indians announced that they agreed to a one-year deal with Rafael Perez (Twitter link). It's worth $1.33MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Josh Willingham, agreeing to a $6MM deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Astros signed Michael Bourn to a one-year, $4.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter).
- The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they avoided arbitration with Michael Morse.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Anibal Sanchez, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). They agreed to a $3.7MM deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Twitter link).
- The Orioles avoided arbitration with Felix Pie, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The deal is for $985K.
- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Rajai Davis, agreeing to a two-year, $5.25MM deal with the outfielder.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Clay Hensley and agreed to a $1.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- The Astros agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Jeff Keppinger, avoiding arbitration, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The White Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal with Tony Pena, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick with a $6.775MM deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Clint Barmes, signing the infielder to a one-year, $3.925MM deal, according to Rosenthal. The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The Rockies avoided arb with Felipe Paulino and agreed to a one-year, $790K deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to terms with Yunel Escobar on a $2.9MM deal for 2011.
- The Indians signed Chris Perez for 2011, avoiding arbitration, the team announced (on Twitter). It's a $2.225MM deal, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they agreed to terms with Kyle Davies on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. It's a $3.2MM deal, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel (on Twitter).
- The Reds avoided arbitration will Bill Bray, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). The AP says the deal is for $645K.
- The Nationals avoided arbitration with Doug Slaten, and agreed to a one-year, $695K deal according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Heath Bell and agreed to a one-year, $7.5MM deal.
Links on a busy Tuesday as the first day of the GM Meetings wraps up...
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says (via Twitter) the Indians "kicked the tires" on Jake Westbrook, but never formally offered him a contract before he re-signed with the Cardinals.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that the market for Jorge de la Rosa won't take shape until Cliff Lee signs. He's a fallback option for several teams.
- Former Orioles reliever Dennis Sarfate is in talks to join the Hiroshima Carp according to MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Giants are currently in on just two players: Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe.
- Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer says that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro offered a lot of "no comments" when asked about the team's interest in retaining Chad Durbin.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman says (via Twitter) the trade market for Jonathan Papelbon is "very weak," but the Red Sox are willing to pay part of what will surely be a sizable 2011 salary.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman hears that the Yankees will bid at least three years to keep Derek Jeter (Twitter link). Owner Hal Steinbrenner added that "things are going well."
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News has a quote from Yanks GM Brian Cashman: “I’ve got a small player move that I’m working on that might get done at some point this week ... But it’s small.”
- Meanwhile, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yanks are still waiting to hear whether Mariano Rivera wants a one or two-year deal.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Athletics are not moving Conor Jackson, though he remains a non-tender candidate.
- Twins GM Bill Smith said it's "not at all" a question when asked if the team would tender Matt Capps a contract, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post (Twitter link).
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer says that Reds GM Walt Jocketty has talked to Arthur Rhodes' agent and plans to do the same with Miguel Cairo's, but he has yet to talk to any other free agents.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci lists players available on the "secondary market" that could have a big impact, starting with Jack Cust.
- Roy Halladay's Cy Young Award netted him $250K in bonus money, tweets Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The bonus was negotiated into his original contract with Toronto.
- In the wake of Justin Upton being made available, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron examines his trade value.
Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he’s looking for the "right player" this offseason, not the "best player." As Armstrong explains, that could be bad news for the Rockies fans hoping to see Victor Martinez in Denver:
- The Rockies aren’t likely to make the winning bid on Martinez, though he caught the team’s attention as a potential free agent target.
- Colorado would pursue an innings eater if Jorge de la Rosa proves too expensive to re-sign. The lefty is drawing interest from multiple teams, including the Yankees and Nationals.
- Joe Beimel could return to Colorado, but the Rockies have other left-handed relievers including Matt Reynolds and Franklin Morales, so their need for Beimel isn’t pressing.
