Cristian Guzman Rumors
Some links for Saturday..
- Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer hears that Eric Wedge is taking this year off by choice. The former Indians skipper, who is still under contract with the club for one more year, was connected to the Mets' bench coach job for a while.
- The strong play of Nats rookie shortstop Ian Desmond could bump Cristian Guzman from the starting lineup, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com. However, it will be difficult for Washington will find a taker for Guzman's $8MM salary.
- Newly acquired Dodger Garret Anderson knows that he's fighting for a very limited role with club, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Anderson played in 135 games for the Braves last season, hitting .268/.303/.401 with 13 HRs.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Giants pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim has the right to opt out of his contract on March 15th if he doesn't think he'll make the 25-man roster. The 31-year-old - who last pitched in the majors in 2007 - signed a minor league deal with San Francisco in February.
- Bobby Valentine told Marlins beat reporters that he was never spoke with club owner Jeffrey Loria about managing the team, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Bobby V said the speculation was unfair to skipper Fredi Gonzalez, who led guided Florida to 87 wins and a second-place finish in the NL East.
- Arizona GM Josh Byrnes said that the club wants to look at internal candidates first if Brandon Webb is unable to start the regular season, tweets MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Byrnes added that the club, as always, will keep an eye on the waiver wire as Spring Training winds down (also via Twitter).
- Despite the impressive play of Josh Bell, Miguel Tejada will be the Orioles' starting third baseman barring a "dramatic" event, writes Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun. The O's signed Tejada to a one-year, $6MM deal in late January.
- Joe Posnanski takes a look at the history of the Rule 5 draft. Fun Fact: The Rule 5 draft goes back more than 100 years.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson caught up with Washington GM Mike Rizzo, and the results were quite interesting.
- Rizzo says that while nothing is imminent, he's never finished improving his team, and talks to "ten general managers per day." In other words, the roster he starts the season with could include players not currently in camp.
- Rizzo's biggest concern is his team's health, particularly Scott Olsen, Chien-Ming Wang and Cristian Guzman.
- The plan is not to rush Stephen Strasburg, though it is worth noting that Rizzo didn't explicitly rule out Strasburg starting the year in Washington.
- Rizzo said the Nationals have begun to "dabble" in contract extension talks with Adam Dunn.
Links for Saturday...
- Rizzo reiterated to Ladson that he'd like to sign Adam Dunn to a contract extension, however he declined to talk about how the negotiations were going. The two sides first discussed an extension a few weeks ago.
- Carlos Delgado's agent David Sloane tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that his client will be out of action for four months after undergoing hip surgery. Last week, prior to his recent procedure becoming public knowledge, Sloane told Rosenthal that Delgado might wait until mid-season to sign.
- Ladson tweets that Nats president Stan Kasten was seen talking to Cristian Guzman's agent on Saturrday afternoon, though neither party would comment on the conversation (via Twitter). Guzman is in the final year of a two-year, $16MM contract.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson says (via Twitter) that Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo indicated that he's not finished trying to improve his team, and that's he's still on the look out from some pitching.
- GM Ed Wade wasn't the only Astros' executive to have his contract extended today. Assistants Ricky Bennett, David Gottfried, and Bobby Heck were all extended through 2011, tweets Houston's Senior Director of Social Media Alyson Footer.
- Mets' owner Fred Wilpon called the team's offseason "torture," according to Adam Rubin of The New York Daily News (via Twitter). Wilpon also said he expects the team to stay within the family for generations.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that Victor Martinez said he "definitely" wants to stay in Boston beyond this season. We previewed V-Mart's impending free agency a few weeks ago.
- The A's will officially name Grady Fuson as a special advisor today, tweets Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle. Fuson was fired as the Padres' VP of scouting and player development by new GM Jed Hoyer back in October.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson spilled some hot stove goodness in his latest mailbag, so let's round it up with some good old fashioned bullet points...
- Because he's owed $8MM in 2010, Ladson doesn't see Cristian Guzman getting traded before Opening Day. He'll get another chance to play shortstop because the team realizes his problems last year were due to injuries.
- Unless he comes in as a fourth outfielder, it's unlikely the Nats will pursue Jermaine Dye.
- The only way Ladson sees Livan Hernandez returning to the nation's capital is if they're unable to land a pitcher they really want first. If they do sign him, it would likely occur in Spring Training.
Some links on this Wednesday evening...
- Yorvit Torrealba could end up with the Giants, according to Chris Haft of MLB.com. However, Torrealba may prefer to wait until after the weekend to sign with any club as his Venezuelan Winter League team is still active in the postseason.
- Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweets that in addition to Matt Kemp, the Dodgers are talking about multiyear deals with Jonathan Broxton and Andre Ethier.
- Carlos Beltran will have to refrain from baseball activities for twelve weeks after having his knee scoped, according to a Mets press release passed along by MetsBlog. The story was first reported by the New York Post's Joel Sherman (via Twitter). If all goes well with his rehabilitation, the center fielder should only miss a small amount of games to start the year.
- Free agent lefty Doug Davis is attracting interest from four teams, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Twins, Brewers, Mets, and Nationals are all interested in the 34-year-old, who posted a 4.22 ERA with 6.7 K/9 over the last three years in Arizona.
- Fernando Tatis' agent told Thomas Harding of MLB.com that the Rockies had preliminary discussions with his client earlier this week. About a week ago, we heard that the Rockies were eyeing the 35-year-old for a bench role. Also, two major league sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Mariners are interested as well.
