Cristian Guzman Rumors
Let's dive into the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- The Padres are seeking a durable starting pitcher as they approach the deadline. The Padres know that they need a bat but their offense is so weak that they fear a lack of quality starting pitching might derail them faster than a lack of hitting. Durable starters are hard to come by on the trade market, but the Diamondbacks' Edwin Jackson could be a fit.
- The Marlins changed skippers thinking that they were a better team than they've shown, but that hasn't been the case thus far. Unless they rally, the club will end up as sellers. Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, Cody Ross, and Ricky Nolasco all hold value. Nolasco's name hasn't come up much, but he could be one of the better starting pitchers on the market. Uggla and his big bat are still sought after, even though his salary could rise to about $10MM in arbitration next season.
- Toronto's Shaun Marcum could still be a trade chip, even after going on the disabled list with inflammation of the right elbow. The club expects him to be back before the All-Star break and if so, he should be one of the better starters available. The Jays could be active sellers as they have several more attractive pieces. Relievers Scott Downs and Jason Frasor are both potential free agents. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez and outfielder Jose Bautista could also get some bites.
- Nats GM Mike Rizzo told Rosenthal that the club is getting interest in five or six players in trade discussion. While Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham are getting all the buzz, Cristian Guzman and Adam Kennedy could be attractive to teams in need of infield help. Matt Capps could be a trade chip as well now that he has recovered from his slump. They control the closer through next season, though they may look to cash in on his value while it is peaking.
After the Nationals named Ian Desmond their starting shortstop at the beginning of this week, Cristian Guzman's role with Washington became a little less clear. Guzman will make more money ($8MM) in 2010 than any National not named Adam Dunn, and is without a starting job. If Desmond holds his own as an everyday starter, the club will be paying $8MM to a utility player.
It's not an ideal situation for the Nationals, but it would be a challenge to move Guzman. In addition to his price tag, the 32-year-old also possesses ten and five rights, meaning he would have to approve any trade the team worked out.
Guzman has said he won't request a trade, and GM Mike Rizzo has insisted that Washington is not attempting to deal him. However, the switch-hitter could provide some value to a contending team as a utility man. In 1359 plate appearances for the Nats since 2007, he has hit .305/.334/.423, and while Fangraphs rates his shortstop defense as consistently slightly below average during his time in Washington, his positional flexibility could come in handy. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes today that the Nationals are trying Guzman in right field in hopes of getting him a few more at-bats.
We've already seen questions this spring regarding the health of star infielders such as Jose Reyes and Brian Roberts, and the Rangers reportedly looked into acquiring Guzman during their search for infield help. It's not hard to imagine depth or injury concerns inspiring a team to make a move for Guzman this season, despite his hefty contract. Do you see it happening? Which club could you imagine pulling off a trade? And what might the cost be, in terms of both money and talent?
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports supplies his latest hot stove buzz...
- Rosenthal's source says the Rangers' interest in Mike Lowell is "light," and the Red Sox don't expect any team to make a suitable offer. Yesterday, ESPN's Jim Reeves said the Rangers keep coming back to Lowell in their search for a right-handed hitting role player. Rosenthal notes that the Red Sox will not release Lowell, who is owed $12MM.
- With Matt Cain locked up, Rosenthal sees a weak 2012 free agent class for starting pitching. Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, and Wandy Rodriguez appear to head the group, though C.C. Sabathia has the option of electing free agency and voiding the remaining four years and $92MM on his Yankees contract. Of course, a lot can change in two seasons. The larger point: there's a better selection of free agent starters after the 2010 season than after 2011.
- The Rangers looked into trading for Washington's Cristian Guzman before acquiring Andres Blanco from the Cubs. Guzman is currently projected to serve as an $8MM utility man for the Nationals.
Links for Sunday....
- More from Rosenthal, as he tweets that the Padres are not looking to move Tim Stauffer despite there being several teams interested in the pitcher. Stauffer has been rumored to be on the trade block as he is out of options.
- FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter) that the Twins will use a closer-by-committee approach to start the season, which presumably means no trades are imminent.
- Dave Dombrowski denies that the Tigers are looking for a second base upgrade, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark had reported that Detroit could be in the market for a second baseman, given Scott Sizemore's up-and-down spring, but Dombrowski says the club's lineup is set. The GM also mentions that "a lot of clubs have been calling" about the Tigers' pitching.
- Ian Desmond has been named the Nationals' starting shortstop, according to the team's Twitter page. The rookie beat out Cristian Guzman, who will now earn $8MM this season as a utilityman. Guzman, for his part, will not ask for a trade, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The Rockies had interest in Chad Gaudin last year, but don't think they have a spot for him anymore, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports.
- Mike Lowell is maintaining a realistic outlook on his current situation, writes Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston. Edes adds in a tweet that Lowell took grounders at third base this morning, a good sign for the health of his knee.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post explains the decision facing the Nationals regarding Scott Olsen. The Nats are evaluating whether or not Olsen belongs in their rotation, and will owe him his full 2010 base salary ($1MM) if he's with the team past March 31.
A few more Friday links for your browsing pleasure...
- Speaking to Tim Allen of 1250 WSSP in Milwaukee (via SportsRadioInterviews.com), Ryan Braun said he has no regrets about signing an eight-year $45MM deal with the Brewers in 2008.