- Adding a right-handed hitter is a priority for the Rockies. Their list of candidates includes Conor Jackson, Ty Wigginton and Jermaine Dye. Jackson is a non-tender candidate and may join Wigginton and Dye on the free agent market within a few weeks. The Rockies have already contacted Dye about a potential deal.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that the Rockies want to add an “impact bat” this offseason. According to Renck, Colorado has interest in Conor Jackson and will target Victor Martinez if the Red Sox don’t lock him up.
Jackson, a non-tender candidate, can play first base or left field; Martinez can catch and play first. The Rockies appear to want a right-handed complement to Todd Helton and Martinez, a switch hitter, would satisfy that requirement. But Colorado has Chris Iannetta under contract and a mutual option for Miguel Olivo's services, so the team isn't desperate for catching help.
Adding an outfielder is a priority for the Rockies, according to Renck. Seth Smith isn’t conisdered an everyday player because of his late summer struggles, so the Rockies will consider free agent outfielders and trades.
The Rockies already have two electrifying hitters: Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, but Tulo told Renck that he’d like to see some of the organization’s young players improve so the Rockies can reach the postseason in 2011.
When Billy Beane traded for Conor Jackson this June, he was presumably hoping to see the left fielder return to his 2006-08 form. For three years, Jackson combined patience and doubles power to be a productive piece of the Diamondbacks offense, so the former top prospect clearly has the ability to handle major league pitching.
But the player Beane acquired for reliever Sam Demel did not produce. Jackson, who missed all but 30 games in 2009 with Valley Fever, posted a .228/.362/.316 line in Oakland with one homer. He's now out for the season with a sports hernia, and he only batted 69 times, but his numbers weren't noticeably different in Arizona. Jackson doesn't have much to show for 2009 or 2010, consecutive injury-plagued seasons that have turned him into a non-tender candidate.
The D'Backs raised Jackson's salary from $3.05MM to $3.1MM last offseason, but the A's may not feel comfortable paying him over $3MM in 2011, Jackson's final season as an arbitration eligible player. In fact, Jackson's injuries and poor performance suggest the A's are likely to non-tender him. Click here to vote on Oakland's choice and here to view the results.
The A's acquired Conor Jackson from the D'Backs for righty Sam Demel, according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com (Twitter link). The A's note that they are receiving cash to cover part of Jackson's $3.1MM salary (Twitter link). ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears that the D'Backs will cover about $400K of the remaining $1.85MM (Twitter link).
Jackson, 28, is hitting .238/.326/.331 in 172 plate appearances this year. He missed most of last season with Valley Fever and has had some hamstring problems in 2010. Jackson has spent most of the season in left field, though he has considerable experience as a first baseman, too.
Despite Jackson's slow start at the plate and history as an average defender, the A's weren't the only interested team. The Rangers were also exploring a deal for Jackson, who will be a non-tender candidate after the season.
D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes says the club acquired Demel since he's "another quality arm in [the team's] attempt to improve the bullpen." The 24-year-old righty has pitched well at Triple A this year. Demel has a 1.26 ERA in 28.2 innings, with 8.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. It's the best season the 2007 third rounder has had as a pro. Demel was not ranked among Oakland's top 30 prospects by Baseball America before the season, but the D'Backs (7.33 bullpen ERA) need relievers badly.
The Rangers are exploring a deal for outfielder Conor Jackson according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, but "nothing is remotely close." Texas has been looking for a righthanded bat for their bench basically all year, and have been linked to Mike Lowell since the winter. They are also considering other options beyond Lowell and Jackson.
Of course, the Rangers must consider finances more than most clubs, and Jackson is still owed close to $1.9MM during the remainder of the season. He is under team control for 2011, which is certainly a nice benefit. Rosenthal mentions that Texas has prospects to spare, so perhaps they could convince the Diamondbacks to kick in some money by offering up a higher quality player.
The 28-year-old Jackson is hitting .238/.326/.331 in 172 plate appearances this season, spending time in left and at first. The Rangers already tried Ryan Garko as the righty bat off the bench, but he was waived after hitting .094/.171/.094 in 37 plate appearances.