- Former Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow will audition for at least 16 teams on Friday in Phoenix, according to a report from ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. The 31-year-old demanded his release from the Rangers back in May.
- If the Nats are able to sign Orlando Hudson or Adam Kennedy to play second base, Cristian Guzman and his $8MM salary are unlikely to be moved elsewhere, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Guzman would remain at shortstop, where his agent insists that he is still valuable despite shoulder surgery.
- Pittsburgh's signing of Ryan Church could pay huge dividends for the club, says ESPN's Rob Neyer. If Church is healthy and generates interest from other clubs, the Pirates will be able to move him for a more valuable commodity.
So far this winter the Nationals have traded for reliever Brian Bruney and signed starter Jason Marquis and catcher Ivan Rodriguez. They're a finalist to sign reliever Matt Capps. They've also added Joel Peralta, Jamie Burke, and Doug Slaten, among others. What's next for GM Mike Rizzo?
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post says the Nats initially targeted Jon Garland, but Garland prefers to sign with a West Coast team. He should have some options if he's willing to take a one-year deal in the $6-7MM range.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that the Nationals still have interest in free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson. Signing Hudson would mean keeping Cristian Guzman at shortstop.
The Nationals are considering a number of options up the middle. Here's the latest:
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson expects the Nationals to try trading Cristian Guzman this offseason. It won't be easy, given his $8MM salary.
- Manager Jim Riggleman likes Ian Desmond, but others within the organization believe the infielder needs more minor league seasoning.
- Could Ronnie Belliard return to play second base? Ladson doubts it.
- Jamey Carroll doesn't seem likely to return to Washington, either. At least nine teams have interest in the 35-year-old.
- The Nats are considering a couple defensive shortstops, too.
- Since 2007, no fielder has cost his team more runs than Adam Dunn, according to Matthew Carruth of FanGraphs. Dunn will make $12MM in 2010 before becoming a free agent. It's hard to imagine him signing with an NL club again after next season.
- Riggleman indicates that the Nationals' managerial hunt is working around the playoff schedule, and that it will probably be after the World Series before a manager is named.
- He suggests the Nationals could use another veteran starter.
- He says that although they don't necessarily need to sign a big-name closer, Washington would benefit from some bullpen help.
- Cristian Guzman's offseason progress is important. If he's not able to throw, the Nationals could look to add infielders, and it could mean more playing time for Ian Desmond.
- Riggleman feels Justin Maxwell's spot on the 25-man roster is his to lose, and that Maxwell could start against lefties.
Let's have a look at a few evening links....
- John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune notes that the uncertainty regarding Ken Griffey Jr.'s future with the Mariners could make for an uncomfortable PR situation, given Griffey's popularity in Seattle. We've already heard that Griffey would be open to returning and that the Mariners would not reject the idea. McGrath rightly points out though that it would be a mistake to bring the 39-year-old back as the same middle-of-the-order DH he was this year, since he has hit just .214/.323/.395. If the Mariners do retain Griffey, McGrath says it has to be a pinch hitter and part-time player.
- After earlier reports that the Cubs might not be interested in retaining Rich Harden, we get a follow-up from Keith Law at ESPN.com wondering what type of deal Harden might get. Law compares Harden to Brad Penny, suggesting that, like Penny, the Cubs righty may not be able to secure a multi-year deal because of health concerns.
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com blogs that Cristian Guzman is still unsure about playing second base for the Nationals in 2010. GM Mike Rizzo and interim manager Jim Riggleman requested the move, feeling that Guzman "no longer has the range to play shortstop."
- The White Sox should consider keeping Jermaine Dye, according to Matt Meyers of ESPN.com. Although he acknowledges that the outfielder's declining slugging percentage and subpar fielding make for a scary combination, Meyers contends that Dye is a better fit in Chicago than anywhere else, since he could replace the departed Jim Thome as the team's full-time DH. Dye would like to return and Ozzie wants him back too, but the Sox aren't about to pick up the $12MM option just because it's the best fit for Dye.
- Corey Brock at MLB.com talks to San Diego Padres' GM Kevin Towers about the focus on speed for the Padres. Towers believes there is such a thing as a "PETCO Park player," and that athleticism is a crucial characteristic for playing in the spacious ballpark. Given this approach, it'll be interesting to see who the Padres might target from this offseason's free agent pool.
- Baseball America's Ben Badler tweets that the Pittsburgh Pirates' win this afternoon once again clinched the No. 1 pick for the Washington Nationals in next June's draft. The Pirates and Baltimore Orioles are still in the mix for No. 2.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has his Sunday column up. Let's have a look.
- Cafardo expects the Red Sox to make another push for Felix Hernandez in the offseason. Hernandez's price tag could prove too high for Seattle to retain him; however, they are open to extending him. Before the deadline, the Red Sox reportedly offered a 5-for-1 deal for the ace that Seattle turned down.
- The Indians have yet to see dividends pay for the players they received for Cliff Lee. Cafardo writes, "Righty Carlos Carrasco is 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA (six homers in 14 innings); catcher Lou Marson is hitting .154; shortstop Jason Donald went on the disabled list in Triple A; and righty Jason Knapp underwent surgery to remove fragments from his shoulder."
- Cafardo wonders if the Nats would've dealt Cristian Guzman had they known Ian Desmond would emerge as their shortstop of the future.
- Chiming in on the Jason Bay or Matt Holliday discussion, Cafardo quotes scouts who seem to have him leaning toward Holliday as the better option, particularly for Boston.