- The Reds haven't been very involved in trade discussions during the spring, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (Twitter link) thinks the Marlins will fill out their bullpen via a waiver claim or trade.
- Larry Stone of The Seattle Times would like to see the Mariners get something done with Jarrod Washburn.
- Cristian Guzman is making a case to be the Nationals' starting shortstop, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson. If the Nats named Guzman the starter, Ian Desmond would start the season at Triple-A so he could play every day.
- In his latest mailbag, Scott Merkin of MLB.com answers questions about the futures of A.J. Pierzynski and Jermaine Dye. He also gives his opinion on which player would be the ideal big-name trade target for the White Sox.
Some links as the weekend draws closer...
- In his organizational rankings, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says it's a good time to be a Brewers fan and explains why 2010 is a critical year for the Angels.
- Don't expect the Giants to sign an outfielder. GM Brian Sabean told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that the club's right fielder will come from within the organization (Twitter link).
- The Giants have yet to announce the extensions for Jeremy Affeldt and Brian Wilson, so Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle wonders (via Twitter) if Matt Cain will get an extension of his own soon.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo offers an extensive scouting report for Bryce Harper, the 17-year-old slugger whose power is "off the charts" according to one scout.
- Jason Heyward made the Braves, according to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. They're going for it in Bobby Cox's last season in Atlanta.
- Chipper Jones would not be surprised to see the Braves lock Heyward up after the season, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter).
- The Cardinals released ten minor leaguers, including knuckleballer Charlie Zink, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Bill James tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he thinks players peak defensively around the age of 25.
- Jeff Moorad assured Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune that his partnership will be able to complete its purchase of the Padres without trouble.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson reminds us that Cristian Guzman has ten and five rights.
On this date back in 1974, the Red Sox released Orlando Cepeda and Luis Aparicio, both future Hall of Famers. Cepeda, then 36, signed with Kansas City and retired after the season as a .297/.350/.499 career hitter with 379 home runs. Aparicio, 39 at the time, never played again following his release, and finished his career as a .262/.311/.343 hitter and with a reputation as one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball history.
Here are some links from around the baseball blogosphere...
- Josh's Thoughts acknowledges the possibility that it may not have been the best move for the Twins to sign Joe Mauer to such a huge deal since it will eat up a large chunk of their payroll.
- Pittsburgh Lumber Co. compares a theoretical Andrew McCutchen extension to Justin Upton's deal.
- The Daily Something calls Cristian Guzman and Adam Kennedy the two most redundant players in baseball.
- Camden Crazies wonders if Chin-Lung Hu makes sense for the Orioles.
- Gear Up For Sports asks if you could only keep one, who would it be: Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp?
- Mets Paradise tries to figure out the Mets' Opening Day roster.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
Links for Thursday...
- The Mariners watched free agent catcher Paul Lo Duca this spring, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch weighed in on the Cardinals' Albert Pujols extension situation in his chat yesterday. Strauss gives a 75% chance Pujols remains a Cardinal for life.
- Using Tim Lincecum for comparison, Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post estimates delaying Stephen Strasburg's Nationals debut until late May could save the team $18MM.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told MASN's Ben Goessling that while he considers all trade possibilities, he's "certainly, certainly not" trying to trade Cristian Guzman.
Links for Wednesday...
- The Mets have no interest in trading for Cristian Guzman, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Guzman could have played shortstop in New York while the Mets wait for Jose Reyes to get healthy.
- Dave Allen at FanGraphs thinks the Rays should use Andy Sonnanstine as a long reliever to start the season with an eye towards trading him if something comes up. Sonnanstine is going to get squeezed out of Tampa's rotation in a numbers crunch, but he has minor league options remaining.
- The Cardinals are in trade talks with the Reds in hopes of keeping Rule 5 lefty Ben Jukich, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- The Indians signed righty Justin Germano to a minor league deal, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Germano, 27, posted a 4.38 ERA, 4.97 K/9, and 1.18 BB/9 in 76 innings for the Softbank Hawks last year.
- After working out for the Diamondbacks, Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo will audition for at least four more teams according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
- Dan O'Dowd told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times he hopes Troy Tulowitzki retires a Rockie.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why he does not expect the Yankees to sign Joe Mauer even if the superstar catcher reaches free agency.
- Kiko Calero received calls from a dozen teams this winter, reports Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News.
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner finds Seattle to be lacking in middle infield depth.
Sunday night linkage..
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if money might be a factor in the Nationals' starting shortstop battle. Ian Desmond is making a compelling case for the starting job but the club might be unwilling to put Cristian Guzman and his $8MM contract on the bench.
- Padres closer Heath Bell told Tom Krasovic of AOL Fanhouse that he would be agreeable to signing an extension that is budget-friendly for the Padres. San Diego avoided arbitration with Bell in January when they agreed to a one-year, $4MM pact.
- It appears that reliever Ron Mahay won't be signing with the Mets, writes Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News. A source tells Rubin that there's no way Mahay would accept a minor league deal. Meanwhile, a separate source says that the Mets won't offer a major league contract.
- In his latest mailbag, a reader suggests to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro that the Marlins should sign John Smoltz. Frisaro says that the Marlins have no interest in the 42-year-old as the 26-year-old Josh Johnson is a good influence on the team's young pitchers.